Top AQ commander in Pakistan arrested – will he sing on OBL?

Very interesting development in the WOT:

Pakistani officials say the arrest of a top al Qaeda commander could provide clues to the whereabouts of hidden terror cells around the world and to his superiors, Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.

Pakistani police tell ABC News they arrested Matiur Rehman based on leads in the investigation of the foiled plot to blow up U.S.-bound airplanes from London.

U.S. law enforcement officials say they have been notified by their counterparts in Pakistan that Rehman is in custody. U.S. intelligence officials say they cannot confirm his arrest and remain skeptical of the reports.

Even if he doesn’t start chirping about OBL’s whereabouts, his arrest might lead to hundreds of others:

Rehman is regarded as the connection between al Qaeda and a large network of Pakistani extremists in major cities around the world.

He reportedly has the list of thousands of Pakistanis who trained in the al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

“If they found that piece of documentation, we will see hundreds, if not thousands, of arrests around the world,” said Alexis Debat, an ABC News consultant and counter-terrorism fellow at the Nixon Center.

Sounds like good news in the continued global war on terror. Don’t tell the far left.

Grassroots Activist School

The John William Pope Civitas Institute is sponsoring a one-day “Grassroots Activist School” to be held on Saturday September 16th in Raleigh, NC.

What is the “Grassroots Activist School”? Here’s how to find out. In brief:

The Leadership Institute’s Grassroots Activist School teaches conservatives political technology.

Attend this powerful one / two day school and you’ll be empowered to:

  • Learn political technology to stop liberals in their tracks.
  • Help conservative candidates of your choice win campaigns at all levels.
  • Meet and network with expert faculty and other like-minded people who can help you make a difference in your community.
  • Gain political know-how to help build your personal leadership skills, abilities and confidence.


Whether you want to run for office, manage a campaign or just become a more effective and organized volunteer, the down-to-earth principles you’ll learn at the Grassroots Activist School will help you become a better activist.

It sounds intriguing, so much so that yours truly may attend.

The particulars:

Date: Saturday Sept. 16th
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Place: Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley
Cost: Free
Lunch: Included

The Leadership Institute here is conducting the school, and you can read more about the LI at the link provided. Click here if you’re interested in registering.

Was Germany supposed to be next?

Might Germany have been the next victim of Islamofascism on a massive scale? Via the Deutsche Welle:

The German Criminal Police Office on Friday released images taken from a surveillance camera of the two suspects in the attempted bombing of two trains. Police believe the plot was an attempted terror attack.

The German investigators working on the case surrounding the two suitcase bombs found on trains in Koblenz and Dortmund at the end of July released images obtained from surveillance cameras of two suspects in the suspected terror plot.

The authorities announced that there would be a reward of 50,000 ($64,195) euros for any information which would lead to the capture of the two young men in the grainy photos, who were both described as being from “southern countries.”

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) revealed that the evidence had led to one suspect being identified, but so far they have no details of his background and activities. They warn that the man could still be at large.

The authorities also revealed that they are circulating details within the intelligence community of the second suspect who may have been involved in the plot.

“We have very serious concerns about the background of this intended attack,” the security source added.

Terror attack plot “highly likely”

The BKA believe that Germany was being targeted for terrorist attacks and that if the explosive devices had been detonated, their size and construction would have created devastation and death on a scale reminiscent of the July 7, 2005 attacks on the London transport system.

Both of the suitcases discovered on July 31 contained gas cylinders rigged up to an ignition mechanism and had been left in two regional trains which usually run at the height of the commuter rush hour. The suitcases were discovered by rail staff when the trains terminated at the two hub stations. The construction of the devices and the potential impact the explosions would have had suggests a sophisticated plot.

The BKA believes that the planned attack could have been the work of a terrorist organization operating in Germany.

The authorities dismissed claims that the German plot was connected to the on-going instability in Lebanon despite the discovery of a smaller bag within one of the suitcases which was printed with Arab text and comes from a business in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

Many of these bags could have arrived in Germany in the past few months and it was not sufficient evidence to connect the plot to Lebanon, investigators said.

Maybe not connected to the war between Israel and Lebanon, but it could be the work of Islamofascists or Islamofascist-wannabes, considering there was Arab text on the smaller bag within the suitcase – a bag which came from a business in Beirut, Lebanon.

See the Davids Medienkritik blog for more details.

Three things we can count on in life

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “there are two things we can count on happening in our lifetimes – death and taxes.”

There’s actually a third thing we can count on happening in our lifetimes: Jimmy Carter effectively siding with terrorists in the Middle East over Israel and the United States.

In that interview he also states that he thinks he represents a “vast majority” of Democrats in the US. I’ll leave it up to the reader to infer from that whatever they want to.


John Mark Karr: Did he really murder JonBenet?

This Associated Press story points to some discrepancies between the story John Karr has told, and what is known about the case:

Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul of the Thai immigration police changed some details Friday of the account he had given of what Karr told investigators. In a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Suwat quoted Karr as saying he had sexually assaulted the girl and given her drugs. He also told reporters before a news conference Thursday that Karr had claimed to have picked up JonBenet at her school.

On Friday, Suwat confirmed to the AP his account of the sexual assault. But asked Friday if Karr gave the girl drugs, Suwat said the suspect described the encounter with JonBenet Ramsey as “a blur.”

“It may have been drugs, or it may have been something else because (Karr said) it was a blur, blur” Suwat said.

Suwat also said Friday that his statement about the girl being picked from school was based on a documentary he had seen and not the interrogation.

JonBenet’s autopsy report found no evidence of drugs, saying her death was caused by strangulation after a beating that included a fractured skull. While it describes vaginal injuries, it makes no conclusions about whether she was raped. Investigators later concluded there was no semen on JonBenet’s body.

His ex wife has also said that Karr was in Alabama the night of JonBenet’s murder.

John Hawkins is skeptical about Karr’s claims.

Did Karr really do it? Or can we add ‘attention-seeking nut’ to this weirdo’s list of ‘accomplishments‘?

Hat tip: La Shawn Barber

Yesterday’s ruling on the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps

By now you’ve all already heard the story about United States District Court (Detroit) Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling on the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps program, where suspicious calls originating in the US but going out overseas are sometimes monitored without a warrant.

(Read the opinion here)

Scanning the blogosphere this morning, I believe the place to go for the most comprehensive link roundups and background info on Judge Taylor is in Kim Priestap’s post at Wizbang.

After the initial outrage I (and a lot of others) felt upon reading Taylor’s ruling, I calmed down a bit after reading what the Detroit Free Press wrote back on August 7th about the likelihood of a ruling against the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps standing (Hat tip: Mary Katharine Ham at MM’s):

But even if Taylor harpoons the spying program, experts said, the decision likely would be overturned by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Given the composition of the 6th Circuit and its previous rulings in related areas, it seems more likely to favor national security over civil liberties if that issue is squarely presented,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “And that’s what this case is all about.”

We’ll see what the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has to say about it, because that’s where it will be headed next. I feel confident that this ruling will be overturned.

In the meantime, the Washington Post editorial page hits the right note today with its editorial titled: “A Judicial Misfire” – make sure to read it all. Taylor’s ruling was, as the WaPo aptly described it, all sound and fury – and if I may add, sounded suspiciously like judicial activism at its most potent.

Updated to add: How could I forget to comment on the reactions of the usual suspects? Of course there was happiness and celebration in the lefty blogosphere yesterday over this ruling, but make no mistake about it. They weren’t happy for the reasons they claimed to be (“preservation of our Constitutional rights!!!!!!!!!!!”) but rather because this was a defeat for the Bush administration – and we do live in an era where Bush-hatred trumps concern for our national security to a certain segment of the Democratic party. A Bush loss in the war on terror is victory to the Bush-haters … and as you know, a Bush loss in the war on terror is not just victory to them, but a significant victory for Islamofascists, too.

Update II: Of course, the Bush-hating NYT weighs in in favor of the ruling:

But for now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them.

ROTFL! Predictability, thy name is the New York Times.

Read more via Eugene Volokh, Confederate Yankee, Captain Ed, Ann Althouse, Mark in Mexico, Jeff Goldstein, Right Wing Nuthouse, Danny Carlton — alias “Jack Lewis”, Iowa Voice, bRight and Early