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US adds wanted Saudi al Qaeda leader to terrorism list

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The Long War Journal
January 24, 2013

The US State Department has added a wanted Saudi citizen who serves as a senior al Qaeda leader and ideologue in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to the list of Specially Designated Global terrorists.

Ahmed Abdullah Saleh al Khazmari al Zahrani, who is better known as Abu Maryam al Zahrani, was added to the list of designated terrorists today. Al Zahrani is on Saudi Arabia's list of 85 most-wanted terrorists that was issued in February 2009.

State said that al Zahrani is "currently wanted for extradition by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for participating in terrorist activities and for his ties to al Qaeda."

"Abu Maryam al Zahrani travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan from Saudi Arabia to join al Qaeda prior to 2007 and is closely connected to many senior al Qaeda leaders," State continued.

In 2009, Asharq Alawsat described al Zahrani "as a part of al Qaeda's new generation" of leaders. He is thought to be based in Pakistan but has also been spotted in Iran, the newspaper reported.

Al Zahrani is also known to have released jihadist propaganda. In August 2012, he distributed an article titled "The Legacy of Jihad," according to the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. In the article, he discussed two essays by Abu Musab al Suri, the influential Syrian al Qaeda ideologue.


Zawahiri says raids on diplomatic facilities were 'defeats' for US

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The Long War Journal
November 7, 2012

In a new audio message addressed to Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Ayman al Zawahiri cites the raids on US diplomatic facilities in September as evidence of American weakness.

Shabaab has suffered setbacks in recent months, including the loss of its stronghold in the port city of Kismayo. But in what amounts to a pep talk, Zawahiri says Shabaab's spirits should be buoyed by the supposed losses suffered by America and its allies elsewhere.

"They were defeated in Iraq and they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and their ambassador in Benghazi was killed and the flags of their embassies were lowered in Cairo and Sana'a, and in their places were raised the flags of tawhid [monotheism] and jihad," Zawahiri says, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.

"After their consecutive defeats, they are working from behind agents and traitors," Zawahiri continues. "Their awe is lost and their might is gone and they don't dare to carry out a new campaign like their past ones in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Al Qaeda-linked extremists have been tied to the three assaults on US diplomatic facilities Zawahiri mentions.


Muslim Persecution of Christians

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November 6, 2012

The aftermath of collective punishment for Pakistan’s Christians—the inevitable byproduct of the notorious Rimsha Masih blasphemy case, concerning a Christian girl falsely accused of desecrating a Quran—was more dramatic than the blasphemy case itself.  Indeed, knowing what was in store for them, some Christians even held a symbolic funeral procession, carrying a Christian leader in a coffin and digging a grave for the “deceased.”   

Their morbid predictions proved too true—especially after another pretext for Muslims to riot emerged: the Youtube Muhammad movie.  After Friday prayers, Muslims attacked, killed, and robbed the Christians in their midst, who account for a miniscule 1.5% of Pakistan’s population.  St. Paul’s Church in Mardan was attacked by hundreds of Muslims armed with clubs and sticks.  After looting and desecrating it, they set the church on fire (see picture here).  Next Muslims raided a nearby church-run school, looting and torching it as well, and burning down a library containing more than 3,000 Christian books.  Although the library also contained thousands of books on Islam—making the Muslim mobs’ actions blasphemous under Pakistan’s law—“the attack continued for more than three hours, with minimal efforts by the authorities to stop it.” Separately, Gunmen on motorbikes dressed in green (Islam’s color) opened fire on the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Hyderabad, murdering at least 28 people.  Their immediate target appears to have been a nun, Mother Christina.  Days later, unknown men reportedly threatened workers at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hyderabad, saying: “We will teach a lesson to the Christians,” destroying the hospital’s windows and doors. Naeem Samuel, the bishop of Trinity Evangelical Church was assaulted, severely beat, and injured as he exited his church.


Taliban Demands Unbiased Coverage of Its Attempted Murder of a 14-Year-Old Girl

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The Atlantic Wire

You wouldn't believe the lamestream media's bias. You shoot one 14-year-old girl in the head and you'll never hear the end of it. So goes the lament of Pakistan's Taliban insurgency following a spate of bad press in mainstream Pakistani outlets related to the jihadists' failed assassination attempt of Malala Yousafzai, a young blogger who dared protest the Taliban's ban on educating girls. Now the Taliban are plotting terror strikes on TV stations and other media organizations, but local newspapers refuse to stay silent.

The first report of these plots was surfaced by an urdu-language reporter on Saturday, who uncovered a special directive by the chief of the banned Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Hakimullah Mehsud. As local newspaper Dawn reported, "Mehsud directed his subordinate to target the offices of media organisations in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and in other cities of the country especially those media organisations and media personalities who were denouncing TTP after attack on child activist Malala Yousufzai." In response, the Interior Ministry has beefed up security near media organizations. But the Taliban are still whining.

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