Saturday, June 27, 2009

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 27, 2009 ~ Part #2 - TTP Chief Baitullah Mehsud's Suicide Foray Into Azad Jammu & Kashmir

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 27, 2009 ~ Part #2 - TTP Chief Baitullah Mehsud's Suicide Foray Into Azad Jammu & Kashmir *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan - June 27, 2009: Two soldiers were killed and at least three others injured in a suicide bombing in Muzaffarabad on Friday. Pakistan's army soldiers rush to a spot of a suicide attack in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir, Friday, June 26, 2009. A suicide bomber blew himself up early Friday near an army vehicle, killing at least two soldiers in the first such assault in Pakistan's part of divided Kashmir, the military said. Reports on Saturday said the suicide bomber responsible for the attack has been identified as one Abid. Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Yaqub Khan said the suicide bomber belonged to Waziristan. ‘The suicide bomber has been identified as Abid. He belonged to the Taliban in Waziristan,’ Raja Kafeel, a spokesman for the AJK prime minister told AFP. Police said they were investigating the attack. ‘We are investigating how a suicide bomber managed to enter in the sensitive military area,’ senior police official Raja Ilyas told AFP. Earlier, the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the first suicide attack in Azad Kashmir. The early morning blast in the army barracks in Shaukat Lines caught security personnel unawares, although ‘they had been on alert for four months’, a police official said. According to witnesses, a man in his twenties walked through a ground used by army personnel for physical training and local youths as a playground and entered the barracks of non-commissioned army men at about 06:30 a.m. ‘The bomber was intercepted by a soldier whom he tried to engage in a conversation presumably to attract other soldiers around for causing maximum casualties’ and then blew himself up, official sources said. A soldier was killed on the spot and four others were injured and taken to the Combined Military Hospital where one of them died. An army pick-up parked a few yards away overturned and another vehicle was damaged. The blast was heard in most parts of the town. An intelligence official said the ground was splattered with blood and limbs. He said four legs and other limbs had been found in the ground and under the overturned vehicle which indicated that more than one bomber might have been involved in the attack. Inspector General of Police Javed Iqbal and other senior officers reached the site shortly after the blast and discussed matters related to investigation with military officers who were later joined by the Murree-based general officer commanding of the 12-Division. The junior section of the Army Public School, several other educational institutions and the 5-AK Brigade headquarters are around the place where the blast took place. Several parents were heard voicing concern about the security of their children in the area. AJK Social Welfare Minister Noreen Arif said: ‘We ought to devise a comprehensive plan to ensure security of our people and combat terrorism.’ A police officer said the army installation had probably been attacked to give a message to the authorities that militants could expand their area of operation and hit security forces anywhere, including Azad Kashmir. The barracks fall under the 5-AK Brigade of the Azad Kashmir (AK) Regiment which is reportedly taking part in the operation against militants in Swat and adjoining areas. In a late-night crackdown in various parts of the AJK capital, police arrested more than five dozen Afghan nationals and people belonging to the Frontier province who lacked identification documents. A top administration official in Muzaffarabad, Chaudhry Imtiaz, said police had arrested about 200 people for questioning, adding that security had been beefed up in different parts of AJK. Agencies add: A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy to TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, said the attack had been launched to prove that he had not been weakened by recent strikes on his suspected hideouts. ‘We claim responsibility for this attack. This was done in revenge for the Waziristan operation and air strikes,’ Hakimullah told AFP by telephone from an unknown location. ‘We warn the government to stop the operation and air strikes in Waziristan otherwise we will continue such attacks all over Pakistan,’ he said. The ISPR confirmed that two soldiers had died and three others had been injured in the suicide attack on an army vehicle.

DTN News: Russia May Export Up To 40 Diesel Submarines By 2015

DTN News: Russia May Export Up To 40 Diesel Submarines By 2015
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - June 27, 2009: Russia could sell up to 40 fourth-generation diesel-electric submarines to foreign customers by 2015, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday. "Russia's export potential in this market sector is very high thanks to Project 636 and Amur-1650 class submarines equipped with the Club-S integrated missile systems," Rosoboronexport said in a press release. The Project 636 Kilo-class submarine is thought to be one of the most silent submarine classes in the world. It has been specifically designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters. Russia has built Kilo-class submarines for India, China and Iran. The Project-677, or Lada-class, diesel submarine, whose export version is known as the Amur 1650, features a new anti-sonar coating for its hull, an extended cruising range, and advanced anti-ship and anti-submarine weaponry. Both submarines are equipped with highly-acclaimed Club-S integrated missile systems. The Club-S submarine cruise missile family includes the 3M-54E1 anti-ship missile and the 3M-14E land-attack versions, with a flight range of 275km (about 170 miles). The missile can be launched from standard torpedo tubes from a depth of 35 to 40 meters (130 feet). Overall, naval equipment constitutes about 10% of the total portfolio of orders of Rosoboronexport, which is estimated at about $30 billion. "By 2010, the share of naval equipment in Russia's arms exports will reach 15%, and by 2011 it will total 20%," said Oleg Azizov, head of Rosoboronexport's delegation at the International Naval Show-2009 in St. Petersburg. India, China, Algeria, Vietnam and Indonesia remain key buyers of Russia's naval armaments. India and China have purchased submarines, frigates and destroyers. Vietnam has ordered Svetlyak-class fast attack boats and frigates, while Indonesia will receive corvettes built in Russia in cooperation with Spanish firms.

DTN News: Suicide Bombing Kills Somali Security Minister As Islamists Mount Assault On Mogadishu

DTN News: Suicide Bombing Kills Somali Security Minister As Islamists Mount Assault On Mogadishu
*Source: The Jamestown Foundation By Andrew McGregor
(NSI News Source Info) June 27, 2009: A June 18 suicide bombing at the entrance of a hotel in the Somali town of Beled Weyne (the provincial capital of Hiraan province) killed Somalia’s Minister of Security, Colonel Umar Hashi Adan, the former Somali ambassador to Ethiopia, Abdikarim Farah Laqanyo, and at least 18 others (al-Jazeera [Doha], June 19; al-Arabiya [Dubai], June 18). Responsibility for the blast was claimed by al-Shabaab spokesman Shaykh Ali Mahmud Raage (a.k.a. Shaykh Ali Dheere); "One of our Mujahedeen went with his car laden with explosives to a building where the apostate and other members from his group had been meeting… The apostates have been eliminated; they all died in the suicide attack” (AFP, June 18).
Another Shabaab spokesman, Ali Muhammad, told al-Jazeera: “I bring Muslims the joyful news of the destruction of one of the pillars supporting God's enemies. God guided the mujahideen to a successful attack on an enemy stronghold, in which some of the leaders of apostasy were killed, including Ethiopia's primary agent - the [Somali] security minister - and Ethiopian Army officers. It was a martyrdom operation that was executed by a mujahid hero affiliated with the Mujahideen Youth Movement [the full name of al-Shabaab] (al-Jazeera, June 18). Ali Muhammad warned of a wave of suicide bombings against traitors and foreign forces in Somalia.
Al-Shabaab fighters outside of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab insurgents, seen, in a vehicle, which they claim was defected from the Somali government side, in Mogadishu, Somalia. Somali Islamist group of Ahlusunna seized Guriel town in central Somalia after a brief battle with Al-shabaab fighters, residents said
The attack in Beled Weyne occurred at the end of a meeting between Somali government officials and Ethiopian military officers intended to discuss means of reversing the progress of the Islamist opposition coalition and preserving the diminishing government of President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad. Al-Shabaab is the only Somali faction known to use suicide attacks. The timing of the attack and its target was a clear warning to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that al-Shabaab will strike at anyone thought to be negotiating a return of the Ethiopian military to Somalia.
Carried out by three men in a Toyota, the attack on the Madina Hotel was carefully timed, occurring just as Colonel Umar Hashi was leaving the hotel with the Ethiopian army officers with whom he had been meeting. They were on their way to their vehicles in the hotel parking lot when the suicide bomber drove up to the entrance of the hotel before detonating the explosives. The 20 killed included a number of senior Ethiopian and Somali military officers (including Colonel Umar Hashi’s brother), government officials, local Beled Weyne security men and several civilians (, June 18). The Security Minister was a native of Beled Weyne and there is speculation his death and the death of a number of other local authorities in the suicide bombing may galvanize the resistance of local clans to al-Shabaab in the Hiraan region (al-Jazeera, June 18).
A major battle was fought in the Hodan district of Mogadishu the day before the attack, killing 26 people, including Mogadishu’s police commander. Thirteen people were killed when a mortar shell struck a mosque (AFP, June 17). The fighting was Hizb al-Islam’s response to TFG attacks on Hizb al-Islam military bases in Hiraan region the day before (Shabelle Media Networks, June 17). The Hizb al-Islam – al-Shabaab coalition has penetrated parts of the capital and is mounting a fierce campaign to dislodge the TFG and those Islamists supporting President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad. Hizb al-Islam is itself a coalition of Islamist groups that grew out of the earlier Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia-Asmara (ARS-Asmara). It is led by Shaykh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the former chairman of ARS-Asmara and a long-time rival of President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad (the former leader of ARS-Djibouti).
Arms are being distributed to members of the President’s Hawiye clan, many of them streaming into Mogadishu from areas outside of the capital. Hizb al-Islam and al-Shabaab have also been reinforced in Mogadishu by new fighters arriving from the provinces, including a column from the Shabaab-held port city of Kismayo (, June 17).
TFG MP Asha Ahmad Abdalla accused the president of hypocrisy for inviting the return of Ethiopian troops against whom he led a jihad only a short time ago, as well as for bringing warlords back into the government. "Sharif has led Somalia into carnage that is worse than the one committed by Ethiopian troops when they were in the country. He has revived warlords whom we know had caused suffering in the country" (, June 18).
The MP was undoubtedly referring to the appointment of former warlord Shaykh Yusuf Muhammad Siad “Indha Adde” as the new Somali State Minister of Defense. Following the appointment, the government is reported to have handed most of its arms over to Indha Adde (Waaga Cusub, June 18). As a member of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in December 2006, Indha Adde invited jihadis from all over the Muslim world to “continue their holy war in Somalia” (Shabelle Media Networks, December 23, 2006). The TFG parliamentary speaker, Shaykh Adan Muhammad Nur, issued a request for foreign intervention on June 20; “We ask neighboring countries - including Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen - to send troops to Somalia within 24 hours” (al-Jazeera, June 22). Ethiopian soldiers in central Somalia have told local residents they are looking for “foreign troops” threatening Somalia (, June 22). Addis Ababa denies sending troops back into Ethiopia, saying it would need an international mandate to do so, but admitted earlier to carrying out “reconnaissance missions” inside Somalia (Reuters, June 12). There are reports that the 4,300 African Union (A.U.) peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi have become involved in the fighting as part of their mandate to protect strategic sites in Mogadishu (al-Jazeera, June 22). The President blamed foreign terrorists for the Beled Weyne attack, an accusation that was backed up by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke. “Somalis have no expertise to carry out this [kind of] attack; this was the work of foreigners” (AFP, June 18). Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad said al-Qaeda was behind the bombing and suggested Somalia was under attack from mercenaries and al-Qaeda terrorists from Iraq and Afghanistan (Shabelle Media Network, June 18;, June 18). Al-Shabaab maintains that the suicide bomber was a Somali man named Muhammad Deerow Shaykh Adam. TFG parliamentary speaker Shaykh Adan Muhammad Nur claims the Islamist opposition forces in Mogadishu are being led by a Pakistan al-Qaeda operative based in the capital’s Sanna neighborhood, but has provided no evidence to support this claim (al-Jazeera, June 22).
With the TFG on the verge of collapse, the President and his ministers are identifying foreign elements as the main threat to their regime in the hopes of rallying international support, but the real threat is coming from the President’s former comrades in Somalia's Islamic Courts Union, such as Hizb al-Islam leader Shaykh Hassan Dahir Aweys.

DTN News: South Korea Announces Cyber Warfare Command Plans

DTN News: South Korea Announces Cyber Warfare Command Plans *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 27, 2009: South Korea will launch a cyber warfare command center to fend off attacks on government and military IT networks from North Korea and other countries, officials said June 26. The plan to create the command center by 2012 was included in a military reform package presented to President Lee Myung-Bak, the defense ministry said, at a time when relations with North Korea are particularly strained. South Korea's military computer networks are under ever-growing cyber attack. The South's military security unit said in a report last month that every day the military counters an average of 10,450 hacking attempts and 81,700 computer virus infections. Experts say South Korea - one of the world's most wired societies - needs an integrated unit to fight cyber attacks by North Korea and China, which run elite hacker units. In 2004, hackers based in China used information-stealing viruses to break into the computer systems of Seoul government agencies. Last year, South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo warned his cabinet against what he said were attempts by Chinese and North Korean computer hackers to obtain state secrets.

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 27, 2009 - Did Pakistani Spies Kill 11 French Naval Engineers?

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 27, 2009 - Did Pakistani Spies Kill 11 French Naval Engineers? *Sources: DTN News / Times By Bruce Crumley ~ Paris Friday, Jun. 26, 2009 (Click here)
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - June 27, 2009: When, in May 2002, suicide bombers attacked a bus in Karachi in southern Pakistan and killed 11 French naval engineers, most officials believed it was the work of radicals tied to al-Qaeda. Although no such group ever took credit for the attack, the jihadist theory has long remained the one favored by authorities in both Pakistan and France. But now French authorities are turning to far less conventional — and more controversial — suspicions: that the strike may have been organized by members of Pakistan's military and intelligence services, as revenge for France cutting off millions of dollars in kickback payments promised in a 1994 submarine deal.
A bus sits in ruins after an explosion in Karachi, Pakistan on May 8, 2002.
"This theory is being considered as the most likely, especially now that all the other plausible explanations have been seriously undermined," says a French counter-terrorism official who has knowledge of France's inquiry into the Karachi bombing. "Investigations in France have produced written evidence and testimony that kickbacks to Pakistani authorities had been agreed upon, paid, then unilaterally terminated from Paris. That theoretically provides the Pakistani authorities involved with a motive for an attack — meaning we now have to see if that can be fully substantiated." (See pictures of a Jihadist's journey from Pakistan.) French counter-terrorism officials have for months been privately airing their growing skepticism about jihadist responsibility for the 2002 attack. It wasn't until last week, however, that word leaked to the press that the specialized investigating magistrates handling the case in France appeared to have all but abandoned the al-Qaeda theory. On June 19, lawyers representing families of the bombing's French victims told reporters they'd received a briefing earlier that day by judges Yves Jannier and Marc Trévidic describing the scenario of Pakistani officials having organized the strike as credible, and citing supporting evidence obtained over the course of France's inquiry into the attack. This new theory hinges on a change in French government as the possible trigger. In 1994, Paris signed a $1 billion deal to sell and assemble Agosta submarines to Pakistan; a year later, the cabinet of newly elected President Jacques Chirac decided to start holding back payment of some $33 million in kickbacks that had been promised to Pakistani officials who had helped secure the contract. French security officials tell TIME that last year French investigators obtained documents and testimonies by people involved with the transaction showing that after those funds were retained, Pakistani officials who were designated in the contract to receive "commissions" for their help repeatedly insisted they be paid. By 2000, when France applied an international anti-corruption convention banning kickbacks, Paris could truthfully claim it was unable to pay such "commissions" without breaking the law. (Read: "France's Chirac Under Investigation.") That, some French authorities now believe, is when some Pakistani officials got mad. The authorities suspect that members of Pakistan's overlapping military, intelligence and political circles decided to settle their score by symbolically targeting the French submarine engineers tied to the contract. Then they allegedly manipulated extremists whom Pakistan has long been accused of supporting to carry out the attack in order to maintain plausible deniability. "[Investigators] have now established that these contracted commissions had become a major point of dispute, and are now trying to see if they were the motive for whomever ordered the bus carrying the French engineers to be bombed," the French counter-terrorism official says. "Right now, retaliation for the undelivered payments to Pakistani officials is seen as the strongest theory there is." Skeptics ask what Pakistani officials would gain by killing the French workers. They still wouldn't get their money, since France presumably wouldn't be bullied into paying up in response to such an outrageous attack. French officials say the logic of the attack would have been similar to Mafia hits on outstanding debtors: to make an example of someone deemed unlikely to pay up, and thereby send a message that others will understand while officially being able to point the finger at another culprit. (Read: "Busting the Sicilian Mafia's Board of Directors.") After news of the French investigators' suspicions broke last week, Pakistan's media carried a cascade of official denials from leaders, while Farah Ispahani, spokeswoman for President Ali Zardari, qualified the allegation as "farcical at best." In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy — who was economy minister at the time the submarine contract was signed — responded with outrage. "This is ridiculous. Grotesque," Sarkozy told reporters. "We have to respect the grief of the families. Who would ever believe such a tale?" (See pictures of Sarkozy in the U.K.) Pakistan continues to note that its own investigation into the bombing — which killed the highest number of Westerners yet in a single attack on Pakistani soil — traced it directly to jihadists. Following several months of inquiries, Pakistani police arrested seven suspected members of Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alaami, a group described as an offshoot of the Harkat-ul Mujahideen currently waging jihad in Kashmir. Three men were convicted and tried for organizing the Karachi attack, which Pakistani officials said was retaliation for the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. But French officials ridicule Pakistan's inquiry, saying it contained countless errors and ignored all leads that didn't conveniently point to the usual suspects in a post-9/11 world. Because of that, one French security official tells TIME, the entire Pakistani case "seemed to be out to justify the obvious suspicion of jihadist responsibility, rather than studying the evidence to find out who else might have been behind the bombing". And the Pakistani courts seem to agree. Last month, two of the principle suspects in the attack saw their earlier convictions and death sentences overturned on appeal. A third man who had also been convicted in the case is awaiting appeal. The implosion of Pakistan's case has further stoked French allegations that the actual goal of the investigation was to hand France plausible culprits while diverting attention from the real plotters. But an article in Thursday's daily Libération indicates Pakistan had some help in that, claiming key French officials themselves long discounted indicators that the attack had directly targeted people linked to the submarine contract as they focused on al-Qaeda connections. (See pictures of Osama Bin Laden.) If true, that makes Sarkozy's rush to discredit the latest theory even more puzzling. Some French security officials have a possible explanation for the president's reaction: his concern that it could complicate his efforts to do away with France's independent investigative magistrates and entrust all inquiries to public prosecutors appointed by politicians — which, critics say, would make them more likely to intervene in sensitive cases out of political concern rather than in the pursuit of justice. But for now, the country's independent investigators are pushing politics aside in their search for justice for the Karachi attacks — even if it means rocking Franco-Pakistani relations to their core. — With reporting by Aryn Baker / Kabul Read: "Pakistan: A Mounting Problem for Obama." See pictures of a Pakistan police academy under fire.

DTN News: Patria Wins Swedish Armored Modular Vehicles Contract

DTN News: Patria Wins Swedish Armored Modular Vehicles Contract
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) HELSINKI, Finland - June 27, 2009: Finland's Patria Land & Armament (PLA) has secured a $338 million order for 113 Patria eight-wheel-drive AMVs (Armored Modular Vehicles) for delivery to Sweden as part of that country's Land Force's AWV 2014 Project. The decision must be approved by the Swedish government; that is expected in the autumn. The 113 AMVs are due to be delivered between 2011 and 2013. The AMV contract, which was placed by Forsvarets Materielverk (FMV), Sweden's state-controlled defense materials administration, suggests that the Swedish government has no plans to revive the Spitterskyddad Enhets Platform (SEP) modular armored tactical vehicle project, which was discontinued in September. "The SEP project was stopped last autumn because of funding issues, and it is not something we are working with now," said an FMV spokesman. "The Land Forces asked us to look at the market and source a modern armored wheeled vehicle, and this we have done after a competitive bidding process and full testing. This contract is the end result of this competition." BAE Systems Hagglunds' SEP, designed to offer advanced multipurpose protection, was originally planned as the Swedish Land Forces' next-generation modular armored tactical vehicle. The $338 million contract with Patria covers wheeled armored personnel carriers in five different versions, and includes the option for delivery of an additional 113 vehicle systems. The AMVs will be manufactured in Finland, using subcontractors in both Finland and Sweden. The Patria eight-wheel-drive AMV has operational combat experience with Polish and Finnish forces in Afghanistan and Chad. "The benefits for the Swedish economy in the form of offset programs and logistic support activities will also be significant," Patria CEO Heikki Allonen said. "We also value and highly emphasize the aspects of Nordic cooperation in this project, with benefits available to many of us in the defense industry in the Nordic countries." Patria began serial production of the AMV in 2004, and has obtained orders since that date for some 1,200 vehicles from Poland, Slovenia, Finland and Croatia. The Patria AMV is designed to provide high levels of protection, mobility and accessibility. The vehicle has a maximum combat weight of 27 tons with a payload of up to 11 tons. It has a three-man crew and can transport up to 12 personnel.

DTN News: Sri Lanka TODAY June 27, 2009 - Many Want To Emulate Lanka’s Success Story Against Terrorism

DTN News: Sri Lanka TODAY June 27, 2009 - Many Want To Emulate Lanka’s Success Story Against Terrorism *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - June 27, 2009: If some one wants to convince that the path they are following is the correct one to achieve the set goal ahead of them, he or she must prove that fact after achieving the set goal following the very same path he or she believes in. In the case of defeating LTTE terrorism Sri Lanka also proved the fact that it had followed the correct path in achieving the objective at a time the entire world, with few exceptions were objecting to path it had taken to defeat terrorism. Mullaitivu, Security Forces Commander Major General Nandana Udawatta, 55 Division GOC Brigadier Prasanna de Silva, 59 Division GOC Brigadier Chargie Gallage accompanying Army Commander to Mullaitvu. Ultimately those who opposed the Sri Lankan Government’s effort to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization or the terror movement, they thought were invincible, had to accept the bitter truth that the Sri Lankan Government had followed the correct path in achieving its objective of defeating terrorism. Many experts on terrorism who had closely followed the conflict in Sri Lanka are learning lessons from the glorious victory achieved by the Sri Lanka Security Forces since this is the first victory against a terrorist outfit after the victory achieved by the Malaysian Government against terrorism in the 1950’s.
The research papers on Malaysia’s victory against terror movement says that although Malaysia lacks the ‘state of the art technologies’ that existed in many developed countries, the employment of ‘Human Intelligence’ had successfully contributed to defeating the terrorists. Those who studied Malaysia’s success story against terrorism as a success story are no turning their eyes towards Sri Lanka’s success story on the war on terror to learn lessons for the yet unfinished global war on terror as Sri Lanka had fought a modern war against one of the most elite terror outfit in the world which had ships, aircraft and modern weaponry. According to Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka the lessons from Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE will one day he added to military manuals will become a part of defence studies since this is the first success story against terrorism after half a century following the Malaysian conflict which was fought using 303 rifles in the 1950’s. Important lesson The recent editorial in the Washington Times states that there are nine lessons the United States and other countries could learn from Sri Lanka. The Washington Times said, “Perhaps the most important lesson is the debunking of the widely held belief that terrorism cannot be quelled militarily. The Sri Lankan military demonstrated that professionalism, strategy, discipline and unswerving commitment can beat terrorism.” It is interesting to note that the Washington Times had stated: “Sri Lanka’s war was complex and challenging, spawning several dimensions of terrorist activity. The war was fought on the ground in Sri Lanka, while propaganda and funds for weapons were handled by LTTE supporters living in the West, and weapons were acquired from Southeast Asia and Central Europe. Although the United States designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization in October 1997, it was not until November 2007 that it banned the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization as an LTTE front organization. Until then, in the guise of charity, LTTE activists were collecting funds and transferring them to the Tiger war chest. Canada proscribed the LTTE in April 2006 and banned the World Tamil Movement (WTM) in June 2008. The banning of these front organizations was a major blow to LTTE terrorist operations. Separatist dream Even after the unequivocal military defeat of the LTTE, its overseas supporters defiantly keep the separatist dream alive despite annihilation of most of the LTTE’s leadership and the death of founder Velupillai Prabhakaran. If unchecked, they may well transform that dream once again into virulent terrorism, and this time, the Eelam War may well be fought locally - by the Diaspora in the West”.
These countries are realizing all these facts the Sri Lankan Government was highlighting at each and every international forum they spoke about terrorism for the past few decades. It was the very same point the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, tried to drive home at each and every international forum he represented and it was the very same reason he was subjected to a cold blooded murder by the LTTE at his private residence in Colombo. So that is the challenge the Sri Lankan Government and the international community had to face even after the defeat of LTTE terrorism in the Sri Lankan soils. Therefore, the cooperation of the international community is a must to launch a campaign to crack down on the LTTE internationally before it become a threat to those Western nations where a more than some 800,000 thousand Tamil Diaspora is deeply rooted at present. Now it is up to those Western nations to extend their support to the Sri Lankan Government to continue the effort of eradicating LTTE terrorism internationally too as the Sri Lankan Government is taking initiatives to do justice to the Tamil civilians who lived under the pressure of the LTTE for decades. Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka in conversation with Special Forces and Commando divers at the Vadduvakkal causeway, in Mullaitivu during his visit to Mullaitivu last week. Pictures by Rukmal Gamage. The Sri Lankan delegation comprising Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who are now on an official visit to India are reportedly had discussions with Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh. Displaced civilians in The resettlement of displaced civilians in the Vanni and the de-mining process were high on the agenda during these discussions according to media reports from India as they were the main concerns of India which was closely following the Sri Lankan situation in the post conflict scenario. As the President had highlighted in his ‘Victory Day’ speech the Government has embarked on a speedy development drive in the North to speed up the process of resettling the displaced civilians to close down all relief camps set up in Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna districts within 180 days program. Resettling more than 282,000 people within 180 days is not an easy task to achieve in an environment where hundreds and thousands of land mines are buried. Above all, the Government cannot simply send them back to their villages without ensuring their safety and also without ensuring them a proper livelihood. Defeating terrorism But the Government has to take up the challenge in the same manner it had taken up the challenge of defeating terrorism. To achieve this objective the entire Government machinery will have to work alike with their commitment and dedication as the resettling of Tamil civilians back in their villages is the best way of ensuring that these innocent Tamil people will not been neglected at all. Therefore, the entire Government machinery is now geared to develop the infrastructure facilities in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. The Government had to make extra effort whereas these areas have not seen even a glimpse of development for the past few decades as the LTTE deprived them all rights the normal Sri Lankan citizen have enjoyed, for the past few decades forcing a useless war on them to achieve an unrealistic goal. At last that so-called leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, had to die in vain after preying on thousands of youngsters who could have turned the land of Vanni into one of the most fertile agricultural lands in Sri Lanka in an environment free of terrorism. National economy Not only had the LTTE deprived an entire young generation of their lives but also made a considerable percentage of them disabled depriving their contribution towards to the national economy in an effective manner. Apart from this the LTTE not only deprived them of those fertile lands for the past few decades but also filled them with mines making them inaccessible for years for cultivation even at a time the civilians are making an effort to stand on their own feet as independent men and women without being suppressed by the guns pointed at them by the LTTE. So the Government has to consider all these factors in its effort of launching it’s development drive for the North and to put them on same gear on par with the development in the other parts of the country. As a part of this process the Government has lifted the ban on fishing in the Northern and Eastern seas providing a great relief to the people who were depending on the fishing industry. With the relaxation of fishing restrictions the fishing community of the North can now engage in fishing in the seas extending from North of Kokilai in the Eastern seas up to Nachchikuda in the North Western sea. They also can now engage in both day and nighttime fishing. The Sri Lanka Navy has taken the measures to ensure the safety of the civilians involved in fishing activity. Special entry exit points are set up to monitor the movement of fishing vessels. All fishing vessels have to be illuminated at night and those involved in nighttime fishing should be fitted with Radar Reflectors. Fishermen can use Out Board Motors of up to 15 horse power engine capacity. Therefore, the fishermen especially in Jaffna can now switch from their traditional canoes to boats and go out of the shallow waters to engage in fishing activities under the supervision of the Navy. That will definitely be a great boon to the Northern and Eastern population who were heavily dependent on fishing industry. Northern people Apart from the measures taken by the Government to uplift the livelihood of the Northern people it had also taken measures to establish democracy in the North by announcing elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council, the citadel of Tamil politics in Sri Lanka and also for the Vavuniya Urban Council. The Elections Department fixed August 8 as the elections date for the two Local bodies in the Jaffna and Vavuniya districts. The people in the Jaffna district will not get the chance of electing their own candidates for these two local bodies as this would be the first instance they are going to cast their vote without any pressure from the LTTE. Therefore, the elections on August 8 will be one of the most crucial elections for the Tamils as it would give an idea about the true political affinity of the Tamil people as they are now free to cast their vote and the candidates are free to engage in their elections without any guns pointed at them. Above all there won’t be any terrorists to fix claymore mines and point guns to assassinate elected members to these local bodies to run their own administration in those local bodies. As all these measures are being taken to restore normality in the North the security concerns should also been given top most priority in the North and East and also other part of the country although one month had possed since the elimination of the LTTE from the country. However, the Security Forces have not yet dropped its guard on security as Tiger elements are still haunting in the North and East. The capture of female Tiger cadres inside the jungle in Puthukudiyiruppu South who had survived for one month after eating uncooked dhal and rice hiding from the Security Forces and the killing of LTTE leader in Jaffna were two examples of their alertness. The 522 Brigade troops who conducted a search operation in the Kodikam area on information about the presence of a few suspected persons, observed one suspect hiding behind a bush and attempting to throw a hand grenade towards troops engaged in the search operation. However, the alert troops instantly opened fire at the suspect killing him on the spot. Subsequently troops had identified the deceased as a Tiger cadre named Salappan. They recovered a micro pistol, two hand grenades, one mobile phone and Rs. 6,100 in cash on the dead Tiger cadre. The Security Forces have also intensified search operations in the East too in search of Ram and Nagulan who are hiding in the Eastern jungles since there is no indication that they are going to surrender. If the Security Forces allow these Tiger cadres to move freely in any part of the country they will definitely take a risk to sabotage the normal life in the country as they are now in a desperate situation. Therefore, intense security measures are a must at a time the Elections Department is planning to hold two key elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Urban Council which are of utmost value for the Tamils.

DTN News: Diplomat Says US To Consider F-16 Fighter Jets Sale To Taiwan

DTN News: Diplomat Says US To Consider F-16 Fighter Jets Sale To Taiwan *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - June 27, 2009: The de facto U.S. ambassador in Taiwan said Friday the Obama administration will consider the contentious sale of F-16 fighter jets to the island after key American officials are settled into their jobs. The comments by Stephen Young of the American Institute in Taiwan come amid strong opposition to the sale by China because of its view that the U.S. has no business providing arms to a territory Beijing claims as its own. Earlier this week China raised the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan during its first high-level bilateral military dialogue with the Americans in 18 months. Beijing suspended the talks in late 2007 because of the Taiwan arms sales issue. Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Young said Washington will continue to help Taiwan enhance its security and the sale of the 66 F-16 C/D jets is still on the table. “As (senior officials) get into place, they will continue to look closely at this whole question,” Young said, adding Washington does not consult with Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan. Young cited Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, National Security adviser Jeffrey Bader, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Wallace Gregson as officials who will be involved in the F-16 matter. The U.S. transferred its recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but is obligated by law to provide the island the means to defend itself. China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949. Taiwan initially requested the F-16s during the administration of its former President Chen Shu-bian, who said they were necessary to help Taiwan counter a decade-long Chinese military buildup. China continues to threaten Taiwan with an attack if the democratic island moves to make its break with the mainland permanent. Chen was a strong advocate of formal Taiwanese independence. Since assuming office 13 months ago, Chen successor Ma Ying-jeou has said repeatedly that he too wants the F-16s, despite his policy of pushing for better relations with Beijing.

DTN News: President Barack Obama OKs Bill For 8 More Boeing's C-17 Transport Planes

DTN News: President Barack Obama OKs Bill For 8 More Boeing's C-17 Transport Planes
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 27, 2009: President Barack Obama signed an emergency war-funding bill late Wednesday that contains nearly $2.2 billion for eight more of Boeing's C-17 transport planes.
The C-17 is the newest airlift aircraft to enter the Air Force's inventory. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft is also able to perform theater airlift missions when required. The C-17's system specifications impose a demanding set of reliability and maintainability requirements. These requirements include an aircraft mission completion success probability of 93 percent, only 18.6 aircraft maintenance manhours per flying hour, and full and partial mission capable rates of 74.7 and 82.5 percent respectively for a mature fleet with 100,000 flying hours.
While the additional C-17 Globemaster III planes and some international orders will allow Boeing to keep its production line going through the summer of 2011, the aerospace company and its supporters are pushing for as many as 15 additional C-17s in next year's defense budget.
The C-17 supports 5,000 jobs at Boeing's final assembly plant in Long Beach, Calif., and an additional 900 in St. Louis, where the plane's cargo door, cargo ramp, landing-gear pods, nose and engine pylons are built. Boeing previously said its line would be shut down in January 2011 if it received no more U.S. orders.
"Boeing is grateful for the bipartisan congressional support the C-17 program continues to receive, along with the recognition that funding for additional C-17s is crucial at a time when America's need for airlift is growing," the company said in a statement. Boeing produces about 15 of the planes a year, and the C-17 line has been extended through similar supplemental defense spending measures since 2006.But this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates proposed capping production of C-17s at the 205 that are in the fleet and are in the pipeline.
Boeing spokesman Jerry Drelling said the U.S. Air Force orders help keep the price affordable for sale to international customers. Next month, Boeing will deliver the first of three C-17s this year to the NATO-led Strategic Airlift Capability consortium, he said. Qatar has ordered two of the aircraft, and the United Arab Emirates has announced its intent to buy some of the aircraft. Negotiations are under way, Drelling said.
U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., called the eight aircraft in the emergency funding bill a "win" for national security and St. Louis area defense workers.
"Looking forward, to preserve our nation's only large airlift line in production, we will need a combination of foreign and Department of Defense sales," Bond said. "Our military and national security will be better served with a force mix of more C-17s and fewer of the obsolete and unreliable C-5As." U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the C-17 is "important to jobs in St. Louis and important to our national security," but she added that the program to fund more of the cargo jets faces significant headwinds in the future.
In signing the bill, Obama said the legislation "will make available the funding necessary to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end, defeat terrorist networks in Afghanistan and further prepare our nation in the event of a continued outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic flu."

DTN News: Dassault ~ Romania Wants Cheap, "Second-Hand" Fighter Aircraft

DTN News: Dassault ~ Romania Wants Cheap, "Second-Hand" Fighter Aircraft *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 27, 2009: The representatives of France-based Dassault, manufacturer of the Rafale fighter aircraft, say the reason why they are not in the race for modernising the Romanian fleet with fighter aircraft is that state representatives seek cheaper, second-hand aeroplanes.
The aforementioned photo of F-16. The Romanian Air Force modernized 110 MiG 21 LanceRs, in cooperation with Israel between 1993 and 2002. Today, 48 of these MiG 21 LanceRs are operational. The Romanian Air Force also operates C-130 Hercules, An-26s transport planes and IAR-330 Puma helicopters. IAR-330 PUMA SOCAT helicopters have been modernized by the Romanian Aviation Industry in cooperation with Elbit Systems (Israel) for attack missions. The Romanian Air Force also includes native-made IAR-99 Şoim jet planes, in general only used for training of the young pilots. The remaining MiG-29s have been removed from service in 2003. Due to the old age of the MIGs, the Romanian Air Force will acquire 48 Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab JAS 39 Gripen or F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters planes within 2010-2012. Seven C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft have been ordered for delivery, all of them will arrive until 2012. The current chief of the Romanian Air Force Staff , since March 2007 (after the discharge of General Gheorghe Catrina) is General locotenent Constantin Croitoru.
"Romania wants cheaper, 'second hand' aircraft. We would have wanted to sell Romania this type of aircraft, but it is not possible under the circumstances," Dassault representatives, in attendance at this year's largest international aerospace fair, Paris Air Show. The fight over the 4.5 billion-euro contract for modernising Romania's military air fleet therefore involves Eurofighter Typhoon of Italian-based Alenia Aeronautica and two lighter aircraft powered by one engine, F16, manufactured by US-based Lockheed Martin and Jas 39 Griffin, by Sweden's Saab.

DTN News: Russian Firm Pledges To Deliver Frigates To India On Schedule

DTN News: Russian Firm Pledges To Deliver Frigates To India On Schedule *Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - June 27, 2009: Russia will fulfill its obligations on schedule to supply three Project 11356 frigates to India by 2012, a shipbuilding industry official said on Friday. India and Russia signed a $1.6 billion contract for the construction of an additional three Project 11356 Krivak IV-class guided missile frigates for the Indian Navy in July, 2006. Russia previously built three Krivak-class frigates - INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar - for India, and delivered them all in late 2004. The final vessel is due to be delivered to India by 2011-12. All of the frigates will be armed each with eight BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles instead of the Club-N/3M54TE missiles, which were installed on previous frigates. The Krivak-class frigate has deadweight of 4,000 metric tons and a speed of 30 knots, and is capable of accomplishing a wide range of maritime missions, primarily hunting down and destroying large surface ships and submarines. Russia is building three Project 11356 Krivak IV class guided missile frigates for the Indian Navy at the Yantar shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad as part of a $1.6 billion contract signed in July, 2006. "The contract's deadline is 2012. We are not expecting any delays at this point," general director of the Yantar shipyard Igor Orlov said at the 4th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg. The official said the hulls of all three vessels had been laid down at the shipyard. "The first ship will be floated out this year, the second, probably, in spring 2010, and the third - a bit later," he said, adding that the Indian government had provided sufficient and timely project financing. A delegation of Indian military officials, led by India's deputy chief of the naval staff, Vice Adm. Raman P Suthan, visited the Yantar shipyard in October last year and said it was satisfied with the pace and the construction quality. Russia previously built in 2004 three Krivak class frigates - INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar - for India, but they all were delivered late. All of the new frigates will be armed with eight BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile systems and not the Club-N/3M54TE missile system, which was installed on previous frigates. The Krivak class frigate has deadweight of 4,000 metric tons and a speed of 30 knots, and is capable of accomplishing a wide range of maritime missions, primarily hunting down and destroying large surface ships and submarines.

DTN News: French Navy Orders 2nd Barracuda Nuclear Attack Submarine From DCNS

DTN News: French Navy Orders 2nd Barracuda Nuclear Attack Submarine From DCNS
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 27, 2009: The Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (DGA) signed a contract June 26 with DCNS and Areva-TA for a second Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, as part of a six-boat program worth a total of 7.9 billion euros ($11.1 billion), the French Defense Ministry said in a statement. The Barracuda is the next-generation SNA (Sous-marins nucléaires d'attaque - Nuclear Attack Submarine). Much like their predecessors, Barracuda-class SNA will have an anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare role, with the ability to launch cruise-missiles. They will primarily be tasked with ensuring the safety of the Strategic Oceanic Force, conducting carrier group escorts and power-projection. In addition to anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities, the Barracuda will accommodate intelligence gathering and the deployment of special forces and carry MDCN cruise missiles providing a land strike capability. The payload of 20 tube-launched weapons will comprise a mix of future heavyweight torpedoes, cruise missiles and SM39 anti-ship missiles. Barracuda-class SNA will be armed with cruise-missiles planned for future Multi-Missions European Frigates (FREMM), the future heavy torpedo (FTL) which will replace the F17 torpedo, the SM 39 anti-surface missile(exocet family), and the FG 29 mine. The Barracuda-class SNA will be, like the Rubis-class SNA it is meant to replace, nuclear-powered. The powerplant will be built by Technicatome. The nuclear reactor is derived from the models used on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and SNLE submarines. It is meant to allow for a sustained speed of 22 knots for more than 20 days. Construction Program DCN has primary responsibility for the design and construction of the Barracuda-class submarines. The hull and final componene integration will be completed at the Cherbourg shipyard. Propulsion work will be conducted at the DCN's factory at Indret while combat systems will be overseen at the Toulon plant. The Barracuda-class submarines are meant to eventually replace the Rubis-class submarines once these start reaching the end of their useful life between 2012 and 2023. The future attack-submarine program was launched by the French Minister of Defense on 14 October 1998. The design-phase of the Barracuda-class SNA program began in June 2002 with the start of the development phase expected to begin in 2005. In October 2003 the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) awarded a contract to Thales Underwater Systems for an integrated sonar system for the nuclear ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) Le Terrible, the fourth ship of the Le Triomphant class. The same sonar system will be used by the new Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarines (SSN), destined to replace Rubis and Amethyste class submarines between 2012 and 2022. The new sonar is to be a part of the Barracuda class integrated combat system. Six submarines were expected to be produced, with delivery starting in 2015. Production of six Barracuda-class submarines was expected to begin around 2012 with a rate of production of one submarine every two years. As of late 2006 the first Barracuda SSN was scheduled for delivery in 2016. On 22 December 2006 French defence procurement agency DGA announced that it has awarded the Barracuda SSN contract to the DCN group and partner Areva-TA. The contract calls for the delivery of six new-generation nuclear-powered attack submarines, or SSNs, and through-life support services during their first years of operational service. "Defense Minister Hervé Morin announced the order for the second Barracuda nuclear attack submarine," the statement said. "The Barracuda program, which envisages the delivery of six submarines between 2017 and 2028, is worth 7.9 billion euros and will supply work to thousands of workers through its production life." A first cutting of metal took place June 26 on the second boat at the DCNS Cherbourg submarine facility, the company said in a separate statement. "The Barracuda program is one of the most important in the renewal of French naval forces," the company said. The boats will replace the Rubis/Amethyst class and will allow missions such as intelligence gathering, deployment of special forces, mining of waters, combat against surface ships and anti-submarine warfare, DCNS said. The boat will be armed with a naval cruise missile, the future F21 Artemis heavy torpedo and SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles. Assembly of the first-of-class boat Suffren began June 26 with the welding together of the first two large sections in the rear of the hull, the ministry said. DCNS is prime contractor on the Barracuda program, with Areva-TA in charge of the nuclear propulsion. The DGA ordered the Suffren in December 2006 with a first payment of 1.26 billion euros. The payment schedule on the Suffren contract included a second stage payment of 600 million euros in 2007 and 860 million in 2008, totaling 2.72 billion euros. That amount covered the cost of development and construction of the first boat. At 1.3 billion euros, the price of the Suffren was among the cheapest nuclear attack submarines to be built, DGA program director Thierry Perard told reporters at the time. Subsequent orders were due to be made every two years. Jean-Marie Poimbeouf, then-CEO of DCNS, said on Dec. 23, 2006, that the Barracuda program ensured 20 years of work for industry and engaged more than 100 companies.