Tag Archives: Afghanistan

“Military age men” at San Diego’s southern border

Among the several dozen Pakistani and Afghan men who have entered the U.S. illegally, coming into San Diego from Tijuana, two were found to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a letter sent by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter to the Department of Homeland Security.

Muhammad Azeem and Muktar Ahmad, both in their 20s, surrendered to U.S. Border Patrol agents in September, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. One was listed on the Terrorist Screening Database for “associations with a known or suspected terrorist. The other was a positive match for derogatory information in an alternative database,” according to Hunter’s letter.

Azeem and Ahmad are among dozens of men — described by Border Patrol agents as “military age and carrying U.S. cash” who began entering the U.S. through a Tijuana-based human-smuggling pipeline in September.

Pakistanis and Afghans crossing the border illegally in the San Diego sector are pretty unusual, according to Border Patrol statistics. In 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained fewer than 400 Pakistanis throughout the entire United States — at the ports of entry, airports, and along the border between ports.

Between October 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015, the San Diego sector of the Border Patrol detained 18 Pakistanis and 1 Afghan, according to Border Patrol statistics. Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.

“We have detained more Pakistanis and Afghans in the first month of this fiscal year than we did all last year,” assistant chief Richard Smith confirmed in November.

In the month and a half since mid-November, 3 more Afghans and 6 more Pakistanis were detained by the Border Patrol (not including those detained at the ports of entry).

Customs officials did not return calls for their statistics on detentions at the ports of entry.

The decline in arrests had not lessened concerns, however. Federal agents say they believe that the Pakistanis have begun making an effort to avoid being caught.

Until November, they would enter in groups and seek a federal agent to surrender to, according to union officials. It is believed that they did this because illegal entrants who are not Mexican citizens and who are deemed to not pose a significant threat are generally given a date to appear at immigration court and then released on their own recognizance. (Central Americans coming to Texas and the Roma in San Diego both used the same method to enter the U.S. in the past two years.)

But that method has changed, National Border Patrol Council president Terence Shigg said. While the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector continues to apprehend Pakistanis and Afghans, they are now finding them travelling alone and often farther north of the border than the earlier surrenders.

“It’s very concerning,” Shigg said. “We have no idea what their actual intentions are because we have no effective way of backtracking. Just the males are coming and there’s no way for us to know for certain who they are and why.”

Both Azeem and Ahmad remain in ICE custody, spokeswoman Lauren Mack confirmed. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations is part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, she noted, and works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on terrorism-related investigations.

Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton, interviewed last month, noted that identity documents from Afghanistan and Pakistan should set off alarms.

“The challenge of getting these individuals is getting who they actually are confirmed — proving identity is difficult in that environment,” Burton said. “Afghanistan and Pakistan do not have a robust identification system — these are places where there is tremendous potential for official document and visa fraud.”

Shigg said he believes that federal officials should be talking openly about this new development and committing more resources to keeping people from such countries in custody until they can be completely vetted.

“It’s not as if they don’t have the systems to sort, but they have to dedicate the resources and detention space to sorting this out,” he said. “These are credible threats.”

Advertisements

#Afghanistan: Woman falsely accused of burning Koran ripped apart by mob

Islam 0

A woman falsely accused of burning a Koran was ripped to pieces by a mob in Afghanistan.  The woman, Farkhunda Malikzada, was falsely accused by a merchant who was selling Viagra and magical pregnancy amulets.

The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was [falsely] accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine, shocked Afghans across the country. That is because many of her killers filmed one another beating her and posted clips of her broken body on social media. Hundreds of other men watched, holding their phones aloft to try to get a glimpse of the violence, but never making a move to intervene. Those standing by included several police officers.

At first, the trial and convictions that followed seemed a victory in the long struggle to give Afghan women their due in a court of law. But a deeper look suggests otherwise. The fortuneteller who several investigators believe set the events in motion was found not guilty on appeal. The shrine’s custodian, who concocted the false charge of Quran burning and incited the mob, had his death sentence commuted. Police officers who failed to send help and others who stood by received slaps on the wrist, at most. Some attackers identifiable in the videos avoided capture altogether.

Farkhunda’s death and the legal system’s response call into question more than a decade of Western efforts in Afghanistan to instill a rule of law and improve the status of women. The United States alone has spent more than $1 billion to train lawyers and judges and to improve legal protections for women; European countries have provided tens of millions more.

Do you think these results might have been avoided if we had spent $2 billion instead of only $1 billion?

Farkhunda first visited the Shah-Do Shamshira shrine…. [where she noticed]  the fortuneteller… [selling women] amulets to help them get pregnant, find a husband or have male children. Known as tawiz, the amulets usually consist of writings on a small piece of paper that a woman can pin to her body or keep in a pocket.

Do you think Afghan women would have a higher birthrate if more of them found out the other way of having children?

… the fortuneteller, almost certainly with the assistance of the custodian, was trafficking in Viagra and condoms, said Shahla Farid, a member of the investigating committee set up by President Ashraf Ghani after the murder. Viagra is popular and easily available in Afghanistan.

If Afghan men disproportionally suffer from erectile dysfunction, do the anger and despair that engenders explain why radical Islam is so attractive to them?

When Ms. Malikzada complained about the amulets, the head custodian of Shah-Do spread false rumors that Ms. Malikzada had burned a Koran.  Then the mob beat her to death.

“Then she fell down on the ground and the people tried to beat her and pummel her… They were like kids playing with a sack of flour on the floor.”

In the videos, Farkhunda seems at first to be screaming in pain from the kicks, but then her body convulses under the blows, and soon, she stops moving at all. Even when the mob pulls her into the street and gets a car to run over her, and she is dragged 300 feet, the police stand by.

By then, she was little more than a clothed mass of blood and bones. Yet still more people came to beat her. One of the most fervent was a young man, Mohammad Yaqoub, who worked at an eyeglasses shop. He heard the crowd as Farkhunda was dragged behind the car and rushed out, eager to join. The men had dragged Farkhunda’s body to the riverbank, and Mr. Yaqoub looked for heavy rocks to drop on her. One was so large, he could barely lift it, he said. As Mr. Yaqoub milled with the crowd, other men set Farkhunda on fire[.]

The end result is that there were a few convictions of the mob, and most of those were overturned or reduced on appeal.  None of the police who stood by was substantially punished.

Events at Shah-Do clearly got out of control.  The police should have been mobile immediately, acting as interceptors to stop the mob before they could harm the alienated woman.  Instead, many stood by and did nothing.

This is another reason why we should end all Muslim immigration.  Too many of them believe in this sort of intolerance.  Let’s say she had burned a Koran for real.  That would still be no excuse for beating her to death.  Honor killings, beating of women, clitorectomies with rusty razors, intolerance of other religions – we don’t need more of this in America.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

A woman falsely accused of burning a Koran was ripped to pieces by a mob in Afghanistan.  The woman, Farkhunda Malikzada, was falsely accused by a merchant who was selling Viagra and magical pregnancy amulets.

The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was [falsely] accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine, shocked Afghans across the country. That is because many of her killers filmed one another beating her and posted clips of her broken body on social media. Hundreds of other men watched, holding their phones aloft to try to get a glimpse of the violence, but never making a move to intervene. Those standing by included several police officers.

At first, the trial and convictions that followed seemed a victory in the long struggle to give Afghan women their due in a court of law. But a deeper look suggests otherwise. The fortuneteller who several investigators believe set the events in motion was found not guilty on appeal. The shrine’s custodian, who concocted the false charge of Quran burning and incited the mob, had his death sentence commuted. Police officers who failed to send help and others who stood by received slaps on the wrist, at most. Some attackers identifiable in the videos avoided capture altogether.

Farkhunda’s death and the legal system’s response call into question more than a decade of Western efforts in Afghanistan to instill a rule of law and improve the status of women. The United States alone has spent more than $1 billion to train lawyers and judges and to improve legal protections for women; European countries have provided tens of millions more.

Do you think these results might have been avoided if we had spent $2 billion instead of only $1 billion?

Farkhunda first visited the Shah-Do Shamshira shrine…. [where she noticed]  the fortuneteller… [selling women] amulets to help them get pregnant, find a husband or have male children. Known as tawiz, the amulets usually consist of writings on a small piece of paper that a woman can pin to her body or keep in a pocket.

Do you think Afghan women would have a higher birthrate if more of them found out the other way of having children?

… the fortuneteller, almost certainly with the assistance of the custodian, was trafficking in Viagra and condoms, said Shahla Farid, a member of the investigating committee set up by President Ashraf Ghani after the murder. Viagra is popular and easily available in Afghanistan.

If Afghan men disproportionally suffer from erectile dysfunction, do the anger and despair that engenders explain why radical Islam is so attractive to them?

When Ms. Malikzada complained about the amulets, the head custodian of Shah-Do spread false rumors that Ms. Malikzada had burned a Koran.  Then the mob beat her to death.

“Then she fell down on the ground and the people tried to beat her and pummel her… They were like kids playing with a sack of flour on the floor.”

In the videos, Farkhunda seems at first to be screaming in pain from the kicks, but then her body convulses under the blows, and soon, she stops moving at all. Even when the mob pulls her into the street and gets a car to run over her, and she is dragged 300 feet, the police stand by.

By then, she was little more than a clothed mass of blood and bones. Yet still more people came to beat her. One of the most fervent was a young man, Mohammad Yaqoub, who worked at an eyeglasses shop. He heard the crowd as Farkhunda was dragged behind the car and rushed out, eager to join. The men had dragged Farkhunda’s body to the riverbank, and Mr. Yaqoub looked for heavy rocks to drop on her. One was so large, he could barely lift it, he said. As Mr. Yaqoub milled with the crowd, other men set Farkhunda on fire[.]

The end result is that there were a few convictions of the mob, and most of those were overturned or reduced on appeal.  None of the police who stood by was substantially punished.

Events at Shah-Do clearly got out of control.  The police should have been mobile immediately, acting as interceptors to stop the mob before they could harm the alienated woman.  Instead, many stood by and did nothing.

This is another reason why we should end all Muslim immigration.  Too many of them believe in this sort of intolerance.  Let’s say she had burned a Koran for real.  That would still be no excuse for beating her to death.  Honor killings, beating of women, clitorectomies with rusty razors, intolerance of other religions – we don’t need more of this in America.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/12/woman_falsely_accused_of_burning_koran_ripped_apart_by_afghan_mob.html#ixzz3vX81W69R
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Afghanistan: Islamic State expands footprint with terror campaign

In this Nov. 29, 2015 photo, an internally displaced girl peeks from a tent after her family left their village in Rodat district of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Nangarhar’s chief refugee official says that at least 25,200 families, or more than 170,000 people, have been displaced across the province, either by Islamic State or perceived threats from the group. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — Rahman Wali’s younger brother was one of 10 Afghan men forced by Islamic State militants to kneel over bombs buried in the soil in a lush green valley in eastern Nangarhar province. The extremists then detonated the bombs, turning the pastoral countryside into a scene of horror.

The August killings were recorded on camera and posted on social media like so many IS atrocities across the Mideast — reflecting how the Islamic State is exporting its particular brand of cruelty as the group seeks to enlarge its footprint in Afghanistan.

It was through the macabre video that 44-year-old Wali learned the fate of his brother, Rahman Gul, an imam in their remote Shinwar district bordering Pakistan. Gul had been kidnapped weeks earlier, together with his wife and six children who were quickly set free.

After his brother’s death, Wali and his family fled to the provincial capital of Jalalabad, seeking refuge in a makeshift camp with thousands of others who left their homes in the valleys hugging the border to escape what is turning out to be an increasingly vicious war for control of the region between the Taliban and fighters of Afghanistan’s IS affiliate.

Reports of an IS presence in Afghanistan first emerged early this year in southern Helmand province, where recruiters believed to have links to the IS leadership in Syria were killed by a US drone strike in February.

In the summer, extremists pledging allegiance to IS also surfaced in Nangarhar, where they challenged the Taliban in border clashes. After see-sawing between the two groups, four districts — Achin, Nazyan, Bati Kot and Spin Gar — fell under IS control, according to Gen. John F. Campbell, the US commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John F. Campbell speaks during a press conference at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul on November 25, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/Massoud HOSSAINI/POOL / AFP / POOL / MASSOUD HOSSAINI)

Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John F. Campbell speaks during a press conference at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul on November 25, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/Massoud HOSSAINI/POOL / AFP / POOL / MASSOUD HOSSAINI)

Campbell told The Associated Press in an interview this week that IS loyalists in Afghanistan are now trying to consolidate links to the mothership — the so-called “caliphate” proclaimed on territory IS seized in Syria and Iraq after its blitz there in the summer of 2014.

For the present, IS ambitions for Afghanistan seem focused on setting up what it calls “Khorasan Province,” taking the name of an ancient province of the Persian Empire that included territories in today’s Afghanistan, Iran and some Central Asian states. It parallels names for affiliates elsewhere, such as the IS branch in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which is known as “Sinai Province.”

“I think ISIL is really trying to establish a base in Nangarhar … and establish Jalalabad as the base of the Khorasan Province,” Campbell said, using an alternative acronym for IS.

Several residents who fled the four Nangarhar districts say IS’s “reign of terror” there includes extortion, evictions, arbitrary imprisonment and forced marriage for young women. Beheadings and killings with “buried bombs” — such as the gruesome slaying of Wali’s brother — are filmed and posted on social media to instill fear, they said. Some spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals for relatives back in the districts.

Mimicking IS’s media outreach in Syria and Iraq, the Afghan branch also set up a radio station in Nangarhar, “Radio Caliphate,” broadcasting at least one hour a day to attract young Afghan men disenchanted by dim job prospects in a war-torn country with an overall 24 percent unemployment rate. The joblessness is even higher among youths targeted in the IS recruitment drive.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government forces, busy fighting the Taliban elsewhere, left the two militant groups to battle it out.

And battle they did. Hundreds of Taliban fighters — disillusioned with the 14-year war to overthrow the Kabul government — switched allegiance to IS.

Though estimates say that IS fighters number a few thousand nationwide, they are still far outnumbered by the Taliban, who have anywhere between 20,000 to 30,000 in their ranks, according to Afghan political analyst Waheed Muzhdah, who worked in the Taliban foreign ministry during their 1996-2001 rule.

Still, many admit the IS Afghan branch could pose a serious threat to the unstable nation.

In a report released this week, the Pentagon referred to the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — Khorasan Province” as an “emergent competitor to other violent extremist groups that have traditionally operated in Afghanistan.”

“This may result in increased violence among the various extremist groups in 2016,” the Dec. 16 report said.

Campbell said some foreign IS fighters have joined the Afghans from Iraq and Syria. Former residents said they spotted gunmen from Pakistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Arabic speakers flush with money and apparently better armed than the Taliban.

Nangarhar is attractive to IS for its mix of insurgent groups, some of which are based across the border in Pakistan, and criminal gangs involved in lucrative drugs and minerals smuggling.

Alarm bells rang when students at the prestigious Nangarhar University staged a pro-IS demonstration on campus in August, sparking arrests by the Afghan intelligence agency and a crackdown on universities nationwide.

Governor Salim Kunduzi put IS’s battleground strength in Nangarhar at around 400 fighters. The province’s mountainous terrain provides perfect ground for an insurgency, and militants can easily resupply from Pakistan, he said. The province can also serve as a staging ground for a push north, along the eastern border and eventually on to Kabul, just 125 kilometers (77.5 miles) to the west, he added.

Both Campbell and Kunduzi agree IS may see Jalalabad as its base for expansion in Afghanistan.

“I do not think Daesh will focus only on the east,” Kunduzi said, using the Arabic language acronym for the Islamic State group.

Nangarhar’s chief refugee official, Ghulam Haidar Faqirzai, said that at least 25,200 families — or more than 170,000 people — have been displaced across the province, either directly by IS or by perceived threats from the group. As the winter sets in, needs of the displaced are intensifying, he warned.

In a camp on Jalalabad’s eastern outskirts, 70-year-old Yaqub, who like many Afghan men uses only one name, said he left his village in Maamand Valley in Achin district six months ago, after “fighters of the black flag” — the Islamic State’s banner — dragged him and his son into prison where they were beaten and tortured. He said he still does not know why.

“They covered my head with a black bag so I couldn’t breathe while they beat me for a whole day, and every day they said they were going to kill me,” he said.

Yaqub and his son were released after the family paid their captors 200,000 Pakistani rupees, or almost $2,000 — a fortune in Afghanistan, where the average annual income is around $700.

“Anything is better than going back there,” said Yaqub.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

%d bloggers like this: