War in the Shadows
There are two interesting news stories breaking today which may be conceptually related. From Pajamas Media roundup, various newpapers describe how a British terror team possibly composed of ethnic Pakistanis, planned to kill, torture and behead a Muslim British soldier in exchange for a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Then comes news that Osama's brother in law, long suspected to be an al-Qaeda money man, has been killed and robbed by a "mob" in Madagascar, who just happened to steal not only his money but his laptop. Has the War on Terror, long the province of the Big Battalions, now acquired a secondary character as a contest of assassinations?
A soldier: "Muslim terrorists were to kidnap a British soldier on UK streets and force him to plead with Tony Blair for his life in return for a pull-out of troops from Iraq." (The Sun)
Kidnap and beheading plot: The eight people arrested by terror police in Birmingham were allegedly planning an Iraq-style kidnapping and beheading in the UK. They intended to post a video of the hostage being tortured and killed on the internet. Their target was an unidentified man in his twenties who is now under police protection, who was picked out because of his job. It is not yet known what this was. (Sky News)
Bill Roggio reports that Osama Bin Laden's brother in law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, was killed and robbed by a mob in Madagascar. And America's Task Force 145 may be behind it.
Khalifa, "who mined and traded precious stones in Madagascar," was reported to have been murdered by "a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead 'in cold blood' and stole his belongings."
"I don't think [his death] was politically motivated," said Malek Khalifa, Mohammed Jamal's brother. But Khalifa's deep ties to al-Qaeda, coupled with his history of funding global terrorist operations, his operations in mining precious stones in Africa (a source of untraceable income), and the size of the 'gang' that murdered him, suggests otherwise. We suspect Khalifa was assassinated. "They stole everything — his computer, all of his things," said Khalifa's brother. Task Force 145 has a mandate to hunt down senior al-Qaeda operatives world wide, and is known to have operated in Pakistan to destroy Osama bin Laden's Black Guard. Also, the U.S. recently deployed naval assets to the region, as well as Task Force 145, in the hunt for al-Qaeda and Islamic Courts leaders fleeing Somalia.
Khalifa is alleged to have been connected with the attack on the Cole, the Islamic insurgency in Bosnia; Operation Bojinka (the rehearsal for 9/11) and the Abu Sayyaf. He was arrested in 1994 in the US but deported to Jordan, where he was released after witnesses forgot to testify against him. He was legally beyond any sanction by the United States. But nevertheless he's dead. As Bill Roggio put it:
"Khalifa was arrested in America, in Jordan, and after 9/11, in Saudi Arabia, and on each occasion was eventually released."
Khalifa cannot escape the grave.