Sunday, April 12, 2009

Manchester and Liverpool

About the Easter week roundup in Manchester and Liverpool, Ghost in the terror machine at the Times Online is worth a look. The title refers to the British al-Qa'ida member Rashid Rauf, who was head of al-Qa'ida operations against Europe at least until a CIA drone strike in November of 2008, which might or might not have killed him. Rauf was last been seen in December 2007 when walked out of Pakistani custody, undoubtedly with inside help. He was being held there at the request of the UK.

The Belgian cell mentioned by the Times, busted in December 2008, was this one:
Six al Qaeda suspects charged in Belgium
It included Malika al-Aroud alias Umm Ubeidah, the narcissistic and bombastic widow of one of the assassins of Ahmed Shah Massoud. According to a francophone al-Qa'ida member whom I was listening in on at the time, it was Umm Ubeidah's big mouth that caused the plot against Belgium to fail. The Times mentions that one of the six suspects in Belgium has been talking. Whether that person is Umm Ubeidah I don't know and would not say if I did know. He speaks of four target countries, of which the remaining two are France and Holland.