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Thursday, May 21, 2015

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Special Reports & Articles
Iran and the Taliban: Sensing a convergence of interests
US officers may face sanctions for wasteful spending in Afghanistan
Women’s rights advances offer hope in Afghanistan
Faith in Afghan government wanes as Taliban expands influence in the east
Afghan backlash over security deal with Pakistan
Afghanistan's 'museum to jihad'
US Government Watchdog: Afghan Military 'Will Need Our Help for the Foreseeable Future'
U.S. needs to push ahead with handover of Afghan aviation: watchdog
Green Beret in Afghanistan: War hero or vigilante?
Afghans Look Back at Karzai Presidency With Surprising Fondness
Kidnaps and Murders Could Presage ISIS-Style Slaughter in Afghanistan
Defense firm wasted $135 million in taxpayer dollars...
Afghanistan's women rangers
Afghanistan’s floundering billion dollar drug war

Afghan President Announces
Nominee For Defense Minister

Masoum Stanikzai

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

May 21, 2015

Afghan former Communications Minister Masoum Stanikzai has been nominated as the country’s new defense minister.

President Ashraf Ghani made the announcement on May 21.

If lawmakers confirmed Stanikzai to the post, he would take charge of the military at a time when Afghan forces are battling the Taliban largely alone after most foreign combat troops withdrew at the end of 2014.

Stanikzai served as communications minister from 2002 to 2004. In 2009, he became the head of the secretariat of the High Peace Council, a government-appointed group created to negotiate with the Taliban.

Afghanistan's government of national unity was formed in September 2014 after months of wrangling following a disputed presidential election.

Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have since struggled to form a cabinet.

Blast injures police officer in Afghan's Taloqan city

TALOQAN, Afghanistan, May 21 (Xinhua) -- A senior police officer sustained injuries as a bomb blast rocked Takhar's provincial capital Taloqan on Thursday, police spokesman in the province, Abdul Khalil Asir said.

"It was a magnetic bomb attached by terrorists on a police vehicle and exploded at noon time today, badly injuring senior police officer Noorullah," Asir told Xinhua.

However, eye witnesses said that another police personnel was also injured in the blast.

Afghan militancy and conflicts have increased since the Taliban launched its so-called annual spring offensive on April 24. Hundreds of people including insurgents, security personnel and civilians have since been killed in the war-torn country.

Afghan forces kill 7 Taliban militants in Badakhshan

Press TV / May 21, 2015

Afghan police forces have killed seven Taliban militants and injured six others during a shootout in Badakhshan Province, a local official said.

"A group of Taliban militants raided police checkpoints in Zorakhshan area of Wardoj district Wednesday night and police returned fire which lasted till Thursday morning,” district Governor Dawlat Mohammad Khawar said.

During the clash, “seven insurgents, including three foreign nationals had been killed and six others injured,” he said.

There were no casualties on the security personnel and civilians, he added.

Badakhshan province is located 315 km (195 miles) northeast of Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul.

Taliban militants have not yet commented on this attack.

Earlier, the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement that 44 militants were killed and 74 others wounded during a series of operations carried out in the provinces of Baghlan, Helmand and Jawzjan.

Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still witnessing violence.

At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.

Three terrorists apprehended in Herat

Khaama Press / May 21, 2015

National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency – has arrested three terrorists in western Herat province.

A statement issued by NDS on Thursday states that the terrorists were arrested with their weapons during security operations.

They are identified as Nasrullah alias Ojar S/O Abdul Aziz, Nisar Ahmad S/O Ghulam Rasoul and Sayed Ahmad S/O Ghulam Rasoul. All three are residents of Anjil District of Herat province.

Two PK machineguns were recovered from their positions.

The statement does not contain information about the exact date of the arrest but NDS statements usually come after recent activities.

Six would-be suicide bombers
killed by own explosives in Nimroz

Khaama Press / May 21, 2015

Six would-be suicide bombers have been killed in the explosion of their own explosives in southwestern Nimroz province.

Brigadier General Mohammad Qasim Jangal Bagh, police chief of Nimroz province says that militants were planning to carry out a massive attack on the government compounds Chahar Burjak District when the incident occurred.

He said that the would-be suicide bombers were wearing their vests when they exploded and killed all six on the spot in Rudbar area of the same district.

Although, Taliban militants have not yet commented on the report but recently they have carried out a range of massive attacks on government compounds across the country.

Russia bans NATO military transit to Afghanistan

Pravda / May 21, 2015

The Russian government prohibited the NATO forces from supplying Afghanistan with military equipment through Russian territory.

A special order has been issued by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

The document revoked the previous decree on NATO cargo transit to Afghanistan. NATO had been allowed to deliver military hardware and equipment via rail, motor vehicles, and through Russian airspace as well.

The Russian Foreign Ministry Lavrov has been ordered to inform all the countries involved.

Transit of military cargo to Afghanistan through Russia was permitted after a 2001 UN Security Council resolution. The document established an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and called on all countries to support the NATO-led security mission. In 2008 Russia signed a decree allowing ISAF cargo to pass through its territory.

In 2014, though, Washington declared the military operation in Afghanistan being over. The US-led coalition has pulled out most of its forces and the Afghan military has assumed full responsibility for national security. However, while the 2001 resolution has been terminated, some 13,000 ISAF troops will remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 to oversee local forces and provide training on counter-terror operations.

Bin Laden believed 9/11 was inside job: US documents

Press TV / May 20, 2015

In the last days of his life, Osama bin Laden realized that the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States were an inside job, and were not carried out by al-Qaeda militants, according to newly released US intelligence documents.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration released an extensive list of materials what they said were collected by US Navy SEALs during the 2011 raid that killed Bin Laden.

Among the Bin Laden treasure-trove, there were several books, including David Ray Griffin’s New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, which have challenged the US government narrative on the 9/11 attacks.

The September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.

They believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.

Washington announced on May 2, 2011 that Bin Laden was killed in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US special forces and CIA operatives. He was the founder of al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that allegedly claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

On Wednesday, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a number of documents what it said were picked up by the SEALs at Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.

Among the hundreds of communiqués, messages and extremist literature was a collection of English-language books, including:

America’s “War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky,
Bloodlines of the Illuminati by Fritz Springmeier,
Bounding the Global War on Terror by Jeffrey Record,
Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky,
Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer,
Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies by Noam Chomsky,
New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin,
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower by William Blum,
Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins.

“In terms of the materials that are there, some of the things that we’ve found to be of note were that Bin Laden was probably an avid conspiracy theorist,” a senior US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.

“Of the 38 full length English language books he had in his possession, about half of them were conspiracy theory books,” the official added.

Independent analysts, dubbed by the mainstream US media as conspiracy theorists, have always maintained that the September 11, 2001 attacks have been covered-up by the FBI and senior US officials because it was the “mother of all false flag” operations.

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