Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s controversial half brother, was shot twice in the head at point blank range by a trusted employee yesterday. The murder will surely cause more instability for Afghanis loyal to the President.
As reported in this column (read here) in April, Ahmed Karzai had well established links to drug traffickers, a reputation for ruthless corruption, and also links to the CIA.
He was assassination at his well-protected compound in central Kandahar during a routine meeting with petitioners and provincial contemporaries. According to friends at the upscale compound, there were more than 60 guests present at the time of the slaying.
While President Karzai tried to rebuild his brother’s reputation inside the country the past few years, Ahmed was never able to shake his connection with the illicit drug world and thug-like politics. Mr. Ahmed Karzai was reputed to have amassed a fortune of U.S. dollars since his return to Afghanistan from San Francisco to support his brother.
Ahmed Karzai’s killer, Sardar Mohammed, was immediately shot and killed by loyal bodyguards. Speculation surrounding Mohammed’s motivation for the assassination of President Karzai’s brother remains unclear. However, the Taliban did claim responsibility for the murder, but political leaders say there is no proof the Taliban was involved.
Just two hours after the news of his brother’s murder was delivered, President Karzai spoke at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, confirming the assassination had taken place.
“This is the life of Afghan people, this sorrow is in every Afghan home, every one of us has this sorrow,” Karzai told his loyal followers.
Despite Ahmed Karzai’s tarnished reputation, the President relied heavily on his half-brother to control the crime-and-drug laden southern region of Afghanistan. Another issue that dogged Ahmed Karzai at home and abroad was the not-so-secret relationship he shared with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It’s been reported that Ahmed Karzai was receiving customary payments for a number of shadowy services. This relationship with the U.S. was seen negatively by many Afghans in the southern part of the country. Yet it was his heavy-handed tactics that secured order despite resistance from the Taliban over the democratization of Afghanistan.
In an effort to reassure Afghan leadership, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, released a statement regarding the murder of President Karzai’s divisive half-brother.
“I called President Karzai today to extend my deepest condolences to him and to his family on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai. The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms,” Clinton said. “For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism. We join President Karzai in his prayer for peace and stability in Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace.”
The American people remain solidly on the side of peace for the war-torn tribal nation, however, 58 percent of U.S. public want the soldiers’ home, according to a June 24-28 CBS News/New York Times Poll.
It is unclear if Afghanistan will ever become a democratic nation, but it is imperative that the Afghan people decide what kind of government they are willing to fight for.
The power vacuum created by the assassination of Ahmed Karzai will most definitely leave President Karzai’s government in a much weaker position when it comes to the Taliban – opening the door to even more instability in the war-torn region.
For Parts 1-5 of this series;
#1 U.S. troops fight and die to preserve Shariah Law in Afghanistan
#2 U.S. payments to Taliban & Afghan warlords threaten American/NATO troops
#3 Billion dollar corruption within the U.S.-picked Afghan regime
#4 Terrorism’s down payment in the form of drugs and U.S. aid money
#5 Obama begins to wind-down the costly war in Afghanistan
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Afghan President’s brother gunned down – U.S. opinion remains low – National Homeland Security | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/afghan-president-s-brother-gunned-down-u-s-opinion-remains-low#ixzz1S130Igmg
San Diego federal authorities discovered a 600- yard long tunnel used to smuggle humans and illicit drugs from Mexico into America.
The tunnel linked the two countries as builders were able to dig underneath the U.S. border which gave smugglers the ability to use two warehouses, one in Tijuana, Mexico and the other in San Diego as their entry and exit points.
A multi-agency tunnel task force also snagged more than 20 tons of marijuana that was set to make its way into the United States illegal drug market.
The underground tunnel was well equipped, complete with a rail transportation system, lighting and ventilation, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Even though the tunnel used sophisticated construction, it wasn’t large enough for a person to stand up and walk the entire 600-yards.
The tunnel was located after multi-task force agents conducted surveillance on a semi-truck and trailer that was leaving a warehouse near the U.S. border.
Authorities followed the truck to a Border Patrol checkpoint in Temecula on highway 15. At the Border Patrol check point agents searched the truck and found 10 tons of marijuana inside, Amy Roderick of ICE said at a press conference. She said the driver and a passenger were taken into custody and are expected to face multiple federal drug smuggling charges.
Following the seizure, task force agents obtained a search warrant for the warehouse and found the tunnel, according to Roderick.
Once the U.S. warehouse was located ICE alerted Mexican authorities and they found another four tons of marijuana in the Tijuana warehouse where the tunnel ended. Roderick said, the marijuana recovered totaled almost 30 tons and has a street value of at least $20 million.
“What’s unusual about this one is the amount of marijuana found as part of this investigation,” ICE spokesperson Lauren Mack said. “There’s been some pretty big drug busts and we’re not letting our guard down.”
American law enforcement agencies continue to work with their counterparts in Mexico to slow the trafficking of drugs, humans, money and arms that flows both directions across the U.S./Mexico borders.
“We’ve also been enjoying an unprecedented cooperation with Mexican law enforcement in recent years,” Mack explained. “So we get a lot of information from the Mexicans, and vice versa.”
Detailed information provided by ICE said in the last four years there have been more than 75 tunnels discovered by law enforcement agencies. Some of the tunnels were complete while others were only partially finished. A similar tunnel was found in San Diego in January 2006 that also linked the two countries through a warehouse and included sophisticated lighting and ventilation systems.
A virtual media blackout is taking place along Mexico’s borders, and nowhere is the need to get the stories out more important than the U.S./Mexican border- a place where more than 25,000 have lost their lives because of cartel violence.
“After years of relative calm, the gangland nightmare is back-and yet, barely a single mention of the clashes here has been made by local radio and television or newspapers. The city’s journalists, having lost some of their own and seen their colleagues across the country killed or kidnapped, have been silenced for fear of their lives,” according to the Houston Chronicle report. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/7131506.html
One brave Mexican reporter spoke out about the virtual warzone that is his country is embroiled in.
“Nowhere is the media controlled more than it is here,” said the journalist who says he would face serious danger if identified. “There is total control.”
American Thinker, an online news website goes on to say that, “In border towns like Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa and numerous others, gun battles between the military and the powerful Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have been fought around the clock during the past week. Officials at all levels of the government have offered little if any information to a frightened citizenry amid the media blackout. One local businessman remarked that ‘before the news was alarmist; now there’s no information at all.’”
Journalists in Mexico have no choice but to comply with the drug cartels or face the murderous consequences.
Last week four journalists were kidnapped in Gomez Palacios, a northern border city ravaged by gang violence. “Gangsters demanded that television stations broadcast videos favorable to them in exchange for the journalists’ lives. The station complied, and the men were released,” according to American Thinker.
The uptick of violence along the U.S./Mexico border is directly related to the Zetas and the Gulf Cartels who are fighting for control of smuggling routes into the U.S. The tightening of the border by authorities and as many as six major cartels have pushed the violence to barbaric levels in order to control routes and snag the top spot in the world of organized crime in Mexico.
Meanwhile on the American side of the border, the Obama administration and a subservient main stream media appear to control the border violence news leaving anyone not living in the region uninformed about the dangerous living conditions along both sides of the border.
More evidence of this comes from a story by the BBC about the small border town of Ft. Hancock, Texas; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10825403 “On a tour of Ft Hancock’s streets, most of which are unpaved, Jose Sierra points to two smarter homes, one sporting security cameras, another with a shiny 18-wheeler truck parked outside. ‘The element moves freely in the community, but they’re keeping it low key,’” says Jose Sierra, Ft Hancock’s law enforcement officer.
The border crossing in Ft. Hancock is outfitted with a brand new customs and border post containing a new Border Patrol headquarters complete with state-of-the-art fencing. But like most border outposts the stretch of the fence runs a few miles east and west of the border office before it ends leaving miles and miles of open desert for cartels to operate freely east and west of Ft Hancock.
“As if to emphasize its absurdity, a metal footbridge, narrow but unguarded spans the Rio Grande River a few miles to the west. Local farmers do not tend to speak of personal danger, despite being warned to “arm yourselves” by Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, at a meeting earlier this year,” the BBC reports.
However, Officer Sierra worries the violence will spread to Ft Hancock sooner rather than later. “It’s just a matter of time,” he says.
As for other border towns the violence is very real
Fighting was especially heavy in Nuevo Laredo on the U.S. border 120 miles north of Monterrey on Friday and early Saturday morning the last weekend in July, according to Border Land Beat http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/08/urban-combat.html.
“A massive firefight lasting almost an hour was reported in southern Nuevo Laredo Friday afternoon in the Colonia Concordia area close to the Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores on Avenida Reforma between army troops supported by a helicopter and a group of gunmen. Civilians rushed out of the area, fleeing into stores for safety from the intense gunfire. Grenade detonations were reported on the Avenida Reforma,” the report read.
The fighting continued and the gunmen were pursued by soldiers. However, there were no deaths or arrests reported.
There was also a grenade attack reported on Friday night that hit a local Televisa network building. Residents said the attack happened before the nightly newscast. According to witnesses the grenade was thrown from a vehicle and exploded outside the television studios.
More incursions into the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Defense said it was looking into a second helicopter sighting in the past three weeks by a Mexican military helicopter crossing into U.S. airspace near rural Zapata County, Texas.
According to a Houston Chronicle story, “The incident did occur and it’s still under investigation,” department spokeswoman Maj. Tanya Bradsher said, confirming that the copter, believed to belong to the Mexican navy, was seen Sunday.
Rick Pauza, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, earlier in March confirmed a Mexican military helicopter hovered as long as 20 minutes on March 9 (2009) over a residential area near Falcon Lake, a reservoir on the Rio Grande. He said CBP officials who lived in the neighborhood were among those who saw it.
Pauza said the helicopter crossed back without incident and that once the sighting was reported up the chain of the command “that was the extent of it.”
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said Sunday’s sighting was the second one confirmed, but several others were reported to him during the past two weeks that he couldn’t be sure enough about to forward to the federal government.
Gonzalez said the unconfirmed incursions occurred on March 20 and on Monday and Tuesday and were reported to him by a deputy, a local news reporter, and a federal officer who the sheriff said has since been muzzled by higher-ups.
“I don’t want to get him involved because it sounds like they’re going to fire him for saying the truth,” Gonzalez said of the officer.
According to Gonzalez, he was “initially rebuffed” by federal officials at the Joint Operations Intelligence Center until Gonzalez showed them photos from witnesses and that Gonzalez had a “pretty good idea they were Mexican military operations.”
According to Gonzalez, when he produced the photos, federal officials blamed “faulty radars”. What’s important to note, local authorities being “muzzled by higher-ups” which might be occurring today, in South Texas,” the Texas newspaper said.
It’s not the first time
This reporter wrote a story in December of last year about the Mexican military blurring the international border lines. The Story titled “Screw up move up in play again in Customs and Border Protections,” http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m12d16-Screw-up-move-up-in-play-again-in-Customs-and-Border-Protection. The story details military incursions under the section “Aguilar Denies Military Incursions by Mexico’s Soldiers.”
“Another problem plaguing the Border States is the increased border incursions,” the story reads.
According to Ramirez, “Over the past 10 years (through Spring 2006), the Border Patrol has reported more than 250 incursions by Mexican military and police units into the U.S., including incidents where U.S. civilians, Border Patrol agents, and other law enforcement came under fire from the uniformed Mexicans.
While Sheriff’s in Hudspeth County continue to fight on the front lines along the U.S./Mexico border region, aggressive incidents have continually been downplayed by Aguilar and Congressman Reyes; even when these incursions are documented with video.
In 2006 the Hudspeth County Texas Sheriff’s deputies and Texas state troopers ran into a convoy of Mexican vehicles transporting drugs on the U.S. side of the border. “As you know, our law enforcement chased them back to the border where they were met by heavily-armed Mexican military units in Humvees, with machine guns, who escorted the drug smugglers back into Mexico. Again, our government covers up for Mexico’s involvement and plays down the incident,” Ramirez said.
In Congressional testimony, Congressman Reyes stated there were no Mexican military incursions and the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s deputy was mistaken. Reyes concluded that because he served in the U.S. military and resided in the border region most his life there was no Mexican military crossing the international border. This echoed the statements by the Mexican government later parroted by representatives of the Bush Administration including Aguilar.
However, in sworn testimony from Kelly Legarreta, Deputy Sheriff in Hudspeth County and first on the scene when the alleged incursion took place stated, he too had served in the U.S. Marines and he knew what he saw –Mexican military illegally crossing the U.S. border assisting two vehicles loaded with contraband back into Mexico.”
Drug cartels place a million dollar price tag on Sheriff Joe Arpaio
According to a news report filed by a local Fox affiliate in Phoenix when Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, went into effect, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was targeted by the Mexican drug cartels: they allegedly put a million dollar price on his head.
In an audio message in Spanish the cartel sends a garbled message, but the text was crystal clear. “It’s offering a million dollars for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s head and offering a thousand dollars for anyone who wants to join the Mexican cartel.”
An Arizona man who wants to remain anonymous says it was his wife who received the text message on Tuesday evening. The text message included an international phone number and instructions to pass the message along.
The Maricopa County Sheriff Department is taking the latest death threat very seriously and Lisa Allen of the Sheriff’s office says the message originated somewhere in Mexico.
From January to June this year, more than 7,000 people have been killed, according to Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez. About 50,000 troops and federal police are actively involved in Mexico’s war on drugs and the government says record amounts of drugs have been seized. Mexican authorities said they have either arrested or killed many cartel leaders this year.
A little more
The Los Zetas story that was written over a week ago is still being investigated and will be updated as details and facts are released. Stay tuned…
I want to give the troops at Death by a 1000 Papercuts a shout out for sticking with the story and continuing their research, you can find them at; http://deathby1000papercuts.com/ and I can’t leave out the guys at Diggers Realm; http://www.diggersrealm.com/mt/ powering through the blogosphere one story at a time.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
Authorities in Arizona found the bodies of two men who made an emergency 911 call indicating they had been shot. The site of the murders is near the area where Arizona Sheriff of Pinal County Deputy, Louie Puroll was wounder in a stand off with criminal illegal immigrants just south of Phoenix.
The spark in violence is partially responsible for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to crack down on the illegal alien corridor that sees thousands of immigrants, both criminal and drug-related pass through the Grand Canyon State. The continued violence only placates the 70 percent of Arizonians’ who want tougher immigration enforcement.
The emergency call came in late Sunday night and unfortunately the communications center lost cell service making it tougher for rescue workers to locate the distressed callers. Both men succumbed to their wounds and were dead when authorities finally reached their location on Monday.
Police officials reported that there was a long gun as well as a handgun located in close proximity and it appears the victims were shot multiple times by AK-47s.
The identification of the men was not readily available; however the men had many tattoos indicating they may be from the Phoenix region.
Early reports lead police to believe the murders may have been connected to drug smugglers.
Pinal County Sheriff Department’s Lt. Tamatha Villar said that region of the murders is a “primary corridor for human and drug smuggling and the deadly shooting is not something that’s completely unexpected given the volatility of the area right now.”
Information is still limited and the investigation is ongoing, according to Villar.
However, the news of the murders didn’t come as a surprise from Al Garza, a leading anti-illegal immigration activist in Arizona. “Our concerns have become reality again as the drug wars continue to intensify in Mexico and have made their way into the U.S. This is not the first, and I venture to say, will not the last loss of life we will see along the U.S./Mexico border.”
Adding to the mayhem in Arizona is Mexico’s blatant disregard for the laws inside the U.S. It was reported last week the Mexican government put out a flier in Los Angeles listing the Catalina Island Country Club as its new satellite office where illegal immigrants can apply and receive a Mexican matriculation identification card.
However, as of this week the Mexican government has moved the office to a Catholic church on the island to escape the reach of law enforcement and protection under the Geneva Convention.
The Washington Examiner stated that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) whose district includes Catalina Island said giving those in the country illegally matriculation cards will encourage more illegal immigration.
“Handing out matricular cards to Mexicans who are not in this country legally is wrong no matter where it’s done,” the Congressman said. “But on Catalina it will do more damage. It’s a small island but there’s evidence it’s being used as a portal for illegals to access mainland California.”
Rohrabacher also pointed out, “If there were a large number of Americans illegally in Mexico and the U.S. consulate was making it easier for them to stay, Mexico would never permit it.”
Currently the matriculation card is used by Mexican nationals residing in this country, regardless of immigration status to obtain cable television and other utilities requiring identification. Identification is also required for opening bank accounts and recently Wells Fargo was caught illegally issuing bank accounts.
According to the Washington Examiner story; “Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said their agency was asked by Mexican officials not to enforce U.S. immigration laws on the island while the cards were being issued.”
A recently retired agent from ICE pointed to these facts facing Americans; “We are in a de facto state of war with Mexico. Mexican nationals illegally invade this country, commit murders and other crimes, killing and kidnapping U.S. citizens, run back to Mexico to seek the protection of the Mexican government and somehow this is ‘normal?’ And the Mexican government, through El Presidente Calderon, told us ‘it’s reality and we need to get used to it,’ suggesting it’s somehow our fault. The ‘reality’ that El Presidente Calderon speaks of is that we are in a state of war with his country, but we’re still asleep at the switch. It’s time to stop hitting the snooze button.”