Posted tagged ‘Taliban’

My Brother on National Geographic…

June 8, 2010

I wanted to share some very cool footage of my brother on National Geographic Explorer tonight.

He was interviewed during the episode “Talibanistan” where they took a look at what US soldiers are doing in the region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In this segment, he is the soldier that you see in the first scene, on the left, with dark glasses on. He’s interviewed multiple times later during the four minute segment.


30,000 More Troops Heading to Afghanistan

December 1, 2009

President Obama will be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and is ordering military officials to have reinforcements there within six months.

From CNN:

The president, whom Republicans had accused of “dithering” over the decision, came to the conclusion that the deployment needs to be accelerated to knock back the Taliban, the officials said.

The push for a speedy deployment surprised some observers, because White House officials who defended Obama’s slow pace of coming to a decision had said the Pentagon wouldn’t be able to get new troops to Afghanistan that quickly anyway.

Asked to explain that seeming contradiction, a White House official told CNN: “The president is saying this has to happen, so the military will make it happen.”

The president will travel to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, Tuesday night for a speech to the nation on his strategy for Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

November 18, 2009

Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today as she landed in Kabul at 4:46 p.m. local time.

She met with embassy staff before going into a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

From Reuters:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for her first visit as America’s top diplomat, on the eve of President Hamid Karzai’s inauguration after a fraud-tainted election.

Clinton’s visit comes at a time when President Barack Obama‘s administration is in the final stages of deciding whether to send tens of thousands of extra troops, and election fraud has battered the veteran leader Karzai’s reputation in the West.

From CNN:

Her first visit to Afghanistan as secretary of state comes as President Obama is deciding whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to the nation, as requested by McChrystal.

Clinton will attend Karzai’s Thursday inauguration to a second term, showing U.S. support for his government, after an election that was tainted by fraudulent balloting.

Karzai is under intense international pressure to clean up corruption within his government, and Clinton is expected to deliver a tough message on the need to show results.

A major factor in Obama’s decision on how many troops to send to Afghanistan centers on the Afghan government’s ability to partner with the United States to fight the Taliban.

12 Killed, Including Gunman, in Fort Hood Rampage

November 5, 2009

Twelve people, including a gunman, are dead and 31 wounded after a gunman opened fire today on a soldier-processing center at Fort Hood, Texas.

From CNN:

The gunman was a soldier, and two other soldiers have been detained as suspects, Army Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said.

The slain gunman was identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, a law enforcement source told CNN. Licensed in Virginia, Hasan was a psychiatrist who previously worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center but more recently was practicing at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, according to professional records.

Ten of the other dead also were soldiers, while the remaining one was a civilian police officer who was working as a contractor on the base, Cone said.

Two of the injured were in “very serious” condition, Fort Hood spokesman Christopher Hogue said.

Bombs Rock Afghanistan

October 27, 2009

A series of powerful bombs killed eight American soldiers and an interpreter in southern Afghanistan early this morning.

From the Washington Post:

The attacks, which came one day after 14 Americans died in two helicopter crashes here, made October the deadliest month for the U.S. military of the eight-year war.

At least 53 U.S. troops have died this month, with four days left before Nov. 1 and the Taliban insurgency continuing to expand its reach and lethal tactics. The previous monthly high was 51 fatalities, in August of this year.

The U.S. military said in a statement that “multiple complex” roadside bomb attacks killed the soldiers and wounded several others. Military officials said at least one of those bombs struck U.S. Army armored vehicles, known as Strykers, in the Argandab area of Kandahar province.

From CNN:

The U.S. military suffered another day of heavy losses in Afghanistan on Tuesday as roadside bombs killed eight U.S. service members, the U.S. military said.

An Afghan civilian working with NATO troops also was killed in the attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said.

The military gave no further details about the bombings, which it said also wounded several other service members.

The attacks happened a day after 14 Americans were killed in a pair of helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in more than four years.

With the deaths of two troops on Sunday, a total of 24 Americans — most of them military — have been killed in a 48-hour period. That makes October 2009, with 58 fatalities, the deadliest month for the U.S. military since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001.

Sixteen Americans Dead as Helicopters Crash in Afghanistan

October 26, 2009

Helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans today in the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years.

From the Associated Press:

In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans — seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.

In a separate incident, two U.S. Marine helicopters — one UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Capt. Bill Pelletier said.

It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 16 U.S. troops on a special forces helicopter died when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents.

U.S. authorities have ruled out hostile fire in the collision but have not given a cause for the other fatal crash in the west. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmedi claimed Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter in northwest Badghis province’s Darabam district. It was impossible to verify the claim and unclear if he was referring to the same incident.

From CNN:

Fourteen Americans died in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said — 10 in one incident and four in the other.

It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in at least four years, according to CNN records.

ISAF ruled out enemy fire in the crash that killed four Americans, and said enemy action was not thought to be the cause of the other.

In the deadlier crash, a helicopter went down in the country’s west.

“Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed,” an ISAF statement said. “Those injured include 14 Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian.”

Terror Suspect Planned to Attack Mall

October 21, 2009

Investigators have charged a Boston man with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and other crimes as he planned to attack at least one U.S. shopping mall.

From Reuters:

U.S. federal prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, alleging he and co-conspirators traveled to the Middle East seeking training, discussed attacking a shopping center, and distributed videos promoting holy war.

Tarek Mehanna, 27, from Sudbury, Massachusetts, was arrested at his home on Wednesday morning, officials said.

“Mehanna and the co-conspirators had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons and randomly shooting people in a shopping mall, and that the conversations went so far as to discuss the logistics of a mall attack, including coordination, weapons needed and the possibility of attacking emergency responders,” the U.S. Justice Department said.

Mehanna had been previously indicted in January 2009 for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other officials in connection with a terrorism investigation, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Prosecutors allege that from 2001 to 2008 Mehanna conspired with a man named Ahmad Abousamra and others in an attempt to kill, kidnap or injure people in the United States.

From CNN:

Planned to attack at least one U.S. shopping mall, Loucks said, but that did not happen because they couldn’t obtain the assault weapons they wanted, he said. He didn’t name the mall.

Loucks said the men had planned to assault multiple entrances of the mall, and had determined the steps they would take when first responders arrived.

Mehanna also is charged with using material support and resources in a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure people or to damage property in a foreign country, Loucks said.

“I think we’re satisfied that we know every member of this group,” the attorney said. “We do not believe that there are any terrorist cells in this area.”