This is the photograph of a Taliban commander Abdullah alias Abu Waqas, who was presented before the media in Karachi, Pakistan, on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. According to the police, Abdullah was involved in recruiting female suicide bombers and training them.
Islam, many clerics have claimed, prohibits terrorism and definitely disallows the horrific practice of jihadis strapping themselves with explosives and pulling the trigger in a crowded place, killing themselves as well as innocent men, women and children.
But there are other clerics like the notorious Yusuf al-Qaradawi who proudly proclaim that while Christians, Jews and Hindus have nuclear bombs, Muslims have 'human bombs'.
(See my earlier blog on Islam's stockpile of human bombs.)
What is alarming is that jihadis are believed to be recruiting women who volunteer to become 'breast bombers' -- explosive planted in their breasts that do not show up in security scanners.
Recently, a 13-year-old Pakistani girl called Meena told the BBC her shocking story (Bombs and beatings: Life among the Taliban) of how her own family tried to turn her into a human bomb.
Truth is often horrifyingly tragic, more so when it is the truth about Islamism and jihad.
On February 26, suicide-bombers struck guesthouses in Kabul popular with Indians on assignment to Afghanistan. Here's the AP report:
Suicide bombers strike in heart of Kabul; 16 dead
By AMIR SHAH and RAHIM FAIEZ (AP) – Feb 26, 2010
KABUL — Insurgents struck in the heart of the Afghan capital Friday with suicide attackers and a car bomb, targeting hotels used by foreigners and killing at least 16 people and wounding dozens, police said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks, which Afghan President Hamid Karzai said were aimed at Indians working in Kabul.
The Taliban has long opposed India's involvement in the country and its ties to the Northern Alliance that helped the U.S. oust the Taliban regime in 2001 and formed the backbone of Karzai's government.
Six Indians were killed in the attacks, a spokesman for the country's foreign ministry said, revising the number from the ministry's original estimate of up to nine Indians dead. An Italian diplomat and a French filmmaker were also among the dead. Three Afghan police were killed, and six more officers were among the 36 people wounded, Afghan government officials said.
The four-hour assault began about 6:30 a.m. with a car bombing that leveled a residential hotel used by Indian doctors. A series of explosions and gunbattles left blood and debris in the rain-slicked streets and underscored the militants' ability to strike in the heavily defended capital even as NATO marshals its forces against them in the volatile south.
And here's a report from The Daily Telegraph of London, in which jihadis reiterate their claim about a huge arsenal of 'human bombs':
Taliban 'ready to unleash 3,000 suicide bombers in Pakistan'
The Taliban has claimed it is ready to unleash 3,000 suicide bombers in Pakistan in protest at military operations and American drone attacks in its tribal areas.
Dean Nelson in New Delhi
The Daily Telegrapg 09 Mar 2010
In the last few weeks the Taliban's overall military commander for Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is Mullah Omar's deputy, was captured in a joint intelligence raid in Karachi by Pakistani and American agents.
Several members of the 'Quetta Shura', the movement's ruling council were later captured in the city, while the group's Pakistani leader Hakimullah Mehsud was believed to have been killed in a missile strike by an unmanned Predator drone. Earlier this week, Mullah Omar's son-in-law, a former minister in the last Taliban government was also arrested.
The threat was issued after one of its leaders claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb which killed 13 people outside an interrogation centre in Lahore where militant suspects are questioned.
Eight officials from the Federal Investigation Agency were those killed when the bomber detonated a Toyota Carolla packed with 1300 pounds of explosives between the office and a local religious school.
It was the third time the centre had been targeted and marked a return to its suicide bombing campaign after a number of serious setbacks for the Taliban leadership.
The bombing in Lahore served notice that the movement retains the ability to strike throughout Pakistan, while Azam Tariq, a spokesman for the Taliban, served notice that it had the capacity to intensify its campaign.
"We have around 3,000 more suicide bombers. We'll target all government places, buildings and offices," he said in a call to a news agency.
More than 3,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan last year as suicide bombers and 'fedayeen' commandos struck in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Peshawar. The figure marked a 48 per cent increase on 2008, reflecting a furious Taliban reaction to Pakistan Army operations against Taliban militants in South Waziristan and Bajaur Agencies.
Analysts believe the success of the army offensive in South Waziristan and their recent successes in arresting senior Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders has damaged the militants' ability to strike as regularly as they did last year.
I came across an interesting news story on Thursday (February 18) which I am posting below:
Wife of UK airliner bomb plotter gives testimony
LONDON (AP) -- The wife of a man convicted of plotting to bomb trans-Atlantic flights has testified in a British court that she was horrified to learn of his plans – but insisted she had no advance knowledge.
Cossor Ali told a London trial she was disgusted to be later shown a suicide video he had recorded in preparation for the attacks. The 28-year-old Ali is accused of failing to disclose information about her husband's terrorism plans, an offense which carries a punishment of up to five years in jail.
Abdulla Ahmed Ali – the plot's ringleader – was previously convicted and jailed for a minimum of 40 years, one of the longest sentences ever handed out by a UK court. He hoped to down at least seven passenger jets, and kill thousands, using liquid explosives. His wife denies withholding information.