18 September 2007

An easy terror incident to pin on...

Are we all familiar, or at least heard of, the terror incident in Mexico? You know, the oil pipelines blown up by a Leftist/Marxist group? Here, let us refresh the memory storage systems a bit:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poor Intelligence Facilitates Mexican Bombings

By Sam Logan

Eleven bombs exploded in the early morning hours of 10 September, destroying gas pipelines operated by the Mexican state-run energy company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the state of Veracruz.

Operations of hundreds of companies, in at least ten Mexican states, have been offline, collectively costing the Mexican economy over US$200 million and leaving idle some 10,000 Mexican workers.

It is the third bomb attack in as many months orchestrated by the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), a guerrilla group many believed until 10 September to be little more than an under-funded gathering of peasants from Oaxaca.

Some facts have solidified.

The EPR has the sophistication to cause significant damage to selected targets and will continue its campaign until demands are met. After the second bombing, which shut down Pemex operations in Guanajuato and Queretaro in July, this first theory was forwarded as a strong one. It is now considered a fact.

Second, the Mexican intelligence system is not prepared to deal with this domestic threat.

In a 12 September editorial published by the Mexican daily El Universal, at least one columnist believes the Mexican intelligence system is broken. The truth is likely not far from his opinion.

According to the author, an agent placed in Oaxaca, the EPR's center of activity, warned of another attack over a month ago. Agents working with the US Central Intelligence Agency’s office in Mexico City echoed these warnings with their own analysis that suggested the EPR would strike again, and soon. Neither report could narrow down the type of attack, whether it would be a bombing or the kidnapping of a politically exposed person, but both suggested the EPR would strike again.
That from Mexidata.

Ok, got it? Now, lets take a look at the Mexican group, this from Organized Crime and Terror Activity in Mexico: 1999-2002 by Ramon J. Miro and Glenn E. Curtis 01 JAN 2003, Library of Congress:
Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR)

The Popular Revolutionary Army (Ejército Popular Revolucionario–EPR) first emerged in Guerrero state in June 1996 as an alliance of 14 underground revolutionary groups. The guerilla alliance that gave birth to the EPR was a response to systematic police brutality against local villages in Guerrero, which culminated in the massacre of 18 peasants in the municipality of Coyuca de Benítez in June 1995. At the commemoration of the Coyuca de Benítez massacre in 1996, the EPR issued a “Manfesto of Aguas Blancas,” which included a five-point statement of goals. The first objective was “overthrowing the antipopular, antidemocratic, demagogic and illegitimate government, which is at the service of national and foreign capital and the forces which sustain it, and for establishing a new government, essentially distinct from that which now holds power.”103 On August 7, 1996, at a clandestine news conference, EPR Comandante José Arturo called for a provisional revolutionary government that would reverse current free-market policies. It proposed overthrowing President Zedillo by force and reportedly distanced itself from the Zapatistas' policies of negotiation and international pressure, employing a discourse "more reminiscent of the Marxism of 1970's guerrilla movements." José Arturo stated that the EPR had carried out bank robberies and kidnappings in order to finance itself, and that a new front had been forged in the Eastern Sierra.104

The EPR has been linked to the Clandestine Revolutionary Workers Party-Union of the People (PROCUP), a deep-underground remnant of the 1970s guerilla movement in Guerrero led by the radical schoolteacher, Lucio Cabas.105 The PROCUP is suspected of having carried out the 1994 kidnapping of Mexican banking magnate Alfredo Harp Helu, who netted his captors a US$30 million ransom.106 At the time of its emergence, many observers believed the EPR might become Mexico's version of Peru's Shining Path.

In August 1996, the group carried out a series of armed actions in six states killing more than a dozen police, soldiers, and others. According to a Department of Defense (DoD) report cited by the Wall Street Journal, by 1999 the EPR had clashed about 45 times with security forces in several Mexican states, causing about 100 casualties.107
Linked to folks that love not to say much about themselves, and seen as somewhat elitist in views. Be that as it may, EPR is, itself, an amalgam of 14 groups that came together in 1996 to try and get their views across and do a bit of kidnapping, run-and-gun and the usual mayhem associated with poor terrorists. So your standard, barely held together sort of 'rebels without a clue'. Finally, from al-Reuters on the event:
Mexico oil bomb rebels in political, personal fight
Thu 13 Sep 2007, 19:23 GMT
By Frank Jack Daniel

MEXICO CITY, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The leftist rebels behind huge pipeline bombings in Mexico this week are from a small guerrilla group held together by family ties that has long personal and political grudges against the government.

The Popular Revolutionary Army, or EPR, blew up gas and oil pipelines on Monday in their biggest attack on economic targets since emerging in mountain villages of southern Mexico in the mid-1990s to kill dozens of police.

Tiburcio Cruz Sanchez, known as "The Professor," is the man the army says heads the EPR. He comes from a family of guerrillas from the southern state of Oaxaca that has been active since the 1970s.

Two of his sons are in jail for bombing banks. Human rights activists say they are innocent but were arrested to hit back at the elusive Professor and his wife, who is from another small rebel dynasty.

The EPR, believed to number under 1,000 members, launched a campaign of economic sabotage in July with bomb attacks on energy installations, repeated on a bigger scale this week.
There, that ought to do it! I will save you the current run-down on 'splinter groups' from the EPR, which seems to happen with terrorist organizations so quickly that one cannot keep track of it, and the traditional citation that when your leader is "The Professor" it had better be "Moriarty", or else you are really in the junior leagues.

Most folks get pretty hopped up on this linkage business and, really, that is what it is all about, isn't it? So when Gordon Thomas puts out some links between multiple terrorist organizations that MI-6 is speculating about, well, one does take some pause to say the least. From WorldNet Daily, 10 MAY 2006:
Osama's exploits south of border
By Gordon Thomas

LONDON – Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, has established the first proof al-Qaida is playing a major role in the new Cold War between North and South America – with Osama bin Laden's terror network seeing itself in league with Mexican subversives in infiltrating the U.S. border.

The evidence emerged as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez swash-buckled into London after scoring a win in yet another venomous battle with Washington for influence and economic advantage across the Latin American continent.

Chavez is in London to meet the capital's anti-Bush mayor, Ken Livingstone, and other prominent British opponents of the war in Iraq. His arrival coincides with the downward spiral politically of Prime Minister Tony Blair – largely over his continued support for Bush.

Downing Street will monitor the Chavez visit closely – not least because he controls the western hemisphere's largest supply of oil reserves. As oil prices soar, Chavez has used the extra profits to reinforce his position with his electorate. He said last week he would seek "indefinite" re-election beyond the constitutional limit of 2014.

Chavez, a 51 year-old paratrooper, descended on London this week and was boosted by the knowledge that his rapidly expanding clout in Southern America could soon see a dramatic shift of power after elections in Peru, Nicaragua and Mexico.

This would result in a standoff between Western oil companies worried about rising oil prices and South American oil producers' new-found enthusiasm for threatening foreign companies with a further hike.

In the words of a MI6 memo, the situation "is a new and dangerous threat to stability that is also being exploited by al-Qaida."

Details of al-Qaeda's penetration into Latin America emerged from documents discovered during recent anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan to try and locate Osama bin Laden.

The documents included evidence that al-Qaida has established links with the Colombian terror group, FARC, and the Shining Path, SL, in Peru. They also reveal al-Qaida's links with thousands of Muslim students in the Dominican Republic.

Another Pakistani document shows the links between al-Qaida and Mexico's Popular Revolutionary Army, EPR. The documents reveal that al-Qaida sees EPR as collaborators in attacks in Mexico on foreign targets – "especially those of the United States and Britain." It also says that EPR can play a key role in allowing al-Qaida operatives to enter the United States through the busiest land crossing in the world – Tijuana.

Another document reveals that along Peru's border with Chile "a large Arab community is providing substantial sums of money for al-Qaida."

But the closest links al-Qaida has are with Venezuela. Exploiting Chavez's latest tirade against the Bush administration, al-Qaida is firmly entrenched in the country.
Ah! Lovely, isn't it? OBL, Chavez, Islamists, Marxists, Leftists, Pakistan, Peru, Chile, FARC, Shining Path, and EPR... apparently South America is looking to become the vacation spot of terrorists. So we get lots of folks doing the 'ah-ha!' fingerpointing and easy tracing from EPR to al Qaeda as the inspiration for this last event. Really, 10 SEP and all that, going for a big event, but with the Leftist/Marxist quaint idea of low body count. Huge property crime to inspire... well... yeah, you forgot about it, didn't you?

How about a bit of a different pathway, way more direct? An easy, pin the tail on the Dictator deal... this from VCrisis 15 NOV 2005, with thanks to Center for Security Policy for pointing it out:
Vladimir Villegas: Chávez’s Chess Piece in Mexico
By Raúl Tortolero El Universal Online – Mexico

The Embassy of Venezuela in Mexico has been shown, by very different sectors in that country and in Mexico, to be an instrument of the ideological propaganda and political expansion of the personal interests of Hugo Chávez. Observations of interventionism include giving electoral support to the PRD [Democratic Revolutionary Party of Mexico], even "espionage," as well as a presumed importation of high caliber weapons and contacts with the FARC, ETA and Al Qaeda.

Mexico City Tuesday, 15 November 2005 Vladimir Villegas is a person of Euro-African heritage showing a good sense of humor and charisma. Tall, robust, sporting glasses and a smiling mustache, he has been residing in Mexico for only five months. His hair thinning, and dressed without any display of luxury, very much in accord with his perennial socialist ideals that have possessed him since he was a communist student leader, he wears plastic-soled shoes.

Well, then this man is accused of televising illegal recordings in order to attack Hugo Chávez’s opponents, of creating international spy rings, of being the architect of the Venezuelan funding apparatus for Lula [in Brazil], of advising and providing funds for the campaigns of Marcelo Ebrard and Andrés Manuel López Obrador [in Mexico]. Ah, and another detail: the PGR [Office of the Attorney General of Mexico] is investigating him concerning weapons shipments from Venezuela supposedly intended for the EPR [Popular Revolutionary Army].

This is the gift President Hugo Chávez presented in the guise of a Venezuelan ambassador to this country. The Bolivarian Revolution. There was more to come.

Lino Martínez —the previous Venezuelan representative— stated to the national press that López Obrador was a “ray of light," even capable of leading the masses into a revolution, seeing as Vicente Fox had not fulfilled his campaign promises and there was misery. That being said, he and his big mouth left and flew back to his country. Then Hugo Chávez decided to stimulate us with a new representative. He did not choose someone of a more moderate profile, a tea drinker, a polished international statesman. He chose Villegas as new ambassador.



I ask him if he has signed an agreement with the federal government: he says no, but that he maintains very good relations with Michoacán, a state favorable to the PRD. And that he has been to many universities. He is identified as a promoter of the Bolivarian Circles, which he says serve just to promote solidarity with Venezuela, but which members of the PAN [Vicente Fox’s party] and the PRI [traditional party prior to Fox] assure are citizens’ networks in favor of López Obrador.

The School of Philosophy at the UNAM [Autonomous National University of Mexico] —among others— is a hotbed of Bolivarian Circles. There, it is considered normal to join them and “stickers” that say “I AM a Bolivarian Mexican” [gender-neutral Mexican@ Bolivarian@] and “Venezuela is: Democracy and Sovereignty" are distributed.

Connections among armed groups, from Venezuela and Mexico, converge in the case of a Mexican student: Alondra Durán (Oviedo). She traveled "to study” in Canada, but presumably her real political objective was to work in support of clandestine organizations. Alondra was arrested at the Ottawa airport a few months ago for having carried "subversive propaganda” from the Bolivarian Circles, the EPR and the FARC. Her name is linked to the FZLN [Zapatista National Liberation Front]. She appears on this organization’s website as one of the “signatories” of a letter of protest against the lack of a follow-up to the case of the assassination of Pavel González González, a student at the UNAM. Intelligence sources link the Bolivarian Circles to the EPR and the FARC.

There is a hypothesis that the EPR is purchasing weapons. The PGR [Office of the Mexican Attorney General] in its official communication PGR/SIEDO/UEITA/4078/2005, dated this past September 11th, and signed by José Cabrera, coordinator of the Special Unit for the Investigation of Terrorism and the Storing and Trafficking of Weapons of the SIEDO [Organized Crime Unit of the Office of the Attorney General] has requested information from Villegas —La Revista [section of El Universal (Mexico)] has a copy of the document— concerning the arrival of weapons from Venezuela into Mexico a few months ago.

Chávez's expansive zeal is no secret and his propagandistic incursions into Mexico are nothing new, and neither is support for his projects from Mexican groups. One example: outside of the hotel where a press conference by the Venezuelan president was about to begin, at the Special Summit of the Americas, in Monterrey, January of 2004, there suddenly arose a “spontaneous” demonstration in his favor, with a Venezuelan flag and everything.
Yes, Mr. Chavez throwing petro-dollars around for influence and the standard fascistic 'cult of personality' and Nationalism that leftists seem to adore on their side, even when they are fascists. So, this puts a firm and clear link to Hugo Chavez seeking to expand his personal power and get some influence with Leftist/Marxist terrorists groups, not only in Mexico, but across Latin America.

Now for the final news event that I am absolutely sure everyone has forgotten:
Chavez and Fox recall ambassadors
Published: 2005/11/14 19:25:39 GMT

Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the move minutes after Venezuela said it was ordering home its envoy.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez refused to bow to Mexican demands to apologise for warning off Mr Fox - after describing him as a "puppy" of US imperialism.

The row began last week, after Mexico supported a failed US bid to relaunch regional free trade talks at a summit.

On Sunday, Mr Chavez accused the Mexican leader of disrespecting him and warned: "Don't mess with me sir, because you'll come out pricked."

He also accused Mr Fox again for allegedly violating protocol in trying to press for an agreement on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) when it was not on the Summit of the Americas' agenda early in November.

Mexico said the comments "strike at the dignity of the Mexican people" and demanded a formal apology from Venezuela or severing diplomatic ties.


Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez called the demand "unjustifiable".

"The immediate return of ambassador Vladimir Villegas has been ordered," he said.
Yes! From the BBC, bash-America central! Still, you can see the one thing that I do believe most people have forgotten. Where Mr. Chavez threatens Mexico?

Ah... there you have it! No need to go through lovely hoops to get al Qaeda involved, when this is just your standard Dictator For Life doing his bit in bossing everyone else around. Send some explosives to your 'friends' in Mexico and soon enough you can remind Mexico of your ire at them. Of course there is one other man involved, in a very undistinguished way, and only by association. I mean if the folks wanting to link up al Qaeda and such are having their fun, I will have mine and throw in the other angle... from Jamestown Foundation, their article from 21 OCT 2005 on al Qaeda's Inroads Into the Caribbean:
U.S. and Trinidadian authorities have kept a close eye on the Jammat’s activities since the 9/11 attacks, but there is no hard evidence tying the group to international terrorism, let alone al-Qaeda. However, Abu Bakr did maintain links with Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi in the 1980s and 90s and considers him a close friend to this day. The Jammat reportedly received funds through Libya’s World Islamic Call Society (WICS) to finance the construction of its main mosque, schools, and a medical center, but there is no evidence linking Tripoli with the failed 1990 coup attempt. Abu Bakr’s most recent publicized links with controversial international figures include Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
There you have it, Abu Bakr, leader of the only Islamic coup in the Western Hemisphere, having links to Kadaffy, and Hugo Chavez. And, finally, this link for the testimony of Janice L. Kephart suring Hearing before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims on 08 JUN 2006:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is well known for his violent dictatorship-like leadership, affiliations with Cuba (where his troops are sent for training), and his support of FARC in Columbia (enhancing chaos and violence in that country). In 2001, he signed cooperation agreements with Libya, Iraq, and Iran. On 9/12/01, Chavez ordered government workers to burn U.S. flags in the streets to celebrate the attacks of 9/11.

What is less known is that in January 2003, Chavez’s former personal pilot, having come to the United States after an attempt on his life and claiming political asylum, stated that immediately following 9/11,
Chavez ordered the pilot (Venezuelan Air Force Major Juan Diaz Castillo) to "to organize, coordinate, and execute a covert operation consisting of delivering financial resources, specifically $1 million, to [Afghanistan's] Taliban government. The purpose of the “donation” was to “assist the Al Qaeda terrorist organization," while, "making it appear as if humanitarian aid were being extended to the Afghan people."

According to Castillo’s account,
one million dollars was delivered to Afghanistan via the Venezuelan ambassador in India. The Taliban acknowledged receiving $100,000 in "humanitarian aid." Castillo said the remaining $900,000 went to al Qaeda. Chavez never answered the allegations, despite public demands to do so.

According to the National Review, Castillo’s allegations are consistent with remarks made by the former head of Venezuela’s border security, who stated that while in that position he was pressured to permit anonymous travel of Middle East and other terrorists passing through Venezuela and to deceive U.S. terrorism investigators. "I quit my job when I got tired of doing dirty work for Chavez with the Cubans looking over my shoulder," he said.
Chavez and al Qaeda, with links to all sorts of fun people across Latin America and the Caribbean. Of course the Kassar connection is through FARC... but you knew that, already!

EPR to Chavez to FARC to al-Kassar: 3 connections. And as my spanish isn't up to any snuff, I can't really get the connections via FARC directly, but see the narco-traffic as part of it.


SERENDIP said...

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A Jacksonian said...

Serendip - Thank you!

Will drop by when I get a sec...