AQI Facilitation Networks Still Active in Syria

In its latest effort to target al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) financial and logistical networks operating out of Syria, the Treasury Department designated today four members of a key terrorist facilitation network. Such facilitation networks have long operated out of Syria and have been the target of periodic designations. As recently as December 2007, Undersecretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey called on Syria to “take action to deny safe haven to those supporting violence from within its borders.” Today’s designation suggests Syria still has far to go in this regard.

While Syria has reportedly taken some measures to curb the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq, recently disclosed documents seized from insurgents in Iraq revealed that while fewer foreign fighters have been entering Iraq Syria remained the preferred route.

Car Bomb Rocks Southern Thai Hotel

On Saturday night, a 20 kg bomb hidden in the back of a car was detonated in front of the CS Pattani Hotel in Pattani, southern Thailand. Two were killed, three are in critical condition and 15 others sustained moderate injuries. It was the boldest attack by Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand in recent months. Some 3,000 have been killed since the insurgency got underway in January 2004. Violence peaked in June 2007, and has gone down, owing to stepped up counter-insurgent operations; but the average rate of killing today is still above the 4-year average. This is not the first car bomb in southern Thailand, but the first in over a year.

Islamabad bombing targets foreigners

The Taliban and al Qaeda continue their terror campaign in the nuclear-armed state of Pakistan. The latest bombing occurred at an Italian restaurant in the capital city of Islamabad. At least one civilian was killed and 15 wounded in an attack that appears to have targeted foreigners in the city.

The bombing occurred in the courtyard of the Luna Caprese restaurant, known to be frequented by foreigners. Pakistani police ruled out a suicide bomb attack and believe the bomb was planted and detonated remotely.

[tags]gwot, global war on terror[/tags]

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