Swine Flu Deaths Striking Older Children More Often
from washingtonpost.com - Intelligence by Rob Stein
Swine flu may be causing more deaths among older children than the very young, federal health officials reported Thursday.
Taliban target Pakistan's religious minister
from The Long War Journal
The Taliban nearly assassinated Pakistan's outspoken religious minister in a shootout in the capital of Islamabad today.
Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the Federal Religious Minister. The gunmen, who were riding a motorcycle, sprayed Kazmi's car with automatic fire, killing the driver. Kazmi took a bullet in the leg and is being treated at a hospital in Islamabad.
Kazmi has been outspoken in his opposition to the Taliban and supports operations against the extremists in the tribal areas. He is a member of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, which is in opposition to the Deobandi and Wahabbist strains of Islam that preach violent jihad.
Federal Government Needs Massive Hiring Binge, Study Finds
from washingtonpost.com - Intelligence by Steve Vogel
The federal government needs to hire more than 270,000 workers for "mission-critical" jobs over the next three years, a surge prompted in part by the large number of baby-boomer federal workers reaching retirement age, according to the results of a government-wide survey being released Thursday.
Afghanistan Drug Raid Snares Border Police Commander
from Danger Room by Nathan Hodge
A drug raid in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province in July netted a huge stash of hashish and opium — and led to the arrest of an Afghan Border Police Commander.
This recent high-stakes raid, confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, involved a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) team and Afghan counter-narcotics agents staging an ambitious helicopter-borne assault in potentially hostile territory. Equally important, the bust also revealed how intimately some Afghan officials are involved in the drug trade.
Taliban Seek Rifles with More ‘Punch’?
from Danger Room by David Hambling
One way of finding out what sort of weapons the Taliban favor is to go the usual military route: examine captured arsenals and look for shell casings after a firefight. Or you could just go and talk to the man who apparently sells them their weapons, as Guardian reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recently did. The results were highly instructive.
Abdul-Ahab talked to a man named Hekmat, formerly a shopkeeper but now a wealthy smuggler. Hekmat made his fortune ferrying arms from Central Asia. He also deals in heroin, but prices are down this year, so apparently the real money is in guns. Surprisingly, the hot item is not the plain-vanilla Kalashnikov.
“It’s the Kalakov everyone wants,” the arms dealer tells Abdul-Ahad. “The Taliban like it because it pierces body armor.”