By Dialogo January 26, 2012 When Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri succeeded slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in June 2011, it was clear that he faced a daunting task in rebuilding an organisation suffering from a severe depletion of its ranks as a result of the blows it received, particularly in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas. It was also clear that al-Zawahiri needed to find a solution to the challenge posed by the Arab Spring revolutions. The strength of the demonstrations illustrated that the majority in the Arab street did not support al-Qaeda’s policy of advocating change through violence, nor were they convinced of its justifications for attacking the West, as the West stood by the Arab peoples in their quest for greater political freedom. And now it appears that al-Zawahiri needs to find a solution to another problem, one that most likely started years ago but has been exacerbated by the killing of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011; specifically, a shortfall in donor funds. Nine months after Bin Laden’s death, not one retaliatory attack has been carried out, which may be a result of the organisation’s inability to conduct operations or its unpreparedness to do so at this time. Another reason may be that the myriad of security services in Western and Arab countries are on high alert to prevent possible attacks from occurring. Another factor delaying or hindering the conduct of attacks could be a shortfall in donor funds to al-Qaeda. This lack of funds may be affecting its ability to make the necessary preparations for large operations that require substantial financing, in addition to the cost of recruiting and training operatives. Shortfall in donor funds not new The shortfall in donor funding for al-Qaeda in Waziristan is, in fact, not new. Frequent reports of funding shortfalls have been circulating for years. Al-Zawahiri highlighted the issue explicitly in a June 2005 letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq. Al-Zawahiri requested that al-Zarqawi transfer a large sum of money ($100,000) to the leadership of the organisation. In his letter, al-Zawahri refers to an interruption in al-Qaeda’s funding following the arrest of Abu Faraj al-Libi, a leader in the organisation, even though al-Zawahiri described the organisation’s financial status as “good” in general, which means that some funds were still reaching al-Qaeda in Waziristan at the time. It is not clear if donations to al-Qaeda, which come mostly from supporters in Gulf countries, declined further or increased in the years after this letter was written, but new information from Waziristan does not indicate that the organisation is in a better position militarily or financially. An Afghani operative who fought alongside al-Qaeda said the organisation’s presence in Waziristan has contracted significantly, their ranks thinning to no more than a few dozen individuals. The young Afghan, named Hafez Hanif, told Newsweek in an interview published January 2nd that he sought information about a group of al-Qaeda fighters that he had not heard from since the killing of Bin Laden and found out they were living in dire conditions with their ranks greatly depleted. While Hanif said “money is a more significant problem [for al-Qaeda] than the thinning of its ranks”, the fighter’s uncle told the magazine his sources confirm that the organisation’s donor funding, which used to be in the millions of dollars each year from Gulf donors, has dried up. Donor funds go to other causes It appears that donor funds now go to causes other than those of al-Qaeda’s leadership, which has apparently become marginalised and isolated in its Waziristan hideout. Hanif’s uncle said he thinks “Arab people now think the fight should be political at home and not terrorism aimed at the West”, and that “the peaceful struggle on Arab streets has accomplished more than Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri ever have”. If the information provided by these Afghans is true, it would reinforce the widely held belief that the organisation is at risk of ceasing to be an effective force, as it was in Afghanistan in the years prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. This impression was reinforced during the Arab Spring demonstrations, and again following Bin Laden’s death. Also, media reports confirmed al-Qaeda’s loss of many of its leaders and members in air strikes and clashes with Pakistani forces. Newsweek’s report indicated that al-Qaeda, which once had hundreds of fighters in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas, now has no more than a few dozen left in the area, probably including al-Zawahiri and Abu Yahya al-Libi. This paltry number confirms that al-Qaeda has been reduced to a marginal role. The absence of al-Qaeda fighters in the battles being waged by the Pakistani and Afghan branches of the Taliban against the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Western forces is another sign of its weakened position. The fact that al-Qaeda is facing these problems in Waziristan does not mean the organisation is finished, and it could still carry out a suicide attack to avenge Bin Laden’s killing. But even if al-Qaeda succeeds in carrying out a revenge attack, that would probably not signify a fundamental change in its status if the shortfall in fighters and funding continues, and if it remains marginalised amidst the mostly peaceful Arab Spring revolutions. I must say that that is not the cause of satisfaction when the factors that triggered the emergence of Al – Qaeda persist; besides the common ambition and greed, that blossom not only in the West, to pretend or even expect our same behavior, little interest in listening to complaints, clarifications and comments, without taking into account that they are being divided, confused and disorganized with our habits and ideas, beyond the democratic interest, vigilant and popular are those who want to be more than the others and they do not see the sacrifices that are required because they are not allowed a way of life made up of appearances, lies and blindness: blindness is what lies in many who have not seen more than a game of conveniences necessary for animal or irrational satisfaction, the same thing,(what benefits lust, benefits family dissolution, social dissolution, violence and lies)). Can a pig or piglet give me the tranquility because they have never thought in terrorism?; Perhaps one drifts away from the movement generated by death, learn, resist and thus be saved of what is waiting to end (God helps those who help themselves).
LONDON: Sachin Tendulkar’s name will remain etched in history as not only one of the legends of the game, but also as the first batsman to score a double century in ODIs in 2010. But South Africa pacer Dale Steyn believes that he had trapped the batsman plumb in front in the 190s, only for umpire Ian Gould to give it not out citing crowd pressure.”Tendulkar scored the first double hundred in ODI cricket, and it was against us in Gwalior. And I actually remember — I think I got him out lbw when he was about 190-odd. Ian Gould was the umpire, and he gave him not out,” the South Africa pacer said during the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast with England bowler James Anderson. “And I was like, ‘Why, why did you give him not out!? That’s so dead.’ And he was like, ‘Mate, look around – if I gave him out, I won’t make it back to the hotel.'” Gould had another interesting incident involving Tendulkar and that was during the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali. While he gave Tendulkar LBW, the batsman took DRS and the decision was overturned. Gould said that he would stick to his decision of giving Tendulkar out in the 2011 World Cup semi-final. Gould said that he could not believe it when his decision was overturned after Tendulkar went for a review. “When I gave him out at Mohali, I’m thinking this is out. I will sit here and guarantee you, if I see it again, I’d still give it out, simple as that. He talked to Gambhir and looked like he was going to walk out, and I’m thinking thank God for that, then he spun on his heels and made that T sign and the world stopped,” Gould told BBC 5 Live Sport. “Eventually, (third umpire) Billy Bowden told me ‘It’s missing leg, I need you to change your decision.’ Well, no disrespect to him, but I was watching on a 90-foot screen showing me it was missing leg by an inch so I didn’t really need his analysis. I’ve got a picture here where I’m looking slightly disgruntled or annoyed as I gave them not out,” he added. Gould said that an umpire’s reaction in that situation is similar to that of a player who made a costly mistake. He however managed to get his focus back on the game. “My biggest fear after that was that I didn’t want another ball to hit anybody on the pad, my mind had gone. I had the brilliant Simon Taufel with me who kept me going. At the end of it, it’s just one of those moments,” he said. IANS
Maradona continued: “I’ll tell you something else – at the 1990 World Cup I used my hand to clear the ball off the line against the Soviet Union,”“We were lucky because the referee didn’t see it. You couldn’t use technology back then, but it’s a different story today.”Maradona also noted how England became world cup champions in 1966 “with a shot that didn’t go over the line”, referring to Geoff Hurst’s controversial strike.“England won the World Cup in ’66 with a shot that didn’t go over the line,”“There have been lots of incidents where World Cup history would have been different if technology had been used. It’s time to change all that.” he concluded.RelatedMaradona Denies Being Hospitalised After Nigeria WinJune 27, 2018In “FIFA”Maradona Offers To Coach Argentina For FreeJuly 3, 2018In “World Cup”Nigeria Showed Teams Don’t Fear Argentina Again – MaradonaFebruary 13, 2018In “FIFA” Argentine Legend, Diego Maradona has expressed his support for the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR), despite being a beneficiary of the lack of VAR with the famous “Hand Of God”.56-year-old Maradona scored with his hand against England in the quarter final of the Mexico 1986 World cup, a game Argentina won 2-1 to progress to the semi final.Speaking to FIFA.com, Maradona said: “Obviously I think about it whenever I show my support for the use of technology,”“I thought about it and, sure, that goal wouldn’t have stood.”
Oscar Pistorius will be allowed to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games if he is not in jail, the International Paralympic Committee has revealed.The South African, 27, was found guilty of culpable homicide on Friday after the judge ruled he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake.Sentencing will take place on 13 October, but Pistorius could compete at Rio if he has served his sentence.”We wouldn’t stand in his way,” said IPC spokesman Craig Spence.Pistorious, nicknamed Blade Runner, won six gold medals at three Paralympic Games and made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics.IPC director of media and communications Spence said that the organisation’s thoughts were with the family and friends of Steenkamp. But he said the IPC would not block Pistorius if he had served his sentence and wanted to compete at Rio.”Providing he serves his sentence then he will be free to compete in IPC competitions going forward,” Spence told BBC chief sports correspondent Dan Roan.”Oscar would need to decide first whether he wanted to compete and then he would need to be selected by the South African National Paralympic Committee.”If he had served any punishment given to him before Rio then the ball would be in his court.”But former Paralympian Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson doubts whether Pistorius would make the Games – even if he had served his punishment and was picked to represent South Africa. “He’ll have missed a chunk of time training and competing,” added the 11-time Paralympic gold medallist.”His sponsors aren’t there anymore…financially he’s in a very difficult position.”Meanwhile, IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez is confident Pistorius’s conviction will not harm the profile of the Paralympic movement.”The trial has had no negative impact on the Paralympic movement,” he added.”Since London and Sochi 2014 we have seen an incredible growth in all aspects of our activities and we are looking forward positively to Rio and Pyeongchang. “Oscar was a fundamental ambassador of the Paralympic movement in the period between 2008 and 2012.”Since then the Paralympic movement has many other ambassadors and many other athletes that have been recognised globally.”
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Knapp Center will be rocking on Friday as the Drake University women’s basketball team is set to host William Penn in its annual “Pack The Knapp For Character Counts” game. Over 3,000 local elementary and middle school students will fill the stands for a fun-filled day of educational activities and Bulldog basketball. Tipoff against the Statesmen is slated for 11:05 a.m. and the contest will be broadcast online on The Valley On ESPN3. Drake owns a 6-2 overall record as the Bulldogs look to snap a two-game losing streak. The losses occurred to two tough, non-conference opponents in South Dakota and Green Bay, who are favored to finish second and first in their respective conferences. Junior Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) leads the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring at 19.1 points per game. Drake, who is the top scoring team in the MVC and 28th in the nation at 79.0 points a game, has two other players in sophomore Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.) at 14.4 ppg. and freshman Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) at 11.3 ppg. averaging double figures. William Penn at 5-5 overall is located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and is a NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) program that is a member of the Heart of America Conference. The Statesman are paced in scoring by Kadejah Young’s 12.1 points a game. Willie Scott is in his first year as head coach of William Penn. Friday will be the seventh overall meeting between the two schools, but the first since 1979. Drake and William Penn have each won three games in the all-time series, which started back in the late 1970’s when both programs were members of the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women). Drake has a three-game win streak in the series. William Penn is the first of three remaining non-conference games for the Bulldogs, who will begin Missouri Valley Conference play on Jan. 1 at home against SIU. Following Friday’s game, Drake will have over a week off for final exams before returning to action at Northern Illinois on Dec. 19. Three days later, the Bulldogs will wrap up their non-conference schedule at Iowa on Dec. 22. Print Friendly Version