“We can’t lie to our commanders: they can check to see if there was a fight in that area. We get money if we capture equipment too. A gun can fetch $1,000 [£690],” said a commander from Khost province who controls about 60 fighters.

The money usually reaches commanders via the traditional hawala transfer system found in many Muslim countries. They then share it among their men and sometimes celebrate with a feast.

     “It’s a lot of money for us. We don’t care if we kill foreigners: their blood allows us to feed our families and the more we kill, the more we weaken them. Of course we are going to celebrate this,” said a commander from Ghazni province.

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     This post is about what the enemy is doing to create an industry out of killing us. This is a disgusting topic to go over, but I still think it is important to study what the enemy is doing and learn from it. ‘Know your enemy’ is what I am all about, and this is what I am attempting to do here.

     So let’s talk about this. I guess the big difference between our bounty system, and their bounty system, is that they actually want people to either kill or capture folks and that there are no legal restrictions for that process. It is the purest form of a free market based killing mechanism.

     The west though are the only ones in this fight putting restrictions on how the bounty system is to be used, and in turn making the bounty system ineffective in my opinion. We have a 50 million dollar bounty on Usama Bin Laden’s head, but the only way to collect on it is that you can only give information on his whereabouts. A company or individual could not go after UBL and kill or capture him because the west abhors such things. It infringes on this so-called monopoly on the use of force that the we love to embrace, and meanwhile our enemies are mocking us.

     Our current foes have no problems giving up their monopoly on violence to get the job done, and as you can see below they are issuing bounties left and right on people. If you’re a NATO soldier, US soldier, cartoonist, author or royalty/politician, you probably have a bounty on your head. Nothing new in the history of warfare, but I do think it is important to make note of it and learn from it.

     The one area that I am looking at that is particularly interesting, is the fundraising required to set up these bounties. I am sure the enemy has all sorts of ways of funding this stuff, and this first article discusses a few sources. Drug sales, piracy, donors, bank robberies, and even lotteries are all methods of financing a bounty. If you can think it up, it has probably been done in order to finance bounties. I would guess that poppy sales and donors are the big sources of income for the Taliban with their bounties. And to double the bounties from last year kind of gives a clue as to how important this is to the Taliban.

     Bounties also work well in poor communities that might already despise a foreign occupation, and setting up this kind of killing industry could potentially nudge the fence sitters in the war to actually do something. A thousand dollars for a captured weapon, or several thousand dollars for a kill, is quite a thing to a poor villager just trying to survive. Killing a foreigner will also insure the Taliban shadow government doesn’t terrorize the villager and his family. That individual will also not face local retribution for killing a foreigner, just because that foreigner claims no allegiance to a tribe and such an act would not cause a blood feud.

     Now the one thing I cannot comment on is if the bounty system has been effective for the Taliban or Al Qaeda. There is no way to take a census of all those that have collected on bounties. All we can determine is that if the bounty system did not work, we would not see the practice continue.

     Which leads me to the second article below. Swedish artist Lars Vilks has been attacked three times since his famous ‘muhammad on a dog body’ cartoon and he has a bounty on his head of $100,000. It is hard to say if the attackers were fueled by hatred, or by wanting the bounty. My guess is that there is probably more hatred than anything, and the bounty helps to fuel those that might be on the fence.

     The bounty also adds notoriety to that issuer and brings attention to the individual they want dead or captured. So for a strategic communications campaign, issuing a bounty can create some buzz. There is just something sinister about putting a value on the death or capture of someone, and it sends an unnerving message to the masses.(terrorism) It is also a great way of sending a very public attack message to all the crazy little Hasans out there, just itching to wage jihad on the infidels.

     Along those lines, I ask the question again. What is the islamic version of Letter of Marque and Reprisal? What verse in the Quran allows for jihadists to make money off of bounty hunting or privateering? –Matt

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Taliban win £1,600 bounty for each Nato soldier killed

Miles Amoore

May 23, 2010

TALIBAN rebels are earning a bounty of up to 200,000 Pakistani rupees (£1,660) for each Nato soldier they kill, according to insurgent commanders.

The money is said to come from protection rackets, taxes imposed on opium farmers, donors in the Gulf states who channel money through Dubai and from the senior Taliban leadership in Pakistan.

So far this year 213 Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, including 41 British troops, bringing the potential rewards for the Taliban to £350,000.

Taliban commanders said the bounty had more than doubled since the beginning of last year.

The insurgents, who employ “hit and run” tactics against foot patrols and convoys, use paid informants, media reports and the local population to confirm the deaths of Nato soldiers.

“We can’t lie to our commanders: they can check to see if there was a fight in that area. We get money if we capture equipment too. A gun can fetch $1,000 [£690],” said a commander from Khost province who controls about 60 fighters.

The money usually reaches commanders via the traditional hawala transfer system found in many Muslim countries. They then share it among their men and sometimes celebrate with a feast.

“It’s a lot of money for us. We don’t care if we kill foreigners: their blood allows us to feed our families and the more we kill, the more we weaken them. Of course we are going to celebrate this,” said a commander from Ghazni province.

The increase in rewards for Taliban fighters comes as the Afghan government prepares to present its strategy for ending the insurgency. This aims to lure less senior insurgents away from the fighting by offering them jobs in farming and engineering, vocational training in carpet weaving and carpentry, education and assimilation into the Afghan security forces, including the secret police.

President Hamid Karzai hopes that a peace jirga (tribal council) in Kabul next weekend will rally support for this peace and reintegration programme (PRP).

The PRP says little about the government’s approach to negotiations with senior Taliban, but suggests that exile in a third country is one option.

“We are weary of war and division and we have shed too many tears. Out of division let us build unity,” says the draft strategy. In January a conference in London attended by the Afghan government and its international backers raised £110m to fund the reintegration strategy.

Insurgents who are willing to lay down their weapons and join the government will undergo a 90-day cooling off period in “demobilisation centres”, where they will be vetted and given biometric identity cards.

After that they will be granted amnesty provided they sever any links with AlQaeda and renounce violence. Fighters will be sent to “deradicalisation” classes taught by mullahs and for psychological counselling and psychiatric treatment.

The government’s proposals have received a mixed reaction from Taliban commanders, who are referred to as “our upset brothers” in the draft.

“I think our leaders are trying to find ways to counter the government’s proposals. The extra cash [bounties] will encourage more people to join us and will get inactive groups to fight,” said a deputy district commander from Kandahar.

A minority said they would be willing to surrender their weapons in return for jobs. “But the government and international community should know that they can’t solve the problem by giving jobs only to us fighters. They must consider all the poor people; otherwise those who don’t get jobs will take up arms,” warned a low-level commander from Ghazni who said he had joined the Taliban four years ago to feed his family.

Most Taliban commanders deny any financial motive. In a dozen interviews over the past four months, low and midlevel Taliban commanders from provinces where the insurgency is fierce have set out their conditions for ending the violence.

“We are not fighting for money or power. We are fighting to end government corruption, to rid this country of foreign troops, and we want a return to sharia law,” said a Kandahar commander.

Nato’s reintegration group in Kabul acknowledges the insurgency is driven by local factors: inept governance, predatory politics, malign and manipulative power brokers, poverty and tribal feuding. “There will always be the hard core that will continue fighting for ideological reasons but there’s an awful lot of people who are tired of fighting and who we can bring in,” Major-General Phil Jones, the unit’s British commander, said.

Some analysts believe reintegration fails to address the underlying causes of the insurgency in thousands of villages that are among the worst afflicted. “Reintegration addresses the symptoms rather than the disease itself,” said Matt Waldman, a Harvard analyst.

?Several Nato soldiers were injured yesterday when insurgents fired rockets at Kandahar airfield, the Alliance’s main military base in southern Afghanistan, writes Richard Beeston in Kandahar.

Story here.

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Fire Attack on Home of Lars Vilks in Sweden: Islamic Terrorists Out of Control

By Julia Bodeeb

It seems the fringe Islamic terrorists have struck again over the cartoon depicting Muhammad as a dog created by Lars Vilks. His home in Nyhammslage, Sweden was the site of an attack via arson, reports the Washington Post and the AP. Passerby saw broken windows at Vilks’ home and notified authorities. Police then found bottles filled with gasoline inside the home. It is believed a fire was set inside the home, but it did not stay lit.