Did fiscal cliff worries distract you from finishing your holiday shopping? Still looking for something truly different? How about the new 2013 Counterterrorism Calendar?
This is the 11th anniversary edition of the daily planner, put out by the National Counterterrorism Center. The left side features more than 130 pages about wanted terrorists and groups — from al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri (a $25 million reward out there for anyone who fingers him) to Taliban chief Mullah Omar (only $10 million).
Osama is, of course, gone, but other Loop favorites are distressingly still listed (though they might be dead). These include Hussein al-Umari ($5 million), wanted in a 1982 airplane bombing. He’s now about 76 years old and may be in Lebanon.
Okay. Here’s what you do. If you think you’ve spotted al-Umari, maybe at a Starbucks in the Chouf mountains, buy him a grande latte and casually look at his hands. The calendar says he’s got a “scar from fingers of right hand extending to forearm; has scar on left hand between thumb and index finger.” C’mon. That’s hard to miss. Then you call the embassy in Beirut, wait for the Navy SEALs and collect.
There are a dozen new most-wanteds, mostly from al-Shabab in Somalia, which is headed by Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed ($7 million). And some — al-Qaeda No. 2, Abu Yahya al-Libi and Fahd al-Quso, wanted in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole — are no longer with us.
There are also some new groups, including the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Ugandan terrorist group operating in central Africa. This was the group established by the Joseph Kony, who has been specifically deemed by an exective order to be a “specially designated global terrorist.”
A venerable group, the Kurdistan People’s Congress, is listed as a “seasonal insurgency,” the calendar says, declaring cease-fires during the winter months so members can have time to train. Well, who wants to wage terror in lousy weather anyway?
The right side of the planner lists anniversaries of terrorist acts and counteractions. For example, the Inaugural parade on Jan. 21 — or 9 Rabi’ al-Awwal in the Arabic calendar — is also the day a “Gunman ambushes vehicle near Camp Doha, Kuwait, killing one U.S. contractor and wounding another.”
The calendars are given out as a resource guide for folks in the anti-terror biz, especially for those working in the field. That’s why there are pages on ways to spot and deal with biological and chemical attacks, “suspicious financial activity indicators,” or people using false passports.
An on-line version is coming soon on the NCTC Web site, but you can’t buy the 5-by-9-inch spiral version anywhere. Got to know someone.
That’s what makes it special.