The American Kafir

2012/06/27

The Evils of the Muslim Brotherhood: Evidence Keeps Mounting

Egypt’s longtime banned Muslim Brotherhood—the parent organization of nearly every subsequent Islamist movement, including al-Qaeda—has just won the nation’s presidency, in the name of its candidate, Muhammad Morsi. That apathy reigns in the international community, when once such news would have been deemed devastating, is due to the successful efforts of subversive Muslim apologists in the West who portray the Brotherhood as “moderate Islamists”—forgetting that such a formulation is oxymoronic, since to be “Islamist,” to be a supporter of draconian Sharia, is by definition to be immoderate. Obama administration officials naturally took it a step further, portraying the Brotherhood as “largely secular” and “pluralistic.”

Back in the real world, evidence that the Brotherhood is just another hostile Islamist group bent on achieving world domination through any means possible is overwhelming. Here are just three examples that recently surfaced, all missed by the Western media, and all exposing the Brotherhood as hostile to “infidels” (non-Muslims) in general, hostile to the Christians in their midst (the Copts) in particular, and on record calling on Muslims to lie and cheat during elections to empower Sharia:

Anti-Infidel:

At a major conference supporting Muhammad Morsi—standing on a platform with a big picture of Morsi smiling behind him and with any number of leading Brotherhood figures, including Khairat el-Shater, sitting alongside—a sheikh went on a harangue, quoting Koran 9:12, a favorite of all jihadis, and calling all those Egyptians who do not vote for Morsi—the other half of Egypt, the secularists and Copts who voted for Shafiq—”resisters of the Sharia of Allah,” and “infidel leaders” whom true Muslims must “fight” and subjugate.

The video of this sheikh was shown on the talk show of Egyptian commentator Hala Sarhan, who proceeded to exclaim “This is unbelievable! How is this talk related to the campaign of Morsi?!” A guest on her show correctly elaborated: “Note his [the sheikh’s] use of the word ‘fight’—’fight the infidel leaders’ [Koran 9:12]; this is open incitement to commit violence against anyone who disagrees with them…. how can such a radical sheikh speak such words, even as [Brotherhood leaders like] Khairat el-Shater just sits there?” Nor did the Brotherhood denounce or distance itself from this sheikh’s calls to jihad.

Anti-Christian:

It is precisely because of these sporadic outbursts of anti-infidel rhetoric that it is not farfetched to believe that Morsi himself, as some maintain, earlier boasted that he would “achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya.”

Speaking of Christians, specifically the minority Copts of Egypt, in an article titled “The Muslim Brotherhood Asks Why Christians Fear Them?!” secularist writer Khaled Montasser, examining the Brotherhood’s own official documents and fatwas, shows exactly why. According to Montasser, in the Brotherhood publication “The Call [da’wa],” issue #56 published in December 1980, prominent Brotherhood figure Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah al-Khatib decreed several anti-Christian measures, including the destruction of churches and the prevention of burying unclean Christian “infidels” anywhere near Muslim graves. Once again, this view was never retracted by the Brotherhood. As Montasser concludes, “After such fatwas, Dr. Morsi and his Brotherhood colleagues ask and wonder—”Why are the Copts afraid?!”

Lying, Stealing, and Cheating to Victory:

Read it all at Investigative Project On Terrorism

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum

2012/05/09

Wily bomb maker fast in race with technology; informant ID’d device

Wily bomb maker fast in race with technology; informant ID’d device

By Shaun Waterman

Al-Asiri

Al Qaeda’s top bomb maker in Yemen is so ruthless that he recruited and equipped his own brother for an underwear-bomb suicide attack against a top Saudi royal in 2009.

“Even for al Qaeda, that’s cold,” said author Peter Bergen, who has studied the group since the late 1990s.

Now Ibrahim al-Asiri, 30, is suspected of making a new underwear bomb designed for use against a U.S.-bound airliner in a plot uncovered last month by U.S. and Saudi intelligence and thwarted within the past few days.

The supposed would-be bomber was an informant working for the CIA and Saudi Arabian intelligence, U.S. and Yemeni officials said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The informant, who delivered the bomb to authorities, is safely out of Yemen.

The revelation, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, shows how the CIA was able to get its hands on a sophisticated underwear bomb well before an attack was set into motion, the AP reported.

Underwear bombs and other explosive devices, such as the converted printer cartridges used in the foiled October 2010 air-cargo bomb plot, are al-Asiri’s trademark, President Obama’s senior counterterrorism adviser said.

Al-Asiri “has demonstrated real proficiency as far as concealment methods as well as the materials that are used in these” bombs, John Brennan said Tuesday in an interview on NBC-TV.

A Saudi national who has served time in the kingdom’s prisons, al-Asiri is the son of a pious retired military man, according to the Saudi Gazette newspaper. The U.S. designated him a terrorist kingpin last year, and he is wanted by the Saudis and by Interpol.

He is believed to be one of the top targets of the recently stepped-up U.S. campaign of lethal drone attacks in Yemen.

The FBI, which is examining the underwear bomb, said it is “very similar” to devices used in plots by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terrorist network’s affiliate in Yemen, “including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations.”

That clearly is a reference to the August 2009 attempt to kill Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, who was injured slightly when al-Asiri’s brother Abdullah blew himself up at a meeting he had requested to turn himself in to authorities.

Initial reports suggested that the bomber had concealed the bomb in his rectum, but Saudi investigators concluded that the device was an underwear bomb, said Mr. Bergen, who was briefed by Saudi officials at the time.

They discovered that the device, made of a plastic explosive called PETN, used a chemical detonator, had no metallic components and could not be detected by conventional metal-detector screening.

On Christmas Day 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate a similar underwear bomb aboard a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner. The detonator failed, probably because Abdulmutallab had sweated through his underwear and dampened the detonator, officials told The Washington Times last year.

The latest version of the underwear bomb has an improved detonator, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The bomb “was a threat from the standpoint of the design,” Mr. Brennan told ABC News. “And so now we’re trying to make sure that we take the measures that we need to prevent any other … similarly constructed [bomb] from getting through security procedures.”

Abdulmutallab’s underwear bomb was not spotted by metal detectors at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.

After the failed attack, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sped up its deployment of advanced imaging technology screening devices, which have become notorious as the “naked X-ray” machines.

Analysts generally agree that the imaging machines should be able to spot the new underwear bomb, said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

But in an interview with CNN, he cautioned that this was just a “preliminary conclusion. … We don’t know all of the facts yet.”

The key to imaging detection of underwear bombs is generally the detonator because it has to emerge from the clothing in which the explosives are concealed, said Erroll G. Southers, a homeland security scholar at the University of Southern California.

The TSA has deployed about 700 imaging machines at more than 180 U.S. airports, according to agency figures. The machines cost between $130,000 and $170,000 each, and the agency has spent nearly $167 million so far to buy, test, deliver and install them.

TSA has faced keen scrutiny of its efforts to roll out the machines and questions about the effectiveness of deploying them in the United States because all previous al Qaeda attacks against U.S. aviation have originated overseas.

“That is a huge gaping hole,” Mr. Southers said.

Inconsistencies in technology and policy from country to country undermine public confidence, he said, noting reports that the European Union this year will relax the no-liquids rule for air passengers’ hand luggage, which would put the European Union out of step with the U.S. The ban is designed to defeat another kind of nonmetallic explosive.

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will report at a congressional hearing Wednesday that TSA deployed the imaging technology at airports without evaluating it properly.

“Additionally, various reports, studies and independent testimony all suggest that TSA is ineffectively deploying security technology and equipment at commercial airports,” reads a staff memo for the hearing.

2012/05/07

The Genocide that Obama Refuses to Prevent

Source Article Link: FrontPageMag

The Genocide that Obama Refuses to Prevent

By Daniel Greenfield

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Obama unveiled an “Atrocities Prevention Board” to, in his own words, “prevent and respond to mass atrocities”.  The “Atrocities Prevention Board” is notable mainly for what it is not and his speech was notable for the topic that it avoided. Genocide.

While Obama mentioned ‘atrocities’ twelve times in his speech, he only mentioned ‘genocide’ three times and one of those times he was quoting from the mission statement of the Holocaust Museum. The list of examples from his own policies contained only one example of genocide, the mass murder program carried out by the Sudanese government.

Tellingly Obama described this actual genocide as a ‘conflict’ rather than an atrocity and urged both sides to negotiate, a sharp contrast with his next three examples, in Cote D’Ivorie, in Libya and in Uganda, where he clearly placed the blame on three leaders and described military and pseudo-military actions that he had taken to end the violence.

President Omar al-Bashir, whom he urged in his speech to have the “courage” to negotiate and make peace, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. There is no comparison between the actions of Gaddafi or Gbago and those of Bashir. Yet Obama ignored actual genocide, and defiled the Holocaust Memorial Museum by using it as a stage for whitewashing one of the world’s worst ruling mass murderers.

Obama was equally unwilling to call out Iran’s mass murdering thugs, Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, by name. He briefly mentioned that his administration would continue to apply diplomatic pressure on Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but refused to make the connection to the events of the day.

“The uniform shout of the Iranian nation is forever ‘Death to Israel,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said that, “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off.”

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, the personal representative of the Supreme Leader, appeared on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television to boast that, “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary, to replace (sic) Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.”

Israel holds the largest Jewish population in the world. The threat to destroy it is an open threat of genocide. But while Obama repeated his false claim that the entire population of the Libyan city of Benghazi had been at risk, motivating him to act, there was no acknowledgement that Israel does actually a face a threat of genocide.

At an event commemorating the attempted extermination the Jewish people, Obama spoke at length about the plight of the Syrian rebels, who are dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose spiritual leader has praised Hitler for carrying out the Holocaust and called for the extermination of the Jews.

“The last punishment was carried out by Hitler…” Yusuf al-Qaradawi had said of the Holocaust. “This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.”  And at the Holocaust Museum, all Obama could think of was how to put Qaradawi’s cronies into power in Syria, as he had already put them into power in Egypt.

There is no genocide in Syria. At best there are “atrocities”, a vague word that can mean just about anything. Nor is there any actual threat of genocide. Not in Syria or Libya or Egypt, or any of the other places that Obama intervened. The only place in the Middle East that lies under the shadow of genocide is the Jewish State.

There is no serious prospect that the majority of Arabs will be wiped off the face of the earth. Nor the majority of Persians or Turks. There is only one group in the Middle East whose extermination is called for in every Muslim capital, whose murder is preached in mosques, whose massacre is written in blood on the pages of Islamic scripture.

Mohammed began his rise to power with the persecution of the Jews. He ended it with the ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians and his successors have perpetuated his crimes, generation after generation, teaching their children to hate and kill, grooming them with cartoons and songs to make genocide seem virtuous.

Today there are more Jews living in Germany than there are in the Muslim nations of the Middle East. There are more Jews living in Poland, where over 90 percent of the Jewish population was exterminated during the Holocaust, than there are in Iran. Within a generation the Muslim world was emptied of Jews more comprehensively than even Poland and the Ukraine had been after the Holocaust.

Not satisfied with an ethnic cleansing that Hitler could only envy, the Muslim world dreams of a final orgy of death, the genocidal vision so often quoted by its Imams and incorporated into the Hamas charter, “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him said, ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’”

You can read the rest of the article at FrontPageMag

All Emphasis added

New video of US aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan

Please keep Warren Weinstein and his family in your prayers for a save return..W

Source link  TownHall

New video of US aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan

New video of US aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan

A 70-year-old American aid worker kidnapped nine months ago in Pakistan said in a video released by al-Qaida that he will be killed unless President Barack Obama agrees to the militant group’s demands.

The video posted on militant websites Sunday followed one issued in December in which al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri said Warren Weinstein would be released if the U.S. stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.

“My life is in your hands, Mr. President,” Weinstein said in the new video. “If you accept the demands, I live; if you don’t accept the demands, then I die.”

It was unclear when the video was recorded.

The White House had no comment Monday on al-Qaida’s demands or Weinstein’s plea.

A woman who answered the phone Monday at a number listed for Weinstein in Rockville, Md., said she had no comment when an Associated Press reporter identified herself. Phone messages left for Weinstein’s relatives were not immediately returned.

Weinstein was abducted in August in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore after gunmen tricked his guards and broke into his home. He was the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors.

“It’s important you accept the demands and act quickly and don’t delay,” Weinstein said in the video, addressing Obama. “There’ll be no benefit in delaying. It will just make things more difficult for me.”

Weinstein spoke while sitting down in front of a white background. He wore a white shalwar kameez, the loose-fitting clothing common in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Several books and what appeared to be a plate of food were set in front of him. Weinstein took several bites of food as he spoke.

He appealed to Obama as a father. If the president responds to the militants’ demands, Weinstein said, “then I will live and hopefully rejoin my family and also enjoy my children, my two daughters, like you enjoy your two daughters.”

The video was released by Al-Sahab, al-Qaida’s media arm. It was first reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.

After his kidnapping, Weinstein’s company said he was in poor health and provided a detailed list of medications, many of them for heart problems, that it implored the kidnappers to give him.

In the video released Sunday, Weinstein said he would like his wife, Elaine, to know “I’m fine, I’m well, I’m getting all my medications, I’m being taken care of.”

Mike Redwood, a friend of Weinstein’s from Somerset, England, said he watched the video Monday morning and said he had mixed feelings. He said he was grateful that Weinstein is alive _ or at least was alive when the undated video was shot _ but remains dismayed to see his friend in such dire circumstances.

“He’s more capable of withstanding these circumstances than anybody else I know,” Redwood said, “But it doesn’t take away from feeling really depressed at seeing him there.”

He said he thought Weinstein’s neutral delivery was appropriate under the circumstances.

“I think he said it in measured tones that indicate that while he’s under duress and in captivity, he knows what he’s doing and in control and capable of managing himself, which was always what you would expect of Warren,” Redwood said.

Redwood said he hoped he could take Weinstein at his word that he was getting his medications and being treated well. He said the poor image quality of the video made it difficult to gauge his health.

Redwood, a leather industry consultant, met Weinstein when they worked together on a plan to enhance the Pakistani leather industry. He has not spoken to Weinstein’s family.

____

Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols and Karen Mahabir contributed to this report from Washington.

2012/05/04

Christian’s Are Being Slaughtered in Nigeria Continues

Filed under: Boko Haram, Christianity, Jews, Muslim, Nigeria, Persecution — - @ 9:57 am

Raymond Ibrahim and Faith J. H. McDonnellare the few individuals who work tiredly for many years to write about the atrocities happening in Africa and the Islamic controlled countries. So many children, women and men are being persecuted for being Christian in the Islamic controlled countries. I applaud both Raymond Ibrahim and Faith J.H. McDonnell for tireless and often thankless job of sounding the alarm of the Islamic slaughtering of innocent, children, women and men, the only crime for them being hacked up with a machete, decapitated, and/or thrown into a bonfire while still alive. I applaud George Clooney for his speaking out about the situation as well, however Mr Clooney will not admit the true cause and true cause is Radical Hate Filled Islamist, torturing, raping, maiming and murdering any infidels (Jews, Christians, Hindu, and non-believers of the Qur’an). Until they can admit to the core of the problem nothing will be done. W

Source Link FrontPageMag

Christian Slaughter in Nigeria

By Faith J. H. McDonnell

Are they terrorists yet? Boko Haram, an Islamist sect seeking to impose Sharia throughout Nigeria, attacked three church services on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The latest slaughters added twenty-seven more dead to 900+ victims of the past two years’ efforts by Boko Haram to kill all the Christians in northern Nigeria. In recent months, the sect has also been marking the houses of Christians in the north, targeting them for killing, forcing thousands to flee from their homes.

On the morning of April 29, Boko Haram struck Catholic and Protestant worship services simultaneously at Bayero University in Kano. Twenty-two so farhave been confirmed dead, and twenty-three wounded. In the evening they attacked a church service in Jere, near Maiduguri, Borno State, killing another five people.

U.S. Congressmen Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) recently wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging that she designate the group as a terrorist organization. Meehan’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence released an extensive, bi-partisan report (a PDF copy of this report can be found below the article) on Boko Haram as an “emerging threat to the U.S. Homeland.” But the State Department continues to downplay Boko Haram’s Islamist nature, preferring to see the terrorist murderers – of whom even the Nigerian police are afraid – as victims of poverty and marginalization.

One survivor of the April 29 attack on the Catholic Mass was a geography professor, Emmanuel Olofin. Olofin reported that Mass had just gotten underway in the university indoor sports complex at 8:10 AM when the worshippers heard the sound of “gunshots and pellets falling on the roof of the building.” According to reports, the attackers arrived in a car and two motorcycles. They threw explosives into the building and sent people into a panic. They fled from the building, straight into the attackers’ line of fire.

Professor Olofin, age 71, leaped over an eight-foot fence instead of using the actual exit in the gate. “I believe that most of the people that died were those who took the pedestrian exit because it seemed as if the attackers used the pedestrian gate to gain entrance,” said Olofin, who found refuge under a tree. Among the dead were two of Olofin’s university colleagues, Professors Jerome Ayodele, Department of Chemistry, and Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi, Library Science.

At the same time the attack on the Catholics was taking place, other members of the sect attacked the Chapel of Victory Protestant church service, meeting outdoors near the Faculty of Medicine. Professor Julius Falola, who was preaching when the Islamists arrived, recounted a horrific scene similar to that described by Professor Olofin. Explosions and gunshots were followed by fleeing church members who provided easy targets for Boko Haram killers.Falola said that some of the Christians “jumped over the fence while others ran deeper into the campus.” Falola hid in the university clinic. Falola and Olofin, as well as other witnesses, said that the police did not arrive until 10 AM. “The shooting went on for 45 minutes,” said Falola.

Boko Haram topped off their killing spree later that night, by opening fire on the Church of Christ in Nigeria parish in Jere. Because of a state of emergency in the town, worshippers had foregone meeting in the morning in favor of what they assumed would be an unnoticed and therefore less dangerous evening worship. Halfway through the service, witnesses reported that the Islamists came “in their trademark car, Volkswagen Golf, dressed in flowing gowns.” After “their routine shout of ‘Allah akbar,’ they . . .  headed straight for the altar” where they shot and killed the pastor, Reverend Albert Naga. Four others died from the attack, as well.

In response to Sunday’s targeted killing of Christians by Boko Haram, Secretary Clinton put out a paragraph on May 1, saying that the United States “strongly condemns the recent attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, including yesterday’s disgraceful assault during church services at Bayero University in Kano.” Clinton said that they are “concerned about attacks on churches, news media, and government installations that increasingly target innocent civilians across Northern Nigeria.” She condemned “attempts by those in Nigeria who seek to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions, and support those who recognize Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity as one of the country’s greatest strengths.” She concluded by saying that “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured.”

While the statement does specifically mention churches, her condemnation of “those in Nigeria who seek to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions,” is vague enough to cause concern. First of all, it is obvious to almost everyone but the State Department why the “tension” is there to begin with: Islamic supremacism such as that of Boko Haram and other radical Muslims who want a pure Islamic state. In that case, any action, statement, or mere existence of non-Muslims can inflame the tension – a lunar eclipse, a Miss World pageant, the election of a Christian president, a speech by the Pope… and usually it is the Nigerian Christians (or the Christians anywhere in the Islamic world) who are blamed for “inflaming” things.

Other popular targets of Boko Haram have been newspaper offices and television viewing centers. On April 25, Boko Haram was responsible for bombing a television viewing center in Jos, Plateau State, where hundreds of Christians were watching a soccer match. One person was killed and four were injured when the radicals drove by the site and threw an explosive device at the viewers. On December 10, 2011, Boko Haram bombed three television viewing centers in Jos. At one site, 31 year-old Joshua Dabo was killed in the explosion. Ten people were injured, with four in critical condition and two in left in a coma, at the two other viewing centers. Apparently, watching soccer also inflames Christian-Muslim tensions.

The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has been asking the United States for help in dealing with Boko Haram and other terrorists, but so far the U.S. State Department has talked of providing financial aid to impoverished and marginalized youth, like Boko Haram. In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson said, “The Nigerian government must effectively engage communities vulnerable to extremist violence by addressing the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the North.” In what is absolute dismissal of the life-and-death struggles that Nigerian authorities have had with Boko Haram, he added, “The government must also promote respect for human rights by its security forces, whose heavy-handed tactics and extrajudicial killings reinforce the belief that Abuja is insensitive to the concerns of the North.” Then he added helpfully, “The appointment of credible northerners to lead the government response to northern grievances would be an important and tangible step toward reversing that perception.” Well, since the State Department appears to see Boko Haram as “credible northerners,” perhaps it will suggest their appointment. That would follow the pattern the Obama Administration has helped to set through Arab “Spring.”

On May 1, 2012, a Reuters news report indicated that the Nigerian government has not decided to follow the State Department’s advice. Forces raided the hideout of Boko Haram in Kano (the location the State Department is considering for a second U.S. Embassy), and after a gunfight that lasted several hours, killed “the mastermind” of the attack on the Christian worshippers the weekend before. According to Police Commissioner for Kano State Ibrahim Idris, AK-47 assault rifles, 467 munitions and 45 cans full of explosives were seized in the raid. And Kano army commander Brigadier General Ilyasu Abba, part of the Joint Task Force that conducted the raid, explained that although the terrorists of Boko Haram can identify the Nigerian security forces, the security forces cannot identify them. He said that two of the suspects had “escaped through the back door.”

While the Obama Administration continues to deny that Boko Haram are terrorists, more evidence has surfaced to prove their affiliation as such. An April 30, 2012 report from Nigerian newspaper, This Day Live, reveals that documents linking Boko Haram directly to Osama bin Laden were found in the dead terrorist’s house in Pakistan. The documents confirm what a top Boko Haram figure had declared openly to The Guardian in January. “A Boko Haram spokesman had boasted after the attacks on Police Headquarters in Abuja last year that the group had just trained a generation of suicide bombers in Somalia in what was seen then as a direct link to al-Shaabab, a Somali terrorist group aligned to al-Qaeda,” according to the report. They added that “Boko Haram is also believed to be working with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), based in Algeria.”

All the evidence coming out about Boko Haram only confirms and clarifies what the terrorist group has said about itself. It is “fighting to reinstate a 19th century Islamic caliphate.” As such, it wants to remove the Christian presence from the north of Nigeria and ultimately, from the entire country. U.S. Representatives Peter King and Patrick Meehan have warned that Boko Haram is a tremendous threat not only to the Christians and other good citizens of Nigeria, but “its tactics, targeting, and fundraising operations appear to be increasingly international in scope, including within the U.S. Homeland.” This threat should be taken seriously.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).


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2012/04/24

Action Alert – Best Buy: TV’s, Computers and Hamas

Source Link: Islamist Watch

Action Alert – Best Buy: TV’s, Computers and Hamas

by Marc J. Fink

Ailing Retail Giant Sponsors Hamas-Linked Islamist Group, Refuses to Rule Out Future Funding to Islamic Radicals

Think again before buying your next flat-screen television or computing device from Best Buy.

The struggling retail giant recently used profits from American consumers to fund the annual banquet of a group closely linked to Hamas. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently listed Best Buy as a “Platinum Sponsor.” Best Buy has refused to rule out future support for CAIR through numerous messages to its public relations department. The big box retailer is already in chaos amid the recent resignation of its CEO for personal misconduct, dwindling sales and bond downgrades.

The United States government named CAIR an “unindicted co-conspirator” to fund the terrorist group Hamas in America’s most significant terror financing trial. The U.S. also identified CAIR as an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, sharing the common goal of dismantling American institutions and turning the U.S. into a Sharia-compliant, Islamic state through incremental, stealth jihad.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper (left) and CAIR co-founder and long-time board member Omar Ahmad (right) have both said they would like to see an America ruled by Sharia. The U.S. government has linked CAIR to the terror group Hamas in Gaza (center).

And that’s only the beginning. For all the details and links, see the bullet points below — after the jump at the bottom of the post.

Utterly outrageous, yes. But outrage is not enough. Action is required. The Goal is a commitment from Best Buy to never again use profits from American consumers to finance Islamic radicals.

Here is how you can make a difference:

  • If you don’t like the idea of your consumer electronics, software and appliance dollars going to fund groups aligned with Hamas and pledged to turning America into a Sharia-compliant, Islamic state, write and/or call Best Buy and let them know. Best Buy Public Relations Department: 612-292-NEWS (6397) or NewsCenter@bestbuy.com. Susan Busch, Director of Public Relations: susan.busch@bestbuy.com. Lisa Hawks, Deputy Director of Public Relations: lisa.hawks@bestbuy.com
  • Feel free to use/copy/paste the bullet points below. But try to put it in your own words and make it personal. Share any responses from Best Buy with us at islamist-watch@meforum.org.
  • Tell your friends and family about Best Buy and about Islamist Watch. If they join our mailing list (link at top of Islamist-Watch.org), they’ll receive future action alerts and can help make a difference.

Here are the details on CAIR:

  • Current CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper was quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. … But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
  • Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) described CAIR in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as an organization “which we know has ties to terrorism.” FDCH Political Transcripts, Sept. 10, 2003.

CAIR’s Announcement of Best Buy as a Platinum Sponsor:

Related Topics:  Entertainment / Media, Lawful Islamism, Lobby Groups, Workplace  |  Marc J. Fink receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free islamist watch mailing list This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

2012/04/12

Egyptian court clears way for Salafi presidential candidate in election race

Source Al Arabiya News

Egyptian court clears way for Salafi presidential candidate in election race

By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES

An Egyptian court has ruled that the mother of a popular ultraconservative Islamist viewed as one of the strongest contenders for president is not a U.S. citizen, likely clearing the way for him to run in May elections.

Hazem Abu Ismail (For more read the article linked below the video) is a 50-year-old lawyer-turned-preacher with a large following of enthusiastic supporters, particularly from the country’s ultraconservative Salafi movement.

The country’s electoral commission last week said it received documents confirming that Ismail’s mother was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race.

“On Saturday, the high electoral committee received a letter from the Foreign Ministry informing it that Nawal Abdel-Aziz, mother of Hazem Abu Ismail, obtained American nationality on Oct. 25, 2006,” the commission chief Hatem Degato told Reuters.

Begato said on Thursday that the agency had received information according to which Abu Ismail’s mother had “used an American passport for travel to and from Egypt” before her death.

But the Cairo Administrative Court on Wednesday said authorities did not have sufficient documents to prove she was a U.S. citizen.

Under the country’s electoral law, all candidates for the presidency, their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.

Abu Ismail advocates a strict interpretation of Islam similar to the one practiced in Saudi Arabia and has become a familiar sight in Cairo, with his posters adorning many cars and micro buses.

“Our only demand is to cancel the negative decision of the refusal of the interior ministry to give [Abu Ismail] a certificate that his mother doesn’t hold dual citizenship,” said Gaber Nassar, Abu Ismail’s lawyer early on Wednesday before the ruling was announced, according to Daily News Egypt.

The session was adjourned repeatedly during the day as supporters of the Salafi candidate filled the court room and also demonstrated outside the State Council. It was the second hearing; the first was on Tuesday.

On Friday, thousands of people rallied in central Cairo in support of his candidacy.

“The people want Hazem Abu Ismail! No to manipulation!” the demonstrators shouted after making their way through central Cairo to Tahrir Square, epicenter of last year’s revolt which toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters, including women in full Islamic veil, carried portraits of Abu Ismail and waved their fists, angrily condemning any attempt to disqualify their candidate.

Abu Ismail launched his candidacy on March 30 with a large motorcade that took him to electoral commission headquarters in Cairo.

He would compete with more moderate Islamist candidates such as senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat el-Shater and former regime figures such as ex-foreign minister Amr Mussa.

Islamists have made big strides since Mubarak’s ouster, winning majorities in elections to both houses of parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections earlier this year, but the Salafists captured nearly a quarter themselves.

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Related Article Egyptian Presidential Candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail – “U.S. Authorities Refused to Investigate 9/11, Which Was ‘Fabricated’ To Defame Islam”

2012/04/07

Indonesian immigrants taking refuge in Highland Park church speak of religious persecution in home country

Source NJ.com

The Associated Press 

Indonesian immigrants taking refuge in Highland Park church speak of religious persecution in home country

Andrew Miller/For The Star-Ledger
Saul Timisela, 45, who has taken refuge from deportation at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, walks through one of the hallways of the church in March. Timisela is an Indonesian Christian who fears religious persecution if deported back to Indonesia, one of the world's largest Islamic countries.

HIGHLAND PARK — Indonesian immigrants being given sanctuary by a New Jersey church after being ordered deported are telling stories of the religious persecution that drove them out of their country.

They are speaking at an event today during a visit by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who has sponsored a bill to try and reopen their cases.

The New York Democrat is visiting The Reformed Church of Highland Park to urge passage of legislation that would give Indonesian Christians living and working in the U.S. under a special agreement the chance to reopen their asylum bids.

Maloney says the U.S. should uphold its tradition of supporting those fleeing religious persecution.A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the three men being given sanctuary in the church have final orders of deportation.

Related coverage:

Photos: Saul Timisela takes refuge at the Reformed Church of Highland Park

Indonesian immigrant avoids deportation, seeks refuge at Highland Park church

More than 80 N.J. Indonesian Christians receive temporary reprieve from deportation

Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

Source Seattle Times

Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

Egypt’s election commission confirmed Thursday that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race and likely boosting the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate.

By MAGGIE MICHAEL

Associated Press

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a likely candidate for the presidency, outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo

CAIRO —Egypt’s election commission confirmed Thursday that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race and likely boosting the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate.The ruling is likely to draw an uproar from supporters of Hazem Abu Ismail, a 50-year-old lawyer-turned-preacher who in recent months vaulted to become one of the strongest contenders for president, with widespread backing from ultra-conservative Muslims known as Salafis.

The announcement is particularly embarrassing for Abu Ismail, who used anti-U.S. rhetoric in his campaign speeches and rejected “dependency” on America. In recent weeks, he repeatedly denied reports that began circulating that his late mother held U.S. citizenship.

A law put in place after last year’s fall of President Hosni Mubarak stipulates that a candidate may not have any other citizenship than Egyptian – and that the candidate’s spouse and parents cannot have other citizenships as well.

The commission, however, did not outright disqualify Abu Ismail because it has not yet begun the process of vetting would-be candidates’ applications.

Abu Ismail is likely to fight for a way to stay in the race. Late Thursday, he urged his supporters to be patient because he was still fighting to prove that his mother’s documents didn’t amount to a full citizenship. He said the controversy was a mere plot to “slander” him.

“It has become clear to us that there is a big and elaborate plot, tightly prepared for a long time from many directions, internally and externally,” he said, without naming anyone.

Before the commission’s announcement, Abu Ismail’s campaign was vowing to hold a huge rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday against what they see as a conspiracy to keep him out of the race.

“The massive army of his supporters will rally because we will not be silent over forgery and games,” said his campaign chief Gamal Saber.

As Sunday is the cut-off date for hopefuls to apply to run, the field for the May 23-24 election is beginning to become clearer after weeks of uncertainty. Barring last minute surprises, it appears to be headed to a contest focused between the Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater and largely former regime figures, the popular ex-foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa and a former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.

Abu Ismail’s disqualification would remove el-Shater’s main competitor for the powerful Islamist vote. The Brotherhood, which is the country’s strongest political movement, announced last weekend that el-Shater – its deputy leader – would run. Since then, el-Shater has been heavily courting Salafis, a movement that is more hard-line than the fundamentalist Brotherhood.

Another significant Islamist candidate remains, Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a reformer who was thrown out of the Brotherhood last year and is trying to appeal both to religious and more secular-minded Egyptians.

Moussa’s chances were boosted Wednesday when former Mubarak-era strongman and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman announced he would not run. Though widely distrusted as a symbol of the old regime, he might have found support among the liberals and moderates that Moussa is courting and who fear the Islamists’ rising power.

On Thursday, the 61-year-old el-Shater waved at some 3,000 supporters chanting, “Islam is back,” as he entered the election commission headquarters to formally submit his papers to run. He handed in more than 250 endorsements from lawmakers from the Brotherhood party and the Salafi Al-Nour Party, needed to qualify to join the race.

To run for president, a candidate needs endorsements from lawmakers or a party. Otherwise, the candidate must gather some 30,000 endorsements from the public across different parts of Egypt.

Just a week ago, Abu Ismail flexed his muscles by submitting his documents amid a giant rally by his supporters, who stretched from his home to the commission headquarters. He handed in some 150,000 public endorsements, five times the required number.

His face – smiling, with a long, conservative beard – had become ubiquitous in Cairo and other cities because of a startlingly aggressive postering campaign that plastered walls and lampposts with his picture and the slogan, “We will live in dignity.”

Abu Ismail rose to fame through his religious sermons and TV programs promising to guide Muslims to the “right path to Islam.” He joined early on in the protests against Mubarak last year and after his fall struck a defiant tone against the military generals who took power.

When reports concerning his mother began circulating, Abu Ismail insisted she only had a Green Card to visit her daughter, who is married to an American, lives in the United States and has citizenship there.

But in a statement Thursday on the state news agency MENA, the election commission said it received documents from the Interior Ministry proving that Abu Ismail’s mother had a U.S. passport she used to travel a number of time to the U.S.. The mother also traveled to Germany and Egypt using the U.S. passport in 2008 and 2009, it said.

The commission starts reviewing would-be candidates’ papers after Sunday’s deadline.

Egypt: ‘Islamocracy’ under Military Rule

Source JCPA

Egypt: ‘Islamocracy’ under Military Rule

By Jacques Neriah

A year after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt seems to be drifting into an unparalleled and unprecedented form of government and a unique political experiment in the Arab world: power and authority are being divided between Muslim fundamentalists led by the Muslim Brotherhood and their rivals in ideology, the Salafists. Both are partisans of an Islamocracy (meaning a combination of theocracy and democracy), with Field Marshall Mohammad Hussein Tantawi orchestrating the twenty or so members of the Army General Staff, acting as the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), as the supreme rulers of Egypt. The only remaining question is: to what extent will each of the contenders avoid stepping onto his neighbor’s turf? In other words, will the Islamists, as the main hijackers of the democracy movement in Egypt, accept that the military will remain the source of power and authority in their Islamocracy?

Indeed, the transition process of handing power from the military to the “democratically” elected civilian bodies seems to be stuck and has become the focus of friction between the SCAF and the Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the great winners of the parliamentary elections organized in 2011-2012. The military is not in a hurry to subordinate itself to the civilian authorities, while the Islamists, although eager to capture power as the legitimate winners of the democratic process, behave as if they are afraid to provoke the military. They fear a confrontation that could lead to widespread bloodshed, similar to Algeria in 1990 when Islamists won the first free elections in the young nation’s history, triggering a civil war with 20,000 casualties before Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned to power with army support.

As a result, the two sides in Egypt periodically check the extent of their authority and assess the limits to which they can act independently without provoking a reaction by the other side. From this perspective, it seems obvious that the episodes of violent confrontation that have occurred in Egypt in the process of political transition are not due to a lack of experience but rather are the result of a strategy on the part of the SCAF. According to Stephan Roll from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, this strategy has three additional components: gauging public opinion, obscuring decision-making processes, and playing the various political parties and movements off against one another. This strategy became evident in the debate over the design of the new Egyptian Constitution. In March 2011 the SCAF announced that a new constitution would be drafted by a constituent assembly. However, in late 2011 when it became clear that the Islamists would dominate the process after winning the elections, secular-oriented politicians pressed for the adoption of “supra-constitutional principles” that would guarantee the establishment of a democratic state with civilian rule. The SCAF tried to use those demands to its own benefit by introducing a document outlining principles of a revised constitution that granted the military even greater authority than it had possessed under the previous constitution: complete control over the defense budget and veto power over all decisions affecting the military. Massive protests convinced the SCAF to withdraw the motion.

On the other hand, since the beginning of the January 25 revolution against Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has avoided any direct confrontation with the SCAF. Members of the Brotherhood appear to repeatedly seek dialog with the SCAF. The Muslim Brotherhood strategy remains the same as it was under the previous regime: to change the system from within. The Muslim Brotherhood received 41 percent of the Egyptian vote, with 26 percent going to Muslim extremists known as Salafists, a jihadist movement that believes in “holy war” against the “crusaders,” i.e., Christians and Jews. In Arnaud de Borchgrave’s words, “what these two branches of Islam have in common is their idea of “free” elections – one-man, one-vote, one-time. After their expected victory, Egyptians can forget about another free election as far as anyone can peer into the future.”

Indeed, since the Brotherhood is focused on domestic policy, it should have no intrinsic problem accepting the fact that the military will decide on matters of national security and foreign policy, at least initially. This does not mean that motions in the National Assembly will not be raised and discussed and attempts will even be made to constantly undermine the authority of the SCAF. Recent months have provided sufficient proof that although the legislators in the National Assembly have debated and made decisions on crucial issues, the SCAF has either ignored these decisions or worse, adopted steps completely opposed to the decisions of the National Assembly.

Key Issues

a. The NGO Issue: The SCAF decided to release the American defendants in the court case involving pro-democracy NGOs (including the son of the U.S. Transport Secretary), who had been barred from leaving Egypt, after the State Department paid $300,000 bail for each of them. The judge appointed to deal with the case decided on the first day of hearings that the case would be adjourned for a few months. The SCAF is clearly indicating to American legislators that it is still to be considered a U.S. ally and that no limitations should be put on the $1.3 billion in U.S. aid that finances as much as 80 percent of Egyptian military procurement. This contrasts very clearly with the March 11 National Assembly vote to order an end to this aid, a reflection of tensions with the U.S. over the NGO activists charged with illegal activity.

b. Relations with Israel: Even though the atmosphere in Cairo today is not in favor of Israel (as it never really was in the past), the SCAF has given its approval for the continued presence of the Israeli ambassador in Cairo. The SCAF accepted Israel’s regrets for the killing of several Egyptian soldiers in the aftermath of a terrorist action on the road to Eilat in summer 2011. In March 2012, Egyptian intelligence head Murad Mowafi again brokered a cease-fire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. For the eleventh time, Egypt has repaired the gas pipeline with Israel and beefed up its troops in Sinai in its quest to “reconquer” this part of Egypt which had been left to al-Qaeda and Bedouin operatives.

c. The Challenge from Within: Following the departure of the American NGO defendants, Egypt’s parliament voted on March 10 to begin steps to withdraw confidence from the military-appointed government, a move that will pressure the SCAF to appoint a new cabinet led by the Muslim Brotherhood. A vote of no-confidence would take Egypt into new political waters and could set the stage for a confrontation if the SCAF refused to yield to the will of the National Assembly. It could also complicate negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over a $3.2 billion loan the government of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri is seeking in order to stave off a looming financial crisis after more than a year of political and economic turmoil. The problem for the Egyptian government is that it could not afford to continue antagonizing Washington for too long. Egypt is rapidly running out of foreign exchange reserves. The financial shortfall was created both by the collapse in business and the tourist trade following the revolution, and also as the long-term consequence of an unsustainably high and growing level of public subsidies. The IMF loan is vital if the country is to prevent a severe financial crisis.

d. Domestic Repression: According to several sources, more than 12,000 civilians have been detained by military tribunals in the past year – more than in the Mubarak era that lasted over 30 years. One year after the president’s fall, not a single senior officer in any Egyptian security force has been convicted in the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising. Only recently did an Egyptian court rule as illegal the so-called “virginity tests” endured by hundreds of women who were arrested at rallies, demonstrations or protests. This procedure, performed by male doctors, was used as customary practice by the military.

e. The Trial of Former President Hosni Mubarak: The trial of the former president was slow to start after the revolution. Since he left office, Mubarak has spent no time in prison, instead remaining under 24-hour medical watch at advanced medical facilities. His defense lawyers have been allowed to call hundreds of witnesses, a process that could delay his trial indefinitely. And while Mubarak is granted all of the protections of due process, civilians facing much lesser charges are being tried rapidly in military tribunals. Lawyers, victims, and revolutionary groups have questioned the intentions of the SCAF or government prosecutors to deliver true justice.

To sum up, it seems that the military has managed to outmaneuver other forces in the country (Islamists, revolutionary youth, liberals, business elites, and even foreign governments) by creating conditions on the ground whereby everybody discreetly feels the military should play a role in safeguarding the political process, despite calls for its complete marginalization from political life. It is no coincidence that the only actual democracy Egyptians have ever experienced in five millennia was between 1946, the end of the British mandate, and 1952 when Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser and his “Free Officers” seized power and overthrew the monarchy. Egypt’s military held power for the next 60 years (18 years under Nasser, 12 with Anwar Sadat, and 30 with Hosni Mubarak) and it does not seem likely that Field Marshall Tantawi would be the last of Egypt’s military rulers. Nevertheless, unlike the past, there might be a situation of co-existence between the military and the growing power of Islam in Egyptian society. On this front the military can do very little. The external expressions of Islamocracy are widespread today in Egypt. It would be a fair assessment to say that they are here to last. But in no way does this have to be antagonistic to the actual military rule that still prevails in Egypt.

In today’s reality, a power-sharing arrangement between the SCAF and the Islamists seems very likely. One possible compromise would be to delineate specific areas as domains under the authority of the president-elect, with the establishment of a National Defense Council, much as the SCAF is today, to support him in these policy areas. Such a body is already provided for in the old constitution (Article 182), but it has only an advisory role. The executive roles adopted by the SCAF are pure improvisations because of the political vacuum created by the resignation of Mubarak. Such an alternative could appease the military but would limit the powers of the president and the Islamist-led National Assembly. In other words, it would be the continuation of the situation that prevails today in Egypt. Such an arrangement between the parties would hold as long as the specter of civil war remained present or as long as the Islamists continue to accept the supremacy in power of the military. Any detected weakness in the behavior of the military would be interpreted as a sign to end the de-facto arrangement.

About Jacques Neriah

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

2012/04/06

Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt

Source Washington Times

Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt

Vows to honor treaty with Israel

By Ben Birnbaum

A lawmaker from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that there would be “no referendum at all” on the country’s peace treaty with Israel, hours after the Islamist group’s presidential candidate made his unexpected bid official.

“We respect international obligations, period,” Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a lawmaker from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told The Washington Times.

Mr. Dardery was on a good-will tour of Washington this week with three other Muslim Brotherhood representatives. Long shunned by Washington, the group has sought to soften its image in the West as it prepares to assume greater power in post-revolution Egypt.

On Thursday, the White House downplayed the significance of a meeting between administration officials and the Brotherhood’s envoys.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the FJP representatives met with “midlevel” officials from the National Security Council and that it was a reflection of the new politics in Egypt and the “prominent role” the group now plays in Cairo.

“We have broadened our engagement to include new and emerging political parties and actors,” Mr. Carney said.

“Because of the fact that Egypt’s political landscape has changed, the actors have become more diverse and our engagement reflects that,” he said. “The point is that we will judge Egypt’s political actors by how they act, not by their religious affiliation.”

Presidential ambitions

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy to power in the aftermath of longtime President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster last year has raised concerns among secular Egyptians and Coptic Christians, as well as U.S. and Israeli officials, about how the fundamentalist group would rule Egypt’s 85 million people and conduct its foreign relations.

Asked whether a Brotherhood-led government would put the 1979 Camp David Accords to a referendum, as many of the group’s leaders have promised, Mr. Dardery said no.

“No referendum at all concerning international obligations,” he said. “All our international agreements are respected by the Freedom and Justice Party, including Camp David.”

Meanwhile, FJP presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater filed papers Thursday with Egypt’s High Presidential Elections Commission. Egyptians will vote in the presidential election’s first round May 23 and 24, with the top two vote-getters facing off in a June 16 runoff.

The Brotherhood had promised not to field a presidential candidate but changed course Saturday, citing threats to democracy from the military council that has ruled Egypt since Mr. Mubarak stepped down in February 2011.

In Washington, Mr. Dardery said the Brotherhood fielded a candidate “to make sure that [the] democracy road is protected by the people of Egypt,” arguing that the military council had refused to give the parliament sufficient authority.

Mr. Shater, a businessman with a reputation for cunning pragmatism, joins a crowded field that includes Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abdoul Futouh. Salafist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail was disqualified Thursday, increasing Mr. Shater’s chances for victory.

Doubts about democracy

A poll taken by Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper found that 58 percent prefer an Islamist candidate.

With Mr. Shater’s entry, some analysts now doubt that Mr. Moussa – once considered the overwhelming favorite – will make the runoff.

“Egypt is not moving toward a democracy,” said Eric Trager, an Egypt analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It is moving toward a competitive theocracy in which the Muslim Brotherhood is pitted against more fundamentalist Salafists.

“The question is only which interpretation of the Shariah will be legislated, not whether Egypt will be a theocratic state.”

The FJP and the hard-line Salafist Nour Party won two-thirds of the seats in recent parliamentary elections and now dominate the constituent assembly tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution.

The prospect of unchecked Islamist control has frightened secular Egyptians as well as the country’s large Coptic Christian community, which has faced escalating violence over the past year.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this week that U.S. officials “want to see Egypt move forward in a democratic transition, and what that means is you do not and cannot discriminate against religious minorities, women, political opponents.”

Egypt’s Islamist tide also has sparked concerns in Israel, which has maintained a cold but stable peace with its southern neighbor since 1979.

“The Muslim Brothers will not show mercy to us, they will not give way to us, but I hope they will keep the peace,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. “It is important for us, but I think that it is also important for Egypt.”

Despite Mr. Dardery’s statements Thursday, many analysts remain skeptical about the Brotherhood’s true intentions.

Trouble in the Sinai

“Their discourse back at home about Israel being an enemy is consistent with where they have been all along, and I don’t think we should expect any change,” said Steven Cook, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “The Struggle for Egypt.”

“I think their hope is that they can put [the peace treaty] to the side at least for the moment, but the fact that they called for this referendum, the fact that they’ve used this issue makes it hard to believe that they wouldn’t bow to any political pressure [on Israel].”

Israel has had tense relations with Egypt’s military council, which the Jewish state says has not done enough to prevent terrorists from operating in the Sinai Peninsula.

Early Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu warned that the Sinai is becoming a “terror zone” after a rocket fired from the territory struck the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat. No injuries were reported.

The prospect of a further deterioration in relations between the two countries would raise difficult questions for Washington, which has given Egypt roughly $2 billion in aid annually since 1979.

“If they no longer respect agreements reached under previous governments, then they’re not a country worthy of our support,” said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East and South Asia subcommittee.

But Mr. Ackerman, echoing a now-common school of thought in Washington, told The Times that Mr. Shater’s candidacy might be a positive development given the alternative.

“If I was writing the morning line on who can beat the Salafists, it’s the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “And if I have to choose between horrible and not that great, I’ll take not that great.”

Susan Crabtree contributed to this report.

As a Side Note:

A 1991 document written by U.S. MB leader Mohammed Akram (a.k.a. Mohammed Adlouni)explains the goal of the Brotherhood in America, which he identifies as “settlement:”

The general strategic goal of the Brotherhood in America which was approved bythe Shura [Leadership] Council and the Organizational Conference for 1987 is“enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and sta-ble Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observantMuslim base; aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts; presents Islam as acivilization alternative; and supports the global Islamic state, wherever it is.” …Thepriority that is approved by the Shura Council for the work of the Brotherhood inits current and former session is “Settlement.”

The document goes on to explain that “settlement” is a form of jihad aimed at destroying Westerncivilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions:The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist process” with all that the wordmeans. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sab-otaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so thatit is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have notprepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and workwherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is noescape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slack-ers and the Mujahidin be equal.

In another part of the document titled “The Process of Settlement,” the author explains that forthe Brotherhood’s goals to be accomplished, it is necessary to have a strong organizational base:In order for Islam and its Movement to become “a part of the homeland” in whichit lives, “stable” in its land, “rooted” in the spirits and minds of its people,“enabled” in the life of its society, [with] firmly established “organizations” onwhich the Islamic structure is built and with which the testimony of civilization isachieved, the Movement must plan and struggle to obtain “the keys” and the toolsof this process in carrying out this grand mission as a “Civilization-Jihadist”responsibility which lies on the shoulders of Muslims and—on top of them—theMuslim Brotherhood in this country….”

Read the entire PDF here Muslim Brotherhood of the United States

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2012/03/28

Obama’s Support for Pro-Islamist Syrian Opposition and the Duplicity of Turkey

View this document on Scribd

2012/03/27

Toulouse attacks expose, and overexpose, French jihadism

Source France 24

Toulouse attacks expose, and overexpose, French jihadism

Toulouse attacks expose, and overexpose, French jihadism

The recent attacks by Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah have put the spotlight on the threat of French Islamist terrorism. But how widespread is the phenomenon of French-born jihadists and why have they not risen up the terror ranks?

By Leela JACINTO

Shortly after September 11, 2001, a French-born jihadist, Zacarias Moussaoui – sometimes called “the 20th hijacker” – shot into the spotlight when US prosecutors charged him as a conspirator in the 9/11 attacks.

More than a decade later, another French-born, self-confessed jihadist, Mohamed Merah, captured international headlines during a nail-biting, 32-hour siege in Toulouse after he killed seven people – including three children – in a shooting spree in southwest France.

Merah was killed in a police commando raid in Toulouse at the end of the siege while Moussaoui was convicted and is currently serving a life sentence in a Florida prison.

In death and in life, Moussaoui and Merah share similarities in more ways than one.

Both French nationals of North African origins, Moussaoui and Merah were brought up by single mothers in southern France. Like most European-born militant Islamists, their radicalisation process involved at least one trip to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. By most accounts, the two men felt marginalized in the country of their birth.

In the shocked aftermath of the Toulouse attacks, French as well as international news organisations were quick to highlight the fact that Moussaoui and Merah were not the only ones with a shared background.

Concentric circles of Islamisation

Stirred by a plethora of Islamist contents on the Internet, some young French Muslims with bleak socio-economic prospects in the suburbs of France’s cities are being increasingly radicalised.

Their disenchantment with the French state has been stoked on the domestic front by the government’s ban on the niqab (the full Islamic veil) and the ruling party’s focus on French identity, which critics say fuels resentment against the country’s Muslim community.

On the foreign policy front, the presence of French troops in Afghanistan is a common grievance among French Islamists – as is the Palestinian issue.

Estimates of the number of French Islamist militants in global jihadist circles are hard to come by and vary depending on the source.

French authorities believe that between 20 and 30 French nationals are tied to jihadist groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area. But according to CNN, a 2010 French intelligence estimate put the potential number as high as 200 or 250.

Mathieu Guidère, a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the University Toulouse II-Le Mirail, breaks down Islamists according to their ideological fervor into what he calls four concentric “circles” of extremism.

“The largest circle, that of radical Islamists, are against Western culture and democracy because they believe in the presence of divine law,” said Guidère, adding that these radical Islamists are not violent. He estimates that there are between 400 and 500 French Muslims worldwide in this group.

A smaller circle of Salafists are those revivalists who emphasise the salaf (ancestors), referring to the 7th century companions of the Prophet Muhammed. Guidère believes that there are between 150 and 200 Salafists of French origins.

Islamist jihadists, or the ones who take up jihad or violent action to achieve their goals, number between 10 and 20, according to Guidère’s count.

Finally, there’s the terrorist who has actually turned ideology into lethal action. Guidère believes that since the mid-1990s, there has been just one example of a French-born terrorist who has successfully applied violence, taking it past the plotting or the conspiracy to plot stage: the Toulouse gunman.

Effective security and the influence of ‘French culture’

In a country that is home to Europe’s largest Muslim community – estimates range from 3 to 5 million since the French state does not officially tally religious groups – that is not as alarming as some news reports suggest.

Noman Benotman, a former Libyan jihadist who now works for the London-based counter-extremism think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, notes that, “As far as I can see, there has not been a single incident of a French national conducting a suicide attack – neither in Iraq nor Afghanistan nor Europe”.

Benotman believes there are two reasons for the absence of French-born suicide bombers. “The first definitely has to do with security,” he said. “Security is very effective in France, there’s no doubt about that. The second is the influence of French culture, I believe it’s still very powerful.”

When asked what exactly he meant by the influence of French culture, Benotman chuckled, “You know when you’re French, it’s the way you dress, the taste of food, the way you enjoy the finer things, it’s a lifestyle. This kind of influence will shape your worldview. I believe that French individuals, regardless of their ethnic group, are still under the influence of French culture, including the French values of liberty and democracy. Despite their feelings or their grievances about their situation, they are still within the context of a French culture,” he said.

Ironically, despite the well-documented identity crisis that many children of immigrant parents in the West undergo, Benotman suggests that the strong French cultural identity makes them less willing to offer themselves up on suicide missions and even less disposed to the austerity of jihadist training camps.

A former commander of the now defunct, al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Benotman had met with senior al Qaeda leaders such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri before he publicly renounced violence after the 9/11 attacks.

Benotman is familiar with the rigors of jihadist training camps such as the ones in the Pakistani border region. “It’s not easy at all. They’re in a camp, you can’t do whatever you like, you have to follow orders even if you don’t like it. You think what the hell is this? Why should I listen to all this?” he explained.

French-born jihadists have not risen high up the ranks in global terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, unlike some of their fellow French-speaking comrades who were born and raised in Muslim-dominated former French colonies such as Algeria.

“I think there is a difference within the francophone sphere,” said Benotman. “The Algerians are part of francophone culture but they have a very different experience. They have come out of the 1990s jihad [in Algeria] and the terrorist campaigns there,” he said, referring to the brutal Algerian civil war between the Algerian military and government-backed security services on one side, and various Islamist groups including the GIA (Armed Islamist Group), which splintered into the GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), which in turn merged with al Qaeda’s North African branch, AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), on the other.

The ‘lone wolf’ as a model

In the Toulouse gunman’s case, security experts have noted that Merah was a classic example of the “lone wolf” operator who is not closely linked to an organized network, making it easier for him to slip through security radars.

A ‘small minority’ of French jihadists

Like the case of Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born US citizen who attempted the failed May 2010 Times Square attack, Merah was an individually radicalised, legal resident of a Western country who sought training in the Pakistani border region.

But Benotman is careful to note that, “Tactically they are lone wolves, but strategically, in terms of theory and philosophy, they are part of the global jihadist insurgency led by al Qaeda. This is very important,” he said. “Without this, you can do nothing.”

Following the Toulouse attacks, jihadist websites have been inundated with praise, according to Benotman, with many followers quoting Merah’s boast of bringing “France to its knees”.

Benotman however does not believe Merah’s attack will increase the profile or the respect accorded to French-born jihadist recruits. That, he noted, depends on an individual’s commitment and training. But, he adds Merah’s case could serve as a model for radicalised young men seeking the path to jihad. “That’s the danger,” said Benotman. “If you’re a French Muslim looking for a war with French society, maybe you will look to Merah as a model.”

Syrian violence drives 50,000 Christians from homes

Source Catholic News Agency

Syrian violence drives 50,000 Christians from homes

Damascus, Syria, (CNA).- Almost all Christians in the conflict-torn Syrian city of Homs have fled violence and persecution, amid reports that their homes have been attacked and seized by “fanatics” with links to al-Qaida.

With ninety percent of Christians having reportedly left their homes, the violence is driving fears that Syria could become a “second Iraq” with church attacks, kidnappings and forced expulsions of believers.

The exodus of 50,000 or more Christians has taken place largely in the past six weeks. It is part of al-Qaida-linked militant Islamic groups’ “ongoing ethnic cleansing” of Christians, according to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Homs has been home to one of Syria’s largest Christian populations and Church sources say that the faithful have borne the brunt of the violence. They have escaped to villages, many of which are in mountains 30 miles outside the city.

Islamists have allegedly gone from house to house in the Homs neighborhoods of Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan and have forced Christians to leave without giving them a chance to take their belongings.

The crisis in Homs has increased fears that Islamists are gaining influence in the region in the power vacuum left by the overthrow of other Arab governments in the “Arab Spring.”

The comparisons with Iraq are also ominous. Anti-Christian violence in Iraq has helped drive the Christian population from 1.4 million in the late 1980s to less than 300,000 today.

In both Syria and Iraq the Church is being targeted for its perceived close links with regimes under attack from opposition parties and rebel groups.

The uprising in Syria started in March 2011 with protests advocating political reform. The uprising has become increasingly militarized. More than 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the past year, U.N. figures say.

Many in the opposition are from the country’s Sunni majority, while religious minorities continue to back President Bashar al-Assad. The exiled Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has said it will not monopolize power in a new regime but will back a democratic state with equality for all citizens and respect for human rights.

On March 26, Syrian government forces shelled Homs and carried out arrest raids. A human rights group says that government forces appear to be preparing to retake rebel-held parts of the city, the Associated Press reported.

The government has accused insurgents of terrorism and international conspiracy, while the government itself faces accusations of torture and massacres of civilians.

The Christian community has suffered from terrorist attacks in other cities.

On March 18, a car bomb explosion targeted the Christian quarter of Aleppo, close to the Franciscan-run Church of St. Bonaventure. Aid to the Church in Need is helping families of the victims.

“The people we are helping are very afraid,” said Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, who is overseeing the aid program. “The Christians don’t know what their future will hold. They are afraid they will not get their homes back.”

The displaced people of Homs are desperate for food and shelter. Aid to the Church in Need has announced an urgent $100,000 aid package to relieve their needs.

Each family will receive $60 each month for basic food and lodging. Organizers of the assistance hope that they can return home by the summer.

Bishop Audo told Aid to the Church in Need that it is very important to help those in distress.

“Pray for us and let us work together to build peace in Syria,” he said.

2012/03/26

France’s Jihadist Shooter Was No Lone Wolf

Filed under: al Qaeda, France, Jihad, National Security — Tags: , — - @ 5:42 pm

Source Wall Street Journal

France’s Jihadist Shooter Was No Lone Wolf

Mohamed Merah was practically a prince in violent extremist circles.

By Jytte Klausen

Zuma Press
Mohamed Merah

Mohamed Merah, the Frenchman who assassinated three French paratroopers of North African background and then launched a terrible attack on a Jewish school—murdering a teacher, his two young sons and an 8-year-old girl—claimed to act for al Qaeda. Skeptics have dismissed the claim, saying al Qaeda barely functions anymore. But Merah was no “lone wolf” and did indeed bear the imprint of al Qaeda.

Young and alienated, Merah had served two years in a juvenile prison for robbery. Was he rejected by French society because of his Algerian background? “He snapped,” say friends. After prison, he was completely cut off from reality, said his lawyer.

In fact, Merah was practically a prince in French jihadist circles. His mother is married to the father of Sabri Essid, a leading member of the Toulouse radical milieu who was captured in Syria in 2006. Essid and another Frenchman were running an al Qaeda safe house in Syria for fighters going to Iraq. In a 2009 trial that came to be known in the press as “Brothers for Iraq,” they and six others were convicted in France of conspiracy for terrorist purposes. Essid was sentenced in 2009 to five years imprisonment.

Family contacts could have been instrumental in setting up Merah’s jihadist contacts and facilitating his travels to South Asia. Le Monde reports that the Pakistani Taliban and the Uzbek Islamic Movement trained Merah to become a killer. In 2010, he was captured in Afghanistan (reportedly by Afghan forces) and handed over to the French government, yet French media report that he was able to return to Northwest Pakistan in 2011.

The French police have confirmed that Merah was under periodic surveillance in recent months. That he slipped through and was able to carry out his attacks will become a source of criticism and self-recrimination on the part of the generally efficient French police. It certainly suggests that he had help from a network.

In executing his attacks, Merah did everything by the jihadist textbook. He made sure he would die a martyr’s death that would be witnessed on television screens around the world. He murdered with a video camera strapped to his body, making him star and director of his own epic. He told journalists his videos would soon be uploaded. In the attack at the Jewish school Monday morning, Merah held a little girl by her hair while he paused to reload his gun. He then shot her. In a recording found in his apartment he tells another victim, a soldier: “You kill my brothers, I kill you.” This is theater.

The Internet was his friend. “I have changed my life . . . on video,” said one of his last tweets (in French) during the siege. His account ID featured a black knight on a horse holding high the flag of jihad.

He signed that last tweet “Mohamed Merah-Forsane Alizza.” Forsane Alizza, or “Knights of Glory,” is a France-based jihadist media organization that was banned in January by French authorities after they discovered members preparing to train in armed combat. The ban made little difference, as content was uploaded to new sites. A website using the Forsane Alizza alias is still active—and registered with a domain name registrar and Web hosting company based in the state of Washington.

Two hours before the police arrived at his apartment, Merah was calling a French TV station. He appears to have had the media on speed-dial and was an active user not only of Twitter but of Facebook and YouTube. (Authorities took down his online outlets one-by-one on Wednesday.)

Merah’s shootings in Toulouse again shatter the illusion that counterterrorism can be 100% successful. Jihadist terrorism exploits our freedoms and opportunities in a global campaign linking foreign insurgencies and extremist activism in the West. Highly scripted and planned with the assistance of accomplices in and outside of France, Merah did not act in isolation.

Ms. Klausen. a professor of politics at Brandeis University and author of “The Cartoons That Shook the World” (Yale University Press, 2009), is founder of the Western Jihadism Project, which tracks and analyzes the development of jihadi networks in the West.

Qaeda group claims kidnap of German in Nigeria: report

Filed under: al Qaeda, Germany, Nigeria — - @ 4:52 pm

Qaeda group claims kidnap of German in Nigeria: report

Source Modern Ghana

A map locating the northern states in Nigeria. By (AFP/Graphic)

A map locating the northern states in Nigeria. By (AFP/Graphic)

NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) – Al-Qaeda’s north Africa branch said Wednesday it was holding a German engineer kidnapped in Nigeria two months ago, and that it wanted to swap him for a jailed Muslim woman, a private news agency in Mauritania said.

“We inform you that your compatriot Edgar Fritz Raupach is a prisoner of fighters from AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb),” the group said in a statement published by the ANI agency, demanding the release of a woman who it said had converted to Islam.

The woman, Felis Lowitz, whose Muslim name was given as Um Seiv Al-Islam-Al-Ansariya, was said to be detained in Germany where she was being “tortured”.

A video obtained by ANI and seen by AFP showed Raupach, his hands tied behind his back, surrounded by masked gunmen.

In the video he called on his “parents, friends and German public opinion” to convince Berlin to “bring an end to the torture of our Muslim sister”, adding that only her liberation will save his life.

AQIM warned that any attempt to rescue Raupach will lead to his death, as happened in the case of Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and British colleague Chris McManus, killed earlier this month during a failed rescue bid by Nigerian forces.

Raupach, ANI said, is an engineer who was kidnapped in northern Nigeria on January 25.

Germany has confirmed one of its nationals has been kidnapped in northern Nigeria, and the German construction company Bilfinger Berger has said he is one of their employees.

2012/03/24

Iran: The leading state sponsor of int’l terrorism

Source JPost

Iran: The leading state sponsor of int’l terrorism

By IRWIN COTLER

By training, arming, financing and instigating groups like Hezbollah, the Iranian regime gives violent expression to the genocidal narrative of its leadership.

There is increasing – and compelling – evidence of Iranian footprints in a series of recent aborted terrorist attacks in India, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Thailand.

The Indian police have just reported that the Iranian connection to the bombing of the Israeli Embassy car has been “conclusively established” and that the bombing was connected to a botched attack targeting Israeli consular staff in Bangkok.

Thai officials have now detained three Iranian nationals in connection with the plots, while a fourth has been detained in Malaysia. Similarly, an Indian journalist with close ties to Iran’s notorious Quds Force was also arrested last week for facilitating the New Delhi attack. An Indian court has now issued arrest warrants for three other Iranian nationals in connection with the bombing.

Two other Iranian nationals suspected of involvement in the Thai attack, including the alleged mastermind who is presently in Iran, remain fugitives.

Moreover, Thai investigators have released photos of unexploded bombs found in the home of one of the suspects, which are strikingly similar to those used in the Georgian and Indian attacks. And in what is perhaps the most shocking – albeit least reported – development yet, Azerbaijani police are reporting that they are detaining nearly two dozen people for allegedly plotting attacks on the country’s U.S. and Israeli Embassies and other Jewish and Western targets. According to initial reports, a number of the operatives were trained in Iranian military camps and armed by its intelligence agency.

Given the evolving evidence of Iranian involvement, these attacks constitute a major Iranian escalation in its state sponsorship of international terrorism and in the systematic targeting of diplomatic missions in defiance of preemptory norms of international law.

Such an escalation dovetails with the converging Iranian fourfold threat – nuclear, incitement, terrorism, massive domestic repression – and its corresponding incendiary rhetoric which finds increasing expression in the regime’s serial use of terrorist violence as a central tenet of its foreign policy.

Indeed, the recent web of attacks comes in the aftermath of ominous warnings by Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, the spokesman for Iran’s Joint Armed Forces Staff that “the enemies of the Iranian nation, especially the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime have to be held responsible for their activities.” Senior Iranian officials have also recently warned of their intention to strike Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide.

In particular, since the fraudulent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Iran’s escalating rhetoric has been accompanied by increasingly brazen terrorist acts and attempts. In what has become an annual tradition, Iran was once again designated by the US State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism as “the most active state sponsor of terrorism.”

The United States’ recent indictment of senior Iranian officials, accused of orchestrating an elaborate plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington is but the latest example.

Indeed, as part of the same plot – though this has gone largely unremarked – the indicted Iranian officials also conspired to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Saudi Embassy in Argentina. By striking at diplomatic targets – indeed, all four of the February attacks targeted Israeli Embassy and consular officials – Iran demonstrates not only its hatred and rejectionism of Israel but its violent rejection of the principle of diplomatic immunity, a foundational principle of international law.

It should be noted that the notorious Quds Force has been at the forefront of Iranian state terror, and has been implicated in the planning, arming or carrying out of attacks against civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, the United States and Asia. Indeed, the IRGC remains the epicenter of threats to international peace and security – to regional and Middle East stability –and is now involved also in the brutal Syrian crackdown on its people, in the beatings, killings and torture, constitutive of crimes against humanity.

US officials have recently acknowledged that aid from Iran to Syria “is increasing, and is increasingly focused on lethal assistance.” Syrian army defectors tell of Iran’s involvement in summary executions, torture and other atrocities carried out against civilians, including the torture of hospital residents.

WHAT IS more, the Revolutionary Guard Corps has been at the forefront of a long-standing global campaign of terror against perceived opponents of the regime. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center has linked senior regime officials to the extrajudicial murder of at least 162 political activists in 18 countries from East Asia through Western Europe to the United States. In a particularly brazen incident, Iranian agents assassinated four Kurdish activists at a Berlin restaurant in 1992.

A Berlin court concluded that “Iran’s political leadership ordered the crime.”

By its ongoing and escalating statesponsored terror on foreign soil, Iran is in standing violation of every cannon of domestic and international law. Iran also continues to act as chief patron of Hamas and Hezbollah. These groups are not just terrorist entities, though this would be bad enough. But they have an objective which is genocidal – an ideology which is anti-Jewish – not because I say so but because their charters proclaim it – and where terrorism is an instrument for the implementation of their objectives. The recent attacks – all of which targeted Israeli and Jewish institutions – also bore the hallmark of Hezbollah, and follow the January arrest of one of the Hezbollah operatives suspected of planning the attacks in Bangkok. Hezbollah has also been accused of acting at the behest of Iran in the escalating terrorism in Homs, Syria.

The spate of violence is particularly worrying given the recent and incendiary pronouncements by Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, to the effect that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that must be eradicated, and will be eradicated.

Lest there be any ambiguity as to the genocidal intent of Iran’s clerical and political leadership, the supreme leader explained in a subsequent interview that there is a “jurisprudential justification to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel and that Iran must take the helm.”

By training, arming, financing and instigating groups like Hezbollah, the Iranian regime gives violent expression to the genocidal narrative of its leadership.

Indeed, the convergence of Iranian state-sanctioned incitement to genocide and its state-sponsored terrorism has not suddenly emerged in the context of the current standoff with the West over the Iranian nuclear weaponization program. Rather, since the early days of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian terrorist threats have materialized into attacks against civilians around the globe.

The regime’s anti-Jewish brutality was witnessed most vividly on 18 July 1994, when a bomb tore through Argentina’s Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. The Argentinean minister of justice advised me that “this was the worst terrorist atrocity in Argentina since the Second World War.”

The Argentine Judiciary concluded that the attack, which killed 85 people and wounded 300 others, was planned, orchestrated and implemented at the highest echelons of the Iranian leadership, including both the office of the president and the Iranian Embassy in Argentina – yet no Iranian official has been brought to justice for the attack.

On the contrary – and reflective of the culture of impunity that reigns in Iran – Ahmed Vahidi, wanted by Interpol for his role as an organizer of the Argentinean bombing, currently serves as Iran’s Defense Minister, and was appointed in 2009 – Ahmadinejad’s defiant response to Obama’s “outstretched hand” during his year of engagement with Iran.

In a particularly chilling reminder of Iran’s no-holds-barred capacity to engage in state-sponsored terrorism in association with the most deadly of terrorist groups, a New York Federal District Court ruled in December that Tehran materially and directly supported al-Qaida’s devastating September 11 attacks on the United States.

The court’s findings included:

  •  Proof that a Revolutionary Guard contingency plan for unconventional warfare against the US included a plan to crash hijacked airlines into the World Trade Centres and the Pentagon.
  •  Proof of coded messages from an Iranian government official during the weeks before 9/11 to the effect that the aforementioned plan had been activated.
  •  Evidence that Iran facilitated the escape of al-Qaida leadership from Afghanistan during the US invasion.
  •  Evidence that Ali Khamenei was aware of the 9/11 attacks as early as May 2001.
  •  Evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives met with the 9/11 hijackers in the months leading up to the attacks.

Given the evidence of the escalating Iranian state sponsorship of international terrorism – and the increasing targeting of diplomats – all states have the responsibility to invoke the legal, diplomatic, economic and political instruments at their disposal to confront Iranian terrorist aggression. These instruments include, but are certainly not limited to: increasing bilateral and multilateral diplomatic and economic sanctions; the mobilization of political pressure to isolate the Iranian regime as a pariah among nations; and invoking legal remedies against the Iranian regime and its terrorist agents.

Specifically, State Parties to the Genocide Convention should initiate interstate complaints before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Iran – also a state party to the Genocide Convention – for its incitement to genocide, a violation of the Convention.

Similarly, states may bring Iran before the ICJ for its attacks against diplomats, pursuant to the Islamic Republic’s obligations under Article 13 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, which it ratified in 1978.

States should also list the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an organization that has been at the vanguard of the Islamic Republic’s campaign of state terrorism, as a terrorist entity. The Argentinean Judiciary’s decision – and resulting Interpol arrest warrants – should be enforced. Civil suits should be instituted where appropriate against Iran and its terrorist agents for its perpetration of acts of terror; and the principle of universal jurisdiction should be invoked to hold Iran’s leaders – under indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity – accountable.

Ahmed Vahidi, such an indicted criminal, should not be able to travel freely with impunity.

Simply put, the recent wave of terrorist attacks must serve as a wake-up call for the necessary action to be taken by the international community to combat this culture of incitement, terror and impunity. Indeed, history teaches us that a sustained and coordinated international response is required in combat such grave threats to peace and security. We must act now to hold Iran’s state-sanctioned terror to account, lest more lives be lost. Such Iranian statesanctioned terror is a chilling warning of what dangers await the international community should Iran become a nuclear power.

Irwin Cotler is a member of the Canadian Parliament, emeritus professor of law at McGill University and a former minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada. He is the Canadian representative on the International Parliamentary Coalition Against Terrorism and has initiated a series of civil and criminal remedies to combat terror.

Europe faces ‘jihadist’ threat

Filed under: al Qaeda, Europe, Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, National Security — - @ 1:49 pm

Source Pakistan Daily Times

Europe faces ‘jihadist’ threat

* Experts believe al Qaeda’s new strategy is to stop acting like network

BERLIN: With France’s deadly attacks, terrorism has apparently struck once more in the heart of Europe – and authorities say there’s a dangerous twist: the emergence of homegrown extremists operating independent of any known networks, making them hard to track and stop.

“We have a different kind of jihadist threat emerging and it’s getting stronger,” Europol chief Rob Wainwright told The Associated Press in an exclusive telephone interview from The Hague. “It is much more decentralised and harder to track.”

France’s motorcycle gunman traumatised a nation heading into presidential elections and spread fears across the continent that the specter of al Qaeda was once again threatening daily life.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, sowed his terror over the course of a week, killing paratroopers, Jewish children and a rabbi. He died on Thursday in a shootout after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up.

Wainwright warned that Europe faces a tough challenge ahead.

Other European terror authorities echoed that view, saying that apprehending suspicious individuals with no clear connections to terrorist networks is legally problematic.

German officials expressed the same frustration in the case of Arid Uka, a Kosovo Albanian who gunned down two American airmen and wounded two others last year at the Frankfurt airport before being captured. Aside from illegally acquiring a handgun, the 22-year-old, who was convicted last month, had committed no crime until he shot his first victim in the back of the head.

Some experts believe that al Qaeda’s new strategy is, in fact, to stop acting like a network.

Encouraging individuals to carry out terrorist attacks, without organising them in cells, has become integral to the terrorist organisation’s modus operandi, said Noman Benotman, a former extremist with links to al Qaeda and who now works for the London-based Quilliam Foundation.

“They are part of the overall al Qaeda strategy, and they are part of the instructions – or suggestions, if you will – for groups and individuals seeking guidance or inspiration,” he said.

A British security official said the key to targeting this brand of individualised terror was figuring out whether people were simply thinking extremist thoughts or would truly turn violent.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Merah’s 29-year-old brother, Abdelkader, was involved, and are searching for accomplices who might have encouraged Merah to kill or furnished the means to do so.

Merah told negotiators he killed to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children and to protest the French army’s involvement in Afghanistan as well as France ‘law against the burqa.

French authorities have acknowledged that Merah had been under surveillance for years and that his travels to Afghanistan and Pakistan were known to French intelligence, raising the question of whether security services might have been able to act against him before he was able to carry out his attacks .

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told German media that there were striking similarities between the Uka and Merah attacks, and that it drives home the need for a “security partnership” between intelligence services and extremist groups and communities.

U.S. Aid Goes to Egypt Whether Legal or Not

Source  Stop RadicalIslam.org

U.S. Aid Goes to Egypt Whether Legal or Not

With or without the required Congressional approval, it appears that U.S. President Barak Obama will begin sending aid to the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt.

Congress has withheld the annual $1.5 billion aid since the crisis with the American NGO workers began. In addition, a law passed by the U.S. Congress in December prohibits sending the aid unless the U.S. State Department can avow that Egypt is beginning to give basic freedoms and human rights to its citizens.

News outlets across America are reporting that Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are planning to circumvent that law on national security grounds. The sources cited in the reports are senior administration officials and others who have been privy to this information but who are not at liberty to speak publicly.

Administration sources explained that “national security grounds” means that withholding the aid will worsen America’s ties with Egyptians leaders, including the military, which still holds the power over the government.

Under the plan, as reported by The New York Times, Egypt would receive incremental amounts of the aid money, not in a lump sum as has always been the practice. The idea of the smaller sums would be so that the U.S. could maintain at least a modicum of pressure on Egypt.

Obama is also wary of creating mass unemployment among the many U.S. defense contractors that benefit from the Egyptian aid money during an election year. Human rights organizations have commented on the pressure exerted by the Pentagon to release the funds.

“That’s not a negligible factor. If contracts can’t be paid, production lines will shut down and jobs will be lost,” acknowledged one senior administration official. “But those aspects have to be balanced against other factors such as our ability to work with the new government, how much democratic progress has been made and where we still have concerns.”

At the same time, the U.S. would like to see who will win the Egyptian presidential elections, although with an Islamist majority recently elected to the Egyptian parliament, there is no reason to believe the presidential election will not go the same way.

2012/03/21

Health worker, 2 teachers abducted in Philippines

Filed under: Jihad, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Philippines, Shari'a Law — - @ 8:45 am

Source Article Link: Miami Herald

Health worker, 2 teachers abducted in Philippines

The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines — Officials say suspected Muslim militants have abducted a Filipino health worker after stopping an ambulance in the restive southern Philippines.

Police Director Felicisimo Khu said Tuesday that Abu Sayyaf militants were believed responsible for the abduction on Jolo Island. The al-Qaida-linked rebels are also holding five foreigners for ransom, including an Australian and two Europeans.

In another southern province, police say gunmen believed to be members of a kidnapping gang seized two local teachers in a remote mountain village near Iligan city. Senior Inspector Arnel Polo suspects extortion as the motive.

Proliferation of weapons and the presence of criminals and Muslim rebels have caused unrest in parts of the southern Philippines for decades.

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