Mad Dog Republican Leaders Make Bid To Free Egypt’s Rabid Islamists

McCain, Graham urge Egyptian government to release Islamist prisoners during Cairo visit

foxnews

Two Republican senators said Tuesday that they’ve personally urged the Egyptian government to release Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, after hosting meetings with top officials in Cairo as part of an Obama administration-sanctioned visit.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is in Cairo along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-.S.C., made clear that the two U.S. lawmakers are representing the views of Congress and “do not speak for the White House.”

Still, they are among the most prominent U.S. representatives in the country this week, as a wave of international mediators tries to nudge the country’s military-backed government to resolve the standoff with supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt’s interim presidency denounced “foreign pressure” in a sign of its growing impatience with international mediations.

But McCain and Graham said they urged Egypt’s government to release Islamist prisoners supportive of Morsi before starting negotiations. He said those negotiations should include the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We have urged a national dialogue that is inclusive of all parties that will renounce the use of violence. We have strongly urged a set timetable for amending of the constitutions, elections for the parliament followed by elections to the presidency,” McCain said.

McCain said the senators’ “main message” is that democracy is the only path to lasting stability. He called on all sides to refrain from violence.

Graham said his “worst nightmare” is that Egypt fails. Addressing the concerns of Morsi’s many detractors, Graham said that while he believes Morsi was brought to office in a free election, “millions of Egyptians were upset at the way this country was being governed.”

“Now we’re here to start over,” Graham said. “Al Qaeda’s biggest hope is that you fail.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Western Media Claim Bandar Bribed Putin With Renewed Arms Deal To Abandon Syria

[SEE  Russia eyes $4 bln arms contract with Saudis , 05-14-2008]

Exclusive: Saudi offers Russia deal to scale back Assad support – sources

yahoonews-logo

 

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Amena Bakr

AMMAN/DOHA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has offered Russia economic incentives including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

The proposed deal between two of the leading power brokers in Syria’s devastating civil war was set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, they said.

Russia has supported Assad with arms and diplomatic cover throughout the war and any change in Moscow’s stance would remove a major obstacle to action on Syria by the United Nations Security Council.

Syrian opposition sources close to Saudi Arabia said Prince Bandar offered to buy up to $15 billion of Russian weapons as well as ensuring that Gulf gas would not threaten Russia’s position as a main gas supplier to Europe.

In return, Saudi Arabia wanted Moscow to ease its strong support of Assad and agree not to block any future Security Council Resolution on Syria, they said.

A Gulf source familiar with the matter confirmed that Prince Bandar offered to buy large quantities of arms from Russia, but that no cash amount was specified in the talks.

One Lebanese politician close to Saudi Arabia said the meeting between Bandar and Putin lasted four hours. “The Saudis were elated about the outcome of the meeting,” said the source, without elaborating.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, could not immediately be reached on Wednesday for comment about the meeting. A Saudi Foreign Ministry official was also not immediately available to respond.

Putin’s initial response to Bandar’s offer was inconclusive, diplomats say. One Western diplomat in the Middle East said the Russian leader was unlikely to trade Moscow’s recent high profile in the region for an arms deal, however substantial.

He said Russian officials also appeared skeptical that Saudi Arabia had a clear plan for stability in Syria if Assad fell.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

However, in a possible sign of greater flexibility by Moscow, other diplomats said that in the run-up to the meeting Russia put pressure on Assad to allow in a U.N. mission to investigate the suspected use of chemical weapons.

The U.N. team is expected to visit Syria next week.

“This was one of those unannounced meetings that could prove much more important than the public diplomatic efforts being made on Syria,” one diplomat said.

A senior Syrian opposition figure said there had been a “build-up of Russian-Saudi contacts prior to the meeting”.

“Bandar sought to allay two main Russian fears: that Islamist extremists will replace Assad, and that Syria would become a conduit for Gulf, mainly Qatari, gas at the expense of Russia,” he said. “Bandar offered to intensify energy, military and economic cooperation with Moscow.”

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim powers have been strong supporters of the mainly Sunni rebels battling Assad, from Syria’s minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. The rebels have been joined by foreign Sunni jihadis.

Assad has enjoyed military support from Iran and fighters from Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ites.

Russia has maintained military sales to Syria throughout the two year conflict in which 100,000 people have been killed, and helped block three U.N. draft resolutions criticizing Assad’s crackdown on the mainly peaceful protests against him in 2011.

The Security Council has been considering a possible resolution on aid for Syria for several months and a shift in position by Moscow could alleviate this.

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based defense think tank CAST, said he had no direct knowledge of the offer, but he would not be surprised if a contract to supply Saudi Arabia with 150 Russian T-90 tanks were revived.

“There was an order of T-90s that was stopped for mysterious reasons, and if this is a resurrection of that order then we could suspect that the Saudis want something in return and that something could be linked to Syria,” said Pukhov, who is close to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

“If the Saudis want Moscow to outright drop Assad, they will refuse the deal, but they may have a more nuanced position, which they could possibly agree to.”

Russia and Saudi Arabia penned an arms contract in 2008 for 150 T-90s as well as more than 100 Mi-17 and Mi-35 attack helicopters as well as BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, but the contract has stalled for years.

Russian newspaper Kommersant reported at the time that the contract was concluded to persuade Moscow to curtail its ties with Iran, though the Kremlin denied that report.

(Additional reporting by Thomas Grove in Moscow; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Alleged “Zawahiri Plot” Just More Fake News To Maintain the Ignorance of the American Masses

[Which is more ridiculous…The idea that the alleged leader of “al-CIA-da” would risk an international conference call, exposing all of his primary subordinates to tracing by agencies, or that any of these Al-Q affiliates had the ability to carry-out meaningful strikes in the US or Europe?  Did the omnipotent US intelligence agencies who monitored this fantastical call bother tracing any of them?  Forget about tracing, the “whereabouts” of some of those callers had to be known already, by someone.  Why weren’t any of them arrested, to great media fanfarew?  What reason or right does the Western media invoke to justify turning implied threats to non-specific targets in the Middle East into some sort of “news” national emergency?  Zawahiri can’t even control one leader of “al-qaeda in Iraq and Syria.”  Why should anyone believe that he has operational control over all these national terrorist groups?  This is all Obama B.S., pure diversion, intended to distract us while Saudi Arabia regroups in Syria and Lebanon.]

Al Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted by U.S. Officials Sparked Alerts

the daily beast

Aug 7, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

It wasn’t just any terrorist message that triggered U.S. terror alerts and embassy closures—but a conference call of more than 20 far-flung al Qaeda operatives, Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report.

The crucial intercept that prompted the U.S. government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al Qaeda’s senior leaders and representatives of several of the group’s affiliates throughout the region.

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This file image from video the AP obtained Feb. 12, 2012, from the SITE Intel Group, an American private terrorist threat analysis company, shows al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a web posting by al-Qaeda’s media arm, as-Sahab.

The intercept provided the U.S. intelligence community with a rare glimpse into how al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, manages a global organization that includes affiliates in Africa, the Middle East, and southwest and southeast Asia.

Several news outlets reported Monday on an intercepted communication last week between Zawahiri and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate based in Yemen. But The Daily Beast has learned that the discussion between the two al Qaeda leaders happened in a conference call that included the leaders or representatives of the top leadership of al Qaeda and its affiliates calling in from different locations, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. All told, said one U.S. intelligence official, more than 20 al Qaeda operatives were on the call.

To be sure, the CIA had been tracking the threat posed by Wuhayshi for months. An earlier communication between Zawahiri and Wuhayshi delivered through a courier was picked up last month, according to three U.S. intelligence officials. But the conference call provided a new sense of urgency for the U.S. government, the sources said.

Al Qaeda members included representatives or leaders from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and more obscure al Qaeda affiliates such as the Uzbekistan branch. Also on the call were representatives of aspiring al Qaeda affiliates such as al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a U.S. intelligence official. The presence of aspiring al Qaeda affiliates operating in the Sinai was one reason the State Department closed the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, according to one U.S. intelligence official. “These guys already proved they could hit Eilat. It’s not out of the range of possibilities that they could hit us in Tel Aviv,” the official said.

Al Qaeda leaders had assumed the conference calls, which give Zawahiri the ability to manage his organization from a remote location, were secure. But leaks about the original intercepts have likely exposed the operation that allowed the U.S. intelligence community to listen in on the al Qaeda board meetings.

On Tuesday’s “Tonight Show,” President Obama addressed the al Qaeda terrorist threat, saying it is “significant enough that we’re taking every precaution.”

“This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom.”

“This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom,” one U.S. intelligence officer told The Daily Beast, referring to the coalition of villains featured in the Saturday morning cartoon Super Friends. The official said Zawahiri announced to the broader organization during the meeting that Wuhayshi had been promoted to “Ma’sul al-Amm,” an Arabic term that roughly translates as “general manager.” The promotion effectively gave the leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen operational control of al Qaeda’s many affiliates throughout the Muslim world, the official said, a key factor that led the State Department to close embassies, missions, and consulates throughout the region. “All you need to do is look at that list of places we shut down to get a sense of who was on the phone call,” the official said.

Also during the meeting, the various al Qaeda leaders discussed in vague terms plans for a pending attack and mentioned that a team or teams were already in place for such an attack. For some leading members of Congress, the revelation that al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan is actively managing and directing the operations of several affiliates directly refutes the Obama administration’s repeated assertion that the leadership of the core of the group has been decimated by American drone strikes and special operations forces while the affiliate groups have been strengthened.

“This may punch a sizable hole in the theory that al Qaeda is on the run,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama often said that his administration’s actions put al Qaeda “on its heels,” although he later amended that claim to specify that he was referring to al Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The administration continued to make that argument Monday.

“We’ve been clear that we have made a great deal of success against al Qaeda core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that we have taken a number of steps to really decimate that group’s leadership, including, of course, most importantly, Osama bin Laden,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday. “But at the same time, we’ve all made clear, from the president on down, that we remain very concerned about the affiliates, al Qaeda affiliates throughout the world. And in that—first on that list is always AQAP.”

McCain said not only are the affiliates gaining strength but also that the core al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan is showing resilience, as evidenced by this latest news.

“The core seems to be able to able to reconstitute itself. The core also seems to be able to coordinate and manage the affiliates,” he said. “There was a gross underestimation by this administration of al Qaeda’s overall ability to replenish itself.”

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Eli Lake is the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He previously covered national security and intelligence for The Washington Times. Lake has also been a contributing editor at The New Republic since 2008 and covered diplomacy, intelligence, and the military for the late New York Sun. He has lived in Cairo and traveled to war zones in Sudan, Iraq, and Gaza. He is one of the few journalists to report from all three members of President Bush’s axis of evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

Josh Rogin is senior correspondent for national security and politics for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He previously worked at Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine, and Japan’s leading daily newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Syria is Controlled Chaos

‘Syria is Controlled Chaos’



A year after Syrian Kurds took over their areas, the region is experiencing unprecedented violence as al-Qaeda affiliates try to take over. DW spoke to the co-leaders of the main party of Syria’s biggest minority.

Asia Abdullah and Salih Muslim are co-Chairs of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)

DW: From the beginning of the uprising in March 2011, Syria’s Kurds vowed a “third way” – neither with Assad, nor with the insurgents. What is your assessment at this point?

Asia Abdullah: In July 2012 we managed to take control of our areas but today we have clashes mainly with Jabat al Nusra and other al-Qaeda affiliates but our defence committees are succeeding in pushing them out. It’s a difficult situation since Turkey blocks our northern border, Jabat al Nusra prevents us from having trade relations with the rest of Syria and the Iraqi Kurdistan region has also closed the border. Our stake from the very beginning was that of a peaceful revolution and we’ve remained in a self-defence position ever since. We already suffered under Assad’s regime for decades so no Kurd from Syria is prepared to allow anyone else to interfere in our own decisions. However, the Syrian conflict is not military but a political one that will only be settled when all the foreign agents involved wish so.

There’s a lot of speculation over whether you’ll declare your own autonomous region in the short term.

AA: We are not willing to break with Syria but just looking for a temporary civil administration to meet the most urgent demands of our people. And I want to underline that it’s a temporary solution because we don’t know what the scenario will be in Syria in a year or two. We cannot rely on hopes for the future so we have to do something on the ground for our people right now.

PKK fighters are said to be heading for Syria after pulling out of Turkey. Is there any truth to that?

AA: Those are just rumors from sectors who want to blow up both the peace process between Ankara and the PKK and the revolution of the Syrian Kurds. We already have our own popular defence committees, the YPG, and they are proving that they are capable of defending our territory. They are defending the Syrian Kurdish people as a whole and they should be our armed forces when we have a government of our own.

Women seem to be playing an increasingly important role in the Kurdish revolution. Could you explain this aspect?

AA: We are fuelling two simultaneous revolutions: that of our nation and that of women. All of our organizations, social, political military etc, are built up on quotas of 40 percent for women, another 40 percent for men and 20 percent for individuals regardless of their sex. Since the beginning of the revolution we have set up 16 centers to assist women as well as three academies in Afrin, Qamishlo and Kobani (Syrian Kurdish towns) that seek to eliminate the patriarchal mindset ruling society for thousands of years.

Is Assad winning this war?

Salih Muslim: Everyone knew that a government shift in Syria would affect the whole Middle East region, that’s why Russia and Iran are backing Damascus so fiercely. In addition, the entrenchment of the conflict is leading to several unexpected phenomena, like Washington labelling Jabat al Nura as a “terrorist organization” or the bloody nature of the ongoing conflict. Nobody expected such a brutal war. Today we cannot say that Assad is stronger, it’s simply that, after two and a half years, the opposition is weaker and fragmented in a myriad of different branches with support from both outside and inside Syria diminishing by the day. The weakness of the Free Syrian Army makes it difficult for them to distance themselves from Islamic radicals because the latter have more military power. Besides, we should not forget that today no Syrian wants their country to turn into an emirate. We saw all this very clearly from the beginning and now the rest of the country is starting to open its eyes.

Who benefits from this turmoil?

SM: There are clear and obvious agents such as Turkey and Iran but others remain in the shadow. Some want to subject the whole area to constant chaos. It could be France, it could be the United States… I truly believe that Syria’s is a controlled chaos, part of an overall plan for the whole Middle East region. One day they support the government, and the opposition the following one. It’s like a game that helps to strengthen or weaken, and not only that but the whole region depending on the interests.

It appears that you have been left to deal with a Cold War-type scenario between East and West. Is anybody backing the Kurds in Syria?

SM: Only the Kurds in the other three regions of Kurdistan (Kurds are divided by the borders of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria). The greatest paradox of all is that the Syrian Kurdish society is a democratic one in its deepest roots. Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Armenians have lived together and in harmony for centuries. From the beginning of the revolution we have vowed for a democratic and secular society that defends women’s rights, boosts education. The PYD advocates a “radical democracy” or “direct self- determination,” basically decentralizing power so that people are able to take and execute their own decisions. It could be good for all the Syrians too because it is a more sophisticated version of the concept of democracy that matches many of the recent social movements in Europe. We should be a natural ally of the West in the region but I strongly believe that your governments are not telling the truth about us to your people.

Are you optimistic about the peace process underway between Turkey and the PKK?

SM: On the one hand we understand that the changes in the Middle East demand it. However, it is the ninth unilateral ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK so it’s not easy to be optimistic. The fact is that the Kurds have taken important steps such as the withdrawal of their fighters from Kurdish areas inside Turkey whereas Ankara has not yet moved forward. Turkey needs to decide whether it wants to be part of the Middle East or to be destroyed.

http://www.dw.de

© 2013, Assyrian International News Agency.  All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Syrian troops kill 70 armed rebels in ambushes near Damascus

Syrian troops kill 70 armed rebels in ambushes near Damascus

Xinhua net
English.news.cn   2013-08-07

DAMASCUS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — The Syrian army has ambushed a group of armed rebels who were trying to sneak into a suburb of the capital Damascus, killing 70 of them, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported Wednesday.

The rebels were ambushed while trying to infiltrate into the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus from the Adra area, the report said.

The incident came as the rebels have recently stepped up their attacks in northern and western Syria, seizing a strategic airbase in Aleppo province and unleashing a ferocious battle against several towns in the countryside of the coastal Latakia province.

The flare of violence came at a time when the international community is trying to push for the planned international conference on Syria which was designed to hammer out a political solution to the country’s 28-month civil conflict.

Unimaginable Horror On Video—Bandar’s Terrorists Burn Three Kurds Alive

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Terrorists in Syria set Kurds on fire – next horrible event after recent massacre.

intifada

A new horrible video has been published on the internet and the gruesome video shows how foreign-supported terrorists in Syria are setting three Syrian Kurds on fire, while the perpetrators show no signs of humanity and hesitation before they have set the three Kurds on fire.

The gruesome video includes horrible images and therefore we have to warn about these presented images of this next horrible crime by the foreign-backed terrorists on Syrian soil.

In addition, such published videos about these gruesome crimes of the terrorist groups (e.g. Free Syrian Army / FSA) or the jihadist brigades of the Syrian Al-Qaeda offshoot (Jabhat al-Nusra / al-Nusra Front) are wilfully published to brag about such committed crimes by them.

There are even many terrorist supporters (worldwide) who cherish such videos including these crimes and even support such acts against people of other sects or nationality.

It is to mention, under consideration of the last two years, that several governments in the West should start to investigate these kind of supporters of horrible crimes perpetrated in Syria against civilians within their country borders. There is probably not a huge step from supporting such crimes in Syria and to perpetrate such crimes by yourself later.

After the recent massacre against over 400 Kurdish civilians, including the horrible number of 120 children and many innocent women, perpetrated by a group of the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch just recently, this gruesome video on the internet, which has been published yesterday, shows the next horrible crime by such an al-Qaeda-affiliated group. Of course, these al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria operate as affiliated jihadist brigades of the main group – the Jabhat al-Nusra / al-Nusra Front.

While the massacre against over 400 Kurdish civilians by a violent jihadist brigade of the so-called al-Nusra Front is still probably the worst committed crime against civilians on Syrian soil since the beginning of the foreign-supported proxy war and terrorism against the Arab nation and its civilians, in order to topple the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the secular government in the capital Damascus, this new gruesome video how Islamists of the al-Nusra Front set three Syrian Kurds on fire is the next evidence for the huge level of readiness for violence by such dangerous groups – which have enjoyed (not so long ago) the support by some foreign states as well as by the totalitarian dictatorship in Saudi Arabia in order to carry out their terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, and other crimes against Syrian civilians and government buildings.

Just in the moment when the foreign backers recognized that the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch becomes more powerful than their favoured criminals and terrorists of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), these foreign powers changed their stance in terms of the supported Al-Qaeda groups in Syria, the al-Nusra Front and its affiliated armed gangs on Syrian soil.

At least, Washington started to prevent a power grab by these armed jihadists in Syria and the situation that the Al-Qaeda branch in the Arab nation becomes more powerful than their supported criminals of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and even has been already in a position in which they were able to win all the armed infighting against the FSA has finally scared the Obama administration in the United States. The arming of jihadists, Islamists, and criminals from jail houses all over the Arab world was and is never a good idea, isn’t it?

The gruesome video shows the moment when a group of the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) is pouring a flammable liquid on the hand-cuffed, blind-folded Syrian Kurds. It seems the situation that the three Kurds belong to an armed group of the Syrian Kurds and became the poor hostages of these violent sectarian Islamists after recent clashes between both sides in northern or north-western Syria.

After pouring the flammable liquid on the hand-cuffed and blind-folded three men, the members of the al-Nusra Front pushed the Syrian Kurds into a fire they had already prepared to burn the three hostages to death.

While the video cannot be independently verified in terms of its authenticity, it is at least the situation, especially after the recent gruesome massacre against 450 Syrian Kurds, including about 120 children, in northern Syria (Tal Abyad), perpetrated by armed jihadists of the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) that the information about this video and the visible scenes are sadly easier to believe than a year ago.

There is probably no more a single reason to not believe that these armed Islamist brigades (or the criminals of the foreign-supported “Free Syrian Army”) are capable of such inhuman crimes against hostages and civilians on Syrian soil.

Source: Syria News