Egyptian-Saudi naval exercises wrapped up

Egyptian-Saudi naval exercises wrapped up


The navies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Thursday wrapped up the Morgan 14 joint training exercises.

The exercises, which lasted for several days, took place around the area of Egypt’s Red Sea naval base in the presence of a number of Arab and African observers.

The exercises came within the framework of a plan for joint training of the Armed Forces of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to measure the skills and capabilities of troops in implementing and managing tasks in joint combat.

The training aims at raising the combat readiness and exchange experience in planning, implementing and controlling different units in the operations theater.

Proof That Pak Army Picks CIA Drone Targets In FATA

[The CIA has helped the ISI to “disappear” one of the pesky “Adiala 11″ (SEE:  The “Adiala 11″ Disappeared Were Suspects in GHQ Bombing and Musharraf Assassination Attempt).  All of the suspects in the GHQ assault were members of the “Amjad Farooqi Cell,” (SEE:  Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators? ), named after the top dog in Lashkar e-Jhangvi, the Punjabi root of the terrorist vine which leads back to the Army and to Special Forces commando Ilyas Kashmiri (who was allegedly killed near the site of this latest drone attack). The reported victims of CIA murders have a way of reappearing again, whenever the agency needs them in new hot spots.  We have no ability to determine who dies in these drone attacks, or even if anybody dies at all.  If there are no recognizable photos to document a celebrated terrorist leader’s demise, then it is wise to question the validity of first press reports.

The Pak Army’s publicity apparatus and “iron fist” are very effective at dominating public opinion.  Wake-up, Imran Kahn!  The culprits behind CIA drone deaths work from offices in Rawalpindi, as well as in Kabul.  The first step towards ending drone deaths is to put an end to the official lie which denies Army complicity in drone deaths.]        

Militant involved in GHQ attack injured in drone attack

the news pak 
PESHAWAR: Two militants, including an accused linked with attack on Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, were also injured in the US drone attack that targeted a compound in Miranshah town of North Waziristan.According to sources, Aslam alias Yaseen is linked with attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) and another attack on the naval base in Karachi.The sources further said that three militants were killed in the drone strike. Two militants were from Punjab.

They said that the injured militants have been taken to hospital. The militants were fighting in Afghanistan, the sources claimed.

The militants were living in the attacked compound for four months, the sources added.

Syrian Rebels Killing Assad-Supporters In Tripoli


Attacks against Alawites in Tripoli ongoing

daily star


By Antoine Amrieh, Misbah al-Ali

This picture taken with a mobile phone shows a member of the Alawite community wounded in Tripoli, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

This picture taken with a mobile phone shows a member of the Alawite community wounded in Tripoli, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Three Alawite men were shot and wounded in broad daylight in the Zaharieh neighborhood of Tripoli Thursday, the latest in a string of sectarian attacks targeting the minority group in the northern city.

A security source identified one of the shooting victims as Said al-Ali.

The attack was claimed by the “Military Committee to Avenge the Victims of the Tripoli Bombings,” a group co-founded by Salafist Sheikh Salem al-Rafei, a critic of the Syrian regime and Lebanon’s Arab Democratic Party.

The assault on the three men came as tensions were already on the rise after a soldier was wounded by gunfire while taking down Syrian flags in the neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.

It was not clear who was responsible for shooting the soldier in the Alawite-dominated neighborhood. A separate Army unit had also been removing Syrian opposition flags in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh at the time of the incident.

The flags of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah were raised hours after the shooting incident in Zaharieh. Bab al-Tabbaneh residents followed suit by raising opposition flags and pictures of Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir.

Banners were also raised that read: “Do not think you have triumphed against Assir in Sidon; know that the men of al-Tabbaneh will be ready to confront you.”

The Army deployed heavily in parts of the city, particularly along Syria Street, which separates the two areas.

A woman was wounded by sporadic sniper fire, and a hand grenade was tossed in the Baal al-Darwish area, which forced many shop owners on Syria Street to close their businesses for the day, fearing renewed clashes. Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh have intermittently engaged in battles since the uprising in Syria began.

A soldier named Alaa Al-Rifai was also wounded after a gunfire exchange between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh and was transported to the Notre Dame Hospital in Zghorta.

Hours later, several gunmen erected a checkpoint in the area of Al-Baqqar to prevent Alawites from entering the neighborhood. Soldiers intervened in to arrest the men and dismantle the checkpoint. A number of young men also tried to erect a checkpoint at Al-Beddawi highway to prevent Alawites from crossing.

A grenade was thrown later in Al-Baqqar, wounding a man and woman.

Rumors spread throughout the city Wednesday that attacks against Alawites would continue until Jabal Mohsen handed over two men with suspected links to the Aug. 23 bombings, including Arab Democratic Party head Ali Eid. Unidentified assailants Wednesday fired on three Alawite men in separate instances, prompting their coreligionists in the northern city to circulate warnings to their fellow Alawites not to stray from their neighborhoods.

The car bombings outside two mosques in Tripoli killed at least 47 people and wounded hundreds. Most of the seven suspects in the case have links to the ADP and Syrian intelligence.

Ali Eid was charged with aiding the smuggling of a suspect across the border into Syria. He has failed to appear in court for questioning over his role.

Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr rejected earlier this month a request to drop charges and revoke a search warrant against Eid.

France and Spain Demand UNIFIL Chief’s Head For Blocking Zionist Incursioins

UNIFIL Lebanon Navy

UNIFIL Maritime Task Force joint exercise with LAF Navy

Lebanese, UNIFIL navies carry out exercises to enhance cooperation

The Lebanese and UNIFIL navies carried out a training exercise off the Lebanese coast on Monday during which UNIFIL Commander General Claudio Graziano said that the drills are to strengthen cooperation and coordination between naval and ground forces.

He emphasized the importance of the Lebanese navy’s participation in the exercises, since “it will be fully responsible for safeguarding Lebanon’s waters in the future.”

-NOW Staff

France and Spain want to replace UNIFIL commander, Al-Anbaa reports

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa reported on Wednesday that France and Spain are coordinating to replace Italian UNIFIL Commander General Claudio Graziano with a French or Spanish general.

A source told the paper that Israel supports the decision, since it has never been on good terms with General Graziano and had always accused him of not shouldering his responsibilities.

-NOW Staff

Sunni Efforts to force Iran Into Seeking Shi’ite Nuclear Bomb

Why Iran Needs a Shi’ite Bomb?

guardian express lv

Five reasons why Iran needs to acquire nuclear prowess


Iran desperately needs a Shi’ite atomic bomb and sooner or later it will build one. Whether, the comity of nations approves or not, the time when Iran acquires nuclear capability is near.Why?

First, Iran in order to safeguard its national and international interests needs the nuclear deterrence. It is perhaps the only way Iran can ensure its sovereign existence in a region dominated by Sunni powers. The hostile stance of Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern states as far as Iran is concerned was clear as when they showed their unhappiness at the deal recently signed between it and the P 5+1 powers at Geneva.

Second, Iran needs to have nuclear capability because its arch nemesis Israel possesses a nuclear bomb. Iran needs one as well because of the hawkish stance and hegemonic designs of Israel as far as the Middle East is concerned.

Third, it is an old maxim that necessity is the mother of invention, this fits the present situation Iran finds itself in. If Iran does not acquire the much-needed nuclear capability in the form of a Shi’ite atomic device, its existence as a free state among the comity of nations is at stake. As far as Iran and its nuclear program is not a luxury but a dire necessity.

Fourth, the stance adopted by Iran is similar to that adopted by other nations that  were on the verge of becoming nuclear powers. On the one hand these states followed the instructions or rather dictates of  United Nations, but in reality, on the other hand continued to develop their nuclear prowess. This is the precedent, as far as “rogue” nations are concerned. Pakistan built its bomb this way so did North Korea. On the one hand these nations complied or at least seemed to comply with the wishes of the states that wanted them not to develop their atomic arsenal and on the other hand these states secretly kept on enriching uranium and make centrifuges, so that one fateful day they successfully tested their bomb.

Fifth, Iran needs a Shi’ite bomb in order to maintain the balance of power which at the present moment is tilted heavily in favor of Israel and the Sunni states in the region. It is paradoxical but it is true and a point that needs serious mention here is that all the nations that don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons are themselves nuclear powers, so they really don’t possess the moral high ground to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state.

When all the above stated reasons are taken into account, it becomes clear why Iran is so desperate to possess nuclear capability. The odds against Iran are stacked up so high that Iran is left with little or even no other option but to go on enhancing its nuclear capabilities.

History will record whether the west and America were successful in stopping Iran from pursuing its nefarious dream but as far as Iran is concerned it essentially needs a Shi’ite atomic bomb in the present strategic situation.

An Editorial by Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada

Guardian Express

Saudi Paranoid Delusions and Ethiopian Maid/Terrorists/Agents of Iran

stop violence against ethiopians

Gov’t to halt housemaids’ travel to Saudi Arabia


The Arab nation looks for some ten thousand maids per month

“Addressing the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Thursday, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that housemaids destined to Saudi Arabia will not go anymore following the harsh conditions they face in the Middle Eastern nation.

Both the mainstream and social media were engaged in reporting the life-threatening hostile working conditions in Middle Eastern nations. Ethiopians are reportedly being found in severe and deadly conditions, with some thrown out of windows (defenestrated).

Following the criticism by activists both at home and abroad, Hailemariam told parliament that until the government is certain of the improved working conditions in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopian maids will be barred from traveling there.”


[Nothing is ever the fault of the Saudis, not even when the royals have to import an entire class of laborers, to do the menial tasks which are “beneath” Saudi dignity.  Saudis don’t brutalize and torture their guest workers, or treat them as slaves….(SEE:  Ethiopian Hell In Saudi Arabia).


If Ethiopian maids or nannies are blamed because a couple of Saudi babies (whose own mothers would not take care of them) died from SID, “sudden infant death” syndrome, then it is oh so clear to the sick, paranoid, camel-riding Saudi mind that thousands of Ethiopian women are agents of Iran. 

And these are the sick, degenerate weirdos who are in charge of shaping US foreign policy for the entire Muslim world.  We DESERVE TO LOSE every war that we use these bastards to get ourselves into!]

Manpower terrorism


Ahmed Mohammed Al-Tuwayan
Are we facing the unknown at the hands of well-trained gangs? Are we dealing with the problem of illegal expatriates who have failed to rectify their residential status or with something more sinister?

The huge number of undocumented expatriates who have infiltrated our country and committed crimes makes us question their intentions.

Even though many of these criminals are Ethiopians, there is no excuse for the Ethiopian ambassador, his government or media to distort the facts to benefit from this crisis. By his statements to the local media, the ambassador is destroying the cordial relationship between our two peoples with a view of creating a political crisis between two friendly countries.

The ambassador is justifying the killing of Saudi children at the hands of Ethiopian housemaids by saying that it is the children themselves who are to blame because of their sick minds.

I will skip the reason why such a large number of illegal Ethiopians have entered our country and try to answer the question: why are there so many crimes? How has the peaceful Ethiopian, as the ambassador has said, been turned into a wild wolf? This hostile attitude by Ethiopians makes us certain that these people are implementing a criminal plot against our country. Many Saudis are convinced of this fact.

The entry of thousands of people of the same nationality into our country and their distribution among various regions is further confirmation of a plot to create disturbances in our country by groups from outside.

A video clip showing Ethiopians in a military parade has exacerbated the situation and has convinced many Saudis that Ethiopians want to terrorize them. It is possible that these Ethiopians are being guided by secret hands which the ambassador knows nothing about.

The war against us is being waged by some international public relations companies and intelligence organizations. Although this is not something new which we are discovering for the first time, we must deal with it intelligently and through unconventional media and communication methods.

All countries deal sternly with illegal migration. We all remember how the former French president Nicolas Sarkozi dealt with a terrorist  act in a Parisian suburb, and France is considered to be a country which has great respect for human rights.

Britain has also dealt sternly with various types of aggression. The British Prime Minister David Cameron has said: “Do not talk to me about human rights when the matter concerns our national security”.

The Kingdom did not repeat what Cameron said nor did it use excessive force against the violators. It has met them with smiling faces and accommodated them in suitable places. It has not tortured any of them including the criminals.

We should immediately deport violators if we want to preserve the dignity of our country. We should use sheer power to face what can only be called “manpower terrorism”.

ISIS Orphans al-Nusra Front, Cutting Its Funding

Syria: ISIS Orphans al-Nusra Front, Cutting Its Funding



Opposition fighters open fire taking cover from behind a car during fightings in the Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 9 October 2013. (Photo: AFP – Karam al-Masri)

By: Radwan Mortada

Published Thursday, October 10, 2013

The conflict between jihadis in Syria is not over. Although the differences have not led to internal armed conflict, the financial impact has hit al-Nusra Front, whose funding was cut off recently by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Attempts at reconciliation have failed, and the ISIS emir rejects arbitration.

The Islamist Spring has only just begun, but its followers are already beginning to split. This is a fatal blow to the jihadis, especially since attempts at arbitration have failed more than once, the reason being Syria. The country used to be “where the heart is” for jihadis, but now they are fighting over its control.

Attempts at mediation by some sheikhs have failed due to the reticence of ISIS emir, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Following al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri’s statement calling for al-Nusra Front to remain in the field and for ISIS to withdraw to its bases, Baghdadi rejected the idea through a voice recording titled, “The State [ISIS] Will Remain.”

The dispute among the emirs led to a conflict on the field between the fighters. This led the ISIS emir to boycott al-Nusra Front’s commander Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Golani, calling him a “renegade who split from the Islamic State.” Additionally, ISIS spokesperson Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in another audio recording, attacked Golani, accusing him of “going against consent, breaking the stick, and sowing the seeds of discord among jihadis.”

Adding to the boycott, ISIS decided to cut off financial and other kinds of support it used to provide to al-Nusra Front, which negatively impacted the morale of Nusra fighters, since all their needs were provided by ISIS.

According to jihadi sources, ISIS’ main source of funding, in addition to ransoming hostages, are the oil fields they control inside Iraq. This has been supplemented recently by oil fields in the Syrian cities of al-Raqqa and Deir al-Zour.

The funding slash went hand-in-hand with an ideological disagreement over the designation of a leader. The decision of whom to follow was left to the fighters and most decided to remain with Nusra. Their position was supported by Zawahiri, who decided to support Golani in this phase. However, hundreds of fighters switched to ISIS, saying “the banner of the State is bigger than that of the Front. Thus, ISIS is more worthy of allegiance.”

To this effect, information is beginning to surface about an internal debate in al-Qaeda’s Supreme Shura Council on whether ISIS in an intrinsic part of the mother organization or if it became an independent jihadi organization.

Al-Nusra Front is now facing a financial crisis and lack of liquidity, but this does not impact its military equipment since its fighters were able to capture weapons factories in several areas. However, the group is now an orphan, despite being the official arm of al-Qaeda. Islamist sources explain that it fights the battle of unifying the Islamist front.

To this effect, an agreement to unify Islamist brigades active in Syria was signed by al-Nusra Front with several groups, the main components of this alliance being Ahrar al-Sham, led by Abu Abdullah al-Hamwi; al-Tawhid brigade, led by Abdul Qadir Saleh; and Liwaa al-Islam led by Zahran Alloush.

Despite rumors about a disagreement between the alliance’s leadership and Alloush, sources from both sides maintain that “the relationship is more than fine.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Saudi Terrorists Assassinate Another “Rebel” Syrian Leader

[If Bandar’s terrorists continue to murder the Syrian opposition, then there will be NO MORE FREE SYRIAN ARMY, only freaking insane “Islamists” will be left on the battlefield (SEE: Al-Qaeda In Iraq Executes 7 “Brigade of Strangers” Terrorists ).  Obama and the CIA cannot help but see this fact, therefore, if Islamist terrorists are murdering the “moderate” opposition, then it is because that is what Obama wants.]

Syria: Did Saudi Assassinate Armed Opposition Leader?


An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on September 12, 2013, shows the Liwa al-Tawhid brigade high commander, Abdul Qader Al-Salih, seaking to rebel fighters at an undisclosed location in Syria. (Photo: AFP – Youtube)

By: Suhaib Anjarini

Taliban Adamant That Prolonging Occupation Rules-Out Peace Negotiations

Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty

Taliban Slams Loya Jirga Bilateral Security Agreement

With the Bilateral Security Agreement between Kabul and Washington in limbo, Taliban commanders say any continued U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan will ensure ‘jihad forever.’

The wizened, battle-hardened Taliban commander, who has been fighting for Mullah Mohammad Omar for the past 15 years, had been considering an option over the past year that he never would have imagined before. He had heard that U.S. and coalition military forces would likely be withdrawing voluntarily from the country by the end of next year. If that proved to be true, he thought, he would seriously contemplate the possibility of leaving the insurgency and trusting that a peace treaty between the Taliban and the Afghan government could be hammered out in the absence of foreign forces.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai holds a copy of a weekly security report during the last day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 24, 2013. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

But his reverie of peace was shattered when a traditional Afghan grand council meeting this past weekend, under the leadership of President Hamid Karzai, unanimously approved a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington that would allow a large contingent of some 10,000 U.S. and coalition troops to remain in Afghanistan for another decade. His immediate reaction to the news was deep disappointment, even outrage. “I was thinking that if all foreign troops left Afghanistan I would seriously consider laying down my weapons and place my hopes in peace,” the commander, who declines to be quoted by name, tells The Daily Beast. “But now I will fight on and never disarm as long as there is a presence of infidel forces in my country. Any hope I had for peace is now dead.”

Like many other Taliban, the commander fails to understand the logic of Kabul wanting to prolong the war for another decade or more, while at the same time killing the prospect of reaching a peaceful settlement to end the destructive 12-year-old conflict. “Doesn’t Kabul understand that peace talks with the Taliban are more important than having foreign forces here,” the commander asks. “The whole point of our long and hard resistance was to expel these foreign troops from the country.”

“Now we will redouble our efforts as more Afghans rally to our cause to fight the remaining invaders,” he adds.

His remarks are echoed throughout the Taliban’s ranks. “This permanent American military presence will continue to fuel the insurgency even more,” says Zabihullah, a senior Taliban political operative who has close ties to the insurgency’s top leadership. “Without the American presence there would have been hope for a negotiated solution but not anymore.”

The new security pact will likely silence forever the moderate Taliban voices that have long been arguing in favor of negotiations. “This is a setback for those Taliban who had been raising their voices in favor of negotiations against those with the ‘jihad forever’ mentality in our ranks,” Zabihullah says. “Now such voices will become weaker, if not silent.”

“With the continuing U.S. military presence, our most militant warriors will have a strong argument for their position of ‘jihad forever,’” he says.

Other Taliban commanders agree. “We have even more justification to attack this government that continues to be protected by U.S. forces,” says Mullah Haji Jan Muhammad Akhund, a Taliban commander in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. “Karzai just sold our precious mud and land to the Americans for another decade or longer. This cannot be tolerated.”

“This is a setback for those Taliban who had been raising their voices in favor of negotiations against those with the ‘jihad forever’ mentality in our ranks.”

One senior Taliban officer is even buoyed by the BSA. He expects it will motivate younger Afghans to flock to the Taliban now that it seems foreign forces will stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, pushing any peace deal off the table. “This long-term presence of infidel forces will definitely attract more Afghans to the jihad,” the officer says. “Now everyone knows there is no hope for peace talks any longer, and that we are now entering into 10 or more years of war.”

Zabihullah believes the pact will also put the Taliban back on the global jihadists’ map. “The continued presence of U.S. troops for years to come will serve to attract worldwide jihadists back to our cause,” he says.

A senior government minister in Kabul is more sanguine about the possibility of eventually restarting peace talks. He doesn’t believe that the prospect of peace negotiations with the Taliban has vanished with the passage of the security agreement. “Perhaps in the short run it is understandable that the Taliban are disappointed, even angry, about the BSA,” the senior minister, who does not want to be quoted by name, tells The Daily Beast. “But peace talks are a long process that should be pursued. We cannot rule out a resumption of the talks at some future time.”

The minister, like many Afghans—particularly those living in urban areas—strongly believes the security pact is in the country’s interests. “The deal secures a commitment of the U.S. and the international community to Afghanistan in the long run,” he says. “It is vital to our security and economy.” A popular Afghan blogger Majeed Qarar goes even further. “This Afghan-American security deal means the end of the Taliban,” he writes.

But Zabihullah, the Taliban political operative, believes the BSA will only strengthen the bonds between rural Afghans and the insurgency. “Our villagers strongly believe that it is un-Islamic to keep non-Muslim forces in our country,” he says. The senior Afghan minister agrees. Although Karzai told the Loya Jirga, the grand council meeting, that all of Afghanistan’s neighbors except Iran supported the deal to maintain a U.S. military presence for another decade, the minister is not so sure. He fears a rural domestic backlash and continued foreign meddling as a result of the pact. “The reaction of many Afghans and our neighbors and the Russians is cautious, even negative,” he says. “But we are doing this in our own national interest.” He, like many Afghans, fears that Pakistan, regardless of the agreement, will continue to intervene, offering safe haven and other means of support to the insurgents.

The minister also worries that a long-term foreign presence may also mean continued cultural and religious clashes between Afghans and U.S. and coalition soldiers. Cultural and religious flashpoints have nearly broken Afghan-U.S. relations in the past, such as when U.S. soldiers inadvertently burned Korans, and when a U.S. sergeant went on a rampage, murdering 16 Afghan civilians and children in their homes. Then there are also the scores of “insider attacks” in which Afghan security forces have trained their weapons on their foreign allies, largely over misunderstandings. The minister fears that now even lesser frictions could scupper the new agreement. “Afghans are sensitive by nature and any cultural or religious misbehavior by U.S. soldiers could have disastrous consequences for the security pact and the U.S. presence,” he says. “Even false propaganda that U.S. soldiers had raped Afghan women would create a huge reaction.”

Yet the BSA is not a done deal. President Karzai’s histrionics at the four-day grand council meeting have left the agreement hanging in limbo even though the some-2,500 hand-picked Loya Jirga delegates unanimously approved it. Karzai had raised a number of emotional issues for Afghans during his fiery speeches, for example, the hated night raids by U.S. soldiers into Afghan homes. Finally, he seemed to put the entire pact on hold, saying he would not sign the agreement until his successor had been elected in next April’s presidential election. This would be a potential deal breaker for the U.S., which had been demanding that the BSA must be signed no later than the end of this year.

The Taliban are not concerned about this or any other deadlines. For them, the damage has already been done. They feel betrayed by the pact and have concluded that peace negotiations are no longer an option, and thus the only option is continued war. As a result, Afghanistan is most likely condemned to a protracted conflict until 2024 and perhaps beyond.

Al-Qaeda In Iraq Executes 7 “Brigade of Strangers” Terrorists

“The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the implementation of the death sentence for “good carrot” Brigades “Sham strangers” with five of its components, and the execution was “shot” at the headquarters of the state in Alatareb.
And attributed to a carrot and a banner to do many of the looting and pillaging, and has already been prosecuted by the Shariah with the help of many factions of the military opposition without being able to stop the excesses, before the Islamic state to arrest him.
I wish all the viewers to put in an impressive Aluotob because such videos are deleted from YouTube!!!”

Ghuraba al-Sham (Arabic: غرباء الشام‎ Ghurabā’ ash-Shām, “Strangers/Foreigners of the region of Syria“) is a group made up of jihadists of Turkish and former Eastern bloc origin[1] who have participated in the smuggling of foreign fighters to Iraq, have intervened in Lebanon during the 2007 Lebanon conflict[6] and have fought in Syria during the Syrian civil war.[1]

Video shows execution of Syrian rebels by al-Qaeda-linked group


Reuters, Beirut

A still from an unverified video apparently shows masked men executing rival Syrian rebels. (YouTube)

Al-Qaeda-linked militants have executed the commander of a rival rebel faction and six of his men, an amateur video of the public execution showed, part of their campaign to marginalise other groups.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, have taken advantage of a power vacuum in rebel-held areas to assert its authority over more moderate elements of the armed opposition.

The video, posted online by the anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group on Wednesday, shows armed men in black standing below an ISIL banner.

The Observatory said the video was taken in the northern Syrian town of Atarib in Idlib province. Its authenticity could not be independently confirmed.

A masked man on the video identifies seven men kneeling as members of the Ghurabaa al-Sham brigade, a moderate Islamist group that was one of the first to fight Assad. A man who appeared to be Commander Hassan Jazera was among them.

“Hassan Jazera is the most corrupt and the biggest thief,” said the man. He spoke into a microphone to a crowd of men, some of whom used their mobile phones to film the killing.

Tried and shot

The man, reading from a piece of paper, said Jazera’s men were also charged with kidnapping and had been tried in a religious court run by ISIL. They were then shot in the head.

In May, an alliance of Islamist groups moved against Ghurabaa al-Sham following a disagreement over territory and complaints of looting. Jazera’s unit of around 100 fighters was all that was left of Ghurabaa al-Sham’s roughly 2,000 men, fighters from that group told Reuters this summer.

Jazera and his men were arrested by ISIL a month ago, the UK-based Observatory said.

The rise of al-Qaeda in Syria has forced some in the West to temper calls for Assad’s removal from power.

In August, ISIL took control of the northern border town of Azaz, expelling western-backed Free Syrian Army units. On Friday, ISIL captured a second border town, ousting a moderate Islamist rebel unit and detaining its leader.

The Syrian uprising against four decades of Assad family rule started in 2011 and erupted into a civil war after Assad’s forces shot demonstrators and deployed tanks to crush the protest movement. More than 120,000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced.

Saudi/Israeli Terrorist Union

The Wahhabi-Likudnik war of terror

Asia Times

The double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut – with at least 23 people killed and 170 wounded – was a de facto terror attack happening on 11/19. Numerology-wise, naturally 9/11 comes to mind; and so the case of the Washington-declared war on terror metastasizing – largely conducted by oozy forms of Saudi “intelligence”.

Yet don’t expect the “West” to condemn this as terror. Look at the headlines; it’s all normalized as “blasts” – as if children were playing with firecrackers.

Whether carried out by a hazy al-Qaeda-linked brigade or by

Saudi spy chief Bandar bin Sultan’s (aka Bandar Bush’s) goons, the Beirut terror attack is essentially configured as a major, Saudi-enabled provocation. The larger Saudi agenda in Syria implies getting both Hezbollah and Iran to be pinned down inside Lebanon as well. If that happens, Israel also wins. Once again, here’s another graphic illustration of the Likudnik House of Saud in action.

Nuance also applies. Bandar Bush’s strategy, coordinated with jihadis, was to virtually beg for Hezbollah to fight inside Syria. When Hezbollah obliged, with only a few hundred fighters, the jihadis scurried away from the battlefield to implement plan B: blowing up innocent women and children in the streets of Lebanon.

While Hezbollah welcomes the fight, wherever it takes place, Tehran’s position is more cautious. It does not want to go all out against the Saudis – at least for now, with the crucial nuclear negotiation on the table in Geneva, and (still) the possibility of a Geneva II regarding Syria. Yet the House of Saud is not welcoming Geneva II anytime soon because it has absolutely nothing to propose except regime change.

On Syria, the main pillar of Bandar Bush’s strategy is to turn the previously “Free” Syrian Army into a “national army” of 30,000 or so fully weaponized hardcore fighters – mostly supplied by the “Army of Islam”, which is nothing but a cipher for the al-Qaedesque Jabhat al-Nusra. King Playstation of Jordan, also known as Abdullah, collaborates as the provider of training camps near the Syrian border. Whatever happens, one thing is certain; expect Bandar Bush’s goons to be carrying out more suicide bombings on both Lebanon and Syria.

The Zionist/Wahhabi/Salafi axis
The dodgy al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades in theory exist since 2005, placing the odd bomb here and there. One sheikh Sijareddin Zreikat tweeted responsibility for the Beirut terror attack. Curioser and curioser, the claim was “discovered” and translated into English by the Israeli disinformation website SITE. [1]

Yet another Israeli intelligence disinformation site, DEBKAfile, claimed the terror attack was an Iran/Hezbollah false flag, based on a “Saudi warning” reaching “Western intelligence agencies, including Israel”. [2] The rationale, according to “Saudi intelligence”, was “to convince Hezbollah fighters consigned against their will to the Syrian battlefield”.

This does not even qualify as pathetic. Hezbollah is basically defending the Lebanese-Syrian border, and has only a few hundred fighters inside Syria. Moreover, no string of suicide bombings will deter Hezbollah and Tehran from regaining control of what really matters in the Syrian strategic context; the Qalamoun area.

Qalamoun, ringed by mountains, is a 50-kilometer stretch bordering the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, between Damascus and al-Nabk, and right on the absolutely critical Damascus-Homs corridor of the M5 highway. The Syrian army is on the offensive in Qalamoun. Recapturing the whole area is just a matter of time. This means controlling the northern approach to Damascus. Hezbollah is helping in the offensive out of Bekaa valley. This does not mean they will camp out in Syria afterwards.

Now for the false flag accusation. As far as real false flags are concerned, one just has to re-examine three recent international bombings that supposed victimized Israel. In India the bomb had no projectiles; it barely injured an Israeli attache. In Azerbaijan the bomb was miraculously “discovered” before it went off. And in Thailand, the bomb exploded too soon, injuring only a nearby Iranian.

Crass Israeli disinformation is unmasked when it leaps into this conclusion:

If Tehran is capable of such atrocities merely as a diversionary tactic, then perhaps Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin ought to take a really hard look at their negotiating partner across the table before signing a major deal Wednesday, Nov. 20, which leaves Iran’s nuclear program in place.

So this neatly ties up with the current Israeli hysteria about the Geneva negotiations, which also includes the umpteenth report by a News Corporation outfit, London’s Sunday Times, that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. [3]

It also ties up with the proverbial US shills spinning, gloating rather, that, “strategically, this de-facto Israeli alliance with the Saudis is an extraordinary opportunity for Israel”. [4]

Even such shills have to admit that the House of Saud is “blocking formation of any government in Lebanon, for example, to obstruct Iran’s ally, Hezbollah”. “Blocking” of course is a euphemism to normalize suicide bombing.

And then comes the ultimate wishful thinking disguised as “analysis”; Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu “bidding to replace the United States as military protector of the status quo”. Translation; the Likudniks dreaming of becoming the new military Mob boss of petrodollar Wahhabis.

The enablers
Bandar Bush’s strategy – weaponizing and providing cover to Salafis, jihadis and every patsy or mercenary in between – will go on unabated. After Bandar Bush convinced Washington to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Qataris, the Saudis are the supreme warfare go-to channel. The Bandar Bush machine has ties with virtually every jihadi outfit in the Levant.

It certainly helps that Bandar has the perfect cover; the fact that he knows and has cajoled every significant player in Washington. In the US, Bandar Bush remains a dashing hero, even eliciting fawning comparisons with Gatsby. [5] Right. And my name is actually Daisy.

Even with its own embassy attacked in Lebanon, Iran is maintaining an extremely calibrated approach. The number-one priority is the nuclear negotiations in Geneva with the partner that really matters, the US. This explains Iran blaming the Beirut terror attack on the proverbial “Zionists”, and not Saudi-enabled jihadis posing as “rebels” and part of the whole Bandar Bush nebula.

For the moment though, enough of Orwellian newspeak. What happened in Beirut was a terror attack, cheered by Israel, and fully enabled by Saudis; a graphic display by the Likudnik-House of Saud axis.

1. Al-Qaida-linked group claims responsibility for deadly Beirut attack, Ha’aretz, November 19, 2013.
2. Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic, DEBKAfile, November 19, 2013.
3. Israel, Saudi Arabia Unite For Attack On Iran, RT, November 17, ’13.
4. The stakes of an Iranian deal, Washington Post, November 15, 2013.
5. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Gatsby, Master Spy, The Daily Beast, November 16, 2013.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

The Long-Awaited Death of the “Legitimate News”



CNN and MSNBC Lose Almost Half Their Viewers in One Year



It’s been a tough year for the liberal cable news outlets.

Data released Tuesday show CNN shedding 48 percent of total viewers since last November and MSNBC dropping 45 percent.

The numbers were even worse in the all important demographic of people aged 25 to 54 as CNN’s ratings dropped 59 percent and MSNBC’s 52 percent.

In an off-election year, and with last November’s numbers skewed higher as a result of the presidential election, it should be expected for ratings to decline.

However, Fox News didn’t see close to these losses. In total day, FNC is only down 18 percent since last November and 30 percent in the demo.

As you might imagine, prime time numbers were also down.

CNN was off 54 percent in total viewers and 62 percent in the demo. MSNBC declined 50 percent in total prime time viewers and 57 percent in the demo.

By contrast, FNC was second in all of cable in prime time this November averaging over 2 million viewers. This represented a decline of 21 percent in total viewers and 41 percent in the demo.

As such, no matter how you slice it, the liberal cable networks fared much worse in the past twelve months than their far more centrist competitor.

About the Author

Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

Iran Releases Joint Plan of Action Agreed To At Geneva

[SEE:  White House Fact Sheet On Iran Nuclear Deal ]


Joint Plan of Action

Geneva, 24 November 2013




The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns. This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein. This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the programme. This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-bystep process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme.


There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council’s consideration of this matter. The E3+3 and Iran will be responsible for conclusion and implementation of mutual near-term measures and the comprehensive solution in good faith. A Joint Commission of E3/EU+3 and Iran will be established to monitor the implementation of the near-term measures and address issues that may arise, with the IAEA responsible for verification of nuclear-related measures. The Joint Commission will work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern.


Elements of a first step The first step would be time-bound, with a duration of 6 months, and renewable by mutual consent, during which all parties will work to maintain a constructive atmosphere for negotiations in good faith. Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:


• From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retain half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR. Dilute the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%. No reconversion line.


• Iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months.


• Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant1, Fordow2, or the Arak reactor3, designated by the IAEA as IR-40.


• Beginning when the line for conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% to UO2 is ready, Iran has decided to convert to oxide UF6 newly enriched up to 5% during the 6 month period, as provided in the operational schedule of the conversion plant declared to the IAEA.


• No new locations for the enrichment.


• Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current enrichment R&D practices, which are not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium.


• No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.


• Enhanced monitoring:


o Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran’s plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.


o Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.


o Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.


o Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.


o IAEA inspector managed access to:


  centrifuge assembly workshops4;


  centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and,   uranium mines and mills.







1 Namely, during the 6 months, Iran will not feed UF6 into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium. Not install additional centrifuges. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.


2 At Fordow, no further enrichment over 5% at 4 cascades now enriching uranium, and not increase enrichment capacity. Not


feed UF6 into the other 12 cascades, which would remain in a non-operative state. No interconnections between cascades.


Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.


3 Iran announces on concerns related to the construction of the reactor at Arak that for 6 months it will not commission the reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site and will not test additional fuel or produce more fuel for the reactor or install remaining components.


4 Consistent with its plans, Iran’s centrifuge production during the 6 months will be dedicated to replace damaged machines.


In return, the E3/EU+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:


• Pause efforts to further reduce Iran’s crude oil sales, enabling Iran’s current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil. Enable the repatriation of an agreed amount of revenue held abroad. For such oil sales, suspend the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services.


• Suspend U.S. and EU sanctions on:


o Iran’s petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services.5 o Gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions on associated services.


• Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran’s auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services.


• License the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services. License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well as associated services.6


• No new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.


• No new EU nuclear-related sanctions.


• The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the


Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.


• Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran’s domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad. Humanitarian trade would be defined as transactions involving food and agricultural products, medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad. This channel would involve specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian banks to be defined when establishing the channel.


o This channel could also enable:


  transactions required to pay Iran’s UN obligations; and,   direct tuition payments to universities and colleges for Iranian students studying abroad, up to an agreed amount for the six month period.


• Increase the EU authorisation thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.







5 “Sanctions on associated services” means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying U.S. or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions. These services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities.


6 Sanctions relief could involve any non-designated Iranian airlines as well as Iran Air.


Elements of the final step of a comprehensive solution*


The final step of a comprehensive solution, which the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing no more than one year after the adoption of this document, would:


• Have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon.


• Reflect the rights and obligations of parties to the NPT and IAEA Safeguards Agreements.


• Comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy, on a schedule to be agreed upon.


• Involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon.


• Fully resolve concerns related to the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.


No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.


• Fully implement the agreed transparency measures and enhanced monitoring. Ratify and implement the Additional Protocol, consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Majlis (Iranian parliament).


• Include international civil nuclear cooperation, including among others, on acquiring modern light water power and research reactors and associated equipment, and the supply of modern nuclear fuel as well as agreed R&D practices.


Following successful implementation of the final step of the comprehensive solution for its full duration, the Iranian nuclear programme will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.


* With respect to the final step and any steps in between, the standard principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” applies.

American B-52s Taunt Chinese Rights In China Sea Standoff

[The route was from Guam to Okinawa, where US and Japanese Navies conducted exercises, then northerly, until crossing the tip of the announced zone.  The approx. course given may not have crossed into the zone at all, but we will never the know for sure (SEE: China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands).]


China asserts control over air zone despite US B-52 bombers


times of india


China asserts control over air zone despite US B-52 bombers
China calls the disputed islands Diaoyus while Japan terms them as Senkakus.
BEIJING: China on Wednesday asserted that it has enough “will and ability” to enforce its unilaterally declared new air defence zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea after two US B-52 bombers challenged Chinese authority over the controversial airspace.Putting up a brave face, China’s defence ministry said it “detected, identified and monitored” the flight of the giant long-range Stratofortress planes that flew the zone between two different times on Tuesday night.

“The Chinese government has the will and ability to defend our national sovereignty and security,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a press briefing.

“We also have the ability to exercise effective control over the East Sea air defence identification zone,” he said.

Defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said the US aircraft skirted along the border of the zone and flew in the north-south direction, 200 kilometres east of Diaoyu Island.

China calls the disputed islands Diaoyus while Japan terms them as Senkakus.

Under the rules of the new air zone, all aircraft including the civilian flights have to report their flight plans to China, must maintain the two-way radio communications and respond in a timely and accurate manner to identification inquires.

Those that do not comply can face “defencive emergency measures”, Beijing said.

The US along with Japan refused to accept the zone announced by China over the disputed islands administered by Japan.

The Pentagon said it did not comply with Beijing’s controversial demand for aircraft to file flight plans when traversing the East China Sea area.

US Colonel Steve Warren at the Pentagon said Washington had “conducted operations in the area of the Senkakus”.

“We have continued to follow our normal procedures, which include not filing flight plans, not radioing ahead and not registering our frequencies,” Warren said.

China’s defence spokesman Geng said: “The Chinese military monitored the entire process, carried out identification in a timely manner, and ascertained the type of US aircraft.

“We need to stress that China will identify every aircraft flying in the air defence identification zone according to the country’s announcement of aircraft identification rules for the air defence identification zone.”

“If [Coalition Forces] leave, the [Afghan] economy will collapse dramatically.”

[The following blurb is all that remains of this CBS report, – Afghan business owners see bleak future.  It was released five hours ago and pulled shortly thereafter.  The main point of the report is contained in the quote from local tour driver/owner, Muqim Jamshady.  Afghanistan’s current economy is totally American-made…pull Western aid, and pull the rug out from under this artificial Pentagon-based economy.

Grow-up, CBS!]

(CBS News) KABUL – The current economy “has no foundation,” he says. “Much depends on the coalition forces. If they leave, the economy will collapse dramatically.”— “Afghan business owners see bleak future

Muqim Jamshady

Muqim Jamshady


By the end of 2014, the international military forces who have tried to secure Afghanistan for more than a decade will leave the country, and as they go, so too will many of the business opportunities granted by their presence. “The current economy is artificial,” Muqim Jamshady tells CBS News in his suburban Kabul home. Jamshady started his own company, Afghan Logistics, shortly after the Taliban regime was ousted almost 11 years ago. The current economy “has no foundation,” he says. “Much depends on the coalition forces. If they leave, the economy will collapse dramatically.”

by Shakeela Abrahimkhail


On the last day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, on Sunday, the gathering’s Chairman, Sebghatullah Mujadadi, said that if President Hamid Karzai did not follow the Jirga’s recommendation to sign the Kabul-Washington security pact, then he would flee Afghanistan.

Mujadadi’s comments come at a time when many are anxious about the next few years in Afghanistan, with the NATO coalition withdrawing in 2014 and the country’s first potential democratic transition of Presidential power lying around the corner in April.

In recent weeks, Afghanistan has been consumed by debate over the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which would ensure a close military partnership between the U.S. and Afghanistan post-2014.

The Loya Jirga on Sunday voted to approve the BSA, which will now be forwarded on to both houses of the National Assembly for formal ratification.

“We want to sign this agreement and it must be signed,” Mujadadi said on Sunday. “This is something that we cannot give up. For now, the President should promise us that he will sign the agreement soon and as far as our experience, knowledge and Islamic law shows, Inshallah this agreement is in our favor.”

On Thursday, during is opening speech at the Jirga, President Karzai said he would not sign the accord – even if it was approved by the Jirga and Parliament – until after the spring Presidential elections.

However, U.S. officials have demanded the pact be finalized before the end of the year.

Mujadadi assured TOLOnews that if the BSA was not signed, then he would leave Afghanistan

“We request for this agreement to be signed soon and if President Karza does not sign, then I promise you that, though I have been a servant to this nation for the past thirty five years, I will resign,” Mujadadi said. “I will resign from everything and will emigrate from this country and will say that I have fled the bad policies of our government.”

Many have argued the BSA is essential to Afghanistan’s future stability and progress.

And if the agreement is not lived-up to by the U.S., Mujadadi said the Jirga would be responsible.

“If our friends the Americans deny any article of the agreement, then we, the nation will be the ones to answer.”

Many experts have argued the Jirga is more in Afghanistan’s interest than the U.S., which is war-weary after 12 years of combat.

Anti-Nuke Protesters Charged for Bombing Near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

[According to the latest reports, there were three bombs set, the third one detonated while being put together.]

Anti-nuke protesters booked in connection with explosion

The Hindu



  • People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) convenor S.P. Udhayakumar. File photo.
    PTI People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) convenor S.P. Udhayakumar. File photo.

Police have booked anti-nuclear protesters including S.P. Uthayakumar in connection with the explosion at a village near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in which six persons including three children were killed.

Mr. Uthayakumar, head of the anti-nuclear People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, his associates Pushparayan, Mukilan and ‘others’ have been booked under different sections of IPC and Explosive Substances Act, top police sources said.

They have been booked for offences including culpable homicide not amounting to murder and criminal conspiracy among others, the sources said.

PMANE is spearheading the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tirunelveli.

A country-made bomb had gone off “accidentally” when some miscreants were making the explosive in their hut at around 6.40 pm in Idinathakarai Tsunami colony on Tuesday, about 15 km from the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Among the dead were a woman and three children who were all aged below five. Two persons were injured in the incident.

The plant was however running safe, DAE officials had said.


Police have booked anti-nuclear protesters including S.P. Uthayakumar in connection with the explosion at a village near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in which six persons including three children were killed.

Mr. Uthayakumar, head of the anti-nuclear People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, his associates Pushparayan, Mukilan and ‘others’ have been booked under different sections of IPC and Explosive Substances Act, top police sources said.

They have been booked for offences including culpable homicide not amounting to murder and criminal conspiracy among others, the sources said.

PMANE is spearheading the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tirunelveli.

A country-made bomb had gone off “accidentally” when some miscreants were making the explosive in their hut at around 6.40 pm in Idinathakarai Tsunami colony on Tuesday, about 15 km from the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Among the dead were a woman and three children who were all aged below five. Two persons were injured in the incident.

The plant was however running safe, DAE officials had said.

Blast near Indian nuclear plant kills six

NEW DELHI: A crude bomb has exploded near a nuclear plant in southern India, killing six people and seriously injuring three others, including an anti-nuclear activist whom police say is a suspect.

Police say the Russian-built Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu state is unaffected and operating as normal.

Local residents have protested for years against the plant over fears an accident could create a health hazard.

Police say the bomb that exploded Tuesday night likely went off accidentally as suspected activists were making several crude explosive devices in a house about 15 kilometers from the plant.

Superintendent Vijayendra Bidari says police recovered two unexploded bombs, but have yet to question the injured suspect who is receiving treatment for serious injuries.

Witnesses Confirming the Brainwashing (Reprogramming) Initiative At Guantanamo

File photo of Mehsud, a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, talking on a radio at an undisclosed location in the tribal region near Afghan border

[Many researchers and analysts have long ago come to the conclusion that Abdullah Mehsud switched sides after his long visit at Guantanamo.  Whether the changes which were induced in Mehsud (and in other Guantanamo and Bagram Prison parolees) by the special attention that he received in Cuba were the result of bribery or brainwashing, Abdullah Mehsud was thereafter, a Pakistani terrorist fighting against Pakistan.  He was released in Afghanistan, where he joined-up with an unknown number of Tahir Yuldashev‘s IMU terrorists.  This was the original core group which trained many of the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan terrorists. 

Abdullah joined hands with cousin Baitullah Mehsud, a man who could easily be bought, to later be reinforced by Afghan legend Mullah Dadullah.  This line of succession directly confirms the American Creation of the Pakistani Taliban terrorist group.  These groups merged with the homegrown Taliban, trained by the Pakistani ISI.  Both groups staged terrorist attacks throughout FATA, but the really shameful bombings of Shia funerals and mosques was largely the handiwork of the Mehsud faction (SEE: Arresting Taliban To Cover America’s Ass).]

abdullahmehsudnov2004chzp1 Abdullah Mehsud

Penny Lane: Secret CIA Guantanamo Facility Trained Prisoners To Be Double Agents



WASHINGTON (AP) — In the early years after 9/11, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents then sent them home to help the U.S. kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said.

The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency’s secret accounts.

It was a risky gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans.

For the CIA, that was an acceptable risk in a dangerous business. For the American public, which was never told, the program was one of the many secret trade-offs the government made on its behalf. At the same time the government used the risk of terrorism to justify imprisoning people indefinitely, it was releasing dangerous people from prison to work for the CIA.

The program was carried out in a secret facility built a few hundred yards from the administrative offices of the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The eight small cottages were hidden behind a ridge covered in thick scrub and cactus.

The program and the handful of men who passed through these cottages had various official CIA code names.

But those who were aware of the cluster of cottages knew it best by its sobriquet: Penny Lane.

It was a nod to the classic Beatles song and a riff on the CIA’s other secret facility at Guantanamo Bay, a prison known as Strawberry Fields.

Nearly a dozen current and former U.S officials described aspects of the program to The Associated Press. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret program publicly by name, even though it ended in about 2006.

Some of the men who passed through Penny Lane helped the CIA find and kill many top al-Qaida operatives, current and former U.S. officials said. Others stopped providing useful information and the CIA lost touch with them.

When prisoners began streaming into Guantanamo Bay in January 2002, the CIA recognized it as an unprecedented opportunity to identify sources. That year, 632 detainees arrived at the detention center. The following year 117 more arrived.

“Of course that would be an objective,” said Emile Nakhleh, a former top CIA analyst who spent time in 2002 assessing detainees but who did not discuss Penny Lane. “It’s the job of intelligence to recruit sources.”

By early 2003, Penny Lane was open for business.

Candidates were ushered from the confines of prison to Penny Lane’s relative hominess, officials said. The cottages had private kitchens, showers and televisions. Each had a small patio.

Some prisoners asked for and received pornography. One official said the biggest luxury in each cottage was the bed — not a military-issued cot but a real bed with a mattress.

The cottages were designed to feel more like hotel rooms than prison cells, and some CIA officials jokingly referred to them collectively as the Marriott.

Current and former officials said dozens of prisoners were evaluated but only a handful, from a variety of countries, were turned into spies who signed agreements to work for the CIA.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd declined to comment.

The U.S. government says it has confirmed that about 16 percent of former Guantanamo Bay detainees rejoined the fight against America. Officials suspect but have not confirmed that 12 percent more rejoined.

It’s not clear whether the men from Penny Lane are included in those figures. But because only a small number of people went through the program, it would not likely change the figures significantly either way. None of the officials interviewed by the AP knew of an instance in which any double agent killed Americans.

Though the number of double agents recruited through Penny Lane was small, the program was significant enough to draw keen attention from President George W. Bush, one former official said. Bush personally interviewed a junior CIA case officer who had just returned home from Afghanistan, where the agency typically met with the agents.

President Barack Obama took an interest the program for a different reason. Shortly after taking office in 2009, he ordered a review of the former detainees working as double agents because they were providing information used in Predator drone strikes, one of the officials said.

Infiltrating al-Qaida has been one of the CIA’s most sought-after but difficult goals, something that other foreign intelligence services have only occasionally accomplished. Candidates for Penny Lane needed legitimate terrorist connections. To be valuable to the CIA, the men had to be able to reconnect with al-Qaida.

From the Bush administration descriptions of Guantanamo Bay prisoners at the time, the CIA would have seemingly had a large pool to draw from. Vice President Dick Cheney called the prisoners “the worst of a very bad lot.” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said they were “among the most dangerous, best trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth.”

In reality, many were held on flimsy evidence and were of little use to the CIA.

While the agency looked for viable candidates, those with no terrorism ties sat in limbo. It would take years before the majority of detainees were set free, having never been charged. Of the 779 people who were taken to Guantanamo Bay, more than three-fourths have been released, mostly during the Bush administration.

Many others remain at Guantanamo Bay, having been cleared for release by the military but with no hope for freedom in sight.

“I do see the irony on the surface of letting some really very bad guys go,” said David Remes, an American lawyer who has represented about a dozen Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo.

But Remes, who was not aware of Penny Lane, said he understands its attraction.

“The men we were sending back as agents were thought to be able to provide value to us,” he said.

Prisoners agreed to cooperate for a variety of reasons, officials said. Some received assurances that the U.S. would resettle their families. Another thought al-Qaida had perverted Islam and believed it was his duty as a Muslim to help the CIA destroy it. One detainee agreed to cooperate after the CIA insinuated it would harm his children, a former official said, similar to the threats interrogators had made to admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

All were promised money. Exactly how much each was paid remains unclear. But altogether, the government paid millions of dollars for their services, officials said. The money came from a secret CIA account, codenamed Pledge, that’s used to pay informants, officials said.

The arrangement led to strategic discussions inside the CIA: If the agency’s drones had a shot at Osama bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, would officials take the shot if it meant killing a double agent on the American payroll?

It never came to that.

The biggest fear, former officials involved with the program recalled, was that a former detainee would attack Americans then publicly announce that he had been on the CIA payroll.

Al-Qaida suspected the CIA would attempt a program like this and its operatives have been very suspicious of former Guantanamo Bay detainees, intelligence officials and experts said.

In one case, a former official recalled, al-Qaida came close to discovering one of the double agents in its midst.

The U.S. government had such high hopes for Penny Lane that one former intelligence official recalled discussions about whether to secretly release a pair of Pakistani men into the United States on student or business visas. The hope was that they would connect with al-Qaida and lead authorities to members of a U.S. cell.

Another former senior intelligence official said that never happened.

Officials said the program ended in 2006, as the flow of detainees to Guantanamo Bay slowed to a trickle. The last prisoner arrived there in 2008.

Penny Lane still stands and can be seen in satellite photos. A dirt road winds its way to a clearing. The special detachment of Marines that once provided security is gone. The complex is surrounded by two fences and hidden among the trees and shrubs of Guantanamo Bay.

It has long been abandoned.


Associated Press writer Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report

US Flies B-52 Bombers Into China’s Air Defence Zone

[SEE: China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands ]

U.S. sends B-52s over China-claimed waters


Japan and the USA will challenge China’s claim to a stretch of the ocean during military exercises this week.

NAHA, OKINAWA, Japan — An American carrier battle group and a flotilla of Japanese warships will arrive Wednesday near a vast stretch of ocean claimed by China in what is shaping up as a test of how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the USA will stand up to the challenge.

The joint U.S.-Japan exercises in the sea are a direct challenge to China’s claim. On Tuesday, the U.S. military said two Air Force B-52 bombers flew over the sea without notifying Beijing despite China’s demand that it be told if anyone plans to fly military aircraft over its self-claimed “air defense zone.”

The aircraft took off from Guam on Monday, part of a regular exercise, said a U.S. defense official who spoke to AFP news service on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge the information.

China has been laying claim to nearly 1 million square miles of ocean known as the East China Sea, insisting that the sea’s energy resources and fisheries belong to China. Much of the ocean territory it claims is hundreds of miles from its shore, including waters off the coasts of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

On Saturday China went further than ever, announcing it had designated much of the sea as an air defense zone it controls. The zone includes the Japan-held Senkaku Islands, a string of uninhabited islets that China calls the Diaoyus. The Chinese Defense Ministry said the zone was created to “guard against potential air threats.”

“China has been pushing and testing Abe since he took office and for the most part he has been passing,” said Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Honolulu.

“This is a very dumb, very risky move by China,” he said. “If the People’s Liberation Army tries to interfere (with the U.S.-Japan exercise), there will be real problems.”

The challenge represents a test for Abe, a conservative party prime minister elected in 2012 who has vowed to shift Japan’s deferential military posture to a more muscular stance that recognizes its right to defend itself.

On Tuesday, Abe directly confronted China, stating he would not recognize the Chinese air zone over the East China Sea or any of its claims to the Senkakus.

“We will take steps against any attempt to change the status quo by use of force as we are determined to defend the country’s sea and airspace,” Abe said.

For the United States’ part, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Chinese action represents a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo” and “will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region.”

To that end, the U.S. Navy arrived in force Tuesday off the coast of Japan for a complex exercise in which Japanese naval ships and U.S. fighter jets, warships and submarines will practice scenarios for a possible attack on Japan.

Sailing into the waters southeast of Okinawa on Tuesday to prepare for a long-planned exercise was the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Lassen, USS McCampbell, USS Mustin, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and a Navy submarine.

China issued a protest with Japan and the U.S. government over the exercises and opposition to China’s self-claimed right to an air defense zone over the sea. Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Japan’s complaint about the zone is “absolutely groundless and unacceptable,” according to Japan’s Kyodo news service.

Yang said Japan has “no right to make irresponsible remarks” on the sea’s airspace, portions of which have been jointly administered by Japan and the United States for decades. Yujun also urged the United States to “not take sides.”

Earlier this year, Japan scrambled fighter jets when Chinese planes flew near the Senkaku islands, a rich fishing ground annexed by Japan in 1895 and purchased by the legislature in 2012. Chinese interceptor aircraft conducted the first flights into the zone after it went into force at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Chinese moves have inflamed Japan and worried other nations that say they may now need to inform China when their commercial flights are heading over the East China Sea. It also has U.S. allies concerned that China is becoming more aggressive against them since the installation a year ago of Xi Jinping as leader of the Communist regime.

But Hagel reaffirmed the U.S. military commitment to the 1952 U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty that commits Washington to intervene in defense of Japan if there is an attack on Japanese-administered territory. And Abe has backed up his belief that Japan must modify its stance held since World War II that Japan’s defense can be outsourced entirely to the United States.

Abe has been pressing for Japan to raise its readiness and play a bigger role in global security since he came to power in December 2012 and won a majority for his Liberal Democratic Party in the upper house of the Japan legislature in July.

Defense spending in Japan has seen its largest increase in 22 years, says Kyodo. The spending has zeroed in on boosting Japan’s capabilities to defend against amphibious assaults.

But Abe has yet to garner the votes to change Japan’s constitution so its defense forces can project the full military powers of a sovereign state. The constitution, written by the U.S. military after the defeat of Japan in WWII, restrains what Japan can do militarily.

The U.S. military retains bases in Japan, primarily in Okinawa, and exercises between the two militaries have grown in size and complexity in recent years.

Although precise locations have not been announced for the latest exercise, specific training events — which will include land-based patrol planes and other aircraft — are supposed to take place across large stretches of Japanese and international airspace, including parts of the East China Sea.

China’s Ministry of National Defense announced that any foreign aircraft entering its newly drafted “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone” must file a flight plan with Chinese authorities, stay in two-way radio contact and follow other instructions.

Failure to do so will result in “defensive emergency measures” by China’s armed forces, according to the statement.

It is not clear why China chose to announce the new air restrictions now, said Narushige Michishita, Director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Whether Jinping approved of it or the military demanded it is unknown, Michishita said.

“It is a scary scenario,” Michishita said. “What happens next is up to China.”

France–“Our friend Qatar is financing Mali’s Islamists”

Qatar — where Arab supremacism, for which islam is a vehicle, becomes old-fashioned economic imperialism:

Qatar wants to see a return on its (Islamic) investment:

“Qatar has an established a network of institutions it funds in Mali, including madrasses (religious schools), schools and charities that it has been funding from the 1980s,”

France launches unprecedented campaign against Qatar role in Mali

Leader of Socialist Party in France slams ‘form of indulgence” from Qatar ‘towards terrorist groups who occupied northern Mali’, asking Emirate for ‘policy clarification’.

PARIS – The Leader of the ruling Socialist Party in France, Harlem Desir, slammed on Sunday “a form of indulgence” from Qatar “towards the terrorist groups who occupied northern Mali,” asking the Gulf Emirate for a “policy clarification “.

Desir noted that “political statements of a number of Qatari officials had challenged the French intervention” in Mali.

“There is an attitude that is not cooperative and that can be considered as a form of leniency towards the terrorist groups who occupied northern Mali. This attitude coming from Qatar is not normal,” added Desire at a weekly political programme on one of the Jewish community radio in France, Radio J.

We need a policy clarification from Qatar who has always denied any role in funding terrorist groups. On the diplomatic level, Qatar should adopt a much stronger, and firmer position towards these groups who threaten the security of the Sahel region,” added Desir.France Now Criticizes Qatar For Its Role In Mali


Islamic Jihadists are poodles for wealthy Gulf elites and Pakistan–Qatar, Saudi Arabia and terrorism

Islamic Jihadists are poodles for wealthy Gulf elites and Pakistan: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and terrorism


modern tokyo timesMODERN TOKYO TIMES


Islamic Jihadists are poodles for wealthy Gulf elites and Pakistan: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and terrorism


Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker


Modern Tokyo Times




Al-Qaeda affiliates and a plethora of Sunni Islamic jihadist movements in Syria are highlighting the ultra-reactionary reality that exists wherever jihadists are based because of sinister forces throughout the Gulf region. In the Gulf you have certain families and individuals with enormous wealth and who purchase the most expensive things that you can find on this planet. At the same time, these feudal Gulf nation states seek to preserve their feudal power bases at all costs. Therefore, Gulf petrodollars are investing heavily on spreading Salafi Islam; supporting reactionary Sunni Takfiri clerics who spread sectarianism based on their anti-Shia agenda; forcing women into the shadows; and garnering financial support for terrorist movements – and other negative realities.


Of course, it doesn’t concern al-Qaeda affiliates and other Sunni Islamist movements that feudal monarchs spend vast sums on enormous palaces, buy sublime yachts, invest in football clubs, and so forth; no, issues related to social justice doesn’t even enter the equation. Therefore, while Sunni terrorist reactionary forces blight parts of Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and other countries – it is clear that wealthy Gulf monarchs don’t fear a threat to their respective power bases by the very same terrorist groups. Obviously, this isn’t surprising because the main source of funding terrorism and sectarianism in many parts of the world emanates directly from the Gulf region irrespective if state sanctioned; based on Sunni Islamist Salafi organizations; funded by extremely wealthy individuals; ratlines within the banking sector; or based on powerful charities which hide behind slick advertisements based on media propaganda.


In other words, religious militancy in the Gulf is the perfect ticket to spread compliant Salafi and Takfiri Islam based on brainwashing individuals into supporting a monoculture based on “year zero.” These ultra reactionary forces can be manipulated easily by inciting hatred towards “the other” based on rhetoric related to jihad, Sharia and oppressing all moderate forces. Therefore, Kurdish Islamists are killing fellow Kurds; Syrian Islamist sectarians are killing fellow Syrians; Islamists in the Sinai are killing fellow Egyptians; and it goes on and on. Indeed, in Bangladesh it is clear that Islamist militant forces even fought against their own people and committed mass atrocities for Pakistan while the people of this country were fighting for independence. This reality highlights the fact that Islamic jihadists are mere fodder for wealthy Gulf monarchs, the intrigues of Western powers (CIA and MI6 supported jihadists in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya and so forth), the policies of Pakistan and so forth.


In Pakistan this nation helped Islamic jihadists from all over the world to fight in Afghanistan in the 1980s and early 1990s in cohorts with America, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf powers. The same Pakistan allied itself with Bangladesh Islamist movements in order to try to crush the independence of this nation. Likewise, Islamist militancy in Kashmir is based on the intrigues of Pakistan and several major terrorist attacks in India relate to Pakistan and the ISI.


Turning the clock forward to 2013 and even now Pakistan is playing a dangerous game whereby the ISI and other intrigues in this nation are enabling militant Sunni Islamist forces to have a foothold aimed at Afghanistan and India. Therefore, the Shia and other religious minorities suffer enormous persecution because Sunni Islamist militant forces are allowed to flourish in this country. Indeed, even Pakistan soldiers are fodder to the elites in this nation because many known terrorists mingle freely in parts of this country. The killing of Osama bin Laden highlights the double-game that Pakistan is playing and the same applies to the recent killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani in Islamabad. After all, both individuals were not afraid of authorities in Pakistan.


Therefore, in Pakistan it is clear that Sunni Islamic jihadists remain to be a fixture within the geopolitical ambitions of this nation. After all, Pakistan can’t defeat the military of India based on past conflicts that erupted between both nations. However, Kashmir can be taken by stealth by Pakistan based on spreading Islamic militancy and indoctrinating the people of Kashmir. Hindus therefore have fled many areas of Kashmir despite residing in India. Also, indigenous Sunni Islam in this part of India is being transformed by Gulf versions of Islam and the militant message of Takfiris in Pakistan.


Takfiris and militant Salafists in nations like Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria adore beheading, blowing up people, destroying the economy of nations they are based in, infringing on the rights of non-Muslims, persecuting the Shia, shackling women and other draconian realities. Overwhelmingly, these militant Sunni fanatics are mainly slaughtering Muslims and destroying Muslim dominated nation states. Nothing is productive and now from Afghanistan to Nigeria in West Africa you have an enormous belt of chaos, daily massacres and destabilized nation states. These ultra reactionaries are a mirror to the reality of modern day Saudi Arabia whereby all non-Muslim faiths are banned, the Shia are persecuted, women are forced to cover-up and marrying little girls is legal based on Sharia Islamic law.


Of course, wealthy elites in the Gulf invest in major fashion houses, buy property all over the world, travel first class, invest in powerful football teams and enjoy a life which is completely free from the shackles that they enforce on society. Despite this, modern day al-Qaeda affiliates and radical Salafi and Takfiri forces ignore this reality because they are doing the bidding of the same wealthy Gulf elites. Therefore, wealthy feudal monarchy states are not threatened by “year zero Sunni Islamists” but in Pakistan the situation isn’t so clear because draconian forces are also based internally.

Hold Qatar Responsible for “Islamist/Wahhabi” Rebellion In Africa

[While we still can, the Free World should literally ROAST THE FAT PIG OF QATAR.]

[SEE: France: “Our friend Qatar is financing Mali’s Islamists”  ;  France launches unprecedented campaign against Qatar role in Mali ]

Central African Republic ‘descending into chaos’ – UN


The BBC’s Laeila Adjovi reports from Bossangoa, where Christians have fled their homes

The Central African Republic (CAR) is descending into “complete chaos”, the UN deputy secretary general has warned, calling for urgent action.

Jan Eliasson urged the Security Council to strengthen the African Union-led force in the country, and to turn it into a UN peacekeeping operation.

The CAR has been in turmoil since rebels seized power in March, with warnings of a possible genocide.

France has said it would contribute about 1,000 troops to the force.

Senior UN and French officials have warned that a cycle of violence between the Muslim minority, now in power, and the Christian majority could become a genocide.

It is not known how many people have been killed in the conflict this year because it is too dangerous to access the rural areas where most killings occur, a UN spokeswoman told the BBC.

However, she said that in the Bossangoa area alone, one of the worst-hit areas about 300km (185 miles) north of the capital, Bangui, several hundred people had been killed in the first two weeks of September.

Some 460,000 people – 10% of the population of 4.6 million – have fled their homes, while more than a million need food aid, according to the United Nations.

Tens of thousands have sought refuge at the Catholic mission in Bossangoa.

The priest in charge, Frederic Tonfio, told the BBC: “The tension here is palpable. People are absolutely terrified.”

‘Regional threat’

Mr Eliasson said there had been an surge in sexual violence, torture, summary executions and sectarian violence.

“The CAR is becoming a breeding ground for extremists and armed groups in a region that is already suffering from conflict and instability,” he said.

“If this situation is left to fester, it may develop into a religious and ethnic conflict with long-standing consequences, even a civil war that could spread into neighbouring countries.”

Some of CAR’s neighbours such as South Sudan, the Sudanese region of Darfur, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo are trying to emerge from years of conflict and remain extremely unstable.

Map showing the location of the Central African Republic and the countries that border it

France, the former colonial power, currently has about 400 soldiers stationed in Bangui. Their mission is to protect French nationals.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that France would send another 1,000 troops to the CAR.

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson: “Children and women are at the greatest risk”

“We cannot have a country fall apart like that,” he told Europe 1 radio: “There is the violence, massacres and humanitarian chaos that follow a collapse.”

He added that – as was the case of France’s intervention in Mali earlier this year- the troops would be deployed for “a short period, in the range of six months”.

The UN Security Council is expected next week to adopt a resolution authorising the deployment of African Union troops with French support in the impoverished nation.

There are currently some 2,500 African troops in CAR, due to be increased to 3,600 by January 2014.

“A country in the heart of Africa is descending into complete chaos before our eyes,” Mr Eliasson told the 15-member council on Monday.

“The situation requires prompt and decisive action.”

Central African Republic crisis in numbers

Earlier this month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said communal violence in the CAR risked spiralling out of control.

Mr Ban backed the establishment of a UN peacekeeping force before the crisis leads to widespread atrocities.

The rebels – known as the Seleka – have replaced President Bozize with their own commander, Michel Djotodia.

Armed gangs, mainly former Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, now control most of the landlocked country.

Some are mercenaries from neighbouring countries, such as Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan.

Mr Djotodia, the country’s first Muslim leader, has formally disbanded the rebels and integrated many fighters into the national army.

French troops patrol a street in Bangui. Photo: October 2013 France currently has some 400 soldiers patrolling the capital, Bangui

But former rebels linked to Seleka have continued to launch attacks on scores of villages, prompting the emergence of local civilian protection groups.

The government in Bangui denies targeting any group, but recognises the rise in inter-community violence.

Jordanian King Abdullah Cozying-Up To Radical Islamists

Jordan’s king and the Islamists: In one boat?




Unlike what many of Jordan’s king supporters in the West might believe, he is not an anti-Islamist, and the Jordanian public is not pro-MB.

Jordan's King Abdullah

Jordan’s King Abdullah Photo: REUTERS

With the Arab Spring boiling, it is would be rather naive for anyone to assume any Arab regime is immune to a revolution. Nonetheless, many in Israel and elsewhere seem to believe the kingdom of Jordan is stable. Those people should just listen to the king himself.

In a congressional hearing, US Senator Lindsey Graham said Jordan’s king had told him he “did not think he would be in power within a year from now” because of the crisis in Syria. To which US Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey responded: “Yes, that is basically his fear.”

The weekly anti-regime protests in Jordan have almost stopped; this has been celebrated by some of the pro-king journalists in the West. Nonetheless, they have celebrated too early, because Jordanians have switched from peaceful protesting to violence.

In the past few weeks, violent riots, confrontations with the police and full-scale gun battles have hit downtown Amman, the Gaza refugee camp, Irbid in the north and all the way down to the ancient city of Petra. A dozen Jordanians have been killed.

Still, ongoing violence in Jordan receives little media coverage; with Al Jazeera in particular barely reporting anything negative on Jordan.

This has been very helpful to the king as Al Jazeera is one of the world’s main sources for Middle East news, that has been a catalyzer for most Arab revolutions.

With no logical explanation for Al Jazeera’s stance, one fact remains: many of Al Jazeera’s top managers and producers are Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members.

In fact, the longest serving general manager for Al Jazeera was Waddah Khanfar, who is a known Jordanian MB figure.

Unlike the MB in Egypt and elsewhere, Jordan’s MB has been in a nearly full partnership with the ruling regime.

For a starter, Jordan’s MB supported the Hashemite regime in the 1970 civil war and even declared fighting against the Palestinian militias with King Hussein “a jihad.”

In November 2012, a full-scale revolution started in Jordan. Hundreds of thousands of Jordanians from Palestinian refugee camps and East Bankers’ areas took to the street calling for the king to step down and leave the country. The MB stood against these protesters and disrupted their movement for weeks.

At the same time, the MB leadership issued a public press release in which their leader Zaki Bani Rushied said: “We have chosen to reform the regime and not to topple it.”

But why would the MB choose for Jordan’s king to stay rather than be ousted? It would have made sense if this became the MB’s stance after Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted, but this was the MB’s position since day one.

The answer might lie in the fact that Jordan’s king and his father have been the only Arab rulers who allowed the MB to exist as a registered charity, enabling the MB to have its own private schools, private universities, hospitals, Islamic banks and even their own newspaper and TV station.

Today, while Jordan’s king imprisons and tortures seculars calling for reform, he allows the MB to organize anti-Israel/ anti-US protests under the protection and facilitation of the Jordanian police. This way, the king manages to use the MB as a scarecrow to play on Israel’s fear factor, claiming the Islamists would take over Jordan if he falls to the Arab Spring.

A SEASONED Jordanian journalist who spoke to me recently on the condition of anonymity claimed the king’s office has been reaching out to Western and Israeli journalists, analysts and commentators to claim he was under the threat of an MB takeover.

An internal MB memo leaked to CNN Arabic in December 2012 showed the MB believed its influence over the Jordanian street had diminished. If that is the case, the MB may not be likely to place a president in office if the king falls, as they have been failing to impress the rather secular Palestinian majority.

In short, MB seems to know if the king falls, it could fall with him too.

Jordanian-Palestinian political figure Emad Tarifi told me: “If parliamentary elections were held today, the MB will barely get 15% of the vote, they are no longer popular and the public has come to realize they are in bed with the king.”

Tarifi himself is an example; despite being a secular opposition figure, the king’s intelligence service has confiscated his passport and keeps harassing him, while hardcore MB fundamentalist hold government jobs and recruit members openly.

Further, in the same week Egypt’s new government outlawed the MB, Jordan’s king announced he would not do the same.

In addition, Jordan’s MB leaders have been rallying public support for the king; recently, MB’s spiritual mentor, Hamzah Mansour, described the king as “a man for all Jordanians,” and his second in command, Salem Falahat, bragged that the MB had “cleansed the revolution,” a remark that provoked Jordanian seculars, who claim Falahat targeted them with his remark.

Even more, while the country is still raging with violence, the MB started organizing anti-Israel protests, which the king’s media has been publicizing; possibly to reinforce Israel’s fears of change in Jordan.

While Jordan’s king still has some cheerleaders in the Western and Israeli media, they either deliberately or ignorantly overlook the fact that the seculars are now the king’s enemies and the Islamists are supporting him.

Unlike what many of Jordan’s king supporters in the West might believe, he is not an anti-Islamist, and the Jordanian public is not pro-MB.

Jordan is not immune to change and those who care for peace in the region must open the door to Jordan’s secular opposition, or at least give them a hearing.

The author is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan.

Turkey Tries To Realign Interests With Shiite Neighbors

Turkey mending ties with Shiite powers as regional clout wanes

France 24

AFP – Turkey’s ambitions to become a regional leader with a “zero problems” foreign policy have been left in tatters by the Syrian civil war, rising sectarian tensions and a fresh diplomatic fallout with Egypt.

The predominantly Sunni Muslim NATO member state is now seeking to mend fences with Shiite powers Iraq and Iran to restore its waning clout in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab spring uprisings.

The Syrian conflict has upset the balance of power in Turkey’s backyard and dealt a blow to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lofty regional goals, his stature on the international stage also tarnished by the wave of anti-government protests that gripped the country in June.

Disputes with Israel, Cyprus and Armenia also linger on, while the spat with Cairo came to a head Saturday when Egypt’s military rulers expelled Turkey’s ambassador over Erdogan’s support for ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

“Today Turkey is a country which is drifting alone in a vacuum,” said Faruk Logoglu, deputy head of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) and a former ambassador to Washington.

‘Turkey failed to respond realistically to Arab spring’

Turkey now has no ambassadors in three key regional states: Egypt, Israel and Syria.

“In fact there is ‘no zero problem’ policy left to talk about,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Istanbul Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies.

“Turkey failed to respond through realistic diplomatic moves to the changes in the region in the aftermath of the Arab spring,” he told AFP.

Erdogan, accused by critics of becoming increasingly authoritarian after 11 years at the head of a government with its roots in conservative political Islam, defiantly defended his actions as ensuring that Turkey was on the side of the righteous.

“We have supported the struggle for democracy in the world. We never respect those who do not respect the people’s sovereign rights,” he said.

But Ulgen warned the crisis with Egypt would also have wider repercussions, including an impact on Ankara’s partnership with the oil-rich Gulf monarchies. Turkey, he said, was now on a “quest for a new balance” in its foreign policy, hence the overtures to Iraq and Iran.

Ankara’s relations with the two Shiite Muslim-led powers have been strained since the Syrian uprising erupted in 2011, leaving them on opposite sides of the war.

Faysal Itani from the Atlantic Council, a US think tank, said Turkey’s “early aggressive stance” against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its fervent support for the rebels had alienated its neighbours.

“Turkey probably saw this as a price worth paying. But I imagine they did not expect the regime to hold out against the rebels for so long,” Itani told AFP.

“Erdogan is re-evaluating Turkey’s regional posture in light of the disappointments of its Syria policy.”

Turkey felt sidelined when the United States, its close NATO ally, decided against military strikes on Syria after an August chemical weapons attack.

Ankara in turn has faced accusations from some quarters in the United States that it is turning a blind eye to radical Al-Qaeda fighters crossing its long border to join the battle against Assad.

Erdogan’s government is now looking to Iran and Iraq to help contain the conflict as it grapples with the mass influx of an estimated 600,000 refugees from across the border, warning that Syria could become a Mediterranean Afghanistan or Somalia if world powers fail to act.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is heading to Tehran Monday, barely three weeks since his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif paid a visit to Ankara, where both men said they were ready to work together against ethnic and sectarian strife in the Middle East.

“We have more agreements than disagreements on regional issues,” Zarif said.

Both sides have been pushing for a thaw after the June election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which has seen Tehran open the door for dialogue with the West and renew talks with world powers on its contested nuclear programme.

And Turkey, which has little energy resources of its own, has shrugged off US pressure for it to reduce its imports of oil and gas from sanctions-hit Iran, its major supplier along with Russia.

Earlier this month, Davutoglu also visited Iraq to seek a “fresh start” after two years of tensions.

The two governments had locked horns on issues ranging from Syria to the Kurds of Iraq.

Turkey is also alarmed by the growing influence of Kurdish militants in northern Syria and fears a de facto Kurdish state there — similar to one already established in Iraq — could provide a rear base of operations for Turkish Kurd fighters.

Earlier this month, a Kurdish militia dominated by a party close to Turkey’s main Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) declared provisional self-rule in Syrian areas under their control.

Ankara said it cannot accept a fait accompli.

“Turkey may be feeling it needs to balance its hostility towards the Syrian regime with developing options to contain the Syrian Kurds, and could be shoring up relations with Iraq and Iran to that end,” said Itani.

With Turkey on the hunt for new friends, opposition lawmaker Muslim Sari labelled Davutoglu as the “least successful foreign minister in the history of the Turkish republic”

Saudis Blame Qatar for Doing What CIA Wanted In Egypt and Yemen

Riyadh asks GCC states to condemn Qatar’s actions in Egypt and Yemen

Middle east monitor

Saudi and Qatari FlagSaudi-Qatari relations are extremely tense as a result of Doha’s policies towards post-coup Egypt

A diplomatic source told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Sunday that the tripartite meeting held on Saturday night in Riyadh between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar came in the wake of a Saudi request from the Gulf Cooperation Council to “condemn the actions of Qatar” in Egypt and Yemen. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Saudi Arabia is “very irritated by the policy of Qatar in Egypt” and Yemen.The same source said that the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, tried to mediate between the two countries in order not to lose the annual summit that will gather the leaders of the six GCC states in his country next month. He noted that last week, during visits by Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to some Arab Gulf capitals, Riyadh made its request that the GCC issue a statement condemning the actions of Qatar in Egypt and Yemen. Al-Faisal carried messages from King Abdullah to the leaders of four Gulf States: Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.

During the Riyadh meeting, the Saudi monarch, the Emir of Kuwait and the Emir of Qatar reviewed issues of mutual concern as well as cooperation among GCC states.

Commenting on the situation, one European diplomat told AFP that Saudi-Qatari relations are extremely tense as a result of Doha’s policies towards post-coup Egypt. The small Gulf state has been the main supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, and has expressed concerns about his overthrow amid fears that an Algerian scenario may be repeated in Egypt.

Riyadh asks GCC states to condemn Qatar’s actions in Egypt and Yemen

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Saudi and Qatari FlagSaudi-Qatari relations are extremely tense as a result of Doha’s policies towards post-coup Egypt

A diplomatic source told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Sunday that the tripartite meeting held on Saturday night in Riyadh between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar came in the wake of a Saudi request from the Gulf Cooperation Council to “condemn the actions of Qatar” in Egypt and Yemen. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Saudi Arabia is “very irritated by the policy of Qatar in Egypt” and Yemen.The same source said that the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, tried to mediate between the two countries in order not to lose the annual summit that will gather the leaders of the six GCC states in his country next month. He noted that last week, during visits by Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to some Arab Gulf capitals, Riyadh made its request that the GCC issue a statement condemning the actions of Qatar in Egypt and Yemen. Al-Faisal carried messages from King Abdullah to the leaders of four Gulf States: Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.

During the Riyadh meeting, the Saudi monarch, the Emir of Kuwait and the Emir of Qatar reviewed issues of mutual concern as well as cooperation among GCC states.

Commenting on the situation, one European diplomat told AFP that Saudi-Qatari relations are extremely tense as a result of Doha’s policies towards post-coup Egypt. The small Gulf state has been the main supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, and has expressed concerns about his overthrow amid fears that an Algerian scenario may be repeated in Egypt.

– See more at:

Ethiopian Hell In Saudi Arabia

Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia Menfa Mender Nov 16 2013


Shocking video: Ethiopian workers tortured, abused in Saudi Arabia

[SEE SAUDI REBUTTAL AT YOUTUBE, Ethiopian propaganda video flayed]

Video released by Ethiopia

Video released by Ethiopia
Video released by Ethiopia’s information ministry about rights violations of Ethiopian workers in Saudi Arabia.
Ethiopia’s Information Ministry has released a shocking video footage dubbed “Hell on Earth” that shows appalling conditions of its nationals in Saudi Arabia.

Ethiopia’s Information Ministry has appealed to the international organizations to take immediate action to stop Saudi regime bloody crackdown on Ethiopian nationals.

The video footage shows some Ethiopians being tied-up are brutally beaten by Saudi security forces.

It also shows Saudi security forces in plain clothes beating workers using butt stocks.

According to the reports, several foreign workers have been killed in Saudi regime crackdown on foreign workers in recent days.

Foreign workers, especially Ethiopians, are facing beatings, torture, rape, abuse and death in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom had condemned Saudi Arabia for its brutal crackdown on migrant workers in the kingdom.

The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) also expressed its concern about the condition of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

CREW condemning the racist, gross human rights violations that target Ethiopians appealed to the international community and all human rights organizations to take the issue seriously and urged Saudi authorities to stop torturing Ethiopian workers.

Foreign workers cannot change jobs or leave Saudi Arabia without the permission of their sponsors, who are often Saudi companies or individuals who provide workers to businesses for profit.

Most of the sponsors take away the passports of the workers for the duration of their contract.

Human rights groups have criticized Saudi Arabia over the condition of migrant workers in the kingdom and called on Riyadh to abolish the sponsorship system for migrant workers.


Kuwait, Doha Bow To Riyadh

Kuwait, Doha consult Riyadh on key issues

arab news


GCC SECURITY TOP PRIORITY: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah holds talks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah met here on Saturday with the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait for a mini-summit to discuss major regional developments, including the crisis in Syria and Iran’s nuclear program.
King Abdullah, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah discussed “issues of interest to the three nations,” said the Saudi Press Agency without elaborating.
The three leaders also discussed the latest regional and global developments and expressed their stand on them as well as ways of strengthening the Gulf Cooperation Council, the SPA report said.
The tripartite talks were attended by Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister, Prince Muqrin, second deputy premier, and Prince Muhammad bin Naif, interior minister.
Saudi and international political analysts have highlighted the significance of the Riyadh summit as it comes at a crucial stage in Geneva talks between Western powers and Iran on the latter’s nuclear program.
Badr Almotawa, a Saudi journalist, said he believed Saudi Arabia would take a strong and strategic stand on latest developments in the region, similar to the one it took on the UN Security Council seat.
The Riyadh meeting comes ahead of the GCC summit that will take place in Kuwait next month.
Saudi Ambassador in London, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, meanwhile, warned on Saturday that Saudi Arabia would not sit idly by if the UK, US and other world powers failed to curb Iran’s ambitious nuclear program. “All options are available,” Prince Mohammed told The Times.

Kerry and Hagel Reassert US Committments To Defend Japan and Taiwan

[SEE:  China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands ]

US criticizes new China zone, vows to defend Japan




Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands — which the Chinese and Taiwanese claim as

Geneva (AFP) – The United States said Saturday it was “deeply concerned” and committed to defending Japan after China announced an air zone in the East China Sea that includes disputed islands.

In a move that US ally Japan branded as “very dangerous,” China said it was setting up the “air defense identification zone” over the islands administered by Tokyo to “guard against potential air threats.”

In similar statements, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the United States was “deeply concerned” about the moves by China, which also scrambled air force jets to carry out a patrol mission in the newly declared zone.

“This unilateral action constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” Kerry said.

“Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident,” the top US diplomat said from Geneva, where he was taking part in talks on reaching an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

Kerry said that the United States has urged China to “exercise caution and restraint,” and warned Beijing against implementing its new zone.

“We urge China not to implement its threat to take action against aircraft that do not identify themselves or obey orders from Beijing,” Kerry said.

Hagel reiterated that the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands — which the Chinese claim and call the Diaoyu — fell under the US-Japan security treaty, meaning that Washington would defend its ally Tokyo if the area is attacked.

“We are in close consultation with our allies and partners in the region, including Japan. We remain steadfast in our commitments to our allies and partners,” Hagel said.

The defense chief made clear that the United States, which stations more than 70,000 troops in Japan and South Korea, would not respect China’s declaration of control over the zone.

“This announcement by the People’s Republic of China will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region,” Hagel said.

The outline of the zone, which is shown on the Chinese defense ministry website and a state media Twitter account (, covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes airspace above the disputed islands.

Japan last year nationalized the islands last year and has vowed not to cede sovereignty or even to acknowledge a dispute with China, accusing its growing neighbor of trying to change the status quo through intimidation.

China and Taiwan both claim the islands, which fall near potentially energy-rich waters.

The United States says that it has no position on the islands’ ultimate sovereignty but believes that they are currently under Japanese administration.

“Freedom of overflight and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace are essential to prosperity, stability and security in the Pacific,” Kerry said.

He called for a “more collaborative and less confrontational future in the Pacific.”

The United States, for its part, does not ask foreign aircraft to identify themselves if they are not intending to enter US airspace.

US President Barack Obama has pledged a greater focus on Asia in light of China’s rise and plans to shift the majority of US warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.

Obama plans to visit Asia, reportedly including Japan, in April. Kerry, who has invested much of his time on the Middle East, will travel to Asia in the coming weeks.

White House Fact Sheet On Iran Nuclear Deal

[Have we all misjudged the situation?  Is Obama actually a real Peacemaker, disguised as a war criminal?  By partnering with Putin to double-cross both Israel and the Saudis, Obama has largely disarmed the world’s two greatest troublemakers and state terrorists of their ability to extort concessions from us any longer.

Before this disappointment in Tel Aviv and Riyadh, there was the heartbreak felt from missing-out on a suicidal world war which they had worked so hard to force Obama into.  The chemical weapons agreement which enabled us to avert world war will do so much more than just deal with Middle Eastern WMD; it is a joint commitment by the world’s two greatest powers to work together to defuse the deadly world crisis which has been released by Bush’s terror war.  This new agreement with Iran, IF it can be made PERMANENT, will create a worldwide ban on new nuclear proliferation outside of the new global protocols that are now being created.  This will effectively limit ALL nuclear development to peaceful uses ONLY.  Between the chemical agreement and the Iranian nuclear agreement, real “weapons of mass destruction” (NOT the insipid American definition of WMD, which can be anything from an IED to a large “MENTOS” bomb) will systematically be eliminated from the Middle East, as a first step for worldwide disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

Israel is so adamantly opposed to any controls on WMD, even to those possessed by their avowed enemy, Iran, or even treaties with them, simply because the Zionist leaders NEED their “special weapons.”   They have used them so effectively, up until now, to extort concessions from Western leaders, that they have truly given Israel control over all US foreign policy.  Fear that Israeli leaders have all been insane enough to ignite a world war in the Middle East, has made American leaders to act like the “rational” partners, forcing them to take actions that they might not have taken, in order to try to contain explosive Zionist leaders.

The Saudis, for their part, used their massive oil resources like a non-lethal “weapon of mass destruction,” since it also gave Riyadh its own veto power over US foreign policy.  The ongoing oil and gas booms in America have largely neutralized this Saudi power to wield political terrorism over American heads.  If Obama’s joint peace efforts with Putin hold together, until they can be forged into hard laws, then the world military crisis will have been defused, the two greatest sources of world terrorism will have been disarmed, and astronomical amounts of investment dollars and rubles will have been made available towards ending the world financial crisis and forging a new economic order.

So many great things could be done by Peacemakers, especially in a world which is as hungry for Peace as it is for food.]

Read the White House fact sheet on Iran nuclear deal




The exact details remain unclear, but NBC’s Ann Curry says this initial first step in the deal is historic, but may set off backlash for some in Iran.


Below is a fact sheet released by the White House late Saturday describing the key elements of the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program:


Office of the Press Secretary


November 23, 2013

Fact Sheet:  First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) has been engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran with the goal of reaching a verifiable diplomatic resolution that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

President Obama has been clear that achieving a peaceful resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is in America’s national security interest.  Today, the P5+1 and Iran reached a set of initial understandings that halts the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolls it back in key respects.  These are the first meaningful limits that Iran has accepted on its nuclear program in close to a decade.  The initial, six month step includes significant limits on Iran’s nuclear program and begins to address our most urgent concerns including Iran’s enrichment capabilities; its existing stockpiles of enriched uranium; the number and capabilities of its centrifuges; and its ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium using the Arak reactor.  The concessions Iran has committed to make as part of this first step will also provide us with increased transparency and intrusive monitoring of its nuclear program.  In the past, the concern has been expressed that Iran will use negotiations to buy time to advance their program.  Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community’s concerns.

Secretary of State John Kerry lays out some of the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran.

In return, as part of this initial step, the P5+1 will provide limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief to Iran.  This relief is structured so that the overwhelming majority of the sanctions regime, including the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.  The P5+1 will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously.  If Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will revoke the limited relief and impose additional sanctions on Iran.

The P5+1 and Iran also discussed the general parameters of a comprehensive solution that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term, provide verifiable assurances to the international community that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful, and ensure that any attempt by Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon would be promptly detected.  The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions – which Iran has long claimed are illegal – as well as past and present issues with Iran’s nuclear program that have been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  This would include resolution of questions concerning the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program, including Iran’s activities at Parchin.  As part of a comprehensive solution, Iran must also come into full compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its obligations to the IAEA.  With respect to the comprehensive solution, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.  Put simply, this first step expires in six months, and does not represent an acceptable end state to the United States or our P5+1 partners.

Halting the Progress of Iran’s Program and Rolling Back Key Elements

Iran has committed to halt enrichment above 5%:

· Halt all enrichment above 5% and dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%.

Iran has committed to neutralize its stockpile of near-20% uranium:

· Dilute below 5% or convert to a form not suitable for further enrichment its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium before the end of the initial phase.

President Obama says the historic nuclear deal with Iran is a first step.  He added, the U.S. will continue to implement tough sanctions, but won’t impose new ones if Iran meets its commitments during the next six months.

Iran has committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity:

· Not install additional centrifuges of any type.

· Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.

· Leave inoperable roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, so they cannot be used to enrich uranium.

· Limit its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six months to stockpile centrifuges.

· Not construct additional enrichment facilities.

Iran has committed to halt progress on the growth of its 3.5% stockpile:

· Not increase its stockpile of 3.5% low enriched uranium, so that the amount is not greater at the end of the six months than it is at the beginning, and any newly enriched 3.5% enriched uranium is converted into oxide.

Iran has committed to no further advances of its activities at Arak and to halt progress on its plutonium track.  Iran has committed to:

· Not commission the Arak reactor.

· Not fuel the Arak reactor.

· Halt the production of fuel for the Arak reactor.

· No additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.

· Not install any additional reactor components at Arak.

· Not transfer fuel and heavy water to the reactor site.

· Not construct a facility capable of reprocessing.  Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

Unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program 

Iran has committed to:

· Provide daily access by IAEA inspectors at Natanz and Fordow.  This daily access will permit inspectors to review surveillance camera footage to ensure comprehensive monitoring.  This access will provide even greater transparency into enrichment at these sites and shorten detection time for any non-compliance.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge assembly facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge rotor component production and storage facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to uranium mines and mills.

· Provide long-sought design information for the Arak reactor.  This will provide critical insight into the reactor that has not previously been available.

· Provide more frequent inspector access to the Arak reactor.

· Provide certain key data and information called for in the Additional Protocol to Iran’s IAEA Safeguards Agreement and Modified Code 3.1.

Verification Mechanism

The IAEA will be called upon to perform many of these verification steps, consistent with their ongoing inspection role in Iran.  In addition, the P5+1 and Iran have committed to establishing a Joint Commission to work with the IAEA to monitor implementation and address issues that may arise.  The Joint Commission will also work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, including the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s activities at Parchin.

Limited, Temporary, Reversible Relief

In return for these steps, the P5+1 is to provide limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief while maintaining the vast bulk of our sanctions, including the oil, finance, and banking sanctions architecture.  If Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will revoke the relief.  Specifically the P5+1 has committed to:

· Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, if Iran abides by its commitments under this deal, to the extent permissible within their political systems.

· Suspend certain sanctions on gold and precious metals, Iran’s auto sector, and Iran’s petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.

· License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.

· Allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their currently significantly reduced levels – levels that are 60% less than two years ago.  $4.2 billion from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as, Iran fulfills its commitments.

· Allow $400 million in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted Iranian funds directly to recognized educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.

Humanitarian Transactions

Facilitate humanitarian transactions that are already allowed by U.S. law.  Humanitarian transactions have been explicitly exempted from sanctions by Congress so this channel will not provide Iran access to any new source of funds.  Humanitarian transactions are those related to Iran’s purchase of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices; we would also facilitate transactions for medical expenses incurred abroad.  We will establish this channel for the benefit of the Iranian people.

Putting Limited Relief in Perspective

In total, the approximately $7 billion in relief is a fraction of the costs that Iran will continue to incur during this first phase under the sanctions that will remain in place.  The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings are inaccessible or restricted by sanctions.

In the next six months, Iran’s crude oil sales cannot increase.  Oil sanctions alone will result in approximately $30 billion in lost revenues to Iran – or roughly $5 billion per month – compared to what Iran earned in a six month period in 2011, before these sanctions took effect.  While Iran will be allowed access to $4.2 billion of its oil sales, nearly $15 billion of its revenues during this period will go into restricted overseas accounts.  In summary, we expect the balance of Iran’s money in restricted accounts overseas will actually increase, not decrease, under the terms of this deal.

Maintaining Economic Pressure on Iran and Preserving Our Sanctions Architecture

During the first phase, we will continue to vigorously enforce our sanctions against Iran, including by taking action against those who seek to evade or circumvent our sanctions.

· Sanctions affecting crude oil sales will continue to impose pressure on Iran’s government.  Working with our international partners, we have cut Iran’s oil sales from 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2012 to 1 million bpd today, denying Iran the ability to sell almost 1.5 million bpd.  That’s a loss of more than $80 billion since the beginning of 2012 that Iran will never be able to recoup.  Under this first step, the EU crude oil ban will remain in effect and Iran will be held to approximately 1 million bpd in sales, resulting in continuing lost sales worth an additional $4 billion per month, every month, going forward.

· Sanctions affecting petroleum product exports to Iran, which result in billions of dollars of lost revenue, will remain in effect.

· The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings remain inaccessible or restricted by our sanctions.

· Other significant parts of our sanctions regime remain intact, including:

· Sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and approximately two dozen other major Iranian banks and financial actors;

· Secondary sanctions, pursuant to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) as amended and other laws, on banks that do business with U.S.-designated individuals and entities;

· Sanctions on those who provide a broad range of other financial services to Iran, such as many types of insurance; and,

· Restricted access to the U.S. financial system.

· All sanctions on over 600 individuals and entities targeted for supporting Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile program remain in effect.

· Sanctions on several sectors of Iran’s economy, including shipping and shipbuilding, remain in effect.

· Sanctions on long-term investment in and provision of technical services to Iran’s energy sector remain in effect.

· Sanctions on Iran’s military program remain in effect.

· Broad U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran remain in effect, depriving Iran of access to virtually all dealings with the world’s biggest economy.

· All UN Security Council sanctions remain in effect.

· All of our targeted sanctions related to Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, its destabilizing role in the Syrian conflict, and its abysmal human rights record, among other concerns, remain in effect.

A Comprehensive Solution

During the six-month initial phase, the P5+1 will negotiate the contours of a comprehensive solution.  Thus far, the outline of the general parameters of the comprehensive solution envisions concrete steps to give the international community confidence that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful.  With respect to this comprehensive resolution:  nothing is agreed to with respect to a comprehensive solution until everything is agreed to.  Over the next six months, we will determine whether there is a solution that gives us sufficient confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful.  If Iran cannot address our concerns, we are prepared to increase sanctions and pressure.


In sum, this first step achieves a great deal in its own right.  Without this phased agreement, Iran could start spinning thousands of additional centrifuges.  It could install and spin next-generation centrifuges that will reduce its breakout times.  It could fuel and commission the Arak heavy water reactor.  It could grow its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to beyond the threshold for a bomb’s worth of uranium. Iran can do none of these things under the conditions of the first step understanding.

Furthermore, without this phased approach, the international sanctions coalition would begin to fray because Iran would make the case to the world that it was serious about a diplomatic solution and we were not.  We would be unable to bring partners along to do the crucial work of enforcing our sanctions.  With this first step, we stop and begin to roll back Iran’s program and give Iran a sharp choice:  fulfill its commitments and negotiate in good faith to a final deal, or the entire international community will respond with even more isolation and pressure.

The American people prefer a peaceful and enduring resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and strengthens the global non-proliferation regime.  This solution has the potential to achieve that.  Through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do its part for greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.

Related stories:

U.K. police—Slavery suspects are from India, Tanzania

U.K. police: Slavery suspects are from India, Tanzania





LONDON (AP) — U.K. police said Saturday the two suspects in a major slavery case are from India and Tanzania and came to Britain in the 1960s.

Police believe two of the three women victims, who were allegedly held against their will for over 30 years, met the male suspect in London “through a shared political ideology and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call ‘a collective,'” said Commander Steve Rodhouse.

Police are investigating “the nature of that collective and how it operated,” he said, without providing details about the collective or its ideology.

The two suspects, a male and a female, both aged 67, have been released on bail.

Rodhouse said police are beginning house-to-house inquiries seeking information from neighbors who live near the house where the women were held in the Lambeth area of south London.

He said police are working “to gain the trust and confidence of the highly traumatized victims” and said the process would take time.

“This must move at their pace, not anyone else,” he said.

The disclosure Thursday that a 69-year-old Malaysian, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton were freed after apparently spending three decades in captivity prompted a flurry of speculation and questions about how it went unnoticed for so long.

The arrests were made after the Irish woman phoned a charity last month to say she was being held against her will along with two others. The charity engaged in a series of secretive conversations with the women and contacted police. Two of the women eventually left the house, and police rescued the third.

The three women are receiving extensive counseling after their decades-long ordeal.

Egypt Dismisses Turkish Ambassador Over Erdogan’s Disrespect

[The short statement that has exposed the breach in the Islamists’ camp.  Apparently, all of the Arab govts do as Riyadh demands.]

“I applaud Mr. Morsi’s stance before the judiciary”…I respect him. I have no respect for those who put him on trial.”—Erdogan

Egypt dismisses Turkish ambassador

daily news egypt

Erdoğan’s comments on Egypt deepen the rift between Ankara and Cairo

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Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed Turkey’s ambassador to Cairo to return to Ankara following comments made by the Turkish Prime Minister, which the ministry sees as a reflection of his “unacceptable determination to defy the will of the Egyptian people.”

The ministry confirmed in an official statement on Saturday that it had summoned Turkish Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali to ask him to leave the country as a “persona non grata” (an unwelcome person).

The ministry statement made reference to remarks made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday ahead of his visit to Moscow. The statement stressed that Erdoğan’s comments are viewed by the ministry as “interference in the internal affairs of the country.” It also pointed out that the comments are based on “fabrications and falsifications of the facts and differ from the reality since the 30 June Revolution.”

The relationship between Egypt and Turkey strengthened under Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, but has been publically strained since his ouster in July. Both countries recalled their ambassadors in August for consultations, and Erdoğan has repeatedly criticised Egypt’s interim government and openly expressed his opposition to Morsi’s removal. He once claimed that Israel was responsible for Morsi’s ouster.

Ankara reinstated its ambassador to Egypt at the beginning of September, however the Egyptian ministry said that it was “yet to make a decision” as to whether or not to send its ambassador back to Turkey.

The ministry’s statement on Saturday said that Egypt had granted Turkey’s leadership the chance to “perhaps use logic” and to put the interests of the two countries ahead of “partisan interests and narrow minded ideology.”

China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands

China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands

google news




Beijing — Beijing on Saturday announced it was setting up an “air defence identification zone” over an area that includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China, triggering a “strong protest” from Tokyo.

China’s defence ministry said that it was setting up the zone to “guard against potential air threats” in a move likely to heighten tensions in a bitter territorial row between the two countries.

Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.

Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities.

The outline of the zone, which is shown on the Chinese defence ministry website and a state media Twitter account (, covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes airspace above the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyu to China.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a strong protest against the new zone, Kyodo news agency reported.

“China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions,” according to the ministry.

The zone became operational as of 10:00 am Saturday (0200 GMT).

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the establishment of the zone was aimed at “safeguarding state sovereignty, territorial land and air security, and maintaining flight order.”

“It is a necessary measure in China’s exercise of self-defense rights. It has no particular target and will not affect the freedom of flight in relevant airspace,” Yang said in a statement on the ministry’s website Saturday.

“China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition, and it hopes all relevant sides positively cooperate and jointly maintain flying safety,” he said.

Four Chinese coastguard boats briefly entered Senkaku waters on Friday, following multiple incursions at the end of October and start of November which revived tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said in late October that the repeated incursions were a threat to peace and fell in a “‘grey zone’ (between) peacetime and an emergency situation”.

A few days earlier, the Chinese defence minister warned Japan that any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute “an act of war”.

The move came after a report said Japan had drafted plans to shoot down foreign drones that encroach on its airspace if warnings to leave are ignored.

Sino-Japanese relations have remained at a low-ebb for more than a year as a result of the dispute, which was revived when Japan nationalised three of the archipelago’s five islands in September 2012.

Since that time, China has sent regular coast guard patrols to the islands, which are 200 kilometres (125 miles) northeast of Taiwan and 400 kilometres west of Japan’s Okinawa.

Afghan high peace council Finally Gets To Meet Mullah Baradar

Afghan high peace council receive special Taliban message by Baradar


By Ghanizada

Mullah Abdul Ghani BaradarAccording to reports, the co-founder of the Taliban group in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has delivered a special message of the Taliban council to Afghan high peace council delegation.

Senior Pakistani officials confirming the report have said that message by Taliban council was delivered to the delegation of the Afghan high peace council during a meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

The officials speaking on the condition of anonymity have told Pakistan’s Dawn News that the message was delivered during the meeting in Islamabad which was attended by five-member delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) led by its Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani.

Without providing further details regarding the Taliban’s special message, the officials said the meeting lasted for almost three hours.

The officials also added that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was flown from Karachi to Islamabad for the special meeting. The meeting took place during Afghan high peace council team’s visit to Pakistan from November 19 to 21.

The Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) officials have not commented regarding the special message of the Taliban council so far.

The Great Syrian Risk Game


The Great Syrian Risk Game

The Hindu

Vijay Prashad

A weakened Free Syrian Army and a chaotic Syrian National Coalition leave the rebels across the country vulnerable to retribution from both the government and the Islamists

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked his envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, to set a date for the Syrian peace conference — called Geneva II — in mid-December. The expectation of a November meeting has now slipped by. A quarter century ago, Mr. Brahimi was the envoy tasked to bring peace to the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). The Algerian diplomat used to fly into Damascus airport in Syria and drive to his meetings in Beirut. Now, Mr. Brahimi flies into Beirut to drive to Damascus. His visit to the city on October 29 was greeted with fierce fighting (in Barza and Darayya), a poor omen for a peace process. Mr. Brahimi is not optimistic. Glimmers of a political settlement are quickly extinguished by the testosterone of war and the belief by different parties that they are on the ascendency. Why make peace, they suggest, if victory is on the horizon.

A year ago, it would have been unthinkable to imagine that Bashar Assad’s Syrian armed forces would be marching up Highway 5 from Damascus towards Homs and Hama, and that his forces would be at the gates of Aleppo. Certainly Mr. Assad’s armies have always had the military advantage, and they have used their full arsenal to pummel the opposition. But plucky fighting from the defectors who formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the detachments of popular militias had given the official army a great deal of trouble, notably in Syria’s mountainous and forested terrain. In sections of the country, such as the western flank of Syria, Mr. Assad’s forces are now in the ascendency. Part of the reason for this has been the exhaustion of the rebellion, with the FSA hampered by a dismembered political leadership (the Syrian National Coalition). This Coalition is stifled by exiles who are utterly cut off from the reality of Syrian politics, by aged Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have no base to lean on in most of Syria’s governorates, and by the Saudi proxies — including leader Ahmad Jarba — who were outwitted on the ground by radical Islamists. Without a clear political agenda and consistent logistical and military support from outside, the FSA has crumbled.

Advantage Assad

FSA fighters can be seen at the border posts with Lebanon — trying to get away from a battlefield that has turned against them, and afraid of the terrible revenge that the Assad forces might take. But neither Lebanon nor Jordan is keen to allow former fighters, who are often defectors, into their countries as refugees and the United Nations does not seem to have an explicit policy for them. The collapse of the FSA, combined with the entry of Hezbollah (to conduct “self-defence duty,” as one of its leaders Mohammed Raad put it), as well as a confident irregular militia (shabiha), have given the advantage in the south-west of Syria to the Assad government. Highway 5, along the western spine of Syria that abuts the Lebanese border, will likely be in the hands of the Syrian armed forces within the week (although sources say that the army moves slower than it need to so as to exploit every victory and build morale among its troops). On November 20, the government forces took Qara, a major town since it closes off one of the last remaining supply routes from Lebanon for the opposition.

The Syrian army’s advance north toward Aleppo was facilitated by infighting among the radical Islamists and the remnants of the FSA. The most radical outfit — the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams or ISIS — emerged out of the Iraqi franchise of al-Qaeda and moved from the Iraqi town of Ramadi to the Syrian town of Raqqa, where they are now ensconced. Near Aleppo and at Azaz near the Turkish border, ISIS has been in pitched battles against competing Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham and an FSA detachment al-Hijra li-Allah. Last week, ISIS fighters beheaded Mohammed Fares, a fighter with Ahrar al-Sham.

Doctrinal differences

Fine-toothed doctrinal differences between Islamists are opened up by territorial disputes and divergent governmental styles. Some of these fights are over control over the oil fields in the Al- Jazeera area, with the regime holding the Al-Omar oil field in Deir al-Zour, the Kurds holding the largest field in Al-Rmailan in Hassekeh and Islamists and the FSA fighting over the remainder (most notably in Raqqa). As ISIS becomes more radical, it turns others against it but, at the same time, it is more ruthless against its enemies among whom it includes not only the government, but also the other Islamists and the FSA. Fitna or civil strife is its modus operandi.

If the Islamists have been weakened near Aleppo, they have been largely expelled from the Kurdish areas between the towns of Al-Qamishli and Al-Hasakah in Syria’s northeast. The Democratic Union of Kurdistan and the popular resistance committees (YPG) were given a carte blanche by the Assad government in the early part of the conflict to ensure that his northern flank would not be troublesome while he cracked down on the rebellion in the south. That concession has now turned into a full-blown secession movement. The YPG and the Democratic Union have announced the formation of Western Kurdistan — a snub at Turkey (which continues to deny Kurdish aspirations and its vehicle, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party — the PKK) and the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region (whose ally in Syria, the Kurdish National Council, criticised the move). Western Kurdistan is forbidden territory for the Assad regime and the Islamists.

Desperation stalks the horizon of radical Islamism. The Syrian army’s momentum up Highway 5 has angered the confederates of ISIS and al-Nusra in Lebanon, as it has emboldened the regime’s allies. Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, saw fierce fighting along the aptly named Syria Street in early November, and bomb blasts have returned to this fragile society. On November 19, two blasts in Beirut claimed close to 30 lives, responsibility for which was claimed by an al-Qaeda franchise, the Abdullah Azzam brigade. ISIS continues its campaign of terror in Iraq, including night raids in Ramadi to execute Iraqi police and army personnel. There are too many motives for this violence, and too little imagination amongst its perpetrators.

Furious Saudis

As the opposition Syrian National Coalition refuses to entertain talks with the Assad government, ISIS threatens death to anyone who participates in Geneva II. Saudi Arabia’s envoys worry that movement on the nuclear deal with Iran and an entente on Syria with Iran at the table would strengthen the political position of Saudi’s historical enemy. Saudi princes (Bandar, Faisal and Turki) spread across the region to scuttle any attempt to create a political process for Syria. Nothing short of total victory could be allowed by them (a position that is being mirrored in Damascus as the Syrian army strengthens its territorial holdings). Fearful of the implications of ISIS, the Saudis have funded Zahran Alloush’s Army of Islam — but it is too late to the battlefield. For good reason are the Saudis furious with the United States for its reticence to bomb Syria and encage Iran — Saudi projections have begun to unravel.

Mr. Brahimi’s December date will not be met. The Syrian army’s advance suggests that Mr. Assad will not want a ceasefire before he has taken back most of the cities. Already the area where the rebellion broke out in 2011 (near Dar’aa) is silent, with the U.N. reporting that there are more Syrians moving back from Jordan into these towns than coming across the border as refugees. If Mr. Assad has no appetite for a ceasefire, ISIS and its circle are indisposed to negotiations. A weakened FSA and a chaotic Syrian National Coalition leave the pockets of rebels across the country vulnerable to horrible retribution from both the government and the Islamists. Theirs is a precarious state. The Kurdish YPG has created the basis for their autonomous region, with control over some oil-fields and emergent links with Iraqi Kurdistan setting up the objective conditions for their effective merger. Geneva II is senseless for them. Nothing here nudges anyone to Mr. Brahimi’s table. For now, the U.N. envoy sits alone.

(Vijay Prashad is the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut.)

Is the London Couple, Alleged To Be Human-Traffickers, Saudi?

[Would Brit authorities hide their identities if they were not Saudis?]

South London slave investigation: as it happened

the telegraph

Investigations continue following the rescue of 69-year-old Malaysian woman, 57-year-old Irish woman and 30-year-old British woman by Met Police after being held captive for 30 years

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland addresses the media outside New Scotland Yard  Photo: BEN STANSTALL/AFP
This page will automatically update every 90 secondsOn Off

As it happened:

16.32 We’re closing the live blog now. The latest on this story will appear online later today.

15.45 Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, says the whole of the Met’s Human Trafficking Unit is working on the investigation.

“Specially trained officers are working with the women to try and understand their lives, and what has taken place over the course of the last 30 years. This may take weeks and many months. The HTU have had a great deal of experience in obtaining accounts from victims who have suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The very process of explaining what has happened to them is in itself a very traumatising experience.

Saudis Claim Gopher Holes Are Mortar “Craters”



mortar hole

Six shells crash near Iraq-Kuwait border: KSA

 the nation pakistan

RIYADH : Six mortar rounds crashed into a remote area of northeastern Saudi Arabia near a border triangle with Iraq and Kuwait, without causing damage, a border guard spokesman said Thursday.

General Mohammed al-Ghamidi said Saudi authorities were in “direct contact” with their neighbours to identify the source of Wednesday’s shelling and to prevent a repetition.According to Okaz newspaper’s website, the rounds were fired “from the Iraqi side of the border.”
“Six mortar rounds fell Wednesday in an uninhabited area near Al-Awja border crossing… in Hafr al-Batin in (oil-rich) Eastern Province, and no damage was caused,” the official SPA news agency quoted Ghamidi as saying. The report gave no further details of the incident. Residents said Saudi warplanes were flying over the area early on Thursday.
Hafr al-Batin, a desert region near Iraq and Kuwait, was a command headquarters for US forces during the 1991 Gulf War which expelled Iraqi occupation forces from the emirate.
The incident comes amid regional turmoil fuelled by the Syrian conflict, with Riyadh backing rebels against the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, who is strongly supported by Iran.

Saudi-Bahrain report is a whitewash

[REPORT IN FULL— The UKs relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain]

Saudi-Bahrain report is a whitewash

campaign against arms trade

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned the Foreign Affairs Committee’s new report on UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a whitewash.

CAAT had high hopes when the inquiry was announced in September 2012. However, earlier this year, CAAT began to have major concerns about the way the inquiry was being conducted. These included:

  • the appointment of Sir William Patey, former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as Specialist Adviser to the Committee. He could not have been expected to act in a disinterested and questioning manner
  • an informal meeting with the representatives from BAE Systems, the UK’s largest arms company and major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, with Sir Sherrard Cowper Coles, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and now international business adviser to BAE, and Bob Keen, BAE head of government relations
  • the seven-month delay in publishing some of the written evidence to the inquiry, including that of CAAT and other critical voices. While it was said some of the delayed evidence raised concerns about individual safety, CAAT’s did not and was eventually published in full.

Ann Feltham, CAAT’s Parliamentary Co-ordinator, who has been following the progress of the inquiry, said:

Unfortunately it looks as though arms company and establishment interests reached into the heart of this inquiry. The Foreign Affairs Committee is giving cover to the UK government as it continues the policy of pandering to despicable regimes in its desire to drum up sales for BAE Systems.

She added:

The problem is not that the UK government is failing to explain its approach to Saudi Arabia to the UK public; it is the approach itself that is the problem. The Government needs to put human rights at the heart of its policy towards Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, not the interests of the arms companies. Otherwise it is a betrayal of those protesters who seek human rights and democratic freedoms.


For further information contact CAAT at or call 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232.

The Saudis, Iran and the spreading Islamic Cold War in the Middle East

The Saudis, Iran and the spreading Islamic Cold War in the Middle East


Special to

By Fariborz Saremi

In 632 the Prophet Mohammad died, leaving behind a struggle between Shi’ites and Sunnis over the true line of succession. Today this rivalry is still alive and well in the Middle East, in particular, between the Sunni/Wahabi Muslim Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shi’ite Islamic republic of Iran.

To add to the bad blood running between the two countries, Saudi Arabia is a kingdom of ethnic Arabs and Iran is populated by ethnic Persians. The new Middle East Cold War comes complete with its own spy-versus-spy intrigues, disinformation campaign, shadowy Proxy war and supercharged state rhetoric and very high stakes.

sunnishia-300x194Tensions between the two countries were exacerbated by the 1979 Iranian revolution. Saudi Arabia, largely pro-west in its political orientation, has had to live in fear that Iran’s expressed aim of seeing its revolution internationalized would indeed succeed.

There is a relatively large population of Shi’ites in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province (10-15 percent of the overall population of Saudi Arabia), and allegedly they have been demonstrating against the Saudi government’s neglect of their interests. By and large their complaints revolve around religious discrimination, marginalization and economic misery.

Their agitation is a serious worry for the Saudi government because the Eastern province contains the bulk of the Kingdom’s oil reserves, which of course must be defended.

Unfortunately, the government has not seen it necessary to allow the Shia population in the Province to benefit from the oil revenues to the same degree as Sunnis living in the Nejad region, for example.

In Bahrain too the Shi’ite majority has been voicing its deep dissatisfaction.

Moreover, the Saudis are convinced that Iran is fomenting a rebellion in Yemen’s north among a Shi’ite-dominated rebel group known as the Houthis. It would seem this is a view only held by the Saudi’s since few external observers see such close ties between Iran and the Houthis. In fact, it is clear that the Saudis are financially supporting separatist movements on the borders of Iran.

These days, geopolitics plays a major role. The two sides have assembled allied camps. Iran holds its sway in Syria and the militant Arab groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Shiite radical factions in Iraq.

In the Saudi sphere are the Sunni-Muslim Gulf monarchies, Morocco and the other main Palestinian faction, Fatah. The Saudi Camp is pro-Western and leans toward tolerating the state of Israel. There are even speculations that Israeli-Saudi intelligence services cooperate in the Middle East and the Israeli-Saudi Lobbies coordinate their policies in Washington, D.C. The Iranian grouping defiantly opposes Israel.

Given that both Iran and Saudi Arabia fear large democracy movements in their countries, the recent pro-democracy movements in the region have had a very unsettling effect. The Saudis, in particular, are worried that the general discontent may inspire its own population to rise up.

Iran on the other hand has been relatively happy to see the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as they could be interpreted as having been inspired by the 1979 Revolution.

Both countries have not been shy about interfering in the affairs of other countries, either in order to further their own agendas or to prevent outside influences spilling over into their sphere of influence. Over the decades, they have conducted a series of complicated game of moves and counter moves to weaken each other. They have built up various militias through which they carry out proxy and covert operations.

For example, during the long Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, Iran helped to form the Hizbullah, and the Saudis backed Sunni militias. As might be expected they are heavily engaged in Iraq and Syria through their proxies there.

Saudi Arabia indeed has been using its considerable wealth to exert influence all over the globe, whether in Germany or Afghanistan, where it has given substantial support to the Taliban.

Saudi Arabia was one of the three countries in the world to give official recognition to the Taliban government before 9/11, 2001. Moreover, the Saudi government is a keen funder of the Wahhabi radical groups operating within Pakistan, home to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

Now Saudi Arabia, a long term ally of the USA and frequent customer of its weapons industry is showing signs of being rattled by the impending rapprochement between Iran and the USA.

The Saudis object to Washington’s current policies regarding both Iran and Syria because it threatens their deeply rooted anti-Shiite outlook.

The government in Riyadh has been pursuing systematic discrimination against the local Shi’ite population for quite some time. Furthermore, it also know that the U.S. might very soon become entirely independent of Saudi and Middle Eastern oil.

Dr. Fariborz Saremi is a strategic analyst based in Hamburg/Germany. He is a regular contributor to World, and Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Obama Murders Eight Seminary Students In Hangu, Pakistan



Residents stand at the site of a drone attack on an Islamic seminary in Hangu district, bordering North Waziristan


Eight killed, six injured in missile strike in Hangu

Khyber news KHYBER NEWS

HANGU: At least eight students were killed and six others were injured in a US missile strike targeting a seminary in Tehsil Tal of district Hangu here on Thursday.
According to the reports, a US drone fired three missiles on the seminary around 5 AM on Thursday that killed eight students and injured six others in Tehsil Tal of Hangu the main district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Reports said that the drones continued to hover over the missile-hit-area, causing tension among the tribal people.
It was the first such missile strike took place in Hangu.
The attack comes a day after the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz told the Senate body that the US had assured Pakistan of not conducting drone strikes during the government’s talk with the Taliban.

Beirut bombings are ‘a clear message by Saudi Arabia’

Beirut bombings are ‘a clear message by Saudi Arabia’

Lebanese Army soldiers inspect the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy complex (R) in Beirut November 19, 2013.(Reuters / Mohamed Azakir)

Lebanese Army soldiers inspect the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy complex (R) in Beirut November 19, 2013.(Reuters / Mohamed Azakir)

The blasts near the Iranian embassy in Beirut are a clear message by Saudi Arabia to Iran, as by targeting Iran it wants to spread chaos and war also inside Lebanon, political analyst Kevork Elmassian told RT.

RT: We know that a Lebanese group linked to Al-Qaeda has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. From your point of view, what would be their motive there?

Kevork Elmassian: The group is called Abdullah Azzam and it is affiliated to Al-Qaeda. This is a clear message by Saudi Arabia or it’s an act of war by Saudi Arabia against Iran, this is for the first time the Saudis are crossing the red line by targeting the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. I don’t agree with the Iranian Ambassador who pointed his finger to the Israelis. It’s true that the Israelis are beneficiaries of these explosions but who perpetrated these attacks? They are Al-Qaeda linked groups; their emir is Bandar “bin-Satan” [bin-Sultan] in Saudi Arabia.

We have to know that these explosions happened with two suicide bombers. The Israelis never do such operations, they can use their airplanes and other car bombs. But there were two people, one of them was on motorcycle, he came close to the embassy and tried to explode himself in order to open a route for the other car entering to the embassy, but the security was awake and they shot him. He was forced to explode himself outside the embassy. But in politics we have to understand that this message from Saudi Arabia has come after the war of the Al-Qalamoun mountains. We have to know that Hezbollah and the Syrian army are fighting side by side against Al-Qaeda groups in Syria and recently in Al-Qara area, this area links with Arsal area in Lebanon, where the thousands of militants from Al-Qaeda  under the patronage of the Future Movement of Lebanon are having trainings and also smuggling arms into Syria. Also, this area links Homs to Damascus, it is in the center of Homs and Damascus, and most of the terrorists who are coming to the eastern Ghouta area in Damascus, the place where the chemical attack happened, are coming from this area.

RT: Why do you link Saudi Arabia to this case?

KE: Because the militants of the proxies of Saudi Arabia exist in the center between Damascus and Homs and they are spreading all this chaos and terrorism around the cities of Homs and Damascus. Most of the car bombs are coming from this area. When Hezbollah and Syrian army decided to crush the rebellion in this area, the Saudis wanted to send a very historical message to Iran. We have to remember the actions of Saudi Arabia in past few weeks: they refused the membership of the UN Security Council and then they said they were going to work to foil the peaceful negotiations in Geneva for peace in Syria. They are also trying to block any deal between the West and Iran. And the recent reports are saying that Saudi Arabia is going to buy a nuclear bomb from Pakistan, if a deal is reached between P5+1 and Iran. So these historical policies by Saudi Arabia are reflecting the desperation of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, and by targeting now the embassy of Iran it wants to spread chaos and war also inside Lebanon.

Political terrorism in Wisconsin—The American Police state begins

The crime of being conservative is being prosecuted with vengance.

Political terrorism in Wisconsin: The American Police state begins

washington times

Conservative groups served with one of those subpoenas should refuse to comply, instead take Francis Schmitz to court.

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2013 – Cops are bursting into homes, seizing computers and other “evidence” while groups are being hit with subpoenas that require them to turn over voluminous and sensitive information – including the names of political donors.

The crime of being conservative is being prosecuted with vengance.

In Wisconsin, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz is going after conservative groups that were involved in the fight over the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Walker’s union reforms. Subpoenas are requesting “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.”  They are seeking lists of conservative donors.

These “John Doe” subpoenas are alarming as, under Wisconsin law, when someone receives one of these subpoenas, the only person they are allowed to discuss the subpoena with is their attorney. Not only does this inhibit First Amendment rights, it stops groups from being able to create a unified defense to allegations.

Among the groups that have been targeted are Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, The Republican Governors’ Association, The friends of Scott Walker, American Crossroads and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

The subpoenas, which have been leaked to the media, demand all kinds of internal records, including donation information and the identity of individual donors.

This is political terrorism at work and the special prosecutor in this case is a political terrorist.

Obtaining donor lists for conservative organizations is a long time goal of left wing groups. The IRS, when it went after the Tea Party, wanted donor information, which they are legally precluded from having.

Does anyone believe that if these donor lists were turned over to a special prosecutor they would remain secret?

A great example of what the left is doing is California in 2008 and 2009. California passed Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The left went nuts.

Liberals obtained copies of the donor list for a number of groups that supported Proposition 8 and then went on a rampage. Donors where harassed. Several either lost their jobs or resigned because of the harassment.

Irate liberals harassed businesses.

There is a legal description of what they did. It is called intimidation; at one time the balliwick of thugs and mobs.

The goal of the left in Wisconsin has been to find out the names of donors who helped Scott Walker. Walker’s reforms crippled the left by drying up a cash cow from forced union dues.

The left never forgives nor forgets.  They want payback and they are not beyond using the law, the government or terror to intimidate those who stand against them.

Conservatives need to stand up against this kind of tyranny.  Every conservative group that is served with one of those subpoenas should publicly say they have, refuse to comply and take the Wisconsin special prosecutor to Court.

A special prosecutor is just another lawyer who holds a job.  He or she is subject to the same disciplinary rules as every other lawyer.  This case, certain on its face, looks like the Attorney is using the law to abuse people just for their political beliefs.

That is unethical and that can and should result in that lawyer losing his law license.

The Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin Political Speech Raid Subpoenas hit allies of Scott Walker as his re-election campaign looms, contributed to this report

US Treasury List of Abu Musab Zarqawi’s Passports Ends In Chechnya

In those operations, the Vice Military Commander, Hakeem Al-Madani, was martyred as well as Sheikh Abu Musab (Arabian Peninsula).” 

Abu Musab, from Zarqa, Jordan, killed in Botlikh, Dagestan, Aug. 1999, according to testimony given by legendary Chechen Islamist leader, Ibn-ul-Khattab in an interview with Islamist website 

Recent OFAC Actions
Specially Designated Nationals List Update

The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN list:

AL-BADRI, Dr. Ibrahim ‘Awwad Ibrahim ‘Ali (a.k.a. AL-BAGHDADI, Abu Bakr al-Husayni; a.k.a. AL-QURAISHI, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husayni; a.k.a. AL-QURASHI, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini; a.k.a. AL-SAMARRA’I, Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim; a.k.a. AL-SAMARRA’I, Ibrahim ‘Awad Ibrahim al-Badri; a.k.a. AL-SAMARRA’I, Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim; a.k.a. “ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI”; a.k.a. “ABU DU’A”; a.k.a. “DR. IBRAHIM”), Iraq; DOB 1971; POB Samarra’i, Iraq (individual) [SDGT]
The following deletions have been made to OFAC’s SDN list:
AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal (a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“‘ABD AL-KARIM” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“ABU AL-MU’TAZ” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“AL-HABIB” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“AL-MUHAJIR” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“GHARIB” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“MOUHANAD” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“MOUHANNAD” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“MUHANNAD” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “RASHID”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
“RASHID” (a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus’Ab; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. “‘ABD AL-KARIM”; a.k.a. “ABU AL-MU’TAZ”; a.k.a. “AL-HABIB”; a.k.a. “AL-MUHAJIR”; a.k.a. “GHARIB”; a.k.a. “MOUHANAD”; a.k.a. “MOUHANNAD”; a.k.a. “MUHANNAD”); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; citizen Jordan; National ID No. 9661031030 (Jordan); Passport Z264968 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
MOUMOU, Mohamed (a.k.a. MUMU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “‘ABDALLAH, Abu”; a.k.a. “ABDERRAHMAN, Abou”; a.k.a. “AMINA, Abu”; a.k.a. “SHRAYDA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
MUMU, Mohamed (a.k.a. MOUMOU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “‘ABDALLAH, Abu”; a.k.a. “ABDERRAHMAN, Abou”; a.k.a. “AMINA, Abu”; a.k.a. “SHRAYDA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
“‘ABDALLAH, Abu” (a.k.a. MOUMOU, Mohamed; a.k.a. MUMU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “ABDERRAHMAN, Abou”; a.k.a. “AMINA, Abu”; a.k.a. “SHRAYDA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
“ABDERRAHMAN, Abou” (a.k.a. MOUMOU, Mohamed; a.k.a. MUMU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “‘ABDALLAH, Abu”; a.k.a. “AMINA, Abu”; a.k.a. “SHRAYDA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
“AMINA, Abu” (a.k.a. MOUMOU, Mohamed; a.k.a. MUMU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “‘ABDALLAH, Abu”; a.k.a. “ABDERRAHMAN, Abou”; a.k.a. “SHRAYDA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
“SHRAYDA, Abu” (a.k.a. MOUMOU, Mohamed; a.k.a. MUMU, Mohamed; a.k.a. “‘ABDALLAH, Abu”; a.k.a. “ABDERRAHMAN, Abou”; a.k.a. “AMINA, Abu”), Storvretsvagen 92, 7 TR. C/O Drioua, 142 31 Skogas, Sweden; Dobelnsgatan 97, 7TR C/O Lamrabet, 113 52 Stockholm, Sweden; Jungfruns Gata 413; Postal Address Box: 3027, 13603 Haninge, Sweden; London, United Kingdom; Trodheimsgatan 6, 164 32 Kista, Sweden; DOB 30 Jul 1965; alt. DOB 30 Sep 1965; POB Fez, Morocco; citizen Morocco; alt. citizen Sweden; Passport 9817619 (Sweden)  expires 14 Dec 2009 (individual) [SDGT]
YANDARBIEV, Zelimkhan Ahmedovich Abdul Muslimovich, Derzhavina Street 281-59, Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia; DOB 12 Sep 1952; POB Vydriba Eastern Kazakhstan; citizen Russia; Passport 43 No. 1600453 (Russia) (individual) [SDGT]

The Real Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi

U.S. Military Leaks al-Zarqawi Sex Tape, Sunnis Riot

By Phil Maggitti
Jun 10, 2006 – 9:03


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RAMADI , Iraq – Thousands of Sunnis rioted after a U.S. military official had leaked a copy of a twenty-five-minute sex tape found in the rubble of the “safe house” where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed on Wednesday.

The tape, which somehow survived the bomb blast that killed Mr. al-Zarqawi and seven of his associates, had been sent to a local television station, which mistakenly aired the tape last night during an episode of Funniest Home Videos.

In the tape Mr. al-Zarqawi is seen watching Muslim women in various stages of dress. He grabs his man region and growls suggestively several times while women lift their burqas away from their faces, revealing first one cheek, then the other. One woman is even seen licking her lips, swaying erotically, and sucking her left forefinger—a supreme act of sensuality/degradation in the Muslim world.

“That’s bin Laden’s mother,” laughs Mr. al-Zarqawi, who was never as close to the al-Qaida leader as some sources claimed.

Soon after the tape had been aired, thousands of Mr. al-Zarqawi’s Sunni followers gathered in the courtyard of the Ramadi Inn, waving crudely drawn posters of American president George W. Bush with an outsize penis for a nose. The demonstrators shouted slogans and swore vengeance on the “warmongering dogs” who had leaked the tape to the television station.

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According to a technician at the station, the tape was dropped off by an American military officer early yesterday afternoon.

“We thought it was another one of those propaganda tapes that tries to show the American military in a good light by rebuilding a hospital they had blown up,” said the technician. “That’s why we didn’t bother to screen it. Who wants to see that [crap] over and over?”

Some observers have suggested that Mr. al-Zarqawi, 39, was watching the sex tape when the lights went out for good. If so, that would be a fitting end for a man whose twin obsessions with explosives and pornography informed his life.

Born Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah in Zarqa, an industrial city in Jordan, Mr. al-Zarqawi was a troubled youth, given to bootlegging, drinking, and brawling. He is also alleged to have been a pimp. He was fired from the only legitimate job he ever held, as a clerk in a video store, when he was caught pocketing the fines charged on overdue rentals.

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When Mr. al-Zarqawi was fifteen, he participated in a robbery of a relative’s home, during which the relative was killed. Two years later, a year shy of graduation, he dropped out of school after causing an explosion in chemistry class that took the lives of three fellow students.

Although Mr. al-Zarqawi was dyslexic and barely literate, he next tried his hand at journalism in Afghanistan, where he lived from 1989 to 1993. He was a reporter for a small lifestyle magazine, Al-Bonian al Marsous.

Salah al-Hami, a correspondent for a rival lifestyle publication in Afghanistan at the time, stepped on a landmine and lost one of his legs while covering a colorful polo game in which Afghanis use a live goat for a ball. While Mr. al-Hami was recuperating in hospital, he became good friends with Mr. al-Zarqawi.

Mr. al-Hami recalled being despondent over his chances of ever starting a family with only one leg.

“A one-legged man?” he wailed on one of Mr. al-Zarqawi’s frequent visits to the hospital. “Who would want to marry him?”

Mr. al-Zarqawi promptly took pictures of several of his sisters from his wallet and told Mr. al-Hami to take his pick.

“I was overwhelmed,” recalled Mr. al-Hami, “but that was Abu. He’d give you the shirt off somebody’s back and not think twice about it.”

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Mr. al-Zarqawi returned to Zarqa in 1993, and before long his fascination with explosives and pornography intersected. According to a former Jordanian intelligence official, Mr. al-Zarqawi convinced a friend to set off an explosive device in a local cinema that was showing pornographic films. The friend got caught up in the plot of one of the features, however, and forgot about his bomb, which eventually exploded and blew off his legs.

Although Mr. al-Zarqwai was never charged in that incident, he was caught hiding seven grenades in the cellar of his family’s home. When he appeared before a state security court, Mr. Al-Zarqawi said he had found the grenades while walking down the street. The judges were not amused. They convicted Mr. al-Zarqwai of possessing illegal weapons and sentenced him to fifteen years in Jordan’s Swaqa prison.

During his six-year prison stay, Mr. al-Zarqwai discovered god and physical fitness. He earned the Jordanian equivalent of a community college degree, and emerged from prison with washboard abs and all 6,236 verses of the Koran committed to memory.

After leaving prison, Mr. al-Zarqwai worked as an events planner and website designer in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Dangerous Ideas of the Neo-Zarqawist Movement

The Dangerous Ideas of the Neo-Zarqawist Movement


Sep 03, 2009

Author: Murad Batal al-Shishani

on june 4, 2009, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi gave his first interview since his release from a Jordanian prison in March 2008. Considered the ideological defender of the overall Salafi-jihadi movement, al-Maqdisi admitted that there are now competing views among Salafi-jihadis in Jordan.[1] His confirmation of tension within the movement came in response to an escalating dispute between al-Maqdisi and his followers on one side, and on the other a splinter movement of Salafi-jihadis known as the “neo-Zarqawists.” The neo-Zarqawists are a small group of ideological radicals who consider themselves the heirs of Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi’s legacy. Although al-Maqdisi is considered the spiritual mentor of al-Zarqawi, the two grew apart in mid-2005 when al-Maqdisi criticized al-Qa`ida in Iraq’s (AQI) tactics.

The differences within the Salafi-jihadi movement are significant because it is rare for an established Salafi-jihadi authority—in this case Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi—to be criticized and challenged for his writings and ideological position within his own base. This ongoing rift among the Salafi-jihadi community threatens to draw in a younger generation of militant youth—who idolize al-Zarqawi for his aggressive tactics—intent on pursuing al-Zarqawi’s legacy of spreading Salafi-jihadi violence into the Levant region.

This article provides a brief background on the growing tension among the Salafi-jihadi community in Jordan, identifies the leaders of the neo-Zarqawist movement, and shows that al-Zarqawi’s legacy may translate into an increase of terrorist plots and violence in the Levant and greater Middle East region.

Differences between Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi first appeared in mid-2005, when the latter sent an open letter to al-Zarqawi in Iraq entitled “Advocacy and Advice.” The letter asked AQI to refrain from targeting Iraqi Shi`a and Christian civilians.[2] Al-Maqdisi also stressed the importance of allowing Iraqis to hold the leadership reins in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi responded to the letter by highlighting that its message harmed the overall “jihad in Iraq.” Since that incident, divisions appeared between al-Maqdisi’s and al-Zarqawi’s followers, and they have resulted in a growing gap within the Salafi-jihadi movement.

Today, a portion of the Salafi-jihadi community that agrees with al-Zarqawi’s actions and tactics in Iraq continue to criticize al-Maqdisi directly, and they warn other established Salafi-jihadi leaders and clerics against continuing to follow al-Maqdisi. In response, al-Maqdisi[3] and other established Salafi-jihadi leaders have warned their followers against promoting the views of the neo-Zarqawists, who they call “deviants.”

The Neo-Zarqawists
The neo-Zarqawist movement identifies itself as the heirs of Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi’s legacy. This legacy can best be defined as inducing sectarian warfare and attempting to spread jihadist ideas into the Levant, rather than confining jihad to Iraq or Afghanistan. Importantly, al-Zarqawi’s “heirs” also ignore the decrees and opinions of senior Salafi-jihadi clerics and leaders, most evident through their ongoing criticisms of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Their decision to directly challenge leading Salafi-jihadi clerics shows why this movement is less predictable and potentially more violent; it marks a fragmentation of the established Salafi-jihadi order. As stated by Joas Wagemakers, “it confirms the worrying trend among jihadists to see themselves as capable of deciding what is legitimate in combat, irrespective of what their scholars think.”[4] The majority of neo-Zarqawist writings can be found at the Midad al-Sayouf forum. [5]

The primary leaders of the movement are al-Zarqawi’s brother-in-law, Abu Qudama, and Abu Harith al-Mihdhar. These two individuals are best described as ideological leaders because they are not involved in actual jihadist operations. Nevertheless, their ties to al-Zarqawi and criticisms of established Salafi-jihadi leaders in a public forum are threatening because they could further incite militants to resume and prolong al-Zarqawi’s legacy of spreading violence throughout the Levant. This was partially confirmed in October 2008 when Jihad al-Qashih, a militant who was active operationally in the field with al-Zarqawi, expressed support for the movement in a letter he wrote from a prison cell, presumably in Syria.[6]

Abu Qudama Salih al-Hami’s real name is Sati Qasrawi. He is a Jordanian national and worked as Jihad Magazine’s correspondent in Afghanistan during the jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.[7] He lost his leg there in a landmine explosion.[8] He is married to al-Zarqawi’s sister and currently lives in Jordan.

Al-Mihdhar’s real name is Abu Abu’l-Harith al-Mihdhar al-Shazli al-Hasani al-Sharif.[9] He is an Egyptian national who studied at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Umm al-Qura University in Mecca and studied Deoband in Pakistan.[10] He moved to London at an unknown point and founded the Midad al-Sayouf Forum. He also allegedly created the Thabitoun ala al-Ahd (Abiding by our Oath) site [11] for Muhammad Khalil al-Hakaymah,[12] a dissident jihadist leader who joined al-Qa`ida.[13]

Once Jihad al-Qashih joined the campaign against al-Maqdisi in 2008, it became clear that individuals with military experience are supporting the more radical neo-Zarqawist movement. Al-Qashih’s real name is Ibrahim Muhammad Abdul-Thahir Zain al-`Abidin.[14] He is often described on jihadist forums as the “hero of Falluja” due to his experience fighting with al-Zarqawi in Anbar Province in 2004. Currently, he is believed to be in a Syrian prison, from where he wrote the 2008 letter criticizing al-Maqdisi. His long letter was posted on jihadist websites, especially the sites popular among neo-Zarqawists.

Al-Qashih appears to have been instrumental to al-Zarqawi’s Levantine strategy, as he allegedly attempted to carry out terrorist attacks in Jordan, one of which was believed directed by al-Zarqawi himself. He remains wanted in Jordan, most famously for an assassination attempt against U.S. archaeologists in that country in April 2004.[15] He was also tried in absentia for involvement in the “chemical cell,” which was a plot to blow up Jordan’s General Intelligence building in 2004. The plot was headed by Azmi al-Jayousi and organized by al-Zarqawi, who was leading AQI at the time.[16]

Still a Fringe Movement
The neo-Zarqawists are not scholars or clerics. As a result, they lack the theoretical approach that characterizes the writings of al-Maqdisi and other established theorists. The neo-Zarqawist writings are almost solely based on personal criticism of al-Maqdisi. They also criticize al-Maqdisi’s lack of “jihadist credentials” since, unlike al-Zarqawi, he has never been involved in actual combat.[17] The neo-Zarqawists’ beliefs are even more radical than al-Maqdisi and the established Salafi-jihadi theorists. For example, they oppose al-Maqdisi because he refused to declare that all Shi`a are non-believers. The neo-Zarqawists refuse to criticize suicide bombings,[18] they pursue takfiri ideology, and charge Jordan’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs with blasphemy for its role in controlling mosques.

Although a potentially dangerous movement, it has not yet been accepted by the mainstream Salafi-jihadi movement.[19] This is due to the fact that the heirs of al-Zarqawi and others that pursue his more expansive ideology lack the credentials of the established Salafi-jihadi scholars and clerics. Moreover, as recently as January 14, 2009, Usama bin Ladin praised Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s website, Manbar al-Jihad wal-Tawhid, providing legitimacy to al-Maqdisi’s agenda. [20]Nevertheless, the neo-Zarqawist movement remains concerning as it could attract energetic youth, who may be less prone to rigidly follow the dictates of al-Maqdisi and more attracted to al-Zarqawi’s infamous legacy in Iraq.

Terrorism Spreading into the Levant
The possibility of other active militants pursuing the neo-Zarqawist ideology is concerning as it would result in more terrorist violence in the Levant. Although al-Zarqawi was killed on June 7, 2006 in a U.S. missile strike, he left an enduring mark on the region. His legacy is partly defined by his attempt to spread jihadist violence into the more stable states of the Levant—most vividly witnessed in the 2005 Amman hotel bombings. His goal was to liberate Palestine after the battle was concluded in Iraq. In December 2005, for example, al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for launching missiles at northern Israel.[21]

From the establishment of his military training camp in Afghanistan’s Herat Province in 2000 through his violent activities in Iraq until his 2006 death, al-Zarqawi influenced a number of jihadists, many of whom were from the Levant region.[22] Al-Zarqawi wanted to create an “al-Qa`ida in the Levant” organization, and he sought to establish organizational and ideological links between his AQI movement and other jihadist cells in the Levant.

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Jordan has seen a significant increase in the number of foiled terrorist plots. During the period of 1991-2003, for example, Jordanian courts ruled in 10 large cases related to Salafi-jihadis. From 2003-2008, however, that number more than doubled to 22.[23] Most of the cases were at least partly linked to either Iraq, Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi or AQI. Al-Zarqawi himself was personally tried in absentia in four of the 22 cases, while six cases were linked to him by one of his operatives or relatives.[24] In eight cases, the major charge was “planning to travel to Iraq to fight Americans.”[25] Although not all of the 22 cases were connected to al-Zarqawi or AQI, they demonstrate the worrying spread of Salafi-jihadi ideals into the Levant.

Some of the Jordanian court cases established links between Jordanian jihadists and other militants in the Levant region. Shakir al-Khatib, for example, is the leader of a group on trial in Jordan charged with plotting to blow up Christian churches and attacking a Lebanese choir in July 2008.[26] He was not trained in Jordan, however, but instead in the Ain al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. According to the indictment, he allegedly pledged bay`at (oath of loyalty) to al-Qa`ida and wanted to fight in Iraq.[27] In 2005, the Khatab Brigades was a group seeking to fight in Iraq and to also implement terrorist attacks in Jordan.[28] Another example is of two leading Salafi-jihadi leaders in the Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp who were tried in absentia in Jordan: Usama al-Shihabi (Abu al-Zahra) and Haytham al-Saadi (Abu Tariq). Al-Shihabi was the leader of Jund al-Sham in Lebanon, an organization supposedly founded by al-Zarqawi himself when he was in Afghanistan’s Herat Province.[29] Al-Saadi is the brother of Asbat al-Ansar leader Abu Muhjin.[30]

Another effect of al-Zarqawi’s legacy is his impact on the Palestinian diaspora in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Socio-political conditions in Palestinian refugee camps in these countries play an important role in increasing the influence of al-Zarqawi’s ideology. Jordan’s Irbid camp, for example, is close to the Syrian border and has emerged as a crossing point for Salafi-jihadis heading to Iraq or Lebanon, as seen through evidence uncovered during the ongoing trials of Salafi-jihadis in Jordan.

Jihad al-Qashih was originally from the Irbid camp, as was Suleiman Ghayyad al-Anjadi, who was killed by Jordanian authorities after an armed confrontation in 2007. Al-Anjadi was accused of attempting to help Azmi al-Jayousi—who was sent to Jordan by al-Zarqawi to lead the 2004 chemical cell—escape from prison with the help of other militants. Al-Anjadi is also accused of plotting to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush during his visit to Jordan in 2006.

Despite his death in 2006, Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi’s legacy lives on. His speeches and tactics have influenced militants in the Levant. Just as worrying, his so-called “heirs” continue to promote his legacy on jihadist web forums. The neo-Zarqawist movement has been able to mobilize and attract supporters despite its lack of a “legitimate” ideology when compared to Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and his followers.

Al-Zarqawi’s followers are even more radical than al-Maqdisi and the other established Salafi-jihadi theorists because they are pursuing a more unrestrained form of warfare. If his legacy gains further traction among the Salafi-jihadi community, it could mean a rise in terrorist plots in the relatively stable Levant region.

Murad Batal al-Shishani is a London-based analyst of Islamic groups and terrorism. He is also a specialist on Islamic movements in Chechnya and in the Middle East. Al-Shishani is a regular contributor to several publications in both Arabic and English such as The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor and the London-based al-Hayat. He is also the author of the book The Islamic Movement in Chechnya and the Chechen-Russian Conflict 1990-2000, and Iraqi Resistance: National Liberation vs. Terrorism: A Quantitative Study.

[1] Al-Sabeel, June 4, 2009.

[2] Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, “Al-Zarqawi – Muna-saha wa-Munasara,” available at

[3] These leaders include Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Jarrah al-Qaddah, Abu Abdallah Riyalat, Abu Saraqa al-Faqih, among others.

[4] Joas Wagemakers, “Invoking Zarqawi: Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s Jihad Deficit,” CTC Sentinel 2:6 (2009).

[5] See for example,, and Supporters of al-Maqdisi, in turn, created a forum that they named Shoumoukh al-Islam (Glory of Islam).

[6] It is not clear when he was arrested, but the first reference of his detention was in February 2007 in a report by the Arab Organization for Human Rights of Jordan.

[7] Jihad Magazine was a bi-monthly magazine founded by Abdullah Azzam in 1984. It was the major media source for the Afghan mujahidin at the time.

[8] See his participation in al-Jazira’s documentary about al-Zarqawi on July 1, 2004. This is available at

[9] Iman al-Qahtani, “Sijal Bayanat bayn Islamiyee London,” al-Arabiya, February 12, 2009.

[10] Ibid.

[11] The website is currently defunct. Its URL used to be located at

[12] Al-Hakaymah is one of Egyptian Jama`a al-Islamiyya’s leaders who claimed that the group joined al-Qa`ida, creating al-Qa`ida’s “Egyptian branch” in 2006. Jama`a al-Islamiyya denied his claim, however. Al-Hakaymah is supposedly based in Afghanistan.

[13] Al-Qahtani.

[14] “Al-Rad Ala’a al-Maqdsi fi Tholmeh ll Zarqawi,” published on several jihadist web forums in October 2008. It is still available at

[15] In April 2004, Jordanian security foiled an attempt to attack four American anthropologists who were working in Irbid (northern Jordan). Al-Qashih was one of the ringleaders in this attempt, along with Jamil Kotkot. See al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 6, 2006.

[16] Al-Sabeel, January 11, 2005.

[17] For more on these compare-and-contrast criticisms, see Wagemakers.

[18] Al-Hami.

[19] For example, there was strong criticism from al-Faloja users, many of whom demanded the closure of Midad al-Sayouf.

[20] Usama bin Ladin, audio recording, January 14, 2009.

[21] Daily Star, December 20, 2005; Jerusalem Post, December 30, 2005.

[22] Fouad Husain, Al-Zarqawi: al-Jeel al-Thani ll Qaida (Amman: Dar al-Khayal Publication, 2005).

[23] These numbers were derived from the author’s review of all Jordanian cases since 1991.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Al-Hayat, January 28, 2009.

[27] Ibid.; Also see Murad Batal al-Shishani, “Al-Zarqawi’s Legacy Seen in Trial of Jordanian al-Qaeda Cell,” Terrorism Focus 6:4 (2009).

[28] Al-Ghad, December 7, 2005; Jordan Times, September 14, 2006.

[29] “Tantheem Jund al-Sham Bada’ ma’a al-Zarqawi fi Afghanistan w Antaqal Beza’amt Abu Yousof ila Mukhaim A’in al-Hilweh,” Asharq al-Awsat, May 25, 2007.

[30] “Al-Zarqawi Yoa’in Abu Muhjin al-Mutarad al-Falastini Qaedan Maydanyan,” Elaph, August 16, 2005.

Jihadi vs. Jihadi

Jihadi vs. Jihadi: Zarqawi Threatens ‘Moderate’ Terrorist

March 23, 2006

I just love this CNN interview with the son of Hamas founder Abdullah Azzam explaining the division that erupted in the late 1980s between Azzam and Osama bin Laden. Apparently Azzam’s “kill all the Jews” policy was a little too moderate for bin Laden. The Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Egyptian organization which bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri once belonged to, is believed to be behind Azzam’s murder. The family feud continues today when the adopted heir to the al Qaeda legacy, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, recently delivered a personal threat to the son of the Hamas founder, Huthaifa Azzam.

What would have been really interesting is if, instead of a slipping a CD with a personal message under the door, Zarqawi would have left a bloody decapitated horse’s head on Azzam’s pillow. Never go against the family Azzam.


Huthaifa Azzam found the CD slipped under the front door of his Amman house a few weeks ago.He thought it might have been left there by one of his brothers. But when he put it into his computer and heard the voice, Azzam realized it was a message from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist who is leader of al Qaeda in neighboring Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi was issuing a death threat personally to Azzam, who had criticized him for ordering the hotel bombings in Amman last November.

“He was very angry. He was telling me … ‘You have changed your way. Now you are serving the policy of the enemy,'” said Azzam…..

Make no mistake, Huthaifa Azzam believes the following are legitimate targets: “The American troops fighting against our brothers in Iraq or the Israelis fighting against our brothers in Palestine.”

And he is quick to cite the notorious forgeries “The Protocols of the Elder of Zion” as fact when he starts talking about how Zionism is a threat.

But he says al-Zarqawi’s ideology is worse than either the Americans in Iraq or Israelis because of how it twists the meaning of jihad.

Is arrogant Zawahiri a blow to al Qaeda?

Is arrogant Zawahiri a blow to al Qaeda?

Source: HT
Huthaifa Azzam was a young man living in Osama bin Laden’s house in the 1980s when he met a cantankerous Egyptian with a gift for rubbing people the wrong way. Ayman al-Zawahiri was then well on his way to terrorist superstardom, but he struck Azzam as mostly a jerk. “He was arrogant, angry an
d extreme in his ideas,” said Azzam, 40, son of a radical Palestinian ideologue who had become bin Laden’s mentor. “He fought with everyone, even those who agreed with him.”On Thursday, Zawahiri was declared al Qaeda’s new leader, formalising an ascension that has been under way since bin Laden’s death in May. But while expected, his promotion was widely viewed as a blow to the jihadist movement. U.S. intelligence officials, terrorism experts and even the Egyptian’s former cohorts say a Zawahiri -led al Qaeda will be far more discordant, dysfunctional and perhaps disloyal than it was under bin Laden. Whether it also will be less effective remains to be seen. “If he manages to pull off an operation, al Qaeda will be back in business,” said Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism analyst at the Swedish National Defense College. “We won’t be having these conversations about whether they’ll be loyal to him.”Al Qaeda’s general command announced the promotion in a statement carried on jihadist websites. The statement said Zawahiri would continue in bin Laden’s footsteps and urged Muslims to fight “against the disbelieving invaders who attack the lands of Islam, headed by Crusader America.” Zawahiri , a surgeon who once commanded his own extremist group in Egypt, had been the presumed successor to bin Laden after the al Qaeda founder was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Still, some U.S. officials and terrorism analysts had speculated that Zawahiri might face competition from other candidates, such as the former Egyptian military officer Saif al-Adel or the Libyan jihadist Abu Yahya al-Libi.

The problem, experts agree, is Zawahiri ’s disagreeableness. While he has been al Qaeda’s ideological and operational heavyweight for more than a decade, he also is considered rigid, truculent and lacking in charisma. Some U.S. officials and terrorism experts say it is unclear whether he can rebuild an organisation that has been under siege by U.S. military and intelligence forces.

“This is an organisation that, for its entire history, has been centered around the persona of its leader,” said a senior U.S. counterterrorism official who insisted on anonymity in discussing the U.S. intelligence community’s views of Zawahiri . “It’s an open question whether Zawahiri will be able to maintain that level of personal leadership.”
Azzam, the ideologue’s son who lived in bin Laden houses in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan and came to know Zawahiri well, said the Egyptian physician appeared animated by an inner rage that comrades suspected was a legacy of the torture he enduring during his years in Egyptian jail cells in the 1980s.

Pressure to perform
“He was bent by his prison experience and it affected his whole personality,” said Azzam, himself a former militant jihadist who lives in Jordan. “He had no tolerance for talking with someone who didn’t hold his ideas.” Azzam recalled that Zawahiri would feign respect for Azzam’s father, Abdullah, a cleric who helped found the Palestinian militant movement known as Hamas and rallied Muslims to join the fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. But then Zawahiri would denounce Azzam publicly at the local mosque for failing to embrace his vision for violent jihad against the West. The elder Azzam was killed by unknown assailants in a 1989 bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan.
As the new leader of al Qaeda, Zawahiri will face intense pressure to launch a major strike to avenge bin Laden’s death. But Huthaifa Azzam, citing personal recollections and contacts with al Qaeda associations, said he doubted that Zawahiri could command a network of operatives required for a complex operation.

Changing qaeda
“The truth is, he doesn’t have the power to strike back,” Azzam said. “Sept. 11 was carried out by highly motivated people in many different places. Zawahiri can’t pull together something like that.” U.S. officials said they have seen no indication that such large-scale plot is in the works, or that al Qaeda remains capable of such an attack. “It’s not like they were only half-heartedly trying to attack us until bin Laden was killed,” a second U.S. counterterrorism official said. “This is an organisation with one main mission: to attack the United States. The harder they try, the more risks they’re going to have to take.”

U.S. officials said that Zawahiri is presumed to be hiding in Pakistan. The materials found at the compound where bin Laden was killed has not provided significant new clues to Zawahiri ’s location. But officials said that the completion of the decade-long bin Laden manhunt has freed up intelligence resources to pursue other targets, including Zawahiri .
Al Qaeda is a different organisation than it was on Sept. 11, 2001. With growing affiliates in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa, it is more diffuse both in its reach and in its mission. Experts say the network can’t be controlled by a single leader on a day-to-day basis, and perhaps not even in a long-term sense. “What has happened is that al Qaeda has become more of a brand name in fomenting terrorism,” said David Livingstone, an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

In am exclusive partnership with The Washington post. For more info visit,

Posted 19th June 2011 by

The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi


The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

The Atlantic

How a video-store clerk and small-time crook reinvented himself as America’s nemesis in Iraq
Jul 1 2006, 12:00 PM ET

[Edited for the Web, June 8, 2006]

On a cold and blustery evening in December 1989, Huthaifa Azzam, the teenage son of the legendary Jordanian-Palestinian mujahideen leader Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, went to the airport in Peshawar, Pakistan, to welcome a group of young men. All were new recruits, largely from Jordan, and they had come to fight in a fratricidal civil war in neighboring Afghanistan—an outgrowth of the CIA-financed jihad of the 1980s against the Soviet occupation there.

The men were scruffy, Huthaifa mused as he greeted them, and seemed hardly in battle-ready form. Some had just been released from prison; others were professors and sheikhs. None of them would prove worth remembering—except for a relatively short, squat man named Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah.

He would later rename himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Once one of the most wanted men in the world, for whose arrest the United States offered a $25 million reward, al-Zarqawi was a notoriously enigmatic figure—a man who was everywhere yet nowhere. I went to Jordan earlier this year, three months before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike in early June, to find out who he really was, and to try to understand the role he was playing in the anti-American insurgency in Iraq. I also hoped to get a sense of how his generation—the foreign fighters now waging jihad in Iraq—compare with the foreign fighters who twenty years ago waged jihad in Afghanistan.

Huthaifa Azzam, whom I first met twenty years ago in Peshawar, bridges both worlds. He first went into battle at the age of fifteen, fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan with his father and Osama bin Laden (to whom his father was a spiritual mentor); three years later, on that December night at the Peshawar airport, he met al-Zarqawi for the first time. The two Azzams and bin Laden had fought against the Soviets in the early days of the jihad; al-Zarqawi would fight in the war’s second phase, after the Soviets had pulled out. Both Huthaifa Azzam and al-Zarqawi would eventually leave Afghanistan to pursue two very different lives, but their paths would once again cross on the battlefields of jihad in Iraq, after the U.S. invasion of 2003.

A self-described jihadist—one who believes in struggle, or, more loosely, holy war—Azzam now lives in the Jordanian capital, Amman, where he is at work on a doctorate in classical Arabic literature, but he moves routinely between Jordan and Iraq. Seeing him again for the first time since he was a teenager, I was struck, as we chatted in a friend’s drawing room, by how little he resembled the conventional image of a jihadist. He wore jeans, a light denim jacket, and an open-necked shirt, and his light-brown beard was neatly trimmed.

I asked Azzam if he knew who was funding al-Zarqawi’s activities in Iraq.

He thought for a moment, and then replied without answering, “At the time of jihad, you can get vast amounts of money with a simple telephone call. I myself once collected three million dollars, which my father had arranged with a single call.”

“A bank transfer?” I asked.

“No. I collected it on my motorbike.

“I was in Syria when the war in Iraq began,” he went on. “People were arriving in droves; everyone wanted to go to Iraq to fight the Americans. I remember one guy who came and said he was too old to fight, but he gave the recruiters $200,000 in cash. ‘Give it to the mujahideen,’ was all he said.”

He then told me about a young boy he had met in the early days of the war.

“He was from Saudi Arabia and had just turned thirteen. I noticed him in the crowd at a recruiting center near the Syrian-Iraqi frontier. People would come and register in the morning, then cross the border in the afternoon by bus. I first saw him at the registration desk. The recruiters refused to take him because he was so young, and he started to cry. I went back later in the day, and this same small guy had sneaked aboard the bus. When they discovered him, he started to shout Allahu Akhbar!—‘God is most great!’ They carried him off. He had $12,000 in his pocket—expense money his family had given him before he set off. ‘Take it all,’ he pleaded. ‘Please, just let me do jihad.’”

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, barely forty and barely literate, a Bedouin from the Bani Hassan tribe, was until recently almost unknown outside his native Jordan. Then, on February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell catapulted him onto the world stage. In his address to the United Nations making the case for war in Iraq, Powell identified al-Zarqawi—mistakenly, as it turned out—as the crucial link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime. Subsequently, al-Zarqawi became a leading figure in the insurgency in Iraq—and in November of last year, he also brought his jihadist revolution back home, as the architect of three lethal hotel bombings in Amman. His notoriety grew with every atrocity he perpetrated, yet Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials remained bedeviled by a simple question: Who was he? Was he al-Qaeda’s point man in Iraq, as the Bush administration argued repeatedly? Or was he, as a retired Israeli intelligence official told me not long ago, a staunch rival of bin Laden’s, whose importance the United States exaggerated in order to validate a link between al-Qaeda and pre-war Iraq, and to put a non-Iraqi face on a complex insurgency?

Early one morning, with a driver who would also serve as my interpreter, I set out from my hotel in Amman for the forty-five-minute drive to Zarqa—the industrial city where, in October 1966, al-Zarqawi was born into a large family, and from which he took his new name. As we sped along the highway, I tried to recall the often contradictory descriptions I had heard of the man. U.S. officials, for example, had often reported that in 2002, al-Zarqawi had had one of his legs amputated in Baghdad, a claim presumably meant to substantiate a link between al-Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein’s regime. But he was later seen walking in a videotape, clearly in possession of both his legs. Some Bush administration officials called him a Jordanian-Palestinian, but in fact he came from one of the Middle East’s most influential Bedouin tribes. He was often reported dead, only to rise again. In recent years, some even suggested that he didn’t exist at all. The man was hard to distinguish from the myth.

One thing that brought me to Jordan was a desire to find out as much as possible about al-Zarqawi’s relationship with Osama bin Laden. The two men had little in common: bin Laden, like most of his inner circle, is a university graduate from an influential family; al-Zarqawi, like many who follow him, was from an anonymous family (even though they are members of a significant tribe) and an anonymous town—a man who was fired from a job as a video-store clerk and whose background included street gangs and, according to Jordanian intelligence officials, prison for sexual assault. He was a ruthless self-promoter who, U.S. officials claim, killed or wounded thousands of people in the past three years—in suicide bombings, mass executions, and beheadings that have been videotaped. He developed a mythic aura of invulnerability. But he was not the terrorist mastermind that he was often claimed to be.

Zarqa is a shambolic industrial city of some 850,000 people, a sprawl of factories, open fields, and dust. Twenty-five miles northeast of Amman, it is Jordan’s third-largest city, and one of its most militant. For years it has been a magnet for Islamic activists. Along with the cities of Irbid and Salt, it has sent the largest number of Jordanian volunteers to fight abroad, first in Afghanistan and now in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi was born and raised in the al-Masoum neighborhood of Zarqa’s old city, which sprawls somewhat haphazardly into the al-Ruseifah Palestinian refugee camp. (More than 60 percent of Jordan’s 5.9 million inhabitants are Palestinian, as are some 80 percent of the inhabitants of old Zarqa.) When we entered the al-Masoum neighborhood, the first thing that struck me was the sight of three “Afghan Arabs,” as the Arab veterans of the jihad in Afghanistan are called. They were easily identifiable by the shalwar kameezes they wore—the long shirts and bloused trousers that are Afghanistan’s national dress—and by their long, unkempt beards. Squatting outside a tiny neighborhood shop, they paid us little heed.

Until his death, al-Zarqawi kept a home on a quiet lane in Zarqa. It was indistinguishable from its neighbors—a two-story white stucco building surrounded by a whitewashed wall. The house was empty, a neighbor told us; al-Zarqawi’s sisters, who still live in Zarqa, would come by to look after it. At one point I glanced up at a window, which was slightly ajar. Someone abruptly slammed it shut.

I learned that the first of al-Zarqawi’s two wives had lived in the house until recently. She was his cousin, whom he had married when he was twenty-two. They had four children, two boys and two girls. But not long before my visit, al-Zarqawi had sent an unknown man to drive them across the border to be with him in Iraq. His second wife, a Jordanian-Palestinian whom he had married in Afghanistan, and with whom he has a son, was reported to be with him in Iraq as well. Al-Zarqawi’s mother, Omm Sayel, whom he adored—and who had traveled to Peshawar with him when he joined the jihad—died of leukemia in 2004; although he was the most wanted man in Jordan at the time of her death, al-Zarqawi returned to Zarqa in disguise to attend her funeral.

As I wandered with my driver around the al-Masoum neighborhood—visiting the al-Falah mosque, a tiny green-latticed structure where al-Zarqawi had been “returned” to Islam; searching for the cemetery that had been his favorite childhood playground (which we never found); and talking to al-Zarqawi’s neighbors and friends—it became clear to me that although government officials in Amman had said that al-Zarqawi’s popularity had plummeted since he had bombed the hotels there, Zarqa, at least, still appeared to be his town. We met three little boys riding their bicycles down an empty lane. When we asked for directions to al-Zarqawi’s house, they told us where to go—and then, with large grins on their small faces, they flashed the victory sign. An old man who ran a local grocery looked at us knowingly when we walked in. “You’re here for Zarqawi,” he said, a statement of fact rather than a question. When we responded that we were, he insisted on giving us free soft drinks and potato chips.

Everyone I spoke with readily acknowledged that as a teenager al-Zarqawi had been a bully and a thug, a bootlegger and a heavy drinker, and even, allegedly, a pimp in Zarqa’s underworld. He was disruptive, constantly involved in brawls. When he was fifteen (according to his police record, about which I had been briefed in Amman), he participated in a robbery of a relative’s home, during which the relative was killed. Two years later, a year shy of graduation, he had dropped out of school. Then, in 1989, at the age of twenty-three, he traveled to Afghanistan.

It was the first time he had ever been out of Jordan, and for him it changed everything.

Salah al-Hami, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, was al-Zarqawi’s brother-in-law and one of his closest friends. We met him outside the garden of his Zarqa home. Dressed in a long blue robe, and with a red-and-white-checkered kaffiyeh hanging loosely from his head, he sported a full Islamist beard. He was polite but refused to be interviewed; after every interview he’d given, he said, he’d been arrested. But being arrested wasn’t what bothered him most. What bothered him was that he had been misquoted repeatedly. As a journalist himself, he was fed up.

I told him that I simply wanted to verify a few dates and facts, and was interested in talking to him not about Iraq but about Afghanistan. He looked at me skeptically but agreed to chat as we stood at his garden gate. He and al-Zarqawi had met in Afghanistan, he said, during al-Zarqawi’s first stay there, from 1989 to 1993. Al-Zarqawi was based initially in the border town of Khost, which, after both the Americans and the Soviets had left Afghanistan, was the site of intense and heavily contested battles between the mujahideen and the pro-Soviet Najibullah regime. At the beginning, al-Hami continued, al-Zarqawi had not been a fighter but had tried his hand at being a journalist. He had worked as a reporter for a small jihadist magazine, Al-Bonian al Marsous, while al-Hami was a correspondent for Al-Jihad magazine, which the mujahideen published in Peshawar. But then one day al-Hami stepped on a land mine and lost one of his legs.

It was during al-Zarqawi’s visits to the hospital that he and al-Hami became close friends. I didn’t ask al-Hami any personal questions, but I had been told earlier by another of al-Zarqawi’s friends that one day in the hospital, al-Hami had spoken of the impossibility of ever having a family or a wife. “A one-legged man?” al-Hami reportedly said to al-Zarqawi. “Who would want to marry him?” In response al-Zarqawi offered him the hand of one of his sisters, and al-Hami agreed. So did the sister, and the two were married in Peshawar, in a lavish ceremony presided over by al-Zarqawi, whose father had died when he was young. The video of the reception was the only authenticated footage of al-Zarqawi ever publicly seen—until this April, when, for the first time, al-Zarqawi released a videotape of himself.

Al-Hami moved to Zarqa when he returned from Afghanistan. For a number of years now he has looked after al-Zarqawi’s family, as well as his own, while his brother-in-law traveled on a path that took him to prison, back to Afghanistan, then to Iran, northern Kurdistan, and, finally, Iraq.

“If you want to understand who Zarqawi is,” a former Jordanian intelligence official had told me earlier, “you’ve got to understand the four major turning points in his life: his first trip to Afghanistan; then the prison years [from 1993 to 1999]; then his return to Afghanistan, when he really came into his own; and then Iraq.” He thought for a moment. “And, of course, the creativity of the Americans.”

“He was an ordinary guy, an ordinary fighter, and didn’t really distinguish himself,” Huthaifa Azzam said of al-Zarqawi’s first time in Afghanistan. “He was a quiet guy who didn’t talk much. But he was brave. Zarqawi doesn’t know the meaning of fear. He’s been wounded five or six times in Afghanistan and Iraq. He seems to intentionally place himself in the middle of the most dangerous situations. He fought in the battles of Khost and Kardez and, in April 1992, witnessed the liberation of Kabul by the mujahideen. A lot of Arabs were great commanders during those years. Zarqawi was not. He also wasn’t very religious during that time. In fact, he’d only ‘returned’ to Islam three months before coming to Afghanistan. It was the Tablighi Jamaat [a proselytizing missionary group spread across the Muslim world] who convinced him—he had thirty-seven criminal cases against him by then—that it was time to cleanse himself.”

A Jordanian counterterrorism official expanded on al-Zarqawi’s time in Afghanistan for me. “His second time in Afghanistan was far more important than the first. But the first was significant in two ways. Zarqawi was young and impressionable; he’d never been out of Jordan before, and now, for the first time, he was interacting with doctrinaire Islamists from across the Muslim world, most of them brought to Afghanistan by the CIA. It was also his first exposure to al-Qaeda. He didn’t meet bin Laden, of course, but he trained in one of his and Abdullah Azzam’s camps: the Sada camp near the Afghan border inside Pakistan. He trained under Abu Hafs al-Masri.” (The reference was to the nom de guerre of Mohammed Atef, an Egyptian who was bin Laden’s military chief and, until he was killed in an American air strike in Afghanistan in November 2001, the No. 3 official in al-Qaeda.)

Abu Muntassir Bilah Muhammad is another jihadist who spent time fighting in Afghanistan and who would later become one of the co-founders of al-Zarqawi’s first militant Islamist group. “Zarqawi arrived in Afghanistan as a zero,” he told me, “a man with no career, just floundering about. He trained and fought and he came back to Jordan with ambitions and dreams: to carry the ideology of jihad. His first ambition was to reform Jordan, to set up an Islamist state. And there was a cachet involved in fighting in the jihad. Zarqawi returned to Jordan with newfound respect. It’s not so much what Zarqawi did in the jihad—it’s what the jihad did for him.”

With an eye to the future, al-Zarqawi also used the jihad years to begin the process of cultivating friendships that would eventually lead to the formation of an international support network for his activities. “Particularly when he was in Khost, his primary friendships were with the Saudi fighters and others from the Gulf,” Huthaifa Azzam told me. “Some of them were millionaires. There were even a couple of billionaires.”

But perhaps as important as anything else, it was in Afghanistan that al-Zarqawi was introduced to Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (whose real name is Isam Muhammad Tahir al-Barqawi), a revered and militant Salafist cleric who had moved to Zarqa following the mass expulsion of Palestinians from Kuwait in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The Salafiya movement originated in Egypt, at the end of the nineteenth century, as a modernist Sunni reform movement, the aim of which was to let the Muslim world rise to the challenges posed by Western science and political thought. But since the 1920s, it has evolved into a severely puritanical school of absolutist thought that is markedly anti-Western and based on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Today’s most radical Salafists regard any departure from their own rigid principles of Islam to be heretical; their particular hatred of Shiites—who broke with the Sunnis in 632 A.D. over the question of succession to the Prophet Muhammad, and who now constitute the majority in Iran and Iraq—is visceral. Over the years, al-Maqdisi embraced the most extreme school of Salafism, closely akin to the puritanical Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, and in the early 1980s he published The Creed of Abraham, the single most important source of teachings for Salafist movements around the world. Al-Maqdisi would become al-Zarqawi’s ideological mentor and most profound influence.

“It’s not surprising that Zarqawi embraced Salafism,” I was told by Jarret Brachman, the research director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. “Jihadi Salafism is black and white—and so is everything that Zarqawi’s ever done. When he met al-Maqdisi, he was drifting, trying to find an outlet, and very impressionable. His religious grounding, until then, was largely dependent upon whose influence he was under at the time. And since his father had died when he was young, he’d been seeking a father figure. Al-Maqdisi served both needs.”

Al-Zarqawi and al-Maqdisi left Afghanistan in 1993 and returned to Jordan. They found it much changed. In their absence the Jordanians and the Israelis had begun negotiations that would lead to the signing of a peace treaty in 1994; the Palestinians had signed the Oslo Accords of 1993; and the Iraqis had lost the Gulf War. Unemployment was up sharply, the result of a privatization drive agreed to with the International Monetary Fund, and Jordanians were frustrated and angry. The Muslim Brotherhood—the kingdom’s only viable opposition political force, which had agreed to support King Hussein in exchange for being allowed to participate in public and parliamentary life—appeared unable to cope with the rising disaffection. Small underground Islamist groups had therefore begun to appear, composed largely of men who had fought in the Afghan jihad, and who were guided by the increasingly loud voices of militant clerics who felt the Muslim Brotherhood had been co-opted by the state.

After the two men returned home, al-Maqdisi toured the kingdom, preaching and recruiting, and al-Zarqawi sought out Abu Muntassir, who had already acquired a standing among Islamic militants in Jordan. “We talked a lot, over a couple of days,” Abu Muntassir told me. “He was still pretty much a novice, but very willing, very able, and keen to learn about Islam. I was teaching geography at the time in a government school, so it was easy for me to teach Islam as well. After some time, Zarqawi asked me to work with him in an Islamic group; al-Maqdisi was already on board. The idea was there, but it had no leadership and no name. First we called it al-Tawhid, then changed the name to Bayat al-Imam [Allegiance to the Imam]. We were small but enthusiastic—a dozen or so men. Our primary objective, of course, was to overthrow the monarchy and establish an Islamic government.”

Despite their enthusiasm, al-Zarqawi, al-Maqdisi, and Abu Muntassir did not appear to be natural revolutionaries. Their first operation was in Zarqa, in 1993, a former Jordanian intelligence official told me, when al-Zarqawi dispatched one of their men to a local cinema with orders to blow it up because it was showing pornographic films. But the hapless would-be bomber apparently got so distracted by what was happening on the screen that he forgot about his bomb. It exploded and blew off his legs.

In another botched operation, al-Maqdisi (according to court testimony that he denied) gave al-Zarqawi seven grenades he had smuggled into Jordan, and al-Zarqawi hid them in the cellar of his family’s home. Al-Maqdisi was already under surveillance by Jordan’s intelligence service by that time, because of his growing popularity. The grenades were quickly discovered, and the two men, along with a number of their followers, found themselves for the first time before a state security court. Al-Zarqawi told the court that he had found the grenades while walking down the street. The judges were not amused. They convicted him and al-Maqdisi of possessing illegal weapons and belonging to a banned organization. In 1994, al-Zarqawi was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He would flourish there.

Swaqa prison sits on the southern desert’s edge, sixty miles south of Amman, and its political prisoners, both Islamist and secular, are housed in four wings. Al-Zarqawi embraced prison life in the extreme—as he appears to have embraced everything. According to fellow inmates of his with whom I spoke, his primary obsessions were recruiting other prisoners to his cause, building his body, and, under the tutelage of al-Maqdisi, memorizing the 6,236 verses of the Koran. He was stern, tough, and unrelenting on anything that he considered to be an infraction of his rules, yet he was often seen in the prison courtyard crying as he read the Koran.

He was fastidious about his appearance in prison—his beard and moustache were always cosmetically groomed—and he wore only Afghan dress: the shalwar kameez and a rolled-brim, woolen Pashtun cap. One former inmate who served time with him told me that al-Zarqawi sauntered through the prison ward like a “peacock.” Islamists flocked to him. He attracted recruits; some joined him out of fascination, others out of curiosity, and still others out of fear. In a short time, he had organized prison life at Swaqa like a gang leader.

“Zarqawi was the muscle, and al-Maqdisi the thinker,” Abdullah Abu Rumman, a journalist and editor who had been in prison with al-Zarqawi, told me one morning over tea. (Abu Rumman had been held for three months in 1996, for a series of articles he wrote that were considered unflattering toward King Hussein.) “Zarqawi basically controlled the prison ward,” Abu Rumman went on. “He decided who would cook, who would do the laundry, who would lead the readings of the Koran. He was extremely protective of his followers, and extremely tough with prisoners outside his group. He didn’t trust them. He considered them infidels.”

There were also confrontations and altercations with prison officials and guards. Whether al-Zarqawi was ever tortured is a matter of dispute: some of his followers say he was; Jordanian government officials, perhaps predictably, say he was not.

When Abu Rumman entered Swaqa, al-Zarqawi was in isolation following a prison brawl. “It was quite extraordinary,” Abu Rumman said. “My first glimpse of Zarqawi was when he was released. He returned to the ward as a hero surrounded by his own bodyguards. Everyone began to shout: Allahu Akhbar! By that time Zarqawi was already called the ‘emir,’ or ‘prince.’ He had an uncanny ability to control, almost to hypnotize; he could order his followers to do things just by moving his eyes.”

Al-Zarqawi controlled not only his followers but also the ward’s television sets. No one could really watch them, however, since he had covered them with black cloth to prevent the display of female forms. All the inmates could do was listen—and only to the evening news at eight o’clock. “Zarqawi and his followers had scant interest in political affairs, except for what was happening in Algeria and Afghanistan,” Abu Rumman said. “At the pre-arranged hour, they’d all rush into the television room. When shouts of ‘Allahu Akhbar!’ reverberated through the ward, we all knew that the Taliban was meeting with success.”

Al-Zarqawi and al-Maqdisi’s Bayat al-Imam continued to grow, both inside prison and in Zarqa, Irbid, and Salt. Al-Zarqawi used his Bedouin credentials to good effect, as his own profile began to ascend. His Bani Hassan tribe is one of the Middle East’s most prominent, and its tribal lands spill across the borders dividing Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. In Jordan, many of its members hold high-level positions in the government, the army, and the intelligence service. As a result, many of the prisoners, and many of Swaqa’s guards, deferred to al-Zarqawi. Al-Maqdisi, a Palestinian, was also accorded special treatment, but largely as a result of his links to al-Zarqawi and the Bani Hassan. Between mentor and pupil, the roles had subtly begun to shift inside the prison walls.

As al-Zarqawi recruited, al-Maqdisi preached, and using the Internet, they broadcast their message of jihad across three continents. Sheikh Abu Qatada, a Palestinian cleric who is one of Salafism’s leading ideologues, was also one of al-Maqdisi’s closest friends. The two men had been together in Kuwait, then in Zarqa, then Afghanistan. Abu Qatada, after leaving Afghanistan, had moved to London (where he is currently under arrest, awaiting possible deportation to Jordan). Now al-Maqdisi’s religious tracts were smuggled out of Swaqa by prisoners’ wives and mothers, with help from sympathetic prison guards, and they were sent on to Abu Qatada, who posted them on the Web sites of Salafists and jihadists throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf.

Al-Zarqawi’s own religious views became increasingly severe, as did his intolerance of anyone he believed to be an infidel. Al-Maqdisi sometimes angrily disagreed with him. (It was the first portent of what lay ahead. Al-Zarqawi began to eclipse his mentor in prison, and would continue to do so over the coming years, but their final, and public, break did not occur until November 2005, when, on Al-Jazeera, al-Maqdisi criticized his former protégé for the hotel bombings in Amman.) Nevertheless, despite their prison disagreements, al-Maqdisi, from time to time, permitted al-Zarqawi to draft his own religious tracts. Abu Muntassir (who would also later break with al-Zarqawi) was his editor. Al-Zarqawi was “a terrible writer,” he told me, “and didn’t really understand the Koran. He had learned it by rote.” Al-Zarqawi never learned to write a fatwa, Abu Muntassir said, and as a result had to set up his own fatwa committee in Iraq.

In 1998, three or four of al-Zarqawi’s tracts were posted on the Internet, after heavy editing. Soon they came to the attention of Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. It was the first time he had ever heard of al-Zarqawi.

In May of the following year, Jordan’s King Abdullah II—newly enthroned after the death of his father, King Hussein—declared a general amnesty, and al-Zarqawi was released from Swaqa. He had made effective use of his time there. As he had done nearly a decade before—when he befriended wealthy Saudi jihadists in Khost—he had expanded his reach and his appeal during his prison years. Among the fellow inmates he had converted to Salafism and brought into the Bayat al-Imam were a substantial number of prisoners from Iraq.

After returning for a few months to Zarqa, al-Zarqawi left again and traveled to Pakistan. He may or may not have known that Jordan was about to declare him a suspect in a series of foiled terrorist attacks intended for New Year’s Eve of 1999. The plan, which became known as the “Millennium Plot,” involved the bombing of Christian landmarks and other tourist sites, along with the Radisson Hotel in Amman. Had it succeeded, it would have been al-Zarqawi’s first involvement in a major terrorist attack.

Whatever the case, al-Zarqawi planned ahead before he left for Pakistan. He arrived bearing a letter of introduction from Abu Kutaiba al-Urduni, one of Jordan’s most significant leaders during the jihad in Afghanistan. Al-Urduni had been a key deputy to—and the chief recruiter inside Jordan for—Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, Huthaifa Azzam’s father. (Having worked for years in Peshawar as the leader of the Service Office, or the Maktab al-Khidmat, the sheikh had become the pivotal figure in the Pan-Islamic recruitment of volunteers for the jihad.) Al-Urduni’s letter was the first endorsement that al-Zarqawi had received from such a senior figure—and the letter was addressed to Osama bin Laden.

In December 1999, al-Zarqawi crossed the border into Afghanistan, and later that month he and bin Laden met at the Government Guest House in the southern city of Kandahar, the de facto capital of the ruling Taliban. As they sat facing each other across the receiving room, a former Israeli intelligence official told me, “it was loathing at first sight.”

According to several different accounts of the meeting, bin Laden distrusted and disliked al-Zarqawi immediately. He suspected that the group of Jordanian prisoners with whom al-Zarqawi had been granted amnesty earlier in the year had been infiltrated by Jordanian intelligence; something similar had occurred not long before with a Jordanian jihadist cell that had come to Afghanistan. Bin Laden also disliked al-Zarqawi’s swagger and the green tattoos on his left hand, which he reportedly considered un-Islamic. Al-Zarqawi came across to bin Laden as aggressively ambitious, abrasive, and overbearing. His hatred of Shiites also seemed to bin Laden to be potentially divisive—which, of course, it was. (Bin Laden’s mother, to whom he remains close, is a Shiite, from the Alawites of Syria.)

Al-Zarqawi would not recant, even in the presence of the legendary head of al-Qaeda. “Shiites should be executed,” he reportedly declared. He also took exception to bin Laden’s providing Arab fighters to the Taliban, the fundamentalist student militia that, although now in power, was still battling the Northern Alliance, which controlled some 10 percent of Afghanistan. Muslim killing Muslim was un-Islamic, al-Zarqawi is reported to have said.

Unaccustomed to such direct criticism, the leader of al-Qaeda was aghast.

Had Saif al-Adel—now bin Laden’s military chief—not intervened, history might be written very differently.

A former Egyptian army colonel who had trained in special operations, al-Adel was then al-Qaeda’s chief of security and a prominent voice in an emerging debate gripping the militant Islamist world. Who should the primary target be—the “near enemy” (the Muslim world’s “un-Islamic” regimes) or the “far enemy” (primarily Israel and the United States)? Al-Zarqawi was a near-enemy advocate, and although his obsession remained the overthrow of the Jordanian monarchy, he had expanded his horizons slightly during his prison years and had now begun to focus on the area known as al-Sham, or the Levant, which includes Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and historic Palestine. As an Egyptian who had attempted to overthrow his own country’s army-backed regime, al-Adel saw merit in al-Zarqawi’s views. Thus, after a good deal of debate within al-Qaeda, it was agreed that al-Zarqawi would be given $5,000 or so in “seed money” to set up his own training camp outside the western Afghan city of Herat, near the Iranian border. It was about as far away as he could be from bin Laden.

Saif al-Adel was designated the middleman.

In early 2000, with a dozen or so followers who had arrived from Peshawar and Amman, al-Zarqawi set out for the western desert encircling Herat. His goal: to build an army that he could export to anywhere in the world. Al-Adel paid monthly visits to al-Zarqawi’s training camp; later, on his Web site, he would write that he was amazed at what he saw there. The number of al-Zarqawi’s fighters multiplied from dozens to hundreds during the following year, and by the time the forces evacuated their camp, prior to the U.S. air strikes of October 200l, the fighters and their families numbered some 2,000 to 3,000. According to al-Adel, the wives of al-Zarqawi’s followers served lavish Levantine cuisine in the camp.

It was in Herat that al-Zarqawi formed the militant organization Jund al-Sham, or Soldiers of the Levant. His key operational lieutenants were mainly Syrians—most of whom had fought in the Afghan jihad, and many of whom belonged to their country’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s exiled leadership, which is largely based in Europe, was immensely important in recruiting for the Herat camp, although whether it also supplied funds remains under debate. What is clear, however, is that al-Zarqawi’s closest aide, a Syrian from the city of Hama named Sulayman Khalid Darwish—or Abu al-Ghadiyah—was considered to be, until his death last summer on the Iraqi-Syrian frontier, one of al-Zarqawi’s most likely successors.

I asked a high-level Jordanian intelligence official how important the Herat camp was.

“For Zarqawi, it was the turning point,” he replied. “Herat was the beginning of what he is now. He had command responsibilities for the first time; he had a battle plan. And even though he and bin Laden never got on, he was important to them. Herat was the only training camp in Afghanistan that was actively recruiting volunteers specifically from the Sham. Zarqawi, for his part, is very conceited and likes to show off. In Herat, he called himself the ‘Emir of Sham’!”

At least five times, in 2000 and 2001, bin Laden called al-Zarqawi to come to Kandahar and pay bayat—take an oath of allegiance—to him. Each time, al-Zarqawi refused. Under no circumstances did he want to become involved in the battle between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. He also did not believe that either bin Laden or the Taliban was serious enough about jihad.

When the United States launched its air war inside Afghanistan, on October 7, 2001, al-Zarqawi joined forces with al-Qaeda and the Taliban for the first time. He and his Jund al-Sham fought in and around Herat and Kandahar. Al-Zarqawi was wounded in an American air strike—not in the leg, as U.S. officials claimed for two years, but in the chest, when the ceiling of the building in which he was operating collapsed on him. Neither did he join Osama bin Laden in the eastern mountains of Tora Bora, as U.S. officials have also said. Bin Laden took only his most trusted fighters to Tora Bora, and al-Zarqawi was not one of them.

In December 2001, accompanied by some 300 fighters from Jund al-Sham, al-Zarqawi left Afghanistan once again, and entered Iran.

During the next fourteen months, al-Zarqawi based himself primarily in Iran and in the autonomous area of Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, traveling from time to time to Syria and to the Ayn al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp in the south of Lebanon—a camp that, according to the former Jordanian intelligence official, became his main recruiting ground. More often, however, al-Zarqawi traveled to the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. He expanded his network, recruited and trained new fighters, and set up bases, safe houses, and military training camps. In Iran, he was reunited with Saif al-Adel—who encouraged him to go to Iraq and provided contacts there—and for a time, al-Zarqawi stayed at a farm belonging to the fiercely anti-American Afghan jihad leader Gulbaddin Hekmatyar. In Kurdistan he lived and worked with the separatist militant Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, ironically in an area protected as part of the “no-fly” zone imposed on Saddam Hussein by Washington.

One can only imagine how astonished al-Zarqawi must have been when Colin Powell named him as the crucial link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime. He was not even officially a part of al-Qaeda, and ever since he had left Afghanistan, his links had been not to Iraq but to Iran.

“We know Zarqawi better than he knows himself,” the high-level Jordanian intelligence official said. “And I can assure you that he never had any links to Saddam. Iran is quite a different matter. The Iranians have a policy: they want to control Iraq. And part of this policy has been to support Zarqawi, tactically but not strategically.”

“Such as?” I asked.

“In the beginning they gave him automatic weapons, uniforms, military equipment, when he was with the army of Ansar al-Islam. Now they essentially just turn a blind eye to his activities, and to those of al-Qaeda generally. The Iranians see Iraq as a fight against the Americans, and overall, they’ll get rid of Zarqawi and all of his people once the Americans are out.”

In the summer of 2003, three months after the American invasion, al-Zarqawi moved to the Sunni areas of Iraq. He became infamous almost at once. On August 7, he allegedly carried out a car-bomb attack at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad. Twelve days later, he was linked to the bombing of the United Nations headquarters, in which twenty-two people died. And on August 29, in what was then the deadliest attack of the war, he engineered the killing of over a hundred people, including a revered cleric, the Ayatollah Muhammad Baqr al-Hakim, in a car bombing outside Shia Islam’s holy shrine in Najaf. The suicide bomber in that attack was Yassin Jarad, from Zarqa. He was al-Zarqawi’s father-in-law.

“Even then—and even more so now—Zarqawi was not the main force in the insurgency,” the former Jordanian intelligence official, who has studied al-Zarqawi for a decade, told me. “To establish himself, he carried out the Muhammad Hakim operation, and the attack against the UN. Both of them gained a lot of support for him—with the tribes, with Saddam’s army and other remnants of his regime. They made Zarqawi the symbol of the resistance in Iraq, but not the leader. And he never has been.”

He continued, “The Americans have been patently stupid in all of this. They’ve blown Zarqawi so out of proportion that, of course, his prestige has grown. And as a result, sleeper cells from all over Europe are coming to join him now.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Your government is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Western and Israeli diplomats to whom I spoke shared this view—and this past April, The Washington Post reported on Pentagon documents that detailed a U.S. military propaganda campaign to inflate al-Zarqawi’s importance. Then, the following month, the military appeared to attempt to reverse field and portray al-Zarqawi as an incompetent who could not even handle a gun. But by then his image in the Muslim world was set.

Of course, no one did more to cultivate that image than al-Zarqawi himself. He committed some of the deadliest attacks in Iraq, though they still represent only some 10 percent of the country’s total number of attacks. In May 2004, he inaugurated his notorious wave of hostage beheadings; he also specialized in suicide and truck bombings of Shiite shrines and mosques, largely in Shiite neighborhoods. His primary aim was to provoke a civil war. “If we succeed in dragging [the Shia] into a sectarian war,” he purportedly wrote in a letter intercepted by U.S. forces and released in February 2004, “this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of destruction and death at the hands of the Shia.” (The authenticity of the letter came into question almost immediately.)

Al-Zarqawi courted chaos so that Iraq would provide him another failed state to operate in after the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He became best known for his videotaped beheadings. One after the other they appeared on jihadist Web sites, always the same. In the background was the trademark black banner of al-Zarqawi’s newest group: al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad, or Monotheism and Jihad. In the foreground, a blindfolded hostage, kneeling and pleading for his life, was dressed in an orange jumpsuit resembling those worn by the detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Al-Zarqawi’s first victim was a Pennsylvania engineer named Nicholas Berg. In the video, five hooded men, dressed in black, stand behind Berg. After a recitation, one of the men pulls a long knife from his shirt, steps forward, and slices off Berg’s head. The U.S. military quickly announced that the executioner was al-Zarqawi himself, and although no one doubts that he planned the operation, questions soon arose: the figure seems taller than al-Zarqawi, and he uses his right hand to wield the knife. Al-Zarqawi was said to be left-handed.

Regardless of his growing notoriety in Iraq, al-Zarqawi never lost sight of his ultimate goal: the overthrow of the Jordanian monarchy. His efforts to foment unrest in Jordan included the 2002 assassination of the U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley, and, on a far larger scale, a disrupted plot in 2004 to bomb the headquarters of the Jordanian intelligence services—a scheme that, according to Jordanian officials, would have entailed the use of trucks packed with enough chemicals and explosives to kill some 80,000 people. Once it was uncovered, al-Zarqawi immediately accepted responsibility for the plot, although he denied that chemical weapons would have been involved.

Later that year, in October 2004, after resisting for nearly five years, al-Zarqawi finally paid bayat to Osama bin Laden—but only after eight months of often stormy negotiations. After doing so he proclaimed himself to be the “Emir of al-Qaeda’s Operations in the Land of Mesopotamia,” a title that subordinated him to bin Laden but at the same time placed him firmly on the global stage. One explanation for this coming together of these two former antagonists was simple: al-Zarqawi profited from the al-Qaeda franchise, and bin Laden needed a presence in Iraq. Another explanation is more complex: bin Laden laid claim to al-Zarqawi in the hopes of forestalling his emergence as the single most important terrorist figure in the world, and al-Zarqawi accepted bin Laden’s endorsement to augment his credibility and to strengthen his grip on the Iraqi tribes. Both explanations are true.

It was a pragmatic alliance, but tenuous from the start.

“From the beginning, Zarqawi has wanted to be independent, and he will continue to be,” Oraib Rantawi, the director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies in Amman, said to me. “Yes, he’s gained stature through this alliance, but he only swore bayat after all this time because of growing pressure from Iraqis who were members of al-Qaeda. And even then he signed with conditions—that he would maintain control over Jund al-Sham and al-Tawhid, and that he would exert operational autonomy. His suicide bombings of the hotels in Amman”—in which some sixty civilians died, many of them while attending a wedding celebration—“was a huge tactical mistake. My understanding is that bin Laden was furious about it.”

The attacks, which represented an expansion of al- Zarqawi’s sophistication and reach, also showed his growing independence from the al-Qaeda chief. They came only thirteen months after he had sworn bayat. The alliance had already begun to fray.

The signs were visible as early as the summer of 2005. In a letter purportedly sent to al-Zarqawi in July from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian surgeon who is bin Laden’s designated heir, al-Zarqawi was chided about his tactics in Iraq. And although some experts have cast doubt on the letter’s authenticity (it was released by the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence), few would dispute its message: namely, that al-Zarqawi’s hostage beheadings, his mass slaughter of Shiites, and his assaults on their mosques were all having a negative effect on Muslim opinion—both of him and, by extension, of al-Qaeda—around the world. In one admonition, al-Zawahiri allegedly advised al-Zarqawi that a captive can be killed as easily by a bullet as by a knife.

During my time in Jordan, I asked a number of officials what they considered to be the most curious aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and al-Zarqawi, other than the fact that the Bush administration had inflated him.

One of them said, “The six times you could have killed Zarqawi, and you didn’t.”

When Powell addressed the United Nations, he discussed the Ansar al-Islam camp near Khurmal, in northern Kurdistan, which he claimed was producing ricin and where al-Zarqawi was then based. On at least three occasions, between mid-2002 and the invasion of Iraq the following March, the Pentagon presented plans to the White House to destroy the Khurmal camp, according to a report published by TheWall Street Journal in October 2004. The White House either declined or simply ignored the request.

More recently, three times during the past year, the Jordanian intelligence service, which has a close liaison relationship with the CIA, provided the United States with information on al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts—first in Mosul, then in Ramadi. Each time, the Americans arrived too late.

After I returned from Jordan, in mid-March, what had appeared to be a growing challenge to al-Zarqawi from local Sunni insurgent groups, which had reportedly expelled hundreds of his fighters from the troubled western province of al-Anbar alone, seemed to have been put aside. The upsurge in Sunni-Shiite killings, as the result of the February bombing of Samarra’s Askariya Shrine (one of Shia Islam’s holiest sites), had led, at least for the moment, to a newfound unity between al-Zarqawi and the Sunni insurgency. Then, in early April, Huthaifa Azzam announced that the “Iraqi resistance’s high command” had stripped al-Zarqawi of his political role and relegated him to military operations. It was the second time that al-Zarqawi’s profile had seemingly been lowered—or that he had lowered it—this year. The first had come in January, when it was announced that al-Qaeda in Iraq had joined five other Sunni insurgent groups to form a coalition called the Mujahideen Shura Council. By early May, U.S. counterterrorism analysts were still puzzling over what the two events meant and what changes they could portend.

As they debated, al-Zarqawi sprang to life again, in a video posted on the Internet on April 24. It was the first time he had appeared in a jihadist videotape, and the first time he had shown his face. Dressed in black fatigues and a black cap, he had ammunition pouches strapped across his chest. He appeared fit, if overweight, as he posed in the desert firing an automatic weapon and as he sat with a group of masked aides, apparently plotting strategy. It seemed an extremely risky thing for him to do, and yet it also appeared to be very deliberate. It was a useful tool for recruitment, intending to show al-Zarqawi as both a flamboyant fighter and a pensive strat­egist. More important than anything else, however, it was meant to show the world that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—the brash young man who had come of age in the rough-and-tumble of Zarqa—remained relevant.

Before leaving Amman, three months before al-Zarqawi’s death, I had asked the high-level Jordanian intelligence official with whom I met whether al-Zarqawi, in his view, was a potential challenger to Osama bin Laden.

“Not at all,” he replied. “Zarqawi had the ambition to become what he has, but whatever happens, even if he becomes the most popular figure in Iraq, he can never go against the symbolism that bin Laden represents. If Zarqawi is captured or killed tomorrow, the Iraqi insurgency will go on. There is no such thing as ‘Zarqawism.’ What Zarqawi is will die with him. Bin Laden, on the other hand, is an ideological thinker. He created the concept of al-Qaeda and all of its offshoots. He feels he’s achieved his goal.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Osama bin Laden is like Karl Marx. Both created an ideology. Marxism still flourished well after Marx’s death. And whether bin Laden is killed, or simply dies of natural causes, al-Qaedaism will survive him.”

Mary Anne Weaver is the author of Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan (2002).

2 Car-Bombs Detonate Near Iranian Embassy In Beirut

1ST CAR-BOMB of the day in Beirut


[SEE:  Nusra Front sent rigged cars to Lebanon: report]

[A shadowy group which calls itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades has claimed credit for the car-bombs.  In case anyone forgets, incompetent terrorists, bearing the Abdullah Azzam name, took credit for the dent in the side of Japanese supertanker “M Star” (SEE:  Alleged “Al Qaida” Group Releases Lunatic Statement Taking Credit For M. Star Attack).] 

23 martyrs in two explosions in the vicinity of the Iranian Embassy in Bir Hassan


From the vicinity of the blasts in the area of ​​Bir Hassan (ANWAR AMRO – AFP)

Killed 23 people and wounded more than 146 others were injured today in twin explosions near the headquarters of the Iranian embassy in Beirut’s southern suburbs, one resulting from the explosion of a car is still great uncertainty about the nature of the first explosion.

Ministry of Health announced the Lebanese «killing 23 victims and 146 injured in two explosions in the area of ​​the wing.
The blasts occurred near the Iranian Embassy in Bir Hassan area in the southern suburbs of Beirut, today, as initial reports indicate the fall of 23 martyrs and 146 wounded their injuries ranging from serious and light, according to the Declaration and the Lebanese Ministry of Health, as well as significant damage to property.
Since some time, the news agency Reuters that the «Abdullah Azzam Brigades, linked to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the double attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
The first explosion had happened at about ten in the morning, followed by a few seconds after the explosion of another type of car Renault Rapid. Information is still uncertain about the details of the first explosion and nature.
And proceeded to the security forces imposed a security cordon around the area, while the Lebanese army firing in the air to disperse the people and try to surround the place. The ambulance took the martyrs and the wounded were taken to three hospitals near the area of ​​the explosion, a Beirut Governmental Hospital and the Great Prophet and Zahra.
The director of the channel ‘fields’ Ghassan Ben Jeddo that every the process illustrated bombings and documented outlets will be known accurately.
For his part, the president of the Caretaker Government Najib Mikati Disaster Management Authority to «an emergency meeting at the Grand Serail to follow up on the implications of the blast, which occurred in the vicinity of the Iranian embassy in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
In context, the Iranian embassy confirmed that «Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Abadi corner of okay, and that the embassy is not targeted in the blast, which occurred in and around the southern suburbs of Beirut.
As diplomatic sources from inside the embassy that «no casualties in the ranks of employees at the Iranian embassy.
Describing the Iranian embassy in Lebanon, the Iranian Cultural Counselor Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ansari, who was killed when it passes in front of the embassy at the time of the explosion.
Iranian Ambassador through the channel «fields» that «each of the these terrorist acts is a client of the Zionist entity ‘, accusing the’ Zionist entity standing behind this terrorist bombing.
The Corner Abadi feet deepest condolences to the Lebanese people and the families of the martyrs and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
For his part, Minister of Health arrived in the caretaker government of Ali Hassan Khalil to the area of ​​the explosion in the wing, students from all hospitals in Beirut and suburbs, opening the doors to the injured victims of the terrorist bombing in the wing and provide the best ways to take care of them. He also announced that the Ministry of Health put the maximum potential to provide the highest degree of care to them.
On the other hand, directed the Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr to the place of the blasts in the southern suburbs of follow-up investigations.
Well, said member bloc «Development and Liberation» Attorney Hani Al Qubaisi that «the bombing of the southern suburbs of a terrorist act par excellence affects all Lebanese without اسثناء, pointing out that« stability in Lebanon and threatened civil peace as well.
He described member of the bloc «Loyalty to the Resistance MP Ali Ammar explosions in the area of ​​the wing ‘terrorist crime’, saying« Whatever Balgtm in killing us and killing our people, the motto «اقتلونا of the our people Siei more and more».
He pointed out that terrorism is a multinational can not stop the resistance.

(News, National, site Manar)

Putin Accuses Foes of Bringing Radical Islam to Russia

Putin Accuses Foes of Bringing Radical Islam to Russia


Bulgaria: Putin Accuses Foes of Bringing Radical Islam to Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo by EPA/BGNES

President Vladimir Putin has accused foreign rivals of using radical Islam to weaken Russia.

Putin appealed on Tuesday Muslim clerics to help reduce tensions after a deadly suicide bombing and nationalist riots.

“Some political forces are using Islam, or, to be more precise, its radical movements that have never been popular among Russian Muslims, to weaken our state and to create regions with foreign-managed conflicts on Russian territory,” Putin said at the celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Central Spiritual Administration of Russian Muslims.

“An active and not always positive process of bringing politics into religion, including Islam, is currently going on in the world. In such conditions, the Russian Muslim community is facing new problems and tasks. We can solve them only together,” he added, as cited by Russia Today.

Putin Accuses Foes of Bringing Radical Islam to Russia

World | October 23, 2013, Wednesday // 11:49| Views: 947 | Comments: 2
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Bulgaria: Putin Accuses Foes of Bringing Radical Islam to Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo by EPA/BGNES

President Vladimir Putin has accused foreign rivals of using radical Islam to weaken Russia.

Putin appealed on Tuesday Muslim clerics to help reduce tensions after a deadly suicide bombing and nationalist riots.

“Some political forces are using Islam, or, to be more precise, its radical movements that have never been popular among Russian Muslims, to weaken our state and to create regions with foreign-managed conflicts on Russian territory,” Putin said at the celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Central Spiritual Administration of Russian Muslims.

“An active and not always positive process of bringing politics into religion, including Islam, is currently going on in the world. In such conditions, the Russian Muslim community is facing new problems and tasks. We can solve them only together,” he added, as cited by Russia Today.

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Boeing 737 Airliner Makes Unexplained Crash-Dive Into the Kazan, Tartarstan Runway

Shocking video: Boeing’s nosedive in Kazan captured as cause of crash debated


Shocking security cam footage showing a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737’s nosedive has been released. The reason for the crash that claimed 50 lives remains unknown, although technical malfunction and pilot error are the leading theories.

Follow RT’s Kazan plane crash: LIVE UPDATES

Thefootage shows just how futile any efforts at rectifying the situation must have been in those final moments. The plane is seen to be falling vertically out of the sky before exploding on the runway.

“We will not land”
were the last words that chief pilot Rustem Salikhov told an air traffic controller at the airport.

“The plane simply fell. It went vertically into the ground. After the plane hit the ground there was an explosion,” transport minister Maksim Sokolov said.

As experts examined the crash scene, they reportedly confirmed that the airliner began spinning before hitting the ground. They believe the fuselage is buried four meters underground.

“Practically half of the aircraft was in the ground,” Life News quoted a source as saying.

This complicates the recovery operation, as the bodies of the two pilots and those who traveled in business class are underground, along with half the cabin.

Parts of the fuselage, which is now in tatters, were scattered within a 2.5 kilometer radius. The plane’s back was completely ruined.

Russian Civil Defense and law enforcement personnel work on the crash site of the Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 on November 18, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)Russian Civil Defense and law enforcement personnel work on the crash site of the Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 on November 18, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)

Pilot error, poor fuel quality, technical failure, poorly followed safety regulations, and bad weather have all been blamed – although stories of the Boeing 737-500’s previous performance, its age, and other issues have begun to pop up as well.

It is now up to experts to determine the circumstances and cause of the crash.

The two black boxes – a voice-recording device and a parametric one – have been recovered and have already been sent to Moscow for analysis.

Experts have begun studying the devices, which were both found at the center of the hole created by the plane’s impact with the ground, Tatarstan Airlines officials told ITAR-TASS. An official told Interfax, however, that the recorders are badly damaged.

“The casing of the recovered onboard recorders has been badly damaged…but the black boxes have been passed on for decoding. Regardless of the great damage, I think we’ll be able to extract some information out of them,” the official said.

However, the source told Life News that the black box which records crew members’ conversations has been severely damaged and the cassette has reportedly not been found yet.

Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, speaking to the Voice of Russia radio station, said earlier that “until the Investigative Committee has finished its work, all [five] theories may be valid.” He added that the possibility of a terrorist act is out of the question.

Meanwhile, the investigators are preparing a list of questions for officials on the ground.

People lay flowers near a fence of Kazan airport, where a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crashed, November 18, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)People lay flowers near a fence of Kazan airport, where a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crashed, November 18, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Although the pilots, both in their late 40s, were reportedly very experienced at their jobs, Russia’s Investigative Committee seems set on the view that the fault lies with them. It was initially alleged that a mistake was made when carrying out a repeat circle before landing.

“The plane attempted to land several times. One of the [fuel] tanks detonated while the plane was landing,” said Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius.

It was subsequently discovered that one of the pilots had informed the control tower that making a second circle around the airport would be necessary, but then failed to follow the guidelines dictated back to him, according to Kirill Kornishin, one of the ground crew.

“[The pilot] told me he would attempt to perform another circle and I dictated the numbers to him – all according to procedure – and that was that. He confirmed the instructions, but didn’t deviate from his path. [The crash] happened mere seconds later,” Kornishin told Russia 24 TV, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The exchange started with the pilots reporting issues with the configuration of the landing gear.

Some attribute the fatal crash to the plane’s condition. It was over 20 years old and Tatarstan Airlines had planned to take it out of service a year ago. However, the airline claims there were no known technical problems with the aircraft before it took off on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, however, the same plane had flown from Kazan to Moscow, and passengers reported huge vibrations during landing.

One witness told RT earlier that she was “on board that same Tatarstan airplane from Kazan to Moscow earlier on Sunday afternoon. The flight itself went quite smoothly but, just before the landing, the plane started vibrating fiercely. Initially I thought it was the weather – but when we got out of the plane, it turned out the weather was quite nice. The plane was shaking; it was dragged from side to side. We landed on our first attempt, but it was a really bad landing and I felt like the plane was going to roll off the runway.”

Investigators and Russian Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crash at Kazan airport November 18, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)Investigators and Russian Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crash at Kazan airport November 18, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Despite all this, the latest checkup – two days before departure – had found nothing wrong.

Another theory concerns questionable fuel quality. The aircraft had refueled before taking off for Kazan and authorities are currently analyzing fuel samples.

No headway can be made until a team of experts has examined and decoded the information stored on the black boxes.

Chief investigator Vladimir Markin told RIA Novosti that a number of other investigative measures are being carried out. These include plans for a detailed probe into how the airline handled its own safety regulations, and whether authorities tasked with supervising the airline had themselves been adequate in performing their duties.

Furthermore, a little after 8:30am Moscow time, Markin also reported the discovery of a video detailing the moment of impact.

“A video was found and a detailed examination of the fatal trajectory of the plane is being carried out,” he said.

Supporting the view that all five factors discussed could have caused the fatal crash – pilot error, weather conditions, poor fuel, badly observed safety measures, and the plane’s disrepair – Michael Weiss told RT that in the majority of cases, it is always a combination of factors.

“All of these factors are going to be looked at…there are going to be so many things looked at, keeping in mind that accidents generally don’t happen from a single event,” he said.

Saudi’s Official Liar Hides Zionist Connections from Lunatics In “Islamic Army”

saudi israel

Saudi denies contact with Israel on Iran

Riyadh dismisses possible cooperation with Israel to stop Iran from developing a nuclear warhead.

Rabbi David Rosen meets Saudi King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia has ruled out any contact with Israel, with which it has no diplomatic ties, after a British newspaper reported that the two countries could coordinate efforts against Iran.

The kingdom “has no relations or contacts with Israel of any kind or at any level,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, quoted by state news agency SPA on Monday.

Under the headline “Two old foes unite against Tehran,” Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper said Israel and Saudi Arabia were working together on “contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if its nuclear programme is not significantly curbed.”

“As part of the growing cooperation, Riyadh is understood already to have given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran,” it said.

The Saudi spokesman said the report was “completely unfounded”.

The Israeli and Saudi governments are convinced that the international talks to place limits on Tehran’s military nuclear development will do little to slow its development of a nuclear warhead.

Widely believed to have a formidable nuclear arsenal itself, Israel has refused to rule out bombing Iran’s facilities, as it reportedly did with an Iraqi reactor in 1981 and a Syrian facility in 2007.

US Demands On “Night Raids” and Immunity Pushing Afghans Too Far


Just three days before the Loya Jirga begins discussing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), Afghan and U.S. officials told The New York Times the negotiations are in a deadlock over the issue of American unilateral military operations in Afghanistan post-2014.

Afghan officials reported last week that nearly all of the security pact, which outlines U.S. military involvement in the years Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014, had been settled between negotiators. However, this week, differences over the right of U.S. forces to conduct raids and searches in Afghan residences proved unresolved.

The terms of U.S. unilateral operations, along with criminal jurisdiction over U.S. troops and the definition of foreign “aggression,” were said to be the most contentious issues during negotiations over the accord. Although the aggression issue was put to rest last week, and the U.S. has expressed its uncompromising stance on having jurisdiction over its troops, the unilateral operations issue remains up-in-the-air.

Previously, it was thought that it was agreed between the two nations that the U.S. would ask permission before launching unilateral operations, primarily relying on Afghan forces instead.

But New York Times’ source inside the Afghan government reportedly said that U.S. officials have maintained their forces will need to have authority to search the homes of Afghans in certain cases. But President Hamid Karzai called than an invasion of privacy and refused to budge on the point.

In a Saturday meeting with U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham and the head of U.S. troops in Afghanistan General Joseph Dunford, the Afghan president said he would not change his stance before the Loya Jirga on Thursday.

Afghan government officials refused to comment on the matter when asked by TOLOnews.

Ambassador Cunningham and Gen. Dunford reportedly said on Saturday they would go back to Washington to confer with U.S. officials about Karzai’s demands. Negotiations between officials continued on Monday.

It is unclear whether or not things will be settled satisfactorily before the Jirga proceedings begin at the end of the week.

Either way, the gathering will have four days to review the security pact and provide a recommendation to the National Assembly on whether to approve it or reject it. President Karzai would then ultimately have to sign what Parliament sends to him in order for it to be finalized.

Analysts have cautioned that being too inflexible in negotiations over the BSA could harm Afghanistan’s national interests.

“I think more bargaining could be damaging, because it tires the opposing side,” Afghan political expert Idris Rahmani told TOLOnews. “I think that bargaining wouldn’t pose any harm to the U.S., but it could be really catastrophic to the future of the Afghan people.”

Many have emphasized the uneven footing of Afghanistan and the U.S. when it comes to the security pact, despite Afghan officials attempts to play hardball in negotiations. They highlight the fact that in the U.S. many are hesitant to devote any further resources to Afghanistan after 12 years of war, and that America would be relatively unaffected if it was to sever ties completely. In contrast, the vulnerability of Afghanistan to internal and foreign threats makes continued support from the U.S. and its NATO allies critical.

On the other hand, the U.S.’ persistence in having the right to launch unilateral operations involving the searching of Afghan private residences is likely to add fodder to the arguments of opponents of the BSA. The Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami, both classified as anti-government groups, have condemned the security pact and the Loya Jirga for even putting it on the table as a viable option. They called consenting to a continued role of the U.S. in Afghan affairs, let alone a troop presence post-2014, would be a crime against Afghanistan.

Saudi Monarchy Planning to execute the Jailed Top Shia Cleric in the coming Days

[The insane Saudi king is ready to Crucify this Shia Imam!!  (SEE: Death by Crucifixion’ for Ayatollah Al-Nimr, demands Saudi prosecutor).  If he does this, the intention is to light the “Shiite Crescent” on fire.  Maybe this is the backdoor approach to pushing war upon Iran that the Saudis and Israelis have planned.]

Saudi Monarchy Planning to execute the Jailed Top Shia Cleric in the coming Days

jafria news

Saudi Protesters Demand Release of Shia Cleric Nemr Al NemirJNN 11 Nov 2013 TEHRAN – The Saudi authorities are planning to execute prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in the coming days, a group calling itself the Al-Qatif News Network said on its Arabic webpage on Facebook. 


“We have no further details on the issue,” said the group on its webpage.


Sheikh Nimr was attacked, injured and arrested by Saudi security forces en route to his house in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on July 8, 2012.


He was arrested over calls for the release of political prisoners


Tensions escalated in Qatif and Ihsaa following the arrest of Nimr. Thousands of people protested, calling for the overthrow of the regime and the release of the sheikh. Two people were killed and dozens were injured.


In late March 2013, an unnamed Saudi prosecutor reportedly demanded the death penalty for Nimr. The authority accused Nimr of ‘aiding terrorists’ and ‘instigating unrest,’ and called for the execution of the Shia cleric.


Since February 2011, demonstrators have held anti-regime protests on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.


Since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime.


According to Human Rights Watch, the Riyadh regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”

Tripoli, Leb. and Tripoli Lib. Both Reeling from Sunni Militias

Clashes with gunmen breach precarious security plan for Tripoli

daily star

By Antoine Amrieh

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Clashes between members of the Internal Security Forces and gunmen in Tripoli late Saturday raised fears in the northern city particularly that the fighting came just hours after the Interior Ministry announced the implementation of the second part of its security plan.

Although there were no reports of casualties, the clashes between the ISF and gunmen from a brigade headed by Abu Horeyra resulted in heavy damage in several neighborhoods.

Glass windows of a number of stores and houses were shattered, contents were destroyed and electricity cables were broken in neighborhoods where the heavy fighting took place including the Nahaseen Market, the outskirts of al-Tall neighborhood and the area of the old Serail.

The ISF gradually cordoned off these areas in order to isolate the gunmen.

The armed individuals withdrew from the streets two hours later after police launched contacts with local figures who ordered the gunmen to retreat and put an end to sniper fire.

Earlier Saturday, shooting was heard in Al-Qibbeh, al-Baqar and Zahireyeh neighborhoods in the city while hand grenades exploded in Zahireyeh and Meyten.

The violence came on the same day caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel headed to the northern city to announce the implementation of the second phase of the government’s security plan to restore calm and stability in Tripoli.

In a news conference to launch the second part of the new security measures, Charbel said the ISF was the security agency responsible for carrying out the plan with the backing of the Lebanese Army.

He said security forces were deployed in areas of tension particularly in the rival neighborhoods of Sunni majority Bab al-Tabbaneh and the Alawite-dominant Jabal Mohsen whose residents have engaged in 17 rounds of deadly clashes since the uprising in Syria began in 2011.

The Army was able to contain last month’s violence which broke out days after the announcement of the security plan, killing at least 16 people and wounding over 90.

Charbel also met with heads of local armed groups in Tripoli, the so-called ‘axis leaders,’ as well as Sheikh Nabil Rhayyem and Salafist Sheikh Salem al-Rafei.

The meeting, held at the governor of north Lebanon’s office, culminated in an agreement on the formation of a committee made up of four security ad civilian personnel in order to follow up and eliminate obstacles in the face of the implementation of security measures in the northern city, one of the attendants of the meeting told Annahar newspaper.

The ‘axis leaders’ also demanded that security forces and the judiciary complete their investigation into the Aug. 23 bombings of two mosques in Tripoli.

Rumours abound in Tripoli

By Libya Herald staff.

Tripoli, 18 November 2013:

Denials have been as much the news as events today in unsettled Tripoli as the lack of official information about what is happening fuels the rumour mill.

This morning the head of Tripoli Local Council, Sadat Elbadri, denied reports on Facebook that he had been assassinated. Elbadri’s popularity is rising in Tripoli. It was he who called on demonstrators to go to the capital’s Gharghour district on Friday and make the Misrata forces there leave. Despite the carnage that resulted when the demonstrators were fired on, he is being seen as the only man so far who has successfully stood up to the militias. The departure of the forces was announced last night.

Later during the day, media reports that the headquarters of the Chief of Staff on Tripoli’s Airport Road had been stormed during the morning by armed groups were dismissed as nonsense by media staff there.

“It’s just a rumour. The situation is totally quiet”, a spokesman insisted, offering to provide photos of the base taken today to the Libya Herald to prove his claim.  Other reports that there had been fighting inside the headquarters between different groups were also untrue, he said.

Is Using the World’s Most Powerful Military Force To Punish Civilian Populations, “War” Or State Terrorism?


The Powers That Be decided to trash this post, since someone deleted all of the commentary and image previously posted here.  Normally I copy my posts before hitting the post button….Screwed-up here.  I will try to recapture that which was lost.

[The following is a welcome admission by the Establishment press that our wars have been unmitigated disasters, but it is also very deceptive, falling far short of acceptable standards of journalistic integrity.  Despite the long-overdue admission that are wars have been failed efforts, this article is what is known as “limited hangout” propaganda, telling partial truths as a means for concealing more revelatory damning truths.  In this case, the writer wants his readers to begin to see our wars as huge “mistakes,” human-error caused disasters, rather than criminal wars of aggression.   The cold hard truth is that all of our wars have been resounding successes, judging by Pentagon/CIA standards.  The disastrous end-products of these wars was the intended result for all of them, destroying the Muslim countries that refused to follow American dictation.  We fully intended for the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians, Libyans and all of the rest of America’s perceived “enemies,” to experience unimaginable human suffering on a scale far greater than that which has been experienced so far.  In addition to all of this, the Imperial plan was to take advantage of the rising chorus of humanity, urging that we remedy all of this misery, as an excuse for inflicting even greater suffering and indignation on these populations under the guise of “humanitarian relief.”]    


“US ‘humanitarian interventionism’ is the official cover story for the planned destruction of governments and the sustained, relentless punishment of the people who supported those governments…plain and simple.

American foreign policy under Bush and Obama has been a concentrated effort to inflict maximum suffering upon civilian populations, under the cover of pretending to “help” them. America’s foreign policy is criminal…far worse than the alleged ‘crimes against humanity’ which Syria allegedly committed. The chaotic deadly conditions left in the wakes of these criminal wars have affected all of humanity and pushed civilization to the brink of complete collapse. This,makes America’s Imperial wars, by definition, ‘crimes against humanity.'”


The bloody disaster of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan is laid bare


Bombs and militia violence make clear the folly of Britain’s wars – the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating

Demonstrators Clash With Militiamen In Tripoli

A militia member patrols during clashes with demonstrators on November 15, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Forty-three people died on Friday in clashes between militias in Libya, as did 22 on Sunday from bombs in Iraq. In Helmand, a return of the Taliban to power is now confidently expected. Why should we care? Why should it feature on our news?

The answer is that we helped to bring it about. Britain’s three foreign wars in the past decade were uninvited military interventions to topple installed governments. All have ended in disaster.

In each case – Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – it was easy to see evil in the prevailing regime. These are bad guys that we need to go after, said the Americans. Yet the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating, however cruel that order may have been. Iraqis today repeat that, whatever the ills of Saddam Hussein, under his rule most ordinary citizens and their families could walk the streets at night without fear of murder or kidnap. Religious differences were tolerated. Iraq should have been an oil-rich modern state. Even the Kurds, scourged by Saddam in the past, enjoyed autonomy and relative peace.

In each of these cases Britain and its allies, chiefly America, intervened to overthrow the army, disband government, dismantle the judiciary and leave militias to run riot. Little or no attempt was made to replace anarchy with a new order. “Nation building” was a fiasco. The British bombs that flattened government buildings in Kabul, Baghdad and Tripoli did not replace them, or those who worked in them. Those who dropped them congratulated themselves on their work and went home.

It is hard to exaggerate the misery and chaos created by so-called “liberal interventionism”. It is hard to think of a more immoral foreign policy, roaming the (chiefly Muslim) world, killing people and sowing anarchy. That is why the blood-stained consequence should be splashed across headlines. Those who seek political kudos by visiting violence on foreign peoples should never be allowed to forget their deeds.

Israel Is the Only Nation To See Peace As An “Existential Threat”

[It is Jews like Benjamin Netanyahu who confirm to the world that there really are many Jewish intellectuals who believe that fomenting wars in other countries is a legitimate survival strategy.  Anyone who dares, or has dared to point-out this cold hard fact has been immediately branded as “anti-Semitic.”  Brand away.  I have been in this struggle far too long to care about such infantile nonsense as name-calling anymore.  As long as there is an established “nation” with a single-minded foreign policy of stirring-up trouble and instigating war for its neighbors, then there will be NO PEACE in the Middle East.  Something has to change.  I prefer the path to Peace which puts and end to international trouble-making and the use of any kind of political terrorism by any nation.  If Israel or any other nation cannot exist except by creating strife in other nations, then that nation will either have to change, or cease to exist.

It’s your choice to make, Netanyahu, but consider this…if the Nations of the world get their heads together and determine that there will be WORLD PEACE, then no shitty little pile of sand calling itself “Israel” will stand in the way of a planet united on that one goal.  Zionists and other Imperialists must learn a quick lesson about the mental state of most of the human race…The People are sick and tired of pointless, endless war.  We are “mad as hell and we aren’t going to take anymore.”  Zbigniew Brzezinski has been speaking freely about this rapidly building phenomenon, the human race becoming politically aware of their power.  There is no longer a static status quo.  Things are changing fast and will soon be beyond their meager abilities to control us.  I guess  that at that time, the proper non-anti-Semitic response would be to feel sorry for the Jews and the collapse of their grand social experiment, forgetting about all the damage that they have done and the lives wasted by the conspiracy to bring it all about.  But I prefer a quicker solution…one which lays everybody’s cards on the table, exposing all of those “Jokers” who today are world-class state sponsors of terrorism, forcing the players to pay-up and to shut-up.

But for now, I will be happy to see what happens when the arrogance and the obstinacy of the evil alliance of the Wahhabi Saudis and the Zionist Israelis try to stop the international tsunami for Peace that is now building-up within the war-weary hearts of most of the human race.]


Peace threatens Israeli agendas, says Fetzer


Press TV has conducted an interview with James Fetzer, professor at the University of Minnesota from Madison, to further discuss the latest developments regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

Below you are provided with a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: James Fetzer, I would like to get your reaction to one of the things that John Kerry has said and he said that aside from sanctions probably having a negative effect with the Iranians to pull out of any talks that it is either a deal or war.

When he makes the statement “war” what does he mean? From the US side or from the Israeli side?

Fetzer: Well, that is a completely outrageous statement for John Kerry to make. I am shocked by that. I mean that the United Nations’ charter specifies all diplomatic relationships…, opportunities must be fully exploited before there is any consideration of military action and that would only be permissible under two conditions, namely: If Iran posed an imminent threat to the United States, which is obviously not the case; or if it had the approval of the Security Council which of course would never happen.

So it is completely and utterly irresponsible for John Kerry to be making such a remark.

Press TV: And during his trip, we know that he was in Israel, he went to the United Arab Emirates and of course he is trying to appease his allies regarding this possible deal with Iran and we can see the positive motions that the US president Barack Obama has made regarding the Congress not to impose more sanctions.

I mean do you think that there is sincerity in not only Kerry but President Obama to have this, at least interim deal signed and how probable do you think that it is?

Fetzer: Well, it is very interesting because there are some signs that Obama, actually, is willing to go against the Israeli lobby and negotiate a diplomatic agreement with Iran.

There should be no interference with Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy. That appears to be an effort by the American nuclear energy industry to circumvent competition because Iran can provide nuclear fuel rods to the third-world countries at less expense than can the American and so they do not like the competition but the fact is that France appears to be the stumbling block and it appears to be because it has a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia and another with Israel.

I am heartened that Obama made those remarks to oppose further sanctions on Iran but the sanctions were never deserved in the first place.

Iran has no nuclear weapons program, even our own intelligence agencies in 2007 and again in 2011 confirmed that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

I believe that it has to do with Iran having abandoned the petrodollar, which of course was also true of Iraq, also true of Libya and we know what happened there and of course with Israel’s determination to achieve domination over the Middle East without any opposition whatsoever from a major power, if in fact there is a diplomatic resolution of this issue then Israel will lose any possible semblance of justification of attacking Iran; even the former of highest levels intelligence service chiefs for Israel have made that observation which is why Netanyahu is so desperate to provoke something here and to not allow, to undermine a diplomatic initiatives that he finds so threatening to his agenda for the Middle East.

Libya Is Total Anarchy Without Any Discernable Govt.—Thanks USA!

Libya is in anarchy as US/NATO backed terrorists reign – Farazh Muftah  

Voice of Russia


Protests in Libya

Protests in Libya

Download audio file

The entire western intervention in Libya was a lie fabricated from the very beginning to allow the US/NATO to prevent: gold-based dinars from damaging the dollar, an international law suit filed by Libya over the violations by the West of treaties, Libyan oil trade to be done in Euros, and a non-US controlled block to grow strong. The “humanitarian intervention” was never about protecting the Libyan people. It was only about money, geopolitics and resources. By providing air-support, funding and weapons to Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists groups US/NATO was successful in destroying the government, completely freeing up the resources and assassinating the leader. The Libyan people now live in a state of anarchy being decimated by US/CIA/Al-Qaeda (the CIA data-base), and the West is silent. Where is the “support for the people of Libya” now? Farazh Muftah is a representative of the tribes of Libya and is in exile, he granted the VOR an interview on the real situation in Libya.


You are listening to part one of an interview with Farazh Muftah– a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview in the near future on our website at

Robles: Can you explain to our listeners about the real situation in Libya right now? What is really happening in Libya?

Muftah: Thank you so much for giving us a chance to explain everything to your people and to your listeners.

Our country was safe and secure until what happened with it in 2011. It was started by lies and dirty games by satellite from many journalists of CNN, al-Arabia, Al-Jazeera, BBC as well and Qatari channels which prepared all the propaganda before the game has been started.

They lied to the people and they said that they will come to Libya to protect the civilian people. They only used this reason as a pretext to destroy our country, destroy all establishment and destroy our regime.

You have to know that the majority of Libyans supported the former regime and we did not have any problem before 2011. Our regime was the fairest regime, it was against Al Qaeda and terroristic groups on the ground and around the world.

And our leader Col Gaddafi – the fairest guy – announced and reported to the United Nations Security Council, the US and other Western countries that they must arrest Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda groups, it was in 1987.

At that time no one listened to our side. The reality and the truth is that the Western world and especially the USA and the CIA, which gave control to America, they knew already that Bin Laden works with them.

Nowadays, they brought all the Al Qaeda terroristic groups to Libya at the beginning of the crisis and we call it a conspiracy against our country.

France, the United States, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups – they used Security Council resolution of 1971-1973 to launch and intervention and “protect” the civilian people. But they killed the people, as you know now approximately more than 500,000 people have been killed in Libya.

Robles: 500,000?

Muftah: Yes, about half a million has been killed in Libya since 2011 up to now. The majority of this number has been killed by NATO and the United States, the rest of them have been killed by militias and terrorist groups, and Al Qaeda as well.

Al Qaeda has a full control of Tripoli – the capital. There is no government, there is no regime, there is not an agency in Libya.

The solution now is to return the people who have been exiled to their country, to their land, to try to sort out all the problems in Libya.

Americans supported Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and in Egypt as well.

Now in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime has been finished and destroyed by the Egyptian people, more than 32 million people went on the streets.

In Libya still America and some Western countries support Al Qaeda and terrorist groups, especially in Tripoli – the capital of Libya. This is the big problem facing the Libyan people that NATO and the USA supported Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.

And the American administration – Obama and John McCain – are representatives of Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

John McCain is their close friend, he supported them and he talks about them every day. They plan how to support them, how to protect them. This is the big problem which faces the whole world.

In the future, I warn all of the people, we report that in a few days it will become a big problem and danger facing the whole world, especially the Western countries.

Now the Libya is the main source for terrorists, the main source for Al Qaeda training, the main source of weapons, main source of crimes and criminal groups.

Now the danger has reached Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Chad – they get the resources and establish control over our cities in Libya. As you know, they burned more than four or five cities in Libya. In Tawergha all cities have been completely burned in 2011.

And where was Tawergha, now it is a place for Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood training.

Bani Walid attack of 2012 was by militias, about 20,000 militias attacked Bani Walid city to try to establish control over it, but it was hard for them, because the people in Bani Walid are brave and strong fighters, they were against and they defended their city. They got the out back to Misrata militias.

Now, we have another problem the international community must know about – the unknown and uncontrolled presence in Misrata and Tripoli which is controlled by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

It is a hard situation for more than 30,000 Libyan civilian people inside the prisons. Nobody knows their fates. It is a situation of unknown presence without any control from the government, because there is no government.

Even the so-called Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been kidnapped by militias. And they still lie to the people, lie to the community, they lie to the media and he says he is the Prime Minister.

There is no Prime Minister in Libya, there is no parliament in Libya, there is no government in Libya, there is no regime in Libya now, only Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.

Let’s me tell you something about the problem with Interpol. When NATO and Americans invaded Tripoli with militias and terrorist groups, they attacked the Interior Ministry and the office of Interpol was taken over by militias.

The militias reported papers and documents to Interpol. That is why Interpol has now called and is asking (searching) for more than 200 Libyan people who are living abroad.

There is no Interpol in Libya, it is impossible. There are militias all cities,the whole country controlled by militias and where is Interpol? There is no Interpol in Libya.

2 million Libyan people have been exiled and they are living in a bad situation in Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali, Egypt, Malta and a small number of them in the Western countries. There is no United Nations that cares about us, there are no human rights organizations that care about us, there is no international community that cares about us.

This is the truth and this is the reality, and this is our story.

Nobody will bring control in our country, nobody will clean up our country, only Gaddafi loyalists know how to clean out the terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. And we have our own experts, more than 2,000 security experts outside Libya, they have been exiled. And they are followed by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

Every day they kill an officer from our military, every day they kill one member of the security section in Libya, every day they kill civilian people, kidnap them, rape the ladies, rob stores and banks.

This is the situation now in Libya. This is the real story. This is the truth and this is what is happening in Libya right now.

Robles: It sounds like complete anarchy. Can you tell me what was life like before the NATO invasion? What was life really like for Libyan people when the US and NATO said they were oppressed and they were being killed, and everybody hated Gaddafi? What was life really like?

Muftah: No! This is not truth. The truth is that all the Libyan people liked Gaddafi, supported our leader. Our leader was an honest man. He was a patriot, a strong man and defended our country.

He was against the international law which allowed them to invade any country, to attack any country, to bomb any country.

You cannot imagine how is it to burn and attack civil cities, to burn them and then bomb for two months about three or four times every day. Did you think about this? How is it that the NATO forces, their airplanes, their military, which were prepared to fight against Russia and then attacked a small city like Bani Walid?

From February 2011 up to October 2011 NATO attacked and bombed.

Most of the cities, as I told you, have been burned and destroyed, all cities – Sitra, Bani Walid, Tawergha, Qawalish, Mashashita, Ar Rayaniya, now Tiji.

Every day now Tiji is exposed to attacks from militias in Zintan.

This is the truth and this is the real story. We were living in so good situation, nobody was against Gaddafi. There were a few people and they say that this is a political group. But they ran away from the military in 1971-1973 to America and America protected them, and America used them as spies, as Ali Zeidan.

Ali Zeidan has stolen money from our Embassy in India and ran away to Germany.

He’s stolen the Libyan Embassy’s money in Delhi which was sent to use to help Muslim people in India and he ran away to America.

America protected (Magallion?) and America used him as a spy.

(Magallion?) is a member of the CIA. Ali Zeidan is from Gestapo, a member of German intelligence. This is the truth, this is the story.

Robles: I see. Why do you think they want to keep a condition of anarchy in Libya?

Muftah: In Libya right now there is no control, there are no companies, there is no government, there are no embassies.

All the foreign people, all representatives of foreign companies, all diplomatic groups in Libya are threatened and killed by Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda announced a few days ago that they will start killing all diplomatic people in Libya.

And there is no infrastructure from 2011. There are no buildings, there is no development, there isn’t anything.

Even all the money in the Central Bank invested outside Libya has been stolen by these militias.

There is no money, there are no resources now because oil exports have been blocked by militias.

Robles: Who is in control of the oil right now?

Muftah: The militias since 2011 sell the Libyan oil in the Mediterranean Sea without any documents, without anything. It is a black market. Many groups from the eastern part did not allow Ali Zeidan, from the puppet government to sell oil unless they have a know and help to plan and organize how to sell our oil.

Robles: Is oil still flowing out of Libya right now?

Muftah: No, not any more. It’s been blocked by many groups in Ras Lanuf, Sitra, Zueitina. And even yesterday I think a group from west part militias has blocked gas, which is supplied to the south of Italy.

Robles: I’d like to ask you a question. In Egypt we now know the United States supported the Muslim Brotherhood, like they supported Al Qaeda, like they created Al Qaeda, like MI5 created the Muslim Brotherhood – the Egyptian people have filed crimes against humanity charges against the US and Barack Obama. Can the Libyan people do the same thing?

Muftah: Yes, we have a lot of things, we have a lot of documents which will show to the world what was happening because of Obama and the Western countries.

Of course, because they started to help the militias and the Muslim Brotherhood from the beginning of the conspiracy against Libya.

Robles: Is there any movement or any group of lawyers or former judges who could organize a formal criminal complaint and deliver it to Hague?

Muftah: Yes, our group and our lawyers, who have been exiled as well, they are preparing all the documents and all files to bring them to ICC or to any international court, to show them all the evidence how NATO and America destroyed the country and destroyed the land of Libya. They are working on it.

My friend John, you have to know that there is no stability, no development and infrastructure, there is no growth for all the countries who were invaded or attacked by NATO and America.

You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Farag Muftah – a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview on our website at in the near future.

The first photo was taken inside one of the villas that had been occupied by the Misurata militias in Tripoli in Gharghour – on the ground floor was found some human organs inside the cans glass for their illegal trade in human organs:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Algeria Square Tripoli:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Misurata Militias that killed protesters yesterday:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Mitiga Air base, Tripoli:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Green Square:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty