Syrian Opposition Teaming Up Radical Islamists?
Members of the Syrian opposition are pressing to openly announce an affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood at a meeting scheduled to take place in Turkey later this week, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The opposition has been plagued by infighting, with competing divisions sparring with each other since the movement was created in September. Just last week, Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun announced his resignation after major divisions within his council reached a climax two days after the coalition voted to renew his term for another three months.
The opposition stepped up its rhetoric after the Syrian government was accused of a massacre on Friday in the town of Houla, where human rights groups say at least 92 people, a third of them children, were killed. However, spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, Jihad Makdissi, squarely blamed the opposition for the deaths of the civilians, saying opposition fighters are using more advanced weaponry, including mortars.
Reports of the opposition possessing more sophisticated weapons come after claims that the Obama administration is coordinating arms shipments to the opposition. U.S. officials have stated that the White House is providing non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels while Middle Eastern security officials told this column that the U.S. has been working with Arab countries to ensure the opposition in Syria is well armed. Last week, the Washington Post reported that the U.S is helping to bring more and better weapons to Syria’s rebels, including anti-tank weaponry.
Meanwhile, one Egyptian security official told this column there is a growing collaboration between the Syrian opposition and al Qaeda as well as evidence that the opposition is sending weapons to jihadists in Iraq. The purported cooperation extends to recent suicide attacks and bombings in Damascus and Homs.
The military official said that Egypt has reports of collaboration between the Syrian opposition and three al Qaeda arms:
● Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al Qaeda militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;
● Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al Qaeda banner;
● Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al Qaeda group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.
The Egyptian official said there is evidence that the Syrian opposition is transferring some weapons to jihadist allies in both northern Lebanon and Iraq. Any weapons transfers to Iraq could potentially be used against the Iraqi government and U.S. or international interests in that country.
Koran-Burning Pastor Announces Presidency Run
Not one to shy away from controversy or the media spotlight, Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones has announced he is running for president as a write-in independent candidate with a platform that includes legalizing hemp and deporting all illegal aliens.
Jones emailed this reporter his presidential platform, or what he calls “Seven points to save America.” Among them:
● “Deport all illegals. We must immediately begin the deportation of the 20 million illegal aliens living in our country.”
● “Legalize hemp. Hemp is a plant that can be grown in our fields in America. It is friendly to the environment, and because it is a plant that is grown, it is unlimited.”
Occupy Movement Embraces Anarchism
Occupy has now officially embraced violent anarchism, declaring such tactics the future of the anti-capitalist movement’s revolution.
Last month, this column reported that Occupy had partnered with anarchy groups to engage in joint “direct action” at the May Day protests earlier this month. Now Adbusters magazine has declared anarchy action “a tactical innovation that suggests the future of Occupy.”
Adbusters has been behind Occupy since the movement’s onset. The radical publication is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The Adbusters website serves as one of two central hubs for Occupy’s online planning. Adbusters is funded by the George Soros-financed Tides Center.
In an article entitled, “Battle for the Soul of Occupy,” the activist magazine criticized Occupy’s collaboration with unions and labor groups as insufficient to make progress, while crediting anarchists with taking the Occupy movement to the next stage of revolution. Abusters declares that “anarchist occupiers are energized and their visceral tactics are attracting members.”