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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Hamas Behind Gas Terminal Explosion
 
   Militants working on behalf of Hamas were responsible for the dramatic explosion at a gas terminal that disrupted the supply of fuel to Israel, a senior Egyptian security official told this column.
 
   A top Hamas source in the Gaza Strip refused to comment on the accusation.
 
   Egyptian television reported “terrorists” were responsible for the attack, which took place in the El Arish region of the Northern Egyptian Sinai – an area in which Hamas is known to have a presence.
 
   The Egyptian intelligence official said that Hamas used the explosion as a diversion so that dozens of senior Hamas members who were sprung from jail in recent days could be smuggled into the Gaza Strip.
 

   The imprisoned Hamas members broke out of jail following the breakdown of security in Egypt amid the recent protests targeting President Hosni Mubarak.

 

The Soros Connection

 

   Philanthropist billionaire George Soros has funded opposition organizations in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, where anti-regime chaos has already toppled the pro-Western leader of Tunisia and is threatening the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, a key U.S. ally.
 
   Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the main opposition leaders in Egypt, has also sat on the board of an international “crisis management” group alongside Soros and other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
   The Brotherhood, which seeks to spread Islam around the world in part by first creating an Islamic caliphate in Egypt, now backs ElBaradei, who has defended the group in the news media the last few weeks.
 
   ElBaradei suspended his board membership in the International Crisis Group, or ICG last week, after he returned to Egypt to lead the anti-Mubarak protests.
 
   Soros is one of eight members of the ICG executive committee.
 
   U.S. board members include Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to Jimmy Carter; Samuel Berger, who was Bill Clinton’s national security adviser; and retired U.S. ambassador Thomas Pickering, who made headlines in 2009 after meeting with Hamas leaders and calling for the U.S. to open ties to the Islamist group.
 
   Another ICG member is Robert Malley, a former adviser to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign who resigned after it was exposed he had communicated with Hamas. This reporter first revealed that Malley had long petitioned for dialogue with Hamas.
 
   The ICG defines itself as an “independent, non-profit, multinational organization, with 100 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.”
 
   Soros also has other ties to opposition groups in the Middle East.
 
   His Open Society Institute’s Middle East and North Africa Initiative has provided numerous grants to a wide range of projects that promote so-called democratic issues across the region, including in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood stands to gain from any future election.
 

   Soros’s Open Society also funded the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima, which championed the riots there that led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

 

U.S. Official Meets With Muslim Brotherhood

 

   The Egyptian government has information that a diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Cairo secretly met last week with a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nation’s major Islamist opposition group, this column has learned.
 
   The topic of the meeting was the future of Egypt following the “fall” of President Mubarak, an Egyptian intelligence official said.
 
   The claim comes amid charges from Cairo that the Obama administration has been encouraging the protests rocking Egypt and targeting the rule of Mubarak.
 
   The Egyptian intelligence official said his government has information of a meeting that took place between Issam El-Erian, a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Frank Wisner, a former U.S. ambassador to Egypt.
 
   The Obama administration dispatched Wisner to Egypt this past weekend to report to the State Department and White House a general sense of the situation in the embattled country.
 

   The U.S. State Department would neither confirm nor deny the report.

 

A Year Ago In January
 
   A year before protests erupted throughout Egypt aimed at toppling the regime of President Mubarak, President Obama’s own associates provoked anti-regime chaos on the streets of the now embattled Middle East country and longtime U.S. ally.
 
   Egypt has accused the Obama administration of championing the protests and of pressuring Mubarak to resign. The main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, stands to gain a major foothold in the region as a result.
 
   Similar scenes unfolded in January 2010, when Obama associates provoked chaos in Egypt in an attempt to enter the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to join in solidarity with the territory’s population and leadership.
 
   This column reported at the timethat those protests were led by former Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn – close Obama associates for years.
 
   Another protest leader was Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, a far-left activist organization formed in 2002 to protest America’s war in Iraq. The group previously met with Hamas and with Taliban leaders. Evans was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign.
 
   Also protesting in Egypt was Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website. This column previously reportedthat Obama spoke at pro-Palestinian events in the 1990s alongside Abunimah. At one such event, a 1999 fundraiser for Palestinian “refugees,” Abunimah recalls introducing Obama on stage.
 
   The Gaza saga began when the radicals arrived Dec. 31, 2009. Evans appealed to Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of Egypt’s president, to allow some 1,400 activists to cross from Egypt into neighboring Gaza to march there, deliver humanitarian aid and stage a protest at an Israeli border crossing with thousands of Palestinian Gazans. Egypt’s Interior Ministry had said the march was illegal and a threat to national security.
 
   Mubarak reportedly offered to allow only 100 activists to cross into Gaza. The decision was at first reportedly accepted by Evans but was later rejected, leading to protests throughout Cairo all week under a heavy police presence.
 
   Eventually, the protesters accepted the Egyptian offer of allowing about 100 marchers into Gaza. The marchers indeed entered Gaza and were reportedly met on the Gaza side by Hamas’ former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
 
 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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