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March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘al-nusra’

Nasrallah Claims Turkey Deals With Both ISIS and al-Nusra

Monday, January 19th, 2015

In an interview aired on the Lebanese al-Manar news site on Monday, Jan. 19, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah made many of the standard blowhard assertions everyone expects. To wit: Hezbollah has much modern weaponry, Hezbollah’s military prowess and arsenal has increased and continues to increase in strength every year.

Nasrallah also claimed that his fighters are training day and night, that they will be ready to liberate the Galilee, and they will penetrate far into enemy territory “in case of a new Zionist aggression in Lebanon.”

No explanation for why this latest “Zionist aggression” was not the one they’ve been waiting for,  just more threats about the next time.

But in the course of the six minute interview, Nasrallah said something worth noting.

The interviewer asked Nassrallah whether Turkey has relations with either ISIS or the al-Nusra Front.

“It has relations with both of them,” Nasrallah replied.

The terrorist leader also claimed that despite what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama “say in the media,” behind the scenes the U.S. administration has revealed in “confidential letters to some regional countries” that it is “not concerned with whether President Assad remains in power or departs.”

Nasrallah said that only Turkey and Saudi Arabia really care about dethroning Assad.

The terrorist leader also said that Hamas is very interested in having close and complete relations with Iran and with Hezbollah.

Israel Also Fights America’s Battle

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The soaring threat of Islamic terrorism to the US mainland, pro-US Arab regimes, Europe, India, Asia, Africa and Australia has reaffirmed Israel’s role as the moral and military outpost of the US in the Middle East.

Israel’s strategic role has gained in importance against the backdrop of the US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the drastic cuts in the US defense budget, the resulting erosion of the US posture of deterrence, the collapse of the European power projection, the raging tectonic Arab Tsunami, the intensified anti-US sentiments on the Arab Street and the unprecedented Islamic threats to vital US economic and national security interests.    

In 2014, Israel is confronting the Palestinian Authority and Hamas terrorism.  The latter is a subsidiary of the transnational Muslim Brotherhood, which has terrorized pro-US Arab regimes in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt, amplifying the five pillar banner: “Allah is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” 

These Arab countries realized that Israel was fighting their battle during the recent war in Gaza, overtly criticizing Hamas and subtly supporting Israel. According to the Yemen Times: “The Saudi King, Abdullah, attacked unnamed ‘traitor terrorists,’ who sully the name of Islam… implying that he viewed Hamas as much of a terrorist group as the Islamic State…. The so-called ‘Arab moderates’ have become even more blatant in their US-Israel alignment…. with a vulgar anti-Palestinian position.” According to Dr. Mira Tzoreff of the Dayan Center for Middle East Studies, “The sympathetic opinions voiced in Egypt’s state-run media regarding Israel’s posture towards Hamas – even before the 2014 war in Gaza – were unprecedented….. President Sisi believes that Hamas was responsible for attacks on Egyptian military and security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula….”  The Saudi daily, Al Arabiya, reported that hundreds of Egyptian soldiers were killed, in Sinai, by Ansar Beit al Maqdis’ Jihadist terrorists – associated with ISIS, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – since June, 2014.  CNN claims that Israel is fighting a proxy war against Hamas, advancing the homeland security interests of Jordan and the Gulf States.

In 2014, the eyes of the pro-US Arab regimes are upon Israel and its war on Islamic terrorism!

In 2014, Israel is facing Hamas, one of the numerous offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been the most productive incubator of Islamic terror organizations, such as Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, al Nusr’a, Ahrar al-Sham, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Ansar a-Shari’a, Taliban, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, etc. These terror organizations strive to establish an Islamic Middle East empire, as a prelude to global domination, bringing the US and the Western World to social, political and military submission, governed by the laws of Islam.

Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, Israel (the “Little Satan”) has been a major obstacle to megalomaniacal Islamic imperialism, clipping the wings of terrorism, thus enhancing the homeland security of pro-US Arab regimes, and according the US (the “Big Satan”) a reliable beachhead in the economically and militarily critical Middle East.

In 2014, US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq benefit from the battle experience of Israel, in general, and counter-terrorism and urban warfare, in particular.  In 2007, Israel demolished a Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear reactor.  In 1982, Israel destroyed twenty Syrian-operated, advanced Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries, which were deployed throughout the world and deemed impregnable by the US.  Israel’s unique battle tactics were promptly shared with the US Air Force, enhancing the US military edge over Moscow.  In 1981, Israel devastated Iraq’s nuclear reactor, sparing the US a nuclear confrontation with Iraq in 1991.  On July 4, 1976, Israel’s Entebbe hostage-rescue operation was a turning point in the battle against Islamic terrorism, inspiring Western democracies and dealing a blow to America’s enemies and adversaries.  In 1973, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War against Soviet-aligned Egypt and Syria, Israel shared with the US its battle experience, as well as captured Soviet military systems, which provided the US military command and defense industries with a global competitive edge. In 1970, Israel’s military forced pro-Soviet Syria to roll back its invasion of pro-US Jordan, which aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime, surging into Saudi Arabia, according the USSR a dramatic triumph and dealing the US an unprecedented economic and national security blow.  In 1967, Israel obliterated the military forces of Syria and Egypt, aborting an attempt by the pro-Soviet Egyptian President, Nasser, to bring down pro-US Persian Gulf regimes, control the supply and price of oil, dominate the Arab World and provide Moscow with an historical victory.  In November, 1952, following Israel’s performance during the 1948-49 War of Independence, General Omar Bradley, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed to expand strategic cooperation with Israel, only to be rebuffed by the Department of State, which was Arab-oriented, denying the US a more effective outpost in the Middle East.

In 2014, the US faces a most vicious Islamic terrorist threat, which benefits from hundreds of sleeper cells on the US mainland, is not amenable to peaceful coexistence and is not driven by the Palestinian issue, but by a 14-century-old intolerant violent Islamic ideology.  It behooves the US to learn from history by avoiding, rather than repeating, past mistakes; enhancing – rather than eroding – the mutually-beneficial, win-win ties with its most stable, reliable, effective, experienced, democratic, unconditional ally, Israel.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are Israel’s New Northern Neighbors

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian rebels, and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad are engaged in free-for-all and barbaric war that is taking place dangerously close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

The Syrian government announced Sunday that it has reclaimed control only parts of Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jumped on the chaos to thump his comparison of ISIS with Hamas, while President Barack Obama shocked Americans with a candid appraisal that the United States “does not have a strategy yet” to deal with the New Middle East, light years away from what then-President Bill Clinton promised when he sold the snake oil known as the Oslo Accords.

So long as terrorists kill each other in Syria, Israel can relax, but if and when one terrorist group survives and takes over, the IDF will be wishing for the good ‘ol days of fighting Hamas in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s description that if a rose is a rose is a rose, ISIS is Islamic Jihad is Hamas. To paraphrase his famous “duck” statement in the United Nations, concerning a nuclear Iran, “if it looks like a wild animal, and if it walks like a wild animal, and if it talks like a wild animal, it is a wild animal – and not a duck.”

The radical Islamic movement has proven that extremism and barbarity are relevant terms, and the ISIS has made Assad look human, more or less, and made Al Qaeda look like middle-of-the-road Islam.

The Syrian government has not admitted the ISIS massacre of approximately 150 of its soldiers, who dropped their weapons and ran for what they thought was their lives in a battle. Instead, the ISIS caught up with them and murdered them. Before their deaths, several of them were “convicted” after their admissions of sins against Islam by not having raped and murdered enemies.

Naughty, naughty radical Muslims, they were.

It is difficult to express ”good news” when beheadings and kidnappings are common are Syria, but Obama’s “we do not have a strategy yet” comment on Thursday should be interpreted positively and not negatively.

It is a bit shocking that the Obama administration’s foreign policy gurus have been standing aside for more than three years during the bloodbath in Syria, after initially siding with Assad.

However, considering that everything his administration touches turns to you know what, Israel and the rest of the world might be better off to the let animals act like animals, pity the innocent civilians who are caught in hell on earth, and let the United States worry about Ferguson and immigrants from Mexico.

Israel also is undoubtedly anxiously preparing for a potential future battle against ISIS or Al Qaeda domination on the Golan Heights.

ISIS, Al Qaeda and Syrian rebels have common enemies in Basher Assad and Israel, but they also are battling each other in order to stake a claim of which terrorists will rule whatever is left of Syria in the future.

The Al-Nusra terrorists long ago split off from Al Qaeda, engaged in its own civil war while fighting both rebels and Assad.

It is all in the name of Allah.

“We in the Al Nusra Front only fight to raise the word of Allah, to make the oppressed triumphant,” one fighter said, according to Fox News. “We only fight to get rid of the enemy Bashar and his soldiers. We have come to fight them so that we can impose Allah’s laws on the country.”

Al Qaeda distances itself from ISIS and announced that ISIS “is not a branch of the Al Qaeda group [and] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

US Journalist Released From Syrian Captivity (Not ISIS)

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held captive for nearly two years in Syria by an al Qaeda affiliate, al Nusra, was released on Sunday, Aug.24.

Curtis was nabbed near the Syria-Turkey border in 2012 and was held by the Nusra Front.

White House officials confirmed that Curtis was released to a representative of the United Nations.

“We are all relieved and grateful knowing that Theo Curtis is coming home after so much time held in the clutches of [the Nusra Front],” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement released to the public.

Al Jazeera reported that Qatari officials helped mediate the release of the American journalist. Al Jazeera is owned by the Qatari government.

In a June 30 statement made by Curtis, he said he was a journalist from Boston. He also claimed to be well taken care of.

Jihadists Execute 7 in Syria, 2 by Crucifixion

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

It has come to this. Now the barbarians are murdering people in Syria not just by shooting them at close range and not just by incinerating their internal organs with chemical weapons. We have reached a depth where brutality again knows no bounds.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced – announced! – that they have executed seven prisoners, two of them by execution, in their fiefdom straddling northeastern Syria.

The group claimed (by Twitter, no less) that it had imposed the executions in retaliation for an attack on one of its members, the Daily Star reported.

“Ten days ago, attackers on a motorbike threw a grenade at an ISIL fighter at the Naim roundabout. A Muslim civilian had his leg blown off and a child was killed,” the group said on Twitter.

“Our fighters immediately set up a roadblock and succeeded in capturing them. They were then able to detain other members of the cell.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted a photograph of the two prisoners being crucified, right at the convergence of several roads.  Passersby shown in the photos appeared utterly unfazed by the gruesome sight.

One of the men crucified appears in a photo blindfolded and with his head spattered with blood. According to Syrian site, the banner wrapped around his body has this message: “This man fought against Muslims and threw a grenade in this place.”

The crucifixions and other means of revenge levied by ISIL has made it a pariah amongst its fellow Islamist murderers. Even al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Al-Nusra Front, has turned on its former colleagues.

The SOHR said these were not the first crucifixions by ISIL. On April 16, its fighters crucified a man for theft from a Muslim.

Nearly One-Third of Syria’s Christians Have Fled Their Homes

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Nearly one-third of Syria’s native Christians have fled their homes during the Syrian civil war, according to Syrian Christian leader Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham.

He said that more than 450,000 Christians out of an estimated 1.75 million have been displaced or have left the country since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011.

Patriarch Gregorios, who has been criticized for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the international community needs to do more to block the flow of weapons into Syria. “We have to have campaign together—no more weapons, no more violence, go together to a better new vision of life,” he said.

Many Christians support President Bashar al-Assad out of fear that if he is overthrown and replaced by Islamists, they will face greater persecution, especially from the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra terrorist organization.

Qatar’s Risky Overreach

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally pubished at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

With seemingly limitless wealth and a penchant for often supporting both sides of the argument, the State of Qatar has become a highly significant player in Middle East power-politics. Recent events in Egypt and Syria, however, have put the brakes on Qatar’s ambitions. In this second part of his analysis of its attempt to influence regional politics, Paul Alster considers how much its flamboyant foreign policy, centered on furthering the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, might be coming back to haunt Qatar.

July 3 was not a good day for Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood’s man was ousted from power after just a year as Egypt’s president, having lost the essential confidence of the country’s powerful military leaders. July 3 was also a black day for the State of Qatar, the country which had nailed its colors and its money firmly to the Muslim Brotherhood mast, and which suddenly found itself the target of outrage on the Egyptian street and beyond.

Morsi came to power in a democratic election, but misinterpreted the meaning of democracy. He and his Muslim Brotherhood backers – primarily Qatar – appeared to believe that having won the election, they could run the country according to their decree, not according to democratic principles as the majority had expected. A series of draconian laws, a spiralling economic crisis, and a feeling on the Egyptian street that the Muslim Brotherhood was paid handsomely by foreign forces, spurred street protests of historic proportions, prompting the military to intervene.

With Morsi gone, Qatar suddenly became “persona non grata” in Egypt.

Qatar sought to extend its influence and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired view of how countries like Egypt, Syria, Libya, and others should be. Qatar was also playing a power-game against Saudi Arabia, another hugely wealthy regional power whose vision of an even more strictly Islamist way of life for Muslims drove a wedge between the two parties.

Another seismic change hit the region just nine days before Morsi’s fall. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani – in power since overthrowing his own father back in 1995 – voluntarily abdicated in favor of his 33-year-old son, Sheikh Tamim.

Tamim, educated in England and a graduate of the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy, became the region’s youngest leader, with the eyes of the world watching to see if he would maintain his father’s aggressive policy of extending Qatar’s regional influence. Few could have imagined that he would very quickly find himself at the center of a major political crisis as Egypt – a country in which Qatar had so much credibility and money invested – imploded before his eyes.

Within hours of Morsi’s departure, the streets of Cairo were awash with anti-Qatari banners accompanied by the obligatory anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. Al Jazeera – a staunch promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood view in Egypt – was vilified, its reporters attacked on the streets, its offices ransacked. Al Jazeera also had been hit seven months earlier after supporting Mohammed Morsi’s crackdown on young Egyptian demonstrators opposed to the rapid Islamisation of Egypt under the new government.

In the first part of my analysis of Qatar’s policy in the region, I focused on Al Jazeera’s huge influence on opinion in the Arab world and the West, portraying the Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood version of events in a way that the uninformed viewer might believe to be objective reporting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Al Jazeera’s carefully crafted smokescreen as the moderate voice of the Arab world has taken a significant battering with the events in Egypt. That should serve as a wake-up call to those trumpeting the imminent launch of Al Jazeera America scheduled for August 20.

“There is a lingering perception in the U.S. –right or wrong – that the network [Al Jazeera] is somehow associated with terrorism, which could slow its progress in gaining carriage,” Variety Magazine‘s Brian Steinberg suggested last month.

Dubai-based writer Sultan Al Qassemi observed in Al-Monitor: “Qatar has dedicated Al Jazeera, the country’s most prized non-financial asset, to the service of the Muslim Brotherhood and turned it into what prominent Middle East scholar Alain Gresh [editor of Le Monde diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East] calls a ‘mouthpiece for the Brotherhood.'” The channel has in turn been repeatedly praised by the Brotherhood for its ‘neutrality.'”

The Economist, reporting in January, reflected the growing dissatisfaction amongst many in the Arab world. “Al Jazeera’s breathless boosting of Qatari-backed rebel fighters in Libya and Syria, and of the Qatar-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have made many Arab viewers question its veracity. So has its tendency to ignore human-rights abuses by those same rebels, and its failure to accord the uprising by the Shia majority in Qatar’s neighbor, Bahrain, the same heroic acclaim it bestows on Sunni revolutionaries.”

In June, a vocal and agitated group of nearly 500 protesters took to the streets in Benghazi, Libya – the city where U.S Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three colleagues were killed last fall – demanding that Qatar stop meddling in Libyan internal affairs.

“Much of the opposition was directed at Qatar which protesters claimed was supporting Libyan Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Middle East Online reported at the time. “Analysts believe that Qatar is trying to take advantage from a scenario repeated in both Tunisia and Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, which was an active participant in revolutions, seized power,” the story said.

To the casual observer, it might appear strange that the country that was perhaps as instrumental as any in helping bring about the downfall of the hated Colonel Muammar Gadaffi in Libya back in 2011 should be the target of such vitriol. Qatar, a close U. S. ally, was the main conduit through which weapons transfers were made to Libyan rebels who eventually overpowered forces loyal to the long-time dictator.

As Libyans attempt to create a new order in their fractured country, many now believe that the Qatari regime’s Salafist sympathies contribute to a growing influence of radical Islamist groups in Libya with similar ideological beliefs to the Qatari royals. Concerns had surfaced as early as January 2012.

“But with [Muammar] Gaddafi dead and his regime a distant memory, many Libyans are now complaining that Qatari aid has come at a price,” reported Time magazine’s Steven Sotloff. “They say Qatar provided a narrow clique of Islamists with arms and money, giving them great leverage over the political process.”

Sotloff quoted former National Transitional Council (NTC) Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni as saying, “I think what they [Qatar] have done is basically support the Muslim Brotherhood. They have brought armaments and they have given them to people that we don’t know.”

And then there’s the question of Qatar’s meddling in Syria’s civil war.

“I think there are two [Qatari] sources of mostly ‘soft’ power – their money and Al Jazeera,” Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “They are using their soft power to advance their regional goals. In Libya it was not necessarily a negative. In Syria they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood [allied to the Free Syrian Army].”

“Now, what you have to assess,” Yadlin continued, “is whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than Bashar [al-Assad], and whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than the Jihadists and the Al Nusra Front [supported by Saudi Arabia].”

Yadlin’s pragmatic view reflects the dilemma of many considering intervention on behalf of the rebel forces in Syria. Is it better to try to arm the moderate elements of the FSA and have them replace the Assad regime? Would risking weapons supplied by the West and countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia falling into the wrong hands, possibly usher in an even more dangerous Jihadist regime that could destabilise the region even further?

Qatar played on these fears by presenting the Muslim Brotherhood as a relatively moderate force, but many now fear it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and no less dangerous than the Al Nusra Front terror group, which was added to the UN sanctions blacklist May 31.

Writing for the Russian website Oriental Review.org on May 23, Alexander Orlov reminded readers that Qatar was on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism during the 1990s, and sheltered Saudi nationals who were later revealed to have contributed to the 9/11 atrocities. He suggests that the U.S. turned a blind eye to Qatar’s previous record in return for using the massive Al Udeid facility as a forward command post in 2003 for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Orlov reminds us that Qatar was a major financier of the Islamist rebellion in Chechnya in the 1990s, and that after the Islamists had been routed by the Russian army, the [now former] Qatari emir gave sanctuary to one of the most wanted leaders of the Islamist rebellion, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a figure who has inspired Chechen Islamists ever since. Yandarbiyev was subsequently assassinated by a car bomb in the Qatari capital Doha in 2004.

Qatar long ago signed up to the Muslim Brotherhood cause. It believed that this alliance would promote Qatar to being the foremost player in Sunni Muslim affairs at the expense of its main rival, Saudi Arabia. Recent events suggest that gamble may have blown up in its face.

Sheikh Tamim’s rise to power appears to have created an opportunity to mend bridges with Saudi Arabia after his father Sheikh Hamad’s antagonistic relationship with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia was a key Brotherhood supporter from the 1950s until the 9/11 attacks. Then, in a bid to distance itself from the damning fact that 15 of the 19 bombers were Saudis, Riyadh insisted that Muslim Brotherhood radicalization of the bombers was a significant factor. Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad quickly stepped into the breach and became the Muslim Brotherhood’s biggest supporter, offering Doha as a base for spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

It is significant, then, that the new Qatari leader’s first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia. He arrived there last Friday, reported the Gulf Times. “Talks during the meeting dealt with existing fraternal relations between the two countries and ways to develop them in various fields,” the official Qatar News Agency said.

Tamim’s outreach to Saudi Arabia suggests that the two countries may be on the verge of rapprochement. Where that development leaves the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar’s huge investment in underwriting the Egyptian economy, the funding of rebel forces in Syria, and Qatar’s previous foreign policy in the region, remains to be seen.

The choices Qatar’s newly appointed young leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, makes over the next few weeks and months may have a significant impact on regional politics and on Qatar’s future role on that stage for years to come.

“I suspect the Qataris will draw back somewhat,” former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan told Reuters. “Their infatuation with the Muslim Brotherhood has probably been dampened. They’re likely to come around to a position closer to the Saudis.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/qatars-risky-overreach/2013/08/20/

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