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November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Edelist’

After Dust Settles, French Security Failure in Toulouse Unequivocal

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Friday’s French newspapers want an answer to one simple question: How was a known Islamic extremist allowed to murder seven people, including three children, in three separate attacks?

The Communist “L’Humanite” demands full disclosure of how closely France’s intelligence services had been following Merah before his attacks. The gunman had been arrested numerous times and had been to Afghanistan – someone should have been keeping a tab on him.

“Liberation” wanted to know how presidential politics – and the upcoming vote – influenced the bizarre way Police managed the capture, taking 32 hours and then, essentially, botching the job, as the suspect was killed.

“Le Figaro” was more cautious, warning against a rush to judgment. After all, the police on the spot were aware of much more detail than those intellectuals and politicians on the left and on the right “who never lose a chance to cry scandal.”

The Catholic “La Croix” also suggested Monday morning quarterbacks should wait for the full police account. But it demanded a full account, nevertheless..

Veteran police officer Christian Prouteau, who founded the GIGN — one of France’s elite police units — said in an interview with “Ouest France” that he wanted to know why police had not used tear gas to flush out Merah, and said he was astonished that they had failed to take him alive. “How come the police’s best unit did not manage to arrest a lone gunman?” he asked.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a televised address that he would crack down on extremism, and wanted legal action against people who regularly visit Jihadist websites or travel to suspect destinations.

But French politicians are asking how French intelligence officers had failed to interrupt Merah’s killing spree, when they were keeping a dossier on him as a Muslim extremist.

Police failure will certainly bolster the chances of Sarkozy’s main challenger, Socialist Francois Hollande, who, at a Thursday rally announced that “questions will have to be asked.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told Europe 1 radio that intelligence officers had recently questioned Merah. Juppe agreed their failure to stop him in time would have to be investigated.

The al-Qaida linked Jund al-Khilafah, claiming responsibility for Merah’s murders on Jihadist websites, stated “the Frenchman carried out an operation that shook the foundations of the Zionist Crusaders. Israel’s crimes will not go unpunished.”

Obama, Clinton, Abbas, Comparing Notes on Eve of Quartet Meet

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina has told AFP that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of the international Quartet scheduled for next month.

Clinton’s call to Abbas was to follow up on discussions between Abbas and Obama a day earlier, the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Clinton said a group of US officials are slated to arrive at the region soon. Abbas told Obama on Monday that he would return to negotiations if Israel committed to the demands of the Quartet (e.g. settlement freeze).

Obama’s call to Abbas was their first conversation since their meeting in New York when the US vetoed Abbas’ bid for Palestinian statehood at the UN. This time around, Obama wished to reassure the PA President that the US was committed to Middle East peace, a PLO official told Wafa.

Saeb Erekat told the PA’s official radio station that Abbas told Obama the Palestinians would return to talks if Israel submitted its proposal on borders and security,

After talks ended in January without agreement, Abbas is preparing to send a letter to Israel and the international community outlining the basis for a Palestinian state and reiterating demands that Israel stop settlement building.

Erekat said Abbas briefed Obama on the letter, which will outline his position that Israel is responsible for the failure of the peace process.

Ha’aretz reported on Tuesday that Obama urged Abbas not to include a threat to dismantle the Palestinian Authority in his communiqué.

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that Abbas also discussed the deal reached with Hamas in Doha last month to establish an interim government to oversee new elections. The agreement has since stalled amid criticism from Hamas’ Gaza-based leadership.

Germany Sells Israeli Navy its Sixth Submarine, 1 Year After Netanyahu Released PA Funds

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Israel and Germany signed a contract purchasing the Israeli Navy’s sixth submarine Wednesday. It is an SSK Dolphin Class submarine.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Defense Ministry CEO Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Shani and secretary of state of the German Federal Defense Ministry, Wolf Rudiger attended the signing ceremony for the purchase.

Last year the newspaper The Welt am Sonntag reported that German chancellor Angela Merkel conditioned the sale of the sixth Dolphin on Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. The sale of the submarine, from a German high-tech dockyard to the Israeli Navy had been held up for a year, until the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu released $100 million in blocked funds which it passed over to the Palestinian Authority in April, 2011.

Navy Commander, Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg addressed the purchase of the new submarine while speaking at the naval officers’ graduation ceremony: “Strategically, especially today, I am pleased with the approval and signing of a contract purchasing the Navy’s sixth submarine, 54 years after submarines were first put into use in the Israeli Navy. The strength of IDF and the State of Israel, and its operational flexibility, will grow ten fold,” said Maj. Gen. Rothberg.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that “the sixth submarine multiplies the force and capability of the IDF and the State of Israel in the face of the growing challenges. The agreement indicates our cooperation with Germany and the German government’s obligation to the security of Israel.”

Barak stressed that “the Israeli Navy has been undergoing strategic changes over the past few years, placing it at the helm of Israel’s security and the extent of the IDF’s capabilities.”

Video: London Mayor Wannabe Will Make London ‘Beacon’ of Islam

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Speaking at last Friday’s prayer at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque—and formerly controlled by convicted terrorist recruiter Abu Hamza al-Masri—Ken Livingstone, the Labor party’s candidate for mayor of London, pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” about Islam, declaring: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet,” according to the Telegraph.

Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”

He added: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.”

The Telegraph reports that Livingstone has been “dogged by allegations of links to Islamic fundamentalism.” Back in 2010, Livingstone campaigned against his own party’s candidate in support of Lutfur Rahman, who had been dropped by Labor for his links to the Muslim extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).

When he was Mayor of London, Livingstone’s London Development Agency channeled close to $1 million in city funds to the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets, controlled by the IFE. In return, IFE activists got out the vote for the Mayor in the 2008 elections, with strong results in East London.

Le Point: Police Believe Disgraced Neo-Nazi Soldier Committed Murders

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The French magazine Le Point reports that police are investigating the possibility that three soldiers, who had been forced out of the French army because of their neo-Nazi beliefs, committed the shocking murders of Arab French soldiers and Jewish French school children. Their description matches an eyewitness report of a facial tattoo.

Late Monday night Le Point reported that investigators of the killings in the towns of Toulouse and Montauban believe the two cases—the Thursday murder of paratroopers in Montauban and  the attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse that killed four people including three children, are indeed related.

The same scooter, a Yamaha T-Max, was used by the shooter in both cases. Its license plate was recorded on video surveillance tapes from the town of Montauban. The same .45 caliber gun was also used on both days.

The three soldiers were reportedly discharged in 2008 for neo-Nazi links, after pictures of them were published in satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaîné performing a Nazi salute. They were members of Montauban’s 17th parachute regiment, the same as the soldiers killed on Thursday.

Colonel  Michel Esparsa,  commanding officer of the 17th parachute regiment, had  filed a complaint against the three soldiers who “admitted the facts” and should be “severely punished.” The profiles of these sinister characters  correspond to the meager  reports available to investigators to identify the crazy killer from Toulouse, including arm and facial tattoos. The complaint filed against the three in 2008 said the soldiers “have particularly explicit tattoos.”

A witness in Toulouse said the gunman had a facial tattoo.

Heavy Fighting in Damascus May Mark Beginning of the End for Assad

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A heavy firefight has broken out in a main district of the Syrian capital Damascus, between Free Syrian Army rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported. This may be the beginning of the end for the old regime which has been under attack from within and without for nearly a year.

On Monday the sound of heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades echoed throughout the night from the most heavily guarded neighborhood of the capital, which is home to a number of security facilities.

The latest fighting comes one day after a car bomb in Syria’s second biggest city of Aleppo killed at least three people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.

Damascus is situated 90 miles from Haifa

The UK-based rights group added it received phone reports from local residents who had seen bodies in the streets after Sunday’s blast near a state security office.

According to Syrian state news agency SANA, a law enforcement officer and a woman died in the explosion, and 30 civilians and law-enforcement officers were injured on Sunday when an armed group detonated a booby-trapped car while the authorities were dragging it out of a residential area in Aleppo province.

Thumbing its Nose at SWIFT Ban, Iran Relies on Alternative Methods to Continue its International Banking

Friday, March 16th, 2012

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, Iran announced that they have successfully bypassed the SWIFT ban, and have an alternative financial network setup.

On March 16, 2012, JewishPress.com described the system that Iran had set up in anticipation of the SWIFT ban in the article below.

 

Five years ago, the SWIFT clearing system ban on Iranian banks, which goes into effect Saturday, would have yielded satisfactory results. But nowadays Iran is relying on rogue financial systems created by South-American countries, and on its trade with India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, to maintain the flow of money, goods and services for which it continues to pay with oil.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, announced Thursday that as of Saturday it will obey the European Union’s ban on blacklisted Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

The SWIFT ban is an inconvenience

But an article by Otto Reich and Ezequiel Vazquez Ger in the Miami Herald suggests the SWIFT ban will present nothing more than an inconvenience for Iran, because the latter has prepared for just this occasion, utilizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to set up reliable alternative connections for money transfers by Iranian financial institutions.

Essentially, Iran will continue to trade internationally, with the support of ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América – Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas) countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The ALBA countries have created SUCRE (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional – Unique System of Regional Compensation), which is a virtual currency unit which makes it possible for ALBA members to bypass foreign banks’ supervision.

Ahmadinejad has been preparing for this scenario for years

This system has been used effectively by the belligerent Iran, practically since its inception. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent traveler to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador, making more than half a dozen trips to the region since his election in 2005.

Reich and Vazquez Ger cite confidential bank reports dating back to November 2008, which suggest that the Central Bank of Ecuador authorized the establishment of “a mechanism for deposits and payments to facilitate foreign trade” with Iran. The two authors say that the Central Bank of Ecuador approved in closed sessions a system that would allow the confirmation and payment of letters of credit for foreign trade transactions between it, the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and the International Development Bank in Caracas, Venezuela (BID).

Both the EBDI and the BID are on the U.S. Treasury’s blacklist of companies doing business with Iran’s military, but the Central Bank of Ecuador chose to ignore this fact when jumping into bed with Iran and Venezuela. Immediately after signing the agreement, the Iranian bank opened up for BID a lavish credit line of $40 million for “importation of Iranian goods and services to Ecuador.”

Reich and Vazquez Ger point out that the fact that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency means that once Iranian money gets into the country it is automatically injected into the economy.

But some believe that in the end the ban may work

But a high-placed Israeli financial officer told the Jewish Press Friday that any country that chooses to cooperate with Iran would be blocked sooner or later, as the need for trade with the West inevitably arises. This means that the rate of flow of Iranian money out of Iran will remain limited, despite Iran’s publicized South American rogue connection. “Any country that wants to avoid a direct confrontation with the US would opt out of a cooperation deal with Iran, including even Venezuela. Should the US at some point threaten Venezuela, it, too, would drop Iran like a hot potato.”

India-Iran avoid the dollar for rupees

Another venue for uninterrupted Iranian trade has been cultivated over the past few years with the government of India. Earlier in March the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Tehran and New Delhi have announced that they are planning to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade over the next four years, with payments for Iranian oil made in rupees.

J.E. Dyer, a retired US Naval Intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004, told the Jewish Press in an email:

“I have been watching this for a while. India and Iran have arranged to increase trade, including Iranian oil, outside of SWIFT. They are dealing in rupees, but the point for Iran is that she can buy things she needs with her rupees. Long-term value isn’t the issue right now. China and Russia dropped the US dollar as their trading currency a while back, and China in particular has been essentially importing Iranian oil on a barter basis, for goods. No need for SWIFT.

“The Latin American countries have been helping Iran evade US/EU sanctions for a while, and so has Turkey.

The SWIFT ban may backfire by causing economic realignments

“I predicted weeks ago that excluding Iran from SWIFT wouldn’t bring Iran to her knees. Instead, it will give a world in flux new reasons to coalesce differently for power and influence. I don’t think North America and the EU have the economic power now to make Iran holler Uncle! What we can do is force a realignment that has a strong probability of rebounding to our disadvantage.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/thumbing-its-nose-at-swift-ban-iran-relies-on-rogue-finances-to-boost-its-international-banking/2012/03/16/

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