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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘terrorist organization’

As Egypt Nears Civil War, Israel on High Alert

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The dramatic escalation in Egypt’s domestic conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military is being accompanied by an upsurge in the activities of jihadi organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since Morsi’s ouster, extremist Salafi and jihadi organizations have launched waves of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and provoked this week’s extensive counter-terrorism operation by the Egyptian army.

These Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces are also seeking to strike Israel — both to satisfy their ideological demand for jihad against Israelis, and to try and force Israel and Egypt into a confrontation, thereby undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Israel Defense Forces are therefore on high alert in the event of further attacks by terrorists in Egypt, while also facing the dilemma of how to safeguard its own national security without infringing on Egyptian sovereignty at this most sensitive time.

Two unprecedented incidents on the southern border in just the last few days, however, served as markers for the rapidly changing situation.

First, according to international media reports, an Israeli drone struck an Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization in Sinai, as it was making final preparations to fire rockets at Israel.

While Israeli defense officials have not confirmed or denied the reports, if true, they represent the first preemptive counter-terrorism strike on Egyptian soil.

If Israeli intelligence receives word of an imminent attack taking shape in Sinai, with little time to coordinate a response with Egyptian military forces, such action might be expected.

Islamists across Egypt were quick to seize on the incident to accuse the Egyptian military of being complicit in an Israeli breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

Although this incident was quickly forgotten by Egyptians as both Egypt proper and Sinai descended into turmoil, there is evidence that further attacks by Sinai terrorists against both Egyptian security forces and Israel are being planned.

An additional signal of the deteriorating security situation in Sinai was the rocket fired by a terrorist organization at the Red Sea tourist resort city of Eilat over the weekend.

Anticipating the attack, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the city. The prior preparation paid off: the system fired an interceptor that successfully stopped the rocket from hitting the city.

The rocket failed to hurt anyone, but it did trigger an air-raid siren and frighten tourists, sending them scatting for cover. Unlike the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which are used to Palestinian rocket terrorism, Eilat, a resort town, is not used to living under rocket fire.

Today, a shadow of uncertainty hangs over the future of the city’s tourist industry. For now, Israeli visitors to the city are displaying trademark resilience, and are continuing to pack the city’s hotels and beaches.

Nearby, however, the IDF continues on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the desert sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

Top Al Qaeda Operative Left Blueprint to Govern Entire Muslim World

Monday, August 19th, 2013

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. A is A. And the global jihad is the global jihad.

“Yemen terror boss left blueprint for waging jihad” Times of Israel, August 18, 2013 Document provides assessment of al-Qaeda’s performance in Yemen, indicates it seeks to govern throughout the Muslim world

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — A year before he was caught on an intercept discussing the terror plot that prompted this week’s sweeping closure of US embassies abroad, al-Qaida’s top operative in Yemen laid out his blueprint for how to wage jihad in letters sent to a fellow terrorist.

In what reads like a lesson plan, Nasser al-Wahishi provides a step-by-step assessment of what worked and what didn’t in Yemen. But in the never-before-seen correspondence, the man at the center of the latest terror threat barely mentions the extremist methods that have transformed his organization into al-Qaida’s most dangerous branch.

Instead, he urges his counterpart in Africa whose fighters had recently seized northern Mali to make sure the people in the areas they control have electricity and running water. He also offers tips for making garbage collection more efficient.

“Try to win them over through the conveniences of life,” he writes. “It will make them sympathize with us and make them feel that their fate is tied to ours.”

The perhaps surprising hearts-and-minds approach advocated by the 30-something Wahishi, who spent years as Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary, is a sign of a broader shift within al-Qaida. After its failure in Iraq, say experts who were shown the correspondence, the terror network realized that it is not enough to win territory: They must also learn to govern it if they hope to hold it.

“People in the West view al-Qaida as only a terrorist organization, and it certainly is that … but the group itself is much broader, and it is doing much more,” says Gregory Johnsen, a scholar at Princeton University whose book, “The Last Refuge,” charts the rise of al-Qaida in Yemen. “The group sees itself as an organization that can be a government.”

The correspondence from al-Wahishi to Algerian national Abdelmalek Droukdel is part of a cache of documents found earlier this year by the AP in buildings in Timbuktu, which until January were occupied by al-Qaida’s North African branch. The letters are dated May 21 and Aug. 6, 2012, soon after al-Wahishi’s army in Yemen was forced to retreat from the territory it had seized amid an uprising against long-time Yemeni ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.

At the time, the terror network as a whole was trying to come to grips with its losses in Iraq, where people rose up against the brutal punishments meted out by al-Qaida’s local affiliate, a revolt which allowed US forces to regain the territory they had occupied. That failure which was front and center in how al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula went about governing the two provinces it held for 16 months on Yemen’s southern coast, including the region where al-Wahishi was born, says Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, author of a study chronicling the group’s attempt at governance.

In the May letter, al-Wahishi warns his counterpart not to crack down too quickly or too harshly.

“You have to be kind,” he writes. “You can’t beat people for drinking alcohol when they don’t even know the basics of how to pray. … Try to avoid enforcing Islamic punishments as much as possible, unless you are forced to do so. … We used this approach with the people and came away with good results.”

Al-Qaida’s foray into governance in Yemen began on the morning of Feb. 28, 2011, when residents of the locality of Jaar woke up to find an ominous black flag flying over their town. Fearing the worst, the population was mystified to discover that their extremist occupiers appeared more interested in public works projects, than in waging war.

“There were around 200 of them. They were wearing Afghan clothes, black robes that go to the knees, with a belt,” said Nabil Al-Amoudi, a lawyer from Jaar. “They started extending water mains. … They installed their own pipes. They succeeded in bringing electricity to areas that had not had power before.”

Bahrain Officially Labels Hezballah a Terrorist Organization

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The tiny Gulf State of Bahrain on Tuesday, April 9, became the first Arab country to place the Arab terrorist group Hezballah (Party of Allah) on its state designated terrorist list.

It is not that Bahrain is concerned over Hezballah’s decades-long genocidal intentions against Israel. But as a radical Shia sect, Hezballah also plays a destabilizing role in the Arab world. The terrorist group receives financial support, weapons and military training from Iran.

The Lebanese Shiite movement based in Lebanon has allegedly been backing and training radical Shiite groups against Bahrain.  That appeared to be the main reason the group received the terrorism designation.  Although the majority of Bahrainis are Shia, the monarchy is Sunni.

“The measure is to protect Bahrain’s security and stability from Hezballah’s threats,” Bahraini MP Adil al-Asoumi told Al Arabiya. There is evidence that Hezbollah is instigating violence against the government in Bahrain, Asoumi added.

“When we were in Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, we met with defected Syrian soldiers. They told us that in the past years, the Syrian regime was conspiring against the people of Bahrain,” in coordination with Iran and Hezbollah, Abdulhalim Murad, deputy head of Bahrain’s Islamist al-Asala bloc said, according to Al Arabiya.

The United States, Canada and Israel have all had Hezballah on terrorism-designated lists for some time.  Such a designation means that the bank accounts of the organization can be frozen, and suspected members can be legally monitored.

During the Mubarak regime, Egypt considered Hezballah a terrorist organization, but in late December of last year the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government announced it would pursue a “tight relationship” with the terrorist group.

An investigation into the deadly bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last July, revealed that Hezballah was behind the violence that killed 5 Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.

In the wake of the Burgas bombing, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barrosso said the European Union would consider including Hezballah on its list of terrorist organizations.  The Israeli government and Shurat HaDin (the Israeli Law Center) had each attempted to convince the EU to make that designation.

However, on March 7, the EU announced it would not make the change, claiming it “did not yet have sufficient evidence of its activity in Europe” to place Hezballah on the EU terrorist organization list.  Presently, Holland is the only European country to officially sanction Hezballah as a terrorist entity.

Were the EU to follow suit behind the U.S., Canada, Holland and Bahrain, and place the terrorist organization on its list of official terrorist groups, it would likely have a serious impact on Hezballah’s financial footing, and therefore its ability to continue its global terrorism operations.

 

Hamas Re-Working Its Image to Pressing US to Remove Terror Label

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Hamas is trying to re-work its image as a terrorist organization to convince the United States and the European Union remove it from the list of sponsors of terrorism. The campaign comes at the same time that pressure is growing on the EU to add Hizbullah to the list of terrorist organizations.

The Egypt Independent reported that Hamas official Ahmed Youssef said contacts have been made with Qatar, Egypt and Turkey to make the case for Hamas.

However,  he said Hamas will not comply with the demand of the Quartet (United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations) to recognize Israel.

He also said that missile attacks on Israel were not aimed at civilians but were targeting military bases.

“The armed struggle is guaranteed by international law [the right] to resist occupation … but Western countries are biased in favor of Israel,” he maintained.

“It is not reasonable for the Western countries to support Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and continue to boycott Hamas, which came out of the womb of these Islamist movements, and keep it on the list of terrorism,” Youssef added.

How Does EU Avoid Defining Hizbullah as Terrorist Organization?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

President Shimon Peres  and the Israeli lawfare group Shurat HaDin have launched two separate but simultaneous campaigns to pressure the European Union to agree Hizbullah equals terror.

President Peres is to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week and will urge it to place the Iranian-backed Hizbullah Shi’ite Muslim group on the list of terror organizations, as the United States has done.

A major obstacle to the classification is the failure of all 27 EU countries to agree.

“The President will tell the EU leaders that every country needs to treat Hezbollah as a terror organization,” a spokesperson to the President told the European Jewish Press (EJP).

“The President’s EU meetings “will take place in the context of the inquiry into the terror attack in Bulgaria which found that Hizbullah was responsible for the bombing and the subsequent discussions within Europe on the consequences.”

His speech to the European Parliament will be the first by an Israeli leader in the legislature’s current format, which includes 754 members from the 27 EU member states.

Shurat HaDin, known in English as the Israel Law Center, is headed by attorney Nitsana Darshn-Leitner. She has staged a quiet revolution in fighting terrorism by winning lawsuits against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as well as banks that handle money of terrorist groups. Shurat HaDin has won  judgments running into the billions.

It also was instrumental in convincing companies they could be subject to criminal charges if they did not stop equipping Iranian oil tankers and terrorists’ Gaza-bound ships with communications equipment.

Darshn-Leitner now has written to the un to demand that it designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.

“In our letter to the EU officials, we accused the EU of cowardice and hiding its head in the sand in the face of overwhelming proof of the Islamic extremist groups’ long term involvement in global terrorism,” she said.

“We accused the EU of ignoring Hizbullah’s assassination of Lebanese President Rafiq Hariri, for which several of its officials were indicted by The Hague, and Hizbullah’s on-going role in perpetrating crimes against humanity in the Syrian civil war.”

Despite pressure from the United States and Israel, the EU has claimed that it will not outlaw the group until there is “tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism,” she said.

Shurat HaDin this week issued a partial list of dozens of attacks that have killed more than 400 people, not including targeted civilians in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Bulgaria recently announced that Hizbullah was behind the July 2012 terrorist attack that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.

Following is the partial list that is more than enough of the  “tangible evidence” the EU is looking for.

-  The 1982 and 1983 suicide bombings against the IDF headquarters building in Tyre, Lebanon, which killed 103 Israelis and 46–59 Lebanese, wounding 95 people.

-   The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing Lebanon, that killed 241 US marines, 58 French paratroopers and 6 civilians at the US and French barracks in Beirut.

-   The Hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985.

-   The kidnapping and murder of numerous individuals during the Lebanon Hostage Crisis from 1982 to 1992, including the kidnapping and torture-murder of CIA Beirut station Chief William Buckley.

-   The 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, killing 29, in Argentina.

-   The 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish cultural centre, killing 85, in Argentina.

-   The 1996 KhobarTowers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 20.

-   The 2000 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Adi Avitan, Benyamin Avraham, and Omar Sawaidwere.

-   In 2002, Singapore accused Hezbollah of recruiting Singaporeans in a failed 1990s plot to attack US and Israeli ships in the Singapore Straits.

-   The 2006 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, which precipitated the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.

-   Intentionally targeting Israeli civilians and cities with rocket fire during the Second Lebanon War.

-   The January 15, 2008 bombing of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Beirut.

-   In 2009, a Hezbollah plot in Egypt was uncovered, where Egyptian authorities arrested 49 men for planning attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula.

-   A failed 2011 bombing in Istanbul targeting the Israeli consul, which left eight dead.

Why the EU Refuses to Classify Hezbollah as a Terror Org.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Lebanon-based Islamic organization Hezbollah is one of the most dangerous groups in the world. Recently, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah incited violence against American and European interests over the movie The Innocence of Muslims. And yet, the European Union refuses to follow America’s example and classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization – a move that would enable the E.U. to freeze the group’s assets in Europe.

Several people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been killed, ostensibly in retaliation for the movie, which is perceived to be critical of Muhammad, the 7th century Arab warlord who founded Islam. Instead of calling for calm, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah called for prolonged protests: “The whole world needs to see your anger on your faces, in your fists and your shouts.”

Hezbollah is also involved in terrorist activities in Syria. During a meeting on September 7 in Paphos, Cyprus, the foreign ministers of the 27 member states of the European Union discussed the situation in Syria, including the position which the E.U. should take regarding Hezbollah. While Britain and the Netherlands urged other E.U. governments to join the United States in imposing sanctions on Hezbollah, they were unable to convince the other E.U. members. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said that Hezbollah should, further, be branded a terrorist organization; he was, however, was isolated with this stance.

This does not come as a surprise, considering the E.U.’s earlier refusal to condemn Hezbollah for terrorism. Last July, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited the E.U. capital, Brussels, to persuade the E.U. to follow America’s example and classify Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Lieberman met resistance – a lot. He was attempting to isolate Hezbollah after the July 18 suicide bombing at the airport of the Bulgarian coastal resort of Burgas – an attack, and clearly a terrorist one – in which five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed.

According to Israeli and American intelligence sources, the terrorist attack was the work of Hezbollah, upon orders from Iran. Nevertheless, the Cypriot minister of Foreign Affairs, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, who currently holds the rotating E.U. presidency said that there is “no tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism.” Hence, there was “no consensus for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations.” He emphasized that Hezbollah was an organization with a political as well as an armed wing and that it has representatives in the Lebanese parliament and government.

In 2008, the Netherlands declared Hezbollah and all its branches terrorist entities. Britain considers only its armed wing a terrorist group. Consequently, Hezbollah can operate freely all over Europe, except in the Netherlands. Apart from the Netherlands and the United States, only Canada, Australia and New Zealand have classified Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The European Parliament did the same in a 2005 resolution, but as the latter was non-binding the E.U. has ignored it.

Jacob Campbell, a researcher at the British Institute for Middle Eastern Democracytold the Jerusalem Post: “Within just days of the Burgas bombing – almost undoubtedly perpetrated by Hezbollah – the Presidency of the E.U. Council explicitly ruled out the possibility of listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, insisting that there is no ‘tangible evidence’ to link Hezbollah to terrorism. This ludicrous statement was made despite an earlier resolution adopted by the European Parliament, which cites ‘clear evidence’ of terrorist acts committed by Hezbollah. On this issue, as in so many others, Brussels appears to have its head buried firmly in the sand.”

France is one of the countries that oppose the efforts to blacklist Hezbollah. France, the former colonial power in Lebanon, wants to preserve its diplomatic influence in that country. In 2011, Najib Mikati, a Hezbollah-backed politician, became Prime Minister of Lebanon after Hezbollah toppled the previous government. Even deadly attacks by Hezbollah on French nationals have not persuaded the French government to designate the group as terrorist. Last year, Alain Juppé, the then Foreign Minister of France, accused Hezbollah of attacking French U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon. However, with Hezbollah constituting part of the Lebanese establishment, the French are reluctant to act against it.

The German government, too, refuses to draw the obvious conclusion regarding Hezbollah, although the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesverfassungsschutz, has warned that Hezbollah has over 900 active members in Germany. In 2008, the German Interior Ministry restricted the reception of the programs of the Hezbollah television station Al-Manar in German hotels. Al-Manar is used by Hezbollah to recruit terrorists and communicate with sleeper cells around the globe.

US: Hamas-Fatah Agreement an ‘Internal Matter’

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The Obama administration declined to weigh in on the reconciliation agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah, saying instead that it was an “internal matter”.

“As we’ve said many times, questions of Palestinian reconciliation are an internal matter for Palestinians,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Nuland did reiterate the US position that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and that any Palestinian government must abide by the international agreements and norms that the Quartet had laid out. “Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence. It must recognize the state of Israel and it must accept the previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including the road map.”

Ex-Congressman Gets A Year For Lobbying On Behalf Of Terrorist-Funding Charity

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Mark Deli Siljander, former congressman and deputy US ambassador to the United Nations, was sentenced last Wednesday to 366 days in federal prison for his role as an unregistered foreign agent for an Islamic charity found to have connections to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

“A Missouri charity [Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA)] secretly funneled more than a million dollars to Iraq in violation of United States economic sanctions,”  an Attorney from the office of the Western District of Missouri said in a news release. “IARA then hired a former congressman to lobby the government on its behalf after it was listed as a specially designated global terrorist organization.”

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ex-congressman-gets-a-year-for-lobbying-on-behalf-of-terrorist-funding-charity/2012/01/15/

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