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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Tripoli’

US to Question Al Qaeda Suspect Terrorist on Ship in Mediterranean

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

American authorities said Monday they will question an Al Qaeda terrorist,  re-captured in Tripoli over the weekend, while he is on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea and without reading him his rights, making it impossible to use the information at a trial.

If the terrorist, Abu Anas al-Libi, reveals the same information after later hearing his rights when questioned again in the United States, the information can be used at his trial, NBC reported.

Interrogators from the CIA, the FBI and Navy officers aboard the USS San Antonio will question al-Libi to learn more about Al Qaeda activities both inside Libya and elsewhere.

Al-Libi has been in custody before for bombing attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya 15 years ago. Two other terrorists are at large for the attack, while eight others, including Osama bin Laden, have been killed. Nine are in custody and one has died while awaiting trial.

 

Al Qaeda Blames Hezbollah for Tripoli Blasts

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Al Qaeda North Africa issued a statement accusing Hezbollah of responsibility for the blast yesterday in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, Kol Israel reported.

“We are convinced that the hands of the despicable organization supporting the president of Syria have done this loathsome deed,” said the Al Qaeda statement. The organization promised revenge against Hezbollah, in the name of the Sunnis.

At least 45 people were killed and about 500 others wounded in the two blasts that rocked the northern city of Tripoli. Reports say a car packed with an estimated 400 lbs. of explosives hit the al-Salam mosque.

According to An Nahar, the car used in the blast near al-Salam mosque was a Ford jeep rigged. Military experts are still identifying the car used in the second explosion, which targeted the Taqwa mosque in Tripoli.

A Reuters reporter at the scene said the blast left a huge crater and the floors of the mosque were covered in blood. A 160-foot stretch of the road was charred black and the twisted remains of cars littered the area.

“We were just bowing down to pray for the second time and the bomb went off. The air cleared, and I looked around me and saw bodies,” an eyewitness told Reuters.

Witnesses told the newspaper As Safir that they saw a person parking a Honda Civic near al-Salam mosque and leaving the car to take another, minutes before the blast took place.

The two explosions caused extensive material damage in the two areas.

Both blasts hit at the hour of weekly Muslim prayers, in a city where Sunni supporters of Syria’s rebels engage in frequent, often deadly, clashes with Alawites, who back President Bashar Assad regime.

The Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that the preliminary investigation at al-Salam blast scene showed that the bomb contained TNT and nitrate.

According to the newspaper, the two booby-trapped cars were probably rigged with timers and were detonated from a distance while worshipers were engaged in their Friday prayers.

Security agencies weren’t able to thoroughly examine the scene of the second blast that took place near the Taqwa mosque due to the angry residents that prevented them from carrying out their tasks.

The state-run news agency reported that the death toll in the two explosions has reached 45 and that 160 are in critical condition.

It was the highest toll in an attack since Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and it brought condemnation from Western powers, the United Nations and Syria.

Coming a week after a bombing in the Beirut bastion of Hezbollah, a close ally of President Bashar Assad, the Tripoli explosions are likely to help spread the Syrian civil war into Lebanon.

Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman called on the people to stay united and to cooperate with the security bodies, and to report any suspicious activities that might threaten public safety.

The U.S. State Dept. issued the following statement following the blasts:

The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist bombings at the al-Taqwa and al-Danawi mosques in Tripoli, as we do all violence in Lebanon. We extend our deepest sympathies for those killed and concern for those wounded in today’s attack.

The United States urge all parties to exercise calm and restraint and to desist from actions that could contribute to an escalating cycle of retribution and violence. We reaffirm our firm commitment to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon and support the Lebanese government’s efforts to restore stability and security in the country.

Anti-Hezbollah Force Kills 4 Lebanese Soldiers in Coastal City

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

The Syrian civil war continued to spill over inside Lebanon Sunday when Hezbollah forces killed at least four Lebanese soldiers and two others after an attack on a military checkpoint near Sidon by Salafist anti-Hezbollah forces loyal to Sheikh Ahmed Assir.

Assir’s fighters used RPGs and set on fire at least one armored personnel carrier, according to the Beirut Daily Star.

Assir has urged Sunni members of the army to desert. He said in his weekly sermon Friday, “The Army, especially Sunni personnel and officers, should not carry out any mission which harms their Sunni brothers in Lebanon and for which they would be held accountable on the Day of Judgment.”

Sunday’s battle took place after the arrest of one of Assir’s followers, a day after the sheikh agreed to a two-month truce in exchange for the release by police of three followers.

In Tripoli, south of Sidon, clashes have escalated between Sunni Muslim and pro-Syrian and Hezbollah fighters.

Pulling Out of Benghazi: These Colors Run Scared

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Remember the slogan “These colors don’t run,” captioning the American flag?

Neither does al Qaeda.

Why should they?  They’ve just won.  They have forced us out of Benghazi.  It did take multiple attacks over several months, and the gruesome torture and murder of our ambassador, to edge us out.  But the job is done now.  We’re running scared.

Instead of sticking with our commitment to a new Libya, one in which Americans have friendship and influence – one in which we can walk free, and so can Libyans – we have closed our post in Benghazi and drawn down our embassy staff in Tripoli to “essential” personnel only.  It will be of some interest to see how long it takes al Qaeda or other terrorist savages to attack us in Tripoli.

Congressman Darrell Issa revealed yesterday, in a letter to Hillary Clinton, that U.S. officials said they had asked earlier this year for more security protection at the U.S mission posts in Libya – and been denied.

This data point isn’t really a bombshell, so much as a confirmation of the theory that the Obama administration wanted to avoid putting too much obtrusive U.S. security into Libya.  Fans of Dinesh D’Souza’s theory about Obama and anti-colonialism would attribute such a determination to the theory’s implications (e.g., about the offensiveness of the “West” in the former-colonial world).  And for those who dislike the D’Souza theory, or at least consider it overreaching or irrelevant, the question is:  what theory about Obama and his advisors does explain the decision not to adequately protect a US diplomatic mission?  What could motivate a president and his staff to dismiss the security concerns expressed by the president’s own representatives in Libya?

It’s worth pointing out that Obama’s entire approach to Libya has guaranteed that the country will not unify quickly around a strong, America-friendly central government.  “Leading from behind” gave terrorists months to gather in war-torn Libya in 2011; refraining from wielding US influence has left them plenty of latitude on Libyan soil in 2012.  The Islamist terrorists have no reason to respect America or be wary of what we might do, because under Obama, we don’t do anything.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  We do encourage the arming of poorly vetted militant groups, as we have done in Libya and Syria.  Every now and then we make a Delphic pronouncement about a regional development – Egypt, Libya, Syria – taking care not to seem to have any particular outcome or alternative in mind.  However the American audience sees these activities, regional jihadists see them as signs of detachment, cynicism, and weakness.

In this context, a conscious policy of poor security at a diplomatic post appears more than self-effacing.  It is self-abnegating.  It’s like wearing a “Hit me!” sign.

We’ve had embassies hit before, embassies that weren’t necessarily wearing “Hit me!” signs.  The U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 come to mind, and of course the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.  (Others will remember Saigon in 1975 as well.)  We didn’t withdraw from our posts in Kenya and Tanzania.  We showed determination, we rebuilt, we were back in force with even better security.

We did withdraw from Iran, with which we have not had diplomatic relations for 33 years.  In the wake of the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983 – mounted by Hezbollah, the Iran-sponsored terror group – we pulled our Marines out of Lebanon.  This latter case is similar to the Benghazi withdrawal, because the U.S. Marines in Lebanon were assigned an unexecutable mission with rules of engagement that made them sitting ducks.  But it is also different from the current Libyan situation, in that there was no valid reason for us to have Marines in Lebanon in 1983, whereas sound policy in 2012 would indeed have the United States robustly and sustainably represented – diplomatically, and with good security – in Libya.

As we learned with Iran, losing an ally is likely to mean having to amp up our regional military posture.   We met the challenge of revolutionary Iran with a dramatic expansion of U.S. military presence in and around the Persian Gulf.  The military option is always more expensive, but our security demands it, now interlinked as it is with the dynamics of even distant regional situations.

Where are the Moslems Protesting and Rioting? (Map + List)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

John Hudson has put together an interactive Google Map of sites around the work where Moslems are rioting.

Click here for photos of the protests in Jerusalem and around Israel.

 

Jerusalem
“Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside Sha’ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem on Friday. Four people were arrested as the crowd tried to march towards the US Consulate. Hundreds more Arabs protested in Yafo against the ‘Innocence’ film.” reports JewishPress.com
Bangladesh
“About 1,000 Bangladeshi Islamists tried to march on the U.S. embassy in Dhaka on Thursday to protest against a U.S. film that is said to insult the Prophet Mohammad but security forces stopped them r…
Sanaa, Yemen
“In Sanaa, Yemen, the U.S. Embassy was overrun Thursday by protesters who stormed a wall, set fire to a building inside the compound, broke windows and carried away office supplies and other souvenirs…
Cairo, Egypt
“In Cairo, clouds of tear gas floated through the fortified area around the U.S. Embassy as security forces clashed with protesters for the third straight day,” reports The Washington Post.
Tripoli, Libya
“The US dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli on Wednesday after the mob attack that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans,” reports the AP. “Officials were investigating whethe…
Gaza Strip
“Palestinians on Friday protested an anti-Muslim film, with thousands gathering in the Gaza Strip and hundreds in Jerusalem where there were clashes with Israeli police,” reports Now Lebanon.
Jakarta, Indonesia
“In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, about 200 protesters in Jakarta chanted slogans and held up signs in a largely peaceful protest outside the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy,” repor…
Khartoum, Sudan
“Britain’s Foreign Office says police in Sudan are confronting a protest outside the British embassy in Khartoum,” reports the AP.  Additionally, Reuters reports ”Protesters pull down emblem at German…
Kashmir
“Thousands of angry Kashmiri Muslims protested Friday against an anti-Islam film, burning U.S. flags and calling President Barack Obama a ‘terrorist,’ while the top government cleric here reportedly d…
Tripoli, Lebanon
“Hundreds of protesters set alight a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday, witnesses said, chanting against the pope’s visit to Lebanon and shouting ant…
Benghazi, Libya
“Ansar al Sharia supporters protesting in front of Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi carrying black flags,” reports Al Jazeera via Twitter. “Maximum 50 pple.”
Tehran, Iran
“In Tehran, students gathered Thursday outside the Swiss Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, to protest the video,” The Wall Street Journal reports. ”No violence was reported.”
Baghdad, Iraq
“In Iraq, reaction to the video clip has been limited to followers of Shiite groups linked to militias and neighboring Iran,” reports The Wall Street Journal. ”Several hundred followers of anti-Americ…
Islamabad, Pakistan
“The protesters in Islamabad said that the film should be banned across the world and the filmmakers should be severely punished,” reports Pakistan’s The Express Tribune. ”They also demanded that the …
Karachi, Pakistan
“JI Chief Munawar Hassan, addressing a protest rally in the Nazimabad area of Karachi, demanded that the US government ban the movie and also demanded the Interior ministry of Pakistan lodge a protest…
Lahore, Pakistan
“The rally in Lahore was organised by Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool which was taken out from Green Chowk to Sohrab Khan, while the one in Multan was organised by Jamiat Talba Arbia and Shehri Mahaz. Prote…
Jalalabad, Afghanistan
“Hundreds of Afghans – some shouting ‘Death to America’ – have held a protest against an anti-Islam film in the eastern city of Jalalabad,” reports the AP.
Mogadishu, Somalia
“Thousands of Somali protesters have taken to the streets of capital Mogadishu to express their anger over the anti-Islam movie produced by an Israeli-American in the United States,” reports Iran’s Pr…
Tunisia
Protesters in Tunisia have set fire to an American school in the capital Tunis, according to Reuters. The New York Post reports that “Anti-American rioting spread yesterday to Tunisia, where police us…
Algeria
“In Algeria, the U.S. Embassy cautioned Americans to avoid its building and other official government buildings Wednesday afternoon, sending an emergency message to U.S. citizens after calls for prote…
London, UK
“About 200 protesters are burning USA and Israeli flags outside the US embassy in London,” Al Jazeera reports.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Chennai, India
“Protesters in southern India have been arrested for throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the city police commissioner said,” reports CNN. “As many as 200 protesters were demonstrating in …
Amsterdam
“The American consulate on the Museumplein in Amsterdam is to close earlier than usual on Friday because of a planned demonstration by Muslims in the late afternoon,” reports DutchNews.nl. “Two school…
Maldives
Protests emerged in the Maldives, according to the BBC, but there are few details on the size of the demonstration.
Sri Lanka
Protests have erupted in eastern Sri Lanka, according to the BBC, but details are thin on the size of the demonstration.
Doha, Qatar
“Hundreds of worshippers marched near the US embassy in Qatar on Friday over the anti-Islam video,” reports Al Jazeera. “The protest had been reportedly called for by Doha-based Egyptian  Sheikh Yusuf…
Jos, Nigeria
“Nigerian troops fired live rounds on Friday to disperse Muslims protesting in the volatile central city of Jos against an American film about the Prophet Mohammad that has triggered unrest in several…
Sheikh Zuwayed
“Protesters belonging to ultraconservative groups in Sinai have stormed a camp for the UN multinational peacekeepers in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed,” reports Al Jazeera. “They brought down the flag and…
Sale, Morocco
“Hundreds of Salafists burned US flags in Morocco after Friday prayers at a mosque in a poor neighbourhood of Sale, twin town to the Moroccan capital Rabat,” reports Al Jazeera. “Around 200 of the har…
Casablanca, Morocco
“Between 300 and 400 Muslim activists had gathered outside the US consulate in Morocco’s largest city Casablanca on Wednesday, amid a heavy police presence, protesting against the film and shouting an…
Damascus, Syria
“Sana, Syria’s state news agency, said hundreds of pro-government supporters protested outside the US embassy in Damascus today,” reports The Guardian. “Protesters held images of beleaguered president…
Amman, Jordan
“Jordanian protesters burn a US flag in front of the Kurdi Mosque near the USA embassy in Amman,” reports the AP. Iran’s Press TV reports that more than 2,000 Jordanians took to the streets to protest…
Nouakchott, Mauritania
“Mauritanian youths also went out in a demonstration that covered the streets of Nouakchott condemning the offensive film,” reports Link TV. “Protestors gathered in front of the American embassy, call…
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysi
Muslims held demonstrations across Malaysia on Friday, calling for the United States to prevent distribution of an anti-Islam film they said was part of a plot by ‘Christian extremists,’” reports Ahra…
Batu Caves, Malaysia
“A crowd … held a demonstration at the Batu Caves, a popular tourist spot outside the capital,” reports Ahram Online.
Ipoh, Malaysia
“Malaysian media reported a… protest in the northern city of Ipoh,” reports Ahram Online.
Hyderabad, India
“A peaceful protest was held here Friday against a blasphemous anti-Islam American movie,” reports News Track India. “Protestors set afire an effigy symbolising the US in the old city of Hyderabad. Po…
Diraz, Bahrain
“More than 2,000 protesters chanted against the film and burned American and Israeli flags after Friday prayers in Diraz, outside the capital, Manama. Security forces were absent,” reports the AP. “…
Istanbul, Turkey
“Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyazit Square to protest the prophet film,” reports the AP. “The protest was organized by Turkey’s main Islamist political party, Saadet.”
Nablus, West Bank
“In the city of Nablus, about 200 people demonstrated against the film as Muslim clerics throughout the territory preached against it in Friday sermons,” reports the AP.
Basrah, Iraq
In the southern city of Basra, about 1,000 took to the streets and burned the American and Israeli flags. One banner said: ‘Freedom doesn’t mean offending two billion Muslims,’” reports the AP.
Mombasa, Kenya
“A group of Kenyan muslims burn[ed] the US flag in protest over the anti-Muslim film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, following afternoon prayers outside th…
Srinagar, India
“A Kashmiri Muslim with his face covered burn[ed] a mock American flag as others shout slogans during a protest Friday in Srinagar, India,” reports the AP.
Kut, Iraq
“Iraqi supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement, burn[ed] the Israeli and the US flags during a protest denouncing a film deemed offensive to Islam, on September 13, 2012 in the central …
Tel Aviv, Israel
“Arab-Israeli Muslim men protest against a film mocking Islam, in front of the U.S. embassy in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on September 13, 2012,” reports AFP.
Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan
“Afghans burn the U.S. flag in the Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 14, 2012, during a protest against an anti-Islam film,” reports the AP.
Sidon, Lebanon
The AP captured photographs of an anti-film protest in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh near Sidon, Lebanon, here.

Source: The Atlantic Wire

Libya Fast Becoming the New Iraq

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

In Benghazi, a car bomb aimed at Libyan intelligence officials shook a crowded street. It’s not the first car bomb to strike Libya after the fall of Gaddafi. Benghazi has its own insurgency and remains a flashpoint for the looming civil war that no one is talking about.

Postwar Libya has not received the same scrutiny that postwar Iraq did. The reasons for that revolve around partisan politics and differences in commitment. American soldiers are not patrolling the streets of Benghazi the way that they did in Baghdad, and that translates into a lack of public engagement. Unlike Iraq, Libya is a back-burner issue, even if the oil-rich country is beginning to look a lot like Iraq.

The fall of Gaddafi, like the fall of Saddam, unleashed simmering tribal and religious tensions. While Libya does not have the sharp indigenous split between Sunnis and Shiites that Iraq does, the Arab Spring opened the door to Salafi violence across North Africa from Mali to Tunisia and east through Libya and as far as Egypt.

The Arab Spring uprisings have been used by the Islamists as a pretext for purging Christians in Egypt and Syria, as well as Sufis in Mali and Libya. Despite a recent election in Libya that was widely hailed as a signpost of stability, the country is in no way stable and its central authority is an illusion. Tribal warfare, even of the kind taking place in Zitan, 90 miles from Tripoli, is however a lesser evil compared to the revelation that the Libyan government either cannot stop the Salafi violence or is unwilling to do so.

Both possibilities are present and plausible. The Libyan military under Gaddafi was a patchwork of expensive equipment and incompetent troops. The loss of much of that expensive equipment in Gaddafi’s earlier wars and NATO bombing raids that targeted whatever was left over leaves the Libyan government with limited security capabilities.

The loose coalition against Gaddafi has been splintered by its own differing agendas. One of the few things that everyone agrees on is the necessity of using Islam and Islamic law to fill the gap left by Gaddafi and his charade of Libyan nationalism. If one of Gaddafi’s kin were to try and reclaim Libya, enough factions might unite together to put a stop to his efforts, but no similar coalition can be assembled to protect Libya’s Sufis or its women, the other group being targeted by the Salafis.

Libyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdel A’al has made it clear that the Salafis have a free hand to do as they please. “If all shrines in Libya are destroyed so we can avoid the death of one person,” he said, “then that is a price we are ready to pay.”

Libyan security forces have stood aside or even helped the Salafis do to Libya what the Taliban did to Afghanistan. But that is only to be expected when many members of those security forces, patched together out of bands of ambitious Jihadi fighters, are Salafis. The Interior Minister may have unilaterally ceded all of Libya’s Sufi shrines to the Salafis, but the Salafis won’t stop at destroying graves. Not when they can fill them as well.

In Tunisia and Egypt, Salafi violence has been met with similar inaction or delayed reactions from the security forces. The Muslim Brotherhood and some other Islamists distance themselves from Salafi attacks on non-Muslims or on variant Muslim groups to maintain plausible deniability while the Salafis rid them of people they consider infidels and heretics. The Salafis have foreign backing and no shortage of recruits eager to kill and maim for the cause, and the Post-Arab Spring governments are staying out of their way.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” Obama said, in his speech defending the Libyan intervention. But what does the current state of Libya say about who we are?

The Libyan intervention handed over the country to rule by armed militias and car bombs go off in major cities. As religious, political and tribal violence reaches a boiling point; what has become of that responsibility?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Mordechai Kedar: The Syrian Crisis Spills Over into Lebanon

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

As a result of the bloody events in Syria beginning in March 2011, Lebanon has become a place of refuge for Syrians who live near the border between the two countries. This open border, through which for years Hizbollah has transferred whatever it desired from Syria, has now become an escape route for those Syrians who oppose the regime and seek shelter in Lebanon – even if only temporarily – from the cruelty of the “Shabikha”, the murderous gangs of the Asad regime. The Syrian army, despite the fact that it feels “at home” in Lebanon, usually refrains from pursuing Syrians who have found sanctuary there, so as not to offend the European countries, especially France, which see Lebanon as their “back yard”. Only in a very few cases did a military force cross the border into Lebanon in order to apprehend refugees who oppose the regime, and in a few cases, even shot Syrian canons into Lebanese villages where some Syrians had found shelter and sanctuary.

The society in Lebanon is polarized regarding the events in Syria: the Shi’ite Hizbollah, the main power in the state, actively supports Asad, and has sent more than a few of its soldiers – mainly snipers – to fight those citizens of Syria who are rebelling against the regime. Those who are opposed to Hizbollah, the “March 14 Coalition”, headed by Sa’ad al-Hariri, hold clear anti-Syrian positions. In the background there is always the possibility that the Syrian regime will collapse. If this occurs, the fear is that Hizbollah will quickly take over Lebanon and prevent the opposition from taking advantage of the weakness that may follow the loss of Syrian support. Nasrallah, of course, flatly denies that he has any such intentions. As long as the internal argument was conducted verbally, the words did not represent an immediate threat to the stability of the state.

However, lately an internal confrontation has developed, regarding the active support of the Sunni Muslim insurgents in Syria. For a long time rumors have been circulating about ships that arrive in the middle of moonless nights to locations near the recesses of the Lebanese coast; and boats with people in black clothing and covered faces who race from the shore towards the ships. The people clothed in black unload wooden crates full of “all good things,” and then the boats disappear back into the darkness from which they emerged. The crates are brought into Syria, where their contents – weapons and ammunition – serve the Free Syrian Army. The rumors about the boats were not substantiated until this month. In early May,  the Lebanese army apprehended a ship with the name “Lotef Allah 2″ in Lebanese territorial waters, which had departed from Libya and moored in Alexandria on its way to Lebanon. On this ship, a number of containers with light weapons were found and seized, but there were also a few French rocket launchers that had been sent last year to the insurgents in Libya. There were also explosives, and the whole shipment was sent by a Syrian company. The loading document, of course, did not reveal the actual contents of the shipment. Twenty one employees of the ship were arrested, but it is not clear what they knew about their deadly cargo.

The Lebanese army must certainly have known about the ship and its cargo and it is safe to assume that they got their information from an intelligence organization acting in cooperation with the Syrian regime, Iran or Russia, who were quick to register a complaint with the UN Security Council regarding the smuggling of weapons into Syria from the neighboring countries. Russia and Iran are very concerned about the increasing strength of the Free Syrian Army, which – thanks to the great number of weapons that flow to it- has recently been more successful in retaliating and killing many Syrian soldiers. The seizure of the weapons in the port of Tripoli immediately raised the question in Lebanon: who was supposed to receive the weapons and transfer them to the Syrian insurgents?

The question was answered  on Shabbat, May 12, when a twenty five year old man by the name of Shadi al-Mawlawi was arrested in Tripoli, along with five of his friends. The young man, a Lebanese Sunni and a member of a Salafi group, known as an activist working for the Syrian insurgents, was arrested when he returned from Syria on suspicion of assisting the insurgents and coordinating the transfer of the weapons that had arrived by ship. Tripoli has been in turmoil since the moment of his arrest: the Al-Manar channel, mouthpiece for the Hizbollah Shi’ites, claims that the ship belongs to Al-Qaeda, and served as the connection between global jihad organizations and the Syrian insurgents; while al-Mawlawi’s Sunni friends claim emphatically that he is simply a good young man, who – like many others – gave humanitarian support to Syrian refugees that managed to escape to Tripoli. The circumstances of his incarceration are interesting: according to some versions he was apprehended in the office of the Lebanese minister of the Treasury, Mahmud al-Safdi, in Tripoli, which brings up the possibility that al-Mawlawi might also have supported the Syrian insurgents monetarily, and that he was an emissary sent by members of the political establishment in Lebanon who are engaged in plotting against the Asad regime.

Demand for Sharia Law in Libya Growing

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

The call for Sharia law to inspire legislation is gaining traction in Libya, with Islamists rallying across the country on Friday against the emergence of secular political parties.

The demonstrations were comprised mainly of members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafis. Men holding copies of the Koran protested in squares in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Sabha.

In the wake of the recent Islamic electoral successes in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Islamist parties in Libya are expected to fair very well in elections for a national assembly, expected to take place in June.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/demand-for-sharia-law-in-libya-growing/2012/01/22/

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