The Third Jihad – Radical Islam’s Vision for America – (A Clarion Project Film)

The Third Jihad – Radical Islam’s Vision for America – (A Clarion Project Film)

The Third Jihad is a film that exposes the threat that Islamic extremism poses to the American way of life. In 1988, the FBI discovered a secret Muslim Brotherhood document which laid out their plans to replace the Constitution with Islamic Sharia law.

The document stated that “The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”

One person who dared to speak out about the Islamist threat is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim-American who served as an officer in the U.S. navy and also as a physician to the US Congress.

After the FBI released the radical Islamist manifesto describing how to destroy America from within, Dr. Jasser decided to investigate.

The Third Jihad is about what he discovered.

Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund) brings together Middle East experts, scholars, human rights activists and Muslims to promote tolerance and moderation and challenge extremism.

Check out Clarion Project’s website to learn more: http://www.clarionproject.org

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: Most Terrorist Attacks on US Link Back to Iran

Newsmax

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: Most Terrorist Attacks on US Link Back to Iran

By: Cathy Burke and Kathleen Walter

Terrorist groups that attempt to undermine the U.S. and its national security will always have some connection to Iran, Florida Republican Rep. Ros-Lehtinen charged Wednesday.

Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview that it was especially “disheartening” the U.S. has yet to hold Iran accountable as the nation marks the 30th anniversary of an Iranian suicide bombing that killed 241 servicemen at a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.

Story continues below video.


 

“We need to follow the money in every one of these terrorist attacks and you will see that the money always links back to Iran,” she said. “They have the financial infrastructure to fund a jihadist organization. Whether it’s Hezbollah, whatever it is, any terrorist group that seeks to undermine the United States and our national security interests will have Iran’s fingerprints on it.”

“What we need to do is find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” she said. “We will not give in, we will never give up, and we will find those responsible and hold them accountable.”

The lawmaker also cautioned the U.S. should not ease sanctions against Iran while negotiations about its nuclear program are ongoing.

“I believe that sanctions have been effective and . . . must continue,” she said. “We should ratchet up the pressure.”

She charged that Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani will “do his charm offensive, smile a lot, lie, cheat and steal as a way of trying to get the U.S. to undo sanctions,” insisting Iran is not sincere about negotiating on their nuclear program.

“We should not fall for what I call the Rouhani ruse,” she said. “He is the master of deceit, he is the negotiator who built the nuclear program.”

“If the Saudis see that Iran is going to get away with having nuclear weapons, they in Saudi Arabia have the financial wherewithal to build up such an arsenal and we will have an arms race that will have no end in sight,” she added.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Al Qaeda-Aligned Groups in Syria May Have Access to Biological Pathogens

Al Qaeda-Aligned Groups in Syria May Have Access to Biological Pathogens

Experts: Biological pathogens, weaponized agents in al Qaeda’s hands a ‘clear and present danger’
U.S. Soldiers from the 457th Chemical Battalion sponge off their level A protective suits / APU.S. Soldiers from the 457th Chemical Battalion sponge off their level A protective suits / AP

BY: Follow @Kredo0

 

Al Qaeda-aligned militants operating in Syria could already have access to “biological pathogens or weaponized agents,” according to terrorism and biological warfare experts studying the region.

The possible acquisition by al Qaeda of these highly dangerous toxins has prompted bio-warfare experts to label the threat a “clear and present danger.”

Extremist militants and other fighters tied to the terror group al Qaeda have continued to gain a foothold in key sections of Syria as the country’s civil war rages on.

Lawlessness has taken hold in many areas that are home to Syria’s biological weapons research hubs and mounting evidence indicates that al Qaeda fighters have capitalized on this security gap by looting the facilities.

“The Syrian civil war has left sections of the bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure destroyed and looting of labs has been observed, which could indicate that Assad is losing command and control over one of the most dangerous classes of weapons remaining in his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) arsenal,” bio warfare and terrorism experts Jill Bellamy van Aalst and Olivier Guitta conclude in a new report.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is believed to have ample biological weapons stores in addition to the chemical weapons currently being confiscated by Western nations. These caches likely include various neurotoxins and deadly viruses, according to U.S. intelligence estimates and other experts.

“A very credible source has confirmed he saw, near Aleppo, a looted pharmaceutical laboratory, which was probably a cover for a biological weapons production site,” Guitta and van Aalst revealed in a research brief published by the Henry Jackson Society.

The most recent looting took place in the embattled city of Aleppo, where the al Qaeda-backed group Al Nusrah is known to operate, according to the report.

“Syria’s biological warfare programs are latent, highly compartmentalized, and dual use, run under both legitimate and clandestine programs, laboratories, institutes, and facilities,” the report states. “The fact that this looting took place in the Aleppo area where the rebellion—and in particular Al Nusrah—is very strong tends to confirm that AQ may potentially be in possession of biological agents.”

Guitta and van Aalst go on to warn that Assad’s supply of biological weapons are just as dangerous as his chemical arms, particularly if they fall into the hands of terrorist forces.

Recent reports from Syria suggest that al Qaeda’s top leaders have taken an interest in Assad’s bioweapons research facilities.

“Al Qaeda’s primary biological weapon expert, Yazid Sufaat, was arrested in February 2013 while trying to enter Syria,” the report states. “His arrest is all the more concerning given that the [United Nations] has allowed the Assad regime to maintain its [bioweapons] program.”

Suffaat is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, where he received a degree in biology, according to Guitta and van Aalst.

“In 1993, Sufaat established Green Laboratory Medicine, a pathology lab where he tried to weaponize anthrax on behalf of al Qaeda,” according to the report. “Sufaat had direct ties to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, both of whom were on Flight AA 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.”

Syria’s biological weapons are particularly vulnerable due to the dispersed and highly clandestine nature of the research program, according to the report.

“The structure of Syria’s biological warfare programs are latent, compartmentalized, and spread across its remaining bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure,” the experts write. “The programs are designed to be highly agile to allow swift production if required.”

Osama bin Laden was known to be very interested in obtaining and using chemical weapons.

“It is a religious duty to have them; how we will use them? It is our business,” he was quoted as saying in 1998. The Pentagon later revealed in 2004 that al Qaeda has a relatively sophisticated bioweapons research effort underway, the report notes.

Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) warned last month that Syria’s unsecured bioweapons pose a great threat to the region.

U.S. intelligence agencies have reported that Assad possesses various biological weapons and has an active research program underway.

“Based on the duration of Syria’s longstanding biological warfare (BW) program, we judge that some elements of the program may have advanced beyond the research and development stage and may be capable of limited agent production,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in an unclassified April report.

“Syria is not known to have successfully weaponized biological agents in an effective delivery system, but it possesses conventional and chemical weapon systems that could be modified for biological agent delivery,” Clapper concluded.

Biological weapons could more easily be obtained and used by terrorist forces, experts warned.

“The problem with bio-weapons, unlike chemical or nuclear, is the quality and weaponization for dispersal that counts, not the quantity, Guitta and van Aarst wrote. “You do not need a stockpile and you do not need sophisticated delivery methods, in fact, that is no longer optimal. Bio-weapons are silent, and determining that an attack has occurred can be challenging.”

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Bachmann blasts Islam, CAIR fights back

Bachmann blasts Islam, CAIR fights back

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – What in the World by Bob Taylor

Michele Bachmann challenged the growth of Islam in the U.S. during an interview. She is closer to the truth than some people think. Photo: Michele Bachmann challenges Islam 

Michele Bachmann challenged the growth of Islam in the U.S. during an interview. She is closer to the truth than some people think.

CHARLOTTE, October 15, 2013 – There is an invisible elephant in the room that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is trying to warn Americans about before it turns into a rampaging herd that overruns everyone.

Bachmann’s recent comments during a Minnesota talk radio interview went unnoticed by the American public, but not by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) which immediately denounced her claims.

Responding to Christian radio host Jan Markel, Bachmann said, “We’re seeing this all across America. It’s like groups want to top each other and be the new latest, largest mosque in North America. What we’re told is that many of them are funded by the Saudi Arabians or the Qataris. And so many of these mosques’ funding actually comes from foreign countries that have interests in advancing the goals and beliefs of the violent Muslim Brotherhood.”

To some that might seem to be a conspiracy theory or Islamophobia. The problem is that Bachmann is closer to fact than fiction.

In a less politically charged era such comments would have been unthinkable. Today they are far from far-fetched. If you think otherwise, ask why a global terrorist of the importance of Abu Anas al Libi, who was captured just a couple of weeks ago, has been transferred to New York to appear before a federal judge.

Why is that significant? Because the amount of interrogation of al Libi was likely minimal, revealing virtually nothing of his knowledge of international terrorist activities. By sending him to New York, al Libi is no longer the prized captive he should have been since the parameters have changed by making his situation a law enforcement issue.

If al Libi is such an important asset toward understanding the inner workings of terrorism, then why were measures not maximized to ensure that we obtained some of his knowledge? With the congestion of legal minds in Washington today, that cannot be an accident.

An even better example of how easily distracted the American public can be by media is the relationship of Huma Abedin with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The name Huma Abedin may not be familiar, but her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, certainly will.

As Weiner made news, Abedin worked quietly in the background while a disinterested media either looked the other way or paid no attention. Abedin was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Hillary Clinton. She also worked for several years at the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) which was founded by the Saudi Royal family.

The Saudis commissioned Abdullah Omar Naseef, an al Qaeda financier, to form the IMMA. The goal: convert all Muslim minority lands into Muslim majority lands.

Huma Abedin’s father was recruited to run the extremist sharia-spremacist Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA) in Saudi Arabia. When Dr. Abedin died, Huma’s mother, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, took over. Since assuming leadership, Dr. Abedin has been praised as a major voice for women’s rights in the Muslim world. What journalists always omit, however, is the “sharia” context of Abedin’s philosophy.

Add to the recipe that Saleha Abedin has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters of Islamic jihad and Michele Bachmann begins to sound less kooky and more relevant.

Last year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OK) took Huma Abedin’s side when Bachmann raised legitimate questions about her credibility and allegiances. Alliances which are outlined in The Abedin “Affairs” with Al Saud by former Muslim Brothrehood member Walid Shoebat.

Now stir into the mix something called The Union of Good which is led by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Qaradawi has issued fatwas calling for suicide bombings in Israel and the killing of American soldiers and support personnel in Iraq. As reported in The National Review, the White House recently played host to Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah, Qaradawi’s principal deputy. Bayyah has also endorsed similar fatwas to kill American troops.

Therefore, our “non-negotiating” president is negotiating in America’s house with known Islamic thugs. Our former Secretary of State has close associations with Muslim Brotherhood insiders. President Barack Obama has several Muslim Brotherhood members on his staff. An international terrorist has been captured and given a slap on the wrist in New York.

Yet, we are told to believe the raid in Benghazi, Libya was the result of a YouTube video and that Michele Bachmann is a nutcase because she can see the elephant nobody else sees.

The Minnesota chapter of CAIR is upset by Bachmann’s comments. That is nothing more than an Islamic strategy. When the time comes to heed Bachmann’s message, make a guess as to which side the of the coin will be chosen?

Bachmann is right to care about CAIR.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).

Rand Paul warns of war on Christianity – Obama ‘glosses over who is doing the killing’

 

WND EXCLUSIVE

Rand Paul warns of war on Christianity

Obama ‘glosses over who is doing the killing’

author-imageby Garth Kant Email | Archive

Garth Kant is WND Washington news editor. Previously, he spent five years writing, copy-editing and producing at “CNN Headline News,” three years writing, copy-editing and training writers at MSNBC, and also served several local TV newsrooms as producer, executive producer and assistant news director. He is the author of the McGraw-Hill textbook, “How to Write Television News.”More ↓Less ↑



WASHINGTON — “You won’t hear much about it on the evening news,” warned Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., “but there is a worldwide war on Christianity.”

The senator chose to highlight the danger of radical Islam in his speech before the Values Voter Summit Friday morning.

Paul explained the war on Christianity is not making the headlines it should because the “narrative is not convenient” to the establishment media.

“The president tries to gloss over who’s attacking and killing Christians. The media describes the killings as ‘sectarian.’”

But the truth, said the senator, is war is being waged on Christians “by a fanatical element of Islam.”

The senator said the killers were a minority of Muslims, but, “unfortunately, that minority number is in the tens of millions.”

Paul said radical Islam will come to an end only when Islam polices itself, and, “Only then will knowledge, enlightenment begin to glow and grow and violence, religious violence, will recede. ”

The senator cited a list of atrocities around the world by radical Islamists, including Syria, where “Islamic rebels have filmed beheadings of their captives.”

“They’ve filmed themselves eating the heart of their enemy. Two Christian bishops have been kidnapped, and one priest was recently killed. These rebels are allies of the Islamic rebels that President Obama is now arming.

“We are now arming Islamic rebels who are allied with al-Qaida that attacked us on 9/11. Does that make any sense at all?”

His voice rising in a crescendo of exasperation, Paul drove his point home, declaring, “American tax dollars should never be spent to prop up a war on Christianity.”

“But that’s what’s happening now across the globe. As Christians, we should take a stand and fight against any of your tax dollars funding any persecution of Christians.”

Paul made clear he was speaking of a real war on Christianity, but not a conventional one.

“I don’t see the possibility of how 50 to a hundred million radical jihadists are defeated, but they have to be contained, and we have to defend ourselves. Make no mistake, we should actively defend ourselves.”

He said Christians should actively prepare for war but seek peace.

And he invoked the counsel of President Ronald Reagan, advising peace through strength.

“In the meantime, take action. Pray for a solution. Hold your politicians accountable for standing up and protecting life and standing up against the war on Christianity,” Paul concluded.

Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth

© Copyright 1997-2013. All Rights Reserved. WND.com.

Hamas-linked CAIR rep stalks anti-jihad Florida professor

Hamas-linked CAIR has been attacking University of Central Florida Professor Jonathan Matusitz since last June, when details of how he told the truth about Islam and jihad were published in the mainstream media. But neither Matusitz nor UCF would back off and kowtow to the Hamas-linked thugs, so now they have stepped up the intimidation. Hamas-linked CAIR representative Samantha Bowden, although she is not now and has never been a UCF student, violated Florida law by attending Matusitz’s class without permission or authorization, in a move clearly designed to intimidate Matusitz into backing off on his truth-telling.

Matusitz has brought a stalking charge against Bowden. Bravo.

Posted by Robert on October 9, 2013 2:19 PM | 5 Comments

The Big Hamas Elephant / Elhanan Miller

The Big Hamas Elephant / Elhanan Miller

Western leaders talk about peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But a third of the Palestinians live under a Hamas in Gaza, which will never make peace with Israel. What can they hope to achieve?
On September 16, 2013, Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar dropped a bombshell. Following a meeting with the even more radical Islamic Jihad movement, Hamas—which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007—had decided to form a joint leadership with its Islamist counterpart. Each movement would nominate four officials to maintain “ongoing contact” between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and devise a “political plan” for the future. According to the Hamas daily Al-Resalah, seven meetings had taken place prior to the announcement. “We weren’t just writing theoretical research,” Al-Zahar stated knowingly.

He also probably knew that the deal with the Iranian-sponsored terror group would signal another step away from reconciliation with Hamas’ secular rival, and the force that holds sway in the West Bank, Fatah.

Observers of the tumultuous developments in the Gaza Strip were probably not surprised by the announcement. The past few years have seen Gaza go from a rogue territory subjected to Israeli and international sanctions to a victorious political entity celebrating the ascent of political Islam—and back again. Now ostracized by Egypt’s new military regime, Hamas is in a tailspin, and in desperate need of new allies. The partnership with Islamic Jihad appeared to give Hamas precisely that, as well as a much-needed boost to its legitimacy and a sideways wink to Iran, its long-time patron. It showed, in short, that Hamas is still determined to seize leadership of the Palestinian national movement from the Fatah regime in the West Bank.

Yet Western politicians and diplomats appear not to have noticed. They are still romancing the peace process between Israel and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, shepherding Israeli and Palestinian officials through negotiations, and pushing economic and political incentives for the two sides to reach an agreement as if Hamas’ intransigence doesn’t exist. Indeed, as recently as September 25, U.S. President Barack Obama announced before the assembled delegates of the United Nations General Assembly that alongside the Iranian nuclear threat, advancing the peace process would be one of America’s two top diplomatic priorities in the near term. “The time is now ripe,” he declared, “for the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace.”

But Al-Zahar’s announcement underlines the basic futility of these efforts. The truth is that, so long as the Hamas regime continues to rule Gaza, there is virtually no chance of a viable and comprehensive final-status agreement, at least anything that extends past the West Bank. Western leaders’ indifference to this fact and its origins is not only a grave mistake, but a distraction from an outcome that might actually bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Fatah and Hamas, it should be said, have been paying lip service to their desire to unify their regimes for nearly six years. Why have they failed to do so?

The most immediate reason is elections. Fatah has demanded that they be held immediately in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Hamas wants to be included in the PLO—the representative body of all Palestinians—before any vote takes place. Fatah has not and likely will not agree to this, if only for fear that Hamas will eventually take over the PLO itself.

But the rivalry between the two movements goes much deeper. In particular, they are split over very basic issues of ideology. Fatah is a secular revolutionary movement and has always been the largest faction of the PLO. Its former chairman, the late Yasser Arafat, signed the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, thus recognizing the State of Israel, ostensibly on behalf of all Palestinians. Hamas, in contrast, is an Islamic offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and refuses to recognize the Jewish state in any form. Indeed, it continues to refer to Israel as “the Zionist entity.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks peace with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Issam Rimawi / Flash90U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks peace with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Issam Rimawi / Flash90

The two movements are also intensely divided by Fatah’s security cooperation with Israel. Fatah’s American-trained forces work closely with their Israeli counterparts to maintain the peace in the West Bank, whereas Hamas insists on continuing its “armed resistance” (i.e. terrorism) against the Jewish state.

In the summer of 2012, as Hamas was celebrating the five-year anniversary of its takeover of Gaza, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad summed up the divide fairly well. In his speech at the Gaza police academy’s graduation ceremony, he declared that “there will be no reconciliation with secularism. Reconciliation is first with God. Only the rule of Islam will prevail.” The “secularism” Hammad was referring to was that of Fatah and its members.

But Hammad wasn’t finished. Pointing at the graduating cadets, he declared that “these men will hunt down collaborators. We will not allow [Fatah] to pursue our warriors, as is the case in the West Bank.” By branding Fatah “collaborators,” Hammad was saying that as long as the Palestinian Authority continued to work with Israel, Hamas could not possibly come to terms with it.

But Hamas is not alone in its attitudes. Fatah is equally unwilling to reconcile with its Islamist rival. As early as May 2012, PA President Mahmoud Abbas himself rejected including Hamas in a unity government. “Everybody in the government should recognize Israel, denounce terrorism,” he declared. “Hamas is the opposition. If I allow them to be in the government, it will not work.”

Nonetheless, a series of thus far futile attempts to reach a unity agreement continued. By mid-2013, however, Fatah began to hint at abandoning any effort at reconciliation, largely as a result of the military coup that toppled Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president Muhammad Morsi. Azzam Al-Ahmad, the Fatah official responsible for unity talks with Hamas, told a Palestinian radio station in mid-August that Fatah will “not remain captive to Hamas” and will make “painful decisions” in regard to the Islamic movement. In early September, these options were discussed at Fatah’s Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah. They were rumored to include declaring the Gaza Strip a “rogue entity” and even trying to retake the Strip with Israel’s help.

Following the meeting, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf explicitly linked Hamas to the now-defunct Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. The Brotherhood was now a pariah in Egypt, and Fatah was determined to capitalize on that fact. In a press release issued on September 16, Assaf blamed Hamas’ “ongoing reliance on foreign agendas and regional powers, as well as its ideological and organizational connection to the Muslim Brotherhood” for the suffering of Gaza’s citizens. “Before the coup, reconciliation prospects were very bad,” one Palestinian political commentator told Al-Jazeera recently. “Now, they are much worse.”

It was not a coincidence that these statements emerged just as a previously negotiated three-month period for establishing a Fatah-Hamas unity government expired. This marked the last in a series of abortive agreements between the two movements. The much-celebrated Cairo agreement of May 2011 was supposed to establish a Hamas-Fatah caretaker government and prepare for national elections. In February 2012, Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal and PA President Abbas issued a joint declaration in Doha, Qatar that reaffirmed their commitment to unity. Three months later, the two movements returned to Cairo and signed yet another accord. None of these agreements were implemented, and today the two factions are more or less back where they started.

In fact, it is fair to say that Hamas and Fatah have never been further apart. The territories they rule are quickly becoming wholly separate and autonomous entities, and their mutual enmity shows no signs of abating. Yet decision-makers in the West consistently disregard this fact, and appear unwilling to understand what it means in terms of the success or failure of the traditional Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Hamas Police in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, May 2013. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90Hamas Police in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, May 2013. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

This failure is all the more striking because of how profoundly the split between Fatah and Hamas has changed the reality on the ground. In particular, the Hamas regime in Gaza has now become what is essentially an independent state in all but name. Since it took over the Strip in June 2007, Hamas has been exercising de facto sovereignty over Gaza. It has a fully functioning government parallel to, and more independent than, the PA in the West Bank. It maintains its own security forces, entirely separate from their Western-trained and -funded PA counterparts. Before Egypt cracked down on the extensive network of smuggling tunnels connected to the Strip, Hamas levied taxes on incoming commodities. It has its own foreign policy, once bolstered by the Arab Spring and the resulting rise of similar Islamic movements to power and now buffeted by their setbacks. During the brief renaissance of Islamism preceding the recent move by the Egyptian people to reject Morsi’s Islamist authoritarianism, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh seemingly succeeded in overcoming Hamas’ isolation and made official visits to Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, Turkey, and Sudan.

But the West seems wholly oblivious to these developments. Perhaps the most glaring example of this disconnect took place in May 2013 at a World Economic Forum conference in Jordan. During a session dubbed “Breaking the Impasse,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and International Quartet (Russia, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations) envoy Tony Blair proposed to “break the impasse” in the peace process by giving $4 billion in aid to the Palestinians. This massive investment, Kerry asserted, could cut Palestinian unemployment by almost two-thirds, and double or even triple the PA’s agricultural output. “As the investment climate in the West Bank and Gaza improves,” Kerry asserted,” so will the potential for a financially self-sufficient Palestinian Authority that will not have to rely as much on foreign aid.”

Kerry’s speech did not mention Hamas, which was the elephant in the room during the entire conference. Instead, he spoke as if the PA of 2013 was the PA of 1993, as though the same government would manage these investments in both the West Bank and Gaza.

During his visit to Ramallah in March 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama did mention Hamas, condemning it for firing rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot the previous night. “Too often,” he said, “[Hamas] focuses on tearing Israel down rather than building Palestine up.” About the divide between Hamas and Fatah, as well as the de facto division of the PA into two separate entities, however, the president said nothing.

Kerry and Obama are not alone in their tendency to ignore the issue. When UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon outlined the obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian peace at the Herzliya Conference in 2012, he said that Israel must stop building settlements while the Palestinians must provide “security” in the West Bank. He did not mention the split between Hamas and Fatah, which is certainly the most glaring, and probably the most important, obstacle to any comprehensive and lasting peace agreement.

It is difficult to see this attitude on the part of world leaders as anything other than willful, since there has been no lack of attention paid to the issue by journalists and academics. As far back as 2010, for example, Arab constitutional expert Nathan Brown wrote, “Hamas has abandoned most pretenses of living within the PA’s constitutional framework.” He continues:

International attention to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict tends to highlight major diplomatic initiatives and dramatic events while neglecting concrete developments, subtle trends, and grinding practical realities. Emphasis on the “peace process” has created an illusion that the two identifiable antagonists could come to a clear agreement on a two–state solution. But the widening division in the Palestinian ranks—between Hamas and Fatah, and between the West Bank and Gaza—remains unaddressed.

In a 2011 BBC article titled “Is Palestinian Unity an Illusion?” Gaza-based political analyst Omar Shaban declared that Fatah-Hamas unity was all but impossible. “The division between Hamas and Fatah is not about the prime minister or who gets how many cabinet seats here and there,” he said. “It’s much deeper than that. It is about their ideology, their agendas, the history, the desire for revenge between the two. Political unity is an illusion.”

Why then, are world leaders so wary of addressing the problem? The reasons appear to be both psychological and political. Psychologically, acknowledging the Palestinian rift as a significant—perhaps the most significant—obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians would involve jettisoning one of the foundations of the Oslo Accords, which recognized Gaza and the West Bank as integral parts of the same political entity. In effect, this would redefine the entire peace process by changing the debate from what the two sides can do to what the Palestinian side essentially is. In many ways, it would amount to admitting that a single, unified Palestinian state cannot be established in the near future. Politically, of course, this would undermine the rationale behind holding peace talks in the first place.

Experts on the region believe this final concern may well be justified. At a hearing before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa in February 2013, Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy testified:

Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a prerequisite for advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The idea is that Palestinians cannot negotiate with Israel in any serious way when divided between the West Bank under the rule of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Gaza Strip under the rule of Hamas. To be sure, PA officials in the West Bank can make neither demands nor concessions when it comes to the Gaza Strip, which they do not control.

Put simply, ignoring the rift between Fatah and Hamas or, at most, pretending it is transient, allows leaders to perpetuate the Oslo paradigm and continue with business as usual. They can keep funding the Fatah-led PA and pursuing the standard method of pressuring Israel and the Palestinians to make reciprocal concessions as if nothing has changed in two decades.

This “head in the sand” approach to the conflict, however, is an extremely risky one. In particular, it makes the international community seem completely detached from political reality in the eyes of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, who will ultimately have final approval over any eventual peace agreement.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, holding the Arab peace initiative document, May 2013. Photo: Flash90Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, holding the Arab peace initiative document, May 2013. Photo: Flash90

For its part, Israel has few illusions on the subject. Israelis are well aware of the fact that the PA is drastically different from the Hamas government, particularly in regard to the security situation. While Fatah has gradually brought West Bank terrorism to an unprecedented low, Hamas happily allows rockets to fall on Israeli civilians when the political climate is right. Nonetheless, Israelis are unlikely to approve any significant concessions to a Palestinian leader who controls only two-thirds of his population and 85 percent of his territory. For any Israeli prime minister, hawk or dove, half a peace is difficult to sell to the public.

On the Palestinian side, “reconciliation,” or musalaha, has become an empty cliché on both sides of the political divide. For the most part, Palestinians have lost faith in their leaders’ ability to pay the price of reconciliation, which would involve giving up the political and economic power both sides have consolidated since Hamas took over Gaza.

So long as the international community continues to ignore the reality of the split between Hamas and Fatah and, in particular, the existence of a de facto Hamas-ruled statelet in Gaza, peace between Israel and the Palestinians is likely to remain elusive. In effect, the unwillingness of Western diplomats to face up to these realities has rendered the peace process almost meaningless. Put simply, the West is pursuing old solutions to a new problem. Needless to say, these old solutions, such as economic incentives, diplomatic pressure on both sides to return to the negotiating table, and attempts to persuade them to accept the same parameters as previous talks, are unlikely to yield positive results.

Unfortunately, willful blindness, political correctness, and wishful thinking have made a paradigm shift on the part of the West extremely difficult. But such a shift must occur before any peace agreement can be reached. The West, and especially the United States, must acknowledge that the primary obstacle to peace is not settlements or an unwillingness to negotiate, but the Hamas government itself.

Should it do so, it will be forced to make some bold and difficult decisions. But these decisions are absolutely necessary for the West to accomplish its professed goals. If the Obama administration and other Western leaders do indeed believe that a final status agreement ending all mutual claims is the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then they have only two policies to choose from: Pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, or remove it from power. Whichever path they choose, clarity and honesty about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be infinitely preferable to the West’s current policy of self-deception.

Q&A: Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?

Q&A: Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?

The BBC’s Frank Gardner explains what we know about al-Shabab

Somalia’s al-Shabab, which has carried out the deadly attack on a shopping centre in neighbouring Kenya, is linked with al-Qaeda. It has been pushed out of all of the main towns it once controlled in southern and central parts of Somalia, but still remains a potent threat.

Who are al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab means The Youth in Arabic. It emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia’s now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts in 2006, as it fought Ethiopian forces who had entered Somalia to back the weak interim government.

There are numerous reports of foreign jihadists going to Somalia to help al-Shabab and it has formed links with al-Qaeda.

It is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters.

It has imposed a strict version of Sharia law in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.

How much of Somalia does al-Shabab control?

Al-Shabab At A Glance

  • “The Youth” in Arabic
  • Formed as a radical offshoot of the Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled Mogadishu, in 2006
  • Previously ran much of southern Somalia
  • Lost some popular support by banning Western aid agencies during 2011 famine
  • Estimated to have 7,000 to 9,000 fighters
  • Announced merger with al-Qaeda in 2012

Although it has lost control of the towns and cities, its writ still runs in many rural areas.

It was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011 and left the vital port of Kismayo in September 2012.

Kismayo had been a key asset for the militants, allowing supplies to reach areas under their control and providing taxes for their operations.

The African Union (AU), which is supporting government forces, hailed both as major victories, however al-Shabab still carries out fairly frequent suicide attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

Analysts believe al-Shabab is increasingly focusing on guerrilla warfare to counter the firepower of AU forces.

But the group is under pressure on several fronts following Kenya’s incursion into Somalia in 2011. Kenya accused al-Shabab fighters of kidnapping tourists, and its forces, now under the AU banner, have been in the forefront of the push against al-Shabab in the south up to Kismayo.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian forces moved in from the west and seized control of the central towns of Beledweyne and Baidoa.

Map

Who is al-Shabab’s leader?

Ahmed Abdi Godane is the head of the group. Known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair, he comes from the northern breakaway region of Somaliland.

Mr Godane is rarely seen in public. His predecessor, Moalim Aden Hashi Ayro, was killed in a US airstrike in 2008.

Mr Godane, who was behind the group’s tie-up with al-Qaeda and has a hardline, international agenda has recently emerged victorious from an internal power-struggle.

His rival, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, is more focussed on the struggle within Somalia. He is now in government custody, while several of his allies have been killed.

The attack on the Nairobi shopping centre could be intended as a sign that Mr Godane has firmly cemented his control of the group.

What are al-Shabab’s foreign links?

Al-Shabab joined al-Qaeda in February 2012. In a joint video, al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane said he “pledged obedience” to al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The two groups have long worked together and foreigners are known to fight alongside Somali militants.

US officials believe that with al-Qaeda on the retreat in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden, its fighters will increasingly take refuge in Somalia.

UK security officials have long warned of the danger of British radicals getting training in Somalia and then going home to carry out attacks.

There have also been numerous reports that al-Shabab may have formed some links with other militants groups in Africa, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Has al-Shabab carried out attacks outside Somalia?

Al-Shabab has said it carried out the deadly assault on a shopping centre in Nairobi on 21 September, in which at least 68 people were killed.

It was responsible for a double suicide bombing in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, which killed 76 people watching the 2010 football World Cup final on television.

The attack was carried out because Uganda – along with Burundi – provided the bulk of the AU troops in Somalia before the Kenyans went in.

Analysts say the militants often enter and leave Kenya without being intercepted. Their fighters are said to even visit the capital, Nairobi, for medical treatment.

The 2002 twin attacks on Israeli targets near the Kenyan resort of Mombasa were allegedly planned in Somalia by an al-Qaeda cell, while the US believes some of the al-Qaeda operatives who carried out the 1998 attacks on its embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam then fled to Somalia.

The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse: “It is in this supermarket that at least some of the attackers are now believed to be holed up”

Who are al-Shabab’s backers?

Eritrea is its only regional ally. It denies claims it supplies arms to al-Shabab.

Eritrea supports al-Shabab to counter the influence of Ethiopia, its bitter enemy.

With the backing of the US, Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia in 2006 to defeat the Islamists. The Ethiopian forces withdrew in 2009 after suffering heavy casualties.

After intervening again in 2011, it says it will hand over the territory it has seized to the AU.

A street in Mogadishu (October 2011) After 20 years of war, much of Mogadishu needs to be rebuilt

What about the Somali government?

The president is a former academic and activist, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. He was elected in 2012 by the newly chosen Somali parliament, under a UN-brokered peace process.

He defeated ex-President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed – a former Islamist rebel fighter, whose three years in power were criticised by donors who said corruption was rife.

Al-Shabab has denounced the process as being a foreign plot to control Somalia.

Somalia is pretty much a failed state. It has not had an effective national government for about 20 years, during which much of the country has been a constant war-zone.

This made it easy for al-Shabab, when it first emerged, to win support among Somalis. It promised people security – something they welcomed.

But its credibility was knocked when it rejected Western food aid to combat the 2011 drought and famine.

Al-Shabab advocates the Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis. Al-Shabab has destroyed a large number of Sufi shrines, causing its popularity to further plummet.

However, with Mogadishu and other towns now under government control, there is a new feeling of hope in the country and many Somalis have returned from exile, bringing their money and skills with them.

With services such as dry cleaning and rubbish collection opening, maybe Somalia can finally re-emerge from the ashes of the past two decades.

Tax-Funded British School Operates On Sharia Law

Tax-Funded British School Operates On Sharia Law

Editor2

Young boys and girls in a British school are being taught to live under Sharia law.

Young boys and girls in a British school are being
taught to live under Sharia law.

The Gatestone Institute reports that a British tax-payer funded school is operating according to Sharia law in Derby.

Islamic fundamentalists are running the Al-Madinah School and have forced female teachers (including non-Muslims) to wear covers over their heads and shoulders with a hijab and Islamic scarf.

In addition, children have a strict dress code and are forbidden to sing songs, play musical instruments, read fairy tales, or any other activities considered “un-Islamic.”

Girls are required to sit in the back of the classroom and wait for boys to finish their lunches before they are permitted to eat.

When teaching the alphabet, teachers are forbidden to link the letter “P” to pig; female staffers are forbidden to wear jewelry and are instructed to avoid shaking hands.

The Al-Madinah School opened in September 2012 as a “free school” with $2.5 million in funds from the British government.

According to Gatestone:

“The new free school policy makes it possible for parents, teachers, charities and businesses to set up their own schools, along with the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, the curriculum, teacher pay and how budgets are spent.More than 80 free schools — at least a dozen of which are catering specifically to Muslim students — are currently operating in Britain and another 200 are in the planning stage.

“British Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that Muslim fundamentalists would not be allowed to set up free schools, and the Department of Education has established guidelines to discourage Muslim separatism. As a result, many Muslim groups seeking to establish free schools have been marketing themselves as “inter-faith” schools in an effort to qualify for government funding.”

Just what Britian needs: a training ground for new Islamic terrorists who view British citizens as infidels who deserve to be enslaved or killed – and the British people are paying for this training facility.

Read more at the Gatestone Institute.

 

Russia, China to profit from Obama’s call to Iran. Concerned Arab allies discuss diplomatic shift at U.S. expense…

 

WND EXCLUSIVE

Russia, China to profit from Obama’s call to Iran

Concerned Arab allies discuss diplomatic shift at U.S. expense

author-imageby Aaron Klein Email | Archive

Aaron Klein is WND’s senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio. Follow Aaron on Twitter and Facebook.More ↓Less ↑

 

saudi-putin

JERUSALEM – Responding to President Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries are exploring closer relationships with China and Russia at the expense of the U.S.

According to a senior Jordanian diplomat speaking to WND, the Kingdom of Jordan today participated in a meeting with high-level Saudi officials to discuss the ramifications of Obama’s phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

The Arab countries expressed deep concern about talk of the U.S. easing ties with foe Iran.

In the meeting, the leaders discussed having the Saudis and other Sunni Arab nations offer Russia and China larger roles in diplomacy and trade.

In exchange, the Russians and Chinese would be expected to scale back some of their support for Iran and Syria while taking a more balanced approach toward the Sunni Arab world.

Currently, Russia and China exert heavy influence on Syria and Iran while the U.S. has closer relations with the Sunni Arab axis in the Middle East.

The Saudis raised the possibility of offering Chinese and Russian companies lower prices on oil to compete with Iran.

According to the Jordanian diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to Washington, expressed concern that escalated economic outreach to Russia and China could negatively impact the U.S. economy. Already, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter to China.

The Saudis have been particularly vexed over Iran’s growing influence as well as Tehran’s reported meddling in Saudi internal affairs.

WND reported last month an Iranian cell was caught in Saudi Arabia attempting to provoke a Shiite rebellion against the Saudi kingdom, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The security officials said interrogation of the cell of seven Iranian agents caught in an eastern Saudi province revealed the existence of a second cell in Bahrain also attempting to destabilize the country by plotting a Shiite rebellion.

The security officials stated Saudi Arabia passed information to the Obama administration warning that the U.S. outreach to Iran has already emboldened Tehran to press ahead with a campaign to attempt to weaken moderate Arab regimes that are U.S. allies.

© Copyright 1997-2013. All Rights Reserved. WND.com