Monday, April 30, 2012

Taiwan goes stealth

(Taipei) We live in a strange world where the liberal world has no problem over how the Islamic world wants to remove Israel from the map, and instead of berating the Arabs for their belligerent attitude towards the Jews, they attack the Jews for defending themselves.

But then that is the way of the left defend those whom they feel are the victims, without looking at the subject at hand. Which brings me to China. Big, huge China which harvests the organs of its prisoners, and the left remain silent. Which executes prisoners and then charges their families for the cost of the bullets used. That China which invaded Tibet in 1950 and still occupies it. That China which clamped down on its own people during the 90s, and that China which bullies the UN in not to recognise Taiwan. Yes, that's right, that small country which supplies more computer parts than any other in the world, does not have a seat at the UN. (In fact, only 23 countries recognise Taiwan, most being small island states which get paid to do so.)

Currently, the Chinese stance on Taiwan is: you belong to us, and if you declare independence, we will invade. Which is why since 1949, China has kept a sizable force off the shore of Taiwan in which to intimidate the smaller nation. Currently, China has thousands of planes, troops and ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan, and the liberals twitter about everything but.

The recent increase in military hardware (aircraft carriers, landing ships, ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft) is seen by many as the tools to be used by China in annexing Taiwan (like they did Tibet) for the Motherland.

Well, tiny Taiwan is used to the Chinese dragon sitting on its doorstep, and has built up formidable defences against any attack (think Hitler's Atlantic Wall). Oh, don't get me wrong, Taiwan will certainly come off worse, but their aim is simply to make any attack on them too costly for even the Chinese to bear, and their latest endeavour is to build a fleet of small stealth ships carrying up to 8 anti-ship missiles in which to wreak havoc on any Chinese invasion fleet.  Delivery of said fleet is set to begin in 2014.

It appears that it isn't just China which can play the stealth game in the region.

When liberals get it wrong

(Manchester) Have you noticed how when liberals get something wrong, they never apologise? A few years ago, liberal groups protested about how sweat shops in Burma not only paid poorly (when compared to Western earnings) but they even employed children. So they bitched and they moaned and they all patted themselves on the backs when those factories relocated elsewhere (China). The thing is, Burma was left with nothing, and China, which took no notice of Western left-wing socialist dogma, is now a very rich country indeed, with the quality of life of the populace growing by the day. How many ethical latte drinkers do you know who are proud of the fact that they set back democracy in Burma by at least 20 years. The same applies to their ideological heroes, be it dictatorships in Latin America, dictators in the Middle East or even Islamic terrorists. To the left, these people are the real heroes and everything must be done to support their cause. Yet if any country tries to bring these despotic regimes in from the cold then those Western nations are complicit in war crimes, and if there is no evidence then that doesn't matter as they invent lies. You know, such as:
  • We invented the Taliban... err... no, that was Pakistan
  • We armed Saddam... err... no, that would be China, Russia and France
  • We armed Gaddaffi... err... no, that would be Russia and France
Yet when these facts are presented to them, they take not one bit of notice and continue in their hatred of anything non-Islamic.

Which bring me to Moty Cristal, an Israeli expert on crisis management who was invited over to the UK to talk to the National Health Service as part of a workshop on conflict resolution for health trust managers and union officials. However, when the Unions found out he was a Jew, they placed pressure on the NHS to dis-invite him due to his passport. Unison, the public services union, feels it has won an important victory for the right of equality. Yet the Unions have got it all wrong about Moty Cristal. You see, he has no problem with Muslims, which is probably why he has worked in the past with Palestinian groups and human rights organizations, and has lectured on his field on numerous occasions in Britain, including a lecture to the Muslim Council of Britain. Get that - the Muslims in the UK and in the Levant have no problem with Mr Cristal, yet ill-informed white liberals in the UK do, and as such have become what they say they hate the most - racist bigots.

London Olympic Committee Puts Up Racist Website, Lists Jerusalem as Capital of 'Palestine', Refuses to Memorialize Munich Massacre for Fear of Arab Rage

Screenshots of the website before the change (above)... and after it:

On official website, Israel had no capital; capital of "Palestine" was Jerusalem. Israelis protested, error was fixed.
(INN) Until Monday morning, the official website of the 2012 London Olympics portrayed Israel as a country without a capital, while Jerusalem was listed as the capital of "Palestine."

The website appears to have been fixed to show Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well.

The fix may have been the result of a request by online advocacy group My Israel to its members, to demand that Jerusalem be listed as Israel's capital.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected a request from the families of the Israeli athletes who were murdered by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games to organize an official commemoration on their behalf.

Ankie Spitzer, whose husband, Andre, was one of the 11 Israelis killed, said the IOC did not want to enrage Arab countries by mentioning the tragedy at high profile events.

“They tell us that the Arab delegations will get up and leave, to which I said: ‘It’s okay; if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave,’” Spitzer said.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Greece opens first in a series of 50 (fifty) detention camps for illegal immigrants as election looms

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece opened its first purpose-built detention centre for illegal migrants on Sunday in Athens, a week before a national election where illegal immigration has emerged as a key issue.

About 130,000 immigrants cross the country's porous sea and land borders every year, the vast majority via Turkey, and the authorities are forced to release those who are arrested because of a lack of permanent housing.

With Greece in its fifth year of recession and worries over rising crime levels, illegal immigration has become a major issue in the run up of the May 6 election.

The once-obscure far-right Golden Dawn, which wants to deport all immigrants, is among the parties that has benefitted most from the mood among voters, and is expected to win its first seats in parliament.

Greece's ruling Socialist PASOK and conservative rival New Democracy parties have also pledged to crack down on immigration to try to win over voters.

On Sunday, the first 56 immigrants were brought to the Amygdaleza detention camp in western Athens, a police official said. Dozens more are expected at the camp in the next few days, which can house up to 1,000 people, the official said.

Amygdaleza is the first of about 50 camps that Greek officials say will be built by mid-2013. It consists of dozens of containers that were originally set up to house people hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes.

"We are sending a message in every direction that the country is not unfenced anymore," Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said at a rally in Athens.

Libya's Gaddafi-era oil chief found floating dead in Danube

VIENNA, April 29 (Reuters) - Libya's former top oil industry official, Shokri Ghanem, has been found floating dead in the River Danube in Austria, police said on Sunday.

Ghanem, 69, had been chairman of Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) before defecting last year several months after opponents of Muammar Gaddafi had risen up against the Libyan leader and begun a rebellion.

As NOC chairman since 2006, Ghanem helped steer Libya's oil policy and held the high-profile job of representing Libya at OPEC meetings, often visiting Vienna for meetings in that role.

"He was found dead in the Danube river at 8:40 a.m. (0640 GMT). There is no suspicion at all of foul play at this stage. The corpse exhibited no signs of violence," a Vienna police spokesman said.

He said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

After making a final break with the Gaddafi administration last year, Ghanem first appeared in Rome, saying he had defected because of the "unbearable violence" being used by government forces to try to put down the rebellion.

He was believed to have been living in Europe in exile since then but was still closely associated with Gaddafi's rule by Libya's new leaders and had ruled out returning home.

Gunmen Attack Worshippers During Nigerian Church Services, At Least 16 Killed

A seriously injured victim of a shooting is taken out from an ambulance outside the emergency unit at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, in northern Nigerian city of Kano, where christian worshippers were killed and others seriously injured in attacks on two church services on April 29, 2012. The attack left at least 20 people dead and 22 people seriously injured. (Getty Images)
From The Blaze:
KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen attacked church services on a university campus Sunday in northern Nigeria, using small explosives to draw out and gun down panicking worshippers in an assault that killed at least 16 people, officials said.

(Related: Obama Official: Religion ‘Not Driving Extreme Violence’ in Nigeria… a Day After Islamists Slaughter 40+ Christians)

The attackers targeted an old section of Bayero University’s campus where religious groups use a theater and other areas to hold worship services, Kano state police spokesman Ibrahim Idris said. The assault left many others seriously wounded, Idris said.

“By the time we responded, they entered (their) motorcycles and disappeared into the neighborhood,” the commissioner said.


Palestinian vandals target Jewish students in the UK

(JPost) Anti-Israel activists defaced the Union of Jewish Students stall at the National Union of Students annual conference in sheffield, England this week, covering the group’s Star of David logo with boycott Israel stickers.

UJS staff discovered the vandalism on Tuesday - alleged to have originated from the group Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Anti-Israel graffiti marred the Jewish group’s stall, posters and banners.

In a statement, UJS said it was “appalled” and labeled the incident as “anti-Semitic. The conference should be “a safe place for all students,” a UJS spokesman said, and “the singling out of Jewish students and the direct attack on Jewish religious symbols is anti-Semitism.” The group, which represents over 8,000 Jewish students across the UK, called for organizational intervention to ensure the incident was “swiftly” and “appropriately” tackled.

“UJS has already gained much support for and continues to call for further support in ensuring that there is no place for hate in NUS or against Jewish students,” the spokesman added.

At the conference on Wednesday - held in Sheffield and attended by over 1,000 students from across the UK - the newly re-elected National Union of Students president Liam Burns condemned the vandalism and promised a full investigation.

“NUS does not tolerate racism, fascism or anti-Semitism in any of its forms. Anti-Semitism is vile. It is hate and has no place in our movement,” Burns said.

“We will work day and night to drive hate out of our student movement, education system and society. We have of course launched a full investigation into this incident and will do all we can today to get to the bottom of it,” he said.
The vandals from the radical Palestine Solidarity Campaign realized they have to do some serious damage control:
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a radical group that advocates a one-state solution and avidly supports the boycott and sanctions campaign against Israel, issued a statement on its website condemning the incident.

“As soon as the PSC was made aware of this unacceptable use of its stickers, the PSC immediately removed the stickers from its stall,” the group said. “PSC condemns the defacing of the UJS stall. The PSC opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
But, of course, it's nothing more than just another case of taqqiya and must be called for what it really is.
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who spoke at the conference earlier that day, commented on the vandalism.

“The deliberate defacing of the Star of David, a sacred symbol of Judaism and of the State of Israel, was an indication of the increasingly blurred line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism,” Sacks said.

“It is part of a long, slow, insidious process intended to undermine academic freedom and it must not be tolerated,” Sacks added.

Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a group tackling extremism on campuses, said it was completely unacceptable that anti-Semitic activists targeted Jewish students through disrespecting property rights.

“No student, no matter what their background or religion, should have to tolerate intimidation and the defacing of private property like this, it speaks volumes about the academic rigor of the culprit’s arguments,” Kassam said.

Malticulturalism FAIL: German Islamist Conference Demands Establishment of Sharia-Guided "Koran-State"

Muslim representatives insisted instead that the German government amend its "misguided" approach to Muslim immigration. Many want to establish a "Koran-state" in Germany; they believe Islamic Sharia law is a divine ordinance that will replace democracy, a man-made form of government.
(Gatestone Institute) Senior German officials gathered in Berlin with Muslim leaders from around the country on April 19 for the seventh annual German Islam Conference. The official focus of this year's forum -- aimed at furthering Muslim integration in Germany -- was finding ways to deal with the spiraling rates of forced marriages and domestic violence among the estimated 4.3 million Muslims who now reside there.

The main topic for discussion at the conference, however, was not on the official agenda: it was the unprecedented nationwide campaign by Islamic radicals to distribute 25 million free copies of the Koran, with the stated goal of placing one Koran into every home in Germany.

Muslim representatives attending the forum this year were in no mood for compromise, and refused to accept responsibility for any of the myriad irritants in German-Muslim relations, insisting instead that the German government amend its "misguided" approach to Muslim integration.

German officials were left trying to put the best spin on this year's event, which ended without a joint press conference, reportedly because of lingering Muslim pique at "offensive" comments which were uttered at the press conference that ended last year's event.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich opened the one-day conference by declaring that Islamic extremism has no place in Germany. "We all agree that Salafist extremism is not acceptable and does not work in a free society, as we have in Germany," he insisted. "Religion must not be abused in an ideological bid for power."

He was referring to the mass proselytization campaign -- called Project "READ!" -- being organized by dozens of Islamic Salafist groups located in cities and towns throughout Germany, as well as in Austria and Switzerland. The bid to convert non-Muslims has provoked uproar in Germany.

Salafism is a branch of radical Islam that seeks to establish an Islamic empire [Caliphate] across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe -- and eventually the entire world. The Caliphate would be governed exclusively by Islamic Sharia law, which would apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

But Friedrich did not say what, if anything, the German government was doing about the Salafists, who analysts say have launched a Europe-wide "frontal assault" against people of other faiths and "unbelievers."

Although Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), regards the Salafist groups as a threat to German security, Salafists have free rein in the country, and Salafist preachers are known regularly to preach hatred against the West in the mosques and prayer centers that are proliferating across Germany.

According to the BfV, there are an estimated 29 Islamist groups in Germany with 34,720 members or supporters who pose a major threat to homeland security. Many of them want to establish a "Koran-state" in Germany; they believe Islamic Sharia law is a divine ordinance that will replace democracy, a man-made form of government.

German authorities view the Koran project as a "most worrisome" recruiting campaign for radical Islam. Security analysts say the campaign is also a public-relations gimmick intended to persuade Germans that the Salafists are transparent and "citizen friendly."

Although Friedrich urged Muslim representatives attending the conference to join him in condemning the Salafists, Muslims declined to meet him even half way. Instead, they dismissed fears over the Koran being distributed in every home as "hysterical" and "misguided."

Kenan Kolat, chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, intervened personally to prevent the Salafist issue from becoming part of the official conference agenda. In an interview with the Rheinischen Post newspaper, Kolat justified his action by saying: "A hysterical debate is not helpful."

Ali Kizilkaya, chairman of the German Islamic Council, told German public radio that non-Muslims were engaged in "a panicked discussion" about the Salafist campaign. He insisted: "It is definitely not the spirit of the Koran to foment unrest in society."

Muslims were equally unwilling to discuss the main item on the official agenda of the conference, "Gender Equality as a Common Value" (Geschlechtergerechtigkeit als gemeinsamen Wert leben).

Conference attendees refused even to acknowledge any connection between Islam and forced marriage.

Instead, they issued a statement which says: "Domestic violence and the practice of forced marriage do not originate from a particular religion, but come from certain traditional, patriarchal structures… Muslims taking part in the German Islam Conference state explicitly that Islam is an open and tolerant religion that opposes physical and psychological violence and forced marriage and encourages individual self-determination, self-development and freedom of opinion and expression."

Regrettably, thousands of young women and girls living in Germany are, in fact, victims of forced marriages every year. Most of the victims come from Muslim families; many have been threatened with violence and even death.

According to a 160-page report, "Forced Marriages in Germany: Numbers and Analysis of Counseling Cases," commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of the Family, the problem of forced marriage is far more widespread than previously believed.

The study -- the first and most detailed of its kind in Germany -- reveals that in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 3,443 people sought help at counseling and social services centers across the country because they were being, or already had been, forced into marriage.

The vast majority of these victims are women or girls, although 6% are young men. Almost one-third of those forced into marriage in Germany were 17 years old or younger. Another 40% were between the ages of 18 and 21.

Many of the victims experienced extreme violence. More than half (70%) were beaten or otherwise physically abused to convince them to marry, and 27% were threatened with weapons or with death if they did not go through with the forced marriage.

The vast majority -- 83.4% -- of the victims of forced marriages were from Muslim households.

Friedrich did not press the issue of forced marriage apparently to avoid offending the Muslims in attendance. Instead, he later told reporters that he was pleased about the "forged consensus" on forced marriage and domestic violence, and that these problems "do not come from religion, but from the patriarchal structures and traditions in the countries of origin."

Friedrich then congratulated himself for this achievement: "It is the first time that so many Muslim organizations and individuals were able to agree on such a declaration."

Commenting on Friedrich's kid-gloves approach to Muslims and Islam at this year's conference, Kenan Kolat, the leader of Germany's Turkish community, told Deutschlandradio: "I think he is learning."

To be sure, conference attendees were able to agree on one thing: The official focus of next year's conference will be…Islamophobia.

The Islamic Circle of North America Continues its Radicalization

The person on the right in this photo is Mahdi Bray, an ex-convict who converted to Islam, one of the leaders of the Muslim American Society (MAS), famous, among other things, for publicly declaring his support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
(Algemeiner) The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is leading a pro-Sharia public relations campaign, aimed at persuading Americans that these beliefs aren’t something to fear or leading to domination.

As it does this, however, it continues to guide followers toward texts that go in a starkly contrasting direction. It has pushed underground a series of curricula detailing its adult radicalization program, but more extremist materials pop up in youth events, the group’s bookstore, and elsewhere.

ICNA has long been involved in the radicalization of its members, with an indoctrination process into South Asian and Muslim Brotherhood extremist texts. Many of those titles disappeared from ICNA and the ICNA Sisters’ web pages after a series of articles by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

That doesn’t mean that ICNA has changed its tune. A recent investigation by the Toronto Sun revealed that the organization has marketed pro-violence and pro-Islamist texts, particularly by South Asian extremist Sayyid Abu ‘Ala Maududi, through its Canadian bookstore. These texts, according to Canadian Muslim moderate Tarek Fatah, have a profound effect on the Muslim youth.

“This sort of literature lays the seeds into their minds that the West is the enemy, and they are the troopers who have to fight that enemy,” Fatah told the Sun.

“Maududi, in his books, is asking for young Muslim men to wage war.”

Required reading of some of Maududi’s books is also still part of ICNA’s membership process, especially for youth. This year’s annual “Quiz Competition on Islamic Knowledge and Skills” tested 11th and 12th graders throughout the country on their knowledge of one of his masterpieces, Towards Understanding Islam.

“The greatest sacrifice made in the way of God is jihad. In it man sacrifices not only his own life and belongings, but destroys those of others as well,” Maududi teaches in the text, which is posted on ICNA’s youth website. “What comparison would the loss of some lives – even if it were thousands or more be to the calamity that would befall mankind as the result of the victory of evil over good. What comparison would it be to the tremendous anguish mankind would suffer if falsehood overtook truth, and if aggressive atheism won over the religion of God,” he says, arguing that Islam must dominate all other political and social philosophies.


British Red Cross doctor kidnapped in Pakistan found beheaded

Police survey the site where the body of Khalil Rasjed Dale, a British doctor working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, was found at a roadside in Quetta April 29, 2012. The beheaded body of the kidnapped British doctor was found dumped by the roadside on Sunday in the southwestern Pakistan city of Quetta, police and Red Cross officials said. Dale, 60, was kidnapped by suspected militants on Jan 5 while on his way home from work. (Reuters Pictures)
QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - The beheaded body of a kidnapped British doctor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was found by the roadside on Sunday in the southwestern Pakistan city of Quetta, police and Red Cross officials said.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was abducted by suspected militants on January 5 while on his way home from work.

"The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act," ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord said in a statement. "All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil's family and friends."

Police discovered Dale wrapped in plastic near a western bypass road in the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province where Baluch separatist militants are fighting a protracted insurgency for more autonomy.

His name was written on the white plastic bag with black marker.

"A sharp knife was used to sever his head from the body," said Safdar Hussain, the first doctor to examine the body. "He was killed about 12 hours ago."

Dale had worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq before coming to Pakistan. He had been managing a health programme for Baluchistan for almost a year when he was abducted, the ICRC statement said.

"We are devastated," Daccord said. "Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Limited success - the MSM's new euphemism for failure: "Limited success for Obama's Russia, China approach"

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's "pivot" to China's neighborhood and the "reset" in relations with Russia have produced limited results for signature foreign policy initiatives designed to improved America's standing with its former Cold War rivals.

Obama has succeeded in increasing cooperation with Moscow on nuclear arms reduction and shoring up U.S. partnerships in Asia to counter expanding Chinese power. But on other questions crucial to U.S. interests, those countries have proved stubbornly unyielding.

From nuclear-armed North Korea to potentially nuclear-armed Iran, the Obama administration has won only lip-service pronouncements of agreement on the endgames, but little more. U.S. officials say Russia and China supported new penalties on Iran and fresh condemnations, but previous administrations had similar records.

China and Russia have blocked Obama's attempts to get the United Nations to take significant action against Syria's government and ignored U.S. warnings that they will end up on the wrong side of history.

The overtures have left Obama vulnerable to charges that he is being naive or too accommodating to both China and Russia.


Obama Uses Loophole Forcing Taxpayers to Spend $192 Million to Assist Defiant Palestinians

(Vision to America) US President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Obama stated that the aid was “important to the security interests of the United States.”

The US Congress froze a $192 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority after its president, Mahmoud Abbas, defied US pressure and sought to attain UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood last September. The presidential waiver means that aid can now be delivered.

The unilateral statehood gambit was strongly opposed by Israel, which said Abbas was seeking to avoid negotiating the necessary compromises and modalities of statehood with Israel. The US indicated it would veto a resolution in the Security Council seeking unilateral recognition of “Palestine,” but the issue has not come to a vote, because the Palestinians were unable to obtain sufficient support in the Security Council. They may yet seek a non-binding endorsement of statehood in the UN General Assembly.

Pseudo Pro-Israel Ultra Left-Wing J Street: In Event of War, We Won't Necessarily Support Israel

(INN) At this week’s meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), J Street’s regional director said that in the event that war broke out involving Israel, J Street would not necessarily support the Jewish state.

In an open letter published in the Boston Jewish Advocate, Paul Sassieni, treasurer of the JCRC, states that J Street’s Regional Director, Melanie Harris,  “reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances.”

Sassieni asserts that, “[I]f, heaven forbid, war breaks out, the wise sages of J Street (and supposed military experts) will decide whether or not Israel merits our support. And this is an organization which claims to be "pro-Israel"! With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

“While there is a plurality of views in our community on many issues, there is a broad consensus that if attacked, we put our differences to one side and stand by the people of Israel unambiguously. J Street has put itself beyond that consensus,” the letter reads.

“It's one thing to question the likelihood of success of military action against Iran - and we certainly hope and pray that sanctions and diplomacy will work - but quite something else to say that if a conflict breaks out, we would not unambiguously stand with Israel.”

“Shame on them, but at least the pro-Israel community understands where they stand. In Israel's hour of need, J Street cannot be counted on,” concludes the letter.

J Street then refuted the accusation stating that the organization would support Israel in the event that that it would “end up in an ill-advised military conflict with Iran.”

US deploys F-22 stealth fighters 200 miles away from Iran

(UAE) The USAF has deployed several F-22 (Raptor) fighter jets to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

While the media will point to this as another step in the direction of attacking Iran, the fact remains that the F-22 is a fighter with a very small payload bay and that the ubiquitous F-16 can take out every aircraft fielded by Iran (never mind the F-15/F-18).

So what is Obama doing by sending the best fighter jets in the world over to the Gulf?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Video: A-10 Warthog Eliminates Taliban Patrol

A-10 Warthog engages and eliminates 5 Taliban fighters with the 30-mm cannon in Afghanistan.

Pakistan: Suicide bomber on jihad mission blows up prematurely

He was just a pious follower of Allah preparing for the traditional Friday blood-and-guts Muslim festivities.

Anyway, it's a feel-good story of the day.
QUETTA: A potential suicide bomber was killed when a detonator he was carrying along with a suicide vest prematurely went off on Kirani Road near Hazara Town, pre-dominantly Shia Muslims’ neighbourhood in Quetta, on Thursday night.

The police officials in plain clothes deputed near Hazara Town tried to stop a suspect and opened fire at him when he tried to run away, Superintendent Police (SP) Brewery Malik Arshid said.

The detonator prematurely went off, killing the man on the spot; however, his suicide vest could not explode, he added. The explosion rocked the area.

Sources said that the alleged suicide bomber wanted to target the people of Hazara community and the police successfully foiled the attempt.

Some Shiite mosque needs to give some extra thanks to Allah today.

Denmark arrests three Muslims suspected of planning a "Mumbai-style" attack

Danish police enter an appartment complex in Herlev, in the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark, for a search Friday, April 27, 2012. Three men have been arrested in the Danish capital on suspicion of plotting a terror act after police found them in possession of automatic firearms and ammunition, Denmark's intelligence service said Friday. (AP Photo)
COPENHAGEN, April 27 (Reuters) - Denmark's state security police arrested on Friday three men suspected of planning attacks, and were carrying out further searches in the Copenhagen area, police officials said.

The arrests were made two weeks after the start of a trial of four men accused of planning a "Mumbai-style" attack on the offices of a Danish newspaper whose publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 outraged many Muslims.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said in a statement it had arrested a 22-year-old Jordanian citizen, a 23-year-old Turkish citizen, both resident in Denmark, and a 21-year-old Danish citizen resident in Egypt.

"The detainees are so far charged with illegal possession of automatic weapons and related ammunition, but are also suspected of having been in the process of preparing an act of terror," PET said in a statement.

The men were arrested at two addresses in the Copenhagen area and a PET spokeswoman said they were expected to be brought before a court on Friday or Saturday.

She declined to give further details.

The PET and Copenhagen police would cooperate in the further investigation to ensure any potential terrorism threat had been eliminated, the PET said.

Media and Congress spread the word on Muslim Brotherhood in America

From The Center for Security Policy:
April 26, WASHINGTON, DC: On Tuesday, April 24, Frank Gaffney unveiled a controversial 10-part online video course explaining why we are losing the Jihadists' war on America. Titled The Muslim Brotherhood in America, the course is receiving significant attention among the media and Congressional leaders.

Erick Stackelback, a terrorism analyst at CBN News described the course as "for the average American to learn about the Muslim Brotherhood. It breaks down the group, what they’re about and why they are so dangerous.”

On Glenn Beck’s April 26 radio show, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, said of the Muslim Brotherhood, “I think this is the number one issue facing our country right now. People have no idea how far, how deep, how wide the Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated the upper echelons here in the United States.” Additionally, she recently told CBN, "President Obama is more responsible for the rise of Sharia in the Middle East…He's excited the Islamists to embrace Sharia not only in the Middle East, but here in the United States”

Also today, Bill Gertz, in his weekly Washington Times column Inside the Ring reinforced the concerns about Muslim Brotherhood influence on the Obama administration, stating, “The video includes a detailed section on “Team Obama” that identifies six people working close to or inside the Obama administration that the course says are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or similar Islamist groups through numerous front organizations.” Gertz added, “Publication of the online course comes as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly ordered a review of U.S. military training material with the goal of purging allegedly anti-Islamic content, the online portal Danger Room reported Tuesday… A military source critical of Gen. Dempsey’s move said the chairman’s action is a politically correct effort to “make our professional military education fit a narrative, not objective inquiry.”

The press conference generated national media interest, with interviews with Frank Gaffney on Fox and Friends and Hugh Hewitt.

If you missed the press conference, please view the video highlights:

Course Trailer

Course Overview

Introduction to Muslim Brotherhood Course

Frank Gaffney: "Civilization Jihad" is more dangerous than violent jihad

Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster: "Our leaders live in a world that no longer exists"

Frank Gaffney: "Muslim Brotherhood sedition should be prosecuted in U.S."

Question and Answer

If you haven't already, make sure to check out the complete Course at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Now I've heard everything - Egypt plans 'farewell intercourse law' so husbands can have sex with DEAD wives up to six hours after their death

Egypt give new meaning to the term "ambulance chaser". And guess what? This is being introduced on the grounds of "religious interpretations" no less.

Egypt, now under new management.
(Daily Mail) Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives - for up to six hours after their death.

The controversial new law is part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women's rights of getting education and employment.

Egypt's National Council for Women is campaigning against the changes, saying that 'marginalising and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country's human development'.

Dr Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, wrote to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker Dr Saad al-Katatni addressing her concerns.

Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported in the al-Ahram newspaper that Talawi complained about the legislations which are being introduced under 'alleged religious interpretations'.

The subject of a husband having sex with his dead wife arose in May 2011 when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death.

He also said that women have the right to have sex with her dead husband, reported.

It seems the topic, which has sparked outrage, has now been picked up on by Egypt's politicians.

TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty slammed the notion of letting a husband have sex with his wife after her death under the so-called 'Farewell Intercourse' draft law.

He said: 'This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni?

'This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?'

Obama's impressive list of accomplishments

First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.
First President to violate the War Powers Act.
First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.
First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.
First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the US, including former convicts.
First President to demand a company hand over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space.
First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.
First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.
First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state they are allowed to locate a factory.
First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).
First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.
First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.
First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.
First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize one month into his first term.
First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.
First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by us.
First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.
First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

So how is all this hope and change working out for ya?

US unemployment aid requests near 3-month high

Notice how it's no longer an "unexpected" news. What probably comes as a surprise to Obama is that it's not about being the cool president on comedy shows, it's about the economy. That is the "unexpected" part.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high last week, a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. It was little changed from the previous week's figure, the highest since Jan. 7.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 381,750, also the highest in three months.

Applications jumped sharply three weeks ago, a sign that employers had stepped up layoffs and added fewer jobs. Economists said the increase might have been inflated by temporary layoffs during the spring holidays, when many school employees are laid off.

But applications haven't dropped back since then. Analysts predict that job gains of about 175,000 will be reported for April when the government issues the month's employment report next week. That's below the average of 250,000 jobs added per month from December-February.

The report "adds to concern about backsliding in job creation after faster employment gains earlier in the year," said Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse.

The increase in applications follows a report this month that hiring slowed in March, when employers added only 120,000 jobs.


Inspired by Obama, two black teens rob and beat up a white teen as part of "justice for Trayvon"

And if Obama had a son, he would look like them.
CHICAGO (Fox News) – An black 18-year-old suspected of a violent attack on a white teen told Chicago police the beating was motivated by his anger over the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, MyFoxChicago reports.

Alton Hayes III was charged with a hate crime after he and a 15-year-old attacked the 19-year-old man at about 1:00 a.m. on April 17 in Oak Park, a Chicago suburb.

Police say Hayes and his teenage partner, who has not been named since he is a juvenile, picked the man apparently at random and pinned his arms to the side.

Hayes allegedly then picked up a tree branch and demanded the victim give them his belongings, saying, "Empty your pockets, white boy."

The suspects then rifled through the victim's pockets, threw him to the ground and punched him numerous times in the head and back. Both suspects are black and the victim is white, according to police.

MyFoxChicago reports Hayes told police he decided to attack his victim because he is angry over the death of Trayvon Martin. Hayes said he chose his victim because he is white.

Hayes was charged with attempted robbery, aggravated battery and a hate crime, all felonies. His teenage comrade was referred to juvenile court.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Muslim, Zionist and proud: His father praised Hitler, but Kasim Hafeez writes about love for Israel, Jewish people

(Ynet) I am a Zionist, a proud Muslim Zionist, and I love Israel, but this was not always the case. In fact, for many years I was quite the extreme opposite. I experienced the high levels of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity taking place on British university campuses, because I was the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel activist.

Growing up in the Muslim community in the UK I was exposed to materials and opinions at best condemning Israel, painting Jews as usurpers and murderers, and at worse calling for the wholesale destruction of the "Zionist Entity" and all Jews. In short, there was no accommodating a Jewish State in the Middle East.

To grow up around this constant barrage of hatred directed at Israel has a massive effect on an individual’s own opinions. More disturbingly, many of these people weren’t radical or extreme, but when it was about Israel the most vicious of rhetoric poured out, coupled with the casual anti-Semitism that seemed too prevalent, when the phrase "stop being a Jew" used as an insult.

My father, however, was much more brazen in his hatred, boasting of how Adolf Hitler was a hero, his only failing being that he didn't kill enough Jews.

By the time I had reached 18 I was completely indoctrinated to the fold of radical Islamism. My hate for Israel and for the Jews was fuelled by images of death and destruction, set to the backdrop of Arabic melodies about Jihad and speeches of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah or Osama Bin Laden.

These views were reinforced when I attended Nakba Day rallies, where speakers predicted Israel's demise as Hezbollah flags were waved proudly in the centre of London.

The Case for Israel

Was there a case for Israel? In my mind, of course not, there was no shadow of doubt. Even the most moderate clerics I came across refused to condemn terrorism against Israel as unjustified; the Jews must obviously deserve it, I believed.

So what changed? How could I go from all this hatred to the great love for and affinity with Israel and the Jewish people? I found myself in the Israel and Palestine section of a local bookstore and picked up a copy of Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel. Given my worldview, the Jews and Americans controlled the media, so after brief look at the back, I scoffed thinking "vile Zionist propaganda."

I did, however, decide to buy it, content that I would shortly be deconstructing this propaganda piece, showing that Israel had no case and claiming my findings as a personal victory for the Palestinian cause.

As I read Dershowitz’s arguments and deconstruction of many lies I saw as unquestionable truths, I searched despairingly for counter arguments, but found more hollow rhetoric that I’d believed for many years. I felt a real crisis of conscience, and thus began a period of unbiased research. Up until that point I had not been exposed to anything remotely positive about Israel.

Now, I didn't know what to believe. I'd blindly followed others for so long, yet here I was questioning whether I had been wrong. I reached a point where I felt I had no other choice but to see Israel for myself; only that way I’d really know the truth. At the risk of sounding cliché, it was a life-changing visit.

No apartheid state

I did not encounter an apartheid racist state, but rather, quite the opposite. I was confronted by synagogues, mosques and churches, by Jews and Arabs living together, by minorities playing huge parts in all areas of Israeli life, from the military to the judiciary. It was shocking and eye-opening. This wasn't the evil Zionist Israel that I had been told about.

After much soul searching, I knew what I had once believed was wrong. I had been confronted with the truth and had to accept it. But I had a bigger question to confront, what now? I’d for years campaigned against Israel, but now I knew the truth.

The choice was obvious: I had to stand with Israel, with this tiny nation, free, democratic, making huge strides in medicine, research and development, yet the victim of the same lies and hatred that nearly consumed me.

Doing this is not easy and that’s something that has become very obvious. I have faced hostility from my own community and even some within the Jewish community in the UK, but that’s the reality of standing up for Israel in Europe today. It is not easy, and that’s what makes it so necessary.

This isn’t about religion and politics; it’s about the truth.

When it comes to Israel, the truth is not being heard, the ranks of those filed with blind hatred continue to swell, yet many have not been exposed to the reality, away from the empty rhetoric and politically charged slogans they are so fond of.

We can change this situation but we need to be strong and united. Israel is not just a Jewish issue - it’s about freedom, human rights and democracy, all the values that Western nations cherish. It’s also about trying to be a light among nations.

Israel’s international humanitarian aid work speaks for itself, but if we don’t get the message out there, no one will. We don’t have to be head-bowed apologists leading with :Israel’s not perfect…" - we should never be afraid to say: I am a Zionist and I’m proud. I stand with Israel. Now I ask, will you do that?

Kasim Hafeez is a British Muslim and former Islamist who is now a proud Zionist and stands with Israel. He runs and has a blog on this site. He is also on the advisory board of StandWithUs in the UK and recently completed a university speaking tour.

Supreme Court signals support for Arizona immigration law provision; Senate Democrats outraged, vow to "overrule"

A supporter of Arizona Senate immigration law on April 25, 2012 outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court began reviewing Arizona's controversial law which empowers Arizona police officers to stop and demand papers of anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. (Getty Images)
Fox News:
The Supreme Court signaled Wednesday that it might uphold a key element of Arizona's immigration law, as justices across the board suggested the state has a serious problem on its hands and should have some level of sovereignty to address illegal immigration.

The justices appeared ready to allow a provision requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they think are in the U.S. illegally.

The justices strongly suggested Wednesday they are not buying the Obama administration's argument that the state exceeded its authority, with Chief Justice John Roberts at one point saying he doesn't think the federal government even wants to know how many illegal immigrants are in the country.

Wading into a highly divisive issue in the middle of a presidential campaign year, conservative and liberal justices who heard oral arguments on Wednesday morning seemed to find no strong objection to that section of the law.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who casts the deciding vote in many cases, referred to the "social and economic disruption" that states endure as a result of a flood of illegal immigrants and suggested that states such as Arizona have authority to act.

"You can see it's not selling very well," Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the more liberal-leaning judges, told Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, referring to his arguments that the law would lead to harassment of citizens.

Chief Justice John Roberts dismissed the administration's arguments that the Arizona law conflicted with the federal system, saying Arizona’s measure is "an effort to help you enforce federal law."

The four conservative justices, Roberts, Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, all asked tough questions of Verrilli. Fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas did not ask any questions, but based on past votes is expected to support the Arizona law.

Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case because she had previously worked on it while serving as the solicitor general for Obama.

Verrilli tried to persuade the justices that they should view the law in its entirety and said it was inconsistent with federal immigration policy. He said the records check would allow the state to "engage effectively in mass incarceration" of undocumented immigrants.

But Roberts said the state merely wants to notify federal authorities it has someone in custody who may be in the U.S. illegally. "It seems to me that the federal government just doesn't want to know who's here illegally and who's not," Roberts said.

Yesterday, Sen. Chuck "The Schmuck" Schumer (D-NY) preemptively stated that he is ready to "overrule" the Supreme Court on Arizona immigration law. Here is the lowdown:

Israel celebrates 64th Independence Day

Israelis look at fireworks in the coastal city of Netanya on April 25, 2012 as the country marks its 64th anniversary of independence. Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared the existence of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv in 1948, ending the British mandate. (Getty Images)
(JPost) An annual torch-lighting ceremony was being held at Israel's capital on Wednesday, marking the end of Remembrance Day. The end of the ceremony will touch off Independence Day celebrations across the country.

The official theme of this year's Independence Day ceremony at Mount Herzl was “Water – The Source of Life.” Participants, chosen by a public committee within the Israel National Ceremony Center, were lighting 12 torches, representing the 12 tribes of the Jewish nation.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, the opening speaker at the ceremony, said that the state of Israel should not be taken for granted. "I was nine years old when the State of Israel was born," he said. "I know that the state is not something which should be taken for granted. The flag that flies here should not be taken for granted."

Rivlin also spoke of the great advances Israel has made in the past year, from the military realm to the social. Rivlin also referenced Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli agent jailed for spying in the United States, saying he expects the US authorities to release him soon.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arab IDF soldier to be honored with a citation of excellence says "I wanted to defend the country"

East Jerusalem man, whose community doesn’t know he is in the army, to be honored on Independence Day.
(JPost) For most soldiers, there is a period on their first weekend home from basic training when they strut around the neighborhood showing off their spotless dress greens, bursting with pride at the newfound maturity conferred by their uniform. That’s something that one soldier, who can only be identified as S., will never get to experience.

As an Arab living in east Jerusalem, S. does not even bring his uniform home with him. His neighbors do not know that he serves in the army, and S. needs to keep it that way.

On Thursday, Israel’s Independence Day, S. will be honored along with 120 other soldiers with a citation of excellence from President Shimon Peres, to honor S.’s dedication in overcoming insurmountable challenges to enlist.

“I wanted to serve, I wanted to defend the country,” said S., who cannot be identified in order to protect his safety. “I wanted to serve in order to do something good, and something good with my life.”

S. said he drifted after finishing high school, taking some university classes and working in different hotels in Jerusalem. Frustrated by the lack of opportunity in his community, S. turned to the army with hopes of becoming a career officer.

Many Beduin and Druse have served for years in the army, something that is supported and even encouraged in their communities. Israeli Arabs can also serve in the army if they choose, though there are very few that opt to do so. Even among the small minority of Israeli-Arab soldiers, S. sticks out. He said that as far as he knows, he is the only east Jerusalem Arab serving in the army.

Because the tense city is a flashpoint for violent confrontations between the security forces and Arab residents, there is even more animosity toward the army in east Jerusalem than among Israeli Arabs from the North. S. has received anonymous death threats via SMS, and he says he is not sure who could be sending them.

One of six children, S.’s immediate family and one uncle are the only people who know that he is an Israeli soldier.

Last week, two of his brothers followed in his footsteps and were also drafted into the army, something S. said brought him “great pride.”

The taciturn S. is uncomfortable talking about himself and a little bewildered by all the attention surrounding his citation of excellence. “They told me about it a month ago, it’s an honor to get to meet the president,” he said modestly.

For most soldiers, the most difficult part of being in the military is the frustrations and difficulties they face while on base. Heading home is a chance to relax and blow off steam. For S., the opposite is true. Each trip home is wrought with anxiety that someone might discover that he is a soldier. S. said his cover story is that he is studying during the week in Tel Aviv, and he even carries around a few textbooks to back up his claims.

S. serves in a Beduin unit and has been certified as an army medic. His brothers will also serve in Beduin units.

At first, it was hard being the only east Jerusalem Arab in a unit of only Beduin, S. said.

But as training progressed, his unit became more cohesive and he felt more connected to his fellow soldiers.

“The unit gives us everything, a lot of support, because there are a lot of people that come from difficult conditions,” he said.

S. does not anticipate a change in attitudes in his community toward the military anytime soon, and is doubtful that his choice to join the army will become more common in his impoverished neighborhood.

Still, S. does not regret his decision to enlist.

S. hopes to continue his studies, possibly through the army’s higher education programs, and one day become a doctor.

Before that, however, he is excited to serve as a role model for his brothers and help them through the difficulties of being a soldier in secret.

“The hardest part about this is where I live.”

Video: Pray for Bo

(USpoliticalBlog) In the 1990s, President Obama wrote about eating dog meat. Not as an animal rights issue, but as a culinary one. Join us to protect Bo.

Video: Has CNN's Don Lemon Turned On Obama?

Thousands urge Olympics committee to remember 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinians at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games

(JPost) Over 5,000 people have already signed an online petition urging the International Olympics Committee to observe one minute of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games at the upcoming games to be held in London this summer.

“Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” urges the petition, which is featured on online social action platform and was set up by Andrei Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer together with the Jewish Community Center in Rockland, New York.

“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace,” Spitzer wrote about the aim of the petition.

She added: “These men were sons; fathers; uncles; brothers; friends; teammates; athletes. They came to Munich in 1972 to play as athletes in the Olympics; they came in peace and went home in coffins, killed in the Olympic Village and during hostage negotiations.”

“In the world we live in today, it is most imperative to remember those athletes who were murdered 40 years ago, as the message of the terrorists is still the same. The Munich Tragedy must never be forgotten...,” Helen Gottleib commented, one of the 4,865 people who have signed the petition.

Another person wrote: “It doesn't matter to me what nation the murdered team members were from. They were Olympians, and should be remembered at the Olympics.”

According to the information posted along with the petition, the families of the Munich 11 have worked for four decades to obtain recognition of the massacre from the International Olympic Committee.

“We have requested a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics starting with the ’76 Montreal Games,” Spitzer explained. “Repeatedly, these requests have been turned down. The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games.

“Silence is a fitting tribute for athletes who lost their lives on the Olympic stage. Silence contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret." Spitzer said that her goal is not political or religious but to highlight the sportsmanship of the international event and to pay tribute to those who were murdered.

She pointed out that she has received support in recent years from the Jewish Community Center in Rockland New York, which has helped the bereaved families to set up an online memorial and has been involved in lobbying the Olympic committee.

Islam in history

Number of states paying upwards of $4 for gas triples

Syrian ceasefire: Car bomb wounds 3, intelligence officer shot

A pool of blood is pictured next to a damaged car after a bomb exploded in Damascus in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA April 24, 2012. The car bomb wounded at least three people in the central Damascus district of Merjeh on Tuesday, a pro-government Syrian television channel said, blaming "armed terrorists". (Reuters Pictures)
(JPost) A car bomb wounded at least three people on Tuesday near Yelbagha complex in the central district of al-Marjeh in Damascus, the pro-government Syrian television channel (SANA) said. Reuters reported that the explosion was near an Iranian cultural center.

The SANA television channel blamed "armed terrorists."

A SANA reporter quoted a source in the Damascus Police that the explosive device was placed under a car. One of the injured in the explosion was the car driver.

In a separate incident near Damascus, SANA and opposition sources reported that an intelligence officer, Lieutenant Colonel As'aad Ahmad Ismael and his brother in Jedaydet al-Fadel, were killed.

Previously, the Syrian army had killed more than 20 people in Hama on Monday, activists said, shattering a week of relative quiet in the central city visited a day earlier by UN monitors laying the ground for a wider mission to oversee a shaky 11-day ceasefire.


Israel: Palestinian stabs Israeli taxi driver who was transporting him from Tel Aviv to Arab-occupied Judea

Let's call him a Palestinian peace ambassador.
(JPost) A Palestinian from the West Bank stabbed and moderately injured a Kfar Saba taxi driver who was transporting him from the Tel Aviv area to Kfar Saba in the early morning hours Tuesday.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Sudan market bombing a "declaration of war" - South

The burnt body of a boy killed during an air strike by the Sudanese air force is covered with sheets in a market in Rubkona near Bentiu April 23, 2012. Sudanese warplanes carried out air strikes on South Sudan on Monday, killing three people near the southern oil town of Bentiu, residents and military officials said, three days after South Sudan pulled out of a disputed oil field. (Reuters Pictures)
OUTSIDE BENTIU, South Sudan (Reuters) - Sudanese war planes bombed a market in the capital of South Sudan's oil-producing Unity State on Monday, residents and officials said, in an attack the southern army called a declaration of war.

Sudan denied carrying out any air raids but its President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ramped up the political tension by ruling out a return to negotiations with the South, saying its government only understood "the language of the gun".

A Reuters journalist saw aircraft dropping two bombs near a bridge linking two areas of Unity's capital Bentiu, although it was not possible to verify the planes' affiliation. He saw market stalls ablaze and the body of one child.

Weeks of border fighting have brought the neighbors closer to a full-blown war than at any time since South Sudan split away from Sudan as an independent country in July.


In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist "Accidentally" Blows Himself Up

Feel-good story of the day.
(TIME) When one of Lebanon’s most wanted terrorists kills himself while planting a bomb it is cause for at least some sort of grim celebration. But when the chief bomb-maker of the country’s most notorious terror group self detonates while helping rebels fight in Syria, it is cause for concern.

TIME has learned that Abdel Ghani Jawhar, one of the leaders of the Sunni fundamentalist terror group Fatah al-Islam, died in the Syrian city of Qsair on Friday night. The founding cleric of Fatah al Islam, Sheikh Osama al Shihabi, confirmed Jawhar’s death to TIME with a quote from the Koran: “‘We are for God and to him we return.’ We as Mujahideen are used to being killed and if God wants to give those killed dignity he gives them martyrdom. This is the path of righteousness.”


Turkey says Israel not welcome at NATO summit because it didn't show respect for Turkish jihadists on martyrdom mission

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has refused to allow Israel to take part in a NATO summit next month because the Jewish state has not apologized for the 2010 killing of Turkish activists in a raid on a ship taking aid to Palestinians, a Turkish official said on Monday.

Relations between the regional powers deteriorated sharply after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara aid vessel in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists.

Last September, Turkey expelled Israel's envoy and froze military cooperation after a U.N. report on the raid failed to prompt an apology from Israel.

"We did not give our consent on that issue," a Turkish official told Reuters when asked if Turkey was blocking Israel's participation in a NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21.

He said Turkey was still seeking an official apology and compensation for the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

IDF Chief: Israel Ready to Attack Iran

From WJD:
If Israel is forced to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, the military will be ready, said the army's chief of staff Sunday.

"In principle, we are ready to act," Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told Ynet in a special interview ahead of Israel’s upcoming Independence Day.

This is a critical year, added Gantz, and Israel is determined to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. However, Gantz said he believes Israel does not face an existential threat at this time.

Gantz also hinted that the IDF has been operating far beyond Israel's borders.

"I don’t think you will find a point in time where something isn’t happening somewhere in the world," he said. "The level of risk has increased as well. This is not something invented by Benny Gantz. I’m not taking the credit here. I’m simply accelerating all those special operations."

Gantz warned that a regional war will certainly mean rocket strikes on Israel's territory but said that the Jewish state is capable of dealing with any eventuality.

"I can’t promise no missiles will be landing here. They will be falling; many of them. It won’t be a simple war, neither on the frontlines nor ion the home front,” he said.

“However, I don’t advice anyone to test us on this front."

"When (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah comes out of his bunker, he’s concerned – and rightfully so. He saw what happened to Lebanon last time, and it won’t be close to what will happen to Lebanon next time," the army chief said. "I think they understand it well."

Obama bypasses Congress to give Egypt $1.5 billion in aid, Egypt unilaterally cancels gas deal with Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Egyptian energy companies, citing a trade dispute, have terminated a deal to supply Israel with natural gas in a step that may further erode bilateral ties strained by a popular revolt that toppled Egypt's pro-Israeli leader last year.

An Israeli partner in the business made the step public on Sunday but an Egyptian firm said the decision to cancel the deal had been made on Thursday.

Israel, which relies on Egypt for 40 percent of its natural gas supply, worried about facing further energy cuts after a series of sabotage attacks on the pipeline running through the volatile Sinai peninsula contributed to shortages.

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed "great concern" about the suspension, saying it had set "a dangerous precedent which casts a shadow on the peace agreements and the peaceful atmosphere between Egypt and Israel".


"President Obama's Economic Programs Have Failed"

From the US News and World Report, not exactly a "right-wing rag".
America has long been a country where almost everyone, including the poor and unskilled, could get a job. Given the will to do a reasonable day's work, a job was a passport to economic and social well-being; it was the fount of self-esteem and the foundation of family life. Indeed, work was Life.

More than 15 million Americans no longer have that passport to Life. Think of it as roughly the entire population of the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, all standing idle—every man, woman, and child... [S]ome 25 percent of households include someone who is unemployed and looking for work. As well as laying waste to work, to the equivalent of losing every job created in the last decade, the Great Recession has visited us with reduced incomes, declining home equity, and a growing contraction in credit.

[...] America's great job creation machine is sputtering badly. It is now estimated that structural unemployment has risen from 5 percent before the crisis to close to 7 percent today. This means that one third of the rise in American joblessness may be impervious to the business cycle; it represents lost jobs that cannot be restored by boosting demand.

The problem now is not that people are being laid off by the millions. When an economy has reached bottom, as it did, it has already shed much of its labor, and layoffs slow. But the anemic recovery has not yielded job vacancies. Hiring today is at about 70 percent of the 2006 level. Given the increase in unemployed totals, job seekers are only about one third as likely to find work as in 2006.

Compare that to the fabled Great Depression of the 1930s. In the three years after 1933, the economy rebounded with growth rates of 11 percent, 9 percent, and 13 percent. But in 2010, months into our recovery, growth was about 3 percent, followed by 1.7 percent growth in 2011. The rate for 2012 could be about 2 percent—below the 3.4 percent throughout the postwar period.


IDF boards ship allegedly smuggling arms to Gaza

(JPost) Commandos from the Navy’s elite unit Flotilla 13 boarded a cargo ship, the HS Beethoven, in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday night on suspicions it was trying to smuggle weaponry to the Gaza Strip.

The ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, was intercepted by Israel Navy vessels approximately 160 miles from Israel’s coast. Commandos boarded the ship with the captain's consent and began searching cargo containers for weapons.

Searches were still ongoing and IDF officers said that they could continue until Monday morning.

The IDF said that the boarding was part of a routine patrol although its route was likely what raised Israeli alarms regarding the possibility that it was carrying weapons for either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

The HS Beethoven left Beirut on April 20 and was scheduled to arrive in Alexandria, Egypt on Monday evening. Prior to stopping in Lebanon, it had stopped in in Limassol, Cyprus. If the ship was carrying arms, they were likely planned to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels located along the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt.

Last March, the Navy intercepted another cargo ship called Victoria that was carrying about 50 tons of weaponry and was on its way to Egypt. It was also flying a Liberian flag ship and was headed to Alexandria.

The weapons cache seized on the Victoria included a number of sophisticated radar-guided Iranian anti-ship missiles that were intended for Islamic Jihad.

International Committee of Red Cross aide abducted in Yemen

SANAA/ADEN (Reuters) - Armed men kidnapped a French official of the International Committee of the Red Cross as he was travelling from north Yemen to the Red Sea port city of Hudaida, the ICRC said on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the kidnapping but seizing foreigners or Yemenis in order to secure releases of jailed relatives is common in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state. Most hostages are freed unharmed.

Dibeh Fakhr, an ICRC spokeswoman in Sanaa, said the Frenchman, who works in the northern city of Saada, was kidnapped late on Saturday some 30 km (18 miles) from Hudaida.

"He was with two Yemeni drivers who the kidnappers released shortly afterwards," Fakhr said. "Until now we have no contact with the kidnappers or our employee."


"If I wanted America to fail"

Iranian military says copying US drone

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's military has started to build a copy of a U.S. surveillance drone captured last year after breaking the software encryption, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, said engineers were in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, which came down in December near the Afghan border, Mehr news agency reported.

Iran said the unmanned aircraft was shot down, but Washington disputes that and says the security systems mean Iran is unlikely to get valuable information from the Lockheed Martin Corp drone.

"The Americans should be aware to what extent we have infiltrated the plane," Fars news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying. "Our experts have full understanding of its components and program."

Iran's military regular announces defense and engineering developments, but some analysts are skeptical as to how reliable those reports are.

U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a member of the Armed Services Committee, voiced his own doubts.

"There's a history here of Iranian bluster, particularly now when they're on the defensive because of our economic sanctions against them," Lieberman said in a television interview.

The RQ-170 Sentinel has been widely used since 2010 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It played a role in the raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed last year, analysts say.

An Iranian defense official said recently that Tehran has received numerous requests for information on the craft and that China and Russia have shown most interest.

The loss of the plane sparked some concerns that sophisticated technology could fall into the hands of countries developing their own unmanned planes. The main worry centers on the special coatings on the craft's surface.