A Pakistan court has thrown out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy.
Rimsha Masih, 14, spent three weeks on remand in an adult prison after she was arrested in August for allegedly burning pages from the Koran. She was released on bail in September and police have since told the courts she was not guilty and that a cleric who allegedly framed her should face trial instead.
The case against the Muslim cleric, accused of framing her, will proceed, says the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad. He will be tried for making a false accusation.
Paul Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan's federal cabinet, confirmed the case had been thrown out by the high court in the capital Islamabad.
Rimsha's lawyer Akmal Bhatti said: "The court has quashed the case, declaring Rimsha innocent." An official medical report classified Rimsha as "uneducated" with a mental age younger than her years. Some reports have also claimed that she has Down's Syndrome.
There has been no word yet from Rimsha and her family, who remain in hiding, at an undisclosed location, A leading human rights campaigner has welcomed the decision to drop the case against her, but says her life could still be at risk from extremists.
Christian campaigners say more than 30 people - suspected of blasphemy (and merely believing in the Trinity, ie Father, Son and Holy Ghost is shirk, attributing a partner to Allah, the ultimate blasphemy to a Muslim) - have been killed by mobs or vigilantes over the past 20 years.
Four men with ties to Southern California have been charged with plotting to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban to commit "violent jihad" and target Americans, the FBI said Monday night.
One of the men, Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, allegedly traveled in July to Afghanistan, where he arranged for terrorist training to be conducted with Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, according to a complaint unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Riverside. Kabir, who lived in Pomona, is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, federal authorities said.
In 2010, Kabir allegedly introduced Ontario resident Ralph Deleon, 23, and Upland resident Miguel Alejandro Santana, 21, to "radical and violent Islamic doctrine," according to the complaint. "Kabir influenced Santana and Deleon to convert to Islam," the complaint said.
The complaint said the men studied Internet essays and lectures by Anwar Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric and U.S. citizen
After arriving in Afghanistan, Kabir told the two men that he had arranged for them to travel to that country for terrorist training, the complaint alleged.
Santana and Deleon are accused of telling a confidential source working for the FBI that they planned to go to Afghanistan to take part in "violent jihad," the complaint said. Santana is a permanent resident born in Mexico, authorities said, and Deleon is a permanent resident born in the Philippines.
In September, the two men recruited Riverside resident Arifeen David Gojali, 21, to travel overseas with them and join Kabir for terrorist training, according to federal authorities. Gojali is a U.S. citizen
Should Doctors Lie to Their Patients About Their Survival Chances?
Human kind cannot bear very much reality, wrote T. S. Eliot, and a recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine bears him out. The authors of the paper asked 1193 patients who had opted for chemotherapy for their metastatic cancer of the colon or lung how likely it was that the chemotherapy would cure them. The correct answer, of course, was that it was very unlikely (in the current state of the art); but 69 per cent of patients with lung cancer and 81 per cent with cancer of the colon had a much higher hope of cure than was reasonable in their circumstances.
The authors found that those patients with the least accurate estimate of the chances of cure (that is to say who were the most falsely optimistic) rated their doctors the highest for their communication skills. In other words it is possible that doctors who give an optimistic message are those that patients think have told them the most, in the best and clearest way; but it is also possible that optimistic patients view their doctors in a benevolent light. What doctors tell patients, and what patients hear their doctors tell them, may be very different as every doctor is, or ought to be, aware.
The paper raises the question of what constitutes truly informed consent. How many patients know or truly appreciate that, as the authors put it, “chemotherapy is not curative, and the survival benefit seen in clinical trials is usually measured in weeks or months”? For there to be informed consent, is it necessary for the doctor merely to have given the relevant information, or is it necessary for the patient to have inwardly digested it, to believe it? Is the onus entirely on the doctor, or does the patient have some responsibility? Is a doctor automatically to blame if a patient has not understood and absorbed his message? At any rate, the authors say that ‘this misunderstanding could represent an obstacle to optimal end-of-life planning and care.’
It could, of course; on the other hand, it might make tolerable what would otherwise be intolerable. Is false hope never better than, or to be preferred to, no hope at all?
Doctor Johnson, who was so wise on so many subjects, was firmly, one might say dogmatically, of the opinion that falsehood in the medical context was always wrong. “I deny the lawfulness” he said, “of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him. You have no business with the consequences; you are to tell the truth.” This is a little too categorical for my taste. My mother’s surgeon did not think my mother could bear the knowledge that she had an 80 percent chance of fatal recurrence of her cancer within a year, and she lived another nineteen years in ignorance of the fact (to say that it was blissful ignorance would be to put it too strongly).
Research cited by the authors of the paper suggests why patients may not hear, mark and inwardly digest what their oncologists say to them. On the whole oncologists do tell their mortally ill patients that they are dying; but, for very understandable reasons, they find the whole subject rather distasteful or embarrassing and move on to something else, namely what to do about it. This is altogether easier for them, and also for the patient; as La Rochefoucauld said back in the seventeenth century, one can stare neither at the sun nor at death for very long. In the modern world particularly, activity, even if it be futile, is preferable to resignation or fatalism. For us, there is no such thing as a good death, even though we shall all one day die.
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 186, November 19, 2012
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israel needs to send IDF ground forces into Gaza to destroy the military capabilities of Hamas and other Islamic terror groups. While Israel may pay a high diplomatic price for its actions, the longer it waits the greater the political obstacles will be to actions that limit future Palestinian and Arab attacks on Israel. If fears such as the changed political environment of the Middle East deter Israel from destroying Hamas’ military force now, the Arabs will only escalate their attacks on Israel. An immediate and strong Israeli response is necessary to ensure the Jewish state’s ability to stand against the rising tide of Islamist militancy.
For nearly a week, Israel has been under attack from terrorist elements in Gaza, primarily Hamas. As the Israeli air force and navy respond with surgical, targeted strikes on Hamas facilities, the government is weighing the possibility of ordering a ground offensive too.
In our view, an armored push into Gaza in order to deal the Hamas military wing a decisive blow is necessary. From a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot avoid confronting Hamas head-on, and must take action sooner rather than later. For Israel to restore quiet to its borders and ensure its survival in the new Middle East, Arab governments and terror organizations must feel that it would be a mistake for them to militarily challenge Israel. Israel must demonstrate that even in the face of great political pressures it is strong enough and willing, when necessary, to take vigorous action.
While strong Israeli action carries serious risks, strength and victory also bring many benefits. In the current and developing environment Israel has no safe or good choices; it will have to take dangerous actions. Acting later will be more dangerous than acting now, and sooner or later Israel will be forced to act.
The Imperative to Act Now – Israel in a New Middle East
For some time, we have advocated the need to respond to attacks from Gaza with a large-scale military operation. We said that if no such action was taken, the attacks against Israel would surely increase, and indeed they have. Gaza is small enough for Israel to destroy most of the infrastructure and the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other terrorist organizations that are based there. The goal of such a ground offensive would be to restore deterrence and signal an Israeli determination to battle the rising Islamist forces in the region. By acting sooner in Gaza, Israel will also greatly reduce the missile retaliation it would face if and when it strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Current political conditions seem to weigh in Israel’s favor for an incursion into Gaza now. Hamas is politically weakened, and most of the Arab world is busy with pressing domestic issues, or with other crises such as Syria.
Today we can again say that attacks on Israel will surely further increase if the IDF does not now take the drastic and dangerous action involved in a full-scale military invasion of Gaza. A smaller operation, akin to Cast Lead, will create at most another short postponement of attacks on Israeli civilians and will be followed by further escalation.
When its environment is benign, a country should act prudently and cautiously avoid trouble. But Israel already lives in a different kind of environment, and there is every reason to expect that this environment will become more hostile in the next few years, as the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in more countries and consolidates its position in Egypt, and as the West sinks deeper into modes of appeasement. In particular there is likely to be a higher cost to an attack on Hamas in the future as the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt strengthens its ties with the terror group.
If Israel tries to “accommodate” the current nasty diplomatic environment, it will gradually see its security eroded. Instead, Israel must boldly protect its interests and make sure that its enemies are afraid of potentially devastating consequences. As long as they believe that political pressures prevent the Jewish state from harming them, these enemies will inexorably and assuredly increase their attacks on Israel. This is due partly to natural strategy and partly to the temptation in each country to seek internal political gain by acting against Israel. With growing Muslim Brotherhood power, and the growing partial rivalry between the Brotherhood and Salafi jihadists in Egypt, the political pressure on Cairo to act against Israel will grow.
Operation Pillar of Defense – A Need to Expand the Campaign
Israel will pay a political price even for limited action beyond the current air campaign. What Israel needs to do is to make it temporarily impossible for missiles to be fired from Gaza. Such a clear-cut victory needs boots on the ground. Indeed, Israeli society is displaying great social resilience, and supports the continuation of the military effort, including a ground offensive against Hamas.
Deterrence will be created if the military branches of Hamas and the PIJ are decimated. In addition to deterrence, important practical military benefits will be gained by destroying the physical and human infrastructure that Hamas, PIJ, and other organizations have built up in Gaza, even though such infrastructure can be and will likely be rebuilt.
Combing through Gaza to nab members of Hamas and other terror groups will take perhaps several weeks. Many of these top officials are in hiding, making it clear that they are unwilling or unable to fight. This operation can be conducted only by forces on the ground.
It is likely that Israel will face very great pressure, even from the US, to desist from such an operation. Israel should resist such pressure. It should explain to the US administration and to the public what its objectives in Gaza are – the destruction of the military organizations that are threatening and attacking Israel – and the necessity of staying in Gaza for the weeks required to achieve these objectives, which will postpone the next crisis as long as possible.
If Israel is diplomatically forced to abort the effort before achieving its goals it will pay the full political price and get only a fraction of the benefits it needs in return. In fact, Israel will pay a greater political price for an attack that is prematurely cut short than it would if it were able to complete the job, no matter how much it would suffer in the court of public opinion.
Of course, a ground offensive runs the risk of getting bogged down in the Gaza quagmire and of costing Israel unexpectedly heavy troop losses. Obviously, the IDF needs to develop and effectively execute a plan designed to avoid these pitfalls. Our point is that from a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot wait any longer and must confront Hamas head-on.
The bottom line is that Israel is surrounded by enemies who will spare no efforts to kill as many Israelis as possible. Israel cannot respond effectively to each small attack, and the only way to prevent small attacks is to make the enemies believe that they cannot tell when Israel will respond to a small attack with a blow that the enemy is really afraid of. What the enemy is afraid of is the loss of power, and perhaps some of the terrorist leaders are also afraid of being killed. Therefore, an escalation of conflict via a ground operation, an idea that most of the international community opposes, is nevertheless necessary.
Prof. Efraim Inbar is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. Dr. Max Singer is a founder of the Hudson Institute and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
CBN In America, Not The French Press, Reports On Anti-Islam Demonstrations In France
CBN Spreads the Word
CBN, Christian Broadcasting Network, spreads the news about the resistance movement in France better than the French media. I wonder why...
A patriotic march for French values and culture, and against radical Islam, was virtually blacked out by France's politically correct media.
Over the weekend, protestors chanted against Islamic fascism and about the French victory over Arab invaders in 732 A.D. It was the first march of its kind in France.
A broad coalition of groups from across France came together because they feel they're losing their country to radical Islam, Sharia law, and a politically correct establishment that encourages the spread of Islam.
"Sharia law is slowly being enforced in our country and we want to march here to protest that because our government is doing nothing," one French demonstrator said.
"The French people -- they want to defend their culture, their history - they are called 'fascists,'" one woman said.
"I don't think it's only a problem of France. It's a problem of Europe. It's also a problem for the U.S.A.," another protestor said.
There was no visible counter demonstration, but an egg did manage to hit a CBN News reporter who was standing near the protestors.
The march took place just weeks after a group of French young people called Generation Identitaire stormed a mosque in Portiers and hung a banner from the roof, demanding a referendum on Muslim immigration.
France has more Muslims than any other European nation. Some believe there could be as many as 15 million Muslims in France, although the official figure is much lower.
Noted French writer Renaud Camus helped organize the march.
"What I call 'le grande remplacement,' or 'the big replacement,' the change in population, is the biggest thing to happen in French history since the 15th century," he said.
The leftist French media ignored the demonstration, seeing it as racist. But it's clear the movement to resist radical Islam is growing in France.
As The Israelis Predicted, Sanctions Do Not Stop Or Slow Down Iran
Iran nuclear work unaffected by sanctions: IAEA chief
November 20, 2012 02:30 PM
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano of Japan, adresses reporters as he leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, unseen, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PARIS: Multiple rounds of international sanctions are failing to have any effect on Iran's controversial nuclear programme, the head of the UN atomic agency said on Tuesday.
"They are for example producing enriched uranium up to five percent and 20 percent with a quite constant pace."
Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear programme, since the material produced can be used not only for peaceful purposes -- Iran's stated intention -- but also, when further treated, for a nuclear bomb.
Enriched to five-percent purities, uranium can be used for power generation, and to 20 percent for medical purposes. But when further enriched, a relatively easy process, it can go in a weapon.
The UN Security Council has passed six resolutions calling on Iran to suspend all enrichment, passing four rounds of sanctions.
Amano's comments follow the release of the IAEA's latest report on Iran on Friday.
It said Tehran was on the threshold of being able to triple its monthly production of 20-percent-enriched uranium after completing the installation of machinery at its Fordo site, dug into a mountain near the holy city of Qom.
Amano also said that it was "difficult to predict" whether Iran and the IAEA will make progress in their next round of talks in Tehran on December 13 following a string of fruitless earlier meetings.
The talks are aimed at persuading Iran to respond to "overall, credible" claims set out in a major IAEA report a year ago that until 2003 and possibly since, Tehran conducted nuclear weapons research work.
On Wednesday in Brussels meanwhile, six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany -- are due to hold their first talks since the US presidential election on November 6 ahead of a possible new round of talks with Iran, possibly before the end of the year.
The minister said details of the economic programme would be announced on Wednesday and posted on a government website after that.
Even with a Truce Will Iranian and Libyan Arms Still Get to Gaza?
IDF soldiers take cover after launch of Iron Dome missile
to intercept Gaza rocket from Gaza near Ashdod
Source (Israel Sun)
Word came that a possible truce is ‘up in the air’ in the week old rocket war between Hamas and Israel. Hamas and Israel are using President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt as an intermediary. More than 1,100 rockets have been fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad into Israel. Of these 350 were intercepted and destroyed by six Iron Dome anti-rocket defense batteries. The IAF has hit more than 1,350 targets in Gaza; rocket launching pads, armories and smuggling tunnels. The latest episode began with several incidents the most dramatic of which was the IAF targeted assassination with a missile strike on November 14, 2012 of Hamas strongman and military commander in Gaza, Ahmed al-Ja’abari. Al Ja’abari organized along military lines, the 15,000 militia, and the Izzedine al Qassam brigade. On November 20, 2012, the IAF launched a missile that hit a media building in Gaza City, injuring three leaders of Iran-controlled and funded Islamic Jihad also killing a fourth, the terrorist group’s official spokesman.
Morsi and Ismail Haniyah Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza are both members of the Ikhwan-the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi also met with Khaled Meshaal head of the Hamas political bureau and Dr. Ramadan Abdullah Shallah leader of Islamic Jihad, Iran’s proxy in Gaza, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.
President Obama dispatched Secretary Clinton following the ASAEAN meetings in Cambodia to meet with Israel PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and President Morsi in Cairo. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has been in Cairo since Monday, November 19, 2012 endeavoring to foster closure on acceptable terms to both parties. Israel has been using Egyptian intelligence contacts as intermediaries in these discussions. Meanwhile a large IDF force is poised for possible ground operations near the Gaza frontier awaiting word to ether proceed or stand down.
The toll in terms of lives lost in Operation Pillar of Defense is a contrast between two groups of people: Jews valuing life, while radical Muslims venerating death in the cause of Jihad against the Jewish State of Israel. The toll in Gaza, assuming you believe the figures from health officials in Gaza City, is estimated at 135, against 5 Israelis, including one IDF soldier. Those civilian casualties in Gaza might have arisen because Hams and Islamic Jihad use civilian facilities for launch of rockets, making them effectively human shields. As evidence of that there was a grisly scene in Gaza City, the dead body of an alleged “Israeli sympathizer, one of six summarily executed by Hamas, was dragged by a motorcycle in a funeral cortege. Meanwhile 140 rockets fell on Israel on the sixth day of the conflict. Including one that damaged an apartment house in Tel Aviv. The Gaza rocket war against Israel has affected the daily lives of fully 3.5 million people who must find shelter within 15 seconds of a red alert.
Parallels between Iran Attack Simulation and Proxy War in Gaza
Most observers believe this latest episode was a proxy war between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel using Hamas and Islamic Jihad to demonstrate what might be retaliation should Israel undertake a possible military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. A recent simulation of that scenario was conducted in Israel just prior to Operation Pillar of Defense by the Institute of National Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. The players included former senior military and government figures in Israel. A film of the simulation was made. The scenario involved a successful unilateral three wave assault against Iran’s nuclear facilities that allegedly would set back the Islamic Republic program by three years. One element in that scenario was Iranian retaliation. Note this comment from a Jerusalem Postarticle on November 4, 2012:
As part of the exercise, Iran [hypothetically] responded with full force, firing some 200 Shahab missiles at Israel in two waves, and calling on its proxies, Hezbollah, Hams and other radical organizations, to attack Israel. At first, Iran refrained from striking US targets in the Persian Gulf region in the war game.
In the game Israel, bolstered by a successful strike, attempted to absorb the attacks while trying to de-escalate the situation and reach an end to hostilities as soon as possible.
What actually happened in the current conflict may have been a dress rehearsal for an Iranian retaliation in the event of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran’s Terror Rockets in Gaza
On November 19, 2012, I participated in a briefing by retired Israeli Brig. General Yossi Kuperwasser, Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and former head of the Research and Analysis Production Division of the IDF Directorate of Military Intelligence (AMAN). The briefing was sponsored by Secure America Now! – a 501 c.4 non-partisan organization focused on national security issues. We had seen videos of intercepts of Iranian Fajr-5 and Grad 122mm rockets by the Iron Dome anti- rocket defense system. The IAF had attacked rocket launchers, smuggling tunnels and armories in Gaza that may have decimated the more deadly Fajr-5 rocket threats that have spread to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. That prompted delivery of the Sixth Iron Dome battery positioned in the Gush Dan area to provider coverage of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem following firings from Gaza that triggered warning sirens.
In 2012, $200 million was appropriate by the US Congress to build additional Iron Dome batteries for a total of 13 that would provide a virtual umbrella against the threat from the more than 50,000 rockets held by Hezbollah and the 10,000 held by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Hezbollah is preoccupied with the rebellion occurring in Syria that might cut off re-supply from Tehran. The Fajr-5 rocket supplied by Iran has a 90 kg. warhead and a range of 75 kilometers, the shorter range 122mm Grad rockets, 40 kilometers and the locally-made Kassem rockets, approximately 18 kilometers. The more than 1,500 sorties flown by the IAF during Operation Pillar of Defense, according to Gen. Kuperwasser may have destroyed upwards of 20% of the estimated inventory of 10,000 rockets in the possession of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The IAF raids have primarily focused on destruction of the Fajr-5 launch facilities and inventory. While the Iron Dome batteries have demonstrated great effectiveness with a near 90 % kill rate of intercepted rockets, there remain more than 7,200 in the inventory held by Gaza terrorist groups. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the waning days of the Operation Pillar of Defense adopted a new strategy of firing fusillades to inundate the Iron Dome batteries deployed in the field.
However, the rockets aren’t the only problem; there are anti-tank missiles to contend with.
A French-made Milan anti-tank missile fired at an IDF Jeep near the Karni border crossing into Gaza injured four IDF soldiers on October 10, 2012. According to Kuperwasser the Milan anti-tank missiles were smuggled into Gaza from Libya. The Russian developed Kornet anti-tank missile may have originated from Iran. A Kornet anti-tank missile fired from Gaza hit an Israeli tank in 2010 but did not disable it. The Israeli-developed Trophy system is capable of intercepting and destroying RPGs and anti-tank missiles. Presumably the Merkava tanks, deployed near the Gaza frontier, are protected by the Trophy system against the threats from these Milan and Kornet anti-tank missiles.
SA-7 GRAIL MANPADS
SA-7 GRAI (MANPADS)
The Russian SA-7 GRAIL heat-seeking Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS), which have been fired at Israel attack helicopters and F-16s, originated in Libya.
A May 2012 STRATFOR article estimated that the Gaddafi armories held 20,000 MANPADS, mainly SA-7s of which the US and interim Libyan government had sequestered 5,000. However, more than 10,000 Libyan MANPADS are missing and likely in the hands of terrorists, like al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), the Free Syrian Army and Hamas in Gaza.
How did Iranian and Libyan arms get to Gaza?
I asked Gen. Kuperwasser two questions at the conclusion of his secure America Now! briefing. The first dealt with the recent alleged IAF attack on the Yarmouk Sudan munitions plant on October 24, 2012 and whether the raid had destroyed larger and more deadly rockets. He declined to answer that question. The second question was directed at whether Ansar al-Shariah, the al Qaeda affiliate involved in the Benghazi attack on September 11th and 12th, 2012, might have been involved with shipment of Libyan arms acquired from the former Gaddafi armories? Kuperwasser said: “We didn’t know about that, but we would like to find out who is doing it.”
The second question was prompted by two articles, one published in The Counter Jihad Report in late October 2012, and a second one published in PJMedia in mid-November. Both articles alleged that the US might be involved in covert filtering of arms from Libya to Syrian opposition forces.
A GlobalPost article in early October 2012 noted the concerns of Israeli Military Intelligence:
Israel’s military intelligence is increasingly concerned about the quantity of Libyan arms flowing into the Gaza strip through its increasingly volatile border.
Egypt has a northwestern border point with Israel, at the top of the Sinai desert, and a long eastern boundary with Syria. The fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s Tripoli represents a new source for weaponry and has opened up a new and route, enabling smugglers to bring “thousands” of weapons into Gaza by way of tunnels that run from Rafah in northern Egypt, into the Hamas-run territory, according to numerous Israeli military sources.
Before the influx of Libyan contraband, Israeli assessments have been that most weapons coming into Gaza, albeit also illegally, have been from Iran, transported by ships crossing the Mediterranean Sea or overland via Sudan.
A September report by Israel military intelligence, widely quoted in public, stated that the weapons smuggled in from Libya constitute an increase in Gaza stockpiles, but not necessarily a qualitative enhancement of Hamas’ military capabilities.
The smuggling continues despite US efforts at trying to secure the vast armories from the Gaddafi era in Libya. The GlobalPostnoted US efforts and Egyptian police interceptions of arms crossing from Libya:
Victoria Nuland, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, said at a briefing in Washington that the United States was actively scouring Libya in search of conventional weapons that may have gone missing since the conflict in Libya began.
“The Libyans have asked for our help and we have increased our support apace,” Nuland told reporters.
Several hoards of weaponry incoming from Libya were caught and confiscated by Egyptian police operating near the Libyan border.
Egyptian military and security police actions in the vast Sinai peninsula against infiltration of arms into Gaza have been hobbled by priority actions against Salafist/Bedouin groups that have attacked Egyptian police stations and IDF border posts. Nonetheless interception of Libyan arms in late September 20122 prompted comments from Israeli military intelligence. Note this from the GlobalPost:
Late last month, Egyptian authorities briefly closed the Rafah border crossing without consulting their Israeli counterparts after another, larger than usual, cache of Libyan arms was detected on its way into Gaza.
Speaking on Israel Army Radio, Gen. (ret.) Shlomo Gazit, a former head of military intelligence who was privy to the intelligence report, brought up the inflow of weapons from Libya as a primary reason for the urgency of establishing a new based for Israeli-Egyptian relations.
“it is another reason Israel has to get itself back on track with its neighbors. I just read the story about the Libyan weapons coming into Gaza, and it’s not clear we know who we can even talk to about this right now,” he said.
The lack of monitoring of the Sinai, the conduit for Iran arms smuggled into Egypt via the Sudan, raises the question of Bedouin involvement. A recent CNN report noted:
One of the most important tribal figures in northern Sinai, Ibrahim Menai, who reportedly owns several of the smuggling tunnels that connect Sinai with Gaza, told CNN: “Weapons that are smuggled to Gaza come mostly from Sudan and recently from Libya during the security vacuum that followed the revolution in Egypt.”
Bedouin who are involved in arms smuggling receive the weapons from Sudan on small fishing boats through the Red Sea and by land trough rugged mountain terrain only familiar to them and are almost impossible to intercept by security forces that have little power over the Bedouin community,” he said.
The weapons that are smuggled to Gaza are mostly Grad missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, and recently during the Libyan revolution, advanced shoulder held anti-tank missiles came through,” he said.
Menai also says it’s very likely that the long range Fajr-5 missiles have been smuggled through from the Egyptian side, “most likely hidden among other merchandise that is loaded onto big trucks that go through the big tunnels.”
Gen. Kuperwasser would like to find out who is involved with the Libyan connections, as do many of us, who question the effectiveness of US assistance to the Libyan government endeavoring to control military contraband from the Gaddafi-era armories falling into the hands of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.
Secretary of State Clinton endeavored to facilitate closure on the proposed truce to halt the rocket attacks from Gaza and retaliation by Israel. Attacks threatening more than half of Israel’s population. Whatever cease fire goes into effect without demilitarization of Gaza and monitoring of arms smuggling via the Sinai and across Egypt from Libya could mark a possible strategic defeat for Israel. It is unlikely that Egyptian President Morsi can obtain the assent of Iran and its proxy Islamic Jihad in Gaza to monitoring of weapons smuggling in any cease fire. Achievement of the much sought after truce will determine whether the IDF will de-mobilize or cross the Gaza frontier beginning ground operations with the objective of destroying the rockets and other armories of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.