“Hell will break loose for the US if Omar Abdel Rahman is killed in prison,” said Safwat Abdel Ghany, member of Jama'a al-Islamiya's consultative council, in a press conference outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Wednesday.
Abdel Rahman, commonly known as the “Blind Sheikh,” is allegedly leader of Jama’a al-Islamiya, a militant Islamist organization in Egypt considered a terrorist group by the US. He is currently serving a life sentence in a US prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombings.
The group is also responsible for the November 1997 Luxor massacre, in which 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians were killed.
“The US is a country of infidels,” Abdel Ghany added. “And our military council must hold it responsible if anything happens to our leader Omar Abdel Rahman.
“He was wrongfully indicted by a Zionist judge,” he continued. “His case concerns the whole Islamic world and not just us.”
Abdel Rahman’s son Assad, for his part, called on all Muslims to support his father.
In Pakistan Almost Everyone Is A Conspiracy Theorist
From Agence France-Presse:
Pakistanis in denial 10 years after 9/11
By Emmanuel Duparcq (AFP)
August 25, 2011
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan — The young Pakistani officer sighs when he thinks about what happened to Osama bin Laden. "Was he really here?" he says. "All that, it's like 9/11, we don't even know if it really happened."
Sitting at the end of the track leading to the compound where US Navy SEALs killed the Al-Qaeda leader on May 2, Abdullah prefers to enjoy the fresh air blowing down from the Himalayas than relive his country's darkest hour.
"This is a holiday compared to Mathani or Charsaddah," he added, referring to parts of the northwest where Taliban bomb attacks and shootings have killed so many of his colleagues.
Abdullah is just one of millions in Pakistan who doubt that bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks. That spotlights the country's ambiguous relationship with extremism and selective approach to militants in what Washington calls the headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
The ambiguity is all the starker given that the cataclysmic events of September 11 dragged the nuclear power into a decade of fighting and violence that the government in Islamabad claims has killed 35,000 people.
The bulk of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda escaped the US invasion of Afghanistan by fleeing into Pakistan. The army -- furious with the West for doubting its commitment to the terror fight -- says more than 3,000 soldiers have died battling them since.
Opposed to the US alliance, jihadist groups -- once sponsored by the state to fight in Afghanistan and against India -- have splintered into a local Taliban blamed for more than four years of unrelenting bomb attacks.
In such an insecure country -- so fearful of India, distrustful of America and protective of its traditional influence over Afghanistan as a counterweight to Indian power -- conspiracy theories fester unchecked.
Wahab Khan Maseeb, 20, leaves his lectures at the medical faculty in Abbottabad. A young Pakistani-American in jeans and a T-shirt, he was in school in Brooklyn on that fateful day 10 years ago. He saw the ash cover everything.
But was it an Islamist attack? Wahab hesitates. Like others, he saw the "Loose Change" series of documentary films, which accused elements of the US government of carrying out the 9/11 attacks.
"It was pretty convincing," he says.
In a country awash with anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, Pakistani newspapers peddled totally unsubstantiated claims that 4,000 Jews didn't turn up to work in New York that day, so the attacks were somehow a Zionist plot.
Such theories are preached from mosques and propagated by madrassas responsible for the education of millions of largely penniless children.
Diplomatically, the United States has never been more frustrated with Pakistan for refusing to, or being incapable of, rounding up Al-Qaeda allies in the northwestern tribal belt.
US troops say the Haqqani network, whose leadership is based in North Waziristan, poses the biggest threat to security in Afghanistan, yet Pakistani intelligence agents are known to have close ties to the group.
"And yet there is no choice but to maintain a relationship with Pakistan. Why? Because we're fighting a war there," US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said recently. [why should "relationship" mean tens of billions in aid?]
With the US relationship worse than ever in the wake of the bin Laden raid, the perception that the United States has dragged Pakistan deeper into disaster is prevalent among all classes of society.
"Even educated people now believe in these theories, largely because of a large distrust with the US," says journalist Zahid Hussain, author of "Frontline Pakistan" and "The Scorpion's Tail".
The danger is that conspiracy theories create a climate in which it is easier for extremist networks to recruit.
"The wave of intolerance sweeping the country is also due substantially to the conspiracy theories put about by the ruling establishment and their allies in the media," wrote Ahmed Rashid this summer in the New Republic magazine.
One popular narrative -- that Washington is in cahoots with India and Israel to destroy Pakistan's nuclear weapons and the Muslim world -- papers over inadequacies of corruption and inefficiency closer to home.
After the May 2 bin Laden raid, for example, Pakistan denounced the violation of sovereignty rather than elaborate on how and why the Al-Qaeda leader managed to live for years near the country's top military academy.
Four months on, there are still no answers, feeding suspicions of collusion between elements in the security forces and Al-Qaeda.
"Certainly there were perhaps retired or mid-level elements in the intelligence agencies who perhaps knew bin Laden was in the country or how to get messages to him," Rashid told AFP.
Instead of blaming India, Israel and the United States, Pakistanis should realise "it is the selective state sponsorship of extremism that is destroying the country", he wrote in New Republic.
Civilization is disintegrating rapidly all over the world as the new barbarians get away with arson in Paris, London and Berlin. From the NYTimes:
BERLIN — At night all over the city, cars are burning on the streets of the German capital.
The federal police have been called in to help. Helicopters with infrared cameras can be heard buzzing overhead, and citizens are talking about forming watch groups. About 90 cars have been set on fire in the past two weeks alone.
In light of the recent outbreak of rioting in London, it might seem as though Berlin was the site of the Continent’s latest unrest. Yet incongruously, the city is otherwise peaceful.
Burning cars as a political statement dates back a decade here; hundreds go up in flames every year. Add copycats, insurance fraud and petty acts of revenge to the mix and a chronic illness has flared into an epidemic — with the burned-out chassis of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and even a backhoe and a garbage truck filling the news. The record up to this point came in 2009, when 401 automobiles were set on fire. Already this year, however, 364 cars have been set ablaze.
Fanning the fires, at least figuratively, is the Berlin mayoral race, now heading into the home stretch for next month’s election. Photographs of burned-out cars have been splashed across newspaper front pages and featured in campaign advertisements criticizing cuts in the police force — attention that experts say may be encouraging publicity-seeking perpetrators...
In the ruins of Gadhafi's lair, rebels find album filled with Photos of his 'darling' Condoleezza Rice
By David R Arnott
The ransacking of Moammar Gadhafi's compound is turning up some bizarre loot. Following on from the Libyan leader's eccentric fashion accessories and his daughter's golden mermaid couch, the latest discovery is a photo album filled with page after page of pictures of Condoleezza Rice.
Ammar Abd Rabbo / Abaca
Rebels examine a photo album of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which was found in Moammar Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, Libya, on August 24.
The former U.S. Secretary of State paid a visit to Tripoli in 2008 during a brief interlude that saw Gadhafi begin to be welcomed back into the international fold. As Jason Ukman of the Washington Post wrote on Wednesday, "it was only three short years ago that Rice shared a late-night dinner with Gaddafi to break the Ramadan fast, three short years ago that the United States and Libya were celebrating what was to be a new chapter in their relations."
In a 2007 interview with al-Jazeera television, Gadhafi spoke of Rice in glowing terms. "I support my darling black African woman," he said. "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her and I'm proud of her because she's a black woman of African origin."
Mahmud Turkia / AFP-Getty Images, file
Moammar Gadhafi poses with Condoleezza Rice prior to a meeting in Tripoli on September 5, 2008. Rice's was the first such visit in more than half a century, marking a new chapter in Washington's reconciliation with the former enemy state.
AP photographer Sergey Ponomarev was with the rebels as they flicked through the album in the Bab al-Aziziya complex on Wednesday. "There were lots of rebels celebrating their victory," Ponomarev said. "It was still unsafe - loyalists were shelling the compound from time to time - but rebels were celebrating the seizure of the Gadhafi compound. They believe the victory is in their hands. Some of them even brought their children to the scene."
Sergey Ponomarev / AP
Rebel fighters look through a photo album they found inside Moammar Gadhafi's compound on August 24.
Who Will Have The Unshakable Beliefs In Sufficient Numbers In The West? Muslims, Or Those Who Intelligently Oppose Islam
Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas
In this visualization, we see the tipping point where minority opinion (shown in red) quickly becomes majority opinion. Over time, the minority opinion grows. Once the minority opinion reached 10 percent of the population, the network quickly changes as the minority opinion takes over the original majority opinion (shown in green).
Image credit: SCNARC/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.
“When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”
As an example, the ongoing events in Tunisia and Egypt appear to exhibit a similar process, according to Szymanski. “In those countries, dictators who were in power for decades were suddenly overthrown in just a few weeks.”
An important aspect of the finding is that the percent of committed opinion holders required to shift majority opinion does not change significantly regardless of the type of network in which the opinion holders are working. In other words, the percentage of committed opinion holders required to influence a society remains at approximately 10 percent, regardless of how or where that opinion starts and spreads in the society.
To reach their conclusion, the scientists developed computer models of various types of social networks. One of the networks had each person connect to every other person in the network. The second model included certain individuals who were connected to a large number of people, making them opinion hubs or leaders. The final model gave every person in the model roughly the same number of connections. The initial state of each of the models was a sea of traditional-view holders. Each of these individuals held a view, but were also, importantly, open minded to other views.
Once the networks were built, the scientists then “sprinkled” in some true believers throughout each of the networks. These people were completely set in their views and unflappable in modifying those beliefs. As those true believers began to converse with those who held the traditional belief system, the tides gradually and then very abruptly began to shift. [as fanatical Muslims are able to change the attitudes of traditional Muslims -- but the reverse is not true]
“In general, people do not like to have an unpopular opinion and are always seeking to try locally to come to consensus. We set up this dynamic in each of our models,” said SCNARC Research Associate and corresponding paper author Sameet Sreenivasan. To accomplish this, each of the individuals in the models “talked” to each other about their opinion. If the listener held the same opinions as the speaker, it reinforced the listener’s belief. If the opinion was different, the listener considered it and moved on to talk to another person. If that person also held this new belief, the listener then adopted that belief.
“As agents of change start to convince more and more people, the situation begins to change,” Sreenivasan said. “People begin to question their own views at first and then completely adopt the new view to spread it even further. If the true believers just influenced their neighbors, that wouldn’t change anything within the larger system, as we saw with percentages less than 10.”
The research has broad implications for understanding how opinion spreads. “There are clearly situations in which it helps to know how to efficiently spread some opinion or how to suppress a developing opinion,” said Associate Professor of Physics and co-author of the paper Gyorgy Korniss. “Some examples might be the need to quickly convince a town to move before a hurricane or spread new information on the prevention of disease in a rural village.”
The researchers are now looking for partners within the social sciences and other fields to compare their computational models to historical examples. They are also looking to study how the percentage might change when input into a model where the society is polarized. Instead of simply holding one traditional view, the society would instead hold two opposing viewpoints. An example of this polarization would be Democrat versus Republican.
The research is part of a much larger body of work taking place under SCNARC at Rensselaer. The center joins researchers from a broad spectrum of fields – including sociology, physics, computer science, and engineering – in exploring social cognitive networks. The center studies the fundamentals of network structures and how those structures are altered by technology. The goal of the center is to develop a deeper understanding of networks and a firm scientific basis for the newly arising field of network science. More information on the launch of SCNARC can be found at http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2721&setappvar=page(1)
Szymanski, Sreenivasan, and Korniss were joined in the research by Professor of Mathematics Chjan Lim, and graduate students Jierui Xie (first author) and Weituo Zhang.
"Although Mr Kamprad ranks 162nd in the most recent Forbes magazine wealth list, worth an estimated $6bn (£3.6bn), some analysts believe he is much richer.
Ownership of Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, is now in the hands of a Dutch charitable foundation created by Mr Kamprad. But some, including the Swedish business newspaper Veckans Affarer, believe that behind complicated legal arrangements, it is still effectively his company.
Even so, Mr Kamprad is renowned for a devotion to frugality, reportedly driving an old Volvo and travelling by economy class."
Fitzgerald: 100 Things Europe Can Do To Protect Itself
[Re-posted from 2008]
“The poll, carried out across 21 countries, found “widespread anti-immigration sentiment”, but warned Europe’s Muslim population will treble in the next 17 years." -- from this news article
"Will treble?" Is this simply a given? There is nothing Europeans can do about this to protect their own legacy, their own art, science, legal and political institutions, their own physical security? Nothing?
Many things can be done. By god, I could list a hundred:
1. Halt Muslim migration. If you seek the justification for this, circumspice.
2. When deporting non-citizens, make the first priority the deportation of Muslim non-citizens who are in Europe illegally. Those whose Islam is strictly of the "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" may be allowed to make their case. But none of those found within Western Europe have, simply by having managed to get there, some kind of divine right to remain. Western Europe is not simply a land area open to all who manage to arrive on its shores.
3. Make naturalization tests much stiffer, requiring knowledge of the history and culture of whatever European nation is giving the test. A loyalty oath to the nation-state should be required, one which makes express the foreswearing of all other loyalties, and that includes a phrase about perjury being grounds for the stripping of citizenship so obtained.
Make sure the oath is written so as to expressly exclude a higher loyalty offered to Islam or to fellow members of the Umma throughout the world.
4. Put much more effort and money into enforcing the laws that exist (or if those laws are not strong enough, make them stronger) so that those who fraudulently receive benefits, and who have been violating the law (say, on polygamy), or who refuse to work (and receive unemployment benefits) though able-bodied, are subject not only to being permanently deprived of all such benefits provided by the Infidel state (free health care, free education, free or greatly-subsidized housing) but that the property such people may have accumulated is seized by the state. There have been too many cases of very large sums being accumulated by Muslims who officially have been on the dole. This problem is not confined to one European country, but can be found everywhere.
5. Make conviction for violence or threats of violence that are prompted by a refusal to accept freedom of speech as understood in the West to be grounds for immediate deportation of non-citizens and of deportation, after a hearing (before special courts, with judges versed in Islamic ideology), of those who managed to acquire citizenship in countries for which they do not feel, and cannot possibly feel, any real loyalty.
6. Interdict, by seizure (with no return), any sums that are sent from abroad by Muslim governments or groups to pay for mosques and madrasas within the lands of Western Europe unless the source of the funds, and the object to which the funds will be put, are crystal clear, and subject to oversight at every step.. Make it very difficult for such buildings to be erected, and use the opposition of local communities, and the zoning laws, to prevent more such buildings from going up.
7. Make sure that the race-relations industry is not inveigled into defending what has nothing to do with "racism" but with a clear and distinct set of ideas, inculcated by Islam. To wit: the duty of Jihad to remove all barriers to the spread, and then dominance, of Islam, and the view of the universe as being divided in two, between Believers and Infidels, with the former required to see themselves as in a permanent state of war (though not always and everywhere in a state of open warfare -- not if the Infidels are too strong) with Infidels.
8. Do everything to encourage, in and out of schools, the study of the real Islam, and everything to discourage, to expose and to mock, the presentations of Islam by the sly apologists, whether the apologist is a sweetly-smiling hijabbed Muslimah prepared to explain the "real Islam" at some interfaith-racket Outreach to Infidels at some Mosque Open Night, or at the local library or meeting-hall.
9. Make sure that members of the political and media elites are vigilantly observed by those whom they presume to instruct and protect, to see if they themselves understand Islam sufficiently. Do not let them continue to get away with ignoring this subject, acting as if "of course" Islam is "moderate" or to pretend that real, detailed knowledge, both of what is inculcated in the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, and what the 1350-year history of Muslim conquest and subjugation of every kind of Infidel, is somehow unnecessary for their own functions and duties, a waste of time, an irrelevancy. It is not.
Libyan rebels patrol to try to find any of Moammar Gadhafi's relatives in Tripoli, Libya, August 24, 2011
The Arab League Thursday recognized Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as the country’s legitimate government. It said it’s time Libya once again had a permanent seat on the league’s council.
Libya’s representative to the Arab League said the country would take part in a ministers meeting on Saturday.
Too much, too soon?
“I think that it’s premature. The government of Libya under Gadhafi is not completely overthrown as yet. Gadhafi is still at large. And the United Nations has not officially recognized a new government for Libya. And I think it’s premature for individual states or even groupings like the Arab League to take that step,” said Na’eem Jeenah, executive director of the Afro Middle East Center in Johannesburg.
He said the question remains as to exactly whom the Transitional National Council represents.
“It’s a council that was formed in the east in Benghazi. When it was formed and up to recently, and I would say up to now, it still represents groupings of people in the east. Even the so-called rebels in the west, like the people who rose up in Tripoli, etc., are not necessarily accountable to or within the constituency of the Transitional National Council,” said Jeenah.
The Arab League’s recognition of the TNC may simply be a signal that it’s glad to see Mr. Gadhafi go.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” he said, “Remember that they were very quick to come out against Gadhafi when the uprising began. There’s no real love lost between Gadhafi and almost all the heads of state in the Arab League.”
Jeenah said Mr. Gadhafi had two main problems with the league.
“One was his kind of policy of, as far as they were concerned anyway, turning his back on the Arab world and turning towards the rest of Africa. He was kind of regarded either as something of a traitor or as a maverick, who just looked to where his bread was buttered politically,” he said.
The other problem was the Libyan leader’s personal style.
“It’s very difficult to expect the Emir of Qatar, for example, to like you very much when in a public forum you loudly call him a fat man and things like that. Or call the King of Saudi Arabia stupid. It was that kind of interpersonal relations that he really messed up,” he said.
Mr. Gadhafi once proposed that countries on the continent form a United States of Africa. Now that his days appear to be numbered, Libya’s relationship with the AU may never be the same.
“I think that the relationship will change quite significantly. I think that the importance that Gadhafi had given to the African Union and to the African continent will be reduced. And in general there will be much more of an emphasis on being part of the Arab League and the Arab world and developing stronger relations with other Arab states and with Europe,” he said.
The AU’s response to the Libyan situation may have sealed its fate.
“With the Arab League having come out so strongly against Gadhafi in favor the rebels,” he said, “there’s been a kind of stronger relationship and camaraderie that’s developed with other Arab states. The African Union, on the other hand, as far as the rebels are concerned, were not very helpful and didn’t come out in clear support of the rebel groups as many Arab states did,” he said.
Under Gadhafi, Libya was a major financial backer of the AU. Jeenah expects that to change.
“I think it’s going to be a problem, at least financially. Libya itself had been contributing about 15 percent of the AU’s budget. And it has also been paying the dues of a number of other countries that had defaulted. Well, it won’t stop completely because I think that Libya will remain a member of the AU and will continue paying its dues. But those dues will be much smaller than 15 percent of the budget,” he said.
Jeenah thinks it will be difficult for the AU to make up for the expected shortfall.
Iran's ambassador to Moscow on Wednesday assailed Gazprom Neft for a "delay" in developing the country's oil reserves, as fewer energy investors remain committed to cooperating with Tehran.
Mahmoud Reza Saijadi also announced that Iran asked the United Nations International Court of Justice to rule on Russia's refusal to supply S-300 missile systems to his country.
Saijadi's broadside at Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state-controlled Gazprom, comes as many foreign oil majors are pulling out of the country, citing reasons that include U.S sanctions and difficulty in dealing with the government.
Gazprom Neft has delayed the development of the Azar field for nearly two years since signing a tentative agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company in November 2009 to jointly tap its resources, he said.
"Big damage has been done by Russian oil companies to the Iranian people," Saijadi said through a translator at a news conference. "I have already told the Russian side about the danger of this approach."
A spokeswoman for Gazprom Neft said the company would have no comment. The company does not mention Iran as a country of presence in the map of its business on the corporate web site.
A Gazprom Neft executive last mentioned Iran in March. Alexander Kolomatsky, head of the company's Iraq-based Badra project, said in an interview that data from Iran helped the company evaluate Badra's potential. Gazprom Neft raised its estimate of Badra's reserves more than twofold to 3 billion barrels thanks to its involvement in Iran, he said.
The company believes that Iran's Azar field and Badra in neighboring Iraq are part of the same underground oil reserve.
Foreign oil companies have reduced their activity in Iran since January 2010, according to a U.S. congressional report released earlier this month. The report by the Government Accountability Office said 20 firms — out of 41 firms it had tracked as having presence in Iran — withdrew or were in the process of pulling out from commercial activity in the country.
Those companies included LUKoil, which announced its retreat from Iran in March 2010 citing U.S. sanctions that seek to punish Iran for its nuclear program, which many nations suspect aims to create a nuclear bomb. U.S. lawmakers reinforced sanctions, which previously only barred investments of more than $20 million a year in Iranian exploration and production, by legislation that U.S. President Barack Obama signed last summer.
The new law complicates any investment in Iran by expanding sanctions to financial institutions, insurers and export credit agencies aiding the Iranian oil sector.
Some other companies that cooled to Iran also listed the difficulty of doing business with the country as a reason why they left, the congressional report said.
Saijadi on Wednesday unveiled a plan to rescue another deal that went sour: The sale of Russian S-300 missile systems, which President Dmitry Medvedev banned in September 2010 in compliance with a UN resolution from June 2010.
Iran is suing Russia in the International Court of Justice, hoping that the court will rule that the UN resolution does not cover S-300s, Saijadi said.
"We have filed our lawsuit in order for the court ruling to help Russia go through with the sale and in order for Russia to have a legal trump," he said in comments translated into Russian, Interfax reported.
In response, a highly placed Russian source dealing with arms exports from the country said Russia will not agree to supply the weapons unless the UN lifts its sanctions, Interfax reported.
"As of now, the contract is not on ice as some people believe. It's canceled," the source said.
Moscow is ready to return to Tehran the advance payment of $166.8 million, the source said. The entire contract, signed in 2007, has been estimated to be worth $800 million.
Israeli Woman Makes Brave Escape From Homemade German Torture Chamber
August 24, 2011
German police were investigating Wednesday after a woman was apparently kidnapped in the northern city of Hamburg and kept captive in a homemade torture chamber.
The Israeli woman made a brave escape from the soundproofed cell, made from a converted telephone booth, in 30-year-old Thomas Fischer's ground floor apartment -- fleeing when her captor forgot to lock the door and diving to freedom through a barbed wire-covered window.
The unnamed 26-year-old, an acquaintance of Fischer, was abducted at gunpoint Friday night from her home in Barmbek, a suburb of Hamburg -- 158 miles (255km) northwest of Berlin -- according to newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost.
Police fear Fisher was preparing for an extended stay with his victim, stocking his home with enough supplies to last him several months. But the woman said she fled to safety after just two-and-a-half hours, when he forgot to lock the chamber.
He is reported to have given chase, armed, but was unable to catch the woman, who ran to a friend's house where she alerted police.
When officers stormed Fisher's heavily fortified apartment, they allegedly found a pistol, a hand grenade and surgical equipment including a scalpel, syringes and gynecological tools with which he had experimented on a mannequin.
He had also stockpiled 113 fire extinguishers, some of which contained traces of explosives. In his bedroom were timber beams that police believe he had planned to use to board up the windows and doors.
Hamburger Morgenpost also reported that Fisher had been investigated previously for assault and stalking. He has not spoken since his arrest, according to reports, and no charges have been released.
A police spokesman was quoted as saying, "The whole two-roomed apartment was rigged up as one massive torture chamber, with this big old-fashioned telephone kiosk soundproofed as the cell for his victim."
The police prosecutor said, "It is evident that the apartment was meant as a place of confinement for some time."
Bild reported that police had begun searching for an accomplice who may have helped Fisher move the 276-pound (125kg), eight-foot-tall (2.3-metre-tall) phone booth and timber beams into his flat.
The case has drawn comparisons with that of Austrian woman Natascha Kampusch, who was held for more than eight years in a basement cell by Wolfgang Priklopil between 1998 and 2006.
Big-Hearted Sweden, Or A Little More On The Kamprad Business
And in Wienerwald the Trees Are Still Standing
(Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar)
On a cold February morning 1939, a group of parents are standing at a train station in Vienna leaving their children to strangers. Approximately one hundred children – the youngest only six years old – board a train that will take them away from the Nazi persecution, threats and hatred, to Sweden and freedom.
It is only the children leaving, not their parents. That is what the Swedish government has decided. They don’t want too many Jews in Sweden, they don’t want a “Jew-problem”. And the saviors – priests whose mission is to convert Jews to Christianity – have decided only children that are baptized and well behaved are allowed out of the Nazi Germany. Thirteen year old Otto Ullman is one of them.
Otto is an only child to the journalist Josef and his wife Elise, and when they have said goodbye to their son they go home and cry. They decided to write a letter a day to him, until the day they are reunited outside of Nazi Germany.
Otto Ullmann arrives to the southern part of Sweden, Småland, with its dark forests. Behind him he leaves evenings at the opera house, the soccer practice and the studying of Greek grammar. In Sweden he becomes a farmhand, and moves from farm to farm. When he is seventeen he arrives at a new landlord, Mr Kamprad, and becomes best friends with the son Ingvar. The family takes in the Jewish refugee with some hesitation, as they sympathize with “Uncle Hitler”. Eventually Otto Ullmann becomes one of the first employees in Ingvar’s company IKEA.
Glen Beck: Restoring Courage- â€œAdonai li, vâ€™lo iraâ€� G-d is with me, I fear not.
Glen Beck in Jerusalem
I watched Beck's Jerusalem finale, yesterday on GBTV. The venue was the Davidson Plaza close to the Kotel, the Western Wall. In the backdrop was a rotunda of the Al Aksa mosque atop what was the Temple platform. One could hear strains of the muezzin’s call to prayers. The tableau was set against the Citadel Walls, outlined by clear azure skies. Nearby was the City of David, site of important archeological evidence of the ancient Jewish presence in Jerusalem that Beck referred to as the Throne of G-d.
An illustration of that archeological evidence was held up by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, a highly successful software venture capitalist, during his introductory remarks. He held in his hand a tiny bell recently unearthed by archeologists in the City of David that had adorned the cloaks of a Second Temple High Priest. Barkat’s presence and his remarks were a testament to a unified Jewish Jerusalem despite the designs of Palestinians, supporters in the UN, the EU and even some in America to divide it. This ancient Jewish capitol will remain united, as Barkat noted as a tolerant oasis in the Middle East to many faiths that recognize the State of Israel and its ancient Jewish heritage. A heritage that the Palestinians and most Muslims categorically deny.
We heard Israeli vocal artist Dudu Fisher sing to the accompaniment of a men’s choir and orchestra, several pieces including Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, and at the conclusion of the event, the Sabbath prayer from the Broadway hit, Fiddler on the Roof.
Erick Stakelbeck, investigative journalist on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Amy Holmes, news anchor for GBTV’s The Blaze and Raj Nair, GBTV contributor interviewed attendees during the pre-event segment.
During this finale there were interspersed shots of a number of the 1500 international viewing parties. Beck noted viewing parties from locations that were “unfree”: China, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, among other locations across the world. He also referred to Sheiks and Muslims that were in the audience from several of these locations.
Among those viewing parties were colleagues Tom Trento of The United West and Joseph Sabag, Director of the Florida Region, Zionist Organization of America (ZoA). Sabag of the ZoA had organized a viewing party in Delray Beach. Sabag and ZoA executive director, Mort Klein had heaped praise on another Restoring Courage viewing party participant in Columbia, South Carolina (SC), State Representative Alan D. Clemmons, author of House resolution 4339. As noted by Beck the SC House resolution states that “Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others, and that peace can be afforded to the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.”
Barry Rubin of the GLORIA Center in Israel was there at the Jerusalem event, as well. Rubin has supported Beck’s views on the Middle East. However, unlike Beck, Rubin had a different take on the event’s slant, as he favors a rollback of these ‘settlements’-see here. Like Beck, I don't believe in dismantling settlements in Judea and Samaria to achieve peace. I clearly favor annexation of Judea and Samaria recognizing that Jordan is for all practical purposes, Palestine. But friends can differ, even though we agree about what confronts Israel in the Middle East and Beck’s genuine support for Israel and the Jewish people.
Barry Rubin in his Pajamas Media report cited an AP hit piece on Beck’s Restoring Courage Jerusalem event:
Here is a hilarious example of the hysterical hatred that many in the media try to whip up against Beck, an AP story that practically draws horns and a tail on Beck. The author is so eager to tell the audience to hate this evil person that any pretense of journalistic fairness is thrown overboard.
Not a single quote from anyone favorable to Beck is given. Remember that AP dispatches are supposed to be bland and super-neutral since they are supplied to many different newspapers. This one reads more like a Soviet newspaper under Stalin talking about Trotsky. The article finds no space to report anything that Beck actually said. There is no pretense of fair or accurate reporting because the author knows that editors will let it pass without any professional integrity at all.
Beck, while sounding like a preacher, hit all the right notes in his keynote address-see here. He paid tribute to the so-called "settler movement" in Judea and Samaria. That movement includes my cousins who live in Ma’aleh Adumim, and Modern Orthodox Rabbis Dr. Shlomo Riskin and Moshe Rothchild of Efrat in Judea. According to the bible is where Ruth and Boaz lived and the Ark of the Covenant rested before entering Jerusalem. Efrat's founder Rabbi Shlomo Riskin provided an invocation striking the right tone of G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people, as did the Palestinian Christian Pastor Steven Khoury from Bethlehem who provided the concluding benediction. As Beck indicated Khoury had courageously suffered beatings at the hands of Palestinian Muslims for his views.
I met Rabbi Riskin when I lived in Connecticut. His sister and brother-in-law are members of my former Conservative synagogue in Fairfield. Brooklyn-born and reared, Riskin received his ordination at Yeshiva University from famed rabbinic scholar, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He holds a PhD from NYU in Islamic and Middle East Studies. Rabbi Moshe Rothchild, an American Olim (Immigrant) from Miami who now lives in Efrat, had given a previous invocation during the Restoring Courage program on the Holocaust , as his wife's family were devastated by the Shoah.
Matthew Staver, The Dean of the Liberty University Law School, made several Restoring Courage awards for Faith, Hope and Charity. The Faith Award went to Tamar Fogel, the 12 year surviving daughter of the hapless family, five of whom were slaughtered by teen-age Jihadis in Itamar, a Jewish settlement in Samaria. Miss Fogel had declared herself strong and committed to be a “mother to her surviving younger brothers.” The Hope award went to the Jewish and Arab owners of Maxim Restaurant in Haifa, who reopened, despite being devastated by a Palestinian suicide bombing in 2003. The Charity award went to Rami Levi, an Israeli super market chain mogul who provides free food to low income Jews, survivors of terrorist attacks and Muslims during Ramadan, only to be boycotted by the Palestinian Authority.
Beck’s speech drew attention to a Haftorah, Isaiah; 41: verses 10-12. This is one of several consoling readings on succeeding Shabbats following the Ninth Day of Av. This is a fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples and other catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people down through the ages. This was not lost on Beck, as Palestinian terrorists had attacked, killed and injured Israelis near Eilat, during the same week as his Restoring Courage events in Jerusalem.
Beck noted this Jewish liturgical reference in his speech:
Because we have a right to knowledge and truth, we have a responsibility to pursue it, and to fight falsehood.
These declarations of responsibility, and others, are being posted at www.glennbeck.com. In the coming days, I want each of you to print them, read them, carry them, and make them a part of your lives. Share them with your family and friends. Remember all that G-d has done for you, teach these lessons to your children, and obey G-d’s word. And join me on a historic march towards human responsibility.
Evil is counting on us to do nothing. Evil is counting on us to be afraid. But evil has misjudged us.
Evil has misjudged us as it has misjudged the Jewish people. The last line of a Jewish prayer is…
Adonai li, v’lo ira
G-d is with me, I fear not.
Those two lines have been uttered for centuries. Through crusades. Through pogroms. Through the gas chambers. At the hands of butchers.
In every generation, they rise up to kill Jews. And in every generation, the answer is the same.
LO IRA. I fear not.
I will wait for someone else to rise no more. This time, we are the ones who say – LO IRA.
During his presentation, Beck announced a flight to South Africa to hold a program about what real Apartheid was all about and how a multi-racial Republic of South Africa came into being. Then onto South America for meetings with local and national political leaders there endeavoring to arouse support for Israel. This will be followed by a meeting on Sunday in Dallas, Texas with an expected 5,000 attendees to kick off his charitable affiliate, Mercury One.
Beck's Restoring Courage program demonstrated the close affinity with Israel expressed by evangelical Christians whom I have met here on the Gulf Coast in the US. They are the best friends that Israel can count on. That was reflected in the presence of David Brog, Jewish executive director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), who read a letter from a Muslim Sheik from Hebron expressing support for Israel and the Jewish people. The CUFI members and tens of millions of Christian evangelicals in the US who support Israel vote. As I have heard in their churches, they honor Ha Shem's covenant with his people as articulated in Genesis. Beck appealed to this Christian Zionist solidarity when he concluded:
But I can promise you this. One day, your children and grandchildren will ask you: “What did you do when the world was on the edge again? What did you say when the West, Israel and the Jews were blamed again?”
You will look them in the eye and say: I had courage. And on the 24th of Av, I committed to stand with courage… to walk… to march… arm in arm… behind G-d’s pillar of fire.
One Friday evening I was sitting with my Kurdish writer and poet friend Bejan Matur in Istanbul, drinking tea. As usual we were talking politics. Some young men and women were sitting near us, smoking a hookah and laughing.
The two of us were discussing the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Turkish army, Syria and Iran. The young people near us fell silent at the mere mention of the PKK and gave us an angry look.
My friend Bejan said to me, “You see? They’re on the brink of an explosion. They would’ve attacked us if they weren’t shy.”
When the young girls and boys realized we were Kurds, they asked for the bill, paid and left. They didn’t want to be sitting near us.
Bejan was right. The Turkish and Kurdish communities in Turkey have never been so close to exploding as they are today. Just when everyone was expecting things to improve, they seem to be getting worse. Pessimism is running deep and there seems to be little chance for openness and democracy.
The Turks are jubilant that Turkish fighter jets are bombarding Iraqi Kurdistan’s Qandil Mountains. When they hear the names PKK and BDP, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, they grit their teeth and wish them all dead. By the Turks I mean most of the population, though there is a small minority who do not believe the military option is a solution.
What brought Turkey to this day and what will happen?
If we take a hard look at Turkey, we can see that Prime Minister Receb Tayyib Erdogan and his party have become too confident and arrogant, particularly because Turkey’s economy is performing better than some European and Middle Eastern countries. This alone makes Turkey dream of becoming a regional superpower. But it isn’t that easy.
What is happening in Turkey today is just as much a consequence of the country’s flawed regional and international policies as it is an outcome of its domestic problems. What Turkey is trying to achieve today — leading the Muslim world -- is the same aspiration that Saudi Arabia has had for decades. It is also the role that Iran has been trying to assume under Ayatollah Khomeini for the past 30 years. Erdogan, who has focused on centuries of Ottoman rule over the Muslim world, sees himself as a modern sultan.
But Iran and Saudi Arabia cannot accept this. As soon as Tehran saw Erdogan working to topple its Shiite ally in Syria, Iran immediately stirred up domestic problems in Turkey by lending support to the wing of the PKK that it controls. The message is clear. Iran wants to tell Turkey, “When you have your domestic Kurdish issue, don’t ever interfere in affairs other than your own.” I believe Erdogan is aware of this fact.
What’s happening in Turkey today is the beginning of a storm. Aerial strikes are continuing, the ground troops are moving and the police, which have been empowered to deal with the PKK, have made random arrests.
In the coming days, a great number of BDP members will be dragged into court. Erdogan and his media want to tell the public that the BDP is the cause of all the trouble and that if BDP calls the PKK “terrorists” everything will be solved.
At a time when Turkey could become a real model of democracy and peacefully solve its ethnic issues, the ruling party’s miscalculations and interferences by neighboring countries has stirred up problems that will bring serious consequences and waste a lot of time.
Erdogan hopes Turkey will be one of the strongest nations in the world by the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey in 2023. But given his current mentality, in 2023 the Kurds in Turkey will also be commemorating their plight.
Iranian leader tells Lebanese television that "Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime [Israel] as [a] symbol of suppression and discrimination."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was determined to eradicate Israel, the Iranian Student News Agency reported Thursday.
"Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime [Israel] as [a] symbol of suppression and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.
"Iran follows this issue [the eradication of Israel] with determination and decisiveness and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy," the Iranian president added in the interview with the Al-Manar network.
The remarks by Ahmadinejad came one day before the annual anti-Israeli rallies named Qods [Jerusalem] Day, which are held nationwide in Iran on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should hold Qods rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this "infectious tumor and this regime full of rascality."
The Iranian president provoked international condemnation in 2005 when he said that Israel should be eliminated from the map of the Middle East and transferred to Europe or North America.
The international isolation of the Islamic republic escalated after Ahmadinejad held a Holocaust conference in 2006 in which he questioned whether the killing of 6 million Jews in Europe during World War II actually happened.
Activists Demand That New York Jewish Federation Fire CEO
This week, New York UJA-Federation CEO, John Ruskay was taken to task by activist group JCCWatch.org for excessive compensation and funding of left wing anti-Israel groups. This accusation followed a review of the IRS Form 990 filings of the Manhattan-based Jewish Federation (NYJFED). We had written about the activities of JCCWatch.org that have been directed at uncovering the anti-Israel pro-Palestinian positions and activities of the NYJFED. JCCWatch.org has been endeavoring to hold accountable the NYJFED board of directors for such actions.
These JCCWatch.org efforts reflect similar ones by Jewish community activists across the US. Ha’Emet-The Truth a local Jewish community activist group in Orange County, California has uncovered evidence local JFed funding of the controversial Olive Tree Initiative of U.C. Irvine. The Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI) was launched due to leftist support of anti-Israel programs of the Indianapolis JFed and the affiliated Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) involvement with Muslim Brotherhood front, the Islamic Society of North America, whose national headquarters is located in suburban Plainfield, Indiana. The Boston Russian Jewish Community Foundation has criticized the JCRC of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies for inviting anti-Israel group J Street to become a member of the JCRC in the Hub city.
Noted theologian Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein had known John Ruskay, NYJFED CEO in the latter’s student days and as New York 92nd Street Y education director in Manhattan. He offered this assessment of Ruskay.
John Ruskay was my student assistant in my course on French existentialism at the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1960’s. He was already “liberal.” When he was education director of the 92nd Street Y, he invited me to give a lecture, but became furious when I declined to give him a written text afterwards. I didn’t have the time and he had gotten me on the cheap (small lecture fee plus no travel expenses as I had other reasons to be in NYC).
I had no further contact with him. With Mark Ellis and John Ruskay, I have really had some bad news people as students, but some very good ones as well: Michael Berenbaum, the late Major James B. Halstead, USAF, and others.
Israpundit had the details of the accusations against Ruskay based on the JCCWatch.org investigation.
The JCCWatch.org discovered through IRS annual Form 990′s filings that John Ruskay, the CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, received an excessive compensation package of over $675,000.00 per year in both 2008 and 2009.
The Founder of JCCWatch.org, Richard Allen states: “It is unconscionable at this time of tremendous need by the beneficiaries, that the head of the UJA-Federation received a compensation package of over $675,000.00 per year. John Ruskay, the Chief Executive officer of the UJA-Federation of New York, is not only taking an exorbitant personal compensation package, he has also been charged by JCCWatch.org with using his position to further his personal political ideology.”
Allen went on to say “Ruskay is also using the UJA-Federation funds to support organizations with a clear political agenda. This is not surprising since he has a history of supporting radical groups including the original anti-Israel group ‘Breira’ during the 1970′s. John Ruskay, through the JCRC, recently supported a group actively calling for the Boycott of Israel, to be allowed to march in the Israel Day Parade in NYC.” This group, named after a far left political party in Israel, Meretz-USA, marched, as well as a group that funds organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; The New Israel Fund.”
Richard Allen further states, “John Ruskay allocated UJA-Federation Funds of over $1,000,000.00 (One Million Dollars) to the George Soros political front group, “Funders for Jewish Justice.” That group spent over $100,000.00 on an ad attacking Glenn Beck. Neither George Soros nor his front groups are known as Jewish Charitable organizations. There are urgent needs in the community that could have used that money. These needs are going unmet and the funding that could have made a difference was allocated to groups with a political agenda.”
JCCWatch.org calls on the directors of the UJA-Federation to review their funding and priorities. While any one individual is entitled to their political views, Jewish communal monies must be spent on charitable efforts; not political and personal pet projects that undermine the State of Israel.
American converts to Islam are highly prized by the Da’wa proponents of the Muslim Brotherhood. Like all ‘true believers’ they are hooked on violence and fanaticism. They are dangerous and should be given neither publicity nor any opportunity to espouse their views in public discourse.
One such case is William Colley, an alleged Muslim convert, former Tea Party leader and self-professed Libertarian who hails from Eastern Tennessee.
William Colley describes himself as your” average camo wearing, bow hunting, East Tennessee redneck”.
Except …he’s the director Muslims for Liberty, a group of Muslims and non-Muslims of a liberty minded ideology fighting to change the perception of Islam in America, and offer tools to conservatives and libertarians who want the facts about Islam without all the sensationalized rhetoric we get in the mainstream Media.
[. . .]
Colley has established his credibility in [both the Muslim community and Tea Party movement]. Currently active in East Tennessee, and former co-host of “Tea Party Patriots Live” on WORL 660 Orlando, the first tea party radio program in America. He has also lectured at Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Islamic History, interfaith relations, and Islamic Law (Sharia). He is completing his training in Islamic Studies and Sharia through a WebCT program in Qatar.
The public face of Colley is quite different. Witness this comment someone who had exposure to Colley while he lived in Orlando;
Will Coley used to live in Orlando Florida and attend UCF. He says he is an ex-Marine, befriended one of the local tea party leaders, threatened to attack one of our people, and works closely with CAIR. He calls himself a Conservative with the sole purpose of joining and infiltrating the Tea Party Clubs. If he is a member of your Tea Party Group – make it a priority to get him kicked out.
Will is very emotional and can be easily manipulated once engaged in a conversation.
Another Orlando person who was directly exposed to Colley had similar frightening experiences.
Will Coley is very dangerous and is without doubt a “true believer”. I had a personal confrontation with him, received a personal threat from me and after a UCF event, my family received a death threat from the local Islamic Society of which he was a very active member. His wife is Iranian and he travels frequently to the Middle East. He angers easily and will call on other converts to attack you on line. He does not do well when called a traitor and coward.
Ask yourself a question. Did Will Coley, former Pentacostal Christian, Tea Party leader convert for spiritual reasons or for notoriety and personal gain? Or is he the proto-typical opportunistic ideological hitchhiker of the stripe that the fabled San Francisco dock walloping philosopher, Eric Hoffer, wrote presciently about in his classic book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. I have kept a dog-eared copy of the original paperback edition in my personal library for over half a century after I stumbled across it in an undergraduate college bookstore shelf. Note how cannily Hoffer catches the jib of Colley in his definition of a "true believer":
"the man of fanatical faith who is ready to sacrifice his life for a holy cause.' Leaders of the mass movement " must know how to kindle and fan an extravangant" -for Islamic fanatics, death is the key to an instant heaven. "If they join the movement as full converts they are reborn to a new life in its close-knit collective body, or if attracted as sympathizers they find elements of pride, confidence and purpose..." p.13.
"Violence breeds fanaticism...and fanaticism begets violence." Islam imposed its faith by force, yet the coerced Muslims displayed a devotion to the new faith more ardent than that of the first Arabs engaged in the movement " (p.107)
Colley is a perfect example of what the Salafist proponents of Da'Wa are seeking - am ex-Christian from the Bible Belt who has been transformed into a consummate stealth Jihad advocate with access to the media to spread untruths. Conflating alleged equality for believers within Islam as the seeds of western justice and Constitutionalism is a total fraud. The only difference between Will Colley and Grover Norquist is the former came out of the darkness, while the later remains quietly behind the veil of his professed beliefs in furthering the conservative movement and tax reform in America while positioning Muslim Brotherhood representatives to infiltrate our government. Norquist is equivalent to the Star Wars film character, the 'Sith lord' Senator who reveals himself as the Evil Emperor out to gain power at any cost and destroy The Republic. At least Anjem Choudary speaks the truth publicly about Islam, even if it is Salafist Islam. Colley's Islam is a purposeful fictional construct of his own making. This convert has the conceit of a consummate shape changer and liar. He is a dangerous violent whacko. What’s the expression; stay away and stay alive.