These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 26, 2012.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Erdogan Regime's Hysteria Is One More Reason To Force Turkey Out Of NATO
Turkey to push NATO to consider Syria's downing of Turkish jet as attack on military alliance
June 25, 2012
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey said Monday it would push NATO to consider Syria's downing of a Turkish jet as an attack on the whole military alliance.
The announcement came on the eve of a meeting by NATO's governing body to discuss the incident. Despite deep frustration among many NATO countries over the conflict in Syria, where the opposition says President Bashar Assad's crackdown on an increasingly armed popular uprising has killed 14,000 people, it's highly unlikely the military alliance will take armed action against the Arab state.
The unarmed RF-4E reconnaissance jet was shot down a mile inside international airspace on Friday, and two Turkish pilots are still missing, the Turkish government says. It has insisted the plane was not spying on Syria.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc also said for the first time Monday that Syrian forces had opened ground fire on a CASA search and rescue plane shortly after the downing, but did not say if that plane was hit.
Arinc said Turkey retained its right to "retaliate" against what he called a "hostile act," but he added, "We have no intention of going at war with anyone."
Still, he added that Turkey will push NATO to consider the jet's downing under Article 5 in a key alliance treaty. Article 5 states that an attack against one NATO member shall be considered an attack against all members.
The North Atlantic Council -- which includes ambassadors of the 28 NATO countries -- works by consensus and all members must approve any action. The meeting Tuesday comes after Turkey requested it under Article 4 of the treaty, which allows a NATO ally to request such a consultation if it feels its territorial integrity or security has been threatened.
Asked if Turkey will insist on the activation of Article 5 of NATO, Arinc said, "No doubt, Turkey has made necessary applications with NATO regarding Article 4 and Article 5."
"It should be known that within legality we will of course use all rights granted under international law until the end," Arinc said. "This also includes self-defense. This also includes retaliation many-fold. This includes all sanctions that can be applied to the aggressor state under international law. Turkey will not leave anything out on this issue. The public should be assured."
The prospect of Western military intervention in Syria remains remote, despite all the tough talk.
Such action is unlikely to get the support of either the U.N. Security Council or the Arab League, and outside intervention without the blessing of both of those bodies is all but unthinkable. And there is little appetite among the NATO countries -- of which the U.S. is the largest -- for another war in the Middle East.
Arinc strongly denied Syrian claims that the downed plane was shot by anti-aircraft fire while flying low inside Syrian airspace. The Syrian government said Monday said the plane was hit by a short-range anti-aircraft gun to prove that the plane was inside Syrian territory.
Arinc, however, said Turkey believed the plane was hit with a laser-guided or heat-guided missile -- capable of hitting the plane in international airspace.
The deputy premier admitted the jet mistakenly strayed into Syrian airspace when it was flying at an altitude of 200 feet and at a speed of 300 knots, but said it left the Syrian airspace after warnings from Turkish radar operators and that it received no warning from Syrian forces during its five-minute flight inside Syrian territory.
"It was hit while flying 13 miles away (from the Syrian coast) at an altitude of 7,400 feet," Arinc said. "It leaned on its left side and fell steeply for four miles toward the east."
Arinc said the plane crashed into Syrian waters and its wreckage is believed to be below 3,280 feet.
Arinc also said Syria was misleading the world when it says its forces could not recognize the plane until after it was downed.
He said the plane's electronic signals, which indicate if an aircraft is friend or foe, were activated during the entire flight and that Turkey even intercepted radio conversations in which Syrian forces referred to the plane. Arinc did not elaborate, but Hurriyet newspaper, citing intelligence sources, said Monday that Syrian forces referred to the plane using the Turkish word for "neighbor" -- "komsu" --in an intercepted radio conversation.
Arinc reiterated Turkey's insistence that the plane was not spying on Syria but just testing Turkey's radar capabilities.
"There is no doubt that Syrians deliberately targeted our plane in international airspace," Arinc said. "It was an extremely hostile action."
The ‘white widow’ of a 7/7 London bomber is the prime suspect for a deadly terror attack in Kenya.
Samantha Lewthwaite, whose husband Jermaine Lindsay blew up a Piccadilly Line train, has been on the run since December when police foiled a plot to blow up Western hotels in Mombasa. And officers say the Home Counties mother of three was spotted near the nightclub targeted in the Indian Ocean resort on Sunday night.
A grenade was thrown into the Jericho Beer Garden – packed with tourists watching England play Italy – killing three, including a young boy.
Shortly before the attack, a white woman fitting Lewthwaite’s description was seen acting suspiciously and asking questions about the bar. She was with two Asian-looking men. ‘We suspect Samantha Lewthwaite was actively involved in the terrorist attack on the club,’ a Kenyan police official said last night.
Police believe Samantha is back in Mombasa and is playing an active role in hand grenade attacks,’ said a Kenyan security source. A white woman, fitting Samantha’s description, was seen with two middle-aged Arab men asking questions about the bar before the attack.
'She really stands out as it is very unusual for a white woman to be here and dressed in Muslim clothes.’ The suspicious trio had also been spotted near Catholic churches in Mombasa.
University dropout Lewthwaite is being hunted by the CIA, Kenyan police and Scotland Yard, which has sent a large team to Nairobi to assist with the investigation.
Her alleged accomplice in December’s bomb plot, 29-year-old Londoner Jermaine Grant, is on trial in Mombasa.
The port city and Nairobi have suffered a series of bomb attacks since Kenyan troops entered Somalia in October to crush Islamist militants. Hours before Sunday’s bombing the US embassy issued a warning of an imminent terrorist attack in or around Mombasa.
A man believed to have acted as a "handler" in the Mumbai terror attacks which left 166 dead in 2008 has been arrested by Indian police.
Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari is suspected of helping to co-ordinate the atrocities from a base in Pakistan. Detectives think he was the sole Indian among a faction of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group which gave orders to the 10 gunmen from a control room in Karachi. New Delhi blames the group for the attacks, which stunned India and further damaged fragile relations with its nuclear-armed neighbour Pakistan.
Authorities think his was the voice of a previously unidentified man who was taped speaking by phone from Pakistan to the militants involved in the attacks in November 2008. He is suspected of tutoring the terrorists in Hindi and using his local knowledge to direct them around Mumbai during the attacks. According to Indian media reports, he told the attackers to tell journalists that the "attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come".
Ansari was reportedly arrested on arrival at Delhi airport on 21 June after being deported from Saudi Arabia at India's request. He is thought to have been travelling on a Pakistani passport under the name Riyasat Ali. Police say he had up to 10 aliases, including Abu Hamza and Abu Jundal.
Detectives say Ansari instructed the gunmen that, if they survived, they were to tell investigators the attacks were revenge for the Indian government's atrocities against Muslims and the plight of Kashmiri Muslims. According to India's Mail Today, he also told the terrorists to claim they were Muslims from Hyderabad's Tolichowki area in an attempt to present the atrocities as homegrown.
Only one of the 10 gunmen emerged from the atrocity alive. There was much confusion over Mohammad Ajmal Kasab's nationality after his arrest, but he turned out to be Pakistani and eventually gave Ansari's name to prosecutors as the terror group's "handler".
Ansari is also wanted in connection with other terrorist acts. The Mumbai joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy told local reporters on Monday that Ansari was suspected of involvement in a case from 2006, when a huge haul of arms and explosives was found in a car in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in western India. He is also wanted for attacks on Mumbai trains in 2006 in which 180 people were killed, the television channel NDTV reported.
The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British-born terrorists after al-Qaeda lured dozens of would-be bombers abroad to train for possible attacks on the UK, the head of MI5 warned.
Jonathan Evans said the terror network has taken advantage of the unstable region, in the wake of last year’s revolutions, to spread its influence and create new bases for attacks. British would-be jihadis are known to be receiving training in the likes of Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has already happened in the Yemen and Somalia.
And they could return to attack the UK in what is a “new and worrying development”, he said. Mr Evans, the Director General of MI5, warned of the emerging threats in a rare speech, his first in almost two years.
In his talk, he also: Revealed that the intelligence services and police are preparing for a potential threat from extremists and even lone wolf terrorists should the Eurozone collapse: Warned State-sponsored and criminal cyber attacks risked “real world damage” including one British company which has suffered estimated losses of £800m after being hacked: Suggested a potential return to State-sponsored terrorism by Iran.
Mr Evans warned a new terror threat has emerged from an “Arab world in radical transition”. He said while the events offered long term hope there was a “more immediate problem” as al-Qaeda has returned to its native home.
“Today parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaeda. This is the completion of a cycle – al-Qaeda first moved to Afghanistan in the 1990s due to pressure in their Arab countries of origin. They moved on to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban.
“And now some are heading home to the Arab world again. And a small number of British would be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen.
“Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse as events unfold.”
STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Norwegian man has received terrorist training from al-Qaida's offshoot in Yemen and is awaiting orders to carry out an attack on the West, officials from three European security agencies told The Associated Press on Monday. Western intelligence officials have long feared such a scenario — a convert to Islam who is trained in terrorist methods and can blend in easily in Europe and the United States, traveling without visa restrictions.
Officials from three European security agencies confirmed Monday the man is "operational," meaning he has completed his training and is about to receive a target. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly. They declined to name the man, who has not been accused of a crime.
"We believe he is operational and he is probably about to get his target," one security official said. "And that target is probably in the West." A security official in a second European country confirmed the information, adding: "From what I understand, a specific target has not been established."
European security services, including in Norway, have warned in recent years of homegrown, radicalized Muslims traveling to terror training camps in conflict zones. Many of the known cases involve young men with family roots in Muslim countries.
But the latest case involves a man in his 30s with no immigrant background, the officials said. After converting to Islam in 2008, he quickly became radicalized and traveled to Yemen to receive terror training, one of the officials said. The man spent "some months" in Yemen and is still believed to be there, he said.
The official said the man has no criminal record, which would also make him an ideal recruit for al-Qaida. "Not even a parking ticket," he said. "He's completely clean and he can travel anywhere."
The officials declined to specify what makes them think the man is operational. Signs that a would-be jihadist is ready for an attack could include the creation of so-called martyrdom videos for release online in conjunction with an attack, or an abrupt cutoff of communication and contacts with peers to avoid detection. The man has not been accused of a crime in Norway, where traveling abroad to attend terror training camps is not a crime per se.
CIA and FBI officials in the U.S. declined to comment on the AP report.
Trond Hugubakken, a spokesman for Norway's PST security service, also declined to comment on the case. He referred to a PST security assessment in February, which highlighted that "several" Islamic extremists have traveled from Norway to conflict zones to attend training camps. Hugubakken acknowledged that converts who turn to violent extremism pose a particular challenge. "Converts will have a different level of cover, especially if they have no criminal record," he said, adding that most Muslim converts do not turn to extremism.
For some unaccountable reason the mainstream press does not see Egypt's democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President as a menace. Say what you like about Mubarak -- and there's not a lot to like -- at least he wasn't the people's choice. One brief letter to The Times sounds a cautionary note:
Sir, When the Arab Spring was at its height, we were accustomed to see, among the demonstrators in Tahrir Sqare, numbers of women. There were none in your picture today of those celebrating the election as president of the Muslim Brotherhood.
And if there were any women -- unveiled, secular, English-speaking, young, photogenic and whatever-are-we-Islamophobes-worried-about women -- you can bet your burkha The Times, The Guardian and the BBC would have snapped 'em.
I look at this morning’s front page: “Arab Spring spawns new generation of UK terrorists”. Are we supposed to be surprised by this? I was called all the rude names under the sun for mocking these velvet revolutions in Egypt and Libya. All those bright Westernised kids on their mobile phones preaching the gospel of “democracy”, while the serious revolutionaries – the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Salafists, Sunni fundamentalists and other armed-to-the-teeth totalitarians – were biding their time.
It brought back recollections of our Romantic poets’ enthusiasm for the French Revolution. Coleridge, Southey and their barmy ideas of a utopian “pantocracy”. And above all, weary Willie Wordsworth’s approbation, “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive; and to be young was very heaven.” He changed his tune in 1793 when the reign of terror broke out and Madame Guillotine toured the land, cutting off heads, under the auspices of “The Committee for Public Safety.”
Why has it taken the Western media so long to wake up to the fact that there is a fundamentalist religious and political uprising in a score of countries? And that this is an existential threat to the West? Why do The Guardian and the Today Programme and the rest of the ignoramus bien pensants laud the “activists” in Syria, as if the terrible events taking place there are so easily polarised between nice rebels and nasty Assad?
Events in Libya have already turned sour with attacks on British officials by the same people we were aiding and abetting just a few months ago. Egypt is firming up ties with Iran. No wonder the Israelis have posted tanks on the edge of the Sinai. Yemen is a no-go area for everyone who is not a paid-up member of al Qaeda.
Meanwhile this hideous reactionary revolution across north Africa and the whole of the Middle East is being appeased by Western statesmen who are really the successors of Baldwin and Chamberlain. And no one dare criticise this religiously inspired thuggery for fear of being thought politically incorrect.
I don’t mind dying. Really, I don’t. But I don’t want to die of ignorance and stupidity.
Listen to 1330AMWEBY Middle East Round Table Discussion on Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Presidential Election, Syria Agonistes and Stalemate over Iran Nuclear Talks.
Listen to the latest in a series of international discussions on developments in the Middle East on 1330AMWEBY, Pensacola, Florida. This is the latest program in the periodic round table discussions led by “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and author of the new book, The West Speaks. Our returning guest is Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research of the Washington, DC –based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).
The WEBY program will air today during the 4 to 5:00PM CST (5:00 to 6:00PM EST) segment. You may listen live here.
Among the topics to be discussed:
1. The Morsi Muslim Brotherhood Presidential victory in Egypt and Obama policies in the MENA Region (Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria).
2. Significance of Iran's congratulations extended to Morsi on his election victory.
3. The White House visit to Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough by an Egyptian Legislature delegation that included Hani Nour Eldin of terrorist group Gamma- Ismaliya requesting release of blind cleric Omar Abdul Rahman who fomented the 1993 WTC bombing.
4. The secret arms network filtering weapons to the Syrian opposition backed by Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
5. Is there any alternative to Muslim Brotherhood control of the Syrian opposition?
6. What are the implications of Putin's visit to the Middle East?
7. What are Russia's interests in Syria and its views on Israel's possible military option on Iran?
8. What lies behind the recent American Enterprise Institutes and Foundation for Defense of Democracies debates on possible US intervention in Syria?
9. What is the real story behind the Netanyahu Mofuz unity government in Jerusalem?
10. Have the P5+1 Iran nuclear talks been stalemated?
11. What is the likely impact of the looming EU oil export sanctions on Iran and why has discussion of possible military options abated?
An article based on today’s 1330AMWEBY international round table discussion will appear in the July edition of the New English Review.
Two men from a mosque in West London have been killed fighting alongside Islamic fundamentalists in Yemen, it can be disclosed. The two men, one a former accountancy student, had travelled to a religious school to study Islam but took up arms in Yemen’s increasingly bloody civil war, their friends and relatives told the Daily Telegraph.
They were killed fighting rival shia Muslims in the mountains around the small town of Dammaj in Northern Yemen.
The father of one of the men said he considered his son to be “shaheed” [a martyr] and his whole family had been inspired to adopt fundamentalist Islam.
Both men attended a small mosque in Cranford, West London, under the flight path into Heathrow, which was also occasionally attended by Asif Hanif, Britain’s first suicide bomber. Hanif killed himself in an attack on a waterfront bar called Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv in 2003.
An imam at the mosque said they did not agree with suicide bombing or terrorism but they would not discourage members of the congregation from traveling to Dammaj, which is considered a seat of learning for fundamentalist “salafi” Islam.
Adil Malik, 24, from Hounslow, and his friend, Hisham, had been living in Dammaj for several years, studying with Sheikh Yahya al- Hajooree, who runs a madrassa called Dar ul-Haadith.
Malik’s father said his son was “shaheed” and added: “His time was written, it is going to come for you, it is written for everyone.” He reserved his wrath for the Houthi fighters, adding: “The Lord will punish them, they will pay, they will burn in hell, that is my prayer. They have taken innocent people’s lives.”
Ghaffar Hussain, an expert on radicalisation, said: “This case illustrates that young Muslims in Britain are still being misled by extremist forces and that Yemen has replaced Afghanistan as the centre of gravity for jihadist activity.”
Hisham was originally from Saudi Arabia but has lived in India and in London, according to Malik’s father.
Malik was born in Britain and attended Northolt High School and turned to religion while studying accountancy at Brunel University in West London. The school did not respond to requests for comment.
He was the eldest of four girls and three boys and his father said he had inspired the rest of the family to take their religion more seriously. “I wasn’t very religious, I don’t want to lie, but now we have taken music out of the house and other evil things,” he said. “My children have changed and the girls obey the rule to cover themselves.”