These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 6, 2012.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
'Fingerprints confirm Kenya fugitive is 7/7 widow Samantha Lewthwaite'
Samples from Lewthwaite, the widow of suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay, are an exact match to prints from a suspect seen fleeing across the Tanzanian border in August, Kenyan police said.
Scotland Yard detectives confirmed the match after the Kenyan authorities sent samples from their suspect, dubbed the “white widow” by local police, Kenyan police said.
“Samantha Lewthwaite’s fingerprints have been confirmed by detectives we have been working with from the UK. This woman is still in the country. She will not escape if she passes through exit points at the border because of her fingerprints,” a Kenyan police chief told The Daily Mail on condition of anonymity. We are confident we are looking for the white widow,”
She is believed to have fled up the coast to Somalia. Her family in Ayslebury have appealed for her to come home but said they haven’t seen her in years.
Posted on 03/06/2012 3:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Row threatens Cologne's mega mosque
From the Guardian
It was conceived as a project that would foster dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims and act as a bridge between Islam and Christianity. But the completion of a controversial multimillion euro mosque and culture complex is under threat after a prolonged row between its German architect and its Turkish developers. Architect Paul Böhm and Ditib, a branch of the Turkish government's religious affairs authority (what are they doing with a finger in German affairs?), have tentatively agreed to continue with the project but only after the intervention of a retired Cologne mayor. Fritz Schramma said the parties, whom he unambiguously referred to as "combatants", had agreed to complete the project to create a "transparent, open mosque"
Böhm's domed mosque, which borrows features from the Ottoman architectural style and has a 55m-high minaret and space for 1,200 worshippers, is destined to become Germany's biggest mosque and one of Europe's largest. Its adjoining culture centre will house everything from a library and prayer rooms to a bazaar, a travel agent and a hairdressers.
He (Böhm) has since accused Ditib of a smear campaign against him after it produced a list of extra demands and, he says, repeatedly changed the building plans, causing the initial cost to soar by €17m to €34m. He was later banned from the construction site and his contract terminated, demoting him to the role of adviser.
Ditib, which is responsible for 1,000 mosques in Germany (definitely not a good idea), has presented Böhm with a list of 2,000 construction faults, referring to him as "a brilliant artist but a failed construction manager". It is objecting to the sand-coloured facade and accuses Böhm of surreptitiously working Christian symbols into the building, including crucifixes, as well as an X and a P, which together symbolise Christ. Böhm has denied the allegations.
Lale Akgün, a local Social Democrat politician of Turkish origin, has accused Ditib of becoming "increasingly more conservative and closed, in line with the wider political picture in Turkey", saying that the accusations about the Christian symbols had originated in Ankara.
Since its conception, the mosque has caused considerable tension in the city. Among its opponents are those who are against it for aesthetic reasons – including its sprawling size and towering minarets – and others, particularly the anti-immigrant movement Pro Köln and the writer Ralph Giordano, who argue that it is a political symbol that does not belong in the city and would allow Cologne's Muslims to live in an autonomous world rather than encouraging them to integrate.
Posted on 03/06/2012 3:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Lagos demolishes three mosques, relocates churches
From the Vanguard
LAGOS — Following an order by Governor Babatunde Fashola, banning religious activities within Lagos State secretariat, the state government, weekend, demolished over three mosques and relocated churches in the state secretariat, Alausa Ikeja. Fashola, in the order, had based the decision on the need to strengthen security at the secretariat in view of the spate of bomb attacks in some parts of the country and urged devotees to use the central mosque and the secretariat chapel for their prayers.
The mosques, which were reduced to rubbles, were located behind Ministries of Justice, Finance, Environment while the one behind the state Public Service Commission, PSC, which was not demolished but its entrance completely blocked. When Vanguard visited the secretariat, Muslim faithful, who frequently pray at the affected mosques, were seen in groups discussing the development.
It was further learnt that the demolition was carried out weekend to avoid violent reaction. It was further learnt that efforts by Muslims, who are members of the state executive council to make the governor have a rethink on the decision they considered anti-Islam fell on deaf ears.
Sources said the Commander of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, had alerted the governor on the need to carry out the measure due to the possibility of Boko Haram sect attacking from places of worship.
So they have destroyed the Mosques from whence an attack may be launched and protected Christian worshipers by moving the chapel inside the Alausa Ikeja area for safety. If only Whitehall was as aware of the potential danger. They don't call them mosques but there are 'prayer rooms' in many Government and public buildings, and they don't label them 'male' and 'female' but why else have two identical but separate spaces next to each other, especially when the Christian groups meet during lunchtime and after work in whatever conference room they can find free.
Posted on 03/06/2012 4:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
From Libya, Scattered Returns
Just a year has gone by since the Arab Spring first hit Libya, and celebrations of Libya's liberation from its despicable dictator aren't exactly making headlines. Indeed, has there been much to glorify? There is little semblance of a central government, and intertribal fighting shows no signs of abatement. Are the Libyan people better off now than they were before France and Britain, with the United States "leading from behind," rushed to the rescue of the 2011 revolution? It’s time to take a painful assessment of the Libyan intervention—not least because it may have limited our options for dealing with both the butchery in Syria and the looming Iranian nuclear threat.
To understand the repercussions, we must look back to eight years ago. In December 2003, the world was stunned by the revelation that the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi had agreed to end his effort to develop a nuclear military capability. All the machinery and equipment were dismantled and the country was pronounced "clean." Thanks to the orchestrations of the CIA and MI6, for the very first time in history a Muslim state in the Middle East had voluntarily agreed to roll back its nuclear program. In exchange, the West tacitly agreed to guarantee the Qaddafi regime’s security and to acknowledge its legitimacy (while also reaching settlements on the downing of Pan-Am Flight 103 and other Libyan terrorist operations). To that end, a stream of high-level figures from Washington and London traveled to Tripoli to celebrate the rapprochement between Qaddafi and the international community.
This was a high-stakes political bargain, but it was deemed justified by the ultimate goal: ridding the international community of a military nuclear threat in the heart of the Mediterranean. Moreover, it established a precedent that could be applied the next time a country in the volatile Middle East aspired to acquire nuclear weapons.
Today, however, the achievements of 2003 have been destroyed by the policies of 2011. The unique accomplishment of the rollback precedent was replaced with another example of Great Power license to abandon promises at the slightest whim. Indeed, the West seemed eager to violate its previous diplomatic commitments. They interpreted Security Council Resolution 1973—which permitted intervention in Libya—in brazen fashion, going further than the abstaining Russian and Chinese governments had ever thought possible. (They also hardly concealed their pleasure over Russia’s loss of its arms trade with the Qaddafi regime.)
As Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu meet today, the bitter lessons of the Libyan campaign will hover in the background. In light of the Libyan experience, what nuclear aspiring nation can now put its trust in a rollback deal of any sort? When NATO took to the skies over Tripoli, Benghazi, and Misrata, it delivered the greatest possible blow to future non-proliferation diplomacy.
There’s been plenty of collateral damage as well. Substantial quantities of sophisticated and toxic weaponry disappeared overnight from large Libyan armament stores and may have found their way, in part, to the most vulnerable and inflamed areas of the Middle East. Worst of all, the Libyan experience has already compromised—for the moment, at least—any chance that international coalitions can be assembled and maintained to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat and the Syrian crisis.
Indeed, the West will regret spurning Russia. Moscow feels it was misled or outfoxed in Libya—hence its current stance in the U.N. Security Council, where it is using its veto to torpedo any international efforts to unseat Bashar Al Assad. Having lost Iraq and Libya as clients of its military industry, it is hanging onto Syria and might even upgrade the equipment it is selling to Iran. Russia will strive to prove that no resolution to the Syrian crisis can conclude without its participation and consent.
Of course, there will be those who will ask about the moral and human aspects of the Libyan revolution. Indeed, what about them? How much has the lot of the Libyan people improved by the substitution of a dictator for havoc, lawlessness, and the collapse of governance? In the final analysis, does anyone really know how many died at the hands of Qaddafi's goons and how many were killed by the weaponry of NATO and other air forces?
Philosophers and men of morals and justice who strutted across the stage have long gone home, leaving the people of Libya poor, destitute, and alone. And they have left the international community facing Syria and Iran with fewer and worse options than we had before the Libyan intervention. The question of whether it was worth it answers itself.
The main point -- that nothing particularly wonderful has happened in Libya, and that those who were helped to overturn have not been installed a regime noticeably better than what was overturned -- could apply to Egypt, to Tunisia, to all the places so ecstatically greeted as being part of some bliss-was-it-in-that-dawn-to-be-alive "Arab Spring."
But Efraim Halevy does not address another point: is not a Libya divided, with cities and tribes jostling rivalrously, a good thing for the West? Instead, he focuses on how the people of Libya are faring, and whether their lives are better, and concluding that they are not, also concludes that perhaps the intervention in Libya was not justified.
He does make a point about Russia being infuriated by the Libyan venture, and the loose interpretation of the U.N. Mandate by NATO. And this, he says, no doubt has repercussions for the situation in Syria. And more alarmingly, he suggests that the Russians might give more miltary and other aid to Iran (since the West has failed to let the Russians know that a Southern Azerbaijan carved out of northern Iran is something to think about) out of a desire to get back at the West for what it did in Libya.
He did not take the occasion to note that the Russian leaders, and many Russians who are led by those leaders, see the world as divided between "chuzhoi" (the world that belongs to, is under the influence or sway of, our old enemy the West, and especially America) and "svoi" (the part of the world that was under the sway or influence of the Soviet Union, and that therefore, by rights, still belongs in the Russian camp, and must not leave that camp).
Posted on 03/06/2012 6:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
The Third Jihad and Syria: A wide-ranging Interview with Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser
by Jerry Gordon (March 2012)
On March 5, 2012, an unusual rally was held at One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan. The rally was held in support of the NYPD's counterterrorism program and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who were the objects of ridicule in a media campaign initiated by the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). more>>>
Posted on 03/06/2012 7:13 AM by NER
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” - Mark Twain
Every time Benjamin Netanyahu comes to America, the world is reminded that Barak Obama has never been to Israel as president. After nearly four years, the leader of the free world continues to shun the only true democracy in the Middle East. During the same period, Mr. Obama has traveled to several autocratic, if not theocratic, Muslim countries to reassure them of America’s good will. Concurrently, the president prosecutes several small wars in the Muslim world with the expressed purpose of “stability” or “nation building.”
Americans and Europeans have been dying for such ephemeral objectives for two decades now. Yet NATO armies are still charged to respect not defeat a noxious ideology. At the moment, American troops and advisors are being hunted down and summarily executed in South Asia by Muslim “allies” for real or imagined insults to a holy book which inspires the worst atrocities of a new century.
No matter the many mobs that gather in the many Muslim capitals chanting “death to America,” no matter the many Muslim theologians that use the sanctuary of mosques to preach hate in the name of “god” and jihad; a politically correct generation of timid social democrats, here and abroad, continues to assure their constituents that Muslim scripture is simply being misused by a few radicals.
Now comes a Shia theocracy whose secular and religious leaders have publicly vowed to wipe “Israel off the face of the earth.” Should they succeed; in an instant, the heretofore impotent Sunni world majority will be displaced by a more militant and less ambiguous Shia role model.
And Persia makes no empty threat as Teheran poses on the brink of nuclear weapons capability. Here again, the apologists are deployed - including a 16 member American Intelligence Community that can not muster the integrity to make a call on yet another Muslim bomb. These are the same covert institutions who have no problem with cyber-war against the bomb makers or opening a Pandora’s box of American tactical and strategic vulnerabilities. If the history of weapons programs in North Korea, Pakistan, and India provide precedents, western Intelligence might make a call on Persian nuclear capability when missiles are inbound over Tel Aviv.
Our most kinetic response to the imminent threat from the Muslim minority, and a thousand lesser barbarties, from the Muslim majority is to apologize to the Sunni and “sanction” the Shia. Indeed, American and European infidels and apostates are consistently assured by a fearful political class that the West is not at war with Islam or Muslims. And now that Israel presumes to exhibit the courage to prevent the first holocaust of the 21st Century, America and Europe advise restraint and caution. Unfortunately for Israel, the threat is potentially terminal and time is not an ally.
American policy is, at once, a flawed assumption and a cultural insult. Granting Muslim stability a higher priority than Israeli survival is the assumption; and elevating Muslim culture to parity with Jews or Christians is the insult. Moral equivalence is the problem, not the solution to epidemic political cowardice in the non-Muslim world. Israel has no good reasons, by virtue of history or evidence, to accept any American assurances, especially from an Obama administration. Antisemitism is ever the canary in the geo-strategic coal mine.
Posted on 03/06/2012 7:43 AM by G. Murphy Donovan
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Jerry Gordon's The West Speaks on Kindle Now
New English Review Press is pleased to announce the publication of our fifth book, The West Speaks a collection of interviews by Jerry Gordon to be released April 1, 2012, but the kindle version is available now.
Jerry Gordon has done an invaluable service in this collection of interviews with some of the brightest minds of our time conducted between 2008 and 2012 for New English Review. These are remarkable people actively striving to defend and to define what is best in Western culture, including politicians such as Geert Wilders and Arieh Eldad, intellectuals such as Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye’or Robert Wistrich, Sam Solomon, Nina Shea and David Yerushalmi, theologians such as Richard L. Rubenstein and Mark Durie, activists such as David Beamer, Elsabeth Sabaditsch Wolff, Lars Hedegaard, Jonathan Hausman and Charles Jacobs, cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard and Lars Vilks, and journalists Erick Stakelbeck and Kenneth Timmerman. All of them provide fascinating insights into their efforts to fight the complacency and resignation that has contributed to the current state of Western decline and Islamic resurgence.
Jerry Gordon’s new book is an absolute classic that is required reading for anyone - civilians, law enforcement, policymakers, Congressmen, journalists - who truly want to expand their knowledge about the extent of the threat to our society posed by radical Islam. The breadth of the interviews conducted is staggering. You may not agree with all of the interviewees but I assure you that you will learn, be challenged, and be informed about the true nature of the threat to western society by the stealth Islamist penetration of the elite media, Hollywood, European leadership, etc. You will also learn first hand of the truly horrific and evil treatment by the Islamists of those Muslims who dissent. This is an invaluable book to who we owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Gordon for assembling.
-- Steven Emerson, Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism & author of six books and producer of several documentaries on radical Islam
Jerry Gordon’s excellent questions prompt important answers from leaders who appreciate Western culture and worry about Islamist encroachments. The result is stirring.
-- Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum & Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University
This collection of encounters between the skilled interviewer and editor, Jerry Gordon, and a selection of 19 extraordinary personalities of many nations, orientations, occupations, and interests, is truly seminal. Few are the published volumes which have attempted such a feat and which have succeeded so spectacularly with flying colors. Compliments are due Mr. Gordon for his selection of his interviewees, for his piercing questions and for the fashion in which he leads them to reveal not only their views and sometimes hidden meanings and insightful thoughts.
-- Raphael Israeli, Professor of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Chinese History & author of twenty six books including, Islamikaze
Jerry Gordon, a former U. S. Army intelligence officer, knows the truth and speaks it to power, without fear or favor. His writing is clear and scrupulous, and his commitment to the truth is so powerful that he has made all the right enemies. Don’t miss this new and revealing work; as usual, Gordon is at once a profound student of history and a rueful predictor of events to come.
-- Stefan Kanfer, biographer, former Time editor & member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust.
The West Speaks is in Kindle Stores around the world:
Posted on 03/06/2012 2:34 PM by NER
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
More Gratitude Shown By Libya Toward Great Britain
From The Guardian:
Libya may bar UK police from visiting to investigate Lockerbie bombing
Interior minister says Britain should answer questions about its relationship with Gaddafi before UK police are allowed to visit
The Libyan interior minister, Fawzi Abdel A'al, said of British interest in Lockerbie and Yvonne Fletcher: 'Why did they shut up all these years and bring it up now?' Photograph: Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Libya has all but closed the door on allowing British police to travel to the country to investigate the Lockerbie bombing and the killing of the police officer Yvonne Fletcher.
The interior minister, Fawzi Abdel A'al, said there was no treaty allowing UK police to visit Libya, and any agreement at some future date might depend on whether Britain answered questions about its past involvement with Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
"There is no treaty between Britain and Libya to allow such a thing," he said in an interview with the Guardian and Agence France Press.
"The Libyan people have questions for Britain when talking about this case," he said of Fletcher's death. "Why did they shut up about this all these years and bring it up now?"
Discussing Lockerbie and the release of the convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, he said: "Didn't America and Britain accept millions of dollars from Gaddafi as the price to end this case? Who let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi go? Did we?
"Do you remember when Fletcher was killed? We are now in 2012. Where was the British government from 1984 until 2011?"
He said Britain needed to explain the reasons for the rapprochement between Britain and the Gaddafi regime in 2004, sealed when the former prime minister Tony Blair visited Libya.
"Why did the British government improve its relations with Gaddafi? Something happened in this case between the former Libyan regime and the British government to end this dispute. Didn't the former British prime minister Tony Blair visit Libya more than one time? Saif al-Islam [Gaddafi's son] came out one time in a statement to say that Blair was an adviser to his father. Blair was an adviser to Gaddafi after he left the government."
Abdel A'al, a former Misratan district attorney who is seen by diplomats as a high flier in Libya's cabinet, was appointed to the job in November and has access to tens of thousands of files detailing the Gaddafi regime's dealings with foreign powers.
He said he might consent to an investigation by Libyan authorities without the involvement of UK police.
"We see that the best way to solve this now is that the British government ask the Libyan authorities to open an investigation inside Libya, and for the Libyan side to hand in all the information they have on this case so the Libyan authorities can start investigations."
His statement is likely to be viewed as a setback to both the Metropolitan police, investigating the 1984 killing of Fletcher by shots fired from the London Libyan embassy, and Scottish police wanting to pursue the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in 1988.
In December the minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, met Abdel A'al in Tripoli and announced that Libya had agreed to allow UK investigators to visit Libya.
Instead, Libya's authorities seem to have decided against it, although the governing National Transitional Council is due to hand over to an elected government in elections expected in June.
Abdel A'al said he had no animosity towards the British people. "Britain is loyal to the Libyan state and I don't think the British politicians or the British people are trying to embarrass the Libyans by bringing up these cases at this time," he said.
The interior minister also said he had armed units ready to attack a militia base in Tripoli to liberate two British journalists being held there, but wanted to give negotiations a chance.
The reporter Nick Davies and cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson have been held by a Misratan militia at a base on Tripoli's seafront since 23 February, accused of possible espionage.
"We have the capacity to raid this base, we are capable of applying a military solution, but this would cost a lot of blood so we continue to negotiate," said Abdel A'al.
He said the Misratan militia unit had no authority for its capture and detention of the journalists. "The behaviour is completely illegal. Why do they detain journalists or anyone? We do not recognise any measures taken by this militia," he said.
Posted on 03/06/2012 5:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald