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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 6, 2012.
Friday, 6 July 2012
Seven arrested on suspicon of terror offences after arms found in car

This is bizarre. Either this is a red herring designed to tie up police time, or the terrorists really are as thick as those lampooned in Four Lions, or I am missing something, possibly a career as a master criminal myself.

From The Telegraph and the BBC

West Midlands Police said one man from West Yorkshire and six from the West Midlands are being questioned on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism following a series of arrests this week.

A spokesman said: "The arrests followed a routine stop of a vehicle by police on the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire on Saturday, June 30. The car was impounded on suspicion of having no insurance. Firearms, offensive weapons and other material were later found hidden inside, prompting police to take action to trace and arrest the driver, passenger and others suspected of being involved."

Police said three men aged 23, 26 and 27 from Sparkhill, Birmingham, were arrested on Tuesday morning.  Three more suspects, a 22-year-old from Alum Rock, Birmingham, a 24-year-old from the Moseley area of the city, and a 22-year-old from Smethwick, West Midlands, were arrested on Wednesday evening. A 43-year old man from Kirklees, West Yorkshire, was detained yesterday.

The BBC understands the arrests are not linked to the Olympics or the arrests of six terror suspects in London on Thursday. Det Ch Supt Kenny Bell, head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "As soon as the items were discovered in the impounded vehicle, our priority was to protect the public by pursuing and arresting those we believed to be involved."

The items recovered from the vehicle are undergoing forensic analysis and searches are being carried out at the addresses of those in custody. Detectives were given extra time to question the three men arrested on Tuesday after the initial 48-hour detention period expired. They now have until next Tuesday morning to charge or release the men, or apply for further time.

If I were transporting weapons and contraband in my car I would make damn sure the car was taxed, insured, MOTed, 100% legal and that I drove in such a way as to minimise attracting police attention as far as possible. If my car was impounded with the what with inside pertinent to a plot I would 1) alert my co-conspirators that the plot was compromised 3) take whatever evasive action seemed necessary 3) vanish.  

Posted on 07/06/2012 5:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 July 2012
Muslim pilot linked to suspected terrorists loses case against BA

From the Independent 

A Muslim airline pilot sacked after he was linked to two suspected terrorists has lost his case against British Airways. 

Samir Jamaluddin, a senior first officer who flew Boeing 747 jets, was arrested by counter terror police in 2007 before he was dropped by the airline three years later. He launched a claim for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal but this was rejected by an employment tribunal which found in favour of BA.

Officers dropped the case against him in February 2008 owing to insufficient evidence. Mr Jamaluddin initially remained with BA but the airline suspended his flight crew pass and he was sacked in October 2010, following a security review of his position.

The British pilot, born to Indian parents, told a hearing in Havant, Hampshire, that he believed he was targeted because he was Asian and a Muslim.

While police did not pursue the criminal case against him, BA conducted its own internal investigation, concluding there was a significant security risk if Mr Jamaluddin continued in his role. He was offered the opportunity to find a new position within the company which did not require him to have an airside pass. This proved unsuccessful and his employment was terminated.

It (the Tribunal) said: "The Tribunal had no doubt that for whatever reason, the claimant found himself in an invidious position; as did the respondents. There was no evidence of wrongdoing or misconduct by the claimant, however, his employer had a very proper duty to pursue the matters which ultimately led to his dismissal.

"The withdrawal of the pass and his subsequent dismissal has had a catastrophic effect on the claimant's flying career, certainly within the UK. The tribunal after consideration of all of the facts, whilst being sympathetic to the claimant's plight, are satisfied that the respondents did not discriminate or act unlawfully."

In a statement the airline said: "The safety and security of our customers, aircraft and employees is always our number one priority and we will never compromise this area of our business. Following information from the police, we carried out a thorough investigation and risk analysis and concluded that Mr Jamaluddin was not suitable to work as a co-pilot. . . "

Posted on 07/06/2012 3:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 July 2012
Muslim Mumbai Plotter Would Do It All Over Again

No regrets, because direct participation in jihad -- in this case the chosen instrument was mass-murder -- is the surest way to jannat, or the heaven of dark-eyed houris and pearly boys.

Jindal has no remorse for Mumbai carnage, say investigators

New Delhi: There is no remorse in Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal Hamza, the Indian national who has confessed to being in the control room in Karachi during the 2008 terror siege of Mumbai, say investigators, describing him as an intensely devout man who believes he did his "religious duty".

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist from Beed in Maharashtra has confessed to being amongst those directing the 10 Pakistani terrorists who docked in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, 2008 and unleashed mayhem till Nov 28, sources in the investigation team said.

Jindal, who was arrested at the airport here on June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia, is being interrogated by several investigating teams, including the Intelligence Bureau, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad team and a special Delhi Police team.

He has shown no regret for the Nov 26-28, 2008, attacks, in which 166 people, including several foreigners, were killed and 238 injured.

"Jindal has no regret for the deaths of 166 people in the 26/11 attack. He explained the deaths, saying that in the way of god people have to sacrifice not only their life but also leave their homes, relatives and family too," an officer in the interrogation team said.

Jindal, who loves to expound on Islam and offers namaz five times a day during which he rubs his forehead against the floor as a true devout, told interrogators that the 2008 Mumbai carnage was "a part of his devotion for his religious duty called jihad".

He told interrogators that the word jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of god (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".

Asked why he had chosen India for jihad, Jindal is believed to have told interrogators, "It's a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad.... especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims."

He has been forthcoming in his replies regarding the role played by the LeT in the attack, but "tends to mumble" when it comes to the role of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, say investigators.

He has told them that he is only a member of LeT, and his bosses chose the specific targets for jihad. He also said there were other mujahideen - persons engaged in jihad - like him who were selected to execute plans.

The planning for 26/11 was done sometime in 2003, Jindal has said. He had been tasked to recruit Indian Muslims for jihad and those hailing from non-Hindi speaking areas were taught to speak Hindi by him.

During 2006, when investigators unearthed a major arms and explosives consignment in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Jindal, who was part of the team taking the deadly goods to Mumbai, managed to escape, said sleuths. Though police were on his trail, he managed to flee to Bangladesh.

"He crossed into Bangladesh and then travelled onwards to Pakistan, all with the help of Pakistani intelligence operatives," an investigator said.

"As he was well versed with Mumbai due to his native place being Beed in Maharashtra, Jindal was deputed to recruit and train the ten terrorists involved in 26/11 attack," the official said.

An unrepentant Jindal told investigators that if he gets another chance, he will repeat the terror attack as it would help him get a place in jannat (heaven) through jihad.

Investigators are trying join the dots in the entire 26/11 conspiracy and execution by connecting Jindal's activities - from his early days as part of the LeT camp in Nepal, and later when he attended camps in Muridke and Thakot in Pakistan - to his directing the Mumbai attack from the Karachi control room along with LeT chief Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and some ISI officers.
Posted on 07/06/2012 8:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Barry Rubin On The Rehashing Of the Arafat-Died-By-Poisoning Tale

Yasir Arafat Is Still Dead and We Know Who Really Did Him In

Posted By Barry Rubin On July 6, 2012 6 Comments

Yasir Arafat is still dead. True, he was once alive. I sat across from him in his Gaza office, for example. And he even had a copy of my history of the PLO on his book shelf so he must have been of sound mind at the time.  It’s not my fault. I told him to start jogging and cut down on sweets.But he didn’t listen. On November 4, 2004, he died, a fate he previously delivered to thousands of far more innocent people.

The effort now by various Palestinian factions to imply Israel killed him is the funniest thing in the Middle East since the CIA director’s congressional briefing when he said the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular democratic organization. What’s dismaying is how much play Western media are giving this charge as if it should be taken seriously. When the West behaves in this way it signals at the least a dangerously naive credulousness and amnesia; at worst, it signals a profound anti-Jewish and anti-Israel complex on their part. The New York Times and Washington Post take this nonsense seriously.

But there’s something else in this story, something very chilling indeed. Revolutionary Islamists especially, but many Muslims otherwise, believe that Jews tried to murder Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and even if they failed that the poison shortened his life. The accusation that Jews are the murderer of prophets–with Muslims throwing in the founder of Christianity also–is a phrase that derives from this story. It is frequently heard from Hamas and others. This is a blood libel, an alleged crime that then leads to the view that Jews are absolutely evil and should be wiped out. In short, it is a rationale for genocide. When Iran, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Muslim Brotherhood say that Israel should be wiped off the map and Jews generally should be murdered that incitement is the inevitable consequence of this line of thinking.

That Western observers are unaware of all of this history, and repeated every day in inciteful sermons found often in Middle East mosques, is quite evident. Such a lack of knowledge leads them to believe that the conflicts they say are easily resolvable, quickly settled by more Israeli concessions or still continuing because of Israeli actions when the causes are much deeper and the solutions far more remote. Western societies today are obsessed with searching everywhere for racism and hate speech. Well, the idea that the Jews murdered Arafat (rather than that Arafat spent most of his career murdering Jews) falls into that category.

As for the specific claims in the Arafat case, they are easily disposed of:

First of all, anyone who saw Arafat during the last year of his life knew he was seriously ill and steadily worsening. His lips trembled, he looked disoriented, and he wasn’t as articulate as usual.  Even on television you couldn’t possibly miss his distress. Parkinson’s disease was a likely diagnosis though Crohn’s disease was said to be another probable medical problem for the dictator.

His doctors obviously knew that he was in bad shape. But, and this is what’s most important, they didn’t do anything about it. The prospect of Arafat’s death was so traumatic for the movement—which had known no other leader during 43 years for Fatah, 36 years for the PLO, and its entire ten year life for the Palestinian Authority. By not taking serious action and giving him better treatment, the key to the mystery is this: His own doctors and movement killed Arafat. So if Israel killed Arafat then his own doctors and the entire PLO, Fatah, and PA leadership were in on the conspiracy. Indeed, Arafat himself, by not more actively seeking medical help or speaking about his problems was also in on the conspiracy. This is unlikely.

Second, the doctors were shut up and the report of his death was kept secret by Arafat’s widow Suha Arafat. Since his colleagues had access to a lot of this information they also kept quiet. In other words, we are supposed to believe that those who in the world who most hated Israel had evidence that Israel had something to do with his death but they kept it secret?

Third, suddenly, almost eight years later Suha and other Arafat loyalists are making claims. But there is no new evidence whatsoever. Obviously, this is a publicity stunt. Let them release the huge medical report on his death. Let them permit the French doctors to have a press conference. Let them dig up Arafat. Until one of those things happens why should the Western media fall for this trick? So again, if there was the slightest suspicion that Arafat was being murdered, Arafat’s wife, doctors, and all of the Palestinian leadership were helping the conspiracy. This is also unlikely.

Fourth, the claims that Arafat was poisoned by Israel using some exotic radioactive means has been made from the day Arafat was planted but have always faded away, at least internationally, because no evidence was offered.  Old fables are being treated like new revelations. Such claims of Zionist conspiracies are always promoted in order to slander and discredit Israel when just about anyone significant dies in the Arab world.

Fifth, if Arafat had been poisoned by radioactive substances his symptoms would have been extreme and evident. They include nausea, hair loss, throat swelling and paleness  Moreover, Arafat would have died really fast, but he lingered for a long time.

The history of this myth shows that it is the Palestinian leadership, not Israel, that has something to hide, that has kept everything secret. I suspect the secret is the incompetence of his own doctors.

So did Arafat die of AIDs? After my own serious research on this matter I could find no evidence for this assertion. And I know that both Israeli and U.S. intelligence had no evidence that Arafat was homosexual either on the basis of in-depth discussions over many years. Sources like Ahmad Jibril–a life-long enemy of Arafat–and other unreliable sources cited are not impressive. If there is evidence to the contrary I will certainly revise my view.

The rumor began with an article by Oriana Fallaci whose only evidence was that his bodyguards at the time were extremely handsome young men. (By the time I was seeing him in the 1990s that was certainly not true at all.)

Of course, Arafat was a weird person and in our biography, Arafat: A Political Biography, Judith Colp Rubin and myself explain his psychology and personality.   One of my favorite Palestinian jokes about Arafat recounts that he is patting the head of a little girl and asks her, “Whose daughter are you?”

She answers, “Yours.” Arafat was considered by his countrymen to be so cold that he didn’t recognize his own begotten daughter. The story is almost plausible.

But I repeat: there is no reason to think Arafat was a homosexual or died of AIDs. He was overweight, ate an unhealthy diet, worked long hours, didn’t take care of himself (he believed eating honey would keep him healthy), and had very bad doctors despite their local reputations.

So we know who killed Arafat: his doctors, entourage, movement, and of course his own body. Yet when I go to Yahoo what do I see but Arafat’s “mysterious” death as the lead story in the entire world, as if any accusation made against Israel must be true.

Note: Here’s a history of the Israel-killed-Arafat tale in Palestinian Media Watch. For more analysis of why the claims are absurd see here and here.

Posted on 07/06/2012 8:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Caroline Glick On Yitzhak Shamir

From The Jerusalem Post:

July 5, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir's good, great life

July 5, 2012
There was something about Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's seventh prime minister who passed away last Saturday, that made you feel shy, in awe when you stood in his presence. In his eulogy at Sunday morning's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted that Shamir "didn't radiate charisma. He simply radiated inner strength."
Shamir, the diminutive, taciturn leader, was a strong man. And Netanyahu was absolutely right, Shamir's strength owed to his commitment to his convictions. What motivated him to act were not external conditions, but an internal compass, an internal call to devote his life to the Jewish people and our freedom and safety in our land.
Netanyahu began his eulogy to Shamir on Sunday morning by placing him in the context of his generation. Netanyahu said, "Yitzhak Shamir was from the generation of giants that founded the State of Israel."
There is much truth in this statement. The generation of Jews that came of age in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and established the State of Israel confronted challenges unmatched in human history. They survived the European Holocaust. They stood down and bested the British Empire. They withstood massive terror from the Arabs and repression and betrayal from the British. They defeated the invading armies of five Arab states with a ragtag force of Holocaust survivors and farmers, with little access to arms, and almost no money.
They carved a beautiful, modern country out of the rocks and sands of a long-desolate land.
They absorbed massive waves of aliya from all over the world. They brought together Jews with diverse customs, traditions and languages and reforged a unitary Jewish people bound to one another by our common heritage, faith, resuscitated language and land - all stronger than what divided us.
They suffered agonizing losses at every turn.
But they kept moving forward, sometimes in giant leaps, usually in tiny steps. But they kept moving forward.
So it is true that Shamir's generation of Jews had more than its normal share of great men and women. But to do Shamir's memory the justice it deserves it is important not to obscure his personal greatness by bracketing him inside his generation. This is true for two reasons.
First, it was not inevitable that Shamir became a strong, dedicated, successful leader.
Many in his generation were not.
Shamir faced enormous challenges. And his most serious challenges came from his fellow Jews. People like Chaim Weizmann - whom the late Benzion Netanyahu referred to as "a disaster for the Jewish people," due to his chronic preference for British approval over Jewish national and legal rights - were more than willing to compromise away the national rights of the Jews to a state of our own in our historic homeland.
Indeed, in the years preceding Israel's declaration of independence, national sovereignty was only perceived as a viable option and reasonable goal by a minority. As Shamir said in a 1993 interview published this week by The Times of Israel, in 1945 David Ben-Gurion called for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth, rather than a sovereign Jewish state. As Shamir put it, "It was curious that the Zionist movement officially didn't accept the slogan of a Jewish state as the aim of the Zionist movement!... Weizmann was against it....He want[ed] Jewish unity here... not a state."
LATER, DURING Shamir's tenure as prime minister in the unity government with then-foreign minister Shimon Peres and the Labor Party from 1986 to 1988, Peres sought to undermine his leadership and bring about his defeat in the 1988 elections by collaborating with foreign governments against him.
According to top secret documents from 1988 first disclosed by Yediot Aharonot's Shimon Schiffer in June 2011, Peres collaborated with then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to destabilize Shamir's government. Peres also sought US assistance in subverting Shamir and fomenting his electoral defeat. Aside from that, in breach of both Israeli law and the expressed wishes of Shamir, Peres dispatched his emissary, then-Foreign Ministry director general Avraham Tamir, to Mozambique for secret meetings with Yasser Arafat.
Throughout his career, Peres, who is also a member of Shamir's generation, has distinguished himself as a politician who prefers his personal gain over that of his nation. In keeping with this consistent preference, last month Peres traveled to Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama, at the same time that Obama rejected Israel's request to commute the life sentence of Jonathan Pollard. It is safe to say that Shamir would probably not have been offered such an award from a US president.
But it is also safe to say that had he been offered the award, Shamir would have used the occasion to publicly press for Pollard's release.
The other reason it is wrong to view Shamir as a mere product of his times is because by doing so, we effectively say that there is no point in emulating him. If he only became the person he became because he lived through the times he lived through, then his story has nothing to teach us about what it means to lead, or to live a meaningful, good life in the service of a goal greater than ourselves. And this cannot be true.
In a poetic coincidence of timing, as Netanyahu eulogized Shamir on Sunday morning, Netanyahu's immediate predecessor, Ehud Olmert, entered a courtroom in Tel Aviv for the start of his criminal trial related to the so-called Holyland Affair. Olmert is accused of taking bribes from the developers of the capital's architectural monstrosity cynically named "Holyland," during his tenure as mayor of Jerusalem. He allegedly received money and other benefits in exchange for his willingness to allow the developers to expand the size of the project to more than 10 times the size initially allocated for it.
Olmert's Holyland trial is only the latest of the ex-prime minister's legal troubles. On July 10, the Jerusalem District Court will hand down its verdict on two other corruption scandals - the Talansky Affair, in which Olmert is on trial for accepting bribes and for campaign finance irregularities, and the Rishon Tours Affair in which Olmert is accused of double billing his travel expenses.
However Olmert's legal travails pan out, the fact that he is facing corruption charges to begin with is wholly a function of his character.
Unlike Shamir, Olmert is perfectly prepared to abandon the public interest to advance his personal comfort. During his tenure as premier, rather than stand up to US pressure for Israeli concessions of land and rights to the Palestinians, Olmert preemptively capitulated.
He called for Israel to unilaterally surrender much of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, despite the latter's rejection of Israel's right to exist. He offered to carve up Jerusalem in his peace proposal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He continued to embrace the cause of appeasement despite Abbas's preference for peace with Hamas over peace with Israel.
So too, during the Second Lebanon War, Olmert chose to lose the war, in a vain attempt to uphold his preference for appeasement over justice and victory. To that end, he accepted a cease-fire that left Hezbollah in charge of south Lebanon. That cease-fire led directly to Hezbollah's takeover of all of Lebanon in 2007.
Olmert defends his behavior through a mixture of lies and self-justification. At The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on April 29, Olmert claimed that the Second Lebanon War was the greatest military victory in Israel's history. Apparently he thought we had forgotten about every other war Israel has fought. So, too, Olmert claims that he had no choice other than to submit to US pressure regarding the Palestinians.
SHAMIR'S RECORD is a standing rebuke of Olmert's excuses for his failures. 
Yes, in two key instances, Shamir caved in to US pressure. He did not respond to Iraq's missile offensive against Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. And he agreed to participate in the Madrid Conference in 1991 where then-US president George H.W. Bush forced Shamir to hold negotiations on the basis of "land for peace," with the Palestinians and the Syrians.
In both cases, Shamir's acquiescence to American demands may have been unjustified. Certainly he didn't exact a high enough price for his sacrifice. 
Yet even these concessions did not change the situation on the ground. Shamir did not agree to give the Arabs any land. And during his tenure the US significantly upgraded its strategic ties with Israel.
Moreover, from the perspective of Israel's long-term viability and prosperity, Shamir exacted the greatest concession Israel ever gained from the US. He convinced Bush to stop steering Soviet Jewish émigrés to the US and away from Israel. This ensured that one million Soviet Jews made aliya. The Soviet Jewish aliya fundamentally transformed Israel's economy and demographic posture, and upgraded its strategic position. Whatever damage Israel may have incurred as a result of Shamir's concessions to Bush was likely outweighed by his success in bringing Soviet Jews to Israel.
And it is true that Shamir was never beloved or even liked by the US government or the leaders of Europe. But it is also true that during his tenure in office major countries, including China and India, renewed their diplomatic relations with Israel.
By standing up for his country, he earned the respect of the world - not just for himself, but for Israel as a whole. And in international affairs it is far more important to be respected than liked.
In his obituary for Shamir, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner explained that Shamir was a successful leader because he was intelligent and tenacious.
Aviner noted that Shamir's intelligence was hard-earned. He took the time to learn the details of every subject he had to contend with. He was a voracious reader and wanted to gather as much information as possible before he made decisions.
Shamir's devotion to learning made it possible for him to intelligently weigh the costs and benefits of various courses of action.
Aviner wrote that Shamir's tenacity was a consequence of his life experiences. He was the commander of the Stern Group (Lehi) guerrilla force in pre-state Israel. He was imprisoned and escaped, twice. He was a Mossad officer. At each stage of his life, he faced great challenges and overcame them.
And each experience steeled him for the next until he gradually became the force to be reckoned with he was as prime minister.
It is important to recognize that Shamir was the product not only of his times, but of his values and of the choices that he made throughout his extraordinary career. 
The greatest compliment one can pay another person is to say that he is a model to be emulated, and that his life should serve as an example for what a good life can and should be.
We were blessed to have had him as our leader. And his memory should be a blessing in the annals of Jewish history.
Posted on 07/06/2012 8:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Al-Qaeda's Norwegian 'was left-wing radical'

From the Norwegian edition of The Local H/T the Casuals

A Norwegian jihadist thought to have received Al-Qaeda training in Yemen was previously a left-wing radical who refused to believe that Osama Bin Laden’s network carried out the September 11th terrorist attacks, a newspaper said.The 33-year-old Norwegian now being hunted by a slew of international intelligence agencies associated in his youth with Oslo’s far-left Blitz movement, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

Despite his one-time radical credentials, he later worked as a child minder at a daycare centre in Oslo, the city where he was born and raised, and did not have a history of violence, the paper said. He eventually became a member of the Green Party, according to the newspaper.

His ideological priorities shifted after he married the daughter of a diplomat from a North African country, the paper said. In 2008, he converted to Islam. He then underwent a change of lifestyle, giving up alcohol and breaking off almost all contact with his earlier friends. He recently became a father, Dagbladet said, adding that his wife had travelled to her home country with their child.

Peter Neumann, a Professor of Security Studies at King’s College in London, said it was “not surprising” that the terrorist-in-waiting had sympathized with groups on the far-left. Neumann further noted that western converts, aside from women who converted when marrying Muslim men, were overrepresented among jihadists.

The Sunday Times said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had recruited the Norwegian Muslim convert and given him terrorist training in Yemen, and that the group were believed to have selected a US passenger jet as a target. "The Norwegian recruit goes under the Islamic name of Muslim Abu Abdurrahman," the newspaper said.

Posted on 07/06/2012 9:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 July 2012
Racist Muslim egg throwers in Golders Green ordered to pay victims (Jewish) compensation

But one's father denies racism; he says the victims misheard his son. From the Hendon and Finchley Times and the London Evening Standard.

Four men who pelted eggs at young Jewish people during racially motivated attacks in Golders Green have been ordered to pay compensation to their victims. Mohammed Khalifa, 19, Aimen Mohamed, 19, Mohammed Jawad, 21, and Haider Al-Fardan, 21, carried out the attacks as they drove in Golders Green Road on December 9.

Willesden Magistrates Court heard how on that morning, Khalifa borrowed his father’s BMW before driving the other three to Kingsbury where they bought 30 eggs. Round my way the grocers will not sell value eggs (free range are too expensive to hurl) to under 14s. These are young men, supposedly. The men then headed to Golders Green where they singled out a group of four young girls at 11.30am.

As Khalifa slowed the car down, the men shouted “oi, Jews” and “Jews” while they drove past before throwing an egg, one of which hit a girl in the face. As the girls continued down the road, the car drove back down the road and they were subjected to more shouting . . . Fifteen minutes later, two 14-year-old boys were walking along the same road when the group drove slowly past them.

All the car windows on the passenger side were open and as the car pulled alongside the boys, the occupants yelled abuse at them with at least one voice shouting, “you f***ing Jews”.

The court decided after a two day trial that the behaviour had been motivated by the religion of the victims.

Khalifa, of St. Augustines Avenue, Wembley, Mohamed, of Broadhead Strand, Colindale, Jawad, of Blenheim Gardens, Wembley, and Al-Fardan, of Bush Grove, Colindale, were all found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment, alarm and distress by words and behaviour. All four were ordered to pay £415 in fines, court costs and compensation to their victims.

The parents of Mohammad Khalifa, said: “Our son is no racist.”  But his father, a paediatrician, today claimed the victims had misheard and the students had shouted “Oi, you.” Dr Khorshid Khalifa said: “My son has never been racist. All he said was, ‘Oi you,’ and people took it as, ‘Oi Jew,’ but that’s all it was. It’s very stupid. The solicitors said the case should have been dropped.”

Khalifa and Mohammed Jawad, of Wembley, along with Haider Al-Fardan, 21, and Aimen Mohamed, 19, of Hendon, admitted throwing the eggs for fun but denied their actions were religiously motivated. Al-Farden, who studies accounting and finance, told the court his grandmother was Jewish and if he had wanted to target Jews he would have gone to a synagogue near his house. Jawad, a 20-year-old international business student, said he had a Jewish ex-girlfriend (so what? Mohammed had a Jewish captive wife/sex-slave) and played football with Jews. But magistrates rejected their account and found the four guilty of using religiously-aggravated words or behaviour.

Passing sentence, magistrate Philip Sethil said: “We found the evidence of witnesses to be clear and consistent. Despite the fact of their previous good character we do not accept the defendants’ explanation they said ‘Oi you.’ You all came from good families, you are all hard-working and at university. You are all intelligent boys. This was crazy what you did.”

Posted on 07/06/2012 9:40 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 July 2012
Anyone At All?

Is there anyone now in Great Britain, among the indigenous population, who would not, if it could turn the clock backward, have moved heaven and earth to preven, starting several decaders ago,  the entry of the Pakistanis and other Muslims too, including the fabulously rich Arabs whose black-robed women with their large flocks of offspring make life so unsettling and unpleaant in the parks, on the streets, in the shops? Even the estate agents, even those who sell the rich Arabs the luxury goods, surely know by now what a corrupt and corrupting influence those rich Arabs have had. And everyone knows about the expense of the other population, of the non-rich Muslims -- Pakistanis and others -- who make life so difficult, who cost the National Health (because of the offspring, with much higher rates of congenital illnesses, the result of Muslims who, because they grow up in societies suffused with Islam, that is with violence and deception and the constant burden of never being able to speak freely about Islam and its requirements, lead to distrust, and that distrust, in return, leads to the favoring of marriages between cousiins, and those cousin-marriages lead to the congenital defects for which non-Muslim taxpayers in the West, and especially in Great Britain, are paying so much). Add to that the skyrocketing cost of security measures, and the general worry over what Muslims will tolerate being taught in the state schools, and all the other ways that the large-scale presence of Muslims makes life unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous.

So once again:

Anyone at all?

You know the answer to that.

Posted on 07/06/2012 10:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Meir Dagan Backtracks And Explains Himself

From the Jerusalem Post:

Dagan retracts quote that attacking Iran is 'stupid'


Former Mossad head steps away from quote, but does not move away from the substance of his opposition to military action.

Dagan Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

Bombing Iran is not the stupidest idea Meir Dagan has heard after all, the former Mossad head made clear in an interviewin the recent issue of Lochem magazine, distancing himself from his statement earlier this year – which was widely circulated to discredit a possible Israeli military action against Tehran.

“This was a miserable quote that was said absentmindedly, not in public, and which someone quotes all the time,” Dagan said in the magazine for disabled IDF veterans. “Let’s set the record straight. I think the Iranian nuclear capacity is a threat with strategic implications for Israel.

I know the air force well enough to know that it will perform successfully any task entrusted to it.”

While stepping away from that particular quote, Dagan did not however move away from the substance of his opposition to military action.

“I do see a nuclear Iran as a problem,” he said. “If I believed that a military attack would solve the problem, believe me, I would be in favor.

If I thought that an attack would stop the nuclear program, I would be in favor. But what can you do, an attack cannot stop the nuclear program – it can only delay it for a period of time.”

Dagan, repeating what he has been saying for months about the military option, said it was necessary for Israel to always consider what would happen the day after an attack, and that this was a discussion that should take place before – not after – military action. He added that he thought the cost of such an assault would be greater than the benefit.

He dismissed, however, the notion that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was using the Iranian threat to divert the public’s attention from issues such as the social protests and the African migrants. “I do not agree with the defense minister and Prime minister [on Iran], but I do not think they are that cynical,” Dagan said. “I believe that when the Prime minister raises the Iranian issue he is substantively very concerned about Israel’s security, and I do not link that with any other event.”

Posted on 07/06/2012 11:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Hillary Clinton Ensures Russia's Implacable Opposition On Syria

From Reuters:

Friend flees Assad as U.S. pressures Russia


1:07pm EDT

By Samia Nakhoul and Nicholas Vinocur

BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) - One of President Bashar al-Assad's personal friends has defected and was headed for exile in France on Friday, as the Syrian crisis took on a Cold War tone when Washington threatened to make Russia and China "pay" for backing the government in Damascus.

Manaf Tlas, a cadet college classmate, Republican Guard general and son of Assad's father's defense chief, has yet to surface abroad, or clearly to throw his lot in with the rebels, who acknowledged the loss of one of their strongholds overnight.

But his desertion, leaked by family friends, was confirmed by the French government. That gave a boost to a conference it hosted in Paris at which Western powers and Sunni Arab rulers, bitterly opposed to Assad's Iranian-sponsored administration, agreed to "massively increase" aid to the Syrian opposition.

The departure of Tlas, a glamorous, 40-something fixture of both Damascus society and Assad's praetorian close protection force, may have limited practical impact. But it offers succor to an opposition that is divided and poorly armed, as well as to foreign backers whose assurances of flagging morale in Assad's inner circle had begun to wear thin after 16 months of conflict.

"If people like him, and like the generals and colonels and others who have recently defected to Turkey are any indication, regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Paris after a speech lambasting Moscow and Beijing in unusually strong terms for blocking U.N. action against Assad.

"The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price because they are holding up progress, blockading it," she told the 50 or so delegations. [if Hillary Clinton's intention was to obtain Russian cooperation on Syria, she has just ensured it will not happen. If she also wanted to make Russian cooperation on Iran -- a much more important matter than inconsequential Syria -- more likely, she has done the reverse. No understanding, apparently, of the psyche of those who govern, and live, in Russia, and how they see the American government0.

However, as the past year has shown, options for Assad's foes to pressure his defenders remain limited, given the economic and political strength of both Russia and China.

Moscow, an ally since the Cold War days of Assad's father, has supported a new proposal by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for a transitional, national unity government in Damascus. But, like China, Moscow is wary of what it sees as a growing Western taste for "regime change", and opposes forcing Assad to step down.

In response to Clinton's remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said she was contradicting the common strategy the divided world powers managed to agree at Geneva last week.

Such deadlock in global diplomacy has left the Western powers trying to give an impression of momentum growing against Assad, holding a series of meetings and, as seen on Friday, trumpeting defections and piling psychological pressure on other members of the ruling elite to think about jumping ship.

As Clinton declared in Paris: "Let me say to the soldiers and officials still supporting the Assad regime - the Syrian people will remember the choices you make in the coming days.

"It is time to abandon the dictator, embrace your countrymen and women, and get on the right side of history."


As rare faces from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority within a ruling clique dominated by Assad's fellow Alawites, Tlas and his father Mustapha, who friends said left for Paris some months ago claiming medical problems, long furnished an answer to Syrians who complained of sectarian domination by Alawites. Their flight may show Assad is losing wider support among wealthier Sunnis.

It also suggests the Tlas clan, whatever moral scruples friends say were their prime motive for abandoning their friend and patron, has seen the writing on the wall for Assad's rule.

Opposition sources said Manaf Tlas had seen his movements watched as suspicion of him increased before he fled and that other potential defectors, being courted assiduously by the opposition, were also under surveillance. Security men ransacked Tlas's house on Thursday, an activist in Damascus said.

Abdel Baset Seda, the president of the opposition Syrian National Council, told a news conference in Paris that he was in contact with "several" high-ranking officials still inside the country and also hoped to speak with Tlas in the coming days.

"This shows that the very heart of the regime is starting to crumble. This is reminiscent of what happened in Libya toward the end, when there were defections every day," he said, recalling the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last August.

However, a Syrian news website quoted a Syrian official on Thursday as saying dismissively: "His desertion means nothing. If Syrian intelligence had wanted to arrest him it would have."

Bloodshed on the ground and the suffering of thousands of civilians forced to flee homes and worry about food shortages have kept up pressure on Western governments to be seen to be doing something, and the "Friends of the Syrian People" meeting in Paris saw new calls for U.N. action and backing for rebels.

But the opposition remains fractious. A meeting in Cairo this week saw a fistfight; governments are wary of anti-Western Sunni Islamists in rebel ranks and are reluctant to see them too heavily armed; and the Western powers have little appetite for a Libyan-style military intervention of their own in a pivotal regional state that is home to a volatile mix of communities.

Yet the veto power which Moscow and Beijing wield in the United Nations Security Council has also blocked Western efforts to tighten the net of sanctions around Assad, leaving leaders watching impatiently for signs of cracks from within - something fearful Alawites and other minorities seem anxious to prevent.


Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, spoke again with alarm at the situation on the ground: "The risk of full civil war has become even more real," she said. "The regime is clearly responsible for the brutality of the repression. Instead of freeing detainees and withdrawing its troops and heavy weapons from urban areas, Assad's regime continues with the shelling of innocent civilians."

Syria's army took control of the rebel stronghold of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Idlib province on Friday after an assault on the town backed by helicopters, rebels said.

"The Free Army withdrew from the town last night after it ran out of ammunition. Assad's army is in control," said Abu Hamam, a rebel spokesman who fled to a nearby village.

"They are burning the houses. They have burned my own house. I see the smoke covering the sky from where I am now."

Army shelling and assaults also killed three people in the southern province of Deraa, where the nationwide revolt began.

Opposition activists say more than 15,000 people have been killed in the uprising, while the government says several thousand members of the security forces have died.

Clinton repeated a U.S. and French call for a U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows the Council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.

Russia and China and say they are committed rather to the peace plan drafted by Annan which proposes national dialogue. However, that plan's prospects seem dim; U.N. peace monitors effectively gave up on their mission last month after just weeks in Syria as it became clear there was no peace to monitor.

Annan said he was pushing for negotiation and urging the rebels to cooperate. Telling Britain's Guardian newspaper the alternative was more war, he said: "We are trying to implement some of the decisions taken in Geneva, most importantly exploring on the ground the most effective way to stop the violence and get them thinking of the political process."

Thousands of families have fled their homes in the past two weeks due to heavy fighting between government forces and rebels and many face food shortages, the United Nations said on Friday.

Posted on 07/06/2012 12:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
Hillary Clinton's Speech Must Leave Many Speechless

Hillary Clinton says Afghanistan 'major non-Nato ally'

How true.

Just like Israel, or Australia, or South Korea, or Japan.

Posted on 07/06/2012 10:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 July 2012
In Balochistan (Pakistan Side), Massacre of Those Headed For Europe
Muhammad Ejaz Khan
Saturday, July 07, 2012
From Print Edition

QUETTA: Eighteen people, who were traveling to Iran, were shot dead and two others wounded when unidentified armed men attacked their vehicles in the Basoli area of Turbat district on Friday night.


A Balochistan Home Department official said two pick-up vans carrying 20 people were on their way to Turbat from Karachi.

The assailants intercepted the vans in Basoli, some 750 kilometres from Quetta. They forced the passengers, most of them residents of the Punjab, off the bus and sprayed them with bullets. The assailants managed to flee.


An official of the Levies Force said the people were heading to Iran via Mand Tehsil of Turbat as Iran provided an overland exit route for illegal immigrants to European countries.Personnel of the Levies Force and FC reached the spot after the attack. The two injured passengers and bodies of the deceased were sent to the Turbat District Headquarters Hospital.


Condemning the killing of passengers, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani directed the authorities concerned to submit a detailed report. He expressed his deep grief over the killings and directed arresting those involved in the incident. He also ordered the registration of a case against drivers and gangs involved in human trafficking.


It may be noted here that Taftan and Mand Tehsils of Chaghai and Turbat districts on the Pak-Iran border are two exit points. Due to rising unemployment in the country, hundreds of people every month attempt to cross the Pak-Iran border.


APP adds: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister RajaPervaiz Ashraf condemned the killing of 18 passengers in Turbat. They sent condolences to the bereaved families. President Zardari directed the authorities to take strict action against the elements behind the incident and ordered an immediate report on the incident.


Prime Minister Raja said such cowardly attacks could not weaken the resolve of the government and the people to defeat terrorism. He directed the Balochistan chief secretary to take effective measures to provide security to travelers.


Posted on 07/06/2012 11:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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