Jihadist Country Club Jails

You don’t have to be a Martyr to live it up as a Muslim Terrorist, just get put in a Moroccan Prison… In a world where terrorism has run rampant, stories like these just touch upon the real issues, governments that support and fuel terrorists, enabling them through complacency and reward systems.

As one of the regular prisons states, should he become a terrorist so he gets the same priviledges…

It makes me feel bad for the Dix Six who are in prison for planning to kill US Soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ… Those poor terrorists are not afforded the luxuries of Ahmed Rafiki, although they may be getting laptops soon…

Prisons are known to be a catalyst for terrorist recruitment, why not treat the prisoners like prisoners and maybe it will not be so appealing…

CASABLANCA, Morocco — Ahmed Rafiki sprawled on the makeshift couch in his cell, a fresh red henna dye in his long hair and beard.

The New York Times

Morocco has cooperated with the United States to round up militants. More Photos »

Video

More Video » ‘); } //–>

Known to other militants as the father of Moroccan jihadists, he was convicted in 2003 of leading young men to fight Americans in Afghanistan. But here in Oukacha Prison, Mr. Rafiki, an Islamist cleric, is serving the final months of his sentence in style.

His kitchen and larder are stocked three times a week by his two wives. His curtained doorway leads to a private garden and bath. He has two radios and a television, a reading stand for his Koran and a wardrobe of crisply ironed Islamic attire.

“In my case,” he said with a smile, “the people treat me well.”

Hardly a scene of harsh interrogation and detention for which Moroccan prisons are known, Mr. Rafiki’s plush prison life is evidence of an awkward balancing act between the crackdown on militants in many countries and the power those militants can hold over the authorities.

Through hunger strikes and protests, Mr. Rafiki and Oukacha’s 65 other militant inmates have won perks — including exclusive use of the conjugal rooms — that make them the envy of the prison’s 7,600 other inmates.

One recent morning, a prisoner advocate handed the warden a long list of inmates not linked to terrorism cases who were demanding equal time with their wives.

“‘Why do they get much more rights than we get here?’” the advocate, Assia El Ouadie, said the other prisoners constantly asked her. “‘Do you want us to become terrorism prisoners, and then we will get those rights?’”

Even as more and more militants are imprisoned around the world — often by governments with records of conducting extreme interrogations — the prisoners are managing to gain a kind of crude leverage over security officials who are struggling to figure out how to handle them.

Draconian, or even strict, treatment of radical inmates can lead to prison unrest and public condemnation, particularly in countries with sizable Muslim populations. At the same time, officials fear that militants given free rein are more likely to turn prisons into prime grounds for radicalization and recruiting.

“More than any time in the modern history of terrorism, the prisons have become a key front in the war on terror,” Dennis Pluchinsky, a former senior intelligence analyst at the State Department, wrote in a report for the United States government earlier this year.

He estimated that there were 5,000 jihadi inmates and detainees worldwide, not counting those held in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that only 15 percent had received life sentences or the death penalty, meaning the rest would eventually be set free.

Here in Morocco, across the Arab world and in European countries like Spain and France, there is a growing realization that catching and convicting militants is hardly the end of the problem. Many are getting sentences of only a few years, and Arab governments continue to release hundreds every year through mass pardons aimed at quelling fundamentalist Islamic movements.

Last April, a meeting in Morocco on radicalization of Islamic prisoners drew representatives of 21 countries. “There is some confusion as to how, in overcrowded and underfinanced prison systems, you deal with these special case prisoners,” said a British official who helped run the meeting, who spoke anonymously, citing normal diplomatic strictures. British officials acknowledge that they erred in the early 1980s when they gave Irish Republican Army prisoners their own cellblock, only to see them carry out fatal hunger strikes that won public support. But the authorities say militant Islamic inmates are even more sophisticated.

Manuals from Al Qaeda instruct prisoners on how to resist interrogations, wage hunger strikes and use prison time to strengthen religious convictions. This month, Australian officials said a group of 40 Muslim inmates, not previously considered extremists, were found using guidance from a manual to organize themselves and stage protests at a prison near Sydney. Officials responded by scattering them among other prisons.

But that is hardly a fail-safe strategy. When members of the Qaeda-inspired group Fatah al Islam, which fought the Lebanese Army for three months this year, were locked up in Roumieh Prison near Beirut, Lebanese authorities found they had been using smuggled cellphones to contact other jailed militants and their families outside.

Some Middle Eastern and European countries are using moderate imams in prisons in hopes of quelling the extremist fervor. “You have to fight their ideology with Islam and against their wrong interpretation of Islam,” said a top Syrian security official.

The biggest concern is that militants will return to the fight once released, despite having been imprisoned, or perhaps because of it.

That is what Mohammed Mazouz did after he was freed in 2004 from the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was picked up last fall in Morocco as he was preparing to leave for Iraq to fight American troops. “I can’t forget what they did with me,” he said of his American captors, during an interview in a Moroccan prison. “I can’t forget all my life. I hate it.”

He was released two days later.

Rise of Fundamentalism

Morocco had few Islamic militants in its prisons during the 1990s, when leftists, angered by the country’s poverty and official corruption, posed more of a threat to the monarchy. King Mohammed VI began a series of liberalizations after assuming the throne in 1999. Yet a new challenge was rising, as the Islamic fundamentalism sweeping the Arab world gathered public support in Morocco. While the most popular Muslim leaders professed nonviolence, radicals began planning terrorist attacks.

In May 2003, eight weeks after the United States invaded Iraq, Morocco was hit by its worst terrorist attack ever. A dozen suicide bombers struck a cafe, a hotel and Jewish establishments in Casablanca, killing more than 30 people. The struggle between the militants and the government landed in Morocco’s prisons.

Hundreds of suspects were detained. In prison interviews with The New York Times, five men said they had been tortured during interrogations, subjected to a method of anal rape known as “the bottle treatment.”

In all, more than 1,400 men were convicted of terrorism-related charges and imprisoned. In May 2005, the militants started a 28-day hunger strike, using contraband cellphones to rally compatriots throughout the prison system.

A militant former convict, Abderahim Mohtad, started a prisoner advocacy group and stirred public support for the strikers. “Their strength comes from their belief in God,” he said in his storefront office, where one wall is covered with pictures of militant inmates. “You tortured him, you didn’t get anything from him. You arrested him and you didn’t get anything from him. You judged them, and some of them had been judged with death, and they are still laughing.”

While the Casablanca bombings had dampened public sympathy for terrorist groups, animosity toward the United States ran strong. The jailed militants were seen as motivated by the war in Iraq and by Morocco’s role in America’s campaign against terrorism.

Morocco has participated in a Sahara-wide counterterrorism effort financed by the United States, by helping to gather and share intelligence and by detaining terrorism suspects.

Many inmates protested that they had no role in the bombings, and Moroccan authorities acknowledged in recent interviews that many had been arrested simply for embracing an extreme ideology.

When the strike ended, courts reduced the sentences of some militants, and the king pardoned several hundred more. Those who remained in prison began to get special privileges.

“They started with hunger strikes and problems,” said Abdelati Belghazi, director of Zaki Prison, north of the capital, Rabat. “The media and organizations started to get involved, and because we wanted them to stop, we had to give them some of the things that they have requested. And then they started to feel much stronger because they saw that they received what they wanted. They requested more and more.”

More Space in Cells

At Zaki, one of two prisons where The Times interviewed militant inmates and prison officials, the 309 prisoners held as terrorists have much more space — averaging 3 men in each cell, compared with 22 per cell for the prison’s 3,500 regular inmates, a prison official said.

They also have a system for lodging complaints, a fact that at times irritates Ms. Ouadie, the prisoner advocate appointed by the king to mediate disputes.

“The guards threw a Koran on the ground,” a militant representative in Zaki, Yassine Aliouine, complained. Since the guards are Muslims, too, Ms. Ouadie said, it is more likely that the book simply fell.

“Yes, but they saw it and didn’t pick it up,” Mr. Aliouine replied.

When Ms. Ouadie raised the issue with the prison director, Mr. Belghazi, he played a videotape of the search where the Koran was said to have been abused, and a startlingly different scene emerged.

The video showed the guards collecting a bucketful of contraband electronics, including cellphones. They found a poster that listed militant groups and their leaders. They discovered a jackknife baked in a loaf of bread, and the warden dumped a dozen more blades on a table that he said the militants had tossed out of their windows.

Despite such periodic seizures, militant inmates in several Moroccan prisons were able to call Times reporters, both before and after the visits.

Oukacha, in Casablanca, is arguably the best address for jailed militants. Even the director, El Maati Boubiza, said he was amazed when he took the job last year. “Their cell doors were open 24 hours,” he said. “Only they could use the conjugal rooms, and they were using them starting at 6 a.m.”

Cellblock 5, where many of the militants live, functions like a small village. The inmates hold boxing matches. Sheep are slaughtered for the holidays. In one of the two kitchens, a cook proudly displayed his cutlery and an array of containers that held fresh deliveries from inmates’ families.

Down the hall, Hassan Kettani, a Islamic theorist renowned in global jihad circles, declined to be interviewed on videotape — until he changed out of his everyday clothes.

A few minutes later, he sauntered down to the lobby, unescorted, and posed in a white robe and golden headdress. “We were in very bad shape when we were captured,” he said of the days before the first hunger strike. “It was hard.”

The militants have also sought to draw public support by writing letters to local newspapers and jihadist Web sites, alternately complaining about their incarceration and presenting it as a duty gladly fulfilled.

“In our religion, we believe in destiny, and I believe that God has written this to me and I have to go through that,” said Mr. Rifiki, the militant cleric, whose group, Salafia Jihadia — or Fight of Ancestors — is considered a terrorist organization that reaches from North Africa to Europe.

Moderating the views of the hardest militants may be an impossibility, but Ms. Ouadie said prison authorities could help stop the cycle of radicalization by separating moderate Islamist prisoners from the more extreme ones. “I would arrange Islamic teachings and also treat them in a humane way,” she said.

Still, the terrorist attacks continue in Morocco and, despite the concessions to militant inmates, so do harsh interrogations by the police and intelligence agents, according to interviews with inmates.

Allegations of Torture

While Moroccan officials declined to comment on the allegations of torture, the accusers include a former investigations officer with the national security service, Abderahim Tarik, who was arrested last year on suspicion of ties to a militant group, which he denies.

Mr. Tarik said that for six days at a police station named Temara, he was beaten with sticks, stripped naked, doused with cold water and shocked with an electric prod on his feet and anus. “They started to tell me we will bring your wife tomorrow and rape her directly in front of you,” he said.

Abdelfattah Raydi exemplifies the cycle of arrests, incarceration and attacks.

Mr. Raydi, arrested in 2003 as a militant sympathizer, said in a letter he wrote in Oukacha to a human rights group, obtained by The Times, that he underwent both physical and psychological torture. “He beat me until I fainted,” he wrote of one of his questioners. Abdelfatif Amarin and two other cellmates of Mr. Raydi’s said that Mr. Raydi told them that he had been given the “bottle treatment.”

“I remember that he had nightmares and cried during his sleep,” said one inmate, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisal by prison officials. “He told me several times, ‘I swear to God, if I would have known that they would do this to me, I would have killed myself before.’”

In prison, Mr. Raydi spent time with a militant leader named Hassan al-Khattab, according to inmates, and they were both released in the king’s mass pardon in 2005. Mr. Raydi married, found work and moved away from the shantytown where he was raised with six brothers in a one-room shack, friends and relatives said.

Then last year, according to the authorities, he joined Mr. Khattab in a disrupted terrorist plot. Mr. Khattab was tried and awaits sentencing. But Mr. Raydi evaded capture, and was being sought by the authorities when he walked into an Internet cafe this March and blew himself up when the owner grew suspicious and called the police.

Chased by the authorities, Mr. Raydi’s brother and four other men wearing suicide vests blew themselves up in the following weeks, and the manhunt has produced dozens of new arrests.

On Nov. 8, 51 suspects, including one woman and two of Mr. Raydi’s brothers, made their first appearance in court. Among them was the son of a man arrested in the 2003 sweeps. “Do they treat you well, Hamid?” his grandmother asked after the hearing, pressing her hand to the glass partition. “How is your health?”

“All is good, grandmother,” he replied. “Are you coming to visit me later?”

Advertisements

Savage Lawsuit Going After CAIR As A Terrorist Entity

Wow, Michael Savage is going all out against CAIR. His suit has been amended to include charges that CAIR is a terrorist agency and not a Civil Rights Group.

Unlike our government who was afraid to charge CAIR in the Homeland Foundation trial in Texas, Savage is not afraid.

WASHINGTON – It’s no longer just a charge of copyright violation in the case of Michael Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Now the radio talk star is going for the legal jugular in his battle with the group that bills itself as a Muslim civil rights organization.

The San Francisco-based talker has amended his lawsuit against CAIR for misusing audio clips of his show as part of a boycott campaign against his three-hour daily program to include charges the group “has consistently sought to silence opponents of violent terror through economic blackmail, frivolous but costly lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and abuses of the legal system.”

The amended lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, also charges CAIR with using extortion, threats, abuse of the court system, and obtaining money via interstate commerce under false and fraudulent circumstances – calling it a “political vehicle of international terrorism” and even linking the group with support of al-Qaida.

The federal government recently named CAIR, based in Washington, D.C., as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas.

And as WND has reported, CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

“Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

Savage and celebrity civil rights attorney Daniel Horowitz are attempting to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to make the case that “CAIR and its co-conspirators have aided, abetted and materially sponsored al-Qaida and international terrorism.”

CAIR launched a campaign against “The Savage Nation,” as the program is called, using extended audio clips of the show to make the case that advertisers who supported the talker were actually endorsing “hate speech” against Muslims.

Savage turned the tables on the activist group by initially suing for copyright violation of the show’s material. This week the suit was expanded with some of the strongest allegations ever made against CAIR publicly.

Among the charges is that CAIR is “part of a deliberately complex and deliberately confusing array of related organizations” and that its “organizational structure is part of a scheme to hide the illegal activities of the group, funding, the transfer of funds and to complicate investigation of the group.”

Other highlights of the suit:

  • “CAIR is not a civil rights organization and it never has been. … CAIR was and is a political organization that advocates a specific political agenda on behalf of foreign interests.”
  • “The copyright infringement was done to raise funds for CAIR so that it could perpetuate and continue to perform its role in the RICO conspiracy set forth in Count Two and to disseminate propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation.”
  • “CAIR would have to register as a foreign agent if their activities were not hidden under the false claim that they are a civil rights organization that enjoys tax-exempt status.”
  • “CAIR was tied to terror from the day it was formed. The group was incorporated on or about 1994 by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. Both men were officers of a terror organization known as the ‘Islamic Association of Palestine.'”
  • “CAIR’s parent group, IAP, was founded in or about 1982 by Musa Abu Marzook. Marzook was IAP’s ideological leader and controlling director from the date of its founding until shortly after his deportation from the United States in 1997. At all time relevant, Marzook was an operative of, and/or affiliated with, the ‘Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah,’ or ‘Hamas.’ Hamas is an international terrorist organization.”
  • In 1998, “CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as ‘the sworn enemy,’ asserting that this depiction [was] ‘offensive to Muslims.'”
  • In 1998, “CAIR denied bin Laden’s responsibility for the two al-Qaida bombings of American embassies in Africa. CAIR’s leader Ibrahim Hooper claimed the bombings resulted from ‘misunderstandings on both sides.'”
  • “On October 5, 2001, just weeks after 9/11, CAIR’s New York office sent a letter to The New York Times arguing that the paper had misidentified three of the hijackers and suggesting that the attacks may have been committed by people who were impersonating Arab Muslims.”
  • “CAIR further exploited 9/11 as it put on its website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and below it a call for donations that was linked to the Holy Land Foundation website.” The Holy Land Foundation, the suit charges, is “a terror organization.”
  • “CAIR receives significant international funding. For example, in 1999 the Islamic Development Bank gave a $250,000 grant to CAIR to purchase land for a national headquarters. In 2002, the World Association for Muslim Youth, a Saudi government-funded organization, financed distributing books on Islam free of charge and an advertising campaign in American publications. This included a quarter page in USA Today each Friday, for a year, estimated to cost $1.04 million. In 2003, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States. In 2005, CAIR’s Washington branch received a donation of $1,366,466 from a Saudi Arabian named Adnan Bogary. In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry, financed the building of a property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for the organization. This gift is thought to generate income of approximately $3 million a year.”
  • “The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Wahabbi-based Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual ‘shock troops’ of Islamic terrorism.”
  • “The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It works in the United States as a lobby against radio, television and print media journalists who dare to produce anything about Islam that is at variance with their fundamental agenda.”
  • “CAIR has links to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has stated before Congress that CAIR is a front for Hamas.”

Savage’s case also cites another ongoing suit against CAIR filed by the estate of John P. O’Neill, the former head of security for the World Trade Center. It alleges a RICO conspiracy involving CAIR led to the 9/11 attack.

“Throughout this period,” the Savage suit alleges, “CAIR conspired to support terrorism and to obfuscate the roles of the various participants and conspirators in Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al-Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which conspiracy culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

It continues: “The pattern of racketeering activity conducted by CAIR is separate from the existence of Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the al-Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, but was a necessary component of the 9/11 attack. The RICO enterprise conducts terrorism all over the world; the racketeering activity conducted by CAIR funds that activity, which activity culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

CAIR has refused to comment on Savage’s suit to date. But it has claimed a host of companies have stopped advertising on Savage’s show as a result of its boycott campaign.

However, an investigation by WND shows some of those boycott victories are questionable. In one announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated: “Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on ‘Savage Nation’ include AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JCPenney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and AT&T.”

But AutoZone told WND the CAIR campaign had nothing to do with its advertising decision, and it had chosen not to advertise on any radio talk shows – of all parts of the spectrum – years before the CAIR effort.

CAIR officials declined to respond to WND queries about why it is listing companies as part of its boycott campaign that say they have not participated in the boycott.

Officials of Talk Radio Network, Savage’s syndicator, confirmed to WND that companies including AutoZone and JCPenney never advertise on such programs.

“We do not sponsor syndicated radio talk shows,” AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman told WND. “We have customers of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. For us to sponsor [any radio talk shows] wouldn’t make any sense.”

But that policy is years old, and wasn’t changed at all by CAIR’s effort, he said.

“What I will tell you is the CAIR organization did, in fact, contact the marketing department [of AutoZone.] We responded with our full advertising policy which clearly states that we do not advertise on radio talk shows,” he told WND.

The announcement about Universal was made by the Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition, of which CAIR is a prominent member.

It said Universal Orlando Resorts “has joined a growing list of advertisers that have stopped advertising or refuse to place their ads on Michael Savage’s ‘Savage Nation’ Radio program.”

The campaign also has triggered a lawsuit by Savage against CAIR over its alleged misappropriation of Savage’s radio broadcast material. In the lawsuit, Savage depicts CAIR as a “vehicle of international terrorism.”

CAIR says it is challenging Savage’s “hate speech,” and referenced Savage comments such as:

“I’m not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I’m not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I’m not getting’ on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don’t like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don’t wanna hear any more about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”

The Savage suit says comments like that are taken out of context.

Another major company CAIR claims has joined the boycott of Michael Savage is JCPenney. But as with AutoZone, JCPenney officials told WND readers they were not making any special provision in their advertising policy that would make them part of a protest campaign, but officials did not respond directly to WND inquiries.

“JCPenney did not ‘pull’ advertising from the show. JCPenney has had a long standing policy about not advertising on any show that can be construed as controversial. An error in upholding this policy was made by a few local stations, and it has now been clarified,” the company told a WND reader.

“Wal-Mart does not sponsor or advertise on the Michael Savage show. We have asked radio networks to ensure that Wal-Mart ads do not run in programming that we deem controversial and are sending out content guidelines reminders to radio networks and stations,” said that company.

Savage’s lawsuit alleges copyright infringement by CAIR, which the lawsuit says seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”

Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters “who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support” as well as “actual damages according to proof.”

A spokesman for Savage indicated the top-rated talk show host would have no further comment, saying the text of the lawsuit itself would answer questions.

The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraising efforts.

Those comments from Savage’s show include his criticisms of Islam and Muslims. The lawsuit maintains such comments, taken in context, are Savage’s verbal expression of the feelings of many Americans.

“The audience of ‘The Savage Nation’ expects this type of from-the-heart outrage and when it is directed at a murderer such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, the piece is far more understandable and far more American mainstream. While the strength of the outrage is remarkable and a hallmark of ‘The Savage Nation,’ the sentiment is shared by a huge number of Americans,” the lawsuit says.

New England Patriots – Sweet Sixteen

Not a normal post for me, however The New England Patriots Break Records…

All in all both teams played like it was a playoff game giving it everything they had, but…

Pats suffered they biggest fall behind this season with a twelve point spread in the third… 

The Pat’s defense sucked for the first three quarters, however they took over on the fourth…

Brady kept his cool through the whole game, while under immense pressure, unlike Manning

What a fourth quarter… Brady under pressure, defense with the interception… Manning under pressure folds… Giant’s kicking team blows the onside kick due to the Pat’s attack on the Giants…

Brady kept his offense on line through most of the game, and in then end of the third and into the fourth showed the world what the Patriots are about… The passing game in the fourth

Here we come 19-0 at the Super Bowl…

  • First Team to Win 15 Regulary season games
  • First Team to Win 16 Regulary season games
  • League’s single season point scoring
  • Fourth team to go undefeated in regular season games
  • Brady breaks record with Touch Down Passes
  • Moss breas record with Touch Down Receptions 

CNN

MSNBC

Yahoo Sports

Bin Laden Video Warns Iraqi Sunnis and Threatens To Eliminate Israel

Bin Laden’s latest attempt to garner support in Iraq, shows his disperation as Sunni’s turning back on Al Qaeda. This is the fifth tape from Al Qaeda since September, when reports first started to show that the surge in Iraq was working well and terrorist tactics were becoming less effective.

In an attempt to recruit new supporters, Bin Laden brought the issue of Isreal into the picture, promising to get rid of all Jews from Jordan to the sea…

Al Qaeda presence in Gaza and Lebanon have been previously confirmed, however this sounds like a call for representation in those regions to begin open recruitment. If Al Qaeda in Iraq should fail, Bin Laden needs another group to become visible or else he faces larger losses in recruitment.

It looks like 2008 could be a death blow to Al Qaeda in Iraq, provided our liberal media and factions of government do not interfere with our military doing their job.

CAIRO, Egypt  —  Usama bin Laden warned Iraq’s Sunni Arabs against fighting Al Qaeda and vowed to expand the terror group’s holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening “blood for blood, destruction for destruction.”

Most of the 56-minute tape dealt with Iraq, apparently Al Qaeda’s latest attempt to keep supporters in Iraq unified at a time when the U.S. military claims to have Al Qaeda’s Iraq branch on the run.

The tape did not mention Pakistan or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though Pakistan’s government has blamed Al Qaeda and the Taliban for her death on Thursday.

But bin Laden’s comments offered an unusually direct attack on Israel, which has warned of growing Al Qaeda activity in Palestinian territory. The terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

“We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea,” he said, threatening “blood for blood, destruction for destruction.”

“We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have,” bin Laden said.

In Iraq, a number of Sunni Arab tribes in western Anbar province have formed a coalition fighting Al Qaeda-linked insurgents that U.S. officials credit for deeply reducing violence in the province. The U.S. military has been working to form similar “Awakening Councils” in other areas of Iraq. /**/

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said bin Laden’s tape shows that Al Qaeda’s aim is to block democracy and freedom for all Iraqis.

“It also reminds us that the mission to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq is critically important and must succeed,” Fratto said. “The Iraqi people — every day, and in increasing numbers — are choosing freedom and standing against the murderous, hateful ideology of AQI. And we stand with them.”

Several hours before the tape was issued, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, said Al Qaeda was becoming increasingly fearful of losing the support of Sunni Arabs and had begun targeting the leaders of the Awakening Councils.

Petraeus said Al Qaeda attaches “enormous importance” to “these tribes that have turned against them, and to the general sense that Sunni Arab communities have rejected them more and more around Iraq.”

“They are trying to counter this and they have done so by attacking them,” which is increasingly turning Sunnis against Al Qaeda, he said.

Iraq’s interior ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf claimed that 75 percent of Al Qaeda in Iraq’s terrorist network had been destroyed in 2007, and gave some of the credit to the rise of anti-Al Qaeda in Iraq councils.

Petraeus said that despite a number of successes against Al Qaeda in recent months, the terror network remains “the most significant enemy Iraq faces because it carries out the most horrific attacks.”

In the audiotape, bin Laden denounced Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the former leader of the Anbar Awakening Council, who was killed in a September bombing claimed by Al Qaeda.

“The most evil of the traitors are those who trade away their religion for the sake of their mortal life,” bin Laden said.

Bin Laden said U.S. and Iraqi officials are seeking to set up a “national unity government” joining the country’s Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

“Our duty is to foil these dangerous schemes, which try to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq, which would be a wall of resistance against American schemes to divide Iraq,” he said.

He called on Iraq’s Sunni Arabs to rally behind the Islamic State of Iraq, the insurgent umbrella group led by Al Qaeda. Besides the Awakening Councils, some Sunni insurgent groups that continue to fight the Americans have rejected the Islamic State.

Bin Laden said Sunnis should pledge their allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the little known “emir” or leader of the Islamic State of Iraq. U.S. officials have claimed that al-Baghdadi does not exist, saying Al Qaeda created the name to give its coalition the illusion of an Iraqi leadership.

“Failure to give allegiance to the emir after he has been endorsed leads to great evils,” bin Laden warned. “Emir Abu Omar would rather have his neck severed than betray the Muslims … Emir Abu Omar and his brothers are not one of those who accept compromise or meeting the enemy halfway.”

The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed. But the voice resembled that of bin Laden. The tape was posted on an Islamic militant Web site where Al Qaeda’s media arm, Al-Sahab, issues the group’s messages.

The tape was the fifth message released by bin Laden this year, a flurry of activity after he went more than a year without issuing any tapes. The messages began with a Sept. 8 video that showed bin Laden for the first time in nearly three years. The other messages this year have been audiotapes.

In an October tape, bin Laden sought to patch up splits between Iraqi insurgent factions, urging them to unite with the Islamic State of Iraq — the insurgent coalition led by Al Qaeda. He took a conciliatory stance, chiding even Al Qaeda’s followers for being too “extremist” in their positions toward other insurgents.

Bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahri took a sharper tone in a Dec. 16 video, branding as “traitors” those who work with the anti-Qaida tribal councils and calling for Sunnis to purge anyone cooperating with the Americans.

Misr Digital Images Forces Egyptian Authorities To Investigate Human Rights Abuse

Wael Abbas’ website, Misr Digital has posted stills from a video that shows a suspected Egyptian Police Officer slapping a woman around and forcing her to strip.

This is only audio, the visual is a still image only, but you can get the gist of what is going on from the audio.

It is good to see that Wael was not deterred by YouTube and Yahoo!’s censorship…

CAIRO, Egypt —  Egyptian authorities have opened an investigation into a video clip uncovered by an anti-torture activist that allegedly shows a police officer slapping a woman and forcing her to strip, a security official said Saturday.

Egypt, where human rights groups say police abuse is pervasive, has seen a series of investigations of police prompted by cell-phone videos showing torture and abuse of suspects.

The circumstances of the latest clip are unknown. It shows a woman in blue jeans and a shirt in what appears to be a bedroom, while a man with a gun tucked in his belt — purported to be a police officer — slaps her repeatedly across the face and orders her to take off her clothes.

The sobbing woman takes off her top and brassiere, begging the man not to force her to walk outside. She tries to cover her face with hands, but the man orders her to take her hands down so he can slap her on the face. Other young men appeared also in front of the camera. None of those appearing in the video are identified and it is not clear where it was filmed.

The video was first uncovered by blogger activist Wael Abbas, whose Web site Misr Digital has posted numerous videos of police torture. Abbas said on his site that he received the video in an anonymous e-mail.

Mohsen el-Bahnasi, head of human rights center for Legal Assistance, then filed a lawsuit to the general prosecutor calling for investigation to determine who was in the clip and whether it showed a policeman.

Prosecutors began their investigation on Thursday, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Abbas said on his Web site that the e-mailer who sent him the clip claimed that the man who appears in it was a police officer, but Abbas said it was not confirmed whether that is accurate.

Abbas has posted previous video clips showing police brutality and torture of people in police stations, including a high profile case of a video that showed police officers sodomizing a minibus driver with a stick. The officers were sentenced to three years in prison in October.

From Wael’s website, these are pictures of the actors and the victim. He is reaching out for anyone who knows them to identify them…

Saturday, 29 December 2007

إبحث مع الوعي المصري عن هؤلاء

إبحث مع الوعي المصري عن هؤلاء

هذه صور الأشخاص الذين يظهرون في فيديو الفتاة
إذا كنت تعرف أحد أو كل هؤلاء الأشخاص برجاء الإتصال بنا
Wa2el_3abbas@yahoo.com
ورجاء كل من يقرأ هذا أن يمرره ويرسله لكل من يعرف

suspect 1
وهو المشتبه به الأول ومن يضرب الفتاة ويطلب منها خلع ملابسها

الفتاة الضحية كما تظهر في الفيديو

الشخص الغامض الذي يظهر ملوحا في الفيديو

شخص آخر غامض يظهر في نهاية الفيديو قبل التوقف عن التصوير
وملامحه هنا واضحة

لقطة نهاية الفيديو ويظهر فيها المشتبه به رقم 3
وخلفه مرآة تعكس ما في غرفة النوم
ويظهر جزء من كتف المشتبه به رقم 2
وهو من لوح للموبايل
الى جانب مشتبه بهم جدد يظهرون لأول مرة في الفيديو
4 و 5

في هذه اللقطة أيضا يظهر المشتبه به الأول في المرآة بالإضافة إلى باقي المشتبه بهم

أكرر مرة أخرى
إذا كنت تعرف أحد أو كل هؤلاء الأشخاص برجاء الإتصال بنا
Wa2el_3abbas@yahoo.com
ورجاء كل من يقرأ هذا أن يمرره ويرسله لكل من يعرف

Canadian Defense Minister Calls Out Iran

Canadian Defense Minister, Peter MacKay has layed blame for the increase in terrorists getting weapons in Afghanistan on the Iranians… Finally someone else see Iran for what they really are, I just hope Canadians read this and learn from it, as most Canadians seem to be of the thought process that Iran’s government is really a bunch of nice chaps fighting the evil empire…

Iran behind flood of weapons to Taliban, MacKay charges

Comment by Jerry Gordondefense-minister-peter-mackay.jpgIt’s Boxing Week up in Canada. Canadian PM Harper sent his Defense Minister Peter MacKay to Afghanistan. MacKay is visiting Canadian forces there for Christmas and Boxing Day. MacKay was interviewed by CanWest and took the opportunity to tell it like it is. Iran’s supplying weapons to the resurgent Taliban courtesy of our trading partner, the Chinese. It’s the old proxy fighter switcheroo that the Iranians are famous for that they pulled off in Lebanon with Hezbollah and in Iraq with Al Qods Force backing Shia militias and supplying IEDs that kill our troops.. This time it’s aid to the Sunni brothers in the umma, the Taliban to kill NATO and Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

As MacKay puts it:

“We’re very concerned that weapons are coming in from Iran.

“We’re very concerned that these weapons are going to the insurgents and are keeping this issue alive. We’ve certainly made our views to the Iranian government about this known.”

This CanWest report notes that:

Improvised explosive devices, responsible for the majority of the deaths of the 73 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, were particularly a concern, he said.

“It’s so difficult to cut these supply lines when you have people from other countries giving out weapons that are being used against Canadian Forces and troops from other countries.”

Outside help makes it tough to cut supply lines, minister says

Allison Lampert, The Montreal Gazette,

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Canada has challenged the Iranian government over concerns that weapons and bomb-making equipment are slipping across the border to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday.

“We’re very concerned that weapons are coming in from Iran,” Mr. MacKay told reporters, while visiting Canadian troops with Gen. Rick Hillier in Kandahar province.

“We’re very concerned that these weapons are going to the insurgents and are keeping this issue alive. We’ve certainly made our views to the Iranian government about this known.”

Improvised explosive devices, responsible for the majority of the deaths of the 73 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, were particularly a concern, he said.

“It’s so difficult to cut these supply lines when you have people from other countries giving out weapons that are being used against Canadian Forces and troops from other countries.”

Mr. MacKay was echoing U.S. concerns that Iran is fuelling the war in Afghanistan by supplying weapons — particularly parts for roadside bombs — to insurgents. In April, the U.S. accused Iran of supplying contacts and weapons to the Taliban.

In September, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Washington questioned Beijing over Chinese weapons shipments to Iran — including a 10-tonne weapons cache found in Herat — turning up in the hands of Afghan insurgents. But in a June interview, ISAF commander Gen. Dan McNeill said that while Iranian mortars and other weapons have been discovered in Afghanistan, there is no proof Tehran is directly supplying the Taliban.

Insurgents’ use of IEDs and other tactics has led to a record number of Canadian deaths in Afghanistan this year. Despite the bloodshed, Canada’s soldiers are eager to continue the Afghan mission, said Gen. Hillier, chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Forces. (Continue Reading this Article)

Pakistan Descending Into Dismal Pit

A dark day in Pakistan with the terrorist assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto , who recently returned from exile. President Musharraf is taking the brunt of the public’s anger even though it is believed to be Islamic terrorist who executed the shooting and bombing.

The people of Pakistan need to get a grip and stop the rioting and protesting Musharraf and help the authorities apprehend those that worked with the suicide bomber. Enough with the sheltering of terrorists, aiding them, helping them move freely through your villages. It is time to bring them to justice.

These terrorists are killing your own people, stand up and fight the right enemy.

Do not disgrace her memory with this animal behavior, instead honor her by doing the right thing.

This is the second time Musharraf has face a large violent backlash, which could topple his government and allow nuclear arms to fall into terrorists hands, the unseen plan that the media does not report on.

Additionally this falls into the standard MO for al Qaeda to attack just before an election to try and influence it. In this case I guess their thinking is that Musharraf is the lesser of two evils.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan —  Pakistan’s paramilitary forces were on red alert Thursday following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The former prime minister was murdered by an attacker who shot her in the neck and chest after a campaign rally and then blew himself up. Her death stoked new chaos across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

At least 20 others were also killed in the homicide bombing that immediately followed Bhutto’s shooting.

Bhutto’s supporters erupted in anger and grief after her killing, attacking police and burning tires and election campaign posters in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf blamed Islamic extremists for Bhutto’s death and said he would redouble his efforts to fight them.

“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” he said in a nationally televised speech. “I have been saying that the nation faces the greatest threats from these terrorists. … We will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out.”

In the U.S., President Bush strongly condemned the attack “by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy.”

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the elections, an official at the Interior Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto, 54, addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, 8 miles south of Islamabad. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, said he was standing about 10 yard away from her vehicle at the time of the attack.

“She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favor. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle’s roof and responding to their slogans,” he said.

“Then I saw a thin, young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away,” he added.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. She died about an hour after the attack.

A doctor on the team that treated her said she had a bullet in the back of the neck that damaged her spinal cord before exiting from the side of her head. Another bullet pierced the back of her shoulder and came out through her chest.

She was given open heart massage, but the main cause of death was damage to her spinal cord, the doctor said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

“At 6:16 p.m., she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

“The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred,” Bhutto’s lawyer Babar Awan said.

Bhutto’s supporters at the hospital exploded in anger, smashing the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit. Others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

“I saw her with my own eyes sitting in a vehicle after addressing the rally. Then, I heard an explosion,” Tahir Mahmood, 55, said sobbing. “I am in shock. I cannot believe that she is dead.”

Many chanted slogans against Musharraf, accusing him of complicity in her killing.

“We repeatedly informed the government to provide her proper security and appropriate equipment … but they paid no heed to our requests,” Malik said.

As news of her death spread, angry supporters took to the streets.

In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as protesters set tires on fire on the roads, torched several vehicles and burned a gas station, said Fayyaz Leghri, a local police official. Gunmen shot and wounded two police officers, he said.

In Rawalpindi, the site of the attack, Bhutto’s supporters burned election posters from the ruling party and attacked police, who fled from the scene. Violence also broke out in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and many other parts of Pakistan, where Bhutto’s supporters set fire to a bus, pelted stones at shops and blocked city roads.

Musharraf, who announced three days of mourning for Bhutto, urged calm.

“I want to appeal to the nation to remain peaceful and exercise restraint,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif, another former premier and opposition leader, arrived at the hospital and sat silently next to Bhutto’s body.

“Benazir Bhutto was also my sister, and I will be with you to take the revenge for her death,” he said. “Don’t feel alone. I am with you. We will take the revenge on the rulers.”

He later announced that his party would boycott the Jan. 8 elections, and he called for Musharraf to step down immediately.

“The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of Pervez Musharraf,” Sharif said at a news conference. “After the killing of Benazir Bhutto, I announce that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will boycott the elections.”

He added: “I demand that Musharraf should quit immediately.”

Hours earlier, four people were killed at a rally for Sharif when his supporters clashed with backers of Musharraf near Rawalpindi.

Hours after her death, Bhutto’s body was carried out of the hospital in a plain wooden coffin by a crowd of supporters. Her body was expected to be transferred to an air base and brought to her hometown of Larkana.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who met with Bhutto just hours before her death, called her a brave woman with a clear vision “for her own country, for Afghanistan and for the region — a vision of democracy and prosperity and peace.”

Bhutto’s death will leave a void at the top of her party, the largest political group in the country, as it heads into the elections. It also fueled fears that the crucial vote could descend into violence.

Pakistan is considered a vital U.S. ally in the fight against Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists including the Taliban. Usama bin Laden and his inner circle are believed to be hiding in lawless northwest Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. has invested significant diplomatic capital in promoting reconciliation between Musharraf and the opposition, particularly Bhutto, who was seen as having a wide base of support in Pakistan. Her party had been widely expected to do well in next month’s elections.

Bush, speaking briefly to reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanded that those responsible for the killing be brought to justice.

“The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy,” Bush said.

Pakistan was just emerging from another crisis after Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Nov. 3, and used sweeping powers to round up thousands of his opponents and fire Supreme Court justices. He ended emergency rule Dec. 15 and subsequently relinquished his role as army chief, a key opposition demand. Bhutto had been an outspoken critic of Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford universities, Bhutto served twice as Pakistan’s prime minister between 1988 and 1996.

Her father was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, scion of a wealthy landowning family in southern Pakistan and founder of the populist Pakistan People’s Party. The elder Bhutto was president and then prime minister of Pakistan before his ouster in a 1977 military coup. Two years later, he was executed by the government of Gen. Zia-ul Haq after being convicted of engineering the murder of a political opponent.

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18. On the same day, she narrowly escaped injury when her homecoming parade in Karachi was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more than 140 people.

Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country with suicide bombings.

At the scene of Thursday’s bombing, an Associated Press reporter saw body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park, where Bhutto had spoken. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded people.

Police cordoned off the street with white and red tape, and rescuers rushed to put victims in ambulances as people wailed nearby.

The clothing of some victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies. Police caps and shoes littered the asphalt.

Hundreds of riot police had manned security checkpoints around the venue. It was Bhutto’s first public meeting in Rawalpindi since she came back to the country.

In November, Bhutto had also planned a rally in the city, but Musharraf forced her to cancel it, citing security fears.

In recent weeks, suicide bombers have repeatedly targeted security forces in Rawalpindi, where Musharraf stays and the Pakistan army has its headquarters.