From Joseph S. Mayton at AHN
An American diplomatic source has told the Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm that Saudi Arabia is threatening to intervene in Iraq to support Sunni allies. The unnamed source was reported as saying that once American troops leave Iraq Saudi Arabia will support the Sunni population militarily ... According to the source, American Vice-President Dick Cheney's recent Middle East tour was related to this matter, although the source did not specify the VP by name. The story in the Egyptian daily commented on the possibility of a greater Middle Eastern war caused by the Iraq crisis. It said that a military escalation could result between Iran and Iraqi Shias vis a vis Saudi Arabia and other regional Sunni powers.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
From Joseph S. Mayton at AHN
From Jerrod M. Post and Gabriel Sheffer at the Brown Journal of World Affairs
It is estimated that some 80% of new recruits to the global Salafi jihad are children and grandchildren of Muslim émigrés who have felt alienated from their host cultures. This alienation is the driving force behind not only Islamist radicalization but also the radicalization that results in more quotidian political and social violence. While the U.S. tradition of diversity may have slowed or deterred the radicalization of Muslim émigrés in the United States, this review suggests reasons to believe that the phenomenon now so threatening in Europe could become more threatening in the United States as well.
[In Mauritania] Eleven accused Salafi Islamists will go on trial in the Nouakchott criminal court begin next Monday, judicial sources affirmed here Monday ... They are mainly accused of undergoing training abroad (in the camps of the Salafi Group for Predication and Combat, now the Maghreb branch of Al Qaeda). For over ten years, alleged Islamist groups have been regularly arrested and later released provisionally or for various other reasons. But this is the first time judicial authorities are going to organise a trial for the members of the "militant" Islamist group, observers said.
From Pepe Escobar at Asia Times (HK)
[In Iraq] The Adhamiyah wall - the symbol of the Baghdad gulag, rejected by more than 70% of Iraqis - is not yet finished, but the neighborhood is already isolated by a cluster of checkpoints, with all major streets blocked by blast walls and barbed wire ... Residents confirm that Adhamiyah is also internally divided. The old area of al-Safina, near a cemetery, is now populated only by hardcore Sunni Arab families and Salafi-jihadis. The area known as Camp, between the Nida Mosque and Officers Street, is now infested with ferocious gangs bent on killing and kidnapping.
From David Barouski at ZNet.com
The Baluchistan Province is the largest province in Pakistan. It borders the Helmand Province of Afganistan, an opium crop district and Taliban (meaning “students” in Arabic) stronghold. The Baluchistan Province has been used as a rear base for training and staging their armed forces. The Taliban are a Nationalist Sunni faction comprised of Pashtuns, who form a very sizable population in Baluchistan Province. The area is awash in locally ruled fiefdoms by tribal chiefs and mullahs (Islamic clergymen). In Pakistan, they are usually from the Wahhabi or Salafi sect.
From Elizabeth Kendal of ASSIST News Service
In early March 2007 Islamist Hamas entered into a government of national unity with Fatah and agreed to 'respect' international agreements. Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri responded by slamming Hamas, accusing it of falling 'into the swamp of surrender' by abandoning its ideology and 'selling out' to Israel and the US for the sake of securing seats in government. Since then, al Qaeda-linked Wahhabist jihadis have dramatically escalated their effort in purging and Islamising Gaza. They have assassinated three Hamas leaders and are targeting everything they deem 'un-Islamic'.
From Stephen Schwartz of The Family Security Foundation
Radical Muslims claim all Muslims owe their primary loyalty to a single global umma or community. This view is supported by an aggressive minority, since Muslims are as divided by history, culture, and language as Christians and even Jews. But it seems undeniable that within Islam worldwide, especially where the Wahhabis scheme to take control of all Sunnis, money is disbursed and actions are planned in a coordinated manner. Indeed, I have argued for some time that Sunni radicals are engaged in a new campaign, reaching across borders, continents, and oceans, with the aim of exporting the tensions, if not the terror, seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In those countries, Muslim-on-Muslim bloodshed often appears to overshadow the atrocities perpetrated against the U.S.-led coalition. That said, for all Americans, including American Muslims, the safety of our troops must come first, whether in Fallujah or at Fort Dix.
From Interfax (Russia)
Wahhabi ideas are rapidly spreading in Russia to threaten with an armed conflict, Islamic researcher Roman Silantyev believes ... Answering the question of what the state's strategy should be to avoid any further consolidation of Wahhabi positions, Roman Silantyev said it is very difficult to avoid this situation already now. 'The Wahhabis have already won the information war as they control up to 80% of the Islamic mass media in Russia. In any case, if the state does not interfere in this situation and fails to support its real allies in the Islamic society, any interreligious peace can be forgotten', the Islamic researcher said.
From Daniel Pipes and the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA)
A just-published study from the RAND Corporation, Building Moderate Muslim Networks, methodically takes up and thinks through this concept. They start with the argument that "structural reasons play a large part" in the rise of radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam in recent years --one of those reasons being the Saudi government's generous funding over the last three decades for the export of the Wahhabi version of Islam. Saudi efforts have promoted "the growth of religious extremism throughout the Muslim world," permitting the Islamists to develop powerful intellectual, political, and other networks. "This asymmetry in organization and resources explains why radicals, a small minority in almost all Muslim countries, have influence disproportionate to their numbers."