Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Catalonia: Europe's New Center of Global Jihad

by Kathryn Haahr from The Jamestown Foundation

Once seemingly disparate Salafi Islamist groups and neophyte militant Muslim grassroots networks have coalesced into radicalized Islamist collectives throughout Catalonia to pose a national threat to Spain, as well as to Western interests in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. According to Spanish counter-terrorism officials, the Spanish Confederation of Police and various terrorism experts, Catalonia has become the "principle focus" of the development of jihadi terrorism in Spain and, more specifically, the largest jihadi recruitment center in Europe (La Vanguardia, June 3).

Clinton Taps Newly Active Indian Donors

by Josh Gerstein from The New York Sun

Both the Jewish and the Indian community share a concern about Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. While Jews fear attacks on Israel, Indian-Americans, most of whom are Hindu, worry about attacks on India perpetrated by Islamists and about the threat of fundamentalism in Pakistan. When Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley hosted a $200,000 fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton last month, she was pressed about why America counts Saudi Arabia as an ally, despite its record of fomenting extreme, "Wahhabi" Islam through religious schools in its country and elsewhere.

Announcing the 2007 Lincoln Fellows

from the Claremont Institute

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he also directs their Project on Religion, Politics, and Radicalism. From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Gartenstein-Ross worked for the U.S. Headquarters of the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, an international Wahhabi charity. The office he worked for was later named a specially designated global terrorist entity by the Treasury Department, and Gartenstein-Ross worked as a confidential informant in the FBI’s investigation, an experience detailed in his recently published book, My Year Inside Radical Islam.

Prince Plans $300 Billion Metropolis in Saudi Arabian Desert

by A. Craig Copetas from Bloomberg

Prince Fahd bin Sultan will begin construction this year on what is intended as a showcase for a new Saudi Arabia: a $300 billion multicultural metropolis designed to lure 700,000 inhabitants from around the globe. The construction of this and 5 other megacities scheduled for completion by 2020 will be funded by oil revenue ... en route to a meeting with Prince Fahd, is Lebanese construction mogul and New Tabouk architect Bahaa Hariri, the son of assassinated Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Sandžak: Police confiscate large weapons cache

from B92 (Serbia)

Interior Minister Dragan Jočić says weapons were found in several locations in Novi Pazar, Tutin and Sjenica. Police discovered some 10,000 bullet rounds and 15 kilograms of suspected explosives ... Jočić told the agency the weapons in question came from Kosovo. “We believe they were bought in Vučitrn and Peć. This is the information police obtained from the three Wahhabis arrested recently.

Whisky, women and weapons

by David Harrison from The Age

Saudi Arabia is a country run by a curious coalition of the wealthy, nepotistic House of Saud and the fundamentalist Wahhabi religious leaders. The royal family has ruled the desert kingdom - which has 25% of the world's oil reserves - since 1932 when King Abdul Aziz al-Saud united warring tribes under Sharia law. It has an historic connection with the Wahhabis, a branch of Islam linked to September 11, 2001, but King Abdullah's desire to modernise the country - he succeeded King Fahd who died two years ago - has created tension with the clerics who are resisting his attempts to liberalise education and give women more freedom.