Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Disinvesting won't stop terrorism

by Benjamin Zycher from the LA Times

Financial support for terrorist activities is primarily ideological, and regimes are loath to sacrifice ideological goals just because economic conditions are declining. Saudi financing of the Wahhabi madrasas, for instance, both official and unofficial, continued during the 1990s when oil revenues were low. Similarly, during the 1990s, various terrorist groups received much of their support from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan — nations not noted for strong economic performance. The notion that we can "de-fund" terrorism by withholding our investment is particularly weak. The reality is that terrorism is relatively cheap; the 9/11 commission computed the cost of the 9/11 attacks at less than $500,000, an estimate likely to be too low, but not by enough to change this central conclusion.

Iraq prime training ground for export of Jihadists

from AFP

The new generation of Islamist militants in Iraq are more battle-hardened than their veteran anti-Soviet counterparts from Afghanistan, and the export of their Muslim "holy war" to calmer Arab countries has become a phenomenon. The presence of Saudi, Jordanian, and Yemeni volunteers in the besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr Al Bared in north Lebanon, as well as arrests in Jordan and Saudi Arabia of Jihadists coming from Iraq illustrate this. "The Iraqi resistance does not need people inside, they have more than they need, freeing up foreign fighters to fight elsewhere," said Marwan Shehadeh, an expert in radical movements with the Vision Research Institute in Amman. "They are in contact with each other because Salafi [strict Muslim] ideology is spread all over Arab and Islamic countries," he said.

'Long war' becoming apt name

by Jim Mullins from the Sun-Sentinel

The ongoing Afghan war is indicative of a long war for it began in the 1970's as a Cold War CIA operation designed to overthrow Afghanistan's Soviet-friendly government and lure an overextended Soviet Union into their "Vietnam". U.S. strategy was successful but the blowback—a CIA term for unforeseen consequences—led directly to Osama bin Laden and his fighters from the Arab, Muslim and Western world ... The United States walked away from the Afghan wreckage leaving the armed-to-the-teeth mujahideen to fight for control of the country. Millions of Afghan refugees left for Pakistan and beyond. Young Afghan refugees, some Pakistanis and others went to Saudi-funded madrassas. They were taught fundamentalist Salafi Islam and trained to take back their country from the guerrilla fighters that were destroying it.

The Collateral Damage of Lebanese Sovereignty

by Jim Quilty of Middle East Report Online

Syrian officials and their allies in Lebanon label Fatah al-Islam as al-Qaeda operatives. It is not an imaginative accusation. Though Fatah al-Islam has denied any institutional links to al-Qaeda, the global Sunni militancy ‘Absi advocates echoes that of al-Qaeda and Fatah al-Islam’s statements have appeared on salafi websites. In a Reuters interview in March, ‘Absi said Fatah al-Islam wanted to implement shari‘a law among Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee community before confronting Israel. The Saudi-owned al-‘Arabiyya channel has advanced a theory that ‘Absi is just the front man for an even murkier cabal of multinational Islamist conspirators including one ‘Abd al-Karim al-Saadi, aka “Abu Muhjin.” This fierce-looking Palestinian bogeyman was cast as the mastermind behind the criminal activities of the Lebanese-Palestinian salafi group ‘Usbat al-Ansar before disappearing into the “security island” of ‘Ayn al-Hilwa.

The perils of 'one size fits all'

by Sami Moubayed from Asia Times Onlines

The real connection between the Palestinians and al-Qaeda can be found in three figures (none of whom are members of Hamas). 1) Abdullah Azzam, who comes from a village near Jenin, was once called "the prince of mujahideen" in Afghanistan. He started out as a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and, after studying in Saudi Arabia, moved to Afghanistan to work with bin Laden in 1984. 2) Abu Qutada went from Jordan to Afghanistan and then Britain, via Pakistan, where he was given asylum. A prolific man, he spoke, preached, and lectured on Islamic jihad and words inspired hundreds of young Muslims to join al-Qaeda. His videos were found at the Hamburg apartment of Mohammad Atta. 3) Abu Mohammad al-Makdisi was very active in preaching radical political and military Islam in Jordan -- the US once described him as more dangerous than bin Laden himself. One of the al-Qaeda members who launched a terrorist attack on Riyadh in 1996 confessed that he had been inspired into action by one of Abu Mohammad's books on Saudi Arabia.

Commentary: You can't ignore Saudi's oil-influence

by John Lemberger from The Northwestern

The true Axis of Evil on this planet is Saudi Arabia, more specifically Wahhabi Muslims, who instigated the Iraq war because they need more money and that means higher gas prices. If we used half the gas, they'd double the price because they're paying for an ambitious real estate development program including dairy farming in the Saudi desert! They also pay serious protection money to stop Wahhabi Muslim terrorist attacks against their corrupt regime ... the Saudis are funding the Sunnis in Iraq's civil war and are behind transferring control of Iraq's oil from Iraq's Shia government to—BIG OIL! This required privatizing Iraq's oil. Insuring that future Iraqi governments won't re-nationalize Iraq's oil will require an ongoing commitment of U.S. troops for about 50 years (the latest estimate by the Bush mis-Administration).

Bush’s Extremist?

by Robert Spencer from Human Events

When is a moderate Muslim not a moderate Muslim? How about if he is an employee of a Saudi Wahhabi organization that has been identified by the Senate Finance Committee as one of a long list of Islamic charities that “finance terrorism and perpetuate violence”? Last month, the White House appointed Talal Eid, an imam from Quincy, Massachusetts, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan panel that, according to the Boston Globe, “monitors religious freedom in countries around the world and recommends policies to the president, State Department, and Congress.” ... The Bush Administration has been determined to find moderate Muslims with whom it could work; unfortunately, however, in this quest it has sometimes been less discriminating than it should have been, and the case of Talal Eid is a prime example of this.