Monday, June 25, 2007

US Lawmakers Vote to Ban Aid to Saudi Arabia

by VOA News

The ban is contained in an amendment slipped into a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated in the Senate. Congress has passed bills in the past to stop the relatively small amount of U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia. But the Bush administration has found a way around the restrictions. The main backer of the amendment, Democratic Party representative Anthony Weiner from New York State, says cutting off aid sends "a clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that they must be a true ally in advancing peace in the Middle East."

Arab militants join fight in Afghanistan

by Kathy Gannon from Associated Press

Al-Qaida is bringing back fighters it sent home after the post-9/11 invasion, he said. Al-Qaida leaders have written that "it would take three or four years to get the insurgency restarted. They seem to be pretty much on schedule and are bringing more fighters back into the theater," he said. Seth Jones, counterinsurgency expert at the U.S.-based Rand Corporation, said the influx is in the dozens or low hundreds, but is increasing, along with a fervor reminiscent of the 1980s, when Arabs such as the Saudi-born bin Laden flocked to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.

A defector's polemic against Hizb ut-Tahrir (I)

by Yahya Birt from the Brunei Times

Among British Muslims, there are two main views of radicalisation. The first pins the blame squarely upon extreme Salafi Muslims, who developed a doctrine of attacking the west in the wake of the 1980s Afghan-Soviet war. Throughout the 1990s, their propagandists were allowed to spread their ideas in Britain unimpeded by the police and intelligence services. Most ordinary Salafis, committed, like the Amish, to austere apolitical piety, either ignored this trend or argued against it.

Car bomb kills six Unifil peacekeepers in Lebanon

by Clancy Chassay from The Guardian

Timur Goksel, a former Unifil senior adviser, said he doubted whether, after 36 days of fierce bombardment, the militants in Nahr al-Bared had the capability for such an operation, and believed the attack was likely to have been a jihadist group sympathetic to Fatah al-Islam. "This is very likely to be a solidarity action by any one of the Salafi groups." ... In the north of Lebanon, a midnight raid on a house in Tripoli on Saturday led to a night-long gun battle between the Lebanese army and Sunni militants which left 10 people dead, including a 10-year-old girl. Residents in the district of Abi Samra, considered the hub of Lebanon's Salafi community, told of a 10-hour siege as the army pounded the building with artillery and rocket-propelled grenades.

How You Judge Reform Depends Upon Where You Are Standing

by Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta from

One might quibble about the philosophical and theological substance of looking at Islam as a literal transcription of rules, regulations and rituals based upon the clear word of God rather than say the more mystical approach of the Sufis. But Abdel Wahhab was a reformer, he wanted to reform, he managed to convince people of the need for reform. He got the people and tribal leaders to follow him and you can see the end result in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, USA, UK and other places where Saudi money has propagated the Wahhabi creed.

How the US Ordered Increased Activity against Macedonia’s Islamists after the Fort Dix Arrests


According to the Macedonian intelligence officers, the CIA has, over the past 9 months, dramatically increased the frequency of requests for information on the growing fundamentalist Wahhabi community in Macedonia. This new focus has been mirrored by allied services, such as the British, French and Italian, not only in Macedonia but in Bosnia and, as recently reported, in Albania as well. Nevertheless, the disconnect between ‘mission accomplished’-type rhetoric and the reality is still wide. A less than discreet operational protocol is occasionally revealed in the details. A veteran European intelligence officer with long experience of the Balkans mocked an alleged American “intelligence-gathering” procedure in Skopje. “Once a week, without fail, they send someone from the embassy down to an Islamic bookstore in the Carsija (old town) of Skopje ... and they buy all of the new Islamist literature, if there is any, bid them good day and go back.”