Friday, June 29, 2007

Terror Plot Involves Islamic Extremists; Police Have 'Crystal Clear' Picture of Suspect

by Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report from ABS News

British police have a "crystal clear" picture of the man who drove the bomb-rigged silver Mercedes outside a London nightclub, and officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com he bears "a close resemblance" to a man arrested by police in connection with another bomb plot but released for lack of evidence. Officials say the suspect had been taken into custody in connection with the case of al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot, who was convicted of orchestrating a vehicle bomb plot involving targets in London, New York, Newark, N.J. and Washington, D.C.

Al-Qaeda's Caucasian Foot Soldiers
from the Jamestown Foundation
Recent arrests in Britain involving at least five converts (of Afro-Caribbean origin) training to become suicide bombers — as well as the arrest of Dhiren Barot, a convert plotting a dirty bomb attack in the United States—indicate that this trend is on the upswing, reflecting both the globalization and growing appeal of Salafi-Jihadism and a tactical adjustment to Western security and profiling measures on the part of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. It also underscores the truly transnational and cross-cultural nature of the threat, against which profiling may not provide an adequate defense.

Darling of cultural warriors

by Irfan Yusuf from ON LINE opinion

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata in many Muslim circles. Fiercely independent and with little concern for the sensibilities of others, she is not afraid to take Muslims out of their comfort zone. The writer, award-winning human rights activist and former politician openly states that she is an ex-Muslim, and that she does not believe in any divine figure ... Ayaan’s most unusual claim is that the dominant strand of Islam in Indonesia is wahhabism, and that Saudi Arabia funds the majority of Indonesian religious schools ... She then claimed that Muslim extremists in Indonesia are calling for Syariah law to be implemented. I asked whether she had any evidence of this in terms of Indonesia’s electoral politics. She had no idea. I advised her of a speech delivered to conservative Sydney think-tank The Centre for Independent Studies by legal academic and Nahdatul Ulama leader Mohammad Fajrul Falaakh. He said that in each successive Indonesian election since independence, the number of seats held by pro-Syariah parties has actually reduced.

Appeasement - The Liberal-Islamic Strategy

by David J. Jonsson from The American Daily

Six Persian Gulf States now have almost $1.6 trillion in foreign assets, dwarfing even China’s mammoth $1.1 trillion of foreign reserves, according to a new report from the Institute of International Finance” according to the Financial Times. These Gulf States are all members of the so-called Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). They are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are massive piles of wealth growing in the GCC.” “Along with China and other countries, the GCC is increasingly setting aside more and more of these funds to invest abroad -- in stocks, real estate and private businesses. What they buy could have a huge impact on market prices -- and your investments.”... It appears strange that politicians would suggest that the US fund a Marshall Plan to support the Islamic countries when the Islamic Countries of the Gulf are accumulating hordes of US dollars. It is in the Islamic countries that we are seeing the growth of terrorism.

Baqouba operation moves to next phase

by Drew Brown from Stars and Stripes

Once inside, the troops began searching for anything that might link the mosque to al-Qaida fighters or other insurgent groups ... “This is exactly what we’re looking for,” said Capt. Stuart Chapman, 25, of Richmond, Va. Other documents found at the site included identity cards, ration cards and piece of notebook paper with a sketch of an AK-47 rifle and a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq drawn in a childish hand. Other documents identified the mosque as Wahabbi, a fundamentalist branch of Islam that is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and one to which many Sunni insurgents adhere ... Col. Steve Townsend, commander of 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said about half of the estimated 300 to 500 fighters thought to be in Baqouba at the beginning of the operation had either fled the city or gone into hiding. But according to local residents, most insurgents fled Baqouba two days before the offensive started, tipped off by reports on Iraqi television that U.S. and Iraqi government forces were set to begin a massive sweep of the city.

Hamastan and Red Zoneistan

by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online

Meanwhile, the recent joint US/Badr Corps offensive against Salafi-jihadis in Baquba turned out to be another farce. Salafi-jihadis relocated and counterattacked ... in Baghdad. Dozens of thousands of Baquba's 300,000-plus population - a Sunni majority - became refugees for nothing. The powerful Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars denounced this mini-surge as "barbaric acts". But these "barbaric acts" are just snapshots of what the Bush administration - helped by faithful Blair - managed to create: the world's second-biggest failed state, only behind Sudan, according to the 2007 Failed States Index compiled by Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace.

Hizbullah—Party Of God - Book Review

by Yoginder Sikand from Countercurrents.org

Much has been written about Hizbullah, 'The Party of God', the Lebanon-based resistance movement. Yet, as the editor of this book, Abdar Rahman Koya, points out, most of this has been by Western writers, who represent a distinctly Western and, therefore, biased, perspective ... In his editorial note, Koya focuses on Hizbullah's consistent opposition to Zionist aggression and Western imperialist designs in the Middle East ... He berates Saudi mullahs for issuing fatwas, at the behest of the Saudi rulers, denouncing Hizbullah as 'wrongdoers'and 'Satans'. Panic-stricken by Hizbullah's growing popularity as a resistance movement and the threat that it poses to pro-American Arab regimes, Koya says in this regard that 'the Wahhabi fatwa-factory seems to be working overtime, much to the delight of the Zionists and of their Western backers'.

Global Agenda: Oil's well

by Pinchas Landau from the Jerusalem Post

We are left with the consistent, prosaic and boring of the many reasons that have been put forward over recent years to explain the ongoing strength in the oil price. Demand is growing fast, supply is tight and new sources are expensive to develop and take a long time to "come on stream." There are nasties in Nigeria ... and then there are the "nutters." The Arabs are not nuts. The Saudis, for instance, have managed to get their domestic terrorism under control while continuing to actively export Wahhabi Muslim fanaticism to every corner of the globe, converting, training and financing new and ever-larger cadres of jihadists. The Saudis' neighbors along the West Bank of the Persian Gulf are much more focused on Mammon than on God, with Abu Dhabi using its oil wealth to buy corporations and real estate around the globe and Dubai remaking itself into a vast leisure and business oasis.

Tightening the screws on Iran

by Thomas Lifson from the American Thinker

As the gasoline riots continue in Tehran (and who knows where else in Iran?), popular discontent with the mullahs' regime increases as economic hardships multiply. Kenneth Timmerman, writing in Front Page Magazine, discusses both the economic roots of unrest and the prospects for heightening it. Among several interesting bits of information is the role of HSBC Bank (one of the world's biggest, a British institution that grew out of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) as a key link in Iran's ability to do financial business with the rest of the world. One fascinating aspect to this report is that a Saudi investor, Maan Abdulwahed Al-Sanea, reportedly the second richest man in the Kingdom, has purchased a $6.5 billion stake in HSBC. The Wahhabi rulers of Saudi perceive a mortal threat from the Shiite rulers of Iran, and may well be "encouraging" HSBC and the UK to make life difficult for the Iranians as a means of removing the mullahs from power.

Indonesia's Guitar Warrior

by Jason Tedjasukmana from Time

Ahmad Dhani (also known as Dhani Dewa), may have a way to go before reaching the musician-statesman stature of Bono, but he is talking the talk. Dhani first has to win over his homeland, however. After notching up seven platinum albums in Indonesia with his own band, Dewa 19, he announced his intention to wean millions of his countrymen away from extremist Islamic views. "What happens depends on how we deal with the radicals and teach people about Islam," explains Dhani, who says he quit a religious school as a child because he was put off by its conservative Wahhabi teachings. "It's time to come together, even if we have to do it one song at a time." ... Last October, Dhani spoke at a Defense Department-sponsored conference at NORAD in Colorado Springs, explaining to military and government officials why he rejected the path of his father, a former member of the hard-line body Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, as well as that of his grandfather, a member of the outlawed Darul Islam, which once fought for an Islamic state in the archipelago.