Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weapons weren't mine, says 'terrorist' Sydney cabbie

by Martin Chulov from The Australian

Omar al-Hadba, who faces the death penalty in Lebanon on treason charges, claimed that since early last year he had repeatedly asked his friend to remove the weapons. He said he had become increasingly suspicious about one-time Sydney steel-workshop owner Hussein Sabbagh links to radical elements in the Salafi Islamic community in the northern port city of Tripoli. Mr Hadba claimed that in mid-June he delivered for Mr Sabbagh two large travel bags, which he now believed contained weapons, to an apartment block in the Tripoli suburb of Abu Samra, a week before Islamists used the building to launch an attack against approaching Lebanese soldiers ... Belying his claims, a witness to the removal of the weapons by the army, neighbour Mohammed Chawk, who rents a second workshop from the Australian, said weapons were scattered across the floor and bulged from large wooden crates along the back wall. He said soldiers took four hours to remove the weapons, which almost filled two army trucks.

Six years on, the root problem remains

by Jonathan Manthorpe from The Vancouver Sun

A core of the problem the world faces with disenchanted, violent young Muslims is the unholy deal between the government of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh -- in effect, the royal family -- and the fanatical fringe Wahhabist Islamic sect. The Saudis have bought peace at home -- well, not always -- by spewing money at the Wahhabists to go spread their venom elsewhere ... Because of this patronage Wahhabism has achieved influence far beyond the credibility of its doctrines by setting up schools, universities and mosques around the Muslim world as well as funding missionary work by fanatical clerics ... One of the places where the Wahhabists have been especially successful in perverting the minds of disoriented young people is in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, especially in Saudi-funded madrasah religious schools in and around the western city of Peshawa.

Dar ul-Qalam: A Barelvi publishing house with a difference

by Yoginder Sikand from the Network

A significant number of South Asian Muslims are associated with what can be loosely defined as the Barelvi tradition, named after the late nineteenth century defender of the cults of the Sufi shrines Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi. In contrast to various South Asian reformist Islamic groups and movements, the Barelvi tradition is loosely organized, lacking the strong network of institutions of other Muslim groupings. Barelvi ulema have, by and large, been loath to work with ulema of other Muslim groups, seeing many of these as 'Wahhabi' and 'anti-Islam' ... Maulana Yasin Akhtar Misbahi, leading Indian Barelvi scholar, recommends that the ulema themselves learn English, Hindi and other languages so as to directly communicate with people of other faiths through their writings ... the purpose of dialogue is not just to communicate to others. Rather, the Maulana says, the ulema should also be willing to learn about what others feel and believe. As of now, he says, there is little interaction between the ulema and people of other faiths.

Six Years Later: What Is 9/11?

by Reid Wilson from RealClearPolitics

Professor Douglas Lovelace, a terrorism expert at the U.S. Army War College, suggests that "reasonable people can disagree on the specific start date" of a war with terrorists ... Brian Fishman, a senior associate in the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, says that extremist Salafis, from which al Qaeda springs, have been engaged in a pitched battle with moderate Muslims "for millennia in one form or another." Lovelace himself believes the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, the beginning of al Qaeda's current strategy of attacks, were the beginning of the struggle, in 1998. Fishman goes back farther, to 1979, and what he calls "the beginning of the modern Jihadi-Salafi movement."

Terror on Campus

by Candace de Russy from National Review

"Radicalization in the West and the Homegrown Threat," a 90-page report published in August by the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, pulled no punches in pointing to a jihadi-Salafi subculture within New York City, including within its university population ... In addition, the report is unsparing in its condemnation of the Saudis’ provision of such "radical literature" — no doubt the reason why various Saudi-funded U.S. groups, notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, vociferously denounced it. The study does not, however, elaborate on the Saudi connection to the Muslim Student Association (MSA). According to Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, this "octopus-like" web of groups is a key lobbying organization for Saudi Wahhabism, with strong ties to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, one of the vehicles via which the Saudi government funds Islamic radicalism and international terrorism.

Another September 11th Attack is Not 'If' But 'When'

by State Rep. Gene Ward from Hawaii Reporter

I have been totally shocked by the You Tube sermons being broadcast by firebrand, radical fundamentalist imams, particularly from those belonging to the Wahabi sect and their unabashed goal of world domination. I do not believe Islam is driven by this fanaticism -- but I do believe that the fanatic Wahabis are twisting Islam to drive their cause and incite the masses in Islamic nations and among Muslim communities around the world ... Pacification of this fanaticism thus appears to be a long-term proposition that could consume much of our nation's time and resources. And because of the virulent nature of this movement, which is also extremely anti-Semitic, the enabling environment for acts of terrorism are ripe all over the United States, including Hawaii.