Saturday, March 1, 2008

Abbas rejects Jewishness of Israel, doesn't rule out armed conflict, proud to have taught terror to world

"Now we are against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future
stages [see: Khartoum 1973, the PLO STRATEGIC RESOLUTION of the
struggle "by stages", never cancelled, which includes "accepting
whichever part of Palestine relinquished by the Zionist enemy, and from
there building strength for the final attack" ], things may be
different... "...

Feb 28 2008
Palestinian Media Watch

Abbas rejects Jewishness of Israel,
doesn't rule out armed conflict
proud to have taught terror to world
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he
doesn't rule out armed conflict against Israel. He also said that he
was "honored" to have fired the first bullet of the Fatah terror
organization in 1965, and to have taught terror tactics around the
world, including to such groups as Hizbullah.

In an in-depth interview published today in the Jordanian daily
Al-Dustur, Abbas said that the PA is "unable" to pursue armed conflict
for now, but said that "in the future stages things may be different."

He rejected Israel as a Jewish state, and said that it was the PA's
rejection of Israel's Jewishness that almost aborted the Annapolis
Conference last November.

Abbas said that he won't demand that Hamas recognize Israel. In fact,
as PMW has reported in the past, he said that the only "recognition" of
Israel he demands of a Palestinian unity government is to recognize
Israel as its adversary.

Here are some highlights from that interview:

The Arab Situation
"Now we are against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future stages, things may be different... "

We reject the Jewishness of the state
The Palestinian President emphasized his rejection of what is described as the Jewishness of the state [Israel], and said: "We rejected this proposal at the Annapolis conference last November in the USA, and the conference was almost aborted because of it..."

The Resistance [Editor's note: PA euphemism for terror]
The Palestinian President spoke about the resistance, saying: "I was
honored to be the one to shoot the first bullet in 1965 [Fatah terror
against Israel began in 1965] ,and having taught resistance to many in
this area and around the world, defining it and when it is beneficial
and when it is not... we had the honor of leading the resistance.We
taught everyone what resistance is, including the Hezbollah, who were
trained in our camps [i.e. PLO camps in the 60s and 70s]."

Recognition of Israel
"I don't demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. I only
demanded of the [Palestinian] national unity government that would work opposite Israel in recognition of it. And this I told to Syrian
President Bashir Assad, and he supported this idea."

Al-Dustur, February 28, 2008


Contact Palestinian Media Watch:

p:+972 2 625 4140
f: +972 2 624 2803

US Imam suspected of aiding Al-Qaeda

This nice fellow was allowed to leave the United States to pursue his career elsewhere. He is still on the loose.
Imam From Va. Mosque Now Thought to Have Aided Al-Qaeda
By Susan Schmidt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2008; A03
Even before the 2001 terrorist attacks, American-born imam Anwar al-Aulaqi drew the attention of federal authorities because of his possible connections to al-Qaeda. Their interest grew after 9/11, when it turned out that three of the hijackers had spent time at his mosques in California and Falls Church, but he was allowed to leave the country in 2002.
New information later surfaced about his contacts with extremists while in the United States. Now, U.S. officials are saying for the first time that they believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaeda networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia. In mid-2006, Aulaqi was detained in Yemen at the request of the United States. To the dismay of U.S. authorities, Aulaqi was released in December.
"There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies," said a U.S. counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
U.S. authorities were limited in how far they could push Yemen to hold Aulaqi, officials said, because they have no pending legal case against him. The officials said ongoing intelligence-gathering efforts here and abroad prevented them from providing details about Aulaqi's suspected activities.
Aulaqi, 36, was the spiritual leader in 2001 and 2002 of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, one of the largest in the country. In a taped interview posted this New Year's Eve on a British Web site, Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the Sept. 11 hijackers.
"I don't know if I was held because of that, or because of the other issues they presented," Aulaqi said without elaborating. He said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so "until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me." Aulaqi did not respond to requests for an interview.
In several terrorism cases in Britain and Canada over the past 18 months, investigators found in the private computer files of some suspects transcripts and audio files of lectures by Aulaqi promoting the strategies of a key al-Qaeda military commander, the late Yusef al-Ayeri, a Saudi known as "Swift Sword."
Federal prosecutors in New York alleged in a 2004 terrorism-related trial that a U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity for which Aulaqi served as vice president was a front that sent money to al-Qaeda. Documents filed around the same time in federal court in Alexandria assert that a year after 9/11, Aulaqi returned briefly to Northern Virginia, where he visited a radical Islamic cleric and asked him about recruiting young Muslims for "violent jihad." That cleric, Ali al-Timimi, is now serving a life sentence for inciting followers to fight with the Taliban against Americans.
After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among ultraconservative young Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. He moved to Yemen, his family's ancestral home, in 2004.
State Department officials said they are barred by privacy law from discussing Aulaqi's detention because he is a U.S. citizen. A senior official of Yemen's embassy in Washington said Aulaqi was arrested over family and tribal matters -- "kidnapping, stuff like that" rather than terrorism. "Nothing has led them to believe he's part of al-Qaeda," he said.
Before his arrest, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in Sanaa run by Sheik Abd-al-Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in the Soviet-Afghan war and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.
U.S. and U.N. authorities accuse Zindani of recruiting for al-Qaeda camps and raising money for weapons for terrorist groups. Students at his university, the United States said, are suspected in terrorist attacks and assassinations; among its attendees before he joined the Taliban was American John Walker Lindh.
Aulaqi's lectures and Internet postings on Islamic principles excoriate the West and speak of Muslims as a besieged people. In one speech apparently made in 2006, he predicted an epic global clash between Muslims and "kufr," or nonbelievers.
"America is in a state of war with Allah," he said, referring to the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. He praised the insurgency in Iraq and "martyrdom operations" in the Palestinian territories. Muslims must choose sides between President Bush and the "mujaheddin," he said. The solution for the Muslim world, he said, "is jihad."
Aulaqi is "a huge inspiration to home-grown terror cells in the U.K. and Europe," said Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism researcher who testified as a government witness in a British bombing conspiracy trial. Kohlmann, an American whose work is funded by the Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation, a privately funded research group, said: "He is one of the very few respected extremist Salafi clerics who can write and speak in English."
Aulaqi's father, Nasser Aulaqi, a former Yemeni government minister, said Yemeni security police confiscated his son's computer and copies of a lecture series he gave at Zindani's al-Iman University. He said his son lectured four times at the university about six months before his arrest, on the history of Muslims in Spain. "He was not a faculty member," Aulaqi's father said in a telephone interview. "There is no radical things in them."
"My son is not a terrorist," he said. "He never advocated violence against anybody."
Anwar al-Aulaqi was born in New Mexico in 1971 while his father studied for a college degree. He spent part of his childhood in Yemen and returned in 1991 to study engineering at Colorado State University. After graduating, he became a mosque leader, first in Fort Collins, Colo., and then in San Diego.
Tax records show that in 1998 and 1999, while in San Diego, Aulaqi served as vice president of the now-defunct Charitable Society for Social Welfare Inc., the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Zindani. Three years ago, federal prosecutors in a New York terrorism-financing case described the charity as "a front organization" that was "used to support al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden."
The 9/11 Commission and the joint House-Senate Inquiry into the intelligence failures that allowed the attacks to take place reported that in 1999 the FBI opened a short-lived investigation of Aulaqi when it learned he may have been visited by a "procurement agent" for bin Laden.
Law enforcement sources now say that agent was Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi's charity as its Yemeni partner.
The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, known as the blind sheik, who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.
But the bureau lacked enough evidence to bring a case, and closed its investigation. Around the same time, two future Sept. 11 hijackers -- Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, fresh from an al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia -- turned up at Aulaqi's San Diego mosque in early 2000.
Witnesses later told the FBI that Aulaqi had a close relationship with the hijackers in San Diego. "Several persons informed the FBI after September 11 that this imam had closed-door meetings in San Diego with al-Mihdhar, al-Hazmi and another individual," the Joint House-Senate Inquiry reported. In press interviews at the time, Aulaqi denied having such contacts.
In January 2001, he enrolled in a PhD program at George Washington University and was hired at Dar al-Hijrah, which regularly draws about 3,000 people to Friday prayers.
In April 2001, Hazmi left San Diego and showed up at Aulaqi's new mosque, along with another future hijacker, Hani Hanjour. They were quickly aided in securing an apartment by a Jordanian man they met there -- Eyad al-Rababah.
"Some [FBI] agents suspect that Aulaqi may have tasked Rababah to help Hazmi and Hanjour. We share that suspicion, given the remarkable coincidence of Aulaqi's prior relationship with Hazmi," the 9/11 Commission concluded. Further, the phone number for Dar al-Hijrah had been found in the Hamburg apartment of one of the planners of the attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh.
The FBI told the 9/11 Commission and Congress that it did not have reason to detain Aulaqi.
Former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham, who led the congressional panel on Sept. 11, accused the FBI of bungling investigations of Aulaqi before and after 9/11. "Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans," Graham wrote in his 2004 book "Intelligence Matters."
After 9/11, Aulaqi publicly condemned the attacks. But in comments published in English on Sept. 17, 2001, on IslamOnline, Aulaqi suggested that Israelis may have been responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that the FBI "went into the roster of the airplanes and whoever has a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default."
Weeks after leaving the United States in the spring of 2002, he posted an essay in Arabic titled "Why Muslims Love Death" on the Islam Today Web site, lauding the fervor of Palestinian suicide bombers. Months later he praised them in English at a lecture in a London mosque that was recorded on videotape.
Aulaqi briefly returned to the United States in fall 2002, visiting the Fairfax home of Timimi, spiritual leader of an Islamic center a few miles from Dar al-Hijrah, according to court records.
"Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims," according to a court filing by Timimi's attorney, Edward MacMahon, who asserted that those "entreaties were rejected."
Timimi was sentenced in 2005 to life in prison for inciting young Muslims to go to Afghanistan after 9/11 and to wage war against the United States. Eleven of his followers were convicted of charges including weapons violations and aiding a terrorist organization. Some had simulated armed conflict by playing paintball in the Virginia countryside, and some went on to camps in Pakistan run by the group Lashkar-i-Taiba, which trained foreign and local fighters for Muslim militant groups including the Taliban.
Court records show that Aulaqi had been driven to the meeting by one of Timimi's followers, who later testified as a government witness. Another convicted member of the group had Aulaqi's phone number on his cellphone, according to court testimony.
Dar al-Hijrah's spokesman and others in leadership positions at the mosque did not respond to requests for interviews for this article.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diagnosing Zionophobia and curing it

In 1882, a Russian Jewish physician named Leon Pinsker diagnosed "Judeophobia," the irrational Jew-hatred, blighting enlightened Europeans. On February 24th and 25th, 126 years later, delegates from 45 countries will convene in Jerusalem to attend the International Conference for the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, organized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Department of Combating Antisemitism headed by Aviva Raz-Shechter. The Forum's venue proves that Jews' statelessness, which Dr. Pinsker blamed for causing anti-Semitism, has ended. Tragically, an irrational hatred of that Jewish state has morphed this ancient disease into a new affliction: Zionophobia.

Zionophobia is the irrational hatred of Israel and Jewish nationalism, meaning Zionism. Rooted in traditional Judeophobia - and in genuine sympathy for the Palestinian predicament -- it masks this antisemitism by demonizing Israel in the guise of defending the downtrodden. By treating Israel as the world's only pariah state it assails the essence of Zionism, which demanded equal treatment for the Jewish nation.

Ashkelon Mayor joins calls for tough military action against Gaza

February 27, 2008, 11:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

Barzilai regional hospital, Ashkelon, targeted by Hamas missile

Barzilai regional hospital, Ashkelon, targeted by Hamas missile

The mayor, Ronnie Mahtzari, called on the government to remove the gloves for a tough military operation against the savage Palestinian missile offensive on Israeli locations bordering on the Gaza Strip. He said the town is willing to take more missiles, as long as the IDF is allowed to take effective action against the terrorists.

In recent weeks, all parts of Ashkelon, a thriving city of more than 103,000 with a big oil port, have joined the cycle of Hamas missile targets from Gaza. Wednesday, Feb. 27, its Barzilai hospital which serves the entire region was taking in the wounded from Sderot, the Sapir College and the Off Kor factory, when an extended-range Grad missile landed outside its doors. By sheer good luck, it did not explode and was finally defused after several hours. Another missile knocked out electrical power in some parts of the city.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that the targeting of Hamas leaders and operatives evokes further missile violence against civilians without solving the essential security threat which Hamas-ruled Gaza poses southern Israel. Hamas and its allies are free to calibrate their missile attacks at will only because the Israeli government and IDF command desist from striking at strategic terrorist infrastructure deep inside the Gaza Strip.

This week, the infiltration of scores of al Qaeda jihadis to the Gaza Strip was confirmed by Israeli military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the UN Secretary-General's office. Yet nothing is done.

Ronnie Yihya, 47, father of 4, was killed, 10 people injured, in heavy Palestinian missile-mortar barrage Wednesday

February 27, 2008, 8:54 PM (GMT+02:00)

Last missile victim at Sderot's Sapir College

Last missile victim at Sderot's Sapir College

Ronnie Yihya was a student at Sapir College outside Sderot. He came from Moshav Bitchah near Ofakim in southern Israel. He was killed and a second student critically injured by a direct Qassam hit to the campus, Wednesday, Feb. 27.

More than 50 missiles and dozens of mortar rounds, fired from Gaza in five hours Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 27, crashed into Sderot, Shear Hanegev, the Off Kor factory's canteen, just after 200 employees had left, and several more civilian locations bordering on the Gaza Strip.

Ten people were injured and dozens suffered shock.

The last four exploded in Ashkelon, causing a partial electricity outage. An extended-range Grad landed behind the Barzilai regional hospital, another exploded in the industrial zone leaving several people in shock.

The barrage followed an Israeli airborne rocket attack, which killed 8 members of Hamas' armed wing, just returned from training in Iran or an Arab country, who were driving on a bus to a Hamas military facility near Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources reported that three of the seven dead were senior members of the Hamas Qassam Brigades' missile unit.

Later Wednesday, the Israeli air force was again in action to strike back at the Qassam launchers. The Palestinians reported at least two fatalities. Hamas threatened to continue shooting missiles in response to Israeli targeted attacks. DEBKAfile military sources report Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians were initiated before and continue day after day, whether or not Israel strikes back.

Their extremist leaders based in Damascus resist all international attempts to mediate a halt in their offensive.

Monday, a nine-year old Israel boy was seriously injured by a Qassam rocket which hit a group of children playing in Sderot.

On the West Bank, a wanted Palestinian was killed and 4 were injured, two seriously, resisting arrest by an Israeli counter-terror unit in Nablus. The group was suspected of plotting a large-scale terror attack in central Israel. Two were on the list of Fatah armed wing members who were granted Israeli amnesty, provided they renounced violence.

Kurd-Arab Kirkuk Clash Is `Ticking Time Bomb,' UN Mediator Says

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The struggle between Kurds and Arabs for control of the city of Kirkuk and its oil amounts to a ``ticking time bomb'' in northern Iraq, according to the new United Nations envoy trying to broker a settlement.

Mediator Staffan de Mistura said in an interview that he has about four months left to solve ``the mother of all crises'' in Iraq. ``If that takes place, we will have contributed substantially to avoiding a new conflict at the worst possible time,'' he said.

Angered by preacher's death, Hamas protesters stand against Abbas

KOBAR, West Bank (AP) -- Thousands of angry Hamas loyalists marched Sunday at the funeral of a Muslim preacher who died in Palestinian custody, turning the ceremony into a rare show of defiance against President Mahmoud Abbas.


Relatives of Hamas preacher Majed Barghouti mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Kobar.

The demonstration was an unusual sight in the West Bank, where Abbas' Palestinian Authority have become increasingly autocratic since his Hamas rivals seized power in the Gaza Strip in June.

Since then, police there have cracked down on protests perceived to challenge the rule of Abbas, who heads Fatah.

Some 3,000 Hamas loyalists crowded the village of Kobar, carrying the body of Majed Barghouti, who died Friday in a lockup run by intelligence officials.

Mourners waved the green flags of the militant Muslim group as they carried Barghouti's body, boldly chanting in support of Hamas and its armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, a group banned in the West Bank.

At a separate march for women, mourners wrapped green Hamas bandannas around their headscarves and loudly condemned Abbas' intelligence chief, Tawfik Tirawi, whom they blame for Barghouti's death.

"Tirawi, you are a coward, you are the Americans' deputy," the women chanted. "We will crush your head, collaborator," they said.

Tirawi did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru.