[Dawn] Former US ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad would join the State Department as an adviser on Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his flight to Islamabad on Wednesday.
"Ambassador Khalilzad is going to join the State Department team to assist us in the reconciliation effort; so he will come on and be the State Department’s lead person for that purpose," Pompeo told news hounds travelling with him.
President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... has expressed frustration at the lack of progress towards a US withdrawal from the Afghan conflict after 17 years. In a policy shift during a June ceasefire, Washington said it would "support, facilitate and participate" in any Kabul government-led peace talks with the Taliban ...the Pashtun equivalent of men... The surge in recent Taliban attacks has, however, raised questions about its interest in talks.
Khalilzad’s appointment signals that the administration is serious about an Afghan grinding of the peace processor. In addition to his experience advising or working for four US administrations and his knowledge of Afghanistan’s main languages, culture and politics, he is from the ethnic Pashtun majority.
As an aide to President George W. Bush, Khalilzad helped plan the US invasion of Afghanistan that followed the Sept 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda, which had been based in that country. That invasion also ousted the Taliban, whose Islamist government ruled the country beginning in 1996.
Known by many in Washington as "King Zal", the 67-year-old Khalilzad has decades of experience in the region. Now he has what Mr Pompeo has described as a "singular" mission to get the Taliban and the Afghan government to reconcile.
The mission marks Khalilzad’s return to focus on the country of his birth and childhood, and the place where he served as US ambassador from 2003 to 2005 under President Bush, helping to guide regime change in the messy aftermath of the fall of the Taliban.
[AlAhram] A Giza criminal court sentenced four people to fourteen years in prison on Wednesday in the retrial of a case over the killing of a prominent Shia leader and three other members of the shrinking Egyptian Shia Moslem community in June 2013.
The court convicted the four men of manslaughter of the Shia leader Hassan Shehata and three members of his family and his followers.
The case dates back to June 2013, when an angry mob led by Salafist sheikhs torched Shia residences in the small village of Zawyat Abu Musalam in Giza governorate, killing four citizens.
The mob of hundreds gathered outside a house where the Shias were sheltering, beat them and set the house on fire.
Shehata was visiting one of the families in the village when the attack happened.
The attack was videotaped and the footage sent shockwaves across the country.
This is not the first time that an Egyptian court has issued sentences on the case, which has seen a number of appeals.
In the first sentencing of the case in 2015, 23 defendants, including 18 in absentia, were sentenced to 14 years prison for killing the four men. Eight others were acquitted.
In 2017, nearly two years after the first sentence, Egypt's Court of Cassation rejected an appeal presented by nine of the defendants, upholding their 14 year sentences.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
09/06/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
h/t Gates of Vienna
China sees Islam as a growing problem and has increased its actions against Uighur Muslims in the country. According to UN and U.S. officials, around one million Muslims have been put in Chinese internment camps until now.
..."Although a certain number of people who have been indoctrinated with extremist ideology have not committed any crimes, they are already infected by the disease. There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public.
That is why they must be admitted to a re-education hospital in time to treat and cleanse the virus from their brain and restore their normal mind."
Although a certain number of people who have been indoctrinated with extremist ideology have not committed any crimes, they are already infected by the disease. There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public.
Seems the Left will always be the Left. They have the same position here about those who do not toe the Party line. See - conservatives, Americans (vs globalist), et al
(a) There's a principal difference between ChiComs and "western left", P2k: Chinese work to strengthen their country, "western" to destroy their particular country and western civ in general.
(b) No matter how you dislike ChiComs, do you really believe they're wrong about Islam?
[IsraelNationalNews] Sweden has plans to launch a Holocaust museum with a focus on Holocaust survivors from the Scandinavian country and a center devoted to the diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.
Announcing the decision to create the museum, Swedish Minister of Social Affairs and Sports Minister Annika Strandhall said Tuesday on Twitter that the news "feels more important than ever."
The museum is likely to be built in Malmo, a city of approximately 350,000 where dozens of anti-Semitic incidents are recorded annually. It is tentatively slated to be ready to open in 2020, the Dagen news website reported. Teaching Muslims how to do it?
[The Intercept] NOBODY WANTS TO talk about Abdelbaki Es Satty. When pressed, those who knew him call him "evil" and "savage" and a disgrace to the communities he’s lived in. Some of his neighbors are just surprised that the imam next door was capable of masterminding an attack. But most of his acquaintances from recent years didn’t know his past: that he’d been investigated and had his phone tapped in one of the largest international terrorism cases in Spanish history; that he had two smuggling convictions and had spent four years in prison. Despite all that, he was able to live under the radar while he organized the most deadly terrorist attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings.
The Spanish government especially does not want to talk about Es Satty. The investigation into his case is sealed by a judge. Spanish police won’t offer much comment on the case, nor will police for the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital. The director of Spain’s intelligence agency ‐ referred to as the CNI, for its initials in Spanish ‐ has given one closed-door briefing on Es Satty in the Spanish Parliament, and did so only after politicians began calling for a public investigation.
And so, over a year after the attack, the public has been provided few answers as to how Es Satty was able to convince a group of young men to kill and injure innocent people on a mass scale ‐ and how he evaded police attention while doing so. Lengthy, but revealing.
Posted by: Besoeker ||
09/06/2018 07:40 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
The Man Behind the Barcelona Attacks Was on Police Radar for Years. How Did They Let It Happen?
h/t Gates of Vienna
Germany will tighten control over foreign influence of its Muslim community, State Secretary for the Interior Ministry Markus Kerber said Monday, after a week of violent far-right clashes in eastern Germany.
"We have watched foreign forces dictate to German Muslims how to practice their religion for far too long," Kerber told Tagesspiegel in an interview published Monday. "And because they also have their home here, we will now lend them more support in strengthening their self-confidence."
"We want to create more discussion formats for German Muslims," Kerber added. "The minister will also actively encourage German Muslims to conduct a debate on a German Islam." Why am I thinking: The Muslim Units of the Waffen SS (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/747153/posts)?
[IsraelTimes] Even though Iran has rescinded a request to repatriate 300 million euros ($347 million) it has in a Hamburg-based bank, German authorities say financial regulators are still examining the proposed transaction.
Finance Ministry front man Steffen Hebestreit says financial regulator Bafin is still examining whether regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing were being followed.
Bafin confirmed the investigation but wouldn’t comment further.
The US had been pressuring German authorities to reject Iran’s request to transfer the cash from the European-Iranian Trade Bank, over concerns of how it would be used.
Though the request has been dropped, a new one could be made.
Germany’s Bundesbank last month changed its conditions allowing it to block transfers unless it receives assurances a transaction doesn’t violate financial sanctions or money-laundering rules.
[Ynet] Alistair Brett, British Minister for Middle East and North Africa, wrote in his Twitter account Wednesday: "Today I announced the transfer of another £7 million to UNRWA. This helps ensure Paleostinians can continue to access vital healthcare and education."
[IsraelNationalNews] Israel has been secretly backing 12 different rebel groups fighting the Assad regime in southern Syria, Foreign Policy magazine claimed in an exclusive report Thursday, providing both weapons and money in an effort to combat both the ISIS terror group and Iranian-backed forces in the area.
According to the Foreign Policy report Thursday which cited anti-regime groups in Syria, Israel furnished arms and equipment for 12 different rebel groups in southern Syria, including transfers of machine guns and assault rifles, mortar launchers, and transport vehicles.
[IsraelTimes] Army says Erez to remain closed until damage by Paleostinian rioters is repaired; humanitarian cases to be approved on case-by-case basis
Israel announced the temporary closure of its sole pedestrian crossing with the Gazoo Strip on Wednesday after the border terminal was damaged during festivities between Israeli troops and Paleostinians.
Hundreds of Paleostinians took part in a violent riot at the Erez Crossing on Tuesday, according to the Israel Defense Forces, during which infrastructure on the Paleostinian side of the crossing was damaged by rioters.
"As a result, the crossing has been closed until the repairing of the damage caused as a result of the riot is completed," the army said in a statement.
It did not indicate when the repairs would be completed.
The army added that the closure does not include humanitarian cases, which it said would be approved on a case-by-case basis.
An average of around 1,000 Gazooks cross through Erez each day, mostly those in need of medical care but also businesspeople, students, and others, Israeli authorities say.
A second crossing with Israel, Kerem Shalom, is used for transporting goods. It was reopened by Israel on August 15 after it was closed on July 9 to everything but food and medical equipment, following weeks of violence along the border, including arson attacks.
The announcement Wednesday comes after the Erez Crossing was shuttered by Israel for a week last month in response to violence along the border with the Hamas, one of the armed feet of the Moslem Brüderbung millipede,-run enclave.
During Tuesday’s riot at Erez, several Paleostinians were maimed by Israeli fire, Gazoo’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said. The IDF said Paleostinians hurled rocks at the crossing in the Strip’s north and damaged infrastructure, prompting troops to respond with tear gas and live fire.
Such protests are rare at Erez, the only terminal for travel into Israel or the West Bank from Gazoo.
The violent protest broke several days of calm, which came after understandings were reportedly reached between Israel and Hamas.
[Ynet] Gazoo's terror head Yahya Sinwar says weekly violent marches were used to divert pressure onto Israel and prevent an 'internal kaboom' after reconciliation efforts with Fatah were 'sabotaged'; Sinwar also clarifies no ceasefire agreement reached with Israel.
Gazoo’s Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", leader Yahya Sinwar openly admitted on Tuesday that the weekly "March of Return" protests staged on the Gazoo border in recent months were intended to avert an internal crisis and divert pressure onto the Israelis.
"After the reconciliation efforts (between Hamas and Fatah) reached an impasse, a number of factions planned to cause an internal kaboom in the Gazoo Strip, but the Marches of Return thwarted the plan," Sinwar said during a Hamas conference in the coastal enclave.
"Paleostinian officials collaborated with Israeli intelligence in order to sabotage the reconciliation efforts," he claimed.
Sinwar also said that no arrangement has been reached with Israel to put an end to daily hostilities, despite the quiet that has prevailed on the volatile border in recent days.
"I will state clearly: So far there is no agreement and not outline for an agreement for a ceasefire with Israel," the terror leader said.
In August, it was reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a ceasefire under Egyptian mediation, as Israelis living in the south urged the government to stem the daily launching of incendiary balloons and near-daily barrage of rockets that threatened to drag the two sides into yet another conflict.
"Gazoo did not want to to stand idly by when the American Embassy was transferred to Jerusalem," Sinwar explained. "The Paleostinian people succeeded in turning this provocation into an opportunity to confront the Israeli enemy."
Sinwar heaped praise on the Gazoo residents, saying "our people create a means of pressure, like the incendiary balloons, and they write the history of those under siege in Gazoo, who have nothing, and they cause Israel to think again."
Telling his listeners that Hamas was not seeking war, and was instead interested in maintaining the ceasefire reached in 2014 at the end of Operation Protective Edge, Sinwar emphasized that "we are ready to fight off any aggression."
Sinwar addressed rumors circulating about possible solutions to the crisis gripping the Gazoo Strip.
"Anyone who thinks there is a discussion about an airport (in Sinai), does not know anything. The discussion at the moment is about a maritime route between the Gazoo Strip and Cyprus and about finding a systematic solution to the problem of UNRWA," Sinwar attempted to clarify.
Sinwar also turned to UN Mideast Envoy Nikolay Mladenov. "Your role has changed from the United Nations ...boodling on the grand scale... envoy for the grinding of the peace processor to the UN envoy to prevent war," Sinwar said.
"As the pressure on resistance increased, so did the intermediaries. Mladenov came to Gazoo twice a day during the recent escalation and not he hasn’t been to Gazoo in weeks," he complained.
[AlMasdar] Syrian bomb disposal engineers trained by Russian military experts are ready to start demining territory in the demilitarized zone near the Golan Heights on the border between Syria and Israel after its liberation from Death Eaters, Deputy Commander of the Russian Contingent in Syria Lieutenant-General Sergei Kuralenko said on Wednesday.
"The Syrian Armed Forces’ sappers are ready for work to demine terrain and roads in the demilitarized zone, which will guarantee the security of the UN convoys along the patrol routes," he said.
Kuralenko added that Russian military servicemen will provide assistance in maintaining security during the Syrian sappers’ work in the region.
GOLAN HEIGHTS ISSUE
The Golan Heights had been part of Syria since 1944, but the territory was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1981, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law on the Golan Heights, which unilaterally proclaimed Israel’s illusory sovereignty over that territory. The annexation was deemed illegal under UN Security Council Resolution 497 of December 17, 1981.
Later on, part of the territory and the town of Quneitra were returned to Syria on the condition that the territory will be demilitarized and a UN mission will be deployed there.
According to earlier reports, a UN mission, accompanied by the Russian military police, entered the region from the territory of Syria for the first time since the start of the Syrian conflict. Prior to that, UN forces headquartered in the capital Damascus had to enter the area via the Lebanese border, because the Syrian part of the demilitarized zone was held by Death Eaters.
When my wife and I visited Israel in 2012, part of the tour included the Golan Heights. We passed signs that said, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, "Danger! Mines!". I suggested to the Israeli tour guide that the Arabic should be changed to something like "Come pick the flowers ".
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
09/06/2018 15:48 Comments ||
[IsraelTimes] Spokesperson for atomic agency says Tehran’s program ’considerably more advanced’ than when 2015 accord was signed
Exactly the reason why Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump said the”deal”was pointless.
Iran will begin uranium enrichment beyond previous levels if the remaining parties fail to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal, its Atomic Energy Organization told local media on Wednesday.
"We will not return to previous levels if our counterparts leave the JCPOA (nuclear deal), but will instead reach even more advanced levels," the organization’s front man Behrouz Kamalvandi said, quoted by state broadcaster IRIB.
"We are at a considerably more advanced status than when we signed the deal. The country is moving ahead in nuclear activities at a favorable pace," he added.
Iran has repeatedly said it will resume high-level uranium enrichment if the 2015 agreement ‐ which limits its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief ‐ falls apart.
Following the withdrawal of the United States in May, the other parties ‐ Britannia, La Belle France, Germany, China, Russia and the EU ‐ have vowed to provide Iran with enough economic benefits to keep the agreement alive.
But Tehran is increasingly skeptical that those countries can counter the effects of renewed US sanctions, which have already battered Iran’s economy.
Last week, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran should be ready to "set aside" the agreement if it is no longer in the country’s national interests.
The ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly stated that Iran is sticking to its commitments.
The administration of US President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... says the deal did not prevent Iran from eventually working towards a nuclear weapon ‐ which Tehran has denied it is seeking.
[IsraelTimes] Yedioth Ahronoth’s Ronen Bergman reveals yet more details about the Israeli raid to steal Iran’s nuclear archive and what’s in it: selfies.
"The Iranians documented everything: the equipment, the building of factories and secret sites and even themselves during tests, with entertaining selfie photographs."
Bergman writes that the documents point to IRGC officer and physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi as the brains behind the nuclear program.
"According to foreign reports, he was a preferred target for Israeli intel gathering and the idea of harming him was even considered. It didn’t happen and now it seems there are those who are sorry about the decision to let him get away with his life," he writes.
[IsraelTimes] Explosions destroy two large hangars and reveal tunnel entrances leading underground, says imaging service.
An Israeli satellite company published images Wednesday it said showed the damage at a military site in Syria from an Arclight airstrike a day before that was attributed to Israel.
The rare daytime strike reportedly targeted Iranian assets between the town of Masyaf and Wadi al-Uyun.
Photos taken from space showed two large hangars, 60 and 35 meters in length, destroyed in the attack, said ImageSat International (ISI).
The raids also revealed entrances to underground tunnels, one leading from each hangar, which were previously covered by tarpaulins, ISI said.
"Due to its location close to other surface-to-surface missile Iranian-Syrian facilities within the Russian S-400 [air-defense system] deployment range, and following recent media reports about past airstrikes, ISI assesses that this site might be related as well to the other mentioned sites," the company said.
The Syrian military claimed air defenses successfully intercepted several missiles launched by Israeli warplanes, though Damascus often inflates the number of missiles it intercepts.
Israel does not regularly comment on alleged strikes in Syria, though the reported attack came hours after the IDF confirmed it had carried out over 200 strikes in the country over the past 18 months.
Also Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is working to thwart the production of precision missiles that can be used against the country "both near and far."
"Israel is determined to prevent Iran and its proxies from establishing a military presence in Syria," Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
"We are taking strong action against these attempts and against the attempts to produce precision weaponry in all sectors, near and far. We will continue to take such action on behalf of the security of Israel," he said.
The 202 targets hit in the Israeli airstrikes since 2017 were mostly shipments of advanced weaponry, as well as military bases and infrastructure, which the IDF officials said drove Iranian forces to abandon some posts.
In addition, Jerusalem has tried to get the Islamic Theocratic Republic out of Syrian through diplomatic means by appealing to the two main power-brokers in the region: Russia and the United States.
While Russia does not seem to have accepted Israel’s demand for Iran to be completely removed from Syria, it has agreed to force the Islamic Theocratic Republic’s forces and proxies to leave the areas closest to the border with Israel.
According to some reports, pro-Iranian forces would be required to stay 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the border; others indicate that range would be set at 80 kilometers (50 miles).
Two maps can be seen at the link. The first is of the territories held by the various key groups as of 31. July 2018, the second of the planned Syrian Army conquest of Idlib, showing the situation as of 5 August.
[Jpost] Early in the conflict, fighting splintered Syria into a complex patchwork of areas held by rival groups, but fighting in recent years has simplified the frontlines and the country is now split into only a few zones of control.
At its weakest point in 2015, the Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Terror of Aleppo ... Continued on Page 49
[FreeBeacon] Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic has had a long and successful working relationship with the Open Society Foundations, a massive philanthropic organization run by liberal billionaire George Soros.
"Zarif claimed that the Open Society Foundation was legally operational inside Iran ... with significant collaborations with city councils and other organizations," according to a translation of recent remarks by Zarif performed by Iran Gateway.
Zarif went on to claim "he made sure these meetings with Iranians were under strict rules and scrutiny, lest it jeopardizes national security," according to the translation of remarks before Iran's Parliment.
Zarif also claimed" he was briefed regularly on the content of these meetings by the Iranian counterparts" and referenced similar claims by "Kian Tajbakhsh, head of Open Society Foundation in Iran, as mostly confirming his claims."
Soros's foundation is a prolific funder of liberal organizations, including J Street, Human Rights Watch, and a cadre of other organizations critical of Israel.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.