Archive | September 10th, 2011

Who Really Kept Us Safe After 9/1–The truth about homeland security

NOVANEWS

Steve Chapman

If there was any certainty in the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, it was that these were just the first in a campaign of terror on American soil. “You can just about bet on it,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “I anticipate another attack.”

Gary Stubblefield, who directed the Naval Special Warfare Task Unit in the Pacific area, asserted that, as The Denver Post paraphrased, “the question is not if but when dozens of terrorist cells in the United States will unleash biological, chemical and perhaps nuclear weapons against U.S. cities.” FBI Director Robert Mueller estimated the U.S. harbored “several hundred” extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Americans had seen in Israel how a homegrown terrorist movement was able to kill hundreds of people with suicide bombings and other attacks. It seemed we could expect the same. A comment often heard was, “We are all Israelis now.”

But the predictions have not come true. There have been very few attacks in this country by Islamic extremists—and nothing remotely on the scale of 9/11. The “sleeper cells” proved to be mostly nonexistent.

This surprising record has been attributed to excellent work by the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies, the war in Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s aggressive treatment of suspected terrorists. But on the list of those deserving credit, the first is a group hardly anyone would have predicted: American Muslims.

Millions of Muslims live in the United States. Had even a tiny percentage been radicalized enough to commit violence, they could have done immense damage. Despite all the efforts to upgrade security at a few crucial sites, it really wouldn’t be hard for any group to kill lots of people.

A car bomb in a stadium parking lot, a couple of semi-automatic rifles in a shopping mall, a Molotov cocktail in a crowded bus, a bomb on a railroad track, a runaway pickup on a city sidewalk—there’s an endless list of easy pickings.

There are too many targets to secure them all. It would have been a simple task for a handful of minimally trained volunteers to keep us in a constant state of fear.

But the volunteers, with rare exceptions, didn’t come forward. Charles Kurzman, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writes in Foreign Policy magazine that “approximately a dozen people in the country were convicted in the five years after 9/11 for having links with al-Qaida” and “fewer than 40 Muslim Americans planned or carried out acts of domestic terrorism.”

That may sound like a lot, until you remember that there are 15,000 murders a year in this country. A report from the Rand Corp., a national security think tank, noted that of 83 terrorist attacks that took place between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three “were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.” Three!

We hear a lot of allegations of radical American imams preaching jihad. If so, they are not getting through. The simple fact is that most American Muslims don’t sympathize with religious extremism and almost none are willing to practice it.

And why should they be? According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, “They are overwhelmingly satisfied with the way things are going in their lives (82 percent) and continue to rate their communities very positively as places to live (79 percent excellent or good).”

Suicide bombers may proliferate in places where followers of Islam feel oppressed—as many living under Arab dictators do, as many living under Israeli control do. But worldwide, says Kurzman, global Islamic extremist organizations have been able to recruit “fewer than one out of every 100,000 Muslims since 9/11.” Islam is not particularly fertile ground for growing terrorists.

That’s especially true in the land of the free. Despite the suspicions they face from some of their fellow citizens, American Muslims clearly value what America offers them. They like living in a democracy that respects their rights. People with good lives are not inclined to throw them away in grisly acts of violence.

A decade ago, American Muslims were called by our enemies to rise up and slaughter their fellow citizens. Al Qaeda must be wondering why it never heard back.

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New York Militarizes for 9/11 Anniversary

NOVANEWS

antiwar.com

On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York watches and waits.

As the clock ticks closer to the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the hysteria meter rises as well. But there are mixed signals from officials eager not to overplay what may be a nonevent.

The New York Police Dept., a militarized force larger than many nations, is buzzing the city’s skies with helicopters and randomly stopping cars on its bridges. Offices above the Lincoln Tunnel, which connects New York with Jersey City, are considering staying closed Monday in the shadow of the “credible but unspecific” threat allegedly passed to US officials via an informant in the region of Afghanistan or Pakistan, according to one news report. Another report says the plot was discovered in an intercepted al-Qaeda communication.

Top officials including Secretary of State Clinton and VP Joe Biden are doing the media rounds hyping the threat, but the New York Times quotes an anonymous official emitting a verbal shrug. “It’s 9/11, baby,” the official told the Times. “We have to have something to get spun up about.” Another nameless official told the Times the warning, which has authorities on alert for two men of “middle-eastern descent,” doesn’t seem to hold water. “This could all be one big fabrication… but no one wants to take any chances.”

Homeland Security officials have noted “lots of chatter” on “jihadi websites about an impending attack, but nothing credible enough to issue a threat advisory. “Lots of chatter” doesn’t elicit lots of confidence that the spy centers monitoring millions of communications can efficiently gather intelligence.

Concern about another attack this weekend surfaced months ago, partly due to the heightened awareness of the possibility of an attack because of the rather arbitrary importance people place on anniversaries, and partly due to unspecified reports that evidence seized in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound contained ideas about a tenth-anniversary attack.

The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, seemed nonchalant about the warning, himself taking the subway to work on Friday and telling people to continue to go about their business. Many other officials — including normally over-the-top Rep. Peter King — said people should be aware, but not alter their plans. Washington, DC, mayor Vincent Gray also announced hightened security measures in the district, mostly consisting of more police patrols.

The NYPD has also practiced what they call “surge” maneuvers, which see police from many precincts converge on a trouble spot. It’s not clear how this will help in the aftermath of a catastrophic attack. In addition, many thousands of officers will be patrolling New York, especially the Financial District, the city’s train stations, and the waters surrounding the island of Manhattan.

The suspects are thought to be US citizens. This is unlikely to protect them in the event they are caught by law enforcement, as the Obama Administration has claimed the right to order anyone, including Americans, to be extrajudicially executed.

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Report: IsraHell may offer military aid to terrorists to punish Turkey

NOVANEWS

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly plans meetings with PKK leaders in Europe to discuss cooperation with

terrorist group in every possible way

. 

Other planned measures are cooperation with the Armenian lobby in the US in its efforts to win recognition for Armenian claims that 1.5 million Armenians were victims of a genocide campaign in the late Ottoman Empire during the First World War years and to issue a travel warning urging all Israeli military veterans to refrain from traveling to Turkey, according to the report in Yedioth Ahranoth. The travel advisory will also urge Israelis to refrain from boarding connections in Turkey, the report said.

The planned measures apparently came out of a meeting attended by senior Israeli Foreign Ministry officials on Thursday, which the report said was held in preparation for a meeting on Saturday that will be attended by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a harsh critic of efforts to restore relations with Turkey after Ankara announced a set of sanctions against Israel for its refusal to apologize for the killing of eight Turks and one Turkish American on an aid ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza on May 31, 2010.

Accordingly, Lieberman insists that the Israeli efforts should focus on ways to respond to Turkey’s sanctions, not formulating an apology for the 2010 incident, because what Turkey is interested is not an apology but exploiting the dispute with Israel so as to boost its regional standing.

Saturday’s meeting will reportedly focus on those ways to respond to Turkey.

The Turkish government announced last Friday that it downgrades diplomatic relations with Israel and suspends military agreements. It also promised to take measures to ensure freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean, where the 2010 incident took place, without elaborating. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared on Thursday that Turkish warships would escort future convoys to the Gaza Strip to prevent a repeat of the deadly Israeli raid last year.

Yedioth Ahranoth said Lieberman plans meetings with PKK leaders in Europe in order to find ways to cooperate with them “in every possible area.”In these meetings, the PKK leaders may ask Israel for military aid in the form of training and arms supplies, the report said.

Lieberman is also planning active Israeli participation in efforts worldwide to report Turkey’s “violations of human rights” in treatment of minorities in Turkey.

“We’ll exact a price from Erdoğan that will prove to him that messing with Israel doesn’t pay off. Turkey better treat us with respect and common decency,” Lieberman was quoted as saying.

Whether Lieberman’s threats could ever be implemented remains questionable. Turkey’s demand for an apology has divided the Israeli government, with hawks such as Lieberman strictly opposing it while others insisting that a way must be found to restore ties because Turkey is an ally of critical importance for Israel.

On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel and Turkey will eventually mend fences rather than become foes, dismissing their apology dispute as “spilled milk.”

Speaking on Friday, another Israeli official said Erdoğan’s threat of sending warships to eastern Mediterranean was “grave and serious” but refused to go into a war of words.

“Turkey, which declares that Israel is not above international law, must understand that it isn’t either,” Dan Meridor, the Israeli Cabinet minister in charge of intelligence, said. “I do not think it would be correct to get into verbal saber rattling with him now. I think that our silence is the best answer, and I hope this will pass ” Meridor told Army Radio. “I think anyone who is listening can make their own mind up about him and the direction he has chosen.”

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Black Women Report Rape by Rebel Forces in Libya Refugee Camps

NOVANEWS

Local officials, US ambassador shrug off reports

antiwar.com

The news doesn’t get better for thousands of black Africans trapped in Libya, besieged by racist rebel fighters. In addition to chronic suspicion of being mercenaries for Gadhafi, women in one internal refugee camp say they are dragged off at night and raped by Libyans who fight under the flag of the new authorities.

“They come in firing their guns and taking people,” a Nigerian woman told McClatchy. “They don’t use condoms…”

US Ambassador Gene Cretz doesn’t think the abuses are systematic or intentional on the part of the Transitional National Council, whose forces recently routed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. “It’s something that’s happening at levels below that, which is of considerable concern to us,” he told McClatchy.

A local TNC official dismisses the claims of the women, saying he’s received no reports of abuse.

Thousands of foreign and Libyan blacks have been rounded up, imprisoned, and abused with only their skin color as evidence of their guilt, according to rights groups. The African Union has refused to recognize the NTC partly due to such abuses.

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Hamas considering relocating HQ to Cairo

NOVANEWS

Mahmoud al-Zahar admits movement weighing option of moving away from Damascus, noting ‘all Palestinians in Syria are in distress’

Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar announced Friday that the movement is consierjung relocating its headquarters from Damascus to Cairo. It is the first time a senior Hamas official openly admitted such a plan.

“All the Palestinians in Syria are in distress, not just Hamas. There are many options in terms of the organization’s headquarters and Egypt is one of them,” he said.

Al-Zahar also addressed the possibility that other senior Hamas officials will return to Gaza and noted this depended on each of them personally. “Gaza is open to all,” he stressed. “There are leaders who may return to Gaza and some may not. “

He chose not to respond to recent reports in the London-based al-Hayat newspaper suggesting that progress has been made in the Shalit deal negotiations.

Hamas’ political wing has been operating out of Damascus for more than a decade after being forced to leave Jordan in 1999. Damascus is also home to Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Shallah, head of the PFLP – General Command Ahmed Jibril and representatives of other Palestinian terror groups.

The issue of the group’s activities in Damascus has created major difficulties in negotiations between Israel and Syria over the years. Jerusalem has often demanded they be banished from Syria, but was met with refusal.

Last April, al-Hayat reported that Hamas’ political leadership was planning to relocate to Qatar, which reportedly agreed to host politburo chief Khaled Mashaal but not the group’s military echelon.

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Clinton: Al-Qaeda behind threat to US

NOVANEWS

American secretary of state discusses ‘specific, credible but unconfirmed report’ that global terror group seeking to target New York, Washington

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday said that al-Qaeda was behind a specific, credible but unconfirmed report of a threat to harm Americans, notably in New York and Washington.

“We are meeting here in New York … with the news last night of a specific, credible but unconfirmed report that al Qaeda again is seeking to harm Americans and in particular to target New York and Washington,” Clinton said in a speech.

President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered a redoubling of counter-terrorism efforts in the face of the threat ahead of Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, US officials said.

In a speech ahead of the anniversary, Clinton said it was impossible to foil every plot and that al-Qaeda was still capable of regional and international attacks.

However, she said Washington would wage a “relentless” campaign against it and, later this month, would set up Global Counter-Terrorism Forum to gather officials to identify threats, devise solutions and share expertise.

The group, to be co-chaired by the United States and Turkey, will also include Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, the State Department said.

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U.S. State Department condemns ‘dangerous’ Nazi settler attacks on West Bank mosques

NOVANEWS 

Statement condemns attacks on the mosques in the villages of Yatma on September 8, and Qusra on September 5, calls on those responsible to be arrested and “subject to the full force of the law”.

The United States Department of State denounced on Friday the latest string of settler attacks on mosques in the West Bank.

According to a statement released by a government spokesperson, the United States strongly condemned the “dangerous and provocative attacks” on the mosques in the Palestinian villages of Yatma on September 8, and Qusra on September 5, and called on those responsible to be arrested and “subject to the full force of the law”.

“Violence will not advance, but will impede, the hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on acceptance and respect”, the statement continued.

The statement further noted that the Israeli government also condemned the attack, and has instructed its authorities to “bring those responsible to justice,” and urged all sides to avoid the potential for escalation.

The condemnation comes in the wake of a particularly turbulent week in the West Bank, in which settlers attempted to burn two mosques, and vandalized an IDF base as part of the latest “price tag” attacks. The attacks came in response to the demolition of three buildings earlier this week in the West Bank settlement outpost Migron, 14 kilometers north of Jerusalem.

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Report: Turkey obtains names of flotilla raid soldiers

NOVANEWS

IHH lawyer claims it handed Ankara prosecutor names of over 10 IDF soldiers involved in Marmara takeover; prosecutor also approaches intelligence services for soldiers’ identities. Among possible suspects: Peres, Netanyahu and Ashkenazi

Amid rising tensions between Israel and Turkey over the Palmer Report, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor approached the Turkish intelligence services in a request to reveal the identities of the Israeli soldiers involved in the May 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara ship, in which nine Turkish civilians were killed.

The request came after the prosecutor approached Israeli authorities for the information last May, but did not receive a reply.

Meanwhile, a lawyer affiliated with IHH– the Turkish group that organized the flotilla – claimed the organization handed the prosecutor a list with over ten names of IDF soldiers that were onboard the vessel, Turkish newspaper al-Zaman reported on Friday.

“We have handed the list to Istanbul’s prosecutor and are now waiting for arrest warrants,” said Attorney Ramzan Turk, adding that the list is based on information received by other IDF soldiers who “regretted the incident and gave me the names of the soldiers.”

Ramzan noted that the soldiers who provided the names did not take part in the raid.

In addition Zaman’s claims, the prosecutor reportedly also approached the intelligence services for a list of names, a move which would enable to start proceedings against a long list of Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Navy Commander Adm. Eliezer Marom and other officials involved in the flotilla raid.

The soldiers that participated in the takeover may face charges of premeditated murder and torture, as well as restricting the passengers’ freedom of movement, the report said.

Meanwhile, Ankara diplomats on Friday stressed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s north African tour will not include a visit to the Gaza Strip.

“Turkey doesn’t want to enrage the Egyptian authorities,” an Ankara official explained the move.

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Orthodox rabbi may face jail for refusing to testify

NOVANEWS

Zionist Rabbi Moshe Zigelman says will not testify against fellow Jews, citing the Jewish prohibition of mesira, which prohibits Jews from turning their brethren into the secular authorities, the Times reported.

Haaretz

An Orthodox rabbi may face jail time for refusing to testify before a grand jury regarding the federal government’s ongoing probe of tax evasion in his community, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Rabbi Moshe Zigelman, a teacher and son of Holocaust survivors, has said that he will not testify against his fellow Jews, citing the Jewish prohibition of mesira, which prohibits Jews from turning their brethren into the secular authorities, the Times reported.

Zigelman has been ordered to testify in a tax-evasion case involving his Brooklyn-based Hasidic sect Spinka, the report said. This is not the first time he has invoked the principle of mesira, and in 2008 he was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to his part in the scheme and refusing to testify on the matter.

Prosecutors have claimed that Zigelman’s claim is unsupported by Talmudic law, while his attorneys claim he is being forced to choose between “heaven and earthly jail cells”, the report said.

U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow presided over the hearing on Wednesday on whether the Hasid should be held in contempt of the court or sent back to prison. The judge said she will rule at an unspecified date after reportedly dismissing the grand jury that was on standby.

The case is a decade-long affair in which Spinka and related charities allegedly solicited tens of millions of dollars in contributions from wealthy donors only to funnel between 80% and 95% back, allowing for tax breaks on the fake donation amounts, the report said.

In 2008, Zigelman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government for arranging the donations and coordinating money transfers, the L.A. Times reported.

Zigelman is a 64-year-old Hasid born in communist Hungary to Holocaust survivors. He moved to Brooklyn in the 1970s, the report said, where he eventually became executive assistant to the grand rabbi.

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Zionist diplomatic staff and families evacuated after Egyptians storm embassy in Cairo

NOVANEWS

Egyptian commando unit releases 6 besieged Israeli Embassy guards, IAF evacuates diplomats and families from Cairo in the wake of embassy break in; Israeli official calls attack a ‘blow to peaceful relations’ between the two countries.

ed note–do not be fooled by these developments gentile readers. This is EXACTLY what Israel wants in order to do away with the peace treaty with Egypt and set up a situation where the Sinai is invaded, recaptured and absorbed into “Greater Israel.”

An Egyptian commando unit released six besieged security guards from the Israeli Embassy, while an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats, including family members from Cairo, after a mass group of Egyptian protesters broke into the embassy, late Friday night.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman decided to go forth with the evacuation after it became clear that Egyptian security forces had lost control of a protest that began outside the Israeli Embassy, and quickly escalated into a breach of the embassy’s security system.

After breaking in, the protesters dumped hundreds of documents out of the windows after a day of demonstrations outside the building in which crowds swinging sledge hammers and using their bare hands tore apart the embassy’s security wall.

Just before midnight, a group of protesters reached a room on one of the embassy’s lower floors at the top of the building and began dumping Hebrew-language documents from the windows, said an Egyptian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Protesters clashed with police and set fire to two police truck outside the embassy. Crowds also tried to attack a nearby police station but were turned back by security forces firing tear gas and warning shots. State radio reported that three people died, and that 450 people were injured in the clashes.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official on Saturday denounced an overnight attack on his country’s embassy in Egypt as a “grave violation” of diplomatic norms and a “blow to peaceful relations” between the two countries. Egypt has put its police force on a state of alert after the overnight violence.

Israel’s ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon, along with his family and other embassy staff rushed to Cairo airport and left on a military plane for Israel, said airport officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official confirmed the embassy had been broken into, saying it appeared the group reached a waiting room on the lower floor. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to release the information. 
No one answered the phone at the embassy late Friday.

Several large protests have taken place outside the embassy in recent months without serious incident. Friday’s demonstration, however, quickly escalated with crowds pummeling the security wall with sledge hammers and tearing away large sections of the cement and metal barrier, which was recently put up to better protect the site from protests.

For the second time in less than a month, protesters were able to get to the top of the building and pull down the Israeli flag.

Crowds outside the building photographed documents that drifted to the ground and posted some of them online.

Senior Israeli officials were holding discussions on the embassy breach.

Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak said in a statement that he also spoke with his American counterpart, Leon Panetta, and appealed to him to do what he could to protect the embassy.

Thousands elsewhere protested for the first time in a month against the country’s military rulers.

Seven months after the popular uprising that drove Mubarak from power, Egyptians are still pressing for a list of changes, including more transparent trials of former regime figures accused of corruption and a clear timetable for parliamentary elections.

Egyptians have grown increasingly distrustful of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country when Mubarak was forced out on Feb. 11 after nearly three decades in power. The council, headed by Mubarak’s defense minister, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, has voiced its support for the revolution and those who called for democracy and justice.

But activists accuse it of remaining too close to Mubarak’s regime and practicing similarly repressive policies, including abusing detainees. The trials of thousands of civilians in military courts has also angered activists.

“In the beginning we were with the military because they claimed to be protectors of the revolution, but month after month nothing has changed,” said doctor Ghada Nimr, one of those who gathered in Tahrir Square.

One banner in Cairo read, “Egyptians, come out of your homes, Tantawi is Mubarak.”

Demonstrators in Cairo also converged on the state TV building, a central courthouse and the Interior Ministry, a hated symbol of abuses by police and security forces under Mubarak. Protesters covered one of the ministry’s gates with graffiti and tore off parts of the large ministry seal.

Protests also took place in Alexandria, Suez and several other cities.

About 850 people were killed in the early days of the Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising. Tantawi is scheduled to testify in Mubarak’s trial in closed sessions that begin Sunday. The 83-year-old Mubarak is on trial on charges of complicity in the deaths of protesters, a charge that could bring the death penalty.

The judge in the trial banned TV cameras from the courtroom during this week’s sessions, and starting Sunday the proceedings will be closed to the media and the public.

The lack of transparency in trials of members of Mubarak’s inner circle has angered many in Egypt.

“These are all practices of the old regime: repression and restriction on freedoms,” said Cairo protester Khaled Abdel-Hamid.

Obama expresses ‘great concern’ to Netanyahu over Israeli Embassy attack

U.S. president calls on Egypt to ‘honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy’.

Haaretz

U.S. President Barak Obama spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday after hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day.

The U.S. president’s office issued a statement in which Obama expressed great concern over the attack and for the Israelis stationed there.

The statement said that Obama “reviewed the steps that the United States is taking at all levels to help resolve the situation without further violence, and calls on the Government of Egypt to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy.”

Obama and Netanyahu agreed to stay in close touch until the situation is resolved.

Calls to end the historic 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, a pact that has never been widely supported by Egypt’s constituency, have been on the rise since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February. Tensions rose last month after Israeli forces responding to a cross-border militant attack mistakenly killed five Egyptian police officers.

Egypt cabinet calls emergency meeting after attack on Israeli embassy

Cairo raises national alertness level in wake of a mass protest outside Israel’s Cairo embassy, which resulted in protesters breaking into the building as well as the evacuation of dozens of Israelis.

Egypt raised its national alertness level following a severe nighttime incident late Friday, as thousands of Egyptian protesters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, resulting in the evacuation of dozens of Israeli diplomats.

Late Friday, Egyptian commandos released six besieged security guards from the Israeli Embassy, while an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats, including family members from Cairo, after a mass group of Egyptian protesters broke into the embassy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman decided to go forth with the evacuation after it became clear that Egyptian security forces had lost control of a protest that began outside the Israeli Embassy, and quickly escalated into a breach of the embassy’s security system.

After breaking in, the protesters dumped hundreds of documents out of the windows after a day of demonstrations outside the building in which crowds swinging sledge hammers and using their bare hands tore apart the embassy’s security wall.

On Saturday, Egypt’s ruling military announced it was raising the country’s alertness level in the wake of Friday’s incident.

A governmental source said that Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was holding an emergency meeting with several cabinet members as well as members of Egypt’s ruling military council to discuss the night’s events.

Last night’s events also reportedly brought on the unexpected return of Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel to the country from his European visit.

Earlier Saturday, Egypt said its security forces had been able to disperse the crowd outside the Israeli embassy; medical sources indicated that 3 people had been killed in the rally, with over 1,000 wounded, most of whom as a result of inhaling tear gas.

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