Archive | August 15th, 2013

Syrian rights group says rebels killed Italian Jesuit priest

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orlandosentinel.com

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria have killed an Italian Jesuit priest who disappeared in the east of the country late last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Paolo Dall’Oglio, a vocal supporter of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some Islamist rebel groups, disappeared in the rebel-held city of Raqqa on July 29.

He had served for three decades at the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, or Deir Mar Musa, before being expelled from the country in 2012. Since then he had returned to Syria at least twice.

The British-based monitoring group cited local activists in the city of Raqqa with close links to Dall’Oglio as saying he was killed while being held by fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

It was not immediately possible to confirm the report.

The Observatory urged all Syrian opposition forces to pressure the ISIL fighters to reveal exactly what happened to Dall’Oglio “so his killers can be held to account, and to hand over his body for burial”.

Activists initially said he was kidnapped by the ISIL fighters, although some later said he had been meeting the al Qaeda-linked fighters to agree a truce with Kurdish brigades.

He was instrumental in restoring Deir Mar Musa, whose cathedral houses an exquisite 11th century fresco of the Last Judgment.

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Has AQ Infiltrated Lebanon?

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Until recently, Lebanese security agencies, as well as a large swath of political powers, had insisted on denying the existence of an AQ presence in the country.Those espousing this position can no longer skirt the truth, however, following the recent discovery of sleeper Jihadi cells in Lebanon. The naysayers had built their erroneous stance on the premise that Lebanon’s geographical and demographic peculiarities did not fit AQ’s adopted operational agenda. It was assumed that AQ required vast geographical areas, similar to those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, that would permit its members to hide prior to and after conducting a strike. Furthermore, AQ would need a social environment of a particular sectarian flavor offering popular refuge to its cells. In Lebanon, most areas are a hodgepodge of various religious and sectarian affiliations. Based on these assumptions,
Lebanese security agencies thought that, at best, AQ would be limited to using Lebanon as a support area, for instance as a site for safe havens for operatives’ temporary use during their travels from one country to another, not as an arena for Jihad itself. This theory no longer has many advocates even within Lebanese security circles, following repeated security incidents and the discovery of Takfiri Jihadi cells in mid-2011, in more than one region, preparing to lead terrorist strikes inside the country. According to well-informed security sources, the activities of the Salafi Takfiri network consists of three categories of operations in Lebanon.
1. Factions whose existence is known to Lebanese security agencies but are holed up in areas off-limits to the Lebanese state because of international and regional factors.
These areas include Palestinian refugee camps, in particular Ain al-Hilweh, where these factions have a quasi-open existence, especially in the Taamir neighborhood. Population movements during the last four decades have transformed the neighborhood into a commonly shared area between the Palestinian camp and its Lebanese environs, thus making it in practical terms part of the camp although it remains administratively separate. In the past years, several Palestinian Takfiri factions such as Jund al-Sham, Fatah al-Islam, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Ziad al-Jarrah Battalions and other factions of lesser significance have taken up residence in Taamir. They have since ceased to be known by their individual organizational names, as their infrastructures began eroding as a result of the security, military and political developments stemming from the Syria crisis. They have instead collectively adopted the nomenclature “the five factions,” each of which is led and represented by its own emir:

  • Haytham Mahmoud Mustafa, a Palestinian nicknamed “the popular Haytham.” He is allied with Naim Ismail Qassem, deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah. Lebanese security agencies consider Mustafa’s faction to be the most dangerous because of its ties to AQ.
  • Toufic Taha and Ousama al-Shihabi lead a faction composed of remnants of the Ziad al-Jarrah Battalions. Theirs is considered one of the most prominent of the five factions due to its size, somewhere between 65 and 80 members, as well as the quality of its training. Information points to Shihabi having close ties to Abu Mahmoud al-Joulani, the emir of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and to his being the non-declared leader of al-Nusra in Lebanon.
  • Majed al-Majed, a Saudi whose whereabouts are unknown but who has close ties to Shihabi’s faction
  • Bilal Darrar Badr, a 27-year-old Palestinian
  • Ziad Abu al-Naaj, another Palestinian

Altogether, these factions comprise between 200 and 300 members, most of them Palestinians and Arabs from the Gulf states, Egypt and Morocco. In late June, the five factions had tried to come to the assistance of the group led by the Salafi Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir during their battle against the Lebanese Army in Sidon, adjacent to Ain al-Hilweh, during which Assir lost his strongholds in the city. The army targeted the the factions with artillery shots as a warning and informed them that the army would storm their area if they attempted to aid Assir militarily. Mediation efforts by Palestinian factions resulted in an undeclared compromise between the five factions and the army, according to which a joint Fatah-Hamas force would deploy to Taamir to keep the factions under control and prevent them from carrying out security operations outside of their areas of influence. Implementation of the agreement continues to be the subject of Lebanese-Palestinian negotiations.

2. Takfiri groups considered to be extensions of military Salafi factions operating in Syria.

These are mostly located in Tripoli, Akkar, Wadi Khaled and Arsal, in northern Lebanon. The following are the most prominent and dangerous among them. The Wadi Khaled faction is led by Bilal Abd’ul-Jabbar al-Hassian, a former inmate at Roumieh Prison accused of belonging to Fatah al-Islam. Hassian was recruited by the Libyan Salafi nicknamed “al-Bashti,” who has ties to AQ. Hassian was active in the areas between Lebanon’s Wadi Khaled and Tal Kalakh and Qusair in Syria prior to the Syrian regime seizing control of these cities.
He coordinates his activities with Salafi military groups operating in the Homs countryside in Syria. His faction’s activities include running guns and militants to the Syrian opposition via smuggling routes that originate in Wadi Khaled. A Lebanese security source described military Salafi groups in Lebanon preparing to form a branch of Jabhat al-Nusra when instructions to that effect reach them from AQ’s international command. The most important of these factions are the one located in the Akkar region led by a Lebanese man nicknamed “Abu Tha’er” and others capable of mobilizing around 200 fighters. The most prominent of these factions’ Syrian emirs are Farid Sameh, Ahmad al-Assaad, Hassan Ismail al-Rich and Mohammad al-Abrash as well as the Jordanian Ismail Khalil.  
[[[[They are all wanted in Syria]]]]. Their immediate task is to transport weapons inside Syria on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra and to prepare to take control of Lebanese border posts with Syria in al-Qubeiha, al-Arida, and al-Aboudia when the opportune time arises.Hussam Abdullah al-Sabbagh’s group is thought to be the most important of the military Salafi factions operating in Tripoli and having a cooperative relationship with Syrian Salafi opposition groupsPrior to arriving in Lebanon, Sabbagh had lived in Australia, where he is a citizen. He is nicknamed “Abu al-Hassan” and leads a group of 300 Jihadis, among them Syrians, Arabs, Africans, Chechens and other foreigners. Abu al-Hassan’s group includes activists who have garnered quite a reputation in their home city of Tripoli for their role in episodes of violence in June and July between inhabitants of Jabal Mohsen, one of the city’s predominantly Alawi neighborhoods, and another part of the city.
Among these activists are Bassem Said al-Dawi, Shadi al-Mawlawi and Kamal al-Boustani, the last of whom now leads his own group and is known to have ties with AQ. Moreover, Mawlawi had been arrested in May 2012 by the Lebanese General Security Directorate on charges of belonging to AQ, but political intervention led to his release. Tripoli is also home to other less important factions, most prominent among them being the one led by the Sunni Salafi Sheikh Hajj, who has close ties with Saudi Wahhabi and other Salafis in Syria. Hajj lives in the Qubbah area of Tripoli and is known for being extremist in his views and possessing significant financial resources. He accuses the Lebanese Army of being an army of apostates, because its commander is Christian, and he attacks the Shi’ites because they have, in his eyes, abandoned true Islam and allied themselves with “infidel Iran” against the Sunni Arab nation.
He calls for the support of the Syrian revolution with people, money and weapons. His group numbers around 50 members, and his supporters are increasing by the dayMost notable among the factions hailing from the Lebanese northern border town of Arsal is the one led by the extremist Salafi Hassan Dergham, a Lebanese citizen who espouses the doctrine of Sheikh Mustafa al-Hujeiri, a local Salafi. His faction’s 300 militants are spread along the porous, mountainous border region between Syria and Lebanon and stand side by side with fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra. Another faction operating close to the Syrian border comes from the town of al-Qaa. Despite being situated in Lebanon, the group is led by a Syrian called Mohammed Khaled Hijazi, another indication of how all the Arsal factions have adopted a unified Syrian-Lebanese agenda. Among this faction’s most prominent activists is the Syrian Khalid Mohammed al-Turk, who is wanted in Syria, and the Lebanese Faisal Abdullah, who is also wanted.
3. Salafi Takfiri armed groups in Lebanon characterized as sleeper cells.
Their identities are not precisely known, but their activities have begun as evidenced by the Jun 9 bombing in Bir el-Abed, a Beirut southern suburb, and a few launchings of rockets in May. The first week in August, a house was discovered in the Lebanese town of Daraya, in Kharroub province, that was being used to store and prepare explosive charges in Lebanon against a multitude of targets. Despite Lebanese security agencies closely following the movements of sleeper cells inside the country, information about them remains scarce. An official security source who requested anonymitytold us:

The most dangerous aspect of these cells is that their members engage in misdirection operations aimed at drawing the attention of security agencies away from them. For example, members of these cells might frequent nightclubs and wear Western clothes that do not give away the possibility of them espousing extremist religious beliefs.

[[[In short, Lebanon is living in fear that Takfiri terrorism might have infiltrated its society in the form of sleeper cells augmented by other openly known factions. As a result, security agencies are currently in an undeclared state of alert in Lebanon, tasked with suppressing what seems to be a great terrorist wave heading its way in the not too distant future.]]]]
[ed notes;also see..PressTV – How are Takfiris, Zionists alike?

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EX-Al qaeda Member: Fighters in Syria are Tools & Will End Dead or in Prison

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Exclusive: Turkish NGO Recruiting Muslim Albanians for War in Syria

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Turkish charity organization, IHH, has recruited hundreds of Muslim Albanians and sent them to Syria after military trainings in Turkey to take part in the armed struggle against the Damascus government, informed sources said.“The IHH, which operates under the cover of relief and charity activities and acts in full coordination with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and extremist Saudi Wahhabi groups, has so far recruited and transferred a number of 769 Albanians to Syria to join the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA),” an informed source who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his life, told FNA on Wednesday. 
The source, who has defected the program after two weeks of war in Syria, added that those recruited by the IHH “have been transfered to Turkey via Tirana and undergone military trainings by retired US officers stationed in Reyhanli military base in the Southern Turkish province of Hatay”. “The last one of these recruited groups comprised 90 Albanian nationals who were flown to Istanbul from Tirana on Turkish Air flight no. 1078 on June 30, 2013,” he continued. Asked about the cause of his defection, the source said, “Despite IHH’s efforts to recruit the said people for the FSA, around 450 of these Muslim Albanians have defected the FSA after a few weeks of war and joined al-Qaeda-linked groups, specially the al-Nusra Front” as al-Qaeda groups enjoy better supplies, backup and organization and lead the war of insurgency in Syria. The source said he returned to Albania after he had seen the war crimes committed by the terrorist groups against civilians in Syria. He said he did not meet his family after returning to Albania as he was deeply fearful of the reaction of the Turkish intelligence officers and their mercenaries in Albania, adding that his family joined him only after escaping Tirana.
[ed notes;click link for rest…we should keep in mind that zionist MEK/MKO also have bases inside Turkish soil…many of their mek supporters,family members are openly and have been for long time in Turkish soil,without (despite rethorical actions and statements)govt intereference(and possibly even trained by Turkish intelligence for clandestine operations)…meanwhile i should also note,that the israhelli backed anti Iran cult MEK has recently been accepted by Albania!!!

August 12 2013
July 21 2013

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US “death squad envoy” arrives in Egypt – and the slaughter begins

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The Zionists have been grumbling "something has to be done about that truther Morsi" ever since he became Egypt's first-ever democratically-elected leader

The Zionists have been grumbling “something has to be done about that truther Morsi ever since he became Egypt’s first-ever democratically-elected leader

My new Press TV article, published Monday, is looking prophetic – or as we Muslims prefer to say “precognitive.”

When the US sends a “death squad ambassador” to Egypt, you can figure that the big slaughter is about to begin. As of today, it has begun. Just as I predicted, the mass slaughter of Morsi/democracy supporters was triggered by false-flag terror.

Yahoo News reports: “Live (Egyptian) television footage on several channels appeared to show hooded Brotherhood (sic) gunmen brandishing what appeared to be small automatic rifles and firing them in the direction of soldiers.”

In fact, the “hooded gunmen” – like those who set off the Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq in Iraq and Syria – are professional killers working for the Empire and its current Egyptian stooge, el-Sisi. The purpose: To demonize Islam, destroy democracy, and perpetrate a genocide in Egypt.

-KB

Is the US government targeting Egypt for destabilization – and eventual destruction?

The recent appointment of death squad organizer Robert Ford as US Ambassador to Egypt suggests as much.

Ford’s appointment sends a clear message: US policymakers want to destroy Egypt in the same way they have destroyed Iraq and Syria – by using death squads and false-flag terror to incite civil war.

According to Global Studies professor Michel Chossudovsky, Robert Ford teamed up with notorious war criminal John Negroponte to apply the “Salvador Option” in Iraq in 2004. Chossudovsky writes: “The ‘Salvador Option’ is a ‘terrorist model’ of mass killings by US sponsored death squads. It was first applied in El Salvador (by Negroponte) in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.”

Today’s Egypt, like 1980s El Salvador, is experiencing a heyday of resistance against military dictatorship. And Egypt’s military dictatorship (like El Salvador’s 1980s junta) has already resorted to the mass murder of anti-government activists. Will Robert Ford, an expert in organizing political mass murder, help the Egyptian regime slaughter tens of thousands of peaceful protesters?

No – it’s even worse than that!

In the past, the US government would straightforwardly help dictators mass-murder their own people. In 1965 Indonesia, for example, CIA-controlled death squads murdered roughly one million opponents of the Suharto regime. The CIA collected the names of prospective victims, trained the death squads, and unleashed them. Most of the million people murdered by those CIA death squads were brutally tortured before death. (The CIA, of course, schooled the torturers in their devilish techniques – as it has in dozens of countries around the world, including Morocco, where I did my Ph.D. research and met a CIA-schooled torturer.)

Today, the US is more interested in destroying Middle Eastern countries than in propping up Asian and Latin American dictators. So it has refined its use of death squads. Instead of simply murdering anti-government activists to prop up an American-owned puppet dictator, the US now sponsors death squads on both sides of the political-religious divide. The purpose: Create a civil war to weaken the targeted nation.

That is what Robert Ford’s “Salvador Option” accomplished in Iraq in 2004 – 2006. And it is also what Ford’s “Salvador Option II” accomplished in Syria in 2011.

In 2004, the Iraqi resistance was defeating the American invaders. So Ford and Negroponte used death squads and false flag terrorism to turn the various factions of the resistance against each other. They created US-sponsored “al-Qaeda” death squad units to brutally and indiscriminately attack Shia victims. And they encouraged (and in some cases manufactured) Shia retaliation – in the hope that it would alienate the larger Sunni community and lead to sectarian civil war.

The American “Salvador Option” team was responsible for many if not most of the “suicide bombings” targeting Iraqi civilians during those years. They would pay an Iraqi to drive a truck to a market or mosque, park, and await further instructions. The truck would then be blown up by remote control, and the Iraqi would be posthumously labeled a “suicide bomber.”

Ford and Negroponte used British as well as American false-flag terror units for some of their dirty work. One of those units, consisting of two British Special Forces officers dressed as Iraqis, was arrested by Iraqi police in Basra on September 19th, 2005. The Brits had been bombing mosques and markets in attacks blamed on “Iraqi sectarians.” When the two disguised British soldiers were arrested, their car was full of weapons and bombs. The day after their arrest, the British army destroyed the Basra jail, using tanks to demolish the walls, in order to recover their two false-flag terrorists, and protect them from the trial that would have exposed the crimes of Ford, Negroponte, and their British terror team in Basra.

Perhaps the most notorious US-sponsored false-flag attack in Iraq – presumably planned by Ford and Negroponte – was the bombing of the al-Askari “Golden Dome” mosque in Samarra on February 22nd, 2006. Witnesses in the neighborhood reported that prior to the bombing, US forces cordoned off the mosque and took control of it. There was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that the bombing was carried out by US forces, who were in complete control of the cordoned-off mosque when the bombs went off. Naturally, this US attack was blamed on “al-Qaeda.”

The net result of Ford and Negroponte’s false-flag terror campaign in Iraq was a civil war that still rages to this day.

The destruction of Iraq through death squads and false-flag terror was so successful that Ford was sent to Syria to do the same thing. In 2011, Ford was made Ambassador to Syria – and suddenly a wave of violence created the same kind of civil war that still rages in Iraq.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has belatedly realized that the violence in his country was created by false-flag terrorists. What happened was this: Ford’s death squads, consisting of well-trained professional killers, would station themselves on rooftops during US-incited anti-Assad demonstrations. At a designated moment, the snipers would begin firing. Some of the snipers would create the appearance that they were Syrian army soldiers firing at the demonstrators. Others, on a different rooftop, would create the impression that they were demonstrators firing at the soldiers.

Soon, the pro- and anti-Assad forces really were firing at each other.

Will Ford organize the same kind of mischief in Egypt?

Based on his record in Iraq and Syria, here is what we should expect: Ford and his team of US death squad organizers and false-flag terror experts (possibly including some of the people who blew up the World Trade Center) will create shootings and bombings blamed on “radical Islamists.” They will then encourage the Egyptian junta to arrest, torture, and murder even more peaceful protestors than it already has. Since the Egyptian military junta is basically an American militia, created and maintained by billions of dollars of US support, the puppet dictator el-Sisi will have to follow American orders… and plunge his country into civil war.

Does the US really want to destroy Egypt, as it has destroyed Iraq and Syria?

Apparently, yes. It is worth noting that the US covertly engineered the overthrow of democratically-elected President Morsi in part because Morsi had spoken out forcefully against Ethiopia’s plan to dam the Nile, steal most of Egypt’s water supply, and condemn much of Egypt’s population to slow death.

Bottom line: The US, through its Ethiopian puppet, is planning a genocide that will kill tens of millions of Egyptians. And if any Egyptian leader tries to stop it, as Morsi planned to, he will be eliminated.

Why does the US feel the need to destroy Middle Eastern countries? Ironically, it isn’t even about US interests. It’s about Israel’s “Oded Yinon plan” to annihilate Israel’s neighbors and seize all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates for Greater Israel. That is why, as Gen. Wesley Clark revealed, Israel took over the US via the 9/11 coup d’état – with a plan to destroy “seven countries in five years” in service to Netanyahu’s “Clean Break” document, itself an update of the Oded Yinon plan to destroy the Middle East for Israel.

There is only one way to resist this impending genocide. All Middle Eastern people, regardless of religion or nationality, must unite and resist the Zionist-sponsored destruction of their lands.

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Long-time Jewish Power Broker Faces Financial Investigation

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Too clever by half

Just check the guy in the picture – the one on the left. Just look at him – so youthful, so vital, so very, very clever!

Or perhaps just a bit too clever?

Folks, this is the Jewish story unfolding before your very eyes

Fall From Power: William Rapfogel meets with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Met Council on Jewish Poverty’s annual legislative breakfast.

Met Council: Fall From Power: William Rapfogel meets with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Met Council on Jewish Poverty’s annual legislative breakfast.

By Josh Lipowsky

(JTA) — The New York Jewish communal world reacted with shock this week to news that William Rapfogel, longtime head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and a major player in New York’s Jewish community, had been fired for alleged financial improprieties.

The Met Council, which provides a range of services to poor Jewish households in the New York area, announced Monday that it had removed Rapfogel from his positions as executive director and chief executive officer after discovering “financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies,” the organization’s board said in a statement.

Rapfogel, 58, had headed the organization since 1992 and was considered a major power broker in the city. His wife, Judy, is chief of staff to Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, one the most important figures in state government.

Many communal figures declined to comment Tuesday, but those who did expressed shock that Rapfogel, long a highly regarded figure, could be caught up in a financial scandal.

“I was very outraged and shocked,” said Masha Girshin Pearl, executive director of The Blue Card, a New York-based organization that provides emergency funds to impoverished Holocaust survivors nationwide. “For the Jewish community and all the organizations working tirelessly to really do good, it just puts a dark cloud over the Jewish community and the good work that so many organizations like The Blue Card have been doing.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack, the CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher division, was honored by Met Council in 2010 at the annual Kosherfest food showcase. Genack told JTA he considered Rapfogel a friend and was impressed by his concern for combating Jewish poverty.

“I consider him a good person,” Genack said. “Sometimes good people make huge mistakes. I hope things work out as best as possible considering the circumstances.”

Exactly what Rapfogel is accused of remains murky.

The New York Daily News, citing an anonymous source, reported Tuesday that Rapfogel is suspected of purchasing insurance policies at inflated prices and then pocketing the difference.

The insurance firm, the Long Island-based Century Coverage Corp., has made tens of thousands of dollars in political donations, raising the possibility that Rapfogel may have used the scheme to enhance his political clout.

In a statement issued Monday through his lawyers, Rapfogel apologized and appeared to acknowledge the accusations against him.

“After 21 years at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that have led to my departure from the organization,” Rapfogel said in a statement. “I apologize to our dedicated officers and board, our incredible staff and those who depend on Met Council. I let them all down.”

Rapfogel also asked for forgiveness and promised to “do everything possible to make amends.”

With a budget of $33 million, more than half of which comes from public state and city sources, the Met Council is a major force in the Jewish social service world, working with Jewish groups throughout the city to provide emergency relief and other services to low-income households.

Rapfogel also was known for his political involvement, hosting an annual breakfast that drew many influential political figures. Prior to his role at the Met Council, he worked as an assistant New York City comptroller and as an aide to Mayor Ed Koch.

“I am stunned and deeply saddened by this news,” Silver said in a statement sent to JTA. “While there is still much that we don’t know, we do know that the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has given tens of thousands of New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds lifesaving help over the past four decades. Met Council also played a critical role helping our communities recover from Superstorm Sandy, and its work should in no way be diminished by these developments.”

A statement from the Met Council’s board said there has been no evidence that any other current employees were engaged in wrongdoing.

The matter is under investigation by the New York state comptroller’s office in cooperation with the state attorney general’s joint Task Force on Public Integrity, a spokesperson for comptroller’s office confirmed.

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Egyptian Security Forces Fire On Protestors Using Live Ammo, Death Toll Exceeds 250

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Violence in Egypt has reached a new level as Egyptian Security Forces fired on peaceful protestors this morning using live ammunition.

CAIRO, EGYPT - AUGUST 14: Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi break rocks to use as weapons during a violent crackdown by Egyptian Security Forces on a pro-Morsi sit-in demonstration at the Rabaa al-Adweya Mosque in the Nasr City district on August 14, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. An unknown number of pro-Morsi protesters were killed in Egypt's capital today as Egyptian Security Forces undertook a planned operation to clear Morsi supporters from two sit-in demonstrations in Cairo where they have camped for over one month. Egyptian Police and Army forces entered protest sites in the Nasr City and Giza districts at dawn using tear gas, live fire and bulldozers to disperse protesters and destroy the camps. A state of emergency has been declared in Egypt to begin this afternoon and will reportedly last for one month. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)

CAIRO, EGYPT – AUGUST 14: Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi break rocks to use as weapons during a violent crackdown by Egyptian Security Forces on a pro-Morsi sit-in demonstration at the Rabaa al-Adweya Mosque in the Nasr City district on August 14, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. An unknown number of pro-Morsi protesters were killed in Egypt’s capital today as Egyptian Security Forces undertook a planned operation to clear Morsi supporters from two sit-in demonstrations in Cairo where they have camped for over one month. Egyptian Police and Army forces entered protest sites in the Nasr City and Giza districts at dawn using tear gas, live fire and bulldozers to disperse protesters and destroy the camps. A state of emergency has been declared in Egypt to begin this afternoon and will reportedly last for one month. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)

By Shepard Ambellas

CAIRO — Wednesday morning Egyptian Security Forces using massive metal bulldozers as tactical shields, bum-rushed protestors at an encampment firing live ammunition killing over 250 protestors, wounding over 1500 in a massive violent melee of bloody pulp.

The uprising could bring the daily death toll country wide into the thousands according to some media sources as urban battles in one of Egypt’s largest cities continue.

Egypt is in a “state of civil unrest”.

Some speculate the Egyptian government may try to impose a curfew.

Morsi supporters are said to have also set-up barricades in the streets.

The egyptian Vice President has also resigned as a result of the government massacre on peaceful protestors. USNews.com reported, “Mohamed ElBaradei submitted a letter of resignation on Wednesday to interim President Adly Mansour, the former head of the Supreme Constitutional Court who has taken over control of the country following military action that deposed Morsi in early July. Mansor had named ElBaradei as his deputy for foreign relations.”

The Vice Presidents resignation coupled with the massacre of citizens shows the seriousness of the situation.

“Eight leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested during the police operation and charged with inciting violence.

The forceful removal of the pro-Morsi sit-in demonstrators brought condemnation from the United States and the United Nations.”, reported NBCNews.com.

It is unknown as of yet how the United States government will react.

 

Sources:

^Egyptian VP Resigns Following Police Crackdown on Protesters USNews.com

^Egypt bloodshed: At least 235 killed as troops clear pro-Morsi camps NBCNews.com

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Scores dead in Egypt after security forces launch assault on protesters’ camp

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By  and Sharaf al-Hourani

CAIRO — Violent clashes spread across Egypt on Wednesday after security forces stormed two sprawling protest camps in an early morning assault that killed scores of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

With at least 281 people killed, it was the deadliest day in Egypt since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and the fallout dealt a further blow to the prospect that the country might resume its path toward democracy. At least 37 died in clashes in the conservative oasis town of Fayoum.

Video

Warning: Graphic content. Egyptian police stormed two Cairo protest camps, sparking nationwide clashes. At least 95 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

Warning: Graphic content. Egyptian police stormed two Cairo protest camps, sparking nationwide clashes. At least 95 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

By nightfall, the military-backed interim government that replaced Morsi after a July 3 coup, had declared a state of emergency, and Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and vice president, had tendered his resignation in protest over the bloody crackdown.

The United States strongly condemned the violence and said it would hold the interim government accountable for its promises of a speedy transition to a democratically elected civilian administration.

Hundreds of Morsi-allied Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested nationwide after the dawn assault, the Egyptian government said. The authorities blamed the Islamist group for the violence and said police had confiscated guns, ammunition and other weapons from the protest sites.

The morning assault brought bulldozers crashing through protesters’ tents as security forces opened fire through clouds of smoke and tear gas. Witnesses later posted footage showing dozens of bodies lining the rooms of a makeshift hospital run by Morsi supporters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.

Mohamed el-Beltagi, a top Brotherhood politician whose teenage daughter was among those killed, said security forces had sacrificed their legitimacy by carrying out the attack, and he demanded that any soldier “must take off his uniform’’ or be considered a “tool” of the government. He warned that the spreading violence could quickly turn Egypt into a new Syria, where an ongoing conflict has killed more than 100,000 people.

Egypt’s interim interior minister said Brotherhood supporters later stormed several provincial headquarters across the country and set at as many as seven Coptic Christian churches ablaze. The sectarian attacks reflect Islamist anger over the strong backing to the military shown by many members of Egypt’s Christian minority.

The sprawling tent cities of men, women and children had been erected by Brotherhood supporters to demand the reinstatement of Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president. On Wednesday evening, the interim prime minister and the interior minister said security forces had acted with the utmost “self-restraint” after six weeks of unauthorized sit-ins by Morsi’s supporters.

The government said 43 police officers had been killed in the clashes. In addition to scores of protesters, the dead included at least two journalists, including a British cameraman for Britain’s Sky News network.

The large-scale arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members echoed the authoritarian approach adopted by Egypt during the Mubarak era, when the Islamist group was banned and heavily repressed. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which backs Morsi, had emerged after Mubarak’s fall as the country’s strongest political force. But the group’s popularity plummeted under Morsi, as Egyptians complained of a sinking economy and little political reform.

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Abu Ghraib Torture Victims Sued by Their Torturers

NOVANEWS

Defense contractor’s move follows judge’s dismissal of victims’ charges of war crimes; lawyers say counter-suit is form of ‘intimidation and punishment’

By: Sarah Lazare

‘Defense’ contractor CACI International has taken the shocking step of suing four former Abu Ghraib detainees who are seeking redress in U.S. courts for the company’s role in torturing, humiliating and dehumanizing them, with the U.S. corporation recently requesting that the judge order the plaintiffs—all of whom are Iraqi—to pay CACI for legal costs.

Detainee at Abu Ghraib prison (Reuters)

CACI is demanding over $15,000 in compensation, mostly for witness fees, travel allowances and deposition transcripts, according to court documents.

“Given the wealth disparities between this multi-billion dollar entity and four torture victims, given what they went through, it’s surprising and appears to be an attempt to intimidate and punish these individuals for asserting their rights to sue in U.S. courts,” Baher Azny, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is working on the case, told Common Dreams.

Just weeks ago, a federal judge dismissed the former Abu Ghraib prisoners’ lawsuit against CACI International on the grounds that because Abu Ghraib is oversees, it is beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

The plaintiffs are appealing the decision, with their lawyers arguing that a U.S. corporation operating in a U.S. military prison should be subject to U.S. law.

The ruling is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the shadowy networks of private contractors who operate in war-torn Iraq under veils of secrecy and with near-immunity, despite widely documented war crimes.

The plaintiffs charge that CACI was part of a conspiracy to subject the defendants to “electric shocks; repeated brutal beatings; sleep deprivation; sensory deprivation; forced nudity; stress positions; sexual assault; mock executions; humiliation; hooding; isolated detention; and prolonged hanging from the limbs.”

All of the Iraqi plaintiffs were released without charges, and they continue to suffer severe physical and psychological effects from their torture.

Their lawyers say they will appeal the dismissal of a case they say is rock-solid.

“Our case is based on reports and investigations by high-level U.S. military investigators, recognizing CACI’s role in conspiracy to torture detainees,” Azny told Common Dreams. “Once we get past legal obstacles and present the case to a jury, we are hopeful justice will come to these Iraqi victims.”

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The US Must Not Bear Silent Witness to Another Crackdown in Bahrain

NOVANEWS

The US naval station in Bahrain gives the Obama administration leverage to stop the brutal repression of pro-democracy protest

A Bahraini protestor stands amidst tear gas fired by riot police during clashes following a protest against the ruling regime in the village of Diraz. (Photograph: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty)While the US media focuses on events in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere, the people of Bahraincontinue to risk their freedom, their mental and physical well-being, and their lives, to carry on with their demands for democracy and human rights. Members of the political opposition, human rights activists, doctors and ordinary Bahraini citizens have been arbitrarily detained, charged with crimes such as “inciting hatred of the regime” and “attempting to overthrow the government”, tortured as a form of punishment and as a means to acquiring forced confessions, and killed by excessive use of force.

The popular protest movement in Bahrain began on 14 February 2011. At one point, early in the uprising, an estimated quarter of Bahrain’s population participated in nonviolent protests. That is equivalent to 75 million Americans protesting simultaneously. The Bahraini regime and its Gulf Co-operation Council partners, led by Saudi Arabia, crushed the protests with overwhelming force.

Yet, Bahraini people still do not have the overt support of the US government – despite President Obama’s (and other administration officials’) claims that the United States stands with all who have democratic aspirations.

This week, on 14 August, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s revolutionary reboot, Bahrainis who oppose the repressive monarchy will begin their own “Tamarod movement”. The date is significant because it is the day Bahrain achieved independence from its British colonizers, and also because it marks two-and-a-half years since the start of Bahrain’s movement for democracy and human rights.

Members of Bahrain’s Tamarod movement first announced their plans for 14 August on 4 July. Despite having more than a month to make the necessary arrangements to allow Bahrainis to safely and securely act on their rights as protected under the UN’s international covenant on civil and political rights, to which Bahrain is a party, the repressive ruling family has, instead, categorically denied Bahrainis their right to protest. And it has threatened those who challenge its dictates. Bahrain’s interior ministry has warned Bahrainis:

Not to respond or react to incitement from political events and social media posts that use ‘Rebellion 14 August’ and encourage the overthrow of the government. Rallies and activities that affect security, public order, civil peace and the interests of the people are against the law. Participants will have legal procedures taken against them.

More recently, Bahrain’s national assembly made 22 recommendations, all of which were endorsed by the king of Bahrain, which it claims are necessary in response to increasing unrest in Bahrain. Although the Bahraini regime has proclaimed its commitment to the reforms laid out in the Bahrain independent commission of inquiry’s report (pdf), the disturbingly draconian policies authorized by the king demonstrate otherwise.

The first of the 22 decrees announces that their purpose is to toughen terrorism laws in order to allow for swift action to protect national security. If the Bahraini regime were only targeting those who have resorted to violence, an argument could be made in support of such efforts. But this has not been the case. According to Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB):

The Bahrain government frequently abuses ambiguous definitions of ‘terrorism’ and related national security crimes in order to justify the arbitrary arrest, detention and sentencing of bloggersmedical professionals and prominent human rights activists.

The government of Bahrain’s real intentions become clearer much later in the list of decrees. The 16th decree states:

Basic liberties, particularly freedom of opinion, should be affected so as to strike a balance between law enforcement and human rights protection.

Under this decree, the Bahraini regime has given itself the power to control, not freedom of speech, which would also be unacceptable, but freedom of opinion.

The 17th decree states:

Examination of the educational policies of the kingdom and review and change educational curricular in a way that protects society from violence and terrorist actions and improves the behavior of students.

Related, the final decree states:

Launching programmes to rehabilitate youths who were exploited in various crimes.

The Bahraini regime has, for all intents and purposes, authorized the re-engineering of its educational system into one based entirely in state propaganda. By protection of society from “violence and terrorist actions”, it means suppression of protest and demands for democratic reforms and respect for human rights. By “rehabilitate youths”, it means the re-education of youth who dare participate in the protests.

These actions cannot be ignored, no matter how important a strategic ally we are told Bahrain is. The United States failed Bahrainis the first time around because it was more concerned with supporting Bahrain’s despotic regime which hosts the US navy’s fifth fleet, appeasing Saudi Arabia, and acting on its geopolitical strategic interests against Iran, than it was with the legitimate aspirations of the citizens of Bahrain – aspirations similar to those the US has previously lent its support.

Conversations concerning the navy’s future in Bahrain are under way, as demonstrated by Jonathan Broder’s recent article in Congressional Quarterly. These conversations have tended to focus on the possibility of moving the fifth fleet to a base in a more stable country, such as Kuwait or Qatar, or threatening to move the base to pressure Bahrain to reform.

This dialogue, while important, cannot be allowed to distract from the realities on the ground in Bahrain. With about 15,000 Americans stationed in Bahrain’s capital of Manama, less than 10 miles from Pearl Roundabout, the epicenter of Bahrain’s 2011 uprising, the United States has a responsibility to use its relationship with the ruling family to ensure the rights of Bahrainis are protected.

It is time for the United States to publicly acknowledge that the Bahraini regime has failed to implement the Bahrain independent commission’s agreed-upon recommendations and has perpetrated egregious violations of human rights, possibly constituting crimes against humanity.

As the Tamarod movement protest begins, the Obama administration must not bear silent witness to another massive and violent crackdown that is already being signalled by the Bahraini regime.

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