Jakarta Hotel Bombings – 17 July

Indonesian counter-terrorist police commandos secure the damaged Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta.Jakarta, Indonesia – Two luxury hotels, the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton,  were struck by bombs that killed at least eight people this Friday. Although an international tragedy – two questions are raised.

Is a terrorist bombing of this nature unique and could we have predicted it?

The answer to the first question may surprise some, however, it is clearly a no. Within the past few days many communities have been shaken by the wrath of Islamic terrorism and sectarian violence.  The AFP report the death of two children, 10 and 11 respectively, at the hands of sectarian targeted bombings while VOA News reports the death of 5 children by Taliban roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

Aftermath of the Bali Bombings

Aftermath of the Bali Bombings

But lets move away from this one day in history. In August 2003, the same JW Marriott Hotel of these recent attacks was bombed killing 12 people. In 2002 over 200 were killed in the Bali Bombings; 19 were killed in another set of bombings in Bali in 2005;  and the list goes on.

So, could we have predicted such an attack? If we take past precedent as an indicator of future events, we probably could. Taking account of the internal shifts within Jemaah Islamiah (the organisation suspected for carrying out the bombings) including the rapid rise in radicalism among radicals, the likelihood of an attack was greatly magnified. Such was predicted moments before the attacks by a number of Australian advisory groups.

But when should a government act on such a threat? I would argue that the domestic government has a right to always act – and countries such as Australia, which have often been a victim of various terror attacks in Indonesia should always exercise caution whenever there is a real threat. I would hate to hear that Australia failed to act on reliable intelligence.

Morals of Islam: Rape + Suicide = Paradise

A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.

Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police and confessed to recruiting the women and orchestrating dozens of attacks.

In a video confession, she explained how she had mentally prepared the women for martyrdom operations, passed them on to terrorists who provided explosives, and then took the bombers to their targets.

“We arrested Samira Jassim, known as ‘Um al-Mumenin’, the mother of the believers, who was responsible for recruiting 80 women”, Major General Qassim Atta said.

“She confessed her responsibility for these actions, and she confirmed that 28 attempts had been made in one of the terrorists’ strongholds,” he said.

Samira Jassim was arrested on January 21. She is allegedly linked to the Ansar al-Sunnah insurgent group.

Two of the attacks for which Samira Jassim admitted responsibility in the video confession took place in Diyala province, in central Iraq, which is considered one of the most dangerous areas of the country.

The Associated Press reports US military figures indicate at least 36 female suicide bombers attempted or carried out 32 attacks last year. Women are often allowed through military checkpoints without being searched, making it easier for them to hide explosives under their traditional robes.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25006101-12335,00.html
For once in my life I am speechless in regard to these abhorrent acts.

Al-Qaeda ‘used 24 child suicide bombers in last two years (Iraq)

Al-Qaeda has over the past two years used 24 children to carry out suicide bombings in Iraq, the director of military operations for the Interior Ministry, Abdelaziz Mohammed Jasim, told pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

“Of the 24 children, five had a mental disability. From analysing the others’ remains, we established that they were homeless,” said Jasim.

American soldiers stationed in Iraq have reported that the insurgency has armed children as young as 11 to fight against them.

Al-Qaeda is targeting orphans, street children and mentally disabled children as suicide bomber recruits as well as women, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

There have been at least 16 suicide attacks carried out by women in recent months in the volatile Al-Qaeda stronghold of Diyala province, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Iraqi children  in general make up 20 percent of the civilian victims of bomb attacks in the country.

Don’t be soft on Islam, says EU terror chief

Europe’s anti-terror chief has launched a stinging attack on the political correctness that he says is hampering the campaign against militant Islam.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator, said last week that concern about stigmatising Muslim populations was hampering policy-making and thus prevention. ‘One of the problems … is that some member states are extremely reluctant to be explicit about the link with religion,’ said de Kerchove. ‘Religion has been hijacked and distorted for political ends.’

De Kerchove’s statement comes against a background of infighting within the EU over counter-terrorism policy. The European Commission has been working for several years on a paper analysing militancy in Europe and outlining policy to combat radicalisation. The Council of Ministers is still waiting for the now long-overdue paper, on which future policy will be based.

EU officials claimed last week the delay was because Jacques Barrot, the French Commissioner for justice, freedom and security, had grave reservations about the definition of terrorism in the commission’s policy paper and had delayed signing the policy document as it ‘went too far in blaming Muslim communities’.

A spokesman for Barrot refused to comment. ‘There is a paper that is being prepared. Our services are working on it and there is no fixed timeframe at the moment,’ he said.

De Kerchove praised the Home Office’s emphasis on countering the extremists’ message through the media. ‘We have to provide an alternative narrative,’ he said. ‘A lot of research is showing that young people being radicalised are looking for thrills as much as anything ideological. We need to show the violence for what it is, bloody and indiscriminate, and the people who do it for what they are, ugly criminals not heroes.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/28/terrorism.eu

Marriott bombing group threatens fresh attacks on US targets

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said he will not allow any foreign power to violate the country’s soverignity “in the name of combatting terrorism.” In his opening address to the joint houses of parliament in Islamabad on Saturday, he said that Pakistan should also understand the limits of confrontation.

This was his first speech to MPs since he replaced Pervez Musharraf in August. It was also the first by a president in almost six years.

Ahead of his first meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York, Zardari also said that ties with India need to be “creatively re-invented.”

Zardari said that he would like to move ahead with India based on three pointers which were, as espoused by former PM Benazir Bhutto, to come up with new ideas, to make bold committments and to be honest in the relationship.

Zardari called for a parliamentary committee to investigate abolishing his powers to dissolve the assembly and dismiss the government.

“In the history of Pakistan this is the first president who is giving away his powers, he commented.”

Islamic Jihadists Hit Australia (but caught first…)

Car bomb at U.S. embassy kills 16 (Yemen)

A car bomb set off a series of explosions outside the heavily fortified U.S. embassy in Yemen on Wednesday and a Yemeni security source said at least 16 people, including six attackers, were killed.

A U.S. embassy official confirmed that the blasts were caused by a car bomb and that there were reports of casualties.

“This morning a car exploded at the main gate of the embassy in Sanaa. There was an initial explosion and several secondary explosions,” a U.S. embassy spokesman told Reuters by telephone.

“We do have reports of casualties. Right now, I cannot confirm the number, nor the nationality nor the severity of the casualties.”

A group calling itself Islamic Jihad in Yemen claimed responsibility for the bombing and threatened attacks on other embassies including those of Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

It had threatened in a previous statement on Tuesday to launch a series of attacks unless the Yemeni government met its demands for the release of several members from jail.

“We, the organization of Islamic Jihad in Yemen declare our responsibility for the suicide attack on the American embassy in Sanaa,” the statement read.

“We will carry out the rest of the series of attacks on the other embassies that were declared previously, until our demands are met by the Yemeni government.”

Smoke was seen rising from the heavily fortified U.S. compound in Sanaa and ambulances and fire engines raced to the scene, which was cordoned off by police, witnesses said.

The security source said that six attackers and four bystanders were killed, while the rest were Yemeni security forces.

Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, has grappled with a spate of al Qaeda attacks this year, including one on the U.S. embassy, another near the Italian mission and others on Western tourists.

An al Qaeda-affiliated group claimed responsibility in March for a mortar attack that missed the U.S. embassy but wounded 13 girls at a nearby school.

The United States ordered non-essential staff to leave Yemen in April, a day after an attack on a residential compound.

The Yemeni government joined the U.S.-led war against terrorism following the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001.

It has jailed dozens of militants in connection with bombings of Western targets and clashes with authorities, but is still viewed in the West as a haven for Islamist militants.

The government of the poor Arab country has also been fighting Shi’ite rebels in the northern province of Saada since 2004 and faced protests against unemployment and inflation.

Millions Miss out On Vaccine – Taliban at its Best

Polio vaccinations for over a million Afghan children have been cancelled, the World Health Organization said Tuesday after two doctors were killed in a Taliban suicide attack.

“Campaigns in the southern region are cancelled,” WHO spokeswoman Sona Bari told AFP.

The programme was due to start on September 21 and was intended to reach 1.2 million children aged under five in Afghanistan’s southern regions, she said.

Two Afghan doctors working for the WHO were killed in a suicide car bombing in southeastern Afghanistan Sunday that was claimed by the Taliban.

The WHO said that a similar campaign in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman was still likely to go ahead, as were future campaigns in the south in October and November.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080916/hl_afp/whohealthpolioafghanistanunrest;_ylt=At2jJv7vTaUI3ymKjBKJCYzVJRIF

Muslim Student Union Fights For the Right to Incite Murder

Established in 1963 by the Muslim Brotherhood — the inspiration for al-Qaeda and Hamas — the Muslim Students Association was listed in documents written by a Muslim Brotherhood operative and seized by the FBI in 2007 as an organization to help “destroy Western civilization from within.” According to a February 2008 New York Times article, the MSA was financed by Saudi Arabia when it first began appearing throughout North America in the late 1950s and “pushed the kingdom’s puritan, Wahhabi strain of Islam.”

Extremism is a systemic problem with the Muslim Students Association network. For example, Sheikh Khalid Yasin, who has spoken at a multitude of campuses throughout the country and at events at the MSA National level, has denied al-Qaeda was involved in 9/11 and believes that homosexuals should be killed in accordance with the Koran. Norman Finkelstein, who has also spoken for various Muslim Students Association groups, has been featured at the University of Maryland, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia, and many others. Imam Abdul Alim Musa, a radical imam and founder of the As Sabiqun (Arabic for “The Vanguard”) movement, has been featured at UC Irvine, MIT, Mount Holyoke College, and other campuses.

Therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Muslim Student Union chapter at the University of Southern California (USC) acts in accordance with its sister chapters, and until recently hosted a violent quote in the “compendium” of hadiths on the USC Muslim Students Association page. The quote advocates massacring Jews as a pathway of redemption for Muslims, and reads as follows:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center worked with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to draft a letter to Alan Casden, a USC trustee, about the “hadith of hate,” as it is often called. Disturbed that a call for genocide should be on the USC server, Casden contacted Provost Chrysostomos Nikias to express his concern. Nikias investigated the matter and sent Casden the following letter:

The passage you cited is truly despicable and I share your concerns about its being on the USC server. We did some investigations and I have ordered the passage removed.

The passage in the hadith that you brought to our attention violates the USC Principles of Community, and it has no place on a USC server.

The University of Southern California, a private university, has strict Principles of Community which state, in part: “No one has the right to denigrate another human being on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, etc. We will not tolerate verbal or written abuse, threats, harassment, intimidation, or violence against person or property.” No student group other than the Muslim Students Association has posted any kind of material, religious or otherwise, calling for the destruction of a race or group.

USC’s decision to remove the hadith from the school’s server marks the first time that an American university has recognized that the Muslim Students Association’s agenda involves the promotion of ethnic hatred. It is also the first time that an administrator has acted to remove “despicable” material.

A statement issued by the Muslim Student Union at USC suggested that the hadith was being taken out of context and called the school’s decision to remove it from the website “unprecedented and unconscionable.” The Muslim Student Union accused the USC administration of practicing unfair censorship. However, following the controversy with the Danish cartoons, Muslim students called for censorship and protested at several universities, including UC Irvine, when the cartoons were unveiled in an academic seminar. The protests included MSA students from various universities, including USC.

Moreover, although the provost ordered the removal of the more accessible versions of the hadiths calling for slaughtering of Jews and the one that was brought to his attention, the same quote still appears in different variations in Bukhari on the USC MSA website and are difficult to locate unless one knows what they’re looking for:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle said, “You (i.e., Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e., slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

Just in case these vanish, here are some screen shots:

hadith.jpg

The hadith also appears in another variation later along in Bukhari:

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 791:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The Jews will fight with you, and you will be given victory over them so that a stone will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!’”

These quotes appear in more than one location, as is traditional in Islamic theology and an indication of authenticity. Since early 2008 the Muslim Students Association has been asked to repudiate this genocidal hadith and terrorist organizations by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Every individual MSA chapter has failed to repudiate the genocidal imperative contained within the hadith and has also failed to condemn terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

An Interview with Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is a wonderful author and activist who has first hand experience dealing with Islam, Islamic extremists and Islamic terrorist organisations. Here is an interesting interview that appeared on the New York Times website.

I recommend her book ‘Because They Hate’ to anyone interested in Islamists, the Lebanese Civil War, Role of Israel in Lebanese Christian resistance or just a touching human story.

As a Lebanese-Christian immigrant who spent her girlhood amid the bloody devastation of the Lebanese civil war, you have lately emerged as one of the most vehement critics of radical Islam in this country. Are you concerned that your new book, “They Must Be Stopped,” will feed animosity toward Muslims? I do not think I am feeding animosity. I am bringing an issue to light. I disapprove of any religion that calls for the killing of other people. If Christianity called for that, I would condemn it.

What about all the moderate Muslims who represent our hope for the future? Why don’t you write about them? The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant. I grew up in the Paris of the Middle East, and because we refused to read the writing on the wall, we lost our country to Hezbollah and the radicals who are now controlling it.

In your new book, you write about the Muslim presence in America and bemoan the rise of Islamic day schools and jihad summer camp. Is there really such a thing? Yes. Instead of taking lessons on swimming and gymnastics, the kids are listening to speakers give lectures titled “Preparation for Death” and “The Life in the Grave.”

You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students. I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my life. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans?

I can’t get upset if people want to wash their feet before they pray. This is the way they are taking over the West. They are doing it culturally inch by inch. They don’t need to fire one bullet. Look what is happening in Europe. Do we want to become like “Eurabia”?

But relatively few Muslims live in this country — about three million, or 1 percent of the population, whereas Amsterdam, for instance, has been estimated to be as high as 24 percent Muslim. They started as guest workers in Europe; they grow at a much faster rate than any other religion.

Your last book related the story of your childhood in southern Lebanon, where you hid out in a bomb shelter for seven years after your house was destroyed by a Muslim militia. Were you surprised it became a best seller? No, I was not surprised. Anyone can relate to a story about human suffering inflicted by radicals.

Are your parents still in Lebanon? I became an orphan at the age of 23. Both my parents are buried in Israel, on Mount Zion, with Oskar Schindler.

Why did you bury them in Israel? I wanted to honor my parents. After all, it is the Holy Land. And I wanted to ensure that both my children will know where my loyalty lies — with Israel, because Israel for me represents democracy, respect and human rights, something that no other country in the Arabic world offers.

Are you an agent of the U.S. government? No.

Are you underwritten by the C.I.A.? No. Are you kidding? In 2000, I voted for Al Gore.

But I see that R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., serves on the board of American Congress for Truth, your educational foundation. We also have John Loftus, a staunch Democrat and former Justice Department prosecutor. We are not Red or Blue.

Where do you live? I do not share that information because of the death threats I receive.

Threats from anyone we know? Al Qaeda mentioned my name on their top Internet sites and recently sent a press release about my work.

If you are worried about death threats, why would you put a glamorous photograph of yourself on the cover of your new book? In Lebanon, we were raised to be glamorous, feminine and sensual. It’s the only good thing we inherited from the French.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/magazine/17wwln-Q4-t.html?_r=1&ref=books&oref=slogin