The U.S. was told by the French intelligence agency that Said Kouachi, one of the Paris terrorists, traveled to Yemen in 2011 and received a variety of weapons training from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In addition, a French source said one of the brothers traveled to Syria during the past year. Also, Cherif Kouachi attempted at one point to join jihadists waging war in Iraq against the U.S. and the coalition.
Over the past century, a plague of persecution has swept across the Middle East, emptying the region of its Christian population. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East’s population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born.
In Syrian cities like Aleppo and Damascus, Christians who refused to convert to Islam have been kidnapped, shot and beheaded by Islamist opposition fighters. In Egypt, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood members burn Coptic Christian churches in the same way they once obliterated Jewish synagogues. And in Iraq, terrorists deliberately target Christian worshippers.
Over the past 10 years, nearly two-thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians have been driven from their homes. Many settled in Syria before once again becoming victims of unrelenting persecution. Syria’s Christian population has dropped from 30% in the 1920s to less than 10% today.
In January, a report by the nondenominational Christian organization Open Doors documented the 10 most oppressive countries for Christians; nine were Muslim-majority states noted for Islamic extremism, tyrannical regimes that uphold archaic blasphemy and defamation-of-religion laws. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed dozens of people for the crimes of “waging war against God” and “spreading corruption on Earth.”
Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population. Its Christian community has increased from 34,000 in 1948 to 140,000 today, in large measure because of the freedoms Christians are afforded. Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab Israeli, has served as a Supreme Court justice since 2003.
Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest living in Israel, recently told me: “Human rights are not something to be taken for granted. Christians in much of the Middle East have been slaughtered and persecuted for their faith, but here in Israel they are protected.”
- On Feb. 5, after more than six months of investigations, the Bulgarian government announced that it believed Hizbullah was responsible for the attack last July that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver and injured dozens more in the resort town of Burgas.
- This report is significant because a European Union member state, Bulgaria, explicitly pointed a finger at Hizbullah and lifted the veil on the group’s continued terrorist activities. Europe can no longer ignore the threat that this group poses to the Continent and to the world.
- Hizbullah first gained notoriety in 1983 after bombing the U.S. Embassy in Beirut – an attack that killed 63 people. Shortly thereafter, Hizbullah bombed the American and French Marine Barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans and 58 French service members.
- European governments must respond swiftly. They must disrupt its operational networks, stop flows of financial assistance to the group, crack down on Hizbullah-linked criminal enterprises and condemn the organization’s leaders for their continued pursuit of terrorism.
- The U.S. applauds those countries that have long recognized Hizbullah’s nefarious nature. Europe must now act collectively and respond resolutely to this attack by adding Hizbullah to the EU’s terrorist list.
Via Aish.com. Elul 29
In 2000, Palestinian Arabs launched a campaign of terror which came to be known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Two days earlier, an Israeli soldier was killed by his Palestinian counterpart while on joint patrol, and the next day, Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount.
The next day, on the eve of Rosh Hashana, Palestinian violence erupted across Israel. (Later investigations indicate that the Palestinian Authority had pre-planned the intifada.) Tuvia Grossman, a 20-year-old Jewish student from Chicago, was thrust into the international limelight on when The New York Times published a photo of him — bloodied and battered — crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption misidentified him as a Palestinian victim of the intifada. The truth was the total opposite, and the realization that Israel was being unfairly portrayed in the media led to the founding of media monitoring groups such as HonestReporting.com. Over the next four years, Palestinian violence — bolstered by incitement in the Palestinian media — would claim the lives of over 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians. The attacks included a wave of over 100 suicide bombings that targeted Israeli restaurants, synagogues and buses.
Here is what the NY Times originally ran. Remember that Tuvia Grossman, the bloodied man in the photo below, is the Jew, and the media wanted to depict him as a “poorpalestinianpeeeeeepulllllll”.
Here is the follow-up retraction from the NYT …
(reprinted with permission from Arutz-7)
IF HE’S BEATEN, HE MUST BE PALESTINIAN
This past Saturday, The New York Times and many other papers published a
picture – supplied by the Associated Press – of an angry Israeli policeman
and a badly-beaten and bloodied man, with the caption, “An Israeli
policeman and a Palestinian on the Temple Mount.” The picture can be seen
at . Dr. Aaron Grossman, of Chicago, Ill., sent the following letter to the Times:
“Regarding your picture on page A5 (Sept. 30) of the Israeli soldier and
the Palestinian on the Temple Mount – that Palestinian is actually my son,
Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends,
were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of
Palestinian Arabs and were severely beaten and stabbed. That picture could
not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations
on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one
clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from
Tuvia Grossman was on his way to the Western Wall on Friday afternoon, and
has been hospitalized ever since with head injuries and a stab wound. He
told Arutz-7 today,
“I was in a taxi on the way to the Kotel [Western Wall] and we got
stoned… [They took me out of the car and beat me and] I gave a scream,
and for a second they let go of me, and I said Shma Yisrael, because I
thought it was all over… After they let go of me, I ran – even though I
had a knife in my leg, G-d gave me the strength to run and I was able to
make it up the hill where there were soldiers by the gas station and they
took care of me. But I was being beaten for around 5 or 6 minutes with a
rock on the top of my head, and I was stabbed in the back of my leg and
kicked and punched all over my body.”
“[When I saw the mis-captioned AP picture] I was extremely, extremely
upset. People see a picture of a youth and they think that it’s a
Palestinian being beaten by Israelis, it changes their world view and makes
them think that it’s the Israelis beating up the Arabs. I was extremely
upset. It was totally the opposite. That policeman was yelling at the
Arabs to back off, and was protecting me from them – so to change it around
and to say that he was beating me, that’s just total distortion, and the
world must be notified about how this is not true – the Jews are the ones
suffering at the hands of the Arabs.”
The Times published a correction today, in which it identified Tuvia
Grossman as “an American student in Israel” – not as a Jew who was beaten
by Arabs. The “correction” also noted that “Mr. Grossman was wounded” in
“Jerusalem’s Old City” – although in fact it occurred in an Arab-populated
neighborhood of Jerusalem, not in the Old City. An Associated Press
spokesman told Arutz-7 that it was looking into the matter.
Bin Laden is now rotting alongside Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Yassir Arafat. Via ABCNews:
Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, sources told ABC News. Specific details of how and where the al Qaeda mastermind was killed were not immediately available, but sources said U.S. forces have the body and DNA testing confirmed that it was bin Laden. A national security source said that bin Laden was not killed in a drone strike, but declined to go into details about the forces that killed him. “This is a terrific day for America and quite frankly the whole world that cares about winning the war on terror,” former Bush chief of staff Andy Card told ABC News. Card said the news is “particularly significant” for the intelligence community.
“They’re the ones who kept their nose to the grindstone and worked very hard to allow this day to be realized … finally,” he said.
In this pathetic world we live in, only the Jews are to be despised, and Muslims are to be exalted. Shame on Scotland and the reprehensible brown-noser Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill for releasing a mass murderer. Yet another example of how the UK has lost its moral will. Via AP:
The Scottish government says it will release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds to allow him to return to Libya to die.
Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said Thursday that there had been a significant deterioration in the health of al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer.
MacAskill says he is conscious that there “were deeply held feelings and that many may disagree.”
Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The airliner — which was carrying mostly American passengers to New York — blew up as it flew over Scotland. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground died when the aircraft crashed into the town of Lockerbie.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is a former Libyan intelligence officer, head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines, and director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli, Libya. On 31 January 2001, he was convicted, by a panel of Scottish Judges sitting in a special court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, of 270 counts of murder for his part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988.
Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment. Suffering from terminal prostate cancer, with less than three months to live, he was freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish Government on 20 August 2009.
His release was met with controversy. His co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah was found not guilty and was acquitted.
Statement of Director Robert S. Mueller, III, Federal Bureau of Investigatio:
We are deeply disappointed over the decision to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi from prison. Mr. Megrahi’s guilt was firmly established by the court. His conviction resulted in a life sentence for his part in the loss of 270 innocent lives, including 189 Americans. He never admitted to his role in this act of terrorism, nor did he or the government of Libya disclose the names or roles of others who were responsible.
In a case of mass murder over Lockerbie, Mr. Megrahi served less than 14 days per victim. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those victims today, for the ongoing pain and loss caused by this horrific attack.
Ahmad Vahidi, nominated Thursday by President Ahmadinejad to serve as Iran’s defense minister, is a suspected international terrorist sought by Interpol in connection with a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina.
Vahidi, a former commander of the elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force, was listed with four other Iranian officials on Interpol’s most-wanted list in 2007 at the request of Argentine prosecutors.
Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst at the Congressional Research Service, said Vahidi is also suspected of having played a role in a 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers U.S. Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia.
“Vahidi was commander of the Quds Force during the late 1980s to early 1990s, and his choice certainly sends a very strong signal that Ahmadinejad plans to continue, and maybe even accelerate, Iran’s material support for pro-Iranian parties and militias in the region,” Katzman said.
Vahidi’s “reputed intimate involvement in various acts of terrorism, particularly against Argentina and the United States, makes his selection especially flagrant,” said Kenneth Piernick, a former chief of the FBI’s Iran-Hizbullah unit.
“This does not look like an unclenched fist.” Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the elevation of Vahidi “is reflective of the hard-line nature of the new Cabinet.”
“This should heighten concerns about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he added.