Monday, January 25, 2010

7th year of battle against militant Islam

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

On November 29, 2003 I was arrested at Zia International Airport in Dhaka [Bangladesh] on my way to Tel Aviv for attending a Peace Conference, organized by Hebrew Writers Association.

At that time, a coalition government led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] with radical Islamist groups like Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote [Islamist Alliance] were partners in the government. Virtually it was an Islamist government in administration in Dhaka.

Influential figures in the government played key role in giving me a ‘proper lesson’ for attempting to travel to Israel. It is known to all that, in the eyes of Islamists and pals of Al Qaeda, Israel is an ‘enemy state’.

Unfortunately, Bangladesh is the only Muslim country in the world, which continues total ban on Israel, although, Israel was amongst the first four nations to recognize Bangladesh right after its independence in 1971.

Since creation of Bangladesh, unfortunately, Islamists either was in power or had tremendous influence on all the governments, which resulted in Bangladesh’s continuous rivalry attitude towards Israel.

Till date, such ‘mentality’ of the ruling parties in Bangladesh are unchanged, although, Dhaka presently has Bangladesh Awami League in power, which claims to uphold secularist policy in governance. It may be mentioned here that, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is the founder of Bangladesh Awami League headed the first government after the independence of the country in 1971. During the tenure of Bangabandhu, anti-Israel notions were adopted in the state policy and total ban on any sort of relations with Israel were enforced.

Awami League ruled Bangladesh on two more tenure in 1971 and in 1996 and now the party is back to power for the third term with landslide victory during the general election, which was held on December 29, 2008. The key reason behind Awami League’s massive victory was charismatic leadership of Sheikh Hasina [daughter of Bangabandhu] and secularist ideology of her party. On the other hand, Bangladeshis were virtually feeling captive in the hands of BNP-Islamist coalition government, which was trying to turn the country into another Taliban type nation.

People of Bangladesh had high aspiration on Bangladesh Awami League of honestly restoring the secularist ideology in governance as well ensuring proper rights to the religious minorities in the country. But, the track record of governance of Awami League for past 11 months is truly frustrating. Persecution of religious minorities, especially various forms of repressions on Hindus are continuing.

There is fresh trend of anti-Ahmadiya moves by some fanatics in the country. Destruction of Hindu temples, grabbing of their properties, rapes, murders, abductions and forceful conversions are continuing without minimum sign of any real initiatives by the government in stopping such nasty actions. Islamists are even finding ‘house’ within the present ruling party in Bangladesh, and influence of Islamists are continuing to grow, instead of being dampened.

Notorious Islamist militancy group like Hizbut Towhid is continuing provocative actions against Jews and Christians without minimum obstruction from the government. This group is selling hate materials like DAJJAL [a DVD describing Jews and Christians as enemies of Islam] openly in Bangladesh market.

BNP led Islamist government brought sedition, treason and blasphemy charges against me for my efforts against militant Islam. They saw ‘severe crime’ in my exposure of rise of Jihadists within the 64,000 [now 73,000] madrassas in Bangladesh. They considered my effort of ensuring inter-faith harmony as a ‘crime’. Moreover, BNP led Islamist government considered my planned travel to Israel as a ‘move to visit an enemy state’. According to Bangladeshi law, sedition bears capital punishment.

I was arrested, placed on remand, tortured in custody and held inside a solitary confinement for seventeen months in the worst-ever inhuman condition, where I was denied medical treatment as well minimum human rights were even ignored. I was even not allowed to attend my mother’s funeral by that rogue Islamist government.

When Awami League came in power, there was high hope of end of year-long harassment that I have been facing since 2003. But, things never changed! Rather, I am continuing to face the trial, which may even conclude in couple of months, and surely, the present government is equally inclined in giving me a good lesson for attempting to establish relations with Israel as well confronting militant Islam. My next trial date is on mid January 2010.

Meanwhile, the government withdrew police protection from my residence, thus leaving me to the grips of Islamists who are continuing to kill me, since I was released on bail in 2005. My office was bombed, office attacked and I was even abducted by the members of Rapid Action Battalion. On 22nd February 2008, members of the ruling party attacked my office.

They looted valuables and physically assaulted me and other members of my newspaper Weekly Blitz [online edition available on]. Despite lodging of a case with the local police station, there is no action yet by the law enforcing agencies against the perpetrators. Rather, the government and its agencies are trying to save the culprits, instead of punishing them. Reign of terror is continuing on me and members of my family.

On my return from two week tour to United States [in October 2009], I was once again threatened over telephone by some terror groups, which was also reported immediately to authorities concerned. But, here again, no action was ever taken.

From November 30 2009, I have entered the 7th year of sufferings, which started on November 29, 2003, for my efforts against militant Islam. No one really knows how many more years I will continue to suffer.
Each month, I have to meet heavy legal expenses, which is again continuing for past 6 years. There are repeated attempts to suffocate my voice including closing my newspaper Weekly Blitz. Just for the reason that we confront Jihad and militant Islam. Just for the reason, we promote inter-faith harmony. Just for the reason, we demand rights of religious minorities in Bangladesh. And just for the reason, we demand relations between Bangladesh and Israel.

Offensives on media in Iran

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Just for criticizing the undemocratic activities of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian reformist journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amoui was sentenced to over seven years imprisonment and 34 lashes by Tehran Revolutionary Court on January 4, 2010. Amoui was an editor for the prominent economic newspaper Sarmayeh, which was closed by the government in November, and had been in prison since 20 June 2009.

The same day, 36 parliamentarians supportive of Ahmadinejad drafted a bill that would require the execution of government critics detained as "Mohareb" [enemies of God] within five days of their arrest. The bill also calls for the period of time allotted for appeals in cases of public order disturbances or "Moharebeh" [war against God] to be brought down from 25 days to five days.

It is no strange that Iranian Mullah’s are putting Ahmadinejad into the position of ‘God’ by passing this notorious bill. I don’t know how the Arab ‘brethrens’ of Iran as well other Muslim nations will now react when Iranian Mullahs are already putting their President into the position of ‘God’ and onwards critics of Ahmadinejad will be treated as ‘enemies of God’.

Meanwhile, Iran's Intelligence ministry has prepared a list of 60 foreign organizations and news outlets that would be banned from the country for alleged involvement in rioting or incitement.

The list included Voice of America, BBC, Human Rights Watch, National Endowment for Democracy, National Republican Institute, Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Search For Common Ground Organization, New American Foundation, British Center for Democratic Studies, East European Democratic Center, YALE, Ford Foundation, Foundation for Democracy in Iran, MEMRI, U.S. National Defense University, The Smith Richardson Foundation, Wilton Park, and Brookings Institute. Any Iranian in contact with a news outlet on the list could be arrested. Iranian missions abroad are already warned not to have minimal contacts with any of the organizations and media outlets, which are already in the list.

A prominent Tehran-based professor of law, Mahmud Akhundi, told Radio Farda that the Intelligence Ministry’s list and warning have no legal basis.

"It is in clear contradiction with human rights principles and with international principles of law. It doesn’t even have any Sharia-based justification,” Akhundi said. Nobody has the right “to define an action that has not been defined previously as a crime, as being criminal,” he added.

Activists and opposition supporters say Iranian authorities have been intensifying efforts to limit the free flow of information in and out of Iran in the wake of mass protests against June's disputed presidential election. In late November, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran was facing a "soft war" with its enemies abroad, who were fomenting the street protests that hit the country following the disputed June 12 vote.

"Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has always been trying to prevent contacts between Iranians inside the country and international organizations,” says Faraj Sarkuhi, a prominent Iranian exiled writer and journalist. “In the past they accused the publication 'Adineh,' of which I was the chief editor, of espionage over contacts with International PEN [writers' organization] and said it is illegal.”

According to media reports, Iran has become the country with the largest number of imprisoned journalists following the sentencing of two journalists to prison terms of at least six years each, bringing the total number of journalists currently detained in the Islamic republic to 42.

The 2009 winner of the World Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award, Ahmad Zeydabadi was also sentenced to five years banishment in Gonabad, a remote northeastern town over 600 miles [1000 kilometers] from Teheran, to be served following his prison term. He was also banned for life from political activity and is currently held in solitary confinement in the infamous Evin prison, under pressure from Iranian authorities to issue a public confession.

Paris-based organization Reporters Sans Frontiers [Reporters Without Borders] says Iran has earned the dubious distinction of being the number-one assailant of press freedoms in the world, after several sentences were handed down. RSF termed Iran as the ‘biggest prison in the world for journalists’.

In a statement, Reporters Sans Frontiers said, “We are very disturbed by the calls repeatedly made by the most senior officials for Iran to impose the ‘supreme punishment’ on detainees, including journalists. The danger is imminent. The regime hardliners are capable of having the crackdown’s witnesses executed. There is an urgent need for international bodies to take action before a tragedy takes place, before political prisoners begin being executed.

An intelligence ministry representative said at a news conference on 4 January: “Several agents from foreign countries have been arrested with cameras and video cameras.” The ministry also released a list of 60 NGOs and news media regarded as having incited and participated in rioting.

“The intelligence ministry and Revolutionary Guards began rounding up government opponents and journalists again after further opposition demonstrations on 27 December. Around 20 people have been arrested in the latest wave, including a dozen or so journalists and cyber-dissidents. The relatives of the detained journalists are still lining up outside Evin prison in an attempt to get news of those believed to be held there.”

Vienna based International Press Institute [IPI]’s press freedom manager Anthony Mills said, it is unacceptable that the Iranian authorities are responding to criticism in the media by arresting journalists and handing down prison sentences. The crackdown on the media must end immediately and the journalists imprisoned simply for doing their job must be freed.

IPI has repeatedly condemned the intensified crackdown by the Iranian authorities on journalists.

New York based Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] in a statement said; “Iranian authorities have arrested at least three more journalists in their ongoing campaign to suppress critical reporting and commentary, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrests and calls on the government to release all imprisoned journalists, who number more than 30.

“Behrang Tonkaboni, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Farhang va Ahang, and Kayyvan Farzin, a reporter for the publication, were arrested at their office on Monday, according to local news reports. Police searched Tonkaboni’s home, confiscating his computer and documents belonging to his mother, the prominent author Lili Farhadpour, news reports said. Authorities also seized Farzin’s computer hard drive.

“Parisa Kakaee, a journalist for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, was arrested Sunday after being summoned by the Ministry of Information, the reformist news Web site Kalame reported. Kakaee writes regularly about political and human rights issues on her two blogs.

Since the disputed presidential elections in June, Iranian authorities have launched a relentless assault on opposition and independent media. CPJ has documented numerous cases in which authorities have shut down newspapers, blocked Web sites, arrested and sentenced journalists to lengthy prison sentences.

Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said, Iranian authorities have apparently decided to arrest as many independent and opposition journalists as they possibly can. We call on the Iranian authorities to reverse this regrettable course and release all detained journalists.

Dhaka daily demands immediate relations with Israel

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Influential and front ranking vernacular daily Manabzamin published front page lead commentary on November 16, 2009 titled ‘Where is problem in recognizing Kosovo and Israel’. According to this commentary, United States is continuing to request Bangladesh in recognizing Kosovo while there has never been any request from United States in according recognition to Israel.

Manabzamin is edited by prominent Bangladeshi journalist Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, who enjoys high esteem in the society as a very successful editor and political analyst.

Manabzamin said Bangladesh is the only Muslim country in the world, which has been maintaining total ban on Israel since independence in 1971, although Israel was amongst the first four nations to extend recognition to newly born Bangladesh. Due to non existence of any relations between Dhaka and Jerusalem, Bangladesh is continuing to be deprived of receiving various types of assistances from Israel.

Israel recognized Bangladesh on February 4, 1972. Although 37 countries are yet to establish full diplomatic relations with Jerusalem, but Bangladesh is the only country in the world, which stops its citizen from traveling to Israel. Bangladesh government clearly mentions in the passport that no Bangladeshi citizen can travel to Israel with this passport.

It is learnt that, a number of ultra-Islamist group as well some terror-patron nations like Iran are continuing to give instigations to Dhaka in not opening doors for Israel. Due to heavy influence of such elements, Bangladesh is virtually compelled in continuing total ban on Israel.

Experts opine Bangladesh should immediately remove the words in its passport, which stops the citizen of the country from visiting Israel. Moreover, Jerusalem is one of the two most sacred places for the Muslims. It goes the Muslim sentiment as well to stop Bangladeshis from visiting Israel and having relations with that only democracy in the Middle East.

They said, Saudi Arabia established economic relations with Israel since 2005, while a large number of Muslim and Arab nations are having either diplomatic or economic relations with Jerusalem for years. In contrary, Bangladesh maintains total ban on Israel including postal ban, telecommunication ban, shipping ban, business ban and travel ban. Many of the Bangladeshi officials, being brain-washed by Iranian or Jihadist notions, consider Israel as a ‘enemy nation’ of Bangladesh.

It is learnt that, sensing extremely cordial assistance and cooperation between Jerusalem and Dhaka, some anti-Bangladesh quarters are continuing to create blockade in any form of relations between Bangladesh and Israel.

I am facing sedition, treason and blasphemy charges since November 2003 for advocating inter-faith harmony, for criticizing rise of militancy inside Madrassas and for demanding relations between Bangladesh and Israel. According to Bangladeshi law, sedition bears capital punishment. Previous government with Islamist alliance brought these false charges against me just to dampen any voice against Jihad and militant Islam. For years, I have to appear in the court to face trial. Last date of trial was 12th November 2009, where the court postponed it till January 2010. This was my 73rd appearance in the court.

While framing the charge against me, a judge in Dhaka with heavy Islamist link said, “The State Prosecution has brought allegation against you stating that, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, being the editor and owner of Blitz newspaper, you sent an article titled ‘Hello Tel Aviv’ to USA Today newspaper published from Washington.

“Furthermore, in 2003, while attempting to travel to Israel to attend a conference titled ‘Education Towards Culture of Peace, organized between 1st December to 3rd December 2003, you appeared at the Zia International Airport on the 29th November 2003 and the Immigration police arrested you and found the copy of the speech you prepared to deliver in the conference. In that speech, you have made offensive comments on Muslim world, Islam and Muslims in Bangladesh and commented about existence of Al Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh, by which you have tarnished the image of Bangladesh in the outside world. Furthermore, you have made conspiracy of spreading anti-state news through that speech and you by sending that speech to outside world have played offensive role to Bangladesh’s security, public discipline and adverse role towards Bangladesh’s relations with the outside world. In you report, you have mentioned about guerilla training in the Bangladeshi madrassas, by which you have hurt the religious sentiments and made imaginary stories about Jihadist training in favor of Laden, Arafat and Saddam, by which you have put Bangladesh’s foreign relations to threat and through this you have caused offense under Penal Code Section 505 (A), 295 (A) and 120 (B).”

Now, here the trial court held me liable of sending an article to USA Today titled ‘Hello Tel Aviv’. But, in reality, there is no existence of any such article, as I never contributed any article to USA Today. My question here is, as to how the judge could frame the charge without seeing the necessary evidences?

The judge further said that I committed crime by stating the existence of Islamist militancy group in Bangladesh. The entire world knows that, Bangladesh is continuing to nab militants inside madrassas since the 2005 bombing which rocked the entire country. The judge found the speech draft that I prepared as offensive. Why? Because, in that speech I have criticized Al Qaida, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussain and Arafat. Where is the crime? Does Bangladesh consider criticizing Al Qaida as a crime?

Presently Bangladesh has a secularist party in power, which got massive mandate from the people of this country in December 2008. Wish the people in the government could stop appeasing Islamists and terror-patron nations by immediately removing travel ban on Israel as well by stopping the harassments and intimidations I am facing since 2003.

Combating the rogue Islamists

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Hizbut Tahrir, an Islamist group banned in Bangladesh in October 2009 has organized a ‘demonstration rally’ in London on December 9, 2009 demanding release of the kingpin of this notorious group in Bangladesh, Mohiuddin Ahmed, who was placed under ‘house arrest’ since the group was banned in October.

In a leaflet issued by Hizbut Tahrir, they are claiming that their ‘leader’ Mohiuddin Ahmed is placed under house arrest for demanding the country to be an Islamic State.

Meanwhile, it is learnt from various reports published in the Bangladeshi media that, all bank accounts of Hizbut Tahrir, which were freezed by the government in October, will be automatically released if Bangladesh authorities will fail to lodge criminal charges against it by December 10, 2009.

Bangladeshi government is reluctant in arresting Mohiuddin Ahmed or bringing any specific charge against him for giving Jihadist instigation to people. In the name of house arrest, virtually this kingpin of notorious Islamist outfit is allowed to freely communicate with his party cadres and international contacts via phone and other communication devices from his residence.

Hizbut Tahrir, although is banned in Bangladesh, activities of it is continuing in various parts of Bangladesh including the capital city. Law enforcing agencies are also reluctant in taking any action against those members of Hizbut Tahrir, who are violating the ban order.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, hundreds of Hizbut Tahrir members rallied on the World AIDS day demanding implementation of Sharia law to prevent the spread of AIDS rather than condom use. They also demanded immediate closure of all brothels in Indonesia. Around 270,000 Indonesians are estimated to be infected with HIV, and AIDS has claimed about 8,700 lives in the Muslim-majority nation of 228 million people, according to the UNAIDS agency.

"We have to admit that using condoms is equal to legalizing free sex," Muslim Women of Hizbut Tahrir spokeswoman Febrianti Abassuni said in a statement.

In Bangladesh, Dhaka University's vice chancellor received death threats on Sunday from banned Islamist outfit Hizbut Tahrir.

The organization in two letters asked A A M S Arefin Siddique to reinstate central coordinator of the outfit and spokesman professor Mohiuddin Ahmed to his position in the university without delay. He has also been asked to take steps for releasing arrested relatives of some of the convicts in the Bangabandhu murder case.

The letters claimed that Hizbut Tahrir has 200 trained commandoes. In another letter Hizbut Tahrir asked for removal of all barriers regarding admission of Madrassa students in the university. It also asked the vice-chancellor to get the government to release family members of the killers of founding father of Bangladesh and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami [Huji] leader Mufti Abdul Hannan.

While notorious Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir is continuing its activities in Bangladesh despite the ban imposed by the government on October 22, 2009, another ferocious Islamist group Hizbut Towhid is continuing various forms of hate speech as well recruiting members for its planned Jihadist offensives in Bangladesh and abroad with its goal of establishment Sharia rule in the world. Sale of hate materials by Hizbut Towhid is continuing in Bangladesh without minimum legal obstacle. One such material named ‘DAJJAL’ terms Jews and Christians as enemies of Islam and gives provocations in waging Jihad against them.

Hizbut Towhid, which originated from Bangladesh, has already established branches in a number of countries in the world. Main source of fund of this group is largely unknown though it claims that the group runs on donations from its members. Hizbut Towhid kingpin Selim Panni maintains links with a number of terror outfits in the world.

Bangladesh presently has a secularist party in power, which promises to combat Islamist militancy and all forms of religious extremism in the country.

Though Bangladesh Awami League came in power in December 2009, there is no sign of its genuine effort in dealing with these Islamist groups like Hizbut Towhid with tougher hands.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Decide: Is Islam also a Totalitarian Ideology or not?

The Glenn Beck Documentary: "The Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free...Or Die"

150 bodies found in wells at Nigeria

AT least 150 bodies have been recovered from wells following Muslim-Christian clashes in central Nigeria.

The estimated death toll from the clashes already stands at more than 300, a village head and volunteers say.

"So far we have picked 150 bodies from the wells. But 60 more people are still missing,'' Umar Baza, head of Kuru Karama village near the city of Jos, said today.

"We took an inventory of the displaced people from this village, sheltering in three camps, and we realise that 60 people can still not be accounted for,'' he added.

Head of the Muslim volunteer team in the village, Mohammed Shittu, said further searches would be carried out today.

"Now we have 150 bodies in all, taken from the wells as from Thursday. We are still going back there today to comb the bush around the village to search for more bodies,'' he also said.

"We believe there are more bodies in the wells but the degree of their decomposition makes it difficult to continue the retrieval operation. We have therefore decided to sand-fill all the wells,'' Baza said.

The state government has given no official death toll for the violence, which broke out last Sunday in Jos, capital of Plateau State and later spread to nearby towns and villages.

Religious leaders and medical workers said they had counted about 300 bodies by Wednesday.

Global rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to order "an immediate criminal investigation into credible reports of a massacre of at least 150 Muslim residents of a town in central Nigeria''.

HRW said in a statement received in Lagos that witnesses said groups of armed men - believed to be Christians - attacked the largely Muslim population of Kuru Karama on Tuesday morning.

"After surrounding the town, they hunted down and attacked Muslim residents, some of whom had sought refuge in homes and a local mosque, killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive,'' the statement said.

The Australian

LR Killer: "This Was a Jihadi Attack on Infidel Forces"

Here's the full text of the letter from Abdul Hakim Muhammad, the man who murdered an Army recruiter in Little Rock and tried to kill a second, to the judge presiding over his trial.

I've transcribed it as written, hence all the mispelling, capital letters, and lack of paragraphs. Emphasis, though, is mine:
To Judge Wright Jr.
From Abdul Hakim Muhammad

I'm writing this because I wish to plead guilty. To all charges I'm facing. Without deals without respite. I wrote the prosecutor and Federal Buerau of Investigations and TBI (Tenn. Buerau of Investigation. Informing them of all of the acts I was involved in around or about May 29 - June 1 2009. I do not wish to recieve funds for my defense. I don't wish to have a trial. I'm affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Member of the Abu Basir's Army. This was a Jihadi Attack on infidel forces. That didn't go as plan. Flat out Truth. I plead to capital Murder, Attempt capital Murder and The other 19 counts without compulsion without Deals. My lawyer and prosecutors have fail to comply. I wrote John Johnson informing him of this. He responded I couldn't plead guilty to capital Murder Case. Which I think is a lie. That's why I'm writing you my lawyer has no defense. I wasn't insane or post traumatic nor was I forced to do this Act. Which I believe and it is justified according to Islamic Laws and the Islamic Religious Jihad To fight Those who wage war on Islam and Muslims. At the next hearing I look forward to pleading guilty and Await sentencing.

Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad
11 pm 1/12/2010

I really have nothing to add. This was an act of individual jihad.

The Abu Basir mentioned in the letter who's army Mr. Muhammad claims to be a member of is Abu Basir al-Wahishi, the Yemeni head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Even if he never received training from AQAP, just knowing who leads the group seems to me an indication that he traveled in jihadi circles (probably online0.

I would direct you to read Ace's thoughts on the matter and I'll just echo his sentiment.

As Nidial Hassan taught us: one does not need to formally belong to a terrorist organization to inflict a lot of death and suffering in their name.

Thanks to John in Little Rock for the copy of the letter.

With thanks to the Jawa Report

Yemeni-trained, female suicide bombers may be attempting to enter the U.S.

Equal-opportunity jihad, and more evidence of the magnitude of the ongoing threat from Yemen.

"Alert: Female Suicide Bombers May Be Heading Here from Yemen," by Richard Esposito, Rhonda Schwartz, and Brian Ross for
ABC News, January 22:
American law enforcement officials have been told to be on the lookout for female suicide bombers who may attempt to enter the United States, law enforcement authorities tell ABC News.
One official said at least two of them are believed to be connected to al Qaeda in Yemen, and may have a non-Arab appearance and be traveling on Western passports.
The threat was described as "current" but not imminent, said the official.
"They have trained women," said former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.
Separately, Britain raised its terrorism threat level to "severe," its second-highest level, days before London hosts major international meetings on how to deal with militancy in Afghanistan and Yemen. Britain's threat level had been labeled "severe" for several years before being lowered last summer to "substantial."
American officials say a U.S. air strike on Christmas Eve against suspected al Qaeda training camps is believed to have killed many, but not all, of a group of suicide bombers being trained in Yemen.
The man accused of attempting to explode a bomb on Northwest flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told FBI agents there were a number of other people who trained with him in Yemen.
"There are others who are still out there who have been trained and who are clean skins -- that means people who we do not have a record of, people who may not look like al Qaeda terrorists, who may not be Arabs, and may not be men," said Clarke.
The alert comes during a week in which American law enforcement officials described an "unusually high" number of people on the no-fly list attempting to board flights to or in the United States.
Six on No-Fly List Stopped in 48 Hours
At least six people on the no-fly list were denied boarding in a 48-hour period between Saturday and Monday this week, according to the officials. [...]
"What we don't know is whether this is because everyone is doing a better job of enforcing the no-fly list, or because the list has been expanded, or because the terrorists are attempting to probe our security," said ABC News consultant Clarke....

Read it all.

With thanks to JihadWatch

Court hears that Afghan man strangled his wife after complaining she was 'becoming Australian'

AN Afghan man strangled his wife with her veil after complaining she was "becoming Australian", a jury has heard.

Mother of five Marzieh Rahimi, who was said to be trying to escape a violent arranged marriage, was killed in front of her baby and toddler.

Soltan Ahmad Azizi, 45, has pleaded not guilty to her murder at their Hampton Park home in November 2007.

The Supreme Court heard yesterday that Ms Rahimi, 33, had told social workers her husband had branded her a slave with no rights.

Prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, told the jury Ms Rahimi had complained her husband punched her and said her only purpose was to have babies and raise children.

Ms Rahimi, who spoke little English and communicated through an interpreter, had told a family violence officer and a health worker that she wanted to leave the marriage, but that she felt powerless, unsupported and fearful.

"I'll kill you because I can't carry the shame," he allegedly said when she spoke of separation or divorce.

The jury heard that about a week before his wife's death, Mr Azizi complained to his sister-in-law that she was "becoming Australian and had changed her religion".

The cousins wed in an arranged marriage and came to Australia as refugees in 2005. Their eldest children were aged 11, nine and six.

Mr Azizi told police he didn't plan to kill Ms Rahimi. He said he punched her, then "choked her with her veil"; he then rang 000, telling the operator, "I killed my wife ... come see. You come. My kids are only little."

Police found Ms Rahimi on the floor with her baby, three months, and toddler, 22 months, nearby.

"I'm ready for the handcuffs," he allegedly told them.

Defence lawyer Stratton Langslow urged the jury to consider whether Ms Rahimi's claims of domestic violence were prompted by post-natal depression.

He said they should examine the source of the abuse complaints and whether there was any independent evidence of ill-treatment.

Mr Langslow said Mr Azizi admitted killing his wife, but the issue was whether he'd meant to.

The jury heard that after one incident, in which she said Mr Azizi repeatedly punched her, she locked herself in a room for several days with her youngest children. He then began to treat her better, she'd said.

The trial, before Justice Betty King, is continuing.

Herald Sun

Nonie Darwish: Muslim Women Under Shari'a Law

If you find it hard to believe that women received 40 lashes in Sudan recently for wearing (wide) trousers, read about the life of women under Shari'a (religious Muslim) law. Gaza is almost there, but the rest of the world is the goal. A warning.

Shari’a, that is Muslim law, controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

In the Western World (including America ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shari’a Law under which wives can not obtain a divorce and men have full and complete control of their children. It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American Universities and other parts of the Western world are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shari'a law.

By publicizing the information below, I hope to help enlightened American and other women avoid becoming slaves under Shari’a Law:

1. In the Muslim faith, a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old, consummating the marriage by 9.

2. A dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman who becomes a slave.

3. Even though a woman is abused she cannot obtain a divorce.

4. To prove rape, a woman must have four male witnesses.

5. Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family.

6. Husbands can beat their wives 'at will' and do not have to say why the beating occurred.

7. A husband is permitted to have 4 wives and a temporary wife for a limited period at his discretion.

The goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shari’a law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed. Westerners generally assume all religions encourage a respect for the dignity of each individual. Islamic law (Shari’a) teaches that non-Muslims should be subjugated or killed in this world.

Peace and prosperity for one's children is not as important as assuring that Islamic law rules everywhere in the Middle East and eventually in the world.

While Westerners tend to think that all religions encourage some form of the golden rule, Sharia teaches two systems of ethics - one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims. Building on tribal practices of the seventh century, Sharia encourages the side of humanity that wants to take from and subjugate others..

While Westerners tend to think in terms of religious people developing a personal understanding of and relationship with G-d, Shari'a advocates executing people who ask difficult questions that could be interpreted as criticism.

It's hard to imagine, that in this day and age, Islamic scholars agree that those who criticize Islam or choose to stop being Muslim should be executed.

Sadly, while talk of an Islamic reformation is common and even assumed by many in the West, such murmurings in the Middle East are silenced through intimidation.

While Westerners are accustomed to an increase in religious tolerance over time, petro dollars are being used to grow an extremely intolerant form of political Islam in Egypt and elsewhere.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President by themselves! Rest assured they will do so... You can look at how they have taken over several towns in the USA . Dearborn Mich. is one... and there are others....

It is too bad that so many accept Muslims as peaceful.. some may be but they have an army that is willing to shed blood in the name of Islam... While America is getting rid of Christianity from all public sites and erasing God from the lives of children the Muslims are planning a great jihad on America .

More about the author:
Nonie Darwish recently authored the book, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. In it she warns about creeping shari’a law - what it is, what it means, and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.

Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before immigrating to America in 1978, when she was eight years old. Her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza.

When he died, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society.

But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing and later abandoned Islam.


Paris imam backs France's proposed burqa ban

PARIS (Reuters) - A French imam active in Muslim dialogue with Jews has backed a law against full face veils, parting ways with most Muslim leaders in France urging parliamentarians not to vote for a planned "burqa ban".

Hassen Chalghoumi, whose mosque stands in a northern Paris suburb where many Muslims live, said women who wanted to cover their faces should move to Saudi Arabia or other Muslim countries where that was a tradition.

France's National Assembly is likely to pass a resolution soon denouncing full veils and to try in coming months to hammer out a law forbidding them, deputies say.

A parliamentary commission studying the issue, which has been discussed alongside a wider public debate about national identity, is due to publish its recommendations next Tuesday.

Le Figaro said on Friday that parliamentary deputies have decided against a general ban on the burqa, but it would not be allowed in public buildings such as hospitals and schools or on public transport services, citing the text of a decision by the commission obtained in advance by the French daily.

"This measure would oblige people not only to show their face at the entry to public buildings and services but also to keep their face uncovered for the whole time they are in the public space," Le Figaro quoted the document as saying.

President Nicolas Sarkozy calls the veils an affront to women's dignity unwelcome in France, home to about five million Muslims. Fewer than 2,000 women wear the veils, known here as burqas although most are Middle Eastern niqabs showing the eyes.

"Yes, I am for a legal ban of the burqa, which has no place in France, a country where women have been voting since 1945," Hassen Chalghoumi, 36, told the daily Le Parisien.

Chalghoumi, who has received death threats for his promotion of dialogue with Jews, said that full face veils had no basis in Islam and "belong to a tiny minority tradition reflecting an ideology that scuttles the Muslim religion."

"The burqa is a prison for women, a tool of sexist domination and Islamist indoctrination," said Chalghoumi, whose mosque stands in Drancy, site of a wartime camp where Jews were detained before transport to Nazi concentration camps.

Chalghoumi criticised some of the tougher measures proposed by conservative politicians, such as imposing fines or cutting off child support payments for veiled women.

But the Tunisian-born imam, who is a naturalised French citizen, agreed France should not grant citizenship to immigrant women who cover their faces.

"Having French nationality means wanting to take part in society, at school, at work," he said.

"But with a bit of cloth over their faces, what can these women share with us? If they want to wear the veil, they can go to a country where it's the tradition, like Saudi Arabia."

French Muslim leaders and many opposition politicians oppose any ban, saying it would alienate Muslims and possibly violate civil rights laws.

The Star

Update: 'Hamas will not recognise Israel'

Hamas political leader has said that his group will not recognise Israel despite new pressures and will give priority to building resistance to the Jewish state.

Addressing a rally in the Syrian capital on Friday to mark the end of the Israeli attack on Gaza a year ago that killed 1,400 Palestinians, Meshaal said Hamas does not want another war with Israel, but it will stick to armed struggle as a means to liberate occupied land.

"Hamas will keep rejecting the occupation and refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Priority will remain building and developing the resistance," said Meshaal, who lives in Syria along with other Hamas leaders in exile.

"Pressure, siege, temptations and opening doors or communication channels will not fool Hamas, which will not compromise on the rights. Hamas will be only tempted by restoring the land," Meshaal said.

Meshaal was referring to increased contacts between Hamas and Western delegations since the Gaza war, including a meeting with a US group that included Jack Matlock, a former American ambassador in Moscow.

"Triumphant Gaza today is still wounded. Its houses are still destroyed. It's still under siege and its borders are still closed. Add to this the new steel wall," Meshaal said, referring to a structure being built by Egypt along its border with Gaza to stop the smuggling of arms and goods into the strip.

"Today we do not seek war but if war is imposed on us we will fight fiercely," Meshaal said.

Meshaal said reconciliation with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was needed to strengthen the Palestinian cause but he made no new proposals on how to do so after Egyptian efforts to bring about agreement between the two sides foundered.

Meshaal also said that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will not be freed unless Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

"Shalit will not to home before the liberation of our prisoners," he told the rally, blaming Israel for the failure to reach a deal on freeing the soldier, who was captured in June 2006.

Al Jazeera

Helping Pakistan's acid attack victims

When Bushra goes out, she wears the full niqab. It covers her face. She says it stops people staring. If they do catch a sight of her, the Pakistani woman has a story prepared.

She tells them her injuries were caused by hot milk being spilled. It is not true. Bushra looks the way she does because of greed, because of anger, because of the evil in some people's hearts.

Fifteen years ago, she went to the wedding of her brother. It was a happy occasion. There was music and laughter. When she returned to her husband, her in-laws demanded money.They told her it was tradition to bring money back after a wedding.

They wanted 50,000 rupees – almost $600. She told them "I don't have that kind of money. My brothers don't have this kind of money either." It was not what they wanted to hear.

They called her a liar. They beat her repeatedly. Then they tied her up. Her mother-in law grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. "I was terrified," said Bushra.

Her voice quivers, remembering the moment. She gulps hard, chocking back the tears. "Then they put a cloth on a stick, soaked it in acid and her husband rubbed it over the side of my face".

She remembers the pain, but this is not where her ordeal ended. "His uncle snatched the stick and rubbed it across the other side of my face. He forced open my mouth and dripped it on my tongue. It burned".

Bushra does not remember what happened next. She passed out from the pain. She only knows what happened next from what people tell her. Her family tied her body to a ceiling fan and set the house on fire.

They told people in the village on the outskirts of Lahore that Bushra had tried to commit suicide. But people did not just stand around. They burst their way into the house and grabbed her limp body. They took her to hospital.

For a year, she stayed in hospital. She drifted in and out of consciousness. She could not see, could not open her eyes, but she could hear. And she heard people express their disgust at how she looked and run away. And those who stayed made her worried and tense.

She went to live with her sister. When some of her family saw her they fainted. Her body was skinny, but her head was massive. She heard them say, "This is a woman but it doesn't look like a woman because she has no face". And she cried.

That was fifteen years ago. Bushra has gone through 28 operations. "Slowly my face has got better" she tells me. "Maybe if they could fix my nose it would be better".

She would like to be a beautician. And now she is training in a salon in Lahore. It is run by Musarat Misbah. This elegant, articulate woman decided to help Pakistan’s acid burns victims after a chance encounter five and a half years ago.

A woman walked into her office late one evening and demanded her help. She asked her to return in the morning.

"The woman was very insistent and said no, you must help me now. She removed her scarf and I saw a woman without a face. I saw a girl, there was no nose, eyes are gone, she had a contraction from his chin to her chest which meant she could not move her neck. And I sat down. There was no life in my legs. I asked her 'What happened?'"

"She told me acid had been thrown at her by her own family members, her husband, her in-laws. She said she wanted me to help her look beautiful. And no make up could change her features or bring back the eyes, so I told her 'I will help you'".

And Misbah did. Using her own money, she paid for surgery. Word spread and now, almost 400 women and girls have asked Misbah and her Smile Again Foundation for help.

Doctors from Italy and the UK have given their services to help with medical treatment. And she tries to direct many of the women into jobs.

"Employers say, 'We can't have someone who looks like that working in our place, it is too upsetting for everyone else', so I tell them - use them as telephone operators".

Her pushiness and determination means 98 have found work.

Each case brings new heartache, a story worse than the last. There is 17-year-old Naseera with her flawless skin and long blonde hair. He took revenge because she rejected his proposal.

She says "It was like burning in hell." Acid burned through her upper body melting away the skin.

Then there is Shamim who was verbally abused by a street gang. When she rejected their advances, they kidnapped her, raped her and poured acid on her face, trying to silence her forever. She was just 17.

Bushra does not preach forgiveness. Her pain has been too long and too great.

"People are cruel towards young girls and the innocent. Divorce is one thing. If someone does not get along with someone else then its fine, get a divorce and move on.

"But to ruin someone's face, to set fire to someone or to pour acid on someone's face, people who do this, 20 or 25 of them should be hanged in public at once to strike fear into the hearts of people so that men realise that you cannot do this to a woman.

"I've even learned how to drive so that if I see my husband walking on the street I can kill him with my car".

There are no accurate figures for the number of acid attacks in Pakistan each year, but it is thought only a handful are actually reported to police. Even those cases are sometimes hard to pursue.

Misbah tells me: "I took one girl who had been attacked to the police station. The first question the officer asked was 'What did you do to deserve this?'"’

She continues to try to help the victims, and also change the way of thinking.

Al Jazeera

Saudi Interference with Muslims During the Hajj

by Dr. Irfan Al-Alawi

The hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam - every adult Muslim who is physically able and can afford it is required to make the journey once before dying. For about two million people each year, the hajj is a supreme moment of devotion to the religion of the Prophet Muhammad.

For the Wahhabi clerics who direct the official state sect in Saudi Arabia, however, the hajj is more an ideological than a spiritual observance.

The small number of Muslims allowed to make the journey - 2 million out of at least 1.3 billion Muslims around the world - is a giveaway: The Wahhabis carefully vet hajj pilgrims, to exclude those of whom they disapprove.

Saudi-Wahhabi adherents prohibit and interfere with honours offered by hajjis to Muhammad, his family, his companions, his successors, and other Muslim holy people. In the perverse Wahhabi system - shared with the Deobandi sect in South Asia that leads the Taliban - expressing love for the Prophet and other distinguished Muslims is polytheism, setting up ‘partners’ alongside the creator.

Today, Wahhabis and Deobandis condemn celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (mawlid) as an imitation of Christians, even though mawlid continues to be held wherever Muslims live - even, privately, in the Saudi kingdom. By contrast, traditional Islamic theologians praised the Christians for their love of their Prophet - as he is seen in Islam, although Muslims do not believe Jesus was the son of God. Traditional Muslims reply to the extremists that a religion that does not esteem its Prophet cannot bring fulfillment to its followers.

Wahhabis also despise the preservation of historic religious architecture, including shrines, graves, tombs, and notable mosques and madrassas. To them, Muslim prayer at any such sites is, again, polytheism - making a gravestone or a house into an idol.

During the nearly 150-year long effort, beginning in the 18th century, to establish the Saudi-Wahhabi regime, the fanatics banned any construction, visiting, or prayer at shrines, graves, and tombs. Today they remain especially avid to wipe out the structures in which Muhammad and his family lived, lest Muslims visit and pray at them. Since their seizure of Mecca in 1924, the Wahhabi mentors of the Saudi royal family have schemed to extirpate the very building in which Muhammad was born - it was first turned into a cattle market, then into a library, but remains under threat of replacement by a car park.

They have demolished or otherwise covered over the grave of the Prophet’s mother, and the house in which Muhammad lived with his wife Khadijah and their children. They also destroyed the first Islamic school in which the Prophet taught.

The Wahhabi mutawwa, or morals patrols (often miscalled a ‘religious police’) harass hajjis who visit the Prophet’s Shrine in Medina if pilgrims face the direction of Muhammad’s sarcophagus and utter blessings. But the intersection of naked vandalism and Wahhabi proscriptions against long-established Muslim customs is nowhere more dramatic than at Jannat-al-Baqi, the Medina cemetery of the Prophet’s family and companions. Jannat al-Baqi once included numerous domed shrines. But the Wahhabis tore down the monuments, turned the cemetery into a garbage dump, and prevented identification of any of the graves there.

Recent Western media coverage has noted that Shia Muslims continue to visit the site of Jannat al-Baqi and to pray, recite blessings, and express their emotions at the sanctity of those buried there.

The mutawwa - including Arabs, Afghans, and Bangladeshis who understand the hajjis’ speech - not only tell them to lower their voices, but also confiscate their religious literature, and frequently detain and abuse them. The controversy over Jannat al-Baqi has been interpreted by some non-Muslim commentators as an expression of geopolitical rivalry between the Saudi kingdom, which proclaims its adherence to Sunnism, and Shia Iran. Iran, it is said, is using the issue of cultural devastation in Arabia to gain support for its political position among the world’s Muslims.

To believe such a claim is a serious error. Sunnis, especially followers of Sufi spirituality, are no less outraged by the wanton destruction of Islamic heritage, as symbolized by the transformation of Jannat al-Baqi into a waste ground, than are Shias.

The rescue of Islamic heritage is not a political issue between states but a serious challenge to Muslims of any and all partisan views. Sunni Sufis who visit Jannat al-Baqi to express their affection for the Muslims interred there also suffer at the hands of the mutawwa: they are also pushed around and told how to pray, they see their religious books seized and torn up, and they have been arrested and beaten. In doctrinal terms, Sunni Sufis and Shias differ on many issues, but they are united in seeking to protect Islam’s physical legacy.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that officially rejects the concept of cultural preservation.

While some archeological work goes on, it is typically hidden from the public or downgraded to minor facilities. Saudi King Abdullah has commenced various efforts to normalize his country, which is the sole state in the world to prevent women from driving, among other Wahhabi stupidities.

A bold step in the right direction would be the dissolution of the mutawwa and an end to interference with the spiritual habits of hajj pilgrims, Sunni and Shia, Sufi and non-Sufi, alike.

If anybody believes the contention over cultural vandalism in Arabia favors Iran, an end to such irresponsible Saudi policies would certainly deprive the Iranians of a basis for their complaints.

Hudson New York

Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) on racial profiling and terrorism

From C-SPAN's 1/21/10 coverage of the Senate Armed Services Committee Review of the Fort Hood Shootings: Senator James Inhofe's (R-OK) remarks on profiling and terrorism:

Inhofe: I Believe In Racial And Ethnic Profiling. So should we all.
With thanks to Atlas

120 Al Qaeda Suspects Held in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish police on Friday rounded up 120 people suspected of links to the Al Qaeda terror network in simultaneous pre-dawn raids in 16 provinces, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

It was not clear if Friday's detentions would amount to a major blow to homegrown Islamic militants allegedly affiliated with Al Qaeda. Turkey has carried out similar raids against alleged Al Qaeda suspects in the past year.

The arrests follows another raid on suspected militants in the cities Ankara and Adana last week in which police rounded up and interrogated some 40 people and reportedly seized documents detailing Al Qaeda activities. Twenty-five of them were charged with membership in a terrorist organization while the rest were released.

"Each operation against Al Qaeda leads to new information and widens the net," said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a terrorism expert at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Ankara. He said the operations were likely to continue.

Those detained Friday include a faculty member of the Yuzunci Yil University in the eastern city of Van, who is suspected of recruiting students at the campus and other people through the Internet and of sending them to Afghanistan for training, Anatolia reported, citing unnamed police officials. The suspect was identified by his initials M.E.Y. only.

Anatolia said other suspects included some local leaders, university students, and people believed to be spreading Al Qaeda propaganda.

Police seized documents and computer hard-disks during Friday's raids, it said.

Police would not comment on the arrests Friday.

Homegrown Islamic militants tied to the Al Qaeda carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul, killing 58 people in 2003.

The targets were the British consulate, a British bank and two Jewish synagogues. In 2008, an attack blamed on Al Qaeda-affiliated militants outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul left three assailants and three policemen dead.

Turkish authorities have said dozens of Islamic militants have received training in Afghanistan.

However, Al Qaeda's austere and violent interpretation of Islam receives little public backing in Turkey.

Several other radical Islamic groups are active in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim but officially secular country.

In June, Turkey's court of appeals upheld life sentences for six militants accused in the 2003 deadly bombings, including Syrian Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa, who was charged with masterminding the bombings. The court sentenced 33 others to between three years nine months and 18 years.

It acquitted 15 of the suspects, citing a lack of evidence.

Hundreds of other suspected militants are on trial for membership in a terror organization.


New York: Moderate Muslim wife beheader says the beheading was justified because his wife was mean to him

Muzzammil Hasan: Islamic supremacist wuss. Note the typical Islamic supremacist shifting of blame and responsibility to the victim.

This was mentioned in this post, but this story highlights it, and it is worth highlighting this absurdity: "NY man accused of beheading claims he was battered," by Carolyn Thompson for The Associated Press, January 22
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The founder of an Islam-oriented television station who is accused of beheading his wife was abused by her for years, according to his lawyer, who said Friday he will pursue a defense combining that justification as well as psychiatric claims.

Defense attorneys' claims that Muzzammil Hassan was victimized by his wife drew a blunt response from District Attorney Frank Sedita after a hearing Friday.

"He chopped her head off," Sedita said. "He chopped her head off. That's all I have to say about Mr. Hassan's apparent defense that he was a battered spouse."...

"The spouse was the dominant figure in this relationship," attorney Frank Bogulski said outside the courtroom. "He was the victim. She was verbally abusive. She had humiliated him."

Nancy Sanders, a former news director at Bridges TV, was skeptical of the abuse claim, noting the stocky Hassan stood over 6 feet tall and "filled a doorway," while Aasiya was slender and several inches shorter.

"I never ever heard her disparage him in the workplace at all," Sanders said. "It just did not seem to be in her nature. She was very gentle."...

A comment at the Houston Chronicle's posting of this AP story sums up Hassan's defense: "I heard that even to the end the wife was abusing him. For example, the bones in her neck gave him some bad scratches while he was hacking her head off."

With thanks to JihadWatch

U.K. raises terror alert to "severe," attack "highly likely"

There is no mention in this report about the nature or origin of the threat. Hmm. Lapsed Quakers? Militant Methodists?

"UK terror threat raised to 'severe', Home Secretary announces," by Andrew Hough for the
Telegraph, January 22:
The announcement means that an attack is now "highly likely".
Mr Johnson said that although the threat had increased there was no intelligence to suggest an attack was imminent.
The Home Secretary was not specific about the threat, but indicated it was not linked to the Detroit bombing on Christmas Day.
"The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has today raised the threat to the UK from international terrorism from substantial to severe," he said.
"This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but I should stress that there is no intelligence to suggest than an attack is imminent.
"JTAC keeps the threat level under constant review and makes its judgments based on a broad range of factors, including the intent and capabilities of international terrorist groups in the UK and overseas."
He said that authorities were "not being specific about this, we are not gong to be specific about this".
"In his statement to Parliament on security and counter terrorism earlier this week, the Prime Minister said that the first and most important duty of government is the protection and security of the British people," he said.
"We still face a real and serious threat to the UK from international terrorism so I would urge the public to remain vigilant and carry on reporting suspicious events to the appropriate authorities and to support the police and security services in their continuing efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity.
"We have a very focused counter terrorism facility in this country and the public should be reassured by that."
He added: "The fact is we keep this under review and moving to this different threat level means we have to be more alert and it means that an attack has moved to the level of being likely, but we have absolutely no intelligence to suggest that it is imminent."
With thanks to JihadWatch

Andrew Bolt: Mahathir: Jews “had to be periodically massacred”

This Jew-hating, terrorist-excusing conspiracy theorist was actually the elected leader of Malaysia - and spoke at a Muslim gathering where he expected his views to win support:

Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday there was “strong evidence” the US faked the September 11 terror attacks as an excuse to go to war against Muslims.

“There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,’ Mahathir told the Conference for the Support of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), as quoted by local media.

The former premier also blamed Jews for hindering progress in US foreign policy. Voicing his disappointment that Barack Obama had not yet ended the war in Afghanistan or closed the US terror detention center at Guantanamo, he explained that “there are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things. One of the forces is the Jewish lobby.”

Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom,” Mahathir said.

“Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”

Here’s the frightening question: For how many Muslims does Mahathir speak?

And perhaps we should for once ask to what extent this man’s disgraceful bigotry and victimology is driven by Islam rather than seek again to blame ourselves for his vileness, as in this recent effort, reported in The Age:

Malaysia’s relationship with Canberra was at best prickly and diplomats could not understand why Dr Mahathir held such a jaundiced view. Barry Wain, an Australian journalist who has observed Dr Mahathir for 37 years, provides some of the answers to the mystery.

In 1969 Dr Mahathir, a first-term politician and a rising political star, was invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia as a guest of the Foreign Ministry in Canberra. But he lost his seat in an election that year and a few days before he was due to depart the Australians asked him to postpone the trip....

Two years later Dr Mahathir accepted an Australian Government offer to visit Canberra after attending a seminar at his own expense at Monash University, only to find the hospitality in the capital as bleak as the weather. In his book, Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times, Wain maintains Dr Mahathir never forgot how he was treated all those years ago.

So does cold hospitality in Canberra also explain why Mahathir believes Jews “had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred”?

Or has some faith or ideology pushed him to that conclusion?

Andrew Bolt

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