Bergdahl to be charged with desertion, ex-military intel officer says

Published on Jan 26, 2015 by Wake Up America

Fox News, Jan. 27, 2015

The Army has decided to charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by Taliban-aligned militants last year in exchange for five Guantanamo prisoners, with desertion, according to a former military intelligence officer.

Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who now works at the London Center for Policy Research, told Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday night that he’s learned of the military’s decision from two sources.

“The Army has come to its conclusion, and Bowe Bergdahl … will be charged with desertion,” he said.

Pentagon and Army officials, however, pushed back and denied that any decision had been made. At a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Bergdahl “has not been charged,” and no charges have been referred. He said he would not “speculate” about what might happen in the future.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce also told Fox News there is “no change” and that it is an “ongoing review at this time.” Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s lawyer, did not comment when reached by Fox News.

But Shaffer said Bergdahl’s attorney has been given a “charge sheet” outlining the section of the military justice code Bergdahl allegedly violated.

“As a corporate entity, the Army has decided that they want to pursue Bergdahl for this violation,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer said there’s a “huge battle” going on inside the Obama administration, as some try to “suppress” this development. “This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he said.

Shaffer said the Army “wants to do the right thing,” but the White House “wants this to go away.”

He said: “The White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because of he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”

Bergdahl was held for five years before his release was secured in 2014.

But while the president joined with Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden at the time in celebrating his return home, the prisoner swap swiftly became a matter of severe controversy. Fellow soldiers accused Bergdahl of deserting his post on a base in Afghanistan in 2009. And the trade itself, of his freedom for five Guantanamo prisoners, drew criticism in Congress from lawmakers who said it sent a troubling signal.

On Monday, former diplomat Richard Grenell claimed the administration has “sent the message” that the U.S. will negotiate on such matters. He cited an alleged offer, made around the same time as Bergdahl’s release, by the Qatari government to trade two Americans held in Qatar for an Al Qaeda agent held in a U.S. federal prison. The Obama administration denies there was any deal. Those prisoners were ultimately released over the past two months.

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Bergdahl Charges Again Raise Questions Over GITMO Transfers

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 27, 2015

Multiple sources are saying that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to be charged with desertion, over his leaving his post prior to being abducted by the Haqqani network, which is tied to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Bergdahl was swapped by Obama Administration in exchange for five high-level Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay. As the Center has previously pointed out, the insistence by the Administration that the Bergdahl swap take place is a byproduct of its increased urgency to move Gitmo detainees to third countries and finally close the camp for good. The administration was ultimately dishonest with the American people, sending National Security Advisor Susan Rice out to claim Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction,” while administration supporters, and President Obama himself, attempted to push the meme that the swap was merely a prisoner transfer as the expected outcome of war’s end:

“You don’t do prisoner exchanges with your friends, you do ‘em with your enemies,” Obama told NBC’s Brian Williams. “It’s also important for us to recognize that the transition process of ending a war is going to involve, on occasion, releasing folks who we may not trust but we can’t convict.”

Ironically, also recently released (early, for time served) was a Al Qaeda sleeper agent, who was in fact convicted. meanwhile, freed fighters continue to return to the battlefield despite misleading claims to the contrary. The reality is that far from the war coming to an end as the Administration claims, the United States has indeed never been further from victory over the Global Jihad than it is right now, thanks to a lack of overarching strategy. And with the Bergdahl release, The United States placed itself in a hypocritical position of urging other nations to refrain from the same kind of hostage negotiations, in order to free innocent civilians , that the U.S. used to release a known defector.

GENERALS CONCLUDE OBAMA BACKED AL-QAIDA

obama-hillary-coffins-benghazi3WND, by Jerome Corsi, Jan. 19, 2015:

NEW YORK – The Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded in its interim report.

In WND interviews, several members of the commission have disclosed their finding that the mission of Christopher Stevens, prior to the fall of Gadhafi and during Stevens’ time as U.S. ambassador, was the management of a secret gun-running program operated out of the Benghazi compound.

The Obama administration’s gun-running project in Libya, much like the “fast and furious” program under Eric Holder’s Justice Department, operated without seeking or obtaining authorization by Congress.

WND reported Monday that in exclusive interviews conducted with 11 of the 17 members of the commission, it is clear that while the CCB is still enthusiastic to work with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, and hopeful that Boehner is serious about the investigation, various members of the CCB, speaking on their own behalf and not as spokesmen for the commission, are expressing concerns, wanting to make sure the Gowdy investigation is not compromised by elements within the GOP.

The Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi’s interim report, in a paragraph titled “Changing sides in the War on Terror,” alleges “the U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the Al Qaeda-dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion.”

The report asserted the jihadist agenda of AQIM, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy.

“The rebels made no secret of their Al Qaeda affiliation, openly flying and speaking in front of the black flag of Islamic jihad, according to author John Rosenthal and multiple media reports,” the interim report said. “And yet, the White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress Al Qaeda.”

The report concluded: “The result in Libya, across much of North Africa, and beyond has been utter chaos, disruption of Libya’s oil industry, the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles), and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Christopher Stevens: ’1st U.S. envoy to al-Qaida’

In the WND interviews, several members of the citizens’ commission, speaking for themselves, not for the commission, added important background to the interim report’s conclusion.

“In early 2011, before Gadhafi was deposed, Christopher Stevens came to Benghazi in a cargo ship, and his title at the time was envoy to the Libyan rebels,’ which basically means Christopher Stevens was America’s very first envoy to al-Qaida,” explained Clare Lopez, a member of the commission who served as a career operations officer with the CIA and current is vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

“At that time, Stevens was facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-related militia in Libya,” Lopez continued. “The weapons were produced at factories in Eastern Europe and shipped to a logistics hub in Qatar. The weapons were financed by the UAE and delivered via Qatar mostly on ships, with some possibly on airplanes, for delivery to Benghazi. The weapons were small arms, including Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and lots of ammunition.”

Lopez further explained that during the period of time when Stevens was facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya, he was living in the facility that was later designated the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.

“This was about weapons going into Libya, and Stevens is coordinating with Abdelhakim Belhadj, the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, other al-Qaida-affiliated militia leaders and leaders of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood that directed the rebellion against Qadhafi as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Lopez said. “Many of the individual members of the al-Qaida-related militias, including the LIFG, and the groups that would later become Ansar Al-Sharia, were Muslim Brotherhood members first.”

According to the interim report, as detailed by Lopez, a delegation from the UAE traveled to Libya after the fall of Gadhafi to collect payment for the weapons the UAE had financed and that Qatar had delivered to the Transitional National Council in Libya during the war.

“The UAE delegation was seeking $1 billion it claimed was owed,” the interim report noted. “During their visit to Tripoli, the UAE officials discovered that half of the $1 billion worth of weapons it had financed for the rebels had, in fact, been diverted by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the Muslim Brotherhood head of the Libyan TNC, and sold to Qaddafi.”

According to information discovered during the UAE visit to Tripoli, when Jalil learned that Maj. Gen. Abdel Fatah Younis, Gadhafi’s former minister of the interior before his late February 2011 defection to the rebel forces, had found out about the weapons diversion and the $500 million payment from Gadhafi, Jalil ordered Abu Salim Abu Khattala, leader of the Abu Obeida Bin al-Jarrah brigade to kill Younis.

“Abu Khattala, later identified as a Ansar al- Shariah commander who participated in the 11 September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, accepted the orders and directed the killing of Gen. Younis in July 2011,” the interim report noted.

Abu Khattala is currently in custody in New York awaiting trial under a Department of Justice-sealed indictment, after U.S. Delta Force special operations personnel captured him over the weekend of June 14-15, 2014, in a covert mission in Libya. Abu Khattala’s brigade merged into Ansar al-Shariah in 2012, and he was positively identified to the FBI in a cell phone photo from the scene of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

The language of the interim report made clear why the sequence of events is important.

“The key significance of this episode is the demonstration of a military chain-of-command relationship between the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood leadership of the TNC and the Al Qaeda-affiliated militia (Ansar al-Shariah) that has been named responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi,” the interim Rreport concluded.

“What we have here is the Muslim Brotherhood leadership of the revolution giving a kill order to a Muslim militia affiliated with al-Qaida, which then carried it out,” Lopez summarized. “This chain-of-command link is important even though it has not yet received enough attention in the media.

A big ‘oh no’ moment

“After Gadhafi is deposed and Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya, the flow of weapons reverses,” Lopez noted. “Now Stevens has the job of overseeing the shipment of arms from Libya to Syria to arm the rebels fighting Assad, some of whom ultimately become al-Nusra in Syria and some become ISIS.”

Lopez distinguished that “al-Nusra in Syria still claims allegiance to al-Qaida, while ISIS has broken away from al-Qaida, not because ISIS is too violent, but out of insubordination, after Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, wanted to run his own show inside Syria as well as Iraq, thereby disobeying orders from al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.”

She noted that in this period of time, after the fall of Gadhafi and before the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the Benghazi compound, Stevens was working with Turkey to ship weapons out of Libya into Syria for the use of the rebels fighting Assad.

According to the authors of the bestselling book “13 Hours,” on Sept. 11, 2012, before the attack on the Benghazi compound started, Stevens had dinner with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin. Stevens reportedly escorted the Turkish diplomat outside the main gate of the Benghazi compound to say good-bye to Akin at approximately 7:40 p.m. local time, before he returned to Villa C to retire for the evening.

Kevin Shipp, a former CIA counterintelligence expert who worked on the seventh floor at Langley as protective staff to then-CIA Director William Casey, again speaking for himself in his interview with WND, agreed with Lopez that the gun-running operation Stevens managed is a secret the Obama White House and Clinton State Department have sought to suppress from the public.

“The shocking part, maybe even a violation of international law that the Obama administration has been terrified to have fully revealed, is that Stevens as part of his duties as a State Department employee was assisting in the shipment of arms first into Libya for the al-Qaida-affiliated militia, with the weapons shipped subsequently out of Libya into Syria for use by the al-Qaida-affiliated rebels fighting Assad,” Shipp told WND.

“Very possibly, these gun-running activities could be looked at even as treasonable offenses,” he said.

Shipp further noted that in gun-running operations in which the CIA wants deniability, the CIA generally involves a third party.

“The way the CIA works is through a ‘cut-out,’ in that you get Qatar to transport the weapons and you facilitate the transport. So now the third party is to blame,” he explained.

“Qatar probably would have been able to pull this off without any attribution to the CIA if the Benghazi attack had not happened. The attack basically shed the light on this operation the White House, the State Department and the CIA were trying to keep quiet,” he said.

“The attack on Benghazi was a big ‘oh no’ moment.”

Analysis: Former al Qaeda operative freed, sent home to Qatar

By

Editor’s Note: For more on Qatar’s track record in fighting terrorism, see Dr. Weinberg’s report for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions & Illicit Finance, Qatar and Terror Finance, Part 1: Negligence.

972_ali_almarri_2050081722-7128Ali Saleh Kahlah al Marri, an admitted former al Qaeda operative, has been released from a American jail and permitted to return home to Qatar.

No formal statement has been released yet by either government, but it is being reported that al Marri’s release was the result of a bilateral agreement between the Qatari and American governments. According to the US Bureau of Prisons, a prisoner with the same name and estimated age (ID number 12194-026) was freed on Friday.

Additionally, a source from al Marri’s family told the Qatari press he was recently released and arrived in Doha Saturday. Soon afterwards, the story was confirmed by Agence France Presse (AFP), which spoke to al Marri’s nephew.

This followed statements by two of his former attorneys that he was expected to be released within days. And photographs have been posted on social media that reportedly show al Marri coming home to his children for the first time in over a decade. A Kuwaiti newspaper posted video of a man identified as al Marri at the airport in Doha bumping noses with male relatives and kissing his mother’s feet.

An al Qaeda sleeper agent

Ali Saleh Kahlah al Marri was at one point the only enemy combatant detained on US soil. According to the terms of a plea deal he accepted in 2009, al Marri “was instructed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to enter the United States no later than September 10, 2001″ and to await further instructions. Mohammed, also known as KSM, was serving at the time as the chief of al Qaeda’s external operations and is considered the mastermind of 9/11 attacks. According to the FBI in 2009, “Ali al-Marri was an al-Qaeda ‘sleeper’ operative working on U.S. soil.”

President George W. Bush indicated that the US intelligence community believes al Marri discussed various targets with KSM, including “water reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange, and United States military academies.” Bush also described him as “a present and grave danger to US national security.”

The plea bargain accepted by al Marri acknowledged that his computer’s search history included research on “various cyanide substances” according to “the method taught by al Qaeda for manufacturing cyanide gas,” as well as research on “dams, waterways and tunnels in the United States, which is also consistent with al Qaeda attack planning regarding the use of cyanide gases”. The plea deal also noted that “between 1998 and 2001″ he “attended various training camps because he wished to engage in jihad”.

In other court documents, US officials alleged that KSM chose al Marri to be an al Qaeda sleeper agent because he had a family and would therefore be less likely to attract suspicion. He was pulled over in a routine traffic stop two days after 9/11 when a police officer saw al Marri’s son standing up in the moving car’s back seat.

Al Marri was then briefly arrested on an old warrant for driving under the influence and raised authorities’ suspicions when he paid his $300 bail out of a briefcase full of bundles of hundred dollar bills. Al Marri would later acknowledge receiving these funds from an al Qaeda financial facilitator in the United Arab Emirates, Mustafa Hawsawi, whom KSM had instructed him to visit. Soon afterwards, al Marri was detained again when law enforcement officials confirmed a telephone at his home had been used to contact Hawsawi, whom they had already connected to one of the 9/11 hijackers.

Hawsawi was captured alongside KSM in early March 2003 and then held in the CIA’s controversial detention and interrogation program before being transferred to Guantanamo, where he remains in detention.

Reason for release unclear

Al Marri’s release seems to be the end result of a process set in motion by President Obama during his first month in office.

Read more at Long War Journal

Top Qatari editor urges Muslims ‘not to apologize’ for Paris shooting

A member of the media makes images of the front page of Charlie Hebdo which shows a caricature of French author Michel Houellebecq near the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, after a shooting Jan. 7, 2015. (Reuters)

A member of the media makes images of the front page of Charlie Hebdo which shows a caricature of French author Michel Houellebecq near the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, after a shooting Jan. 7, 2015. (Reuters)

By Shounaz Meky | Al Arabiya News
Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The editor-in-chief of a major Qatari newspaper has stirred controversy on Twitter after urging Muslims “not to apologize” for the killing of journalists in Paris, claiming that “France was looking for an excuse to intervene in Libya.”

“Don’t apologize for a crime you did not commit,” said Abdullah Al Athba, prominent Qatari journalist and editor-in-chief Al Arab newspaper, in a twitter statement.

In another tweet, Al Athba shared a comment by one of his followers that read: “Why should Muslims apologize? when the London mosque was tortured no one called on Christians or Britons to apologize.”

Al Athba meanwhile stated that France was looking for justifications for a military intervention in Libya.

“It seems that France wants to invade Libya with the excuse of ‘fighting terrorism’ after it occupied Mali under the same excuse and this operation is a suitable pretext to kill Muslims.”

He also suggested there could be a link between what he said was an increase in attacks on Mosques across Europe and the latest attack on the French newspaper’s offices.

His comments were criticized by several of his followers, with one Twitter user (Takhabbatasiran) replying: “Does France need this operation to intervene in Libya, give us a break.”

“Man, spare us your analyses,” said another user (AldosariFfqatar), before suggesting that such comments could create a crisis for Qatar with France.

Yasser Abdel Aziz, a Cairo-based media analyst, said Arab journalists should first condemn “any attack on journalism and journalists from any source.”

“Second, they should not rush into conclusions on the incident and its perpetrators until evidence is unveiled,” he added.

“What happened is a massive assault on the press and the freedom of press,” he said. “And this assault follows a series of attacks and violations on the press and journalists in different parts of the world, which appeared to increase over the past few years, from different sources, including governments, and extremist groups.”

He explained that “unsound or surprise reactions” from some Arab journalists or media figures could be attributed to “uncertainties” in the Arab world toward “Western political and media behavior toward the situation of extremism in the Middle East.”

The Arab League and Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s top religious institution, strongly condemned the deadly shooting by the black-hooded gunmen.

“Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris,” the League said.

In remarks carried by Egypt’s state news agency MENA, Al-Azhar said: “Islam denounces any violence.”

Saudi Arabia has also condemned the shooting at the French newspaper in Paris.

The official SPA news agency carried a statement saying: “Saudi Arabia denounces this cowardly terrorist act which Islam as well as other religions reject.”

“[Saudi Arabia] offers its condolences to the families of the victims as well as the government and people of the French republic and wishes a speedy recovery for the wounded,” the statement added.

Also see:

Report: Qatar to banish Hamas’ Mashaal, who will relocate to Turkey

Hamas’ political bureau, is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups.

Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that Mashaal has been expelled from Qatar.

“There is no truth to what some media outlets have published over the departure by brother Khaled Meshaal from Doha,” Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters by telephone.

Another Hamas source confirmed that Mashaal was still in Doha and has no plans to leave the country.

The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Last year, the emir of Qatar denied accusations that the Gulf sheikhdom is a sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist organizations.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani rejected suggestions that the groups that Doha was backing were terrorist in nature.

“We have to see the difference between movements,” Al-Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I know that in America and some other countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. In our part of the region, we don’t.”

The Qatari leader did say that his government opposed “certain movements in Syria and Iraq,” a reference to the Islamic State. He denied accusations that Qatar was funding IS or that his government was turning a blind eye to private citizens’ activities in support of the group.

In the interview, Al-Thani never mentioned Hamas by name, despite the fact that his government is known to provide financial support to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israeli officials have denounced Qatar for backing Hamas.

Earlier this year, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he deemed Qatar “the Club Med for terrorists.”

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza,” Prosor wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the Emir of Qatar.’”

Also see:

“Palestine” and the ICC

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
December 31, 2014

1108The Palestinian Authority’s latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday’s move to join the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Earlier this month, “Palestine” was upgraded from “observer entity” to “observer state” at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority’s road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know – but are apathetic to the fact – that their actions only reinforce the PA’s intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority’s dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel’s conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit – although not brave enough to do so publicly – that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

Read more at IPT

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

qatar_awareness_campaign_logoBy William Michael:

An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign

Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors.  After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha.  The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat.  Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests that KSA, UAE, and Egypt may really welcome Doha back into the family.

Consider:

  • Yesterday, it was reported that Qatar pledged to stop funding Hamas – truly remarkable, if true.
  • A few months ago, they expelled prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader”), and he will no longer broadcasting on Al Jazeera (if reports are to be believed).

It is possible that the month-long Qatar Awareness Campaign, which issued an open letter to nearly 30 companies, universities, individuals, and politicians who benefited financially from a relationship with terror-sponsoring Qatar, had something to do with this apparent change of heart.  The campaign identified Qatar as the primary sponsor of Islamic terror, with connections across the Middle East and North Africa to groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

But, there is another explanation for this apparent change of heart which, given Qatar’s two-faced nature, may be more realistic.

The MB could simply be shifting their bases of operation, leaving their financial hub, Qatar, alone (for the moment), thus providing their wealthy benefactor with the good press to alleviate them of the international pressure. For over the past four months, the world press had suddenly taken notice of the corrupt Gulf terror state, and its causing them trouble. FC Barcelona, for example, dropped their sponsorship deal Qatar Foundation over Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

The evidence for this “camel rearranging” is as follows:

  • Turkey, a close ally of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood proxy themselves, welcomed the expelled Muslim Brothers from Qatar.
  • Qatar and Turkey recently reaffirmed their mutual support for “oppressed peoples” – i.e., Islamists in secularly governed countries, and Hamas in Gaza.
  • Other MB expelled from Qatar have gone to Libya, where the UAE/Egypt are in a proxy war with Qatar.
  • Hamas has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups, providing more flexibility to terrorists in Palestine.
  • The White House (Obama) tacitly threatened to sanction Israel, and remains extremely hostile to Netanyahu.
  • Qatar’s reconciliation with their Gulf neighbors appears to be directly related to lower oil prices, which have crippled Russia’s economy and hurt Iran (Russia and Iran being no friends of Saudi Arabia).  This also directly affects Syria, a Russian and Iranian client state that is under siege by Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, elements in Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration.
  • ISIS is preparing to attack Israel.

Another development to take into account is the increasingly sharp language of the conservative press aimed at Obama and the Islamists.  We may finally be reaching a point where, sooner or later, the mainstream press is going to have to face up to the possibility that Obama is not who he says he is, but in fact an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider, the cop killer in NYC worked for Islamic Society of North America, and the president of ISNA is a close Obama advisor, including to DHS and the National Security Council.  The truth is getting harder to ignore.  As many people who have spent the time investigating Obama’s roots and connections have determined, the real threat to world peace is not in fact Qatar, but the Obama administration.

Now is truly the time to make the case that the administration is the North American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and Hamas.  It must be done for posterity, before it is too late!

Let the chips fall where they may – the future belongs to the brave.

Meshaal on point of relocating Hamas’ political headquarters from Doha to Tehran

13930311000529_PhotoIDEBKAfile:

Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, forced to quit his old headquarters in Damascus after abandoning his longtime host Bashar Assad and finding sanctuary in Doha – is again being hounded from pillar to post. DEBKAfile: A deal struck this week between Egypt and Qatar could result in the Hamas leader settling in the Iranian capital. This would afford Tehran a foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second Mediterranean outpost after Lebanon on the Israeli border.

The Egyptian-Qatar deal, revealed here by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, covers the future of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nemesis of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisis, and its offspring, the Palestinian Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Their memorandum of understanding was concluded Wednesday, Dec. 24, in Cairo by a delegation of Qatari intelligence chiefs and the new Egyptian director of intelligence Gen. Khaled Fawzi. They spent most of the day hammering out its six points, which are listed here:

1.  Qatar withdraws its support from all Brotherhood operations against Egypt and Saudi Arabia;

2.  This point applies equally to any Hamas activity that may be interpreted as inimical to Egypt;

3.  Qatar’s assistance to Hamas will be limited to “civilian” projects (such as repairing war damage in Gaza), which too will be subject to President El-Sisi’s approval;

4. Given the close cooperation maintained at present between the Egyptian president and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on affairs relating to Gaza, Israel will implicitly have the right to disqualify certain Palestinian projects in the enclave;

5.  Qatar is to shut down the anti-Egyptian propaganda channel run by its Al Jazeera television station;

6.  The emirate is not required to sever all its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, just to keep them under control as its “strategic reserve.”

It is extremely hard to conceive of these two radical Islamist organizations bowing to the restrictions placed on their operations under the Egyptian-Qatari deal.

DEBKAfile’s sources add:  Brotherhood leaders have exited Doha and made arrangements to establish residence and a new center of operations in London, U.K.  Khaled Meshaal, after he was denied permission by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to set up shop in Istanbul, is on the point of a decision to relocate his offices in Tehran. Iran would thus gain a proxy foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second outpost on the Mediterranean after the first was provided by Hizballah in Lebanon. If Meshaal decided to settle in Tehran, Iran would acquire a handy springboard for action against Egypt and southern Israel.

Also see:

Hamas’s International Triangle of Bases: Gaza, Turkey and Qatar

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2014

1104In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar.

According to Israeli intelligence estimates, each base serves a different purpose. The three branches have worked, alternatively, in harmony and in discord, together and independently, in line with the various terrorist activities they pursue.

“These are not the same leaderships,” one security source said, speaking of the Hamas command structure in each base.

“Qatar is home to Hamas’s political branch, headed by Khaled Meshaal. In Turkey [in the city of Istanbul], Hamas maintains a military branch headquarters, which sets up terrorist infrastructure. This headquarters is comprised partly of former Hamas prisoners who were ejected from Israel during the [2011] Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. In Gaza, there are both military and political operatives.”

Each branch plays a unique role, and relations between them fluctuate.

Hamas’s headquarters in Istanbul is headed by Salah Al-Arouri, a senior figure in the military wing who is focused on rejuvenating Hamas terrorism cells in the West Bank, and using it as a springboard for orchestrating deadly attacks against Israel.

Gaza is home to the main military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, whose operatives focus on building up their offensive rocket capabilities, tunnel networks, and, like Arouri, they also seek to also set up West Bank terrorism cells.

On Thursday, Hamas held what is described as its largest military exercise since the summer war against Israel.

Gaza is also home to Hamas’s political wing, headed by Ismail Haniyeh.

“They all have their own interests. Those in Gaza have one point of view, those abroad have another. There have, in the past, been disagreements,” the source said.

One example of such internal conflict was the dispute between Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza over when to end the summer war with Israel. Meshaal pushed Hamas to continue the fighting, despite growing calls by Hamas in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. The conflicting positions were partly the result of geography: Hamas in Gaza had a better real time understanding of the heavy costs Israel was inflicting on it during the fighting than the overseas Meshaal, who, from his luxurious Qatari surroundings, could afford the privilege of calling for more fighting.

Nevertheless, a basic level of cooperation and consent exists among all three branches. Saleh Al-Arouri in Turkey would not have embarked on a major mission to set up a large-scale Hamas terrorist network in the West Bank, plan atrocities against Israel, and aim to topple the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, without approval from Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza.

Cooperation may not always be close, but it exists.

“There are connections,” the security source said. “Hamas in Gaza is connected to those trying to orchestrate terrorism in Judea and Samaria. There is a circle of cooperation.”

Arouri could seek and receive assistance from Gaza, as he has done, but he can also try to work independently. “There are no laws,” the source stressed.

In recent months, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] uncovered two intricate Hamas terror plots to inflict mass-casualty attacks on Israelis, and to weaken Fatah in the West Bank. Both were tied to Arouri.

This discovery has led Israeli defense chiefs to become more vocal about the Hamas base in Turkey.

“Hamas’s terrorism headquarters are in Gaza and in Istanbul. It is unbelievable that a NATO member is hosting the headquarters of a terrorist organization in its territory,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told his Spanish counterpart earlier this month.

“We have stopped a coup planned by Hamas, which was organized in, among other places, its Turkish headquarters, against [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen in Judea and Samaria. We saved him from this revolution. Hence, there is much significance and importance in our having freedom to operate security-wise in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon stated.

Likewise, at the end of November, the Shin Bet and IDF announced that they had broken up a large-scale international Hamas terrorist infrastructure that was in the planning stages of multiple mass-casualty attacks, including an intended bombing of a soccer stadium in Jerusalem.

The plot included car bombings, bombing Jerusalem’s light rail system, and targeting Israelis overseas.

This case illustrates the growing centrality of Istanbul to Hamas terror activities in the West Bank. Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey has become a key command and planning center.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet announced the thwarting of another large Hamas network in the West Bank, set up by Saleh Al-Arouri in Istanbul, and headed locally by a Hamas member in Ramallah.

Hamas funneled more than a million shekels [more than $250,000] to terror operatives to prepare a series of attacks, which were designed to allow it to shift attention away from Gaza, and ultimately lead to the fall of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli investigation. This would be achieved by provoking Israel into harsh responses in the West Bank, destabilizing the area and leading to the toppling of the PA.

Hamas has come a long way since the days when its founders, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the Palestinian territories, set up indoctrination and social support centers.

Today, it is an international terrorist organization, which continues to plot new ways to murder and maim Israelis from its various bases, while it dreams of setting up a second Islamist-jihadist regime in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

Call To Jihad: Terror Recruiting in Laguna and The Southern Philippines

A cartoon from the Editorial of the Philippine Star on ISIS threat in Philippines. http://directory.ucanews.com/news/isis-ideology-has-reached-southern-philippines-pime-missionary/1641

A cartoon from the Editorial of the Philippine Star on ISIS threat in Philippines.
http://directory.ucanews.com/news/isis-ideology-has-reached-southern-philippines-pime-missionary/1641

December 17, 2014 /

The Aquino administration and his most senior members in the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) are trumpeting the UN report that came out a few days ago by saying, “we told you so.” We responded with an article titled “UN Claims No ISIS Presence in the Philippines – They’re Wrong,” where we laid out the ties between some of the most prominent Islamic State (IS) facilitators and the jihadist groups operating in the Philippines. In this follow up piece we’re going to kick things up a notch with an even deeper look into one of the support nodes we’ve mentioned: The Call and Guidance of Cabuyao Laguna (CGCL) and the individuals connected to it. Now, we can forgive AFP spokesman COL Restituto Padilla for not having all the facts since none of the organizations in the Philippine Security Forces (PSF) like to play nice with one another (sometimes to the point where people are killed due to holding onto information just because an organization can). However, the contents of this article are widely known to all of the senior officials of the Aquino administration. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read this piece. The following is from months of collaboration and research from our Asia Analytical Cell and network of sources in the Philippines – some of which are members of the PSF themselves.

UN Claims No ISIS Presence in The Philippines – They’re Wrong

President Aquino: The Barack Obama of Southeast Asia

ISIS Study Group claims terrorists’ presence in the Philippines
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/12/16/1403309/isis-study-group-claims-terrorists-presence-philippines

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr.: UN reports proves our point. InterAksyon.com File

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr.: UN reports proves our point. InterAksyon.com File

WE TOLD YOU SO | AFP says UN report of ‘No ISIS in PH’ boosts its claim ever since
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/101156/we-told-you-so–afp-says-un-report-of-no-isis-in-ph-boosts-its-claim-ever-since

Khalil Pareja Source: Rappler

Khalil Pareja
Source: Rappler

The CGCL was established in 2010 by Andrew “Mansur” Gutierrez and Brandon “Khalid” Gorospe. At the time Rajah Suleiman Movement (RSM) Ahmed Santos was 5 yrs removed from his arrest and subsequent move to SICA and Sheik Omar Lavilla had been detained in Bahrain while trying to wire money to his jihadist brethren and extradited to the Philippines 2 yrs prior. This was a period where

Pareja singing the praises of IS when it was still known as “al-Qaida in Iraq” – and before it was “cool” Source: Rappler

Pareja singing the praises of IS when it was still known as “al-Qaida in Iraq” – and before it was “cool”
Source: Rappler

many members of the RSM were laying low and contemplating their next move. The man who took over as the operational leader was Dino Amor Rosalejos Pareja aka “Khalil Pareja.” He reflagged RSM into “Jaysh at-Tauhid” (JTD) but in actuality this was still RSM with all the same personalities involved. Before he also found himself detained (again) in 2012, he had launched an initiative to establish alternative venues for bringing in financial and material support were established in anticipation of Lavilla and Santos’ eventual release from prison.

Mansur Gutierrez Source: The ISIS Study Group

Mansur Gutierrez
Source: The ISIS Study Group

The point man for this endeavor was Gutierrez, who served as the manager of Santos’ legal defense fund and would travel back and forth from Saudi Arabia under the status of an Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW) employed as an Operations Analyst for Advanced Electronics Company Limited. While in Saudi Arabia he collects money and will send it back to the Philippines via Western Union or through trusted associates rotating home. The individuals usually receiving the western union money are two of Santos’ wives, Fatima and Nurain. Our sources in the Philippine National Police – Intelligence Group (PNP-IG) reported to us their suspicions that Nurain is passing

Musa Cerantonio: Always had a soft spot for the Southern Philippines Source: One of his Twitter accounts

Musa Cerantonio: Always had a soft spot for the Southern Philippines
Source: One of his Twitter accounts

messages to Santos when she visits him in SICA. They also stated women typically aren’t searched and if they are its without the same level of scrutiny as a man would receive. This is likely how last summer’s prison video showing the inmates in Santos’ cellblock pledging allegiance to IS that was later promoted by Robert “Musa” Cerantonio (variant-Ceratonio). Nurain will also pass the money Gutierrez sent to other members of the network, even traveling to the Southern Philippines as she’s done on occasion. Gutierrez’s wife is also a key facilitator in the sense that she would often serve as a caretaker for Santos’ Fi Sabilillah Da’wah Media Foundation (FSDMF) when Fatima and Nurain were running errands or out of town on other business. She would also operate as a handler of money passing funds off from one individual to the next.

Gutierrez and Khalid Gorospe established the CGCL to better facilitate the flow of cash coming into the country from their Middle Eastern benefactors and began using the school for recruiting new members to replenish their ranks. Both Gutierrez and Gorospe would return to the Middle East to serve as OFWs tasked with collecting funds and targeting the OFW population for recruitment. How this works is they would identify the most vulnerable: young men who are alone. In this particular culture family is very important, and as an OFW you’re living thousands of miles away from your loved ones in an alien environment that is increasingly hostile to anyone who isn’t an Arab or Sunni Muslim for that matter. Individuals such as Gutierrez and Gorospe prey on these individuals by offering them the following:

1. RESPECT. This is very important due to how poorly Saudis are known to treat Filipinos – especially Christians.

2. A new, extend “family” of their Muslim brothers. This goes a long way towards feeling a new level of acceptance.

3. Promise of enhanced job prospects in the Middle East and when they return home to the Philippines. Gutierrez and Gorospe have used their links to major financiers and facilitators to get select Balik Reverts jobs.

4. A wife. Yes, there have been several cases where a Balik Revert will be matched up with a woman for marriage (this is how Khalil Pareja got married in case you were wondering).

The most promising recruits (after they’ve been indoctrinated into the militant ideology of the Black Flag movement that is) are identified while studying at one of the affiliated institutions – such as the CGCL – and sent to training camps in the Southern Philippines run by a joint-instructor cadre consisting of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Khalifah Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM), Bangsamoro Justice Movement (BJM)/BIFF-SOG and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Breakdown of the radicalization process
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Phillipines chart

One of his other tasks is to serve as the mouthpiece for the Santos Network to major terror financiers such as former Islamic Studies Call and Guidance (ISCAG) Director Sheik Hamoud Muhammad abd-al Aziz al-Lahim and Saleh Muhammad al-Sanaa. These connections play a big role in Gutierrez’s ability to secure jobs for new recruits. When he’s back in the Philippines, Gutierrez will often make his rounds by visiting ISCAG and the al-Marrif Educational Center (AMEC) to coordinate the distribution of funds to the CGCL and other affiliated schools in the country – all under the guise of “Islamic Dawah Activities.” This money is for proselytizing efforts, facilitating the travel of personnel to Syria and Iraq, even purchasing weapons and IED-making material for their jihadist colleagues in the Southern Philippines. These contacts will even send trusted associates representing their interests in the country to these institutions to pass along funds and guidance – Gutierrez reportedly plays an important role in making the arrangements for these meetings.

***

We decided to begin putting out more detailed pieces to drive home to the US government and good people of the Philippines that the IS presence in the country is very real, both the US and Aquino administration are both aware of it, but isn’t taking the threat seriously. The Filipino members of our network have expressed a genuine fear of the coming storm, and rightfully so. The Black Flag affiliates in the country aren’t just a threat to Filipino Christians and westerners, they’re also a threat to the average Filipino Muslim who oppose the ideology of death that Baghdadi and his followers practice. PNoy, his cabinet and the senior members of his security forces have been very much aware of everything we covered in this article for quite some time. The million dollar question is why haven’t the PNP conducted a security sweep to detain the key members of the Santos Network who are present in the country after the arrests of Ricardo Ayeras and Andy Valdez? We know this much, the PNP has been watching this network but don’t have the appetite to detain them despite the danger they pose to the civilian population. Unfortunately, they’re only going to be motivated to do something if the leadership is motivated to take action. It all starts at the top – starting with PNoy.

Much more at The ISIS Study Group

The Threat of Qatar: Is the American Media and Political Class finally waking up?

Skyline of Doha at night - Wikipedia

Skyline of Doha at night – Wikipedia

By William Michael – Qatar Awareness Campaign

Over the past two days, several news reports have emerged that suggest the media and, yes, even some politicians in Washington, have begun to appreciate the threat posed by the small Gulf State of Qatar.

On December 9, a bipartisan group of 24 members of Congress wrote a letter to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, that stated in part:

“We are concerned about the ties between Qatar and Hamas, and we commend you on your speech before the Center for a New American Security, where you stated that, ‘Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,’ and that press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also ‘supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,’ further adding to the instability of the region. As you noted in your speech, there are private fundraising networks in Qatar that solicit donations for terrorists. Qatar, in your words, is ‘a permissive terrorist financing environment.’”

It urged Treasury to focus on terrorist financing from Qatar and another Muslim Brotherhood-dominated country, Turkey. They made it clear that anti-terrorism officials in Treasury should do everything possible in their power to end Qatari and Turkish financing of jihadi groups. These groups have destabilized the Middle East and North Africa, and are a significant factor in America’s rapidly deteriorating relations with Russia.

On December 10, The Daily Beast published an article that, for the mainstream press, called Qatar out pretty straight: as they put it, they’re “the world’s most two-faced nation.”

Two-faced indeed. Qatar simultaneously hosts, and pays for the campuses of, Georgetown (where they help train American diplomats), Carnegie Mellon (which is in partnership with the Department of Defense), and Cornell, yet also hosts the Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood. They try to pass themselves off as “progressives,” but have been implicated in funding the genocidal armies of ISIS. Qatar’s capital, Doha, is home to two large American military bases and CENTCOM for the region, yet 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a guest of their Minister of Religious Affairs from 1992-1996.

How do they get away with this behavior? Surely, a lack of public awareness about the tiny country is one reason. Most Americans have never heard of Qatar, and even fewer know how to pronounce its name – “cutter,” or depending on the Arabic accent, “gutter.” And yes, anonymity is an asset to any criminal, especially a criminal regime.

But while anonymity only goes so far, a vast ocean of money goes much further. Qatar is, per capita, the richest country in the world (~$93,000 in 2013). With the globe’s third largest natural gas reserves (behind Russia and Iran), the less than 300,000 Qatari citizens have cash to burn.

And, since we’re on the topic of burning, Qatar’s foreign policy seems to be that of burning down their neighbors’ countries (unfortunately, with American backing). The Arab Spring, which a) caused widespread death and destruction in Egypt b) left Syria in an unending civil war, and c) still has Libya in a state of utter chaos, further complicated by a Qatari proxy war against Egypt and the UAE… all these Islamist insurrections were and are backed by the Qatari government; specifically, by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders who reside there and the sympathizing Al-Thani royal family. More than any other nation, it is Qatar who is seeking to re-establish an Islamic Caliphate. To accomplish this, they don’t much care if the world, and infidel, are lit on fire.

The other side of Islamist gangs, which is rarely given enough coverage in the media, is the organized crime aspect of these stateless, revolutionary entities. Whether it’s Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaeda in Iraq, AQIM across North Africa, or the Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamist terrorist organizations double as cartels. Narcotics, human trafficking, racketeering, and the usual terrorizing of local populations are their trademarks.

It should come as a surprise to no one that tiny, corrupt, and fabulously wealthy Qatar has at one time or another financed all of the above terrorist groups.

Do you think that the Al-Thanis do this out of the goodness of their Islamist hearts? Or is it more realistic to think that, just maybe, they are recipients of ill-gotten billions resulting from organized crime?

To explain the Qatari way of “diplomacy” to yourself, try this thought experiment. A man in a very expensive suit hands you five checkbooks. He gives you a mission: make as many friends as possible, who, should his reputation ever be questioned in public, will come to his defense. To accomplish this, you are permitted write checks up to $10 million and hand them out freely. Considering how much political coverage and favors can be purchased from American politicians and media for relatively less, it’s no wonder Qatar has so many “friends.”

In fact, Qatar’s “friends” comprise a veritable “Who’s Who” of the American (and even international) establishment. During the month of October, the Qatar Awareness Campaign, an ad hoc Coalition of concerned journalists, activists, publishers, and researchers published a letter each weekday, identifying American interests and individuals compromised by Qatari money and/or who toe the Qatari line. Many of the figures named might surprise you: Michael Bloomberg, ExxonMobil, Al Gore,John McCain, The Boeing Company, Miramax, the Chamber of Commerce, CNN, Harvard University,Bill and Hillary Clinton, FIFA, to name just a few.

Do you see now why it has taken so long for the political and media figures to finally peep up, even just a little? Hint: they’re bought off, paid for… and you – the American citizen – don’t have a blank checkbook like the terror masters in Doha.

Maybe, just maybe, the tide is beginning to turn. If the American public, and the global public, understood that the U.S. government had as one of its closest allies a narco-terror slave state, the politicians would be forced to act, if merely to save face. Terrorism in the United States is still a crime, and those who support it are therefore guilty under penalty of law.

Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he was resigning from his position as the civilian head of the Pentagon. Among the most prominent reasons given for his departure was the continuing debacle in the Middle East.   It was also reported that he never established a good relationship with Obama’s inner circle. In this respect, Hagel’s frustrations were certainly in no small part tied to Qatar; for it was the Qatari royal family, the Al-Thanis, who bankrolled and strategically coordinated the Arab Spring, and who remain so intimate with the administration as to accept and shelter the Taliban 5 for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl. (That infamous deal, it is worth mentioning, was finalized while the former Qatari Emir was visiting with Obama at West Point, attending the graduation of his son.)

Hagel, if pressed, may indeed admit that Obama’s alliance with Qatar and the Al-Thanis was the ultimate driver behind his resignation. Might we soon get some truth from the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet?

Secretary Hagel, your country needs you to speak up NOW!

Originally posted at Right Side News

Study: Qatar Fails to Crack Down on Terror Financiers

FeaturedImage_2014-12-10_162317_YouTube_QatarThe Tower, Dec. 18, 2014:

The Qatari government “has refused effectively to crack down” on “every important case of suspected terror finance involving a Qatari national in past years,” according to the first part of a study released Wednesday. The Daily Beast reported on the study, written by David A. Weinberg of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and highlighted some of the specific cases outlined in it.

The Daily Beast also observed:

When funding networks are exposed and attract high levels of Western protest, some action is taken by Qatari authorities to curb the excesses but charges are not filed, no one is imprisoned, at least for long, and then the actors resume their activities when the scrutiny disappears.

A Qatari fundraising campaign for Syria called Madid Ahl al-Sham has been endorsed by al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, as a conduit for donations—a validation the campaign advertises on its own Twitter page. Yet it was allowed to operate for 10 months after al-Nusra’s endorsement before finally it shut down. It remains unclear whether Qatari authorities intervened or the organizers decided to close up shop because of media attention.

The title of the first section of Weinberg’s paper (.pdf) is “Negligence,” though in some of the cases cited, the negligence of Qatari authorities appears to be willful. In regards to the case of Jarallah Marri, the study states:.

In July of 2008, Ali’s brother Jarallah became the only Qatari citizen repatriated from Guantanamo Bay based on explicit, written assurances provided by Qatar that he would not be permitted to travel outside the country and that Washington would be notified if he attempted to do so. And yet in early 2009, Jarallah appeared in Britain, where he was arrested on his second visit there since leaving Guantanamo. While in the U.K., he participated in a speaking tour with fellow Gitmo detainee Moazzam Begg. Britain added Begg to its terrorism blacklist this year and arrested him on accusations of funding and training terrorists in Syria, though he has since been released from jail, and the court case was dropped.

The U.S. Ambassador to Qatar concluded that Marri’s travel was “almost certainly” the result of a conscious decision involving Qatar’s attorney general. The attorney general rejected any implication that he violated a U.S. commitment over Jarallah’s travel, stating that “he was bound only by signed judicial assistance agreements and not diplomatic notes,” but after a “full-court press” by the U.S. ambassador he demurred that Marri would be subject to a six-month renewable travel ban. Soon afterwards, the U.S. ambassador to Doha lamented that “the U.S.-Qatar  CT [counterterrorism] relationship is not working now and has not worked well for several years.” Qatar’s attorney general remains in his position to this day.

Qatar’s continued indifference to its citizens’ terror financing has prompted a bipartisan group of 24 Representatives to send a letter to David S. Cohen, Under Secretary of the Treasury Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, to take stronger action against “individuals, institutions, entities, charities, front companies, banks, and government officials who clearly violate U.S. laws by assisting Hamas and its proxies.” The letter specifically cited Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

As you know, Hamas traditionally relied on Iran for much of its financial and political support. However, others in the region have stepped up to provide support for Hamas. Qatar’s $400 million donation for Gaza reconstruction in 2012 bolstered Hamas’ credibility in Gaza and may have directly supported Hamas-backed entities. Qatar also allows Hamas’ top leader, politburo chief Khalid Mishaal, to operate out of its territory knowingly and with impunity. It was even widely reported in the press that Qatar threatened to deport Mishaal if Hamas had accepted an Egypt-backed ceasefire agreement to end this summer’s conflict in Gaza.

We are concerned about the ties between Qatar and Hamas, and we commend you on your speech before the Center for a New American Security, where you stated that, “Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,” and that press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also “supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,” further adding to the instability of the region. As you noted in your speech, there are private fundraising networks in Qatar that solicit donations for terrorists. Qatar, in your words, is “a permissive terrorist financing environment.”

In Qatar’s Rise and America’s Tortured Foreign Policy, published in the October 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Jonathan Spyer identified Qatar’s support for Sunni extremists as a defining trait in its foreign policy orientation.

Qatar’s massive funding of terrorists and support of Islamic radicals seeking to destabilize neighboring Arab governments, has sharpened tensions in the region, highlighting the three way divide in today’s Middle East – moderate and Western-oriented Sunni Arab states, like Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait and others; the Sunni extremists terrorist supporting states, Qatar and Turkey, who fund and promote forces like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas; and the dangerous and radical axis of Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah.

Congress Calls for Increased Sanctions on Hamas Allies

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Dec. 9, 2014:

A bipartisan delegation of foreign policy leaders in Congress are calling on the Obama administration to increase U.S. sanctions on Hamas and its allies, including the terror group’s top financier, Qatar, and its close ally, Turkey, according to a letter sent Tuesday by lawmakers to the Treasury Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration can and should be doing more to crackdown on Hamas’ top allies, including Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, according to the letter, jointly endorsed by 24 of the 29 members on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

The letter—which is signed by the chairmen and ranking members of both committees—follows months of appeals by lawmakers and foreign policy experts to the Obama administration urging it to crackdown on Hamas’ main funders, particularly Qatar, which has kept the terror group financially afloat via major cash infusions.

“We believe that more can be done, and we urge Treasury to take all necessary measures to sanction individuals or entities that are directly or indirectly financing or materially supporting Hamas,” the lawmakers wrote to Treasury Department Under Secretary David Cohen, who handles terrorism and finance intelligence.

While the United States has navigated a diplomatic tightrope with Turkey and Qatar, who are considered close U.S. allies on many fronts, the lawmakers argue that all of Hamas’ backers should be hit with U.S. sanctions.

“Any entity or nation that continues to back this U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and provide it material and financial support should be sanctioned,” they wrote.

“We are requesting that Treasury use every tool available to designate all individuals, institutions, entities, charities, front companies, banks, and government officials who clearly violate U.S. laws by assisting Hamas and its proxies,” according to the letter.

Lawmakers also are requesting that the administration provide them with “specific public updates” about conversations taking place with the “Qatari government on previously designated, Qatar-based terrorist financiers that the Qataris have yet to act upon.”

Qatar’s relationship with Hamas has been particularly problematic for the United States.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for greater pressure on the nation, the Obama administration has maintained that Qatar should play a key role in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Hamas traditionally relied on Iran for much of its financial and political support,” the lawmakers state, noting that Qatar donated $400 million to Hamas in 2012 .

“Qatar’s $400 million donation for Gaza reconstruction in 2012 bolstered Hamas’ credibility in Gaza and may have directly supported Hamas-backed entities,” they write. “Qatar also allows Hamas’ top leader, politburo chief Khalid Mishaal, to operate out of its territory knowingly and with impunity. It was even widely reported in the press that Qatar threatened to deport Mishaal if Hamas had accepted an Egypt-backed ceasefire agreement to end this summer’s conflict in Gaza.”

Turkey also remains one of Hamas’ top enablers.

“Turkey serves as the headquarters for Saleh al-Arouri, who is believed to head Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank,” the lawmakers state. “In August, the media reported that he was behind an allegedly thwarted plot to topple, undermine, or replace the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank. Also in August, al-Arouri stated that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens this June.”

In addition, Turkish charities, front companies, and even some banks are suspected of providing support to Hamas, according to the lawmakers.

“It’s no secret that Turkey and Qatar provide refuge to many Hamas operatives, and that both of these supposed American allies have become major terror financial hubs,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

“While the Treasury Department has taken significant action against Hamas and its supporters, more can be done to halt support for this terrorist group,” she said. “Both Turkey and Qatar have thus far been extremely lax in enforcing their terror financing laws and taking action against U.S. designated individuals or entities.”

Meanwhile, it also has come to light that one of Hamas’ top Iranian allies, Imad al-Alami, has been identified as residing in Turkey, according to a recent report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Al-Alami, who has traveled to Iran on many occasions, is designated as a terrorist by the U.S. government, though it is unclear what action the Obama administration will take in light of the recent revelations.

“I would argue now that Turkey is liable like Qatar as the top external headquarters for Hamas,” said FDD vice president for research Jonathan Schanzer. “It may have even surpassed it.”

Also see:

GCC states to create regional police, navy

A general view of the meeting of leaders during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Doha on Dec. 9, 2014. (AFP)

A general view of the meeting of leaders during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Doha on Dec. 9, 2014. (AFP)

Al Arabiya, Dec. 9, 2014:

Following the 35th GCC Summit on Tuesday, Gulf leaders announced in Doha the creation of a regional police force in addition to a joint naval force, the Associated Press reported.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah said the police force would improve cooperation against terrorism.

“It will be an Interpol-like force but inside GCC countries,” he told reporters at a news conference.

The police force will be based out of the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi while the naval force will operate out of Bahrain.

The creation of the police force, known as GCC-POL, and the naval force, was announced at the conclusion of the Gulf bloc’s annual summit in Qatar.

Separately, in a communique read during the closing remarks, the leaders reiterated their support for a political solution in both Yemen and Syria and condemned the militias currently operating in Libya.

They also voiced their support of the Libyan elected national council as the legitimate body to govern the country.

In statements made during the closing of the summit, the leaders said they hoped that the newly-appointed U.N. peace envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura be successful in expediting a solution.

Additionally, the communique announced that the leaders unanimously supported the political roadmap in Egypt and President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced that the next summit is to be held in Riyadh.

Separately, as the leaders arrived in Qatar for the summit ahead of the meeting, they honored the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for receiving a certificate from the U.N. Secretary General recognizing him as a leader and supporter of the United Nation’s humanitarian work.

“Honoring the State of Kuwait is an honor for all GCC countries,” he said.

Speaking at the beginning of the summit, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said Tuesday’s meeting comes at a time of highly complex regional and international circumstances.

Prince Tamim also said he hopes the summit would mark the launch of a new march of GCC cooperation.

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Netanyahu’s epic understandings with Egyptian, Saudi and UAE rulers – a potential campaign weapon

áðéîéï ðúðéäå áîñéáú òéúåðàéí áîùøã øàù äîîùìä öéìåí : àîéì ñìîïDEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2014

The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rulers meet in the Qatari capital of Doha next week amid high suspense across the Arab world. Its agenda is topped by moves to finally unravel the 2010 Arab Spring policy championed by US President Barack Obama, moves that also bear the imprint of extensive cooperation maintained on the quiet between Israel and key Arab rulers.
DEBKAfile reports that the Doha parley is designed to restore Egypt under the rule of President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi to the lead role it occupied before the decline of Hosni Mubarak. Another is to root out the Muslim Brotherhood by inducing their champion, the young Qatari ruler, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to drop his government’s support.

At talks taking place in Riyadh ahead of the summit, Qatari officials appeared ready to discontinue the flow of weapons, funds and intelligence maintained since 2011 to the Brothers and their affiliates across the Arab world (Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Hamas-ruled Gaza), as well shutting down the El Jazeera TV network – or at least stopping the channel’s use as the Brotherhood’s main propaganda platform.

The Doha summit is designed to crown a historic effort led by Saudi King Abdullah, UAE ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and President El-Sisi to undo the effects of the Obama administration’s support for elements dedicated to the removal of conservative Arab rulers, such as the Brotherhood.

They have found a key ally in this drive in Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who took advantage of the chance of an epic breakthrough in relations with the leading bloc of Arab nations, with immediate and far-reaching effect on Israeli security and its standing in the region.

Yet at the same time, Netanyahu has kept this feat under his hat – even while smarting under a vicious assault by his detractors – ex-finance minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Yakov Herzog of Labor – on his personal authority and leadership credibility (“everything is stuck,” “he’s out of touch.”) and obliged to cut short the life of his government for a general election on March 17.
He faces the voter with the secret still in his pocket of having achieved close coordination with the most important Arab leaders – not just on the Iranian nuclear issue and the Syrian conflict, but also the Palestinian question, which has throughout Israel’s history bedeviled its ties with the Arab world.
When Yair Lapid, whom Netanyahu sacked this week, boasted, “I am talking to the Americans” while accusing the prime minister of messing up ties with Washington, he meant he was talking to the Americans close to Barack Obama, whom Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, hand in hand with Netanyahu, have judged adverse to their regimes.
This Arab-Israeli collaboration encompasses too many areas to keep completely hidden. Its fruits have begun breaking surface in a string of events.
This week, Israel apparently out of the blue, quietly agreed to Egypt deploying 13 army battalions in Sinai (demilitarized under their 1979 peace treaty), including tanks, and flying fighter jets over terrorist targets.

A joint Saudi-Israeli diplomatic operation was instrumental in obstructing a US-Iran deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Another key arena of cooperation is Jerusalem.
Friday, Dec. 5, Jordan announced the appointment of 75 new guards for the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Temple Mount. The director of the mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said they will begin work in the coming days.

This was the outcome of Jordanian King Abdullah’s talks with the Egyptian president in Cairo Sunday, Nov. 30, in which they agreed that the Muslim Waqf Authority on Temple Mount must change its mode of conduct and replace with new staff the violent elements from Hamas, the Al Tahrir movement and Israeli Arab Islamists, which had taken charge of “security.”.

The Moslem attacks from the Mount on Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall below and Israeli police have accordingly ceased in the two weeks since Israel lifted its age restrictions on Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers at Al Aqsa. Israel groups advocating the right to Jewish prayer on Temple Mount were discreetly advised to cool their public campaign.

The Palestinian riots plaguing Jerusalem for months have died down, except for isolated instances, since, as DEBKAfile revealed, Saudi and Gulf funds were funneled to pacify the city’s restive Palestinian neighborhoods.

Cairo and the Gulf emirates have used their influence with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to get him to moderate his invective against Israel and its prime minister, and slow his applications for Palestinian membership of international bodies as platforms for campaigning against the Jewish state.

Concerned by the way the mainstream Arab world was marginalizing the Palestinian question, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal chose his moment Friday – ahead of the White House meeting between the Jordanian monarch and President Obama – to try and re-ignite the flames of violence in Jerusalem. He went unheeded.
Netanyahu may or may not opt to brandish Israel’s diplomatic breakthrough to the Arab world as campaign fodder to boost his run for re-election.  Whatever he decides, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Arab emirates and Egypt are turning out to have acquired an interest in maintaining him in office as head of the Israeli government, in direct opposition to President Obama’s ambition to unseat him.