UN recognizes ties between Ansar al Sharia in Libya, al Qaeda

Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL)

Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL)

Long War Journal, By

The United Nations Security Council today added Ansar al Sharia in Libya to its al Qaeda sanctions list. “As a result of the new listings,” the UN announced, “any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to” Ansar al Sharia Libya, “including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al Qaeda Sanctions List and subject to the sanctions measures.”

The UN notes that the Ansar al Sharia chapters in Benghazi and Derna are associated with one another, but lists them separately under a heading that reads, “Entities and other groups associated with Al Qaeda.”

Despite their separate listings, the two Ansar al Sharia groups operate together and have published their propaganda under a shared brand. Ansar al Sharia fighters from both Benghazi and Derna participated in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US Mission and Annex in Benghazi. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during the assault.

According to the UN, both Ansar al Sharia groups in Libya are “associated” with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda that remains loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. They are both also tied to Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia, which orchestrated the assault on the US Embassy in Tunis on Sept. 14, 2012.

The UN added Ansar al Sharia Tunisia to its al Qaeda sanctions list in September. The UN found that, like its sister organizations in Libya, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has “links to” AQIM.

There are well-established ties between Ansar al Sharia in Libya and Tunisia. The UN notes in its designation that Ansar al Sharia in Libya has a “support network in Tunisia.”

In addition, the Benghazi chapter is tied to Al Mourabitoun, which is led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former AQIM commander who established his own jihadist group. Belmokhtar is openly loyal to Zawahiri and, according to a previous designation by the UN, still works with AQIM despite his differences with the group’s leadership.

Earlier this month, Agence France Presse obtained a copy of a dossier that was submitted to the UN to justify today’s action. The documents provided to the UN show that 12 of the 24 jihadists who participated in the January 2013 siege of the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria were trained in Ansar al Sharia camps in Benghazi.

Belmokhtar commanded the terrorists responsible for the In Amenas siege and claimed responsibility for the raid on behalf of al Qaeda.

Britain, France, and the US moved to have Ansar al Sharia Libya added to the UN sanctions list earlier this month, and all 15 members of the UN Security Council had until today to agree to the sanctions. A consensus was reached and the sanctions were approved.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond praised the UN’s decision in a statement. Hammond said that the Ansar al Sharia groups in Benghazi and Derna both “have links with Al Qaeda and are responsible for acts of terror in Libya, including bomb attacks, kidnappings, and murder.”

Ansar al Sharia camps in Derna and Benghazi have been used to funnel foreign fighters to Syria, according to the UN. The camps in Benghazi have also shipped jihadists off to Mali.

Today’s action by the UN confirms The Long War Journal’s reporting and analysis. Numerous pieces of evidence tie the Ansar al Sharia organizations in Libya and Tunisia to al Qaeda’s international network. See, for example, LWJ reports:

State Department designates 3 Ansar al Sharia organizations, leaders
Senate report: Terrorists ‘affiliated’ with multiple al Qaeda groups involved in Benghazi attack
Ex-Guantanamo detainee remains suspect in Benghazi attack
Al Qaeda and the threat in North Africa
From al Qaeda in Italy to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia
Al Qaeda ally orchestrated assault on US Embassy in Tunisia
Al Qaeda’s plan for Libya highlighted in congressional report

CBS’ 60 Minutes avoids Egyptian Connection to Benghazi

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Walid Shoebat:

The 60 Minutes piece by Lara Logan on the Benghazi attacks was well done. It included excerpts of interviews with State Department whistleblower Gregory Hicks, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, and a British security official who was in charge of the Libyans who were hired to provide security, Libyans he didn’t seem impressed by.

Here’s the report via 60 Minutes; commentary to follow:

 

 

Well done, yes but also a bit incomplete and possibly misleading in some respects.

First, here we are more than one year later and Logan reports it’s now “well established” that the compound was attacked by al-Qaeda. When was this established? It would seem that this is a bit of a bombshell, would it not? Initially, the attack was about a video; then it was a group called Ansar Al-Sharia. Now, a “well established” fact that al-Qaeda was involved. This is a bit of news if for no other reason than it is officially acknowledged.

Earlier this week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that the attack had connections to “Al-Qaeda Core” in Pakistan. Again, huge bombshell because it leads to Ayman al-Zawahiri, whose first cousin was Mohammed Mursi’s chief of staff.

The 60 Minutes piece went in a curious direction when it seemed to imply that the guy who could take the fall for the attack is Abu Anas al Libi, who was apprehended by U.S. Special Forces in Tripoli earlier this month. Al Libi is wanted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He was not a suspect in the Benghazi attack but Logan reported he is being questioned to find out what he knew about it.

Completely absent from the report was any reference to Egypt’s involvement. For example, the Jamal Network’s involvement in the Benghazi attacks is far more established than any connection al Libi may have. The network’s founder Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif is currently sitting in an Egyptian jail and has even been identified by the U.N. Security Council as a lead suspect in the attack with connections to Ayman al-Zawahiri (yes, that Ayman al-Zawahiri).

Let’s also not forget that Thomas Pickering inadvertently divulged information from his Accountability Review Board’s “classified” report when he mentioned an Egyptian connection. He was almost undoubtedly referring to the Jamal Network. A few weeks after doing so, the U.S. State Department identified Al-Kashif and his network as terrorists. Unlike the U.N., State did not identify Al-Kashif or his network as suspects in the Benghazi attack but it did acknowledge his connection to and correspondence with Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Publicly acknowledging that al Libi was involved in the Benghazi attacks is far more preferable to the Obama administration than putting the spotlight on the Jamal Network for several reasons. Among them is that Al-Kashif was released from prison after the fall of Mubarak and subsequently founded his network. There are multiple Arabic reports that say Mursi pardoned him. This would mean that the President of a nation state pardoned the guy whose network was responsible for the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans.

We also know that Al-Kashif is connected to Al-Zawahiri. Making this even more potentially explosive are reports that Mursi and al-Zawahiri collaborated to release jihadists and open terror camps in the Sinai and along Egypt’s border with Libya.

Read more at Shoebat.com

Saudi Arabia, the UN and the OIC

by Lawrence A. Franklin:

Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a term on the UN Security Council likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternate international order based on Sharia law. The 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation is already the largest international organization after the UN. For Islamists, the UN, like all secular international organizations, lacks legitimacy.

A stated Islamist goal, to replace Western civilization’s liberal democratic order with a Sharia-governed Ummah[community of Muslims], now seems to involve an effort to delegitimize Western international organizations, as seen this week by Saudi Arabia’s refusing a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Saudi Arabia’s refusal likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternative international order based on Sharia law. For Islamists, the United Nations, like all secular international organs, lacks legitimacy.

OIC vs. UN

The Islamic world threw down the gauntlet to the secular international order in 1990 when it drafted an alternative declaration of human rights, the Kairos Document, based on the Sharia law. The 56 countries of what was then called the Organization of Islamic Conference, since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], criticized the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being insensitive to religious concepts of the non-Western world. In Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi’s October 13, 2013 statement, explaining the sudden and unprecedented rejection of a seat on the Security Council, he cites Saudi Arabia’s “historical responsibilities toward its people, Arab and Islamic nations as well as toward the peoples aspiring for peace and stability in the world.” The Saudi explanation continues by enumerating a litany of UN failures to solve problems in the Mideast. This statement underscores Saudi Arabia’s role as the capital of a shadow-caliphate alternative to the current liberal democratic international order.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

Riyadh’s sentiment was preceded by last summer’s rebuttal — which revealed the global scope of Islamist objectives — by the Pakistani Taliban fugitive, Adnan Rashid[1], to the UN address by the heroic Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (then 15 years old), shot by the Taliban for having asked for women’s education. In a letter, Rashid denounced Malala’s naiveté for placing trust in an international organization that he claimed is a tool of the West with which to punish Islamic nations.

Rashid’s riposte, however, has an unwritten corollary. He and his fellow Islamists bear allegiance to an alternate network that exists in parallel with the institutions of the current international order, the most visible symbol of which is the OIC.[2] The OIC, which promotes Islamic social, economic, and political solidarity, is, in fact, already the second-largest international organization after the UN. It has not only attempted to negotiate disputes among Islamic factions in Muslim-majority countries, such as Iraq and Somalia, but has also helped to mediate disputes between non-Muslim-majority states and their Islamic minorities, as in the Philippines and Thailand. In adjudicating these disputes, the OIC has employed, as the legal frame of reference, the principles of Sharia law rather than international law.

One has only to examine the flag and the logo of the OIC to realize its ambition. A crescent moon encompasses the entire globe. The earth rests on a sea of green, the color of Islam, with the Kaa’ba in the center of the globe. The flag resembles the national banner of the al-Saud Kingdom (the only country among all the embassies in Washington D.C. that, on 9/11, did not lower its flag). The OIC, however, is just one of several all-Islamic multinational organs that parallel secular international community structures. There is also, for example, the International Association of Islamic Banks and several other organs for cooperation, such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization.

Jihadi terrorists, as a matter of targeting policy, strike at representative symbols of the existing international order. One of the initial targets of Iraq-based al-Qaeda terrorists was the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq.[3] Pakistani and Nigerian Muslim terrorists have routinely assassinated international volunteers, even those working to eradicate deadly diseases such as polio. The most extreme assassinations have occurred in Sharia-governed northern Nigeria and Pushtun tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, where, in both places, the murders closely followed sermons that vociferously denounced ongoing inoculation campaigns. Any form of assistance from international organizations is rejected by Muslim extremists as part of a Western conspiracy to influence Muslims to abandon their faith. Inoculations against polio, for instance, have been described by Islamic extremists as a plot to sterilize Muslim children.[4] It is more likely, however, that the radical clerics who urge believers to renounce such aid efforts are more concerned about losing control of their constituency.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Iran dictates Khamenei’s “fatwa” as basis for nuclear negotiations. US fails to update Israel on Geneva talks

 

By Justyna Pawlak and Fredrik Dahl GENEVA | Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:46pm EDT

By Justyna Pawlak and Fredrik Dahl
GENEVA | Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:46pm EDT

Debkafile:

The Iranian negotiators arrived in Geneva Tuesday, Oct. 15, armed with inflexible positions verging on all-or-nothing for the talks with the six powers in Geneva on their country’s nuclear program.

The most important step for an accord, said Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, was for the powers to accept the Supreme Leader’s 2006 fatwa banning the development of nuclear weapons.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources note that although President Barack Obama cited this “fatwa,’ it was issued as a propaganda ploy with no binding religious value. The Iranian tactic is to use this “edict” to force the six powers (five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) to bow to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s authority and accord him equal status as the leader of a world power.
The Iranian team started the two-day meeting with a PowerPoint presentation, but then said the details of the proposals presented were “confidential.”
The other delegations agreed to this, although to say they were disappointed is an understatement. They were bowled over by the four Iranian stipulations:

1. The world powers must accept Iran’s right to enrich uranium without limitations. All the enrichment sites at Fordo and Natanz and the Arak heavy water plant under construction for plutonium production will remain in place.
2.  All sanctions on the Iranian economy whether imposed by the UN Security Council, the US or Europe must be removed at once.

3.  Iran guarantees to provide transparency and accept the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) but rejects snap inspections.
4. Khamenei’s “fatwa” is the first step towards an agreement with the world powers.

At the end of the first day of talks, EU foreign policy executive Catherine Ashton, who chairs the Geneva conference, took the Iranian negotiator Araghchi aside and told him to bring to the table more serious proposals.

Up until Tuesday night, the Obama administration had not relayed a single word on the Geneva proceedings to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was waiting in Jerusalem for a promised update.
His response to Iran’s arrogant intransigence at the Geneva talks and the fact that he was kept in the dark was not long in coming.
Addressing a Knesset session marking the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, Tuesday afternoon, the prime minister said: One lesson Israel learned from the Yom Kippur war was “never disallow the option of a preemptive strike a priori.” While this option may not meet all situations, it deserves careful and earnest consideration.
Netanyahu went on to say: The potential international reaction to such an attack is of less consequence than the price in blood Israel is apt to pay from a future “strategic blow” and the necessity to hit back.

The Alliance of Civilization Jihad

unaoc5 by , February 27, 2013:

As reported here early this morning, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations met today in Vienna to… well, to do whatever it is alliances of civilizations do.

Actually, the goal of this Alliance is quite clear, even if it is not stated explicitly: to impose the will of the United Nations on all Western countries, especially those that have not yet implemented laws against “defamation of religions” as demanded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

We are approaching endgame in the OIC’s long march through the major international institutions of Western culture. It began with the announcement in 2005 of the ten-year plan to end Islamophobia in the West, and the establishment of the Islamophobia Observatory shortly thereafter. These were obviously not enough to meet the Ummah’s needs, so it shifted its focus to other institutions. The OSCE must have also proved disappointing, as it is not high-profile and offers no prominent global platform.

The OIC has had better success with the General Assembly of the United Nations, taking virtual control of the organization by means of the votes of its 56 member states (57 if you count “Palestine”). However, this too is insufficient from the point of view of the embryonic World Caliphate. To establish full control, a permanent seat on the Security Council is an absolute necessity. The would-be Caliph — Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who obviously aspires to an office higher than prime minister of Turkey — has made it clear that Islam must be granted such a seat.

The process now unfolding before us on the international scene mirrors the “Civilization Jihad” launched long ago by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. With the installation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, the Ikhwan has now positioned all its American pieces on the board in preparation for the final takedown of Israel. To secure their international geopolitical position, the Brothers and the OIC need to complete their takeover of the United Nations.

Today it seems they are very close to achieving success in — what shall we call their operation?

Perhaps the “Alliance of Civilization Jihad” would be most fitting.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Henrik Ræder Clausen and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff were in Vienna to attend and report on today’s event, the 5th Global Forum — UN Alliance of Civilizations.

Read Elisabeth’s account at Gates of Vienna

aoclogo0

via Is The Alliance Of Civilizations A Pro Sharia Front? (libertiesalliance.org)

The 5th Global Forum of The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations takes place in Vienna today.  In our experience most UN initiatives these days have a pro-sharia twist.  The UNHRC for instance spends a lot of time criticising Israel but does not seem to adequately confront the human rights abuses elsewhere (1). Perhaps the UNHRCs work is corrupted because it gives membership to countries who are human rights abusers.  It produces UNHRC Resolution 16/18 but apparently does nothing to ensure that the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) permit the religious freedom, a freedom that it purports to uphold.  In effect UNHRC Resolution 16/18 has become a pro-sharia document designed specifically to expand the reach of sharia.

We expect that the Alliance of Civilizations will be no different and will prove to be yet another mechanism to demonise sharia critics and facilitate the expansion of the zone of sharia compliance that already causes immeasurable misery around the world.  We will be watching the 5th Global Forum with great interest.

See Tundra Tabloids for updates.  Updates will also be posted below:

(1) Israel right to say ‘Enough!’ to grotesquely biased UNHRC inquiry (Haaretz)

Updates:

We are told from people on the ground at the event that the person who introduced the event suggested that they expected more harmony from this forum.  Below is a gist of what specific individuals talked about:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Suggested that anti-Muslim sentiment was commonplace. That Muslims are being vilified instead of being embraced.  That leaders need to speak the language of tolerance.  That the three most important issues that needed to be addressed by all speakers were:

1) The impasse between Israelis and Palestinians

2) The situation in Mali

3) The situation in Syria

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Suggested that racist attacks are on the rise.  That the magnitude of the threat is threefold:

1) lack of information

2) Intolerance

3) Prejudice – he believes that we can eliminate the threat posed by prejudice.  He

mentioned that there are many good examples of people living in harmony and such societies are more successful – however he did not name any of these countries or societies.

He suggested that we witness harsh and insulting behaviour towards Muslims and that this is an unconscionable act.  Also that we need to act on prejudices and need to consider Islamophobia as a crime against humanity. He suggested that no religion would ever endorse violence, that Islam is a religion of peace and that the word ‘Islam’ means peace.

On behalf of turkey he asked whether the UN Security Council represented the whole world and he concluded that it did not. He asked whether it represented all religious groups.  He suggested that the fundamental problem is that the Alliance of Civilizations needs to establish and alliance with the Security Council.

ICLA Comment: Our prediction of that the Alliance of Civilizations is a pro-sharia front seems to be coming true based on much of what has been reported above.  The focus seems very focused on issues that are seen as important to Islamic countries.  Nothing has been said about the persecution of non-Muslims in the Islamic world.  It seems from what Mr Erdoğan was saying about the Security Council that there should be permanent Islamic representation on that body.  This perhaps is an indication that Islam has political objectives.  It must be remembered that the Security Council is not a religious assembly.

We have a further update.  It appears that human rights issues have not been raised at this event though the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was mentioned twice.  Much has been said with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the plight of the Palestinian.  There was a round of applause when Palestine’s receipt of UNESCO status was mentioned.

Outgoing High Representative of the Alliance of Civilisations, Jorge Sampaio

He emphasized that we should not be talking but doing.  He raised the issue of successes and achievements of the Alliance of Civilizations but did not mention a single one.  He suggested that we need common ground and minimum standards of behivaiour, though he never mentioned what this might mean in practice.  He spoke about his desire for a world conference hosted by the Alliance of Civilizations with goal being to address the need to go back to zero with a bold vision and measurable goals.

Incoming High Representative of the Alliance of Civilisations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

He referred to the prevalence of intolerance and xenophobia.  He emphasised the importance of the role of the Alliance of Civilizations to enhance international cooperation to advance a vision and ensure responsible leadership and good decision making.

ICLA Comment: It is clear that the Alliance of Civilizations is nothing more than a tool for totalitarian tyrants to impose their will on the rest of the world.  Dictatorships just want to impose their tyrannical rules on the rest of the world. When the free world says that it will not tolerate despotic rule, these dictatorships say that it is an insult to their culture. 

Jihadists Occupy Mali With Impunity

0702-ansar_full_600-450x344By Joseph Klein

Foreign Islamist jihadists from Sudan, Algeria, Libya and elsewhere, who are part of a network of terrorist groups that affiliate themselves with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, are entrenching themselves in yet another African country. Al Qaeda is currently occupying an area the size of France in the northern portion of Mali. Like a virus exploiting a weak immune system, the jihadists, mostly Arabs, are exploiting a power vacuum created by internal fighting among ethnic tribes within Mali that had led to a coup and a weakened central government.

Yet, in the face of both a strategic and humanitarian crisis in northern Mali caused by Islamist jihadist invaders, the Obama administration is dithering as conditions in northern Mali worsen by the day.  So is the United Nations on which the Obama administration appears to be relying for a global consensus regarding what to do next.

Reports from the ground indicate that the jihadists have stepped up their forces in the area, turning northern Mali into another breeding ground for the spread of Islamic terrorism throughout Africa. According to the top American military commander in Africa, Gen. Carter F. Ham, the jihadists in Mali are providing arms, explosives and financing to their counterparts in northern Nigeria, where Christians are already being murdered and churches burned. Moreover, al Qaeda is using its control of northern Mali to increase recruiting across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Europe, according to Gen. Ham.

Northern Mali is also near the tipping point of becoming the current version of the Afghanistan of the 1990′s, in terms of its use as a base for plotting, training and launching of terrorist attacks around the world. Indeed, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mali-based extremists played a role in the September 11th attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. That fact alone would merit direct American action to eliminate the al Qaeda presence in Mali. Yet there is silence from the Obama White House.

The jihadist occupiers have also committed gross human rights violations against the local Malian population. Imposing Taliban-style sharia law in place of Sufism that most Malians practice, the occupiers have destroyed the local population’s most revered religious monuments the jihadists considered idolatrous and subjected Malians to amputations, stoning, extra-judicial executions and recruitment of children as soldiers. As usual when sharia law is applied, women have been targeted for the harshest treatment. Over 412,000 people have been forced to flee the north.

Mali leaders have pleaded for help from their neighbors with whom they have had peaceful relations. The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responded with an offer of military assistance to uproot the Islamist invaders. In accordance with the United Nations Charter, these regional groups have gone to the UN Security Council to seek authorization and support for an African-led military force to drive out the occupiers.

The Council passed a resolution in October.  It stated the Security Council’s readiness to consider requests for international military force under African auspices to intervene in Mali, but kicked the can down the road until it received a report from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the situation in Mali and further recommendations for UN action.

Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman presented the Secretary General’s report on Mali to the Security Council on December 5th, followed by statements from representatives of Mali, ECOWAS and the African Union.  The disconnect on what to do next between the UN Secretary General’s passive recommendations and the call for forceful action by the Mali, ECOWAS and African Union representatives was glaring.

Although conceding the urgency of conditions on the ground in northern Mali, the Secretary General’s report urged patience.  Give “national dialogue” more time to sort out Mali’s internal issues, prepare a “transitional roadmap” (a favorite phrase the UN bureaucracy uses when it has no concrete plan of action) and establish the conditions for a credible election, the report recommended.

“A military operation may be required as a last resort to deal with terrorist and criminal elements in northern Mali,” Under Secretary General Feltman told the Security Council in summarizing Ban Ki-moon’s report, “but the priority must be on supporting the national authorities to restore constitutional order and reach a political settlement to the ongoing crisis.”

The report expressed concern that the request to the Security Council to authorize a United Nations support package for an offensive military operation could have an “impact on the image of the United Nations,” as if its image could become any worse in dealing with the global Islamist threat. The United Nations is “not best placed to directly tackle the security threat posed by terrorists and affiliated groups,” the report conceded.

Nevertheless, while disavowing the UN’s responsibility for providing direct support or funding from the UN’s regular budget for targeted military operations required to dislodge the terrorists from northern Mali, the report recommended that the Security Council set down “benchmarks” the African-led forces and Malians must meet before they are permitted to commence military operations.  The benchmarks would include “positive developments in the political process…and the effective training of military and police personnel of both the support mission and the Malian forces in their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.” The UN should then send in a “sufficient number” of human rights observers to monitor “strict adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law” by the Malian forces and their allies.

In other words, the United Nations’ top leader Ban Ki-moon is recommending that the Malians defending their own country with the help of their neighbors against a foreign invasion by the world’s worst  specimens of human rights abusers must first prove to the UN that they have their own house in order before they can repel the jihadist invaders. Second, the Malians and their allies must effectively pass a human rights certification course and then show that they will play by the rules flouted by the terrorists, all under the watchful eyes of UN monitors for which, by the way, funding will somehow be made available even though there are evidently no monies in the vast UN budget that can be found to support the military operation itself.

The Malian representative, not surprisingly, had a very different take. She pleaded for military assistance to rid Mali of the jihadist scourge without delay.  She mentioned several times that the terrorists occupying northern Mali are foreign. Mali is addressing its own human rights issues in dealing with ethnic minorities, she assured the Council, using what she described as “affirmative action” to integrate minorities into significant positions in government institutions. The process for holding credible elections is already underway, she added.  Responding to those concerned about human rights violations in Mali, she declared that “the best way to preserve human rights” is to quickly set up an African-led military force with international backing that would “allow the Mali government to restore territorial integrity of the entire country.”

Kaddre Ouedraogo, the president of ECOWAS and former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, told the Security Council that “political dialogue must be combined with a military option to dismantle the terrorists.”  He called for the Security Council to pass a resolution by the end of this year under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter authorizing the use of military force against the terrorists.

The African Union representative Tete Antonio concurred, adding that past experience of the United Nations in Sudan and Somalia has shown the limitations of voluntary contributions to pay for the support of military operations.  He wants funding to come through the UN assessed budget this time  rather than have to pass the hat for voluntary contributions.

Where is the Obama administration regarding the Mali crisis? Leading from behind would be an overstatement. It is outsourcing the matter to the UN and to France.

Read more at Front Page

Iran Tests Missiles After EU Oil Move

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Revolutionary Guards on Monday mark 24 years since the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people, during the Iran-Iraq war.

By FARNAZ FASSIHI

BEIRUT—Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps launched several days of drills Monday to test missiles capable of hitting targets as far away as Israel, one day after the European Union put into effect its planned embargo against Iranian oil.

The three days of war games in the north-central desert area of Semnan province, dubbed the Great Prophet 7, were reported by official news agencies. They are aimed at testing the precision and efficiency of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ warheads and missile system, the reports said.

Iran routinely conducts military drills. The continuing crisis in Syria, Iran’s closest ally in the Arab world, and the near-failed nuclear talks with the West could potentially make Iran vulnerable for a military attack.

A new round of technical meetings is scheduled in Turkey this week between Iran and six counterparties who are aiming to curb what they say are Iranian steps toward building nuclear weapons. But there is little expectation of a breakthrough between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, or P5+1. During the last rounds of talks in Moscow in June, both sides acknowledged a large gap between their visions for a possible deal. Iran contends its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes.

Both Israel and the U.S. have said a military option is on the table.

In this week’s drills, dozens of domestic ballistic missiles will be fired at 100 land and sea targets modeled after foreign bases belonging to “extra regional powers,” official media reports said. Bomber drones and aircrafts will also be used, reports said.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace unit, said Monday that Iran wouldn’t “sit idly” as the U.S. and Europe built a missile-defense shield program that could target Iran, according to IRNA, the official news agency. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is pursuing plans for a Europe-based shield that would guard against Iranian missiles.

Iran would unveil a new ballistic missile, called Arm, which Gen. Hajizadeh said has the capacity to detect and hit radar bases. Arm is capable of hitting NATO targets in Turkey, enemy ships in the Persian Gulf and Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, he said.

Gen. Hajizadeh also said the Revolutionary Guards’ electronic experts had successfully decoded all the classified information in the U.S. RQ-170 drone that went down inside Iran in December. Iran was currently using this intelligence and had begun building a drone modeled after its American counterpart, he said.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment.

Read more at WSJ