Stuart Varney: Europe is Retreating From it’s Core Values

h/t @michaeldweiss

h/t @michaeldweiss

Also see:

Major Italian Blitz on Terrorist Cell Reveals Bombing Plot against Vatican

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by Thomas D. Williams, April 24, 2015:

ROME, Italy– Counterterrorism police conducted coordinated raids across Italy on Friday against an Islamist cell based in Sardinia and linked to al-Qaeda, arresting eight Pakistanis and an Afghan.

Of the nine arrested, three were taken in Olbia, two in Civitanova Marche and the others in Bergamo, Rome, Sora and Foggia. The terrorist organization was mainly active in Olbia and Lazio, according to police reports.

The ideological leader of the cell, a radical fundamentalist imam living in Bergamo, was among those arrested.

The alleged terrorists are being charged with various crimes ranging from the commission of terrorist acts abroad to abetting illegal immigration.

Two of those arrested have a history as supporters of Bin Laden, while others are wanted for numerous bloody acts of terrorism and sabotage in Pakistan, including the massacre at the market of Peshawar and the Meena Bazar in October of 2009, where more than one hundred people were killed.

Intercepted phone conversations revealed the presence in 2010 of two suicide bombers in Italy, whom investigators suspect were planning a bombing attack on the Vatican. The chief prosecutor of the Republic of Cagliari, Mauro Mura, who coordinated the investigation, stated that the alleged assault on the Vatican will not, however, be charged against those arrested.

Investigators reported that the suspects said they would launch a “big jihad in Italy” against a major leader, and that conversations suggested the target might be the Vatican.

“Get ready, the bombs will explode,” is a phrase that emerged from phone records reported Friday morning by investigators. But the organization apparently abandoned the plot, after the men drew the attention of law enforcement, and the two suicide bombers quickly moved on to Olbia and northern Italy, covering their tracks. During a search in Olbia, police found a sheet of paper with the “vow of martyrdom” of one of the terrorists.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi downplayed the threat, noting that the planned attack “dates back to 2010 and was not carried out.” Lombardi said the threat is no longer relevant “and is not cause for particular concern.”

The arrest warrants speak of a criminal organization “inspired by al-Qaeda and other groups of a radical matrix espousing armed conflict against the West and uprising against the current government in Pakistan.”

The cell had a stockpile of weapons as well as “many adherents willing to commit acts of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after which to return to Italy.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the successful blitz “means that our system works” and “that ours is a great country able to dismantle these plots.”

The investigation revealed intercepted calls showing that two members of the organization were part of the protective group surrounding Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. In a wiretap one of those arrested asked a relative of Bin Laden “how is he doing?”

The cell also reportedly facilitated the illegal immigration of Pakistani and Afghani nationals into Italy. The police report states that the organization sought “to fuel the criminal network by allocating a portion of its resources to the phenomenon of the illegal introduction of Pakistanis or Afghans onto Italian soil, who in some cases were also destined to certain countries of northern Europe.”

According to the police, to evade the rules governing the entry or residence in the country of non-EU citizens, those arrested were using simple but tried-and-true methods. In some cases they “had recourse to labor contracts with compliant employers in order to obtain entry visas.” In other cases, the organization used “false documents and fraudulent claims to seek political asylum, passing off Islamists as victims of ethnic or religious persecution.”

The organization allegedly also provided financial and logistical support to illegal immigrants: ensuring their patronage at the competent immigration offices, furnishing instructions regarding the correct statements to be made ​​to get political asylum, and providing telephones, SIM cards and personal contacts.

The unidentified spiritual ringleader of the group was a leader of the pietistic movement Tabligh Eddawa (Society of Propaganda). Operating between Brescia and Bergamo, the man proving to be an effective fundraiser among the Pakistani-Afghan community in Italy, thanks to his religious authority as an imam and teacher of Koranic studies. In one case, police discovered the transfer of 55,268 euros via courier on a flight to Islamabad from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

More often, the imam employed the money transfer system known as “hawala,” a mechanism for the hidden transfer of funds based on a bond of trust widespread in Muslim communities in Europe. Hawala operates parallel to the traditional banking system allowing for the transferal of a sum of money abroad by delivering it to a money broker, called a “hawaladar,” and providing him with a code or password. The broker in turn contacts another hawaladar in the receiving country authorizing the disbursal of the sum, which the beneficiary then obtains by furnishing the agreed-upon password.

Known terrorists received money from the collections or donations raised by the activity of the imam arrested in Bergamo. Along with al-Qaeda, the associations “Theerek and Taliban,” “Theerek and Enifaz” and “Sharia and Mihammadi” were beneficiaries of his efforts.

The police still have nine pending arrest warrants for members of the terrorist cell. Of the suspected terrorists still at large, three are considered to certainly still be in Italy, while others are thought to have fled the country.

***

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: the only way to save lives in the Mediterranean is to STOP THE BOATS

Refugee Resettlement, by Ann Corcoran on April 21, 2015:

I figured I didn’t need to say much about the latest drowning deaths in the Mediterranean since for once the mainstream media seems to have noticed.

In July 2013 the Pope went to Lampedusa to great the invaders from North Africa and the Middle East. And, lectured Italians to be more welcoming.https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/pope-lectures-on-lampedusa/

We have been writing about the ‘Invasion of Europe’ for what seems like years!

It goes on and on and European leaders don’t seem to get it.

The only way to save lives is to turn the boats back to the North African coast, and then let the UNHCR build some camps in Libya to house them and guard them.

It is either that or lose Europe completely as all of Africa and the Middle East want in!

And, by the way, this writer has no sympathy for the Pope (saying prayers as the news broke) since he helped encourage the invasion when he went to the Italian island of Lampedusa nearly two years ago and “welcomed” the invaders!

So here is the latest news from The Guardian about the sinking of yet one migrant vessel.

Italian police have arrested two suspected people traffickers among the survivors of the migrant boat that capsized on Sunday, as the United Nations confirmed that at least 800 people died in the sinking off the coast of Libya.

Prosecutors said they had detained a Tunisian man believed to be the captain of the vessel and a Syrian allegedly a member of the ship’s crew, taken from a group of 27 haggard survivors who arrived in the Sicilian port of Catania on Monday evening.

The two were charged with people trafficking and the captain was also charged with reckless multiple homicide in relation to the sinking.

The arrests came after an emergency meeting of EU interior and foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday made a decision to launch military operations against the networks of smugglers in Libya, as well as to bolster maritime patrols in the Mediterranean and give their modest naval mission a broader search-and-rescue mandate for saving lives.

Flavio Di Giacomo, spokesperson for IOM Italy, said those on board had come from Gambia, Ivory coast, Somalia, Eritrea, Mali, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh and Syria.Reports said all those on board were male, several of them unaccompanied children.The Guardian tells us the average age of the migrants was 25-years-old.  And male!  Sounds like an army to me!

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has the only solution if the European Union wants to save lives AND save Europe. 

You will find this near the end of The Guardian’s story.  LOL! I think they call this burying the lead!

Tony Abbott: Stop the boats!

Tony Abbott: Stop the boats!

Australia’s prime minister has urged European leaders to adopt tougher border control measures. Tony Abbott, whose government implemented a strict policy of turning back asylum seekers’ boats in a bid to discourage them from trying to reach Australia, called the latest Mediterranean crisis a “terrible, terrible tragedy” and suggested Europe follow Australia’s lead to ensure it was not repeated.

“The only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the people smuggling trade. The only way you can stop the deaths is, in fact, to stop the boats,” Abbott told reporters in the nation’s capital, Canberra. “That’s why it is so urgent that the countries of Europe adopt very strong policies that will end the people smuggling trade across the Mediterranean.”

See our archive on recent Australian success in stopping boats filled with illegal migrants.  And, our whole ‘Invasion of Europe’ series is here.

EU Grapples with Mounting Illegal Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean

Illegal migrants in overloaded boat in Mediterranean Source:  UK Telegraph

Illegal migrants in overloaded boat in Mediterranean
Source: UK Telegraph

NER, by Jerry Gordon, April 20, 2015:

The EU is in the midst of another refugee crisis in the Straits that separates Sicily from North Africa.  The flash point of the humanitarian crisis is the Island of Lampedusa 297 kilometers offshore of Tripoli, Libya.  168 kilometers north of Lampedusa is the Island Republic of Malta which is also in the crosshairs of this crisis.  Refugees from the Jihadist conflicts throughout the Middle East, North and Sub Sahara Africa, even South Asia   packed into a flotilla of overloaded vessels make a bee-line for this Italian landfall with less than 5,000 full time residents, where heretofore they received a welcome.  Off shore of Lampedusa is a flotilla of EU coast guard vessels on rotating duty alert for distress calls escorting floundering vessels to port on the Italian Island and hence to Sicily and the Italian mainland. Unfortunately, these days  Italian and EU coast guard vessels search for the bodies of illegal migrants washed overboard.

Italian Coast Guard Operations Center Rome, April 19, 2015 Source:  AFP

The  illegal  refugee  crisis  in the Mediterranean  reached a new peak   last week when  thousands of illegal  ‘migrants’ attempted the perilous journey. They were   seeking refuge and  access to  generous welfare and absorption benefits from the EU.  In one tragic instance an overloaded  66 foot fishing vessel  capsized  on Sunday, April 19th when  migrants rushed to  one side of the deck  hailing  a  commercial vessel responding their  distress call. The result was over 700 downed, less than 49 survived and 28 bodies have been pulled from the water so far.  Another ship disaster last week claimed  400 lives off Tripoli. The picket line of Italian and other EU coast guard vessels were pressed into service endeavoring to recover the remains.  Last week, an estimated 8,500 made the crossing on questionable vessels arranged by human traffickers.  In 2014 more than 1,600 died during turbulent crossings.  So far this year more than 900 lives have been lost.  Frontex data shows that migration across the Mediterranean in 2014 peaked to a level more than twice as high as its previous peak in 2011. 170,760 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2014, compared with 64,300 in 2011, 15,900 in 2012, and 40,000 in 2013.

Sunday night Italian President Renzi and Maltese PM Muscat requested  an emergency EU Summit to address these deadly illegal migrant ship disasters.  It was quickly added to the agenda of the EU Foreign Ministers meeting today in Luxembourg.   According to a USA Today report Renzi said, “How can it be that we daily are witnessing a tragedy?”   Muscat seconded Renzi   calling “it the “biggest human tragedy of the last few years.”  The illegal migration problem was discussed at the Informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries held in Barcelona on April 13th to discuss the future of the European Neighborhood Policy.

 However, there was a new development. In one  illegal crossing, 12 Christians from Nigeria and Ghana were thrown overboard from a sinking raft by Muslim compatriots, because they couldn’t recite the Shahada – the profession of faith or other Qur’anic verses.  The perpetrators were arrested by Italian police.  Onshore, ISIS followers in Libya beheaded 30 Ethiopian Orthodox Christians seeking to make the illegal passage across the Mediterranean, yet another outrage.  That sparked  anger  from the Obama Administration which appears unable to do anything about it.  However, in the 20 months remaining of   President Obama’s final term in office   the priority is engagement with Iran  over its nuclear program via the P5+1 process hoping to deprive the Islamic regime of nuclear weapons.  That priority  leaves a legacy for   his successor  to deal  with  a welter of  international crises.

Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels in a 10 NewsDK   blog post today noted the scandal of EU cooperation with North African human traffickers:

Last weekend the EU coast guard transported 8,500 people from North Africa to Italy alone. EU says that it “saves” the “refugees” (many of them turn out to be jihadis or fake refugees) from the dangerous travel across the Mediterranean.  However,  it is the EU that lures millions to do this potentially deadly trip by promising Western welfare to those willing to take the chance. The EU should either start offering free transport from Africa to Europe or start sending all refugees back to local camps. I advise the latter option, and not just because it would make us able to give safety to more people for the same amount of money – which is more compassionate. But also because it would dissuade people from taking the deadly chance. Thereby nobody would die in the attempt to reach EU shores. That is how Australia does it – and since Australia introduced this policy, the amount of drowned boat-refugees decreased to zero.

It is obvious that the situation is unsustainable, but as long as our politicians continue to obey the EU and the UN, the human tsunami of refugees seeking the help of European tax payers will continue. According to humanitarian agenciesup to half a million migrants may try to cross the Mediterranean this year – a figure that would dwarf the 170,000 who reached Italy last year.

According to a report from Express,  North African Human smugglers are  alerting EU authorities  they are sending illegals  people across the Mediterranean:.

Trafficking  gangs ferrying immigrants into the European Union are tipping off officials so  Italian and EU coast guard vessels   can pick up their boats. …

Gangs are so certain their boats will be picked up they’re even putting less fuel in the tank because naval vessels will pick them up, a former UK immigration manager has revealed. …

Of the 270,000 migrants who arrived in Europe illegally last year, more than 220,000 of them came through North Africa.

Many of those attempting the dangerous crossing in overloaded un- seaworthy craft were propelled  by sectarian conflicts in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria involving ISIS,  Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, Al Shabaab and Boko Haram.  Muslims among these illegal migrants are being welcomed in what the scholar Bat Ye’or called in her book Eurabia: The Euro Arab Axis Bat Ye’or warned about the consequences of EU bureaucracies engaged in outreach to Muslim countries on the periphery of the Mediterranean via the Barcelona Process of the 1990’s.  That led to the establishment  of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Paris on July 13, 2008 at a meeting of 43 heads of Euro-Mediterranean States.  Subsequently, Foreign Ministers of the UfM met in Marseilles in November 2008 and established a headquarters in Barcelona.  In 2010, senior Member  States of the UfM approved  the Statues and Barcelona Headquarters in accordance with Spanish Law. According to the website of the UfM its vision and mission/mandate are:

The UfM is a multilateral partnership aiming at increasing the potential for regional integration and cohesion among Euro-Mediterranean countries. The Union for the Mediterranean is inspired by the shared political will to revitalize efforts to transform the Mediterranean into an area of peace, democracy, cooperation and prosperity.

The UfM was promoted   by former President Nicolas Sarkozy as a means of contending with the problems of rejectionist émigré Muslim communities engaged in internal disturbances  attributable to mass immigration.  Add to that are the contemporary problems of thousands of EU Muslims  traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State to fight and build the self-declared Caliphate. A Caliphate engaged in ethnic cleansing of infidels:  Christians, ancient religious minorities and what are deemed heterodox Muslims.

Fjordman, Norwegian blogger Peder Jensen, author of Defeating Eurabia  said in an email exchange today:

While the Mediterranean is flooded with illegal immigrants, including Islamic Jihadists, the EU elites are creating a Union for the Mediterranean. Europe needs a Union for the Mediterranean just like it needs a beheading. Which is, coincidentally, just what it might get. It is doubtful whether most Europeans want a Union with North Africa and the Middle East, but then the EU elites never cared about what ordinary Europeans think. There is no reason for them to start now.

The Syrian Civil war  displaced nearly 4 million registered refugees.  UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) administered camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq,   Jordan and Egypt host 3.2 million.  22 countries have agreed  last December to accept 100,000 of the more than 320,000 refugees most at risk in 2016. The UNHCR has requested absorption of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees by major EU countries and even here in the US.

The consequences   of these refugee and illegal migrant flows caused by sectarian Jihad warfare in the Muslim Ummah heartland are ironic.  The Eurabian bureaucracies have in effect acquiesced to the Islamic doctrine of Dar al Hijrah – the land of immigration, a reflection of the Prophet Mohammed’s migration from Medina to Mecca that kick started the first grand Jihad.  That has given rise to calls by  center right parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Austria, France , Sweden  and the UK to reject further mass Muslim migration, whether legal or illegal.  This is a reflection of rising concern over Muslim citizens traveling to join the cause of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda only to have some return to commit massacres like the Charlie Hebdo mass shooting and the Hyper Cacher Kosher Supermarket in Paris that killed 17 in January 2015.  As both Sennels and Fjordman have stated, the EU citizens will pay the price of this massive wave of illegal Muslim emigration  across the Mediterranean spawned by Jihad.

***

Italian officials break up human smuggling ring

ISIS attack on Italy coming

The Islamic State may be looking to turn more of Rome into ruins. (AP Photo)

The Islamic State may be looking to turn more of Rome into ruins. (AP Photo)

, March 25, 2015:

The Islamic State terrorist group likely will launch an attack on Italy within weeks, not months, according to a senior Libyan government official.

Aref Ali Nayed, Libya’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said in an interview that one likely method of attack would be to use stolen Libyan airliners now believed to be in the hands of Islamists in Libya.

“The horrific video showing 21 Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya contained a direct threat from ISIS to Rome,” said Mr. Nayed, using an acronym for the terrorist group. “The threat of ISIS to Italy could become a reality in a matter of weeks rather than months.”

The Islamic State could use two attack methods, the ambassador said. The first would be for Libya-based terrorists to infiltrate Italy by using one of the many boats carrying undocumented Libyans to Italy. Once in Italy, the terrorists could regroup and carry out an attack.

“Second, ISIS could weaponize a civilian airliner or small military aircraft in Libya, loading it with explosives and/or chemical weapons.” Mr. Nayed said. “Rome is one hour from the ISIS-controlled airport in Sirte.”

U.S. intelligence agencies warned in September that Islamist militias in Libya have taken control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners that remain unaccounted for.

Intelligence reports circulated in late August included warnings that one or more of the aircraft could be used in a regional suicide attack coinciding with the Sept. 11 anniversary. No attacks using hijacked airliners took place last year.

A U.S. official familiar with the reports in September said “there are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing” and that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks showed what could be done with hijacked planes.

Mr. Nayed said the recent attack in Tunisia that was claimed by the Islamic State shows that the group is capable of conducting coordinated and effective attacks with speed and precision from Libya.

“Their attacks are increasing in both frequency and scope, and we must take their threat against Italy and Southern Europe very seriously,” the ambassador said.

Mr. Nayed, a senior adviser to Libya’s prime minister for national security, also said the terrorist group appears to be part of a continuum of ever-more radical Islamists ravaging the oil-rich North African country since the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Libya is in very real danger of becoming an ISIS garrison and an ATM for ISIS operations in Syria and Iraq,” he said in a December speech. “There is a good chance that Libya’s oil wealth was siphoned off by Islamists and provided oxygen for the growth of ISIS during the recent Islamist regime. It certainly has not been used to make our country a better place for Libyans.”

Two key Libyan cities appear to be in the Islamic State’s hands, including the coastal cities of Derna, long an outpost of Islamist terrorists, and Sirte.

Mr. Nayed, considered a top candidate to lead Libya’s next interim government, has been visiting Washington this week to lobby for Western support in the battle against the Islamic State and to warn about the danger of terrorist attacks.

An Islamic scholar who received his early education in Iowa and Toronto, Mr. Nayed has denounced the Islamic State for its perversion of the Muslim religion.

“What we are witnessing is pure fascism using the vocabulary and trappings of Islam but without a scintilla of the profound knowledge and spirit of Islam,” he said in the speech.

“Our faith teaches us not to kill others; these people glorify killing,” Mr. Nayed said. “Our faith teaches us not to hate; these people promote hatred. Our faith teaches us to respect women; these people debase women. Our faith teaches us to help one another; these people oppress others. ISIS is the antithesis of Islam. It is the enemy of Islam in the guise of Islam.”

SAUDI NUCLEAR DETERRENT

Security analysts say disturbing signs are emerging that Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, is moving ahead with plans for creating a nuclear deterrent against Iran in anticipation that the nuclear deal being negotiated in Switzerland will not prevent Tehran from building atomic weapons.

The signs included visits this month to Riyadh by regional leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and several Persian Gulf potentates.

However, the visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif garnered the closest attention from U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Unlike the arrivals of the other leaders, King Salman personally greeted Mr. Sharif at Riyadh airport March 4 in a sign of the closeness between the two states.

The recent visits by regional heads of state is fueling new concerns about a Sunni-Shiite conflict led by the Saudis against Iranians.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the agency’s concerns about a nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia.

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia remains vehemently opposed to regional power Shiite-led Iran, which is backing Yemen’s Houthi rebels who recently took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

“Don’t forget that the Saudis put up most of the funds that enabled Pakistan to build the bomb,” said former CIA veteran Duane “Dewy” Clarridge, who maintains close ties to intelligence sources in the region.

“There are individuals in both governments that know that, and as a result, the Saudis have dibs on three to four nuclear bombs,” he said.

China has deployed intermediate-range Chinese DF-3 missiles that were paraded for the first time in May. News reports also disclosed last year that the Saudis have purchased medium-range DF-21 missiles, with a range of some 600 miles.

Mr. Clarridge said “the Saudis don’t need Chinese missiles” to hit key targets in Iran, namely oil and water facilities along the coast.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA specialist on arms proliferation, said the Obama administration’s push for a nuclear deal with Iran will fuel an arms race in the region.

“Iran has continued to pursue nuclear weapons during the talks and will continue to do so with or with a nuclear agreement,” Mr. Fleitz said. “The weak agreement that the Obama administration is pushing will create a more dangerous situation by legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program and allowing it in as little as 10 years to pursue dual use nuclear technologies with no restrictions.”

The current talks with Iran and the deal being pursued “will be deeply destabilizing and could lead to war in Middle East,” he added.

CHINA MARKETS ATTACK DRONE

A brochure from a Chinese state-run company reveals new details about one of Beijing’s attack drones — called the Cai Hong-3 (CH-3), or Rainbow-3 — being offered for sale to foreign customers.

A catalog obtained by the U.S. government from China Aerospace Long-March International reveals details of the CH-3 and a missile-firing variant called the CH-3A.

The catalog provides a rare inside look at China’s drone arsenal. The CH-3 is one of nine drones being offered for sale around the world, ranging in size from very small to large-scale unmanned aerial vehicles. Several drones appear to be knockoffs of U.S.-designed remotely piloted aircraft, including the Predator strike drone and Global Hawk long-range spy drone.

“Featuring high reconnaissance effectiveness, high anti-jamming capability, diversified payloads, integrated reconnaissance/attack, easy operation and simple maintenance, the UAVs can be used for such military operations as battlefield reconnaissance intelligence collection, anti-terrorism combat, no-fly zone patrol, firing calibration, data relay and electronic warfare,” the catalog states.

The drone has been sold to Pakistan and Nigeria, where an armed CH-3A was photographed after it crashed during a mission to hit Boko Haram terrorists.

The CH-3 appears to be a copy of the Jetcruzer small civil aircraft that was built by U.S. company Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc., which sold 30 Jetcruzer 500s to China in 2000.

The Chinese company also is selling two types of missiles to be fired from what it calls an “advanced medium-range UAV system.” The package includes three aircraft and a vehicle-mounted ground control system. The drone can take off and land via a remote pilot and has a retractable nose landing gear.

“The advantages of this UAV system are high reliability, high efficiency and low cost,” the catalog states. “It can be used for various flight missions such as battle zone reconnaissance, artillery fire adjustment, data-link relay, intelligence collection and electronic warfare, etc.

“CH-3A UAV can be equipped with precision guided weapons to complete reconnaissance and strike missions.”

The unarmed version has a range of 1,500 miles and can fly for 12 hours. The missile-equipped variant can fly 621 miles, has a flight time of six hours and can carry up to 400 pounds of bombs.

Among the payloads for use on the CH-3 are a four-lens electro-optical reconnaissance camera, a synthetic aperture radar capable of seeing through clouds and some structures and an airborne electronic warfare system.

The missiles that can be fired from the CH-3A include the company’s AR-1 air-to-ground armor-piercing missile that is laser-guided for precision attacks against tanks, vehicles and fixed structures. It has a range of 3 to 5 miles, with an extended range version up to 10 miles.

Additionally, the drone can carry the FT-1 precision-guided bomb.

Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz

World View: Reports Indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia Planning Military Action in Libya

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by JOHN J. XENAKIS, March 1, 2015:

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya
  • Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization
  • Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya

Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)
Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)

Various unconfirmed reports are emerging indicating that there may be joint international action planned in Libya as early as next week.

Egypt is already conducting air strikes against ISIS-linked targets in Derna, close to where Egyptian Coptics were massacred recently, as displayed in a gruesome video. Debka reports that Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi is planning further action in Libya, including more air strikes and possible ground troops, within a few days. According to the report, Egyptian commando and marine forces are preparing for sea landings to seize Derna and destroy the terrorist elements there. If this attack is actually launched, it will be the first time in modern times that an Arab country has sent ground forces into another Arab country.

Al-Jazeera television reports that the Italian navy is getting ready to carry off sophisticated military drills off the coast of Libya as early as Monday. Although Italy claims that it will be a regular exercise, there are many more vessels taking part in this year’s exercise than have in the past, which Italy explains by saying that they are testing out sophisticated new technologies.

There are several reasons why Italy is pursuing this show of force:

  • Italy considers the flood of migrants from Libya into Italy to be an existential threat to Italy itself, because there may be ISIS-trained terrorists smuggled in, along with the other migrants. Italy may be planning some kind of military action in Libya in conjunction with Egypt’s air strikes and other operations.
  • The GreenStream pipeline is a gas pipeline running underneath the Mediterranan Sea from Libya to Sicily. The pipeline is vital to economic relations between Italy and Libya. In recent months, there have been attacks by gunmen on oil installations in Libya, forcing some ports to shut down. The new show of naval force may be related to threats of attack or sabotage on the pipeline.
  • For over a year, Italy ran a search and rescue program called “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”) that saved the lives of thousands of migrants attempting to travel from Libya to Italy. This program required Italian naval vessels near the Libyan coast. In November, the program ended and an EU program called Triton replaced it, but Triton restricts its operations to only 30 miles off the Italian coast. Triton has been considered unsatisfactory because many more migrants are drowning. Italy’s new show of naval force may be an attempt to restore a portion of the Mare Nostrum program.
  • Related to the last point, on Saturday there were large demonstrations in Rome by Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party for the government to do more to keep immigrants out. The naval show of force may help to mollify the protestors.

Some reports indicate that Russia has hinted at a willingness to participate in a naval blockade of Libya to prevent arm supplies from leaving Libya for other countries. Russia could play a role in this because it already has a naval fleet in the Mediterranean.

These are all unconfirmed reports of possible military action in Libya by Egypt, Italy and Russia. There are no reports of possible participation by Nato or the United States. Debkaand Cairo Post

Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization

Egypt on Saturday became the first Arab country to name Hamas as a terrorist organization. The U.S. and the European Union have named Hamas as a terror group. An EU court took Hamas off the list in December 2014, ruling that the designation was not based on solid legal evidence, but the EU is appealing the court’s decision.

According to a decision on Saturday from the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters:

It has been proven without any doubt that the movement has committed acts of sabotage, assassinations and the killing of innocent civilians and members of the armed forces and police in Egypt.

It has been also ascertained with documents that [Hamas] has carried out bombings that have taken lives and destroyed institutions and targeted civilians and the armed forces personnel. It has also been ascertained that this movement works for the interests of the terrorist Brotherhood organization [which Egypt has already declared to be a terrorist organization].

About a month ago, the same court declared Hamas’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, to be a terrorist organization. Saturday’s ruling makes the political wing a terrorist organization as well.

A Hamas spokesman denied all the charges and said that the ruling was “dangerous”:

History has recorded Egypt’s support to national liberty movements in the Arab world and Africa, particularly in Palestine. … This ruling serves the Israeli occupation. It’s a politicized decision that constitutes the beginning of Egypt evading its role toward the Palestinian cause. This is a coup against history and an Egyptian abuse of the Palestinian cause and resistance, which fights on behalf of the Arab nation. We call on Egypt to reconsider this dangerous decision.

Al Jazeera and Al Ahram (Cairo) and CS Monitor and Al Resalah (Palestine)

Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

By coincidence or by planning, the presidents of both Egypt and Turkey will be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week. Egypt’s Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will both be visiting King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the new king of Saudi Arabia, who has replaced King Abdullah, who died last month.

It is not known whether Erdogan will ever be in the same room as al-Sisi. The two have been bitter enemies ever since a coup by al-Sisi ousted Egypt’s elected president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, and later declared MB to be a terrorist organization. Erdogan’s own political party, the AKP, is an Islamist party like the Muslim Brotherhood, and they had good relations while Morsi was in power.

There has been some speculation that King Salman is going to completely reverse King Abdullah’s policy on the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) had branded MB as a terrorist organization, but some are wondering if Salman is going to shift from that policy. The Saudi foreign minister recently said that his government has “no problem with the Muslim Brotherhood; our problem is with a small group affiliated to the organization,” suggesting that shift is in the works.

Other problems make an Egypt-Turkey rapprochement unlikely: Erdogan vitriolicly hates Israel and supports Hamas. Al-Sisi vitriolicly hates Hamas and works closely with Israel on military matters, especially in North Sinai. It does n0t seem likely that any meeting, if one even occurs, will be pleasant.

If King Salman is able to pull off a miracle and mediate a new relationship between Egypt and Turkey, then it would appear to be the establishment of a new “Sunni front” in the Mideast, to oppose Iran, Hezbollah and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Al Arabiya and Kurdistan and Arab Times

Islamic State Threatens Italy

One of many rescues by the Italian government.  What will Italy, Malta and other European countries do with the migrants? None of these mostly young men will be sent back!  https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/armed-smugglers-threaten-italian-coast-guard-as-2200-more-migrants-brought-to-europe-from-libya/

One of many rescues by the Italian government. What will Italy, Malta and other European countries do with the migrants? None of these mostly young men will be sent back! https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/armed-smugglers-threaten-italian-coast-guard-as-2200-more-migrants-brought-to-europe-from-libya/

CSP, by Sean MacCormac, Feb. 18, 2015:

Ever since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, the embattled nation has become fertile ground for Islamist rebels to set up an aspiring Islamic emirate. Islamic State has established a foothold in Libya by acquiring the allegiance of several Islamist organizations within the country. The strategy in Libya differed from Islamic State’s actions in Syria; the militant organization sent envoys to Libyan Islamist rebels to enlist their aid in the creation of a new caliphate. Islamic State had aggressively sought recruitment efforts in Libya and courted jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Shariah in neighboring states under pressure from anti-terrorist initiatives, first gaining their aid in Syria before turning their focus back towards Libya. As the two opposing Libyan governments fought each other, they neglected to confront the common Islamic State threat.

As of late, Islamic State-affiliated jihadists in Libya have become increasingly more aggressive in their attacks, targeting oil installations and hotels as well as executing Christians on video. Fears mount over Islamic State’s success in Libya, and of the nation becoming a center for jihadism in the region. As a response to the beheading video, the Egyptian government launched an airstrike on the jihadist hotbed of Derna, killing over sixty fighters.

Now, however, Islamic State has threatened to invade Italy. During the beheading video, Islamic State propagandist Abu Arhim al-Libim stated that Islamic State “will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.” al-Libim cited the large amounts of weaponry present in Libya held by Islamic State and that the Sicilian coast was less than 300 miles away from Libya’s coast. In fact, an ISIS report recovered by Libyan media in January states that the Islamic State intends to flood Italy with illegal immigrants to overwhelm the country’s defenses and infrastructure. It would be a simple matter for Islamic State to infiltrate agents within the large number of refugees from Libya, yet the Italian government is still in favor of taking in large amounts of refugees. Already, there are thousands of refugees fleeing Libya and making the risky cross-Mediterranean travel to Italy, even as Italy withdraws all personnel from its embassy in Tripoli.

The Italian government has already taken actions to ensure the nation’s security in the face of the threat from Islamic State. Security in Rome has been tightened greatly after Islamic State directly threatened the Italian capital. The Italian Parliament is to be briefed on Libya Thursday, and there is already considerable support for possible military action against Islamic State in Libya. Italian defense minister Robert Panotti stated that 5,000 troops could be deployed to Libya if necessary, though Prime Minster Matteo Renzi confirms that the position of the Italian government for the time being is to wait until the UN Security Council reaches an agreement. With that in mind, it is unclear if the Italian armed forces are in any condition for an invasion of Libya; the 5,000 troops mentioned could very well be the only troops available for an expeditionary force due to the heavy military cuts conducted two years ago.