Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feminist Society Invites Jihadists Who Support Stoning Women

Feminist Society Invites Jihadists Who Support Stoning Women

Leftists and feminists support women. They're very deeply concerned about sexism. This is how much.
Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, spoke at the University of Exeter as part a National Union of Students campaign to sabotage government counter-terrorism measures.
It is just the latest in a long line of appearances on campuses by the group, which recently provoked horror after calling the Islamic State killer a 'beautiful young man'.
Mr Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, spoke last Wednesday at the ‘Students Not Suspects’ event, organised by the university Socialist, Feminist and Islamic Societies in partnership with Friends of Palestine.
How feminist is CAGE?
One student questioned Mr Begg over an interview he gave to Julian Assange alongside CAGE research director Asim Qureshi.
In the interview, Mr Qureshi stated that, if all conditions were met, a women could be stoned to death for adultery.
Begg refused to reject stoning women to death and instead ranted about Gitmo. And how evil arresting terrorists is.

This is the same NUS, sections of which have condemned gay men for their privilege and tried to ban clapping because it's too "triggering". But stoning women to death is not triggering. At all.

CNN Fact Check: Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists Aren't Terrorists

CNN Fact Check: Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists Aren't Terrorists

Fact Check: Mostly False. And I'm talking about CNN here.

What do the Caliph of ISIS and Osama Bin Laden have in common? They were both members of the Muslim Brotherhood. There are multiple terror groups, such as Hamas, that are literal arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Qaeda today is dominated by an Egyptian outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood which carried out numerous brutal terror attacks. The Islamic Group, whose former leader was the Blind Sheikh, linked to the World Trade Center bombing was another outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood.

So of course CNN "fact checked" Ted Cruz and claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood isn't a terror organization.
The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist organization with active branches in many Middle Eastern countries. It was founded on the belief that Islam is not simply a religion, but a way of life and advocates for a move away from secularism.
Ryan Browne CNN Fact check: Misleading.
MB was established in accordance with al-Banna’s proclamation that Islam should be “given hegemony over all matters of life.” Toward that end, the Brotherhood seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, or kingdom -- first spanning all of the present-day Muslim world, and eventually the entire globe. The organization further aspires to dismantle all non-Islamic governments wherever they currently exist, and to make Islamic Law (Shari’a) the sole basis of jurisprudence everywhere on earth. This purpose is encapsulated in the Brotherhood’s militant credo: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”
The most successful descendant of the Brotherhood and Qutb is ISIS which actually implemented this sort of thing.
“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna
That's quite a "belief".
So what is Ryan Browne's basis for contending that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terror group?
The U.S. State Department currently lists 59 designated foreign terrorist groups. The last group to be added was ISIS' Afghanistan branch. The State Department has also removed 12 terrorist groups from the list.
The Muslim Brotherhood has never appeared on that list.
While Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also since designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, the vast majority of countries, including the United States, has not.
Verdict: False.
Yes, this is CNN.

Ted Cruz did not contend that the Muslim Brotherhood was on the FTO list. Though some Brotherhood arms, such as Hamas, are. He contended that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group. Not that the State Department listed it as such.

Pointing out that the State Department doesn't list it does not disprove Ted Cruz.

Boko Haram originally did not appear on the terror list either even while it was suicide bombing churches and killing thousands of Christians. It was added much later. There are plenty of terror groups that don't appear on the FTO list for various reasons. Adding a group to the FTO list has all sorts of legal, law enforcement and political implications.

The FTO list is not a comprehensive list of all the terror groups in the world. It is a list for legally designated actions by the United States. Furthermore the FTO list tends to contain military wings of terror groups rather than their political parent organizations so the Brotherhood would not be likely to appear on the list in any case.

CNN's fact check doesn't disprove Ted Cruz. It shows that CNN has absolutely no idea what it's talking about. This isn't just disagreement. This is ridiculous ignorance from a news network that claims the ability to fact check candidates, yet its fact check consists of 5 minutes of googling.

Raymond Ibrahim on Crypto-Muslims, Child Soldiers, and the Hydra of Jihad

Raymond Ibrahim on Crypto-Muslims, Child Soldiers, and the Hydra of Jihad

Shillman Journalism Fellow explains the ugly effects of jihadists ideology.

Raymond Ibrahim, Shillman fellow at the center, recently did two radio interviews.  Click here for his 25-minute interview about crypto-Muslims and Islam’s child soldiers on Reel Talk with Audrey Russo.  For his 15-minute interview with the Hoover Institution’s Strategika concerning why U.S. foreign policy is way off when it comes to dealing with the Hydra of Jihad, click here.

Surrendering to ISIS is the Only Way to Defeat It

Daniel Greenfield's article: Surrendering to ISIS is the Only Way to Defeat It

Link to Sultan Knish

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 01:39 PM PDT
If you’re keeping score, freeing Islamic terrorists from Gitmo does not play into the hands of ISIS. Neither does bringing Syrians, many of whom sympathize with Islamic terrorists, into our country. And aiding the Muslim Brotherhood parent organization of ISIS does not play into the Islamic group’s hands.

However if you use the words “Islamic terrorism” or even milder derivatives such as “radical Islamic terrorism”, you are playing into the hands of ISIS. If you call for closer law enforcement scrutiny of Muslim areas before they turn into Molenbeek style no-go zones or suggest ending the stream of new immigrant recruits to ISIS in San Bernardino, Paris or Brussels, you are also playing into the hands of ISIS.

And if you carpet bomb ISIS, destroy its headquarters and training camps, you’re just playing into its hands. According to Obama and his experts, who have wrecked the Middle East, what ISIS fears most is that we’ll ignore it and let it go about its business. And what it wants most is for us to utterly destroy it. Or as Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said, "If you kill your enemies, they win."

But maybe if you surrender to them, then you win.

Tens of thousands of Muslim refugees make us safer. But using the words “Muslim terrorism” endangers us. The more Muslims we bring to America, the faster we’ll beat ISIS. As long as we don’t call it the Islamic State or ISIS or ISIL, but follow Secretary of State John Kerry’s lead in calling it Daesh.

Because terrorism has no religion. Even when it’s shouting, “Allahu Akbar”.

Obama initially tried to defeat ISIS by ignoring it. This cunning approach allowed ISIS to seize large chunks of Iraq and Syria. He tried calling ISIS a J.V. team in line with his claim that, “We defeat them in part by saying you are not strong, you are weak”. Unimpressed, ISIS seized Mosul. It was still attached to the old-fashioned way of proving it was strong by actually winning land and wars.

Europe and the United States decided to prove that we were not at war with Islam by taking in as many Muslims as we could. Instead of leading to less terrorism, taking in more Muslims led to more terrorism.

Every single counterintuitive strategy for defeating Islamic terrorism has been tried. And it has failed. Overthrowing “dictators” turned entire countries into terrorist training camps. Bringing Islamists to power in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia led directly to attacks on American diplomatic facilities. The Muslim Brotherhood showed no gratitude to its State Department allies. Instead its militias and forces either aided the attackers or stood by and watched while taking bets on the outcome.

Islamic terrorism has followed an intuitive pattern of cause and effect. There’s a reason that the counterintuitive strategies for fighting Islamic terrorism by not fighting Islamic terrorism don’t work. They make no sense. Instead they all depend on convincing Muslims, from the local Imam to Jihadist organizations, to aid us instead of attack us by showing what nice people we are. Meanwhile they also insist that we can’t use the words “Islamic terrorism” because Muslims are ticking time bombs who will join Al Qaeda and ISIS the moment we associate terrorism with the I-word.

There are contradictions there that you can drive a tank through.

The counterintuitive strategy assumes that Islamic terrorism will only exist if we use the I-word, that totalitarian Jihadist movements want democracy and that our best allies for fighting Islamic terrorism are people from the same places where Islamic terrorism is a runaway success. And that we should duplicate the demographics of the countries where Islamic terrorism thrives in order to defeat it.

The West’s counterterrorism strategy makes less sense than the ravings of most mental patients. The only thing more insane than the counterintuitive strategy for defeating Islamic terrorism is the insistence that the intuitive strategy of keeping terrorists out and killing them is what terrorists want.

If you believe the experts, then Islamic terrorists want us to stop them from entering Europe, America, Canada and Australia. They crave having their terrorists profiled by law enforcement on the way to their latest attack. And they wish we would just carpet bomb them as hard as we can right now.

When ISIS shoots up Paris or Brussels, it’s not really trying to kill infidels for Allah. Instead it’s setting a cunning trap for us. If we react by ending the flow of migrants and preventing the next attack, ISIS wins. If we police Muslim no-go zones, then ISIS also wins. If we deport potential terrorists, ISIS still wins.

But if we let ISIS carry out another successful attack, then ISIS loses. And we win. What do we win?

It depends. A concert hall full of corpses. Marathon runners with severed limbs. Families fleeing the airport through a haze of smoke. Only by letting ISIS kill us, do we have any hope of beating ISIS.

Politicians and experts claim that ISIS is insane. It’s not insane. It’s evil. Its goals are clear and comprehensible. The objectives of the Islamic State are easy to intuitively grasp. Our leaders and experts are the ones who are out of their minds. They may or may not be evil, but they are utterly insane. And they have projected their madness on Islamic terrorists who are downright rational compared to them.

Unlike our leaders, Islamic terrorists don’t confuse victory and defeat. They aren’t afraid that they’ll win. They don’t want us to kill them or deport them. They don’t care whether we call them ISIS or Daesh. They don’t derive their Islamic legitimacy from John Kerry or a State Department Twitter account. They get it from the Koran and the entire rotting corpus of Islamic law that they seek to impose on the world.

Our leaders are the ones who are afraid of winning. They distrust the morality of armed force and borders. They disguise that distrust behind convoluted arguments and counterintuitive rationales. Entire intellectual systems are constructed to explain why defeating ISIS is exactly what ISIS wants.

After the San Bernardino shootings, Obama insisted that, “Our success won’t depend on tough talk or abandoning our values... That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for.” But ISIS does not care whether Obama talks tough, even if it’s only his version of tough talk in which he puffs out his chest and says things like, ”You are not strong, you are weak.” It is not interested in Obama’s “right side of history” distortion of American values either.

ISIS is not trying to be counterintuitive. It’s fighting to win. And our leaders are fighting as hard as they can to lose.

The counterintuitive strategy is not meant to fight terror, but to convince the populace that winning is actually losing and losing is actually winning. The worse we lose, the better our plan is working. And when we have completely lost everything then we’ll have the terrorists right where we want them.

Just ask the dead of Brussels, Paris, New York and a hundred other places.

This isn’t a plan to win. It’s a plan to confuse the issue while losing. It’s a plan to convince everyone that what looks like appeasement, defeatism, surrender and collaboration with the enemy is really a brilliant counterintuitive plan that is the only possible path to a lasting victory over Islamic terrorism.

But intuitive beats counterintuitive. Winning intuitively beats losing counterintuitively. Counterintuitively dead terrorists multiply, but intuitively they stay dead. Counterintuitively, not discussing the problem is the best way to solve it. Intuitively, you solve a problem by facing it. Counterintuitively, collaborating with the enemy is patriotism. Intuitively, it’s treason.

SPECIAL REPORT: Do Radicalized Islamic Communities Exist in the US?

Do Radicalized Islamic Communities Exist in the U.S.?
Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a Pakistani militant group that has rebranded itself as Muslims of the Americas, says it has 22 "Islamic villages" in the U.S. learn more
The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act now has bipartisan support. Over 50 members of Congress are now in favor it.
Bill to Designate Brotherhood as Terror Org Gains More Support

A fascinating interview with renowned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner on understanding and countering the mindset of extremists.
Forensic Psychiatrist: 'Crazy' Has Nothing to Do With Terrorism

Europe Courting Godfather Erdogan

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Europe Courting Godfather Erdogan

by Judith Bergman  •  March 31, 2016 at 5:00 am
  • Erdogan has boasted that he is proud of boldly blackmailing EU leaders into paying him protection money.
  • Erdogan's threats were almost criminally sinister: "... the EU will be confronted with more than a dead boy on the shores of Turkey. There will be 10,000 or 15,000. How will you deal with that?"
  • According to the agreement, 80 million Turkish citizens will have visa-free access to the European Union.
  • The nightmare scenario for a desperate EU is that no matter how much it bows to extortionist demands from Turkey, the migrant crisis will continue to grow. Even if Turkey closes down all migrant routes from Turkey into Europe, refugees could take new routes through North Africa or the Caucasus.
  • Meanwhile, 800,000 migrants are currently on Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) has boasted that he is proud of blackmailing EU leaders, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (right), into paying him protection money.
"We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses ... So how will you deal with refugees if you don't get a deal? Kill the refugees?" This was the question Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in true mafia style, asked European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on November 16, 2015 in a closed meeting in Antalya, Turkey, where the three met after the G20 summit.
While Tusk and Juncker have both declined to comment on whether the meeting took place, Erdogan has since then boasted that he is proud of the leaked minutes of the meeting, where he boldly blackmails EU leaders into paying him protection money.
Erdogan's threats were almost criminally sinister: "... the EU will be confronted with more than a dead boy on the shores of Turkey. There will be 10,000 or 15,000. How will you deal with that?"

Journalism in Turkey: Newsroom vs. Courtroom

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 31, 2016 at 4:00 am
  • According to a report by the Turkish Journalists Association, 500 journalists were fired in Turkey in 2015; 70 others were subjected to physical violence. Thirty journalists remain in prison, mostly on charges of "terrorism." There are also many journalists among the 1,845 Turks who have been investigated or prosecuted for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he was elected in August 2014.
  • After the secular daily newspaper Cumhuriyet published evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria, President Erdogan himself filed a criminal complaint against Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief, Can Dundar, and the Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul.
  • At a March 25 hearing, the Istanbul court ruled for the whole trial to be held in secret.
  • "We came here today to defend journalism...We said we would defend the people's right to access information. We defended that and we were arrested." -- Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet.
  • The trial clearly exhibits how Erdogan's authoritarian rule diverges from Western democratic culture.
Can Dundar (right), editor-in-chief of Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper, and Erdem Gul (left), Cumhuriyet's Ankara bureau chief, were arrested after the paper published evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria. They remained behind bars for over 90 days, until Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their detention violated their rights.
"Turkey is where many journalists may have to spend more time at their attorneys' offices or in courtrooms than in the newsrooms, where they should be," a Western diplomat joked bitterly. "Don't quote me on that. I don't want to be declared persona non grata," he added with a smile.
He was right. According to a report by the Turkish Journalists Association, 500 journalists were fired in Turkey in 2015; 70 others were subjected to physical violence. Thirty journalists remain in prison, mostly on charges of "terrorism."
Needless to say, the unfortunate journalists are invariably known to be critical of Erdogan. There are also many journalists among the 1,845 Turks who have been investigated or prosecuted for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he was elected in August 2014.

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Eye on Extremism - March 31, 2016

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Eye on Extremism

March 31, 2016

Reuters: Nuclear Terrorism Fears Loom Over Obama's Final Atomic Summit
“Just as fears of nuclear terrorism are rising, U.S. President Barack Obama's drive to lock down vulnerable atomic materials worldwide seems to have lost momentum and could slow further. With less than 10 months left in office to follow through on one of his signature foreign policy initiatives, Obama will convene leaders from more than 50 countries in Washington this week for his fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, a high-level diplomatic process that started and will end on his watch. A boycott by Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently unwilling to join in a U.S.-dominated gathering at a time of increased tensions between Washington and Moscow, adds to doubts that the meeting will yield major results. Deadly militant attacks in Brussels have fuelled concern that Islamic State could eventually target nuclear plants and develop radioactive ‘dirty bombs,’ a topic that may well be uppermost in leaders’ minds as they meet. Despite significant progress by Obama in persuading dozens of countries to rid themselves of bomb-making materials or reduce and safeguard stockpiles, much of the world's plutonium and enriched uranium remains vulnerable to theft.”
ABC News: Russia Is Maintaining Most Of Its Military Aircraft And Equipment In Syria, US Officials Say
“Taken at face value, most of Russia’s troops and aircraft were supposed to be out of Syria by now, but that’s not the case, as Russia has kept more than two dozen of its military aircraft in Syria and continues to send military equipment to that country, U.S. officials said today. The moves raise questions about what Russia may be planning for a longer-term presence in Syria. At its peak, there were 42 Russian fighters and bombers based at the airbase outside of Latakia in western Syria, according to U.S. military officials. And it was estimated that Russian troops had grown to as many as 5,000 to support the air mission and to help Syrian forces with helicopters, tanks and artillery to support the Syrian Army’s ground offensives.”
Los Angeles Times: How Turkey's President Went From Washington Darling To 'Toxic Asset'
“Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once were the darlings of Washington, the cherished ally and a strategic barrier between Europe and the turmoil in the Middle East. But diplomats say Erdogan's increasingly aggressive and undemocratic behavior in Turkey, plus what they describe as his mercurial role in the conflict in neighboring Syria, have diminished his standing in the Obama administration. Unlike several other global leaders arriving in Washington on Thursday for the two-day Nuclear Security Summit,  Erdogan has not been invited for a private sit-down with President Obama, something many here view as a major diplomatic snub. U.S. officials cannot write Turkey's leader off entirely because of Turkey's strategic importance, its willingness to house U.S. military bases and the challenge it poses to Russian air power. But there has been little doubt about Washington's displeasure with Erdogan.”
Voice Of America: IS 'Cyrillic Jihadists' Create Their Own Community In Syria
“Over 5,000 jihadists from the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are fighting in the ranks of the so-called Islamic State militant group in the Middle East. These Russian-speaking Muslims not only play a major role within the IS leadership, but also have built a community of their own in the areas controlled by the extremist group.  In fact, they are now raising their children to be a second generation of jihadists, sources say. Russian-speaking Jihadists are the second largest group of foreigners fighting for IS. The number of jihadists from Central Asia and Russia joining IS has increased by as much as 300 percent since June 2014, according to a report by the New York City-based Soufan Group. While their rituals, customs, race, and ethnic background may vary, members of this group have at least one thing in common that distinguishes them from other jihadists: they can read and write fluently in Cyrillic script, given that the now-independent countries of their birth were for decades dominated by the Soviet Union, which used Russian as its lingua franca. Most of these so-called ‘Cyrillic Jihadists’ have settled near the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto IS capital, and their areas have developed into real communities with certain habits and rituals.”
NPR: Tunisia's Fragile Democracy Faces A Threat From Chaotic Libya
“The spillover from the conflict in Libya is setting off alarm bells in Tunisia, threatening a fragile democracy in the one place that emerged from the 2011 Arab revolts as a bright spot. Meanwhile, Libya is a nation in chaos with three battling governments, a plethora of militias and a security vacuum being filled by a growing presence of the Islamic State extremist group on Tunisia's border. And even more ominously, many of those Islamic State fighters now in Libya are actually from Tunisia. On March 7, Islamic State fighters tried to seize Ben Guerdane and claim it for ISIS. If the extremists had succeeded, it would have given the group free movement between Tunisia and Libya. But the Tunisian security forces prevailed in bloody fighting that left more than 50 dead.”
Politico: France’s ‘If Only’ Syndrome On Terrorism
“Since the Brussels attacks a week ago, the French government hasn’t missed an occasion to trumpet its frustrations at the failure of European institutions to tackle the terror threat. Central to the message is a lament: ‘If only …’ If only Europe had listened to France. If only the European Commission and the European Parliament had acted fast enough to implement the measures Paris advocated. If only other European intelligence services had shared information with their French colleagues …The frustrations of the French government and police services are real. But they tend to paper over the fact that much remains to be done in France itself to avoid a repeat of the past few months’ terror attacks. Some of the reforms Paris is calling for are opposed in the European Parliament by the French socialists. And some of the measures France is pushing for would not have been of much use to thwart the Brussels attacks.”
BBC: Libya's Unity Government Leaders In Tripoli Power Bid
“Leaders of Libya's new unity government have arrived in the capital, Tripoli, by boat in an attempt to take control. Over recent days, Tripoli's airspace has been intermittently closed to stop the Presidency Council, which has been based in Tunisia, from arriving by air. Libya's UN envoy called for ‘a peaceful and orderly handover’. But hardliners in the coalition that controls Tripoli are opposed to the UN-brokered deal aimed at reconciling a nation split by five years of conflict. Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi by Nato-backed forces. From 2014 it has had two competing administrations, one in Tripoli backed by powerful militias and the other about 1,000km (620 miles) away in the port city of Tobruk.”
The New Yorker: Lessons From Apple Vs. The F.B.I.
“It’s welcome news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has dropped its legal effort to force Apple to help it create a method of accessing data on a locked iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the perpetrators of the massacre that took place in December in San Bernardino. Not that the Bureau, which ultimately found another means of getting into the phone, didn’t have a legitimate interest in knowing what was on the phone: only an ardent libertarian would argue otherwise. But the case raised a number of important issues and conflicting interests that judges alone can’t be, and shouldn’t be, expected to resolve. Curiously enough, the F.B.I. and Apple agreed on this point, if nothing else. ‘That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living,’ James Comey, the director of the Bureau, said in a post published in February at the national-security blog Lawfare. ‘It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before.’”
Wired: It’d Be Great To Kick ISIS Offline—If It Were Possible
“ISIS is notorious for its alarmingly effective use of social media to recruit fighters, inspire acts of terrorism, and project an image of unwavering confidence to the West. That requires a sophisticated public relations strategy. It also requires a working Internet connection. Even as you’re struggling to get a strong enough LTE signal to refresh your Twitter feed in a coffeeshop downtown, ISIS operatives are uploading propaganda videos, updating Facebook profiles, and tweeting from the war-torn regions it controls in Iraq and Syria. But how? While ISIS’s social media strategy has been widely studied, far less is known about how the organization gets and stays online.”

United States

CNN: Obama's Vision Of A Nuke-Free World Is Tested By ISIS, Russia
“President Barack Obama launched the first Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. But as delegations from almost 60 countries reconvene in Washington on Thursday and Friday, the world only seems farther from that goal. Wildcard North Korea is edging closer to its goal of building a viable nuclear device, Pakistan continues to amass nuclear material at unmatched rates, and Russian officials openly discuss pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Europe. And the sharpening skills of computer hackers mean cyber threats to nuclear facilities are increasing, too.”
CBS News: At Nuclear Summit, World Leaders To Take Closer Look At ISIS Threat
“At the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. this week, world leaders will have a unique opportunity to consider the threat of ISIS (or ISIL) in the context of nuclear security. The recent terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium -- carried out by brothers who were part of a plan uncovered earlier this year to try and target a Belgian nuclear facility -- underscores the significance of this meeting, members of the Obama administration said Tuesday. ‘Having this many leaders together at once provides us an important opportunity, in the wake of the recent attacks in Brussels and other countries, to address how we can enhance our capabilities to work together to confront the threat posed by ISIL,’ Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call.”
New York Post: ISIS May Be Losing, But The Big Winners Are America’s Enemies
“With the retaking of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, we seem to finally have made tangible, on-the-ground gains against ISIS — that is, if “we” refers to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. President Obama and several of his would-be successors are satisfied: The terrorists of ISIS are losing ground. America exerts little treasure and sheds no blood. Our allies in Syria are on the march. What’s not to like? Wait, ‘allies’? During the half-decade Syrian civil war, the White House has repeatedly deemed Assad unfit to lead the country.”


UN News Centre: Grim Conditions In Syria Despite Greater Access, UN Aid Chief Warns Security Council
“There are signs of humanitarian progress in Syria with more aid reaching those in urgent need, but conditions remain ‘dire’ throughout the country with only 30 per cent of people in besieged areas reached and even fewer in hard-to-reach areas, the top United Nations humanitarian official said. Addressing the Security Council in New York, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, Stephen O'Brien said that inter-agency convoys have reached 150,000 people in the 11 of the 18 besieged areas in Syria, and welcomed the commitment by the Government of Syria to simplify administrative procedures for cross-line convoys. He cautioned, however, that ‘we are a long way from the sustained, unconditional and unimpeded access that is required of the parties under international law and was and is demanded by this Council in its resolutions.’”
Reuters: Assad Says He Can Form New Syria Government With Opposition
“President Bashar al-Assad said it would not be difficult to agree on a new Syrian government including opposition figures, but his opponents responded on Wednesday that no administration would be legitimate while he remained in office. Assad, bolstered by military victory in the desert city of Palmyra, was quoted by Russia's RIA news agency as saying a new draft constitution could be ready in weeks and a government that included opposition, independents and loyalists could be agreed. While the distribution of portfolios and other technical issues would need to be discussed at Geneva peace talks, which resume next month, ‘these are not difficult questions’, Assad said. Opposition negotiators immediately dismissed Assad's remarks, saying that a political settlement could be reached only by establishing a transitional body with full powers, not another government under Assad.”


Reuters: Iraqi PM To Present New Cabinet Lineup To Parliament On Thursday
“Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he would present to parliament on Thursday his new cabinet lineup aimed at fighting corruption, in keeping with a deadline set by the legislature earlier in the week. Abadi announced more than six weeks ago that he wanted to replace current ministers with independent technocrats but has faced resistance from rivals who fear it could weaken the political patronage networks that have sustained their wealth and influence for more than a decade. Failing to deliver on long-promised anti-corruption measures could weaken Abadi's government just as Iraqi forces are gearing up to try and recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants.”
Reuters: Obama Could Decide On Greater Troop Presence In Iraq Soon: General
“President Barack Obama will have the chance to decide on whether to increase the number of U.S. forces in Iraq in the ‘coming weeks,’ the top U.S. general said on Wednesday. The extra troops would bolster the capabilities of Iraqi forces preparing for a major offensive against the Islamic State militant group in Mosul, U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing. U.S. and Iraqi military officials have been discussing a plan to retake Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June 2014, and how U.S. forces could support their efforts, Dunford said. Dunford said last week he expected an increase in the level of U.S. forces in Iraq from the current 3,800, but that those decisions had not been finalized. U.S. officials have said they hope to capitalize on recent battlefield successes against Islamic State, such as the retaking of Ramadi by Iraqi forces late last year.”


Politico: Turkey's President Faces A Scolding In Washington
“Turkey's president, a man used to steamrolling his critics at home, is in for a rough visit to Washington. As Recep Tayyip Erdogan began making the rounds in the U.S. capital Wednesday, dozens of foreign policy thinkers, including former ambassadors to Turkey, released a letter warning that the situation in the country is ‘deeply troubling.’ Erdogan, who leads a party with Islamist roots and is in town in part to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, also is slated to speak at the Brookings Institution on Thursday. A Q&A is planned, during which the Turkish leader may face some tough questions about the direction he's taking his country. Turkey is a key Middle East ally for the U.S. It borders Syria, has sheltered millions of refugees from the war-torn Arab state and allows the American military to use an airbase on its soil to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State. But Erdogan, who has served as prime minister or president of Turkey since 2003, has become increasingly autocratic, disappointing U.S. leaders who'd hoped Turkey could prove a model of Muslim democracy.”
The Wall Street Journal: Turkey Tries Journalists As Its President Visits U.S.
“Two high-profile Turkish journalists facing life in prison head to court this week as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington, which has signaled its keen interest in a case that has become a bellwether for press freedom in Turkey. Can Dundar, editor in chief of Turkey’s opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, are bracing for the possibility that they could be sent back to jail when they appear in court later this week to face espionage charges over a story they published last year. The prosecution has become a high-profile test case in Turkey, where the government has been targeting journalists, professors, and average citizens who have been critical of the president.”


The Daily Caller: US Special Investigator: Corruption Is The Greatest Threat To Afghanistan Rebuilding Effort
It is not the resurgence of the Taliban, al-Qaeda or Islamic State elements popping up that are hampering U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan, it is corruption, said Special Investigator for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Wednesday. John Sopko serves as the head of SIGAR, and has arguably one of the hardest jobs in the country: rooting out corruption in the reconstruction effort of a country that essentially runs on dishonesty. For Sopko, corruption, mostly in the form of bribery of Afghan officials, is a massive threat. ‘I would submit to you that nothing is a greater threat to the United States’ efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and other countries like it,’ said Sopko in a speech to graduate students at University of the Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.”


Associated Press: Yemen Says Dozens Of Al-Qaida Fighters Detained In Aden
“ Yemeni pro-government forces have carried out a series of raids against al-Qaida in the southern port city of Aden, arresting dozens of suspects and causing the militants to flee from key areas, a top security official said Wednesday.Maj. Gen. Shalal Shayaa, Aden's security chief, said that southern fighters backing the government have set up checkpoints across the al-Mansoura neighborhood, a former militant stronghold. Shayaa later toured al-Mansoura on foot, reassuring residents and checking security patrols, according to witnesses. Shayaa said the raids are part of a campaign aimed at consolidating the internationally-recognized government's control over Aden, its de facto capital. Shiite militias known as Houthis seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in 2014. Aden was plunged into lawlessness after government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition drove the Houthis out last year. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, long seen by Washington as the most dangerous branch of the global network, has exploited the turmoil in Yemen and expanded its reach, seizing entire cities along the coastline of the Arabian Sea.”

Saudi Arabia

The Jerusalem Post: Report: Saudi Arabia Buys drones from Israel through South Africa
“A Saudi political analyst who is well known for leaking exclusive information about the royal family of Saudi Arabia on Twitter has recently reported that the kingdom buys drones from Israel, in cooperation with South Africa. In a series of remarks he wrote on his Twitter page Wednesday, the Saudi analyst suggested that the official report released by the Saudi Defense Ministry according to which the kingdom would build a drone factory in collaboration with South Africa is false. ‘The report aims to hide the fact that Saudi Arabia intends to purchase drones from Israel via South Africa,’ the analyst, calling himself ‘Mujtahid’, claimed. He further stated: ‘Notwithstanding the political controversies between Israel and South Africa, the military cooperation between both states strongly continues, enabling South Africa to purchase drones from Israel.’”


The New York Times: EgyptAir Hijacking Suspect Says He Acted Out Of Desperation
“Seif Eldin Mustafa, the Egyptian man who grabbed the world’s attention by hijacking an EgyptA ir flight and diverting it to Cyprus, has admitted his crimes to Cypriot investigators but insisted that he acted out of desperation, prosecutors said on Wednesday during his first court appearance. Mr. Mustafa, 59, boarded EgyptAir Flight 181 on Tuesday morning, wore a fake explosives belt and demanded that the pilot take him to Cyprus, Turkey or Greece, prosecutors said. When the plane landed in Larnaca, on the southern coast of Cyprus, Mr. Mustafa made various demands, including that a letter be delivered to his former wife, a Cypriot citizen, they said. ‘When someone hasn’t seen his family for 24 years and wants to see his wife and children, and the Egyptian government won’t let him, what is he supposed to do?’ Mr. Mustafa told the authorities, according to a statement by prosecutors. Prosecutors requested that Mr. Mustafa remain in detention, arguing that if freed he might try to influence the testimony of his passengers and relatives or he might try to flee. The judge, Maria K. Loizou of Larnaca District Court, ordered that Mr. Mustafa remain in custody for eight more days.”

Middle East

The New York Times: Israel Polarized Over Soldier Who Killed Wounded Palestinian
“The case of the Israeli soldier who shot a Palestinian assailant in the head as he lay wounded and subdued on the ground is whipping up a public and political storm and posing a rare challenge to the military’s high command, usually the most popular body in the country. In a letter sent to commanders and soldiers on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the chief of staff, underlined the predicament facing the army as it contends with a surge in Palestinian violence — and faces a hardened public mood fanned by some politicians who say Palestinian assailants must not be left alive. After six months of Palestinian stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks against Israelis, a simmering debate has burst into a heated argument over what constitutes appropriate use of force and what is excessive. While many Israelis have denounced the shooting last week, which was caught on video, as a grave breach of proper military conduct, many others call the accused soldier a hero. By Wednesday nearly 57,000 Israelis had signed an online petition demanding he be given a merit citation.”
U.S. News & World Report: The Saudi-Iranian Tensions Playing Across The Region May Push Lebanon To A Tipping Point
“Ever since the streets of Tunis and Cairo were occupied with protesters five years ago, the Arab world has been witnessing a turning of tides and overhaul of policies that seems sure to dictate regional dynamics for decades. No country is more emblematic of the pre-2011 status quo than Lebanon. Since the endorsement of the Taif Agreement of 1989 that ended its brutal civil war, Lebanon has maintained a tricky power-sharing balance between political factions, based largely on religious, sectarian divides and reaffirmed by political dynasties. Importantly, this tricky balance was embedded in a regional power structure. While Iran ramped up its support for the Islamist Shia Hezbollah and its allies, Saudi Arabia became the primary backer of the Sunni political parties, primarily that of the assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri, and allies of various denominations. This balance was rooted in a Syrian hegemony that has been eroded as its own civil war enters its sixth year.”


BBC: Boko Haram Attack In Niger Kills Six Soldiers
“Six soldiers from Niger's army were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram militants, the country's interior ministry said. The attack happened near the town of Diffa close to the border with Nigeria early on Wednesday. It comes two weeks after a Boko Haram assault on a military convoy in the same area that left one soldier dead. The Islamist group is based in Nigeria but is being tackled by a multinational force, including soldiers from Niger. In the latest attack, three other soldiers were wounded. Niger's military deployed aircraft to try and track those responsible soon afterwards. Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou has been praised in the West for rallying neighbouring countries to fight Boko Haram.”

United Kingdom

Telegraph: Britain To Spend £10m Making Nuclear Sites Across World More Secure Amid Terrorism Fears
“David Cameron will on Thursday announce a new drive to protect nuclear facilities across the world from cyberattack amid fears terrorists are increasingly considering targeting vulnerable sites. Speaking ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, a government source said Britain will invest £10 million into making sure nuclear material overseas is kept securely. Government officials will also launch a joint exercise with US counterparts identifying weaknesses in Britain’s nuclear industry next year and train experts from countries including Turkey, South Korea, Japan and Argentina.”


The Washington Post: The Latest: Paris Suspect Charged With Terrorism Offenses
“The Paris prosecutor says that a Frenchman arrested last week has been charged with a string of terrorism offenses for allegedly plotting an ‘imminent’ attack. Francois Molins said Wednesday that the suspect, Reda Kriket, is accused of participating in a terrorist group with plans for at least one attack, possessing and transporting arms and explosives, and holding fake documents. Molins says Kriket is believed to have traveled to Syria in 2014 and 2015 and made several trips between France and Belgium. At least three other people are in custody in the case in Belgium and the Netherlands.”


Reuters: Turkey, Greece Scramble To Start EU Deal As Migrant Arrivals Rise
“Five days before Turkey is due to begin taking back illegal migrants from Greece under a deal with the European Union, neither side is fully ready, with officials scrambling to be able to make at least a symbolic start as new arrivals rise. Turkey agreed with the EU this month to take back all migrants and refugees who cross illegally to Greece in exchange for financial aid, faster visa-free travel for Turks and slightly accelerated EU membership talks. The returns are supposed to begin on April 4 under the plan, which aims to close the main route by which a million migrants and refugees poured across the Aegean Sea to Greece in the last year before heading north mainly to Germany and Sweden. But uncertainty remains over how many will be sent back, how they will be processed, and where they will be housed. The plan risks being overwhelmed by the continued flow of migrants to Greece, where arrivals rose sharply on Wednesday.”

Arabic Language Clips

Terrorist Financing

Al Wafd: Diplomats: Qatar's Halting Terror Financing Is A Precondition For Reconciliation
Ambassador Ahmed Abul Khair, Egypt's former Assistant Foreign Minister, said that Cairo would like to improve its relations with all countries and does not have a problem with restoring its relations with Qatar. However, he stressed that the dispute between Cairo and Doha is over Qatar's aggressive stance against Egypt after the June 30th Revolution. Qatar is not satisfied with the ruling regime in Egypt. Abul Khair added that Qatar financed terrorist groups and, in fact, has served as a chief source of funding for terrorism all over the world. The former ambassador disclosed that Egypt had set conditions for the reconciliation and establishment of good relations with Doha. The most important ones are that Doha stop all terror financing, return to the Arab unity, and stop all criminal acts that might harm Egypt and other Arab states. He predicted that Qatar would reject these conditions. Ambassador Adel Safty, Egypt's former foreign minister agrees. He stated that in the past Qatar had played a major role in the financing of terrorism and even today continues to fund extremist groups opposing current regimes and acting in violation of the law.


Al-Jazirah Online: Cultivation And Promotion Of Drugs Are Essential For The Financing Of ISIS, Hezbollah And Al-Qaeda
A report issued recently indicates that Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIS have been exploiting drug trafficking in the Middle East and North Africa for financial gain to support their militias in addition to various operations and acts of aggression. The report added that ISIS has resorted to drug trafficking to supplement much-needed funds for its war machine in Iraq and Syria. The report noted that the Captagon industry is widespread in Syria. The jihadist organization smuggles Captagon and imposes taxes on its production to gain added revenues.

Muslim Brotherhood

Al Wafd: Terrorist (Brotherhood) Demands 100 Million Pounds From (Egyptian Ministry Of) Education
The crisis is still raging between the owners of 174 Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated schools and the Egyptian Ministry of Education. The dispute is over the money obtained by the ministry through the students' fees, following the ministry's seizure of the schools with the ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi. Since the ouster, the ministry has controlled these schools financially, administratively and legally. The schools, dubbed "June 30 Schools", were originally owned by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among those owners are now-jailed Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide, Khayrat al-Shater, who owned three international schools, and leading Muslim Brotherhood member, Mohsen Rady. The former school-owners have recently called on the ministry to return all the money obtained from fees paid by students of their schools. These funds are estimated at 100 million pounds ($12.8 million) per year.
Al Jazeera: Brotherhood Wins Elections At Jordanian Teachers' Union
The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies won the elections at the Jordanian Teachers' Union, according to unofficial results. Note that this is one of the largest trade unions in the Kingdom. The figures indicate that Islamists won just over 52% of the 360-seat Central Commission, which will later select the Union's Council and its President. This outcome came at a time when relations between the Jordanian authorities and the group are extremely tense, particularly after the government decided to ban internal Brotherhood elections early next month claiming the group is unlicensed.


Gulf Eyes: Iran Refrains From Financing Hamas Satellite TV Channels
A reliable Lebanese source claims that the Iranian authorities have stopped financing Quds TV and Palestine Al Yawm (Palestine Today) channels, which broadcast out of Lebanon on behalf of the Palestinian movement of Hamas. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, noted that the two channels did not receive their usual financial transfers from the Iranian regime during January and February 2016. This has caused a delay in the payment of employees' salaries and broadcasting expenses.