Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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“What's the alternative? Bring back the cold war? Mutually assured nuclear destruction by the 2 global nuclear super powers? They mocked President Reagan for trying to seek peaceful negotiations too. Praying for God's wisdom and grace to accomplish the same goal to peacefully deescalate tensions here and abroad.”
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Germany's Dysfunctional Deportation System


In this mailing:
  • Soeren Kern: Germany's Dysfunctional Deportation System
  • Shoshana Bryen: How the World Really Views Israel

Germany's Dysfunctional Deportation System

by Soeren Kern  •  July 18, 2018 at 5:00 am
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  • Aidoudi's asylum request was rejected in 2007 after allegations surfaced that he had undergone military training at an al-Qaeda jihadi camp in Afghanistan between 1999 and 2000. During his training, he had allegedly worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin-Laden.
  • The government in North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed that for years Aidoudi had been receiving €1,168 ($1,400) each month in welfare and child support payments.
  • "Salafists such as Sami A. have no business in Germany and should be deported. Germany should not be a retirement retreat for jihadists." — Alexander Dobrindt, Member of the German Bundestag.
Sami Aidoudi (left) lived in Germany since 1997, until he was deported to his homeland of Tunisia on July 13, 2018. He is alleged to have undergone military training at an al-Qaeda jihadi camp in Afghanistan between 1999 and 2000. He had allegedly worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin-Laden (right) during his training. (Image sources: Aidoudi - SpiegelTV video screenshot; Bin Laden - Wikimedia Commons)
A court in Gelsenkirchen has ruled that deporting a self-declared Islamist — suspected of being a bodyguard of the former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden — was "grossly unlawful" and ordered him returned to Germany.
The case has cast a spotlight on the dysfunctional nature of Germany's deportation system, as well as on Germany's politicized judicial system, which on human rights grounds is making it nearly impossible to expel illegal migrants, including those who pose security threats.

How the World Really Views Israel

by Shoshana Bryen  •  July 18, 2018 at 4:00 am
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  • The nations of the world want to know what Israel knows and have what Israel has -- whether they have formal diplomatic relations with Jerusalem or not.
  • Israel's expansive sharing of water, solar and agricultural technology is legendary, as is Israel's emergency rapid response team. But military cooperation underpins freedom of navigation in the air and on the seas -- the source of international prosperity through trade -- and secures people in their borders. Security makes everything else possible.
The Iroquois Nation lacrosse team faces off against the Canadian team in Israel, July 16, 2018. (Image source: Lacrosse Analytics video screenshot)
Israel and the Iroquois Nation came together this week -- In Israel -- at the Lacrosse World Championship. The Iroquois Nation team was subjected to enormous pressure to boycott, but they steadfastly refused to be swayed. The Iroquois, who invented Lacrosse in about 1100 CE, know a thing or two about indigenous peoples reclaiming their land. And they know a thing or two about Israel. Bravo to them.
There are those who insist that Israel is "isolated," that it lacks friends and allies. Israel's place in the larger world, however -- except, perhaps, in the halls of the UN -- is expanding, not only with the Iroquois Nation, but with the nations of the world that want to know what Israel knows and have what Israel has, whether they have formal diplomatic relations with Jerusalem or not.
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Eye on Iran: Iran Nuclear Chief Says Uranium Stockpile Reaches 950 Tons



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The chief of Iran's nuclear agency says the country's effort to acquire uranium has resulted in a stockpile of as much as 950 tons.


Iran has built a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day, the head of its atomic agency said on Wednesday, upping the stakes in a confrontation with Washington over the Islamic Republic's nuclear work. 


Russia and Kazakhstan are cutting back sales of hot-rolled steel coils to Iran in part because of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, steel traders said.

UANI IN THE NEWS


I thought the president's performance today [at the meeting with President Putin] was [not only] disappointing but profoundly troubling... How are you going to make America great again if a foreign power can determine the winner in our elections?


The Tri-Border Area (TBA) between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina is an important area for Hezbollah's global activities.

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM


Iran is ready to boost its uranium enrichment to higher levels if talks fail with Europe on salvaging the nuclear deal, a top official said Tuesday.


Tehran will likely resort to measured countermoves in the nuclear domain at first, but successful U.S. pressure could spur it to challenge JCPOA limits, take action in non-nuclear domains, or push back against U.S. and allied forces.

SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS


There is one big hitch in U.S. plans to stem buying of Iranian oil: China. Some in Washington now expect that China will vacuum up much of the Iranian oil that other nations won't buy because of the threat of U.S. sanctions, according to a senior U.S. government energy official.


The U.S. embargo on Iran oil shipments has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a quandary. If he plays along, India could find itself on the right side of President Donald Trump on trade but lose cheap supplies and precious foreign exchange.


Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States alleging that Washington's decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries, the International Court of Justice said on Tuesday. A State Department official said the application was without merit and the United States would fight it in the court.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that international parties remaining in the Iran nuclear deal have kickstarted practical measures ensuring banking relations and the resumption of Iranian oil sales, two weeks ahead of the first phase of US sanctions.

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN


Iran and Israel were heading towards a direct confrontation in one of the most keenly contested territories in the Middle East, as forces loyal to the Assad regime and Tehran routed rebels in Syria... The Syrian army, supported by Iranian militias, was pushing towards the Golan Heights, a strip 40 miles west of Damascus snatched by Israel in 1967.


A pro-Iranian event held in Gaza on Monday did not go according to plan, after Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, apparently failed to deliver an expected address to the audience, and Egypt reportedly told high-level Hamas officials to stay away from the event.


Syrian rebels and Iranian-backed negotiators have reached a deal to evacuate thousands of people from two rebel-besieged Shi'ite villages in northwestern Syria in return for the release of hundreds of detainees in state prisons, opposition sources said.


New weapons and friends make an attack on Tehran's nuclear facilities a more thinkable proposition.

OTHER IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS


Iran has been gripped with drought for over a decade, and the country's precipitation has dropped to its lowest level in the past half-century.






Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email press@uani.com.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

The Terrorist Semi-States of Hamas and Hizballah



Steven Emerson, Executive Director
July 18, 2018

The Terrorist Semi-States of Hamas and Hizballah

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
July 18, 2018
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The terrorist threat Israel faces is an unusual one: the terrorist organizations seeking to destroy it control their own territory, making them a kind of semi-state.
The armed, fundamentalist entities situated on Israel's borders have control over their own land, and they govern populations. This creates an inherent contradiction between their hardline Islamist ideologies on the one hand, and their self-preservation interests on the other.
This paradox is playing out most visibly in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is trying to relieve the security blockade over its enclave, using a range of violent pressure tactics to achieve this goal, as it tries to avoid an economic meltdown in Gaza.
Yet it is unwilling to stop enlarging its arsenal of offensive weapons that it points at Israel, meaning that Gaza's economy remains dysfunctional.
Hamas has failed to prioritize Gaza's civilian needs, despite being the government. Instead of tackling unemployment, or doing whatever it takes to ensure a steady electricity supply, it is trying to intimidate Israel, and pressure the Palestinian Authority and Egypt into rescuing Gaza's economy. Unemployment in Gaza is at 44 percent, and it stands at more than 60 percent for young people, many of whom have university degrees. Most of Gaza's estimated 2 million residents have access to about four hours of electricity per day, and its water sources face depletion in the coming years.
If there is one thing Hamas fears most, it is a popular Gazan uprising against its regime, which an economic collapse could spark. Despite this possibility, it is unwilling to cease converting Gaza into a heavily armed Islamist attack base.
This dissonance is creating significant regional instability, and tensions between Hamas and Israel are now at their highest since the 2014 armed conflict. The two sides traded fire last weekend, with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing 200 short-range rockets and mortars at southern Israeli towns, and the Israel Air Force responding with strikes against more than 40 high-value military targets in the Gaza Strip. An Egyptian-brokered truce has since gone into effect, but it is shaky.
In Lebanon, meanwhile, Hizballah, a Shi'ite terror organization with one of the world's largest arsenals of surface-to-surface projectiles, continues to prepare for war with Israel. Hizballah's monstrous arsenal is a clear sign about who really runs Lebanon; estimates say one out of every 10 buildings in Lebanon has a rocket concealed in it. This arsenal is made up of Iranian-produced weapons smuggled into Lebanese villages and towns, especially in south Lebanon, home to 200 Shi'ite villages – villages that Hizballah has turned into bases of attack.
Hizballah is free to build up its arms this way, contravening UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bans the presence of armed forces in south Lebanon, except the official Lebanese military, and a UN peacekeeping force. But since Hizballah controls this territory, it is free to flout international law with little consequence.
At the same time, Hizballah is diligently sticking to a 12-year ceasefire with Israel, showing no interest in sparking a conflict at this time.
This situation both reflects Hizballah's massive military power, which the international community has been powerless to do anything about, and its vulnerability.
Hizballah was heavily involved in the Syrian civil war, acting as an Iranian regional army sent in to rescue the Assad regime. Yet Hizballah lost between 1,500 to 2,000 fighters for its intervention, and thousands more were injured, spawning growing pressure from the organization's south Lebanese support base, home to most of those casualties. Hizballah leader Hassan Narallah has repeatedly had to justify the organization's presence in Syria. For example, Nasrallah has told his base that if the Assad regime falls in Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon will fall with it. Hizballah's war in Syria has led to a crisis in morale and funding, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said last year.
Nevertheless, Eisenkot said, this Iranian-backed terror organization remains a formidable threat to Israel.
Hizballah's political and military domination of Lebanon shows its strength, but also helps explain its restraint, for Hizballah is reluctant to expose itself to Israel's firepower, or lose control of its turf.
A war with Israel would endanger both the survivability of Hizballah's senior leadership and its grip on Lebanon, factors that help hold it back. "Hizballah is deterred," former IDF Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, said in 2014, adding that it "knows what will happen if it gets into conflict with us, and that this will set Lebanon back decades."
Semi-states, but not normal states
In some ways, Hamas and Hizballah have come to resemble states, with their own hierarchical armed forces, political power, media outlets, and defined borders. Yet in other ways, they are anything but ordinary states, viewing their lands as bases of attack and their civilians as human shields. Their commitment to a long-term radical ideology of conflict against Israel, punctuated by opportunistic truces, remains paramount.
Their freedom to run their own areas also forces them to factor in risks. This has allowed Israel to influence and deter the decision-making processes of its foes, and prolong periods of truce in recent years, by deterring them. The ability to deter semi-state terrorist actors is key to understanding Israel's security.
"Our role is to first of all ensure the security of the citizens of the State of Israel, and to prevent wars as much as possible. And that occurs, first and foremost, through strengthening deterrence," Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, said last year.
The Israeli defense establishment has used the quiet time to adapt the military to Middle Eastern hybrid forces. They are hybrid because they are part army, part guerilla force, and part 'classic' terror organization, all rolled into one. Such is the nature of terror organizations with territory.
The ensuing reality is that terror organizations in this area of the world now have weapons, such as GPS-guided missiles, that were once reserved for the great world powers. The flip side is that they can also be deterred from using them.
This complex reality is what faces Israel's defense establishment day in and day out, as it seeks to protect the country's civilians, prolong periods of calm, and prepare intensively for the day that conflict erupts.
According to Israeli intelligence assessments, these actors' self-preservation calculations mean they have no interest in deliberately triggering a full-scale conflict with Israel at this time.
Yet the unstable and unpredictable nature of the region means that even small incidents can uncontrollably snowball into wars, whether anyone wants them or not.
Once hostilities begin, Hizballah and Hamas can both fire projectiles at Israeli cities while engaging in high-level urban warfare tactics against incoming Israeli forces in their own lands.
The situation is made significantly more complex by the direct state-backing that Iran provides Hizballah, and, to a lesser extent, Hamas, as well as to the second largest armed faction in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
As the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, recently boasted, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Iran has created a "mighty power" in Lebanon, which points more than 100,000 rockets and missiles at Israel.
Salami also referred to Iran's ongoing efforts to build up a second armed force in Syria, made up of Shi'ite militias, which he referred to as "the Islamic Army of Syria."
To deal with this threat, Israel has developed a well-organized, hi-tech military to defend itself, which is currently busy adapting itself to the hybrid threat lurking on the other side of the border. The key to this adaptation lies in combining superior intelligence with precision firepower – a combination that the IDF is upgrading continuously.
In the meantime, Israel is sticking to its policy of deterring such actors, taking advantage of their vulnerability to make it clear to them that they should hold their fire.
This will not cause them to change their radical ideological DNA. Nor will it solve the dissonance that lies at the heart of a terrorist faction that has its own land. But it might put off a bloody conflict, and save suffering on both sides, for as long as possible.
Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.
The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.  

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