Category Archive 'Saudi Arabia'
09 Jun 2017

Saudis Quickly Apologized For Soccer Team’s Behavior

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The Australia team link arms on the halfway line as the minute’s silence begins. The Saudi team stood at their respective positions on the field, not participating in honoring the victims.

The Telegraph explains what happened.

The Saudi Arabian football team were booed by Australian supporters after they failed to properly line up for a minute’s silence in honour of the victims of the London Bridge terror attacks.

Saudi Arabia were preparing to play Australia in a World Cup qualifier at the Adelaide Oval when the stadium announcer called for a minute’s silence to begin.

The Australia team linked arms in a line on the centre circle while the Saudi Arabia team stood in random formation as the silence began.

According to Adam Peacock, who works as a presenter for Fox Sports in Australia, the Asian Football Confederation approved the minute’s silence against the wishes of Saudi Arabia.

The Football Federation of Australia were then unable to persuade Saudi Arabian officials to agree to participate in the tribute.

A number of Saudi Arabian players stood still with their arms behind their back while others appeared to continue their warm up.

RTWT

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The Wall Street Journal reports that an official apology was quickly forthcoming.

Saudi Arabia’s Football Federation apologized on behalf of the country’s national soccer team for failing to observe a minute’s silence for victims of a recent London terrorist attack ahead of a World Cup qualifying match against Australia.

The incident prompted a furious response in Australia, with the crowd jeering the Saudi team, which instead of lining up moved into positions for the coming match on Thursday as Australia’s players linked arms to pay silent respects to victims. While many of the Saudi players stood still, others including the team captain, Osama Hawsawi, continued warm-ups and stretches.

Eight people died in Saturday’s attack in London, among them two Australians.

The Saudi Federation said Friday it condemned “all acts of terrorism,” adding that it “deeply regrets and unreservedly apologies for any offense caused by the failure of some members of the representative team of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to formally observe the one minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the London terrorist attack.”

“The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affected by the atrocity.”

RTWT

02 Feb 2017

The Salukis Rode in First-Class

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Saudi prince bought tickets for 80 falcons, the Telegraph reports:

Posted to Reddit, a photo of the rather bizarre occurrence shows dozens of the birds, each in its own seat in the central rows of the aircraft. Men in traditional Saudi headdresses occupy any seat not taken by a bird.

“My captain friend sent me this photo. Saudi prince bought ticket for his 80 hawks,” the user wrote. It is not clear which airline the hawks are flying with.

While this might seem unfathomable, it is not entirely unheard of when flying to or from the Middle East, where falconry is a popular pastime of the wealthy.

Indeed airlines such as Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates each allow falcons – of which hawks are close relations – in the cabin.

Qatar allows a maximum of six birds, but says they are welcome in the cabin. A note on Etihad’s website says: “We accept the carriage of falcons in the main aircraft cabin provided that all the necessary documents have been obtained.”

Emirates says: “Animals are not permitted in the cabin of Emirates flights, with the exception of falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan, and Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

Lufthansa, the German airline, also made it clear in 2014 it welcomed the birds of prey in the cabin, installing a “Falcon Master” tray for “maximum hygienic protection of the cabin walls, seats and carpets from soiling by the birds”.

IAG, the owner of British Airways, among others, says it transports animals “of all shapes and sizes” but makes no specific mention of hawks or the like. Nor does the British low-cost airline Easyjet, or Irish carrier Ryanair.

In 2013, Gulf News reported that more than 28,000 falcons had been issued with passports since 2002 in a bid to combat the illegal trade of the birds in the region.

Though it is fairly rare for an animal to make an appearance in an aircraft cabin, in May last year it briefly became a common sight when Canadian airlines waived the restrictions on pets in the cabin to allow those evacuating forest fire-hit Fort McMurray to fly with their canine and feline companions.

19 Jan 2016

Why Were US Boats Near Farsi Island?

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Saudi-Iran-maritime-delinea

J.E. Dyer suggests that those riverine command boats were exposed to capture by Iran’s revolutionary guards because they were traveling a route intended to avoid Saudi waters.

The routine expectation that archipelagic transit will be accommodated by littoral states is a bedrock principle of the Law of the Sea. The Saudis may have had particular reasons over the years to be wary of extending that accommodation to some parties in the Persian Gulf. But that’s not a mitigating factor for a sea change in expectations that affects the United States, of all nations.

If this is why we took an especially dangerous route to move small boats around in the Gulf, it’s a very bad portent for the international order. The Law of the Sea itself falling apart is a key development that means we’re already in a world war, whether it’s been formally declared, in Westphalian style, or not.

I note, for completeness, that the CENTCOM news release isn’t convincing on the valid question of how 10 Navy sailors could possibly have exhibited the uniquely bad seamanship implied by the official explanation. It remains extremely unlikely that they failed to notice a navigation error taking them into Iranian waters. One mechanical error – earlier disavowed by DOD, now resurrected – between two boats doesn’t so absorb the attention of two boat drivers and two navigators that everyone strays off course.

But it looks like it’s “interesting times” for the U.S. Fifth Fleet today. If, as seems probable, there are important things we’re not hearing about the collapse of the status quo in the Gulf, those things are bound to be affecting maritime operations there. The situation is only going to get worse.

16 Dec 2013

“15 Out of 19 Hijackers Were Saudis”

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The New York Post tells us that a crucial 28 pages of the government’s report on 9/11 have been classified and not revealed to the American public.

Gee, what information about which state do you suppose those redacted pages contain?

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.

But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.

It was kept secret and remains so today.

President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).

A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.

Read the whole thing.

06 Sep 2013

America: Purveyor of Mercenary Military Services to the Saudis

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The Obama Administration’s rationale for wanting to bomb Syria makes little sense and their arguments are failing to win the American public’s support. Can it be that the Administration finds itself forced to rely on such bad arguments because identifying what is really going on would be completely unacceptable?

A number of commentators are suggesting that the truth of the matter is: the Obama Administration is following the same course as the Bush Administration and essentially hiring out American military power to the Saudis, who are in reality the fons et origo of Sunni extremism and jihadism.

There is underway a struggle over Syria between Shia Iran’s Hezbollah and the Sunni Saudis’ al Qaeda, and we are about to sell our services as Air Force for al Qaeda in some kind of backroom deal which probably won’t do much good for Europe or America, but which will probably make some American politicians very, very rich.

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Andrea Shea King, at Gateway Pundit, recently observed:

Is it really about chemical warfare? Really?

Then why has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria?

Michael Snyder at the Economic Collapse Blog reports:

    “Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won’t let them build a natural gas pipeline through Syria? Of course. Qatar wants to install a puppet regime in Syria that will allow them to build a pipeline which will enable them to sell lots and lots of natural gas to Europe.”

And why is Saudi Arabia spending gobs to help the rebels and why has Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan been “jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime”?

    Well, it turns out that Saudi Arabia intends to install their own puppet government in Syria which will allow the Saudis to control the flow of energy through the region. On the other side, Russia very much prefers the Assad regime for a whole bunch of reasons. One of those reasons is that Assad is helping to block the flow of natural gas out of the Persian Gulf into Europe, thus ensuring higher profits for Gazprom.

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There is no possible doubt of the basic fact that the Obama Administration wants to agree to sell American military services as mercenaries to the Saudis (and their Sunni allies). Just the other day, Secretary of State John Kerry explained that our Arab friends have offered to pick up the tab for all our military activities against Syria.

Washington Post:

Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday’s hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily.

“With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.”

Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.

04 Jan 2011

Saudi Security Forces Nab Mossad Agent Vulture

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Believed to be a photograph of notorious Israeli agent Vulture

Gil Ronen, at Israeli National News, indulges in a bit of what the late Edward Said would have pointed to as Orientalism: looking upon the worthy oriental gentlemen of the Middle East as distinctly different: primitive, irrational, superstitious, and backward compared to Westerners. How could anyone possibly believe that?

Saudi Arabian security forces have captured a vulture that was carrying a global positioning satellite (GPS) transmitter and a ring etched with the words “Tel Aviv University.” They suspect the bird of spying for Israel, Maariv-NRG reported Tuesday. The GPS and ring were connected to the bird as part of an long-term project by Israeli scientists that follows vultures’ location and altitude for research purposes.

The arrest of the vulture – whose identification code is R65 – comes several weeks after an Egyptian official voiced the suspicion that a shark that attacked tourists off the Sinai shore was also acting on behalf of Mossad. The incidents may reflect a growing irrational hysteria among Arabs surrounding Israel’s military prowess and the efficacy of its intelligence services, possibly fueled by the Stuxnet virus’ success.

01 Aug 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

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The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced their intention to block Blackberry reception in response to Research In Motion (RIM)’s failure to facilitate government monitoring of transmissions. Mohammed Al Ghanem, director general of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said “In their current form, certain Blackberry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.”

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John Kerry apologizes for getting caught.

Kerry’s 76 foot yacht and the taxes he was trying to avoid paying. MSNBC

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Despite ethics lapses, democrats sticking with Rangel.

[L]awmakers say the dearth of calls for Rangel’s head reflects a mix of respect for both him personally and the institution. They see a veteran member of Congress and a war hero who has served the nation and Harlem in Washington and don’t want to “jump on his bones,” as one Democrat put it. …

Second, Democrats believe the Rangel scandal isn’t really hurting them all that badly back in their home districts. Some House Democrats think the media are overplaying the possible national implications of the case.

“I am not aware of anyone who is going to lose their election over this,” said one senior Democrat. “Until it becomes a problem for other members, they will stick with Charlie.”

Rangel’s three-stage defense: “I didn’t do it. I did it, but was inattentive. Others lawmakers were allowed to do the same thing without penalty.”

Barack Obama hopes Charlie Rangel can “end his career with dignity.”

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Undiscussed explosive recession bomb: lifetime savings of middle-class wiped out as unemployed Americans use savings and retirement plans to stay temporarily afloat.

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Even Harvard liberal Stephen M. Walt grades Obama 0 for 4 in Foreign Policy.

01 Apr 2010

Islamic Jurisprudence in Action

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“Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock”

Remind me why the civilized world stopped practicing Colonialism again.

CNN:

A Lebanese man charged with sorcery and sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to be beheaded on Friday, the man’s lawyer said Wednesday.

May El Khansa, the attorney for Ali Hussain Sibat, told CNN that she and Sibat’s family were informed about the upcoming execution. She said she heard from a source in Saudi Arabia with knowledge of the case and the proceedings that Saudi authorities “will carry out the execution.”…

Sibat is the former host of a popular call-in show that aired on Beirut-based satellite TV channel “Sheherazade.” According to his lawyer, Sibat would predict the future on his show and give out advice to his audience.

El Khansa told CNN her client was arrested by Saudi Arabia’s religious police (known as the Mutawa’een) and charged with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008. Sibat was in Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic religious pilgrimage known as Umra.

Sibat was then put on trial, and in November 2009, a court in the Saudi city of Medina found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

According to El Khansa, Sibat appealed the verdict. The case was taken up by the Court of Appeal in the Saudi city of Mecca on the grounds that the initial verdict was “premature.”

El Khansa tells CNN that the Mecca appeals court then sent the case back to the original court for reconsideration, stipulating that all charges made against Sibat needed to be verified and that he should be given a chance to repent.

On March 10, judges in Medina upheld their initial verdict, meaning Sibat is once again sentenced to be executed.

02 Mar 2010

Saudis Changed Pakistan Policy Toward Taliban

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Last month’s capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s number 2 leader, came about as the result of a major policy shift on the part of the Pakistani intelligence service ISI.

Half the Quetta Shura is now under arrest and sources are reporting to the (Pakistani) International News that the Saudi royal family persuaded Pakistani leadership to revise its policy toward the Afghan Taliban, causing the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) to withdraw its protection and begin actually going after the Afghan Taliban leadership. The results have been impressive.

In a major policy shift, the powerful Pakistani establishment seems to have decided to abandon the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan by agreeing to launch a massive crackdown against their command-and-control structure, which has already led to the arrest of nine of the 18 key members of the Mullah Omar-led Quetta Shura from different parts of Pakistan, and that too within a short span of two months.

According to well-informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad, the decision-makers in the powerful Pakistani establishment seem to have concluded in view of the ever-growing nexus between the Pakistani and the Afghan Taliban that they are now one and the same and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Quetta Shura Taliban (QST) could no more be treated as two separate Jihadi entities. Therefore, the establishment is believed to have revised its previous strategic assessment of the two Taliban groups, which have a common mentor (Mullah Mohammad Omar) and decided to proceed against the Afghan Taliban as well, considering them a greater threat for Pakistan now than in the past.

Diplomatic circles pointed out that the arrest of the Afghan Taliban leaders have come at a crucial juncture when the US-led allied forces are busy in launching a massive military offensive against the Afghan Taliban forces in the Marjah town of Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, after President Obama’s new-year public declaration to kill or capture the top fugitive leaders of the Taliban and the al-Qaeda, both inAfghanistan and Pakistan. Since the beginning of February 2010, the Pakistan authorities have captured seven senior members of the Taliban Shura, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy of Mullah Omar, and four Taliban shadow governors of Afghan provinces. These high-profile arrests, combined with the ongoing US-led military offensive in Helmand and the unending spate of drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas, have adversely dented the command and control structure of the Taliban, thereby affecting its military might in Afghanistan.

However, well informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad maintain that American pressure alone could not have made Pakistan to act against the Taliban network. They claim the influence of the Saudi royal family, coupled with the US pressure, eventually compelled the Pakistani intelligence establishment to finally abandon the Afghan Taliban, who were earlier being protected as a strategic asset to be used in Pakistan’s favour after the exit of the allied forces from Afghanistan. These circles further claim that the Pakistan intelligence establishment was in fact persuaded to cooperate with the Americans by Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the younger half-brother of King Abdullah. Being the chief of General Intelligence Presidency, which is the Saudi Arabian intelligence service, Muqrin reportedly conducted shuttle diplomacy between the key civil and military leadership of the two important Muslim countries, finally making Pakistan to proceed against the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.

11 Jan 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

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The courage of the elite: Metropolitan Museum prudentially removes images of Mohammed and renames Islamic Galleries.

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High rise buildings in Mecca make it evident that roughly 200 mosques are pointing in the wrong direction.

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Crime pays in Norway.. Foreigners qualify for welfare after a year in jail. If they serve three years, they get health benefits and qualify for old age pension. Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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Lawsuit begins in California federal court contending that the US Constitution mandates Gay Marriage. Wouldn’t Gouverneur Morris be surprised?

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Obama postpones State of the Union address in order to avoid preempting season opener of Lost.

03 Jan 2010

FOB Chapman Suicide Bombing Linked to Failed Saudi Assassination and Flight 253

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A suicide bombing assassination attempt last August on the life of the Saudi chief of Counter-terrorism Operations, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Debka sources reveal, was the opening move in a new al Qaeda terrorism offensive, and served as a tactical example both for the failed bombing of Flight 253 and for the successful suicide attack responsible for the deaths of seven CIA officers at Forward Operating Base Chapman on December 30th.

Debkafile
:

Had the White House National Security Council, US intelligence and counter-terror agencies properly studied al Qaeda’s failed attempt to assassinate Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, deputy interior minister and commander of the Saudi anti-terror campaign in Yemen five motnhs ago, they might have detected pointers to al Qaeda’s latest terror offensive and its methods.

Like the Nigerian bomber Umar Abdulmutallab, the Saudi minister’s would-be assassin, Abdullah Hassan Tali’ al-Asiri (al Qaeda-styled Abu Khair), who did not survive the attack, used explosives hidden in his underwear to fool the prince’s bodyguards. He won an audience with the prince by posing as an informant, the same trick used by the Taliban suicide bomber to penetrate a US base and kill 7 CIA agents and a US soldier last month.

This emerging prototype was missed by US intelligence experts. …

Obama, who has called a meeting of US security agency chiefs for Tuesday, Jan. 5, cannot expect serious brainstorming because it would be inhibited by a mindset that refuses to refer to the failed mass-murderer as an illegal or enemy combatant or terrorist but only as a “suspect.” Treated like a common or garden criminal, the Nigerian has been committed to an ordinary lock-up. This has given him the opportunity to hire American lawyers, who right away shut his mouth and advised him not to cooperate in answering questions about his accessories and masters.

With this invaluable intelligence door closed, the US president has turned to measures for enhancing the security of US air travelers and air traffic bound for US ports and demanded the matching-up of the counter-terror watch and no-fly lists. Abdulmutallab appeared on the first but was left off the second as a result of the failure of US intelligence agencies to share incoming data about his record.

Furthermore, should Obama and his advisers decide on retaliation, DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources are assured by reports from Yemen that al Qaeda’s operatives were no longer hanging around their bases twelve days after the airliner episode; they had packed up and made tracks for fresh hideouts in the northern mountains and Hadhramaut.

Since Obama’s Monday, Dec. 23 pledge: “We will not rest until we find all who were involved,” the days slipping by without a US reaction have given al Qaeda the chance to plot more airliner attacks from a safe location.

The second breach in US defenses against terrorist attack has deeper roots and derives from the misconceptions about al Qaeda governing US intelligence thinking well before Barack Obama’s day in the White House.

Prince Muhammad in Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s top counter-terror executive, escaped with light injuries from Abu Khair’s attempt to kill him at his Jeddah palace on August 27, 2009, thanks mainly to the partial detonation of the explosive materials hidden in his underpants, a glitch repeated in the Nigerian bomber’s attempt.

The assassin gained entry to the most heavily fortified and guarded palace in the Red Sea town of Jeddah by convincing Saudi agents in Yemen that he was ready to switch sides – but only if he could discuss terms face to face with Prince Muhammad.

They did in fact hold several meetings – not in the palace but out in Najran province on the Yemen border. The data he handed over was solid enough to convince the Saudi prince that he was on the threshold of his government’s biggest breakthrough in its war on al Qaeda.

So when Abu Khair offered to bring with him to the Jeddah palace a list of al Qaeda high-ups in Yemen willing to defect to Saudi Arabia, the prince not only agreed to the venue but sent his private jet to pick him up from Najran.

Our counter-terror sources allow that the government in Riyadh may have kept the details of this plot from the Americans – and not for the first time. Still, CIA and FBI undercover agents in the oil kingdom could have got wind of it from their own contacts.

Had it been properly scrutinized and analyzed, there was much valuable input to be gained from the attempt on Prince Muhammad, betraying as it did Al Qaeda methods which were later replicated in the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound airliner and, again, in the deadly attack on Dec. 30 against the CIA contingent at Forward Operation Base Chapman, in the remote Afghan Khost province.

The bomber, who has not been identified yet, not only gained entry with explosives in his possession to the well-guarded US base, but detonated the device while the agents were unarmed and working out in the base gym.

How was this accomplished? The bomber had in fact been employed as a CIA informer and was therefore known at the gate and familiar with the routines of Base Chapman. Furthermore, he knew enough to time his attack for the day of the arrival in Kabul of a high-ranking CIA official. There has been no word about this official’s fate.

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And, in Newsweek, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball are reporting that Prince Muhammad bin Nayef briefed the White House in October about al Qaeda’s new explosive undergarments.

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was briefed in October on an assassination attempt by Al Qaeda that investigators now believe used the same underwear bombing technique as the Nigerian suspect who tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day, U.S. intelligence and administration officials tell NEWSWEEK.

The briefing to Brennan was delivered at the White House by Muhammad bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s chief counterterrorism official. …

U.S. officials now suspect that Nayef’s attempted assassin and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect aboard the Northwest flight, had the same bomb maker in Yemen.

22 Oct 2009

No More Catch and Release For Him

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the late Yousef Mohammed al Shihri

Thomas Joscelyn
reports that another released Guantanamo prisoner who rejoined al Qaeda was this time permanently detained by Saudi security forces.

On Oct. 13, a former Guantanamo detainee named Yousef Mohammed al Shihri was killed in a shootout at a checkpoint along the Saudi-Yemeni border. Al Shihri and his accomplices were stopped by Saudi security forces after their suspicious behavior drew attention.

Two of the travelers, including al Shihri, were reportedly dressed as women. Saudi security personnel decided to search the al Qaeda car and its passengers, but al Shihri and the others opened fire. Al Shihri and one other al Qaeda member were killed in the shootout, while a third was arrested. One Saudi security officer was also killed. …

Yousef Mohammed al Shihri was repatriated to Saudi Arabia in November 2007 along with thirteen other Saudi citizens. At least several of them have returned to al Qaeda’s ranks. One of those who rejoined al Qaeda is Said Ali al Shihri, who has become the deputy chief of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was reportedly involved in the September 2008 attack on the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. According to memos prepared at Gitmo, Said Ali al Shihri is Yousef Mohammed al Shihri’s brother. However, according to a report by Caryle Murphy in the Christian Science Monitor, Saudi authorities have said the two al Qaeda terrorists were brothers-in-law.

Regardless, Yousef and Said were relatives. And their stories demonstrate the pitfalls of the US government’s transfer and release decisions. Prior to their transfers, US intelligence officials at Guantanamo had determined that Said was “a known al Qaeda operative.” Moreover, when they inquired about Yousef, they found that he was considered one of the more dangerous Saudis held at Guantanamo.

In a memo prepared at Guantanamo, US intelligence officials reported that:

    A foreign government service provided information on detainees held at Guantanamo Bay that they designated as being high priority targets, in order of precedence. [Yousef Mohammed al Shihri] is number four on the list.

The “foreign government service” is likely Saudi intelligence, as that organization would have the most information on Yousef and his fellow Saudi al Qaeda compatriots. Well more than 100 Saudis were detained at Guantanamo, so Yousef must have been considered especially dangerous to be listed as number four on the list.

In addition, US intelligence officials alleged that Yousef Mohammed al Shihri made his allegiances and animosity for America well-known long before being transferred to Saudi Arabia. Regarding Yousef Mohammed al Shihri, memos prepared at Guantanamo alleged:

The detainee stated he considers all Americans his enemy. The detainee decided that he hates all Americans because they attack his religion, Islam. Since Americans are the detainee’s enemy, he will continue to fight them until he dies.

    The detainee pointed to the sky and told the interviewing agents that he will have a meeting with them in the next life. …

    The detainee stated that the FBI, the United States and the interrogators are the enemy.

Despite all of this, Yousef and Said were transferred to Saudi custody. They both graduated from the Saudi jihadist rehabilitation program and then joined nine others in a planned escape from Saudi soil. They fled to Yemen, where they joined al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is currently one of the strongest al Qaeda branches. Said lives on to fight another day, while Yousef now gets to test his theory of the afterlife.

26 Aug 2009

How Sharia Law Operates in Saudi Arabia Today

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The Arab News reports on a case of domestic discord in Laith, Saudi Arabia, which demonstrates exactly why the Archbishop of Canterbury’s assertion that the adoption of “aspects of Sharia law” was inevitable in Britain led to widespread criticism.

A 10-year-old bride was returned last Sunday to her 80-year-old husband by her father who discovered her at the home of her aunt with whom she has been hiding for around 10 days.

A local newspaper said the husband, who denies he is 80 in spite of claims by the girl’s family, accused the aunt of meddling in his affairs. “My marriage is not against Shariah. It included the elements of acceptance and response by the father of the bride,” he said.

He added that he had been engaged to his wife’s elder sister and that this broke off as she wanted to continue with her education. “In light of this, her father offered his younger daughter. I was allowed to have a look at her according to Shariah and found her acceptable,” he said.

14 Jul 2009

Saudi Family Sues Genie

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Litigation explosion’s latest victim

This news item from the LA Times makes it clear that adoption of sharia law by western jurisdictions will only produce an increase in litigation in new and interesting ways.

A family in Saudi Arabia has filed suit in a religious court against an unnamed genie, or jinn, who sounds most unpleasant: It steals cellphones, whispers threats and occasionally flings stones.

“We began to hear strange sounds,” a family member who requested anonymity told the Saudi daily Al Watan. “At first we did not take it seriously, but then stranger things started to happen, and the children got particularly scared when the genie started throwing stones.”

The genie — or genies — had demands: “A woman spoke to me first, and then a man. They said we should get out of the house,” said the family member, adding that his clan fled their home near the city of Medina. …

Sheikh Amr Al Salmi, head of the local Sharia court, said he will investigate the family’s claims that it has been harassed for two years: “We have to look into this case and verify its truthfulness despite the difficulty of
its consideration,” he told the Saudi daily. “What is interesting is that the complaint has come from every member of the family, and not just one.”

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