Saudi Arabia, Egypt Lead Arab States Cutting Ties With Qatar

A  number of Arab nations cut ties with Qatar.  The move escalates a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and accusations it backs the agenda of Iran.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

Iran — long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move — immediately blamed President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.

Gulf Arab states and Egypt have long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.

The coordinated move, with the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups — some backed by regional archrival Iran — and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.

“(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.

It accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi’ite Muslim-populated eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain…

Iran saw America pulling the strings.

“What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,” Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted in a reference to Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. CNBC

Jordan also downgrades ties with Qatar

Jordan will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar, it said on Tuesday, standing with several Arab powers that have cut ties with the tiny Gulf state.

The decision was made after Amman examined the “cause of the crisis” between Doha and the other Arab states, government spokesman Mohammed al Momani said.

He added that Jordan also revoked the TV license for Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel. Haaretz

Struggle For Regional Dominance

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to punish the Gulf Cooperation Council member over its support for Islamist groups — as well as their key rival, Iran — pits some of the world’s richest nations in a struggle for regional dominance. Qatar’s population is smaller than Houston’s, but it has a sovereign wealth fund with stakes in global companies from Barclays Plc to Credit Suisse Group. It’s also a home to the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s central command in the region. Bloomsberg

FLASHBACK: Obama Sent Taliban Terrorists To Qatar

In May of 2014, then President Barack Obama released five Islamic terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility into Qatar’s custody in exchange for the Taliban’s return of Bowe Bergdahl; the Taliban partly operates its international diplomatic operations via representatives in Qatar…

The New York Post reported that the five Islamic terrorists released to Qatar – dubbed “The Taliban 5” – received a “hero’s welcome” upon arrival in the Islamic Gulf State. DailyWire

Egypt Launches Air Strikes On ‘Terrorist Camps’ In Libya In Response To Attack On Coptic Christians

At least 26 Coptic Christians were killed and 26 others injured earlier Friday when gunmen opened fire on a bus heading to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, located south of Cairo.

Gunmen opened fire on two buses and a truck carrying Coptic Christians in Minya, Egypt on Friday, killing at least 26, including children. Some 26 people were also injured in the attack.

The group of between eight and 10 gunmen, reportedly dressed in military uniforms according to eyewitnesses, approached the convoy in three four-wheel-drive pickup trucks before opening fire, according to local media reports and the Egyptian Interior Ministry. RT

Egypt strike terrorist camps in Libya

Egyptian fighter jets have struck militant camps following the deadly attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, President Abdel Fattah Sisi has announced. The strikes were carried out in eastern Libya, state television said.

Egypt’s president also vowed to continue striking bases used to train militants and who carry out terrorist attacks in his country, regardless of the camps’ location.

He also reiterated that the countries financing, training and arming terrorists should not get away unpunished.

“We will not hesitate to protect our people from the evil,” he said in a televised speech on Friday.

“Egypt will not hesitate in striking any camps that harbor or train terrorist elements whether inside Egypt or outside Egypt,” the al-Ahram news agency quoted Sisi as saying.

Egypt carried out six air strikes in Derna in eastern Libya, state television reported adding that it is where the militants who carried out the deadly attack on the Coptic Christians were trained.

Following the Libyan incursion, Egyptian armed forces released a short video which was aired on state television following the president’s speech. The voiceover in the army video said its air force carried out strikes on targets in Libya “after confirming their involvement in planning and committing the terrorist attack in Minya governorate on Friday.”

Egypt’s military said that the air strikes are ongoing, local media reports. RT

Libya’s PM Fayez al-Sarraj Earns Millions A Year From The Criminal Trafficking Of Libyans To Europe

Human traffickers.

Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj earns €300m a year with the illegal trafficking of Libyans to Europe.

A new report has found Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, is directly benefiting from the migration from his country to Europe.

The research has suggested 300 million euros per year are generated from human trafficking and that amount represents the most substantial revenue to the cities controlled by Sarraj.

Admiral Enrico Credendino, the commander of the mission Eunavfor Med, and author of the report said the smuggling of human beings guarantees a turnover of between 275 and 325 million euro per year.

Mr. Credendino concluded the migration is a constant income for the Libyan leader while it remains a great strain on Italy.

He said: “As long as we continue accepting everyone arriving on boats, Sarraj will continue receiving money from criminal groups that push migrants to our shores.”

Commissioner Avramopoulos said: “If we compare Italy and Greece, said the Commissioner yesterday, up to 80% of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea are refugees, while 80 percent of those who arrived in Italy from the Mediterranean are illegal.”

The majority of migrant arriving in Italy are not from Syria, but from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia and Mali, experts have said. Express UK

NGO ships smuggling African migrants to Italy, providing shuttle service from Libyan Coast. Motive – Money?

Human traffickers contact the Italian coast guard in advance to receive support and to pick up their dubious cargo. NGO ships are directed to the “rescue spot” even as those to be rescued are still in Libya. The 15 ships that we observed are owned or leased by NGOs have regularly been seen to leave their Italian ports, head south, stop short of reaching the Libyan coast, pick up their human cargo, and take course back 260 miles to Italy even though the port of Zarzis in Tunis is just 60 miles away from the rescue spot. gefira

Refugee Inc.

Across Europe, ‘migrants’ are seen as a financial opportunity.

ORS Service, a Swiss company running migrant reception centres, is doing well. Run by London-based private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe Ltd, it now operates in Germany and Austria and recorded $99 million in revenue last year. ORS Service has thrived on Europe’s inability to cope with the refugee crisis. Independent UK

DOJ Drops Charges Against Alleged Broker Of Libyan Weapons after He Threatened To Expose Obama And Clinton’s Role In Arming Extremists

clinton-obamaAmerican Marc Turi was charged with selling weapons to Libyan rebels at a time when it was illegal to do so.

Turi was indicted in 2014 on charges of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and lying to the State Department in official applications, with prosecutors arguing that he falsely claimed the weapons were destined for Qatar and the UAE. DailyMail

An associate of Mr Turo’s told Politico: ‘They don’t want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad for Obama and (Hillary) Clinton just before the election.’

“The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and the arms broker.”  Why a confidential agreement?  This stinks!  Another cover-up.

The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

Government lawyers were facing a Wednesday deadline to produce documents to Turi’s legal team, and the trial was officially set to begin on Election Day, although it likely would have been delayed by protracted disputes about classified information in the case.

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

“They don’t want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad for Obama and Clinton just before the election,” said the associate.

In the dismissal motion, prosecutors say “discovery rulings” from U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell contributed to the decision to drop the case. The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and the arms broker.  Full article at Politico

Poor Oversite – Weapons to Libya and Syria

In July, Turi told Fox News about the U.S. illegally supplying Libyan rebels with arms.

“When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way,”  Turi said, emphasizing that poor oversight, allowed individuals hostile to the United States to get arms.  “The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria.”

Turi provided  Fox News with emails he exchanged – in early April 2011 – with Chris Stevens to alert him  to the proposed weapons deal.  The emails were previously cited by the New York Times. Fox News

Gaddafi’s son Saif, Libya’s Former Heir Apparent, Released From Libya Prison

A hearing in a courtroom.
A hearing in a courtroom.

Gaddafi’s British-educated and most Western-oriented son Saif, was released from death row in Libya earlier this year, his lawyer said, he still faces charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.  Mr Khan told France 24. “He is well and safe and he’s in Libya.”

The former Libyan dictator’s second son “was given his liberty on April 12, 2016”, lawyer Karim Khan said Wednesday, adding that Saif al-Islam was released under an amnesty previously declared by the Tobruk parlement, the internationally recognised authority that governed part of Libya before the national unity government of Fayez al-Sarraj took over in March. According to the lawyer, this release was made “in accordance with (Libyan) law”.

Saif al-Islam, who was regarded as Gaddafi’s likeliest successor, had been held since 2011 by a militia in Zintan, in a mountainous western region beyond the control of authorities in the capital, Tripoli…

Saif al-Islam is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which issued an arrest warrant in 2011 on preliminary charges of crimes against humanity, murder and persecution for being part of the inner circle of his father’s regime.

Khan said he would file an application to make the ICC case inadmissible, arguing that his client has already been tried by his home country.

Invoking the principle of “double jeopardy”, he said: “It is prohibited to try an individual twice for the same offense”.France24

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi Book Review


13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi” provides a harrowing account as to what occurred on the ground on the night of September 11, 2012.

Mitchell Zuckoff, a journalism professor at Boston University, tells the story by drawing on interviews from the surviving  security contract operators who put their lives on the line attempting to protect Americans.  A powerful and captivating account of what happened from the first terrorist attacking the State Department Special Mission Compound and the CIA station called the Annex.

Zuckoff does endorse the Senate Intelligence Committee that the State Department assessment that the attack could have prevented with enhanced security. His focus is on the six American security operators, telling their story of the bloody assault, gripping fight, heroic deeds, tragic losses, and the last hours of an American diplomatic outpost. It is about what happened on the ground in Benghazi outside of partisan or political interests.

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi available at Amazon.

In theaters January 15, 2016 the movie “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi” based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s book.

Gaddafi’s Home City Of Sirte Falls To ISIS

sirtelibyaTwo warring governments and ISIS are spreading anarchy, destruction, and death in Libya .

Standing guard at his frontline post, Libyan soldier Mohammed Abu Shager can see where Islamic State militants are holed up with their heavy weaponry less than a kilometer away.

The militants have effectively taken over former dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s home city of Sirte as they exploit a civil war between two rival governments to expand in North Africa.

“Every night they open fire on us,” said Abu Shebar, who with comrades on Sirte’s western outskirts holds the last position of troops belonging to one of the two warring Libyan governments, the General National Congress, which controls the capital Tripoli and most of the west of the country.

“They are only active at night,” he said, pointing to the militants’ position in a house just down the road blocked by sandbags. He sleeps in a shed next to his firing positions where used tank shells litter the ground.

Libya, which has descended into near anarchy since NATO warplanes helped rebels overthrow Gaddafi in a 2011 civil war, is now the third big stronghold for the Sunni Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which declared a Caliphate to rule over all Muslims from territory it holds in Syria and Iraq.

Islamic State fighters became a major force last year in Derna, a jihadi bastion in Libya’s east, and quickly spread to the biggest eastern city Benghazi, where they have conducted suicide bombings on streets divided among armed factions. Reuters

Pope Francis: “The blood Of Christians Is A Testimony Which Cries Out To Be Heard”

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sent a message to the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church after the mass executions of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya

The blood of Christians “is a testimony which cries out to be heard by everyone who can still distinguish between good and evil,” Pope Francis has said.

The Pope made his comments in a message of support to Abuna Matthias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, after ISIS released a video depicting the slaughter of Christians in Libya, showing footage of two massacres in which 30 Ethiopian Christians were killed.

In the message, released by the Vatican, the Pope spoke of his “profound sorrow” and offered the patriarch “heartfelt spiritual solidarity”.

“With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya,” the Pope said.

“I know that Your Holiness is suffering deeply in heart and mind at the sight of your faithful children being killed for the sole reason that they are followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“I reach out to you in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia.”

He added: “It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant. Their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ.”  CatholicHerald

New ISIS Video Shows Mass Executions Of 30 Ethiopian Christians In Libya

Update:  A statement was released by Coptic Solidarity a non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt and minorities in Middle East.  The Ethiopian Christians were killed because they were impoverished immigrants that could not pay the jizya tax.

” Coptic Solidarity condemns these monstrous murders in the strongest terms and urges the international community to urgently protect Christians and other minorities in the region and to defeat ISIS.”…

“Coptic Solidarity calls upon the United States and other concerned countries to stop obfuscating and to acknowledge ISIS’ stated purpose of killing these individuals because they were Christians who did not want to deny their faith.”…

“Coptic Solidarity urges the UN Security Council to follow its mandate and immediately act in protection of the innocent and vulnerable groups in the region, rather than pursuing the mirage of a peaceful coexistence between murderous jihadis of the Islamic State and minority groups.”

A  video released Sunday by ISIS purportedly shows the executions of Ethiopian Christians in two different regions of Libya.

libyaethiopianchristians

 A video released by the Islamic State group appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

The 29-minute video released online Sunday purportedly shows two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an IS affiliate in eastern Libya and the other by an affiliate in the south.

A masked fighter delivers a long statement before the video switches between footage that purportedly shows the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach. TheBlaze

Egypt Calls For International Intervention In Libya

italylibya
Screen captive from video

In the chaos of Libya terrorist fighters have declared an affiliation with ISIS and risen to dominate in several Libyan cities. Egypt has called for international intervention in Libya, Italy says it is prepared to lead international action .  Libya was an Italian colony until 1947.  The distance between Italy and Libya is 271 miles (436 km).

State Of Anarchy: Libyan Army Training In UK

75be6d9f6a5b3ee3339e9167_150_question-marksThe British thought bringing Libyans soldiers to the UK for training a good idea?  Libyan solders were brought to the UK for a training program to give leadership skills to hand-picked Libyan cadets-the cream of what Libya had to offer.  Drunkenness, violence (all brooms were removed from the barracks as the Libyans were using the brooms as weapons against each other), female British soldiers had to be accompanied by a male colleague for safety.   The Libyans went off base and were involved in sexual assaults, including rape of men and women, intimidation of villagers, and theft….

One young, slightly-built British soldier serving in the canteen attracted the attention of a group of his Libyan counterparts. They approached their translator with a question: Could they ‘buy him?’

‘They wanted him for sex,’ said the soldier’s wife. ‘They kept asking the translator how much “he” would cost so they could have him and rape him. I don’t know whether that is something that happens in their culture or not, but there just weren’t enough British soldiers at the base to cope with or control all of the Libyans.’ Continue reading “State Of Anarchy: Libyan Army Training In UK”