Tag Archives: Qatar

Hush Money: West turns blind eye on Qatar’s terrorism funding

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) shakes hands with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (L)

Qatar gives Western countries money they desperately need, and in return it gets a blind eye to its actions in the Middle East, even sponsoring ISIS and other jihadists, Danni Makki, researcher specializing on Middle East security, told RT.

The Qatari royal family is planning to create a residence in the very heart of London, converting three properties in Regent’s Park into a single mega-mansion valued at over £200 million. The Al Thani family already owns some famous London landmarks like the Shard, the Olympic Park, and Harrods. While Qatar actively buys UK property and heavily invests in Britain’s economy, the appalling situation with human rights abuses in Qatar is simply ignored by London. In fact, Britain also turns a blind eye to Qatar’s links with extremist groups in the Middle East.

RT: What do you make of the accusations that Qatar is funding terrorists? They are pretty strong, aren’t they?

Danni Makki: They are very strong. Qatar is one of the global funders of terrorism in the entire world. Fair enough, Qatar has excellent economic relations with the Western countries but it has a policy of double standards. It maintains a great relationship with the Western countries and within the Middle East it fuels bloodshed, violence and lots of conflicts as we can see now from Libya to Syria, Iraq, Somalia, even the Gaza Strip. Qatar has a hand in funding terrorism in the Middle East; there are numerous radical jihadist movements within the Middle East who get funds from Qatar. And the Qatari government has turned a blind eye to its own nationals funding these movements for a number of years now. So in essence we must put the blame the US which does exempt Qatar from accountability in regard to this matter.

RT: If all this is well-known, why don’t we see more outrage over this?

DM: Of course not because the Western governments at this moment of time have fragile economies, they are struggling, they are desperate for funds. Qatar gives them funds. In response the Western governments allow Qatar to act as it wills in the Middle East and do what they want. There is in essence a kind of socio-economic agreement. Qatar has very well-known terrorist funders living within their country. Even the US Treasury added that Qatari nationals send up to £1.5 million every single month to ISIS fighters. And this is the same Islamic State which the Western countries are attacking.

RT: Britain is very sensitive to any terror-related things. ISIS killed its citizens, British soldiers are helping to root out ISIS in Syria and Iraq…Surely it would have reacted if these allegations against Qatar were true. What’s your take on it?

DM: Indeed. Qatari funds are killing Western journalists as we speak today, and there is, especially in the Western media, a kind of direction which is saying that Qatar is a terrorist state. We can get the statements of Sir Malcolm Rifkind who was a former Foreign Secretary and Defense Secretary. He stated that Qatar should be sanctioned, and this is very significant. We can argue today that people are shopping in Harrods, on a Qatari funded basis they are committing or aiding terrorism in a sense. It’s quite amazing in a sense, but this is actually reality on the ground. Qatari nationals have funded terrorism all across the Arab world. We could argue that groups like Al-Nusra Front or Ahrar Al-Sham in Syria, these groups who have been admittedly funded by Qatar, even a mayor of Qatar in his previous interview stated that “we stopped funding terrorism, we stopped funding extremism.” Of course Qatar hasn’t stopped, it has continued funding terrorism. At the same time Qatar is playing a policy of double standards, it’s almost lying in a sense to Western nations, attempting to exert its failed influence in the Arab world. The conflict zones in Iraq and Syria are very big testaments of that. We can argue that Sheikh Muhammad al-Arifi, the extremist Arab Sheikh who is banned from entering London was invited, after he was banned twice, to Qatar on government-sponsored visits. So Qatar is very complicit in aiding extremist groups, jihadists groups, and is very complicit in terrorist activities all across the world.

RT: You argue that Britain needs Qatar for the money. But why does Qatar need Britain?

DM: Qatar needs Britain first of all because Britain has a seat in the UN Security Council, because Britain is a very important country in terms of prestige. Qatar needs strong Western partners for its investments because it uses the Western world as a gateway to more economic domination, more economic hegemony. It feels that it has feasibility to roam around the Arab world, up to attempting to overthrow governments and create rebel groups who are Islamic extremists. And the West is accepting this. Why? Because they need Qatari funds. In France alone up until the year 2012 Qatar has invested up to £15 billion. In the UK today Qatar invested tens of billions of pounds. This is very significant for the actual basis of the Western economy this time and place, especially after the credit crunch. Qatar invested millions and billions into the Western economy. So without that you can argue that Western governments rely more on Qatari funds than Qatar do on Western government’s political power.

— RT Op-Edge

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محمد العرابي يكتب : السيسي ومرسي وغزة

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وهذا هو هدف قطر وتركيا، إظهار مصر كأنها فقدت دورها في القضية الفلسطينية، وأن النظام السابق كان أكثر قدرة علي التعامل مع حماس

لماذا نكتب، ونحن نعتقد أحياناً أن الكتابة كالحرث في البحر، لم أجد اجابة علي السؤال، ولكنني بعد دعوة كريمة من الاستاذ ياسر رزق قررت إعادة المحاولة بعد أن مارست هذا الأمر في صحيفة الجمهورية وبعدها في مجلة أكتوبر في فترة صعبة مرت بها مصر خلال حكم الإخوان , وعندما أراجع هذه الكتابات اجدها متسقة تماماً مع نضال الشعب المصري في تلك الفترة الحالكة من تاريخ الوطن
عدت من زيارة للعاصمة الفرنسية، حيث التقيت بمجموعة من السياسيين والخبراء في محفل لمناقشة التطرف الديني في المنطقة، ووجدت أن مصر وأحداثها تحتل اهتمام الجميع ولن أبالغ إذا قلت أن هناك شبه إجماع علي أن استقرار الأوضاع في مصر سيؤدي الي استقرار المنطقة وأنحسار التطرف الديني
ولكن مشاهدات كثيرة قد تدلل علي مدي الاهتمام بالشأن المصري والحرص عليمتابعة كل ما يجري في وطننا العظيم
كان سائق السيارة المخصصة لي شابا من بنجلاديش وعندما عرف إنني من مصر سألني هل تؤيد الرئيس السيسي فقلت له نعم، فبادرني بقوله أنا أحب مرسي، فكان ردي حاداً وقلت انت شاب من بنجلاديش وتعيش في باريس لا أعتقد أنك تستطيع تقييم رئيس دولة أخري وماهي المقومات التي تدفعك الي حبه وتقديره؟
وكان رده الديمقراطية، طبعاً تتوقعون الجدل الطويل حول هذا الموضوع مع  هذا السائق
المهم هو مدي تأثير هذه الجماعة، وأن هناك من لم ير أو لا يريد أن يري أن هناك شرعية جديدة تدحض أي دعاوي آخري
في الجانب الآخر نجد أن أحداث غزة الأخيرة يتخذها أنصار الجماعة ذريعة للهجوم علي النظام المصري واختصار الأمر في ضرورة فتح المعابر، أمرغريب .. تصادف اثناء وجودي في باريس انعقاد مؤتمر لوزراء خارجية بعض الدول الغربية بالإضافة إلي قطر وتركيا وكأن الحرب في غزة وسقوط القتلي من الفلسطينيين يأتي في المرتبة التالية لإشراك قطر وتركيا في جهود وقف إطلاق النار، وأن المسألة تمس كرامتهم ودورهم ولا يهم الدم الفلسطيني وليتهم توصلوا الي هدنة حقيقية

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مشعل يستجم فى الدوحه واطفال غزه يقتلون

وخلال هذا المحفل تلاحظ أن هناك تأييداً لمصر ودورها من السياسيين والخبراء من عدة دول عربية وغربية والاهم ان ممثلي دول (غيررسميين) من تونس والمغرب واليمن وسوريا يرون في النموذج المصري الحل  الامثل لمشاكل دولهم والاقليم
هناك نظرة واضحة  لخطورة الجماعات التكفيرية المتطرفة التي اصبحت عابرة للحدود بتسليح متقدم وأعداد يصعب دحرها
كنت أقول أننا ننتظر صيفاً ساخناً، وبالفعل هذا الصيف سيشهد حسماً لقضايا كثيرة ورسماً لحدود جديدة
ولكن أين نحن من كل هذا؟
مصر في قلب هذه الاحداث بل أدعي أنها في قلب العاصفة وستظل مستهدفة بل ان كل حدث في المنطقة سوف يتم استغلاله ضدها مثل ما حدث فيالحرب علي غزة كان نظام الإخوان يروج نفسه فيالغرب علي أنه ولي أمر حماس، ويستطيع كبح جماحها إذا لزم الأمر قد دلل علي ذلك في أحداث غزة العام الماضي وقت حكم الرئيس المعزول
وهذا هو هدف قطر وتركيا، إظهار مصر كأنها فقدت دورها في القضية الفلسطينية، وأن النظام السابق كان أكثر قدرة علي التعامل مع حماس
هل ستظل المنطقة اسيرة لمنطق الإخوان؟
أعتقد أن امامنا بعض الوقت وخاصة أن قوي إقليمية ودولية مازالت تراهن علي قدرة الإخوان علي الصمود والوجود، لذا نحن في حاجة شديدة لبلورة نظام عربي جديد يصون الأمن القومي العربي ويضع محددات صارمة لتدخل دولة عربية في شأن دولة عربية أخري
هل سنفكر في ذلك قريبا، لا اعتقد
كانت احداث غزة كاشفة لأمور كثيرة وللاسف دفع الشعب الفلسطيني الثمن غاليا ومازال
الولايات المتحدة متمسكة برؤيتها الاستراتيجية وتزج بحلفائها في المنطقة في عملية سياسية مظهرية وبغض النظر عن إحتمالات نجاحها ولم تقدم واشنطن دعمها للفكرة المحورية وهي وقف اطلاق النار والضغط علي اسرائيل لتنفيذ ذلك حماية للمدنيين الفلسطينيين
ودول اقليمية مصرة علي التزاحم للحفاظ علي بريقها السياسي بعد أن انتظرت لفترة طويلة أثارت الاستغراب وبدون تحقيق أي حل عملي لوقف اطلاق النار
للأسف حاول الجميع استغلال الدم الفلسطيني للتذكير بأهمية الإخوان علي الساحة السياسية للمنطقة، اما اسرائيل فكعادتها تجيد فن الخسارة،واقصد الخسارة السياسية والأخلاقية ولا أعلم ماذا جنت من هذه العملية العسكرية بعد أن كانت تشعر براحة استراتيجية منذ بداية ما عرف بثورات الربيع العربي
هل قصدت إعادة تفتيت القوي المناهضة لها في ظل صمت حزب الله وإيران وداعش وغيرها من القوي التي تدعي نصرة الشعب الفلسطيني
فعلاً نعاني من فوضي غير خلاقة كادت أن تطيح بالمنطقة وتدخلها في مرحلة عدم استقرار لن يتمكن أحد من إعادته مرة أخري
من هنا  نري صدق رؤية الدول التي تقف مع مصر لأنها مقتنعة أن مصرالجديدة هي العامل الفعال والمؤثر للحفاظ علي المنطقة. ولكن الطريق طويل والأخطار محدقة وستظل مصر مستهدفة وهنا نؤكد أن قوتنا الذاتية هي الاساس في تعاملنا مع المعطيات الجديدة بالمنطقة، وقوتنا الذاتية تعتمد في الاساس علي شعب مصر الذي يملك قدرات عظيمة لكن ينقصه روح العمل الجماعي. لا يوجد بديل الا النجاح والنجاح  فقط والإ ستكون المنطقة كلها مهددة بالتفكك والانحدار إلي نتائج كارثية
الصبر والصمود وتحمل حرب استنزاف جديدة نستطيع الفوز فيها بالوقوف صفاً واحداً خلف قيادتنا، ندعمها لكي تنجح مصر وتنطلق إلي مستقبل أرحب

  • محمد العرابى، وزير خارجية مصر السابق، تولى العرابي مهامه وزيرًا للخارجية خلفًا لنبيل العربي الذي انتخب في 15 مايو أمينًا عامًا للجامعة العربية. يعده كثيرون رائد العصر الذهبى للعلاقات المصرية الألمانية

المقال الاصلى – اخبار اليوم – محمد العرابي يكتب –

ذيل الافعى الاخوانى ” مرتزقة حماس ” والخطه البديله لأتفاق الجاسوس محمد مرسى | WORLD NEWS.

4 Hamas Billionaires and 600 Millionaires Turning Civilian Suffering into Hard Cash | WORLD NEWS.

Hamas’s Civilian Death Strategy – WSJ | WORLD NEWS.

4 Hamas Billionaires and 600 Millionaires Turning Civilian Suffering into Hard Cash

By S.M. Lightening

The media in Israel, but more so in neighboring Egypt, is full of condemnations of Hamas leaders, who live in luxury hotels at the expense of the Qatar oil sheiks, or in mansions with the latest fitness equipment, while instructing the downtrodden civilians in the Gaza Strip to become martyrs in service of the Palestinian cause.

Middle East expert Col. (res.) Dr. Moshe Elad spoke to Globes this week about the estimated wealth of those Hamas leaders, who are beginning to be known popularly as the Arab world’s new tycoons.

Elad spent 30 years in the IDF, as Governor of Jenin district, Bethlehem district , Tyre district (in South Lebanon), and as Head of Security coordination with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, during the implementation of the “Oslo Accord” (’95-’98). Since his retirement, Elad has been teaching today at Western Galilee College, and at Galil – the International Management Institute.

“The vast majority of Hamas founders and leaders were refugees or second generation refugees,” said Elad. “They had no money at all. When they and Hamas were just starting out, the organization (not in its own name) was nurtured by the Israeli military government, which fostered the Islamic associations working in the Gaza Strip as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Their phenomenal wealth started accumulating when they decided to disassociate themselves from Israel and search for alternative financing sources.”

The money, says Elad, came from wills of the deceased, charity funds, and contributions from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and these days Qatar.

To remind you, the strongly pro-Hamas Al Jazeera Media Network is also funded by the ruling family of Qatar, the House of Thani.

With US based charities starting to funnel funds to Hamas, in the early 1990s, Hamas leaders began to acquire big money. “One of those fundraisers was Dr. Musa Abu Marzook, the number 2 man in Hamas,” says Elad. “He began a fundraising campaign in the US among wealthy Muslims, while at the same time founding several banking enterprises. He himself became a conglomerate of 10 financial enterprises giving loans and making financial investments. He’s an amazing financier.”

The US arrested Marzook in 1995, on charges of supporting terrorism. After he spent two years in jail, he was expelled without a trial. And he got to keep the money.

“When he was expelled from the US in 1997, he was already worth several million dollars,” Elad says. “Somehow he evaded the clutches of the US Internal Revenue Service and was not charged with financing terrorism. People in the know say he probably became connected to the administration and cooperated with it. There is no proof, but it’s hard to think of any other reason why he escaped punishment for such serious offenses. In 2001, in the investigation of the September 11 events, it turned out that he had extensive financial connections with Al Qaeda, including the transfer of funds to the 21 Al Qaeda operatives accused of the attacks.”

Today, Marzook is considered one of Hamas’ wealthiest billionaires. “Arab sources estimate his wealth at $2-3 billion,” Elad says.

Another Hamas leader-turned-tycoon is Khaled Mashaal. “Estimates around the world are that Mashaal is currently worth $2.6 billion, but the numbers mentioned by the Arab commentators are much higher, varying from $2-5 billion invested in Egyptian and Persian Gulf banks, and some in real estate projects in the Persian Gulf countries,” Elad notes.

Another tycoon terrorist is Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. “He is a scion of a family from the Al-Shati refugee camp, and his capital is estimated at $4 million,” Elad says. “He registered most of his assets in the Gaza Strip in the name of his son-in-law, Nabil, and in the name of a dozen of his sons and daughters and a few less well known Hamas leaders. They all have homes in good neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, where the value of every home is at least $1 million.”

The Arshaq Al-Awsad newspaper, one of the most prestigious in the Arab world, recently reported that at least 600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip. Much of that money came from the smuggling operations, through hundreds of tunnels that used to lead into Gaza from Egypt.

“Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% tax and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels,” said Elad. “From June 2007 until 2010, $800 million in cash was transferred in tunnel deals (according to information from Hamas money traders). Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

Another source of wealth for Hamas leaders was land acquisition. “They took over land mainly near the sea in good areas, such as the former Gush Katif, then sold it. In effect, they are the cat guarding the cream – the land – so they were able to take over land and loot it for themselves,” Elad explains.
“This is corruption at the highest level, Elad concludes. “What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame. Shortly after they got power, they took control of fuel, communications, and any other profitable sectors in the country. There are get-rich-quick schemes and corruption in Western society, too, but there it’s done sophisticatedly with envelopes of money and complex structures of bribery and the like. Among the Palestinians, they tell you straight out, ‘I want to get rich.’”

On Al Jazeera, Congressman Calls Station’s Support of Hamas a “War Crime”

The Algemeiner reported yesterday on remarks Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif) made to Al Jazeera last week criticizing Hamas (video embedded below).

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also slammed the network’s coverage of the latest round of fighting between Hamas and Israel during his recent appearance on the network.

“Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime, almost every one,” Sherman said, noting that Hamas seeks to hit civilian targets. “Of course it’s a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

Sherman further excoriated the station’s supposed objectivity: “… [Y]ou on this TV station say, ‘well maybe it’s not a war crime because it’s not successful, the rocket didn’t hit a kindergarten – it was aimed at a kindergarten but it didn’t hit a kindergarten – so then it’s not reprehensible.’”

The “owners” of Al Jazeera that Sherman referenced is the government of Qatar. A leaked confidential cable from America’s ambassador to Qatar called the station “an informal tool of [the Government of Qatar’s] foreign policy.”

The ties between Qatar and Al Jazeera have long been problematic. In 2009, then-Senator John Kerry said, “Qatar can’t continue to be an American ally on Monday that sends money to Hamas on Tuesday.” Last week, in fact, the United States blocked Qatari funds from being used to pay employees of Hamas.

Qatar’s role in supporting Hamas looms large as it is proffering a ceasefire agreement in competition with Egypt’s; Qatar’s terms address most of Hamas’ demands.

“Leave Libya or be buried here” Hafter warns Ansar Al-Sharia

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In a swingeing attack on Ansar Al-Sharia, Operation Dignity leader General General Khalifa Hafter warned today that foreign militants who did quit Libya would die here.

“All terrorists who have entered Libya should leave it or they will be buried in it” he said in an interview on the Al-Arabiya TV channel.

He also accused Qatar of being behind a plot to kill him. “The assassination attempt that targeted us was carried out by Ansar Al-Sharia and supported and planned by Qatar and Libyan Fighting Group. It was an unsuccessful attempt”.

Hafter told the interviewer: “We are stronger than before in the level of equipment and forces and we do not need any support because the men and munitions are available”.

He added:”I assure you that 80 percent of the members of the Libyan air force, naval and army, are all with Operation Dignity. Very few who are working in the state cannot contribute and our numbers are increasing every day.”

Later at a press conference Hafter assured Libyans that Operation Dignity was gaining ground in its battle against terror and pledged to support democracy as the country moved toward the parliamentary election on 25 June.

He asked for border closures everywhere to contain the militias.

“We are progressing swiftly and gaining huge victories on the ground,” he said. “All that we ask for now is to close the borders to prevent the armed groups from fleeing or receiving support from outside.”

He said that he recognised the efforts of Chad, Niger, Egypt and Sudan over the past few months, who, he maintained, had all tightened up security at their borders, making it difficult for armed groups to move in and out.

“We are taking the armed groups step by step,” he explained. “They have not yet experienced the true meaning of war,” he threatened.

The general also lauded the Supreme Court of Libya, “which proved that it has the final call on all disputes across the country,” and expressed his appreciation for the Court’s decision on 9 June.

Greeting President Sisi and the Egyptian people, he expressed confidence in the new president, a man who “has come at just the right time—the perfect man in the perfect place”.

Claiming to be watching its every move, the general reminded Libyans that Ansar Al-Sharia has done nothing but kill, pointing out that, besides the security forces the group had targeted doctors, journalists and farmers. “Therefore,” he said, “we shall speak the same language that they do”.

He ended by assuring the public that Operation Dignity had not received any funding from outside of Libya.

Egypt prosecutors demand ‘maximum’ jail term for Al-Jazeera ( False news ) correspondents

Al-Jazeera’s acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian, center, and Australian correspondent Peter Greste, center right, appear in a defendant cage along with other defendants during a trial on terrorism charges in Cairo, Egypt,

CAIRO: Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday demanded the “maximum” penalty, ranging from 15 to 25 years in jail, for all 20 defendants in the trial of Al-Jazeera journalists accused of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

Australian journalist Peter Greste and two other detained reporters with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English are among the accused,

“We request that the court, without compassion or mercy, apply the maximum penalty for the abominable crimes they have committed … mercy for such (people) will bring the entire society close to darkness,” prosecutor Mohamed Barakat told the court.

The prosecution has charged the 16 Egyptian defendants with joining the Muslim Brotherhood, designated as a “terrorist group.”

The four foreign defendants in the case, including Greste, are charged with “spreading false news,” collaborating and assisting the Egyptian defendants in their crimes by providing media material, editing it and publishing it on the Internet and Al-Jazeera.

Nine of the 20 defendants are in detention, while others are being tried in absentia, including three foreign reporters who are abroad.

The 16 Egyptians could get prison terms of 25 years, while the four foreigners could be jailed for 15 years, according to defense lawyer Ibrahim Abdel Wahab.

Greste and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, the Cairo bureau chief of Al-Jazeera English, were arrested in a hotel room in the capital on December 29 after the channel’s office was raided by police.

The two men were in a caged dock on Thursday along with seven codefendants, including some students who have collaborated occasionally with the network.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s outgoing president has decreed sexual harassment a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Fifa faces call to vote again over 2022 World Cup after leaked Qatari emails

 More than $5m was paid to senior football officials to create support for Qatar’s 2022 bid (Getty)

More than $5m was paid to senior football officials to create support for Qatar’s 2022 bid (Getty)

Fifa is facing calls to rerun the bidding competition for the 2022 World Cup after allegations that a former top Qatari football official paid $5m (£2.98m) to win support for the nation’s campaign to host the event.

Labour said Qatar should lose the 2022 World Cup and urged those involved to resign if the Fifa corruption allegations detailed in the Sunday Times were true. Clive Efford, the shadow sport minister, said the new revelations “called the governance of football into question”.

“No one will have any confidence in a Fifa investigation run by Sepp Blatter,” he said. “If these allegations are true then those involved should resign.”

Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, described Fifa as a “bit of a cesspit” and suggested there was evidence of a “very serious crime” following the reports.

He told Sky News‘s Murnaghan programme: “The idea of another voting session with all this money sloshing around is almost too much to bear. But on the other hand, if I can pretend to be a prosecutor again for a minute, this is evidence of a very serious crime. And the fact that the allegation is that they used dollars, US dollars, means that the justice department in Washington has jurisdiction over this … the United States of course are in the World Cup finals. If the justice department started to take an interest in this, I think Fifa would feel the heat very, very quickly.”

The Sunday Times said it had obtained millions of emails and other documents relating to alleged payments made by Mohamed bin Hammam, the then Fifa executive member for Qatar. The paper said Bin Hammam, also the former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, used slush funds to pay out the cash to top football officials to win a “groundswell” of support for Qatar’s World Cup bid.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee, called for the bidding competition to be held again and said it would be impossible for Fifa to brush aside the revelations.

“It is a further demonstration of the need for a complete change in the way that Fifa operates but also that there is now an overwhelming case that the decision as to where the World Cup should be held in 2022 should be run again,” Whittingdale told the paper.

The sports minister, Helen Grant, said: “These appear to be very serious allegations. It is essential that major sporting events are awarded in an open, fair and transparent manner.”

The allegations come less than two weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil and bring fresh scrutiny on the 2010 vote, which gave football’s biggest tournament to the tiny desert state. The process is under investigation by Fifa’s independent ethics prosecutor, Michael Garcia.

Qatar has also come under fire for its labour laws, in the wake of an international outcry over conditions for migrant workers before the 2022 World Cup, which followed a Guardian investigation into workplace abuse in the Gulf state.

Bin Hammam is no longer a committee member of world football’s governing body after being caught up in a corruption scandal surrounding his failed campaign for its presidency in 2011. The Sunday Times alleged that he exploited his position as an executive committee member to help to secure votes from key members of its 24-man ruling committee that helped Qatar win the right to host the World Cup. Qatar defeated bids from the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

According to the newspaper, Bin Hammam used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations who influenced how Africa’s four executive members would vote. He also allegedly hosted lavish junkets for these African officials at which he handed out almost $400,000 in cash.

Last month, Blatter said it had been a mistake to choose Qatar for the World Cup, forcing Fifa to try to limit the damage. “Yes, it was a mistake of course, but one makes lots of mistakes in life,” said Blatter, Fifa’s president, in an interview with the Swiss broadcaster RTS. “The technical report into Qatar said clearly it was too hot but the executive committee – with a large majority – decided all the same to play it in Qatar.”

Blatter, who is standing for another term as president in 2015, is believed to have voted for the USA to host the 2022 World Cup, while his prospective rival for the presidency, Uefa’s Michel Platini, voted for Qatar and has been closely linked with the plans for the 2022 tournament.

The Fifa inspection team ranked Qatar as the only “high-risk” option overall, yet it was still chosen by 14 of the 22 voting members of the executive committee in December 2010. The Fifa president said it was now “probable” that it would be played in the winter rather than the summer due to the heat. Blatter insisted, however, that Qatar, which spent huge sums on ambassadors and development programmes, had not “bought” the World Cup.

Jim Boyce, Fifa vice-president, said he would be in favour of rerunning the vote if allegations that widespread corruption was involved in the bid were proved. Boyce, who was not on the executive committee of the world governing body at the time of the vote, said Garcia, would have to widen his investigation.

Boyce told Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme: “As a member currently of the Fifa executive committee, we feel that any evidence whatsoever that people involved were bribed to do a certain vote, all that evidence should go to Michael Garcia, whom Fifa have given full authority to.

“If Garcia’s report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly as a member of the executive committee would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a revote.”

Anna Soubry, minister for defence personnel, welfare and veterans, said: “Somebody somewhere has got to get a serious grip on Fifa about the way that they run these competitions.”

Jim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary, also called for a rethink if the allegations were found to be true.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics: “If these allegations and the contents of the emails that the Sunday Times now has turn out to be true there can be no question about this. The thing wasn’t done fairly, it wasn’t done openly and it would have to be cancelled and rerun entirely. The building that is happening in Qatar should be paused and they should have a fair and open competition.”

Qatar’s World Cup officials said the bid committee had “always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity”.

The country’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said: “Mohamed bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 bid committee. As was the case with every other member of Fifa’s executive committee, our bid team had to convince Mr Bin Hammam of the merits of our bid.

“We are cooperating fully with Mr Garcia’s ongoing investigation and remain totally confident that any objective inquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup fairly.

“Following today’s newspaper articles, we vehemently deny all allegations of wrongdoing. We will take whatever steps are necessary to defend the integrity of Qatar’s bid and our lawyers are looking into this matter. The right to host the tournament was won because it was the best bid and because it is time for the Middle East to host its first Fifa World Cup.”

Fifa faces call to vote again over 2022 World Cup after leaked Qatari emails | Football | theguardian.com.

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Stunner! Benghazi Was a Base for Illegal Arms Shipments to Syria

Republicans Unveil Legislation To Protect Soldiers And Seniors From Budget CutsApril 22, 2014 – By Sara Noble

Sen. Rand Paul, was he prescient?

Illegal arms were shipped to Syrian rebels from Libya and this could be the reason Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton lied and claimed the attack on the consulate was the result of a video.

Seymour Hirsch published an investigative report stating that there is an addendum to the Senate Intelligence Committee report which explains what the CIA was doing in Benghazi. Our government was shipping arms from Libya through Turkey to Syrian rebels before we realized they were al-Qaida.

The reason the government lied was probably to conceal an illegal operation to arm Syrian rebels. Ambassador Stevens was the coordinator.

It wasn’t authorized by Congress and it is a blatant violation of law. The CIA claims they were only liaison’s with MI-6 and they didn’t have to get permission from the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ludicrous. The British had left Benghazi by the time of the attack.

That needs investigating!

From the Hirsch article:

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

Contemporary Ceramics Centre

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Listen to Morris explain:

Remember when they ridiculed Rand Paul for simply asking the question?

Hillary responded, appearing dumbfounded, “Turkey?” She told him to redirect the question to the agency that ran the annex.

Last year, Paul’s question was ridiculed by the left as if it were the craziest thing they ever heard. Who should be ridiculed now?

via – independentsentinel

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Rebel videos show first U.S.-made rockets in Syria

7554

(Reuters) – Online videos show Syrian rebels using what appear to be U.S. anti-tank rockets, weapons experts say, the first significant American-built armaments in the country’s civil war.

They would signal a further internationalization of the conflict, with new rockets suspected from Russia and drones from Iran also spotted in the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

None of that equipment, however, is seen as enough to turn the tide of battle in a now broadly stalemated war, with Assad dominant in Syria’s central cities and along the Mediterranean coast and the rebels in the interior north and east.

It was not possible to independently verify the authenticity of the videos or the supplier of the BGM-71 TOW anti-tank rockets shown in the videos. Some analysts suggested they might have been provided by another state such as Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, probably with Washington’s acquiescence.

U.S. officials declined to discuss the rockets, which appeared in Syria around the same time Reuters reported that Washington had decided to proceed with plans to increase aid, including delivery of lower-level weaponry.

U.S. officials say privately there remain clear limits to American backing for the insurgency, given the widely dominant role played by Islamist militants. A proposal to supply MANPAD surface-to-air missiles was considered but rejected.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the Obama administration was giving support she did not define.

“The United States is committed to building the capacity of the moderate opposition, including through the provision of assistance to vetted members of the moderate armed opposition,” she said in response to a query over the rocket videos.

“As we have consistently said, we are not going to detail every single type of our assistance,” she said.

While the number of U.S. rockets seen remains small, reports of their presence are steadily spreading, analysts say.

“With U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles now seen in the hands of three groups in the north and south of Syria, it is safe to say this is important,” said Charles Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution Doha Centre and one of the first to identify the weapons.

The first three videos were posted on April 1 and 5, Lister said. While two have since been removed, one remains on YouTube.

here

He posted clearer still images on a blog for Huffington Post last week.

here

Several other arms experts and bloggers on the Syrian conflict have also reviewed the videos. They include Eliot Higgins, a Britain-based, self-taught arms and video specialist who blogs under the name “Brown Moses” and has emerged as one of the leading authorities on foreign firepower reaching Syria.

The rebel faction shown operating the U.S. missiles in the first videos, a relatively secular and moderate group called Harakat Hazm, declined comment. But an opposition activist based in southeastern Turkey who is a former member of Harakat Hazm said that they were provided by the Americans.

The Syrian activist, who identified himself as Samer Muhammad, said Harakat Hazm received 10 anti-tank missiles earlier this month near Aleppo and Idlib, two cities torn by heavy fighting near the northern border with Turkey.

He said that Harakat Hazm had launched five of those rockets to destroy four tanks and win a battle in the Idlib suburbs of Babulin and Salheiya, and this was the first time such U.S. arms had figured in Syria’s fighting.

His information could not be confirmed independently.

SAUDI, QATARI SUPPLIES

More recent videos had shown the rockets in the hands of the Syrian Revolutionary Front and another group named Awliya wa Katalib al-Shaheed Ahmed al-Abdo, Jessop said. Both are also seen as broadly moderate, in contrast with radical Islamists.

Western states have long been reluctant to make good on repeated talk of supplying weapons to Assad’s foes, nervous of arms falling into the hands of jihadi militants or simply abetting more bloodshed in a conflict that has killed over 150,000 people and displaced millions over the past three years.

Lister said that if Washington were unwilling to supply TOW rockets itself, the most likely point of origin was Saudi Arabia which has thousands of anti-tank projectiles in its arsenal.

Under terms of the original sale, Riyadh would be obliged to tell Washington if it were transferring them to any third party.

“Considering the groups already seen with these missile systems and considering Saudis’ already established reputation for providing weapons to moderate… groups, Saudi would seem the most likely candidate at this stage,” Lister said.

The other major regional supporter of the rebels, Qatar, apparently do not hold such rockets in its regular military stores, analysts say, and may have bought Chinese weaponry from elsewhere, perhaps Sudan, for shipment to rebels last year.

Chinese-built HJ-8 anti-tank guided missiles remain a relatively common part of the rebel arsenal, according to Syria arms experts. HJ-8s first popped up largely in the hands of Islamist groups early last year, possibly coming from Qatar.

More recent shipments have been noticed in the hands of relatively secular insurgent factions and are believed by analysts to have been supplied by Saudi Arabia instead.

RUSSIAN ROCKETS, IRANIAN DRONES

Use of Chinese MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles by Islamist militants has dwindled in recent months, monitors say. Such missiles arrived last year, again believed to have come from Qatar, a development that particularly worried Western states.

“I suspect there’s been two waves of Chinese weapons, the first from Qatar and the second from Saudi Arabia going to different groups,” said “Brown Moses” blogger Higgins.

The United States and other Gulf Arab states have bemoaned Qatar’s scattergun approach to arming rebel forces that has seen many weapons end up in the hands of fighters affiliated with al Qaeda linked and other radical Islamists. Qatari and Saudi officials will not discuss their Syria policy in detail.

Gulf states have also been alarmed by growing signs of support from Iran for Assad’s military. The latest new piece of Iranian equipment to appear on the battlefield, an unmanned Shahed 129 drone photographed over Damascus, is said by Tehran to carry weapons as well as conduct surveillance.

Higgins said the other most significant development in Syrian conflict firepower this year had been the government’s growing use of Russian-made BM-27 and BM-30 rocket launchers to deliver cluster munitions. While the former had long been known to be part of Assad’t armories, the latter was not.

 

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Do, or.. Arab Spring – Behind Kerry’s visit to Algeria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (R) in Zeralda, outside of Algiers, April 3, 2014.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (R) in Zeralda, outside of Algiers, April 3, 2014.

US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Algeria on Thursday, meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Just a few days before the presidential election “17 April “.

The timing of Kerry’s visit to Algeria does not suit Algeria. However, it is the perfect time for America to get strategic agreements signed with Algeria, agreements the USA would not have secured had Algeria been in a different situation…

These strategic issues are to do with America’s wish to free the European Union from the dominance of Russian gas. And in this context, Algeria and Qatar will bear the cost of what the USA seeks to accomplish for Europe.

Qatari emir, was visiting Algiers on Thursday”.

 

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