Via the Daily Mail:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed…
…The Saudi official speculated that Tsarnaev’s residence in the United States might have made it more difficult for him to gain entry into the kingdom.
‘U.S.-based Muslims who become radicalized and want to visit Mecca create an unusual problem,’ he said, compelling the Saudi government ‘to carefully examine applications.’
ههههههههههههه (LOL in Arabic) You have to give them points for Chutzpah. It’s classic ‘blame the victim’. And our government will let them get away with it. Because they’re our friends. Because we need their oil. Because someone wants a new jaguar.
It’s the same plot as 9/11. The Saudis claimed that bin Laden hated them, yet they were and still are the Jihad’s primary source of fighters and funds.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.
“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
The question is not what the Saudis say, it’s what they do. Are they still sending millions to Jihadis in Chechnya (and everywhere else around the world)?
The wealthy Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, men like bin Laden and Khattab, fanned out in the 1980s and 1990s to wage jihad along the fringes of the Islamic world—places like Afghanistan, Bosnia, and the North Caucasus. They took their own money and the sadaqa donations of rich fellow Arabs to finance their cause. The disease could not be quarantined, and the infection spreads to this day.
Most recently, Chechen jihadists have made the news for joining forces with Syrian rebels, and declaring upon arrival that “Jihad needs very many things. Firstly it needs money.”
Are they still sending their foreign fighters all over the globe to kill innocents? Are they rewarding the fighters who return?
Saudi Arabia is hoping to wean jailed Al-Qaeda militants off religious extremism with counselling, spa treatments and plenty of exercise at a luxury rehabilitation centre in Riyadh.
In between sessions with counsellors and talks on religion, prisoners will be able to relax in the centre’s facilities which include an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a gym and a television hall.
The new complex is the work of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Counselling and Care, a body set up seven years ago to rehabilitate extremists jailed during a Saudi crackdown on the local branch of Al-Qaeda.
If they’re not in jail, will the Marathon bombers’ business and family associates be buying new homes and riding around in Mercedes by this time next year? Bet they will be..
The Saudis are trying to blame the victim (us) for crimes that, if they didn’t directly carry them out, they certainly enabled. Why does our government and our media put up with it? Are they idiots or are they motivated by other things?
Eliot Higgins has no need for a flak jacket, nor does he carry himself with the bravado of a war reporter. As an unemployed finance and admin worker his expertise lies in compiling spreadsheets, not dodging bullets. He has never been near a war zone. But all that hasn’t stopped him from breaking some of the most important stories on the Syrian conflict in the last year.
His work on analysing Syrian weapons, which began as a hobby, is now frequently cited by human rights groups and has led to questions in parliament. Higgins’ latest discovery of a new batch of Croatian weapons in the hands of Syrian rebels appears to have blown the lid on a covert international operation to arm the opposition.
And he’s done it all, largely unpaid, from a laptop more than 3,000 miles away from Damascus, in his front room in a Leicester suburb…
…The conflict in Syria has been extremely difficult and dangerous for conventional media organisations to cover. But the slew of YouTube footage from citizen journalists has opened up a new way of monitoring what’s happening for those such as Higgins who are dedicated and meticulous enough to sift through it…
…The New York Times veteran war reporter CJ Chivers, author of The Gun: the story of the AK47, says fellow journalists should be more honest about the debt they owe to Higgins’ Brown Moses blog. “Many people, whether they admit or not, have been relying on that blog’s daily labour to cull the uncountable videos that circulate from the conflict,” he says.
Chivers acknowledged that Higgins was on to the Croatian arms story weeks before the New York Times. He and Higgins then worked together to develop the story, with Chivers rooting out extra details about how the weapons were financed.
According to Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, Brown Moses “represents an important development in arms monitoring, which used to be the domain of a few secretive specialists with access to the required and often classified reference materials.”
So Brown Moses isn’t black, or Jewish, and he’s not a war reporter. He’s not even an arms merchant. He seems to be one of those British ‘enthusiasts,’ like these Rail fans or Ian of Ian’s Shoelace Site. If this is where this kind of hobby leads, more power to them.
Hopefully he’ll start getting paid for this.
Mr. Khatib projected an earnest, unpolished persona and never fit the profile of a politician, sometimes failing to build support for controversial moves before announcing them and then posting mournful statements on Facebook about how he had been misunderstood. Some coalition members and anti-government activists in Syria said they wished he had stayed in office to push back against the foreign interference he spoke of, rather than resigning abruptly and emotionally.
A coalition member familiar with Mr. Khatib’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss politically sensitive matters, said Mr. Khatib resigned over interference from Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the Syrian uprising.
The member said that Saudi Arabia threatened to cut off funding and split the coalition if it did not select its favored candidate for prime minister, Assad Mustafa, who had promised to appoint a Saudi favorite as defense minister. That, the member said, enraged members, who then hastily settled on Mr. Hitto, who was backed by Qatar and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Another member, Mustafa Sabagh, who is close to the Saudi government, denied the Saudis had interfered and said he believed Mr. Khatib resigned over the many conditions Western countries had placed on aid to the uprising…
…“We in the Free Syrian Army do not recognize Ghassan Hitto as prime minister because the National Coalition did not reach a consensus,” Louay Mekdad, the Free Syrian Army’s media and political coordinator, said, raising further questions about the interim government’s ability to establish authority.
Mr. Khatib promised to keep working for Syria outside official channels. “The door to freedom has opened and won’t close,” he said, “not just in the face of Syrians but in the face of all peoples.”
Some read that remark as a possible dig at Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that support the Syrian uprising but keep a tight political clampdown on their own citizens – but given Mr. Khatib’s oblique style, it was hard to tell.
More about Moaz al Khatib
Via the New York Times: Elisabeth Rosenthal’s Life after oil and gas
As renewable energy gets cheaper and machines and buildings become more energy efficient, a number of countries that two decades ago ran on a fuel mix much like America’s are successfully dialing down their fossil fuel habits. Thirteen countries got more than 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy in 2011, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, and many are aiming still higher.
Could we? Should we?
A National Research Council report released last week concluded that the United States could halve by 2030 the oil used in cars and trucks compared with 2005 levels by improving the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles and by relying more on cars that use alternative power sources, like electric batteries and biofuels.
Just days earlier a team of Stanford engineers published a proposal showing how New York State — not windy like the Great Plains, nor sunny like Arizona — could easily produce the power it needs from wind, solar and water power by 2030. In fact there was so much potential power, the researchers found, that renewable power could also fuel our cars.
“It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the main author of the study, published in the journal Energy Policy. “You could power America with renewables from a technical and economic standpoint. The biggest obstacles are social and political — what you need is the will to do it.”
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
– Alice Walker
I was surprised when several bright writers whose work I admire labeled the scene rape, because to me and to so many other bright writers whose work I admire, it so clearly was not rape. Categorizing it as such is an intellectually unsound discrediting of women’s power. Natalia was not raped and to call the sex she consented to rape is to demean actual victims of sexual assault and devalue the crime. Further, it is paternalistic in its approach to women, as though women are helpless beings incapable of voicing their wants, and, absent violence and/or threats of violence, can’t or won’t say no. If we want to argue that women are so limited by the patriarchy that they can’t say no, how do we counter the arguments that women can’t handle jobs in the military or working as police officers? If they can’t escape the narrow roles that a male-dominated society allows them (which some offer as a reason why a woman can’t say no in bed), how will they be able to embrace their power as a soldier or law enforcement officer?…
…Discussing these issues over the past week, I have been reminded of how fraught with divisiveness they can be. When I shared some of my opinions – in both real-life discussions with friends and Facebook conversations – I was told that I needed to “talk to some actual survivors,” that I didn’t understand what rape was, that I was distracting from the “real” point of convincing men to stop raping, that I had no right to say what was rape and what wasn’t. In fact, I worked at an urban rape crisis center and helped launch the U.S.’s only nationwide sexual assault hotline, RAINN. I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault and have written about that in assorted publications, including here in Salon, but for my various opinions, I was told that I was not a feminist.
As Kevin Carty said in his article Identity Politics Is Counter-Productive
In perennially sensitive debates about topics like race, sex, feminism or sexual assault, one participant, usually of a certain privileged status, brings up an opinion that goes against the grain, qualifies the question or challenges the conventional wisdom. And in response, he is often dismissed with some reference to his white, male or fill-in-the-blank privilege.
As Anna March discovered, if you don’t agree with the common wisdom of the feminists, you’re not a feminist.
And the worst thing a ‘feminist’ writer can do is say out loud that she was not a victim. If you want to be a successful political writer, you must shout ” Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!” in every single article you write.