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DAILY ALERT

September 10, 2004

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In-Depth Issue:

FBI Probes Arafat for 1973 Murders of 2 U.S. Diplomats - Aaron Klein (World Net Daily)
    After 31 years, the FBI has opened an investigation into the involvement of Yasser Arafat in the murders of two U.S. diplomats in Sudan.
    On March 1, 1973, eight members of the Black September terrorist organization, part of Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO, stormed the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, reportedly on Arafat's orders, taking U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel, Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore, and others hostage, and one day later, killing Noel, Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid.
    James J. Welsh, the National Security Agency's Palestinian analyst at the time of the murders, has said he intercepted a transmission from Arafat involving an imminent operation in Khartoum, and charges the NSA has had tapes of Arafat ordering the executions.
    Raanan Gissin, chief spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, said, "We intercepted the phone calls, and the U.S. also corroborated this on their own."


Iran Still Buying Centrifuge Parts Abroad (AFP/Yahoo)
    Iran is continuing to buy parts for centrifuges abroad, often skirting sanctions and export controls, Western intelligence officials said this week. According to a non-U.S. intelligence official, "There are companies all over Europe involved."
    "Iranian scientists, including nuclear scientists, are coming and going also to and from China," the official said.
    Analysts said Iran uses front companies to get around export controls on sensitive equipment.


Al-Sadr's Rebel Army Finds Fresh Theater of War in Baghdad - Stephen Farrell (London Times)
    The Baghdad stronghold of Muqtada al-Sadr is being wired for war, less than two weeks after his al-Mahdi Army was squeezed out of its previous redoubt in Iraq's holy city of Najaf.
    By night U.S. warplanes attack the vast Shia slum. By day its streets teem with teenagers planting booby traps on every street corner to ambush U.S. tanks.
    On countless occasions The Times's car drove over wires or narrowly missed tell-tale bumps of melted and reworked tarmac in roads.
    Civilian drivers blithely cross them, assuming that the explosive devices below are detonated by remote control or triggered only by the weight of armored vehicles.
    Artillery shells lying in the gutter with wires protruding are clearly visible.


Pakistan Kills 50, Mostly Foreigners, in Attack on Al-Qaeda Camp (AFP/Yahoo)
    Pakistani warplanes smashed a suspected al-Qaeda training camp near the Afghan border Thursday, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan said.
    "Around 50 people, 90% of them foreigners, were killed in the strike," he said. Most of the victims were Uzbeks and Chechens with some Arabs among them.


Report: Germany Ready to Help Israel Acquire New Submarines (Reuters/Ha'aretz)
    Germany is ready to help Israel acquire two new submarines and modernize three older vessels, German Defense Minister Peter Struck said Wednesday.
    Germany financed and supplied Israel with three submarines in the 1990s.


Libyan Sincerity on Arms In Doubt - Bill Gertz (Washington Times)
    The U.S. stood by for years as supposed allies helped its enemies obtain the world's most dangerous weapons, reveals Bill Gertz, defense and national security reporter for the Washington Times, in his new book Treachery.
    Excerpts:
    Libya ultimately admitted it had spent some $500 million since the late 1990s in developing nuclear weapons.
    The Libyans have continued to deny the existence of a biological-weapons program, even though numerous intelligence reports indicate they have such a program.


Report: U.S. Security Officers Lack Skills to Vet Saudis Seeking Visas - Rachel L. Swarns (New York Times)
    According to a Department of Homeland Security report released Thursday, 9 of the 10 homeland security officers assigned to screen visa applications in Saudi Arabia did not speak or read Arabic.


Jewish Couple Married on Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Tal Yamin-Wolfowitz and Itamar Inbari (Maariv-Hebrew)
    The son of Rabbi Menachem Fruman of Tekoa was married on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday, without the knowledge or intervention of the Muslim waqf or the police.
    Witnesses said a group numbering more than 10 men and including two official witnesses arrived during a time when Jews are permitted to enter the area, and formed a circle around the couple.
    The key vows were spoken and confirmed over a cup of wine.


Indian Air Force to Train with Israel - Harinder Mishra (Rediff-India)
    Air Chief of Staff Srinivaspuram Krishnaswamy, on a visit to Israel, said the Indian Air Force will train with Israelis and expressed satisfaction at the military hardware India has procured from Israel, saying they are "cost effective" and operationally unique.
    A $3 billion Phalcon AWACS deal was signed between Israel, India, and Russia in 2003.


Madonna to Visit Israel for Jewish New Year - Abigail Radoszkowicz (Jerusalem Post)
    A six-year devotee of the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Center, Madonna will make her first visit to Israel as part of a 2,000-strong delegation from 22 countries for the center's International Congress.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Top Bin Laden Aide Vows New Strikes at U.S.
    Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, appeared in a new videotape broadcast on Al Jazeera Thursday, taunting the U.S. for becoming mired in what he called unsuccessful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, while vowing that al-Qaeda was already planning more suicide strikes against the U.S. "The Islamic nation which sent you the New York and Washington brigades has taken the firm decision to send you successive brigades to sow death and aspire to paradise," he said. Tapes from al-Qaeda have surfaced on each of the anniversaries of the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Times)
  • Iran Seen Using EU to Buy Time to Get Atomic Bomb
    Iran is using negotiations with the EU's "big three" (France, Britain, and Germany) on suspending sensitive nuclear activities to buy the time it needs to get ready to make atomic weapons, an Iranian exile and intelligence officials said. The U.S. wants Iran reported to the UN Security Council immediately, charging Tehran uses its civilian atomic energy program as a front to develop the bomb.
        "Iran continues to use existing differences between the U.S. and Europe to their advantage and tries to drag out talks with the EU to buy time," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, an Iranian exile who reported accurately on Iran's nuclear program in the past. "They feel they have bought at least 10 months." Jafarzadeh said Iranian officials have decided to allocate an additional $2 billion to supplement some $14 billion already spent on Iran's "secret nuclear weapons program." (Reuters)
        See also Iran Ready to Show Off Shihab-3 Missile
    Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Tuesday that it is ready to show off a test of its improved Shihab-3 medium-range missile - which is capable of hitting Israel - to "observers" in order to prove it is a success. (AFP/Space Daily)
  • Thousands Rally in Buenos Aires for Justice in 1994 Bombing
    Thousands of people gathered in Buenos Aires Wednesday to speak out against a recent court verdict that acquitted five men charged in connection with the July 18, 1994, bombing of the headquarters of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association - AMIA, killing 85 people and injuring 300 - the bloodiest terrorist attack ever committed on Argentine soil. (VOA News)
  • Egyptian Activists Call for Open Presidential Elections
    A group of Egyptian activists which includes the Muslim Brotherhood has launched a campaign for reforms that would include a "change of constitution that permits the election of the president of the republic from among more than one candidate." Currently, parliament nominates a candidate for the presidency and refers its choice to the people for approval in a national referendum. (AFP/Yahoo)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinian Rockets Hit Negev Kibbutz - Amir Buhbut
    Three Palestinian rockets hit western Israel Friday. One rocket landed at the entrance to Kibbutz Nir-Am and sent three people to the hospital suffering from shock. IDF soldiers entered Jabaliya in Gaza Thursday to thwart Kassam launchings. In Jabaliya, an IDF soldier sustained moderate injuries after being shot by a Palestinian sniper, and eight terrorists were killed, including senior members of Hamas's military wing Izadeen al-Kassam. (Maariv International)
        See also Eyewitness in Jabaliya
    Every few minutes Israeli troops sent bursts of machine gun fire up Sikkert Street in Jabaliya. Taking cover at the corners were Palestinian militants. They were armed and they wore masks. Most were from the Hamas movement. And crowding around the fighters were large numbers of Jabaliya's teenagers and boys - some no more than eight or nine years old. With a mixture of defiance and bravado and stupidity, some would step out into the street, and then scramble for cover. The Israelis say they have every right to be at the gates of Jabaliya, to stop Hamas firing rockets from Gaza into neighboring southern Israel. (BBC News)
  • PA TV Increases Hate Broadcasting Aimed at Children - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
    In recent months, PA TV has increased the frequency of hate broadcasting using music videos aimed at children. This month a 30-second music video has been repeatedly broadcast depicting Israeli soldiers breaking up a children's soccer game, hitting the children and then firing at them. Other fictitious PA hate videos depict a girl on a swing who turns into a burning inferno, and soldiers throwing an old man to the ground and then shooting him in the head.
        The result of this indoctrination is a generation of Palestinian children convinced by the PA leadership that Israel intentionally murders civilians, especially children. The more this hate promotion continues, the more entrenched the Palestinian children's hatred becomes, and the bleaker the prospects for peace in the next generation.
        View hate clip (Palestinian Media Watch/IMRA)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • We Still Haven't Learned the Lessons of 9/11 - Mark Helprin
    Three years after September 11, we proceed as if we are fighting disparate criminals united by coincidence, rather than the vanguard of militant Islam, united by ideology, sentiment, doctrine, and practice. We are combating an opponent who is fundamentally weak militarily, economically, and, in the long run, ideologically. Still, he has by his near mastery of terrorism and asymmetrical warfare necessitated that we mobilize as if we were fighting a great empire. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Saving Islam From Terrorists - Editorial
    The pace is quickening for a post-9/11 movement among Muslims to salvage Islam's reputation. Saudi columnist Khaled Hamed al-Suleiman wrote in the government daily Okaz, "They turned today's Islam into something having to do with decapitations, the slashing of throats, abducting innocent civilians and exploding people....They have fixed the image of Muslims in the eyes of the world as barbarians and savages who are not good for anything except slaughtering people. The time has come for Muslims to be the first to come out against those interested in abducting Islam in the same way they abducted innocent children."
        The U.S. and its allies could have no better partners than moderate Muslims asserting their claim to Islam's peaceful ways. The greatest fear of al-Qaeda is to be ostracized by the world's 1 billion Muslims. This theological contest is centered on Saudi Arabia, whose monarchy long has supported a type of fundamentalist Islam that preaches intolerance. Official attempts to tone down the teaching of violence are going slowly, with the royal regime fearing for its own survival. (Christian Science Monitor)
        See also Where is the Muslim Outrage? - Jeff Jacoby
    From Muslims the world over, as usual, has come mostly silence. There have been no public demonstrations by Muslims anxious to make it clear how outraged they are that anyone could commit such unspeakable deeds for their version of Islam. There has been no anguished outcry by Islam's leading imams and sheiks. Prominent Muslim organizations in the West have not called press conferences to express their disgust.
        The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which issues dozens of press releases every month, had nothing to say about the bloodbath in Russia until I requested a comment. The statement CAIR then issued doesn't even acknowledge that the killers were Muslim. (Boston Globe)
  • Avoiding the T-Word - Daniel Pipes
    Journalists have used at least 20 euphemisms for terrorists: Assailants - NPR; Attackers - Economist; Bombers - Guardian; Captors - AP; Commandos - AFP; Criminals - London Times; Extremists - UPI; Fighters - Washington Post; Group - Australian; Guerrillas - New York Post; Gunmen - Reuters; Hostage-takers - Los Angeles Times; Insurgents - New York Times; Kidnappers - London Observer; Militants - Chicago Tribune; Perpetrators - New York Times; Radicals - BBC; Rebels - Sydney Morning Herald; Separatists - Daily Telegraph; Activists - Pakistan Times. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Jihadists' Dream is a Return to Empire - Zev Chafetz
    America's enemy is not "terrorism." It is international Islamist imperialism. Chechnya, Israel, Indian Kashmir, the Balkans, parts of Spain - these are all lands claimed by Islam for reasons of history or theology. The jihadists' goal is to establish (they would say reestablish) a sphere of dominance - financed by oil, armed with nuclear weapons, governed under the laws of Islam - that includes as much of Ottoman Europe as possible, most of Africa, and a good part of Asia.
        This is a war in which the U.S. can prevail. The Islamic imperialists are no more formidable than their Soviet and Nazi predecessors. But it can't be won until it is defined. That means honestly telling the American people who and what is at war with them. (New York Daily News)
  • Don't Let Iran Go Nuclear - Editorial
    Iran's burgeoning nuclear program should finally be enough to persuade the international community that it's time to rein in the authoritarian regime's ambitions before it acquires the capacity to deploy horrifying weapons in an already volatile region. Tehran continues full speed ahead on the enrichment front, secure in the belief that it can escape penalties by making promises it doesn't intend to keep and offering up the occasional bone, such as improved access for inspectors. The IAEA's board should stop stalling and refer the matter to the Security Council when it meets Sept. 13. Iran's militant theocracy must be put on notice that the international community will not stand by as it develops the capacity to wreak havoc in the Middle East and endanger the rest of the world. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
        See also Bush Can't Afford Inaction on Iran - Max Boot
    The State Department calls Iran the "most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world." Iran has trained and armed Muqtada al-Sadr's militia, which has been attacking U.S. forces in Iraq. Hassan Abasi, a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards, recently boasted that Iran had "a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization." (Los Angeles Times)
  • A Syrian Bomb? - Douglas Davis
    There is growing concern over the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Syria, perhaps with the assistance of its Iranian ally. Alarm bells are now ringing in Washington and some European capitals over reports that Syria might have acquired gas centrifuges, which would provide Damascus with the ability to produce enriched uranium for the development of nuclear weapons. (Jerusalem Post)
  • A Political Rape in Lebanon - Ehud Ya'ari
    Syrian president Bashar al-Assad ignored warnings from the White House and the Elysee Palace and is going ahead anyway with his plan to keep Lebanon's President Lahoud installed for another three years. It shows that Syria is not prepared to give even a passing thought to demands for it to loosen its grip on Lebanon. The assessment in Damascus is that French President Chirac will swallow what Assad is up to and that President Bush is too busy with his own elections. (Jerusalem Report)
        See also Many Lebanese Rue Extension of President's Term
    The Lebanese parliament voted last week to keep Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud in office for another three years, a change widely seen as imposed by Syria. Many Lebanese were angry that the constitution was amended. "Even the weather was black, like the depressed faces of the people," said Jibran Tweini in the Beirut daily An-Nahar, which carried an "honor roll" of the 29 deputies who voted against the extension. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "The vote does not reflect the will of the Lebanese people. It was forced upon them by an occupying force." Syria has 17,000 troops in Lebanon and is the final authority in the country. (Reuters)

    Weekend Features:

  • NGOs Make War on Israel - Gerald M. Steinberg
    Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), and others exert a tremendous influence in the UN, the EU, and Western capitals. Over 2,000 NGOs now have consultative status at the UN, the majority defining themselves as "universal human rights organizations." Initially, Helsinki Watch (which later became Human Rights Watch) and Amnesty were instrumental in protesting the denial of human rights to Jews in the Soviet Union and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, including the case of Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky. But over the last decade, NGOs have expanded their agendas dramatically, going far beyond campaigning against the violation of individual rights.
        In the process, they have taken sides in international disputes, including the Arab-Israeli conflict. Major NGOs such as HRW, Amnesty, and Christian Aid have been instrumental in promoting the Palestinian political agenda. Despite their tremendous influence and political involvement, NGOs have been largely immune from independent investigation and analysis. Powerful NGOs with budgets of tens of millions of dollars are not accountable to any outside body. The writer is editor of NGO Monitor. (Middle East Quarterly)
  • Technology in the Fight Against Terrorism - Uzi Eilam
    Capabilities that will be needed as early as possible in order to guarantee the advantage to the defenders in the war against terror include detection and identification of explosives. The capability for remote explosives detection (100 meters away) is necessary to meet a formidable threat that now appears to have no response. The goal is to achieve remote neutralization of bomb detonation.
        Database technology will be used for automatic detection of unusual patterns of movement between countries by terrorist organization members and in financial transactions within the international banking network. Multi-media technology, such as identification of facial features and image matching, will add an important dimension. Text retrieval technology is another means of automatic monitoring for the purpose of finding the paper trail left by terror organizations while preparing for their activities. (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies-Tel Aviv University)
  • Migration Alters the Jewish Map of Europe - Eliahu Salpeter
    For the first time since the Nazi era, Jews in a democratic European state view emigration as the answer to their fears and their children's future. The French government is sensitive to the electoral strength of the millions of Muslim voters, but the French security services are among the most diligent in the war against Muslim violence and terror. What is already clear to many French is that their pro-Arab policy does not guarantee them immunity from Arab terror.
        Over the past decade, Jews have begun to return to the CIS while holding on to their Israeli citizenship, bringing with them an Israeli spiritual and cultural awareness. They want a Jewish education for their children, with an estimated one-third of the pupils in Jewish day schools in the CIS the children of returnees. Many take an active part in the local Jewish community. They listen to Voice of Israel broadcasts, receive Israeli newspapers, and visit Israel often. The returnees are helping to save the Jews of the CIS from total assimilation. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Jewish General Who Beat Pakistan - Amnon Barzilai
    "A victory by the Congress Party under the leadership of Sonia Ghandi in the elections to be held in India in May will not lead to any change in India's policy toward Israel. The good relations will continue, and in certain areas even grow deeper," assesses Lt.-Gen. J.F.R. Jacob, a former senior Indian army officer and a Jew, after a recent visit to Israel. "If I had to rank the present-day level of relations between India and Israel," Jacob adds, "I would give them a 9 out of 10." Gen. Jacob served for many years as security adviser for the National Party (BJP), which in the past four years has tightened relations with Israel and expanded defense cooperation. Gen. Jacob headed the Indian army forces that vanquished Pakistan in the war of 1971. (Ha'aretz)
  • Shanghai to Honor Its Jewish Legacy: City to Save Part of Refugees' Ghetto - Edward Cody
    The Ohel Moishe Synagogue in Shanghai, constructed in 1927, was the centerpiece of what was once a ghetto inhabited by nearly 20,000 European Jews who landed there seeking safety, first from Russian pogroms, then from Hitler's Holocaust. The Shanghai Jews have long gone, but they left behind an eccentric little neighborhood in the middle of Shanghai with European-inspired row houses, a theater, the synagogue, and several grand buildings that would not be out of place in Vienna. Prodded by Chinese and foreigners with a personal or historical interest in the Shanghai ghetto, the city government has begun to recognize the cultural and tourist value of the neighborhood. (Washington Post)
  • Observations:

    Fenced In; Israel Draws a Red Line on the Green Line - Mark Dubowitz
    (National Review)

    • Israel has made it clear that it will negotiate a permanent border with a Palestinian partner committed to peace.
    • Until then, arbitrary armistice lines should not determine whether innocent civilians live or die. Instead, the security fence's route should maximize the number of Israelis protected from terrorists while minimizing the number of Palestinians economically damaged or inconvenienced.
    • The route must not push Israel behind indefensible borders - a result that would mark a clear victory for the terrorists and only guarantee more attacks.
    • The fence's benefits to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians also should not be overlooked. The fence has protected Israeli Arabs living near the "green line" from violence and theft from West Bank Palestinians. And with increased security, the number of Israeli troops in Palestinian towns has been significantly reduced.


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