The Coalition Against Terrorist Media ran the following op-ed on Hamas's al-Aqsa television network in Sunday’s Providence Journal. It argues that “a major element” of Al-Aqsa’s programming is aimed at mobilizing children for holy war.
The Lebanese army hit the Palestinian area at Nahr al-Bared outside Tripoli again yesterday. In my piece on this Wednesday, I wondered whether operations against the Fatah al-Islam militia in the camp would have much effect on the sleeper cells outside the camps. In my conversations with Lebanese friends today, the relation between the two — and the Lebanese army's strategy against them both — became clearer.
For the terrorist sleeper cells (al Qaeda, etc.) now implanted throughout Lebanon, the headquarter of the Fatah al-Islam militia and similar groups inside the Palestinian camps are critical bases of support. Hit those bases, and the sleeper cells are rendered less effective militarily, and more vulnerable to intelligence. In this connection, there are signs that the Bush administration has taken a high-level decision to buttress the Siniora government in the current crisis, and in keeping with the policy of strengthening the Lebanese army's capabilities in general, will be flying several large shipments of ammo and other supplies to it between today and tomorrow. This indicates a certain level of coordination and strategy, because American supplies would not be airlifted without some rational and convincing explanation of what they will be used for — i.e., something a lot more convincing than "we're going to pound those camps until they're sorry."
The picture on the ground in the camps also became clearer today. The head of the Paletinian Fatah organization in Lebanon (the real one, I mean) today released a statement pledging to whipe out the Fatah al Islam terrorist group, and claiming to have mustered some 300 heavily-armed fighters for an operation inside the camp at Nahr al-Bared. The statement, which was translated and read to me over the phone by a friend in Beirut, said that Palestinian civilians in the camp had been warned to leave because the battle against Fatah al Islam inside the camp is going to start tomorrow. Most appear to have left.
Beirut remains a ghost town, with little traffic or other activity on the streets. Since Sunday night, there has been a car-bombing every night except Tuesday — and on that day, security forces nabbed two car bombers on their way to targets. Expectations are high for another car-bombing any minute, although having stuck in Christian, Sunni, and Druze areas — the three pillars of the anti-Syrian and anti-Hezbollah government majority — the terrorists have already made their statement.
BRIAN TODD, CNN: “Wolf, they were found in an al Qaeda safe house during recent raids in and around Baghdad. U.S. Military officials say these images that they just declassified show the true nature of what the Iraqi people are facing and they reinforce in the minds of American military commanders why U.S. Forces are there.
“Torture at the hands of al Qaeda. Victims suspended upside down and whipped, drilled through the hands, suspended from a ceiling and electrocuted. U.S. military officials say these cartoons are part of an al Qaeda training manual complete with how to use a blowtorch on a victim's body.
“These drawings given to CNN by the U.S. military in Iraq were found on a computer captured during recent raids of al Qaeda safe houses.”
GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, MNF-I: “They made it in a cartoon manner so that no matter what your literacy rate or what nationality you are, all you've got to do is look at this picture to understand how to conduct tortures of innocent people.”
TODD: “Methods like taking a hot iron to the skin, and others too grotesque to show.”
CALDWELL: “This is the nature of the enemy that the Iraqi people are facing in Iraq.”
Last summer the world watched in shock as Hezbollah initiated a deadly war with Israel. With the aftershocks of that conflict still rippling throughout the region, it appears Lebanon could be in for another bloody summer.
A report presented to Congress a couple of days ago says that Islamic radicals now value the internet as much as a Kalashnikov rifle.
Terrorists are using the Internet more and more because it is cheap and fast and you can make it secure.
They use it for training, for fund-raising, for recruitment, for research, for classic “dead drop” messaging, for training information –and obviously they use it for propaganda.
This view came from a panel of experts assembled by George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute and the University of Virginia’s Critical Analysis Group and was delivered to Congress.
Interesting quote from the report:
The 'killer application' of the Internet is not so much its use as a broadcast tool but its function as a communications channel that links people in cyberspace, who then meet and can take action in the physical world.
The AP’s account of the report lists examples of Internet-driven Islamic radicalization.
One example is Paul Hall, a US sailor who changed his name to Hassan Abujihaad.
He was arrested in last month and charged with delivering classified information about the location of US Navy vessels to terror groups.
Prosecutors said he had been in contact with radical Islamists he met on-line.
Using the Internet, Hall had ordered videos promoting violent jihad.
Another example from the report: The train bombings in Madrid of March 2004.
They were committed by terrorists from North Africa. They were not directly linked to al-Qaeda though they shared its ideology which they seemed to have garnered through the Internet.
The report says the Internet has speeded the Islamic radicalization of young people. They offered as an example the disrupted plot last summer to bomb airliners bound for the United States from the UK.
The men involved devolved in a short time from what appeared to be ordinary lives to a willingness to kill thousands of people, and themselves, much as had the group of six men –three of them of them illegal aliens from Albania, who wanted to murder US soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey for which they were recently arrested.
Lebanese troops continued their siege of a Palestinian refugee camp today, as new signs emerged that their target — Fatah al-Islam, a militant group that follows al-Qaeda ideology — has been training fighters inside the camp for attacks in Europe, Iraq, and elsewhere. The fighting marks the bloodiest internal conflict since Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990.
Two experts from FDD, both natives of Lebanon, argue that Fatah al-Islam, a Sunni Muslim group which emerged late last year, receives financial support from the Syrian regime and is a direct threat to the democratically elected government in Lebanon.
Senior Fellow Walid Phares:
Fatah al-Islam aims at creating an ‘Emirate’ (Islamist principality as in the Taliban model) in the Sunni areas of Lebanon, and is planning on conducting operations similar to the ones in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. But according to the Lebanese government and terrorism experts the group is being secretly supported by the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.
Research Fellow Tony Badran:
The group Fateh al-Islam, while made up of jihadists of different nationalities, is a group that has been smuggled through Syria, and which was born out of a Syrian-controlled proxy Fateh al-Intifada. The Syrian regime has long sent the message to the West that only it could control Islamists in Lebanon (which it has cultivated and sent there), if the West acquiesces to its renewed control over Lebanon. It is a classic case of the arsonist playing fireman.
The United States, Britain and France on Thursday formally introduced a resolution in the U.N. Security Council that calls for the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The resolution mandates the creation of a tribunal outside Lebanon with international judges and an international prosecutor under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which addresses threats to international peace and security. I've attached the full text of the draft resolution below.