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Bodies of 16 migrants found in Libya desert

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Libyan forces affiliated with retired general Khalifa Haftar reported yesterday that it found the bodies of 16 migrants in the desert near Libya’s border with Egypt. Ahmed Al-Mismari, spokesman for the Haftar forces in eastern Libya, said that the bodies were found nearly 310 kilometres away from the coastal city of Tobruk, located in southwest Libya. According to Reuters news agency, Al-Mismari said the search is ongoing in the area but that no more details were available regarding the identity of the migrants. Read: Algeria sends reinforcements to Libyan border Patrol cars and rescue workers have previously found the bodies of Egyptian migrants who died after being stranded or abandoned by smugglers in Libya’s eastern desert. Many migrants prefer to […]

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Louvre Abu Dhabi museum opening date announced

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The ‘Museum on the Sea’ will open to the public on November 11 this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Earlier today, His Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, delivered a speech at an official opening date ceremony of the ambitious cultural institution at Manarat Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. The museum has been designed by Jean Nouvel, a French architect who has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, a top recognition in the field of architecture. Inspired by the medina (the old walled part of a town) and low-lying Arab settlements, Nouvel applied a contextual approach to the site, designing the Louvre Abu Dhabi as a ‘museum city’ in the sea with its contrasting […]

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Israel demolished 1,158 Israeli Arab houses in the last year

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli authorities have demolished 1,158 homes belonging to Israeli Arabs in the Negev between August 2016 and August 2017, Arabs48 reported yesterday. A report issued by Coexistence Club in the Negev and reported by Arabs48 stated that the Israeli policy of home demolition is used as a tool to harass Bedouins in the Negev. According to the report several homes were demolished by their owners after they had been threatened to pay high fines. It mentioned the village of Al-Araqib as an example, stating that the villagers paid NIS 262,000 ($73,481) as expenses for the state equipment to demolish the village and NIS 100,000 ($28,047) for the expenses of the state’s lawyer. Read: For Israel displacing Bedouins is financially rewarding […]

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India to bid for oil and gas exploration in Israel

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

India plans to bid for offshore oil and gas exploration in Israel, local media reported yesterday. “Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to bid for Israeli offshore oil and gas exploration blocks,” The Times of India quoted Oil Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, as saying. This is the first major deal between the two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel in July. “We will definitely bid for Israel’s oil and gas blocks,” Pradhan said in a press statement. The Israeli Ministry of Energy did not comment on the statement, the Jerusalem Post said. Read: Ex-Netanyahu aide and top officers arrested in submarine probe India and Israel already have strong military ties but Modi and his ruling right […]

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Lebanon identifies bodies of soldiers killed while in Daesh hands

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Wed, 2017-09-06 11:57
ID: 
1504689141441605400

BEIRUT: Lebanon has identified the bodies of 10 of its soldiers found along the Syrian border in an area taken back from Daesh last week, the Lebanese National News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The army’s offensive against the Daesh-held enclave in eastern Lebanon ended with an evacuation of Daesh militants and their families to eastern Syria under a Hezbollah-brokered cease-fire deal.
Under the agreement Daesh militants identified where they had buried the soldiers, Lebanese army chief General Joseph Aoun said last week.
DNA tests confirmed that all 10 bodies found in the former Daesh-enclave were the missing Lebanese soldiers, security sources and local media reported on Wednesday.
Daesh militants had for years held territory along the border, and captured the Lebanese soldiers in 2014 when they briefly overran the town of Arsal, one of the worst spillovers of the Syrian conflict into Lebanon.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week called for an investigation into the responsibilities their capture.
Justice Minister Salim Jrayssati said a military court would look into whether the civilian or military authorities contributed to their capture, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television reported on Wednesday.

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Poverty drives child soldiers into Afghanistan’s endless war

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Wed, 2017-09-06 08:43
ID: 
1504685779511328700

GHAZNI, Afghanistan: The rescue this summer of dozens of Afghan youths destined to be trained as Taliban fighters has spotlighted how entrenched poverty is fueling a renewable supply of child soldiers to endlessly replenish the insurgents’ ranks.
Afghan forces freed almost 40 children during multiple raids near the Pakistani border. Officials said traffickers working with the Taliban had recruited the boys, some as young as four, from poor families by promising to provide them with a religious education.
In reality they were set to be indoctrinated by hard-line mullahs in Pakistan and receive military training to carry out attacks inside war-torn Afghanistan, authorities said.
The use of child soldiers by all sides in the Afghan conflict is well documented, including in pro-government security forces, where the practice of “bacha bazi,” or child sex slavery, is said to be institutionalized.
But the incidents this summer in southeastern Ghazni province illustrated a practice the Afghan government and rights groups have long accused the Taliban of: kidnapping children to indoctrinate as fighters at madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In a recent speech charting US strategy in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump vowed, among other things, to “dry up” militant recruitment.
But experts say poverty is a significant driving factor, with parents unable to provide for their children delivering them, often unknowingly, into the hands of abusers and extremists.
AFP spoke recently with several of the children rescued at an orphanage in southeastern Ghazni province, where they had been placed as officials tried to track down their parents.
“They talked to my father and he had no objection,” said nine-year-old Nabiullah, sobbing as he recalled being taken from his home by recruiters.
Another child, who told AFP he was eight, said: “Two Taliban came saying they wanted to take us to a madrassa in Quetta. I didn’t know more until the men were arrested.”
Officials said they had saved the children, most aged between four and 14, from what Mohammad Aref Wahidi, deputy governor of Ghazni, described as “kidnapping gangs” taking them to Pakistan.
The children were “given drugs by their abductors that made them dizzy and confused,” provincial police chief Mohammad Mustafa Mayar told AFP, adding that among those freed were 13 youngsters allegedly trained as suicide bombers.
They were later paraded in front of media, with many crying as they stood beside the traffickers.
Afghan elders have denied they intentionally send youngsters to join the Taliban’s nearly 16-year insurgency.
“I admit that children are being sent for religious studies in Pakistani madrassas, but I don’t think they are trained to become suicide bombers,” Hajji Mohammad Sharif, a tribal elder from Paktika province which borders Ghazni, told AFP.
The insurgents also deny the claims.
But Afghan authorities routinely report intercepting child soldiers, and Human Rights Watch issued an extensive report on the issue last year, stating that indoctrination begins as young as six.
“According to relatives of boys recruited by the Taliban, by the time they are 13, Taliban-educated children have learned military skills including use of firearms, and the production and deployment of IEDs,” the report said.
For Ahmad Shaheer, an expert on Pakistani madrassas at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, poverty is the tinder.
“Many poor families hand over their children to strangers to be trained in Pakistani madrassas because they can’t afford to pay for their education,” he told AFP.
The HRW report noted the poverty-driven trend has also been increasing at madrassas in Afghanistan, particularly in Kunduz province, and said the Taliban refuses to return children once the parents figure out what is going on.
In June this year officials in Kunduz said they had detained an 11-year-old boy who intended to attack police after being taught at a local madrassa that government forces were a legitimate target as they were either “infidels or serving the infidels.”
In his speech last month, Trump said the US was “not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” and placed responsibility for Afghan society squarely on Afghans.
But absolute poverty in the country is increasing, according to a report issued by the World Bank and the Afghan government in May this year, which said that 39 percent of Afghans are unable to meet their basic needs.
That suggests the trend noted by Shaheer and HRW could continue.
Shaheer estimates that 10,000-20,000 Afghan children have passed through Pakistani religious schools. Once they are cut off from their families the indoctrination begins.
“Life is very hard for them there. They are not given anything to eat and the madrassa becomes like a jail,” said Shaheer.
“Step by step they start hating their family… Hatred is fueled and they feel they have no future in life.”

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Marital row exposes fugitive mafia boss in Uruguay

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Wed, 2017-09-06 08:48
ID: 
1504685779471328600

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay: Fugitive Italian mafia boss Rocco Morabito had split from his wife and was searching for a new apartment when he was arrested by Uruguayan police, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Morabito, dubbed in Italian media reports as the one-time “king of cocaine” in Milan, was arrested at a hotel in downtown Montevideo in a dawn raid by police on Saturday.
He had taken a room in the hotel while he looked for new lodgings in the Uruguayan capital after he had fought with his wife, his lawyer Alejandro Balbi said.
Local media said registering for new accommodation would have helped expose Morabito, who had been on the run for 23 years.
Now Uruguay authorities are investigating how he managed to quietly live in the resort town of Punta del Este for the past 13 years without being detected.
So far their investigation has found that he had obtained Uruguayan residence papers after presenting a Brazilian passport in the name of Francisco Capeletto in 2004.
Until their recent separation, Morabito had lived with his wife — an Angolan national with a Portuguese passport named as Paula Maria De Oliveira Correia — and their daughter, according to the interior ministry.
By all accounts, he lived a quiet life in Punta del Este, a resort known as a playground for South America’s rich about 90 minutes drive north of Montevideo.
However, last February he threw a big coming-of-age party for his daughter who was turning 15 — a tradition in Uruguay — inviting classmates and their parents to one of the town’s trendy venues.
It seems the Uruguayan authorities had begun to take notice around then. The interior ministry said his arrest was part of a police operation code-named Calabria which began in March.
Morabito, a capo with the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, Italy’s most feared organized crime gang, is being held in a Montevideo prison, accused of forging identity documents, pending the arrival of an extradition request from Italy.
The Italian justice ministry said extradition documents are being prepared.
Morabito’s family had been renting a house in a well-heeled part of Punta del Este since last June, the owner of the property Daniel Puig told AFP.
Real-estate broker Puig met Morabito three years ago when he sold him a 600-hectare country estate with a Tuscan style farmhouse located some 40 kilometers from Punta del Este.
The family lived there until last year.
Puig and other Punta del Este residents were stunned to learn of the real identity of their acquaintance.
“He’s not a drug dealer type, someone who goes out to restaurants, having a luxury car. He was low profile,” Puig said. Morabito even drove around in a “super modest Chinese car.”
“He was a good person. He lived for his daughter,” he said.
According to a man who worked for the family, Oliveira was an enthusiastic buyer of artworks, and the estate had many paintings, dinnerware and expensive objects.
Morabito, on the other hand, “liked to cook. The kitchen was full of spices,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.
Another neighbor described Oliveira as “an elegant lady, she seemed high-class. She wasn’t nouveau riche. And she didn’t speak about him.”
Oliveira has made no comment and has reportedly taken refuge in a hotel with her daughter.
Morabito arrived in trendy Milan from his hometown of Africo in Italy’s poor southern region of Calabria at the age of 23, and quickly carved out a reputation as the city’s “king of cocaine.”
Nicknamed ‘U Tamunga’ in reference to a German military vehicle, the Dkw Munga, in Milan the young Morabito became a charismatic figure who frequented bars and parties, according to Italian press reports.
He quickly came to the attention of Italian anti-Mafia investigators and they regularly tracked him delivering suitcases filled with millions of lira to Colombian drug traffickers in a Milan piazza.
Police finally moved in on his birthday as he made what would be his last delivery, in October 1994, but the capo managed to escape.
The following year he was sentenced in absentia to 28 years’ imprisonment for mafia association and drug trafficking. Later the sentence was extended to 30 years.

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The Islamic Future Of Europe

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Guy Milliere via The Gatestone Institute,

  • European leaders accepted the transformation of parts of their countries into enemy territories. They see that a demographic disaster is taking place. They know that in two or three decades, Europe will be ruled by Islam.
  • Ten years ago, describing what he called “the last days of Europe,” the historian Walter Laqueur said that European civilization was dying and that only old monuments and museums would survive. His diagnosis was too optimistic. Old monuments and museums might well be blown up. Look nowhere else than what the black-hooded supporters of “Antifa” — an “anti-fascist” movement whose actions are totally fascistic — are doing to statues in the United States.

The terrorist attack in Barcelona received the same reaction as all the large-scale terrorist attacks in Europe: tears, prayers, flowers, candles, teddy bears, and protestations that “Islam means peace “. When people gathered to demand tougher measures against the rising influence of Islamism across the continent, they were confronted by an “anti-fascist” rally. Muslims organized a demonstration to defend Islam; they claimed that Muslims living in Spain are the “main victims” of terrorism. The president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Societies, Mounir Benjelloun El Andaloussi, spoke of a “conspiracy against Islam” and said that terrorists were “instruments” of Islamophobic hatred. The mayor of Barcelona, ?? Ada Colau, cried in front of the cameras and said that her city would remain an “open city” for all immigrants. The governor of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, used almost the same language. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a conservative, was the only one who dared to call jihadist terrorism by its name. Almost all European journalists said Rajoy’s words were too harsh.

After the attack in Barcelona, Spain, when people gathered at the site to demand tougher measures against the rising influence of Islamism across the continent, they were confronted by an “anti-fascist” rally. Pictured: “Anti-fascists” beat a man who they claimed is a “right-wing sympathizer” at Las Ramblas, Barcelona, on August 18, 2017. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Mainstream European newspapers describing the horror once again sought explanations to what they kept calling “inexplicable”. The leading Spanish daily newspaper, El Pais, wrote in an editorial that “radicalization” is the bitter fruit of the “exclusion” of certain “communities,” and added that the answer was more “social justice”. In France, Le Monde suggested that terrorists want to “incite hatred”, and stressed that Europeans must avoid “prejudice”. In the UK, The Telegraph explained that “killers attack the West because the West is the West; not because of what it does” — but it spoke of “killers”, not “terrorists” or “Islamists”.

Anti-terrorism specialists, interviewed on television, said that the attacks, carried out across the continent at an ever-faster pace, will become deadlier. They noted that the original plan of the Barcelona jihadists had been to destroy the Sagrada Família Cathedral and kill thousands of people. The specialists parroted that Europeans will just have to learn to live with the threat of widespread carnage. They did not offer any solutions. Once again, many said that terrorists are not really Muslims — and that the attacks “had nothing to do with Islam”.

Many leaders of Western European countries treat Islamic terrorism as a fact of life that Europeans must get used to — as some kind of aberration unrelated to Islam. They often avoid speaking of “terrorism” at all. After the attack in Barcelona,?? German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a brief reproach about a “revolting” event. She expressed “solidarity” with the Spanish people, and then moved on. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a message of condolence and spoke of a “tragic attack.”

Throughout Europe, expressions of anger are conscientiously marginalized. Calls for mobilization, or any serious change in immigration policy, come only from politicians scornfully described as “populist.”

Even the slightest criticism of Islam immediately arouses almost unanimous indignation. In Western Europe, books on Islam that are widely available are written by people close to the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Tariq Ramadan. Books that are “politically incorrect” also exist, but are sold under the counter as if they are contraband. Islamic bookstores sell brochures calling for violence without even hiding what they do. Dozens of imams, similar to Abdelbaki Es Satty, the suspected mastermind of the attack in Barcelona, continue to preach with impunity; if they are arrested, they are quickly released.

Submission reigns. The discourse everywhere is that despite increasing threats, Europeans must live their lives as normally as possible. But Europeans see what threats exist. They see that life is not even slightly normal. They see policemen and soldiers in the streets, proliferating security checks, strict controls at the entrance of theaters and shops. They see insecurity everywhere. They are told just to ignore the source of the threats, but they know the source. They claim they are not afraid. Thousands in Barcelona shouted, “No tinc por” (“We are not afraid”). In fact, they are scared to death.

Polls show that Europeans are pessimistic, and think the future will be bleak. Polls also show that Europeans no longer have confidence in those who govern them, but feel they are left with no choice.

This shift in their lives has occurred in such a short time, less than half a century. Before then, in Western Europe, only a few thousand Muslims were present — mostly immigrant workers from former European colonies. They were supposed to be in Europe temporarily, so were never asked to integrate.

They soon numbered hundreds of thousands, then millions. Their presence turned permanent. Many became citizens. Asking them to integrate grew unthinkable: most seemed to consider themselves Muslim first.

European leaders gave up defending their own civilization. They slipped into saying that all cultures should be viewed the same way. They appear to have given up.

School curricula were altered. Children were taught that Europe and the West had plundered the Muslim world — not that the Muslims had, in fact, invaded and conquered the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, most of Eastern Europe, Greece, Northern Cyprus, and Spain. Children were taught that Islamic civilization had been splendid and opulent before colonization supposedly came to ravage it.

Welfare states, established in the post-war period, began to create a large underclass of people permanently trapped in dependency, just when the number of Muslims in Europe redoubled.

Social-housing neighborhoods suddenly were Muslim neighborhoods. The rise in mass unemployment — mainly affecting less qualified workers — transformed Muslim neighborhoods into mass-unemployment neighborhoods.

Community organizers came to tell unemployed Muslims that after purportedly looting their countries of origin, Europeans had used Muslim workers to rebuild Europe and were now treating them as useless utensils.

Crime took root. Muslim neighborhoods became high-crime neighborhoods.

Extremist Muslim preachers arrived; they reinforced a hatred of Europe. They said that Muslims must remember who they are; that Islam must take its revenge. They explained to young, imprisoned Muslim criminals that violence could be used for a noble cause: jihad.

Police were ordered not to intervene lest they aggravate the tension. High-crime areas became no-go zones, breeding grounds for the recruitment of Islamic terrorists.

European leaders accepted the transformation of parts of their countries into enemy territories.

Riots took place; leaders made even more concessions. They passed laws restricting freedom of speech.

When Islamic terrorism first hit Europe, its leaders did not know what to do. They still do not know what to do. They are prisoners of a situation they created and cannot control anymore. They appear to feel helpless.

They cannot incriminate Islam: the laws they passed make it illegal to do that. In most European countries, even questioning Islam is branded as “Islamophobia”. It leads to heavy fines, if not trials or prison time (as with Lars Hedegaard, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Geert Wilders or George Bensoussan). They cannot re-establish law and order in no-go zones: that would require the intervention of the army and a shift towards martial law. They cannot adopt the solutions proposed by parties they have pushed into opposition at the margins of European political life.

They cannot even close their borders, abolished in 1995 with the Schengen agreement. Re-establishing border controls would be costly and take time.

Europe’s leaders seem to have neither the will nor the means to oppose the incoming waves of millions of Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They know that terrorists are hiding among the migrants, but still do not vet them. Instead, they resort to subterfuges and lies. They create “deradicalization” programs that do not work: the “radicals,” it seems, do not want to be “deradicalized.”

Europe’s leaders try to define “radicalization” as a symptom of “mental illness”; they consider asking psychiatrists to solve the mess. Then, they talk about creating a “European Islam“, totally different from the Islam elsewhere on Earth. They take on haughty postures to create the illusion of moral superiority, as Ada Colau and Carles Puigdemont did in Barcelona: they say they have high principles; that Barcelona will remain “open” to immigrants. Angela Merkel refuses to face the consequences of her policy to import countless migrants. She chastises countries in Central Europe that refuse to adopt her policies.

European leaders can see that a demographic disaster is taking place. They know that in two or three decades, Europe will be ruled by Islam. They try to anesthetize non-Muslim populations with dreams about an idyllic future that will never exist. They say that Europe will have to learn to live with terrorism, that there is nothing anyone can do about it.

But there is a lot they can do; they just do not want to — it might cost them Muslim votes.

Winston Churchill told Neville Chamberlain, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, you will have war.” The same is true today.

Ten years ago, describing what he called “the last days of Europe,” the historian Walter Laqueur said that European civilization was dying and that only old monuments and museums would survive. His diagnosis was too optimistic. Old monuments and museums might well be blown up. Look nowhere else than what the black-hooded supporters of “Antifa” — an “anti-fascist” movement that is totally fascistic — are doing to statues in the United States.

Barcelona’s Sagrada Família Cathedral was spared only thanks to the clumsiness of a terrorist who did not know how to handle explosives. Other places may not be so fortunate.

The death of Europe will almost certainly be violent and painful: no one seems willing to stop it. Voters still could, but they will have to do it now, fast, before it is too late.

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