by, Elliot Friedland | Clarion Project
The Defense Department has signed a deal to sell $12 billion of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar. US Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly met with representatives of Qatar to sign the deal on June 14. Bloomberg reported the deal was for 32 jets, to be manufactured primarily by Boeing.
This is despite a statement on June 9 from President Donald Trump that Qatar is a “high-level” sponsor of terrorism.
“The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high-level,” Trump said on Friday.
“We are pleased to announce today the signing of the letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of the F-15QA fighter jets, with an initial cost of $12 billion dollars,” the Qatari Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Wednesday afternoon about the deal. “We believe that this agreement will propel Qatar’s ability to provide for its own security while also reducing the burden placed upon the United States military in conducting operations against violent extremism.”
Video courtesy of: CNN | Elliot Friedland | Clarion Project
Qatar is currently embroiled in a row with its neighbors over support for terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the Tripoli Government in Libya, Yemen and the Maldives have all severed relations with the tiny wealthy oil state. Qatar is currently receiving food and diplomatic support from Turkey and Iran. The UAE ambassador to the U.S. recently suggested using the presence of the U.S. air base in Qatar to pressure the country to end support for extremism.
Qatar stands accused of bankrolling terror groups including Hamas and al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, in addition to allowing Hamas leaders to operate out of Qatar.
Some of these groups are connected to the deaths of Americans. Qatar originally funded Libyan militia group Rafallah al-Sehati, according to the New York Times. A breakaway faction of Rafallah al-Sehati formed Ansar al-Sharia, the group suspected of being responsible for the 2012 murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens at the American consulate in Benghazi.
Qatar also allowed the Taliban to set up a political bureau in Doha and allowed fundraisers tied to al-Qaeda affiliates free reign to raise money for jihadi groups in Syria. For example, in December 2013, the U.S. Treasury designated Abdul Rahman al-Nuaimi as a global terrorist and accused him of raising and transferring $2 million per month to “al-Qaeda in Iraq” and $250,000 to al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia.
None of this stopped the deal going through. The full deal, originally agreed in November 2016, is for $21 billion worth of F-15QA fighter jets. The deal was originally authorized by Congress and the president while Barack Obama was in office. However, Trump seemingly took no steps to prevent the deal.
Middle-Eastern dictatorships have been stocking up on arms recently. The region imports more weapons than any other and it’s not just Qatar.
Weapons imports by Saudi Arabia and Qatar rose by 275% from 2011 to 2015, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
“The combined value of Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates’] defence imports is more than all of Western Europe’s defence imports combined,” Janes senior analyst Ben Moore said in a statement last year. “The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015.”
Although Washington remains the world’s number one weapons exporter, it is not just the U.S. that is funding and arming sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East.
British arms giant BAE sold sophisticated surveillance systems to a slew of oppressive states including but not limited to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Morocco and Algeria, a new investigation just revealed.
Saudi Arabia also stands accused of exporting extremism worldwide. Nevertheless, the U.S. Senate just approved a sale of $500 million worth of bombs to the Saudi Air Force for use in the war in Yemen.
The systems allow these governments to track and read most communications, the physical whereabouts of their citizens, listen to what they say by hacking into their smartphones and more.
“It used to be that ‘the walls have ears’, but now it’s ‘smartphones have ears,’” Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi women’s rights activist who also now lives abroad since escaping Saudi Arabia, where she was forced to leave one of her two sons behind.
“No country monitors its own people the way they do in the Gulf countries. They have the money, so they can buy advanced surveillance software.”
That equipment is coming from Western countries like the United States, Canada and the UK, which talk a tough game on terrorism and extremism but continue to sell high end weapons systems to the most repressive theocracies in the world.
“We had a decision to make,” Trump said in his statement calling out Qatar for funding terrorism. “Do we take the easy road or do we finally take a hard but necessary action?”
When the question of a deal for $12 billion worth of hardware came up, Trump certainly made his decision.
‘..59 out of 88 Recently Arrested al-Qaeda Terrorists Were Graduates of the “Saudi Jihadist Rehabilitation Program”..’
by, Judicial Watch | Doug Ross @ Director Blue
An Al Qaeda operative incarcerated at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo has confirmed what Judicial Watch has been reporting for years, that a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reforms jihadists is really a terrorist training camp. The U.S. has released dozens of Gitmo captives to the comical jihadist rehab and earlier this year considered sending another, senior Al Qaeda boss Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, a dangerous Saudi national with a U.S. college education.
During a hearing before President Obama’s Gitmo parole board, al-Sharbi said “you guys want to send me back to Saudi Arabia because you believe there is a de-radicalization program on the surface, true. You are 100 percent right, there is a strong externally…a strong de-radicalization program, but make no mistake, underneath there is a hidden radicalization program.” The testimony was delivered months ago, but was recently declassified by the Department of Defense (DOD), which maintains that al-Sharbi is a committed jihadist and threat to the U.S., its interests and allies. The panel denied al-Sharbi’s petition for release, but has granted many others recently.
Saudi rehab centre used to recruit & train jihadists:
Video courtesy of: RT
In his quest to clear out the prison and close it, Obama has embarked on a frenzy releasing droves of terrorists jailed at the U.S. Naval base in southeastern Cuba. More than 100, including Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards, have been released to the Saudi rehab program, officially known as the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center. It specializes in “spreading the concept of moderateness and rejecting immoderate way of thinking” by using art therapy, video games, exercise and sports to de-radicalize terrorists. Obama has praised the bogus Saudi terrorist rehab program, even though the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed years ago that many of the Gitmo detainees who rejoin terrorist missions after leaving the military prison returned to “the fight” after graduating from Saudi rehab.
Among them is Al Qaeda leader Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, the poster child for the Saudi rehab’s failures. Years after releasing al-Rubaysh from Gitmo, the U.S. offered a $5 million reward for information on the whereabouts of the Saudi rehab grad. The State Department coined the “senior leader” of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, revealing that “he serves as a senior advisor for AQAP operational planning and is involved in the planning of attacks.” Judicial Watch reported this two years ago, citing the State Department announcement describing al-Rubaysh as a senior AQAP sharia official since 2013 who has made public statements calling on Muslims to wage war against the United States. Many others have returned to terrorism after completing terrorist reform school.
RARE look inside Saudi de-radicalization program:
This hasn’t deterred Obama from sending more Gitmo terrorists to the laughable de-radicalization program. Earlier this year the administration transferred nine Yemeni captives to Saudi Arabia and just a few weeks ago it approved the transfer of an Al Qaeda bomb maker, Jabran al Qahtani, that U.S. authorities believe will reengage in terrorism. The president’s Gitmo parole panel, officially known as the Periodic Review Board (PRB), specifically mentions the Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center in its final determination to transfer al Qahtani and states its “confidence in the efficacy of the Saudi rehabilitation program.” Al Qahtani’s “credible desire to participate in the Saudi rehabilitation program and reintegrate into society” also played a role in the parole board’s decision to release him. The PRB found that “the risk the detainee presents can be adequately mitigated by transfer for prosecution and rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia.”
Though al-Sharbi will remain at Gitmo, the fact remains that he disclosed damaging information about a fake Middle Eastern reform program the administration has used to free a multitude of dangerous terrorists. Based on his DOD file, al-Sharibi shouldn’t have even been considered for transfer. With a degree in electrical engineering from an Arizona college, al-Sharibi operated within the United States organizing sophisticated terrorist cells and conducting educational directives involved with mission planning. He has attended an Al Qaeda training camp and was selected by the terrorist group to a receive a special remote control detonation training to carry out attacks on U.S. forces, his DOD file states. “Detainee has demonstrated a commitment to jihad, has links to key facilitators in the Al-Qaida international terrorist network, and has participated in terrorist training,” according to the defense assessment, which also says al-Sharibi poses a high risk to western interests.
by, Tom Lyden | Fox9 | h/t Victoria Taft @ ijreview & Glen Roberts @ Trop
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – A Minnesota man, who Homeland Security identifies as a terror suspect who is on the “No Fly” list, now has his Class A commercial license, which will allow him to drive semi-trucks.
The FOX 9 Investigators revealed last May that Amir Meshal was attempting to get his Class A license from a Twin Cities truck driving school. The $4,000 tuition was paid for through the state workforce program.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirms he was granted the license after passing a road test on August 8. A spokesperson said Meshal has also applied for a school bus endorsement, pending the outcome of a criminal background check.
Video courtesy of: Fox9 | Fotobe
In May 2014, Meshal was removed and trespassed from a Bloomington, Minn. mosque, Al Farooq, after he was suspected of radicalizing young people who would later travel to Syria. According to the police report, religious leaders said, “We have concerns about Meshal interacting with our youth.” Meshal had previously been asked to leave an Eden Prairie, Minn. mosque for similar reasons.
The ACLU recently sued TSA and Homeland Security to have Meshal removed from the “No Fly” list. But Homeland Security responded in a letter obtained by the FOX 9 Investigators that Meshal, “..may be a threat to civil aviation or national security,” adding that, “It has been determined that you (Amir Meshal) are an individual who represents a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and who is operationally capable of doing so.”
In 2007, Meshal, a U.S. citizen of Egyptian descent, was arrested in Kenya by the FBI, suspected of leaving a terror training camp in Somalia. Meshal, via the ACLU, is also suing the U.S. government for detaining him overseas for three months. In the lawsuit, Meshal claims the FBI tried to convince him to become an informant — an offer he says he declined.
The FOX 9 Investigators asked the Minnesota Department of Public Safety why they issued a Class A license for someone who Homeland Security believes has the “operational capacity” to carry out a terror attack. We have not heard back.
Statement from Hina Shamsi, ACLU attorney representing Amir Meshal
“Mr. Meshal has never been charged with a crime and has sued the government to obtain a fair process to challenge his wrongful inclusion on the No Fly List. Like many other unemployed Americans, he’s trying to obtain credentials for a job so he can build a life for his family, including a baby. Any suggestion that Mr. Meshal’s efforts to get a job somehow present a concern is shameful. On Mr. Meshal’s cases: his unlawful rendition and detention case is on appeal. The latest in the No Fly List case is described here.”
Magazine to print up to 3 million copies of new issue following soaring demand. On newsstands this week…
by, The Jerusalem Post | h/t Anthony Renaud
PARIS: Up to 3 Million copies of Charlie Hebdo could hit newsstands this week, dwarfing its usual print run of 60,000, in response to soaring demand for the first edition of the satirical weekly since last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants.
Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began on Jan. 7 when militants burst into Charlie Hebdo’s office during a regular editorial meeting and shot dead five of its leading cartoonists.
Liberation newspaper, now temporarily housing Charlie Hebdo operations, revealed the front page of the Jan. 14 edition via Twitter late on Monday – an image of the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying “JE SUIS CHARLIE” (“I am Charlie”) below the headline “TOUT EST PARDONNE” (“All is forgiven”).
An initial batch of 1 million copies will be available on Wednesday and Thursday, said Michel Salion, a spokesman for MPL, which distributes Charlie Hebdo. A further 2 million could then be printed depending on demand.
“We have requests for 300,000 copies throughout the world – and demand keeps rising by the hour,” Salion said, adding that the newspaper usually had just 4,000 international clients.
“The million will go. As of Thursday, the decision will probably be taken to print extra copies … So we’ll have one million, plus two if necessary.”
On Sunday, at least 3.7 million people took part throughout France in marches of support for Charlie Hebdo and freedom of expression. World leaders linked arms to lead more than a million citizens through Paris in an unprecedented demonstration to pay tribute to the victims.
The new edition of Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions, will include cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad and also making fun of politicians and other religions, its lawyer, Richard Malka, told France Info radio earlier.
Salion said 60,000 copies of Charlie Hebdo were normally printed, with only 30,000 generally sold.