WEEK OF OCTOBER 28 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3
Al Qaeda: Suicide Missions in USA
.(USA Today) Future terrorist attacks in the United States likely will involve suicidal operatives working alone or in groups of ''twos and threes'' to try to carry out bombings and other relatively simple assaults, according to U.S. analysts who are tracking al-Qaeda's resurgence. The emerging profile of the next generation of al-Qaeda attacks, senior U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials say, suggests that the group's new plans to hit America probably will not be not as much like the coordinated assaults such as those carried out by the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11. Instead, they most likely will be similar to last month's bombing of a nightclub in Bali, which killed at least 190 people and has been linked to al-Qaeda. Authorities say they are certain that al-Qaeda can still orchestrate a major attack here. ''It just won't look the same'' as the Sept. 11 attacks, a senior U.S. official says. ''We believe they are looking at multiple targets. We expect them to come at us in (teams of) ones, twos and threes.''
Signs of a revamped al-Qaeda have fueled a sense of urgency among U.S. officials in the terrorism probe:
A) U.S. agents are tracking more than 1,000 people in this country who are ''persons of interest'' because they are suspected of having links to terrorist groups, law enforcement sources say. Those under surveillance include U.S. citizens, permanent residents and visitors. About 200, mostly permanent U.S. residents, are suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda.
B) Using a new policy that gives agents more authority to spy on religious groups, the FBI has stepped up surveillance of several U.S. mosques. A senior U.S. official says the recruiting of al-Qaeda sympathizers through radical mosque leaders is stronger than ever.
C) The FBI has assigned 500 more agents to domestic counterterrorism, part of a reorganization that has put more than 3,700 of the bureau's 11,000 agents on terrorism duty. But officials say it will be a year before many of the reassigned agents add much to the probe. About 75% of them have never worked counter-terrorism cases, a senior U.S. official says. CIA terrorism analysts report that the call from Islamic mosques around the world have specified that individual suicide Holy Jihad is one method to attack America, because it leaves no traceable address.
More Facts Emerge About Muslim Snipers
.(Africana) John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo are not only linked to the
Beltway Sniper killings, but Muhammad has also been linked a human smuggling effort, to the Nation of Islam, and to a racist spin-off group called the Five Percenters. Beltway Sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo are being charged in the murders of 10 Washington, DC area residents, attempted murder of three more in the DC area, a possible murder in Alabama, and now the murder of a young woman in Tacoma. Muhammad is also now suspected of firing into a Jewish Temple in Tacoma. Washington state newspapers have reported that Muhammad appears to have been involved in a human smuggling operation to finance his various activities. Muhammad lived frequently at the Light House Mission, a homeless shelter in
Bellingham, but apparently traveled on airlines so often he had frequent flier miles. Officials have also confirmed that Muhammad was a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI), a radical black racist organization currently run by Louis Farrakhan. The Associated Press on October 26 also published a report on the contents of the sniper letter that was left behind by the killers on a tree behind a steakhouse in Ashland, Virginia. The letter contained numerous clues as to the identity and religious beliefs of the killers. The letter referred to the author as God. It also included the
phrase word is bond a phrase used by a fringe group of NOI known as The Nation of Gods and Earths or the Five Percenters. The headquarters of this group is the Allah School in Mecca, located in New York City. The Five Percenters believe that the black man is God and women are to be called Earth, and submit to the black man. They also believe that they are the five percent of the population who is truly righteous and understands spiritual truths. Five Percenters also believe that blacks are the original people of the earth, that they created civilization, and that whites have deceived the world, causing people to worship false gods. A number of hip hop artists have been influenced by the Five Percenters, including: Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Gang Starr, and others.
Sharon May Ask Netanyahu to be Foreign Minister
.(Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon planned on Friday to ask his main rival in the right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, to become foreign minister in the narrow government he hopes to form. Spokesmen for the two men declined to comment on the report, which said Sharon and Netanyahu, a hawkish former prime minister who advocates a harder line against a two-year-old Palestinian uprising, would meet later in the day at Sharon's ranch. Netanyahu, 53, popularly known as "Bibi," has said he would challenge Sharon in the as-yet-unscheduled Likud leadership election, an aspiration that could make it difficult for him to accept the post. Agreement to accept Sharon's offer could depend on the two men reaching a deal on Netanyahu's future political moves. Shimon Peres resigned this week as Israel's foreign Minister, as the entire Labor Party walked out of the government. Ultranationalists who oppose trading occupied land for peace and support unlimited Jewish settlement on territory Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war are among those Sharon will be courting. Sharon sent a message to Washington saying any government he formed would remain committed to Bush's Middle East peace vision, which includes the creation of a Palestinian state. Palestinians have expressed alarm at Sharon's offer of the defense portfolio to former army chief Shaul Mofaz, who has advocated expelling Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Sharon, riding high in opinion polls, has vowed to go on leading the country, suggesting he wants to avoid early elections and a challenge by Netanyahu, prime minister from 1996 to 1999, for the Likud leadership. Netanyahu has at times sniped at Sharon from the sidelines, urging the government to expel Arafat despite U.S. opposition. With only 55 seats in the 120-member parliament now under Sharon's control, political commentators believe he will have to hold an election should his coalition-building fail.
North Korean Threat is Growing
.(Washington Times) North Korea is continuing to develop long-range missiles that threaten the United States and a basic defense system against them is about two years from deployment, the Pentagon's missile-defense chief said yesterday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said North Korea's first long-range missile test in 1998 caught U.S. intelligence by surprise. As a result, missile-defense development efforts have shifted to meeting a range of threats rather than any specific danger from a single nation. The Defense Intelligence Agency stated in a report made public by the Senate last month that North Korea's 1999 ban on missile flight tests was having "minimal" impact on continued development of the Taepodong-2 (TD-2). North Korea likely perceives its TD-2 ballistic missile capability primarily as a tool for deterrence and political coercion," the DIA said. "During a conflict, the North also could attempt to strike U.S. and U.S. interests with ballistic missiles, if North Korea's leadership were attacked directly or was facing imminent destruction." The DIA stated that North Korea had one or two nuclear weapons. Gen. Kadish said U.S. efforts to defend against threats of missile attack no longer are focused on the former Soviet Union and China but rogue states. "It's not about the Soviet Union," he said. "It's about North Korea, it's about Iran, it's about Iraq, it's about Libya and other states that might threaten us in the process." Iran is continuing to test missiles and "they continue to make progress," he said. Nations that are building missile systems also appear willing to share missile technology, he said. "They are moving from the capability of having very good systems in short-range missiles, to the intermediate and longer-range missiles, and their ultimate goal is to reach the United States. Gen. Kadish said the administration's withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty has made it easier to design and build missile defenses without the restrictions imposed under the Cold War-era agreement. Critics of the Bush administration's withdrawal from the treaty had warned that abrogating the pact would lead to a new arms race and a strategic missile buildup.
Hezbullah, Hamas in the US?
.(Ha Aretz) The FBI believes extremist groups continue to have members in the United States who could be called upon for terrorist attacks, the Justice Department has told the Senate Intelligence Committee. Responding to a question about the involvement of Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups in the United States, the department said FBI investigations "indicate the continued presence of suspected extremists of various groups who could be called upon to attack in the United States." It said Hezbollah, in particular, appears to have the ability to strike in the United States. Some Hezbollah members may have been instructed to evaluate potential targets. The department noted Hezbollah has never conducted a terrorist strike in the United States. Hezbollah is blamed, though, for the 1983 bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 American servicemen.
PLO Groups Guilty of War Crimes
.(Ha Aretz) An international human rights organization is set to release Friday a report on suicide terror strikes by Palestinian militants against Israeli targets, in which various Palestinian groups are blasted for 'war crimes.' Those who carry out and orchestrate suicide missions commit crimes against humanity. Human Rights Watch The report analyzes the modes of operation and organizational structure of Palestinian groups that have taken responsibility for suicide strikes. It also details international standards that prohibit attacks against civilians, and examines the terror organizations' finances and the role played by the Palestinian Authority. The Human Rights Watch report emphasizes that international law and the rules of war impose an absolute, unconditional ban on harming civilians. The report explicitly names the political leaderships of the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as being responsible for the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Arafat: Don't Attack Iraq
.(AP) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat warned Thursday against any U.S. strike on Iraq, saying it would have catastrophic consequences in the Middle East and urged resolving the conflict through the United Nations. Arafat also predicted the Israel-Palestinian conflict will worsen now that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is looking to the Israeli far-right and religious parties to form a new coalition government. Arafat and the PLO supported Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and will likely support him again.
Zogby Poll: Arabs Dislike America
.A rare survey of public opinion in the Arab world has found that most Arabs dislike the United States. The survey by American pollster James Zogby, head of the Washington-based Arab American Institute, found that the negative perception of the United States is based on American policies, particularly concerning Iraq and what is seen as a U.S. bias toward Israel in the Mid-east conflict, and not a dislike of Western democracy and values. Arabs view some other Western countries favorably and list among their own wishes such Western notions as personal freedom and equal rights for women, Zogby said. On the issue of Arab views of other countries, only Israel, the United States and Britain received overall negative scores among 13 countries listed in the question, including Asian and Islamic nations. The negative sentiment toward the United States was highest in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with 87 percent having an unfavorable impression. The figure was 76 percent in Egypt and 61 percent in Jordan. The most favorable score for the United States was in Kuwait, which was liberated by U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf War where 41 percent viewed America favorably. That compared with only 12 percent in Saudi Arabia. Still, 48 percent of those Kuwaitis responding had an unfavorable impression. Zogby said the views did not represent an overall anti-Western bias, noting that France and Canada were among the countries receiving the highest ratings. For example, France's favorable rating from all respondents was at least 50 percent. "It is a question of policy," said Zogby, referring to the recent U.S. stand on Iraq and what Arabs long have regarded as an American bias toward Israel. One interesting finding, Zogby said, was that the Palestinian issue was listed by many Arabs as among the political issues affecting them most personally.
Rumsfeld Predicts Downfall of Iranian Government
.(Arab Foreign Press) U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has predicted an early overthrow of the Iranian government by its own people, or its collapse amid mounting problems and internal strife. But the forecast, made during a radio call-in show, came in response to a question on whether the administration of President George W. Bush planned to move on to Iran after achieving its goal of "regime change" in Iraq. Therefore, it appeared to signal that the administration saw no need to resort to overt or covert military measures to topple the regime in Tehran, because it expected it to tumble under its own weight. "I suspect that during my lifetime we're going to see a change in that situation over there and that the young people and the women and the people who believe in freedom will overthrow that cleric government and it will fall in some way of its own weight," Rumsfeld said. Iranian officials have been expressing heightened concern that if Washington decides to invade Iraq and maintain its military presence in Afghanistan, their country will end up sandwiched between two sizable contingents of US troops. Iranian Defense Minister Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani aired these worries earlier Wednesday, when he warned Iranians to be prepared for the possibility of a US attack. "The US government wants to reorganize the region and as a consequence Iran could constitute a target," Shamkhani said. "If the Americans are in both Afghanistan and Iraq, this represents a significant challenge."
Foreign CEO's Control White House Security!
.(World Net) New concerns have been raised about the company behind the computerized access-control system for the White House that was built in the final months of the Clinton Administration. The system controls access to the President and his national-security team. The new CEO of the Secret Service's lead contractor, Ultrak Inc. of Lewisville, Texas, is a Swiss resident with close ties to the Russian government. In fact, he's close enough to have once been allowed access to Russia's ultra-secret nuclear-weapons command center. Niklaus Zenger took over as Ultrak's CEO this year and has a record of stealing US technology that mysteriously ended up in the hands of the former Soviet Union. He and all but one member of the company's board of directors are foreign nationals, yet they control the highly sensitive computer data systems of the White House, and monitor America's nuclear program.
Vatican: Jews Are Our Brothers
.(Zenit) A top Vatican cardinal reaffirmed Monday that the Roman Catholic Church was more committed than ever to improving relations with Jews. Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with Jews, told a conference of prelates and rabbis that after 2,000 years of antagonism, Catholics and Jews may still disagree - but that they do so as brothers. "Maybe on some issues they will let us down or we will let them down. But fraternity is precisely this contact, where one listens to the heart of the other as if it were his own heart," Kasper said. The conference commemorated the 37th anniversary of the document "Nostra Aetate," Latin for "In Our Time," drafted during the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meeting that modernized the Church. In it, the Vatican deplored anti-Semitism in every form and repudiated the "deicide" charge that blamed Jews as a people for Christ's crucifixion. The document also affirmed that Jesus, the apostles and most of his early followers were Jews, and that God has not revoked his covenant with Jews. The anniversary was celebrated amid fresh debate over the Vatican's attitude toward Jews that was sparked by a recent, unofficial document saying it was no longer theologically acceptable for the Church to target Jews for conversion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported that Jews are in an eternal covenant with God, and thus we renounce missionary efforts directed at converting Jews," the scholars wrote.
Saudi Prince backs Globalization
.(Weekend) Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has called on the Middle East to embrace globalization in order to shore up the region's economy. The Prince said that networking and alliances were the only way for the region to prosper. "It is obvious that self-sufficiency has become an obsolete notion and the future holds greater promise for those who believe in, and adopt, networking," he added. He said that Africa and the Middle East alone had ignored the globalization trend, and that their economies had suffered greatly as a result. Furthermore, the Middle East's share of global trade is stagnant. The Prince reminded delegates that the region had fallen into an "appalling economic state" despite its former prominence as a trading partner. "My own view is that having lost our linkages and networks with others was one of the major contributory factors to our economic decline," he said. Many Middle Eastern states are heavily dependent on oil revenues. But increased production from other parts of the world, such as Africa, the former Soviet Union and South America, has reduced the region's income. And attempts to diversify away from oil has only seen limited success. Prince Alwaleed is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world's 11th richest man with a personal fortune of $20bn (£12.8bn).
John Paul II Calls for More Profound Study of Mary
.(Zenit) John Paul II called for more profound theological studies and further research on the Virgin Mary. The Pope made his request when he met today with participants in the seventh public session of the pontifical academies. The objective of these academies, whose work is coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture, is profound study of fundamental issues of human learning, theological, philosophical and scientific in order to advise the Pope. The latest session was dedicated to the work of the International Marian Pontifical Academy and the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculata on the topic "Mary, 'Luminous Dawn and Sure Guide' of the New Evangelization." The Holy Father said he was particularly interested in the subject, because "it takes up the expressions with which I conclude the apostolic letter 'Novo Millennio Ineunte,' entrusting to Mary, Mother of God and of all believers, the future of the new millennium and the way of the Church." In order to learn to contemplate and to love the face of Christ, "we must go to Mary, who fully accepting the plan of God, formed her Son in a singular way, supporting his growth," he stressed. Because of this, the Pontiff encouraged "interdisciplinary research that develops Mariological reflection, seeking new sources, in addition to the traditional, to obtain other suggestions for theological research." Recalling that 2004 will mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception, the Pope said that the two Marian pontifical academies are called to offer their contribution so that it will be "an occasion of renewed theological, cultural and spiritual effort to communicate to the men and women of our time the most authentic meaning and message of this truth of faith." (Mariology)
Israel's Unity Government Collapses
.(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's broad-based coalition collapsed Wednesday when Cabinet ministers from the moderate Labor Party resigned in a dispute over funding for Jewish settlements, threatening to push Israel into a bitter election. The crisis ended an uneasy 20-month "unity government" formed as a common front against the Palestinian uprising, and could sabotage U.S. efforts to win support for a peace plan. Sharon told parliament he would continue to lead the country, suggesting he would try to govern with a narrow coalition of far-right and religious parties rather than call early elections. The crisis was precipitated by Sharon's rejection of Labor Party leader Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's demands to cut $145 million in funds for Jewish settlements in the $57 billion 2003 state budget. Compromise proposals failed and Ben-Eliezer resigned from his post as defense minister, followed by the rest of Labor's Cabinet ministers. Sharon aides have said he is more likely to call elections within 90 days, but the Prime Minister suggested otherwise in his speech to parliament. "We will continue to lead the country in a responsible and clear-headed way," he said. Although polls show the bloc of parties led by Sharon's Likud would probably win a majority of the 120 seats, there is no guarantee and Sharon himself would probably first have to beat back a challenge for the Likud leadership by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The North Korea-Islamic Alliance
.(World Net) An alliance between North Korea, Iran, Syria and Iraq brought the world to the brink of war in 1992, says a new book exploring U.S. policy failures in the Middle East and the way they opened the door for dramatic terrorism in the 21st century. The alliance, detailed in terror expert Yossef Bodansky's "The High Cost of Peace," takes on special significance with recent admissions by North Korea that it has already joined the nuclear club. Iran, significantly, also has nuclear weapons, Bodansky says. "During the spring and early summer of 1991, as the Soviet Union was wobbling toward its demise, the anti-U.S. strategic mantle passed to an informal grouping of rogue states, the People's Republic of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran," writes Bodansky. "All aspirant powers were alarmed by the demonstration of American military might, resolve and technological expertise in the war against Iraq. However, with time, these regimes reached more realistic conclusions about the lessons of the Gulf War."
Jordanian Engineers: Temple Mount Wall Needs Reinforcement
.(Jerusalem Post) A new report by a group of senior Jordanian engineers concerning the ominous bulge in the southern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount recommends replacing some of the eroding stones in the two-thousand-year-old wall in order to prevent it from future collapse, Jordanian officials said Monday. The 36-page report, completed Monday by a team of engineers from Amman's prestigious Royal Scientific Society, will be forwarded this week to the relevant Jordanian government ministries, the society's director, Khaled Kahhaleh, said in a telephone interview from Amman Monday. A yearlong dispute between Israel and the Wakf, the Islamic religious trust - which oversees day-to-day maintenance at the site - over who will fix the large bulge was resolved earlier this month with a decision to involve Jordanian engineers, who inspected and took a sampling of the protruding wall. The decision to let the Jordanians do to the work, which was made at a top-level meeting headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, follows repeated warnings by Israeli archaeologists that sections of the wall are in unequivocal danger of collapse, and comes just ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when hundreds of thousands of Muslims are expected to flock to the site.
US Government Reshaping American Demographics
.(World Net) More than three-fourths of Americans want U.S. immigration laws tightened to allow fewer immigrants from Arab or Muslim nations into the country. Instead, Washington pays to move Muslims to the United States. According to a recent Worldviews 2002 survey, 76 percent of Americans say that "based on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. immigration laws should be tightened to restrict the number" of Arab or Muslim immigrants. Also, 77 percent said they favored restricting immigration "in order to combat terrorism." "Outside the terrorism context, opinion also tilts toward decreasing immigration in general, suggesting that the 9-11 attacks may have fueled a broad reaction against 'outsiders,'" said the survey. Yet, under the Refugee Act of 1980, the government's office of Refugee Resettlement has set aside some $159 million in fiscal year 2002 for the resettlement of Islamic refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Somalia. As of Aug. 27, 1,119 people have resettled this year from Afghanistan; one from Egypt; 446 from Iran; 216 from Iraq; three from Lebanon; 112 from Somalia; 381 from Sudan; and three from Syria. "Of special concern to Americans," said the Worldviews survey, "is controlling and reducing illegal immigration, which 70 percent say should be a very important goal of U.S. foreign policy." In October 2001, just a month after 9-11, the U.S. has spent about $17 million per month on resettling an average 1,671 refugees from around the world. "Part of that money is disbursed in the form of outright cash payments to individual refugees, at least 20 percent of whom are Muslims. "In other words," said the analysis, "even though an overwhelming percentage of Americans think that there should be less Muslim immigration to the United States, the federal government and the refugee-resettlement industry are importing Islam at $10,000 per Muslim." The group says "the very first step in the war on terror is to end illegal immigration." "The lack of serious effort to secure U.S. borders and enforce immigration law undermines administration claims that concern for the safety and security of the American people is driving the looming war with Iraq," said the analysis. The Worldviews survey also said Americans' attitudes about Islam have become more wary since 9-11. "The proportion of the public calling Islamic fundamentalism a critical threat to vital U.S. interests has jumped 23 points to 61 percent, putting it in seventh position out of 20 threats ranked," said the survey. Additionally, "four out of 10 Americans say that the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 'represent the true teachings of Islam' 'to a great degree' (21 percent) or 'to some degree' (18 percent)." Despite new concerns about Muslims and Arabs, however, only slightly more than one in four Americans (27 percent) say they believe a "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the West is inevitable.
Arafat Presents his new Cabinet
.(AP) In a boost for Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian parliament on Tuesday approved his new 19-member Cabinet. Arafat won the vote comfortably, 56-18, despite efforts by dissenters to carry out more sweeping changes and limit his authority. Last month, parliament forced Arafat's Cabinet to resign amid complaints of growing official corruption and mismanagement. It was seen as the toughest internal challenge to Arafat since he returned from exile in 1994 to take the helm of the Palestinian Authority.
FOJ Note: With this proclamation, democracy, as suggested by President Bush as a means to restore order to the peace process, and return to negotiations for the proposed new state of Palestine has taken a defining
John Muhammed Lived High Life
.(Newsmax) Although captured asleep in a $250 car, sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad had a history of high living. Now authorities say he may have been funded by schemes to smuggle illegal aliens into the country and provide them with false documents. Others suspect a conspiracy. The strongest evidence of the suspect's involvement with human smuggling comes from an acquaintance of Muhammad who lived in a house with him on the island of Antigua. The acquaintance told the New York Times that Muhammad's modus operandi for generating cash was to fly Jamaican illegal aliens to the U.S. on the return tickets of legitimate travelers. Adding to the human smuggling connection, Muhammad's companion and now co-defendant, John Lee Malvo, arrived illegally in the U.S. aboard a cargo ship from Jamaica. He was in the company of his mother and other illegal aliens who came ashore south of Miami, evading immigration authorities. All this activity, say authorities, might explain how the suspect, although living in a homeless shelter and without a job, was able to travel with Malvo from Antigua to Washington State and other way stations. Also on his travel itinerary: Louisiana and Denver. The Rev. Al Archer, who ran a homeless shelter patronized by Muhammad in Bellingham, Wash., told the Washington Post: "He was doing all this flying, three or four trips that we were aware of, and he had to have money to do that. Yet he was living in a homeless shelter. It just didn't all fit together." Archer was so concerned he contacted the FBI in October 2001. "I thought that he was involved in some kind of conspiracy against our country," Archer said. "I thought that he was traveling around and doing things to promote this kind of thing."
Europe Uniting: Looking for President!
.(The Independent) The blueprint for a new constitution for Europe, unveiled yesterday, paves the way for sweeping changes to the EU but provoked instant British opposition by suggesting the bloc could be renamed "United States of Europe". Prospective names for the new powerful State include, European Community, the United States of Europe, and United Europe. The blueprint carefully leaves the most sensitive decisions for later. It has been billed as a "skeleton" constitution because it only sets out a framework, listing 46 articles and going into little detail. But changes that could be ushered in include the creation of a powerful new president of the EU.
THE MAIN POINTS
European Community/ European Union/United States of Europe/United Europe would be created.
Its objectives would include economic and social cohesion, protection of common values, high employment, liberty, security and justice, foreign policy
The union would have "legal personality", with the power to sign treaties and take a seat on international bodies such as the United Nations.
Sharon tells Knessett: We Will Respond to Iraq!
.(Jerusalem Post) Once again, Israel has announced that if attacked by Iraq with non-conventional weapons, including biological and chemical materials, Israel will "exercise its right to self-defense," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon repeated that warning yesterday. Sharon, who was appearing before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said he clarified Israel's position to the US during his recent visit there. He also said that unlike during the 1991 Gulf War, Israel would "not be able to restrain itself" in the event of another attack by Iraq. Sharon also stated that Iraq has warplanes that can reach Israel, but the necessary "security steps" are being taken to provide a response to this threat. Iraq has possesses biological and chemical weapons, he noted. He also assured that Israel would be provided sufficient warning by the US to prepare itself before an attack, noting that the two countries are in close security cooperation. According to Sharon, the US is taking Israel's position into account while planning for its war on Iraq. He added that if the US neutralizes the Iraqi missile threat, this would likely eliminate the need for Israel to get involved in the war. Sharon also warned that Hizbullah has accelerated its weapons stockpiling via Syria, and it is liable to escalate tensions to the point of opening a "complex and difficult" front against Israel in the North.
Islamic Terrorists Surveying Sniper Case?
.(World Net) Two experts in Middle Eastern terrorism believe international terrorist leaders are carefully assessing the Beltway Sniper's killing spree, possibly to see how his tactics might be reproduced in other U.S. cities. Former Green Beret combat veteran John Moore, author of several Special Forces classified studies on Islamic terrorism, also believes American Islamic leaders will distance themselves from John Allen Muhammad, the 41-year-old convert to Islam suspected in the crimes. Moore says terrorist leaders are likely assessing the impact of the attacks with an eye toward integrating the tactics into future operations and training.
Putin Takes Hard Line on Terror
.(Washington Post)President Vladimir Putin empowered the military today to wage a broad U.S.-style war against terrorists "whatever their whereabouts" while remaining silent about the government's use of deadly gas to end last week's hostage crisis at a Moscow theater. Taking a hard line after the seizure of the theater by Chechen guerrillas, Putin vowed to pursue not only "the terrorists themselves," but their ideological sponsors and financial backers. While a Chechen leader today sought peace talks with Moscow, Putin said he would "never make any deal with terrorists." In focusing on the guerrillas who sparked the standoff at the theater in southeast Moscow, Putin drew attention away from the deployment by his own security agencies of gas that killed all but two of the 117 hostages who died.
Islamic Hackers Gear Up for Cyber War
.(Reuters) Pro-Islamic hackers are on the frontline of a potential new cyber war after the end of a cease-fire by "hacktivists" and virus designers that followed the September 11 attacks on the United States, Internet experts say. Pro-Islamic hackers are escalating attacks against countries backing the U.S. war on terror and its campaign against Iraq, while the "Bugbear" worm and last week's strike on the Internet backbone signal that cyber villains are again on the prowl. London-based computer security firm mi2g said on Tuesday that October had already qualified as the worst month for overt digital attacks since its records began in 1995, with an estimated 16,559 attacks carried out on systems and Web Sites. The firm which advises banks, insurance and reinsurance firms on security said politically motivated attacks had risen "sharply." "We have noticed that more and more Islamic interest hacking groups are beginning to rally under a common anti-U.S., UK, Australia, anti-India and anti-Israeli agenda," it said.
John Muhammed Implicated in Synagogue Attack
.(NBC) Intervening in the wrangling over where two suspected snipers will be tried, the federal government on Tuesday was expected to file extortion charges against John Allen Muhammad that would subject the 41-year-old former military man to the death penalty, sources told NBC News. Word of the federal charges came after police in Tacoma, Wash., announced that Mohammed and 17-year-old John Lee Malvo are now suspects in a slaying and a synagogue shooting there. Tacoma police on Monday announced they had linked Muhammad and Malvo to the February shooting death of a 21-year-old woman whose aunt once worked for Muhammad's auto repair business. Police also identified the pair as suspects in a May shooting at a Tacoma synagogue in which no one was injured.
Jesse Jackson/Liberals March for Iraq
.(Reuters) Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters marched peacefully on the White House this past weekend to express opposition to the possible U.S. attack on Iraq, some chanting slogans accusing President Bush of planning genocide. Thousands more people took part in anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities. "This is going to be an ugly, unnecessary fight. Most of the world is saying 'no' to it," civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson told the crowd at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Jackson accused President Bush of hijacking the sadness of the September 11th attacks on America.
DC Sniper and the Islamic Issue?
.(FOJ) It really should come as no surprise to learn that the lead suspect as the Washington, D.C.-area sniper is John Allen Muhammad, an African-American who converted to Islam about seventeen years ago. Nor should it be a great surprise to discover that seven years ago he provided security in Louis Farrakhan's "Million Man March," On Washington D.C. Even less surprising is the fact that he reportedly sympathized with the September 11th attacks carried out by militant Islamic elements upon America.
All of these facts should have been high priority concerns because it fits into a well-established tradition of American blacks that convert to Islam, turning their backs on America, and blaming Christian America for their personal misfortunes. Islam has made it a high priority over the last few decades to recruit unsavory, vengeance minded minorities in an attempt to utilize the black Islamic movement in a covert scheme against America. Farrakhan promotes the idea of creating a Muslim nation in America.
The Washington DC area sniper shootings may have been activated in coordination with Islamic sleeper cell plans.
Harmony with One-World Religion
.(CBN)A one world government and a one world religion it may just sound like fiction from the popular "Left Behind" novel series. But some Christians say this scenario may be closer than most people think. Just this month in Geneva, hundreds of spiritual and religious leaders met at the United Nations for a peace summit. And although all the major faiths were there, including some that claimed to represent Christianity, it was clear that Jesus was not invited. The event was actually the first ever UN summit of women religious leaders. Mournful cries could be heard emanating from one of the meetings as more than 500 women from more than 70 countries came to talk about ways to achieve world peace. Most were from "Eastern religions", Buddhists, Taoists and Hindus. The summit was endorsed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who said "the future of the world depends on women." Although there was much talk about peace and how women can harness their "feminine energies" to bring peace to a hurting planet, there was no mention of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. The Geneva summit was a direct outcome of the Millennium World Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders held at the United Nations in New York two years ago. At that gathering, honorary chair and CNN founder Ted Turner endeared himself to the crowd by promoting the New Age concept that there are many ways to heaven. Christians believe there is one way to heaven, because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father except by me."
Israel: Arafat Safe During War With Iraq
.(Middle East News Line) Israel has reluctantly pledged to the United States that it won't destroy the Palestinian Authority during any war against Iraq. Officials said Israel agreed to U.S. requests for restraint during strategic talks with the United States over the last month. The talks, which included President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, focused on scenarios in the Middle East during any U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq. One such scenario, officials said, concerned Israel's response to Palestinian attacks prior to or during the war on Iraq. They said the Bush administration wanted an Israeli assurance that it would not destroy the PA or exile its chairman, Yasser Arafat. "We're not going to use the Iraq war as an opportunity to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the Israeli side," a senior Israeli military official said. "But we won't be limited in our response." The senior official said the Israeli pledge would be honored despite an Iraqi missile or weapons of mass destruction attack on the Jewish State. The official said Israel would, however, respond to any attack from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Officials said the U.S. demand for an Israeli guarantee not to destroy the PA had rankled Sharon. They said that for months Sharon believed that the United States would reward what the officials termed Israel's policy of restraint by allowing Israel to exile Arafat during the war against Iraq. Instead, the United States urged Sharon to maintain the PA and not harm Arafat regardless of any Palestinian attack. Officials said the administration wanted to ensure stability that would allow a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts over the next few weeks. Last week, Sharon was given a six-page U.S. plan that calls for the establishment of an interim Palestinian state during 2003 and a final status settlement in 2005. The settlement would be based on an Israeli return to the 1967 borders linked to Palestinian security assurances.
More on the Arafat/Bin Laden/Saddam Axis
.(FOJ)Iraq's Saddam Hussein's defense against an imminent attack by the U.S. may likely be a strong offense, including terrorist operations coordinated with Yasser Arafat and Osama bin Laden. The joint preparations by Hussein, Arafat and al-Qaida for a new wave of anti-U.S. terror began last spring. The model for the terrorism campaign is Arafat's Black September Organization of the 1970s. The initiative for the alliance came from Palestinian Islamists based in Lebanon and Syria, with formal headquarters based in Damascus. On April 2, of this year, a group calling itself the bin Laden Brigades-Palestine issued a statement formally integrating the Islamist and Fatah wave of anti-Israel terrorism into bin Laden's global jihad. "The bin Laden Brigades announced that their forces were now at the disposal of the 'Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and its now arrested fighter commander Marwan al-Barghouti. The statement emphasized that numerous Palestinian factions, specifically including al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, had become part of the International Front for Fighting Jews and Christians, led by Osama bin Laden. The anti-U.S. coalition is also thought to include cells from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A communique issued on April 2 from the Unified Leadership of the Intifadah, an umbrella organization representing Arafat's Fatah groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called for attacks on U.S. interests. "The United States is backing the Israeli assault on the Palestinians," it said. "Therefore, U.S. facilities, targets and interests throughout the world should be targeted."
UN Security Council Faces Pivotal Week
.(Ha Aretz) A divided UN Security Council heads into make or break negotiations this week on a new Iraq resolution, with the United States demanding that Saddam Hussein face the threat of force and with France and Russia opposing any language that could trigger military action. The French, Russians and Chinese, all veto-wielding council members want Iraq to be given a chance to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors. If Baghdad fails to comply with inspections, they want the Security Council to meet immediately, and only then consider possible military action in a second resolution. But the United States and Britain, also veto-wielding members, are demanding a single resolution which Secretary of State Colin Powell stressed Saturday must include "the threat of force and the threat of consequences, or we know that Iraq will not respond." On notice that Washington wants a vote this week on the tough resolution it submitted, the Security Council starts consultations Monday with a briefing from chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is in charge of nuclear inspections. Russia, Iraq's closest council ally, wants to stick as closely as possible to current inspection rules. Its draft also eliminates a U.S. reference to the council repeatedly warning Iraq that it will face "serious consequences" as a result of continued violation of its obligations to dismantle nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. For a resolution to be adopted, it needs at least nine "yes" votes and no veto by one of the five permanent members. U.S. President George W. Bush spurred the resolution debate with an address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 12 warning that if the Security Council did not act decisively to disarm Saddam Hussein, the U.S. would act on its own.
U.S. Diplomat Assasinate Outside Home in Jordan
.(Reuters) A senior U.S. diplomat was gunned down with three bullets to the chest outside his Amman home on Monday in the first assassination of a Western diplomat in Jordan. The diplomat, Lawrence Foley, was a senior administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. (USAID Jordan has been rewarded this year with extra U.S. military assistance in return for its backing for President Bush's "war on terrorism." The country also ranks as the fourth largest recipient of USAID funds in the world. USAID is the chief U.S. agency providing disaster relief abroad, helping poor countries and promoting democratic reforms.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 21 THROUGH OCTOBER 27
RUSSIAN SPECIAL FORCES SEIZE CONTROL OF MOSCOW THEATER.
OCT. ---27 (Koenig) Russian special forces seized control of the Moscow theater where Chechen rebel gunmen were holding hundreds of hostages Saturday morning, killing their leader and freeing hundreds of hostages, Russian emergency officials said. But more than 90 hostages died during the ordeal, health officials said. Fifty insurgents were killed, including 18 women, the Interior Ministry said.
PALISTINIANS EXPRESS RESERVATIONS ON U.S. ROADMAP.
Oct. 26--(KOENIG) The Palestinian Authority has raised several reservations to the 'roadmap' for peace based on a Middle East policy speech last June by President George W. Bush, presented by U.S. envoy to the Middle East William Burns, Israel Radio reported Saturday.
The radio quoted Palestinian cabinet member Nabil Sha'ath saying that the PA will demand an immediate freeze to settlement construction and that international monitors be sent to the region.
According to the radio, Sha'ath said in an interview to the Palestinain journal Al Ayam that the Palestinians want to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in January.
He said that prior to the elections, the Palestinians must get guarantees for Israeli withdrawal to pre-intifada lines. The Palestinians are also demanding clear timetables and enforcement mechanisms for carrying out the plan.
The Palestinian leadership will convene soon to present an official response to the U.S. plan, the radio said.
The U.S. plan calls for an end to violence and for Palestinian administrative reforms and Israeli army withdrawals from occupied cities, leading to a final settlement and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by 2005.
Cabinet Secretary Gideon Sa'ar, describing the plan as a draft proposal, told Israel Radio on Saturday that it "deviated in some parts from the outline of the president's speech".
Sa'ar, who did not elaborate on the points of contention, said Israel had made its reservations known to Burns and would send Washington a written response to the proposal.
Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, held more talks Friday with Palestinian officials, including legislator Hanan Ashrawi and human rights activist Mustafa Barghouti, on the peace plan by the so-called Quartet - the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
Arafat said Friday that he is still studying the peace plan and that he will consult with Arab leaders before making a final comment.
Ashrawi, who was meeting with Burns at her home, just opposite Arafat's headquarters, said she told the envoy that it was essential to hold presidential, and not only parliamentary elections in the coming months, and that the Palestinians must be left to run their own affairs.
Burns said that in talks with Palestinian officials, he emphasized U.S. President George W. Bush's commitment "to do everything we can to produce the two-state vision he's talked about."
On Thursday, Burns told the Palestinians they would have to take decisive action against militants and get serious about internal reform if they want to embark on the road to statehood.
The mediator will take the comments back to the Quartet which is to adopt the final plan by December.
Sharon supports U.S. plan 'in principle'
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to give official response to United States on Quartet peace plan within a week, Channel One Television reported Friday night.
According to Army Radio, the prime minister has given his seal of approval, "in principle," to the plan presented by Burns. The two met Thursday evening in Jerusalem as part of the U.S. envoy's visit to the region aimed at rallying support for the plan. Click here for extracts from the U.S. 'roadmap'.
Among other things, the roadmap calls for the dismantling of illegal Jewish settlement outposts and a thorough reform of the Palestinian ruling bodies. The plan aims toward the creation of a Palestinian state by 2004-5.
LIBYA COULD BE LABORATORY FOR IRAQI NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
OCT. 26.--(Koenig) Libya could be serving as a laboratory for Iraqi efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, a new report says.
The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies said Libya does not have the technical infrastructure for its ambitious medium-range and nuclear weapons programs. The center said in a report that the Libya has launched or revived strategic programs since the United Nations suspended sanctions on Libya in 1999.
"Given the improbable character of a Libyan nuclear project, it is possible that what lies behind observed nuclear-related activities is actually collaboration with Iraq, that is, that Libya has allowed Iraq to continue its own nuclear project in Libya in return for some of the product," the report, authored by missile expert Yiftah Shapir, said. "This would shortcut the development process but would entail the relocation of thousands of Iraqi engineers and scientists to Libya."
The report said Libya would require between 10,000 and 20,000 technicians and skilled workers to maintain a nuclear weapons programs. He said Libya, unlike Iran and Iraq, does not have the the infrastructure in such fields as metallurgy, high voltage electrical engineering, explosives, electronics and computerized machining.
ISRAELI TROOPS ENTER TOWN OF JENIN
OCT. 25---(KOENIG) Israeli troops entered the West Bank town of Jenin early Friday, the military said, just after a U.S. envoy finished his first round of talks about a new Mideast peace plan.
Hundreds of Israeli troops and 16 armored vehicles moved into Jenin, at the northern edge of the West Bank, before daybreak, witnesses said. The military said the raid was in response to a bloody Palestinian suicide bombing attack in Israel's north on Monday.
Palestinians said the troops took over buildings in four neighborhoods of the town. In the adjacent Palestinian refugee camp, residents said two tanks and two jeeps took up positions, and gunmen were exchanging fire with soldiers. Two Fatah gunmen, both teenagers, were seriously wounded, according to doctors.
The Israeli military said the goal was to prevent future attacks like the one in Israel's north on Monday, in which 14 people were killed. The military statement said infantry, armored and engineering forces entered Jenin.
An Israeli intelligence officer in the Jenin area, speaking on condition of anonymity, said soldiers were looking for about 20 terrorists by imposing curfews and conducting searches. Israel Army Radio said it was the largest operation in the West Bank since Israeli forces entered main cities and towns in June following a series of suicide bomb attacks.
The violent Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for the bombing on Monday, naming two teenagers from Jenin as the attackers. They blew up a car filled with about 100 kilograms of explosives next to a bus, destroying the bus in a fiery blast.
With U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns already in area to discuss a so-called "road map" for a Middle East peace agreement, Israel had held off on retaliation for the suicide attack, the worst in more than three months.
A poll published Friday found that 60 percent of Israelis favor beginning peace talks with the Palestinians now, and 78 percent would favor dismantling some settlements in the framework of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The poll by the local Dahaf firm was published in the Yediot Ahronot daily. It questioned 502 Israeli adults and quoted a 4.5 percent margin of error.
Israel's government demands a cessation of violence before starting negotiations and opposes dismantling settlements.
Hezbollah Leader Targets Christians
Oct. 24..(World Net) Hezbollah terrorist leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
warns "Christian Zionists" are gaining strength in the United States and are
having a powerful impact on U.S. foreign policy. Speaking at a graduation
ceremony in Lebanon, Nasrallah charged oil companies and weapons
manufacturers have financed these "Christian Zionists," according to a
report in Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper. "Their aim is to redraw the
world's political map," he said. "It is said that several U.S. presidents
are affiliated with the Christian Zionists." Nasrallah said the aim of the
Christian Zionists in the U.S. is to return the Jews to Israel and rebuild
their temple over the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, Nasrallah added, "if they
(Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them
worldwide." "Although the United States is powerful, it has its weaknesses,"
he said. Nasrallah said he is not threatened by a country that calls itself
"great." "The U.S. empire, which is slithering over our region, is
incapable of arresting a single sniper in its capital," he said
sarcastically, referring to the unsolved rash of killings in the Washington,
He said that during his recent trip to the United States, Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that Hezbollah had missiles with a range of
300 kilometers. "Instead of putting pressure on us, this scared the
(Israeli) people, who feared that we would be able to hit them anywhere ...
and not only in northern Israel," Nasrallah said. A major potential military
clash is building between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon,
controlled by the terrorist organization, which gets its support from Syria
and Iran. The latest conflict is over water rights.
A Dogma on Mary as Co-Redemptrix?
Oct. 24..(Zenit) Will the Church proclaim Mary the Co-redemptrix and
Mediatrix of all graces, as some groups urge? ZENIT asked Father Stefano de
Fiores, renowned Mariologist, about the possibility. Father de Fiores is a
member of the International Pontifical Marian Academy, which advises the
Pope on all theological questions relating to the person of Mary. He said
that to define Mary as "Co-redemptrix" does not mean to place her at the
same saving level as Jesus, but to emphasize her cooperative role in
Q: There is a proposal to invoke Mary as Co-redemptrix. Would it be
necessary to proclaim a new dogma? Father de Fiores: From the conciliar and
ecumenical point of view, it is certainly not opportune to proclaim this
dogma at this time. The separated brethren, Protestants and Orthodox,
reproach us for not consulting them in regard to the last dogmas on Mary.
This is why I think that a dogma of this type would have to include their
participation. Let us first move toward union or toward a certain
convergence among Christians; we will then examine if it is pertinent to
proclaim Mary Co-redemptrix.
China Ready to Participate in Mid-east Peace Process
Oct. 23..(UPI) China has appointed a special envoy to the Middle East peace
process to help find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, its ambassador
in Lebanon Liu Xianghua said today. Xianghua said the appointment came in
response to requests by several Arab countries. She said the special envoy
will visit Israel and five Arab countries, including Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan,
Syria and the Palestinian territories. He was expected to arrive in Beirut
on Nov. 14. Xianghua said the Chinese envoy will have no specific proposals
but was to consult and exchange points of view with concerned leaders in the
Middle East. She said China was ready to play a more effective and positive
role to help find a settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
US Worried N. Korea Eyeing Japan
Oct. 23..(AP) The United States suspects North Korea of developing nuclear
weapons for a potential attack on Japan, a Foreign Ministry official quoted
Tokyo's special envoy to Washington as saying Tuesday. Former Prime Minister
Ryutaro Hashimoto, who met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
last week in Washington, briefed Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi on the
issue Tuesday, the official said on condition of anonymity. He declined to
say why Armitage suspected the North of targeting Japan and wouldn't provide
other details. Japan has long been wary of its reclusive neighbor across the
Sea of Japan, which rattled nerves in 1998 when it sent a rocket over
Japan's home islands. Those suspicions were fanned earlier this month when
North Korea admitted that it was secretly pushing a program to make nuclear
weapons with enriched uranium. Hashimoto was told by U.S. diplomats that
Washington suspects North Korea of developing the weapons for an attack
across the Sea of Japan, according to the Foreign Ministry official.
Israel: Outside Forces Activating Terror
Oct. 23...(World Tribune) Terrorist attacks in Israel are now being directed
from abroad, Israeli intelligence sources said one day after a suicide
attack killed at least 14 Israelis on a bus. Israeli officials said the
government will not respond with widescale retaliation after Monday's
attack. A jeep filled with 120 kilograms of explosives was detonated next to
an Israeli passenger bus. The vehicle was said to have been driven by two
Palestinian insurgents from the Jenin refugee camp. Israel claims that it
has evidence that the new wave of terrorism may be interconnected with
outside sources such as Al Queda and Saddam Hussein.
Israel not Happy With Peace Road Map
Oct. 23..(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is expected to raise
some objections to the US "road map to Middle East peace" when he meets with
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns who is
due in Israel on Wednesday. The plan, supported by the Quartet of US, the
UN, Russia and European Union, envisages establishment of a Palestinian
state by 2005, in three stages with a series of target dates to be met in
the interim, including the goal of Palestinian implementing democratic
reform. Both Israel and the Palestinians feel the plan, is too vague on
crucial points. The plan has not been made public, though officials have
revealed some details. Israel said it would be required to withdraw troops
from parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the first stage, without
guarantees that the Palestinian security forces would do more to prevent
attacks on Israelis. "The test of performance is being applied to Israel,
but not to the other side," said Raanan Gissin, an adviser to Sharon.
Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians need stronger
US guarantees regarding the timetable and implementation, including
international monitors. Meanwhile, a source close to Sharon told The
Jerusalem Post Tuesday that "the Prime Minister needs to make sure that
there will be no progress from one stage of the plan to another until
previous stages are fulfilled." "There have to be tests of performance, not
dates," the source added. Sharon wants to make sure Israel will not be asked
to make concessions before an end to Palestinian terrorism and incitement,
the source went on. Israel also wants to ensure that the proper mechanisms
will be set up to decide when the Palestinians have adequately fulfilled
stages in the plan.
New York/America Will Face Terrorism like Israel
Oct. 23..(NY Sun) Israel-style suicide bus bombings are headed to New York.
That's the word of Metropolitan Transportation Authority security chief
Louis Anemone and Port Authority police chief Joseph Morris who made their
assessments after a five-day trip to Israel. "This stuff is going to be
imported over here," Mr. Anemone said. "It already has, and I want people to
sit up and take notice." Mr. Anemone said the lack of cooperation between
agencies allowed Al Qaeda to get a foothold in America. He said Israel is
the model of interagency cooperation. "There are only so many people we can
keep our eyes on, only so many cars and trucks we can check," this official
said. "It really is not a question of if but of when." The official went on
to say that the recent attack in Bali just adds to the concern. "We've
always looked beyond the obvious targets like Wall Street," the official
said. "But what this attack did was remind us that we need to look at places
like Lincoln Center and Broadway as possible targets." And there is concern
that the attacks overseas are a harbinger of things to come. "Today's
terrorists appear to be using Israel as a testing ground to prepare for a
sustained attack against the U.S.," Mr. Anemone said.
Russia to Start Coup in Iraq?
Oct. 23..(World Net) The specter of a U.S. attack on Iraq has Russian
officials concerned about the nation's oil contracts with Saddam Hussein,
causing talk that a Russian-led coup may be the only way to protect Moscow's
interests, reports Pravda online. According to the Pravda report, an
opposition leader in Iraq has said that in the event of the overthrow of
Saddam by U.S. forces, Iraq's oil contracts with the United States will take
priority over those of Russia, France and other countries. As a result,
Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that he will stand up for the
interests of Russian oil producers in Iraq.
America Educates its Enemies
Commentary by: Hal Lindsey
A recent study conducted by Georgia State University uncovered evidence that
students from Iraq, and other Middle East nations listed as sponsors of
terrorism, received training in American universities that enables them to
develop weapons of mass destruction. At the very time the United States is
seeking to dismantle Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons labs,
it turns out that many of the scientists who work in them received degrees
from American universities that enabled them to do so.
Sniper: Kids 'Not Safe Anywhere'
Oct. 23..(Washington Post) An angry letter found tacked to a tree behind a
restaurant where the sniper wounded a man this weekend complained of six
failed attempts to reach police, and threatened more killings -- of children
in particular -- if millions of dollars were not deposited in a bank account
within two days, according to law enforcement sources. The letter gave a
deadline of Monday for the money to be deposited in a bank account, the
source said. Several sources who had seen photocopies of the letter said the
amount demanded was $10 million. The letter warned investigators that if
they were more concerned with "stopping" the killings than making an arrest,
they should follow the orders precisely, or else there would be "body bags,"
said the source. And it ended with an even more ominous postscript,
officials said: "Your children are not safe anywhere at any time."
Peres to EU: Israel accepts Two States for Two Peoples
Oct. 22..(Ha Aretz) Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced in his
meeting Monday with European Union foreign ministers that Israel accepts the
diplomatic vision of President George W. Bush of two states for two nations
as the solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
FOJ Note: President Bush, in complete agreement with the UN, the EU, and
with Russia has agreed that there should be two states in Palestine. One
state for the descendants of Jacob, and one state for the descendants of
Esau. President Bush hopes that by bringing democracy to the Palestinian
people that they will learn to live in peace with Israel. But, the truth of
the matter is that democracy will not resolve the conflict. It is a band-aid
solution that will end up placing America squarely in the cross-hairs of
Middle East terrorism.
Iraq linked to Oklahoma City Bombing?
Oct. 22..(Worthy News) The FBI is under pressure from the highest political
levels in Washington to investigate suspected links between Iraq and the
Oklahoma bombing. Senior aides to US Attorney-General John Ashcroft have
been given compelling evidence that former Iraqi soldiers were directly
involved in the 1995 bombing that killed 185 people. The methodically
assembled dossier from Jayna Davis, a former investigative TV reporter,
could destroy the official version that white supremacists Timothy McVeigh
and Terry Nichols were solely responsible for what, at the time, was the
worst act of terrorism on American soil. there are serious concerns that a
group of Arab men with links to Iraqi intelligence, Palestinian extremists
and possibly al Qaeda, used McVeigh and Nichols as front men to blow up the
Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Davis, who was one of the
first reporters on the scene after the blast, has spent seven years
gathering evidence of a wider conspiracy. But it is only as America prepares
to wage war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein that her conclusions are being taken
seriously at the highest level. Finally, she says, the authorities are
examining the idea "that the Oklahoma bombing might not simply be the work
of two angry white men". After hearing her evidence, several senior members
of Congress have called for a new probe. What triggered Davis's
investigation was a report immediately after the Oklahoma explosion of
Middle-Eastern looking men fleeing in a brown Chevrolet truck only minutes
earlier. The FBI launched an international hunt for the men but later
canceled the search. Within days McVeigh and Nichols were arrested, and the
case seemed to be one of home-grown terrorists, motivated by a hatred for
authority. But the case has always had loose ends. In particular, several
witnesses in Oklahoma City that April morning saw a third conspirator with
McVeigh. The elusive dark-haired suspect became known as "John Doe 2". Terry
Nichols, now serving life for conspiracy in the bombing and involuntary
manslaughter, was the original "John Doe 1" but, with his arrest, the FBI
claimed that the case had been wrapped up. They eventually concluded that
"John Doe 2" was Nichols all along. Davis thought otherwise. Early on, she
found that a brown Chevrolet truck almost identical to that once hunted by
the FBI had been seen parked outside the offices of a local property
management company several days before the bombing. The owner was a
Palestinian with a criminal record and suspected ties to the Palestine
Liberation Organization. Later she found that the man had hired a number of
former Iraqi soldiers.
Saddam Will Order Use of Chemical Arms if Attacked
Oct. 22..(Arabic Press) Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is likely to order
the use of chemical weapons if his country comes under US attack, the leader
of Iraq's main Shiite Muslim opposition group told AFP here. Ayatollah
Mohammad-Baqir Hakim, head of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq (SCIRI), said however that "many Iraqi (army) units will refuse to
fight" because they did not support Saddam's government. The Iraqi president
"has shown in the past that he does not hesitate" to resort to chemical
weapons, he said, referring to the use of such arms during the 1980-1988 war
between Baghdad and Tehran. "We have information that he is preparing to
counter-attack with chemical weapons" if the United States launches military
action, said Hakim.
North Korea Got Nuclear Know-How From Iran
Oct. 21..(Ha Aretz) The American discovery that North Korea has successfully
developed a nuclear munitions device, despite its international commitments
to non-proliferation, has a Middle Eastern aspect. Part of the country's
efforts to produce enriched uranium, as well as tests on its long-range
missile engines, are being conducted in Iran, in exchange for Pyongyang aid
to Tehran in these two areas as well as the concealment of such efforts from
the United States' and North Korea's neighbors. Many American experts assume
that the basic aid for the development of centrifuges for enriching uranium
was provided to North Korea by Pakistan in exchange for Pyongyang aid in
developing missiles - a nuclear know-how for missile know-how trade. Those
deals were made in the early 1990s, before Pakistan's current president,
General Pervez Musharaf, took power. Since then, North Korea has made
significant progress in developing its nuclear munitions. However, its
dealings with Iran are much more recent.
FOJ Note: Iran is part of the "Axis of Evil" and Biblially associated with
the great Russian invasion of Israel in the Last Days.
Vatican Confused About Homosexual Priests
Oct. 21..(AP) The Vatican is internally circulating draft proposals that
would bar homosexual men from becoming priests, a policy long discussed
within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy but getting renewed attention in
the wake of sex abuse scandals in the United States. No action to bar gay
men from seminaries is likely anytime soon, said senior Vatican officials.
The document, which originated in the Vatican department responsible for
Roman Catholic education, is being passed around for comment from a variety
of officials and experts. The initiative comes as American bishops are
awaiting a Vatican judgment on policies they have implemented aimed at
removing sexually abusive priests from parish work and possibly defrocking
them. The wave of sex abuse scandals in the U.S. Catholic Church ignited a
debate over whether homosexuality per se played a role. The equating of
homosexuality and abuse riled critics who say there is no evidence that
homosexuals are more likely to engage in abuse than heterosexuals. Others
contend that pointing the finger at gay priests is a way to deflect
attention from the alleged responsibility of bishops who allowed the scandal
to unfold. All sides agree that many gay men have been ordained. Gregory, in
remarks this summer, said there was an "ongoing struggle to make sure that
the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men." A survey
carried out last year by the Catholic University of America found that 41
percent of U.S. priests said a gay subculture "clearly" or "probably"
existed in seminaries where they studied and 55 percent said the same for
their parishes or religious institutes.
Bin Laden Alive and Well in Saudi Arabia?
Oct. 21..(Debka) DEBKA intelligence reveals that the long-lost al Qaeda
leader, Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, is alive and inSaudi Arabia. He is
believed to have landed secretly at the end of September, shortly before the
latest upsurge of international terrorist attacks against the French oil
tankerLimburg, the shooting of American Marines in Kuwait, the Bali bomb
disaster. Two sightings of the elusive terrorist chief have now been
reported, both in the wildest, most inhospitable regions of Saudi Arabia,
the Rub al Khali, the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, and Najran on
the Yemen frontier. Here, the al Qaeda chief was seen on horseback, the way
he was often depicted in Afghanistan before the American 2001 invasion -
reportedly riding through the barren lands of the nomadic Al Murrah tribe,
about 100 m southwest of the Al Ghawar oil fields. The second bin Laden
sighting took place in the Najran, a region lying across the frontier
between the south Saudi province of Asir and Yemen. Here, he was observed on
Saudi Bani Yam Saudi tribal land opposite Oman on the fringes of the Empty
Quarter. The Bani Yam are close allies of the neighboring Yemeni tribes of
the Hadhramauth, the Saudi-born terrorist's ancestral homeland. In the
Najran, Bin Laden is not only within reach of his Yemeni friends and
kinsmen, but in a position to control and deploy the 700 al Qaeda fighters
who escaped Afghanistan at the end of 2001 and early 2002 and set up base in
the Asir province. Al Qaeda fugitives from the Afghan War have settled at
strategic points in the Gulf and Middle East Region, a legion of close to
2,000 battle-seasoned zealots, ready and waiting for orders. His presence in
Saudi Arabia explains the easy flow and frequency of statements and messages
reaching the Arabic satellite TV station al Jazeera. The most intriguing
question is this: How did the Islamic terror master manage to slip into
Saudi Arabia? Without a helping hand from some governmental body or
official, Bin Laden and his top staff could not have touched Persian Gulf
soil, let alone Saudi Arabia.
FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem reported earlier this year on the escape of
Osama Bin Laden from Afghanistan with the assistance of Iran.
Another Suicide Bombing in Israel
Oct. 21..(AP) A suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives next
to a bus in northern Israel during the Monday afternoon rush hour, setting
the entire bus aflame, according to police and radio reports. Israel's Army
Radio reported that seven people were killed, saying most or all of them
were trapped in the back of the blazing bus. Israeli authorities did not
immediately give any casualty figures in the blast that occurred several
miles inland from the coastal town of Hadera.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 14 THROUGH OCTOBER 20
America is Addicted to Middle East Oil
.(FOJ) Perhaps nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time you fill-up the gas tank in your car that you are sending your hard earned money to people that despise America, and call for the death of America, and even use your money to plot evil against other Americans. I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies import the most Middle Eastern oil. For the fiscal period from 9/1/00 to 8/31/01) the breakdown as listed by the U.S. Department of Energy shows the following figures for Saudi Arabian oil imports:
Barrels imported from Saudi Arabia
Shell . . . . . . . . . . . 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco . . . 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon/Mobil . . . . . 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon . . . . . . . . 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco . . . . . . . . . . .62,231,000 barrels
If you bother to calculate the math at $30/barrel, these Middle East imports amount to over $18 BILLION! Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil:
Barrels imported from Middle East
Citgo . . . . . . . . 0 barrels
Sunoco . . . . . . 0 barrels
Conoco . . . . . . 0 barrels
Sinclair . . . . . . 0 barrels
BP/Phillips . . . .0 barrels
The oil rich Middle East countries use their oil production as a political lever to influence America to stop supporting Israel's right to exist, and to force American diplomats to coerce Israel into false peace deals.
Muslim Cleric Demands Death for Christian Leaders
.(Middle East News) A high-ranking Iranian Muslim cleric has called for the death of three U.S. Christian leaders for insulting the prophet Muhammad. An Abrar, Iran newspaper reported that last Friday during a prayer sermon, Ayatollah Mohsen Mujtahed Shabestari called for the killing of Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell, evangelist Franklin Graham and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson. "U.S. leaders want to repeat the crusades," Shabestari reportedly said, only referring to the three as "the Israeli mercenaries" who needed to be "separated from other Christians."
Russia, China aided North Korea Nuclear Program
.(Ha Aretz) The Bush administration believes Russia and China assisted North Korea in developing an enriched uranium program, and ultimately the development of nuclear weapons. While North Korea acknowledged the uranium enrichment program in talks with U.S. officials this month, there is much Washington does not know about the program, especially since Russia and China have both misled the United States about their involvement in the North Korean project. U.S. intelligence officials have also concluded that Pakistan has supplied equipment for North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Asked if the United States had any evidence that Russia or China had supplied North Korea with material for its uranium enrichment program, the U.S. official replied: "as a matter of government policy, no, but otherwise, yes." U.S. envoys are trying to forge a united position on North Korea which admitted it had a secret nuclear weapons program, in violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework under which it agreed to halt its nuclear efforts. U.S. President George W. Bush earlier this year branded North Korea, Iran and Iraq as members of an "axis of evil" seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction. U.S. officials stressed that they viewed the case of North Korea differently from Iraq, which Bush has threatened with military action if it fails to give up its weapons programs.
Ten Commandments are not God's Suggestions!
.(FOJ) While Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from God almighty, a "stiff-necked and rebellious Jewish people below at the foot of the mountain grew impatient and constructed a golden idol to worship. Perhaps, America is making its own version of a golden calf today, by repudiating the law of God! Thus it ever seems to be the way with mankind. Natural man just has an inward capacity for rebelling against his maker. Today, two-thousand years later, the Ten Commandments continue to be at the center of man's rebellious nature. In a supposed Christian country, a courtroom in Montgomery, Alabama, has become the latest battleground over whether God's Ten Commandments should be displayed in public places in America. At the center of this battle is one man, Alabama's chief justice, Roy Moore. In the court case, three Alabama lawyers have testified that the Ten Commandments display offends them. One lawyer even said it makes him angry. Another lawyer, Melinda Mattox, who identified herself as a Catholic, said the monument not only "outraged and shocked" her, because it was constitutionally illegal to display them because of the Separation of Church and State clause, but also that the Ten Commandments Judge Moore used was a Protestant (KJV) version of the Ten Commandments. That makes me all the more angry, she said.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments for Israel's perpetual benefit. They were instrumental in the welfare of the nation, and for their continued survival in a world that is beset with sin. They were not mere suggestions. They are called commandments' for a reason! We do not break God's laws, (they are unbreakable) on the contrary, we break ourselves when we ignore his Divine guidance!
Bush Planning International Conference on Palestine
.(Ha Aretz) The three-stage diplomatic "road map" drawn up by the United States and presented to Israeli officials accompanying Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on his Washington trip, includes the convening of an international conference in the fall of 2003, at which negotiations on establishing a temporary Palestinian state will begin. These talks are to be completed in 2004. The first stage involves reform of the Palestinian Authority, culminating in elections aimed at moving Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat into a purely symbolic role. The reform process will be accompanied by Israeli measures to ease the Palestinians' humanitarian distress. After that, the international conference will be convened. The final stage will be talks on a permanent-status agreement, which will be concluded in 2005-2006. The United States plans to present the "road map" to its partners in the Quartet - the European Union, Russia and the United Nations - in a meeting set for next week. The Quartet has compiled a different plan, which calls for the earlier establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders and a final-status agreement by 2005.
Alabama Judge Defends Ten Commandments
.(Weekend) An Alabama federal court began hearing a lawsuit challenging a 2-ton granite Ten Commandments monument that was placed in the state's Judicial Building last year by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The lawsuit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and several Montgomery attorneys who say they fear discrimination because they do not share Chief Justice Roy Moore's religious beliefs. The lawsuit, being heard by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, contends that the monument violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the principle of separation of church and state. In his opening statement, law center co-founder Morris Dees said Moore had campaigned on the pledge that he would "acknowledge God" if elected to the Supreme Court because he was "on a personal mission from God." The chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court defended a 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument he installed in the state Judicial Building, testifying he believes the commandments are the moral foundation of law. News has recently reported that the majority of his state is behind him as well. Chief Justice Roy Moore was questioned Wednesday as a witness in a lawsuit that seeks to remove the monument on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the state. A trial over the lawsuit began this week. Legal experts say the case could eventually be the one the U.S. Supreme Court uses to decide if such monuments in and around government buildings are constitutional. Chief Justice Moore spent more than 3 hours on the stand, quoting from the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington and James Madison. The conservative Christian took aim at the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to ban prayer in schools as one of the federal rulings he said contributed to moral deterioration in America over the past 40 or 50 years. "I think Supreme Court decisions have distanced us from the acknowledgment of God and without the acknowledgment of God there is a loss of morality,'' Moore testified.
FOJ Note: Thank God for men like Judge Moore. The United States is undergoing a test from God. The 10 Commandments issue may be the deciding issue. (Hosea 4:6-7 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.)
Christianity in America Growing Apostate?
.(Baptist Press) A well-known Baptist theologian says he's not surprised by the results of a new survey which point to growing great doctrinal confusion in America. A recent survey done by Christian pollster George Barna shows that while most Americans agree with basic biblical teachings such as the Trinity, and an eternal soul, many of these same people now embrace a works-based salvation. Furthermore they reject the concept of original sin, and believe that Satan is merely a symbol of evil rather than a real person. The results, Barna says, reflect a nation whose theological views over the past 2 decades have become less aligned with the Bible and increasingly inclusive of many faith traditions. "Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Catholicism, Islam, Wicca, secular humanism, the eastern religions and other sources," the researcher says. "Because we remain a largely Bible illiterate society, few are alarmed or even aware of the slide toward 'syncretism,' a belief system that blindly combines beliefs from many different faith perspectives." Barna adds continuing research by his group among teens and adolescents indicates that the trend toward a "culture-based theology" is advancing at full gallop. He notes that few adults are alarmed by the trend because young people are "merely reflecting the trail that their parents and teachers have already blazed." Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, says the survey results are not surprising. He says taken together, the research shows that Americans now prefer a "pick-and-choose" brand of Christianity. Mohler tells Baptist Press that "in the consumer culture of modern America, people want a Christianity they can assemble themselves, take what parts seem best to them, and reject those that are offensive to the modern mind." Mohler says while many have a basic knowledge of the Christian faith and call themselves Christians, they do not have a personal relationship with Christ. And in one of the more bizarre findings indicative of the move away from traditional biblical teaching, a plurality of adults (44%) contends that the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon are all "different expressions of the same spiritual truths." Just 38% of Americans reject that idea. In addition, 54% of Americans believe truth can be discovered only through logic, human reasoning, and personal experience.
FOJ Note: I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;)
Commentary on the Coming Days
.(FOJ) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, on the last leg of his three-day trip to Washington. During their meeting, the two discussed an upcoming Middle East tour by U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, who will visit the region in an effort to implement President George W. Bush's "roadmap for peace."
That roadmap obviously includes the dismantling of Iraq, and a severe dealing with Middle East terrorist organizations. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon praised the President's determined stance against international terrorism, and said that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than George Bush. "Sharon told Bush, as far as I can remember looking back now, I think that we never had such relations with any President of the United States as we have with you, and we never had such cooperation in everything as we have with the current administration," Sharon said. Bush's father, by contrast, pressured Israel to stay out of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir complied, even after Iraq hit Israel with 39 Scud missiles, only to have former President Bush withdraw loan guarantees to Israel. Sharon's seventh trip to the White House since he took office in February 2001. The fact Prime Minister Sharon stated in all sincerity that Israel has never had a better friend as President G. W. Bush is an enormously significant statement. What did Sharon hear in their meeting that would make him state that now? What promises were made that would have him give such a significant endorsement? Did President Bush give Israel the promise that they would respond for Israel if they were hit by Iraq? President Bush was also very serious about Israel's right to respond to attacks by Iraq. The goodwill notwithstanding between the two leaders, America's fate will still come down to its position pertaining to God's covenant land. Is the Lord going to use the United States and Israel to deal radical Islam a major defeat sometime soon? Will the United States then pull its muscle against Israel to coerce her into another round of the Middle East Peace Process? Are we heading straight toward a climax in the Peace Process whereby Israel will be offered peace and security? (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. We may find out very soon, especially as we approach the deadline for the 2003 proclamation to evaluate Palestinian Statehood.
.(Reuters) CIA Director George Tenet said on Thursday al Qaeda has reorganized and become as serious a threat to the United States as it was in the months before last year's Sept. 11 attacks. "The threat environment we find ourselves in today is as bad as it was last summer, the summer before 9/11," Tenet told the committees. "It is serious, they've reconstituted, they are coming after us, they want to execute attacks." "You see it in Bali, you see it in Kuwait," he said, referring to attacks this month on American troops in Kuwait and the bombing in Bali that killed more than 180 people. "They plan in multiple theaters of operation, and they intend to strike America again."
North Korea Says it Has Nukes
.(Washington Post) North Korea has confirmed to the United States that it has a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of an agreement signed with the Clinton administration, a senior administration official said Wednesday night. North Korea also told U.S. diplomats it shall no longer be restricted by the anti-nuclear agreement. The disclosure, which stunned senior administration officials, is certain to chill U.S.-North Korean relations. President Bush had already labeled the country part of the "axis of evil," along with Iraq and Iran, but hopes were raised that the reclusive nation wanted to build international ties when Bush sent Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly to Pyongyang for security talks. Kelly visited North Korea on Oct. 3-5 and demanded that the communist state address global concerns about its nuclear and other weapons programs. In response, the Pyongyang government accused Bush's special envoy of making "threatening remarks." Under a 1994 agreement with the United States, North Korea promised to give up its nuclear weapons program, and it promised to allow inspections to verify that it did not have the material needed to construct such weapons. But it has yet to allow the inspections, drawing criticism from the Bush administration.
The Bush-Sharon Pre-Iraq War Meeting
.(Jerusalem Post) US President George W. Bush said after meeting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that "if Iraq attacks Israel tomorrow," Israel would have a right to respond. But Bush stopped short of endorsing an Israeli retaliation in any situation and White House officials swiftly said that the President's comments did not apply to a full-fledged war situation with Iraq. "If Iraq attacks Israel tomorrow, I would assume the Prime Minister of Israel would respond. If there's a military action by the US, that's a qualitatively different situation," a Whit House spokesman said. The US had hoped to persuade Sharon not to respond to an Iraqi attack, fearing the political repercussions in the region. Israeli officials in the Prime Minister's delegation said Sharon felt confident after meeting President Bush that the US would do everything in its power to avert an Iraqi strike on Israel. Bush outlined before Sharon US plans for protecting Israel from an Iraqi strike and again promised Israel would receive early warning of any US-led offensive. It is expected that at the start of a war the US will immediately occupy the western part of Iraq and destroy any Scud missile launchers in the area, something the US failed to do in 1991. President Bush also sent a message to Syria saying he expected Damascus to restrain its Hizbullah proxy in South Lebanon. "We'll make it clear to Hizbullah, nations housing Hizbullah, whether in the context of Iraq or not, we expect there to be no attacks. This is terrorist activity. And we will fight terror wherever terror exists," Bush said. "The doctrine that says, 'If you harbor a terrorist' still exists. Bush has said that the US regards regimes that harbor terrorists to be as bad as terrorists themselves. An Israeli official said after the meeting that Sharon told Bush Israel would not let Lebanon alter the status quo regarding the water flow of the Wazzani River, suggesting that Israel still retained the right to respond to the situation militarily.
Arafat Establishes Islamic Shari'a Court in Jerusalem
.(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has issued a "presidential decree" to establish an Islamic religious court in Jerusalem, Palestinian sources indicate. The sources told the Jerusalem Post that the new Shari'a Appeals Court would start functioning in the next few weeks. The president and judges of the new court were sworn in at a brief ceremony in Arafat's office in Ramallah yesterday. This is the first time that the PA has announced the establishment of a Shari'a Appeals Court for Jerusalem Muslims. The city already has two "lower" Shari'a courts, one run by Jordan and the other by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The Jordanian court, located on Salah a-Din Street in the heart of the commercial center of east Jerusalem, belongs to the Jordanian Wakf and has been serving the Muslim community since before the Six Day War. Muslims living in the city are entitled to sign Jordanian-issued marriage contracts because most of them still carry Jordanian passports. However, since they also carry Israeli ID cards granting them the status of permanent residents of Israel, they are allowed to have marriage contracts authorized by the Israeli Shari'a court in Givat Shaul as well. Arafat's decision to form a new religious court in the city is seen first and foremost as a challenge to Jordan, which continues to run its own court and other religious institutions in Jerusalem. Although the Jordanians cut off their diplomatic and administrative ties with the West Bank many years ago, they have never relinquished their right to Jerusalem and its holy shrines, especially the mosques on the Temple Mount. The move coincides with the arrival of a Jordanian team of engineers to repair a bulge in the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The ceremony at Arafat's office was attended by the head of the Islamic religious courts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sheikh Taisir Tamimi, who said the move comes as part of the PA's efforts to enforce the law and protect the property and rights of the citizens. The formation of the new court is also seen as a challenge to Israel's sovereignty over east Jerusalem. Under the Oslo Accords, the PA is forbidden to carry out activities of any kind in the city. In the last two years Israel has closed down several institutions in the city, which it said were linked, directly and indirectly, to the PA. The most significant was Orient House, the PLO's unofficial embassy in the city. Documents seized in the building also showed that its workers were linked to the PA and its security forces. PA officials said yesterday the offices of the appeals court would be located either in a-Ram, north of Jerusalem, or in Eizariya, south east of the city, in an attempt to avoid a confrontation with Israel. Both villages are situated outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and are classified as Area B under the terms of Oslo. Yet the court is expected to serve Muslims living under Israeli sovereignty in the city, as well as those living in surrounding villages that are part of the West Bank.
Israeli Settlers Refuse to Leave
(Jerusalem Post) Jewish settlers threw stones and scuffled with reporters as they dug in their heels against Israel's plan to dismantle a settler outpost in a nod to U.S. pressure before high-level talks in Washington. But even as Ariel Sharon prepared for White House talks, hundreds of settlers, some with assault rifles slung over their shoulders, massed at the fledgling Havat Gilad settlement south of the West Bank city of Nablus, forcing a delay in the planned evacuation. Some blocked the dirt road to the remote hilltop with large rocks and their own cars to impede troops and police. Others smashed two journalists' vehicles and pelted passing cars with stones despite calls by settler leaders for non-violence. "The army of Israel is taking the Jewish people from the house of Israel, it cannot be worse than this," said Shaul Halfon, a 68-year-old settler who lives in the town. Israeli Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer has vowed to carry out up to 30 such evacuations and seek a withdrawal from the West Bank city of Hebron amid U.S. demands to keep a lid on the conflict with the Palestinians while Washington seeks Arab support for its campaign against Iraq. Palestinians view the settlers as usurpers of lands they want for a state.
The international community widely regards settlements as illegal, but Israel disputes this, repeating vows to hold onto land that many Israeli's view as theirs by Biblical birthright.
Jewish settlers aboard a truck wave an Israeli flag as some 2,000 defiant settlers flocked to Havat Gilad, an Israeli town that the UN has designated as an illegal settlement in the West Bank.
China Continues to Supply Mid-east with WMD
.(Washington Times) A Chinese state-run company has apparently continued talking with Iraq about selling a chemical used in making missile fuel, although no transfer has been spotted, according to U.S. intelligence officials. The identity of the dual-use chemical involved in the Iraq-China talks could not be confirmed. However, one official said that it was a component used to make nitric acid, a key element for missile fuel. Baghdad continues to work on building missiles and disclosure of the China-Iraq talks on a missile-related chemical comes as Chinese President Jiang Zemin prepares to visit the United States for talks with President Bush in Texas. President Jiang will visit the United States from Oct. 22 to 25. China's sales of products with both military and civilian uses to rogue states and unstable regions continues to be a problem, according to Bush administration officials. Chinese arms proliferation activities to the Mid-east have continued unabated," one official said. China has provided "dual-use missile-related items, raw materials, and/or assistance to other countries of proliferation concern, such as Iran, North Korea and Libya."
American Jewry in Decline
.(Ha Aretz) The population of the Jewish community in the United States has decreased by some 500,000 over the past decade, and the Diaspora as a whole loses about one percent of its size annually, according to figures cited by Jewish Agency. The Jewish population of the United States has been estimated at between 5-6 million.
FOJ Note: Nearly half of the world's Jewish population now resides in Israel. Jews have immigrated to Israel from every country in the world, with about 1,000,000 leaving Russia in the last decade. Only the US has maintained a sizable portion of world Jewry, but now even that number is diminishing in favor of resettlement to Israel.
President Bush Signs US Resolution
.(AP) President Bush on Wednesday signed Congress' war-making resolution and told wary world leaders to "face up to our global responsibilities" to confront Saddam Hussein. Those who choose to live in denial may eventually be forced to live in fear," Bush said as the United Nations began a bitter debate over his plans to disarm and oust Saddam. "Every nation that shares in the benefits of peace also shares in the duty of defending the peace." With dozens of lawmakers from both parties on hand for the East Room signing ceremony, Bush used his , and Friday's strong congressional vote to press the U.N. to adopt a new resolution compelling Iraq to submit to unconditional weapons inspections. "We will defend our nation and lead others in defending the peace," the president said. Though he said military action would be his last resort, Bush left little room for Saddam to avoid confrontation. "Our goal is to fully and finally remove a real threat to world peace and to America. The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday started its first day of open debate on Iraq at the behest of the dozens of non-Security Council nations who oppose an attack on Baghdad. The debate is mostly designed to take the administration to task on its Iraq policies, and White House officials expected sharp criticism throughout the day. Even as Bush spoke, Russia's deputy foreign minister said the United States' proposed resolution is unacceptable, while a two-step proposal from France is closer to the Kremlin's stance. Both nations hold veto power in Security Council.
President Bush said as he signed the bill, "The time has arrived once again for the United Nations to live up to the purposes of its founding, to protect our common security. The time has arrived once again for free nations to face up to our global responsibilities and confront a gathering danger." Bush, who received a standing ovation from the roughly 100 lawmakers in the audience as he signed the resolution, said: "This nation will not live at the mercy of any foreign power or plot."
Sharon and President Bush Meet on Iraq
.(FOJ)Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US President Bush will meet in the Oval Office of the White House today. The two will discuss the upcoming US strike on Baghdad and the American "request" that Israel not respond if fired upon, the Wazzani River crisis, and the Israel-P.A. stalemate. Mr. Sharon met last night with US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, and will confer with Secretary of State Powell, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and congressional leaders. More on this meeting will be posted by FOJ tommorrow.
Authorities Suppress D.C. Terrorism Angle
.(World Net) Several witnesses to the Beltway sniper shootings over the past two weeks have described suspects resembling Middle-Eastern men, but authorities have played down the Islamic terrorism angle to avoid a mass "panic" in the area, an ATF official told World Net Daily. "That angle is actually being looked at however, and the FBI has the lead on it," said the official, who is working with the sniper-murders task force based in Maryland's Montgomery County, where the first five shootings took place. "None of this has been overlooked. There's an awful lot that they're not allowing out," he said. "But the issue really is, as it has often been with terrorism related activity, the government does not want the public to panic." The Bush administration fears parents might pull their children from schools if police speculate about a terrorist connection, he says. And federal employees might skip work, effectively shutting down the government. Also, tourists would likely cancel travel plans, dealing another blow to the area's already soft economy, says the official, who wished to go unnamed. That said, the task force won't likely release a composite sketch of suspects, alternately described by witnesses, law-enforcement lookouts and police-scanner chatter as "Hispanic," "Middle-Eastern," "olive-skinned" and "dark-skinned" until all other potential suspects are ruled out.
Military Joins Hunt for Washington Sniper
.(Reuters) The U.S. military agreed on Tuesday to help hunt for the sniper who has been terrorizing the Washington area as police said new evidence gleaned from the latest murder could help them catch the serial killer. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has agreed to provide U.S. military surveillance aircraft and crews to help hunt for the killer whose latest victim was shot dead on Monday while loading her car with shopping bags. The U.S. military is forbidden by law to provide police duties domestically but defense officials, indicate that Rumsfeld has agreed to a request to provide the military aid. Donald Rumsfeld has approved deployment of the Airborne Reconnaissance Low, a DeHavilland DHC-7 equipped with advanced electronic and imagery sensors, including infrared technology. The help will be provided in a way meant to comply with the Posse Comitatus Act, an 1878 law that bans the military from domestic law enforcement. That means the military will relay data to law enforcement officials and will not decide on its own what targets to watch, the official said. The Pentagon's participation also could involve a system of sensors that could detect flashes of gunfire on the ground.
Pentagon Preparing For Iraq Invasion
.(AP) The Pentagon is preparing and positioning U.S. forces in ways that suggest they soon will be able to move swiftly against the Iraqi regime. Two aircraft carrier battle groups, each with about 10,000 sailors and marines, are within striking distance of Iraq and two more could join them by year's end. The USS Lincoln arrived last month in the Gulf, and the USS George Washington, which had been on Gulf patrol, has shifted to the Mediterranean. The Lincoln has on board the first F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters jets to be deployed abroad. They have longer range and newer arms than the older F/A-18 Hornets. The USS Harry S. Truman, based in Norfolk, Va., is due to begin a six-month deployment in early December, relieving the George Washington, and the San Diego-based USS Constellation is due to deploy near year's end. One of the most significant signs of preparation is the decision by Gen. Tommy Franks, who would run any war with Iraq, to move his battle staff in November to a newly outfitted command post in Qatar, in the central Persian Gulf. In addition, the battle staffs of the Army's V Corps and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force are being moved to Kuwait, officials disclosed this weekend. They would coordinate the ground element of an invasion. The Navy already has its 5th Fleet headquarters in the Persian Gulf and the Air Force has warplanes and a command post in Saudi Arabia, although it is problematic whether the Saudis will allow their use in an invasion of Iraq.
Rosary to be Revised
.(NY Times) On Wednesday, the Pope will apparently cross another frontier, making a significant change in the rosary, a signature method of Catholic prayer for many centuries. According to Vatican officials, the Pope intends to issue a document recommending that Catholics increase to 20 from 15 the number of events, or "mysteries," in Jesus' life that they contemplate when they say the rosary. The document will be released in conjunction with the celebration of John Paul's 24th anniversary as pope. He was elected to the papacy in 1978, and is now, at 82 years of age, among the longest-serving popes ever.
The House of Saud
.(FOJ) When the reigning monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Fahd dies, his accepted heir is Crown Prince Abdullah, who is 77 or 78 years old himself. The big question is who is next in line as crown prince and heir to the throne? The consensus has been that the defense minister, Prince Abdullah's half-brother Sultan, would advance to the throne. But advancing years are a biological bar to his ascent to the throne. Sultan is either the same age as Abdullah, who is 77 or 78, and also not in very good health. The House of Saud must therefore is looking for its next second-in-line to the crown for the first time in the younger generation. The crisis in the Saudi royal family arises out of this generation gap-battle. Both elderly princes are marshalling support from the senior ranks of an estimated 10,000 royal princes. Saud al-Faisal, and Abdullah's second son, Mitab bin Abdullah, 40, who is his father's point man in the power struggle seem to be the main contenders. Prince Abdullah keeps his finger on the right pulses in his father's main power supports, namely: The officers of the 50,000-man National Guard, of which the Crown Prince is commander in chief; and the provincial governors and the tribal chiefs. His foremost allies are Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdul Aziz, 40 age, who is also the Governor of the Holy City of Mecca, and Prince al-Walid bin Talal, who is rated one of the richest men in the world. Al-Walid was the Saudi Prince that offered a check of $10 million to New York Mayor Giulliani for the victims of the 9/11 attacks on New York City, only to have it rejected by the mayor when he demanded a re-assessment of American Middle East policies. Another Saudi mogul, Prince Mashal bin Abdul Aziz, is also a partisan. But Defense minister Prince Sultan is thought to be the richest of the senior Saudi princes. He also commands the armed forces, including the air force and military intelligence, a body of men reputed to be 70,000-80,000 strong, compared with Abdullah's slightly smaller National Guard. He also is the master of the internal multibillion crown fund known as Prince Oil. The oil prince creams off 10-12 percent of the kingdom's oil revenues for allocation to the princes according to rank: top dollar for the princes directly related to the king; next largest stipends for the princes performing jobs and the smallest allocations to all the rest. The defense minister additionally controls the Supreme Petroleum and Mineral Affairs Council, or SPMAC, which puts him in charge of the kingdom's energy infrastructure.
Prince Sultan is backed up by two internationally prominent sons: Khaled, who commanded the combined allied forces in Gulf War I, and Bandar, the popular Saudi Ambassador to Washington since 1982.
These Saudi Royal Family factions, along with factions such as Osama Bin Laden's Al Quada are all vying for the control of the House of Saud, and its vast oil reserves, and world influence.
Islamic Mufti Incites Suicide Bombings
.(Ha Aretz) Israeli police have detained the grand Mufti of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa compound, the Palestinians' highest Islamic religious authority. The Mufti apparently preached sermons in defense of suicide bombers. Ikrima Sabri, the Mufti of Jerusalem, described suicide bombings that have killed scores of Israeli civilians as a legitimate act of self-defense against occupation.
Washington D.C Sniper Continues Terror
.(AP) The D.C. area terror/sniper has struck again. Ballistic evidence conclusively links the death of a woman shot in the head in a suburban parking lot with eight other killings by a Washington-area sniper, authorities said Tuesday. Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington was shot Monday night as she and her husband loaded packages into their car outside a Home Depot at the Seven Corners Shopping Center, Fairfax County Police Chief Tom Manger said. The shooting spree that has terrorized residents in the Washington area began Oct. 2 in Montgomery County, Md. With Monday's shooting, the toll has grown to nine people killed and two seriously wounded in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. "Ballistic evidence has conclusively linked this case to the other murders in the area," Manger said. The victim was felled by a single shot about 9:15 p.m. as she stood in the parking lot of the blocks-long shopping center. All the other deaths in the sniper spree were also caused by one shot. President Bush said the "cold-blooded" attacks have made him sick to his stomach. "I weep for those who have lost their loved ones," he said. "The idea of moms taking their kids to school and sheltering them from a potential sniper attack is not the America that I know."
Shiite Muslim Clerics Call for Death of Falwell!
.(Washington Times) Shi'ite Muslim clerics in Lebanon and Iran have reacted with rage at the Rev. Jerry Falwell for calling Islam's prophet a terrorist, and an envoy of Iran's supreme leader reportedly called for his death. Iranian cleric Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, addressing Friday prayers in the northwestern town of Tabriz, said Mr. Falwell was a "mercenary and must be killed," the Farsi-language daily Abrar reported yesterday. In an interview broadcast last week on the CBS program "60 Minutes," Mr. Falwell said in reference to the Prophet, "I think Muhammad was a terrorist." Mr. Falwell, a conservative Baptist minister, said he has concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Islam's prophet "was a violent man, a man of war." But Mr. Falwell apologized yesterday for calling the Prophet Muhammad a terrorist. "I sincerely apologize that certain statements of mine made during an interview for the September 30 edition of CBS's '60 Minutes' were hurtful to the feelings of many Muslims," the preacher said in a statement issued in Lynchburg, Va. "I intended no disrespect to any sincere, law abiding Muslim," Mr. Falwell added. In presenting his apologies, Mr. Falwell said that in his more than 50 years of Christian ministry, he had never preached a sermon on Islam, nor written a book or pamphlet on the subject. "I have always shown respect for other religions, faiths and denominations," he said. "Unfortunately, I answered one controversial and loaded question at the conclusion of an hour-long CBS interview which I should not have answered. That was a mistake and I apologize." Earlier this week, another Shi'ite cleric in Iran, Ayatollah Hussein Nouri Hamedani, called on Muslims to cut relations with the United States. He accused Mr. Falwell of implementing a "Zionist plan" to cause a clash between Islam and Christianity. Iranian Ayatollah Hussein Mousavi Tabrizi refused to compare Mr. Falwell to British author Salman Rushdie, against whom the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, issued a death verdict in the 1980s for blaspheming Islam in his book "Satanic Verses." "Rushdie was a symbol of the red line between Islamic countries and the West. But we will not issue a death verdict against Mr. Falwell as Iran is a country that promotes dialogue among religions.
Bible Studies in the White House
.(USA Today) President Bush talks openly and proudly about his active spiritual faith. In another, less well known sign of the religious devotion that permeates the administration, some White House staffers have been meeting weekly at hour-long prayer and Bible study sessions. Bush aides organized the sessions before his inauguration. One group meets during the lunch hour on Tuesdays, another on Thursdays. Attendance is voluntary and, although the lessons are Christian in nature, non-Christians are welcome. Typically, 25 to 50 of the 1,700 people who work in the White House complex -- department heads, secretaries and mail clerks --attend each session. Last Thursday, author Bruce Wilkinson was the guest speaker at a White House Bible study. Wilkinson wrote The Prayer of Jabez, a best-selling book based on a character in the Bible. Wilkinson spoke admiringly of Bush's faith at a breakfast at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, before his White House visit. As the president copes with the war on terrorism, Wilkinson said, ''The Lord is in front of him.'' Bush starts every day on his knees in prayer. He reads the Bible each morning and studies a Bible lesson daily. Religion has been central to his life since 1985, when a conversation with the Rev. Billy Graham prompted him to renew his faith. Bush has said that his religious beliefs helped him quit drinking when he turned 40. He was raised an Episcopalian but became a Methodist when he got married and joined the church of his wife, Laura.
Bali Bombing and Al Qaeda?
.(World Net) US President George W Bush has called on the world to confront those who killed at least 187 people, most of them Westerners in a car bomb attack on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali. President Bush added his voice to the chorus of condemnation from world leaders, saying the "heinous" attack was "designed to create terror and chaos". "The world must confront this global menace of terrorism," Mr. Bush said in a statement released by the White House. "We must challenge and defeat the idea that the wanton killing of innocents advances any cause or supports any aspirations, and we must call this despicable act by its rightful name, murder." Osama Bin Laden's brother-in-law, Mohammed Khalifa, is suspected as being the mastermind behind the bombing in Indonesia.
Islamic Clerics Issue a Fatwa Against U.S
.(Middle East News) Some 500 Iraqi Muslim clerics and scholars issued a religious edict on Saturday calling on Muslims to launch a holy war to "burn the earth under the feet" of the United States if it attacks Iraq. "If, God forbid, the aggression takes place, declaring Jihad against the evil American administration is the duty of every able Muslim," said the fatwa, or edict, approved by the clerics and scholars at a meeting in Baghdad. The fatwa said the holy war should include enlisting to fight alongside Iraq, striking U.S. interests and launching economic boycott of the United States and its allies. President Bush is considering a U.S. military invasion of Iraq to topple President Saddam Hussein. "If they try to attack, they will find in every iota of sand, every mountain, plain and valley a fire that will burn the earth under their feet," the edict said. The clerics said attacking Iraq was part of what they called the U.S. war on Islam in Afghanistan and against the Palestinians. "Muslims: Your religion and your Islam calls on you to join the Jihad alongside Iraq, the Iraq of the faithful."
Bin Laden To Appear on TV?
.(Arabic Press) Osama bin Laden is alive and will appear on a videotape soon, says a man who identified himself as a senior al-Qaida member. Sheikh Osama is alive and in good health. He has gained more weight due to security precautions and his inability to move a lot as you will notice in his next appearance, Abdel Rahman al-Rashed said in the Arabic-language magazine Al Majalla. In the interview, al-Rashed said bin Laden, whose al Qaida terror network is blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, is alive and will appear soon on a new videotape with a new statement.
Report: U.S. Questions Arab Oil Pacts
.(Middle East News) For the first time, the United States is examining its decades-old relationship with the Arab world. A report by the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the Bush administration and Congress appear to have launched the first reassessment of U.S. relations with the Arab world. The report said that longtime relationship was based on the United States ignoring Arab totalitarianism and human rights violations in return for plentiful cheap oil from the Middle East. The report reviewed changes in the United States and in the international community since the Al Qaida suicide attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. The institute said that the United States has connected terrorism to the absence of democracy in the Middle East. "For the first time, the wisdom of a longstanding bargain, U.S. tolerance of Arab political repression in return for oil and stability, has begun to be questioned," the report said. "From the moment of the attacks, the link between terrorism and the lack of democracy and political expression in the Arab world has been a focus of attention, though more outside the region than within it."
FOJ Note: Rumors persist that the US is seeking to topple Saddam Hussein in order to establish a new democracy in the Iraq-Caspian Sea region that will be oil-friendly to the West. Iraq, and the Caspian Sea oil reserves make up the 2nd largest natural reserve of oil in the world. Recently, rumors have surfaced that Jordan might annex portions of western Iraq in the event of the destabilization of Iraq.
Russia, America and Big Oil
.The Bush administration is accelerating efforts to diversify America's sources of oil imports and reduce its dependence on the Middle East. The bid to strengthen ties with major producers like Russia and the Caspian Sea region has gained momentum as the United States prepares for war against Iraq. While prospects dim for passage of President Bush's energy goals in Congress, including oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. officials are aggressively promoting more oil exploration and imports from around the world. The effort gained a sense of urgency after the September 11 terrorist attacks, which for many showed that some of the world's major energy producers might not have America's best interests at heart. The United States receives about 58 percent of the oil it consumes from imports. With domestic production waning, imports are expected to increase in the coming years.
Still, it is pursuing new oil partners, dispatching top officials across the globe to encourage more development.
Mr. Bush has reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin to encourage the third-largest oil producer to boost development with the help of Western investment.
The Bush administration has promoted construction of a pipeline from the oil-rich Caspian Sea to the Black Sea that is expected to deliver up to 1 million barrels per day by 2005. After years of delays, the project began in September.
In the meantime, the United States and other nations are boosting their own reserves of petroleum to offset any price surges from a war with Iraq. The price of a barrel of oil has risen about $2 since July to around $28.50. Analysts warn that a war with Iraq could push oil costs over $30, perhaps higher, which would raise prices at gasoline pumps. Saudi Arabia has vowed to release more of its oil into the world market to keep prices in check if a war chokes off Iraqi exports. The most hopeful signs for more production have come from the budding relationship between Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin. Building on cooperation from Mr. Putin in the war on terrorism, the two leaders in May signed a "joint communique" to encourage investment and development of Russia's vast oil fields. The Bush administration says increased Russian oil production could offset price quotas established by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Russia produces about 7 billion barrels of oil per day. Russia's oil industry has struggled under corruption and a lack of capital since the fall of the Soviet Union. It is eager to burnish its image and lure much-needed Western investment and technology.
"I think that the central focus should be Russia, and the way to get more oil on line from Russia is to get them to privatize their pipelines and to get Western investment involved," said James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Government officials and oil industry chiefs from Russia and the United States met last week in Houston to discuss the new relationship. At the meeting, the U.S. Export-Import Bank said it would underwrite $100 million in sales of U.S. equipment and services to Russian oil companies. Also, Russia announced that it would make its first contribution to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Bush administration also is looking to the Caspian Sea region as a source for non-Middle East, non-OPEC oil. The sea contains 10 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, potentially more than 230 billion barrels, according to the Energy Department.The region's potential has prompted a rush of investment and fierce dispute over exploration and development rights. The United States hopes to get American companies involved. Caspian oil exports, currently limited by geography, could increase by 1 million barrels by 2005 with the new Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, the Energy Department says.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 7 THROUGH OCTOBER 13
Iranians Rally Against U.S. and Israel
..(Jerusalem Post) Thousands of Iranians marched on Friday chanting "Death to America, death to Israel" and calling for support for the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. Crowds around Tehran University -- the main venue for Friday prayers in the Iranian capital, burnt Israeli and U.S. flags chanting "Sharon is murdering and Bush is upporting". "At a time when America needs support of Islamic nations, this (U.S. backing) means ignoring Muslims' feelings and wishes," influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers lining streets around the campus. Rafsanjani, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticized the Islamic world for doing too little to confront what he called "Israeli crimes" against Palestinians during their two-year-old uprising. "I should express my regret that Muslim countries...with their energy resources that the world is dependent on, are being so weak," he said. Iran, accused by Washington of supporting militant Palestinian groups and Lebanon's Hizbollah guerrilla group, sees the U.S.- sponsored peace process in the Middle East as a sell-out of Palestinian and Muslim rights. Iran does not recognize Israel. The United States broke ties with Iran shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the pro-U.S. Shah's regime.
House OK's Bush War ON Iraq
.(CNN) President Bush praised the House of Representatives for voting to give him authority to go to war to disarm Iraq Thursday, calling it "a debate and a result that all Americans can be proud of." The House voted 296-133 to give Bush the authority to use U.S. military force to make Iraq comply with U.N. resolutions requiring it to give up weapons of mass destruction. Across the Capitol, a companion measure cleared a procedural vote by a wide margin earlier Thursday and drew the support of the chamber's Democratic leader. "The House of Representatives has spoken clearly to the world and to the United Nations Security Council. The gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted fully and finally," Bush said. "Today's vote also sends a clear message to the Iraqi regime: It must disarm and comply with all existing U.N. resolutions, or it will be forced to comply." The resolution passed by the House authorizes Bush to commit U.S. troops to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions requiring that Iraq give up weapons of mass destruction. It requires Bush to declare to Congress either before or within 48 hours after beginning military action that diplomatic efforts to enforce those resolutions have failed.
Arafat, Saddam Exchange Messages
.(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat received a message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein Thursday, Palestinian officials say. They said the message came in response to a letter of greetings sent by Arafat to Saddam last week on the occasion of the Muslim holiday marking Prophet Muhammad's midnight journey to the seven heavens. Although PA officials said the exchange of messages had no political implications, the timing is of particular interest. Arafat and the PA have been trying to distance themselves from Saddam ahead of a pending US military strike. PA officials have strongly denied links to Iraq or Iran. In his message to Arafat, the Iraqi leader wished him "good health and everlasting prosperity for the Palestinian people." Palestinian officials would not say whether Saddam's message also addressed the current crisis with the US.
EU Now Lining Up Behind U.S. View On Arafat
.Ha Aretz) The European Union is slowly moving closer to the American view of the Palestinian Authority and its chairman, Yasser Arafat, according to reports that have reached Jerusalem in advance of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's planned trip to Washington next week. Four days ago, Arafat hosted the EU's foreign policy coordinator, Javier Solana, at his office in Ramallah. Solana reportedly used the meeting to deliver a stern warning and urge Arafat to transfer the reins of power to someone else. Moreover, senior EU and United Nations officials have recently been saying in private conversations that Arafat is an obstacle to reforming the PA and must be replaced. Solana's visit to Arafat initially elicited strong criticism from both Jerusalem and Washington. Sharon and Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Solana that his visit had hindered efforts to reform the PA. But once the contents of the conversation became known, the American administration changed its tune and praised the visit. State Department officials are now working on a "road map" for calming the Israeli-Palestinian violence and restarting negotiations. They have been exchanging drafts of a detailed three-stage plan with European colleagues based on an outline released last month by the Quartet (the U.S., EU, UN and Russia). The plan calls for a cooling-off period, followed by establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, and finally a permanent-status agreement. According to the Quartet's outline, the process will be completed in 2005.
U.S. Assures Palestinians Policy on Jerusalem Unchanged
.(Reuters)The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem assured a Palestinian delegation on Thursday that American policy on Jerusalem was unchanged despite new legislation signed in Washington last week by President George Bush. Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest against the new law, which lends support to Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. "The U.S. government continues to view the question of Jerusalem as a final status matter to be negotiated between the parties," Chuck Hunter, the consulate's public affairs officer, told the Palestinian delegation of religious and civic leaders. "Therefore we will not change our practices on official publications or the way Jerusalem is listed in consular documents, including passports," Hunter was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the consulate. Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its "united and eternal" capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat signed a law last week declaring Jerusalem the capital of that future state. The U.S. legislation, which Bush signed earlier this month, requires the U.S. government to stipulate on documents that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Hunter told Reuters that Bush, in signing the law, issued a statement that noted the Jerusalem provision was advisory, and not mandatory.
Saddam Will Use Everything Within His Reach
.(Newsweek) Iraq's former head of military intelligence assesses the chances of a military coup in Baghdad, and warns that, if cornered, the dictator will use his weapons of mass destruction. Wafiq al-Samarrai knows many of Saddam Hussein's secrets. As director of Iraqi military intelligence during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the general was close to the dictator until defecting eight years ago. Sammarai spoke to Newsweek's Samir Zedan about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and his fears that an American attack could prompt Saddam to turn his country into an ungovernable wasteland. How is the Iraqi Army likely to react if the United States attacks Iraq? The Iraqi Army definitely does not support Saddam Hussein. But I cannot say it supports the other side. The position of the army depends on the conditions prevailing during the war. There is a chance it would turn against the regime, but I cannot say when that might happen. If the Iraqi senior officers believed that they would play a major part in a future government, this would speed up the process against the regime. The United States needs to identify by name those who are wanted. It should not be left vague. There should be a list of names such as Saddam, Ali Hassan al-Majid [Saddam's cousin, notorious for ordering the gassing of Kurds in 1988], Deputy Premier Tariq Aziz and so on. Does Iraq still have the capacity to launch missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction? In 1990, the Iraqi Army was in a much better position than today. But they still have missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Of course, these missiles can reach Israel. I believe Saddam will attack Israel. Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction. If his life is threatened he will use everything within his reach.
Christian Support for Israel
.(Jerusalem Post) Poll results released this week by Stand for Israel, a project of the International Federation of Christians and Jews, indicate that 62% of US Christian conservatives support Israel and its policies. The survey, which was conducted by the Tarrance Group, was designed to determine the extent to which various sub-groups of the US population back Israel. The poll found that 85% of American Jews and more than 50% of Protestants and Catholics also stand behind the Jewish State. One of the poll's more interesting findings was that support for Israel among Republicans is sharply higher than among Democrats, even though many American Jews identify more closely with the Democratic Party. Among Democrats, just 46% said they supported Israel, as opposed to 67% of Republicans. The survey also revealed that President George W. Bush is making significant headway among Jewish voters, with 81% of Jews viewing Bush as a strong supporter of Israel and 46% of them saying they are more likely to vote for him based on the way he is handling the war on terror. Even though Bush garnered less than 20% of the Jewish vote in the 2000 elections, the poll found that 53% of American Jews now have a favorable impression of him.
Palestinian Suicide Bomber Targets US Embassy
.(Reuters) A Palestinian suicide bomber was captured by guards outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday after fleeing a nearby cafe where his explosives belt had set off a metal detector, police said. Briefing reporters at the scene later, police officers said the bomber, who they identified as a Palestinian, tried to enter the Tayelet Cafe across from the city's beachfront promenade. The suicide bombers explosives belt set off a metal detector at the door, the police officers said. A security man at the cafe challenged him and he bolted down the street toward the U.S. embassy about 20 yards away, where guards grabbed him.
FOJ Note: I recommend that FOJ readers take special note of the fact that the PLO is targeting the US Embassy, probably because of the recent Congressional approval to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. US national Security has always been cited as the reason for presidential vetoes for the relocation of the American embassy to Israel.
A Picture From Nablus
.(FOJ) This picture says a lot. A young Palestinian girl back-dropped against a squadron of Israeli tanks and troops is shown walking home from school. She lives on the outskirts of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a PA city which has been a stronghold for PLO terrorists. The photo shows that she feels entirely safe walking past the Israeli tanks and soldiers, and does not fear the kind of atrocity that most Israeli kids would feel walking near the PA police. An Israeli child cannot depend on Arafat's security forces for safety, but rather in fact Arafat's security forces are replete with terrorists which would annihilate a wandering lamb of Israel. There are no Israeli snipers or suicide bombers lying in wait for this young Palestinian school-girl.
Islamic Leader in Chicago Tied to Bin Laden
.(Weekend) The leader of an Islamic charity was indicted Wednesday on charges of funneling donations to Usama bin Laden's terrorist network, with Attorney General John Ashcroft vowing, "We will find the sources of terrorist blood money." Enaam M. Arnaout, 40, head of the Benevolence International Foundation, has been in federal custody since April. The indictment said a criminal enterprise that existed for at least a decade used charitable contributions from innocent Muslims, non-Muslims and corporations to support bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, Chechen rebels fighting the Russian army and armed violence in Bosnia. "It is sinister to prey on good hearts to fund the works of evil," Ashcroft said in announcing the charges in Chicago. Ashcroft said documents found in the organization's office in Bosnia have provided "chilling" evidence tying Arnaout directly to bin Laden and Al Qaeda. He said the papers summarize the 1988 meeting at which the terror network was founded, and include a text of the network's oath of allegiance. Arnaout, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Justice, was charged with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to launder money, money laundering and wire and mail fraud. According to the indictment, Benevolence International and Arnaout engaged in a pattern of racketeering to support Islamic warriors around the world by raising funds. The organizations involved were Al Qaeda and Hezb e Islami, a militant group run by an Afghan warlord, prosecutors said. An FBI affidavit filed the day Arnaout was arrested said his organization sent $685,000 to Chechen rebels and financed a trip to Bosnia for Mamdouh Salim. Salim is awaiting trial in New York on charges of conspiracy to kill Americans in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Among documents seized in the raids on terror cells was a letter from bin Laden to Arnauot, and a list of other wealthy Saudi sponsors of Al Qaeda.
Worse Enemies than Iraq!
.(FOJ) U.S. Senator Bob Graham of Florida, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said yesterday that Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad have sleeper agents in the United States and pose an immediate danger to America and its citizens. In a speech to the Senate, Graham said, "I am concerned by those who see only one evil. (Iraq) I urge my colleagues to open their eyes to the much larger array of lethal, more violent range of foes that are prepared to assault us here at home." The Senate is in the midst of debating authorization of the use of force against Iraq. Sen. Graham's proposed amendment to extend President Bush's military authority to attack terrorist groups around the world, including Hizbullah and Hamas, was defeated, 88-10.
Another Suicide Attack on Israeli Bus
.(Jerusalem Post) A suicide bomber blew himself up after he slipped while trying to board a bus, and exposing his suicide belt to the passengers. The suicide bomber attack took place on the highway between Ramat Gan and Bnei Brek, two towns south of Israel's commercial capital, Tel Aviv. The bus driver noticed him and the passengers pushed him out, and pinned him to the ground while everyone scampered away to escape. But the attacker broke free, got up and ran for about 30 meters (90 feet), toward a group of people at the bus stop and blew himself up, killing himself and one nearby elderly woman, who could not get away. A Hamas spokesman, said that "resistance will continue by all means until we get our rights."
Arab League Defies America
.(Middle East News Line) Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said that U.S. President George W. Bush's latest speech made no clear declaration on Iraq. The Arab League opposes an invasion of Iraq, reports AFP. Moussa told reporters, "There is no urgent need to launch a military action against Iraq." Also in a statement released from its London information office, the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Sunni Muslim fundamentalist organization in the Arab world, said that assisting U.S. troops in attacking Iraq would be "treason to God." The group also called for a boycott by Muslims against U.S. and Israeli goods.
FOJ Note: It was the Arab League which founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization that Yasser Arafat has managed for all these years. The League has financed, and equipped, and ideologically supported Arafat and his PLO terrorist organization, and worked together to destroy the nation of Israel.
The Arab League formed the PLO in 1964, three years before the 1967 war in which the Arab nations lost the West Bank to Israel.
Israel: A Threat to World Peace?
.(FOJ) A poll was conducted recently in France that indicated that the French people consider Israel to be the number two ranked threat to world peace, just after Iraq. Syria, Iran and Libya, part of President Bush's Axis of Evil also appear on the list, albeit far down after Israel. The survey was conducted jointly by five local dailies in northwest France, which have a combined readership of about 175,000. Following Iraq and Israel were Afghanistan, the United States, Palestine, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria and Libya in that sequence. Syria, which is the headquarters of over 10 terrorist organizations only appears at number 12 on the list. Isn't it ironic that the world views Israel as such a dynamic threat to world security? Israel
Islam/Farrakhan Attacks President Bush
.(Free Press) Louis Farrakhan, head of the controversial Chicago-based Nation of Islam, kicked off a three-day, anti-war campaign in metro Detroit on Tuesday by calling President George W. Bush a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "I am crying out to the American people to rise up, because our president is a threat to world peace,'' Farrakhan said at a press conference at Greektown's Atheneum Hotel. Surrounded by supporters from the Nation of Islam, an African-American offshoot of Islam that today comprises only a small portion of black Muslims, Farrakhan was cheered by his followers as he talked with journalists. Iraq is not a threat to the United States, Farrakhan said repeatedly. "The threat is a figment of the imagination of the president of the United States and his advisors.''
Shahid's Father Blasts Islamic Recruiters
.(Jerusalem Post) The father of a Palestinian who carried out a suicide attack in Israel earlier this
year has attacked Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders for sending his son on the fatal mission. The father said that four months ago, he lost his eldest son when his friends tempted him, praising the path of death. "They persuaded him to blow himself up in one of Israel's cities," he said. The father said in his letter to
a London newspaper that now he is concerned that the same people who dispatched his son were trying to recruit another son for a similar mission. "I ask, on my behalf and on behalf of every father and mother informed that their son has blown himself up: By what right do these leaders send the young people,
our young boys in the flower of their youth, to their deaths?' Who gave them religious or any other legitimacy to tempt our children and urge them to their deaths? Yes, I say death, not martyrdom. Changing and beautifying the term, or paying a few thousand dollars to the family of the young man who has gone and will never return, does not ease the shock or alter the irrevocable end. Why doesn't a single one of all the Sheikhs who compete amongst themselves in issuing fiery religious rulings, send his son? Why doesn't a single one of the leaders who cannot restrain himself in expressing his joy and ecstasy on the satellite channels every time a young Palestinian man or woman sets out to blow himself or herself up send his son?"
Arafat and The Iranian Connection
.(Arutz) When the Israelis surrounded Yasir Arafat's compound in Ramallah earlier this year to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and confiscate weapons, they also sent in intelligence collection teams to scoop up top-secret files. What they were looking for was proof of Arafat's personal involvement in terrorism, but that was the least of what they found. What they found, was a paper trail of terror leading from both Iran and Iraq. The Israelis claim that they now have proof that the supposedly homegrown Palestinian uprising known as the Intifada is neither an uprising, nor homegrown. It is, they claim, violence planned, funded and directed largely from Iran and Iraq, and they showed some of the documents they seized to make their case. Ido Hecht, a senior Israeli intelligence official, told said that the Israelis have caught and interrogated members of a Palestinian terrorist cell who admit they were trained in Iraq by Iraqis this past June. They also found firearms of various types, RPG, anti-tank rockets, instructions on how to manufacture explosives, and how to make those explosives into actual bombs. And most alarmingly, he said, they were taught how to shoot down an airliner. Sources say they were operating in the area of Ramallah. Ramallah is next to Ben Gurion International Airport, so the obvious target would be a civilian airliner. He also said the group was recruited by Abu Abbas, the notorious international terrorist of the 1970s and '80s who Saddam Hussein has reactivated in Baghdad.
One document that Israel captured has Arafat's signature on it, providing money for 50 members of Abu Abbas' organization. The Arafat documents also reveal that Saddam Hussein has been using the Palestinian Authority as a middleman in his illegal selling of oil. The money was then used to buy weapons. But Israel considers Iran an even bigger and more immediate threat than Iraq. That's because of its links to various terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. Hezbollah is reputed be owned and operated by Iran. Iran spends anywhere from $400,000 to $700,000 in training Palestinians for suicide missions, explosions, and diving lessons. Iran also provides training and funding to Islamic Jihad. Arafat's handwriting was found on the bottom of documents organizing these attacks. Iran has worked to channel the world's attention on the Palestinian issue as the problem, and everybody has sort of forgotten that the Iranians fund it, that the Iraqis fund it, that they send in these terrorists and that they train them from afar. In recent meetings with the Bush administration, top Israeli intelligence officials also shared evidence about contacts between al-Qaida and senior members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.
Saddam's Death Plants Revealed
..US President George W. Bush has released pictures that he claims are proof Iraq is rebuilding factories to produce nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The pictures depict factories believed to be part of Saddam Hussein's arsenal. The photos were released by the White House today after last night's speech in which Mr. Bush branded Saddam a "murderous tyrant". One of the photos shows the Al Furat Manufacturing Facility where construction resumed in 2001. The building, which was originally intended to house a centrifuge enrichment cascade operation, (for nuclear use) appears to be operational, according to US intelligence officials. The pictures also show a rebuilt Nassr Engineering Establishment Manufacturing Facility, which was destroyed in 1998 during US-led air strikes. The plant is believed to be capable of producing centrifuges for Iraq's nuclear weapons program and missile components. A 3rd factory, Fallujah II was one of Iraq's principal chemical weapons precursor production complexes before the Gulf War. Iraq had upgraded it in the past 2 years, bringing in new chemical reactor vessels and shipping containers and a large amount of production equipment. US intelligence believes these capabilities can be diverted quickly to chemical weapons production. In his speech, Mr. Bush demanded Baghdad disarm or face US-led military action. Saddam and his "nuclear holy warriors" as Saddam calls them, could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year, he said. "If we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed," the President explained in last night's speech. "Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. I am not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein." The speech came amid fears of a renewed terrorist campaign by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. US intelligence yesterday said that the voice on an audio-tape broadcast at the weekend by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network warning of new attacks, was bin Laden's.
American Jewry in Decline?
..(Jerusalem Post)A once-a-decade report that shapes how American Jews work to keep their religion vital found the population has declined and grown older since 1990, according to statistics released Tuesday. The 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey found 5.2 million Jews live in the United States, compared to 5.5 million a decade ago. Using a broader definition that includes anyone with a Jewish background would increase the total population figure to 6.9 million. The median age rose from 37 to 41 in the same period, fueling concern that the faith is not being passed down to a younger generation. The study was sponsored by United Jewish Communities. Its 1990 finding that 52 percent of American Jews marry outside the Jewish faith, while the 2000 study shows that Jews remain concentrated in the Northeast, with 43 percent living in the region. The Midwest has the smallest share, 13 percent, while the South and West have 22 percent each.
Bush Calls Saddam 'Murderous Tyrant'
.(ABC) President Bush, seeking support for war against Iraq, called Saddam Hussein a "murderous tyrant" Monday night and said he may be plotting to attack the United States with biological and chemical weapons. Bush also said Saddam could be within a year of developing a nuclear weapon, and he declared, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." "I am not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein," the president said. His address opened a week of debate in Congress over resolutions giving the president authority to wage war against Iraq. The House and Senate planned votes for Thursday, and the Bush-backed resolution was expected to pass by wide margins. Facing skepticism at home and abroad, Bush portrayed an apocalyptic struggle between good an evil, saying the threat posed by Saddam could dwarf the damage done in the Sept. 11 attacks. He said Iraq must be the next front in the war on terrorism. "There is no refuge from our responsibilities," Bush said. If it comes to war, "We will prevail."
Muslim Protest Over Falwell Remarks
.(UPI) Remarks by conservative Baptist minister Rev. Jerry Falwell, who called Prophet Mohammed a "terrorist," appears to have outraged Muslims across the globe with protests reported from India to Malaysia. In the Indian State of Kashmir, Muslim protesters clashed with police while urging shopkeepers to observe a complete strike against the remarks. Elsewhere in India, Muslim groups held peaceful rallies to register their protest. In most of the 57 Muslim nations across the world, newspapers prominently reported Falwell's remarks. Some also wrote commentary pieces and editorials, urging the minister to apologize. In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Falwell said, "I think Mohammad was a terrorist." The Baptist minister's comments occur in a segment about American conservative Christians' political support for Israel. The demand for an apology was also supported by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, an organization fighting anti-Semitism since 1913. Other conservative Protestant clergy also have made critical comments about Islam and Mohammad since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. They include Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and successor, TV evangelist Pat Robertson and leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Bush Lays out Iraq Threat
..(Jerusalem Post) U.S. President George W. Bush's call for greater pressure on Iraq won guarded support in Asia and Australia today, but his threat of war gained no support in Russia, which accused Washington of deliberately seeking armed confrontation with Baghdad. Bush's strongly worded attack on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein deepened concerns throughout the world over the possibility of war. In his speech, Bush called Saddam a "murderous tyrant" and said he may be planning to attack the United States with biological or chemical weapons and could have a nuclear bomb in less than a year. Russia supports France, which is also hostile to Washington's view of Iraq and has proposed a solution that would let Baghdad try to comply with existing U.N. resolutions. In Congress, key lawmakers declared their support yesterday for the resolution requested by President Bush to authorize military action against Iraq, as the House headed for a vote this week for war. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, one of the few Republican lawmakers who had voiced concerns about attacking Iraq, said the White House has convinced him that Saddam's weapons buildup is an imminent threat to the United States and Israel. Several lawmakers, such as Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, and Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Republican, focused on an Iraq without Saddam. In a speech in Washington last night, Mr. Lieberman said the rebuilding of Iraq after Saddam's removal presents a test for the United States to engage the Muslim world.
US Fears Al Qaeda Acquiring Russian Nukes
.(Washington Post) U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that terrorists are working hard to acquire small nuclear weapons and nuclear material for bombs from Russia. The problem was highlighted by recent intelligence reports indicating that representatives of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network have discussed buying nuclear weapons and nuclear material from members of organized crime groups in Russia. The CIA has reported to Congress on Russia's nuclear arsenal and material security that concluded Moscow's nuclear weapons are protected from external threats but have become vulnerable to insider theft since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Yemen and Oil Terrorism?
.(Stratfor) The apparent attack on a French-owned oil supertanker in Yemen will have significant ramifications for the U.S. war on terrorism, the potential U.S. war against Iraq, U.S.-European relations and European involvement in the anti-terrorism campaign. Unknown assailants apparently rammed a small boat packed with explosives into an oil tanker as it pulled into Ash Shihr port in eastern Yemen, approximately 350 miles east of Aden, on Oct. 6. The tanker Limburg, burst into flames and now reportedly is sinking into the Arabian Sea. Al-Qaida has largely refrained from attacking oil infrastructure in the past. By decree, bin Laden has banned any assaults on oil, since it is the heritage of the Arab nations. But that philosophy may be changing. Although the attack was technically against a European oil asset, the backlash will impact the entire Middle Eastern energy industry. If al-Qaida was directly involved, this would signal a change in the rules of engagement and could escalate the battle against the terrorist network.
Israel Retaliates Against Hamas in Gaza
.(Jerusalem Post) IDF Soldiers backed by tanks and helicopters raided a Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis Monday morning, killing 14 Palestinians and wounding 136, in the deadliest Israeli strike in three months. Israel said the missile was launched as covering fire after its troops came under attack and that it regretted any civilian deaths in what it called an anti-terrorist raid into the Palestinian-controlled town of Khan Younis. In one incident, a helicopter fired a missile into a crowd, killing eight people, Palestinian sources said. Military sources said the helicopter fire was aimed at a group of Palestinians near a mosque, and that armed Palestinians were hit. However, the sources acknowledged there were civilian casualties as well. The target of the predawn raid, the Amal neighborhood, was not chosen randomly but pinpointed as a known Hamas hotbed, and was targeted in response to a growing number of Kassem rocket firings and mortar attacks on Israeli communities in Gaza's Gush Katif. Both Hamas and Arafat's Fatah movement threatened revenge. "We will make the Zionist enemy swallow the bitter drink very soon," a masked Fatah activist, armed with a machine gun and grenades stuffed into a belt, told mourners. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, said: "Everyone should know that as our people were not safe in Khan Younis, so Israelis will not be safe in Tel Aviv. We will strike everywhere." Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat denounced the Israeli raid as a massacre and called on the international community to protect the Palestinians.
Another Sniper Shooting in Maryland
.(AP) A 13-year-old boy was shot and critically wounded as his aunt dropped him off at school Monday, bringing fresh terror to the Washington area where a sniper killed six people last week.
Anxious parents streamed in to retrieve their children from the school, and police in neighboring Montgomery County hunting for the serial sniper rushed to the scene. The victim sustained a single gunshot wound to the chest, said Jacqueline D. Bowens, a spokeswoman for Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was undergoing surgery there and was listed in critical but stable condition late in the morning, she said. The shooting happened well before classes were scheduled to begin, so there were not a lot of witnesses, Prince George's County Police Chief Gerald Wilson said. On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, five people were shot to death by a sniper in a 16-hour span in Montgomery County. A sixth victim was killed Thursday in Washington, D.C. On Friday, a woman was shot and wounded in Fredricksburg, Virginia, just 70 miles away.
Bin Laden Planning More Attacks?
.(AP) The Arab satellite station al-Jazeera broadcast an audio-tape Sunday in which a male voice attributed to Osama bin Laden said the "youths of God" are planning more attacks against the United States. "By God, the youths of God are preparing for you things that would fill your hearts with terror and target your economic lifeline until you stop your oppression and aggression" against Muslims, said the voice in the audio-tape. It wasn't immediately clear when the tape was made. The short message was broadcast with a picture of bin Laden in the background. Bin Laden said his message was addressed to the American people, whom he urged to "understand the message of the New York and Washington attacks, which he said came in response to some of your previous crimes." "But those who follow the activities of the band of criminals in the White House, the Jewish agents, who are preparing for an attack on the Muslim world feel that you have not understood anything from the message of the attacks," Bin Laden purportedly said.
Protestors March Against War on Iraq
.(AP) About 10,000 protesters gathered in New York City's Central Park on Sunday, and thousands more gathered in San Francisco and Los Angelos to demonstrate against a possible U.S. military strike on Iraq. A range of people of all ages and including Muslim leaders recited a "Pledge of Resistance" saying in part that "not in our name will you wage endless war, not in our name will you invade another country. Speakers, including actor Martin Sheen who plays the U.S. president in the television show "West Wing," asked protesters to put pressure on their congressional representatives to oppose President Bush's quest for the all-clear to wage war with the aim of toppling the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Arafat Signs Law on Jerusalem as Future Capital
.(Ha Aretz) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a law Saturday formally declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state, said the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Abu Ala (Ahmed Qureia) said. "President Arafat signed the 'Jerusalem The Capital' law stipulating that Jerusalem is the capital of a future independent state and the center of the legislative, judicial and executive authorities," said Abu Ala. He said Arafat decided to sign off on the bill, which was passed by parliament two years ago, in response to a demand by the U.S. congress that the United States recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Arafat called the law Bush signed a "catastrophe," and Palestinians and Arabs saw it as a biased move backing Israel's claims to the city. Although Palestinians have long stated their intention to make East Jerusalem their capital, the new law is for now symbolic only, as Israel has full control over both parts of the city and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pledged not to re-divide it. The Palestinian leader has often spoken of the Palestinians' determination to make Arab East Jerusalem the capital of a future independent state. The PLC was due to discuss the new U.S. law in a special session Sunday. It was not immediately clear what difference, if any, the signing of the law would have on Palestinian Authority transactions or documents. Sharon spokesman Ra'anan Gissin dismissed the Palestinian legislation as meaningless.
Bin Laden Still Alive, Reveals Spy Satellite
.(Observer) Osama bin Laden is alive and regularly meeting Mullah Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban, according to a telephone call intercepted by American spy satellites. In the conversation, recorded less than a month ago, Omar and a senior aide were discussing the American-led hunt to track them down. The two men, using a mobile Thuraya satellite phone, spoke about tactics for several minutes. Omar then turned to a third person who was within a few yards of him, voice analysis has revealed. After exchanging a few words, Omar said that 'the sheikh sends his salaams [greetings]'. Senior Taliban figures habitually refer to bin Laden as 'the sheikh'.
Voice analysis appears to corroborate the identification of bin Laden. 'It shows he was alive recently at least,' said a senior Afghan intelligence officer. 'Some people might like to think he is dead, but that's just wishful thinking.' The revelation comes amid growing speculation that bin Laden is dead.
Arafat Signs PA Jerusalem Law!
.(Jerusalem Post) The Palestinian Legislative Council met Sunday in Ramallah and issued a statement calling the US legislation on Jerusalem illegal. The legislators called upon the UN and other parliaments around the world to protest the bill recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Minister of Local Government Saeb Erekat attacked the US over the Jerusalem legislation. "The U.S. Congress does not have the right to determine the capital of another state," he said after the PLC meeting. "We, as legislators and representatives of the Palestinian people, have the right to determine that Jerusalem is our capital. Arafat is also the elected president of the Palestinians, and he has the right to sign any law declaring Jerusalem the capital of the state of Palestine." Arafat signed legislation declaring Jerusalem the capital of any future Palestinian state on Saturday. He said Arafat's decision to sign the Jerusalem declaration was in response to the American move.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 30 THROUGH October 6
Bush to Speak to America About Iraq
.(Wash. Times) President Bush will give a "comprehensive" address Monday night from Cincinnati, Ohio to "talk directly to the American people" about the "growing threat" posed by Saddam Hussein, a senior administration official said Friday. The speech, part of Bush's public relations campaign for his Iraqi policy, comes as congressional lawmakers prepare to vote on a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq and as the administration faces an uphill battle getting support for a tough new U.N. resolution to deal with Saddam. U.S. officials said the president won't reveal any new evidence about the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and won't unveil any new U.S. policy but will "urge the American people to make sure they are heard" as the country and the United Nations debate what to do about Saddam.
Islamic Terrorists Target American Schools
.(Washington Times) U.S. intelligence agencies received reports this week indicating Islamic terrorists have targeted American schools for attack, intelligence officials said. The reports indicate that the targeting includes plans to attack all levels of educational institutions in the United States, ranging from elementary schools to colleges and universities, said officials familiar with the reports. The information on schools as terrorist targets is among the scores of threat reports received by U.S. intelligence agencies. Meanwhile there are also reports that the FBI has charged five U.S. citizens and another man with being part of a terrorist cell. Agents of the Portland and Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Forces arrested suspected terrorist cell members charged with engaging in a conspiracy to join Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in a terror campaign against the United States. The cell members were identified as Jeffrey Leon Battle, Patrice Lumumba Ford, Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, Habis Abdullah Al-Saoub and October Martinique Lewis.
Terror Link to Maryland Shootings?
.(World Net) Five people have been killed in a series of apparently random shootings outside Washington. Three men and two women died after being fired upon at petrol stations and shopping centres in Montgomery County Maryland, to the north of the US capital. Schools in the county were locked down and all outside activities cancelled after police said the killings might be connected. There were six incidents altogether within a 10-mile radius, from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning. Police have yet to make any arrests in connection with the shootings. Though al-Qaida training videotapes and manuals captured in Afghanistan specifically show the planning of attacks on Americans in drive-by shootings, experts who have analyzed those materials are cautious about concluding the murder spree outside of Washington yesterday is connected in any way to terrorism. The videotapes and training manuals, which show Osama Bin Laden's terrorists have prepared to kill Americans with small-arms fire from trucks and vans, were first revealed in a World Net Daily report last month.
Cardinal Arinze: The Next Pope?
.(The next Pope could be black, for the first time in more than 1,500 years. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze is hotly tipped to succeed John Paul II following a Vatican re-shuffle on Tuesday.
The Polish-born Pope gave the 69-year-old a key post, fuelling rumours he is being groomed for the Roman Catholic Church's top job. The 81-year-old Pontiff is suffering from Parkinson's disease and arthritis and speculation on the next leader of the world's one billion Catholics is rife. If Cardinal Arinze gets the job, he will be the first black Pope since the 5th Century. The last African Pope was Gelasius I, who ruled the Vatican from 492-496. only British Pope was Adrian IV (1154-1159). Cardinal Arinze was born to Christian and Muslim parents in Eziowelle, Nigeria. Growing up he chose the Catholic Church and later became Archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria. He was made Cardinal in 1985 and promoted to Cardinal Priest in 1996. Now based in Rome, he is seen as outgoing, relaxed and charming. But like the present Pope, he is a conservative who takes a hard line on abortion, homosexuality and women priests. His multi-faith background led to him being appointed head of the Pontifical Council for Inter Religious Dialogue where he won admiration for his diplomatic skills. His Vatican department has even kept links with pariah Muslim countries such as Iraq and Libya. There are 128 cardinals around the world aged under 80 eligible to vote for the next Pope. Of the total 176 cardinals only 16 are African, although the majority of Catholics live in the Third World.
Iran Developing Missiles to hit Israel
.(Harpazo) In a rare statement, the head of the Iranian missile development project said Thursday that Teheran's long-range rockets were meant to hit Israel. Speaking in an interview in the international Arab daily Al-Hayyat, Ahmed Wahid, also the head of his country's space development program said that Iran is targeting Israel, and had decided to develop the "Shihab" rocket, which has a range of 1,300 kilometers, in response to Israel's long-range "Jericho" missile.
President Bush vs. UN Security Council
.(Middle East News Line) President Bush faced hardened resistance in the United Nations on Thursday to a war against Iraq and threatened to lead a coalition against Baghdad if the global body failed to back him. Russia, China and France, all veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council members, toughened their stance against a new U.N. resolution proposed by Washington and backed by Britain that could pave the way for a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq. Chief United Nations weapons inspector Blix said today he may delay sending a weapons inspections team back to Iraq as the Bush administration stepped up pressure on the Security Council to approve a tough new Iraqi disarmament resolution. President Bush warned the United Nations and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to accept an American proposal for new rules granting broad freedoms to U.N. weapons inspectors to operate in Iraq or face the prospect of a U.S.-led military attack. "The choice is up to the United Nations to show its resolve," Bush said at the White House. "The choice is up to Saddam Hussein to fulfill his word, and if neither of them acts, the United States in deliberate fashion will lead a coalition to take away the world's worst weapons from one of the world's worst leaders." But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov said mention of automatic use of force in the draft was unacceptable. Moscow's position echoed that of France, which favors a two-step approach offering Iraq first the chance to cooperate on inspections. China joined their chorus, calling for a political solution to the crisis.
The Barghouti Trial Heats Up
.(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti distributed his own 54-count "indictment" of Israel Thursday at the resumption of his murder trial in Tel Aviv, where fistfights and shouting matches erupted between Palestinian spectators and families of Israeli victims. Attorney Jawad Boulus challenged Israel's jurisdiction to try Barghouti, and called the trial a violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords which bar both sides from arresting each other's leaders. "We will be victorious over the occupation," Barghouti shouted before being led away during the commotion, his hands shackled. Israelis and Palestinians began shoving each other, and some engaged in fistfights until police put the two groups in separate rooms outside the courtroom.
Jewish Parents who saw their children blown to pieces in the Dolphinarium suicide bombin, in which 26 Israeli teenagers were killed, stand outside the Barghouti proceedings, holding pictures of their lost loved ones.
China Urges Political Solution on Iraq
.(FOJ) China has called for a political solution to the Iraq crisis, saying that the United Nations should focus on the swift return of weapons inspectors and not on military action. Meanwhile, China continues to equip the so-named Axis of Evil nations with weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps China has a scheme of its own for utilizing the Middle East cauldron of hatred for Israel. In short, China is seeking to eliminate America from the world oil equation, and its influence in the Middle East
Israel Concerned About Ramadan Wall Collapse
.(Jerusalem Post) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Antiquities Authority director Shuka Dorfman, Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, and Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy on Sunday to discuss the possible collapse of the Temple Mount's southern wall, officials said. Dorfman has been warning of a possible collapse in recent months. And hundreds of thousands of Arabs are expected to visit the mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts on November 6. Israeli officials are increasingly concerned over a potential disaster during Ramadan. Muslim Wakf officials have prevented Israeli archeologists and engineers from carrying out tests on the Temple Mount to survey the damage and plan repairs.
Mubarak warns Israel
.(Jerusalem Post) President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel Wednesday against the consequences in the Middle East of its policy toward the Palestinians. "I warn the Israeli government again against the grave consequences of its policy on the future of the whole Middle East region including the security and stability of the Israeli people," Mubarak said in a speech. Mubarak's speech, delivered before several hundred senior military officers and televised live, marked the 29th anniversary of the October 6, 1973 Mideast war, when the Egyptian army launched a surprise attack across the Suez Canal, dislodging Israel's army from positions along the east bank of the waterway. Mubarak was Egypt's air force chief during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. "The great Mideast peace process is facing grave dangers because of the policies of the current Israeli government which are merely based on using force to achieve its goals," Mubarak said. He cited attacks on Palestinian civilians, the assassination of wanted militants, demolishing homes, reoccupying cities and towns, and besieging Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as part of those policies. "I call on all countries, especially the United States, to move to stop this flagrant aggression on the Palestinian people and their leadership to save peace and security in the Middle East," he said.
FOJ Note: These words of warning come from a man and a nation that supposedly is at peace with Israel.
It seems the more peace treaties Israel signs, the more danger she faces.
Iran Condemns US Action on Jerusalem
.(UPI) Iran on Wednesday condemned as "a provocative move" the recent U.S. Congress bill requiring the Bush administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. "Tehran considers this a very provocative move," the Iranian government's spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told reporters after a cabinet meeting. He called it an exploitation of the existing tension in the region which, if put into effect," will increase the hatred (towards the United States) in the world community." Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi also called the move "a blatant insult" to Muslim countries. Congress' action, which will "inflame the sentiments of the Muslims in the region," Kharrazi said. "While the U.S. takes steps to recognize Holy Qods (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel and (Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon continues his crimes, aggression and humiliation, is it possible to expect a lasting peace in the Middle East?"
FOJ Note: America has waffled on the issue of Jerusalem as Israel's capitol for years. Every time the issue has come before an American President, he has routinely vetoed it citing it as a threat to America's national security. I would ask: Has America been threatened by Israel's enemies? It turns out that our national security is at risk ( September 11 ) because of our support for Israel! Shall we abandon God's chosen people, and God's Holy City, and continue to cower before their threats?
Christian Revival in China
.(Weekend) David Aikman, senior foreign correspondent for Time reports that there is a religious awakening ongoing in China that is miraculous, and beyond Western perceptions. David went to China to discern the state of Christianity there and its impact upon that Communist, and officially atheist, nation. He relates that back in 1949, when the People's Republic of China was established, just undere 4 million of 450 million Chinese were Christians. Today, the population is 1.3 billion; Christians are an estimated 80 million, most of them Protestants. Mr. Aikman met 50 students from 19 provinces, all of them worship leaders in "house churches." House churches are ones not registered with the state, and are in constant danger of persecution. Mr. Aikman reports the attempts of many Chinese Christians that they have been called to spread their faith to Muslims. They anticipate sending as many as 100,000 missionaries to the Middle East. And make no mistake about it, Aikens says, Chinese Communist Party leaders understand the democratizing, and liberating force of Christianity. They are seeking to stamp it out!
FOJ Note: China will probably play the part of the Kings of the East, mentioned in Revelation 16:12. Let all of us Christians worldwide pray for the wonderful Christians in China!
US to Begin Security Checks on Arabs
.(Weekend) The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is starting to register people from selected Arab and Muslim countries on arrival into the country. Under the new policy, immigration staff will routinely fingerprint, photograph and question potential entrants, checking their pictures and prints against criminal and terrorist databases. The majority of Americans agree that this is a very smart thing to do, and is a prerequisite for national security. Those affected by the new policy: all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria non-immigrant foreign nationals who present an elevated national security risk foreign nationals identified by INS inspectors. The US Justice Department has also issued a directive that anyone who has frequently visited the Middle East, North Africa, Cuba or North Korea can be taken aside too, if they do not have what it calls a credible explanation for their trip. The much-needed policy is aimed at preventing a repeat of the security lapses which allowed the 11 September hijackers to live undetected in the US for so long. With America asking why 911 happened, the government is trying to institute changes to protect the country more closely, since everything changed after that devastating terror attack on our country's soil. They can't stop everything, but they can do preventative changes to make things safer in some ways. The measures, introduced nationwide on Tuesday, could potentially apply to any of the 35 million foreign visitors who come to the United States every year. But all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Sudan will be targeted, and visitors - especially men - from other Muslim and Middle Eastern countries may also be subject to the new measures. The Arab-American community has reacted angrily to the news, saying people will be targeted on the basis of their race and religion.
Christian World Divided over Iraq
.(FOJ) In the religious community of the non-Arab world, and more specifically in the West, only the American Southern Baptists have endorsed the idea of pre-emptive action against Saddam Hussein, whom they describe as, an international outlaw beyond the reach of all international sanctions. The World Council of Churches even goes so far as to demand the United States "desist from any military threats against Iraq," and urges other nations to resist pressure to join a campaign "under the pretext of the 'war on terrorism. Spokesmen for the United Methodists and Episcopal Churches have voiced similar concerns. There is a reason for this divergence of religious thinking in he West. Dissent in the Muslim world is dangerous. Most moderate Christian religionists have long since been cowed into silence by their worries over a Muslim/Arab backlash. Meanwhile From Baghdad to Khartoum and Karachi and from Algeria to Afghanistan, Islamic extremists who hold sway brook little dissent. They preach destruction of America, and routinely call for the nuclear annihilation of Israel. Thousands of Christians have been forcibly converted to Islam in Indonesia, while millions of non-Muslims have been killed or enslaved in Sudan. Christian churches are torched regularly in "friendly" Pakistan, where non-Muslims face the death penalty for "blasphemy" if their words are judged critical of the Koran.
Al Qaeda Already Has Nukes?
.(World Net) Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network may have already purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million. FBI consultant Paul L. Williams says this deal was one of at least three in the last decade in which al-Qaida purchased small nuclear weapons or weapons-grade nuclear uranium. Williams says bin Laden's search for nuclear weapons began in 1988 when he hired a team of five nuclear scientists from Turkmenistan. These were former employees at the atomic reactor in Iraq before it was destroyed by Israel. By 1990 bin Laden had hired hundreds of atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union for $2,000 a month, an amount far greater that their wages in the former Soviet republics," Williams writes. They worked in a highly sophisticated and well-fortified laboratory in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In 1993, Williams says that Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl, a bin Laden agent who turned into a Central Intelligence Agency source, purchased for al-Qaida a cylinder of weapons-grade uranium from a former Sudanese government minister who represented businessmen from South Africa. The purchase price was $1.5 million and the uranium was tested in Cyprus and transported to Afghanistan. Al-Fadl reported that, at the time of this transfer, al-Qaida was already working on a deal for suitcase nukes developed for the KGB. Williams also says that bin Laden succeeded in buying the 20 suitcase nukes from Chechen Mafia figures, including former KGB agents. Yossef Bodansky, author of Bin Laden; the man who declared war on America, and the U.S. Congress' top terrorism expert, concurs that bin Laden has already succeeded in purchasing suitcase nukes. Former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed also testified to Congress that 40 nuclear suitcases disappeared from the Russian arsenal after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Iran Says it Will Stay out of US-Iraq War
.(Arab Press) Iran's defence minister sent a clear signal that although opposed to an anticipated United States attack on Iraq, the Islamic republic had no intention of being drawn into a confrontation with arch-foe Washington. "We are against a war, but we will not oppose it by force," Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani emphasised at a press conference when asked to explain Iran's declared policy of "active neutrality". "At the same time, we will not seek to profit from the situation Iraq finds itself in, and we will also not cooperate with Iraq. We call on Iraq to implement all (UN) resolutions." The minister said Iran would not participate in any operations against Iraq, with which it fought a devastating 1980-1988 war, even if the use of force to disarm Saddam Hussein was sanctioned by the UN. With an attack on Iraq appearing almost inevitable, Iranian officials have noticably toned down their anti-US rhetoric in recent weeks, toeing a UN line and launching a diplomatic offensive to outline their country's stance on the crisis. However, Shamkhani did reiterate that his troops were at the ready if Washington has set its sights on Iran, next in line in US President George W. Bush's so-called "axis of evil".
FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry has historically indicated that Iran would not be involved in any US-Iraq military confrontations. Iran will await a later moment when she will have the full complicity of Russia to help her in her hateful pursuit against Israel (Iran sponsors the Hezbollah-Syrian theatre of operation presently)
America: China is Taking Over Panama
.(Ray Bishop/President of Jobs in Panama) The US logistically left the Panama Canal in 1999, fulfilling the foreign policy of former President Carter. Now, in America's absence, the Chinese military industrial company Hutchison-Whampoa is today in operational control of the Panama Canal. Senator Trent Lott says this firm is a front for China's Army. There are now some 200,000 illegal and legal Chinese in Panama, out of a total population of just 2 million. Using China's organized crime, known as "Triads," the Chinese government controls this population and is already showing its muscle. With the total departure of the U.S., including America's anti-drug task force at Howard Air Force Base, drug lords and money launderers are making Panama City the base of their operations. Panama is set to become another Colombia.
Bush, Congress Clash on Jerusalem
.(Jerusalem Post) The White House and Congress could be headed to court, lobbyists and legislators said yesterday, after President George W. Bush signed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act into law, but rejected in principle sections that require the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The law, which authorizes $8.6 billion in State Department spending for next year, was passed by both the House and the Senate last week, and signed by Bush on Monday night. Section 214, "United States Policy with Respect to Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel," prohibits the use of congressionally approved funds for any US government document that lists countries and their capital cities but does not identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The law also says for the first time that no funds may be used for the US Consulate in Jerusalem unless it is under the supervision of the US ambassador to Israel. A third clause says that a US citizen born in Jerusalem can choose to have Israel listed on his passport as his country of birth. There is a fourth, less-binding clause, once again calling on the president to immediately begin relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The White House said that the President's constitutional authority to direct foreign policy over-rides the provisions mandated by Congress.
FOJ Note: The book of Zechariah warns us that Jerusalem will continue to be a focal point of world trouble. (And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, thoughall the people of the earth be gathered together against it. - Zechariah 12:3)
Arafat Lashes Out at U.S. over Jerusalem Law
.(Reuters) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat took the offensive today over a new U.S. law which Arabs see as backing Israel's claim to Jerusalem. "This decision is a catastrophe that Muslims and Christians should not let pass in silence," Arafat said about the law that took effect on Monday requiring the U.S. government to list Jerusalem as Israel's capital in official documents. "I am asking the American administration and the American president to stop this," the Palestinian president said in his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, scene of a 10-day Israeli siege that ended on Sunday under U.S. pressure. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as capital of a future state in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim not recognized internationally. While Palestinians and the Muslim world seethed over the U.S. legislation on Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Israel must not hamper a U.S. campaign against Iraq. "The first principle is to give priority to the campaign against Iraq," he told Israel Radio. "We face two dangers: nuclear and terrorist. The nuclear threat is no less severe... We must give priority to the United States to carry out its policy." Peres spoke after Israel backed off its siege of Arafat's compound under pressure from Washington, which is trying to muster Arab and international support for a war against Iraq. His comments strengthened the view that Israel might have to temper its military moves against the Palestinian uprising while Washington pursues plans to topple Saddam Hussein.
Syria blasts US Law to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital
.(Jerusalem Post) Syria on Wednesday blasted US legislation signed by President George W. Bush that encourages recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calling it a provocative step that further damages Arab-US relations. Syrian spokesmen said the law negatively impact US interests and would further undermine its relations with the Arabs." "Though the legislation is unbinding to the US administration, we see it as a dangerous and provocative step that harms Arab and Muslim feelings and denies their political and historical rights in this holy city. (Jerusalem) Syrian President Assad said the US law was an additional step in Washington's anti-Arab policy and in its dangerous bias in favor of the Zionist and aggressive entity (Israel)." The Organization of the Islamic Conference, based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, also issued a statement Tuesday saying it was "deeply concerned" that Bush signed the law containing the clauses.
Bush Signs Bill Identfying Jerusalem as Israel's Capital!
.(Ha Aretz) U.S. President George W. Bush, at the risk of angering the Arab and Muslim worlds, signed legislation Monday that requires his administration to identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Faced with a choice between endorsing the controversial bill passed by Congress and shutting down U.S. diplomatic activity, Bush put his signature on the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for 2003, which gives the administration more than $4 billion for running the State Department. Bush had the power to veto the bill, but the provisions on Jerusalem were only a small part of a piece of legislation that covers the whole world and gives his administration the money needed to run diplomacy. In a written statement, Bush said U.S. policy regarding Jerusalem "has not changed." If Congress meant the language on Jerusalem to be mandatory, then lawmakers were encroaching on the president's right to conduct foreign policy, he said. "The purported direction would, if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, impermissibly interfere with the president's constitutional authority to formulate the position of the United States, speak for the nation in international affairs and determine the terms on which recognition is given to foreign states," Bush said. The bill goes further on Jerusalem than previously demanded by Congress, which for years has pressed successive presidents on the related question of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Administrations have promised to make the move but repeatedly have put it off because of the ill feeling it would create in the Arab world, which considers Arab East Jerusalem to be occupied territory and the capital of a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that the United States continues to believe that the status of Jerusalem should be decided in "permanent status" talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel Caves in to U.S. Pressure
.(Ha Aretz) The Sharon government ended its most serious conflict with the U.S. by totally collapsing under American pressure, and pulling the Israel Defense Forces out of the Muqata in Ramallah to the positions it held before the bus bombing in Tel Aviv almost two weeks ago. The decision was made without any reservations, and without a single sign of any Israeli gain. The wanted men remained in the Muqata with Yasser Arafat, unscratched, unarrested, untried, and unextradited to Israel. The entire Israeli political and military establishment failed to correctly assess the interests and positions of the American administration. The failure is particularly highlighted against the IDF's assessment, presented to the prime minister in July, that Israel should be patient until the Iraq war, and avoid any escalation on the Palestinian front. But the renewed bombings disrupted the system.
Records Link U.S. CDC To Iraq Weapons Program
Oct. 1 (AP) Government records show that when Iraq began its bio-weapons program 2 decades ago, the one that President Bush now wants to wipe out, it did so with U.S. help. The records show that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent many biological samples directly to several sites in Iraq that U.N. weapons inspectors have determined were part of a biological weapons program. Iraq had ordered those samples, saying they were for legitimate medical research. The transfers to Iraq came in the 1980s, when the United States supported Iraq in its war against Iran. The records show that Iraq received anthrax, and the bacteria that make botulinum toxin. Iraq also got the germs that cause gas gangrene. They got the West Nile virus and many more. A former U.N. weapons inspector says it probably wouldn't be accurate to say the United States deliberately helped start the Iraqi biological weapons program. But he says it was "naive" of U.S. officials to believe that Iraq really wanted to use the samples for a public-health purpose. Ironically the U.S. gave West Nile, and other viruses to Iraq.
Palestinians Erupt over US Decision on Jerusalem
.(AP) Palestinian officials reacted in anger on Tuesday to U.S. legislation that encouraged recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, warning that it would complicate peace efforts and could cost lives. President Bush also expressed strong reservations a day earlier as he signed a spending bill that urges his administration to shift the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which both the Palestinian and Israelis consider their capital. Bush said he would treat the clauses as a recommendation rather than an order. Saeb Erakat, a member of the Palestinian Cabinet, said Bush's signing of the bill "undermines all efforts being exerted to revive the peace process and put it back on track." He called it "a flagrant violation" of agreements signed by the United States and Israel to negotiate the permanent status of Israel.
Hezbollah Plotting Second Front?
.(Worthy) Iran has been supplying Lebanese guerrillas with thousands of missiles for an attack on Israel that would apparently be timed to disrupt a possible U.S. strike on Iraq, says a senior Israeli official. The missiles, as well as several hundred Iranian Revolutionary Guards, have reached the Hezbollah militia unhindered through Syrian airports and roads. Syria is the main power broker in Lebanon. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said earlier this year at the United Nations that Iran has supplied Hezbollah with 10,000 rockets with ranges of 13 miles to 44 miles. Many experts believe Hezbollah apparently is planning to strike Israel to prevent or disrupt a possible U.S. attack on Iraq. Hezbollah , which Washington has called a terrorist group has refused to comment on its military strategy. The group's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah who led a massive rally in Beirut last week has called for the destruction of America! A State Department report on terror released in May found that Iran supplies Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups with money, refuge, training and weapons, and encouraged Hezbollah and Palestinian groups to coordinate their activities. The United States has pressed Syria to rein in Hezbollah, which Syria has refused to do.
Iran, Iraq Directing, Financing Attacks Against Israel
.CBS) A CBS News in a special broadcast Sunday night, presented proof Israel says shows a direct link between Palestinian terror and Iran and Iraq. According to the report, Iran and Iraq are secretly financing and directing attacks against Israel. According to Israel intelligence officials quoted in the report, the proof of the ties between the PA and Iran and Iraq, was found in documents confiscated from Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound earlier this year. According to the report, Israel has captured members of a Palestinian terror cell who admitted during their interrogations that they were trained by Iraqi officials how to use weapons including shoulder-fired missiles which could be shot at airplanes. The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, said three Iraqi-backed Palestinian militants were arrested as they tried to enter Israel recently with plans to carry out attacks at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport, which was apparently foiled by the tight security there. In their interrogation they said they were members of the Palestinian Liberation Front and that they had been trained in the Front's camps in Iraq.
US Congress Says Move Embassy to Jerusalem
.(Ha Aretz)The U.S. Congress last week passed proposals that would define Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, increase support for Israel, and impose restriction on aid to Lebanon and the Palestinians. These decisions are incorporated in the State Department's budget law, and require President Bush's authorization. The U.S. has traditionally opposed such classification of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, claiming that the city's status is to be determined in future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet the Bush administration did not make a concerted effort to stop this new legislative initiative on the Hill. In the past, the Secretary of State of the President has sent letters to key Congressmen, pleading with them not to approve similar proposals on the grounds of American national security interests. This time, however, the White House chose not to intervene, and Congress passed the proposed resolutions. Yet while signing the bill into law, President Bush still has the power to declare sections which deal with the Consulate in Jerusalem as having no more than declarative status.
Arafat: We'll liberate Jerusalem!
.(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat vowed yesterday to continue his struggle for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The remarks made by telephone from his besieged and largely destroyed Ramallah compound were transmitted to thousands of Palestinians at a Gaza rally marking the second year of the Palestinian uprising. We reiterate on this anniversary that we are marching until victory and until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Arafat told the crowds. Arafat said the struggle will continue until "a child of our children... will raise the flag of Palestine over the walls of Jerusalem and the minarets of Jerusalem and the churches of Jerusalem. Noble Jerusalem will remain the capital of the Palestinian state whether anybody wants it or not," he said. "We are not only defending our holy places, Christian and Islamic, but every inch of our holy land," Arafat continued. Palestinian officials said they hope the US has finally realized that the situation and its unconditional support for Israel were hurting its interests in the region.
Share this page with your friends.
This free script provided by