Posted by Joshua on Friday, May 25th, 2007
Jay Solomon of the WSJ writes:
A U.N. Security Council vote on establishing an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is expected as early as May 29.
The U.S., France and U.K. are initiating discussions inside the Security Council on the resolution Thursday, according to U.S. diplomats, and the actual vote is expected next Tuesday. Permanent Security Council members China and Russia, and non-permanent members South Africa and Qatar, are among the countries that might oppose the Hariri court, according to U.S. and Lebanese officials. Many Lebanese fear even more violence could engulf Lebanon should the tribunal move forward.
French FM says Hariri tribunal will happen, Date : May 24, 2007
France said on Thursday that the international community was determined to set up an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, on his first trip abroad since being appointed less than a week ago, told a Beirut news conference "France and the international community are determined to establish the tribunal to try the assassins."
What is the case for a Syrian connection to Fath al-Islam?
Paul Salem says: "A lot of it is conjecture, but the timing is kind of suggestive," Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, said of the events this week and the accusations that ensued.
"It's worrisome that in pretty much 48 hours, we went to basically a war and two bombs," Salem said in a telephone interview in Beirut, before Wednesday's blast.
What is the Case Against?
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem has denied that his country played any role. Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, also saw a pattern in the violence, just as Lebanese do, but suggested that the culprits were Lebanon or its allies.
"This is not a coincidence," the Syrian ambassador said. "Some people are trying to influence the Security Council and to make pressure on the council so they can go ahead with the adoption of the draft resolution on the tribunal."
Sami Moubayed argues that Syria has nothing to do with Fath al-Islam: Lebanon battles a new demon
Read the "Friday Lunch Club" for more interesting articles.
One commentator writes:
Any analogy between the events in Nahr el-Bared camp & Hama?
Islamic extremists, innocent civilians caught in the middle, a military siege, etc. etc… The only difference: publicity. The US was praising the Lebanese military for the "tough battle" yesterday..
Just a quick reflection on the notion of good vs evil. Sounds like history repeats itself, with different names… Don't forget the battle of Falluja to destroy the insurgency, and the number of civilian casualties.
"The truly international character of the Fatah al-Islam membership is a good argument against it being a creation of (or receiving orders from) Syrian intelligence. Frankly, it looks more like al-Qa’ida proper: so far we have seen reports of its members being
Many interesting articles today, e.g.:
A Newsweek interview with Bernard Rougier (note that he is much more cautious in his assessments than the reporter) – Lebanon’s New War(s)
A good summary by Robert Fisk who poses interesting questions about the relationship between Fatah al-Islam and Jund al-Sham –
Robert Fisk: The road to Jerusalem (via Lebanon)
Fatah al-Islam has a direct organizational link to al-Qa’ida via Mohammad Ali Omar (Abu Hattab/Abu Azzam) and Abu Rushd al-Miqati, according to Hazim al-Amin:
Lebanon’s Fatah al-Islam leadership & organization
Beirut- According to alarabiya.net the group’s leader is not Shaker al-Absi. Absi belongs in the second tier of the leadership… His role is to execute the orders of the top leadership.
The top Leadership of the organization or what is known as first tier is a group of 3 who are the following:
1-Mohammad Ali Omar known as Abu Hattab who heads the leadership group.
Abu Hattab was born in Syria but travels with a Lebanese passport . He lives in Tripoli and is well known in this city and some call him Abu Azzam . He is 30 + years old. He has reportedly lived in Afghanistan and Chechnya.
2- Marwan , who is a a Palestinian is the Financial chief of the group. He lives in the Ein Helwe Palestinian refugee camp and travels regularly to Baghdad , Iraq . Unconfirmed reports say he is also known as Abd Alkarim Alsaadi or Abu Muhjin and has known Abu Hattab for a long time .
According to reports , the US FBI had sent an investigating team to Lebanon in 2002 to investigate the relations between Abu Hattab , Abu Muhjin and Mohammad Atta , the leader of the September 11 bombing .
3- Mohammad H. who is a Syrian citizen is the coordinator . His role is to inform the 2nd tier leadership of the decisions made by the first tier leadership.
According to Alarabiya, Alqaida is no longer an organization, but it is an ideology . Hence Fatah al-Islam is not a member of al Qaida , but it is an alQaida type organization and its leadership is organized in the same way as al Qaida.
Al Qaida Cell in Lebanon has a leader whose name is Abu Rushd el Mikati ( no relationship with the Mikati family of Lebnaon ). Mikati travels regularly to Peshawar in Pakistan . He is Abu Hattab’s boss.
Most of the Fatah al-Islam militants have returned from Iraq via Syria.
All those that were killed or wounded by the Lebanese army are from the second tier of leadership of the organization.
Alarabiya.net information came from an expert on Islamic extremists including al Qaida, Arab Journalist Hazim al Amin. Amin told Alarabiya, Fatah al-Islam is finished as a coherent organization, but he is concerned that once shattered this organization could become very dangerous in Lebanon and individual terrorists could do could do much harm to the country.
The Middle East Monitor has a number of good articles. The first by Gary Gambill article by Moubayed are particularly interesting.
|Hezbollah and the Political Ecology of Postwar Lebanon
Hezbollah's conflict with is Israel is fueled substantially by local political conditions in Lebanon.
|Gary C. Gambill|
|Implications of the Israel-Hezbollah War
The mixed outcome of the recent Israel-Hezbollah war may prove to be a stable equilibrium.
|Gary C. Gambill|
|Briefing: Lebanese Public Opinion
Four surveys offer revealing insights into Lebanese public opinion about Hezbollah, Israel, and the United States.
The Islamic Revival in Syria by Moubayed
In response to growing Islamist militancy in Syria, the Assad regime has incrementally abandoned the ruling Baath Party's longstanding secularizing mission and encouraged the growth of Islamist civil society loyal to the state.
One the subject of the regime and Islam, also read Marc Perelman in the Forward: With Islamic Militancy Rising, Syria’s Baath Regime Finds Religion
Juliette Terzieff of the World Politics Review Exclusive puts Syria's recent arrests of political activists in context in "Whither the Damascus Spring? Syria Steps Up Crackdown on Reformers."."
I will be off-line for the next several days, while at the shore.