News Round Up (3 Nov. 2007)


South Korean President’s opinion (Thanks Simo)
Roh says allegations of N.K.-Syria nuclear cooperation not backed by evidence

By Yoo Cheong-mo
SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said he has never seen evidence of nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria, denying U.S. media reports alleging

Aviation Week: New Satellite Surveillance System Was Key Israeli Tool In Syria Raid

Syria’s internal politics might have contributed to the apparent success of the Sept. 6 mission. The target was so highly classified in Damascus that the military wasn’t briefed and, therefore, air defenses were unprepared, says an Israeli official.

Israeli and U.S. officials will not reveal operational details or even the actual target under threat of criminal prosecution. Political and military leaders in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem don’t want to humiliate or anger Syria by providing details of the attack.


The immoral and blunt U.S. interference in Lebanon's internal affairs has been clearly demonstrated," said an editorial in the state-run Tishrin daily, which reflects government thinking.

"Condoleezza Rice speaks about Lebanon as if it is an American state," Tishrin said, referring to comments made by the U.S. secretary of state on her flight to Europe Thursday, in which she laid down strong conditions that she said the U.S. and Lebanon's European backers demand in the upcoming election. 

The French and Syrian foreign ministers on Friday discussed Lebanon on the sidelines of a meeting on Iraq in Turkey. Syria's Walid al-Moallem blamed the U.S. for hindering any agreement on a consensus president.

In comments to the pan-Arab Al Hayat daily published Saturday, al-Moallem blamed the United States. "The problem is not in Damascus but in Washington which opposes any compromise candidate and any dialogue between the Lebanese," he said. [AP]

Rice tells Syria not to meddle in Lebanon (Reuters)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Saturday she delivered a firm message to Syria's foreign minister not to interfere in Lebanon's election process, telling him the world was watching.

Rice held a rare meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on the sidelines of an Iraq conference and later drew up a statement along with France and others that urged Damascus not to meddle in Lebanon's political process.

"I spoke to him quite firmly about Lebanon. I made very clear that everybody was watching, that it was expected that Syria was going to adhere to its international obligations not to interfere, to allow Lebanon to continue to have a constitutional process for the selection of a president," Rice told reporters traveling with her.

"I warned Syria of the imperative need to allow the presidential election process to go ahead according to the constitution … without any external interference," Kouchner told reporters.

Daoud Khairallah in the Daily Star: America and the ongoing Lebanese crisis

Liberation of the remaining Lebanese territory and detainees in the Israeli prisons, and providing Lebanese, especially those living in the South, with effective protection from Israeli incursions and attacks would go a long way in settling the weapons of Hizbullah issue.

Regardless of how urgent or desirable it is to see Hizbullah disarmed, this is an objective that is more likely to be achieved by efforts of internal parties perceived as trusted friends and respected nationalists than by politically discredited adversaries of Hizbullah.

I believe that national leaders with credible commitment to a sovereign state and effective national security institutions, like General Michel Aoun, are infinitely more effective in obtaining serious concessions from the Hizbullah leadership than any other parties, internal or external.

The US can play a very important role in bringing Lebanese together and putting an end to the crisis. A government of national unity in Lebanon cannot be against the US strategic interests in the area.

US officials prevailing on their Lebanese friends, who have become frequent visitors to Washington for guidance and support to agree on electing a president in conformity with constitutional requirements and uninterrupted precedents, a president who has the trust of all major Lebanese communities, would not weaken the US stand in Lebanon or the rest of the Arab world.

The official pronouncements of passive neutrality are neither convincing nor helpful. An active role on the part of the US officials visibly supportive of national unity in Lebanon and an end to the ongoing crisis would serve both US and Lebanese interests.


Daoud Khairallah is an adjunct professor of International Law at Georgetown University.

Report: Syria vetoes summit against peace conference


Syria police kill pro-PKK demonstrator Africasia

This note comes from Kaan in Turkey
Dear Dr. LANDIS,
According to Turkish Daily Milliyet ( ), the Syrian security forces opened fire to the people carrying the PKK flags and banners of  PKK’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, who gathered to protest Turkey’s policy toward PKK and Northern Iraq last Friday Nov 2, in the Hilaliye village of Qamishli district. Abdul Aziz Davi, the secretary general of the Syrian Kurdish Progressive Democratic Party said  at least one killed, injured several and numerous taken to custody in the incident. The party is known as supporting the PKK.  In the meeting, besides live ammunition , as said in Milliyet quoting Peyammer web-site which is affiliated with Mustapha Barzani’s KDP, Syrian forces have used tear gas and water cannon to break the crowd.
PKK’s armed front organization, HPG,  whose web site a notice has been delivered, has threatened the Bashar Assad administration and  has  too accused Syrian government of supporting the policies of Turkey.  HPG has in addition claimed that Bashar Assad has been in the influence of Turkish state and this policy only makes a confrontation among nations and will result a war. HPG also threatened Syria unless it change its way of behaving.
Kaan Kutlu ATAC,
Hacettepe Univ. 

MENAFN) The Syrian Oil Minister announced that Syria is seeking to construct a $3 billion oil refinery with a Kuwaiti partner in an effort to increase the country's capacity to over double the current rate, Khaleej Times reported. 

He went on to state that the factory will also process crude oil from neighboring Iraq. The new refineries will allow Syria to import, process and export Iraqi crude, offsetting its own declining supply.

On another note, Venezuela, Iran and Syria and a Malaysian private company have publicized plans to construct a $2.6 billion refinery near Homs, in central Syria, scheduled for completion in four years.

Syria's refining capacity is currently at 220,000 barrels a day. The two Syrian refineries will each have an output of about 140,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Comments (12)

t_desco said:

Abu Salim Taha Names Perpetrators of Ain Alaq Bombings

Fatah al-Islam’s spokesman Abu Salim Taha named the perpetrators of the Feb. 13 twin bus bombings in Ain Alaq north of Beirut that left three people killed and 23 others wounded.

Abu Taha identified the executors as Abu Omar al-Hijji, a Syrian who was killed at the beginning of the Nahr al-Bared fighting, and Mustafa Siyor, also a Syrian who is in police custody.

The daily As Safir, which carried the report, said the Lebanese army’s intelligence bureau was capable of “drawing a complete pyramid” of the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah al-Islam terrorist group.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper said Abu Taha presented “all the facts” related to bank robberies designed for financing his group.

After 50 days of investigation, Abu Taha also named Fatah al-Islam’s financial coordinator as Abu Ritaj, possibly a Saudi, whose lineage goes back to al-Qaida.

Taha presented a list of Fatah al-Islam names who are largely Syrian.

The report said 70 Fatah al-Islam members are Syrian, 50 Saudis, another 50 of various Arab nationalities, in addition to about 20 Palestinians, 10 Jordanians and others from Afghan, Chechnya and Serbia.

November 3rd, 2007, 11:24 pm


t_desco said:

Nibras Kazimi has translated the final part of Faisal Akbar’s testimony on his blog, Talisman Gate:

Narrative of a Conspiracy, Part 4

This is the final installment of the Faisal Akbar testimony, which appears in the October 16, 2007 issue of Al-Akhbar. I will post my analysis over the next couple of days. Promise.

“Q: We noticed while taking down your statement during the phases of the investigation that you use aliases for some people while neglecting [the use of aliases] for others. Why [do you do this]?

A: I am used to saying, for example, Sheikh Osama bin Laden or Sheikh Abu Abdullah, because the alias is repeated to me all the time, especially since this goes to the core of my work as a mujahid in Al-Qaeda. When it comes to Hariri, I say this without his title since there is no intention or particular purpose to mention this title in this way.

Q: Why did you purposefully take security precautions, as you told us, varying in degrees of importance, such as hiding Khalid al-Taha at the camp, while you isolated Marwan, that is Hani al-Shenty, in the Al-Besta apartment and Amer Hallaq and Salim Halimeh in the Tareek Jdeideh apartment, without them finding a way [of contacting] one another. What is the purpose of these measures, and why does Khalid al-Taha enjoy such a high level of security importance?

A: I was following the orders of Sheikh Rashid as they were in the security arrangement, because Khalid al-Taha has a relationship with Ziyad Ramadhan, and the latter was mentioned by name in the Mehlis report.

Q: You said that you are part of, and organized within, a jihadist movement that seeks to fight in Iraq. While in Lebanon, we found in the apartments that you manage weapons and rockets and bombs and communications equipment and guns and a mask and belts that belie that they are suicide belts, and hair color dyes and electrical components for detonations, and we also found wireless equipment. And with the detainees that contacted you, we found combat and training manuals that surpass is security sophistication what we ourselves know. Tell us why [you] possessed these materials, especially in light it has become clear that [your] movement was not from Syria to Iraq, but [rather] from Syria to Lebanon. Why is this presence [infused] with such caution including providing each one of you, in the very least, with a fake identification document. It was also revealed that each one of your comrades, and you too, had several phone cards. Each person would use one card, and his alias would be marked on the back of the card. In addition we asked you to provide us with the name of one person who took a [security] seminar and gave his allegiance, and then managed to get to Iraq to fight and achieve his goal?

A: We came to Lebanon to escape the Syrian security sweeps and to continue our jihadist work in Lebanon [which involved] the bombs and the rockets. As for the explosive belts, they also enter into our work. As for the hair dyes, they are for masquerading, and they are used by Sheikh Rashid, not myself. As for the electrical circuits, they belong to the electronic [part of our organization] that is managed by Jamil. As for the studies that were saved on the computers of the guys, these are modern combat studies, like the seminar of the martyr Isma’il al-Khatib on assembling electronic circuits to attach to explosives, and seminars on making explosives, and seminars on advanced communications equipment. As for the brothers who fought in Iraq and came from Lebanon, I will mention to you the martyr Abu Omar al-Lubnani, the father of Muhammed Ramadhan whose son was also martyred in Iraq, and that was two years ago. But nowadays, the borders were shut down as of approximately a month and a half ago.

Q: What did you see on television when Ahmed Abu Ades appeared, and what do you remember of him?

A: I remember watching him on the Aljazeera channel, in a film cut up into two or three segments, reading a statement [on behalf] of the Nusra wel Jihad group, taking responsibility for the Hariri assassination. I don’t remember all the reasons, but I remember some of them that revolved around the revenge for the martyrs of the haramein [Translator’s Note: the holy cities of Mecca and Medina], and it was widespread among us that Hariri had signed the execution [orders] for some of the Salafist mujaheddin in Lebanon.

Q: Could the life of Khalid al-Taha be in danger now since he is, as you said, suffering from problems?

A: Khalid is in the Ain al-Helwah Camp with the Usbet al-Ansar group, and they are brothers to us and there is coordination between us and them, and they are taking care of him per an agreement between Sheikh Rashid with he who has the alias Abu Bassir, and he is the head of the group. I will tell you that Khalid al-Taha left his gun in the Ain al-Rummaneh apartment with Hani al-Shenty because he felt safe about knowing that he is going to move into the Usbet al-Ansar camp.

Q: After perusing and checking your laptop, we found encrypted e-mails that were stored in a secret file. Explain these messages to us, and what are they meant [for], and the symbols found in them?

A: This file contains encrypted e-mails that [belong] to Rashid, and I cannot open them or translate these messages for you. Rashid is the only one capable of reading these messages, because he possesses the password and we do not possess it.

Q: You mentioned in your statement that the cost of the Mitsubishi truck was 7000 dollars, and this price matched the price of the aforementioned truck in the Lebanese market?

A: This happened by coincidence.

Q: The list of forgery equipment, letters, laptop and its accessories, weapons, funds, phone cards and other things found in the Shati al-Dhahabi apartment belong to who? Tell us about them in detail?

A: The paper on which the electronic equipment and stationary and the maps of Beirut and Tripoli are noted was a request from Jalal, who is also called Sultan or Murad, and he is the one who is proficient at forgery within [our] group. He asked me for these things so that I would buy them for him because he wanted to use them in the Ain al-Helwah camp. The laptop is Rashid’s, and the accessories of this laptop belong to Rashid too. The letters, which you have shown me, and that I have recognized them, are letters from the brothers in Usbet al-Ansar in the Ain al-Helwah Camp to Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, through Rashid, [while] the letter addressed to “the Hajji”, which is an alias for Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, and the letter to Abu Laith al-Nejdi, who was martyred [later], these two letters [belong] to Rashid. It should be noted that I burn any letter after reading it, but I don’t know why Rashid keeps these letters.

As for the two guns and the bomb, they were brought by the doctor whose alias is Muwwafaq with him, and he is in your custody. The funds belong to our organization, and it is in Rashid’s charge. The VISA credit cards with the names of Saudi persons belong to Rashid, and he is capable of withdrawing money with them after the owners deposit the funds that are donated to [our] organization. The phone cards are for use between us and the guys in Lebanon and Syria. The belts, I don’t know what they are used for, except one which is for straightening a back. The fake identification cards were received by Rashid for distribution among the guys.

The hair dying kit found in the Shati’ al-Dhahabi apartment belongs to Rashid, because he wanted to change his appearance, because he is known and for security reasons. The mask was brought by the doctor with him.

Q: Why do you deliberately change aliases?

A: For security circumstances, aliases are changed every once and a while.

Q: When did Khalid al-Taha change his alias from Badr to Nour, and under what circumstances?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Has Marwan changed his alias since joining the group, we mean Hani al-Shenti?

A: No Marwan didn’t change his alias, and kept it the same.

Q: Did Amer and Selim change their aliases since that time?

A: No they did not change their aliases.

Q: Did Bilal Za’aroureh change his alias?

A: Yes he changed it from Jalal to Ramadhan.

Q: Why this uniqueness and security circumstances that drove Khalid al-Taha and Bilal Za’aroureh specifically to change their aliases, especially since they were sent to the camp to hide?

A: For security necessities.

Q: Can you explain this security necessity in light of their association with Ahmed Abu Ades?

A: I do not have an answer to this question.

Q: What do you think about Rashid’s denial to any [emir status] or pledge of allegiance or activity or knowledge of activities that your comrades admitted to willingly?

A: Rashid is an emir, and I think he is thinking for the long term so that he won’t stay in prison for too long. He will [then] get out to continue his jihadist activity. Because he is an emir, he is entitled to claim and say what he sees fit.

Q: During a stage of the stages of this interrogation, you gave a clear testimonial about receiving Ahmed Abu Ades, and then your participation in filming the video, and explaining specific details during the filming, such as breaking down the Abu Ades statement on the film into four parts, and then you told us about the reasons and motivations that Abu Ades mentioned in the film, and then you gave an oral testimony to the Lt. Col. who heads [our] branch, and then you retracted [your testimony]. Explain this to us?

A: I told you many things that I made up in my imagination, and they have no connection to reality, such as dividing up the statement into four parts, and they are the religious introduction, that contains verses from the Koran, then a tradition [of the prophet], and third the political reasons that involve stealing the money of Lebanon, and that Hariri signed the execution [orders] for the young mujaheddin in Lebanon who had assassinated Nezar al-Halabi, and to avenge the martyrs of the haramein like Abu Hajer [who is] Abdel-Aziz al-Muqrin, and the fourth [part] is his [final words] to his mother and the Muslims in general.
I certify to you that all these details were derived from my imagination and are not true.

Q: The details that you innovated match irrefutable facts, that have been revealed in many investigations regarding the topic of our [file] here [regarding] the crime of assassinating the martyred President Rafiq Hariri and the disappearance of Ahmed Abu Ades, which shows that you know of matters and details you told us about or modified, and then you backed away from them. We advise you to tell the truth as it is, and to tell us about the persons who you may perceive, and for special reasons, as the legitimate superiors or brothers in the jihad?

A: The real reason that I mentioned and I am certain of and this is widespread among the mujaheddin, is the matter of the Hariri’s signature on the execution [orders] of the mujaheddin in Lebanon. I heard this matter from Rashid after the Hariri assassination, and while we were following the news on television in the security office in Syria during the same day that Hariri was assassinated on.

Q: Was that on 14/2/2005, and at what time as far as you recall?

A: Yes this matter was [during] watching television and hearing the Abu Ades statement on 14/2/2005, and I remember it was after afternoon prayers.

Q: What did Rashid say at the time, and who was with you?

A: No one was with us, and Rashid said at the time, after the film was played on Aljazeera, that “Hariri was implicated and responsible for signing the execution [orders] for the mujaheddin in the Nezar al-Halabi case” and I hadn’t known about this matter until Rashid told me about it.

Q: Are you prepared to confront Rashid with this claim, and what if he asked you to obey his order since he was the emir as you mentioned?

A: Yes I am prepared to confront Rashid, Hassan al-Naba’a, on what he said on that date, and I will not follow his order if he asked me to stop testifying or to corroborate his statements, because now I am speaking truthfully and there is no guile in what I am saying.

Q: What about your retraction in a short while after what we said, if we asked you another question?

A: I certify to you that what I mentioned now is honest and true, and what Rashid had mentioned about the execution of the mujaheddin in the Nezar al-Halabi case is what I learnt from him. As for what [I meant] by widespread, are the executions in general, which Hariri signed, and they concern past Lebanese mujaheddin like Badi’ or Wadi’. This matter is specific to the Lebanese, and known by them like Rashid, but I didn’t know it. I have given my testimony willingly and with all truthfulness and I have nothing to say otherwise.

[His statement was read to him; he corroborated it and signed it along with us]

Sending Swords to Iraq

Q: It came to light in the testimony of someone else in this [investigation] that he was tasked once with purchasing a sword from Beirut, and specifically from the Dora [area], and sending it to Rashid in Syria, what is the veracity of this claim?

A: Rashid sends swords to Iraq to Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, and I have no knowledge of who from the guys brings them from Lebanon.

Q: Who do you think it is?

A: My direct emir is Rashid.

Q: How does that obligate you, explain that to us?

A: I fully follow what he says to me or assigned to me by him and I don’t refuse it unless there is a religious [reason] not to.

Q: Given what you just said, does this matter obligate you to hide facts so as not to damage the group or its emir or the general doctrine?

A: Yes I am committed to following orders, especially if they are from the emir, to hide facts or details.

Q: Where did you meet Rashid and how and when?

A: I met Rashid who is in your custody and now I found out that his name is Hassan Naba’a, in Afghanistan during the year 2000 in one of the training camps and we stayed together for approximately five months, then Abu Musa’ab al-Zarqawi sent him to Lebanon to organize groups to prepare the ground for the jihad in Lebanon, so Rashid arrived and he was called at the time “Abu Muslim”.

Knowledge of the streets of Beirut

Q: You mentioned to us that you knew the streets of Beirut because you have been to Lebanon on previous occasions, when did you arrive and where did you stay and what was the purpose of your presence during those times?

A: I arrived in Lebanon in mid-2001 as I was tasked by Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi to meet the Jund al-Sham group that is located in the ‘Ain al-Helwah Camp. I came from Turkey to Lebanon, and I stayed at the White House Hotel in Hamra under my real name for an hour only then I traveled with someone called Mu’in to the Ain al-Helwah Camp to discuss with Jund al-Sham the issue of pledging allegiance and going to [do] jihad in Afghanistan and I stayed in the camp for about two weeks. I traveled afterwards to Turkey and then to Afghanistan, and I came during the same year from Syria to Lebanon through the Masna’a [border point] under my real name again and I went directly to the Ain al-Helwah Camp. I met again the brothers in Jund al-Sham for about four days to observe the issue of going out to the jihad and to ascertain their preparedness and abilities.

During that time I became wanted in Lebanon by the Lebanese judiciary because Mu’in was stopped in Syria and handed [back] to Lebanon for the crime of forgery, I was called at the time “Qweidh” “Qaws”. I managed to leave to Syria and then returned to Lebanon on dates that I don’t remember for about three times again to the Ain al-Helwah Camp. After this time I used to enter Lebanon with a fake Saudi passport under the name Fahed al-Yamani, and I would come for a day or two for the [border] stamps so that the Syrian General Security [Directorate] would see stamps on my passport even though it was fake, and I would use when coming to Lebanon furnished apartments in Hamra and Rosheh, and I also stayed in the Shuweifat area in an apartment with Nabil who is called “Abu al-Ghadieh”, who was martyred in Iraq. I stayed for two days there, then I returned to Syria while Nabil statyed there, and that was in 2003, so I have been to Lebanon around eight times, and that is why I know the streets of Beirut.
Talisman Gate

Great job! I’m looking forward to the analysis.

November 3rd, 2007, 11:51 pm


norman said:

This is the article about the conflict in north Syria,

Kurd killed in north Syria protest
Sun Nov 4, 2007 1:50am GMT Email This Article | Print This Article | Digg | Single Page[-] Text [+] By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

DAMASUCUS (Reuters) – Security forces killed a Kurdish youth and wounded four other people in northeastern Syria while breaking up a protest against a possible Turkish incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan, witnesses and Kurdish activists said on Sunday.

The incident revived the issue of longstanding Kurdish grievances in tightly controlled Syria and evoked painful memories of demonstrations and riots a few years ago that killed 30 people.

Witnesses said Issa Khalil, 24, was among a group of 200 Kurds who gathered in the city of Qamishli on Friday in support of their brethren across the border in Iraq.

The city was the scene of anti-government riots in 2004 that spread to Kurdish areas across Syria.

Machal Jammo, a Kurdish activist, told Reuters police fired bullets and teargas to break up the demonstrations. Protesters responded by throwing stones.

“Syria wants to send a message of support to Turkey. But its hostility to the Kurdish presence in the region risks a repeat of the 2004 anger on a larger scale,” said Jammo, an official in the Kurdish Future Movement, which advocates democracy and equal rights for Syria’s one million Kurdish minority.

Thousands of Kurds turned out for Khalil’s funeral in Qamishly on Saturday. Witnesses said security forces surrounded the funeral procession but did not interfere.

“We could be looking at more funerals, which is keeping the situation tense. Two of the four with wounds are in serious condition,” a resident of the city said.

There was no comment from the Syrian authorities. Qamishly is heavily policed and news from the city is slow to filter out.

Police in the northern town of Aleppo prevented an anti-Turkish demonstration last week but there were no casualties, human right activists said.


Turkey has amassed around 100,000 soldiers on its border with Iraqi Kurdistan for a possible attack on PKK separatists who have launched strikes against Turkish forces.

Baghdad has sought to calm Turkey, saying it is prepared to pursue guerrilla leaders responsible for raids into Turkey to avert an invasion.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed support for Turkey’s policy toward the PKK on a visit to Ankara last month, although Information Minister Mohsen Bilal later said Assad did not back a Turkish attack on Iraq.

Relations between Ankara and Damascus improved sharply in recent years as Kurdish power has risen in Iraq. In an interview with al-Jazeera television, Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani described Syria’s position toward Iraqi Kurdistan as “negative”.

Syria’s overtures toward Turkey have not gone down well with Syria’s own Kurdish minority which includes thousands of disenfranchised Kurds without passports or official documents to own property or use government services.

Under Turkish pressure, Syria has cracked down on the PKK. A security court handed several PKK members long sentences last year in trials criticised by human rights groups as illegitimate.

Syria banned the PKK after a confrontation with Turkey in 1998 over the group’s activities. The two countries came close to a military conflict before Damascus met Turkey’s request to expel PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who was later arrested and jailed by Turkey.

© Reuters2007All rights reserved.

November 4th, 2007, 2:56 am


MSK said:

Dear T-Desco,

We’re all indebted to Nibras for having translated those articles. As for any analysis … well, quite frankly I am close to saying that there is not really any way that this “interrogation” can be analyzed any other than “could be true, could be not true”.

Faisal Akbar has now repeatedly said that some of the things that he had previously (in earlier parts of the interrogation) said were lies, but that he “now” is telling the truth “without guile”. But then he goes on saying that he will follow the orders of his “emir”, including that he is “committed to following orders, especially if they are from the emir, to hide facts or details.”

All that makes the whole text pretty much worthless.

Or what do you think?


November 4th, 2007, 8:59 am


ausamaa said:

There are many Palestinians Killed everyday by Israel in the occupied territories but they dont the make the headlines nowadays do they? However the Shooting of a claimed PKK Kurd in northern Syria is BREAKING NEWS!!!

Any PKK members shot in Iraq or Turkey recently?

A Syrian worker in Lebanon was found dead in a “bath tub” in Lebanon last week. Lebanese Internal Security reported the “incident” as Accidental Drawning! I Wonder why this item did not receive the same attention of the same objective MSM accorded to the shooting of the PPK member in northern Syria.

Condolences go to the dead ones, to objectivity and to the Syria-vigilant MSM as well…

November 4th, 2007, 9:48 am


ausamaa said:

Post Script to the above:


IDF strikes northern Gaza Strip, killing 4 Palestinians
Hospital officials: 3 of the casualties were civilians; air, ground attacks follow rocket strikes on western Negev. 10:21

Are we going to see this on the front page anywhere?

November 4th, 2007, 10:01 am


MSK said:


You wrote:

Post Script to the above:


IDF strikes northern Gaza Strip, killing 4 Palestinians
Hospital officials: 3 of the casualties were civilians; air, ground attacks follow rocket strikes on western Negev. 10:21

Are we going to see this on the front page anywhere?

Well, it IS on the front page – in Ha’aretz. 😉


November 4th, 2007, 10:11 am


t_desco said:

Dear MSK,

it is indeed difficult to for us to determine what is true and what isn’t, but the investigators are in a much better position. They know the circumstances under which the testimony was made (and recanted), they can compare it to other testimonies and they can even come back and ask new questions, so I don’t think that one should call this testimony “worthless” (another important question: is it genuine? In my view, the confusion and contradictions are an indicator that it is.).

After recanting his initial testimony, Faisal Akbar even mentions another possible motive for the assassination of Hariri:

As Nur al-Cubicle pointed out yesterday, commenting on Bernard Rougier’s book, “(Rafik Hariri) also hanged three young men for the assassination of an Abash figure … much to the displeasure, again, of the Lebanese Islamic community.”

Faisal Akbar confirms this, saying that “it was widespread among us that Hariri had signed the execution [orders] for some of the Salafist mujaheddin in Lebanon.”

As I said before, the most important aspect of this whole story is the confirmation that Khaled Midhat Taha, Ahmed Abu Adass’ friend, was a member of this cell linked to al-Qa’ida and the Dinniyeh group. And even Detlev Mehlis suspected that Taha had a role in the disappearance of Abu Adass.

November 4th, 2007, 10:38 am


MSK said:

Dear T-Desco,

When I said “worthless”, I meant for us, those outside the investigation. I responded to your last sentence “I’m looking forward to the analysis.” -> Since Nibras Kazemi is not a member of the Lebanese investigation team who, obviously, are in a different category & for whom, hopefully, the information will be useful.

As for the Hariri-signing-execution-order-for-Salafi-mujahidin story, well, Faisal Akbar said that he had only heard about it AFTER the assassination of Hariri from Rashid. So I’m wondering how “widespread” that information was. And, quite frankly, among Lebanese Sunni Muslims, the Ahbash are looked at somewhat suspiciously, since they are perceived to have been Syrian tools during the occupation.

On that note – does the Lebanese president have to sign off on execution orders? If he does … then why didn’t the Salafists also target Lahoud?

I’m going to have to read Rougier’s book. Nur al-Cubicle is not exactly an impartial observer (or even coming remotely close to being one) and I don’t trust his/her review.


November 4th, 2007, 11:02 am


ausamaa said:


Are you serious??? And the killed Syrian worker in Lebanon? Is he on the Front page of Al Nahar or Al Mustaqbal or Elaph?

November 4th, 2007, 1:07 pm


MSK said:


Please note the 😉 in my comment to you.

But to answer your question: No, “killed Syrian worker” won’t be on the front page of either Al-Nahar or Al-Mustaqbal or Elaph … because they don’t care. Just as Tishrin or Ba’th doesn’t care about Lebanese killed by Syrian forces during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

See … you’re one of those people who keeps harking on about how bad & evil & despicable X, Y & Z supposedly are, and then, when they really act bad/evil/despicable … you are all up in arms about it and call it an outrage.

I have to admit that sometimes it is amusing, but most of the time it’s just tedious. I actually prefer Majedkhaldun with his whacky conspiracy posts – he makes me laugh.


November 4th, 2007, 1:14 pm


ausamaa said:


And how many Lebanese were killed by Syrian troops during thier “occupation” of Lebanon, and how many Syrian troops were killed during their confrontations with, and disarmament of, the different Lebanese Militias and Gangs?

And why did Syria enter Lebanon then in the First Place? And really, would you have a geographically united Lebanon today if Syria did not enter Lebanon in the seventies.

It seems that your memory is shorter than Junblat’s!

Isnt lucky for Lebanon that Syria is the “subject in question” not the US; if it was the Bush Admin, you may well have on your hands today a resolution by the US Congress calling for the DIVISION of LEBANON into three states as they have recently done in Iraq’s case!

Count your blessings!

Cheers Habibi..

November 4th, 2007, 4:39 pm


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