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Archive for February 18th, 2008

‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star

Geert Wilders, the popular MP whose film on Islam has fuelled the debate on race in Holland, wants an end to mosque building and Muslim immigration. Ian Traynor met him in The Hague

A TV addict with bleached hair who adores Maggie Thatcher and prefers kebabs to hamburgers, Geert Wilders has got nothing against Muslims. He just hates Islam. Or so he says. ‘Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology,’ says Wilders, a lanky Roman Catholic right-winger, ‘the ideology of a retarded culture.’

The Dutch politician, who sees himself as heir to a recent string of assassinated or hounded mavericks who have turned Holland upside down, has been doing a crash course in Koranic study. Likening the Islamic sacred text to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, he wants the ‘fascist Koran’ outlawed in Holland, the constitution rewritten to make that possible, all immigration from Muslim countries halted, Muslim immigrants paid to leave and all Muslim ‘criminals’ stripped of Dutch citizenship and deported ‘back where they came from’. But he has nothing against Muslims. ‘I have a problem with Islamic tradition, culture, ideology. Not with Muslim people.’

Wilders has been immersing himself in the suras and verse of seventh-century Arabia. The outcome of his scholarship, a short film, has Holland in a panic. He is just putting the finishing touches to the 10-minute film, he says, and talking to four TV channels about screening it.

‘It’s like a walk through the Koran,’ he explains in a sterile conference room in the Dutch parliament in The Hague, security chaps hovering outside. ‘My intention is to show the real face of Islam. I see it as a threat. I’m trying to use images to show that what’s written in the Koran is giving incentives to people all over the world. On a daily basis Moroccan youths are beating up homosexuals on the streets of Amsterdam.’

Wilders is lucid and shrewd and the provactive soundbites trip easily off his tongue. He was recently voted Holland’s most effective politician. If 18 months ago he sat alone in the second chamber or lower house in The Hague, his People’s Party now has nine of 150 seats and is running at about 15 per cent in the polls. His Islam-bashing seems to be paying off. And not only in Holland. All across Europe, the new breed of right-wing populists are trying to revive their political fortunes by appealing to anti-Muslim prejudice.

A few months ago the Swiss People’s Party of the pugnacious billionaire Christoph Blocher won a general election while simultaneously running a campaign to change the Swiss constitution to ban the building of minarets on mosques. Last month in Antwerp, far-right leaders from 15 European cities and from political parties in Belgium, Germany and Austria got together to launch a charter ‘against the Islamisation of western European cities’, reiterating the call for a mosque-building moratorium.

‘We already have more than 6,000 mosques in Europe, which are not only a place to worship but also a symbol of radicalisation, some financed by extreme groups in Saudi Arabia or Iran,’ argued Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Flemish separatist party, the Vlaams Belang, who organised the Antwerp get-together. ‘Its minarets are six floors high, higher than the floodlights of the Feyenoord soccer stadium,’ he said of a new mosque being built in Rotterdam. ‘These kinds of symbols have to stop.’

Where a few years ago the far right in Europe concentrated its fire on immigration, these days Islam is fast becoming the most popular target. It is a campaign that is having mixed results. In Switzerland, the Blocher party has been highly successful. In Holland, Wilders is thriving by constantly poking sticks in the eyes of the politically correct Dutch establishment. But when Susanne Winter ran for a seat on the local council in the Austrian city of Graz last month by branding the Prophet Muhammad a child molester, she lost her far-right Freedom Party votes.

For the mainstream centre-right in Europe, foreigner-bashing is also backfiring. Roland Koch, the German Christian Democrat once tipped as a future Chancellor, wrecked his chances a fortnight ago by forfeiting a 12-point lead in a state election after a campaign that denounced Muslim ritual slaughter practices and called for the deportation of young immigrant criminals.

Wilders echoes some of the arguments against multiculturalism that have convulsed Germany in recent years. Like many on the traditional German right, he wants the European Judaeo-Christian tradition to be formally recognised as the dominating culture, or Leitkultur. ‘There is no equality between our culture and the retarded Islamic culture. Look at their views on homosexuality or women,’ he says.

But if Wilders shares positions and aims with others on the far right in Europe, he is also a very specific Dutch phenomenon, viewing himself as a libertarian provocateur like the late Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh, railing against ‘Islamisation’ as a threat to what used to be the easy-going Dutch model of tolerance.

‘My allies are not Le Pen or Haider,’ he emphasises. ‘We’ll never join up with the fascists and Mussolinis of Italy. I’m very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups.’ Dutch iconoclasm, Scandinavian insistence on free expression, the right to provoke are what drive him, he says.

He shrugs off anxieties that his film will trigger a fresh bout of violence of the kind that left Van Gogh stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street and his estranged colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali in hiding, or the murderous furore over the Danish cartoons in 2005.

The Dutch government is planning emergency evacuation of its nationals and diplomats from the Middle East should the Wilders film be shown. It is alarmed about the impact on Dutch business. ‘Our Prime Minister is a big coward. The government is weak,’ says Wilders. ‘They hate my guts and I don’t like them either.’

And if people are murdered as a result of his film? ‘They say that if there’s bloodshed it would be the responsibility of this strange politician. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. They’re creating an atmosphere. I’m not responsible for using democratic means and acting within the law. I don’t want Dutch people or Dutch interests to be hurt.’

But he does want to create a stir. ‘Islam is something we can’t afford any more in the Netherlands. I want the fascist Koran banned. We need to stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands. That means no more mosques, no more Islamic schools, no more imams… Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.’

Free speech or hate speech? ‘I don’t create hate. I want to be honest. I don’t hate people. I don’t hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology.’

For more than three years, Wilders has been paying for his ‘honesty’ by living under permanent police guard as the internet bristles with threats on his life. He has lived in army barracks, in prisons, under guard at home. ‘There’s no freedom, no privacy. If I said I was not afraid, I would be lying.’

There is little doubt that if Wilders’s film exists – and it’s shrouded in secrecy – and is broadcast, it will be construed as blasphemy in large parts of the world and may spark a new bloody crisis in relations between the West and the Muslim world.

He does not seem to care. ‘People ask why don’t you moderate your voice and not make this movie. If I do that and not say what I think, then the extremists who threaten me would win.’

source:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/17/netherlands.islam

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Austrian State Bans Mosques

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Austrian State Bans Mosques

IslamOnline.net & News Agencies


Wed. Feb. 13, 2008
Image

Rawi said the legislation violated principles of equality and religious freedom and put Austria’s reputation on the line

VIENNA — The southernmost Austrian state of Carinthia has passed a law effectively banning the construction of mosques, drawing fire from the opposition and Muslims for religious freedom violations.“I can only recommend to all to have the courage to stand up effectively against this Islamisation that is creeping through Europe and represents a totally different culture,” Governor Joerg Haider was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“We are really the pioneers on this,” added Haider, also the leader of the far-right Alliance for the Future of Austria party.

The law requires plans for any building of “extraordinary architecture or size” to be approved by a commission to judge its compatibility with the standard look of towns.

This means that mosques would stand little chance of permits.

Haider make international headlines in the 1990s with xenophobic remarks when his rightist Freedom Party became the second biggest in Austria.

After an internecine power struggle, he broke away from the Freedom Party and founded the Alliance in 2005.

But the new party’s national impact has been negligible since Haider decided to focus on his home region of Carinthia.

Infringement

The new law drew immediate rebuke from the opposition and Muslims alike.

“We are creating a law for something that doesn’t exist,” fumed provincial Social Democratic leader Gaby Schaunig.

Schaunig said there was no request to build a mosque in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic province.

Carinthia is home to 11,000 Muslims out of an estimated 400,000 population, the second-lowest Muslim population in Austria.

Muslims, estimated at 400,000 or nearly 4 percent of the population, also denounced the law.

Omar Al-Rawi, the spokesman for Austria’s Islamic community, said it violated principles of equality and religious freedom and put Austria’s reputation on the line.

Though Islam is the continent’s second religion, European Muslims are facing campaigns from far-right groups have stately mosques on claims that they are signs of the “Islamization” of Europe.

In Germany, a plan by the Turkish Islamic Union (DITIB) to build a mosque in Cologne has met opposition on claims that it would be too big for a city housing one of the most imposing Gothic cathedrals in the Christian world.

In London, a petition against a mosque next to the 2012 London Olympics site was posted on Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Web site.

In France, which is home to Europe’s largest Muslim minority of about six million, the National Republican Movement (MNR) won two court cases last year against giving pieces of land at low prices to Muslims to build two mosques in suburbs of Montreuil and in Marseille, both having a sizable Muslim minority.

In Switzerland, two right-wing parties have launched a petition for a referendum to ban mosque minarets.

www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Five students win terror appeal

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Five students win terror appeal

Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Akbar Butt, Usman Malik leaving the Court of Appeal

Clockwise from top left: Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Akbar Butt, Usman Malik

The convictions of five young Muslim men jailed over extremist literature have been quashed by the Appeal Court. Freeing the men, the Lord Chief Justice said there was no proof of terrorist intent. The lawyer for one said they had been jailed for a “thought crime”.

A jury convicted them in 2007 after hearing the men, of Bradford University and Ilford, London, became obsessed with jihadi websites and literature.

The Home Office said it would study the judgement carefully.

‘Serious threat’

It said it understood the Crown Prosecution Service was considering whether to appeal against the ruling, which it must do within seven days.

It added that the threat of terrorism remained serious and real and the government was committed to ensuring it had the strongest possible anti-terrorism legal framework.

Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt were jailed for between two and three years each by the Old Bailey for downloading and sharing extremist terrorism-related material, in what was one of the first cases of its kind.

But at the Court of Appeal, Lord Phillips said that while the men had downloaded such material, he doubted if there was evidence this was in relation to planning terrorist acts.

He said the prosecution had attempted to use the law for a purpose for which it was not intended.

‘Huge implications’

Lawyers for the men say the decision to restrict how the law on extremist literature works has huge implications for counter terrorism prosecutions.

Critics inside the Muslim community and civil liberty campaigners say section 57 of the 2000 Terrorism Act has been used as a blunt instrument to prosecute young Muslim men where there is no proof of genuine links to terrorism.

The BBC understands there have been three other convictions under this legislation – more cases are expected before the courts this year.

Imran Khan, solicitor for Mr Zafar, said the five had been prosecuted for “thought crime” and that the ruling would have an significant impact.

He told BBC News: “Young Muslim men before this judgement could have been prosecuted simply for simply looking at any material on the basis that it might be connected in some way to terrorist purposes.”

He said section 57 of the 2000 Terrorism Act had been written in such wide terms that “effectively, anybody could have been caught in it” but prosecutors would now have to prove such material was intended for terrorist purposes.

‘Unknown students’

In a statement released through his solicitors, Mr Malik said he had always maintained his innocence.

“It is a great thing to live in a country where the Lord Chief Justice takes the time from hearing important cases to see if a group of unknown students have been fairly convicted for reading the wrong kind of literature,” he said.

“As I said when I was arrested, I do not, have not and will not support terrorism in any form against innocent people.

“My prosecution was a test case under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Today’s decision means no first year student can ever be prosecuted again under this Act for possessing extremist literature.”

He later told Channel 4 News: “I’m very happy, it’s been two long years. My case started in March 2006 and I’m glad that it is finally over.”

‘Freedom of expression’

His father, Abdul Malik, said the ruling was “a victory for common sense and justice”.

He told Channel 4 News: “Young students who are inquisitive and exploring ideas of things should not be prosecuted in that way. There should be a freedom of expression and freedom of thought.”

Mr Malik’s solicitor, Saghir Hussein, said it was a “landmark judgement”, with implications for other cases, including those alleging glorification of terrorism.

Akbar Butt said he was “just happy to be out”. He told BBC News: “I’m thankful to be here and happy with the decision.”

Zahid Iqbal, father of Awaab Iqbal, said he was feeling “great” after the decision.

“Justice has been done. It’s restored my faith in the justice system,” he said.

Asked if he had any advice for other young Muslim men who were looking at similar material, he said: “I don’t think these boys did anything wrong. It was just propaganda they were looking at. They had no links to terrorism – everybody looks at websites.”

‘Knee-jerk terror laws’

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said the government’s “knee-jerk drafting of new terrorism offences” had led to confusion on the part of prosecutors.

He said: “Ministers need to be more cautious when drafting new offences and more effective in enforcing old ones.”

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the decision the Court of Appeal had made after “very careful consideration”.

Muslim Parliament of Great Britain leader Dr Ghayasudin Siddiqui told BBC Radio 5 Live he welcomed the ruling but hoped that the students’ experiences would serve as a warning to other young Muslims.

He said: “It must go out to other young people that it is a dangerous area and they have to keep themselves far, far away from visiting these websites.”

‘Thought crime’

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the Lord Chief Justice had been “right” to quash the convictions.

He said: “If there is no actual terror plot uncovered by the police then we do not believe we should be convicting people for what is effectively a thought crime.”

The Islamic Human Rights Commission said it hoped Thursday’s judgement would stop the “criminalisation of Muslim youth for downloading and reading material that is widely available to everyone”.

Chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: “Our anti terror strategy should target and bring to account those who plan criminal acts of terrorism. Instead individuals who write poetry, read blogs or download material from the internet are being targeted because of their ethnicity or religious affiliation.”

source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7242724.stm

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Judges condemn police lies after 9/11 attacks that ruined pilot’s life

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Judges condemn police lies after 9/11 attacks that ruined pilot’s life

(Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty)

Lotfi Raissi celebrates outside the High Court in Central London
Sean O’Neill, Crime and Security Editor

Six years of fighting for justice left Lotfi Raissi an emotional and physical wreck and his marriage close to ruin. But yesterday, the Algerian pilot falsely accused of training the September 11 terrorists heard, finally, that he was “completely exonerated” of any part in the attacks on the twin towers.

As Mr Raissi pored over the Court of Appeal’s densely worded judgment, the lengths to which the authorities had bent the rules to detain him in the febrile days after September 11 became clear.

Three of Britain’s most senior judges condemned the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for abusing the court process, presenting false allegations and not disclosing evidence.

But it was not until page 44, paragraph 154, line 17 that Mr Raissi’s eyes settled upon the words he had been praying for. The judges ruled that the charge that he was a terrorist and had trained the September 11 hijackers was one of which he should be “completely exonerated”. His only “crime” was to learn his skills at the same Florida flying school as two of the hijackers.

Police ‘exaggerated evidence’ against British 9/11 suspect
Mr Raissi’s eyes filled with tears and he “wept with relief”. Outside the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday he told The Times: “I’ve regained my dignity, it feels as if I can breathe and I am free again. The judges have said there were serious faults and an abuse of process in my case and that has restored my faith in British justice. I knew this day would come.”

The judges also ordered the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice to reconsider the repeated refusal to compensate Mr Raissi for locking him in Belmarsh prison for six months and accusing him of the murders of thousands of people. Solicitors for Mr Raissi, 33, are expected to lodge a claim for compensation which — taking into account his loss of a career as an airline pilot, wrongful imprisonment and damage to his health — is expected to exceed £2 million.

But it will take more than money to repair Mr Raissi’s damaged life. His mental and physical health have deteriorated, his marriage to his French wife, Sonia, has suffered and his childhood dream of being a pilot is shattered for ever.

After the September 11 attacks a frightened world waited, dreading the next atrocity. Across the Atlantic, the FBI, the CIA and every law enforcement agency were chasing leads on the background of the 19 terrorists who had hijacked the four airliners.

In Phoneix, Arizona, they came across a flight school called Sawyer Aviation where Hani Hanjour — who crashed an airliner into the Pentagon — had trained. The school was popular with Middle Eastern trainees and one of those at Sawyer at the same time as Hanjour was Mr Raissi.

He had, checks quickly established, left the US and was now living in Britain. On September 17, a letter from the legal attaché at the US Embassy in London was delivered to Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch.

“The FBI request that this matter be handled as expeditiously and discreetly as possible,” the letter said. The words “expeditiously” and “discreetly” were typed in bold.

Ten days later Scotland Yard executed its response to the American request. Armed officers smashed down the door of Mr Raissi’s flat in Colnbrook, Berkshire, not far from Heathrow, and arrested him and his wife at gunpoint. The media hailed the arrest in Britain of the first suspects in the global hunt for the men who planned the worst terrorist attacks ever seen. An extradition warrant was issued for Mr Raissi on a “holding charge” that he had failed to disclose a theft conviction on his US immigration application. But in the courts, British lawyers representing the US Government made much more serious allegations.

Mr Raissi, they said, was the “lead instructor” for the hijackers. The courts were told there was evidence that he falsified flight logs to hide the fact he trained Hanjour. Videotape had been found of Hanjour and Mr Raissi together. A notebook said to belong to Abu Doha, a major terrorist suspect, that had been found in London contained Mr Raissi’s phone number.

One by one, over the course of ten court hearings, Mr Raissi’s solicitor proved that the allegations and the evidence to support them were false, if not fabricated.

The accurate flight log was produced and the flying instructor who testified that Mr Raissi and Hanjour had indeed hired the same plane, but at different times. The man in the video was shown to be Mr Raissi’s cousin. It took time, but the address book was clearly shown not to have belonged to Abu Doha.

In February 2002, Mr Raissi was released from Belmarsh jail. But neither the British nor the American authorities were prepared to say they had been mistaken. He remained a suspected terrorist, unable to travel outside Britain except to Algeria.

The appeal court, under the presidency of the Master of the Rolls, said that responsibility for many of the mistakes in the Raissi case lay in Britain. In its judgment that the “primary responsibility for the falsity” over the notebook lay with the Met and the CPS. The judges also found that the false claim about the flight logs could be blamed on either carelessness or incompetence by Scotland Yard.

In a scathing passage of criticism, at the heart of their ruling, the judges said that the extradition proceedings had been abused as a means of keeping Mr Raissi in custody while inquiries were pursued in the US.

The judges said: “We consider that the way in which extradition proceedings were conducted in this country, with opposition to bail based on allegations which appear unfounded in evidence, amounted to an abuse of process.

It had taken the distance of six years and fundamental shifts in attitudes to the events of the War on Terror for a court to look with forensic detachment at what had been done to Mr Raissi.

But the appeal judges found that British police and prosecutors were directly responsible for the events that destroyed the young Algerian’s life. Justice, they told ministers, demanded that the Government compensate as a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article3368163.ece

Cleared 9/11 suspect eligible for compensation
By Matthew Moore and agencies
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/14/nclaim114.xml

Five Accused ‘Terrorists’ Cleared of All Charges
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7242724.stm

911=PNAC, CIA, Mossad

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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‘I lost my career, my life and my dignity’

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

‘I lost my career, my life and my dignity’

Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that Lotfi Raissi could claim compensation for his arrest and imprisonment after being wrongly accused of training 9/11 pilots. Here, in his first interview since the landmark decision, he tells of his prison hell, nervous collapse and the terrible toll his ordeal has had on his personal and professional life

Lotfi Raissi seemed destined to become one of the most reviled men in history. A pilot who had trained in the US before moving to England, he was the first person to be accused in connection with the 11 September attacks. He was alleged to be one of its chief ringleaders, teaching the 9/11 terrorists how to fly and crash planes into buildings. It’s hard to think of a more damaging accusation. Harder still when Raissi, whose chubby face and small, smiling eyes makes him seem younger than his 33 years, was wholly innocent.

But this did not stop him spending almost five months in Belmarsh high-security prison in south-east London after the American authorities told their British counterparts of Raissi’s ‘involvement’ in the worst terrorist attack in US history. ‘It was appalling,’ Raissi said yesterday as he tried to live a normal family life, meeting his brother for a family lunch followed by watching the Manchester United-Arsenal FA Cup tie. ‘I was guilty until I proved my innocence.’

Last week, three judges at the Court of Appeal ruled he should be allowed to renew his bid for compensation from the government, overturning a decision by the High Court last year. ‘I had faith in the judiciary system,’ Raissi said. ‘Thank God justice is what I got.’

However, it is clear that his wounds are still open. He says he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and his general health is not good. He has been seeing a doctor for the past two weeks because of high blood pressure. ‘I haven’t slept properly for the past seven years,’ he said.

To understand how damaging the accusations were against Raissi, it is necessary to understand his background. ‘My family back home in Algeria have been fighting terrorism for the past 15 years,’ he said. ‘My uncle is chief of an anti-terrorist branch. We abhor terrorism in any shape or form in our family. This is very damaging for us.’

The reference to ‘us’ is a telling one. Raissi is angry not for what happened to him but because of the shame it brought on his family. Their dignity, he says, has been taken away.

He recalls the day he was arrested by British police: 21 September 2001. He was dragged out of his house naked at three o’clock in the morning. There was banging, shouting, swarms of police. His wife, Sonia, and his brother, Mohammed, were also arrested but released four days later.

‘It was a kidnapping; they could have just sent me some questions and I would have been glad to answer all the questions at a police station,’ he said. ‘I didn’t even have the chance to read the warrant. There were guns everywhere.’

But his nightmare was only just beginning. He was taken to Paddington Green high security police station, which is used to house terrorist suspects. There was evidence – a great deal of evidence, the authorities implied – that would prove his guilt.

‘It was very confusing,’ Raissi said with a gentle understatement that is characteristic of how he views the tortuous events of the past six years. ‘They were saying I was involved in 9/11; they were blaming me for everything to do with 9/11. They said, “You prepared those hijackers”. I love football, I love dancing, I love going out – my life is so different from those who flew the planes. I just didn’t understand what they were talking about.’

It didn’t take long before the ‘evidence’ – false claims that he was linked to five of the hijackers – to drip through into the media. Even before he was arrested, journalists had mysteriously turned up outside his door asking questions.

From Paddington Green he was moved to Belmarsh, his nadir. The notorious London prison is used to house some of the most dangerous criminals in Britain. Raissi, with his gentle manners and humble persona, did not stand much of a chance in the febrile atmosphere that followed 9/11. Society wanted vengeance. The feeling permeated through the prison’s walls.

‘I feared for my life in court and inside prison,’ he said. ‘They moved me from the high security unit after three or four days and sent me to the normal wing, where I wasn’t safe. I suffered racism and discrimination. I got stabbed twice by other prisoners and no one investigated.’

Why was he stabbed? ‘Everyone had become a judge and a jury,’ he says with the sort of resignation which suggests he knows he will never be reconciled with what happened behind the prison walls. The psychological pressures of being accused of one of the most reviled crimes in history soon took their toll: ‘I had two nervous breakdowns. One in prison, one when I came out. My brother has been suffering, too.’

In bringing his claim for compensation, Raissi argues that he was arrested chiefly because he was Algerian, Muslim and Arab, an airline pilot – someone who effectively ticked the boxes of an identikit terrorist.

‘I was arrested because of my profile,’ he said. ‘Why didn’t they arrest the instructors who actually trained the terrorists?’

The Court of Appeal’s judgment on Raissi’s arrest, and the refusal to grant him bail, was damning. ‘Viewed objectively, it appears to us to be likely that the extradition proceedings were used for an ulterior purpose, namely to secure the appellant’s detention in custody in order to allow time for the US authorities to provide evidence of a terrorist offence,’ the three judges hearing his case concluded.

But the judges were most scathing about the role of the British authorities. ‘We consider that there is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that the police and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] were responsible for serious defaults.’ It is difficult to imagine a more damning assessment.

The ruling also shone an uncomfortable spotlight on the way Britain and the United States trade intelligence and raised troubling questions about the two countries’ relationship when it comes to fighting terrorism. Why did Britain listen to the US? Why was it so eager to arrest Raissi, when even the American authorities had urged Britain only to make ‘discreet’ inquiries into his background.

The justification for Raissi’s arrest was at best spurious, even accepting – as the Court of Appeal did last week – that the weeks following 9/ 11 were turbulent ones.

Even the US, it seems, soon realised that Raissi was unlikely to be the man they were looking for. A couple of months after he was arrested, intelligence sources told the Washington Post that ‘we put him in the category of maybe or maybe not, leaning towards probably not. Our goal is to get him back here and talk to him to find out more.’ Raissi was still held for almost three further months after this statement was made.

What triggered the Americans’ original interest in him is equally bewildering. He had spent a period at a flight school in Phoenix, Arizona and when his student visa had expired he returned to Algeria before moving to London.

Travel records appeared to show that in June 2001 he was in Las Vegas when Ziad Jarrah – one of the hijackers of Flight 93, the plane that crashed after passengers stormed the cockpit – was also in the gambling city.

It was suggested that the FBI had discovered Raissi’s name in a rental vehicle hired by Salem al Hazmi, one of the five terrorists who hijacked Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon. It was also claimed that a video existed of Raissi celebrating with Hani Hanjour, another of the Flight 77 hijackers. Telephone records apparently corroborated claims he had called four of the hijackers.

But none of the claims was true and the US authorities and the CPS were unable to produce any evidence to back up their allegations.

‘It was media propaganda,’ Raissi said. ‘They said I was in a videotape with one of the hijackers that flew the aeroplane. The reality was the person in the video was my cousin and doesn’t have anything to do with terrorism.’

Ultimately, American officials were forced to make a provisional request for his extradition on the grounds that he had lied on his pilot’s licence by not revealing he had undergone knee surgery, an allegation that in itself was later proved false.

In April 2003 Raissi was formally released on all charges. Six months later he announced he was suing the FBI and the US Department of Justice for $10m for ruining his life. He was forced to drop the civil action after a recent change in the law barred individuals from suing sovereign states.

But it is the British, rather than the US authorities, who Raissi really wants to pursue through the courts. ‘Where is the sovereignty of the UK government? They have to come up with evidence. There was no evidence. They didn’t provide anything to the judge. That’s why there was no case to answer – it was a serious default by the police and the CPS. I’m shocked.’

His claim for compensation against the UK government was dismissed in the High Court last year. But he was determined to continue his legal fight, not for money, he says, but to clear his name.

‘People talk about the compensation. It’s nothing to do with it. I lost my life, I lost my career. There was a stage when I lost my dignity – that is unacceptable when we live in the civilised world. It’s a matter of principle. I want my life back; I want to clear my name and that of my family and to have a normal life.

‘I was 27 when I got arrested, now I’m 33. I was going in and out of court for seven years fighting this case – I didn’t have a life. If they don’t give me an apology it will be the same fight over the next three or four years.’

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has 14 days to decide whether she will fight Raissi’s case to go for compensation. ‘The government should fix this problem,’ he said, his voice rising slightly to express his bewilderment at the idea the authorities could countenance such an idea. ‘I am completely exonerated. The only thing I expect is a widely publicised apology. If they appeal the decision it will be a sham. They will be wasting taxpayers’ money.’

Raissi is not the only one to have suffered as a result of his ordeal. His wife lost her job at Air France. His brother’s wife lost her job at Heathrow, too. The strain has damaged his relationship with his wife. ‘Even with my marriage I struggle very much. Every part of my life I struggled with. It is an agony.’

Today, Raissi relies on the financial support of friends and family to get by. Initially when he came out of prison and had no work he refused all benefits. ‘I’m not working, I’m blacklisted from all airline jobs. I’m framed as a terrorist.’

Even now, despite being completely exonerated, he is banned from flying anywhere but Algeria because his American extradition warrant is still outstanding.

‘We hope Raissi’s complete exoneration will mean the US authorities will withdraw the warrant as a matter of urgency,’ said Jules Carey, his lawyer from Tuckers solicitors.

Carey also wants to see urgent action from the British authorities. ‘Last week’s judgment should not only cause the Home Secretary to review the use of

provisional extradition warrants but also prompt the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to overhaul their systems to avoid miscarriage of justice in the future,’ Carey said.

Given everything he has been through, it would seem natural if Raissi had become a bitter man, consumed with enmity towards those who locked him away without any credible evidence. But the truth is more complicated, even cathartic.

‘I learnt to forgive, I learnt patience,’ he said. ‘But it has been damaging to my life and my dignity – that is something I will never forgive.’

During the six years he fought to clear his name, he would be approached by strangers at the coffee shop near his home in Chiswick, west London.

‘They had heard about my case and would come up and say to me: “Hopefully this miscarriage of justice will be overturned.” I am very grateful for their support. My life in London is something I cherish very much. I love England.’ By way of emphasising his anglicisation he adds with evident pride: ‘I’m a big fan of Man United.’

But then Raissi says something else, something that should serve as much as a warning as an observation. ‘I always say Britain is a civilised country with beautiful people. I really cherish the customs, the way of life here. But after 9/11 things changed.’

source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/feb/17/uksecurity.law

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9/11 case pilot can claim damages against British Government

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

9/11 case pilot can claim damages against British Government (Updated: Judges condemn police lies)

By: BBC on: 17.02.2008 [03:33 ] (354 reads)

Article image
Lotfi Raissi says his life was destroyed by the accusations

“The public labelling of the appellant as a terrorist… continues to have, so it is said, a devastating effect on his life and on his health”

Lord Justice Hooper

A pilot wrongly accused of training the 9/11 hijackers is entitled to claim damages, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Judges said evidence suggested “serious defaults” in the decision to detain Lotfi Raissi in prison for nearly five months after a US extradition request.

The ruling means the government has to reconsider the 33-year-old’s claim for compensation, which it had refused.

Mr Raissi wants an apology and says his claim may run into millions of pounds. The government has said it may appeal.

‘Faith in justice’

Speaking after the judgement, Mr Raissi, of west London, said he had suffered a miscarriage of justice, and had now been “completely exonerated”.

“I am very glad. I always had faith in British justice.

“Surely I can expect to hear from the home secretary with the long-awaited apology very soon.”

He said his wrongful arrest had left him blacklisted as a pilot and unable to work.

“They destroyed my life, they destroyed my career. For this I will never, ever forgive them,” he said.

Mr Raissi said mistakes had been made but he hoped they would be rectified so he could move on with his life.

“I have tremendous respect for this country, for the people here and for this society… and I have no regrets living here or living the rest of my life here.”

His lawyer, Jules Carey, said Mr Raissi’s life had been “completely ruined” and he needs to be compensated for his loss of career, what happened to his family and his health and for his loss of liberty.

‘Public acknowledgement’

In giving the court’s judgment, Lord Justice Hooper said: “The public labelling of the appellant as a terrorist by the authorities in this country, and particularly by the CPS, over a period of many months has had and continues to have, so it is said, a devastating effect on his life and on his health.

“He considers that, unless he receives a public acknowledgement that he is not a terrorist, he will be unable to get his life back together again.”

Mr Raissi’s wife Sonia lost a claim for compensation last year

Mr Raissi first applied for compensation in March 2004 under a Home Office scheme for people deprived of their liberty because of a miscarriage of justice.

He is claiming compensation for the time spent in prison and the money he paid to train as a pilot, estimated at about £60,000.

Extradition warrant

The Algerian pilot was arrested under the Terrorism Act at his home in the UK soon after the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.

He was held under an extradition warrant issued at the request of the US government, which accused him of having trained the 19 hijackers.

The US alleged he attended flight training and used a flight simulator at a training school in Arizona at the same time as 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour.

Mr Raissi remained in Belmarsh Prison for four-and-a-half months until he was granted bail. The Crown Prosecution Service, which was representing the US, had objected to bail.

It later emerged that Mr Raissi and Hanjour may have flown on the same day at the flight school and may have trained on the simulator together.

However, there was no evidence he trained Hanjour or had any links with him or any of the other hijackers.

In April 2002, a judge ruled that there was no evidence connecting Mr Raissi to terrorism.

His appeal case was originally brought against the home secretary, but following the department’s split, a decision on any compensation will be made by the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.

Decision reversed

David Blunkett, who was home secretary when the Raissi case came to court in 2002, said the director of public prosecutions and the attorney general were responsible for deciding whether to take a case through the courts, not the home secretary.

The Ministry of Justice said the court’s judgement reversed a decision made by the divisional court in the secretary of state’s favour.

“We are considering the implications and whether or not to appeal,” a spokesman said.

In a statement, the Crown Prosecution Service said: “We will study the issues raised which affect us.

“The judgement reaches no firm conclusions regarding the CPS and we were not formally involved in the proceedings.”

The Metropolitan Police also stressed it was not party to the legal proceedings.

“As always, our overriding concern was for the safety of the public and information passed to the Crown Prosecution Service in connection with the extradition proceedings was provided in accordance with UK law,” a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

Mr Raissi’s brother, Mohamed, was also arrested and detained for 42 hours, but won compensation from the Metropolitan Police last year, the level of which has yet to be determined. The Met are appealing against the judgement.

Mr Raissi’s wife, Sonia, however, had her damages claim for £150,000 for being held for five days rejected by the High Court.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7244418.stm


Judges condemn police lies after 9/11 attacks that ruined pilot’s life
911=PNAC, CIA, Mossad | 16.02.2008 03:04 | Anti-militarism | WorldSo case after case after case falls apart due to the abject lack of evidence to support the Official Conspiracy Theory, yet we’re still expected to swallow this fairy tale, and allow those proven, pathological liars and killers who concocted it to continue with their most heinous international crimes, based solely on that Theory …

Judges condemn police lies after 9/11 attacks that ruined pilot’s life
(Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty)

Lotfi Raissi celebrates outside the High Court in Central London
Sean O’Neill, Crime and Security Editor

Six years of fighting for justice left Lotfi Raissi an emotional and physical wreck and his marriage close to ruin. But yesterday, the Algerian pilot falsely accused of training the September 11 terrorists heard, finally, that he was “completely exonerated” of any part in the attacks on the twin towers.

As Mr Raissi pored over the Court of Appeal’s densely worded judgment, the lengths to which the authorities had bent the rules to detain him in the febrile days after September 11 became clear.

Three of Britain’s most senior judges condemned the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for abusing the court process, presenting false allegations and not disclosing evidence.

But it was not until page 44, paragraph 154, line 17 that Mr Raissi’s eyes settled upon the words he had been praying for. The judges ruled that the charge that he was a terrorist and had trained the September 11 hijackers was one of which he should be “completely exonerated”. His only “crime” was to learn his skills at the same Florida flying school as two of the hijackers.

Police ‘exaggerated evidence’ against British 9/11 suspect
Mr Raissi’s eyes filled with tears and he “wept with relief”. Outside the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday he told The Times: “I’ve regained my dignity, it feels as if I can breathe and I am free again. The judges have said there were serious faults and an abuse of process in my case and that has restored my faith in British justice. I knew this day would come.”

The judges also ordered the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice to reconsider the repeated refusal to compensate Mr Raissi for locking him in Belmarsh prison for six months and accusing him of the murders of thousands of people. Solicitors for Mr Raissi, 33, are expected to lodge a claim for compensation which — taking into account his loss of a career as an airline pilot, wrongful imprisonment and damage to his health — is expected to exceed £2 million.

But it will take more than money to repair Mr Raissi’s damaged life. His mental and physical health have deteriorated, his marriage to his French wife, Sonia, has suffered and his childhood dream of being a pilot is shattered for ever.

After the September 11 attacks a frightened world waited, dreading the next atrocity. Across the Atlantic, the FBI, the CIA and every law enforcement agency were chasing leads on the background of the 19 terrorists who had hijacked the four airliners.

In Phoneix, Arizona, they came across a flight school called Sawyer Aviation where Hani Hanjour — who crashed an airliner into the Pentagon — had trained. The school was popular with Middle Eastern trainees and one of those at Sawyer at the same time as Hanjour was Mr Raissi.

He had, checks quickly established, left the US and was now living in Britain. On September 17, a letter from the legal attaché at the US Embassy in London was delivered to Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch.

“The FBI request that this matter be handled as expeditiously and discreetly as possible,” the letter said. The words “expeditiously” and “discreetly” were typed in bold.

Ten days later Scotland Yard executed its response to the American request. Armed officers smashed down the door of Mr Raissi’s flat in Colnbrook, Berkshire, not far from Heathrow, and arrested him and his wife at gunpoint. The media hailed the arrest in Britain of the first suspects in the global hunt for the men who planned the worst terrorist attacks ever seen. An extradition warrant was issued for Mr Raissi on a “holding charge” that he had failed to disclose a theft conviction on his US immigration application. But in the courts, British lawyers representing the US Government made much more serious allegations.

Mr Raissi, they said, was the “lead instructor” for the hijackers. The courts were told there was evidence that he falsified flight logs to hide the fact he trained Hanjour. Videotape had been found of Hanjour and Mr Raissi together. A notebook said to belong to Abu Doha, a major terrorist suspect, that had been found in London contained Mr Raissi’s phone number.

One by one, over the course of ten court hearings, Mr Raissi’s solicitor proved that the allegations and the evidence to support them were false, if not fabricated.

The accurate flight log was produced and the flying instructor who testified that Mr Raissi and Hanjour had indeed hired the same plane, but at different times. The man in the video was shown to be Mr Raissi’s cousin. It took time, but the address book was clearly shown not to have belonged to Abu Doha.

In February 2002, Mr Raissi was released from Belmarsh jail. But neither the British nor the American authorities were prepared to say they had been mistaken. He remained a suspected terrorist, unable to travel outside Britain except to Algeria.

The appeal court, under the presidency of the Master of the Rolls, said that responsibility for many of the mistakes in the Raissi case lay in Britain. In its judgment that the “primary responsibility for the falsity” over the notebook lay with the Met and the CPS. The judges also found that the false claim about the flight logs could be blamed on either carelessness or incompetence by Scotland Yard.

In a scathing passage of criticism, at the heart of their ruling, the judges said that the extradition proceedings had been abused as a means of keeping Mr Raissi in custody while inquiries were pursued in the US.

The judges said: “We consider that the way in which extradition proceedings were conducted in this country, with opposition to bail based on allegations which appear unfounded in evidence, amounted to an abuse of process.

It had taken the distance of six years and fundamental shifts in attitudes to the events of the War on Terror for a court to look with forensic detachment at what had been done to Mr Raissi.

But the appeal judges found that British police and prosecutors were directly responsible for the events that destroyed the young Algerian’s life. Justice, they told ministers, demanded that the Government compensate as a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article3368163.ece

Cleared 9/11 suspect eligible for compensation by Matthew Moore and agencies
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/14/nclaim114.xml

Five Accused ‘Terrorists’ Cleared of All Charges
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7242724.stm

911=PNAC, CIA, Mossad
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/02/391518.html

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Our cherished right to blaspheme

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Our cherished right to blaspheme

National Post Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008

This week, at least 17 Danish newspapers reprinted one of the 12 Muhammad cartoons that two winters ago set off an orgy of outrage and killing in the Muslim world. They did so not to sensationalize the news or ignite a return of the street riots in which scores of protestors were killed in early 2006. Rather, they published the caricature of the Muslim prophet to take a stand for freedom of expression. Danish police had earlier arrested three suspected plotters whom they believed were readying to murder Kurt Westergaard, the artist of the cartoon in question. The papers’ owners, publishers and editors wanted Muslim extremists to know they would not let threats and terror tactics intimidate them into giving up one of Western civilization’s most fundamental freedoms, what one called “the right to blasphemy.”

The papers and their staffs are to be commended for their courageous act. What they have done may seem, on the surface, trivial. After all, countless publications around the Western world every day publish material that is provocative and even scandalous. But in a world were political correctness and extremist violence have combined to stifle debate about the threat posed by militant Islam, the reprints were anything but ordinary.

Perhaps in this regard, the Danes are way ahead of us North Americans. Having been among the first Western nations to welcome large-scale Muslim immigration more than 30 years ago, Danish society is now engaged in a national debate over what to do with the roughly 5% of the population who are Muslim and refuse to learn the language, participate in mainstream Danish life or respect the country’s pluralistic traditions. The high-stakes Danish conversation over what we have come to call “reasonable accommodation” makes Quebec’s version look like a pleasant chat about the weather.

This week, the National Post reprinted the same cartoon — showing Muhammad wearing a turban, which doubles as a bomb with a lit fuse. We claim no high-minded motives for doing so. It merely seemed a logical part of our news coverage. The response from our readers has been heartening: virtually none at all. Only about a dozen people wrote to us about the inclusion of the image, and only three of those were critical. Our readers understand that there should be nothing exceptional about a newspaper publishing a newsworthy image.

No doubt, the non-reaction is due in large part to the cartoons’ widespread availability on the Internet: Most of our readers have already seen the images on Wikipedia and other sites. But we also believe it is a sign that Canadians realize that there can be no special sectarian carve-outs from the general principle of free speech. Christians don’t get a veto on words or images that blaspheme God and his prophets. The same must be true of Islam — not to mention Judaism, Hinduism and every other faith. No matter what your faith, the trade-off for living in a society that honours free speech is the requirement to grow a thick skin.

Even Syed Soharwardy now claims to have realized this. Mr. Soharwardy is the Calgary imam who launched a human rights complaint in Alberta against Ezra Levant over the printing of the cartoons in Mr. Levant’s now-defunct Western Standard magazine. Earlier this week, the imam, who also heads a group called the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, announced he was withdrawing his complaint against Mr. Levant. He told the Calgary Herald that his two-year fight with Mr. Levant had shown him this was a free-speech issue rather than a hate-speech or religious discrimination issue. He now better understands how “holy and sacred” free speech is in Canadian society.

If Mr. Soharwardy can see this, why can’t our politicians? Why do Canada’s federal and provincial leaders continue to defend human rights councils and their power to decide what views are and are not acceptable to be voiced in public?

Two weeks ago, Victoria Liberal MP Keith Martin introduced a private member’s bill that would repeal the censorious Canadian Human Rights Act section that makes it an offence to publish, post or broadcast any message that might make an identifiable group the subject of hatred and discrimination. For his troubles, his own leader, Stephane Dion, has asked Dr. Martin to withdraw his bill. Meanwhile, Tory Justice Minister Rob Nicholson last week sent a letter to all Conservative MPs telling them to clam up whenever the subject of rights commissions comes up. All parties are frightened of appearing to be against human rights, so none will take a leadership position.

Perhaps what we need in the House of Commons is a few members with experience as Danish newspaper publishers. Then perhaps our government could summon the courage to do away with the assault on free speech being waged in the name of “human rights.”

source: http://www.nationalpost.com/story-printer.html?id=314028

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300 Palestinians, including 32 children, kidnapped by the army since the beginning of February

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

300 Palestinians, including 32 children, kidnapped by the army since the beginning of February

author Sunday February 17, 2008 05:33author by IMEMC Staffauthor email saed at imemc dot org Report this post to the editors

The Media Department of the Nafha Society for Defending the Rights of the Detainees and Human Rights, reported that the Israeli army kidnapped 300 residents since the beginning of February, during invasion to several parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 32 children were among the kidnapped residents.

File Photo
File Photo

The Society stated that 200 residents were kidnapped in the West Bank and 100 in the Gaza Strip.

It also said that the 32 kidnapped children were transferred to interrogation and detention centers in direct violation to the international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. The ages of the kidnapped children are between 14 and 18.

Meanwhile, most of the abductions took place in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, as the army kidnapped 75 residents from Hebron and its surrounding villages and towns.

37 residents were kidnapped in Nablus district, and the rest were kidnapped from Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqilia, Jerusalem, Salfit, Jericho and Al Biereh.

The army also kidnapped 100 residents during repeated attacks and invasion into the Gaza strip, especially in Rafah, Al Zeitoon and Beit Lahia.

source: http://www.imemc.org/article/52839

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Zionists are Torturing Victims in Jew Run Concentration Camps!

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Zionists are Torturing Victims in Jew Run Concentration Camps!

By: Bulov on: 16.02.2008

NABLUS, (PIC)– A Palestinian human rights advocate was subjected to torture in the Israeli detention center of Petah Tikwa that included sleep deprivation and forcing her to sit in an awkward position for three consecutive days, legal sources said.

Ahlam Jawher, 30, told the lawyer of the Nafha society defending human and prisoners’ rights that she was under constant pressure by Israeli interrogators to “confess”.

Jawher was arrested at the IOF Hawara roadblock south of Nablus city on 23/1/2008 after two hours detention. She was not allowed to see a lawyer until recently in a clear violation of the law.

The Nafha society appealed to the human and women rights organizations to save Jawher along with more than 100 other Palestinian women held in Israeli captivity and to pressure the Israeli occupation authority to improve their incarceration conditions.

Meanwhile, the same society reported that the IOA renewed administrative detention of MP Sheikh Hamed Al-Beitwai, 64, for three more months without trial or charge.

The IOA also ordered the administrative custody of Islamic Jihad leader Yousef Haj Mohammed, 65, for six months. He was released only a few weeks ago from three years of administrative detention. Both suffer from several diseases and are in need of constant medical care.

The IOA renewed the administrative detention of 18 Palestinians for periods ranging from one to six months.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7xJZT6Kzue5sytY7%2bHOiMQmc9X5%2bJ5tuFUEo1dZ5LYdP4A4aagXcd5TiVdGV1oNSc4H24vqvGlUBV%2bDVyQ4hAiNNcYjuxs7wK%2fLK%2bgqndWQo%3d

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Death and Darkness in Gaza, People are dying, Help us!

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Death and Darkness in Gaza, People are dying, Help us!

 

A humanitarian crisis is underway as the Gaza Strip’s only power plant began to shut down on Sunday, and the tiny coastal territory entered its third full day without shipments of vital food and fuel supplies due to Israel’s punitive sanctions.

The Gaza Strip’s power plant has completely shut down on Sunday because it no longer has the fuel needed to keep running. One of the plant’s two electricity-generating turbines had already shut down by noon.

This will drastically reduce output to 25 or 30 megawatts, down from the 65 megawatts the plant produces under normal conditions. By Sunday evening the plant will shut down completely, leaving large swaths of the Gaza Strip in darkness.

Omar Kittaneh, the head of the Palestine Energy Authority in Ramallah, confirmed that by tonight, the one remaining operating turbine will be powered down, and the Gaza power plant will no longer be generating any electricity at all.

“We have asked the Israeli government to reverse its decision and to supply fuel to operate the power plant”, Dr. Kittaneh said. “We have talked to the Israeli humanitarian coordination in their Ministry of Energy [National Infrastructure]. We say this is totally Israel’s responsibility, and that reducing the fuel supplies until the plant had to shut down will affect not only the electrical system but the water supply, and the entire infrastructure in Gaza – everything.”

After months of increasingly harsh sanctions, Israel imposed a total closure on the Strip’s border crossings, even preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Israeli government says the closure is punishment for an ongoing barrage of Palestinian homemade projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip.

“Famine”

180 fuel stations have shut down after Gaza residents to buy gas for cooking.

A Palestinian economist Hasan Abu Ramadan said the current humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip will be deepened by the blockade on fuel and food supplies. He warned that Gaza Strip could go from a situation of deep poverty to all out famine, disease, and malnutrition.

Abu Ramadan said that more than 80% of the Strip’s 1.5 million residents have been surviving with the help of food aid from international organizations such as UNRWA for Palestinian refugees.

International condemnation

Most international actors in the region believe there already is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes, who said at a press conference at UNHQ in New York on Friday that “This kind of action against the people in Gaza cannot be justified, even by those rocket attacks”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed particular concern, in a statement issued later on Friday through his spokesperson, about the “decision by Israel to close the crossing points in between Gaza and Israel used for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Such action cuts off the population from much-needed fuel supplies used to pump water and generate electricity to homes and hospitals”.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied territories, John Dugard, also issued a much sharper statement on Friday, saying that Israel must have foreseen the loss of life and injury to many nearby civilians when it targeted the Ministry of Interior building in Gaza City.

This, and the killings of other Palestinians during the week, plus the closures, “raise very serious questions about Israel’s respect for international law and its Commitment to the peace process”, Dugard said. He said it violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention, and one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law: that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets.

source: http://www.freegaza.ps/english/index.php?scid=100&id=262&extra=news&type=40

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NIGER-GATE: THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE SCANDAL

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

NIGER-GATE: THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE SCANDAL

In his January 28, 2003 State of the Union Speech, President Bush uttered 16 words that have since come back to haunt him. “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

Bush was quoting a statement by the British, “There is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Iraq has no active civilian nuclear power programme or nuclear power plants and therefore has no legitimate reason to acquire uranium.” This quotes came from a document issued by Number 10 Downing Street titled, “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: The assessment of the British Government”. This document has since become more widely known as the “Dodgy Dossier” following exposure that it was written from plagiarized student thesis papers. In one case, information in the Dodgy Dossier was 12 years old, dating from before the UN sanctions on Iraq, hopelessly outdated and obsolete, but included because it portrayed Iraq as heavily armed with banned weapons. Prime Minister Tony Blair has since apologized for this document.

Bush made his claim about Iraq buying uranium from Niger even though former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who had a great many contacts in Niger, had traveled to that country in February of 2002 to verify the accusation and on his return had reported the claim to be without foundation. Following Bush’s speech repeating the Niger claim that Wilson knew to be false, Wilson went public, writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times in July of 2003 that exposed the claim as deceptive. As part of a campaign to discredit Wilson and prevent him from further exposing the truth of the matter, Joe’s wife, Valerie Plame was revealed as a CIA operative. Not only was Plame’s career ruined, but the company she worked for, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was exposed as a CIA front. In one of the ironies of the scandal, Brewster Jennings & Associates’ mission was to track nuclear weapons in other countries. Since compromised and shut down, this has left the United States without the means to track just who does and does not have nuclear weapons.

Originally, George Bush tried to dump the blame for the Niger claim on the CIA’s George Tenet. The CIA then demanded an investigation into the outing of Plame. Then Attorney General John Ashcroft stalled for months, then handed the investigation to Patrick Fitzgerald.

However, months before Joe Wilson’s article appeared, the International Atomic Energy Agency had examined the documents which had surfaced in Italy purporting to document the sale of uranium to Iraq and determined that they were forgeries, and indeed, very clumsy ones.

This is the scandal behind the scandal. The outing of Valerie Plame was not done out of revenge, or as the Washington Post reports, part of a feud between Karl Rove and the CIA. Joe Wilson’s article started to focus attention on the fact that the documents used to claim that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger were fakes!

The fact that the Niger documents were fake is hard proof that the lies that tricked this nation into war were not an accident, not “misinterpreted” or “bad” intelligence, but deliberate falsehood with malice aforethought.We The People were lied to intentionally to trick us into supporting a war of conquest against an innocent nation that had done us no wrong.

Where did the forgeries come from? The documents had first surfaced in Italy, and in July, 2005 the Italian Parliament released a report naming four men as the likely forgers of the documents; Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes. Ahmed Chalabi is the former bank embezzler who was at one time expected to lead Iraq in the post-Saddam period. Of the remaining men, Michael Ledeen deserves special note. Shortly before the forged documents surfaced in Italy, Michael Ledeen paid a visit to the head of Italy’s secret service, SISMI. Ledeen’s entourage included Larry Franklin, since exposed as a spy for Israel operating in the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, an operational partner to the White House Iraq Group charged with “selling” the war in Iraq to the American people. Larry Franklin has confessed to handing classified information to AIPAC, the Israeli lobby. Presumably the information went from AIPAC to Israel. Less discussed is what disinformation flowed back from Israel through AIPAC, to Larry Franklin. What is known is that the claims regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that came from the Office of Special Plans were as groundless as the claim that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger.

Larry Franklin is not alone in handing classified documents to Israel. Larry’s boss at the DPB, Richard Perle, likewise was caught giving classified information to Israel in 1970. Yet another official caught handing America’s secrets to Israel is Michael Ledeen himself, as a result of which he (briefly) lost his security clearance. Ledeen was hired by Douglas Feith to start up the Office of Special Plans. As a side note, it was Michael Ledeen who arranged Jonathan Pollard’s job with the US Navy, which led to US Nuclear Deterrent Secrets being given to Israel, who in turn traded them to the Russians for increased emigration quotas.

The exploding Plame-gate scandal is more than just the illegal outing of a CIA agent and her associates. It is more than just the shutting down of Brewster Jennings & Associates, leaving the US without a means to track foreign nuclear weapons. It is more than the extent to which the people of the United States were lied to in order to trick them into a war. Running through every single aspect of this horrible mess are the clear traces of a foreign spy operation that has infiltrated the government of the United States to the highest levels and subverted the nation to the purposes of that foreign government.

As of this typing, the men who gave classified information to Israel are still in their positions. AIPAC, the Israeli lobby implicated in the spy scandal, still donates money to US politicians. US Politicians, more damning still, continue to take it.

The following actors in the Niger forgery imbroglio have Ties to JINSA , The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs 1) Dick Cheney ,Vice-President of the United States 2) Michael Ledeen , former Pentagon consultant to Doug Feith , head of Office of Special Plans 3) Ahmed Chalabi ,former Head of Iraqi National Congress , deputy prime minister of Iraq 4) Major General Amos Gilad , head of Sharon’s Office of Special Plans 5) Duane Claridge , JINSA member , military advisor to Iraqi National Congress 6) General Wayne Downing , JINSA , military advisor to Iraqi National Congress 7) John Bolton , UN Ambassador , touted forgeries in State Department “Fact Sheet” 8) Antonio Martino , JINSA defence minister of Italy 9) Michael Mason JINSA Assistant Director of FBI /Head of Washington Field Office.

Americans are the victims of the greatest and most deadly hoax in history; lied into a war of conquest. As we are Americans, and as we are at heart moral and just people, we cannot allow a single person who took part in that lie to remain in a position of authority or public trust, whether in government or in the media.

source: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/niger-gate.html

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 18, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice.

Saturday, 16 February 2008.

  • Iranian communications companies to run communications network in southern Iraq.
  • Sectarian murder spree continues: two more bodies found dumped in Baghdad Saturday.
  • Muqtada as-Sadr Movement proclaims official mourning for murdered Lebanese Resistance commander ‘Imad Mughniyah.
  • US troops gun down three of their tribal “Awakening” puppet police allies in al-Musayyib Saturday.
  • “Awakening” puppet police in Babil Province desert their posts in protest against repeated American “mistaken attacks.”
  • Appearance of cancer in 37 families in area of an-Najaf raises questions.
  • Jaysh al-Mahdi militia reportedly launch ferocious assault on regime “Rapid Deployment Force” camp in al-Basrah Saturday night.
  • Journalist attacked despite complying with regime military orders not to cover bomb attack in al-Basrah.

Al-Anbar Province.
Ath-Tharthar.

Security sweep in northern al-Anbar Province following attacks on “Awakening” collaborator puppet police.

In a dispatch posted at 11pm Baghdad time Saturday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the town of ath-Tharthar, north of ar-Ramadi was in a state of rising tension following an attack on American-recruited “Awakening” tribal puppet police.

Ar-Ramadi.

Five bodies of torture victims found east of ar-Ramadi Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 1:20pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that five unidentified bullet-ridden bodies of torture victims were recovered Saturday in ar-Ramadi according to a medical source.

Baghdad.

Iranian communications companies to run communications network in southern Iraq.

In a dispatch posted at 9:15pm Baghdad time Saturday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the deputy for communications in the US-installed Iraqi government, Muhammad Salman Muhammad had announced that the ministry is overseeing a “giant” communications network project being implemented by Iranian companies and backed by an Iranian loan. An agreement on the loan and the project has recently been signed by the Iranian government and the US-installed regime in Baghdad.

Sectarian murder spree continues: two more bodies found dumped in Baghdad Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 8:10pm Baghdad time Saturday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the government puppet police recovered the bodies of two more victims of sectarian murder that had been dumped in Baghdad Saturday.

Salah ad-Din Province.
Samarra’.

“Awakening” puppet policeman killed in ambush in Samarra’.

In a dispatch posted at 10:15am Baghdad time Saturday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that armed men ambushed a patrol of the US-recruited “Awakening” tribal puppet police in Samarra’, 120km north of Baghdad.

Diyala Province.
Ba‘qubah.

Iraqi regime army soldier killed in attack on Ba‘qubah checkpoint at noon Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 3:16pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that an armed group carried out an attack on a checkpoint manned by Iraqi regime troops in the central Ba‘qubah district of al-Mafraq at noon Saturday.

Buhriz.

Bomb wounds two puppet policemen in Buhriz Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 3:16pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that a bomb exploded by a puppet police vehicle in the ‘Ibarah area of Buhriz, about 60km northeast of Baghdad on Saturday.

Babil Province.
Al-Musayyib.

US troops gun down three of their tribal “Awakening” puppet police allies in al-Musayyib Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 3:43pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that US occupation troops killed three of their tribal “Awakening” puppet police allies in the al-Musayyib area, 70km south of Baghdad on Saturday.

“Awakening” puppet police in Babil Province walk off posts in protest against repeated American “mistaken attacks.”

In a dispatch posted at 10:03pm Baghdad time Saturday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the Northern Babil “Salvation Council” decided that its “Awakening” puppet police would leave their posts to protest the repeated attacks on their men by US troops. A number of “Awakening” tribal collaborator puppet police have been killed in attacks by US troops, which the Americans claimed had been “mistakes.”

At-Ta’mim Province.
Kirkuk.

Car bomb wounds two regime puppet policemen in southern Kirkuk.

In a dispatch posted at 1pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that a car bomb exploded by a patrol of the Iraqi regime’s Emergency Puppet police in southern Kirkuk, 250km north of Baghdad.

Ninwa Province.
Al-Mawsil.

Mass raids and arrests in al-Mawsil.

In a dispatch posted at 4:38pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that Iraqi regime army and puppet police forces carried out a campaign of mass raids and arrests in the city of al-Mawsil, 420km northwest of Baghdad.

Karbala’ Province.
Karbala’.

Cache of Iranian-made weapons said discovered in Karbala’.

In a dispatch posted at 5pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the security forces of the US-installed Iraqi regime had discovered a cache of weapons, explosives, and ammunition of Iranian manufacture to the west of the city of Karbala’ on Saturday. The spokesman of the Karbala’ Province Operations Command announced that the arms were believed to belong to the pro-Iranian Jaysh al-Mahdi militia.

An-Najaf Province.
An-Najaf.

Appearance of cancer in 37 families in area of an-Najaf raises questions.

In a dispatch posted at 4pm Baghdad time Saturday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that questions had arisen about the attitude taken by local authorities in an-Najaf Province to several families in an area that were found to be afflicted by cancer.

Yaqen reported a resident of the area as saying that tests had revealed cancer to be present among about 37 families in one of the areas of the al-Ansar ash-Sha‘bi neighborhood of southern an-Najaf Province. Rather than provide care for the afflicted or try to alleviate their suffering, the provincial regime authorities deported them to remote parcels of land away from their original homes.

Dr. Ridwan al-Kindi, the an-Najaf Health Director, told Yaqen that joint health committees had carried out bedside and laboratory tests on the afflicted persons and determined that the problem was due to wrecked water and sewage systems where they lived. Broken mains had resulted in sewage contaminating drinking water, he explained.

Dr. al-Kindi added that another possibility was that the residents of the area had been drinking water from containers that had been contaminated by radiation.

Muqtada as-Sadr Movement proclaims official mourning for murdered Lebanese Resistance commander ‘Imad Mughniyah.

In a dispatch posted at 7:20pm Makkah time Saturday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Salah al-‘Ubaydi, the spokesman for the Muqtada as-Sadr movement in the city of an-Najaf, 160km south of Baghdad, had announced an official three-day mourning period by the Sadr movement for ‘Imad Mughniyah, a commander in the Lebanese Resistance movement Hizballah who was killed in a car bomb blast in Damascus on Tuesday, 13 February.

Mafkarat al-Islam reported that al-‘Ubaydi had announced that the Sadr movement condemned the assassination of Mughniyah. Meanwhile a large black sign proclaiming mourning for the slain Resistance commander was put up in the Madinat as-Sadr area of Baghdad.

Dhi Qar Province.
An-Nasiriyah.

Regime security forces carry out mass raids, searches in an-Nasiriyah.

In a dispatch posted at 11:25am Baghdad time Saturday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that Iraqi regime security forces carried out mass raids and searches in various districts and neighborhoods of an-Nasiriyah, 385km south of Baghdad, looking for men who had carried out armed raids in the province.

Al-Basrah Province.
Al-Basrah.

Jaysh al-Mahdi militia reportedly launch ferocious assault on regime “Rapid Deployment Force” camp in al-Basrah Saturday night.

In a bulletin posted at 10:40pm Baghdad time Saturday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that fighters for the pro-Iranian Jaysh al-Mahdi militia had launched a fierce attack with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns on a military camp of the US-backed regime’s “Rapid Deployment Forces” in the at-Tuwaysah area near Duwar al-‘Arusah in the middle of the southern city of al-Basrah.

Yaqen reported that a number of Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters deployed in the streets of the area and began firing machine guns and medium weapons at the building used by the Baghdad regime’s security and puppet police forces – a building formerly occupied by the Baath Party. The large camp used by the American-supported regime security forces is near the office of Muqtada as-Sadr’s movement in the area.

Plumes of smoke and tongues of flame were seen rising over the camp but no detailed information on what led to the attack was available. Fire trucks with wailing sirens were seen racing to the scene, but the Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen were preventing the trucks from getting to the camp.

Yaqen reported that the area remained tense and that as of the time of reporting, the security forces of the Baghdad regime were still not in evidence on the scene. No information on the nature or extent of casualties was available.

Three regime puppet policemen wounded in drive by assault on checkpoint in al-Basrah.

In a dispatch posted at 11:35am Baghdad time Saturday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that armed men in a car opened fire on a checkpoint in the officers’ housing area of al-Basrah and then left. Three regime puppet policemen were wounded.

Journalists attacked despite complying with regime military orders not to cover bomb attack in al-Basrah.

In a dispatch posted at 11am Baghdad time Saturday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that Iraqi regime army forces prevented journalists from covering attacks taking place in the southern Iraqi city of al-Basrah, attacking one of them to stop him from reporting.

Yaqen reported Husayn al-Haydari, a journalist, as telling the Press Freedom Monitor in al-Basrah that after a bomb explosion in the city he asked permission from the regime military forces to film. But very soon, a high-ranking officer showed up and ordered his guards to attack him.

Haydari said: “the officer threatened to break my camera over my head if I didn’t go away.”

“Then,” Haydari continued, “when I was on my way to leave, a number of soldiers blocked my way and attacked me, insulting and hitting me.”

The Press Freedom Monitor responded to the report by declaring its opposition to any violations of press freedom in the city.

Later in a dispatch posted at 9:45pm Saturday night, Yaqen reported that guards for the Oil Cultural Center of the Oil of the South Company in al-Basrah beat and insulted more than 20 journalists gathered at the facility to cover the visit of the US-installed Iraqi Minister of Petroleum, Husayn ash-Shahrastani.

Yaqen quoted one Shihab Ahmad as saying that when the journalists arrived with the Minister, after having spent seven hours with him as he toured the al-Burjusiyah and ar-Rumaylah al-Junubiyah oilfields where he was inaugurating a new oil program, guards came out of the cultural center and blocked the journalists’ car from entering the facility.

After failing to ascertain why they were not being allowed to enter the center, the journalists attempted to leave the area but were then set upon by guards who beat and insulted them.

The journalists staged an impromptu rally in front of the cultural center that lasted for about an hour, during which time they resolved to boycott coverage of the Oil Minister’s tour and any other activities connected with the Oil of the South Company. Journalists subjected to the attacks represented the US-based al-Hurrah satellite TV station and the American Radio Sawwa Company, and other TV stations such as ash-Sharqiyah, al-Hurriyah, as-Salam, Kurdistan, al-Furat, as-Sumariyah, Afaq, Radio al-Murid, the al-‘Ayn News Agency, and the newspapers al-Manarah, as-Sabah al-Jadid, at-Ta’akhi, al-Mu’tamar, and the Danish Electronic Archive.

http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?mod=art&lapage=../en_articles_2008/0208/iraqiresistancereport_160208.htm

Sources:
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=22732&d575a3db7a7c556e8b51a2cb519036cb
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=22728&41856a0f5afc5762173bcdc3bf7bf58d
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=22719&54dad6e411cc42b4847dacc01ab7bed7
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=22717&15459f75cbf2cea853e96332fade06ee
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http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=22708&2832f99b6409cd8388a8122b83c8a78f
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http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=59702
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=59687
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http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=59657
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=59656
http://www.arabic.xinhuanet.com/arabic/2008-02/16/content_578277.htm
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5456
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http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5454
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5453
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5452
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5451
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5450
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5448
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5447
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5446
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5445
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5444
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5442
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5441
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5440
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5439
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5437
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5436
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5435
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5434
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5433
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5432
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5431
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5430
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5429
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5428
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5427
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5426
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=5425
http://www.freearabvoice.org
http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?header=res1&mod=gis&rep=rep

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »