Philippines: Govt tries to arrest Abu Sayyaf terrorists, clashes spark

Attempts by government troops to arrest three militant leaders wanted by the Philippines and the United States on kidnapping and murder charges sparked clashes that left up to 17 rebels dead, officials said Monday.

The fighting erupted Sunday when government forces cordoned off a village on Jolo island in the southern Philippines and tried to arrest the three Abu Sayyaf commanders. Some of the estimated 220 militants in the village fired on the soldiers and clashes ensued.

Regional military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino said troops recovered the body of one militant, but that intelligence sources indicated at least 17 rebels were killed. Five government soldiers were wounded, Dolorfino said in a brief telephone interview.

The hostilities broke out as residents of the predominantly Muslim island celebrated the Islamic festival of Eid-al-Fitr. Troops were trying to arrest rebel commanders Isnilon Hapilon, Albader Parad and Umbra Jumdail, also known as Dr. Abu.

Related: Philippine troops seize al-Qaida-linked militants’ camp; kill 19 in clashes.

Indonesia: Noordin killed in a shootout with Police

VOA:

Indonesian authorities have confirmed that a man killed in a shootout with police this week is terrorist leader Noordin Top.

National police spokesman Nanan Sukarna said Saturday that DNA tests supported findings of an earlier fingerprint identification.

Noordin was one of four people killed in a raid Thursday on a militant hideout in Central Java. Three others were arrested.

Really. Good. News.

Related: Indonesians welcome death of terrorist leader.

Before:
The reasons of Noordin’s success.
Noordin uses a burqa to avoid police?
Noordin is alive.
Govt will tackle Islamic schools – and track down Noordin.
Noordin Mohammed Top, believed killed.
The JI’s “Jihad on Westerners” using social ties.
Thailand: Southern terrorists could have received training from JI.
Singapore: JI’s terrorist attack on Changi airport foiled.
Jakarta bombings: Malaysia questions 3 JI simpathizers.
Raids on JI terrorists prove existence of Islamist social nets.
3rd bomb in Jakarta bombings malfunctioned.
Malaysia: Noordin Mat Top not in the country.
Jakarta: suicide attacks most likely carried by JI offshoot.

The reason of the peaceful Iranian nuclear program

Well, it looks like so. From Realite-UE free newsletter:

As Iran moves ahead with its nuclear ambitions other countries in the Gulf are pushing forward with their own plans to go nuclear. [1] Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have all indicated interest in developing nuclear programs. [2]

Nowhere is the concern over Iran’s nuclear ambition felt more strongly than among Iran’s Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf region. While they watch uneasily for signs of Iranian nuclear progress, Saudis and Emiratis will continue to spend billions of dollars on ballistic missile defense systems. [3]

The Gulf States have ambivalent relations with Iran. While Iran is seen a strategic threat it is also a trading partner and possible Mideast regional leader. Statements and actions by Gulf leaders reflect this ambiguity.

Bahrain

  • In September 2009, Commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defense Force, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, said Iran is an important country that greatly influences regional security and stability. Sheikh Al-Khalifa and Iranian ambassador to Bahrain Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed Tehran-Manama relations and called for an expansion in cooperation especially in military spheres. [4]
  • In June 2009, Bahrain closed the newspaper Akhbar al-Khaleej after it published an article heavily critical of the Iranian government. [5]
  • Bahrain has supported using diplomacy to resolve the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program though Iran’s uranium enrichment has complicated relations between Iran and Bahrain. Bahrain is an ally of the United States. [6]
  • In 2007, Manama and Tehran discussed increasing annual trade to $1 billion per year and bolstering their joint health and tourism cooperation. Both countries proposed a large purchase of Iranian oil to help fuel Bahraini development in May 2008. [“Bahrain-Iran Cooperation Hailed,” Bahrain News Agency, December 26, 2007; “Bahrain Eyes Gas Imports From Iran,” Press TV, May 27, 2008]
  • In March 2008, the United States Treasury Department announced sanctions against Future Bank B.S.C, a Bahraini Bank accusing of helping Iran’s alleged nuclear proliferation activities. Future Bank B.S.C. is controlled by Iran’s Bank Melli, which is sanctioned “for facilitating Iran’s proliferation activities.” [8]
  • Bahrain turned down financial and technical support that Iran offered in October 2007 to help Bahrain establish its own civilian nuclear energy program. [Tourmi, Habib: “Bahrain Rejects Nuclear Assistance by Iran,” Gulf News, October 24, 2007]

Kuwait

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah congratulated Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, after his re-election. Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah described Iran as Kuwait’s friend and expressed hope that Kuwait and Iran and would continue to expand their relationship in all fields. [10] This, despite the fact that Kuwait has been a major allay of Washington since the 1991 Gulf War.
  • Kuwait’s government has declared it will not allow its territories to be used for military action against Iran. [11]
  • Kuwait and Iran held their first Economic Commission in January 2008 in order to create a platform for more financial connections between the countries. [12]
  • Renowned Kuwaiti author Abdullah Al-Hadlaq has urged the Gulf States to suspend their diplomatic relations with Iran and deal with its real agenda. He insisted that the country’s nuclear program was not adopted for peaceful purposes despite Iran’s pretence that it was, in reality being a military program. [13]

Oman

  • Oman has accelerated its cooperation with Tehran, nurturing an alliance that helps empower Iran while highlighting the deep divisions among Arab capitals. Oman has refused overtures of its larger neighbors to pull away from Iran. [14]
  • Oman sees Iran as an important political and economic ally that is “too powerful and too potentially dangerous to ignore, let alone antagonize.” Oman has for years helped Iranian smugglers circumvent international trade sanctions. [Ibid]
  • In August 2009, Oman and Iran signed an agreement for security cooperation. The deal covers exchange of information and combating infiltration, smuggling and other crimes. [16]
  • The Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Hirbodan EPC of Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a power plant at the Queshm Free Zone in Iran. Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said said the agreement reflected the “depth of relations between the two countries.” [Ibid]

Qatar

  • Qatar, an ally of the United States, has been outspoken against Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. [18] However, Qatar has rejected the Security Council’s resolutions against Iran, calling them counterproductive. [“First Target For Iran: Qatar?,” Middle East Times, November 26, 2007]
  • In January 2009, Qatar, Iran and Russia met in Tehran, where they agreed to establish a “gas troika” to cooperate on the exploration and production of their gas reserves. [20]
  • In a meeting in April 2009 with the Qatari minister of information, Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamar At-Thani, Iranian Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani expressed Iran’s desire to create unity among regional and Muslim countries. Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamar At-Thani said that Qatar appreciates Iran’s position on regional and international issues. [“Iran Pursues Unity Strategy In The Region: Larijani,” Iranian Students News Agency, April 8, 2009]
  • In a meeting in July 2009 with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Ahamad Bin Khalifa al-Thanii, Larijani described Qatar as a strategic partner and indicated that Iran is determined to expand its bilateral ties with Qatar. The Emir of Qatar said: “Iran is always standing behind Arab sand people of Palestine, but some want to make minds turn against the country while we have no problem with it. Iran is always our friend and we won’t allow any ill-will person to create problems between us.” [22]

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • In August 2009, the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) and a UAE company signed an agreement for transferring Iranian natural gas to the UAE. [23]
  • On August 14, 2009, the UAE seized a cargo of North Korean weapons being shipped to Iran, which would have violated a UN embargo on arms exports from North Korea. [24]
  • UAE sees Iran as both a threat and a valued trading partner – it spends billions to defend itself against a perceived Iranian threat while it also enjoys a robust trading relationship with Iran. The UAE is one of Iran’s largest trading partners. [25]

So, Iran’s Ayatollahs want the Gulf for themselves, and don’t want to end like Saddam Hussein if they invade them. Peaceful nuclear technology? Yeah, what a joke!

Pakistan: arrested Christian found “dead” in prison

From ICC:

pakistani christian murdered in prisonA Muslim family enraged by the fact that Falish had fallen in love with their daughter, concocted the blasphemy allegations. Of course, their daughter could not decide for herself.

Falish had severe wounds on his face, arms and the rest of his body, but the Police in Pakistan still insists he committed suicide. Well, a real strange suicide, isn’t it?

Egypt: 150 people arrested for not fasting on Ramadan

Missao Portas Abertas reports that the arrested are both Muslims and non-Muslims:

Egyptian authorities have arrested more than 150 people for eating during Ramdan.

They were imprisoned in Assua, South of Egypt and in the city of Hurghada, in Red Sea. According to the Al-Arabia net, authorities are taking severe measures against Muslims and non-Muslims who are found drinking, eating or smoking during the jejum time.

This is the first time that Egyptian authorities have acted in this manner. This is another sign of the Islamization process that will happen in the future. Nowadays, Egypt looks like it’s following the Gulf’s practices, where drinking, eating or smoking during Ramadan is punished with a month in prison or US$ 350 fine.

“This goes against the basic human rights of citizens. We, as Christians, aren’t Muslims and don’t believe there is an Islamic Jejum. And for Muslims this should be a personal question”, says Magdhi Kalil, director of Fórum de Liberdade do Oriente Médio.

Jonathan Racho, director of ICC for Africa and Middle East, says: “Punish Muslims for eating and drinking during Ramadan is a shame and a clear violation of religious freedom. We condemn this measure taken in Egypt to force Muslims and non Muslims to fast during Ramadan”.

Some days ago, a similar thing happened in Morocco.

Related: Church firebombed in Egypt after Opposition from Muslim neighbours.

"The police decided before any forensics were carried out that the cause of the fire was caused by a short-circuit," said an unofficial Church source. "This cannot be true, as the electricity was shut off as usual before locking the Church and the panel boards are intact as the photos show."  Sherif Ramzy of Free Copts said that Coptic witnesses told him that while the fire was burning, Muslim neighbors were elated. To portray their happiness, Muslim women were letting out the traditional celebration sound "zaghroota."

"The police decided before any forensics were carried out that the cause of the fire was caused by a short-circuit," said an unofficial Church source. "This cannot be true, as the electricity was shut off as usual before locking the Church and the panel boards are intact as the photos show." Sherif Ramzy of Free Copts said that Coptic witnesses told him that while the fire was burning, Muslim neighbors were elated. To portray their happiness, Muslim women were letting out the traditional celebration sound "zaghroota."

The MSM remains silent on the Coptic persecution in Egypt. The more silence on their situation, the more “Islamized” the country will become.