Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric who is a top propagandist for Al Qaeda, broke his silence on the uprisings in the Arab world on Wednesday, claiming that Islamist extremists had gleefully watched the success of protest movements against governments they had long despised.
“The mujahedeen around the world are going through a moment of elation,” Mr. Awlaki wrote in a new issue of the English-language Qaeda magazine Inspire, “and I wonder whether the West is aware of the upsurge of mujahedeen activity in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Algeria and Morocco?”
Mr. Awlaki’s four-page essay, titled “The Tsunami of Change,” is among a handful of statements by Al Qaeda’s leaders countering the common view among Western analysts that the terrorist network looks irrelevant at a time of change unprecedented in the modern Middle East. In ousting the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and threatening other Arab leaders, a core of secular-leaning demonstrators have called for democracy and generally avoided violence — all at odds with Al Qaeda’s creed as it tries to instill rigid Islamist rule across the world.
Mr. Awlaki asks, “Doesn’t the West realize how the jihadi work would just take off as soon as the regimes of the Gulf start crumbling?”
Discourage visit from Libyan leader
By Stewart Stogel
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he (Gadhafi) cancels,” confided one New York City official who has met with the Libyans.
The official, speaking on background, made it clear that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not roll out the welcome mat for the controversial Libyan leader.
In fact, the official insisted that city hall will do nothing to facilitate a Gadhafi visit to the Big Apple. That means that the “colonel” may have a hard time finding a place to “pitch” his infamous “tent.”
The so-called “Bedouin tent” is a traveling, makeshift, desert-style hamlet set up to receive Gadhafi’s official “guests.” Gadhafi is expected to speak at the U.N. on Sept. 23, but it is not known when he will arrive. The upcoming visit would be the first for the headline-grabbing Libyan leader to the U.S.
His tent city is reminiscent of scenes from the classic movie Lawrence of Arabia, except without the sand, camels or palm trees.
Also, this time, no Central Park, no Flushing Meadows, no Yankee Stadium, no nothing.
Negotiations between Tripoli and New York had been going on for more than a month, but have gone “nowhere,” officials said.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine also weighed in tonight.
Press Secretary Robert Corrales said the governor feels: “There should be no room in New Jersey for anyone who embraces convicted terrorists. Compassion should be given to the Lockerbie bombing victims and their families, not murderers.”
Corrales was referring to the “hero’s welcome” convicted Pan Am 103 bomber Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi received in Tripoli when he was released by Scottish authorities on “humanitarian” grounds last week. Megrahi is reported to have terminal cancer.
Gadhafi’s representatives had approached New Jersey officials for permission to set up his tent on the grounds of the home of Libya‘s U.N. ambassador in Englewood, a nearby New York suburb.
That could create a nightmare for thousands of commuters who use the George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel, as the Libyan moves from New Jersey to the U.N. compound about 15 miles away.
So, with New York and New Jersey rolling out the “no vacancy” sign, just about everyone is asking: “What can he do?”
The Bloomberg official insists the grounds inside U.N. headquarters are still “viable” despite a major renovation project now under way.
Federal land in New York City, specifically Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. But both appear unlikely.
Or, the “colonel” could simply rent a yacht or barge and place his tent on it and sail around mid-town.
“That could be done,” confessed the New York City official.
“If they want to, they will be able to set off a uranium bomb within six months,” an analyst with Germany’s intelligence service, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), told the magazine.
“Nobody would have thought this possible some years ago,” an intelligence official told Stern.
The UN Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Tehran for defying its demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
Some analysts say Iran may be close to having the required material for producing a bomb, but most say the weaponization process would then take one to two years due to technical and political hurdles.
“Weaponizing” enrichment would not escape the notice of UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), unless it was done at a secret location.
Until now there have been no indications of any such covert diversion, a point made by the IAEA’s incoming director-general shortly after his election earlier this month.
Current IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has said it is his “gut feeling” that Iran is seeking at least the capability to build nuclear weapons, in order to protect itself from perceived regional and U.S. threats.
Libyan leader: Peaceful nuclear program should be encouraged
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says Iran should be encouraged to pursue its nuclear program as long as it is for peaceful purposes.
He said it is “unjust” to stop Iran from enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, but that it must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
The United States and Israel say Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is for generating power.
Libya in 2003 abandoned its own program to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.
Says Arab world campaign contributions ‘may enable him to win U.S. presidency’
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim of Kenyan origins who studied in Islamic schools and whose campaign may have been financed by people in the Islamic and African worlds, Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi said during a recent televised national rally.
“There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama,” said Gadhafi in little-noticed remarks he made at a rally marking the anniversary of the 1986 U.S. air raid on his country.
The remarks, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, were aired on Al Jazeera in June.
“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man,” continued Gadhafi. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.
“We are hoping that this black man will take pride in his African and Islamic identity, and in his faith, and that [he will know] that he has rights in America, and that he will change America from evil to good, and that America will establish relations that will serve it well with other peoples, especially the Arabs,” Gadhafi said.
Gadhafi went on to lament statements Obama made at a June 4 address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in which the presidential candidate stated if he is elected president, “Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”
But it seems Gadhafi was not aware that the next day, during a CNN appearance, Obama explained he meant Jerusalem shouldn’t be physically divided with a partition and was not referring to the city remaining in exclusively Jewish hands.
Stated Gadhafi: “But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan brother [Obama], who is an American national, made statements (about Jerusalem) that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the Islamic world.
“We hope that this is merely an elections ‘clearance sale,’ as they say in Egypt – in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce of elections – a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote for him, and afterwards, when they say to him, ‘You promised this and that,’ he says: ‘No, this was just elections propaganda.’ This is the farce of democracy for you. He says: ‘This was propaganda, and you thought I was being serious. I was fooling you to get your votes.’
“Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda. Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis. This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics, and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict,” Gadhafi said.
Gadhafi went on to express his hope if elected Obama will implement a “one state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meaning Israel would be flooded with millions of Palestinian Arabs who would terminate the country’s Jewish nationality.
He said he was worried Obama may have a “black inferiority complex” whereby he may enact “white men” policies to prove he is no different from “white” America.
“The thing we fear most is that the black man suffers from an inferiority complex. This is dangerous. If our brother Obama feels that because he is black he doesn’t have the right to rule America, this would be a disaster, because such a feeling would make him act whiter than the white, and go to an extreme in his persecution and degradation of the blacks.
“We say to him: Brother, the whites and blacks in America are equal. They are all immigrants. America belongs neither to the whites nor to the blacks. America belongs to its original inhabitants, the Indians. Both the whites and the blacks immigrated to America, and so they are equal, and Obama has the right to hold his head high, and say: ‘I am a partner in America. This is my land as much as it is yours. If it is not my land, it is not yours either. It is the land of the Indians. You are immigrants, and so are we.’”
Obama was ‘quite religious in Islam’
Obama repeatedly has denied he is a Muslim. His campaign site states: “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.”
But as WND has reported, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.
Obama’s campaign several times has wavered in response to reporters queries regarding the senator’s childhood faith.
Commenting on a recent Los Angeles Times report quoting a childhood friend stating Obama prayed in a mosque “something the presidential candidate said he never did,” Obama’s campaign released a statement explaining the senator “has never been a practicing Muslim.”
Widely distributed reports have noted that in January 1968, Obama was registered as a Muslim at Jakarta’s Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School under the name Barry Soetoro. He was listed as an Indonesian citizen whose stepfather, listed on school documents as “L Soetoro Ma,” worked for the topography department of the Indonesian Army.
Catholic schools in Indonesia routinely accept non-Catholic students but exempt them from studying religion. Obama’s school documents, though, wrongly list him as being Indonesian.
After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama was enrolled “also as a Muslim, according to documents” in the Besuki Primary School, a public school in Jakarta.
Laotze blog, run by an American expatriate in Southeast Asia who visited the Besuki school, noted: “All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school, and a young ‘Barry Soetoro,’ being a Muslim, would have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.”
Indeed, in Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” he acknowledged studying the Quran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”