Leaked Docs Show NSA Fed «Israel» Intel for Targeted Assassinations

By Staff, Agencies

Frustrated by a legal ban on sharing intelligence with “Israeli” operatives conducting targeted assassinations against Hezbollah, the NSA crafted a loophole giving them total access even to US citizens’ data, leaked documents show.

The so-called “Israeli” SIGINT National Unit [ISNU], the NSA’s counterpart in Tel Aviv, convinced the Americans to circumvent the legal prohibition on providing surveillance data for targeted assassinations during the “Israeli” entity’s 2006 aggression on Lebanon, according to the newest revelation from the archives obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Using the familiar rationale of “terrorism” to excuse cooperation they knew was illegal, the NSA and ISNU found a workaround using the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that provided the “Israelis” with all the intelligence they needed, according to an October 2006 article in the NSA’s internal publication.

“To ISNU, this prohibition [on sharing data for targeted killings] was contrary not only to supporting ‘Israel’ in its fight against Hizballah [Hezbollah] but overall, to support the US Global War on Terrorism,” said an article in SIDToday.

Its author, whose name is redacted, details the “late-night, sometimes tense discussions” he had with ISNU officials who believed they deserved an exemption from the US prohibition on abetting targeted killings.

The documents don’t include details of what “arrangement” was eventually worked out with the ODNI, but the “Israeli” military used American data to lay waste to Lebanon’s civilian population, much like the tech-enhanced US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose kill-counts swelled with civilian victims after they received access to NSA targeting data.

“‘Israel’ repeatedly, and in some cases egregiously, violated the laws of war,” Human Rights Watch reporter Nadim Houry told the Intercept, adding that the “Israelis” “engaged in indiscriminate aerial attacks” and cluster bombing against “civilian infrastructure that was not tied in any way to the armed conflict.”

This ‘strategy’ had a name – the “Dahiyeh doctrine” – and “Israeli” officials admitted it was deliberate, but despite this brutality, they were unable to win the war. A leaked presentation about the NSA-ISNU relationship notes that “public confidence in” the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] “erodes” and IOF “image damaged” after the seemingly-outmatched Hezbollah revolutionaries were able to keep the “Israelis” at bay. Nevertheless, the IDF was, according to the presentation, “Gearing up for Round II.”

Apparently unsatisfied with the legal loophole the Americans had created for them, the “Israelis” sought and received full access to the NSA’s massive surveillance data troves after the war. A 2009 memorandum of understanding officially gave ISNU unrestricted access to the NSA’s raw intelligence data – including the phone and internet records of American citizens and citizens of third-party countries. Only American officials’ data was excluded, on an honor-system basis [with ISNU instructed to “destroy upon recognition” any records originating with a government official]. Almost no strings were attached to this bonanza – the “Israelis” could even release the identities of Americans whose information had been scooped up in the dragnet, as long as they asked the NSA for permission first, and could pass the data on to anyone at all if the names were redacted.

While a leaked presentation calls ISNU “NSA’s most valued third party partner,” it also suggests there was “high anxiety” among the “Israelis” “heavily reliant” on NSA data for support. One slide reads “What Did ISNU Want? Everything!!!” and complaints about the ‘Israelis’’ “robust” spying on Americans crop up frequently in the Snowden archives. The NSA did not seem to mind, because the “Israelis” were very, very grateful for all the information.

“Throughout all of my discussions – no matter what the tone or subject – ISNU stressed their deep gratitude for the cooperation and support they received from the NSA,” the SIDToday article reads.


Bir Abed Massacre: The Failed Assassination Attempt…The Assassin

Amir Qanso

11-03-2013 | 08:06

It is Bir Abed, a neighborhood in the Southern Suburb of Beirut. There, life is normal, and children have just planted a tree. They want to say, “You kill, we sow life.” The tree is to eternize the memory of martyrs who fell three decades ago. 

Sayyed Fadlallah

Locals seek to give a lasting flame to this memory because they want to prove that what happened that day deeply touched them. Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah is now in the heavens. But the criminal is still at large and unaccused. Maybe this is what they want. Chastisement for the culprit.

On Friday, March 8, 1985, devout have just performed their Friday prayers at Imam Ali Reda Mosque in Bir Abed. They headed to their homes, shops, work…Women, who prayed after men, had no idea the monster of killing was stalking them, so that they would not return to their home and families.

The big bang that targeted late Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in person sought to take vengeance on this resisting Imam, always braced for facing the schemes of the US and its Arab and local subordinates. He was the target, but God’s will was different.

The Sayyed survived, thanks to the Almighty, and to the blessing of one faithful woman who insisted on addressing a last minute question to him. Thanks to her, time ran late. The Sayyed did not make it on time to the very place he, along passengers, was set to be massacred.

Surviving witnesses relate that the remains of men and women who fell in the blast have mixed with iron and concrete pieces. The striking force of the explosion even threw a passenger to beyond the barracks and checkpoints belligerent militias set between East and West Beirut.

One woman, who miraculously survived after her body was still alive when she was mistakenly put in a corps fridge at a local hospital, tells how she saw death in her bare eyes and how it all turned into hell all of a sudden.

Who was behind the massacre?

Bir Abed Massacre

He who executed that appalling crime on the ground immediately received his punishment. But there are still impune criminals. They are still free at large. Nonetheless, this is no surprise; the US intelligence service and the affiliated rings were the side that plotted, recruited, and supervised the execution against targets in favor of US political and security agenda. Besides, the US administration was not far from making reprisals for the attacks against the US marines when they invaded Beirut in the early ’80s. The second conniver was an Arab security apparatus, which took charge of providing an open financial credit, to hold back the ascending political rise of Shias on the Lebanese scene and to get rid of an eminent symbol, Sayyed Fadlallah.

This is how the US security interests and Arab’s converged and provided what was required to execute the crime from A to Z.

This is not a gist of the imagination of a writer who lived back then and met many eyewitnesses and survivals. Killing was not alone the aim, but rather Sayyed Fadlallah was. This is why his survive was the outcome of executors, planners, and funders’ fiasco.

In a special episode from the famous “Lebanon War” documentary made and broadcast by al-Jazeera channel, Omar Issawi said that Iran’s foes retaliated with a destructive explosion in Bir Abed, mostly populated by Shias.

He said that the explosion targeted Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadallah, a Shia religious man whom media outlets have called “Hizbullah’s spiritual leader,” albeit he denied any official link to the party. “Fadlallah survived the blast, which martyred more than 80 people and wounded nearly two hundreds.”

Until here, the narration is simple. But the riddle that remained lowlighted and unraveled was the identity of “Iran’s foes” who executed that crime.

In that very show, Issawi relays a taped testimony of the late scholar, hereby saying,

“I was about to leave the Mosque, when a woman of our acquaintance came to me and asked me to answer some of her questions and listen to problems she wanted to tell me. I refused because I was extremely fatigued, but she insisted. So I talked to her. As we were speaking, a huge explosion blew up. If I were at that moment at…if I did not respond to that woman, I would have been at the very place of the explosion. By chance, a car similar to mine came to the place. Criminals thought it was mine. Some local radio stations even reported that I was beneath the wrecks. I said that death is our habit, and that martyrdom for the sake of God was our dignity. When they scared us with death, we would not be scared, if death was for the sake of the cause and the message.”

Bi Abed Massacre

This is how the late Sayyed told the story of his survival. But in the second part of the taped testimony, the Sayyed points at what can be called the real culprit:

“Some official sides which I do not wish to reveal tried to offer me about 17 or 27 million-I do not recall the exact amount-under the guise of aid to the orphans foundations’ projects I sponsor, through one Lebanese official who was not an official at the time.” Sayyed Fadlallah explained that the “donation” was set to be given without him signing any document, etc. “So I told the mediator, a Lebanese journalist who was present then and who is now in Lebanon and you can ask him, ‘I do not do in secret what I am ashamed to doing in public. I cannot say that I have taken money from a top official without telling people. I cannot do what I cannot tell people about.'”

Who is this businessman who came bribe Sayyed Fadallah to keep silent over the crime…again, Sayyed Fadlallh survived another crime this businessman was making.Image result for Rafic Hariri

That man was the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, accompanied by a Lebanese journalist who was close to Shias in Lebanon. This is what many, who were interested in Sayyed Fadallah’s words to Omar Issawi as unearthing a Saudi deal to keep the crime unexposed vs. the money, confirm.

This is also confirmation of what Bob Woodward, a Washington Post journalist, later wrote, saying the explosion was planned by the US Intelligence, funded by KSA, and executed by Lebanese. This was as well quoted by Omar Issawi in “Lebanon War.”

Bir Abed, 2013…here, a lot of people do not forget who once dared kill them. They do not want this assassin to disappear, for punishment

Source: Al-Ahed News, Translated and Edited by website team

العرس الفلسطيني المباح وصفقة العصر البواح

محمد صادق الحسيني

أكتوبر 4, 2017

لا يختلف اثنان على أنّ من حق الفصائل الفلسطينية أن تتصالح، بل من واجبها ذلك، عملاً بمستلزمات النصر التي عمودها الوحدة الوطنية.

كما لا يختلف اثنان على ضرورة استخدام كلّ الطرق والوسائل المشروعة لفكّ الحصار عن شعب غزة المظلوم ودفع أثمان باهظة حتى على حساب مصالح فصائلية، مهما عظمت.

ولا يختلف اثنان أيضاً على أنّ من أولويات نجاح أيّ عمل سياسي مقاوم هو الدفاع عن الوحدة الوطنية برموش العيون،

وكذلك الدفاع عما يُسمّى بالأمن الوطني الفلسطيني، بل وكذلك الأمن القومي العربي.

وأنّ تشخيص كلّ ذلك شأن فلسطيني داخلي محض.

لكن ما ليس بشأن داخلي فلسطيني ولا من ضروريات فك الحصار ولا ثوابت الأمن الوطني الفلسطيني ولا الأمن القومي العربي، القبول بشروط أجنبية تريد ركوب حاجة الشعب الفلسطيني إلى ما هو أعلاه للوصول لما يلي…

أولاً: دفع عملية تقارب دحلان من حماس وعملية تقارب مصرية من حماس، بما يفضي الى تنفيذ أمر عمليات أميركي للسيطرة على العملية السياسية الفلسطينية على طريقة بريمر في العراق أو أيّ طريقة مستنسَخة!

ثانياً: أن يصبح هدف أمر العمليات الأميركي هو ضرورة إنجاز موضوع المصالحات الفلسطينية بأسرع وقت ممكن لاستباق سيطرة الحلفاء وبمساعدة روسيا، وخاصة إيران، على الوضع الفلسطيني، وذلك بعد انتهائهم الحلفاء من القتال في الميدان السوري، وهي نهاية باتت قريبة، حسب تقدير الطرف الأميركي الذي أصدر الأمر لرجاله الإقليميين والمحليين…!

بكلمات أوضح: الهدف الصهيوأميركي من وراء ركوب موجة المصالحة هو قطع الطريق على سورية وإيران للسيطرة على الضفة والقطاع، ونقل المعركة الى داخل فلسطين ووجهاً لوجه مع الإسرائيليين…!

بهذا الوضوح يتحرّك البيت الأبيض وزبانيته «الإسرائيليون» وعلينا مواجهتهم بالوضوح نفسه، في زمن سقوط الأقنعة…!

ثالثاً: ألا يكون الهدف من كلّ ما يجري هو إنجاح عملية إعادة أبو مازن، مؤقتاً… بناء على تعليمات أميركية، للوصول إلى جمع الأطراف الفلسطينيه المتصالحة، مع كلّ من:

ـ المخابرات المركزية الأميركية «سي أي آي».

ـ المخابرات الخارجية الألمانية.

ـ المخابرات السويسرية.

ـ المخابرات السعودية.

ـ مخابرات الإمارات العربية.

رابعاً: ألا يكون الهدف من وراء هذه العملية المركبة هو:

– خلع أنياب حماس، أيّ إسقاط الذراع القسّامي ودمج الحركة في الحلول السياسية في المنطقة أي الاعتراف بـ«إسرائيل» والتطبيع معها. وقد اتضح ذلك في الساعات الأخيرة عندما صرّح ناطق باسم البيت الأبيض أن ليس بإمكان حماس المشاركه في أية حكومة فلسطينية قبل أن تعترف بـ «إسرائيل» .

– إعادة محمد دحلان إلى قطاع غزة، كعضو مجلس تشريعي فلسطيني، وتحضيره لدور مستقبلي قريب.

– التخلّص من محمود عباس خلال مدة قصيرة لأنّ مهندسي المشروع المصالحة ودمج حماس في مشروع السلطة المعادي للمقاومة يعتقدون أنه – عباس – يشكل عائقاً في طريق المضيّ سريعاً في التنفيذ.

خامساً: ألا يكون الهدف من وراء المصالحات والخطوات الفلسطينية الضرورية الأخرى، هو إنجاح التحرك الدولي لدعم مشروع إعادة توحيد الضفة مع القطاع بخطوة عقد مؤتمر دولي لإعادة إعمار قطاع غزة في شرم الشيخ أواخر شهر تشرين الثاني المقبل، تحت إشراف اللجنة الرباعية الدولية المشؤومة إياها..!

سادساً: ألا يكون الهدف من وراء المصالحات وسائر الخطوات الفلسطينية المحقة إقرار أمر خطير في المؤتمر الدولي المرتقب من قبيل شيء سيطلق عليه اسم: المنافذ الحرة بين قطاع غزة ومصر وهنا يتضح التفسير لظاهرة داعش في سيناء… هدم مدينة رفح المصرية… ، والتي ستكون عبارة عن مناطق حرة داخل سيناء المصرية تُقام فيها مشاريع صناعية وتجاربة لتشغيل عمال قطاع غزة فيها، بحيث تُبنَى لهم مجمّعات سكنية في محيط المناطق الصناعية، وبالتالي توسيع قطاع غزة داخل سيناء لم يتمّ تحديد المساحات حتى الآن .

فنكون بذلك منفذين لمشروع بيسر- نتن ياهو الاقتصادي المشبوه والمدمّر للسلام…!

سابعاً: ألا يتبع كلّ تلك الخطوات فروض على حماس تحت عنوان إعادة إعمار قطاع غزة وفتح معبر رفح، مقابل شروط سياسية مناقضة لمقولة المقاومة.

ثامناً: حيث من أهمّ بنود تلك الشروط المفروضة والتي يُراد لحماس أن ترضخ لها هو:

عدم طرح موضوع سلاح المقاومة في غزة لمدة عام اعتباراً من بدء تنفيذ المصالحة، أي اعتباراً من 1/10/2017.

ملاحظة: هنا يُفهم تصريح عباس بالأمس، بأنه لن يوافق إلا على سلاح شرعي واحد في قطاع غزة وأنه سيعتقل ايّ شخص يحمل سلاحاً غير سلاح السلطة الفلسطينية.

تاسعاً: ألا يكون الهدف النهائي من عرس غزة عقد جلسة للمجلس التشريعي الفلسطيني يُعاد خلالها محمد دحلان رسمياً الى المجلس، ثم يُصار بعد ذلك الى عقد جلسة لاحقة لإقالة محمود عباس وتولية رئيس المجلس التشريعي منصب الرئاسة الفلسطينية لمدة 60 يوماً، حسب القانون الأساسي الفلسطيني، إلى أن يتمّ خلالها التحضير لانتخابات رئاسية وبرلمانية تفضي إلى انتخاب محمد دحلان رئيساً للسلطة.

عاشراً: القلقون على الشأن الفلسطيني الداخلي والوحدة الوطنية الفلسطينية والأمن الوطني الفلسطيني والأمن القومي العربي يتخوّفون من مخطط يقولون إنه سيتمّ تنفيذه بين 12 18 شهراً أيّ حتى يصبح دحلان رئيساً للسلطة يتمّ خلالها ضخ مبالغ مالية كبيرة في قطاع غزة بهدف خلق حاضنة أو أرضية محلية أوسع لسياسات تصفية المقاومة في قطاع غزة، كما حصل بعد اغتيال الشهيد أبو عمار في الضفة الغربية.

حادي عشر: بعد إتمام هذه الخطوات يتمّ تغيير اسم السلطة الفلسطينية الى اسم: دولة فلسطين، وتبدأ إجراءات إعلان صلح جماعي عربي مع «إسرائيل» واعترافات متبادلة وتطبيع علاقات وتبادل سفارات بين الدول العربية، بما فيها دولة فلسطين، مجتمعة وبين «إسرائيل». والإعلان عن انتهاء الصراع العربي ـ «الإسرائيلي» وحلّ القضية الفلسطينية بشكل كامل ونهائي.

– هذه هي صفقة العصر التي يتحدّث عنها ترامب…!

ثقتنا برجال المقاومة الفلسطينية الشرفاء والأحرار كبيرة..

وإيماننا بأسطورية صمود الشعب الفلسطيني وقدرته على إسقاط المشاريع التصفوية كافة أيضاً كبيرة جداً…

ولكن حرصنا على أمننا الوطني الفلسطيني وأمننا القومي والعربي والإسلامي يتطلّب منا لفت الأنظار لما يُحاك لهذه الأمة من دسّ السمّ في العسل.

من الباب الفلسطيني العريض، بعد سقوط أوهامهم الكبرى في سورية والعراق وخروجهم القريب منهما بخفي حنين…!

اللهم اشهد أنني قد بلّغت.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

17 أيار… ذكريات لا تُنسى

مايو 18, 2017

17 أيار… ذكريات لا تُنسى

ناصر قنديل

– لم يكن خافياً على الجيل الذي انطلق في خيار المقاومة منذ بدء الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان حجم المعركة السياسية المرافقة للعمل العسكري المقاوم الذي عليه الاستعداد لخوضه. وكان المقاومون عسكرياً وسياسياً قلة مسلحة بالحق والإرادة وروح الاستشهاد، وكانت انتصارات المقاومة العسكرية المحققة في وقت قياسي في الأشهر الأولى للاحتلال مصدر نهوض سياسي وشعبي للخيار المقاوم، بمثل ما كانت العنصرية المرافقة للنظام الذي رعاه الاحتلال للسيطرة على لبنان تتكفل بضخ المزيد من الغضب السياسي التقليدي في ساحة المواجهة، من الجبل إلى بيروت والشمال، بينما الاحتلال يحزم حقائبه ويرحل من العاصمة ويستعدّ لفعل الشيء نفسه تباعاً في الجبل وصيدا وصولاً إلى بعض الليطاني خلال سنوات قليلة.

– على ضفة الاحتلال كانت الإنجازات الأولى كفيلة بإعلان تحقيق الانتصار، فخلال شهور نجح في فرض مناخ سياسي وأمني محلي وإقليمي ودولي أنتج رئيسين متتاليين يحملان الاستعداد ويملكان التغطية لمنحه شرعية المكاسب التي أرادها، وكانت الرعاية الأميركية المجسّدة سياسياً باتفاقية أبرمها مبعوثه فيليب حبيب أفضت للانسحاب العسكري الفلسطيني والسوري من بيروت، وبحضور عسكري مباشر مثلته القوات المتعددة الجنسيات وفي طليعتها قوات المارينز قرب مطار بيروت وعلى مدخل العاصمة في خلدة، قد نجحت بضم لبنان إلى لائحة الدول التابعة لواشنطن سياسياً وعسكرياً بصورة رسمية وأشرفت على إعادة بناء وهيكلة الجيش اللبناني ومخابراته وفقاً لعقيدة قتالية جديدة.

– كان اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار هو الوثيقة الاستراتيجية التي تشكل التعبير عن التحولات التي أراد الاميركيون و»الإسرائيليون» لها أن تحدث. وقد وفّروا لها دعماً عربياً تجسّد في قمة الرباط، بمبادرة من ولي العهد السعودي آنذاك فهد بن عبد العزيز، رغم المعارضة الشرسة للرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد، الذي أعلن في القمة دعم سورية للمقاومة اللبنانية ضد الاحتلال والتي تشكلت من مواقع متعددة توزعت بين الأحزاب الوطنية والقومية وحركة أمل والمجموعات الإسلامية التي تشكل منها حزب الله لاحقاً، ورعاية جبهة الخلاص الوطني التي ضمّت الرئيسين سليمان فرنجية ورشيد كرامي والنائب وليد جنبلاط، بالتنسيق المستمر مع الرئيس نبيه بري، الذي عقد له لواء قيادة المعركة السياسية والمقاومة العسكرية معاً.

– كان لي شرف الحضور في ساحات المواجهة المتعددة والمختلفة والتواصل والتنسيق والتعاون مع كافة القيادات والقوى المعنية بهذه الأوجه المختلفة للمواجهة، وطنييها وإسلامييها، سياسييها ومقاوميها، وكانت في الأول من أيار مناسبة الاحتفال بذكرى تأسيس الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني في فندق الكارلتون لتداول سياسي ونيابي حول كيفية خوض المعركة السياسية، بين رأيين، أحدهما يدعو لمقاطعة الجلسة النيابية المقررة لمنح الحكومة التفويض الدستوري بتوقيع الاتفاق الذي يشكل النسخة اللبنانية من كامب ديفيد، وتظهير المقاطعة كتعبير وازن عن الرفض ورأي مقابل يتمسك برفض النواب الوطنيين للاتفاقية بصوت مرتفع مهما قل عددهم أو تعرّضوا للأخطار، والأمانة التاريخية تقتضي القول إنه في تلك الليلة كان النائب زاهر الخطيب وحيداً قد حسم الذهاب حتى النهاية في رفض الاتفاقية من تحت قبة البرلمان معلناً باسم المقاومة وشهدائها رفض الاتفاقية. وقد إنضم إليه النائب نجاح واكيم قبيل الجلسة، وبقيا وحدهما يمثلان هذا الصوت، بينما صوت المجلس النيابي على التفويض مع غياب عدد من النواب وامتناع بعض آخر.

– في الشارع كانت حالة غليان من كثير من ممارسات الحكم ومخابراته، والاعتقالات قد طالت الآلاف، وفي الجبل جمر تحت الرماد، أما في الضاحية وبيروت فذعر ينشره زوار الفجر كما أسماهم لاحقاً المفتي الشهيد حسن خالد في خطبة العيد من ذلك العام. وقد شق الصمت خروج مجموعة من العلماء الشباب الذين شكّلوا تجمّع العلماء المسلمين يحملون الراية يومها وأعلنوا الدعوة للاعتصام، فجرّدت عليهم حملة عسكرية في مكان الاعتصام في مسجد الإمام الرضا في بئر العبد، حيث سقط الشهيد محمد بديع نجدة، فكانت طليعة الانتفاضة التي تفجرت لاحقاً في الضاحية وحررتها في ذكرى تغييب الإمام موسى الصدر نهاية آب، وتكرّرت في بيروت في السادس من شباط من العام التالي.

– شكل إسقاط اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار الشعار الأبرز للنضال السياسي لتلك المرحلة، بينما شكل استنزاف الاحتلال بعمليات نوعية الشعار الأهم للنضال العسكري. وشكلت روح المواجهة الشعبية آلية تتنامى كل يوم، وقد كان لكل منها رموزها، ومثلما كان الشهداء الحاج عماد مغنية ومصطفى بدر الدين ومحمد سعد، ومن الأحياء الذين يواصلون مسيرتهم النائب أسعد حردان، عناوين البعد العسكري للمواجهة، شكل الشهداء داوود داوود ومحمود فقيه والشيخ راغب حرب وخليل جرادي والراحل عبد المحسن الحسيني أبو ظافر عناوين المواجهة الشعبية في عمق الجنوب، بينما كان في صيدا الراحل الكبير نزيه البزري والشهيد القيادي والمقاوم مصطفى سعد والشيخان الجليلان أحمد الزين وماهر حمود، فيما تصدّر الساحة النيابية النائبان زاهر الخطيب ونجاح واكيم، وكان كل الصف العسكري والسياسي المقاوم عينه على مواقف الرئيس بري وساعة توقيته للمواجهة الحاسمة، حيث سيُكتب له إعلان إسقاط الاتفاق، من ضمن تسوية جنيف ولوزان للحوار الوطني بعد انتفاضة السادس من شباط التي قادها عام 1984، بينما توجب توجيه تحية خاصة لروح الراحل الكبير السيد محمد حسين فضل الله الذي رعى وبارك شباب المقاومة والتحركات السياسية والشعبية، كما وجبت التحية لروح المبادرة والمواجهة التي حمل مشعلها بكفاءة وشجاعة تجمّع العلماء المسلمين وعلى رأسه الشيخ حسان عبدالله ورفاقه، الذين سجلوا في تاريخنا التحرك الأبرز في الشارع لرفض هذا الاتفاق، بالنيابة عن الشعب اللبناني، الذي حمل الرفض باسمه إلى داخل المجلس النيابي النائبان الخطيب وواكيم.

– نستذكر هذا الذي حدث في بلدنا الصغير وهو مفتت في حرب أهلية ورازح تحت الاحتلال، بينما تستعد دول عربية كبرى لا تعيش ما عشناه وتنعم بكل أسباب الوفرة والراحة، لتوقع علناً 17 أيار عربياً يمنح «إسرائيلط ما عجزت عن فرضه على لبناننا الصغير والضعيف.

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Atrash Investigation: Two Saudi Suicide Bombers on the Loose

People gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion which went off in front of the main government administration building in Hermel, a stronghold of Lebanon’s Hezbollah near the border with Syria, on January 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP – STR).
Published Friday, January 31, 2014
A primary round of investigations into Omar al-Atrash established him as a suspect in a string of suicide bombings and attacks in Lebanon’s Bekaa, Dahiyeh, and Saida. Atrash’s statements provided invaluable information, as the detained cleric allegedly confessed to transporting two Saudi suicide bombers, who are still at large, to Beirut. Atrash has now been officially charged, paving the way for further questioning.
On January 30, an official statement by Lebanon’s army command confirmed previous press reports regarding Atrash’s confessions to his role in the recent wave of deadly bombings in Lebanon. Atrash has been referred to a military court, which charged him over his alleged role in the attacks.
Al-Akhbar learned that the military court intends to request the intelligence directorate to expand the scope of the investigations into Atrash. According to informed sources, the information the suspect may be in possession of cannot be extracted from him in just a few days of investigations.
Atrash reportedly spoke at length during his interrogation about his role in the terrorist bombings in Lebanon. The cleric also revealed some secrets about the work of jihadi organizations, but many details need to be followed up and verified. It is understood that there have been talks with the Ministry of Justice and the military court to get their consent to keeping Atrash in the custody of army intelligence for a longer period of time.
According to the same sources, Atrash was apprehended while army intelligence was in pursuit of a Saudi national, who, according to US intelligence tips, had entered Lebanon to carry out a major terrorist attack. During the search for the Saudi, information surfaced that made Atrash a suspect.
Atrash was subsequently arrested. Shortly after, he admitted his intent to move the Saudi national, who remains at large, to the capital. Atrash also confessed that he had previously brought another Saudi to Beirut, revealing that both of the Saudis were commissioned in Syria to carry out two suicide attacks in areas with sizeable Hezbollah influence.
Atrash also confessed that the registration papers found in his possession belonged to cars in the process of being moved to Beirut, to be handed over to suicide bombers for detonation in Dahiyeh or other areas. The suspect also said he was helping with logistics, including transferring funds.
The sources said Atrash disclosed information about certain events, details of which had been hitherto secret, including facts like:
– Atrash transported to Beirut the two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy, handing them over to the Palestinian fugitive Naim Abbas. Abbas operates from Palestinian refugee camps, including Ain al-Hilweh in South Lebanon.
– Atrash transported one of the suicide bombers involved in the Haret Hreik bombings to Khaldeh, also handing him over to Abbas.
– Atrash sent one of the suicide bombers using a microbus from Bekaa to Beirut, where Abbas was waiting for him. Abbas then moved the bomber to another location, where he gave him the explosive-rigged vehicle and an explosive belt.
– He transferred funds to Abbas, which he obtained from inside Syria.
– The two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Lebanese army checkpoints in Awwali and Saida, and who until now had not been identified, were Qatari nationals, whom Atrash helped move from Bekaa to Beirut.
– The suicide bomber in the recent attack in Hermel was probably the brother of a Lebanese national who blew himself up in Syria a while ago.
Naim Abbas: The Mastermind
Investigations into Atrash revealed Abbas, born in 1970, as a prominent al-Qaeda figure in Lebanon and the mastermind of a number of suicide attacks that targeted the southern suburbs of Beirut. In statements given by Islamist prisoners in Lebanon years ago, Abbas was named as the perpetrator of the assassinations of Army Major General Francois al-Hajj and MP Walid Eido. The prisoners cited leaders of Fatah al-Islam as the source of this information, but security services were not able to verify its accuracy.
According to reports, Abbas resides in South Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh camp, bearing in mind that security reports indicate Abbas often vanishes from the camp before reappearing with his beard shaven.
Atrash’s confessions have revealed that Abbas, who is a former member of the Islamic Jihad, is the same person known as Abu Suleiman. The latter was previously identified by the army as the owner of a warehouse in an area near Dahiyeh. Abbas, according to the same reports, gave a bomb-rigged car to Qutaiba al-Satem, the perpetrator of the first suicide bombing in Haret Hreik, after receiving it from Atrash.
The sources pointed out that Atrash confessed when he was confronted with damning evidence, including recordings of phone conversations proving his involvement, in addition to images sent by phone of the rigged cars and the perpetrator of one of the suicide attacks in Dahiyeh.
According to the sources, the army tasked a doctor to examine Atrash before handing him over to the military judiciary, to prove that he was not beaten in custody. Both the forensic doctor and Atrash have signed a report to this effect, the sources added.
Government commissioner to the military court, Judge Saq Saqr, charged Atrash and 12 others, including Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian nationals and other unidentified suspects, with joining an armed terrorist group with the goal of carrying out terrorist attacks, recruiting people for terrorist acts, and involvement in the bombings in Haret Hreik. Judge Saqr referred the case to the military investigative judge.
In the meantime, the army’s crackdown on terrorism continues. According to reports, more than 20 suspects have been arrested over the past two months, including Danish, Belgian, and German nationals suspected of being members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Nusra Front, and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
In the same vein, investigations with detainee Jamal Daftardar, who was arrested by the intelligence directorate in Kamed al-Loz, continue. Daftardar had been under close surveillance after Lebanon received US tips regarding the movements of the now-deceased leader of Abdullah Azzam Brigades Majed al-Majed, as Daftardar was in charge of medical care for the latter in Lebanon.
According to reports, Daftardar is from the second generation of al-Qaeda operatives. His role focused on explosives and combat training. Al-Akhbar learned that his 16-year-old wife has since been released by the authorities, but was referred to General Security for processing, as she is a Syrian national. It appears that Daftardar knew the real identity of Majed, unlike others who were taking the Saudi terror leader to hospital or paying his medical bills.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Sources to Al-Manar: Syrian Army Advances in Qalamoun’s Qara

Local Editor

Syrian army soldier

Syrian military sources told al-Manar that Syrian armed forces are advancing in Qara city, which lies in northern Qalamoun.

The sources said that the army was advancing in the city after it had controlled its mounts.
The Syrian army had started its operation against the foreign-backed insurgents in Qara few days ago.

Syrian troops made major improvements in parts of the Qalamoun Mountains, located at north of al-Salmiya in Hama.
Qalamoun and surrounding mountains have been major hideout for militants fighting the Syrian government.
In May, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said militants from 29 different countries are fighting against his government forces in different parts of the country.

The Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Source: Al Manar TV
18-11-2013 – 12:39 Last updated 18-11-2013 – 12:39

آخر اخبار « القلمون » ….. رضوان مرتضى

الطريق إلى جبال القلمون السورية تمر عبر عرسال. البلدة البقاعية التي يعني اسمها «عرش الإله»، في اللغة الآرامية، باتت ساحة أساسية من ساحات المواجهة الدائرة على أرض الشام.
تتراءى أمامك جبالٌ شاهقة تتآكلها الكسّارات. دقائق تفصلك عن مقصدك. لن تجد مَعلَماً ينبئك بالوصول الى عرسال أفضل من كساراتها. «الحجر العرسالي»، هنا، رمزٌ يُعادل شجرة الأرز لبنانياً. يُعرف بصلابة تُعدّ من أبرز سمات أبناء البلدة البقاعية. يستوقفك حاجزٌ للجيش، ثم تُكمل صعوداً. نحن الآن رسمياً في عرسال. البلدة التي لطالما عاشت على هامش الوطن وجدت نفسها فجأة في قلب الحدث السوري. على جنبات الطرق تتوزّع عشرات الخيم التي تؤوي نازحين سوريين. بعضها يضم عائلات مسلّحين يقاتلون في الداخل السوري. تنقسم البلدة المتعاطفة مع السوريين على نفسها بين مرحّب بالنازحين ورافضٍ لوجودهم. السيارات الرباعية الدفع والشاحنات الزراعية الضخمة تُعدّ، أيضاً، من معالم البلدة. إذ إنّها أكثر من ضرورة، ليس في عمليات نقل الصخور المقتلعة من جرود البلدة وحسب، بل في عمليات التهريب التي تنشط ليل نهار عبر الجرود بين لبنان وسوريا. أما اللباس العسكري المنتشر بكثافة هنا، فتخاله لوهلة زيّاً رسمياً لأبناء البلدة وللسوريين الوافدين إليها. تُجري اتّصالاً بمضيفك السوري، لكنّه لم يكن قد وصل بعد.
تتوقف شاحنة تستقلّها مجموعة شبّان مغبّرين بشعورٍ طويلة ولحىً مرخية. يردّون على التحية بأحسن منها. يكسر «الوسيط» الحاجز النفسي. يقول أحدهم إنهم مقاتلون، وإن بينهم جرحى ينقلونهم الى أحد «مشافي» البلدة. نرافقهم فيدلفون إلى أحد المساجد. ينقل الجرحى إلى مستوصف داخل المسجد، فيما يدخل الباقون لأداء الصلاة. أمام باحة المسجد، يسرّ أحدهم: «نحن إسلاميون لا جيش حرّ». ولدى الاستفسار عن الكتيبة التي يقاتلون تحت لوائها، يردّ «نحن نصرة»! يتجمّع آخرون حولنا. يشيدون بابن عرسال بالشيخ مصطفى الحجيري المعروف بـ «أبو طاقية» الذي «يبذل فوق استطاعته في سبيل الثورة والدين». ويحكون عن تواضعه وعطفه على أهاليهم وأطفالهم من النازحين.
يقول أحدهم إنّه هو وثلاثة آخرون معه عناصر في «لواء فجر الإسلام». يتابع «أبو علاء» حديثه. يقول إنّه من غوطة دمشق، لكنّه كان يقاتل في حلب قبل القدوم إلى القلمون. وعمّا يفعله في لبنان، يجيب بأنّه «في زيارة للأهل». ينضم ثالث إلى الحديث: «أنا من مجاهدي جبهة النصرة». نسأله عن الأوضاع، فيُجيب: « أبشر. وعدنا الله أن النصر سيكون حليفنا». يشير الى «ارتكابات الجيش الحّر التي تُسيء إلى الثورة». وعن جبهة القلمون، يؤكّد أن «النصرة» هي «الأكثر حضوراً هناك إلى جانب حركة أحرار الشام والكتيبة الخضراء»، كاشفاً أنّ «الدولة الإسلامية (في العراق والشام) وصلت الى المنطقة حديثاً». يسأل إن كنا نعرف أحداً من «النصرة»، فنعطيه أسماء أشخاص كان بعضهم عناصر في «فتح الإسلام» قبل مبايعة «الجبهة». يُشيد الرجل بمقاتلي «فتح الإسلام» الذين «نفروا من لبنان للقتال في أرض الشام»، مشيراً إلى أنّهم «الأكثر خبرة عسكرياً». يصفهم بأنّهم «مقاتلون أشدّاء سلّموا أرواحهم لله». ولدى السؤال عن إمكانية الانتقال إلى جبال القلمون لإعداد تقارير صحافية، يعد خيراً، ونتبادل حساب «السكايب» على أمل اللقاء. نخبره بأننا، في كل الأحوال، في صدد الدخول قريباً، فيردّ، قبل أن يغادر محذّراً من استدراجنا لاختطافنا طمعاً في فدية، ويُعدِّد أسماء لمتورطين في خطف صحافيين أجانب استُدرجوا عبر عرسال.
يرن الهاتف مؤذناً بوصول المضيف السوري. نستقل السيارة إلى أحد مخيمات النازحين. شابٌ ثلاثيني، شارك في معارك القصير. تُقيم زوجته وابنتاه في عرسال، فيما يقضي وقته متنقلاً بين لبنان وسوريا، ويقاتل في صفوف مجموعة إسلامية. يُخبرنا بأنّ الشبان الذين سينقلوننا إلى سوريا غادروا عرسال، وأن علينا قضاء اليوم في ضيافته على أن ننطلق فجر اليوم التالي. نُصرّ على ضرورة تدبر الأمر فوراً مغتنمين فرصة الهدوء على الحدود. يسارع الى إزالة لوحات سيارتنا مقرّراً العبور بها إلى الأراضي السورية. ننطلق في درب وعر لتفادي حواجز الجيش اللبناني. السيارة التي نستقلّها لم تكن رباعية الدفع، إلّا أن المضيف أخبرنا بأنّه في أحيانٍ كثيرة يجتازون الحدود بمثلها. يُطلقون عليها تسمية «تاكسي». كل السيارات الصغيرة في عُرفهم تسمّى «التاكسي». نمر عبر مقالع صخرية وكسّارات. الجرود العرسالية تمتد على مساحات شاسعة. تصادف هنا شاحنات محمّلة ببضائع مهرّبة. وتلاحظ كثرة الدراجات التي قد يصل عدد راكبيها أحياناً الى عائلة مؤلفة من أربعة أشخاص. يواكبنا «درّاج» سوري يلعب دور الكشّاف لتأمين الطريق. لم تجر الرحلة على ما يُرام. تسببت وعورة الطريق في إحداث ثقب في خزّان زيت المحرّك. وبمساعدة بعض الأصدقاء تمكنّا من إعادة السيارة إلى البلدة حيث ركنّاها بانتظار فجر اليوم التالي. في طريق العودة، استوقفتنا «دورية أمنية لأبناء المنطقة»، استفسروا عن هوياتنا ثم تركونا في حال سبيلنا.
لم تتأخّر الشمس طويلاً لتُشرق. وصل «المُكَب» (سيارة «بيك أب» رباعية الدفع) باكراً. حزمنا عدّة التصوير وأغراضنا ثم انطلقنا. وعبر الطريق الوعرة نفسها، سارت السيارة تتخبّط في الجرد. منخفضاتٌ وهضاب لا تُعدّ. طبيعة تُشبه إلى حدٍّ بعيد ما يظهر في أفلام الغرب الأميركي. تجتاز صحراء صخرية لنحو ثلاثة أرباع الساعة، تدخل بعدها الأراضي السورية. في منتصفها، في الطريق، نصادف مواكب مسلّحة مُهرّبين وطفّاراً، وكذلك متسللين خلسة بين حدود الدولتين. يُلقي كل من صادفناه التحيّة. نلفت المضيف الى لطفهم، فيردّ ضاحكاً: «إحساسٌ غريزي بأننا من الفصيلة نفسها. لو عرفوا أنّك غريب ووحيد لشلّحوك وربما قتلوك»، وأضاف: «يا أخي هول قطّاع طرق. بس بيعرفوني». تنتهي الطريق الوعرة الى طريق معبّدة بالإسفلت. أشجار الكرز تنتشر على جانبي الطريق، فيُبادر صاحبنا بالقول: «أهلاً بك في الأراضي السورية، دقائق ونُصبح في فليطا».

أميرا «القاعدة» على الحدود 

حسب المعلومات المتوافرة، فإنّ أميري «جبهة النصرة» و«الدولة الإسلامية» في القلمون الشيخ «أبو مالك السوري» والشيخ «أبو عبد الله العراقي» تردّدا غير مرّة إلى الأراضي اللبنانية. وتكشف تقارير أمنية أنّ قيادات في كل من «جبهة النصرة» و«داعش» تتنقّل بحرية بين لبنان وسوريا، وأنها تنسق مع شخصيات دينية لبنانية في أمور تتعلّق بالشؤون الحياتية للنازحين السوريين، إضافة إلى تنسيق عالي المستوى في الشقين اللوجستي والأمني. وتذكر التقارير أنّ شيخاً بارزاً في عرسال يلعب دور الوسيط في هذه المسألة، وهو يُعدّ الذراع اللبنانية للمجموعات السلفية التي تدور في فلك «القاعدة».

الأطرش «شهيد الغدر والخيانة»

أمام المسجد العرسالي، وبناء على معرفة مسبقة، نقابل أحد المتّهمين في تفجيري الضاحية ممن وردت أسماؤهم في بيان وزير الدفاع فايز غُصن. يؤكّد أنّ «لا رابط بين أفراد المجموعة التي ذكرها وزير الدفاع»، مشيراً إلى أنّه لم يلتق عمر الأطرش سوى مرّة واحدة. أما باقي الأسماء، فـ«صدّقني لا أعرف معظمها. وبالنسبة إلى القصّة التي نُتّهم فيها، هي أكبر منّا. لسنا في حجم من يعدّ سيارة مُفخّخة لإرسالها الى الضاحية الجنوبية وتفجيرها». ويضيف: «صحيح أننا شاركنا في كمين (جريمة) وادي رافق. ولكن كل عرسال شاركت في قتل العسكريين الذين نفّذوا الكمين الذي استهدف ..خالد حميد، ظنّاً أنهم عناصر من حزب الله متنكّرين بزي الجيش».
في أحد أحياء البلدة، ترتفع فوق أحد المنازل صورة ضخمة لعمر الأطرش وسامر الحجيري المتهمين بالضلوع في تفجير بئر العبد، واللذين قُتلا إثر انفجار سيارتهما في جرود البلدة في ١١ تشرين الأول الماضي. ذُيّلت الصورة بعبارة «شهيدا الغدر والخيانة». يقول أحد أقرباء الأطرش إن «عملاء أبلغوا حزب الله والنظام السوري بتحرّكات عمر فقتلوه». يوضح أن «عمر كان برفقة سامر الحجيري على متن سيارتهما. ولدى مرورهما على طريق اعتادا سلوكه، فوجئا بحجارة تقطع الطريق. ترجّل سامر لإزالتها، فاستُهدفت السيارة بصاروخ أدى إلى مقتلهما على الفور». وعما أُثير من تشكيك في مقتل الأطرش، يردّ: «ليت ذلك صحيح. ليته لم يمت. والده وعمّه لملما أشلاءه وعثرا على فردة حذاء تحتوي على جزء من رِجله، فيما بقيت جثّة سامر شبه مكتملة لأنه كان خارج السيارة».



Posted on October 14, 2013 by

The victory of Syria, a realistic bet

Away from all the hype, and with modesty, the Syrian leadership observes the changes that occur in the world, and whose credit goes largely to the resistance of Syria.
The strength of international balances is due to the strategic outcomes of the last confrontation triggered after the announcement by the United States of their intention to strike Syria. The Syrian leadership believes that the Russian initiative on chemical arsenal aimed, at the first place, to defeat the American plan of aggression, and has not resulted in a global agreement binding Washington and its allies to stop supporting terrorists. Stopping this support by the West, Turkey and the extremists monarchies has not occurred, although this demand is high on the political and diplomatic agenda of Russia. Since she agreed to participate in the Geneva 2 Conference, Syria has received no indication that this support has stopped. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are confused because they’ve based all their calculations on the “Obama strike”, which finally didn’t took place. They are victim of hysteria, especially after the information on secret contacts between some Arab and Western countries and the Syrian government to prepare the political change.
This is why the Syrian National Council (SNC, close to Turkey and Qatar), announced, on Sunday, its refusal to participate to Geneva 2. “The SNC, which is the largest political bloc in the Syrian National Coalition, made ​​a firm decision (…) not to go to Geneva in the present circumstances” on the ground in Syria, said its president Georges Sabra. “That means it will not remain in the coalition if it goes there,” he added. “If the coalition decided to go there, we will not go,” insisted Mr. Sabra. In late September, the head of the Syrian Coalition, the pro-Saudi Ahmad Jarba, had told the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the Coalition was prepared to send a delegation to the conference, according to a spokesman for the UN.
This development illustrates the divisions between the various components of the Syrian opposition and between their regional and international sponsors.
However, trust between Syria and its international and regional partners, China, Russia, Iran and the Resistance, is solid. Damascus faced challenged with the strong support of its allies, who provide strategic military, economic and political assistance necessary to ensure its resistance. They know that the new international balance is the direct result of the Syrian resistance to the universal war for two and a half year. This help strengthen the immunity of the Syrian State against the takfirist aggression and chaos. And now, the Syrian version of events in Syria began to make its way in even the most bellicose Western countries: the Syrian state is fighting not against its own people or an armed opposition, but against extremists and barbarian mercenaries, coming from 80 countries, carrying the obscurantist Al-Qaeda thought. The Western media are no longer able to hide this fact and begin to echo the horrors perpetrated by these bloodthirsty gangs. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad himself explained in interviews recently granted to a large number of Western media, the danger posed by these groups to international peace and stability. As a result, an overwhelmingly current opposed to any war against Syria emerged in public opinion in all Western countries, according to surveys conducted by prestigious institutes.
The confidence of the Syrian leadership in his army and its capacity to multiply the success on the battleground is also very strong. This army has demonstrated an exemplary solidity, fed with loyalty and a strong popular support. Armed rebels can no longer rely on such a popular support. They are increasingly isolated from the people, who are closing ranks around the state, which continues to pay salaries and ensure services, including in the field of education, with the organization of official examinations to more than 4 million students. This is why 93,000 refugees from Lebanon and 100000 from Jordan returned to their home, the last two months
The Syrian leadership is confident in the abilities of his army to release all parts of the country from extremist gangs. While insisting on the inevitable and inalienable nature of that objective, he refuses to set schedules and dates, leaving the military to decide the nature of operations in accordance with the requirements of the field.
Meanwhile, the Syrian state is increasing its efforts in order to isolate the extremists mercenaries, establishing contacts with dissidents who wish to return to the right path and strengthening the Defense army.
Naïm Kassem, deputy secretary general of Hezbollah
«We recognize the ability of March 14 in paralyzing the country and its institutions. They are the ones that prevent the formation of the cabinet, pending regional changes and directives from the Gulf. Whatever their attempts to launch other charges, everyone knows that we want a unifying national government without conditions. They want a monochrome cabinet. This claim is not sustainable. They do not represent the parliamentary majority and cannot decide without their national partners. Avoid people more misery and stretch your hand for coordination in favor of a unifying government. If you expect positive regional developments in your interest, you’re going to get in your lap. So that you assume full responsibility for the crash.»
Michel Aoun, Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement
«Miqati is running away from his responsibility to convene a session concerning the exploitation of Lebanon’s oil. He has no ability to resolve national issues. The aggressive attacks against  us were not out of criticism nor aimed at rectifying matters, but rather to settle scores.»
Boutros Harb, Lebanese MP (March-14 coalition)
«It is not permissible that the President is required to give its most important prerogative, which is to agree on the government’s formula. It is not permissible that the Prime Minister-designate abandons his power to form the cabinet in cooperation with the President. If this had happened before in the context of the Doha agreement, because of the involvement of non-legal weapons in the political game, it does not mean that we must do the same thing today.»
  • The Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Thursday announced that it had indicted Hassan Merhi for the assassination of former Premier Rafiq Hariri, raising the number of people charged for the massive 2005 Beirut car bombing to 5. The indictment—which was filed in on June 5, 2013 but not made public until Thursday—charged Merhi with one count of “conspiracy aimed at committing a terrorist act” and four other counts of being an accomplice to the killing. The STL said in a statement that Merhi coordinated with the other alleged conspirators to prepare the false claim of responsibility issued following Hariri’s murder and was also involved with efforts to coordinate the attack. The unsealed indictment further added that Merhi is a “Hezbollah supporter.”
  • At the end of the seminar held by the General Secretariat of the block of Change and Reform in the Yuhanna convent in Beit Mery, chaired by Michel Aoun, MP Ibrahim Kanaan stated the recommendations adopted . “The block calls for the election of a strong Christian president and rejects the extension of the mandate of the current Head of State Michel Sleiman,” said Kanaan. Turning to the question of Eastern Christians and the consequences of the Arab Spring on their situation, the parliamentary bloc denounced oppression in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt. “The fate of Eastern Christians is linked to that of the Muslims,” said Ibrahim Kanaan. “We call for the holding of an Islamic-Christian meeting to deal with religious oppression,” he added. The bloc also called for the formation of a government and the adoption of an electoral law that ensures fair representation of all Lebanese components.
  • The Lebanese Justice announced the arrest and detention in custody of a deserter Syrian colonel believed to enlist to fight in Lebanon and Syria to plan attacks against the Syrian army. Colonel Ahmad Amer was arrested at the port of Tripoli, “as he returned from Istanbul where he met with officials of the Syrian opposition,” said a source to AFP. A CD and a USB key in his possession were seized after it was found to contain maps of military positions of the Syrian military.
  • Quoting informed sources, Al Akhbar daily reported that the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, did not come to Beirut, contrary to some information that has circulated. The visit is made ​​more difficult as the relationship between his movement and Hezbollah have not improved to allow a meeting between Mashaal and Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The international community on Friday hailed the OPCW’s Nobel Peace Prize win as much-deserved recognition for a group that has worked behind the scenes to rid the world of chemical weapons. Previously little-known, the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons emerged from the shadows in recent months as its inspectors were called in to verify Syria’s claims of destroying its chemical arsenal. The head of the UN weapons inspection team working with the OPCW in Syria said the prize would help boost the group’s efforts to enforce bans on chemical arms and dismantle existing stockpiles.
Press review
As Safir (Lebanese daily, Arab nationalist)
Nabil Haitham and Elie Ferzli (October 11, 2013)
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt voiced his support of the ministerial lineup formula that gives both March 8 and March 14 coalitions nine ministers, and allows the centrists six. “The 8-8-8 formula is no longer valid… the best solution is the 6-9-9 formula which ensures a blocking third to Hezbollah and March 14, while not giving anyone the chance to control the government,” Jumblatt said.
The PSP chief reiterated the importance of forming the cabinet “as soon as possible,” and said that it was March 14’s responsibility to facilitate the cabinet lineup “given the conditions it sets and then takes back.”
Jumblatt also expressed his objection to the formation of a fait accompli government, citing Speaker Nabih Berri’s description of such a cabinet as being “unconstitutional.”
As Safir (October 10, 2013)
Ghassan Rifi and Hasnaa Saade
The head of the Marada Movement, MP Sleiman Franjieh, said that the pursuit of regional and international confrontation on the Syrian land will result in Lebanon by a continuous governmental vacuum, which could spread to the presidency, next spring. “Every Lebanese Maronite is a candidate for President of the Republic until he proves the contrary,” he said. Political pragmatism leads him to say that the question is not whether he is running or not but know the balance of power. “Lebanese, Syrian and regional realities today do not allow the election of a candidate or 14-March or 8-March, says the leader of Zgharta. As well as the extension of the mandate of President Michel Sleiman is excluded for the same reasons. This is why the Presidential election won’t take place next year.”
Mr. Franjieh believes that 2014 will be a transitional year. “The region , and perhaps the world, are at a historic turning point, he said. If our political camp, which runs from Moscow to Beirut via Damascus and Tehran prevails, it will affect the sharing of regional influence and Lebanon will not be out of this equation. If we are defeated, we will be congratulating our opponents. I would not change my position. If my political camp loses his bet, I would lose with him. I am deeply convinced that Lebanon cannot survive without all of its communities.”
Mr. Franjieh continued: “The Americans are beginning to recognize the Russian-Iranian influence in the region while the Arabs, especially Saudis, have not recognized the changes ( … ) Christians derive their protection of their attachment to Arabism and their adherence to the cause of the region, particularly in the Arab-Israeli conflict. I reject neutrality and I am attached to the Resistance. After the 2006 epic war, nobody in Lebanon or abroad dare touch the weapons of the resistance.”
As Safir (October 10, 2013)
Elie Ferzli
The Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea is confident that the Shebaa Farms will return to the the Lebanese state. However, he is certain that it is not the resistance that will do it “but the new Syrian government because the current regime will fall sooner or later.” “There is no doubt about it, we all know, including the Russians,” he says. “It was sufficient that Lebanon and Syria sign a document attesting that Shebaa Farms are Lebanese, which would then be sent to the United Nations, for the area falls under the umbrella of UN Resolution 425. Israel will be forced to withdraw.” “The opposite happened. Syria has refused to sign a document, which has deprived Lebanon of its right to recover this area,” he says.
Geagea continued: “We want the Lebanese and future generations to enjoy oil while others want to turn it into new lines of demarcation with Israel. It certainly does not lead to the defeat of Israel. The issue of oil is used to give legitimacy to the illegal weapons and the axis of resistance”.
Al Akhbar (Lebanese Daily close to the Lebanese Resistance)
Amal Khalil (October 11, 2013)
When news circulated a few days ago that head of Hamas politburo Khaled Meshaal was coming to Beirut to attend a conference on Jerusalem, many interpreted the step as part of improving relations with Hezbollah after the Syrian crisis caused a rift between the two resistance movements.
But as it turned out, Meshaal spoke by way of a video link from Turkey, which he was visiting to conduct some business. Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka explained that this was the plan from the very beginning, and the Palestinian leader had never intended to speak in person at the Beirut event.
In response to criticisms that the situation of Jerusalem today called for a personal appearance by the Palestinian leader, Baraka said that the gathering was not an official conference, but a series of workshops that were intended to address the growing danger to the occupied city’s holy sites and its Palestinian residents.
Critics, however, suggest that Meshaal is not yet ready to make an appearance in a country like Lebanon, where the resistance axis (Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran) have a strong presence, because he does not want to upset his new Gulf patrons, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Close observers did not detect anything out of the ordinary in Meshaal’s speech that would suggest a dramatic change in the movement’s political direction around the Syrian crisis. Unusually, Hezbollah’s Manar TV did not air the opening session of the conference, during which the Palestinian leader spoke, as is usually the case with such events.
For his part, Meshaal called for uniting ranks around the issue of Jerusalem, pointing out the need to establish the necessary military capabilities that can return Jerusalem to the Arab and Muslim fold once again. He concluded with a reference to the Syrian crisis by stressing the “right of the Arab and Muslim peoples to struggle for their freedom, democracy and dignity in a peaceful manner, far away from violence and sectarianism, and far from foreign meddling in our countries.”
Al Akhbar (October 11, 2013)
Danny al-Amin

Israel postponed a project to build a military road at the border with the southern town of Aytaroun in the Marjayoun district following a warning by the army and the town’s residents, who threatened to stop the road by force.

Aytaroun – In the past few days, residents of the southern border town of Aytaroun went on alert after Israeli soldiers repeated their attempts to annex a part of the town’s lands.
An Israeli military unit, along with a bulldozer, arrived to the outskirts of Aytaroun and began digging in one of the disputed areas, a location called Khallat al-Ghamiqa, near the 9 kilometer mark at the border. They laid a cement foundation and set up barbed wire, which had been on the scene for two days prior, according to Aytaroun’s municipality head Haidar Mouasi.
“What happened was an attempt to place border signs around an area they wanted to annex without anyone knowing,” Mouasi explained. “It is more the 15,000 square meters and is comprised of agricultural land. The whole property belongs to residents of Aytaroun.”
“They have their olive trees there, which they planted decades ago, as well as the cultivation of various grains,” he added.
The Israeli transgression prompted the Lebanese army to stay on alert and increase its patrols in the area. Contacts were made with the UNIFIL command, which communicated the messages to the Israeli enemy. According to an informed source, “The enemy provided flimsy evidence to mislead the UNIFIL into believing it did not seek to annex the disputed lands.”
However, at the tripartite meeting held yesterday in Ras al-Naqoura, Israel succumbed to threats by the Lebanese army and the Aytaroun municipality. Israel had planned to construct a military road, extend a new barbed wire fence, and take new measures to prevent residents from reaching their fields. The representative of the occupation army informed UNIFIL representatives and the Lebanese army that they will not continue with the construction.
“There are around 100,000 square meters of disputed land owned by the people of Aytaroun, including the current plots, planted by the people of the town, who were getting ready to start picking the olives in the next few days,” explained Mouasi.
Israeli occupation forces began their attempts to annex the farms of the people of Aytaroun in 2007. Back then, it prevented some farmers from reaching their land, whose area was more than 30,000 square meters. However, UNIFIL dealt with the situation and placed blue markers at the borders of those lands, awaiting the demarcation of the borders.
At the time, municipality head Salim Mrad said, “Chinese UNIFIL forces put the markers unilaterally.” He pointed out that the matter still needed to be solved, especially since the area is one of the contested points that remained during the demarcation of the Blue Line.
Mohammed Ali al-Sayid, a Lebanese landowner in the area Israel tried to annex, told Al-Akhbar that he owns the land according to official contracts. “The enemy annexed other lands, which we own and we can prove,” he added. “At the time, the French put markers, some of which are still there, showing that the international borders are beyond our property and parallel to the current Israeli position known as ‘Arid al-Hawa.’”
“In the early 1980s, the Israelis dug a ditch in the middle of our farmlands as an indication of the new borders. However, we continued to farm them,” he said.
Al Akhbar (October 10, 2013)
Radwan Mortada

The conflict between jihadis in Syria is not over. Although the differences have not led to internal armed conflict, the financial impact has hit al-Nusra Front, whose funding was cut off recently by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Attempts at reconciliation have failed, and the ISIS emir rejects arbitration.

The Islamist Spring has only just begun, but its followers are already beginning to split. This is a fatal blow to the jihadis, especially since attempts at arbitration have failed more than once, the reason being Syria. The country used to be “where the heart is” for jihadis, but now they are fighting over its control.

Attempts at mediation by some sheikhs have failed due to the reticence of ISIS emir, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Following al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri’s statement calling for al-Nusra Front to remain in the field and for ISIS to withdraw to its bases, Baghdadi rejected the idea through a voice recording titled, “The State [ISIS] Will Remain.”

The dispute among the emirs led to a conflict on the field between the fighters. This led the ISIS emir to boycott al-Nusra Front’s commander Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Golani, calling him a “renegade who split from the Islamic State.” Additionally, ISIS spokesperson Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in another audio recording, attacked Golani, accusing him of “going against consent, breaking the stick, and sowing the seeds of discord among jihadis.”
Adding to the boycott, ISIS decided to cut off financial and other kinds of support it used to provide to al-Nusra Front, which negatively impacted the morale of Nusra fighters, since all their needs were provided by ISIS.
According to jihadi sources, ISIS’ main source of funding, in addition to ransoming hostages, are the oil fields they control inside Iraq. This has been supplemented recently by oil fields in the Syrian cities of al-Raqqa and Deir al-Zour.
The funding slash went hand-in-hand with an ideological disagreement over the designation of a leader. The decision of whom to follow was left to the fighters and most decided to remain with Nusra. Their position was supported by Zawahiri, who decided to support Golani in this phase. However, hundreds of fighters switched to ISIS, saying “the banner of the State is bigger than that of the Front. Thus, ISIS is more worthy of allegiance.”
To this effect, information is beginning to surface about an internal debate in al-Qaeda’s Supreme Shura Council on whether ISIS in an intrinsic part of the mother organization or if it became an independent jihadi organization.
Al-Nusra Front is now facing a financial crisis and lack of liquidity, but this does not impact its military equipment since its fighters were able to capture weapons factories in several areas. However, the group is now an orphan, despite being the official arm of al-Qaeda. Islamist sources explain that it fights the battle of unifying the Islamist front.

To this effect, an agreement to unify Islamist brigades active in Syria was signed by al-Nusra Front with several groups, the main components of this alliance being Ahrar al-Sham, led by Abu Abdullah al-Hamwi; al-Tawhid brigade, led by Abdul Qadir Saleh; and Liwaa al-Islam led by Zahran Alloush.

Despite rumors about a disagreement between the alliance’s leadership and Alloush, sources from both sides maintain that “the relationship is more than fine.”
Al Akhbar (October 9, 2013)
Maysam Rizk

Although British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher admitted that his country has had no communication with Hezbollah for years now, the relationship could change in the future.

In an interview with Al-Akhbar, Britain’s Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher begins by refuting a controversial statement attributed to him that the region is on the verge of a new Sykes-Picot, penned by the US and the Russia, or Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“I said the whole region is changing,” the ambassador explains, “and if the region is changing, it’s important that the region’s future is determined by the people in the region, not by Sykes-Picot with a Russian name or American name or Saudi name or an Iranian name. That’s what I said.”
“The Lebanese always look to outsiders for the answers,” he continues, “and the international community all meddle and all play games…the Lebanese leaders need to decide for themselves what will happen in Lebanon. Everyone says we can’t have a dialogue or we can’t have a government because we have to wait and see what happens in Iran or Syria…at some stage people here have to take responsibility.”
Fletcher admits that the question of disarming Hezbollah is a difficult one, saying that the Resistance has to be given “reassurance that the best way to secure their objectives is through politics – and I don’t believe that’s impossible.” He compares such a process to his experience in the Northern Ireland peace talks, which everyone said would be impossible, according to the ambassador.
Asked about the importance of Hezbollah’s weapons in deterring Israeli attacks, Fletcher says that this problem can be resolved by brokering an agreement in which the Lebanese armed forces would be given the wherewithal to confront foreign aggression, pointing to British military assistance to the Lebanese army that has reached 15 million British pounds ($24 million) this year.
But is this enough? The ambassador simply replies, “We have to be realistic about the resources available.”
Regarding relations with Hezbollah’s “political wing,” Fletcher says that his instructions are clear: There can be no communications due to a decision made after the invasion of Iraq, “when Hezbollah was training militias that were fighting against us in Iraq.”
Notably, the ambassador insists on distinguishing between the party’s military and political wings, which Hezbollah rejects: “I believe there is a big difference between the members of Hezbollah that blew up the bus in Bulgaria and much of Hezbollah,” adding that “we should not penalize the whole movement for what just a few people have been doing.”
Fletcher maintains that within any movement, including the Resistance, there is a wide spectrum of opinion, insisting that there is a current within Hezbollah that wants to focus on internal issues, particularly in southern Lebanon, and not what is being asked of the movement in Syria by Iran.
The ambassador does, however, leave the door open for a possible change in his country’s relationship with Hezbollah: “I would never say never to anything, the whole region is in flux, everything is changing…everything is in motion, everyone’s interests are changing, we have to be adaptable.”
Al Akhbar (October 9, 2013)
Jean Aziz
Lebanon may be edging closer to extracting the large gas reserves located in its territorial waters in the Mediterranean, but there are forces working diligently to make sure that doesn’t happen.
To many, it appears as if Lebanon is merely one or two legal steps away from becoming a gas producer, but they may find getting there nearly impossible, given the regional forces arrayed against it. These forces aim to either dominate the country or tip it over the edge, as some government sources describe the attempts to prevent Lebanon from exploiting its gas. It all started on March 13 when the Lebanese Ministry of Energy expressed great optimism at the interest shown by major oil companies to participate in the bidding process for exploration rights in Lebanese waters. Some go so far as to say that the Najib Mikati government’s resignation on March 22 was not purely coincidental, nor was the consequent deadlock over the electoral law and other resignations.
This did not prevent the Energy Ministry from issuing a list the following month of companies eligible to enter the bidding process, including 46 oil companies, among them the top seven from the US, Russia, China, with virtually none from the Arab Gulf. This is what prompted the likes of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to insist that current Energy Minister Gebran Bassil cannot return to the ministry in any future government.
Nevertheless, the bidding process continued at the end of April, with company representatives submitting exploration licences, thus setting Lebanon on a course to becoming a petroleum-producing country starting in March 2014, when the bidding process would end and the actual work of extracting the gas would begin in earnest. This was seen as a great provocation and orders were issued that this process must be stopped at all costs for political, economic, and geopolitical reasons.
Government sources concede that the Gulf countries’ concerns may very well have to do with issues beyond Lebanon, like the Syrian crisis, without ruling out internal consideration. Lebanon’s gas file, for example, is firmly in the hands of the Gulf’s political opponents locally, and they are ones likely to benefit most from any progress toward completing the process of exploration and drilling. The oil sheikhs could barely contain themselves at the site of the British foreign minister meeting with Lebanon’s minister of energy during his last visit to Lebanon.
The Gulf’s antagonism toward Lebanon has only intensified as prospects of a political resolution to the Syrian crisis have increased, prompting them to take a series of steps, from arming takfiri groups in Syria and Lebanon to threatening to expel the thousands of Lebanese expats who work in the Gulf, not to mention their efforts last summer to abort Lebanon’s vital tourist season by warning their citizens against traveling here for security reasons.
The Gulf’s success in undermining Lebanon’s efforts to become a gas producer will not only affect their political opponents, it will be a deadly blow to the country as whole, for even before anything is extracted, the national economy will experience a much needed boost in creating jobs, for example, and set Lebanon on a course to deal with its ballooning debt, which today eats up 40 percent of the annual budget.
Al Joumhouria (Lebanese daily close to March-14 coalition)
(October 7, 2013)
Two month investigation conducted by agents of the General security (GS), some of which had infiltrated extremist groups, led to the arrest of three suspected members of the network, Lebanese and Syrian nationals. According to security sources, the terrorists were planning to commit “dirty and dangerous” actions. Their goal was to target religious places and political figures of 8 and 14-March in order to train the Lebanese in an internal conflict. The suspects planned to detonate small loads of 200 to 500 grams in downtown Beirut, in the southern suburbs, Tarik Jdide, Achrafiye and other regions outside the capital, to give the impression that the country sinks into a communal conflict.
The three members belong to a network affiliated with Al-Qaeda and were working for several months in preparation of terrorist acts involving explosions targeting crowded public places such as malls and places of gathering, creating destabilization and chaos. The three suspects were monitored for a whole month, along their phone lines and contacts.
Investigators found the suspects with explosives, sent from an Arab country by land (Iraq or Syria), and a gun with a silencer.
The three suspects made ​​a full confession during interrogation and were brought before the military court. Explosive materials, communication equipment and weapon with a silencer seized on them have also been brought to justice.
The Jerusalem Post (Israeli newspaper, October 8, 2013)
Yaakov Lappin
Israel’s enemies, including Hezbollah, has 200,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel, Homeland Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday at the Israel’s Perils and Prospects conference aat Bar Ilan University.
A rocket and missile protection program will be set up within three months for around 30 percent of Israel’s population that remains vulnerable to such attacks, he added
Around 30 percent of Israel’s population is vulnerable to attacks Erdan said that in any IDF scenario of a full-scale war, the Israeli home front will be pounded by thousands of rockets for up to three weeks, and that every point in the country could be targeted by Hezbollah.
“One out of every 10 homes in Lebanon has a rocket launcher or weapons stored in it,” Erdan said. “They plan homes there so that the roof opens up and closes for rocket launchers to fire.”
Moreover, Hezbollah’s accurate missile stockpile is growing, and the terror organization will seek to target the most painful places for Israel, such as national infrastructure sites, natural gas facilities, electricity production centers, and other installations “we all need to function continuously,” Erdan warned.
“Our enemies want to break the spirit of Israelis, and get them to stop believing that we can have a normal life here,” he added. He said the level of the threat called for a radically new way of thinking on how to repel it on the civilian life. Paying tribute to the IDF’s offensive and active defense capabilities, Erdan said that civilians remained exposed nonetheless.
“We need to create a mechanism to allow the continuous functionality of the home front, and not to return to scenes of the Second Lebanon War of 2006,” Erdan said. “No other country is facing the threat we are today,” he added.
Currently, Erdan said, an inter-ministerial committee is working on a plan to ensure that basic commodities reach civilians in wartime, and that safe zones for people living in 650,000 unprotected homes are created.
“This is an intolerable gap… we need to set up an infrastructure,” he said, hinting that the measures will be mandatory, like car safety features.
“This will be no less than a revolution. We have to set minimal standards for protection,” Erdan said.
Earlier in the conference, Giora Eiland, former head of the National Security Council and a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, said that Israel should reject the idea that it must fight against terrorist guerrilla organizations embedded in civilian areas, and return to the idea that it is fighting enemy states. This, he said, would add to Israeli deterrence and cut short any future conflicts.
“In 2006, we tried to do something impossible by hitting rocket launchers. If tomorrow there’s a third Lebanon war, the result will be worse if we try to do the same thing. We and Hezbollah have improved tactically. The result will be damage to us that is so big that we’ll be unsure we accomplished anything the day after the dust settles,” he cautioned.
The path to a clear victory lies in defining the state in which the enemy operates as the enemy. “Just doing this will deter them.
Hezbollah, Syria, nor Iran, nor the Americans want to see destruction of Lebanon. If war does break out, treating Lebanon as an enemy would end the conflict in three days, not three weeks,” he said.
This entails bombing bridges and other state-affiliated targets, though staying clear of civilian sites like schools and hospitals, he stressed.
“It’s not right for us to accept the idea of fighting low-intensity counter-terrorism conflicts. We should move to an interstate conflict system,” Eiland argued.
The model applies equally well to Gaza, which, since Hamas seized power there, has become a “state in every way.
It has borders, a central government, armed forces. We’ll get our advantage back by making this shift,” he said.
Agence France-Presse (October 11, 2013)
Rebel groups executed at least 67 civilians and took hostage 200 others from Alawite villages in Syria in August, Human Rights Watch reported Friday, saying this constituted war crimes.
HRW based its 105-page report on an on-site investigation and 35 interviews, including with survivors of an August 4 attack on 10 pro-government Alawite villages in the coastal province of Latakia.
Out of 190 civilians killed, the New York-based group said at least 67 were executed. Some 20 groups took part in the attack before government troops expelled the rebels from the villages on August 18.
“Two opposition groups that took part in the offensive, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham [the Levant] and Jaish al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar, are still holding the hostages, the vast majority women and children,” it said.
“The findings strongly suggest that the killings, hostage taking, and other abuses rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the rights group said.
“The scale and pattern of the serious abuses carried out by opposition groups during the operation indicate that they were systematic and planned as part of an attack on a civilian population,” it said. “In some cases, opposition fighters executed or gunned down entire families.”
 HRW, noting that it had previously documented war crimes by government forces, urged the UN Security Council to “impose an arms embargo on groups on all sides against whom there is credible evidence of widespread or systematic abuses or crimes against humanity.”
It also urged countries with influence over the rebel groups, mostly made up of Sunni Muslims, to work for the release of the hostages.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (German Daily, October 11, 2013)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “a bad deal is worse than no deal” with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, ahead of crunch talks between Tehran and world powers. He called for sanctions on the Tehran regime to be stepped up rather than eased.  Iran “will ask for a partial lifting of sanctions for cosmetic concessions that would leave them with the ability to have a nuclear weapons capability,” Netanyahu said.
He cautioned that Iran was far more dangerous than nuclear-armed North Korea and bent on spreading terror in the world. “You demand enrichment if you want to build nuclear weapons,” he stressed.
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