Cover for No Agenda Show 767: Frontier Science
October 22nd, 2015 • 2h 50m

767: Frontier Science


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Keith Richards Documentary
Sweden Close to Collapse
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:26
Sweden is fast approaching a complete collapse. More and more municipalities are raising the alarm that if the migrants keep coming at this pace, the government can no longer guarantee normal service to its citizens. In addition, ominous statements from government officials have left Swedes in fear of what tomorrow may bring. If the migrant wave keeps coming, in 10-15 years, Swedes will be a minority in their own country.
At a press conference October 9, Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven said that Sweden is in a state of crisis. However, when asked to clarify what he meant by this, L¶fven was unable to produce a single coherent sentence.
Three ministers appeared by the Prime Minister's side at the hastily summoned press conference, which came on the heels of an extraordinary government meeting. The purpose of the press conference seems to have been to convey two messages:
To explain to the world and the Swedish people that Sweden is facing "one of the largest humanitarian efforts in Swedish history."That there is no more housing available, and migrants should be prepared to live in tents.During the question period after the ministers' speeches, journalist Tomas Ramberg of Ekot Public Radio asked: "You say that Sweden is preparing for a crisis situation, what do you mean by those dramatic words?"
Stefan L¶fven's reply was incomprehensible:
"Yes, well first of all we, we are in the middle of what I mean seriously when I'm saying, when I express a, a big thank you to all the people doing such a great job, because it is a humanitarian effort, it's just as the Minister for Justice and Migration just said. What we are actually doing is that we are saving lives when people who come from bombs, from, from killing, from oppression, their lives are shattered. We, we help them and that is a, that is a great humanitarian effort, and of course now that we can see the number of people who need it, that are seeking protection, then it is one of the greatest humanitarian efforts. And that we are facing a crisis situation, that is in part why I, we are outlining today that we are also preparing for a situation where we may need to house people in tents, because we stand up with the humanitarian refugee policy, right of asylum, but we can now also see that we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are more coming than ever in such a short time, and we need to provide a roof over their heads. Then it is -- other things may be required."
However, the fact that the government is now talking about housing migrants in tents, may be a signal that Sweden, despite everything, may not want to be on the front lines of the "humanitarian" battle anymore, after all. The prospect of spending an ice-cold Swedish winter in a tent may make migrants choose countries other than Sweden. If not, a complete collapse of the Swedish system is imminent.
In 2014, the Danish historian and social commentator Lars Hedegaard prophetically remarked in the book "Farliga ord"(Dangerous Words), that the economic breakdown of a nation always happens quickly and unexpectedly:
"If there is any lesson to be drawn from history, it is that what you do not think will happen, does. Time and again. The final consequence of the West and, above all, Sweden's immigration policy is that the economy will collapse -- because who is going to pay for it all? And economic breakdowns, once they happen, always happen very fast."
Right now, the Swedish government is borrowing money abroad to pay for immigration. But that amount is not enough. On October 8, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) warned that municipalities need to increase the tax rate by 2%. The average municipal income tax is already 32%, on top of which many Swedes also pay a federal income tax. A 2% rise in the tax rate would mean 15,000 kronor ($1,825) more in taxes each year for the average household.
High-ranking politicians and officials are also saying the situation is extremely grim. On October 1, Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman said that the current wave of immigrants will lead to "huge economic strains;" and a few days later Immigration Service Director General Anders Danielsson explained that "within the framework of the system we all know, we are now approaching the end of the road." Statements such as these have never been heard before in Sweden, especially in connection with the "sacred" issue of migration. Until now, Swedes have perpetually been told that we live in a rich country that has no problem handling all asylum seekers who want to come here.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven (left) said last week that Sweden is in a state of crisis. Pictured at right, the results of rioting in a Stockholm suburb, December 2014.
In the shadow the 1.5 million migrants expected to arrive this year in Germany, the EU's largest country (population 81 million), migrants are also pouring into a rather smaller Sweden. Geographically Sweden is large, but consists mainly of forests and wilderness, and fewer than 10 million people live in the country. Until 2010, Sweden took in about 25,000 migrants a year. However, in 2010, then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a deal with pro-immigration Green Party, (Milj¶partiet) -- by his own admission to punish voters for allowing the anti-mass-immigration Sweden Democrats party (Sverigedemokraterna) into parliament.
Reinfeldt's deal opened the immigration floodgates. In 2014, 81,000 people sought asylum in Sweden; and 33,500 were granted asylum. However, as many of the immigrants subsequently brought over their relatives, that figure substantially increased. Last year, 110,000 people were granted residency status in Sweden. One should add to this figure an unknown number of illegal aliens.
There is now talk of 180,000 asylum seekers coming to Sweden in 2015. That number is more than twice as many as the year before. If half of them are granted asylum, and they each bring over three relatives, we are talking about 270,000 new immigrants to Sweden -- within one year. Over 8000 people arrived just last week, 1,716 of whom were so-called "unaccompanied refugee children."
Swedes who only follow the mainstream media get the impression that all the migrants arriving are war refugees from Syria, but the number of Syrians is actually less than half of the total: 2,864 people last week claimed to be from Syria. 1,861 claimed to be from Iraq, and 1,820 from Afghanistan. Clearly, many people from countries that are not at war are taking their chances and applying for asylum in Sweden; but this is something about which the mainstream media does not see fit to inform its followers.
That there is an exchange of populations going on, should be clear in any sober assessment. The Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji (of Iranian-Kurdish descent, and therefore tougher than most Swedes, who, if they criticize the immigration policy, are immediately accused of racism) writes on his blog that Swedes could soon be in the minority in their own country:
"1,000-1,500 asylum seekers a day for 15 years equals 5.5 to 8.2 million asylum seekers. At the end of 2014, the Statistical Central Bureau, SCB, calculated that 21.5% of the Swedish population were of foreign descent: 2.1 million, out of 9.7 million. The number of people of Swedish descent -- born in Sweden with two parents born in Sweden -- has been stable at about 7.7 million and is expected to remain stable or increase slightly due to birth surplus. If those of foreign descent increase their number by about 5.6 million, they will become the majority."
One of the municipalities that has been flooded with migrants is Trelleborg (population 43,000), located on Sweden's southernmost coast. Over 100 "unaccompanied refugee children" arrive from Germany via ferry on a typical day. During the last two weeks, more than 1000 such youths have been registered; more than half of them have now vanished and are listed as missing. No one knows why, or where they have gone. Add to this 13,000 adult asylum seekers.
Impromptu temporary lodgings have been created in sports centers, ice rinks, and at the Sturup airport hotel, to name a few.
Trelleborg has written a desperate letter of appeal for help to the government, just as, a few weeks ago, the –rkelljunga municipality did in vain. The mayor and the Municipal Director of Trelleborg, who signed the letter on October 1, wrote:
"In the past, many asylum seekers have taken the route through Denmark to Malm¶, but this changed about two weeks ago. From September 10 until the morning of October 1, 14,100 asylum seekers arrived in Trelleborg by ferry. There is no indication that the pace is slowing; if anything it is continuously increasing. On Tuesday, September 22, Trelleborg received word from the Immigration Service that the municipality where children and young people arrive is by law the authority that is required to provide housing, care and living expenses, until such time as the Immigration Service decides upon a designated municipality. ... Trelleborg has quickly ended up in a situation where the regular services to the community are at great risk of being affected. ... By writing this letter, we would like to bring to your attention the enormous strain we now find ourselves under."
Apparently, the Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, has since been in contact with Trelleborg's mayor via telephone to discuss possible solutions. On October 9, the Immigration Service decided that Trelleborg should be exempt as a designated municipality for unaccompanied children. However, it is unclear how this will alleviate Trelleborg's plight as far as the new arrivals go. The only concrete help so far has come from some of the neighboring municipalities, who have opened up facilities to house some of the Trelleborg migrants.
Malm¶, about 18 miles from Trelleborg, is also in dire straits. For the last few weeks, the central train station in Sweden's third largest city has been overrun with migrants, and the volunteers that showed up for the first few days with food, water and clothes now seem to have lost interest. The daily Sydsvenska Dagbladetsummed up the desperate situation in Malm¶, where even the city's empty jail was considered (and rejected) as possible housing for refugee children. It now looks more like a possibility for adult refugees.
The Social Democratic mayor of Filipstad, Per Gruvberger, also recently raised the alarm that his municipality of 6,000 people will not be able to provide schooling and childcare for the 1,100 asylum seekers now assigned to his municipality.
The reply of the Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, to this cry for help was: "If need be, Filipstad will just have to expand its operations."
This insensitive statement from Johansson caused the Mayor of neighboring …rj¤ng, Daniel Sch¼tzer, to go ballistic. He wrote about his fellow party member on Facebook:
"Pardon my French, but Morgan Johansson is totally f---ing stupid. 'Expand,' he says. It is not f---ing bricks and planks that we are lacking, it is teachers!!!!"
The Immigration Service, which is tasked with reviewing the asylum seekers' reasons for immigrating, is understandably swamped with work. Even before the latest "refugee crisis" -- and despite 1,200 new employees being hired last year -- its staff is struggling. The employees' union is now raising the alarm, concerning more and more incidents of violence, vandalism and suicide attempts -- this year (up to August), 1,021 such incidents were reported.
"The work situation for the entire authority is very strained. The pressure is enormous. The work environment has deteriorated severely," said Sanna Norblad, local chairperson of the ST union, to daily Norrk¶pings Tidningar.
While all this plays out, large portions of the Swedish people watch in horror from the sidelines and wonder when the unavoidable collapse will occur. At the same time, a surprisingly large portion of the citizenry still overconfidently believe that "Daddy State" will make everything all right. This a very Swedish view, like the wishes of children, that Peter Santesson, head of polling institute Demoskop, wrote about on the website Dagens Opinion. Santesson states that the Swedes have an unusually high level of trust in the social order, and that they are convinced that "somewhere higher up, there is always someone smarter and more informed, taking responsibility and making sure everything works." If the government officials turn out to be incapable of handling the refugee chaos they themselves have created, it could be disastrous. Santesson continues,
"Responsible decision makers need to ponder the trust the people have now bestowed on them, and they need to handle this trust with care in this difficult crisis. If the people's confidence is betrayed by them turning out not to be able to handle the situation '' if 'Sweden' turns out to be insufficient as a miracle cure and the crisis becomes too much to handle -- the outcome could be political and social consequences reaching far beyond the issue of immigration."
The blogger Johan Westerholm, a Social Democrat who is critical of the government, points out in an October 7 titled "System infarction in the Immigration System," that in addition to those who are already in Sweden, we need to add those who are not granted asylum in Norway and Finland, and will therefore be sent back to the last country they were in -- Sweden. Considering that Finland rejects 60% of asylum applications, it is fair to assume that during the coming weeks, the chaos will only escalate.
Westerholm writes that the situation in Malm¶ is "out of control," and states that we do not have any idea who those arriving in Sweden are:
"A very large group of administrators [at the Immigration Service] do not even know the designated terror organizations, and then there are the sympathizers -- people who, on principal, would never file a report to the Immigration Service security department, for ideological reasons. A large group consists of those who are scared into silence. In an organization characterized by fear and stress, to do nothing is a surefire way to keep your job. If a report of suspicion is filed anyway, typically nothing happens. If the life and health of the terrorist is threatened, as is often the situation, the person gets to stay. Initially he is given a temporary residence permit, but in practice, this turns out to be permanent."
The 152 asylum seekers reported to the Security Service so far this year as possible threats to national security, are thus most likely just the tip of the iceberg.
The Swedes who have already lost faith in the authorities and the politicians are now preparing for the unthinkable -- that their once so secure society is about to collapse. On the website, the Civil Contingencies Agency informs the public on "our five most basic needs: Water, food, heat, sleep and security." The readers are told to keep water and canned goods at home, and make sure they can stay warm.
"Prepping" is becoming more common in Sweden. Last summer, the daily Svenska Dagbladet ran a story on the first Swedish online store for preppers, and that interest was huge. According to the polling institute Sifo, until recently, seven out of ten Swedes have been completely unprepared for a crisis that knocks out the power supply and thereby the infrastructure. The owner of the online store, Fredrik Qvarnstr¶m, told the paper that, in his estimation, the Swedes are the worlds most poorly prepared for a crisis:
"There is lot of talk about the greenhouse effect and economic crisis. People seem to be aware that there are problems, but I do not think they know how vulnerable we really are. We rely on the state to take care of us, as it has in the past."
It will not be long until the Swedes realize that the state will not look after them. The country that just 20 years ago was considered one of the safest and most affluent in the world, is now in danger of becoming a failed state.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.
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Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:51
After a series of leaks from ClubMed overnight, this lunchtime (Friday) there is growing confirmation that Turkey's price for aiding in the refugee process has been a fast-track towards membership of the European Union.
Those who have found themselves in recent weeks ''at the mercy of bigger forces'' on the migrant question may now feel they have the answer: was the 'Second Wave' of migrants launched deliberately by Erdogan as a bargaining tool designed to gain access to the EU?
It is too early to say without further information and digging. But the result of this secret deal is going to be divisive within the EU beyond even the wildest imaginings of the conspiracy theory clique. France will almost certainly be opposed, as will much of Eastern Europe.
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Recordaantal asielzoekers in (C)(C)n maand geregistreerd | Binnenland | de Volkskrant
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:40
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Calais migrants to be given heated tents, as police numbers rise - BBC News
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 05:45
Image copyrightAFPImage caption The new tents will be given to women and children inside the "New Jungle" camp in Calais Women and children at a migrant camp outside the French port city of Calais are to be given heated tents by the end of the week, officials say.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the measures were to protect some of the 6,000 people at the camp from cold temperatures as winter approaches.
Another 460 police officers are to be deployed there from Thursday, he added.
Numbers at the "New Jungle" camp have swelled in recent months, as the Europe migrant crisis has intensified.
Most of them have fled conflict and poverty in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan and are trying to seek refuge across the Channel in the UK.
Some people have opted for dangerous routes in their bid to make the crossing, with a number of deaths inside the Channel Tunnel in recent months.
Image copyrightReutersImage caption Numbers at the camp have doubled in recent weeks Mr Cazeneuve announced the new measures on Wednesday after his seventh visit to the camp.
He said a centre sheltering women and children that currently has space for 200 people would allow in up to 400 by the end of the year.
"In the meantime, heated tents will be set up... by the end of the week," he told reporters, vowing that "no woman, no child will remain without a shelter in this city".
The French minister also confirmed that police numbers would go up from 665 to 1,125 to help manage security in the area.
Tighter security measures introduced at the Channel Tunnel's entrance in August have helped to slow down the number of illegal crossings to the UK in recent weeks, which at its peak reached 2,000 attempts per night.
EU response: EU solution seems nowhere in sight
No-man's land: Border closures leave thousands stranded
Long winter sets in: EU pins hope on deteriorating weather
Merkel under pressure: Chancellor's migrant policy faces criticism at home
Crisis in graphics: Migration numbers explained
Meanwhile, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has summoned European leaders to a special summit on Sunday to find a better strategy to manage the flow of migrants.
The European Commission said President Jean-Claude Juncker had called Sunday's meeting because "there is a need for much greater cooperation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action" to deal with what it called "the unfolding emergency".
It comes amid growing tensions over border controls in the western Balkans where thousands of migrants have been pouring through in a bid to reach northern Europe.
On Wednesday, tents at a transit camp on Slovenia's border with Austria were allegedly set on fire by people angry over poor conditions, who complained of lack of food, water and blankets.
Thousands have been diverted through Slovenia on their way to western Europe after Hungary closed its border with Croatia and Serbia last week.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 650,000 migrants have reached Europe this year.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.
'My life is ruined': Refugee-tripping Hungarian camerawoman to sue Facebook, may move to Russia '-- RT News
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:15
A Hungarian camerawoman fired for kicking refugees is going to sue Facebook for bias and helping to fuel hatred against her, a Moscow-based daily reported. She is also considering moving to Russia.
In September, reporters covering the EU refugee and migrant crisis on the Hungarian-Serbian border caught Petra Laszlo tripping a refugee with a child in his hands on camera. The incident blew up into a major international scandal in the days following.
The accused camerawoman, Petra Laszlo, who worked for Hungary's N1TV at the time, has apologized, saying it was a mistake. She explained in earlier statements that she had panicked and wanted to protect herself when hundreds of asylum seekers broke through a police cordon in a field and ran in her direction.
In an interview with Russia's Izvestia newspaper published on Tuesday, Laszlo clarified that she was only ''trying to help police,'' as the refugee had not obeyed orders.
''I pushed him only because I was afraid. I did not see that there was a child. I'm sorry that it turned out this way,'' she told the paper.
Laszlo says her life has never been the same since the incident. She has been dubbed a ''heartless, racist, children-kicking camerawoman,'' fired from her job, and threated by haters following the scandal.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) has claimed that Osama Abdul Mohsen, the man tripped by Laszlo, was a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front and had committed crimes against civilians. The allegations did not change public opinion, however.
''I can definitely say that my life is ruined. It's unlikely that I will be able to find a job and do what I like the most,'' she told the paper.
The camerawoman said that at least 10 fake 'Petra Laszlo' accounts containing improper contents have appeared on Facebook and some people have offered some $20,000 for her murder via these groups.
One such group still exists under the name ''Petra Laszlo,'' which boasts more than 10,000 likes on Facebook.
Laszlo told Izvestia that she asked Facebook's management to delete these groups, but claims her letters and complaints to Facebook have been left unattended and that, instead, the social network has intentionally deleted groups supporting her.
She told the paper she plans to sue Facebook for its prejudice. According to the paper, she also wants to prove that the asylum seeker she tripped had been untruthful, because the man has changed his testimony in court. She said that he had initially blamed a police officer for the incident, but later began accusing her.
''Once the court is over, we're going to move to another country,'' said Petra Laszlo, mentioning Russia as a likely destination for immigration. ''We consider starting to learn Russian. It is important for us to leave Hungary. We'll make the decision once the trial is over,'' she said.
Turkse Nederlanders hekelen 'propagandabrief' partij Erdogan | Buitenland | de Volkskrant
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:55
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Jihadist Publishes English Adaptation for Lone Wolves of al-Qaeda Security Expert's Audio Series on Security
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:07
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsJihadist NewsCreated: 19 October 2015A jihadist published an English summary of al-Qaeda security expert Abu Obeida Abdullah al-'Adam's audio series ''The Terrorism Industry,'' adapting its safety and security guidelines for lone wolves and small cells.
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IS Fighter in Libya Beheads South Sudanese Christian in Video
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:08
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsMultimediaCreated: 19 October 2015Barqah Province, a division of the Islamic State (IS) in Libya, released a video showing one fighter beheading a South Sudanese Christian, and another shooting to death a Libyan soldier.
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IS Supporter Calls for Attacks on U.S. Soldiers, Suggests Methods
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:10
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsWestern JihadistsCreated: 19 October 2015
An Islamic State (IS) supporter on Twitter made calls for attack against U.S. military personnel and suggested ways for jihadists to do so.
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IS Widow Disseminates Info on High-Profile U.S. Military Figures, Calls for Attacks
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:41
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsWestern JihadistsCreated: 19 October 2015
A prominent widowed woman living under the Islamic State (IS) disseminated information on three high-profile U.S. military figures for the purposes of lone wolf attacks. Register to read more ...
Shut Up Slave!
counter extremism plan UK
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:58
HM GovernmentCounter-Extremism StrategyC m 914 5
Counter-Extremism StrategyPresented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Departmentby Command of Her MajestyOctober 2015C m 914 5
(C) Crown copyright 2015This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.This publication is available at Any enquiries regarding this publication should be sent to us at:Counter-Extremism Directorate Home Office 2 Marsham Street London SW1P ISBN 9781474125338 Web ISBN 9781474125345ID 15101501 10/15 51774 19585Printed on paper containing 75% recycled fibre content minimumPrinted in the UK by the Williams Lea Group on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office
ContentsPrime Minister Foreword 5Home Secretary Foreword 7Chapter 1 '' The Threat from Extremism 9Chapter 2 '' Our Strategic Response 17Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 21Chapter 4 '' Building a partnership with all those opposed to Extremism 31Chapter 5 '' Disrupting Extremists 33Chapter 6 '' Building Cohesive Communities 37The Devolved AdministrationsThe strategy deals with devolved matters and we will work closely with the devolved Governments on how it should apply to Scotland and Wales. Where measures in the strategy deal with devolved matters and require legislative change this will be agreed with the devolved governments in accordance with the devolution settlements.The strategy will not extend to Northern Ireland at this stage. We will continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Executive to share ideas and best practice. We remain open to the possibility that the strategy could be extended to Northern Ireland in the future if that has the support of the devolved institutions.
4 Counter-Extremism Strategy
Prime Minister Foreword 5 Prime Minister ForewordOver generations, we in Britain have built something extraordinary: a successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy. Our country today is more vibrant, buoyant and diverse than ever before in our history. There is still more to be done to defeat racism, promote genuine equality of opportunity and build a more cohesive society. But I believe it is right to say that Britain is on the rise, strong and growing stronger with each new day.Our success is underpinned by our distinct, British values '' the liberty we cherish, the rights we enjoy and the democratic institutions that help protect them. Our freedoms have been hard-won and throughout our long history, we have come together to defeat those who sought to undermine them, to threaten our values and way of life.Alongside our values, we have together forged an increasingly inclusive identity. In our country, people should have no difficulty in identifying themselves as a proud Sikh, or Jew, or Muslim, Hindu or Christian as well as being a proud Brit. This is precious, and we must build on it still further.One of the greatest threats we face is the scourge of extremism from those who want to divide us. We see it in sickening displays of neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and, of course, Islamist extremism.The fight against Islamist extremism is, I believe, one of the great struggles of our generation. In responding to this poisonous ideology, we face a choice. Do we close our eyes, put our kid gloves on and just hope that our values will somehow endure in the end? Or do we get out there and make the case for those values, defend them with all that we've got and resolve to win the battle of ideas all over again?In the past, I believe governments made the wrong choice. Whether in the face of Islamist or neo-Nazi extremism, we were too tolerant of intolerance, too afraid to cause offence. We seemed to lack the strength and resolve to stand up for what is right, even when the damage being done by extremists was all too clear.The publication of this Counter-Extremism Strategy is a clear signal of the choice we make today. In government, we have already overhauled our approach so that it tackles both violent and non-violent extremism. We know that terrorism is really a symptom; ideology is the root cause. But the stakes are now rising. The menace of ISIL and the sophisticated efforts of extremists to groom and radicalise young British people demands a response of a different magnitude.Our new strategy has four key pillars, part of an approach I set out in July 2015. We will vigorously counter extremist ideology '' making sure every part of government is stepping up to the plate. We will actively support mainstream voices, especially in our faith communities
6 Counter-Extremism Strategyand in civil society. That means supporting all those who want to fight extremism, but are too often disempowered or drowned out in the debate. We will disrupt extremists, aggressively pursuing the key radicalisers who do so much damage. And we will seek to build more cohesive communities, tackling the segregation and feelings of alienation that can help provide fertile ground for extremist messages to take root.Defeating extremism in all its forms is not something the state can do alone. We need the help of everyone, including our faith communities. We must be absolutely clear that when it comes to countering Islamist extremism, our strategy is not about criticising or attacking the religion of Islam or its followers. Our aim is to work in partnership to isolate the extremists from everyone else '' and to stop them from driving a wedge between British Muslims and the rest of our society.If we implement this strategy, if we build that partnership, I am confident that together we can defeat the extremists and build a more cohesive country for our children, our grandchildren and for every generation to come.The Rt Hon David Cameron MPPrime Minister
Home Secretary Foreword 7 Home Secretary ForewordAt the heart of this strategy is a partnership between government and all those individuals, groups and communities, who want to see extremism defeated. It is a partnership that will not only seek to counter the ideology spread by extremists, but will stand up for the shared values that unite us as a country: values that include democracy, free speech, mutual respect, and opportunity for all.It is these values that allow us to enjoy our individual freedoms and to lead varied lives in diverse communities. But they also come with a responsibility to respect the rights of others to live as they choose.Yet, in recent times, we have seen extremists operating at an unprecedented pace and scale, seeking to divide our communities and cause great harm.Where this leads to violence the threat is all too apparent, from the 38 people murdered in Tunisia in June to the 17 people murdered in Paris in the attacks in January this year. The rise of ISIL is particularly alarming, driven in part by their sophisticated use of the internet and social media. More than 750 UK-linked individuals have travelled to take part in the Syrian conflict.But the threat posed by extremists is not limited to violence, nor to Islamist extremism. The rise of neo-Nazi groups, and the increase in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred is deeply concerning. Where non-violent extremism goes unchallenged, the values that bind our society together fragment. Women's rights are eroded, intolerance and bigotry become normalised, minorities are targeted and communities become separated from the mainstream.Such behaviour cannot go uncontested. A new approach is required to tackle this growing threat and protect people from the damage extremists cause. This strategy therefore addresses the full spectrum of extremism: violent and non-violent, Islamist and neo-Nazi '' hate and fear in all their forms.We will systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology, exposing it for the lie it is. And we will thwart its destructive consequences. We will disrupt all those who seek to spread hate and we will prosecute all those who break the law. But most importantly of all, we will stand up for all those who know that in Britain we are stronger together. Because when we join up all the voices of those who want to defeat extremism, they are louder and more powerful than the voices of those who seek to divide us.This strategy sets out how we will work across government, and with individuals and groups across Britain, to defeat extremism in all its forms.The Rt Hon Theresa May MPHome Secretary
8 Counter-Extremism Strategy
Chapter 1 '' The Threat from Extremism 9 Chapter 1 '' The Threat from ExtremismExtremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.1. Life in our country is based on fundamental values that have evolved over centuries, values that are supported and shared by the overwhelming majority of the population and are underpinned by our most important local and national institutions. These values include the rule of law, democracy, individual liberty, and the mutual respect, tolerance and understanding of different faiths and beliefs.2. All people living in Britain are free to practise a faith or to decide not to follow any faith at all. We are free to build our own churches, synagogues, temples and mosques and to worship freely. We are free to establish our own faith schools and give our children '' boys and girls alike '' the best education possible.3. Our values are not exclusive to Britain, nor have they been arrived at by accident, or imposed from above. They have been shaped by our history. Our acceptance of the freedom of religious choice was born of religious conflict, which taught us that the alternative to tolerance is violence and bloodshed. Our support for democracy developed over centuries as a guard against the abuse of power. Our belief in equality followed a history in which we have seen injustice, misery and damage caused by discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.4. These values are under attack from extremists operating at a pace and scale not before seen. We will meet this challenge with a new and more assertive approach to defeat extremists. We will challenge their ideology, and defend and promote the values that unite us, not just because we are proud of these values, but because they are the means by which we have made a diverse, multi-racial, multi-faith society succeed. Our society works because we have responsibilities as well as rights. We all have the freedom to live how we choose, but in return it is vital that we respect the choices made by others.''Over generations, we have built something extraordinary in Britain '' a successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy. It's open, diverse, welcoming '' these characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.''Prime Minister, July 2015.The immediate threat5. The greatest current challenge comes from the global rise of Islamist extremism. We see this in the violence of Al Qa'ida (AQ) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
10 Counter-Extremism Strategy(ISIL).1 The appalling attack in Tunisia in June 2015 took the lives of 38 people, 30 of them British. More than 750 UK-linked individuals have travelled to take part in the Syrian conflict. Worryingly we have seen examples of women, children and families buying into ISIL's extremist narrative and travelling to live under their brutal regime. Islamist extremists have also inspired the overwhelming majority of over 40 terrorist plots which have been disrupted since the London bombings of 2005.6. Islamist extremism is not the only threat, as seen by the vicious actions of a number of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups. In 2013 Mohammed Saleem, an 82 year old British Muslim from Birmingham, was murdered by Pavlo Lapshyn,2 an extreme-right fanatic who went on to bomb mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton. In January 2015, Zack Davies attempted to murder Dr Sarandev Bhambra in a racially-motivated attack in a supermarket in North Wales, and was sentenced to life in prison. He had claimed the attack was 'revenge for Lee Rigby', and extreme-right publications were found at his home.3 The Government is determined that such violence, and the Islamophobia that underpins it, will be defeated and perpetrators brought to justice.7. The loss of life through terrorism and murderous hate crime attacks are not the only dangerous consequence of allowing extremist ideas to go unchallenged. Where extremism takes root and our values are undermined the consequences are clear. The social fabric of our country is weakened. Violence goes unchallenged. Women's rights are fundamentally eroded. There is discrimination on the basis of gender, race, 1 ISIL '' this group is known by several names, including Daesh and Islamic State.2 a l e s - 3 421818 4religious belief or sexual orientation. There is no longer equal access to the labour market, to the law, or to wider society. Communities become isolated and cut off from one another. Intolerance, hatred and bigotry become normalised.8. We are clear that this strategy will tackle all forms of extremism: violent and non-violent, Islamist and neo-Nazi.''Everybody in our country is equal and everybody is free to lead their lives as they wish. But our society does not just confer rights; it demands responsibilities of us too. You have the freedom to live how you choose to live '' but you must also respect the freedom of others to live how they choose to live. That, I believe, is one of the most important reasons why this country is the best in the world to live in, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, Jewish or of no religion at all, whether you're black or white, male or female, gay or straight.''Home Secretary, March 2015.The harm extremism causes9. Across the country there is evidence of extremists, driven by ideology, promoting or justifying actions which run directly contrary to our shared values. This causes harm to society in general and is used to radicalise vulnerable people. Increasingly extremists make sophisticated use of modern communications, including social media, to spread their extreme ideology and attract recruits in large numbers.Justifying violence10. A range of extremists in the UK promote hatred of others and justify violence, even if they do not act violently themselves. UK -based Islamist extremists reject democracy and glorify actions by
Chapter 1 '' The Threat from Extremism 11 extremist groups such as ISIL. While not directly encouraging participation in violence (which would be illegal), they carefully portray violence as inevitable in achieving the desired end state required by their ideology. Similarly, the rhetoric used by extreme right-wing groups and speakers is often characterised by violent language. Groups speak of the existence of a 'race war' and the need to 'smash' their opponents, and even of 'white jihad'. Their propaganda often uses the imagery of contemporary and historic terrorist and paramilitary groups. For example:''If you fancy smashing Antifascist vermin with bricks, join the white gang and contact us.'' A neo-Nazi group with more than 1,500 followers on Twitter.''You're living in the West. Unlike us, you're blessed that you can cause terror in the hearts '... of the Kufaar4, '... So rise up my brothers, rise up.'' The video of a Syria-based UK terrorist, viewed over 55,000 times.Promoting hatred and division11. Many hate crimes are motivated by extremist ideologies, often propagated by individuals who make a careful effort to stay just within existing legal parameters, exploiting the very freedoms they claim to despise in order to undermine our society. For example: 'videos by one Islamist extremist have been viewed more than 5,000 times on YouTube, including his claim that unbelievers (or 'Kufaar') are ''not worth anything, less than an ant, less than an insect, less than a dog. A dog has more 4 Kafir (pl. Kufaar): Literally, ''the one who denies'' belief in Allah; infidel, unbeliever.honour than a Kafir and at least the dog he's loyal to you.'' 'videos by one extreme right group, viewed more than 59,000 times, argues that ''The only viable option on the table'... is to remove Islam from Britain.'' 'one video, viewed more than 3,000 times, features an extreme right-wing speaker online arguing publicly that Jews were behind ''a conspiracy to alter the ethnic make-up of Britain. A conspiracy committing genocide against the white people. A conspiracy to exterminate the white people.'' 'another video, viewed more than 9,000 times, shows a speaker at an anti-Muslim rally in Newcastle describing Islam as a ''disgusting, backward, savage, barbarian, supremacist ideology masquerading as a r e l i g i o n .''12. This intolerance has translated into hate crime. Although overall crime in the UK has fallen by 31% since 2010,5 reported hate crime has risen by 18%, with more than 52,500 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2014/15.6 While in part this trend is explained by improved reporting and greater understanding among the police,7 it remains deeply worrying.13 . While national statistics on hate crimes against different faith groups are not currently collected, data from the Metropolitan Police Service gives a powerful sense of the challenge, showing a 70% annual rise in reported anti-Muslim hate crime and a rise of 61% in reported antisemitic hate crime.85 Crime Survey for England and Wales year ending June 2015 Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Hate Crime, England and Wales (13 October 2015).7
12 Counter-Extremism Strategy14 . A number of charities also record cases of specific types of hate crime. The Community Security Trust recorded 1,265 antisemitic incidents between March 2014 and February 2015 '' an unprecedented figure for a twelve-month period.9 This includes 95 assaults and three incidents of extreme violence. Tell MAMA, an organisation which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents in the UK, recorded 548 anti-Muslim incidents between March 2014 and February 2015 including six cases of extreme violence and 21 assaults. In 2013/14 two fifths of all recorded anti-Muslim incidents had links to extreme-right groups.1015. Recognising that hate crime is a serious and persistent issue, the government is committed to developing a new hate crime action plan, working in partnership with communities to ensure we have strong measures to stop and respond to these deplorable crimes. For the first time, the police will provide a breakdown in religion-based hate crime data to help forces build community trust, target their resources and enable the public to better hold them to account.''There are places in Britain today, where people suffer hatred and violence because of their race, religion or sexuality; women may be denied equal access to rights that most take for granted; and children are taught to despise the shared values that we are proud to live by.'' Lord Ahmad, October 2015.Encouraging isolation16. Extremist ideologies can also encourage individuals and groups to live separate 9 Community Security Trust Antisemitic Incident Report, January to June 2015. h t t p s: //, to distance themselves from society, institutions and shared values. This isolation can cause alternative values, structures and authorities to gain prominence, which permits a range of harmful behaviour to occur.Alternative systems of law17. Many people in this country of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit from the guidance they offer. Religious communities also operate arbitration councils and boards to resolve disputes. The overriding principle is that these rules, practices and bodies must operate within the rule of law in the UK. However, there is evidence some Shari'a councils may not follow this principle and that Shari'a is being misused and applied in a way which is incompatible with the law.18 . There are reports of men and women being charged different fees for using the same service,11 and women facing lengthier processes for divorce than men. Most concerning of all, women are unaware of their legal rights to leave violent husbands12 and are being pressurised to attend reconciliation sessions with their husbands despite legal injunctions in place to protect them from violence.13 There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen. We will never countenance allowing an alternative, informal system of law, informed by religious principles, to operate in competition with it.Rejecting the democratic system19. Extremists have attempted to coerce people not to participate in our democratic 11 Fehmida Abbas, Shakti Women's Aid: Evidence in support of Baroness Cox's Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.12 Tahmina Saleem, Inspire: Evidence in support of Baroness Cox's Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.13 Bano, S. Muslim Women and Shari'ah Councils, Transcending the boundaries of community and law, Palgrave, 2012 page 211.
Chapter 1 '' The Threat from Extremism 13 system or to subvert our democratic processes. In 2010 a group in the West Midlands warned British Muslims not to vote in the general election, distributing flyers that argued it was ''haram'' or forbidden to participate in Parliamentary elections.14 During the 2015 general election, a campaign targeting British Muslims called ''Stay Muslim Don't Vote'' used leaflets and posters claiming that voting ''for man-made law'' was forbidden under Islam.15 Extremists do not simply encourage apathy or argue that existing political process is flawed. Instead, they reject the very principles upon which democracy is based, forbidding participation on the grounds that democracy has no place in their extremist worldview.Harmful and illegal cultural practices20. Practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and so-called Honour-Based Violence are extreme forms of violence against women and girls, and are deeply harmful, both physically and psychologically. Between 2010 and 2014, 11,744 incidences of so-called Honour Based Violence were recorded.16 In 2014 the Government's Forced Marriage Unit dealt with more than 1,250 cases.17 And in 2014 it was estimated that 170,000 women in England and Wales were living with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice with devastating effects which all too often stems from a wider view that denies women core human rights.18 While the Government has taken stringent steps to clamp down 14 'Warning over Muslim call not to vote' (2010) Forced Marriage Unit, Statistics on Forced Marriage for 2014, FCO.18 Female Genital Mutilation: Updated statistical estimates of the numbers of affected women living in England and Wales and girls at risk. Interim Report on provisional estimates , City University London, July 2014.on these practices, including through our strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls,19 we must tackle the root causes that mean certain communities continue to propagate such harmful practices.Evidence of extremism in our institutions21. There is evidence that our institutions are increasingly targeted by extremists, who look to use them to spread their ideology.Schools22. In April 2014, Peter Clarke, a former senior police officer, was appointed by the Government to investigate allegations that extremists had gained control of several schools in Birmingham '' the 'Trojan Horse' plot. His detailed report found evidence of ''co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action'... to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos'' .20 His report described extremists gaining positions on governing bodies and joining the staff, unequal treatment and segregation of boys and girls, extremist speakers making presentations to pupils, and bullying and intimidation of staff who refused to support extremist views. In total around 5,000 children were in institutions affected.23. Further work by Ofsted and the Department for Education has identified unacceptable practices elsewhere. Ofsted's Chief Inspector published advice in October 2014 on the inspection of six independent Muslim schools and one maintained secondary school in East London. They found 19 A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, Action Plan 2 014 , Peter Clarke, July 2014, Report into Allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the 'Trojan Horse' letter.
14 Counter-Extremism Strategyevidence that pupils believed it was wrong to learn about other religions, were not taught art, music or drama and had a ''narrow view'' of women in society, and concluded that pupils in these schools may be vulnerable to extremist influences and radicalisation.21 Ofsted have also found evidence that a small minority of faith schools of different types are failing to promote fundamental British values in line with toughened requirements.2224. We are also concerned about other educational settings, including supplementary schools and tuition centres. It has been estimated that there are over 3,000 supplementary schools in England23 providing education and activities for children. Most of these provide important support to children, for example in maths or a foreign language. And many provide religious and moral guidance that families find valuable. The Government values and supports the role these organisations play in society. However, there is little regulation or oversight of supplementary schools and tuition centres and limited information on the practices within them. Reports indicate that in some settings parents do not know what their children are being taught or feel unable to challenge the teaching; and pupils may be at risk of being presented with, and believing, twisted interpretations of their religion. These issues heighten the potential risks for such settings to be exploited by extremists.Universities25. Universities and colleges are places where open debate and the exchange of ideas and opinions are essential. This makes 21 The National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education one of our most important arenas for challenging extremist views and ideologies. We cherish the freedom universities offer to debate all ideas, a freedom enshrined in legislation.2426. But this freedom can be abused by extremists. We know that some students are and have been influenced by extremist ideology and that some universities have been the focus of attention by extremist speakers. Closed events without challenge on or off campus are a particular concern, with extremists still able to convene student audiences and promote their ideology without also hearing the views of the mainstream majority. The rhetoric from some of these individuals and groups can be divisive and intolerant, espousing hatred towards others based on their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.2 7. In 2014, we know that at least 70 events took place featuring extremist speakers, both on and off campus across more than 30 different institutions in England and Wales.25 A report on diversity and divergence in one university suggested officers in the Islamic Society rejected holding internal elections, discriminated against individuals they considered un-Islamic, did not give equal weight to the views of women and would not engage with the university's female Muslim employees.26Local authorities28. Local authorities have a key role to play in protecting communities against extremism, yet in some areas, more needs to be done to address concerns in a decisive and effective way. For example, in Birmingham, Peter 24 Education Act 1986 and Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005.25 Home Of fice, 2015.26
Chapter 1 '' The Threat from Extremism 15 Clarke found that the council failed to respond to extremism in schools under its control, despite evidence of ''particular behaviours by governors and governing bodies that [did] not appear to be in the best interests of the schools which they should serve.''2729. Beyond the direct threat of extremism, local authorities have an important role to prevent isolation and segregation within communities. In Tower Hamlets, the special election court concluded that Mayor Lutfur Rahman had breached election rules and was guilty of corrupt and illegal practices, including vote-rigging, undue spiritual influence through local imams, and wrongly branding his Labour rival a racist. In Rotherham, councillors did not engage with the Pakistani-heritage community to address issues about the ethnicity of child sexual exploitation perpetrators and victims, which contributed to the unforgiveable failure of the Council and others to properly tackle the abuses.28Charities30. Extremists also seek to exploit charities. The Charity Commission29 completed 19 reviews of charities in 2014/15 where there were serious concerns about abuse and mismanagement linked specifically to extremism or radicalisation. For example, in 2015 the Commission found a charity hosting material online that legitimised the killing of gay people and encouraged the killing of Muslims in certain circumstances. As part of its inquiry, the regulator concluded that the trustees were too slow in implementing new policies designed to ensure extremism and hate material is not promoted, despite acting 27 Peter Clarke, July 2014, Report into Allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the 'Trojan Horse' letter. Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual exploitation in Rotherham 1997-2013. Charity Commission for England and Wales.quickly to take the charity's website offline when the material came to their attention.3031. In 2013, the Charity Commission learned that a student union society, in conjunction with an aid charity, had organised a fundraising event due to feature hate speakers. The speakers were known to promote extremist views and attitudes towards women, homosexuality and Judaism. Following Charity Commission intervention the event was cancelled and the Commission worked with the charities to ensure they had more robust safeguards in place.31Prisons32. As of the end of June 2015, there were 182 offenders convicted of, or on remand for, offences linked to terrorism and extremism in prisons in England and Wales.32 They include people who hold neo-Nazi views and Islamist extremists. A wider group of prisoners hold extremist views but have been convicted for offences other than terrorism. And a much wider group of offenders are vulnerable to those promoting extremist ideologies while in prison. Peer-to-peer radicalisation is a particular concern, as is the activity of groups such as Al-Muhajiroun which has specifically targeted prisoners and those on probation. There are approximately 1,000 prisoners whose behaviour in custody gives cause for concern around extremism.3333. Whilst the growth of violent Islamist extremism and the terrorist threat it poses is the greatest risk our country faces from extremism, the evidence above demonstrates the breadth of the challenge we face. Neo-Nazi extremism promotes violence beyond terrorism, with appalling levels of hate crime 30 Charity Commission, 2015.31 Charity Commission, 2015.32 National Offender Management Service, 2015.33 Ministry of Justice, 2015.
16 Counter-Extremism Strategycarried out against minority communities. Extremists who are careful to avoid directly supporting violence, nevertheless create an environment in which division and hatred is propagated.34. Isolated communities provide the background against which harmful and illegal cultural practices continue to take place unchallenged, in which basic rights, such as equal access and treatment under the law can be denied and participation in fundamental democratic institutions is discouraged. They can also provide an environment in which extremist ideologies '' violent and non-violent '' prosper.35. That is why this strategy will address all forms of extremism: violent and non-violent, Islamist and extreme-right. It is also why simply countering the extremists' ideologies is not enough on its own. Through this strategy we will work to assert and promote the shared values of our society, values that unite us.36. Government cannot do this alone. At the centre of this strategy is the same open, inclusive and pluralistic proposition that is at the centre of our national values. We will work in partnership, with every person, every organisation, from every walk of life, who understands the benefits of our shared values and wants to stand up for them, to defeat extremism.''Whether you are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian or Sikh, whether you were born here or born abroad, we can all feel part of this country '' and we must now all come together and stand up for our values with confidence and pride.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.
Chapter 2 '' Our Strategic Response 17 Chapter 2 '' Our Strategic Response3 7. The UK has worked hard to counter the violent extremism that is directly linked to the terrorist threat this country faces. That work will continue and increase to match the growing threat from ISIL and associated terrorist groups as they seek to radicalise increasing numbers of people in the UK to join them.38. That is why the Government has introduced the new statutory Prevent duty, so that all local authorities, schools, universities and colleges, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, police, probation services and prisons are clear that they must take action to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.39. This strategy builds on that work, but it also recognises that we must go further. We must counter the ideology of non-violent and violent extremists alike. We must continue our efforts to tackle neo-Nazi as well as Islamist extremism and respond better to the growing problems of hate crime in our communities. Just as important is addressing the underlying problem of segregated and isolated communities that can provide an environment in which extremism can take root, and allow the continuance of illegal, violent, cultural practices such as FGM.40. To deal with the broad challenge of extremism as set out in Chapter 1, we will focus on four areas: 'Countering extremist ideology '' We will continue to confront and challenge extremist propaganda, ensuring no space goes uncontested, including online, promoting a better alternative, and supporting those at risk of radicalisation. 'Building a partnership with all those opposed to extremism '' We will go further to stand with and build the capacity of mainstream individuals, community organisations and others in our society who work every day to challenge extremists and protect vulnerable individuals. 'Disrupting extremists '' We will create new targeted powers, flexible enough to cover the full range of extremist behaviour, including where extremists sow division in our communities and seek to undermine the rule of law. 'Building more cohesive communities '' We will review, understand and address the reasons why some people living here do not identify with our country and our values. A new Cohesive Communities Programme will help those communities most at risk of isolation.41. The overriding purpose of this strategy is to protect people from the harm caused by extremism. To achieve this, we will work in partnership with all those dedicated to tackling extremists. Wherever possible we will act locally, recognising that many of the most effective projects and most credible voices are those in the communities themselves. We will also act with confidence, unapologetically defending our shared values and robustly confronting extremists.
18 Counter-Extremism StrategyEngaging internationally42. This strategy focuses on extremism at home but recognises that the flow of people, ideology and money is increasingly international. We will develop a clear plan of international work to reinforce our efforts to defeat extremism at home. We will also campaign to build a more robust international response to counter extremist ideology and propaganda and continue to focus on strengthening international bodies and our partners. This will be a key priority for our network of diplomatic missions, working through international institutions such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the European Union and through government and civil society partners. In particular, this will include steps to: 'counter extremist ideology: we will use our international network to better understand the nature and appeal of extremist ideology, learning from and sharing international best practice to improve the effectiveness of our response; 'build partnerships with all those opposed to extremism: we will expand our partnerships with governments and multilateral groups overseas to reduce the threat to the UK via concerted international action including tackling extremism online; and 'disrupt extremists: we will strengthen data sharing arrangements with our overseas posts to ensure that key decision makers '' including visa officials '' are fully informed about individuals' links to extremist groups. This will involve particularly close collaboration with the Extremism Analysis Unit.43. We will work with our international partners to support implementation of the United Nations Secretary General's Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism which is intended to frame what all UN member states and agencies are expected to do to tackle violent extremism. This effort will include building the capacity of international institutions and our partners, to reduce the extremist threats to UK interests emanating from overseas and thereby reinforce delivery of this strategy.44. We will also ensure that our aid programmes address the underlying drivers, enablers and narratives of extremism, particularly through efforts to build stability and security overseas. We will use the joint Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to enable greater work across Government to address transnational threats such as extremism.45. Finally, we will support collective efforts across government to engage and positively influence British communities, explaining the UK's foreign, security and development work, and raising awareness of the impact it has overseas.Building understanding46. Our approach will always be informed by an understanding of the way extremists work, their ideologies and the harm they cause. Within the Home Office we have now established the Extremism Analysis Unit to support all government departments and the wider public sector to understand wider extremism issues so they can deal with extremists appropriately. We will continue to learn from existing capabilities to assess and analyse the terrorist threat, including the work of the Joint Terrorist Assessment Centre. To further strengthen the evidence base, we will work closely with academics and universities, commissioning and part-funding research.4 7. The Extremism Analysis Unit will work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth
Chapter 2 '' Our Strategic Response 19 Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID), recognising that the extremism we see here is often shaped by and connected to extremism elsewhere in the world, including the movement of individuals, ideology, and funding. 48. In some cases there is evidence of a problem, but we have an inadequate understanding of all the issues involved. As set out in paragraph 17, one example of this involves the application of Shari'a law. We will therefore commission an independent review to understand the extent to which Shari'a is being misused or applied in a way which is incompatible with the law. This is expected to provide an initial report to the Home Secretary in 2016.49. Another example, as highlighted by Peter Clarke, is our inadequate understanding of the way institutions can be targeted by extremists. We will therefore carry out a full review to ensure all institutions are safeguarded from the risk posed by entryism.34 This will report in 2016 and look across the public sector, including schools, further and higher education colleges, local authorities, the NHS and the civil service. The review will clearly set out the risk posed and advise on measures to guard against entryism, for example by improving governance, inspection and whistle-blowing mechanisms. It will also engage charities and businesses to help them identify and tackle entryist behaviour.A rigorous approach to delivery50. Challenging extremism is a priority and will need action by everyone. Arrangements are already in place to coordinate our 34 Entryism is when extremist individuals, groups and organisations consciously seek to gain positions of influence to better enable them to promote their own extremist agendas.counter-terrorist work across the many departments and agencies who are involved, here and overseas. In government, the Home Office has lead responsibility and has established a new directorate to coordinate wider aspects of counter-extremism work across government, working with civil society, industry and international partners. However, successful implementation of this strategy will require all parts of government to play their par t.51. The Prime Minister chairs a regular Cabinet-level Implementation Taskforce to oversee delivery of counter-extremism work across government including the commitments in this strategy.
20 Counter-Extremism Strategy
Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 21 Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology52. There is no single model of radicalisation: the process is unique for each individual. However, in general terms three elements are present: a vulnerable person will be introduced to an extremist ideology by a radicalising influencer (typically an extremist individual) who in the absence of protective factors, such as a supportive network of family and friends, or a fulfilling job, draws the vulnerable individual ever closer to extremism.''' don't have to believe in barbaric violence to be drawn to the ideology. No-one becomes a terrorist from a standing start. It starts with a process of radicalisation. When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.53. Islamist extremists are driven by a core ideological need to overthrow the foundations of modern society and rid it of what they perceive to be un-Islamic elements, not only non-Muslims, but also Muslims who do not conform to their warped interpretation of Islam. There is a clear distinction between Islam '' a religion followed peacefully by millions '' and the ideology promoted by Islamist extremists. In order to understand and therefore defeat the ideology of Islamist extremists, it is important to understand how it draws on and distorts particular elements of Islamist thinking.Key elements of Islamist thoughtWhile many Muslims advocate a focus on the primary sources of Islamic religious authority, the Quran and the Sunnah (the example of the Prophet), some extremists go further and argue that any form of perceived bid'a (innovation) must be removed by taking aggressive action against anyone they view as not implementing every element of these texts in their lives. This interpretation of Islam has been used by some Islamist extremists to argue that Islam is irreconcilable with the West and liberal democracy '' turning this religious thinking into an extreme political ideology. Some have been influenced by the thinking of twentieth century theorists Hassan al Banna and Abul Ala'a Mawdudi. Both called for the religious reformation and purification of Muslim individuals and societies and their eventual political unification under Shari'a law. Al-Banna and others argued that secularisation and westernisation were at the root of all contemporary problems of Arab and Muslim societies. In the 1950s Sayyid Qutb drew on the thought of Mawdudi to promote the doctrine of takfirism, permitting the stigmatisation of other Muslims as infidel or apostate, and of existing states as un-Islamic, and the use of violence in the pursuit of the perfect Islamic society.
22 Counter-Extremism StrategyISILISIL is a terrorist organisation that is predominately based in Syria and Iraq, but also has a presence outside of the region in the form of seven ISIL branches in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Khorasan (across the Afghanistan/Pakistan border), and the North Caucasus.ISIL was preceded by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an Al Qa'ida (AQ) affiliated group established in 2006. Following the group's expansion into Syria and its consistent disobeying of orders from AQ's leadership, AQ issued a statement disowning ISIL in early 2014. In June 2014, ISIL spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-Adnani declared it had established an Islamic caliphate, with its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph Ibrahim.ISIL shares much of the ideology it inherited from AQ, centred around the formation and consolidation of an Islamic caliphate, although its brutality and indiscriminate killing of other Muslims distinguishes it. ISIL rejects the legitimacy of all other jihadi organisations and considers itself exclusive in its representation as the only legitimate religious authority.ISIL's activity in the region and its professional media output have led to an unprecedented number of attacks carried out in its name, exporting the threat to countries with little or no history of terrorism, and inspiring groups to break former allegiances.54. Extreme Islamists draw on the supposed incompatibility between liberal democracy and their interpretation of the Muslim faith to promote the idea of a ''war on Islam'' to create a ''them and us'' narrative and stoke division. Their ideology includes the uncompromising belief that people cannot be Muslim and British, and insists that those who do not agree with them are not true Muslims.55. ISIL is a particularly grotesque manifestation of an extreme Islamist narrative, which seeks to impose a new Islamic state governed by a harsh interpretation of Shari'a as state law and totally rejects liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and e q u a l i t y.56. But extremism is not just Islamist. Extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups use their ideologies to drive a core hatred of minorities, or to promote Islamophobic or antisemitic views. These ideologies are typically based on the superiority of one racial and religious group to the detriment of all others. Such extremists often argue that Western civilization faces an impending ''race war'', or that a multicultural society will lead to ''white genocide''. These ideas are used to instil fear, in order to convince the white population that different races or religions threaten their way of life. A number of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups operate in Britain, including Blood & Honour.
Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 23 Origins of the extreme right-wing in the UKOswald Mosely's interwar British Union of Fascists were the first significant extreme right movement in the UK. Influenced by Mussolini, the group held that Britain was in terminal decline and could only be saved by the regenerative force of fascism. After 1934, antisemitism became a core element of the BUF's ideology, with the group regularly marching in Jewish areas of London, most notably in the battle of Cable Street in 1936.After the Second World War extreme right movements such as Colin Jordan's British Movement and the National Front focused on opposition to non-White immigration. The movements were largely street based and had little electoral success. During the 1970s and 1980s marches by the National Front frequently resulted in serious public disorder.Today, in the UK, there are numerous active extreme right-wing groups, sharing an ideology centring on an intense hostility to minorities and a belief that violence between ethnic and religious groups is inevitable. Alongside antisemitism and racism, hostility to Islam has now become a common element of extreme right ideology.5 7. These extreme ideologies can prove very attractive, offering conveniently simple, though false, solutions to fundamentally difficult problems. They can appear to offer a sense of belonging and purpose, self-respect and an opportunity for reinvention or personal renewal. Feeding off the vulnerability of their audiences, extremists use their ideologies to radicalise and recruit.58. Advances in modern communications have enabled extremists to become far more sophisticated and adept at spreading their ideology, acting at a pace and scale not previously seen whilst targeting specific individuals. While AQ often targeted its communications quite narrowly '' frequently using Arabic, closed forums and regarding itself as a vanguard organisation '' ISIL seeks to reach a far wider audience. It harnesses the opportunities provided by the internet, and particularly social media, producing highly professional online content that can reach large audiences with the aim of recruiting in large numbers.Blood & HonourBlood & Honour is a neo-Nazi group that organises extreme right-wing music events. Followers use music and magazines to promote a violent white supremacist ideology rooted in Nazism. Although founded in and run from the UK, it has a significant international footprint, with branches in 24 countries. Blood & Honour events in the UK often feature bands from overseas. Although their ideology is primarily racist and antisemitic, intolerance of the Muslim faith also features. The lyrics of a number of bands that appear at Blood & Honour events openly encourage violence towards minorities, and several individuals associated with Blood & Honour have been convicted of violent offences.59. To challenge extreme ideologies in the internet age we therefore need to outpace our adversaries and use all available means to present a compelling alternative proposition to the extremist ideology. Our work to counter the ideology will therefore:
24 Counter-Extremism Strategy 'continue to challenge the extremist argument, repeatedly exposing the brutality and baseness of groups including ISIL and ensuring there are no spaces where their extremist argument is the only one heard; 'confront the underlying weakness of the extremist ideology, exposing, particularly to our young people, their simplistic offer to be entirely false, tackling the illusion that life as part of organisations such as ISIL is glorious; 'promote a positive alternative showing that it is entirely possible to reconcile your faith identity and national identity, something that the overwhelming majority of people of all faiths do every day; and 'support vulnerable young people including by helping them participate in real life activities which provide the sense of belonging, pride and self-worth they seek.60. We will implement a counter-ideology campaign at pace and scale focused on: 'Contesting the online space 'Strengthening our institutions 'Supporting individuals at particular risk of radicalisation 'Building a partnership with all those opposed to extremism (as set out in Chapter 4)Contesting the online space61. The past 18 months have seen a remarkable shift in the way extremists use the internet to spread their ideology and radicalise '' most notably, but not exclusively, ISIL. ISIL's use of the internet has been central to its recruitment efforts. ISIL, along with other extremist organisations, is increasingly targeting 'non-traditional groups', including women and families, as well as younger and more vulnerable audiences who rely significantly on the internet for information and relationships. And extremist groups continue to use the internet to inspire radicalisers, who seek to groom new recruits through online peer-to-peer relationships.62. Neo-Nazi and extreme right-wing groups have also proved adept at using the internet and social media to spread their ideology and seek recruits. For example, Stormfront is often described as the first website dedicated to racial hatred, providing an online forum for the discussion of white nationalism and white supremacy. Whilst based in the US, Stormfront's UK sub-forum is larger than that in any other region, with close to one million posts. Separately, a UK-based self-described 'National Socialist' (neo-Nazi) group has published a dedicated strategy on using the internet and social media to spread its extremist message. As well as promoting an openly racist viewpoint, the group's sophisticated website provides links to social media channels on Twitter and Tumblr.63. We are already working in partnership with industry and the police to remove terrorist and extremist material. Cooperation with industry has significantly improved in recent years. Removals at the request of the police have increased from around 60 items a month in 2010, when the unit responsible was first established, to over 4,000 a month in 2015, taking the total to 110,000 pieces of propaganda removed.3564. However, a fundamental shift in the scale and nature of our response is required to match the huge increase in extremists' use of the internet. This will involve close partnership with the public and industry to do two things: first we need to empower people 35 Figures cited from the police Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, 2015. Total removals since 2010.
Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 25 to use the internet to challenge extremists online; and second we will work with social media and communications providers to ensure extremists do not have open access to their platforms.65. To empower those who wish to challenge extremists online, we will continue to: 'support a network of credible commentators who want to challenge the extremists and put forward mainstream views online; 'train a wide range of civil society groups to help them build and maintain a compelling online presence, uploading mainstream content so that the extremist voice is not the only one heard; 'run a national programme to make young people more resilient to the risks of radicalisation online and provide schools and teachers with more support to address the risk posed by online radicalisation; and 'build awareness in civil society groups and the public to empower internet users to report extremist content.66. And we will go further to limit access to extremist content online. In particular we will: 'create a group that brings industry, government and the public together to agree ways to limit access to terrorist and extremist content online without compromising the principle of an open internet. We will learn from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which has been successful in tackling child sexual exploitation content online; and 'continue to support greater use of filtering, working with industry to develop more effective approaches.6 7. Communications service providers have a critical role in tackling extremist content online. We have seen the considerable progress they have made in tackling online Child Sexual Exploitation. We now look to them to step up their response to protect their users from online extremism. As the Prime Minister made clear in his July 2015 speech, '' is now time for radicalisation'.36 We need industry to strengthen their terms and conditions, to ensure fewer pieces of extremist material appear online, and that any such material is taken down quickly.68. Using the internet '' both to confront extremist views and limit access to extremist content '' is crucial if we are to challenge extremist ideologies in our modern society. Alongside this is a need to promote the positive message that it is possible to reconcile your faith identity and national identity. By contesting the online space and presenting compelling alternatives to the extremist worldview, we will work in partnership with others to keep pace with the extremists' use of the internet.Strengthening institutions69. As we have seen, important public institutions can be targeted by extremists eager to spread their ideology to an audience that can be both vulnerable and captive. The new Prevent statutory duty37 ensures that specified institutions have a responsibility to prevent people being drawn into terrorism when carrying out their day-to-day functions. We will keep this list of institutions under review and expand it if necessary. We need to ensure no institutions can provide an uncontested space for extremist ideology to be propagated.''We need everyone '' government, local authorities, police, schools, all of us '' 36 PM speech 20 July 2015.37
26 Counter-Extremism Strategyto enforce our values right across the spectrum.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.Schools70. As Trojan Horse demonstrated, children can be vulnerable to purposeful efforts by extremists to take control of their schools and create a space where extremist ideologies can be spread unchallenged. We will continue to support teachers in accessing training to identify warning signs of radicalisation and to understand the action they then should take. We will also signpost teaching resources available to help young people critically assess what they see and hear.71. Since Peter Clarke's report in 2014, the Department for Education has strengthened the Government's ability to identify extremism and entryism in schools so that we are better able to spot problems and to act quickly if they do occur. This includes major reform of the regulations on governor appointments, so that all appointments must now be made on the basis of skill. Governing bodies can take action to suspend or potentially remove governors if they are not upholding the ethos of the school, including fundamental British values.3872. We have also toughened up requirements on schools to make sure that the identities of all governors are publically available to parents and wider communities. And we have set an expectation that it will only be in exceptional circumstances that an individual will have the skill and capacity to serve effectively as a governor of more than two schools at any one time, while making clear that this is a matter for boards to 38 Definition of 'British values' at: https://w w /government/news/guidance-on-promoting-british-values-in-schools-publisheddecide.39 Over the next year we will go further to pilot ways of collecting the information schools publish about their governors to create a new national database of all school governors, to give us better and faster access to this information.73. Ofsted inspections now routinely assess schools on how well they promote fundamental British values and safeguard pupils from the risk of extremism. All Ofsted inspectors are trained so that they understand the link between extremism and the general safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Training is updated regularly to reflect current government policy and any guidance that has been issued to providers of education and care. For example, training materials and Ofsted's inspection guidance were reviewed to provide appropriate emphasis on fundamental British values and the new Prevent duty.4074 . Finally, Britain is home to a rich diversity of faith groups and we support the great work done through many faiths in providing children with supplementary education. We know that many people in our country find this education to be of great benefit to their families. However, there are concerns that some supplementary schools may be teaching children views which run contrary to our shared values, encouraging hatred of other religions. That is why, to address concerns about supplementary schools, the Department for Education will introduce a new system to enable intervention in unregulated education settings which teach children intensively. This intervention will apply if there are concerns about the safety or welfare of the children attending them, 39 Made clear by Department for Education in the Governors' Handbook applying to all schools including academies, and in statutory guidance for maintained schools.40 Definition of 'British values' at: https://w w /government/news/guidance-on-promoting-british-values-in-schools-published
Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 27 including from extremism. This will provide for the registration of settings so that they can be inspected and will introduce appropriate sanctions to protect children.Higher and further education75. Universities and colleges provide one of our most important arenas for challenging extremist views and ideologies. The Prevent duty requires institutions to take action to reduce the risk of radicalisation and mitigate fully any risks when deciding whether or not to host a particular speaker, making sure extremist speakers, on or off campus, do not go unchallenged. We expect student bodies such as the NUS to avoid providing a platform for extremist speakers. We have a dedicated network of higher and further education coordinators who support universities and colleges to put in place effective policies and processes and to carry out the requirements of the duty.76. All Ofsted inspectors have received updated training and guidance on what they should be looking for, to ensure further education providers are effectively managing risk and know who they can to turn to for guidance and support. To mitigate the safeguarding risks presented by non-publicly-funded further education institutions that are not covered by Ofsted, the Government is recruiting a team of external Further Education Advisers, who will mirror the role of Ofsted inspectors and advise Ministers if they have concerns that an institution may be allowing extremism-related activities on their site. This team will make 50 monitoring visits to institutions each year.7 7. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has been appointed to monitor how universities are addressing the risk of radicalisation on campus and put policies in place to ensure extremist speakers do not go unchallenged. We will ensure that the appropriate higher education staff are given timely information if we become aware that extremists are targeting their students or staff.Local authorities78. Local authorities have a powerful role to play in combating extremism. Yet in different ways some local authorities have failed to confront extremism as fully as they should have done. In Birmingham, for example, Peter Clarke found that the council failed to respond to extremism in schools under its control, and action is now under way to strengthen governance. The Government responded effectively, but more can be done to help people raise concerns about extremism and to prompt local action. We will ensure Local Authorities have clear guidance on the full range of tools available to them to tackle extremism. We will also review the powers available to enable government to intervene where Councils fail.Charities79. As set out in the next chapter, a range of civil society groups do extraordinary work both at home and overseas. But charities can also be exploited by extremists. Some have used charities or charitable events to promote or spread their extremist messages. Some extremists have raised funds through charity collection.80. Addressing the abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes is one of the Charity Commission's strategic priorities. The Commission has provided support to trustees '' both on improving standards in governance, and on compliance with legal duties '' through targeted awareness, advice, and outreach to those charities at greater risk of such abuse. In addition the Commission has increased its compliance and enforcement work in this area. This includes greater collaboration with partner agencies and targeted investigations and enforcement,
28 Counter-Extremism Strategyincluding inspections and visits to charities where there is evidence or allegations of abuse or a risk of such abuse occurring. Further, we will look specifically at how foreign funding is influencing groups and individuals in the UK, and its links to extremism.81. The Charity Commission can currently remove a person from acting as a trustee in limited circumstances, which are tied to their conduct in their official capacity and where there is a risk to property. The Protection of Charities and Social Investment Bill will create a new power so that the Commission can disqualify a trustee for wider reasons, including where their conduct '' past or present '' would damage the public's trust and confidence in charities. Once the legislation is enacted, the Commission will be able to take stronger action against a variety of abuses, including extremism.National Health Service82. The NHS is one of the world's largest employers and treats over 1 million patients every 36 hours in England alone. It has an important role in safeguarding individuals. Since 2011, almost a quarter of a million staff from across the healthcare sector have received training to raise awareness of the risks of radicalisation.83. We will ensure this training is kept under review so that staff are able to identify extremism and take appropriate action. We will also take new action to strengthen the regulations and checks used by the NHS when employing people, so that they spot attempts at entryism and attempts at entr yism.Prisons84. Prisons can provide an atmosphere where individuals are particularly vulnerable to extremist ideological messages. The Secretary of State for Justice has commissioned a full review into the overall approach to dealing with Islamist extremism in prisons, and findings will be reported to him in 2016.41 The review is looking at the nature and extent of the threat in prisons, current capabilities to manage that threat, including the management of high-risk offenders, and what we can learn from international best practice.Faith institutions''Our faith communities live, learn and breathe alongside each other; indeed, they give oxygen to each other to strengthen the harmonious society we all value. This shows the extent of diversity in our great country. Together we are one family and that is where we reveal our greatest strength.'' Lord Ahmad, October 201585. Faith groups and leaders continue to play a vital role in standing up against extremism. The Government's role will be to harness their expertise and support them to continue this important work.86. The Department for Communities and Local Government is therefore commissioning a new programme of support to help faith institutions to establish strong governance.42 The programme aims to strengthen and support places of worship of all faiths in order to improve governance, increase their capacity to engage with women and young people, challenge intolerance and develop resilience to extremism. The programme will provide training on key issues alongside support for faith institutions facing specific challenges.8 7. It is not government's role to regulate faith leaders, but government does have a 41 Definition of 'British values' set out at: https://w w /government/publications/review-of-prison-education-terms-of-reference42 For the purposes of this programme a faith institution is a place of worship: its leaders, trustees, staff and volunteers. It does not include faith schools.
Chapter 3 '' Countering Extremist Ideology 29 responsibility to ensure that those working in the public sector are suitably trained. The Government will therefore work in partnership with faith groups to review the training provided to those who work as faith leaders in public institutions.43Working with those most at risk of radicalisation88. Most of our counter-ideology work will happen pre-emptively, as we seek to protect people from extremist ideology before it gains traction and harms them and those around them. But specific action is needed where an individual is at risk of radicalisation. Channel44 is a voluntary programme which provides tailored support to help move individuals away from radicalisation. We placed Channel on a statutory footing in 2015 which makes the programme a requirement in every area. To date more than 700 individuals have been supported.4589. Individuals further down the path to radicalisation need a particularly intensive type of support. When necessary this support will be mandatory. The Home Office will therefore develop a new de-radicalisation programme to provide this support by spring 2016. This scheme will be available to be used in conjunction with criminal sanctions.43 This review will focus on faith groups that do not have structured training in place for their faith leaders.44 Definition of 'British values' set out at: Home Of fice, 2015.
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Chapter 4 '' Building a partnership with all those opposed to Extremism 31 Chapter 4 '' Building a partnership with all those opposed to Extremism90. Across the country countless organisations and individuals are standing up to fight extremism and the harm it causes. Too often though a small number of strident extremists drown out the mainstream majority, both in person and online.91. The Government is determined to support the individuals and groups who have credibility and experience fighting extremism within their communities, by amplifying their voices and helping them where required.''Just as we do not engage with extremist groups and individuals, we're now going to actively encourage the reforming and moderate Muslim voices. This is a significant shift in government approach '' and an important one.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.Delivering a new partnership92. The Home Office will develop a new network, linking individuals and groups around Britain who are already standing up to extremists in their communities. Working with local partners, including local authorities, we will identify the most impactful and relevant groups already doing important work to protect communities. We will work with all those committed to defeating extremism.93. Bringing such a diverse range of partners together will be worthwhile in itself, enabling them to share best practice and learn from each other. We will therefore create forums in which peer-to-peer support can be provided and new contacts developed. Working at a local and national level, government will use this network to listen to issues and experiences from the front line and to learn about innovative and effective local interventions.94. The Prime Minister's Engagement Forum46 is a high profile example of this new network. It will give Ministers the chance to hear directly from those challenging extremism and allow a broad range of people to discuss their experiences and work with the most senior people in government.95. In addition, we stand ready to support those in our network who seek our help. This could include '' for example '' providing social media training, technical assistance to enable a small charity to set up a website, or targeted funding for specific projects. This will help our partners to expand their campaigns, allowing mainstream voices to reach a wider audience. In short, we will enable our partners to use every means and tool to combat extremists who do the same.''This partnership will reclaim the debate from the extremists. This partnership will empower those who want to celebrate our values and defeat ignorance. This partnership will be a living testimony to show all that we can achieve together. How we are united '' bound together by our values, a bond that will always prove stronger than any of the false and 46
32 Counter-Extremism Strategydangerous narratives dreamt up by our enemies.'' Home Secretary, March 2015.Not engaging with extremists96. We must be careful to only give a platform to the right people. We will be absolutely clear about the people and groups we will not deal with because we find their views and behaviour to be so inconsistent with our own. We will not provide funding or support which inadvertently gives extremists a platform or sense of legitimacy.9 7. Building on measures taken since 2010, we will ensure that the public sector consistently avoids giving extreme groups the air of legitimacy by meeting or working with them. We will therefore set out publicly the principles that will guide the whole of government when deciding whether to engage with individuals and groups in this country. This work will primarily be led by the Home Office, in consultation with other departments, and will help to build capacity across Whitehall and the wider public sector.Role of broadcast media98. Television and radio have enormous power and influence in ensuring that the huge number of mainstream voices who represent liberal values in local communities are given a proper platform and their messages are heard. In his speech on 20 July 2015, the Prime Minister issued a direct challenge to the broadcasters in our country. While making it clear that they are free to put whoever they want on the airwaves, and acknowledging that extremists can make for exciting, rating-friendly broadcasts, he emphasised that they should exercise their judgment to shape debates in a positive way.99. We will continue to press home this message with broadcasters, including smaller broadcasters with reach into local communities. We will challenge broadcasters whenever extremists have been given a platform to preach harmful messages and falsehoods without critical challenge. Government will work with broadcasters, publicly funded and commercial, large and small, to understand the challenges they face and to support them in amplifying mainstream voices.
Chapter 5 '' Disrupting Extremists 33 Chapter 5 '' Disrupting Extremists10 0. The majority of this strategy is about countering extremism by working in partnership with others, using our values '' such as free speech '' to confront and challenge extremist ideologies head on. However, in a small number of the most dangerous cases it is necessary to go further, and to use the law to deal with those facilitators and advocates of extremism who pose the greatest threat to others.101. We already have a range of powers to help us disrupt terrorism, the application of which are subject to an annual independent review. But there remain extremists in our society who cause an immense amount of harm, while being careful to stay just the right side of the law. In addition to strengthening our use of existing powers against such extremists, we will introduce new, carefully targeted powers to challenge the most active and persistent individuals and groups.Using existing powersImmigration, asylum and citizenship10 2. The Government already uses immigration powers to protect the public from extremists. This includes the power to exclude foreign hate preachers from entering the UK. Since May 2010, the Home Secretary has excluded more hate preachers than any other Home Secretary in history '' 97 as of September 2015.4747 Home Of fice, 2015.10 3. We will continue to use these powers when it is necessary and proportionate to do so. We will make it more explicit that the criteria for exclusion on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour include past or current extremist activity, either here or overseas. Those who intend to travel to the UK should be clear about our expectations.10 4. We will also review rules on citizenship. Gaining British citizenship is a privilege and should signal a person's commitment to becoming an active member of our society. So we will strengthen the 'good character' requirement in citizenship applications to include whether an individual has promoted extremist views, or acted in a way which undermines our values. In our review we will also consider who should be automatically entitled to citizenship and how we can more easily revoke citizenship from those who reject our values.10 5. We can already refuse to grant a visa to those whose presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good. We will ensure that more information on an individual's extremist behaviour is available to the officers making these visa decisions, through better data-sharing and casework interviews where needed.10 6. Britain has a proud record of welcoming those fleeing persecution. Many refugees seek sanctuary in Britain precisely because of the values and freedoms we enjoy. The Government already refuses asylum to people who have committed serious crimes and those we believe pose a
34 Counter-Extremism Strategyrisk to our national security. In some cases extremists '' including non-violent extremists '' may pose a national security risk, particularly when they actively promote views that are anti-democratic, intolerant of the rule of law or call for the persecution and exclusion of minorities. We will therefore provide more detailed guidance on the definition of extremism to caseworkers, to ensure that it is consistently applied to bar those who pose a national security risk.Addressing hate crime1 0 7. All police forces currently monitor and report hate crime and much has been done in recent years to build community trust and better address hate crime. Reporting crime data is particularly important: it helps the police to target their resources and enables the public to hold them to account. The police already monitor antisemitic crime nationally, yet to date anti-Muslim hate crime has not been recorded consistently across the UK. The Government will work with the police to ensure all forces report anti-Muslim attacks in a consistent way.Tackling extremist broadcasts10 8. Some extremists are sophisticated communicators who seek to exploit television and radio services to broaden their reach. A lively public debate is essential to expose the myths at the heart of extremist ideologies. But we should not stand by where extremists are given a platform to preach lies without critical challenge.10 9. The public are already vigilant about reporting concerns, and Ofcom has strong powers to respond, but we must ensure that we remain robust. Ofcom is strengthening the Broadcasting Code to ensure that broadcasters are clear about their responsibilities to tackle extremist content and we will legislate in this Parliament to ensure Ofcom's existing powers to immediately suspend TV services that broadcast unacceptable extremist material also extend to all radio services.11 0 . We will also work with Ofcom to look at any potential issues in relation to content which is broadcast through internet-provided TV channels, and consider if any changes are required.New legislation to protect the publicTargeted powers to prevent and stop extremist activity111. The police have a range of powers to deal with extremists. However these powers are neither comprehensive nor are they always flexible enough to respond to the risk. For example it is not currently possible to ban groups which stir up racial hatred, or to stop the activities of extremists who deliberately set out to sow divisions between communities and encourage young people to reject the fundamental values and institutions on which our society is based.112 . We will therefore introduce new powers to: ban extremist organisations that promote hatred and draw people into extremism; restrict the harmful activities of the most dangerous extremist individuals; and restrict access to premises which are repeatedly used to support extremism.113 . There will be strong safeguards to ensure these powers are only used in the most serious cases. They will be designed so that they can only be used where it is necessary to prevent the activities of groups and individuals who pose a clear threat to the safety of individuals or society more generally. The powers will not be able to be used against privately held views or people expressing their religious beliefs. They will not
Chapter 5 '' Disrupting Extremists 35 curtail the democratic right to protest nor will they close down debate or limit free speech: these are rights we will always protect.114 . The measures will be subject to a high level of judicial scrutiny. Any action will need to be approved by the High Court. We will also produce guidance for the police, prosecutors and local authorities which will clearly set out the exceptional nature of the powers and the circumstances in which they can be used.115 . We appreciate that any new powers will have to be carefully designed and supported by clear evidence of the harm they are intended to address. We are already engaging widely on our proposals for these powers, and will continue to speak to community groups, the legal profession and law enforcement bodies. This will ensure that they are narrowly focused, and proportionate to the harm extremism causes.''We need to put out of action the key extremist influencers who are careful to operate just inside the law, but who clearly detest British society and everything we stand for'... we are going to introduce new narrowly targeted powers to enable us to deal with these facilitators and cult leaders, and stop them peddling their hatred.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.Helping the public to report extremism116 . Local people have a key role in identifying extremist behaviour and alerting the relevant authorities. Government will support those who want to stand up against extremism in their community and support victims.117. Last year we introduced a new legal duty on public bodies to review concerns about persistent anti-social behaviour, which made a difference when piloted in Manchester and other areas. Learning from this, we will introduce a new Extremism Community Trigger to guarantee that concerns about local extremism will be taken seriously. A new legal duty will ensure that the police and local authorities fully review any complaints about extremism. They will be expected to work in partnership to tackle local extremist issues, and keep the public informed about their actions.Protecting vulnerable people118 . In order to help parents protect their children from radicalisation, we have set up a scheme so that parents can cancel their child's passport where they are at risk from travelling overseas to join a terrorist group. This scheme has already helped protect several children under 16 years old. Later this year we will bring forward proposals to strengthen the position with regard to 16 and 17 year olds.119 . We will also strengthen the role of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to enable employers to identify extremists and stop them working with children and other vulnerable groups. The DBS helps employers in sensitive areas of work to safeguard their workplace by disclosing information about employees and if necessary barring them from certain roles. We will review eligibility for DBS services to ensure they cover the full range of activity where vulnerable people and young people are at risk from extremists.120. We will introduce measures for the DBS to notify eligible employers if it has new information about extremism relevant to an employee. We will also introduce changes to make anyone with a conviction or civil order for extremist activity subject to the DBS's automatic barring arrangements. This will mean that we can bar the most harmful extremists from working with vulnerable people.
36 Counter-Extremism Strategy
Chapter 6 '' Building Cohesive Communities 37 Chapter 6 '' Building Cohesive Communities121. Britain is a successful multi-racial, multi-faith country. It is open and welcoming and success is achieved not in spite of our diversity but because of it. Yet in some areas, some people feel less of a sense of belonging and are leading isolated lives, separated from the mainstream. This lack of integration can limit educational achievement and access to employment, particularly for women and young people. It is estimated that this costs the UK economy £1.5 billion as a result of long term unemployment, and £700 million due to under-employment and blocked opportunities.4812 2. Where opportunities are limited, divisions between people of different backgrounds can grow and be exploited by groups or individuals, who seek to stoke divisions and fuel hatred. Such isolated communities will be less resilient to the threat posed by extremism.123 . Such division in our communities can also be exploited by extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups to stoke tensions and fuel hatred. These can in turn reinforce others' desire not to identify with our country, its institutions and values, leading to reciprocal radicalisation.124. At the same time, values, structures and authorities can gain prominence, creating conditions in which a range of harmful behaviours can occur. This includes behaviour which is deeply discriminatory 48 Social Integration Commission, 2014. Social Integration: A wake up call. women and girls, such as limiting equal access to education, justice and employment creating an environment where a range of illegal cultural practices including so-called Honour-Based Violence, FGM and Forced Marriage are perpetuated.125. To respond to the challenges of isolated and segregated communities the Government will build on existing programmes, such as National Citizen Service and English language training which can help break down the barriers between communities. We will continue our work to eradicate illegal and harmful cultural practices such as FGM and Forced Marriage. But we need to do more. That is why the Government has asked Louise Casey to conduct a major review into the issues around opportunity and integration in those communities most separated from the mainstream.''For all our successes as multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, we have to confront a tragic truth that there are people born and raised in this country who don't really identify with Britain '' and who feel little or no attachment to other people here. Indeed, there is a danger in some of our communities that you can go your whole life and have little to do with people from other faiths and backgrounds.'' Prime Minister, July 2015.
38 Counter-Extremism Strategy''We want to go further than ever before in helping people from isolated communities to play a full and fruitful part in British life.'' Home Secretary, March 2015.National Citizen Service126 . We will continue to broaden the work of National Citizen Service (NCS) and encourage greater participation. The programme has proved extremely popular, helping more than 130,000 16 and 17 year olds since its launch in 2011. NCS aims to help young people engage with their wider community and become more active and responsible citizens. More than 80% of participants report that it helped them feel more positive about those from different backgrounds.49 We will encourage more young people from isolated communities to benefit from the scheme and will expand the opportunities for NCS graduates to focus on interfaith youth work.English language training1 2 7. The ability to speak English can have a transformative effect. It gives people the means to integrate with wider society, helping them in the workplace, making it easier to access vital public services, and allowing them to support their children's education. The ability to understand and communicate in English is also central to people's ability to question extremist ideologies and to hear the alternatives. Government already spends around £125 million each year to support English language training, with the majority of this taking place in areas with high levels of social deprivation and isolation.50 Training 49 Evaluation of National Citizen Service, July 2013, NatCen Social Research, Office of Public Management and New Philanthropy Capital.50 Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015.ranges from support and help to learn in the local community, to helping people to gain nationally recognised qualifications. Yet over 750,000 people in England do not speak English, or do not speak it well.51 One in ten British adults born outside the UK has below average or poor command of English, and one in four of this group has lived in the UK for more than 20 years.52128 . As we look to build more cohesive communities we will be reviewing how best to provide English language training53 and support local partners in those places where we focus our efforts.Illegal cultural practices12 9. The Government is already taking stringent steps to clamp down on these practices including through our strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls,54 and we are already actively delivering a comprehensive programme to prevent FGM and forced marriage.13 0. This includes a new Female Genital Mutilation Unit, based in the Home Office, to co-ordinate action against FGM and provide targeted local support to survivors and those at risk, legislation for new protection orders which came into force in July 2015, and a £3 million national FGM Prevention Programme delivered in partnership with NHS England to support thousands of frontline professionals improve the NHS response.131. Alongside these efforts to tackle FGM, the Government's Forced Marriage Unit 51 ONS (2011) Census 2011: Proficiency in English by age (Table LC2105EW).52 2009-10 Citizenship Survey.53 In Wales this would include proficiency in the Welsh language.54 A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, Action Plan 2 014
Chapter 6 '' Building Cohesive Communities 39 (FMU) will continue its important work both in the UK '' where support is provided to any individual '' and overseas, providing consular assistance to British nationals and dual nationals. But more still needs to be done.13 2. We have committed to toughen regulations, so schools have to report children who go missing from school rolls mid-year, some of whom may face risks such as Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Child Sexual Exploitation, and falling prey to radicalisation. And whilst we already have lifetime anonymity for victims of FGM and rape, we are consulting on how to bring parity for those individuals who are victims of forced marriage.13 3 . Finally, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary is conducting a force-level inspection on the police response to so-called Honour-Based Violence, including FGM and Forced Marriage this year. This will create an evidence base for policy making and an improved operational response.Boosting opportunity and integration134. The Government has asked Louise Casey to conduct a review into how we can boost opportunity and integration in our most isolated communities. This review will be wide-ranging, developing our understanding, engaging with communities and identifying a range of interventions that civil society and government can implement. These may include housing and education, along with developing and teaching English language skills and boosting employment outcomes, especially for women.13 5. Louise Casey will provide an interim report on her findings to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary early next year.136. Government will use this report to inform funding for a major new Cohesive Communities Programme in 2016. This programme will provide central funding in support of local interventions targeted at local needs. We have seen how intensively focused, multi-agency support has helped in other areas, for example the Troubled Families Programme. We will learn from this and other interventions both here and overseas.
Kraft Kid's Mac & Cheese Cup Costume
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:37
Why go trick-or-treating when you can go treat-or-treating, dressed as your favorite Kraft Macaroni & Cheese? This year we want to make dressing up as us as easy as it is cheesy, DIY style. Choose a costume below for instructions and printable art.
Print Instructions for Kid's Mac & Cheese Cup Costume
­Materials for Kid's Mac & Cheese Cup CostumeMac & Cheese Cup graphic.Download h'‹ere2 1'2 inch thick yellow ribbonWhite circular laundry basket: 1 1'2 bushelWhite foam core board, about 30 1'2 x 2015 sheets of yellow construction paperScissorsDouble sided tapeHot glueYellow TshirtDirections for Kid's Mac & Cheese Cup CostumeTO MAKE THE CUP:Download t'‹his PDF.'‹Take it to your local printer and have it printed.Cut out the Mac & Cheese cup image with scissors and lay it over the basket. If necessary, trim to fit basket.Use double sided tape to secure the artwork to the front of the basket to hold in place. Use hot glue to secure the edges of the paper to the basket in the back.Have your child try on the costume. The top of the basket should rest just below their hips. Get out your yellow ribbon to make straps. The length of the ribbon will depend on your child's height, so cut the two straps accordingly.Using the glue gun, carefully glue the two ribbon strips to the inside front and back of the basket so that the ribbon sits on each shoulder comfortably and evenly.TO FILL IT WITH NOODLES:Cut your foam core into a circle, measured to the inside circumference of the top of your basket.Paint the foam core board yellow. The foam core will be used to support the noodles on the inside of your child's costume.With your child's back flush to the back inside of the basket, measure the empty space from the front of their torso to the inside front of the basket. Cut your foam core circle to fit this space. Be sure to leave some breathing room so that it fits your child comfortably. Use hot glue to attach the foam core to the inside of the basket.Take your 15 sheets of yellow construction paper and fold it in half, hamburger style. Cut. You will have 30 pieces.Roll these pieces hot dog style into the shape of noodles and fasten with doubled sided tape.Hot glue half of the noodles on top of the foam core. It should look like your child is resting in a Mac & Cheese Cup.Hot glue the remaining paper noodles to the yellow Tshirt.Have a cheesy Halloween!Print Instructions for Mac & Cheese Dinner Costume
Materials for Mac & Cheese Dinner CostumeMac & Cheese Box graphic.Download here2 1'2 inch thick yellow ribbon1'2 thick yellow ribbon2 foam core boards, 40x60Glue or spray mountScissorsBox cutterDirections for Mac & Cheese Dinner CostumeDownload t'‹his PDF.'‹ Take it to your local printer and have it printed. The boxes should measure 21 x 40 so ask for assistance when printing on the size of the paper. There will be two pages total.On a flat surface, glue the pages to the foam core. Using a straight edge, cut out the boxes using the print lines and crop marks. The boards will measure 21 x 40 when cut out.To make the straps, cut two pieces of 2 1'2 inch thick yellow ribbon about 17 inches long. This ribbon will rest on your shoulders and attach the pieces of foam core together ­ so the exact length will depend on your height. Make sure the box doesn't hang too low so you can walk!Time to secure the straps! First, measure about 4 inches inward from the length of the front board on both sides. Glue the end of one ribbon onto the inside of the board, towards the top. Repeat on the other end of the front board using your second ribbon. Measure 4 inches inward from the length of the back board on both sides and secure the remaining ends of the two ribbons with glue.The two boards should know be attached by the ribbons and be able to fit over your head, resting on your shoulders.Cut 4 pieces of the 1'2 inch ribbon, each 22 inches long. Measure 13 inches down from the top of the front board and glue the edge of one ribbon to the inside. Repeat on the opposite end of the the front board. Do the same on the back board. There should be two pieces of the 1'2 inch ribbon on each board. Once you have put the costume on these will tie at your sides to keep the boards stable.Try it on. Tie the ribbons at the side to keep stable.Have a tasty Halloween!
Elections 2016
Pensito Review Why the Silence about Donald Trump's Mob Ties?
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:37
The company he keeps '' from left: Paul ''Big Paul'' Castellano, Anthony ''Fat Tony'' Salerno, Roy Cohn, and Trump
It is the most under-reported story of the summer, and the mystery is why. Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner is well known to have had ties to notorious crime figures like Paul ''Big Paul'' Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, Anthony ''Fat Tony'' Salerno, boss of the Genovese mob, and other crime figures in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Trump's palling around mobsters is well-documented. So why are his Republican opponents reluctant to use his sleazy connections against him, as they surely know he would do if the tables were turned?
While the story has gone unreported on cable outlets and by the major dailies, it has been public knowledge for at least a quarter century. All an intrepid oppo researcher would need to do to uncover the facts is spend a few seconds on a Google search.
There they would find three recent stories about Trump and the mob '-- two in legitimate online sources '-- ''Trump's Mobbed Up, McCarthyite Mentor Roy Cohn,'' published by the Daily Beast on July 23, 2015, and ''Donald Trump and the Mob,'' published on on July 31 '-- as well as a story in a right-wing outlet, the Federalist, published on July 28.
In his Federalist article, David Marcus makes the point that if ''Trump wants to be a serious candidate for president, and has the numbers to back it up, he must be vetted like a serious candidate for president. A good place to start is to take a hard look at Trump's ties to Philadelphia and New York organized-crime families.''
Marcus cites ''Trump, The Deals and the Downfall,'' by Wayne Barrett, a book that uncovered Trump's ties to mobsters back in 1992.
''The Atlantic City story starts with Trump's purchase of a bar, at twice its market value, from Salvatore Testa, a made man in the Philadelphia mafia and son of Philip 'Chicken Man' Testa, who was briefly head of the Philly mob after Angelo Bruno's 1980 killing,'' Marcus writes. ''Harrah's casino, half owned by Trump, would be built on that land, and Trump would quickly buy out his partner, Harrah's Entertainment, and rename the casino Trump Plaza.''
Trump contracted with mob-owned construction and concrete companies to build his Atlantic City casino, just as he did on several projects in Manhattan, including Trump Tower, his garish Fifth Avenue headquarters. The contractor for Trump Tower was S&A Concrete Co., which was owned by Fat Tony Salerno and Big Paul Castellano, according to Marcus and other sources.
During demolition to make way for construction of the Trump Tower, Trump's company hired illegal aliens and forced them to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for $5 per hour.
Marcus also points to an incident that ought to be of special interest to oppo researchers for Trump's GOP foes. During the demolition of the department store that was cleared to make way for Trump Tower, Trump and his contractors hired crews of illegal aliens from Poland to take down the building '-- somehow managing to put dozens of ''scabs'' to work without incurring the wrath of local unions. The men were forced to work 12 hour days, seven days a week.
In 1991, Trump was found guilty of conspiring with union officials to hire the Polish workers in order to avoid paying union pension and welfare-fund contributions. During the trial, Trump '-- who constantly brags about his superior management skills '-- blameshifted the hiring of the illegals onto underling. The judge found him guilty nonetheless and imposed a $1 million fine.
''When the rubber hit the road Donald Trump didn't walk the walk,'' writes David Marcus, ''he lined his pockets and sold out American workers.''
A Google search also produces an article published on July 1 by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston titled, ''21 Questions for Donald Trump.'' Among the questions, questions six through 10 probed into Trump's mob activities:
6. Trump Tower is not a steel girder high rise, but 58 stories of concrete. Why did you use concrete instead of traditional steel girders?
7. Trump Tower was built by S&A Concrete, whose owners were ''Fat'' Tony Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul ''Big Paul'' Castellano, head of the Gambinos, another well-known crime family.
If you did not know of their ownership, what does that tell voters about your management skills?
8. You later used S&A Concrete on other Manhattan buildings bearing your name.
9. In demolishing the Bonwit Teller building to make way for Trump Tower, you had no labor troubles, even though only about 15 unionists worked at the site alongside 150 Polish men, most of whom entered the country illegally, lacked hard hats, and slept on the site.
How did you manage to avoid labor troubles, like picketing and strikes, and job safety inspections while using mostly non-union labor at a union worksite '-- without hard hats for the Polish workers?
10. A federal judge later found you conspired to cheat both the Polish workers, who were paid less than $5 an hour cash with no benefits, and the union health and welfare fund. You testified that you did not notice the Polish workers, whom the judge noted were easy to spot because they were the only ones on the work site without hard hats.
Finally, another quick Google search also produces a review of Wayne Barrett's book on Trump's corrupt connections written by David Cay Johnston in 1992.
'''Trump: The Deals and the Downfall,' by Wayne Barrett, asserts that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has failed to examine how Trump's life 'intertwines with the underworld,' Johnston wrote then. ''It also alleges that the Casino Control Commission has denied licenses to others for conduct far less serious than what the book alleges Trump has done.''
Key among these assertions is that in 1983, after Trump had obtained a casino license, he met with Anthony ''Fat Tony'' Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, at the Manhattan townhouse of Roy Cohn, a lawyer who represented both men. The book cites an unnamed eyewitness as its source.
Other casino executives have had their licenses revoked or were denied a license just for being photographed in the company of major organized-crime figures, including Salerno.
At the time of the purported meeting, Trump was using a concrete company called S&A to build his Trump Plaza condos in Manhattan, according to federal court records cited in the book. S&A was controlled by Salerno and Paul Castellano, then head of New York's Gambino crime family, according to those same records.
Roy Cohn, Trump's mentor, was a powerful but disreputable lawyer who made his name in the 1950s as the chief council for disgraced Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy's communist witch-hunting committee. In 2003, Al Pacino won an Emmy for his portrayal of Cohn in the HBO miniseries, ''Angels in America,'' in which Cohn was depicted as loathsome, self-hating, closeted and dying of HIV disease. In fact, Roy Cohn died from AIDS-related causes in 1986.
Back in 1992, in response to Barrett's allegations, Trump issued a statement that sounds eerily similar to his thin-skinned responses to criticism today. After claiming that he had not read the book, he called Barrett ''a second-rate writer who has had numerous literary failures.'' Trump described the book, which, again, he said he had not read, as ''boring, non-factual and highly inaccurate.''
For the record, Wayne Barrett had a long career as a writer for the Village Voice and his books, including ''The Big Apple: City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York,'' have been quite successful.
So what's going on here? Why are Trump's Republican opponents silent about his mob connections?
According to one noted mob expert, the reason the other candidates won't expose Trump's mob ties is that they all equally mobbed up. Exposing him would expose them all. It's hard to imagine such a fractious cabal of self-serving strivers adhering to omert . On the other hand, there is ample historical evidence of mob influence in politics.
It's possible, perhaps, these Republican candidates are afraid that the notoriously litigious Trump might sue them. This seems unlikely. These facts are on the record, and there's no evidence he sued Wayne Barrett or David Cay Johnston after they exposed his mob connections in the early 1990s.
Or maybe Trump's opponents are holding fire based on political calculation. It would be more effective to unleash their attacks after Labor Day when voters are more likely to be focused on the campaign.
If so, it's possible one of them could be waiting to achieve maximum impact by sticking the shiv between Trump's ribs on live television during the next debate.
Stay tuned.
Donald Trump and the mob -
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 05:11
Trump's alleged ties to New York and Philadelphia crime families go back decades and have been recounted in a book, newspapers and government records.
"The mob connections of Donald are extraordinarily extensive," New York investigative journalist Wayne Barrett told CNN in an interview.
Barrett, the author of the 1992 unauthorized biography "Trump: The Deals and the Downfall," wrote that Trump's life "intertwines with the underworld."
The allegations are getting new scrutiny as Trump runs for president, largely on his record as a successful, and extraordinarily wealthy, businessman. As Trump cements his leads atop the polls, questions about how he made his billions, and who helped him make them, are starting to take center stage.
A Trump spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.
To be sure, organized crime had ties to the New York and New Jersey construction industry in the 1980's and early 1990's, making contact between developers and mafia-controlled companies almost unavoidable at times.
"There was a certain amount of mob association during which the father and he were building, which was very difficult to avoid in the New York construction world," Barrett said, adding, "He went out of his way not to avoid them, but to increase them."
In a recent Federalist article, David Marcus writes that Trump bought the property that his Atlantic City casino Trump Plaza would one day occupy -- for twice market price -- from Salvatore Testa, a Philly mobster and son of one-time Philly mob boss Philip "Chicken Man" Testa. (Springsteen fans might recognize the elder Testa from the opening lines of the song, Atlantic City.)
In his book, Barrett writes that Testa and a partner, who together headed a Philly mafia hit-squad called the Young Executioners, bought the property for "a scant $195,000" in 1977. In 1982, Trump paid $1.1 million for it.
"The $220 per square foot that Trump paid for the Testa property was the second most expensive purchase he made on the block, even though it was one of the first parcels he bought," Barrett wrote.
The casino was built with the help of two construction companies controlled by Philly mobsters Nicademo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and his nephew Phillip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, according to, as Marcus notes, a New Jersey state commission's 1986 report on organized crime.
RELATED: Donald Trump's Achilles' heel
Trump also had a decade-long relationship with Scarfo's investment banker, according to Barrett's book.
In Manhattan, Trump used the mob-controlled concrete company S&A to build Trump Plaza condos. Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, the don of New York's Gambino family, controlled S&A, according to federal court records Barrett cited in his book.
Barrett noted that he built the Trump Tower out of concrete, instead of steel, at a time when the mafia controlled much the concrete industry.
"While dealing with the concrete cartel was inevitable for any developer in the period when Trump Tower was built, Donald took the relationship several steps further than he had to," Barrett wrote.
In a Philadelphia Inquirer article from the time the book was published, reporter David Cay Johnston summed up Barrrett's unauthorized biography, writing that it "asserts that throughout his adult life, Donald Trump has done business with major organized-crime figures and performed favors for their associates."
Trump was a target of a 1979 bribery investigation and was questioned in a 1981 racketeering probe, but neither federal investigation led to criminal charges, Johnston wrote.
More recently, Johnston, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, wrote an article called "21 Questions for Donald Trump" where he asked, "Why did you use concrete instead of steel girders" to build the 58-story Trump Tower?
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Emails reveal Tony Blair's deal with George Bush over Iraq war was forged before invasion started | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 18 Oct 2015 11:38
Leaked White House memo shows former Prime Minister's support for war at summit with U.S. President in 2002Bombshell document shows Blair preparing to act as spin doctor for Bush, who was told 'the UK will follow our lead'Publicly, Blair still claimed to be looking for diplomatic solution - in direct contrast to email revelationsNew light was shed on Bush-Blair relations by material disclosed by Hillary Clinton at the order of the U.S. courtsBy Glen Owen and William Lowther In Washington For The Mail On Sunday
Published: 16:00 EST, 17 October 2015 | Updated: 01:15 EST, 18 October 2015
A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the 'deal in blood' forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.
The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.
It flies in the face of the Prime Minister's public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
He told voters: 'We're not proposing military action' '' in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.
Scroll down to read the documents in full
All sewn up: Tony Blair and President George Bush at the infamous 2002 summit at Bush's ranch house in Crawford, Texas, where the two men spoke about invading Iraq
Bombshell dossier: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, left of Bush, wrote to the President to say the UK 'will be with us'
The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting 'public affairs lines' to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction '' when none existed.
In return, the President would flatter Blair's ego and give the impression that Britain was not America's poodle but an equal partner in the 'special relationship'.
The damning memo, from Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George Bush, was written on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush's famous summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas.
In it, Powell tells Bush that Blair 'will be with us' on military action. Powell assures the President: 'The UK will follow our lead'.
Big man? Blair's ego was flattered by the President during his visit to his ranch home. He is pictured above embracing First Lady Laura Bush
The disclosure is certain to lead for calls for Sir John Chilcot to reopen his inquiry into the Iraq War if, as is believed, he has not seen the Powell memo.
A second explosive memo from the same cache also reveals how Bush used 'spies' in the Labour Party to help him to manipulate British public opinion in favour of the war.
The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U.S. courts have forced her to reveal.
Former Tory Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: 'The memos prove in explicit terms what many of us have believed all along: Tony Blair effectively agreed to act as a frontman for American foreign policy in advance of any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.
'He was happy to launder George Bush's policy on Iraq and sub-contract British foreign policy to another country without having the remotest ability to have any real influence over it. And in return for what?
'For George Bush pretending Blair was a player on the world stage to impress voters in the UK when the Americans didn't even believe it themselves'.
Davis was backed by a senior diplomat with close knowledge of Blair-Bush relations who said: 'This memo shows beyond doubt for the first time Blair was committed to the Iraq War before he even set foot in Crawford.
'And it shows how the Americans planned to make Blair look an equal partner in the special relationship to bolster his position in the UK.'
Blair's spokesman insisted last night that Powell's memo was 'consistent with what he was saying publicly at the time'.
The former Prime Minister has always hotly denied the claim that the two men signed a deal 'in blood' at Crawford to embark on the war, which started on March 20, 2003.
The Powell document, headed 'Secret... Memorandum for the President', lifts the lid on how Blair and Bush secretly plotted the war behind closed doors at Crawford.
Powell says to Bush: 'He will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause,' adding that Blair has the presentational skills to 'make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace'.
Five months after the summit, Downing Street produced the notorious '45 minutes from doom' dossier on Saddam Hussein's supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction. After Saddam was toppled, the dossier's claims were exposed as bogus.
Nowhere in the memo is a diplomatic route suggested as the preferred option.
Instead, Powell says that Blair will also advise on how to 'handle calls' for the 'blessing' of the United Nations Security Council, and to 'demonstrate that we have thought through ''the day after'' ' '' in other words, made adequate provision for a post-Saddam Iraq.
Critics of the war say that the lack of post-conflict planning has contributed to the loss of more than 100,000 lives since the invasion '' and a power vacuum which has contributed to the rise of Islamic State terrorism.
Significantly, Powell warns Bush that Blair has hit 'domestic turbulence' for being 'too pro-U.S. in foreign and security policy, too arrogant and ''presidential'' ', which Powell points out is 'not a compliment in the British context'.
Powell also reveals that the splits in Blair's Cabinet were deeper than was realised: he says that apart from Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, 'Blair's Cabinet shows signs of division, and the British public are unconvinced that military action is warranted now'.
Powell says that although Blair will 'stick with us on the big issues', he wants to minimise the 'political price' he would have to pay: 'His voters will look for signs that Britain and America are truly equity partners in the special relationship.'
The President certainly did his best to flatter Blair's ego during the Crawford summit, where he was the first world leader to be invited into Bush's sanctuary for two nights.
Tony and Cherie Blair stayed in the guesthouse close to the main residence with their daughter Kathryn and Cherie's mother, Gale Booth. Bush took the highly unusual step of inviting Blair to sit in on his daily CIA briefing, and drove the Prime Minister around in a pick-up truck.
Mystery has long surrounded what was discussed at Crawford as advisers were kept out of a key meeting between the two men.
Sir Christopher Meyer, who was present in Crawford as Britain's Ambassador to the U.S., told Chilcot that his exclusion meant he was 'not entirely clear to this day... what degree of convergence was, if you like, signed in blood at the Crawford ranch'.
But in public comments during his time at Crawford, Blair denied that Britain was on an unstoppable path to war.
'This is a matter for considering all the options', he said. 'We're not proposing military action at this point in time'.
Close: Bush and Blair are pictured above shaking hands at a meeting near Camp Davis in February 2001
During his appearance before the Chilcot inquiry in January 2010, Blair denied that he had struck a secret deal with Bush at Crawford to overthrow Saddam. Blair said the two men had agreed on the need to confront the Iraqi dictator, but insisted they did not get into 'specifics'.
'The one thing I was not doing was dissembling in that position,' he told Chilcot.
'The position was not a covert position, it was an open position. This isn't about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It's a decision. What I was saying... was ''We are going to be with you in confronting and dealing with this threat.'' '
Pressed on what he thought Mr Bush took from their meeting, he said the President had realised Britain would support military action if the diplomatic route had been exhausted.
In his memoirs, Blair again said it was 'a myth' he had signed a promise 'in blood' to go to war, insisting: 'I made no such commitment'.
Critics who claimed that Mr Blair acted as the 'poodle' of the US will point to a reference in Mr Powell's memo to the fact Mr Blair 'readily committed to deploy 1,700 commandos' to Afghanistan 'even though his experts warn that British forces are overstretched'.
The decision made the previous October in the wake of the September 11 attacks led to widespread concern that the UK was entering an open-ended commitment to a bloody conflict in Afghanistan '' a concern many critics now say was well-founded.
Mr Powell's memo goes on to say that a recent move by the U.S. to protect its steel industry with tariffs, which had damaged UK exports, was a 'bitter blow' for Blair, but he was prepared to 'insulate our broader relationship from this and other trade disputes'.
The memo was included in a batch of 30,000 emails which were received by Mrs Clinton on her private server when she was US Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013.
Another document included in the email batch is a confidential briefing for Powell prepared by the U.S. Embassy in London, shortly before the Crawford summit.
The memo, dated 'April 02', includes a detailed assessment of the effect on Blair's domestic position if he backs US military action.
The document says: 'A sizeable number of his [Blair's] MPs remain at present opposed to military action against Iraq... some would favor shifting from a policy of containment of Iraq if they had recent (and publicly usable) proof that Iraq is developing WMD/missiles... most seem to want some sort of UN endorsement for military action.
'Blair's challenge now is to judge the timing and evolution of America's Iraq policy and to bring his party and the British people on board.
'There have been a few speculative pieces in the more feverish press about Labor [sic] unease re Iraq policy'... which have gone on to identify the beginnings of a challenge to Blair's leadership of the party.
'Former Cabinet member Peter Mandelson, still an insider, called it all "froth". Nonetheless, this is the first time since the 1997 election that such a story is even being printed'.
The paper draws on information given to it by Labour 'spies', whose identities have been hidden.
It states: '[name redacted] told us the intention of those feeding the story is not to bring down Blair but to influence him on the Iraq issue'.
'Some MPs would endorse action if they had proof that Iraq has continued to develop WMD since UN inspectors left.
'More would follow if convinced that Iraq has succeeded in developing significant WMD capability and the missiles to deliver it.
'Many more would follow if they see compelling evidence that Iraq intends and plans to use such weapons. A clear majority would support military action if Saddam is implicated in the 9/11 attacks or other egregious acts of terrorism'.
'Blair has proved an excellent judge of political timing, and he will need to be especially careful about when to launch a ramped-up campaign to build support for action against Iraq.
'He will want neither to be too far in front or behind US policy... if he waits too long, then the keystone of any coalition we wish to build may not be firmly in place. No doubt these are the calculations that Blair hopes to firm up when he meets the President'.
A spokesperson for Tony Blair said: 'This is consistent with what Blair was saying publicly at the time and with Blair's evidence given to the Chilcot Inquiry'.
Neither Mrs Clinton nor Mr Powell replied to requests for comment.
The U.S. courts have ruled that 30,000 emails received by Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 should be released.
She may have asked for these documents to grasp the background to the Iraq War.
What was the Crawford summit?
The meeting between Blair and Bush at the President's Texan ranch in April 2002, 11 months before the outbreak of war. The pair spent long periods discussing Iraq without their advisers, leading to suspicion that they privately cut a deal for the conflict.
UK Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer said it was impossible to know whether a deal was 'signed in blood'.
What did Blair say at Crawford?
At the start of the summit, Mr Blair said: 'We're not proposing military action at this point in time.'
For the whole of 2002, Blair claimed no decision had been taken and in the run-up to war. He said that Saddam Hussein could avoid conflict by co-operating with UN weapons inspectors.
What happened after Crawford?
In September 2002, in an attempt to prove Saddam was a threat, No 10 falsely claimed Saddam could deploy biological weapons 'within 45 minutes', and Mr Blair went around the world trying to drum up UN backing for action against Iraq.
Despite mass anti-war protests, Britain and America invaded Iraq in March 2003 without the backing of the UN.
Had the allies prepared for 'the day after'?
The invasion was declared complete on April 15, 2003. But the reason for war proved spurious, and Saddam's removal left a power vacuum filled by warring factions which some say helped Islamic State rise.
Have the memos been seen by the Chilcot Inquiry?
It is not thought the £10million, six-year inquiry has asked to see American Government material.
Stunning memo proves Blair signed up for Iraq even before Americans - comment by former shadow home secretary David Davis
This is one of the most astonishing documents I have ever read.
It proves in explicit terms what many of us have believed all along: Tony Blair effectively agreed to act as a front man for American foreign policy in advance of any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.
He was happy to launder George Bush's policy on Iraq and sub-contract British foreign policy to another country without having the remotest ability to have any real influence over it.
And in return for what? For George Bush pretending Blair was a player on the world stage to impress voters in the UK when the Americans didn't even believe it themselves.
Blair was content to cynically use Britain's international reputation for honest dealing in diplomacy, built up over many years, as a shield against worldwide opprobrium for Bush's ill-considered policy.
Judging from this memorandum, Blair signed up for the Iraq War even before the Americans themselves did. It beggars belief.
Blair was telling MPs and voters back home that he was still pursuing a diplomatic solution while Colin Powell was telling President Bush: 'Don't worry, George, Tony is signed up for the war come what may '' he'll handle the PR for you, just make him look big in return.'
It should never be forgotten that a minimum of 120,000 people died as a direct result of the Iraq War.
What is truly shocking is the casualness of it all, such as the reference in the memo to 'the day after' '' meaning the day after Saddam would be toppled.
The offhand tone gives the game away: it is patently obvious nobody thought about 'the day after' when Bush and Blair met in Crawford.
And they gave it no more thought right through to the moment 'the day after' came about a year later when Saddam's statue fell to the ground.
We saw the catastrophic so-called 'de-Baathification' of Iraq, with the country's entire civil and military structure dismantled, leading to years of bloodshed and chaos. It has infected surrounding countries to this day and created the vacuum into which Islamic State has stepped.
This may well be the Iraq 'smoking gun' we have all been looking for.
In full: The Blair/Bush White House documents
Pictured below is the memo from Secretary of State Colin Powell to George W BushPart two: This second, explosive memo, drafted by the U.S. Embassy in London, reveals how Bush used Labour 'spies' to manipulate British public opinion
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Clinton emails reveal foundation donor lobbied for Haiti hotels | Caribbean News Now
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:58
Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonBy Caribbean News Now contributorWASHINGTON, USA -- A donor to the Clinton Foundation reached out to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's office to promote a Haiti hotel project that later received support from the US government and former president Bill Clinton, according to emails released by the Department of State.
Richard L. Friedman, a Boston hotel developer emailed Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff, to tout the project on May 17, 2011, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
''We had a good meeting with Jean-Louis, Marriott executives, [the Overseas Private Investment Corporation], etc regarding building hotels in Haiti -- I am pursuing this vigorously and hope to be able to develop 2 to 3 hotels with Marriott as manager,'' wrote Friedman. ''I am talking with Commerce and Export/Import Bank today.''
Friedman said he recently had a discussion with Hillary Clinton at the White House and asked Mills to forward her a note for him. It is unclear what he and Clinton discussed, and portions of his email have been redacted by the State Department due to ''personal private interests.'' The note he asked Mills to send to Clinton is also redacted.
''I will keep you informed about our progress in Haiti -- we are going to need all the help we can get,'' Friedman wrote Mills.
Friedman contributed between $1,000 and $5,000 to the Clinton Foundation and gave $2,300 to Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008, records show.
He is not the only Clinton donor associated with Marriott's efforts in Haiti. The Digicel Group teamed up with Marriott International in 2011 in Port-au-Prince to build a luxury hotel, which opened earlier this year.
Digicel has contributed between $25,000 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and its owner, the Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien, has donated between $5 million and $10 million. Unigestion Holdings, a subsidiary of Digicel that was reportedly tasked with managing the hotel project, gave between $10,000 and $25,000.
Marriott International is also a hefty donor to the Clinton Foundation, contributing between $50,000 and $100,000.
According to a Marriott press release on November 28, 2011, the Clinton Foundation helped arrange the partnership between the hotel group and Digicel.
Marriott has received support for its hotel projects from the US government and affiliated international donor groups. In 2012, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US government entity whose budget is linked to the State Department, pledged to provide long-term loans of up to $200 million to help finance Marriott International ''environmentally-sustainable'' hotel construction in ''emerging markets'' in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group whose US funding is also linked to the State Department appropriations, provided $26.5 million in financing to help construct the Port-au-Prince Marriott in 2013.
Watchdogs said the lack of transparency in this matter is unacceptable.
''Wherever government money or support tied to the State Department is directed to a project in Haiti involving a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, the public is entitled to full transparency,'' said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.
The emails in question are one of thousands released by the State Department in response to freedom of information requests relating to her use of a private email account hosted on her own private server to conduct official and allegedly classified business.
Three months after Hillary Clinton's use of a private email address and server while secretary of state was referred to the FBI, the investigating team is now reportedly focused on whether there were violations of an Espionage Act subsection pertaining to "gross negligence" in the safekeeping of national defence information.
Investigators are also reportedly focused on possible obstruction of justice.
The Clintons are no stranger to controversy regarding Haiti, notably, their highly questionable involvement there after the 2010 earthquake.
Hillary Clinton was secretary of state from January 21, 2009, to February 1, 2013. In December, 2012, her brother's company got a lucrative gold mining contract in Haiti. During her time there, the State Department through its US Agency for International Development (USAID) disbursed $3.6 billion for Haitian ''earthquake relief''.
Hillary Clinton, as US secretary of state, therefore handed out billions in USAID money in Haiti. At the same time, her husband, former US president Bill Clinton, was taking money for his private foundation from foreign governments that Secretary Hillary dealt with in an official capacity.
Then the day she resigned from the State Department in February 2013, Hillary's brother Tony Rodham just happened to be lucky and was appointed a director of the company that had acquired the gold mining contract in Haiti, something the company claimed happened virtually out of the blue and the public was asked to believe involved no antecedent discussion during the time Clinton was secretary of state and her husband had control of billions in post-earthquake aid.
Leading Haitian lawyer and human rights activist, Ezili Dant², has charged that Bill Clinton, as head of the Haitian relief fund, was responsible for some $6 billion of international relief aid received.
''Less than 1% of this amount made it to the Haitian government. Bill Clinton had total control of the balance,'' Dant² claimed.
Bernie Sanders endorses Obama's decision to keep troops in Afghanistan - World Socialist Web Site
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:53
By Patrick Martin19 October 2015In a television interview Sunday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made his most categorical statements yet of his willingness to use military force in support of the foreign policy goals of American imperialism.
Speaking on the ABC program ''This Week with George Stephanopoulos,'' the Vermont senator gave his backing to Obama's decision this week to keep nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2016, and at least 5,000 troops indefinitely. He also refused to define any circumstances in which he would rule out the unilateral use of military force.
Reacting to the Taliban takeover of the key city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, a debacle for the troops of the US puppet regime in Kabul, Obama reversed his previous decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year.
In response to a direct question about whether he backed the decision to keep nearly 10,000 troops on the battlefield of a war that has gone on for more than 14 years, Sanders responded: ''Well, yeah, I won't give you the exact number. Clearly, we do not want to see the Taliban gain more power, and I think we need a certain nucleus of American troops present in Afghanistan to try to provide the training and support the Afghan Army needs.''
Stephanopoulos then asked about the candidate's statements during last Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on the use of US military force, when Sanders pointed to his vote to authorize the Afghanistan war in 2001 as proof that he was willing to use force. What were the circumstances in which ''a President Sanders would authorize unilateral action to use force,'' the ABC anchorman asked?
Sanders replied, ''Well, I'm not going to get into hypotheticals.'' Then the following exchange took place:
SANDERS: I think sensible foreign policy and military policies suggest that it cannot be the United States of America alone which solves all of the world's military'...
STEPHANOPOULOS: In all circumstances?
SANDERS: Well, of course, you know, I'm not saying, you know, I don't want to get into hypotheticals. I didn't say in all circumstances.
In other words, pressed on his rhetorical commitment to form military-diplomatic coalitions to pursue US foreign policy goals, Sanders declined to set limits on what he as president might do unilaterally. The supposed advocate of ''democratic socialism'' and ''political revolution'' fell back on a standard talking point of would-be commanders-in-chief for US imperialism.
''I don't want to get into hypotheticals'' simply means, ''I want a free hand to use force whenever the military-intelligence apparatus demands it.''
While Sanders was happy to denounce George W. Bush's decision to go war in Iraq as one of the worst decisions ever made in US foreign policy, he made no reference to the devastation created by Barack Obama's interventions in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.
Sanders is in no sense an ''antiwar'' candidate. He uses demagogic condemnations of ''millionaires and billionaires'' and the growth of social inequality to appeal to working people and young people who are deeply opposed to American militarism, but only to divert their attention from the growing danger of imperialist war. His support for the policy of the ruling class abroad exposes his pretense of opposing the policy of this same ruling class within the United States.
Even on the infrequent occasions when he has discussed the disastrous consequences of US policy in the Middle East, it is only from the standpoint of American nationalism, not genuine opposition to imperialist war. Once in a while, Sanders bemoans the casualties suffered by American troops or the waste of resources better used at home, but he has never indicated any sympathy for the people of the countries targeted for destruction by US military interventions.
His comments Sunday on Afghanistan were typical. Sanders made no mention of the latest atrocity there by US forces, the deliberate bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, which killed at least 22 people: three doctors, nine other staff of the aid agency, and ten patients.
His silence is only part of a much broader policy, observed by all the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, who despite their incessant mudslinging maintain a united front in covering up for the war crimes carried out by the US military.
In this they are joined by the corporate-controlled media, which has largely ignored the revelations'--reported by the Associated Press and then dropped'--that US special operations forces were well aware of the hospital's existence and location, and deliberately targeted it for incineration by an AC-130 helicopter gunship.
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Hillary Clinton State Department approved U.S. weapons shipment to Libya despite ban - Washington Times
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:30
The State Department initially approved a weapons shipment from a California company to Libyans seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 even though a United Nations arms ban was in place, according to memos recovered from the burned-out compound in Benghazi.
The documents, obtained by The Washington Times, show U.S. diplomats at the Benghazi compound were keeping track of several potential U.S.-sanctioned shipments to allies, one or more of which were destined for the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement that was seeking to oust Gadhafi and form a new government.
At least one of those shipments, kept in a file marked ''arms deal,'' was supposed to come from Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, California, according to an end use certificate from the State Department's office of defense trade controls licensing that was contained in the file.
SEE ALSO: Memos recovered from Benghazi compound detail staff security worries
The shipment was to include rocket launchers, grenade launchers, 7,000 machine guns and 8 million rounds of ammunition, much of it new and inexpensive hardware originally produced in the former Soviet bloc of Eastern Europe, according to an itemized list included in the end use certificate.
Dolarian Capital, part of a small network of U.S. arms merchants that has worked with U.S. intelligence, confirmed one of its licensing requests to ship weapons via Kuwait to Libya was approved by the State Department in spring 2011 and then inexplicably revoked before the armaments were sent.
''Dolarian Capital submitted the end user certificate in question to the U.S. Department of State for review and issuance of a license to transfer the arms and ammunition to Libya. The U.S. Department of State responded with a approval, which was revoked shortly thereafter,'' one of its attorneys said in a statement issued to The Washington Times. ''As a result no arms or ammunition was shipped or delivered to Libya under the end user certificate.''
Nonetheless, the existence of the documents and the temporary approval of at least one U.S. arms shipment provides the most direct evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton's State Department was aware of efforts to get weapons into the hands of rebels seeking to oust Gadhafi.
Mrs. Clinton is set to testify Thursday during a highly anticipated appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The Obama administration has been ambiguous about the exact role the United States played in arming the rebels who overthrew Gadhafi, even as arms merchants and former CIA officials have stated publicly that a covert program facilitated such weapons transfers through a network of friendly weapons brokers and third-party countries.
The issue is sensitive because a U.N. ban on weapons shipments to Libya was in place at the time, although the State Department had the authority to deem a specific shipment in the United States interest and permit its transference, officials said.
State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach declined to comment Tuesday, as did the CIA public affairs office.
To date, the public evidence of U.S. involvement in weapons trafficking to Libya has been episodic.
Reuters reported in 2011 that President Obama signed a special presidential directive that authorized covert U.S. action to destabilize Gadhafi and stand up a new regime, up to and including facilitating weapons transfers if it was deemed in the U.S. interest.
The New York Times, quoting anonymous officials, reported a year later that the Obama administration gave its secret blessing to some weapons shipments to Libyan rebels routed through Qatar during the height of the country's revolution.
Fox News this summer quoted a former CIA official as providing testimony in a court case that the U.S. almost certainly ran a covert weapons operation to help arm the Libyan rebels.
But to date, no evidence has emerged publicly that the State Department had direct knowledge or involvement in reviewing potential shipments.
The Benghazi documents, however, show that U.S. diplomats in the consulate were monitoring a series of potential exports in spring and summer 2011 to third-party countries and that one or more were likely to land in Libya.
For instance, a June 28, 2011, email chain contained in a file titled ''arms deal'' documents an exchange among State Department employees about eight export licensing application numbers, indicating one or more of the shipments involved Libya's Transitional National Council.
''DRL recommends BA L181-11 T6-F RWA '-- need decision from higher level on TNC,'' reads one of the notations in the email.
DRL stands for the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and TNC is the interchangeable acronym for the Transitional National Council, the NATO-supported Libyan rebel government.
The email also references the office of defense trade controls licensing, the State directorate in charge of registering arms exports.
The Dolarian Capital papers, dated May 18, 2011, include an end-user certificate that outlines a long list of heavy former Eastern-bloc weaponry and artillery to be shipped from the California-based arms dealer first to Kuwait, and then to Libya.
''This is to certify the following items are to be delivered by Dolarian Capital, Inc. [of] Fresno, California, United States and secured by M/s Specter Consultancy Services G.T.C. [of] Kuwait City, Kuwait to the Ministry of Interior of the Translational [sic] Government of Libya. The Ministry of Interior has agreed the items are for the exclusive disposition of the Ministry of Interior of the Translational [sic] Government of Libya and will not be re-exported or transferred to any third countries,'' the certificate reads.
Just one month earlier, Mrs. Clinton privately endorsed inside the State Department the idea of using arms merchants to help the Libyans. ''Fyi. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,'' Mrs. Clinton wrote in an email to her most senior aides.
Dolarian Capital and other U.S. arms merchants '-- all legally registered with the State Department '-- have worked with U.S. intelligence over the years to move covert shipments into hot spots around the globe such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
It applied for several State Department licenses to ship weapons to Libya, but only one got approved and then only temporarily before being revoked. The one export listed in the certificate was among the smaller shipments the company proposed for Libya, according to people familiar with the applications. In each instance, State and other U.S. agencies were directly aware the end destinations for the weapons were in Libya.
Dolarian Capital also is listed in court records as the source of weapons for another U.S. arms dealer, Marc Turi, who sought permission to ship weapons to Libya during the same time frame. Mr. Turi since has been charged criminally with making false statements in his application for those shipments, and has publicly asserted that Mrs. Clinton's State Department and other U.S. officials sanctioned his involvement.
His attorney, J. Cabou, told The Times on Tuesday his client intends to show the United States facilitated the possible weapons shipments to Libya, which never occurred.
Mr. Turi strongly believes he had the permission of the U.S. government to engage in the actions for which he is now charged with and he is vigorously trying to prove that fact,'' Mr. Cabou said in a phone interview.
Supporting Mr. Turi's case is a former CIA officer named David Manners, who has told a federal judge in the case that ''It was then, and remains now, my opinion that the United States did participate, directly or indirectly, in the supply of weapons to the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC).''
The end-user certificate for the one Dolarian transfer, obtained by The Times, details an itemized list of Soviet developed weapons including 10 Konkrus missile launchers, 6,900 RPK, AKM, SPG-9 machine guns and 100 grenade launchers. It also included two Soviet SVD sniper rifles and nearly 8 million rounds of ammunition.
An authorization letter signed by TNC Defense Minister Omar Hareery accompanied the certificate ''call[ing] upon'' TNC Interior Minister Esam M.T. Shibani and representatives from Specter Consultancy GTC to ''supply all military surplus and hardware to the Transitional National Council of Libya [and] provide military and security consultancy for both civilian and government elements within Libya.''
The sensitivity of U.S. involvement in arming the Libya rebels stems from a U.N. embargo.
On March 17, 2011, the U.N. passed Resolution 1973, which imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and also established a panel of experts to monitor the arms embargo.
However, on March 27, 2011, only days after the intervention began, Mrs. Clinton argued that the arms embargo could be disregarded if shipping weapons to rebels would help protect civilians, a claim that came under immediate fire from British defense officials who disagreed with her interpretation of international law.
''We're not arming the rebels. We're not planning to arm the rebels,'' British Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC the same day Mrs. Clinton hinted otherwise.
In February, The Times published as part of a series on the 2011 NATO intervention classified Libyan intelligence reports including a 16-page weapons list corroborated by Gadhafi aide, Mohammed Ismael.
The weapons list revealed where and when arms were brought to both terror and jihadi groups in Libyan cities including the rebel fortress of Benghazi by the country of Qatar. It did not detail the weapons' point of origin, but in February 2012 Qatari officials sent a letter to the U.N. ''categorically'' denying they had ''supplied the revolutionaries with arms and ammunitions.''
Tape recordings obtained and released by The Times earlier this year depicting secret calls between a U.S. intelligence asset and members of the Gadhafi family revealed the then Libyan regime believed NATO was helping Qatar and other countries illegally smuggle arms across their country's borders to aide rebel forces in an attempt to destabilize Libya.
In a May 2011 telephone call between U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and heir apparent Seif Gadhafi, Mr. Gadhafi alleged illegal arms shipments were coming into his country.
Mr. Kucinich, an outspoken critic against the Libyan intervention who has since retired from the Congress, told the Times he would not be surprised to learn the U.S. violated the arms embargo.
''Violating the arms embargo to send heavy weapons to Libyan rebels was a phase in engineering a crisis to establish a pretext for U.S. intervention and overthrow of the Libyan government, a very dirty business indeed,'' Mr. Kucinich said.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously reinforced the embargo in May when the 15-member panel declined a request from the TNC for fighter jets, attack helicopters and munitions, fearing the weapons could get into the wrong hands.
DNC Approves #BlackLivesMatter Presidential Town Hall | Mediaite
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:28
The Democratic National Committee has given its blessing to a presidential town hall held by leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter protest movement.
Tuesday, a website associated with #BlackLivesMatter movement posted a petition demanding the DNC create an additional debate to focus only on issues of importance to the black community: ''It is not enough to poll the Presidential candidates on whether or not they think 'Black lives matter' or 'All lives matter' '' we deserve substantive responses '' including and in addition to criminal justice reform, what will the presidential candidates do to ensure that Black lives matter?''
DNC officials, and particularly chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have long resisted calls to schedule additional debates. But the DNC met the activists halfway, offering to host a town hall instead.
'We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum '-- where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,'' DNC CEO Amy K. Dacey wrote in a letter to #BlackLivesMatter activists, including Deray McKesson.
But at least some activists aren't happy with the compromise. ''Their response to our request is unsatisfactory,'' one activist told The Washington Post. ''Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be more mindful of her responsibility not only to the DNC, but to the American people.''
[h/t Washington Post]
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Drone Nation
"Enemy killed in action": another Orwellian term from the Pentagon
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:34
"During that period, there were 56 airstrikes that killed 35 suspects. Those strikes also killed 219 people who do not appear to have been specifically targeted but were labeled ''enemy killed in action,'' the documents showed."
The Stealth Expansion of a Secret U.S. Drone Base in Africa
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:12
Read the complete Drone Papers.
VIEWED FROM HIGH ABOVE, Chabelley Airfield is little more than a gray smudge in a tan wasteland. Drop lower and its incongruous features start coming into focus. In the sun-bleached badlands of the tiny impoverished nation of Djibouti '-- where unemployment hovers at a staggering 60 percent and the per capita gross domestic product is about $3,100 '-- sits a hive of high-priced, high-tech American hardware.
Satellite imagery tells part of the story. A few years ago, this isolated spot resembled little more than an orphaned strip of tarmac sitting in the middle of this desolate desert. Look closely today, however, and you'll notice what seems to be a collection of tan clamshell hangars, satellite dishes, and distinctive, thin, gunmetal gray forms '-- robot planes with wide wingspans.
Unbeknownst to most Americans and without any apparent public announcement, the U.S. has recently taken steps to transform this tiny, out-of-the-way outpost into an ''enduring'' base, a key hub for its secret war, run by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), in Africa and the Middle East. The military is tight-lipped about Chabelley, failing to mention its existence in its public list of overseas bases and refusing even to acknowledge questions about it '-- let alone offer answers. Official documents, satellite imagery, and expert opinion indicate, however, that Chabelley is now essential to secret drone operations throughout the region.
Tim Brown, a senior fellow at and expert on analyzing satellite imagery, notes that Chabelley Airfield allows U.S. drones to cover Yemen, southwest Saudi Arabia, a large swath of Somalia, and parts of Ethiopia and southern Egypt.
''This base is now very important because it's a major hub for most drone operations in northwest Africa,'' he said. ''It's vital. '... We can't afford to lose it.''
Aerial image of Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti, April 2013.
Photo: Google Earth
Aerial image of Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti, October 2013.
Photo: Google Earth
Aerial image of Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti, March 2015.
Photo: Google Earth
The startling transformation of this little-known garrison in this little-known country is in line with U.S. military activity in Africa where, largely under the radar, the number of missions, special operations deployments, and outposts has grown rapidly and with little outside scrutiny.
The expansion of Chabelley and its consequent rise in importance to the U.S. military began in 2013, when the Pentagon moved its fleet of remotely piloted aircraft from its lone acknowledged ''major military facility'' in Africa '-- Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti's capital, which shares the country's name '-- to this lower-profile airstrip about 10 kilometers away.
A hasty perimeter of concertina wire and metal fence posts was constructed around a bare-bones compound once used by the French Foreign Legion, and the Pentagon asked Congress to fund only ''minimal facilities'' enabling ''temporary operations'' there for no more than two years.
But Chabelley would follow a pattern established at Lemonnier. Located on the edge of Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport, Lemonnier also began as an austere location that has, year after year since 9/11, grown in almost every conceivable fashion. The number of personnel stationed there, for example, has jumped from 900 to 5,000 since 2002. More than $600 million has already been allocated or awarded for projects such as aircraft parking aprons, taxiways, and a sizeable special operations compound. It has expanded from 88 acres to nearly 600 acres. Lemonnier is so crucial to U.S. military operations that, in 2014, the Pentagon signed a $70 million per year agreement to secure its lease through 2044.
But as the base grew, the skies over Lemonnier and the adjoining airport became increasingly crowded and dangerous. By 2012, an average of 16 U.S. drones and four fighter jets were taking off or landing there each day, in addition to French and Japanese military aircraft and civilian planes, while local air traffic controllers were committing ''errors at astronomical rates,'' according to a Washington Post investigation. The Djiboutians were specifically hostile to Americans, ignoring pilots' communications and forcing U.S. aircraft to circle above the airport until low on fuel '-- with special ire reserved for drone operations '-- adding to the havoc in the skies. While the U.S. did not find Djiboutian air traffic controllers responsible, six remotely piloted aircraft based at Lemonnier were destroyed in crashes, including an accident in a residential area of the capital, prompting Djiboutian government officials to voice safety concerns.
As Lemonnier expanded, the Chabelley site underwent its own transformation. Members of the Marines and Army conductedtraining there during2008 and, in 2011, troops began work at the base with an eye toward the future. That October, a Marine Air Traffic Control Mobile Team (MMT) undertook efforts to enable a variety of aircraft to use the site. ''We provide our commanders the ability to keep the battle line moving forward at a rapid pace,'' said Sgt. Christopher Bickel, the assistant team leader of the MMT that worked on the project.
It was in February 2013 that the Pentagon asked Congress to quickly supply funds for ''minimal facilities necessary to enable temporary operations'' at Chabelley. ''The construction is not being carried out at a military installation where the United States is reasonably expected to have a long-term presence,'' said official documents obtained by the Washington Post. The next month, before the House Armed Services Committee, then-chief of Africa Command (Africom), Gen. Carter Ham, explained that agreements were being worked out with the Djiboutian government to use the airfield and thanked Congress for helping to hasten things along. ''We appreciate the reauthorization of the temporary, limited authority to use operations and maintenance funding for military construction in support of contingency operations in our area of responsibility, which will permit us to complete necessary construction at Chabelley,'' he said.
In June 2013, the House Armed Services Committee noted it was ''aware that the Government of Djibouti mandated that operations of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) cease from Camp Lemonnier, while allowing such operations to relocate to Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti.''
But there was another benefit of moving drone operations from the capital to a far less visible locale. In an Air Force engineering publication from the same year, U.S. Air Forces in Europe/Air Forces Africa engineers listed as ''significant accomplishments'' the development and implementation of plans to shift drones ''from Camp Lemonnier to Chabelley Airfield '... providing operations anonymity from the International Airport and improving host-nation relations.''
Tim Brown of notes that Chabelley allows the U.S. to keep its drone missions under much tighter wraps. ''They're able to operate with much less oversight '-- not completely in secret '-- but there's much less chance of ongoing observation of how often drones are leaving and what they're doing,'' he told me recently.
Dan Gettinger, the co-founder and co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College and the author of a guide to identifying drone bases from satellite imagery, agrees. ''It seems they started with two CAPs '-- combat air patrols '-- about seven aircraft, a mix of Predators and Reapers,'' he said. ''And since then, we've really seen expansion, particularly within the last couple months; a few more hangars and certainly a lot more facilities for personnel at Chabelley.''
By the fall of 2013, the U.S. drone fleet reportedly had been transferred to the more remote airstrip. Africom failed to respond to questions about the number and types of drones based at Chabelley Airfield, but reporting by The Intercept, drawing on formerly secret documents, demonstrates that 10 MQ-1 Predators and four of their larger cousins, MQ-9 Reapers, were based at Lemonnier prior to the move to the more remote site. Neither the Pentagon nor Africom responded to repeated requests by The Intercept for comment on other aspects of drone operations at Chabelley Airfield or the transformation of the outpost into a more permanent facility. The reasons why aren't hard to fathom.
''These are JSOC and CIA-led missions for the most part,'' Gettinger told me recently, conjecturing that the hush-hush operations are likely focused on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities and counterterrorism strikes in Somalia and Yemen, as well as aiding the Saudi-led air campaign in the latter country. Indeed, an Air Force accident report obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act details a February 2015 incident in which an MQ-9 ''crashed during an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission in the United States Africa Command Area of Responsibility.'' The Reaper, assigned to the 33rd Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron operating from Chabelley had flown ''about 300 miles away from base'' when it began experiencing mechanical problems, according to the pilot. It was eventually ditched in international waters.
Special Operations Command, JSOC's parent organization, would not comment on Gettinger's assertions. ''We do not have anything for you,'' responded spokesperson Ken McGraw.
Despite the supposed temporary nature of the Chabelley site, Africom ''directed an expansion of operations'' at the airfield and the U.S. inked a ''long-term implementing arrangement'' with the Djiboutian government to establish Chabelley as a ''enduring'' base, according to documents provided earlier this year to the House Appropriations Committee by the undersecretary of defense (comptroller). The Air Force also reportedly installed a ''tactical automated security system'' '-- a complex suite of integrated sensors, thermal imaging devices, radar, cameras and communications devices '-- to provide extra layers of protection to the site.
In June, the Pentagon contacted the House Appropriations Committee about reallocating $7.6 million to construct a new 7,720-meter perimeter fence around the burgeoning base, complete with two defensive fighting positions and four pedestrian and five vehicle entry points that also ''provides a platform for installing advanced perimeter sensor system equipment.'' Last month, defense contractor ECC-MEZZ LLC of Burlingame, California, was awarded a $6.96 million contract for a fence, gates, a perimeter roadway, and a modular guard tower.
Africom remains close-lipped about the expansion and increasing importance of Chabelley. Phone calls and emails seeking comment were ignored. Multiple requests by The Intercept were even ''deleted without being read'' according to automatic return receipts. After days of also sending requests to Major James Brindle at the Pentagon's press office, it became apparent that The Intercept isn't alone in getting the cold shoulder when it comes to America's preeminent African drone base. A note from Brindle suggested Africom didn't want to talk to him about Chabelley either. He had apparently passed along my requests only to be similarly ignored. ''Still waiting on a reply from Africom. Sorry,'' was all he wrote.
Lockheed Unveils ICARUS to Counter UAS Threats : GPS World
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:50
At this year's Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting, Lockheed Martin unveiled a new capability that will allow users to detect and counter emerging threats from unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The solution, ICARUS, was designed to operate defensively in various threat environments. The AUSA meeting was held Oct. 12-14 in Washington, D.C.
''The U.S. government is seeing an increase in the use of commercially available UAS platforms for surveillance and weaponization,'' said Deon Viergutz, vice president of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin. ''What Lockheed Martin has developed in ICARUS is a system that can detect, recognize and counteract these systems with pinpoint accuracy.''
Lockheed Martin's Counter-UAS system has been field tested and demonstrated to several domestic and international customers over the past year. Those tests demonstrated the ability of ICARUS to identify and intercept commercially available unmanned aerial systems.
The development of the ICARUS software system draws on Lockheed Martin's history of innovations in electronic warfare, cybersecurity and countermeasures associated with sophisticated threats. It was developed through Lockheed Martin internal investment and combines advanced cyber and cyber electromagnetic activity experience with sensor technology and non-kinetic techniques.
Twitter's new AI based censor, tags "The drone papers" whistle-blower documents as "abusive" and censors it.
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 14:29
Oct 18, 2015Paul Dietrich (@paulmd199)Adventures in Twitter CensorshipIt started simply enough, I woke up this morning to an unusually high number of notifications mentioning several posts I had made. Usually this means that an account with a large following retweeted something I said. I was curious to find out who. I determined that Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) had retweeted a news article I was involved with. But a second post I made also suddenly had a large number of retweets. I saw a notification that he had favorited it, but no indication that he retweeted. Favorites usually don't have a snowball effect. I thought it might be the case that he perhaps had undid the retweet.
And that would be the end of it, but for a memory of a similar incident the day before. A keyword search on ''drone papers'' returned a quote-tweet of the same post. But when I checked the user's profile, it had vanished. Hmm, perhaps he deleted it. But his tweet was still appearing in search results, and when I clicked on the link to the tweet itself, not the user's profile, it was still there. Then I checkedhis profile with the tor browser. And sure enough, there it was. ''That was odd,'' I thought, but dismissed it as Twitter weirdness. And when it showed up in my regular browser, the next day, it was forgotten.With this memory, I decided to check with tor browser. And there it was all along, in Appelbaum's twitter feed. I thought this was worthy of a post , which prompted another retweet from Appelbaum, andseveral helpful responses, among them were posts from two other users (one of whom has worked with the Snowden Archive and been published in Der Spiegel ) confirming that they too were experiencing the same issue. The tweet had disappeared from view from US, in Appelbaum's feed. From these posts, and my own work, it appears the issue was not limited to only one ISP (it affected both CenturyLink and Verizon), to one browser (Firefox, Chrome, IE and Opera were tried), one operating system (it affected both Windows and Android), or one login (at least 3 different users affected, I was also unaffected whilst logged in, but still using tor). It was also not a case of tor vs non-tor (US tor exits affected, as were my regular home IP addresses). Apparent location of the user's IP address seemed to be the main factor. Germans could see it the post, Americans couldn't.
And there was something else, the postcontained fragments of a top secret documentrelating to drones, that were not publishedanywhere else. It happens that the '' dronepapers '' were printed double-sided and thenscanned, and the verso image shows through. Inmost cases, that image was published anywaymore plainly. But in one case, it showsfragments of an unpublished page. The takeawayis that The Intercept hasn't yet published theentire cache. Which I said: ''It would be unwiseto assume that we've heard the last from # dronepapers . There is a hint they have more tosay.'' I thought Top Secret documents would behigh on the list of things that might bedeliberately censored. Here is a short analysis of the document fragment itself.' Tasking, NSA-speak for the process of collecting information from specific sources to be forwarded to analysts.' ''OEF....: ISAF... wide... line to NSAG'''—... OEF, refers to Operation Enduring Freedom'—... ISAF, International Security Assistance Force '—... NSAG, refers to the NSA facility in Georgia' ''FMV tasking,'' FMV means Full Motion Video. In other words, this refers to the collection andanalysis of drone video footage. Perhaps the word ''SOCOM'' appears, which would refer to U.S. Special Operations Command. Additionally the phrase ''..ate target'' appears. Perhaps this is ''eliminate target''' ''Handsets can be...'', handsets are primarily what drones target, they can be geolocated, listenedto, and hit with hellfire missiles.It became apparent that Twitter itself was the cause. Moreover, that it was likely not a bug, but a deliberate feature of the system, one that has been documented . The social media company also says, " we have begun to test a product feature to help us identify suspected abusive Tweets and limit their reach. This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a Tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive. It will not affect your ability to see content that you've explicitly sought out, such as Tweets from accounts you follow, but instead is designed to help us limit the potential harm of abusive content. This feature does not take into account whether the content posted or followed by a user is controversial or unpopular". If this tool is in use, it has several interesting capabilities. To suppress posts from individual feeds, for certain viewers, depending on where they are, and for a specific time. Most views and retweets usuallyoccur within 24 hours. If a post can be hidden for a time, its reach will be severely limited. And if the original post is a retweet, the person controlling the feed is unlikely to notice (especially if it shows up in his own view). If notifications that someone has retweeted are suppressed, the poster himself is less Writing on the reverse side shows through.
likely to notice. On the odd chance someone notices, and goes back the next day to check, the post will be right where it was supposed to be, and that person says ''oh well, guess it was nothing,'' and moves on. But worse than that, even if a person is dead sure, the effects soon become non-reproducible, whichreduces the chances that the person can prove it. Censorship that doesn't look like censorship. It deliberately reduces the spread of information that might otherwise go viral. Vicious. ''You can say what you like but no one will hear you. And also, you'll think no one cared, so you'll give up trying.'' Subtle, deniable, and quite ruthless.Who controls this software? Does Twitter itself set all the rules? Do governments set policies for Twitter to administer? Or can they drive it directly? Is it all automatic, censorship by algorithm? Some mutant hybrid? (The tool's existence is not in question, as Twitter has acknowledged it, the only question is whether it was being used here, and if so, what it implies for the capabilities and policies governing the tool.)This time, I was lucky enough to notice, to have a post that credibly would be censored, and have my claims investigated and confirmed by others within the window. It is also a case where the censorship isnot legitimate. Twitter definitely has some explaining to do.
Privacy watchdogs give EU, U.S. three months to negotiate new Safe Harbor deal | Computerworld
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:54
European data protection authorities have given the European Commission and national governments three months to come up with an alternative to the Safe Harbor agreement swept away two weeks ago by a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
But any new agreement must protect the personal data of European citizens from massive and indiscriminate surveillance, which is incompatible with EU law, the data protection authorities making up the Article 29 Working Party said late Friday.
Since the CJEU ruled on Oct. 6 that the Safe Harbor agreement between the Commission and U.S. authorities did not offer necessary legal guarantees, businesses that relied on it for the transfer of their customers' or employees' private personal information from the EU to the U.S. have been doing so in something of a legal vacuum.
The High Court of Ireland triggered the CJEU's ruling by referring some matters of law to it in a case pitting an Austrian Facebook user, Maximilian Schrems, against the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Schrems had complained that, in the light of the revelations of Edward Snowden about the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance of data held by U.S. companies, Facebook's handling of his personal information did not meet EU legal requirements. Schrems appealed to the Irish high court after the DPC dismissed his initial complaint. With the CJEU's ruling now in, that case is set to continue at the high court on Tuesday, according to Schrems.
EU law allows such information to be exported only if it can be guaranteed the same privacy protections as the data enjoys within the EU, and provides for a number of ways to provide those legal guarantees. The Safe Harbor agreement was one such, covering all transfers of data by companies that certified they met its requirements. However, the CJEU determined that the agreement, while binding on the activities of companies, imposed no such restraints on the behavior of U.S. law enforcers or intelligence agencies.
For the authorities making up the working party, countries where state authorities have powers to access information beyond what is necessary in a democratic society are not safe destinations for the export of personal data.
In the absence of a replacement agreement, companies must resort to time-consuming and potentially expensive ad-hoc legal arrangements, such as model contract clauses or binding corporate rules, or refrain from transferring personal data. The working party members consider that those arrangements may still be used while they complete their legal analysis of the CJEU's decision.
In the wake of Snowden's revelations, the Commission had already recognized that the Safe Harbor agreement did not offer sufficient protection from surveillance, and had begun negotiating new terms with U.S. authorities.
Those negotiations could form the basis of a new agreement, the working party said, as long as it includes obligations on the necessary oversight of access by public authorities, on transparency, on proportionality, on redress mechanisms and on data protection rights
If no new agreement has been reached by the end of January, the working party warned, its members would consider coordinated enforcement actions to ensure companies complied with EU data protection requirements.
Companies still relying on the old Safe Harbor agreement are now acting unlawfully, it said, adding that they should consider what technical or legal steps they need to take to protect the personal data they handle.
WikiLeaks - CIA Director John Brennan emails
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:34
Today, 21 October 2015 and over the coming days WikiLeaks is releasing documents from one of CIA chief John Brennan's non-government email accounts. Brennan used the account occasionally for several intelligence related projects.
John Brennan became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in March 2013, replacing General David Petraeus who was forced to step down after becoming embroiled in a classified information mishandling scandal. Brennan was made Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on the commencement of the Obama presidency in 2009--a position he held until taking up his role as CIA chief.
According to the CIA Brennan previously worked for the agency for a 25 year stretch, from 1980 to 2005.
Brennan went private in 2005-2008, founding an intelligence and analysis firm The Analysis Corp (TAC). In 2008 Brennan became a donor to Obama. The same year TAC, led by Brennan, became a security advisor to the Obama campaign and later that year to the Obama-Biden Transition Project. It is during this period many of the Obama administration's key strategic policies to China, Iran and "Af-Pak" were formulated. When Obama and Biden entered into power, Brennan was lifted up on high, resulting in his subsequent high-level national security appointments.
If you have similar official documents that have not been published yet, send them to WikiLeaks.
John Brennan Draft SF86"National Security Position" form for John Brennan. This form, filled out by Brennan himself before he assumed his current position, reveals a quite comprehensive social graph of the current Director of the CIA with a lot of additional non-govermental and professional/military career details. (17 November 2008, Author: John Brennan)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
The Analysis CorporationFAX from the General Counsel of the CIA to the Goverment Accountability Office about a legal quarrel between the CIA and "The Analysis Corporation". TAC seems to have lost a tender for a US watchlist-related software project to a competitor. Issues seem to revolve around "growth of historical data" and "real-time responsiveness" of the system. (15 February 2008, Sender: CIA, Office of General Counsel, Larry Passar)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
Draft: Intel Position PaperChallenges for the US Intelligence Community in a post cold-war and post-9/11 world; a calling for inter-agency cooperation, a ten-year term for the Director of the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence. It also demands the autonomy of the Intelligence Community, that it "... must never be subject to political manipulation and interference." An unfinished paragraph is titled "Damaging Leaks of Classified Information". (15 July 2007, Author: John Brennan)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
The Conundrum of IranRecommendations to the next President (assuming office in Jan. 2009) on how to play the figures on the U.S.-Iranian Chessboard (18 November 2007, Author: John Brennan)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
TortureLetter from Vice Chairman Bond, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to his fellow board members with a proposal on how to make future interrogation methods "compliant" and "legal". Instead of listing all allowed methods, every kind of interrogation should be considered compliant, as long as it is not explicitly forbidden by the "Army Field Manual" (AFM). (May 2008)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
Torture WaysA bill from July 2008 called "Limitations on Interrogation Techniques Act of 2008" explicitly list the forbidden interrogation techniques mentioned in the previous document and can be considered a direct implementation of the recommendations of Christopher Bond. (31 July 2008)
Download PDF or view HTML version.
Raytheon Cyber: Creating a Cyber Shield - Cyber hardening adds layers of protection to systems
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:04
Creating a Cyber ShieldCyber hardening adds layers of protection to systemsConnected devices '-- from cars and home appliances to defense systems and satellites '-- have become part of the ever-growing Internet of Things, a vast worldwide network of hardware with embedded computers that collect, analyze and use data to make our lives easier. To reduce cybersecurity risks and ensure they operate properly and securely, these systems need to be retrofitted with protections through a process called cyber hardening.
In technical terms, cyber hardening helps reduce a system's vulnerability surface. In other words, it can limit or eliminate security holes hackers could use to penetrate systems and cause harm. Raytheon works with governments, businesses and militaries to harden their systems.
Learn more about cyber hardening and the steps required in our new video, part of our informative Cyber60 series.
Can't see the video? Click here.
Published: 10/13/2015
Last Updated: 10/19/2015
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Former House Intel chair: Info sharing could start in 30 days
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:41
Former House Intel chair: Info sharing could start in 30 daysBy Zach NobleOct 19, 2015Mike Rogers backed cybersecurity information-sharing legislation when he was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mike Rogers, the former Republican congressman turned CNN commentator, is concerned about the lack of cybersecurity legislation covering information sharing between government and the private sector.
Blaming emotion and a political hangover from National Security Agency snooping fears, Rogers decried the lack of cybersecurity information sharing while avoiding direct mention of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. He had backed similar legislation while leading the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
"The longer we have this debate, the better off hackers, [foreign] intelligence services and others are going to [be as they] play in your networks," Rogers told the audience at ISACA's CSX North America cybersecurity conference Oct. 19.
The Senate has pushed long-continuing deliberations of CISA until after its October break. Privacy advocates have staunchly opposed the legislation, which they say would throw open the doors to cyber spying.
Rogers said that despite the sensitive politics involved, automated information sharing would be an easy fix to many cybersecurity concerns because companies and government agencies could prepare for incoming threats based on the alerts from others.
"The easiest way to do this: real-time, machine-to-machine," Rogers said. "The problem is it gets caught up in the politics of, 'Well, the government's going to get all my emails.'"
He maintained that stripping personally identifiable information from shared information is entirely feasible, and law enforcement would only be able to monitor private networks with a warrant.
"The saddest part about this, since we started debating this four-and-a half years ago, [is that] it would take about 30 days to get it in order and flip the switch and have machine-to-machine sharing," Rogers said.
As he exhorted the assembled cybersecurity professionals to do what they could in the absence of information sharing, he made no bones about his distaste for the prolonged debate.
"In the meantime, we've allowed the Russians, the Iranians, organized crime, international pornographers on your networks, and they're doing everything that they want to do," he said. "The longer we go, the worse it is."
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering cloud, big data and workforce issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
'Indefensible': WikiLeaks reportedly releases info on John Brennan '-- and his family -
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:17
In what universe is this OK?
As Twitchy reported earlier, WikiLeaks threatened to post material from CIA chief John Brennan's hacked email account. Well, it looks like they've made good on their promise '-- and it's even worse than we initially thought:
What. The. Hell.
It's disgusting.
Agenda 2030
Atomic Rod email
Thanks for the generous mention on show 767.
It's an exaggeration to describe the core size for a sub or ship reactor as "football sized." It's possible to design functional cores that small, but the power output would only be a few tens of kilowatts. Might be enough for a small commercial building or grocery store.
Without violating any rules, I can tell you that the core of my 1960s vintage subs - which were 425 feet long, had a crew of 150, and displaced 9,000 tons - could fit under my office desk. That core drove the subs for 14-16 years.
Modern US subs can run for 33 years (that's a real number) without refueling. I don't know how large their cores are.
Rod Adams
Sir Atomic Rod Adams
Baronet of the Blue Ridge
Clock Boy
Ahmed the Clock Kid Peaces Out, Moves to Qatar | VICE | United States
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:03
While America was falling in love with Ahmed, the right wing internet was having a field day with the story. They decided that Ahmed's clock wasn't really homemade, or at least not homemade enough, and it really did look like a bomb, so therefore fuck that adorable 14-year-old kid!
A family friend named Anthony Bond, told The Washington Post "Everybody's vilifying him, and he's not a villain. He's a 14 year old boy," adding, "The whole world was concerned about this, and it's impossible that anyone could have expected this international reaction."
One of those international reactions was an invitation from the Qatar Foundation for Education, that will let Ahmed join something called a "Young Inventors Program." So if we're going to be dicks to him in the States, he'll be inventing shit in Qatar.
That's after he got to go to "Astronomy Night," at the White House, to meet Obama, and'--in a twist that was probably even more fun'--Bill Nye the Science Guy, and NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. Prior to that event, Ahmed had been on a whirlwind "I dropped out of school and am suddenly famous!" tour, during which he met Queen Raina of Jordan, and'--since he has Sudanese ancestry'--the fairly horrifying president of Sudan.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Ahmed wrote that he was excited about his big move to Doha, Qatar: "I loved the city of Doha because it's so modern. I saw so many amazing schools there, many of them campuses of famous American universities. The teachers were great. I think I will learn a lot and have fun too."
He thinks that now, but let's not forget he's on the cusp of puberty, and 15 is a rough year for anyone.
Follow Mike Pearl on Twitter.
Note: The location where he was taken in handcuffs was on campus, not a jail, as a previous version stated.
Things Are Getting Scary: Global Police, Precrime and the War on Domestic 'Extremists'
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:47
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a.domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police.
As such, you are now viewed as a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda.
Let that sink in a moment.
If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you have just beenpromoted to the top of the government's terrorism watch list.
I assure you I'm not making this stuff up.
Police agencies now believe the ''main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists.''
A New York Times editorial backs up these findings:
Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. ''The threat is real,'' says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a ''fear that government will confiscate firearms'' and a ''belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.''
So what is the government doing about these so-called terrorists?
The government is going to war.
Only this time, it has declared war against so-called American ''extremists.''
After decades spent waging costly, deadly and ineffective military campaigns overseas in pursuit of elusive ISIS and al Qaeda operatives and terror cells (including the recent ''accidental'' bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan that left 22 patients and medical staff dead), the Obama administration has announced a campaign to focus its terror-fighting forces inwards.
Under the guise of fighting violent extremism ''in all of its forms and manifestations'' in cities and communities across the world, the Obama administration has agreed to partner with the United Nations to take part in its Strong Cities Network program. Funded by the State Department through 2016, after which ''charities are expected to take over funding,'' the cities included in the global network include New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Paris, London, Montreal, Beirut and Oslo.
Working with the UN, the federal government will train local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism, as well as address intolerance within their communities, using all of the resources at their disposal.
What this program is really all about, however, is community policing on a global scale.
Community policing, which relies on a ''broken windows'' theory of policing, calls for police to engage with the community in order to prevent local crime by interrupting or preventing minor offenses before they could snowball into bigger, more serious and perhaps violent crime. The problem with the broken windows approach is that it has led to zero tolerance policing and stop-and-frisk practices among other harsh police tactics.
When applied to the Strong Cities Network program, the objective is ostensibly to prevent violent extremism by targeting its source: racism, bigotry, hatred, intolerance, etc.
In other words, police'--acting ostensibly as extensions of the United Nations'--will identify, monitor and deter individuals who exhibit, express or engage in anything that could be construed as extremist.
Consider how Attorney General Loretta Lynch describes the initiative:
As residents and experts in their communities, local leaders are often best positioned to pinpoint sources of unrest and discord; best equipped to identify signs of potential danger; and best able to recognize and accommodate community cultures, traditions, sensitivities, and customs. By creating a series of partnerships that draws on the knowledge and expertise of our local officials, we can create a more effective response to this virulent threat.
Translation: U.S. police agencies are embarking on an effort to identify and manage potential extremist ''threats,'' violent or otherwise, before they can become actual threats. (If you want a foretaste of how ''extreme'' things could get in the U.S.: new anti-terrorism measures in the U.K. require that extremists be treated like pedophiles and banned from working with youngsters and vulnerable people.)
The government's war on extremists, of which the Strong Cities program is a part, is being sold to Americans in much the same way that the USA Patriot Act was sold to Americans: as a means of combatting terrorists who seek to destroy America.
For instance, making the case for the government's war on domestic extremism, the Obama administration has suggested that it may require greater legal powers to combat violent attacks by lone wolves (such as ''people motivated by racial and religious hatred and anti-government views'' who ''communicate their hatred over the Internet and through social media'').
Enter the government's newest employee: a domestic terrorism czar.
However, as we now know, the USA Patriot Act was used as a front to advance the surveillance state, allowing the government to establish a far-reaching domestic spying program that has turned every American citizen into a criminal suspect.
Similarly, the concern with the government's anti-extremism program is that it will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.
Keep in mind that the government agencies involved in ferreting out American ''extremists'' will carry out their objectives'--to identify and deter potential extremists'--in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the private sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioralepigenetics (in which life experiences alter one's genetic makeup).
This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it's been a long time coming.
For example, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two reports, one on ''Rightwing Extremism,'' which broadly defines rightwing extremists as individuals and groups ''that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,'' and one on ''Leftwing Extremism,'' which labeled environmental and animal rights activist groups as extremists.
Incredibly, both reports use the words terrorist and extremist interchangeably.
That same year, the DHS launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be ''disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.''
These reports indicate that for the government, anyone seen as opposing the government'--whether they're Left, Right or somewhere in between'--can be labeled an extremist.
Fast forward a few years, and you have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which President Obama has continually re-upped, that allows the military to take you out of your home, lock you up with no access to friends, family or the courts if you're seen as an extremist.
Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA and the UN's Strong Cities Network with its globalized police forces, the National Security Agency's far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.
Add in tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones that will soon blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the circle, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to ''predict'' crimes and identify criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.
Hopefully you're getting the picture, which is how easy it is for the government to identify, label and target individuals as ''extremist.''
We're living in a scary world.
Unless we can put the brakes on this dramatic expansion and globalization of the government's powers, we're not going to recognize this country 20 years from now.
Frankly, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the landscape has already shifted dramatically from what it was like 10 or 20 years ago. It's taken less than a generation for our freedoms to be eroded and the police state structure to be erected, expanded and entrenched.
Rest assured that the government will not save us from the chains of the police state. The UN's Strong Cities Network program will not save us. The next occupant of the White House will not save us. For that matter, anarchy and violent revolution will not save us.
If there is to be any hope of freeing ourselves, it rests'--as it always has'--at the local level, with you and your fellow citizens taking part in grassroots activism, which takes a trickle-up approach to governmental reform by implementing change at the local level.
Attend local city council meetings, speak up at town hall meetings, organize protests and letter-writing campaigns, employ ''militant nonviolent resistance'' and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts and marches.
And then, while you're at it, urge your local governments to nullify everything the federal government does that is illegitimate, egregious or blatantly unconstitutional.
If this sounds anti-government or extremist, perhaps it is, in much the same way that King himself was considered anti-government and extremist. Recognizing that ''freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,'' King's tactics'--while nonviolent'--were extreme by the standards of his day.
As King noted in his 1963 ''Letter from Birmingham City Jail'':
[A]s I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist in love'--''Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.'' Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist'--''This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.'' Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist'--''We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'' So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love?
So how do you not only push back against the police state's bureaucracy, corruption and cruelty but also launch a counterrevolution aimed at reclaiming control over the government using nonviolent means?
Take a cue from King.
Strong Cities Network | Inspiring Local Resilience on a Global Scale
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:50
Strong Cities Network | Inspiring Local Resilience on a Global ScaleInspiring Local Resilience on a Global ScaleBecome a Strong City
A global network of local authorities united in building resilience to prevent violent extremism.
The Strong Cities Network will be spearheaded by an International Steering Committee of cities and local authorities selected from different regions across the globe.
New York
The Strong Cities Network aims to connect cities and other local authorities on an international basis, to enhance local level approaches to prevent violent extremism; including facilitating information sharing, mutual learning and creation of new and innovative local practices. Find out more about the Strong Cities Network strategic objectives below.
Facilitate systematic sharing of knowledge, expertise and lessons learned on building social cohesion and community resilience to prevent violent extremism across cities on an international basis, through both regional workshops and international conferences.
Raise awareness of existing policy, programming, and practice through a dynamic and searchable 'Online Information Hub', providing an extensive library of existing local approaches and responses to prevent violent extremism.
Directly support cities to develop strategic frameworks and capabilities to build resilience that safeguard the rights of their local communities, including through capacity building seminars and interactive training modules on themes of mutual interest.
Facilitate international partnerships through a dedicated 'Twinning Program', established to develop sustained links between two or more cities based on mutual priorities and capacity for learning and co-creation of new projects.
Directly seed the development of new and innovative projects through 'Local Innovation Grants', providing support for cities on innovative project development and support for the transfer of promising projects that could be adapted across different locations.
Provide a global platform to enable cities to jointly voice their needs and those of their communities, to inform national and international decision-making on preventing the spread and growth of violent extremism.
New York29-30 September 2015
Global Launch, United NationsThe Strong Cities Network will launch on 29 September in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Welcoming remarks will be offered by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
The launch of the Strong Cities Network will be followed by the first Steering Committee Meeting on 30 September, convening Mayors and local government leaders from 25 cities across the globe, leading efforts to challenge violent extremism and who will actively drive the international agenda of the Strong Cities Network.
ParisSpring 2016
First Annual Strong Cities SummitThe Strong Cities Network will host its First Annual Summit in cooperation with the City of Paris in Spring 2016. The Annual Summit of the Strong Cities Network represents the largest yearly global conference of cities, municipalities and other local authorities leading efforts to prevent violent extremism from across the world.
Convening over 100 local authority representatives from all regions of the world, Annual Strong Cities Summits provide a global forum for city representatives to showcase local projects; participate in local innovation workshops and network with colleagues from across the globe. To register your interest in participating in the Summit please register to 'Become a Strong City'.
About usThe Strong Cities Network is the first global network of cities and other sub-national entities working together to build social cohesion and resilience to prevent violent extremism in all its forms.
The Strong Cities Network provides a global platform to support local authorities to systematically share lessons learned, pool resources and build a community that can mobilize local action on a global scale.
The risk of violent extremism '' across racial, ideological, political and religious motivations '' is a concern for families, communities and governments. Local authorities, including city, municipal and town governments, must work closely with civil society to identify and address the methods used by violent extremists to recruit, radicalize and mobilize targeted individuals.
A growing number of cities and other sub-national authorities across the world have developed - or are interested in developing - local prevention and intervention programs that build social cohesion and resilience against all forms of violent extremism. Such programs must emphasize two-way, local partnerships with communities built on equality and respect; they must underline respect for human rights and promote local democratic participation.
To do this, cities and other sub-national authorities require a network that facilitates systematic exchange of good practices, expertise and lessons learned.
The 'Strong Cities Network' (SCN) has been created to achieve a focused and rapid exchange of ideas and methods to strengthen the safety, security and cohesion of communities and cities. The Strong Cities Network will connect cities and local authority practitioners through practical workshops, training seminars and sustained city partnerships.
Strong Cities Network member cities will also contribute to, and benefit from, an 'Online Information Hub' of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules, as well as 'City-to-City Exchanges'. Strong Cities Network member cities will be eligible for grants supporting new innovative pilot projects.
Please check our Activities section to find out more about the Strong City Network's projects.
The Strong Cities Network will operate from the assumption that communities and local governments are both part of the solution to address violent extremism. The Strong Cities Network will be driven by a number of fundamental principles:
- A commitment from its members to address violent extremism in all of its forms.- A recognition that violent extremism and prevention efforts should not be associated with any particular religion, nationality or ethnic group.- A commitment from its members to work in partnership with local communities, on an inclusive, collaborative, and non-discriminatory basis and in compliance with international human rights standards.
The Strong Cities Network is driven by an International Steering Committee of 25 cities and other local authorities selected from different regions across the globe. The Steering Committee is composed of cities that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to sharing information and expertise through the Strong Cities Network. The International Steering Committee will determine the strategic direction and thematic priorities of the Strong Cities Network.
The Strong Cities Network will also convene an International Advisory Board, including existing international and regional associations of cities and local authorities, in addition to a regionally balanced group of non-governmental entities.
The Strong Cities Network is run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based 'think-and-do' tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism across all forms.
Following the official launch at the United Nations in New York on the 29-30 September, the Strong Cities Network will convene the First Strong Cities Annual Summit in cooperation with the City of Paris in spring 2016. Annual Summits of the Strong Cities Network represent the largest annual global conference of cities and other local authorities leading efforts to prevent violent extremism from across the world.
Coinciding with the First Annual Summit, the Strong Cities Network will also launch the global 'Online Information Hub' which will contain a knowledge-base of best practices and lessons learned, as well as training modules and other interactive resources to support local authorities in developing local policies and practices to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.
The Strong Cities Network has been established exclusively for local authority representatives and/or practitioners operating at city, municipal or sub-national levels.
Membership to the network is completely free of charge.
If you are interested in joining the Strong Cities Network and becoming a member of a global community of local authority representatives and practitioners working to prevent violent extremism in all its forms, please register to 'Become a Strong City'.
testimonials''I look forward to Aarhus joining the Strong Cities Network steering committee and to speaking about the Aarhus model here in New York. Although radicalization can result from a variety of different causes and be expressed in a variety of different ways, there are a range of trigger factors that are identical '' all over the world.
Jacob Bundsgaard
"To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance. To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders. The Strong Cities network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society."
Stian Berger R¸sland
"It is with great conviction that Montreal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders. This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montreal's Mayors' International Observatory on Living Together. I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montreal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.''
Hon. Denis Coderre
''It gives me great joy to represent the people of Mombasa and to offer the message of hope that we are not alone in this fight against violent extremism and that together we shall overcome. This initiative allows for issues on violent extremism to be discussed and mitigated through information-sharing and city-to-city exchanges. Violent extremism has no place in Mombasa, and I vow to support the Strong Cities Network."
H.E Hassan Ali Joho
"As the Mayor of Antalya from Turkey, one of the most secure cities of the world, despite the visit of 15 million tourists each year, I am very happy to take part in the creation of Strong Cities Network...Antalya will decisively contribute to this network in close cooperation with the partner cities, benefiting from their experiences and will try to be an example for other cities to achieve peace and harmony in the world."
Menderes T¼rel
"London is a world in a city, with many diverse communities. Our capital must have a single strong voice in challenging the extremist narrative. By working with cities across the world, we hope to share our experience in tackling violent extremism as well as bringing a new approach to our own initiatives.''
Boris Johnson
Today Medellin is regarded as an example to the world in urban violence reduction that, along inequality, stands as the main challenge facing Latin American Cities. Going from the most violent city in the world to be a global referent in building societies for life, fills us with satisfaction and allows us to be part of initiatives such as the Strong Cities Network. When talking about the prevention of violent extremism and reduction in murders, some people see statistics, we see something deeper: saving lives
Anibal Gaviria
Become a Strong CityThe Strong Cities Network is designed for local authority representatives and/or practitioners operating at city, municipal or sub-national level.
To register your interest in participating in the Strong Cities Network and to join this global community of city-level representatives and practitioners, please fill out the form.
Membership to the network is completely free of charge.
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Strong Cities Network will foster collaboration to fight violent extremism, US attorney general says
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:48
TerrorismStrong Cities Network will foster collaboration to fight violent extremism, US attorney general saysBy Debra Cassens WeissSep 30, 2015, 07:16 am CDTFour U.S. municipalities are participating in a new group, the Strong Cities Network, which aims to fight violent extremism through international collaboration between cities.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch joined with other world leaders to announce the global network, according the New York Observer, the New York Times, Al Jazeera America and Justice Department press releases here and here. New York City will participate in the network, which also includes Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Paris, London, Montreal, Beirut and Oslo, according to the Strong Cities Network website.
''Through the Strong Cities Network that we have unveiled today,'' Lynch said in prepared remarks, ''we are making the first systematic effort in history to bring together cities around the world to share experiences, to pool resources, and to forge partnerships in order to build local cohesion and resilience on a global scale. Today we tell every city, every town, and every community that has lost the flower of its youth to a sea of hatred'--you are not alone. We stand together, and we stand with you.''
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared on a UN panel with Lynch, where he addressed concerns the collaboration will target law-abiding Muslims. De Blasio said the most powerful way to counter violent extremism is to address intolerance.
The network will conduct workshops and training, will offer online documents of best practices, and will offer grants for innovative initiatives. The U.S. State Department will provide funds through 2016, at which time charities are expected to take over funding.
Members of the network will join in the network's first annual summit in Paris in spring 2016. The network will be led by a steering committee of about 25 cities and regions, and will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, described in the press release as a ''leading international 'think-and-do' tank'' that fights violent extremism.
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Intel System Failed During Afghan Hospital Strike: US Lawmaker | Defense Tech
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:33
Caption: Fires burn in part of the MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz after it was hit by an air strike on October 3, 2015 (Photo MSF / AFP)
A U.S. congressman said key parts of the Army's battlefield intelligence system failed during the Oct. 3 airstrike on a civilian hospital in Afghanistan.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and a former Marine who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq, raised the criticism in a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Ashton Carton, according to a copy of the correspondence obtained by Military'‹.com.
''My office has learned from multiple service members and officers that in the months leading up to, and during the tragic events of October 3, when a U.S. airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, the primary components of the Pentagon's flagship Intelligence system, the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), were not operational in Afghanistan,'' the letter states.
''The non-operational components included the DCGS-Army (DCGS-A) Cloud, DCGS-A intelligence fusion servers, and the DCGS-SOF variant of the system,'' it adds.
Responding to a request for air support from Afghan forces on the ground, a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship attacked the Doctors Without Borders hospital in the city of Kunduz, killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 30, according to press reports.
President Barack Obama later apologized for the incident and Army Gen. John Campbell, the top commander in the country, called it ''a mistake.''
Troops have long complained about the reliability and effectiveness of the Army's battlefield intelligence system.
The 4th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team in 2013 submitted a report criticizing the system to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence. ''DCGS-A does not provide the functionality needed by deployed intelligence Soldiers,'' according to the document, a copy of which was obtained last year by Military'‹.com.
Less than four months later, Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, the Army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence, defended the intelligence system during a demonstration of the technology at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
During the presentation, Army officials said the program draws on more than 600 sources of information, from Global Hawk drones and GPS satellites to ground sensors and biometric scanners. It uses a mix of military and commercial software applications, including Google Earth made by Google Inc. and i2 Analyst's Notebook made by IBM Corp.
Across the military, the Distributed Common Ground System is estimated to cost at least $10.6 billion. More than half of that, or about $6 billion, has been spent, according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
Yet glitches in the program have persisted, according to the Army units in Afghanistan. Perhaps most notably, troops couldn't pass information from servers on the battlefield to those on stateside bases '-- a seemingly basic network functionality long standard on commercial websites, from Facebook to Google.
In the letter, the congressman, who got into a debate with former Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno over the issue, wrote, ''Senior Army leaders have gone to extraordinary lengths in recent years to deny evidence of failures of the DCGS program, and I am asking for your help to prevent them from doing so following this tragic incident.''
Hunter added, ''The purpose of DCGS is to enable commanders and service members to 'see and know' the battlefield and prevent incidents like the airstrike on the hospital in Kunduz. As you know, DCGS has been in development for nearly two decades and has been plagued by failures in testing, training and combat. More than 28 Army Briagde Commanders have stated in writing that DCGS-A fails to provide the capabilities necessary to accomplish their mission in combat. over time, many of my colleagues have also expressed deep concerns about failures of the program.''
October 20th, 2015 | Info War | 2595921
Tagged as: DCGS, Distributed Common Ground System, Duncan Hunter
Big Pharma
Your doctor is not ''trained'' to prescribe Addyi | Dr. Jen Gunter
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 22:33
Addyi, the drug to boost libido for women, hits the market today.
Let's take the fact that the women in the studies for the medication do not reflect the average patient in the gynecologist's office reporting low libido and that even for this highly select group of women only 9-14% responded and the definition of response was very modest and put it aside.
Let's focus instead on the ''doctor training.'' By now most people have heard that Addyi has a potentially dangerous interaction with alcohol and other medications. But no fear, we doctors who prescribe Addyi are ''well-trained to do so!'' I read about that in several posts.
Except we are not.
To prescribe Addyi a doctor has to read 13 power point slides and sign an attestation that basically says they will assume the risk if their patient drinks while taking Addyi. Four of the slides contain no medical information, so eight slides with relevant information (it's so basic though it is hard to call it relevant) to the drug. The company itself calls the program ''3 easy steps'' '' read, review, and enroll! (how is that even 3 steps, isn't read and review part of the same thing '' learning?). It takes less than that 5 minutes. Now if 5 minutes and 3 easy steps doesn't say well-trained I don't know what does!
In my opinion it's not any kind of training, it's a shift of risk from the manufacturer to the provider. If a patient takes Addyi, drinks alcohol, and suffers harm the company can simply say the doctor didn't screen and prescribe appropriately. Tidy,
This is the extend of the information on patient selection:
Addyi is indicated for the treatment of premenopausal women with acquired generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) as characterized by low sexual desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is NOT due to: A co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, Problems within the relationship, or The effects of a medication or other drug substance.
Most of the slides focus on the fact that mixing Addyi and alcohol is potentially dangerous (this interaction, as I have reported before, was studied mostly in men).
The people best able screen for suitability for the drug are sex therapists, but seeing a sex therapist isn't a requirement. Believe me when I say the average gynecologist has no idea how to screen for sex disorders. What will happen is women will call for the drug. They won't get screened for relationship issues or depression and sex technique won't be discussed. The easy thing to do will be to read 13 slides and sign an attestation and then give the drug. I expect several enterprising OB/GYNs to set up specific sex clinics for this purpose '' come in for a private $500 consultation, leave with a prescription for Addyi. (Just remember, and expensive placebo works best).
No doctor is ''trained'' to prescribe Addyi specifically because there is no training program, just some cursory information on the drug and a warning about alcohol and a few other drugs. It's not about patient selection or safety, it is a paper shell game designed to shift risk.
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US warns Zim over US$3bln Russia deal
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:19
THE United States has reportedly warned Zimbabwe about its growing economic dealings with Russia after Harare recently sealed an agreement with Moscow for a US$3 billion platinum mine.
According to Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru, who is thought to be President Robert Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba, the Obama administration threatened further sanctions against Zimbabwe over its ties with Russia.
Manheru's claims could not be verified with the US embassy in Harare late Friday night.
The US has imposed sanctions against Moscow, tightening restrictions on major Russian state banks and corporations, after accusing the Kremlin of providing military backing to Ukrainian separatists and generally destabilising the region.
Zimbabwe's Pen East Investments has teamed up with Afronet, a consortium of three Russian partners, to form Great Dyke Investments, which is developing the US$3 billion Darwendale platinum project.
At full development in 2024, the mine will produce 800,000 ounces of platinum, pushing Zimbabwe's output over one million ounces, and create 8,000 jobs.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov visited Zimbabwe last month to conclude the deal with President Robert Mugabe.
However, according to Manheru, the deal could see Washington hit Harare with further sanctions.
Wrote Manheru in the Saturday Herald: ''A week or two ago, the US government, through its local embassy, sent an official communication to the Zimbabwean Government, listing the full measures of sanctions the West, led by America, have slapped on Russia.
''The communication went further.
''It spelt out American expectations on Zimbabwe, namely that Zimbabwe was expected (read required) to support those sanctions by avoiding any association with companies sanctioned by the Americans and their Western allies.
''Or their subsidiaries or affiliates.
''And . . . yes you guess right, that targets the new US$3bn-plus platinum investment by the Russians at Darwendale! It (Zimbabwe) should not proceed or else we are under sanctions.''
The US imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2003, accusing Mugabe of human rights abuses and electoral fraud. Harare denies the allegations, insisting the sanctions were meant to punish the country for embarking on its land reforms.
Obama's administration has ignored calls by Mugabe to remove the sanctions which the veteran leader blames for bringing Zimbabwe's economy to its knees.
Manheru said it was ridiculous for the US to refuse to lift sanctions against Harare and then demand support for its measures against Moscow.
He wrote: ''America then invites sanctioned Zimbabwe to support sanctions against Russia, itself a bird of the same feather!
''Oh America!
''This is where I am tempted to tell the American government to go and hang, hang on a banana tree, bums up.''
On the threat of further punishment from Washington, Manheru quipped: ''What sanctions can come from the Americans to us? I thought those on the ground cannot fall?''
The Zanu PF government says Western countries have been flummoxed by Harare's growing economic ties with China and Russia.
Zanu PF chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, last week said support from Beijing and Moscow had helped crush the West's attempts to force regime change in Zimbabwe.
''We understand their (West) fear when China and Russia are pouring in billions of dollars to partner with Zimbabwe in infrastructure, mining and beneficiation of minerals within Zimbabwe,'' Khaya Moyo said during a visit to Cuba.
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:07
...Quebec television show. Justin Trudeau's father Pierre Trudeau was born in1919 in Montreal in QUEBEC to Charles-‰mile Trudeau, a French-Canadian businessman and lawyer, and Grace Elliott, who was of French and Scottish descent.Pierre Trudeau was educated in Canada by the Jesuits and at the spooky London School of Economics by Harold Laski.
In 1969 and 1970, Pierre Trudeau dated Barbra Streisand.
In 1971, Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair who was diagnosed as having bipolar depression.[87]. According to the article at Henry Makow, entitled: Is Justin Trudeau a Product of Mind Control?:
"Pierre's 1968 marriage to Margaret was 'arranged' by the military. "The couple were programmed with LSD at a remote farm in British Columbia.
Mick Jagger and Jimmy Savile are both linked to the spooks and to boys. Mick Jagger, like Pierre Trudeau, was educated at the London School of Economics."After Margaret ran off with the Rolling Stones in 1977, the marriage was over."Soon after, as a single father, Pierre turned to a York University sociologist, John Seeley, for parental advice."John Seeley, a self-proclaimed 'sadist and pedophile' would fly up to Ottawa on weekends to 'advise' Pierre on how he should be raising his three sons. Justin was six." (See also this article.)
Pierre and Margaret divorced in 1984.Pierre and Justin Trudeau.
In 1984, Pierre Trudeau was romantically involved with Margot Kidder.In 1991, Pierre Trudeau became a father again, with Deborah Coyne.
Henry Makow's article entitled: Is Justin Trudeau a Product of Mind Control? refers to the book TRANCE-FORMATION OF AMERICA by Cathy O'Brien.
Cathy O'Brien was reportedly mind controlled by the security services and turned into a sex slave for Pierre Trudeau and many other members of the elite.
"According to Trudeau's Jesuit mentor, Trudeau ordered the kidnap and murder of his enemy Pierre Laporte in October 1970, because Laporte was threatening him with blackmail and exposure as a pedophile."
"During his eulogy at Pierre's funeral, a smiling 28-year-old Justin seemed dissociated, almost giddy. "He began the eulogy with a weird story about a trip he took at age six, with his father and grandfather 'to the North Pole,' to a 'military installation' at Alert NWT."
Ministry of Truth
Bellingcat-Elliott Higgins: Huge thanks to Google for Media who have provided funding to keep Bellingcat alive for the next year, and pay for our first full time hire.
Germany Just Had to Remind Benjamin Netanyahu Who Was Responsible for the Holocaust | Mother Jones
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:16
'--Inae Oh on Wed. October 21, 2015 12:23 PM PDT
After decades of near universal condemnation for the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, it's time to give Adolf Hitler a bit of a break'--or at least that's the eyebrow-raising approach that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to support on Wednesday.
In a speech delivered at the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu described a meeting between Hitler and then Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, in which he implied it was actually al-Husseini who wanted to exterminate Jews from Europe. Hitler? Apparently he just needed a little encouragement.
From his controversial speech:
And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, "If you expel them, they'll all come here." "So what should I do with them?" he asked. He said, "Burn them." And he was sought in, during the Nuremberg trials for prosecution.
Politicians and historians were quick to denounce Netanyahu's speech, the theme of which was "10 big lies."
"He moves the responsibility of the Holocaust, for the destruction of the Jews, to the mufti and the Arab world," Professor Moshe Zimmerman of Hebrew University said in response. "This is a trick intended to stain the Arabs of today because of the Arabs of the past."
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined the international community in its criticism.
"All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.
"This is taught in German schools for good reason, it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own."
Netanyahu's remarks come amid escalating tensions and deadly attacks between Israelis and Palestinians this past month.
Haj Amin al-Husseini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:03
Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini (Arabic: محمد أمين اÙØ­Ø"يني'Ž;[5]c. 1897[6][7] '' 4 July 1974) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in Mandatory Palestine.[8]
Al-Husseini was the scion of a family of Jerusalemite notables,[9] who trace their origins to the grandson of Muhammad.[10] After receiving an education in Islamic, Ottoman and Catholic schools, he went on to serve in the Ottoman army in World War I. At war's end, he positioned himself in Damascus as a supporter of the Arab Kingdom of Syria. Following the fiasco of the Franco-Syrian War and the collapse of the Arab Hashemite rule in Damascus, his early position on pan-Arabism shifted to a form of local nationalism for Palestinian Arabs and he moved back to Jerusalem. From as early as 1920, he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of the 1920 Nebi Musa riots. Al-Husseini was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, but was pardoned by the British.[11] Starting in 1921, al-Husseini was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, using the position to promote Islam, while rallying a non-confessional Arab nationalism against Zionism.[12][13]
His opposition to the British peaked during the 1936''39 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, evading an arrest warrant, he fled Palestine and took refuge in, successively, the French Mandate of Lebanon and the Kingdom of Iraq, until he established himself in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. During World War II he collaborated with both Italy and Germany by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At war's end, he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution.
In the lead-up to the 1948 Palestine war, Husseini opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah's designs to annex the Arab part of British Mandatory Palestine to Jordan, and, failing to gain command of the 'Arab rescue army' (jaysh al-inqadh al-'arabi) formed under the aegis of the Arab League, formed his own militia, al-jihad al-muqaddas. In September 1948, he participated in the establishment of an All-Palestine Government. Seated in Egyptian-ruled Gaza, this government won a limited recognition of Arab states, but was eventually dissolved by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1959. After the war and subsequent Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership, wholly discredited, left him eventually sidelined by the Palestine Liberation Organization, and he lost most of his residual political influence.[14] He died in Beirut, Lebanon, in July 1974.
Early lifeAmin al-Husseini was born around 1897[15] in Jerusalem, the son of the mufti of that city and prominent early opponent of Zionism, Tahir al-Husayni.[16] The al-Husseini clan consisted of wealthy landowners in southern Palestine, centered around the district of Jerusalem. Thirteen members of the clan had been Mayors of Jerusalem between 1864 and 1920. Another member of the clan and Amin's half-brother,[17]Kamil al-Husayni, also served as Mufti of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini attended a Qur'an school (kuttub), and Ottoman government secondary school (r¼shidiyye) where he learnt Turkish, and a Catholic secondary school run by French missionaries, the Catholic Fr¨res, where he learned French.[18] He also studied at the Alliance Isra(C)lite Universelle with its non-Zionist Jewish director Albert Ant(C)bi.[19] In 1912 he studied Islamic law briefly at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and at the Dar al-Da'wa wa-l-Irshad, under Rashid Rida, a salafi intellectual, who was to remain Amin's mentor till his death in 1935.[20] Though groomed to hold religious office from youth, his education was typical of the Ottoman effendi at the time, and he only donned a religious turban in 1921 after being appointed mufti.[18]
In 1913, approximately at the age of 16, al-Husseini accompanied his mother Zainab to Mecca and received the honorary title of Hajj. Prior to World War I, he studied at the School of Administration in Constantinople, the most secular of Ottoman institutions.[21]
World War IWith the outbreak of World War I in 1914, al-Husseini received a commission in the Ottoman Army as an artilleryofficer and was assigned to the Forty-Seventh Brigade stationed in and around the city of Izmir. In November 1916 he obtained a three-month disability leave from the army and returned to Jerusalem.[22] He was recovering from an illness there when the city was captured by the British a year later.[21] The British and Sherifian armies, for which some 500 Palestinian Arabs were estimated to have volunteered, completed their conquest of Ottoman-controlled Palestine and Syria in 1918.[23][24] As a Sherifian officer, al-Husseini recruited men to serve in Faisal bin Al Hussein bin Ali El-Hashemi's army during the Arab Revolt, a task he undertook while employed as a recruiter by the British military administration in Jerusalem and Damascus. The post-war Palin Report noted that the English recruiting officer, Captain C. D. Brunton, found al-Husseini, with whom he cooperated, very pro-British, and that, via the diffusion of War Office pamphlets dropped from the air promising them peace and prosperity under British rule, 'the recruits (were) being given to understand that they were fighting in a national cause and to liberate their country from the Turks'.[25] Nothing in his early career to this point suggests he had ambitions to serve in a religious office: his interests were those of an Arab nationalist.[21]
Early political activismIn 1919, al-Husseini attended the Pan-Syrian Congress held in Damascus where he supported Emir Faisal for King of Syria. That year al-Husseini founded the pro-British Jerusalem branch of the Syrian-based 'Arab Club' (Al-Nadi al-arabi), which then vied with the Nashashibi-sponsored 'Literary Club' (al-Muntada al-Adabi) for influence over public opinion, and he soon became its President.[26][27] At the same time, he wrote articles for the Suriyya al-Janubiyya (Southern Syria). The paper was published in Jerusalem beginning in September 1919 by the lawyer Muhammad Hassan al-Budayri, and edited by Aref al-Aref, both prominent members of al-Nadi al-'Arabi.
Al-Husseini was a strong supporter of the short-living Arab Kingdom of Syria, established in March 1920. In addition to his support to pan-Arabist policies of King Faisal I, al-Husseini tried to destabilize the British rule in Palestine, which was declared to be part of the Arab Kingdom, even though no authority was exercised in reality.
During the annual Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem in April 1920, violent rioting broke out in protest at the implementation of the Balfour Declaration which supported the establishment in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people. Much damage to Jewish life and property was caused. The Palin Report laid the blame for the explosion of tensions on both sides.[28]Ze'ev Jabotinsky, organiser of Jewish paramilitary defences, received a 15-year sentence.[29] Al-Husseini, then a teacher at the Rashidiya school, near Herod's Gate in East Jerusalem, was charged with inciting the Arab crowds with an inflammatory speech and sentenced in absentia to 10-years imprisonment by a military court, since by then he had fled to Syria.[30] It was asserted soon after, by Chaim Weizmann and British army Lieutenant ColonelRichard Meinertzhagen, that al-Husseini had been put up to inciting the riot by British Field-marshalAllenby's Chief of Staff, Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor, to demonstrate to the world that Arabs would not tolerate a Jewish homeland in Palestine.[31][32][33] The assertion was never proven, and Meinertzhagen was dismissed.[34]
After the April riots an event took place that turned the traditional rivalry between the Husseini and Nashashibi clans into a serious rift,[35] with long-term consequences for al-Husseini and Palestinian nationalism. According to Sir Louis Bols, great pressure was brought to bear on the military administration from Zionist leaders and officials such as David Yellin, to have the Mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husayni, dismissed, given his presence in the demonstration of the previous March. Colonel Storrs, the Military Governor of Jerusalem, removed him without further inquiry, replacing him with Raghib al-Nashashibi of the rival Nashashibi clan. This, according to the Palin report, 'had a profound effect on his co-religionists, definitely confirming the conviction they had already formed from other evidence that the Civil Administration was the mere puppet of the Zionist Organization.'[36]
Until late 1920, al-Husseini focused his efforts on Pan-Arabism and the ideology of the Greater Syria in particular, with Palestine understood as a southern province of an Arab state, whose capital was to be established in Damascus. Greater Syria was to include territory of the entire Levant, now occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinian Authority and Israel. The struggle for Greater Syria collapsed after France defeated the Arab forces in Battle of Maysalun in July 1920. The French army entered Damascus at that time, overthrew King Faisal and put an end to the project of a Greater Syria, put under the French Mandate in accordance with the prior Sykes-Picot Agreement. Palestinian notables responded to the disaster by a series of resolutions at the 1921 Haifa conference, which set down a Palestinian framework and passed over in silence the earlier idea of a south confederated with Syria. This framework set the tone of Palestinian nationalism for the ensuing decades.[37][38]
Al-Husseini, like many of his class and period, then turned from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology, centered on Jerusalem, which sought to block Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine.[39] The frustration of pan-Arab aspirations lent an Islamic colour to the struggle for independence, and increasing resort to the idea of restoring the land to Dar al-Islam. From his election as Mufti until 1923, al-Husseini exercised total control over the secret society, Al-Fida'iyya (The Self-Sacrificers), which, together with al-Ikha' wal-'Afaf (Brotherhood and Purity), played an important role in clandestine anti-British and anti-Zionist activities, and, via members in the gendarmerie, had engaged in riotous activities as early as April 1920.[41]
Mufti of JerusalemSir Herbert Samuel, recently appointed British High Commissioner, declared a general amnesty for those convicted of complicity in the riots of 1920, excluding only Amin and Al Aref. During a visit later that year to the Bedouin tribes of Transjordan who harboured the two political refugees, Samuel offered a pardon to both and al- Al Aref accepted with alacrity. Husseini initially rebuffed the offer, on the grounds that he was not a criminal. He accepted the pardon only in the wake of the death of his half-brother, the mufti Kamil al-Husayni, in March 1921.[42] Elections were then held, and of the four candidates running for the office of Mufti, al-Husseini received the least number of votes, the first three being Nashashibi candidates. Nevertheless, Samuel was anxious to keep a balance between the al-Husseinis and their rival clan the Nashashibis.[43] A year earlier the British had replaced Musa al-Husayni as Mayor of Jerusalem with Ragheb al-Nashashibi. They then moved to secure for the Husseini clan a compensatory function of prestige by appointing one of them to the position of mufti, and, with the support of Ragheb al-Nashashibi and Sheikh Hussam Jārallāh, prevailing upon the Nashashibi front-runner, SheikhHussam ad-Din Jarallah, to withdraw. This automatically promoted Amin al-Husseini to third position, which, under Ottoman law, allowed him to qualify, and Samuel then chose him as Mufti.[44] His initial appointment was as Mufti, but when the Supreme Muslim Council was created in the following year, Husseini demanded and received the title Grand Mufti that had earlier been created, perhaps on the lines of Egyptian usage,[45] by the British for his half-brother Kamil.[46][47][48] The position came with a life tenure.[49]
In 1922, al-Husseini was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in 1921.[50] Matthews argues that the British considered the combinations of his profile as an effective Arab nationalist and a scion of a noble Jerusalem family 'made it advantageous to align his interests with those of the British administration and thereby keep him on a short tether.'.[51] The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds[52] and the orphan funds, worth annually about £50,000, as compared to the £600,000 in the Jewish Agency's annual budget.[53] In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.[54]
The British initially balanced appointments to the Supreme Muslim Council between the Husseinis and their supporters (known as the majlisiya, or council supporters) and the Nashashibis and their allied clans (known as the mu'aridun, the opposition).[55] The mu'aridun, were more disposed to a compromise with the Jews, and indeed had for some years received annual subventions from the Jewish Agency.[56] During most of the period of the British mandate, bickering between these two families seriously undermined any Palestinian Arab unity. In 1936, however, they achieved a measure of concerted policy when all the Palestinian Arab groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab Higher Committee under al-Husseini's chairmanship.
Haram ash-Sharif and the Western WallThe Supreme Muslim Council and its head al-Husseini, who regarded himself as guardian of one of the three holy sites of Islam, launched an international campaign in Muslim countries to gather funds to restore and improve the Haram ash-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) or Temple Mount, and particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the shrine Dome of the Rock (which houses the holiest site in Judaism).[57] The whole area required extensive restoration, given the disrepair into which it had fallen from neglect in Ottoman times. Jerusalem was the original direction towards which Muslims prayed, until the Qibla was reorientated towards Mecca by Mohammed in the year 624. Al-Husseini commissioned the Turkish architect Mimar Kemalettin.[58] In restoring the site, al-Husseini was also assisted by the Mandatory power's Catholic Director of Antiquities, Ernest Richmond.[59] Under Richmond's supervision, the Turkish architect drew up a plan, and the execution of the works gave a notable stimulus to the revival of traditional artisan arts like mosaic tesselation, glassware production, woodcraft, wickerwork and iron-mongering.[60][61]
Al-Husseini's vigorous efforts to transform the Haram into a symbol of pan-Arabic and Palestinian nationalism were intended to rally Arab support against the postwar influx of Jewish immigrants. In his campaigning, al-Husseini often accused Jews of planning to take possession of the Western Wall of Jerusalem, which belonged to the waqf of Abu Madyan as an inalienable property, and rebuild the Temple over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[62] He took certain statements, for example, by the Ashkenazichief rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook regarding the eventual return in time of the Temple Mount back to Jewish hands, and turned them to a concrete political plot to seize control of the area.[63] Al-Husseini's intensive work to refurbish the shrine as a cynosure for the Muslim world, and Jewish endeavours to improve their access to, and establish a ritually appropriate ambiance on the plaza by the Western Wall, led to increased conflict between the two communities, each seeing the site only from their own traditional perspective and interests.[64] Zionist narratives pinpointed al-Husseini's works on, and publicity about, the site and threats to it, as attempts to restore his own family's waning prestige. Arab narratives read the heightened agitation of certain Jewish groups over the Wall as an attempt to revive diaspora interest in Zionism after some years of relative decline, depression and emigration.[65] Each attempt to make minor alterations to the status quo, still governed by Ottoman law, was bitterly protested before the British authorities by the Muslim authorities. If Muslims could cite an Ottoman regulation of 1912 specifically forbidding objects like seating to be introduced, the Jews could cite testimonies to the fact that before 1914 certain exceptions had been made to improve their access and use of the Wall.[66] The decade witnessed several such episodes of strong friction, and the simmering tensions came to a head in late 1928, only to erupt, after a brief respite, into an explosion of violence a year later.
1929 Palestine riotsPreludeOn 10 August 1928, a constituent assembly convened by the French in Syria was rapidly adjourned when calls were made for a reunification with Palestine.[67] Al-Husseini and Awni Abd al-Hadi met with the Syrian nationalists[68] and they made a joint proclamation for a unified monarchical state under a son of Ibn Sa'ud. On the 26th.[69] the completion of the first stage of restoration work on the Haram's mosques was celebrated with great pomp, in the presence of representatives from the Muslim countries which had financed the project, the Mandatory authorities, and Abdullah, Emir of Transjordan. A month later, an article appeared in the Jewish press proposing the purchase and destruction of houses in the Moroccan quarter bordering on the wall to improve pilgrim access and thereby further the 'Redemption of Israel.'[70] Soon after, on 23 September,[71]Yom Kippur, a Jewish beadle introduced a screen to separate male and female worshippers at the Wall. Informed by residents in the neighbouring Mughrabi quarter, the waqf authority complained to Harry Luke, acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine, that this virtually changed the lane into a synagogue, and violated the status quo, as had the collapsible seats in 1926. British constables, encountering a refusal, used force to remove the screen, and a jostling clash ensued between worshippers and police.[70][72]
Zionist allegations that disproportionate force had been employed during what was a solemn occasion of prayer created an outcry throughout the diaspora. Worldwide Jewish protests remonstrated with Britain for the violence exercised at the Wall. The Jewish National Council Vaad Leumi 'demanded that British administration expropriate the wall for the Jews'.[73] In reply, the Muslims organized a Defence Committee for the Protection of the Noble Buraq,[74] and huge crowd rallies took place on the Al-Aqsa plaza in protest. Work, often noisy, was immediately undertaken on a mosque above the Jewish prayer site. Disturbances such as opening a passage for donkeys to pass through the area, angered worshippers.[75] After intense negotiations, the Zionist organisation denied any intent to take over the whole Haram Ash-Sharif, but demanded the government expropriate and raze the Moroccan quarter. A law of 1924 allowed the British authorities to expropriate property, and fear of this in turn greatly agitated the Muslim community, though the laws of donation of the waqf explicitly disallowed any such alienation. After lengthy deliberation, a White Paper was made public on 11 December 1928 in favour of the status quo.[76]
After the nomination of the new High CommissionerSir John Chancellor to succeed Lord Plumer in December 1928, the question was re-examined, and in February 1929 legal opinion established that the mandatory authority was within its powers to intervene to ensure Jewish rights of access and prayer. Al-Husseini pressed him for a specific clarification of the legal status quo regarding the Wall. Chancellor mulled weakening the SMC and undermining al-Husseini's authority by making the office of mufti elective. The Nabi Musa festival of April that year passed without incident, despite al-Husseini's warnings of possible incidents. Chancellor thought his power was waning, and after conferring with London, admitted to al-Husseini on 6 May that he was impotent to act decisively in the matter. Al-Husseini replied that, unless the Mandatory authorities acted, then, very much like Christian monks protecting their sacred sites in Jerusalem, the sheikhs would have to take infringements of the status quo into their own hands, and personally remove any objects introduced by Jews to the area. Chancellor asked him to be patient, and al-Husseini offered to stop works on the Mount on condition that this gesture not be taken as a recognition of Jewish rights. A change of government in Britain in June led to a new proposal: only Muslim works in the sector near where Jews prayed should be subject to mandatory authorisation: Jews could employ ritual objects, but the introduction of seats and screens would be subject to Muslim authorisation. Chancellor authorised the Muslims to recommence their reconstructive work, while, responding to further Zionist complaints, prevailed on the SMC to stop the raucous Zikr ceremonies in the vicinity of the wall.[77] He also asked the Zionist representatives to refrain from filling their newspapers with attacks on the government and Muslim authorities. Chancellor then departed for Europe where the Mandatory Commission was deliberating.[78]
RiotsWith Chancellor abroad, and the Zionist Commission itself, with its leader Colonel Frederick Kisch, in Zurich for the 16th Zionist Congress (attended also by Ze'ev Jabotinsky), the SMC resumed works, confidentially authorised, on the Haram only to be met with outcries from the Jewish press. The administration rapidly published the new rules on 22 July, with a serious error in translation that fueled Zionist reports of a plot against Jewish rights.[79] A protest in London led to a public declaration by a member of the Zionist Commission that Jewish rights were bigger than the status quo, a statement which encouraged in turn Arab suspicions that local agreements were again being overthrown by Jewish intrigues abroad. News that the Zurich Congress, in creating the Jewish Agency on 11 August., had brought unity among Zionists and the world Jewish community, a measure that would greatly increase Jewish investment in British Palestine,[80] set off alarm bells. On 15 August, Tisha B'Av, a day memorializing the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the revisionistBetar movement, despite Pinhas Rutenberg's plea on 8 August to the acting High Commissioner Harry Luke to stop such groups from participating,[81] rallied members from Tel Aviv to join them in the religious commemoration. Kisch, before leaving, had banned Jewish demonstrations in Jerusalem's Arab quarters. The Betar youth gave the ceremony a strong nationalist tinge by singing the Hatikvah, waving the flag of Israel, and chanting the slogan 'The Wall is Ours'.[82][83] The following day coincided with mawlid (or mawsin al-nabi),[84] the anniversary of the birth of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. Muslim worshippers, after prayers on the esplanade of the Haram, passed through the narrow lane by the Wailing Wall and ripped up prayer books, and kotel notes (wall petitions), without harming however three Jews present. Contacted by Luke, al-Husseini undertook to do his best to maintain calm on the Haram, but could not stop demonstrators from gathering at the Wall.
On 17 August a young Jewish boy was stabbed to death by Arabs while retrieving a football, while an Arab was badly wounded in a brawl with Palestinian Jews.[85] Strongly tied to the anti-Hashemite party,[86] and attacked by supporters of Abdullah in Transjordan for misusing funds marked out for campaigning against France, al-Husseini asked for a visa for himself and Awni Abd al-Hadi to travel to Syria, where the leadership of the Syrian anti-French cause was being contested.[87] Averse to his presence in Syria, the French asked him to put off the journey. Meanwhile, despite Harry Luke's lecturing journalists to avoid reporting such material, rumors circulated in both communities, of an imminent massacre of Jews by Muslims, and of an assault on the Haram ash-Sharif by Jews. On 21 August a funeral cort¨ge, taking the form of a public demonstration for the dead Jewish boy, wound its way through the old city, with the police blocking attempts to break into the Arab quarters. On the 22nd, Luke convoked representatives of both parties to calm things down, and undersign a joint declaration. Awni Abd al-Hadi and Jamal al-Husayni were ready to recognize Jewish visiting rights at the Wall in exchange for Jewish recognition of Islamic prerogatives at the Buraq. The Jewish representative, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, considered this beyond his brief'--which was limited to an appeal for calm'--and the Arabs in turn refused. They agreed to pursue their dialogue the following week.
On 23 August, a Friday, two or three Arabs were murdered in the Jewish quarter of Mea Shearim.[88] It was also a day of Muslim prayer. A large crowd, composed of many people from outlying villages, thronged into Jerusalem, many armed with sticks and knives. It is not known whether this was organized by al-Husseini or the result of spontaneous mobilisation. The sermon at Al-Aqsa was to be delivered by another preacher, but Luke prevailed on al-Husseini to leave his home and go to the mosque, where he was greeted as 'the sword of the faith' and where he instructed the preacher to deliver a pacific sermon, while sending an urgent message for police reinforcements around the Haram. Deluded by the lenitive address, extremists harangued the crowd, accusing al-Husseini of being an infidel to the Muslim cause. The same violent accusation was launched in Jaffa against sheikh Muzaffir, an otherwise radical Islamic preacher, who gave a sermon calling for calm on the same day.[89] An assault was launched on the Jewish quarter. Violent mob attacks on Jewish communities, fueled by wildfire hearsay about ostensible massacres of Arabs and attempts to seize the Wall, took place over the following days in Hebron, Safed and Haifa. In all, in the killings and subsequent revenge attacks, 136 Arabs and 135 Jews died, while 340 of the latter were wounded, as well as an estimated 240 Arabs.[90]
AftermathTwo official investigations were subsequently conducted by the British and the League of Nations's Mandatory Commission. The former, The Shaw Report, concluded that the incident on 23 August consisted of an attack by Arabs on Jews, but rejected the view that the riots had been premeditated. Al-Husseini certainly played an energetic role in Muslim demonstrations from 1928 onwards, but could not be held responsible for the August riots, even if he had 'a share in the responsibility for the disturbances'.[91] He had nonetheless collaborated from the 23rd. of that month in pacifying rioters and reestablishing order. The worst outbreaks occurred in areas, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and Haifa where his Arab political adversaries were dominant. The root cause of the violent outbreaks lay in the fear of territorial dispossession.[92] In a Note of Reservation, Mr. Harry Snell, who had apparently been swayed by Sir Herbert Samuel's son, Edwin Samuel[93] states that, although he was satisfied that the Mufti was not directly responsible for the violence or had connived at it, he believed the Mufti was aware of the nature of the anti-Zionist campaign and the danger of disturbances.[94] He therefore attributed to the Mufti a greater share of the blame than the official report had.[94] The Dutch Vice-Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission, M. Van Rees, argued that 'the disturbances of August 1929, as well as the previous disturbances of a similar character, were, in brief, only a special aspect of the resistance offered everywhere in the East, with its traditional and feudal civilisation, to the invasion of a European civilisation introduced by a Western administration' but concluded that in his view 'the responsibility for what had happened must lie with the religious and political leaders of the Arabs'.[95]
Many observers saw al-Husseini as the mastermind behind the riots, accusing him of dispatching secret emissaries to inflame regional passions [citation]. In London, Lord Melchett demanded his arrest for orchestrating all anti-British unrest throughout the Middle East. Consular documentation discarded the plot thesis rapidly, and identified the deeper cause as political, not religious, namely in what the Palin report had earlier identified[96] as profound Arab discontent over Zionism. Arab memoirs on the fitna (troubles) follow a contemporary proclamation for the Defence of the Wall on 31 August, which justified the riots as legitimate, but nowhere mention a coordinated plan. Izzat Darwaza, an Arab nationalist rival of al-Husseini, alone asserts, without details, that al-Husseini was responsible. Al-Husseini in his memoirs never claimed to have played such a role.[97]
The High Commissioner received al-Husseini twice officially on 1 October 1929 and a week later, and the latter complained of pro-Zionist bias in an area where the Arab population still viewed Great Britain favorably. Al-Husseini argued that the weakness of the Arab position was that they lacked political representation in Europe, whereas for millennia, in his view, the Jews dominated with their genius for intrigue. He assured Chancellor of his cooperation in maintaining public order.[98]
Political activities, 1930''1935By 1928''1929 a coalition of a new Palestinian nationalist group began to challenge the hegemony so far exercised by al-Husseini. The group, more pragmatic, hailed from the landed gentry and from business circles, and was intent on what they considered a policy of more realistic accommodation to the Mandatory government. From this period on, a rift emerged, that was to develop into a feud between the directive elite of Palestinian Arabs.[99]
In 1931, al-Husseini founded the World Islamic Congress, on which he was to serve as president. Versions differ as to whether or not al-Husseini supported Izz ad-Din al-Qassam when he undertook clandestine activities against the British Mandate authorities. His appointment as imam of the al-Istiqlal mosque in Haifa had been approved by al-Husseini. Lachman argues that he secretly encouraged, and perhaps financed al-Qassam at this period. Whatever their relations, the latter's independent activism, and open challenge to the British authorities appears to have led to a rupture between the two.[100] He vigorously opposed the Qassamites' exactions against the Christian and Druze communities.[101]
On 1933, According to Alami, The mufti expressed interest in Ben Gurion proposal of a Jewish-Palestine as part of a larger Arab federation,"[102]
By 1935 al-Husseini did take control of one clandestine organization, of whose nature he had not been informed until the preceding year,[103] which had been set up in 1931 by Musa Kazim al-Husayni's son, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and recruited from the Palestinian Arab Boy Scout movement, called the 'Holy Struggle' (al-jihad al-muqaddas).[104] This and another paramilitary youth organization, al-Futuwwah, paralleled the clandestine Jewish Haganah. Rumours, and occasional discovery of caches and shipments of arms, strengthened military preparations on both sides.[105]
1936''39 Arab revolt in PalestineOn 19 April 1936, a wave of protest strikes and attacks against both the British authorities and Jews was unleashed in Palestine. Initially, the riots were led by Farhan al-Sa'di, a militant sheik of the northern al-Qassam group, with links to the Nashashibis. After the arrest and execution of Farhan, al-Husseini seized the initiative by negotiating an alliance with the al-Qassam faction.[106] Apart from some foreign subsidies, including a substantial amount from Fascist Italy,[107] he controlled waqf and orphan funds that generated annual income of about 115,000 Palestine pounds. After the start of the revolt, most of that money was used to finance the activities of his representatives throughout the country. To Italy's Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mariano de Angelis, he explained in July that his decision to get directly involved in the conflict arose from the trust he reposed in Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's backing and promises.[108] Upon al-Husseini's initiative, the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans formed the Arab Higher Committee under the Mufti's chairmanship. The Committee called for nonpayment of taxes after 15 May and for a general strike of Arab workers and businesses, demanding an end to the Jewish immigration. The British High Commissioner for Palestine, SirArthur Wauchope, responded by engaging in negotiations with al-Husseini and the Committee. The talks, however, soon proved fruitless. Al-Husseini issued a series of warnings, threatening the 'revenge of God Almighty' unless the Jewish immigration were to stop, and the general strike began, paralyzing the government, public transportation, Arab businesses and agriculture.[109]
As the time passed, by autumn the Arab middle class had exhausted its resources.[110] Under these circumstances, the Mandatory government was looking for an intermediary who might help persuade the Arab Higher Committee to end the rebellion. Al-Husseini and the Committee rejected King Abdullah of Transjordan as mediator because of his dependence on the British and friendship with the Zionists, but accepted the Iraqi Foreign Minister Nuri as-Said. As Wauchope warned of an impending military campaign and simultaneously offered to dispatch a Royal Commission of Inquiry to hear the Arab complaints, the Arab Higher Committee called off the strike on 11 October.[111] When the promised Royal Commission of Inquiry arrived in Palestine in November, al-Husseini testified before it as chief witness for the Arabs.[111]
In July 1937, British police were sent to arrest al-Husseini for his part in the Arab rebellion, but, tipped off, he managed to escape to the sanctuary of asylum in the Haram. He stayed there for three months, directing the revolt from within. Four days after the assassination of the Acting District Commissioner for that area Lewis Yelland Andrews by Galilean members of the al-Qassam group on 26 September, al-Husseini was deposed from the presidency of the Muslim Supreme Council, the Arab Higher Committee was declared illegal, and warrants for the arrest of its leaders were issued, as being at least 'morally responsible', though no proofs existed for their complicity.[112] Of them only Jamal al-Husayni managed to escape to Syria: the remaining five were exiled to the Seychelles. Al-Husseini was not among the indicted but, fearing imprisonment, on 13''14 October, after sliding under cover of darkness down a rope from the Haram's wall, he himself fled via Jaffa to Lebanon, disguised as a Bedouin,[113][114] where he reconstituted the committee under his leadership.[115] Al-Husseini's tactics, his abuse of power to punish other clans, and the killing of political adversaries he considered 'traitors',[116] alienated many Palestinian Arabs. One local leader, Abu Shair, told Da'ud al-Husayni, an emissary from Damascus who bore a list of people to be assassinated during the uprising "I don't work for Husayniya ('Husayni-ism') but for wataniya (nationalism)."[117] He remained in Lebanon for two years, under French surveillance in the Christian village of Zouk,[118] but, in October 1939, his deteriorating relationship with the French and Syrian authorities led him to withdraw to the Kingdom of Iraq. By June 1939, after the disintegration of the revolt, Husseini's policy of killing only proven turncoats changed to one of liquidating all suspects, even members of his own family, according to one intelligence report.[119]
The rebellion itself had lasted until March 1939, when it was finally quelled by British troops. It forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands. Jewish immigration was to continue but under restrictions, with a quota of 75,000 places spread out over the following five years. On the expiry of this period further Jewish immigration would depend on Arab consent. Besides local unrest, another key factor in bringing about a decisive change in British policy was Nazi Germany's preparations for a European war, which would develop into a worldwide conflict. In British strategic thinking, securing the loyalty and support of the Arab world assumed an importance .of some urgency.[120] While Jewish support was unquestioned, Arab backing in a new global conflict was by no means assured. By promising to phase out Jewish immigration into Palestine, Britain hoped to win back support from wavering Arabs.[121] Husseini, allied to radical elements in exile, hailing from provincial Palestinian families, convinced the AHC, against moderate Palestinian families who were minded to accept it, to reject the White Paper of 1939, which had recommended an Arab-majority state and an end to building a Jewish national home. The rejection was based on its perceived failure to promise an end to immigration; the land policy it advocated was thought to provide imperfect remedies: and the promised independence appeared to depend on Jewish assent and cooperation. Husseini, who also had personal interests threatened by these arrangements,[122] also feared that acceptance would strengthen the hand of his political opponents in the Palestine national movement, such as the Nashashibis.[123][124] Schwanitz and Rubin argued that Husseini was the real architect of the Holocaust a great influence on Hitler and that his rejectionism was, ironically, the real causal factor for the establishment of the state of Israel, a thesis Mikics, who regards Husseini as a 'radical anti-semite, finds both 'astonishing' and 'silly', since it would logically entail the collateral thesis that the Zionist movement triggered the Holocaust.[125]
Neve Gordon writes that al-Husseini regarded all alternative nationalist views as treasonous, opponents became traitors and collaborators, and patronizing or employing Jews of any description illegitimate.[126] From Beirut he continued to issue directives. The price for murdering opposition leaders and peace leaders rose by July to 100 Palestine pounds: a suspected traitor 25 pounds, and a Jew 10. Notwithstanding this, ties with the Jews were reestablished by leading families such as the Nashashibis, and by the Fahoum of Nazareth.[127]
Ties with the Axis Powers during World War IIThroughout the interwar period, Arab nationalists bore Germany no ill-will, despite its earlier support for the Ottoman Empire. Like many Arab countries, it was perceived as a victim of the post-World War 1 settlement. Hitler himself often spoke of the 'infamy of Versailles'. Unlike France and Great Britain it had not exercised imperial designs on the Middle East, and its past policy of non-intervention was interpreted as a token of good will.[128] While the scholarly consensus is that Husseini's motives for supporting the Axis powers and his alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were deeply inflected by anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideology from the outset,[129] some scholars, notably Renzo De Felice, deny that the relationship can be taken to reflect a putative affinity of Arab nationalism with Nazi/Fascist ideology, and that men like Husseini chose them as allies for purely strategic reasons,[130] on the grounds that, as Husseini later wrote in his memoirs,'the enemy of your enemy is your friend'.[131] When Husseini eventually met with Hitler and Ribbentrop in 1941, he assured Hitler that 'The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies... namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists'.[132]
Pre-warIn 1933, within weeks of Hitler's rise to power in Germany, the German Consul-General in Palestine, Heinrich Wolff,[133][134] sent a telegram to Berlin reporting al-Husseini's belief that Palestinian Muslims were enthusiastic about the new regime and looked forward to the spread of Fascism throughout the region. Wolff met al-Husseini and many sheiks again, a month later, at Nabi Musa. They expressed their approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany and asked Wolff not to send any Jews to Palestine. Wolff subsequently wrote in his annual report for that year that the Arabs' political na¯vety led them to fail to recognize the link between German Jewish policy and their problems in Palestine, and that their enthusiasm for Nazi Germany was devoid of any real understanding of the phenomenon. The various proposals by Palestinian Arab notables like al-Husseini were rejected consistently over the years out of concern to avoid disrupting Anglo-German relations, in line with Germany's policy of not imperilling their economic and cultural interests in the region by a change in their policy of neutrality, and respect for British interests. Hitler's Englandpolitik essentially precluded significant assistance to Arab leaders.[137] Italy also made the nature of its assistance to the Palestinian contingent on the outcome of its own negotiations with Britain, and cut off aid when it appeared that the British were ready to admit the failure of their pro-Zionist policy in Palestine.[138] Al-Husseini's adversary, Ze'ev Jabotinsky had at the same time cut off Irgun ties with Italy after the passage of antisemitic racial legislation.
Though Italy did offer substantial aid, some German assistance also trickled through. After asking the new German Consul-General, Hans D¶hle on 21 July 1937 for support, the Abwehr briefly made an exception to its policy and gave some limited aid. But this was aimed to exert pressure on Britain over Czechoslovakia. Promised arms shipments never eventuated. This was not the only diplomatic front on which al-Husseini was active. A month after his visit to D¶hle, he met with the American Consul George Wadsworth (August 1937), to whom he professed his belief that America was remote from imperialist ambitions and therefore able to understand that Zionism 'represented a hostile and imperialist aggression directed against an inhabited country'. In a further interview with Wadsworth on 31 August, he expressed his fears that Jewish influence in the United States might persuade the country to side with Zionists.[140] In the same period he courted the French government by expressing a willingness to assist them in the region.[141]
Al-Husseini in IraqWith the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 the Iraqi Government complied with a British request to break off diplomatic relations with Germany, interned all German nationals, and introduced emergency measures putting Iraq on a virtual war-footing.[142] A circle of 7 officers opposed this decision and the measures taken. With Nuri as-Said's agreement'--he wished to persuade al-Husseini of the value of the British White Paper of 1939'--they invited al-Husseini to Iraq in October 1939, and he was to play an influential role there in the following two years.[143] A quadrumvirate of four younger generals among the seven, three of whom had served with al-Husseini in World War I, were hostile to the idea of subordinating Iraqi national interests to Britain's war strategy and requirements.[144] In March 1940, the nationalist Rashid Ali replaced Nuri as-Said. Ali made covert contacts with German representatives in the Middle East, though he was not yet an openly pro-Axis supporter, and al-Husseini's personal secretary Kemal Hadad acted as a liaison between the Axis powers and these officers.[145] As the European situation for the Allies deteriorated, Husseini advised Iraq to adhere to the letter to their treaty with Great Britain, and avoid being drawn into the war in order to conserve her energies for the liberation of Arab countries. Were Russia, Japan and Italy to side with Germany however, Iraqis should proclaim a revolt in Palestine.[146]
In mid May 1940, despairing of their ability to secure control of Iraq's oil fields and deny access to Germany, the British turned to the extremist Irgun, approaching one of its commanders, David Raziel, whom they had imprisoned in Mandatory Palestine. They asked him if he would undertake to destroy Iraq's oil refineries, and thus turn off the spigots to Germany. Raziel agreed on condition he be allowed to "acquire"(kidnap) the Mufti and bring him back to Palestine. The mission plan was changed at the last moment, however, and Raziel died when his plane was shot down by a German fighter.[147][148]
Al-Husseini used his influence and ties with the Germans to promote Arab nationalism in Iraq. He was among the key promoters of the pan-Arab Al-Muthanna Club, and supported the coup d'(C)tat by Rashid Ali in April 1941. The situation of Iraq's Jews rapidly deteriorated, with extortions and sometimes murders taking place.[149] When the Anglo-Iraqi War broke out, al-Husseini used his influence to issue a fatwa for a holy war against Britain. As the British advanced on the capital, the Farhud pogrom in Baghdad, led by members of the Al-Muthanna Club,[150] which had served as a conduit for German propaganda funding,[151] erupted in June 1941, following the Iraqi defeat and the collapse of Rashid Ali's government. The pogrom was rooted in antisemitic incitement during the preceding decade against the backdrop of the conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine.[149]
When the war failed for the Iraqis'--given its paucity, German and Italian assistance played a negligible role in the war[152]'--al-Husseini escaped to Persia (together with Rashid Ali), where he was granted legation asylum first by Japan, and then by Italy. On 8 October, after the occupation of Persia by the Allies and after the new Persian government of ShahMohammad Reza Pahlavi severed diplomatic relations with the Axis powers, al-Husseini was taken under Italian protection and conveyed through Turkey to Axis Europe[153][154] in an operation organized by Italian Military Intelligence (Servizio Informazioni Militari, or SIM).[155]
In Nazi-occupied EuropeAl-Husseini arrived in Rome on 10 October 1941. He outlined his proposals before Alberto Ponce de Leon. On condition that the Axis powers 'recognize in principle the unity, independence, and sovereignty, of an Arab state, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan', he offered support in the war against Britain and stated his willingness to discuss the issues of 'the Holy Places, Lebanon, the Suez Canal, and Aqaba'. The Italian foreign ministry approved al-Husseini's proposal, recommended giving him a grant of one million lire, and referred him to Benito Mussolini, who met al-Husseini on 27 October. According to al-Husseini's account, it was an amicable meeting in which Mussolini expressed his hostility to the Jews and Zionism.[156]
Back in the summer of 1940 and again in February 1941, al-Husseini submitted to the Nazi German Government a draft declaration of German-Arab cooperation, containing a clause:
Germany and Italy recognize the right of the Arab countries to solve the question of the Jewish elements, which exist in Palestine and in the other Arab countries, as required by the national and ethnic (v¶lkisch) interests of the Arabs, and as the Jewish question was solved in Germany and Italy.[157]
Encouraged by his meeting with the Italian leader, al-Husseini prepared a draft declaration, affirming the Axis support for the Arabs on 3 November. In three days, the declaration, slightly amended by the Italian foreign ministry, received the formal approval of Mussolini and was forwarded to the German embassy in Rome. On 6 November, al-Husseini arrived in Berlin, where he discussed the text of his declaration with Ernst von Weizs¤cker and other German officials. In the final draft, which differed only marginally from al-Husseini's original proposal, the Axis powers declared their readiness to approve the elimination (Beseitigung) of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.[158]
On 20 November, al-Husseini met the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop[159] and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on 28 November.[160] He asked Adolf Hitler for a public declaration that 'recognized and sympathized with the Arab struggles for independence and liberation, and that would support the elimination of a national Jewish homeland'.[161] Hitler refused to make such a public announcement, saying that it would strengthen the Gaullists against the Vichy France,[162] but asked al-Husseini 'to lock ...deep in his heart' the following points, which Christopher Browning summarizes as follows, that
'Germany has resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time, direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well'. When Germany had defeated Russia and broken through the Caucasus into the Middle East, it would have no further imperial goals of its own and would support Arab liberation... But Hitler did have one goal. "Germany's objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power". (Das deutsche Ziel w¼rde dann lediglich die Vernichtung des im arabischen Raum unter der Protektion der britischen Macht lebenden Judentums sein). In short, Jews were not simply to be driven out of the German sphere but would be hunted down and destroyed even beyond it.'[163]
A separate record of the meeting was made by Fritz Grobba, who until recently had been the German ambassor to Iraq. His version of the crucial words reads "when the hour of Arab liberation comes, Germany has no interest there other than the destruction of the power protecting the Jews".[164] Al-Husseini's own account of this point, as recorded in his diary, is very similar to Grobba's.[165] According to Amin's account, however, when Hitler expounded his view that the Jews were responsible for World War I, Marxism and its revolutions, and this was why the task of Germans was to persevere in a battle without mercy against the Jews, he replied: "We Arabs think that Zionism, not the Jews, is the cause of all of these acts of sabotage."[166]
In December 1942, al-Husseini held a speech at the celebration of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute (Islamische Zentralinstitut) in Berlin, of which he served as honorary chair. In the speech, he harshly criticised those he considered as aggressors against Muslims, namely "Jews, Bolsheviks and Anglo-Saxons." At the time of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute, there were an estimated 3,000 Muslims in Germany, including 400 German converts. The Islamic Central Institute gave the Muslims in Germany institutional ties to the 'Third Reich'.[167]
The HolocaustAl-Husseini and the HolocaustIn post-war historiography some attempts have been made to portray Husseini as an architect of the Holocaust, a thesis revived recently by Schwanitz and Rubin.[168] Documents, such as the testimony of Fritz Grobba,[169] confirm that an associate of al-Husseini's, together with three associates of former Iraqi Prime Minister certainly did visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as part of a German secret police "training course" in July 1942. At the time, the Sachsenhausen camp housed large numbers of Jews, but was only transformed into a death camp in the following year.[170] Their tour through the camp presented it as a re-educational institution, and they were shown the high quality of objects made by inmates, and happy Russian prisoners who, reformed to fight Bolshevism, were paraded, singing, in sprightly new uniforms. They left the camp very favourably impressed by its programme of educational indoctrination.[171]
Various sources have repeatedly alleged that he visited other concentration camps, and also the death camps of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka and Mauthausen, and according to H¶pp there is little conclusive documentary evidence to substantiate these other visits.[172] Although some historians have questioned al-Husseini's knowledge of the Holocaust while it was in progress, Wolfgang G. Schwanitz notes that in his memoirs Husseini recalled that Heinrich Himmler, in the summer of 1943, while confiding some German war secrets, inveighed against Jewish "war guilt", and revealed the ongoing extermination (in Arabic, abadna) of the Jews.[173]
Gilbert Achcar, referring to this meeting with Himmler, observes:
The Mufti was well aware that the European Jews were being wiped out; he never claimed the contrary. Nor, unlike some of his present-day admirers, did he play the ignoble, perverse, and stupid game of Holocaust denial... . His amour-propre would not allow him to justify himself to the Jews... .gloating that the Jews had paid a much higher price than the Germans... he cites... : 'Their losses in the Second World War represent more than thirty percent of the total number of their people ...'. Statements like this, from a man who was well placed to know what the Nazis had done ... constitute a powerful argument against Holocaust deniers. Husseini reports that Reichsf¼hrer-SSHeinrich Himmler ... told him in summer 1943 that the Germans had 'already exterminated more than three million' Jews: "I was astonished by this figure, as I had known nothing about the matter until then." ... Thus. in 1943, Husseini knew about the genocide... .[174]
The memoir then continues:-
Himmler asked me on the occasion: 'How do you propose to settle the Jewish question in your country?' I replied: 'All we want from them is that they return to their countries of origin.' He (Himmler) replied: 'We shall never authorize their return to Germany.'[175]
Wolfgang G. Schwanitz doubts the sincerity of his surprise since, he argues, Husseini had publicly declared that Muslims should follow the example Germans set for a "definitive solution to the Jewish problem".[176]
Subsequently, the Mufti declared in November 1943:
It is the duty of Muhammadans [Muslims] in general and Arabs in particular to ... drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries... . Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endg¼ltige L¶sung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world.[177]
At the Nuremberg trials, one of Adolf Eichmann's deputies, Dieter Wisliceny, stated that al-Husseini had actively encouraged the extermination of European Jews, and that he had had an elaborate meeting with Eichmann at his office, during which Eichmann gave him an intensive look at the current state of the "Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe" by the Third Reich. These allegations are controversial.[178] A single affidavit by Rudolf Kastner reported that Wisliceny told him that he had overheard Husseini say he had visited Auschwitz incognito in Eichmann's company.[179] Eichmann denied this at his trial in Jerusalem in 1961. He had been invited to Palestine in 1937 with his superior Hagen by a representative of the Haganah, Feival Polkes,[180] Polkes supported German foreign policy in the Near East and offered to work for them in intelligence. Eichmann and Hagen spent one night in Haifa but were refused a visa to stay any longer.[181] They met Polkes in Cairo instead.[181][182] Eichmann stated that he had only been introduced to al-Husseini during an official reception, along with all other department heads. The Jerusalem court accepted Wisliceny's testimony about a key conversation between Eichmann and the mufti,[183] and found as proven that al-Husseini had aimed to implement the Final Solution.[184]Hannah Arendt, who was present at the trial, concluded in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, that the evidence for an Eichmann- al-Husseini connection was based on rumour and unfounded.[185][186]
Rafael Medoff concludes that 'actually there is no evidence that the Mufti's presence was a factor at all; the Wisliceny hearsay is not merely uncorroborated, but conflicts with everything else that is known about the origins of the Final Solution.'[187]Bernard Lewis also called Wisliceny's testimony into doubt: 'There is no independent documentary confirmation of Wisliceny's statements, and it seems unlikely that the Nazis needed any such additional encouragement from the outside.'[188] Bettina Stangneth called Wisliceny's claims "colourful stories" that "carry little weight".[189]
In October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controversially embraced the theory that al-Husseini bore responsibility for the Holocaust. Netanyahu claimed that Hitler's intent was merely to expel the Jews, but that the Mufti discouraged him from doing so because the Jews would flood to Palestine; instead, according to Netanyahu, al-Husseini told Hitler to "burn them."[190]
Al-Husseini's attempts to block Jewish refugeesThe Mufti opposed all immigration of Jews into Palestine. The Mufti's numerous letters appealing to various governmental authorities to prevent Jewish emigration to Palestine have been widely republished and cited as documentary evidence of his collaboration with Nazis and his participative support for their genocidal actions. For instance, Husseini intervened on 13 May 1943, before the meeting with Himmler when he was informed of the Holocaust,[191] with the German Foreign Office to block possible transfers of Jews from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, after reports reached him that 4,000 Jewish children accompanied by 500 adults had managed to reach Palestine. He asked that the Foreign Minister "to do his utmost" to block all such proposals and this request was complied with.[192] According to Idith Zertal, none of the documents presented at Eichmann's trial prove that it was the Mufti's interference, in these 'acts of total evil,' that prevented the children's rescue.[193] In June 1943 the Mufti recommended to the Hungarian minister that it would be better to send Jews in Hungary to Concentration Camps in Poland rather than let them find asylum in Palestine. A year later, on 25 July 1944 he wrote to the Hungarian foreign minister to register his objection to the release of certificates for 900 Jewish children and 100 adults for transfer from Hungary, fearing they might end up in Palestine. He suggested that if such transfers of population were deemed necessary, then:
I ask your Excellency to permit me to draw your attention to the necessity of preventing the Jews from leaving your country for Palestine, and if there are reasons which make their removal necessary, it would be indispensable and infinitely preferable to send them to other countries where they would find themselves under active control, for example, in Poland, thus avoiding danger and preventing damage."[194][195]
Achcar quotes the Mufti's memoirs about these efforts to influence the Axis powers to prevent emigration of Eastern European Jews to Palestine:
We combatted this enterprise by writing to Ribbentrop, Himmler, and Hitler, and, thereafter, the governments of Italy, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and other countries. We succeeded in foiling this initiative, a circumstance that led the Jews to make terrible accusations against me, in which they held me accountable for the liquidation of four hundred thousand Jews who were unable to emigrate to Palestine in this period. They added that I should be tried as a war criminal in Nurenberg.[196]
In November, 1943 the Mufti said:
It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to '... drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries'....Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endg¼ltige L¶sung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world. '....[177]
In September 1943, intense negotiations to rescue 500 Jewish children from the Arbe concentration camp collapsed due to the objection of al-Husseini who blocked the children's departure to Turkey because they would end up in Palestine.[197]
Intervention in Palestine and Operation AtlasThe Mufti collaborated with the Germans in numerous sabotage and commando operations in Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine, and repeatedly urged the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv[198] and Jerusalem 'in order to injure Palestinian Jewry and for propaganda purposes in the Arab world', as his Nazi interlocutors put it. The proposals were rejected as unfeasible.[187] The Italian Fascists envisaged a project to establish him as head of an intelligence centre in North Africa, and he agreed to act as commander of both regular and irregular forces in a future unit flanking Axis troops to carry out sabotage operations behind enemy lines.[199]
Operation ATLAS was one such joint operation. A special commando unit of the Waffen SS was created, composed of three members of the Templer religious sect in Palestine, and two Palestinian Arabs recruited from the Mufti's associates, Hasan Salama and Abdul Latif (who had edited the Mufti's Berlin radio addresses).[200] It has been established that the mission, briefed by al-Husseini before departure, aimed at establishing an intelligence-gathering base in Palestine, radioing information back to Germany, and buying support among Arabs in Palestine, recruiting and arming them to foment tensions between Jews and Arabs, disrupting the Mandatory authorities and striking Jewish targets.[201] The plan ended in fiasco: they received a cold reception in Palestine,[202] three of the five infiltrators were quickly rounded up, and the mat(C)riel seized. Their air-dropped cargo was found by the British, and consisted of submachine guns, dynamite, radio equipment, 5,000 Pound sterling, a duplicating machine, a German-Arabic dictionary,[203] and a quantity of poison.[200]Michael Bar-Zohar and Eitan Haber, report that the mission included a plan to poison the Tel Aviv water supply,[204] There is no trace of this poison plot in the standard biographies, Palestinian and Israeli, of Husseini.[205]
PropagandaThroughout World War II, al-Husseini worked for the Axis Powers as a broadcaster in propaganda targeting Arab public opinion. He was thereby joined by other Arabs such as Fawzi al-Qawuqji[206] and Hasan Salama. The Mufti was paid "an absolute fortune" of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year),[207] the equivalent today of $12,000,000 a year.[125]Walter Winchell called him "the Arabian Lord Haw-Haw".[208]
The Mufti also wrote a pamphlet for the 13th SS Handschar division, translated as Islam i Zidovstvo (Islam and Judaism) which closed with a quotation from Bukhari-Muslim by Abu Khurreira that states:"The Day of Judgement will come, when the Muslims will crush the Jews completely: And when every tree behind which a Jew hides will say: 'There is a Jew behind me, Kill him!".[209]
On 1 March 1944, while speaking on Radio Berlin, al-Husseini said: 'Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.'[210][211][212]
RecruitmentAmong the Nazi leadership, the greatest interest in the idea of creating Muslim units under German command was shown by Heinrich Himmer, who viewed the Islamic world as a potential ally against the British Empire and regarded the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia as a 'ridiculous state'.[214] Himmler had a romantic vision of Islam as a faith 'fostering fearless soldiers', and this probably played a significant role[215][216] in his decision to raise three Muslim divisions under German leadership in the Balkans from Bosnian Muslims and Albanians:[217][218] the 13th Handschar,[219] the 21st Skanderbeg, and the 23rd Kama (Shepherd's dagger). Riven by interethnic conflict, the region's Jewish, Croat, Roma, Serb and Muslim communities suffered huge losses of life,[220][221] Bosnian Muslims losing around 85,000 from a genocidal Chetnikethnic cleansing operations alone.[222] The Muslims had three options: to join the CroatianUstaÅe, or the Yugoslav partisans, or to create local defense units. Following a tradition of service in the old Bosnian regiments of the former Austro-Hungarian army, they chose an alliance with Germany, which promised them autonomy. Husseini, having been petitioned by the Bosnian Muslim leaders, was well informed of their plight.[223] Dissatisfied with low enlistenment, Himmler asked the mufti to intervene.[224] Husseini negotiated, made several requests, mostly ignored by the SS, and conducted several visits to the area.[225] His speeches and charismatic authority proved instrumental in improving enlistment notably.[226] In one speech he declared that:
Those lands suffering under the British and Bolshevist yoke impatiently await the moment when the Axis (powers) will emerge victorious. We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Britain -that dungeon of peoples - and to the complete destruction of the British Empire.We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Bolshevist Russia because communism is incompatible with Islam.'
One SS officer reporting on impressions from the mufti's Sarajevo speech said Husseini was reserved about fighting Bolshevism, his main enemies being Jewish settlers in Palestine and the English.[227] During a visit in July 1943 the Mufti said: "The active cooperation of the world's 400 million Muslims with their loyal friends, the German, can be of decisive influence upon the outcome of the war. You, my Bosnian Muslims, are the first Islamic division [and] serve as an example of the active collaboration....My enemy's enemy is my friend." [228] Himmler in addressing the unit on another occasion declared "Germany [and] the Reich have been friends of Islam for the past two centuries, owing not to expediency but to friendly conviction. We have the same goals."[229]
In an agreement signed by Husseini and Himmler on 19 May 1943, it was specified that no synthesis of Islam and Nationalism was to take place.[230][231] Husseini asked that Muslim divisional operations to be restricted to the defense of the Moslem heartland of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that partisans be amnestied if they laid down their arms; that the civilian population not be subject to vexations by troops;that assistance be offered to innocents injured by operations; and that harsh measures like deportations, confiscations of goods, or executions be governed in accordance with the rule of law.[232] The Handschar earned a repute for brutality in ridding north-eastern Bosnia of Serbs and partisans: many local Muslims, observing the violence, were driven to go over to the communist partisans.[233][234] Once redeployed outside Bosnia, and as the fortunes of war turned, mass defections and desertions took place, and Volksdeutsche were drafted to replace the losses.[235] The mufti blamed the mass desertions on German support for the Četniks.[236] Many Bosnians in these divisions who survived the war sought asylum in Western and Arab countries, and of those settling in the Middle East, many fought in Palestine against the new state of Israel.[237] In 1942, al-Husseini helped organize Arab students and North African emigres in Germany into the "Arabisches Freiheitkorps", an Arab Legion in the German Army that hunted down Allied parachutists in the Balkans and fought on the Russian front.[187]
Activities after World War IIArrest and flightAfter the end of the Second World War, al-Husseini attempted to obtain asylum in Switzerland but his request was refused.[238] He was taken into custody at Konstanz by the French occupying troops on 5 May 1945, and on 19 May, he was transferred to the Paris region and put under house arrest.
At around this time, the British head of Palestine's Criminal Investigation Division told an American military attach(C) that the Mufti might be the only person who could unite the Palestinian Arabs and 'cool off the Zionists'.[240]
Henri Ponsot, a former ambassador of France in Syria, led the discussions with him and had a decisive influence on the events. The French authorities expected an improvement in France's status in the Arab world through his intermediaries and accorded him "special detention conditions, benefits and ever more important privileges and constantly worried about his well-being and that of his entourage". In October, he was even given permission to buy a car in the name of one of his secretaries and enjoyed some freedom of movement and could also meet whoever he wanted. Al-Husseini proposed to the French two possibilities of cooperation: 'either an action in Egypt, Iraq and even Transjordan to calm the anti-French excitement after the events in Syria and because of its domination in North Africa; or that he would take the initiative of provocations in [Palestine], in Egypt and in Iraq against Great Britain', so that the Arabs countries will pay more attention to British policy than to that of France. Al-Husseini was very satisfied with his situation in France and stayed there for a full year.
As early as 24 May, Great Britain requested al-Husseini's extradition, arguing that he was a British citizen who had collaborated with the Nazis. Despite the fact that he was on the list of war criminals, France decided to consider him as a political prisoner and refused to comply with the British request. France refused to extradite him to Yugoslavia where the government wanted to prosecute him for the massacres of Serbs. Poussot believed al-Husseini's claims that the massacre of Serbs had been performed by General Mikhailovitch and not by him. Al-Husseini also explained that 200,000 Muslims and 40,000 Christians had been assassinated by the Serbs and that he had established a division of soldiers only after Bosnian Muslims had asked for his help, and that Germans and Italians had refused to provide any support to them. In the meantime, Zionist representatives'--fearing that al-Husseini would escape'--backed Yugoslavia's request for extradition. They stated that al-Husseini was also responsible for massacres in Greece and pointed out his action against the Allies in Iraq in 1941; additionally they requested the support of the United States in the matter.
The reputation of Haj Amin al-Husseini among Jews in the immediate postwar period is indicated by the observation by Raul Hilberg that when culpability for the destruction of the European Jews was debated in 1945, al-Husseini was the only specific individual singled out to be put on trial.[241] In June, Yishuv leaders decided to eliminate al-Husseini. Although al-Husseini was located by Jewish Army members who began to plan an assassination, the mission was canceled in December by Moshe Sharett or by David Ben-Gurion,[242] probably because they feared turning the Grand Mufti into a martyr.
A campaign of intimidation was launched to convince the mufti that at L(C)on Blum's request he would be handed over to the British.[243] In September, the French decided to organize his transfer to an Arab country. Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Yemen were considered and diplomatic contacts were made with their authorities and with the Arab League.
On 29 May, after an influential Moroccan had organized his escape, and the French police had suspended their surveillance, al-Husseini left France on a TWA flight for Cairo using travel papers supplied by a Syrian politician who was close to the Muslim brotherhood. It took more than 12 days for the French Foreign Minister to realize he had fled, and the British were not able to arrest him in Egypt, after that country granted him political asylum.[243]
On 12 August 1947, al-Husseini wrote to French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, thanking France for its hospitality and suggesting that France continue this policy to increase its prestige in the eyes of all Muslims. In September, a delegation of the Arab Higher Committee went to Paris and proposed that Arabs would adopt a neutral position on the North African question in exchange of France's support in the Palestinian question.
1948 Palestine warThe U.N. Partition ResolutionWhen the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine delivered its recommendations for the partition of Palestine, the High Commissioner of Palestine, Alan Cunningham sent emissaries to Cairo to sound out the Mufti, though transferring any power of state to him was unthinkable. Interviewed on the 1st of September, he said that the proposed partition was unjust, since it deprived the Arabs of Palestine of what belonged to them, and would not satisfy in any case the Zionists, who desired all of the country. He cited the example of Chaim Weizmann, who opposed the idea of a Jewish state in 1922, approved partition in 1937, and at the Biltmore Conference in 1942, laid claim to the whole of Palestine. It was said of Hitler, he added, that he would never try to apply the ideas he set forth in Mein Kampf. The Zionists, he asserted, would never restrict their programme to a part of Palestine, for l'app(C)tit vient en mangeant(the more you get the more you want). The English would never have ceded a part of their country in exchange for peace with the Nazis. Zionism was a bluff like Italian fascism, which would collapse at the first shock.[244]
Musa Alami surmised that the mufti would agree to partition if he were promised that he would rule the future Arab state".[245] According to Issa Khalaf there are no indications to substantiate this claim.
The wartime reputation of Haj Amin al-Husseini was employed as an argument for the establishment of a Jewish State during the deliberations at UN in 1947. The Nation Associates under Freda Kirchwey prepared a nine-page pamphlet with annexes for the United Nations entitled The Arab Higher Committee, Its Origins, Personnel and Purposes. This booklet included copies of communications between Haj Amin al-Husseini and high ranking Nazis (e.g. Heinrich Himmler, Franz von Papen, Joseph Goebbels), the Mufti's diary account of meeting Hitler, several letters to German officials in several countries where he requested that Jews never be permitted to emigrate from Europe to a Jewish Home in Palestine, and many photographs of the Mufti, Rashid Ali, and other Arab politicians in the company of Nazis and their Italian and Japanese allies. It claimed to demonstrate that German Nazis and Palestinian politicians (some of whom were requesting recognition at the UN in 1947 as representatives of the Palestinian Arab population) had made common cause during World War II in their opposition to the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. In May 1948, the Israeli government thanked Kirchwey for "having a good and honorable share of our success", at least partly as a consequence of distributing information on al-Husseini to the UN representatives.[246]
On the eve of the United Nations' partition of Mandatory Palestine, King Abdullah, who shared with Zionists a hostility to Palestinian nationalism, reached a secret entente with Golda Meir to thwart the mufti and annex the part of Palestine in exchange for Jordan's dropping its opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state. The meeting, in Shlaim's words, 'laid the foundations for a partition of Palestine along lines radically different from the ones eventually envisaged by the United Nations'.[247] Husseini's popularity in the Arab world had risen during his time with the Nazis, and Arab leaders rushed to greet him on his return, and the masses accorded him an enthusiastic reception, an attitude which was to change rapidly after the defeat of 1948, when he was singled out as a scapegoat to blame for the failure.[248]
The warOn December 31, 1947, Macatee, the American consul general in Jerusalem, reported that terror ruled Palestine, and that partition was the cause of this terror. According to Macatee, the Palestinian Arabs did not dare to oppose Haj Amin, but they did not rally en masse around his flag in the war against the Zionists.[249]
From his Egyptian exile, al-Husseini used what influence he had to encourage the participation of the Egyptian military in the 1948 Arab''Israeli War. He was involved in some high level negotiations between Arab leaders'--before and during the War'--at a meeting held in Damascus in February 1948, to organize Palestinian Field Commands and the commanders of the Holy War Army. Hasan Salama and Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (Amin al-Husseini's nephew), were allocated the Lydda district and Jerusalem respectively. This decision paved the way for undermining the Mufti's position among the Arab States. On 9 February 1948, four days after the Damascus meeting, he suffered a severe setback at the Arab League's Cairo session, when his demands for more Palestinian self-determination in areas evacuated by the British, and for financial loans were rejected.[250] His demands included, the appointment of a Palestinian Arab representative to the League's General Staff, the formation of a Palestinian Provisional Government, the transfer of authority to local National Committees in areas evacuated by the British, and both a loan for Palestinian administration and an appropriation of large sums to the Arab Higher Executive for Palestinian Arabs entitled to war damages.[250]
The Arab League blocked recruitment to al-Husseini's forces,[251][citation needed] and they collapsed following the death of one of his most charismatic commanders, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, on 8 April 1948.
Anwar Nusseibeh, a supporter of the Mufti, said the Mufti refused to issue arms to anyone except his loyal supporters and only recruited loyal supporters for the forces of the Holy War Army. This partially accounts for the absence of an organized Arab force and for the insufficient amount of arms, which plagued the Arab defenders of Jerusalem.[252]
Establishment of All-Palestine GovernmentFollowing rumors that King Abdullah I of Transjordan was reopening the bilateral negotiations with Israel that he had previously conducted clandestinely with the Jewish Agency, the Arab League'--led by Egypt'--decided to set up the All-Palestine Government in Gaza on 8 September 1948, under the nominal leadership of al-Husseini. Avi Shlaim writes:
'The decision to form the Government of All-Palestine in Gaza, and the feeble attempt to create armed forces under its control, furnished the members of the Arab League with the means of divesting themselves of direct responsibility for the prosecution of the war and of withdrawing their armies from Palestine with some protection against popular outcry. Whatever the long-term future of the Arab government of Palestine, its immediate purpose, as conceived by its Egyptian sponsors, was to provide a focal point of opposition to Abdullah and serve as an instrument for frustrating his ambition to federate the Arab regions with Transjordan'.[253]
The All-Palestine Government was declared in Gaza on 22 September, in a way as a countermeasure against Jordan. According to Moshe Ma'oz this was "a mere tool to justify Cairo's occupation of the Gaza Strip" [254] Pre-conference by the Arab League obtained an agreement to have Ahmad Hilma Pasha preside over the government, while giving al-Husseini a nominal role, devoid of responsibilities. A Palestinian National Council was convened in Gaza on 30 September 1948, under the chairmanship of Amin al-Husseini. On 30 September, al-Husseini was elected unanimously as President, but had no authority outside the areas controlled by Egypt. The council passed a series of resolutions culminating on 1 October 1948 with a declaration of independence over the whole of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.[255]
The All-Palestine Government was hence born under the nominal leadership of Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, named as its President.[256][257]Ahmed Hilmi Abd al-Baqi was named Prime Minister. Hilmi's cabinet consisted largely of relatives and followers of Amin al-Husseini, but also included representatives of other factions of the Palestinian ruling class. Jamal al-Husayni became foreign minister, Raja al-Husayni became defense minister, Michael Abcarius was finance minister, and Anwar Nusseibeh was secretary of the cabinet. Twelve ministers in all, living in different Arab countries, headed for Gaza to take up their new positions. The decision to set up the All-Palestine Government made the Arab Higher Committee irrelevant, but Amin al-Husseini continued to exercise an influence on Palestinian affairs.[citation needed]
Jordan's Abdullah retaliated on 2 October by organizing a Palestinian congress, which countermanded the decision taken in Gaza. Abdullah regarded the attempt to revive al-Husseini's Holy War Army as a challenge to his authority and on 3 October, his minister of defense ordered all armed bodies operating in the areas controlled by the Arab Legion to be disbanded. Glubb Pasha carried out the order ruthlessly and efficiently.[258] Nonetheless, Egypt, which manipulated its formation, recognized the All-Palestine Government on 12 October, followed by Syria and Lebanon on 13 October, Saudi Arabia the 14th and Yemen on the 16th. Iraq's decision to the same was made formally on the 12th, but was not made public. Both Great Britain and the US backed Jordan, the US saying that the mufti's role in World War II could be neither forgotten nor pardoned.[259] The sum effect was that:
'The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated the Palestinian political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it.'[260]
The nakba narratives, according to Hillel Cohen, tend to ignore the open resistance to al-Husseini by many influential Palestinians. A member of the Darwish family on expressing dissent with Husseini's war objective in favour of negotiation was told by the mufti: idha takalam al-seif, uskut ya kalam'--'when the sword talks, there is no place for talking'.[261] Many recalled his policy of assassinating mukhtars in the Revolt of 1936''39 and viewed Husseini and his kind as 'an assembly of traitors'.[262] The opposition of a relevant percentage of the Palestinian society to al-Husseini goes back to an earlier period and was also connected to the British way of dealing with the local majority: 'The present administration of Palestine', lamented for example the representatives of the Palestine Arab Delegation in a letter to British public opinion in 1930, 'is appointed by His Majesty's Government and governs the country through an autocratic system in which the population has no say'.[254]
Exile from PalestineAlthough al-Husseini had been removed from the Supreme Muslim Council and other administrative roles by the British government in 1937, they did not remove him from the post of mufti of Jerusalem.[263] They later explained this as due to the lack of legal procedure or precedent.[264] However, on December 20, 1948, Abdullah announced his replacement as mufti by his long-term rival Husam Al-din Jarallah.[265]
The king was assassinated on 20 July 1951, on the eve of projected secret talks with Israel, by a militant, Mustafa Ashu, of the jihad al-muqaddas, while entering the Haram ash-Sharif to pray. There is no evidence al-Husseini was involved, though Musa al-Husayni was among the six indicted and executed after a disputed verdict.[266] Abdullah was succeeded by King Talal'--who refused to allow al-Husseini entry into Jerusalem. Abdullah's grandson, Hussein, who had been present at the murder, eventually lifted the ban in 1967, receiving al-Husseini as an honoured guest in his Jerusalem royal residence after uprooting the PLO from Jordan.[267]
The Palestinian Government was entirely relocated to Cairo in late October 1948 and became a government-in-exile, gradually losing any importance. Having a part in the All-Palestine Government, al-Husseini also remained in exile at Heliopolis in Egypt throughout much of the 1950s. As before 1948, when the Yishuv believed the ex-Mufti's hand could be detected 'behind every anti-Jewish pogrom, murder, and act of sabotage',[268] Israel persisted in asserting that al-Husseini was behind many border raids from Jordanian and Egyptian-held territory, and Egypt expressed a readiness to deport him if evidence were forthcoming to substantiate the charges.[269] The All-Palestine Government was eventually dissolved in 1959 by Nasser himself, who envisaged a United Arab Republic embracing Syria, Egypt and Palestine. That year he moved to Lebanon. He refused requests to lend his support to the emergent PLO after the Six Day War of 1967,[238] was opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state on the west Bank after 1967.[270] and his closest collaborator, Emil Ghuri, continued to work for the Jordanian monarchy even after the Jordanian Civil War there in 1970.[270]
Al-Husseini died in Beirut, on 4 July 1974. He had wished to be buried on the Haram ash-Sharif in Jerusalem. However, Israel had captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Supreme Muslim Council asked the Israeli government permission to bury him there but permission was refused. Three days later, al-Husseini was buried in Beirut. Within two years, the Christian Lebanese Phalange sacked his villa, and stole his files and archives.[271] His granddaughter married Ali Hassan Salameh, the founder of PLO's Black September, who was later killed by Mossad for his involvement in the Munich massacre. According to Zvi Elpeleg, almost all trace of his memory thereafter vanished from Palestinian awareness, and Palestinians have raised no monument to his memory, or written books commemorating his deeds.[272]
Amin al-Husseini and antisemitismAl-Husseini's first biographer, Moshe Pearlman, described him as virulently antisemitic,[273] as did, a decade and a half later, Joseph Schechtman.[274] More recent biographers like Mattar and Elpeleg, writing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to emphasize his nationalism.[275] While the Palestinian historian Mattar blames him as the main culprit of sowing the seeds of the Arab''Israeli conflict,[276] Israeli historian Elpeleg compares him to Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and even to Theodor Herzl.[277] Peter Wien judges that his behaviour in World War II deserved the image among Zionists of him as an 'arch villain', but adds that Israeli and Zionist leaders have long since used this to denigrate the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation as inspired by Nazism and anti-semitism.[278]
Scholarly opinion is divided on the issue, with many scholars viewing him as a staunch antisemite[279] while some deny the appropriateness of the term, or argue that he became antisemitic.[280] Robert Kiely sees Husseini as moving "incrementally toward anti-Semitism as he opposed Jewish ambitions in the region."[281] Historian Zvi Elpeleg, who formerly governed both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while rehabilitating him from other charges,[282] concludes his chapter concerning al-Husseini's involvement in the extermination of the Jews as follows:
'[i]n any case, there is no doubt that Haj Amin's hatred was not limited to Zionism, but extended to Jews as such. His frequent, close contacts with leaders of the Nazi regime cannot have left Haj Amin any doubt as to the fate which awaited Jews whose emigration was prevented by his efforts. His many comments show that he was not only delighted that Jews were prevented from emigrating to Palestine, but was very pleased by the Nazis' Final Solution'.[283]
Walter Laqueur,[284]Benny Morris, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin C¼ppers[203] are among the historians who share the view that al-Husseini was biased against Jews, not just against Zionists. Morris, for instance, notes that al-Husseini saw the Holocaust as German revenge for a putative Jewish sabotaging of their war effort in World War I,[285] and has written that "Haj Amin al-Husseini was an antisemite. This is clear from his writings. I am not saying he was just an anti-Zionist, he hated the Jews, 'Jews were evil'".[286] In a study dedicated to the role and use of the Holocaust in Israeli nationalist discourse, Idith Zertal reexamining al-Husseini's antisemitism, states that 'in more correct proportions, [he should be pictured] as a fanatic nationalist-religious Palestinian leader'.[287]
Evaluations of Husseini's historical significanceRobert Fisk, discussing the difficulties of describing al-Husseini's life and its motivations, summarized the problem in the following way:
'(M)erely to discuss his life is to be caught up in the Arab''Israeli propaganda war. To make an impartial assessment of the man's career'--or, for that matter, an unbiased history of the Arab''Israeli dispute'--is like trying to ride two bicycles at the same time.'[288]
Philip Mattar suggests that on 1939 al-Husseini should have accepted the favorable White Paper of 1939, or compromise with the Zionists. But the Mufti adapted a strategy of active and futile opposition and rejection, which contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Palestinians.[289]
Peter Novick has argued that the post-war historiographical depiction of al-Husseini reflected complex geopolitical interests that distorted the record.
'The claims of Palestinian complicity in the murder of the European Jews were to some extent a defensive strategy, a preemptive response to the Palestinian complaint that if Israel was recompensed for the Holocaust, it was unjust that Palestinian Muslims should pick up the bill for the crimes of European Christians. The assertion that Palestinians were complicit in the Holocaust was mostly based on the case of the Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-World War II Palestinian nationalist leader who, to escape imprisonment by the British, sought refuge during the war in Germany. The Mufti was in many ways a disreputable character, but post-war claims that he played any significant part in the Holocaust have never been sustained. This did not prevent the editors of the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust from giving him a starring role. The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and G¶ring, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann'--of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.'[290][291]
Gilbert Achcar sums up al-Husseini's significance:
"One must note in passing that Amin al-Husseini's memoirs are an antidote against Holocaust denial: He knew that the genocide took place and boasted of having been perfectly aware of it from 1943 on. I believe he is an architect of the Nakba (the defeat of 1948 and the departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had been driven out of their lands) in the sense that he bears a share of responsibility for what has happened to the Palestinian people."[292]
See alsoNotes^The Continuum political encyclopedia of the Middle East, p 360, Avraham Sela - 2002^A Discourse on Domination in Mandate Palestine, Zeina B. Ghandour - 2009, p 140^World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia - Volume 1 - Page 497, Cyprian Blamires, Paul Jackson - 2006^Israel/Palestine and the Politics of a Two-State Solution, p 134, Thomas G. Mitchell - 2013^"Husseini" is the French transliteration preferred by the family itself, from the time when French was the dominant Western language taught in the Ottoman Empire. Laurens 1999, p. 19[not in citation given]^Mattar 1998, p. 156. Mattar, writing on the uncertainty of al-Husseini's birthdate, notes that he wrote both 1895 and 1896 on official documents between 1921 and 1934, which Mattar suggests was due to both years corresponding to 1313 A.H. in the Islamic calendar. Mattar found no documentary evidence for Husseini's claim, written later in life, that he was born in 1897.^Laurens 2002, p. 624, n.5. Laurens argues that 1897 was his likely date of birth, suggesting he was induced by circumstances to make out he was older in giving various dates for his birth, ranging from 1893 to 1897.^Peretz 1994, p. 290^Gelvin 2007, p. 109:'the scion of one (of) the most influential notable families of Jerusalem.'^Elpeleg 2007, p. 1.^Elpeleg & 2007 pp6-7.^Kohn, p. 53^Tschirgi 2004, p. 192:'the leading Palestinian political group that developed during the mandate was very largely dominated by Islamic discourse and led by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. However, it long found its basic support in Muslim-Christian Associations.'^Brynen 1990, p. 20:'The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated Palestinian Arab political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it. The socio-economic base underlying the political power of traditional Palestinian Arab notables was severely disrupted.'^Mattar 1998, p. 156;Laurens 2002, p. 624,n.5 Laurens, in the first volume of his trilogy (Laurens 1999, p. 425) had used Mattar's dating for 1895, but revised this to 1897 as more probable in his second volume.^Mattar 1992, p. 6;Papp(C) 1994, p. 2.^Laurens 1999, p. 425.^ abKr¤mer 2008, p. 219.^Laurens 1999, pp. 425''6:Laurens 2002, p. 467. Ant(C)bi considered al-Husseini his pupil, and refers to him in a letter, for which see Elizabeth Ant(C)bi,L'homme du S(C)rail, NiL, Paris, 1996 p. 563, cited by Laurens. translation needed^Sicker 2000, p. 33; Kr¤mer 2008, p. 219^ abcMatthews 2006, p. 31.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 3.^Laurens 1999, p. 409:'Selon Jaussen (Antonin Jaussen?), le nombre d'Arabes palestiniens reclut(C)s d(C)passe les 500.'^Kr¤mer 2008, pp. 152''153:Both local Palestinian Arabs and Jews played almost no role in the conquest of Palestine: the former enlisted after the Arab revolt and were active east of the Jordan, the latter were recruited after the conquest of Jerusalem and saw little military action.^Huneidi 2001, p. 35.^Friedman 2000, pp. 239''240.^Tauber 1994, pp. 79ff., esp.96ff..^Huneidi 2001, p. 40. The report was never published, the newly appointed High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel informing the War Office that it was best forgotten.^Schechtman 1986, pp. 334''337.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 6.^Laurens 1999, pp. 506''512^Segev 2001, p. 140^Sicker 2000, pp. 23ff. for a reading which follows closely Meinertzhagen's reading of the events as a British army plot.^Regarding the whole period preceding the riot, marked by conflicting rumours, Laurens writes:'For several months, the intelligence service Zionists organised in 1918 multiplied warnings about plots by Arab activists. These pieces of information never received any confirmation from the British (or French) intelligence service. Later Arab sources show this quite clearly: no one claimed responsibility for any planning (pr(C)meditation) for the events, even several decades afterwards'. Laurens 1999, p. 506.^Tauber 1994, p. 102.^Huneidi 2001, p. 37 citing the Palin Report, pp. 29-33.^Laurens 1999, p. 545. 1920 was considered the 'year of disaster' (am al-nakba) after the failure, with the French overthrow of Faisal, of the pan-Arab project for a Greater Syria, embracing also Lebanon and Palestine. The Haifa conference, 13''20 December 1920, 'marks the basic date in the history of the Palestinian question: it is the historical moment where the Palestinian version of nationalism prevails over the pan-Arab version.'^Kimmerling & Migdal 2003, pp. 81''86.'Faysal's fall marked an important turning point. From then until 1948, Palestinian politics and loyalties were determined by the idea of an independent Palestine.' (p.86) 'The platform drawn up in Haifa would change little over the next few decades. It contained the following six elements: the first public recognition of Palestine, as it would be constituted by the mandate, as a distinct political entity for the people living there. .; a total rejection of any political or moral right of the Jews over Palestine; a declaration of unity among the Palestinian Arabs to supersede any other loyalties, such as those to religion, region, and clan; a call to the new administration to halt any transfers of Arab or state lands to Jewish control; the demand to close Palestine to further immigration; a call to recognize the Arab ewxecutive Committee . . as a legitimate representative of the population before the British authorities (with a status similar to that defined for the Jewish Agency) . .' (p.86)^Milton-Edwards 1999, p. 25:'Through his position Haj Amin, with the blessing of the British, was able to play a pivotal role in the course of Palestinian nationalist politics. He sought eventually to combine his religious role with his political position in the burgeoning area of Palestinian nationalist agitation.'^Tauber 1994, pp. 105''109.^Ghandour 2009, p. 142.^Morris 2011, pp. 111ff.^Elpeleg 2007, pp. 7''10.^Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 19,78:'Soon after the British began to style Kāmil al-HusaynÄ as the Grand MuftÄ (al-muftÄ al-akbar), a title which had hitherto been unknown in Palestine but which was probably copied from Egypt.This gesture was, in part, meant as a reward for Kāmil's cooperation with the British, but it may have been intended to substitute some kind of a new hierarchy for the former Ottoman one'.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 11:'He demanded that the title Grand Mufti, which had been granted to his brother by the British for cooperating with them, also be given to him, and that his salary be higher than that of the other muftis. Richmond and Storrs supported this claim, arguing that since, from the spiritual and religious points of view, the status of Jerusalem was superior to that of other regions in Palestine, the Mufti of Jerusalem should be considered head of the country's Muslim community. '.^Khalidi 2001, p. 22:'After their occupation of the country, the British created the entirely new post of "grand mufti of Palestine" (al-mufti al-akbar), who was also designated the "mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestine region" (mufti al-Quds wal-diyar al-filistiniyya).^Cohen 1989, p. 69.^Sicker 2000, pp. 32f.:Elpeleg 2007, p. 48.^Matthews 2006, pp. 31''32:'It was not scholarly religious credentials that made Hajj Amin an attractive candidate for president of the SMC in the eyes of colonial officials. Rather, it was the combination of his being an effective nationalist activist and a member of one of Jerusalem's most respected notable families that made it advantageous to align his interests with those of the British administration and thereby keep him on a short tether.'^Matthews 2006, p. 32^Reiter 1996, pp. 22''24 for details.^Huneidi 2001, p. 38 This excludes funds for land purchases. The 'Jewish Agency', mentioned in article 4 of the Mandate only became the official term in 1928. At the time the organisation was called the Palestine Zionist Executive.^Milton-Edwards 1999, p. 38^Robinson 1997, p. 6.^Morris 2011, p. 111^Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 131''132 for a detailed list of the several sites on the Haram that underwent extensive renovation.^Monk 2002, p. 61 The name is occasionally given as Kamal Bey, or Kamal al-Din in primary and secondary sources.^Monk 2002, pp. 42''72 for a detailed account of Richmond's role. Richmond authored an important volume on the Haram (Ernest Tatham Richmond, The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem: A description of its structure and decoration, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1924).^Laurens 2002, p. 156.translation needed^Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 127ff.,130. The mosaic tesserae, however, were manufactured in, and imported from, Turkey.^Sicker 2000, p. 77.^Benvenisti 1996, pp. 77f. writes that Rabbi Kook had preached as early as 1920:'The Temple Mount is Israel's holy place, and even should it be under the hand of others for long days and periods of time, it will finally come into our hands. . ,' which could merely mean however that, in rabbinical thought, with the coming of the Messiah, the Temple would automatically revert to the Jews.^Yaeger 1996, pp. 196ff..^Laurens 2002, p. 154.translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 163. translation needed^The longest accounts for the riots are in Kolinksy 1993, pp. 42''70 and Segev 2001, pp. 309''327.^Among them Shukri al-Quwatli, Ihsan al-Jabiri and Adil Arslan^Kupferschmidt 1987, p. 131 gives the 26th: Laurens 2002, p. 155 (translation needed) gives the 17th.^ abLaurens 2002, p. 158. translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 157: Kupferschmidt 1987, p. 131 gives 24 September.^See also the British account of this incident in: A Survey of Palestine (Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry), vol. 1, chapter 2, British Mandate Government of Palestine: Jerusalem 1946, p. 23^Ovendale 2004, p. 71^Lajnat al-Difa and al-Buraq al-Sharif. See Monk 2002, p. 70. The Muslim name for the contested section of the wall, where Mohammed was said to have tethered his steed Buraq while on his famous visionary flight to heaven. See Kr¤mer 2008, p. 225.^Gonen 2003, p. 141^Laurens 2002, pp. 153,158''161,162 translation needed^Muslims in the Mughrabi Quarter were to make similar complaints against the racket of Hasidicritual dancing in the area on the night of the anniversary of Muhammad's birth, 16th.August 1929.Laurens 2002, p. 170. translation needed^Laurens 2002, pp. 163''165. translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 632. n.3: 'Fixed hours of Jewish worship' was given, instead of 'customary hours of Jewish worship'.^Sicker 2000, p. 79:'This was done to ensure a new major influx of non-Zionist American wealth into the country to support the development of a Jewish national home'.^Sicker 2000, pp. 179ff..^Laqueur 2002, pp. 168''169.^Laurens 2002, pp. 168''169. translation needed^Kr¤mer 2008, p. 230.^Kr¤mer 2008, p. 230 writes that it was in revenge for the former incident.^Particularly with Riad al-Suhl^Laurens 2002, p. 171 asserts that 'The matter was sufficiently important. . for this not to be (read as) an attempt to secure an alibi for subsequent events'.^Laurens 2002, pp. 168''172. translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 173. translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 179 translation needed; Sicker 2000, p. 46 gives 133 Jewish killed, and 339 wounded, 116 Arabs known to be killed, and 232 known to be wounded, the latter almost entirely due to police actions. The Arab wounded are those registered by the Mandatory authorities. Many preferred to hide their injuries.^Great Britain 1930, pp. 158''159^Laurens 2002, p. 199. translation needed^Laurens 2002, p. 200 citing Samuel 1970, p. 96, which records several long talks of members of Brit Shalom with Snell. translation needed^ abGreat Britain 1930, p. 172.^Permanent Mandates Commission 1930.^Huneidi 2001, p. 36 citing Palin Report p. 184.^Laurens 2002, pp. 175''176.^Laurens 2002, pp. 180''181. translation needed^Hen-Tov 1974, p. 16.^Lachman 1982, pp. 75''76.^Achcar 2010 (a), p. 144.^Daniel P. Kotzin (2010). Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Nonconformist. Syracuse University Press. pp. 251''. ISBN 978-0-8156-5109-3. The grand mufti, Alami has claimed, expressed interest in the Idea of Jewish Palestine as part of a larger Arab federation, ^Laurens 2002, p. 297. translation needed^Rosen 2005, p. 104. Rosen notes that, by 1934, it had 63 cells (400 youths).^Laurens 2002, pp. 292, 297f. One such discovery, in the port of Haifa, in October 1935, of a shipment of arms from Germany, with the apparent authorization of the Nazi Ministry for Internal Affairs, and destined for the Haganah, led to great agitation and played into the hands of those Arabs who pressed for more radical activities. translation needed.^Laurens 2002, p. 376.^De Felice 1990, pp. 210''211 mentions £138,000 from 10 September 1936 to 15 June 1938. Earlier, in January 1936 Italy had given al-Husseini £12,000 of a promised £25,000.^De Felice 1990, pp. 210.^Sachar 2006, pp. 199''200.^Sachar 1972, p. 73.^ abSachar 2006, pp. 200''201.^Laurens 2002, p. 373:Levenberg 1993, p. 8 provides the text of the decree.^Rose 1986, p. 332.^Mattar 1988, p. 83.^Fieldhouse 2006, p. 169.^Karmi 2004, p. 9 Ghada Karmi recalls that her eldest uncle, who refused to join Husseini's camp, suffered two attempts on his life by an assassin sent by al-Husseini, in Nablus and Beirut. The second attempt succeeded.^Swedenburg 2003, p. 87.^Laurens 2002, p. 374.^Cohen 2009, p. 171.^Aboul-Enein & Aboul-Enein 2013, p. 15:'Both Italy and Britain came to the realization in the late 1930s as the clouds of war began to descend on Europe that support for the Arabs would prove fruitful.'^Hilberg 1973, p. 716.^Morris 2011, p. 159^Khalaf 1991, pp. 72''75.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 52^ abMikics 2014^Gordon 2008.^Cohen 2009, pp. 172''174^Aboul-Enein & Aboul-Enein 2013, pp. 184''186.^Morris 2008, pp. 20''22^De Felice 1990, pp. 212''213:'It should be quite clear that this relation (arose) not, as a number of authors have nonetheless argued, because of a presumed affinity of their ideology with that of the Nazis or Fascists, no such thing existed, but by virtue of the wholly political logic (of events) that saw in the enemies (in deed or potentially) of their own enemies their own friends, particularly if the latter have already provided evidence'--and this was, precisely, the case with Germany, and all the more so, with Italy -of being interested, in terms of the same political logic, in giving support to their cause'.('E questo, sia ben chiaro, non -come pure ¨ stato sostenuto da vari autori - per una presunta affinit della loro ideologia con quelle nazista e fascista, che non esisteva, ma in forza della logica tutta politica che vede nei nemici (in atto o potenziali) dei propri nemici i propri amici, specie se essi hanno gi dato prova - e questo era appunto il caso della Germania ed ancor pi¹ dell'Italia - di essere interessati, nella stessa logica politica, a sostenere la loro causa').^Ùاعتبرت اÙمانيا بÙØ¯Ø ØµØ¯ÙŠÙ‚Ø Ùأنها Ùم تكن دÙÙØ(C) مØ"تعمرØ(C) ÙÙم يØ"بق Ùها أن تعرضت بØ"ÙØ ÙأيØ(C) دÙÙØ(C) عربيØ(C) أ٠اØ"ÙاميØ(C), ÙÙأنها كانت تقات٠أعداØنا من مØ"تعمرين ٠صهيÙنيين, ÙÙان عد٠عدÙك صديقك, ٠كنت مÙقنØ, أن انتصار اÙمانيا Ø"ينقذ بÙادنا Ø­ØªÙ…Ø Ù…Ù† خطر اÙصهيÙنيØ(C) ٠اÙاØ"تعمار
Translation: 'I have considered Germany to be a friendly country, because it was not a colonizing country, and it never harmed any Arab or Islamic country, and because it was fighting our colonialist and Zionist enemies, and because the enemy of your enemy is your friend. And I was certain that Germany's victory would definitely save our countries from the danger of Zionism and colonization'.Mudhakkirat al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni, Damascus 1999 p.96.^Laqueur 1970, p. 106.^Yahil, Friedman & Galai 1991, p. 676, n.53^Nicosia 2000, pp. 87 Wolff's wife was Jewish, and he was forced to resign in 1936. Hans D¶hle replaced him.^Nicosia 2008, pp. 71,95,196.Check^De Felice 1990, pp. 211''212.^Davidson 2001, p. 239^Laurens 2002, p. 467^Tripp 2002, p. 99^Simon 2004, p. 130: 'Soon after his arrival, the Jerusalem Mufti was received in state by the Iraqi politicians who welcomed and feted him and voted him an immediate subvention of ID 18,000 to be followed by other grants throughout his stay in Iraq: ID 1,000 monthly from hidden funds of the Iraqi secret service, 2 percent of the salary of every Iraqi government official including the military and the police, grants of ID 12,000 between 1939 and mid-1940 for the relief of distress in Palestine, and special sums donated by the Palestine Defense Society, the Red Crescent, and other public donations. He received gifts from Egypt, from King 'Abd al-'Azis Al Sa'ud, payments of some ID 60,000 from the Germans and some ID 40,000 from the Italians, who also promised £20,000 in gold monthly if the Mufti initiated another Palestine revolt. He was the guest of honor at state functions and, with his 5,000 to 6,000 followers, the Mufti installed a mini-government in Baghdad where he settled and began to renew contract with old friends and make new ones in the Iraqi army and police force, with doctrors, lawyers, and teachers. By 1941 his influence was such that he could place Palestinians in the Iraqi bureaucracy, adding more teachers and other professionals to those Palestinians already working in Iraq. It was said that he controlled hirings, firings, and promotions in Iraqi government departments, that he could have passports issued on demand to his followers, and that he could authorize the importation of personal effects into Iraq duty-free. He controlled newspapers and propaganda mechanisms, some mutually with German influence and money, which were not interfered with.'^Tripp 2002, pp. 100''102^Hirszowicz 1966, pp. 82''83.^Simon 2004, p. 131^Mattar 1984, p. ?; Nevo 1984, pp. 3''16.^Simon 2004, p. 207, n.16.^ abGavish 2010, p. 239.^Davis 2005, p. 70.^Lukitz 1995, p. 96.^Tripp 2002, p. 105^Laurens 2002, pp. 463''4^Fisk 2006, p. 442^De Felice 1990, p. 247.^Lewis 1999, pp. 150''151.^Lewis 2002, p. 190^Lewis 1999, pp. 151''152.^Segev 2001, p. 463.^Lewis 1999, p. 152.^Lewis 2002, p. 190.^Lewis 1999, p. 151.check^Browning 2004, p. 406 drawing on Yisraeli 1974, p. 310.^Yisraeli 1974, p. 310:denn die Stunde der Befreieung der Araber habe dann geschlagen, Deutschland habe dort keine anderen Interessen als die Vernichtung der das Judentum protegierenden Macht.^Schechtman 1965, pp. 307''308:"Germany has no ambitions in this area but cares only to annihilate the power which produces the Jews". And earlier: "It is clear that the Jews have accomplished nothing in Palestine and their claims are lies. Everything that has been achieved in Palestine is due to the Arabs and not the Jews. I (Hitler) have decided to find a solution to the Jewish problem, approaching it step by step without holding back. In this regard, I am about to make a just and indispensable appeal, firstly to all the European countries and, later, to countries outside of Europe". Also in Laurens 2002, pp. 664''666 n.47^Laurens 2002, p. 468.^G¼nther & Zankel 2006, p. 7.^Schwanitz & Rubin 2014^Gensicke 2011, p. 119.Grobba wrote on 17 July 1942 that the Mufti himself had visited Oranienburg concentrattion camp and that 'the Jews aroused particular interest among the Arabs.... It all made a very favorable impression on the Arabs.'^Lebor & Boyes 2000, p. 230.^Schwanitz 2004, pp. 217''220.^H¶pp 2004, pp. 217''221.^Schwanitz 2008 citing Abd al-Karim al-Umar (ed.), Memoirs of the Grand Mufti, Damascus, 1999, p. 126.^Achcar 2010 (a), pp. 151''2.^Laurens 2002, p. 469.^Schwanitz 2008, p. ?[citation needed] citing Abd al-Karim al-Umar (ed.), Memoirs of the Grand Mufti, Damascus, 1999, p. 126.^ abAchcar 2010 (a).^H¶pp (2014), p221.^Hopwood 1980, p. 69.'During his trial in Jerusalem in 1961, Eichmann denied having known the Mufti well, affirming he had met him only once during an official reception. The evidence for the friendship came from Dieter Wisliceny, one of Eichmann's aides, who months before the Nuremberg trials had begun to prepare an alibi for himself at the expense of Eichmann. Wisliceny went much further and accused the Mufti of being an "initiator" of the extermination policy. Other evidence of the Mufti's alleged role came from Rudolf Kastner (a Jewish leader in Hungary), who reported that Wisliceny had told him that "According to my opinion, the Grand Mufti . .played a role in the decision . . . to exterminate the European Jews . . .I heard say that, accompanied by Eichmann, he has visited incognito the gas chamber at Auschwitz". These reports coming only from Wisliceny must be questioned until substantiated from other sources.'^Cesarani 2007, p. 263.^ abCesarani 2007, pp. 54''57^'It is doubtful whether Eichmann made contact with al-Husseini even in 1942, when the latter resided in Berlin. If this fallen idol makes an occasional appearance in Eichmann's office correspondence it is because Eichmann's superiors at the Foreign Office found the Mufti a very useful sacred cow, always to be invoked when the reception of Jewish refugees in Palestine was under discussion. Dieter Wisliceny even believed that Eichmann regarded al-Husseini as a colleague in a much expanded post-war Final Solution.'Reitlinger 1971, pp. 27''28.^Pearlman 1963, p. 596.^Landsman 2005, pp. 95''96^Arendt 1965, p. 13.^Landsman 2005, p. 96 writes:'The mufti materials were highly prejudicial, and the argument constructed from them was deeply troubling. . .Eichmann's and the mufti crimes had nothing to do with each other. The prosecution's attempt to link Eichmann symbolically with the Arabs, Israel's bitterest enemy, showed its preoccupation with the contemporary situation of the Jewish state. The success of this effort to prejudice the court is clear in the judges' willingness to entertain the mufti evidence and to incorporate it into their judgment in a coy passage that identifies shared goals but not a shred of actual joint criminal activity.'^ abcMedoff 1996, p. ?^Lewis 1999, p. 156.^Stangneth 2014, pp. 43''44^^Laurens 2002, p. 670, n.190^Hilberg 1973, p. 504.^Zertal 2005, p. 102.^Schechtman 1965, pp. 154''155.^Achcar 2010 (a), p. 148.^Achcar 2010 (a), pp. 145''146.^Carpi 1977, p. 39.^Lewis 1997, p. 311^Elpeleg 2007, p. 68.^ abNew Documents 2001, p. 19.^Fountain 2001.^Adams 2009, p. 15^ abMallmann & C¼ppers 2010, p. 201.^Bar-Zohar & Haber 2002, pp. 45''66.^Finkelstein 2005, p. 322.^^Breitman & Goda 2011^Medoff 1996, p. 317^Shaul Shay, Islamic Terror and the Balkans, The Interdisciplinary Center Herzilya Project (2007), Transaction Publishers, p. 33^Sachar 1961, p. 231^Pearlman 1947, p. 51^Stillman 2000, p. 143.^Fisk 2006, p. 439.^Hoare, Marko Attila (2013). The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War: A History. London: C. Hust and Co. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-84904-241-3. ^Tomasevich 2001, p. 496^Lepre 1997, pp. 12, 310^Stein 1984, pp. 184''5.^Lepre 1997, p. 228, n.28.^Lepre 1997, p. 47 named from the word for a Turkish policeman's sword (or fighting knife:handžar from Turkish hancerTomasevich 2001, p. 497), which had figured as an emblem on the Bosnian coat-of-arms.^Mojzes 2011, p. 78^Lepre & 1997 313:'Overall, it is fairest to say that the Yugoslavian insurgency was a racial - national - ideological - religious struggle that was unique in its barbarity and excesses were perpetrated by all of the warring sides against both combatants and the civilian population.'^Mojzes 1984, pp. 97''98: 'a scorched-earth practice commenced . ."During the operation, we carried out the complete annihilation of the Moslem inhabitants, without regard to their sex and age . .The whole population has been annihilated.'^Lepre 1997, p. 31:'The hearts of all Muslims must today go out to our Islamic brothers in Bosnia, who are forced to endure a tragic fate. They are being persecuted by the Serbian and communist bandits, who receive support from England and the Soviet Union.... They are being murdered, their possessions are robbed, and their villages are burned. England and its allies bear a great accountability before history for mishandling and murdering Europe's Muslims, just as they have done in the Arabic lands and in India.'^Lepre 1997, pp. 26''28^Lepre 1997, p. 34.^Lepre 1997, p. 313.^Lepre 1997, p. 33.^Lepre 1997, p. 75^Lepre 1997, p. 125.^Tomasevich 2001, p. 497:'the objective was not to synthesize National Socialism and Islam, nor to convert the Bosnian Muslims (who, it said, though racially Germanic, were ideologically part of the Arab world) to National Socialism. . .though distinct the two ideologies would act together against their common enemies-Jews, Anglo-Americans, Communists, Freemasons, and the Catholic Church.'^Lepre 1997, p. 67:'Husseini and the Germans opted against forming any synopsis between Islam and national socialism. . .The Idea of Family (Familiengedanke) - the strong family sense possessed by the German and Muslim peoples.The Idea of Order (Ordnungsgedanke) - the idea of the New Order in Europe. The Idea of the FÅ(C)hrer (FÅ(C)hrergedanke) - The idea that a people should be led by one leader. The Idea of Faith (Glaubensgedanke) - That Islam (for Muslims) and national socialism (for Germans) would serve as educational tools to create order, discipline, and loyalty.'^Lepre 1997, p. 135.^Tomasevich 2001, p. 499^Hoare 2014, pp. 194''195.^Lepre 1997, pp. 247ff..^Lepre 1997, p. 257^Lepre 1997, p. 303.^ abFisk 2006, p. 446.^Breitman & Goda 2011, p. 21.^Hilberg 1961, pp. 691:'In all the sessions of the American Jewish Conference and its interim committees, no proposal was put forward for the trial of any specific individual or category of individuals, save one: the ed-Mufti of Jerusalem.'^Shlaim 2000, pp. 156''7 regarding Ben-Gurion's relationship with al-Husseini writes of '(his) old tactic of projecting an image of reasonableness and placing the onus for the deadlock on the shoulders of his Arab opponents. This was the tactic that had served him so well in relation to the grand Mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and other Arab leaders in the pre-Independence period'.^ abLaurens 2002, p. 549.^Laurens 2002, pp. 594''5.^Hillel Cohen (3 January 2008). Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948. University of California Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-520-93398-9. ...Musa al-alami surmised that the mufti would agree to partition if he were promised that he would rule the Arab state ^Radosh & Radosh 2008, pp. 65''75.^Shlaim 2001, p. 30.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 106.^Uri Milstein; Alan Sacks (1997). History of the War of Independence: The first month. University Press of America. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-7618-0721-6. On December 31 (1947), Macatee, the American consul general in Jerusalem, filed a report summing up the events of the month following the UN decision to partition Palestine. ... Terror ruled Palestine, Macatee wrote. That situation certainly would continue until Britain withdrew. The direct cause of terror was partition; other causes were the Arabs patriotic feelings and their hatred of Jews. As an example, Macatee described who the Arabs were shooting at: a Jewish woman, the mother of five children, hanging her laundry on the line; the ambulance that took her to the hospital; and mourners attending her funeral. The roads between the Jewish settlements were blocked, supplies of food were spotty and the Arabs even attacked police vehicles. The Jews were quieter: the Stern Gang (LEHI) struck only at the British and the Hagana at Arabs only in retaliation. ETZEL, which had started such actions, apparently had the Hagana in tow, and if attacks on Jews continued, the Hagana might switch from a policy of protecting lives to aggressive defense. The Jewish Agency, wrote Macatee, was correct to a certain extent in its claim that the British were supporting the Arabs...The Arab'ss leader, enjoyed popular support in the Arab states'....The arabs of Eretz Israel did not dare to oppose Haj Amin, yet neither did they rally en masse around his flag in the war against the Zionists ^ abLevenberg 1993, p. 198.^Sayigh 2000, p. 14.^Musa Budeiri. "The Battle for Jerusalem in the Memoirs of Anwar Nusseibeh". Jerusalem Quarterly File, 11-12, 2001. ^Shlaim 2001, p. 97.^ abKamel 2013.^Kassim 1988, p. 294.^Tucker^Gallagher^Shlaim 2001, p. 99.^Laurens 2007, pp. 167''169.^Brynen 1990, p. 20.^Cohen 2008, p. 257^Cohen 2008, p. 237.^Elpeleg 2007, p. 48.^Oliver Stanley (Secretary of State for the Colonies), answer to a question on notice, House of Commons debates, 1 December 1943; Hansard, vol 395 paragraphs 347''8 [1]^Elpeleg 2007, p. 98.^Laurens 2007, p. 308.^Laurens 2007, p. 694.^Morris 2011, p. 57^Morris 1997, pp. 57ff.,232:'Both before and after 1948, the Yishuv was convinced that the ex-Mufti's hand was behind every anti-Jewish pogrom, murder, and act of sabotage. The Jordanian authorities, always apprehensive of the Palestinians, suspected that the ex-Mufti'--and various Arab regimes'--were sponsoring terrorism from Jordan against Israel in order to foment trouble between the two and to destabilize the Hashemite rule. . .There were persistent suspicions in Amman and Jerusalem that the Mufti and AHC had organized and were running a permanent anti-Israel, anti-Hashemite underground in the West Bank. But not such organization was discovered between 1949 and 1956. The truth was somewhat more prosaic. The ex-Mufti had managed, through contact men and supporters in Jordan, to 'subcontract' occasional raids against Israel.'^ abAchcar 2010 (b), p. 162.^Fisk 2006, p. 447.^Achcar 2010 (b), pp. 162''163.^Pearlman 1947^Schechtman 1965, p. ?.^Rouleau 1994.^Mattar 1992, p. 13.^Rouleau 1994:'C'est surtout dans l'appr(C)ciation globale de l'ancien mufti de J(C)rusalem et de son action que nos deux historiens s'opposent. M(C)diocre et vell(C)itaire pour le Palestinien, Haj Amin est, pour l'Isra(C)lien, un homme " hors du commun ", " comparable Ha¯m Weizmann, David Ben Gourion, ou mªme Theodor Herzl ". Ancien gouverneur militaire Gaza et en Cisjordanie, qui passait autrefois pour un " faucon ", Zvi Elpeleg t(C)moigne de l'(C)volution des esprits en Isral, o¹ son livre a re§u le meilleur des accueils dans les m(C)dias.'^Hōpp & Wien 2010, pp. 214''215:'Zionist and Israeli leaders, however, have exploited the Mufti's activities to denigrate the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation as in fact Nazi inspired from the beginning and thus as fundamentally anti-Semitic. The latest example for these efforts is Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's circulating a photograph of a meeting between the Mufti and Adolf Hitler in Berlin in 1941 in order to provide a convincing argument why Israel had the right to expand building activities in East Jerusalem.'^Sachar 1961, p. 231,^Laurens 2002, pp. 467,469''470;'In terms of his initial formation, Haj Amin was far from being an antisemite. He had learnt French at the Alliance Isra(C)lite Universelle institute in Jerusalem and Albert Ant(C)bi had been one of his mentors. In the interwar period, he had fought Zionism as a political and religious leader. He was then of the opinion that the aim of Zionism was to expel the Arabs of Palestine and take over the Haram al-Sharif in order to build the Third Temple. Gradually (progressivement) he was persuaded that world Judaism supported Zionists in an secretive manner and exercised a major influence over decision-making in Great Britain and the United States. For some time (during WW2) he was certain (based on real facts) that the Zionists were seeking to assassinate him. '... It is evident that he gradually came to identify his battle in Palestine with that of Germany against world Judaism. The reading of all those passages in his memoirs devoted to his European sojourn reveal an assimilation of the content of european antisemitism, with their two great themes of the identification of Judaism with financial capitalism (Anglo-Saxons), and of the legend of the stab in the back (the Jews as responsible for the two world wars). On the other hand, a racist vision of world history is totally absent from his general worldview. '... Taken together, his writings after 1945 do not show him as having an attitude of holocaust denial, whilst Arab politicians of the first rank, in the period of Eichmann's trial, had begun to adopt (precisely) this kind of discourse.'^Kiely 2008, p. 113.^Rouleau 1994^Elpeleg 2007, p. 73.^Laqueur & Rubin 2001, p. 51.^Morris 2008, pp. 21''22, "He was deeply anti-Semitic. He later explained the Holocaust as owing to the Jew's sabotage of the German war effort in World War I and the millennia of Gentile anti-Semitism as due to the Jews' 'chararacter': (quoting al-Husseini) 'One of the most prominent facets of the Jewish character is their exaggerated conceit and selfishness, rooted in their belief that they are the chosen people of God. There is no limit to their covetousness and they prevent others from enjoying the Good. '... They have no pity and are known for their hatred, rivalry and hardness, as Allah described them in the Qur'an.' "^Benny Morris starts to talk about the topic on 43:24. Morris 2011^Zertal 2005, pp. 102, 175:'the demonization of the Mufti serves to magnify the Arafatian threat', '... the '[portrayal of the Mufti as] one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry ('...) has no ('...) historical substantiation'. (p.175).^Fisk 2006, p. 441.^Philip Mattar (1988). "The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Politics of Palestine". Middle East Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Spring, 1988), pp. 227-240. p. 240. instead of prudently recognizing this reality and accepting the relatively favorable 1939 White Paper, or compromising with the Zionists, the Mufti shifted to a policy of active and futile opposition and rejection. In short, moderation during the Palestine phase and rejection during the exile phase contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Palestinians ^Novick 2000, pp. 157''158^Zertal 2005, pp. 102''3.^Achcar 2010 (b), p. 158ReferencesArendt, Hannah (1963). 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Fal$e Flag
DWB/MSF No Fire Area Hospital Area email
In regards to the Doctors Without Borders incident, I worked in small teams that would often have to establish a no fire area to make sure we were not targeted by aircraft or artillery. For us we would always double check with the guys at the guns and fire officer along with aviation units to make sure the no fire area was actually passed on. We would still have issues with pilots from time to time but the no fire area at least made them question before just shooting us.
The hospital would have been a very different thing though as it was well established and would have been known to ground and air assets. Same for UN sites...etc. The air support was called in because ground forces were taking fire, or at least that was the justification for firing early on. Those ground forces would have known that was a hospital unless they came in from outside the area and were not briefed. Also, rules of engagement will not let aircraft just fire in a civilian area, especially with a no fire area, unless there is a forward controller calling it in who then takes responsibility, the order comes from higher up to fire, or in some cases a SOCOM unit calls it in but they often have forward air controllers with them. Pilots can still refuse though. I didn't like the report you played where they were floating pinning this on the crew. Those guys have protocols and have to rely on the information passed to them since they can only make out so much of the situation from the air. This whole thing stinks really bad. I witnessed a Specter firing on a target and it is devastating. The hospital should have had the sat phone number for local or at least in country US military.
The gunship has gun cameras and records audio of the crew. There is so much information that is not being shared that will shed light on what happened. It could be that the afghan unit that was support by US forces had a beef with the hospital and dragged us into it. Could be the afghan unit was one that takes its orders from the spook side and those units are semi wild. Could be something that "we" wanted to destroy and the DOD is having to explain it but was not a part of the operation so they are legitimately confused because they don't know what happened. Could also be a legit fuck up by everyone on the ground and protocols were not followed because the crew wanted to help a unit on the ground.
Lord Ashcroft 'in intensive care after septic shock, liver and kidney failure' | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:47
Peer, 69, missed launch of his biography of PM in Westminster last nightHe's been recovering in hospital in America and is now 'out of danger'Call Me Dave revealed his fury at David Cameron not giving him top job By James Slack and Andrew Pierce
Published: 13:51 EST, 19 October 2015 | Updated: 01:26 EST, 20 October 2015
Illness: Tory peer Lord Ashcroft has suffered a 'life-threatening' illness over the past fortnight
Lord Ashcroft, author of the explosive biography of David Cameron, suffered a life-threatening illness a day after the book was serialised, it emerged last night.
The ex-Tory deputy chairman had to be airlifted to hospital and was in intensive care for 18 days suffering from septic shock.
Lord Ashcroft had been visiting war graves and battlefields in Turkey to mark the centenary of the First World War Gallipoli campaign when he was struck down with severe stomach pain.
He was treated with antibiotics, and was able to fly to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. However his condition deteriorated, and he ended up having to be airlifted to a US clinic.
The 69-year-old billionaire's illness caused major kidney and liver failure, and left him battling for his life.
Last night he missed the official launch of the book Call Me Dave, which was serialised in the Mail last month. The launch was attended by a clutch of senior Tory MPs and ministers. He sent a message which said: 'I am reliably informed my book has caused a little bit of a stir.'
He went on: 'I have fought many political and business battles over the past half century but this is the first one '' and I trust the last '' in which I haven't led from the front.'
Responding to what he called 'hysterical, ill-informed' criticism of the book, which was co-written with award-winning political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, he added: 'The publication, so soon after the last election, was carefully timed to ensure that whatever our inquiries threw up they caused no harm whatsoever to the chances of the Conservative Party and its leader being re-elected.'.
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Event: The book was co-written by award-winning journalist Isabel Oakeshott (left), who was among the many attendees at the launch at Millbank Tower in London last night - along with Ukip leader Nigel Farage (right)
In attendance: Vicky Pryce (left), ex-wife of disgraced MP Chris Huhne, was also at the event, as well as 'Plebgate' MP Andrew Mitchell and wife Sharon Bennett (right)
The book caused shockwaves throughout Westminster, thanks in part to an allegation about a university initiation ceremony involving a dead pig. It also contained damaging claims about the Prime Minister's foreign policy.
Lord Ashcroft, who donated more than £8million to the Tory party, claimed in the book that the PM had reneged on the offer of a major job in Government if the Tories won the 2010 election. After the snub, Ashcroft withdrew his financial support for the party.
In the biography, he also alleged that Mr Cameron had not been truthful about when he had learned of the Tory peer's non-dom status.
Questions continue to dog the Prime Minister about what he knew about Lord Ashcroft's financial offshore status '' which meant he did not pay full UK tax on his overseas assets.
After being serialised in the Mail, the book, which was attacked by allies of Mr Cameron, was officially published at the Tory conference two weeks ago.
Arrivals: Tory MP Alan Duncan (left) was there, along with Stanley Johnson, father of Boris Johnson (right)
PM: The biography of David Cameron (pictured yesterday in the Commons) disclosed Lord Ashcroft's fury at the Prime Minister for going back on a vow to reward his support for the Tories with a top job in government
Observers had pointed out how unusual it was that Lord Ashcroft '' who has regularly attended the conference for two decades '' was absent. During his speech, the Prime Minister even took a mild swipe at the peer, his former ally.
Not knowing of his illness, Mr Cameron referred to himself as a 'hooker' in reference to his favoured rugby position at school. He went on to say: 'That's a factual statement. Not a chapter in Ashcroft's new book.'
It will be a surprise to the Tory establishment that the reason Lord Ashcroft missed the conference was his life-threatening condition, which saw his blood pressure drop to a dangerously low level.
His wife Susi was by his bedside and there were times when his family feared they were going to lose him. However friends have confirmed that he is now out of danger and recuperating well.
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Language Log >> Spoken command injection on Google/Siri/Cortana/Alexa
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:49
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You could have predicted that as soon as speech I/O became a mass-market app, speech-based hacks would appear. And here comes one '-- Andy Greenberg, "Hackers can silently control Siri from 16 feet away", Wired 10/14/2015:
SIRI MAY BE your personal assistant. But your voice is not the only one she listens to. As a group of French researchers have discovered, Siri also helpfully obeys the orders of any hacker who talks to her'--even, in some cases, one who's silently transmitting those commands via radio from as far as 16 feet away.
A pair of researchers at ANSSI, a French government agency devoted to information security, have shown that they can use radio waves to silently trigger voice commands on any Android phone or iPhone that has Google Now or Siri enabled, if it also has a pair of headphones with a microphone plugged into its jack. Their clever hack uses those headphones' cord as an antenna, exploiting its wire to convert surreptitious electromagnetic waves into electrical signals that appear to the phone's operating system to be audio coming from the user's microphone. Without speaking a word, a hacker could use that radio attack to tell Siri or Google Now to make calls and send texts, dial the hacker's number to turn the phone into an eavesdropping device, send the phone's browser to a malware site, or send spam and phishing messages via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
A technical paper on this method has been published '-- C. Kasmi & J. Lopes Esteves, "IEMI Threats for Information Security: Remote Command Injection on Modern Smartphones", IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, 8/13/2015. They seem to have considered a wide variety of practical issues, e.g.
1) Permanent Activation: The voice control command has been activated by default by the user. This means that the voice command service starts as soon as a keyword is pronounced by the user. The experiments demonstrated that it is possible to trigger voice commands remotely by emitting an AM-modulated signal containing the keyword followed by some voice commands at 103 MHz (this frequency is given as an example as it is related to a specific model). The resulting electric signal induced in the microphone cable of the headphones is correctly interpreted by the voice command interface.
2) User Activation: The voice command is not activated by default and a long hardware button press is required for launching the service. In this case, we have worked on injecting a specially crafted radio signal to trigger the activation of the voice command interpreter by emulating a headphones command button press. It was shown that, thanks to a FM modulated signal at the same emitted frequency, we were able to launch the voice command service and to inject the voice command.
3) Discussion: It was also observed that the minimal field required around the target was in the range of 25''30 V/m at 103 MHz, which is close to the limit accepted for human safety but higher than the required immunity level of the device (3 V/m). Thus, smartphones could be disturbed by the parasitic field. Nevertheless, no collateral effects have been encountered during our experiments. Moreover, depending on the cable arrangement and the cable length (between 1 and 1.20 m), it has been observed that the efficient frequency leading to command execution varies in the 80''108 MHz range.
They also discuss some simple hardware and software changes for defeating such attacks.
Meanwhile, I wonder whether any (text or video) thrillers have picked up on this idea?
October 18, 2015 @ 12:44 pm · Filed by Mark Liberman under HLT
Base God is verified on Twitter - He's famous
Schultz wil ministers in zelfrijdende auto's vervoeren -
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Out There
Russia and Europe to launch joint mission to dark side of Moon, then build base there '-- RT News
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:30
The European Space Agency (ESA) is set to join Russia's ambitious plan to colonize the Moon, with an announcement that it will provide key tech for a planned exploration mission in 2020, and possibly help construct a permanent outpost.
Announced by Russia's space agency Roscosmos last November, Luna 27 is a robotic lander that will land in the South Pole''Aitken basin, a giant crater on the dark side of the Moon, and prospect it for resources that could be utilized by future moon-dwellers.
"The south pole of the Moon is unlike anywhere we have been before," James Carpenter, ESA's lead scientist on the project told the BBC earlier this week. "The environment is completely different, and due to the extreme cold there you could find large amounts of water-ice and other chemistry which is on the surface, and which we could access and use as rocket fuel or in life-support systems to support future human missions we think will go to these locations."
For the mission, ESA is expected to supply Pilot, a landing system that uses laser guidance and a set of sophisticated cameras to pick the best spot for exploration, and a revolutionary drill that will burrow 2 meters under the surface. The Europeans will also construct an on-board lab that can immediately analyze the samples.
Although scientists and engineers are already working on blueprints for the project, European officials will only ratify their involvement in Luna 27 in late 2016.
Roscosmos' lead scientist on the project, Igor Mitrofanov, has called on ESA to buy into Russia's endeavor.
"We have to go to the Moon. The 21st Century will be the century when it will be the permanent outpost of human civilization. Our country has to participate in this process, and we have to do it together with our international colleagues,'' the professor at the Space Research Institute in Moscow told the BBC.
READ MORE: Space duo: Russia invites China to create joint lunar station
Whatever results it yields, Luna 27 is just a test of cooperation between the space agencies, and a step towards bigger goals.
Previously, ESA observed Russia's plans to land a manned expedition on the Moon by 2030, followed by the construction of a permanent base, as well as an orbiting outpost, with distant curiosity.
But ESA's new chief Johann-Dietrich Woerner, who has been in his post since July, is a passionate advocate of Moon colonization, and has himself outlined proposals for a international space village that echoes Russia's vision.
"We have an ambition to have European astronauts on the Moon. There are currently discussions at international level going on for broad cooperation on how to go back to the Moon," said Berengere Houdou, who heads the lunar exploration group at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (Estec).
But ambitious as it seems today, a Moon base is in itself a dry run for a more solid, systematic exploration of space than humankind has attempted thus far.
"It will be for astronomical observation, for the utilization of minerals and other lunar resources and to create an outpost that can be visited by cosmonauts working together as a test bed for their future flight to Mars," said Mitrofanov.
"This whole series of missions feels like the beginning of the return to the Moon but it is also starting something new in terms of overall exploration of the Solar System," said Richard Fisackerly, ESA's lead engineer on Luna 27.
See the 'Doomsday' Seed Vault Opened in Response to Syria Crisis
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:45
Rising concern over the ability of countries to grow food has led to the first ever request for a deposit from the ''doomsday'' seed vault in a frigid corner of Norway. Thanks to Syria's civil war, the region's primary seed vault in Aleppo has been forced to operate in a limited fashion, amid fighting that has left several hundred thousand dead and forced an estimated 11 million to become refugees. As ISIS controls part of Syria and refugees stream across Europe, destruction of antiquities and infrastructure continues.
Syrian scientists have re-established the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas in a decentralized model, with staff in eight surrounding countries and a temporary headquarters in Beirut. This week the organization asked for some of their seeds back from the doomsday vault as a precautionary measure to duplicate the material. Those seeds are needed by plant researchers who are working on the next crops to be planted in the Middle East and beyond, in order to try to stay a step ahead of pests and drought and increase yields to feed a growing population.
Scientists have specifically requested drought-friendly seeds of wheat, barley, and grasses from the vault, which is tucked into an Arctic mountainside on the archipelago of Svalbard, about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from the North Pole.
The Svalbard seed bank opened on the island of Longyearbyen in 2008 and contains around 860,000 samples, from countries all over the globe. It was designed to serve as the ultimate safety net for food security in case of nuclear war, asteroid impact, or other apocalyptic scenarios. The mostly subterranean facility was designed to protect up to 2.25 billion seeds. (Learn more about the seed vault.)
''I'd say doomsday is happening every day for crop varieties,'' Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which helps manage the facility, said in a previous interview.
''Lots of people think that this vault is waiting for doomsday before we use it. But it's really a backup plan for seeds and crops. We are losing seed diversity every day and this is the insurance policy for that,'' said Fowler, referring to the fact that many crop varieties are disappearing thanks to shifts in weather, societal preferences, and market pressures.
In fact, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that three-quarters of the world's crop biodiversity is no longer being planted in farmers' fields. When crops are consolidated they become more vulnerable to disease, pests, droughts, or other threats. The genetic diversity found in the vault provides a critical safety net, the agency says.
Even a seemingly simple crop, such as wheat, may have 200,000 different varieties. And each variety has a suite of individual traits that determine how it fares in high or low temperatures, during droughts, or against certain diseases or pests.
''Even conservative projections of changing climate now indicate that by mid-century huge areas of some countries, in Africa for example, will be experiencing climates that are unlike any that have existed since the beginning of agriculture in those countries,'' Fowler explained.
''How will they become adapted to future climates? One way they can is by tapping into this rich storehouse of diversity and breeding new crops with traits that allow them to succeed in those climates. It's essential to future food security,'' Fowler said.
And thanks to war in Syria, scientists have tapped that resource for the first time. Seed vaults have previously been destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one was badly damaged by a flood in the Philippines.
This story was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET on September 28 to clarify that the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas has distributed their staff across eight countries, that the seed bank in Aleppo is in fact not damaged (but is only able to operate in a limited fashion), and that seeds from the center are distributed to other parts of the world in addition to the Middle East.
By Brian HandwerkBrian Clark Howard, National Geographic
PUBLISHED September 23, 2015
China 'floating city' in the sky sparks conspiracy theories | Project Blue Beam, NASA
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:51
Parallel universe, work of aliens, secret NASA project or a simple mirage?
RESIDENTS of two Chinese cities have witnessed the gateway to a parallel universe after a 'floating city' appeared in their sky.
Well, that's one possible explanation offered by conspiracy theorists for the strange event, which occurred above the Jiangxi and Foshan regions of China.
The event was captured on film and showed what appeared to be a large cityscape of dark skyscrapers floating in the clouds.
After appearing on Chinese news channels and being uploaded to YouTube, the bizarre footage has attracted a number of other conspiracy theorists offering an explanation.
One of the more common themes occurring is the belief the illusion was the result of 'Project Blue Beam' '-- a secret NASA project in which the space agency will try to start a New World Order by simulating the second coming of Christ through holograms.
''This is the Project Blue Beam by NASA preparing their mind control over the sheep people. Wake up and smell the roses,'' wrote one user.
''Clearly this was an offshoot of project Bluebeam by the Chinese Government in conjunction with the US air force,'' wrote another.
Another theory suggests the event was not designed here on Earth; rather it was the work of aliens from another dimension.
''I believe it's the work of the Grays [aliens]. They probably teleported a giant city or maybe reflected it from their own dimension,'' wrote one user.
While these supernatural explanations are enticing, scientists have been quick to dismiss the occurrence as a Fata Morgana '-- a mirage caused when light passes through at different temperatures.
What buzz kills.
Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter @mattydunn11@newcomauHQ.
Ground breaking graphics reveal the scale of the universe, from earth to the edge of known existence. Now, scientists say there's fresh evidence a separate universe next door is already knocking...
Word Matter
Texas is so crazy Norwegians are literally using 'Texas' as slang for 'crazy'
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:34
The reputation of Texas extends so far beyond U.S. borders that it has become slang for ''crazy'' in Norway.
Texas Monthlynoted this week that the word ''helt Texas'' was being routinely used by Norwegians instead of ''completely crazy'' or ''chaotic.''
And it's not just on social media, Norway's media has been including the phrase to describe everything from sporting events to a biologist finding a tropical swordfish in Norwegian waters.
''In Norwegian, 'texas' means mayhem and chaos, as in cowboys punching each other and breaking chairs over each other's heads,'' according to a Tumblr page cited by Texas Monthly. Some say the tradition dates back as far as the 1970s.
The Austin American-Statesman dug up a Reddit discussion from earlier this year where one Norwegian explained what Texas meant to him.
''It's basically an idiom at this point,'' the Redditor wrote. ''When I think of the word I picture a cowboy crashing a party and shooting two revolvers into the air. 'It's completely texas!!'''
In the advertisement below, the restaurant Dolly Dimple's uses the phrase ''helt Texas'' to describe their ''crazy'' pizza deals.
"Helt Texas" Dolly Dimple's from Darri on Vimeo.
Caitlyn Jenner Woman of Year Glamour Names Jenner Woman of Year | The Daily Caller
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:08
Glamour magazine named Caitlyn Jenner its ''Woman of the Year'' on Wednesday.
Along with Reese Witherspoon, Jenner will be featured on the publication's December issue to celebrate 25 years of the magazine's prize, Gossip Cop reports.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Jenner reportedly did a ''top secret photo shoot'' with the magazine, and they are expected to announce their selection soon. (VIDEO: Is Caitlyn Jenner Against Gay Marriage?)
(Photo: Reuters)
Lupita Nyong'o was named the ''Woman of the Year'' in 2014. In the past, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, Rihanna, and Michelle Obama have all held the title. (RELATED: Caitlyn Jenner: 'Trans People Serving In The Military Is A Great Idea')
(Photo: Glamour)
VIDEO-Video: San Francisco middle school refuses to tell winners of election, students say principal believes winners are not diverse enough |
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:32
Related Coverage
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) '-- An election controversy has students and parents up in arms.
A middle school in San Francisco is refusing to tell kids the winners of the student body government election. It is because, as one student told KRON's Justine Waldman, the principal does not like who won.
''I wanted to get more involved and change some things,'' student Sebastian Kaplan said.
Kaplan is now involved in a slight controversy when all he wanted was to be his seventh grade representative at Everett Middle School in the Mission District.
''I feel like it is disrespectful to all the people who were running,'' Kaplan said.
Sebastian said the results of the student government election, held on Oct. 10, have not come out yet. He and the other candidates were told this week it is because the principal believes the winners are not diverse enough.
''The organizers are saying things like, 'we want everyone's voice to be heard,' but in truth, the voters' voices are not being heard,'' Kaplan said. ''Most kids are in agreement that the results need to come out because kids worked really hard on it.''
While keeping the results secret, the principal told Sebastian the school could add positions to better reflect the student body. The whole issue has taught Sebastian a tough lesson in politics.
''The whole school voted for those people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but in a way, now it is kinda being rigged,'' Kaplan said.
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VIDEO-Sesame Street introduces 'Julia,' its first muppet with autism - AOL
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:03
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VIDEO-Watch Anderson Cooper's Uncomfortable Exchange With Donald Trump Campaign Co-Chair: 'I Don't Appreciate This at All' | Video |
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:54
Donald Trump's campaign co-chair and adviser Sam Clovis became indignant toward CNN host Anderson Cooper who asked him about the Republican presidential frontrunner ''reversing himself'' on policies.
''If he's going to portray himself as a truth-teller, someone who tells it like it is, shouldn't he be speaking the truth?'' Cooper asked Clovis during Tuesday night's panel discussion, which included TheBlaze's Dana Loesch.
''I thought we were gonna have a discussion on policy tonight,'' Clovis replied, ''and I'm sorry this is where this is heading.''
Cooper responded that such a question is about policy, given that Trump said ''he was against going to Afghanistan and now he's for it.''
''I don't appreciate this at all,'' Clovis continued. ''I didn't have any indication that this was where we were gonna be going with this. I thought we were gonna be talking about policy and where we are in the campaign and our polling.''
''If these are the issues that you want to bring up, that's fine, and I'll let the other commentators comment on it,'' Clovis added.
Switching the topic to gun confiscation, which Trump has told rally audiences he's heard Obama is thinking of carrying out, Cooper asked Clovis, ''Do you believe the president is really trying to take away guns, that he wants to sign an executive order to take away guns and that's based on reporting?''
Clovis told Cooper that CNN has reported about Obama speaking about a gun control model ''much like that in the United Kingdom and in Australia. That, to me, leads us then to confiscations of guns '... so from that perspective, that's exactly where we're headed if the president has his way.''
Cooper replied that Obama isn't talking about revoking the Second Amendment.
This story has been updated.
(H/T: Mediaite)
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter
VIDEO-Tesla owners are sharing their AutoPilot fails on YouTube | Fusion
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 06:20
Look, following instructions is boring'--especially when you have a fancy toy car that has recently learned to drive itself!
This week, Tesla rolled out its new Autopilot software and already videos are surfacing on YouTube of Tesla self-driving fails. The company warned drivers that the system is still technically in beta and drivers need to keep their hands on the wheel, but apparently the temptation to drive hands-free is just too great.
In the first video below, after a San Francisco driver finishes telling his friend how much he trusts the Autopilot system, at about the 2:50 mark, the car nearly sends him flying off the road when it makes a sudden turn.
Meanwhile, in Miami, this Tesla driver decided to test out auto-pilot while driving in the rain. His Tesla suddenly swerves on a curve, leaving the driver rattled (though he keeps filming the whole thing with his smartphone, even after he's taken back control of the wheel):
And in this one, the scariest one, the car suddenly veers to the side of the road, crossing the double-yellow road divider line right into the path of another car:
Meanwhile, this driver blamed AutoPilot for going 75 mph in a 60 mph zone, causing him to get a ticket. We're ready to blame our beta toys for everything!
It's a little terrifying that people are beta-testing on open highways. We may be well on our way to a driverless society, but for now at least, it's a safer bet to keep your hands on the wheel. And if you see a Tesla S on the road with you, give it a wide berth.
VIDEO-Some Tesla owners are too trusting of autopilot | Ars Technica
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 06:13
While not pictured, blue lines to the left and right of the virtual road indicate that the car is sensing the paint lines and will steer autonomously.
Ron Amadeo
Further ReadingLast week, Tesla did an over-the-air update to its fleet to bring autopilot'--including autosteer, which is still in beta'--to all Model S electric cars built in the past year (older cars don't have all the necessary hardware). During the announcement of the feature, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stressed that autopilot isn't autonomous in the way that research cars from companies like Google or Audi (or even Stanford University) are. Rather, it's at level two (out of four) on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's scale of self-driving cars.Despite this warning, some Tesla drivers haven't fully absorbed the information... or that Tesla said it accepts no liability for collisions that happen in autopilot mode. As discovered by Fusion, it seems Tesla drivers have been videoing their autopilot experiences, including several near-misses.
Near-miss as a Tesla swerves at another car.
Autopilot and similar features from Audi, Volvo, and others are extremely useful for long freeway journeys. But for now, if you're behind the wheel, you are still legally responsible for your car's behavior on the road. Remember, Autosteer (which some have pointed out is a misleading name) is still only beta software. Keep those hands on the wheel and those eyes on traffic, please!
VIDEO-Mother Of Benghazi Victim Explodes At Hillary Clinton: 'She's Lying!' | TheBlaze - YouTube
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 05:41
VIDEO-Michael Chertoff "We're Not Going To Relitigate 9/11" (Oh Really?) - YouTube
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 05:01
VIDEO-The U.N. Global Goals - We Have a Plan on Vimeo
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:48
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VIDEO-Netanyahu Says Hitler Only Wanted To Kick Jews Out Until A Muslim Convinced Him To Exterminate Them - YouTube
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:50
VIDEO-MSNBC Apologizes for Showing False Maps of Israel | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:21
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
During MSNBC's 3 p.m. ET hour on Monday, anchor Kate Snow and Middle East correspondent Martin Fletcher apologized for using false maps depicting Israeli and Palestinian territory during a Thursday segment about escalating violence in the region. Snow began: ''Last Thursday, in an attempt to talk about the context for the current turmoil in the Middle East we showed a series of maps of the changing geography in that region. We realized after we went off the air the maps were not factually accurate and we regret using them.''
Turning to Fletcher, Snow reiterated: ''Clearly those maps '' that set of maps was wrong. Tell us why.'' Fletcher admitted: ''Well, Kate, first of all, I wish I'd said it right away when I saw them. The bottom line is that the first map showed the area as if it was a Palestinian was completely wrong. I mean, there was no Palestinian '' there was no state called Palestine.''
VIDEO-Carville: Benghazi Scandal Created by Rupert Murdoch and Koch Brothers | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:08
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Tuesday '' just two days before Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House Benghazi Committee '' MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell teased an upcoming interview with liberal operative and longtime Clinton hatchet man James Carville, hailing him as a ''political Jedi master.'' In the segment that followed, Carville proceeded to spin wild conspiracy theories about the reason behind the Democratic front-runner's Benghazi and e-mail scandals.
Mitchell began by actually challenging Carville on the Benghazi attack: '' could she be secretary of state, be in charge, and not have those security warnings come to her level?'' Carville launched into his rant: ''Trey Gowdy is a creation of the Koch brothers and the whole climate denial industry and this committee was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. You know, Fox ran over 1,000 segments in 20 months after this thing.''
VIDEO-Andrea Mitchell Tees Up John Kerry to Blast GOP 'Climate Deniers' | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:39
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
During an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry at a State Department climate forum on Tuesday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell urged the Secretary to slam the GOP: ''Republican candidates are not only silent on the subject, they are climate deniers. And even candidates who led the way in 2008, the nominee [John McCain], is now silent on the subject because of Tea Party challenges to himself and to others.''
Kerry ranted: ''...when I hear a United States senator say, 'I'm not a scientist so I can't make a judgment,' or a candidate for president, for that matter, I'm absolutely astounded. It's incomprehensible that a grown-up who has been to high school and college in the United States of America disqualifies themselves because they're not a scientist...''
VIDEO-MSNBC's Harris-Perry Seminar: Socialism Never Took Hold in USA Because...Racism | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:36
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. Soopermexican at The Right Scoop found another definitive Melissa Harris-Perry moment on Saturday morning. In rejoicing over how Bernie Sanders is making America safe for socialism (and socialist critiques of capitalism), she asked her panel why America has always been so persistently opposed to socialism. She had a pet theory. Why could that be? Racism, of course.
VIDEO-Joy Behar Touts Trump's Liberal Views: 'He Agrees With Bernie' | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:32
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. On Wednesday's The View, liberal co-host Joy Behar admitted that she was ''starting to warm up to Trump a little bit now'' given the numerous liberal positions the Republican frontrunner has taken over the years.
VIDEO-FBI Director Admits U.S. Will Have No Basis to Vet Some Syrian Refugees | MRCTV
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:19
FBI Director James Comey, flanked by the nation's top intelligence officials, admitted to the House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday that for some of the 10,000 Syrian refugees the administration has agreed to allow into the U.S., there will be no basis to vet them through the databases it uses to determine if they have ties to terrorism.
VIDEO-As hackers go wild, cyber insurance gets expensive |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:30
Attacks on U.S. banks, retailers and other major companies have led to skyrocketing cyber insurance premiums. Reuters Jim Finkle explores the effect hackers are having on the relationship between the insurance industry and some of their biggest corporate customers.
VIDEO-Assad flies to Moscow to thank Putin for Syria air strikes |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:26
It's the first foreign visit for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, in a surprise trip that underlines how Russia's become a major player in the Middle East. Mana Rabiee reports.
In his first foreign visit since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, President Assad came to Moscow to personally thank Russian President Vladimir Putin for Moscow's military support in the war. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SAYING: "The terrorism that is now spreading today could have, without your decisions and actions, spread to even more territories and states not just in our region, but to other regions too.'' The meeting comes three weeks after Russia launched an air campaign against Syrian insurgents in support of its Mideast ally. For his part, Putin said progress on the military front will make a political solution in Syria that much easier. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Syria is a friendly country to us and we are prepared to do whatever we can not only in the course of military efforts to fight terrorism but also in the course of the political process." Assad's visit underlines how Russia has become a major player in the Middle East, even if Moscow's strategy is at odds with the West, who want Assad out of power. But for Assad, the trip is a confidence booster. His forces are waging a counteroffensive against in Western Syria against insurgents and Islamic State in a war that's killed a quarter of a million people.
VIDEO-VW emissions bill could rise - CEO |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:21
The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal is the biggest in the company's 78-year history. Now it's to stop selling new cars within the European Union that contain the software used to cheat the diesel emissions test. The group said only a limited number of diesel cars with Euro 5 engines will be affected. They'll be upgraded before going back on sale. The group says it may need more than the 6.5 billion euros it has already set aside to cover the costs. IG's Alastair McCaig said VW's potential bill could keep growing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Market Analyst IG, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "I don't think there are many in the city that believe the six and a half billion euros is going to be anywhere near sufficient funding to cover all of the different costs associated with I guess the three major areas which is tackling the 11 million cars that have effectively been sold under false pretenses. The increased emissions that have happened on an annual basis for a number of years and quite frankly the harm that this will do to Volkswagen and their other branded products." 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union region are suspected to have been fitted with the banned software. VW, said it would recall them all. If matters weren't bad enough, Norwegian ship owner I.M. Skaugen is seeking $50 million in compensation from a marine division owned by VW. It relates to the alleged rigging of performance tests of ship engines produced over a decade ago.
VIDEO-WWIII-EU: Starbucks, Fiat tax deals illegal |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:18
The European Commission has ordered the Netherlands and Luxembourg to recover tens of millions of euros in back taxes from Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler, in a ruling that could set nerves on edge across the corporate world. David Pollard reports.
Landed with a hefty new tax bill for 20-30 million euros, it wasn't exactly a cappuccino moment for Starbucks. That's the amount the Netherlands has been ordered to recover in back taxes from the coffee shop chain. A similar amount by Luxembourg from Fiat Chrysler. Those countries giving those companies special tax arrangements or "rulings". According to European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMPETITION COMMISSIONER, MARGRETHE VESTAGER, SAYING: "The tax rulings have artificially reduced the tax burden of both companies and this is illegal under EU state aid rules .... Last year, Fiat Finance and Trade paid not even 0.4 million in corporate tax. And Starbucks Manufacturing paid not even 0.6 million in tax." Fiat deny receiving any state aid. Starbucks says it will appeal. Luxembourg disagrees - while the Netherlands says it's "surprised" at the ruling. Amazon and Apple are among other companies in the Commission's crosshairs. Though Vestager said those cases are different - while also warning the Commission "would not stop here". Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET RESEARCH & CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "It won't play well to see unelected officials in Brussels telling elected officials in member states what they can and can't do in terms of trying to attract direct foreign investment and corporates into their countries. So I think it will be very messy, very unpopular at a political level. It may play well to certain sections of the media and the general public, but overall I think it will open up a much bigger can of worms." One tax advisor who spoke to Reuters agreed - the ruling, he said, would "rock the corporate world to its very core".
VIDEO-Pope tumor reports false and inexcusable : Vatican |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:17
The story is splashed across the front page of Italy's Quotidiano Nazionale: "Pope Francis is sick" the paper says. The report claims the 78-year-old pontiff has a benign brain tumor... that a Japanese medical team secretly visited the Pope some months ago and spotted the tumor, saying it was treatable without surgery. But according to Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi the story is not only untrue, it's reprehensible. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI SAYING: "No Japanese doctor has been to the Vatican to visit the pope. There have been no examinations such as those written about in the article. The offices responsible, have confirmed to me, there were no helicopter flights into the Vatican from outside, even in the month of January. Unless they were ghosts, they weren't seen." Lombardi says that while the Pope has some leg pain because of sciatica (SI-ATICA), he's in good health. The Japanese doctor cited in the report is reportedly based in the U.S. but has not commented on the story. Lombardi however, is outspoken. He says such misinformation about the Pope has to stop.
VIDEO-MORE TROOPS-Mysterious deaths raise fears of Ebola relapse |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:10
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VIDEO-ECB highlights post-crisis wealth gap |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:09
It shook markets around the world but it wasn't just investors that lost out during the euro zone debt crisis. The ECB has charted the wealth of single currency countries post-crash. Ireland faired the worst. On average, each person lost more than 18,000 euros between 2009 and 2013. While Spaniards saw their wealth dwindle by almost 13,000 euros per person as property plummeted. Greeks saw their wealth decline by almost 17,000 euros for the same reason. In contrast though, Germans and Dutch got richer. Their wealth grew by 19,000 in Germany - and 33,000 in the Netherlands. CIBC's Jeremy Stretch. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "Those that are wealthier have done best, particularly those who own assets and in particular financial assets, because they've rebounded very substantially. That's not to say the process of re-injecting liquidity in the global system has proved to be inadequate, I think it's just the case that the benefits have been rather unequally spread around. And unfortunately that's just one of the legacies of the financial sector crisis." The ECB has acknowledged the divide, but there is little the central bank can do to remedy it. Its money-printing scheme is spread out according to countries' relative size and not by their economic needs. To fix imbalances, experts have long pushed for a system of financial transfers or payments from rich to poor states. But Germany fears this could lumber it with unmanageable costs - and believes handouts would discourage some countries from economic reforms.
VIDEO-Syria's Assad makes surprise visit to Moscow |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:04
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has gone to Moscow to personally thank Russia's Vladimir Putin for his military support, in a surprise visit that underlines how Russia has become a major player in the Middle East. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Moscow on Tuesday evening (October 20) to personally thank Russia's Vladimir Putin for his military support, in a surprise visit that underlined how Russia has become a major player in the Middle East. It was Assad's first foreign trip since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, and came three weeks after Russia launched a campaign of air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria that has also bolstered Assad's forces. The Kremlin kept the visit quiet until Wednesday morning, broadcasting a meeting between the two men in the Kremlin and releasing a transcript of an exchange they had. It did not say whether the Syrian leader was still in Moscow or had returned home. Putin said he hoped progress on the military front would be followed by moves toward a political solution in Syria, bolstering Western hopes Moscow will use its increased influence on Damascus to cajole Assad into talking to his opponents. Assad, who looked relaxed, emphasized how Russia was acting according to international law, praising Moscow's political approach to the Syrian crisis which he said had ensured it had not played out according to "a more tragic scenario." Ultimately, he said, the resolution to the crisis was a political one. Putin said Russia was ready to help find a political solution and hailed the Syrian people for standing up to the militants "almost on their own," saying the Syrian army had notched up serious battlefield success in recent times. Related Coverage He said Russia had felt compelled to act in Syria because of the threat Islamist militants fighting Assad's forces there posed to its own security.
VIDEO MUSLIM TOLD HITLER TO DO I-Netanyahu: We Guard Islamic Sites Better than Arabs Do - Arutz Sheva
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:52
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel guards and protects Islamic sites better than the Arab countries do. In a speech before the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu denounced the claim that Israel seeks to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque.
He said that Israel has no intention of changing the status quo '' "and this is despite the fact that the Temple Mount is our sacred location, long before Islam. But we will not change the status quo '' this is a lie."
"This lie is 100 years old already," he said. "But the Temple Mount stands, the Al Aqsa mosque stands. But the lie also continues to stand."
"Israel is the only country in the Middle East that protects its mosques," he added, and noted that numerous Muslim holy sites have been "blown to smithereens" by Muslims in the current internecine warfare in the Arab world.
Netanyahu also denied that there has been a surge in construction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The opposite is true, he said '' there has been a downward turn in construction '' and "there are people who will not like to hear these statistics."
He said that in his first term as prime minister, the rate of housing construction in Judea and Samaria was 3,000 per year. In Ehud Barak's single year as prime minister it was 5,000. Under Ariel Sharon it was at 1,900, and under Ehud Olmert it was 1,700. It is now at 1,500 per year, he said. "Some surge."
"Despite our efforts for peace and tranquility," he said, "we are now in the midst of a campaign, an assault, not the first one, that seeks to murder Israelis wherever they are, and this campaign is incorporating medieval ideology with modern technology. It's a unique combination'...
"We know for example that the various attackers are using their Facebook pages to indicate what they are, to absorb messages of incitement. I appreciate the fact that Facebook is trying to find a balance between free speech and the safety of the public. I think that warrants special attention in this case.
"We're fighting not only a campaign of physical assault on the Jewish state. But the physical assault on the Jews is always preceded and accompanied by an assault on the truth '' a campaign of defamation and slander."
Netanyahu proceeded to list the ten big lies that are being propagated against Israel, the first of which is that "Israel is trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount."
VIDEO-Refugee stance puts Merkel under strain |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:49
Rising tension in Europe as closed borders create a backlog of migrants and refugees trying to reach western Europe. Breakingviews' Olaf Storbeck says German chancellor Angela Merkel's welcome may be backfiring, but that she deserves to survive the crisis.
VIDEO-Russian Officials Challenge Dutch Report On Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 : NPR
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:14
Ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, Russia has offered a number of explanations '-- all of which attempt to shift blame away from Russia and its Ukrainian separatist allies.
Russian officials are already saying that the Dutch investigators report we just heard about is biased. Before it was even released, the state-controlled Russian company that builds the BUK missile system gave a presentation of its own. The company says its experiments prove that neither Russia nor its separatist allies launched the missile that downed MH17. NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us now from Moscow. And Corey, what exactly does this Russian report contend?
COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Well, two things, really. I mean, the first is that although it was a BUK missile that hit the plane, it was an old model of that weapon that hasn't been used by the Russian military for several years. So they claimed that the model is still used by the Ukrainian military, so that would suggest the Ukrainians must have fired it.
The second thing the report claims is that the flight path of the missile shows it came from territory that was controlled by the Ukrainian army at the time.
CORNISH: But what are they offering as proof?
FLINTOFF: It wasn't clear how they established the flight path of the missile. You know, they say it's based on elementary geometry. But this is a missile that can correct its own flight path, so it seems to be a lot more complicated than what they're saying. The Russian group also says that they analyzed photos of the wreckage from the plane and they were able to figure out from the shape of the shrapnel holes that the weapon was a BUK and that it was an older model of the missile.
CORNISH: Now, that's not the same as doing the kind of hands-on investigation that the Dutch did, though, is it?
FLINTOFF: No. It's looking at the evidence from second hand. But the Russians say they also conducted field tests. You know, they took the forward section of an old Russian passenger jet that's similar to the Boeing 777, and they set it up on a testing ground. And then they detonated a BUK missile on a wooden platform that was close to the fuselage, and they analyzed the damage.
CORNISH: All right. So they're saying that a staged explosion on the ground would accurately replicate what happened to MH17 in the air.
FLINTOFF: Well, independent investigators who've studied this crash are saying that this experiment is pretty meaningless 'cause it doesn't even take into account the fact that the plane was traveling more than 500 miles an hour when this happened. One analyst I know says that the Russian presentation today was just an effort to cause confusion and uncertainty on the part of the public.
CORNISH: You know, Corey, obviously, you've traveled around this region many times during the conflict, and you were at the wreckage site in the days after MH17 went down. What's your take on everything that's known at this point?
FLINTOFF: Well, the separatists actually seem to have boasted at one point that they had a BUK. We reporters saw purported photos of it online, and we managed to geo-locate one of the places where one of those photos was taken. I went there, and the location matched the photos. But I have to say, I was unable to find an eyewitness who could positively say that they'd seen a BUK there on the day MH17 was attacked.
But based on everything I saw and independent investigations I've read since then, I think the Dutch investigators are right. It was a BUK fired from separatist territory. And because the BUK is a pretty complex military system, I think it was beyond the capacity of the separatist militia fighters to operate. So that would make it likely that the BUK was operated by a trained Russian crew. You know, but Russia can't admit that because to admit that would be to admit that Russian officials have been lying for more than a year about their involvement in Ukraine.
CORNISH: That's NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow. Corey, thanks so much.
FLINTOFF: Thank you, Audie.
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VIDEO-Corey Flintoff : NPR LIES!!
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:11
Corey Flintoff is NPR's international correspondent based in Moscow. His journalism career has taken him to more than 50 countries, most recently to cover the civil war in Libya, the revolution in Egypt and the war in Afghanistan.
After joining NPR in 1990, Flintoff worked for many years as a newscaster during All Things Considered. In 2005, he became part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War, where he embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs.
Flintoff's reporting from Iraq includes stories on sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti to report on the massive earthquake its aftermath. Two years before, he reported on his stint on a French warship chasing pirates off the coast of Somalia.
One of Flintoff's favorite side jobs at NPR is standing in for Carl Kasell during those rare times when the venerable scorekeeper takes a break from Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Before NPR, Flintoff served as the executive producer and host of AlaskaNews Nightly, a daily news magazine produced by the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage. His coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was recognized with the 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award.
In 1977, Flintoff got his start in public radio working at at KYUK-AM/TV, in Bethel, Alaska. KYUK is a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station and Flintoff learned just enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He wrote and produced a number of television documentaries about Alaskan life, including "They Never Asked Our Fathers" and "Eyes of the Spirit," which have aired on PBS and are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
He tried his hand at commercial herring fishing, dog-mushing, fiction writing and other pursuits, but failed to break out of the radio business.
Flintoff has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from the University of Chicago, both in English literature. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Drexel University.
VIDEO-Webb drops out of Democratic presidential race |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:56
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb said on Tuesday he will drop his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and explore an independent run for the White House. Webb, whose struggling campaign barely registered in opinion polls, said he would spend the next few weeks talking to people and groups who have urged him to mount an independent candidacy. "I am not going away; I'm thinking about all my options," Webb, 69, told a news conference, acknowledging that his more conservative political views were out of line with Democratic Party leaders and primary voters. The former senator from Virginia said Americans were "disgusted" with the highly partisan nature of campaigns and he believed there was growing room for an "honest broker" who could bridge the political divide. "Americans don't like the extremes to which both parties have moved in recent years and, quite frankly, neither do I," he said. Webb's departure will have no impact on the Democratic race by four active candidates, led by front-runner Hillary Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to decide soon whether he will jump into the primary contest preceding the November 2016 election. Webb was not an active presence on the campaign trail, and his participation in the first Democratic debate last week was notable for his repeated complaints about his lack of air time more than for any policy statements. The decorated war hero, who served in the Vietnam War and was secretary of the Navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan, is known for outspoken critiques of U.S. foreign policy and unswerving support for American troops serving overseas. But his views on gun rights, taxes and other social issues were much more conservative than most Democratic contenders. Webb said he was aware of the history of poor performance of other independent candidates in recent presidential races but thought 2016 could be different. "Because of the paralysis in our two parties, there is a time when conceivably an independent candidacy actually could win. And those are the questions we're going to be asking," he said. Webb was elected to the Senate in 2006 but left after one six-year term. He is the author of 10 books, and an Emmy award- winning journalist and filmmaker. In addition to Clinton, the other Democratic presidential contenders are U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.
VIDEO-Migrant swell prompts Slovenia to mull border barrier |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:55
A stream of migrants, as far as the eye can see - they've crossed over from Croatia and into Slovenia on foot. After Hungary shut its borders, the flow of migrants has been diverted westwards towards Slovenia - making the journey to Western Europe even longer for these exhausted travelers, many of whom are fleeing war and civil strife in their own countries. Officials say almost 20,000 migrants have entered this tiny country, since the weekend, when Hungary sealed its southern border with Croatia. Overwhelmed by the endless influx, Slovenia has deployed its army to guard the border and, much like Hungary, is considering the option of building a barrier. Slovenia has also asked the European Union to send additional police forces to its border with Croatia---where an increasing backlog of migrants is held up --as Slovenian officials attempt to control the sheer numbers crossing its borders every day.
VIDEO-Pentagon: U.S., Russia sign memo to air conflict over Syria |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:22
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. and Russian military officials signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday that includes steps their pilots should take to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria as they carry out separate air strikes against militant groups, the Pentagon said. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the full text of the memo would not be released at Russia's request, but it included specific protocols for air crews to follow plus the creation of a ground communications link between the two sides in the event air communications fail. Cook said the memo calls for aircraft to maintain a safe distance, but he declined to be more specific about whether the protocols included specific distances.
VIDEO-Putin: Russia ready to respond to terrorist threat |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:15
Russian president Vladimir Putin says Moscow is ready to respond to ''terror'' threats from Syria, while officials say they have no information about reported Russian casualties in the country. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Russian warplanes on the attack in Aleppo. The video cannot be independently verified, but Russian president Vladimir Putin says his country's show of force is sending a message to the world. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "As a result of the operation it has been confirmed that Russia is ready to adequately and effectively respond to the terrorist threat and any other threats to our country." Putin has justified Moscow's intervention by stating that extremists in Syria will eventually threaten Russia too, if they're not eliminated. But it doesn't come without a cost. The Russian embassy in Damascus says it has no information about reports that three Russians had been killed fighting alongside Syrian government forces. The RIA news service quoting the embassy said, "There is no information about the alleged 'deaths of three Russians' or 'three Russian servicemen' in Syria, as reported by Reuters." The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Russian air strikes in Syria have killed 370 people, one third of them civilians. It says the overall death toll in Syria after four years of civil war stands at more than 300,000.
VIDEO-UN's Ban calls for Mideast calm |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:11
Israeli policemen try to resuscitate an Israeli man who was run over by a Palestinian motorist. The victim is believed to have been using a club to hit Palestinian protesters before he was struck by the vehicle. The driver later turned himself in. It's still not known if it was a deliberate act, but it came amid an escalation of violence between the Israelis and Palestinians over the last few weeks. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on a surprise visit to the region, is joining the calls for peace. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON, SAYING "No society should have to live in fear. No society can afford to see its youth suffer in hopelessness. If we do not act fast, the dynamics on the ground may only get worse with the serious repercussions in and beyond Israel and Palestine." The outbreak of street violence over the last few weeks has been fueled by confrontations around Jerusalem's al Aqsa mosque complex, a site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Palestinians fear increasing visits by Jewish groups to al-Aqsa are eroding longtime Muslim religious control there. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders have sought to calm tensions...and assure residents that the mosque compound will remain open and accessible to both Muslims and Jews..but as clashes continue on the streets there are few signs that those efforts are making any headway.
VIDEO-Justin Trudeau's eulogy - YouTube
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:09
VIDEO-Brand Merkel marred by migrant crisis? |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:04
Angela Merkel is facing growing dissent within her conservative ranks as Germany continues to bear the brunt of Europe's immigration crisis. But as Ivor Bennett reports, the Chancellor's efforts to stem the flow of migrants are proving just as unpopular.
One year on and support is stronger than ever. The recent surge in immigration attracting 10,000 protesters to the first anniversary rally of anti-Islam group PEGIDA in Dresden. Many with a clear message of who is to blame. SOUNDBITE (German) PEGIDA DEMONSTRATOR, MATTHIAS B'CKLE, SAYING: "All the refugees and migrants are waging war on each other with the conditions... the best thing for the government to do is to step down and hold a new election." Upwards of 800,000 migrants and refugees are expected to arrive in Germany this year. Piling pressure on the government to act. Many travel through Turkey. A country Angela Merkel believes holds the solution. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We can see that there is a migration flow. This flow might increase and come to the European Union from Turkey. And we believe that we should share Turkey's burden and support Turkey and help them to tackle this problem." But it's what that help is that's proving controversial. Merkel's offer to push forward Turkey's bid for EU membership has prompted public criticism from within her own power base. A first chink in the armour perhaps, made worse by a slew of weak economic data. CIBC's Jeremy Stretch. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY STRETCH, CIBC, SAYING: "An injection of younger people who are keen to work could be seen as a beneficial aspect for the German economy over the course of the next 10 to 20 years. But in the short term from a political standpoint, Chancellor Merkel is not quite as robust as she was." Opinion polls in particular are sounding the alarm bell. Merkel's popularity sliding to its lowest level in nearly four years earlier this month.
VIDEO-AP Interview: MSF says bombing of Afghan hospital no mistake
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:50
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AP) '-- The head of an international medical charity whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike says the "extensive, quite precise destruction" of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake.
The Oct. 3 attack on the compound in Kunduz city, which killed at least 22 patients and hospital staff, should be investigated as a possible war crime, said Christopher Stokes, general director of Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF.
The trauma hospital was bombed during a firefight between Taliban and government troops, as U.S. advisers were helping Afghan forces retake the city after the insurgents overran it and seized control on Sept. 28. Afghan authorities say they are now largely back in control of Kunduz.
U.S. President Barack Obama has apologized for the attack, and the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, said it was a mistake. He said the strike had been called in by Afghan forces, but has not explained exactly how it happened or who granted final approval. Internal military investigations are underway, with preliminary results expected in coming days.
According to Associated Press reporting, American special operations analysts were scrutinizing the Afghan hospital days before it was destroyed because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity. The analysts knew it was a medical facility, according to a former intelligence official who is familiar with some of the documents describing the site.
It's unclear whether that information ever got to commanders who unleashed the AC-130 gunship on the hospital.
"The hospital was repeatedly hit both at the front and the rear and extensively destroyed and damaged, even though we have provided all the coordinates and all the right information to all the parties in the conflict," Stokes said, standing in the burned-out main hospital building.
"The extensive, quite precise destruction of this hospital ... doesn't indicate a mistake. The hospital was repeatedly hit," Stokes said. The bombing went on for more than an hour, despite calls to Afghan, U.S. and NATO to call if off, MSF has said.
Stokes, who has called for an independent inquiry into the incident, told The Associated Press in an interview in the remains of the hospital on Friday that MSF wanted a "clear explanation because all indications point to a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and therefore a war crime."
Afghan authorities have refused to comment before investigations are complete. President Ashraf Ghani's deputy spokesman, Zafar Hashemi, told reporters on Saturday that the Afghan government has "faith" in investigations being conducted by the U.S. military, and by a joint Afghan-NATO team.
MSF has denied there were any armed Taliban on the hospital grounds at the time of the attack. "The compound was not entered by Taliban soldiers with weapons," Stokes said. "What we have understood from our staff and guards is that there was very strong, very good control of what was happening in and around the compound and they reported no firing in the hours preceding the destruction of the hospital."
More than 70 staff members were on duty, tending to more than 100 patients at the time, he said.
According to its policy, MSF treats government troops and insurgent combatants equally. Hospitals are regarded as protected sites in war.
Doctors Without Borders officials have said the U.S. gunship made five separate strafing runs over the course of an hour, directing heavy fire on the main hospital building, which contained the emergency room and intensive care unit. Surrounding buildings were not hit. The hospital is no longer operable.
Stokes said that "until we understand what happened and we can gain guarantees that this unacceptable attack cannot happen again, we cannot reopen and put our staff in danger."
MSF, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization that provides medical aid in conflict zones, has called for an investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, based in the Swiss capital, Bern. It is made up of diplomats, legal experts, doctors and some former military officials from nine European countries, including Britain and Russia.
An IHFFC investigation needs the cooperation of both Afghanistan and the U.S. before it can proceed, which neither government is expected to give.
O'Donnell reported from Kabul.
VIDEO-Obama: More companies join U.S. pledge on climate change |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:14
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Obama announced that a total of 81 companies, including Alcoa Inc, General Electric Co and Procter & Gamble, have backed a U.S.-sponsored pledge supporting action to combat climate change. Obama met with CEOs at the White House on Monday to discuss ways to combat climate change. The White House said that 68 additional companies had signed the pledge, joining 13 earlier corporations to support "a strong outcome" for upcoming United Nations climate negotiations in Paris and take steps to reduce their impact on the environment. President Barack Obama is pursuing private sector support ahead of the U.N. conference and more corporations are expected to sign the pledge before it begins on Nov. 30, senior adviser to the president Brian Deese told a call with reporters. The pledge's signatories announced on Monday span the spectrum of major American corporations, and also include Bank of America, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Google and WalMart Stores Inc. The White House said it also expects a consortium of major investors to announce on Monday $1.2 billion in investment capital for companies and projects that can "produce impactful and profitable solutions to climate change." The initial group of investors includes the University of California, TIAA-Cref and the Alaska Permanent Fund, according to the White House.
VIDEO-Anguish on the border |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:04
Scenes of anguish and despair as thousands of migrants gather on Serbia's border with Croatia. They are virtually stranded waiting on cold, wet borders after Hungary closed its southern frontier. It is an all too familiar scene at the epicenter of the greatest migration of people in Europe since World War Two. The UNHCR struggles to hand out raincoats. Coordinator Iroda Asqarova says they are doing what they can. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR COORDINATOR, IRODA ASQAROVA, SAYING: "As you can see this is a humanitarian, seriously humanitarian situation. You can see, if you go to the crowd you will see women with children, with disabled people, they are all trapped and the border at the moment remains closed from Croatian side." The EU has agreed to a plan, resisted by Hungary and several other ex-Communist countries to share refugees among its members. But with thousands pouring in each day, it may be a promise that is hard to keep, leaving scores in a virtual no mans land offering little but hope
VIDEO-Snow arrives early in Midwest, Northeast |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:02
Michigan is used to harsh winters, but snow in mid-October is a bit too much for some. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MICHIGAN RESIDENT, SAYING: "It's the drive, if I can look at it through my window I'm good, but I don't want to drive in it." SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MICHIGAN RESIDENT, SAYING: "Please go away it's a little too early for us to have this much snow." Parts of the state saw its first snowfall of the season. Kalkaska County in Northern Michigan got more than five inches of snow. The early arrival of old man winter catching many off guard. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MICHIGAN RESIDENT, SAYING: "Well we're moving today so it's a little bit of a surprise but I don't mind the snow it's kind of fun just proves the guy upstairs has a sense of humor I guess." Snow also fell in parts of the Northeast. In Erie, Pennsylvania, several inches fell covering the grass and trees.
VIDEO-'Multiple' VW defeat devices - sources |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:50
Volkswagen is reported to have made several versions of its ''defeat device'' software to rig diesel emissions tests, which could suggest a complex deception by the German carmaker. Ciara Lee reports.
How many different defeat devices did Volkswagen make? And just how many people were in on the scheme? The company says a few rogue engineers created the software that fooled emissions tests. But Reuters sources say VW made multiple versions over a prolonged period. If true, it would suggest a more complex deception by the German carmaker. VW's defeat devices were installed on about 11 million vehicles worldwide. Analysts estimate the scandal could cost the company up to 35 billion euros when you tot up the likely cost of vehicle refits, fines and lawsuits. IG's Chris Beauchamp is confident that VW can overcome the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST, IG, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "I think overall it's one that Volkswagen can still get through provided it does handle the PR element sufficiently well. And that it seems to be doing. It's taken the necessary steps to start with by replacing some of its senior management. That will continue and I think it will move on from this in due course." VW in Europe and the United States has declined to comment on whether it developed multiple defeat devices, citing ongoing investigations by the company and authorities in both regions. Some industry experts say if there were several versions of the device, it would raise the possibility that more employees were involved. That's a key issue for investors because it could affect the size of potential fines and the extent of management change at the company. And there could be more trouble ahead for those at the top. There are reports that legal action could be launched on behalf of shareholders, with as much as 40 billion euros being sought over the scandal.
VIDEO-Full text: Biden's announcement that he won't run for president - The Washington Post
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:34
After announcing he would not be seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Vice President Joe Biden urged reform in areas like cancer research and higher education. Here is his full speech. (AP)
Vice President Biden today announced that he won't enter the race for the 2016 presidential nomination, in an appearance in Rose Garden. Here is a transcript of his remarks.
BIDEN: Please, please, sit down.
Mr. President, thank you for lending me the Rose Garden for a minute.
OBAMA: It's a pretty nice place.
BIDEN: As the family and I have worked through the -- the grieving process, I've said all along what I've said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close.
I've concluded it has closed. I know from previous experience that there's no timetable for this process. The process doesn't respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.
But I also know that I could do this if the -- I couldn't do this if the family wasn't ready. The good news is the family has reached that point, but as I've said many times, my family has suffered loss, and -- and I -- I hope there would come a time -- and I've said this to many other families -- that, sooner rather than later, when -- when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.
Well, that's where the Bidens are today. Thank god. Beau -- Beau is our inspiration.
Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent.
I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. And this is what I believe.
I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery, and we're now on the cusp of resurgence. I'm proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy.
The American people have worked too hard, and we have have come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record. They should run on the record.
BIDEN: We have a lot of work to get done over to the next 15 months, and there is a lot of -- the president -- there's a lot that the president will -- will have to get done, but let me be clear that we'll be building on a really solid foundation.
But it all starts with giving the middle-class a fighting chance. I know that you in the press love to call me "Middle-Class Joe," and I know in Washington that's not really meant a compliment; it means you're not that sophisticated, but it is about the middle class. It isn't just a matter of fairness or economic growth, it's a matter of social stability for this nation. We cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exist in this country.
I believe the huge sums of unlimited and often secret money pouring into our politics is a fundamental threat to our Democracy, and I really believe that. I think it's a fundamental threat, because the middle class will never have a fighting chance in this country as long as just several hundred families, the wealthiest families, control the process. It's just that simple. And I believe that we have to level the playing field for the American people. And that's going to take access to education and opportunity to work.
We need to commit. We are fighting for 14 years -- we need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all of our children. We all know that 12 years of public education is not enough. As a nation, let's make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education 100 years ago.
Children and child care is the one biggest barrier for working families. We need as the president proposed a triple child care tax credit. That alone will lead to dramatic increase in the number of women able to be in the workforce, and will raise our economic standards.
There are many equitable ways to pay for this. I often hear, well, how do you pay for this? There are many equitable ways to pay for this. We can pay for all of this with one simple step, by limiting the deductions in the tax code to 28 percent of income. Wealthy folks will end up paying a little bit more, but it's my guess -- and I mean this sincerely -- it's my guess they'll be happy to help build a stronger economy and a better educated America. I believe we need to lead more by the power of our example, as the president has, than merely by the example of our power.
We have learned some very hard lessons from more than a decade of large scale, open-ended military invasions. We have to accept the fact that we can't solve all of the world's problems. We can't solve many of them alone.
The argument that we just have to do something when bad people do bad things isn't good enough. It's not a good enough reason for American intervention and to put our sons and daughters' lives on the line, put them at risk.
I believe that we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart. And I think we can. It's mean spirited, it's petty, and it's gone on for much too long. I don't believe, like some do, that it's naive to talk to Republicans. I don't think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition. They're not our enemies. And for the sake of the country, we have to work together.
As the president has said many times, compromise is not a dirty word. But look at it this way folks, how does this country function without consensus? How can we move forward without being able to arrive at consensus? Four more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. We have to change it. We have to change it.
And I believe that we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. It's personal. But I know we can do this. The president and I have already been working hard on increasing funding for research and development, because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine, the things that are just about to happen. And we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer, as we know it today.
And I'm going to spend the next 15 months in this office pushing as hard as I can to accomplish this, because I know there are Democrats and Republicans on the Hill who share our passion, our passion to silence this deadly disease.
If I could be anything, I would have wanted to have been the president that ended cancer, because it's possible.
I also believe we need to keep moving forward in the arc of this nation toward justice: the rights of the LGBT community, immigration reform, equal pay for women and protecting their safety from violence, rooting out institutional racism.
At their core, every one of these things -- every one of these things is about the same thing. It's about equality, it's about fairness, it's about respect. As my dad used to say, it's about affording every single person dignity. It's not complicated.
Every single one of the issues is about dignity. And the ugly forces of hate and division -- they won't let up, but they do not represent the American people. They do not represent the heart of this country. They represent a small fraction of the political elite, and the next president is going to have to take it on.
Most of all I believe there's unlimited possibilities for this country. I don't know how many of the White House staff and personnel have heard me say repeatedly that we are so much better positioned than any country the world.
We are so -- I've been doing this for a long time. When I got elected as a 29-year-old kid, I was called "the optimist". I am more optimistic about the possibilities -- the incredibly possibilities -- to leap forward than I have been any time in my career.
And I believe to my core that there is no country on the face of the Earth better positioned to lead the world in the 21st century than the United States of America.
Washington, though, has to begin to function again. Instead of being the problem, it has to become part of the solution again. We have to be one America again. And at our core, I've always believed that what sets America apart from every other nation is that we -- ordinary Americans -- believe in possibilities. Unlimited possibilities.
The possibilities for a kid growing up in a poor inner-city neighborhood or the -- a Spanish-speaking home, or a kid from Mayfield in Delaware, Willow Grove in Pennsylvania like Jill and I, to be able to be anything we wanted to be, to do anything -- anything -- that we want.
That's what we were both taught, that's what the president was taught. It was real. That's what I grew up believing. And you know, it's always been true in this country, and if we ever lose that, we've lost something very special. We'll have lost the very soul of this country.
When I was growing up, my parents, in tough times, looked at me and would say to me and my brothers and sister, "honey, it's gonna be OK." And they meant it. They meant it. It was gonna be OK.
But some of you cover me, I say, go back to your old neighborhoods. Talk to your contemporaries who aren't as successful as you've been. There are too many people in America -- there are too many parents who don't believe they can look their kid in the eye and say with certitude, "honey, it's gonna be OK."
That's what we need to change. It's not complicated. That will be the true measure of our success, and we'll not have met it until every parent out there can look at their kid in tough times and say, "honey, it's gonna be OK," and mean it.
That's our responsibility. And I believe it's totally within our power. The nation has done it before in difficult times.
I have had the very (ph) great good fortune and privilege of being in public service most of my adult life -- since I've been 25 years old. And through personal triumphs and tragedies, my entire family -- son Beau, my son Hunter, my daughter Ashley, Jill -- our whole family -- and this sounds corny, but we found purpose in public life.
We found purpose in public life. So we intend -- the whole family, not just me -- we intend to spend the next 15 months fighting for what we've always cared about -- what my family's always cared about -- with every ounce of our being, and working alongside the president and members of Congress and our future nominee, I am absolutely certain that we fully are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things. We can do this.
And when we do, America won't just win the future, we will own the finish line.
Thank you for all being so gracious to Jill and me, for the last six or eight months, and for our whole career for that matter. But I am telling you, we can do so much more. I am looking forward to continuing to work with this man to get it done. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much.
READ MORE:The story of Biden's decision, and what it means for 2016The Fix: Why this is the right decision
VIDEO-Clock Boy on abc moving to quatar
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:16
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VIDEO-On Pot, Tucker Nails It - YouTube
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:06
VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE: Feds Disappear Native American That Cops Tried To Assassinate - YouTube
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:05
VIDEO-Students Say They Are Absolutely Dumbfounded by Reason School Is Punishing Them for 'Racial Insensitivity' | Video |
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:52
Band students at a Texas high school were astonished when they found out they were being disciplined over the gift they gave their counterparts at a rival school over the weekend.
It's a tradition for students at Atascocita High School and Summer Creek High School to exchange gifts on the football field during varsity games to show good sportsmanship. On Friday, students from Atascocita gave Summer Creek students a decorated Halloween bucket along with a watermelon, coconut, pineapple and watermelon gum.
They didn't think much more of it until Monday, when they were told they could be suspended or kicked out of band because the gift showed ''racial insensitivity,'' KTRK-TV reported. According to state education information, the Summer Creek High School student body is about 40 percent black; Atascocita is about 20 percent black.
Image source: KTRK-TV
''Today, school administrators conducted an investigation and after considering the totality of the circumstances, determined that the gift was inappropriate and lacked good sportsmanship. Atascocita High School will not tolerate racial insensitivity,'' the Humble Independent School District said in a statement.
Carolina Andaverde, who plays the flute at Atascocita, said she and her classmates didn't mean anything by it.
''We weren't being racist towards them. If they took it that way, we're sorry. We didn't mean any harm,'' Andaverde said. ''Our parents raised us better.''
Another Atascocita student, Alyssa Taylor, said that as someone who is ''mixed'' race, she didn't see what was wrong with the gift.
''I don't take offense to that. How can someone else take offense?'' Taylor said.
It's not clear what the students' punishment might be, but students were told it could include suspension or being kicked out of band, KTRK-TV reported.
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter
VIDEO-U.N. fears migrant backlog as refugees divert into Slovenia |
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:45
Refugees turn away from border-sealed Hungary and head to neighboring Slovenia, and the U.N. refugee agency warns of rising numbers of migrants getting stuck in transit in the Balkans as winter approaches. Pavithra George reports.
A train full of migrants pulls into this train station in Slovenia... as they seek a new entryway into western Europe. Migrants heading to Hungary via Croatia are now being diverted west to Slovenia after Hungary shut down it southern border. The new route has brought new problems, with aid agencies fearing that the approaching winter would create a massive backlogs of migrants waiting to enter this alpine country, which -- like Hungary -- is also part of Europe's passport free Schengen zone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UN REFUGEE AGENCY (UNHCR) SPOKESMAN, BABAR BALOCH, SAYING: "What we are seeing, that winter is here, and the numbers haven't got down. So more desperate people on the move. The winter is going to add to their suffering. So what we need is a mechanism where we would be able to help them from one border to another border." With Hungary blocked off, the journey to western Europe has also become longer - raising concerns about food and other supplies running low as migrants, such as these, camp out on the Croatia-Serbia border... waiting for their turn to enter Slovenia. All this, as EU nations struggle to find a solution to deal with the migrant crisis that shows no end in sight.
VIDEO-Clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed: 'Judge A Person By Their Heart'
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:02
WASHINGTON -- America's favorite teenage clockmaker is taking on a new role: civil rights activist.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is a Sudanese-American student who was arrested in September for bringing a homemade clock to school in Texas. On a chilly morning outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Ahmed discussed the incident to draw attention to racial and ethnic profiling in the United States.
"I'm glad that this happened to me, because I get to spread my word out to the people," he said.
The boy looked a little nervous when he saw all the cameras, but he smiled to his family.
"It's not by the color of your skin or by your religion, it's by their heart. You always judge a person by their heart," he said.
Later, when Ahmed was asked whether he had faced discrimination in other parts of his life, he said "sometimes."
Ahmed stood at the podium with Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), at one point putting his arm around the congressman. Honda, who has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Ahmed's detention and arrest, said that the boy had shown "true character" in taking a negative experience and using it to raise awareness.
Ahmed's father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, also spoke about the need to make sure that innocent people are not punished before proven guilty. "He was just seeking help from his teacher," he said of his son. "He just want[s] to be out in this world."
The controversy began after Ahmed's English teacher noticed a homemade clock the boy had brought to school to show an engineering teacher. The school contacted police, who came and handcuffed Ahmed and took him to a juvenile detention center for fingerprints and a mug shot. He was suspended from school for three days. In a letter to parents, Ahmed's school principal described the clock as "a suspicious-looking item."
Ahmed's story quickly exploded across social media. Twitter reached out to the boy about a potential internship, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg praised him and he got a shout-out from President Barack Obama's Twitter account: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?"
Ahmed got the chance to talk with Obama one-on-one for a few minutes during Astronomy Night at the White House on Monday. He discussed the visit with CBS News correspondent Major Garrett.
"We talked about Mars and 2030," he said -- more info on that here -- "and I talked to him about the generator that I'm making and how it could help people on Mars."
"It's a very long journey," he told Garrett, reflecting on how his life has changed since the incident. "Short journey, but a very long journey in the experience of learning. People will always be there to support you when there's injustice."
Last week, Ahmed also met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes in Darfur. Ahmed's father has run against Bashir in past presidential elections.
Ahmed told Garrett that he'd brought the clock to school to impress his teacher, but instead he "impressed the world."
Also on HuffPost:
VIDEO-California Middle School Principal Is Openly Withholding Student Election Results Because She Wanted More Minorities to Win |
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:53
A middle school principal in San Francisco has refused to release the results of a school election because of a lack of diversity among the winning candidates.
Everett Middle School principal Lena Van Haren said in an email to parents sent Oct. 14 '-- four days after the student government election '-- that the results would be withheld because the winning candidates did not properly reflect the diversity at the school, according to KTVU-TV. Van Haren told the news station that her school's population is 80 percent students of color and 20 percent white students '-- statistics the election results did not represent.
''That is concerning to me, because as principal, I want to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds,'' Van Haren told KTVU.
Image source: KRON-TV
''We're not nullifying the election, we're not canceling the election, and we're not saying this didn't count,'' Van Haren said, adding that she's called a meeting of student representatives to see how best to move forward.
According to KTVU, Van Haren said she's considering adding more positions to the student government in an effort to make it more equal.
Principal Lena Van Haren has not allowed her middle school's student government election results to be released as the winning candidates weren't diverse enough. (Image source: KTVU-TV)
''I feel like it is disrespectful to everyone who were running,'' Sebastian Kaplan, who was running for the position of seventh-grade representative, told KRON-TV.
''The organizers are saying stuff like, 'we want everyone's voice to be heard,' but then in truth, the voters' voices aren't being heard,'' Kaplan said. ''Most kids are in agreement that it's not fair and that the results need to be given out because people worked really hard on it.''
''The whole school voted for those people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but now in a way it is kinda being rigged,'' Kaplan said.
The middle schooler told KRON that he just wants to know whether or not he won.
Parent Bianca Gutierrez told KTVU that school officials should have decided, prior to the election and students' campaigns, how they wanted to ensure the election results would be more diverse. She said her son, who was running for class representative, doesn't want to be a part of student government anymore as the whole ordeal has been discouraging.
''So if we can't teach them the right way of how it's supposed to work, then we are really letting our kids down,'' Gutierrez said. ''My heart goes out to the kids because they're confused still about what's the issue.''
VIDEO-AP Interview: MSF says bombing of Afghan hospital no mistake - Yahoo
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:19
AP Interview: MSF says bombing of Afghan hospital no mistake - Yahoo NewsHTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:19:25 GMT P3P: policyref="", CP="CAO DSP COR CUR ADM DEV TAI PSA PSD IVAi IVDi CONi TELo OTPi OUR DELi SAMi OTRi UNRi PUBi IND PHY ONL UNI PUR FIN COM NAV INT DEM CNT STA POL HEA PRE LOC GOV" X-Yahoo-Request-Id: 6o1q5m1b29rev X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8 Content-Encoding: gzip X-Cache: MISS from X-Cache-Lookup: HIT from X-Cache: MISS from X-Cache-Lookup: MISS from Via: 1.1 (squid/2.7.STABLE9), 1.1 (squid/2.7.STABLE9), http/1.1 (ApacheTrafficServer [cMsSfW]), http/1.1 (ApacheTrafficServer [cMsSf ]) Server: ATS Cache-Control: max-age=0, private Expires: -1 Age: 5 Transfer-Encoding: chunked Connection: keep-alive
VIDEO-NHS And Schools To Be Vetted For Extremists
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:57
David Cameron has launched an investigation to see whether extremists have infiltrated Britain's schools, hospitals and local councils.
The review will assess the "risked posed by entryism" in the NHS, education institutions, the civil service and local authorities in the wake of the issues raised by the Trojan Horse scandal, where schools in Birmingham were targeted by radical Islamists.
School teachers are already being trained to spot the signs of radicalisation of children and NHS staff have been trained to check employees joining the health service.
The review will report back in 2016 and will set out the risk to public institutions of people seeking to gain positions of power and influence to forward their extremists views.
It will advise on how best to safeguard them with improvements to "governance, inspection and whistle-blowing mechanisms."
Play video "New Teen Anti-Radicalisation Powers"Video:New Teen Anti-Radicalisation PowersThe details are contained in the Government's wide-ranging counter terrorism strategy, which has been released today.
Launching the strategy on Monday Mr Cameron also announced that will see extremists treated like paedophiles and banned from working with children and vulnerable people.
In a speech, Mr Cameron warned extremism was "one of the biggest social problems we need to overcome".
He said: "A key part of this new approach is going further to protect children and vulnerable people from the risk of radicalisation by empowering parents and public institutions with all the advice, tools and practical support they need."
And he added: "We know that extremism is really a symptom; ideology is the root cause - but the stakes are rising and that demands a new approach.
"So we have a choice - do we choose to turn a blind eye or do we choose to get out there and make the case for our British values."
Play video "July: PM's Plan To Defeat Extremism"Video:July: PM's Plan To Defeat ExtremismOther measures contained in the strategy will allow parents to have their children's passports revoked if they are at risk of joining extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.
The system has already been trialled but will now be extended to include 16 and 17 years olds.
Home Secretary Theresa May said that a small number of parents had applied for their children's passports to be seized.
She told Sky News: "We would say that somebody who has been convicted of a terrorism offence ... would be automatically barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
"That's just one measure in what is a very wide-ranging counter-extremism strategy that we are launching today ... we do face an unprecedented threat from extremists.
"Groups like ISIL can send through the internet their message of hatred into family homes. We see men and women - and indeed whole families - going out to Syria. I think that shows us that we need to step up our action on counter-terrorism."
Play video "Feb: Pupils Challenge Extremism"Video:Feb: Pupils Challenge ExtremismThe Home Office says that in the past year 50 under-20s have been arrested for terrorist offences and it is a "growing trend".
In February, three east London schoolgirls fled to Syria to join IS. Their families later confirmed two of them were married to militants in the group.
The measures will also see radical preachers stopped from posting material online.
The Prime Minister said on Sunday that groups tackling extremism in the UK are being given £5m this year to help their work in preventing the "seed of hatred being planted in people's minds".
:: Mr Cameron will be live on Sky News at 11.15am. Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 132 and Freesat channel 202, and on mobile and online.
VIDEO-Bill Nye: "5 Things You Need to Know About Climate Change" / Boing Boing
Sun, 18 Oct 2015 23:59
Learn it. Know it. Live it. (National Geographic)
This is the eye of a honey bee peppered with dandelion pollen, magnified at 120x. The image, by Ralph Grimm, won Nikon's Small World 2015 Photomicrography Competition. ''In a way I feel as though this gives us a glimpse of the world through the eye of a bee,'' says Grimm. ''It's a subject of great ['...]
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READ THE RESTNo''this is not a dream, our best ever Pay What You Want for the design-minded crowd is finally here! We've gathered 10 of our favorite online design destinations and handpicked the greatest assets offered, to bring together this epic bundle. Don't waste one more minute crafting vectors from scratch, choose your price and get all ['...]
READ THE RESTSo your dream nest is on the beaches of Hawaii? Sorry, can't help you there'...but we're giving away three epic home automation products that will turn your house into a modern fortress. One lucky winner will receive the Nest Thermometer, Cam, and Alarm so you can survey, protect, and regulate the temperature in your home ['...]
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