If They Are Like This Now, What Will They Be Like With Nukes?
Syria's Threats Should Be Taken Seriously
Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is now threatening to ignite the Middle East and destroy Israel if NATO attacks his country, while his mufti is threatening to dispatch suicide bombers to Europe and the United States.
The threats coming out of Damascus are a sign of the growing predicament of the Assad regime, which has been facing a popular resistance since the beginning of the year. Syrian human rights and opposition groups say that about 3,000 Syrians have been killed at the hands of Assad's security forces.
Assad has been quoted as telling the Turkish foreign minister that, "if anything crazy happens to Syria, it will take me only six hours to move hundreds of missiles to the Golan Heights so they could be fired at Tel Aviv. At the same time, I will ask Lebanon's Hizbollah to open fire at Israel. All this will happen in the first three hours. In the next three hours, Iran will strike US warships in the region, while Shiites in the Gulf would start attacking Western targets and killing Americans and Europeans around the world. The Shiites will form suicide squads and hijack planes."
Assad's mufti, Ahmed Hassoun, was quoted as saying: "With the launching of the first missile at Syria or Lebanon, all our sons and daughters will go out to become suicide bombers in Europe and Palestine. I say this to Europe and America - we will prepare the suicide bombers if you attack Syria or Lebanon."
Given the Syrian regime's brutal record, the US and Europe should not underestimate the latest threats to set fire to the Middle East and launch suicide bombings against Westerners.
Assad will fight to the last Syrian to stay in power. In this regard, he is not different from Libya's mad man, Muammar Ghaddafi, who is continuing to fight even after the downfall of his regime.
A regime that does not hesitate to use artillery and tanks against peaceful protests and political opponents is capable of perpetrating the most unspeakable crimes against others.
This is a regime that has massacred thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese during the Civil War in Lebanon. In 1982, the Syrian army massacred thousands of Syrians in the town of Hama.
For decades, the Syrian regime has been harboring and supporting extremist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah. Without the support of Damascus and Tehran, these groups would not have been able to grow and pose such a real threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.
Syria is not only a threat to Israel, the US and Europe, but also to moderate Arabs in the Middle East. Some Arab countries, first of all Jordan, are facing direct threats from Syria because of their support for the anti-Assad uprising.
The Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US could signal the beginning of a wider scheme by Tehran and Damascus to take the fight against their critics to American and European soil. The uncovering of the Iranian plot coincides with reports that Syrian diplomats have been intimidating and spying on anti-Assad figures in the US and Europe.
Assad and his friend, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have long arms that are capable of reaching anyone they wish. Just this week it was reported in that Syrian diplomats were involved in the abduction of Syrians from Lebanon to Syria. There have also been reports about special Syrian forces that infiltrated Turkey to kidnap a number of army defectors.
Iran's assassination plot should be viewed as an act of war against the US and Saudi Arabia, and the response should be very strong to deter other terror-sponsoring countries such as Syria. Similarly, the Syrian regime's threats of war and terror attacks should also be treated as a declaration of war against Israel, the US and Europe. There is no reason why a ruthless dictator such as Assad should not be taken seriously when he says he will set the Middle East on fire.
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by Burak Bekdil
The Turkish government "frankly worked" with the al-Nusrah Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, along with other terrorist groups.
The Financial Task Force, an international body setting the standards for combating terrorist financing, ruled that Turkey should remain in its "gray list."
While NATO wishes to reinforce its outreach to democracies such as Australia and Japan, Turkey is trying to forge wider partnerships with the Arab world, Russia, China, Central Asia, China, Africa and -- and with a bunch of terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Nusrah Front.
Being NATO's only Muslim member was fine. Being NATO's only Islamist member ideologically attached to the Muslim Brotherhood is quite another thing.
by Samuel Westrop
British politicians seem to be trapped in an endless debate over how to curb both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community.
A truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.
by Soeren Kern
"My son and I love life with the beheaders." — British jihadist Sally Jones.
Mujahidah Bint Usama published pictures of herself on Twitter holding a severed head while wearing a white doctor's jacket; alongside it, the message: "Dream job, a terrorist doc."
British female jihadists are now in charge of guarding as many as 3,000 non-Muslim Iraqi women and girls held captive as sex slaves.
"The British women are some of the most zealous in imposing the IS laws in the region. I believe that's why at least four of them have been chosen to join the women police force." — British terrorism analyst Melanie Smith.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.