European Court of Human Rights Protects Arch-Terrorist
National Sovereignty vs. International Presumption
The radical Islamic cleric – an iconic figure to the Jihadists and widely believed to have been right hand to Osama Bin Laden in Europe -- Abu Qatada (original name, Omar Othman) won his appeal at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights on January 16 against being deported from the UK to Jordan, where he has been convicted in absentia of terror two major terrorism plots.
Abu Qatada arrived in Britain on a forged United Arab Emirates passport in 1993, and has been in and out of prison since 2002 when he was arrested under the anti-terrorism law. Before that he was caught red-handed by the British police with an envelope for the Chechnyan Mujahdieein [Islamic holy warriors] containing 805 British pounds. He has been a focal point of extremist fund-raising, recruitment and propaganda.
The ruling of European Court of Human Rights not only thwarted British judgments and principles on deportation, but also ignored the British Government's bilateral agreements -- known as Memoranda of Understanding -- on deportation requests that had been established with Lebanon, Jordan, Ethiopia and Morocco. British Home Secretary Theresa May reacted by saying, "I am disappointed that the court has made this ruling."
The British government can make a last appeal against the ruling within three months; if it does not appeal, the terror cleric will be free to leave Belmarsh Prison where he is currently being held.
The British judgment was thwarted by European judges, whose British president, Sir Nicolas Bratza, has never held a senior post in UK. Tory MP Dominic Raab correctly said "The Strasbourg court has imposed a new category of restrictions on our ability to deport serious criminals and suspected terrorists. Placing the burden on Britain to ensure foreign criminals and terrorist suspects are tried according to UK standards in their home countries will impede our capacity to deport those who pose a risk in this country. This is a classic example of mission creep, with judicial legislation from Strasbourg riding roughshod over decisions that should be determined by UK courts."
Abu Qatada went on the run after 9/11 but was arrested in 2002. Three years back, an Englishman, Edwin Dyer, was kidnapped by the nomads in Northwest Africa and sent to the notorious Al-Qaeda militants based in Mali, a country in which Muslims are dominant. The militants threatened to kill Dyer if the British government refused to release Abu Qatada from prison and hand over a ransom. The British Government, however, has a long-standing policy against negotiating with terrorists. So the Al-Qaeda militants killed Edwin Dyer.
In December 2005, Abu Qatada made a video appeal to the kidnappers of another Englishman, peace activist Norman Kember in Iraq. Kember later faced a backlash after agreeing to help secure the release of Qatada, one of the world's most dangerous terror suspects. Kember,in his 70s, was later rescued by the SAS in March 2006.
Abu Qatada clearly has profound connections with terror networks, even though has UK failed to file any specific charge against him. The ruling of European Court, however, will never be able to assure the world that there will be no more bombings, terror attacks, kidnappings and dozens of innocent people slaughtered in which Abu Qatada is not involved.
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by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.