Category: Islam

Enough enriched uranium in Iran for 4 nuclear weapons. N-Bomb awaits Saudis in Pakistan

Saudi King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were not won over by President Barack Obama’s pledges in personal phone calls to the two Middle East leaders last week not to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Their skepticism only grew.

This development in the Iranian nuclear controversy finds two of the three leaders trapped in a credibility gap between their public pronouncements and the Iranian reality which has long overtaken them both.

Obama’s oft-repeated pledge is canceled out by most Western nuclear experts, who are convinced that Iran managed to advance to a capacity for producing four nuclear bombs, under cover of protracted diplomacy. In their view, the current first-step deal, followed by a comprehensive accord in six months’ time, are merely an attempt by the six world powers to hold Iran back from expanding its arsenal any further.

The US president’s avowals are therefore hollow.

Saudi princes and officials have often said that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon or reaches the threshold of this capacity, the oil kingdom will not lag behind.

All Riyadh needs to do now, say debkafile’s Middle East sources, is to invoke the agreement signed with Islamabad in 2004, under which Saudi funding was provided for Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program in return for some of the bombs or warheads produced to await Saudi Arabia’s call for their delivery, complete with the appropriate missiles.
Pakistan denies the existence of this transaction.

However, military and intelligence experts in the West are certain that although this transfer has not yet taken place, it will soon, in the light of the edge Iran has gained in its current negotiations with the West.

Therefore, Obama’s phone conversation with Abdullah was more concerned with keeping a nuclear bomb out of Saudi hands than out of Iran’s.

Since 2008, the Israeli prime minister has vowed time and time again to prevent Iran reaching a nuclear threshold, making it clear that the Israeli armed forces would be sent into action – if need be.

So his credibility deficit is on a par with Obama’s.

At the Western Wall, Thursday, Nov. 11, on Hanukkah eve, Binyamin Netanyahu paraphrased a popular festival song to declare: “We came to drive out the darkness and the largest darkness that threatens the world today is a nuclear Iran!”

What did he mean by those words, if not an intention to exercise Israel’s military option to “drive out the darkness?”

Maj. Gen. (res) Yakov Amidror – until recently National Security Adviser to the prime minister – wrote last week in The New York Times that Iran already has enough enriched uranium to make four bombs. “The Geneva deal, in short, did not address the nuclear threat at all,” he wrote

Iran reached that point more than a year ago, so how to take the repeated pledges by the prime minister to “act itself, by itself” to prevent this happening?

Prime Minister Netanyahu has carefully avoided presenting the Knesset or the people with a clear picture of where Israel stands in relation to Iran’s nuclear program, has never laid out his policy on the question or depicted what the future may hold.

And so his “military option” has progressively waned in credibility both at home and abroad.
In Obama’s phone call to Netanyahu, debkafile’s intelligence and Washington sources report that the president described at length the US intelligence measures to be applied for verifying Iran’s compliance with the Geneva deal. He said that its findings would be referred to Israeli intelligence for a second assessment.

Obama also suggested a visit to Washington by an Israeli military intelligence delegation of nuclear experts to finalize the details of US-Israeli collaboration for verifying that Iran was living up to its commitments under the near accords.
When this US-Israeli dialogue reached their ears, the Iranians were furious. Thursday, Nov. 28, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, dropping the genial mien he assumed in Geneva, reverted to harsh Islamic Republican-speak when he said: “Never such a thing will happen and definitely we will not be in the room in which representatives from the Zionist regime will have a presence!”

It was clear that Tehran would boycott the technical discussion on the details of the Geneva accord if Israeli experts were to sit in a side room, a proposal which might also be extended to Saudi Arabia, as the two Middle East nations most directly at risk from an Iranian nuclear capacity.

Then, Friday, President Hassan Rouhani weighed in to further devalue the Geneva accord’s international worth. In an interview with The Financial Times, he said Iran would never dismantle its atomic facilities. Asked whether this was a “red line” for the Islamic republic, Rouhani replied: “100 per cent.”

In other words, not only Netanyahu but Obama too can forget about any hopes they may have entertained of Iran shutting down its Fordo enrichment plant, or holding up the construction of its heavy water plant in Arak for the production of plutonium.

Tuesday, Nov, 26, two days after the six powers signed their first-step nuclear accord with Iran, Netanyahu called the security cabinet into special session which went on into the night to hear and debate briefings from IDF intelligence (AMAN) officers.

No word has leaked from that session, but some sources claimed anonymously that the ministers received the most optimistic outlook they had heard in years.

Before giving weight to such possible optimism, debkafile’s analysts recall AMAN’s 2011 prediction that Bashar Assad’s downfall was imminent, and its misreading of the situations prevailing in Washington and Tehran.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5886

Florida School Board Votes To Keep Textbook Promoting Islam, Calls Mohammed The ‘Messenger Of God’

11/22/2013

Why should Islamists and their leftist enablers only work on changing the minds of informed adults when they can focus on corrupting the minds of those much more impressionable? Parents, teach your children the ways of the Lord and never remain seated when the enemy makes a stand …

Hadith, Al Bukhari 4.268, “Allah’s Prophet [Mohammed] said, ‘War is deceit.’”

Omar Ahmad, Chairman of the Board, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Quran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

WND – “A school board in Florida, which wields considerable influence on the curricula of public schools nationwide, has decided to keep a controversial world history textbook that has been criticized for sanitizing Islam’s violent history while diminishing Christianity.

The decision Monday by the Volusia County board, without a formal vote, came after hearing four hours of public comment, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The dispute over the ‘World History’ textbook published by Prentice Hall escalated earlier this month after a Deltona High School parent complained about its treatment of Islam to a friend, who organized a protest rally before the School Board’s scheduled Nov. 5 meeting. The meeting ended up being canceled due to unspecified ‘security concerns’ raised by the U.S. Justice Department.

An opponent of the book at the hearing Monday, Walter Hanford, said it ‘whitewashes’ the history of Islam, including the involvement of Muslims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Daytona Beach paper reported.

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called protests against the book ‘un-American.’

Wilfredo Ruiz, an attorney for CAIR-Florida, has insisted that opponents ‘just want to create an environment of intolerance toward Muslims and an environment of hate against Islam.’

CAIR, meanwhile, was named in 2007 by the U.S. Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.

According to FBI wiretap evidence from a 1993 meeting of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and activists in Philadelphia, CAIR was formed to burnish the image of Muslims in the U.S. in support of the Brotherhood’s stated aim of ‘destroying Western civilization from within’ and replacing it with Islamic rule.

More than 500 students at five Volusia high schools signed a petition in favor of keeping the textbook and the accompanying curriculum, the News-Journal reported.

‘We hope that the School Board will respect our voices in the process of education and reject voices of intolerance and censorship,’ the petition states.

Opponents argue the textbook favors Islam over other religions, noting it has a 36-page chapter on Islam but no chapters on Christianity or Judaism.

It declares that Muhammad is the ‘Messenger of God’ while stating, in contrast, that ‘some believed’ Jesus ‘was the messiah.’

It instructs students that jihad is a duty that Muslims must follow, Fox News reported last summer which Brevard Public Schools decided to keep the book amid protest..

‘Jihad may be interpreted as a holy war to defend Islam and the Muslim community, much like the Crusades to defend Christianity,’ the book states.

The News-Journal cited Armando Escalante of Port Orange, Fla., who at the Monday meeting called the book ‘ridiculously biased.’

‘The whole history of Muslim is violence,’ he said”

As WND reported, experts say American students are not getting a realistic picture of radical Islam, and textbook publishers are promoting the religion in public schools.

WND reported in January 2012 a Christian group launched a campaign to make parents aware of the “World History” textbook and similar curriculum in schools in Florida, the third largest purchaser of public-school curriculum in the nation.

Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, whose group worked with Citizens for National Security on a study of the curriculum, said that among many other problems, students “aren’t being taught about the theological motivations behind radical Islam.”

“The impression students are given is that terrorists are misguided fighters against Western imperialism and aggression, who are only wrong in their approach,” he said. “It was amazing how many times the word ‘Palestine’ was used, making it sound like Israel was built on top of a conquered country.”

WND previously reported the issue was raised by members of the public in the state’s Sarasota County School District.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5867

Imam Embraces Christ: ‘I Started Reading The Bible, And Upon Its Completion I Was Absolutely Convinced’ That Christianity Was True

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. If one earnestly seeks to know Truth, then Truth can set free even those who have been bound and held captive by the shackles of Islam. May the Author and the Finisher of our faith, He who is faithful to complete it in all who seek Him, continue moving in the hearts and minds of those who yearn for His Salvation …

1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Romans 10:9, “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”

Pravoslavie – “The Linga portal with the reference to the Spanish radio station Сadena Сope tells about the joys and tragedies of a young man who turned to Christianity from Islam.

Mario Joseph was born in an ordinary Muslim Indian family. His father prepared him—the third among six brothers—as a spiritual leader: thus, aged 10, Mario entered a Koranic school, and when he returned from it at the age of 18, he became an Imam-khatib in a local village Mosque.

However, the young man turned to Christ, and this choice made him a target even for his own father who, having known about his son’s conversion to another faith, threatened to kill him. Moreover, his father erected a gravestone in advance in a local Muslim cemetery with the epitaph containing the young man’s name and date of birth.

The Spanish radio station Сadena Сope managed to talk with this young Catholic preacher and learn certain facts from the history of his tremendous trials.

‘From age 18, I was an imam and regularly delivered sermons,’ begins Joseph. ‘One Friday I was fervently talking about Isa al-Masih [Jesus the Messiah], saying that He was not Allah. When I finished my speech, someone asked me: ‘But, after all, who is the Messiah?’ On that day I could not find a proper answer; my knowledge in this sphere was extremely poor’.

Again and again Mario returned to the Koran, to the Muslim Holy Tradition (the Sunna), to various commentaries of the exegetes of authority, but could not find the answer. To the contrary, he noticed instead that the only woman’s name mentioned in the Koran, was the Name of the Most Holy Mary; moreover, according to tradition Muhammad died, while Isa was taken to Heaven alive. ‘Then, after long thought, I decided to leave the dead one and to follow the Living one,’ explained the young man.

According to Mario, the choice was not an easy one: ‘Before making the final decision, I besought the Lord for a long time to give me true guidance… Once, still hesitating, I opened the Koran, and I came across the following ayah (inexact translation): ‘If you doubt what we granted to you, then ask those who read the Scriptures before you. The Truth from your Lord has come to you; so do not be among those hesitant!’ Then I started reading the Bible, and upon its completion I was absolutely convinced of truthfulness of the Christian Scriptures; and at last found my God-Redeemer!’

Knowing that apostasy in the Muslim law is punished by the death penalty, Joseph ran away from his home to the nearest Catholic educational center.

However, the father found the young man, and after beating him violently, he locked him naked, bound hand and foot, without food, in one of the rooms in his house for 28 days.

‘When I opened my eyes, I saw my father, holding a knife in his hands,’ remembers Mario. ‘I was sure that he would kill me, as he was a Muslim-Wahhabi… He asked me: do I still accept Christ? When I said ‘yes’, I was literally blinded by a bright light that gave me strength. Immediately I cried loudly: ‘Jesus!’… The light disappeared and I saw that my father had fallen down and caught himself on his own knife (Glory to God, though the injury was deep and bleeding, it was not dangerous), and saliva was flowing from his mouth. Relatives at once took him to the hospital and in their hurry left the door open. I took advantage of the opportunity, freed myself and ran away back to the educational center’.

The young man firmly believes that a true miracle occurred to him: ‘This light gave me who am by nature weak and thin, then exhausted and hungry, enormous strength and endurance… Nevertheless, I still cannot recover from ulcers that appeared as a result of prolonged confinement’.

Since then Mario Joseph has not returned to his native village, where the gravestone with his name and date of birth still stands…” Source – Pravoslavie.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5859

Israel said to be working with Saudi Arabia on Iran strike plan

 Riyadh reported to give Jerusalem okay to use Saudi airspace and to cooperate on other tactical support, according to Sunday Times

 Israel is working on coordinating plans for a possible military strike with Saudi Arabia, with Riyadh prepared to provide tactical support to Jerusalem, a British newspaper reported early Sunday.

 The two countries have both united in worry that the West may come to terms with Iran, easing sanctions and allowing the Islamic Republic to continue its nuclear program.

 According to the Sunday Times, Riyadh has agreed to let Israel use its airspace in a military strike on Iran and cooperate over the use of rescue helicopters, tanker planes and drones.

 “The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” an unnamed diplomatic source told the paper.

 The report comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the midst of a blitz to lobby against a deal and cobble together an international alliance opposed to an agreement that allows Iran to continue enriching uranium.

 On Sunday, Israel will welcome French President Francois Hollande, who a week earlier put the kibosh on a deal between six world powers and Iran that would ease sanctions in return for initial steps toward curbing enrichment.

 Netanyahu on Friday urged France to remain firm in its pressure on Iran ahead of a new round of talks on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in Geneva, kicking off Wednesday.

 After meeting Hollande, Netanyahu will head to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin and lobby against the deal.

 Iran’s bid for the bomb “threatens directly the future of the Jewish state,” Netanyahu told CNN recently, in a short preview clip of an interview broadcast on Saturday. As the prime minister of Israel, he stressed, he had to care for “the survival of my country.”

 CNN reported that Netanyahu also said in the interview that he would do whatever it was necessary to do in order to protect Israel. The full interview will air Sunday morning.

 Should a deal be reached at talks set to resume in Geneva on Wednesday, according to the diplomatic source, a military option would be back on the table. Saudi tactical support, in lieu of backup from the Pentagon, would be vital for a long-range mission targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

 Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim country across the Persian Gulf from Iran has long been at odds with Tehran, and fears a nuclear weapon would threaten Riyadh and set off a nuclear arms race in the region.

israel plane

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5844

ISLAMIST SUPER-BLOC BEGINS FORMING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Posted by Joel on Nov 12, 2013 in Updates | 0 comments

From the Clarion Project:

The following article is quite powerful as it pertains to the testimony of Biblical prophecy. On one hand, you have the Islamist government of Turkey aligning with the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas as well as Iran and Hezbollah, while Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States form their own defensive block.

A monumental strategic shift is taking place in the Middle East as an Islamist super-bloc is forming. Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are making up with Iran and Hezbollah. Egypt and the Gulf states are forming their own alliance. The U.S. outreach to Iran and the Brotherhood has left it missing from the equation.

The alliances being formed are almost perfectly in alignment with my basic view of the coming structure of the region. First, you have Turkey at the head, leading the northern swatch of the Middle East, with Egypt increasingly isolated in the South. Daniel 11:40-45 states that Egypt will be conquered by the leader of the last days northern coalition. Isaiah 19 refers to this conqueror as “a cruel master”. Beyond this, for some years, I’ve also suggested that toward the end of the tribulation, the Beast coalition of nations will turn its rage against Saudi Arabia. The basic texture of things to come seems to be becoming visible. Of course, even as I say this, I must caution that at best, we only see through a glass darkly, and there will be many twists and unforeseen turns before the final period emerges. But this is all certainly well worth taking note of. The end of this age may be closer than most think. Let us be about the work of God.

Islamist Super-Bloc Begins Forming in the Middle East

Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are looking to end the war in Syria with the goal of forming an Islamist super-bloc with Iran and Hezbollah.

By Ryan Mauro

Wed, November 6, 2013

 11-11-2013

by: 

Ryan Mauro

A monumental strategic shift is taking place in the Middle East as an Islamist super-bloc is forming. Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood Muslim BrotherhoodGlossary Item

A worldwide Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna that seeks to implement Sharia-based governance globally.

are making up with Iran and Hezbollah. Egypt and the Gulf states are forming their own alliance. The U.S. outreach to Iran and the Brotherhood has left it missing from the equation.

The Syrian civil war has pitted the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey against Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime since 2011. Now, with a bloody stalemate resulting in consequences each side fears, the two sides are looking for ways to make amends.

Turkey has been trying to move its relationship with Iran past the ancient Ottoman-Persian rivalry for years. The Erdogan government gave secret U.S. intelligence to Iran and in early 2012, informed Iran about ten of its nationals meeting with Israeli intelligence inside Turkey.

One of the architects of the Turkish-Iranian relationship is Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, who the Israeli Defense Minister described as a “friend of Iran.” Some Israeli officials privately refer to him as the “station chief in Ankara” for Iranian intelligence.

These statements about Fidan’s role is not hype. The recent U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Iraq, James Jeffrey, put it this way: “Hakan Fidan is the face of the new Middle East.”

Until recently, the bitter civil war in Syria blunted Fidan’s aspirations. Turkey’s ideological ally, the Muslim Brotherhood, is trying to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Iran’s most valuable ally. But now both sides are exhausted. The war is costly, bloody and no one is gaining anything by its continuance.

Turkey sees Al-Qaeda affiliates taking control of the Syrian rebel cause and Kurdish militias gaining control near the border. The cost of overthrowing Assad would be exorbitant. Al-Qaeda and the Kurds would be even stronger and sectarian warfare will exasperate the refugee crisis.

Assad’s Iranian and Russians backers want him (or at least his regime) to remain in power for strategic reasons, but both have to realize that his forces are overstretched and cannot hope to reclaim the entirety of the country.

High-level Turkish and Iranian officials are meeting with the expressed purpose of ending the sectarian conflict. An unnamed senior Turkey official told Reuters, “Both Iran and Turkey are at a point where they think they can work together on Syria.”

Turkey has become the “regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization.” It also hosts a Hamas command post.  If Turkey is reaching out to Iran, it must be assumed that the Brotherhood is doing the same.

In late September, it was revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to unite Islamists into an international “Islamic Council.” At the same time, representatives from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah were meeting and agreed to form an “axis of resistance.”

Hamas has been in a dire financial crisis since losing Iran’s support and its stress is only going to increase as the Egyptian government continues to shutdown Hamas’ smuggling tunnels on the Sinai-Gaza border. The Iranians and Hezbollah are spending a ton of resources to save Assad from the Brotherhood-supported rebels. Both sides have major incentives to reach a settlement.

Economics and resources also play a role in the Turkish-Iranian relationship. Their trade is due to reach $30 billion by 2015. Iran wants Turkey to replace the pro-West United Arab Emirates as a re-exporting center, and Turkey wants to be a bigger customer for Iranian natural gas.

A major breakthrough happened when Hamas Deputy Politburo Chief Moussa Abu Marzook publicly criticized another Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, for supporting the Syrian rebels. Marzook emphasized that Hamas has no official relationship with the rebels.

Hamas leaders began calling for renewed violence against Israel, Mashaal showed up in Turkey and a planned trip to Iran was reported. It was subsequently reported that Iran postponed the visit, but there have been secret high-level visits from other Hamas officials recently.

Another important player is the U.S. “ally” Qatar. It is firmly in the camp of Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Qatari Emir is making overtures to the new President of Iran.

Saudi Arabia is leading a third bloc that opposes Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates has loudly lobbied for such a coalition. Other members include Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and Oman. The North African countries of Libya, Morocco and Algeria are likely participants, as is Tunisia once the Brotherhood’s ousting there is completed.

This is the bloc that is the least hostile to U.S. interests and Israel. It’s been long reported that these countries privately welcome an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Their officials are holding secret meetings in Israel.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia is a ShariaShariaGlossary Item

A legal framework to regulate public and private aspects of life based upon specific Islamic teachings. Sharia is a strict system which views non-Muslims as second-class citizens, sanctions inequality between men and women and prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for crimes.

-based Salafist SalafistGlossary Item

Islamic movement formed in the early 20th century that holds that Muslims must reject much of modernity and replicate the lifestyle of Mohammed and early Islamic authorities; often used synonymously with Wahhabism.

state that cannot be expected to support Muslim moderates with a diametrically-opposed vision. The Saudis are supporting so-called “moderate” Salafists in Syria to compete with Al-Qaeda.

A rebel commander says that “Saudi tribal figures have been making calls on behalf of Saudi intelligence” and spreading money around to buy loyalty.

Approximately 50 rebel groups near Damascus announced they were uniting into the “Army of Islam” and would fight for a country solely based on Sharia. It is suspected that the Saudis engineered this in order to steer the rebel cause.

There may be a difference of opinion within this bloc regarding Syria. Egypt has not taken a clear stance. It isn’t adding its voice to the Saudis’ loud demands that Assad step down, but it isn’t dissenting either.

Where does the U.S. fit into all this? Nowhere.

The U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has alienated the majority of Egyptians. After the Obama Administration suspended a significant amount of military aid, the Egyptian government embraced Russia as an alternative.

The U.S. outreach to Iran and minimal support for the Syrian rebels has caused Saudi officials to talk of a “major shift” away from America. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe the Saudis with a visit and a joint statement reiterating that Assad must be removed from power.

The Saudis are eager to convince Russia to end its support for Assad in exchange for a secret oil deal and strategic alliance. The Saudis may also move aggressively towards China; a country that has been a bigger customer for Saudi exports than the U.S. since 2009. It is apparent that Asia is going to become the most important customer for Saudi oil.

 

If the Turkey-led Sunni Islamists and the Iran-led Shiite Islamists divide Syria and agree to a ceasefire, a formidable cross-sectarian Islamist bloc will form. The Saudis, Egyptians and other Gulf states already see the U.S. as an unreliable partner and are looking to Russia and China for help.

This is the consequence of the ill-conceived American policy in the region. 

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5830

DISAPPOINTED WITH THE US, SAUDI ARABIA EYES THE BOMB

These are dangerous times and our President needs to remember this. Whether you agree with him or not please pray for him and our country as we are clearly in the last of the end days!

Egypt and ‘maybe even Turkey’ will also seek to acquire atomic weapons if Iran’s nuclear ambitions aren’t reined in, expert says

By Elhanan Miller November 10, 2013, 9:56 pm

With the prospect of an interim nuclear deal with Iran gaining traction, Saudi Arabia has been expressing growing disappointment with the Obama administration and mulling alternatives to a diplomatic solution, including obtaining atomic warheads.

A series of unusually critical statements by Saudi officials in recent weeks has highlighted Riyadh’s mistrust of Washington’s treatment of the Iranian nuclear issue. And the Saudis, who rarely speak publicly about their fear of a nuclear Iran, are seemingly distancing themselves from the United States and moving to a policy of self-reliance.

The first official to speak up was Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The head of Saudi intelligence and former ambassador to the US told a group of European diplomats on October 22 that his kingdom plans to make “a major shift” in its relations with the US over the American laxity in Syria and softness in dealing with Iran.

“Relations with the US have been deteriorating for a while, as Saudi feels that the US is growing closer with Iran and the US also failed to support Saudi during the Bahrain uprising,” a source “close to Saudi policy” told Reuters.

Next came Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi chief of intelligence and brother of the current foreign minister. In an interview with The Washington Post on November 5, Prince Turki said Saudi Arabia supported a nuclear-free Middle East — encompassing Israel as well as Iran — with the US providing a “nuclear security umbrella” to the Middle East, as it does with Germany and Japan.

“I suggested two years ago that the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries should consider seriously all options, including acquiring nuclear weapons, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons,” the Saudi statesman told the paper.

That vision may have already been translated into action. According to a report in BBC’s Newsnight on November 6, Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistan’s nuclear program in return for the possibility of quickly deploying Pakistani nuclear warheads in Saudi Arabia upon demand.

“I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extreme, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan,” Gary Samore, until March 2013 President Barack Obama’s counter-proliferation adviser, told the BBC.

But Ephraim Asculai, an expert on nuclear proliferation at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, told The Times of Israel that no conclusive evidence existed on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions.

“Saudi Arabia makes no statements. We have assumptions that Saudi Arabia could use Pakistan if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, but there’s no solid information on this,” Asculai said, but noted that a nuclear Iran would certainly motivate Saudi Arabia to get the bomb.

“I don’t exactly know what the schedule will be, but there will certainly be countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and maybe even Turkey that will want to obtain nuclear capabilities.”

“Who trusts Kerry and Obama?” wondered columnist Abdulla al-Otibi in an op-ed published Sunday in A-Sharq al-Awsat, a daily funded by the Saudi royal family, following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Riyadh last week.

“In reality, no one. [He is trusted] neither internationally — having weakened his country in the face of powerful rivals — nor regionally, having no strategy to tie the strings together and deal with contradictions… he continues to communicate with Iran and has taken no serious position on Syria.”

Obama, continued Otibi, should be no less cognizant of his allies in the Sunni Arab world than of his adversaries in Iran and Syria.

“Obama must understand that his most difficult decisions are not with regards to Iran or Syria, but with Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, and the new bloc they have formed,” he wrote. “He must understand that the allies have their internal force, which should cause him to reconsider his policies which promise no good.”

20110412_MideastCrescentMap

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SAUDI ARABIA HAS REPORTEDLY BOUGHT NUCLEAR WEAPONS FROM PAKISTAN

On the eve of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, a new report says that Saudi Arabia has purchased nuclear weapons from Pakistan which are ready for delivery to the Persian Gulf kingdom and that it possesses missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

The report by the BBC provided details of the Middle East nuclear arms race, pitting the Shiite Iran against its Sunni-ruled rival Saudi Arabia which is allegedly aspiring to become a nuclear power.

Quoting multiple unnamed sources, the BBC’s Newsnight reported Wednesday night that the Saudis invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects leading them to believe they can secure that kind of weapon when they so choose.

The report further posited that “the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly” than Iran.

BBC Newsnight’s Diplomatic and Defense Editor Mark Urban wrote, “Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.”

Experts have long voiced concerns that the Saudi leadership would aim to match Iran’s achievement were it to successfully obtain a nuclear weapons’ capability.

Urban quoted Israel’s former chief of military intelligence Amos Yadlin, who told a conference in Sweden last month that if Iran developed a nuclear weapon, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”

The BBC’s report provided details on Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of CSS-2 ballistic missiles from China, purchased clandestinely in the late 1980s.

It also quoted a story by the military publisher Jane’s this summer which reported that the Saudis had completed construction of a new CSS-2 missile base with its launch rails aimed at Israel and Iran.

U.S. officials in the past have raised concern over Pakistani-Saudi nuclear cooperation. A State Department cable posted by Wikileaks said, “it is logical for the Saudis to step in as the physical ‘protector’” of the Arab world by seeking nuclear weapons.

An unnamed senior Pakistani told the BBC that the Saudi deal with Pakistan was likely unwritten, and asked, “what did we think the Saudis were giving us all that money for? It wasn’t charity.”

A former Pakistani intelligence officer speaking on condition of anonymity told Urban that he believed “the Pakistanis certainly maintain a certain number of warheads on the basis that if the Saudis were to ask for them at any given time they would immediately be transferred.”

Simon Henderson, Director of the Global Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the BBC, “the Saudis speak about Iran and nuclear matters very seriously. They don’t bluff on this issue.”

Yadlin, the former Israeli military intelligence chief, in an email to the BBC said that “unlike other potential regional threats, the Saudi one is very credible and imminent.”

Saudi Arabia is concerned that the apparent warming of relations between Washington and Tehran will allow Iran more maneuverability in developing its nuclear program.

The New York Times on Wednesday quoted a senior Obama administration official who said that the U.S. would be prepared to offer Iran “limited relief from economic sanctions if Tehran agreed to halt its nuclear program temporarily and reversed part of it.”

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia denied the BBC’s report.

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Do You Know the History Behind the ‘Black Flags of Jihad’? The Blaze’s Buck Sexton Breaks It Down

Many are familiar with what some call “the black flags of jihad” flown by Islamic extremists from Jabhat al-Nusra to Al Qaeda.  The flags vary in appearance, but most share a similar theme: they typically have white writing on a black flag, and depict the shehada, or profession of faith that there is no god but god, and Muhammad is his messenger.

After such flags were seen flying in New York City during recent the Muslim Day Parade, Glenn Beck invited TheBlaze’s national security advisor Buck Sexton to explain the historic and symbolic significance of the flags.

“The black banner, also known as the ‘black flags of Khurasan,’ this is something that stretches back into the earliest days of Islam,” Sexton began.  “It references a ‘rising up,’ if you will, of a Muslim army from a region called Khurasan, and they will have black banners.”

Sexton pointed to the map below as the rough modern boundaries of Khurasan:

                       

(Photo: TheBlaze TV)

Sexton proceed to highlight two passages in the Hadith that are often cited as the inspiration for the flags.

The first is: “The black flags will come from the East, led by mighty men, with long hair and beards.  Their surnames are taken from the names of their home towns and their first names are from a ‘Kunya.’”

The second states: “Messenger of Allah said: If you see the Black Banners coming from Khurasan go to them immediately, even if you must crawl over ice, because indeed amongst them is the Caliph, Al Mahdi.”

Sexton said “Al Mahdi” is a reference to Islamic “end times” theology.

But are the black flags something that have been seen throughout history, Beck asked?  He noted that just because somebody has an American flag, that doesn’t necessarily mean they stand for the U.S. Constitution.  If a Muslim who speaks Arabic holds such a black flag, are they aware of the historical significance?

“It’s popping up more now because jihadists are on the march in a number of places,” Sexton responded.  “When the Umayyads were fighting, they were flying black flags, and that goes back to the earliest days of Islam.”

But the flags we’re seeing now, he added, are “contemporary black flags.”  Sexton proceeded to show pictures of the flags flying in Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, and more.

“If that’s not scary enough with the end times…this is the one that actually hits the most home for me,” Sexton said, showing a picture of a man kneeling in front of a group of armed men, all in front of the black flag.   “This is the beginning of a beheading video.”

That’s what that flag stands for,” Sexton said unequivocally.  “It’s not a ‘resistance symbol.’”

And while no one is saying it’s illegal to wave such a flag, TheBlaze’s national security adviser said “we should at least be willing to call it what it is.”

“If this flag is being used as the backdrop for beheading videos, it’s not because the jihadists are confused,” he said.  “In fact, it’s because we refuse to accept who the enemy is.”

Sexton ended on a chilling note, saying that while you and I may not “buy in” to the verses, that doesn’t mean the extremists don’t.

“The people that are trying to take over countries like Egypt, and Syria, and Tunisia, and Libya, they absolutely buy into it. They know these Hadiths by heart,” he said.  “Some Sunni jurists will say, ‘Oh no, those aren’t good Hadiths.’  But guess what? Bin Laden — who signed his first declaration of war against the United States from Khurasan, Afghanistan — he knew that Hadith, and he knew about it enough to tell all of his followers.”

“They believe this,” Sexton concluded.  “They believe they are fulfilling prophecy.”

af}qaeda

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5691

SAUDI KING NEXT ON MIDEAST REBELS TARGET LIST

Aaron Klein

NEW YORK – An Iranian cell has been caught in Saudi Arabia attempting to provoke a Shiite rebellion against the Saudi kingdom, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The security officials said interrogation of the cell of seven Iranian agents caught in an eastern Saudi province revealed the existence of a second cell in Bahrain also attempting to destabilize the country by plotting a Shiite rebellion.

The security officials stated Saudi Arabia passed information to the Obama administration warning that the U.S. outreach to Iran has already emboldened Tehran to press ahead with a campaign to attempt to weaken moderate Arab regimes that are U.S. allies.

A Jordanian source, meanwhile, told WND that moderate Arab moderate countries are “very worried” over Obama’s diplomatic gestures to Iran. They fear any U.S. deal could expand Tehran’s future influence in the Middle East, including via proxies like Hezbollah.

Yesterday, it was reported that an exchange of letters between Obama and Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, may result in a possible meeting between the two leaders at a U.N. summit next week. Any such meeting would mark the first face-to-face encounter between a U.S. and Iranian head of state since Iran’s 1979 revolution.

The diplomatic outreach to Iran follows a U.S. deal with Iran’s ally, Syria, that would place the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons arsenal under international custodianship to avoid a U.S. military strike on Damascus.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5653

ARE TERRORISTS SETTING U.S. WILDFIRES?

Joe Kovacs

As the 2013 season of devastating wildfires continues to rage across the American West, the question of arson as a form of major terrorism is again being raised.

Already this year, 35,440 reported fires have burned a total of 3.9 million acres, with a quarter-million acres scorched the iconic Yosemite National Park.

Large blazes continue to burn in several states, with six alive in Idaho, five each in California and Montana, and one each in Alaska, Louisiana, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, says at this time last year, 45,278 fires had burned 7.9 million acres, and in 2011, there were 55,619 fires devastating 7.2 million acres.

In July 2012, William Scott, a former National Security Agency official and Aviation Week editor, told the American Center for Democracy that terrorists are using fire as a tactical weapon of war.

“Perhaps the most simple form of economic warfare is wild land arson,” Scott said in his “Fire Wars” presentation. “That’s just setting fires in U.S. forests [and] grasslands.”

“For any terrorists that are determined to inflict significant damage with very little investment or risk, fire is an extremely high-leverage weapon of mass effect.”

Scott explained that after U.S. Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, they “captured a treasure trove of material that provided some unprecedented insight into the al-Qaida plans. And one of those was a detailed campaign for starting fires throughout the [American] West.”

“U.S. officials have pretty much determined that some of the fires that burned in California [in 2011] were ignited by al-Qaida operatives,” Scott said.

An editorial in June by the Washington Examiner noted, “Those trying to downplay the threat of terrorism have dismissed such a possibility as paranoid. As Americans learned in 2001, and again as recently as 2012 in Benghazi and 2013 with the Boston Marathon bombing, terrorist threats are not something to take lightly.”

This year’s wildfire in Yosemite started Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest, but authorities believe it was not an act off terror. They say a hunter’s illegal fire swept out of control, torching 394 square miles of timber, meadows and sensitive wildlife habitat. The Associated Press reports it has cost more than $89 million to fight, and officials say it will cost tens of millions of dollars more to repair the environmental damage alone.

 

Yosemite National Park has been decimated by fire in the summer of 2013.

As WND reported in June, an expert on Islamic terrorism believes a wildfire that ravaged the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colo., killing two people and destroying more than 500 homes, should be examined by terror investigators.

“One thing that my investigators have given me the authority to state is that they have all but ruled out natural causes as the cause of this fire,” said Sheriff Terry Maketa at the time. “I can’t really go any further on that, but I can say we are pretty confident it was not, for instance, a lightning strike.”

That single blaze in Colorado caused more than $85 million in damage, but that figure is expected to rise to possibly $120 million.

The causes for most forest fires are limited to electrical problems, out-of-control campfires or grills, accidents such as a car fire and sparks from chain saws or other back-country tools.

Those causes, to an expert investigator, are readily identifiable.

But authorities said they were focusing on a 28-foot square patch where they believe the fire started, examining some portions with a magnifying glass.

At the American Center for Democracy, noted terror funding expert Rachel Ehrenfeld suggested circumstances are a little suspicious.

Ehrenfeld, once targeted by a Saudi official with a foreign lawsuit over her work in the United States, was the reason the “Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitution Heritage Act” was adopted by Congress.

It put an end to lawsuits brought in foreign jurisdictions where speech protections do not exist or are not as robust as in the United States which were simply intended to censor or chill speech in the U.S.

“Bill Scott, who’s a senior fellow at ACD, warned about such a scenario last July, speaking at the ACD-EWI Economic Threats briefing on Capital Hill,” Ehrenfeld wrote. “An expert on aerial firefighting, he presented a sobering analysis of the devastating (2012) Waldo Canyon Fire [in Colorado], pointing out that the striking rise [in] Western U.S. wildfires may be caused by elements other than nature.

“He noted that in spring 2012, al-Qaida’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, published an article called ‘It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,’ which featured instructions on how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.”

She explained that Russia’s security chief, Aleksandr Bortnikov, also has warned, “Al-Qaida was complicit in recent forest fires in Europe” as part of terrorism’s “strategy of a thousand cuts.”

“Since then, more fatwas advocating that ‘fire is a cheap, easy and effective tool for economic warfare’ have been issued,” Ehrenfeld wrote. “They’ve included detailed instructions for constructing remote-controlled ‘ember bombs, and how to set fires without leaving a trace.’”

Israel’s forests also have been targeted, she noted.

“While many of the fires that have scorched millions of acres and destroyed thousands of homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and other states have been identified as arson, none has been publicly attributed to criminal or terrorist groups, despite the presence of Mexican gangs and [a] large number of other illegals in our Western states,” she said.

Mother Jones reported Don Smurthwaite, a Bureau of Land Management spokesman, “downplayed” Ehrenfeld’s ideas, “but he didn’t dismiss the notion outright.”

“We don’t have any hard evidence that any wildfires in the U.S. were started by terrorists in recent years,” he told the publication. “But is it a possibility? Certainly.”

He noted the last confirmed weaponized wildfires were in World War II, when the Japanese sent incendiary balloons across the Pacific.

However, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported al-Qaida was advising would-be terrorists how best to burn America.

The terror group’s magazine included pictures, diagrams and explanations on how to start fires to obtain the most damage.

CBN analyst Erick Stakelbeck said the extreme detail provides reason for concern. The information, he said, is “all designed to cause the maximum amount of carnage and death.”

CBN noted that in the U.S., more houses are built in the countryside than in the cities and cited a Montana fire chief who said the prospect of a wildfire terrorist attack was not farfetched.

WND also reported websites run by jihadis made claims of arson in a number of California wildfires.

WND reported in 2004 that an Arabic-language jihadi website also posted a message purporting to be “al-Qaida’s plan of economic attack” on the U.S. that including proposals to turn the nation’s forests into raging infernos.

The National Terror Alert Response Center report said: “We are NOT implying that the California fires are an act of terrorism; however, the threat of pyro-terrorist attacks pose a significant risk to the U.S. and the fires in California and Greece earlier this year should be a wake-up call.”

Even in 2003, an FBI memo warned that national forests in the West could be the next target for terror by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

The memo, obtained by the Arizona Republic, warned law enforcement that a senior al-Qaida detainee told interrogators he planned to spark multiple, catastrophic wildfires simultaneously in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strike a blow to the U.S. economy.

WND also reported documents recovered from a remote area along the Pakistan border revealed that bin Laden wanted al-Qaida to launch a “global fireball” by lighting forest fires in Europe, the United States, Australia and South America.

The documents, uncovered during an operation led by the British intelligence service MI6, were described by experts in that agency as “the most worrying [plot] that the world is facing

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5636