Islamic Courts Consolidates Power in Somalia

Counterterrorism Blog

Islamic Courts Consolidates Power in Somalia

By Bill Roggio

Somalia continues the slide into the darkness of a radical Islamist state. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the al-Qaeda linked leader of the Islamic Courts is consolidating power in Somalia by taking control of vital lines of communications, organizing the army of the Islamic Courts, and instituting shariah law throughout the areas it controls.

As Daveed Gartenstein-Ross has noted, the Islamic Courts have taken control of the port cities of Harardhere, Eldher and Hoyobo, as well as Beletuein on the border with Ethiopia. The flights of arms shipments from Kazakistan reported by Douglas Farah continue to fly into Mogadishu’s airport to this day.

The Islamic Courts, using money funneled from the Arabian peninsula, is arming its fighters with new weapons, and sending its fighters to receive professional training. “This is the beginning, but thousands of other gunmen will be trained. You are the ones who will disarm civilians, restore law and order and help enforce Sharia law,” Aweys said to a group of 600 fighters at the Hilweyne military camp. As the army of the Islamic Courts ramps up, soldiers of the Transitional Federal Government (TGF) continue to defect. Over 100 TGF fighters stationed near Baidoa have defected to the Islamic Courts, and 500 total have defected since the Islamic Courts grabbed power in July.

The Islamic Courts is further consolidating power by instituting a program to disarm Somalis not affiliated with the Islamists. They are disarming any potential rivals. The imposition of strict shariah law continues. Three Somalis caught in possession of marijuana were publicly whipped in Mogadishu. The Islamic Courts are organizing “a national forum to chart the lawless country’s future,” further eroding the power of the Transitional Federal Government. A Hezbollah-styled aid program is being set up to gain the loyalty of the Somalis.

The Ethiopian government is looking upon the rise of the Islamic Courts in Somalia with dismay, and continues to pour troops into the country. Ethiopian troops started reinforcing the failing Transitional Federal Government in Baidoa at the beginning of July, and this effort continues. Over 300 heavily armed Ethiopian troops have passed through the border town of Awdiinle and are reported to be heading to Baidoa. The Guardian reports Ethiopian “troops entered the town of Galkayo, driving seven pickup trucks mounted with machine guns and six trucks loaded with boxes.” The Ethiopian government denies any incursions into Somalia, but Ethiopian forces have been in and around Baidoa for two months now.

Both the Ethiopians and the Islamic Courts appear to be waiting for the other to make the first move and spark the war. The Islamic Courts continues to call for Jihad “against ‘the enemy of Somalia'” and warned African peacekeeprs from deploying to Somalia. The Islamic Courts may be setting their sights on the Puntland region in central Somalia before dealing with the Ethiopians. In the mean time, the Islamic Courts consolidates their hold on power in Somalia, and the 17 terror training camps continue to churn out new fighters for the Islamic Courts and al-Qaeda.

Israel may ‘go it alone’ against Iran

Israel may ‘go it alone’ against Iran

Israel is carefully watching the world’s reaction to Iran’s continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel “may have to go it alone,” The Jerusalem Post has learned.

One senior source said on Tuesday that Iran “flipped the world the bird” by not responding positively to the Western incentive plan to stop uranium enrichment. He expressed frustration that the Russians and Chinese were already saying that Iran’s offer of a “new formula” and willingness to enter “serious negotiations” was an opening to keep on talking.

“The Iranians know the world will do nothing,” he said. “This is similar to the world’s attempts to appease Hitler in the 1930s – they are trying to feed the beast.”

He said there was a need to understand that “when push comes to shove,” Israel would have to be prepared to “slow down” the Iranian nuclear threat by itself.

Having said this, he did not rule out the possibility of US military action, but said that if this were to take place, it would probably not occur until the spring or summer of 2008, a few months before President George W. Bush leaves the international stage. The US presidential elections, which Bush cannot contest because of term limits, are in November 2008.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in a meeting in Paris with French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy Wednesday, said Iran “poses a global threat” and needed to be dealt with by the whole international community.

“The first thing they need to do is stop the enrichment of uranium,” Livni said. “Everyday that passes brings the Iranians closer to building a nuclear bomb. The world can’t afford a nuclear Iran.” She said the Iranian reply to the Western incentives was just an attempt to “gain time.”

Government officials said Israel’s role at this time is to warn the world of the dangers of an Iranian nuclear potential. Some government officials are sending the message to their counterparts abroad that the firm implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 on Lebanon will send a strong message to Iran – which is testing the world’s resolve – that it is serious about implementing Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported Wednesday that the Iranian news service Al-Borz, which it said is known to have access to sources in the Iranian government, predicted that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would announce what the news service called Iran’s “nuclear birth” on the first anniversary of his government later this month.

In addition, an article Tuesday on the Teheran Times Web site, considered to be affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, implied that Iran’s nuclear technology had already reached the point of no return. “If the West is seeking to impede Iran’s nuclear industry, it should realize that Iran has passed this stage,” the report read.

Diplomats from Europe, the US, Russia and China were poring over details of Iran’s counterproposal to the Western nuclear incentives package Wednesday. Initial comments from Russia and China made clear Washington is likely to face difficulty getting at least those nations to agree to any tough sanctions against Iran.

In Paris, however, Douste-Blazy made clear that his government was sticking by the UN demand for Iran to halt enrichment by the end of this month as a precondition to further talks. Israeli officials said France has consistently advocated a firm position with Iran regarding the nuclear issue.

“I want to point out again that France is available to negotiate, and to recall that, as we have always said… a return to the negotiating table is linked to the suspension of uranium enrichment,” Douste-Blazy said.

However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would continue to seek a political, negotiated solution to the dispute with Iran. China appealed for dialogue, urging “constructive measures” by Iran but also urging other parties to “remain calm and patient, show flexibility, stick to the orientation of peaceful resolution and create favorable conditions for resuming talks as soon as possible.”

In London, a British Foreign Office spokesman predicted “some hard discussions” when the Security Council takes up the Iran issue in the coming weeks.

Iran said Tuesday it was ready for “serious negotiations” on its nuclear program and cast the counterproposal as a new formula to resolve the crisis with the West. But a semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon uranium enrichment.

The world powers, the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, have given Iran until August 31 to accept the incentives package.

New Yorker arrested for broadcasting Hizbollah TV

New Yorker arrested for broadcasting Hizbollah TV
Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:08 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have arrested a New York man for broadcasting Hizbollah television station al-Manar, which has been designated a terrorist entity by the U.S. Treasury Department, prosecutors said on Thursday.Javed Iqbal, 42, was arrested on Wednesday because his Brooklyn-based company HDTV Ltd. was providing New York-area customers with the Hizbollah-operated channel, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

It did not say how long Iqbal’s company had been providing satellite broadcasts of al-Manar, which the U.S. Treasury Department in March had designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, making it a crime to conduct business with al-Manar.

Iqbal has been charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the statement said. Federal authorities searched HDTV’s Brooklyn office and Iqbal’s Staten Island home, where Iqbal was suspected of maintaining satellite dishes, the statement said.

The U.S. Treasury Department froze U.S. assets of al-Manar in March, saying it supported fund-raising and recruitment activities of Hizbollah, a Shiite Muslim group backed by Syria and Iran that has been at war with Israel in southern Lebanon.

Scientology 101: Definitions and Facts About Scientology


Scientology 101: Definitions and Facts About Scientology

Aug. 23, 2006


Aug. 23, 2006 — – A definition of Scientology1 is hard to pin down. Basically, it’s a system of beliefs, teachings and rituals originally established as a secular philosophy by L. Ron Hubbard2 . His 1950 book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health3 , provided the core principles of what would later become Scientology.

Scientologists regard the publication of the book as a seminal event, and celebrate its publication date — May 9, 1950 — as a religious holiday.

A central belief of Scientology is that a person is a mortal, spiritual being (called a “thetan”), basically good, and has lived through many past lives.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is “true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual.” Stored memories of Thetans’ past lives can cause problems in the present.

Consumer Alert: Scientologists “unqualified”

“Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.”
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted at What judges have to say about Scientology4

Scientology Kills5

Scientologists believe that the “reactive mind” (the portion that works on a totally stimulus-response basis, not under the control of the individual) commands one’s awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and action. Through counseling called “auditing,” Scientologists believe they can reduce and ultimately erase the power of the reactive mind, a source of irrationality, fears and nightmares. Before a person is audited they are considered “Pre-Clear.”

Those that reach the higher teachings called OT (Operating Thetan) III, a state of being beyond the initial “Clear” state, within the Church of Scientology are said to learn about Xenu, the intergalactic ruler who implanted thetans, or alien spirits, in Earth’s volcanoes 75 million years ago. But details of teachings at these higher levels are sketchy.

Since it was founded in 1954, Scientology has grown to include more than 5,100 churches, missions and groups in 156 countries.

Symbols of Scientology include an eight-pointed cross and an “S” between two triangles.

Celebrated holidays include Hubbard’s birthday (March 13), the date of Dianetics’ publication (May 9) and Auditors’ Day (second Sunday in September).

Scientologists are opposed to mind-altering drugs, psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. Narconon is Scientology’s drug rehab program. Treatment includes an intensive program of running, massive doses of vitamins and very long sauna sessions designed to “run out” drugs and radiation from the body.

Some of the celebrities identified as followers include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Isaac Hayes, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Jenna Elfman and Ann Archer.