The coming Israeli-Saudi alliance.

The coming Israeli-Saudi alliance.

Silent Partners

by Gregory Levey  
Only at TNR Online | Post date 10.20.06

On Tuesday, a leading Saudi Arabian daily, Al Eqtisadiah, called on the Saudi government to follow Iran’s lead and engage in the development of nuclear reactors. Just a few days earlier, Al Madina, another Saudi newspaper, urged the Kingdom to pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in order to do so. In Israel, and among Israel’s supporters, many will see this sort of talk as yet another threat to the Jewish state. Saudi Arabia and Israel, after all, are not exactly considered the best of friends. But something much more nuanced may be at play, and, in the near future, Saudi Arabia may end up being one of Israel’s most important–albeit secret–allies. Today, the interests of the Israeli and Saudi governments are so aligned that they may have little choice but to work together. What’s more, because the United States currently enjoys an unprecedented level of trust from both states, if it capitalizes on this situation, this convergence of interests could actually bring some major positive changes to the region. In fact, it may already be doing so. 

You run from police…You accidentally get electrocuted while hiding from police at an electrical substation…You get a monument built in your honor!

You run from police…You accidentally get electrocuted while hiding from police at an electrical substation…You get a monument built in your honor!

claude.jpg

A breathtaking apex of French dhimmitude. No wonder the French “youths” are growing bolder and more assertive: they see that the French have no will to resist whatsoever, and rewards those who engage in criminal activity. “Peace Gesture: French Unveil Monument to Boys Who Fled Police,” from Gateway Pundit, with thanks to LGF:

You run from police… You accidentally get electrocuted while hiding from police at an electrical substation… You get a monument built in your honor!monument.jpg

A monument is unveiled to honor Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore who died on Oct. 27, 2005 by accidental electrocution while fleeing a police identification check.

A silent march ended in a mostly immigrant Paris suburb on Friday where French officials unveiled a monument to two youths who died while fleeing from police:

Relatives and friends of two French teenagers who were electrocuted as they fled from police a year ago have gathered in Clichy-sous-Bois near Paris. A plaque was unveiled in front of their school, and a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the power sub-station where the teenagers tried to hide.The deaths of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore sparked three weeks of violent riots in France’s poor suburbs as the young and unemployed vented their anger over what they saw as lack of opportunity and racial discrimination. The crowd gathered in silent prayer wearing t-shirts with the slogan “Dead for nothing”.

They also laid wreaths at the electrical sub-station.

Egypt moves 5000 security personnel to Gaza border

Egypt moves 5000 security personnel to Gaza border

Tensions rising. From the Jerusalem Post, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

Egypt on Saturday deployed no less than 5,000 security personnel on the Gaza border, news agencies reported.Officials in Cairo said the move came in response to reports that Israel planned to intensify action to weed out smuggling tunnels, including bombing them from the air.

Islam challenges secularism in Turkey’s east

Islam challenges secularism in Turkey’s east

As I have long noted, any secular, democratic or republican or semi-democratic government in the Islamic world — indeed, any government that does not fully implement Sharia — faces mounting pressure from forces that believe that no non-Sharia government has any legitimacy at all. And that is true even in the country that is most often held up as the model and proof that Islam and democracy can coexist (despite the fact that its secularism was established in an atmosphere of war with Islam): Turkey.

“FEATURE-Islam challenges secularism in Turkey’s east,” by Paul de Bendern for Reuters:

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Oct 30 (Reuters) – In the heartland of Turkey’s southeast, plagued by decades of conflict between separatist Kurdish rebels and the state, a new threat to secularism is emerging — Islamist groups.Local politicians say these organisations are becoming more active in the poor region that borders Iraq and Syria, and some fear this could fan fundamentalism, especially among young people who have grown up with violence.

As in the rest of predominantly Sunni Muslim Turkey, practising one’s religion here long took a backseat to a public espousal of the secularism of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the republic’s founder.

However, since the AK Party, which has roots in political Islam, swept to power in 2002, Muslims are now being more open about their faith.

We feel much freer to practise Islam,” said Engin Aydin, a teacher and physics graduate who was selling religious books near Diyarbakir’s 11th century Ulu Cami mosque. “It’s getting better by the day.”

In the southeast’s largest city, mosques are welcoming more worshippers, non governmental organisations (NGOs) with a religious overtone are helping the poor and the number of unofficial prayer rooms is on the rise, say politicians and lawyers.

“In every poor neighbourhood, new radical Islamic associations are giving hot food, they have meetings at people’s homes. They pay for students to go to school,” said Firat Anli, mayor of a district of Diyarbakir and member of the main Kurdish party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP).

I’m very worried … I fear they’ll become more powerful and could turn to violence like the (Turkish) Hezbollah,” he said, referring to a defunct armed group, active in the 1990s.

Michael J Fox fighting for bad science – UPDATED

October 23, 2006

Michael J Fox fighting for bad science – UPDATED

Filed under: Culture of Life/Death, Medical, TV/Pop Culture/Music, Election 2006When I was a little girl, I remember a neighbor of ours who spent every Labor Day raging at Jerry Lewis for “parading those poor crippled children around to pull on the heartstrings so that people will send him money…” As though the funds raised by the Muscular Dystrophy Association were going into Lewis’ pocket.Today we’re being treated to this political commercial by Michael J Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and is allowing himself to be used by Claire McCaskill’s political campaign to pull on the heartstrings (and create a sense of “moral outrage”) so as to defeat her opponant. McCaskill “shares my hope for a cure,” says Fox, while her (presumably evil) opponant apparently wants Fox to suffer. Booo…Hiss….The video is indeed difficult to watch, and one sincerely wishes there was immediately in place a cure for Fox and his fellow sufferers. Fox believes that his cure lies in the use of Embryonic Stem Cells Research (ESCR) and puts his hope in research currently being done by using precisely those sorts of cells on Parkinson’s patients. So, this story must have been very unwelcome, yesterday.Stem cells might cause brain tumors, study finds

Injecting human embryonic stem cells into the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients may cause tumors to form, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.
Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York said human stem cells injected into rat brains turned into cells that looked like early tumors.
[…]
Goldman’s team used human embryonic stem cells. Taken from days-old embryos, these cells can form any kind of cell in the body. This batch had been cultured in substances aimed at making them become brain cells.
[…]
The animals did get better.
But the grafted cells started to show areas that no longer consisted of dopamine-releasing neurons, but of dividing cells that had the potential to give rise to tumors. The researchers killed the animals before they could know for sure, and said any experiments in humans would have to be done very cautiously. Scientists have long feared that human embryonic stem cells could turn into tumors, because of their pliability.This is not the first time ESC research for Parkinson’s sufferers has frightened scientists and halted experimentation. As reported by the New England Journal of Medicine, and – ahem – the New York Times, the injection of ESC’s into the brains of Parkinson’s patients became nightmarish experimentations gone bad.

The late development of dystonia and dyskinesia, more than one year after surgery, in five patients who had received transplants deserves comment. Parkinsonism in these patients improved during the first year after transplantation, even with substantial reductions in dosage or the discontinuation of levodopa. The subsequent appearance of dystonia and dyskinesia implies that the continued fiber outgrowth from the transplant has led to a relative excess of dopamine. The simplest response to this outcome would be to transplant less tissue in the future. The distribution of the tissue is also likely to be important.

NEJM Transplantation of Embryonic Dopamine Neurons for Severe Parkinson’s Disease March 8, 2001

The dystonia and dyskinesia referred to here is more detailed in the report by the NY Times piece:

Although the paper depicts the patients with side effect in impassive clinical terms, doctors who have seen them paint a much different picture. Paul. E. Greene, a neurologist at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and a researcher in the study, [emphasis mine – admin] said the uncontrollable movements some patients suffer are “absolutely devastating.”
“They chew constantly, their fingers go up and down, their wrists flex and distend,” he said. And the patients writhe and twist, jerk their heads, fling their arms about.”It was tragic, catastrophic,” Greene said. “It’s a real nightmare. And we can’t selectively turn it off.” One man was so badly affected that he could no longer eat and had to use a feeding tube, Greene said. In another, the condition came and went unpredictably throughout the day, and when it occurred, the man’s speech was unintelligible. For now, Greene said, his position is clear: “No more fetal transplants. We are absolutely and adamantly convinced that this should be considered for research only. And whether it should be research in people is an open question.” In the past when I have cited this article, I have heard from supporters of ESC research that this study used not “embryonic” stem cells, but “fetal stem cells from aborted fetuses.” I know that is what the NY Times piece says, but I don’t see that in the NEJM report. Moreover, we must not forget that before a fetus is a fetus it is an embryo for 8 weeks. If these scientists got their stem cells from aborted pregnancies, they clearly were looking for embryos, and I think might be a safe presumption to say that the words “fetal” and “embryonic” were being used rather interchangably in the Times piece.But the NEJM report clearly uses the world EMBRYONIC both in its title and throughout the study, as we see here: Background Transplantation of human embryonic dopamine neurons into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease has proved beneficial in open clinical trials. However, whether this intervention would be more effective than sham surgery in a controlled trial is not known.Methods We randomly assigned 40 patients who were 34 to 75 years of age and had severe Parkinson’s disease (mean duration, 14 years) to receive a transplant of nerve cells or undergo sham surgery; all were to be followed in a double-blind manner for one year. In the transplant recipients, cultured mesencephalic tissue from four embryos was implanted into the putamen bilaterally.So, we see that in 2001, ESCR was showing the embryonic stem cells tended to be unmanagable and, actually, too powerful, too malleable. We see in 2006 that labrats treated with the stem cells tended to show some improvement but within a short time tissue growth becomes abnormal – one might assume that the rats, which were killed, might have displayed similiar behavior as was seen in 2001, had they lived. For all the talk we hear about the “great promise” of Embryonic Stem Cells, the research doesn’t support it. Nor, apparently, does private funding. There are, however, wonderful results being seen in various research and testing being done with the use of Adult Stem Cells (ASCR). We don’t hear very much about it, though. Writes Wesley J. Smith in the National Review Online, 2002:

Unless you made a point of looking for these stories…you might have missed them. Patients with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis received significant medical benefit using experimental adult-stem-cell regenerative medical protocols. These are benefits that supporters of embryonic-stem-cell treatments have yet to produce widely in animal experiments. Yet adult stem cells are now beginning to ameliorate suffering in human beings.
Stem cells were harvested from the patient’s brain using a routine brain biopsy procedure. They were cultured and expanded to several million cells. About 20 percent of these matured into dopamine-secreting neurons. In March 1999, the cells were injected into the patient’s brain.Three months after the procedure, the man’s motor skills had improved by 37 percent and there was an increase in dopamine production of 55.6 percent. One year after the procedure, the patient’s overall Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale had improved by 83 percent — this at a time when he was not taking any other Parkinson’s medication!That is an astonishing, remarkable success, one that you would have thought would set off blazing headlines and lead stories on the nightly news. Had the treatment been achieved with embryonic stem cells, undoubtedly the newspapers would have screamed loudly enough to be heard. Unfortunately, reportage about the Parkinson’s success story was strangely muted. True, the Washington Post ran an inside-the-paper story and there were some wire service reports. But the all-important New York Times — the one news outlet that drives television and cable news — did not report on it at all. Nor did a search of the Los Angeles Times website yield any stories about the experiment.Please read Smith’s article – it is long and chock-full of information on successful ASCR you never hear about because, for some reason, only the stuff of embryos is fascinating to the press and the left. I wonder why that is, really? Why are they so hot to exploit the embryo – when study after study says don’t do it – and so bored with a safer alternative that does not in any way exploit or destroy human life?Writing on this same subject a while back, I said: That research…made me believe that Embryonic stem cells are like uncut heroin…waaaay, way to powerful to use – they are part of begotten life in its purest form (perhaps still too near to God for our fooling with) – and they are so maleable as to be (so far in research) unpredictable and unusable. And that’s not even getting into the moral and ethical questions of whether or not a human embryo should be exploited in such a way, particularly when Adult Stem Cells are showing remarkable results in everything from helping sufferers of Sickle Cell Anemia and Thallassemias Major and Minor, to spinal injuries, skin regeneration and more.
[…]
And I say that as a woman dealing with a chronic blood illness, and waiting to hear – finally – about a diagnosis that has taken a great deal of time to pinpoint. Both health issues are being looked into with adult stem cells, and that’s good news…I wouldn’t want any treatment derived from embryonic stem cells.
I still feel that way…The proponants of ESC research like to say obnoxious things along the lines of “Bush is against science,” and “[Talent] doesn’t want Michael J Fox to stop moving, just like the nazis on the right didn’t want Christopher Reeve to walk again!” And they like to pretend that ESC research and funding have been – or are about to be – criminalized. The truth is and always has been that scientists are free to conduct experiments using ESC, and private investors are free to fund it. All President Bush has ever said was, “the government is not going to fund it, the government is not going to help you create more ESC lines.” Booo…Hisss….I feel badly for Michael J Fox, and for the father of my former neighbor who worked his garden while his Parkinson’s afflicted body flailed and he paced the plantings with a scissor-like walk. I felt badly for Pope John Paul II when he could no longer control his body, and I feel badly for the Rev. Billy Graham, too. I hope with all my heart that a treatment or cure can be found to alleviate such suffering. But let’s stop pretending that to be against government funding of ESCR is to be some mustachio-curling eeeevil entity who revels in human suffering, and let’s also stop pretending that Embryonic Stem Cell Research is a hotbed of medical innovation and staggering success, when precisely the opposite is true.Michael J. Fox’s ad is affecting, I guess. And as it is showing during the World Series in St. Louis, I suppose it’s going to win the day for his candidate, but in the end, it’s not going to do much for him, personally…and it is going to allow millions of people to feel noble and compassionate when they go to the polls and pull a wholly emotional lever while being completely underinformed about the realities of the matter.UPDATE: Not only am I not a scientist, but I’ve never claimed to be one. Those of you who have suffered through my attempts to make sense of technology are quite aware that I am a woman who knows her limitations! I can read, though, and process information, and I can see by what is presented that ESCR has not lived up to the hype. AJ Strata is much smarter than I am, though, and he goes into absorbing and fascinating detail on the issue of this research, and I urge you to read him. Also, he rightly identifies the “disingenuous” ones here. Michael J. Fox is not the bad guy, and I am sorry to see some rightwing sites being nasty about him. He’s just a guy who wants his circumstance to change; you can’t gainsay his desire. But the people telling him he can have his life back if only there was more federal funding for ESCR, and who think misrepresenting the whole issue is the way to go about it…they’re a whole ‘nother subject. They’re right up there with John Edwards saying that if he and John Kerry were elected, Christopher Reeve would walk away from his wheelchair. Over at National Review Online, Kathryn Lopez notes that the whole ESCR matter is more complicated than the left wants to admit and she is disgusted that McCaskill approved this ad: Amendment 2 is not a matter of voting for or against sick people. Claire McCaskill should be ashamed for approving a message that suggests such a thing. But apparently she’s comfortable running as just another snake-oil salesman. Dean Barnett on the other hand calls the ad disingenuous and points out that Fox never once uses the word “EMBRYONIC,” thus making it sound like those evil Republicans are against ALL Stem Cell Research. But of course. Like me, Barnett has a personal stake in the success of ASCR, but is opposed to ESCR.Meanwhile, John Stephenson has video of McCaskille supporters at work.Related articles on Adult Stem Cell Research:
ASC 72, ESC 0
A sobering setback in stem-cell research
MIT Prof: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Nowhere Close to Helping Patients
The Case for Adult Stem Cells
Real-World Successes of Adult Stem Cell Treatment
Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Stem Cell TransplantAlso writing: Blue Crab Boulevard
Pirate’s Cove
Wizbang
Through the Magnifying GlassOther thoughts: The Dangerous Prayer of Blessing
Captain’s Quarters tracked back with Michael J. Fox on CBS and the goo of victimhood</< a>
Fresh Bilge pinged back with Actual News
Don’t even think about kissing MY baby! « Obi’s Sister pinged back with Don’t even think about kissing MY baby! « Obi’s Sister
Marty McFly, Part Duh. « Nothing pinged back with Marty McFly, Part Duh. « Nothing
Leaning Straight Up tracked back with Was Michael J Fox deliberately enhancing his symptoms for this ad?</< a>
Bogus Gold tracked back with On Embryos and Principles (and Inevitably Politics)</< a>
Stop The ACLU tracked back with Michael J. Fox Ad for McCaskill Airs During World Series</< a>
Sister Toldjah pinged back with Missouri’s Jim Talent: Your typical heartless and cruel conservative
So, now the KosKids endorse the exploitation of Marty McFly « Nothing pinged back with So, now the KosKids endorse the exploitation of Marty McFly « Nothing
Blue Crab Boulevard tracked back with Stem Cells = Tumor?</< a>
Business of Life tracked back with Embryonic vs Adult Stem Cells for Parkinson’s</< a>
The Strata-Sphere pinged back with Embryonic Stem Cell Snake Oil
Spin, Rinse, Repeat « Obi’s Sister pinged back with Spin, Rinse, Repeat « Obi’s Sister

The Associated (w/terrorists) Press strikes again — The Pentagon said on Monday that an Iraqi photographer working for The Associated Press and held by the U.S. military since April was considered a security threat with “strong ties to known insurgents.”

The Associated (w/terrorists) Press strikes again

By Michelle Malkin   ·   October 28, 2006 11:13 AM

 

The Associated (with terrorists) Press reported yesterday on a lobbying campaign to free its Iraqi-based photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been in U.S. military detention since April (a fact first reported not by the A(w/t)P, but here on this blog).

Who is spearheading the Free Bilal lobbying campaign? Yup, the A(w/t)P:

The U.S. military’s indefinite detention of an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, without charges, is an outrage and should be seen as such by the journalistic community, AP editors said Friday.”We are angry, and we hope you are, too,”AP International Editor John Daniszewski told a gathering of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

In interviews, the leaders of APME and the American Society of Newspaper Editors shared frustration with the case of Bilal Hussein, who has been held by the military since April. Later they and the president of the Associated Press Photo Managers signed a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urging him to release the photographer.

The editors said Hussein’s arrest”has denied our readers a part of the story”and given the military justice system”a black eye.”

The Pentagon’s refusal to give Hussein”his day in court, or any semblance of due process, has violated a cherished American value,”they wrote.

The AP similarly has called for the military to release the photographer or charge him with a crime.

Go read the entire A(w/t)P article. Guess what’s missing? Not a word about how the news organization sat on the news for five months. Not a word about the circumstances of Hussein’s capture and detention. A reminder:

The military said Hussein was captured with two insurgents, including Hamid Hamad Motib, an alleged leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. “He has close relationships with persons known to be responsible for kidnappings, smuggling, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other attacks on coalition forces,” according to a May 7 e-mail from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jack Gardner, who oversees all coalition detainees in Iraq.”The information available establishes that he has relationships with insurgents and is afforded access to insurgent activities outside the normal scope afforded to journalists conducting legitimate activities,” Gardner wrote to AP International Editor John Daniszewski.

Not a word about the Pentagon’s side of the story:

The Pentagon said on Monday that an Iraqi photographer working for The Associated Press and held by the U.S. military since April was considered a security threat with “strong ties to known insurgents.”Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said there was sufficient evidence to justify the continued detention of Bilal Hussein, 35, who AP said was taken into U.S. military custody on April 12 in the Iraqi city of Ramadi and held since without charge.

He declined to elaborate on what that evidence was.

“All indications that I have received are that Hussein’s detainment indicates that he has strong ties to known insurgents, and that he was doing things, involved in activities that were well outside the scope of what you would expect a journalist to be doing in that country,” he said.

In three separate “independent objective reviews,” Whitman told reporters, “it was determined that Hussein was a security threat and recommended his continued detention.”

Instead, the latest A(w/t)P report quotes blind Bilal Hussein sympathizers in the press:

Suki Dardarian, deputy managing editor of The Seattle Times and outgoing president of the APME, said what’s happened with Hussein could have a chilling effect on the work of other journalists. Hussein’s detention has virtually halted the production of photographs from the dangerous region in which Hussein worked, Daniszewski said.

Well, if it means an end to jihadi propaganda photos like these from Hussein, then good:

One editor compared the Pentagon to Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime:

David Zeeck, president of ASNE and executive editor of The News Tribune, of Tacoma, Wash., said Hussein’s detention was reminiscent of how Saddam Hussein dealt with reporters.”He would hold them incommunicado,”Zeeck said.

This, dear readers, underscores how utterly biased, ignorant, and muddle-headed the vast majority of mainstream journalists are in their coverage of the war on terror. These people see no difference between American troops detaining a suspect captured on the battlefield in the company of an alleged top al Qaeda leader in wartime and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein repressing civilian journalists in peacetime.

Isn’t it possible that Bilal Hussein is coughing up valuable information about insurgent associates involved in kidnappings, smuggling, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other attacks on coalition forces? Isn’t it possible that Hussein is providing ongoing intelligence that may be saving both American and Iraqi lives? Isn’t it possible that the troops on the ground who captured Hussein in an apartment with bomb-making materials have better judgement about his security risk than A(w/t)P execs a world away?

The A(w/t)P and its minions refuse to entertain the possibilities. They’re too busy maligning our troops and our military leaders as Saddam-esque tyrants and moaning about how the lack of new terrorist propaganda photos is having a “chilling effect” on journalism.

I doubt the family of Salvatore Santoro shares the A(w/t)P’s alarm and despair.

***

Reader Michael V. points out a new revelation in the A(w/t)P story that I meant to note:

I noticed this in the AP article about Bilal Hussein:

“The military has said Hussein was in the company of two alleged insurgents. Daniszewski said that when the news cooperative pressed for further details, the best it could learn was that Hussein was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of two journalists by insurgents in Ramadi. However, Daniszewski said the two journalists were asked by AP about the incident and that they recalled Hussein as a”hero”who helped evacuate them from harm’s way.”

The obvious question here is WHO are these two journalists?

***

61% surveyed believe Islamic extremists are targeting nation — Manfred Murck, a top official of the agency in Hamburg, recently said that 30 of Hamburg’s 100 mosques are being monitored for “suspicious activity,” including the Al-Khuds mosque where Mohammed Atta and his Hamburg cell met daily before the Sept. 11 attacks. These mosques serve as meeting places for “clandestine agencies for Islamic extremist networks,” Murck said.

Germans feel the clutch of terrorist threat
61% surveyed believe Islamic extremists are targeting nation

– Eric Geiger, Chronicle Foreign Service
Thursday, October 26, 2006 (10-26) 04:00 PST Munich, Germany — Early this month, Ibrahim R, an Iraqi who has lived in Germany since 1996, became the first person to be arrested for allegedly disseminating propaganda over the Internet for a foreign terrorist group.

The 36-year-old immigrant posted videos and tape recordings of Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri threatening the West in an online chat room. German officials have pledged to monitor more Islamic Web sites and make more arrests.

In years past, the harsh response by officials in Lower Saxony state might have spurred criticism of state violation of privacy laws. But many Germans no longer see the war on terror as a British-American problem over Iraq.

“The case of that Iraqi suspect just proves we are not living in a safe island anymore,” said Heinz Bruckmoser, a retired mechanical engineer from Duesseldorf. “It ties in with that failed train attack.”

In July, Islamic extremists tried but failed to blow up two trains in northern Germany. If successful, they could have killed hundreds of people. The plot not only triggered a heated debate on national security but also sparked an upsurge of fear in a nation with some 3.5 million Muslims residents.

“We are threatened by terrorism, and that threat has never been so close,” Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after the attempted train attacks. “This time we were lucky.”

According to a survey this month by the Demoskopie Institute, the nation’s leading pollster, 61 percent now believe Germany is a target for Islamic militants.

Such fears lay behind the Berlin Opera House’s cancellation of Mozart’s opera, “Idomeneo” after an anonymous threat over a scene that included the severed head of the prophet Muhammad. In less publicized, seemingly absurd reactions, a local school in the central German town of Dillenberg ordered a gymnasium to be darkened when Muslim girls work out there, while law enforcement officials in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ordered a woman to change the name of her horse from “Muhammad” to “Momi.”

False bomb alerts have become an almost daily routine at many train stations. Sprawling railroad terminals in major cities, including Hamburg, Bonn, Koblenz and Mannheim, have been temporarily sealed off.

“We keep getting calls from worried citizens about what they presume to be terrorist activities,” said a Hamburg police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in accordance with department policy.

Last month, a two-year dialogue program initiated by the interior minister to integrate German Muslims into mainstream society began between prominent Muslims and government officials

But anti-Muslim sentiment appears to be growing. “We are already beginning to knuckle under to Islam,” said a recent headline in Bildzeitung, Germany’s largest-circulation newspaper, protesting the number of mosques being built in the downtowns of German cities.

Two Lebanese students studying at German universities were identified in August as the main suspects in the failed train attacks. Yousef Mohammed El Hajdid, 21, was arrested in the northern town of Kiel, while 19-year-old Jihad Mamad was detained in Lebanon. Both were identified by video cameras installed at all train stations.

No formal charges have been filed, but investigators say both harbored deep hatred toward Israel, and the West.

And while authorities stress that the overwhelming majority of the Muslim population opposes violence, the domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz, or Guardians of the Constitution, has classified 32,000 Muslims as “Islamic radicals,” including 4,000 described as “violence prone.”

Manfred Murck, a top official of the agency in Hamburg, recently said that 30 of Hamburg’s 100 mosques are being monitored for “suspicious activity,” including the Al-Khuds mosque where Mohammed Atta and his Hamburg cell met daily before the Sept. 11 attacks. These mosques serve as meeting places for “clandestine agencies for Islamic extremist networks,” Murck said.

Elmer Thevessen, a senior editor at ZDF national television network who has worked on numerous documentaries on terrorism, says the most likely converts to radical Islam in Germany are, like elsewhere in Europe, young, second-generation Muslims.

“They often feel isolated, don’t know where they really belong, and often feel contempt for their immigrant parents, accusing them of being interested only in earning a decent living and adapting to German life,” Thevessen said.

Thevessen says they are influenced by radical ideas spread on the Internet and Arabic language satellite TV networks such as Al-Manar, operated in Lebanon by Hezbollah.

“Thanks to Al-Manar, we know all about the horrible crimes committed by Israeli soldiers in Lebanon — the murders of small babies and old sick people — and the massacres by American soldiers of pregnant woman in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said a young man who gave his name only as Mustafa as he played soccer in a parking lot in Freilassing, a commercial center in southern Bavaria.

Norbert Schneider, head of the Broadcasting Regulation Authority in North Rhine-Westphalia state, said he finds Al-Manar’s programs “sordid” and “very alarming.” While Al-Manar is banned in the United States and from a French-based satellite distribution network, there is no legal basis to stop its programs being broadcast in Germany. “They operate in a lawless sphere, and there is nothing we can do about it,” said Schneider.