Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

From Slavery to Freedom

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, April 17th, 2014

This is article 234 of 235 in the topic Religion

As another Passover begins, the echoes of “Once we were slaves and now we are free” and “Next year in Jerusalem” resound briefly and then fade into the background noise of everyday life. We can board a plane tomorrow and fly off to Jerusalem. Some of us are already there now. But will that make us free?

Since Egypt we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh and the last sight of his pyramids and armies?

Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.

What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.

The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.

The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.

The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king.

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Egyptian police chief killed during multiple bombings in Cairo

by Jim Kouri on Friday, April 4th, 2014

This is article 737 of 745 in the topic Terrorism

A police chief was killed on Wednesday when several IEDs (improvised explosive devices) exploded near Cairo University, Egyptian news media reported.

At least five other people were wounded in the bombings and State TV named the officer as Brigadier-General Tariq al-Mirjawi, the head of the police investigation bureau.

Egypt has witnessed several attacks against government targets by militant groups following the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood last July. Last year, the government banned the Brotherhood and last week about 525 members and supporters were sentenced to death, according to an Examiner news story.

The government says Islamists have killed almost 500 people since last summer, most of them police officers, soldiers, and intelligence officers.

There have been fears of an increase in violence in the run-up to the presidential election in May, according to observers.

Wednesday’s bomb blasts occurred near a riot police unit which was posted outside of Cairo University.

Some officials suspect the bombers were university students who are either members or supporters of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.

Officials said police had been the targets of the blasts, which were reported to have been caused by improvised explosive devices.

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Death! More than 525 Egyptians face execution

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

This is article 1152 of 1170 in the topic International

An Egyptian trial judge on Monday informed 529 members and supporters of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood that they will be put to death after being convicted for a number of offenses such as cop-killing, assaults on civilians, and destruction of property, according to a former Israeli police officer assigned to a counterterrorism unit, Paul Wolfensky.

The defendants were selected for their continued support of the first elected president of Egypt following the downfall of the Mubarek regime, President Mohammed Morsi. Egypt executes civilians by hanging them, while military personnel are executed by firing squad.

This group facing the death penalty is the first of more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to be tried by the Egyptian government that recently banned membership in Islamist groups such as the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations, according to reports in Egypt.

At first, the Brotherhood’s Morsi government enjoyed popularity in the U.S. White House especially with President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton. In fact, news outlets reported that Obama and Clinton called the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi “moderates” who were not involved in terrorism and would not install a caliphate — radical religious government — when they would take power.

But in the wake of the military’s removal of Morsi as leader of Egypt, and the new Egyptian leaders using their civilian police forces to ill-treat suspected Islamists with harshness — including killing hundreds of alleged Brotherhood members and associates — the Obama White House and his State Department are intentionally avoiding discussions about Egypt.

According to the Egyptian news media, death sentence ruling will be reviewed by Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the nations top religious figure for his final verdicts on the 529 death sentences.

The Muslim Brotherhood is now calling the Egyptian government a dictatorship as bad, if not worse, than the decades-long Mubarek reign, according to reports.

While about 150 defendants were in court for the judge’s sentencing, the majority of suspects were tried in absentia, leading attorneys to claim the trials are a sham.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian justice system is preparing to try another group of suspected Muslim Brotherhood members and Morsi supporters on Tuesday. The new trial is expected to name more than 600 defendants, many of whom are not yet in police custody.

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Obama’s Code Pink pal arrested in Egypt

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

This is article 1139 of 1170 in the topic International

A former campaign worker for President Barack Obama, who is heralded by the U.S. media as one of the founders — along with Jodie Evans — of the leftist organization Code Pink, complained about her arrest by Egyptian police in Cairo and the lack of help she received by the U.S. embassy, according to Middle Eastern news organizations on Sunday.

Egyptian police officials claimed they arrested anti-war, anti-Israel activist Medea Benjamin for attempting to travel across the border and enter Palestinian territory in Gaza.

Benjamin and other members of Code Pink, including her co-founder Jodie Evans, along with other radical leftists have been supporting the Palestinian movement and even took part in what became known as the Gaza Flotilla, an anti-Israeli operation.

“And I am concerned that a country that receives 1.5 billion dollars from the United States does not let US Embassy officials have access to their citizens, and treat their citizens so brutally,” Benjamin told a Press TV reporter on Sunday.

Benjamin and 15 American women were traveling to Gaza to spend International Women’s Day with their “sisters” in the Palestinian territory in Gaza. The alleged purpose of their trip was to show their support for women who are oppressed by the “Israeli occupation.”

An Examiner news story reported that “in May 2010, several ships, led by the Turkish vessel the Mavi Marmara, calling themselves the Free Gaza Flotilla, attempted to breach an Israeli blockade. The resulting violence caused the deaths of nine militants and injury to numerous Israeli commandos.”

“The American contingent of the Free Gaza Movement is led by President Barack Obama’s friends and supporters Bill Ayers, a former terrorist with the left-wing Weather Underground, and Jodie Evans, who also heads Code Pink and worked on the election campaign of California Gov. Jerry Brown,” according to the Examiner report.

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Islamist gunmen assassinate top security official in Egypt

by Jim Kouri on Monday, February 24th, 2014

This is article 719 of 745 in the topic Terrorism

Suspected radical Muslim gunmen assassinated a top officer from Egypt’s national security agency on Saturday in the city of Zagazig, according to former counterterrorism analyst for Knoll’s Investigation, Inc., Stanley Fedorell.

The ambush was the most recent of the terrorist attacks perpetrated against Egyptian police officers, intelligence officials and military troops, Fedorell told the Examiner on Saturday.

Attacks on Egypt’s police and security forces have significantly increased in the wake of the army’s removal of the Muslim Brotherhood member President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

“When the Mubarek government was thrown out after weeks of civil unrest — and the Muslim Brotherhood began flexing its muscles — President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the American people that the Brotherhood leadership, including Morsi, and rank-and-file members were ‘moderates,’” said former police detective and security director Sid Franes.

After a short reign, military authorities replaced the legally elected Morsi with an interim government that reacted violently to the ensuing street protests by Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters who demanded Morsi’s return to power, according to Middle East media reports.

In this latest terrorist attack, the gunmen ambushed Lt. Col. Mohamed Eid in front of his Zagazig City home as he left his personal car. He suffered several gunshot wounds from which he later died in a hospital’s emergency room.

Col. Eid was assigned to investigating several leaders and members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood state and helped to write an analysis of the radical Muslims, according to Egypt’s Press TV.

In November, in a similar attack, terrorists assassinated Lt. Col. Mohamed Mabruk, who also had been in command of the Brotherhood investigation. Mabruk also was investigating the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Leader Mohammed Badie, who was set to go on trial with Morsi.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been officially banned in Egypt and the military and police were ordered to arrest those who attempt to incite political demonstrations especially in Cairo and Alexandria, according to an Examiner news story.

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Morsi trial: Egypt’s former president allegedly leaked secrets to Iranians

by Jim Kouri on Monday, February 24th, 2014

This is article 1123 of 1170 in the topic International

During Sunday’s session of the criminal trial of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who remains ranking member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the prosecution alleged he frequently provided Iran’s Revolutionary Guards intelligence division with military and government secrets, according to the Middle Eastern news media.

Prosecutors accused Morsi of joining dozens of other Islamists in a conspiracy to weaken Egypt and create unrest within the fledgling government, according to an Examiner news story.

Morsi, who had been hailed as a “moderate” by President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is expected to be tried at least three times on separate criminal charges, according to Lawrence Feldman, a former police intelligence officer with expertise in Muslim radicalism.

Meanwhile, Morsi’s vocal supporters are complaining to the news media that the ousted president and top Muslim Brotherhood members are being subjected to malicious prosecution because of their religious and political beliefs, said Feldman.

Morsi’s trial for espionage began on February 16 in Cairo and but it wasn’t until February 23 that the prosecuting attorneys announced the allegations against the legally-elected Morsi and the others accused to espionage.

Morsi also allegedly collaborated with the radical terrorist groups, Palestinians’ Hamas and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, which is also armed and funded by the Iranians, as well as elements of al-Qaeda, according to the Examiner.

During Morsi court appearance on Saturday, he called on his fellow Islamists to continue their protests and civil disobedience.

The Egyptian government is seeking Morsi’s execution if he is found guilty of the charges.

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Newly formed terrorist group issues warning to Egypt

by Jim Kouri on Monday, February 10th, 2014

This is article 713 of 745 in the topic Terrorism

As if the Egyptian government didn’t have enough radical Muslim groups with which to contend, Egyptian soldiers on Saturday and Sunday found themselves embroiled in a battle with a newly formed group of Islamists who call themselves Ajnad Misr, according to former police intelligence analyst Leonard C. Pentantas.

The Egyptian special forces soldiers claimed on Saturday they killed at least 16 Islamists in the Sinai region, and the new group’s members who fought the Egyptian soldiers admitted that they had been the militants who carried out a bomb attack on police officers in Cairo.

A statement issued by the new militant group Ajnad Misr (translated as Soldiers of Egypt ) claimed responsibility for the two bombing attacks in Cairo that targeted Egyptian police officers on Friday. Ajnad Misr’s spokesperson vowed to increase its attacks against the police, security and military forces.

Egyptian military commanders claimed their fighter jets struck the Islamists adjacent to Sinai’s border with the Palestinian-held Gaza Strip on Friday evening.

One statement released by the Islamist described the terrorists as being members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, which continues to claim it is a moderate Muslim group and denies accusations that it’s leaders and members have turned to overt terrorist attacks.

Egyptian security forces have been trying to take control of the section of Sinai that currently in the hands of Islamists who have turned vitriolic message away from Israel and towards Egypt’s fledgling government place in power When President Morsi, a top Brotherhood member, was deposed by the Egyptian military in July 2013 following street demonstrations — including violence — against his administration.

Just last month, the Egyptian interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, but the Brotherhood’s leadership says it remains committed to peaceful activism.

Army officials reported that on Saturday an improvised explosive device (IED) was planted on a roadside to target military personnel but it was discovered and defused in Sinai.

“Ajnad Misr emerged late last month, claiming responsibility for six attacks at the end of January,” according to SITE. “[The security forces] are not safe from retaliation which is pursuing them,” its statement said.

“Our attacks on them will continue all the while their crimes continue,” the statement said.

The statement was posted on a Facebook page set up in its name and quoted by a website used by militant groups and by SITE Intelligence group, which monitors such sites.

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Al-Qaeda affiliate claims it assassinated Egyptian police official

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, January 30th, 2014

This is article 704 of 745 in the topic Terrorism

A terrorist group based in Sinai on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the cold-blooded assassination of an Egyptian Interior Ministry official near his home, according to former member of a counterterrorism task force Jerry McNeil.

At least two gunmen armed with automatic weapons on motorbikes shot down Mohamed Saeed, the head of the Interior Ministry’s technical office in his car outside of his house Tuesday morning in the Giza governorate.

Police Maj. Gen. Saeed, a top Egyptian lawman, was literally showered with bullets by the unidentified terrorists.

In an Internet statement, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed its jihadists killed the apostate official and promised more attacks against police, military and government officials.

The Islamist organization in the past took responsibility for perpetrating several terrorist attacks, including improvised explosive device (IED) bombings, since the removal of former Muslim Brotherhood member President Mohamed Morsi by Egypt‘s military in July 2013.

Tuesday morning’s assassination just hours before Morsi appeared in a courthouse on charges of jail break and killing police personnel during the 2011 uprising that toppled his predecessor, Egypt’s 30-year dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

On Tuesday afternoon, Morsi was flown by a helicopter to the Egyptian National Police Academy in Cairo where the criminal trial is taking place.

Outside of the police academy during the trial, security measures have been increased with more than 60 armored vehicles and 8,000 security personnel deployed.

Later on Tuesday, a police officer was shot dead by unknown gunmen. The military’s spokesman, Mohamed Ahmed Ali, accused “members of the [banned] Muslim Brotherhood” of backing the two shooting incidents.

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The Warped Priorities of the American Press

by Cliff Kincaid on Thursday, January 16th, 2014

This is article 524 of 540 in the topic Media

In a shocking development, the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., has put its weight and prestige behind the bogus “news organization” Al Jazeera and its reporters, now jailed in Egypt, for associating with the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

A statement issued by the NPC calls for the “immediate release” of “imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists” in Egypt, but fails to take into account the pro-terrorist nature of this so-called “independent” news organization and its documented links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

NPC President Angela Greiling Keane, whose name appears on the statement, is a reporter for Bloomberg News who mostly covers transportation issues and has no record of expertise in foreign affairs. Her bio says, “She’s written about topics ranging from Chevrolet Volt fires to Toyota’s lobbyist revolving door to the Postal Service buying too many Simpsons cartoon stamps.”

In numerous articles going back several years, Accuracy in Media has documented the ties between Al Jazeera and the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations. Indeed, anti-Al Jazeera posters had appeared in Egypt saying, “A bullet kills a man, a lying camera kills a nation.” Fear of the channel’s influence among jihadists and its ties to terrorists led the new government to close the channel—after 22 staffers had quit in disgust over its pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias—and then to arrest several remaining staffers.

Al Jazeera is best known to Americans as the voice of al Qaeda before and after 9/11. However, it now has an affiliate, Al Jazeera America, in as many as 50 million U.S. homes, and demanding even more access to the U.S. media market.

Rather than defend the Muslim Brotherhood and its alleged agents in the media, a case that is under active investigation and possible prosecution by the Egyptian government, the U.S. media should instead rally around David Satter, a veteran reporter with an impeccable reputation whose visa to enter Russia has just been rejected by the Vladimir Putin regime. Satter’s background includes serving as a Moscow news correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.

The far more important Satter case came to light on Monday night, as Russia gears up for the Sochi 2014 Olympic games next month.

Satter has not been charged with any crime by the Russian regime. However, he has shown his willingness to investigate the Putin regime and its use of intelligence agents to blame terrorism on political enemies and scapegoats, and to harass and kill political opponents. This is apparently what makes Satter so dangerous in the eyes of the Kremlin.

Satter’s many articles have included “Russia’s Anti-American Foreign Policy” and “Justice for Alexander Litvinenko,” the latter a reference to a former Soviet KGB officer murdered by the Kremlin after he blew the whistle on the involvement of the Russian intelligence service in alleged Islamic terrorism in Russia. Anna Politkovskaya is one of many Russian journalists murdered for daring to investigate the Putin regime.

Satter, who now serves as an adviser to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was told by a Russian Embassy official that his presence in Russia was considered “undesirable” and that his visa request had been rejected.

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Secretary Hagel calls for Egyptian government transparency for voters

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

This is article 1102 of 1170 in the topic International

In what some critics are calling prima facie evidence of Obama administration hypocrisy, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Sunday issued a statement calling for a “transparent constitutional referendum” in Egypt in order to permit all of that nation’s voters may cast their ballots freely and without threat during Tuesday and Wednesday’s elections.

During his talk over the phone with his Egyptian counterpart General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Hagel is said to have discussed the “importance of the constitutional referendum for Egypt’s overall political transition,” according to John Kirby of the Pentagon press office.

Hagel stressed the need for a transparent referendum in which all Egyptian citizens are afforded the opportunity to vote. He also told Gen. al-Sisi to make certain the international and national observers are given complete access to ensure the veracity of the elections, according to Kirby.

“Hagel’s discussion with Gen. al-Sisi is encouraging, but one must wonder if perhaps he should make a similar request for transparency from his own Commander in Chief,” said former Marine officer and police detective Mike Snopes.

Since the overthrow of the Mubarek regime, Egypt has witnessed civil unrest and violence. After its first presidential election gave Egypt a leader from the radical Muslim Brotherhood, their elected president, Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July.

Finally, in December 2013, the transitional government banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization after two deadly terrorist attacks.

The first incident involved a huge bomb that rocked the Security Directorate building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, killing 16 people and wounding more than 130, while a smaller explosion near a public bus in eastern Cairo’s Nasr City injured five people, according to Examiner news stories.

Meanwhile on the same day as the discussion between Hagel and his counterpart, Secretary Hagel’s predecessor, Robert Gates, defended his publishing of a book — “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War.” He told CBS Morning News that his memoir was an honest account of his years as the Pentagon chief.

In the controversial book, Gates, who served as Pentagon chief under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, raises questions about Obama’s war leadership and harshly criticizes Vice President Joe Biden.

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