In this issue:

Londonistan Is Talk of the Town in Arab World

Tensions High After Israeli Settlers' 'Pogrom' vs. Palestinians

Olmert Denounces Hebron 'Pogrom'

IAEA Sets Record Straight on Israeli Bombing of Syria

From Volume 7, Issue 50 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 9, 2008
Southwest Asia News Digest

Londonistan Is Talk of the Town in Arab World

Dec. 4 (EIRNS)—The British harboring, deploying, and controlling of so-called Islamic terrorists is once again a hot topic in many Arab countries. It is not because of the Mumbai terror attacks, but another case of flagrant British dirty tricks. One of the al-Qaeda spiritual leaders who has played a crucial role in recruiting in Britain and the rest of Europe since 1993, Omar Mahmoud Abu Omar, aka Abu Qatada, was rearrested in London for violating his bail conditions. The British Interior Ministry stated that Abu Qatada was preparing to flee to Lebanon to join Omar Bakri, leader of the London-based terrorist group Hiz-bu-Tahrir, who left Britain for Lebanon in 2006. (Bakri is another British asset.) In Lebanon, Bakri and Abu Qatada would be performing new missions in the service of Her Majesty's BAE-Prince Bandar destabilization operations.

The question that is being raised is not why he was rearrested, but why he was set free in Britain in the first place, when all evidence pointed to his key role in recruiting terrorists, including Zakaria Mousawi (the only terrorist indicted in the United States for the 9/11 attacks), and Richard "Shoebomber" Reid.

The Jordanian daily Al-Rai provides the answer to the question. Abu Qatada is Jordanian by origin and has two life sentences awaiting him in Jordan for terrorist acts there. In spite of major efforts by the Jordanian government in the past years, the British government has refused to extradite him.

Saleh al-Qallab writes in Al-Rai today: From the first day of his arrival in Britain escaping Jordanian justice, Abu Qatada joined terrorist activities. Despite that, the British turned a blind eye to what he was doing. They needed his services, as U.S. intelligence needed the services of Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman. When he was still performing dirty security operations in the service of British interests, Abu Qatada was a man of opinion, who was to be protected, and all Jordanian demands for extraditing him were met with absolute refusal. Then, when he was no longer able to perform these dirty services, the British suddenly discovered that he was posing a grave danger to their security.

The Arabic section of the LaRouche movement has prepared a special report on the British role in the Mumbai terror attacks, putting together EIR press releases. It is posted in Arabic at, and has been sent to all relevant Arabic media and government institutions in Arab countries.

Tensions High After Israeli Settlers' 'Pogrom' vs. Palestinians

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—The Dec. 4 rioting in the West Bank by fascist settlers, after they were forcibly removed by Israeli police, has died down for the moment. Over 200 settler youths were removed from a house they had occupied in the old city of Hebron. The settlers reacted by peppering police with acid and potatoes filled with nails.

On Nov. 28, fascist settlers had launched what Haaretz journalist Avi Issacharoff, who was an eyewitness, wrote was a "pogrom," when they attacked the home of a Palestinian family of 20, including 17 women and children. "This is no play on words or double meaning. It is a pogrom in the worst sense of the word." He described a horrific scene, where hundreds of settlers, egged on by rabbis and older settlers, attacked the house and burned out the entire family. Issacharoff and other Israeli journalists intervened in a desperate attempt to assist the family.

A senior Israeli Defense Forces officer, expressing outrage at the parents of the youths, told Haaretz, "I have serious criticism for parents in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] who send their children to places where lives are in danger. I hope the leaders of the settlements act now to restrain the violence. Surely they understand the tremendous damage the rioters are causing the settlement enterprise with their actions in recent days." Comparing their actions to neo-Nazis who destroy graves in Jewish cemeteries, he said, "Difficult things were done here. When a grave is destroyed at a Jewish cemetery in Russia, the entire state of Israel is in shock. In Hebron, Muslim graves have been defaced for several days now."

In an editorial, Haaretz, while praising the government's action against the settler "thugs," demanded that it do more. Attacking both the settlers and their backers in the Knesset, it said, "The political front of Members of the Knesset, rabbis, and right-wing activists who stood beside the lawbreakers, made it clear how far lawmakers and spiritual leaders were willing to go in riding roughshod over the laws binding every Israeli citizen both in Israel and the territories." Haaretz called upon every Israeli citizen to say loudly: "I am sick and tired of these self-declared messiahs."

Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called upon the international community to step in and halt the "unprecedented and dangerous aggression." It is feared that Palestinians will take the situation into their own hands and defend themselves with firearms.

Olmert Denounces Hebron 'Pogrom'

Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—"We are the children of a people whose historic ethos is built on the memory of pogroms. The sight of Jews firing at innocent Palestinians [in Hebron] has no other name than pogrom. Even when Jews do this, it is a pogrom. As a Jew, I am ashamed that Jews could do such a thing." These are the powerful words of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking on Nov. 30 at the weekly Cabinet meeting, after a week of violence by radical settlers in Hebron against innocent Palestinians. Never has an Israeli Prime Minister talked like this about the settlers, and this is the reason, according to many well-informed people in the Middle East, including Roman Catholic Patriarch Michel Sabah, talking to EIR last month, that Olmert was driven out of office, on dubious accusations of corruption. Olmert has become seriously committed to negotiating a Palestinian state, said the Patriarch.

Hebron has been a hotbed and recruiting/training center for settler terrorists for over a decade, and has been repeatedly exposed by EIR (e.g., the 1986 Special Report, "Moscow's Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia"). Only 500 Jewish settlers live there, in a city with 160,000 Palestinians. The Israel government must spend nearly a million dollars a year to provide them with security. The Jewish radicals are attacking the Palestinians out of anger at the Israeli government, which has deployed police and the military to remove the settlers from "contested" houses that the courts say belong to Palestinians. Last week, the settlers rioted, set fire to Palestinian homes, and then opened fire on civilians, wounding two Palestinians.

IAEA Sets Record Straight on Israeli Bombing of Syria

Dec. 3 (EIRNS)—In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the head of the Press Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made it clear that Syria has not been found to violate any nuclear rules. The letter hits Israel for its pre-emptive strike against Syria in September 2007, and accuses Israel of violations of international nuclear agreements.

In the letter, which responded to a Nov. 28 Wall Street Journal editorial, IAEA official Melissa Fleming says, "Unlike in the cases of Iraq, Israel, Iran and North Korea, where the agency found these countries to be in violation of its rules and restricted their IAEA technical cooperation projects, the agency has not made any such judgment of Syria. In accordance with principles of fairness and equity, a state has full rights of membership until decided otherwise, based on established facts....

"The way the international nonproliferation system is meant to work is as follows: If states, many of which have surveillance capabilities, have any suspicions of clandestine nuclear activity, they should report them to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Armed with this information, the IAEA investigates its veracity. In the case of Syria, instead of providing the IAEA with images of a building alleged to be a reactor, Israel unilaterally bombed the installation. Meanwhile, information was withheld from the IAEA for more than six months [by Israel], by which time Syria had cleaned away the rubble and built a new facility. This made the agency's verification work difficult and complex."

Fleming also says that "IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei is calling on Syria to provide maximum transparency. He is also calling on other states, including Israel, that have inexplicably withheld critical information on the site, particularly the images from the immediate aftermath, to provide that information to the IAEA.

"The 35 member countries of the IAEA Board of Governors have agreed to approve a nuclear power feasibility project requested by Syria. Similar IAEA-mandated studies on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes are being conducted in 20 other countries. The Syria project is at an early stage, and the board may revisit it during its different phases."

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