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Friday, August 22, 2008

Hezbollah and Salafi Groups Sign Agreement in Lebanon

Shiia Islam and Sunni -Salaf Islam are historically in opposition, sometimes war against each other, though they have been agreement in their anti-American and Israel positions.

There is an unconfirmed memorandum of understanding (See below) between Shiia and Salafis about war against America. If this alleged Lebanon based agreement is true, it has significant implications for Jihad in Africa.

Hezbollah has significant connections in African commerce, especially in the coastal regions. To date most Hezbollah contribution to terror appears to be in the form of "tax" collection that gets funneled back to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which directs the terror acts using the funds.

There are significant terror groups all over North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and if Hezbollah starts directing some of their funds into Salafi Terror groups which range from AQIM in the Maghreb to the Shabaab in Somalia, The Salafi terror groups could divert their time and efforts from petty local criminal, kidnapping, and trafficking activities to raise funds to significant acts of war against Western Targets in Africa.


Hezbollah Signs Pact with Salafis
By Walid PharesAmidst a growing world crisis, new developments in Lebanon may signal what lies ahead in the sphere of global jihadist forces in the near future. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Hezbollah, the main pro-Iranian organization in the region, and a number of Salafist groups outlining efforts to "confront America."

The Rest @ Muslims Against Sharia

On Aug. 19, leaders from Hezbollah and Salafist organizations called a press conference at Al Safir Hotel in Beirut's Raouche district and signed a memo of understanding between the two forces.

Radwan Aqeel wrote in the Beirut daily An-Nahar (Aug. 18): "Hezbollah is practicing a calm policy of overture toward the Sunni political and religious forces, especially since last May (against the Sunni Future Movement) to save the image the party has developed in the past as an 'Islamic resistance' in the Arab and Muslim world including in the Arab Gulf, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories."

It is believed that the move by Hezbollah to sign an agreement of understanding with Salafist organizations aims ultimately at penetrating the Arab Sunni world via Lebanon's Muslim community and maintaining an influence over the region's attitude toward the West.
According to Aqeel, "this move didn't come [out of the] void, but after many meetings away from media between representatives of Hezbollah and some Salafist groups." These encounters, said An-Nahar, included the head of Hezbollah's political bureau Ibrahim al-Amin and Sheikh Safuan al-Zuhbi from the Salafist movement.

Another Beirut daily, Al-Mustaqbal (Aug. 18) wrote that Hezbollah has been successful in recruiting 15 Salafist groups in Lebanon including the Waqf Ahya' al-Turath al-Islami to form a "Salafist camp" allied to the Iranian-Syrian axis. Hezbollah officials, wrote Al-Mustaqbal, are declaring that Americans have been defeated in the region by "resistance" in Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza.

The Rest @ Counterterrosim Blog

Late breaking news

Other Salafi Groups appear to be "excommunicating" these 15 Salafi Groups, and they are now claiming to "freeze the agreement

Salafis freeze memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah

Published: Tuesday, 19 August, 2008 @ 10:10 PM in Beirut

Tripoli -The Salafi groups in Lebanon on Tuesday announced indefinite freezing of a memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah, 24 hours after it was announced at a press conference in Beirut.

Sheikh Hassan Shahhal, who signed the understanding on Monday with Hezbollah 's Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, declared freezing the agreement pending "appropriate circumstances that allow its implementation."

Sheikh Hassan made the announcement after a meeting with leaders of Salafi factions presided over by their highest authority Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal who had rushed to denounce and criticize the deal with Hezbollah, minutes after it was announced on Monday.

The Dai, or Preacher, on Monday termed the agreement "media crackling in favor of Hezbollah and the Shiite community" and called for abolishing it.

The freeze was announced in the northern town of Tripoli, power base of the Salafi movement.
"The Salafi movement totally rejects this document … and who signed it has no right to claim belonging to the Salafi movement or representing it," the ageing Dai al-Islam Shahhal said on Monday.

"This document is … harmful to the Sunni community and would end up in vain, God willing," he added.

"Those who signed it have no influence, and whoever wants to defuse tension should talk to forces that do exist," he stressed.

Hezbollah and its allies welcomed the understanding that was sharply rejected by almost all Sunni factions and members of the March 14 majority alliance.

Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri, who heads the largest Sunni bloc, had avoided direct comment on the understanding. But his aides and members of his parliamentary bloc said he opposed it.

The Rest @ Yalbinan

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