Sunday, October 31, 2010
by Staff WritersLagos (AFP) Oct 29, 2010
An illegal arms shipment including rockets and grenades discovered in Nigeria this week was loaded in Iran by an Iranian trader, the firm that operates the vessel that delivered it said on Friday.
Security agents this week intercepted 13 containers declared as building materials and discharged from the CMA CGM Everest vessel at the country's busiest port of Apapa in Nigeria's economic hub of Lagos.
"The shipment in question was booked as a 'shippers owned container' and supplied loaded and sealed by the shipper, an Iranian trader who does not appear on any 'forbidden persons' listing," said CMA CGM, which operates the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel.
CMA CGM, based in France, said the containers were loaded in Bandar Abbas, a southern port city of Iran, and discharged in Lagos in July.
But last week the shipper asked to have the containers reloaded and sent to the Gambia, a tiny west African country wedged inside Senegal, according to the firm.
Clearance had been obtained before Nigerian customs intervened and halted the shipment, according to CMA CGM.
Iranian embassy officials in Nigeria refused to comment, saying a statement would be issued later.
A Nigerian intelligence agency spokeswoman has said authorities were on heightened alert following October 1 twin car bombings in the capital that killed at least 12 people.
Ten of the containers opened so far contain an array of weaponry, customs spokesman Wale Adeniyi said, despite being declared as building materials.
CMA CGM said it has been cleared of any involvement in the illegal shipment and called itself the "victim of (a) false cargo declaration."
Two people have reportedly been arrested in connection with the cargo, but security officials have not confirmed the reports.
Authorities have publicly refused to speculate on the origins or destination of the shipment, coming just months before presidential elections, but have heightened port security.
"Certainly security at the ports has been beefed up and we are trying to move up ahead ... and tighten our own systems to block such shipments," Adeniyi told AFP.
Regarding paperwork for the shipment that contained the weapons, Adeniyi said "the documents were irregular... and we felt that the names given on them were false."
Precise quantities of the weapons will be known after all the containers are opened, he said.
So far, the 10 examined contained "similar contents -- mortars, grenades, light ammunition and of course tiles," said Adeniyi.
The ship's last port of call before arriving in Nigeria was India's Jawaharlal Nehru port near Mumbai, the customs service has said. The vessel berthed in the Nigerian port on July 10 and sailed out on July 15.
Illegal weapons are widespread in Nigeria, and the discovery has sparked fresh concerns with presidential elections set to be held early next year. Ballots have frequently been tainted by violence in the oil-rich nation.
Militants in the Niger Delta, the country's main oil-producing region, have carried out scores of attacks there in recent years.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the country's most prominent militant group, claimed the October 1 car bombings.
A series of attacks have also been carried out by suspected members of an Islamist sect, known as Boko Haram, in the country's north in recent months.
The Rest @ The Terra Daily
This came later from CNN:
( Shimron Issachar )
(CNN) -- Iran's foreign minister said Monday that a shipment of arms intercepted in Nigeria was shipped from a private company and destined for another West African country.
"A private company which had sold conventional and defensive weapons to a West African country had transferred the shipment through Nigeria," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters, according to Iran's state-run Press TV.
Security forces in Nigeria said last week they believed the shipment was bound for Nigeria.
The country's security service said it seized 13 shipping containers in the port of Lagos filled with illegal weapons, including rockets, grenades and bullets. Each shipping container carried 20 wooden crates, and a leading global shipping company said the weaponry came from Iran.
Mottaki said Monday that a representative of the company that shipped the arms had met with Nigerian authorities to explain the situation.
"Our enemies had insinuated that the shipment was intended for Nigeria," Mottaki said, Press-TV reported.
Mottaki and his Nigerian counterpart, Odein Ajumogobia, met Thursday, with Mottaki pledging Iran's cooperation in the investigation.
The company that shipped the arms, CMA CGM, said it was a victim of a false cargo declaration. The shipper listed the materials inside the containers as "packages of glass wool and pallets of stone."
The containers in question were loaded in Bandar Abbas, a port in southern Iran, and discharged in Lagos in July, the company said.
There has been Christian-Muslim sectarian violence in northern Nigeria, and analysts say the upcoming vote will potentially be one of the most controversial and violent election periods in the country's history. It pits President Goodluck Jonathan, from the Christian south, against candidates from the Muslim north.
The Rest @ CNN
Monday, October 18, 2010
"I want to bring up a sensitive issue that has never been tackled before," Kadhafi said Sunday (October 10th) in Sirte. "It has been on our conscience and today I feel courageous enough to talk about it."
"This summit is a historic meeting, as it is the first time Arab and African leaders met since 1977. On behalf of the Arabs, I condemn, apologise and regret the behaviour of Arabs towards their African brothers," Kadhafi said.
The Libyan leader continued: "In the past, rich Arabs ill-treated their African brothers; they bought children and brought them to North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab areas between the two regions. They enslaved them and sold them and bought them, and practiced slavery in a shameful way."
Samir Tayeb, a law and political science expert, said he believed the mea culpa was made for one of two reasons. "The first brings us to believe that Kadhafi did it in coordination with the African leaders to give a head start to Arab relations with the African continent."
"The second scenario is that the Libyan leader did so in coordination with Arab leaders who started feeling disconnected from the African continent and would love to regain credibility in Africa despite the growth of Islamist terrorism, which springs from Kenya, Niger and Mali and directly threatens the Maghreb countries," Tayeb said..
"The Arabs are supposed to apologise and make up for their actions by supporting development and human rights and condemning racial discrimination. But how can this initiative succeed while corruption prevails in the Arab world and human rights are constantly violated?" wondered Lotfi Azzouz, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Tunisia.
"The apology is a step in the right direction, and it is important to recognise this brave and honest position. The countries in question are now calling for effective contribution in development projects for African countries affected by the enslavement of their children and their workforce," said Zied El Heni, a member of the governing body of the African Union of Journalists.
Monia Chaabane, a political scientist, said that this is wishful thinking and she believes Kadhafi is over-promising and does not realise the high price he and the other countries involved will have to pay for his apology.
"African countries will ask for compensation and will get it, which will give some Arab and African leaders the occasion to shine," said Libyan analyst Ghuma el Gamaty.
Samir Bettaieb stated that the Kadhafi apology holds political and legal implications. The affected African countries could ask for compensation, either individually or as part of the African Union.
"I think that addressing this issue will be made through political and diplomatic channels, as an Arab commitment to support African development," he said.
The Rest @ The Magharebia
Police arrested 7 suspects and seized large quantities of money, cocaine, cannabis and tear gas. The investigation revealed that the drugs entered Morocco from Mali.
The group is also suspected of links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Thanks to Zawya for notice of the article in Magharebia
Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda commander, arranged the trip to meet ‘contacts’ as part of plans for an attack on a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of Mohammed.
The meeting between Kashmiri’s associate, a U.S. citizen called David Coleman Headley, and two British men allegedly happened in August 2009 in Derby.
According to U.S. court documents, Kashmiri said the men would provide Headley with ‘money, weapons and manpower’.
The details have emerged as part of the case against Headley, 50, who was arrested last year in Chicago on his way to Pakistan to hand over surveillance videos to terrorists.
It is believed that one-eyed Kashmiri is behind the recent terror alerts in Europe, sparked by intelligence that he had boasted about sending terrorists to Britain and Germany.
The revelations come as French Interior Minister
@ World Analysis
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
What follows suggests issues for the next steps toward reducing the options available to Islamist financiers of jihad against the west; However, I was hoping for some newer innovative ideas.
Well, Mr. Chairman,
the fact is that US Banks are intricately networked into an international banking system that has not yet fully come to terms with halting terrorism financing.
And, while we have made great strides in cutting off the flow of money for terrorism from the United States,
- Our banks remain awkwardly vulnerable to getting caught up in handling terrorist group-related transactions that originate overseas. This is because US banks must so heavily rely on the veracity and accuracy of the transactional information provided to them by their overseas clients and associates.
Following enactment of the increased “due diligence” and “know your customers” requirements contained in the Patriot Act, US banks moved quickly to re-assess their relationships with the foreign banks with whom they maintain a correspondent relationship. They had to assure themselves that these foreign banks were also taking the steps necessary to vet their clients and that they would accurately record and pass on required transactional information, including the correct identification of the beneficial parties involved. But, the fact is that this is not always the case.
And, in the fast and very competitive world of international financial transactions, these assurances are often shortchanged. Our banks must also rely heavily, therefore, on any cautionary information that our public sector regulatory agencies, such as Fincen, OFAC, and other relevant Treasury Department offices share with them.
- This cooperative relationship and information sharing is essential, and needs to be formalized.
Today, when US banks have doubts about the legitimacy of transactions they are required to file suspicious activity reports with FinCen. In most cases they still permit the transaction to be processed.
- However, when their doubts suggest the possibility of terrorism financing, they will usually place some kind of hold on the transaction.
- US Depository Institutions filed some 15,500 suspicious wire transfer reports in 2009. Of these, only about 545 involved possible terrorism financing concerns.
- How well they are actually doing in discerning such terrorist-related risks remains any ones guess.
- Nevertheless, the number of suspicion-of-terrorism SARS did increase some 8 percent last year.
Considerable strides have also been made with regard to the regulation and oversight of the myriad money services businesses operating in the United States. This sector has seen exponential growth in the volume of international financial transfers.
2. We must recognize, however, that at least one part of this sector – the informal mom and pop transfer mechanisms, such as Hawala, lack the wherewithal to closely vet the transactions they handle and they remain particularly vulnerable to being used to handle terrorism related transfers. Here too, much of the problem resides overseas.
- Funds transferred through Hawala like systems are very hard to trace, particularly as they are re-directed once they are received overseas.
- Terrorist organizations have become sufficiently sophisticated in handling such transactions to assure that the initial overseas recipient of the funds appears squeaky clean.
- Let me suggest, Mr. Chairman, that it is essential that we broaden the focus of our attention, when it comes to inhibiting the financing of terrorism, to include financial institutions beyond our shores.
When I say that the locus of the terrorism financing problem is largely overseas I do so with a caveat.
A number of foreign financial institutions that maintain branches and correspondent accounts in the United States have engaged in banking activities that have become of grave concern to us.
- In August 2005, the New York branch of Jordan’s Arab Bank signed a consent decree, and paid a $24 million penalty, for its involvement in transferring more than $20 million to and from more than 45 suspected terrorists or terrorist groups in the Middle East. The bank acknowledged that it had dollarized many of these transactions.
- In April 2009, Doha Bank, New York paid a civil penalty of $5,000,000 which was assessed, in part, because of its involvement in dollarizing transactions related to terrorist groups overseas.
- There have been several other cases involving US branches of foreign banks that have engaged in practices inconsistent with U.S sanctions laws and regulations. Last May a criminal information was filed against, ABN AMRO, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, for facilitating transactions by altering or stripping information from the transactions so that they might pass undetected through compliance filters at other U.S. financial institutions. These transactions involved more than $3.2 billion dollars moving to, from, and through AMB AMRO’s New York branch.
- And, in December 2009, Credit Suisse was assessed a $536 million penalty for processing thousands of transactions over a 20-year period that concealed the involvement of sanctioned parties and the routing of wire transfers and securities transactions to and through the United States.
These regulatory actions have sent a strong message to overseas financial institutions that the United States will not countenance such activities on the part of their branches in the United States.
But, an even stronger message is now being sent by victims of terrorism as they move in U.S. courts to hold such financial institutions accountable under section 2333 of the anti terrorism act for facilitating the flow of funds to terrorist organizations.
I cite as examples the civil damages cases now proceeding in New York against Arab Bank, Nat West, and Credit Lyonnais for their having facilitated the transfer of funds to Hamas and other terrorist groups that have launched suicide and other terrorism attacks against innocent victims in Israel.
The real problem here is that while these terrorist related transactions are illegal in the United States, they have not been deemed illegal by many of the other countries in which these banks operate. This is in spite of the fact that almost all countries are now parties to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which came into force in April 2002.
That convention clearly obligates all countries to criminalize the funding of groups or individuals that engage in terrorist activities.
Shortly after the 9/11 attack the Security Council also adopted resolution 1373 which obligates all countries, whether or not they have adopted the Terrorism Financing Convention, to take the steps necessary to prevent the transfer of funds to terrorist organizations or for terrorist purposes. But, the resolution failed to contain any definition or criteria as to what constitutes terrorism.
- It left it to each country, independently, to determine this crucial issue for itself.
- Without common criteria, or a definition of terrorism, each country remains free to interpret its own obligations. Each can decide which groups they consider terrorists and which they wish to hail as “freedom fighters.”
- Saudi Arabia uses this distinction, for example, to justify its continuing funding for Hamas while Iran and Syria use it to provide funds and support to Hezbollah.
The fact of the matter is that there is still only a very limited international consensus as to which organizations are terrorist organizations. And, for the most part, that consensus is limited to a very short list of entities and individuals identified and designated by a Committee of the Security Council, as being directly associated with al Qaeda and/or the Taliban.
At my own last count, in June 2010, that designation list includes 137 members of the Taliban, 257 members or associates of al Qaeda, and 103 entities directly related to al Qaeda.
I want to be clear on this point. Beyond that list of designated individuals and entities there is no international consensus, and therefore, no clear and enforceable international obligation, which inhibits countries from allowing their financial institutions to engage in financial transactions with such undesignated individuals and entities.
Only a limited number of countries have joined with us in designating such organizations as Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. This includes, for the most part, our European friends and allies. Yet, some European countries still exempt the political and humanitarian wings of these organizations from such designation. Many other countries have not even gone that far and openly permit their financial institutions to process transactions in Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s favor.
Given US bank interaction with this larger international banking community, the vulnerabilities become stark. And, that means that very careful attention must be paid to assuring that accurate information regarding origination and the ultimate recipient of the transaction is complete and accurate.
The problem is further complicated by the emergence in numerous lesser developed countries of new under-funded and under-regulated home grown banks. These banks rely heavily on their correspondent and payable through accounts maintained in more established banking institutions.
Many of these home grown banking institutions continue to lack the wherewithal to mount and maintain an effective compliance system.
- At the same time the national regulatory environment under which they operate is unable to provide effective oversight.
- And, many of these banks are located in areas quite susceptible to the recruitment of terrorists.
So, Mr. Chairman, I would also place great emphasis on the need to strengthen the international banking communities resources and commitment to halting the financing of terrorism.
I do not want to appear too pessimistic in this regard.
- A very substantial segment of the international banking community does take terrorism financing and money laundering issues quite seriously.
- The Wolfsberg group of banks, for example, has established high standards to prevent terrorist organizations from accessing their financial services, and they have pledged to assist governments in their efforts to combat terrorist financing.
The FATF, The Financial Action Task Force, has made great strides in providing guidance and best practices for the strengthening of international banking compliance, and in brokering assistance for jurisdictions wishing to upgrade their compliance programs.
- It has also spawned numerous regional organizations to facilitate cooperation and share the burden of compliance among their member banks
- .FATF has also finally gotten back to holding certain countries accountable for their failings in this regard.
- In 2008 FATF began publishing a list of high risk and non cooperating jurisdictions whose banks have failed to adequately implement an anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing program.
- FATF issued a series of statements expressing concerns about the AML/CFT deficiencies in Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, São Tomé and Principe, and the northern part of Cyprus.
- The FATF statements called on FATF members to pay special attention to transactions dealing with Iran and Uzbekistan and to strengthen preventive measures in response to the risks associated with these countries.
- In February 2009, FATF also called on its members and other jurisdictions to apply additional counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Iran.
Ultimately, United States regulatory agencies can also make reference to the broad powers provided to them in Section 311 of the Patriot Act. As you know, Mr. Chairman, that section authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose special enhanced due diligence requirements with regard to the maintenance and operation of correspondent and payable through accounts maintained in US banks for foreign jurisdiction banks. And, in some cases this may include precluding the operation of such accounts in favor of risky banks overseas.
We all recognize that these powers must be used sparingly and prudently. At the same time they do provide us considerable leverage when it comes to influencing and correcting bad banking conduct overseas.
The Rest @ Counterterrorism Blog
"Al Qaeda is applying lessons learned from Iraq, that an overexposure of the links between al Qaeda central leadership and its affiliates can cause some unwanted attention."
Shabaab's double suicide attack in Uganda on July 11 was well received by al Qaeda's top leadership, who want Shabaab to continue to hitting US interests in Africa.
"Al Qaeda is pleased with the double suicide attack in Uganda, but suggested Shabaab reserve future strikes at US interests in the region," the official said.
The July 11 double suicide attack in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, killed 74 civilians as they watched the World Cup's final soccer match. The mastermind of the Kampala attacks, Isah Ahmed Luyima, said he executed the bombings with the intent of maximizing US deaths.
"I targeted places where many Americans go," Luyima said in a press conference hosted by Ugandan police on Aug. 12. "I was made to believe that Americans were responsible for the suffering of Muslims all over the world."
The Shabaab cell that carried out the Uganda attack called itself the Saleh Ali Nabhan Brigade. Saleh Ali Slaeh Nabhan was a top al Qaeda and Shabaab leader who has been indicted by the US for his involvement in the 1998 bombings at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Nabhan was indicted with several top al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Nabhan served as Shabaab's top military commander before US special operations forces killed him in a raid in southern Somalia in September 2009.
The Rest from The Long War Journal
Monday, October 11, 2010
It's time to cataloge and Assess these firms and their business clients.
SINCE THAI POLICE SEIZED A plane smuggling 35 tons of explosives and anti-aircraft missiles from North Korea to Iran on December 12, investigators around the world have tried to peel back many corporate and human layers to find the arms traffickers who flouted the United Nations ban against North Korean arms exports.
Whoever the arms smugglers were, they availed themselves of the same network of shell companies as was flagged by a Wachovia Bank anti-money-laundering officer in his 2008 whistleblower claim that the bank squelched his reports of suspicious financial activities ("Blowing the Whistle -- and Paying the Price," March 9, 2009).
The Wachovia wire transfers and the North Korean arms shipment were conducted under the names of corporations owned by VicAm (Auckland) Ltd., a New Zealand corporation provided by financial-secrecy consultants
GT Group, based in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu. VicAm has also appeared recently in sales by the state oil company of Azerbaijan and in a public-corruption scandal in Romania.
GT Group says it has no knowledge of what clients do with GT's nominee services. No authorities have charged GT Group or VicAm with wrongdoing.
The founder of GT Group is a resourceful 66-year-old named Geoffrey Taylor, who's spent decades promoting tax avoidance and financial secrecy from New Zealand and Vanuatu. Along the way, he's offered himself as a corporate director sporting the 800-year-old title of Lord of the Manor of Stubbington; obtained knighthood from an ersatz principality in the Australian outback, and gotten a Ph.D. from an online university of which he is president.
Sir Geoffrey's many Websites have hawked "Grand Ph.D.s" from "Standford University," passports from the Principality of Hutt River, dummy corporations for privacy-minded "politicians" and "spouses," and Vanuatu-based mutual funds that he claims were top-rated by Lipper. You can admire these feats at www.geoffreytaylor.net.
Sir Geoffrey seemed less eager for publicity when Barron's asked about the North Korean weapons. "Why are you chasing me?" he replied by e-mail. "I resigned from GT Group in 2004. I have no wish to talk to you about something I know nothing about." Taylor has disclaimed ownership of the GT Group and the Lord Stubbington Nominee Service, which he operated until passing the baton -- and the feudal title -- to his sons Michael and Ian.
But New Zealand records showed him as controlling shareholder of VicAm Ltd. right up through Sept. 8. That was a month and a half after Geoffrey's son Michael registered a New Zealand corporation called SP Trading as a wholly owned subsidiary of VicAm.
SP Trading became news on December 12, when intelligence agencies urged Thai police to inspect an Ilyushin-76 plane that stopped to refuel in Bangkok en route from Pyongyang to Tehran.
The airway bill described the cargo as "oilfield equipment" but inside the 147 cartons were explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and computerized missile launchers.
The flight crew of Kazakh and Byelorussian nationals professed ignorance of their cargo contents.
So did the GT Group, when documents revealed that the plane had been leased to SP Trading.
Contracts obtained by the anti-arms-trafficking nonprofits TransArms and IPIS showed that SP Trading had leased the Il-76 on November 5 and agreed on December 4 to fly the North Korean shipment at the behest of a Hong Kong-domiciled company.
After newspaper inquiries, GT Group issued a statement from Vanuatu saying that it had formed SP Trading at the request of a "professional client" in the U.K., and outfitted it with VicAm as nominee shareholder and a woman named Lu Zhang as nominee director. SP Trading said it knew nothing of the armaments.
Speaking for its employees, associates and corporations, the GT Group said none had knowledge of SP Trading's activities and "are in no way involved with the shipment of any items of any kind, at any location and by any means."
When Barron's asked Ian Taylor to identify SP Trading's beneficial owner -- or the U.K. client who'd ordered up the shell company -- Taylor said that information was confidential and would only be disclosed to New Zealand authorities upon their request.
GT Group isn't responsible for the activities of its customers, said Ian Taylor in his e-mailed reply. "GT Group and all its employees and management take great care to identify clients and prevent any illegal activity," he wrote. "GT Group Limited is a service provider and not a detective agency."
A spokeswoman for New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the agency is trying to verify "whether there's any substance to the allegations reported in the media." New Zealand has become a worrisome jurisdiction to international organizations that combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. An October 16 evaluation by the OECD's Financial Action Task Force praised New Zealand's passage of new anti-money-laundering statutes. But the FATF report said the nation's loose incorporation laws risk abuse.
The little nation's corporations have had wide reach. The GT Group's nominee- shareholder unit, VicAm Ltd., popped up as the winner of a recent million-barrel oil auction by the Azerbaijan government. It has won lucrative public-works contracts in Romania and created a stir when newspapers suggested that government officials were getting a piece of the action, which the officials denied.
Directors of GT Group shells are citizens of Vanuatu or the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. "Our owners and staff are all locals," says another Taylor Website. "We do not employ citizens of other countries who can be leaned upon when they return to their own countries." A Seychelles islander named Stella Port-Louis has hired on as director of hundreds of corporations -- even some domiciled in Wyoming, as U.S. Senator Carl Levin and then-Senator Barack
Obama noted two years ago in a statement that urged U.S. states to tighten up their own laws governing nominee shareholders.
Ms. Port-Louis turned up as director of a number of New Zealand corporations sponsored by GT Group, which caught the attention of Martin Woods, then a Wachovia U.K. compliance official. In June 2008 and March 2009, Woods sent whistle blowing memos to regulators about suspicious transactions featuring GT Group nominees.
He described how Wachovia had passed along some $40 million from the Latvian bank accounts of four New Zealand corporations, all with their named director being the Seychelles-based Stella Port-Louis and their shareholder being the GT Group's VicAm. Port-Louis did not respond to e-mailed queries. Woods eventually settled his employment suit with Wachovia, which offered no comment. None of the transactions has resulted in regulatory action.
"Perhaps a hardware store should not be allowed to sell bolt cutters," Ian Taylor joked in an e-mail.
-- Bill Alpert
The Rest @ Barrons Magazine, 1/4/2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
-Good Faith, in the best interest of Islam.
Good faith, or in Latin bona fides (bona fide means "in good faith"), is good, honest intention (even if producing unfortunate results) or belief. In law, it is the mental and moral state of honesty, conviction as to the truth or falsehood of a proposition or body of opinion, or as to the rectitude or depravity of a line of conduct. This concept is important in law, especially equitable matters.
A Muslim, under Sharia, may practice the legal principle of Taqiyaa. The best English Word is possible to dissemble.
–verb (used with object)
1. to give a false or misleading appearance to; conceal the truth or real nature of: to dissemble one's incompetence in business.
2. to put on the appearance of; feign: to dissemble innocence.
3. Obsolete . to let pass unnoticed; ignore.
–verb (used without object)
4. to conceal one's true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.
-Source @ Dictionary.com
"whoever lives his life in dissimulation dies a martyr."
-Muhamed Shihab ad-Din Muhammad al-Alusi al-Baghdadi, Ruh al-Ma'ani fi Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim wa' l-Saba' al-Mithani (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiya, 2001), vol. 2, p. 118
Trends in Taqiyya
- Muslims deceieving non-muslims is allowed under Sharia, or Islamic Law, a teaching called Taqiyaa.
- Different Muslim groups employ the practice, called Taqiyya, differently
- Shooting Mujahadeen use it to deliberatly decieve the enemy about their intentions, to enter into and then break agreements with Infidels
- Non-Shooting Mujahadeen, those that infiltrate non-muslim countries through immigration, use it to decieve non-muslims about what their ultimate objectives are.
- The objective of Taqiyya is to help the Muslim survive to to continue the spread of Islam, or, to "trick" a non believer into becoming subject to Sharia Law.
Mahmoud Al-Masri, an Egyptian Islamic Cleric, told the following parapble on Autust 10, 2010.
"I'd like to tell you a very nice story. Once there was a Muslim who lived next to a Jew. The Muslim saw in the Jew a measure of goodheartedness - however small - and he wanted to find any way to make him convert to Islam.
So he went to him and asked: "Don't you feel the need for Islam? Why don't you become a Muslim?" The Jew said: "The only thing preventing me from becoming a Muslim is that I love drinking alcohol. I would have become a Muslim ages ago, but the only thing stopping me is that I am an alcoholic."
The Muslim devised a plan. He said: "No problem - become a Muslim, and continue to drink." The Muslim didn't meant this, of course, but he said to him:
"Become a Muslim, and continue to drink." The Jews said: "Fine." He said: "[The Muslim conversion Statement the author of this pice will not repeat]
Now, If you drink alcohol, we will carry out the punishment for drinking alcohol on you, and if you renounce Islam, we will kill you."
So the man remained a Muslim and never drank alcohol again. This was a nice trick by this good Muslim."
Why it matters
-Whether you are
- Since different Islamic groups employ Taqyaa differently, you cannot assume every Muslim in every country is deliberatly deceiving every non-muslim in very conversation.
- Every Muslim in Every Islamic Group is taught that the spread if Islam to the entire world is inevitable
- We can therefore assume that every well-indoctrined Muslim believes that any non-muslim they interact with is either a future Muslim, a non-muslim who will under Sharia law () or an Infidel that will eventually be killed.
So is every Muslim you speak with operating in Bad Faith? No. But it is imporant to understand that operating in good faith, and with integrity means something different to a life long Muslim raised in a predeominantly Muslim country, than to someone raised in a country operating uder laws developed under Judeo-Christain leaders.
Feel free to agree or disagree in comments, but please refrain from Anti-Arabist culture comments, or Anti-Jewish hate speak.-Shimron Issachar
How Taqiyya Alters Islam's Rules of War
Here is an illuminating piece that you would do well to keep around for future reference: "How Taqiyya Alters Islam's Rules of War: Defeating Jihadist Terrorism," by our old Jihad Watch friend, the great scholar Raymond Ibrahim in the Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2010:
Islam must seem a paradoxical religion to non-Muslims.
- On the one hand, it is constantly being portrayed as the religion of peace;
- on the other, its adherents are responsible for the majority of terror attacks around the world.
- Apologists for Islam emphasize that it is a faith built upon high ethical standards;
- Others stress that it is a religion of the law.
Islam's dual notions of truth and falsehood further reveal its paradoxical nature: While the Qur'an is against believers deceiving other believers--for "surely God guides not him who is prodigal and a liar"
-deception directed at non-Muslims, generally known in Arabic as taqiyya, also has Qur'anic support and falls within the legal category of things that are permissible for Muslims.
Muslim deception can be viewed as a slightly less than noble means to the glorious end of Islamic hegemony under Shari'a, which is seen as good for both Muslims and non-Muslims. In this sense, lying in the service of altruism is permissible. In a recent example, Muslim cleric Mahmoud al-Masri publicly recounted a story where a Muslim lied and misled a Jew into converting to Islam, calling it a "beautiful trick."
Taqiyya offers two basic uses. The better known revolves around dissembling over one's religious identity when in fear of persecution. Such has been the historical usage of taqiyya among Shi'i communities whenever and wherever their Sunni rivals have outnumbered and thus threatened them.
Conversely, Sunni Muslims, far from suffering persecution have, whenever capability allowed, waged jihad against the realm of unbelief; and it is here that they have deployed taqiyya--not as dissimulation but as active deceit. In fact, deceit, which is doctrinally grounded in Islam, is often depicted as being equal--sometimes superior--to other universal military virtues, such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.
Yet if Muslims are exhorted to be truthful, how can deceit not only be prevalent but have divine sanction? What exactly is taqiyya? How is it justified by scholars and those who make use of it? How does it fit into a broader conception of Islam's code of ethics, especially in relation to the non-Muslim? More to the point, what ramifications does the doctrine of taqiyya have for all interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims?
The Doctrine of Taqiyya
According to Shari'a--the body of legal rulings that defines how a Muslim should behave in all circumstances--deception is not only permitted in certain situations but may be deemed obligatory in others. Contrary to early Christian tradition, for instance, Muslims who were forced to choose between recanting Islam or suffering persecution were permitted to lie and feign apostasy. Other jurists have decreed that Muslims are obligated to lie in order to preserve themselves, based on Qur'anic verses forbidding Muslims from being instrumental in their own deaths.
This is the classic definition of the doctrine of taqiyya. Based on an Arabic word denoting fear, taqiyya has long been understood, especially by Western academics, as something to resort to in times of religious persecution and, for the most part, used in this sense by minority Shi'i groups living among hostile Sunni majorities. Taqiyya allowed the Shi'a to dissemble their religious affiliation in front of the Sunnis on a regular basis, not merely by keeping clandestine about their own beliefs but by actively praying and behaving as if they were Sunnis.
However, one of the few books devoted to the subject, At-Taqiyya fi'l-Islam (Dissimulation in Islam) makes it clear that taqiyya is not limited to Shi'a dissimulating in fear of persecution. Written by Sami Mukaram, a former Islamic studies professor at the American University of Beirut and author of some twenty-five books on Islam, the book clearly demonstrates the ubiquity and broad applicability of taqiyya:
Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it ... We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream ... Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.
Taqiyya is, therefore, not, as is often supposed, an exclusively Shi'i phenomenon.
Of course, as a minority group interspersed among their Sunni enemies, the Shi'a have historically had more reason to dissemble. Conversely, Sunni Islam rapidly dominated vast empires from Spain to China.
As a result, its followers were beholden to no one, had nothing to apologize for, and had no need to hide from the infidel nonbeliever (rare exceptions include Spain and Portugal during the Reconquista when Sunnis did dissimulate over their religious identity).
Ironically, however, Sunnis living in the West today find themselves in the place of the Shi'a: Now they are the minority surrounded by their traditional enemies--Christian infidels--even if the latter, as opposed to their Reconquista predecessors, rarely act on, let alone acknowledge, this historic enmity. In short, Sunnis are currently experiencing the general circumstances that made taqiyya integral to Shi'ism although without the physical threat that had so necessitated it.
The Articulation of Taqiyya
Qur'anic verse 3:28 is often seen as the primary verse that sanctions deception towards non-Muslims: "Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God--unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions."
Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923), author of a standard and authoritative Qur'an commentary, explains verse 3:28 as follows:
If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them ... [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers--except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.
Regarding Qur'an 3:28, Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), another prime authority on the Qur'an, writes, "Whoever at any time or place fears ... evil [from non-Muslims] may protect himself through outward show." As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad's close companion Abu Darda, who said, "Let us grin in the face of some people while our hearts curse them." Another companion, simply known as Al-Hasan, said, "Doing taqiyya is acceptable till the Day of Judgment [i.e., in perpetuity]."
Other prominent scholars, such as Abu 'Abdullah al-Qurtubi (1214-73) and Muhyi 'd-Din ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240), have extended taqiyya to cover deeds. In other words, Muslims can behave like infidels and worse--for example, by bowing down and worshiping idols and crosses, offering false testimony, and even exposing the weaknesses of their fellow Muslims to the infidel enemy--anything short of actually killing a Muslim: "Taqiyya, even if committed without duress, does not lead to a state of infidelity--even if it leads to sin deserving of hellfire."
Deceit in Muhammad's Military Exploits
Muhammad--whose example as the "most perfect human" is to be followed in every detail--took an expedient view on lying. It is well known, for instance, that he permitted lying in three situations: to reconcile two or more quarreling parties, to placate one's wife, and in war. According to one Arabic legal manual devoted to jihad as defined by the four schools of law, "The ulema agree that deception during warfare is legitimate ... deception is a form of art in war." Moreover, according to Mukaram, this deception is classified as taqiyya: "Taqiyya in order to dupe the enemy is permissible."
Several ulema believe deceit is integral to the waging of war: Ibn al-'Arabi declares that "in the Hadith [sayings and actions of Muhammad], practicing deceit in war is well demonstrated. Indeed, its need is more stressed than the need for courage." Ibn al-Munir (d. 1333) writes, "War is deceit, i.e., the most complete and perfect war waged by a holy warrior is a war of deception, not confrontation, due to the latter's inherent danger, and the fact that one can attain victory through treachery without harm [to oneself]." And Ibn Hajar (d. 1448) counsels Muslims "to take great caution in war, while [publicly] lamenting and mourning in order to dupe the infidels."
This Muslim notion that war is deceit goes back to the Battle of the Trench (627), which pitted Muhammad and his followers against several non-Muslim tribes known as Al-Ahzab. One of the Ahzab, Na'im ibn Mas'ud, went to the Muslim camp and converted to Islam. When Muhammad discovered that the Ahzab were unaware of their co-tribalist's conversion, he counseled Mas'ud to return and try to get the pagan forces to abandon the siege. It was then that Muhammad memorably declared, "For war is deceit." Mas'ud returned to the Ahzab without their knowing that he had switched sides and intentionally began to give his former kin and allies bad advice. He also went to great lengths to instigate quarrels between the various tribes until, thoroughly distrusting each other, they disbanded, lifted the siege from the Muslims, and saved Islam from destruction in an embryonic period. Most recently, 9/11 accomplices, such as Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, rationalized their conspiratorial role in their defendant response by evoking their prophet's assertion that "war is deceit."
A more compelling expression of the legitimacy of deceiving infidels is the following anecdote. A poet, Ka'b ibn Ashraf, offended Muhammad, prompting the latter to exclaim, "Who will kill this man who has hurt God and his prophet?" A young Muslim named Muhammad ibn Maslama volunteered on condition that in order to get close enough to Ka'b to assassinate him, he be allowed to lie to the poet. Muhammad agreed. Ibn Maslama traveled to Ka'b and began to denigrate Islam and Muhammad. He carried on in this way till his disaffection became so convincing that Ka'b took him into his confidence. Soon thereafter, Ibn Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Ka'b's guard was down, killed him.
Muhammad said other things that cast deception in a positive light, such as "God has commanded me to equivocate among the people just as he has commanded me to establish [religious] obligations"; and "I have been sent with obfuscation"; and "whoever lives his life in dissimulation dies a martyr."
In short, the earliest historical records of Islam clearly attest to the prevalence of taqiyya as a form of Islamic warfare. Furthermore, early Muslims are often depicted as lying their way out of binds--usually by denying or insulting Islam or Muhammad--often to the approval of the latter, his only criterion being that their intentions (niya) be pure. During wars with Christians, whenever the latter were in authority, the practice of taqiyya became even more integral. Mukaram states, "Taqiyya was used as a way to fend off danger from the Muslims, especially in critical times and when their borders were exposed to wars with the Byzantines and, afterwards, to the raids [crusades] of the Franks and others."
Taqiyya in Qur'anic Revelation
The Qur'an itself is further testimony to taqiyya. Since God is believed to be the revealer of these verses, he is by default seen as the ultimate perpetrator of deceit--which is not surprising since he is described in the Qur'an as the best makar, that is, the best deceiver or schemer (e.g., 3:54, 8:30, 10:21).
While other scriptures contain contradictions, the Qur'an is the only holy book whose commentators have evolved a doctrine to account for the very visible shifts which occur from one injunction to another. No careful reader will remain unaware of the many contradictory verses in the Qur'an, most specifically the way in which peaceful and tolerant verses lie almost side by side with violent and intolerant ones. The ulema were initially baffled as to which verses to codify into the Shari'a worldview--the one that states there is no coercion in religion (2:256), or the ones that command believers to fight all non-Muslims till they either convert, or at least submit, to Islam (8:39, 9:5, 9:29). To get out of this quandary, the commentators developed the doctrine of abrogation, which essentially maintains that verses revealed later in Muhammad's career take precedence over earlier ones whenever there is a discrepancy. In order to document which verses abrogated which, a religious science devoted to the chronology of the Qur'an's verses evolved (known as an-Nasikh wa'l Mansukh, the abrogater and the abrogated).
But why the contradiction in the first place? The standard view is that in the early years of Islam, since Muhammad and his community were far outnumbered by their infidel competitors while living next to them in Mecca, a message of peace and coexistence was in order. However, after the Muslims migrated to Medina in 622 and grew in military strength, verses inciting them to go on the offensive were slowly "revealed"--in principle, sent down from God--always commensurate with Islam's growing capabilities. In juridical texts, these are categorized in stages: passivity vis-á-vis aggression; permission to fight back against aggressors; commands to fight aggressors; commands to fight all non-Muslims, whether the latter begin aggressions or not. Growing Muslim might is the only variable that explains this progressive change in policy.
Other scholars put a gloss on this by arguing that over a twenty-two year period, the Qur'an was revealed piecemeal, from passive and spiritual verses to legal prescriptions and injunctions to spread the faith through jihad and conquest, simply to acclimate early Muslim converts to the duties of Islam, lest they be discouraged at the outset by the dramatic obligations that would appear in later verses. Verses revealed towards the end of Muhammad's career--such as, "Warfare is prescribed for you though you hate it"--would have been out of place when warfare was actually out of the question.
However interpreted, the standard view on Qur'anic abrogation concerning war and peace verses is that when Muslims are weak and in a minority position, they should preach and behave according to the ethos of the Meccan verses (peace and tolerance); when strong, however, they should go on the offensive on the basis of what is commanded in the Medinan verses (war and conquest). The vicissitudes of Islamic history are a testimony to this dichotomy, best captured by the popular Muslim notion, based on a hadith, that, if possible, jihad should be performed by the hand (force), if not, then by the tongue (through preaching); and, if that is not possible, then with the heart or one's intentions.
The Rest, Plus 40 interesting comments, @ Jihad Watch
Thursday, October 07, 2010
influence in southern and central Somalia. Most notably, this includes multiple clanbased
ASWJ groups operating in Galgadud,Hiran, and Gedo.
There are also reports of new groups emerging, including the “Galmudug” initiative linked to the Habr Gedir:Saad subclan and the “Himan and Heeb” initiative of the Suleiman subclan.
There is also potential for the Ras Kamboni group under Ahmed Madobe and Ibrahim Shukri to defect from the insurgency into a position that is not a political challenge andthat may end up supporting the TFG.
These are all positive developments, but they remain fragile and local political ambitions overlap.
There is serious potential for each to fall into the trap of “warlordism” and clan-based
competition for control of key locations and resources, which would further complicate
the quest for stability in central Somalia.
The Rest BY Andrea Le sage @ Institute for National Strategic Studies
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
According to one estimate, more than 3,000 Uzbeks and other Central Asian fighters are sheltering in North Waziristan.
Since Sept. 1, the US has ramped up airstrikes against the terror groups in North Waziristan, with 21 strikes that month and three more already this month. The IMU's former leader, Tahir Yuldashev, was killed in a US Predator airstrike in South Waziristan in September 2009. Yuldashev sat on al Qaeda's top council, the Shura Majlis. He has been replaced by Abu Usman Adil.
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan fighters often serve as bodyguards to top Pakistani Taliban leaders. The IMU fights alongside the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In northern Afghanistan, the IMU has integrated its operations with the Taliban, and senior leaders serve as members of the Taliban's shadow government [see LWJ report, Coalition continues pursuit of IMU commanders in the Afghan north].
Tajikistan has seen an uptick in attacks from Islamist terror groups since the summer of 2009. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda-linked IMU claims deadly ambush on Tajik troops.] In late spring of that year, NATO opened a supply line from Tajikistan into northern Afghanistan after the Taliban and allied groups heavily targeted the main NATO route from Pakistan.
The Rest @ The Long War Journal
Friday, October 01, 2010
For you cyber guys, somebody hit or track this one