Saudi king appoints son as new Mecca governor

December 27, 2013

 — King Abdullah appointed one of his sons on Sunday as the new governor of Mecca, a prestigious and influential position that includes oversight of Islam’s holiest shrine, the state media reported.
The 43-year-old Prince Mishaal, who is the king’s sixth son, will govern the province of Mecca which is home to the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped structure toward which Muslims pray, as well as the large Red Sea city of Jiddah. The move is a reflection of how the 89-year-old king has steadily put his closest relatives in top posts since his ascension to the throne in 2005.
News of the royal order was published in state-owned media. The Saudi Press Agency reported that Mishaal will take over the job from 73-year-old Prince Khalid, who oversaw Mecca’s affairs for six years. Khalid was named the new Education Minister. The outgoing minister, Prince Faisal who is also the king’s son-in-law, requested he be relieved of the post, the report said.
Another of the king’s sons, Prince Mutaib, is head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, while his son Prince Abdulaziz is the deputy foreign minister and another son, Prince Turki, is deputy governor of the capital Riyadh.
But unlike in Western monarchies, the throne passes through brothers who are the sons of modern Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last standing absolute monarchies and authority is concentrated within an aging and shrinking circle of Al Saud family leaders.
King Abdullah has already outlived two appointed successors from among the elderly group of sons of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch. He named his half-brother, 76-year-old Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, as Crown Prince last year to succeed him. Salman had previously served for almost 50 years in the influential post of governor of Riyadh.
Before Sunday’s appointment, the king’s son Mishaal was governor of Najran, a southwestern mountainous region of Saudi Arabia that borders Yemen and has a significant population of Ismaili Shiites, an offshoot of the kingdom’s Shiite minority.


Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup

December 19, 2013

(Post) After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.
But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today.
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.
The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:
LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)
SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)
WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.
Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.
The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.
“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”
FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.
Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.
Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.
As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.
HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)
SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.
Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”
Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.
Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.
Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a “coverup beyond belief.” Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.
Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.
Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.
But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isn’t water under the bridge. The information is still relevant ­today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.
As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, “State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more ­lethal attacks within the United States.”
Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. If an oil-rich foreign power was capable of orchestrating simultaneous bulls-eye hits on our centers of commerce and defense a dozen years ago, it may be able to pull off similarly devastating attacks today.
Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.

Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

Saudi Arabia complicit in 911.

December 15, 2013

Good luck getting Obama to work with you on transparency. The transparency president has been the least revealing leader in history. At this point we are starting to wonder about aliens.

Unbelievable…
After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.
But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today.
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

US to put ‘our friends the Saudis’ on trusted traveler list | #SaudiArabia #Islam #Muslims #Obama #feminism

March 27, 2013

I’m not even angry anymore. I just can’t convince myself that our next government will be as hostile to American values as this one. I was wrong before. The American people were this hostile to what was good for all of us. Then again our last administration was stupid in its attempt to nation build a middle eastern country when we should of bombed the country and killed their president and left. Our goals and objectives were feminist and the end result is we convinced ourselves that women were victims. Some are… some are not… just like everyone else.

(Carl) You might recall some of the stories that came out after 9/11 about how easy it was to get a visa to the US from Saudi Arabia, the country that was the birthplace of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers. The US is about to make the same mistake again. The Obama administration is about to put ‘our friends the Saudis’ on the trusted traveler program, the program that does not require a visa for entry into the United States. This is Michelle Malkin:

According to a new report released this week by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security plans to bestow “trusted traveler” status to travelers from Saudi Arabia. Yes, the home of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers will soon enjoy the exclusive privilege of new entry shortcuts into the U.S.

Fox News points out: “Only an exclusive handful of countries enjoy inclusion in the Global Entry program: Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands. According to the IPT, some officials are questioning why Saudi Arabia gets to reap the benefits of the program, when key U.S. allies like Germany and France are not enrolled.”

Saudi suck-up Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, hailed “the bond between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and pledged to work with the government to facilitate “legitimate trade and travel.”

This foolish move is astonishing but not unprecedented. As I noted in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration had created its own fast-pass system for Saudi elites called “Visa Express.” Thanks to this GOP idiocy, three of the 9/11 hijackers skipped the usual consular interview process and bypassed long lines in the hot Saudi sun.

Throughout the jihadist-coddling Saudi kingdom, applicants could simply file their visa paperwork through travel agencies and courier companies for a small fee — without having to appear in person or submit to extensive background checks. The U.S. embassy in Riyadh bragged before 9/11: “Applicants will no longer have to take time off from work, no longer have to wait in long lines under the hot sun and in crowded waiting rooms, and no longer be limited by any time constraints.”

What could go wrong?
Read the whole thing

Social engineering is what leads us to think there is nothing wrong with the most misogynist countries in the world. If we see ourselves in these cave men then we can’t determine if this monstrous culture is different from our very own. If you can’t come to the realization that feminism is the problem here then you need glasses. Again… let me rephrase this. We don’t nation build. We don’t listen to feminists. We kill our enemies for our NATIONAL interest and make no apologies for having our own interests. Allies like Israel are the only way to go… and Israel needs to get its act together and stop the ball breaking as well. Women are not victims. Women have been in power in western civilization. Queen Elizabeth, Victoria, Margaret Thatcher are not second rate historical figures of weakness. It is time to wake up. We insult our women when we tell them that they got the short end of the stick. Women oriented cultures predated Islam in Arabia itself. They weren’t necessarily a good thing and it is one of the reasons the Arabs were so reactive to matriarchal power. If we can not end feminism, we will never defeat Islam. These monsters of Arabia are not equivalent to us. We have treated our women well. We have a tradition in the West of loving women.


A #Hagel and #AlJazeera

February 14, 2013
It has now been revealed that the government of Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, was a major contributor to the Atlantic Council when Hagel was its chairman.

(More on Hagel’s Al Jazeera and Arab Connections)

The Atlantic Council describes itself as a “preeminent, non partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security.” Hagel is chairman of the group. Documents released by the Atlantic Council, in response to the controversy over Hagel’s nomination, show funding from several foreign governments, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia. A search also reveals that Atlantic Council officials have been appearing regularly on Al Jazeera, giving the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood credibility as a “news organization.”
According to the council’s own website, these appearances include:

  • Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, was interviewed on Al Jazeera about the U.S. cyber-attacks against Iran.
  • Michele Dunne, director of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas to discuss Syria.
  • J. Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, discussed the situation in Mali on Al Jazeera English.
  • Barry Pavel, director of the Council’s Program on International Security, appeared on Al Jazeera English’s show Inside Story Americas to discuss the deployment of 200 U.S. Marines to Australia.

In addition to Al Jazeera, Atlantic Council senior fellow Barbara Slavin appeared on the far-left MSNBC cable channel to sing the praises of Hagel as “non-ideological.”
But anti-communist blogger Trevor Loudon points out that Chuck Hagel serves on the board of the Ploughshares Fund, another of the George Soros-funded organizations, and that it is a “partner organization” of the pro-Marxist Institute for Policy Studies.
In addition to his role as chairman of the Atlantic Council and a board member of the Ploughshares Fund, Hagel serves as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, which maintains campuses in Washington, D.C. and Qatar. Funding for the campus in Qatar comes from the Qatar Foundation, established by the ruling family.
Not surprisingly, Al Jazeera has featured interviews with faculty members from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, about the acquisition of Current TV and the violence in Syria. (MORE via canadafreepress.com)


Cooperation on cybercrime, maritime security and infrastructure protection, and cooperation on cyber security

January 20, 2013

(Saudi interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif. This first cousin of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was last noted in this blog for ordering the arrest last month of a Saudi novelist, Turki al Hamad, for tweeting that Islam required a “correction.” Al Hamad now faces the death penalty for apostasy.)
From Al Arabiya: Saudi Arabia and the United States have signed a “Trusted Traveler” agreement to facilitate and accelerate the trusted passenger screening on the principle of reciprocity in both Saudi and U.S. airports. The Saudi state agency reported that Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Naif and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano “signed an agreement on arrangements relating to the implementation of a program of the ‘Trusted Traveler’ between the two countries.” Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Secretary Napolitano also released a joint statement affirming ongoing cooperation on cybercrime, maritime security and infrastructure protection, and cooperation on cyber security, which is critical to both nations’ economic competitiveness and national security. (Does “cybercrime include “tweeting”?)

Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis

November 26, 2012

a little white girl grab ass? yeah… we know what goes down with the journalists…

Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis
Elizabeth Dickinson


After Hamas signed onto an Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel last week, Khaled Meshaal, the organisation’s leader in exile, had a message that would have seemed impossible a year ago.
He thanked Iran for its role in arming the Sunni-Islamist group that rules Gaza and he called on Arab Gulf states to provide arms in the future.
The statement laid bare Hamas’s fluid regional position. After breaking with the Syrian regime over its brutal crackdown, vacating offices in Damascus and clashing with Iran over continued support for the president, Bashar Al Assad, Hamas has moved tentatively away from the so-called “Axis of Resistance” toward the patronage of Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Turkey and Qatar.
Missing from the stage so far has been Saudi Arabia, whose support or cold shoulder could have a decisive impact on Hamas’s political role.
For the last decade, Riyadh has preferred to support the secular and US-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. Now, analysts say that Hamas’s rising profile – and the possibility that it could move away from the patronage of Riyadh’s arch rival, Tehran – may entice Saudi Arabia to cultivate stronger ties.
“Hamas is in play,” said Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the Washington-based American Task Force on Palestine. “The Saudis have to ask themselves whether they want to simply stick with the PA or also get involved in the game of trying to court Hamas. And that raises the same question everyone is going to have to answer – particularly the United States and Israel: which group of Palestinians do they want to empower?”
A shift in Saudi policy would probably come slowly, but it could affect both the political dynamics of the region and the prospects for reopening the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Saudi Arabia has the region’s deepest pockets, arguably the closest relationship with the US and a long history of behind-the-scenes involvement in efforts to find peace in the Middle East.”The Saudis have become domestically focused, plus, they’re trying to deal with the Arab Spring,” said Kamran Bokhari, the London-based vice president for the Middle East and South Asia at Stratfor, which provides security analysis. “But the Gaza conflict will push the Saudis to say, ‘We’ve been out of this for a while; it’s time we go back in’.”
In the lead-up to the Iraq war in November 2002, Saudi’s then-Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz sent a letter to George W Bush asking the US president to “confirm to us that you will be seriously engaging in solving the Middle East problem” in exchange for his support.
Saudi Arabia did not always favour Fatah over Hamas in Palestinian politics. In the early 2000s, US law enforcement officials estimated that as much as half of Hamas’s operating budget, about US$10 million, came in cash from Riyadh.
But in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Washington put heavy pressure on Saudi authorities to steer clear of Hamas, which the US calls a terrorist organisation. Saudi funding for Hamas dried up around 2004, according to testimony before the US senate by a treasury official a year later.
In the years since, Riyadh has repeatedly come to the financial aid of the PA in Ramallah. In July, Saudi Arabia announced that it would inject $100m (Dh367.31m) in emergency cash to the PA, which relies heavily on external budget support. Last year, Saudi Arabia contributed at least $200m.
But Riyadh has never abandoned its relationship with Hamas, said Ghassan Al Khatib, a former PA spokesman who now teaches at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.
Despite receiving international support, the PA has seen its public support among Arabs drop in recent years over a failure to win concessions from Israel. Its continuing attempt to win recognition at the United Nations has so far only lost it financial backing; the US put a months-long hold on funding to the PA over the issue.
Hamas, by contrast, seems to be gaining leverage. A Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organisation, Hamas seems at ease dealing with ideological allies who now run the governments of Egypt and Tunisia.
Its armed resistance secured real gains in the latest clashes with Israel, despite a heavy cost. In the recent ceasefire, Mr Meshaal won a minor relaxing of the economic blockade on Gaza. “This last escalation between Gaza and Israel increased dramatically the political prominence of Hamas, not only among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories but also among Palestinians everywhere and Arab people more generally,” said Mr Al Khatib. “The PA has taken the peace negotiations approach, which seems to be not working to Israel and US. Hamas went about things using the resistance approach which, at least this time, wasn’t defeated.”
Riyadh would likely struggle to completely displace Iran as a Hamas benefactor, since close ties to the US would preclude Saudi Arabia from arming the organisation. Still, the regional balance would almost certainly be altered if Hamas’s patrons were largely allies of the West, rather than foes.
Mr Ibish argues that Hamas itself may change if it won broad international backing.
“If Hamas inherits or comes to dominate the Palestinian movement, the question is, will they adapt, and in what way?” he asked.
“Will they moderate? Will they become even more extreme? Will other radical forces emerge? It’s in the least not clear. But the point is that there is a decision for everybody, especially the traditional backers of the PA, about whether they want to make that kind of open-ended gamble.”
edickinson@thenational.ae