The Mullahs’ Denial

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A recent litany of denials by Iran over its involvement in a wide range of subterfuge can’t disguise the Islamist regime’s growing menace When Israel alleged that high grade weaponry seized from a cargo ship off its coast was of Iranian origin, it elicit a quick denial from the Islamic Republic. It was but the latest in a series of denials issued by Iran over its involvement in a wide range of subterfuge — refutations that can’t disguise its growing menace. The weapons were discovered on the cargo ship Victoria, a German-owned and French-operated vessel. The ship had departed from the Syrian port of Latakia, stopping briefly in the Turkish port of Mercin, before sailing toward Egypt where it was seized by IDF forces 200 miles off the Israeli Mediterranean coast. The weapons were believed to be destined for Gaza for use by Hamas and other terrorist groups. Although Egypt and Turkey were not believed to be involved in the smuggling operation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was confident where blame should be assigned: “The only

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Bahrain’s Reckoning

Frank Crimi in FrontPage One day after the fiercest confrontation to date between Bahrain’s government and opposition forces, neighboring Gulf states send military units into Bahrain to help restore order The small, but strategically significant kingdom of Bahrain moved one step closer toward complete civil anarchy when thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in what was the fiercest confrontation to date between the ruling monarchy and opposition groups. The encounter also led neighboring Gulf states to send military troops into Bahrain in an effort to help restore order. Over the weekend thousands of protesters in the capital of Manama took control of the main highway into the city’s financial district before they were dispersed with tear gas launched from government security forces. However, Bahraini authorities were not as successful when–using a combination of tear gas and rubber bullets–they tried to dislodge demonstrators from their tent compound in Pearl Square, the focal point of the protest movement since it began one month ago. While government officials pledged that “the right to security and safety is above all else,” they also grimly warned

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Iran’s Helping Hand to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Iran steps up its ongoing efforts to aid the Taliban and al Qaeda just as NATO forces prepare for a bloody spring offensive As NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan prepare for the Taliban to launch its spring offensive, one that is expected to see a marked increase in suicide bombings, reports have surfaced that Iran is stepping up its ongoing efforts to arm, train and provide safe haven to both Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. The reports of increased Iranian involvement in the Afghan conflict include a confession by a captured Taliban commander who claimed that Iran is arming and training his terror organization as well as reports that Iran is releasing top al-Qaeda terrorists from custody. The captured Taliban commander, Mullah Gul Ahmad, claimed he was recruited by Iran’s special Qods Force in the eastern Iranian town of Zahedan. According to Ahmad, “I studied at a religious school in Iran where someone named Khaled provoked me to perform jihad against Americans.” Whether Ahmad was provoked into waging jihad or not may be up for some debate.

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The Last Days of Yemen’s Despot

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Desperate remarks about Israeli and American conspiracies by Yemen’s president will not delay what increasingly looks to be his inevitable ouster As Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh struggles to maintain power, he is lashing out and accusing both Israel and the United States of orchestrating the ongoing unrest in his country and throughout the entire Middle East. While Saleh’s conspiratorial outburst may find some appeal with the Yemini populace, it will do little to staunch what increasingly looks to be the inevitable end to his rule. Speaking to a group of students and academics in the capital city of Sanaa, Saleh darkly intoned, “I am going to reveal a secret. There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world. The operations room is in Tel Aviv and run by the White House.” Not content to leave it at that, Saleh said that those operations had extended to Yemen: “Regrettably those [opposition figures] are sitting day and night with the American ambassador where they hand him reports and he

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Syrian Muscle Flexing

Frank Crimi in FrontPage While most Arab nations remain preoccupied by internal uprisings, Syria focuses on expanding its power with an assist from Iran When Syria recently rejected efforts by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect a nuclear facility near al-Kibar in eastern Syria, it was the latest of a series of provocations by Syria, aided by Iran, designed to exert its regional influence amid the ongoing unrest in the Middle East. The al-Kibar nuclear reactor, built with North Korean assistance, was believed to be nearly operational before it was bombed and destroyed by the Israeli air force in September 2007. Although the Syrians have denied it was a nuclear installation, it has prevented inspection of the al-Kibar facility since 2008 after the IAEA found traces of possessed uranium at the site. Now, concerns exist that the al-Kibar reactor has been rebuilt and is more advanced than ever.  According to a report released by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), satellite images show Syria has built three nuclear facilities in addition to the one destroyed

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The Islamic Republic of Libya?

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A takeover of a Libyan port city by an Islamist terror group is the first overt act of Jihad in the current Libyan crisis     Taking advantage of the ongoing chaos in Libya, a large group of Islamist gunmen, believed to be members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), recently seized a weapons depot in the eastern Libyan port city of Derna. The incident underscores the increasing danger posed by militant Islamic terror groups to fill a potential power vacuum created by the disintegration of the Gadhafi regime. Calling itself the “Islamist Emirate of Baraqa,” the group, assisted by Libyan Army Colonel Adnan al-Nwisri, seized over 250 weapons. The cache included a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, three anti-aircraft guns, 70 assault rifles, and over 70 military vehicles. The gunmen also took both civilians and Libyan soldiers as hostages in the nearby port city of Al-Baida, threatening to kill them unless the siege of that city was lifted by Libyan security forces. The same group was also accused by Libyan officials of hanging two soldiers only

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Cracks in the Kingdom

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A series of recent events suggest the Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be more vulnerable to the forces of change sweeping the Middle East than originally believed   Disregarding the Saudi Arabian government’s ban on the establishment of political organizations, a small group of Saudi activists recently formed the Islamic nation’s first political party. It was but the latest event demonstrating the increasing vulnerability of the Saudi kingdom to revolutionary forces, like much of Middle East in general. While the newly formed Islamic Umma Party remains committed to keeping Saudi Arabia an Islamist state, it does calls for political freedoms that it says “predate Islam.” A statement released by the party’s founders read in part that the Islamic Umma Party believes in “freedom,” “political pluralism, and the peaceful transfer of power, and the right of the [Islamic] nation to choose its governments.” According to Sheikh Mohammed al-Qahtani, one of the party’s founders, the formation of the Islamic Umma Party “was a natural response to the development of the political situation in the region and the

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