‘ Jordan’s Arab Bank Found Guilty of Assisting Hamas ‘

#AceNewsServices – NEW YORK- September 24 – After just 2 days of deliberation by a jury, following a 5 week trial, and 10 years of legal battles, Jordan’s Arab Bank has been found guilty of helping “Hamas militants carry out a wave of violence in Israel that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans,” according to Bloomberg news.

' Arab Bank found Guilty of Funding Terrorism '

‘ Arab Bank found Guilty of Funding Terrorism ‘

The financial assistance to Hamas took place between the years 1998 and 2004.

The trial took place in a Brooklyn federal court. 

New York (AFP) – A New York jury will begin deliberations Friday on whether Arab Bank is guilty of aiding terrorism and transferring millions of dollars to Hamas during the second Palestinian uprising.

The hugely respected Jordan-based multinational went on trial in mid-August after 300 US relatives and victims of 24 attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories filed a federal law suit in 2004.

The defence told the jury on Thursday there is no evidence Arab Bank executives supported terrorism and disputed that the institution knowingly made payments to designated terrorists.

The plaintiffs claim the bank transferred more than $70 million to an alleged Saudi terror entity, Palestinian charities they claim were a front for Hamas and 11 globally designated terrorist clients.

The trial heard that the Arab Bank transferred $60,000 to Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin — who was assassinated by Israel in 2004 — due to a spelling mistake of his name which was not detected by banking software.

They also claimed that Hamas, which the US officially designates as a terror group, directed the distribution of the money from the Saudi fund.

Stephens said Arab Bank provided routine banking services and that no charity — including the Saudi committee — to whom it transferred funds were on any US, UN or EU blacklist at the time.

He said that between 2000 and 2004 its Saudi fund payments to 15,000 people each month were public and approved by Israel.

Werbner said that assertion was “complete fabrication.”

The plaintiffs question 180 of the Saudi payments to 24 families of purported Hamas operatives, or about one percent of the total, Stephens said.

He said there was no evidence to prove that any money transferred by Arab Bank had been used to finance terror attacks and that the cycle of violence in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict had nothing to do with his client. 

They’re guilty,” said Werbner.

Source:

#ANS2014

#arab-bank, #hamas, #new-york, #saudi

‘ Egyptian Adel Abdul Bary Pleading Guilty to Charges Connected to 1998 Bombings of Embassies ‘

#AceNewsServices – September 19 – An Egyptian man, Adel Abdul Bary, said on Friday he would plead guilty in New York to charges connected with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Reuters reported.

' Adel Abdul Bary on Trial '

‘ Adel Abdul Bary on Trial ‘

Bary, 54, said in court he would plead guilty to making a threat to use an explosive device and conspiracy to murder Americans.

The plea comes two months before he was set to face trial in a federal court alongside two co-defendants, Libyan Anas al-Liby and Saudi Khalid al-Fawwaz.

The bombings killed 224 people. Bary and Fawwaz helped disseminate statements of responsibility for the group, according to an earlier criminal indictment.

#ANS2014

#adel-abdul-bary, #americans, #anas-al-liby, #egyptian, #kenya, #khalid-al-fawwaz, #libyan, #new-york, #saudi, #tanzania, #us

` Saudi Court Sentences to Death the Chief Strategist of a Wave of Al-Qaeda Violence in the Kingdom in 2003 ‘

#AceWorldNews – RIYADH – April 13 – (ALJ) – A Saudi court has sentenced to death the “chief strategist” of a wave of al-Qaeda violence that erupted in the kingdom in 2003, a decade after his reported arrest.

Faris al-Zahrani had been in custody ever since his detention near the Yemeni border in 2004, the Al-Madina newspaper reported on its website.

The official Saudi Press Agency gave neither his name nor the date of his arrest in the south-western city of Abha, saying only that he had shown no remorse while in custody.

The trial, in which 16 co-defendants were also sentenced to prison terms of up to 20 years, was the latest in a series of prosecutions that begun in July 2011 for alleged offences committed during the peak of al-Qaeda violence in the oil kingpin between 2003 and 2006.

#ANS2014

#al-qaeda, #riyadh, #saudi, #yemeni

` Three of the ` Gulf Co-Operation Council ‘ States are not happy with ` Qatar’s ‘ support of the `Muslim Brotherhood ‘

#AceWorldNews “As long as Doha does not revise its policy,” there’s no end in sight for the political crisis in Qatar, said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, cited by the Saudi Al-Hayat Newspaper on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The statement follows the March 5 return by their governments of Emirati, Bahraini and Saudi ambassadors from Qatar, a move spurred by the Gulf state’s alleged refusal to abide by the agreement that the Gulf Cooperation Council would not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

The three other GCC states are not happy with Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a party whose ideology is a challenge to the conservative principles of the Gulf region’s established monarchies.

#ANS2014

#doha, #gulf-co-operation-council-gcc, #muslim-brotherhood, #qatar, #reuters, #saudi, #saudi-al-hayat-newspaper

` Armed Extremists in `Yarmouk ‘ near Damascus’ massacre captured `Palestinian ‘ fighter’s ‘

#AceWorldNews says that Armed extremist grouping the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant /ISIS/ has massacred captured Palestinian fighters in the refugee camp Yarmouk, near Damascus, an official representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – Special Command (PFLP-SC), Anwar Raja reports.

He has not mentioned the exact number of victims.

“The terrorists did not try to hide their crime and openly announced the massacre,” – news agency SANA quotes the words of the representative today.

According to Raja, bandits from the ISIS and another radical group – Jabhat an-Nusra – who had infiltrated the camp, upset the process of normalization.

They attacked the positions of the united Palestinian self-defence forces and Syrian troops deployed around Yarmouk.

“This provocation was planned by the Saudi secret service in order to exert pressure on Damascus and hamper the conciliation agreements with militants seeking to stop the armed struggle,” he said. “We can no longer sit on the fence in the current situation,” said Raja.

#ANS2014

#damascus, #iraq, #isis, #palestinian, #popular-front-for-the-liberation-of-palestine, #raja, #sana, #saudi, #syrians

#Saudi Arabia : “MERS Annonuces `Coronavirus’ Claims more Deaths”

#AceNewsServices says `Saudi Toll Rises to 59 After New MERS Death’

Ace News Desk  A new MERS death was announced in Saudi Arabia Wednesday, which brings to 59 the number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the country. The Saudi national, aged 60, who had suffered from a chronic form of the disease, died in hospital in the Riyadh region, AFP reported, citing a Health Ministry statement. The ministry has registered additional cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, bringing the total number to 143, including the fatalities.

 

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Sochi Winter Olympics: “Russia’s Hidden Agenda”

#AceWorldNews says following Monday’s terrorist bombings only 400 miles away from the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have a geopolitical back story involving implied threats from Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan to Russian President Vladimir Putin last summer when Bandar was pressing Putin to withdraw his backing for the #Syrian government.

Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary-General of the Na...

Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary-General of the National Security Council of Saudi Arabia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to a diplomatic leak detailing the Bandar-Putin meeting in Moscow on July 31, Bandar suggested that Putin’s agreement to abandon the #Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad would lead Saudi Arabia to restrain its Chechen terrorist clients who have attacked Russia targets for years. Putin reportedly grew furious, interpreting Bandar’s offer as a warning that the Sochi games would be threatened by terrorism if Putin didn’t comply.

At the time, I was even told that Putin warned Saudi Arabia of potentially severe consequences – suggesting military retaliation – if Bandar’s implied warning was followed up by actual terrorist attacks like the ones in Volvograd on Monday, killing more than 30 people.

Of course, it is always hard to trace specific terrorist acts back to their origins and many terrorist cells operate with much autonomy. But Putin has staked much of his prestige on a successful Olympics in Sochi, and he also would risk losing face if it were perceived that Bandar had executed a terrorist plan to disrupt the Winter Olympics and that Putin was powerless to stop it.

According to the leaked diplomatic account of last summer’s meeting, Bandar sought Russia’s cooperation on several Mideast concerns, including Syria, and told Putin, “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

English: RIYADH. Before the beginning of the R...

English: RIYADH. Before the beginning of the Russian-Saudi talks. Русский: ЭР-РИЯД. Перед началом российско-саудовских переговоров. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putin reportedly responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Besides safety for the Sochi Olympics, Bandar raised the potential of Saudi cooperation with Russia on oil and other investment matters, saying, “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” according to the diplomatic account.

I was told by a source close to the Russian government that this mix of overt inducements and implied threats infuriated Putin who barely kept his anger in check through the end of the meeting with Bandar. Putin viewed Bandar’s offer to protect the Sochi Olympics as something akin to a Mafia don shaking down a shopkeeper for protection money by saying, “nice little business you got here, I’d hate to see anything happen to it.”

Putin then redoubled his support for the Syrian government in response to Bandar’s blend of bribes and warnings. The source said Russia also issued its own thinly veiled threats against the Saudis. The Saudis may have substantial “soft power” – with their oil and money – but Russia has its own formidable “hard power,” including a huge military, the source said.

Osama bin Laden compound

Osama bin Laden compound (Photo credit: Sajjad Ali Qureshi)

Bandar and Terrorism:

Over the years, Bandar has often treated the issue of “terrorism” as a situational ethic, an ambivalence well-honed since the days when Saudi Arabia and the Reagan administration teamed up to pour billions of dollars into the Afghan mujahedeen and their Arab jihadist allies fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s.

The anti-Soviet effort in Afghanistan brought to prominence Saudi national Osama bin Laden and the terrorists who later consolidated themselves under the global brand, al-Qaeda. In the 1980’s, these roving jihadists’ were hailed as brave defenders of Islam and even “freedom fighters,” but – in the 1990’s – they began targeting the United States with terrorist attacks, leading up to 9/11 in 2001.

At the time of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, Bandar was the Saudi ambassador to the United States and was so close to the Bush family that he was nicknamed “Bandar Bush.” Bandar was also very close to the bin Laden family. After the attacks, Bandar even acknowledged having met Osama bin Laden in the context of bin Laden thanking Bandar for his help financing the Afghan jihad project.

“I was not impressed, to be honest with you,” Bandar told CNN’s Larry King about bin Laden. “I thought he was simple and very quiet guy.”

President Obama confirms death of Osama bin Laden

However, immediately after 9/11, Bandar undermined the FBI’s opportunity to learn more about the connections between Osama bin Laden’s relatives and the perpetrators of 9/11 when Bandar arranged for members of the bin Laden family to flee the United States on some of the first planes allowed back into the air – after only cursory interviews with FBI investigators. The only segment of the 9/11 Commission’s report to be blacked out was the part dealing with alleged Saudi financing for al-Qaeda.

Now, as chief of Saudi intelligence, Bandar appears to be back in the game of coercive geopolitics, arranging weapons for some of the most brutal Syrian rebels and Arab mercenaries operating inside Syria, while offering carrots-and-sticks to foreign leaders who are seen are malleable toward Saudi regional interests. The technique may have failed with Putin but had greater success in lining up the French behind Saudi opposition to a negotiated agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

As a repressive monarchy that preaches the ultra-conservative Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, Saudi Arabia is bitterly opposed to the democratic reforms of the Arab Spring and the growing influence of Shiite Islam, which now stretches from Iran through Iraq and Syria to the Hezbollah enclaves of Lebanon.

President Mohammed Morsi

Saudi Arabia backed the military coup in Egypt that ousted the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi. The Saudis also have stepped up assistance to Sunni-dominated rebels in Syria seeking to overthrow the Assad dynasty that is based in the Alawite religion, a branch of Shiite Islam.

The commonality of interests between Saudi Arabia and Israel has given rise to a de facto alliance between the Saudi monarchy and the Jewish government of Israel. Though historically enemies, Israel and Saudi Arabia are now on the same page in backing Egypt’s military regime, in viewing Iran as their principal adversary, and in wanting a rebel victory in Syria.

The shifting sands of Middle East interests also have pushed the United States and Russia closer together, with the former Cold War rivals sharing an interest in tamping down disorder across the region. President Putin and President Barack Obama cooperated in reaching a tentative nuclear deal with Iran and in convincing Syria’s Assad to surrender his chemical weapons. Putin and Obama are pressing for Syrian peace talks, too.

Now, however, a new complication has been introduced: Islamist terrorist attacks aimed at undermining the Sochi Olympics. If Putin concludes that the Saudis are behind these bombings – that the attacks are the equivalent of a Mafia don having a store torched after the owner rebuffed an offer of “protection” – then the issue of Russian retaliation could suddenly be on the table.

Courtesy of and by Robert Parry

This article has originally appeared on Consortium News 

[NOTE: Alawites are not a Shiite branch. In fact, the two Islamic sects are different in form and content. Alawites’ are as much different from Shiites as they are from the Sunnis and this can even be observed in the form of daily prayers.]

#AceRelatedNews: Rivers of Hope 

 

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#Syria and the Saudi-Israeli Connection: The Chemical Weapons Attack. Who was Behind It?#Peace

Syria and the Saudi-Israeli Connection: The Chemical Weapons Attack. Who was Behind It?

Global Research, September 19, 2013
Please note this is a copyrighted article and cannot be altered in any way without express permission of the writer. Thank You Editor.  
Syria

Syria (Photo credit: Yishac – Isaac Alvarez i Brugada)

The long anticipated UN inspectors report confirmed the use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013 in the Ghouta area of Damascus. The investigators report provided “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used”. Warmongers were quick to pounce on the use of rockets as evidence that the Assad government was responsible. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov was quick to point to the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” argument — correlation does not equal causation. So whodunit?

Foremost, given that the report emphasis the use of rockets, the Saudis should be asking themselves why it is that the accusatory finger has been pointed to them. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Syria conflict. Their involvement is not restricted to providing arms to the rebels but as USA Today reported in January, they have been sending death-row inmates to fight in Syria. That said, the UN report clearly repudiates dubious reports which surfaced on the internet citing a rebel’s father who had claimed that the Saudis supplied the chemical weapons without instructions, or without telling the rebels what they were which is why “they” (chemical weapons) went off in the tunnel.

Official logo of the Foundation for Defense of...

Official logo of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While it is not a secret that the Saudis aim to spread their influence in the region by assisting neocons remove Assad from power, what should be of note to the Saudis and of interest to media watchers is the fact that in spite of the Saudi ‘s full cooperation with America and Israel in funding and supporting wars against fellow Arabs and Moslems, and even providing them with terrorists, the neoconservatives such as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies are now claiming that Saudi Arabia is responsible for pushing for war . This should give Saudis reason to pause and reflect. But to the report….

According to the UN report two types of rockets had been used, including an M14 artillery rocket bearing Cyrillic markings and a 330-millimeter rocket of unidentified origin – though perhaps not so unidentified. Shortly after the August incident, Foreign Policy published and made mention of these mysterious rockets which according to former UN inspectors bore a strong resemblance to a 1970’s American weapon—the SLUFAE. Although SLUFAE had been shelved, the concept was built upon by several countries—namely Israel. According to the former UN inspector, “a very similar munition was found 3-5 years ago, during one of the Israeli excursions,” into Southern Lebanon”. Further, there is the strong possibility that the rockets with Cyrillic markings (attributed to the Soviets) can be traced back to the “Bear Spares” program.

According to the 1995 Teicher Affidavit, the United States had a “Bear Spares” program with the objective to provide ammunition for Soviet or Soviet-style weaponry and deliver them third countries without direct involvement. Israel which had a large stockpile of Soviet weaponry and ammunition captured during its wars was active in this program and, according to Teicher, transferred the spare parts and weapons to third countries or insurgents (such as to Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, to the Afghans, and the Contras).

Of note is the fact that Israel possess Sarin gas and it is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It is worthwhile repeating here that it was Israeli “intelligence” which alerted the United States of the use of Sarin on August 21, and of its delivery method long before the UN report was published. It was the Israeli ‘intelligence’ which prompted John Kerry to point the finger at Assad with confidence.

Often left unmentioned is the fact that it was John Kerry’s public suggestion to rid Syria of its chemical weapons which became the basis for the Russian initiative to avert war. Undoubtedly, Israel stands to gain from this initiative given its territorial ambitions (see HERE for example) given that it is thought that Syria’s entire defense against Israel may rest on chemical weapons and warheads[i]. Not surprisingly, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu regards the initiative as a precedent for dealing with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

While Israel has the most to gain by the chemical attack incident, it is not unique in its access to Soviet weaponry – and to Sarin gas. Egypt also served as a supplier for the Bear Spares program where it manufactured weapons and spare parts from Soviet designs and provided these weapons and ammunition to the Iraqis (during the Iran-Iraq war) and other countries. The United States approved, assisted and encouraged Egypt’s manufacturing capabilities. It is not without relevance to mention here that the Syrian opposition group had headquarters in Egypt for some time. The leader of Egyptian military coup, General al-Sisi was hailed as a “national hero for all Jews’ by the Israeli ambassador in Cairo. The military continues to be in charge with the full support of and funding from the United States (and Saudis).

Contrary to the Western media pundits who attempt to pain this as a straightforward case against Assad, without evidence or without thought, one can point the finger to other more likely culprits who stand to gain a great deal from this heinous crime. The only way to narrow down the field is to consider ‘cui bono’. Clearly, Assad is the biggest loser.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups in influencing US foreign policy.

Note

[i] Terrill, W. Andrew, “The Chemical Warfare Legacy of the Yemen War.” Comparative Strategy, 10 (1991), 109-119.

Copyright © 2013 Global Research

 

#acenewsservices, #ghouta, #israel, #peace, #saudi, #saudi-arabia, #southern-lebanon, #soviet, #syria, #syrian-civil-war, #united-states