Posted: November 17, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, Russia, Space & Aviation, War Room | Tags: Bashar al-Assad, Egypt, François Hollande, France, Islamic state, Islamism, Ministry of Interior (Egypt), Mohamed Morsi, Moscow, RUSSIA, Sinai Peninsula, Syria, Syrian Army, Terrorism in Syria, Vladimir Putin
‘We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist act’
MOSCOW – The Kremlin said for the first time on Tuesday that a bomb had ripped apart a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last month and promised to hunt down those responsible and intensify its air strikes on Islamist militants in Syria in response.
“According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid air, which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance.”
Until Tuesday, Russia had played down assertions from Western countries that the crash, in which 224 people were killed on Oct. 31, was a terrorist incident, saying it was important to let the official investigation run its course.
[Read the full text here, at Jerusalem Post]
But in a late night Kremlin meeting on Monday three days after Islamist gunmen and bombers killed 129 people in Paris, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB security service, told a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin that traces of foreign-made explosive had been found on fragments of the downed plane and on passengers’ personal belongings.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)
“We will search for them everywhere wherever they are hiding. We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them.”
— Vladimir Putin
“According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid air, which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance,” said Bortnikov. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29, 2015 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Capital punishment, Egypt, Heliopolis (Cairo suburb), Islamism, Khairat El-Shater, Life imprisonment, Mohamed Morsi, Mohammed Badie, Muslim Brotherhood, President of Egypt, Prosecutor
Mary Chastain reports: An explosion has killed Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat and injured at least seven more people on Monday morning in Cairo.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the health ministry, said Barakat passed away after surgeries. Ghaffar had previously stated he did not believe the prosecutor had suffered life-threatening injuries.
A witness spoke to Daily News Egypt:
A Heliopolis resident told Daily News Egypt they heard the explosion early Monday, and stepped onto their balcony to see a damaged motorcycle.
The witness also said there was an exploded vehicle, which according to the testimony, was Barakat’s security vehicle. The witness added that surrounding vehicles were in flames.
The damages on the attack scene included seven other injuries from Barakat’s staff and passengers, in addition to damages to 35 cars and nine houses in the area of the explosion.
[Read more at Breitbart and Daily News Egypt]
No group has yet to take responsibility for the attack. A group called Giza Popular Resistance claimed it first, but someone removed it from their Facebook page and the Twitter account denounced the post. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 16, 2015 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Agence France-Presse, Arish, Cairo, Capital punishment, Egypt, Islamism, Jihadism, Mohamed Morsi, Mohammed Badie, Muslim Brotherhood, President of Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Saturday’s decision is latest in a series of mass trials that have led to death penalty verdicts against the leadership and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood
CAIRO— Tamer El-Ghobashy and Dahlia Kholaif write: The decision is the harshest of multiple sentences given to Mr. Morsi
and underscores the breadth of current President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s crackdown on his chief political opponents, the Muslim Brotherhood
The court’s preliminary verdict Saturday is subject to review by the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, whose opinion isn’t legally binding but is traditionally adopted by the court.
“The death penalty has become the favorite tool for the Egyptian authorities to purge the political opposition.”
— Amnesty International
A final verdict based his opinion will be delivered June 2 but will be open to appeals, which can take years in Egypt’s clogged judicial system.
Mr. Morsi has already been sentenced to 20 years in prison last month in a separate case in which he was found guilty of fomenting violence during a series of protests in 2012 that dogged his year in office.
The former Egyptian president was among 106 members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood sentenced to death on Saturday, including the group’s spiritual guide Mohammed Badie and prominent Islamic scholar, Youssef al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar.
[Read the full text here, at WSJ]
The decision—broadcast on state television as Mr. Morsi and some of co-defendants smiled defiantly from inside the caged dock used to hold the accused—was received quietly in Egypt. However, authorities said it may have inspired a violent response in the restive Sinai Peninsula where security forces have struggled to contain a low-level Islamist insurgency.
Hours after the verdict was delivered, unknown gunmen attacked a vehicle carrying several judges and aides in the northern Sinai town of al-Arish, killing three judges, a driver, and wounding three others, according to Egypt’s state news agency.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the state news agency quotes unnamed security officials saying the attack may have been retaliation for the verdict against Mr. Morsi. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 19, 2015 Filed under: Global, Politics, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Islamism, Israel, Mohamed Morsi, Prime Minister of Israel, State of Palestine, United States, Vladimir Putin
At press time, President Obama has not yet congratulated the new Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel is the only real democracy in the region, it is militarily sophisticated, and is America’s strongest and most stable ally.
President Obama’s peevish, grudging, and hostile behavior is not statesman-like and is definitely not in America’s best interest.
However, Obama’s self-indulgent behavior does not seem to change. For example, in 2013, it took President Obama one full week before he called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election win.
- In 2012, it took Obama “hours” to congratulate Muslim Brotherhood candidate and then Egyptian President-elect Mohammed Morsi on winning his election.
- In 2012, Obama called to congratulate Vladimir Putin on winning what was probably a rigged election. So much for Obama’s concern for democracy and human rights. Russia is the country that annexed Crimea, invaded and occupied Ukraine, and has Stalinist designs on eastern Europe.
- Also in 2012, Obama congratulated the former Saudi King on choosing a new heir: Prince Salman. Saudi Arabia is a world class human rights violator, and a Sharia state.
- In 2013, Obama broke three decades of silence to congratulate Islamist Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani.
- In 2013, Obama congratulated Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for his Presidential victory. According to Reuters, the initial call “lasted 45 minutes.” Obama praised the prime minister’s speech.
Friendly overtures to Islamist Iran—the country that kidnapped fifty two Americans and held them hostage for 444 days; the country that has exported terrorism to all corners of the globe both ideologically and militarily through Hezbollah, its striking arm; the country that is hell-bent on exterminating Israel; the country that is well on its way to becoming nuclear— this is the country the Obama honors with a congratulatory phone call. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Benghazi, Cheryl Mills, Email address, Fox News Channel, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Naglaa Mahmoud, Stephen Hayes (Irish republican), The Weekly Standard, Trey Gowdy, United States Department of State
- Weekly Standard says State Dept. has evidence Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s top two aides at State, used ‘clintonemail.com’ addresses
- Gawker claims Abedin had one along with Phillippe Reines, Clinton’s top communications strategist while she was in Washington
- Public records on Nexis show Abedin used her clintonemail.com address but the other two haven’t been confirmed
- Clinton is still embroiled in controversy over admissions that she exclusively used a private, non-government email server while in office
Dailymail‘s David Martosko reports:
At least three top Hillary Clinton aides used email addresses hosted on the former secretary of state’s private server while she was in office, according to reports from two different news outlets.
A conservative magazine reported Wednesday that Clinton’s State Department chief and deputy chief of staff both had the private addresses.
‘Two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides used personal email while they were employed at the State Department,’ Weekly Standard senior writer Stephen Hayes said in a Fox News Channel interview, naming ‘Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff.’
‘The State Department has evidence of this,’ Hayes claimed.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had an email address on the former secretary of state’s private server, judging from records maintained by Lexis-Nexis
Abedin (left), shown with then-Secretary of State Clinton during a 2010 diplomatic meeting in Vietnam, was her deputy chief of staff and is expected to play a key roll if Clinton runs for presiden
The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes claimed on Fox News that the State Department has evidence Abedin and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s two top aides, both used private email addresses for government work
Clinton has come under fire for exclusively using her own ‘clintonemail.com’ address while she was America’s top diplomat.
She admitted Tuesday during a news conference at the United Nations that she deleted more than 30,000 emails she decided were personal in nature and unrelated to her job.
Separately from claims by The Weekly Standard, the gossip website Gawker reported this month that Abedin and Phillippe Reines, Clinton’s top communications strategist, had the private addresses. Abedin married into a separate scandal when she wed former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose sexting exploits landed him on front pages and hastened his departure from Congress.
Daily Mail Online was able to confirm Abedin’s email address through Lexis-Nexis, a commercial service that compiles public records.
‘Huma@clintonemail.com’ was one of several of Abedin’s email addresses Nexis collected in conjunction with other public records.
Email addresses typically land in the Nexis database when people list them on credit applications, mortgage paperwork or other legal documents.
Her first public words about ’email-gate’ attracted a crush of reporters at the United Nations
Searches for similar email addresses belonging to Reines and Mills were unsuccessful, as were searches for email addresses belonging to current and former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, Jen Psaki and Marie Harf, along with current Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill.
Merrill told Gawker this month that Reines ‘has never had’ an email address on the private Clinton server, ‘not for communicating with anyone about anything.’
But Merrill wouldn’t say whether Reines used a separate private account to conduct government business with Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 8, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Censorship, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Al-Azhar University, Anthony Weiner, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, Email address, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Judicial Watch, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Naglaa Mahmoud, Philippe Reines, The New York Times, United States Department of State
Colin Campbell and Hunter Walker write: A key member of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s team sent several angry emails to a group of journalists on Tuesday night.
The messages criticized a source for being a “lying liar” and what the aide described as a reporter’s “cockamamie theory.”
The heated exchange was the latest chapter in the growing controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email address for official business when she was secretary of state from 2009 until 2013.
It began after Gawker writer J.K. Trotter published a story indicating two of Clinton’s top aides used “secret email accounts” while they worked for her at the State Department.
CJ Ciaramella, a reporter for Vice and the Washington Free Beacon, subsequently emailed Philippe Reines, a veteran Clinton communications aide, asking about the Gawker story. In his response, Reines CC’d multiple media critics and Trotter. Among other things, Reines’ email criticized Trotter’s “creepy” reporting methods and accused him of relying on a source who lied about Clinton.
Update (March 5, 2014 11:18 a.m.): An internal email Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read sent to Trotter and his executive editor for investigations, John Cook, was published on the site’s story about this chain. We included it here to ensure our version of the email chain is complete.
Trotter’s piece said an unnamed source who “has worked with Clinton in the past” alleged both Reines and another top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, used private email addresses on the domain clintonemail.com when they worked under Clinton at the State Department. The accusation came on the heels of a New York Times report published Monday that suggested Clinton’s use of a private clintonemail.com address to conduct official State Department business may have violated federal regulations and prevented the government from preserving her communications.
Clinton’s team has insisted her use of the private email complied with the rulesand did not interfere with recordkeeping.
In his email to Trotter and Ciaramella, Reines vehemently denied he ever used personal email without including his government address.
Reines provided Business Insider with a copy of the exchange on Wednesday. In addition to Trotter and Ciaramella, Reines included Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple and CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. Reines explained his rationale for bringing Wemple and Stelter in the conversation at the beginning of his message.
“Since this fundamentally comes down to honesty, transparency and accountability, I thought we’d go through an exercise together – with Erik Wemple of The Washington Post and Brian Stelter of CNN included as observers,” Reines wrote.
Reines proceeded to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of Trotter’s article. In the story, Trotter wrote that Lexis Nexis records indicated Abedin had a clintonemail.com address. He also noted he wrote to the address listed in Nexis and the message did not bounce back. Reines dismissed this as “creepy” and questioned whether Trotter attempted to use similar techniques to check if he also had a clintonemail.com address.
“Did you attempt to verify your source’s assertion of my use of such an email using the same creepy methods you did with my close friend and colleague Huma Abedin? Assuming you did, why doesn’t your piece note the results of your creepy methods?” Reines wrote, adding, “Did you attempt to send an email to me at that domain, and if so did it go “through without bouncing”? Assuming you did, why don’t you note the results of your test?”
Reines went on to question whether Trotter’s unnamed source had been able to provide email exchanges proving Clinton’s aides used the private addresses.
“If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?” Reines asked in the email, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, Trotter sent a response to Reines, which he posted on Gawker. In it, he addressed each of the criticisms and defended his work.
Trotter’s initial story said the source’s claim that Reines and Abedin used private email addresses might explain “the State Department’s puzzling response to several FOIA requests filed by Gawker in the past two years.” The first of those requests was sent by Gawker in September 2012. Trotter said the request sought correspondence between Reines and a “variety of reporters” in the wake of a memorable, expletive-filled exchange Reines had with the late BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings in 2012.
“That request was confoundingly denied on the grounds that the State Department had no record of Reines—whose job it was to communicate with reporters—emailing Hastings or any other journalists (Gawker is currently appealing the rejection),” Trotter wrote.
Trotter also claimed a 2011 FOIA request from Gawker to the State Department asking for copies of Abedin’s correspondence was also denied.
In his email, Reines suggested the idea private email addresses would prevent the State Department from responding to FOIA requests for his communications with the media was a wild “conspiracy.”
“Is your cockamamie theory that the reason there is no record of my emailing with reporters is because I improperly used my personal email address to email with those reporters in an attempt to circumvent FOIA, and that every one of the many reporters you reasonably assume I emailed with are in on this conspiracy of having only emailed with me on my non-official email?” Reines asked. “All sorts of media outlets reached out to me, including FOX and The Daily Caller. Are they in on it? Is everyone in on it aside from Gawker?”
Last March, Business Insider filed our own FOIA request asking the State Department for records of Reines’ communications with several news organizations from the start of 2012 until after Clinton left her position as secretary of state in February 2013. A response sent to Business Insider by the State Department on March 21, 2014 indicated they would “being processing” the request and that they do have records of Reines’ emails with the media.
“Unusual circumstances (including the number and location of Department components involved in responding to your request, the volume of requested records, etc.) may arise that would require additional time to process your request,” the State Department response said.
The State Department, which has been criticized for failing to respond to records requests related to Clinton in a timely manner, rejected Business Insider’s request for expedited processing and has not returned any records of Reines’ communications.
Ciaramella responded to Reines and began with a greeting for the many reporters CC’d on the exchange.
“Hi Philippe, And hello JK and Erik and Brian and Nick. It’s wonderful that we can all be here, together,” he wrote.
Ciaramella went on to note that, if Reines’ claim he “didn’t use private email” is correct, then the State Department was “either lying through its teeth or wildly incompetent” in its response to Gawker’s FOIA request.
Ciaramella concluded by pointing out that BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith tweeted a claimed that Reines used a private Gmail account for his exchange with Hastings. This would seem to be solid evidence Reines was indeed using private email for State Department business.
Reines responded with another email where he looped in Smith.
“Let me welcome Ben to our little party, because, well, he’s flat out wrong,” Reines wrote. “Michael emailed me that morning on my State account, I responded from my State account, I even added a second State person’s State account to that exchange, and it entirely remained on our State accounts without my personal account being referenced or used in any way. … But hey, why let truth or facts get in the way of a good Tweet.”
Smith answered with an apology for the tweet, which he said was incorrect.
“Hey guys: this is my fault. I misremembered. I’m sorry for sewing confusion,” Smith wrote. “I have corresponded with Philippe on his gmail, but this was not that.”
Read the entire email exchange Reines sent to Business Insider below. It was lightly edited for consistent formatting and to remove all personal contact information.
From: CJ Ciaramella
To: Philippe Reines
Date: Tuesday, March 3, 6:47 p.m.
Subject: Comment on private email address at State Dept
This is CJ Ciaramella, a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon and Vice. Wondering if you have any response to this Gawker article alleging that you and Huma Abedin used private email addresses to conduct official government business while at the State Dept: http://gawker.com/source-top-clinton-aides-used-secret-email-accounts-at-1689246408
As I’m sure you well know, not archiving official business conducted on a private email address is a violation of the Federal Records Act. A FOIA request for your State Dept. emails is also currently being appealed. Please email or call: [phone number redacted]
From: Philippe Reines
To: CJ Ciaramella, J.K. Trotter, Erik Wemple, Brian Stelter, Nick Merrill
Date: Tuesay, March 3, 9:57 p.m.
Hi CJ. And hi JK.
Since this fundamentally comes down to honesty, transparency and accountability, I thought we’d go through an exercise together – with Erik Wemple of The Washington Post and Brian Stelter of CNN included as observers.
In your piece, which CJ references below, you wrote
“’Her top staffers used those Clinton email addresses’ at the agency, said the source, who has worked with Clinton in the past. The source named two staffers in particular, Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, who are said to have used private email addresses in the course of their agency duties.”
That’s a pretty clear assertion by you through your source that they had firsthand knowledge of my having and using an email account on the clintonemail.com domain. You then wrote:
“We were able to independantly [SIC] verify that Abedin used a ClintonEmail.com address at some point in time. There are several email addresses associated with Abedin’s name in records maintained by Lexis-Nexis; one of them is firstname.lastname@example.org. An email sent to that address today went through without bouncing.”
A few questions:
1) Did you attempt to verify your source’s assertion of my use of such an email using the same creepy methods you did with my close friend and colleague Huma Abedin? Assuming you did, why doesn’t your piece note the results of your creepy methods?
2) Did you attempt to send an email to me at that domain, and if so did it go “through without bouncing”? Assuming you did, why don’t you note the results of your test?
3) If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?
4) Better yet, in the off chance they don’t have every single email they ever sent or received, have you availed yourself of the same FOIA laws to petition the lying liar’s agency for any email between them and me that you have with our email?
I mean, you either naively or knowingly swallowed quite the whopper. Not sure which is worse. Actually, that’s not true.
Now, on the subject of FOIA…
You have to ask State about your requests, appeals, etc.
But while I have you I’m really hoping you can explain something to me. You wrote that “The use of private email addresses may explain the State Department’s puzzling response to several FOIA requests filed by Gawker in the past two years,” continuing, “That request was confoundingly denied on the grounds that the State Department had no record of Reines—whose job it was to communicate with reporters—emailing Hastings or any other journalists.”
So, is your cockamamie theory that the reason there is no record of my emailing with reporters is because I improperly used my personal email address to email with those reporters in an attempt to circumvent FOIA, and that every one of the many reporters you reasonably assume I emailed with are in on this conspiracy of having only emailed with me on my non-official email? All sorts of media outlets reached out to me, including FOX and The Daily Caller. Are they in on it? Is everyone in on it aside from Gawker?
Now, to answer your question: email is a two way street. You’d be surprised how many reporters deliberately email government officials to their personal accounts. You’d be equally surprised to know that when they did, I moved the exchange to my state.gov account because, between you and me, my personal account is about the last place I want to be emailing reporters or conducting work.
Which brings me to my last question(s) – for both JK & CJ:
Have either of you ever deliberately emailed a US Government official anywhere other than their official address to discuss official US Government business? If so, why? Have you ever received an email from a US Government official from anywhere other than their official address to discuss official US Government business? If so did you ask them why?
Looking forward to your responses!
Philippe Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 12, 2014 Filed under: Humor, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Egypt, Middle East, Middle East Media Research Institute, Mohamed Morsi, Obama, Twitter, YouTube
…So Viral, It Even Has a T-Shirt
For TheBlaze, Sharona Schwartz reports: A video in which an Egyptian woman accuses President Barack Obama of interfering in Egypt’s business, calling the U.S. president a “donkey” and exclaiming multiple times, “Shut up your mouth, Obama,” has gone viral in the Middle East, inspiring a remix, Photoshopped spoofs and even T-shirts.
In the video which appears to have been taken during a protest, the unidentified woman wearing a turquoise-colored hijab speaks both in English and Arabic.
Screenshot: MEMRI via YouTube
“I’d like to convey the following message to Obama. Listen, Obama. We are Egyptian women. You are listen, Obama? Shut up your mouth, Obama. Shut up your mouth, Obama!”
she says in the video.
“Our message to you, you donkey: No matter what you do, we will not restore the ousted president [Mohammed Morsi],” she said according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“Al-Sisi, yes. Al-Sisi, yes. Morsi, no. Morsi, no”
…the woman chanted, referring to Egyptian Defense Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who played a key role in deposing Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi last summer.
The audio of the woman has been remixed into a techno musical version posted on YouTube with the hilarious slug, “Shut up your mouse, Obama,” the alteration of the word “mouth” likely attributable to her mispronunciation of the sound “th,” as is often heard among non-native English speakers. Other memes online [on the hashtag #shutupyourmouseobama, of course] included a Photoshopped image of Obama seemingly watching the woman mouthing off at him and a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Shut up your mouse, Obama!”
Posted: December 28, 2013 Filed under: Education, Global, War Room | Tags: 2011 Egyptian revolution, Al-Ahram, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Sinai Peninsula
© Photo: AFP
Protesting Egyptian students loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to two buildings at Al-Azhar University‘s Cairo campus following clashes with police on Saturday, state television reported.
At least one student was killed in the fighting, a doctor told the AFP news agency. Reuters also quoted an activist as saying a protester had been killed, although this was denied by a security source.
State TV broadcast footage of black smoke billowing from the university’s faculty of commerce building and said “terrorist students” had set the agriculture faculty building on fire as well.
State-run newspaper Al-Ahram said the fighting began when security forces fired teargas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were preventing their classmates from entering university buildings to take exams. Protesters threw rocks at police and set tyres on fire to counter the teargas.
The Brotherhood was officially designated as a terrorist organisation by the state earlier this week after 16 people were killed in a suicide attack on a police station, although the group condemned the attack and it was claimed by a radical faction based in the Sinai Peninsula.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 26, 2013 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Law & Justice | Tags: Arab Spring, Demonstration (people), Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Human rights, Islamism, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood
A demonstration on Sunday marked 100 days since the mass killing at Rabaa al-Adawiya, a square in Cairo where security forces fired on protesters while trying to break up an Islamist sit-in.
CAIRO — David D. Kirkpatrick writes: Egypt’s military-backed government has issued a law that all but bans street protests by applying jail time or heavy fines to the public demonstrations that have felled the last two presidents and regularly roiled the capital since the Arab Spring revolt.
The new law, promulgated on Sunday, is the latest evidence of a return to authoritarianism in the aftermath of the military takeover that removed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July. It criminalizes the kind of free assembly and public expression that many Egyptians had embraced as a cherished foundation of their new democracy after the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. And the relatively muted outcry against the law, mainly from human rights advocates, demonstrated how far public sentiment has swung.
Rights activists said the new law appeared even stricter than those in place under Mr. Mubarak. It effectively replaces a three-month “state of emergency” declared in August, when the government used deadly force to crush street protests by Islamist opponents of the July 3 takeover, killing more than a thousand. The state of emergency — which suspended protections against police abuse — expired last weekend, but the new protest law now grants the police other added powers that they could use to squelch any attempt to mobilize.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 1, 2013 Filed under: Art & Culture, Censorship, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Bassem Youssef, Cairo, Egypt, El-Bernameg, Islamism, Mohamed Morsi, satire, Television station
(CAIRO) — A private Egyptian TV station has stopped the airing of the latest episode of a widely popular political satire program after it came under fire for mocking the ultranationalist, pro-mililtary fervor gripping the country.
Minutes before the program, “El-Bernameg,” was to air Friday night, CBC announced that it would not be shown because satirist Bassem Youssef and his producer violated its editorial policies.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 25, 2013 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, History | Tags: Arab Spring, Cairo, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Jehane Noujaim, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Tahrir Square
Ishaan Tharoor writes: When it happened, Egypt’s February 2011 revolution seemed an epochal global event. If Cairo was not the birthplace of the Arab Spring, it was its apogee. The people of the Arab world’s most populous, most important nation, long oppressed, had finally found their voice. Braving bullets, tanks and tear gas, they overthrew the entrenched dictatorship of three-decade President Hosni Mubarak. The whole planet watched a jubilant Tahir Square explode with fireworks and celebration, while the international media hailed the advent of democracy and people power in a part of the world where both were conspicuously lacking.
But, as we all know now, Mubarak’s exit marked only a fleeting victory. In the near three years since, Egypt has lurched from crisis to crisis, antagonism to antagonism, each time punctuated by mass protests in Tahrir Square, a traffic roundabout that has come to symbolize both the dreams and the failures of the Revolution. This summer, many of the same revolutionaries who gathered at Tahrir in 2011, calling for the downfall of Mubarak, returned to cheer in elements of his old regime as the military removed the democratically-elected Islamist government of divisive President Mohamed Morsi. In August, a bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi demonstrators led to hundreds of deaths. The turmoil has effectively brought the revolution back full circle. Some commentators fear the counter-revolution has already won.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 23, 2013 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, War Room | Tags: Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, Cairo, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Copts, Egypt, Islamism, Middle East, Mohamed Morsi
Another Christian Wedding Becomes a Funeral
Yasmine Saleh reports: Egyptian Coptic Christians joyfully waited outside the Virgin Church in Cairo for the bride to arrive to join the groom for their wedding.
Instead bearded men on a motorcycle pulled up and fired on the crowd, deepening the fears of many Christians that their minority community will pay the bloodiest price for the ouster of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
Relatives of four victims killed in an attack at a wedding on Sunday, attend their funerals at Virgin Church in Cairo October 21, 2013. REUTERS/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany
“We heard gunfire and ran outside to find people and children lying on the ground swimming in their blood,” said Father Sawiris Boshra of the assault on Sunday night.
Bride Donya Amir Eissa and groom Mena Nashaat survived. Four other Christians who had come to share their happy occasion, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 20, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, War Room | Tags: 2011 Egyptian revolution, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, Islamism, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni Islam
(CAIRO) — Egyptian riot have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi who cut a main road in Cairo outside a prestigious Muslim institution and hurled stones.
The Sunday clashes were the second in two days at Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most prominent center of learning. Many supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group are students at Al-Azhar.
The protests come amid heated debate over a new law that would place new restrictions on demonstrators, imposing heavy fines and possible jail time on violators.
Morsi was overthrown on July 3 after millions took to the streets to demand he step down. Since then, Cairo has seen non-stop demonstrations by his supporters demanding his return. A military-backed crackdown has left hundreds dead and seen thousands arrested.
Posted: October 12, 2013 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed ElBaradei, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
Tires burn as Egyptian Muslim brotherhood and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi clash with riot police in Cairo on 6 October. Photograph: Mohammed Abdel Moneim/AFP/Getty Images
The US decision to stop military aid is not enough to stem the escalating violence. Terrorist attacks on civilians could be next
Jonathan Steele writes: The Obama administration’s decision to suspend some military aid to Egypt is a clear case of better late than never. Although an announcement was originally planned for August, its timing now is a warning to Cairo’s military coup-makersthat their repressive treatment of the opposition risks plunging Egypt into uncontrollable violence.
Troops again shot scores of peaceful Muslim Brotherhood protesters last weekend, and the next day unknown assailants struck a series of military and government targets in the most serious counterviolence since the coup. No one has taken responsibility for the attacks but it was predictable that General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s refusal to relax the clampdown on the Brotherhood would provoke violence. In what other country in the world today is an elected president held for three months with no access to his family or lawyers? In what other country are demonstrators routinely shot without warning, not with birdshot or rubber bullets but live ammunition?
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Posted: October 8, 2013 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Sinai Peninsula, Tahrir Square
Protesters throw stones during a clash between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, at Ramsis square, which leads to Tahrir Square, in Cairo October 6, 2013.
Ashraf Khalil reports: Egypt’s latest spasm of violence over the weekend—which led to at least 57 deaths and 400 injured—confirmed the troubled nation’s new reality: The emergence of two distinct, opposed Egypts that hate each other.
One Egypt is in the ascendant—that of a nationalist, pro-military populace that has nothing but contempt for the country’s Islamists, represented chiefly by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egypt of the Brotherhood is reeling and embittered: it has seen its democratically-elected President ousted by the military this July and its supporters gunned down in the streets. But it’s showing no sign of backing down. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 8, 2013 Filed under: Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Delga, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Ikhwan, Kerdasa, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, Mohamed Morsi
“By not acting in the face of atrocity, the U.S. has unintentionally given the signal that it is retreating from the region. The implication of this retreat is that violence against Christians and other minorities can proceed with impunity.”
Michael Armanious writes: Iskander Toss, who had lived all his life in the town of Delga in Upper Egypt, last week was kidnapped, severely beaten, and dragged on the dirt roads of the village until his spirit left him.
His crime? As in the Kenya mall massacre last week, he was a Christian.
A few days later, the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] jihadists opened his grave, pulled his body out, and dragged it through the village until the majority of the Coptic families fled in terror.
What is unique about Toss’s death is that people know is his name. Throughout the land of the Nile, murders like his are taking place on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 6, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Dokki, Egypt, Giza, Mohamed Morsi, Tahrir Square, Yom Kippur War
Egyptian celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli War were marred by a fresh wave of violence, with at least 50 people killed and over 200 wounded in clashes between police and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
RT’s Arabic team also got caught in the turmoil in Cairo, with producer Ahmad al-Ashqar getting injured in the right leg in Giza’s Dokki district.
At least 50 people were killed and 268 others injured across Egypt, AFP cited senior health ministry official Ahmed al-Ansari as saying. At least 45 individuals were killed in Cairo and another five south of the capital, according to the official. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 23, 2013 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Egypt, Freedom and Justice Party, Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, STEVEN EMERSON, Yusuf al-Qaradawi
STEVEN EMERSON reports: An Egyptian court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered that all its assets be seized. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 21, 2013 Filed under: Global, White House | Tags: Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, Cairo, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Qena
AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
CAIRO (AP) — A farmer in southern Egypt was arrested Saturday after putting the military chief’s name and an army-style cap on his donkey, and eight people were detained elsewhere in the country for spraying anti-military graffiti.
The arrests point to a long-standing taboo in Egypt against criticizing the country’s powerful military, an offense magnified amid the ongoing crackdown on supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
The farmer, Omar Abul-Magd, was arrested late Friday in Qena province for allegedly insulting Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi when he rode the donkey through town, reported the state MENA news agency. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 31, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Amr Waked, Egypt, HBO Europe, Ibrahim El-Batout, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Tahrir Square, Venice, Venice Film Festival
With the country in turmoil, the Egyptian presence at Venice is small this year. The notable exception being multi-hyphenate Amr Waked, who is on the Lido wearing two hats despite what he claims is the Muslim Brotherhood’s best attempts to keep him home in Cairo.
“They sent a message to the festival organizers here saying that I am a supporter of what they claim is a bloody coup,” alleges Waked, known internationally for thesping turns in “Syriana” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” He is not only on the Horizons jury but also on the Lido as producer of “The Cat,” screening in the Venice Film Market’s Final Cut workshop.
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Posted: August 23, 2013 Filed under: War Room | Tags: Charles Krauthammer, Egypt, Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, Egyptian, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Suez Canal, United States
Egypt today is a zero-sum game. We’d have preferred there be a democratic alternative. Unfortunately, there is none. The choice is binary: the country will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood or by the military.
Perhaps it didn’t have to be this way. Perhaps the military should have waited three years for the intensely unpopular Mohamed Morsi to be voted out of office. But Gen.Abdel Fatah al-Sissi seems to have calculated that he didn’t have three years, that by then there would be no elections — as in Gaza, where the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, Hamas, elected in 2006, established a one-man-one-vote-one-time dictatorship.
What’s the United States to do? Any response demands two considerations: (a) moral, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for Egypt, and (b) strategic, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for U.S. interests and those of the free world.
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Posted: August 18, 2013 Filed under: War Room | Tags: Aung San Suu Kyi, David Cameron, Egypt, Egyptian Army, Egyptians, Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, National League for Democracy, Observer, Tahrir Square, United States
Europe and the US need to accept that the Muslim Brotherhood may be foul, but it did not abolish democracy
Anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir square in July 2013, before the Egyptian army massacres. Photograph: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters
When a state massacres 600 demonstrators, it is not just its own citizens it murders. It also kills the possibility of compromise. The perpetrators mean you to understand that there can be no going back. When they kill, they are well aware that they are shedding too much blood for normal politics to kick in and allow differences to be patched up and deals made.
The killers have the swagger of gangsters. “We know,” they seem to say, “that we are breaking all the basic standards of civilised behaviour. We know people will hate us until the day we die for what we have done today. But do you know what? We don’t care.”
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Posted: July 3, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, War Room | Tags: Associated Press, Egypt, Egyptians, June, Mohamed Morsi, Sexual assault, Tahrir Square, Vigilante
According to the AP, a “vigilante group” that has formed to protect women reported 46 attempted sexual assaults on June 30 alone.
Attacks on women in Tahrir Square have steadily increased since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011. And now the assaults have reached a level where the protests aimed at Morsi’s ouster have become a target-rich environment for men who wish to assault women.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a Dutch journalist was raped by five men in Tahrir Square on June 28. That journalist “is believed to have undergone surgery for the horrific injuries sustained during the attack.”
Mothers, grandmothers, and even 7-year old girls have been targeted for assault during the protests as well.
Watch groups like “Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment” are urging females to avoid going to the protests until some semblance of order can be restored.