In light of the information now emerging from France, it seems the man suspected of being behind the rampage of murder in Toulouse, Mohamed Merah, made a decision to embark on a one-man jihad campaign close to home.
By doing so, he acted in line with instructions that have been broadcast on the Internet by al-Qaida ideologues over recent years.
Following is an overview of this group:
Merah claims to belong to Al-Qaeda, and, indeed, apparently is a member of the French group Fursan Al-'Izza ("The Knights of Pride)," spelled in French, "Forsane Alizza," which is ideologically affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Max Boot: The secret of French success on terror
But whatever the French did wrong in this case — and there is no doubt that a terrible oversight occurred — on the whole French counter-terrorism is a success story. I recommend reading this 2008 article by Reuel Marc Gerecht and Gary Schmitt that calls France “the European country most serious about counterterrorism.” The secret of French success has been their willingness “to grant highly intrusive powers to their internal security service, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST), and to their counterterrorist, investigative magistrates, the juges d’instruction” — powers that far exceed any authorities given U.S. government officials even under the Patriot Act. With those powers, French forces have done an impressive job of stopping terrorist plots of which there is no shortage because of the large number of marginalized and aggrieved Muslim immigrants living there. Indeed France’s real mistake is not doing more to assimilate Muslims which ensures a constant supply of plotters; the blame is more on society and government as a whole than on the security forces which are on the whole quite effective.
Hamid Karzai gave the figure in a speech to graduates of a Kabul military academy on Thursday. He said: "It's set that post 2014, for the next 10 years until 2024 the international community, with the US in the lead and followed by Europe and other countries, will pay Afghanistan security forces $4.1 billion annually."
According to well-informed Turkish and US sources, during his meeting with Secretary Clinton, Davutoğlu put forward a set of measures, including, among others, creating a buffer zone and/or a humanitarian corridor, as well as organizing and equipping the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The secretary of state responded in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration had no interest in pursuing any of these options. In fact, according to one account, Clinton told her Turkish counterpart no less than three times, “We are not there.”
. . . The Obama administration’s reasoning is simple. It calculates, rather correctly, that such regional efforts will likely end up drawing the US in down the road, one way or another. President Obama wishes to nip in the bud any possibility of this happening in an election year. And so, such regional moves were opposed in order for the president not to be forced to take action he’s adamantly intent on avoiding, regardless of the consequences.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Council's unanimous statement had sent a clear message to Syria to end all violence, but the appeal had little impact on the ground, where rebels are seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
But as harrowing as the details of the current situation are, the basic principles at stake are very clear. Indeed, the United States, and other countries in the West, ought to reflect on the Syrian conflict’s strong resemblance to the situation in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. That would clarify, if the events on the ground have not already, that the international community has a responsibility to intervene. More than that, it would underscore that the main source of regret, years from now, will be that it delayed so long in doing so.
But on Wednesday, Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said the group’s governing body has found none of the hundreds of declared candidates worthy of its support and is weighing the possibility of nominating a Brotherhood member to run in the election, set to begin May 23. Privately, officials close to the Brotherhood say talks are centering on Khayrat el-Shater, its top financier.
The Muslim Brotherhood aims to open the Egyptian border with Gaza to commerce, a shift that would transform life for Palestinians there but which is hitting resistance from Egyptian authorities reluctant to change a longstanding policy.
Gaza’s latest energy crisis began one month ago, when Egyptian authorities began cracking down on smuggling tunnels linking Sinai to the Gaza Strip. The lack of diesel has caused Gaza’s only power station to shut down, leading to power shortages across Gaza. The city’s medical services were also on the verge of collapse as a result of the power outs, local officials reported.
The high hopes Gaza’s Hamas leaders had in the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of their old nemesis, Hosni Mubarak, have been swallowed up by growing acrimony and traditional distrust.
Tensions were on display during the fighting between Israel and Gaza-based militant groups last week, when Egypt’s efforts to broker a truce were subject to repeated delays and violations. The ceasefire gradually went into affect, and now the two sides are back to sniping over who is responsible for the fuel shortage in Gaza that has been behind weeks of brownouts and blackouts.
Had Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not slammed this travesty, it’s doubtful much attention would have been paid the creeping legitimization of Hamas in the Swiss-based subsidiary of the UN General Assembly. Not that this should surprise anyone with even rudimentary familiarity with the Council.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which led the firing of rockets at Israeli cities, towns and villages, and Hamas, which sat on the sidelines, are more deterred by the IDF now than before the escalation, according to the findings.
Obama’s roots in the activist world made him uniquely susceptible to ideas about Israel that fall far outside the mainstream American consensus, said a longtime Jewish insider who has ties to the White House.
“He comes from a perspective of being a left-wing radical agitator,” explained the source. “Before he was a senator and a state legislator, he was from a milieu of the left, in and around campuses and community organizing, that sees Israel and Zionism as being an imperial force that unfairly oppresses the Palestinian masses.”
. . . “There are grave concerns that during his second term, when he no longer has to worry about mundane matters of electoral politics, that the real Barack Obama will come forward,” said the source. “Bibi Netanyahu better watch out.”