Ireland is the Global Per Capita Leader for Radical Islamists

Various aspects of national security in Ireland are handled by several different specialist units within the Gardaí including the Emergency Response Unit, the Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the Special Detective Unit, Crime & Security Branch as well as G2 Military Intelligence.

However Ireland’s neutrality means that the country does not have the same military and defence budgets, as a percentage of GDP, made available to develop capabilities compared to most other countries.

Irish Intel’s Non-Existent Proactive Track Record

Dubious and bizarre characters of all kinds keep turning up on Irish shores or are in-country having become naturalised Irish citizens or having successfully acquired residency or asylum in Ireland. All of this while involved in various kinds of international military interventions, terrorist fundraising, extremism or as known proponents of radical ideologies.

It would seem that it all falls well below the radar of those who are allegedly overseeing these matters but who assure the Irish public that everything is under control and that there is very little to be concerned about. For instance, after the Paris attacks, the Irish Justice Minister said that “the latest threat assessment to Ireland does not increase… it is low,” and rejected claims that the country’s 9,500 strong Defence Force was inadequately equipped to deal with the terrorist threat. (RTE, November 18, 2015).

This statement betrays the Irish Intel communities blind-spot with respect to Radical Islamism – namely that efforts, if any, are focussed on looking inwards when Ireland has a disproportionate effect on the external activities of Islamic extremists in comparison to the size of its Muslim population.

How can Ireland’s intelligence agencies convince the international community that they are seriously capable of tackling the “jihadi growth industry” in Ireland when spectacular characters such as – Ali-Charaf Damache – The Black Flag or the ISIS recruiter currently resisting deportation or Mahdi al-Harati and his receipt of several million EURO from one of the US alphabet agencies to sponsor rebels in Libya – go completely unnoticed by them until drawn to their attention by externals?

In relation to the Radical Islamist threat we allege that Irish government policy, inertia and ignorance combined with the support and encouragement of ill informed pressure groups, biased refugee support groups and “one size fits all, up for anything” liberals has allowed Ireland to become the soft underbelly for jihadist movement, organisation and support (in particular propagandist social media accounts) in Europe.

Irish Based ISIS Recruiter Fighting Deportation Order 

Mahdi al-Harati (Centre) Irish-Libyan 
Liwaa al-Umma Founder & Alleged US Alphabet Agency Asset 

Three Serious Emerging National Security Threats 

There are three new distinct threats to the Irish State which the Irish State is inadequately equipped to tackle: Islamic Jihadists, Cyber Threats and Espionage.

Cyber Threats and Espionage because of Ireland’s large R&D sector and the massive foreign direct investment Ireland receives while acting as EMEA and in some cases Global HQ’s for many tech and pharmaceutical giants. The Cyber Warfare and Espionage Threats will be the subject of separate blog posts.

There have been arguments that Ireland needs one agency to deal with these three threats alone.

This contrasts sharply with the rhetoric of the Irish government and the downplaying of the threat posed by these newish phenomena in terms of Ireland’s security landscape.

Myriad Weaknesses in Irish Government Policy

In particular, when it comes to tackling Islamic extremism there are myriad weaknesses in the Irish system and the approaches used have not changed much since The Troubles, despite the modern challenges and vastly different methods being used by jihadists.

The Irish government’s assessment is that the Irish security services, despite their small size, have an extremely competent counter-terrorism wing, honed over decades of tackling Irish republican militancy.

The question, however, is to what extent this expertise can now be repurposed towards dealing with militant Islamism, especially given that the threat is rapidly growing and evolving and is culturally, structurally and ideologically at complete odds with what the alleged past experience of the Irish security services has been – from which officialdom in Ireland draws comfort.

Counter Terrorism International (CTI)

Last year the Garda established the Counter Terrorism International (CTI) unit to target groups supporting extremist operations in other countries. The unit it is said works closely with its counterparts throughout the EU, with the CIA, and the National Security Agency in the United States.

Nóirín O’Sullivan is the current Commissioner of the Garda Síochána

Despite this progress, the Irish security services – even this allegedly specialized Islamist-focused unit – face significant resourcing and expertise shortfalls. Irish media recently reported the Gardai lack key counterterrorism tactics such as knowledge of the Arabic-language skills, a dedicated unit tracking jihadist social media and a de-radicalization strategy to rehabilitate returning foreign fighters (Irish Examiner, November 21, 2015).

A source told the Sunday Independent late in 2015 that: “What you have is small groups of jihadis who cannot travel directly to Turkey, for access to Syria, arriving here, receiving support and money and then transiting through Ireland to the war zones. There is quite an elaborate support network based in Dublin and other major Leinster towns which is attracting the attention of security agencies in the rest of Europe and further afield.”

As the above instances demonstrate, Irish jihadists’ alleged use of the country as a logistical and transport hub where false passports can be procured poses potential risks not only to Ireland but also abroad. Uniquely, Irish citizens do not need passports to travel to the UK, and the country is part of the EU and enjoys easy travel to the US under the latter’s visa waiver system. As a result, Islamist radicalization in Ireland does not just pose a threat within Ireland’s borders, but also to countries further afield, and Ireland has failed utterly in its responsibilities in that regard with its laissez-faire attitude to the problem.

That paper also reported that foreign intelligence agencies believe that extremists have been holding training camps in remote areas of Leinster – a province in the East of Ireland.

A Garda spokesperson recently told The Journal Dot IE, that: “In line with best international practice, we seek to promote engagement with communities to counter the threat of radicalisation and devote appropriate resources to investigate individuals who are assessed to pose a threat. A close working relationship is maintained with police and security partners in the EU and other countries in respect of developing threats and ongoing, international efforts to counter terrorism generally. It would be inappropriate, in view of ongoing operations and enquiries, to comment further on specific strategies or methodologies.”

The Islamic Jihadist Threat in Ireland 

Since 2012, it is claimed by official sources that up to 60 Irish citizens have traveled to Syria to fight for a number of different Sunni rebel groups including ISIS. The government in Ireland insisted as recently as January of 2016 that the figure was between 25 and 30. The government of Ireland often states that three of these war zone tourists have been killed. Yet a cursory trawl of records online shows at least five casualties.

  1. Irish citizen, 22-year old Hudhaifa ElSayed, who was of Egyptian origin but raised in Ireland’s County Louth, was killed with Liwaa al-Umma during a clash with Syrian government forces in Idlib province in northern Syria in December 2012 (The Journal, December 20, 2012).
  2. Another individual, 16-year old Shamseddin Gaidan, a Dublin resident of Libyan origin, was killed in Syria in February 2013 fighting with an unknown rebel group, having crossed into the country from Turkey the previous year (Independent [Ireland], February 23, 2013). 
  3. Hisham Habbash (29), a Libyan-born man who grew up in Ireland was been killed during fighting between rebels and regime forces near the northeastern town of Raqqa. (Irish Times, June 24, 2013).
  4. Jordanian-born Palestinian, 22-year old Alaa Ciymeh, who had been brought up in Ireland before returning to Jordan in 2008. He was killed while fighting for the group in April 2013 (Irish Times, May 3, 2013; Herald [Ireland], June 27, 2014).
  5. Muthenna Abu Taubah, 24, an Irish jihadi who defended the beheading of western hostages by IS blew himself up in a bomb-making factory. He died in an accident along with his best friend in the terror group’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria. (The Irish Sun, June 25, 2015)

Although details of Irish involvement in more hardline groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, Jahbat al-Nusra, are scarce, there is evidence that Irish citizens are active with these groups. In August 2014, Irish media reported that a self-described “Irish-Nigerian” convert to Islam had been trying to recruit individuals to come to Syria via the ask.fm internet forum, an approach used by other Islamic State recruiters (Independent, August 21, 2014). In one exchange, the individual – whose online name was “Muthenna ibn Abu” – defended IS’s beheading of British aid worker, David Haines (Independent, September 14, 2014). His identity and current whereabouts are unknown.

TMGCS Counter Theory on Radical Islam in Ireland

Over the course of the last twenty four months TMGCS carried out research that commenced after the publication of our blog post Precision Guided Message (23rd July 2014). The investigation sought to provide a detailed assessment of the actual jihadi culture in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Various methods were used to collect the information that informed the conclusions drawn below including information from sources who participated in relevant events, participation in and observation of certain relevant groups, information from sources in agencies and organisations external to the Irish State, information from sources from the Middle East region living elsewhere in Europe who have been on the ground in Syria, Libya & Iraq, interviews and discussions with associates of known jihadists, observations at a number of student group gatherings as well as input from a number of other methods and OSINT.

The evidence that Ireland, as well as a key exporter of jihadists, is home to a number of Islamic State supporters who are actively providing financial and other forms of support, using the country not only as a recruiting centre, but as a logistical hub is compelling.

The headline outcome of the process is that TMGCS estimate that the actual figure of travelling Irish jihadists is closer to 125 and that, conservatively, there are 20 plus active ISIS supporters providing logistical assistance to that group from within the Irish State.

In November 2015, independent cyber security analysts used leaked details of Islamic State-supporting Twitter accounts to establish that between 20 and 50, active Islamic State online-based supporters were residing in Ireland (The Journal, November 23).

In another indicator of latent support for the Islamic State in Ireland, Irish Muslims responsible for organizing a ‘Not in Our Name’ protest against the terrorist group in July 2015 claimed that they were assaulted by two self-identified Islamic State supporters in an unnamed mosque in Dublin (Irish Times, July 27).

At present, the Irish government is seeking to deport a 52-year old individual (who cannot be named for legal reasons) to a Middle Eastern country (The Journal, December 29). The government has described him as “the foremost organizer and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action” on behalf of Islamic State in Ireland, and of having also recruited for jihadist groups in Afghanistan (Ibid).

In a potentially related development, in November 2015, citing a security service source, Irish media reported that “a small number of Irish-based Muslim extremists” with a “central group consisting of around 12 radicals” had been sheltering British and European jihadists, including supplying them with fake passports for travel (Irish Independent, November 1, 2015). The source additionally said that Ireland was being used as a stop-off point for jihadists en route to Turkey, in order to confuse security services watching for jihadists travelling to Turkey directly (Ibid).

Excluded Groups

The research process did not include a review or conclusions drawn from the elements of Irish society who are Muslim converts, are non-Muslim or have no direct links to the Middle East but who nonetheless support certain Radical Islamist ideals and groups.

“Taliban Terry” aka Muslim Convert Khalid Kelly

This section of the jihadist infrastructure in Ireland – North and South – mainly draws support from former members or supporters of certain paramilitary organisations, other extremist groups, certain left wing independent politicians, the usual array of the psychologically challenged and a small number of official as well as un-registered “political” parties.

Derry man Eamon Bradley 
Irish fighter in Syrian civil war after arrest in Northern Ireland
and subsequently charged with terror offences
Eamon Bradley in the Middle East with a number of weapons

The Official vs the Unofficial Extremist Per Capita Statistics

At first glance, it would appear that the official and even the increased TMGCS estimates are insignificant compared to other European countries’ jihadist cultures, in particular France and Germany, and minuscule when compared to say active participants in the Syrian conflict from North African countries such as Tunisia and Morocco.

But that is the danger of stand alone numbers versus the value of statistics and analysis.

Countries with relatively small Muslim populations have sent a disproportionately large numbers of jihadis abroad. Finland and Ireland according to reports have the highest number of foreign fighters per capita – nearly one per 1,400 Muslims living in those countries have gone to Syria.

Britain and France have comparable percentages of local Muslims going to fight in Syria – just over one in 6,000 British Muslims and one in 6,666 French Muslims have gone to Syria, governments say. The figures in the Netherlands are not far off, around one in 7,700. American Muslims are going to Syria at a much lower rate, closer to one in 25,000.

CNN recently conducted a study based on data provided by twenty five national governments, from Pew Research Center and a number of other sources. That study concluded that Ireland had the second highest per capita rate of Muslims going to fight in Syria of the twenty five countries surveyed.

Percentage of Local Muslims Who Have Gone to Fight (CNN Study)

The CNN Study put the figure of Irish Jihadists at 0.07% of the overall number of Muslims in Ireland. Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000 only 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to the information CNN received from the Irish government. Globally, even these incorrect figures still put Ireland in second place in terms of per capita rate of Muslims going to fight in Syria.

  1. Finland: 0.071% – 42,000 Muslims call Finland home. Roughly 30 of them have left to engage in jihadist battles in Syria;
  2. Ireland: 0.070% – Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000, 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to official Irish government figures; 
  3. France: 0.0175% – Over 700 Muslims have gone from France to fight in Syria out of a population of over four million;
  4. Tunisia: 0.0319% – Out of a population of over 10 million Muslims, there are around 3,000 jihadis;
  5. Indonesia: 0.000370% – A population of over 200 million, has only seen between 30 and 60 Muslims going to fight in the conflict in Syria; 

Ireland Has An Abnormally High Per Capita Rate of Radical Islamists

Ireland is estimated to have a total Muslim population of between 45,000 and 60,000. For the purposes of developing the TMGCS statistics the median figure of 52,500 was chosen.

The result of the CNN study based on government figures was (as outlined above):

Ireland: 0.070% – Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000, 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to official Irish government figures. Approximating to roughly one in 1400 Irish Muslims;   

The result of the TMGCS study based on the methods we described above is:
Ireland: 0.2761% – Out of a Muslim population of 52,500 (median value), 125 plus individuals have gone to fight in Syria and the radical Islamist process is directly supported by 20 facilitators in Ireland for a total figure of 145. One in every 362 Irish Muslims;     
If the Muslim population estimate of Ireland of 43,000 is used as per the CNN study then the figures are:
Ireland: 0.3372% – Out of a Muslim population of 43,000 (CNN Study Benchmark Figure), 125 plus individuals have gone to fight in Syria and the radical Islamist process is directly supported by 20 facilitators in Ireland for a total figure of 145. One in 297 Irish Muslims;   
Why So Many Radicalized Irish Resident Muslims?
(Excerpted & Referenced from Articles by The Jamestown Foundation)
One potential causes of Irish Muslim radicalization is the range of Islamist groups from the Arab world with strong ideological commitments to “sharia law” and to creating an “Islamic state” that are strongly entrenched in Irish Muslim communities.

These groups have prepared the ground for recruitment and re-inforced the previously slick ISIS propaganda machine while hampering attempts to combat it. Most notably, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), based in a mosque in Clonskeagh, Dublin has positioned itself as a representative of all Muslims in Ireland and consequently enjoys privileged access to the Irish government.

This group is closely tied to the hardline European Council for Fatwa and Research, run by Muslim Brotherhood figurehead Yusuf al-Qaradawi, which has sought to promote highly conservative interpretations of Islam to European Muslims.

Even today, ICCI’s website openly offers PDFs of books calling for adulterers to be flogged or stoned to death, thereby directly promoting the same core Islamist ideologies as the Islamic State itself, even while remaining a key partner of the Irish government.

As with other Islamist-influenced organisations in the West, the ICCI has also consistently denied that any radicalization is taking place in Ireland, greatly hampering the attempts to understand domestic radicalization or gain the support of Muslim communities.

For instance, following the November 2015 Paris attacks, the ICCI’s spokesman, Ali Selim, told Irish media that while he condemned the attacks, Irish Muslims “have not been entertaining the ideas [the Islamic State] has been trying to sell them” (RTE, November 14, 2015).

The ICCI has also sought to publicly undermine other Muslim group’s anti-Islamic State protests, for instance, refusing to join an anti-Islamic State march organized by a non-Islamist Sufi Muslim group, further undermining Irish efforts to combat Islamist radicalization (Irish Independent, July 5, 2015).

Irish Government Reaction – Withdrawal of Passports
To counter this issue the most radical action that the Irish government has taken was when it decided last year (2015) that the passports of those involved in illegal jihadi activity in Iraq or Syria would be withdrawn. Pure lip service. 
Additionally, nearly a year earlier when the UK considered introducing similar measures Nick Clegg said it was not obvious how the UK could withdraw passports from British jihadis and remain inside international law. The then deputy prime minister indicated that the idea was unlikely to work, saying that the UK would not do anything illegal. 
The British government had been examining the possibility of withdrawing citizenship from suspected jihadis returning from Iraq and Syria. However, David Cameron acknowledged that there were legal difficulties and omitted it from his package of measures to deal with the problem. 
David Anderson, an independent reviewer of terrorism, said there were significant difficulties with giving police the powers to withdraw passports from UK citizens, in effect leaving them stateless.
In Ireland, we have failed to find any instances of the policy being put into action and the most recent case running through the Irish Courts is ample evidence of the inability of the Irish judiciary to tackle what seems to amount to an open and shut case in terms of an ISIS recruiter operating openly in Dublin, Ireland.  
ISIS Recruiter Fighting Deportation Order 
Before publication we contacted a number of Islamic institutions in Ireland for comment on the findings and assertions in this article and offered them an opportunity to counter our thesis and respond with corrections or suggestions. We received no responses.
References & Sources 

The Jamestown Foundation
James Brandon, Political & Security Risk Analyst
Terrorism Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 1 January 7, 2016
Global Research & Analysis – EURASIA:Terrorism
Michael Sheils McNamee @michaelonassis michaelsm@thejournal.ie
Michelle Hennessy @michellehtweet michelle@thejournal.ie
The Journal Dot IE
Vocativ
Die Welt
France 24
El Mundo
VICE News
RT.com
The Syrian Human Rights Observatory
The Irish Times
The Foreign Policy Institute
War on the Rocks Blog
The Long War Journal
The Irish Sun
The Independent
The Guardian
The Daily Mail

The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas & Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Canada

The federal government in Canada is coming under increased pressure to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terror outfit, as more evidence piles up that the group has tentacles in Canada.

Its two main offshoots, Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, are listed as terrorist organizations in Canada. The last Canadian organization to be added to the list is the alleged Hamas fundraiser IRFAN-Canada, which has worked closely with the Brotherhood, according to an RCMP warrant.

A source has stated that the Brotherhood itself, long considered the ideological godfather of Islamist terrorism, has also been under close watch by security officials. A QMI investigation found that top Brotherhood leaders have lived in Canada for decades. They have led pro-Sharia organizations and sent money and resources to groups that the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency say are owned or controlled by Hamas.

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Brotherhood-linked facilities have invited extremist speakers to Canada who defended child suicide bombers, amputation for thieves and stoning for adulterers.

A U.S. terror financing trial heard a secret Brotherhood plan for North America calling for a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.”

Stockwell Day, who served in Stephen Harper’s cabinet for five years, told QMI that Islamist ideology is being propagated in Canada by Brotherhood “sympathizers.” “The government really has to drill down and look at statements from the Brotherhood,” the former public safety minister said from Vancouver, where he works as a consultant. “If they find in fact that there’s a preponderance of evidence that shows that they are actively promoting, encouraging, glorifying, killing of Canadians … then they should be labelled as a terrorist group.”

Coptic Christians, whose churches have reportedly been torched by Muslim Brotherhood backers in Egypt, asked the Harper government last year to ban the Brotherhood.

School teacher Hassan Al-Banna founded the Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, calling for a global Islamic caliphate. Its intellectual leaders have gained worldwide renown as preachers, scholars and activists but Brotherhood supporters also have a long history of violence dating back to the 1948 assassination of Egyptian prime minister Mahmud al-Nuqrashi.

The Brotherhood creed, shared by Hamas, is: “Allah is our objective, the prophet is our leader, the Qur’an is our law, jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

While Brotherhood analysts say the group is unlikely to launch attacks on Canadian soil, there’s evidence the group is spreading extremist messages in Canada, aside from its alleged financing of terror abroad. Documents tabled at a U.S. Hamas financing trial indicate the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) played a key role in spreading the Brotherhood message.

The Brotherhood lists ISNA U.S.A. as one of its 29 key North American affiliates. While ISNA’s Mississauga, Ont., office claims to be independent from the Indiana-based umbrella group, it shares board members both past and present with ISNA U.S.A., as well as a name and a logo.

QMI Agency found extremist materials at two ISNA locations in Canada. A book advocating Palestinian terrorism and suicide bombings was displayed at the ISNA-owned Muslim Community of Quebec mosque in Montreal. U.S. prosecutors at the 2007 Holy Land terrorism financing trial also tabled a phone directory, seized from a Brotherhood operative, which lists five Canadians among the top Brotherhood leaders in North America.

One of them, Dr. Jamal Badawi of Halifax, is a noted Muslim scholar, speaker and television host. His name appears three times in evidence at the Holy Land trial, the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history. Badawi has publicly preached nonviolence and tolerance. However, a compilation of his teachings on jamalbadawi.org makes it clear he believes establishing an Islamic state is a duty for Muslims. “The Qur’an is full of indications that are direct, indirect, explicit, implicit that show without any shred of doubt that the establishment of Islamic order or rule is mandatory that Muslims must establish,” the website reads.

QMI Agency reached Badawi at his Halifax home, at the same phone number listed in the Brotherhood directory tabled at the Holy Land trial. He insisted his links to the Brotherhood are “a myth” and that “there’s no Muslim Brotherhood in Canada.”

The longtime Haligonian described his own views as “no fanaticism on one side or no looseness on the other side.”

The Prime Minister’s Office wouldn’t name the Muslim Brotherhood when asked for its official position on the group. “Our government is taking strong action to protect law-abiding Canadians from those who wish to harm us,” PMO spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an e-mail. “The Criminal Code terrorist entity listing process is an important tool in preventing terrorist attacks from being carried out.”

OTHER FIGURES IN CANADA LINKED TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Dr. Wael Haddara, intensive-care physician, London, Ont. – Key adviser to Egyptian president and Brotherhood stalwart Mohamed Morsi in 2012. Denies Brotherhood membership. – As president of the Muslim Association of Canada in 2011, Dr. Haddara endorsed the Brotherhood and the teachings of founder Hassan Al-Banna. – He was a founding director of IRFAN-Canada, and a board member until 2002. IRFAN was audited in 2004 and banned in 2011 for allegedly donating millions to Hamas. – When contacted by QMI Agency, he said he had no knowledge of IRFAN sending money to Hamas.

Rasem Abdel-Majid, fundraiser, Mississauga, Ont. – General manager of IRFAN-Canada and its predecessor, the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS). – Attended a secret Brotherhood meeting in 1993 at which Hamas funding was discussed, says an RCMP warrant. – U.S. officials say IRFAN was part of the “the Global Hamas financing mechanism.” – Calls to Adbel-Majid were not returned

CHARITY ENDS AT HOME 

Aside from IRFAN, two other Canadian charities with links to the Muslim Brotherhood have had their status revoked, or been denied charity status:

World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was a donor to Brotherhood-linked groups in Canada. It was delisted in 2012 for alleged ties to Saudi-based organizations that funnelled money to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

ISNA Development Foundation (IDF) was delisted in 2013 for allegedly giving more than $280,000 to an agency linked to Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamist group that’s an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Republished in its entirety from Toronto Sun

My answer to "Why can’t Palestinians vote in Israeli elections?"

My answer to “Why can’t Palestinians vote in Israeli elections?”


Original question and other contributors’ answers can be read on QUORA at: https://www.quora.com/Why-cant-Palestinians-vote-in-Israeli-elections

The question is basically flawed and demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding the difference between Palestinians and Israelis and the states of Palestine and Israel. Like most of the debate on this subject the question is attempting to be rhetorical, it is emotive, uninformed and leads the debate down the usual “cul-de-sac” which is typically nuanced by anti-Israeli sentiment and blind support for a Palestinian cause that is flawed and fundamentally at odds with and supported by elements totally alien to Western / Israeli interests.

Palestine, Gaza, the West Bank, Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah and so on are all subjects on which many Westerners are prepared to hold very strong opinions regarding a subject on which they are generally thoroughly misinformed (based on biased media reports or blanket “liberal” agendas) or regarding which they possess no context or actual information – based on facts – that would inform an educated view on the matter.


The Palestinians do exercise their votes locally and most recently did so to choose Hamas – a terrorist organization – as their “democratically” elected representatives. Hamas – a group – who have zero interest in democracy.

Iran & Saudi Arabia – Proxy Wars

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been and are presently fighting proxy “sphere of influence” wars across the region via terrorist / extremist groups such as Hamas / Hezbollah / Fatah / ISIS and most recently in Yemen via Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis / AQAP.


Hamas –  Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement

Hamas (Arabic: حماس‎ Ḥamās, “enthusiasm”, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement) is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Middle East including Qatar. Hamas or its military wing is designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The organization was also banned in Jordan.

Elections in Gaza and the West Bank

In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union) made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government’s commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. 

Hamas rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.

Internal Fighting – The Battle of Gaza 2007

Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there. 

In 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress has stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014. In 2006, Hamas used an underground cross-border tunnel to abduct the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding him captive until 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. 

Since then, Hamas has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict – Operation Protective Edge.

The Palestinian National Authority

Elections in the Palestinian National Authority refers to elections held in Palestinian Autonomous areas from 1994 until its transition into the State of Palestine in 2013. Elections were scheduled to be held in 2009 per the state’s own laws,[1] but the Next Palestinian general election was disrupted amidst a conflict between Hamas and Fatah.

President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to stay on until the next election, but he is recognised only in the West Bank and not in Gaza. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has held several elections in the Palestinian territories, including elections for a president, legislature and local councils. Until 2007, the National Council had 133 members, with 66 members elected in 16 multi-seat constituencies, 66 elected proportional to the vote for each party, and the president as ex officio member. 

In 2007, the voting system was changed by Presidential Decree to abolish the constituency seats, and also prohibiting parties from contesting the election which did not acknowledge the PLO’s right to represent the Palestinian people (specifically Hamas). An opinion poll suggested that a majority of Palestinians supported the change, while Hamas called it illegal. 

Fatah and Hamas / Gaza and the West Bank

The PNA has a multi-party system, with numerous parties. In this system Fatah was the dominant party. The first Legislative and presidential election were held in 1996; the first local elections in January–May 2005, organized by PNA president Yasser Arafat before his death. Previous (failed) legislative Council elections were held in 1923 under the British Mandate. Previous municipal elections were held in 1972 and 1976 and were organized by Israel.

The January 2005 presidential election, won by Mahmoud Abbas, preceded the Hamas victory during the legislative election in January 2006.

Sources & Acknowledgements: Wikipedia / TMG Corporate Services / BBC News  

The Palestinian Paradox in French Foreign Policy

Hamas (Arabic: حماس‎ Ḥamās, “enthusiasm”, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement) is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Middle East including Qatar. Hamas or its military wing is designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The organization was also banned in Jordan.
Fig. 1 Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Hamas Praising & Then Condemning the January 2015 Paris Terror Attacks
The Facebook page of Al-Rasalah, a publication of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on Friday evening the 9th January 2015 ran a picture of the three Muslim terrorists behind the two deadly terror attacks in Paris – the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the connected shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge after which the gunman took several people hostage at a kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris.
Fig. 2Paris Attacks – January 2015

The picture of the three – Cherif Kouachi, Said Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly (not pictured in the release was Coulibaly’s absconding associate and female Hayat Boumeddiene) was accompanied by the caption:
The shahidim [martyrs] who were dispatched by God, the heroes of the raid in Paris.”
Hamas later removed praise for the attacks from all official Hamas websites, Israel Hayom reported. On Saturday the 10thJanuary 2015, the Gaza-based terror group issued a statement condemning the Paris attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, saying that there was no “justification for killing innocents.”
Fig. 3 Hamas Publication Praises Paris Terrorists
The Radicalisation of Hayat Boumeddiene
Fig. 4 Hayat Boumeddiene from bikini to Abaya
Little is known about the personal life of Hayat Boumeddiene. But she is believed to have met Amedy while working as a cashier and was said to have waited at least four years for him while he served time for an armed robbery conviction. In 2009 she quit her job and married her lover in an unofficial religious ceremony before settling down in Bagneux, Hauts-de-Seine. The pair mixed in radical Islamic circles and have been linked to the same groups as Abu Hamza. When she was once questioned by French media on the terror attacks committed by Al Qaeda and she responded by asking what about “the innocents killed by the Americans?”
The Hamas Political “Legitimisation”
In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union) made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government’s commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements.
Hamas rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.
Fig. 5 Read The Hamas Covenant also known as Hamas Charter
Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there.
In 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress has stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014.
In 2006, Hamas used an underground cross-border tunnel to abduct the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding him captive until 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Since then, Hamas has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict – Operation Protective Edge.
Fig. 6 Palestinian Leadership Nodes (2010)
The Palestinian Diaspora
The first large-scale emigration of Palestinian Christians out of Palestine began in the mid-19th century as a response to the oppression of Christians by the Ottoman Empire.
Since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Palestinians have experienced several waves of exileand have spread into different host countriesaround the world.In addition to the more than 700,000 in 1948, hundreds of thousands were also displaced in the 1967 Six Day War. The pattern of Palestinian flight continued during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
The countries outside the Palestinian territories with significant Palestinian populations are: Jordan 3,240,000; Israel 1,650,000; Syria 630,000; Chile 500,000; Lebanon 402,582; Saudi Arabia 280,245; Egypt 270,245; United States 255,000; Honduras 250,000; Mexico 120,000; Qatar 100,00; Germany 80,000; Kuwait 80,000; El Salvador 70,000; Brazil 59,000; Iraq 57,000; Yemen 55,000; Canada 50,975; Australia 45,000; Libya 44,000; United Kingdom 20,000; Denmark 19000; Peru 15,000; Colombia 12,000; Pakistan 10,500; Netherlands 9,000; Sweden 7,000; Algeria 4,030.
The majority of the estimated 100,000 Palestinians in the European Union (EU) are in the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Outside the EU is Norway and Switzerland.
Germany’s capital Berlin has one of the largest Palestinian communities outside of the Middle East with about 30,000-40,000 people of Palestinian origin residing in the city (~1% of the total population)
Support by France for Palestinian Nationhood and the Hamas Paradox
A mismatch between public opinion in support of the Palestinians’ cause and politicians’ compliance with Israel’s wishes has guaranteed no end to the strife, and no likelihood of conditions to create a Palestinian nation.
Increases in support for Palestinian nationhood were reported throughout 2014 from Spain, France, Germany and Britain. In Australia, polls also showed a majority of Australians supporting the Palestinian cause.
France has warned that if the international community fails to resolve the Middle East impasse, it would recognize Palestine as a state. French lawmakers are set to hold a vote on Palestine nationhood on December 2, 2014
French parliamentarians debated the December 2 vote. A similar resolution was approved by British lawmakers on October 3, by the Spanish parliament on November 18, and Sweden formally recognized the state of Palestine on October 3. A poll conducted by IFOP (French Institute of Public Opinion) showed 63 percent of the French population in favor of an independent Palestinian state.
The U.N. Security Council, in a close 8-2 vote with five abstentions, on 30th December 2014 voted down a Palestinian statehood resolution that set a deadline for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian territories by 2017.
Eight nations voted for the draft resolution — one vote short of the necessary nine to be adopted — including Jordan, which sponsored the resolution, and three permanent Security Council members: China, Russia and France. The United States voted against the resolution on the table and had been expected to exercise its permanent council member authority and veto the measure, had it passed.
Two weeks later Hamas – the “democratically” elected “government” of Gaza praised the Paris Terror attacks.
International Terrorist Designation of Hamas
Country
Designation
The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is listed as a terrorist organization.[427]
The military wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has been listed as a terrorist entity since 2010.[428]
Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Government of Canada currently lists Hamas as a terrorist entity, thus establishing it as a terrorist group, since 2002.[429][430]
The EU designated Hamas as a terrorist group from 2003 to 2014. In December 2014, the General Court of the European Union annulled this decision. The court stated that the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas’ classification as a terrorist group.[431][432][433][434][435][436][437]
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, “Hamas maintains a terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank, and acts to carry out terrorist attacks in the territories and Israel.”[438]
As of 2005, Japan had frozen the assets of 472 terrorists and terrorist organizations including those of Hamas.[439] However, in 2006 it publicly acknowledged that Hamas had won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections democratically.[440]
Banned Hamas in 1999[441] In 2013, Jordan rejected requests to allow Hamas to return.[15]
Russia does not designate Hamas a terrorist organisation, and held direct talks with Hamas in 2006, after Hamas won the Palestine elections, stating that it did so to press Hamas to reject violence and recognise Israel.[442] An Israeli official has said that Russia will reduce its ties to Hamas.[443]
The Turkish government met with Hamas leaders in February 2006, after the organization’s victory in the Palestinian elections. In 2010, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described Hamas as “resistance fighters who are struggling to defend their land”.[444][445]
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been listed as a proscribed organization under the Terrorism Act since 2001, but Hamas as a whole is not listed.[446]
As of 2006, China does not designate Hamas to be a terrorist organization and acknowledges Hamas to be the legitimately elected political entity in the Gaza Strip that represents the Palestinian people. Despite U.S. and Israeli opposition, the Chinese government met with senior Hamas representative Mahmoud al-Zahar, who previously served as Palestinian foreign minister, during the June 2006 China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Beijing, an held direct bilateral talks with Hamas and the Arab World. In addition, during the same month, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry further elucidated China’s pro-Palestinian stance regarding Hamas in spite of U.S. and Israeli opposition to China’s associations and close relationship with the organization, stating, “We believe that the Palestinian government is legally elected by the people there and it should be respected.”[19][20][22][447]
Lists Hamas as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization”[448]
Banned Hamas in 2014 and branded it a terrorist organization. Egyptian authorities accuse the group of supporting al Qaeda-inspired Islamist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula.[449][450]
Banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 2014 and branded it a terrorist organization. While Hamas is not specifically listed, a non-official Saudi source stated that the decision also encompasses its branches in other countries, including Hamas.[451]

Acknowledgements
Stuart Rees, Professor Emeritus of the University of Sydney and Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation.
The Algemeiner – The fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America
Twitter Account: Jewhadi @blastedsilver #2A #IstandWithIsrael #Kurds #Peshmerga #Yezidi #OpAntiISIS