Category Archives: Middle Eastern Politics

The Zahran Hashim Network and Other Factors behind the 21/4 Carnage in Sri Lanka

Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC news, 11 May 2019 — with this title Sri Lanka attacks: The family networks behind the bombings”

For many Sri Lankans, it was a horrific shock to learn that local Muslims could have been behind the suicide attacks that killed more than 250 people last month. How could a smalL group have planned such a devastating wave of bombings undetected? The clues were there in mid-January, when Sri Lankan police stumbled upon 100kg (220lb) of explosives and 100 detonators, hidden in a coconut grove near the Wilpattu national park, which is a remote wilderness in Puttalam district on the west coast of the country.

  Zahran Hashim has been identified as the ringleader of the bombers

FACEBOOK – Inshaf Ibrahim (R) and his father (C) accepted an award in 2016 from a Sri Lankan minister

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The Easter Sunday Killings: Profound Protests

ONE: From the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, dated 24th April 2010, https://hcef.org/790814456-a-statement-from-the-patriarchs-and-heads-of-church-in-jerusalem-on-the-terrorist-attacks-in-sri-lanka-on-easter-day

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Missing the Boat. How Religio-Political Divisions have Deepened

A Letter from Rohan De Soysa in Colombo to Michael Roberts in Adelaide, 9th May 2019

I’d like to suggest a different angle. We have a Minister for Buddhist religious affairs, another for Hindu religious affairs, yet another for Muslim religious affairs and still another for Christian religious affairs.  Then there are Governors for the various provinces: Eastern Province, Western Province, Northern Province, Southern Province etc.  They have been provided deputy ministers, offices, staff, bodyguards, cell phones and vehicles, etc.

Should they not monitor and observe any untoward teachings and undesirable tendencies in what comes under their purview, namely places of worship and education, catering to their specialized religions? Why did they not do so? Isn’t it about time they did?

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Where Terrorism carved out a Nation: Israel out of Palestine

Jayantha Somasundaram, in Island, April 2019, where the title isPalestine: Where Britain lost the war against terror”

What happened in British mandated Palestine in the run-up to Israeli statehood in May 1948 is a classic example of the triumph of terrorism. The British captured Palestine from the Ottomans during World War I and were mandated by the League of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations) to progress Palestine towards independence. Out of a population of 700,000, the religious breakdown in Palestine was about 500,000 Muslims, 90,000 Jews and 70,000 Christians. Up to the first century AD Palestine had been Jewish-majority, then a Christian-majority society (second to the eleventh century) and thereafter Muslim-majority. (DellaPergola)

Della Pergola

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Sheridan’s Concise Overview of Security Failures and the Islamic Extremist Threat in Sri Lanka … and This World

Greg Sheridan, in Weekend Australian, 27/28 April 2019, where the title is “Eternal vigilance is the price of keeping Islamist terror at bay”…. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor

India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, tried for two years to tell its Sri Lankan colleagues they faced a growing threat of Islamist terrorism. But the Colombo authorities weren’t interested. If there was any threat, they believed it came from the remnants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. But the Tamil Tiger threat ended 10 years ago.

We don’t have a problem with our Muslims, the Sri Lankans insisted. By and large they were right about their Muslims. But out of maybe two million Sri Lankan Muslims, there was a problem with at least a couple of hundred, of whom a dozen or so became hard-boiled terrorists. Nine became suicide bombers, 10 if you count the bomb that one suspect detonated as police approached her home. That was more than enough. A Muslim man prays while perched on the roof of a mosque to spot possible hostile people during Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 26. Picture: AP

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Undermining ISIS from within the Dungeons of the Cyberworld

Paul Maley, in The Australian, 25 March 2019, where the title is “How Aussie Spies won Propaganda War against ISIS”

In late-2016, as coalition aircraft pounded Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, the Australian ­Defence Force’s Commander of Joint Operations, David Johnston, issued a secret order to the Australian Signals Directorate. For the first time, Defence wanted ASD to use its vast cyber capabilities not for intelligence gathering or targeting — the agency’s traditional missions — but to take down and destroy ­Islamic State’s propaganda ­machine. What followed was a two-year campaign in which a small team of offensive cyber operators working out of a squat, grey building in Canberra’s Russell Defence ­precinct, waged war on Islamic State’s information warriors.

In this Nov. 18, 2017 photo, construction workers carry a generator as a bulldozer remove debris from destroyed shops in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq. Along the neighborhood’s gutted roads, a handful of people are beginning to rebuild but the task ahead will take years _ and billions of dollars. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

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USA as World’s Towering Hegemon: David Vine’s Frightening Revelations

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David Vine, associate professor of anthropology at American University, talks about the 800 military bases the U.S. maintains around the world and questions whether they are necessary. Maintaining these bases costs U.S. taxpayers $100 billion per year. Prof. Vine spoke at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC.

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