Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #790 Now, About that Malaysian Airliner . . . .

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: The pro­gram presents analy­sis of the “mys­tery” sur­round­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370.

Nev­er have we seen the news media–The Min­istry of Truth in the most lit­er­al, Orwellian sense–behave more shame­ful­ly. (We admit that their white­wash­ing of the out­right fas­cists and Nazi/OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine might equal the cov­er-up of the appar­ent­ly will­ful destruc­tion of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370.)

The same Islamist/Muslim Broth­er­hood ele­ments fig­ure into this inves­ti­ga­tion as into 9/11 and–most recently–the Boston Marathon bomb­ing.

The pro­gram also takes a high­ly spec­u­la­tive look at the recent stow­away by a young Soma­li Mus­lim in the wheel well of a jet air­lin­er at San Jose Air­port. A strange sto­ry, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fig­ures promi­nent­ly in the back­ground of the event. (We empha­size that we are NOT cast­ing asper­sions on the young fel­low, but ask­ing if he may have been cyn­i­cal­ly manip­u­lat­ed by jihadist/Muslim Broth­er­hood ele­ments test­ing a “dry run” for a pos­si­ble attack.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • The Malaysian Air­lines plane was pilot­ed by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a com­mit­ted fol­low­er and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Anwar Ibrahim, a key Malaysian Mus­lim Broth­er.
  • The plane was almost cer­tain­ly divert­ed from with­in, by some­one with con­sid­er­able exper­tise.
  • The flight sim­u­la­tor in Shah’s home had data erased from it.
  • Anwar Ibrahim–Shah’s polit­i­cal idol–was a founder of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front that was inves­ti­gat­ed in con­nec­tion with the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.
  • Ibrahim is part of the polit­i­cal milieu of GOP big­wig Grover Norquist.
  • Key Bin Laden asso­ciate Tarik Ham­di was employed by IIIT.
  • The day the plane dis­ap­peared, pilot Shah’s men­tor and idol was sen­tenced to five years in prison for sodomy.
  • The New York Times, among oth­ers, has obfus­cat­ed the sin­is­ter polit­i­cal real­i­ty and con­nec­tions of Shah and Ibrahim.A
  • Among the pas­sen­gers was a Uighur pro­fes­sor who had tak­en flight train­ing and was work­ing in Turkey.
  • Links of Suhaib Webb–the for­mer Imam of the Mosque in San­ta Clara to which the Soma­li wheel well boy belonged–to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Anwar al-Awla­ki.
  • Evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries link­ing Webb to the milieu of the Tsar­naevs and the Boston Marathon bomb­ing.
  • The role of CAIR–a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front organization–in pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the wheel well stoway and his fam­i­ly.
  • Review of the pos­i­tive view of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood held  by mem­bers of the intel­li­gence and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ties.

1. The plane was pilot­ed by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a com­mit­ted fol­low­er and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Anwar Ibrahim, a key Malaysian Mus­lim Broth­er.

“Malaysian Oppo­si­tion Leader Calls Spec­u­la­tion About Pilot of Miss­ing Jet ‘Absurd’ ” by Robert Mack­ey [The Lede]; The New York Times; 3/21/2014.

Malaysia’s oppo­si­tion leader, Anwar Ibrahim, dis­missed spec­u­la­tion that the pilot of the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines jet, a sup­port­er of his move­ment for demo­c­ra­t­ic change, might have hijacked the plane for polit­i­cal rea­sons, in an inter­view with Britain’s Chan­nel 4 News on Fri­day.

As The Lede explained on Wednes­day, the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was report­ed­ly described by an unnamed gov­ern­ment offi­cial as a “fanat­i­cal” sup­port­er of Mr. Ibrahim, a remark that was wide­ly mis­in­ter­pret­ed by jour­nal­ists and blog­gers.

Speak­ing to the Chan­nel 4 cor­re­spon­dent Jonathan Rug­man, Mr. Ibrahim crit­i­cized the Malaysian government’s han­dling of the inves­ti­ga­tion into the miss­ing Flight 370 as “clear incom­pe­tence” and said that any attempt “to cast asper­sions on the pilot pure­ly on the basis of polit­i­cal lean­ings is absurd.” Cap­tain Zaharie was, accord­ing to Mr. Ibrahim, “very pas­sion­ate about free­dom and democ­ra­cy,” and “a good pro­fes­sion­al pilot,” who sim­ply did not fit the pro­file of an Islamist rad­i­cal. . . .

2a. The plane was almost cer­tainly divert­ed from with­in, by some­one with con­sid­er­able exper­tise.

“Malaysia Asks F.B.I. For Help in Plane Case” by Chris Buck­ley and Michael Schmidt; The New York Times; 3/20/2014.

. . . . As the pos­si­ble break in what had been a fruit­less search was being pur­sued, the Malaysian author­i­ties were seek­ing help from the F.B.I. to help retrieve delet­ed com­put­er data from a home­made flight sim­u­la­tor belong­ing to the cap­tain of the Malaysia Air­lines jet that van­ished 11 days ago, their first request for high-lev­el Amer­i­can assis­tance in solv­ing the mys­tery of the miss­ing plane. . . .

. . . . Inves­ti­ga­tors have said the plane’s extra­or­di­nary diver­sion from its intend­ed course was prob­a­bly car­ried out by some­one who had avi­a­tion expe­ri­ence. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had built a flight sim­u­la­tor at his home, said Wednes­day that some data had been erased from the sim­u­la­tor on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fat­ed flight.

Evi­dence sug­gests that who­ev­er divert­ed the plane knew how to dis­able its com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems and pro­gram course changes, and the data record­ed in the pilot’s flight sim­u­la­tor may shed light on whether he was involved.[This can only be done from with­in the plane’s cockpit.–D.E.] . . .

2b. More about the delib­er­ate diver­sion of the plane from with­in the cock­pit:

“Chi­na Rules Out Ter­ror Ties Among Cit­i­zens on Jet” by Chris Buck­ley and Kei­th Brad­sh­er; The New York Times; 3/19/2014.

. . . . Amer­i­can offi­cials said on Mon­day that the sharp turn to the west that took the plane from its planned north­east­ward flight path was achieved using a com­put­er sys­tem on the plane, and that the turn was most like­ly pro­grammed into it by some­one in the cock­pit who was knowl­edge­able about air­plane sys­tems. . . .

3. Anwar Ibrahim–Shah’s polit­i­cal idol–was a founder of the Inter­na­tional Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front that was inves­ti­gated in con­nec­tion with the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.

Slate White­wash­es Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Ties of Malaysian Pol ‘Fanat­i­cal­ly’ Sup­port­ed by Pilot of Miss­ing Plane” by Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 3/17/2014.

Here is real­i­ty: “Anwar Ibrahim’s ties to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood run deep. Ibrahim helped estab­lish the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Islam­ic Thought, or IIIT, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group in the Unit­ed States. IIIT has come under fire for their con­nec­tions with ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

In 2002, Anwar Ibrahim’s IIIT was includ­ed in a law­suit by vic­tims of 9/11 seek­ing dam­ages from orga­ni­za­tions linked to ‘ren­der­ing mate­r­i­al sup­port to rad­i­cal Islamism.’ In 2003, US gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tors ‘sub­mit­ted court doc­u­ments detail­ing finan­cial sup­port (PDF) from the IIIT for con­vict­ed Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad fundrais­er Sami al-Ari­an.’ They also found that Taha Jaber al-Alwani, the pres­i­dent of IIIT had once stat­ed via a fat­wa that ‘jihad is the only way to lib­er­ate Pales­tine.’ A US Cus­toms offi­cial said that the gov­ern­ment is also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­i­ty that IIIT was involved in ‘ter­ror­ism-relat­ed mon­ey laun­der­ing activ­i­ties.’” . . . .

4. The IIT employed Tarik Ham­di, an oper­a­tional asso­ciate of Osama bin Laden.

“Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought”; Wikipedia.com.

. . . . Tarik Ham­di came to the Unit­ed States and applied for cit­i­zen­ship pro­vid­ing false information.[30][31] Ham­di worked for Sami Al-Ari­an, who con­fessed to pro­vid­ing assis­tance to the PIJ (Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad) and lat­er worked for IIIT.

In May 1998 ABC News in pur­suit of an inter­view with Bin Laden had com­mu­ni­cat­ed with Moham­mad Atef and were direct­ed to Tarik Ham­di as a per­son who could con­nect them to Osama Bin Laden. ABC con­nect­ed with Tarik Ham­di at his place of employ­ment at IIIT. ABC was able to get the inter­view. Ham­di was able to deliv­er a Satel­lite phone bat­tery pack that accord­ing to fed­er­al agents was used three months lat­er in the bomb­ing of Amer­i­can embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[32]

It took until 2005 for Tarik A. Ham­di, who was employed as a pub­lish­er at IIIT, to be charged in a fed­er­al affi­davit of hav­ing been the “Amer­i­can con­tact” for one of Osama bin-Laden’s front organisations.[33][34] . . .

5. Ibrahim was jailed just hours before the plane “dis­ap­peared.”

” ‘Democ­ra­cy is Dead’: ‘Fanat­i­cal’ Miss­ing Air­lin­er Pilot Pic­tured Wear­ing Polit­i­cal Slo­gan T‑shirt” by Simon Par­ry, Aman­da Par­ry and Wills Robin­son; Dai­ly Mail; 3/16/2014.

. . . . Cap­tain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a father-of-three, was said to be a ‘fanat­i­cal’ sup­port­er of the coun­try’s oppo­si­tion leader Anwar Ibrahim — jailed for homo­sex­u­al­i­ty just hours before the jet dis­ap­peared.

It has also been revealed that the pilot’s wife and three chil­dren moved out of the fam­i­ly home the day before the plane went miss­ing.

...Capt­ian Shah was an ‘obses­sive’ sup­port­er of Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is under­stood 53-year-old Shah attend­ed a con­tro­ver­sial tri­al in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.

Cam­paign­ers say the politi­cian, the key chal­lenger to Malaysia’s rul­ing par­ty, was the vic­tim of a long-run­ning smear cam­paign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Police sources have con­firmed that Shah was a vocal polit­i­cal activist – and fear that the court deci­sion left him pro­found­ly upset. It was against this back­ground that, sev­en hours lat­er, he took con­trol of a Boe­ing 777–200 bound for Bei­jing and car­ry­ing 238 pas­sen­gers and crew.

...

Zaharie’s co-work­ers have told inves­ti­ga­tors the vet­er­an pilot was a social activist who was vocal and fer­vent in his sup­port of Ibrahim.
‘Col­leagues made it clear to us that he was some­one who held strong polit­i­cal beliefs and was stri­dent in his sup­port for Anwar Ibrahim,’ anoth­er inves­ti­ga­tion source said. ‘We were told by one col­league he was obsessed with pol­i­tics.’

In their inter­views, col­leagues said Zaharie told them he planned to attend the court case involv­ing Anwar on March 7, just hours before the Bei­jing flight, but inves­ti­ga­tors had not yet been able to con­firm if he was among the crowd of Anwar sup­port­ers at court.

...Malaysian offi­cials ini­tial­ly appeared keen not to direct any sus­pi­cion towards Zaharie or his co-pilot, 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, who was last week revealed to have invit­ed two women pas­sen­gers into the cock­pit and smoked on an ear­li­er flight to Phuket.

But evi­dence of the way the plane’s transpon­der and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems were dis­abled and the way the plane was expert­ly flown over the Indi­an Ocean appar­ent­ly using nav­i­ga­tion­al way­points meant only a skilled avi­a­tor could have been at the con­trols. Inves­ti­ga­tors were also baf­fled by why, if hijack­ers took over the plane, there was no May­day call or sig­nal from the two pilots to say the cock­pit had been breached. . . . .

6. Ibrahim was net­worked with Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies, found­ed by Grover Norquist, who found­ed the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute. Norquist’s milieu is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the insti­tu­tions tar­get­ed by the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.

“Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies”; Wikipedia.com

. . . . Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies was a lob­by­ing firm found­ed in 1997 by con­ser­v­a­tive activist Grover Norquist and then-lawyer David Safa­vian, who lat­er became bet­ter known as the chief of staff in the Gen­er­al Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion and for his con­vic­tion in the Abramoff-Reed Indi­an lob­by­ing scan­dal. . . .

. . . . On Decem­ber 17, 2001, eleven months after Safa­vian’s depar­ture, Janus resub­mit­ted its dis­clo­sure forms. This time the name of [con­vict­ed ter­ror­ist Abdu­rah­man] Alam­ou­di had been replaced by the name of Dr. Jamal al Barz­in­ji, who is also notable as a vice pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT).[citation need­ed] Norquist has refused to release tax records of the firm for the peri­od dur­ing which he and Safa­vian owned the company.[citation need­ed]

Safa­vian told the Sen­ate that al Barz­in­ji, not Alam­ou­di, was his client. “Al Barz­in­ji,” he said, “should have been list­ed as the client retain­ing the firm for work relat­ed to Malaysian polit­i­cal pris­on­er Anwar Ibrahim,” refer­ring to the deposed prime min­is­ter of Malaysia, who also was a co-founder of the IIIT. . . .

7. We’ve heard sus­pi­cions about pos­si­ble Uighur involv­ment in the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance. With a recent knife attack on Han Chi­nese and the num­ber of Chi­nese onboard, a detail stands out. A Uighur who was a pro­fes­sor in Turkey AND took flight sim­u­la­tion cours­es is an inter­est­ing sus­pect, to say the least... Won­der if he was unin­ter­est­ed in the “how to take off and land” por­tions of the course? For more about the use of Uighurs as jihadist proxy-war­riors in the oil and min­er­al rich Xin­jiang province, see–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR #‘s 348, 550, 635, 636.

“Miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines Jet: Inves­ti­ga­tion Pay­ing ‘Spe­cial Atten­tion’ to Chi­nese Uighur Pas­sen­ger” by Lind­say Mur­doch; Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald; 3/13/2014.

Police inves­ti­gat­ing the back­grounds of all 239 peo­ple aboard the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines flight are pay­ing “spe­cial atten­tion” to a 35 year-old Chi­nese Uighur man who under­took flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing, accord­ing to a report in a lead­ing Malay lan­guage news­pa­per in Kuala Lumpur.

The Uighurs Mus­lim eth­nic minor­i­ty group from the north-west­ern Chi­nese province of Xin­jiang have been bat­tling for inde­pen­dence since they were brought under Chi­nese con­trol in 1949, claim­ing they are oppressed by China’s author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment and face reli­gious restric­tions and wide­spread dis­crim­i­na­tion.

Ear­li­er this month the Uighurs, who make up 45 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Xin­jiang, were blamed for a vio­lent attack at a Chi­nese train sta­tion.
At least 100 peo­ple have been killed in the past year in vio­lent clash­es between Uighurs and Chi­nese secu­ri­ty forces.
The Har­i­an Metro news­pa­per quot­ed an unnamed source as say­ing the man is not a sus­pect over the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance but that inves­ti­ga­tors were delv­ing into his back­ground.

Accord­ing to the source the man has a PHD from a uni­ver­si­ty in Britain was recent­ly worked as a lec­tur­er at a uni­ver­si­ty in Turkey.
The source said he under­took flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing in Swe­den in around 2006. . . .

8. A spec­u­la­tive ele­ment con­cerns a young Soma­li refugee who snuck into the wheel­well of a jet at San Jose Air­port. Pin­ing to return to his moth­er in a camp in Ethiopia, the young man is a Mus­lim who attends a Broth­er­hood-con­nect­ed mosque in San­ta Clara. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions on behalf of the fam­i­ly have been con­duct­ed by the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions, revealed in court doc­u­ments as a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front orga­ni­za­tion. Note: we are not nec­es­sar­i­ly impugn­ing the integri­ty of the boy–we are won­der­ing if this appar­ent­ly vul­ner­a­ble and impres­sion­able young fel­low was being manip­u­lat­ed by Islamists, per­haps doing “test­ing” for a future inci­dent. We won­der if the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Malaysian plane may also have been a “test” or a “dry run.”

  • There are a num­ber of strange aspects to the sto­ry: The boy was osten­si­bly try­ing to get to Ethiopia to vis­it his moth­er. Stow­ing away on a plane bound for Hawaii seems to be “the long way ’round” for such a jour­ney.
  • Many who have stowed away in a wheel well have died of cold and/or lack of oxy­gen. How did this young fel­low sur­vive?
  • Was he, per­haps, a “dry run” for a future inci­dent, in which a ter­ror­ist wear­ing an explo­sive belt might bring down an air­lin­er?

“Stoway: San­ta Clara Teen’s Dad Arrives in Hon­olu­lu” by Oskar Gar­cia; San­ta Cruz Sen­tinel; 4/29/2014.

. . . . A spokes­woman for the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions in San Fran­cis­co who had been speak­ing for the fam­i­ly declined com­ment beyond reit­er­at­ing a state­ment ear­li­er this week that Yusuf want­ed to see his son soon.

Abdi sur­vived a 5½-hour flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui after hop­ping an air­port fence and climb­ing into the wheel well of a Boe­ing 767. He has not spo­ken pub­licly about the ordeal that raised ques­tions about air­port secu­ri­ty and revealed the per­son­al fam­i­ly dra­ma of a Soma­li immi­grant strug­gling to adjust to life in the Unit­ed States.

Abdi, who lives in San­ta Clara, Calif., with his father, step­moth­er and sib­lings, had been unhap­py in Cal­i­for­nia and des­per­ate­ly missed his moth­er, accord­ing to those who know his fam­i­ly. . . . .

9. Abdi wor­shipped at  Mus­lim Com­mu­ni­ty Asso­ci­a­tion Islam­ic Cen­ter in San­ta Clara, the Imam of which was asso­ci­at­ed with the Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ty in Boston to which the Tsar­naev broth­ers belonged. Suhaib Webb was also an asso­ciate of Anwar al-Awla­ki, an al-Qae­da asso­ciate.

“Stow­away: Father of 15-Year-Old San­ta Clara Boy ‘Thanked God’ He Is Safe” by Julia Prodis Sulek, Robert Salon­ga, Mark Gomez and Josh Rich­man; San Jose Mer­cury News; 4/23/2014.

. . . . He said he saw his son Fri­day after­noon while the fam­i­ly prayed togeth­er. They wor­ship at the Mus­lim Com­mu­ni­ty Asso­ci­a­tion Islam­ic Cen­ter in San­ta Clara, which has been buzzing with the news of the stow­away. . . .

10. More about the Suhaib Webb/Anwar al-Awlak­i/T­sar­naev milieu:

“Boston Imam Shared Ties with Senior Al-Qai­da Oper­a­tive” by Patrick How­ley; The Dai­ly Caller; 6/27/2013.

. . . . Pri­or to the Boston Marathon attack, Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, who attend­ed the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston mosque in Cam­bridge, down­loaded rad­i­cal Islam­ic pro­pa­gan­da from the Inter­net, includ­ing mate­ri­als authored by Anwar al-Awla­ki, the senior al Qae­da oper­a­tive who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011. Tsar­naev also down­loaded a sum­mer 2010 edi­tion of the al Qae­da mag­a­zine “Inspire,” which includ­ed bomb-mak­ing instruc­tions and which is thought to have been the work of al-Awla­ki.

Al-Awla­ki lived in the Unit­ed States between 1990 and 2002, when he moved to the Unit­ed King­dom before even­tu­al­ly relo­cat­ing to Yemen, where he where worked for al-Qae­da and pro­duced pro­pa­gan­da tapes and oth­er mate­ri­als urg­ing Mus­lims to com­mit ter­ror­ist attacks against the Unit­ed States.

Suhaib Webb, imam of the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Cul­tur­al Cen­ter in Rox­bury, spoke along­side al-Awla­ki at a Sep­tem­ber 9, 2001 fundrais­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Irvine, accord­ing to FBI sur­veil­lance doc­u­ments. The fundrais­er was intend­ed to raise mon­ey for the legal defense of H. Rap Brown, an Atlanta-based Islam­ic rad­i­cal who shot and killed two Geor­gia police offi­cers. Webb and al-Awla­ki helped raise $100,000 to defend Brown, who was even­tu­al­ly con­vict­ed for his crimes.

“Webb and Aula­ki may be asso­ci­at­ed with the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety,” accord­ing to the sur­veil­lance doc­u­ments, which were pre­pared to inves­ti­gate the uncon­firmed pos­si­bil­i­ty that al-Awla­ki pur­chased plane tick­ets for some of the 9/11 hijack­ers. . . .

. . . . The Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston (ISB) in Cam­bridge, which Tsar­naev attend­ed, and its 2009 expan­sion the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Cul­tur­al Cen­ter (ISBCC) in Rox­bury, where Webb is imam, are both part of the same enti­ty under the same own­er­ship and deci­sion-mak­ing author­i­ties, accord­ing to close observers of the Boston Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty and deeds obtained by TheDC.

“The deeds to both mosques are owned and held by the same exact group, the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Trust, which is the offi­cial own­er of those mosques and has final say in the deci­sions of both. They try to put dif­fer­ence between the two, because when one gets in trou­ble they try to shield the oth­er one, but in real­i­ty they are both the same enti­ty,” said Ilya Feok­tis­tov, research direc­tor of Amer­i­cans for Peace and Tol­er­ance, which flagged the con­nec­tion between Webb and al-Awla­ki.

The ISBCC is run by the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety, which counts ISB imam Sheikh Basy­ouny Nehela as a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors of its Boston chap­ter.

The Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety was found­ed in 1993 after secret region­al meet­ings of under­ground Mus­lim Broth­er­hood mem­bers across the Unit­ed States. The U.S. Mus­lim Broth­er­hood report­ed­ly “oper­at­ed under the name Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety.”

Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety lead­ers were instruct­ed to state, if asked about the group’s views on ter­ror­ism, that the Soci­ety was anti-ter­ror­ism but that jihad was one of a Muslim’s “divine legal rights” for both self-defense and for the spread­ing of Islam. . . .

11. In FTR #773, we looked at the rela­tion­ship between “ex” CIA offi­cer Gra­ham E. Fuller and the Tsar­naev fam­i­ly, as well as “ex” CIA offi­cer Bri­an Glyn Williams and Dzokhar Tsar­naev. It appears that the Tsar­naevs may well have been involved with a West­ern intel­li­gence oper­a­tion in the Cau­ca­sus.

12. In addi­tion to the appar­ent use of Mus­lim Brotherhood/Islamist ele­ments as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Chi­na, the Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics are beloved to Gra­ham Fuller, as well as cor­po­rate ele­ments cdham­pi­oned by Grover Norquist.

“Chech­nyan Pow­er” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013.

. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jiha­di form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-eco­nom­ic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon ene­my to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islam­ic organization...with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote. “Clas­si­cal Islam­ic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully object­ed to social­ism and communism....Islam has nev­er had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is uneven­ly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .

13. Fuller has long been an advo­cate of a “turn to the Broth­er­hood.”

“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Dou­glas Farah; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01.

. . . Some fed­er­al agents wor­ry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

14. More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787.) In turn, he was report­ed to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lid­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends.

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012.

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At Al-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .


 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #790 Now, About that Malaysian Airliner . . . .”

  1. For­mer Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad appears to be adding his author­i­tar­i­an voice to the “peo­ple’s pow­er” move­ment that’s try­ing to top­ple his for­mer pro­teges and Malaysi­a’s cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter, Najib Razak, over a grow­ing cor­rup­tion scan­dal:

    Reuters
    Malaysi­a’s Mahathir calls for ‘peo­ple pow­er’ move­ment to top­ple PM
    KUALA LUMPUR | By Trin­na Leong and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah

    Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:12pm EDT
    Relat­ed: World

    For­mer Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, join­ing anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers for a sec­ond day on Sun­day, called for a “peo­ple’s pow­er” move­ment to top­ple Prime Min­is­ter Najib Razak over a finan­cial scan­dal.

    “The only way for the peo­ple to get back to the old sys­tem is for them to remove this prime min­is­ter,” said Mahathir, a deeply respect­ed 90-year-old who was once Najib’s patron and is now his fiercest crit­ic.

    “And to remove him, the peo­ple must show peo­ple’s pow­er. The peo­ple as a whole do not want this kind of cor­rupt leader,” he told media before head­ing to the ral­ly, whose num­bers police esti­mat­ed at 25,000.

    The two-day protest brought onto the streets a polit­i­cal cri­sis trig­gered by reports of a mys­te­ri­ous trans­fer worth more than $600 mil­lion into an account under Najib’s name.

    Najib, who denies wrong­do­ing, has weath­ered the storm and ana­lysts say the protest is unlike­ly to inspire broad pub­lic sup­port for him to quit because it lacks a strong leader.

    The ral­ly, unlike the last one in 2012, also lacks the sup­port of a par­ty iden­ti­fied with the Malay major­i­ty: most pro­test­ers were from the minor­i­ty eth­nic Chi­nese and Indi­an com­mu­ni­ties.

    How­ev­er, Mahathir — the coun­try’s longest-serv­ing leader — was a leader of the rul­ing Unit­ed Malays Nation­al Organ­i­sa­tion (UMNO), which rep­re­sents Malays.

    UMNO Vice-Pres­i­dent Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said that by turn­ing up unex­pect­ed­ly at the anti-gov­ern­ment ral­ly on Sat­ur­day, Mahathir had “crossed over the line”.

    Anoth­er UMNO leader, Jamal Yunos, told Reuters that 1 mil­lion gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers would stage a ral­ly on Oct. 10 that would trump the protests of the past two days.

    Mahathir’s sid­ing with pro­test­ers sits odd­ly with the often-author­i­tar­i­an style of his own 22-year rule until 2003, dur­ing which Malaysia became a pow­er­house of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment but also won a rep­u­ta­tion for crony­ism and dubi­ous “mega-projects”.

    Najib was once a pro­tégé of Mahathir, just as the now-jailed Anwar Ibrahim – once wide­ly viewed as Mahathir’s heir appar­ent – was before him. Anwar fell from favor when he began a pop­u­lar “refor­masi” (reform) move­ment against the graft and nepo­tism he said marked Malaysia’s busi­ness and polit­i­cal worlds.

    Mahathir sacked him from his posts, and charges of sodomy and cor­rup­tion fol­lowed. Mahathir has always main­tained that the sodomy charges were gen­uine and made Anwar unfit to be leader.

    RIOT TRUCKS

    On Sun­day, secu­ri­ty remained tight and anti-riot trucks stood ready, but there were no reports of vio­lence.

    City author­i­ties reject­ed an appli­ca­tion by pro-democ­ra­cy group Bersih for a protest per­mit, which had raised fears of a repeat of the 2012 ral­ly when police used water can­non and tear­gas to dis­perse pro­test­ers.

    In a sign the gov­ern­ment was los­ing patience, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Ahmad Zahid Hami­di warned orga­niz­ers they could face legal action. “They must face the con­se­quences if they dare to break the law,” he said, the New Straits Times report­ed online.

    ...

    Najib said in a speech lat­er that demon­stra­tions were “not the right chan­nel to voice views in a demo­c­ra­t­ic coun­try”, and cit­ed the reli­gious leader of an Islam­ic par­ty-ruled Malaysian state as say­ing the protests were ille­gal in the eyes of Islam.

    Malaysia has been gripped since July by reports that inves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing alle­ga­tions of mis­man­age­ment and cor­rup­tion at the debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Devel­op­ment Berhad had dis­cov­ered the trans­fer into Najib’s account.

    The coun­try’s anti-cor­rup­tion agency has said the funds were a dona­tion from an uniden­ti­fied Mid­dle East donor.

    Najib, who says he did not take any mon­ey for per­son­al gain, sacked his deputy and min­is­ters who had ques­tioned him as he sought to con­tain the scan­dal. The attor­ney-gen­er­al who had been inves­ti­gat­ing 1MDB was also replaced.

    Author­i­ties also sus­pend­ed two news­pa­pers and blocked access to a web­site that had report­ed exten­sive­ly on 1MDB.

    Najib retains sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from the long-rul­ing Barisan Nasion­al coali­tion and his par­ty, UMNO. The coali­tion, in pow­er since 1957, lost the pop­u­lar vote for the first time in 2013 to an oppo­si­tion alliance that split ear­li­er this year.

    How­ev­er, he is under pres­sure over his han­dling of the econ­o­my, which has been hit by a slump in ener­gy prices that threat­en oil and gas rev­enues, and Malaysi­a’s cur­ren­cy plum­met­ed this month to 17-year lows against the dol­lar.

    Najib said in his speech at a con­ven­tion cen­ter that some peo­ple with an agen­da had tried to spread lies that “Malaysia would become bank­rupt like Greece”.

    “It is clear­ly proven that Malaysia is not a failed state, as claimed by some,” he said. “It is far from a bank­rupt nation. We are still in a sta­ble con­di­tion, with sol­id fun­da­men­tals, and remain com­pet­i­tive.”

    If you read this part...

    ...
    Mahathir’s sid­ing with pro­test­ers sits odd­ly with the often-author­i­tar­i­an style of his own 22-year rule until 2003, dur­ing which Malaysia became a pow­er­house of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment but also won a rep­u­ta­tion for crony­ism and dubi­ous “mega-projects”.

    Najib was once a pro­tégé of Mahathir, just as the now-jailed Anwar Ibrahim – once wide­ly viewed as Mahathir’s heir appar­ent – was before him. Anwar fell from favor when he began a pop­u­lar “refor­masi” (reform) move­ment against the graft and nepo­tism he said marked Malaysia’s busi­ness and polit­i­cal worlds.

    Mahathir sacked him from his posts, and charges of sodomy and cor­rup­tion fol­lowed. Mahathir has always main­tained that the sodomy charges were gen­uine and made Anwar unfit to be leader.
    ...

    and think “uh oh, I bet­ter stay out of Malaysian air­planes with Mus­lim Broth­er­hood pilots until this blows over”, note that there prob­a­bly aren’t too many Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port­ers with par­tic­u­lar­ly fond feel­ings towards Prime Min­is­ter Najib Razak.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 31, 2015, 5:46 pm
  2. Here’s some­thing the should prob­a­bly give the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood an elec­toral boost in Malaysian pol­i­tics:
    As For­rest Gump opined, “Mama always said life was like a box of choco­lates. You nev­er know what you’re gonna get.” Of course, that implies many aspects of life are also like box­es of choco­late since life is full of sur­pris­es. So life is like a box of choco­lates that con­tain many small­er box­es of choco­late. For exam­ple, cor­rup­tion probes, like Malaysi­a’s grow­ing (1MBD) probe, are a part of life. And they are def­i­nite­ly like a box of choco­lates:

    The Guardian
    Malaysian prime min­is­ter cleared of cor­rup­tion over $681m Sau­di ‘gift’

    Attor­ney gen­er­al says huge sum in Najib Razak’s per­son­al bank account was dona­tion from Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and not linked to trou­bled state fund 1MDB

    Oliv­er Holmes in Bangkok and agen­cies
    Tues­day 26 Jan­u­ary 2016 07.12 EST

    Malaysia’s attor­ney gen­er­al said on Tues­day that $681m trans­ferred into prime min­is­ter Najib Razak’s per­son­al bank account was a gift from the roy­al fam­i­ly in Sau­di Ara­bia, and there were no crim­i­nal offences or cor­rup­tion involved.

    The involve­ment of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly is an unex­pect­ed twist in a scan­dal over the mys­te­ri­ous funds trans­fer and the trou­bles of indebt­ed state fund 1Malaysia Devel­op­ment Berhad (1MDB), whose advi­so­ry board Najib chairs.

    “I am sat­is­fied with the find­ings that the funds were not a form of graft or bribery,” attor­ney gen­er­al Mohamed Apan­di Ali told a hasti­ly called news con­fer­ence, where a state­ment was issued that said Najib had returned $620m to the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly because it had not been utilised.

    “There was no rea­son giv­en as to why the dona­tion was made to PM Najib – that is between him and the Sau­di fam­i­ly,” Apan­di said.

    He said no crim­i­nal offence was com­mit­ted by Najib in rela­tion to three inves­ti­ga­tions sub­mit­ted by Malaysia’s anti-graft agency and that no fur­ther action would be tak­en.

    The Malaysian anti-cor­rup­tion com­mis­sion (MACC) had ear­li­er said the funds were a polit­i­cal dona­tion from an uniden­ti­fied Mid­dle East­ern bene­fac­tor.

    The attor­ney gen­er­al said in a state­ment he would return to the MACC papers per­tain­ing to the three sep­a­rate inves­ti­ga­tions with instruc­tions to close all three cas­es.

    Najib, who has weath­ered months of calls from oppo­si­tion lead­ers and estab­lish­ment fig­ures to resign, has denied any wrong­do­ing and says he did not take any mon­ey for per­son­al gain.

    In a state­ment sent to the Guardian, Najib said he wel­comed the attor­ney general’s com­ments that “con­firmed what I have main­tained all along: that no crime was com­mit­ted.”

    “This issue has been an unnec­es­sary dis­trac­tion for the coun­try. Now that the mat­ter has been com­pre­hen­sive­ly put to rest, it is time for us to unite and move on,” he added.

    Malaysian oppo­si­tion par­lia­men­tar­i­an Tony Pua told the Guardian the “basis to absolve the prime min­is­ter of any wrong­do­ing is utter­ly with­out mer­it because the ‘per­son­al affair’ does not pre­clude cor­rupt motives or trans­ac­tions”.

    He added: “The attor­ney gen­er­al has pro­vid­ed no new or con­vinc­ing infor­ma­tion or argu­ments on whether the mas­sive funds were bona fide, which leads to the ques­tion whether the new­ly appoint­ed attor­ney gen­er­al is mere­ly cov­er­ing up for the prime min­is­ter.”

    In July last year, Najib sacked the country’s pre­vi­ous attor­ney gen­er­al, who had led the inves­ti­ga­tion into the scan­dal, for “health rea­sons” in a gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle that also saw the dis­missal of sev­er­al offi­cials crit­i­cal of the pre­mier.

    The scan­dal has shak­en investors in south-east Asia’s third-biggest econ­o­my and rocked pub­lic con­fi­dence in the coali­tion led by Najib’s Unit­ed Malays Nation­al Organ­i­sa­tion (UMNO) par­ty, which has held pow­er since inde­pen­dence in 1957.

    ...

    “The involve­ment of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly is an unex­pect­ed twist in a scan­dal over the mys­te­ri­ous funds trans­fer and the trou­bles of indebt­ed state fund 1Malaysia Devel­op­ment Berhad (1MDB), whose advi­so­ry board Najib chairs.”
    That’s the fun of a open­ing a cor­rup­tion probe box of choco­late: You nev­er know what you’ll get! Like a pre­vi­ous­ly undis­closed $681 mil­lion direct trans­fer from the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly to Malaysi­a’s cur­rent prime min­is­ter. And what was that ‘gift’ for? Well, accord­ing to Malaysi­a’s attor­ney gen­er­al, that rea­son is between Prime Min­is­ter Najib and the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and it’s not real­ly for the pub­lic to know:

    ...
    “I am sat­is­fied with the find­ings that the funds were not a form of graft or bribery,” attor­ney gen­er­al Mohamed Apan­di Ali told a hasti­ly called news con­fer­ence, where a state­ment was issued that said Najib had returned $620m to the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly because it had not been utilised.

    “There was no rea­son giv­en as to why the dona­tion was made to PM Najib – that is between him and the Sau­di fam­i­ly,” Apan­di said.
    ...

    You nev­er know what you’re going to get! Although the BBC reports that, accord­ing to Sau­di sources, the Sau­di ‘gift’ was actu­al­ly to ensure Najib’s polit­i­cal vic­to­ry over the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Note that this trans­fer was in 2013, before the Sau­di roy­als’ move to reestab­lish the old Saudi/MB offi­cial alliance after their pub­lic falling out in recent years.

    And giv­en that the ‘1MDB fund’ probe has already uncov­ered one super secret for­eign polit­i­cal mega-dona­tion, you have imag­ine that there are plen­ty of oth­er choco­lates of that nature still sit­ting in the larg­er ‘1MDB probe’ box of choco­lates.

    And that’s just one box of choco­lates. Giv­en this rev­e­la­tion of the Sau­di roy­als’ will­ing­ness to hand over entire for­tunes to their polit­i­cal allies in oth­er coun­tries, who knows how many oth­er box­es of choco­late around the globe con­tain such Sau­di delights? The Saud­is clear­ly have a lot of ‘choco­late’ to ‘gift’ to their ‘friends’ and there’s no short­age of ‘box­es’ around the globe that would love some of that ‘choco­late’. So if your coun­try’s polit­i­cal sys­tem devel­ops a case of polit­i­cal dia­betes, you might want to check for undis­closed box­es of choco­late. Hope­ful­ly it’s an option. In some nations, like the US, rogue box­es of polit­i­cal choco­late are black box­es too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 27, 2016, 11:38 am
  3. The Wall Street Jour­nal is report­ing Gold­man Sachs is now part of a US probe into poten­tial mon­ey-laun­der­ing charges relat­ed to the giant 1Malaysi Devel­op­ment Bhd (1MDB) devel­op­ment fund that’s blown up into a major Malaysian polit­i­cal scan­dal fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions that it may have been turned into a giant polit­i­cal slush fund for Prime Min­is­ter Najib Razak. So it will be inter­est­ing to see what, if any­thing they find, espe­cial­ly relat­ed to the over $680 mil­lion in ‘gifts’ that the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly gave to Razak that he asserts were in no way a form of graft or bribery. And espe­cial­ly after Raza­k’s par­ty shocked the coun­try recent­ly by back­ing an Islam­ic law penal code that includes ampu­ta­tions and ston­ing:

    Reuters

    Out­rage in mul­ti-eth­nic Malaysia as gov­ern­ment backs Islam­ic law

    KUALA LUMPUR | By Praveen Menon
    Sat May 28, 2016 1:32am EDT

    Prime Min­is­ter Najib Raza­k’s gov­ern­ment threw its sup­port in par­lia­ment this week behind an Islam­ic penal code that includes ampu­ta­tions and ston­ing, shock­ing some of his allies and stok­ing fears of fur­ther strains in the mul­ti-eth­nic coun­try.

    Crit­ics believe the scan­dal-taint­ed prime min­is­ter is using ‘hudud’, the Islam­ic law, to shore up the back­ing of Mus­lim Malay vot­ers and fend off attacks on his lead­er­ship ahead of crit­i­cal by-elec­tions next month and a gen­er­al elec­tion in 2018.

    The gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day unex­pect­ed­ly sub­mit­ted to par­lia­ment a hudud bill that had been pro­posed by the Islamist group Par­ti Islam se-Malaysi­a’s (PAS).

    Although debate on the law was deferred to Octo­ber by PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, its sub­mis­sion to par­lia­ment brought crit­i­cism from lead­ers across the polit­i­cal spec­trum, includ­ing allies of the rul­ing Barisan Nasion­al coali­tion, who rep­re­sent the eth­nic Chi­nese and Indi­an com­mu­ni­ties.

    Najib sought to ease ten­sions with his allies on Fri­day, say­ing the bill was “mis­un­der­stood”.

    “It’s not hudud, but what we refer to as enhanced pun­ish­ment,” he told a news con­fer­ence after meet­ing lead­ers of his rul­ing Unit­ed Malays Nation­al Organ­i­sa­tion (UMNO) par­ty.

    “It applies only to cer­tain offences and this comes under the juris­dic­tion of the Syari­ah court and is only applic­a­ble to the Mus­lims. It has noth­ing to do with non-Mus­lims.”

    He added that the pun­ish­ments would be lim­it­ed and can­ings met­ed out under the law would not injure or draw blood.

    Ear­li­er in the day, the Malaysian Chi­nese Asso­ci­a­tion (MCA), a key par­ty in the BN coali­tion, called the sub­mis­sion of the hudud bill to par­lia­ment “uncon­sti­tu­tion­al”.

    “As we repeat­ed­ly point­ed out, the imple­men­ta­tion of Hudud law is against the spir­it of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion, and would ruin the inter-eth­nic rela­tion­ship in the coun­try,” MCA Pres­i­dent Liow Tiong Lai said.

    Argu­ments for and against the intro­duc­tion of hudud have divid­ed Malaysia for years. Most of the South­east Asian coun­try’s states imple­ment sharia, the Islam­ic legal sys­tem, but its reach is restrict­ed by fed­er­al law.

    Still, the hudud bill appears doomed as the UMNO-led coali­tion lacks the two-thirds major­i­ty need­ed to pass it into law.

    The Islamist par­ty PAS is push­ing for a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment that would allow hudud to be imple­ment­ed in Kelan­tan, a north­ern state where night­clubs are banned and there are sep­a­rate pub­lic bench­es for men and women.

    Many fear such a move would open doors for oth­er states to bring in the Islam­ic penal code. Hudud stip­u­lates ancient reli­gious pun­ish­ments for Mus­lims who vio­late the law.

    EYEING POLLS

    Crit­ics say that Najib, with an eye on by-elec­tions for two par­lia­men­tary seats on June 18, is seek­ing to appease the major­i­ty Mus­lim vote­bank with his stand on hudud and to deflect atten­tion from a mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar scan­dal at the state fund 1Malaysia Devel­op­ment Berhad (1MDB).

    They allege Najib was a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of 1MDB’s funds, after about $680 mil­lion was deposit­ed in his bank account before a 2013 elec­tion. Najib has denied any wrong­do­ing.

    ...

    “He added that the pun­ish­ments would be lim­it­ed and can­ings met­ed out under the law would not injure or draw blood.”
    The ampu­ta­tion and ston­ings will be lim­it­ed. Noth­ing to wor­ry about folks!

    And note the spec­u­la­tive ratio­nale behind Raza­k’s sud­den back­ing of the new penal code:

    ...
    Crit­ics say that Najib, with an eye on by-elec­tions for two par­lia­men­tary seats on June 18, is seek­ing to appease the major­i­ty Mus­lim vote­bank with his stand on hudud and to deflect atten­tion from a mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar scan­dal at the state fund 1Malaysia Devel­op­ment Berhad (1MDB).

    They allege Najib was a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of 1MDB’s funds, after about $680 mil­lion was deposit­ed in his bank account before a 2013 elec­tion. Najib has denied any wrong­do­ing.
    ...

    That’s right, in an appar­ent effort to dis­tract from pub­lic con­cerns over the $680 mil­lion gift from the Sau­di Roy­als that mys­te­ri­ous­ly appeared in Raza­k’s bank account, Raza­k’s par­ty shocked the coun­try by back­ing legal ston­ings and ampu­ta­tions. It’s a pret­ty bizarre strat­e­gy. But what’s even more bizarre is that it just might work

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 7, 2016, 5:25 pm
  4. Aus­trali­a’s ver­sion of “60 Min­utes” assem­bled a team of ana­lysts team to look over all the avail­able infor­ma­tion on what caused the dis­ap­pear­ance of Flight 370: Much of what they con­clud­ed has already been sug­gest­ed by pre­vi­ous teams of ana­lysts. For exam­ple, they appear to be con­fi­dent that it was an inten­tion­al act by Cap­tain Ahmad Shah. They’ve also deduced cer­tain turns in the flight path near the island of Penang were due to Shah tilt­ing the air­craft to get a final look at the island (Shah was born there). These weren’t new find­ings.

    And they arrived at a the­o­ry on how it was that Shah could have pulled this off with­out oth­er peo­ple on the plane inter­fer­ing: he depres­sur­ized the plane, knock­ing out any­one who was­n’t wear­ing an oxy­gen mask. This is seen as an expla­na­tion for the lack of dis­tress calls and no final good­bye texts or attempt­ed emer­gency calls that failed to con­nect. The inten­tion­al depres­sur­iza­tion the­o­ry has been sug­gest­ed before, so it’s not unique to this team of ana­lysts, but this adds to the num­ber of experts lean­ing in that direc­tion.

    They also have a the­o­ry on why the plane seemed to just dis­ap­pear off of radar with­out air traf­fic con­trollers get­ting alarmed over the behav­ior of the plane: Shah delib­er­ate­ly chart­ed a path designed to trav­eled near the bor­der of Malaysia and Thai­land. And he took the plane in and out of each coun­try’s air­space, so the air traf­fic con­trollers would­n’t pay too much atten­tion to the plane because it would quick­ly veer out of their ter­ri­to­ry and into neigh­bor­ing air­space. In oth­er words, Shah’s flight path like­ly pro­duced a “not my prob­lem” response from air traf­fic con­trollers.

    So accord­ing to this lat­est set of the­o­ries, Shah delib­er­ate­ly knocked almost every­one out be depres­sur­iz­ing the cab­in and then took the flight along a path seem­ing­ly designed to make it less notice­able to the peo­ple on the ground who might sound an alarm:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    MH370 experts think they’ve final­ly solved the mys­tery of the doomed Malaysia Air­lines flight

    by Cleve R. Woot­son Jr.
    May 14, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    All but one of the 239 peo­ple on the doomed Malaysia Air­lines Flight 370 had prob­a­bly been uncon­scious — inca­pac­i­tat­ed by the sud­den depres­sur­iza­tion of the Boe­ing 777 — and had no way of know­ing they were on an hours-long, mean­der­ing path to their deaths.

    Along that path, a pan­el of avi­a­tion experts said Sun­day, was a brief but telling detour near Penang, Malaysia, the home town of Cap­tain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

    On two occa­sions, who­ev­er was in con­trol of the plane — and was prob­a­bly the only one awake — tipped the craft to the left.

    The experts believe Zaharie, the plane’s pilot, was tak­ing a final look.

    That is the chill­ing the­o­ry that the team of ana­lysts assem­bled by Aus­trali­a’s “60 Min­utes” have posit­ed about the final hours of MH370.

    They sus­pect that the plane’s 2014 dis­ap­pear­ance and appar­ent crash were a sui­cide by the 53-year-0ld Zaharie — and a pre­med­i­tat­ed act of mass mur­der.

    But first, the experts said, they believe that Zaharie depres­sur­ized the plane, knock­ing out any­one aboard who was­n’t wear­ing an oxy­gen mask. That would explain the silence from the plane as it veered wild­ly off course: no may­day from the craft’s radio, no final good­bye texts, no attempt­ed emer­gency calls that failed to con­nect.

    That would also explain how who­ev­er was in con­trol had time to maneu­ver the plane to its final loca­tion.

    The wreck­age has not been found, though hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars have gone into the four-year search. The secret of what hap­pened in the final moments of the ill-fat­ed flight — and the motive behind it all — prob­a­bly died with its pas­sen­gers and pilot.

    But the “60 Min­utes” team — which includ­ed avi­a­tion spe­cial­ists, the for­mer Aus­tralian Trans­port Safe­ty Bureau chief in charge of inves­ti­gat­ing MH370’s crash and an oceanog­ra­ph­er — put forth what they believe is the most like­ly the­o­ry.

    “The thing that gets dis­cussed the most is that at the point where the pilot turned the transpon­der off, that he depres­sur­ized the air­plane, which would dis­able the pas­sen­gers,” said Lar­ry Vance, a vet­er­an air­craft inves­ti­ga­tor from Cana­da. “He was killing him­self. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he was killing every­one else onboard. And he did it delib­er­ate­ly.”

    Zaharie’s sus­pect­ed sui­cide might explain an odd­i­ty about the plane’s final flight path: that unex­pect­ed turn to the left.

    “Cap­tain Zaharie dipped his wing to see Penang, his home town,” Simon Hardy, a Boe­ing 777 senior pilot and instruc­tor, said on “60 Min­utes.”

    “If you look very care­ful­ly, you can see it’s actu­al­ly a turn to the left, and then start a long turn to the right. And then [he does] anoth­er left turn. So I spent a long time think­ing about what this could be, what tech­ni­cal rea­son is there for this, and, after two months, three months think­ing about this, I final­ly got the answer: Some­one was look­ing out the win­dow.”

    “It might be a long, emo­tion­al good­bye,” Hardy added. “Or a short, emo­tion­al good­bye to his home town.”

    Flight 370 dis­ap­peared March 8, 2014, short­ly after leav­ing Kuala Lumpur, bound for Bei­jing.

    The craft is thought to have crashed in the far south­ern Indi­an Ocean.

    The gov­ern­ments of Malaysia, Chi­na and Aus­tralia called off the offi­cial search in Jan­u­ary 2017. The Aus­tralian Trans­port Safe­ty Bureau’s final report said author­i­ties were no clos­er to know­ing the rea­sons for the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance or the exact loca­tion of its wreck­age.

    But the “60 Min­utes” experts tried to answer one of the biggest ques­tions sur­round­ing the flight: How could a mod­ern air­craft tracked by radar and satel­lites sim­ply dis­ap­pear?

    Because, they say, Zaharie want­ed it to. And the vet­er­an pilot, who had near­ly 20,000 hours of flight expe­ri­ence and had built a flight sim­u­la­tor in his home, knew exact­ly how to do it.

    For exam­ple, at one point, he flew near the bor­der of Malaysia and Thai­land, criss­cross­ing into the air­space of both, Hardy said. But nei­ther coun­try was like­ly to see the plane as a threat because it was on the edge of their air­space.

    “Both of the con­trollers aren’t both­ered about this mys­te­ri­ous air­craft because, oh, it’s gone, it’s not in our space any­more,” Hardy said. “If you were com­mis­sion­ing me to do this oper­a­tion and try to make a 777 dis­ap­pear, I would do the same thing. As far as I’m con­cerned, it’s very accu­rate fly­ing, and it did the job.”

    Still, as News.com.au wrote, the experts’ hypothe­ses are just the­o­ries — and not entire­ly new ones.

    Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid were prime sus­pects in the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance from the begin­ning. There were rumors that Zaharie’s mar­riage was end­ing and that he downed the plane after learn­ing that his wife was about to leave, the news site said.

    Anoth­er the­o­ry was that he hijacked the plane in protest of the jail­ing of Anwar Ibrahim, who was then the oppo­si­tion leader in Malaysia.

    A group called the Chi­nese Mar­tyrs’ Brigade claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty for the down­ing, although skep­ti­cal offi­cials called this a hoax.

    Two men on the plane were fly­ing with pho­ny pass­ports, but one was appar­ent­ly an asy­lum seek­er, and nei­ther had ter­ror­ism links.

    The wreck­age, of course, might pro­vide some insight about what caused the air­plane to crash, and crews were still look­ing for it as recent­ly as this year.

    ...

    ———-

    “MH370 experts think they’ve final­ly solved the mys­tery of the doomed Malaysia Air­lines flight” by Cleve R. Woot­son Jr.; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 05/14/2018

    “They sus­pect that the plane’s 2014 dis­ap­pear­ance and appar­ent crash were a sui­cide by the 53-year-0ld Zaharie — and a pre­med­i­tat­ed act of mass mur­der.”

    A pre­med­i­tat­ed act of mass mur­der. That’s the con­clu­sion this team of experts arrived at. And part of that spec­u­la­tion includes spec­u­la­tion that Shah knocked vir­tu­al­ly every­one out by depres­sur­iz­ing the plane:

    ...
    But first, the experts said, they believe that Zaharie depres­sur­ized the plane, knock­ing out any­one aboard who was­n’t wear­ing an oxy­gen mask. That would explain the silence from the plane as it veered wild­ly off course: no may­day from the craft’s radio, no final good­bye texts, no attempt­ed emer­gency calls that failed to con­nect.

    That would also explain how who­ev­er was in con­trol had time to maneu­ver the plane to its final loca­tion.

    ...

    “The thing that gets dis­cussed the most is that at the point where the pilot turned the transpon­der off, that he depres­sur­ized the air­plane, which would dis­able the pas­sen­gers,” said Lar­ry Vance, a vet­er­an air­craft inves­ti­ga­tor from Cana­da. “He was killing him­self. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he was killing every­one else onboard. And he did it delib­er­ate­ly.”
    ...

    Then Shah does a ‘good bye’ flight around Penang, where he was born:

    ...
    Zaharie’s sus­pect­ed sui­cide might explain an odd­i­ty about the plane’s final flight path: that unex­pect­ed turn to the left.

    “Cap­tain Zaharie dipped his wing to see Penang, his home town,” Simon Hardy, a Boe­ing 777 senior pilot and instruc­tor, said on “60 Min­utes.”

    “If you look very care­ful­ly, you can see it’s actu­al­ly a turn to the left, and then start a long turn to the right. And then [he does] anoth­er left turn. So I spent a long time think­ing about what this could be, what tech­ni­cal rea­son is there for this, and, after two months, three months think­ing about this, I final­ly got the answer: Some­one was look­ing out the win­dow.”

    “It might be a long, emo­tion­al good­bye,” Hardy added. “Or a short, emo­tion­al good­bye to his home town.”

    Flight 370 dis­ap­peared March 8, 2014, short­ly after leav­ing Kuala Lumpur, bound for Bei­jing.

    The craft is thought to have crashed in the far south­ern Indi­an Ocean.

    The gov­ern­ments of Malaysia, Chi­na and Aus­tralia called off the offi­cial search in Jan­u­ary 2017. The Aus­tralian Trans­port Safe­ty Bureau’s final report said author­i­ties were no clos­er to know­ing the rea­sons for the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance or the exact loca­tion of its wreck­age.
    ...

    And in order to pre­vent ground oper­a­tors from track­ing the plane, Shah flew a path near the bor­der of Malaysia and Thai­land, criss­cross­ing into the air­space of both, thus mak­ing the plane appear to be on the edge of the ground oper­a­tors’ respon­si­bil­i­ties:

    ...
    But the “60 Min­utes” experts tried to answer one of the biggest ques­tions sur­round­ing the flight: How could a mod­ern air­craft tracked by radar and satel­lites sim­ply dis­ap­pear?

    Because, they say, Zaharie want­ed it to. And the vet­er­an pilot, who had near­ly 20,000 hours of flight expe­ri­ence and had built a flight sim­u­la­tor in his home, knew exact­ly how to do it.

    For exam­ple, at one point, he flew near the bor­der of Malaysia and Thai­land, criss­cross­ing into the air­space of both, Hardy said. But nei­ther coun­try was like­ly to see the plane as a threat because it was on the edge of their air­space.

    “Both of the con­trollers aren’t both­ered about this mys­te­ri­ous air­craft because, oh, it’s gone, it’s not in our space any­more,” Hardy said. “If you were com­mis­sion­ing me to do this oper­a­tion and try to make a 777 dis­ap­pear, I would do the same thing. As far as I’m con­cerned, it’s very accu­rate fly­ing, and it did the job.”
    ...

    So, if that spec­u­la­tion is cor­rect and Shah was delib­er­ate­ly try­ing to keep his plane ‘off the radar’ and unno­ticed by ground con­trollers, that would point towards a desire to keep the ulti­mate fate of the plane a mys­tery. Why? Well, that’s still a mys­tery too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 14, 2018, 1:24 pm

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