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FTR #815 Walkin’ the Snake at Al Jazeera

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Muslim Brotherhood Coat of (ahem) Arms

Serpent's Walk: Forecasts a Nazi takeover of U.S. in mid-twenty-first century, after WMD terrorist attacks.

Introduction: In previous posts, we have noted that Al Jazeera is run by the Muslim Brotherhood. We have also dealt with the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, which focuses on a Nazi takeover of the U.S. in the mid-21st century. After a series of terrorist attacks featuring WMD’s results in the declaration of martial law and the descendants of the SS–who have infiltrated the military–take over.

Fundamental to the scenario presented in the book is the Underground Reich/SS money component buying into the opinion-forming media in order to swing the American people’s point of view in a pro-Nazi direction.

With Al Jazeera among those media outlets gaining gravitas in the U.S., it is worth examining the network in detail to understand its relationship with the Brotherhood, an Islamic fascist organization.

The Al Jazeera network’s shepherding of a report about the late Yasser Arafat having been poisoned with polonium 210 affords us an ideal opportunity to evaluate the outlet’s journalistic integrity. (Polonium 210 is a highly radioactive substance.)

The media were all a-flutter for a day or two about a report that PLO leader Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium poisoning, with the report itself being essentially an Al Jazeera “op.”

Program Highlights Include: 

  • The report is an Al Jazeeera project from start to finish.
  • The project was launched and executed by Clayton Swisher, head of Al Jazeera’s so-called investigative journalism division.
  • Swisher is a former bodyguard of Arafat’s.
  • Swisher has a background in State Department Security (translation: “Spook”).
  • He was given the items on which the polonium was found by Arafat’s widow in 2011, seven years after Arafat’s death.
  • Polonium 210 has a half-life of 138 days! Experts quoted below do not believe that any measurable trace would be left after this much time. If measurable traces of polonium 210 were found after this much time, the amount in Arafat’s body would have to have been enormous!
  • The symptoms of polonium poisoning are readily detectable and not consistent with Arafat’s condition.
  • Poisoning and radiation poisoning in particular were ruled out at the time of Arafat’s passing.
  • The chain of handling of the evidence given to Swisher by Arafat’s widow is unclear.
  • The question of why so much time was allowed to elapse before conducting the investigation suggests itself.
  • A Russian team found no evidence of polonium, although they have now backtracked on their report.
  • Evidence of Al Jazeera’s close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood mounts, with the network paying for the residence of Brotherhood exiles staying in Qatar, the home of the network.
  • What we are witnessing with the uncritical acceptance of a media outlet effectively controlled by an overtly fascist organization is a manifestation of the Serpent’s Walk scenario that we have discussed so often.
  • So overt and brazen are Al Jazeera’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood that Qatar is launching a new news channel to compete with it, apparently because the network’s Brotherhood links are discrediting the programming’s credibility.
  • One wonders if this gambit is intended to derail Israeli/Palestinian peace talks?
  • A French forensic team has arrived at the conclusion that Arafat was NOT murdered. It is interesting to note that Arafat’s widow saw to it that there was no autopsy at the time of death. Then, she gives the hospital bag and clothing to Swisher of Al Jazeera. Nice.
  • Arafat’s personal physician stated that Arafat died of AIDS. Check out this YouTube segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y89pfwDRAV0

1.  Among the many problems with the allegation developed and flogged by Al Jazeera is the fact that polonium-210 has a half-life of just 138 days. Detecting the presence of polonium after eight years is extremely difficult.

“Report: Tests ‘Moderately Support’ that Yasser Arafat Poisoned by Polonium”; CNN; 11/7/2013.

 . . . . The Swiss center pointed out some caveats: The testing was based on “very small specimens.” The center noted that blood, urine and other specimens were destroyed after Arafat’s hospitalization.

— Eight years passed between the death and the exhumation. Because polonium-210 has a half-life of just 138 days, its detection after eight years is “very difficult and subject to uncertainties.”

— The “chain of custody” of Arafat’s personal effects — from the time he died and when the center began to study them in 2012 — is unclear, it said.

Paddy Regan, a professor of radionuclide metrology in the physics department at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, agreed that the years that have elapsed since Arafat’s death make it more difficult to estimate how much isotope was there originally.

“It’s like a blindfolded man holding the tail of an elephant and using that to estimate the weight of the elephant,” Regan told CNN in a telephone interview. “You can do it, but there is a huge amount of extrapolation involved.”

And the mere presence of the isotope — in amounts significantly higher than what occurs naturally — does not necessarily mean that that is what killed Arafat, he added, citing the scientists’ measurement of a urine stain on Arafat’s underwear. “If you were being cynical about such a thing, if you wanted to put a false trail out there, you could put a tiny amount of polonium 210 on that urine stain,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that the urine stain came from inside him.” . . . .

2. A Russian forensic team found no evidence of poisoning in Arafat’s death.

“Swiss Report Supports Theory Arafat Was Poisoned” by Isabel Kershner; The New York Times; 11/7/2013.

. . . . Yet last month the head of the Russian team told the Interfax news agency that Russian experts had found no traces of polonium in Mr. Arafat’s remains. Soon after, the Russians denied having made any statement. . . .

3. The top French physician in the hospital in which Arafat died dismisses the notion that Arafat was poisoned.

” ‘Absolutely No Way’ Arafat Was Poisoned, Says Top Doctor Who Teaches at Hospital Where Palestinian Leader Died” by Annica Pomeray; The Times of Israel; 11/13/2012.

. . . .    A leading French doctor who teaches at the Paris hospital where Yasser Arafat died in 2004 has broken the official French medical silence surrounding the case to tell The Times of Israel, based on Arafat’s medical report, that there is “absolutely no way” the Palestinian leader was poisoned.

Dr. Roland Masse, a member of the prestigious Académie de Médecine who currently teaches radiopathology at Percy Military Training Hospital in the Paris suburb of Clamart, where Arafat was hospitalized two weeks before his death on November 11 eight years ago, spoke to The Times of Israel to scotch the allegations of polonium poisoning two weeks before a group of scientists are set to take samples for testing from Arafat’s body.

Masse said the symptoms of polonium poisoning would have been “impossible to miss,” noted that Percy had tested Arafat for radiation poisoning, and revealed that the hospital specializes in the related field of radiation detection. “A lethal level of polonium simply cannot go unnoticed,” he said, speaking as workers in Ramallah on Tuesday began the process of preparing Arafat’s grave for exhumation.

Dr. Thierry Revel, the head of the Hematology Department at Percy who signed the medical report on November 14, 2004, has refused to comment on the case. Indeed, medical confidentiality laws prevent doctors in France from divulging any information on their current or past patients. It was Arafat’s family that chose to make public the late Palestinian leader’s medical report; Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based news outlet, said in July that it had received the report from Arafat’s widow Suha.

In a telephone interview with The Times of Israel, Masse said flatly that “there is absolutely no way the symptoms described in Yasser Arafat’s medical report match those of poisoning by polonium.”

Masse elaborated: “When in contact with high levels of polonium, the body suffers from acute radiation which translates into a state of anemia and a severe decrease in white blood cells. And yet Arafat did not present any of those symptoms. What did decrease was his platelets, not his white blood cells,” said Masse, who may have been prepared to discuss the case because he does not treat patients at Percy, only teaching there. (He said the medical team at Percy would have had no need to consult with him, given their high level of expertise.)

Noting that radiation detection happens to be one of the areas in which Percy military hospital excels, Masse said that while Arafat’s medical report contains no specific reference to a test for polonium, it does specify that a number of tests were conducted to check if the patient had been subjected to radioactive substances.

Polonium-210, which Yasser Arafat’s widow Suha believes may have caused her husband’s death, is a rare chemical that became more familiar to the public a few years ago when it was used to murder Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy, in London in 2006.

If “abnormal levels of radioactive polonium” were found on Arafat’s clothing by scientists in Switzerland in July, eight years after his death, Masse said, the Palestinian leader would have had to be in contact with an extremely high level of the chemical before his death. This would have been impossible to miss for any doctor at the time, Masse said, not to mention dangerous for other people surrounding Arafat. “Remember the Litvinenko case,” Masse continued. “We discovered after his death that hundreds of people had been subjected to various levels of contamination, in the UK and other countries.”

 Masse was in charge of “national radioactivity supervision” in France in the 1990s — as head of the Office de Protection des Rayonnements Ionisants (OPRI — the Bureau for Protection against Ionizing Radiation), which worked under the authority of the French Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour to protect French citizens and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation. In the job, he said, he received daily alerts about the presence of far lower levels of radioactive elements than would have been necessary to kill a man; these alerts came from waste collection sites, for example, and from people who had recently undergone medical treatments involving the application of radioactive substances. . .

4. A German expert also is dismisive of the notion that Arafat was poisoned with polonium.

“Polonium Would be Hardly Detectable”; Deutsche Welle; 8/7/2012.

. . . . [Prof. Dr. Thomas Fanghänel is director of the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe, Germany, a joint research center with the European Commission. Among others things, the ITU carries out nuclear forensic testing.] “I assume that it would be very difficult to prove poisoning after eight years,” he said. “Around 20 half-life periods would have passed since then. After 20 half-life periods, only a few millionths of the original material will still be present.”… “The question is this: Is the amount detected significantly higher than that which is naturally present in the environment? Due to the half-life period and the period of time which has since elapsed, I’m assuming it would be extremely difficult to prove with any certainty that this is the polonium-210 which came into contact with the clothing ten years ago.” . . . .

5. Of primary significance is the outline of how the “story” came to pass. Arafat’s widow, who blocked an autopsy when the PLO leader died and who did not live with her husband, gave some of Arafat’s personal effects to one of his former bodyguards. Clayton Swisher (the bodyguard) had previously been a State Department Security functionary (translation: “Spook.”). Swisher was an Al Jazeera officer at that point in time, and it was he who initiated the “investigation.”

The point is that this was an Al Jazeera “op” in its entirety.

” ‘What Killed Arafat?’: Neshannock Grad Nominated for Prestigious Award for Investigation of Late Palestinian Leader” by Kayleen Cubbal; New Castle News; 5/10/2013.

 . . . . The 36-year-old Neshannock High graduate, the manager of investigative journalism for Al Jazeera Media Network, led a group that released a film, “What Killed Afafat?” (Al Jazeera Investigates), which is nominated for an award for best Current Affairs documentary at Sunday’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts at Royal Festival Hall in London. The BAFTAs are the equivalent of the Emmy Awards in the United States. . . .

. . . . While at Pitt, Swisher served in the Marine Corps Reserves with a Military Police Company in North Versailles, and following his graduation, spent three years as a special agent with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.  

It was there that he came to meet Arafat, while serving as a bodyguard to him on four occasions in 2000 during attempts by the United States to negotiate a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first time was during Arafat’s June visit to the United States; the second was later that month during then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s visit with Arafat to Ramallah, in the Occupied West Bank, to plan the July Camp David Summit; next was during the Camp David Summit, attended by then-President Clinton, Albright, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; and, later that year, the final chance arose during an emergency meeting at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France with Albright and then-CIA director George Tenet. . . .

. . . . In 2007, Swisher joined Al Jazeera. . . .

. . . . In late 2011, Swisher, who lives in Doha, Qatar, headquarters of the Al Jazeera Media Network, initiated a cold-case investigation into Arafat’s death. He traveled to Malta and obtained his entire medical files from Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat.

Suha later provided Swisher with a gym bag that contained her husband’s last personal belongings, which were in his possession at a French military hospital where he died on Nov. 11, 2004. Swisher took all the items Suha had given him to Europe’s leading forensic laboratory, the University Centre for Legal Medicine in Lausanne, Switzerland. . . .

6. More about the French dissent from the Swiss/Al Jazeera “poisoning” conclusion:

“French Experts ‘Rule out Yasser Arafat Poi­son­ing The­ory’” [AFP]; The Telegraph [UK]; 12/3/2013.

French experts have ruled out a the­ory that Yasser Arafat was killed by poi­son­ing, a source close to the inves­ti­ga­tion into the Pales­tin­ian leader’s 2004 death told AFP.

“The report rules out the poi­son­ing the­ory and goes in the sense of a nat­ural death,” the source said.

The French experts’ find­ings dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from those of Swiss sci­en­tists, who said last month that their research offered some sup­port for the sug­ges­tion Arafat was killed by polo­nium poisoning.

Rumours and spec­u­la­tion have sur­rounded Arafat’s death since a quick dete­ri­o­ra­tion of his health saw his pass­ing at a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal near Paris in Novem­ber 2004 at the age of 75.

French doc­tors were unable to say what killed him and an autopsy was never per­formed, at the request of his widow.

Many Pales­tini­ans believed he was poi­soned by Israel — a claim repeat­edly denied by the Jew­ish state.

Israeli for­eign min­istry spokesman Yigal Pal­mor told AFP the results of the French probe were “no surprise”.

France opened a for­mal mur­der inquiry into his death in August 2012, a month after an Al-Jazeera doc­u­men­tary linked his death to polo­nium poisoning.

Some 60 sam­ples were taken from Arafat’s remains in Novem­ber 2012 and divided between Swiss and Russ­ian inves­ti­ga­tors and a French team car­ry­ing out a probe at his widow’s request.

Both the pros­e­cu­tors’ office in the Paris sub­urb of Nan­terre, which is con­duct­ing the French probe, and a lawyer for Arafat’s widow Suha refused to com­ment on the investigation’s find­ings Tuesday. . . .

. . . . Pales­tin­ian Jus­tice Min­is­ter Ali Mhanna last month urged France to release the results of its probe, say­ing the Pales­tini­ans were sure Arafat had been poi­soned and that Israel was the “only sus­pect” in his death.

Israeli Pres­i­dent Shi­mon Peres, who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Arafat and Israeli prime min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin, said last month that the reports of polo­nium poi­son­ing were unbelievable.

“If some­one had wanted to get rid of Arafat, it would have been eas­ier to do it with a bul­let,” he said.

The Swiss team’s find­ings sparked fresh accu­sa­tions from the Pales­tini­ans and increased ten­sions with Israel at a del­i­cate time.

US-brokered peace talks resumed at the end of July after a three-year gap, but have already hit a dead­lock over Israeli set­tle­ment expan­sion in the occu­pied West Bank on land the Pales­tini­ans want for their future state. . . .

7. Note that Qatar has been providing shelter to some of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled after the coup against Morsi.

“Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Finds Havens Abroad” by Abigail Hauslohner; The Washington Post; 11/5/2013.

. . . . Cast out by — or, perhaps, saved from— the harshest political crackdown in recent Egyptian history, a handful of Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist leaders found refuge here in the Qatari capital, while others traveled to Istanbul, London and Geneva.

The exiles’ community is small, disorganized and ideologically diverse, ranging from relatively moderate Islamist politicians to hard-line Salafists — groups that less than two years ago competed against each other in Egypt’s parliamentary and presidential elections.

Now, as they push back against the July coup that toppled their country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, they are on the same team.

At the same time, an exile leadership is starting to take shape here among the shimmering high-rises of Doha. Several of the exiles live temporarily in hotel suites paid for by Qatar’s state-run Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera — and it is in those suites and hotel lobbies that the future of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and, more broadly, the strategy and ideology of political Islam in the country may well be charted. . . .

8. Based in Qatar (which is utilizing I.G. Farben’s Fischer/Tropsch process), Al Jazeera is growing its presence in the United States.

In addition to its purchase of Al Gore’s “Current TV” and resulting entry into the U.S. cable TV market, Al Jazeera had been broadcasting for some time on the Pacifica Radio network, which caters to the so-called progressive community.

One place where Al Jazeera’s influence is NOT waxing is Egypt.  (See text excerpts below.) In addition to the fact that many of their journalists have resigned in protest over the network’s blatant pro-Brotherhood bias, the Egyptian army has been arresting some of its staff in the crackdown on Morsi’s supporters.

In addition, Al Jazeera correspondents have been barred from news conferences by fellow journalists, because of the network’s pro-Brotherhood stance.

In an update, we note that the Egyptian government continues to be at loggerheads with the network.

“Al-Jazeera Egypt Staff Resign Over Orders To “Favor” The Muslim Brotherhood” by gmbwatch; Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch; 7/9/2013.

Gulf media is reporting that 22 members of the Al-Jazeera Egyptian bureau have resigned in protest over what they say were instructions from the management to “favor the Muslim Brotherhood.” According to a Gulf News report: The news channel Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr saw 22 members of staff resign on Monday in Egypt over what they alleged was coverage that was out of sync with real events in Egypt.

Anchor Karem Mahmoud announced that the staff had resigned in protest against what he called ‘biased coverage’ of the events in Egypt by the Qatari broadcaster.

Mahmoud said that the resignations had been brought about by a perceived lack of commitment and Al Jazeera professionalism in media coverage, adding that ‘the management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries.’

Mahmoud added that the management used to instruct each staff member to favour the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said that ‘there are instructions to us to telecast certain news’.

Haggag Salama, a correspondent of the network in Luxor, had resigned on Sunday accusing it of ‘airing lies and misleading viewers’.

He announced his resignation in a phone-in interview with Dream 2 channel.

Meanwhile, four Egyptian members of editorial staff at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha resigned in protest against what they termed a ‘biased editorial policy’ pertaining to the events in Egypt, Ala’a Al Aioti, a news producer, told Gulf News by phone . . .

In 2009, Egyptian authorities were reported to be in the process of revoking Al-Jazeera’s license to broadcast and that the network was planning to close its bureau office in Cairo.

Leaked US State Department cables indicate that Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, operates as an arm of Qatari foreign policy which has recently been strongly supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the recently deposed Mohamed Morsi. . . .

8b.  Note that the government of Qatar subsidized the Morsi regime. It is no surprise, therefore, that Al-Jazeera, also subsidized by the Qatari government, manifested a strong pro-Brotherhood/pro/Morsi bias.

RECOMMENDED READING: “Why Does Al Jazeera Love A Hateful Islamic Extremist?” by gmbwatch; Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch; 7/11/2013.

Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg has published an article titled “Why Does Al Jazeera Love a Hateful Islamic Extremist?” that summarizes recent developments adverse for Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The article begins:

So, it hasn’t been the best week for Al Jazeera, the television network owned by Qatar’s despotic ruling family, for the same reason that it hasn’t been a great week for the despotic ruling family itself: the ouster of Egypt’s president, Mohamed Mursi, the bumpkin fundamentalist.

Qatar pumped a lot of money into Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood government, and for what? The Qatari royal family should sue the Brotherhood for malfeasance. So much hope was riding on Mursi’s experiment in political Islam. Although Qatar spreads risk around a bit — it has provided millions of dollars to Islamists in Syria and to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas (now there’s an investment in the future) — Mursi represented its main chance to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism.

And now, to add insult to financial injury, Saudi Arabia just promised post-Mursi Egypt $5 billion, and the United Arab Emirates, another of Qatar’s main rivals, has kicked in $3 billion.

As for Al Jazeera, which is scheduled to introduce its American network next month in place of Al Gore’s hapless Current TV, well, let’s put it this way: It will certainly be more popular among Americans than it is among Egyptians. Which isn’t saying much.

Journalists Protest

The millions of Egyptians who rose up against Mursi’s rule also aired their feelings about Al Jazeera’s breathless pro-Muslim Brotherhood coverage. The harsh criticism directed at the network prompted Egyptian reporters to expel Al Jazeera reporters from a recent news conference, and led several journalists to quit Al Jazeera’s Egypt operation, apparently to protest its obvious bias.

One of the correspondents who quit, Haggag Salama, accused his ex-bosses of ‘airing lies and misleading viewers.’ The journalist Abdel Latif el-Menawy is reported to have called Al Jazeera a ‘propaganda channel’ for the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s possible that some of the journalists who quit did so as a matter of self-preservation; the Egyptian military is behaving in predictably heavy-handed ways toward journalists it doesn’t like. But it’s also entirely plausible that they quit because they couldn’t abide Qatari government interference in their reporting. . . .

8c.  “RECOMMENDED READING: Al Jazeera Faces Criticism In Egypt Over Its Coverage Of Muslim Brotherhood”; Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch; 1/8/2014.

The Washington Post has featured a story titled “Al Jazeera Faces Criticism In Egypt Over Its Coverage Of Muslim Brotherhood” which looks at criticism of Al Jazeera over its relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood. The story begins:

“Ever since the military’s ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in July, Al Jazeera, the pioneering Arab-language news broadcaster, hasn’t shrunk from calling his removal something the American government won’t: a coup.

That highly loaded declaration, as well as its relentless and, critics say, sympathetic coverage of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement, has turned Al Jazeera into a virtual enemy of the state in Egypt. Its journalists have been harassed and banned, and five remain in custody, including three who were arrested last week for allegedly harming national security. Al Jazeera’s local TV studios in Egypt, though not its transnational satellite transmissions, have been shut down, forcing its few remaining Egyptian journalists to work from makeshift facilities, such as a Cairo hotel room. . . .

. . . . Since then, Egyptian authorities and Al Jazeera’s critics — including some of the network’s own employees — have accused it of being a mouthpiece for Morsi and the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Jazeera has given a lot support to the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s no doubt about that,’ said Hugh Miles, a freelance journalist in Cairo and the author of ‘Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That Is Challenging the West.’ . . .”

. . . . The GMBDW reported earlier this week that Egypt had summoned the Qatari Ambassador to the Egyptian foreign ministry in order to object to Qatari criticism of the crackdown on the Brotherhood as well as to Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events.

The GMBDW reported in September 2013 on the ongoing conflicts regarding Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events in Egypt. In July 2012, the GMBDW had reported on the resignation of the 22 members of the Al-Jazeera Egyptian bureau in protest over what they say were instructions from the management to “favor the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 2009, Egyptian authorities were reported to be in the process of revoking Al-Jazeera’s license to broadcast and that the network was planning to close its bureau office in Cairo.

Leaked US State Department cables indicate that Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, operates as an arm of Qatari foreign policy which has recently been strongly supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the recently deposed Mohamed Morsi. Our predecessor publication extensively covered the role of Qatar as a supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and was the first to report on the strong ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas of Wadah Khanfar, the former Director-General of Al-Jazeera who resigned in 2011 after serving for eight years. . . . .

9.  So blatant is the Muslim Brotherhood bias on Al Jazeera that even Qatar (which finances the network) is launching a news channel to compete with the obviously tainted Al Jazeera.

“Qatar to Launch Al Jazeera Counterweight” by Justin Vela; TheNational.ae; 5/5/2014.

Qatar is launch­ing a new tele­vi­sion sta­tion as a polit­i­cal coun­ter­weight to Al Jazeera amid con­cern the net­work has become too sup­port­ive of the Mus­lim Brotherhood.

The new sta­tion is to be an Arabic-language news chan­nel based in Lon­don and broad­cast­ing across the Arab world. It is one of sev­eral new media ven­tures launched under the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who suc­ceeded his father in June and is seek­ing to put his own stamp on the country’s vast soft power machine.

The dri­ving force behind the new sta­tion is Azmi Bishara, the Pales­tin­ian direc­tor of the Doha-based Arab Cen­tre for Research and Pol­icy Stud­ies, and a close con­fi­dant of the emir.

Mr Bishara is known to be “fairly anti-Brotherhood” and will­ing to crit­i­cise the group pub­licly, said Michael Stephens, deputy direc­tor of the Royal United Ser­vices Insti­tute for Defence and Secu­rity Stud­ies Qatar.

Bishara rec­om­mended that it be started. His own beliefs are that Qatar has been too close to the Ikhwan for too long.

Mr Stephens said the chan­nel, named AlAraby Tele­vi­sion Net­work, was sup­posed to launch in Jan­u­ary but kept get­ting pushed back.

It is cur­rently recruit­ing staff, plac­ing job adverts for a satel­lite coor­di­na­tor and a plan­ning pro­ducer and head­hunt­ing from exist­ing Ara­bic news sta­tions such as BBC Arabic.

Media out­lets serve as Qatar’s main soft power tool on the inter­na­tional stage, espe­cially the Doha-based tele­vi­sion net­work Al Jazeera.

Since its launch in 1996 Al Jazeera has grown expo­nen­tially but its crit­i­cism of other Ara­bian Gulf coun­tries and will­ing­ness to give voice to mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, in line with Doha’s sup­port for Islamists after the Arab Spring upris­ings, has angered Qatar’s neighbours.

In one of the worst diplo­matic spats in the GCC’s his­tory, the UAE, Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain with­drew their ambas­sadors from Qatar in March. The protest came after Youssef Al Qaradawi, a spir­i­tual guide of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, who has a show on Al Jazeera, con­tin­ued their policies.

Saudi Ara­bia con­sid­ers the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to be a ter­ror­ist organ­i­sa­tion, a posi­tion backed by the UAE.

The new sta­tion will serve as a way for Qatar to not only boost its already size­able media indus­try, but also allow Sheikh Tamim to step out of the shadow of his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khal­ifa Al Thani, and rebal­ance the country’s poli­cies after draw­ing the ire of its neighbours.

“My view is that it’s the emir try­ing to be his own man,” said Andrew Ham­mond, a Mid­dle East ana­lyst at the Euro­pean Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions. “He hasn’t really emerged from the shadow of his father.”

While Qatar would risk los­ing face and regional influ­ence by clos­ing Al Jazeera, the estab­lish­ment of the new out­lets appears part of a strat­egy to gain a new audience.

Instead of com­pet­ing directly with Al Jazeera, the new sta­tion would be more likely to com­pete for view­ers with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ara­biya television.

Yet with so many Arabic-language news out­lets in exis­tence, Qatar’s new ven­tures are unlikely to offer Sheikh Tamim the same kind of power that Al Jazeera offered his father Sheikh Hamad.

“This chan­nel is designed to cor­rect the image of Qatar, not to assert its inter­ests,” said Mr Stephens.

The tele­vi­sion sta­tion was reg­is­tered in the UK in Sep­tem­ber 2013, accord­ing to busi­ness records.

Pub­lic doc­u­ments describe the company’s objec­tives as: “To set up and oper­ate tele­vi­sion and broad­c­st­ing [sic] sta­tions and ser­vices, pub­lish­ing and print­ing news­pa­pers and magazines.”

Sabah Al Mukhtar, the London-based lawyer who reg­is­tered the com­pany, described Al Jazeera as the land­mark sta­tion, but said it was “less impar­tial than it was before”.

“With­out Al Jazeera you would not have AlAraby, you would not have the other sta­tions that are flour­ish­ing all over the place,” Mr Al Mukhtar said.

Qatar has also launched a news web­site based in Lon­don and with an office in Beirut. Named Al Araby Al Jadeed, the web­site is owned by Fadaat Media Lim­ited, which reg­is­tered in the UK in May 2013, shortly before Sheikh Tamim took over from his father.

Sul­tan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a busi­ness­man from a promi­nent Qatari fam­ily, is listed on the doc­u­ments as director.

An employee of Fadaat Media, who refused to give his name, described Al Araby Al Jadeed as intended to offer unbi­ased polit­i­cal news focused on “lib­eral free­doms” and the “ideals of the Arab Spring”.

The web­site will be only in Ara­bic for now and aims to even­tu­ally pub­lish a print edi­tion, he said.

The move to estab­lish new media out­lets is likely con­nected to a wider Qatari strat­egy that sees Al Jazeera rebrand­ing itself by renam­ing its sports divi­sion beIN and its children’s chan­nel JeemTV.

“I think they are split­ting up the brand,” said Mr Stephens.

While Al Jazeera is openly funded by the Qatari-government, its involve­ment in Fadaat Media and Al Araby Tele­vi­sion Net­work is not clear.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Fadaat Media denied any con­nec­tion to a gov­ern­ment, say­ing that the com­pany was invested in by pri­vate businessmen.

“It’s not that they need a writ­ten signed approval from the emir, but of course they would want his tac­tic sup­port,” Mr Stephens said of the new outlets.

When Emir Tamim came to power in June 2013, there was an expec­ta­tion he would change Qatar’s policies.

Yet, there were few imme­di­ate signs of change. Though he had abdi­cated, Sheikh Hamad was still believed to wield con­sid­er­able power behind the scenes and Tamim did not alter his father’s policies.

Flo­rence Gaub, a senior ana­lyst at the EU Insti­tute for Secu­rity Stud­ies, said the loca­tion and even the name of the new tele­vi­sion sug­gested Sheikh Tamim had big ambi­tions for it.

“It shows the ambi­tion to cre­ate some­thing new and maybe even shows the ambi­tion to cre­ate some­thing big­ger than Al Jazeera.”

Qatar has also launched a news web­site based in Lon­don and with an office in Beirut. Named Al Araby Al Jadeed, the web­site is owned by Fadaat Media Lim­ited, which reg­is­tered in the UK in May 2013, shortly before Sheikh Tamim took over from his father.

Sul­tan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a busi­ness­man from a promi­nent Qatari fam­ily, is listed on the doc­u­ments as director.

An employee of Fadaat Media, who refused to give his name, described Al Araby Al Jadeed as intended to offer unbi­ased polit­i­cal news focused on “lib­eral free­doms” and the “ideals of the Arab Spring”.

The web­site will be only in Ara­bic for now and aims to even­tu­ally pub­lish a print edi­tion, he said.

The move to estab­lish new media out­lets is likely con­nected to a wider Qatari strat­egy that sees Al Jazeera rebrand­ing itself by renam­ing its sports divi­sion beIN and its children’s chan­nel JeemTV.

“I think they are split­ting up the brand,” said Mr Stephens.

While Al Jazeera is openly funded by the Qatari-government, its involve­ment in Fadaat Media and Al Araby Tele­vi­sion Net­work is not clear.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Fadaat Media denied any con­nec­tion to a gov­ern­ment, say­ing that the com­pany was invested in by pri­vate businessmen.

“It’s not that they need a writ­ten signed approval from the emir, but of course they would want his tac­tic sup­port,” Mr Stephens said of the new outlets.

10. Arafat’s personal physician stated that Arafat died of AIDS. Check out this YouTube segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y89pfwDRAV0


Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #815 Walkin’ the Snake at Al Jazeera”

  1. I’ve heard odd things about Stratfor in the past, but this one really takes the cake. Al Muhajiroun is not CAIR, a group that hides its jihadist sympathies. They are completely blatant and upfront about things! To show how bad they are, they are banned in the UK, which is the wimpiest of all Western countries when dealing with open backers of jihad. He is hooked up with the MSA, the Muslim Brother’s student org in the US.

    Kamran Bokhari Who Lead Al Muhajiroun In The US Is Stratfor’s VP Of Middle Eastern And South East Asian Affairs

    November 13, 2014

    MIM: Bio of Bokhari on the Stratfor website.

    http://www.stratfor.com/about/analysts/kamran-bokhari#axzz2kzQWv28c

    Bokhari was the head of Al Muhajiroun in the United States and invited Anjem Choudary who is the presently the leader of AM Aka Sharia4UK to speak at the MSA of Southwest Missouri State University. The event was partially funded by the Student Union.

    He wrote this defense of Osama Bin Laden in 1999. “Freedom Fighters Now Being Called Terrorists”

    http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/6405
    For more on Bokhari enter his name into the search engine of MIM and see:
    Kamran Bokhari :Strategic Forecasting’s Terrorism Intelligence Report’s ‘Islamist Disservice’
    http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/233
    ——————————————————————————————–
    http://m.the-standard.org/life/kamran-bokhari-advocating-change-within-muslim-world/article_934b5268-a2a2-548a-819d-f44edba46358.html?mode=jqm

    Kamran Bokhari Advocating change within Muslim World

    Jennifer Cline | Posted Feb 24, 1999

    “I begin with the name of God.” That’s how Kamran Bokhari began his speech at the panel presentation “Iraq in Crisis” Feb. 2. His message was clear: the Muslim world must be reunited under one government. An Islamic government supported by its people. This ideology is Bokhari’s life work.

    Bokhari, a senior majoring in political science, is far from an ordinary undergraduate student. At age 30, he is the official spokesperson for the Al-Muhajiroun in North America, which in Arabic means “The Immigrants.” It is an organization that is active in many Muslim countries.

    Al-Muhajiroun actively advocates social, economic and political change within the Muslim world. Bokhari said the word Muhajiroun is used 76 times in the Koran, the holy book of Islam.

    “We are an Islamic group trying to re-establish the Islamic State (the Caliphate) through intellectual, ideological, political and revolutionary means,” Bokhari said. However, the group is not militant, he said.

    Bokhari was born in Islamabad, Pakistan, the country’s capital city. He lived there until he was 3 years old and then his family moved to New York City. Since then he has shifted between Pakistan and New York, and lived in India for a few years.

    Bokhari’s father worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and throughout his career he had been posted in various countries and embassies.

    Bokhari said he was lucky to have a father who worked in that area of government, because it afforded him the rare opportunity to see the world. Bokhari’s father is now employed in the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York City. Bokhari’s mother was a schoolteacher. He also has two younger sisters.
    He has settled in the United States until he completes his education.

    “I came to this country to get a good education,” Bokhari said. “The country I come from measures your social status by your profession.”

    A decent education is very expensive in Pakistan and only the rich elite can afford to attend the top universities. Since Bokhari comes from a middle class family, his best option was to come to the United States. Pakistan has only 27 universities scattered throughout the country, which is the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.

    The school system in Pakistan is very different than the schools in the United States. Children attend primary school, the equivalent of kindergarten through fifth grade. Then they move into senior secondary school, grades six through 10.
    Bokhari was able to receive more schooling by going abroad and was educated in New York and India through high school graduation. He is now completing his bachelor of science at SMS.

    Bokhari attended City College of New York, where he was an electrical engineering major before moving to Springfield to be with his wife, Chandni Malik, also from Pakistan. Malik, a graduate of SMS with a B.S. in economics, is in graduate school working toward a Master of Business Administration.

    After moving to Springfield, Bokhari attended Ozarks Technical College for two years before finally transferring to SMS. He decided to pursue a degree in political science instead of electrical engineering so he could do something he loves, he said. He is currently looking into graduate schools that offer degrees in Islamic law, political Islam, or Islamic studies.
    He intends to obtain a doctorate before returning to Pakistan to work as a university professor.

    He also hopes to write and publish books about international affairs, Islam, and comparative studies. Bokhari anticipates some problems when he returns to his home country because of his vocal opposition to the government.

    While at SMS Bokhari is actively involved in the Muslim Students Association and serves as its planning coordinator. He said the group participates in two types of activities: those within the Muslim community and those with the Springfield community at large.

    The members of the Muslim Students Association hold study circles and Friday prayer. Bokhari said that Muslims always pray five times a day, but Friday is their day of Sabbath. They come together and pray as a congregation at their place of worship, the Masjid. The group is currently renting a place on South Grant Street and holds lectures, seminars and conferences on campus.mran Bokhari devotes his life to his Islamic faith and reuniting the Muslim world under one government, an Islamic government supported by its people. at the panel presentation “Iraq in Crisis” Feb. 2. His message was clear: the Muslim world must be reunited under one government. An Islamic government supported by its people. This ideology is Bokhari’s life work.

    Bokhari, a senior majoring in political science, is far from an ordinary undergraduate student at SMSU. At age 30, he is the official spokesperson for the Al-Muhajiroun in North America, which in Arabic means “The Immigrants.” It is an organization that is active in many Muslim countries. Al-Muhajiroun actively advocates social, economic and political change within the Muslim world. Bokhari said the word Muhajiroun is used 76 times in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.
    “We are an Islamic group trying to re-establish the Islamic State (the Caliphate) through intellectual/ideological/political/revolutionary means,” said Bokhari. However, the group is not militant, he said.

    Bokhari was born in Islamabad, Pakistan, the country’s capital city. He lived there until he was 3 years old and then his family moved to New York City. Since then he has fluidly shifted between Pakistan and New York, and for a few years lived in India. Bokhari’s father works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and throughout his career he has been posted in various countries and embassies. Bokhari said he was lucky to have a father who worked in that area of government. Because of it, he has been afforded the rare opportunity to see the world. Bokhari’s father is now employed in the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York City. Bokhari’s mother was a schoolteacher and he has two younger sisters.

    He has settled in the United States until he completes his education. “I came to this country to get a good education,” he said. “The country I come from measures your social status by your profession.”
    A decent education is very expensive in Pakistan and only the rich elite can afford to attend the top universities. Since Bokhari comes from a middle class family, his best option was to come to the United States. Pakistan has only 27 universities scattered throughout the country, which is the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.

    The school system in Pakistan is very different than in the United States. Children attend primary school, the equivalent of kindergarten through fifth grade. Then they move into senior secondary school, grades six through ten. Bokhari was able to receive more schooling by going abroad and was educated in New York and India through high school graduation. He is now completing is Bachelor of Science at SMSU.

    Bokhari attended City College of New York, where he was an electrical engineering major before moving to Springfield to be with his wife, Chandni Malik, also from Pakistan. Malik, a graduate of SMSU with a B.S. in economics, is in graduate school working toward a Master of Business Administration.

    After moving to Springfield, Bokhari attended Ozarks Technical College for two years before finally transferring to SMSU. He decided to pursue a degree in political science instead of electrical engineering so he could do something he loves, he said. He is currently looking into graduate schools that offer degrees in Islamic law, political Islam, or Islamic studies.
    He intends to obtain a doctorate before returning to Pakistan to become a university professor there. He also hopes to write and publish books about international affairs, Islam, and comparative studies. Bokhari anticipates some problems when he returns to his home country because of his vocal opposition to the government.

    While at SMSU, Bokhari is actively involved in the Muslim Students Association and serves as its planning coordinator. He said the group participates in two types of activities: those within the Muslim community and those with the Springfield community at large.

    The members of the Muslim Students Association hold study circles and Friday prayer. Bokhari said that Muslims pray always five times per day, but Friday is the day of sabbath for Muslims. They come together and pray as a congregation at their place of worship, the Masjid. They are currently renting a place on South Grant Street and hold lectures, seminars and conferences on campus.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | November 13, 2014, 4:41 pm
  2. Hackers cripple Israel’s electricity grid with cyber attack

    via MailOnline for iPhone

    Authorities in Israel reported a ‘severe’ breach that ‘paralysed’ computers in the country as temperatures dipped prompting a huge surge in energy consumption.

    Read full article

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3419426/Hackers-cripple-Israel-s-electricity-grid-cyber-attack-just-temperatures-drop-country.html#ixzz3yazsQBLI

    Hackers cripple Israel’s electricity grid with cyber attack just as temperatures drop across the country
    ¥ Israeli authorities reported a ‘severe’ breach that ‘paralysed’ computers
    ¥ Parts of country’s electricity grid were shut down as temperatures plunged
    ¥ Energy minister called attack one of the biggest computer hacks of its kind
    ¥ investigations are continuing to determine who carried out the cyber attack
    ¥ See more news from Israel at www.dailymail.co.uk/israel

    By JULIAN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 10:53 EST, 27 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:37 EST, 27 January 2016

    Hackers have crippled Israel’s electricity grid with a cyber attack – just as temperatures dropped across the country.

    Authorities reported a ‘severe’ breach that ‘paralysed’ computers in the country as temperatures dipped prompting a huge surge in energy consumption.

    Israel’s energy minister called the hack, which started on Monday, one of the biggest of its kind and confirmed parts of the grid had to be shut down.

    Yuval Seinitz said: ‘The virus was already identified and the right software was already prepared to neutralize it.’

    ‘We had to paralyze many of the computers of the Israeli Electricity Authority. We are handling the situation and I hope that soon, this very serious event will be over… but as of now, computer systems are still not working as they should.

    ‘This is a fresh example of the sensitivity of infrastructure to cyberattacks, and the importance of preparing ourselves in order to defend ourselves against such attacks.’

    It is not yet clear who carried out the hack but technicians are battling to deal with the fall out.

    According to Sky, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday: ‘The greatest curse that we face is that in the Internet of Everything, everything can be penetrated.
    ‘Everything can be sabotaged. Everything can be subverted. And when I say everything, I mean everything.’

    Posted by Sojourner Truth | January 28, 2016, 6:26 pm

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