August 04/17

Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations For Today
Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11/52-54/:"Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.’ When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile towards him and to cross-examine him about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say."

For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; he was eager to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost

Acts of the Apostles 20/06-16/:"But we sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we joined them in Troas, where we stayed for seven days. On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, ‘Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.’Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted. We went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul on board there; for he had made this arrangement, intending to go by land himself. When he met us in Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. We sailed from there, and on the following day we arrived opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos, and the day after that we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; he was eager to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.'

Titles For Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on August 03-04/17
Lebanese problem: Dominance of one state over the other/Ghassan Imam/Al Arabiya/August 03/17
Britain: A Summer of Anti-Semitism/Ruthie Blum/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
Finding Jihad in Jail/Benjamin Welton/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
The Military Options for North Korea/John R. Bolton/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
UK: 23,000 Terrorists and Counting/Denis MacEoin/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
People in Qatar should derive lessons from Bahrain/Sawsan Al Shaer/Al Arabiya/August 03/17

Titles For Latest Lebanese Related News published on August 03-04/17
Lebanese Politicians, MP, Sami Gemayel, Strongly Criticize ‘Hezbollah,’ Nusra Swap Deal
Number of appointments made in Cabinet session
Govt. Says Keen on Kuwait Ties amid Objections over Shura Council Head Sacking
Fneish Says Kuwaiti Accusations against Hizbullah Baseless
5 Hizbullah Captives Return Home as Refugees, Nusra Militants Reach Central Syria
Mashnouq Warns of 'Int'l Isolation', Urges Integrating Hizbullah Arms into State
Army Destroys IS Posts in Ras Baalbek, al-Qaa, Deploys in Arsal Outskirts
Palestinian Held over Ties to Dahiyeh Bombings Cell
Riachi Launches Campaign to Mitigate Tension over Refugees in Lebanon
Explosion at Zouk Power Plant Kills Worker
Report: Eyes Turn to Army Battle against IS after Evacuation of Nusra Ends
Hariri Says Hizbullah 'Achieved Something' in Arsal, Army to Deal with IS
Loyalty to Resistance bloc: Army people resistance trinity making victories
Berri, interlocutors tackle current situation
Lebanese problem: Dominance of one state over the other
The Solution to Lebanese Crisis Is the Pressure of the International Community on the Iran Regime

Titles For Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on August 03-04/17
A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in Esna, south of Luxor
Fire breaks out at Dubai Torch tower again
Saudi Arabia denies Iranian claims regarding storming its embassy in Tehran
Brazil President Survives Congressional Vote over Corruption Charges
Several Scenarios for Safe Transition of Palestinian Presidency after Abbas
Netanyahu’s Wife Interrogated over Abuse of Public Funds
The Guardian: ‘UN Pays Tens of Millions to Assad Regime under Syria Aid Program’
Iran Says US Breaching Nuclear Deal as Rouhani Starts New Term
Qatar Creates New Residency Status for Foreigners

Latest Lebanese Related News published on  August 03-04/17
Lebanese Politicians,  MP, Sami Gemayel, Strongly Criticize ‘Hezbollah,’ Nusra Swap Deal
Asharq Al-Awsat English/August 03/17/Beirut – The prisoner exchange deal between Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” and al-Nusra Front extremists was met with wide condemnation among Lebanese politicians, who said that the deal “undermined the sovereignty of the state. The deal saw terrorist fugitives wanted by the Lebanese judiciary exchanged for the release of “Hezbollah” members that were detained by the militant Nusra group in Syria. Head of the Kataeb Party MP Sami Gemayel asked: “Who took the decision and allowed murderous criminals to leave the outskirts of Arsal and facilitated their return to their country without trial and punishment?” Directing his questions to the parliament speaker, prime minister and ministers of interior, justice and defense, he asked: “Who took the decision to jump above the Lebanese judiciary and release criminals accused of terrorism and belonging to a terrorist group to be released from Lebanese jails?” “Who took the decision to allow political and security authorities to intervene in the judiciary and prevent the trial of the terrorists and detainees and thereby achieve justice? What is the justice minister’s stance from all this? Is this a strategy that the government will adopt in dealing with all terrorists who violate Lebanon’s security? How will the Lebanese government deter other terrorist and criminal groups and whoever deigns to violate Lebanese sovereignty?” he wondered.
Gemayel demanded that the prime minister and ministers of interior, justice and defense submit a written response to his inquiries, “otherwise my questions will be turned into an interrogation.” A judicial source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision to release a few al-Nusra Front detainees was “faultless” and based on trial norms.In addition, he explained that the time the detainees already spent in jail is equal to the time that they would have been sentenced to once put on trial. The Military Tribunal will go ahead in trying those who have been released. If they do not respond to the court summons, they will be tried in absentia and as fugitives. The trials are set to begin soon, he added. Sentences against them will be issued in absentia and harsher punishments will be laid down against them, elaborated the source. Mustaqbal Movement MP Amin Wehbeh meanwhile voiced his support for Gemayel’s stance, telling Asharq Al-Awsat that the “Hezbollah” and Nusra deal “undermined” the sovereignty of the Lebanese state.“The decisions of war and peace are in the hands of the party, not the state, seeing as it is waging its battles in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and has terrorist cells in Kuwait and the Arab Gulf that are carrying out Iran’s policies,” he added. “Hezbollah” had in the past and on several occasions criticized the 2016 swap deal that was struck between the Lebanese state and Nusra Front that saw the release of the Lebanese soldiers by the extremist group. “Hezbollah” had rejected that a number of Nusra detainees be released “because they were being held on terrorist charges.” In wake of the Arsal clashes in July, the party adopted a different stance and insisted on “speeding up the deal with al-Nusra in order to free its fighters” from its clutches. Kataeb MP Fadi al-Haber said that recent prisoner exchange “proves that the political decision-making power in Lebanon lies in the hands of ‘Hezbollah’.”He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the equation of the army-people-resistance, which the party “is imposing on ministerial statements, is being invested on the borders, whether in declaring war with Israel or armed groups or in waging wars abroad.”

Number of appointments made in Cabinet session
The Daily Star/ August 03/17 /BEIRUT: A Cabinet session headed by President Michel Aoun was held Thursday, with a number of administrative appointments made after Prime Minister Saad Hariri voiced the positive outcome of his trip to Washington last week. The president stressed the importance of adopting an economic plan and more importantly, implementing the plan at the beginning of the session. Aoun also gave ministers a report of the economic and financial situation of the country. The session at Baabda Palace was set to discuss the salary scale and tax hikes. Aoun was reportedly displeased that Parliament had endorsed the salary scale bill before a state budget for 2017 had been agreed on. But a number of administrative appointments were expected to be made by Cabinet and they were. Judge Henry Khoury was appointed as the president of the Shura Council replacing Judge Wael Khaddaje who was appointed General Financial Inspector. Another widely disputed topic which was expected to raise tempers inside Cabinet was the recent offensive conducted by Hezbollah in the outskirts of Arsal, which resulted in the expulsion of thousands of militants and their families to Syria. Speaking to reporters after the session, Information Minister Melhem Riachi said: "After the expulsion of terrorists from Arsal, the Cabinet allocated a large financial sum to be used to protect the town and its resident."Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri held a routine closed-door meeting prior to Thursday's session. As for by parliamentary elections which are required under the constitution to be held to fill three vacant MP seats, Riachi said that a committee was formed to discuss the elections.

Govt. Says Keen on Kuwait Ties amid Objections over Shura Council Head Sacking
Naharnet/August/03/17/The Cabinet on Thursday stressed its keenness on Lebanon's ties with Kuwait in connection with a Kuwaiti letter of protest over alleged Hizbullah involvement in a terror cell in the Gulf emirate, as some ministers objected against a decision to replace the head of the State Shura Council, Judge Shukri Sader. “President Michel Aoun gave a briefing about the economic and financial situations based on information and reports from specialized financial institutions, noting that it is necessary to approve an economic plan and begin implementing it as soon as possible,” Information Minister Melhem Riachi told reporters after the session. The president “also addressed the Kuwaiti memo, as the Cabinet emphasized the firmness of the relation with the State of Kuwait, stressing that it will follow up on the memo out of keenness on the strength of the relation between the two peoples.”
Separately, the Cabinet appointed Judge Henri Khoury as head of the State Shura Council, replacing Judge Shukri Sader, a move that was met with reservations from the ministers of the Marada Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party. “Mustafa Bairam has been appointed as inspector general, Wael Khaddaj as financial inspector general and Hadi Abu Farhat as member of the OGERO Committee, while the membership of Ghassan Daher on the OGERO Committee was renewed,” Riachi added, noting that the Council of Ministers did not tackle Hizbullah's military operation Arsal's outskirts. “Will they fire anyone who does not endorse the policies of the new presidential term?” Fenianos wondered regarding the decision to sack Sader. Hamadeh for his part voiced surprise that Sader's replacement also has one year left to serve before retirement, while noting that he had also voiced objections against the OGERO appointments together with Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani. Justice Minister Salim Jreissati, who is close to Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement, meanwhile noted that Sader was appointed as the head of a chamber in the Court of Cassation, “which is equivalent to his previous post” as head of the State Shura Council.

Fneish Says Kuwaiti Accusations against Hizbullah Baseless
Naharnet/August/03/17/Youth and Sport Minister Mohammed Fneish of Hizbullah told the Lebanese cabinet on Thursday that Kuwait's accusations against Hizbullah in the case of the so-called al-Abdali terrorist cell are “baseless.”“The Kuwaiti memo is based on wrong data and Hizbullah values the relations with Kuwait and is keen on the best ties with it,” Fneish added. “Kuwait has played a major role in the Lebanese political life and offered aid to the Lebanese people,” the minister acknowledged. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul-Al al-Qinai has handed a letter of protest over Hizbullah's alleged involvement in the cell to Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and has held talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq over the issue. Mashnouq expressed “his readiness and the readiness of the Lebanese security agencies to cooperate with the Kuwaiti interior ministry and to offer any help possible in this case or any other issues.”The supreme court in Sunni-ruled Kuwait, which has a sizable Shiite minority, last month convicted 21 Shiites of forming a "terrorist cell" with ties to Iran and Hizbullah and plotting attacks in the Gulf state. Kuwait has protested to Lebanon over the alleged training of the cell members by Hizbullah, which has ministers in the Lebanese government. Earlier this month, Kuwaiti authorities expelled 15 Iranian diplomats and shut down the military, cultural and trade missions of the Iranian embassy in Kuwait over Tehran's backing of the "terrorist cell."Iran said the allegation is baseless . Fourteen of the 21 convicted members are on the run. Local media said they fled to Iran by sea. Around a third of Kuwait's native population of 1.35 million are Shiites.

5 Hizbullah Captives Return Home as Refugees, Nusra Militants Reach Central Syria
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August/03/17/Al-Qaida's former Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front on Thursday handed over five Hizbullah captives to the Lebanese party as part of a ceasefire agreement that also involved the evacuation of thousands of militants and refugees from northeast Lebanon to Syria. The five captives – Ahmed Mezher, Moussa Kourani, Hassan Taha, Mohammed Mahdi Shoaib and Mohammed Jawad Yassine – were handed over at the al-Saan crossing in Syria's central Hama province.A Hizbullah convoy then carried the five fighters to Lebanon via the Joussiyeh border crossing. A celebration was to be held later in their honor in the Lebanese border town of al-Qaa. Thousands of Syrian refugees and militants evacuated from the outskirts of the northeastern Lebanese border town of Arsal meanwhile arrived in central Syria in territory held by rebel and jihadist fighters. They were bussed out of the restive border area between Lebanon and Syria as part the ceasefire deal with Hizbullah. An AFP correspondent said the freed Hizbullah fighters arrived in Syrian Red Crescent vehicles in Hama's al-Saan area. A total of 7,777 people -- a vast majority of them civilians but also including militants -- were transported back into Syria from Lebanon's Arsal region on Wednesday in line with the ceasefire. The agreement ended six days of fighting in the border area between Hizbullah and al-Qaida's former Syrian affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, previously known as the al-Nusra Front. On Thursday, buses carrying three groups of Syrian jihadists and refugees arrived in an area of Hama under the control of rebels and jihadists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Two more groups arrived later in the day. The five Hizbullah fighters were captured in central and northern Syria in 2015 and 2016. Another three Hizbullah fighters were released as part of the deal late on Tuesday. They had been captured during the latest Arsal offensive after losing their way in a mountainous region.Arsal's outskirts had been used for years as a hideout by Syrian militants, but was also home to an unknown number of refugees seeking shelter from Syria's six-year war. Al-Nusra Front was al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria until mid-2016 when it broke off ties, before going on to found a new jihadist-led alliance called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which now controls large swathes of Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Hizbullah launched the offensive on the Syrian militants on July 21 and had cornered rival fighters in a small pocket of territory when it announced the truce.The deal also saw the release of three detainees held in Lebanon's Roumieh prison. The first phase of the deal took place on Monday, when Hizbullah and HTS exchanged the bodies of nine Syrian fighters for the remains of five Hizbullah fighters. Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees live in the town of Arsal, adjacent to the border region, and an unknown number are also thought to have taken shelter in the surrounding mountains. More than one million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees in Lebanon, a country of just four million people.

Mashnouq Warns of 'Int'l Isolation', Urges Integrating Hizbullah Arms into State
Naharnet/August/03/17/Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq warned Thursday that Lebanon could soon face an international isolation in connection with Hizbullah's presence as a paramilitary force that has regional roles, calling for integrating the Iran-backed group's weapons into the Lebanese state. “Hizbullah's arms cannot have Lebanese legitimacy without a national strategy that would integrate these weapons into the state,” said Mashnouq in an interview on LBCI television. “We are not Vietnam to speak of an army-people-resistance equation. I'm not saying that we are Hong Kong but let's have something in the middle between Vietnam and Hong Kong,” the minister added. He also warned that Lebanon might face “a major Arab and Western political and economic siege in the upcoming period,” stressing that the country should have a “united domestic front” in order to deal with such a possibility.
Turning to Hizbullah's military operation in the outskirts of the border town of Arsal in which it managed to oust al-Nusra Front militants from the area, Mashnouq said he cannot congratulate Hizbullah over a victory in Arsal's outskirts as he congratulated the families of five freed Hizbullah captives on “their safe return.”“The army chief told some politicians that the army had the ability to liberate Arsal's outskirts although for a high casualty toll... The political forces did not give a greenlight to the army,” the minister explained.

Army Destroys IS Posts in Ras Baalbek, al-Qaa, Deploys in Arsal Outskirts
Naharnet/August/03/17/The army on Thursday fired artillery rounds at Islamic State group posts in the outskirts of the eastern border towns of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek, inflicting casualties and destroying a number of sites, state-run National News Agency reported. The shelling continued for several hours throughout Thursday. Army units meanwhile continued their deployment in the outskirts of the nearby border town of Arsal, seizing control of posts abandoned by the jihadist al-Nusra Front group. Al-Nusra was ousted from the region in a Hizbullah offensive that ended with an evacuation deal. The army is reportedly preparing an operation aimed at eradicating IS militants from the outskirts of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek.

Palestinian Held over Ties to Dahiyeh Bombings Cell

Naharnet/August/03/17/Palestinian man has been arrested on charges of communicating with terrorist groups, state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday. “State Security agents arrested the Palestinian H.A. after a monitoring of his telecom data,” NNA said. “He confessed to having ties and cellphone communication with the members of a Palestinian cell that was busted earlier and to others who were involved in bombings that targeted Beirut's southern suburbs,” the agency added.

Riachi Launches Campaign to Mitigate Tension over Refugees in Lebanon
Naharnet/August/03/17/Minister of Information Melhem Riachi launched on Thursday a media campaign devised to mitigate the growing tension in the Lebanese community as the result of hosting scores of Syrian refugees. "There is a problem which we need to resolve. We need to prevent tension between the Lebanese people and the Syrian refugees,” said Riachi in a press conference he held in the presence of UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag. "There is a pressing need of an overarching media campaign to raise awareness over the relation between the hosts and the guests," he added, pointing out that the United Nations announced its support for the campaign. For her part, Kaag, hailed Riachi's efforts as "a positive message that construes Lebanon's capacity and resilience.”She stressed: “The international community must hear the suffering of Lebanon which is hosting the displaced with an open heart, generosity and hospitality. "There is tension between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees; this rivalry is manifest at the job market," said Kaag. "We want to treat the refugees in a proper way and we want for them to return to their country," she added. "Dialogue must be promoted and launched; and media means have a very important role in that regard," she continued. "We want to collaborate with the civil society. The goal is Lebanon's prosperity and the integrity of its territories," she concluded. More than one million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees in Lebanon, a country of just four million people.

Explosion at Zouk Power Plant Kills Worker
Naharnet/August/03/17/A steam turbine at the Zouk Thermal Power Plant north east of Beirut exploded on Thursday killing one of the plant's engineers, the National News Agency reported. “The explosion had seriously injured an engineer who was identified as Toni Jarjoura,” it added. Jarjoura, a Syrian national, was carrying out maintenance work for a steam turbine with a number of other workers, which led to the explosion of the turbine and serious injury, reports said. Civil Defense Rescue Team transported the man to a nearby hospital but he died shortly after. The power plant is the largest in Lebanon, constituted mostly of gas turbines.

Report: Eyes Turn to Army Battle against IS after Evacuation of Nusra Ends
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August/03/17/All eyes turn to the army's expected battle to eliminate the Islamic State group militants from the border towns of al-Qaa and Ras Baablek, after the evacuation of Arsal's outskirts from militants of al-Nusra, media reports said. A senior military source told al-Joumhouria daily on Thursday that “the Ninth Brigade of the Lebanese army expanded its deployment in the direction of Wadi Hmayyed area and the amusement park,” but added that “the wide deployment in the outskirts and the border between Arsal and Syria does not mean that the mission has begun. It needs some more time.” However the source stressed that army is “ready for all the tasks entrusted to it.”A security source told the daily that the “countdown has begun for zero hour which has been decided definitively,” and assured that the army “enjoys a full political cover” in its fight against the IS in al-Qaa and Baalbek. Extensive consultations between “official Lebanese and non-official security bodies” are underway in preparation for the battle. The “military plan has been set. It is on the verge of implementation,” according to the daily.
An unnamed source following up closely on the negotiations said the battle has two goals one of which is to “clear the region from terrorists, and to uncover the fate of Lebanese servicemen who were abducted by the IS” during the Arsal battle in 2014.
The army has been pounding positions of the jihadist IS group entrenched in the outskirts of the border town of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek. The expected confrontation comes after a Hizbullah operation managed on Wednesday to expel militants from al-Nusra Front group from the outskirts of Arsal. Hizbullah's battle ended with the evacuation of around 7,000 people including Syrian militants and refugees who quit the restive border area between Lebanon and Syria on Wednesday under a ceasefire deal. The deal, announced last week, ended six days of fighting in the mountainous region of Arsal outskirts between the Hizbullah and fighters from al-Qaida's former Syrian branch. Arsal's outskirts had been used for years as a hideout by Syrian militants but was also home to an unknown number of refugees seeking shelter from Syria's six-year war. Al-Nusra Front is the name of the Syrian faction that was previously an al-Qaida affiliate. Lebanese television stations showed footage from the desolate border area of buses winding their way along dirt roads, waved along by Hizbullah fighters. The buses headed to the Syrian town of Flita, and then on to the northern province of Aleppo before heading to the opposition-held province of Idlib in the northwest of the country. A total of 7,777 people including armed men and civilians left under the agreement.

Hariri Says Hizbullah 'Achieved Something' in Arsal, Army to Deal with IS
Naharnet/August/03/17/Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Wednesday that Hizbullah has “achieved something” in its win over al-Nusra Front in Arsal's outskirts, shortly after buses carrying militants, their families and other refugees began evacuating the area as part of a ceasefire and prisoner exchange agreement with Hizbullah.“What we care for is a return to normal life in Arsal and the state has performed its duties,” said Hariri after Grand Serail talks with General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, who played a key role in the negotiations.
“Hizbullah carried out the operation and it achieved something and what's important is the result,” Hariri added. Turning to the presence of the jihadist Islamic State group in the border region, Hariri noted that the Lebanese army “will deal with this situation in the appropriate manner.” The premier also revealed that a plan has been devised to offer social aid to Arsal's residents and that it would be discussed in Thursday's cabinet session. Asked about the inmates who were released from Lebanese prisons at Nusra's request, Hariri stressed that they were non-convicts. The Hizbullah-Nusra agreement had first started with the exchange of bodies of slain fighters between the two groups. Prisoners were exchanged between the two sides overnight and five more Hizbullah captives are supposed to be freed when the buses of the evacuees reach their destinations in Syria. The deal followed a military offensive by Hizbullah fighters and Syrian troops during which they captured border areas between the two countries and left hundreds of Nusra fighters besieged in a small rugged mountainous area. The fighting ended with a ceasefire on Thursday.

Loyalty to Resistance bloc: Army people resistance trinity making victories
Thu 03 Aug 2017/NNA - The Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc on Thursday maintained that Hezbollah had proven the utter importance of the army-people-Resistance equation in scoring victories. "Lebanon made a quality victory over terrorism, when the Islamic Resistance expelled al-Nusra Front terrorists from Arsal outskirts, the bloc said in a statement issued following their weekly meeting. The bloc also hailed the performance of the Lebanese military in fighting terrorism, as well as the mediation efforts of General Security Chief, General Abbas Ibrahim. Moreover, the bloc renewed calls upon the Lebanese government to communicate with the Syrian state to speed up the return of the Syrian refugees to their motherland.

Berri, interlocutors tackle current situation
Thu 03 Aug 2017/NNA - House Speaker Nabih Berri on Friday met at his Ain Tineh residence with MPs Ghazi Aridi and WaeL Abu Faour, with talks reportedly touching on the current situation and a range of proposed matters. On emerging, MP Aridi said that the meeting comes as part of "the permanent deliberations and coordination between Democratic Gathering head MP Walid Jumblatt and Speaker Berri." Later, Berri met with head of the Popular Bloc, Miriam Skaff. A number of relevant dossiers also featured high on talks between Berri and Labor Minister Mohammed Kabbara. Berri also met respectively with the renowned Diva Majida Roumi, and General Prosecutor Magistrate Samir Hammoud.

Lebanese problem: Dominance of one state over the other
Ghassan Imam/Al Arabiya/August 03/17
Hezbollah failed to resolve its battle with the remnants of the Nusra Front in Arsal. The state intervened to save Hezbollah. General Abbas Ibrahim, the director of the official “public security “ apparatus, managed to enter into a fragile deal with the “Fatah al-Sham Front “, one of the armed factions of al-Nusra, to stop the fighting. Thanks to the state, the credibility of Major General Abbas is stronger than the credibility of Hezbollah. He must now complete the deal by persuading the Nusra factions to emigrate to Idlib in northwestern Syria, which has become a haven for both extremist and moderate religious factions.
But Hezbollah must first drink from the cup of defeat until the end. They must plead Bashar to allow the remnants of the Nusra front to travel to Idlib. They then have to allow the Lebanese army to liquidate the border enclave occupied by ISIS in Ras Baalbek.
Can the army fight till the end against ISIS? Or should Major General Abbas mediate to stop the battles and negotiate with the ISIS elements to leave. But to where? There is no longer any land for the Islamic state. ISIS must accept two bitter options: to surrender, or to fight to death.
Why is the war waged by Hezbollah and the army so difficult to resolve? The reason is that the Lebanese / Syrian border is not clearly drawn. There are those who say that Arsal and Baalbek are Syrian territory. The other reason is the lack of support of the Muslim / Christian public for the Hezbollah wars. What benefit does Lebanon gain from replacing the Iranian mercenaries with the remnants of the ISIS and al-Qaeda on the Syrian / Lebanese borders?
The third reason is that the Lebanese army is in line with Hezbollah. The military turned a blind eye to Iran’s involvement in the Syrian war and its arming of Hezbollah with missiles and heavy weapons, so that it became better equipped than the “homeland army”. And then there is the question of the dominance of the Hezbollah state over the institutions of the “legitimate state. “ This domination reached Sidon and West Beirut (a Sunni area), which was invaded by Hezbollah nine years ago.
It is no longer a secret that today there are Lebanese Sunni leaders who are impatient and waiting for their time as prime minister
Heinous domination
There is more than one proof to this heinous domination. The Hezbollah war was accompanied by a racist campaign against the Syrian refugees. Indeed, Hezbollah invaded their camps near Arsal. Four to ten of those arrested were tortured and died.
General Abbas pleaded for the release of the prisoners of Hezbollah who were captured by the Nusra Front while the fate of the soldiers of the Lebanese army remains unknown: Were they killed or wounded by Hezbollah’s friendly fire? Did Nusra execute them in retaliation against Hezbollah? Or did they escape and returned to their families secretly?
The political and popular resentment against Hezbollah does not mean that the Lebanese are biased or sympathetic to the intransigent organizations infiltrating Lebanese territory. These organizations have lost the pretexts of their existence since the time they brutally treated Arab civilians in Syria and Iraq. Its narrow interpretation of religion and its strict application of the provisions of the Sharia were unacceptable to other Islamic sects and doctrines.
‘Legitimate institutions’
Perhaps it would have been better to postpone the visit of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Washington. He said he was going to defend the “legitimate institutions” of the Lebanese state, including the military. However, his visit coincided with Hezbollah’s new war inside Lebanon. The visit was then interpreted by DC chambers as defending Hezbollah and its dominance over the Lebanese state.
President Donald Trump postponed meeting Hariri until the fifth day of his visit. Then, and during the joint press conference, Trump launched a massive hostile campaign against Iran and Hezbollah, describing the latter as a threat to the stability and security in the region.
Lebanese diplomacy had to prepare for Hariri’s visit to Washington and the bumps he might face in there. The Trump administration and the Congressional committees of US military reduced its support to the Lebanese army at a rate of 82 percent and accused inner parties of leaking US weapons to Hezbollah. Hezbollah strengthened its dominance over Lebanon and its war with Bashar against Syrian civilians.
The Lebanese army strongly denies these accusations. Despite its growing security credibility among the Lebanese in general, it cannot deny protecting the Hezbollah hordes and securing its access to the Syrian border. While a Sunni gunman with a canister or a pistol is being arrested, the army cannot confiscate 55,000 missiles that Iran has stacked into the folds of Hezbollah and the dangerous ammunition depots in densely populated Shi’ite areas.
The circumstances of the Lebanese visit to the US capital were immediately reflected on the tense political and popular situation in Lebanon. Hezbollah was surprised by Hariri’s campaign against them, as they are his partners in the government he heads.
Concessions to Hezbollah
While other currents in the Islamic and Christian public considered that Hariri made concessions to Hezbollah and its allies represented by the Free Patriotic Movement led by President Michel Aoun and run by his son-in-law, the Foreign Minister and the talented Nabih Berri, the chronic president of the House of Representatives, and the first ally of Bashar’s regime in Lebanon.
Nevertheless, the stance of Sunni politicians was clearer and stronger than the position of the public view. Successive generations of Sunni leaders have always been waiting for any moment of weakness and confusion displayed by their colleague, the prime minister, to move against him in the hope of replacing him.
Therefore, the Saudi government’s wise position in supporting the prime minister was to strengthen the executive powers and responsibilities of the Lebanese Council of Ministers, in order to preserve the balance between the three main sects (the Maronites, Sunnis and Shiites), and to secure the stability of the “legitimate state “ in the face of the riots of the “smaller ones”.
It is no longer a secret that today there are Lebanese Sunni leaders who are impatient and waiting for their time as prime minister. Nevertheless, they do not directly oppose Saad Hariri. These leaders are eager to prove their worth and their efficiency in governance in order to maintain the stability of Lebanon.
I can now name the most recurrent potential candidates for the post of prime minister: Retired Major General Ashraf Rifi, former director of the Internal Security Forces, whose operations department exposed several “conspiracies” against Lebanon’s security.
He fought Israeli espionage rings and alerted the Syrian forces and Hezbollah to Israeli infiltrations. There is also Abdul Rahim Murad and of course I cannot neglect to mention the billionaire Najib Miqati, who knows better than Hariri how the winds of change are coming, those coming from the Gulf or across the border with Al Assad’s Syria.

The Solution to Lebanese Crisis Is the Pressure of the International Community on the Iran Regime
People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
IRAN, 02 August 2017--The United States must confront the interference of the Iranian regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a branch of the Revolutionary Guards that is committing crimes in Syria and other countries. Arabic SkyNews in a report on July 30, 2017 said: “In facing the Iranian regime’s threats in the Middle East and especially in Lebanon, where the regime uses Hezbollah militias to advance its goals, US President Donald Trump says that these militias are a threat to the Middle East. This regime has also caused human suffering in Syria. He emphasized that he stands against these militias. At the same time, Washington plans to apply more sanctions against this party as a terrorist group. The Lebanese government is afraid of the consequences of these sanctions on the Lebanese economy.”Hezbollah militias fight in Syria and go to other places like Yemen and other countries at the request of the Iranian regime. Hezbollah militias fight in Syria and go to other places like Yemen and other countries at the request of the Iranian regime. Hossein Haqqani, former ambassador Os Pakistan to the United States, in response to the questions of where Hezbollah's control can be initiated, is America's role against the Iranian regime stronger than regional plans, and how can these actions be started, told SkyNews: “First we must understand that Hezbollah does not yield much power; rather its power is from sources that it has, and income and property that it has obtained through illegal and illegitimate activities, and from assistance it gets from #Iran.”Haqqani added: “We should also understand that the group is currently a regional interventionist, it is not just a Lebanese force. They fight in Syria and go to other places like Yemen and other countries at the request of the Iranian regime. As I said in the past, this group is a branch of the Revolutionary Guards. I think that if it is a global pressure, it should be on the regime of Iran, rather than on Hezbollah.”The former Pakistani ambassador emphasized: “Hezbollah is affiliated with the Iranian regime. In order to confront the malicious interference of this force, the presence of American forces in the region is required. The solution is the creation of an inclusive Lebanese government.”

Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on
 August 03-04/17
A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in Esna, south of Luxor
Reuters, Esna, Egypt Friday, 4 August 2017/A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in an attack late on Thursday on a patrol in Esna, south of Luxor, the Interior Ministry said. The police patrol had stopped a vehicle and when stopped, two gunmen fired on the patrol, the ministry said in a statement. One of the perpetrators were arrested while the other fled, the ministry said, adding that the wounded have been transferred to hospital. Related: Saudi renews support to Egypt’s fight against terrorism after deadly attack Attacks on security forces have been common in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. Related: Egypt arrests 13 terrorist suspects 'preparing attacks' In recent months, attacks have expanded to target Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the country’s largest minority.

Fire breaks out at Dubai Torch tower again
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English Thursday, 3 August 2017/A fire has ripped through a skyscraper in Dubai on Thursday, Dubai Media Ofice reported. Firefighting squads were deployed to The Torch tower, one of the world’s tallest residential buildings, to bring the fire under control. Videos being circulated online show the fire rapidly spreading upwards as burning debris falls onto the streets below. Related: Blaze rips through 60-storey Dubai construction site near Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Police Commander in Chief & Dubai Civil Defence Director General were on site and no injuries have been reported so far.This is not the first fire to hit the tower. In 2015, hundreds of people were evacuated from the a 79-story skyscraper when a fire broke out.

Saudi Arabia denies Iranian claims regarding storming its embassy in Tehran
SPA, Riyadh Thursday, 3 August 2017/An official source in the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied claims made by the official spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry concerning completing investigations about the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate general in Mashhad. The source explained that the Iranian authorities stalled since communications were made to send a Saudi team to the Iranian territory from 25 to 29 December 2016 to review the results of the investigations, reported the Saudi Press Agency. According to the source, four months later, the Iranian side requested a new date for the visit of the Saudi team and it was reset for July 3rd, 2017.The Iranian side confirmed the date but didn’t issue approval to land the Saudi aircraft till August 1st, 2017 in an official memo, following the issuance of a statement by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Brazil President Survives Congressional Vote over Corruption Charges
Asharq Al-Awsat English/August 03/17/Brazilian President Michel Temer survived on Wednesday a vote at Congress over corruption charges that had dominated his presidency and threatened to impeach him. Members of Congress’ lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, voted 263-227 Wednesday night against suspending the president and sending him for trial before Brazil’s highest court. The result effectively suspended the bribery charge, which was filed by Attorney General Ricardo Janot in June. Now Temer says he has new wind in his sails. “We are pulling Brazil out of its worst economic crisis in our history,” Temer said after the vote. “I want to complete the biggest transformation ever done in our country.” “The markets will be happy,” said Gesner Oliveira, at the Go Associados consultancy. “It suggests that continuing the reform agenda is possible.” But there are more legal woes ahead and clear chinks in his governing coalition, so Temer will have little time to celebrate. Janot is expected to charge the president with obstruction of justice by the end of this month, which would prompt another vote that even Temer’s most stalwart supporters would rather not have to go through as elections loom next year.
Furthermore, in a troubling sign for Temer, the 263 votes cast in support of him fell far short of the crucial 342, or two-thirds of the 513-member body, that he needs to pass an overhaul of the pension system. It is an unpopular proposal supported by the business class, which has helped keep an otherwise deeply unpopular leader in power. “This is far from over,” said Rafael Salies, a risk consultant with the Rio de Janeiro-based Southern Pulse. “August may still have many surprises in store for him.” A year ago, Temer, then vice president, took office after Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed as president for improperly handling government finances. Since becoming president, his administration has been rocked by repeated scandals while still managing to move unpopular legislation forward, such as a loosening of labor rules and the proposals to trim pension benefits. All the while, his popularity has plunged. The latest national poll said just 5 percent of Brazilians approve of Temer while the vast majority said he should be tried for the bribery allegation. The bribery allegation stunned even Brazilians inured to graft cases, and represented the latest in a bevy of scandals flowing out of a mammoth investigation into kickbacks that has led to the jailing of many of the country’s elite the last three years. A recording purportedly made in March emerged in which Temer apparently supported the continued payment of hush money to Eduardo Cunha, the powerful former speaker believed to have dirt on many politicians. Cunha is serving a 15-year sentence for corruption. As part of the probe, it came to light that Temer allegedly orchestrated a scheme in which he would get payouts totaling millions of dollars for helping resolve a business issue for JBS, a giant meat-packing company. A former aide was arrested while carrying a suitcase with $150,000, much of which was allegedly destined for Temer. Temer denies the allegations and says there is no proof he received any money. Early in Wednesday’s proceedings, Temer’s lawyer, Antonio Claudio Mariz de Oliveira, tore into the charge against the president. He said the recording was illegally made and the suitcase of money was a red herring. “The suitcase of money was returned” by the police to the Temer aide, the attorney said. “Why was it returned? Because the president is a good man, an innocent man.” Few deputies spoke in Temer’s favor, but those who did praised Temer’s stewardship of Latin America’s biggest economy, which is struggling to emerge from its worst recession in decades. “Brazil is improving,” said Mauro Pereira, a member of Temer’s party. “Inflation is going down, our national reserves are going up. We now have international credibility.” Many economists, however, note that while inflation has slowed, unemployment has sky-rocketed and several states and municipalities are broke and unable to pay public workers. “To be a great nation Brazil needs a president that is honest, Christian and patriotic,” said Jair Bolsonaro, a presidential hopeful.

Several Scenarios for Safe Transition of Palestinian Presidency after Abbas
Asharq Al-Awsat English/August 03/17/Ramallah- Hamas movement has ignited the battle over the early succession of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by announcing that the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council would assume his position if Abbas could not carry out his duties. “The Palestinian basic law stipulates that if the president’s health deteriorates, if he dies or can not carry out his job, then the president of the Legislative Council (parliament) should assume his position for 60 days in preparation for holding elections,” said Ahmad Bahar, a leader in the Islamic Movement that governs Gaza Strip. Bahar recalled a similar incident in 2004, when former President Yasser Arafat passed away and was replaced by Speaker of the Parliament – back then Rouhi Fattouh. He stressed that the National Council has nothing to do with this matter. Bahar’s statements came amid rising fears of a vacuum in the Palestinian political system after Abbas, especially following a slight setback in his health that demanded him to do some medical tests in Ramallah. While Hamas says that Speaker of the Legislative Council Aziz Duwaik, pro-Hamas, will succeed Abbas, Fatah is preparing for a totally different plan and is discussing different scenarios, but it will first elect a new executive committee for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The National Council will convene a meeting at any time before the end of the year to elect a new Executive Committee for the PLO. Fatah officials say the election of a new committee comes within the framework of renewing Palestinian legitimacy. Yet, observers say that it also paves the way for a safe and smooth transition of power. They are not only Palestinian concerns but also Arab as well as Israeli. The Israeli security services have put forward several post-Abbas scenarios.
It is believed that Fatah movement will elect one of its members in the Central Committee for membership of the Executive Committee of the PLO, and this will be, according to the Fathawi Khales’s concept, the closest person nominated to succeed Abbas. Notably, there is still no vice president for Abbas since the basic constitution of the Palestinian Authority (PA) does not include the position of vice president, but there is a deputy to the president of Fatah movement, who is Mahmoud al-Aloul, the former governor of Nablus. The other scenario might lead to reconciliation with Hamas and carrying out new public elections. With this legal dispute and with the absence of a vice president, fears of a vacuum in the Palestinian political system are growing. These concerns are not only limited to Palestinians but also to Arabs and Israelis as the Israeli security services put several scenarios for the post-Abbas era.

Netanyahu’s Wife Interrogated over Abuse of Public Funds
Asharq Al-Awsat English/August 03/17/The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interrogated on Wednesday on suspicion that she used public money for personal uses, local media said. Sara Netanyahu was questioned by the police for two hours over whether she diverted the public funds towards housekeeping expenses at official and private residences, reported Israeli public radio. The interrogation came as a new threat loomed over the premier in his own long-running battle with corruption suspicions, as his former chief of staff reportedly considered an offer to turn state’s evidence.
The interrogation was held at the National Fraud Squad headquarters near Tel Aviv. As during previous rounds of questioning of both the premier and his wife, police issued no statement on Sara Netanyahu’s questioning. But it was her husband’s tribulations that grabbed the front pages of all of Israel’s major dailies — including the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom on Wednesday. They reported that justice officials were nearing a deal with his former chief of staff, Ari Harow, in which he would give evidence against his former boss in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his own acts.
Harow has been under investigation for more than two years on suspicion of bribery, breach of trust, conflict of interest and fraud, Israel’s top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported. Left-leaning daily Haaretz said Harow has been giving investigators information on two of the ongoing investigations into Netanyahu. One is based on suspicions that the premier unlawfully received gifts from wealthy supporters, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. Also being probed is a suspicion that Netanyahu sought a secret deal with the publisher of Yediot Aharonot.
The proposed deal, which is not believed to have been finalized, would have seen Netanyahu receive positive coverage in return for him helping scale down the operations of Israel Hayom, Yediot’s main competitor. The investigations have stirred Israeli politics and led to speculation over whether Netanyahu will eventually be forced to step down. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told news site Ynet on Wednesday that Netanyahu is not legally obliged to quit if indicted. “At the moment there is no charge against him and there is no recommendation to charge him,” she said. “The ones to take that decision are the attorney general and the state prosecutor,” she added. “For now, let the prime minister get on with his job.”

The Guardian: ‘UN Pays Tens of Millions to Assad Regime under Syria Aid Program’
Asharq Al-Awsat English/August 03/17/London- The British Guardian has revealed series of contracts awarded to Syrian government and charities linked to Head of Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad’s family. “The UN has awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to people closely associated with Assad, as part of an aid program that critics fear is increasingly at the whim of the government in Damascus,” a Guardian investigation has found. Businessmen whose companies are under US and EU sanctions have been paid substantial sums by the UN mission, as have government departments and charities – including one set up by Assad’s wife Asma al-Assad and another by his closest associate Rami Makhlouf. The UN said it can only work with a small number of partners approved by Assad and that it does all it can to ensure the money is spent properly, according to the Guardian. The UN has paid more than $13 million to the Syrian government to boost farming and agriculture, yet the EU has banned trade with the departments in question for fear of how the money will be used, the British newspaper was informed. The UN also paid at least four million dollars to the state-owned fuel supplier, which is also on the EU sanctions list.
The report further added that two UN agencies have partnered with the Syria Trust charity, an organization started and chaired by Assad’s wife, Asma, who is under both US and EU sanctions, spending a total of $8.5 million. On the other hand, UNICEF has paid $267,933 to the Bustan Association, owned and run by Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s wealthiest man. He is a friend and cousin of Assad, and his charity has been linked to several pro-regime militia groups. Makhlouf runs the mobile phone network Syriatel, which the UN has also paid at least $700,000 in recent years. He is on the EU sanctions list and was described in US diplomatic cables as the country’s “poster boy for corruption”. The Guardian stressed that analysis of the United Nations own procurement documents show its agencies have done business with at least another 258 Syrian companies, paying sums as high as $54 million and £36 million, down to $30,000.
Moreover, the report said that UN highlights the money it has spent putting up staff at the Four Seasons hotel in Damascus as a case in point. UN agencies paid around nine million dollars to the hotel between 2014 and 2015 – which is understood to still be one-third owned by Syria’s ministry of tourism, a department outlawed under EU sanctions.

Iran Says US Breaching Nuclear Deal as Rouhani Starts New Term
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August/03/17/Iran said Thursday that new US sanctions were a violation of its nuclear deal with world powers, piling pressure on President Hassan Rouhani as he started his second term. Rouhani vowed to continue his efforts to end the country's isolation as he was sworn in by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei following his re-election in May. But the ceremony came less than 24 hours after US President Donald Trump confirmed fresh sanctions against Iran. Tehran says the new measures violate its 2015 deal with world powers that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme, an agreement which Trump has repeatedly threatened to tear up. "We believe that the nuclear deal has been violated and we will react appropriately," deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said on state television."We will certainly not fall into the trap of US policy and Trump, and our reaction will be very carefully considered." The mounting crisis creates a difficult position for Rouhani, a 68-year-old moderate who won re-election largely thanks to his efforts at repairing relations with the West. "We will never accept isolation," Rouhani said as he was sworn in in front of top political and military officials. "The nuclear deal is a sign of Iran's goodwill on the international stage," he added. Khamenei took a tougher line, saying Iran must not fall for Washington's "tricks". "The enemy's hostility has made us more resistant," he said. New US sanctions have emboldened Rouhani's hardline opponents, who say he should never have trusted the United States. "It's unfortunate timing," said Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations. "What will be absolutely critical is how the Europeans position themselves," she said, pointing to the burgeoning trade ties with Europe and their continued backing of the nuclear deal. - Europe as safeguard -Britain, France and Germany -- who signed the deal along with Russia, China and the United States -- remain firm backers of the agreement and have criticised the Trump administration for threatening to scrap it. French energy giant Total defied US pressure in July by signing a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran. "What Iranians are banking on at the moment, maybe overestimating, is that Europe will safeguard and build on the deal, and make it too politically costly for Trump to tear it up, or at least show Washington that if it walks away, it will be doing so alone," said Geranmayeh.The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that Iran is sticking by its commitments under the agreement -- a position that has been reluctantly accepted by the Trump White House. But with Iran gaining the upper hand across the Middle East, through its support for proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, US lawmakers appear determined to ratchet up tensions. Meanwhile, Rouhani also faces challenges as he tries to impose civilian control over the economy. Since the election, he has engaged in a war of words with the Revolutionary Guards over their outsized role in the economy -- although they have since sought to bury the hatchet with a public show of unity. Rouhani has also faced criticism from his reformist allies, who are angry over news that he will unveil another all-male cabinet. Much of Rouhani's popularity has been built on his promise of greater civil liberties, including more rights for women, but Iran has still had only one female cabinet member since the 1979 revolution -- ironically under hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The government line-up is due to be officially unveiled on Saturday at a high-profile inauguration ceremony in parliament in the presence of foreign guests, including EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Qatar Creates New Residency Status for Foreigners
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August/03/17/Qatar, currently boycotted by four Arab states, on Wednesday created a new permanent residents status for certain groups of foreigners, including those who have worked for the benefit of the emirate. In a first for the Gulf, Qatar's cabinet ministers approved the measures, the official QNA press agency reported, in a move that will likely affect tens of thousands of resident foreigners. Under the new rules, children with a Qatari mother and a foreign father can benefit from the new status along with foreign residents who have "given service to Qatar" or have "skills that can benefit the country," the agency said. A specially created interior ministry commission will decide individual cases, according to the Qatar News Agency. Those deemed eligible for the new status will be afforded the same access as Qataris to free public services, such as health and education. They will also receive preferable treatment for jobs in the administration and armed services as well as being able to own their own properties and exercise some commercial activities without the need for a Qatari partner. While stopping short of offering Qatari nationality the new measures constitute a first for the Gulf. Naturalisation is extremely rare in the region and the status of the millions of foreigners working in the Gulf are strictly limited. Oil-rich Qatar has a population of 2.4 million people, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, including many from Southeast Asia working in construction.
The move comes as Qatar languishes under a boycott imposed by regional kingpin Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The four Arab states broke ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the emirate of fostering Islamist extremist groups and of ties to Saudi arch-rival Iran. Qatar has denied the allegations.The four Gulf nations have closed their land and sea borders to Qatar and imposed economic and air traffic restrictions. Kuwait is leading mediation efforts in the crisis, the worst to grip the region since the 1981 creation of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. The two other GCC members, Kuwait and Oman, have not joined the Qatar boycott.

Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on  August 03-04/17
Britain: A Summer of Anti-Semitism
Ruthie Blum/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17

"2016 was the worst year on record for antisemitic crime [in Britain]," — National Antisemitic Crime Audit, published on July 17, 2017.
"Britain has the political will to fight antisemitism and strong laws with which to do it, but those responsible for tackling the rapidly growing racist targeting of British Jews are failing to enforce the law." — Gideon Falter, Chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
The first "Palestine Expo" -- a two-day festival in London, self-described as the "biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe" -- was held over the weekend of July 8, 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster. The gathering, attended by an estimated 15,000 people, included political panels, workshops and food courts -- ostensibly to highlight and honor "Palestine history and heritage."
Given the identity of its organizers, however, its true impetus -- to demonize the Jewish state -- was clear from the outset. Sponsored by the Leicester-based Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), a group that openly supports the Islamist terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, the event aroused the anger of pro-Israel activists and the British government alike.
About a month before the Expo was scheduled to take place, Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid sent a letter to the FOA -- which promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and figures such as Holocaust denier Paul Eisen -- expressing his concerns and threatening to call off the event.
FOA founder Ismail Patel replied that Javid had "failed to provide any satisfactory reason as to why they have chosen to cancel an event which seeks to celebrate Palestinian culture and heritage." He also resorted to a classic anti-Semitic trope, accusing the government of being influenced by the Jewish lobby.
As Javid set the date of June 23 for his final decision on whether the Expo would be canceled, Patel began a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for legal representation to challenge the government in the event of a cancellation. Neither materialized, however, when the controversy was upstaged by the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, which erupted on June 14, the day of the exchange of letters between Javid and Patel.
A week later, Javid gave the green light for the event.
Among the speakers at the Expo was South African Islamic scholar Sheikh Ebrahim Bham, know for having quoted Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels comparing Jews to fleas. Patel defended his decision to host Bham at the event by saying: "Shaykh Bham clearly uses it to demonstrate how terrible the treatment of the Jews under Nazi persecution was. "He then goes on to state that similar treatment is now being experienced by Palestinians under Israeli occupation – that of being sub-human." Other speakers included openly anti-Israel academics, some Jewish, all with a history of anti-Semitic writings, remarks and social media postings, as well as the highly controversial former UK National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia.
Malia Bouattia, former president of the UK National Union of Students, refers to acts of terrorism against Israelis as "resistance". (Image source: NUS press office)
Jason Silver, a Jewish resident of London who attended the event "to record what I knew would be a hate fest of antisemitism and more blood libels and incitement to hatred," sent a letter to the Daily Mail detailing his experience. He also posted the letter on Facebook, along with video footage he recorded during the three hours he was there, before being forced by organizers to leave.
Silver wrote that talks by "key speakers were truly vile, both to Jews and against the UK for the Balfour Declaration," a reference to the 100-year-old document supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine -- for which the Palestinian Authority has threatened to sue Britain.
Silver said that he encountered no problems with participants -- most of whom were wearing Muslim garb -- until he donned his Jewish skull cap. Within 10 minutes, he wrote, he was told he was not welcome, and must exit the premises. When he asked why he was being ordered to leave -- after having been there for a full three hours with no mishap -- he was not given a reason.
Nor did the security guards to whom he complained about being discriminated against by virtue of his religion come to his aid. On the contrary, Silver said, they not only refused to listen to his claim that a "crime of racial/religious hatred" was taking place, but assisted organizers in ousting him, on the grounds that they had the right to decide whom to reject.
Since the incident, Silver has contacted members of the British government -- including Javid -- as well as the police and the organization Jewish Human Rights Watch. Most have responded that they will be investigating his complaint.
His story is not an isolated incident, however, as is indicated by the latest National Antisemitic Crime Audit, published on July 17, 2017 by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA). The report is summarized as follows: "2016 was the worst year on record for antisemitic crime [in Britain]; a consistently elevated level of antisemitic crime has become the new normality for British Jews; violent antisemitic crime continued to disproportionately affect smaller Jewish communities in 2016; our simple recommendations from last year are repeated this year because, despite many promises, they have not been implemented by law enforcement bodies; and antisemitic crime appears to be worsening in the initial months of 2017, with incidents including the firebombing of kosher restaurants in Manchester, a man stopped by police in London after brandishing a meat cleaver and machete whilst chasing after Jews, and police closing down London's iconic shopping streets to make way for a major pro-Hizballah march."CAA Chairman Gideon Falter bemoaned the findings, saying:
"Britain has the political will to fight antisemitism and strong laws with which to do it, but those responsible for tackling the rapidly growing racist targeting of British Jews are failing to enforce the law."
Thus, he warned, "There is a very real danger of Jewish citizens emigrating, as has happened elsewhere in Europe, unless there is radical change."
*Ruthie Blum is the author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.'"
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Finding Jihad in Jail
The Growing Number of Radicals Recruited in Western Prisons
Benjamin Welton/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
The irony is that the more the West pledges to combat global terrorism and keep it contained militarily or through criminal justice systems, the more jihadists manage to spread their message far and wide -- on social media, in mosques and in prisons -- by infiltrating the hearts and minds of individuals and groups hungry for and susceptible to it. On June 3, 2017, a man boarding a bus in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland was recognized by one of the passengers as the perpetrator of an armed robbery that had taken place earlier in the day. The passenger immediately called the police, and officers intercepted the bus at a subsequent stop, blocking one of its doors, to prevent the suspect -- 35-year-old Blaine Robert Erb -- from fleeing.
Erb responded by drawing two semi-automatic pistols from his backpack and firing both in all directions. He was killed during the shootout, which was captured on surveillance cameras.
What was not covered by the press about the incident -- reported as yet another example of the wanton violence that has come to characterize Baltimore – was a description of Erb's attire and other aspects of his appearance. This is a significant "oversight": what the video footage reveals is that Erb was wearing a Muslim thobe and large skull cap, and that he sported a long, bushy red beard. This could indicate that he is among those coined by certain experts in the U.K. as "ginger jihadis" to denote "redheaded men and women ... replacing the ritual bullying of the playground with the ritual strictures of radical Islam, perhaps... as a result of the bullying and persecution they endure early in life."
Although it is not clear whether Erb was bullied as a child or ever converted to Islam, his extensive rap sheet is on record. Wanted for failing to appear in court on multiple DUI charges, Erb served jail sentences for various crimes, including assault, theft, robbery and possession of illegal weapons. According to a 2014 report in the Daily Caller, in 2006, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee that prisons were becoming a "fertile ground" for jihadis, who were indoctrinating and recruiting fellow inmates in the ideology of radical Islam. Erb could easily have been recruited behind bars. In April 2016, the New York Times reported that the number of convicted terrorists currently housed in American prisons is 443 -- a number that dwarfs the number of inmates at Guantanamo Bay.
This prison practice, in high gear across the West, sparked Britain to create three special "jihadi jails-within-jails," to keep the most dangerous extremists from having contact with, and then influencing, the general criminal population. A recent report in the U.K.'s Metro states that Michael Adebolajo -- one of the men who murdered British Army soldier Lee Rigby -- and the extremist Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary are thought to be among the prisoners transferred to a separate facility.
The American twist to Erb's story is its connection to another domestic terrorism problem plaguing the U.S. -- the growing number of jihadis targeting police officers. The case of ISIS supporter Edward Archer -- who confessed to gunning down a Philadelphia police officer "in the name of Islam" -- is but one example. In Queens, New York, 32-year-old Zale Thompson attacked New York City police officers with a hatchet. Thompson, who friends claimed also espoused "black power" politics, had viewed a total of 277 websites promoting jihad, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and beheadings prior to launching his attack. He also had previously been arrested several times in California and charged with domestic violence.
Also in New York, Ismaayil Brinsley posted extremely pro-jihad Koran quotes and other such material on his Facebook and Twitter accounts before murdering two NYPD officers in December 2014. Brinsley, like Thompson, had connections to black supremacist organizations, including the Black Guerrilla Family. Brinsley most probably had made such connections while serving time in Georgia and Ohio prisons. Brinsley had already been arrested 19 times.
The Chechen Tsarnaev brothers set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, and then murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier during their attempted escape. The elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, began his criminal career as a low-level drug dealer who played a role in a triple-murder in Waltham in 2011.
In France, police have also been the victims of jihadi shootings and car bombs. Last April, a gunman with known ties to jihadi networks killed a police officer on the Champs Elysées. "Karim C" had an extensive history of moving in and out of jail.
According to Aaron Klein, author of Schmoozing With Terrorists, ISIS began to take advantage of racial tensions in America in 2015 by attempting to recruit disgruntled black Muslims in Ferguson and Baltimore. This was months after the Daily Mail reported that ISIS supporters vowed on Twitter to send militants to fight police in Ferguson if protesters committed to Islam. The irony is that the more the West pledges to combat global terrorism and keep it contained militarily or through criminal justice systems, the more jihadists manage to spread their message -- on social media, in mosques and in prisons -- by infiltrating the hearts and minds of individuals and groups susceptible to it. Erb appears to have been such a person. His story should be highlighted, not buried.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

The Military Options for North Korea
John R. Bolton/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
North Korea test-launched on Friday its first ballistic missile potentially capable of hitting America's East Coast. It thereby proved the failure of 25 years of U.S. nonproliferation policy. A single-minded rogue state can pocket diplomatic concessions and withstand sustained economic sanctions to build deliverable nuclear weapons. It is past time for Washington to bury this ineffective "carrots and sticks" approach.
America's policy makers, especially those who still support the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, should take careful note. If Tehran's long collusion with Pyongyang on ballistic missiles is even partly mirrored in the nuclear field, the Iranian threat is nearly as imminent as North Korea's. Whatever the extent of their collaboration thus far, Iran could undoubtedly use its now-unfrozen assets and cash from oil-investment deals to buy nuclear hardware from North Korea, one of the world's poorest nations.
One lesson from Pyongyang's steady nuclear ascent is to avoid making the same mistake with other proliferators, who are carefully studying its successes. Statecraft should mean grasping the implications of incipient threats and resolving them before they become manifest. With North Korea and Iran, the U.S. has effectively done the opposite. Proliferators happily exploit America's weakness and its short attention span. They exploit negotiations to gain the most precious asset: time to resolve the complex scientific and technological hurdles to making deliverable nuclear weapons.
Now that North Korea possesses them, the U.S. has few realistic options. More talks and sanctions will fail as they have for 25 years. I have argued previously that the only durable diplomatic solution is to persuade China that reunifying the two Koreas is in its national interest as well as America's, thus ending the nuclear threat by ending the bizarre North Korean regime. Although the negotiations would be arduous and should have commenced years ago, American determination could still yield results.
Absent a successful diplomatic play, what's left is unpalatable military options. But many say, even while admitting America's vulnerability to North Korean missiles, that using force to neutralize the threat would be too dangerous. The only option, this argument goes, is to accept a nuclear North Korea and attempt to contain and deter it.
The people saying this are largely the same ones who argued that "carrots and sticks" would prevent Pyongyang from getting nuclear weapons. They are prepared to leave Americans as nuclear hostages of the Kim family dictatorship. This is unacceptable. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has it right. "What's unimaginable to me," he said last month at the Aspen Security Forum, "is allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver." So what are the military options, knowing that the U.S. must plan for the worst?
First, Washington could pre-emptively strike at Pyongyang's known nuclear facilities, ballistic-missile factories and launch sites, and submarine bases. There are innumerable variations, starting at the low end with sabotage, cyberattacks and general disruption. The high end could involve using air- and sea-based power to eliminate the entire program as American analysts understand it.
Second, the U.S. could wait until a missile is poised for launch toward America, and then destroy it. This would provide more time but at the cost of increased risk. Intelligence is never perfect. A North Korean missile could be in flight to a city near you before the military can respond.
Third, the U.S. could use airstrikes or special forces to decapitate North Korea's national command authority, sowing chaos, and then sweep in on the ground from South Korea to seize Pyongyang, nuclear assets, key military sites and other territory.
All these scenarios pose dangers for South Korea, especially civilians in Seoul, which is within the range of North Korean artillery near the Demilitarized Zone. Any military attack must therefore neutralize as much of the North's retaliatory capability as possible together with the larger strike. The U.S. should obviously seek South Korea's agreement (and Japan's) before using force, but no foreign government, even a close ally, can veto an action to protect Americans from Kim Jong Un's nuclear weapons.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries fire missiles into the East Sea during a South Korea-U.S. joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea's ICBM test on July 29, 2017. (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry)
China clearly has enormous interests at stake, not least its fear that masses of North Korean refugees will flow across the Yalu and Tumen rivers into its territory. Neither the U.S. nor China wants conflict between their respective forces, so immediate consultations with Beijing would be imperative once military action began. Both considerations underline why urgent diplomacy with China now to press the benefits of peaceful reunification is vital.
The Pentagon's military planners already should be poring through the operational aspects of a potential military strike. But politicians and policy makers also ought to begin debating the military options—for North Korea and beyond, since similar issues will arise regarding Iran and other nuclear proliferators.
For decades the U.S. has opposed attempts by any state without nuclear weapons to develop them. Washington has consistently failed to achieve that objective, and the world has become increasingly nuclearized. Stopping North Korea and Iran may be the last chance to act before nuclear weapons become a global commonplace.
John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad".
This article first appeared in The Wall Street Journal and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

UK: 23,000 Terrorists and Counting
Denis MacEoin/Gatestone Institute/August 03/17
Theresa May herself is also not entirely to be trusted in this area. Despite her calls for no tolerance for extremism, she has recently been widely criticized for blocking publication of a major report into foreign funding of extremist Muslim groups.
For years now, radical preachers, terrorist recruiters, and fundamentalists who openly hate this country, its democratic values, and its tolerance for all faiths, have walked British streets, campaigned on university campuses, and converted and radicalised young men and women.
What seems not to be understood about "the religion of peace" is that "peace" comes only after the entire world has been converted to Islam so that a "Dar al-Harb", the "Abode of War," will no longer even exist.
Since the beginning of March, 17,393 people have been listed as terror suspects. — French Senate report: "Prevention of Radicalism and Regional Authorities", April 2017.
On May 26, four days after the major terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, British intelligence officials stated that they had identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in the UK, all of them considered potential terrorist attackers. According to The Times,
About 3,000 people from the total group are judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services. The 20,000 others have featured in previous inquiries and are categorised as posing a "residual risk".
The two terrorists who have struck in Britain this year — Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, and Khalid Masood, the Westminster killer — were in the pool of "former subjects of interest" and no longer subject to any surveillance.
A police officer stands guard near the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017, following a suicide bombing by an Islamic terrorist who murdered 22 concert-goers. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
The report adds that the two men who beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby in London, in 2013, had been known to the security services, just as Abedi and Masood were, but had been dropped to low priority.
David Anderson, QC, the former reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, noted concerns in his 2015 report about the "speed with which things can change" around suspects and "the difficulties in knowing how best to prioritise limited surveillance resources". Senior police have also spoken of the difficulty in identifying the triggers that might "reactivate" extremist behaviour.
Others had expressed similar concerns about how the jihadi ideology, based in radical religious belief, is so intensely ingrained that it never leaves individuals and may easily reactivate a desire to commit atrocities.
Ben Wallace, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, told The Times that the existence of a database of thousands of potential attackers clearly indicates just how serious the threat has become: "This reveals the scale of the challenge from terrorism in the 21st century," he said. "Never has it been more important to invest in intelligence-led policing."
One problem is that the police and MI5 lack enough resources to investigate any more than 3,000 suspects at a time, leaving the other 20,00 free to pass without surveillance and under the radar. According to a report issued this year by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), and detailed in The Guardian, budget cuts to the police forces in England and Wales have left law enforcement inadequately prepared:
In a stark message about the current state of policing, Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, said the "disturbing" practices did not apply to the majority of forces but the watchdog could see the problems spreading if action was not taken.
"We're leading to a very serious conclusion regarding the potentially perilous state of policing," she said. "It's a red flag that we're raising at this stage. A large red flag."
Ironically, this austerity-produced situation stands in stark contradiction to comments by one of the country's leading security experts:
Anthony Glees, head of security and intelligence studies at the University of Buckingham, said: "To have 23,000 potential killers in our midst is horrifying. We should double the size of MI5, as we did in World War Two, and expand the number of intelligence-led police by thousands. We can't go on as if this wasn't happening."
In April, as Islamic State was facing defeat in Mosul and Raqqa, a small national study found that many young British Muslims believed that jihadists returning from Syria to the UK should be given a "second chance" and should "reintegrate" within society. This is estimated to be around 800 or 850 individuals. One person interviewed argued that:
When people feel isolated and angry because they are not being treated with respect and if they go out and fight in Syria and when they come back there is no help, then I promise you, you will see more terrorism because these young people will think why should I do anything when my own Government don't care about me.
That appears to be a threat that ignores completely what sorts of crimes returnees may have committed abroad. As such individuals do return, they may well add significantly to the list of potential terrorists living in a country they had already found occasion to hate. In 2016, "the Government admitted [that] just 14 of nearly 400 returnee fighters have been jailed, raising fears the rest are living off the radar and may be vulnerable to radicalisation."
Adam Deen of London's anti-radical Quilliam Foundation stated that:
What is important here is that the more Isis are under siege and the more territory they're losing, the more they're going to channel their efforts and energies into terrorism," he said in an interview with The Independent.
Those individuals that have managed to get back into the country will be activated or will be conspiring to commit some kind of terrorist act. That's a major concern.
Britain is not alone in facing such potential threats, but it may have the largest population of potential terrorists. There is confusion in Germany, for example, as to how many such individuals there are. According to a report from the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt), the number of suspects is on the rise, but they list only 657 people as capable of carrying out an attack, alongside another 388 "relevant persons" who might lend assistance to perpetrators. Separate information, however, from the country's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz), stated that the number of radical Salafists in Germany had risen from 8,350 in 2015 to 10,100 in 2016 (with 680 classified as "dangerous"), and that hundreds of jihadis entered among the more than one million migrants welcomed into the country during the two previous years. Overall, however, the same agency estimates that 24,400 Islamists are active in Germany, a figures similar to that of the UK.
Things are little better in France, which, according to Gatestone author Yves Mamou, has a large but never-quantified Muslim population of at least six million. In April 2017, the French Senate published its "Prevention of Radicalism and Regional Authorities" report, showing that since the beginning of March, 17,393 people had been listed as terror suspects. As in Britain, French authorities said that not all suspects are being constantly monitored; smaller numbers are investigated at regular intervals.
In May, the general secretariat of the international police organization, Interpol, published a list of Islamic State fighters who were thought to have already returned to Europe and may be planning suicide attacks in different countries:
Interpol has circulated a list of 173 Islamic State fighters it believes could have been trained to mount suicide attacks in Europe in revenge for the group's military defeats in the Middle East.
The global crime fighting agency's list was drawn up by US intelligence from information captured during the assault on Isis territories in Syria and Iraq
European counter-terror networks are concerned that as the Isis "caliphate" collapses, there is an increasing risk of determined suicide bombers seeking to come to Europe, probably operating alone.
The situation in the UK is, in some ways, the most alarming, not only because of cuts to the police budget. Cuts have also been made to the security and intelligence services, even more sharply since the June general election. Prior to that, on June 4, Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech the day after the London Bridge attack. Her speech included strong promises to tackle terrorism by introducing fresh measures to strengthen existing legislation.
While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations.
Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say "Enough is enough".
She even named the ideological basis for the attacks:
while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.
This was progress. Three days after that, May presented proposals for fresh legislation to clamp down hard on Islamic extremism. They included amendments to Britain's 1998 Human Rights Act, which protects potential terrorists; tougher Terrorism Prevention Investigation Measures based on a 2011 Act, but in 2016 only used for six individuals; more deportations of suspects, and longer prison sentences, even though much radicalization takes place in prisons.
That was one day before the June 8 general election. May, overly confident that she would win handily and increase her majority in parliament, led a disastrous campaign that left her with a much reduced majority, forcing her to make an alliance with Northern Ireland's controversial Democratic Unionist Party. Tim Worstall, writing for Forbes magazine, wrote:
"It would be both reasonable and fair to say that Theresa May has just run the worst British election campaign of modern times... Theresa May has in fact achieved something that no one in modern times has managed, to start a general election campaign 20 percentage points up and then arrive without even a parliamentary majority for her party. There simply isn't anything to compare with this in the annals".
To make matters worse, the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, came close to winning the election and performed considerately better than anyone might have thought a month earlier. Corbyn and his increasingly far-left party had been considered unelectable. Now, they were a force to contend with in the House of Commons.
Corbyn is the last person to be entrusted with Britain's security. Addressing a Stop The War Coalition conference in 2011, he told the crowd: "I've been involved in opposing anti-terror legislation ever since I first went into Parliament in 1983". He has also opposed the UK's involvement in all foreign wars: Sir Gerald Howarth, the former Tory defence minister, said: "Jeremy Corbyn has opposed every British military intervention and represents complete capitulation and weakness". He refused for many years to condemn IRA terrorism, preferring to condemn the British army posted there. He called terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbullah his "friends"; refused to denounce them as late as 2016, and only said he regretted his support for them after heavy pressure was put on him.
Since the election, Labour has made it clear that it opposes any changes in current human rights legislation, and claims that terrorism can be tackled through the laws presently in force. Given the strains the British government is now under, especially with weak negotiations for Brexit and May's increasing unpopularity even within her party, the strong opposition within parliament is certain to weaken further attempts to block radicalism and terrorism, particularly where action against both involves (as it inevitably will) Muslims from various ethnic minority groups.
There has already been vehement opposition to the government's core anti-radicalization program, Prevent, with schoolteachers, students, and others claiming it snoops on Muslim communities. Within the Labour party, Corbyn's radical followers in the Momentum Movement are already planning to force the deselection of members of parliament who oppose Corbyn, unless the such MPs "get on board" by wholeheartedly supporting the leader and his far-left policies. As this takes place, the hard left will strengthen its grip on parliament and make it even more difficult for strong new legislation to be passed.
Theresa May herself is also not entirely to be trusted in this area. Despite her calls for no tolerance for extremism, she has recently been widely criticized for blocking publication of a major report into foreign funding of extremist Muslim groups. Following an enquiry commissioned by May's predecessor David Cameron, the report was due for publication in 2016, but is unlikely now to be revealed for public scrutiny because it is deemed too "sensitive". The sensitivity derives from Saudi Arabia being exposed as a major financier of Islamic extremism worldwide, yet May and the UK government depend heavily on selling arms and other things to the Wahhabi kingdom.
According to the London-based Henry Jackson Society, in its short report on foreign funding of extremism,
The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran. Foremost among these has been Saudi Arabia, which since the 1960s has sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West.
In the UK this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK's independent Islamic schools.
A number of Britain's most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are linked to extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.
If the British government itself prefers to cover up such ties, opting to rescue its trade balance at the cost of endangering the lives of its own citizens, our concern for the future security of the country deepens immeasurably. The UK, like much of Western Europe and Scandinavia, stands at a crossroads. For years now, radical preachers, terrorist recruiters, and fundamentalists who openly hate this country, its democratic values, and its tolerance for all faiths, have walked British streets, campaigned on university campuses, and converted and radicalized young men and women. Sometimes they have been watched, but almost none has been deported, almost none has been imprisoned, and almost none has been singled out, due to the pretense that "Islam is a religion of peace". In Islam, the whole world is divided into two parts" the Dar al-Islam [Abode of Islam] and the Dar al-Harb [Abode of War]. What seems not to be understood about "the religion of peace" is that "peace" comes only after the entire world has been converted to Islam so that a "Dar al-Harb", the "Abode of War," will no longer even exist.
Theresa May's promise of tightened legislation to protect the British public was the right response to three major recent terror attacks. Yet fall-out from the election and May's own wish to protect Saudi Arabia from scrutiny are likely to guarantee that the serious measures we so much need may never be implemented. When there are further attacks and more people die, who will step forward to give us the protection we need? Or by then will it be too late?
Dr. Denis MacEoin taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at a British university and now specializes in Islamic radicalism, and the Middle East. He has just completed a major book on concerns about Islam in the UK. He also serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York's Gatestone Institute.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

People in Qatar should derive lessons from Bahrain
Sawsan Al Shaer/Al Arabiya/August 03/17
The leaders of the Vilayat Al Faqih (Guardian of the jurist) group in Bahrain led their people to a historical loss that they both paid for. Meanwhile, Qatar’s leaders are leading their innocent people to political suicide with it.
This Iranian backed group in Bahrain lost its national compass after it was deceived by two parties and was later defeated after both of the latter abandoned it. Our people in Qatar should derive lessons from that as there’s plenty in common between these two experiences especially that those involved in the Bahraini experience are still around and the end-result of their work is still fresh.
The first party that deceived leaders of the Iranian backed group in Bahrain was international groups which told them that they will rule the region. They told them that there is plan for the Middle East and they will govern the eastern area of the Arabian Peninsula. They offered to support them and told them that they will topple countries and they will rule them later. They of course believed them and betrayed their partners and brothers and conspired against them.
The second party was their own their media outlets, religious platforms, television channels, dailies, writers and social media users and pages as they embellished their actions for them and put them under the impression that victory is near. They only trusted their media outlets which only told them what they liked to hear and which hid half the truth from them and confused the other half.
All these media outlets cared about was making sure that people only listened to it so they kept deceiving them into thinking victory is near. They alleged that the entire world supported them and that it was important to internationalize their cause and that other countries are better than their own partners who are as deceitful as Prophet Yusuf’s brothers.
They addressed all international organizations and foreign governments and as these responded, they thought the contradicting messages conveyed absolute endless support. They then took things too far and believed that these international groups will intervene by force to impose this Iranian-backed group’s control over the Bahraini people.
Leaders in Iran and Qatar are tools for the same project. They misled an Arab Shiite Gulf group and uprooted it and now they want to uproot the Qatari people
Approach and rhetoric
Their media outlets embellished this plan with their headlines on social media pages which had the same tone as pages run by Azmi Bishara. Their operations’ room adopted the same approach and rhetoric. International parties thus put this Iranian-backed group under the impression that it will gain a lot. Ban Ki-moon was always worried about it.
Barack Obama ordered that the Bahraini people listen to it while the EU said it will not abandon it. Meanwhile, Iran trained, funded and directed the group’s members. We used to tell the latter that the solution lies in Bahrain and not with any international group. We told them that no one can force us to do something we don’t want to do but they ignored our advice and continued to internationalize the crisis.
We’re now going through this experience for the second time and it has the same approach and style. We know how the experience is managed and how the victim is dragged into drowning. We can advise well on the matter just like we advised them in Bahrain when we told them no one can protect them but they said: “I will take refuge on a mountain for protection.”
We advised them and told them their media was lying to them and that it does not have their best interest at heart but they ignored us. What happened in the end? International parties and their media outlets only dragged them deeper and the end-result was political suicide and an unfortunate end which we do not wish for our people in Qatar just like we did not wish it for that group of our people in Bahrain.
Leaders in Iran and Qatar are tools for the same project. They misled an Arab Shiite Gulf group and uprooted it and now they want to uproot the Qatari people, who are authentic Arabian Gulf people.