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Al-Qaeda calls for more attacks on embassies

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Afghans shout anti-U.S. slogans in the city of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 during a protest against an anti-Islam film which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman. AP/Rahmat Gul

CAIRO — Al-Qaeda’s most active branch in the Middle East called for more attacks on U.S. embassies Saturday to “set the fires blazing,” seeking to co-opt outrage over an anti-Muslim film even as the wave of protests that swept 20 countries this week eased.

Senior Muslim religious authorities issued their strongest pleas yet against resorting to violence, trying to defuse Muslim anger over the film a day after new attacks on U.S. and Western embassies that left at least eight protesters dead.

The top cleric in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia denounced the film but said it can’t really hurt Islam, a contrast to protesters’ frequently heard cries that the movie amounts to a humiliating attack that requires retaliation. He urged Muslims not to be “dragged by anger” into violence. The head of the Sunni Muslim world’s pre-eminent religious institution, Egypt’s Al-Azhar, backed peaceful protests but said Muslims should counter the movie by reviving Islam’s moderate ideas.

In the Egyptian capital Cairo, where the first protests against the movie that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad erupted, police finally succeeded in clearing away protesters who had been clashing with security forces for days near the U.S. Embassy. Police arrested 220 people and a concrete wall was erected across the road leading to the embassy.

No significant protests were reported in the Mideast Saturday; the only report of violence linked to the film came from Australia, where riot police clashed with about 200 protesters at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Barack Obama paid tribute to the four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, who were killed in an armed attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city on Benghazi this week. He also denounced the anti-U.S. mob protests that followed.

“I have made it clear that the United States has a profound respect for people of all faiths. We stand for religious freedom. And we reject the denigration of religion — including Islam,” Obama said.

“Yet there is never any justification for violence. There is no religion that condones the targeting of innocent men and women.”

In Afghanistan, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack the night before by 20 insurgents on a sprawling British based in southern Afghanistan that killed two U.S. Marines. The Taliban said the attack was to avenge Muslims insulted by the film. It also said the attack came because Britain’s Prince Harry is serving at the base, though British officials said he was far from the site of the attack and was unharmed.

Friday’s demonstrations spread to more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. While most were peaceful, marches in several places exploded into violence.

In Sudan, crowds torched part of the German Embassy and tried to storm the American Embassy. Protesters climbed the walls into the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, torching cars in the parking lot, trashing the entrance building and setting fire to a gym and a neighboring American school.

Four demonstrators were killed in Tunisia, two in Sudan, one in Lebanon and one in Egypt — the first Egyptian protester to die in clashes with police since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi took up his post this summer. On Thursday, four Yemeni protesters were killed in protests that turned violent at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, considered the most dangerous of the terror network’s branches to the U.S., called the killing of Stevens “the best example” for those attacking embassies to follow.

“What has happened is a great event, and these efforts should come together in one goal, which is to expel the embassies of America from the lands of the Muslims,” the group said. It called on protests to continue in Muslim nations “to set the fires blazing at these embassies.”

It also called on “our Muslim brothers in Western nations to fulfill their duties in supporting God’s prophet … because they are the most capable of reaching them and vexing them.”

The U.S called the Yemen al-Qaida branch the most dangerous threat after it plotted a series of attempted attacks , including the Christmas 2009 failed bombing of a passenger jet. It has suffered a series of blows since, including the recent killing in a drone strike of its number two-leader, Saeed al-Shihri. Yemen’s U.S.-backed government has been waging an offensive against the group, taking back territory and cities in the south that the group’s fighters seized last year.

So far, there has been no evidence of a direct role by al-Qaida in the protests.

U.S. and Libyan officials are investigating whether the protests were a cover for militants, possibly al-Qaida sympathizers, to carry out a coordinated attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and kill Americans. Washington has deployed FBI investigators to try and track down militants behind the attack.

The United States sent an elite, 50-member Marine unit to Yemen’s capital to bolster security at the embassy there, which protesters broke into on Thursday and then tried again to assault Friday. A similar team was dispatched to Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday after the deadly attack the night before on the Benghazi consulate.

But the Sudanese government said Saturday it had refused to allow a similar Marine deployment to the embassy in Khartoum. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti declined the request, saying Sudan is capable of protecting diplomatic missions, the state news agency said.

Security was increased Saturday at several spots that had been targeted.

Police in Lebanon beefed up their presence around U.S. fast food restaurants Saturday, after angry crowds Friday set fire to a KFC and a Hardee’s restaurant in the port city of Tripoli. In Tunisia, the U.S. Embassy compound and school were surrounded by police and army vehicles Saturday.

The protests were sparked by an obscure, amateurish movie called “Innocence of Muslims” that depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a pedophile. A 14-minute “trailer” for the movie, dubbed into Arabic, was posted on YouTube.

The top religious authority in Saudi Arabia, Grand Mufti Sheik Abdel-Aziz al-Sheik, condemned the movie on Saturday but said it “will not harm” Islam or Muhammad.

“Muslims should not be dragged by wrath and anger to shift from legitimate to forbidden actions. By this, they will unknowingly fulfill some aims of the film,” he said.

The head of al-Azhar, Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, called on the United Nations to take a stand against hate speech, pointing out that the world body has done so in defense of Jewish people.

He said that while defending the Prophet Muhammad is a duty for all Muslims — it should be “not only through peaceful protests … but also through reviving his teachings in all walks of life and spreading his moderate ideas.”

In the U.S., the man behind the movie was questioned at a California sheriff’s station early Saturday by federal probation officers investigating whether he had violated terms of his five-year probation. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula wasn’t arrested or detained.

Federal authorities have identified Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, as the key figure behind the film. A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that authorities had connected Nakoula to a man using the pseudonym of Sam Bacile, who claimed earlier to be writer and director of the film.

Nakoula was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and is banned from using the computers and the Internet as part of his sentence.

____

 

Contributing to this report were Sarah El-Deeb in Cairo, Bouazza ben Bouazza in Tunisia and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington.


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Tags: Afghanistan , Al qaeda , anti-Islam film , Kabul , Prophet Muhammad


  • Guest

    Here they go again with Al Qaeda.

    Al Qaeda this, Al Qaeda that. The CIA claims Al Qaeda is everywhere and yet nowhere to be found. A phantom organization created for the sole purpose of assigning blame.

    Why is the US still using Al Qaeda as an excuse with Osama bin Laden so dead and the organization so headless by now? A phantom organization created for the sole purpose of assigning blame.

    Why is US falsely portraying the anti-imperialist protests in the Arab world as Islamist extremism? Why does US refuse to treat the Arabs like human beings and deny them their aspiration to be free from imperialism?

    The Arabs may have been underdogs for so long. But the Arabs are finally learning from the Vietnamese how to fight against US invasion. The Arabs are finally learning from the Persians how to attack the US Embassy. The Arabs are finally learning from the Chosons how to outsmart the American bullies.

    Chris Stevens was a victim of his own country’s flawed foreign policy. Whichever way you look at it, America failed one of its own again. Flying in Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber across the Arab world on a free concert tour will not be enough to quell the Arab Uprising. The Arab Uprising is about freedom from US imperialism, not about imbibing American materialism and moral degeneration. 

    With the Arab Uprising, the US has found a good excuse to activate its long-shelved plan of taking out Egyptian President Morsi. All over US media and US State Department media releases, blame is being placed on Morsi. The US never liked Morsi because Morsi is no puppet. Morsi will never be a puppet because Morsi could not bought by money. Barack Obama even blames the Egyptian President Morsi for the death of Chris Stevens in Benghazi Libya, duh? The US is trying very hard now to portray Morsi as evil, claiming Morsi is hiding WMD in his religious beard. Russia and China must be vigilant. Let’s not be surprised when Morsi lands in Obama’s Kill List as reported by New York Times.

    Long Live the Arab Spring! Long Live Arab Freedom! Long Live the Arab People! America buzz off!

    • manual47

      careful……friend.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUNBI66J3EGEPMV5LFCN53OUGI JEO

      Even alqueda said we are the one! You still want to put the blame to the USA. While these funny Arab countries(not all) always ask help from USA if they are in trouble but always want to stab the back of USA if they turn around. And you are no different those protesters in the Philippines who always blame the states while in truth these bunch of people no nothing but beg help from uncle Sam. There are so many people in this world that unreasonable and just playing their mind that they know best but in truth contribute nothing in this world or human kind.

      • Guest

        JEO, you have to admit you don’t speak arabic nor have you verified the sources of this Associated Press report. Even US experts like Nicholas Burns would not go so far as to call Arab countries as funny. I could also call you names but I wouldn’t. Could you at least find it in your heart to respect the human rights of Arabs? They are human beings too you know.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Ann-Alvarez/100000044167795 Mary Ann Alvarez

        Charlie, you are saying that America should be accounted for this killing because there is no evidence that Al Qaeda really exists? you mean everything is planted from the very start? and America is that crazy to let their men and women die in the hands of this phantom group? That’s absurd. I don’t have anything against Arab or Muslims, but I find them violent.

      • Guest

        You’re quick to put words into my mouth. America should be accounted for killing innocent Arabs and others civilians through their drone strikes. This has been largely reported on Rolling Stone, US News, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, New York Times, The Atlantic, USA Today and even in 60 minutes. I have yet to encounter any human being who rejoices over the death of their parents, children or loved ones. So with the victims of America’s drone bombings. I don’t suppose you will dispute the veracity of Abu Ghraib abuses, the existence of Guantanamo torture rituals or the killing of 17 Afghan civilians by a lone GI Joe? Why do you think so many people there hate America?

        As for Al Qaeda, I take every news with a grain of salt. Al Qaeda’s creation was caused by the US. Even Bin Laden’s foray into Afghanistan was made possible by the US. Read up on Soviet invasion of Afghanistan if you have time. Argue with the facts in those books, so you need not take it from me. When was the last time you verified the sources of a news report or the background of a news you read, conducted fact-checking on what you read in a news report?

        Closer to your home, the Vietnamese were branded as savages, heathens, guerrilla bandits and terrorists from the 60s to 70s by the likes of LBJ, Nixon, Kissinger and Robert McNamara. Today, much of mainstream America accepts the historical truth that US tried to invade Vietnam for ideological reasons and that it was wrong. The Vietnamese terrorists are now viewed as freedom fighters. Would America leave Vietnam alone if they did not use violence? I don’t suppose you will dispute the My Lai massacre or the phantom clash in the Gulf of Tonkin.

        Now here’s a little quiz for you. Which is more absurd — blindly believing everything you read in the news OR applying critical analysis to what you read on the news. Whatever happened to that toga and all that education in your pic, I hope you put them into good use.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Ann-Alvarez/100000044167795 Mary Ann Alvarez

        the thing that hinders me to delve too much is I don’t want to be very intelligent like you who gives justice for the killings that this group has done and will do in the future. Our battered/killed OFW’s in those Arab countries portray my sentiments against them,but I’m not talking in general. It’s as simple as that. Our OFW’s are innocent too, they just want to earn and live a good life that’s why they are sacrificing, but some barbaric Arabs/Muslim can easily end those dreams.

        But I anyway maybe I really need to put some facts and analyse it, but the simplest rule is ”NO ONE HAS GIVEN THE RIGHT TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE….and I’m holding onto that, no need to delve too much…….

      • Guest

        Let me just say I´m with you on the issue of Filipinos working overseas. As far as I know, abuses on Filipinos or Indonesians or Indians and others were not perpetrated by Al Qaeda. At least there´s no evidence to suggest that. The Philippine consulate and embassies must also be proactive in protecting their own. Even Al Jazeera´s Marge Ortigas and Veronica Pedrosa, both Filipino journalists, will tell you how much the PH embassy staff and officials in the Middle East look down on their own people. If you´re working there or know someone working there, you should know that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Ann-Alvarez/100000044167795 Mary Ann Alvarez

        because Philippines is sick, the government put officials in those countries who are incompetent and who does not have any slightest idea about our peoples plight..

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUNBI66J3EGEPMV5LFCN53OUGI JEO

        The problem of mr Charlie town is he do research too much but messed facts badly.

      • Guest

         ”because Philippines is sick, the government put officials in those
        countries who are incompetent and who does not have any slightest idea
        about our peoples plight..”

        And you blame that on Arabs or what?

      • Guest

        “NO ONE HAS GIVEN THE RIGHT TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE”

        Yes, and that applies also to the US! Or do you exempt them from that rule, huh? But may, you love to see the Muslims to be killed, huh?

      • Guest

         ”I don’t have anything against Arab or Muslims, but I find them violent.”

        You contradict yourself and you also generalize. A result of US brainwashing?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Ann-Alvarez/100000044167795 Mary Ann Alvarez

        Are you talking about Filipinos in general? not all of us are against American power. I even wanted America to take control our land. But the corrupt officials brainwashed the masses about this so-called freedom, come to think of it, those people who went out of the streets to protest against America were uneducated, paid protesters.I know if that happens (Philippines under US sovereignty) bad and good outcomes will come out. There is no perfect thing, so we must be aware of that.

      • Guest

        “Are you talking about Filipinos in general? not all of us are against American power.”

        But not all of us want to be under US sovereignty, either not all who are against US sovereignty are uneducated and paid. You shouldn’t also generalize as well.

      • Guest

         ”But the corrupt officials brainwashed the masses about this so-called freedom.”

        You confessed that you’d rather be a US slave, right? Well, not all of us Filipinos think so.

      • Guest

         ”While these funny Arab countries(not all) always ask help from USA if
        they are in trouble but always want to stab the back of USA if they turn
        around.”

        Philippines had done this back stabbing. A bit oblivious to Philippine history?

        Well, the US government saved Corazon Aquino’s back against kudeta-attempt leader Gregorio Honasan. So, as a “thank you”, Clarke airbase lease was not extended and the US were sent away just two years later. Instead of looking at others, maybe you should also have in mind the Philippine history. Sitting in a glasshouse…

    • manual47

      Charlie, let me ask you a question.  I hope you answer it honestly………what ideology do you think Al Qaeda is fighting for and how do you think they can establish that ideology?  I am just curious on……..

      • Guest

        M47, I can’t speak for anyone but myself.

        Honestly………what is your definition of ideology?

        Btw, using your definition of ideology, what ideology do you think drove the US to invade Iraq in 2003?

        Btw, using your definition of ideology, what ideology do you think drove the US to depose the first democratically elected Iranian president back in 1953 only to install a brutal inept dictator in the person of the Shah?

      • manual47

        Charlie……don’t answer the question with your rhetoric.  You know why US invaded Iraq.  However, going to my question, you can’t answer my question because you know for a fact that this terrorist group only purpose of existence is to spread terror to peace loving people.  If U.S. you said is the one killing innocents people, why do you think they’ve done what they did.  Remember 9/11.  Do you think that’s justifiable.  US, for one thing, does not hide behind innocent people to do their dirty works.  Suicide bombers is a good example.  Telling these innocents and naive people of where they will be (after their death) once they put bombs around their bodies.  US does not do that.  If Al Qaeda wants war, go to war but don’t use civilians and innocents peoples as their shields.  Again back to my question, explain to me…. “what ideology the group that you admire is fighting for”.  I will tell you and correct me if I am wrong……”spread terror”.  Nothing in their beliefs could remove that from the facts.  Now, you may continue you admiration with your group but one thing for sure, if not for U.S. and those allied forces, where do you think the world will be if those dictators like……Saddam Hussein, Mubarak of Egypt, Marcos of the Philippines, Libya’s Gadaffi, the Talibans, Idi Amin, and and of course the worse of them all, Hitler of Germany and so forth, and so forth…….I will tell you and again correct me If I am wrong……killing those innocents people the very own people that you are depending now.  And that is a proven facts.  So, stop your BS and think and analyze how as a citizens of this world can we make this place peaceful.  At least US and those dedicated soldiers of democratic countries trying to.  I will take lesser of the two evils anytime………….. 

      • Guest

        manual47, by denying that Arabs are human beings too, by denying that killing Arabs is a crime, you could almost deny that Holocaust ever existed. Lesser crime? Staying out of the Middle East and Afghanistan where Americans don’t belong vs. Killing Arabs is not about choosing the lesser evil. You can be disingenuous about it, but you can’t fool yourself. Because those oppressed by the Americans will bring the fight to America. Why do you even bother ask me if you’re indulging denialism? Btw, those Filipinos killed during the Spanish colonial times don’t count. Because they’re heathens and therefore not human beings. How does that sound?

      • manual47

        So what is your point….are you telling me you’re condonning what Al Qaeda was doing….if you do, then no point of debating with you.  Because your mind is so lost that you can’t even recognize what is right from wrong.  I am not depending  the americans but I will pick them any time than your Al Qaeda.  What has Al Qaeda done except terrorize.  And tell me what has the american has done so far since the time of the German and Japanse domination.  If not for the americans, you probably have not enjoy your freedom you’re enjoying now.  And after the 2nd world war, the amercians still at war trying to make the world safe.  if not for them, you’re probably see a lot of dictators now enjoying killing their own people………you better make up your mind on which side you are as the world is beginning to be a danger zone……

      • Guest

        Yeah right. Why don’t you write a book about how America tried to free the Vietnamese from themselves by killing many Vietnamese? Or write about the agent orange that to this day are producing deformed babies in Vietnam and surprisingly in Okinawa where it was logistically stored? Al Qaeda you say, how much do you know about the group and how much have you verified independently? I bet everything you know about Al Qaeda is from CNN and BBC or Fox.

        I don’t have to make up my mind. For me, just like for the rest of the world, killing Arabs is wrong. If killing Arabs makes the Arabs want to kill Americans, I’d rather be clear headed and be honest enough to say it all started with the Americans. The world did not start on the 11th of Sep 2001. The sowing of hatred started earlier. Read up again M47, you’re way out of your depth here.

      • manual47

        Vietnam was a war not terrorism.  And the americans already admitted they lost that war.  You’re comparing a different war here.  If Al Qaeda wants war, then declare  war but not terrorize innocent people and hiding behind them.  There’s call for that, “cowardice”.  I can’t debate with you anymore as you have a different view of what is war and terrorism.  Do you think 9/11 is justified.  You’re out of your mind.  This is the end of this debate and hope someday you will realize that innocents people also have the right to live in which the allied forces were trying to protect…….end of story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Ann-Alvarez/100000044167795 Mary Ann Alvarez

    i don’t know why my comment is still unapproved,,I didn’t say anything derogatory, I just said that the film creator should be the one to be blamed and we need some Divine Intervention here…or what do you think about the dubious film?, I’m thinking about of a deep suspicion here, what if it’s the Al Qaeda who is behind the making of this flick?and just want an all-out war against Americans..barbaric Al Qaeda…

    • Guest

       ”what if it’s the Al Qaeda who is behind the making of this flick?”

      Are you fully ignorant? An Evangelical and an Egyptian copt (a Christian, too) are behind the making. But what can be expected from a US-bootlicker.

    • Guest

      You are so uninformed.

  • wakats

    The anti-Islam film gave the al queda a new life to an otherwise dying cause.  Since the US is a democracy, anybody in the US now who hates the americans, usually in-born muslims, can just upload on-line any inflammatory anti-islam cartoons or doctored film or documentaries – and presto – the al queda will accuse the US of desecrating Muhammed – and boom* bang* boom* bang.*

    The US and allies must resort to some regulatory actions to negate or limit the circulation on-line of articles that might arouse anger, hatred and passion among our muslims brothers.

    The al queda have sworn vengeance on the death of bin laden and will grab any opportunity to brain wash and sow anger and animosity among the muslim worlds…  

     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUNBI66J3EGEPMV5LFCN53OUGI JEO

    Moderator, why you are not considering my comments? Very disappointing.

    • Guest

      Did you use any deragatory words?

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Muslim terrorist wants to kill all the people who is against Mohammed and their Koran! Pity to those they’ve brainwashed and resulting to more barbaric killings.

    • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

       What is inappropriate on my comment? Do we live in a muslim world? When someone attacks other religions it is never flagged! You I>%###***!!!!!

  • Guest

    Mary Ann Alvarez, maybe you should also not only watch Fox News or something like that but simply you’d also read more news since it was revealed for days already who are behind the movie.

  • manual47

    I am not sure you people know Robert Fowler, a Canadian diplomat who was kidnapped for 103 days by Al Qaeda a few years ago.  Here’s a short excerpt of the book he wrote titled “A Season In Hell”…….”the gulf between who and what we are – between their beliefs, methods, and purpose and mine – was simply too wide to allow for any possibility of friendship and empathy.” 

    And here’s the judgement of Terry Anderson who also spent seven years as prisoner of Islamic fundamentalists in Lebanon…..”the mind of his captors were alien to me”. 

    As you can read between the lines of these two captors, you know what we’re dealing with.  In my opinion, it has nothing to do with religion (Islam) in anyway what these so called depender of people were trying to convey and fighting for.  I don’t believe that is in the name of Islam.  And in my opinion, they are just using the religion as their means to spread their ideology of terror.  Extremism is one way of justifying their existence at the expense of innocents people.  And the word for that is “terrorism”.  it’s as simple as that.  In any religion and that’s include the Koran itself does not advocate killing of innocents people………it’s pity that it is the innocents people that were caught between these two giant beliefs of two giant minds.  When will end, maybe when there’s no more innocents bystander to kill and then maybe they will finally realize, “what have we done”.   What a waste in the name “what”……..



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