Posted by Albert Gersh - July 10, 2013
- CNN airs "unflattering" footage of Egypt jihadists throwing teenager off roof
- Britain expands push for European Union to blacklist Hezbollah, as Bulgarian officials again confirm group's links to 2012 bus bombing
- Argentina facilitating Iranian penetration of Western Hemisphere, blocking investigations into terror activities
- Array of Palestinian factions blast Israeli-Palestinian meeting as "normalization"
What we’re watching today:
- CNN this morning posted to the top of its international online front page a report highlighting incidents in Alexandria during which Muslim Brotherhood supporters threw teenagers off rooftops, killing at least one of them. The outlet contextualized the video on its site with a caption suggesting that the atrocities risked shedding "an unflattering light on Egypt's jihadists." Also threatening to cast Egyptian jihadists in an unflattering light is a video released on Monday reportedly showing Islamist gunmen mixing with demonstrators demanding the release of Muslim Brotherhood-linked former President Mohammed Morsi and then firing at army troops. Muslim Brotherhood officials have since tried to blame the incident, which took place outside Cairo's Republican Guard headquarters over the weekend and which left dozens dead, on the army. The accusations are in tension with explicit reports from the scene - including those offered by Brotherhood-linked witnesses - to the effect that the live fire did not come from the army, and that "thugs" in civilian clothes had carried out the shootings. The army subsequently moved against Brotherhood figures it accused of being linked to the violence, arresting several top Brotherhood officials including Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie. An article yesterday in the influential Al Arabiya declared that the Brotherhood may be "falling back to violence after its failure to lead the country."
- Britain is placing increased pressure on its European Union partners to formally blacklist parts of Hezbollah as a terror organization, months after E.U. diplomats began privately acknowledging that new evidence of multiple terror plots conducted by the Iran-backed group on E.U. soil made it difficult to sustain objections to imposing such a designation. The new evidence included additional disclosures by Bulgarian authorities tying Hezbollah to the July 2012 bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian, alongside the Cypriot conviction of a confessed Hezbollah member on terror-related charges. Last week Bulgaria's new government reiterated Sofia's stance that Hezbollah was linked to the bombing, with Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev declaring that "the announced stance of my colleagues is right and I support it." E.U. diplomats - including and especially those from Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany - have been increasingly public about their efforts to sway holdouts to blacklisting Hezbollah's military wing. This week Washington Institute fellow and counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt addressed the E.U. Parliament regarding Hezbollah's terror activities on the Continent, which he traced back decades.
- Observers are increasingly alarmed at moves by Argentinian officials that seem aimed at facilitating Iranian infiltration of South America and blocking efforts to expose the terrorist activities of Tehran and its proxies throughout the continent. Terrorism experts testifying before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency yesterday described how Buenos Aires permitted Tehran to access Latin American Free Trade Zones via Argentina's own access to those zones, and to use the country to establish a terrorist network throughout the region. Joseph M. Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, outlined the existence of an Iranian-controlled "pipeline to move illicit products all across the region." Under Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the country's exports to Iran have skyrocketed over 1000 percent, going from $84 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion three years later. Kirchner's government has hampered U.S. efforts to unravel the extent of Argentina's ties to Iran, with the administration blocking requests for Argentinean prosecutor general Alberto Nisman to testify in front of Congress on Iranian terror activity throughout South America and in Argentina.
- A recent meeting in Ramallah between Israeli and Palestinian officials was blasted by several Palestinian factions - including elements of the Fatah group to which Western-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas belongs - for promoting "normalization" between Israel and the Palestinians. The denunciations were not the first time in recent weeks when Fatah members have lashed out against efforts to bridge gaps between the parties, and they come in the wake of polling data showing that more than half of the Palestinian public believes that the Palestinian government should reject a current U.S. peace initiative. Palestinian officials have in recent weeks again rejected the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions.
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