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Egypt Descends Into Civil War As Muslim Brotherhood Calls For ‘Day Of Rage’

Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi turned violent across Egypt on Friday, with witnesses reporting four dead in central Cairo and at least 12 killed in northern cities as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage”.

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Obama not happy his Muslim Brotherhood losing ground

RELATED STORY: Egypt Rejects Obama Supported Muslim Brotherhood In Bloody Standoff

(Reuters) – Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi turned violent across Egypt on Friday, with witnesses reporting four dead in central Cairo and at least 12 killed in northern cities as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage”.

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The army deployed dozens of armored vehicles on major roads around the capital after Mursi’s Brotherhood movement called the demonstrations, and the Interior Ministry said police would use live ammunition against anyone threatening public buildings.

The violence followed Wednesday’s assault by security forces on two Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo that left hundreds dead, as security forces tried to end weeks of turbulence following the army’s toppling of Mursi on July 3.

In Cairo gunshots echoed around the huge Ramses Square, focal point of Brotherhood protests in the capital, and police fired salvoes of tear gas. Four people were killed and many more wounded by gunshot and birdshot in the square, a witness said.

Nile TV showed footage of one gunman among Islamist protesters firing from a city center bridge. Injured men, one with a bloody wound in the middle of his chest, were rushed away on the back of a pick-up truck.

Emergency services also said eight protesters were killed in clashes in the Mediterranean town of Damietta, and four people died in the northeastern city of Ismailia. Violence was also reported in Egypt’s second city Alexandria and in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

A police conscript was killed in a drive-by shooting in the north of the capital, state news agency MENA reported.

Deeply polarized after months of political turmoil, Egypt stands close to the abyss of chaos with Islamist supporters refusing to accept the toppling of Mursi, which followed mammoth rallies castigating his trouble-plagued, year-long rule.

They have demanded the resignation of army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president, who is in detention and has not been seen in public since his downfall.

“Sooner or later I will die. Better to die for my rights than in my bed. Guns don’t scare us anymore,” said Sara Ahmed, 28, a business manager, joining a march of thousands of demonstrators heading downtown from northeast Cairo.

“It’s not about the Brotherhood, it’s about human rights,” said Ahmed, one of the few women not wearing a headscarf, a sign of piety for Muslim women.

When a military helicopter flew low over Ramses Square, protesters held up shoes chanting “We will bring Sisi to the ground” and “Leave, leave, you traitor.”

As the sound of teargas canisters being fired began, protesters – including young and old, men and women – donned surgical masks, gas masks and wrapped bandannas around their faces. Some rubbed Pepsi on their faces to counter the gas.

“Allahu akbar! (God is Greatest)” the crowd chanted.

WASHINGTON DISPLEASURE

Signaling his displeasure at the worst bloodshed in Egypt for generations, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday normal cooperation with Cairo could not continue and announced the cancellation of military exercises with Egypt next month.

“We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest,” he said, but stopped short of cutting off the $1.55 billion a year of mostly military U.S. aid to Egypt.

The Brotherhood accuses the military of staging a coup when it ousted Mursi. Liberal and youth activists who backed the military saw the move as a positive response to public demands.

But some fear Egypt is turning back into the kind of police state that kept the disgraced Hosni Mubarak in power for 30 years before his removal in 2011, as security institutions recover their confidence and reassert control.

Friday prayers have proved a fertile time for protests during more than two years of unrest across the Arab world.

In calling for a “Day of Rage,” the Brotherhood used the same name as that given to the most violent day of the uprising against Mubarak. That day, January 28, 2011, marked the protesters’ victory over the police, who were forced to retreat.

Ironically, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protests, Tahrir Square, was deserted on Friday, sealed off by the army.

Underscoring the deep divisions in the most populous Arab state, local residents helped the army block access to Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the site of the main Brotherhood sit-in that was swept away during Wednesday’s police assault.

“We are here to prevent those filthy bastards from coming back,” said Mohamed Ali, a 22-year-old business student. The Egyptian presidency issued a statement criticizing Obama, saying his comments were not based on “facts” and would strengthen violent groups that were committing “terrorist acts”.

Pro-army groups posted videos on the Internet of policemen they said had been tortured and killed by Islamist militants.

Washington’s influence over Cairo has been called into question since Mursi’s overthrow. Since then Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $12 billion in assistance, making them more prominent partners.

Obama’s refusal so far to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt suggests he does not wish to alienate the generals despite the scale of the bloodshed in the army’s suppression of Mursi supporters.

Egypt will need all the financial support it can get in the coming months as it grapples with growing economic woes, especially in the important tourism sector that accounts for more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.

The United States urged its citizens to leave Egypt on Thursday and two of Europe’s biggest tour operators, Germany’s TUI and Thomas Cook Germany, said they were cancelling all trips to the country until September 15.

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council urged all parties in Egypt to exercise restraint, but did not assign blame. “The view of council members is that it is important to end violence in Egypt,” Argentine U.N. Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval said after the 15-member council met on the situation. source – Reuters

Al-Qaeda

Obama Administration ‘Loses’ Half Billion In Military Weaponry To al-Qaeda In Yemen

Pentagon officials cannot track the whereabouts of $500 million worth of military equipment the U.S. donated to Yemen since 2007 – raising alarms that the hardware may have ended up with al-Qaeda or Iranian-backed rebels.

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Pentagon officials cannot track the whereabouts of $500 million worth of military equipment the U.S. donated to Yemen since 2007 – raising alarms that the hardware may have ended up with al-Qaeda or Iranian-backed rebels.

Ever wonder how al-Qaeda and ISIS always have such advanced weaponry and military capabilities? Wonder no more! Obama gives it to them, that’s how they do it. Did you think it was a trick question?

U.S. officials said Tuesday that increasing instability in Yemen has made it impossible to keep tabs on donated equipment that includes small arms, ammunition, patrol boats and night-vision goggles, according to The Washington Post.

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U.S. firearms supplied to the Interior Ministry in Yemen, which has received $500 million in aid from the United States since 2007 under an array of Defense Department and State Department programs. (Government Accountability Office)

“We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Post.

In January, Yemen’s government was overtaken by Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The rebels are increasingly taking over military bases.

Since then, the U.S. closed its embassy in Yemen and the Defense Department has stopped delivering equipment to the country, including a shipment of $125 million worth of military products scheduled to be delivered earlier this year.

This is the equipment no one can find, The Post reports:

  • 1,250,000 rounds of ammunition
  • 200 Glock 9 mm pistols
  • 200 M-4 rifles
  • 4 Huey II helicopters
  • 2 Cessna 208 transport and surveillance aircraft
  • 2 coastal patrol boats
  • 1 CN-235 transport and surveillance aircraft
  • 4 hand-launched Raven drones
  • 160 Humvees
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Al-Qaeda Affiliate Threatens To Kill American Hostage Luke Somers

Luke Somers, a 33-year-old photojournalist, was abducted in 2013 in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, according to media reports. In a YouTube video published Wednesday, he says he is certain his “life is in danger.”

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An al-Qaeda affiliate has threatened to kill an American hostage in three days if the U.S. government does not respond to the group’s demands, according to terrorist monitoring group Site Intelligence Group.

Luke Somers, a 33-year-old photojournalist, was abducted in 2013 in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, according to media reports. In a YouTube video published Wednesday, he says he is certain his “life is in danger.”

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The video features an al-Qaeda official and a brief message from Somers – dressed in a purple shirt and with a shaved head – at the end. He notes that he was born in England but has American citizenship and lived in America for most of his life.

The al-Qaeda operative who speaks throughout much of the video and threatens that Somers will meet his “inevitable fate” if the group’s demands are not met is Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi of the Arabian Peninsula affiliate, Site Intelligence Group said. The video does not list what those demands are, but al-Ansi says Washington is “aware” of them.

“It’s now been well over a year since I’ve been kidnapped in Sanaa,” Somers said in the footage. “Basically, I’m looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I’m certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask, if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much.”

Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 from a street in Sanaa, where he had worked as a photojournalist for the Yemen Times, the Associated Press said.

Read the rest of this story on USA Today…

 

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Islamic Terrorists Foster Jihad With Over 90 Tweets Per Minute On Twitter

Abdulmunim Al-Mushawah revealed that about 129,600 tweets were posted by accounts affiliated to terror groups in October 2014. As a result, at least 500 accounts believed to have been run by terrorists were deactivated.

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Islamic terror groups post at least 90 tweets every minute, a new report has found

The data was revealed in a survey conducted by the Saudi-based Sakina, an independent, non-governmental organisation created to engage in dialogue online as a way to combat internet radicalization.

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Results showed that terror groups such as the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIS) use social media to recruit new members and to spread their propaganda.

Abdulmunim Al-Mushawah, head of the organisation, revealed that about 129,600 tweets were posted by accounts affiliated to terror groups in October 2014. As a result, at least 500 accounts believed to have been run by terrorists were deactivated.

Al-Mushawah urged for a censorship committee to be put in place in order to monitor tweets that could be written to promote insurgents’ propaganda. “The nature of the extremist can be understood by analysing his posts, identifying his social circle and understanding his internal motives and history,” he was quoted by the Saudi Gazzette as saying.

“After understanding and recognising the type of extremist the person is, we can then follow the appropriate method of dialogue knowing that it is a lengthy and complicated process at times.

“The responsibility of protecting the general public from terrorist activities does not only lie with the official directorates. It is also the responsibility of the media, mosques and educational institutes,” he continued.

“Public awareness and guidance are the campaign’s top priorities because it is important to teach people how to face one problem without creating another.”

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