Shayka Ayman Al Zawahiri
Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri: “It is absolutely out of the question that the US will defeat the spirit of Jihad in the Islamic nation – the same spirit that defeated the US in the battlefield, as well as in the war of ideas. In the battlefield, the US was defeated and withdrew from Iraq, under the pressure of the strikes of the mujahideen … These are the mujahideen upon whom Allah has bestowed the honor of shattering America’s plan to take over the Middle East… In Afghanistan, the US has begun its withdrawal, leaving its collaborators to the fate of their predecessors in Vietnam and Iran. In the Arab countries, the US-proxy regimes have fallen one after the other, and the US is out of breath, trying to contain the volcano of Arab rage. It is encouraging that these regimes have begun to collapse prior to the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, whereas the Soviet-backed regimes of the Warsaw Pact started to collapse only after the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan. This indicates that the US is in a state of extreme weakness, which may even exceed that of the USSR in its final days. Hence, the change to come will be even greater …
The strength of Al-Qaeda does not lie in its numbers or in its equipment, which cannot be compared to those of the Western empire of evil. The strength of Al-Qaeda lies in its message to the Islamic nation and to the oppressed in this world. The message is: Rise against the global order of injustice, against international arrogance, and against worldwide theft. Rise against the polytheist [Christian] regime, which worships materialism, power, interests, and pleasure. Rise against the international Satanic legitimacy, which supports the oppressor rather than the oppressed, the slayer rather than the slain, and the thief rather than his victim.” Full Report.
Related: Blast hits Egypt pipeline carrying gas to Israel
Egypt’s energy companies have terminated a long-term deal to supply Israel with gas after the cross-border pipeline sustained months of sabotage since a revolt last year, a stakeholder in the deal said on Sunday. Full Report →
Associated Foreign Press…
White House officials held talks with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington this week, as the Islamist group threw itself into the fray in Egypt’s presidential election.
The meeting on Tuesday with low-level National Security Council staff was part of a series of US efforts to broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties following Egypt’s revolution last year, a US official said.
Khairat el-Shater of the Muslim Brotherhood waves as he arrives to al-Galaa court in Cairo on Dec. 10, 2007. El-Shater is a leader in the Brotherhood’s Guidance Council, its main decision-making body. Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian military judges dropped convictions against Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat el-Shater, clearing the nominee of the nation’s dominant political party to run in the election, the group’s lawyer said.
“We have taken administrative, legal and judicial measures before the military judiciary and based on this, all convictions have been dropped,” Abdel Monem Abdel Maqsoud said in a phone interview in Cairo yesterday. “All legal obstacles have been removed, and el-Shater now has the right to fully exercise all his political rights,” he said.
Tahrir Square, Egypt 2011
New York Times…
CAIRO — The Islamist party that leads the new Egyptian Parliament is threatening to review the 1979 peace treaty with Israel if the United States cuts off aid to the country over a crackdown on American-backed nonprofit groups here.
The pact is considered a linchpin of regional stability, and the statements, from at least two senior leaders of the party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, represent the first time that Egyptians have explicitly raised it during an escalating standoff over the crackdown.
During a trip through Colorado in December of last year, President Obama spoke of his intention to implement his economic policies with or without the approval of Congress. Said Obama, “And where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves.” It now appears that such a mindset applies not only to economic matters but to the distribution of foreign aid as well–in particular, foreign military aid for the Muslim Brotherhood, who now hold the reigns in Egypt.
Newly elected speaker of the Egyptian parliament Mohamed Saad al-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood speaks during the first session of the newly-elected assembly in Cairo January 23, 2012 (Reuters / Khaled Elfiqi / Pool)
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, an influential group holding half of the seats in the new parliament, may field a candidate for the May presidential election. The move would break an earlier promise not to seek presidential power.
The movement said it would not contend for Egypt’s highest office as part of power-sharing agreements among the country’s leading powers. It was meant to alleviate fears among domestic liberals and the military, as well as Western allies, that the country would fall too much under Islamist control.
Egyptian Christians clash with soldiers and riot police during a protest against an attack on a church in southern Egypt, in Cairo October 9, 2011. Photo by: Reuters
Egypt’s army rulers imposed a curfew on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and downtown area, state media announced on Sunday, after at least 23 people were reported killed in clashes between Christians and military police in the centre of the capital.
From The Financial Times…
The authorities in Egypt have widened emergency laws and clamped down on the press, raising fears of a curtailment of the liberties gained after the popular uprising which toppled Hosni Mubarak, the former president, earlier this year.
Egyptian security forces surrounded a youth accused of taking part in an attempt to storm the Israeli embassy.
From New York Times…
JERUSALEM — With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor.