In UK, Integration Is Best Weapon in Terror Fight

Europeans face the specter of a growing terrorist threat in their midst. On the two-year anniversary of the London train bombings, Great Britain can no longer ignore its disaffected Muslim communities. The United Kingdom has faced more attacks than any other EU country or the United States. Since September 11, 2001, Islamic extremists have carried out at least four major terrorist attacks on British soil. In the US, by contrast, only one successful attack motivated by Islamic jihad was carried out in late 2001, when letters tainted with a lethal strain of the anthrax virus killed five people.

Switzerland: Fear of Militant Islamic Threat in Switzerland

The central position of the Swiss government suggests Islamic militants are using the country as bases to launch extremist publicity and solidify support abroad. The 2006 report on internal security asserts that Switzerland shelters violent extremists and that it is not excluded that of the preparations of attempts took place on his territory. John luc Vez claims that suggests there is an increasing threat from the extreme left and from hooliganism. There has been a 62% increase in disturbances since the first attack, and it is suspected that between 1500 to 2000 supporters in Switzerland are inclined to the violence. Financial exchanges through the internet have increased.

Switzerland: Ministers attack minarets campaign

Three members of Switzerland’s seven-strong cabinet have publicly condemned a campaign by rightwingers to ban the construction of minarets On Monday Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who also holds the rotating Swiss presidency, told journalists in Geneva that such an initiative “could put Swiss interests and Swiss citizens in danger”. Her comments came a day after Defence Minister Samuel Schmid said the campaign was going down the “wrong road”. Then on Wednesday it was the turn of Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin to come out against the proposal, saying that a confrontation between people of different faiths had to be avoided. Their public statements against a public initiative at such an early stage is an unusual move. Their caution is attributed to anticipation of backlash in light of the Denmark cartoon controversy and the popularity of the minaret issue in the upcoming election. Though Schmid belongs to the same rightwing Swiss People’s Party as some who back the initiative, it’s believed that he feels the initiative has gone too far.

Feds Say N.J. Terror Attack Was at Hand

Federal authorities say they arrested six Muslim men suspected of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix because they feared the group was on the verge of carrying out the attack. “I think they were in the last stage of planning,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said Wednesday. “They had training, they had maps, and I think they were very close to moving on this. “Our view was they had pretty much gotten to concluding the planning phase of this and were looking to obtain heavy weaponry _ and if not from us, they were going to try to obtain it elsewhere.” Though it was not clear when the alleged attack was to take place, members of the group were arrested Monday night as they tried to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said. The men _ four born in the former Yugoslavia, one from Jordan and one from Turkey _ lived in Philadelphia and its suburbs with their immediate and extended families. Three were roofers, one drove a cab, and the two others worked at food stores. One of the six used his pizza delivery job to gain access to the Army base and scout it out, exposing what may be a security vulnerability, a congressman said Wednesday. Serdar Tatar was on the fort’s approved list of delivery people and given access to the base as part of his job with a nearby pizzeria run by his father, according to a Fort Dix spokeswoman. Tatar’s father, Muslim Tatar, 54, denied that his son had made deliveries to Fort Dix. However, Christie said the younger Tatar spoke of delivering pizzas on tapes made by informants. Another susect, Agron Abdullahu, was familiar with the base because it was the first place he landed when arriving in the United States as a refugee from Kosovo, according to a law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The United States allowed thousands of refugees into the United States after it intervened in the 1998-99 Kosovo war. Abdullahu arrived at Fort Dix as a teenager in 1999 as part of a group of about 4,400 refugees from Kosovo, officials said. The six _ Tatar, 23; Abdullahu, 24; Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 22; Dritan “Anthony” or “Tony” Duka, 28; Shain Duka, 26; and Eljvir “Elvis” Duka, 23 _ appeared in federal court Tuesday in Camden and were ordered held without bail for a hearing Friday. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in the country permanently; and one is a U.S. citizen. The investigation began more than a year ago after a New Jersey store clerk was asked to transfer a videotape onto a DVD. The tape showed 10 men shooting weapons at a firing range and calling for jihad, prosecutors said. The 10 included the six men under arrest, authorities said. Christie would not comment on the identities of the four other men in the video or say whether they were considered suspects. But he said the investigation was still going on. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, whose district includes Fort Dix, said he has long been concerned about who has access to the sprawling 31,000-acre Army installation located in the Pinelands region of New Jersey, about 20 miles east of Philadelphia. “This whole affair just underscores the vulnerability,” Smith said. “You don’t know who’s on your base. What the pizza delivery man tells me is that when you have access, when you have frequent access, you get the lay of the land, so that if you do a terror attack it will cause that much more damage and loss of life.” The fort considers its policy for screening delivery people adequate for now, but said it could be reviewed in the future, base spokeswoman Carolee Nesbit said. Before they are cleared to make deliveries at Fort Dix, drivers must register in advance, undergo a criminal background check, and obtain an access pass that has to be reviewed every 30 days. Drivers who arrive at the military installation’s gate are greeted by armed guards, who check their identification and issue a pass. The delivery people are not followed or monitored once they clear security, Nesbit said. “There are 16,000 people that come through the gates every day,” she said. “It’s practically impossible to follow everyone.” Nisbet said security is present wherever military personnel are gathered at the fort, even if it is not visible from the road. In addition to the weapons each individual soldier may carry, she said, “There is security on these ranges.”

Terror Arrests in New Jersey; 6 Men Arrested In a Terror Plot Against Ft. Dix

Six Muslim men from New Jersey and Philadelphia are charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix with automatic weapons and possible rocket-propelled grenades; taped conversations show plan was to kill as many soldiers as possible; arrests follow 15-month investigation during which Federal Bureau of Investigation and two informers taped group training with automatic weapons, conducting surveillance of military bases in Northeast, watching videos of Osama bin Laden and and trying to buy AK-47 assault rifles; authorities describe suspects as Islamic extremists and say they represent newest breed of threat: loosely organized domestic militants unconnected to–but inspired by–Al Qaeda or other international terror groups; complaint describes effort that was alternately ambitious and clumsy, with men eager to sacrifice their lives in name of Allah; suspects include ethnic Albanian brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, whose immigration path is not known, but who may have fled after US-led NATO air attacks against Yugoslav forces in Kosovo; coordinator of plot is Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, Jordanian-born US citizen; other suspects include Agron Abdullahu, born in former Yugoslavia, and Serdar Tatar, legal resident of US born in Turkey; it is unclear when attack was to take place, because in taped conversation suspects say there were waiting for fatwa.

A Neglected Report from Europol: The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers

Some things interest the media, others don’t. Since the fall of the USSR, the United States has sought another menace to designate as the ultimate evil, a world threat the Americans desperately need to take on. The 9/11 attacks gave them that enemy. And when the White House speaks, the media listens obediently. Over the last number of years the “Islamic threat” has become one of the favourite issues for media coverage. It’s all over the news–Muslims leaders pronouncing threats against the countries participating in occupying Muslim land. While America is the Western country most succumbed to the fear of Islamism, things aren’t much better in Europe. Its media is highly Americanised and thus eager to reiterate U.S. governmental positions towards the non-Western world. Islamic terrorism is subsequently a theme close to the hearts of European journalists as well. Following this, you might think the journalists would be beside themselves with joy when the European Police Office (Europol) releases its first report on terrorism in the EU. I can assure you they weren’t. In fact, to my best knowledge, not a single Swedish paper or news-channel has paid any attention to it whatsoever. I haven’t seen it receiving much attention in other EU countries either (kudos to the EUobserver for having the decency to report on it). The report is namely a grave disappointment for the anti-Islamic campaigners. There were 498 incidents in eleven EU countries last year labelled as “terrorist attacks.” The Basque separatist group ETA did best (136 terrorist attacks) and was responsible for the only deadly attack, killing two in Madrid. The remaining 497 fortunately cost no human lives. How about the Islamic terrorists then? Considering the perpetual warnings in our daily papers, the findings in the Europol report is, to say the least, surprising. The truth is that Islamists only carried out one out of the 498 terrorist attacks in the European Union in 2006. Don’t believe me? The entire report is available on Europol’s website. Had Islamic fundamentalists been behind a higher number of attacks-say 136-it would have been front page news at every big daily. One attack is simply too few–it won’t do if the image of an “Islamic threat” is to live on. The Europol report devotes several pages to Islamist terrorism, despite the low number. Except for the one attack in Germany this group was responsible for (which, by the way, failed and resulted in no victims), also Denmark and the United Kingdom reported that Islamists plotted to carry out one attack in each country respectively (incidentally, all three countries are accessory to the illegal occupation of Iraq). However, since these plans in both cases were exposed before they were set to work, they were not included among the 498. Either way, even after taking these plots into account, the report proves the genuine magnitude of Islamic terrorism in Europe–it’s not exactly a huge threat. If we look at the people arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences, the figures are rather disproportionate; about half of them arrested were Muslim. In plain English: Muslims are a group causing very little terrorism in Europe, while at the same time much more likely to be arrested on suspicion of it. The constant media coverage of Muslims being arrested creates the false image of a serious threat in order to benefit the imperialist world-view Washington wants us to adopt. Meanwhile the Americans and their accomplices are carrying out genocide in Iraq. Clearly, something needs to be done about the media. KRISTOFFER LARSSON

The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers

http://counterpunch.org/larsson04212007.html Weekend Edition April 21 / 22, 2007 A Neglected Report from Europol The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers By KRISTOFFER LARSSON Some things interest the media, others don’t. Since the fall of the USSR, the United States has sought another menace to designate as the ultimate evil, a world threat the Americans desperately need to take on. The 9/11 attacks gave them that enemy. And when the White House speaks, the media listens obediently. Over the last number of years the “Islamic threat” has become one of the favourite issues for media coverage. It’s all over the news–Muslims leaders pronouncing threats against the countries participating in occupying Muslim land. While America is the Western country most succumbed to the fear of Islamism, things aren’t much better in Europe. Its media is highly Americanised and thus eager to reiterate U.S. governmental positions towards the non-Western world. Islamic terrorism is subsequently a theme close to the hearts of European journalists as well. Following this, you might think the journalists would be beside themselves with joy when the European Police Office (Europol) releases its first report on terrorism in the EU. I can assure you they weren’t. In fact, to my best knowledge, not a single Swedish paper or news-channel has paid any attention to it whatsoever. I haven’t seen it receiving much attention in other EU countries either (kudos to the EUobserver for having the decency to report on it). The report is namely a grave disappointment for the anti-Islamic campaigners. There were 498 incidents in eleven EU countries last year labelled as “terrorist attacks.” The Basque separatist group ETA did best (136 terrorist attacks) and was responsible for the only deadly attack, killing two in Madrid. The remaining 497 fortunately cost no human lives. How about the Islamic terrorists then? Considering the perpetual warnings in our daily papers, the findings in the Europol report is, to say the least, surprising. The truth is that Islamists only carried out one out of the 498 terrorist attacks in the European Union in 2006. Don’t believe me? The entire report is available on Europol’s website. Had Islamic fundamentalists been behind a higher number of attacks-say 136-it would have been front page news at every big daily. One attack is simply too few–it won’t do if the image of an “Islamic threat” is to live on. The Europol report devotes several pages to Islamist terrorism, despite the low number. Except for the one attack in Germany this group was responsible for (which, by the way, failed and resulted in no victims), also Denmark and the United Kingdom reported that Islamists plotted to carry out one attack in each country respectively (incidentally, all three countries are accessory to the illegal occupation of Iraq). However, since these plans in both cases were exposed before they were set to work, they were not included among the 498. Either way, even after taking these plots into account, the report proves the genuine magnitude of Islamic terrorism in Europe–it’s not exactly a huge threat. If we look at the people arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences, the figures are rather disproportionate; about half of them arrested were Muslim. In plain English: Muslims are a group causing very little terrorism in Europe, while at the same time much more likely to be arrested on suspicion of it. The constant media coverage of Muslims being arrested creates the false image of a serious threat in order to benefit the imperialist world-view Washington wants us to adopt. Meanwhile the Americans and their accomplices are carrying out genocide in Iraq. Clearly, something needs to be done about the media. Kristoffer Larsson lives in Sweden. He can be reached at: kristoffer.larsson@sobernet.nu Anna Bigelow

UOIF, Ignored by presidential candidates, hardens its position

In an unprecedented event, this year’s meeting of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France was ignored by the five primary French Presidential candidates. The meeting is strategically scheduled the week before elections. Attendance is seen as a liability for the candidates; the UOIF is seen by many non-Muslim French as responsible for discomforting protest and antagonism. The absence in particular of UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, is seen as the final assault in an unravelling relationship between him and French Muslims. Initially admired for his leadership in 2003 as Minister of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, French Muslims’ esteem for Sarkozy has declined since he abandoned the post and spoke in support of cartoon publication. A rare statement by UDF candidate Francois Bayrou, that it is “legitimate to give a place to a new family – Islam – when she arrives in the village,” deviated from the laicist left’s general antipathy or disinterest in religion. Muslims in France, the UOIF claims, are under incessant attack and in a state of anxiety. The UOIF’s consistent protests against the association of Islam with terrorism have been largely unproductive. The failure of politicians to respond to this situation will only lead to more protest and unrest. Layoffs and laws against the hijab in schools only worsen the situation for French Muslims, who have seen little progress in the movement to integrate Muslim immigrants into French society.

Saudis protest Dutch politician’s anti-Islam remarks

The Saudi ambassador to the Netherlands, Waleed al-Khareejy, has demanded that a Dutch anti-immigration politician apologise and retract his recent attack on Islam and the Koran. The demand, made informally, was immediately rejected by Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

Tories Set Sights on Separatist British Muslims

The Conservatives will today accuse Islamic groups including the high-profile, mainstream Muslim Council of Britain of promoting separation and ignoring the wishes of the people they represent. A report by the party’s policy group on national and international security will tear into the MCB as part of a generalised attack on the concept of multiculturalism, which it says has divided people rather than simply respecting their differences. The report will underline comments made by the party’s leader, David Cameron, who warned yesterday that separatist Muslims who promote sharia law and demand special treatment for their faith are the “mirror image” of the British National party.