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March 21, 2012 1

Toulouse Jewish Day School Shooter Linked to Banned Forsane Alizza

Update: French author­i­ties have con­firmed the death of Mohammed Merah after a 30-hour stand­off at his home. A for­mer spokesman for For­sane Alizza denied that Merah was ever a mem­ber.
 
French media is report­ing that Mohammed Merah, the sus­pect behind Monday’s deadly shoot­ing at a Jew­ish day school in Toulouse, France, has links to For­sane Alizza, a rad­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion that was banned by the French gov­ern­ment in Jan­u­ary 2012 for sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism and prepar­ing its mem­bers for “armed struggle.” 
 
Dur­ing a stand­off today between Merah and French author­i­ties, Merah report­edly said he is a mem­ber of Al Qaeda and that he car­ried out the attacks as revenge for Pales­tin­ian chil­dren and as a reac­tion to French mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion over­seas. Merah, a French cit­i­zen of Alger­ian decent, has also been linked to two ear­lier attacks on French military.
 
For­sane Alizza (Ara­bic for “Knights of Honor”), which advo­cates a Salafist ide­ol­ogy that rejects democ­racy, sought to recruit mem­bers with mar­tial arts train­ing. “We are look­ing for all kinds of skills but sol­diers above all,” read a state­ment on the group’s web­site. “So if you enjoy mar­tial arts and are quick to respond when we call on you, then you are a good fit, inshal­lah [God will­ing].” The web­site, which fea­tured videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, also expressed the group’s sup­port for “mujhaideen wher­ever they are in the world.”
 
The group, which advo­cates for BDS on its web­site, orga­nized sev­eral protests against Israel in France. In Sep­tem­ber 2011, its mem­bers dis­rupted the El Al counter at Roissy air­port in Paris, shout­ing “Death to Israel!” and “Death to Jews!” In June 2010, they protested at a McDonald’s, telling cus­tomers that McDonald’s sup­ports Israel. Two mem­bers of the group were con­victed by a French court on charges of “incit­ing racial hatred” and shout­ing anti-Semitic remarks at the restau­rant. That same month, the group par­tic­i­pated in a pro-flotilla rally in Paris.
 
For­sane Alizza seems to be cur­rently oper­at­ing with “Force de Défense Musul­mane sur Inter­net.” Its stated goal is to remove online mate­ri­als that they con­sider to be offen­sive to Mus­lims and Islam and to pro­vide resources to those who are engaged in the same activ­ity. Its activ­ity is sim­i­lar to that of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim, a fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion that was based in New York and that attracted a rad­i­cal fol­low­ing online.
 
French author­i­ties indi­cated that Merah has been under sur­veil­lance for at least sev­eral years due to his rad­i­cal beliefs. There have also been reports that he trav­eled to Afghanistan and Pak­istan for mil­i­tant train­ing, but French author­i­ties say that they have no evi­dence that he had been in con­tact with ter­ror­ist groups.

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March 7, 2012 1

Dubai Police to Issue Arrest Warrant for Radical Qatar-based Cleric

The chief of police in Dubai announced plans to issue an arrest war­rant for the rad­i­cal Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. The deci­sion comes in response to Qaradawi’s recent crit­i­cisms of the rulers of the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).
In his March 4th tele­vi­sion pro­gram, “Shariah and Life,” Qaradawi said that UAE lead­ers shouldn’t treat their cit­i­zens like “slaves” and described the lead­er­ship as “…not Gods. They are humans with money.” He also crit­i­cized the UAE’s posi­tion on the upris­ing in Syria and accused the author­i­ties of deport­ing Syr­i­ans who oppose the regime of Pres­i­dent Bashar Al Assad.
Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, is banned from vis­it­ing the UAE but that didn’t seem to deter him. He specif­i­cally said: “If I can’t go to Emi­rates, then I can talk to them from this platform.”
The UAE is a Gulf state and a mem­ber of the Gulf Coop­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) which also includes Qatar. Qaradawi’s state­ments seemed to vio­late what polit­i­cal observers describe as a “Sheiks’ agree­ment” not to crit­i­cize GCC mem­ber states.

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February 16, 2012 0

Global March to Jerusalem” Meets With Militant Islamic Group in Lebanon

GMJ Meet­ing at Ain Al-Hilwa
The Lebanon Com­mit­tee of the Global March to Jerusalem held a meet­ing last week at Ain Al-Hilwa Pales­tin­ian refugee camp in Lebanon with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous Pales­tin­ian fac­tions, includ­ing mem­bers of mil­i­tant group Anssarul­lah, accord­ing to the Pales­tin­ian Refugees in Lebanon website.
Anssarul­lah, report­edly a “reli­gious rad­i­cal group” with a few hun­dred fight­ers in its mem­ber­ship, has been described by some observers as a Pales­tin­ian fac­tion loyal to Hezbol­lah inside Ain Al-Hilwa. Its first reported attack took place in 2003 when two of its mem­bers, Has­san Suleiman and Ayman Zaidan, were report­edly killed in a sui­cide raid on an Amer­i­can con­voy in Iraq.
The Global March to Jerusalem cam­paign seeks to coor­di­nate efforts by inter­na­tional activists to cross Israel’s bor­ders on March 30, 2012, and enter Jerusalem to “demand [its] free­dom.” The campaign’s North Amer­i­can chap­ter, which is accept­ing tax-exempt dona­tions through the California-based Free Pales­tine Move­ment, stated on its web­site that their “legal advis­ers in US have deter­mined that it is bet­ter for them to oper­ate sep­a­rately from the main coalition.”
The Ain Al-Hilwa meet­ing was also attended by lead­ers rep­re­sent­ing the Pales­tin­ian Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion (PLO), Islamic Brigades and the Pales­tin­ian Alliance. Dur­ing the meet­ing, Isam Hal­abi, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Gath­er­ing of Pales­tin­ian Mar­tyrs, said “it is impor­tant to hold activ­i­ties in sup­port of our peo­ple inside the home­land who are fac­ing an exter­mi­na­tion war.”

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