Thursday, 31 July 2008
A Musical Interlude: If I Could Be With You (Ruth Etting)
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Posted on 07/31/2008 6:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 31 July 2008
Today in the "Religion of Peace?"
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On this day, July 31st, in 1997, New York City police thwarted a planned bombing of the city's subway system. Acting on a tip, police entered a Brooklyn apartment containing 5 bombs and 2 Muslim men. One of the men reached for a detonation switch, and the two men were injured in the ensuing gunfire.  Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer was later convicted of attempting to bomb a subway, while Lafi Khalil was acquitted. They were both "Palestinian" illegal immigrants, who planned to target a particular train because they believed it carried a large number of Jewish passengers. They may have had accomplices, but if so none were ever caught.

This attack was thankfully unsuccessful. Coming midway between the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the Sept. 11 attacks, it shows the unrelenting nature of the jihad. If one group is stymied in one attack, there is always another group ready to carry out another attack. Eventually one of them will get through our defenses.
 
Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":
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Posted on 07/31/2008 6:48 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Thursday, 31 July 2008
Iraqi Olympic Athletes
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In the interest of full disclosure, here is a followup to the banning of the Iraqi Olympic team. 
 
One good thing happened for Iraq this week: It won the right to send a team to the Olympics.

After last-minute negotiations in Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday reversed a decision made this spring to suspend Iraq from participation. While the move comes too late for most of the country's seven Olympic team members to enter their respective events, the fact that sprinter Dana Hussein and discus thrower Haider Nasir will bear the Iraqi flag in Beijing has boosted spirits in Baghdad.

"Sport is really important for us in Iraq right now," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told the Associated Press at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. "It brings the people together."

Iraq had disbanded its national Olympic committee over allegations of corruption – a move that led the IOC to cite political interference. But Iraqi officials in Lausanne pledged to hold elections for a new committee by November, which apparently satisfied IOC officials enough to clear the way for Iraq's participation in Beijing.

The deadline for Mr. Nasir and Ms. Hussein, whom the Monitor profiled in April, to be entered in the Games is Wednesday.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said he looked forward to seeing the Iraqi flag in Beijing, praising Iraqi officials for coming to the decision.

I know we're all rooting for our good friends and strong allies, the Iraqi Olympic athletes.
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Posted on 07/31/2008 6:42 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Thursday, 31 July 2008
"The Most Realistic Person In The World"
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"He [Olmert] is the most realistic person in the world. "
-- from the article linked below

Is he "realistic" enough to find out even the most elementary things about Islam that any Israeli leader has a duty to find out about, such as the Muslim view that no land once possessed by Muslims can ever be yielded, and that the size of what remains un-repossessed is irrelevant?  Is he, Ehud Olmert, so much the "realist" -- the "most realistic person in the world," one friend calls him, that of course he knows all about the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, as the model for all subsequent treaties made by Muslims with Infidels, so that he never for one instant had any faith in negotiations or treaties with the Arabs -- whether they are the Gazan Arabs or the other Arabs, the ones in the Arab-occupied "West Bank"? 

Surely the "most realistic person in the world" who happens to be the leader of Israel, responsible for the security of the state and its people, would -- let's be realistic -- know all about these things. Wouldn't he?  

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Posted on 07/31/2008 6:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 31 July 2008
If Quiz - the winner
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Artemis is technically the winner of the "If Quiz" because, in his words:

Not only did I give the right quote with the right spelling (kippled, of course), but for extra credit I even gave a link to the original NER blog and the wikipedia entry!

However, my quizzes are, in the spirit of Stephen Fry's QI programme, designed to elicit interesting answers rather than correct ones. "Correct" simply means what I happen to be thinking. What I happen to be thinking may be no better, as an answer, than a "wrong" one.

Other responses were every bit as interesting as the right answer. I loved Hugh's fountain pen anecdote, and Paul's muffin of the mule. Was it King Lear who said "Muffin will come of muffin"?

As for Reaction'ry and his "Ring des Nipple Lunging" and "Schnippel Schnippel Schip", he is in a class of his own and knocks knippling into a cocked hat.

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Posted on 07/31/2008 5:08 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 31 July 2008
Can Britain survive multiculturalism?
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This is a very good question, and one that needs to be answered by balanced reporting and hard facts. Neither can be found in this video, posted at Gates of Vienna, and taken completely at face value by the normally sensible Roger Kimball:


The film clip linked is marred by major inaccuracies, a smug tone and ill-concealed Schadenfreude.

 

The inaccuracies first, some of which could have been avoided by using Wikipedia:

 

  1. On Lord Phillips and Sharia law, please see my article here, which shows what he actually did say. Basically, Lord Phillips defined the limits of Sharia law which are the same as any other private form of arbitration, namely that it is strictly subordinate to English law. Thus there is no question of legalising honour killings or forced marriage. Those things are happening in Britain – and America, of course – but it doesn’t mean they are legal, or likely to become so.

 

  1. I cannot comment on the details of "ex-drug dealer and born-again Christian" Paul Ray’s case. However, I find it difficult to believe that it is purely on the content of his blog that he has been arrested. If that were the case, then many writers for Standpoint, the Spectator, and even the Times would be arrested.

 

  1. Some of those preaching violence outside the Danish Embassy were indeed arrested and charged with incitement to murder and later sent to between four and six years imprisonment. So they didn’t “get away with it” as is implied.

 

  1. Regarding Channel 4’s Undercover Mosque, which exposed violent preaching in Britain’s Mosques, nobody was “charged” (You can’t charge a news programme anyway.) An investigation was carried out by West Midlands police, and a complaint made to the regulator, Offcom. There was insufficient evidence and no charges were brought. The complaint was rejected. The programme makers sued for libel – Britain’s evil libel laws in action. West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service apologised and paid them £100,000. Of course the investigation should never have been carried out in the first place - this should have been the focus of the news clip.

 

  1. On “unIslamic activity” – this is absurd, perhaps more so even than the American government forbidding the use of the word “jihad”. But nobody has taken any notice of it as far as I can see, and it certainly doesn’t have the force of law.

 

Inaccuracies aside, the tone of the film clip, as I said, is smug and gloating. Such smugness is unwarranted in those who fail to do even the most basic research.

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Posted on 07/31/2008 4:43 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
It Was A "Moderate" Madrassa
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It seems Imran Raza made a fairly serious mistake in his film "Karachi Kids" and now the entire documentary is called into question. The children have clearly been coached as to what to say now that they are back in Atlanta.

KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- It's a documentary with an alarming message: Two American boys are held captive in a madrassa, a Pakistani religious school, once visited by Osama bin Laden and with ties to the Taliban.

The film, "Karachi Kids," describes threats to artistic freedom of expression from the teaching of conservative Islam. Early copies of the film prompted outrage after the story of the American boys appeared on Fox News, CBS and other news outlets. It also led to demands from Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, for the boys to be returned home.

But the independent filmmaker may have confused the madrassa with one with a similar name tied to Islamic extremists.

The madrassa the boys attended isn't linked to bin Laden or Muslim radicals; instead, it's one the U.S. State Department says is preferred by Pakistani-Americans for its moderate Islamic teachings and one recently visited by a top U.S. diplomat in Pakistan.

How could the filmmaker have got it so wrong? He blames the error on researchers he says he has since dismissed.

"I do need to take responsibility for these things in terms of these were errors that sort of spun out of control," filmmaker Imran Raza said. "I have to take responsibility for the mistakes. I take responsibility for the error in the allegation that Osama bin Laden was there. I take responsibility for the error that some of the Taliban leaders were there."

CNN learned about brothers, Noor and Mehboob Khan, ages 17 and 16, when Raza offered CNN the documentary this summer. The film focuses on the brothers, whose father, a Pakistani-born taxi driver in Atlanta, Georgia, sent them to Pakistan to get them in touch with their religious heritage.

In the film, Raza describes the teens as captives being force-fed radical jihad. In interviews over three years, the boys describe their longing for America and say the terrorist attacks of September 11 weren't carried out by Muslims. One of the brothers described punishment by beatings at the madrassa.

Raza started a campaign to return the boys to the United States. McCaul offered to help, even asking Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to intervene.

(...)

Back in Atlanta, Noor Khan said the whole experience gave him a better appreciation of America, his family and his faith.

"I am glad I was sent to Pakistan because it taught me to be a better person. It taught me to appreciate what I had before, and I knew when I came back I wasn't going to make the same mistake of not appreciating what I have," he said.

He added, "I was never held against my will."

Noor said the "beatings" he referred to in the film were the equivalent of when American teachers years ago used to smack students on their wrists to reinforce a lesson.

"Pakistan is, what, 50 years behind America, so they do the same thing. They take a stick and hit you softly on the hand so you learn a lesson, but that didn't bother me," he said.

Did he see radicalism there?

"Look, I am Muslim, and one of the main things they teach us to do is not to lie," he said. "I witnessed with my own eyes: no Taliban, no Taliban training, no terrorist, no extremism -- nothing at all at the madrassa. The only thing they wanted to do was teach the history of Islam. That's all."

He says the comments of his talking about September 11 in the documentary were twisted and taken out of context. He said what he meant was that the hijackers weren't "true Muslims."

"If those were Muslims, they weren't true Muslims," he said. "We Muslims, we don't kill people. We're not terrorists. ... We're not violent people. We just want to live a happy life."

He then sought to make clear: "I've never met the Taliban; no one showed me how do any terrorist training or activities. I've never witnessed that with my own eyes, and when the media comes to our madrassa, our principal tells to their face, 'All the classes, all the rooms are open to you. You are free to go wherever you want.' "

Pakistan's religious affairs ministry said the Jamia Binoria school is a moderate Islamic institution. A U.S. State Department source confirmed that, saying the school "is known to U.S. officials as a moderate institution, favored by Pakistani-Americans for its moderate and tolerant Islamic instruction."

In fact, a report by the International Crisis Group -- provided by McCaul's office and the documentary filmmaker -- says the Jamia Binoria Madrassa is often mistaken for another. "Because of its name, this madrassa is often confused with the more prominent and powerful Binori Town Madrassa," the report says.

The other madrassa is the one that intelligence sources say is the school bin Laden visited and, according to the report, is the "fountainhead of Deobandi militancy countrywide. ... It also boasts close ties to the Taliban."...

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Posted on 07/30/2008 8:46 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
ISNA and MPAC Seek to Silence Steven Emerson at Congressional Hearing
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Jeffrey Imm writes at Counterterrorism blog:

As mentioned in Andrew Cochran's July 28 posting, the Investigative Project on Terrorism's (IPT) counterterrorism leader Steven Emerson will be testifying on Thursday July 31 at a Congressional hearing on "Foreign Aid and the Fight Against Terrorism and Proliferation: Leveraging Foreign Aid to Achieve U.S. Policy Goals." This hearing will take place at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade this Thursday at 10:30 AM ET in room 2200 of the Rayburn House Building.

In the past day, however, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have been working on a public relations campaign to silence Steven Emerson at this July 31 hearing. ISNA sent out an "Urgent Action Alert" to its membership calling for them to lobby Congressman Brad Sherman to either have "balanced, qualified testimony"... [or demand that] "the session be canceled." MPAC sent a similar letter to Congressman Brad Sherman and also issued "demands" calling for its membership to lobby for silencing Steven Emerson or for Congress to "cancel or postpone" the hearing. ISNA charges Steven Emerson with "Islamaphobia" [sic] and "hate mongering," while MPAC charges Steven Emerson with "bigotry." Not surprisingly, ISNA and MPAC don't support their accusations with any facts or specifics, just ad hominem name-calling to silence and discredit those who speak out against Jihad.

As reported tonight, Congressman Sherman refused to buckle under such lobbying efforts stating that "[t]his hearing will go on. We need to make sure that the State Department is not giving U.S. tax dollars to those on the other side in the war on terrorism."
 

ISNA's and MPAC's efforts to either silence Steven Emerson or ensure that an "expert" hand-picked by such pro-Islamic supremacist groups provides "balanced" [sic] testimony should be another wake-up call that such groups seek to not only impact the debate on Jihad and Islamic supremacist terrorism, but also control that debate entirely. Yet ISNA and MPAC remain unwilling to be accountable for their own organizations' and members' actions, statements, and ideological support.

Both ISNA and MPAC have a lot to explain about their own organizations and members.

ISNA remains an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror retrial scheduled for August 18. But a few weeks before the retrial, ISNA's court-appointed attorneys now seek to delay the retrial, claiming that "they haven't been paid enough to present a good defense." Could that have anything to do with ISNA's legal defense's inability to challenge the authenticity of documents linking ISNA to the Hamas terrorist organization?

ISNA is also in the process of preparing for its annual 2008 convention scheduled to start on August 29, where it has announced that it will have such speakers as:

-- Muzammil Siddiqi - Steven Emerson reports that "when Siddiqi was President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1997, his organization received special thanks from Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who wrote that ISNA supported him through his jailing and extradition process, writing that such efforts 'consoled' him." The report points out, "Siddiqi has made numerous pro-jihad statements in the past and has denied that 9/11 was carried about by Muslims." Muzammil Siddiqui has been a member of Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), whose members have been connected to Islamic extremism and terrorism.

-- Siraj Wahhaj - a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center terrorist "blind sheik" Omar Rahman, and a man who reportedly called for replacing the American government with a caliphate.  This same Islamic supremacist Siraj Wahhaj is currently promoting ads for the New York subway system to "teach" people about Islam.

-- Abdallah Idris Ali - has been on the board of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have openly supported terrorist groups, such as Hamas

-- Ihsan Bagby: "we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country... because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country."

-- Zaid Shakir: "Every Muslim who is honest would say, I would like to see America become a Muslim country"

-- CAIR's Nihad Awad - historical supporter of Hamas terrorist group: "I am in support of the Hamas movement"

-- ISNA's Ingrid Mattson - charges that right-wing Christians "are really anti-semitic. They do not like Jews"

Yet ISNA dares to charge others with "hate mongering," while they cannot address their own organizations' statements, speakers, and activities.

ISNA is well aware of the history and criticism of such speakers, and the challenges to ISNA that these individuals represent an Islamic supremacist viewpoint. It is not a surprise to ISNA. ISNA simply does not care. They believe that they can bully public opinion to accept such Islamic supremacist ideologues, like it or not. Moreover, ISNA feels sufficiently empowered to try to silence those who would address the truth about the ISNA organization, such as Steven Emerson.

MPAC also has failed to address its leader's links to publications defending Islamic supremacist terrorist Osama Bin Laden. MPAC spokeswoman Edina Lekovic was managing editor for Al-Talib when it instructed Muslim readers to "defend our brother" Osama bin Laden, and "refer to him as a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah." Edina Leckovic was named as MPAC's point of contact on a recent article by MPAC praising efforts by the government agencies to create a terror lexicon where the use of "Jihad" would be forbidden.

MPAC has lobbied to remove Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah from U.S. terrorist group listings. For the past three years, MPAC has had a campaign to attack Steven Emerson. But MPAC is unable to respond to questions about its own organization.

The challenge by groups like ISNA and MPAC is not merely their efforts to silence Steven Emerson. Their challenge is really to any American who dares to speak the truth about Jihad, Islamism, and Islamic supremacism. Groups such as ISNA and MPAC may or may not silence any one individual. But we must make it clear to Islamic supremacists everywhere that they will never silence all of us who will defy the ideology of supremacism that is inimical to our freedoms, our values of equality and liberty, and our nation.

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Posted on 07/30/2008 8:31 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Turkish Court Opts Not To Ban AKP
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TURKEY'S highest court yesterday rejected an attempt to ban the governing AK Party on charges of trying to introduce Islamic rule, but did impose financial penalties.
 
The verdict ended months of political uncertainty, which has hit Turkey's financial markets on fears that the democratically-elected party would be shut down, halting economic and political reforms needed before it can join the European Union.

Hasim Kilic, chief justice and chairman of the Constitutional Court, said six of the 11 judges voted to close the AKP – one fewer than required. But the court did decide to cut some state aid to the party.

"The verdict on cutting treasury aid has been given because of members who decided the party was the hub of anti-secular activities, but not seriously enough (to close the party]," Mr Kilic, clearly emotional, told a news conference. "The decision was a warning, a serious warning," said Mr Kilic after three days of deliberations.

The AKP was re-elected with 47 per cent of the vote last year and denied charges of violating the secular constitution by supporting Islamist activities. It welcomed the ruling, with Faruk Celik, the labour minister, saying Turkish democracy had won.
 
No, not democracy - ISLAM. Islam won.
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Posted on 07/30/2008 8:15 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Olmert To Step Aside
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Jerusalem Post: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert intends to hand his resignation letter to President Shimon Peres the day after the September 17 Kadima primary and ask him to entrust the new party leader with forming a new government, Olmert's associates said Wednesday night.

They spoke soon after the prime minister had made a somber speech at his official residence in Jerusalem in which he announced that he would not seek to retain the leadership.

By law, Olmert will remain prime minister until a new government is formed. If the new Kadima leader forms a government soon after the primary, Olmert will then leave office. But if no new government is established, Olmert, despite having formally tendered his resignation, could remain prime minister until after a general election that would likely be held in spring 2009.

Olmert decided 10 days ago to announce his imminent departure on Wednesday - to coincide with the last day of the Knesset's winter session and the Kadima election committee's formal decision to set the September 17 date for the primary.

He kept his decision a secret. However, before his speech, Olmert called US President George W. Bush to inform him of his impending move, he briefed his lawyers, and his office alerted the four Kadima leadership candidates.

"He didn't want to humiliate himself by waiting until the last minute as some people thought he would," an Olmert associate said. "He is the most realistic person in the world. He didn't want to look like he cared only about himself by staying as long as possible. He decided he wanted to play the responsible adult." ...

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Posted on 07/30/2008 7:48 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
If Quiz - the answer
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All answers to the If Quiz have been Quite Interesting, particularly the references to muffin the mule, so I'll depart from my usual meritocratic ways and declare that All Shall Have Prizes. After all, what is winning and what is losing? We should treat these two impostors just the same.

The only correct answer to the question "Do you like Kipling? is "I don't know, I've never kip(p)led." I was hoping that someone would triumphantly come out with one or the other so that I could say: "Wrong - it's kipled/kippled." You could go for either. From Kipplipedia:

The term [Kipple] first appeared in print in May 1960, when science fiction fan Ted Pauls started publishing a fanzine named Kipple. In the final issue of Kipple, in 1984, Pauls said that the name had originally had no meaning, and that he had borrowed it from a very old play on words: 

"Do you like Kipling?"
"I don't know, I've never kippled."  

According to Pauls' account, a Kipple reader had jokingly redefined the title to mean "worthless junk that seems to multiply, as for example coat hangars [sic], paper clips, etc." As Pauls recalled, the reader in question was editor Terry Carr, after which Philip K. Dick (also a Kipple reader) picked it up and used that meaning of it.[1]

A sequence incorporating the above "kippled" joke appears in Dick's Galactic Pot-Healer (1969): 

Q. Do you like Yeats?
A. I don't know, I've never tried any.
For a time his mind was empty and then he thought this:
Q. Do you like Kipling?
A. I don't know, I've never kippled.  

Kippled is attested, at least in a fanzine,  but kipled, as Hugh, A.K.A. His Nibs (geddit?), pointed out a while ago, is strictly more correct as a past participle of a verb of which kipling is a present.

Perhaps it's an inkhorn term. I have no inkling, perhaps because I've never inkled.

And don't get me started on Wankel rotary engines, to say nothing of Darkling Thrush.

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Posted on 07/30/2008 4:01 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Terrorist bomb maker Hassan Tabbakh jailed for seven years
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From The Telegraph
A terrorist bomb maker has been sentenced to seven years in jail for manufacturing explosives in soft drinks bottles and providing instructions in Arabic on how to mix them together.
Hassan Tabbakh, 38, an unemployed science graduate from Syria, wrote notes to the terrorists he intended to use the devices telling them: "I have put everything separately for safety and quick transport.
"Don't use the bottles in which I put the liquids because my fingerprints are on them. I pray that Allah would keep you safe and grant you success in the work for the sake of Allah." Another said: "Step back at the time of execution."
Max Hill QC, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court: "This defendant was caught in the process of a practical attempt to create improvised explosive devices, or bombs in everyday language. Because he was caught in the act, neither the written instructions nor the bomb mixtures had reached their destination. Who, when or where the bombs were going to be used is not known.  The truth is that Hassan Tabbakh was stopped by the police before he had the chance to finally prepare his bombs, and before any atrocity could be attempted. That is our good fortune, and his bad luck."
The court heard Tabbakh, who was born in Damascus, Syria, and has a university qualification in mathematical and physical sciences, was building the bombs for "al-Qaeda-style jihad."
Analysis revealed the bottles, which were stored in a hallway cupboard, contained a mixture of Growmore plant food, acetone, nitrocellulose and white spirit along with handwritten notes in Arabic which seemed to be instructions on how to construct the bombs.
The notes told the user to mix the ingredients of the bottles with fertilizer and aluminium foil, transfer the mixture into tin cans and insert a detonator to make a bomb.
Tabbakh, who admitting building the devices and writing the notes, told the police he was only making fireworks, but yesterday he was unanimously found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism.
Sentencing him, Judge Frank Chapman said the materials were "third rate" but had "great potential for destruction, injury and death."

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Posted on 07/30/2008 3:10 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
A Musical Interlude: Cocktails Pour Deux (Henri Garat)
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Posted on 07/30/2008 2:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
If Quiz
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Do you like Kipling?

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Posted on 07/30/2008 12:40 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
And That Other Obvious If
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L’if, lifeless tree! Your great Maybe, Rabelais:
                                I.P.H., a lay
Institute (I) of Preparation (P)
For the Hereafter (H), or If, as we
Called it—big if!—engaged me for one term
To speak on death (“to lecture on the Worm,”
Wrote President McAber).
 
Pale Fire, Canto 3
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Posted on 07/30/2008 12:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
A Musical Interlude: In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town (Joe Green's Ambassadors; voc. Frank Luther, Dick Robertson)
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Posted on 07/30/2008 10:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Well he would, wouldn't he?
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From the BBC:

David Miliband has insisted he is not "campaigning" for the Labour leadership - despite writing about the party's future with no mention of Gordon Brown.

He said he was prompted to write his Guardian article because of the sense of "fatalism" in the party after its defeat in the Glasgow East by-election.

"Can Gordon lead us into the next election and win? Yes. I'm absolutely confident about that," he said.

He said his article was challenging David Cameron, rather than Mr Brown.

Twice more and you'll hear the cock crow.

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Posted on 07/30/2008 10:12 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
House of Lords backs Serious Fraud Office Saudi decision
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A disappointing outcome to this story. From the BBC (h/t Alan):

The House of Lords has ruled that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted lawfully when it halted its investigation into a Saudi arms deal.

The SFO dropped its inquiry into the £43bn deal with BAE Systems over fears it would threaten national security.

Ministers said that the Saudi government had threatened to withdraw cooperation on security matters.

The High Court had ruled in April that this was unlawful, but the Law Lords have reversed that decision on appeal.

The Law Lords voted 5-0 in favour of the SFO appeal.

One of them, Baroness Hale, said she would have liked to have been able to uphold the court's decision that the SFO's director acted unlawfully because it was "extremely distasteful that an independent public official should feel himself obliged to give way to threats of any sort".

Despite this, she said: "I agree that [the director's] decision was lawful."

Another, Lord Bingham, said the SFO director Robert Wardle "was confronted by an ugly and obviously unwelcome threat".

But he asserted that whether his decision was right or wrong was not at issue, rather whether it was one he was lawfully entitled to make. The House of Lords decided that it was.

Meanwhile the new director of the SFO, Richard Alderman, told The World at One on Radio 4 that the ruling would not stop it from pursuing other investigations.

"What we've got to do is to look at what's being said and look and do the balancing that the House of Lords are talking about and approach it in the light of the guidance that the House of Lords have given to us.

"I regard this as being an extreme circumstance, an extreme case.

"From my point of view, we've got a number of other cases and I'm very determined that we pursue those as vigorously as possible."

The threat by the Saudi government to "[withdraw] co-operation on security matters" is pretty empty, unless you trust the Saudis in the first place. And why should we trust them, or any other Muslim government, when Islam states that war is deception?

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Posted on 07/30/2008 8:19 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
In Memoriam: Tommy Cooper
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So, farewell then, Tommy
Cooper
Super
Right until you died on stage
Just like
That was your
Catch phrase

© E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾

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Posted on 07/30/2008 7:20 AM by Mary Jackson
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