“The Arab Street”
Bahrain riot police clash with protesters
CAIRO (AP) â€” A pan-Arab body called Sunday for the immediate withdrawal of the Arab League monitors in Syria because President Bashar Assad’s regime has kept up killings of government opponents even in the presence of the observers. (eye on the world)
Arab League monitor warns government to remove snipers or face consequences as opposition groups unite against Assad. Â (Al Jizz has cover)
Middle East human rights chief tells Al Jazeera that UN’s estimate that 5,000 people have died in Syria is credible.
The chinless optalmologist seems to be more ‘moderate’ than his father, Hafez al Assad:
In February 1982, Assad ordered theÂ Syrian armyÂ to bombard the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood. In what became known as theÂ Hama massacre, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people were killed, including about 1,000 soldiers an thousands of Islamist militants, members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Some Syrian activists claim that the UN figure is an underestimation and more than 8,000 people were killed [Reuters]
Shia leader Hassan Nasrallah’s recent outspoken support of Assad is rooted in Syrian material and political support.
Egypt Court: Â Burqa Equals Freedom!
- Burqa equals freedom:Â Â court said the headscarf is a symbol of decency, and banning women from wearing it violates her personal freedom.
The jihad goes up in smoke, as Nasrallah gets richer and richer. The Taliban has long financed its activities through drugs as well. More onÂ this story. “Report: Hizbullah Laundered Drug Money in US Banks,” by Chana Ya’ar inÂ Israel National News, December 29 (thanks toÂ Pamela Geller)
Pekunia non olet:
“A fool and his money are soon partying” – Steven Wright
American intelligence officials estimate fortune of Shiite organization’s leader, senior members totals some $2 billion, which are scattered in hundreds of bank accounts across the world
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is worth some $250 million, a Saudi newspaper reported recently, quoting American intelligence officials.
According to the report, the fortune of Nasrallah’s deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem, and other senior organization members amounts to as much as $2 billion.
The anonymous intelligence sources believe the funds have been deposited in hundreds of bank accounts across the world, including in Europe, using fabricated or fake names.
Two Western sources are quoted as saying that the Hezbollah leaders from time to time channel millions of dollars from their bank accounts or their wives’ bank accounts to senior members of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, who are responsible for transferring money to the Shiite organization from the office of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
According to the report, Iranian parliament members are aware of this corruption, are unhappy with it but are avoiding discussing it.
A British security source who worked at the embassies in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in the 1990s is quoted as saying thatÂ the West has figured out Hezbollah’s money laundering method.
According to the source, the Shiite organization’s common method is setting up straw companies in Arab or African countries, which sell cars or large amounts of goods.
See also: the recent identification of a ring of over 30Â U.S.Â auto businesses implicated infunneling almost half a billion dollars to Hizballah.
The organizations also operate small cells of six to 10 people who specialize in stealing cellular phones, personal computers or credit cards, and open fake bank accounts using the victims’ details.
According to the report, the Hezbollah members also specialize in stealing passports, which are used by the organization operatives to travel around the world for commerce purposes, among others.
By setting up companies, mainly in Eastern European countries and in Soviet republics in central Asia, Hezbollah provides all the financial needs of the organization members in Lebanon.
According to a recent report among many on the organization’s financial situation,senior Iranian officials are furious over an internal report pointing to corruption among Hezbollah’s highest ranks.
Another report says the Iranians were “amazed” to learn of the flamboyant life led by the organization members, mainly during their visits abroad.