Middle East radical Muslims did their best to roil Middle East waters and beat US president Barack Obama to the draw 24 hours before his fence-mending speech to Muslims was delivered in Cairo Thursday, June 4.
For starters, Al Qaeda executed a British hostage and called on the Egyptian people “to confront him,” while Lebanon's Shiite terrorist organization, Hizballah, safe in their coup-by-ballot, opened their bulging storehouses for a fresh airlifted intake of weapons from Iran.
Thursday, as Obama landed in Cairo, Iran's supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei extended a special welcome: “Hatred for the United States in the Middle East,” he said “is too deep to be concealed behind fine words.”
Tuesday, June 2, Hizballah was confident enough of its election victory next Sunday to invite its opponents to join a “national unity government.”
Speaking from a secret Hizballah hideout in South Beirut, deputy secretary-general Sheik Naim Qassem announced: “After June 7, there will be a new scene.”
He accused the US of last-minute attempts to influence the vote, but said they would not work. The turbaned sheik denied that a Hizballah-led government would turn multi-denominational Lebanon into an Iranian-style Islamic state – despite Hizballah's role as Tehran's surrogate and operational arm.
Obama's choice of Cairo as the venue for his speech was particularly irksome. Egypt recently uncovered Hizballah networks holed up in Cairo and Suez Canal towns with plans to destabilize the Mubarak government by subversion and terror.
Osama bin Laden chips in with more hate
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned Americans “to be prepared to receive the consequences of the Obama and Bush administrations.” In a new recorded audiotape released by Arabic Al Jazeera TV Wednesday, June 3 – at the very moment that Saudi king Abdullah was greeting President Obama on his arrival in Riyadh – bin Laden said Obama had planted the seeds for “revenge and hatred” toward the United States in the Muslim world, inflaming hatred by ordering Pakistan to crack down on fighters in the Swat Valley. His diatribe followed the strident words of his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri, who a day earlier took to Islamist Websites, to tell Egyptians to confront the “criminal” Barack Obama whose “bloody messages” to Muslims had been received… and would not be covered by “public relations campaigns or theatrical visits or polished words.”
Al Qaeda's No, 2 leader called the US president “that criminal who came seeking with deception to obtain what he failed to achieve on the ground after the mujahidin ruined the project of Crusader American in Iraq Afghanistan and Somalia.
The next day, June 3, it was discovered that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had on May 31beheaded Edwin Dyer, a Briton taken hostage in Niger near the Mali border with a Swiss citizen and two other tourists. Al Qaeda had demanded the release of the Jordanian-born Palestinian terrorist Abu Qatada, who is waiting in a British prison for extradition to Jordan where he received a jail sentence in absentia for terror. A Spanish judge has identified Abu Qatada as al Qaeda's top lieutenant in Europe.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's counter-terror sources reported that the Shiites were not standing by idly while Sunni radicals slammed the US president's appearance in the capital of Sunni Muslim learning.
Iran and Syria, which is ruled by the minority Allawite sect close to the Shiah, were been busy digging a hole for US interests. They were helped by the terrorist organizations of both sects under their thumb – the Shiite Hizballah and the Sunni Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami.
Hizballah celebrates Lebanon coup ahead of election win
The biggest shocker they have in store is their takeover of Lebanon by ostensibly democratic means. Confident their puppets will sweep the June 7 election, Tehran and Damascus are building up this feat to eclipse the historic and political impact of the US president's message of peace to Muslims from Cairo, according to the analyses and reports US ambassador in Beirut Michelle Sison forwarded to the White House.
The Sison report plus briefings from other Western agencies as well as Israel yielded six salient revelations, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence and military sources disclose:
1. Lebanon's radical March 8 bloc of Hizballah and the pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian Christian leader Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement is celebrating a landslide victory before Lebanese citizens even cast their votes on June 7. They are counting on 60-70 seats in the 128-strong Lebanese parliament, resoundingly defeating the incumbent majority March 14 alliance, led by Saad Hariri and prime minister Fouad Siniora, which enjoys US-Saudi-Egyptian backing.
The radicals have guaranteed their success with massive bribes to key voting blocks.
One, armed with a massive infusion of Iranian and Syrian cash, Aoun persuaded many voters in traditional pro-Western Christian bastions like Jbeil, Zahla and the Mattan mountains to flip over.
Two, liberal amounts of Saudi cash handed out by the Lebanese prime minister Siniora failed to drum up a broad voter base in the big southern port-town of Sidon. This upset will not only cost him the premiership but possibly his seat in Parliament as well.
Three, Large wads of Syrian money turned Beirut's Armenian constituency around at the last minute. By changing their voting pattern, 150,000 Christian Armenians are capable of delivering the Lebanese capital to the Hizballah.
Hassan Nasrallah to be anointed strongman, disempowering president
2. Having counted their chickens, Tehran, Damascus and the Hizballah are well into forward planning on Lebanon's post-election governance.
Hassan Nasrallah, Hizballah's chief, is tapped as the country's strongman, though not prime minister, an office assigned to one of two men: the current Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, head of the Shiite Amal movement, Nabih Beri, who will do as Tehran tells him, or Najib Miqtai, a very good friend of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – in which case Beri will be placed second in Lebanon's ruling hierarchy.
3. A Hizballah-led landslide will disempower Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, on whom Washington has been banking for the last six months to stop Hizballah's rise. For a say in Lebanese politics, Suleiman needs a tie between the two opposing blocs. He would then hold the balance between them. But this possibility is looking increasingly remote
4. As Lebanon's kingpin, Nasrallah's job will be to overhaul Lebanon's armed strength by merging the national army with his Hizballah militia (some 20,000 strong), elevating the latter to an elite combat corps and relegating the regular army to logistic support. This would recast Hizballah's militia in the same mould as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon's top fighting force, with the regular army downgraded to support functions.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that this reform would make history: It would be the first time an internationally-listed terrorist organization had devoured and superseded a national army without relinquishing its radical violent functions.
The force will be freshly-armed from Iran's arsenal.
Civilian Iranian aircraft have been renovated to carry a range of powerful new weapons through the front door to Beirut International (no more smuggling through Syria) for the revamped Lebanese military. They include anti-aircraft, ground-to-ground and anti-tank missiles, tanks and heavy artillery, all manufactured in Iran.
Tehran and Damascus confident of cutting US influence out of Lebanon
Tehran is confident that Israel will be too shocked and amazed by Hizballah's election coup to strike swiftly enough to halt their delivery – either by shooting down the Iranian transports or bombing Beirut airport's landing strips.
5. To boost Hizballah's ability to frustrate an Israeli attack, our sources report that Syria is about to send SA-8 anti-aircraft missile batteries across the border into Lebanon and deliver them to Hizballah as soon as Sunday or Monday (June 6-7). These batteries have been standing by in bases on the Syrian-Lebanese border for over six months while hundreds of Hizballah operatives were trained in their use and made ready to fire them against the Israeli Air force without delay.
6. Nasrallah has also been directed to get rid of the 16,000-strong UNIFIL peacekeeping force policing southern Lebanon under the ceasefire accord which ended Hizballah's 2006 war with Israel.
Not content with their plans for capturing and radicalizing Lebanon, the leaders of the radical bloc in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut are moving on. They believe they have succeeded in totally excluding American influence from all its political and military vantage points in Lebanon. Now they are determined to demolish pro-American forces in other parts of the Middle East.
They have begun moving in on the three Palestinian special forces battalions supporting Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority under the command of the US Gen. Keith Dayton, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources reveal.
A second terrorist group is ready to hand in Damascus for this task.
More about this in the next article.