Excerpts: Saudi mass wedding.Terrorism in Saudi Smuggling to Hamas
continues.Muslim boycott of Denmark. Danish cartoons:”Jordan is doing
fine”.Jordan’s Tel Aviv embassy launches trilingual website 26 June 2008

+++SAUDI GAZETTE 26 June ’08:”Mass wedding “,Agence France Presse
QUOTE: Over 800 couples in Saudi Arabia’s first mass wedding  organized and
paid for by the government …to help young couples who otherwise would not
be able to afford it.”

FULL TEXT:
Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Emir of Riyadh Region, stands with Saudi
grooms during a mass wedding at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh on
Tuesday. Over 800 couples were married in Saudi Arabia’s first mass wedding
organized and paid for by the government under the auspices of Prince Salman
to help young couples who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The
newly weds were also presented with gifts by the government including a
two-day honeymoon, gold for the bride and household appliances like fridges
and cookers. – AFP

+++ARAB NEWS (Saudi) 26 June ’08:”Terrorist groups destabilizing Saudi
Arabia
“Samir Al-Saadi
QUOTE:” ‘Security forces will not allow
anybody to interfere with the Kingdom’s security’ ”
EXCERPTS:
RIYADH/JEDDAH: During the last six months, Saudi security forces have
arrested 701 militants for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist attacks
on oil facilities and other vital installations across the Kingdom, the
Interior Ministry announced yesterday.
Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the ministry…  said the
militants – Saudis and foreigners – were trying to regroup and strengthen
the Al-Qaeda terror network in Saudi Arabia.
.  .  .He added: “Of the total 701 arrested, 520 are still in detention
while the remaining 181 have been released as there was no evidence to prove
their connection with terrorist groups.”
The large-scale security sweep has been carried out over the past few months
in various parts of the Kingdom and police have confiscated weapons,
ammunition, sophisticated electronic equipment and money from the militants.
.  .  .Al-Turki said many of the arrested militants, who have been
publicizing and promoting Al-Qaeda ideology, had links with foreign
organizations. “These militants have also been recruiting innocent Saudis
and foreigners into terror cells operating in the region,” he added. “These
terrorists were using Haj as a means of bringing more foreign Al-Qaeda
cadres into the Kingdom.” When asked why the announcement was made, Al-Turki
answered that it was in the context of normal ministry security briefings.
He said the militants wanted to destabilize the Kingdom.
The militants were trying every conceivable means to collect money for
terrorist operations inside and outside the Kingdom, he said, adding: “They
used Saudis’ religious sentiments to influence them and recruit them as
suicide bombers.”
Al-Turki said Al-Qaeda leaders abroad were recruiting Asian and African
militants to carry out operations inside the Kingdom, adding that they were
targeting mainly economic installations.
Explaining the mode of collecting funds for terrorism by militants, he said
they stole money meant for charitable activities by using donation boxes
that appeared to be affiliated to a charity but in fact were not.
One of those arrested was carrying a recorded message of Al-Qaeda’s
second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahri on the memory card of a cell phone. “The
bearer of this message is one of our trusted brothers; therefore, please
give him your donations to help hundreds of families of captives and martyrs
in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the message said.
Al-Turki said the arrested militants included members of a cell in Yanbu
that was promoting their takfiri (branding opponents as infidels) ideology
and collecting funds for terrorist activities. They had forged coupons for
sacrificial animals that are sold to pilgrims.
About the arrest of another group of militants recently, he said: “There was
a 22-member cell which formed a special team to assassinate Islamic scholars
and security officers.” The assassination move came after imams and khateebs
across the country joined the fight against terrorism and extremism.
Police arrested 112 suspects for coordinating with foreign parties to
facilitate the travel of militants to disturbed regions, Al-Turki said, in a
reference to those that convince Saudis to travel to Iraq in order to fight
alongside insurgents.
Al-Turki said the arrested financiers included Saudis as well as
expatriates, adding that they had provided financial support to Al-Qaeda
militants in the Kingdom and abroad.
Speaking about the media cell in Madinah that promoted deviant ideologies
and thoughts, he said the cell had provided every encouragement to commit
crimes. The media cell published a news bulletin called Echo of Iraq and
facilitated the travel of militants to the war-torn country.
The spokesman cautioned Saudis and expatriates about terrorist groups that
try to destabilize the Kingdom and urged them to lend their support to
flushing the terrorists from the country. “Security forces will not allow
anybody to interfere with the Kingdom’s security,” he added.
Last March, the ministry announced the arrest of 28 militants, who were
involved in rebuilding Al-Qaeda network in Saudi Arabia to launch another
campaign of terror across the country. Prior to that, police arrested 28
militants for allegedly planning to attack sites outside Makkah and Madinah
during the Haj season.
– With input by Ghazanfar Ali Khan & P.K. Abdul Ghafour

+++JORDAN TIMES 26 June ’08:”Egypt troops discover (smuggling) 7 tunnels
near Gaza”
FULL TEXT:RAFAH (AP) – An Egyptian security official says border guards
discovered seven underground smuggling tunnels at the Gaza border. The
official says that some of the tunnels, found north of the Rafah crossing
between Egypt and Gaza, were used to pump fuel to the Hamas-run coastal Gaza
Strip. The official also says that police found “eleven stacks” of hashish
separately near the volatile border. Smugglers had fled and left the drugs
behind. Police also came across an ammunition and arms cache left over from
the 1967 Egypt-Israel war near the town of Al Hassana in central Sinai. The
official, who supervised the operations, says the finds were made 24,25
June.. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorised to
talk to the media.

+++JORDAN TIMES 26 June ’08:”Muslim Brotherhood calls on gov’t to boycott
Abraham Path Initiative”
AMMAN (JT) — The Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday called on the government
to boycott the Abraham Path Initiative, organised by the Harvard
University’s Global Negotiations Project and the Rockefeller Brothers
Foundation, which will take place in Turkey on June 26. In a statement
received by The Jordan Times yesterday, the Muslim Brotherhood said this
event seeks to achieve normalisation between Muslim countries and Israel.
Saudi Gazette 25 June ’08:”Boycott of Danish products spreads” By Shahid Ali
Khan Saudi Gazette
QUOTE:”the call (for boycott) has
been spreading faster and louder”
EXCERPTS:
Riyadh – The campaign to boycott Danish products took a remarkable turn on
21 June when some leading healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia and other GCC
countries decided to avoid the use of prescription drugs imported from
Denmark.
These healthcare providers said they would boycott all medicines imported
from Denmark recently, and according to officials of a number of hospitals
and pharmacies, the call has been spreading faster and louder.
“To make the campaign more effective in order to have a daunting effect on
Denmark’s economy, we dispatched a letter to the Saudi Minister of Health,
urging him to officially impose a ban on imports of Danish medicines,” said
one official from a leading healthcare provider in Riyadh, who insisted on
remaining anonymous.
Other officials participating in the campaign, who spoke also on condition
of anonymity, said the call not to use prescription medicines from Denmark
would put even more pressure on that country’s economy than the public’s
boycott of foods, which started a few months ago..  .  .

+++JORDAN TIMES 25 June ’08:”International Press Institute (IPI) expresses
concern about lawsuit”
By Linda Hindi
QUOTE:”IPD has urged Jordan to halt all legal
proceedings against Danes involved in the controverial cartoons”
FULL TEXT:
AMMAN – The International Press Institute (IPI) has urged Jordan to halt all
legal proceedings against Danes involved in the controversial cartoons
depicting the Prophet Mohammad.
The world’s oldest global press freedom organisation sent a letter to
Minister of Justice Ayman Odeh on June 19 expressing its concern about
Prosecutor General Hassan Abdallat’s decision to file charges against Kurt
Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew one of the controversial cartoons, as
well as Danish newspaper editors who republished them.
The lawsuit is based on the lobbying efforts of the “Messenger of Allah
Unites Us” campaign to boycott Danish and Dutch products.
“IPI understands that many may find the cartoons at issue to be offensive.
However, IPI believes strongly that deciding whether or not to publish
material, including cartoons, should be left to editors, not prosecutors.
Moreover, nothing justifies the continued persecution of the cartoonist, who
was forced to live in hiding due to the violent threats issued against him,”
the letter stated.
The IPI noted that the Danes were summoned to answer charges of “blasphemy
and threatening national peace under the Jordanian Justice Act of 2006,
“which permits Jordanian officials to pursue nondomestic crimes, where these
affect Jordanian citizens, by electronic means”.
Legal experts told The Jordan Times that this is a misinterpretation of a
law that is directed towards e-commerce crimes.
“Pursuing legal charges sets a dangerous precedent,” the IPI added, noting
that it may be misunderstood as an endorsement of these threats. The letter
urged the minister to do “everything” in his power to discontinue any
further action.
However, media law expert Yahia Shukkeir told The Jordan Times the letter
was directed to the wrong person.
“The minister does not have the right to interfere in the independence of
the judiciary, including the prosecutor general,” said Shukkeir, a
journalist who is a member of Oxford’s International Media Lawyer
Association.
Established in 1950, the IPI is a global network of editors, media
executives and journalists dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of
press freedom and the promotion of the free flow of news and information,
according to the organisation.

+++JORDAN TIMES 25 June ’08:”Jordan is doing fine -King”By Mohammad Ghazal
EXCERPT:RAMTHA – His Majesty King Abdullah on 24 June reiterated that there
are no worries about the future of Jordan, contrary to what sceptics claim.

+++Jordan’s Tel Aviv embassy launches trilingual website
By Mohammad Ghazal JORDAN TIMES
PETRA – The Jordanian embassy in Israel recently launched a trilingual
website in Arabic, Hebrew and English, with a view to address Israeli public
opinion and present Jordan’s position on the situation in the region, Jordan’s
Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ali Al Ayed said yesterday.
“The website was launched only four days ago and so far, a large number of
hits have been registered. The reaction has been good and many media outlets
in Israel reported it,” Ayed told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the
Fourth Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates, which concluded yesterday.
Administered by embassy staff, the website contains a variety of information
such as the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, the Amman Message,
His Majesty King Abdullah’s speeches, including his address at the
inauguration of the Nobel laureates conference, the ambassador said.
The website, “the first Arab portal in Hebrew”, will present Jordan’s
positions on final status issues such as refugees’ right of return,
Jerusalem and other issues related to peace, Ayed added.
The website, www.jordanembassytelaviv.gov.jo , also provides information in
the three languages about Jordan, the Constitution, the Geneva Initiative
and the National Charter, as well as the economy and the Kingdom’s tourist
sites, according to Ayed.

 

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