Al Jazeera: News Summary, 26 January 2010

(Intro Music)

(00:11) Hello, and welcome to this news summary.

(00:13) Iraqi Police said that at least 17 people were killed and another 80 injured in a car bomb explosion in front of the Criminal Forensics building belonging to the Ministry of Interior in downtown Baghdad. They added that most of the victims were members of the Police.

(00:31) The office of ‘Abd-al-Malik al-Huthi reported that his group completed its withdrawal from Saudi Arabian lands, while the spokesmen for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense has already said that the al-Huthis had already been pushed back by (the Saudis) from the land that they had taken.

(00:47) Lebanese authorities (announced) that hopes had diminished of finding passengers that survived the crash of an Ethiopian plane shortly after takeoff from the Beirut airport two days ago. Officials from the Civil Defense (force) indicated that the efforts are now focused on finding the bodies of the passengers as well as the black box recorder.

(01:08) The summit for countries neighboring Afghanistan began its activities today in the city of Istanbul, Turkey, with the participation by the Presidents of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The summit is dealing with how best the summit’s participants can provide solutions to Afghanistan’s problems, as well as building bridges of cooperation between its neighboring countries.

(01:28) A French Parliamentary Committee called for a ban on the Niqab (Islamic head covering) in transportation offices and areas, nationwide. The committee’s report states that the Niqab displays a rebellion against the republic and freedom. The French Minister of Justice warned against a ban on the Niqab, and (he said) that there was no way to enforce it.

(01:50) Thus ends the summary, until next time…

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Al Jazeera: al-Huthi announces an initiative to end fighting

al-Huthis accuse Saudi Arabia's army of advancing into Yemen.

The leader of the al-Huthi group, ‘Abd-al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Huthi, announced a “withdrawal from all Saudi locations,” in a new initiative that he said was the third (try) to put out the crisis’ fuse as well as the clashes on the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

al-Huthi said in a voice recording released on one of the websites, “We announce our carrying out of a full withdrawal from all Saudi positions and from all land that is under control of the Saudi regime, and emphasize that our seizure of those locations was completely necessary in order to combat the enemies coming from there.”

Likewise, al-Huthi threatened to open what he called multiple new battlefields, and all out war, in the event that Saudi Arabia continues its operations and refuses the initiative.

On this point he said, “If after this initiative the Saudi regime continues its aggression it will find that it has commenced an invasion into our lands, and this will give us the right to open multiple new battlefields and launch an all out war. This is what will happen if it’s aggressions continue after this initiative.”

al-Huthi (also noted) that he believes that the civilians have suffered the most in this war, and he accused the Saudi Forces of what he calls indiscriminate bombing of the cities and villages, and all aspects of civilized life.

He also said that the initiative comes about to spare the blood of Saudis and Yemenis, and indicated that the al-Huthi’s operations didn’t target Saudi soil, and in that context he (described) what he called attempts to distance Yemenis from the border and form a buffer area.

Likewise, he believes that there is no justification for Saudi Arabia in this war, and described his initiative as a valuable opportunity, “That should be appreciated by all reasonable people in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia),” as he put it.


Al Jazeera: 10 al-Huthis killed at the hands of tribes

Fighters from tribes loyal to the Yemeni government

The Yemeni Ministry of Interior said that fighters belonging to tribes loyal to the Yemeni government killed ten al-Huthis in one of the clashes in the al-Jawf area of northern Yemen.

The source added that men from the Shawlan tribe killed the ten al-Huthis when they tried to take up positions in some of the residences in one of the northern towns.

It should be noted that some sources recently reported that the Yemeni Army has closed in on the last al-Huthi sanctuaries (in the area), some of which faced heavy aerial bombardment by the Saudi Air Force.

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense, already confirmed in the past few days that his country’s forces killed hundreds of the al-Huthi group’s armed fighters in clashes which afterwards enabled Saudi forces to take control of an important position in the al-Jabri region near Saudi Arabia’s borders with Yemen.

Calls for talks

Once again, Iran and the Sultanate of Oman have called for the Yemeni authorities to begin holding talks to put an end to the conflict with the al-Huthi insurgents in the northern parts of the country.

After discussions with his Omani counterpart, Yusif Bin ‘Alawi, the Iranian Foreign Minister Minushar Muttaki said, “We emphasized the need to build a solution to end the crisis, because if it continues it won’t bring about a lack of stability for Yemen alone, but will affect the entire region.”

Likewise, the Omani Minister emphasized that his country was ready to support the Yemeni government in and way possible in the interest of finding a solution to calm security fears in (Yemen).

Yemen had accused the Iranian religious leaders of supporting the al-Huthis, and whereas Iranian media outlets had attacked The King of Saudi Arabia for entering the war against the al-Huthi last November.


Al Jazeera: News Summary, 13 January, 2010

(Intro Music)

(00:13) Newsman: Greetings.

(00:15) An earthquake with a strength of 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the Haitian peninsula in the Caribbean Sea has led to the destruction of vast areas and many buildings. It’s been reported that there could be up to thousands killed (still) under the rubble of the collapsed buildings. Already, governments from countries around the world have announced (their intent) to deliver hasty support to supply to the victims of (this disaster).

(00:39) An al-Jazeera correspondent in Yemen reports from the Shabwa province that a (person) named ‘Abdullah Mahdhar, leader of an al-Qa’ida cell in the area of al-Hawta, was killed in clashes with Yemeni security forces in the southern Shabwa province.

(00:53) Riyadh announced officially that the President of Syria, Bashar al-Asad, will visit the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) today, and will take part in talks with the Saudi family, and the King ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz. The discussions between the two sides will revolve around bilateral relations in addition to regional and national issues.

(01:11) Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, apologized for his conduct with the Turkish Ambassador. He said that the foreign embassies were not amongst his opponents. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had criticized the statements of the Israeli Foreign Ministry as disgracing Turkey in the latest (1m), and Israel promised that it would respond appropriately.

(01:36) In Beirut, the seventh annual conference of the International al-Quds Foundation began with the participation of associations of scientists, intellectuals, and politics. The conference will be discussing issues and developments in al-Quds(Jurusalem) and a number of steps to preserve it’s Arabic and Islamic character.

(01:53) The International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, in Afghanistan said that two American soldiers were killed this morning in an IED detonation in the southern part of the country. Meanwhile, the United Nations said that this past year was the deadliest for civilians since 2001.

(02:14) Until next time…

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BBC: Saudi Arabia: A fatwa forbidding membership in al-Qa’ida

al-Qa'ida is fleeing Saudi Arabia, however, it's continuing its activities in neighboring Yemen.

An advisor to Saudi’s royal court, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abaykan, issued a fatwa forbidding membership in the al-Qa’ida organization, according to the ‘Akadh newspaper on Tuesday.

The newspaper added that al-‘Abaykan, who is one of the most prominent Saudi religious figures, issued a fatwa, “forbidding membership into what is called the terrorist organization al-Qa’ida.”

The newspaper quoted al-‘Abaykan as saying, “He that joins this group joins a group that is outside of the (Islamic) body of believers, and that embraces an apostate ideology outside of (Islamic) religious law. As such, membership in this organization is forbidden.

Despite that fact that al-Qa’ida in Saudi Arabic has been retreating, neighboring Yemen has been seeing an increase of activities from the organization “Qa’ida al-Jihad fi Jazira al-‘Arab(The base for Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula)” that according to observers is a result of the merging of the Saudi and Yemeni branches of al-Qa’ida.

The new entity includes a number of Saudis within it’s leadership and followers.

The new organization took responsibility for the failed attack against the American airplane between Amsterdam and Detroit on Christmas day.

The Saudi government recently announced that it is going to hold a conference regarding al-Takfir(apostasy), with the goal of exposing the invalidity of this ideology with convincing evidence.

Notes: “Takfir” or “apostasy” is an interpretation of Islamic doctrine that drives many Sunni terrorist groups such as al-Qa’ida. For more information, see here: