7/16/13 From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad

Source: CNN

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado. Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst and the author of “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad.”

(CNN) — Every July in the lush, green mountains of Aspen, Colorado, many of the top present and former U.S. national security officials and other experts gather to discuss how the war against al Qaeda and its allies is going.

Ahead of last year’s Aspen conference, I wrote a piece for CNN provocatively titled “Time to declare victory: Al Qaeda is defeated.”And I then spoke on a panel at Aspen where I tried to make the case for this position.

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7/15/13 Egypt turmoil: US envoy Burns meets interim leaders

BBC News, July 15, 2013

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has held talks in Cairo with Egypt’s caretaker leaders.

He met interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, as well as the head of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

He said the US remained committed to an Egypt that was “stable, democratic, inclusive and tolerant”.

Large numbers of protesters from both sides again gathered in Cairo, to coincide with Mr Burns’ visit.

According to Reuters news agency, security forces fired tear gas after supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi scuffled with locals.

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7/15/13 Chill Cairo welcome for U.S. envoy as Mursi supporters gather

Source: Reuters

By Maggie Fick and Yasmine Saleh

CAIRO (Reuters) – The first senior U.S. official to visit Egypt since the army toppled its elected president was snubbed by both Islamists and their opponents on Monday, while huge crowds of supporters of the ousted leader demonstrated in the streets.

After meeting the interim head of state and the prime minister, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns insisted he was not in town “to lecture anyone”. But many on either side of Egypt’s divide suspect Washington of plotting against them.

A huge crowd of supporters of Islamist Mohamed Mursi poured into a square near a mosque in northeast Cairo carrying a giant Egyptian flag, banners and portraits of the detained leader.

Accusing the United States of backing a military coup, thousands of Mursi’s partisans have kept a vigil there since the days before the army toppled him on July 3, swelling to tens of thousands for mass protests every few days.

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7/7/13 Sexual Assaults Reportedly Rampant During Egypt Protests

Source:  BBC

From afar, Tahrir Square appears almost festive as protesters chant against the Islamist president who was overthrown by the Egyptian military last week. But inside the crushing crowds, the scene can be a lot more sinister.

In a video posted by the Muslim Brotherhood, an unidentified woman cries out as men attack her. The group, from which former President Mohammed Morsi hails, claims the attack occurred in Tahrir Square in late June.

Human Rights Watch reports a sharp rise in sexual assaults here since anti-Morsi protesters took to the streets in record numbers last week. Activists report more than 100 sexual assaults in or near Tahrir Square during the past week alone, many of them gang rapes.

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7/26/13 Opposition presses for weapons as Syria death toll tops 100,000

Source: CNN

(CNN) — Syria’s opposition urged the United States to provide arms to rebel groups in a Thursday meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in New York City.

“The US commitment of military support … is vital, but it needs to happen fast, and in a way that allows us to defend ourselves and protect civilians,” a statement from the Syrian National Coalition. “To deny us the right to self-defense is to risk that the regime will survive: thousands will be executed, the repression will continue without end.”

The session between Kerry and coalition President Ahmad Jarba came as the United Nations announced more than 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. It occurred at the U.S. mission to the United Nations.

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7/26/13 Conservative Princeton Law Prof. Robert P. George Is New USCIRF Chair; Democrat Predecessor Praises Successor

Source: Christian Post

By Tyler O’Neil , CP Contributor
July 26, 2013|8:55 am

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced earlier this week its new chair, Princeton Professor of Jurisprudence Robert P. George, a conservative intellectual who even Democrats laud as a good pick.

“I really think he’s a remarkable person,” Katrina Lantos Swett, former USCIRF chair and president and CEO of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, told The Christian Post in an interview Thursday. “It’s really hard to imagine someone who is more respectful and more earnest and sincere in engaging people with whom he may disagree.”

In what may be a rare show of bipartisanship in Washington, Swett, who ran unsuccessfully in Democratic primaries for both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in New Hampshire and was nominated to USCIRF by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), praised the conservative chair nominated by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“With his election as chair we have a true intellectual heavyweight as well as a person of great compassion and eloquence taking the helm,” she said.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-princeton-law-prof-robert-p-george-is-new-uscirf-chair-democrat-predecessor-praises-successor-100907/#zYTiqHSYP8wY1W7k.99

7/15/13 Cleric Who Visited White House Supports Palestinian Terror

Source: The Algemeiner

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has uncovered evidence that radical Muslim cleric Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah, who met with top White House officials last month, personally urged Muslim nations to aid the Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza militarily.

“Muslim rulers are required to rescue their fellow Muslims in many ways, through financial, military and diplomatic support. Everything should be done to stop this terrible, ongoing massacre in Gaza,” Bin Bayyah wrote in April. The posting was removed following the release of IPT’s June 26 report about Bin Bayyah’s White House visit. “I also call upon our Palestinian brothers to unite all resistance movements in the same name and under the same banner. And it is the duty of all Arabs to help them in the name of Islam, logic, pan-Arabism and humanity.”

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7/10/13 Rep. Chris Smith asks for report on aid to Syrian Armenians

Source: The Armenian Reporter

WASHINGTON – Republican and Democratic members of a key U.S. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee joined June 25 with the panel’s Chairman, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), in voicing growing Congressional concern for the welfare of Armenians, other Christians, and all religious minority communities in Syria, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We want to thank Chairman Chris Smith for holding yesterday’s hearing about religious minorities in Syria, and would also like to share our special appreciation with all his colleagues who joined with him in using this important national platform to raise concerns about the welfare of at-risk and refugee Armenians, other Christians, and all Syrian minorities,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

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