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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Do you read the Arab press?

At the very least everyone should be scanning Arab press headlines at MEMRI on a regular basis. Check these out:

Iraq's interior minister Al-Naqib said there is evidence of contacts between Saddam and Al-Qa'ida performed by Iraq's former ambassador to Turkey, Faruq Hijazi. He said Saddam received Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in 2000 - but later killed some of his supporters. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 7/29/04)

A new survey conducted by the independent Institute for Administrative and Social Civil Research in Iraq indicated that 90% of the Iraqis expressed 'great desire' for holding general elections in the country. (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, 7/22/04)


Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi moved to Iran several months ago, shortly after the Fallujah incidents, and stayed a few weeks at a camp belonging to the Iranian revolutionary guards in the Mahran region on the border with Iraq, until leaving for the city of Bakuba in Iraq. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

The commander of the Al-Quds army of Iran's revolutionary guards, general Qasem Sulimani, acknowledged that Iran has been making concessions to Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi. A reliable Iranian source reports that general Sulimani said that Zarqawi's operations in Iraq 'serve the supreme interests of Iran,' particularly in preventing the establishment of a regime cooperating with the U.S. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

The Iranian source said that Al-Zarqawi and 20 commanders of his organization need no prior approval to enter Iran: 'there are border points from Halabja in the north to Ilam in the south through which Zarqawi and 20 of the Ansar Al-Islam fighters can enter Iranian territory whenever they want.' (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

Iran's Basij (paramilitary youth organization) commander General Mohammad Hijazi said the Basij is striving to form an army of 20 million. (Jomhouri-ye Eslami, Iran, 7/14/04)

Iranian supreme leader Khamenei said those who hold hostages in Iraq are not Muslims. We suspect very much, he said, that they are agents of Israel and the United States. (Al-Zaman, Iraq, 7/14/04)

The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids has registered over 2,000 Iranian volunteers for martyrdom operations. The youngest volunteer is seven years old, and 25% are under 18. Recruitment headquarters head Mohamed Samedi said that the organization would carry out martyrdom operations if Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei asked them to. (Sharq, Iran, 6/5/04)


Islamist internet sites quoted bin Laden that the deadline for a truce with Europe has expired, and threatened the Europeans with 'a bloody war until you return to your senses.' He threatened Italy with torrents of blood. Bin Laden called on the European countries not to support America. (Al-Watan, Qatar, 7/30/04)

Muhammad Abu Daf, deputy dean of the Education Faculty at the Islamic University of Gaza, maintained that it is essential that Palestinian summer camps instill deep-rooted national and political values such as love of Jihad, love of and sacrifice for the homeland, and martyrdom (Shehada). (Al-Resala, Gaza, 7/15/04)