Category Archives: Africa

US imposes sanctions on Africa based Hezbollah members


BEIRUT: The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on an alleged Africa-based Hezbollah support network, a statement released Thursday said.

It said the Treasury targeted Mustapha Fawaz, Fouzi Fawaz and Abdallah Tahini, all of whom are Lebanese-born men based in Nigeria, with sanctions designations.

The Treasury also placed sanctions on a holding company, a supermarket and an amusement park in Nigeria controlled by the Fawaz brothers.

In the a statement released Thursday, Adam Szubin, acting undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the U.S. “will track Hezbollah’s illicit activities to all corners of the Earth.”

“Wherever this terrorist group may seek to raise funds, we will target and expose its activity,” added the statement.

The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

The statement alleged that Mustapha Fawaz has been “a significant donor” to Hezbollah, and that he had solicited donations in Abuja, Nigeria, helping transfer them to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Mustapha was detained in mid-May 2013 by Nigerian authorities, where he reportedly confessed the details of his activities and named other Nigeria-based members of the Hezbollah-affiliated Islamic Jihad Organization, Treasury said.

The Treasury also alleged that Mustapha’s brother Fouzi is a member of a Hezbollah cell in Nigeria. He was also an official with Hezbollah’s foreign relations department, the primary goal of which, according to Treasury, is to scout recruits and to support the group’s infrastructure for its operational units. In 2013, Nigerian authorities issued an arrest warrant for him, Treasury said.

Tahini was targeted with sanctions after being arrested in May 2013 for being a member of a Hezbollah cell in Nigeria, the statement said. Mustapha Fawaz and Tahini were both released from custody in late-November 2013 after being cleared of terrorism charges.

They both have denied allegations against them.

Separately Thursday, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control lifted sanctions on Youssef Nada, and six companies formerly affiliated with him. Nada, who was placed under terrorism sanctions in November 2001, submitted a delisting petition to OFAC in July 2012, a Treasury spokeswoman said.

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Al-Shabab terrorists kill 28 non-Muslims in Kenya bus


NAIROBI, Kenya — Al-Shabab terrorists from Somalia hijacked a bus in Kenya’s north and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said Saturday.

Two police officers said that the bus traveling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked 31 miles from the town Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia. The officers insisted on anonymity out of fear of reprisals because of an order from Kenya’s police chief that officers should not speak to the media.

Some of the dead were public servants who were heading to the capital Nairobi for the Christmas vacation, the officers said.

Kenya has been hit by a series of gun and bomb attacks blamed on Somalia’s al-Qaada-linked al-Shabab militants since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011. Authorities say there have been at least 135 attacks since then, including the Westgate Mall attack in which 67 people were killed. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the Westgate Mall attack in September 2013. The terror group also said it was responsible for other attacks on Kenya’s coast earlier this year which left at least 90 people dead.

Kenyan troops are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia which is bolstering Somalia’s weak UN-backed government against the al-Shabab insurgency. Al-Shabab has continued to carry out attacks on Somalia’s capital despite being pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union forces supporting the government in August 2011. The Somali government troops backed by AU forces are making progress in capturing the remaining al-Shabab strongholds. Recently, they captured the port town of Barawe.

Al-Shabab was also dealt a heavy blow following the death of their leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed in early September in a US airstrike. Godane has been replaced by Ahmed Omar, also known as Abu Ubeid.


Ebola and Islamic burial ritual

Oh-oh! This is the most politically incorrect dimension of the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Which is why you won’t see any of the mainstream media touch it with a ten foot pole.  Paul Sperry reports in Investor’s Business Daily:

Islamic burial rituals are a key reason why health officials can’t contain the spread of the deadly disease in West Africa.

Many of the victims of Ebola in the three hot-spot nations there — Sierra Leone and Guinea, as well as neighboring Liberia — are Muslim. Roughly 73% of Sierra Leone’s and about 85% of Guinea’s people are Muslim. Islam, moreover, is practiced by more than 13% of Liberians.

When Muslims die, family members don’t turn to a funeral home or crematorium to take care of the body. In Islam, death is handled much differently.

Relatives personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. Often, several family members participate in this posthumous bathing ritual, known as Ghusl.

Before scrubbing the skin with soap and water, family members press down on the abdomen to excrete fluids still in the body. A mixture of camphor and water is used for a final washing. Then, family members dry off the body and shroud it in white linens.

Again, washing the bodies of the dead in this way is considered a collective duty for Muslims, especially in Muslim nations. Failure to do so is believed to leave the deceased “impure” and jeopardizes the faithful’s ascension into Paradise (unless he died in jihad; then no Ghusl is required).

Before the body is buried, Muslims attending the funeral typically pass a common bowl for use in ablution or washing of the face, feet and hands, compounding the risk of infection.

Oops! This is a great way to spread disease, because corpses are capable of spreading Ebola, which is why Thomas Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in America was cremated. The WHO recognizes the problem:

“Funerals and washing dead bodies in West African countries have led, to a great extent, to spread the disease,” a World Health Organization spokeswoman recently warned.

WHO has issued an advisory to Red Cross and other relief workers in African Muslim nations to “be aware of the family’s cultural practices and religious beliefs. Help the family understand why some practices cannot be done because they place the family or others at risk for exposure.”

The document added: “Identify a family member who has influence with the rest of the family and who can make sure family members avoid dangerous practices such as washing or touching the body.”

I am familiar with the provision of Jewish law that permits observance of law to be suspended if it it endangers life, but I do not know is sharia law has a similar escape clause. According to Sperry:

Last month, Red Cross workers in Guinea were attacked by family members while trying to bury Ebola dead safely. In Sierra Leone, moreover, a family took Ebola-ridden bodies secured in body bags from the Red Cross, opened them up and exposed all members of the family to Ebola. They all contracted the disease.

All the more reason to quarrantine the hot zone countries.