March 14 accuses Syria of leading Sunnis to extremism

siniora- summit speeach 3During a Sunday conference in the the northern city of Tripoli titled “Coexistence in the North is a Joint National Responsibility” , the March 14 alliance accused the Syrian regime of seeking to lead Lebanon’s Sunnis towards extremism and announced the Tripoli Declaration, which calls for national reconciliation in the city.

The Tripoli Declaration said: “The reconciliation should be held after calm has been restored in Tripoli.”

“The North has suffered at the hands of the Syrian regime through its local pawns that are backed by Iran,” the conferees added.

They demanded that those linked to the bombings and violence in the city must be brought to justice.

They also called on the security forces and army to deal firmly and fairly with any attempt to create unrest.

“Trust must be restored between the people and the state through bringing to justice all those who have wronged the city,” they declared, while highlighting the need to combat poverty in Tripoli.

The conferees agreed to the formation of a committee to follow up on the decisions of the conference and make sure that they are being implemented.

March 14 tripoli conferenceFormer Lebanese PM and current Future Movement parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora accused the Syrian regime of seeking to lead Lebanon’s Sunnis towards extremism, but stressed that it will fail in its plot.

He declared at the opening of the conference: “The Sunnis will not fall victim to the regime’s plot to create strife and division in Lebanon.”

“Lebanon’s Sunni’s have always been moderate and they have always respected the state,” he stressed.

He accused the Syrian regime of leading them towards extremism in order to target the state’s institutions, especially the army.

“The regime wants the Lebanese people to yield to it, but they will not surrender because Lebanon is stronger than the plots being devised against it,” added the former PM.

“The conspiracy against Lebanon will fail because the people’s will to live will persevere,” he continued.

“We are committed to a Lebanon of coexistence, freedom, and democracy,” Siniora said.

Lebanon will not succumb to Persian, American, or European plans, he remarked.

Moreover, the former PM noted that Lebanon was victorious against the Syrian regime in the past and it will not surrender to it or extremism.

“We reject extremism displayed by any power. We reject extremism demonstrated by some Christians, some Shiites, and some Sunnis,” he declared.

Siniora also called for establishing stronger ties between Iran and its Arab neighbors following the recent nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

“I will say it frankly in my name and that of [former Prime Minister] Saad Hariri and the entire March 14 that the residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen are one family,” he said

He demanded the formation of a government that does not consist of political party figures, the withdrawal of Hizbullah fighters from Syria, and the deployment of the army along the border with Syria.

Syria’s key ally in Lebanon , the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group has reportedly been arming and training the mostly Alawite residents of Jabal Mohsen in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, who have been engaged in the fiercest communal fighting with the mostly Sunni Baba al Tabbaneh neighborhood.

The fighting has intensified since the eruption of the eruption of the uprising in Syria in March 2011, which was aimed at toppling president Bashar al Assad who is also a Alawite. The Alawite sect is an offshoot of the Shiite Muslim religion.

  • dateam

    AFTER the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al-Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.

    But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.

    It was kept secret and remains so today, the New York Post reported.

    President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section.

    The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1000 words).

    A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

    Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

    The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically.

    The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.

    The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:

    LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

    SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al-Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

    WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

    Other al-Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.

    The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

    “Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

    FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

    Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va, chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.

    The attacks changed America forever. Source: AP Source: AP

    Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

    As I first reported in my book, Infiltration, quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

    HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)

    SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched, the New York Post reported.

    Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

    Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

    Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on September 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

    The September 11 attacks changed the world like never before. Source: Supplied

    Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a “coverup beyond belief.” Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.

    Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.

    Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.

    But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isn’t water under the bridge. The information is still relevant ­today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.

    As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, “State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more ­lethal attacks within the United States.”

    Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. If an oil-rich foreign power was capable of orchestrating simultaneous bulls-eye hits on our centers of commerce and defense a dozen years ago, it may be able to pull off similarly devastating attacks today.

    Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.

    Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration and Muslim Mafia.

  • dateam

    AFTER the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al-Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.

    But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.

    It was kept secret and remains so today, the New York Post reported.

    President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section.

    The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1000 words).

    A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

    Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

    The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically.

    The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.

    The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:

    LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

    SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al-Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

    WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

    Other al-Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.

    The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

    “Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

    FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

    Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va, chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.

    The attacks changed America forever. Source: AP Source: AP

    Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

    As I first reported in my book, Infiltration, quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

    HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)

    SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched, the New York Post reported.

    Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

    Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

    Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on September 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

    The September 11 attacks changed the world like never before. Source: Supplied

    Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a “coverup beyond belief.” Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.

    Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.

    Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.

    But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isn’t water under the bridge. The information is still relevant ­today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.

    As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, “State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more ­lethal attacks within the United States.”

    Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. If an oil-rich foreign power was capable of orchestrating simultaneous bulls-eye hits on our centers of commerce and defense a dozen years ago, it may be able to pull off similarly devastating attacks today.

    Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.

    Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration and Muslim Mafia.

  • libnan1

    “Lebanon’s Sunni’s have always been moderate and they have always respected the state,” he stressed. Who are you kidding. Since Sunnis are so respected of the state why did they support the PLO, Nasser, Syria. Sunnis were and still are loyal to their Arab Sunni regimes, never to Lebanon. Your days are over buddy.

  • libnan1

    “Lebanon’s Sunni’s have always been moderate and they have always respected the state,” he stressed. Who are you kidding. Since Sunnis are so respected of the state why did they support the PLO, Nasser, Syria. Sunnis were and still are loyal to their Arab Sunni regimes, never to Lebanon. Your days are over buddy.