Category : Libya

(WSJ) Libya+the U.S. Face an Entrenched ISIS throughout the Libya countryside

Even with the U.S. launching airstrikes on an Islamic State stronghold in Libya, the battle to uproot the extremists from the oil-rich North African nation is expected to be long and difficult.

The U.S. began the attacks on Monday and struck again on Tuesday in support of a ground offensive to retake Sirte, a strategic port on the Mediterranean coast. But Islamic State is also entrenched in other pockets across the country, including parts of the eastern city of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest; Derna, another eastern city; and the western town of Sabratha, near the Tunisian border.

The competing militias and centers of power that have stoked Libya’s civil war complicate the fight against Islamic State. The chaos has given the group an opening to gain its first territorial foothold outside its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Libya, Other Faiths, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(Ynet News)-40 years since Operation Entebbe-a 5 part series

“Three months ago, I invited a group of friends for a unique meeting at the Entebbe exhibition at the Rabin Center: former Mossad operative Avner Avraham, the curator of the exhibit, Akiva Laxer, one of the hostages, and Amir Ofer, one of the commandos, the first to storm into the terminal.

Ofer stressed the link between his own personal history””he is the son of Holocaust survivors””and the Entebbe Operation. As we were touring the exhibition, he recounted his experiences, telling all types of stories, with some being amusing anecdotes of what happened behind the scenes in the planning stages of the operation. For the first time, he brought his parents, who barely survived the horrors of World War II, and his daughter, to the exhibition. That moment that brought together the commando, his parents, the surviving hostage who owes Ofer his life, and Ofer’s daughter, didn’t leave a dry eye in the house….”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Judaism, Libya, Other Faiths, Theology, Travel, Uganda

(LA Times) He was a U.S. ally in Africa. Now he's on trial for crimes against humanity

(Warning–very disturbing content-KSH).

He was our man in Africa.

Hissene Habre, who ruled Chad in the 1980s, was a U.S. ally in good standing even as his government killed tens of thousands of people and filled prisons with enemies who were starved, beaten and tortured.

Last week he finally had to face victims of those times in court. There was frozen silence as former prisoners testified for the first time against the man who was feted at the White House in 1987 by President Reagan and was armed and supported in a covert CIA operation to fight Libya’s Col. Moammar Kadafi.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Chad, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

(WSJ) ISIS Solidifies Foothold in Libya

Islamic State leaders in Syria have sent money, trainers and fighters to Libya in increasing numbers, raising new concerns for the U.S. that the militant group is gaining traction in its attempts to broaden its reach and expand its influence.

In recent months, U.S. military officials said, Islamic State has solidified its foothold in Libya as it searches for ways to capitalize on rising popularity among extremist groups around the world.

“ISIL now has an operational presence in Libya, and they have aspirations to make Libya their African hub,” said one U.S. military official, using an acronym for the group. “Libya is part of their terror map now.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Libya, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

([L] Times Leader) Ethiopian Christians are the latest victims of an expanding reign of terror

The Archbishop of Canterbury was in Cairo yesterday to show solidarity with Egyptian Christians murdered by jihadists two months ago. His visit was made more timely even as it was overshadowed by yet more murders. As he gave letters of condolence to the families of the victims of Islamic State’s last massacre of Christians, IS released sickening video footage of the next.

The latest film from the terrorist organisation holding the Middle East to ransom is as barbaric as anything it has produced. Prefaced with footage of jihadists vandalising Christian churches, the 29-minute video shows militants holding two groups of prisoners who they claim are members of an “enemy Ethiopian church”. Twelve are shown being beheaded on a beach. At least 16 more are shot in the head elsewhere. Both groups are thought to have been murdered in Libya.

Subject to verification of the footage this brings to more than 50 the number of Christians killed by IS in recent weeks. The strategy is clear. The leadership of the so-called caliphate, under pressure in Iraq, is seeking to expand its reign of terror in North Africa and in particular to sabotage efforts to bring stability to Libya.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ethiopia, Foreign Relations, Islam, Libya, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Statement by HG Bishop Angaelos following the murder of Ethiopian Chrstns by Daesh (ISIS) in Libya

The confirmation of the murder of Ethiopian Christians by Daesh (IS) in Libya has been received with deep sadness. These executions that unnecessarily and unjustifiably claim the lives of innocent people, wholly undeserving of this brutality, have unfortunately become far too familiar. Once again we see innocent Christians murdered purely for refusing to renounce their Faith.

The Christians of Egypt and Ethiopia have had a shared heritage for centuries. Being predominantly Orthodox Christian communities with a mutual understanding of life and witness, and a common origin in the Coptic Orthodox Church, they now also share an even greater connection through the blood of these contemporary martyrs.

This sad news came on the day that His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury visited His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in Egypt to personally express his condolences following the similar brutal murder of 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians in Libya by Daesh in February of this year.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethiopia, Foreign Relations, Islam, Libya, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Egypt seeks UN mandate for Libyan ISIS intervention

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for a United Nations resolution allowing international forces to intervene in Libya.

There was no other choice, he told French radio. “We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children.”

Egyptian jets bombed IS targets on Monday in response to a militant video of the apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Rival militias have been battling for control in Libya since 2011.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Islam, Libya, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

BBC World Interview with HG Bishop Angaelos following murder of Copts in Libya

Watch it all and you can also read his statement there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Coptic Church, Egypt, England / UK, Libya, Middle East, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Violence

Archbishop Mouneer Anis' statement on the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians

It is with great sadness I write you today about the heinous murder of 21 Egyptian Christians at the hand of the so-called lslamic State branch in Libya. These men from the Upper Egyptian city of Samalout are no different from thousands of other Muslim and Christian Egyptians in Libya, seeking employment to support their families back home.
Except that these 21 were specifically chosen for their Christian faith. The video of their beheading expressed the lslamic State’s intention to increasingly target the Copts of Egypt. This morning the Egyptian government launched airstrikes on lslamic State positions. lt has declared a week of mourning, banned further travel to Libya, and will work to facilitate the return of all Egyptian citizens. The foreign minister has been dispatched to the United Nations to discuss the necessary international response.

The Anglican Church in Egypt and the world expresses its deep condolences to the families of these men, and also to his Holiness Pope Tawadros ll, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Please join me in praying for peace in Libya, Egypt, and the entire Middle East. Please pray the international community will act in wisdom, correctly and efficiently, and support Egypt in its war on terror. Please pray the churches of Egypt will comfort their sons and daughters, encouraging them to resist fear and hatred. And please pray for the perpetrators of this terrible crime, that God would be merciful to them and change their hearts.

Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “ln the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Such cheer may seem impossible, but it is God’s promise. Please pray for us, that we may live lives worthy of his name, and hold to the testimony exhibited by the brave Egyptians in Libya.

–The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis is Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Libya, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

(Telegraph) How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists

Barely three years after Britain helped to free Libya from Col Gaddafi’s tyranny, anti-Western radicals hold sway. How could Britain’s goal of a stable and friendly Libya have been thwarted so completely?

Step forward a fabulously wealthy Gulf state that owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East.

Qatar, the owner of Harrods, has dispatched cargo planes laden with weapons to the victorious Islamist coalition, styling itself “Libya Dawn”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Libya, Middle East, Qatar, Religion & Culture, Violence

(AP) Bomb kills 2 at Egyptian Coptic church in Libya’s 3rd-largest city, Misrata

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says an explosion at an Egyptian Coptic church in Libya’s third largest city, Misrata, has killed two people and wounded two others.

The statement by the Foreign Ministry says Sunday’s explosion killed two Egyptian citizens working at the church in preparation for traditional New Year’s Eve mass.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Coptic Church, Egypt, Libya, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Violence

([London] Times) Abdulateef al-Mulhim–Forget Israel. Arabs are their own worst enemy

I was recently struck by some photos and reports I saw on the al-Arabiya network, the most respected news outlet in the Middle East. There was a starving child in Yemen, a burnt-out ancient souk in Aleppo, Syria, car bombs in Iraq and destroyed buildings in Libya.

What links all these images is that the destruction and the atrocities were not perpetrated by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries were carried out by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard their people. Who, therefore, is the real enemy of the Arab world?

Many Arabs would say it is Israel ”” their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they have never recognised. From 1948 to today there have been three full-scale wars and many confrontations. But what was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people? The harder question that no Arab wants to ask is: what was the real cost of not recognising Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, healthcare and infrastructure instead of wars? But the very hardest question of all is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Egypt, History, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Middle East, Politics in General, Poverty, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Violence

(NC Register Editorial) Freedom Under Attack

But during the conference, sponsored by the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services, …[Cardinal Timothy Dolan] also called on Catholics to deepen their knowledge of this issue and register their concerns with their elected representatives.

“Americans generally, and our Catholic brothers and sisters especially, need to become better informed of the systematic challenges to the fundamental right of religious freedom in far too many countries,” the cardinal urged.

The first freedom, which we too often take for granted in our own nation, even as we are vigilant in its defense, is under often violent attack.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Hunger/Malnutrition, Libya, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Independent alleges America 'was warned of embassy attack but did nothing'

The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.

American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.

The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Libya, Politics in General, Violence

Vatican: Violence Unacceptable, Religions Must Be Respected

the director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, …[Wednesday] released a message asserting that “profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions” is essential if people hope to coexist peacefully.

“The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence,” the statement added.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Egypt, Inter-Faith Relations, Lebanon, Libya, Middle East, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence