Sunday, December 03, 2017

03-Dec-17: Understanding Jordan's king and his "holistic" approach to terror

Yesterday in Jordan [Screen grab]
Regular readers know we pay more than the usual amount of attention to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It's where our daughter Malki's murderer lives free as a bird.

And even though
  • she has boasted over and again for the cameras and the media of her central role in the 2001 bombing attack on the people inside Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria; and 
  • she confessed in an Israeli court in 2003 to the calculated murder of 15 innocent victims, most of them children, and to having done this on behalf of the Islamist terror regime, Hamas, whose first-ever female terror agent she is reputed to be; and 
  • the US government, the US Department of Justice and the FBI want her arrested and extradited to face Federal charges in a Washington court
Jordan's ruler King Abdullah II, aware of her celebrity status among his people, has stubbornly presided over a series of measures whose effect is to spit in the eye of the Americans, to deny the validity of the 1995 Jordan/US Extradition Treaty and to ensure one of his kingdom's - and the Arab world's - most admired females remains free to pursue her career of incitement to terrorism, Islamist values and the murder of Jewish children.

Nigeria's president and entourage hear from Jordan's
king on how Jordan has defeated terror [Image Source]
Jordan is currently hosting an event variously termed (depending on which media channels you consult) the Aqaba Retreat, the Aqaba Process or the Aqaba Meetings. (Aqaba is a resort town located at Jordan's southern-most tip, adjacent to the much smaller Israeli resort of Eilat.)

Jordan's semi-official English-language mouthpiece focused on who was there in an official-sounding report yesterday ["King meets with leaders, officials as Aqaba Meetings kick off: Gathering aimed as venue to bolster security, military cooperation in the fight against terrorism", Jordan Times, December 2, 2017]:
  • "His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday met with the presidents of a number of African countries and representatives of nations participating in the two-day Aqaba Meetings to discuss the global efforts to fight terrorism and extremist ideologies, especially in West Africa..." 
  • "The participants [include] senior officials from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Antigua and Barbuda, Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Burkina Faso, in addition to representatives of regional and international organisations..." 
  • "His Majesty also held meetings with US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Brazilian Minister of Defence Raul Jungmann, French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, and High Representative of the African Union Pierre Buyoya... On the sidelines of the Aqaba Meetings, King Abdullah met with President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, President of Guinea Alpha Condé, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, and President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a Royal Court statement said."
  • "The Aqaba Meetings were launched by the King to maintain international and regional coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism within a holistic approach, and to discuss security challenges in regions around the world that are dealing with terrorism hotspots, with the aim of identifying shortcomings and coordinating efforts to fight terrorism."
  • "The meetings are part of His Majesty’s initiative to reach out to countries around the world and coordinate with them on this issue, since the anti-terrorism fight “must be a joint, international effort, based on close coordination and consultations, to counter the global threats of terrorism and extremism”, the statement said... 
A brief Associated Press report makes plain what we find so perplexing about this:
Jordan's state news agency says King Abdullah II is hosting a high-level conference on fighting terrorism and extremist ideologies, particularly in West Africa... The agency says the conference is the latest in a series launched by Jordan's monarch to reach out to other nations and help coordinate the fight against terrorism... Jordan's king is seen as a key Western partner in the battle against Islamic extremism. ["West Africa is focus of Jordan counter-terrorism conference", AP, December 1, 2017]
For us, the elephant in the room is Ahlam Tamimi

Source: Al Jazeera
Abdullah has treaty obligations to the US. His father signed a 1995 Extradition Treaty with the Clinton Administration in 1995 and in its wake several Jordanian terrorists and felons were shipped off to face the US justice system. Though his media, aided by compliant reporters and editors outside Jordan, put up a facade that makes it seem extraditing Tamimi to the US is somehow problematic, it's clear that it's Tamimi and the specific crimes to which she has confessed that are the problem. And the real story. 

Though no one in the mainstream media seems to have picked this up yet, there's a clear analysis of the legal mess into which Jordan has inserted itself while giving its native jihadist killer safe harbor. See "Pressure on Jordan: Refusal to extradite mastermind of deadly 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem contravenes international law and agreements" [Michelle Munneke JD of American University Washington College of Law, in National Security Law Brief, October 28, 2017]:
This analysis means the United States should not give up on attempting to extradite Al-Tamimi. If other countries place enough pressure on Jordan due to concerns of Al-Tamimi’s danger and susceptibility to planning another attack, Jordan may change its position. Al-Tamimi is above all else, a significant danger that Jordan should take seriously—if not for the world, for Jordan’s own citizens that live amongst Al-Tamimi.
Jordan should reconsider its position and permit extradition in the case of Al-Tamimi for the safety of Jordanians, and citizens of other nations that may be subject to another attack by Al-Tamimi. Thwarting extradition not only violates the principle of comity, but it also perpetuates the international danger presented by Al-Tamimi.
But for most people, this isn't about law but simply crime and punishment. Tamimi was sent by her Hamas masters in the summer of 2001 to kill Jews. Especially Jewish children. She succeeded by all of their perverted measures. And she's now free, extremely well-compensated, raising a family and a media celebrity.

She has never denied the facts. And she has been applauded - literally - time and again in her public appearances throughout Jordan as well as in her well-publicized VIP speaking visits/travels to such countries (listed alphabetically) as Algeria (December 2011), Kuwait (July 2012 and March 2014), Lebanon (April 2012 and January 2015), Qatar (April 2012, again December 2013), Tunisia (April 2012 and November 2015) and Yemen (April 2014). 

She hosted a popular weekly TV program called “نسيم الأحرار” [Transliteration: “Nassem al-Ahrar”] meaning “Breezes of the Free” between February 2012 until September 2016.  Devoted to Palestinian Arab prisoners and their families, it appears to have been designed to bolster their morale, act as a two-way conduit of information and to encourage more of the kind of the kind of acts that turned these terrorists into prisoners in the first place. Tamimi stopped being its presenter in September 2016 at about the time she was very briefly (for a single night) taken into custody by Jordanian authorities pursuant to an Interpol arrest order at the behest of the US Department of Justice.

Tamimi and her connections publicly thank Jordan's judiciary and
leaders for getting her off the hook with the FBI and the US
Department of Justice - though the pursuit continues [Source
Jordan is a family-run business that like so many other Arab polities presents itself as a nation-state and even as a constitutional democracy, which is a real stretch given the total domination exercised by the British-installed Hashemites that have run it since the 1920s. 

Thus it was no secret to Jordan's Royal Palace that Tamimi was recording a weekly tribute to terrorism-and-Islamism in an Amman studio (Amman, Jordan's capital, is where she lives). And that it was uploaded and broadcast around the world every week for years by the Hamas-owned Alquds satellite television network. Her appalling show was and still is rebroadcast by a multitude of Arabic and non-Arabic websites that stream all or some of the programming put out by Alquds. The king and his Hashemite Kingdom never had any problem with any of this. Their "principled opposition" to terror only stretches so far. 

In April 2017, an Australian TV journalist told us privately that Tamimi had been advised by the Jordanian authorities to lower her profile in the wake of a Jordanian Court of Cassation decision that Jordan's 1995 extradition treaty with the US was unconstitutional. In particular, he told us, the "Jordanian authorities have now banned her doing any media interviews". Our impression is she is taking the advice seriously for the time being. 

Before that, and for several years from her home base of Jordan, she appeared numerous times as the presenter on several Alquds TV specials - including a number of propaganda programs that went to air in the summer of 2014 as fighting raged between Hamas Gaza and the IDF. She may be the most influential and important female public figure in Hamas.

So what does the Royal Hashemite Palace and its central personage say to all this?

Nothing, at least not publicly. Nor can we expect them to respond for so long as he and they continue to be absurdly feted as central players in their "holistic" struggle to defeat the terrorists by the likes of the most senior politicians of the United States, the UK and Europe. 

Just so long as they're not Jordanian terrorists.


NancyB said...

Excellent article!

Anonymous said...

Wow. True colours are finally flying. Thanks for sharing this.