Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breaking: US consulate in Libya stormed.

Militiamen in Libya have stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, the country's second largest city.

Reports say they were protesting against a US-made film that is allegedly insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and set fire to the building.

The building is said to have burnt down. It is thought nobody was in the consulate at the time.
Earlier, protesters in Egypt breached the wall at the US embassy in Cairo and tore down a flag over the film.

The film that sparked the protest is said to have been produced by US pastor Terry Jones and co-produced by some Egyptian Copt expatriates.

In the Cairo incident, the American flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was replaced by an Islamist banner.

Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the US embassy in the Egyptian capital.
Egyptian protesters condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech.


A US official has been killed and others wounded after militiamen stormed the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, security officials say.
It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
The building is said to have burnt down after being set alight by protesters. It is thought nobody was in the consulate at the time

Intelligence reports indicate Iran close to having the bomb

VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.
They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years.
The diplomats say the information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries and concludes that the work was done sometime within the past three years. The time-frame is significant because if the International Atomic Energy Agency decides that the intelligence is credible, it would strengthen its concerns that Iran has continued weapons work into the recent past — and may be continuing to do so.
Because computer modeling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons, it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.
"You want to have a theoretical understanding of the working of a nuclear weapon that is then related to the experiments you do on the various components," said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security is a frequent go-to source on Iran for Congress and other U.S. government branches. "The two go hand-in-hand."
Such computer mock-ups typically assess how high explosives compress fissile warhead material, setting off the chain reaction that results in a nuclear explosion. The yield is normally calculated in kilotons.
Any new evidence of Iranian research into nuclear weapons is likely to strengthen the hand of hawks in Israel who advocate a military strike on Iran. They argue that Tehran is deliberately stalemating international efforts at engagement while continuing its clandestine weapons work.
Iran denies any interest in nuclear weapons and says suspicions that it ever tried to develop them are based on fabricated U.S, Israeli and other intelligence. At the same time, it has blunted IAEA efforts to investigate such claims for more than five years.

It also has scoffed at Western allegations that it is enriching uranium to make the core of nuclear warheads, saying it seeks only to create reactor fuel. But it refuses to accept offers of such fuel from abroad and is now producing material that is easier to turn into weapons-grade uranium than its main, lower-enriched stockpile.
The revelations come as Israeli officials are expressing growing alarm over what they see as continuing Iranian progress toward nuclear arms.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engaged this week in a strident public exchange with the U.S. administration, calling on Sunday for "red lines" to be set for Iran. The calls were rebuffed, and on Tuesday, Netanyahu declared that "those in the international community who refuse to draw a red line on Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."
Netanyahu said that sanctions were hurting Iran's economy but not nearly enough to compel it to stop the nuclear program, and said negotiations by the international community with Iran on the issue had failed.
Israel's position is that airtight sanctions are needed against Iran's central bank and oil exports. Because Asian nations in particular keep buying Iranian oil the country remains a top OPEC oil exporter, even though there are signs that its revenues are down and, with the currency plummeting, standards of living in Iran have fallen.
The comments from Netanyahu were the latest suggestion that Israel is considering taking military action on its own to at least slow down Iran's program. That prospect could badly rattle world markets and spark wider war, and is opposed not only in most Western capitals but also among many in Israel's security and political establishment. But Israeli officials have said that with Iran moving facilities underground its window of opportunity is closing while the world dithers with an inadequate sanctions regime.
Although some of the new information was said to have been supplied by the United States, it appears to run counter to the stated U.S. position that Iran shut down wide-ranging secret research and development of the components of a nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the same time the U.S. fears that Iran continues to move toward the threshold of making such arms by enriching uranium.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief IAEA delegate, cut short a telephone request for comment, saying he could not talk because he was in a meeting. In Tehran, meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Rahmin Mehmanparast told reporters that Iran will start answering the agency's "questions and concerns" only when "our rights and security issues" are recognized.
IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency would not comment. But four of six diplomats who spoke to the AP on the issue said an oblique passage in the IAEA's August Iran report saying "the agency has obtained more information which further corroborates" its suspicions alludes to the new intelligence.
All six demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss classified information member countries make available to the IAEA.
Two of them said the new information builds on what the agency previously knew, not only because the research was apparently performed past 2009 but also because it reflects that Iran has allegedly moved closer to the overall ability to develop a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA first outlined suspicions in November that Iran was working on calculating the yield of a nuclear weapon, as part of a 13-page summary of Iran's suspected nuclear weapons work that it said was based on more than 1,000 pages of research and intelligence from more than 10 member nations.
It said then that "the modeling studies alleged to have been conducted in 2008 and 2009 by Iran ... (are) of particular concern," adding that the purpose of such studies for calculating anything other than nuclear explosion yields is "unclear to the agency."
Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, said such computer-run modeling is "critical to the development of a nuclear weapon."
Associated Press writers Dan Perry in Jerusalem and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed.

Breaking: Islamic protesters storm US embassy in Cairo

Main ultraconservative Islamist protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt's capital Tuesday and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a video attacking Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the United States.

"Say it, don't fear: Their ambassador must leave," the crowd chanted.

Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, went into the courtyard and took down the flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart. The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with the Muslim declaration of faith on it, "There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet."

The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region. Almost all the embassy staff had left the compound before the protest, and the ambassador was out of town.

The protest was sparked by outrage over a video being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the U.S., clips of which are available on the social website YouTube and dubbed in Egyptian Arabic. 

The video depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres. Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.

By evening, the protest grew with thousands standing outside the embassy, chanting "Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die." A group of women in black veils and robes that left only their eyes exposed chanted, "Worshippers of the Cross, leave the Prophet Muhammad alone."

Dozens of riot police lined up along the embassy walls. They did not stop protesters who continued to climb up the wall and stand on it, chanting. But it appeared they were no longer going into the embassy compound.

One young member of the ultraconservative Salafi movement, Abdel-Hamid Ibrahim said, "This is a very simple reaction to harming our prophet."

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was working with Egyptian authorities to try to restore order.

Only a few staff members were still inside, as embassy security had sent most staff home early after learning of the upcoming protest, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

It was not exactly clear who made the video that angered the protesters.
Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian in the U.S. known for his anti-Islam views, told The Associated Press from Washington that he was promoting the video on his website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.
He said the video "explains the problems of the Copts who suffer from Muslims," which he blamed on the Quran itself.
For several days, Egyptian media have been reporting on the video, playing some excerpts from it and blaming Sadek for it, with ultraconservative clerics going on air to denounce it.

Medhat Klada, a representative of Coptic Christian organizations in Europe, said Sadek's views are not representative of expatriate Copts.

"He is an extremist ... We don't go down this road. He has incited the people (in Egypt) against Copts," he said, speaking from Switzerland. "We refuse any attacks on religions because of a moral position."
But he said he was concerned about the backlash from angry Islamists. "They don't know dialogue and they think that Islam will be offended from a movie."

The embassy is located in a diplomatic area in Garden city, where the British and Italian embassies are located, only a few blocks away from Tahrir Square, the center of last year's uprising that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The U.S. Embassy is built like a fortress, with a wall several yards high. But security has been scaled back in recent months, with several roadblocks leading to the facility removed after legal court cases by residents complaining their access to nearby streets was blocked.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/11/egyptian-protesters-scale-us-embassy-wall-in-cairo/#ixzz26C6vwWcY

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