Amazon selling books in US, UK online stores that deny the Holocaust

(JTA) — Amazon has removed books that deny the Holocaust from online stores in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal, but they remain available in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The British newspaper The Independent reported that the books were removed in some countries, including Italy, France and Germany, after Amazon was contacted about the sale of such books by The Sunday Times of London.

Among the books still available on Amazon’s U.S. and U.K. online stores are “Did Six Million Really Die?” by Richard Harwood; “The Six Million: Fact or Fiction?,” and “The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews.”

Gideon Falter, chairman of the British charity Campaign Against Antisemitism, told The Independent: “Every day, Amazon promotes a selection of literature advocating Holocaust denial and Jew hatred. Anybody searching Amazon for books about the Holocaust, including children working on school projects, will inevitably be shown Amazon’s squalid cesspool of neo-Nazi titles.”

One Amazon customer who complained to the company told The Sunday Times he received a message from Amazon saying, “If you feel this book constitutes hate speech and malicious lies, then please check out the other hundred thousand books we carry to find something you like. I hope this helps!”

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the U.S.-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, called for a boycott of Amazon until it stops selling the books everywhere.

“When Amazon sells Holocaust denial books and even offers readers an opportunity to ‘borrow’ Holocaust denial books on Amazon Kindle, Amazon is a repugnant accomplice to Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism of historic proportions,” Goldstein wrote in a statement. “This makes Amazon a worldwide embarrassment to human decency. We call on everyone to stop shopping at Amazon until all divisions of Amazon in every part of the world stop selling Holocaust denial books and other works immediately.”

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PM: Israel, US, UK must form united front to combat Iran ‘aggression’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel must form a united front to combat Iran’s “extraordinary aggression.”

Iran is “trying to test the boundaries” of new administrations in Washington and London “with extraordinary aggression, with unusual hutzpah and antagonism,” Netanyahu told reporters as he boarded a plane to London ahead of meetings Monday with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Late last month, Iran tested intercontinental ballistic missiles in an apparent breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution, prompting angry responses from Jerusalem and Washington.

“There’s a new administration in Washington, a new government in Britain. I intend to speak with both of them on strengthening ties, both between each one and Israel, and trilaterally,” Netanyahu affirmed. “That’s what I will do next week in Washington, and that’s what I’m doing tomorrow in London.”

“I think the most important thing at the moment is that countries like the United States, with its leadership, and Britain and Israel, stand united against Iran’s aggression and set clear boundaries,” he said.

US President Donald Trump, echoing Netanyahu, has harshly criticized the nuclear deal Iran struck with six world powers, and last week threatened the regime over its illicit missile tests. The regime was “playing with fire,” the US president said, vowing to react to Iranian saber-rattling more aggressively than his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, January 27, 2017. (AFP/MANDEL NGAN)

Netanyahu was slated to meet May and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in London. He is scheduled for his first summit with Trump in Washington on February 15.

The prime minister will return to Israel after meeting with Johnson late Monday.

The UK, which is currently in the process of leaving the European Union, is seeking to forge new international alliances, most notably with the US. But London has in recent weeks also courted Jerusalem and took a pro-Israel line by refusing to sign the closing document at the Paris conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in January.

However, as opposed to Israel and the US, Great Britain has full diplomatic relations with Iran, including a functioning embassy in Tehran. The Foreign Office has so far remained mum over Iran’s ballistic missiles test launches. Thus, it remains to be seen whether Netanyahu will succeed in getting the UK to align with the Israel-American anti-Iran position.

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing street for the weekly Prime Minister's Questions session at the House of Commons in central London, February 1, 2017. (AFP/Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said that Israel is gearing up for “a significant diplomatic period,” a likely reference to a slew of upcoming trips abroad. Next week, he is scheduled to meet Trump at the White House, and two days after his return from Washington on February 17, will embark on a weeklong trip to Singapore and Australia.

Before his departure from Ben Gurion Airport, Netanyahu also spoke of the need to delay the final votes on the so-called Regulation Bill, which would legalize some 4,000 West Bank housing units built on private Palestinian land. While the votes were originally scheduled for Monday, the prime minister reportedly told coalition party leaders Sunday that he wants to delay in order to coordinate with the new US administration before passing the contentious bill into law.

When asked about potential rebellion from his coalition partners who are reluctant to delay the vote, Netanyahu replied, “I’m always hearing fake ultimatums. I’m not excited by [people giving] false briefings to the media.”

“I’m busy running the country and as I run the country I think about our overarching interest, and all my actions are directed toward it,” the prime minister said.

The bill, slammed by large parts of the Israeli left and center-right, as well as Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, would legalize several thousand homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank built illegally, offering financial compensation to the Palestinian landowners and staving off any further demolitions such as the one carried out against the illegal Amona outpost last week. The High Court of Justice was predicted to torpedo the legislation.

Why the US, UK, EU & Israel hate Syria

A young, soft-spoken girl living the Syrian tragedy spells it out with far more common sense, truth and honesty than powerful Western governments and their money-controlled mass media puppets.

In a short (nine-minute) video she explains “eight reasons why the NWO (New World Order) hates Syria.”  We would all do well to listen in…

Her ‘Top Eight Reasons Why They Hate Us’ is an excellent wrap-up, applicable to just about every self-respecting country in the world: no Rothschild-controlled Central Bank, no IMF debt, no genetically modified foods, oil and pipelines, anti-secret societies, anti-Zionism, secularism and nationalism.

Her brief message unravels as a sort of common sense manual which explains why the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union (especially France) and Israel are so keen on destroying Syria, a country whose leadership just won’t bow down to the New World Order elites embedded deep inside the Western powers’ own public (government) and private (corporate/banking) power structures.

She describes these eight reasons succinctly and convincingly, giving the world much food for thought and should hopefully inspire deep soul-searching. Especially amongst the people of the US, UK, EU and Israel who are the only populations that can put very direct pressure on their elected politicians in Washington, London, Paris, Tel Aviv and other Western capitals, forcing them to stop behaving like global criminals gone berserk, and to start heeding the word of We the People, in a responsible and democratic manner.

8 reasons the New World Order hates Syria

1) Syria’s Central Bank is state-owned & controlled – In other words, it manages its national currency so that it serves the Syrian people and not the Rothschild-controlled global bankers operating from their New York, London, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Basel and Paris hideouts.

This means that the volume of currency it issues is in proper sync with the true needs of real economy of work, labor, production and all that is useful to Syria’s people, instead of being in sync with parasitic, usurious, speculative foreign financiers. The latter seek to control local central banks so they can artificially limit the volume of currency available for genuine economic needs, especially the no-interest credit needed to finance useful things in the real economy: power plants, roads, gas works, housing, private enterprise and initiatives. This forces productive players – public and private – to have to resort to deadly interest and usury-based private banking loans whereupon the eternal debt chain starts to grow and grow as the so-called ‘sovereign debt crises’ that hit country after country throughout decades of time eloquently show.

By artificially distorting the volume of ‘public currency’ issued by sovereign central banks that generates no interest, countries are thus forced to resort to high interest bearing ‘private currency’ (loans) handled by the monopolistic private bankster cabal in the hands of Rothschild, Rockefeller, Warburg, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, CitiCorp, JP Morgan Chase interests.

Clearly, a very good reason for these parasitic banksters to want to take out Syria.

screenshot from youtube video by SyrianGirlpartisan

2) Syria has no IMF (International Monetary Fund) debt. This means that Syria’s leadership understands that the IMF – a public multilateral agency of member governments – is controlled by the global mega-bankers, and acts as their auditor and debt collection police whenever one of its weaker member states runs into sovereign debt trouble, which is another way of saying when those countries reach a point where they cannot siphon enough money out of their real economies – the work, toil and labor of its people – to hand it over to the parasitic private global bankers.

In a sense, the IMF’s real job is to act as the global power elite’s tax office – its ‘IRS’ so to speak – only that it does not tax people directly, but rather through proxy government and nation-states’ tax offices. Are we starting to understand the real roots of the ‘debt crises’ hitting Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Argentina, Spain, Italy, UK, US, Portugal, France?

Global slavery couldn’t have been better thought out and planned!

Actually, true Islamic nations rightly reject banking fractional lending and interest practices as being immoral.  That’s what Libya’s Gaddafi did, and what Syria and Iran presently do.

Clearly, a very good reason for parasitic banksters to want to take out Syria, just as they took out Libya and now target Iran.

3) Syria has banned genetically modified (GMO) seeds – Bashar Assad banned GMO’s in order “to preserve human health,” knowing full well that the Monsantos of this world are out to control the world’s entire food supply, because coming global crises will not only be about oil, but about how much food countries will be able to put on their people’s tables.

That’s why after invading Iraq, the US ordered that only Monsanto seeds should to be used.  That’s why submissive client states like Argentina are poisoning their own soil and people by bowing down really low to Monsanto’s demands.

Clearly, a very good reason for Monsanto to want to take out Syria.

4) Syria’s population is well informed about the New World Order – Its media and universities openly debate the global power elite’s influence in things. This means that they fully grasp the fact that real power in the West lies not in the White House, 10 Downing Street, Congress or Parliament, but rather with the complex and powerful grid of elite think-tanks led by New York’s Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Conference, Trilateral Commission, Americas Society, World Economic forum and London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, which interact with mega-bankers, media, universities, the military, multinationals and the corporate over-world.

As our young friend aptly explains, Syrians dare to talk about secret societies like Freemasonry or Yale University’s Skull & Bone Lodge whose members include top cats like former President George W Bush and current Secretary of State John Kerry.

Clearly, a very good reason for those top cats to order their errand boy Obama to take out Syria.

5) Syria has massive oil and gas reserves – here we go again!  Every time the West goes to war to protect “freedom, human rights and democracy,” there’s always the nauseous stench of oil; whether in Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, the Falklands, Afghanistan… Syria has offshore and onshore oil and gas reserves, and is helping to build a massive pipeline together with Iran, but without Western oil giants’ control. Clearly, the full militarization of all oil production and reserve zones, and the militarization of transportation routes to ‘bring oil home’ from everywhere in the world, is a key on-going joint US/UK strategy.

A worker walks in the Ebla natural gas plant near Homs, northeast of Damascus (Reuters / Khaled al-Hariri)

Clearly, a very good reason for BP, Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, Texaco, Total, Repsol and Chevron to want to take out Syria.

6) Syria clearly and unequivocally opposes Zionism and Israel – Israel practices criminal racist apartheid against the occupied Palestinians. Syria’s leadership has no qualms in accusing Israel of being what it is: a racist, imperialist, genocidal entity, as the Wall of Hate Israel erected around Palestine clearly shows. Israel manages what can only be described as an Auschwitz-like mega-concentration camp in Palestine with millions of ill-treated, often-assassinated and humiliated prisoners.

Such geopolitical clarity of mind was shared by Gadhafi’s Libya and Saddam’s Iraq, and today also by Iran, China, Russia and India.

Clearly a very good reason for political juggernauts like AIPAC (American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee), the World Jewish Congress, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), Likud, Kadima and Netanyahu/Lieberman to want to take out Syria.

7) Syria is one of the last secular Muslim states in the Middle East, whilst Zionist Jewish supremacists – in line with born-again-Israel-First-Bushite ‘Christian’ kooks in the West – need for everybody to align to the will of their dark demiurge god which has its own ‘chosen people’.

The Global Power Elite’s implicit order is clear: everybody must believe in Israeli superiority, whilst our young Syrian friend aptly points out that Syria, like Saddam’s Iraq, Gaddafi’s Libya and Iran just could not be convinced of that.

She adds that in Syria, “asking about religion is not polite,” because Syria has bred many of mankind’s prime religions for thousands of years, and those millennia have taught Syrians to be sensitive, tolerant and respectful of all creeds. Something we clearly do not see in the pro-West Arabian sheikdoms, nor in the US, UK and EU with its anti-Islamic paranoia, and where laws are passed imposing the most blatant cultural, political and historical lies demanded by religious bigots who insist that their god will only accept their own holocaust offerings.

Clearly, another very good reason for neocon fanatics and their Orwellian Thought Police to want to take out Syria.

8) Syria proudly maintains and protects its political and cultural national identity – she stresses how Syria “holds on to its uniqueness,” whilst respecting the uniqueness of others. The standardized coming world government simply abhors anybody standing up to its imposed standardization of thought, behavior and ‘values’, where the West’s global megabrands, shopping malls, and fashion & style dictatorships “makes every place look pretty much the same, which leads to a very boring world.”

Syrian women eat ice cream at the Al-Hamidieh market in old Damascus, September 8, 2013 (Reuters / Khaled al-Hariri)

Today, revolutionary thought in the West even amongst the young, boils down to choosing between Coke and Pepsi.

Clearly, a very good reason for Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds, Levis, Lauder, Planet Hollywood and Burger King to want to take out Syria.

Our young Syrian friend ends her message by reminding us that “if Syria falls, it could be the tipping point the ends in victory for the New World Order,” adding that today “Syria is the frontline against the New World Order.”

Wise words from a young lady who understands the catastrophic failure of the Western powers’ political class, who have now completely turned our world upside down; where the very worst and most malignant criminals have infected governments and private power structures, be it in Washington, New York, London, and Paris, or in Berlin, Rome, Bogota, Madrid, Tokyo, Seoul, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires or Riyadh.

If sometimes Hollywood serves as a showcase that reveals the darkest recesses of the Western power elite’s sick group psyche, we might even say that they are playing our the ‘Planet of the Apes’ saga, where a weird and hellish genetic inversion places horrendously destructive animals in places of world power, whilst noble vanquished humans are enslaved and thrown into cages.

Is this today’s metaphor best describing the US against Syria drama?

The eight points mentioned above are as good a guide to get all our countries back on course as we can muster in today’s troubled, out-of-control world.

Whether American, European, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or Shinto, the time has come for ‘We the People’ to make our voices heard on the streets, with neighbors, family and friends, work and school colleagues, through social networks, demanding that Western so-called ‘democratically-elected’ governments – all of which are the direct result of the will of money-sloshing elites that financed their climb to top government posts through their favorite lie they call ‘democracy’ – stop doing what they are doing, and start doing what we demand they do.  Now; immediately: we must take our countries back.

Our young Syrian friend has certainly set an example for all of us to follow.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

150 Terabytes! Norway Busts Largest Dark Web, Child Porn Networks in History — US, UK Media Ignore Story

http://www.renegadetribune.com/150-terabytes-norway-busts-largest-dark-web-child-porn-networks-history-us-uk-media-ignore-story/

 

By Torchy Blane of The New Nationalist

It’s one of the largest child sex abuse cases in history. A year-long special investigation called “Operation Darkroom” resulted in the seizure of 150 terabytes of data material in the form of photos, movies and chat logs containing atrocities against children as young as infancy, Norwegian police announced at a news conference in late November.

Among the 51 perpetrators said to be involved, 20 have been arrested. The list of the accused includes “highly educated” individuals, including two former or current elected politicians, one teacher, a lawyer and a police officer.


A young girl attempts to flee from the examining room before a medical forensic examination. A nine-year-old relative who admitted to playing “sexual games” with her was later discovered to have been abused himself. Both children were sent for counselling. PHOTO: Al Jazeera/Mariella Furrer

Yet, English-language media both in Europe and stateside in the U.S. have ignored the story.

As Norwegian news publication Tadens Krav reports, the material shows penetration of toddlers, children being tied, children who have sex with animals and children who have sex with other children. One of the accused men had a pregnant girlfriend and planned with another to commit offenses against the child when it was born, police said. Some of the accused performed abuses directly online, including atrocities against their own children.

Police stressed that the case involves a network. The investigation is ongoing.

So while the U.S. media busied itself with its campaign of denial, lies and cover ups involving Pizzagate and “fake news,” this huge child sex abuse story broke in Norway. The story did appear on Associated Press’ wire, but did anyone run it? Infamous crime syndicate rag The Washington Post had the story briefly on Nov. 20 but has since taken it offline. German state news group Deutsche Welle provided a brief story, and Sputnik ran a more thorough article.

It is a truly remarkable story with global implications. Take special note of the shocking file size — 150 terabytes! It’s too horrible to even contemplate. To put this into context, the Library of Congress holds about about 600 terabytes of Web data. Its online archive grows at a rate of about 5 terabytes per month. Also note the horrifically sadistic nature of the material seized. And note that police are investigating the reach as worldwide, which means it involves a massive scale of evil filth. But nobody in the criminally compliant mainstream media thinks its newsworthy.

Adding insult to public-service journalism injury, the crime syndicate has shifted gears and rolled out entertainment media to mock you. If you can stomach it, watch Stephen Colbert (below) reading unnaturally off of a script about fake news, Pizzagate and Michael Flynn. He engages in the same straw-man arguments we covered in our critique of the The New York Times’ skuldruggery. Colbert puts forth all the usual deceptions involving Hillary Clinton, tunnels and basements before declaring Pizzagate was politically motivated and fake. When you see this particular narrative, know that you are being gas-lighted and diverted. 

Yeah, laugh it up, fellas. The New Nationalist (TNN) has said from the beginning that Pizzagate is a poor term. This goes far beyond just one perv hangout pizzeria. And, of course, it transcends the political spectrum. The assertion that Pizzagate is “right-wing” inspired is a scam. Perhaps it’s because of the word “nationalist” in the name of our website that the media keeps citing us in its narratives. If these so-called “reporters” and libtards would take even a cursory look at what TNN publishes and stands for, they would see scathing indictments of Trump’s administration appointments. And just below our masthead, it very clearly states that TNN is third position, meaning beyond the Hegalian left-right dialectic. We are true humanists, who insist on protecting children from criminals.

 

UK, US intel reportedly spied on Israeli diplomats, army (GOOD!!!)

British and American intelligence spied on Israel’s diplomats and defense firms in addition to its military, the French daily Le Monde reported Wednesday based on leaked documents.

The report was based on material from Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who worked for US intelligence before publishing in 2013 classified material and fleeing to Russia.

According to the newspaper, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus collected information on a person described by Le Monde as the second-highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry. That person was not named. The British also spied on the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

The paper reported that the GCHQ and NSA spied on Israeli diplomats at home and abroad, as well as private security companies, government bodies, and university research centers.

Email correspondence belonging to the Israeli ambassadors to Nigeria and Kenya were also the subject of British intelligence-gathering efforts, as was Ophir Optronics, a firm that specializes in fiber optics and is deemed to be tied to the Israeli defense establishment.

Former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi were also among those spied upon.

The Le Monde report followed a previous publication based on documents stolen by Snowden dealing with spying by US and British intelligence on Israeli military aircraft.

GCHQ and its American counterpart, the NSA, had for 18 years intercepted drone transmissions after cracking the Israeli army’s encryption for communication among fighter jets, drones and army bases.

The information was reported in January by The Intercept and the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

Britain and the United States have reportedly used this access to monitor Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip, watch for a potential strike on Iran and keep tabs on the drone technology that Israel exports.

Israel not surprised by US/UK spying but says changes needed

Israel’s defense establishment will probably not view reports of US and British intelligence agencies tapping into Israel Air Force video transmissions as being particularly dramatic or surprising revelations.

The gathering of signals intelligence by the US and Britain did not jeopardize Israeli military operations.

In Israel, it’s a given that foreign intelligence agencies active in the Middle East monitor Israeli military activities.

Similarly, it is reasonable to assume that Israel tracks the activities of other states that deploy forces around the region.

The spying, as detailed in the recent report, does not constitute a breach of Israel’s most classified military secrets. It does, however, provide a strong impetus to continue to improve the encryption of air force transmissions.

The spying revelations are also likely to raise difficult questions about the quality of the military’s past encryption levels.

The successful attempt by the UK’s GCHQ and the US’s NSA to intercept and decrypt IAF drone and pilots’ transmissions from a Cyprus mountaintop facility exposes problems in the ability of the IDF to evade the prying eyes of powerful states.

The US intelligence community and those of other allied Western states, however friendly, are keen on knowing in real-time what Israel’s air platforms are up to at any moment. It is up to the IDF to ensure that its operational transmissions remain out of reach.

Much of the encryption of military communications is overseen by the IDF’s Center for Encryption and Information Security (CEIS). This secretive military unit is tasked with the job of making sure no one, particularly not hostile entities, can listen in on sensitive communications.

The unit enables missiles to send messages safely to control stations, jet fighter pilots and drones to communication with airbases, or rocket and missile defense batteries to send and receive signals before intercepting incoming projectiles.

The hope is that in 2016, the IDF as a whole, and the IAF in particular, have significantly upgraded their video encryption, compared to 2010, the last known year that friendly states were regularly deciphering video feeds from Israeli drones.

In huge Israeli intel breach, US, UK have spied on air force for 18 years

US and British intelligence services have spied on the Israeli air force for at least 18 years, after cracking the IDF’s special encryption system for communication between fighter jets, drones and army bases, Israel’s military censor approved for publication Friday, after reports of the spying operation appeared in two overseas publications.

The two countries have reportedly used this access to monitor IDF operations in Gaza, watch for a potential Israeli strike on Iran, and keep tabs on the drone technology that Israel exports. Israel said later Friday it was disappointed but not surprised by the revelations.

Based on documents and photos leaked by US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which had previously been classified, the news reports said the US and Britain have for years been able to track the transmissions of Israeli aircraft, and effectively view images and videos broadcast to IDF commands during drone operations in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and near the Jewish state’s northern border.

The tracking has been done from a Royal Air Force installation in the Troodos Mountains, near Mount Olympus, the highest point on the Island of Cyprus, according to The Intercept, which, along with German newspaper Der Spiegel, first published the documents.

The IDF encryption code was cracked as part of a major intelligence operation that has been conducted by the US’s National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, since 1998, the Ynet news site reported. Throughout the operation, many ciphers for advanced weapons systems used by Hezbollah, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Syria were broken.

‘This access is indispensable for understanding Israeli military training and operations and thus an insight to possible future developments in the region’

However, much of the focus of the operation, code-named Anarchist, was Israel.

“This is an earthquake,” a senior security source — who spoke on condition of anonymity — told Ynet. “It means that they have forcibly stripped us, and, no less important, that probably none of our encrypted systems are safe from them. This is the worst leak in the history of Israeli intelligence.”

The US and the UK, said The Intercept, have been “monitoring (Israeli) military operations in Gaza, watching for a potential strike against Iran, and keeping tabs on the drone technology Israel exports around the world.”

In the photos leaked by Snowden, shots from video recordings taken by Israeli aircraft can been seen in detail, as well as slides prepared by members of the US and British intelligence organizations explaining the significance of the findings.

“This access is indispensable for maintaining an understanding of Israeli military training and operations and thus an insight to possible future developments in the region,” a GCHQ report from 2008 read, The Intercept reported. “In times of crisis this access is critical and one of the only avenues to provide up to the minute information and support to US and Allied operations in the area.”

Edward Snowden (Photo credit: Youtube screen capture)

In 2008, according to The Intercept, the NSA’s internal newsletter, SIDToday, enthused that on January 3, after an Israeli airstrike on terror targets in Gaza, analysts had “collected video for the first time from the cockpit of an Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jet,” which “showed a target on the ground being tracked.”

In another leaked document, intelligence analysts are requested to record and send a video of IDF operations to GCHQ. “Due to the political situation of the region, there is a requirement for Israeli UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operations in certain areas to be intercepted and exploited so that assessments can be made on what possible actions maybe [sic] taking place,” the request, dated July 29, 2008, reads.

Photo posted on Twitter by Hamas' military wing claiming to show part of a downed Israeli drone, August 2014. (photo credit: web capture)

Twenty snapshots identified by The Intercept in the documents include several video stills taken from Israeli drones, dating between February 2009 and June 2010.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal late last month, even after US President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would limit spying on friendly heads of state, the NSA kept watch on Netanyahu and top Israeli officials as the Jewish state sought to thwart the nascent deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

In the process, the agency caught some conversations with US lawmakers, according to the report.

According to the Journal report, some of the exchanges in question involved Israeli strategy around the Iran nuclear deal that Netanyahu ardently opposed, as did congressional Republicans. In some cases the NSA overheard Israeli officials trying to convince undecided lawmakers to oppose the deal, which Congress ultimately failed to block.

The White House declined to comment on specific intelligence activities carried out by the US. But White House officials said the US doesn’t spy overseas unless there’s a specific, validated national security reason to do so, emphasizing that the principle applies both to world leaders and regular citizens.

British jihadis may have been part of Sinai plane bombing

British intelligence agency overheard UK accents among Sinai Peninsula jihadists who were celebrating the downing of a Russian airliner that killed all 224 passengers and crew aboard.

The overheard accents imply “a definite and strong link” between British jihadis and the crash of the A321 airliner belonging to the Metrojet airline shortly after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport on October 31, the British newspaper Sunday Express reported Sunday.

GCHQ, the British secret service comparable to America’s NSA and responsible for signals intelligence, picked up “chatter” by Sinai- and Egypt-based fighters with the Islamic State affiliate in the country that included English-speakers with accents hailing from UK cities London and Birmingham.

UK intelligence believes the British-born Islamists may have been a key part in planning what they describe as a sophisticated operation to plant a bomb on the plane, which carried mostly Russian tourists.

The very fact that the British-born fighters were present in the ranks of Sinai’s IS affiliate, which before swearing allegiance to the Iraq- and Syria-based group was known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, suggests there is more to its declared allegiance than mere rhetoric. The jihadists were said to have been trained in bomb-making in Syria, and British intelligence services fear their next target may be British airliners.

“Jihadis in the Sinai area of Egypt could be heard celebrating,” a source told Sunday Express on Saturday.

“A closer analysis of that material has identified London and Birmingham accents among those numerous voices. There has also been some internet traffic suggesting that there was British involvement in the attack. This was a very sophisticated, carefully planned operation involving many moving parts,” the source said.

A screenshot from an Islamic State video celebrating the downing of the Russian passenger plane on October 31, 2015 in Sinai, which the group has claimed responsibility for. (MEMRI)
A screenshot from an Islamic State video celebrating the downing of the Russian passenger plane on October 31, 2015 in Sinai, which the group has claimed responsibility for. (MEMRI)

According to sources cited by the paper, “We know there are British jihadis in Egypt fighting with members of Islamic State. They were trained in Syria and are now hardened terrorists. Some of the Britons have an electronics background and have been developing some very sophisticated bombs. They have been experimenting with different-sized charges and different types of explosives but there was nothing prior to this attack to suggest that they were going after airlines.”

The attack on a Russian airliner may have been linked to Russia’s launch last month of an aerial bombardment campaign in Syria in defense of embattled strongman Bashar Assad, attacks that have targeted positions of the Islamic State group, among other rebels.

Nearly 2,000 British vacationers who were stranded in the Sharm el-Sheikh resort after the attack boarded planes home Saturday.

Britain also suspended flights to the Red Sea resort on Wednesday, saying it feared a bomb like the one that likely brought down the Russian jet, and due to concerns about security at the airport.

Nine flights carrying 1,945 people were coming back to Britain on Saturday, according to transport officials — two easyJet, two Monarch, two Thomson, two Thomas Cook and one British Airways.

But the British government warned that some tourists may have to stay on longer in the resort before they can be flown home.

“With a limited number of flights able to leave Sharm el-Sheikh each day for the UK, it is likely that tour operators or airlines will advise some people to extend their stay at their resort,” a government spokesman said.

“We understand that tour operators and airlines are working to ensure that, where people need to extend their stay at their resort, necessary costs will be covered.”

Tourists arrive to the departure hall of the Sharm el-Sheikh airport, south Sinai, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 7 2015. (AP/Vinciane Jacquet)
Tourists arrive to the departure hall of the Sharm el-Sheikh airport, south Sinai, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 7 2015. (AP/Vinciane Jacquet)

There were estimated to be as many as 20,000 Britons in Sharm el-Sheikh when the jet crashed on October 31, and the repatriation process could take days.

Russia has halted flights to Sharm el-Sheikh but Egypt Saturday pushed back against suspicions that the plane was bombed, saying the disaster probe had yet to establish a hypothesis.

Analysis: Britain’s Cameron under criticism for hosting Egyptian president Sisi

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt arrived in London for his first state visit to the United Kingdom since taking power in a coup during the summer of 2014. His trip is being seen as a further sign that the former general’s regime is being welcomed in from the cold by Western governments. Sisi’s presence is, for the second time in a matter of weeks, prompting strong criticism of Prime Minister David Cameron for hosting another world leader with a dreadful record on human rights following China’s Xi Jinping’s October visit.

Although lacking the size and impact to be categorized as an emerging superpower like China, Egypt nevertheless possesses great importance as a leading Arab nation with strong ties to the West while among its bona fides is its role as custodian of the Suez Canal, the man made channel that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean through which most of the West’s oil passes.

Egypt’s size and strength as the most populous Arab nation [82 million] makes it an important ally for Western interests, Gilbert Ramsay, a lecturer in terrorism and political violence at St. Andrews University, told The Media Line. In the past, Egypt was seen as a force for stability, and as being capable of “keeping a lid on extremism” in the region, according to Ramsay, who suggested that while this belief is less certain since the upheavals of 2011, it remains a belief Sisi is committed to cultivating.

President Sisi came to power when the army which he headed stepped in to remove Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first leader to be chosen democratically, in what amounted to a coup d’etat. Morsi, of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, had angered many Egyptians with religiously inspired legislation and had sparked popular protests against his rule. But the severity of Sisi’s army when restoring order to the country elicited criticism from local and international human rights groups and from some Western leaders. Hundreds of Egyptians were killed and thousands arrested during the disorder following Morsi’s fall from power and imprisonment. The Muslim Brotherhood has since been banned and branded a terrorist organization.

Wider events in the Middle East are pushing such concerns to the sidelines, Gamal Soltan, a professor of politics at the American University of Cairo, told The Media Line.

“Developments in the region such as terrorism and failing states, are making the relationship necessary,” Soltan said, adding that this is, “enhancing Egypt’s importance,” to countries like the UK.

In the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian security forces have been locked in a conflict with an affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), and with the conflict in Syria no closer to ending, many Western leaders, including Britain’s David Cameron, appear to be taking allies wherever they can find them.

Events in the Sinai and Egypt’s concerns there have been highlighted by last week’s crash of a Russian passenger plane over the Peninsula which killed all 224 people on board, mostly Russian tourists. Although the cause of the crash has not been established, ISIS has claimed responsibility and most experts are now leaning to the belief that the Metrojet Airbus 321-200 was brought down by a bomb.

For Sisi, the visit to the UK “will be about further integration of Egypt (back) into the international community after the turmoil of the recent past,” Soltan explained. Egypt has security concerns of its own, not least among them its neighbor, Libya.

The UK had a part to play in the removal of Libya’s former ruler, Muammar Ghaddafi, and the chaos that followed, Soltan said. According to Soltan, it is likely that the Egyptian leader will urge Cameron to “end the current policy of doing nothing – which is the current UK policy on Libya – as it’s a policy which is not working.”

“What the UK wants from Egypt (in return) is the same as in the past – stability and a positive partner in the Middle East,” Ramsay said. The question, though, is whether or not the Sisi regime is so tainted by the actions it took to restore order in Egypt that it is no longer a desirable ally for the UK.

In hosting President Sisi, the UK government appears to be saying that it has no such concerns. “David Cameron is rolling out the red carpets once again, this time for a President who has overseen one of the worst crackdowns on human rights in Egypt in decades,” Nadine Haddad of Amnesty International told The Media Line. The international rights group believes this is the wrong message to be sending and is concerned that British weapons sold to the Egyptian government will be used to “commit or facilitate serious human rights violations.”

The fuss being made about the former general’s visit to the UK will have little impact and will be quickly forgotten, Scott Lucas, of Birmingham University’s Political Science department, told The Media Line. “When you have countries that have a suspect record on human rights visiting, you’ll have a flurry of stories, then you’ll have some protests in London trying to gain some visibility, and then within a few days the stories are gone.” He explained that like with the visit of Chinese Premiere Xi Jinping, the British public is unlikely to pay too much attention to human rights violations far away from home.
According to Lucas, unending stories about human right violations cause apathy among audiences. “People get fatigued, they just get tired. These are just numbers of people who might be detained – you can’t humanize them.”

UK suspends flights to Sinai, says jet may have been downed by bomb

The British government said it increasingly concerned that a Russian jet that crashed in Egypt over the weekend was brought down by a bomb, announcing that it is suspending flights to and from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said British aviation experts were traveling to the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the flight that Saturday originated from, to assess security before British flights there will be allowed to leave.

No British flights were flying there Wednesday.

“We have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device,” Cameron’s office said in a statement.

The British government’s crisis committee is due to meet later Wednesday.

The announcement comes as Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is set to visit London. Sissi, who is battling an insurgency by jihadists in the northern Sinai, has sought to downplay fears the plane was downed by a missile or bomb.

Cameron and Sissi spoke by telephone on Tuesday, discussing the Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at the weekend, Cameron’s office said.

Their talks on Thursday will focus on “security cooperation between both countries,” a spokeswoman said.

The Metrojet Airbus A321-200 carrying Russian vacationers from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt back to Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early Saturday, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian officials say the plane broke up in the air 23 minutes after takeoff after reaching an altitude of 31,000 feet. But they have refrained from announcing the cause of the crash, citing the ongoing investigation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is pictured outside 10 Downing Street in London on November 3, 2015, as he waits to greet President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. (AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'N)

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Russia and Egypt have rejected the claim.

On Wednesday, an IS affiliate in the Sinai allegedly reiterated its claim to have downed the plane.

In an audio recording circulated among militant supporters online Wednesday, a speaker said the crash coincided with the anniversary of the group’s pledge of allegiance to IS. The dates of the crash and the pledge roughly coincide according to the Islamic calendar.

Experts say the militants lack the sophisticated arms needed to shoot down a plane at cruising altitude. The speaker did not say how the militants brought down the jet.

The AP could not independently verify the recording but it resembled previous statements issued by the group. The US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites, picked up the recording and circulated a translation.

Sissi said an earlier IS claim was “propaganda” aimed at damaging Egypt’s image.

Metrojet, the plane’s owner, and Russian authorities offered conflicting theories of what happened. Metrojet officials have insisted the crash was due to an “external impact,” not a technical malfunction or pilot error. Russian officials have said it’s too early to jump to that conclusion.

Two US officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that US satellite imagery detected heat around the jet just before it went down.

The infrared activity could mean many things, however, including a bomb blast or an engine on the plane exploding due to a malfunction. One of the officials who spoke condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the information publicly said a missile striking the Metrojet was ruled out, because neither a missile launch nor an engine burn had been detected.

Some aviation experts had earlier suggested a bomb was the most likely cause of Saturday’s crash, while some others pointed to a 2001 incident in which the Metrojet plane damaged its tail during a rough landing.

Investigators have extracted the data from one black box of the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt and experts will now analyse it, the civil aviation minister said Wednesday.

“The data from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) has been extracted and validated. It will now be subject to detailed analysis by the investigators,” Mohamed Hossam Kamal said.

“The other black box — the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) — has been partially damaged and a lot of work is required in order to extract the data from it,” he said, without elaborating.

Experts began examining the black boxes on Tuesday, and say their investigation could last several weeks or even months.