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In the shifting sands of the tumultuous Middle East, Hamas, the Palestinian terror group in control of the Gaza Strip, has found itself in an increasingly precarious position.

Click photo to download. Caption: Palestinians gather during ademonstration in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in theHamas-controlled southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on August 23, 2013. Theremoval of Morsi—a president from Hamas's parent group, the MuslimBrotherhood—creates

Feared for its massive arsenal of rockets and trained jihadis, the terror group is today also facing isolation and internal discord. With its Muslim Brotherhood allies on the run in Egypt, strained relations with former benefactors in Iran and Syria, and an increasingly technologically savvy Israeli enemy, the terror organization—while still dangerous—is facing a perfect storm of problems that threatens to undermine its power.

“While one cannot currently  say Islamist groups like Hamas are completely down and out, the removal of [Mohamed] Morsi’s government in Egypt and the subsequent crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood leadership, as well as the Muslim on Muslim fighting in Syria, together create serious problems for Hamas,” Matthew Levitt, senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institution for Near East Policy, told JNS.org.

For many years, Hamas relied on Iran and its partners, Syria and Hezbollah, for military hardware such as rocket missiles, terrorist training, and financial support. It is estimated that Hamas at one point received up to $250 million annually from Iran. But all that changed following exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s decision to close the Hamas office in Damascus in early 2012 and to pursue support from Sunni powers such as Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, all of which were on the rise at the time.

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JNS.org
By: Sean Savage
August 26, 2013

 
The Muslim Brotherhood's top leader looked somber and fatigued after his arrest Tuesday, his demeanor mirroring the Islamist movement's predicament following its stunning fall from power and a deadly government crackdown.

The Brotherhood's decision to play hardball after the military's ouster of Egypt's Islamist president has backfired, leaving it embroiled in a crisis and looking at unattractive choices: Aligning with hard-line groups in an insurgency that almost certainly will fail or going underground in the hope of resurfacing one day.

Regardless of which path it chooses, the Brotherhood's grim future will impact Islamic groups across the Middle East and beyond. The Egyptian organization is something of a "mother ship" that has inspired their creation and provided a role model of the political Islam they want to prevail.

"It looks like it's over for the Brotherhood," said Sameh Eid, a former member who has maintained contact with the group. "Brotherhood families are grieving over their dead or busy trying to see how they can visit loved ones in detention or others who are injured. The animosity on the streets is exhausting them and allies are abandoning them."

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The Associated Press
By: Hamza Hendawi and Maggie Michael
August 20, 2013

 
Nothing symbolizes the Utopianism of our times like both liberals and some conservatives calling for us to cut off aid to the Egyptian military, because of the widespread killings in what is becoming a civil war in Egypt. Such utter lack of realism from the left is not new, but hearing some conservatives saying the same things takes some getting used to.

President Obama's call for the Egyptians to end the violence and form an "inclusive" government, with all factions represented, may sound good to many Americans. But there is not a snowball's chance in hell that it will happen.

Egypt existed for thousands of years before there was a United States of America. In all those millennia, Egypt has never had a free or democratic society. Nor is Egypt unique in that.

Of all the different nations that have existed at various times and places throughout recorded history, it is doubtful that even ten percent were free or democratic.

Even free and democratic nations existing today took centuries to achieve freedom and democracy. Barack Obama may have enough ego to imagine that he could accomplish, during his White House years, what took centuries to accomplish elsewhere. But do others, including some conservatives, need to share that delusion?

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Jewish World Review
By: Thomas Sowell
August 20, 2013

 

Earlier this week, the Copenhagen Post reported that the Copenhagen police have been conducting a covert investigation into Danish funding sources for jihadists in Syria, including those fighting with the al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusrah Front.

According to Jens Møller, the head of the Copenhagen Police's violent crime division, among the several separate cases under investigation since March is an inquiry into the activities of controversial Islamist preacher Abu Ahmed. His Quba mosque is located on the island of Amager, on the outskirts of Copenhagen and just across the water from Malmo, Sweden. He is said to have provided spiritual guidance to aspiring Danish terrorists, and the mosque's Facebook page has supported Danish jihadists in Syria and solicited funds for the Al Nusrah Front. A Salafist charitable organization, Hjælp4Syrien, is suspected to be involved in funneling money to Syrian jihadists and terror organizations in Syria.

Part of the investigation will examine operations of the Danish charity Hjælp4Syrien to try to determine the source of the funds and whether any of them have served to finance terrorism. One of the difficulties police face is the fact that some of the likely recipients, including the Al Nusrah Front, are not on the European Union terrorist blacklist.

Two days ago, the first Danish-language jihadist video from Syria appeared on the Internet, according to the Copenhagen Post. In the video, which was recently uploaded to YouTube, jihadist Abu Khattab appealed to Danish Muslims to come to Syria for jihad, calling it the "forgotten implication." Khattab is known in Salafist circles in Denmark.

Responding to news of the video, Justice Minister Morten Bødskov warned: "[S]tay far away from him and far away from Syria." He added that Denmark is "working closely with intelligence agencies of other countries, and the police are investigating these communities intensely."


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