Inside the Middle East
May 3, 2010
Posted: 915 GMT

Hosted by Rima Maktabi from Amman, Jordan
Debuts Wednesday May 5, 2010

“The 99” – Muslim Superheroes

For the first time, superheroes “inspired by Islam” are fighting evil and taking on the world in the form of comic books and an animated series. The creator and publisher, Kuwaiti clinical psychologist turned entrepreneur Naif Al-Mutawa, was singled out by President Obama at the March 26 Entrepreneurship Summit for “capturing the imagination of so many young people with superheroes that embody the tolerance and teachings of Islam.” Schams Elwazer introduces us to the man and the concept on the eve of a groundbreaking announcement that a major U.S. distributor will air the animated series in the United States.

Your IME Diary

We bring you highlights from events around the region in music and sports from a Tom Jones concert to Lebanese politicians playing a friendly soccer match commemorating the anniversary of the civil war. In old Amman we introduce you to artist Salam Kanaan. In Al-Ain we feature the Tinariwen musical group, a collective of Touareq rebel fighters turned musicians who sing about conflict and exile, about community and the triumph of the human spirit. Tracey Holmes meets these Blues men of the Sahara at the WOMAD music festival.

Campus Forum

In a regular segment featuring discussions with the region’s youth, Inside the Middle East goes on campus with students at Jordan University. Founded in 1962, it is the oldest university in the Kindgom and has the highest enrollment in the country with 36,000 students. We hold a roundtable discussion to address issues of education and employment opportunities, censorship, and students’ aspirations to help end poverty.

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Filed under: Inside The Middle East •Jordan •Kuwait •Lebanon •UAE

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Robert   May 3rd, 2010 9:12 pm ET

The announcement by New York authorities that there is no evidence to support an apparent claim of responsibility for Saturday’s attempted car bombing by a Pakistani based Taliban group underscores once again how Pentagon front groups are releasing fake and misleading “Al-Qaeda videotapes” in crass PR stunts to justify the expansion of the “war on terror” under Obama.

As soon as Fox News reported that “the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bomb plot,” we smelled a rat, especially as the so-called video claiming complicity was released by the Pentagon front group SITE, founded by the daughter of an Israeli Mossad spy.

“A text in gold letters on a black background at the start of the video congratulates Muslims for the “jaw-breaking blow to Satan’s USA.” As the speaker recites the message, images of the slain militants referred to flash across the screen. English subtitles are provided at the bottom of the screen,” stated the report.

“If you were a real terrorist group who wanted to appear fearsome and mighty, would you really release a statement claiming responsibility for an “attack” that amounted to little more than a car full of fireworks that killed nobody, injured nobody, and was an abject failure?” we asked on Sunday. “This claim of responsibility holds about as much credibility as if Barney the Purple Dinosaur had made a video saying he did it.”

Indeed, the original Fox News story has now been significantly watered down after New York police, as well as Mayor Bloomberg, publicly dismissed foreign complicity in the botched bombing.

“Although a Taliban bomb maker has claimed on the Internet… we have no evidence to support this claim,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

“There is no evidence that this is tied in with Al-Qaeda or any other big terrorist organization,” Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference held in Times Square.

How were we able to predict that the credibility of the videotape would soon crumble? Because for the last four years we have documented how groups like SITE and the closely affiliated IntelCenter have been caught red-handed releasing old, re-hashed, and even outright fraudulent “terrorist confession tapes” and claiming them to be both genuine and new.

SITE is nothing more than a contractor for the U.S. government, receiving some $500,000 a year annually from Uncle Sam, the majority of which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers. The group was founded by Rita Katz, the daughter of an executed Israeli spy. Katz has worked closely with the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security.

SITE’s website content was found to be largely copied from the U.S. State Department. “SITE’s “Terrorism Library, on cursory investigation, looks to be a straight data scrape from the U.S. Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism – 2003, Appendix B,” notes SourceWatch.

Al Qaeda Terror Tape Proven Fraudulent Once Again 150410banner1

Everything about SITE indicates that it is nothing more than a dummy organization being used by the military-industrial complex to release staged Al-Qaeda videotapes as part of the ongoing propaganda offensive to justify the brutal, pointless and manufactured war on terror.

SITE miraculously were able to obtain the highly suspicious September 2007 Bin Laden video tape before it was released by the so-called Al-Qaeda group who had made it. A month before the release of this tape, SITE’s sister organization IntelCenter was caught adding its logo to a tape at the same time as Al-Qaeda’s so-called media arm As-Sahab added its logo, proving the two organizations were one and the same.

SITE has been positively endorsed by Blackwater USA, the infamous military contractor co-founded by former Navy Seal Erik Prince that was found to have been involved in several massacres of innocent Iraqi civilians.

SITE’s continued existence relies on fleecing the American taxpayer by way of contracts with the U.S. government and constantly invoking and hyping the hugely exaggerated threat of alleged Al-Qaeda groups in the Middle East.

Having been caught once again releasing a suspicious video in which Middle Eastern terrorists claim responsibility for something that investigators say they had no involvement in, Americans really need to start asking hard questions about why their tax dollars are being thrown at such a dubious outfit, not to mention how investigations into acts of terror are being confused and hampered by frivolous claims of responsibility that turn out to be baseless.

The fact that the corporate media still treats such videotapes with presumed authenticity, despite the fact that they have been proven fraudulent on almost every occasion, tells you everything you need to know about the role of the establishment press in propping up the mirage of the war on terror.

Of course, now that foreign involvement has been dismissed, it’s almost guaranteed that the amateurish botched bombing attempt in Times Square will now be blamed on “homegrown extremists” and used to increase the purge of any and all dissent against big government, bolstering efforts to censor and silence passionate but peaceful criticism on talk radio and the Internet, a move being heartily cheered by liberals who cried foul when they were called traitors for criticizing the invasion of Iraq under Bush.

miriam   May 5th, 2010 5:23 am ET


It's quite amazing how your copy and paste conspiracy theories always seem to be the experts!

This is, once again, no more than on-line propaganda, written by apologists for jihadists.
Libertarians out there do not realize that they have been brainwashed and imprisoned on a planet filled with an ideology of lies.

Jerry Paul   May 8th, 2010 4:46 am ET

This is really a great news. We want more entrepreneur for the Animation Industry which is the current trend and the most demanding. It's good to hear that we now have one more.

All the Best

Air Arabia CEO:Hard To Quantify Cost Of Ash Disruptions

Bruce   May 9th, 2010 8:04 pm ET

Miriam, Thanks for bringing my attention to Roberts post at the top of this blog!!!

I think it's very good and well written, Although all who live in America have already woken up to the false terror stories being used to manipulate popular support for oil wars.

I guess heaven must be a place without oil and illegal Israeli settlements which provoke all of our problems.

Yusil   May 10th, 2010 11:57 am ET

It's called DEMOCRACY of which you know nothing. If there is anyone who is brainwashed it is you who regurgitates standard IDF mantra on every blog you post.

miriam   May 11th, 2010 10:15 am ET

Bruce and Yusil,

Democracy and freedom of expression does not excuse terrorism and lies.

BTW, the IDF does not govern Israel, nor does it have political affiliations or objectives.

It exists to protect the state's citizens and residents and has no propaganda unit.

Israel's non-military defenders come from all political and non-political streams from within and without, and derive their information from many sources including life experience.

John A   May 12th, 2010 2:04 pm ET

Miriam say "Democracy and freedom of expression does not excuse terrorism and lies".

Finally we agree, as we have been saying the same about Israel for a long time. Although Israel has little democratic freedom for those who debate the radicle crimes of Zionism.

miriam   May 13th, 2010 11:17 am ET

John A,

Debate is alive and well in Israel, with all citizens exercising their democratic freedoms, and abusing them too.

abdelmadjid azza   May 16th, 2010 7:43 pm ET

merci pour votre programme de votre cnn tv je veux le voir sur niel-sat

Brian   May 19th, 2010 10:12 am ET

Has anyone tried to express free speech with opposing views to Orthodox Jews.
Just try it and the Orthodox Jewish thugs will shoot you. Just ask Rabin's widow.

miriam   May 19th, 2010 7:25 pm ET


Israel and the Jewish world is full of those opposing Orthodox views, just as there is serious debate within the Orthodox community WRT many issues including loyalty to the state.

Similarly, there is debate among secular Jews WRT tolerance and respect of religion, their anti-religious rhetoric and their loyalty to the state.

Leah Rabin passed away a few years ago.

John A   May 20th, 2010 9:11 am ET

Lets hope Rabin's descendants don't become victims of Zionist thuggery and anti free speech.

When the former leader of Israel wanted peace with Palestine, the Zionist thugs executed him as if he was a Palestinian.

miriam   May 20th, 2010 1:34 pm ET

John A,

How are those in the Arab world who try to negotiate with Israel treated?

King Abdullah I, Sadat etc

proud zionist   May 20th, 2010 7:45 pm ET

john jew basher A

name one Arab parliament where Jewish members sit and speak out against the very country they represent

In the Israeli parliament this is an everyday occurence, ask your Arab buddies

Now that's democracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Smith in Oregon   May 23rd, 2010 11:08 pm ET

For a full year, U.S. Defense contractors have been waging a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign on News Media commercials claiming Iran invented explosively formed projectiles (EFP's) which are among the deadliest forms of improvised explosive devices which are being used across the Middle East to kill American troops.

Today, part of that false claim was revealed as the Nature Media Channel showed the steps for a top kill deep sea crude Oil operation. A series of small EFP's are lowered deep inside the deep sea drill casing and detonated. The EFP's blast a series of small holes thru the deep sea Oil casing instead of simply partially rupturing the heavy well casing pipe. Then drilling mud and cement is forced down the deep sea well casing to permanently seal that undersea deep sea oil well.

Although all shape charges could be termed EFP's in use since WW2, the specific design of EFP's with copper convex slugs appears to be directly tailor made ORIGINALLY to prepare a deep Ocean well casing for a top kill filled with cement.

It is certainly not any stretch to place Petrol workers entirely familiar with that practice to have shared that information with country's and organizations that do not love the American people. For example these specific types of EFPs were first used in improvised explosive devices against a armored car in the 1989 assassination of the German banker Alfred Herrhausen (attributed to the Red Army Faction) , and then 17 years later by Hezbollah in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. The most recent use is their widespread introduction in IEDs by insurgents in Iraq in Afghanistan.

This appears to directly refute any honesty of the U.S. Defense contractors claim in their multi-million dollar commercials stating Iran invented the copper slugged EFP's. Note that Iran doesn't have any deep sea crude Oil wells and the current use of EFP's against American soldiers didn't occur until 17 years after their lethal introduction to murder a German banker.

It is ENTIRELY likely copper slugged EFP's were in fact invented by U.S. Defense contractors working in conjunction with the DARPA, US Dept. of Defense (DOD) and the Big Oil corporations to design and work out a reliable method to help permanently cap deep sea crude Oil wells by puncturing the steel crude Oil casing in a series of holes instead of simply swelling out the Oil casing thru a normal explosion.

That research and development appears to have been either directly shared with China or leaked out to the Red Army where it was put into the nefarious use to assassinate a hardened target, namely the 1989 assassination of the German banker Alfred Herrhausen in his heavily armored car by the Red Army Faction in Europe. From there it was likely shared with North Korea and from there to Middle East nations who maintain a friendly relationship with North Korea.

miriam   May 24th, 2010 1:58 pm ET


The technology has been around for a long time along with its various uses as a penetration device.

I doubt anyone is claiming the Iranians invented the copper convex version, although it is highly possible that they have shared the technology with their proxies who have used them against US forces and others.

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Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog where CNN's journalists post news, views and video from across the region. This is also a place where you can start the discussion so please keep your comments coming. We highlight not only current news stories but also anecdotes and issues that don't always make the top of the headlines.

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