Hardline Egyptian Islamists protest appointment of Christian governor in southern Egypt
The Telegram 04/17/2011
LUXOR, Egypt – Hundreds of hardline Islamists and members of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood have blocked railway lines and roads to protest the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor.
The protesters rallied for a second day Sunday in front of the governor’s office in the southern city of Qena and barricaded the railroad tracks, preventing several trains from leaving Qena and Luxor, a popular tourist destination.
Egypt’s ruling military council on Friday appointed 20 new governors to replace those who served under President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in February.
The demonstrators are calling for a Muslim governor.
Egypt Islamists Protest Christian Governor From Time.Com 04/18/2011 (The online Time Magazine)
(CAIRO) — Protesters led by hardline Islamists in southern Egypt held their ground Monday, saying they won’t end their campaign of civil disobedience until the government removes a newly appointed Coptic Christian governor.
The protesters, many from the ultraconservative Salafi trend of Islam, have been sitting on train tracks, taken over government buildings and blocked main roads in the southern city of Qena, insisting the new governor won’t properly implement Islamic law.
Attempts by the newly appointed interior minister, who hails from the same area, to defuse the crisis were rebuffed and protesters insisted their sit-in, which began Friday, would continue.
Since the Feb. 11 ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in popular protests, Islamist groups have have been flexing their muscles and are vowing to take a more active political role as Egypt is still drawing its transition to democracy.
The prominent role of these ultraconservative Islamic movements, which were once politically quiescent, has worried many, including the secular activists and youth groups that were the driving force behind the uprising.
He said tensions were so high that the local Christian residents had to stay inside and couldn’t go to church to celebrate Palm Sunday.
A video posted on the YouTube website showed a speaker telling a crowd at the government office: “This won’t work. A Copt won’t implement Islamic law.” According to the constitution, Islamic law is supposed to be the primary source of legislation in the country.
The country’s most organized political opposition group, the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood, has also become more vocal about its plans, drawing on its large network of social groups and followers, which it had for long to operate under strict security oversight from the Mubarak regime.
A senior group leader caused an uproar after he was quoted in local papers as saying his group seeks to establish an Islamic state, imposing Islamic punishments — including amputating hands for theft.
“We can’t sleep anymore, so we give room for this religion to thrive in Egypt. Don’t let us waste this opportunity,” Saad al-Husseini, a Brotherhood leader, said, according to the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Court order to dissolve Egypt’s NDP deals body blow to old power structure
The Christian Science Monitor 04/17/2011
Cairo – The gutted headquarters of Egypt’s former ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) sits blackened and abandoned after having been torched during February’s pro-democracy revolution. Many of the party’s leading figures are now in jail awaiting trial or charges.
Still, many in Egypt had feared that the party of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak could yet use its vast organizational network and resources to roll back the revolution – and win a wide swath of seats in parliamentary elections scheduled for September.
Those concerns subsided Saturday when Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court ordered the dissolution of the NDP.
“It’s illogical for any instruments of the regime to remain, now that the regime itself has fallen,” said the court in a statement. The court also ordered the party’s vast assets be liquidated and the funds turned over to the state. “This money is actually the money of the people,” it said.
SO NOW ALL THAT REMAINS IS THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD!
IS THAT HOW WE ARE SPELLING DEMOCRACY TODAY?
They have followed the Iranian Revolution playbook to the letter in Egypt …. they are actually ahead of schedule …
Radial Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt The Telegraph London 04/17/2011
The rapid spread of Muslim political parties ahead of September’s parliamentary elections has strengthened fears that Egyptian democracy will be dominated by radical Islamic movements.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.
The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.
An Egyptian court on Saturday disbanded the National Democratic Party.
Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, last week predicted the group’s candidates would win 75 per cent of the seats it contested.
Fundamentalist factions have also emerged as parties. Gamaa al-Islamiya, an al-Qaeda linked group that promotes Salafist traditions has used its mosques as a political base for the first time since the 1970s.
A scare campaign that a No vote in last months referendum would eliminate Islamic law from the Egyptian constitution ensured a 77 per cent Yes result.
But the April 6th movement that spearheaded protests has no clear plan for party politics. Diplomats have warned the demonstrators are not well prepared for elections.
“The leadership of the protests was so focused on the street-by-street detail of the revolution, they have no clue what to do in a national election,” said a US official involved in the demonstrations. “Now at dinner the protesters can tell me every Cairo street that was important in the revolution but not how they will take power in Egypt.”
(What the community Orgainzer started, the Muslim Brotherhood will finish)
Mahsud Arishie, a teacher visiting the square, said Egypt would be a different country in the wake of the uprising. “Muslims have their own space now where there is no pressure from the government, only a direct connection to the Lord in the sky,” he said as he made his way to the prayers. “That does not mean our country will be hostile to the West but it does mean we will do what we want.”
(Sounds very Iranian to me …. )
Amr Moussa, the Arab League president, has conceded that its inevitable that Islamic factions will be the bedrock of the political system.
As hardliners compete for street power, Egypt’s Christians – who make up 10 per cent of the population – are emigrating in growing numbers. Al-Masry al-Youm, an Egyptian newspaper, reported last week that the Canadian embassy had been swamped by visa requests from Coptic Christians. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8457030/Radial-Islamist-groups-gaining-stranglehold-in-Egypt.html
Filed under: EGYPT, Egyptian Revolution - Ascent of the Islamic Fundamentalists, Politics | Tagged: Egyptian Revolution, Egyptian Revolution Hijacked By Fundamentalists, Fundamentalist Take control Of Egypt, Islamic Fundamentalism | Leave a Comment »
EGYPT’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION -ENDING THE MYTH OF A SECULAR STUDENT UPRISING:
Myth #1: EGYPT’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION WAS LED BY A GROUP OF SECULAR STUDENT REFORMERS
You might recognize the narrative below, note however, the article was authored 4 months before the start of the “revolution”.
September 16, 2010: EGYPT’S YOUTH BUILD A NEW OPPOSITION MOVEMENT, CALL FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORM
“Inside a small apartment tucked away in a middle class Cairo neighborhood, a trainer teaches a dozen volunteers of a budding opposition movement the basics of political organization, communication, recruiting and gathering signatures.” (Who is this trainer? Where did they come from?)
“Over the past six months, about 15,000 OF THESE VOLUTEERS have formed the kernel of a burgeoning YOUTH OPPOSITION MOVEMENT in Egypt who are pinning their hopes for leadership on Mohamed ElBaradei …”
“We need an overarching dream to MAKE US FEEL A PART OF SOMETHING,” said 18-YEAR-OLD Abdul-Rahman Salah, who was among volunteers receiving training in political organization. (Who was providing this training?) “People are starting to CHANGE”. (This from an 18 year old who wants to , “FEEL A PART OF SOMETHING”).
“But coordinators say they intend their new campaign, managed from the small office in Cairo’s Mohandiseen neighborhood, to one day be at THE HEART OF A CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT that will take on the Mubarak regime. (Planning for civil disobedience in September 2010? Four months before the beginning of the “spontaneous revolution”?).
“So far, they have focused on gathering signatures online for a petition ElBaradei launched four months ago. The aim is to show the extent of public support behind his call for … constitutional amendments”
The MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD “IS HELPING” in the campaign, though it and ElBaradei’s supporters may seem like strange bedfellows.”
“So far, the petition has collected 800,000 signatures, nearly 700,000 of them secured through the BROTHERHOODS WEBSITE, A SIGN OF HOW ITS NETWORK DWARFS THAT OF THE NASCENT GROUP IN THIS COUNTRY OF NEARLY 80 MILLION.” (THE BROTHERHOOD’S WEBSITE?)
“Critics warn that the alliance with the Brotherhood may drown liberal voices and drive away potential supporters wary of Islamist ideology. But the campaign organizers appear unfazed. “No one faction can ORGANIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ALONE,” he said.
(I’m surprised that this “slip of the tongue” made it into print – so the intent, right from the start, was not “reform” but “CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE”).
(IT TOOK THE ESTMATED 15,000 DEMOCRATIC STUDENTS 4 MONTHS TO COLLECT AN ESTIMATED 70,000 SIGNATURES. MANY OF WHICH WERE SUPPLIED BY MEMBERS OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.
THE BROTHERHOOD GATHERED AN ADDITIONAL 700,000 SIGNATURES IN JUST 3 WEEKS.)
Do you know the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign slogan? “Islam is the solution”.
MYTH #2: Secular student organizers the driving force behind Egypt’s Islamic Revolution.
When did Mohamed ElBaradei return home to lead the “leftist students” of the “Secular Revolution?”
It wasn’t in January 2011 as has been so frequently claimed.
02/19/2010 Supporters give Mohamed ElBaradei hero’s welcome at Cairo airport: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704511304575075492707307592.html
ElBaradei arrived in Egypt 11 months “before” the revolution to start planning the “CIVIL DISOBIEDENCE” with the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD. ElBaradei’s petition drive “to change the Egyptian Constitution” began in March 2010.
LA TIMES : EGYPT 07/10/2010: Muslim Brotherhood secures tens of thousands of signatures for ElBaradei’s petition
“The number of Egyptians who have signed a petition for … potential presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei HAS DOUBLED OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS after the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD posted the document on one of its AFFLIATED WEB SITES.”
(THE BROTHERHOOD HAS WEBSITES? NO THE BROTHERHOOD CAN’T HAVE WEB SITES. THE TRUE DEFINITION OF ISLAMOPHOBIA: The Liberal American Press and the Obama Administration’s insistence that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are not intelligent enough to use the Net, Twitter or Face Book to achieve their desired political ends. ISLAMOPOHOBIA: The belief that only liberal, western “students” or 60-plus-year old retreads from America’s 1960’s “revolution now man” scene are capable of “blogging”).
“Since launching tawkatonline ON JULY 7, 2010 nearly 70,000 followers of Egypt’s largest opposition group signed the petition, taking the total to 145,000 signatures since the petition was first proposed by ElBaradei’s NATIONAL FRONT FOR CHANGE in April.” (Note this LA Times article is dated 07/10/2010 – The Brotherhood obtained 70,000 signatures in 72 hours, the “Secular Student Movement” took 5 months to obtain 70,000 “signatures”, many from Muslim Brotherhood members).
“Signatures on petition for change increasing steadily. There’s no going back. Youth are Egypt’s hope for a better future,” Elbaradei said on his TWITTER ACCOUNT. (THE BROTHERHOOD HAS TWITTER ACCOUNTS? NEXT YOU’LL BE TELLING ME THE BROTHERHOOD POSTS ON FACEBBOOK OR THAT THERE ARE “MUSLIM” PAGES ON FACE BOOK).
The English version of AL Jazeera reported this on 11/21/10, just weeks prior to Egypt’s last elections and two months before the “start of the “revolution”:
Al Jazeera 11/21/10: THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN FLUX
“Egypt is on the cusp of dramatic change. For the first time in three decades, the country will soon have a new president, either through election in 2011 – which would be unprecedented in Egyptian history – or through the death of the ailing 82-year-old president Hosni Mubarak, an event that has the potential to set off the most significant civil unrest in the Middle East since the 1979 revolution in Iran.”
(Did I just read a comparison to Iran?)
“The key to any roadblock on the path to such “republarchy” lies with the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamist movement and far and away the largest and best-organized counterweight to Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP).”
“Change in Egypt, for better or worse, does not materialize without the Brothers.”
(So, the discussion in the Middle East in November 2010 wasn’t really about bringing Mubarak’s reign to an immediate end, it was about the opposing groups getting positioned to replace Mubarak after he died or retired. Is that the story the American Press brought to you?).
AL JEZEERA HAS KNOWN WHO THE PLAYERS IN EGYPT’S REVOLUITION WERE RIGHT FROM THE START …
AL JAZEERA REPORTED THE “EGYPT’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION” ACCURATELY …
From the Al Jazeera article, “When … Mohamed ElBaradei – THE GREAT HOPE OF EGYPT’S SECULAR LEFTISTS – RETURNED HOME THIS YEAR (2010) and launched a petition drive… his NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR CHANGE gathered 106,661 signatures in support by early September ( a period of 7 months – February 2010 until September 2010 – 70,000 of which were actually obtained by the Muslim Brotherhood)). The Muslim Brotherhood came up with more than 650,000 signatures in just under 3 weeks.”
“Long repressed by authorities and still technically outlawed, the group is coming off a landmark five-year term in which it served as the largest-ever minority bloc in Egypt’s short multi-party political history and the loudest critic of Mubarak’s 30-year authoritarian rule.”
(The small group of “secular leftists” who believe they are driving the Islamic Revolution in Egypt, simply fail or refuse to acknowledge that the “tail is not wagging the “dog” … that the “dog” is simply allowing the “tail” to follow along).
But Abdelrahman Ayyash, a 21-year-old Brotherhood blogger and a “secular leftist”, said that choosing to participate in the election this year (The Brotherhood participated in the 2010 elections, the “secular leftists” did not) was a mistake that has created a schism between the Brotherhood and reform leaders such as ElBaradei and Ayman Nour, (DID I JUST READ, “21-YEAR-OLD BROTHERHOOD BLOGGER” – oh my gosh he had me fooled – I thought he was a “new age” Secular Egyptian Reformer – now I find out he is a PAID, Brotherhood blogger … A 21-YEAR -OLD BLOGGER at that. Gee and I really wanted to believe in the FACE BOOK and Twitter Revolution … can’t I just ignore this)
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood –THE ORGANIZATION
It is conservatively estimated that there are 16 to 18 million “supporters “of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. (20% of the population) It is also estimated that the “secular leftist” students who claim to be “leading” the Egyptian Islamic Revolution, number, in the most generous estimates, something under 50,000.
In a 11/10/2010 article titled. “THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN FLUX”, an article published before Egypt’s Nov. 2010 elections, Al Jazeera noted,
“Working in the Brotherhood’s favor, however, is its structure and elections system … As Hamid describes it, each member belongs to a local osra, or family. With around 10 to 20 other members, they meet every week and SHARE AN ISLAMIC EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM. Fifty families make up a sha’aba, or branch, and 10 branches make up a district. Multiple districts comprise governorates, which do not necessarily correspond to the 29 that make up the official Egyptian state.”
“Since 2004, the Brotherhood has held leadership elections at every level of its organization, Hamid said.”
“The Brotherhood’s parliament is similarly elected, though there have been allegations that supposedly secret ballots were compromised when members have visited others at home to apply pressure to vote a certain way.” “2 million members of the Muslim Brotherhood voted in the last “Brotherhood” election”
THE BROTHERHOOD HAS HAD, FOR DECADES, ITS OWN SHADOW GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT IN EGYPT. Unless, of course, you believe AL Jazeera is a Zionist/American, Jew loving, front organization, dedicated to propagating lies about the BROTHERHOOD and ISLAM , as I am sure someone will post here… you can take this as fact ….
EGYPT: A REPEAT OF THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION?
THE HEART OF THE ISSUE: WHO WILL DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT EGYPT WILL ADOPT, A SMALL GROUP OF “SECULAR LEFTIST” STUDENTS AND INTELLECTUALS, AS AL JAZEERA CALLS THEM, A GROUP WHO NUMBER SOMETHING UNDER 50,000 IN A COUNTRYT OF 84 MILLION or THE MILLIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND THE ISLAMIC ELDERS TO WHICH THEY TURN FOR ISLAMIC GUIDANCE?
Let’s examine the comments of one of the “student organizers” or “secular leftist liberals”,
“We won’t be another Iran,” Ayyash insisted, “The Islamists in general are trying to find the way between the LIBERAL VALUES OF EQUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP AND TO PUT THEM INTO ACTION, BUT FROM THE ISLAMIC ASPECT.”
“I believe that MODERATE ISLAMISTS WILL GIVE THE FREEDOM FOR PARTIES TO FORM even if these parties are fighting their ideology,” Ayyash said. “If the people say YES TO HOMOSEXUALITY , FOR INSTANCE, IF I WERE IN POWER I THINK THAT I WOULD LEAVE POWER… and I’ll be in the opposition to try to convince people THAT IT IS WRONG” “But,” he added, “I THINK EGYTPTIANS AT THIS MOMENT WILL REFUSE THAT BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST THE QURAN”.
For those of you who still don’t understand … Egypt will no longer be a secular state, it will be an Islamic State, with Sharia Courts, not Civil Courts. The final arbiters of Egyptian society will be the “Islamic Jurists”, not “Administrative Politicians”.
YES AYYASH. The Quran will rule Egypt … and Ayyash, you maybe what passes for a secular liberal In Egypt, but you would not be considered a “liberal” or “secular” in any western democracy.
AYYASH, another Iran is exactly what you will be.
Al Jazeera went on to note: “The role of women and members of other religions, especially whether a woman or a Coptic Christian, for instance, should be allowed to assume an elected position of power, remains a source of HEATED DEBATE within the Brotherhood, Dunne said. The same goes for homosexuality, sexual liberty and drug and alcohol use….. “
WELL LETS BE HIONEST ABOUT “THE HEATED DEBATE” …. The “heated debate” is not taking place in the Mosques or between Egypt’s Islamic Jurists, the “heated debate”, if you can call it that, is taking place between the dreamy eyed college students they call “secular leftists” in the coffee houses of Cairo. The “debate” takes this form, “Do you think Islam will tolerate drugs, alcohol or homosexuality anytime in the next 100 years …. Of course not, what was I thinking … I was just kidding; don’t tell the Imam before prayers today. OK, you know I was just kidding. I didn’t mean it; I really didn’t mean it …. Don’t tell, if you tell I’ll get another beating”.
Conclusion: In less than two weeks Egypt will adopt an Islamic Constitution, the vote has been scheduled and Egypt will cease to be a secular state. Egypt’s Islamic revolution was never about “secular reform”, not in the same context that we understand “democracy” here in the west. The extremely small minority of “secular leftist students” who were allowed to front as puppets for the Brotherhood will be forgotten. They won’t “be crushed” because their numbers are so small they are irrelevant to Egypt’s future. If, however, their lifestyles continue to run afoul of Egypt’s new Sharia Law, they will be executed, but not for political reasons, but religious ones.
The American Press, the Obama Administration and the U.S. State Department were willing accomplices in this “Revolution”. Day in and day out they repeated the tripe about a “secular student movement” while making irresponsible claims about FACE BOOK and Twitter “making the revolution” Wasn’t Major Hassan (Fort Hood) radicalized over the NET?
Did you know that the Muslim Brotherhood has sponsored over 100,000 web sites, a quarter of a million twitter accounts and something in excess of 150,000 Face Book pages?
There are 75 million Muslims in Egypt, 1 billion Muslim’s worldwide. How is it the “enlightened liberal western press” is so “Islamophobic” about Islam’s use of 21st century technology?
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Egypt's Revolution: Myth of the Secular Student, EGYPT’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION - ENDING THE MYTH OF A SECULAR STUDENT UPRISING, Egyptian Revolution, Egyptian Revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood | 1 Comment »
BROWNSVILLE — Gunmen presumed to be Mexican drug operatives opened fire today on a couple riding water skis on the binational Falcon Lake reservoir, possibly killing the husband and sending the woman fleeing frantically to the U.S. side.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said the couple — believed to be from McAllen — had crossed to the Mexican side when they came under a spray of bullets by two boatloads of men. The man, 30, was shot in the head and his wife said she fears he is dead.
“They saw them approaching and started revving it up back to the U.S. side,” Gonzalez told the Associated Press. “The guys just started shooting at them from behind.”
According to unconfirmed reports, the woman circled back to get her husband but the gunmen continued shooting, even after she crossed back to the U.S. side.
Gonzalez said he had contacted the Mexican consulate for help finding the husband. As of late Thursday afternoon, he was tracing down leads with the FBI, said Mary Pulido, a dispatcher fielding a barrage of press calls.
“I do know that it happened on the Mexican side, that’s what’s making the investigation very difficult,” she said.
The shooting follows reports in May that boaters in the famed bass fishing oasis were at risk of being shaken down by “pirates” lurking on the Mexican side.
The 60-mile long Rio Grande reservoir is shared by the United States and Mexico, and due to its location along sparsely populated Starr and Zapata counties is believed to be a favorite location for trafficking drugs.
Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, who along with state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, recently traveled to the area for a briefing by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Falcon Lake dangers said that any gunfire that took place on the U.S. side of the lake — in some places demarcated by floating markers — would represent a serious step over the line for a drug war that’s “getting out of hand.”
“These guys are getting very aggressive,” he said. “It’s a significant incident, but it has international ramifications if the shots continued into our side. This was just a couple of people having a good time.”
Peña, as chair of the emergency preparedness committee, said the incident strengthened his resolve to fight budget cuts for DPS, who along with Border Patrol agents patrol the lake.
“They’re essentially the Texas marine force,” he said. “We need them to protect our citizens and keep our lakes safe.”
Thursday’s reported shooting comes during what may be the most deadly and prolonged streak of Mexican drug cartel violence in memory.
In May, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported several incidents of pirates shaking down U.S. boaters. The robbers in at least one case posed as Mexican federal law enforcement, searching fishing boats for guns and drugs and then demanding cash at gunpoint.
The DPS issued a statement warning people not to cross to the Mexican side of the lake. Boaters were encouraged to file a float plan with family members.
“The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization or members of an enforcer group linked to a drug trafficking organization who are…using AK-47s or AR-15 rifles to threaten their victims,” it said. “They appear to be using local Mexican fishermen to operate the boats to get close to American fishermen.”
The warning came as the county of Zapata geared up for a summer of fishing tournaments, prompting the chamber of commerce to say that the warning was drastic and that people were safe if they stayed in U.S. waters.
Falcon Lake was formed by a dam in 1953 to conserve water for agriculture and control downstream flooding.
Mexican Pirates Attack US Couple on Falcon Lake; Husband Missing, Feared Dead
Mexican pirates operating on Falcon Lake, which is shared by the United States and Mexico, on Thursday shot an American tourist who had crossed the border on a Jet Ski.
Tiffany Hartley, 29, said her husband, David Michael Hartley, 30, was shot in the back of the head as they tried to escape an ambush on the lake, The Associated Press reports.
Hartley tried to turn around to save her husband but said she had to continue to retreat when she heard bullets whizzing by. Today, search teams continue to comb the Texas side of the lake for David, who is presumed dead. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said he had asked the Mexican consulate to conduct a search on his country’s side of the lake as well.
Falcon Lake pirate gangs in May after a spat of robberies prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety to issue a bulletin warning Americans to stay in U.S. waters. Authorities believe the pirates are offshoots of Mexican drug gangs operating in the area.
On April 30, five American fishermen crossed the border to explore Guerrero Viejo, a town that was abandoned and flooded when the Rio Grande was dammed to create Falcon Lake in 1953. The Americans’ boat was boarded by four men who said they were federal police but were not wearing uniforms.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the men demanded to know if the fishermen had drugs before making off with $200. They also had several tattoos of the letter “Z,” raising suspicions that they were members of the Zetas drug cartel, which controls territory in northern Mexico.
Like the fishermen, the Hartleys had crossed the border Thursday to see Guerrero Viejo. Gonzalez said today that the gunmen chased the couple into American waters, according to the AP. He also said he suspects they returned for Hartley’s body or let it sink to the bottom of the lake in the hopes of destroying evidence of his murder.
Falcon Lake, which is approximately 50 miles south of Laredo, Texas, is a water sports and fishing destination, making it a prime target for an unusual brand of piracy. There have been at least five reported attacks on the lake this year, although none of them was deadly.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox told the AP that the last reported sighting of the pirates was on Aug. 31, when boaters reported seeing gunmen in a small craft with “Game Wardin” spelled out in duct tape on the side of the boat.
Search resumes for US man shot in Mexican waters
SAN ANTONIO — Texas officials planned Friday to renew warnings about pirates marauding on a U.S.-Mexico border lake after a Colorado tourist was gunned down in Mexican waters while his wife dodged bullets and raced her Jet Ski back to American soil.
Search teams combed the U.S. side of Falcon Lake for David Michael Hartley, 30, whose wife told police he was shot in the back of the head Thursday after being ambushed by gunmen on boats.
The gunmen are suspected pirates who have turned Falcon Lake, a waterskiing and bass fishing hotspot down the border from Laredo, into uneasy waters for fishermen and boaters. There have been at least five reported run-ins with pirates on the lake this year, though prior holdups had never been deadly.
Hartley’s fate was unclear. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said 29-year-old Tiffany Hartley fears her husband is dead. She circled back on her Jet Ski to rescue him but had to retreat when she heard bullets whizzing by.
Gonzalez said he had contacted the Mexican consulate to ask them to search for Hartley on its side of the lake.
“I’m not trying to place the blame on her or him,” Gonzalez said. “But we’ve told people not to go over there, and now this happens.“
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox said Friday that the state planned to issue a fresh warning to boaters about staying on the U.S. side of the lake. The last warning came in May, and some campers on the lake have taken to arming themselves.
Falcon Lake is a dammed section of the Rio Grande that straddles the border. The border is marked by 14 partially submerged concrete towers that mark the Rio Grande’s path before the lake was created in 1954.
According to Gonzalez, Tiffany Hartley told police that the couple rode their Jet Skis for sightseeing and to take pictures of a famous church in Old Guerrero. They were riding back when they saw the armed gunmen on the boats, and immediately began racing back to U.S. waters.
David Hartley didn’t make it. His wife told authorities he was shot in the back in the head; Cox said one of the boats may have crossed into U.S. waters briefly while trying to run down Tiffany Hartley.
Cox said Tiffany Hartley estimated that the shooting took place about five to six miles from the Texas shoreline where she parked and called for help.
In April, pirates robbed another group of boaters who also went to Old Guerrero to see the church. Cox said the most recent reported pirate sighting had been Aug. 31, when boaters saw gunmen riding a small skiff with “Game Wardin” misspelled in duct tape on the side of the vessel.
Cox said it appeared the pirates were trying to imitate state game warden boats they have seen patrolling the lake.
Gonzalez has previously chalked up the dangerous waters as the product of fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.
Violence on the Mexican side of the lake has been climbing for several months, as a fractured partnership between the region’s dominant Gulf Cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, plunged many of the area’s Mexican border cities into violence.
Agents feared Mexican drug cartel attack on border dam
An alleged plot by a Mexican drug cartel to blow up a dam along the Texas border — and unleash billions of gallons of water into a region with millions of civilians — sent American police, federal agents and disaster officials secretly scrambling last month to thwart such an attack, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
Whether or not the cartel, which is known to have stolen bulk quantities of gunpowder and dynamite, could have taken down the 5-mile-long Falcon Dam may never be known since the attack never came to pass.
It may have been derailed by a stepped-up presence by the Mexican military, which was acting in part on intelligence from the U.S. government, sources said.
The warning, which swung officials into action, was based on what the federal government contends were “serious and reliable sources” and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to sound the alarm to first responders along the South Texas-Mexico border.
Mexico’s Zeta cartel was planning to destroy the dam not to terrorize civilians, but to get back at its rival and former ally, the Gulf cartel, which controls smuggling routes from the reservoir to the Gulf of Mexico, said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, head of the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition, as did others familiar with the alleged plot.
But in the process, massive amounts of agricultural land would stand to be flooded as well as significant parts of a region where about 4 million people live along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The dam along the lower Rio Grande was finished in 1954 as part of a joint U.S.-Mexico project to collect water for flood control, hydroelectric power and water for drinking and agriculture.
Gonzalez’s agency was among many that responded, as did the U.S. Border Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety and even game wardens, who put more boats on the water.
Citing security concerns, neither Homeland Security nor DPS commented.
“We trust that DPS and their federal and local law enforcement partners are constantly collecting intelligence and monitoring all threats to Texas and taking the appropriate action to protect our citizens from those who would do us harm,” said Gov. Rick Perry’s deputy press secretary Katherine Cesinger.
Law enforcement officials huddled at the dam, near Rio Grande City, to discuss the threat and how to stifle it, said an officer who attended the meeting.
Officers interviewed by the Chronicle gave the warning varying degrees of credibility. They noted that among the Zetas ranks are Mexican military defectors who were trained in special forces tactics, including demolition.
Special cameras were set up along the dam, which has six 50-foot-tall steel gates, and lawmen hid in brush.
A Mexican military spokesman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he had not heard of any threat to the Falcon Dam and expressed doubt that the Zetas would try such an attack.
“This isn’t the way these groups operate, they have never attacked installations like that,” he said.
Rick Pauza, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, in Laredo, said the port of entry at the dam had been at a heightened alert due to violence in Mexico.
The attack may have been thwarted in Mexico. It raises the fear of what the powerful cartels could do.
“It would have been a hell of a disaster,” said Gene Falcon, director of emergency preparedness for Starr County, site of the dam. “There was plenty of concern.”
With handbills and bullhorns, members of the Zeta cartel are said to have warned the civilian population on the Mexican side of the river near the dam to get out of the area, according to residents and intelligence information from law enforcement officials.
A border law enforcement official told the Chronicle the warnings originated in part by the seizure of small amounts of dynamite near the dam, and the discovery of a copy of the alert on the Mexican side of the border.
Capt. Francisco Garcia, of the Roma (Texas) Police Department, said there was no way to know what the traffickers were capable of doing, but bringing down the dam would require nearly a tractor-trailer full of dynamite.
“As far as blowing it up — making it fall apart completely — it would have to be something like 9/11,” he said. “By the time they’d start to do something, there will be so much law enforcement there it’d be ridiculous.”
Filed under: Arizona Immigration Law, Drug Cartel Violence, Drug Trafficking, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Mexican Drug Cartels, Mexican Violence Sweeps Across US Border, Mexico, Politics | Tagged: David Hartley, Falcon Lake, Frug Cartel KIlls American Jet Skier on Falcon Lake, Mexican Drug Cartel Plots To Blow Up Falcon Lake Dam, Mexican Drug Cartels, Tiffany Hartley | Leave a Comment »
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Mexican authorities say a mob has beaten two alleged kidnappers to death in the northern border state of Chihuahua.
Chihuahua state prosecutors’ spokesman Arturo Sandoval says dozens of angry people in the town of Asencion beat the two men Tuesday until federal police intervened.
Sandoval says officers put the men in their patrol car but the crowd blocked them from leaving and the men died of their wounds inside the car.
Residents shouted at the federal officers and held signs that read “We are tired, fed up with kidnappings, no more kidnappings in Asencion.”
Local state lawmaker Alejandro Lebaron says the two men and three others are suspected in the kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl from Asencion.
Filed under: Arizona Immigration Law, Drug Cartel Violence, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Mexican Drug Cartels, Politics | Tagged: 17 Yead Old Girl Kidnapped in Asencion Mexico, Arizona Immigration Law, Arizona Law, Drug Cartel Violence, Mexican Drug Cartel Violence, Mexican Mob Beats Two Alleged Kidnappers To Death | 4 Comments »