Tuesday, May 23, 2017

23-May-17: In the midst of US presidential visit, ISIS plays its hand

Manchester Arena, Monday night [Image Source]
Times of Israel reports today (Tuesday) that
a rocket was fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at southern Israel on Tuesday morning, amid a visit to the country by US President Donald Trump, the army said. No injury or damage was caused by the missile, the army said. Israeli troops launched a search for the impact site in the Eshkol region, which abuts the Sinai Peninsula. In some cases, rockets launched toward Israel do not cross the border and end up landing inside Egyptian territory. No organization took immediate responsibility, but previous such incidents have been claimed by the Islamic State terror group’s Sinai affiliate. The incoming rocket alert was not activated during the attack, as the military calculated the projectile was not heading toward a populated area.
Social media reports indicate the rocket was fired into Israel during the morning peak traffic hour, roughly 7:30 am, when large number of Israeli children in the target area are making their way to school.

Claims were made this afternoon that the Islamic State terrorists are also taking credit for last night's horrifying massacre at Manchester Arena:
The attack, which killed at least 22 people, including an 18-year-old college student, and left around 59 injured, was described by British Prime Minister Theresa May as "the worst attack the city has experienced."
The news comes after outlets reported that ISIS supporters were celebrating the bombing on social media, hailing it as a victory against "the crusaders" of the West and framing it as a response to airstrikes in Iraq. According to the Daily Telegraph, one video showed an English-speaking ISIS supporter holding up a sign reading 'Manchester' with the date of the attack. A statement made via ISIS channels on the messaging app Telegram said that "one of the soldiers of the caliphate placed explosive devices in a gathering of crusaders in the middle of the British city of Manchester," hinting that the terrorist incident was not a suicide attack, as it is believed to have been. It said the bombing was a response to Britain’s “transgressions against the lands of the Muslims.” Pro-ISIS accounts had earlier celebrated the attack on social media, framing it as a response to airstrikes in Iraq. [TIME, today]

23-May-17: Condemning terror is so easy to do, even Jordan can do it - and no news reports will criticize them

Jordan's Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson
Mohammad Momani [Image Source]
We were pretty sure this was going to happen, and it has.

The Jordanian government of King Abdullah II has just issued a condemnation of last night's Manchester Arena massacre, a terror attack that has strong similarities to the one engineered at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in 2001 by a Jordanian woman, Ahlam Tamimi.

Tamimi, who has proudly confessed her role as mastermind of the massacre that took the life of our daughter and 14 other people (mostly children), currently lives in total freedom in Jordan's capital, Amman, despite an Interpol arrest warrant and a United States extradition request that calls on Jordan to send her to the US to face charges.

The Jordanians have treated her as a national treasure since she arrived back there (the country where she was born and lived until shortly before she masterminded the Jerusalem atrocity) in October 2011. Did you ever see that statement in a mainstream news report? It's certainly true.

If the Jordanians, from the king on down, have any sense of irony or of the deep hypocrisy that stains their denunciation of the Manchester savagery, there's no sign of it in the announcement. And if any news analysts have torn into them, we haven't seen it:
Jordan condemns terror blast in Manchester | MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM) |  AMMAN, 23rd May, 2017 (WAM) -- The Jordanian government today denounced the terror attack that took place at the Manchester Arena last night, killing 22 people and injuring more than 50. According to the Petra News Agency, the Jordanian Minister of State for #Media Affairs and Communications, Mohammad Momani, said that this "heinous and inhumane act represents the real face of terrorism and extremism, which is implemented by coward terrorists aim to destabilise nations and intimidate innocent civilians". Mr. Momani, who is also the government's spokesperson, reaffirmed Jordan's firm and constant stance in fighting terrorism, extremism and violence in all shapes and forms, stressing the need for concerted efforts to counter terrorism in a holistic approach wherever it rears its head. He also extended his condolences to the British government and to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The real face of terrorism and extremism? We think Tamimi fits that bill exceedingly well.

23-May-17: Abbas on Manchester and Sbarro

Bethlehem this morning: Trump and Abbas [Image Source]
In 2008, President-for-life of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas announced he was awarding the PA’s highest medal, the Al Quds Mark of Honor, to Ahlam Tamimi, who masterminded the massacre at the Sbarro Jerusalem pizzeria. (Abbas' decision to make the award was widely criticized by outsiders and was eventually overturned.) The blood-drenched act of terror which Abbas was so anxious to honor was, like last night’s Manchester atrocity, an attack directed specifically at children by means of nail-enhanced explosives delivered by a human bomb.

Our daughter Malki, just 15, was one of those murdered in the pizzeria. We're acutely aware of how Abbas thought to honor Tamimi because of Malki's death and the deaths and horrible injuries of the other innocents caught up in the bombing.

This morning, that same President-for-life, Mahmoud Abbas, said in Bethlehem to the US President:
"Allow me… to condemn the horrible terrorist attack that occurred in the British city of Manchester… I do offer my warm condolences to the Prime Minister of Britain, families of victims, and the British people."
It's time for people who understand brazen hypocrisy when they encounter it, and especially members of the news reporting industry, to say openly what should have been said years ago: that in the community of civilized nations and people, condemnations mouthed by those deeply engaged in terror - like Mahmoud Abbas and those who report to him - are illegitimate and should be neither heard nor tolerated.

There are situations where the condemnation of terror is as morally indefensible as the terror itself.

Monday, May 22, 2017

22-May-17: On King Abdullah of Jordan's counter-terror priorities

Riyadh and the conference attendees [Image Source]
Some surprising things happened, and also didn't happen, at an event addressed by, among others, the ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

King Abdullah II, who presides over a country that is overwhelmingly Palestinian Arab (between 70 and 80% of its population, with most of the rest being Bedouin Arabs) spoke this past Saturday at the Arab-Islamic-American Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. The event attracted the participation of a spectrum of Arab and Muslim leaders (notably not the Iranians) and of US President Donald Trump.

The text of the report comes from Jordan's official news agency Petra ["King participates in Arab-Islamic-American Summit"] and is unedited except for some deletions. (Our comments come at the end.) Petra's introduction says Abdullah II  "spoke about a range of issues, foremost of which is the fight against terrorism and extremism". But on close reading, not even that part of it is true.

We'll skip the first few paragraphs of formal greetings and invocations.
Let me start by thanking my brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its hospitality and graciously hosting this summit. 
Mr. President: Allow me to express my gratitude for taking this step to reach out to Muslim nations, and making it a priority on your first foreign tour as President of the United States. 
We meet today to advance an effective response to the serious threats facing our world. The future for all of us will be shaped by the actions as you pointed out we take now, and we all have to work in partnership in four key areas. Let me say a brief word about each:
First and foremost, is the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism. Only a holistic approach can address the complex layers of the threat, from its evil ideas to its attack on prosperity and security. As you have mentioned, this demands coordinated and global action at every level. Success requires our mutual trust as well as our strength. The fight will not be won if we do not recognise our friends as our friends and our enemies as our enemies.

Terrorist groups employ a false religious identity. Their aim is to mislead and polarise our societies and peoples. Let us state here, clearly: Terrorist groups do not inhabit the fringes of Islam they are altogether outside of Islam; they are khawarej, outlaws of Islam. Arabs and Muslims, as you pointed out, Sir, make up the majority of their victims. Intolerance and ignorance will only aid terror groups. It is vital to help everyone, everywhere, understand this.
Mr. President: A second and equally vital challenge is a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian cause, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative. This can bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and guarantees peace for all Israelis, Arabs, and Muslims. No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the absence of a Palestinian state. This is the core issue for our region, and it has driven radicalism and instability beyond our region and into the Muslim world. 
The international community has a direct interest in a just peace. The Arab and Muslim world has offered its full support for effective negotiations. And here, Sir, I would like to thank you for your determination to work towards bringing a settlement to this festering conflict. We will stand by you, Sir, in your efforts and work with you as partners
Third, safeguarding Jerusalem must be a priority. The Holy City is a strategic linchpin, vital to relationships among the three monotheistic faiths. Attempts to create new negotiating facts on the ground will have a catastrophic impact. All of us must engage in averting these dangers. To me personally, and to all Jordanians, the Hashemite Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites is an unbreakable, historical responsibility, and an honour to undertake on behalf of the Arab and Muslim nations. 
Mr. President: A fourth critical task is to sharpen public focus on the values that will protect and enrich humanity’s future: mutual respect, compassion, and acceptance. In the Muslim world, the voice of traditional, moderate Islam has been stronger in recent years. We need to continue to build on that...  
Our future is based on deeds, Sir, not words. We are all accountable for our commitment to fight radicalisation in all its forms.

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Excellencies, President Donald Trump: We must enhance our joint efforts, so that we are better able, with God’s help, to serve our peoples and future generations. Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.
Interesting to note from media coverage of the Summit that Abdullah's view that the issue he calls "the Palestinian cause", whose "injustice has spread more bitter fruit" than any other and is "the core issue for our region" (those are direct quotes from his speech text) was mentioned by - as far as we can tell - no other leader present. As for His Majesty's assertion that "No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the absence of a Palestinian state", we think he's lucky that none of the media coverage drilled down on the long Jordanian military occupation of "Palestine" between 1948 (when Jordan's army tried to crush the new-born State of Israel to death) and 1967 (when the Jordanians were displaced by Israeli forces) and how that impacted on the injustice of which he spoke so passionately.

An Al Arabiya report ["Defeating terror key message of Arab Islamic American Summit"] mentions that the Saudi get-together had "50 leaders from the Muslim world participating". And that "cooperation between the Muslim world and the US in order to halt terrorism and extremism in the world" kept them busy.

But not Palestine.

The Aljazeera summing up ["Riyadh summit discusses ways of rooting out terrorism"] suggests that the millions of Muslims tuning in to TV coverage, "watching this speech will be totally surprised by a completely different tone by President Trump". It also mentions what the host, Saudi King Salman, said.

But not a word about Palestine. And no mention of King Abdullah either.

The White House report of President Trump's message to the conference [here] shows him saying that he "will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican – visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible – including peace between Israelis and Palestinians." That's all the airplay Palestine got in POTUS' speech.

The Ma'an News Agency report [here] of Mahmoud Abbas' participation mentions - at length and in detail - the identities of the various people who greeted him on arrival at the airport. But nothing about what he said or didn't say at the conference.

If Abdullah wanted his fellow potentates to buy the notion that "the core issue for our region" concerns Palestinian Arab rights, then this was not his best weekend.

On terror, what Abdullah said is seriously disturbing - not because he is wrong but because he plainly does not believe the things he said. Terrorism can be blunted and overturned only by "coordinated and global action at every level"; by "mutual trust as well as our strength". And the fight will fail "if we do not recognise our friends as our friends and our enemies as our enemies".

Also that Jordan "will stand by" the United States" and "work with you as partners". That, to be clear, is not the message we have gotten about Jordan's co-operation with Washington.

Here's the test. If the king seriously means what he just said in Riyadh, why is Ahlam Tamimi, our daughter's murderer and an FBI fugitive from justice who is being shielded by Abdullah's regime, not on a plane to the United States at this moment?

Why is she not facing a US prosecutor in a US court right now? Why are the FBI's Arabic-language "Most Wanted Terrorist" posters with Tamimi's face on them, not displayed in Jordanian post offices, hotel lobbies, government buildings, royal palaces?

Why, when Jordan already provides more ISIS Islamist fighters per capita than any other country [see the data here], is the king ensuring this unrepentant Islamist terrorist is kept safe and secure within Jordan's borders? And far away from the United States Department of Justice?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

20-May-17: A child, a knife and another thwarted stabbing today on Jerusalem's northern edge

The Palestinian Arab girl, minus her weapon, is lead away
unharmed by a police officer [Image Source: Social media]
At Jerusalem's main northern security checkpoint, Qalandiya, police today (Saturday) intercepted a would-be stabbing attacker and restrained her without the need to shoot.

As Times of Israel reports:
The suspect — a 14-year-old Palestinian girl — was arrested by officers while carrying a knife in her hand after failing to obey their calls to halt, according to police. According to Hebrew media reports, officers used pepper spray in order to stop the girl. Officials added that the suspect was taken in for questioning after her arrest. No shots were reported fired in the incident.
Israel National News adds:
She was walking in a passage designated for vehicles only. When they noticed she was holding a knife, they carried out the procedure for stopping a suspect and overpowered her. There were no casualties reported, and a knife was indeed found in her possession.
The calmness of the response of the security personnel stationed at Qalandiya offers a stark contrast with the violent events at the same spot on Thursday evening involving scores of Arab rioters.

Parts of the Arab media, deeply invested in turning their communities' adolescents into killers to advance their version of terrorist warfare, are busy spinning Saturday afternoon's events tonight. Here's the Ma'an News Agency headline in their English-language edition:
Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian girl at Qalandiya checkpoint
Just like that: "detained" out of the blue. And a child yet. Will she be arrested? Or just stay detained?

Ma'an's report goes on to quote the spokesperson for Israel Police (who happens to be an Israeli Arab woman) about the knife and the attempted attack both of which are central to the report and the event, of course. But click on the Arabic version of the same story from the same despicable news source [here] and that version of the report of the child's arrest, for a very different readership, makes no mention at all of the knife, or the attempted stabbing or the restraint shown by the Israeli security personnel who were the target of the would-be killer's assault..

Then there's this notorious non-Arab propagandist for the Palestinian Arab campaign who tweeted this sadly characteristic message a few hours ago:


Cruel and heartless IOFers, pointing guns at 14 year olds for no reason at all other than the sheer thrill of it and from close range yet. And (gasp) kidnapping them. Where were the police?!

It's almost as if this Twitter person has no idea the Palestinian Arabs are cultivating a society and an education system which seeks to turn innocent and young Palestinian Arab children into martyrdom-seeking murderous bigots. Some achievement!

PA president-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, speaking in the White House on May 3, 2017, addressed this in classic black-is-white manner without even once smirking:
Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace. And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security. [From the White House Press Office transcript]
Abbas, naturally enough, said not one word about the dozens of children - yes, children, right down to Palestinian Arab would-be stabbers as young as eight! - who have taken knives and gone out seeking Jewish victims. As if it had never happened. As if schoolchildren educated in the PA's own institutions, and UNRWA's as well, don't appear daily on PA television proclaiming their deep devotion to killing "Zionists". As if Abbas himself has not praised the blood-lust, as he did on television [see it here with English-language subtitles] on September 18, 2016, explicitly praising and welcoming "every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem... blood on its way to Allah... they |Israel| have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet and we won't allow them to."

Every Palestinian Arab understands the president's barely-coded advice about what to do to the Israelis and their "filthy feet". Even fourteen year olds.

The reality is that the weaponizing of Palestinian Arab children - and the devastation this has brought to families in every part of their society - continues in full force alongside brazen Palestinian Arab efforts to claim precisely the opposite.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

17-May-17: We're asking Australia to help get our daughter's fugitive murderer into a US court

This op ed by Arnold Roth, addressing Australia's political leadership on the matter of extraditing Ahlam Tamimi to face justice in the United States, appeared (slightly modified) in The Australian today.

Help bring Malki’s murderer to justice, Mr Turnbull
ARNOLD ROTH

Canberra, November 24, 2016 [Image Source: Getty]
When people talk about my daughter Malki, they usually mention her smile. It radiated the sunniness of her outlook. Then, at 15, she was murdered.

We moved to Jerusalem, Israel, when Malki, Melbourne-born like her older brothers and me, was three. Ahlam Tamimi, a Jordanian student, was Hamas’s first female terrorist. On August 9, 2001, having spent days scouting the city for a site that attracted crowds of Jewish children, she transported a powerful bomb into Jerusalem.

That bomb was a human being — a young Palestinian Arab zealot with a guitar case. Tamimi, the attack’s mastermind, accompanied him into Jerusalem. Both were aware the case, prepared by others, was filled with explosives and a mass of nails to intensify the flesh-ripping effect.

Malki and her best friend Michal Raziel, standing at the Sbarro pizzeria counter, were engrossed in text­ing.

Tamimi’s bomb stood beside them. At 2pm, he exploded. 

Fifteen were killed in the blast. Dozens were maimed and hideously injured. A young mother, not among the 15, remains in a coma. One of the murdered, her parents’ only child, was pregnant with her first baby. Malki and Michal, inseparable in life, are buried side-by-side.

Boastful, unbowed and smiling coldly at her trial, Tamimi confessed to all charges. She relishes publicly recounting the details of the bloodbath. The court transcript captures how the three judges, stunned by her open enthusiasm for the carnage, warned that no Israeli official should ever consider commuting the sentence: 16 consecutive life terms.

But in October 2011, Israel announced an agonising deal with Hamas for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier they were holding hostage in Gaza.

Along with 1,026 other convicted terrorists, Tamimi walked free. Her sentence, and everyone else’s in the deal, was drastically commuted subject to strict conditions. They included never again engaging in terror.

She returned to her homeland and at Amman airport received a raucous welcome befitting a national hero. The next day, more privately, there was another jubilant reception inside Jordan’s national law courts. I found photographs online. (They have since been removed.)

Tamimi, its chief planner, has no doubts about the morality of the Sbarro massacre. Did she feel remorse, one TV interviewer inquired: “No, why should I?On another occasion: “I’m not sorry for what I did.” Asked in another interview, “Would you do it again if you had the chance?” she did not hesitate: “Yes.”

From Jordan, Tamimi began presenting an incitement-filled TV show of her own in February 2012. Called Breezes of the Free, it focuses on Arab terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

Its toxic hate is beamed weekly by satellite and hundreds of videostreaming websites to Arabic-speaking audi­ences globally, including Australia.

Tamimi lives the life of a celebrity. Her wedding to a cousin, convicted, like her, of murder and set free, got live coverage comparable to a royal visit. Her frequent public appearances in Jordan and other Arab countries attract crowds of devotees. She urges followers, particularly young women, to emulate her and undertake terror actions directed at civilians, particularly children.
This opinion piece first appeared in The Australian
on Wednesday 
[Source]

In March 2012, I sought and got meetings in Washington with the US Department of Justice and the FBI. These led to a hearing a year later before a federal judge and to criminal charges against Tamimi for offences against US citizens. (Because her mother is American, Malki held US citizenship.)

The file remained sealed and secret, even from us, until some weeks ago.

Last March, US federal prosecutors and investigators came to Jerusalem to update us. They said Jordan, which had been asked repeatedly to arrest and extradite Tamimi to stand trial in the US, refused. Three hours after that meeting, Tamimi officially became a fugitive from US justice. FBI Most Wanted posters warn in English and Arabic that she is armed and dangerous. A week later, a Jordanian court ruled that the 1995 Jordan-US extradition treaty was unenforceable. Arab media coverage suggested why: the treaty was never ratified; the Jordanian constitution blocked it; Jordanian citizens could never be extradited by Jordan.

Legal experts we have consulted express scepticism about these claims. It seems that for Jordan this is less about laws than about politics. Tamimi has a wide Jor­danian support base. The king, whose powers are broader than Britain’s monarch but in a country with significant instability, is said to prefer avoiding such complex issues.

The challenges for us are clear but not simple: to persuade the king of Jordan that Jordan’s friends and allies, including the US and Australia, are appalled by the efforts to shelter a confessed mass-murderer. If Tamimi, who boasts publicly and often of the carnage her bomb caused, keeps being shielded from justice, Jor­danian pronouncements about its dedication to fighting terror will have lost all meaning.

Australians can play a meaningful role. In his visit to Canberra last November, King Abdullah II expressed concern about “extremist forces in the region”. Signing a Joint Declaration on Enhanced Co-operation, Malcolm Turnbull said Jordan and Australia “stand together in rejecting those who seek to impose their perverse world views on others through division and violence”.

To Prime Minister Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, I say: Few measures could more powerfully express rejection of division and violence than Jordan, encouraged by its Australian friends, respecting its extradition obligations and bringing Malki’s bigoted, vicious and utterly unrepentant murderer to justice.

See also

Monday, May 15, 2017

15-May-17: If Jordan's stand on terror is "clear to everyone", can they answer these two questions?

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri
and Saeb Erekat, PLO’s executive committee’s secretary and chief
Palestinian negotiator, during a press conference in Amman on Sunday
[Image Source]
Over at Ynet, there's a report ["Responding to Netanyahu, Jordan says stance against terrorism 'clear to everyone'", Roi Kais, May 14, 2017] from last night that's hard for us to ignore.

It quotes the foreign minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan attempting to explain, in the wake of bitter criticism from Israel a day earlier, that when it comes to defeating the terrorists, Jordan is on the right side:
After Israel and Jordan trade accusations and condemnations over Saturday's stabbing attack which resulted in the killing of a Jordanian citizen, Jordan announces, 'Our positions against violence and terrorism are clear to everyone,' adding that they are invested in 'establishing security, peace and freedom for the Palestinians... Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi made his response at a press conference in Amman with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shukri and Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee... “Jordan is and was a voice of reason and peace... " Safadi said, adding that King Abdullah II is “invested in establishing security, peace and freedom for the Palestinians.”
Jordan came in from criticism from many quarters, including via a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in the wake of the events we described on Saturday ["13-May-17: In Jerusalem's Old City, a Jordanian stabs an Israeli and the Jordanians are outraged (so are we, for different reasons)"] Essentially, the Jordanians reacted to the killing of a Jordanian attacker who was stopped while in the act of an unprovoked stabbing attack on an Israeli Druze police officer by condemning Israel.

We are going to try to get a message to Mr Safadi of Jordan tonight. In it, we plan to ask him these two questions:
  1. When her refers to the Kingdom of Jordan holding "positions against violence and terrorism", does he see this as being consistent with harboring a self-confessed Jordanian mass-murderer who is on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list and, in effect, telling the American Justice Department to go take a hike
  2. Does Jordan being "a voice of reason and peace" fit with Jordan's repudiation - on transparent and specious grounds - of the Extradition Treaty it signed in 1995 with the United States and which the United States (as sources in the US government gave us to understand) regards as fully effective and valid?
We absolutely share the Jordan foreign minister's view that Jordan's "positions" ought to be "clear to everyone".

As clear as they can possibly be.

The background is here.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

13-May-17: In Jerusalem's Old City, a Jordanian stabs an Israeli and the Jordanians are outraged (so are we, for different reasons)

Lions' Gate [Wikipedia]
Recent (and very recent) events have gotten us thinking about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its attitude to terror. One thing's clear: there are aspects of this that ought to be much better known. We feel a duty to help that happen.

First, the drama of today. There has been an early-afternoon Arab-on-Israeli knifing attack in Jerusalem's Old City today (Saturday), close to what Israelis call Lions' Gate. It's also known as St. Stephen's Gate or Sheep Gate and it's one of the seven open Gates in Jerusalem's Old City walls.

The Israeli victim is injured but alive and getting emergency treatment at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center for knife wounds to the neck and head. He was conscious and in stable condition when rushed to the hospital.

The attacker, said to be a visitor from Jordan who arrived in Israel (yes, indeed, Jordanians can do that) a couple of days ago, is dead.

What happened is, as usual, largely a matter of the prejudices and openness a person brings to the discussion.

According to the Israeli left-wing daily Haaretz, the knifer:
was shot dead after stabbing a police officer in Jerusalem on Saturday...  According to Israel Police, Skaji [there are different versions of his name - see below] stabbed a police officer in his late 30s Saturday afternoon in Jerusalem’s Old City near the Lions' Gate. The officer, who was moderately wounded, managed to hold off Skaji and shoot him. A second man at the scene was lightly wounded in his arm. The police stated that Skaji had arrived as part of a tour group. Police are investigating whether the attack may have been driven by a personal grievance or a mental issue... [Haaretz]
Reuters has some additional details:
A Jordanian citizen stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer who then shot him dead in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday, Israeli police said, the latest in a string of street attacks. Police spokeswoman Luba Simri said the officer was walking down a street when he was attacked by a 57-year-old Jordanian who had arrived in Israel for a visit a few days earlier. "The terrorist rushed toward him, whipped out a knife that he had in his possession, stormed him and began stabbing him. The police officer responded with determination and in a professional manner, managed to activate his weapon and neutralized him," Simri said.
Ten seconds of security camera footage released by the police appeared to show a man, knife in hand, lunging toward a policeman falling backwards onto the ground, then jumping on him while wielding the knife and making stabbing motions.
Israel's ambulance service Magen David Adom said the police officer was not severely wounded. ["Jordanian stabs Israeli police officer, shot dead: police", Reuters, May 13, 2017]
The dramatic security camera video they mention is here. Here's another video showing the aftermath.

Times of Israel names the attacker as Muhammad Abdullah Salim al-Kassji, 57 years old and a Jordanian. Ynet points out that he had not one knife but two and shows them [here]. It adds that
The commander of the Israel Police’s Jerusalem District, Deputy Commissioner Yoram Halevy, visited the 37-year-old police officer, who has only been identified as 1st Sgt. N., at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center... “We are very proud of you, proud of what you did and of how you reacted,” Halevy said. “In the end we save lives, save civilians. You knew to respond correctly, and you were in the right place..." [Ynet]
In typical fashion, starting with its headline ["Israeli forces shoot, kill Jordanian man in Jerusalem's Old City over knife attack"] the Palestinian Arab source Ma'an News Agency adopts an attacker-centric tone, along with skepticism about the Israeli version of what happened, but then concedes
An eyewitness and local shop owner corroborated to Ma'an that he saw an assailant wearing a black coat stab the Israeli policeman multiple times in the neck and face. Surveillance camera footage later released by Israeli police showed the first moments of the attack, in which a man dressed in black can be seen throwing himself at a policeman while swinging a knife, tackling him to the ground. A passerby by in a white tank top and black jogging pants seems to make a brief attempt to intervene as other bystanders move away, with the footage cutting off while the policeman continues struggle to overcome the attacker. 
Ma'an's Arabic version, adopting its customary template, refers to the thwarted attacker as "shaheed" ["Jordan: Israel bears responsibility for the martyrdom of Alexja"]. Another Arabic report from Ma'an [here] also calls him "martyr".

Now to the Hashemite Kingdom's role in all this.

In an official statement from the Jordanian government's news site Petra, its official spokesperson, "State Minister for Media Affairs, the government's spokesman, Mohammad Al-Momani" expresses fury at what happened.

Correction: Expresses fury... at what the Israelis did to the unfortunate Jordanian!
The Israeli government, as the occupying power, bears responsibility for the shooting and killing of a Jordanian citizen in the occupied East Jerusalem on Saturday, the government said... [T]he Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs is following-up, through the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv, on the killing of Jordanian citizen, Mohammad Abdullah Salim Al-Kasji, to find out the details and circumstances of the incident. The government condemned as "terrible" the crime committed against the Jordanian citizen and demanded Israel to reveal the full details of the crime. Al-Kasji has recently left the Kingdom through the Sheikh Hussein crossing, northern Jordan, via Israeli tourist visa and didn't return with the tourist group that he traveled with. ["Jordan holds Israel responsible for killing Jordanian citizen", Petra, May 13, 2017]
Only one crime is mentioned: the one committed against the stabber.

And the facts on which the Jordanians base themselves? None, because they are awaiting "the details and circumstances" from the Israelis. But the would-be killer "didn't return with the tourist group that he traveled with", which in Jordanian means the Israelis did something "terrible".

Before we sink into despair at the absence of a Jordanian moral compass, we point out that they did in fact condemn the act of terror. Yes: in a separate report, the same Mr Al-Momani is quoted today in the same government news site, Petra, doing the right thing: not only condemning the terror but also urging everyone to gang up against the terrorists.

Problem is, the terror he manages to condemn... is in Saudi Arabia.

Here it is:
The FBI is notifying Arabic-speakers
that it wants Ahlam Tamimi removed from Jordan
and brought to the US to face justice. Is this
poster on display anywhere in Jordan?
Jordan condemns terror attack in Saudi Arabia | Amman, May 13 (Petra)-- Jordan condemned the terrorist attack that occurred in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, where a number of terrorists attacked a development project, killing a toddler and a Pakistani expat and injuring 10 people, including six Saudis and four residents. Minister of State for Media Affairs, Mohammad Momani, expressed Jordan’s support and solidarity with Saudi Arabia in facing terrorism. Momani highlighted the need for collective efforts in the Middle East region and the whole world to confront terrorism wherever it existed. The minister offered the Jordanian government's condolences to Saudi Arabia and wished the injured a speedy recovery. [Petra (Jordan's official government online mouthpiece, today]
Don't bother looking for Jordanian sympathies for the Israeli injured or Hashemite wishes for their speedy recovery. They don't exist.

Mr Al-Momani's call for "collective efforts" to "confront terrorism" wherever it exists is obviously quite selective. He doesn't, for instance, mean to include our daughter's murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, who has been given shelter in Jordan even though she is now on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.

He doesn't mention that the FBI's Arabic language poster announcing that they want to put Tamimi on trial for serious crimes is nowhere on display in Jordan, according to sources who have been keeping us updated on how Jordan is dealing with the Tamimi scandal. We will be writing to Mr Al-Momani to ask why.

Jordan has a 22 year-old extradition treaty with the United States, but has decided to repudiate it. We have been writing about the implications of this brazen strategy and would appreciate the help of our readers in giving these posts some wider exposure:
We are currently hard at work trying to ensure the greatest number of people in the United States, especially in the Congress, the White House and the news media, have a full and comprehensive awareness of what a bunch of hypocrites the people who run Jordan are. 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

07-May-17: An Arab girl of 16 launched a failed knifing attack at Damascus Gate tonight

Jerusalem's Damascus Gate shortly after tonight's thwarted attack
[Image Source]
There has been yet another Arab-on-Israeli stabbing attack at Damascus Gate on the periphery of Jerusalem's Old City. The attacker, yet again, is a teen-age Palestinian Arab girl with a knife. The outcome, as we have seen so many times, is that security personnel did what security personnel do and opened fire under attack. This time, the assailant is dead.

Ynet, reporting this evening (Sunday) on an incident that happened just before 7:00 pm, says:
A female terrorist was shot dead by Israeli security forces on Sunday evening after she attempted to stab Israel policemen at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist was identified by the Palestinian health ministry as 16-year-old Fatima Hjeiji from a town near Ramallah. Though she was treated at the scene by Zaka paramedics, she died from her injuries. No other people were injured in the incident. According to police, while charging at the security personnel, she was shouting, “Allahu akbar.” Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a knife was recovered from the scene together with a farewell letter from the teenager to her family quoting a verse from the Koran that signed off with the word “shahida”—Arabic for “martyr.”
The attacker's knife [Social media]
Times of Israel provides a little more detail:
According to police, the girl approached a group of officers who were standing guard at the gate. “The terrorist arrived from Sultan Suleiman Street toward the steps of the Damascus Gate. She approached a police and border guard force stationed in the area. She took out a knife and while screaming ‘Allahu Akhbar’ tried to attack them,” the spokesperson said. “The force responded with determination and professionalism, and neutralized her,” the spokesperson added.
The Palestinian Arab Ma'an news source has the girl's full name:  Fatima Afif Abd al-Rahman Hjeiji, and gives the name of her Ramallah-area home village as Qarawat Bani Zeid. As always, it refers to the attack as being merely "alleged" and recycles its standard boilerplate apologetics:
"Though Israeli forces often claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out stabbing attacks when they were shot and killed, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases."
What Ma'an fails, as always, to do is observe how many Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks are done by children, and how many of the children are girls. Also: how a society produces weaponized and apathetic children driven by a hatred so all-encompassing that it conquers their own will to live.

UPDATE May 9, 2017: The thwarted girl with the knife wanted to kill and to be killed. What she posted to her Facebook page is depicted here and here. Meanwhile in the darker parts of the Israel-hating media, there are proliferating reports that she didn't really have a knife, and that she was actually executed by Israeli forces "in cold blood" and for no reason. The more they deny the reality of weaponized children, the less the chance that something can be done to stop it.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

04-May-17: When Mahmoud met Donald: Thinking about the PA's Rewards for Terror scheme

In the White House yesterday [Image Source]
We had a welcome opportunity yesterday to publicly express some things about the Palestinian Authority's blood-soaked Rewards for Terror scheme. That's not its official name but it does describe what actually goes on.

The occasion was a formal visit by PA president Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, and a perceptive article by Ben Cohen: "As Trump Meets Abbas, Victim Families Press Issue of Financial Rewards for Palestinian Terrorists" [Ben Cohen | The Algemeiner | May 3, 2017]

Some excerpts (and Arnold Roth is quoted):
The PA currently spends $300 million annually on the payments – close to 8 percent of its budget. Critics say that the PA actively incentivizes terrorism, by promising financial rewards and national glory for those who participate...
“There are some small indications that ‘concern’ was expressed in the name of the United States during the Trump/Abbas encounter concerning the ongoing PA payments scheme that rewards Palestinian Arabs for engaging in terror,” noted Arnold Roth, whose 15 year old daughter, Malki, was murdered in the suicide bombing of Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizza restaurant in August 2001.
“The passions that the prisoner payments scheme arouses in Palestinian Arab society seem never to be adequately captured in mainstream news reports – I worry that they are not well-enough understood by the people now exercising power in Washington,” Roth told The Algemeiner.
Roth argued that western governments enjoy leverage over the PA which they are reluctant to exercise.  “Mahmoud Abbas’ perpetually insolvent administration stays in business only because of massive hand-outs of foreign aid,” he stated. “In a sane world, the providers of those donations – the US and the European Union in particular – would be attaching real conditions to them. But mystifyingly they don’t.”
Stephen Flatow, whose 20 year old daughter Alisa was murdered in the 1995 suicide bombing of an Israeli bus by Islamic Jihad, asserted that “raising the issue for discussion is just not enough.”
...Neither Trump nor Abbas mentioned the issue of the prisoner payments at their joint appearance on Wednesday. “If the issue is not raised, I wouldn’t understand the rationale for the US position and I’d be extremely disappointed,” Flatow said. “The PA’s payments to terrorists –on  a sliding scale no less, based on the number of Jews killed or injured – serves to encourage others to commit terror.” [Read the whole article here]
It's worth noting that Wednesday's Abbas state visit came as the US Congress is weighing legislation (described here: "Senators introduce Taylor Force Act to cut Palestinian funding over terror rewards", JNS, September 30, 2016)
to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if they continue their policy of paying monetary rewards for terrorism. U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), Dan Coats (R-IN.) and Roy Blunt (R-MO.) introduced the Taylor Force Act, which would require the U.S. secretary of state to certify the Palestinian Authority has ended its policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorist and their surviving family members. The bill also calls on the PA to publicly condemn terror attacks and to take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.
We wrote about Taylor Allen Force [here] about 14 months ago. An American visitor to Israel as part of a Vanderbilt University school trip and a graduate of West Point Military Academy, he was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Arab terrorist who also injured 10 others in an attack on the seashore at Jaffa.

Poster at a British protest against the incitement of the PA
[Image Source]
The legislation that bears his name is not yet US law. It was referred to the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs in February [source] and is currently working its way through the system.

Whatever the outcome, the name of the murdered young US veteran will get considerably more respect there than it did when the "moderate" Arab-operated-but-European-financed Ma'an News Agency turned its attention, so to speak, to what was done to him:
Ma'an says the attacker is a 22-year-old from a village, al-Zawiya, near Qalqiliya. It gives his name as Bashar Masalha. What does Ma'an tell its readers about the man who was murdered by the villager? Not his name, not his age, not his background or anything about his life; just that he was "an American tourist". Nor do they mention how an Israeli musician, sitting near the beach and strumming on his guitar, gave the fleeing knife-man a massive whack on the head, destroying his musical instrument but slowing the murderer down so that the armed security people in pursuit could catch up with him and eventually stop him,
Not surprisingly, the Arabic version of the Ma'an report, the one which the editors assume will not be read by people outside the Arab world, honors the knife-man in a sub-heading as "shaheed", or "martyr". Mr Force is not mentioned at all. Hamas, whether because it's true or because they wish it were, issued a Tweet [here] saying the killer came from its ranks. The American man he murdered is dismissed as "a Zionist"... ["09-Mar-16: News reporting and how it ensures more terror"]
(By the way, people concerned with the pursuit of peace and a much better future for children on our side and on the Arab side as well certainly ought to know more about Ma'an and the hideous values it disseminates. We try to do our bit.) 

Ben Cohen's Algemeiner article ends with a quote worth emphasizing from Grant Rumley, a Palestinian affairs expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noting 
the centrality of the prisoner payments issue to Palestinian internal politics. “Any change on the payments policy will cost Abbas dearly at home,” Rumley said.
Yes, changing the Rewards for Terror scheme will be expensive for Abbas.

But we think the question for non-Palestinian Arabs is: so what? Should we be worrying about the political future of this 82 year-old kleptocrat, this inveterate inciter to hatred, this career politician now in the thirteenth year of his four-year term as president and continuing to hold tight for more?

No.

Abbas parading with freshly-freed terrorists, all of them killers,
in 2014. In the days after this rally took place, very one of the ex-prisoners
enjoyed a Rewards for Terror payday beyond anything of which they
dreamed - all of it funded by the foreign aid budgets of EU states and the US. 
We should care instead whether the payments - funded mainly by ordinary and unwitting taxpayers in the United States and Europe under the guise of international foreign aid - that serve to perpetuate a culture of lethal bigotry and the weaponizing of Palestinian Arab children can be stopped as a matter of urgency.

We should care about what it will take to cultivate a new and completely different kind of leadership among the Palestinian Arabs, one that will focus on reshuffling the core values of their own people so that building them a better future takes precedence over stealing ours.

It could be that Abbas agrees. In yesterday's meeting, he said (according this source):
We are coming into a new opportunity a new horizon that would enable us to bring about peace... [Associated Press, May 3, 2017]
Can someone urgently show him and his entourage the way to the exit? That new horizon is needed desperately.

04-May-17: A thwarted Arab-on-Israeli stabbing at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

Moments after today's attacker was neutralized
[Image Source]
A report from Ynet at about 8:30 this morning (Thursday) says there has been another Arab-on-Israeli knifing attack, this time at or just outside the ancient, sacred and heavily secured Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

An attacker is said to have charged at a group of IDF soldiers while holding what's described as "a dud grenade" as well as brandishing a knife.
IDF Border Police soldiers standing at a military post near the cave opened fire and neutralized him. No other injuries were reported. The terrorist was evacuated to hospital... [Ynet]
Via social media, it appears he may have been armed with a pistol or something resembling a pistol as well.

He has bullet wounds to the stomach and was sent to Hadassah Medical Center, Ein Karem (Jerusalem) for emergency treatment, arriving there around 10:00. He is said to be conscious and with injuries described as moderate.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

03-May-17: Glad to say today's attempted Arab-on-Israeli knife attack ends with no one dead

Shuafat: The attacker threw his knife to the
ground as demanded by the security
personnel [Social media]
Israel National News reported a short while ago that another attempted stabbing attack was foiled this afternoon (Wednesday) on Jerusalem's northern edge.

An Arab male stepped off a bus at the entrance to the Shuafat neighborhood around 1:00 o'clock and, as required by the signs and by well-known practice, approached the adjacent IDF security checkpoint; it's there so that people arriving on public transportation can show they hold valid Israeli ID or valid entry permits. This fellow drew a large and fearsome looking knife from where he had been concealing it on his person and charged at the officers manning the checkpoint. Attacks like this often end in one or more deaths but not today; the personnel manning the security post drew their weapons and ordered the would-be attacker to put the knife down. That's what he did and that's why he is now under arrest and alive. No one was injured.

The knifer is now helping the police with their enquiries.

Over at the Palestinian Arab media business, Ma'an News Agency, they say the knifer is 21 years old and a resident of Shuafat. Quoting a Fatah source, they give his name as Wissam al-Dibs. They entirely fail to mention the ongoing high-pressure incitement in Palestinian Arab circles over the past eighteen months encouraging knifing attacks on Israelis - civilians and military; adults and children.

We're sure they will correct this in their next knifing report. They might also mention one of the motivations - beyond the obvious urging of their political and religious leaders - as reported in the Los Angeles Times nine months ago:
“They want to escape the difficult situation that they are in. Whether it’s depression, lack of success in school, or a fight between their parents. They are looking to escape their reality,’’ said Kadoura Fares, who heads the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, a nonprofit group devoted to providing assistance to prisoners held in Israel and their families. Fares estimated that one-fifth of the knife confrontations involve distraught Palestinian youths.
“In our culture, suicide for no reason isn’t honorable,” he said. “If they try to confront a soldier, however, it’s looked on with more respect.’’ In the United States, such confrontations are known colloquially as “suicide by cop.’’ ["Politics isn't the only motive driving Palestinian knife attacks on Israeli soldiers", LA Times, August 7, 2016]
The headline is not accurate. Arab-on-Israeli knifings have been directed at individuals from every part of Israeli society. Click "knifing" or "Stabbing" to see how many we have covered in our past posts.

Friday, April 28, 2017

28-Apr-17: Calling the Jordanians to account for the cold-blooded murder of three Green Berets

Jim Moriarty salutes his murdered son's coffin [Image Source]
It's now clear we are not alone in struggling to achieve justice over the objections, double-talk and calculated indifference of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Regular readers of our blog know that we have embarked on a battle to get Jordan to comply with its obligations under the 1995 Extradition Treaty it signed with the Clinton administration.

Within that framework, we - and the FBI and the Department of Justice - want to see them hand over our daughter's murderer, a Jordanian woman of 37 called Ahlam Tamimi, so that she can be put on trial in the United States for the most serious of offences. An article that appeared recently in the New York Jewish Week provides the background: "30-Mar-17: Years of pursuing a child's killer: Setbacks, challenges and a roller-coaster ride"

Tamimi was charged under US Federal law in July 2013 with a series of felonies arising from her masterminding the 2001 massacre-by-human-bomb at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria. Our daughter Malki, 15, was killed in that grotesque act of savagery. Dozens more were killed or maimed. Those charges against Tamimi were in a sealed criminal complaint that remained secret until unsealed nearly four years later, on March 14, 2017. (Tamimi had been charged with multiple counts of murder under Israeli law a decade earlier and had pleaded guilty to all charges. She was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment which came to an abrupt and premature end in the catastrophic Shalit Deal of 2011.)

We presume the US Department of Justice was attempting to negotiate with the Jordanians during those four years up until last month. The Jordanians eventually refused and have come up with several reasons.

Jordan's brazen approach to the US demand includes claiming 22 years after it was signed that the extradition agreement is unconstitutional. Or that it was never ratified (does anyone actually know who has to ratify it? And why can they not ratify it today?). Or that it is somehow not applicable to Jordanians. Whatever, since Jordan is owned and operated by a family whose origins are Saudi Arabian and who dominate a society whose population overwhelmingly identify as Palestinian Arabs, no one expects a serious response. What's significant is simply that Jordan is saying "no"... and that Tamimi is regarded as a national hero in Jordan because - and not despite the fact that - she committed those 2001 murders.

There's no doubt the extradition treaty was regarded as binding at an earlier stage (and still is by the Americans). Under King Hussein, who is no longer alive, Jordan handed over to the US one of the plotters of the first World Trade Center terror attack from 1993 for extradition and eventual imprisonment inside America's justice system.

Here's how that extradition from Jordan was reported:
Bomb Suspect Extradited to the U.S. From Jordan | August 03, 1995 | Los Angeles Times | Robin Wright and Ronald J. Ostrow
WASHINGTON — In a closely held operation, the FBI on Wednesday brought back from Jordan a heretofore unknown suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, government sources disclosed. Eyad Ismail Najim, a Jordanian national, allegedly rode with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef in the bomb-packed van when it was driven into the underground parking lot of the trade center in New York City... Like Yousef, he left the United States shortly after the bomb went off on Feb. 26, 1993. The explosion killed six, injured more than 1,000 and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. Yousef was brought back to the United States from Pakistan in another FBI covert operation last February. The two seizures of prominent suspects in the worst international terrorist attack ever to take place inside the United States rank among the biggest counter-terrorism successes ever achieved by U.S. law enforcement agencies. President Clinton is expected to issue a statement today heralding the U.S. victories against international terrorism, White House sources said.
Najim has been under sealed indictment since shortly after the other suspects were arrested and indicted, according to government sources. U.S. intelligence has long known where to find Najim but the FBI was unable to request extradition until a treaty was worked out with Jordan in March, the sources said. The final instruments of extradition were completed and exchanged last Saturday, allowing the FBI to proceed. The indictment had been sealed to ensure that Najim would not learn that he had been identified and try to flee again. While in Jordan, he was enrolled in school. Like many of the other trade center defendants, Najim is described as fairly young. "He thought he got away with it," one law enforcement official said. Najim was flown from Amman, the Jordanian capital, aboard a U.S. government plane and was expected to arrive at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., a former Air Force base, and then be taken to the FBI's New York office for processing.
Ismoil is imprisoned today at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum (ADMAX) Facility in Florence, Colorado. He is due to be released on August 30, 2204 (not a typing error).

King Hussein's son, Abdullah II, has the powers of an absolute monarch. He could choose to see to it that his country complies with the extradition treaty. No constitution or law or customary practice would get in the way. So far, at least, he chooses to do nothing.

At the same time, he engages in self-congratulatory Tweets honoring his contribution to the fight against terrorists - like this:
Twitter source (April 5, 2017)
We were struck by the hubris, and asked him:
Twitter source (April 27, 2017)
No response of course. Nor did his foreign minister trouble himself to react to this:
Twitter source (April 28, 2017)
Recently we have had the honor of coming to know the father of one of three US Special Forces servicemen whose deaths while serving the United States on the territory of one its supposed allies in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during November 2016 has barely been reported. We wrote about it at the time, and it turns out our predictions were not far from the mark: "18-Nov-16: American service personnel killings in the Mid East get scant reporting and even less comprehension".

The Hashemite royal couple visiting the Trump
White House, April 5, 2017 [Image Source
Jordan is holding the shooter and will not extradite him to the United States either.

Here is a first-person account, reproduced in full, written by Jim Moriarty, a man who served his country via three tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, and is today a Houston attorney and a bereaved and angry father. Mr Moriarty's son was one of the three murdered in Jordan.
Jordan must stand to account for deaths of U.S. soldiers | James R. Moriarty | Houston Chronicle (Associated Press) | March 30, 2017 
A Jordanian soldier killed my son Army Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty and two of his Green Beret brothers as they returned at midday to King Faisal air base in Jordan on Nov. 4, 2016. Since then, the government of Jordan has repeatedly misled the world about the incident, which I believe was nothing less than murder. 
Jordan quickly blamed my son and his fallen brothers, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Lewellen and Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, for failing to properly stop at a guard gate as they returned to the base where they lived and worked. International news reports soon included the false Jordanian explanation. Then the Jordanian story changed. An "accidental" weapon discharge provoked the guard to open fire, officials said. An FBI investigation later showed that excuse to be false, too. 
Then three weeks ago, just hours before the Lewellen and McEnroe families and I went public in Washington with findings from our ongoing search for justice, Jordan's ambassador to the U.S. released a new statement. The ambassador for King Abdullah II - whose country receives more than $100 million per month in U.S. foreign aid - called the killings "tragic and very unfortunate" and "deplorable," but still claimed that "rules of engagement" were followed.
The letter infuriated our families. It also further united us. We reside in different geographical and political places, but our three families agree that honoring our sons' service and sacrifices must include finding the truth about what happened to them in Jordan and why. 
Because of the work of the U.S. Army and the FBI, we now know what happened to our sons. What we do not know is why it happened or when Jordan will be held accountable. On Feb. 28, the FBI showed us the haunting surveillance video of our sons' killings.
The video shows the truck driven by McEnroe slowly pulled up to the gate - just like any other day. The Jordanian soldier, wearing body armor and hidden in a concrete guardhouse behind camouflaged netting, opened fire without warning with an M-16 assault rifle. He was no more than 5 feet away. Bullet holes appeared in the view of the camera. Shattered glass flew.
The video also shows the chances of survival for McEnroe and Lewellen were almost zero. Caught completely by surprise attack, they died quickly in a hail of gunfire. My son Jimmy met a different fate. The Jordanian killer stalked him for minutes.
My son and another Green Beret, who would survive the attack, exited their trucks just in time to avoid being killed in the first bursts of gunfire. Armed only with pistols, they then spent the remaining six-and-a-half minutes of my son's life communicating with the soldier and other Jordanian soldiers in English and in Arabic. They soon realized they were in a fight to the death. The video shows Jimmy desperately waving and motioning to the five nearby Jordanian soldiers with whom they had worked that morning. Six other Jordanian gate guards did nothing to stop the assault.
The Jordanian soldier finally cornered the Green Beret survivor and my son. As the shooter came around a nearby truck, he caught the survivor by surprise. My son can be seen standing up in full view of the shooter and engaging him with his pistol. This move allowed the Green Beret to get to the Jordanian soldier's blind side and empty his pistol into gaps in his body armor, wounding him. My son took the bullets intended for the survivor and died moments later. The shooter, who was taken into custody by the Jordanian government, then was put into a medically induced coma. FBI investigators later conducted hours of questioning and the shooter gave yet another false explanation for the deaths: He heard "a loud noise" that he took for gunfire.
Americans are told that Jordan is our "ally." This incident raises troubling questions about that relationship - especially as Jordan refuses to accept responsibility for these deaths of U.S. troops or confirm what truly happened. Were I to speak directly with King Abdullah, I would remind him that my son called out in Arabic to his killer and other Jordanian soldiers, "We are Americans. We are friends." 
The time has come for the Jordanian government to finally account for these killings or risk its $1.6 billion foreign aid package. We want the killer of our sons prosecuted. We want the Jordanian government to apologize and publicly clear the names of our sons - and do everything possible to prevent such killings in the future. No more U.S. service members need to die at the hands of so-called American allies. 
King Abdullah II confers with the Chief Terror Officer of Hamas, Khaled
Meshaal, in Jordan [Image Source]
After a long period of asserting that the murderous attack by one of its soldiers was due to error by the Americans or, in a later variation, by the Jordanian, Jordan's version of events has just been re-adjusted once again:
After months of publicly defending the actions of a Jordanian guard who opened fire on a U.S. military convoy of Army Special Forces soldiers, killing three, Jordanian government officials have admitted that the shooter did not follow the military’s protocol and will face prosecution. Dana Daoud, a Jordanian Embassy spokeswoman, told The Washington Post that M’aarek Abu Tayeh — a member of the Jordanian king’s elite Hashemite force — will be “tried in a military court,” but she declined to comment on the nature of the charges against him or when a trial might occur... ["Jordan says guard who killed three U.S. soldiers did not follow rules of engagement", Washington Post, April 13, 2017]
Not much more needs to be said about Jordanian notions of justice that is not already obvious from previous encounters. 

We're thinking in particular about the shabby matter of Ahmed Daqamseha Jordanian armed guard who shot to death in cold blood seven Israeli schoolgirls. He was released prematurely last month to a well-publicized Jordanian celebrity's welcome: "12-Mar-17: What a Jordanian hero and his admirers tell us about the likelihood of peace".

To end, a handful of other recent posts of ours concerning the Jordanians, their idea of justice and their refusal to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, the happy, proud and celebrated killer of our daughter: