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Iranian Alert -- May 8, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.8.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/07/2004 11:55:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” Most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 05/07/2004 11:55:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 05/07/2004 11:57:19 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Actively Supports Terrorism

May 07, 2004
VOA News

The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:

Iran is the world's "most active state sponsor of terrorism.” In its latest "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, the U.S. State Department says that in 2003, Iran's "Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts." The report says Iran backs terrorist groups that target Israel and harbors senior members of al-Qaida.

Cofer Black, the U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism, says that the Iranian government’s many security agencies do much more than collect information:

"They have and develop relationships with terrorists and terrorist groups to be in a position to command and control terrorist actions in response to national command authority."

Ambassador Black says that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Hezbollah, are among the terrorist groups that have received financial and logistical support from the Iranian government:

"They are the ones that provide the weapons and armament that are funneled to Hezbollah to kill innocent people, sent through Syria. They provide safe haven to leadership elements of the al-Qaida organization who, very likely, are in contact with their operatives overseas that are planning and attempting to execute attacks against innocent men, women, and children."

Ambassador Black says the U.S. takes Iranian support for terrorism seriously:

"These guys are very dangerous. They operate globally. They have killed people. They take actions that directly impact innocent men, women, and children."

The people in charge of the Iranian government, says Ambassador Black, "need to consider their future and what it is that Iran is going to stand for." That means, among other things, ending Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism.
3 posted on 05/07/2004 11:58:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Quietly, U.S. Prepares For Israel Strike on Iran

May 07, 2004
Middle East Newsline

WASHINGTON -- The United States has been examining the prospect that Israel will attack Iranian nuclear facilities in an attempt to prevent the Islamic republic from completing an atomic bomb as early as this year.

U.S. analysts and government sources said the Bush administration has discussed the prospect of an Israeli air strike at several levels of government. They said the issue has been examined in terms of the diplomatic, military and security implications for the United States, particularly its military presence in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.

The issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program was discussed by President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during the latter's visit to the White House on April 14. The sources said the two men were alone during the brief discussion in an effort by the president to gauge a likely Israeli response to the completion of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

"It would be intolerable for the Middle East if they [Iran] get a nuclear weapon," Bush said after meeting Sharon.
4 posted on 05/08/2004 12:00:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Mistakes Mustn't Halt March

May 07, 2004
The Baltimore Sun
Michael Rubin

WASHINGTON -- Now is not the time for the United States to withdraw from Iraq. Stung by the damage done by revelations that American personnel abused detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush spoke on Arab television and was unequivocal: "People in Iraq must understand that I view those practices as abhorrent." He pledged to punish the soldiers involved.

Across the Middle East, officials condemned the United States. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, for example, said the incident was proof that the United States had a "systematic plan to torture Iraqis, to kill them, to rape them." Syria's official daily, Ath-Thawra, called the abuse "proof" that torture is widespread in Iraq. Hundreds of Iraqis protested in front of Abu Ghraib prison, demanding the release of all prisoners. In Iran, Syria and Egypt, newspapers called for American withdrawal from Iraq.

But there could be nothing worse than a U.S. pullout.

Professors and pundits may say that the sky has fallen, but Iraqis have a broader perspective. They may forgive the actions of a few soldiers. While the American media focus on car bombs and prison abuse, in the year since liberation, Iraqis have also watched thousands of soldiers and contractors repair schools, repave roads and revitalize the electrical grid.

There's no doubt that the prison photos are devastating. But they are not a deathblow to Mr. Bush's call for a fundamental transformation of the Middle East. Iraqis respect Mr. Bush for his willingness to address them. The president has juxtaposed himself with every ruler in the Arab world.

Iraqis often acknowledge that from Jordan to Morocco, kings and presidents remained silent in the face of Saddam Hussein's crimes. Even U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, while undersecretary-general of the Arab League, said nothing as Mr. Hussein slaughtered Kurds and Arabs alike.

Iraqis ask where Arab leaders were when Mr. Hussein's Baath Party raped women, maimed men and filled mass graves. "Officials of the former regime did not even try to apologize. Bush's attempt to repair the damage is a good thing," a Baghdad teacher told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Democracies acknowledge mistakes and correct them. Dictatorships cover them up. The way forward lies in American transparency.

As the United States brings the perpetrators to justice, Mr. Bush should challenge regional regimes to do the same. For example, he should demand that Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed el-Bashir bring to justice those soldiers who, according to Human Rights Watch, in recent weeks have massacred blacks and committed mass rape and ethnic cleansing in Sudan's Darfur province.

Even as Arabic channels condemn the United States, Mr. Bush should demand they investigate the plight of Fathi Eljahmi, a Libyan democracy advocate. Two days after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William J. Burns visited Libyan strongman Muammar el Kadafi, Libyan security arrested Mr. Eljahmi. Both the White House and the Arabic media remain silent despite reports that Libyan security forces have tortured the dissident.

Mr. Bush should also demand that the Arab media investigate the plight of Aktham Naisse. Syrian police detained Mr. Naisse on April 14 for circulating a petition calling for democracy. In his court appearance eight days later, witnesses said Mr. Naisse's hand and leg were broken. Nor has the Arab League demanded an investigation into the Syrian regime's detention and torture of dozens of Syrian Kurds, arrested after the last pro-democracy demonstrations in March.

Iran should back its rhetoric with substance. Mr. Bush should hold Iran accountable for its treatment of 75-year-old journalist Siamak Pourzand.

Imprisoned for more than a year after demanding democracy, Mr. Pourzand was tortured by Iranian police and forced to confess to imaginary crimes on state television. Denied medical care, his weight dropped to 121 pounds. Last month, he suffered a heart attack. He is fortunate, though.

Iranian security arrested photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on June 23. Beaten in custody, she fell into a coma and died. The Iranian government refused to make her body available for autopsy. No one has been prosecuted for her murder.

A small number of soldiers and contractors have soiled the reputation of thousands of American servicemen and women. The Coalition Provisional Authority has freed 24 million Iraqis from a terrible dictatorship; despite our mistakes, Iraqis will not forget that.

We should not abandon Iraq because of the actions of a few individuals. Nor should we abandon the oppressed throughout the Middle East. It is that that would be most unforgivable.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.,0,1723681.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines
5 posted on 05/08/2004 12:01:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
We Have Great Relations with Tehran Despite U.S. Hostilities with Iran: Zibari

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -- “Despite the U.S. branding Iran as part of the “axis of evil” and contrary to their wish, we are having the best relations with Tehran. We are also striving to develop our ties,” said the Iraqi interim government’s Foreign Minister Hushiar Zibari, reports said on Saturday.

“Iraq’s cooperation with Iran will continue powerfully and at all levels,” added Zibari in an interview with the daily Asharq Al- Awsat.

Referring to the presence of the occupation forces in his country, the Iraqi interim foreign minister asserted that continued presence of foreign troops in Iraq is not embarrassing.

Zibari denied any role of the Israeli Intelligence Service “Mossad” in Iraqi affairs but said that foreign intelligence services work in any country in the world.

Describing the recent bombings in Karbala and Kazimayn as horrendous carnages, he attributed the killings to the extremist elements whose aim is to create tribal division, block the road to freedom and democracy as well as sow discord among the Iraqi nation.

He further noted that all the clues show that the Al Qaeda terrorist network and relevant organizations have had hand in the blasts.
6 posted on 05/08/2004 12:04:01 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: nuconvert
2 Alleged Leaders of Tehran 1999 Riots Granted 5 Day Absence from Prison

05 May 2004
Iran Payvand News

In Iran, two alleged student leaders of the July 1999 Tehran riots have been granted a five-day leave of absence from prison.

Family members of brothers Manoochehr and Akbar Mohammadi told VOA News that the brothers are in need of medical attention. Over the years, the brothers have said they have been tortured in prison.

They have already served four years for allegedly participating in the 1999 violent student uprisings that followed the storming of a university dormitory by security forces. One student died in that raid.

Manoochehr Mohammadi was allowed out of prison once last year. During his furlough he spoke with foreign press and as a result, an additional year was added to his 14-year prison sentence.

Lawyers for two other prominent activists, jailed journalists Akbar Ganji and Abbas Abdi, have told VOA that their clients have also received furloughs. The two were imprisoned on political charges, unrelated to the 1999 riots.
7 posted on 05/08/2004 12:12:03 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. planning for Israeli strike at Iran

Washington Times
8 posted on 05/08/2004 12:17:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: yonif; downer911; Pan_Yans Wife; Valin; Grampa Dave; Eala; Luis Gonzalez; SusanTK
US: Israel may strike nuclear facilities in Iran

May. 8, 2004
Jerusalem Post

Israel may be preparing to attack Iranian nuclear facilities within the year, according to US administration assessments reported on Army Radio Saturday morning.

Officials say that the attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons has been discussed at various levels, as well as the effects such an attack would have on US military and political efforts in Iraq and in the Persian Gulf.
10 posted on 05/08/2004 2:47:41 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Iran Will Not Oppose OPEC Production Rise

Sat May 8, 2004

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday he expected oil prices to remain high for the next three to four months but Iran would not oppose a production increase when the oil group meets next month.
"It seems we will not see a drop in oil prices in the next three or four months," Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told the reformist Sharq daily. "The market is not facing a supply problem now. The increase in the reserves of oil consuming countries indicates that."

Kazempour said a move to increase production would be pandering to the United States, which has complained that high oil prices were hampering the world economy.

"If OPEC decides to boost its production by one million barrels per day, such a decision must be viewed as political, to escape from the pressure of U.S. propaganda," he said.

NYMEX June crude settled at $39.93 on Friday.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said high-flying oil prices have nothing to do with OPEC but are stoked by Middle East political tension and U.S. refining problems.

"The oil price increase is not related to OPEC," he was quoted as saying on state radio.

"Instability in the Middle East...and technical problems in U.S refineries are among the factors that have pushed prices," he added.

Zanganeh repeated his view that there were 3 to 3.5 million barrels of daily oversupply in the market buoying reserves.

Last Saturday he said this level of oversupply could deflate oil prices suddenly.

Iran, with its population of some 66 million, is a traditional OPEC hawk.

OPEC next meets in Beirut on June 3.

Zanganeh also reiterated his view that he favored oil prices at $28 per barrel, seeing no need to change the OPEC price band.

OPEC President Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said OPEC was considering raising the $22-$28 target band.

Nigeria has said it should be lifted to $25-$32, but top OPEC power Saudi Arabia has said it is content with the current range.
11 posted on 05/08/2004 2:48:53 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
I think that I ignore your post now more that I ignore news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. Do you have any other agendas?
12 posted on 05/08/2004 2:57:52 AM PDT by garylmoore (The word "gay" means to be happy not abnormal!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran needs to cease its nuclear WMD development now. The mullahs need to stop all production of plutonium and U235 now. The mullahs of Iran need to recognize that the USA has stopped Saddam's madness. The mullahs of Iran need to understand that their pursuit of nuclear weapons will insure their destruction.. and the absolute destruction of their nation.

13 posted on 05/08/2004 3:12:50 AM PDT by garylmoore (The word "gay" means to be happy not abnormal!)
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To: DoctorZIn
14 posted on 05/08/2004 5:41:27 AM PDT by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn
We need to destroy Iran's nuclear program NOW!!! Iraq was going to be an immenient threat as President Bush said and we took care of them. Well Iran is an IMMENIENT threat, and can pose great danger if they develop a nuke! ACT NOW President Bush, and dont pay attention to the anti-America media.
15 posted on 05/08/2004 6:54:21 AM PDT by M 91 u2 K
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; McGavin999
Iran Army Shuts Tehran's New Airport on First Day

Sat May 8, 2004

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's armed forces closed Tehran's new international airport on its first day of scheduled flights on Saturday, the joint-armed forces said.
Security fears were cited in a statement carried on the official IRNA news agency, but that may refer to a dispute involving the foreign consortium that built and was to have run the Imam Khomeini airport, 30 miles south of Tehran.

State airline Iran Air took over the new airport's operation from a Turkish-Austrian consortium Tepe-Akfen-Vie (TAV) on Friday.

"Unfortunately officials at the airport ignored the security measures...on not deploying foreign groups at this vital center in the country," the joint-armed forces statement said, although Iran Air is now in charge at the airport.

The airport has proved controversial with the conservative press rallying behind domestic airlines that said TAV had not prepared it to international standards.

Before the airport was to open, two local airlines said they would refuse to transfer their flights in protest at a government decision to hand over operation of the airport's only existing terminal to the TAV consortium.

"We are not flying from an airport run by foreigners," Ali Abedzadeh, director of state-owned Aseman Airline, was quoted as saying by Economic Hayat-e No daily on Wednesday.

The joint-armed forces were not immediately available to comment, but said in the statement they allowed only one of six planned flights from Dubai to land before shutting the airport.

"The airport was closed until further notice," the statement said.

The flights were diverted to the old Mehrabad airport in central Tehran, a Mehrabad spokeswoman said.

The head of Iran's Aviation Organization told the ISNA students news agency he opposed the closure.

"The security forces have no right to close the airport and it is illegal in terms of both domestic and international laws," said Hassan Hajalifard, adding one of the flights had been diverted to the central city of Isfahan.

Iran has said it intends to move all international flights to the $475 million airport by the end of July 2004.

The new airport was inaugurated 30 years after the project was conceived.
16 posted on 05/08/2004 7:57:54 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
The new airport was inaugurated 30 years after the project was conceived.

Guess the Revolution slowed down construction a bit...?

17 posted on 05/08/2004 9:07:47 AM PDT by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE:
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To: DoctorZIn
Officials beaten up by families of the Martyrs

SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 8, 2004

Several officials and members of their families were beaten up,during an official visit, by families of the combatants killed during the Iran-Iraq war.

The unprecedented incident happened as Mehdi Karoubi, the Islamic Parliament's Speaker, and several members of the regime and their families were participating in an official meeting held at the "Hejab" (veil) Sport Facility located in center Tehran. The officials were addressing the audience on the situation of the country and on the vertue of "Wearing Hejab" (the mandatory veil rejected by millions of Iranian women).

The wife of a killed Militiamen stepped toward the podium and pulled off her veil in sign of protest against the regime and Karoubi's speech leading to the brutal intervention of his body guards.

Many among the participants retaliated to the brutal intervention by attacking the regime's security agents, the Speaker, other officials and even their wives and daughters while trying to rescue the maverick woman who was accusing Karoubi and the regime of being the cause of all existing problems.

Several were injured, including Karoubi's daughter, and other were arrested by the regime's agents.
18 posted on 05/08/2004 10:00:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Blocks Adoption of Agenda for UN Conference

May 08, 2004
Khaleej Times Online

UNITED NATIONS -- Iran Friday blocked the adoption of an agenda for a review conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that must be held next year, diplomatic sources said.

A preparatory meeting, held this week at UN headquarters, ended Friday with an agreement on some minimal procedures but without an agenda for the conference.

“Iran almost single-handedly managed to block the adoption of an agenda in the hope of avoiding the conference devoting too much attention to the behavior of those of its members suspected of being proliferators,” a diplomat told AFP.

“The United States showed toughness, but Iran did not display any flexibility,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The United States has accused Iran of trying to obtain nuclear weapons and of misleading inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who monitor Iranian nuclear installations, which, according to Teheran, pursue peaceful aims.

“Technical preparations for the conference will undoubtedly be slowed down a little,” the diplomat said. “But the failure to adopt an agenda this week should present an insurmountable obstacle.”

Participants of the preparatory meeting decided that the review conference will proceed at UN headquarters in New York on May 2-27, 2005, under the presidency of Brazil.

Signed in 1968, the NPT limits possession of nuclear weapons to countries that had them at the time of the treaty’s signing.
19 posted on 05/08/2004 10:00:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Those Sexy Iranians

May 08, 2004
The New York Times
Nicholas D. Kristof

If, as the poet Philip Larkin observed, sex began in 1963, it has finally reached Iran over the last year.

True, girls and women can still be imprisoned for going out without proper Islamic dress. But young people are completely redefining such dress so it heightens sex appeal instead of smothering it.

Women are required to cover their hair and to wear either a chador cloak or an overcoat, called a manteau, every time they go out, and these are meant to be black and shapeless. But the latest fashion here in Shiraz, in central Iran, is light, tight and sensual.

"There are some manteaus with slits on the sides up to the armpits," said Mahmoud Salehi, a 25-year-old manteau salesman. "And then there are the `commando manteaus,' with ties on the legs to show off the hips and an elastic under the breasts to accentuate the bust."

Worse, from the point of view of hard-line mullahs, young women in such clothing aren't getting 74 lashes any more — they're getting dates.

"Parents can't defeat children," Mr. Salehi mused. "Children always defeat their parents."

And that's what Iran's baby boomers, a wave of 18 million people 15 to 25 years old, are doing. They will transform their country, just as baby boomers in the West changed America and Europe. I don't think Iran's theocracy can survive them, for I've never been to a country where young people seem more frustrated.

The regime's problem is that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini exhorted Iranians to have more children, and they responded — today, 60 percent of the country's population was born after his Iranian revolution. And these young people are determining social mores and carving out a small zone of freedom for themselves.

In one sense, the relaxation in clothing requirements is superficial, and some Iranian women have scolded me for asking them about head scarves when they are more angry about discrimination in divorce, child custody and inheritance rules. But the clothing rules affect every woman every day and raise the central question in Iran's future: should a few aging male mullahs still determine the most basic and intimate elements of every Iranian's life?

From that vantage point, it looks to me as if the revolution is sputtering. The mullahs are refusing to accept real democracy, but they are giving in to popular pressure in some areas. The draft is immensely unpopular among young men, for example, so this year the hard-liners shortened the service requirement. More important, individual Iranians are reclaiming their individuality and their autonomy — and how they dress is the best measure of that.

The morals police no longer order women to cover up stray hairs. These days, the fashion is for brightly colored, glittery see-through scarves, worn halfway back on the head.

"It's possible head scarves will be gone in another year or two, the way things are going," said Amir Suleimani, a scarf salesman in the Tehran Bazaar. "God willing."

No wonder conservative newspapers in Tehran denounce Iranian women for strolling around "nude."

The baby boomers include Saghar Tayebi, a 17-year-old in Isfahan who wore a tight manteau with high slits, embroidered jeans and a red headband. Her mascara was hefty and her lipstick bold, and her sleeves were rolled up to reveal lots of bracelets. Lots of hair escaped her scarf. But when I asked her whether she dreamed of wearing Western-style skimpy clothing, she looked aghast.

"We totally reject that," she said indignantly. "We don't want that freedom."

Conversations with young people like Saghar suggest that youths want to remain good Muslims, and that some are happy enough in an Islamic republic — but that, above all, they want to laugh and love. Many are not overtly political, nor sure exactly what kind of government they want, but they do know that this isn't it.

"We want fun," declared Tannaz Haj Hosseini, a 20-year-old university student who was out with her boyfriend in Tehran. "There's no joy here."

I protested that her nail polish and see-through scarf — not to mention the boyfriend — underscored the progress in Iran. A few years ago, she would have been lashed.

"I don't compare myself with 10 years ago," she said. "I compare myself to what I could have and don't."

Ayatollahs, look out.
20 posted on 05/08/2004 10:02:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Virtual jihad

May. 6, 2004 9:49 | Updated May. 8, 2004 11:28
Jerusalem Post

How serious is cyber-terror's threat, and what is the free world doing about it?

Islamic terrorists are winning the on-line war against Western interests because of their virtually unchecked ability to use the Internet to plan, promote, and propagate both physical and cyber attacks.

Efforts to monitor, predict, and counter such attacks are only in the earliest stages. Technical, legal, privacy, and even political challenges are slowing down what could be called cyber counterterrorism in Israel and the US. Private groups have done much of what little successful monitoring has been done so far, as government efforts, particularly in the US, have been hampered by civil liberties concerns.

While no major terror attacks have yet been carried out on or through the Internet, the sophistication of attacks is increasing and test runs for major disruptions have occurred.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, deputy director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, says terrorists are deeply involved in the Internet.

"The truth is, the terrorist groups, al-Qaida and those affiliated with it, use every available part of the Internet to promote their agenda," he says. "That includes command and control - sending encrypted messages thousands of miles to their operatives."

Experts agree there are three key aspects to cyber-terrorism: Attacks on electronic networks, sabotage of physical infrastructures, and abuse of the Internet for recruitment and propaganda.

TWO YEARS ago an attack was waged on the database of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, which included the theft of donors' credit-card numbers.

A new Wiesenthal Center report documents efforts by Hamas and al-Qaida to get 100,000 on-line activists to attack Israeli government Web sites in coordinated efforts.

The BBC reported last year the number of attacks on Web sites leapt after the US-led invasion of Iraq last year. The BBC said more than 1,000 sites were hacked in direct relation to the Iraq conflict, including some of the US Navy's sites. Many of the hacker attacks contained anti-war slogans; some had direct anti-US slogans, the BBC said.

ACCORDING TO the database of mi2g Ltd., a computer security firm based in London, the number of digital attacks in the last two and a half years reached into the thousands, with the majority targeting Turkey. The company's database identifies Morocco, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia as the leading sources. Mi2g says the primary targets are computers owned by American, German, British, Italian, Australian, and Canadian interests. A recent mi2g report speculates that French and Russian targets are absent from the list because they took different views regarding the US invasion.

Mi2g executive chairman D.K. Matai, perhaps the most widely quoted expert on cyber-terror and anti-Western hacking from Islamic sources, says the Islamic hacking groups his company studies are increasingly mounting transnational joint attacks against US-allied economic targets. Even as the overall number of attacks has declined, he says, their sophistication has been rising.

"They are increasingly going underground," Matai says. "It is only a matter of time before serious damage to Western critical economic infrastructure is inflicted."

Matai says hackers have targeted companies listed on various stock exchanges and have stolen credit-card numbers to sell on the black market, brought services down, or caused a business interruption, which means loss of revenue. He says they also grab hold of personnel data and use them to carry out other kinds of criminal activity. Often, he says, this is done with organized criminal syndicates.

"Extremism requires cash and funding," Matai says. "In order to fund extremist activity in a tight global financial regime that makes it difficult to move money through the legitimate financial system, working with organized crime syndicates is becoming more appealing [to terrorists]."

Some experts discount Matai's claims, and say the only traceable activity so far has been "proof of concept" attacks, that is, attacks designed to show that something serious can be done.

The Washington Post reported recently on a major hacker attack on US university computers that disrupted TeraGrid, a National Science Foundation-funded computer network that forecasts weather and works on genome sequencing, and Argonne National Laboratory, a US Energy Department site. The Post said as many as 20 institutions were targeted. Pete Beckman, Argonne's engineering director, told the Post the attackers tried to do little more than see how much access they could get.

Steven Goldsby, president of Integrated Computer Solutions Inc. in Montgomery, Alabama, says attacks such as those, along with numerous recent Internet "worms" and viruses, are tests to see if a certain disruptive activity can be conducted on-line. Worms could take over and create "zombie" host computers that could perpetrate a major attack, he says.

"We've gotten new defenses across the Internet, but as you've seen with worms, there is still a lot of threat out there," Goldsby says. "These proofs of concept have caused no real damage but are a harbinger of things to come. We haven't seen the attack yet. The scary thing is we haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg."

SO-CALLED "denial of service" attacks designed to slow, clog, or shut down electronic communications systems were launched on Israeli Web sites and Internet providers in the early days of the Palestinian uprising in 2000. Most of the systems attacked have been "hardened" since, and many experts designate such "hacktivism" as little more than a nuisance.

In fact, some activists claim the entire dialogue surrounding the issue of cyber-terror has been hyped out of proportion to the real threat, as a way to erode civil liberties, particularly in the United States.

George Smith, a Village Voice writer and analyst at Global, a Washington defense and technology think tank, has been one of the leading critics of cyber-terror talk.

"The old-fashioned violence of September 11, delivering death by fire and desolation, suddenly made the idea of stealing Saddam Hussein's e-mail or drowning his regime in spam seem silly, indeed," Smith has written. "The endless flood of spam in behalf of Viagra, penis enlargement and breast enhancement can make you want to kill somebody, but spam is only potted scam, after all."

Smith was a major critic of retired US general Richard Clarke, who was president Bill Clinton's anti-cyber-terror director.

Clarke "bequeathed the nation a haystack of quotes leading idiots to believe terrorists were going to devastate us through computer networks," Smith wrote.

Gary R. Bunt, author of Islam in the Digital Age: E-Jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments, says he is cautious about scare stories associated with the Internet.

"That doesn't mean to say that a major disruptive event could not be undertaken by Islamic platforms," says Bunt, a lecturer in the Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies Department at the University of Wales. "I would not be surprised if hackers [Muslim and other] are not testing networks of these interests, for a variety of motives. There has been the suggestion that al-Qaida operatives have been extensively trained in hacking/cracking activities, which go beyond simple disruption."

US President George W. Bush has proposed funding the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division with an $80 million budget.

"Cyberspace security is a key element of infrastructure protection, because the Internet and other computer systems link many infrastructure sectors," says a White House analysis released with the fiscal 2005 US budget proposal. "The consequences of a cyber attack could cascade across the economy, imperiling public safety and national security."

THE PROBLEM is being recognized worldwide. Adam Cobb, a former Australian Defense Department strategist, has said his country's information infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attack. South Korea's state intelligence agency recently set up an anti-cyber terror center to address concerns about possible terrorist attacks on communication networks.

Israel is certainly aware of cyber-terrorism. The country is home to more than half of the world's major commercial computer security companies and technologies, according to Nissim Bar-El, chairman of Comsec Group Ltd. of Petah Tikva, a computer security consulting firm.

"We have more enemies. We are more exposed," he says. "The threat is there. The vulnerability is quite there. I do not see any obstacle to a group of scientists in Teheran University getting money to attack Israel. There is no obstacle for al-Qaida or some others to find the right people."

Matai says Islamic hackers try to attack Israeli targets all the time. But he says domestic security measures are working.

"The number of attempts is at an all-time high, but the number of such penetrations, whether overt or covert, is at an all-time low," he says.

Matai says his company is in direct contact with hackers by tracing their work, and even posing as hackers on hacker computer bulletin boards. That's how he says his firm has identified the hackers' goals.

The biggest common complaint from hackers is the double standard surrounding Israel's nuclear deterrent and that it is not called a rogue state, while it is seen as improper for Islamic countries to have weapons of mass destruction, he says. Matai says such groups also are seeking to vandalize government sites belonging to Saudi Arabia and Morocco, because they are aligned with American foreign-policy interests.

Israel's response, beyond individual corporate or government agency efforts to improve their cyber defenses, has been to create a government commission to study cyber-security and defense. Bar-El says the government must work with private industry to protect the country's information infrastructure.

A SECOND area of cyber-terror is the attempt to do damage to the physical infrastructure by getting into computer systems. Such attacks could be aimed at shutting down the system that controls Tel Aviv traffic lights, Hoover Dam in the US, or a nuclear power plant. Despite scare stories of such possibilities, there is little documented evidence of such attacks having occurred. Experts say such an attack could also be coupled with a physical attack, so as to hinder rescue or counterattack efforts.

The Washington Post reported in 2002 that US intelligence services had monitored al-Qaida terrorists snooping around in the computer systems of dams, power plants, and other facilities.

Three recent power outages within a week at Los Angeles International Airport have raised some concerns. One of the power outages affected 100 flights and caused two planes to fly within six kilometers of each other, closer than US regulations allow. Two of the outages were attributed to birds landing on power lines, and a malfunctioning transformer apparently caused the third.

Dr. Abe Wagner of System Research & Development Corp., a US government-funded entity, says terrorists have "infinite access" to a great deal of information on the Internet. "The advantage is going to terrorists," he told an audience at a recent conference at Tel Aviv University on combating cyber-terror. "The 9/11 terrorists looked at information on their targets on-line. There is very little government and security agencies can do."

THE AREA perhaps causing the most concern is the use terrorists make of the Internet itself to spread propaganda, recruit supporters and other terrorists, learn about selected targets, transmit information, such as how to manufacture bombs, and to communicate with each other about upcoming and planned terror attacks.

A Saudi graduate student at the University of Idaho working on his doctorate in computer science went on trial in a US federal court in April after being accused of setting up Web sites to help Islamic militants recruit followers, Associated Press reported. Sami Omar Al-Hussayen was charged with three counts of aiding terrorism, visa fraud, and making false statements. He allegedly helped run Web sites that supported Hamas and other terror groups, and maintained bank accounts to funnel cash to another group with terrorist connections, AP reported.

Yael Shahar, who tracks cyber-terror at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, says terrorists are outgrowing the need for state sponsors.

"The Internet allows them to be spread out geographically and maintain a coherent ideology," she says. "It becomes a leaderless resistance where you don't need hierarchy, and infiltrating a group without a hierarchy is more difficult."

Shahar says al-Qaida puts its ideology on a Web site to recruit new members, and also posts instructions on how to conduct an attack. Similarly, she says, terrorists keep in touch by using Internet cafes, where contact is anonymous, and posting information on Web forums.

Al-Qaida claims car bombs are being smuggled into Iraq from Syria in used cars, she says. "They are talking freely about it in Arabic on Web sites. But you have to be a member of a group affiliated with it for a while to get in. They change their IP addresses frequently, and have been known to hijack other people's sites - take their sites offline and put an al-Qaida site in its place."

An extremist Islamic group took over last year, according to AP, an Internet bulletin board run by an Alaska high-school student and used it to call for attacks on the US. More than 1,000 people used the portal before the group fled to another server. The Islamic group had been moving its Wedsite regularly for at least a year.

SECURITY EXPERTS say the US government has been hampered in its efforts to monitor and track terror conversations and data transfers on the Internet by privacy concerns. Last year, the US Senate pulled funding from the Pentagon's anti-terror data-mining project, which was first labeled the Total Information Awareness project and then renamed Terrorism Information Awareness. The matter came to widespread public awareness after a column by William Safire in The New York Times.

The project was intended to "mine data" by searching everything from credit cards and medical records, to travel information, e-mail, bank deposits, and even magazine subscriptions, to uncover suspected terrorists. The fact that the program was run by Admiral John Poindexter, a key figure in the 1980s Iran-contra affair, who had moved to the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, didn't help.

Recently, two Democratic senators introduced a bill to require all federal agencies to report to Congress about their use of data-mining technology.

"The American people deserve to know what kind of information is gathered about them and how federal agencies intend to store and use it," the senators wrote in a letter seeking support for their effort.

A new effort at tracking terrorists' use of US air travel, an updated version of Washington's Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, is also under attack from civil libertarians. The program, announced last year, would create a new passenger-screening database that would be able to check every domestic US traveler's credit history, arrest record, and property-tax data.

If such privacy concerns are resolved, it may be nerdy mathematicians and computer scientists who have as much to do with victory in the War on Terror as conventional warriors. Perhaps in response to the shutdown of Terror Information Awareness, the US is quietly funding research in Israel designed to detect terrorist use of the Internet.

Mark Last of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev told the recent Tel Aviv cyber-terror conference that research is under way to predict future activities and targets by searching Web pages, e-mails and other on-line data. The challenge is the vast amount of unstructured data on the Internet, he says.

"What is needed is real-time detection of on-line activities," Last says.

Among other programs under way, Menahem Friedman of the Nuclear Research Center of the Negev is developing at Ben-Gurion mathematical models to locate specific terrorists doing their terrorist activities. The National Institute for Systems Test and Productivity, a US government-funded research institute, operated by the University of South Florida, is financing the research.

"The research should enable us to detect any document downloaded from the Internet and at the same time, evaluate whether the document could be a terrorist's with 100 percent accuracy," Friedman says. "We have discovered that at certain computers, 80 percent of the documents downloaded were terrorist documents."

He says defining a terrorist document is based on a complex combination of artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and numerical analysis. But the project is not yet complete, and can currently only detect downloads, not e-mails or other forms of on-line communications.

Until more sophisticated tools are invented, it seems terrorists will continue to have free rein on the Internet. "There is a whole subculture on-line," says Cooper. "It's anarchists in the 21st century."

Two can play this game
Anti-Israel hacking groups are not the only ones on the offensive, says Yael Shahar, who tracks cyber-terror at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at The Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya.

"You could even say we started it," Shahar says.

She says she received e-mails on the day before three IDF soldiers were kidnapped on the Lebanese border in 2000 instructing people on how to take down Hizbullah's Web site with a "denial of service" attack, which requires a lot of people to go to a site and launch DOS tools.

"And that happened before major attacks on our systems," she says. "I can't say that started attacks, but Israeli attacks on the Hizbullah site preceded others. We didn't cause it, but the phenomenon goes both ways."

Hackers blocked attempts by Arab television station al-Jazeera to start an English-language Web site for months last year.

Associated Press reported in February that a Palestinian terrorist group accused American and Israeli groups of hacking its Web site. Islamic Jihad said the unidentified groups had destroyed the site to shut down Palestinian points of view.

AP reported that a statement faxed to its Beirut office said: "In an attempt aimed at silencing the Palestinian voice - which speaks for the resistance and defends the Palestinian people's right - hostile and malevolent Zionist and American quarters have struck the official Web site of Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement."

The statement said the February hacker attack was not the first time its site had been attacked.

The encoded message
One technology that terrorists have appropriated is known as "steganography," the art of embedding coded information in anything from photographs to MP3 sound files.

These digital files, which can then be transmitted openly over the Internet, can be "read" by someone at the receiving end using the same program that created them. There is only a limited ability to crack such files.

"It's the kind of spy craft terrorists would have learned from state sponsors," says Yael Shahar, who tracks cyber-terror at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at The Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya. "But they don't need that now."

Steganography works by replacing bits of useless or unused data in regular computer files (such as graphics, sound, text, HTML, or even floppy disks) with bits of different, invisible information, according to the Web site webopedia. Such hidden information can be text, encoded text, or even images.

Steganography cannot easily be detected, webopedia says. Therefore, it often may be used when encryption is not possible. According to webopedia, an encrypted file may hide information using steganography, so the hidden message cannot be found even if the encrypted file is deciphered.

It is easy to find steganography software on the Internet. Free software is available at many download sites. Software designed to crack messages hidden through steganography also proliferates online.

According to numerous sources, steganography, which means "covered writing," dates back to ancient Greece. Practices then included etching messages in wooden tablets and covering them with wax, or tattooing a message on a messenger's shaved head, letting his hair grow back, then shaving it again when he arrived at his contact point. The method is known in classical thriller fiction as the "purloined letter."

According to a 2002 report in Foreign Policy magazine, terrorists who had planned to blow up the US Embassy in Paris reportedly used steganography. At latest count, 140 easy-to-use steganography tools were available on the Internet.

Wired magazine reported in February 2001, before the 9/11 attacks, that federal investigators were worried about Osama Bin Laden's use of steganography to encode messages to followers.
21 posted on 05/08/2004 10:22:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Virtual jihad

May. 6, 2004 9:49 | Updated May. 8, 2004 11:28
Jerusalem Post
22 posted on 05/08/2004 10:43:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: M 91 u2 K; garylmoore; tantric
"Guns Don't Kill, People Do."

We need to get rid of the mullahs, the regime.
The nuclear facilities in the hands of a peaceful country aren't a problem.
23 posted on 05/08/2004 1:55:03 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: F14 Pilot
24 posted on 05/08/2004 2:59:17 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: Eala
A bit??? Duh????

A lot...
25 posted on 05/08/2004 9:45:00 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
excellant article!
26 posted on 05/08/2004 10:24:40 PM PDT by FBD (...Please press 2 for English...for Espanol, please stay on the line...)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

27 posted on 05/09/2004 12:51:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The war on terror is so high-tech and broad sweeping, that I am continually impressed at not only the level of detail, but the quiet plodding pace that the US has adopted... and how much safer the world is today.

As always, thanks for the informative posts, Doc.
28 posted on 05/09/2004 12:53:27 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. --Elmer G. Letterman)
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