Update: Various groups in the United States paid $5 million to release the NGO’s. Keep your eyes open for any prisoner releases in the near future. I’m not convinced that won’t happen.
Original Story: The NGO’s being held hostage by the Egyptians for providing democracy training in accordance with our agreement with Egypt now face a trial that could land them in prison for five years. The charges are trumped up. The anger towards American is being taken out on the democracy workers by the Brotherhood and Salafis who despise secularists and any “interference” in their newly formed Islamic state.
Reuters reports that Judicials in Egypt have lifted the travel ban on the 16 Americans being held, including Ray LaHood’s son Sam. Secretary of State Clinton has no confirmation. The military has no comment. It still does not mean they will leave the country. There is a heavy fine (ransom) to be paid and they must promise to return for the hearing. There might be other deals being made with this being the carrot.
Since the NGO’s are still not free to leave, the following translation from al Arabiya is worthy of note. It indicates that Americans are in talks with Egypt but the 16 American relief/democracy workers might be exchanged for dangerous Jihadists who are still hell bent on destroying the United States and Israel.
Hopefully, al Arabiya has gotten it wrong because included in the exchange is the Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh. In case you don’t remember who he is, he is suspected in the first World Trade Center bombing and lead the most violent Jihadist group in the U.S. with ties to others.
The FBI began an investigation of Rahman and his followers. With the assistance of an Egyptian informant wearing a listening device, the FBI managed to record Rahman issuing a fatwa encouraging acts of violence against US civilian targets, particularly in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. The most startling plan was to set off five bombs in 10 minutes, blowing up the United Nations, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and a federal building housing the FBI. Government prosecutors showed videotapes of defendants mixing bomb ingredients in a garage. (Wiki)
al Arabiya claims that Egypt is demanding the release of Egyptian Guantanamo prisoners who are among the worst of the worst. Some estimates have the demand at 500 violent Egyptians from prisons across the U.S.
If our President does this, he is the weakest leader the United States has ever known.
The following is part of the translation from al Arabiya and you can click on the link for the entire rather alarming text -
al Arabiya.net: The Egyptian government began taking steps to respond with the American offer to release 50 Egyptians being held in American prisons–including Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman—in exchange for the release of 19 Americans accused in the case of foreign funding of civil society organizations. This is according to what was confirmed by Major General Muhammad Hani Zahir, an expert in military studies and international counterterrorism.
Zahir in comments to the newspaper ‘al-Masriyun’ said it was necessary for Egypt to exploit America’s weak position, especially after condemning its citizens in cases affecting Egyptian sovereignty over its territory. He added that Egypt should not permit this exchange to take place unless the American administration agrees to release more than 500 Egyptians being held in American prisons, of whom the Egyptian foreign ministry knows nothing.