A Prince returns


Same month, same airport, same Benghazi?


Going home. The resonance of that phrase is universal. The happy homecoming. The poignant or sad one. The unsure one. The second chance one.

For His Royal Highness Prince Mahdi A Al-Senussi that ultimate appellation of his “going home” remains to be determined. Forty-two years to the month that Prince Mahdi was forced to leave Libya, he has returned. Armed with a template from the past and an eye to the realities of the 21st century, the Prince is ready to make his homecoming to Libya one of a storybook ending for his people and his nation.

It was the same airport from which he departed Benghazi. Little had changed, it seemed.

There was, of course, the expected feelings of overwhelmingly joy, trumpeting a cavalcade of emotions being forged on the anvil of what can he do – he of royal blood – to help restore prosperity, dignity, happiness and hope to his nation.

He touts the great Libya of the past and its promise of return and already some are listening.

Malta will be investing heavily to boost its diplomatic and consular presence in Libya in the coming months and has already acquired more than €1 million in EU funding for this purpose.

Brussels has acknowledged Malta’s role to act as a bridge between the EU and Libya and has already given the green light for this plan to materialize – a major boost for Libya.

Since toppling Gaddafi regime, Libya has begun rebuilding the country on the cornerstone laid decades ago by King Idris.  In July, the country accomplished its first democratic election seating the 200-member General National Congress that quickly and peacefully assumed power from the National Transition Council.  The GNC without haste elected Mohammed Magarief as its new President.

The Prince was able to return. There were lines of relatives to greet him. the Prince saw the flag of his Libya, the flag that flew when his uncle was king and his father was a vibrant part of helping to guide Libya.

He knows that flag well – in particular one that his aunt had brought with her as she left the country, akin to Dolly Madison saving the portrait of George Washington that hung in the White House away from the oncoming British troops. “This particular flag belonged to the king,” the Prince said. “It is a powerful thing.

“During the reign of the King, Libyans had economic development, rule of law, a strong media, education and health care,” the Prince said during an interview. He recalled the U.S. air base at Tripoli, an anchor of a strong, vibrant and two-way relationship with the United States.

The Prince wants all that back.

There is a pot of $580 billion in the Libyan budget, a central geographic location and a bounty of resources as a lure for prime investments, he says. There are three big players in the world, according to the Prince – Russia, China and the U.S. – and he wants to U.S. to move quickly to once again be the champion of Libya.

Some say it is worth a look: the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development projected 20.1 percent in growth in Libya for 2012 and almost10 percent in 2013.

The Prince repeats the word of his father reminding him that it is business and philanthropy, not politics, in which he serves Libya best. “Here is a people that not only love you but believe in you,” he said in the interview. You have to come back they say. It’s a beautiful feeling when you hear than say we hope you are coming to stay.”

He recalls how Libyans were treated with scorn around the world because of Gaddafi and how he did whatever he could when meeting them, recalling a time in an Amsterdam airport where he saw authorities verbally hectoring a Libyan woman with children as a terrorist. When he intervened to help, they asked who she was and he said clearly he was helping her because” she is my wife, my daughter, my mother and my sister.”

Others have noted the actual pro-western history of Libya, pre Gaddafi.  For example The Weekly Standard detailed why Libya did not vote for the Muslim Brotherhood, unlike Egypt and Tunisia, and how Libyans actually seek bonds with the west. Wrote Stephen Swartz:

“Many Libyans remember the tradition of their ‘Sufi king’ with affection. King Idris created a pro-Western state, erected modern universities in Tripoli and Benghazi, and established a Senussi religious university, which Qaddafi shut down in 1984 in an effort to extirpate the memory of the Senussis. Ahmad Ibn Idris was notable both in his reforming concepts—he called for abandonment of the traditional sharia schools of Islamic law—and for his active opposition to Wahhabism. The flag of King Idris, which was adopted by the anti-Qaddafi Libyan rebels and has been restored as Libya’s national banner, includes a central black stripe with a white crescent and star, representing the Senussi Sufis, and the Idrisi legacy.”

“When I was there, a lot of things got done,” the Prince said of his recent trip. “I was reminded that the people needed me.” He is already returning.

The attack on the U.S compound in Benghazi left the wrong image of the city and its feeling for the U.S., the prince said.  He insists the city and the country are eager for U.S. friendship.

“Make no mistake the potential of greatness is real,” the Prince said. “There is no turning back.”




New York: Muslim who financed Times Square jihad bomber pleads guilty

Still more Islamophobia. Oh, when will it end? "Pakistani man tied to Times Square bomber pleads guilty," by Basil Katz for Reuters, August 19 (thanks to all who sent this in):

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Pakistani immigrant pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court to running an illegal money-transfer business that provided $7,000 to the man who tried to bomb New York's Times Square. 

Mohammad Younis, 45, was charged in September, five months after Faisal Shahzad was arrested for parking a crude car bomb in the crowded Times Square on May 1, 2010. A bomb squad ultimately defused the device.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said in the indictment that Younis met with Shahzad on April 10 last year and gave him the money sent by people in Pakistan as part of an informal "hawala" money transaction common in Islamic societies.

On Thursday, Younis pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of conducting an unlicensed money transfer business. But Shahzad's name was not mentioned in court.

Younis told U.S. District Judge John Keenan that he did not know who he gave the money to or what the money was intended for. Prosecutors have not charged Younis with participating in or having any knowledge of Shahzad's planned attack....


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JudicialWATCH; US/1; ATTN: JAG/1; QUEST/1

SEC Rewards Investigator Who Botched Madoff Probe

Last Updated: Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:31am

In a remarkable development, the beleaguered Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) actually awarded the employee who botched the investigation of the largest Ponzi scheme in history with a cash bonus for a great job performance.

It marks the latest of many scandals for the famously inept federal agency charged with policing the nation’s financial industry. An SEC Inspector General probe discovered that the agency rewarded an incompetent investigator who missed Bernie Madoff’s illegal, $50 billion Ponzi scheme with a cash bonus for good work.

Released this week, the IG report doesn’t name the SEC investigator but confirms that he (or she) was one of the “key participants” looking into Madoff’s corrupt operation. It gets better. SEC supervisors nominated the unnamed employee for the award shortly after the agency’s IG issued a scathing report detailing how the agency failed miserably to catch Madoff. In fact, in that 2009 report the IG singles out the employee and assistant regional director for “numerous performance issues” and possible disciplinary action.

Once a prominent investment manager, Madoff for years operated a massive scheme that defrauded thousands of investors out of billions of dollars and in 2009 he pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies. The SEC got blasted for failing to do its job, ignoring or missing repeated warnings about Madoff’s operation. In fact, the SEC’s watchdog determined that it had received “more than ample information in the form of detailed and substantive complaints over the years” but failed to act.

That could be because a big chunk of the SEC workforce was preoccupied gawking at pornography websites during work hours. While the economy slowly crumbled and Madoff defrauded investors, high-ranking SEC officials—including senior officers with lucrative six-figure salaries—and lower-level workers spent a large portion of their day viewing porn on government computers.

About a month ago the SEC came under fire for dropping nearly $557 million on luxurious office space it will never use and lying to cover up the wrongdoing. The agency used a rather innovative system to determine how big its new fancy headquarters should be, according to an official at the agency. It’s called WAG, which stands for “wild-ass guess.” A federal audit blasted the deal, determining that a “deeply flawed and unsound process” that likely violated federal law was used to award the lease.  

A few years ago the Department of Justice investigated two high-ranking SEC enforcement officials—both of them attorneys—for illegal insider trading. In the course of that probe, authorities discovered that the SEC has no compliance system in place to ensure that employees with tremendous amount of nonpublic information don’t engage in insider trading.

[Information contained in BKNT E-mail is considered Attorney-Client and Attorney Work Product privileged, copyrighted and confidential. Views that may be expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of any government, agency, or news organization.]

Follow The Money. in HAWALA - EdgeHEDGE

Follow The Money. in HAWALA - EdgeHEDGE
NEW - Muslim who financed Times Square jihad bomber pleads guilty


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