Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians



Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians

Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into  torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling  Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear  will only get worse.

Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s  Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated  much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom  were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in  suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line  militia members.

“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the  mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Amir Ayad, a  Coptic who has been a vocal protester against the regime, told MidEast Christian News from a  hospital bed.

Ayad said he was beaten for hours with sticks before being left for dead on a  roadside. Amir’s brother, Ezzat Ayad, said he received an anonymous phone call  at 3 a.m. Saturday, with the caller saying his brother had been found near death  and had been taken to the ambulance.

“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in  the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right  eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said.

Officials at the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque said radical militias stormed the  building, in the Cairo suburb of Moqattam, after Friday prayers.

“[We] deeply regret what has happened and apologize to the people of  Moqattam,” mosque officials said in a statement,  adding that “they had lost control over the mosque at the time.” The  statement also “denounced and condemned the violence and involving mosques in  political conflicts.”

The latest crackdown is further confirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s  most hard-line elements are consolidating control in Egypt, according to Shaul  Gabbay, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver.

“It will only get worse,” said Gabbay. “This has been a longstanding  conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward  to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become  Muslims.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back,” he continued. “The  floodgates are open.”

Gabbay said the violent militias that allegedly tortured Ayad work  hand-in-hand with police and may, in fact, be beyond the control of increasingly  unpopular President Mohammed Morsi. While he may benefit from roving bands that  attack demonstrators, they also undermine his claim of being a legitimate  leader.

“Egyptian society is split over the Morsi regime, and it is not just a  Coptic-Muslim split,” Gabbay said. “The less conservative elements of the Muslim  society are increasingly uneasy with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christian Copts  are an easy target, but they are not alone in their mistrust of the  Brotherhood.”

Experts agreed that the Copts, who comprise roughly 10 percent of the  nation’s 83 million people, are not alone in their opposition to the Muslim  Brotherhood, which took power in hotly contested elections following the 2011  ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Moderate Muslims and secular  liberals are increasingly uncomfortable with the Islamization of the government.

Sheikh Ahmed Saber, a well-known imam and official in Egypt’s Ministry of  Endowments, has blasted Morsi’s justice ministry for allowing persecution of  Copts.

“All Egyptians in general are oppressed, but Christians are particularly  oppressed, because they suffer double of what others suffer,” Saber told  MCN


Dianne Feinstein threatens to subpoena former CIA director after he pulls out of appointment to give evidence about Benghazi attack

Top Democrat warns Petraeus could face subpoena to force him to give  evidence about Benghazi to Senate after he cancels testimony following  resignation

  • Dianne  Feinstein threatens to subpoena former CIA director after he pulls out of  appointment to give evidence about Benghazi attack
  • Replacement  will speak instead but Petraeus promises to testify in  future
  • His alleged  mistress Paula Broadwell talked about Libya at college  lecture
  • Said there  were Libyan prisoners in American consulate at the time of the September 11  attack that left four dead including ambassador

By Hugo Gye, Meghan Keneally and Lydia Warren

PUBLISHED:18:56 EST, 12  November 2012| UPDATED:18:56 EST, 12 November 2012

A top Democrat has warned that David Petraeus  must testify to the Senate about the terror attack in Benghazi – and he could be  forced to do so by legal means.

Dianne Feinstein insisted it was  ‘unacceptable’ that the former CIA director had not yet given Congress an  account of a trip to Libya he made shortly before his resignation last week, and  threatened to seek a subpoena to obtain it.

Petraeus was due to discuss the CIA’s role in  the raid which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans before  Congress on Thursday.

However, after he stepped down from the  agency when it was revealed that he carried out an extra-marital affair with his  married biographer, it was announced that his acting replacement, deputy  director Mike Morell, would testify instead.

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Close: Paula Broadwell is thought to be David Petraeus' mistress and she spoke publicly about the government's handling on the attack on the Libyan embassyClose: Paula Broadwell is thought to be David Petraeus’  mistress and she spoke publicly about the government’s handling on the attack on  the Libyan embassy

Officials say Petraeus will testify at a  later date, as speculation has raged about the possibility he could have shared  confidential information about Benghazi with his mistress Paula  Broadwell.

Feinstein, the senator for California who is  chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that the decorated former  general would have to give details about a fact-finding mission he apparently  made to Benghazi a few weeks ago.

‘I believe that there is a trip report,’ she  said. ‘We have to asked to see the trip report. One person tells me has read it.  And then we try to get it, and they tell me it hasn’t been done.

‘That’s unacceptable. We are entitled to this  trip report, and if we have to go to the floor of the Senate on a subpoena, we  will do just that.’

Threat: Dianne Feinstein warned that the Senate Intelligence Committee could subpoena Petraeus
Threat: Dianne Feinstein warned that the Senate  Intelligence Committee could subpoena Petraeus

However, despite the controversy over the  timing of Petraeus’ resignation, just three days after the presidential election  and less than a week before his scheduled testimony, the long-serving senator  said she had no reason to think it was linked to the Benghazi  scandal.

But she added: ‘The skin of the onion is  getting peeled off. We don’t know what we may find.’

Suspicions over how much Broadwell knew about  the Benghazi probe could complicate Petraeus’ testimony over the controversial  issue.

Broadwell, a married army veteran who met  Petraeus in 2006, was speaking at the University of Denver on October 26 when  she was asked about the September 11 attack.

‘Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this,  but the CIA annex had actually – had taken a couple  of Libyan militia members  prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to  get these prisoners back,’ she said, according to the Daily  Beast. ‘So that’s  still being  vetted.’

In response, the CIA denied that claim on  Sunday when the tape of Broadwell’s talk surfaced, saying that it was not true.  The agency confirmed that since 2009 they have not had the authority to detain  prisoners.

‘Any suggestion that the Agency is still in  the detention business is uninformed and baseless,’ they told the site.

The only other news station to report that  claim at the time that Broadwell made her speech to the University of Denver was  Fox News, which she references moments before making the claim about the alleged  prisoners.

According to the clearest timeline of  Broadwell and Petraeus’ alleged affair, which is said to have started in 2011  and ended in ‘early summer’ of this year, they would have been broken up for at  least a few months by the time of this conference.

She went on to defend both the government’s  controversial reaction to the crisis and the CIA’s lack of disclosure.

Disclosing possible secrets: At the Denver talk in October, Broadwell spoke about a theory that the embassy was holding a number of Libyan prisoners at the time of the September 11 attackDisclosing possible secrets: At the Denver talk in  October, Broadwell spoke about a theory that the embassy was holding a number of  Libyan prisoners at the time of the September 11 attack
Making the rounds: She spoke regularly about Petraeus in an effort to promote her bookMaking the rounds: She spoke regularly about Petraeus in  an effort to promote her book

‘The challenging thing for General  Petraeus  is that in his new position he is not allowed to communicate  with the press. So  he’s known all of this, they had correspondence with  the CIA station chief in  Libya. Within 24 hours they kind of knew what  was happening,’ she  said.

‘If you remember at the time, the Muslim  video, the Mohammed video that came out, the demonstrations that were going on  in Cairo- there were demonstrations in 22 other countries at the time, tens of  thousands of people and our government was very concerned that this was going to  become a nightmare for us.

‘So you can understand if you put yourself in  his shoes, or Secretary Clinton’s shoes, or the President’s shoes, that we  thought it was tied somehow to the demonstrations in Cairo. It’s true that we  have signal intelligence that shows the militia members in Libya were watching  the demonstrations in Cairo and that did galvanize their efforts.

‘As a former intel officer, it’s frustrating  to me because it reveals our sources and methods. I don’t think the public needs  to know all of that.

Broadwell has come under intense scrutiny  ever since Petraeus, the four star general credited with the surge in  Afghanistan, submitted his resignation citing an extramarital affair.

Working benefits: Broadwell wrote that she learned a great deal by being mentored by PetraeusWorking benefits: Broadwell wrote that she learned a  great deal by being mentored by Petraeus
Out: Petraeus resigned on Friday November 9 citing an extramarital affairOut: Petraeus resigned on Friday November 9 citing an  extramarital affair

During the lengthy discussion, Broadwell’s  high aspirations are clear as she spoke repeatedly about how she has had the  life-long goal of becoming the National Security Adviser. When asked if she had  the chance to talk to any previous NSA’s, she said that she had not but she  considers ‘Maddie’ and ‘Condi’ to be great role models, referring to Madeline  Albright and Condoleezza Rice by their nicknames.

Broadwell’s high achieving personality and  her unusually comfortable nature around Petraeus raised concerns among Petraeus’  close advisers in the year leading up to the revelation of the affair.

To those outside the general’s tight-knit  circle, however, news of the affair came as a big surprise when it was announced  on Friday.

Petraeus was expected to make headlines when  he was made to testify in front of Congress about what and when the CIA knew  regarding the timeline of events in Libya when a group of terrorists stormed the  consulate killing ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The affair was discovered by the FBI when  they responded Jill Kelley, a Florida woman and friend of Petraeus who allegedly  received email threats from Broadwell.

Both Kelley and Broadwell are married with  children, but that didn’t stop Broadwell from becoming defensive of Petraeus.

She supposedly told Kelley to ‘stay away from  my man’. Though there were multiple threatening emails, none of them were  considered criminal so the FBI has not charged the army reservist.

News of the affair ‘was like a lightning  bolt’, said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who heads the Senate  Intelligence Committee.

Petraeus was scheduled to testify in front of  Congress on Thursday, but that has since been pushed back in light of his  resignation.

Now his replacement, CIA deputy director  Michael Morell, will appear instead of Petraeus.

Feinstein went on to say that just because  Petraeus no longer works at the CIA, that does prohibit Congress from compelling  him to testify about Benghazi at a later date

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Study reveals ‘huffing’ household chemicals connected to teen suicide

Contact: Dave Brendsel 303-871-2775 University of Denver

Girls who ‘huff’ are at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors

DENVER— With suicide as the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States, a new University of Denver (DU) study reveals inhaling or “huffing” vapors of common household goods, such as glue or nail polish, are associated with increased suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Of the study’s participants, 33 percent reported having inhaled volatile solvents, 25 percent had attempted suicide, and 58 percent reported suicidal thoughts.

Stacey Freedenthal and Jeffrey M. Jenson of DU’s Graduate School of Social Work joined researchers from Chapel Hill and the University of Pittsburgh in a study of 723 incarcerated youth. “Inhalant Use and Suicidality among Incarcerated Youth” appeared in the September 2007 issue of the academic journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study was the first work to categorize both levels of severity of inhalant use and gender in relation to suicidal ideas and suicide attempts.

The investigators found a significant increase in suicidal thoughts and attempts with higher use of volatile solvents. Researchers did not determine which problem came first, the huffing or the suicidal behavior, but showed that the two are undeniably connected, even when accounting for numerous other factors. Freedenthal warns parents to be aware of the possibility of suicidal thoughts in children who have been caught inhaling household chemicals.

“Inhalant use has many serious, physiological consequences, including death,” says Freedenthal. “Now we are learning ever more strongly that they are also linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”

The study found the correlation between huffing and suicidality greater in girls than boys. More than 80 percent of girls who abused inhalants revealed a history of suicide attempts, while less than 60 percent of boys showed the same history. The study also indicated that suicidal thoughts were much higher for girls than boys. Suicidal thoughts and attempts were considered two separate constructs, since thoughts do not always lead to attempts, and attempts are not always preceded by much thought.

The study involved 723 participants incarcerated by the Missouri Division of Youth Services, 629 boys and 94 girls at an average age of 15. Participants were asked if they huffed any of the 35 common household substances, such as paint, paint thinner, shoe polish, spot remover, floor polish, kerosene, gasoline, antifreeze, permanent markers, nail polish remover, mothballs, waxes, lighter fluid, and others.


The University of Denver (, the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain region, enrolls approximately 11,117 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Denver as a Research University with high research activity.

Total undergraduate enrollment for fall 2007 is 5,311, including 1,140 first-time, first-year students, compared to 1,142 last year. Graduate enrollment is 5,806

*Reposted for Filing