Good Samaritans Turn Out to be Abusers of Visible Muslim With Glass Bottle

We have received a case where a group of young people flagged down a vehicle that was being driven by a Muslim who was wearing a Muslim prayer cap. The young men were walking along a street and shouted something to the victim and carried on trying to flag down the victim’s vehicle, leading to him slowing down and coming to a stop. As they came close to the vehicle, the Samaritans suggested that the rear tyre of the vehicle was flat.

The reality was that these were no good Samaritans and as soon as the victim got out to check his tyre, three individuals attempted to assault him with a glass bottle. As the victim raised his hand to protect himself, he suffered injuries to his hand as the individuals then ran away. He was also called a terrorist, in direct relation to the Manchester terrorist attack.

The victim blacked out after the attack and sought medical attention for the assault on himself.

We would urge that individuals exercise some caution at this sensitive time and report anti-Muslim incidents into Tell MAMA. Serious assaults should be reported to the Police and to Tell MAMA since we also provide support services to victims, as well as casework, legal advice, signposting and advocacy services.

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Categories: anti-Muslim hate, assault, car, Manchester, Muslim, News, vehicle

Glasgow Based Business Has Islamic State Scrawled on it

We have been informed that a Glasgow based business owner woke up to see ‘IS’ or Islamic State scrawled on the rear of the business unit.

The graffiti was removed by the local authority, yet coming to work and seeing such graffiti scrawled onto a local business leaves the impression that an individual or group of individuals have ‘marked out’ that business through their hatred and intolerance.

Glasgow is an area where we get reports in from and if you are targeted by such an incident, we can help to get the graffiti removed. We can also provide direct support through casework assistance, legal advice, signposting and emotional support.

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Categories: anti-Muslim hatred, business, Glasgow, Islamic State, News

Egypt launches air raids on Libya after Christians killed

Egyptian fighter jets carried out strikes on Friday directed at camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed dozens of Christians earlier in the day.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he had ordered strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished.

Egyptian military sources said six strikes took place near Derna in eastern Libya at around sundown, hours after masked gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians travelling to a monastery in southern Egypt, killing 29 and wounding 24.

The Egyptian military said the operation was ongoing and had been undertaken once it had been ascertained that the camps had produced the gunmen behind the attack on the Coptic Christians in Minya, southern Egypt, on Friday morning.

“The terrorist incident that took place today will not pass unnoticed,” Sisi said. “We are currently targeting the camps where the terrorists are trained.”

He said Egypt would not hesitate to carry out further strikes against camps that trained people to carry out operations against Egypt, whether those camps were inside or outside the country.

Egyptian military footage of pilots being briefed and war planes taking off was shown on state television.

East Libyan forces said they participated in the air strikes, which had targeted forces linked to al-Qaeda at a number of sites, and would be followed by a ground operation.

A resident in Derna heard four powerful explosions, and told Reuters that the strikes had targeted camps used by fighters belonging to the Majlis al-Shura militant group.

Majlis al-Shura spokesman Mohamed al-Mansouri said in a video posted online that the Egyptian air strikes did not hit any of the group’s camps, but instead hit civilian areas.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the Christians, which followed a series of church bombings claimed by Islamic State in a campaign of violence against the Copts.

Islamic State supporters reposted videos from earlier this year urging violence against the Coptsin Egypt.

At a nearby village, thousands later attended a funeral service that turned into an angry protest against the authorities’ failure to protect Christians.

“We will avenge them or die like them,” mourners said, while marching with a giant wooden cross.


Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the Christians, who were in a bus and other vehicles on a desert road. Local TV channels showed a bus apparently raked by gunfire and smeared with blood.

Clothes and shoes could be seen lying in and around the bus, while the bodies of some of the victims lay in the sand nearby, covered with black sheets.

Eyewitnesses said three vehicles were attacked. First to be hit was a vehicle taking children to the monastery as part of a church-organised trip, and another vehicle taking families there.

The gunmen boarded the vehicles and shot all the men and took all the women’s gold jewellery. They then shot women and children in the legs.

When one of the gunmen’s vehicles got a flat tire they stopped a truck carrying Christian workers, shot them, and took the truck.

One of the gunmen recorded the attack on the Copts with a video camera, eyewitnesses said.

The attack took place on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority.

Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road.

Police armed with assault rifles formed a security perimeter around the attack site while officials from the public prosecutor’s office gathered evidence. Heavily armed special forces arrived later wearing face masks and body armour.

The injured were taken to local hospitals and some were being transported to Cairo. The Health Ministry said that among those injured were two children aged two.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made a point of improving relations with Cairo, said his country stood with Sisi and the Egyptian people.

“This merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls,” Trump said.

The Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilise the country.

“I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,” Ahmed al-Tayeb said. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, condemned the perpetrators as traitors.

The head of the Coptic Christian church, Pope Tawadros, who spoke with Sisi after the attack, said it was “not directed at the Copts, but at Egypt and the heart of the Egyptians”.

Pope Francis, who visited Cairo a month ago, described the attack as a “senseless act of hatred”.


Coptic Christians, whose church dates back nearly 2,000 years, make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million.

They say they have long suffered from persecution, but in recent months the frequency of deadly attacks against them has increased. About 70 have been killed since December in bombings claimed by Islamic State at churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta.

An Islamic State campaign of murders in North Sinai prompted hundreds of Christians to flee in February and March.

Copts fear they will face the same fate as brethren in Iraq and Syria, where Christian communities have been decimated by wars and Islamic State persecution.

Egypt’s Copts are vocal supporters of Sisi, who has vowed to crush Islamist extremism and protect Christians. He declared a three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of the church bombings in April.

But many Christians feel the state either does not take their plight seriously enough or cannot protect them against determined fanatics.

The government is fighting insurgents affiliated with Islamic State who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.

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Categories: Christians, Copts, Derna, Egypt, killing, Libya, News, Raids, terrorism

UK police arrest two more in hunt for suicide bomber’s network

British police said they had arrested two men on Saturday as they stepped up their efforts to capture a suspected network behind the suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Manchester earlier this week.

Officers used a controlled explosion to gain entry to the address in the north of the city where the latest arrests were made. Detectives are now questioning 11 men over the attack by Salman Abedi at a pop concert in Manchester on Monday.

Some hours later, police cordoned off a large area in the Moss Side area of south Manchester and houses were evacuated with a bomb disposal unit sent to the scene.

A man working in a local shop, who declined to be named, told Reuters he saw three men being taken away from the address.

“As part of an ongoing search at a property in Moss Side an evacuation is currently being carried in the area,” police said in a statement.

While Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer said police were confident that they had made “immense” progress and had apprehended a “large part of the network”, extra armed officers will be on duty across the country with security stepped up at some 1,300 events over the long holiday weekend.

Britain remains on its highest threat level of critical, meaning an attack is expected imminently, with the army backing up police and hospitals across the country have told staff to be ready for another incident.

The Times newspaper reported on Saturday that intelligence officers had identified 23,000 jihahist extremists living in Britain.

Earlier this week a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters the security services were managing 500 active operations involving some 3,000 people who were thought to pose a threat.

However, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the UK police chief for counter-terrorism, advised people to be vigilant but to “go out as you planned and enjoy yourselves”.

There are a number of high-profile events over the weekend including soccer cup finals in London and Glasgow, and the Great Manchester Run.

While police and politicians have praised communities in Manchester for their reaction to the bombing, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable said there had been a rise in reported hate crimes, from an average of 28 to 56 incidents on Wednesday.

“We can’t directly link these to the events of Monday night and are continuing to monitor the situation,” he said.

Political campaigning for the June 8 national election which was suspended after the Manchester attack resumed on Friday with the bombing becoming a central feature.

The opposition Labour Party, emboldened by a rise in opinion polls, argued that Britain’s foreign policy had increased the risk of attacks and criticised Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May for cutting spending on policing.

May said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was saying Britain was to blame for the bombing.

“I want to make one thing very clear to Jeremy Corbyn and to you, and it is that there can never, ever be an excuse for terrorism,” she said at a summit of Group of Seven leaders in Sicily.

A poll on Thursday put May’s Conservatives five points ahead of Labour suggesting a far tighter race than previously anticipated.

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Categories: Attack, Libyan, Manchester, Mark Rowley, News, Salman Abedi, Suicide Bomber, terrorism

Statement from the British Libyan Community in Manchester

This is a public statement released by the British Libyan community in Manchester

The British-Libyan community in Manchester condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on the 22nd May 2017. The perpetrator murdered innocent and defenseless people, including children. This attack was an attack on all of us. Such depraved acts have no basis in Islam. All those responsible for senselessly destroying the lives of innocent people do not deserve to live in our community and should be behind bars. We support the police in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and in protecting the people of Manchester and the rest of the UK.

Many members of the British-Libyan community in Manchester are doctors who stand side by side with their colleagues to ensuring that victims and other patients receive the best possible care at this difficult time. We take this opportunity to praise the emergency services for their dedication and efforts. Most importantly, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families who have lost loved ones, and the injured. 

As a community we have lost many hundreds of people who bravely fought and defeated ISIS in Sirte, Libya, only a few months ago, and so we are affected by grief again. We stand together with all Mancunians to keep Manchester safe and strong. 

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Categories: British Libyan community, Islamism, Manchester, News, Sirte, terrorism

Arsonists target Oldham Islamic Centre hours after Manchester terror attack

Arsonists targeted the Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre in Oldham within hours of the Manchester terror attack in a suspected anti-Muslim ‘revenge’ attack, according to the MailOnline.

Nobody was inside the building during the incident.

Credit: Tell MAMA

A close-up of the damage. Credit: Tell MAMA.

A local Tell MAMA Outreach Officer spoke with locals who stated an individual had been spotted near the door, but nobody has seen the fire begin. It was later confirmed that a taxi driver had spotted the fire and had dialled 999 between 2:00 am and 2:15 am on May 23, adding that CCTV footage had captured the offence.

The fire has shocked residents who spoke of the good community relations between different faith groups. An example of this included a local resident stopping her car near the mosque and offering her assistance.

Social media users also expressed their outrage. Stockholm-based musician Peter Fraser tweeted: “Wretchedness upon wretchedness. This kind of reaction is exactly the one terrorists intend. Literally their stated purpose.”

Aqil Ahmed, the former head of religion at the BBC and Channel 4, tweeted: “Crazy thing is a childhood friend of my daughter was at that concert. A Muslim”.

Others flooded Tell MAMA’s Facebook page with comments condemning the act and posting messages of tolerance and solidarity in the wake of Monday’s tragic terror attack.

The mosque’s imam, Mohammed Sadiq, 60, told MailOnline: “There’s a possibility that it’s a retaliation to what happened in Manchester last night but we can’t confirm that.”

Various trolls on 4Chan suggested that the arson was an ‘insurance job’.

Our safety leaflet for mosques is available online.

We have mapped over 100 anti-Muslim incidents against Islamic institutions since May 2013.

If you have any information regarding this incident we urge you contact Greater Manchester Police via 101. Or, report to our confidential service using our online form or calling our freephone 0800 456 1226.


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Categories: arson, hate crime, mosque, News

Extremism is a Cancer That We Must All Confront

22 people have lost their lives after the terrible suicide attack in the early hours of the morning in Manchester. Last night, emergency services, the police and communities came together to try and support those who were targeted. The end result was that the nation woke up to see emergency procedures kick in within Manchester and with investigations underway.

People sit next to a police cordon near to the Manchester Arena, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

There is intersectionality between extremism and hate crime. Far right anti-Muslim hate has extremist rhetoric that is associated with it, as does Islamist extremism which promotes a separationist view of people and communities. There is a strong likelihood that the suicide bomber involved in the terrorist attack in Manchester, was influenced by Islamist extremist narratives and rhetoric. This is why this rhetoric must be challenged and robustly challenged, when there are groups feeding into it and fanning the flames of views which include ‘Muslims being targeted by the State’ and ‘Islam being under attack’. Such rhetoric is toxic and is poured out by some groups.

Hate crime work involves empowering the victim. Only by empowering people, can extremist narratives be challenged. Those who play to fears and paranoia in our country are not part of the solution, but are part of the problem.

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Categories: far right extremism, hate crime, Manchester, Opinions, terrorism

Trump tells Middle East to ‘drive out’ Islamist extremists

President Donald Trump urged Arab and Islamic leaders on Sunday to unite and do their share to defeat Islamist extremists, making an impassioned plea to “drive out” terrorists while toning down his own harsh rhetoric about Muslims.

Trump singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups. His words aligned with the views of his Saudi Arabian hosts and sent a tough message to Tehran the day after Hassan Rouhani won a second term as Iran’s president.

The U.S. president did not use his signature term “radical Islamic terrorism” in the speech, a signal that he heeded advice to employ a more moderate tone in the region after using the phrase repeatedly as a presidential candidate.

“Terrorism has spread all across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land,” Trump told leaders from about 50 Muslim-majority countries representing more than a billion people.

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out! Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”

The president’s first speech abroad provided an opportunity to show his strength and resolve, in contrast to his struggle to contain a mushrooming scandal at home after his firing of former FBI Director James Comey nearly two weeks ago.

He portrayed the conflict as one between good and evil, not between civilizations, and made clear in a forceful tone that Washington would partner with the Middle East but expected more action in return.

“There is still much work to be done. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism, and the Islamists, and Islamic terror of all kinds,” he said in his speech.

The advance excerpts of the speech had him saying “Islamist extremism.” A White House official blamed Trump’s fatigue for the switch. “Just an exhausted guy,” she told reporters.

The term “Islamist extremism” refers to Islamism as a political movement rather than Islam as a religion, a distinction that the Republican president had frequently criticized the administration of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, for making.

As a candidate, Trump proposed temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States. In office, he ordered temporary bans on people from several Muslim-majority countries, which have been blocked by courts that ruled they were discriminatory.

The speech in a gilded hall bedecked with chandeliers is part of an effort to redefine his relationship with the Muslim world. Trump’s “America first” philosophy helped him win the 2016 election and has rattled allies who depend on U.S. support for their defence.

Trump received a warm welcome from Arab leaders, who set aside his campaign rhetoric and focussed on his desire to crack down on Iran’s influence in the region, a commitment they found wanting in Obama.

“For decades, Iran has fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” Trump said. “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room.”

Trump did not make overt mentions of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia or the other Gulf nations in his speech. White House officials has said he did not want to lecture, something they believe Obama did, unsuccessfully.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif fired back at Trump in a tweet that Trump had attacked Iran in “that bastion of democracy & moderation” of Saudi Arabia and suggested he had “milked” his hosts for hundreds of billions of dollars in business deals.


Introducing Trump, Saudi King Salman described their mutual foe Iran as the source of terrorism they must confront together.

“Our responsibility before God and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are … The Iranian regime represents the tip of the spear of global terrorism,” the king said.

Iran is a Shi’ite Muslim country. The groups the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York are mostly Sunni Muslims, and enemies of Iran. Iranian-backed militia are also fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq.

The United States and Gulf Arab countries announced an agreement to coordinate efforts against the financing of terrorist groups.

Trump’s welcome in the region was put on display during a series of individual meetings with Arab leaders.

He praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, telling him: “You have done a tremendous job under trying circumstances.” The Obama administration had a difficult relationship with Sisi, who came to power after leading a military coup in 2013 during which hundreds of demonstrators were killed, and has since jailed thousands of opponents.

Trump promised to schedule a trip to Egypt soon, and he singled out the Egyptian’s choice of footwear, a pair of shiny black shoes. “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes,” he said.

To Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Trump declared that the two nations had a lot in common and “there won’t be strain with this administration.”

The king lauded the relationship and said it had led to “great stability in the region and prosperity.” Bahrain is home to the U.S. fleet in the Middle East. Its Sunni Muslim royal family rules over a majority Shi’ite population and was occasionally rebuked by the Obama administration for harsh treatment of opponents.

Trump’s Riyadh visit kicked off his first presidential trip abroad, with Saudi Arabia the first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.

Soon after Trump embarked on his trip on Friday, he was hit with more accusations that, with Comey’s firing on May 9, he was trying to squelch a federal investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia last year.

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Categories: Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Arab, Donald Trump, Islamic, Muslim, News, Saudi Arabia

U.S. court urged to relax convicted Israeli spy’s parole conditions

A lawyer for Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer who served 30 years in prison after being convicted of spying for Israel, on Wednesday urged a U.S. appeals court to loosen his parole conditions.

Lawyer Eliot Lauer argued to a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that the conditions, which require Pollard, 62, to wear an electronic tracking device, adhere to a curfew and submit his computers to monitoring, serve no legitimate purpose.

Pollard, who attended the hearing with his wife, pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a naval intelligence specialist in exchange for thousands of dollars.

He was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison. After serving 30 years, which included time in custody following his 1985 arrest, Pollard was released on parole on Nov. 20.

He now lives in New York City, and his lawyers say his parole conditions have prevented him from having a job.

As part of his parole, Pollard must remain in the United States for five years. He has sought to move to Israel, where his wife lives and where he was granted citizenship while in prison. Israel had long pushed for his release.

Lauer said Wednesday there was no rational basis for the government to think Pollard “might retain details in his head about documents created 32 to 33 years ago” that he could disclose.

Circuit Judge Reena Raggi, however, pressed Lauer to explain why Pollard’s crime was not enough to justify the conditions.

“Why is it the government’s obligation to take the chance that he’s forgotten something and it pops into his mind, or he does retain it?” she asked.

Lauer responded that there must be some rational basis for the government’s position.

Rebecca Tinio, a lawyer for the government, said the conditions imposed by the U.S. parole commission were “well within in its broad discretion.”

Tinio also emphasized the “enormous harm to the United States” Pollard caused, noting that former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had submitted a letter stating that documents compromised by Pollard remained highly classified.

“We’re optimistic,” Lauer told reporters after the argument. “I think it went well. I thought the court understood the issues, and I have great faith in American justice.”

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Categories: Israel, Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, News, U.S Naval Intelligence

$110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia – Donald Trump

Under political fire at home, U.S. President Donald Trump sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday on his maiden foreign trip as he struggled to shift attention from the aftermath of his firing of the director of the FBI.

The arms deal, plus other investments that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said could total up to $350 billion, was the central achievement of Trump’s first day in Riyadh, first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.

Speaking to journalists after a ceremony to exchange agreements, Trump said it was a “tremendous day” and spoke of “hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs. So I would like to thank all of the people of Saudi Arabia.”

King Salman gave Trump a remarkably warm greeting, meeting him at the steps of Air Force One on arrival, shaking the hand of Trump’s wife, Melania, riding with Trump in his limousine and spending most of the day with him.

But the political turmoil back in Washington consumed the headlines in the United States and cast a long shadow over the start of Trump’s trip, which will include stops in Israel, the Vatican, Italy and Belgium.

His firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation head James Comey on May 9 and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign ties to Russia have raised the question of whether he tried to squelch a probe into allegations of a Russian connection.

Fanning the flames was a New York Times report that Trump had called Comey a “nut job” in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The Times quoted briefing notes of the conversation.

Amid a mood of frustration, officials on board Trump’s Riyadh-bound presidential plane scrambled to coordinate on responding to the story with staff in Washington and those who had just landed in the Saudi capital.

Asked for a response, the White House said that for national security reasons, “we do not confirm or deny the authenticity of allegedly leaked classified documents.”

Russia’s Interfax news agency on Saturday quoted Lavrov as saying he had not discussed Comey with Trump. “We did not touch this issue at all,” the minister said.

In another development, the Washington Post said a White House official close to Trump was a significant “person of interest” in the investigation into possible ties with Russia.

Tillerson, asked about the story, said he did not know who the “person of interest” was.

Against that backdrop, Trump soldiered through a long day of diplomacy.

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir called the results of Trump’s meetings with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz “the beginning of a turning point” between the United States, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies.

Both he and Tillerson made clear the arms deal was aimed at countering Iran on a day that Hassan Rouhani was re-elected as Iran’s president.  

Tillerson said Rouhani should use his second term to end Iran’s ballistic missile testing and stop promoting extremism in a volatile region.

He said he had no plans to talk to his Iranian counterpart but that he in all likelihood he would do so “at the right time.”

Al-Jubeir said Trump and King Salman agreed that action had to be taken to ensure Iran did not continue “aggressive policies in the region.”

Trump’s trip has been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world’s major religions, while giving him time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud shakes hands with first lady Melania Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court


King Salman gave a more favourable welcome to Trump than he had granted last year to Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, who was seen in the Arab kingdom as soft on Iran and hesitant on Syria.    

Trump and King Salman seemed at ease with each other, chatting through an interpreter. At the royal al-Yamama palace, the king draped around Trump’s neck the King Abdulaziz medal, the country’s top civilian honour.

At the end of the day, Tillerson and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, holding swords, were seen participating in a ceremonial dance at Marraba Palace with a Saudi group.

As Trump arrived for dinner with the king, a spectacle awaited him: Men dressed in long white turbans and carrying swords swayed and chanted in unison to beating drums in a courtyard. Trump, clearly enjoying himself, smiled and swayed, even seeming to dance a little at the centre of the group.


During their conversation earlier in the day, the king was overheard lamenting the Syrian war. Trump ordered air strikes against a Syrian airfield in April in response to a chemical weapons attack by government forces against civilians.    

“Syria too used to be one of the most advanced countries. We used to get our professors from Syria. They served our kingdom. Unfortunately, they too brought destruction to their own country. You can destroy a country in mere seconds, but it takes a lot of effort,” he said.    

Trump’s response could not be heard.    

The arms package includes a pledge by the kingdom to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin & Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, in a $6 billion deal expected to result in about 450 jobs in the kingdom.    

National oil giant Saudi Aramco was also expected to sign $50 billion of deals with U.S. companies on Saturday, part of a drive to diversify the kingdom’s economy beyond oil exports, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said.     

U.S. technology and engineering conglomerate GE said it had signed $15 billion of agreements with Saudi organisations.    

Trump is to deliver a speech in Riyadh on Sunday aimed at rallying Muslims in the fight against Islamist militants. He will also attend a summit of Gulf leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.    

Shortly after taking office, Trump sought to block people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but the travel ban has been blocked by federal courts.

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Categories: 110 billion arms deal, Donald Trump, King Salman, News, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco