March 14th, 2012
11:15 PM ET

Al-Assad fiddles with iTunes as Syria burns

By , GlobalPost

As hundreds of Syrians fought and died for their freedom, President Bashar al-Assad and his wife ordered Harry Potter films and pop music, a sweeping new investigation from The Guardian reveals.

The English newspaper obtained thousands of emails it says are the personal accounts belonging to al-Assad and his wife, Asma.

Activists say a disgruntled al-Assad insider leaked addresses and passwords, and they were able to monitor conversations in real time.

“It was clear who we were dealing with,” an activist told The Guardian. “This was the president and his wife. There was no doubt.”

The Telegraph reported that the Guardian could not rule out the possibility of forgery.

The emails, which were shut down after Anonymous hacked the Syrian government's computer, showed al-Assad receiving advice on everything from strategy to media relations from a trusted circle of advisers that included sources inside Iran and Hezbollah, Foreign Policy reported.

Iranian contacts urged al-Assad to “tighten the security grip” as western journalists began reporting from Homs.

The Guardian published its investigation as Russia's foreign minister showed irritation with al-Assad, stating that the ruler has been slow to implement the long-needed reforms in Syria.

“Regrettably, he hasn’t always followed our advice in his activities,” Sergey Lavrov told the Associated Press. “He has approved useful laws reviving the system and making it more pluralistic. But it has been done after a long delay, and the proposals about launching a dialogue also have been slow to come. Meanwhile, the armed confrontation is expanding and its inertia may sweep and engulf all.”

The emails bring to light a bumbling regime, the Telegraph wrote. At one point, a trusted source told al-Assad to stop blaming al Qaeda for attacks inside Syria.

“I have received contacts from Iran and Hezbollah in my role as director of many Iranian-Lebanese channels and they directed me to not mention that al Qaeda is behind the operation,” Lebanese executive Hussein Mortada wrote, The Guardian reported. “It is a blatant tactical media mistake.”

Meanwhile, GlobalPost reported earlier that ordinary Syrians are suffering under the now crippled economy. State oil revenues have been slashed under international sanctions. Tourism is nonexistent, and confidence in the economy is at an all-time low. Staples like rice and eggs have tripled in price over the year, while cooking oil has doubled, according to residents of the capital.

Over the past year, Asma shopped for shoes and furniture worth thousands of dollars using fake names and foreign addresses. The couple used iPhones and iPads to order music on iTunes by Chris Brown, LMFAO, Blake Shelton, New Order and even Right Said Fred.

Asma also received warnings from friends suggesting the Assads flee Damascus.

Mayassa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar’s daughter, urged Asma to snap out of the “state of denial” regarding “the opportunity for real change."

“I only pray that you will convince the president to take this an opportunity to exit without having to face charges,” she wrote. “The region needs to stabilize, but not more than you need peace of mind. I am sure you have many places to turn to, including Doha.”

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Topics: Syria

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. brathead

    So can someone tell me again why no other countries are doing anything except sanctions? Oh, I remember now we have no interests in that country. Since the US has no foreign interests in that country, we just sit back and let them slaughter thousands of innocent people. All sactions are is a simple slap on the wrist.. Bad Al-Assad!!! Give me a break, how many more innocent people will die before we take down this evil dictator? If China & Russia had a consicence they would not have vetoed military action.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Wheres the UN? Which was created to stop massacres? They have failed miserably...and not just with syria, rwanda, darfur etc...

      March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • We are no better... Just justify it diffrently

      Al-assad is committing terrorism... China and Russia have endorsed it. Sanction them.... Oh that's right to much money to be made to do that.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  2. Soldier of Fortunes

    Listen to Slipnot – Psychosocial...that describes you Assad...may be you should check your blood for lack of...minerals...
    Jack the Ripper was eating people to replenish the metal in his body..did you eat clay as a kid Assad? Killing to replenish?

    March 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  3. attack iran now before it is too late

    October 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply


    HOW CAN WE ATTACK IRAN- part 1 of 10 parts.
    3- keep tanks and jets in Kuwait
    4- improve the bases in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and uae
    5- ask Qatar to not help or involve with Iran
    6- increase USA sea base and naval strength in Bahrain
    7-prepare the submarines in the red sea, Mideastern sea, and the Arabian sea
    8- close down the straight of hermoze and increase inspections on Iranians boat and ships
    9- keep forces in Turkmenistan north of Iran ,and the turkey borders.
    10-keep economic bloc-aid
    11- attack with multi nations France, Germany, Italy, holand, and UK ,use every thing you got to finish the mission
    12-help with money and arms the resistant ( KURDS, ARABESTAN, LOURS, TURKS, BAHA'I, PERSIANS, BELOOSH, SUNNIS , CHRISTENS , ASSYRIANS GROUP AND MUJAHEDIN KHLAQ FIGHTERS ) use every means of propaganda TV, radios, news and secret short wave radios to teach the masses what to do and where to get weapon and money and how to attack the enemy and destroy the enemy war machine and infrastructures,
    13- use virus to attack Iran computers and army computers, destroy their satellites, command and controls, nooks sites,
    and attack QUM as the mullahs will hide at their shrines and use it to make fatwas .
    14- freeze all Iran assets, stop them from immigrations or coming here as most are using USA and Canada to send money to Hezbollah and Iraqi thugs, stop Ahmad AL jalabi and arrest him as he is one of Iran spies
    15-help Dr ayad alawi to take over Iraq as he won the election but Iran put AL maleki instead, Al maleki pretend he is with USA but he is a lire,
    16 control the Iran Iraqi boarder and Syria Iraq border by using drones so no shiia can cross to Iran from Iraq and Syria
    17- Iraqi kurds can help from north Iraq, the Sunni can help from west Iraq and the resistant can attack from inside Iran
    18-Israel can take care of Hezbollah and leash hell if those terrorists Hezbollah attack Israel , that's why we must get red of Syrian regimes now to cut Iran arms before attacking Iran
    I will write part 2 in detail on how we can do it .

    March 18, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
    • Truth seeker

      No bomb, but Iran is a country that sanctions are
      America is the only country that has tested the atom bomb, but is backed
      I say its wrong because it is the Western media and politicians?
      Please judge for yourself?

      April 8, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
  4. America can not attack Iran

    If America was likely to attack if the attacker is victorious will not wait even a second time.
    Iranian province until there is no one Hryfshvn
    No sanctions have no effect on America's military equipment and ...

    April 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  5. Los Angeles Music

    Great post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful information specially the ultimate section :) I take care of such information much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
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