Mr. Jaffar and several of his fellow activists were interviewed by means of Skype, over a computer they powered with a car battery, using a portable Inmarsat satellite transmitter set up to provide a WiFi hotspot in the corner of the city where they were hiding. Activists said they were raising money overseas to pay for the transmitters and the satellite time.
NYT’s Tim Arango notes another reason why Syrian Shiites are suspicious of rebels:
Some Shiites here see the burgeoning civil war in Syria as the ominous start to the fulfillment of a Shiite prophecy that presages the end of time. According to Shiite lore, Sufyani — a devil-like, apocryphal figure in Islam — gathers an army in Syria and after conquering that land turns his wrath on Iraq’s Shiites.
“Among these stories we get from the Prophet and his family is that Sufyani will come out and will start to kill the believers in Syria, and then come to Iraq, where there will be many killings and massacres,” Mr. Nujafi said.