(WJD) Israel's economy produces computer chips, software, and innovation. In the Gaza Strip, terror is the main export.
Khaled Abu Toameh reports that Islamist groups based in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have lately begun exporting terrorists to Syria, where they are joining other radical Muslim groups to topple Bashar al-Assad. The ultimate goal, Abu Toameh writes, is to turn their arms on Israel once the Syrian conflict is completed.
The Palestinians who are heading to Syria have been told their ultimate mission is to liberate Palestine "from the river to the sea." Once they get rid of Assad, they are told, they will move to their next station -- Jordan. From there, their jihad will take them to Israel, where they and their friends in Jabhat al-Nusra [The Support Front] hope to create a pan-Islamic state ruled by Sharia laws."Dozens" of Palestinians have joined the radical Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and blamed for massacres of civilians in Syria.
Though Hamas is threatened by these even more radical groups operating in the Gaza Strip, they have not stopped them from funneling men to Syria. Abu Toameh warns that this is a negative trend for Israel and the world.
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which was reached after Operations Pillars of Defense three months ago, has left members of various terror groups unemployed.
Now that the jihadis in the Gaza Strip have nothing to do, such as fire rockets at Israel, they have started searching for other places to carry out their terror attacks. They have found no better place than Syria to start sending their men to join some of the radical Islamist organizations fighting against Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The US and Western countries would do well to pay serious attention; Syria is not where this trend will stop.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
(Reuters) A Cairo court ruled that the Egyptian government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
The labyrinth of tunnels is an infamous smuggling route for arms trafficking.
It is also believed that 30% of the goods that reach the Gaza Strip, as well as over 1.5 million people a year, make their way through the tunnels in an attempt to bypass the blockade that has been imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than seven years.
The underground maze stretching beneath Rafah, Sinai and Gaza is said to include 450 main tunnels and 750 sub-tunnels. [...]
Egyptian forces flooded some of the tunnels earlier this month.
"The court ruled to make it obligatory that the government destroy the tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip," Judge Farid Tanaghou said.
(Fox News) A Texas high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against her school and her teachers after she was punished for refusing to salute and recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance.
The Thomas More Law Center filed the suit on behalf of Brenda Brinsdon alleging the McAllen Independent School District violated the 15-year-old girl’s constitutional rights when she was forced to recite the Mexican pledge and sing the Mexican national anthem.
Brinsdon, who is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an American father, refused. She believed it was un-American to pledge a loyalty oath to another country.
Ironically, the school district has a policy that prohibits a school from compelling students to recite the American Pledge of Allegiance.
The district also has a written policy that excuses students from reciting text from the Declaration of Independence if the student “as determined by the district, has a conscientious objection to the recitation.”
(JPost) Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Qassem was killed Tuesday when Syrian rebels bombed a convoy consisting of high-ranking Syrian government officers near the Lebanon border, news portal Now Lebanon quoted the Free Syria Army as saying on Wednesday.Now we know why Nasrallah has to pull a Chavez and make a speech from a sick bed in a foreign nation to say all is well.
“It has been confirmed... that Hezbollah’s number two man died after [receiving] a serious injury,” the Free Syria Army posted on its Twitter account.
Qassem has served as the deputy to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal quoted the Syrian rebels as saying mines placed on the Beirut-Damascus highway had detonated as the convoy returned from a high-level security meeting in Lebanon. The explosion reportedly took place near the town of Jdeidet Yabous near the Lebanon-Syria border.
The al-Mustaqbal report made no mention of Qassem being killed in the attack, saying that he had merely been injured, which Hezbollah later denied.
Nasarallah was scheduled to make a televised address on Wednesday evening after it had been reported Tuesday that he was ill and undergoing treatment in Iran.
Another shining endorsement.
(NRO) Chuck Hagel may not be having much luck winning over Republican senators, but at least someone is aware of his moral fiber — Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Yesterday he delivered his annual address at the Saviours’ Day convention in Chicago, Ill. In the speech, he praised Hagel for standing up to the “Jewish lobby,” and said Hagel was being punished only for stating what Farrakhan has argued for decades.
“Now look, Senator Hagel is hated by the Jews because he wrote in his book that the United States Senate, quote, is an institution that does not inherently bring out a great deal of courage. Most of the time members play it safe and adopt an ‘I’ll support Israel’ attitude,’” said Farrakhan. “AIPAC comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter and then you’ll get 80 to 90 senators signing on it. I don’t think I’ve ever signed one of the letters. Hagel said, if he’s ever asked why, he would respond, ‘I didn’t sign the letter because it was a stupid letter. The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here, but I’m a United States Senator, I’m not an Israeli senator.’”
“Now wait,” Farrakhan told the crowd. “He said this to Aaron David Miller in the book The Much-Too-Promised Land. And guess what? I said the same thing 30 years ago at the National Press Club in Washington, and they have not left me alone since. Special interests along with Zionist AIPAC are robbing America of the principle of democracy and representative government. The record is there. Now, 30 years later, after beating the heck out of me for all those years, they’re finally getting up enough courage to tell it like it is.”
After arguing that the media is controlled by Jewish interests, he applauded Hagel’s nomination. “Senator Hagel is in trouble,” Farrakhan said. “But America needs a man in Congress like that, who’s not a rubber stamp for others. You need a man like Senator Hagel as your secretary of defense because a man with a mind like that will keep you out of fighting somebody else’s wars. You need a man in government that has another opinion that is not controlled, and if the Senate does not confirm him as defense secretary because of his opinion on Israel, that only proves that the Senate in the U.S. Congress is controlled by the Israeli lobby. And it also sentences America to war with Iran for the state of Israel.”
Monday, February 25, 2013
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Turkey’s prime minister denounced Syria’s leader Sunday, calling him a “mute devil” for carrying out attacks on his own people but not standing up to Israel’s occupation of Syrian territory.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received several rounds of applause at a government communications forum in the United Arab Emirates, which has joined other Gulf nations in backing Syrian rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad.
“We will not remain silent in the face of the cruel dictator, the mute devil, who mercilessly carried out massacres against his own people, but who has remained silent and unresponsive toward those who have occupied his own territories for decades,” Erdoğan told the gathering in Sharjah, just north of Dubai.
Israel captured the strategic Golan Heights plateau in 1967. Despite hostility between the two countries, Israel and Syria have not gone to war since 1973 and the border region has been generally without major tensions for decades.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian rebels have captured the site of a suspected nuclear reactor near the Euphrates river which Israeli warplanes destroyed six years ago, opposition sources in eastern Syria said on Sunday.
Al-Kubar site, around 60 km (35 miles) west of the city of Deir al-Zor, became a focus of international attention when Israel raided it in 2007. The United States said the complex was a North Korean-designed nuclear reactor geared to making weapons-grade plutonium.
Omar Abu Laila a spokesman for the Eastern Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army said the only building rebels found at the site was a hangar containing at least one Scud missile.
"It appears that the site was turned into a Scud launch base. Whatever structures it had have been buried," he said, adding that three army helicopters airlifted the last loyalist troops before opposition fighters overran the area on Friday.
The Syrian military, which razed the site after the Israeli raid, said the complex was a regular military facility but refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency unrestrained access, after the agency said the complex could have been a nuclear site.
(JPost) Islamists are suspected of vandalizing monuments to two of Egypt’s most important cultural icons - singer Umm Kulthum and Taha Husayn, one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century.
In the town of Mansoura, the hometown of Kulthum, vandals placed an Islamic veil on a statue of her, according to a report in the current issue of Al-Ahram Weekly, which was released last week. The paper also quotes an article published in the liberal daily Al-Masry Al-Youm by Mohamed Salmawy stating,“What did those ignoramuses who attacked the statues do to Islam? They insulted it, and Islam is innocent of their behavior.”
Umm Kulthum, known also as The Star of the East, was one of the Arab world’s most famous singers in the 20th century and she broadcast legendary concerts monthly from Cairo from the 1930s to the 1970s. She grew up in a rural village and moved to Cairo with her family like many others who sought a better life in the city. She sang in various genres, from religious to nationalistic songs.
The growing strength of conservative Muslims in Egypt since the victory of Islamists in national elections, has given them confidence in challenging the country’s cultural heritage that does not meet their religious standards.
Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America calls on Muslims not to engage in offensive jihad... at this time
|AMJA Secretary-General Salah Al-Sawy|
(RadicalIslam.org) The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) opposes offensive jihad in the West, but for reasons that may surprise you. In an Arabic fatwa (religious decree) that doesn’t appear on its English website, it states that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time [emphasis added].”
This doesn’t mean that all jihad is to be abandoned. “With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation,” it said.
It is important to notice that it was issued in Arabic on the website of its Secretary-General, Salah Al-Sawy. Even though AMJA is based in Sacramento and its mission is to serve their American Muslim audience, it decided against issuing this fatwa in English. If it wasn’t translated by the Translating Jihad blog and reported by Andrew Bostom in 2011, we probably wouldn’t know about it.
LONDON (JPost) - Three British Islamists were found guilty on Thursday of plotting a campaign of bombings in crowded areas in an attempt to create what one of them called "another 9/11."
According to the London-based Jewish Chronicle they were planning to target a synagogue.
During the trial the court heard a taped conversation in which one of the convicted men told a fourth man, who was not on trial: “Even if we can’t make a bomb... get guns yeah from the black geezers, Africans and charge into some like synagogue [sic] or charge into different places."
A jury at Woolwich Crown Court in south London convicted Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, of a total of 12 counts of committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack between December 2010 and September 2011.
The trio were central figures in a plot to blow up eight rucksack bombs in a mass suicide attack as well as detonating bombs on timers in crowded places. Their targets remain unidentified.
The court heard they had also considered welding knife blades to a truck and ramming it into a crowd of people.
"The evidence we put to the court showed the defendants discussing with awe and admiration the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7," said specialist counter-terrorism prosecutor Karen Jones in a statement after the verdict.
The name "7/7" is given in Britain to the attacks on London's public transport by Islamist militants on July 7, 2005, which killed more than 50 people.
"These terrorists wanted to do something bigger, speaking of how 7/7 had 'gone a bit wrong'," Jones said in her statement.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Center for Security Policy: Top National Security Leaders to Obama: Stop the Unilateral Denuclearization of the US
KARACHI (Reuters) - When Aurangzeb Farooqi survived an attempt on his life that left six of his bodyguards dead and a six-inch bullet wound in his thigh, the Pakistani cleric lost little time in turning the narrow escape to his advantage.
Recovering in hospital after the ambush on his convoy in Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital, the radical Sunni Muslim ideologue was composed enough to exhort his followers to close ranks against the city's Shi'ites.
"Enemies should listen to this: my task now is Sunni awakening," Farooqi said in remarks captured on video shortly after a dozen gunmen opened fire on his double-cabin pick-up truck on December 25.
"I will make Sunnis so powerful against Shi'ites that no Sunni will even want to shake hands with a Shi'ite," he said, propped up in bed on emergency-room pillows. "They will die their own deaths, we won't have to kill them."
Such is the kind of speech that chills members of Pakistan's Shi'ite minority, braced for a new chapter of persecution following a series of bombings that have killed almost 200 people in the city of Quetta since the beginning of the year.
While the Quetta carnage grabbed world attention, a Reuters inquiry into a lesser known spate of murders in Karachi, a much bigger conurbation, suggests the violence is taking on a volatile new dimension as a small number of Shi'ites fight back.
If only they had been with the protesters rioting in broad daylight, they could have avoided making the video.
CAIRO: Egyptian police said Saturday they have arrested four students who filmed themselves publicly dancing in their underwear, as more people around the world emulate a viral dance craze called the "Harlem Shake."
The four pharmaceutical students shocked residents of a middle class Cairo neighbourhood when they removed most of their clothes and videotaped themselves performing the pelvis-thrusting dance, a police official said.
The hostile audience tried to assault the students, who are accused of committing "a scandalous act," the official added.
Egypt has strict public indecency laws.
Some Egyptians have posted videos of themselves on Youtube doing the "Harlem Shake" in front of the pyramids. One of them, dressed in white underwear and a bow tie, dances while riding a camel.
The dance craze was sparked by a group of Australian teenagers who uploaded the 31-second clip "The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original)" onto YouTube earlier this month. It has since been viewed almost 16 million times.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Gaza Strip's Hamas government and local smugglers are accusing Egypt of flooding cross-border tunnels with sewage water in order to halt a thriving smuggling trade.
Abu Saker, a smuggler on the Egyptian side of the border, says he saw the Egyptian army digging new water wells and pumping wastewater toward the smuggling area on Tuesday. He said he had to halt operations and rush his workers out after his tunnel filled with 1.5 meters (yards) of sewage.
An AP photographer at the scene says at least 15 tunnels filled with wastewater.
Yousef Rizka, an adviser to Hamas' prime minister, urged Egypt to halt "any acts against the tunnels" until official ground crossings are opened.
Egypt had no comment. Israel and Hamas have been negotiating the fate of the tunnels.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico said Thursday that it will work with the International Red Cross on the search for thousands of people who have disappeared during the country's six-year-old war on drug cartels.
Officials provided few details of the arrangement signed in a public ceremony by the head of the International Red Cross and Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.
The Red Cross said in a statement that it would provide "studies, protocols and technical assistance related to the search for the disappeared" but gave no specifics. Red Cross officials said they could not release a copy of the agreement, and the Interior Department did not immediately respond to requests for a copy.
The agreement was signed a day after Human Rights Watch released a report that describes 249 cases of disappearances, most of which appeared to have been carried out by Mexico's military or law enforcement. Also on Wednesday, Mexican officials said they had a preliminary count of more than 27,000 people reported missing over the last six years, the majority of the cases blamed on drug cartels or smaller gangs.
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Three suicide bombers targeted checkpoints in Iraq's northern city of Mosul late on Thursday, killing three policemen, police sources said.
The violence is part of a recent wave of attacks that is stoking fears of a return to the intercommunal strife following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December 2011.
Police sources said two of the bombers drove cars into checkpoints in the city of Mosul.
(Fox News) A group of Christian priests from a local Coptic church in Egypt were told to convert to Islam or face death, according to an Arabic news site.
The incident, which comes in the midst of continued persecution and pressure on Egypt’s Christian community, took place this week in the town of Safaga, near the Red Sea, the El Balad site reported.
According to El Balad, the threats are from a new group in Egypt, Jihad al-Kufr, whose name translates to Jihad against non-believers or non-Muslims. The group targets non-Muslims, and reportedly pressures them to convert to Islam.
“It’s not the first time. This is happening every day,” said Adel Guindy, president of Coptic Solidarity and a member of Egypt’s Coptic community who travels between Paris and Cairo. “This one incident caught the attention of the news agencies, but there are worse things happening to the Christians every day in Egypt,” he said.
Christians have felt increasingly at risk since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, which resulted in the rise of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
“It has definitely worsened under the revolution. Once the worst part of the society surfaced -- the Islamists -- the Copts are paying a heavy price. The West doesn’t really feel our pain. It’s a war of attrition,” Guindy said.
(Independent) Three British men have claimed they were beaten and electrocuted after being imprisoned in Dubai for possession of a cannabis substitute, the latest in a string of expatriates and holidaymakers to fall foul of the law in the United Arab Emirates.
Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, from London, and Suneet Jeerh from Essex, were arrested during a holiday to the country seven months ago. The men, all aged 25, say they were threatened and beaten before being forced to sign documents in Arabic – a language that none of them understands – while one told the UK charity Reprieve that security officers administered electric shocks to his testicles. Dubai Police denied the allegations. [...]
“They kept telling me I was going to die. I was so scared,” he said. “Once I had been knocked to the ground, the police picked me up and put me on the bed. They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles. It was unbelievably painful.” After the electric shocks were administered, Mr Williams claims that a gun was pointed at his head. “All I could think was that the gun in my face could go off if the policeman slipped, and it would kill me. I started to believe that I was going to die in that room,” he said.
(FPM) Sheila Jackson Lee is America’s hardest working congresswoman, always out there making headlines for saying stupid things and doing really terrible things.
The latest terrible thing that Sheila Jackson Lee did was hand a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition” to a rapper most famous for singing about drug dealing.
Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was in the midst of NBA All-Star Game festivities in Houston this past weekend. The Democratic congresswoman from Houston took time to honor Atlanta hip-hop star Jay Jenkins, known as “Young Jeezy,” for his community work across the country.Young Jeezy’s core values are drug dealing and rapping about dealing drugs and selling Snowman t-shirts which stand for drug dealing. Some of those shirts are being worn by elementary school kids, so he certainly is doing his part to improve the youth of Houston.
During All-Star Game weekend, Jackson Lee presented with a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition” embossed with a gold seal.
“Your core values of hard work and integrity has helped improve youth in the Houston community,” declared the certificate, which was signed by Jackson Lee.
Other things that Young Jeezy is famous for include his “My President is Black” song with lyrics like “Mr. Black President, yeah Obama for real/They gotta put ya face on the 5000 dollar bill”.
More recently Young Jeezy released another song titled O.J. with the refrain “Killin’ that white bitch, OJ” and “I just gotta keep killin’ that white bitch”.
In his defense, Young Jeezy claimed that the song wasn’t about murdering Nicole Brown, but about cocaine. So clearly Sheila Jackson Lee made the right choice here.
Turkey receives latest military technology from Israel, resumes Gaza flotilla trial for ex-IDF heads
ANKARA (Reuters) - An Israeli firm has supplied Turkey with military equipment in the first such reported deal since the two nations froze ties over the 2010 killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship, Turkish government sources said on Monday.
Israeli defense firm Elta delivered to Turkey $100 million of electronic equipment last week for four Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, the sources said, but rebuffed suggestions the deal was a sign of improving ties with the Jewish state.
"Turkey bought the equipment from Boeing and the Israeli company is just a sub-contractor of Boeing, which means we are in direct relationship only with Boeing and not with Israel," a foreign ministry official told Reuters, asking not to be named.
Israel's Defense Ministry declined to comment, but an Israeli Defense industry source confirmed the deal.
(JPost) The trial in absentia of a group of former Israeli military commanders, including former chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, restarted on Thursday at an Istanbul court.
The officers are being charged with the deaths of nine Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara, one of the ships in the 2010 flotilla attempt to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
The trial of four of the most senior retired commanders, started with three consecutive days of hearings in November, but then recessed until Thursday.
It has been dismissed by Israel as a politically motivated “show trial” and threatens to further strain already fraught relations.
BEIRUT/CAIRO (JPost) - At least 31 people were killed by a car bomb which struck the central Damascus district of Mazraa on Thursday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It said most of those killed in the blast near an office of President Bashar Assad's ruling Baath Party were civilians, though the death toll included security forces.
Other activists said 40 people were killed, including children, and 70 people were wounded.
Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that the head of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was lightly injured on Thursday in a car bomb.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An air raid on a suburb of the Syrian capital killed at least 20 people and two mortars exploded next to a soccer stadium in the heart of Damascus killing one player as violence moved closer to the heart of President Bashar Assad's seat of power.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raid on Hamouriyeh killed 20 and other people were feared buried under debris. Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, put the death toll higher, saying up to 35 were killed and dozens more were wounded.
(JPost) Nigerian security forces on Wednesday evening arrested three people belonging to an Iranian-linked terror cell that was reportedly planning to launch an attack against Israeli and American targets, Army Radio reported.More details here.
According to the report, the group planned attacks in the largest Jewish center in Nigeria, Lagos, as well as in American development agencies.
Army Radio reported Nigerian police are still searching for a fourth suspect.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's powerful military is showing signs of growing impatience with the country's Islamist leaders, indirectly criticizing their policies and issuing thinly veiled threats that it might seize power again.
The tension is raising the specter of another military intervention much like the one in 2011, when generals replaced longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak after they sided with anti-regime protesters in their 18-day popular uprising.
The strains come at a time when many Egyptians are despairing of an imminent end to the crippling political impasse between President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group on one side, and the mostly secular and liberal opposition on the other.
The tug of war between the two camps is being waged against a grim backdrop of spreading unrest, rising crime and a worsening economy.
"In essence, the military will not allow national stability or its own institutional privileges to come under threat from a breakdown in Egypt's social fabric or a broad-based civil strife," said Michael W. Hanna, an Egypt expert from the New York-based Century Foundation.
"This is not an ideological army or one that seeks to destabilize civilian governance. ... But it is also not an army that will sit by while the country reaches the tipping point on the path to civil strife."
The latest friction began when a rumor circulated that Morsi planned to replace Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, his defense minister and the army chief, because of his resistance to bringing the military under the sway of the Brotherhood-dominated government.
El-Sissi may have angered Morsi last month when he signaled the military's readiness to step in, warning that the state would collapse if no solution was found to the political crisis. Pointedly, he also spoke of how the military faces a dilemma in marrying the task of protecting state installations in restive locations with its resolve not to harm peaceful protesters.
In another provocative comment earlier this month, el-Sissi was quoted as saying he would never allow the armed forces to be dominated by the Brotherhood, or any other group, stressing the military's national identity.
Berlin (JPost) - Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a 24-year old Lebanese-Swedish dual citizen, admitted on Wednesday in a courtroom that he is a member of Hezbollah, according to a statement he gave under oath.
The Cypriot authorities accuse Yaacoub of plotting an attack against Israeli tourists on the island in July. Yaacoub faces eight charges in the criminal court in the city of Limassol. He is charged with membership in a criminal organization and conspiracy in "carrying out missions in any part of the world, including the Cyprus Republic, against Israeli citizens," among other charges.
PARIS (AP) — It's crunch time in Mali for the French military.
Radical Islamist fighters spent weeks on the run from Malian cities under a French ground and air assault — but they're brazenly fighting back this week at French troops. The French, meanwhile, are tightening a dragnet against the al-Qaida-linked militants in one of their last remaining redoubts, mountain sanctuaries near Algeria's border.
France's government said Wednesday it's still hoping to pull out of its thorny Mali operation in the coming weeks. Defense analysts say that if France wants to make that work, and avoid getting bogged down in a protracted, Afghan-style occupation, now's the time to hit hard — dismantling the hideouts and killing all the insurgents they can — to crush what it fears is a growing terrorist threat that could spread to Mali's African neighbors and even as far as Europe.
French and Malian authorities on Wednesday sifted over the fallout from a nearly six-hour gunfight Tuesday, when about 30 jihadist fighters surprised a 50-troop French reconnaissance patrol about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the town of Tessalit in the Adrar des Ifoughas region, and opened fire with machine guns.
The far-more-muscular French called in support from Mirage fighter jets, helicopter gunships, and armored vehicles firing 105-mm cannons. By the end, more than 20 insurgents and one French legionnaire were killed, French officials said.
The French operation in the area, code-named "Panthere," or panther, is continuing for a third day Wednesday.
President Francois Hollande insists that France — eager for African forces to help stabilize the impoverished West African country and its wobbly central government — is entering the final phase of its operation. But he says France will "go all the way — that's to say, arresting the last terrorist chiefs in northern Mali."
Defense analysts are blunter.
The extremists "have their backs against the wall," said Francois Heisbourg, president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, and adviser to France's Foundation for Strategic Research. "They have been clobbered. And the best time to hit a guy is when he's on the ground on his back."
Heisbourg estimated there are about 1,200 to 2,000 radical Islamic fighters in three extremist movements in northern Mali: Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and its allies; the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO; and Ansar Dine.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Terrorist Ramzi Yousef serving life for role in 1993 WTC bombing reportedly sues to end solitary because he suffers from "severe psychological trauma"
(Fox News) A convicted terrorist serving life with no parole plus 240 years for masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing has reportedly filed a lawsuit arguing he should be let out of solitary confinement.
The Los Angeles Times reports Ramzi Yousef is hoping he can persuade a judge to end his nearly 24-hour solitary confinement at a Colorado prison known as the "Fortress in the Rockies."
"I request an immediate end to my solitary confinement and ask to be in a unit in an open prison environment where inmates are allowed outside their cells for no less than 14 hours a day," he reportedly wrote in confidential government records obtained by The Los Angeles Times. "I have been in solitary confinement in the U.S. since Feb. 8, 1995, with no end in sight.... I further ask not to be in handcuffs or leg irons when moved outside my cell."
Yousef reportedly claims his due process under the law is being violated because he has no chance to get out of solitary confinement despite 15 years of good behavior in prison. The lawsuit reportedly claims his time in solitary confinement has led to "severe psychological trauma."
Yousef was convicted of masterminding the February 1993 bombing, which killed six and injured more than 1,000. He was also convicted of trying to kill Pope John Paul II and President Clinton, and plotting to bomb planes.
His terror acts were funded by Al Qaeda and his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is allegedly the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, The Los Angeles Times reports.
But that's OK because he's a liberal.
(NYP) Actor Alec Baldwin allegedly called a black Post photographer a racial epithet, a "crackhead" and a "drug dealer" during a confrontation on an East Village street yesterday morning, prompting police to intervene.
Baldwin had first been approached by a Post reporter while walking his dogs outside his East 10th Street pad at around 10:50 a.m. He was asked for comment on a lawsuit against his wife, Hilaria, involving her work as a yoga instructor.
The “30 Rock’’ star grabbed the reporter, Tara Palmeri, by her arm and told her, “I want you to choke to death,” Palmeri told police, for whom she played an audiotape of the conversation.
He then called G.N. Miller — a decorated retired detective with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau and a staff photographer for The Post — a “coon, a drug dealer,’’ Miller’s police statement said.
At one point, Miller showed Baldwin ID to prove he’s a retired NYPD cop, which Baldwin dismissed as “fake.”
Cops were called, and Miller, 56, and Baldwin, 54, both filed harassment claims against each other.
Minutes later, Baldwin ranted on Twitter.
“Thank u 2 NYPD officers who came to my home 2day so that I could file a formal complaint against NY Post “photographer’’ who assaulted me,’’ he tweeted.
In another post, Baldwin referred to Miller, for unknown reasons, as “Ralston,” writing, “Moments after I tweet about the Post, Ralston, the ex-crackhead ‘photographer’ shows up at my door w 1 of Murdoch’s nieces in tow.”
He added, “Ralston claims he’s ex NYPD!! That can’t be!!! Ex NYPD don’t become crackhead, ex jailhouse paparazzi!”
The actor eventually removed most of the posts.
Miller also said the actor bumped him in the chest during their tete-a-tete, although Baldwin told cops the photographer “pushed into him,’’ according to the actor’s complaint.
Baldwin said he “asked [Miller] to keep his distance,’’ the complaint said.
But Miller said Baldwin was the one getting “too aggressive,’’ so he showed him his retired-cop ID.
Baldwin called the ID a “fake’’ and added Miller was a “crackhead” and a “drug dealer” who “just got out of jail,” Miller said.
Baldwin also made “disparaging remarks’’ about Miller’s mother, the photographer said.
As oblivious pedestrians walked by, Baldwin told him to “suck my d--k,” Miller said.
Baldwin also walked up to random people — including a dad pushing his child in a stroller — and told them Miller was an ex-con and drug dealer, Miller said.
“He was saying some serious racist stuff,” Miller said. “He said some choice words about my mother, and he was telling people in the street that I’m a drug dealer.
“He could have said a lot of other stuff. But he used all of the stereotypes associated with black people.”
Miller worked for the NYPD for nearly 15 years, spending most of his time in narcotics.
Although both men made police reports, it’s a case of he said-he said because the incident did not happen in the presence of a police officer.
Neither police complaint will go any further, except in possible civil action.
Baldwin’s spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, called Miller’s accusations “completely false.’’
Baldwin, through Hiltzik, denied making the racist remarks, adding, “That’s one of the most outrageous things I’ve heard in my life.’’
But Baldwin has a history of making inappropriate comments to photographers.
Last June, the day before his wedding, Baldwin shouted to a black photographer on the street, “You gotta back up there Rodney.”
The photographer’s name wasn’t Rodney.
(TDS) When Syrian soldiers burst into a home and found no trace of the young men they had come to recruit by force, they raped their sister instead. Helpless, her father watched in horror as his daughter was defiled in his own living room, he later told a United Nations relief worker in Jordan.Another Syrian man, blinded by fear and the shame of risking his family’s honor, shot his own daughter to prevent approaching Syrian soldiers from gang raping her. One Syrian father opted for the unbearable, heart wrenching choice of giving up his youngest girl to armed troops lusting after her at a military checkpoint. They had threatened to mow down all family members in the car with him under a hail of bullets unless he complied with their commander’s request.
“Sophie’s Choice,” the World War II story of a Polish mother bullied by a German Nazi soldier to choose between who, her daughter or son, would be carted off to the death camp at Auschwitz, pales in comparison. The 1979 novel by American writer William Styron was adapted into a film. What is happening now in Syria is ghastly and unthinkable. And it is real.
Syria’s embattled regime once boasted that it championed causes of Arab honor, dignity and valor. They were its claim to Arab leadership and the twisted rationale for heavy-handed actions. How that bogus image has foundered.
Sexual violence against women and, in some cases, young boys, documented and aggregated in reports by Human Rights Watch , the International Rescue Committee and the New York-based Media Center initiative known as Women under Siege, have shattered all pretenses, shredding all fake veneers of social propriety in war-lacerated Syria. Assumptions about Arab family cohesion and paternal protection shielding women folk against predators and rape have been turned inside out. [...]
[...] Syria is inching toward replacing the Congo as the world’s rape capital. The U.S.-based IRC designated rape as a primary factor in the exodus of women and children refugees to neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.
“Many women and girls relayed accounts of being attacked in public or in their homes, primarily by armed men. These rapes, sometimes by multiple perpetrators, often occur in front of family members,” the IRC said. The findings, based on 240 interviews, indicate that rape has become a “significant and disturbing” feature of Syria’s war.
Women and girls told of being kidnapped, raped and tortured. At military checkpoints, they have become targets of opportunity. Later, some victims are killed or married off.
(Examiner) According to a report by the Weekly Standard, during a Google Hangout live video chat last Thursday (February 14), President Barack Obama complained that his problems include abiding by the laws of the United States, griping "I'm not the Emperor of the United States."
After being asked why he had not done more about illegal immigration, or stopped a record number of deportations, President Obama said "This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency. The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the Emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed," he said.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Jihadi Spring update.
(Al Arabiya) An Egyptian opposition activist, who had been missing since earlier this week, was found by police naked, bound and injured in the desert.
Ibrahim Hanafi was found with marks on his body, which indicated he had been tortured, according to local newspaper Egypt Independent.
“They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back ... They told me to stay away from the Muslim Brotherhood and politics and said that was a warning,” Hanafi told Reuters. He said he had been abandoned with ripped clothes in a remote area outside Cairo.
Hanafi had been working with the Freedom Front for Peaceful Change, collecting evidence of what he saw as “violations” by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that backs President Mohamed Mursi.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Car bombs tore through shopping areas within minutes of each other in mainly Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital on Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100.
The attacks come amid rising sectarian discord in Iraq and appear aimed at shaking Iraqis' confidence in the Shiite-led government. The explosions struck at the start of the local work week and primarily targeted outdoor markets.
Members of Congress Demand Obama Administration Classify Ft. Hood Attack as an 'Act of Terrorism', Not as 'Workplace Violence'
(ABC) In the wake of an ABC News story detailing claims by victims of the Fort Hood shooting that they have been neglected by the military and 'betrayed' by President Obama, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has sent a letter to his fellow members of Congress demanding that the Obama administration classify the attack as a terrorist act and provide full benefits to the victims and their families.
"It is time for the administration to recognize the Fort Hood shooting for what it is—an act of terrorism," wrote Rep. Michael McCaul, R.-Texas, in a letter cosigned by Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Virginia. "To date, the Department of Defense and the Army classify this attack [as] 'workplace violence,' despite mountains of evidence [that] clearly proves the Ft. Hood shooting was an act of terror."
The letter recommends that members of Congress view the ABC News report, "which highlights the broken promises made to the victims of that attack by the Obama Administration. The video contains never-seen-before footage of the terrorist attack and moving interviews with several of the survivors."
"As this news piece makes clear," wrote McCaul and Wolf, "the result of this inexcusable [workplace violence] classification … is that victims and their families have not received the same recognition or medical and financial benefits as those wounded or killed in war."
In a report that aired on "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline," former police sergeant Kimberly Munley, who helped stop the Ft. Hood shooting, said that President Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of.
"Betrayed is a good word," said Munley, who sat next to First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2010 State of the Union address. "Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of … In fact, they've been neglected."
There was no comment from the White House about Munley's allegations.
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the Nov. 5, 2009 rampage by the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, at the Army base in Killeen, Texas. Hasan now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims a Purple Heart and is treating the incident as "workplace violence" instead of "combat related" or terrorism.
(Gaza) It seems that Allah's favourite terrorists in the Levant aren't happy with the Pharaohs of Egypt over how they have closed down the vast majority of smuggling tunnels dug into Egypt from Gaza by flooding them with water. As they are dug through sand, they end up collapsing. Out of 1,200 tunnels in operation in 2010 only around 270 remain open, but I'm sure that they will be targeted very soon. Hamas informed the world that actually this was the work of the Jews:
Hamas released a statement on Saturday condemning Egypt’s closure of tunnels with Gaza, saying this renews Israel’s blockade on the strip.Meanwhile in Israel, they allow into Gaza 320 trucks of food stuffs, building materials and luxury goods on a daily basis and allow Gaza to export food stuff out.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Buddha statues have joined Barbie dolls and characters from "The Simpsons" TV cartoon as banned items in the conservative Muslim nation.
Authorities are confiscating Buddha statues from shops in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to stop the promotion of Buddhism in the country, according to a report Sunday in the independent Arman daily.
Iran has long fought against items, such as Barbie toys, to defuse Western influence, but this appears to be the first time that Iranian authorities are showing an opposition to symbols from the East.
The newspaper quoted Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran's cultural heritage, as calling the Buddha statues symbols of "cultural invasion." He said authorities will not permit a specific belief to be promoted through such items. Ansari did not say how many Buddhas had been seized, but that the "cleansing" would continue.
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — The death toll from a horrific bombing that tore through a crowded vegetable market in a mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of southwestern Pakistan climbed to 81 with many of the severely wounded dying overnight, a Pakistani police official said Sunday.
Police official Fayyaz Saumbal said 164 people also were wounded by the explosion Saturday in the city of Quetta just as people shopped for produce for their evening meal. The bomb was hidden in a water tank and towed into the market by a tractor, Quetta police chief Zubair Mahmood told reporters.
It was the deadliest incident since bombings targeting Shiites in the same city killed 86 people earlier this year, leading to days of protests that eventually toppled the local government.
Shiites have been increasingly attacked by militant groups who view them as heretics and non-Muslims in the country, which is dominated by Sunni Muslims. Many of the Shiites in Quetta, including those in the neighborhood attacked Saturday, are Hazaras, an ethnic group that migrated to Pakistan from Afghanistan more than a century ago.
The remote-controlled bomb destroyed shops, caused a two-story building to collapse and left a massive crater where it exploded.
(WT) President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday.
“During the entire attack, the president of the United States never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office in the mix,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who had held up Mr. Obama’s defense secretary nominee to force the information to be released.
Mr. Graham said that if Mr. Obama had picked up the phone, at least two of the Americans killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi might still be alive because he might have been able to push U.S. aid to get to the scene faster.
The White House has said Mr. Obama was kept up to date on the attack by his staff, though after being alerted to the attack in a pre-scheduled afternoon meeting he never spoke again with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey or then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Mr. Panetta told Congress last week that he knew immediately the attacks were a terrorist assault, though the White House downplayed that notion in the first five days after the attack.
Republican senators said they will still push for more information on who changed the talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who went on the Sunday talk shows after the attacks and blamed protests against an anti-Islam video.
Mr. Graham said he will block the president’s nominee to head the CIA until he hears more details about what Mr. Obama was doing.
Sen. John McCain said the White House’s reticence in releasing information contrasts poorly with the flood of details the White House put out about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, which has spawned two movies.
“We still don’t know what the president of the United States was doing the night of the attack and who he was talking to. We know who he wasn’t talking to,” Mr. McCain said.
I can't see any downsides in this story.
(Ynet) Syrian rebels killed 12 Hezbollah operatives in clashes in Homs on Saturday. Clashes erupted between the sides when Hezbollah operatives tried removing the dead bodies from the scene.
At the beginning of the month, the Hezbollah announced that it buried an operative in Lebanon, who was killed while "fulfilling his duty as a martyr." According to reports, he was killed in Syria.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian security official says the interior ministry will supply policemen with 100,000 new 9mm pistols, after many complained about a lack of firepower.
The official says the decision was made after studying the demands of policemen who said they could not properly defend themselves against increased lawlessness following the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak two years ago. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Policemen have gone on strike in recent weeks and protested what they say are poor working conditions and continuous attacks against them by armed thugs.
The move is likely to be criticized by rights groups who say policemen are operating with impunity and using excessive force against protesters.
Fatah and Hamas demand an apology, say "the EU is subservient to Israel".
(JPost) Bulgarian security forces on Friday raided the temporary residences of a visiting Hamas delegation in Sofia, and then expelled the officials from the country, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
The Hamas delegation arrived in Bulgaria on Wednesday to present the “Palestinian narrative and expose the false Israeli narrative on the Palestinians and Hamas.” The visit was the first of its kind by Hamas officials to a member of the EU.
Ah, those evil Zionists.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says troops have provided medical help to Syrians near the countries' border and transported them to a hospital in Israel for further treatment.
A military spokeswoman says soldiers treated five Syrians wounded Saturday near the northern security fence along the frontier in the Golan Heights. She would not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity in line with protocol.
Syrian activists reported fighting in the Quneitra region on Saturday, which is on the cease-fire line between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights.
Israel and Syria are bitter enemies and have fought several wars.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama was facing the prospect of rattling around the White House without his family during a long weekend, so he arranged a golf outing with some buddies.Amazing, considering that the Democrats wanted to portray Romney as an elitist who was disconnected from the "common man".
He high-tailed it south after a speech Friday in Chicago on building a stronger middle class and he won't return to Washington until Monday, the Presidents Day federal holiday.
Obama flew into the airport in West Palm Beach and was driven for nearly an hour to coastal Palm City and behind the gates of the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, the resort that will be his home away from home for the weekend.
It's a weekend with the boys, presidential style.
Eyebrows might have been raised at the thought of the president, any president, skipping out of Washington, without his family, for some "me time" hundreds of miles away from the Oval Office. First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are on an annual midwinter ski vacation out West.
(FPM) I recall Obama talking a lot about “Nation-Building at Home” instead of abroad, but like every other word that comes out of his mouth, that was another lie.
While Barack Hussein Obama is firing 20,000 Marines as part of his massive purge of the United States military to “save money”, he’s also fighting to send $700 million to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority.
On Feb 8th, Obama issued yet another waiver for Palestinian Authority aid, claiming that sending money to the corrupt undemocratic terrorist kleptocracy that refuses to negotiate a peaceful solution was “important to the national security interests of the United States.”
Unlike those 20,000 Marines who aren’t important to the national security of the United States.
And now the big push for terrorist cash in on with John Kerry leading the way, clutched medals in hand.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is fighting to send the Palestinian Authority nearly $700 million in aid, despite major budget cuts and a fierce debate over where existing money should go.What about the needs of the American people? Kerry has already been responsible for heaps of money being dumped on Pakistan and on Egypt. Now he wants even more cash for Islamist terrorists.
“The Secretary feels extremely strongly that it is time now to get this support to the Palestinian Authority,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Kerry is working with lawmakers to “get appropriated money released for the Palestinian Authority because we think it’s very, very important that they remain effective in supporting the needs of the Palestinian people,” Nuland said.
Should the American people continue suffering under crippling taxes while their money is being used to fund international terrorism?
Syria: Gunmen abduct more than 100 civilians in "sectarian kidnappings"; UN says death toll approaches 70,000
BEIRUT (AFP): More than 100 civilians have been abducted by armed groups in the Syrian province of Idlib in separate incidents, a watchdog said on Friday, expressing alarm over what it said were “sectarian kidnappings”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the kidnappings in the northwestern province occurred on Thursday in two separate incidents.
A group of some 70 men and women passengers on four mini-buses were abducted near an army checkpoint when travelling towards the provincial capital, also Idlib, by pro-regime armed men, said the Britain-based Observatory.
It said the kidnappers were from the Shia-majority villages of Al-Fua and Kafraya, while the passengers hailed from the mostly Sunni villages of Saraqeb, Sarmin and Binnish.
Hours before their abduction, in the same area, another armed group kidnapped at least 40 other civilians, mostly women and children, the Observatory said.
They had been travelling on a bus from Al-Fua and Kafraya villages, it said.
Most Syrian rebels fighting troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are Sunni, while the president’s clan belongs to an offshoot of Shia Islam.
“I fear a rise in sectarian kidnappings,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said. “Such acts are detrimental to the revolution.”
The United Nations says almost 70,000 people have been killed so far in the Syrian conflict, which first erupted 23 months ago on Mar 15, 2011.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
(INN) A terrorist who was released by Israel in a swap with the Hizbullah terror group has called to kill anyone who is caught collaborating with Israel.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has translated and released a clip of the statement which was made by terrorist Samir Kuntar and which aired on Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV on January 26.
“When it comes to the collaborators, there is no room for values or anything,” Kuntar said. “I am the son of the Islamic resistance, and I say, loud and clear, in its name, that the great mistake committed by the Islamic resistance is its lenient treatment of collaborators. We are paying the price for this now, and we will continue to pay it for generations to come.
“A collaborator released by a judge must be killed,” he continued. “People from the younger generation who care about the resistance should take the initiative. If the state is too lenient, and says ‘You can take $60,000 from Israel, and then spend two years in prison’... The young men who care about the future of the resistance should take action.”
Asked by the moderator, “Is this a call to kill them?” Kuntar replied, “Of course it is. These people are collaborators.”
Kuntar is known for the brutal murder of four Israelis in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya in 1979, including four-year-old Einat Haran, whom he murdered by smashing her skull after killing her father in front of her.
He was also found guilty in the death of two-year-old Yael Haran, Einat's sister, who suffocated to death while being hidden by her mother during the attack.
During his stay in Israeli prison he became a folk hero among Hizbullah supporters in southern Lebanon. He was released from prison in 2008 in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and was greeted by massive celebrations and kudos from political leaders in Lebanon and Syria.
Lebanon regularly arrests local citizens and charges them with spying for Israel. In October of 2010 more than 30 Lebanese citizens were convicted on charges of collaborating with Israel and becoming citizens of the Jewish State. All received 15-year prison terms.
At least five people have been sentenced to death in Lebanon in recent years, after being convicted on charges of spying for Israel.
(ABC) Three years after the White House arranged a hero's welcome at the State of the Union address for the Fort Hood police sergeant and her partner who stopped the deadly shooting there, Kimberly Munley says President Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of.Well, let's face it, Obama wasn't in a position to label Hasan's murderous rampage as "terrorism". It would've been politically destructive to have had a terrorist attack that killed Americans on US soil.
"Betrayed is a good word," former Sgt. Munley told ABC News in a tearful interview broadcast on "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
"Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of," she said. "In fact they've been neglected."
There was no immediate comment from the White House about Munley's allegations.
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the November 2009 rampage by the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, who now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
The broadcast report also includes dramatic new video, obtained by ABC News, taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, capturing the chaos and terror of the day.
Munley, since laid off from her job with the base's civilian police force, was shot three times as she and her partner, Sgt. Mark Todd, confronted Hasan, who witnesses said had shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire on soldiers being processed for deployment to Afghanistan.
As Munley lay wounded, Todd fired the five bullets credited with bringing Hasan down.
Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims a Purple Heart and is treating the incident as "workplace violence" instead of "combat related" or terrorism.
It's merely a coincidence that Hasan, like the 9/11 hijackers, screamed "Allahu Akbar" at the moment of slaughter.
Standard workplace violence.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
(Gatestone Institute) Muslim plans to convert a former Lutheran church in the city of Hamburg into a mosque is generating controversy across Germany.
From Berlin to Dortmund to Mönchengladbach, the gradual proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Germany. In the most recent case, the church would be the first converted into a mosque in the second-largest city in Germany.
The latest dust-up involves the former Kapernaumkirche (Capernaum Church), located in the Horn district in downtown Hamburg. The church, a cultural heritage site, was abandoned in 2002 for financial reasons due to declining membership.
The building and an adjacent 44 meter (144 foot) tower/steeple as well as the surrounding land was sold in December 2012 to the Al-Nour Islamic Center, which has approximately 600 members, mainly made up of Arab Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.
The church is currently undergoing renovations at a cost of one million euros ($1.4 million) and is scheduled to be reopened as a mosque on October 3, the Day of German Unity [Tag der Deutschen Einheit], a public holiday commemorating the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. Muslims in Germany have also claimed October 3 as Open Mosque Day [Tag der offenen Moschee], a day when non-Muslims are allowed to visit mosques.
Major German newspapers have greeted the news with apparent resignation, and have published editorials with titles such as "When Mosques Replace Churches," "Tenant Allah," "Christian on the Outside, Muslim on the Inside," and "The New Normal."
But political and religious leaders have been more circumspect; many have responded to the situation with a sense of unease and foreboding.
Marcus Weinberg, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) in Hamburg, said: "I am opposed to this. Even if the transaction is legally permissible, the conversion of a former church into a mosque will do little to improve cultural and religious coexistence in the area." He has appealed to city officials to meet with the Al-Nour Center to discuss "attractive building alternatives."
Helge Adolphsen, the former senior pastor of St. Michael's Church, the most iconic church in Hamburg, said: "This is the breaking of a dam."
England: Single Mother Woke To Find Muslim Burglar Sexually Assaulting Her As She Shared Bed With Children
(England) A dangerous sex pest who groped a mum-of-two while she slept with her two young children has been jailed.
Anamul Hoque, 25, broke into the victim’s home in the early hours and entered her bedroom where she was asleep with her two sons aged eight and five.
Burnley Crown Court heard the mum-of-two awoke to find herself being groped by Hoque and she screamed out.
Hoque then fled from the house.
She tried to call the police but found that Hoque had stolen the iPhone which she had left on the headboard of her bed.
Convicted sex offender Hoque, who has a history of flashing, has now been branded ‘dangerous’ by a crown court judge.
Jailing him for 52 months, Judge Simon Newell said that the defendant had a ‘very worrying and relevant’ criminal record.
Hoque, of Fifth Avenue, Burnley, who admitted burglary, sexual assault and trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence, was also told he would be subjected to an extended licence period of five years upon his eventual release.
He is already the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, restricting him from harrassing women, until 2016 and he must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
Killed by "mercenaries of the Zionist regime", of course.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An Iranian independent news website is reporting that a senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has been killed in LebanonI hope it wasn't quick and painless.
The website — mashreghnews.ir — says Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by "mercenaries of the Zionist regime," but provided no details about his death.
Monday, February 11, 2013
(Yahoo! News) The U.S. Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden is speaking out for the first time since the May 1, 2011, raid on the al-Qaida leader's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
In an interview with Esquire, the former SEAL—identified as "The Shooter" due to what the magazine described as "safety" reasons—said he's been largely abandoned by the U.S. government since leaving the military last fall.
He told Esquire he decided to speak out to both correct the record of the bin Laden mission and to put a spotlight on how some of the U.S. military's highly trained and accomplished soldiers are treated by the government once they return to civilian life.
Despite killing the world's most-wanted terrorist, he said, he was not given a pension, health care or protection for himself or his family.
"[SEAL command] told me they could get me a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee," he told Esquire.
Plus, he said, "my health care for me and my family stopped. I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You're out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your 16 years. Go f--- yourself."
The problem seems to be that "The Shooter" left the military well before the 20-year requirement for retirement benefits.
According to the magazine, the government provides 180 days of transitional health care benefits, but the Shooter was ineligible because he did not agree to remain on active duty in a support role or become a "reservist." Instead, the magazine noted, he will "have to wait at least eight months to have his disability claims adjudicated."
(NBC) President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to celebrated Army veteran Clinton Romesha on Monday afternoon, making the former active duty staff sergeant just the fourth living person to receive the military’s highest honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Romesha, 31, fought back tears as Obama presented him with the medal honoring his “conspicuous gallantry” during the Battle of Kamdesh, a day-long firefight at a remote Afghan outpost near the Pakistan border in 2009.
“These men were outnumbered, outgunned, and almost overrun,” Obama said in his remarks in the White House East Room.
Romesha was recognized for leading the charge against hundreds of Taliban fighters during an Oct. 3, 2009, siege on U.S. troops at Combat Outpost Keating, a small compound military officials considered indefensible.
Eight American soldiers were killed and 20 were wounded in the surprise attack, making it the deadliest day for the U.S. in the war effort that year.
Romesha headed up efforts to retake the camp, risking his own life as U.S. troops were besieged by rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, mortars and rifles.
Romesha, who served twice in Iraq, first took out a machine-gun team and then turned to a second, suffering shrapnel wounds when a grenade struck a generator he was using for cover.
An official citation read at the ceremony described Romesha’s subsequent acts of valor.
"Undeterred by his injuries, Staff Sergeant Romesha continued to fight and upon the arrival of another soldier to aid him and the assistant gunner, he again rushed through the exposed avenue to assemble additional soldiers," the citation says.
“With complete disregard for his own safety, (he) continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved confidently about the battlefield engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets.”
All the while, Romesha devised a strategy to secure key points of the battlefield and directed air support to eliminate a band of thirty heavily armed enemy combatants.
Romesha and his team also provided cover so three injured soldiers could make their way to an aid station. They then “pushed forward 100 meters under withering fire to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades,” according to the citation.
Romesha, a father of three and the son of a Vietnam veteran, reportedly never lost his composure during the chaotic attack, according to CNN journalist Jake Tapper, who chronicled the battle in the 2012 book "The Outpost."