Sunday, May 31, 2015

Report: ISIS jihadists abduct 500 children in Iraq; most of them will be used as suicide bombers

(ABNA) ISIL has kidnapped about 500 children in Iraq's Anbar and Diyala provinces, local officials said Saturday.

"ISIL has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq, and Syria," a member of Anbar’s Provincial Council, Farhan Mohamme told Anadolu Agency.

Mohammed said the abductions from the towns of Ar Rutba, Al-Qaim, Anah and Rawa continued for over a week, and warned that the militant group could recruit all children in regions under their control to use them in terror attacks.

Meanwhile, Diyala's police chief, Lieutenant General Kasim Al-Saidi said about 100 children were recruited in the eastern Iraqi province to be used in suicide attacks.

"ISIL has recruited about 100 children under the age of 16. They are going to brainwash these kids into being suicide bombers," he said.

Saidi added that the ISIL would give military training to these "recruits," some of whom could be taken to other regions controlled by the group, or even Syria.

Rehab al-Abouda, head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Committee for Women, Family and Childhood said in late April that ISIL used hundreds of kidnapped boys as fighters in its clashes with the Iraqi security forces.

Russia said abandoning Assad as Syria regime collapses further

(Ynet) Russia is pulling away from its relationship with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and withdrawing key personnel from Damascus, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Sunday, citing senior Gulf and Western officials.

"The Kremlin has begun to turn away from the regime," the newspaper said.

The report also quoted Syrian opposition sources as saying that Hezbollah and Iranian military experts have left Assad’s war room in Damascus, along with Russian experts.

There have been increasing signs in recent days that the Assad regime is disintegrating, four years into the civil war that has engulfed Syria. Last week, the Syrian president lost control of another province, which comes on the heels of previous reports that Islamic State already controls more than 50% of the country.

According to the same Gulf and Western sources, the change in the Russian position takes place against the backdrop of negotiations between the Gulf states and Moscow, a Russian response to economic sanctions imposed on it due to the war in Ukraine.

Syrian opposition sources told Asharq that Russia has evacuated 100 of its senior officials and their families from Syria via the airport in Latakia. They said that those leaving include experts who worked in the war room in Damascus, along with the Iranian experts and Hezbollah officials. According to the report, they have not been replaced.


As five Taliban officials walk free, Bergdahl deal stink grows

(NYP) Come Monday, the five senior Taliban officials sprung from Guantanamo in the trade for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, could all be walking free.

Free to rejoin their terrorist comrades in jihad against America — as at least three of them reportedly have already tried to do.

It’s a reminder of just how bad a deal President Obama struck to free Bergdahl, the man the White House then hailed as a hero but who now faces criminal charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy — charges that could keep him behind bars for life.

Indeed, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal revealed last week for the first time that he’d been informed almost immediately after Bergdahl’s 2009 capture that the soldier “walked off [his base] intentionally.”

Yet years later, in the runup to Obama’s trade, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed Berghdal had been “captured on the battlefield” after serving “with honor and distinction.” The State Department dismissed claims he’d deserted as “rumors.”

Under the terms of the deal, the five were shipped to Qatar, where they were banned from travel and subjected to monitoring. That arrangement expires today.

Privately, Obama officials say they’ve been trying to extend the original arrangement or possibly return them to Afghanistan, whose government would decide what — if anything — to do with them. Week’s end, though, brought no new deal.

The danger can’t be overemphasized: These were all senior commanders — one a deputy defense minister, another head of intelligence. At least one has been in touch with the Taliban and two others have met with the al Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network in the past year.

Now these five terrorists, let go to bring an accused deserter home, may be free to once again target American soldiers. Some bargain, Mr. President.

Obama Not Offended Enough by Anti-Semitism

How would Obama have felt about an American president who minimized the nature of apartheid South Africa, or failed to prevent that regime from acquiring nuclear weapons, or invited the racist state to become a "very successful regional power"?

The analogy is imprecise, because South Africa, though brutal and reprehensible, did not nurture genocidal ambitions, but it's enough to demonstrate that Obama's morality is always in service of his politics, not the other way around.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Middle East's Future Looks a Lot Like Iraq

(RCW) Today's Middle East is arguably more volatile and more dangerous than it has been for centuries. The rise of Islamic State and the prospect of a nuclear Iran each represent an unprecedented threat to global security. All the while the West appears increasingly at a loss as to what to do about any of this. Britain and America's influence in the region has weakened, and this newly emerging reality looks set to create some strange and previously inconceivable alliances.

Reports have been emerging from Middle Eastern news agencies of a secret meeting recently held in Jordan. What was particularly intriguing about this previously unpublicized gathering was that it reportedly brought together Israeli diplomats with those from Arab countries that officially have no dealings with the Jewish State; we can assume that figures from the Gulf countries were among those in attendance.

All the more interesting, it is being widely reported that the meeting was essentially convened to plan for a Middle East from which America has more or less retreated. Other reports claim that some of the Sunni states expressed openness to entering into security cooperation with Israel. If true, this indicates just how concerned the Sunni states are about the rise of a nuclear Iran, and just how little faith they have in U.S. President Barack Obama's strategy for negotiating Iran's nuclear program away.

Of course, we don't know that the approach adopted by Obama will outlive his presidency. But the worries of many of America's traditional allies in the region are clear. If America does continue to retreat from the Middle East, the vacuum left behind will quickly be filled by others. That could lead to an entire region that looks much as Iraq does today. Since Obama pulled U.S. forces out of Iraq at the end of 2011, the country has been lost to a tug-of-war between the Iranian-backed, Shiite-led government in Baghdad, and the Sunni Islamists militants who are now largely expressed through the Islamic State.

No one would deny that Iraq went through some dark days during the era of former U.S. President George W. Bush. But following the surge strategy launched in 2008, order was being restored, and it looked like there might be good reason for optimism. Now, as the Obama administration increasingly disengages from the Middle East, the region is slipping into turmoil, hurtling from one crisis to the next. Desperate times indeed call for desperate measures, and if the Gulf states are now reaching out to Israel, we know just how desperate things have become.


Fun in 4 headlines

Palestinians refuse to drop bid to expel Israel from FIFA despite soccer scandal

Swiss police probe FIFA bomb threat; pro-Palestinian protesters ousted from soccer congress

Palestinians drop bid to suspend Israel from FIFA

Palestinians criticize decision to drop motion to suspend Israel from FIFA

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mohammed cartoon contest planned for Phoenix anti-Islam rally

The contest will take place outside Phoenix mosque. The attendees are encouraged to bring their guns.
PHOENIX - An anti-Islam rally in Phoenix on Friday will feature a Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest.

The scheduled location is outside the Islamic Community Center in north Phoenix.

The gathering comes less than a month after a similar event in Texas sparked gunfire that left two gunmen, both from Phoenix, dead.

The gunmen, whom federal officials identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, wounded a security officer before they were shot and killed at the scene.

Simpson had worshipped at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix for about a decade, but he quit showing up over the past two or three months, the president of the mosque told The Associated Press.

A convert to Islam, Simpson first attracted the FBI's attention in 2006 because of his ties to a former U.S. Navy sailor who had been arrested in Phoenix and was ultimately convicted of terrorism-related charges. Less was known about Soofi, who appeared to have never been prosecuted in federal court, according to a search of court records.

The organizer of Friday's event said he had to do “something” because he does not want Islam spreading in the U.S.

“We’re just out utilizing our First Amendment,” organizer Jon Ritzheimer said.

Ritzheimer said he would not shoulder any responsibility if the event turned violent.

The Valley man organized an anti-Islam rally outside the same location several weeks ago, which was peaceful, he said.

He is urging attendees to be peaceful once again, but the Facebook page for the event warns people to come armed because of a “much-anticipated attack.”

Phoenix police released a statement Thursday, saying officers are aware of the event and are "working together [with other departments] to help ensure a safe event."
Dealing with this type of activity is a challenge that is facing law enforcement across the country. Dealing with groups of protesters and opposing views is not the difficult part. Our goal and the real challenge are trying to anticipate unlawful activities that might occur in conjunction with these events.
Phoenix police said they would have officers at the event, but would not provide other specifics regarding security measures.

Arizona's Council on American-Islamic Relations met with law enforcement on Wednesday and said they are grateful for their presence at Friday's protest.

"We thank law enforcement authorities for their proactive effort to ensure the safety of the mosque's congregation from hate-filled and armed protesters," said CAIR-AZ Chairman Imraan Siddiqi. "The promise of a heavy police presence at the rally of armed biker gang members will help calm fears of harassment and even attacks on worshipers."

A man who lives near the site of the planned rally hopes any violence does not affect neighbors.

“I just hope there’s no gun shots or anything going on,” Cristopher Cabrera said.

ISIS jihadists burn woman alive for refusing to take part in 'extreme sex act'

Because, you know, committing horrible acts against innocent women is just the kind of stuff that random JV folk do, especially when "their momentum is blunted".
(Daily Mail) A woman was burned alive by depraved Islamic State militants after she refused to take part in an 'extreme sex act', a United Nations official has revealed.

Hundreds of women have been kidnapped by jihadi fighters who send the 'prettiest virgins' to slave markets in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where they are sold as sexual objects to the highest bidder.

Many are stripped naked and forced to undergo virginity tests before being sent to the twisted auctions, the UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has said.

Zainab Bangura discovered the gruesome extent of crimes against young women – particularly from Iraq's Yazidi minority community – after collecting information from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

She said: 'They (ISIS) commit rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality.

'We heard one case of a 20-year-old girl who was burned alive because she refused to perform an extreme sex act. We learned of many other sadistic sexual acts.'

ISIS has carried out 'systematic sexual crimes' against Yazidi women and girls after kidnapping over 200 of them from their homes in northern Iraq last August, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

"Lack of economic opportunity, the legacy of colonialism". Surely some academic will find the components of western society that drove these folks into becoming sex slave-masters.

Acting State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf is being promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pakistan: Imam calls for military operation against jeans-wearing women

Because "Pakistan’s sovereignty and the security of the citizens are at stake".
Islamabad: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman following the Friday sermon requested the armed forces of Pakistan to launch a military operation against “jeans-wearing women” all over Pakistan in a press conference at a local hotel in Islamabad. Fazlur Rehman while highlighting the demerits of an operation against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said that the Taliban were not Pakistan’s enemy and the forces needed to target the real enemies of Pakistan.

“The Taliban are our brothers and their angst against the state is justified,” Fazl said adding that, “As brother Ansar Abbasi has so eloquently put in the past: TTP’s suicide bombings are just Allah’s wrath upon us. And so there is a need to earmark and eliminate the real enemy of Pakistan: every woman who wears jeans.”

When asked how jeans-wearing women were enemies of the state the JUI-F chief retorted angrily. “From earthquakes to inflation all kinds of disasters are caused by the immodesty of women. A woman that is not covered like a sack of flour is a walking and talking weapon of mass destruction for her state. And Pakistan has a multitude of such nuclear missiles in all its major cities,” Fazl said, now fuming like a steam engine.

BTW, somebody should tell Maulana Fazlur Rehman that his party's acronym, JUIF, means Jew in French.

ISIS slaughter 400 innocent people, mostly women and children in attack on ancient city of Palmyra, Syria

(Mirror) Islamic State militants have slaughtered at least 400 mostly women and children in another brutal attack in Syria.

The mass killings have taken place in the ancient city of Palmyra, the latest city to be seized by the extremist group.

State TV reported that the streets are strewn with bodies, saying: “The terrorists have killed more than 400 people...and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they co-operated with the government and did not follow orders.”

Those killed are believed to be employees including the head of the hospital’s nursing department and all her family.

The latest killing follows the slaughter of 300 troops just after Palmyra was captured.

A black IS flag now flies over the ancient citadel in the central-Syrian city which is home to the Unesco world heritage site, one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

Most of the museum antiques have been removed and taken to Damascus.

But antiquities director Mamoun Abdulkarim said: “There are still the large items, like the sarcophagi, which weigh three or four tonnes and we could not move.

“Those are what worry me.”

He added: “I hope that they do not repeat the same destruction they committed in Iraq.”, referring the bulldozing and smashing of ancient artefacts in ancient Iraq city Nimrud.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Islamic State Jihadists Slaughter More Than 300 Yazidi Captives in Iraq

(Daily Mail) More than 300 Yazidi prisoners have been slaughtered by Islamic State militants near Mosul in Iraq.

According to the Yazidi Progress Party, hundreds were murdered by Isis on Friday in the Tal Afar district.

It comes after around 40,000 people were kidnapped at gunpoint when the terrorists attacked Yazidi villages last summer.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

UN Report: Hamas Stored and Fired Weapons from UN Schools

(The Tower) A United Nations inquiry into incidents that occurred at UN facilities during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge confirmed Israel’s charges that Hamas used those facilities to store weapons and launch attacks against Israel.