Reader links for May 8 – 2015

This post has all its contents in the comments. For the newest freshest videos and news stories of interest to the Counter-Jihad and the Geopolitics of Islam, please click comments and add to, or read what is posted there.

Some will be integrated into the day’s posts and others not. But this way we can keep a great news flow going without interfering with the conversations about the issues under the various essays and news items in the posts that will be presented throughout the day.

Thank you all for your informative and important contributions.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

58 Replies to “Reader links for May 8 – 2015”

  1. ISIS Propaganda Machine Is Sophisticated and Prolific, US Officials Say (abcnews, May 7, 2015)

    “ISIS terrorists are expertly using hip hop music, video games and even children to successfully recruit young people to their violent cause. That assessment comes today from the FBI and from top U.S. counterterrorism officials, who say the ISIS social media machine is sophisticated, prolific, and unprecedented.

    “They are shooting out into the ether-sphere thousands and thousands of messages a day, over 90,000 a day and it’s to millions of people across the globe,” John Carlin, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division told ABC News Correspondent Pierre Thomas. “What they are trying to do is to convince young people to go slaughter civilians in a vicious war.”

    The online messaging is slick — far broader and more subtle than the vicious beheading videos the public is too familiar with, according to Scott Talan, a social media and marketing professor at American University. Talan viewed about a dozen ISIS propaganda videos with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, and said he is shocked by the quality of the messaging the terror group is putting out.

    “This is sophisticated. It is Madison Avenue meets documentary film making meets news channel with sensibilities and marketing value,” Talan said.

    In one video, ISIS produces its own, twisted version of the popular “Grand Theft Auto” video game. While ISIS fighters gun down victims on the screen, the message flashes, “Your games — We do the same actions on the battlefield.”

    “So it’s the reverse of our culture, where we say ‘escape real life and play a game.’ They’re saying, ‘escape your life, come play a real game with real consequences,'” Talan said. “They are using products from American culture — video games — for their purposes, and taking and making a message that works for them.”

    And of course Westerners going to fight against ISIS have learned the hard way that the consequences are very real. Many, including a few Americans, have been killed in action. Others have been turned into propaganda mouthpieces for ISIS, or forced into barbaric acts of violence, according to the Justice Department.

    Talan said many of the ISIS messages are designed to appeal to young people who are craving acceptance. For example, he said, one hip hop music video pushed out by the terror group uses a doctored “Uncle Sam” poster to say “We want you.”

    “For people on the edge, this could have a lot of resonance,” Talan said. “You’re speaking to them in a language they understand … video, imagery and music. Then this message comes in about ‘We want you.’ People do want to belong to tribes. This is saying, ‘join our tribe.'”

    Talan noted that some of the ISIS videos make direct appeals to women to come to the “Caliphate.” In one, a male fighter says, in English, “Sisters, we have houses, we have security … come.”

    But once there, life is unspeakably brutal for women, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said, noting they are routinely forced into marriage or enslaved — and there is no coming home again.

    “They are literally selling women and children into slavery, they are slaughtering innocent civilians,” Carlin said. “And once you are over there — for those who want to leave once they realize the dark reality of what’s taking place — they kill those who want to leave out of the group.”

    Another Western advertising ploy that ISIS has adopted is the use — or perhaps the abuse — of children, Talan noted.

    In one ISIS video posted on Twitter, soldiers hand out ice cream to a group of excited kids. A few scenes later, you see some of the young boys grabbing AK-47’s, waving them above their heads, and chanting ISIS slogans.

    “It is disturbing, but there’s a reason children are used.” Talan said. “Madison Avenue uses it all the time. … It touches empathy. It gets people to say, ‘Aww.” It puts your defenses down — it makes you want to pay attention and feel human.”

    But for the children of ISIS, the Justice Department’s John Carlin said, life is a grim series of bearing witness to barbaric atrocities and slaughter, and very often, the loss of family members and loved ones to the continuing violence.

    But what’s frightening, Carlin said, is that despite ISIS’ well-documented brutality, its social media campaign seems to be working right here in the United States. New recruits inspired by ISIS messaging are being discovered in the U.S. with increasing frequency — at least 55 in the past two years, according to the Department of Justice. And Carlin said in most of these cases there is a common thread.

    “In almost every one of these cases, we’ve seen social media involved.” he told Pierre Thomas. “Before the advent of social media … how would you reach into the basements and bedrooms of American homes?”

    Counterterrorism officials acknowledge privately that the U.S. government is struggling to meet this new threat. But Carlin said he feels confident that ultimately, ISIS and its slick propaganda machine will be exposed by the ugly reality on the ground.

    “Because when people know what this group is about and what this group is really doing — killing, enslaving, raping and stealing — they are not going to want to join.””

  2. Phoenix Mosque Caught Lying About Ties to Texas Would-Be Jihadist Killer

    After two attendees of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCPA) were killed in a gunfight Sunday night in Garland, Texas, outside a facility where a “Draw Muhammad” contest was being held, the leaders of the mosque have given conflicting stories about the relationship the two had with the place of worship.

    Most of the conflicting accounts have come from mosque president Usama Shami, who has been regularly featured in multiple press reports following the events Sunday evening. Most of his statements have been attempts to distance the mosque from the two would-be terrorists.

    For example, a Dallas Morning News article quotes him as saying the pair were not regular members:

    Usama Shami, president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, said Simpson and Soofi attended prayers at the mosque but were not regular members. Simpson started attending Friday prayers at the mosque about 10 years ago, he said, but visited the mosque less frequently after he was arrested.

    But in fact, a video posted on the ICCPA YouTube channel in 2012 features Elton (“Ibrahim”) Simpson and identifies him as a member: […]

    on this page :

  3. Iraq: Suicide attacks on Shiite mosques kill 22 worshippers

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants carried out a series of suicide attacks on Friday against Shiite mosques in northeastern Iraq killing at least 22 worshippers, including a senior police officer, officials said.

    In the town of Balad Ruz, a suicide car bomber attacked the al-Zahraa mosque as worshippers were leaving after the Friday sermon, a police officer said. A second suicide bomber on foot then attacked the crowds gathered in the aftermath. The twin attacks killed at least 18 and injured at least 41 people.

    Among the dead were the leader of the town’s police commandos, Col. Adnan Mohammed al-Timimi, and two policemen, the official added.

    Balad Ruz is located about 70 kilometers (44 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

    A third suicide bomber drove his car into worshippers as they were leaving the Imam Hussein Shiite mosque in the town of Kanaan, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) northeast of the capital, the police officer added. Four people were killed and at least 18 wounded.

    Two medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

    The predominantly Shiite towns are located in Iraq’s religiously-mixed province of Diyala, which has witnessed major clashes between government forces and Sunni insurgents in recent months. The attacks came ahead of next week’s major Shiite event commemorating the death anniversary of revered 8th century saint Imam Mousa al-Kazim, when thousands of pilgrims march to his shrine in northern Baghdad.

    No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bore the hallmarks of Islamic State extremist group. It considers Shiites heretics and has captured large chunks of territory in western and northern Iraq, plunging the country into its worst crisis since U.S. troops left at the end of 2011.

    The Islamic State group and other Sunni extremists carry out near-daily attacks targeting Iraq’s security forces and the country’s Shiite majority.

    • US Military Bases Raise Security Status Due to ISIS Threat

      Military bases and installations in the United States have been ordered to raise their force protection condition status to Bravo (FPCON Bravo), due to general concerns about ISIS related threats, but not because of any specific threat or plot.

      U.S. Northern Command’s Admiral William Gortney ordered the increase in the force protection condition from FPCON Alpha Plus, which is the standard for U.S. military bases.

      The order will result in some visible increases in security, though there will also be other not-so-visible measures that will be taken. It is unclear how long the order to raise the force protection condition will remain in effect.

      Force Protection Conditions essentially set a baseline for U.S. military facilities to follow for their security. This would include military recruiting stations and offices outside of U.S. military bases. The Pentagon has been on a higher force protection status than Alpha Plus for years.

      The last time the force protection status was raised to the Bravo level was on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The higher levels of force protection are Charlie and Delta.

      The FP Condition was raised to Bravo “as a prudent measure to remind installation commanders at all levels within the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility to ensure increased vigilance and safeguarding of all DOD personnel, installations and facilities,” a defense officials said. “This change, in addition to random drills or exercises, is a mean to ensure that we effectively execute our force protection mission.”

      The official said Thursday’s comments by FBI Director James Comey about the ISIS threat to the U.S. homeland were taken into consideration by Gortney in raising the force protection condition.

      “We share the same concern about the potential threat posed by homegrown violent extremists, as discussed publicly by Director Comey and others. While our FPCON change is not tied to a specific, credible threat, recent events have led us to recognize the need to take prudent steps to ensure our FPCON measures can be increased quickly and unpredictably at the macro level, just as they routinely vary at the micro level on individual installations.”

      The official stressed, “This FPCON change is not tied to any specific threat, but one of the ways we ensure the force protection of our service members and their families.”

      Definitions of the military’s force protection conditions are available on official military websites.

      FPCON NORMAL: This condition applies when a general global threat of possible terrorist activity exists and warrants a routine security posture.

      FPCON ALPHA: This condition applies when there is an increased general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel or facilities.

      FPCON BRAVO: This condition applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists.

      FPCON CHARLIE: This condition applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely.

      FPCON DELTA: Applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is imminent.

  4. UK – Former Bedfordshire police officer charged with sex offences

    A former police officer is due to appear in court today charged with a string of sex offences against teenage girls.

    Mohammad Arshad, 35, of Ferndale Road, Luton, will appear at Hatfield Magistrates’ Court charged with 17 counts, on recommendation of the Crown Prosecution Service.

    They include 10 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of grooming, two counts of sexual touching of a child and offering to supply cannabis.

    The charges relate to 11 alleged victims who were aged between 13 and 15 at the time. The charges cover October 2012 until December 2014.

    Arshad was an officer with Bedfordshire Police between April and November last year. He was suspended after the allegations came to light in October.

  5. US begins training Syrian rebels in Jordan to become anti-Isis force

    – Training also set to take place in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey
    -Congressional critics say program is inadequate

    Four years after the start of the Syrian civil war and almost nine months after Congress first authorized funding to train rebels in that conflict, the United States has begun offering training to moderate Syrian rebels to combat the Islamic State militant group.

    Jordanian officials told reporters on Thursday that coalition forces have begun training prescreened rebels at a site inside the Middle Eastern kingdom. Training locations are also expected to begin operation in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    Congress appropriated $500m to train up to 5,000 Syrian fighters in September 2014. Currently, just 400 rebels are being trained in Jordan out of 3,750 potential volunteers. Much of the delay has been due to the vetting process required to ensure that recruits are not extremists.

    US Central Command (Centcom) on Thursday, said that the training will cover a range of combat skills, “including marksmanship, casualty care, land navigation, communications, leadership and law of armed conflict and human rights principles”.

    On Capitol Hill, some of the most forthright supporters of a more interventionist policy in Syria criticized the Obama administration’s training program as inadequate.

    UK to send 75 military trainers to help moderate Syrian rebels

    Senator John McCain pushed for a no-fly zone over Syria and told the Guardian “I have no confidence in [the training] process whatsoever.” The 2008 Republican presidential nominee added: “I don’t think it’s possible to recruit a young man to be trained in Jordan or Saudi Arabia or some place and go back in and tell him you’re not going to protect him from being barrel-bombed. It’s immoral.”

    McCain’s statements were echoed by Senator Lindsey Graham who called the program “fatally flawed”. Graham, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, told the Guardian, “the program’s going to fail. It’s impossible for it to succeed because when you send them back into Syria, you’re telling them they can only fight Isil, which they’re not going to do. If they get any strength at all or capability, Assad’s going to attack them.” The three-term South Carolina senator said sadly that any rebels that the United States trains will be sent back to “certain death”.

    The United States has long been plagued by uncertain policy in the Syria conflict. While the Obama administration has insisted that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad must step down, the emergence of Isis has complicated the situation as has the White House backing away from Obama’s “red line” on the use of chemical weapons by the regime.

    A Pentagon spokesperson told the Guardian: “We’re on track to meet program timelines and will make announcements regarding any milestones when appropriate.”

  6. AUSTRALIA – Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north

    Several explosive devices have been found at a house during counterterrorism raids in Melbourne’s north.

    Heavily armed police stormed the house in Greenvale about midday in a joint operation between Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police.

    Balaclava-clad officers with assault rifles stood guard around a two-storey home while heavily armoured vehicles blocked off the street.

    Bomb squad members in blast suits were seen searching the property.

    It is not yet clear if anyone has been arrested.

    Nor have police revealed why they launched the raids or whom they were targeting.

    The “improvised explosive devices” were removed from the house on Clare Boulevard and the house was declared safe, police said in a statement.

    Police set up a 300-metre exclusion zone around a nearby reserve before detonating the explosives.

    Police find homemade bombs, arrest teen in Greenvale anti-terror raids

    A friend of the arrested teen’s family said they were respectable, and did not believe he could have done wrong.

    “(He has) no bad preacher. He is a very quiet boy. He cannot drive. His father is a doctor and cannot allow him to do anything wrong,” the friend said.

    […]On the arrested teen’s Facebook page he writes about Islamic State, accuses those who don’t pray five times a day of not being Muslim, and brands the US as terrorists.

    pic of the bearded “teen” suspect on this page

  7. TX Muslim Family: ‘Misconceptions’ After Garland

    Muslims around Dallas were swift to condemn an attack on a cartoon contest featuring depictions of the prophet Muhammad. One Muslim family says events like that color views about their faith.

    maybe Muslims didn't protest in Garland Sunday night simply because they knew there would be an attack and not because most of them are tolerant

  8. ITALY Venice Police Label Christoph Büchel Art Mosque in Icelandic Pavilion a Public Safety Threat

    The project—with the rather self-explanatory title THE MOSQUE: The First Mosque in the Historic City of Venice­—is installed in the former Catholic church of Santa Maria dell’Abbazia della Misericordia, a 10th century building that has been closed for over forty years.

    However authorities in Venice have notified the Icelandic Art Center that Italian police believe the Icelandic national pavilion is a “threat to safety.”

    The mosque is located near a pedestrian bridge (like most buildings in Venice) and police claim it will be difficult to provide safety surveillance. They argue that the Icelandic pavilion requires surveillance due to the terrorist threat from extremists.

  9. 12 seriously hurt in attack on northeast Nigeria school (CNN, May 8, 2015)

    “A gunman wearing a suicide bomb vest attacked a school in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state Friday morning, leaving 12 people seriously injured and the attacker dead, according to a police source and students who witnessed the attack.

    The man opened fire on students as they underwent security checks outside the College of Administrative and Business Studies (CABS) in Potiskum at 8:10 a.m. local time, and rushed into the school firing sporadic shots while being chased by students and residents, a witness said.

    “We have evacuated 12 people with serious gunshot wounds to hospital from the scene of the shooting attack,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the incident. A paramedic at the Potiskum General Hospital said the hospital received 12 people with serious injuries.

    “The gunman died after he set off his suicide explosives as he was being chased inside the school, but no one was hurt,” the officer said.

    Two accomplices fled the scene, and the Nigeria Police Force said on Twitter that they “have now been arrested at different locations after coordinated pursuit.”

    Police said an AK-47 rifle and ammunition were recovered from the suspects…”

  10. Just for the record… Some lunar lunacy inspired babble… (And, on that CNN page, you may as well notice a link to some other article with the caption “Who are the hypocrites?,” featuring a pic of Pamela Geller. So this is how they roll.)

    Geert Wilders: Rise of an anti-Islam opportunist (CNN, opinion piece by former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Cynthia P. Schneider, and some related F. Pleitgen hackjob vid with censored Mahound cartoons, May 8, 2015)

    “Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who keynoted Sunday’s Texas event attacked by two gunmen claiming allegiance to ISIS, did not always espouse the xenophobic views that have made him famous……”

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