Reader’s links for May 28 – 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

40 Replies to “Reader’s links for May 28 – 2015”

  1. Tunisia arrests second Morocco suspect in Bardo attack

    Tunisia has arrested a second Moroccan suspect over a deadly attack in March on the Bardo museum in Tunis, the interior ministry said Thursday.

    Noureddine al-Naibi was arrested on Sunday at Ras Jedir border post on the frontier with Libya on suspicion of indirect involvement in the attack, ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP.

    Last week, a young Moroccan man was arrested in Italy for allegedly helping in the March 18 attack carried out by two Tunisian gunmen in which 21 tourists and a policeman were killed before the assailants were also shot dead.

  2. Arizona anti-Muslim rally organizer defends selling ‘F*ck Islam’ shirt: ‘I’m a Marine’ and I’m not politically correct

    The organizer of an anti-Muslim protest in Phoenix insisted on Wednesday that his event was intended to be non-violent despite including the sale of a shirt saying, “F*ck Islam.”

    “I’m a Marine, and I am far from politically correct,” Jon Ritzheimer told KPNX-TV. “I’m outspoken, and I’ve just had it.”

    The event, which is scheduled to be held on Friday outside a local mosque, will also include a “Draw Muhammed” contest similar to the one organized by conservative activist Pamela Geller in Garland, Texas earlier this month. Ritzheimer, a former Marine Corps member, said he intends for the gathering to be “about pushing out the truth about Islam.”

    Draw Muhammad’ contest planned in Phoenix

  3. Reopen Christoph Büchel’s Mosque Project in Venice

    Last Friday, Venetian authorities closed Christoph Büchel’s functioning mosque in a disused church in the city, the Swiss artist’s project for the Icelandic pavilion at the Venice Biennale, saying that it had did not have the proper permits and was overcrowded, according to a piece in The New York Times by Randy Kennedy, who has been providing play-by-play coverage of the controversy.
    The decision to shutter the mosque, which officials had threatened to do before its May 8 opening, delivers a decisively depressing note to this year’s biennale festivities, and speaks to the rampant Islamophobia that is currently gripping the Western world. Still, at the mosque’s opening, the mood was positively joyous, with speakers from Muslim communities in Venice and Iceland talking about how important the work was (the city’s historical center has never had a mosque) and art-world denizens, shoes off, sitting on the ground and listening alongside the faithful.

    It felt like a rare, inspiring example of art actually getting something done. But now that is over.

    Büchel and his organizers maintain in a persuasive new statement that, despite a great deal of difficulty, they fulfilled Venice’s legal requirements, and they are appealing the closure. No doubt in the coming weeks there will be a great deal more finger-pointing, and hopefully we will learn more about what really happened.

    But what makes this all the more depressing is the reactionary response in the international art press to the closure, and the disheartening silence of the curator of this year’s biennale, Okwui Enwezor, who made a point of putting together an exhibition filled to the brim with art that at least pays lip service to high-minded political idealism.

    Hrag Vartanian, the editor of the Hyperallergic blog, was first out of the gate, with an opinion piece that declares the mosque “the type of shocking gesture that gets attention and headlines, but not one that leads to building strong bonds between communities,” as if this latter goal were the only proper objective for such an artwork. Vartanian also lambastes Büchel for “parachuting in,” which seems to willfully ignore that Büchel had in fact gotten local Muslims on board.

    Vartanian, whose intense political engagement I often admire, writes, “I’m not happy to hear that the Venetian authorities closed the ‘Mosque’ project, but I’m also not surprised, considering the artist cut corners and didn’t do the essential legal and community work required to realize his vision.” This sounds dangerously close to condoning what amounts to censorship. At the very least, it’s like saying, “He deserved this because he didn’t follow the rules,” which is the exact opposite sentiment that someone who cares about art (to say nothing of engaged communities) should have. (In a strong piece for Politico, Michael Moynihan has more to say on this.)

    All of this is made worse by how decidedly un-provocative Büchel’s work actually is: a Muslim house of worship in a part of the city that doesn’t have one. He perceived a need, and acted to fill it.

    Büchel regularly aims to provoke these kinds of responses in his work. He wants to see how people act when confronted with ideas they do not like. Often, yes, he has taken this to obnoxious ends, as when he sold the belongings of the homeless as sculptures and proposed burying an airplane underground, but working with community members to build a mosque? This is far from outrageous.

    On his visit, Vartanian “was taken aback by…the lack of information on who the faithful were” and concerned that “I didn’t find anyone who could answer my questions during my visit.” In a sense, I am sympathetic. At the opening, there were quite a few people on hand answering questions and discussing the work (a local Catholic priest was overjoyed about it), and that was a helpful experience.

    But the genius of Büchel’s work is that rather than try to stage vaguely edifying educational initiatives about Islam or mosques, making the kind of feel-good “social practice” art that is the bane of so many biennials, he just went ahead and helped make the real thing. His is an art without apologies. (And for what it’s worth, there aren’t any wall texts or tour guides on hand at the church I go to in Brooklyn on most days.) On a more fundamental level, the notion that adherents to a religion of around 1.6 billion people should have to engage in community outreach to legitimate their presence in a major European city borders on insulting.

    Meanwhile, Anna Somers Cox, the founding editor and CEO of The Art Newspaper, says that Büchel has “played frivolously with fire” and has levied the truly bizarre criticism that the “the project has provoked the xenophobes and ignorant into making hurtful statements.” Because, goodness knows, if Büchel hadn’t staged his project “the xenophobes and ignorant” wouldn’t say anything hurtful. She also writes that as a result of the fracas “the authorities have come across as hostile and the faithful no longer have their place of prayer.” This straw-man argument leaves out the fact that the faithful in Venice didn’t have a place to worship to begin with.

    As the artist and writer Greg Allen has noted, Okwui Enwezor and biennial leaders have reportedly been quiet about the project. No one with power in Venice seems to be stepping up to help Büchel and his collaborator. Even if you buy every one of the allegations that have been made against the mosque (which seems unwise)—the overcrowding, the lack of permits, that the church had not been officially deconsecrated—these are not impossible problems. They would require a helpful official, and maybe a benefactor or two to fix. Instead of stepping forward to help, the art world has remained, at best, silent, and at worst, callously naïve.

    Shortly after the opening of the biennale, Enwezor presented the Golden Lion to the American artist Adrian Piper, who has installed chalkboards in the central pavilion in Venice on which is written, over and over, “Everything will be taken away.” That may end up becoming the defining slogan of the 2015 Venice Biennale.

  4. Nigerian soldiers fired for ‘cowardice in Boko Haram war’ (BBC, May 27, 2015)

    “Nigeria’s army has sacked at least 200 soldiers for cowardice and failure to fight against Boko Haram militants, several soldiers have told the BBC.

    Up to 4,500 other rank and file soldiers could be dismissed, they say.

    A Nigerian military source confirmed the dismissals to the BBC, but would not give an exact figure.

    The army was widely criticised when the Islamist group Boko Haram captured vast areas in the country’s north-east last year, despite a military emergency.

    The Nigerian army, with military backing from Chad, Cameroon and Niger, has now recaptured most of the area in the north-east which the group had seized, but sporadic attacks and violence have continued.

    Many of the dismissals are thought to be connected to the fall of Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa state, one of three states under the state of emergency.

    Boko Haram insurgents captured the town in October after clashes with government forces.

    One of the soldiers who has been dismissed, and was present at the fall of Mubi, told the BBC Hausa service that soldiers were simply following orders from their commanders, who had told them to retreat from the town because they lacked adequate weapons to take on the militants…..”

  5. Tony Blair quits Middle East envoy role (BBC, May 27, 2015)

    “Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is to stand down from his role as Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, sources confirm.

    He will leave the role next month after he fulfils “outstanding commitments”, a source close to Mr Blair told the BBC.

    Mr Blair, who took the role just hours after leaving Downing Street in 2007, has written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to confirm his decision.

    He will “remain active” in the region in an informal role, the source said.

    Mr Blair remains “fully committed to assisting the international community in its work with Israel and the Palestinians to bring about progress on the two-state solution”, they said….”

  6. Al-Shabaab official wanted by U.S. dies in Somalia (CNN, May 28, 2015)

    “An Al-Shabaab leader wanted by the United States has died in Somalia, the Somali-based militant group announced Thursday.

    A mouthpiece radio channel for the group carried a message saying Sheikh Hassan Turki (also known as Hassan Abillahi Hersi Turki) died Wednesday. The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.

    Turki was believed to be in his 70s and had transitioned from being a military leader into a spiritual figurehead after falling ill.

    The United States first sanctioned him in 2004 for alleged links to terror attacks and association with al Qaeda.

    The U.N. Security Council said Turki played a role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.”

  7. Nearly 500 bodies exhumed from graves in Iraq, morgue official (CNN, May 28, 2015)

    “An Iraqi forensic team has exhumed 499 bodies from a series of graves in the presidential complex in the city of Tikrit, a top official in the Baghdad morgue who is familiar with the operation told CNN on Thursday.

    The bodies are believed to be those of Iraqi military cadets, whom ISIS claimed to have killed in June 2014 in a massacre at Camp Speicher, a fortified Iraqi base near Tikrit.

    The remains are being kept in Baghdad’s central morgue while the forensic team carries out tests, the official said.

    The bodies have not been handed back to families as the team carrying out the exhumations is in search of other mass graves in the city, the official added.”

  8. Chief of elite Tajik police unit defects to Islamic State, vows jihad against enemies

    The US-trained commander of Tajikistan’s elite police force has defected to Islamic State, he said in a YouTube video, and his former unit will issue a statement condemning him, media said on Thursday.

    Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov commanded the Central Asian nation’s special-purpose police known as OMON, used against criminals and militants. He disappeared in late April, prompting a search by Tajik police.

    He reappeared Wednesday, vowing to bring jihad to Russia and the Unites States as he brandished a cartridge belt and sniper rifle, in a professionally made, 10-minute video clip posted in social networks.

    “Listen, you dogs, the president and ministers, if only you knew how many boys, our brothers are here, waiting and yearning to return to Tajikistan to re-establish sharia law there,” he said, addressing Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon.

    Rakhmon has run Tajikistan, the poorest post-Soviet nation that neighbours Afghanistan, since 1992. He used Russian support to crush Islamist guerrillas in a 1992-1997 civil war and tolerates little dissent in his country of 8 million.

    “We are coming to you, God willing, we are coming to you with slaughter,” said Khalimov, a 40-year-old native of the Tajik capital Dushanbe. He spoke in Russian, sitting in front of a palm tree, and sported a new beard. It was not clear which country he was in.

    Tajik police could not be reached for comment. OMON police plan to issue a statement condemning Khalimov, several officers who had served with him told the Tajik service of US-funded Radio Liberty.

    Khalimov said he had been trained by elite Russian “spetsnaz” forces in Moscow and US special forces in America.

    “Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims,” he said, patting his rifle. “God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”

    He lambasted Tajiks working in Russia. “You have become the slaves of infidels,” he said.

    Both Russia and NATO, alarmed by the threat of radical Islam to predominantly Muslim Central Asia, have stepped up military drills with the region’s post-Soviet nations.

    The International Crisis Group think-tank estimates around 4,000 Central Asians fight for Islamic State.

    But Khalimov’s defection shows that some local security units cannot be trusted if threats can come from insiders, not just insurgents, said Kazakhstan-based Central Asia analyst Alexander Knyazev.

    “I think Islamist propaganda will now exploit Khalimov’s example in full,” he said, warning that volatile neighbouring Kyrgyzstan faced similar problems.

    ( in Russian )


    The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has arrested a suspect, Dawud Abdulwali, 56, on arson charges connected with the massive downtown fire last December that consumed the Da Vinci apartment complex. The Los Angeles Times reports that Abdulwali was arrested Tuesday morning during a traffic stop, and after a lengthy investigation.

    Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the arrest Wednesday, saying: “This arrest illustrates that crime will not be tolerated in Los Angeles.”

    Abdulwadi’s alleged motive has not been revealed. He was arrested by the LAPD’s anti-terrorism unit, though officials say that there is no reason to suspect terrorism, according to KTLA local news. Police have not clarified whether Abdulwadi was filmed on surveillance video, though two other people were seen on video and are considered witnesses, the Times reports.

    The Da Vinci fire lit up the night sky and resembled a massive bomb attack. The heat was so intense that it melted nearby highway signs. No one was hurt; the building was incomplete.

  10. UK Fifteen people</strike Muslims accused of raping girl under 16 in Bradford

    Police in Bradford have charged 14 men and a 16-year-old male from Keighley with offences of rape and sexual activity with a child under 16.

    The allegations are historic in nature having occurred between 2011 and 2012 and relate to, in the main, one female victim who was aged under 16 at the time. One of the allegations relates to a second victim was also under 16 at the time of the offence in 2009.

    All those charged have been released on police bail and are due to appear at Bradford Magistrates Court on Tuesday, June 30.

    The 14 men are:

    Sufyan Ziarab, 22, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Yasser Kabir, 24, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x4)

    Bilal Ziarab, 20, of Bradford. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Tauqeer Hussain, 22, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x4)

    Israr Ali, 19, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Rohail Iqbal, 21, of Keighley. He is charged with rape

    Rohail Hussain, 18, of Keighley. He is charged with rape

    Nasir Khan, 23, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x3)

    Saqib Younis, 28, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Hussain Sardar, 18, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Zain Ali, 20, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Faisal Khan, 26, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x2)

    Khalid Raja Mahmood, 34, of Keighley. He is charged with rape (x5)

    Mohamed Akram, aged 62, of Keighley. He is charged with sexual activity with a child under 16.

  11. CYPRUS Lebanese man holding Canadian passport held by Cypriot police after large ammonium nitrate haul

    Cypriot authorities detained a Lebanese national on Thursday after finding in his possession a large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer which, police said could case widespread damage if used in an explosive mixture.

    A public prosecutor, asking for court proceedings to be held in camera, said the case raised questions of state security.

    Police said they had discovered two tonnes of ammonium nitrate at premises used by the 26-year-old in the coastal town of Larnaca on Wednesday night.

    Ammonium nitrate is a fertilizer but in large quantities can be mixed with other substances to make a powerful explosive.

    The find is unusual in Cyprus, which despite proximity to the Middle East has not seen a major militant incident since 1988 when a car packed with explosives blew up on a Nicosia bridge, killing 3. The car was meant to target the Israeli embassy.

    Police declined to speculate on possible motives for hoarding the substance, found in more than 400 boxes in the basement of a home in a residential neighborhood of Larnaca. It was still being searched on Thursday.

    The suspect, who a police source said also holds a Canadian passport, arrived on the Mediterranean island about a week ago.

    “This is a very serious case,” a police spokesman said.

    Judicial authorities accepted a police request that proceedings be held behind closed doors.

    “This is a case which pertains to the security of the state and public disclosure could possibly adversely affect those interests,” a public prosecutor told the judge.

    The suspect, a young man of medium build with short cropped hair, was led handcuffed by police into a courtroom. He sat emotionless in a grey t-shirt and jeans.

    Cypriot media carried unsourced reports that the individual maintained to police the ammonium nitrate was not his.

  12. DC Metro Bans Issue-Oriented Ads After Geller Pushes for Muhammad Cartoon Ad

    The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has decided to stop running issue-oriented ads through the end of the year after Pamela Geller tried to submit a Muhammad cartoon ad to WMATA:

    BREAKING: #WMATA suspends all issue oriented ads thru end of year after woman plans Muhammad cartoon on #Metro. Metro plans study. @wusa9

    — Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) May 28, 2015

    Geller was trying to submit the winner of her now-infamous Muhammad cartoon contest––which depicts a cartoonist drawing Muhammad, Muhammad saying “You can’t draw me!”, and the cartoonist saying “That’s why I draw you”––to the DC Metro to run ads.

    Geller told The Washington Post earlier today she submitted it and included the caption “Support Free Speech.” She said that if there was any sort of ban on the ad, she would challenge it in court.

    Well, WMATA took a different angle by banning all issue ads entirely. And there are a few important details here, including the fact that this may not be a good financial move for them:

    #wmata moratorium on “issue” ads will cost it between $2 million to $3 million. #MuhammadCartoon @wusa9

    — Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) May 28, 2015

    Supreme Court ruled #wmata cannot chose which “issue” ads to accept. But it can reject all of them. @wusa9 #MuhammadCartoon @wusa9

    — Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) May 28, 2015

    And then there was this comment, specifically about Geller’s ad, from a WMATA official:

    Metro official says agency fears a cartoon ad of the Prophet Muhammad would make buses and subway stations “terrorists targets.”

    — Paul Duggan (@dugganwapo) May 28, 2015

    Naturally, there were lots of stunned reactions to the move:

    Considering WMATA constantly needs money, this cowardly behavior is doubly appalling.

    — Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) May 28, 2015

    How much money does WMATA make from issue ads? And how can an agency that’s constantly complaining about funding do this?

    — Mike Riggs (@MikeRiggs) May 28, 2015

    WMATA brings in about $20 mil in ad revenue per year. I’d imagine they need all the money they can get at the moment…

    — Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) May 28, 2015

    WMATA apparently had no problem with those “STOP THE GREAT TYRANT ISRAEL AND ITS COLONIZING BLOODTHIRST” ads. Now a Muhammad cartoon event…

    — T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) May 28, 2015

  13. Officials: IS sympathizers may have made airline threats

    WASHINGTON — Islamic State sympathizers may have been behind more than a dozen threats in the last two days to international flights using U.S. airports or flying over American airspace, U.S. law enforcement and security officials said on Wednesday.

    However, one official said the FBI has not identified who was behind the threats and does not have evidence pointing directly at militants.

    The officials said that after 11 threats were received by U.S. law enforcement officers on Monday, at least four more were phoned in late on Tuesday.

    The threats were all similar and the caller claimed the flights were carrying some form of chemical weapons, the officials said, adding that some investigators’ leading theory was that sympathizers of Islamic State were responsible.

    Islamic State group has declared a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq and established a presence in Libya, Afghanistan and other places with weakened central governments.

    English language messages published on Twitter have said if supporters do not have weapons they should make their own or take whatever action they can to disrupt western societies.

    At least one of the four flights threatened on Tuesday was out of Los Angeles, the officials said. They did not give details of the other flights.

    They said all the threats on Monday appeared to have come from the same individual. One flight, Air France flight 22 from Paris, was escorted by two U.S. F-15 fighter jets to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    The plane landed safely and was cleared with no incidents or hazards reported by passengers or crew, said J. Peter Donald, an FBI spokesman.

    Threats were also made on Monday to flights to and from other U.S. airports, including Newark and Atlanta, as well as flights between other cities in Europe, North and South America and the Middle East, one official said.

    No evidence of dangerous substances was found, but officials said the threats were disruptive and wasted law enforcement resources.

    U.S. aviation security authorities usually receive and investigate an average of one such threat per day, one of the officials said.

  14. OIC – Terrorism has caused colossal damage to Islam: Saudi Foreign Minister

    Adel Al Jubeir tells the Ministerial Meeting for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation that attack on Saudi mosque is against all Islamic and human values

    Kuwait – The phenomena of terrorism, violence, extremism and sectarianism has caused colossal damage to Islam and represents a top challenge, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Wednesday.

    In a speech at the opening of the 42nd session of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Al Jubeir pointed out the recent “atrocious” terrorist attack that targeted a mosque in Al Qudeih village in the city of Al Qatif in Saudi Arabia, which resulted in scores of casualties. The Saudi top diplomat said the attack goes against all Islamic and human values.

    According to the Kuwaiti News Agency, KUNA, Al Jubeir also underlined his country’s keenness on sustaining joint Islamic action, noting that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, had emphasised the Kingdom’s efforts in combating terrorism and extremism.

    Al Jubeir also said that King Salman indicated that such “painful reality that is smeared with bloodshed and conflicts in a number of Muslim countries is nothing but a sheer outcome for the alliance between terrorism and sectarianism. Yemen is an example for such tragedy.”

    As for the Palestinian Cause, Al Jubeir said it was central for the Muslim nation which is going through a pivotal stage with regard to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the 2005 OIC Summit in Makkah.

  15. CBC – Out of the Shadows: Omar Khadr – Journalist speaks out

    Toronto Star journalist Michelle Shephard has been covering the case of Omar Khadr for 15 years. Khadr gave Michelle his first interview since he was released from a Canadian Prison on bail last month. Michelle Shephard speaks to Andrew Nichols.

    • Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows

      Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 9 PM on CBC-TV

      The 28-year-old Canadian has been at the centre of that controversy since he was 15. In October 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes, including “murder in violation of war,” in return for a plea deal that gave him an 8-year sentence and chance to return to Canada. He later recanted his confession and his Guantanamo conviction is being appealed in the U.S.

      Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows features unprecedented access and exclusive interviews with Omar Khadr during his first few days of freedom in Edmonton, where he was finally released on bail on May 7, after nearly 13 years in detention.

      This documentary delivers an intimate portrait of how a teenager from a Toronto suburb ended up being at the centre of one of the first U.S. war crimes trial since the prosecution of Nazi commanders in the 1940s. He is the only juvenile ever tried for war crimes. Out of the Shadows gives Omar Khadr the opportunity to speak for himself on camera, for the first time.

      Based in part on Michelle Shephard’s authoritative book Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, the documentary takes us from his childhood spent traveling between a Canadian suburb and Peshawar at the height of the jihad against the Soviets, into Afghanistan and the homes of Al Qaeda’s elite, into the notorious U.S. prisons at Bagram and Guantanamo and back again to Canada.

      Directed by Patrick Reed and co-directed by the Toronto Star journalist Michelle Shephard, Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows is a White Pine Pictures production in association with the CBC.

      The National – Omar Khadr | His side of the story

  16. Al-Qaeda ‘orders Syria’s Al-Nusra Front not to attack West’ (BBC, May 28, 2015)

    “Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria has been ordered by the jihadist network not to use the country to launch attacks on the West, the group’s leader has said.

    In an interview with Al Jazeera, Abu Mohammed al-Julani said al-Nusra Front was focused on capturing Damascus and toppling President Bashar al-Assad.

    He also promised to protect Syrian minorities that disavowed Mr Assad.

    A rebel alliance including al-Nusra has been making gains in north-western Syria, capturing the city of Idlib.

    Rebel fighters are now advancing on the Mediterranean coastal province of Latakia, a stronghold of the president and his heterodox Shia Muslim Alawite sect….”

  17. Adam Salah: Tasered man detained for Salford sex attack (BBC, May 28, 2015)

    “A man who had to be Tasered by police officers trying to rescue his victim as he attempted to rape her, has been detained for nearly six years.

    Adam Salah, of Walmersley Road in Bury, Greater Manchester, sexually assaulted the woman as she walked home before one of his friends tried to drag him off.

    The 19-year-old attacked her again when police saw him lying on top of her and used a Taser to restrain him.

    Salah earlier admitted attempted sexual assault at Manchester Crown Court.

    His 33-year-old victim was walking home along Great Cheetham Street, Salford, from a friend’s house in the early hours of 1 April 2014 when Salah and his friend started calling to her, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said…..”

  18. Palmyra: IS ‘kills 20 men’ at ancient theatre (BBC, May 28, 2015)

    “Islamic State (IS) militants have killed 20 men at the ancient theatre inside the Unesco World Heritage site of Palmyra, central Syria, a monitoring group says.

    Residents were rounded up and forced to watch the men being shot, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

    About 240 people – mostly soldiers – have now been killed by IS since it overran the town last week, it adds.

    It comes amid fears IS may destroy the 2,000-year-old Roman-era ruins….”

  19. Islamic State ‘blind judge’ shows up in Ramadi as Iraqi forces make slow advance (yahoo, May 28, 2015)

    “A senior Islamic State figure known as “the blind judge” has made an appearance in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, asserting the militant group’s dominion over it as security forces and Shi’ite militias prepare a counter-attack.

    Residents of Ramadi said a blind man with one hand and his head shrouded had delivered a speech in the Anbar provincial capital’s main mosque after evening prayers on Wednesday.

    They did not know who he was but recognized him to be a senior figure because he was flanked by a large number of guards and said his accent indicated he was Iraqi….”

  20. Have we had this one yet?

    Boko Haram kill at least 43 in Nigeria’s Borno state: witnesses (yahoo, May 27, 2015)

    “Boko Haram militants have killed at least 43 people in a five-hour assault on the town of Gubio in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, witnesses said on Tuesday.

    Thousands of people have been killed and several million displaced in a six-year Boko Haram insurgency that once saw the group control an area the size of Belgium in the northeast of Africa’s biggest oil producer. But the Islamist insurgents have since lost most of their gains to military counter-offensives.

    The latest attack, which a military source said involved a convoy of around 50 Boko Haram members storming Gubio, lasted for around five hours on Saturday afternoon and ended about 9.30 p.m., local resident Malam Yusuf Mohammed said.

    Details of such attacks often take a number of days to surface outside of the affected areas due to poor telecommunications in the remote northeastern region of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation.

    Mohammed estimated that more than 400 houses had been burned by the insurgents…”

  21. Rebels storm last regime-held city in Syria’s Idlib: monitor (yahoo, May 28, 2015)

    “A rebel coalition led by Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate edged into the last remaining government-held city in the northwest province of Idlib on Thursday, a monitoring group said.

    The lightning offensive saw the Army of Conquest, or Jaish al-Fatah in Arabic, enter outer districts of Ariha within a matter of hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.

    “There was heavy shelling and rocket fire, then they stormed the city,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

    “They have entered the city and are engaged in fierce clashes on its peripheries,” he added.

    Ariha, which was home to 40,000 people before the conflict began, is the last remaining government-held city in Idlib province which borders Turkey….”

  22. And so lunar lunacy keeps proliferating…

    2 Ex-Guantanamo Detainees to Tie Knot With Uruguayan Women (yahoo, May 28, 2015)

    “Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees are planning to tie the knot with women from their adopted home of Uruguay.

    Imam Samir Selim told The Associated Press on Thursday that he would officiate at the ceremony for both men June 6 at the Egyptian Islamic Center in Montevideo.

    “This is great. It’s beautiful,” Selim said during a phone interview. “These men want to make their lives here in Uruguay. They want to work and live like other men, and that means getting married.”

    Selim said Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi of Tunisia and Omar Abdelhadi Faraj of Syria are marrying Uruguayan women who have converted to Islam. He said the men met the women at the center, but declined to provide more details….”

  23. Kenyan Pleads Guilty in US Terrorism Support Case (yahoo, May 28, 2015)

    “A Kenyan man pleaded guilty in the U.S. on Thursday to terrorism support charges in a case that involved Internet chat room and other online communications with undercover FBI operatives.

    Mohamed Said pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. A factual statement signed by Said identifies those groups as al-Shabaab in Africa and extremist organizations operating in Syria, including al-Qaida.

    Said, 27, faces a maximum 15-year prison term when he is sentenced Aug. 14 by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. A co-defendant, Gufran Mohammed, is already serving that same 15-year sentence after pleading guilty last year.

    The case evolved from FBI monitoring of Internet chat rooms frequented by Muslim extremists, according to court documents. FBI undercover employees posed as online terrorism recruiters and fundraisers in communications with both Mohammed and Said, who were both overseas….”

  24. 2 Car Bombs Kill 10 People in Iraq (yahoo, May 28, 2015)

    “Authorities in Iraq say two separate car bombs inside parking lot of two hotels have killed 10 people in the capital Baghdad.

    Police officials say a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of Babil Hotel late Thursday, killing six people and wounding 14 others.

    About one minute later, a second car bomb blast inside the parking lot of Cristal Hotel, formerly Sheraton, killed four people and wounded 13 others.

    Medical officials confirmed the causality figures from both attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

    Nobody claimed responsibility, but Iraq is seeing almost daily attacks that have been frequently claimed by Islamic State group that seized large swath of the country during a blitz last year.”

  25. Chaos on Kos: 300 asylum seekers arrive a DAY… and now migrants are blaming ‘incompetent’ Greek officials for holidaymakers’ misery

    Migrants living in makeshift camps in Paris as they bid to reach Britain complain that France is too noisy, smells of urine and that ‘even in Africa’ they didn’t have to sleep outdoors

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