Italian (I think) TV interviews a few Islamic State fighters captured. Posted on October 5, 2015 by Eeyore — 50 Comments ↓ This is all pretty straightforward. The first person they interview basically explains all anyone should need to know. I believe him that the IS is planning major attacks soon in Europe and North America. H/T Liberty Dk. Share this:FacebookTwitter
Gulf Arabs wrest strategic Yemen island from Iran-allied group
PERIM ISLAND, YEMEN (Reuters) – Perim Island may be a small lump of windswept volcanic rock at the entrance to the Red Sea but its capture by Gulf Arab forces from Houthi fighters was a welcome victory for Yemen’s government and its allies.
Gulf Arab troops swooped in from air and sea last week to take back Perim, which sits on one of the world’s most important sea lanes.
The successful action denied Iran, the Houthis’ main ally, a symbolic foothold astride trade routes as the Saudi-led Gulf Arab states and Tehran vie for influence across the Arab world.
“The island has now been completely secured by the coalition and the resistance forces from among its people,” Rami Fahmy Mayuni, a tribal chief of the island’s original inhabitants and commander of its militia fighters, told reporters flown to Perim by United Arab Emirates forces for a tour.
In 2013, more than 3.4 million barrels of oil per day passed through the 20 km (12 mile) wide Bab al-Mandab Strait linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a big reason why Egypt and the United States vowed to defend the security of shipping there as the Houthis descended upon it in March.
Will Uncle Vlad’s radar cover the Straits on behalf on Iran?
A SECRET Government report leaked to a German newspaper reveals how authorities have kept the true number of refugees pouring into the country down and that a mammoth 1.5 MILLION – any maybe more – are expected this year.
It also predicted an increasing – perhaps even intolerable – strain on resources to deal with them all as the right for individuals to bring in family members if they are granted asylum could swell arrivals in the next two years to OVER SEVEN MILLION.
Germany faces 1.5 million asylum claims this year – report (BBC, Oct 5, 2015)
“The number of people seeking asylum in Germany this year will be as high as 1.5 million – almost double the previous estimate, German media report.
The German government has not confirmed the new estimate, which comes from an internal official report cited by popular daily Bild.
The report warns that services helping refugees will not be able to cope.
Separately, a centre-right regional minister put the expected total at 1.2-1.5 million for this year.
The German government previously estimated the number of asylum claims this year to reach 800,000 to one million in total.
Many are refugees fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but there are also many economic migrants from the Balkans, Asia and Africa.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has warned that Europe, in dealing with the migration crisis, is engaged in a “battle of compassion versus fear, and of tolerance versus xenophobia”.
Speaking in Geneva, he said the world was facing the highest levels of forced displacement in recorded history and the principle of asylum must remain sacrosanct.
He urged Europe to defend “its founding values of tolerance and openness by welcoming refugees of all religions”.
The leaders of Hungary and Slovakia have said the influx of Muslims is a challenge to Europe’s “Christian” identity…”
52 Saudi clerics, scholars call to battle Russian forces in Syria (alarabiya, Oct 5, 2015)
“Fifty two Saudi inciters, both academics and clerics, have called on the public to “hurry” to Syria where they should be fighting Russian forces.
The clerics, some of which are members of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, called on “all those who are able, and outside of Saudi Arabia, to answer the calls of jihad” and to fight alongside one of the extremist groups facing Russian forces.
According to experts, by issuing this statement, inciters seek to implicate Saudi, Gulf, and Muslim youths in the fight against Russian forces, mirroring Al-Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s recruitment of young fighters during the Afghan-Soviet war.
The statement also called for Syrian opposition fighters to “unify their front” and urged those with capabilities to fight and expertise to remain in Syria and not leave.
The statement comes after the Saudi Ministry of Interior raided a house where its residents manufactures bombs in a residential area in Riyadh. The house was run by a Syrian man with the help of a Filipina woman who prepared and sowed explosive belts.
The statement also comes days after authorities found and detained Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cells, mostly comprised of militants who returned from areas of conflict.
The invitation to join the conflict conflicts with a Saudi decree announced in March 2014 which listed ISIS and the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudi Hezbollah, the Houthi group, AQIP, and Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Iraq.
The decree also criminalizes taking part in combat outside of Saudi Arabia, or belonging to extremist groups or groups designated as such by the regional or international arena.
Some of the clerics who signed the statement previously issued fatwas on the events in Syria and providing guidance to fighters under extremist groups in the embattled country…”
I’m sure they’ll be perfectly fit to engage the Spetsnaz that Uncle Vlad has dispatched – er – ‘volunteered’.
Islamic State ‘executes 70 Sunni tribesmen in Iraq’ (BBC, Oct 5, 2015)
“Seventy members of a Sunni Arab tribe opposed to Islamic State (IS) have been killed by the jihadist group in western Iraq, a tribal elder says.
Sheikh Naeem al-Gaoud told the BBC that members of the Al Bu Nimr tribe were shot dead in the village of Khanizir, in Anbar province, on Sunday night.
He said the tribesmen were killed because they had relatives serving in the Iraqi security forces…”
An interesting video, it shows what the ordinary ISIS soldier is thinking. Remember even if Putin destroys ISIS the Brotherhood will still exist and will continue to create Sunni groups to fight the Infidel (us) and the Shiite. Currently we have no way of knowing how many of the invaders are military trained (I suspect 24% or greater) or which group trained them. They are gathering in Europe in massive numbers in the expectation of conquering Europe and using the military equipment seized in Europe to go east and west in their conquest.
I am greatly surprised that more violence hasn’t occurred in Europe and North America and don’t expect the semi peace we are now enjoying will last many more months.
Can’t hold off much longer.
Afghan conflict: MSF ‘disgust’ at government hospital claims (BBC, Oct 5, 2015)
“Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has said it is “disgusted” by Afghan government statements justifying an air strike on its hospital in Kunduz, calling it an “admission of a war crime”.
The charity blames US-led Nato forces for Saturday’s attack which killed at least 22 people, including MSF staff.
The US is investigating the incident.
Afghan government forces have regained control of much of Kunduz from Taliban fighters who overran the strategic northern city last week.
Sites that appear to have been retaken by government troops include the police chief’s office, the central square and the governor’s compound, where security forces were shown by local media carrying the national flag.
Residents were reported to be venturing out of their homes and shops reopening on Monday. However, there were still pockets of Taliban resistance on the outskirts of Kunduz…”
Pentagon: Afghan Forces Asked For Airstrike on Hospital (nbcnews, Oct 5, 2015)
“Local Afghan forces asked for air support and American forces were not under direct fire just prior to the U.S. bombardment of an Afghan hospital that killed at least 22 people, the coalition’s top commander in Afghanistan said Monday.
The Pentagon had previously said U.S. troops were under direct fire.
“I’ve ordered a thorough investigation into this tragic incident and the investigation is ongoing,” U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell said. “The Afghans ordered the same, if errors were committed we’ll acknowledge them. We’ll hold those responsible accountable and we will take steps to ensure mistakes are not repeated.”
Campbell said that Afghan troops were under direct fire and “called in for fire to support them.” He acknowledged that initial statements from the coalition indicated that U.S. Special Forces were not under direct fire, but that was not the case and he is “correcting that statement here.” He said that U.S. Special Forces were in the area, just not under direct fire.
Campbell declined to answer whether the rules of engagement allow for the Afghans to call in American airstrikes and what kind of fall back or fail-safe system is in place…”
MSF are not friendly.
Kinda like the Southern Poverty Law Center, in their own way.
The Latest: Greek police free 34 migrants held by gang (ksl, Oct 5, 2015)
“…Greek authorities say they have freed 34 men, women and children who allegedly had been locked up in a cramped central Athens flat by a mostly Afghan gang of extortionists that preyed on newly arrived immigrants….”
Salafist Call slams culture minister after ‘secular state’ comments (ahram, Oct 5, 2015)
“The Salafist Call (Al-Daawa Al-Salafiya), an Egyptian salafi organisation, slammed newly appointed culture minister Helmy El-Namnam on Sunday after he said on TV that Egypt is “by instinct a secular state”.
The Salafitst Call statement called for El-Namnam to honour his oath of respect for the constitution, which states that Islamic sharia is the principle source of legislation.
El-Namnam said on privately owned TV channel Sada El Balad on Friday that Egypt has always been secular “by instinct”, adding that “political Islam” only lead to chaos in the region.
The culture minster added that the only two Islamic states in Egypt’s history both failed.
The Salafist Call referred to El-Namnam as “a minister clashing with the constitution, the law, and the religion of the majority of Egyptian people” and asked him to apologise or resign.
The salafi group called for Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to interfere after the “offence” and said they would wait for Egyp’ts president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to take appropriate action.
The group said they chose not to comment when El-Namnam was first appointed as culture minister despite concerns over similar statements he had made in 2013.
The Salafist Call further pointed to the 2014 constitution, where Egypt is referred to as a “modern democratic state”.
“The minister should realise that the most important role for the culture minister is to preserve the culture of the nation,” the statement read.”
MB. Lock ’em up, Mr. President.
US providing precision strike technology to Pakistan: Jilani (tribune, Oct 5, 2015)
“The United States is helping Pakistan fight militants in its tribal areas by providing precision strike technology to its air force, the country’s envoy in Washington said on Sunday.
He was addressing the second Convention of the Pakistani-American Community in the American capital, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan.
Talking to participants about progress in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani said over 90 per cent of the areas in North Waziristan which were previously used by militants as safe havens have been cleared by Pakistan’s military. He added that the military has also completely destroyed the terrorists’ command and control infrastructure.
Regarding US efforts to assist Pakistan with the situation in the tribal areas, the envoy said Washington is also helping Islamabad rehabilitate tribespeople displaced by the military operations against terrorists.
He also said Pakistan’s government is taking multiple steps to improve the security situation in the country.
According to Jilani, ties between Islamabad and Washington are much stable now than before. He added thate these relations will grow further after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visits the US later this month.”
SYRIA – US to arm 20,000 Kurds, launch attack on Raqqa
NYT – U.S. Aims to Put More Pressure on ISIS in Syria
WASHINGTON — The American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State has begun preparing to open a major front in northeastern Syria, aiming to put pressure on Raqqa, the terrorist group’s de facto capital, according to military and administration officials.
President Obama last week approved two important steps to set the offensive in motion over the coming weeks, officials said. Mr. Obama ordered the Pentagon, for the first time, to directly provide ammunition and perhaps some weapons to Syrian opposition forces on the ground. He also endorsed the idea for an increased air campaign from an air base in Turkey, although important details still need to be worked out.
Together, these measures are intended to empower 3,000 to 5,000 Arab fighters who would join more than 20,000 Kurdish combatants in an offensive backed by dozens of coalition warplanes to pressure Raqqa, the Islamic State’s main stronghold in Syria. Plans are also moving forward to have Syrian opposition fighters seal an important 60-mile part of the country’s border with Turkey to cut off critical supply lines of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
As recently as Friday, Mr. Obama said he would take all steps necessary to combat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The new approach relies on Arab fighters whose commanders have been screened by American forces and Kurdish fighters who are more battle-tested and whose loyalties Washington can count on.
“The top-line message that I want everybody to understand is, we are going to continue to go after ISIL,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “We are going to continue to reach out to a moderate opposition.”
Senior administration officials say the new offensive holds promise and may change the dynamics on the ground. But it comes a year after an American-led coalition started a campaign against the Islamic State that is now “tactically stalemated,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said last month.
Whether the new approach can succeed remains to be seen. The Islamic State has proved to be more resilient to coalition attacks and adaptive in the face of international pressure than American officials anticipated — even managing to extend its reach and control in Syria and Iraq.
The new American-led push would be conducted far from the brunt of the Russian air campaign in western Syria. That Russian operation has been directed largely at Syrian groups that oppose President Bashar al-Assad, and is only nominally aimed at the Islamic State, American officials said.
The new northern front would be the opposite: It is entirely directed at weakening the Islamic State by trying to take away the group’s home-court advantage, even as the militants hold on to Mosul and Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria.
These outlines of the mission have been drawn from public statements of senior commanders briefing Congress as well as interviews with more than a half-dozen military, diplomatic and administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning. Even in describing the goals of the campaign, officials said they would not disclose the kinds of details that might help the Islamic State anticipate exactly how the offensive would unfold.
Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, hinted at the emerging strategy last month, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that over the next six months it would put “a lot more pressure on key areas in Syria, like the city of Raqqa.”
“Because of that access,” General Austin continued, referring to the use of the air base in Turkey, “we’ll have the ability to increase the pace and focus on key places in Syria. So that will certainly shake things in Iraq.”
Last Thursday, President Obama held a National Security Council meeting that endorsed the main elements of the strategy. At that meeting, administration officials said, Mr. Obama backed the basic idea for the Syrian Kurdish-Arab push toward Raqqa supported by United States and other coalition air power.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry alluded to the main elements of the northern front operation at a meeting at the United Nations Security Council. With the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, presiding, Mr. Kerry said: “We are now in position with France, Australia, Canada, Turkey and other coalition partners joining the campaign, to dramatically accelerate our efforts. This is what we will do.”
Mr. Kerry said that “we will also be sustaining our support to anti-ISIL fighters in northeast Syria.”
“ISIL,” he continued, “will soon face increasing pressure from multiple directions across the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.”
A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Emily Horne, declined to comment on Sunday on the mission, citing “operational security.”
The origins of the northern front lie in the fight for Kobani, the Syrian Kurdish border city that faced an Islamic State onslaught last year. Kobani showed the potential for using a combined air and ground operation to defeat the Islamic State. The United States and its allies provided the combat aircraft, and Syrian Kurdish fighters, in contact with American Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq, provided the ground force.
In just a few months, that campaign not only held onto Kobani, but also routed Islamic State fighters across a stretch of territory from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border.
The operation now being prepared would expand the Kurdish effort by adding Arab groups. In addition to increasing the number of anti-Islamic State fighters, the inclusion of Arab fighters eases Turkish concerns that the Syrian Kurds are becoming too influential in northern Syria.
The Arab wing of this ground force is called the Syrian Arab Coalition, a conglomeration of 10 to 15 groups whose total numbers range from 3,000 to 5,000 fighters, American officials said. They would fight alongside a larger Kurdish force in the northeast of as many as 25,000 fighters.
American military officials have screened the leaders of the Arab groups to ensure that they meet standards set by Congress when it approved $500 million last year for the Defense Department to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels. Most of the focus of that financing has been on an ill-fated Pentagon training program at sites in Turkey and Jordan that so far has fielded few fighters.
The administration’s plan is to support the Kurdish and Arab fighters and have them advance toward Raqqa, but not try to seize the heavily defended city itself. Rather, the aim is to isolate Raqqa and cut it off from travel and supply lines northeast and northwest of the city.
Under planning for the northern offensive, coalition air power at the Incirlik air base in Turkey would also be expanded. More nations could base aircraft there. Australia, France and Turkey have all recently starting flying strike missions against targets in Syria.
By gradually expanding the area of the coalition’s air operations, the administration could protect more American-backed rebel forces and possibly hem in Russia’s own operations, according to a European official and a senior American official.
The administration’s new plan, which was devised before the Russian buildup in Latakia, Syria, has not been coordinated with Russia, an administration official said, and the United States made it clear last week that its campaign against the Islamic State would not be thrown off course by the Russian strikes.
But it seems likely that an effort will be made to “deconflict” American and coalition air operations in northern and eastern Syria from Russia’s airstrikes once the new operation begins. Pentagon officials held a one-hour teleconference with their Russian counterparts on Thursday and presented a proposal for ways to minimize the risk of unintended confrontation. A follow-up discussion has yet to be held.
In addition, the United States and Turkey continue detailed planning to use Arab militias to close a 60-mile stretch of border from the Euphrates River west to Kilis. The two countries reached agreement in late July on the basic concept, but now detailed planning is going forward on the assumption that Mr. Obama and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey will bless it when it is done.
Belgium: NATO calls on Russia to ‘respect’ Turkish airspace
Belgium: Turkish FM and NATO head discuss alleged Russian violation of Turkish airspace
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to “fully respect NATO airspace and to avoid escalating tensions with the Alliance,” after a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Monday.
The meeting between Stoltenberg and the Turkish Foreign Minister was called at Turkey’s request after a Russian military aircraft allegedly entered Turkish airspace briefly before being intercepted by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets on Saturday.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated on Monday that Moscow had contacted Ankara through diplomatic channels saying that the Turkish airspace violation was a mistake and that it would not happen again.
Daily Express UK – Putin ‘sending 150,000 soldiers to Syria to WIPE OUT evil Islamic State’
VLADIMIR Putin is preparing to send 150,000 troops to Syria in a bid to wipe out the evil Islamic State once and for all.
The Russian leader is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.
The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members.
Putin is set to mobilise 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.
An insider revealed: “It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra.
“This is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that.”
It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.
Russian jets pounded terrorist targets and blew up a command centre, potentially killing dozens of fighters.
Confirming the successful raids, Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army vowed to ramp up the pressure, saying: “We will not only continue strikes… We will also increase their intensity.”
And Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations.
“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions.
“These and other highly exact means of attack in recent days have been used to target objects of Islamic State terrorists.
“Command posts, stores of weapons and oil products, workshops where weapons of suicide bombers are made.”
Meanwhile a terrorism expert revealed to Express.co.uk that ISIS have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a co-ordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.
Dr Afzal Ashraf said ISIS has become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash.
He said: “This mythical state will disappear in a matter of hours once the international community decides to act.
“It won’t take very long at all to drive them, if not out of all of Iraq or Syria, then certainly the majority of their territories.
“They will hide in towns, but I would say do not to follow them as they would use innocent civilians as human shields.”
David Cameron initially gave the Russian air strikes a cautious welcome and said the UK would need to look “very carefully” at Putin’s operations.
But yesterday he warned the intervention is making the situation worse and helping to support the “butcher” president Bashar Assad.
Seperately Mr Cameron pledged to “beef up” the SAS and double the number of British drones to combat ISIS militants in an interview ahead of today’s Conservative conference.
The Prime Minister said investment in special forces and surveillance was essential to meeting the terrorist threat facing the UK.
He revealed that the UK will buy a fleet of 20 new Protector drones capable of targeting IS extremists in Iraq and Syria.
Fox Business – Were Russian airstrikes in Syria a surprise to U.S.?
VICE NEWS – On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses Russian Diplomatic and Military Maneuvers
Russian TV forecasts ‘good weather for bombing’ in Syria
Russian TV has taken its gung-ho coverage of air strikes in Syria to another level by airing cheery weather forecasts for its fighter jets bombing Syria.
A female forecaster on the state-owned Rossiya 24 rolling news channel told viewers that Syria’s weather in October was “ideal for carrying out operational sorties”.
Standing in front of an image of a bomber and the headline “Flying weather”, the forecaster gave a straight-faced analysis of the perfect conditions for bombing.
Light cloud cover “will not make flying more difficult and will not influence the systems for aiming weapons,” she told viewers on Saturday.
“Experts note the time for the start of the air operation (in Syria) is chosen very well,” the forecaster said, flicking between weather charts and defence ministry footage of strikes.
The forecast came after the same channel ran a similarly sunny forecast on Thursday after the first Russian strikes, promising stable meteorological conditions.
“From today, Syria has become another Russian region and is included on the weather,” commented one Twitter user.
“Even in the USSR they didn’t get propaganda into the forecasts,” wrote reader Tatyana Karagova on the Novaya Gazeta opposition newspaper’s website.
It is not the first time in recent years that Russia’s weather has gone political. TV channels swiftly including Crimea in their forecasts after it was annexed by Moscow in March last year.
One forecaster on Rossiya 24 warned of clouds gathering over eastern Ukraine and a “wind of change” shortly after pro-Kremlin protesters declared a people’s republic in the city of Donetsk in April last year.
The Syria air strikes have eclipsed previous wall-to-wall coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.
Syrian rebels call for regional alliance against Russia and Iran
More than 40 Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, accusing Moscow of occupying the country and targeting civilians.
The insurgents, including rebel groups under the umbrella of the Free Syria Army, said such regional cooperation was needed to counter “the Russian-Iranian alliance occupying Syria”.
Last week Russian jets based in western Syria launched air strikes against targets Moscow has identified as bases of the hardline Islamic State group, but which President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents say disproportionately hit rival, foreign-backed insurgents.
The joint rebel statement criticised what it described as the “Russian military aggression in Syria and the blatant occupation of the country” as well as the targeting of civilians with air strikes in the Homs countryside in western Syria.
“Civilians have been directly targeted in a manner that reminds us of the scorched earth policy pursued by Russia in its past wars,” the statement said, without specifying.
The statement, sent to Reuters by Ahrar al-Sham, did not name which regional states it was addressing but Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have backed the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The 41 groups which signed the statement did not include Islamic State or al Qaeda’s Syria wing Nusra Front, which is in an insurgent coalition with Ahrar al-Sham that captured most of Idlib province in the northwest.
Insurgents have renewed calls for their Arab backers to supply them with more powerful weapons such as anti-aircraft systems in light of the Russian intervention in the war but Monday’s statement appeared to be the most concerted rebel call for action against Russia’s move.
Dozens of Islamist Saudi Arabian clerics, not affiliated with the govenrment, earlier called on Arab and Muslim countries to “give all moral, material, political and military” support to what they term a JIHAD , or holy war, against Syria’s government and its Iranian and Russian backers.
Saudi Arabia signals easing of tension with Brotherhood leader
Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi attended Saudi Arabia’s National Day in Qatar
The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood attended a ceremony organized by Saudi Arabia in Doha on Friday, signaling an easing of Riyadh’s hostility towards the Islamist movement.
Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born and Qatar-based cleric, whose fiery sermons have strained ties with Egypt and Gulf neighbors, appeared alongside the Qatari prime minister and the Saudi ambassador at an event in Doha to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s national day.
The accession to the Saudi throne in January of King Salman, who is more sympathetic to religious conservatives than his predecessor King Abdullah, sparked hope among Muslim Brotherhood exiles in Qatar that the Middle East’s political winds had started to shift in their favor, potentially giving the Islamist group more space to act.
Salman, while stopping short of befriending the Brotherhood, has worked to reduce tensions with the movement’s own allies, strengthening Riyadh’s ties with Turkey and Qatar and reaching out to Islah, the Islamist group’s offshoot in Yemen.
“We are optimistic now,” said an Egyptian Brotherhood member living in Qatar who declined to be named.
“The new (Saudi) leadership could mean a new era for the Middle East, where Islamists are worked with and seen as partners rather than demonised.”
The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government in November 2013.
Qaradawi, who was born in Egypt, often admonished in his sermons the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who see the Brotherhood as an insidious threat to regional stability due to its activities in Egypt and other Arab countries.
In May, an Egyptian court sentenced Qaradawi to death in absentia in a case related to a mass jailbreak in 2011.
Arguments over the Brotherhood, the most influential Islamist group in the world, were at the heart of a rift between Gulf Arab states that in 2014 saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain pull their ambassadors from Doha.
The ambassadors returned only after Qatar promised to not allow itself to be used for the Brotherhood’s activities.
Back in Cairo, the invitation of Sheikh Qaradawi to the celebrations at the Saudi embassy in Doha provoked anger and disbelief in the Egyptian media.
“Is this a personal position of the Saudi ambassador in Qatar or does it express the position of the Saudi state? Does this mean the official position of Saudi Arabia towards the Egyptian state and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has changed?” Egyptian TV host Lamis El-Hadidy inquired on her CBC show on Sunday.
“Will the Saudi administration accept the Egyptian ambassador in London receiving leading figures of the Saudi Opposition on Egypt’s national day?” she asked angrily, reminding Saudis that Sheikh Qaradawi previously attacked Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
It is worth mentioning that Qaradawi’s invitation to the Saudi embassy in Doha comes at a time when Egypt and Saudi Arabia are taking different stances on the Russian strikes in Syria and the future of President Bashar Al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia rejects Russia’s strikes on Syria and believes Al-Assad has no place in the country’s future. Egypt, however, takes a different stance.
On Sunday, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry announced his support for the Russian strikes, saying they will help to curtail the spread of terror and help deal a fatal blow to the ISIS group.
Egypt also supports a political solution in Syria consisting of dialogue with all parties, including the opposition and Al-Assad’s regime.
Iraqi Shia militia welcomes Russian action against Islamic State, criticises US
One of Iraq’s most powerful Shia Muslim militias said on Monday it fully supported Russia’s intervention and air strikes against Islamic State in the Middle East and accused the United States of being indecisive in its campaign against the group.
Naim al-Uboudi, a spokesman for Asaib Ahl al-Haq, said Russia’s air strikes in Syria had already produced results.
“We know that the United States, during the past year and a half was not serious about putting an end to Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Last month, Iraq said its military officials were engaged in intelligence and security cooperation in Baghdad with Russia, Iran and Syria to counter the threat from Islamic State.
“We have tried the United States forces for a long time and saw that they are not serious in battling Daesh, but they attempt to manage the crisis rather than put an end to it,” Uboudi said.
The new security pact, and Russian air strikes against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, are likely to raise concerns in Washington that Moscow is gaining clout in the Middle East at the expense of American interests.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said Baghdad would welcome Russian air strikes against Islamic State on Iraqi soil and was receiving information from both Syria and Russia on the militant group.
Two Turkish fighter jets harassed on Syrian border: Army
Two Turkish F-16 fighter jets were harassed by an unidentified MIG-29 for five minutes during a patrol flight on the border with Syria, the Turkish General Staff has stated.
“Ten F-16 fighter jets were patrolling the Turkey-Syria border. During this mission, two of our F-16’s were harassed by an unidentified MIG-29, with a lock on for a total of five minutes and 40 seconds,” said the statement.
That “no-fly zone” is about as realistic as having Assad step down.
Our NATO base has been neutered. Isn’t that a shame? Who’d have imagined that pulling our Patriot missiles from Incerlink would’ve enticed some predator?
So now it’s time to kiss that crucial corridor aside, Turk.
— Unless you want Red China in your face, too.
Germany: Tensions high as refugees stuggle to register and receive assistance
German media demands the ‘real’ numbers for the refugee influx
Edward Snowden: ‘Smartphones can be taken over’ – BBC News
ISLAMIC STATE – Beheading video – ( Afghanistan ? )
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AUSTRALIA – Farhad Jabar: Police believe gunman was no ‘lone wolf’ but part of an extremist pack
POLICE are working on the theory that teen terrorist Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was acting on the orders of other radicals and was not a “lone wolf’’ killer.
NSW counterterrorism officers are investigating who may have supplied the gun he used to carry out the brutal murder of a civilian staffer at Parramatta police headquarters on Friday afternoon.
“The possibility the teenager was used by extremists is a strong line of inquiry,’’ a senior officer involved in the operation told The Daily Telegraph.
“That includes searching his computers, electronic devices and who he was in contact with on the days leading up to the shooting and on the day itself.’’
The development comes amid reports in The Australian today that investigators have linked Jabar to a known British radical associated with terror group Islamic State, and that the pair had been communicating via the internet.
They have also established the schoolboy was at his home last Friday morning before he went to Parramatta mosque in the afternoon, where he listened to sermons by two imams.
“What was said in those sermons and who he may have met at the mosque are all now being investigated,” the senior officer said. “There are hours of video and recordings to go through.’’
Jabar’s school friends and religious associates will all be interviewed in the next few days.
Police will also go through CCTV footage of the possible routes Jabar used as he walked from the mosque in Marsden St, Parramatta, carrying a backpack, to the police headquarters on Charles St to see if he met anyone after visiting the mosque.
Detectives are confident a backpack recovered on Friday evening near the scene was used to carry the .38 silver Smith and Wesson gun Jabar used when he shot police employee Curtis Cheung in the back of the head about 4.30pm.
It has also been established that he changed into a black robe at the mosque and then walked to the police station, dumping his street clothes in a garbage bin along the way.
Inside the backpack which Jabar dumped 300m from the fatal shooting was material bearing the name of a western Sydney Islamic book store.
Police are not releasing the name of the store or whether they have interviewed staff but have revealed Arabic writings found at the home of the killer and his family are being accessed to see if they are connected to the act of terror.
The family are said to be naturalised Australians, with the father and brother both working to provide for the family. The parents and brother have all been interviewed several times by police.
Jabar’s sister, Shadi, a student aged in her 20s, lived in the family’s flat in Parramatta until she left the country the day before the terrorist attack.
“Federal police are now looking into her movements. It appears she flew to Singapore then onto Istanbul. Why she was going has not been established,’’ the officer said.
Police are calling for the community to unite in the wake of the tragedy and are scrutinising online chat rooms fearing it could ignite some form of revenge attack.
“What we can’t allow to happen is to let that tragedy divide us, to split us apart,” Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said.
More than 100 police are now involved in the investigation.
TORONTO STAR – When Stephen Harper refers to “barbaric culture,” he means Islam — an anti-Muslim alarm that’s ugly and effective because it gets votes: Edward Keenan
When Team Harper refers to “barbaric culture” it means Islam. And it’s an excuse to talk about Muslims as barbarians in a press conference.
It seems quaint now that in mid-September, there was a debate about whether Stephen Harper’s off-hand use of the term “old-stock Canadians” was an example of him blowing a racial “dog-whistle.” Two weeks later, any imperceptibly high-pitched whistles the Conservatives might be using have been drowned out by the cacophony of their constant cranking of the barking dog siren. It’s an ugly sound, an anti-Muslim alarm. And it’s all the uglier because of its apparent effectiveness.
Consider Friday’s announcement of an RCMP tip line to report “Barbaric Cultural Practices Against Women and Girls.” If you think for a moment they are talking about taking action on the many hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada that organizations, including Amnesty International, have been reporting on this year, or perhaps the vulnerability of rural Canadian women to sexual violence highlighted at last month’s premier’s Roundtable on Violence Against Women, then you haven’t been paying attention.
But if you have been paying attention, it’s obvious enough that when Team Harper refers to “barbaric culture” it means Islam.
And so this new election initiative is intended to respond to some imagined Canadian epidemic of “child and forced marriage,” “sexual slavery and so-called ‘honour killings’ ” and “female genital mutilation.” These things, of course, are horrific and are already illegal. And while they do not appear to be particularly common here compared to other crimes (even compared to other crimes against women), there is already an established national reporting mechanism for those encountering them: dial 911. So nothing about this announcement actually makes women any safer. Instead it’s an excuse to talk about Muslims as barbarians in a press conference. It’s a transparently BS announcement to drum up hate and fear, for their own sake.
Or, rather, for the sake of getting votes. It’s a strategy the Conservatives have already been employing, with some success, since mid-September.
Harper’s equating of Syrian refugees with terrorists, his government’s illegal and basically pointless ban on wearing the niqab during the citizenship oath, his pledge to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens convicted of terrorism: what they have in common is that they a) immediately apply to and vilify some Muslim Canadians, and b) are almost purely symbolic, with no discernable practical effect on the lives of most Canadians whatsoever.
As they’ve unveiled these items, the Conservatives have gone from third to first in many polls. Is it a coincidence? There’s reason to think not.
A government poll showed 82 per cent of Canadians support the niqab ban, for instance. Moreover, eight per cent of voters told Leger marketing that the niqab ban was the main issue determining their vote. Considering that the Conservatives’ recent swing into the lead has been an increase of only about six points in their support in most polls, it’s not crazy to conclude this anti-Islam posturing has made much of the difference for them.
This brings us face to face with a pretty harsh truth about Canada, a country in which people like me frequently refer to tolerance of diversity, proud pluralism and respect for individual freedom as defining values, and a country in which 93 per cent of people rank the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the most important national symbol. We may think those things about ourselves. But we’re also a country where it appears an election may be won by blatantly disregarding the Charter and promoting intolerance for no discernable reason other than to stick our thumbs in the eye of a minority whose cultural and religious practices we find off-putting.
In defence of his policies, Stephen Harper often points out that a majority of Canadians agree with him on these issues — as if the Charter didn’t exist specifically to protect against the bigoted whims of the majority, and as if somehow popularity itself is a coherent justification for prejudice.
That the anti-Islamic wedge-driving has been popular to some degree doesn’t make it right. Instead, its success serves as an indictment of Canadian society we might hope had moved on from past racial and religious panics: from the days when one Jew was thought to be too many; when we interned Japanese-Canadians as racially-suspect potential traitors; when we banned non-European immigrants; when we endlessly bickered about whether it was an affront to our values for a Mountie to wear a turban. Often we may think we’ve progressed beyond the hurtful retrograde attitudes at the core of those historic debates.
That the Conservatives have bet that they can swing an election on the premise that we haven’t progressed is shameful. That they appear to have a decent chance of winning that bet is absolutely horrifying.
AUSTRALIA – DAILY MAIL – Anti-Islam protesters BEHEAD a mannequin and drench council chamber floor in fake blood to protest against a mosque and the Sydney police HQ worker shot by a Muslim teen
Radical United Patriots Front anti-Islam protesters cut a dummy’s head off
Fake blood spilled on the ground outside the Bendigo council chambers
Stunt was over plans for a local mosque
Also reportedly in response to Friday’s shooting in Parramatta, NSW
Demonstrators shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘takbir’
7 News video on this page :
AUSTRALIA – “Get out of your glass houses!” Pauline Hanson slams Islam and Islamic immigration.
CBC – Montreal Muslim Cemetery to provide local space for traditional burials
Multi-faith cemetery in Laval has 3,000 spots for Muslims
The new Montreal Muslim Cemetery was inaugurated Sunday afternoon, finally giving Montreal Muslims a place to be buried according to religious and cultural traditions, including being buried facing Mecca.
It’s located in the Laval Cemetery, which also has sections for Christians and Jewish people.
“We are all the same in the death, all the same. We all finish in the same way, so here it is the real symbol of humanity. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, people who don’t have religion — we are all here in the same place,” said NDP candidate Maria Mourani, who was invited to the inauguration.
The movement to build the cemetery came about when a group of Montreal Muslims were not satisfied with the condition of the existing Muslim cemetery in the Montreal area.
Many families were opting to repatriate their loved ones to their countries of origin for lack of a burial space here in Canada.
Now, Muslims who were at today’s inauguration ceremony say they feel reassured to know they have a final resting place here in Quebec. The new cemetery has 3,000 plots for Muslims.
Finding a resting place at home
Jacques Poirier, the president of the Magnus Poirier funeral home that manages the cemetery, said he and his staff were proud and happy to welcome Muslims into their cemetery.
Muslim Burial Association founder Hadjira Belkacem called the space a little piece of paradise, with birds and trees.
“It’s human to want to be buried with our traditions. But what was important was that we did not want to be separate. We wanted to be where other people [of other faiths] are also buried,” she said.
Belkacem said it was important to her to be buried at home, in Quebec.
“I want to be buried in Quebec. It’s my country. It’s the country that welcomed me, that gave me many opportunities and the chance to have a new life. A wonderful life with my children and with my grandchildren, I hope,” she said.
Some plots in the cemetery have already been reserved, and the first burial is expected to take place Monday.
BREITBART – GERMANY – Police Chief: Delinquent Muslim Migrants Don’t Integrate, Generally Disrespect Western Cultures
A German police commissioner has told an audience of how “delinquent”, mainly Muslim migrants refuse to accommodate to their host nations, adding: “We have an increasing number of migrants in Germany, and many have not learned to have respect for women and the state. They live in parallel societies, where different rules apply.”
Tania Kambouri, who has written of her experiences in her role as a police chief in a new book, said that there is a “taboo” around multiculturalism and those coming from Islamic countries, though she was keen to stress that her comments were not racially motivated, according to Die Welt.
She writes in her book: “It’s not a blanket condemnation, and certainly not racially prejudiced, on grounds of origin or of faith, but it is simply a fact that some populations are over-represented in certain behavioural characteristics and crimes” and says there is a “general disrespect” and “disrespect of fundamental law and human rights” as well as “autonomous parallel structures”. Her comments have been confirmed by other officers.
And Kambouri criticised the lenient justice system and cultural Marxism, though she didn’t refer to the latter in as many words.
“It hasn’t changed”, she writes, accusing those responsible of being “romantic followers, uncritical of multiculturalism” whose primary concerns are “Islamophobia and xenophobia”.
“Multiculturalism harbours too many risks,” she writes: “Cultural influences, religious beliefs, inherited traditions are sometimes simply incompatible. This is not a right-wing populism, but common sense”.
She singled out young, Muslim men, which make up the majority of those migrating from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe.
“People from this culture, whether they are Turks, Kurds, Lebanese, Tunisians and other nationalities, [find it] remarkably difficult to integrate into Germany.”
She is now 12 years into her role and still describes it as her “dream job”. Her book, “Germany in The Blue Light” is out this week.
PEGIDA DEMO 05.10.2015 IN DRESDEN
GAZA – Oct 05 2015 –
Turkey: Image of Kurdish man’s body being dragged through streets by Turkish soldiers goes viral
story on this page :
video – ( Eng subs )
TURKEY – Video footage emerges showing dead body being dragged behind police vehicle
A video footage showing the dead body of a man being dragged behind a police vehicle emerged on Sunday after the photos of the incident circulated in the social media and sparked wide public outcry.
The footage, published on the Kar?? daily’s website, late on Sunday appears to show the body being dragged while police officers on the vehicle are heard swearing at the dead body. One is heard congratulating his colleague for killing the man.
[…]The emergence of the footage comes to refute claims by pro-Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures who argued earlier on Sunday that the photos were fabricated and that they were intentionally served to the media by PKK sympathizers to create a negative public perception about the AK Party government. However, the same figures claimed later the same day that the body had been tied to the police car in case the body was booby-trapped. The pro-government Ak?am daily claimed on Sunday afternoon that dragging bodies in such a way was a “routine practice” that is performed across the world as a security precaution.
Turkey: Image of Kurdish man’s body being dragged through streets by Turkish soldiers goes viral
An image purportedly showing a Turkish army truck dragging the body of a Kurdish man through the streets of Sirnak, a Turkish town in south-eastern Turkey, has gone viral. The photo, widely being circulated online, has caused an outrage in the Turkish town, where hundreds participated in the funeral of the dead man on Sunday.
This is the Turkish military, a NATO member and US ally, dragging the body of a Kurdish youth behind an armoured vehicle in Sirnak, northern Kurdistan.
Turkey, which initially had denied the incident, later in a statement claimed that the body of the youth was dragged on the streets as it was suspected that he was wearing a suicide vest, according to a report in Sabah.[…]
Turkey – protest in Sinark
CANADA – Feds lose bid to place niqab ruling on hold
OTTAWA — A new court ruling means a devout Muslim woman who chooses to cover her face now has a chance to become a Canadian and vote in the Oct. 19 federal election.
The Federal Court of Appeal rejected Monday a government request to put a recent decision in favour of Zunera Ishaq on hold while Ottawa seeks a hearing in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Johanne Trudel dismissed the government’s application for a stay of a Sept. 15 decision that affirmed the unlawfulness of a federal rule prohibiting a niqab at a citizenship ceremony.
Ishaq, 29, came to Ontario from Pakistan in 2008. She refused to take part in a citizenship ceremony because she would have to show her face due to a December 2011 policy requiring candidates who wear full or partial face coverings to remove them during recitation of the oath.
The Federal Court of Canada found the rule unlawful in February and the Court of Appeal recently upheld the decision. A three-judge panel ruled from the bench immediately after a hearing, saying they wanted Ishaq to obtain citizenship in time to vote.
On Monday, Trudel said she could not agree to the federal request for a stay of the appeal court’s mid-September ruling.
“I find that the appellant has not demonstrated that refusing his application for stay would result in irreparable harm to the public interest,” she wrote. “This suffices to dispose of the appellant’s motion for stay.”
The issue of face coverings at citizenship ceremonies has become a highly divisive one on the federal election trail, generating sparks in two French-language debates.
The Conservatives argue it is essential — and consistent with national values — to show one’s face at the very moment of becoming a Canadian citizen.
“We are disappointed in the court’s decision, especially as we were waiting on the Supreme Court to hear our appeal,” Conservative spokesman Stephen Lecce said in a statement.
“We have committed to rectifying this matter going forward by introducing legislation that will require one to show their face while swearing the oath of citizenship.”
The NDP and Liberals have accused the government of using the issue, which affects only a small number of women, as a means of distracting voters from more important issues like the economy.
Critics of the federal stance note all new citizens must show their face as proof of identity before becoming a Canadian and that the government should not tell them what they can wear during the actual ceremony.
CBC – Zunera Ishaq cleared by court to take citizenship oath wearing niqab
Muslim woman would need to take oath before being allowed to vote on Oct. 19
The Federal Court of Appeal has denied the application for a stay of the Federal Court ruling in favour of Zunera Ishaq, clearing the way for her to wear a niqab during a citizenship ceremony.
Regulations have banned wearing of face veils at citizenship ceremonies, but Ishaq challenged the rule and won in Federal Court. On Sept. 18, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld that decision in a quick ruling from the bench. The federal government had sought a stay of the ruling and said it intended to appeal to the Supreme Court.
“I am pleased that the courts have reaffirmed my right to citizenship and to vote,” said Ishaq in a written statement issued to CBC News through the law firm of Waldman & Associates.
[…]Conservative Party spokesman Chris McCluskey told CBC News in an email, “We are disappointed in the court’s decision, especially as we were waiting on the Supreme Court to hear our appeal.
“We have committed to rectifying this matter going forward by introducing legislation that will require one to show their face while swearing the oath of citizenship. Legislation will be introduced within the first 100 days of a re-elected Conservative government.”
“At this point, the Federal Court of Appeal has made a clear statement that there’s no basis to grant them a stay, that they upheld their previous ruling that this case has nothing to do with the niqab,” said Lorne Waldman, Ishaq’s lawyer, in a telephone interview with CBC News.
“It’s an issue from the rule of law, and the minister acted illegally in creating a policy that went contrary to the legislation, and that’s what this case is about.”
The Department of Citizenship and Immigration must formally invite Ishaq to attend a ceremony. Several are scheduled in Ontario between now and the Oct. 19 election.
Turkey: Clashes break out in Silvan after curfew is lifted
Afghanistan: Kabul rocked by twin suicide bombings near Russian Embassy
Germany: Thousands of PEGIDA supporters rally against refugees in Dresden
“They can’t control it” – Syrian migrant on Serbian border
German official denies report of 1.5 million asylum seekers expected
Muslim Migrants Demand Sex: