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EXCLUSIVE – A rare look inside the Kurdish rebel movement: PKK, war on all fronts
FRANCE 24 brings you a rare look inside the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, in the midst of fighting a guerrilla war against the Turkish army and the Islamic State group.
Some, such as the United States and the European Union, see them as terrorists, others as saviours. PKK fighters are waging a war on two fronts, between Turkey and Iraq. FRANCE 24 was able to meet several members of the group in their stronghold of the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq.
Some, such as the United States and the European Union, see them as terrorists, others as saviours.
The bottom line is that they are Muslims that love Allah and hate everything else. Screw them six ways from Sunday.
If Europe is sinking, let’s make sure Israel drowns first
BERLIN – The obsessive welcome the European Union’s bureaucratic establishment has given the settlement product labeling issue in the past few years is very concerning.
At a time when the EU is buckling under the pressure of existential crises – the terror threats, the euro crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the Greece crisis, the refugee and illegal migrant crisis, the undermined democracy crisis – the only issue which succeeds in creating almost complete unity is the obsessive need to pressure Israel and make it accept compromises and agreements which could jeopardize its existence. It’s like they are saying: If Europe is sinking, let’s make sure Israel drowns before us.
Major air force exercise held in busy skies
Israeli Air Force holds week-long exercise amid regional tensions; Senior officer: We won’t shoot at Russian planes.
A senior officer in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) said Thursday after the completion of a major exercise simulating thousands of attacks within hours that there was very close coordination with the Russian Air Force. The officer added that there was no chance that an Israeli plane would shoot at or shoot down a Russian plane.
The exercise lasted a week and included large-scale interceptions and flights of fighter planes from a number of squadrons from the Tel Nof base as well as CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters. The exercise was planned in advance, but this year was held in a more crowded and more violent air environment, against the background of the unprecedented incident in northern Syria earlier in the week during which a Russian plane was shot down by the Turkish army.
Emirates Secretly Sends Colombian Mercenaries to Yemen Fight
The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Latin American mercenaries to fight in Yemen. The 450 troops are from Colombia, Panama, El Salvador and Chile. The Latin American troops now in Yemen were handpicked from a brigade of some 1,800 soldiers training at an Emirati military base over the past five years. They join hundreds of Sudanese soldiers whom Saudi Arabia has recruited to fight in Yemen.
US knew flight path of plane downed by Turkey: Putin
Moscow (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia had given prior information to the United States of the flight path of the plane downed by Turkey on the Syrian border.
“The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes’ flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time,” Putin said at a joint press conference with French counterpart Francois Hollande in the Kremlin.
Is Turkey Really at the Table?
It claims to be part of the solution in fighting ISIL, but often it’s been part of the problem.
To Westerners, it might seem that Vladimir Putin was exaggerating in anger when, after a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday shot down a Russian fighter jet allegedly violating Turkish airspace, he referred to the government in Ankara as “terrorists’ accomplices.”
Americans aren’t used to thinking of Turkey—our NATO ally and most powerful backstop in the Muslim world—in this way. And surely Putin is just engaging in some saber-rattling. But as Turkey and Russia dispute the incident, it is casting a spotlight on one of the most troubling developments in the evolving struggle in the Middle East: When it comes to fighting the Islamic State and extremism more generally, Turkey—and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—has become a significant part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.
Erdogan could very well be the worst one of the bunch. Perhaps the Turks aren’t as properly grateful to the West as they should be for relieving them of their empire in World War I. Perhaps they aren’t as comfortable as we would like them to be with the fact that we are the superior, always-right, gleaming good guys and they’re not – and forever shall it be so. Perhaps they’re planning to let that Caliphate develop and then, at the right moment, step in and become the rightful rulers of the world that they once were and that Allah wants them to be today. It’s a thought…
What’s really curious is the way Barack ***HHHHUSSSSEEEEIIIIINNNNN*** Obama seems so comfortable around them…
Erdogan could very well be the worst one of the bunch.
I’ve been thinking the same, Chris. He’s gone way past clown to downright scary. Subverting our allies. Unleashing the hounds of hell. Reversing a century’s progress in his own country.
He’s doing the Muslim Brotherhood two-step and we’re his partner. 0 and Cameron are both giddy. Both the UK and the USA are so infiltrated it’s alarming.
Bringing us down with our own ‘miserable hands’ is bad enough, but dragged along clasping the left hand of an atavistic Turk is intolerable.
Attacks against Muslims on the rise after Paris strikes (DW, Nov 26, 2015)
“Hate mongers in several European countries have been targeting Muslims after the Paris attacks. Experts say there is an urgent need to stop demonizing one religious community and develop strategies for reconciliation.
“Attacks against Muslims began the very same night of the Paris attacks,” Yasser Louati of the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) tells DW. The CCIF received several pictures of vandalized mosques and restaurants owned by Muslims in the morning following the terror strikes in Paris, when Islamist militants killed 127 people, Louati says.
Louati has several examples of hate crimes against Muslims in the past few days. In Nanterre, a woman with a five-month-old baby was pushed and cursed by an old man. “In Marseille, in the south of France, a young girl was punched in the face and hit with a box-cutter blade on her chest,” Louati tells DW. Most women victims were wearing a full-body veil at the time of the attack, making them easy targets, he adds, lamenting that the French government has not been as forthcoming this time in condemning attacks against Muslims.
Organizations like Tell MAMA, which maps hate crimes against Muslims say attacks against members have gone up by 300 percent in the UK since the Paris bombings. 115 incidents were registered in the week following November 13.
Things haven’t been going smoothly in Germany either. Chief of the Central Council of Muslims (ZDM), Aiman A. Mazyek, explained how a mosque in the western city of Saarbrücken was vandalized shortly after the Paris attacks. “The vandals wrote ‘murderers and pigs’ at the entry of the mosque,” he told DW…”
If the Jews can be driven out of France in droves and no one really cares, why should people start caring about Mahoundians? I thought people like “these” experts wanted everything (to be) equal….
France wants to hit ‘nerve center’ of ‘IS’ (DW, Nov 27, 2015)
“The main objective of the anti-terror coalition is to destroy the “Islamic State” headquarters in Raqqa, the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said. Moscow and Berlin pledged to work with France in Syria.
“Neutralizing and eradicating” the “Islamic State” (“IS”) is a goal all countries agree upon, France’s top diplomat Fabius said in a Friday interview to the French RTL radio.
France is currently on the diplomatic offensive to boost the fight against IS, including closer military cooperation with Russia.
The international campaign in Syria should focus on targeting the IS command in the Syrian city of Raqqa, according to Fabius.
“For us it is one of the main military targets, even the main one, because it is the nerve center of Daesh, and the attacks against France were planned from there,” Fabius said, using another name for the IS.
French and Russian military jets have bombed the IS de-facto capital in recent days.
The airstrikes are also targeting oil convoys leaving the group’s territory. The illegal oil trade is one of the key sources of income for the Islamists.
Some of the oil is headed toward Turkey, Fabius said, following earlier accusation by Putin that IS has been selling its oil to Turkish buyers. At the same time, France believes that Moscow ally Bashar al-Assad is also buying the IS oil, the French foreign minister added.
In the Friday interview, Fabius said that Syrian government troops could contribute against the “Islamic State,” but only after Assad leaves.
“There are two measures: the bombing, and there should be ground troops,” he told RTL.
“The ground troops can’t be ours, because that would be counterproductive, but the grounds troops could be at the same time Syrian Free Army forces, Sunni Arab forces and – why not – forces of the regime,” he added.
This could happen “within the context of a political transition — and only in this context,” he later clarified to the AFP news agency…”
Mumtaz Qadri threatens to commit suicide (tribune, Nov 27, 2015)
“RAWALPINDI: Former elite force guard Mumtaz Qadri who has been awarded the death penalty for the murder of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, has threatened to commit suicide if he is not allowed to meet his family in a separate room.
On Thursday, when Qadri’s brother and father went to meet him at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, they were only allowed to see him through an iron fence owing to security concerns. However, Qadri protested against the move and threatened to commit suicide if he was not allowed to meet his family in a separate room.
According to a jail official, Qadri was earlier allowed to meet his family as per demand and in a separate room.
However, following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold his death penalty, the former elite force guard is not allowed the luxury anymore…”
Two terrorists arrested for polio team killings: CTD (tribune, Nov 27, 2015)
“Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed on Friday to have arrested two suspected terrorists from Mardan who were allegedly involved in a number of terrorist activities, including extorting money and attack on polio teams.
According to a press release, the suspects were identified as Feroz Shah, son of Said Mohammad, belonging to Takht Abad Peshawar and Mati Ullah son of Abdul Wakeel.
The police also recovered two suicide jackets and electric goods from their possession.
The suspects were arrested from Swabi Road, Mardan and were later shifted to an unknown place for further investigation….”
Many Pakistani asylum seekers sent back as applications were ‘without merit’: Norway (tribune, Nov 27, 2015)
“Norwegian Ambassador to Islamabad Tore Nedrebo has said over 400 Pakistani citizens had applied for asylum in Norway, with many of them being sent back as their applications were ‘without merit’.
“Most of them have crossed the Norwegian-Russian border in the High North during the last month,” the ambassador said in a statement issued by the Norwegian embassy on Thursday.
“Many more will soon be sent back to their home country or to Russia, as the Norwegian government has now introduced stricter rules for asylum seekers.”
Norwegian authorities consider most of those currently crossing the border are not fleeing from civil war or persecution. Earlier this autumn, the majority were from Syria. Now over a half are from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. A large proportion of them are single young men….”
Turkey: Protesters rally for journalists arrested over Syria smuggling reports
Hundreds gathered at Cumhuriyet newspaper in Ankara, Friday, to show solidarity with two of the daily’s journalists who had been jailed on terror and espionage charges for publishing reports that accuse the government of arms smuggling into Syria.
Turkey: Police pepper spray activists protesting arrests of Cumhuriyet journos
Minor clashes broke out with police using pepper spray to push back protesters that gathered outside the Cumhuriyet newspaper offices in Ankara, Friday, to show solidarity with two of the daily’s journalists who have been jailed on terror and espionage charges for publishing reports that accuse the government of arms smuggling into Syria
Germany: Suspected arson attack hits planned refugee centre
A suspected arson attack took place at an empty school in Brandenburg, which was set to become shelter for refugees and migrants
‘Turkmen’ who boasted of killing Russian pilot is allegedly Turk nationalist
The rebel leader who was filmed boasting of killing a Russian pilot from the military jet downed by Turkey is allegedly a Turkish citizen with links to an ultra-nationalist movement.
far-far right wing
Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to “play with fire”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warns Russia not to “play with fire” in a dispute over the downing of a Russian jet. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Gunmen attack Bangladesh mosque
At least one person’s been killed in an attack by gunmen on a Shi’ite mosque in Bangladesh.
ISIS claims attack on Shia mosque in Bangladesh: SITE
ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack on worshippers at a Shiite mosque in northern Bangladesh that killed one and wounded three others, the US-based monitoring organisation SITE said Friday.
The attackers entered the mosque in Shibganj, some 200 miles (125 kilometres) north of Dhaka, during early evening prayers on Thursday and opened fire on the gathered worshippers before fleeing.
Television footage showed the heavily guarded Shia mosque with broken windows and blood stains on the floor.
Police said the muezzin had been killed and three worshippers wounded in the shooting, a rare attack on minority Shiite Muslims in the mainly Sunni nation.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity, said on its website that ISIShad claimed responsibility in a message posted on Twitter.
Bangladesh authorities have previously said there is no evidence that IS militants are active in the country.
However, the group has claimed a series of attacks in Bangladesh, including the shooting and wounding of an Italian priest and the killing of a Sufi Muslim shrine chief, both this month.
Security had been stepped up across the country after two top opposition leaders were hanged on Sunday following their conviction for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence conflict against Pakistan.
“We have picked up two Sunni locals for interrogation in connection to the shootout,” Shibganj police chief Ahsan Habib told AFP early Friday of the mosque attack, adding no arrests had yet been made.
The attackers struck a day after police shot dead a top Islamist militant accused of hurling grenades at the country’s main Shiite shrine in the capital Dhaka last month, killing two people.
The bombing was believed to be the first attack on Shias in Bangladesh, though banned Islamist militant groups have killed more than a dozen Sufi Muslims and attacked Hindus and Christians in the last two years.
Germany deports migrant group
Germany deports its first group of migrants under an agreement with Balkan states on those whose identification papers have been destroyed or expired
Weapons used in Paris attacks ‘bought from German dealer’: Report
Four assault rifles used in the deadly Paris attacks were allegedly purchased from a trafficker in Germany, newspaper Bild reported Friday.
Quoting documents from the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said two AK47s and two Zastava M70s were sold on November 7 by the arms dealer to a customer in Paris.
“French investigators believe that the weapons were allegedly used in the attacks in Paris,” said Bild.
The Stuttgart prosecutor was not immediately available for comment.
According to Bild, German police on November 16 arrested a 34-year-old man named Sascha W. from the southern city of Magstadt on suspicion of the illegal weapons trade.
The suspect is accused of having hawked the weapons on Darknet — a hidden network used for both licit and illicit ends — using the name “DW Guns”.
Four emails on his smartphone show that he sold “four Kalashnikovs assault rifles to an Arab in Paris”, added the newspaper.
During a raid at the suspect’s house, police also found 16 other firearms, Bild said.
Terror: Die Mordwaffen von Paris kamen aus Deutschland .
Dutch to double places for refugees
The Netherlands will double the number of beds and shelters for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in a deal with local authorities, officials said Friday amid a burgeoning refugee crisis.
Some 24,000 places will be made available to people who have already been granted residence in the country, while another 42,500 spaces will be created for new asylum-seekers.
Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty mainly in the Middle East and Africa have landed on European shores in recent months.
Some 46,000 people are already being housed in shelters for asylum-seekers in the Netherlands and a total of about 60,000 refugees are expected to have arrived in the country by the end of the year.
“The government and the local authorities have reached an agreement to confront the problems of housing, education and integration linked to the flow of asylum-seekers into the Netherlands,” the government said in a statement.
More money is being put on the table for local authorities to help integrate the new immigrants.
And short-term solutions are also being sought to ensure children can still be educated.
The issue of immigration has sharply divided the country in recent months, even though the Dutch have largely been known for their tolerant, multicultural society.
Local and national debates on how to handle Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II have been tense and emotional, marked by insults and threats.
Riding the wave of discontent, the anti-immigrant Freedom Party of Geert Wilders has seen its popularity soar to record highs in recent weeks.
The ruling Liberal-Labour coalition has sharply divergent views on how to handle the crisis, but is aiming to ensure that the country is not seen as giving lucrative, easy hand-outs to those who cross its borders.
Government officials stressed Friday that the accommodation being made available would be modest and the “costs for society would be as limited as possible.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was quoted by the Financial Times as saying late Thursday that European unity could collapse like “the Roman Empire” over the crisis.
Sixth person charged in Belgium over Paris attacks: prosecutor
Brussels (AFP) – A Belgian judge on Friday charged a sixth suspect with terrorism offences in connection with the Paris attacks, prosecutors said, as the country pushes on with its investigation into links to the November 13 atrocities.
“Yesterday a person has been arrested in Brussels for interrogation. The investigating judge has remanded him in custody and charged him with terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation,” the federal prosecutor said in a statement.
The prosecutor gave no further details about the suspect.
Also on Friday a Brussels court remanded two other people charged with terror offences — French national Ali Oulkadi, 31, and an unnamed man arrested on Tuesday — in custody for another month.
Oulkadi’s lawyer said on Friday that Oulkadi had driven key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam across Brussels the day after the atrocities without knowing he had been involved.
“No one knew that Salah was wanted, he (Ali Oulkadi) did not know,” Olivier Martins said after his client appeared in a Brussels court under armed guard as investigations continued into the November 13 Paris massacre which left 130 people dead.
Two people detained for questioning after searches in the eastern town of Verviers — where two jihadists were killed in a gunbattle with police in January — were released on Friday, the prosecutor said.
The first two people to be charged in Belgium over the Paris attacks were Mohammed Amri, 27, and Hamza Attou, 20, who were accused on November 16 on suspicion of helping Salah Abdeslam escape to Brussels after the carnage.
The last known sighting of Abdeslam was at a police check in Cambrai, France, in a Volkswagen Golf along with two people believed to be Amri and Attou, but he was not stopped.
Lazez Abrimi, a 39-year-old Moroccan from the Molenbeek district of Brussels, an area which has been linked to several of the suspects, was meanwhile charged last week with terrorism offences after two guns and traces of blood were found in his car, the prosecutor said.
Belgium on Tuesday also issued an international arrest warrant for Mohamed Abrini, 30, who was filmed along with Salah Abdeslam at a petrol station in Ressons, France on the motorway to Paris, in a Renault Clio which was later used in the attacks.
CBC – Syrian refugees hope to be selected by Canada
CBC – The National Conversation: YOUR questions on refugees
FOX NEWS – Obama administration tells states they can’t refuse Syrian refugees
The Obama administration warned states over the Syrian refugee crisis Wednesday, telling them in a letter they do not have legal authority to refuse the refugees, and states that do not comply may be subject to enforcement action.
The letter, ( http://judiciary.house.gov/_cache/files/ad1921a5-383c-4053-8599-8c752ec484ea/orr-syrian-resettlement-letter.pdf ) from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), told state resettlement officials that they may not deny benefits and services to refugees based on their country of origin or religion.
“Accordingly, states may not categorically deny ORR-funded benefits and services to Syrian refugees,” the letter, dated Wednesday, says. “Any state with such a policy would not be in compliance with the State Plan requirements, applicable statutes, and their own assurances, and could be subject to enforcement action, including suspension and termination.”
The letter went on to say that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin in all programs that receive federal financial assistance.
“Thus, it is not permissible to deny federally funded benefits such as Medicaid or TANF to refugees who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements,” the letter says.
The letter came after more than two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, announced they would resist efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states in light of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, and fears that ISIS militants could use the controversial program to infiltrate the U.S.
In the House, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill last week improving screening for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. The bill requires comprehensive background checks of every refugee from Iraq or Syria before they can be admitted into the United States and certification that each does not pose a threat. The Obama administration says that the vetting process is already thorough and can take two years to complete.
The ORR reiterated the administration’s argument, saying that Syrian refugees are subject to even more precautions that other refugees, calling it “a multi-layered and intensive screening and vetting process involving multiple law enforcement, national security, and intelligence agencies across the Federal Government.”
“It is the most robust screening process for any category of individuals seeking admissions into the United States, and it is only after admission that ORR and our partners in resettlement begin our work,” the letter said.
Republicans reacted angrily to the letter, with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte calling the Obama administration’s stance “hypocritical.”
“While the United States has the most generous refugee system in the world, the American people are rightly concerned about admitting Syrian refugees and the impact it would have on the safety of their families and neighbors,” Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement.
“In light of these concerns, the majority of state governors have taken positions that reflect the views of their residents. It’s hypocritical for Obama Administration officials to threaten enforcement action against these states when they refuse to enforce the vast majority of our immigration laws, such as cracking down on sanctuary cities that openly defy federal law and endanger the American people,” he said.
Roughly 2,200 Syrian refugees have been allowed in over the last four years. Obama has outlined a goal of bringing 10,000 more Syrian refugees to the U.S. during the current budget year.
Family of Belgian Terror Suspect Insists He Didn’t Help Paris Attackers
The family of wanted Belgian terror suspect Mohamed Abrini insisted he was innocent of helping the Paris attackers in an exclusive interview with ABC News.
There were 130 people killed as a result of the six attacks, with more then 300 people injured.
Abrini’s mother and fiancee, who only spoke to ABC News if their identities weren’t revealed, said they wished he would turn himself into police. Authorities have said Abrini, 30, was seen driving with Salah Abdeslam on a highway in Ressons, France, two days before the attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month.
“We are with you and we know you are not guilty,” said his fiancee. “He is not a dangerous person. He is not a killer.”
Belgium authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest. Police have described Abrini as “dangerous and probably armed.”
“If he can hear me, please turn yourself in,” said his mother. “I don’t eat anymore. I don’t sleep.”
Abrini’s name was on a list of people who had traveled to Syria and then returned to Belgium, the authorities said. It was not clear when he allegedly traveled to Syria.
He was allegedly caught on camera at a gas station with suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam on Nov. 11, driving the same Renault Clio that was used two days later by the attackers.
Abrini’s mother told ABC’s Aicha El Hammar/strong> her son is innocent and wasn’t radicalized. “He was a kind man. Helpful. He dressed normally,” she said.
She says they had a close relationship, he was close to his brothers and sisters, he liked to made jokes and enjoying laughing.
Mohamed’s brother Suleyman, 20, fled to Syria to join ISIS when their mother was away on vacation, according to his mother.
Abrini’s mother told ABC they didn’t know Suleyman was in Syria, but a week after he left, “somebody sent us a message from ISIS to let us know he was in Syria.”
“If I had known it, I would not have gone on vacation. He didn’t show any signs. He was working… When I came back, he only left 2 days before my return.”
“For me, they are not jihads. This is nothing to do with Islam,” she said.
On the day of the Paris attacks, Abrini’s mother claims he was with her in Belgium until early evening, before he and his fiancée went to sign a lease on a new apartment in Belgium. His mother says his fiancée then dropped him at his work – a fast food place – about an hour before the attacks started.
“I was not worried, he’s 31 years old. He is not a boy,” his mother said.
His fiancée has pleaded with him to turn himself in, “Turn yourself in. Don’t forget you have a family who care. We support you as always. We will not let you down. We just want to know what happened.”
When ABC’s Aicha El Hammar asked about their relationship, she says they had a normal relationship, were getting married in Feb 2016 and planning their future.
“We are together for years. Not at all radical. Just like normal people. We go out. We take drinks. We go to see movies. Just like normal people,” she said.
Abrini’s fiancée admits he had made mistakes, he’d had spent some time in jail previously but his fiancée says it was a result of mistakes made as a young man, “It’s not because you went to jail that it means you are a bad person. Or it doesn’t mean you have no future.”
“He’s not a dangerous person. He is not a killer. He is not influenced. Maybe he has been influenced… I don’t think it’s him. I don’t think it’s him.”
Belgian police release new details about on-the-run fifth Paris suspect
CNN – Sister of Bataclan attacker
The sister of one of the three attackers who blew themselves up in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris tells CNN she didn’t see any signs her brother, Samy Amimour would act that way.
Russia: Erdogan effigy BURNS at protest against Su-24 downing
CANADA – Troops clearing space at CFB Kingston for Syrian refugees
Soldiers and military personnel at a Kingston, Ont. base are being asked to clear their barracks to make room for an early wave of Syrian refugees arriving in just over a week, CTV News has learned.
Multiple residences at CFB Kingston are being cleared for Nov. 30 to house the refugees, according to an internal memo obtained by CTV News.
The orders will also affect some officer cadets attending the Royal Military College, many of whom are nearing exams.
And while the memo warns of the fast-approaching deadline, it does not indicate where military personnel will be resettled. However, it does say a place will be found for the personnel.
The notice comes just two days after Minister of Immigration and Refugees John McCallum reaffirmed the government’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015.
“We are determined to bring refugees here quickly, but we are also determined to do it right in terms of security and in terms of health,” he said.
“This is the right thing to do,” he added. “It is the Canadian way.”
Sources also tell CTV News that several bases across the country are gearing up to host the newcomers, with a maximum capacity of about 12,000 Syrian refugees.
Earlier this month, CTV News reported details from a document entitled “Operation Syrian Refugees” that suggested up to 900 Syrian refugees a day could arrive in Toronto and Montreal from Lebanon, Jordan and possibly Turkey.
Those arrivals could begin as soon as soon as Dec. 1, the report suggested.
The document also identified places such as Cornwall, Ont. and Trois-Rivières, Que. as possible sites for temporary accommodation.
The document suggested refugees would be identified overseas by the United Nations and then screened by Canadian officials on the ground.
The refugees would be screened once again in Canada before receiving permanent resident status, the document said.
The government is expected to confirm its plan Tuesday.
In the past, military bases have been used to house newcomers to Canada. In 1999, 5,000 refugees from Kosovo were divided between two military bases: CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia and CFB Trenton in Ontario. Hundreds more refugees were also housed at CFB Kingston, CFB Borden, CFB Aldershot (in Nova Scotia) and CFB Gagetown (in New Brunswick)
Despite short notice, the plan was executed successfully, according to retired Brig.-Gen. Gaston Cloutier, who was on the Trenton base at the time.
“It was hard work, but it was done properly,” he told CTV’s Power Play last month.
FBI Warns NY Cops of Anti-Islam Man
The FBI has warned New York law enforcement about the cross-country movements of a hate speech-practicing, anti-Islam Arizona man who posted a video on Facebook on Nov. 18 promising to confront a Muslim group based near Albany. In the video, Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Phoenix brandished a gun, called President Obama a “stupid sorry sack of shit,” and implied that all Syrian refugees are terrorists. In the past, he has organized armed protests at mosques and threatened to “arrest” senators who voted for the Iran deal. FBI agents were apparently in touch with RItzheimer until he got to Scranton, Pennsylvania, when he became angry and cut himself off from communication. An alert citing a “potential threat to law enforcement” was then issued.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS -EXCLUSIVE: FBI warns NY police about anti-Islam Arizona man who may be headed to state to confront Muslim group
After tracing the cross-country movements of a menacing anti-Muslim rabble-rouser from Arizona, the FBI took the unusual step of issuing an alert to New York law enforcement agencies to look out for him, sources said.
The FBI got involved after a Muslim group based near Albany notified the agency that Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Phoenix had posted a video on Nov. 18 in which he showed a gun, made profane anti-Obama statements and said he was driving cross-country to confront them, sources and a group spokesman said.
Agents were able to talk with him initially, but two days later, when he was in Scranton, Penn., he got angry and cut off communication with them. At that point, the alert, citing a “potential threat to law enforcement,” was issued, sources said.
Ritzheimer, a former Marine, has made threats against Muslims a personal cause. He has organized an armed protest at a Phoenix mosque, threatened to “arrest” all senators who voted for President Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran, and encouraged all Americans to carry rifles in public for protection against terrorists.
Ritzheimer’s destination was the property in Hancock, N.Y of a group called the Muslims of America, which publishes a newspaper, The Islamic Post, which recently labeled him an “American Taliban.”
Ritzheimer bellows in the video that he’s “going to see those assholes who called me a f—— terrorist.”
He continues, “F–k you Muslims. We’re gonna stop at virtually every mosque along the way, flip them off and tell them to get f—–.”
He then cocks the slide on a handgun.
He also insults President Obama: “And Obama, you stupid sorry sack of sh–t, you wanna come out and say we’re all afraid of these poor little widows and orphans? F–k you. That’s not what’s coming over here … And guess what: We’re f—–g ready for them.”
Ritzheimer deleted the video the same day he posted it, but not until after he had received numerous “likes” from his Facebook friends.
He did not respond to two requests for comment made this week to his Facebook page.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Albany field office declined to discuss the specifics of the investigation or Ritzheimer’s whereabouts.
“The FBI vigorously investigates threats and allegations of hate crimes,” she said. “After recently becoming aware of a video which could have been perceived as threatening against the Muslim community in Hancock, N.Y., the FBI immediately took steps to notify our federal, state and local partners.”
The New York State Police and the NYPD declined to comment.
On his Facebook page, Ritzheimer calls himself a “three-percenter,” a reference to the 3% of the population of the American colonies that actively fought the British during the Revolutionary War. He describes his profession as “rogue infidel” and motorcycle mechanic.
“We get harassed like this all the time, so we let the FBI know as soon as we saw the video,” said Muhammad Matthew Gardner, a spokesman for the group. “We weren’t surprised because of what he’s said and done before. We upped our security at all our properties.”
Gardner added he was surprised that the FBI didn’t detain Ritzheimer immediately or at least question him about his anti-Obama remarks.
This isn’t the first time the Hancock group has been targeted. In May, Robert Doggart, a former Tennessee congressional candidate, was arrested for plotting to firebomb the property.
Doggart had written on his Facebook page: “We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.”
Later, in a phone call to an informant he thought was an accomplice, he said: “Those guys [OUGHT OR HAVE]to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down.”
In July, Doggart pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats, and was placed under house arrest and ordered to seek counseling. A judge rejected the plea deal on technical grounds and the case is still pending.
CBC – CANADA – Peterborough synagogue welcomes Muslims displaced by mosque arson
‘At the end of the day, it’s a house of God,’ says mosque president
A Muslim group in Peterborough, Ont., will kneel and pray today at a local synagogue, where they will be welcomed after their own mosque was damaged in an arson attack earlier this month that police are investigating as a hate crime.
“As Canadians we have to stick together,” said Larry Gillman, president of the Beth Israel Synagogue, in an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning today. “It’s not about religion, it’s not about race. Canadians do this.”
The Masjid al-Salaam mosque was damaged in a fire set deliberately on Nov. 14, part of a wave of anti-Muslim crimes after the attack in Paris a day earlier. A firebomb was placed in one of the windows of the mosque. The resulting fire caused $80,000 in damage.
The Beth Israel Synagogue will host two prayer sessions for local Muslims and a potluck dinner today.
It’s a partnership between Kenzu Abdella, the president of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, and Gillman.
As soon as Gillman heard about the fire at the mosque, he reached out to his synagogue’s board of directors to find out about sharing space with the Muslim congregation. They voted unanimously in favour.
“I hope this can be some kind of small example to others,” said Gillman.
Abdella wasn’t sure what to think at first. “Can we be here?” he remembered thinking.
“In the beginning, it was a shock,” he said. “Within 24 hours, that changed. They walked to the mosque and told us that whatever we need, they will support us.
“Even though it came out of a tragedy, we are working together.”
The invitation to the synagogue marked the first meeting between Abdella and Gillman.
Since then, Gillman has given a speech at the Muslim Institute of Toronto and his synagogue has become part of an interfaith group working to sponsor Syrian refugees to come to Canada.
Abdella said there are political differences between Jewish and Muslim groups around the world, but the two are not that dissimilar.
“We have more similarities than differences. We have so much common — the details of worship and the ceremonies. Even the stories we hear are similar,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s a house of God.”
Saudi king showered Obamas with $1.3 million in gifts in 2014
President Obama often receives curious gifts from foreign dignitaries. There was the time he got 20 baseball caps with his face on them from Zanzibari President Ali Mohamed Shein. And that other time Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk gifted a $500 deluxe package of items related to the video game “Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.”
But when the State Department published its annual accounting of gifts from foreign notables to American government officials on Wednesday, what stood out wasn’t so much the “What the heck is that?!?” as the “Wait, they gave how much?!?”
That’s because, throughout 2014, Saudi King Abdullah and top kingdom officials spent a fortune on gifts for Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters — roughly $1.35 million on the list.
The accounting was made public the day before Thanksgiving, with Americans poised to dive into the gift-buying season.
The first thing to know is that these gifts aren’t bribes. If Obama wants to keep anything he gets from another world leader, he has to pay fair market value for it and take it with him when he leaves office. Otherwise, U.S. law stipulates that the president must turn over everything to the National Archives or other institutions for storage or display. A quick look through this year’s list suggests he did not opt to hold on to any presents.
Obama is wealthy — book sales and investments, on top of a $400,000 annual salary, have made the onetime college professor financially quite comfortable. But it’s hard to imagine him putting up the cash to keep the “gold and silver men’s wristwatch with leather band,” valued at $18,400, that he received from the Saudi king on Jan. 14, 2014. Or the $67,000 needed to own another timepiece, a “white gold men’s wristwatch with leather band,” that the monarch gave him on April 15, 2014 (no word on whether it was inscribed “happy tax day”). And then there was the “48-inch gold-plated brass replica of the Makkah Clock Tower on marble base,” presented March 28, 2014, and coming in at a cool $57,000, roughly what a median American family earns in a year.
Impressive? Not when compared to the gifts the Saudi king, who died in 2015, gave Michelle Obama.
On Jan. 14, 2014, Barack Obama might have been admiring the watch he wasn’t going to keep, but the first lady got a “diamond and emerald jewelry set including necklace, earrings, ring and bracelet.” Value? $560,000.
On April 15, 2014, she received an identically described set, but this one was worth $570,000.
Malia and Sasha weren’t left off the Saudi king’s list. On Jan. 14, 2014, they received “diamond and emerald jewelry set including earrings, necklace, ring, brooch, and wristwatch. Diamond and ruby jewelry set including earrings, necklace, ring, brooch, and wristwatch.” Price tag: $80,000.
It may seem odd to give away items that the recipient almost certainly won’t keep, but presents like these apparently play a small but not insignificant role in global diplomacy. In each case, under the heading “circumstances justifying acceptance,” the State Department says “nonacceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. government.”
Later in 2014, the Saudi minister of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, gave the first family a lavish care package of sorts that included a 10-inch model palm tree made of silver and gold, set on a green marble base, a number of robes and “two bottles of perfume named for the King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The State Department estimated its worth at $39,915.
The perfume, like alcoholic beverages given to the president, was “handled pursuant to the United States Secret Service policy.” The Secret Service did not immediately return a Yahoo News request to describe that policy.
On March 28, 2014, the Saudi king had gifts for several senior Obama aides, who likewise cannot keep such things. The one woman in the group, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, received a “white gold wristwatch with link bracelet” estimated at $5,370. The men, all senior National Security Council aides, received gifts with the same description but each carrying a $8,170 price tag.
MALAYSIA -Friday sermon: Islam facing psy-war, no proof Muslims linked to Paris attacks
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Islam is faced with a psychological war as Muslims continue to be linked to acts of terror such as the recent deadly attacks in Paris, despite the lack of “clear proof,” the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) said today.
The federal agency said in its Friday sermon prepared for mosques in the federal territories that the Paris attacks and acts of violence in several other countries are alleged attempts at smearing the reputation of Muslims.
“We are being attacked by the enemies of Islam physically, such as in Syria and Palestine, and we are also being attacked psychologically,” read the sermon text posted on Jawi’s website.
“Just look at the bombing in Paris recently which is attributed to Muslims. Although there has been no clear proof that it was committed by Muslims, the carnage is presented as if Islam and Muslims are responsible for it.
“When compared to the dead in Paris, it is not as many as those who have died in Syria, Palestine and Iraq. Such is the influence of western media which is blinding us to the point that the injustice and brutality faced by our brothers are almost entirely forgotten,” it added.[…]
Outrage as Red Ken says the 7/7 bombers ‘gave their lives’ for the cause: Former London mayor attacked for ‘shameful’ comments blaming the atrocity on Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq
– Ken Livingstone said terrorists ‘gave their lives’ in protest at Iraq invasion
– He blamed former prime minister Tony Blair for the 2005 atrocity
– Mr Livingstone said: ‘They gave their lives, they said what they believed’
– The ally of Jeremy Corbyn faced a storm of criticism from panel members
Russian media published on Friday pictures of Erdogans’s son Bilal with leaders of the Islamic State
Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey’s President
[…]Bilal Erdogan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oiltankers.
An Afghan national was sentenced to to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of a teenage girl in Finland in January. The article doesn’t say how he got into Finland, but it’s probably fair to assume he was a “refugee” at some point.
Also from Finland:
“Justice Minister Jari Lindström said Friday that he was appalled by the latest reports of suspected rape cases in which asylum seekers were alleged to be the perpetrators. He noted that police are currently investigating roughly ten such cases.”
Note that this is coming from Finland’s hyper-pc version of the CBC. Given that Finland has received a comparatively small number of UMI’s, how many such rapes do you think are being covered up in Sweden and Germany right now?
REBEL MEDIA – Why it’s time to pause Muslim immigration to Canada
Suicide attack hits Nigeria Shia march (BBC, Nov 27, 2015)
“A suicide bomber has killed at least 21 people in an attack on a Shia Muslim procession in Nigeria’s Kano state, eyewitnesses and organisers say.
The bomber ran into the crowd and detonated his device before he could be spotted, an organiser told AFP.
The attack happened shortly after a man was arrested in possession of a bomb, a witness told the BBC.
The blast took place in the village of Dakasoye, about 20km (13 miles) south of the provincial capital, Kano.
“We lost 21 people and several others have been injured,” Muhammad Turi from the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said.
Police said they did not know who was behind the attack, but IMN organisers blamed the Sunni militant group Boko Haram…”
Migrant crisis: Six children drown as boats sink off Turkey (BBC, Nov 27, 2015)
“Six children have drowned as two migrant boats carrying them from Turkey to Greece sank in the Aegean Sea, Turkish media say.
The first boat carrying about 55 mainly Syrian and Afghan migrants sank off the Turkish town of Ayvacik.
The second was carrying about 20 people when it sank off Bodrum.
Turkey has become a major transit point for people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and hoping to reach northern Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees have entered the European Union since August, heading up through the Western Balkans.
The latest attempts to make the risky crossing from Turkey to Greece encountered strong winds and poor weather.
The boat that sank off Ayvacik was heading for the Greek island of Lesbos.
The bodies of four Afghan children have been recovered so far by Turkey’s coastguard, the Anatolia news agency said.
Two more children – sisters aged four and one, whose nationality was not immediately known – died when the second boat capsized as it headed towards the island of Kos…”
Russians tell Turks: we’re abandoning your beaches (BBC, video, Nov 27, 2015)
“Russians have been venting their anger on social media after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet on the border with Syria.
Surprisingly, much of the outrage revolves around the subject of holiday-making: Russians threaten to leave Turkey’s beaches empty in revenge for the downed plane. One trending hashtag was “I’m not going to Turkey”.
It comes after the government in Moscow urged Russians not to go to Turkey for security reasons, and major travel agencies have stopped selling tours to Turkey.
Turkey is a popular holiday destination for Russians, and if they stop going there, the country’s tourism industry will take a hit.”
Turkey-Russia jet downing: Moscow beefs up defences in Syria (BBC, Nov 28, 2015)
“Russia has strengthened its anti-aircraft defences in Syria by moving a cruiser towards the coast and deploying new missiles at its main base.
The Moskva cruiser’s long-range air defence system will provide cover for Russian aircraft, as will the S-400 missiles which arrived on Thursday.
The row over Turkey’s downing of a Russian combat jet on Tuesday rages on.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Russia not to “play with fire” with its operations in Syria.
Russia has suspended its visa-free arrangement with Turkey and is planning to introduce a wide range of economic sanctions. President Vladimir Putin wants an apology from Turkey before he will speak to Mr Erdogan….”
We have seen it all already… So the BBC is a bit late…