Reader’s links for Dec. 31 – 2015 (Have fun and be situationally aware)

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About Eeyore

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

57 Replies to “Reader’s links for Dec. 31 – 2015 (Have fun and be situationally aware)”

  1. Pakistan-Afghanistan hotline set up to reduce tension (BBC, Dec 30, 2015)

    “Pakistan and Afghanistan have established a hotline between their respective military commanders to reduce frequent cross-border tensions.

    Pakistan’s military spokesman says the line has just been used for the first time as the two countries work to improve co-ordination along the border.

    The move was agreed when Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif visited Kabul.

    Security co-operation between the two countries is seen as crucial in countering the growing Taliban threat…”

    • This is being done with large numbers of both governments supporting the Taliban and working to ensure they take over both nations.

  2. Nigerian president offers talks with Boko Haram over Chibok girls (BBC, Dec 31, 2015)

    “Nigeria’s president has said he is prepared to negotiate with Boko Haram militants to secure the release of about 200 schoolgirls.

    Muhammadu Buhari said that if a credible Boko Haram leadership could be identified then he was prepared to talk with them without preconditions.

    But he said he had no intelligence on the girls’ whereabouts or their health…”

  3. European capitals tighten security ahead of New Year celebrations (BBC, Dec 31, 2015)

    “Security is being stepped up in major European cities ahead of New Year celebrations, with officials wary of possible terror plots.

    New Year fireworks and festivities have been cancelled in the Belgian capital Brussels because of an alert.

    Extra measures will also be in place in cities including Paris, London, Berlin and Moscow.
    Meanwhile in Turkey, security services say they have thwarted a major plot to attack celebrations in Ankara.

    Earlier this week, Austrian police claimed a “friendly intelligence service” had tipped them off that major European capitals were at risk of being attacked over the holiday period…”

  4. Nine dead in Philippine clash with Abu Sayyaf militants (BBC, Dec 31, 2015)

    “A soldier and eight Abu Sayyaf fighters have died after an attempt to free hostages held by the Islamist militant group, the Philippine army said.

    The clash took place in the southern Jolo island late on Wednesday.

    The army said Abu Sayyaf was holding several tourists who were kidnapped from a resort in September.

    Abu Sayyaf is the smallest but also the most radical of Islamic separatist groups in the Philippines, and often carry out kidnappings for ransom.

    Philippine army spokesman Maj Filemon Tan told reporters that soldiers had fought about 300 militants, who later fled into the interior of the island.

    “This is part of our focused military operation to free foreign hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf,” he said…”

  5. Iran denies it fired rockets near US warships in key strait

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Thursday denied U.S. accusations of launching a provocative rocket test last week near Western warships in the Strait of Hormuz, dismissing the claim as “psychological warfare” against the Islamic Republic.

    Gen. Ramezan Sharif, a Revolutionary Guard spokesman, said his forces didn’t carry out any drills in the key Persian Gulf waterway.

    The denial came a day after Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said Guard vessels fired several unguided rockets about 1,370 meters (1,500 yards) from USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and other Western warships and commercial traffic last Saturday. The firing came after Iranians announced over maritime radio 23 minutes earlier that they’d be carrying out a live fire exercise, according to Raines.

  6. Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. border

    Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. borderWhen the U.S. Border Patrol nabbed two Pakistani men with ties to terrorism at the U.S.-Mexico border in September, it marked just the latest instance of illegal immigrants from so-called “special interest countries” using the southern border as a point of entry into the country.

    Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, both in their 20s and from Gujrat, were caught Sept. 20 by agents south of San Diego and just over the international border from Tijuana. When agents checked their identities through databases, they got hits on both of them: Mr. Ahmad popped up as an associate of a known or suspected terrorist, while Mr. Azeem’s information had been shared by a foreign government for intelligence purposes.

  7. Even Europe’s humanitarian superpower is turning its back on refugees

    MALMO, Sweden — When the small, crumpled body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on the Aegean coast Sept. 2, Europe’s humanitarian superpower sprang into action.

    Sweden’s prime minister headlined gala fundraisers, Swedish celebrities starred in telethons, and a country that prides itself on doing the right thing seemed to rally as one to embrace refugees fleeing for their lives.

    But after taking in more asylum seekers per capita than any other nation in Europe, Sweden’s welcome mat now lies in tatters. Overwhelmed by the human tide of 2015, the center-left government is deploying extraordinary new border controls and slashing benefits in an unmistakable signal to refugees contemplating the long trek to Sweden in the new year: Stay out

    • Like the old story about training mules leftist governments can learn if you use a big enough club to get their attention, it looks like destroying your nations economy and coming close to destroying the culture is a large enough club.

  8. Amazon donates profits from far-right anthem to refugees

    Berlin (AFP) – Online retail giant Amazon said on Thursday it will donate the profits from the online purchase of a tune released by the far-right anti-migrant PEGIDA movement to refugees in Germany.

    Entitled “Gemeinsam sind wir stark” — German for “Together we are strong” — the instrumental, which has no lyrics, was released over Christmas.

    The anthem drew close to 180,000 views on YouTube, and surged on’s music chart to become its bestselling MP3 download, knocking Adele’s “Hello” to number two.

    The release of the track on Amazon sparked a storm of criticism, with the online retailer coming under fire for making money from its sales.

    PEGIDA, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (PEGIDA), had said profits from the sale would be given to homeless Germans.

  9. Merkel Warns Germans Against Refugee Hate in New Year’s Speech

    Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled she’ll use Germany’s economic power to turn a record influx of refugees to the nation’s advantage and urged citizens to reject social conflict fomented by nationalists with “hate in their hearts.”

    In a New Year’s address devoted to the impact of the refugee crisis, Merkel said coping with migration will cost Germany “time, effort and money,” according to prepared remarks provided by her office on Thursday. If handled right, the challenges of today will be the opportunities of tomorrow, she said.

    Merkel pressed home the point that she’s determined to treat the influx as a chance to modernize and rejuvenate Europe’s biggest economy, a stance that’s won her international accolades while eroding her poll ratings at home. The domestic fallout pushed other crises such as the unresolved conflict in eastern Ukraine and the threat of the U.K. leaving the European Union into the background in her outlook for 2016.

  10. China preps for space warfare

    Following recent tests of anti-satellite missiles and near-space hypersonic vehicles, China’s military will soon create a new Space Force within the People’s Liberation Army, a sign Beijing is preparing for future space warfare.

    Military analysts say there has been no official announcement of the new space warfare unit; however, unofficial sources in China revealed the unit will be part of a new Strategic Support Forces service that will include nuclear missiles — currently under the Second Artillery Force — along with an electronic information forces, cyber warfare units and electronic and signals intelligence.

    • Thanks to the left every space capable nation except the US is ready for space warfare, once again the left has unilaterally disarmed the US.

  11. China’s armed drones appear built from stolen data from US cyber intrusions

    By Bill Gertz on December 29, 2015 in Asia Times News & Features, China, AT Top Writers, Bill Gertz, The China Challenge

    China’s vibrant military blogosphere presented a video this month revealing a missile-firing unmanned aerial vehicle in action, dropping bombs against ground targets.

    The Caihong-4, or CH-4, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a testament to the remarkable success of China’s military in copying vital high-technology weapons that currently are considered among the most cutting edge arms systems used in modern combat operations for both ground strikes and intelligence-gathering.

  12. China Building Second Aircraft Carrier With Domestic Technology

    China is building a second aircraft carrier, with the new ship being designed and constructed domestically, the Defense Ministry said, marking the first time the government has confirmed the long-rumored project.

    The vessel is being built in the northern port of Dalian and will carry Chinese-made J-15 fighter jets, the ministry said on its website, citing spokesman Col. Yang Yujun. The ship will have a displacement of approximately 50,000 tons, Yang said. The country’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012 and built in a hull purchased from the Ukraine.

    China has been expanding its naval prowess as the word’s second-biggest economy extends its economic clout throughout Asia and beyond.China has largely kept the carrier program secret, partly to allay concerns about its ability to test the dominance of the U.S. Navy, which has upheld Asian maritime security since World War II. The Pentagon said in May that China “could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.”

  13. Neighbor of San Bernardino gunman indicted on terrorism charge

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former neighbor who prosecutors say supplied assault rifles to the couple who massacred 14 people at a county office building in San Bernardino, California, was indicted on Wednesday on charges of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

    Enrique Marquez, 24, was charged with conspiring with San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to support a terrorist attack that was never carried out.

    Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed into a holiday party attended by his co-workers at a San Bernardino County social services agency and opened fire on Dec. 2, killing 14 people and wounding 22 others.

    Authorities have said that the couple were inspired by Islamic extremism, calling it the deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

    Marquez was also accused in the indictment, which was handed down in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, of lying to federal authorities about the purchase of two assault rifles that were used by Farook and his wife in the San Bernardino shooting rampage.

  14. San Bernardino shooter’s visa file raised no red flags: U.S. government sources

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State Department visa officers conducted all required security checks on Tashfeen Malik, one of two shooters in the San Bernardino massacre early this month, but found no “derogatory” information before granting her a visa to enter the United States in 2013, a person familiar with the documentation said.

    The standard security inquiries include interagency counter-terrorism screening, fingerprint checks, facial recognition analysis and checks against worldwide U.S. consular records, a State Department source said.

    Because there was no derogatory information in Malik’s application, visa officers had no grounds for ordering deeper investigations into her background, let alone blocking her entry when she arrived in the United States in December 2013, officials have said.

    The latest disclosures will likely strengthen calls in Congress to toughen the procedure for issuing visas in order to spot militants applying to enter the United States.

  15. Muslim Student Ass’n at taxpayer-funded school demands ‘Islamophobic speech’ be punished

    Muslim Student Ass’n at taxpayer-funded school demands ‘Islamophobic speech’ be punished
    By Ben Bowles on December 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

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    San Diego State University, which demonstrated its “tolerance” in November by ending the tradition of naming a homecoming “king” and “queen,” finds itself on the cusp of another epiphany.
    san diego state university

    The College Fix notes the university, which is funded by taxpayer dollars, is mulling over demands by the Muslim Student Association that administrators enact a “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions.”

    The demands, modeled after similar ones issued by black student associations at campuses across the nation, were lodged after a female Muslim student was allegedly attacked by a white man in a campus parking lot on the afternoon of Nov. 19, about a week after the Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people.

    Specific demands include mandatory bystander training, more courses on Islam, and more money for The Center for Intercultural Relations. The association further demands that “the SDSU administration address, alleviate, and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target students of color, womyn [sic], and all marginalized students on campus.”

    The language is not all that different from that in a resolution submitted by House Democrats that seeks to “condemn violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.”

    According to The College Fix, “the university has not issued a formal response to the demands, but members of the administration have reviewed the list and are currently ‘meeting internally and with the students to discuss their concerns.’”

    Whether the meeting will acknowledge the existence of, much less consider, the First Amendment is unstated.

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    Tags: bigotry, Center for Intercultural Relations, First Amendment, hateful rhetoric, Islam, Islamophobia, Islamophobic, marginalized, Muslim, Political Correctness, San Diego State University, tolerance, violence, white, zero tolerance
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  16. Bahrain sentences Shia to death, jails 22 from ‘terror group’ (tribune, Dec 31, 2015)

    “A Bahraini court Thursday sentenced a Shia citizen to death and jailed 22 others for life for forming a “terrorist group” that killed two people, including a police personnel.

    It is the second such ruling this week in the tiny Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom, where members of the Shia majority population have led an uprising.

    The court also revoked the citizenships of the 23 convicts and fined two of them 200,000 dinars ($530,000/480,000 euros), terror crime prosecution chief Ahmed al-Hammadi said in a statement.

    Judicial sources said that all the defendants were Shia and that 16 were tried in absentia, without giving further details…”

  17. War against militants in FATA nears its end (tribune, Dec 31, 2015)

    “Just 1.5% of the 27,220 square kilometres of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) remains a ‘contested’ space for militants and security forces as the current year comes to an end.

    More than six years after active military operations in the tribal areas began, the long war against militancy is now nearing its conclusive end with the focus now shifting to rehabilitating displaced tribespeople, introducing reforms in Fata and strengthening the political administration of the tribal areas.

    “The purpose of military operations is to create a desired effect,” a senior security official told The Express Tribune. “Clearing an area is not the only goal… the deprivation of the last 68 years is what needs to be addressed.”

    Purging the tribal areas of militants has come at a heavy cost, however. Some 4,401 security personnel lost their lives in the line of duty. Another 14,717 were injured in the years after 2001.

    In 2015 alone, 238 security personnel were martyred and 967 were injured, most of the casualties occurring during the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

    On the other hand, 2,353 terrorists were killed, 669 more were injured, some 1,095 were arrested and 662 surrendered to the security forces.

    Background briefings by officials concerned reveal that there are still two pockets of resistance along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border – Dattakhel, Shawal in North Waziristan and areas surrounding Rajgal in Khyber Agency. These areas make up only 1.5% of the total territory of Fata.

    This is in sharp contrast to 2009 when militants had hubs in pretty much each of the seven tribal regions and wielded considerable influence in neighbouring settled districts.

    Many of the peace committees set up to tackle militants, or aman lashkars as they are commonly known, have now been disbanded. Those still functional have been asked to hand over their weapons. Even the most influential peace committee in Wana, South Waziristan, has been asked to end their duties, say officials.

    “There will be a zero tolerance policy for arms and ammunition by the returning population [of the tribal areas],” said one official.

    Background briefings show an increase in threats in the last quarter of 2015. Some 226 threats were registered in the last quarter, compared to 178 in the third.

    Even though Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) can no longer operate openly in Fata or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, officials say the group still has the strength to plan and strike from Afghanistan.

    One main reason for the increase is the hostile intention towards the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), explained an official.

    TTP and its affiliates are particularly concentrated in Badakshan, the farthest northeastern province of Afghanistan. Groups like the Uighur-separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are also present in the northern zone and, reportedly, have sleeper cells in the region.

    To deal with this threat, a brigade has already been deployed to secure the CPEC route near the region, an official said.

    Still, it will take a while before normal life returns to Fata. “It’s understandable that a system which has been non-existent for 11 years will take some time to become functional,” the senior official said.”

  18. Taliban leader treated at cancer hospital in Pakistan’s Lahore city (khaama, Dec 31, 2015)

    “A leader of Afghan Taliban has received medical treatment at Pakistan’s largest research-oriented cancer specialized hospital and radiation oncology centre located in Lahore city, Geo News reported on Thursday.

    Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan who heads Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) has told Geo’s Hamid Mir during its program ‘Capital Talk’ that he was unaware of it until he received an appreciation letter from Taliban.

    Imran Khan has not revealed name of the Taliban leader.

    SKMCH&RC was formed by the cricketer-turned politician after his mother died fighting cancer.”

  19. 25 Daesh militants killed in Nangarhar air strikes (khaama, Dec 31, 2015)

    “25 militants belonging to the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh group have been killed and 31 others wounded in two air strikes in eastern Nangarhar province.

    According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Thursday, the precise strikes were carried out in past 24 hours based on the coordinates of Afghan National Army’s 201st Silab Corps.

    The press release further states that two gatherings of Daesh belonging to the group’s commanders Abdul Khaliq and Sayed Amarati were targeted in these attacks in Qala-e-Shikhan area of Deh Bala District leaving 25 killed and 31 others wounded.

    “Sayed Amarti is believed to be among those killed,” the statement adds.

    Several different types of heavy and light weapons of Daesh were also destroyed during the air strikes.

    Nangarhar has become the hot spot of the militant group in eastern part of the country where it has also established prisons.

    Only in Achin District, the group runs eight captivities where they possibly keep the around 300 villagers detained in the course of two months.”

  20. Unidentified armed men gun down woman in Sar-e-Pul’s Kohistanat District (khaama, Dec 31, 2015)

    “Unidentified gunmen have shot dead a newly married woman in Kohistanat District of northern Sar-e-Pul province.

    Akhtar Bibi, 40, had been imprisoned on adultery charges for one year. Upon release from jail, she married a relative and continued ordinary life in her village.

    Reports suggest that she was mysteriously killed on Wednesday night.

    Governor of Sar-e-Pul province has confirmed the incident. However, he did not provided further details into it.

    Meanwhile, head of the Directorate of Women Affairs of Sar-e-Pul province said Akhtar Bibi was gunned down in front of her house.

    Nasima Arzo while strongly condemning the incident urged government to arrest the perpetrators and punish them.

    Kohistanat is one of the restive districts of Sar-e-Pul where several areas are being controlled by Taliban.

    However, the group has not yet commented on the report.”

  21. NDS prevents suicide bombing in Laghman (khaama, Dec 31, 2015)

    “The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has prevented a suicide bombing in the capital of eastern Laghman province.

    A statement released by NDS on Thursday states that Ihasanullah S/O Zabihullah was assigned by the militant commander Samarqand to carry out attack in a crowded area of Mehtarlam city but he was arrested before he could reach to his target.

    NDS has confiscated the suicide vest Ihsanullah had with him at the time of the raid in Chehalmati village.

    Meanwhile, six insurgents have been killed in joint security operation conducted by Afghan commandoes and police in Alingar District.

    Sarhadi Zwak, spokesperson for the governor of Laghman province said the operation started in Salingar, Haidar Ghar and Qasaba areas early on Wednesday morning and continued till late evening in which five militants have been killed and another wounded.

    Zwak added that one of the militants killed was a senior commander of the group.

    Governor’s spokesperson identified the militant commander killed as Mohammad Nasir alias Abdul Rahman.”

  22. Russia to supply Egypt with 46 military helicopters: RT (tribune, Dec 31, 2015)–military-helicopters-.aspx

    “Chief Executive Officer to Russian Helicopters Alexander Mikheyev announced on Wednesday that Russia will supply Egypt with 46 new Ka-52K Alligator Helicopters developed for the French-made Mistral-class amphibious ships, Russia Today reported.

    Mikheyev said that Egypt has signed deals to import the Alligator helicopters from Russia. The date of delivery has not yet been announced.

    In October, Egypt signed a deal with France to buy two French-made Mistral warships at a joint press conference. France is expected to deliver the warships by the first half of 2016.

    Russian Helicopters is the sole Russian rotorcraft designer and manufacturer and one of the few companies worldwide with the capability to design, manufacture, service, and test modern civilian and military helicopters.

    In late November, the Russian defence ministry said that Egypt plans to buy a large amount of advanced weapons from Russia.

    Chief of Kremlin Staff Sergey Ivanov said in November the sum of the deal might exceed $1 billion.

    The deal comes a month after the two countries signed the Dabaa nuclear plant deal, which involves the building of four third-generation reactors in Egypt.”

  23. Death for Bangladesh blogger killers (BBC, Dec 31, 2015)

    “Two students have been sentenced to death in Bangladesh for the killing of an atheist blogger there in 2013.

    Six others were convicted of involvement in the murder of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death as he was returning home from a rally in the capital, Dhaka.

    A five-year sentence was given to the head of Ansarullah Bangla, the group suspected of carrying out the attack.

    Five more secular bloggers and writers were killed in Bangladesh in 2015.

    The court said that one of the students sentenced to death, Faisal bin Nayeem, attacked Haider with a meat cleaver in front of the victim’s house.

    The other was tried and sentenced in absentia…”

  24. Refugees flee ‘haunted’ Swedish migration centre (thelocal, Dec 31, 2015)

    “A group of Syrians have fled in terror from a refugee centre in southern Sweden after a succession of strange, inexplicable happenings left them convinced it was haunted by ghosts.

    Thirty five of the 38 refugees housed at a centre in Grännaforsa, a small village in Småland, took refuge in the offices of the Migration Agency in the nearby town of Alvesta on Tuesday, after the incidence of strange activity increased.

    “In the last three days it has been getting worse and worse with these ghosts,” Hamid Alojaili from Syria told Sveriges Radio at the centre in Alvesta.

    “We are too scared. Last night nobody slept at all, neither the kids nor us.”

    Magnus Peterson, head of the Migration Agency in Alvesta, told the local Smålandsposten newspaper that the refugees’ complaint was “surprising”.

    “We have had no indications that there would be problems with ghosts before,” he said.

    “We are taking this seriously, and believe that we can explain the events. The ghosts may in fact be wild animals which have got into the garden. The refugees come from a different culture with spiritual beliefs.”

    Alojaili said that one of the refugees’ children had reported seeing a ghost soon after their arrival.

    “He opened the room and he saw something on top of the table, and when he tried to find out what was that thing, that thing jumped under the table and disappeared,” Alojaili said.

    “At the beginning we thought it was only our kids who were giving us stories, but then we adults started hearing sounds,” he continued.

    He said that doors in the house were inexplicably unlocked, the fire alarm would go off for no reason, and that refugees frequently heard the showers or toilets being used, only to discover that there was no one inside them.

    “These kids they didn’t eat since yesterday, they didn’t drink, they are unable even to go to the toilet. It is the same for the ladies. Everyone is afraid,” he said.

    The refugee added that when the temporary residents complained to the local Swedish person managing the refugee centre, they admitted that it was haunted.

    “He said, ‘Yes, but it’s a good ghost, it is not a bad ghost. We know about it, and even in my house we have one. These good ghosts, they clean up after you. They don’t do anything bad to you.’”

    Peterson said that the refugees had returned to the centre on Wednesday, after the Migration Agency told them that no alternative accommodation was available….”

  25. Swedish man arrested in Turkey for Isis links (thelocal, Dec 31, 2015)

    “UPDATED: A twenty-year-old Swedish man, believed to be the son of an al-Qaeda leader, has been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of being involved with the terror group Isis.

    Abdullah Moumou was seized as he crossed into Turkey from Syria in August, and has been held by the Turkish authorities ever since.

    He denies any involvement with terrorist groups, maintaining that he had been on his way back from Iraq, where he had travelled to collect his younger brother and bring him to Sweden.

    “I am completely innocent,” he told Sweden’s DN newspaper. “I travelled through Syria to Iraq to pick up my little brother to take him to Sweden. As I entered Turkey, I surrendered myself to the border police. They suspected me of having fought with the IS, but not all Muslims are terrorists.”

    The man said that he believed he had been targeted because of his father, Mohamed Moumou, who according to the US was al-Qaeda’s second-in-command in northern Iraq, just under Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

    Moumou, who was on EU and UN terror lists, died in a shoot-out with US troops in the city of Mosul in 2008.

    “This is all connected me with my father. The Swedes have always wrongly been afraid that I will be like my father. But he is he and I am me,” the man told DN.

    According to Magnus Ranstorp, the leading terrorism researcher at Sweden’s National Defence College, the man is well-known to Sweden’s security services.

    “He has been on the authorities’ radar for long. I have heard from my sources that he was on his way to Syria. We do not know what he was doing there and who he met there,” he said. “But it does not surprise me that he is now under arrest. He is a person who shows up in extremist circles.”

    In the summer of 2012, when the boy was just 16, the Administrative Court in Stockholm put him into care because of fears he was being recruited to fight in Syria or Iraq.

    “Abdullah Moumou finds himself in a criminal environment and is at risk of being recruited as a fighter outside the country,” the court ruled. “At the exact time he was taken into custody there were indications that he was on his way out of the country to take part in armed conflict.”

    Ranstorp said that the man’s father had been Sweden’s most notorious Islamic terrorist.

    “He is the one who has the most blood on his hands of all the Swedish terrorists and is a well-known name in international security circles. There is no Swede to match him,” Ranstorp told Dagens Nyheter.

    According to Swedish security service Säpo, more than 125 Swedes are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq, of whom 35 are women.”

  26. Germany: Refugees will demand much of us in 2016 – Merkel in NYE speech

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded that high migration levels “will demand much of us” taking “time, effort and money,” during her annual New Year’s address to the nation, in Berlin on Thursday.

    Despite these stains, the chancellor noted that a country has always “benefited from successful immigration, both economically and socially.” Germany has taken in over a million migrants since the start of 2015, five times the total of the previous year.

    Merkel urged the nation to “learn from the mistakes of the past” and promote “our values, our traditions, our legal understanding, our language, our laws, our rules,” adding “we will accommodate people who seek shelter from us.”

    • This repulsively sanctimonious, hypocritical, germans-hating, islam-schmusing, Stasi member, lying, criminal mother terrorista is shamelessly whoring for the islamisation of europe. I dont know yet in what currency her 30 pieces of silver are handed out to her and by whom but i hope that a N?rnberg style war tribunal will unveil it before its too late!

  27. NYT – Cellphone Contacts in Paris Attacks Suggest Foreign Coordination

    PARIS — The terrorists who killed 130 people in Paris in November were in contact by cellphone with at least one person in Belgium during their attacks, suggesting that they may have been coordinated or monitored from abroad while killing, according to French police reports on the investigation.

    The reports on the cellphone connections come after weeks of mounting evidence of ties between Belgium and the assailants in France. They also raise questions about the breadth of the terrorist network surrounding the attackers and challenge an assumption that one of them, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was the chief planner.

    Instead, the reports suggest, Mr. Abaaoud may been reporting back to someone more senior.

    An account of the police reports, which first appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde on Wednesday and were confirmed by the Paris prosecutor’s office, said that cellphones used by two of the three teams of assailants had communicated with two numbers at the same location in Belgium during the attacks.

    The teams included the three gunmen who attacked cafes and bars in eastern Paris as well as another group of gunmen that invaded the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died.

    All of the attackers are dead except for Salah Abdeslam, who has eluded a manhunt centered in Belgium.

    Several people, however, have yet to be apprehended, and the dots do not yet connect entirely. In addition to Mr. Abdeslam, those still at large include Mohamed Abrini, who appears in video footage with some of the attackers as they travel to France.

    So far, the Belgian authorities have arrested nine people who have been charged with crimes relating to the November attacks in Paris. But little has been clarified about what role they may have played.

    The Paris prosecutor also confirmed Wednesday that the police had found that two hours before the attacks began, one of the cars used by the assailants had traveled to the city’s largest international airport, Charles de Gaulle.

    It stayed for about an hour at Terminal 2C. One of the attackers contacted the phone of someone in the car. It is not clear if someone was dropped off, picked up or neither.

    Up until now, investigators have said Mr. Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian, was believed to have been the chief planner of the coordinated assaults. He was among three people killed five days later in a raid by the French police in a Paris suburb.

    But the new information on the cellphone connections appears to have undercut that assumption. No one knows the identity of the person contacted in Belgium, nor the person’s whereabouts.

    “We don’t know yet actually who was the real mastermind of the attack,” said Claude Moniquet, a veteran of France’s intelligence service and now the director of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center.

    “It’s clear it was not Abaaoud and it was probably not a European,” he said, speculating that it could have been someone with ties to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. The group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, claimed responsibility for the attacks less than 24 hours after they were carried out.

    “The attacks must have been decided by someone at the top of ISIS, very likely someone close to Baghdadi, and probably an Iraqi from Saddam Hussein’s intelligence or military,” Mr. Moniquet added.

    The Islamic State’s ranks include some experienced Iraqi intelligence and military figures who worked for Saddam Hussein and lost their jobs when he was ousted by the United States-led coalition in 2003.

    “But it’s clear they had to have commanders on the ground,” Mr. Moniquet said. “We know that Abaaoud was a commander on the ground,” along with Mr. Abdeslam, who appears to have been less senior but still had some authority.

    Another possible commander or liaison to the commanders in Iraq or Syria was Charaffe al-Mouadan, who was killed on Dec. 24 by an American airstrike. He was the subject of a conversation among the Bataclan assailants during the attack.

    One of the survivors said that he had overheard one assailant ask another if they should call Souleymane, the nom de guerre of Mr. Mouadan, and the other replied that he was not going to call him.

    • We all know the jihad is a global war this is just confirming it, of course the willfully blind will find some way to ignore this.

  28. Syria ceasefire plan struggles to define a ‘terrorist’

    A U.N. plan to suspend Syria’s nearly five-year-old civil war calls for listing which militant groups may be fought despite an eventual ceasefire, one of the toughest issues vexing diplomats trying to end the conflict.

    A U.N. draft discussion paper obtained by Reuters includes eight “framework principles” to be embraced by all countries and rebel groups that sign on to a ceasefire. The ceasefire plan also lists issues still to be negotiated, including defining “those terrorist organizations against whom combat is allowed.”

    The paper’s authenticity was confirmed by two diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity. The diplomats stressed that the document was a draft, originally prepared by the United Nations, and they said multiple versions of the draft have been passed back and forth among U.S., U.N. and other diplomats.

    The ceasefire idea, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 18 at the urging of major powers and regional players that include the United States, Russia, Iran and Turkey, would exclude militant groups such as Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

    Diplomats say the result could be a messy, partial ceasefire in which government and acceptable rebel forces stop shooting at one another but still go after Islamic State militants and other groups branded as terrorist.

    With Nusra Front fighters scattered across northern Syria rather than concentrated in any one place, attacks on them could harm civilians as well as groups who signed on to any ceasefire, diplomats and analysts said.

    Identifying the groups still subject to attack is a diplomatic task delegated to Jordan’s government.

    In a tangible sign of the difficulty, the Jaysh al Islam militant group has agreed to take part in the peace talks, yet its leader was killed on Friday in an air strike that rebel sources say was carried out by Russian aircraft.

    The U.S. State Department said the killing had complicated efforts to achieve a political settlement, a point it said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a phone call on Monday.


    Staffan de Mistura, the third U.N. envoy tasked with ending a civil war that has killed at least 250,000 people and driven millions from their homes, has taken the lead in laying out the possible dimensions of a ceasefire, diplomats said.

    De Mistura has said he hopes to open talks between the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition groups in Geneva on Jan. 25.

    Those talks will focus on trying to get the two sides to agree on a political transition for Syria.

    Separate talks are underway about the shape of a ceasefire and the draft document obtained by Reuters addresses this.

    Quick agreement seems likely on some framework principles, such as a recognition of Syria’s territorial integrity, but others will be vexing. Among these is one to require the withdrawal of “foreign fighters unlawfully present in Syria.”

    That language could allow Assad to argue that fighters from Iran, Russia, Iraqi Shi’ite militias and others that support him are in Syria at his invitation and therefore lawfully present – a stance sure to be resisted by opposition and rebel groups.


    The document lays out three possible ceasefire models that could vary from one region of Syria to another:

    – A ceasefire that excludes “undesired groups,” presumably those deemed to be “terrorist.”

    – A ceasefire open to all who embrace the framework principles.

    – A limited ceasefire that would reduce violence by barring the use of certain weapons.

    Diplomats and analysts stressed the challenge of getting the Assad government and the opposition and rebel groups into talks, let alone to lay down their arms.

    “This whole document does indeed reflect how devilishly difficult it’s going to be to implement a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and when I say nationwide, I am not including the area run by ISIS,” said Fred Hof, a former State Department official who worked on Syria now at the Atlantic Council think tank.

    “It’s going to be impossible to have a one-size-fits-all set of arrangements,” he added.

  29. DAILY MAIL – Police in Germany are covering up the extent of crime committed by migrants, claim Bild… as country is revealed to have taken in 1.1 MILLION people during 2015

    Asylum seekers are being recruited as cheap drug dealers and traffickers as well as petty thieves, Bild newspaper claims
    But police have apparently been ordered to cover up extent of crimes so as not to fuel ‘right wing extremist debate’
    Shocking claim comes as Germany registered over one million migrants in 2015 – five times last year’s total
    Germany has taken more refugees from the Middle East and Africa than any other EU state
    The country is a magnet for migrants partly because of its generous social benefits

    German officials have ordered a cover-up of crimes committed by migrants to prevent causing alarm, a local newspaper has claimed.

    Asylum seekers are being recruited across the country as cheap drug dealers as well as petty thieves, says German newspaper, Bild – the biggest daily paper in the country.

    The paper accused the police of covering up the extent of migrant crimes in order to stop concerns among the general population.

    It also claimed asylum seekers were prepared to work for a few euros couriering drugs across the country and said they were being signed up almost as soon as they had registered as asylum seekers.

    Migrant crime was apparently the hot topic of discussion at gatherings of police, city officials, health officials and other officials dealing with the drug problem in the city of Frankfurt.

    As well as drug related crimes, asylum seekers were also being used to sell stolen goods such as mobile phones, which in many cases were sold on to other refugees.

    But the paper said that all of the officials dealing with the problem had been ordered not to talk about it, as it was an extremely sensitive subject that has been forbidden to be referred to in an ‘offensive manner’.

    The reason given by the paper was to avoid alarming the general public already concerned with the vast number of asylum seekers the country has allowed in, but also to avoid providing material for right-wing extremists.

    New arrivals to the country were apparently the most desirable as they did not have any formal way of complaining about what they were asked to do and rarely gave problems to the drug-dealing Mafia.

    The most successful couriers are then being recruited into the Mafia and are also being used to bring in further new recruits.

    This shocking claim comes as Germany will have registered just over a million migrants by the end of the year, a local paper has claimed.

    This is roughly in line with the latest predictions but still about five times more than last year.

    As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany is a magnet for migrants partly due to generous social benefits and is taking in more refugees from the Middle East and Africa than any other EU state.

    Authorities expect about 125,000 asylum seekers to have registered on Germany’s EASY system in December, down considerably from 206,000 last month, Saechsische Zeitung reported, citing unpublished government figures.

    That brings the overall figure to 1.09 million people.

    A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry declined to confirm the numbers which will be available in early January, but Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement the numbers were falling slightly.

    Germany’s 16 federal states plan to spend about 17 billion euros to deal with the refugee crisis next year, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity has waned as a result of her open-door policy, with some of her own conservatives – especially in Bavaria, the entry point for many seeking asylum – seeking a cap on numbers.

    In a speech to her party this month she sought to silence critics by saying she would stem the flow of refugees.

    De Maiziere said that creation of an orderly processing of refugee applications meant the situation was improving and that authorities were working hard to register and accommodate refugees.

    Merkel’s government is putting measures in place to speed up deportations of those refused asylum.

    It is also pushing other EU countries to take more migrants and to work with Turkey to ensure fewer people come to Europe in the first place.

    But de Maiziere rejected demands by Merkel’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria to ban migrants from entering Germany unless they have valid identity papers.

    He said: ‘Regarding the CSU demands to send back refugees without valid identity papers, no further changes are planned.’

    Angela Merkel calls for solidarity in New Year speech ( Eng subs )

  30. DUBAI – Fire at 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai nr massive New Year’s Eve fireworks display

    Fire breaks out in Dubai skyscraper

    A huge fire has broken out in a high-rise hotel in central Dubai close to the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa.

    Burning debris fell from the 300m-tall (1,000-feet) building as firefighters arrived at the scene. The cause of the blaze is unclear.

    It erupted ahead of a major New Year’s Eve fireworks display, to be held at the Burj Khalifa.

    It was not immediately clear whether there are any casualties.

  31. DAILY MAIL – New York man, 25, arrested for ‘supporting ISIS and planning New Year’s Eve attack on restaurant’

    Emanuel Lutchman, 25, of Rochester, New York was arrested for planning an attack on New Year’s Eve
    He was allegedly going to use a machete on diners at a local restaurant
    Federal prosecutors claim he has been in contact with an ISIL member in Syria who urged him to kill all non-Muslims

    A man has been arrested for allegedly supporting ISIS and planning an attack on New Year’s Eve.

    Emanuel Lutchman, 25, a Muslim convert with mental health problems who is a former convict was picked up by authorities after they learned he was preparing a machete attack on diners at a local restaurant or bar in Rochester, New York.

    Federal prosecutors claim Lutchman had been in contact with a member of the terrorist organization in Syria who urged him to kill non-Muslims.

    He has now been charged with with attempting to provide material support to ISIL, which is publishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    ‘New Year’s is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,’ Lutchman’s Syrian contact told him according to court documents.

    He began speaking about his support for the terrorist group and his desire to travel overseas and join ISIL in conversations with an unidentified individual in November.

    Then, earlier this month, he first made contact with the man who identified himself as a ‘brother’ of ISIL.

    This individual told Lutchman how lucky he was to be living in the United States and how that allowed him to carry out attacks his brothers overseas could only dream of, according to the criminal complaint.

    Just this past weekend, Lutchman sent a audio recording swearing his allegiance to ISIL.

    On Monday morning Lutchman met with an individual who was working with the FBI during which time he mentioned his communications.

    He mentioned wanting to target a bar or club at this meeting, saying he would sneak inside a bomb or perhaps kidnap some people, according to the criminal complaint.

    He also said; ‘I will take a life. I don’t have a problem with that.’

  32. Gaza Palestinian Fatah supporters celebrate during a rally as they mark the 51st anniversary of the founding of the Fatah movement, in Gaza City

  33. State Dept. Releases More Clinton Emails, Misses 2015 Quota

    The State Department on Thursday released 5,500 more pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails, but fell short of meeting a court-ordered target of making 82 percent of the former secretary of state’s messages public by the end of 2015.

    The email dump is the latest release from the private server Clinton used during her time as America’s top diplomat. The State Department said it failed to meet the court’s goal because of “the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule.”

    Though the email releases have so far come on the last day of the month, the department announced it will release more of Clinton’s messages in early January to help meet the court’s goal.

    Clinton’s Republican opponents have harshly criticized her use of a private email account while heading the State Department, saying it compromised the country’s security. Previous releases have shed light into the day-to-day workings of Clinton’s inner circle, but have provided few insights into the decision-making process of the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

    WSJ – Year-End Release of Hillary Clinton Emails to Fall Short of Judge’s Schedule

    The number of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s emails set to be released Thursday afternoon falls short of a goal set by a federal judge.

    The State Department plans to post about 5,500 pages of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s emails online at about 4 p.m. ET. The latest monthly release is about 3,000 pages short of the court-imposed schedule.

    The State Department, which has previously described its Freedom of Information Act workload as “crushing,” said the December holidays had affected its ability to meet that goal.

    “We have worked diligently to come as close to the goal as possible, but with the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule we have not met the goal this month. To narrow that gap, the State Department will make another production of former Secretary Clinton’s email sometime next week,” the State Department said in a statement.

    U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the State Department to release 82% of Mrs. Clinton’s total email archive by the end of December. Her complete archive is scheduled to be released by the end of January.

    The State Department has been under intense pressure over its information management practices in recent months — especially after the disclosure that Mrs. Clinton exclusively used a private email account run off her own server while serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013. The use of private email account was discouraged but not forbidden by department rules.

    Separately, the State Department provided nearly 2,500 pages of documents to the Republican-run House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday. The documents include emails from other top State Department officials, the committee announced on Twitter. The panel has been probing the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Mrs. Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack, testified before the committee in October about her department’s response to the attacks.

    The department’s internal record-keeping system has also come under fire, with an inspector general report saying that the electronic archiving system was only capturing a tiny fraction of the emails that need to be preserved under federal law.

    The department has attempted to add staff to its Freedom of Information office to keep up with the surge in FOIA requests and litigation — many over Mrs. Clinton’s records. The State Department is the plaintiff in dozens of lawsuits over Mrs. Clinton’s emails, schedules, documents and papers from her time in office from news organizations, individual journalists and advocacy groups.

    But the addition of staff to the department’s FOIA has also been a slow task. The department said earlier this year it would add 50 people to the FOIA office to temporarily relieve the office’s workload, but had added only seven staffers as of mid-December, according to a court filing.

    • Happy New Year! State drops 5,500 pages of Clinton emails

      The State Department on Thursday afternoon released a batch of 5,500 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails online, in its second-to-last tranche of the former secretary of State’s messages.

      Thursday’s dump — coming the afternoon of New Year’s Eve — is the seventh of eight court-ordered releases.

      The full 100 percent of her emails are ordered to be released publicly by Jan. 29.

      Several emails concern personnel matters, such as Clinton congratulating people on new jobs, or recommending people for jobs.

      One dated February 2012 showed that as a favor, Clinton got someone named “Bill” to call a former staffer-turned-Maryland-assemblyman to urge him to vote on a gay marriage bill.

      “Pls let him know Bill called–unsuccessfully,” Clinton writes.

      Others are less serious.

      In an April 5, 2012, email with the subject line: “Photo gone viral,” Clinton discussed her famous “texts from Hillary” photo showing her in a C-17 aircraft wearing shades and using her Blackberry.

      Hillary expressed to aide Cheryl Mills that she was perplexed as to why the photo would go viral, to which Mills replied, “You look cute.”

      In another email, a friend commented how the “great press” Clinton was getting on “all things sartorial and hair related.”

      “Who would have thunk it at this stage in our lives.A whole new reason for you to be my hero!” she wrote.

      “Ain’t it weird? But, I’m not complaining…” Clinton replied.

      The latest posting fell short of a court-ordered end-of-December deadline to release at least 82 percent of the approximately 55,000 relevant pages under a Freedom of Information Act request.

      The State Department said Thursday in an email that the agency would release more “sometime next week.”

      This is not the first time State has missed a benchmark to release Clinton’s emails. It also fell short of its timeline in July.

      The emails released Thursday do not have “fully completed data fields on the FOIA website,” the State Department said earlier in the day.

      This means they can’t be easily sorted by subject, sender or recipient — which had been an option in previous email dumps.

      State said it will add the missing data fields next month.

      The revelation that Clinton used a private email server for work during her time as secretary of State had dogged the Democratic presidential front-runner in the early months of her candidacy.

      Despite the controversy, Clinton still holds a massive lead in the Democratic race. She garners 54.7 percent support nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) trails her with 30.7 percent support, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has 4.7 percent.

      Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter admitted that he also used his personal email for work. Carter’s revelation has not received the same scrutiny.

      Virtual Reading Room Documents Search Results

  34. GERMANY – Munich police warn of possible terrorist attack; ask people to avoid crowds, train stations –

    Munich police say they have evacuated 2 train stations due to terror threat

    Terrorist attack warning in Munich, police ask revelers to avoid train stations, large crowds

    Munich police are warning of a planned terrorist attack targeting train stations on New Year’s Eve, just less than an hour before 2016 rang in.

    The Munich police sent out an advisory confirming there were “indications that a terrorist attack is planned in Munchen” on their Twitter page.

    Officers were warning German citizens to avoid large crowds and train stations on New Year’s Eve at about 11:15 p.m., local time.

    Authorities asked that locals stay away specifically from the Pasing and Central station stops while police investigate the potential terrorist attack.

    All train service in the city was halted, and police have already evacuated several stations.

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