Reader’s links for Jan. 22 – 2016

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

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

144 Replies to “Reader’s links for Jan. 22 – 2016”

  1. Syria refugees from Calais arrive in UK after legal ruling (BBC, Jan 22, 2016)

    “Four Syrian refugees who had been living in the migrant camp known as the “Jungle” near Calais have arrived in the UK after a legal ruling.

    An immigration judge ruled on Wednesday that the three teenagers and a mentally ill man were entitled to come to the UK to join relatives already living here.

    One of the group urged refugees waiting to enter Britain to “have faith”.

    He said they should see his case as proof there was a way to reach the UK “legally and safely”.

    The group of three teenagers, and a 26-year-old man with severe mental health issues, were told at the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal that they could enter the UK and stay while their asylum applications were processed.

    The refugees, who all fled the Syrian civil war and had been living in the camp for at least two months, will live with their relatives in the UK while their claims are considered…”

  2. Teaching migrants how to behave (BBC, Jan 22, 2016)

    “Migrants arriving in Finland are being offered classes on Finnish values and how to behave towards women. Concerned about a rise in the number of sexual assaults in the country, the government wants to make sure that people from very conservative cultures know what to expect in their new home…”


    INTERVIEW Davutoglu says 3 billion euros from EU not enough for refugee crisis

    Turkey and the EU may have reached an agreement to reduce the flow of migrants into Europe, but people continue to arrive each day by the thousands. Premier Davutoglu says this “is not a Turkish crisis” and his country should not be expected to bear the burden alone.

    Davos, Switzerland (dpa) – Ahead of his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu tells dpa he believes the 3 billion euros pledged in November by the EU may not be enough to help Ankara cut the flow of refugees into Europe.

    dpa: What do you hope to achieve from the joint session with the German government, specifically what do you expect on the refugee issue?

    Davutoglu: Regarding bilateral issues, this will be the first such high-level, comprehensive meeting after the formation of the new government in Turkey. Of course the refugee issue will be one item on this agenda. But at the same time we will be talking about how to fight against terrorism, about intelligence cooperation and regional issues, in Syria, in Iraq, in the Middle East and in the Balkans.

    On the EU-Turkish joint action plan on refugees, we will talk about what we have achieved. In the past two weeks Turkey has started implementing visa requirements for Syrians coming from third countries. Also, last week, we had a Turkish cabinet decision allowing Syrians to work in Turkey.

    On the other side, the European Union was planning to fix and finalize the resettlement plans for refugees, and also to share the financial burden.

    dpa: Europe is demanding Turkey stems illegal immigration from its territory to the EU. In return the bloc is offering Turkey 3 billion euros. Can Turkey really put an end to the migration and will this sum of money be enough?

    Davutoglu: First of all, this is not a Turkish crisis. The root cause of this refugee crisis is not Turkey or anything related to Turkey. Turkey is the country which is most affected. We are not exporting a crisis – a crisis has been exported to Turkey. Now, it became a European crisis.

    We have 2.5 million refugees in Turkey from Syria, from Iraq 300,000 more. Turkey has spent close to 10 billion dollars on the refugees. There are many things to be done, together with the EU, together with the international community. But nobody can expect from Turkey to carry the entire burden alone.

    Three billion euros is just to show the political will to share the burden. We will review it again and again because nobody knows how long it will take. And we are not begging for money from the EU. But if there is a serious will to share the burden, than we will have to sit and talk about all of the details of the crisis.

    dpa: Security forces started an operation against the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] last month. Is there any chance to take up negotiations with the PKK again, or how will the government proceed?

    Davutoglu: The PKK is a terrorist organization. In 2013 we started a solution process. And the basis of this process was to disarm PKK terrorists. They promised in 2013 to leave Turkey and lay down all arms. But instead of fulfilling this promise, they thought that they can restart terrorist activities and fighting.

    In no democratic country a government tolerates the presence of armed groups and terrorists in some parts of the country. Establishing public order is the responsibility of the legitimately elected government.

    We will continue these operations until they give up their arms, until they stop putting mines in the streets of the towns. These operations will continue until all towns and cities will be free of any illegal armed groups.

    dpa: Chancellor Merkel a few days ago said Turkey still has “a very long way to go” to become a member of the EU. Do you ever expect Turkey to be a full member, and is this still Turkey’s desire?

    Davutoglu: Yes. This is not only a desire. This is a strategic objective for us. Of course, we know the difficulties like the Cyprus question. There will be a positive development in the Cyprus question to find a final resolution. There has been a very positive momentum in EU-Turkish relations in the last three months.

    And at the end of all these improvements, I am sure, Turkey, one day, will be a member of the EU.

    dpa: Turkish journalists are still in jail, yet President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan says there is full freedom of expression – how do all these go together?

    Davutoglu: If there is anything limiting freedom of expression in Turkey I will be the first one to resist it. All types of criticism against the government were raised during last year’s electoral campaigns. There was no limitation in any sense.

    Many of the cases of journalists in jail are from the 1990s, not during the time of our government. All of them were arrested for illegal activities, which are not related to journalistic activities.

    Recently there were some new cases, and the judicial process is continuing. The allegation is not regarding journalistic activities, but publication of classified documents.

    dpa: Can you reveal any additional information about the investigations into the suicide bombing which killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul last week and which you have blamed on Islamic State?

    Davutoglu: I want to express again my condolences and the condolences of 78 million Turks for our German guests and to their families. This was a great pain for all of us. Our intelligence and security services are working very hard. Certain networks have been identified. The investigation is continuing. All the details are being shared with German intelligence.

    Germany: Turkish PM Davutoglu meets Merkel in Berlin to discuss refugee crisis

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Friday, to discuss the suicide attack in Istanbul that claimed 10 German lives on January 12, as well as the fight against terrorism and the ongoing refugee crisis, in addition to bilateral relations.

    Merkel welcomed the Turkish prime minister with military honours before the two leaders and other politicians posed for the traditional family photo.

    Attending the meeting were Vice Chancellor of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, and Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, as well as German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    • Germany: Pro-Kurdish activists protest visit of Turkish PM Davutoglu to Berlin

      Between 300 and 400 protesters gathered in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on Friday to protest against the visit to the capital of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

      The rally was held by student organisations and members of the Kurdish community of Berlin. Students with banners and placards marched from Humboldt University to the Chancellery where they met with Kurdish supporters. Protesters waited for the arrival of Davutoglu and booed his arrival, as well as the performance of a German military orchestra. Several protesters held placards depicting Ergorgan as Hitler, but police seized these images.

    • Germany: Merkel confirms EU’s $3 bln assistance to improve Turkey refugee situation

      The European Union will provide €3 billion to help Turkey deal with its 2.5 million refugees, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed in Berlin on Friday.

      SOT, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (German): “Initially I would like to remind you that in the meantime Turkey is hosting 2.5 million refugees and counting. These refugees are hosted by the 70 million residents of Turkey, so-to-say, and one part of our EU-Turkey agenda included the question of Europe’s contribution to a solution of this 2.5 million refugee problem.

      SOT, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (German): “We happily noticed that the Turkish government has issued work permits to Syrian refugees and we from the the European side will provide the 3 billion [Euro] to fund the realisation of projects aimed at improving the situation of the refugees.”

      SOT, Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of Turkey (German): “The Istanbul terror attack has heartstricken us. In this attack, we unfortunately lost German friends. They were our guests and now, they have become our eternal friends. We mourn with the families and relatives of the victims. As for the wounded, we wish them a quick recovery. This was a terror attack against humanity. This incident has reassured us that terror is not related to religion or a specific ethnicity.”

      SOT, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (German): “We also talked about the relationship to Russia and the Turkish side reported that indeed action has been taken to achieve a reaproach because it is clear that the Syria conflict cannot be resolved without Russia which means that specific boundaries must be accepted and a way of reasonable cooperation must be found.”

  4. Switzerland ‘made secret deal with PLO’ after bomb attacks (BBC, Jan 22, 2016)

    “Controversy is growing in Switzerland over an alleged secret deal, made almost 50 years ago, between the Swiss government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

    The agreement, detailed in a new book, was apparently designed to prevent terrorist attacks on Swiss territory.

    In return, Switzerland would offer diplomatic support to the PLO.

    It followed a series of attacks in 1969 and 1970 by Palestinian groups that caused huge concern in Switzerland.

    In February 1969 gunmen opened fire at Zurich airport on an El Al plane, whose pilot died in the attack. The Swiss arrested the attackers

    In 1970, a bomb on board a Swissair flight to Tel Aviv brought the plane down just outside Zurich, killing all 47 passengers and crew

    In September 1970, a Swissair flight on its way to New York was hijacked. Two other airlines, one British, one American, were hijacked at the same time. All three ended up at Dawson’s Field airstrip in Jordan, where more than 300 passengers were held hostage

    Now, in a book by Swiss journalist Marcel Gyr, information has emerged indicating that, in the stressful days and nights while Switzerland tried to get its hostages released, Swiss Foreign Minister Pierre Graber secretly contacted the PLO.

    Using a member of the Swiss parliament as an intermediary, but without informing his fellow government ministers, Mr Graber, the new revelations suggest, came to an agreement under which those charged for the attack on the El Al plane would be released in return for freeing the hostages.

    In addition the investigation into the bombing of the Swissair flight would be quietly shelved, and Switzerland would use its diplomatic offices to push for international recognition of the PLO.

    After 1970, while there were further Palestinian terror attacks in other European countries, there were none in Switzerland.

    Classified papers

    Many of the documents relating to the events of 1970 are still classified under Swiss law but the revelations have started a big debate in Switzerland over the circumstances, if any, under which governments should consider negotiating with terrorist groups.

    Almost half a century later, with many countries experiencing terror attacks, it seems outrageous to some Swiss that their own government might have done deals with groups classed as terrorists.

    What is more, the relatives of those who died in the bombing of the Swissair flight may be justified in feeling angry that no one has ever been brought to justice, especially as Swiss investigators had identified a Jordanian national as the mastermind behind the attack.

    In the wake of the revelations, Switzerland’s current Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, has said he knew nothing of the secret deal and admitted he was very surprised.

    Nevertheless, some Swiss politicians are calling for an official parliamentary inquiry to establish exactly what happened.”

  5. Effort to find San Bernardino terrorists’ hard drive, crack encrpyted data, challenges FBI

    By Adam Housley, Malia Zimmerman Published January 21, 2016

    FBI investigators have been unable to find a missing hard drive or crack the encrypted codes of the jihadist couple behind last month’s terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., sources told Fox News.

    The two cell phones used by homegrown terrorist Syed Farook and his foreign bride Tashfeen Malik before the Dec. 2 attack, which left 14 dead and 22 injured, are highly encrypted, Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office David Bowdich told Fox News in an exclusive interview, and the pair also attempted to destroy the devices.

    Information on the phones could contain the key to exposing the radical Muslim couple’s potential terrorist network connections and other illicit activities.

    “As to those devices, obviously we’ve said from day one, the digital footprint is incredibly important for us to hopefully learn any contacts, any context, and ultimately any intent on their part,” Bowdich said. “I think that’s very, very important.”

    The phones and a still-missing computer hard drive could contain key communications, and fill in an 18-minute gap of time after the attack and before the shootout that killed the couple.

    “I’m certainly not looking past the possibility of a potential secondary attack based on the amount of ammunition they had. Based on all the seeming preparations they had made. Based on all the pipes they had inside the house that could easily have been made into pipe bombs,” said Bowdich.

  6. Norway: Police detains 82 refugees after storming asylum centre

    Police detained 82 refugees at an asylum centre in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes on Friday. The asylum centre in Kirkenes hosts mainly refugees that have entered Norway via neighbouring Russia.

    None of the asylum seekers are allowed to exit the premises as they await deportation to Russia. Police officers patrolled the gates of the asylum centre to prevent potential escapes from the premises after three asylum seekers reportedly managed to escape the centre and hid in the town’s church.

    The asylum seekers are believed to remain inside the church as police officers are not willing to enter the building, nor are the refugees being expelled by the clergymen.

  7. Russia: Thousands rally in Grozny in support of Chechen leader Kadyrov

    Thousands of supporters of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov rallied outside the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque in central Grozny, Friday, in response to criticism from Russian opposition figures.

  8. Germany: Former Czech Pres. declares Europe at war during AFD conference

    Former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus attended a Alternative for Germany (AFD) rally in Stuttgart, Thursday.

    During his speech he announced that there was war “on our continent” between European “political, intellectual and media elites.”

    Klaus went on to warn that the preservation of “European culture and European civilization” is under threat due to massive immigration.

  9. Netherlands: Riot, threats, and vandalism force Heesch council to ban anti-refugee rally

    Following riots and growing tensions in the Dutch municipality of Bernheze over a planned refugee centre, Mayor Marieke Moorman said that she did not want to think about a threatening letter that the town council received allegedly containing a bullet. The message is thought to be related to a planned asylum seekers centre as protesters continue to decry the site’s construction.

    Moorman has also gone on to forbid a demonstration against the centre set for Thursday in the municipality’s town of Heesch. Her decision comes after a protest of more than 1,000 protesters against the construction of the centre turned violent on Monday 18 with demonstrators throwing stones, fireworks, and eggs at both police and the municipality council building. The structure also suffered an attack on Wednesday 20 after unidentified suspects broke a window with a stone.

    Many of Heesch’s inhabitants have decried the plans for 500 refugees to be located in the small town over a 10 year period, saying that the number was too high. Alongside threats against the mayor and Monday’s riot, a dead pig was reportedly discovered hanging in a tree in front of the site of the proposed refugee centre, with residents also purportedly dumping sand on the mayor’s driveway earlier in the week.

  10. TRUE horror of Cologne attacks finally REVEALED: Gang rape among HUNDREDS of assaults (express, Jan 22, 2016)

    “THE horrific extent of the wave of crimes commited by migrant sex attack gangs in Cologne has been laid bare in shocking new revelations.

    The disgusting list of crimes reported in the German city run to a staggering 821 complaints, and range from sexual assaults to gang rape.

    When including reported attacks from all of the major cities in the North Rhine-Westphalia state – including Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund and Bielefeld – the complaint figure is said to almost top 1,000.

    A shocking 359 complaints relate to sexual offences, while 659 women were recorded as alleged victims, according to the list finally published by NRW state government.

    It also revealed 126 claims of “rape by a group” and 47 allegations of “sexual assault by a group”.

    The release of the full list follows repeated claims of a cover up by German authorities and media.

    But despite there reportedly being a total of 1,049 alleged victims, German police have so far identified only 30 suspects, North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Ralf Jäger revealed today.

    All of the suspects are of North African origin, with 15 being asylum seekers.

    Out of that figure, two Algerians are reportedly behind bars accused of sexual offences including grabbing a woman’s buttocks.

    The list was released today by Mr Jäger today.

    Outrage erupted across Europe when more than 500 women reported being sexually assaulted, raped and robbed after more than 1,000 migrants went on the rampage in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

    Authorities also said they are offering a reward of €10,000 (£7,500) for information leading to the arrest or identification of those who committed the atrocities.

    Investigators have said the majority of the perpetrators were of North African and Arabic origin and comes amid growing unease in Germany towards Angela Merkel’s controversial open door immigration policy.

    The German Chancellor has faced growing criticism over her handling of the migrant crisis, which she was forced to admit is now “out of control”.

    Germany has begun sending back 300 migrants to Austria each day in a bid to stem the flow into the country, having accepted more than a million people in 2015.

    The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state where Cologne is located, Hannelore Kraft, expressed regret for the sex attacks.

    It was last week reported that residents of Cologne were arming themselves with pepper spray and air guns in light of the shocking allegations.”

  11. Nine-year-old UK girl saved from marriage to 18-year-old Afghan cousin (express, Jan 22, 2016)

    “AUTHORITIES intervened when they discovered that a nine-year-old girl was in danger of being taken to Afghanistan to marry her cousin.

    The child’s mother had warned the social services that her father was planning the trip.

    Mr Justice MacDonald heard this revelation at a family court, which followed a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

    Another judge had made the parents the subject of a forced marriage protection order after child protection specialists began legal moves.

    The orders prevented the couple from allowing the girl to get married.

    Following her mother’s allegations, the girl had been taken into local authority care.

    Mr Justice MacDonald had analysed the latest stage of proceedings launched by social services bosses.

    The judge said the girl could not be identified, but said the local authority involved was the London Borough of Camden.

    The family is of Afghan heritage.

    The most common age for girls to get married in Afghanistan is 15 and 16.

    In 2014, an Afghan man tried to marry off his daughter, aged six, so he could cover his debts.

    He was stopped by a US lawyer.”

  12. New migrant shock: Coach full of British schoolchildren ‘ATTACKED by Calais refugees’ (express, Jan 22, 2016)

    “A COACH full of British schoolchildren was attacked by Calais migrants who smashed a window and may have caused one child to suffer an epileptic fit.

    The youngsters were left terrified after a gang of thugs targeted their bus as it travelled through the notorious port town in the early hours.

    One child was said to have suffered an epileptic fit following the horrifying attack which marred the end of a dream school trip for the children, some of whom were as young as 12.

    The harrowing incident also underlines the growing violence of migrants in Calais, who are now arming themselves and resorting to increasingly desperate methods in their attempts to reach Britain.

    Terrified truckers have repeatedly warned that it is only a matter of time before someone is killed as clashes with migrants become both more heated and regular.

    The coach was carrying 35 children from Portree High School, on the Isle of Skye, and nine teachers when violent migrants pelted it with rocks early this morning.

    Officials said it was fortunate none of the youngsters were hurt in the horrific attack, although one child reportedly received medical treatment after suffering an epileptic seizure in the aftermath….”

  13. UNHCR calls for more places for refugees

    The UN’s new high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, arrived Friday at a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley where he held a press conference in which he called for an increase in ‘the number of places available for refugees’ in the region.

    • Top UN official says mass migration ‘unavoidable reality’

      Mass cross-border migration is an “unavoidable reality” and it is “impossible to stop” the flow of refugees in need of sanctuary, the United Nations’ top official in charge of migration says during a visit to Bangladesh.

  14. Iran: ‘We Welcome War with the United States’

    John Kerry said Monday that “the world is safer today” because of the Iran nuclear deal. Details of how loud and long the mullahs laughed have not been released.

    In reality, the world is more threatened than ever by an aggressive and assertive Iran, confident and swaggering after besting Kerry at the negotiating table.

    As the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iran’s compliance with the stipulations of the nuclear deal and the U.S. and EU ended sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the head of Iran’s armed forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, was not in a conciliatory mood. After Iran seized two U.S. Navy boats and briefly held ten American sailors hostage, Firouzabadi declared:

    This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress.

    And Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), crowed:

    American sailors started crying after arrest, but the kindness of our Guard made them feel calm.

    He added:

  15. Judge Napolitano: Case Against Hillary ‘Overwhelming, Damning and, from Her Perspective, Grave’

    Reacting to the latest bombshell revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email arrangement, Judge Andrew Napolitano said on The Kelly File Wednesday night that Clinton should be lawyering up, because “the case against her is overwhelming, damning and, from her perspective, grave.”

    Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, continues to insist that the latest allegations about her emails while secretary of State change “nothing.” During a Wednesday interview with NPR, she said, “I’m just going to leave it up to the professionals at the Justice Department, because nothing that this says changes the fact that I never sent or received material marked classified.”

    Via Politico:

    “As the State Department has confirmed, I never sent or received any material marked classified, and that hasn’t changed in all of these months,” she said. “This, seems to me, to be, you know, another effort to inject this into the campaign. It’s another leak,” she said in an echo of a charge her spokesman Brian Fallon made on CNN Wednesday morning.

    On Fox News’ Special Report last night, Charles Krauthammer said that he was “shocked by the brazenness” of Hillary Clinton’s latest denial of wrongdoing, noting that the Obama-appointed inspector general of the intelligence community had confirmed that Clinton sent emails that were more highly classified than “top secret.”

  16. This General Will Probably Be FIRED For What He Just Said About Obama… He Doesn’t Care – See more at:

    (Allen West) – We’ve not often heard from generals who are willing to speak up about what’s happening with our military and the Obama agenda.

    If you’re not aware, we’re witnessing a military with an Army at pre-World War II levels — we were woefully unprepared then. Our Marine Corps is at World War I levels. We have the smallest Navy since 1917, almost 100 years. And our Air Force is the smallest and oldest fleet since we created the modern U.S. Air Force.

    Now, I can just predict the intellectually challenged will say “so what,” we spend too much and we don’t need a strong military. Yep, and that’s exactly why we’re in the pickle we find ourselves. The defense discretionary portion of our federal budget is only about 19 percent — some 64 percent is spent on the mandatory spending side of our budget — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and net interest on our debt. As part of our GDP, the defense budget is less that 4 percent. And yes, we can reduce the size, scale, and scope of major military headquarters formations, which would better serve the effectiveness and efficiency of our force.

    But the Obama administration has never been focused on the maxim of “peace through strength.” Their objective has been the insidious goal of “social justice” in our Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. It has been about the inane concept of “everyone gets a trophy” as a policy to advance in our military. It has been about individual sexual behavior. But the military is about building the warrior team — not accommodating any individual behavior.

    And Obama has always viewed serving in the military as just a job, so all jobs in the military are equal — and the opportunities to have those respective jobs must be open to all. It’s yet another example of the liberal progressive leftist dogma of equality of outcomes, as opposed to equality of opportunities. And just so y’all understand, I wish I could’ve made the basketball team in high school. But guess what? I didn’t meet the standards.

    So it was a relief to finally hear a general address the issue of standards in our military — perhaps to the detriment of his career.

    As reported by CNS News, “Marine Gen. John Kelly, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, said at a Pentagon press briefing on Friday that he believes that future generals will face “great pressure” to lower the standards for women in combat in order to get more women into combat roles.

    “My greatest fear—and we see this happen a lot over the 45 years I’ve been in the Armed Forces–is right now they’re saying we are not going to change any standards,” said Kelly. “There will be great pressure, whether it’s 12 months from now, four years from now, because the question will be asked whether we’ve let women into these other roles, why aren’t they staying in those other roles?

    “Why aren’t they advancing as infantry people—persons–I guess? Why aren’t they becoming, you know, more senior?” he said. “And the answer is–I think will be–if we don’t change standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any numbers, any real numbers, come into the infantry, or the Rangers or the Seals, but that’s their business.”

    So,” said Kelly, “I think it will be the pressure for not probably the generals that are here now, but for the generals to come, and admirals, to lower standards because that’s the only way it’ll work in the way that I hear some people, particularly, the agenda-driven people here in Washington–or in the land–the way they want it to work.”

    Yes, I know what you’re thinking, General Kelly will be next on Obama’s hit list. But something tells me General Kelly couldn’t care less. Remember when SecDef Ashton Carter made his declaration about all combat positions opening up to women, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Marine infantryman, General Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Dunford, wasn’t at his side? Oops sorry, perhaps I should have referred to General Dunford as an “infantry person” since the SecNav Ray Mabus sent a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps to make all duty positions in the Marines “gender-neutral.”
    – See more at:

    • infantry people—persons
      I’ve read J.E. Dyer correct this kind of language with, “infantry dogs” or “Midship Persons” => “Midshipdogs”.

  17. BBC – Syria conflict: ‘US expanding air strip’ in Kurdish north

    Satellite images appearing to show the US expanding a formerly disused air strip in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria have been seen by the BBC.

    The image, from the security analysts Stratfor, shows a runway near the town of Rmeilan being extended from 700m (half a mile) to 1.3km.

    That would be long enough to land a Hercules aircraft.

    BBC Arabic security correspondent Murad Shishani says it could be a new US move against the so-called Islamic State.

    Battle for Iraq and Syria in maps

    Where key countries stand

    Rumours of US military activity in the area have been circulating for weeks, Stratfor says.

    Rmeilan is in Hassakeh province in north-east Syria.

    Access to a longer runway would enable the US to land transport planes such as Hercules in Syria’s north-east, enabling it to drop off weapons supplies to Kurdish forces in the area, instead of depending on airdrops.

    A US-led coalition of of Western and Middle Eastern countries began air strikes against IS in Iraq in August 2014 and in Syria a month later.

    Turkey has allowed the US to use its Incirlik airbase, in the south of the country, near north-west Syria.

    Russia began carrying out its own air strikes in Syria in September 2015 after a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    He has clung on to power despite more than four years of civil war. Russia has an airbase at Latakia, in western Syria.

  18. GERMANY – Nine migrants arrested in German town linked to Paris knife-attacker

    Police investigating a terrorist suspect, who attempted to stab officers in Paris earlier this month before being shot dead, have arrested nine migrants in the western German town where he once lived as an asylum seeker.

    Three of those arrested are thought to be living in Recklinghausen illegally and six are suspected of theft, local police said on Friday.

    Police said they were able to confiscate stolen goods, tools for breaking and entering and illegal drugs.

    Searches took place simultaneously at two different shelters as part of the state authorities’ investigation into the knife attacker’s link to the town in North Rhine-Westphalia.

    He was shot dead as he attempted to storm a police building in Paris on January 7, the anniversary of a terrorist siege on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    Germany: Police raid refugee shelter in connection with killed Paris attacker

    Police raided a refugee shelter in Recklinghausen, early Friday, in search of possible supporters of Walid Sahili [ aka Tarek Belgacem ] who was shot dead while allegedly attacking a police station in Paris on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

    Around 100 police officers took part in the raid. Police checked papers and belongings of the refugees living in the shelter. The results of the raid have not yet been announced.

    Police raided the facility earlier in January in connection with the incident in Paris.

    • Tarek Belgacem used at least 20 different aliases – ( in German ) :

      Wie sich der Recklinghausener Paris-Attentäter 20 Identitäten zulegen konnte

      Als der 24-jährige Tarek Belgaclem am Jahrestag der Charlie-Hebdo-Morde mit einem Beil bewaffnet auf Pariser Polizisten zustürmte, ging für den verhinderten Attentäter eine absurde Tournee durch Europa zu Ende. Der Mann kam bei dem versuchten Attentat auf eine Polizeistation ums Leben—seitdem versuchten Ermittlungsbehörden, seine genaue Identität zu klären.

      Schnell wurde klar: Der Mann besaß nicht nur eine deutsche SIM-Karte, sondern wohnte auch in einem Erstaufnahmelager in Recklinghausen. In Deutschland war er bei den Behörden als Walid Salihi bekannt, weil er sich unter diesem Namen als asylsuchender Syrer registriert hatte. Tatsächlich stammte er jedoch sehr wahrscheinlich aus Tunesien. Das ergab der Abgleich von Fingerabdrücken.

      Das und vieles mehr wissen die Ermittler mittlerweile über den Mann, der als „Terror-Phantom“ bekannt wurde. Nach einer erneuten Razzia in der Recklinghausener Flüchtlingsunterkunft, in der der 24-Jährige zwischenzeitlich gelebt hatte, präsentierte der Direktor des Landeskriminalamtes NRW Uwe Jacob jetzt in Düsseldorf auf einer Pressekonferenz den bisherigen Ermittlungsstand. Das LKA stellte heute außerdem eine stammbaumähnliche Folie vor, die ganze zwanzig Identitäten Belgaclems auflistet, mit welchen er sich in den vergangenen Jahren unbemerkt durch Europa bewegt hatte.

      Aber wie konnte das passieren? Zunächst reiste der Mann 2011 nach Rumänien ein (das Land schob ihn zwischendurch nach Tunesien ab, wo er auch ohne Papiere wieder aufgenommen wurde—für das LKA ein weiterer Beweis für seine tunesische Identität) . Seitdem hatte er insgesamt in sieben Staaten Asylanträge gestellt.

      Die meisten Identitäten unterhielt er in Frankreich, wo er unter sieben verschiedenen Namen bekannt war. Danach folgte Deutschland mit vier Identitäten, zudem wurde er mit anderen Personalien in Schweden, Luxemburg, Italien, der Schweiz, Rumänien und Österreich identifiziert.

      Im Dezember 2013 reiste er über Aachen nach Deutschland ein und wurde einer Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Recklinghausen zugewiesen. Natürlich wurde er dabei kontrolliert, allerdings tauchte in den polizeilichen Datensystemen dann immer der Name Walid Salihi auf. Die Behörden wussten zu diesem Zeitpunkt durch Fingerabdruck-Abgleich bereits, dass er bereits einen Asylantrag in Rumänien gestellt hatte—und leitete eine Abschiebung unter Berufung auf das Dublin-Abkommen ein.

      Noch gibt es allerdings keine endgültige Aussage vom BAMF darüber, wieso seine Abschiebung nicht durchgeführt wurde. Umgekehrt nahm Deutschland 2014 Salihi wieder auf, nachdem er in Stockholm einen Asylantrag stellte, den die Schweden ablehnten. Von Deutschland aus reiste Belgaclem dann nach Paris.

      Das jüngst verabschiedete Gesetz zum verbesserten Dateiaustausch soll einen derartigen Identitätsmissbrauch unterbinden: Auch in Ahlen fanden die Ermittler bei einer Razzia vergangene Woche in einer Asyl-Unterkunft Personen mit mehreren Identitäten oder unklarer Herkunft, von denen einige auch Straftaten begangen haben.

      Laut Jacob zeige der Fall die Probleme der europäischen Datenbank „Eurodac“. Das System soll Informationen über Personen, die Asylanträge innerhalb von Europa stellen, verschiedenen europäischen Behörden zugänglich machen. Allerdings würden dabei nicht Name, Herkunft oder Geburtsdatum angezeigt, sondern nur, wo und wann die Person einen Asylantrag gestellt habe. So blieben den verschiedenen Behörden in Europa die Identitäten des Betrügers offenbar verborgen. Abschließende Gewissheit über die Identität des Mannes werden erst derzeit laufende DNA-Analysen bringen.

      Der Polizei in Recklinghausen jedenfalls war der Mann gut bekannt, mehrmals war er wegen krimineller Delikte aufgefallen. Dies und anonyme Hinweise auf den späteren Attentäter führten schließlich zu einer Durchsuchung in seinem Zimmer in der Flüchtlingsunterkunft.

      Mitbewohnern fiel Belgaclem schon damals negativ auf; sie hielten ihn für durchgeknallt und vermuteten, er hätte Drogenprobleme. Immerhin schien er keine Verbindung zu Al-Qaida zu unterhalten; im Gegenteil: Trotz einer mit Kuli an die Wand seines Wohnheims gekritzelten IS-Flagge, einer Schreckschusspistole in seinem Zimmer sowie etwas salafistischen Propagandamaterials, das die Ermittler auf einem Handy fanden, verdingte sich der Tunesier hauptsächlich als professioneller Betrüger und Kleinkrimineller, der bereits durch 14 Delikte auffällig geworden war.

      „Aufgrund unserer umfangreichen Überprüfungen, die wir mit sehr hohem Aufwand betrieben haben, können wir die Existenz eines islamistischen Netzwerkes um diese Person in Recklinghausen ausschließen“, sagte Jacob weiter. Eine an diesem Nachmittag abgeschlossene Razzia der Asylunterkunft, in dem sich Belgaclem aufhielt, brachte jedoch keine Ergebnisse diesbezüglich. Man habe keine Hinweise auf Islamisten gefunden, teilte die Polizei aus Recklinghausen mit.

    • NRW police report :

      Erste Ermittlungsergebnisse zum Attentäter aus Recklinghausen

      Nach derzeitigem Stand der Ermittlungen hat der in Paris erschossene Attentäter SALIHI den Angriff auf das Pariser Polizeirevier alleine ausgeführt.

      Im Rahmen der Ermittlungen haben sich bislang keine Erkenntnisse ergeben, die darauf hindeuten, dass sich Personen aus dem Umfeld des SALIHI mit konkreten Anschlagsvorbereitungen beschäftigen.

      “Wir stehen in engem Kontakt mit den französischen Sicherheitsbehörden, dem Bundeskriminalamt und der Stadt und der Polizei Recklinghausen. Wir nehmen jeden Hinweis auf mögliche Terrorgefahren sehr ernst,” sagt der Direktor des Landeskriminalamtes NRW, Uwe Jacob.

      Das LKA NRW hat ein Lichtbild des getöteten Attentäters veröffentlicht und bittet um sachdienliche Hinweise aus der Bevölkerung.

      Unter Leitung des LKA NRW haben Einsatzkräfte der Polizei am 9. Januar 2016 die Zimmer des getöteten Attentäters innerhalb einer Asylbewerberunterkunft in Recklinghausen durchsucht. Umfangreiches Beweismaterial wurde sichergestellt sowie DNA-Spuren und Fingerabdrücke gesichert. Darunter auch zahlreiche Dokumente (überwiegend in arabischer Schrift), Datenträger und sonstige Gegenstände, u. a. drei Einfassungen von SIM-Karten sowie zwei Küchenmesser. An der Wand einer Waschküche wurde der Schriftzug “DAWLA ISLMIA BAQIA” (Islamischer Staat auf ewig) festgestellt und fotografisch gesichert.

      “Es wurden keine Schusswaffen und kein Sprengstoff gefunden. Es haben sich keine Hinweise auf weitere mögliche Anschläge ergeben. Die Auswertung der Durchsuchungsergebnisse dauert an”, erklärte der Direktor des Landeskriminalamtes NRW, Uwe Jacob, heute in Düsseldorf.

      Durch die französischen Behörden wurden zunächst folgende Personalien bezüglich des getöteten Attentäters übermittelt:

      Ali SALAH (geb. 1995 in Casablanca/Marokko)

      Bei der deutschen Polizei ist er unter den Personalien

      Walid SALIHI (geb. 1997 in Hama/Syrien, ledig)


      Die bisherigen Ermittlungen der Ermittlungskommission des LKA NRW haben folgende weitere Aliasnamen ergeben:

      Walid ESALIHI (geb. 1995 in Casablanca, marokkanische Staatsangehörigkeit)

      Walid SALIHI (geb. 1997 in Casablanca, marokkanische Staatsangehörigkeit)

      Walid SALIHI (geb. 1997 in Hama, syrische Staatsangehörigkeit)

      Nika KHECHUASHVILI (geb. 1995 in Tiblisi/Georgien)

      Mohammed SALAH (geb. 1997 in Marokko)

      Abu Jihad Al Tounsi – Tarek BELGACEM – Tunis

      Die Identität des SAHILI steht bislang nicht fest.

      Im Zeitraum vom 23. Mai 2014 bis 30. November 2015 war der getötete Attentäter in NRW wegen Verstößen gegen das Waffengesetz und das Betäubungsmittelgesetz, Diebstahlsdelikten und Beleidung auf sexueller Grundlage kriminalpolizeilich in Erscheinung getreten. Darüber hinaus wurde gegen SALIHI ein Verfahren geführt, weil er Fahnen des IS gemalt und diese in Zimmern der Asylbewerberunterkunft angebracht hatte.

      Dem Landeskriminalamt Nordrhein-Westfalen (LKA NRW) sind mehrere Rechtshilfeersuchen der französischen Justizbehörden angekündigt worden. Sofort hat das LKA NRW reagiert und eine rund 60-köpfige Ermittlungskommission mit Spezialeinsatzkräften eingerichtet.

      Hintergrund der französischen Ermittlungsersuchen ist der Anschlag am 7. Januar 2016, gegen 11:30 Uhr, in Paris/Frankreich bei dem eine Person vor der Polizeidienststelle des 18. Arrondissements von Polizeikräften erschossen wurde. Diese Person wollte mit einem Beil bewaffnet und mit einer Sprengstoffweste (Attrappe) bekleidet das Gebäude betreten. Bei der Sprengstoffweste hat es sich, wie die französische Staatsanwaltschaft bestätigt, um eine Attrappe gehandelt. Die Schwerpunktstaatsanwaltschaft für Terrordelikte in Paris hat die Ermittlungen übernommen. Bei dem Angreifer soll ein Zettel mit einer Flagge des IS sowie den Personalien Salim Benghalem, ein Zettel mit der Aufschrift “Abu Jihad Al Tounsi – Tarek Belgacem – Tunis” sowie Fotos seiner Person gefunden worden sein. Bei Salim Benghalem handelt es sich um einen französischen Jihadisten, der am selben Tag (07. Januar 2016) durch ein Pariser Strafgericht in Abwesenheit zu 15 Jahren Haft verurteilt wurde. Der Getötete war in mehreren europäischen Ländern aufhältig.

    • German police: Knife attacker not linked to terror network

      BERLIN (AP) – German authorities say they haven’t uncovered any evidence linking a man who was shot and killed as he stormed a Paris police station to a terrorist network.

      The Tunisian man, who went by multiple aliases and had applied for asylum in seven European countries, was killed Jan. 7 as he stormed the police station wielding a butcher’s knife and wearing a fake explosives vest.

      German police a week ago raided the suspect’s apartment at an asylum-seeker facility in Recklinghausen on information from French authorities.

      North Rhine-Westphalia criminal police head Uwe Jacob said Friday the man had a homemade Islamic State group flag on his wall and IS propaganda in his cell phone but it appeared he acted alone.

      Jacob said authorities also found no evidence he was planning other attacks.

      In German :

      In Paris erschossener Attentäter: Keine Hinweise auf islamistisches Netzwerk

    • Germany: No evidence linking Paris police attacker to IS – NRW police chief
      There is no evidence linking the man shot dead by police while attempting to attack a police station in Paris on January 7 to the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL), the police chief of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Uwe Jacob, said during a press conference in Dusseldorf, Frida

  19. The Cologne Cathedral Under Attack
    It wasn’t only infidel women defiled last New Year’s Eve, but Germany’s Christian religion and civilization as well.

    It is the symbol of a city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the most recognised and greatest symbol of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture. But that didn’t save Germany’s world-renowned Cologne Cathedral from a prolonged, humiliating and deafening assault from fireworks during last New Year’s Eve mass to mark the year’s end.
    Barbara Schock-Werner, who served as cathedral architect between 1999 and 2012, was present at the well-attended religious service along with several thousand other worshippers. Shock-Werner told the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, that the cathedral experienced an unprecedented and massive rocket and ‘banger’ fireworks barrage that lasted the whole service.

    “Again and again the north window of the cathedral was lit up red, because rocket after rocket flew against it,” she said. “And because of the ‘bangers’, it was very loud. The visitors to the service sitting on the north side had difficulties hearing. I feared at times that panic would break out.”

    Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who presided at the New Year’s mass, also complained about the “massive disruptions.”

    “During my sermon loud ‘bangers’ could be heard,” Woelki said in the paper, Die Welt. “I was already annoyed beforehand about the loud noises that were penetrating into the cathedral.”

  20. Socialism Works: Venezuela to Pass 700% Inflation
    January 22, 2016
    Daniel Greenfield

    If the whole “trying to become president” thing doesn’t work out for Bernie Sanders, maybe he can head over to Venezuela. Socialism worked so well over there that basic staples are missing from stores, the army occupied toilet paper factories and the money has become worthless.

    The International Monetary Fund says Venezuela inflation will blow past 700 percent this year.

    In a note published Friday, IMF Western Hemisphere Director Alejandro Werner said inflation would more than double in the economically struggling South American country in 2016, reaching 720 percent.

    Venezuela already suffers from the world’s highest inflation rate. The IMF estimates that inflation here was running at 275 percent last year.

    This is your country. This is your country on Socialism. The Bolivarian revolution has destroyed Venezuela. So Maduro, despite just getting whomped in legislative election, is running his emergency economic decree backed by a Supreme Court that his party packed. The newly free market legislature is defying him. Think Obama vs. Republicans all over again.

  21. Obama Illegally Offers Visa Waivers to Travelers to Terror Nations
    January 22, 2016
    Daniel Greenfield

    “If it just saves one life” is apparently a fine argument for destroying the second amendment, but not when it comes to stopping the entry of Muslim terrorists into the US.

    The Obama administration on Thursday eased visa rules for certain European travelers who have visited terror hotspots in the Middle East and Africa, triggering a backlash from congressional lawmakers who sought the restrictions for security reasons.

    Moments after the announcement, two key Republicans declared the administration is “blatantly breaking the law” – a law that President Obama signed – by implementing the changes.

    Obama is above the law. Anyone who disagrees is an Obamaphobe.

  22. Russia’s Game in Syria
    What Putin really wants.

    The now defunct Soviet Union maintained a long and close relationship with the Baathist regime of Hafez Assad. The relationship between the Baathists in Damascus and Moscow preceded the advent of Hafez Assad as Syria’s dictator in 1970. During the Six-Day war (June 1967), Moscow was allied with Egypt and Syria, and provided them with huge military supplies and diplomatic cover. When Egypt and Iraq turned away from Moscow, Syria remained the only Soviet anchor in the region. The Syrians rewarded Moscow with the only naval port in the Mediterranean – Tartous.

    Under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s involvement in Syria has less to do with keeping the dictator of Syria, Bashar Assad in power, and everything to do with preserving Russian interests in the Middle East. Russia seeks to entrench its bases in the Alawi majority land area of northwestern Syria (along the Mediterranean Sea) where its military and naval bases are located in the Tartous and Latakia areas.

    This last year of fighting has seen Assad’s domain shrinking significantly. Sunni rebel groups such as the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda affiliate) are holding areas around Idlib and Aleppo, while other rebel groups supported by members of the U.S. coalition are on the ground near Homs and Hama. Russia’s bombing has focused primarily on the northern areas that threaten their bases in Latakia and Tartous. Nevertheless, the Russian involvement is also facilitating the Syrian army’s ability to regain lost territory from the rebels, and then hold these areas with Iranian, Hezbollah, and Russian support.

  23. Racist Black Actress Jada Smith Boycotts Oscars, Calls for Black-Only Award Ceremony
    BLM on celeb steroids
    (PS this video is anti PC)

  24. Vicars should grow BEARDS to reach out to Muslims in their areas, says Bishop of London

    Rt Rev. Richard Chartres praised two priests who had grown bushy beards
    Applauded their desire to reach out to the ‘majority of their parishioners’
    Bishop described his own beard, which he grew in the 1970s, as modest
    He also said ‘saint’ David Beckham encouraged men to grow facial hair

    The Bishop of London has applauded two London priests for ‘reaching out’ to their Muslim parishioners by growing ‘opulent’ beards.

    Rt Reverend Richard Chartres singled out two priests in Tower Hamlets – the Rev. Adam Atkinson, Vicar of St Peter’s church in Bethnal Green, and Rev. Cris Rogers of All Hallows Bow, who have grown bushy beards.

    Writing in the Church Times, Rev. Chartres, who himself sports a ‘modest’ beard, said: ‘The discovery that two of the most energetic priests in east London had recently grown beards of an opulence that would not have disgraced a Victorian sage prompted me to look again at the barbate debate throughout Church history.

    ‘The two priests work in parishes in Tower Hamlets. Most of the residents are Bangladeshi-Sylheti, for whom the wearing of a beard is one of the marks of a holy man.’

    He said the desire of the clergy of Tower Hamlets to ‘reach out to the culture of the majority of their parishioners can only be applauded’.

    He went on to say that David Beckham – who he describes as the ‘nearest thing to a secular saint’ – has ‘stimulated countless imitators’.

    One of the priests praised by the Bishop of London, the Rev. Atkinson told The Telegraph he found having a beard had helped provide a connection with many people in his parish, around 85 per cent of whom are Muslim.

    He said he was persuaded to grow a beard by the staff at his local pub, the Hound Dog Barbers on Hackney Road.

    He said he had forged new links with people after growing his facial hair.

    He explained: ‘It is an icebreaker – St Paul said “I become all things to all men that by all possible means I might save some”.

    ‘In our area there are three main groups, the poor, the “cool” and the Muslims and beards cover at least two groups reasonably well.’

    The second vicar – the Rev Rogers – told the newspaper he was approached by a man who told him he respected him because he had a beard.

    The man went on to tell him his beard showed dedication and commitment to something and it showed wisdom.

  25. DAILY MAIL – HUNGARY – ‘The best migrant is the migrant who does not come’: Hungarian PM says Europe cannot cope with ‘uncontrolled’ refugee influx

    Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said Europe can no longer cope with migrants
    He praised Austria for admitting they needed to cap refugee numbers
    Mr Orban warned: ‘Europe cannot take in masses of foreign people’
    The EU has warned member states against acting in a unilateral fashion

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has caused outrage over claims that the best migrant is one that does not come.

    The controversial politician has faced criticism from human rights groups over his decision to erect a fence across his nation’s southern border to prevent Syrian refugees from crossing.

    His government said they were prepared to build a fence along the Romanian border if refugees attempted to use that as a potential route.

    Mr Orban praised a decision by Austria to place a cap on the number of migrants it is allowing into its country.

    Speaking to Hungarian state radio, Mr Orban claimed: ‘Common sense has prevailed.’ He said the Austrian decision was ‘the most important news of the past months’.

  26. Carter Chides Gulf Allies for `Strange’ Islamic State Inaction

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Sunni nations must do more to support the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria, offering his most direct public criticism of inaction by Gulf allies such as Saudi Arabia.

    “It’s strange that a Sunni extremist group running rampant in Iraq and Syria should attract as little Sunni Arab counterweight as it has so far,” Carter said Friday in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, with Bloomberg Television. “I would look to galvanize that.”

    Members of the coalition will meet in Brussels in three weeks in a session Carter said is aimed at intensifying the fight against the terrorist group that holds a swath of Iraq and Syria. While the U.S. will be the leader in the fight, as “we always are,” Carter said, many nations “are doing nothing or not nearly enough.”

    “We need others to carry their weight,” he said, without mentioning any countries by name. “There should be no free riders.”

    Saudi Arabia and some of its Gulf neighbors initially participated in airstrikes against Islamic State, but their participation trailed off as they concentrated on the war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    ‘Somebody Else’

    Beyond airstrikes, Carter said Sunni nations could play an effective role on the ground.

    “Remember, those countries can do something that it’s very difficult for us to do,” Carter said in the interview on “Bloomberg ” from the annual World Economic Forum. “We can enable local forces to seize territory and hold territory. But we know from our own difficult experience there that, in the end, somebody else has to take over. Somebody else has to run these places. Somebody else has to govern these places. It can’t be done from the outside in.”

    The U.S. has been pressing Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government to enlist Sunni tribes in the war effort to bridge sectarian gaps. Ramadi, a strategically important, mostly Sunni city, was recaptured in late December without the help of formidable Shiite militias, after falling to Islamic State in May.

    Now, Sunni tribesmen trained by the U.S. are helping to hold the city. About 6,000 Sunni have been trained so far this year, with hundreds more trainees in the pipeline, Army Colonel Steve Warren, the top U.S. spokesman in Iraq, said in an e-mail.

    The importance of enlisting Iraqi Sunnis in the fight against Islamic extremism was demonstrated during the 2007 George W. Bush administration “surge” of U.S. troops to quell an al-Qaeda-led insurgency that almost defeated the U.S. That “Anbar Awakening” of Sunni tribesman, who fought and defeated insurgents as part of a “Sons of Iraq” program, has been acknowledged as key to turning the tide of a civil war.


    Davos 2016 – A Conversation with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

    ( 24 min )

    • N Y T – Russia and U.S., While Pushing for Peace Talks, Jockey for Position in Syria

      BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Russian military is expanding its footprint in Syria, setting up operations at an airfield in a northeastern, mostly Kurdish province across the country from its main coastal base. In an adjacent province, locals say the United States is intensifying its aid to Kurdish militias, even taking over a small agricultural airport; Pentagon officials denied this. And some Syrian fighters say Russia has reached out to Sunni tribes, offering to help them fight the Islamic State extremist group in the east after similar American efforts failed.

      As diplomats from Russia and the United States work to bring Syria’s government and its domestic opponents to peace talks next week, the two countries are jockeying for position on the ground in Syria in a battle that will continue regardless of any peace deal: the fight against the Islamic State.

      Both powers seem to be presuming that the peace effort will fail and digging in for the next phase of war. Their separate, and competing, new efforts against the Islamic State are part of a parallel battle over who will lead the fight against the extremist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and possibly take credit for defeating it.

      Western leaders have long hoped for a day when the Syrian government, rebel fighters and their international backers would unite to defeat the Islamic State. But that possibility seems more remote than ever because of a fundamental strategic disagreement between American and Russian leaders. Russia is allied with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and views the armed insurgency as inseparable from the Islamic State; Washington considers Mr. Assad’s government and its crackdown on opponents a principal reason for the rise of the Islamic State.

      In Paris on Thursday, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter called the Russian strategy “tragically mistaken,” focused largely on “supporting regime forces against opposition forces.” He added, “I hope that they can be brought ahead in the right direction, in which case of course we can work with them.”

      A senior Pentagon official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational matters, said there was no current military collaboration with Russia. That, he said, was a subject for diplomats, with the State Department perhaps trying to build it into an agreement with Moscow over an exit strategy for Mr. Assad.

      Currently, however, the global powers seem to be competing for the same allies.

      Each says it supports Kurdish and Sunni fighters in the area, even as American officials insist that there is no coordination other than deconfliction, or making sure that their aircraft do not threaten each other.

      Witnesses in Syria and American officials confirmed that the Russian military had taken up positions at an air base near the northeastern city of Qamishli. One fighter said the military had recently reached out to Sunni opposition fighters from Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zour province: the same groups the Pentagon recruited for its failed train-and-equip program.

      The fighter, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Ahmed, to discuss operational matters and negotiations, said he had been at a recent meeting with Russians, Kurdish militias and Arab rebels in Tal Abyad, a small city near the Turkish border.

      Ahmed said that his group had previously been supported by Ahmed al-Jarba — a Syrian opposition figure closely tied to Saudi Arabia, which is staunchly opposed to Mr. Assad and Russia’s role in Syria — and that the Russians’ outreach had made the fighters wonder if Saudi Arabia and Russia had a secret understanding.

      “We were really surprised to meet a Russian delegation in our headquarters,” he said.

      Ahmed said the Russians had offered his tribe, the Shweytat, weapons and assistance to take back their home area in Deir al-Zour from the Islamic State. The Shweytat are bitter enemies of the militant group, which slaughtered hundreds of their people after they refused to submit to its rule. They have contributed to the ranks of Arab forces fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., Ahmed said.

      But the aid plan was suspended, he said, after the Russians asked him and his comrades to gather 300 fighters and they could not immediately muster more than 200. In any case, he remained skeptical that what the Russians were proposing would be enough to have an impact on the effort to take back Deir al-Zour.

      “What can I say?” he said. “It’s very hard to liberate Deir al-Zour with this amount of weapons.”

      In the northeast, in Qamishli, a Syrian activist network called the Local Coordination Committees has reported in recent days that 100 Russian military personnel have been deployed at the city’s airport, and that Russian officials met with both government officials and Kurdish militia leaders to discuss deploying forces in the city, the provincial capital. These reports added to accounts that the Kurds, who have what amounts to a nonaggression pact with government forces, coordinate with both sides: American and Arab insurgents on one hand, and the government and Russia on the other. But the activists said Russians were being deployed in areas controlled by government forces, not the autonomous zones carved out by Kurds, where Americans are aiding the Kurdish and Arab militias.

      Two Pentagon officials confirmed the details of the Russian deployment, including the critical point that Moscow does not seem to be focused on directly supporting fighters in the same places as the Americans.

      “I’m not sure I’d characterize it as providing support to the same people as we are,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview in Brussels.

      Asked about reports by local activists that the United States was establishing a new base in the adjacent northeastern province of Hasaka to land Special Forces and supplies, he said, “Clearly, I won’t talk about what our Special Forces are doing.”

      Another United States military official said, “Simply not true.”

      However, Yaman, an anti-government activist from Hasaka who uses only his first name for safety, said that two jets loaded with light munitions had landed recently at the Hasaka base, near the town of Ramaylan, on a small airstrip previously used for crop-dusting planes.

      He said there were about 150 United States military personnel there, guarded by Kurds who prevent anyone from approaching. The same account was provided by the Local Coordination Committees and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British monitoring group with contacts on the ground.

      In Washington, Pentagon and other American officials said they were monitoring the Russian deployment at the Qamishli airport but did not necessarily view it as a negative development. Some American officials warned that all parties involved — Russians, Kurds, Sunni Arabs and government forces — were seeking advantage from the troop movements.

      “Look, the Russians are trying to play both sides of the fence, telling the Kurds they’ll use the base to fight ISIL and telling the regime they’ll use the base to improve their position in the country,” said one senior Defense Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal American assessments. “It’s also an attempt to try to set themselves up as the hero.”

      Another senior Pentagon official emphasized that moving 100 Russian soldiers to an airstrip in the northeast, far from coastal bases in the west where the bulk of the Russian ground forces and combat planes are based, was a relatively small deployment, more significant geographically than militarily.

      It would also bolster the narrative that Russia is attacking the Islamic State as well as other Western-backed groups opposed to Mr. Assad’s government, the officials said. Opponents of the Assad government have accused Russia of targeting their fighters almost exclusively, largely ignoring the Islamic State.

      Russian officials also no doubt recognize that openly cooperating with the Kurdish militias, especially so close to the Turkish border and amid recent Turkish-Kurdish military clashes, would irritate the Turkish government, American officials said. Moscow has been looking for ways to taunt Turkey since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November.

      American military officials voiced one important cautionary note. Any increased Russian aerial activity in the northeast, they said, could interfere with American Special Operations forces who recently began advising and assisting Syrian Arab fighters battling their way toward Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

      “With the entry of the guys into Syria, we have to be very careful about the airspace in and around northern Syria,” said the American military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational matters.

    • Turkey alarmed by ‘Russian build-up’ on Syria border

      ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday expressed alarm over reports of a build-up of Russian troops in northern Syria near the Turkish border, saying such movements would not be tolerated.

      “We have said this from the beginning: we won’t tolerate such formations (in northern Syria) along the area stretching from the Iraqi border up to the Mediterranean,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

      Britain-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had said that Russia had sent a number of engineers to the Syrian border town of Qamishli to strengthen the runway and increase the capacity of an airport there.

      Russia’s reported move into Qamishli comes as Ankara and Moscow are experiencing their biggest crisis in years over the shooting down of a Russian war plane by Turkey on Nov. 24.

      “We maintain our sensitivities on this issue,” added Erdogan, citing reports that Russia had deployed some 200 soldiers and stating that he would raise the issue Saturday in talks with visiting US Vice President Joe Biden.

      Observers have said that Russia, which has for years been at loggerheads with Turkey over the Syrian conflict, may want to refit the airport as a Russian base, as happened in Hmeimim in Latakia province.

      Qamishli lies just south of the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.

      “I can say that Turkey is closely watching every military movement on its borders and especially the border with Syria,” the government source told AFP, asking not to be named.

      – ‘Prevent this formation’ –

      The Turkish army has already reinforced security by digging trenches in the border zone, the Hurriyet daily said.

      It quoted Turkish security sources as saying that a Russian military delegation, headed by a general and including members of the Russian military intelligence service GRU, had flown into Qamishli on Jan. 16 to inspect the airport.

      The Kremlin and Iran are the chief remaining allies of President Bashar al-Assad who Turkey wants to see ousted as the key to ending Syria’s almost five year civil war.

      Turkey has repeatedly expressed alarm about Russia’s deployment of troops to Syria which Moscow says is aimed at fighting extremists but is widely seen as buttressing the Assad regime.

      Education Minister Nabi Avci, speaking in parliament, claimed Russia’s forces in Qamishli were working with both the regime as well as Kurdish militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

      The People’s Protection Units (YPG) have established control over much over the northern Syrian border region in the past months after pushing out ISIS fighters.

      But Ankara accuses the PYD and YPG of being the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and has been alarmed by an apparent tightening of ties between Moscow and the Kurds after the plane downing.

      “For us, there is no difference between PYD, YPG, PKK or Daesh (ISIS),” said Erdogan.

      “We will discuss this with Biden tomorrow … I hope that this joint stance will be aimed at preventing this wrong Russian formation in northern Syria,” he added.

      Hurriyet also claimed a delegation from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the PYD and the Assad regime was now in Qamishli

      Syria: Media welcomed aboard Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov in Latakia

    • Channel 4 – Anne-Marie Slaughter on refugees and Syria

      International lawyer and foreign policy analyst Anne-Marie Slaughter talks to Cathy Newman about refugees and the Syrian civil war.

    • Assad exit in 2017: A plausible scenario?

      Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his “inner circle” should leave office by March 2017, according to a US government document recently obtained by the Associated Press.

      Although it is not clear yet whether the document represents a set of policy recommendations on Syria or an actual decision by Washington awaiting implementation, it sets a timeline for political transition in Syria.

      However, President Barack Obama himself will be leaving office in January 2017, two months before Assad’s departure in accordance with the Obama’s administration’s timeline.

      Some analysts believe that this situation raises uncertainty about the future of the transition plan.

      Radwan Ziadeh, head of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, told Ahram Online that the document offers only expectations for what should happen. He is not optimistic about it, arguing that the plan “will not take place because Assad won’t be committed to it.”

      “The opposition will not stop such solutions, but Assad will. He is still the strongest party here, using his airforce to kill civilians, and he believes that Russia’s military support for him is the key,” said Ziadeh.

      “The only way to get out of that long crisis is using power against Assad and forcing him out, through imposing a no-fly zone which will prevent him from using his military airforce and his barrel bombs,” he added.

      According to the US document, a new president and parliament for Syria should be elected by August 2017 to end the ongoing civil war, with the UN Security Council providing a “framework for negotiations between Assad’s representatives and the oppositions.”

      A security committee will also be formed in advance in April 2016, which “would be accompanied by an amnesty for some government and military members, and moderate opposition leaders and fighters.”

      From May until November 2016, the Syrian parliament will be dissolved and the UNSC will supervise the establishment of a transitional authority and legislature, though no details were provided on the mechanisms and means of achieving such process.

      International donors will fund Syria’s processes of transition and reconstruction and a new constitution will be drafted, the document stipulated.

      It also involves “setting a schedule for drafting a new constitution, with free and fair elections to be held within 18 months under UN supervision with all Syrians.”

      The plan seems close to a UN resolution that was unanimously approved in December 2015, which called for a ceasefire and negotiations between the Syrian regime and opposition figures.

      US State Department spokesman John Kirby described the document as a “working-level” document which of “laid out a potential way forward for the political process.”

      The US administration wants a “government in Syria that Syrians have had a hand in making and in preserving,” Kirby said.

      Kirby stressed that the war-torn state should be unified, non-sectarian and free of terrorism, accentuating that “we continue to believe Assad can’t be part of the future of Syria.”

      Since the Syrian civil war erupted, more than 250,000 people have lost their lives, in addition to the displacement of 12 million people, the UN said in August 2015.

      For Syrian journalist and activist Bassel Oudat, who spoke to Ahram Online via email, the formation of a security committee which will combine military members of the regime and the opposition is “one of the most important points in the leaked timeline.”

      “This is the best way out for Syria to begin the reconstruction of the country, especially in light of the divergences between the Syrian political opposition and the large numbers of the armed groups in Syria. Each side has its own ideology and supporters,” said Oudat.

      “Without such a plan, there is no realistic solution on the short or the medium term”, said Oudat, stressing that a solution can only take place if Assad and his advisors have no influence on the to-be-established security committee.

      But he drew attention to the need for international consensus and the prevention of funds directed to the armed opposition factions in order to make them accept the plan and join it.

      For Majid Rafizadeh, a US-Iranian scholar and President of the International American Council, pro-Assad Iran could be a regional obstacle against the implementation of the plan, and making a compromise with the Shia state on this issue a necessary step.

      “If the Alawite state remains in power, Tehran will be willing to abandon Assad,” Rafizadeh argued. He mentioned that the plan is likely to happen, but believed that the departure of Assad will not resolve the Syrian conflict.

      “Syria has turned into one of the largest regional and international proxy battlegrounds of our generation,” he concluded.–A-plausible-scenario-.aspx

  27. Turkey: Shooting of Kurdish civilians waving white flag caught on camera

    Several civilians waving a white flag were shot at in the town of Cizre, Friday. The victims are reported to be Kurds, and they were allegedly shot at by Turkish troops, reportedly leading to fatalities.

    Footage is reported to show the moment of the shooting, which occurred as they pushed a cart down the street with two covered bodies.

  28. CHANNEL 4 – J I H A D I S N E X T D O O R – ( 46 min 30 )

    The Telegraph – The Jihadis Next Door, Channel 4, review: </strong

    'shocking and crucial'
    Gerard O'Donovan reviews Jamie Roberts's eye-opening documentary, which featured a chilling interview with 'Jihadi Sid', the bouncy castle salesman turned Isil executioner

    It is hardly unusual these days to see men in beards preaching radicalism and hatred on our TV screens. But it is unusual, as in The Jihadis Next Door (Channel 4), to see such a man waving the flag of Islamic State in his Walthamstow garage, knowing that from there, two years later, having fled to Syria with his family, he went on to become suspected of being at the center of a horrific murder video by the so called Islamic State in Syria.

    Roberts’s film made the crucial connection by showing how, left unchecked extremist words can end up being turned into actions. This was the point that the film drove home repeatedly and clearly. That some of those radicalised, will end up as Siddhartha Dhar is alleged to have, becoming terrorists. The reality is that the hatred of these horrible, cowardly men can inspire others to action.

    “It is clear in the journey of [Dhar],” said Roberts in conclusion, "that the connection between non-violent extremism and terrorism is absolute.”

    On this evidence few would disagree.

  29. George Soros: Fear-mongering Donald Trump and Ted Cruz ‘are doing the work of ISIS’

    Speaking at a dinner in Davos, the veteran billionaire launched an attack on the Republican nomination frontrunner, as well as Ted Cruz and Vladimir Putin

    The veteran billionaire speculator and philanthropist, George Soros, has launched an astonishing attack on Donald Trump, accusing the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the US presidency of “doing the work” of Islamic State.

    Speaking at a dinner in Davos, Soros broke off from giving his views on the fragile state of global financial markets and the migration crisis to decry Trump and Ted Cruz, a rival Republican, of driving muslims to terrorism.

    “By fear-mongering, he and [Ted] Cruz are doing the work of Isis,” Soros said.

    “They want people to turn against the Muslim community and make the Muslim community think there is no alternative to terrorism. It turns the Muslim community into a breeding ground for Isis.”

    Trump caused controversy when he said there should be “a complete and total ban” on Muslims entering the US.

    Trump’s words brought a strong response from Soros, who said it was “harmful” when people did things out of fear.

    The investor, made famous by his attack on the pound that led to Britain’s departure from the European exchange rate mechanism in 1992, said the migration crisis was causing Europe to “fall apart”, adding that refugees had been treated better when he was fleeing totalitarianism in the 1940s and 1950s.

    “I was a migrant for 15 years, but migrants were treated better in those days. I could study, get a job, get travel documents, and think about making $100,000 before retiring. All this while I was a displaced person.”

    Soros said Vladimir Putin was making the migration crisis worse by authorizing Russia’s bombing of civilians in Syria. “He wants the EU to collapse,” he said.

    He added that he did not think the Russian president was serious about reaching a political solution to the civil war in Syria.

    “The EU is in an existential crisis as a result of migration,” Soros said. “The EU is falling apart.”

    Backing the idea of a Marshall Plan for countries neighboring Syria, Soros said he was thrilled that the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, a strong supporter of budgetary austerity, had backed the idea.

    Soros said: “Most people know that something has gone terribly wrong. It has to be put right.”

    Soros said on migration: “We have reached a tipping point where the influx reduces the capacity of receiving countries assimilate or integrate the refugees and we have a panic. It is like a cinema on fire without exit signs.”

    On the global economy, he said the same conditions were in place as those that caused the crisis in 2008. “There is a financial crisis and a bear market,” said Soros. “The source of the disequilibrium is different. In 2008 it was US sub-prime housing. Today it is China, where a hard landing is practically unavoidable.”

    Soros said 2016 was going to be a difficult year. There would be no further rate rises from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank would ease policy in March.

    • Soros has never done anything that was designed to help civilization and has done many things that damage civilization. He is the biggest funder of left wing causes and programs in the world.

  30. UN climate chief says COP21 deal is on very firm ground – economy

    Isabelle Kumar, euronews: “Christiana Figueres, many thanks for being with us. My first question, why do you think this climate deal is going to work?”

    Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary: “Well, because it is fundamented on very, very strong drivers, which are national interests. We have 188 national climate change plans produced by 188 countries that are looking at what they can do to address climate change, from the perspective of their national interests…

  31. Bill Gates: US ‘should take more’ refugees (BBC, Jan 22, 2016)

    “The billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has told the BBC that the United States “should set a better example” by taking in more refugees.

    Mr Gates said his home country “had the capacity” to follow the examples of Germany and Sweden, who were “to be congratulated” for welcoming migrants.

    But he acknowledged that relaxing immigration laws “was not easy”.

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Gates added that governments were dealing with “tight budgets”.

    However, he emphasised that the issue was largely a political one, and that “the total number of refugees is not a world record”…”

  32. The Islamization Of France In 2015

    An estimated 40,000 cars are burned in France every year – a destruction often attributed to rival Muslim gangs. Every day, more than 80 cars are burned.

    The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, called for the number of mosques in France to be doubled over the next two years. Boubakeur said that 2,200 mosques are “not enough” for the “seven million Muslims living in France.” He demanded that unused churches be converted into mosques.

    Prime Minister Manuel Valls revealed in April that more than 1,550 French citizens or residents are involved in terrorist networks in Syria and Iraq.

    “Can we not talk about subjects that split opinion? If you talk about immigration, you are a xenophobe. If you talk about security, you are a fascist. If you talk about Islam, you are an Islamophobe.” – Henri Guaino, MP.

    “Those who denounce the illegal behavior of fundamentalists are more likely to be sued than the fundamentalists who behave illegally.” – Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party.

    btw. I am not sure if somebody have already sent that article because I’ve noticed it was published by Gatestone institute on 19th, and I saw it on zerohedge today. Anyway, it is a good article.

  33. REBEL MEDIA – REVEALED: Facebook’s new plan to censor “right wing speech”
    Ezra Levant of reports on Facebook’s new Online Civil Courage Initiative, designed to censor “right wing hate speech” online after the mass Muslim migrant rapes in Cologne, Germany. Why doesn’t Facebook target Muslim radicalism online, too?

  34. Germany, Turkey eye lifting EU visa rules for Turks by October

    Germany and Turkey agreed Friday to work towards easing EU visa requirements for Turkish nationals visiting the Schengen area by October, according to a statement issued after talks between leaders of the two countries.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu “emphasized their commitment towards meaningfully advancing the negotiations between Turkey and the EU on visa liberalization with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens to the Schengen area by October 2016,” the statement said.

    Earlier, top officials from Germany and Turkey said Europe’s migrant crisis is the main issue at a meeting in Berlin.

    Germany saw an unprecedented 1.1 million asylum seekers arrive last year, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Facing growing domestic pressure, Merkel wants Turkey to help stop the flow of migrants from coming to Europe.

    She has urged other European Union members to make good on their pledge of giving Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to improve conditions for almost 3 million refugees living there.

    Davutoglu told German news agency dpa ahead of the meeting that even 3 billion euros may not be enough because nobody knows how long the crisis will last.

  35. ‘We will recover our land from the invaders’: ISIS issues chilling threat to launch terror attacks in Spain to reimpose Muslim rule after 500 years

    Jihadis release video of ancient map of the Iberian peninsula turning red

    Spain, then known as Andalus, ruled by Muslims for 700 years until 1492

    Islamist militants killed 191 people in the Madrid train bombings in 2004

  36. VICE NEWS – Corruption, Hate and Violence: Kosovo in Crisis

    ( 8 min 28 )
    Kosovo is currently seeing the worst case of political unrest since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008. A new European Union-brokered deal that would give the Serbian minority more local powers in the majority-Albanian country has proved to be the tipping point after a long period of dissatisfaction with the government.

    Opposition parties have come together to try and channel public opinion, organizing recent protests which have, in many cases, turned violent. The deeper issue, however, is that the country suffers from crippling unemployment, with 61 percent of its youth out of work.

    VICE News travels to Kosovo to see if the small Balkan country is showing signs of a failed state. We meet opposition leaders under house arrest, attend a protest where the government headquarters is set alight, and speak with impoverished people on both sides of the ethnic divide.

  37. BBC News – Bill Gates: US ‘should take more’ refugees –

    The billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has told the BBC that the United States “should set a better example” by taking in more refugees. Speaking to the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Gates said his home country “had the capacity” to follow the examples of G E R M A N Y and S W E D E N , who were “to be congratulated”.
    But he acknowledged that relaxing immigration laws “was not easy”. He added that governments were dealing with “tight budgets”.

  38. FOX News – Sources: Clinton’s private server exposed human spying intel

    Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from Washington on what could be the most damaging allegation yet against the former secretary of state

    • State Dept.: Clinton emails may be delayed due to snow

      Delay means many emails would not become public until after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina primaries


      After misplacing about 7,000 pages of documents for several months, the State Department is now asking a federal judge for more time to release former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, blaming the blizzard currently slamming Washington.

      Lawyers for the department asked Judge Rudolph Contreras on Friday if State can release some of Clinton’s emails on February 29, one month after it was initially supposed to turn over the last of the documents. That would also result in many emails not becoming public until after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

      Contreras had ordered the State Department to stick to a monthly production schedule for the emails last May in response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit brought by journalist Jason Leopold.

      “Because the Clinton email team must perform its work onsite … this storm will disrupt the Clinton email team’s current plans to work a significant number of hours throughout the upcoming weekend and could affect the number of documents that can be produced on January 29, 2016,” State’s lawyers wrote.

      Ryan James, a lawyer representing Leopold, told CNN Friday: “It’s baffling why State needs a month to make up for only three days of snow-related office closures.”

      The final batch of emails include some of the most sensitive ones, such emails that have been flagged for further review by the intelligence community, which is involved in vetting the emails for public release, Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner acknowledged.

      Toner said State still plans to release documents next week as planned, but are not able to get all of the remaining emails — over 9,000 pages worth — out by that date.

      “The production on January 29th will not meet the Court’s goal of producing the remaining emails from former Secretary Clinton,” Toner said, “but we will strive to produce as many documents as possible on that day. ”

      “Should this request for an extension be granted, the remainder of the approximately 55,000 pages would be posted in February,” he added.

      The development comes just days after a leaked letter from the intelligence community’s inspector general revealed that “several dozen” of Clinton’s emails contain such information, but Toner denied there was a connection between those claims at the current delay.

      “The cause of this delay is not due to any ongoing discussion about classification that has been in the news as of late,” he said.

      Additional documents found for review

      In its request for extension, the State Department’s lawyers say an oversight by their own reviewers is partially to blame for the delay, because a “number of pages” that required additional review by the interagency team were never actually sent out for review.

      After discovering the issue, the filing says, they had to send 7,254 pages of emails to the “appropriate agencies.”

      That delivery was then delayed once again, according to the filing, by the snowstorm that currently has the Washington area bunkered down, with federal agencies closing at noon on Friday.

      The State Department now plans to finish delivering those documents “next week.”

      Excluding these documents, the State Department says it will be able to release all other remaining emails — about 2,000 — by the original January 29 deadline.

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