Readers links for March 25 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

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

105 Replies to “Readers links for March 25 – 2016”

  1. 6 Arrested in Brussels Police Operation After French Raids Foil Planned Terror Attack

    Six people have been arrested in a large police operation in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said Thursday night, as two suspects in the deadly Brussels bombings remain on the loose.

    The six arrested were detained for questioning, a Belgian prosecutor said in a statement. The decision of whether to charge them is expected to be made tomorrow.

    Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon tweeted earlier in the evening that five people had been arrested.

    Salah Abdeslam Says He ‘Didn’t Know’ of Brussels Attack Plans

    2 Brussels Attackers Identified as Brothers

    Several houses were searched in Brussels, Schaerbeek and Jette, the prosecutor said. The police raids were conducted in connection with the Brussels terror attack investigation.

    News of the raid came shortly after raids in northwest Paris foiled a planned attack, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

    The French plot was at the “advanced stage” of preparation and was discovered after a French national — described as being at a “high level” in the plot — was arrested this morning, Cazeneuve said.

    There did not appear to be links “at this stage” between the plot foiled in France and the Paris or Brussels attacks, he added, saying the arrest is the result of weeks of investigation and the individual was involved in a “terror network” that planned to strike.

    The raids in Argenteuil, about 8 miles outside of the center of Paris, were ongoing and the streets were sealed off.

    • Brussels attacks: 10 suspects arrested in three countries (BBC, Mar 25, 2016)

      “Ten more suspects have been arrested in three European countries as police step up efforts to prevent further attacks after the Brussels bombings.

      Seven were detained in Brussels, two reportedly in Germany and one in Paris.

      An investigation is continuing into Tuesday’s bomb attacks, which killed 31 people in Brussels and have been linked to November’s Paris attacks.

      At least three explosions were reported in the Schaerbeek suburb of Brussels in a police operation.

      The operation is now said to have finished.

      Media reports said a man with a backpack had been “neutralised” during the operation after refusing to obey police orders, and an area near Meiser square was sealed off by heavily armed police and military vehicles.

      The man was later said to be injured.

      Eyewitnesses reported seeing police shoot in the legs a man armed with a machine gun who had emerged from an underpass.

      Belgian TV showed bomb disposal personnel at the scene.

      A local resident, named as Marios, said there was gunfire as well.

      “I heard two very loud shots, I don’t know what they were,” he told the BBC….”

        • First you prove you can stomp them any time you want, then you can win their hearts and minds. That is what we did in WWII, since then the left has been trying to be “merciful” and we have been getting attacked more and more often.

            • I don’t think it was him, I do know that a lot of people make fun of that statement but it shows more reality then the people who oppose it.

              There is an old B moving about the pacification of the Philippines and how after we had crushed the rebels we set about building schools and bridges to help the people. This showed the winning of the hearts and minds but it was done after the war had been won. That last part can’t be repeated often enough, after the war had been won.

    • Brussels Attack Survivor: ‘I Feel Lucky’

      Mason Wells, a 19-year-old from Utah, is expected to make a full recovery after surviving the bombing attack at the Brussels airport on Tuesday.

    • DIALY MAIL – Anti-terror police shoot suspect holding rucksack at tram station in fresh Brussels swoop as two explosions are heard

      Armed police ‘neutralised’ terror suspect carrying a rucksack in Brussels neighbourhood of Schaerbeek
      Two explosions were heard at the start of the terror raid, after which man was shot at tram stop
      Videos show shot suspect being forced to drop the bag after which it was investigate by bomb squad
      Linked to arrest of Reda Kriket in Paris on Thursday, who had been in ‘advances stages’ of planning an attack

  2. EXCLUSIVE – Inside the den of terror: Extraordinary first pictures of the Brussels bombers’ secret lair where they built explosives for mass murder

    These extraordinary photographs give the first insight into the bomb-making safehouse where three jihadi terrorists plotted to blow themselves up at Brussels airport and on the city’s Metro system.

    The dilapidated flat in the city’s Schaerbeek district was used by brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui and master bombmaker Najim Laachraoui, who killed 31 people when they set off explosives-packed suitcases and suicide vests in the devastating attacks on Tuesday morning.

    The images, which were captured in the aftermath of the atrocity when police carried out a series of anti-terror raids in the Schaerbeek area, show how officers seemingly busted a hole in the front door before cordoning off parts of the flat.

    Detectives said they discovered an undetonated bomb, an ISIS flag and several ‘chemical products’ used to build more explosives when they raided the property just hours after the massacres.

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  3. Brussels attacks suicide bombers ‘targeted nuclear plants’ and were plotting to build ‘radioactive dirty bomb’

    The Brussels attacks suicide bombers were plotting to build a dirty bomb and target a nuclear power plant, it’s been claimed.

    Brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, who were behind the deadly attacks at the airport and metro station, were reportedly planning a bomb to scatter radioactive material in a populated area.

    The terrorists had also planted a hidden camera in front of the home of a director at the Belgian nuclear power plant , according to reports.

    The footage showed the nuclear boss’s comings and goings and prompted investigators to conclude the terrorists “could have put national security in danger like never before”, the newspaper La Derniere Heure reported.

  4. Thousands Pledge to Get Arrested in D.C. Protests Next MonthKai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s campaign director, explained that his team called each of the 2,912 protesters pledging to risk arrest and spent about twenty minutes on the phone expounding on the movement’s goals as well as helping to coordinate travel and logistics.

    “People are coming from Montana, Seattle, and other states around the country,” Newkirk told Breitbart News in a phone interview. “They are driving, taking buses, flying, because there are so many people from across the political spectrum that are just tired of the status quo of a democracy that works for the super rich and not for the everyday American. They want to take this stand to say enough.”

    Newkirk said he is “confident” that “if Congress doesn’t respond to our demands and they would rather send people to jail, then it will be the largest civil disobedience of the century.”

    Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s campaign director, explained that his team called each of the 2,912 protesters pledging to risk arrest and spent about twenty minutes on the phone expounding on the movement’s goals as well as helping to coordinate travel and logistics.

    “People are coming from Montana, Seattle, and other states around the country,” Newkirk told Breitbart News in a phone interview. “They are driving, taking buses, flying, because there are so many people from across the political spectrum that are just tired of the status quo of a democracy that works for the super rich and not for the everyday American. They want to take this stand to say enough.”

    Newkirk said he is “confident” that “if Congress doesn’t respond to our demands and they would rather send people to jail, then it will be the largest civil disobedience of the century.”

  5. Russian military plans buildup from West to Pacific

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is to beef up its military forces all the way from its western border to the Pacific islands amid ongoing strains with the West, the military said Friday.

    No financial details were disclosed but the buildup will likely be costly and takes place at a time when the Russian economy is in recession under the dual impact of low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its role in the Ukrainian crisis.

    While announcing the buildup, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the deployment of NATO’s forces near Russia’s borders has caused concern. As part of a response, he said new units in the Western Military District, including two new divisions, will be formed.

    The military forces in western Russia will receive 1,100 new weapons systems, including warplanes, helicopters, tanks and other armored vehicles.

  6. As we destroy our military Russia and China are busy increasing the size of theirs, we are rapidly approaching a time when the US soldiers may have to once again buy time for the US to rearm with their lives.

    The politicians who are doing this are composed of two different groups 1) the terminally ignorant who are incapable of learning the lessons of history and 2) the traitors who want to destroy the US and freedom in the name of internatonal socialism.

  7. Beijing extends leave for new parents as China hopes for more children

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Authorities in China’s capital will extend leave from work for new mothers and fathers, state media reported on Friday, in what appeared to be the latest incentive to encourage families to have more children.

    The world’s largest economy faces a shrinking labor force and aging population, meaning it could be the first country in the world to age before it first gets rich.

    Last year, the ruling Chinese Communist Party announced it would relax its long-standing and controversial “one-child policy”, allowing all couples to have two children.

    The government, keen to address the looming aging crisis, is concerned many people will choose not to exercise that right, worried about the cost of raising two children in an increasingly expensive country.

    The state-run China News Agency, in reporting the new rules for leave for new parents, did not link them to hopes people would have more children.

    Fathers in Beijing will now be entitled to 15 days of paternity leave under the new regulation, the news agency said. New fathers in China now get three to 10 days paternity leave depending on where they live, according to state media.

    • As the left in the west screams about over population the worlds birth rate drops, other nations work to build their population by encouraging their people to have children the left pushes more abortions and more immigration. You can see the difference between the two groups attitudes towards their nations.

  8. Ex-CIA chief says British EU exit would not impact UK security

    LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union is not a “natural contributor to national security” and a British exit from the bloc would have a limited impact on U.S. intelligence cooperation, the former head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said.

    The issue of security has become one of the main arguments between those who want Britons to vote to stay in the EU and those who want to leave ahead of a June 23 referendum on British membership.

    Attacks in Brussels on Tuesday have fueled the differences, with advocates for leaving arguing the bloc’s open border policy allowed for the killings to take place while Prime Minister David Cameron and others said recent attacks showed greater intelligence cooperation was needed.

    “The union is not a natural contributor to national security of each of the entity states and in fact in some ways gets in the way of the state’s providing security for its own citizens,” Michael Hayden, ex-director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, told BBC radio in an interview aired on Saturday.

  9. Glasgow mosque leader praises extremist killer (BBC, Mar 25, 2016)

    “The religious leader at Scotland’s biggest mosque has praised an extremist who was executed for committing murder in Pakistan, the BBC can reveal.

    Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used the messaging platform WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

    Qadri was hanged in February after murdering a local politician who opposed strict blasphemy laws.
    In a statement the imam said the messages had been taken out of context.

    He said that he was expressing his opposition to capital punishment.

    In messages seen by the BBC, Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman says that he is “disturbed” and “upset” at the news of Qadri’s execution, before writing “rahmatullahi alai”, a religious blessing usually given to devout Muslims and meaning may God’s mercy be upon him.

    In another, he says: “I cannot hide my pain today. A true Muslim was punished for doing which [sic] the collective will of the nation failed to carry out.”

    Maulana Habib Ur Rehman is the most senior imam at Glasgow Central Mosque, a role which involves leading prayers and giving religious guidance and teachings.

    The BBC has confirmed with members of the group that the messages come from the imam…”

  10. Kosovo Jails 3 for Trying to Join Islamic Extremists (abcnews, Mar 25,2016)

    “A Kosovo court has jailed three ethnic Albanian men who had tried to join Islamic State extremists in Syria.

    Two of them were sentenced to two years and four months in jail and the third to two-and-a-half years, the Pristina court said Friday.

    Last November they were stopped by the Turkish authorities at Istanbul airport and handed back to Kosovo police who arrested them.

    Joining Islamic rebel groups is punishable with up to 15 years imprisonment based on a law passed last year prohibiting Kosovo people from taking part in armed conflicts outside their territory.

    A few hundred Kosovo-born volunteers have gone to join the Islamic groups in Syria and Iraq, mainly passing through Turkey.”

  11. Bangladeshis Protest Against Ending Islam as State Religion (abcnews, Mar 25, 2016)

    “Thousands of Muslims rallied in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday to denounce a court petition seeking to remove Islam as the country’s official state religion.

    About 3,000 Muslims protested outside the national mosque in Dhaka against the petition, filed by a group of prominent citizens, which is to be taken up by the High Court on Sunday.

    “We are here to give a message to authorities that we will not tolerate any move to cancel Islam as state religion,” said Abdur Rahim, a participant. “We will resist such moves at any cost.”

    More than 90 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people are Muslim. Hindus and Buddhists are the main religious minorities.

    The protest, which began after weekly Friday prayers, was organized by the citizens’ group Touhidi Janata and the Islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam. No large political parties were involved.

    Military dictator H.M. Ershad declared Islam the state religion in 1988 to win support during a campaign by major political parties to oust him from power. He resigned amid large protests in 1990.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina brought back secularism as a pillar of the constitution in 2011, but retained Islam as the state religion.”

  12. Migrants found packed into refrigerated lorry given asylum freedom in under three days (express, Mar 25,2016)

    “HALF of the desperate migrants who made it in to Britain in the back of two crammed lorries have been given their freedom in just three days.

    All 51 people, including women and young children, were discovered sneaking into the country by police after they stormed two heavy goods lorries.

    A fruit importer called for help after finding 26 migrants packed into the back of his refrigerated lorry, and a further 26 were found after a second vehicle was stopped.

    One of the trucks arrived in the UK on Wednesday, just hours after Home Secretary Theresa May announced toughened border security following the Brussels suicide bombings in which at least 31 were killed and almost 300 wounded.

    Yesterday Tory MP Peter Bone said: “The risk is, of course, are we sure that the people who have come into the country have come because they are seeking asylum or have they got more sinister motives?

    “They are free to move around but, after the terrible attacks in Brussels and France, are we sure we are not letting in potential terrorists? That is really, really concerning.

    “With such high security it is appalling that people can just come into the country hiding in lorries, and these are only the ones we have found. How many more are there who have not been caught?”

    Photos soon emerged on social media of one of the lorries, which showed the desperate migrants crammed into the back of the Romanian-registered HGV carrying £25,000 worth of peppers.

    An ambulance was called after a woman, who had been hiding with 24 men and a young boy, collapsed.

    The lorry, which had been travelling to the UK from Spain, stopped at the distribution centre of Gomez Ltd in Bridge, near Canterbury, shortly before 11.30am.

    But it is not clear where or when the immigrants – who are of Middle Eastern or North African appearance – got into the truck.

    An extra 25 stowaways were found on Monday after the lorry driver stopped near the Dartford Tunnel.

    The 52 claimed they were fleeing conflict, persecution and humanitarian disaster in war torn countries such as Iran, Iraq and Syria.

    They were handed into the care of Home Office immigration enforcement and processed at the Kent Intake Unit yesterday, where they were offered food, drink and medical attention, and underwent security screening….”

  13. Saudi prince sued over party with ‘strippers, cocaine and urination that caused $300,000 worth of damage to Hollywood mansion’ (independent, Mar 25, 2016)

    “A Saudi prince is being sued by a property developer for allegedly causing $300,000 (£212,000) worth of property damage to a Hollywood mansion.

    Prince Aziz al Saud, 29, was renting the 16,000 sq ft property in Hollywood Hills during August last year – at a cost of $100,000 (£71,000) a month – when the alleged party took place. Mr Al Saud, a member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, is vice president of Faden Media.

    But the mansion’s owner, Danny Fitzgerald, has filed a lawsuit claiming the prince invited 800 guests to the 10-bedroom home in order to celebrate his graduation from Pepperdine University.
    According to the lawsuit, party-goers snorted cocaine, smoked marijuana and had strippers dancing on counters, in the process causing $80,000 (£57,000) damage to the property itself.

    The lawsuit claims there were still 300 people at the property at 4am, and that the prince “continued to leave piles of trash on the street” for days afterwards.

    Mr Fitzgerald claims other problems, such as not being able to lease the home out while hardwood floors that had buckled were being repaired, mean the damages add up to more than $300,000.

    Mr Fitzgerald told the Los Angeles Times: “It was horrible. The guy just took full abuse of my home.”

    The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, reads: “Incredibly, after this August 16 party, Prince Aziz continued to have nightly parties until the early mornings and continued to leave piles of trash on the street. Guests of the Prince were allegedy seen urinating on Plaintiff’s neighbors’ properties.”…”

  14. DAILY MAIL – BURMA – ‘No-one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim’: Moment Burma democracy heroine Suu Kyi lost her cool with BBC’s Mishal Husain after being quizzed over violence towards Muslim minority

    When Suu Kyi was repeatedly asked by Husain to condemn anti-Islamic sentiment and the wave of mob-led massacres of Muslims in Myanmar, she declined to do so

  15. Minnesota GOP chairman reaches out to Muslims at Capitol

    1 min25 – video

    A “Muslim Day at the Capitol” event in St. Paul took a fresh turn Wednesday when Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey took the stage to address controversial remarks about Muslims by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

    This year’s annual Muslim event follows deadly attacks in Brussels by Islamic terrorist group ISIS and calls from Trump and Republican rival Ted Cruz for closer scrutiny of Muslims to protect the country from dangerous extremists. Last month, Gov. Mark Dayton and other business and political leaders placed ads calling prejudice against Muslims “un-Minnesotan.”

    […] the political debate occurring in this context unfortunately is severely hampered by a lack of knowledge about Islam and the Muslim community in America.”

    […]Downey pushed back against a claim comparing Trump’s ascendency to the rise of Hitler, stressing the right to free speech and saying that while he opposed the candidate’s policies, it was speculative to declare that he was filled with hate and bigotry. He added that attacking an opponents’ character and motivations is “the very antithesis of civil discourse.”

    […]Downey said the Republican Party is working on more outreach to Muslim voters and plans leadership training sessions later this spring aimed at not only Muslims, but also members of ethnic minority groups, women and millennials.

    • On Muslim Day in Minnesota, political leaders denounce Trump, Cruz

      Video on the page –

      Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton calls it the normalization of hate language. “As part of their normal discourse, in the campaign for President of the United States, I’m just appalled,” Gov. Dayton said.

      “It is important to oppose Donald Trump or any other proposal to combat terrorism that threatens freedom of religion,” Keith Downey said.

      On the floor of the Minnesota House, there was a declaration of support for Minnesota’s Muslim community.

      • There’s an entire thread on ‘Minnesota Men’ at the Weekly Standard:
        Here’s a Dec. 7 exposé:
        The Threat from ‘Minnesota Men’
        Where ISIS goes for American recruits.

        If you get your news from the headlines, you can be excused for thinking that “Minnesota men” pose a special risk of taking up the terrorist jihad at home and abroad. As the Wall Street Journal reported this past April, for example, “U.S. charges six Minnesota men with trying to join ISIS.” The “Minnesota men” featured in such headlines are almost invariably drawn from Minnesota’s swelling population of Somali Muslim immigrants. The state—mostly the metropolitan Twin Cities area—is home to 35,000 such immigrants, the largest Somali population in North America.

        Starting in the 1990s, the State Department directed thousands of refugees from Somalia’s civil war to Minnesota. As Kelly Riddell pointed out in the Washington Times this past February, in Minnesota these refugees “can take advantage of some of America’s most generous welfare and charity programs.” Riddell quoted Professor Ahmed Samatar of Macalester College in St. Paul: “Minnesota is exceptional in so many ways but it’s the closest thing in the United States to a true social democratic state.” After a dip in 2008, the inflow of Somalis has continued unabated and augmented by Somalis from other states. If it takes a village, Minnesota has what it takes.

        • Under the rubric of Countering Violent Extremism, the Obama administration has designated Minneapolis-St. Paul for implementation of a pilot program to deter ISIS recruitment in the Somali community. The program—Building Community Resilience—plows new ground in euphemism.

          According to the Department of Justice, “This effort seeks to bring together community-based organizations and local partners, including the Minneapolis and St. Paul school systems, interfaith organizations, nonprofits and NGOs, and state, county, and local governments. These organizations will together create community-led intervention teams. In addition, the plan brings mentorship programs, scholarships, afterschool programs, and job trainers and placement officers into the Somali community to build community resilience and address the root causes of radicalization.”

  16. Popular Muslim shopkeeper, 40, was stabbed to death outside his business in a religiously motivated attack by another Muslim just hours after he posted a message wishing his ‘beloved Christian nation’ a happy Easter
    A 32-year-old man has been arrested after murder of Asad Shah last night
    The ‘peace-loving’ victim was popular in his neighbourhood of Glasgow
    Hours before his death, he posted message advertising inter-faith meeting
    Police confirmed all those currently involved in investigation were Muslim

    Read more:
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  17. Talent agency boss, 46, is charged and held in custody for ‘inciting racial hatred’ over tweet about quizzing a Muslim woman over the Brussels terror attacks
    Matthew Doyle arrested over tweet about confronting a Muslim woman
    It sparked social media outrage and countless parodies after going viral
    Doyle, 46, arrested and charged under the public order act
    He is due to appear before magistrates in Camberwell tomorrow morning

    Read more:
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  18. When Western Liberals Turn on Muslim Liberals

    Having published a prize-winning French novel, the Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud began receiving invitations to write for European and American papers. Now he has become a target of condemnation—most notably in an open letter by a group of nineteen professors in France. The reason: he has criticized Saudi Arabia, labeled attitudes toward women in Arab countries as “sick,” and otherwise challenged the orthodoxies of his erstwhile patrons on the Western left. Paul Berman and Michael Walzer write:
    The denunciations of Daoud are . . . doubly distressing because they conform to a pattern that has become familiar. It goes like this: a writer with liberal ideas emerges from a background in Muslim countries, or perhaps lives there now. The writer proposes criticisms of Islam as it is practiced, or of sexual repression under Islamic domination (a major theme), or of the Islamist movement. The criticisms seem blasphemous to the Islamists and the reactionary imams, who respond in their characteristic fashion.

    In the Western countries, intellectuals who mostly think of themselves as progressive make their own inquiry into the writer and his or her ideas. They hope to find oblique and reticent criticisms of a sort that they themselves produce. But they find something else—criticisms that are angrier and more vehement, or more sweeping, or more direct.

    The Western intellectuals, some of them, recoil in consternation. And, as if liberated from their reticence, they issue their own condemnation of the offending writer, not on grounds of blasphemy but on grounds that purport to be left-wing. The Western intellectuals accuse the liberal from the Muslim world of being a racist against Muslims, or an Islamophobe, or a “native informant” and a tool of imperialism. Sometimes they accuse the liberal from the Muslim world of stupidity, too, or lack of talent.

  19. Cuba and Obama’s ‘Axis of Evil’
    America Rescues Dying Dictatorships Which Then Try to Destroy It

    Just as the Soviet Union did not subsidize Castro’s tyranny for the good cigars, so too Iran and North Korea are less interested in old weapons and luxury goods than in the one thing Cuba has always offered to America’s enemies — physical proximity. The USSR used Cuba as a forward operating base in the Cold War. Why would Iran and North Korea not do the same?

    Iranian and North Korean scientists have been openly cooperating on so many projects that Iran, if it is not already doing so, will likely evade IAEA inspections by testing its weapons in North Korea.

    A medium range missile fired from Cuba could reach most of the US. Cuba would also be a good launch point for an EMP attack on the US.

    Obama’s diplomatic engagement with Cuba’s octogenarian dictators will ensure that the island prison stays in business. Like Iran, Cuba has been flaunting its tyranny since Obama’s outreach, with 8,616 political arrests in 2015.

    • Got that right, hopefully some group will prevent this from happening, I say some group because it will take several years before the US has that capability.

  20. The Etrog: The Media, the Courts and Prime Minister Sharon during the Disengagement

    This article describes the protection and favor that the media and the courts extended to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from the moment that he announced the disengagement plan in December 2003 up to and after the withdrawal from Gaza and part of northern Samaria in August 2005. Senior journalist and commentator, Amnon Abramovich pioneered the idea of treating the prime minister like an “etrog” (the citron which is blessed during the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkoth]) and stored in cotton and gauze. This gentle handling enabled Sharon to carry out the evacuation of settlements and escape criminal investigations. The media thus shifted from reporting and commenting on events to becoming a supporter of the reversal of Sharon’s stated policy by delegitimizing opponents of the disengagement and preventing the public debate.

    Amnon Lord, currently a columnist of the weekly Makor Rishon and an editor of the Hebrew website, Mida, describes the ‘group-think’ mentality of many Israeli journalists and commentators and discusses the frequently deleterious role of the media in dictating the public agenda. In this process, the media found willing partners in the legal system which harmed democracy in Israel.

    • “Since the disengagement, the media often act as a strategic player, rather than in its traditional role as a medium of news and information. The media seek to set the public agenda, as in the case of the social protest demonstrations in the summer of 2011 or the discussions between 2010-2013 whether or not to attack the nuclear facilities in Iran. The public may question or disapprove of a particular agenda, but this does not seem to be relevant. Furthermore, although predictions by the media may be wrong, as in the case of the disengagement, this does not affect the media’s agenda or behavior.”

  21. Egyptian army destroys North Sinai militant hideouts: Spokesman (ahram, Mar 25, 2016)

    “Egypt’s army destroyed a number of militant hideouts in troubled North Sinai’s Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid cities in raids on Friday morning, an army spokesman said.

    The army executed the offensive based on information about the hideout locations, the spokesman’s statement said.

    The offensive was “retribution for the blood of the martyrs of the army, police and innocent citizens.”

    The army did not provide details about the number of militants killed, but Sky News Arabia’s reporter in Sinai said the army had killed 60 militants and injured 40 others…”

  22. Sahel-Saharan countries agree to form counter-terrorism unit with HQ in Egypt (ahram, Mar 25, 2016)

    “The 27 Sahel-Sahran countries agreed on Friday after a two-day conference to form a terrorism-combating unit, with its headquarters in Egypt, a concluding statement read.
    The fifth Sahel-Saharan Defence Ministers Conference was held in Egypt’s Red Sea Sharm El-Sheikh resort in South Sinai.

    The decision to form a terrorism-combat unit is among the 17 points that were announced in a conference declaration.

    The tasks of the unit have yet to be announced.

    Other points include forming joint patrols on borders of countries experiencing unrest to firmly combat the threat of terrorism and trans-border crimes.

    It also included an agreement on “prohibiting all forms of political interference in the states’ domestic affairs and respecting their sovereignty.”

    On Thursday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi promised a thousand scholarships for nationals of Sahel-Sahran countries in Egypt’s military colleges.

    The conference convening in Egypt comes ahead of a summit of heads of member states of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States organisation, to be held in Morocco later this year.”

  23. Future asylum shelter burns in suspected arson attack (thelocal, Mar 25, 2016)

    “A former playschool in the town of Åkers that was scheduled to be used as an asylum centre caught fire early Friday morning. Police have stated the fire is likely to have been started deliberately.

    The building’s intruder alarm was activated just before the fire started -leaving police to treat the incident as arson, reports broadcaster SVT.

    “The police have opened a report on severe damage [to the property] and have filed the incident as an act of arson,” Mikael Eriksson, chief officer with Sörmland Police, told SVT.

    The fire, which broke out at 2.45am on Friday, was extinguished by firefighters but the building was left ‘severely damaged’.

    Eriksson said that he expected examination of the scene to be conducted during the course of Friday.

    Michael Gregebo, team leader of the emergency service unit that dealt with the blaze, told SVT that there was considerable damage caused by smoke and soot throughout the building…”

  24. Sweden developing secret ingredient against terrorists (thelocal, Mar 25, 2016)

    “A team of Swedish researchers are hoping to stop widely available chemicals from being used to make homemade bombs.

    The group at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (Total försvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI), led by explosives expert Henrik Östmark, is aiming to change the nature of active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide in household and industrial products to stop them being used for criminal acts.

    The FOI researchers hope that their work may produce results as soon as this year, making the ‘raw materials’ of homemade bombs harmless without affecting the practical usefulness of the chemicals…”

  25. Turkish military strikes PKK in northern Iraq, kills 24 militants (reuters, Mar 25, 2016)

    “Turkish warplanes struck Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq and killed 24 PKK fighters in southeast Turkey on Thursday, the army said, as the militants launched a car bomb attack on a military installation in the region.

    Thursday night’s bombing killed three security force members and wounded 24 at a security outpost near the southeast’s largest city of Diyarbakir, the military said in a separate statement on Friday, confirming a report from security sources.

    A Reuters witness said the installation suffered severe damage in the blast on the highway between Diyarbakir and the town of Lice. Security forces imposed tight security in the area and erected screens to conceal the site.

    The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on one of its websites. It said 28 soldiers were killed and 32 were wounded in the attack. The army and PKK generally give vastly different death tolls for attacks and clashes. The figures could not be verified.

    President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday 300 members of the security forces had been killed since the conflict flared up last year, triggering the heaviest clashes since the 1990s. Erdogan said the PKK losses were at least 10 times as high.

    The pro-Kurdish opposition says hundreds of civilians have also been killed in the military operations which were stepped up in December…”

  26. Syrian army takes Palmyra citadel, IS commander killed (reuters, Mar 25, 2016)

    “Islamic State fighters were on the retreat in the strategic Syrian city of Palmyra on Friday, as the United States said it probably killed several senior leaders of the militant group this week including its top finance officer.

    The double blow to the hardline Islamist group in its self-declared caliphate, which covers huge areas of Syria and Iraq, came three days after Islamic State suicide bombers killed 31 people in Brussels, the worst such attack in Belgian history.

    Syrian soldiers fighting to retake the desert city of Palmyra from Islamic State forces recaptured its old citadel on Friday, various media reported. The citadel overlooks some of the most extensive ruins of the Roman empire.

    Many of Palmyra’s temples and tombs have been dynamited by Islamic State fighters in what the United Nations described as a war crime, although television footage on Friday showed that at least some colonnades and structures still standing…”

  27. Iraqi forces make slow progress south of Mosul (reuters, Mar 25, 2016)

    “Iraqi forces made slow progress against Islamic State in the north of the country on Friday in the second day of an offensive touted as the beginning of a broader campaign to clear areas around the city of Mosul.

    Backed by Kurdish forces and a U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces launched the assault at dawn on Thursday, recapturing three villages in the Makhmour area south of Mosul, according to peshmerga commander Najat Ali and an Iraqi army source.

    The Iraqi army source, who is taking part in the offensive, said troops were preparing to attack another village on Friday but were being held up because the militants had rigged streets and buildings with explosives.

    “The mining has slightly slowed down the army,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

    Both Najat Ali, the peshmerga commander, and the Iraqi army source said the militants had used suicide car bombs.

    Thousands of Iraqi troops have deployed to the north in recent weeks, setting up base alongside the Kurdish peshmerga and U.S. forces in Makhmour, which is set to be a key launchpad for any future offensive on Mosul, around 60 km north.

    The Iraqi military said on Thursday the advance was the first move in an operation dubbed “Fatah”, or “Conquest”, that aims to liberate the whole of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is capital….”

  28. Judging the ‘Minnesota Men’
    Can we trust German social science to deradicalize jihadists?

    In the recent trial of Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, the ringleader of a group of Minnesota Muslims who were planning to join Islamic State (IS) and possibly carry out an attack on the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (where Warsame was employed), Judge Michael Davis sentenced the defendant to participate in a program of deradicalization. This program was to be devised and supervised by Daniel Koehler, a German social scientist who runs a center for deradicalization in his own country.

    In determining an appropriate sentence, federal judges have discretion to seek out and apply any relevant data. Judge Davis now looks to Koehler to provide information for the purpose of determining the sentence to be imposed on Warsame. In a press briefing, the judge explained his rationale . . . : “It does not make sense [that] someone who’s never been involved in any type of criminal activity [and] was not seriously religious, [would] in a very short period of time want to go over and be involved in jihad.” Warsame’s own explanation at his plea hearing, [in which he stated that he came from a “very religious” home, considers himself very religious, and had been listening to al-Qaeda-style preaching both online and at his mosque], apparently didn’t answer that question to [the judge’s] satisfaction.

    What are we to make of Judge Davis’s experiment? His last one wasn’t a success. Last year he released one of [Warsame’s co-conspirators] eligible for this new program to a halfway house “to work with a group that promotes civic involvement as a way to keep youth engaged, with hopes of keeping him on a positive track and reintegrating him into society,” as the Associated Press reported. The judge was forced to order the man back into custody when a box cutter was found under his bed.

    HT/Mosaic Picks

  29. Attempts being made to create ethnic tensions among Afghan people: Nabil (khaama, Mar 25, 2016)

    “The former Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Rahmatullah Nabil has warned regarding ongoing attempts to create ethnic divisions among the Afghan people.

    Nabil issued an online statement amid intensifying tensions among the supporters of top political figures, General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor.

    General Abdul Rashid Dostum is the First Vice President and head of Junbish-e-Milli party while Noor is the acting provincial governor and chief of Jamiat-e-Islami party.

    The supporters of the two political figures staged protests which turned violent yesterday in northern Faryab province, leaving one dead and five others wounded.

    The protests were staged following the removal of Gen. Dostum’s pictures from Mazar-e-Sharif city, an act that sparked anger among his supporters.

    Meanwhile, Nabil warned that attempts are being made to further destabilize the country by creating ethnic divisions among the Afghan people.

    The former NDS chief said the Afghan intelligence operatives obtained a classified report which was prepared for Pakistan’s military intelligence – Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) shortly after the presidential elections in 2014.

    Nabil further added that the report was prepared in English which stated that the project to create ethnic divisions among the Afghan people is successfully being implemented and reports regarding the developments will be provided on monthly basis.

    This is not the first time the Afghan officials have slammed Pakistan’s ISI for interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and supporting the anti-government armed militants.

    The Afghan officials have long criticized Pakistan for harboring the anti-government armed militants who are staging attacks against the Afghan government and security forces.”

  30. Senior Afghan army general killed in militants attack in Kandahar (khaama, Mar 25, 2016)

    “A senior Afghan army general was killed in militants attack in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan late on Thursday evening, local officials said.

    The officials further added that the deceased general, General Khan Agha, was serving as deputy commander of the 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan National Army.

    Provincial governor spokesman Samim Khpolwal confirmed the report and said Gen. Agha was killed in an attack by two militants in Dand district.

    However, another security official said the army general was killed after a group of three militants attacked him as he arrived in his guesthouse.

    The official further added that Gen. Agha was initially injured in the attack and succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.

    Gen. Agha is the second top army general killed in militants attack in southern Afghanistan within the past two months.

    Another senior commander of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Gen. Atamir Agah was martyred in an explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan earlier in the month of February.

    Gen. Atamir Agah was serving with the 3rd Brigade of 215 Maiwand Corps of the Afghan National Army in the south.”

  31. AUSTRIA – Vienna –

    “TERROR-Anschlag” Identitäre | Flashmob 24.03.2016

    Zum wiederholten Mal sorgt die rechte “Identitäre Bewegung” für Aufregung.
    Im Zuge der Terror-Anschläge in Brüssel am 22.03.2016 sorgt die Gruppierung nun aber abermals für einen Eklat.
    15-20 Mitglieder der Identitären versammelten sich vor der Parteizentrale der Grünen in Wien-Neubau und wenig später vor der SPÖ-Zentrale im 1. Bezirk zu einem Flashmob und spielten dann einen Terror-Anschlag nach.

    Matthias Euler-Rolle von der SPÖ verurteilte vor Ort den Flashmob. Die Aktion wurde polizeilich überwacht.

  32. After Brussels Attack: ‘Europe Won’t Exist In Ten Years’

    A Romanian member of the European Parliament has lashed out at Europe’s approach to the cultural war with migrants, and questioned the ability of Europe as a cultural entity to continue in the face of the onslaught.

    Romanian MEP Laurentiu Rebega is a member of the same Europe of Nations and Freedom group as Marine Le Pen and the Front National, having joined last year after he crossed the floor from the Conservative party.

  33. RT – The one with a ‘pretty cool idea’: Clinton leaked emails revealed Google – Al-Jazeera cooperation

    Back in 2012 when Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State, Google asked US State Dept for guidance over an app that could boost Syrian opposition. Tech giant was developing it in partnership with Al-Jazeera

  34. The ElderZ remembers:
    Major terror attack on Brussels airport was foiled by Israeli security in 1979

    Remember when Palestinian attacks on civilians were considered terrorism by the entire civilized world?

    There is not much difference between the attacks in Brussels this week and a similar one carried out by Palestinian terrorists in 1979 – except that Israeli security prevented a much larger catastrophe in 1979.

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