Reader’s links for April 9 – 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

74 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 9 – 2016”

  1. Jail for couple who flew in migrants for a day in order to run £1.6m benefits scam (express, Apr 9, 2016)

    “THREE fraudsters who flew 139 migrants into Britain in order to commit a £1.6million “blatant assault on the benefits system” were jailed yesterday.

    Chowdhury Muyeed, 51, and his wife Asma Khanam, 47, set up fake charities to pay bogus wages to migrants. Habibur Rahman, 36, also ran a similar scam.

    The pair gave sham addresses for the migrants and flew them into the UK through Stansted Airport in Essex.

    During a brief stay in the UK – sometimes just one day – the migrants would attend Job Centre interviews to get National Insurance numbers.

    The pair recruited Italian nationals of Bangladeshi origin because they are eligible to work in this country.

    Their details were then connected to bogus addresses and they were registered with the Government as working for the couple 24 hours a week – just enough to entitle them to benefits.

    In reality, they had gone home. But, registered as workers, they were then entitled to housing benefit.

    In total, the scam saw an estimated £1.6million in benefits claimed by 139 migrants. The couple then split the benefits with them….”

  2. Host of British guns ‘secretly sold to terrorists in Libya on Facebook’ (express, Apr 9, 2016)

    “A TROVE of British weapons are being sold to terrorist gun traders on social media site Facebook, according to reports.

    An arsenal of revolvers, light machine guns, rifles and sub-machine guns that were allegedly designed in the UK are reportedly being traded in secret groups on the site.

    According to The Times, the arms are being advertised next to anti-tank weapons and rocket launchers that have been manufactured in Europe, Russia and the US.

    Photographs and descriptions of the weapons were discovered on Facebook by intelligence group Armament Research Services (ARES) and have allegedly been posted by Libyan groups.

    After setting up reported deals, those selling the arms have then negotiated prices through private messages on the popular social media site.

    As many as 13 sub-machine guns were among the arms built in the UK and are reportedly being sold for around £470 and £570 as well as 20 handguns dating back to the Second World War.

    Nic Jenzen-Jones, director of ARES said the British guns could have made their way to Libya through a number of routes….”

  3. Condolence event for killed shopkeeper Asad Shah cancelled after ‘threats’ made in MOSQUE (express, Apr 9, 2016)

    “A CONDOLENCE event planned for Muslim shopkeeper Asad Shah who was killed in a brutal attack in Glasgow has been cancelled after threats were made to the organiser at a MOSQUE.

    UKIP announced this evening that its memorial event for the much-loved business owner will now not go ahead because of safety fears.

    Mr Shah, an Ahmadiyya Muslim, was killed outside his store hours after wishing a Happy Easter to Christian customers, on March 24.

    In response to the public outcry over the killing UKIP organised a collection of signatures for a book of condolence for the family and friends of Mr Shah, to take place in Bradford City Centre. …”

  4. BOMBSHELL BRUSSELS ADMISSION: EU chief drops HUGE gaffe which shows why we need a Brexit (express, Apr 8, 2016)

    “THE European Union is actively making workers across the continent POORER, a top Brussels finance chief admitted today.

    German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel dropped the stunning gaffe whilst discussing the policies of the European Central Bank (ECB).

    He conceded that the EU’s policies are depressing the earnings of low-paid workers and pensioners, who he patronisingly dubbed “the little people”.

    The jaw-dropping admission will anger eurosceptics across the continent, and comes just days after the Dutch people gave Brussels a bloody nose in an EU referendum.

    It will also add further to the assertion of Brexit campaigners that the EU project is having a negative impact on Europe’s economy.

    Although the bank’s decisions do not directly affect British people, the Remain camp has made the importance of the EU economy to our own jobs and prosperity a key point in its argument for sticking with Brussels.

    Speaking today, Mr Gabriel told reporters that the ECB’s ultra-low interest rates are making “little people” like workers and pensioners poorer.

    The bank – which is run by the 19 Eurozone nations – recently cut its interest rate to -0.4% in a desperate bid to encourage borrowing to kickstart the bloc’s ailing economy.

    But a period of prolonged negative interest rates has had a devastating effect on savers and lower earners, who have seen the value of their take-home money shrink in real terms.

    Pensioners have been particularly hard hit, with their accrued pots now worth less than they expected them to be.

    And Mr Gabriel admitted: “What the European Central Bank is doing now is for many savers, for little people, for workers, for pensioners, an expropriation.”

    But he insisted it was “not the ECB’s fault”, and instead laid the blame at dithering EU leaders who he says have not done enough to promote jobs and growth across Europe. …”

  5. ‘They shot my little girl in the head and cut her arms off’: Father of Australian jihadist Amira Karroum want to claim his daughter’s $300,000 life insurance after she was killed in Syria
    Amira Karroum was killed in 2014 while fighting with extremists in Syria
    The 22-year-old died while fighting alongside her husband Yusif Ali
    Moha­med Karroum, her father, wants to claim her $300,000 life insurance
    He says it should be honoured because she was was ‘tricked’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  6. North Korea claims it has successfully tested new intercontinental ballistic rocket engine that gives it ability to stage nuclear strikes on US
    The engine’s ground test, if true, would be a big step forward for the North’s nuclear weapons program
    But it may still need a good deal of work before it can hit the U.S. mainland with nuclear missiles
    South Korean officials say North Korea doesn’t yet have a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile, let alone the ability to arm it with a nuclear warhead

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  7. How doctors want to harvest euthanasia patients’ organs BEFORE they die: Campaigners warn of ‘deeply worrying’ trend as donors feel pressured to end lives so others can benefit through their deaths
    Euthanasia figures in the Netherlands and Belgium are increasing
    At same time, number who donate organs after euthanasia is rising
    Surgeons have praised the quality of lungs coming from these patients
    Anti-euthanasia campaigners say the trend is ‘deeply worrying’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    • This is the logical end of the euthanasia movement just as the sale of the fetal body parts and full bodies is the logical end of the abortion movement. Both movements reduce the value of human lives and if you let them run long enough the elderly patients and unborn children are reduced to a commodity in the minds of the people that are doing the killing.

  8. Channel 4 News reporter is reprimanded for calling British Muslims ‘sell-outs and Uncle Toms’ if they attend government-organised Islamic events
    Assed Baig has also used ‘house Muslim’ in relation to moderate Muslims
    Referred to any Muslims who attend UK government iftars as ‘Uncle Toms’
    It’s a derogatory term meaning black person showing obedience to whites
    C4 News has reminded him ‘of his responsibilities to be fair and impartial

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  9. I’m re-posting the above as they are really very important.

    There are some key aspects of the Islamic War MO I had had not understood till Hadrian’s exposition on Islam.

  10. FBI Warns of Cyber Threat
    to Electric Grid
    DHS intel report downplayed cyber threat to power grid

    Three months after a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report downplayed the threat of a cyber attack against the U.S. electrical grid, DHS and the FBI began a nationwide program warning of the dangers faced by U.S. utilities from damaging cyber attacks like the recent hacking against Ukraine’s power grid.

    The nationwide campaign by DHS and the FBI began March 31 and includes 12 briefings and online webinars for electrical power infrastructure companies and others involved in security, with sessions in eight U.S. cities, including a session next week in Washington.

    The unclassified briefings are titled “Ukraine Cyber Attack: Implications for U.S. Stakeholders,” and are based on work with the Ukrainian government in the aftermath of the Dec. 23 cyber attack against the Ukrainian power infrastructure.

    “These events represent one of the first known physical impacts to critical infrastructure which resulted from cyber-attack,” the announcement by the DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team read.

    “The attacks leveraged commonly available tools and tactics against the control systems which could be used against infrastructure in every sector.”

  11. North Korea says successfully tested ballistic missile engine

    North Korea said Saturday it had successfully tested an engine designed for an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would “guarantee” an eventual nuclear strike on the US mainland.

    It was the latest in a series of claims by Pyongyang of significant breakthroughs in both its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

    Outside experts have treated a number of the claims with scepticism, suggesting the North Korean leadership is attempting to talk up its achievements ahead of a showcase ruling party congress next month.

    According to the North’s official KCNA news agency, the ground engine test was ordered and personally monitored by leader Kim Jong-Un.

    As soon as Kim flagged off the test, “the engine spewed out huge flames with deafening boom”, KCNA said.

  12. The UN starts toward new control over the world’s oceans

    By George Russell Published April 08, 2016

    The United Nations has launched a far-reaching initiative that could give U.N.-sponsored authorities sway over the biological resources of the high seas—all the waters that lie outside national territories and economic zones.

    The potential shift in power involves multi-trillion-dollar issues, such as whether large areas—conceivably, as much as 30 percent– of the world’s international waters should be designated as no-go areas to protect biological diver

  13. U.S. deploys B-52 bombers to Qatar for fight against Islamic StateWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers to Qatar on Saturday to join the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the first time they have been based in the Middle East since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

    U.S. Air Forces Central Command said it last flew the long-range bombers operationally in the region in May 2006 as part of the war in Afghanistan, and during a U.S.-led military exercise in Jordan in May 2015.

    “The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Daesh and defend the region in any future contingency,” said Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

    Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militant movement.

    Lieutenant Colonel Chris Karns, spokesman for the Central Command, said he could not provide the exact number of B-52 bombers to be based at Al Udeid Air Basein Qatar due to “operational security reasons.”

    Washington’s decision to deploy its powerful B-52 bombers to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar came as the U.S. military stepped up the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

    Brown said the bombers would be able to deliver precision weapons and carry out a range of missions, including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, and maritime operations.

    Karns said the bombers would enable U.S. forces to drop one or two munitions in an area, rather than use carpet bombing.

  14. Germany: Suspected arson hits former Islamic centre linked to IS

    A fire swept through a building that formerly housed the Islamic Culture and Family Society in Bremen, early on Saturday morning, following a suspected arson attack. The religious association was shut down by German authorities in 2014 after claims that members had allegedly gone to fight with the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria.

    The ‘Masjidu-l-Furqan’ building was largely destroyed in the fire despite large teams of fire-fighters arriving on scene. No one was left in the building after the site was emptied following 2014’s police raid and the subsequent ban placed on the Culture and Family Society.

    • Police carried out an operation in the Brussels district of Etterbeek, Saturday, reportedly linked to the deadly bombing attacks in the Belgian capital last month.

      At least 50 police officers were deployed to search the area, including snipers and anti-explosives experts. Forensics experts were reportedly seen entering one of the buildings within the area.

    • Belgian prosecutor charges 4 people with terrorist offences

      BRUSSELS, April 9 (Reuters) – Belgium’s public prosecutor on Saturday charged four people with being part of a terrorist organisation, adding it was still not clear whether Mohamed Abrini was involved in last month’s Brussels Airport bombings.

      Apart from Abrini, prosecutors said they also charged Osama K, saying he was present at the time of the attack on the Brussels metro station on March 22.

      Rwandan national Herve B.M. and Bilal E.M. were also charged with taking part in a terrorist organisation and terrorist murders.

      Two other people detained on Friday together with Abrini were released after being questioned, prosecutors added.

      Brussels Bomb: Police Arrest Another Suspect Amid Raid in Etterbeek

      BRUSSELS — Another suspect was arrested over links to the Brussels bombings, Belgian authorities said Saturday as armed police swooped on a city suburb.

      A spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press that a person was detained but no other information was immediately available.

      Fifty police officers were on the scene of an anti-terror operation in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek, with roads closed off and nearby people evacuated.

      An apartment complex with a shop on the ground floor, was cordoned off by police and forensics experts were seen entering the building. Police said snipers had also been deployed.

      It came after five suspects — including a man also linked to the November 13 massacres in Paris — were arrested Friday. Mohamed Abrini, 31, was taken into custody following five months on the run.

      The series of arrests marks a big potential break in the Paris investigation and the search for those responsible for the Brussels bombings in which 32 people were killed.

      Abrini had been wanted for the Paris attacks after he was filmed on security footage at a gas station with Salah Abdeslam, one of the alleged Paris attackers, just two days before the massacres in France, authorities said. Abrini was driving a Renault Clio later used by the Paris attackers, prosecutors have said.

      Prosecutors are trying to confirm if Abrini was the “man in white” pictured on surveillance video at Brussels Airport moments before the first of the March 22 blasts.

      Separately, Belgian officials refused to discuss the number of tips they had received after Thursday’s fresh appeal for information.

      “We are not saying anything because we don’t want to spook the possible suspects still at large. The less they know the better,” Federal prosecutor’s spokesman Eric Van der Sypt told NBC News. “We don’t want the suspects to know the nature of the calls and panic.”

  15. Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin on Genocide, the SPLC, Military Readiness and more


    Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the war for the free world. A man whose, well, past record and ongoing accomplishments give us a source of extraordinary intelligence and savvy about what’s at stake in this war for the free world is our first guest. He is retired lieutenant general William G. “Jerry” Boykin. He is a man who has distinguished himself in uniform over several decades in the special forces and in the intelligence community. Ultimately serving as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under George W. Bush. He is, among other things, an ordained minister and the executive vice president at the Family Research Council and I am privileged to call him a friend and a colleague and always delighted to have him as a guest here at Secure Freedom Radio, General Boykin, welcome back, sir.


    Thank you very much, Frank. I’m glad to be with you.


    You know, I’ve been musing about a poll that has just come out by the Gallup research organisation. It indicates, General, that not since 2001, when I believe you were serving in the Pentagon, has there been as high a level of great concern on the part of the American people, something on the order of fifty-three percent of those in this poll expressing that concern, about crime and violence in our country. You’ve spent your life protecting our country. Do you think, General, that that anxiety is well placed in light of the sorts of dangers that you see both foreign and domestic at the moment?


    Yeah, Frank, you know, I’m – I grew up in the 60s, you know, I was in college in the 60s and I saw the Watts riots and I saw the protests against Vietnam and people, you know, rioting all over major cities. And I see now that there’s a repeat of that, but I think it’s probably more intense now and when you look at the fact that we’ve got some organisations that are deliberately stirring people up and encouraging people to riot, and you can take Baltimore as an example, you can take the situation out in Missouri, where we actually had people that came in from other cities, we also had Islamic groups that came in and all they were doing was promoting violence in the streets of America. And I think that this is prominent today and I think that we’re going to see more of this, particularly as we come in to the latter part of the political season.


    I’m afraid you’re right. There’s certainly evidence of collaboration between these groups on an ongoing basis and some indications that they do intend to turn things up as the election season progresses. General, you mentioned the Islamist groups. They are present in large numbers, as you know. You’ve spent, as I say, much of your professional life in uniform waging war against our foreign enemies. To what extent do you feel that the Muslim Brotherhood’s investment in infrastructure of various kinds, mosques, cultural centers, Islamic societies, front groups of various kinds, influence operations and the like, is giving rise in this country to something akin to what we’ve seen most recently in Brussels as a kind of support system for the violent kind of jihad? Is that a reason for concern as well?


    Yeah, Frank, back in February when you were honoured in San Diego by the Council for National Policy with the George Washington Leadership Award, during that period I went up and spent a day with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. And one of them said to me, you know, our real concern as we look at what occurred in San Bernardino is that there are jihadist cells like this probably all over the country. These people have come across our borders. The southern border, certainly, but you know, some have come across the northern border. And they have established themselves and they are waiting for the right opportunity, the right target, and for some kind of direction from sort of the spiritual and theological leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now the Muslim Brotherhood has many components. And we should never forget that ISIS is a component of the Muslim Brotherhood. I mean, ultimately, you can tie it directly back to the Muslim Brotherhood. So is this going to get worse? You bet, Frank. They are all over our country. They are gaining momentum. They are not losing momentum. They are not on the ropes. They have not been defeated, as our president would have us believe. And I will tell you, until these communities really start standing up against this, it’s going to get worse. And these mosques, as you – you know, based on a study that you did at the Center for Security Policy about three years ago, where you discovered in a random survey of mosques across the country that over eighty percent of them are in one form or another advocating jihad. And by the way, jihad is holy war. It’s not the internal struggle that everybody wants you to believe. So this is going to get worse, Frank.


    Yeah. I fear you’re right, General. Thank you for mentioning that award for which I was tremendously honoured to receive from you on behalf of the Council for National Policy. It was a great distinction and I’m truly, truly grateful for it. Let me ask you, General, as I mentioned, you are not only a storied military hero, you are also an ordained minister. We recently had the government of the United States in the person of John Kerry mention, declare, designate, I’m not quite sure what verb would be appropriate, kind of, that the global jihad is in fact now perpetrating genocide against Christians. Are you surprised that we’ve not seen more of an outpouring of concern or support from the Christian community in the United States over that reality and why do you think that is, sir?


    Well, I would encourage you to think back to 1995. When, as a result of what we called the Balkans War, the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, you had the Christian Serbs that were killing the Muslims, the Bosniaks. They were killing them in places like Sarajevo and Tuzla and other parts of the former Yugoslavia. So what occurred? The United Nations intervened immediately. The British and the French took military forces in there to stop the genocide of basically – of the Muslims in there. Ultimately, America had to get involved because the British and the French and our other allies there just simply could not do it. And America had to come in, bring US forces in, provide leadership. Okay, so that was because Muslims were being killed. Now what about Christians? Christians have been brutalised and slaughtered for about a decade now on a grand scale. And if you look at – I would encourage your listeners to go to the internet and look up a town called Ma’loula. M-A-A-L-A-L-O-U, I think is the way it’s pronounced. Ma’loula. That is the oldest Christian village in the world, it’s in Syria. They still speak Syriac. That village has been essentially decimated. The likes of ISIS and the al-Nusra Front came into that village, wiped out the village, killed the spiritual leaders there, raped the women. And some of the women and children were able to escape up into the caves in the mountains eventually before they got to Turkey. But that city has been wiped out. And that’s the oldest Christian village in the world. Have you heard anything about it? Have most of your listeners heard anything about it? No. And that is because these are Christians. They don’t get the same attention. They don’t get the same protection. They don’t get the same support from the international community that it would, you know, that would be provided if in fact it was Muslims that were being slaughtered. And I am – I was actually surprised John Kerry called it genocide. And it’s a major turning point, I think, now that the world has to intervene and do something.


    Well, it remains very much to be seen whether the leader of the free world, at least in the past the United States of America will perform that kind of function and mobilise the rest of us. General Jerry Boykin, I’m very pleased to say we have a second segment with you if you’ll stand by. We’ll be coming right back and talk more about enemies foreign and domestic. That and more with General Boykin, right after this.


    Welcome back. We’re continuing our conversation with one of my most admired comrades and one of our most decorated military heroes, General Jerry Boykin, United States Army, retired. General, we were talking about the various challenges to us on the home front as well as overseas and one question that jumps out at me is you have been leading an effort to counter a group called the Southern Poverty Law Center that has designated your organisation and mine as hate groups. And I was very pleased to see a top congressman has weighed in on this question. Would you quickly tell us about the SPLC and

  16. BREITBART – AUSTRIA – Identitarians Stage Protest on Roof of Green Party HQ — ‘Islamisation Kills’

    The Austrian Identitarian youth organization placed a banner reading “Islamisation Kills” on the roof of the Austrian Green Party HQ in Graz.

    The protest,which took place Wednesday morning is, like many others from the ‘hipster right-wing’ Identitarians, a strong statement against the creeping Islamisation of Europe that has been accelerated by the migrant crisis and the arrival over over one and a half million people, mostly Muslims.

  17. United Nations Troops Caught in Another Child Sex-Trafficking Scandal!

    According to a watchdog group Transparency International Defence and Security Programme, the examination of 30 countries that provide troops for the United Nations’ peace keeping force has discovered that not only are their militaries the most corrupt, but that many are involved in sex trafficking of children.

    The report, which was released on Sunday, cited the corruption of these countries on a scale of A to F. According to the report:

    The top 30 Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to UN peacekeeping operations are amongst those most at risk of defence corruption, according to new research from Transparency International.

    Bangladesh, India and Ethiopia make up over one quarter of all UN peacekeeping troops, yet have been judged to be at either a very high or high risk of corruption in their armed forces. Transparency International’s Government Defence Corruption Index graded states from A to F on their risk of defence corruption, with A representing the best and F the lowest end of the scale.

  18. Very interesting articles from Paris Match.
    In January Paris Match reported about salafi district of Avignion, La Reine-Jeanne. under the title “Reine Jeanne, la cité des salafistes ”
    This month the journalists went back to the same town to see if anything changed. They published their article in today’s edition of the paper. Their view — nothing has been changed.
    We had investigated in January Reine-Jeanne, in Avignon. Return on this Provençal suburb where the threat of the sharia already appears.

    Sticks one’s the nose into what is going in la Reine Jeanne is a bad idea because when we published an investigation it revealed that, seen by this district, Avignon would deserve to be called ” Republic of the salafis” rather than “city of popes” …
    Since the publication of my investigation in Paris Match, I was got all the insults?: ” Godless … Traitor … Non-believer …” I was the object of a sermon which called the Muslims to curse me. My photo gallops from an Islamist web site to the other one. It is the group of the imams in Avignon which dedicates me to hell.
    The mosque El-Boukhari, for example, the one who “housed the Islamic court” of my interlocutor (from the previous article) . All the local politicians set foot in it, even Secretary Cazeneuve. The president of the mosque, Bellaghzari, will soon be awarded the Legion of Honor! And mayor of Avignon, Cécile Helle, works in fusion with imam El-Mahdi Krabch, whom she cannot stop praising: “? Tolerant man […] who respects our values and the laws of the Republic”, but who chairs an Islamic court?! Do they know Mustapha Abou Oumama, the Parisian fundamentalist who wants to veil the Frenchwomen, as he cried in 2014 during a meeting – organized by the association of the Croix des Oiseaux, Etude et partage?? Ilyass Oumama was then accompanied by a belgo-Moroccan imam, Ilyass Azaouaj. The later eventually joined Daech (ISIS), he died in Syria. It was a few months only after his visit in Avignon. Political indulgence(complacency) or simple ignorance?? Mrs mayor did not deign to answer our demand(request) of interview. In the castle of Saint-Chamand, a town hall is lent to a school who teach Islam and Arabic.
    Shortly after the publication of our report, the municipality gracefully reopened its castle to one of the stars of the French Islamist scene, Nabil Ennasri. A meeting – organized (again) by … Etude et partage.?When I write it, the Islamic teaching continues to prosper. It is true that the Muslims, the Islamists or not, are also voters …
    ( Google& Reverso translatied)

  19. 18 Filipino soldiers killed in daylong clash with Muslims

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — At least 18 Philippine soldiers were killed in fierce daylong fighting with Abu Sayyaf extremists in the country’s volatile south on Saturday in the largest single-day combat loss by the government so far this year, officials said.

    At least 52 other soldiers were wounded in the clashes with the Abu Sayyaf and its allied gunmen in the hinterlands bordering Tipo Tipo and Al-Barka towns on Basilan island, three military officials told The Associated Press.

    The three senior officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss details of the clashes.

    It’s the largest single-day combat loss by government forces this year in the south, where the military has been battling Muslim separatist rebels and extremists, and Marxist guerrillas.

    The large combat losses were reported as the Philippines marked the Day of Valor to remember Filipino veterans who perished in World War II.

    The Abu Sayyaf was founded in 1991 in Basilan, about 880 kilometers (550 miles) south of Manila. With an unwieldy collective of preachers and outlaws, it vowed to wage jihad, or holy war, but lost its key leaders early in combat, sending it on a violent path of extremism and criminality.

    The United States and the Philippines have separately blacklisted the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization for deadly bombings, extortion, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings of locals and foreigners, including Christian missionaries in the south. More than a decade of U.S.-backed Philippine offensives have weakened the Abu Sayyaf, but it remains a key security threat.

  20. Al-Azhar Grand Imam and Saudi King Salman discuss promoting ‘centrist Islam’

    Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, Al-Azhar Grand Imam, described the king’s five-day visit to Egypt as ‘historic’

    Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayyeb met Friday night with Saudi King Salman in Cairo to discuss combating extremism and promoting “centrist Islam,” state news agency MENA reported.

    Al-Tayyeb, the head of the world’s oldest Islamic Sunni institution, described the king’s five-day visit to Egypt as “historic.”

    Earlier Friday evening, the Saudi monarch met with Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros in a first meeting of its kind.

    Salman, who arrived in Cairo Friday, has signed a number of economic accords, including the framework for a number of loans signed in March, worth over $20 billion.

    The king is expected to give a speech in front of Egypt’s parliament Sunday.

    • Sixth terror suspect detained on Friday

      VRT News has learned that in addition to the five suspects we reported on Friday, a sixth man was also detained. The sixth suspect is Bilal El Makhoukhi from Brussels. Mr El Makkoukhi was convicted and sentenced at last Sharia4Belgium trial in Antwerp.

      He left to fight on the side of the Islamists in Syria in 2012. However, he returned badly injured to Belgium after having lost a leg while fighting in Syria.

      A last year’s Sharia4Belgium trial he was given a five-year prison sentence, three of which suspended. Rather than actually been sent to prison Bilal El Makhoukhi was serving his sentence at home with an electronic surveillance tag.

      He was detained yesterday at his family home in the Brussels district of Laken. It is still unclear as to what role he is suspected of having played in 22 March terror attacks.

      Mr El Makhoukhi was the sixth suspect detained on Friday. At Friday evening’s press conference the Judicial Authorities sad that five people had been arrested, including Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem.

    • Mohamed Abrini Admits to Being ‘Man in Hat’ in Brussels Airport Attack

      The massive hunt for the “man in the hat” linked to the Brussels airport bombings appears to be over.

      Belgium’s federal prosecutor said that Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini had confessed to being at the scene of the blasts in Brussels on March 22

      Speculation had been mounting since Abrini’s arrest on Friday that he was the suspect pictured in surveillance video from the airport alongside two suicide bombers.

      On Sunday, Belgium’s federal prosecutor said that Abrini had “confessed his presence at the crime scene.”

      “He explained having thrown away his vest in a garbage bin and having sold his hat afterwards,” the prosecutor added in an emailed statement.

      The prosecutor’s office earlier had confirmed Abrini has been charged with “terrorist murders” and participating in a terror group in relation to the Paris terror attacks last November.

      However, it was not immediately clear if Abrini’s alleged confession meant he would face further charges.

      Abrini had been filmed on security footage at a gas station with Salah Abdeslam, one of the alleged Paris attackers, just two days before the terror spree in the French capital, which left 130 dead.

      His apparent confession to being in the Brussels Airport adds another link to the attacks in Belgium and the Paris massacres.

      In addition to the Abrini revelations, Belgium’s prosecutor announced that three other men had been charged with terror offenses.

      One of them — identified as Osama K — was allegedly present at the time of the bombing on the Brussels subway, according to the prosecutor. Two others are suspected of assisting Abrini and Osama K.

      The announcement of the new charges came as 50 police officers were on the scene of an anti-terror operation in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek, with roads closed off and nearby people evacuated.

  21. Yemen conflict: ‘At least 15 government troops’ killed (BBC, Apr 9, 2016)

    “At least 15 soldiers loyal to Yemen’s government have been killed, officials in the south of the country say.

    The soldiers were reportedly ambushed in the town of Ahwar in Abyan province, that was seized by al-Qaeda in February.

    Officials blamed al-Qaeda for the ambush but the organisation’s local wing denied this, Reuters reports.

    Al-Qaeda has seized more territory in Yemen in the past year as the country’s war continues.
    Seventeen other captured soldiers were wounded but still alive, reports say…”

  22. Turkey warning: US advises of threats to Istanbul and Antalya (BBC, Apr 9, 2016)

    “The US has warned its citizens of “credible threats” to tourist areas in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul and the southern resort city of Antalya.

    Both the Islamic State group (IS) and Kurdish militants have claimed a number of attacks in Turkey in recent months.

    Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS, and coalition planes use its air base at Incirlik for raids in Iraq and Syria.

    Turkey is also conducting a campaign against Kurdish militants…”

  23. Swede arrested in connection with Brussels attacks (thelocal, Apr 9, 2016)

    “Osama Krayem, a Swedish national, was one of the five men arrested in police raids yesterday alongside Mohammed Abrini, one of the chief suspects in the attack on Brussels airport.

    Krayem, 23, previously alleged to have been involved in gang crime in Malmö, is thought to have joined ISIS in 2014 before using a false passport under the name Naim al-Hamed to illegally travel along the migrant route from Turkey to Greece and on to Belgium.

    Krayem grew up in Malmö and is of Syrian heritage. A relative in Sweden confirmed to the Swedish Expressen newspaper that they had been spoken to by police but provided no other details.

    Another friend of the family told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, “He was brainwashed here in Malmö, but we do not know by whom.”

    In January 2015, the 23-year-old posted a photo of himself on Facebook, dressed in military fatigues and holding an AK-47.

    He is believed to be the man seen on CCTV at the City 2 shopping centre, where the rucksacks were bought that were used for the terror attacks.

    Krayem is also thought to have been the second man alongside metro bomber Khalid El Bakraoui at the Pétillon metro station….”

  24. Iranian Opposition Leader Under House Arrest Demands Trial (abcnews, Apr 9, 2016)

    “An Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest since 2011 has asked President Hassan Rouhani to lobby for an open trial.

    Mehdi Karroubi says he wants to publicize new details about fraud in the 2009 presidential election, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defeated Karroubi and another prominent opposition figure to secure a second term. The election was marred by allegations of fraud and was followed by massive protests.

    Karroubi, 78, and the other opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have been under house arrest since 2011. They have not been formally charged with anything.

    An opposition website reported Saturday that Karroubi had sent a letter to Rouhani communicating his request.

    Rouhani, a political moderate elected in 2013, can press for open trials.”

  25. U.S. Navy leads 30-nation maritime exercise in Middle East (reuters, Apr 9, 2016)

    “The U.S. Navy is leading a 30-nation maritime exercise across Middle Eastern waters which it says will help protect international trade routes against possible threats, including from Islamic State and al Qaeda.

    The exercise, which is partly being held in the Arabian Gulf, comes as tensions run high between Gulf Arab countries and Iran over its role in the region, including its support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, for the Houthis in the Yemen conflict and for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) started on Monday with a symposium in Bahrain where the U.S Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based, in part as a bulwark against Iran.

    Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said on Saturday the exercise was designed to stop militants from causing disruption to shipping as, “we know that they want to disturb trade lines”….”

  26. Egypt, Saudi Arabia sign 60 billion Saudi riyal investment fund pact (reuters, Apr 9, 2016)

    “Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement late on Saturday to set up a 60 billion Saudi riyal investment fund among other investment agreements including an economic free-zone to develop Egypt’s Sinai region, Egyptian state television reported.

    The signing of the agreements took place in Egypt’s Abdeen palace in the presence of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi’s King Salman, during a rare 4-day visit to Egypt.

    Egypt has struggled to spur economic growth since the 2011 uprising ushered in political instability that scared off tourists and foreign investors, key sources of foreign currency…”

  27. Court Denies Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Three Requests in Hate Speech Case Against Him (moroccoworldnews, Apr 9, 2016)

    “Rabat – A trial court in The Netherlands denied three requests made by lawyers representing the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders during the recent second hearing of a current case lodged against him that alleges he initiated and encouraged hate speech against Moroccans in 2014.

    The Dutch Moroccan Alliance (SMN) lodged a law suit against Wilders after he asked those in attendance of a political meeting in The Hague if they “wanted fewer Moroccans in the country.”

    Some of the people in the crowd chanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!,” to which Wilders – the leader of the Party for Freedom – said “I will fix it for you.”

    According to the BBC, the SMN said he “went a step too far” at the meeting held in a local coffee shop by targeting a specific ethnic minority in Holland.

    A report by Medias24 said Wilder’s attorneys had requested the court to begin an investigation on files related to the case that were recently leaked to the press. The presiding judge explained that conducting the investigation was not the responsibility of the court and asked the defense to inform the police or complete the fact-finding mission themselves.

    The lawyers also asked for the dismissal of Judge Fielders from the case due to concerns that he may be holding a bias against the defendant, since Wilders has criticized the judge’s work in the past.

    The defense’s last rejected request was to enter new witnesses for their testimonies regarding the incriminating series of racist statements.

    Wilders – an outspoken critic of what he calls the “mass migration” of Muslims to Holland – also called Moroccans “scum” during an interview in December 2014.

    Wilders is also the leader of the right-wing Party for Freedom, currently polling at all-time high in Holland.”

  28. Film Director Calls on Moroccan Jews in Israel to Return to Morocco (moroccoworldnews, Apr 9, 2016)

    “Rabat – In an interview with the Israeli channel i24, French-Moroccan director Kamal Ashkar said his new film, called “Return of the Native: Jerusalem-Tinghir,” will document Moroccan Jews in Israel returning to their ancestral homeland in North Africa and aim to invite other Moroccans living in the Jewish state to follow suit.

    The director’s second film is set to be released later this year.

    “We, the Muslims of Morocco, have lost a part of ourselves and the Moroccan Jews who emigrated to Israel have lost a part of themselves,” Ashkar said. “My job is to fix it.”…”

  29. King lays foundation stone for Al-Azhar Islamic missions city (saudigazette, Apr 9, 2016)

    “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayib laid the foundation stone for the Islamic missions city in Al-Azhar on Saturday.

    King Salman also inspected the Al-Azhar Grand Mosque restoration work in progress at the Kingdom’s expense.

    The restoration work started in March and includes the consolidation of the mosque’s foundations, the injection of the soil beneath it to make it stronger, the conservation of the minaret, and some decorative elements at the mosque’s main building. A new set of toilets with similar architectural style is to be provided within the mosque’s walls.

    The budget required for the restoration project is a grant offered by the Kingdom.

    Al-Azhar Grand Mosque has been receiving support from Saudi Arabia and its leaders throughout the ages due the Saudi leadership’s realization of the role of Al-Azhar in spreading correct Islam….”

  30. Top Taliban leader Mullah Zakir proposes peace talks with Afghan govt and US (khaama, Apr 9, 2016)

    “A senior Taliban leader Mullah Qayum Zakir has proposed that the Taliban leadership should hold peace talks with the Afghan government, United States and other Western countries.

    In a letter to the Taliban group’s council, Mullah Zakir has proposed that the Taliban group should adopt a new strategy for the movement’s internal and external policies.

    The 12-point proposal form by Zakir also includes implementation of Islamic law, and improving military strategy and coordination within the group, according to Al-Jazeera.

    Meanwhile, the Taliban group spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid has said the group has not received the proposal by Mullah Zakir so far.

    Mujahid has further added that the group will not participate in talks with the foreign governments and will keep its focus on bring back Sharia law.

    The proposal by Zakir comes amid ongoing efforts to revive the Afghan peace process which stalled following the confirmation of Mullah Omar’s death last year.

    The Taliban group has rejected to participate in direct peace talks as proposed by Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising of Afghanistan, United States, Pakistan and China.”

  31. 33 militants killed in latest air and ground operations of Afghan forces (khaama, Apr 9, 2016)

    “At least 33 anti-government armed militants were killed in the latest clearance operations conducted by the Afghan National Security Forces.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were jointly conducted by Afghan Army and security forces from the other institutions, including the Afghan Air Force.

    According to an operational update by MoD, at least 12 militants were also wounded and 12 more were arrested by the security forces during the operations.

    At least 6 of the militants were killed in air and ground raids in Charchino district of Uruzgan province, MoD said, adding that 5 more were killed in Atghar district of Zabul.

    The update further added that 4 militants were killed and 8 others were wounded during a separate operation in Kunduz.

    The Afghan forces also killed militants during separate operations conducted in Kandahar, Helmand and Khost provinces, MoD added.

    According to MoD, at least 9 Afghan soldiers also lost their lives during the operations conducted to suppress the insurgency activities of the internal and external terror groups.”

  32. Kerry in Kabul to Reaffirm Support to Unity Government and ANSF (khaama, Apr 9, 2016)

    “The US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Kabul on an unannounced visit to meet with the Afghan officials, including President Ghani and CEO Abdullah.

    According to Department of State, Kerry will reaffirm support to the government of national unity and the Afghan national security forces.

    John Kirby, spokesman for the US State Department, has told reporters that Kerry would “emphasize U.S. support” for the government and its security forces.

    It is expected that Kerry will hold talks on unity government pact which was signed by Ghani and Abdullah following negotiations brokered by Kerry as the agreement is due to expire in September this year.

    However, the US officials have said the agreement signed for the formation of unity government is not having a specific end date….”

    • Kabul explosions: Blasts heard in diplomatic zone after Kerry visit (BBC, Apr 9, 2016)

      “At least two explosions have been reported in Kabul’s diplomatic area, shortly after the end of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

      It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties from the blasts.

      Gunshots were also heard at the time of the explosions, which come after a period of relative calm in the city.

      The Taliban have previously attacked prominent official and foreign targets in the Afghan capital…”

  33. German refugee coordinator calls for ‘doubling deportations’ (DW, Apr 9, 2016)

    “The refugee coordinator of the German government has called on the states to deport more rejected asylum-seekers. He also defended the EU-Turkey migrant deal, which has been slammed by human rights agencies.

    Peter Altmaier told newspapers of the Funke Media group that German states should be trying in 2016 to double the number of deportations of asylum-seekers whose application have been rejected.

    “Last year, we had 37,220 voluntary returnees and 22,200 deportees,” he said. “A realistic dimension for 2016 would be a doubling of these figures. That’s where the states must take action.”

    Altmaier, who is also chancellery minister to Angela Merkel, said that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees was currently deciding on more than 50,000 cases per month, with more than a third of applications rejected.

    “We must ensure that the number of repatriations greatly increases,” he added….”

  34. NIGHT OF TERROR: Calais migrant thugs attack car and SET FIRE to road to stop truckers (express, Apr 9, 2016)

    “CALAIS has endured one of its worst nights of terror after gangs of migrant thugs attacked a family in their car and set fire to barricades in the road to stop terrified truckers.

    Skirmishes broke out across the lawless port town on Thursday night as roaming packs of migrants apparently carried out a mass violent bid to reach Britain.

    Videos emerged online showing migrants setting fire to barricades made of wood and tyres in the middle of the motorway near the port, to force lorries to stop so they could break inside.

    And one woman posted photographs of her friend’s smashed up car, which she says was attacked by a gang of 15 migrants wielding stones and sticks who stole their belongings and left them with serious injuries.

    The latest violence comes after haulage groups warned there has been a “serious breakdown in law and order” at Calais, with hundred-strong packs of migrants wielding iron bars becoming a regular sight for truckers. …”

  35. Istanbul – April 9 th 2016 – one more step to transform the Hagia Sophia in a mosque

    recitation of the koran in the Hagia Sophia mosque

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