Reader’s links for May 3 – 2016

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

About Eeyore

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

61 Replies to “Reader’s links for May 3 – 2016”

  1. ISIS BOMBSHELL: Islamic State and Syrian regime ‘working TOGETHER’ and ‘made trade deals’ (express, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/666480/isis-syria-bashar-al-assad-palmyra-working-together

    “SHOCKING leaked documents appear to show that the barbaric Islamic State and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad have been colluding.

    The Syrian regime and the twisted terror cell co-operated over the destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra, the documents say.

    They also contain worrying claims that ISIS, also known as Daesh, have been training jihadis to strike western targets for much longer than experts thought.

    Documents also suggest that ISIS and the Syrian government made secret oil and fertiliser trade deals.

    The damning information was revealed in letters sent from ISIS headquarters, which were among 22,000 files obtained by Sky News…”

  2. EXTREMISM BLITZ: New powers set to stamp out ‘hate preachers’ and radicals (express, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/666487/extremism-blitz-david-cameron-extremism-radicalisation-hate-preachers

    “DAVID Cameron is set to reveal tough new laws that will crack down on extremism in an attempt to stop young Britons fleeing to join Islamic State.

    The Prime Minister will announce new powers to ban organisations, ban individuals and close down premises that “promote hatred”.

    The new extremism blitz will include vetting measures so that employers will be able to stop known radicals working with children and vulnerable people.

    TV regulator Ofcom will be handed new powers to gag broadcast deemed to include “unacceptable extremist material”.

    The wide-reaching laws are set to be included in an Extremism Bill which will be introduced in the Queen’s speech on May 18.

    A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The battle against terrorism and extremism must be fought on several fronts including countering its twisted narrative online and in our communities.

    “The need for this work is recognised at a national and international level.

    “As the Prime Minister has said, we face a generational challenge and it is vital we work in partnership with communities, civil society groups and individuals to confront extremism in all its forms.

    “This has been a key part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy since publication of the Prevent review in 2011.”

    This new attack on extremism comes as Home Secretary Theresa May is set to launch an independent review of illegal Sharia courts in Britain.

    Around 85 Sharia courts are believed to exist in the UK.

    Sharia is the basic Islamic legal system derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith, and while it is practised by many, has no standing within English law.

    The courts are believed to be used by many in the Muslim community as an “alternative” legal system which discriminate against women in civil cases such as divorce.

    Writer and researcher Machteld Zee, a Dutch academic, said: “Sharia councils uphold the theory and practice of the strong hold men have over women.

    “There are, in fact, two separate legal orders functioning in the UK of which one currently operates in the shadow of the law.””

  3. Refugee Sets Herself Alight at Immigration Camp on Nauru (abcnews, May 3, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/refugee-sets-alight-immigration-camp-nauru-38829791

    “Officials say a Somali refugee was critically injured when she set fire to herself at an Australian immigration camp on the pacific island nation of Nauru three days after an Iranian refugee died of injuries sustained in a similar apparent protest.

    The Nauru government and refugee advocate Ian Rintoul say the 21-year-old woman was flown to the Australian city of Brisbane on Tuesday after setting fire to herself on Monday.

    The Department of Immigration Border Protection would not confirm Rintoul’s report that the woman had been evacuated from the Nauru hospital. Nauru said it had asked the department for an emergency evacuation.

    A 23-year-old man died in the same Brisbane hospital on Friday after setting himself alight two days earlier in an apparent protest over Australia’s strict asylum seeker policies.”

  4. 4 terror tip-offs a day: Germany’s intel chief calls for more anti-extremist powers (RT, May 3, 2016)
    https://www.rt.com/news/341646-germany-intelligence-powers-terrorism/

    “The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has advocated broader security powers in the face of the imminent IS threat and rise of the radical right. He called for a “coalition against extremism” in Germany to be created with moderate Muslims at its core.

    Speaking at the security symposium in Berlin on Monday, the head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maassen warned of the “worsening security situation in Germany,” adding that the country’s political climate is “a lot rougher” now than it had been before due to the radicalization of previously non-partisan Germans and the activity of Islamist groups operating in Germany…”

  5. Hungary’s Supreme Court Clears Way Migrant Quotas Referendum (abcnews, May 3, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hungarys-supreme-court-clears-migrant-quotas-referendum-38834949

    “Hungary’s Kuria, the supreme court, has cleared the way for a government-initiated referendum on a European Union plan for a quota for the resettlement of migrants and refugees.

    The vote is an attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to confirm political support for his already popular anti-immigrant position.

    The referendum question is: “Do you want the European Union to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of parliament?”

    Orban said earlier that a “no” vote would be “in favor of Hungary’s independence.”

    The Kuria’s decision Tuesday came after four appeals were launched against the National Election Committee’s February decision certifying the referendum question.

    The referendum, expected to be held later this year, will be valid if turnout is above 50 percent.”

  6. US service member killed by ISIS militants in northern Iraq

    An American service member was shot and killed Tuesday by “direct fire” from ISIS militants who stormed through defenses set up by Kurdish Peshmerga troops in northern Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition and Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.

    The service member who was killed was serving as an adviser to the Peshmerga forces in the region, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

    “It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss,” Carter told reporters in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was attending a ceremony installing a new commander of U.S. European Command.

    U.S. officials said the death occurred about 20 miles north of Mosul “in the neighborhood” of the city of Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    “The casualty occurred during an ISIL attack on a Peshmerga position approximately [two to three miles] behind the forward line of troops,” Cook said.

    A defense official told Fox News the American was killed by “direct fire” after Islamic State forces penetrated the Peshmerga’s forward line.

    Three U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq as part of the ground fight against the ISIS terror group. The last American death happened in March, when U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin was killed in a rocket attack on a firebase in northern Iraq.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/03/us-service-member-killed-by-isis-militants-in-northern-iraq.html?intcmp=hpbt2

  7. Thailand bans ‘rude’ opinions ahead of crucial referendum

    BANGKOK (Reuters) – From the question of Britain’s place in Europe to the choice of New Zealand’s flag, referendums worldwide are usually preceded by unbridled debate. Not so under Thailand’s junta.

    Many Thais are chafing under strict new regulations governing discussion ahead of an Aug. 7 referendum on a military-backed constitution.

    The junta that seized power in a May 2014 coup has already threatened to jail anyone campaigning for or against the constitution, which critics say entrenches the military’s political influence.

    The 14 rules, which were issued by the Election Commission and formally became law on Monday, make even well-meaning discussion risky, say academics and experts.

    Under the regulations, Thais must express their opinions with “polite words … without distorting the facts”.

    “Rude, aggressive, or intimidating” interviews with the media are banned. So is organizing a panel discussion “with intent to incite political unrest”.

    Also forbidden are “T-shirts, pins and ribbons” that encourage others to campaign.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/thailand-bans-rude-opinions-ahead-crucial-referendum-091802879.html?ref=gs

  8. The Holocaust: Many Villains, Few Heroes

    As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, at which selected Nazi leaders were placed in the dock, we must ask some disturbing questions about those who were never tried for their complicity in the world’s worst genocide. It would have been impossible to carry out the mass murder of so many people without the complicity of so many governments, groups, and individuals. Perhaps there were too many guilty parties to put them all on trial, but it is not too late to hold the guilty morally accountable for what they did and failed to do.

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7964/holocaust-villains-heroes

  9. Seattle: Anti-Capitalists Attack Police Officers on May Day ‘Celebrations’

    This is how the far left rolls: they’re radicals who use violence to force their views on everybody else.

    May Day protesters converged on Seattle Sunday evening. Police officers have been injured and property has been damaged as a result.

    Twitter was hyperactive last evening and last night with users sharing photos, videos and personal stories of the siege taking place on Seattle’s streets. Here’s a snapshot:

    Of course the “anarchist” (read: leftist terrorist) was wearing a mask. These people don’t even have the courage to publicly stand for their beliefs. They hide themselves behind masks while destroying everything in their path and pretending to stand for liberty.

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/05/02/seattle-anti-capitalist-scum-attack-police-officers-on-may-day-celebrations/

  10. Merkel lends backing to halt rise of France’s far-right

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she would do what she can to help curb the rise of France’s National Front (FN), as support surges for far-right parties across Europe.

    “I will make my contribution towards ensuring that other political forces are stronger than the National Front,” she told students attending the French high school in Berlin.

    Merkel, who rarely comments on neighbouring France’s political scene, said that in Germany too, the rise of the far-right was a phenomenon that “we have to deal with”.

    “We see that there are political forces with very negative rhetoric on Europe,” she said, referring to the German populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

    “We have to ensure that Europe is a project that people understand,” she said, adding that a key message that has to hit home is that “it’s better with Europe than without Europe”.

    Formed only three years ago on a eurosceptic platform, AfD is now Germany’s third strongest party, according to a recent opinion poll.

    The populist upstart outfit has shifted its rhetoric to one that rails against the influx of 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, and last weekend adopted an anti-Islam platform.

    Like AfD, France’s National Front is anti-EU.

    Its leader Marine Le Pen has overseen an unprecedented rise in the party’s fortunes and many pollsters predict the FN will make it to the second round of the French presidential election next year.

    http://www.globalpost.com/article/6766989/2016/05/03/merkel-lends-backing-halt-rise-frances-far-right

  11. ISIS Attack Kills U.S. Navy SEAL Near Irbil, Iraq

    A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in an ISIS attack in northern Iraq, officials said Tuesday.

    Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the U.S. serviceman was advising and assisting Kurdish Peshmerga forces north of Mosul when ISIS fighters attacked.

    “This sad news is a reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in the ongoing fight to destroy ISIL,” Cook said in a statement, using another acronym for ISIS. “Our coalition will honor this sacrifice by dealing ISIL a lasting defeat.

    The slain serviceman was a Navy SEAL, a defense official confirmed to NBC News.

    U.S. military officials told NBC News earlier that the American was killed by direct fire about 2 to 3 miles behind the Peshmerga’s forward line after ISIS fighters breached the position and conducted a large-scale attack with truck bombs and small arms.

    The U.S. responded with more than 20 airstrikes, military officials added.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters in Germany that the incident near Irbil “shows that it’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-attack-kills-american-serviceman-iraq-n566701

  12. Die Welt
    District Court Dresden
    17:14h
    Pegida-Founder Bachmann convicted for incitement of the people/hate speech (“Volksverhetzung”)

    Pegida-founder Lutz Bachmann was sentenced to a fine of 9,600 EUR (11,516.00 USD/14,016.00CAD) for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people/hate speech) by the district court Dresden on tuesday.

    Pegida-Gründer Lutz Bachmann has been sentenced by the district court Dresden for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people/hate speech) to a fine of 9,600 Euro (or 120 daily fines in lieu of jail time of 80 Euro). The head of the islam- and refugee-adversed association is said to have denigrated refugees, and to have incited hatred towards them, in comments on facebook.

    The 43-year-old wo has a criminal record for theft and drug trade denied that these comments were made by him. Prosecution demanded a jail sentence of seven months, the defense pleaded not guilty. The verdict of tuesday is not final yet.

    http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article155014562/Pegida-Gruender-Bachmann-wegen-Volksverhetzung-verurteilt.html

  13. Newt Gingrich: All 50 States In Play If Trump Runs General Like Primary – Part 1

    Newt Gingrich: All 50 States In Play If Trump Runs General Like Primary – Newt Gingrich took time out today to discuss the Indiana primary election on Tuesday. Newt says Indiana will be Senator Cruz’s last stand: “For Cruz, it really is the last stand. It’s as if the Alamo had moved north. If he can’t win tomorrow he has no practical case for carrying on the campaign… If he can’t win indiana it’s pretty hard to see him with any possibility of stopping Trump.“ Newt then said something that ought to Terrify Democrats.

    Hillary Clinton represents all of the elements of Washington DC that people are in rebellion against… I think a lot of the millennials who were voting for Bernie Sanders are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I think they think she’s not honest. I think they’re bothered by her scandals with the Clinton Foundation, her scandals with her email server… There’ll be a lot of Democrats out there looking for someone to go to. In addition, Trump has somehow communicated with blue collar workers across America and we certainly see this in terms of registration numbers… We’ve had a 60% increase in Republican turnout this year compared to four years ago. There’s been about a 30% Democrat turnout decrease over 2008, the last time they had a contested nomination… Secretary Clinton is not exactly rousing people’s excitement…

    I think it’s important this year because of the unique moment in time and because of the uniqueness of Donald Trump to erase all of our thinking about what kind of states could be in play. I think if Trump runs as aggressive campaign in the general election as he has done in the primaries all 50 states could be in play.

      • Newt has just proven he is much smarter then the people running the Republican party, of course they are afraid that Trump will pick someone they dislike and then he or she will go on to become President. That would mean the Republican leaders are out of jobs.

  14. Horrific videos show Canadian’s beheading as fellow captive pleads with Ottawa for help

    Manila, Philippines — Abu Sayyaf, the Philippine militant group, has released a horrifying video in which Canadian John Ridsdel’s killer can be seen beheading him and a second video in which another Canadian, Robert Hall, pleads with the Canadian government to intervene and save him.

    A young man with closely cropped hair wearing a black T-shirt and wielding a machete grabbed Ridsdel’s head by his hair in the first video and forced the 68-year-old disheveled, desperate-looking Canadian to the ground before murdering him as three masked men armed with assault rifles stood nearby.

    “I recognize some people in such videos but he is not immediately identifiable to me. He might be to the authorities,” said Mark Singer, director of business intelligence for the Manila office of Pacific Strategies and Assessments Inc., which closely tracks Abu Sayyaf.

    Police and military sources did not return calls after the video was released late Monday local time.

    “John Ridsdel was beheaded on 4/25 due to non-compliance of Canadian government,” the video said.[…]

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/abu-sayyaf-reportedly-releases-video-showing-beheading-of-canadian-hostage-john-ridsdel

    WATCH: ISIS Affiliate Abu Sayyaf Beheading Execution Of Canadian John Ridsdel In The Philippines – Video

    http://www.zerocensorship.com/t/uncensored-philippines-news/261818-isis-affiliate-abu-sayyaf-beheading-execution-of-canadian-john-ridsdel-in-the-philippines-video

  15. PEGIDA founder Lutz Bachmann found guilty of inciting hatred

    Head of the far-right ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West’ (PEGIDA) movement, Lutz Bachmann, has been found guilty of inciting hated. He has been handed a fine of almost 10,000 euros.

    A district court in the eastern German city of Dresden ruled on Tuesday that Lutz Bachmann must pay a penalty of 9,600 euros ($11,044), after being found guilty of inciting hatred.

    Prosecutors had called for a seven-month prison sentence for Bachmann, while his defense pleaded for his acquittal.Tuesday’s verdict is not yet legally binding, however.

    The founder of the Islamic and xenophobic alliance, PEGIDA, was charged with inciting hatred in October 2015. According to the indictment, Bachmann insulted refugees on his Facebook page in September, 2014 when he described asylum seekers as “cattle,” “scum,” and “trash.”

    State prosecutors argued that, since the Internet is legally considered a public forum, the comment was enough to bring charges of inciting hatred with the potential to disturb public peace.

    Bachmann denies charges

    The 43-year-old – who branded the court case a “political show trial” – remained silent throughout court proceedings, leaving his defense lawyer to deny the allegations.

    “The comments, came not from him, but from a stranger,” Bachmann’s laywer Katja Reichel, arguing that Bachmann’s Facebook account could have been “hacked.”

    However, the court also watched video footage of a PEGIDA rally in January 2015 where Bachmann appeared to be defending the Facebook comments, saying he had merely “used words that everyone has used at least once.”

    Waning support for PEGIDA

    Bachmann was previously convicted for drug dealing, theft and assault charges, and in the late 1990s he fled Germany for South Africa to avoid a jail term. He was extradited two years later and served some 14 months behind bars in Germany.

    Since October 2014, PEGIDA has held almost weekly demonstrations against Islam, refugees, politicians and the media. At the height of their popularity in January 2015, the movement saw a turnout of some 25,000 protesters. Numbers have declined in recent months, however, with just 3,000 PEGIDA supporters marching at Monday’s demonstration.

    http://www.dw.com/en/pegida-founder-lutz-bachmann-found-guilty-of-inciting-hatred/a-19232497

  16. Journalist who infiltrated Isis cell planning a terror attack in France ‘never saw any Islam’

    Group reportedly received orders to attack a night club from a militant who had travelled to Raqqa

    A journalist who infiltrated a cell of Isis supporters as they planned a terror attack in France said he found “lost, frustrated, suicidal, easily manipulated youths”.

    The man, who is using the pseudonym Said Ramzi to protect his identity, said he “easily” contacted the group who called themselves the Soldiers of Allah on Facebook.

    Embedded with the extremists for six months between summer 2015 and January, he filmed their meetings with a hidden camera as they plotted an attack on a nightclub.

    The footage was broadcast by French network Canal + in a documentary called Allah’s Soldiers on Monday.

    The network consisted of 10 members led by a 20-year-old man called Ossama, who had been refused by the French army and been a Satanist and alcoholic before discovering radical Islam online, the broadcaster said.

    Having being caught attempting to join Isis, he was jailed for five months in France but set up the cell after his release and became its “emir”.

    While Ossama fulfilled bail conditions reporting to a local police station once a day, he used the encrypted messaging app Telegram to organise meetings with his fellow Isis supporters.

    One video shows the French-Turkish national smiling as he imagines being shot dead in a police operation, saying “the martyr does not resent pain”.

    “We must hit a military base,” Ossama says during the meeting at a park in Châteauroux. “When they are eating, they are all lined up … ta-ta-ta-ta-ta…or journalists.

    “BFM, iTélé ([French broadcasters], they are at war against Islam.

    “Like they did to Charlie [Hebdo]. You must strike them at the heart. Take them by surprise. They aren’t well protected. The French must die by the thousands.”

    He urges Mr Ramzi to join him on the “path to paradise” in a suicide attack, adding: “Our women are waiting for us there, with angels as servants. You will have a palace, a winged horse of gold and rubies.”

    In another clip of a meeting in Stains, in the northern subburbs of Paris, a member of the group points to plane landing at Paris–Le Bourget Airport, saying they could “traumatise France for a century” by taking down an aircraft with a rocket launcher.

    But the eventual terror plot was not confirmed until orders came from a militant known as Abu Suleiman, who had travelled to Isis’ main Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

    After being told to travel to a railway station, Mr Ramzi was met by a woman wearing a full-face veil, who handed him a handwritten letter carrying his orders.

    Laying out the plan for an attack targeting a nightclub, it said he should shoot “until death” and then set off a suicide vest after the arrival of security forces.

    Mr Ramzi had already been sent instructions for preparing explosives and booby-trapping cars by Abu Suleiman through Telegram.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/journalist-who-infiltrated-isis-cell-planning-terror-attack-in-france-says-he-never-saw-any-islam-a7010951.html

    video :

    Spécial investigation – Soldats d’Allah – Emission du 2 Mai 2016

    https://omgreplay.com/replay/special-investigation-soldat-dallah-du-2-mai-2016/

  17. Germany – Satirical Erdogan doll up for auction on Ebay in ‘solidarity’ with Jan Böhmermann

    A satirical doll of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone under the hammer on Ebay. The figure which is holding a goat in the colors of the German flag on a leash, has attracted a huge bid of 10,000 euros.

    The proceeds of the auction, which ends on Friday, May 6, at 3:58 p.m. local time (1358 UTC), will be donated to “Reporters without Borders.” The non-governmental organization, which defends freedom of information and freedom of the press, uses donations for causes such as the medical treatment or legal fees of persecuted journalists. The unexpected offer of 10,000 euros ($11,500) was made on Monday by an Ebay bidder in Austria, the doll’s creator Marcel Offermann told DW.

    The 45-year-old artist from the western German town of Neuss, near Düsseldorf, said he recreated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a 65-centimeter-sized figurine in solidarity with German satirist Jan Böhmermann.

    Advertised on Ebay as “one of a kind,” the porcelain reincarnation of the Turkish leader is accompanied by a goat – painted in the colors of the German flag, with the name “Angela” written close to its hind leg – which is held by “Erdogan” on a rein.

    http://www.dw.com/en/satirical-erdogan-doll-up-for-auction-on-ebay-in-solidarity-with-jan-b%C3%B6hmermann/a-19230490

  18. the guardian – How Britain funds the ‘propaganda war’ against Isis in Syria

    Government contractors effectively run a press office for opposition fighters but communications conceal UK’s role

    The British government is waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups, in the foreign front of what David Cameron has called “the propaganda war” against Islamic State.

    The campaign aims to boost the reputation of what the government calls the “moderate armed opposition”, a complex and shifting alliance of armed factions.

    Deciding which factions to support is risky for the government because many groups have become increasingly extremist as the five-year civil war grinds on.

    Contractors hired by the Foreign Office but overseen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters.

    Materials are circulated in the Arabic broadcast media and posted online with no indication of British government involvement.

    As the Guardian has reported, the Home Office’s Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism is running a parallel effort within the UK, aiming to bring about “behavioural and attitudinal change” among British Muslims by producing anti-Isis messaging “at an industrial pace and scale”.

    In both the foreign and domestic campaigns, the government’s role is often concealed. Messages are put out under the banner of apparently independent groups – community organisations in the UK, and armed groups in Syria.

    The UK regards information as a vital element of modern conflict. The MoD has drawn up a doctrine describing information as “so prevalent, potent and unavoidable that it forms as much a part of the strategic environment as the terrain or weather”, and saying how it should be managed through “strategic communications”.

    The UK’s propaganda effort for the Syrian armed opposition began after the government failed to persuade parliament to support military action against the Assad regime. In autumn 2013, the UK embarked on behind-the-scenes work to influence the course of the war by shaping perceptions of opposition fighters.

    Contract documents seen by the Guardian show the government appears to view the project as a way to maintain a foothold in the country until there can be greater British military involvement, offering “the capability to expand back into the strategic space as and when the opportunity arises”.

    Through its Conflict and Stability Fund the government is spending £2.4m on private contractors working from Istanbul to deliver “strategic communications and media operations support to the Syrian moderate armed opposition” (MAO).

    The contract is part of a broader propaganda effort focused on Syria, with other elements intended to promote “the moderate values of the revolution” and help mould a Syrian sense of national identity that will reject both the Assad regime and Isis.

    The documents call for contractors to “select and train a spokesman able to represent all the MAO groups as a single unified voice”, as well as providing media coaching to “influential MAO officials” and running a round-the-clock “MAO central media office” with “media production capacity”. One British source with knowledge of the contracts in action said the government was essentially running a “Free Syrian army press office”.

    The contract to support the moderate armed opposition was briefly held by Regester Larkin, an international communications consultancy, where it was headed up by a former lieutenant colonel in the British army who had also worked as a strategic communications specialist at the MoD. He set up a company called Innovative Communications & Strategies, or InCoStrat, which took over the contract from November 2014, a Regester Larkin spokeswoman told the Guardian.

    An InCoStrat spokesman confirmed: “InCoStrat is providing media and communication support to the moderate Syrian opposition to assist Syrians to better convey the reality of war and those involved in it.”

    Both emphasised the close supervision of the work by the British government. An insider also described “tremendous oversight”, with handlers from the FCO and MoD meeting contractors up to three times a week. “They had the last say in everything,” the source said.

    Much of the material produced under these contracts is day-to-day wartime propaganda, aimed at Syrian civilian and military audiences. It includes bulletins of successful military engagements, or videos of opposition fighters handing out food.

    Some media, however, serve an additional military purpose, two sources familiar with the projects said. For example, a video of a shoulder-to-air missile shooting down a regime helicopter signals to those inside Syria that the group is well-armed and effective. But it also sends a message to those arming the group. “That’s good PR to go back to the Pentagon,” the insider said.

    An MoD spokeswoman emphasised that the groups the UK supports are moderate. But identifying which groups really are is fraught with risk, as they can commit unpalatable acts or ally with groups considered unacceptably extremist.

    The contracting document seen by the Guardian lists several “mid-level units” as examples of groups considered to be part of the “moderate armed opposition”. These include Harakat al-Hazm, which received military assistance from the US, and Jaysh al-Islam, a group reportedly set up with Saudi backing.

    But six months before the document was written in November 2014, Human Rights Watch identified Jaysh al-Islam as the likely kidnappers of four human rights activists in December 2013. The four are widely assumed to have been murdered. The group has also been criticised for using imprisoned civilians as human shields, and for releasing a glossy video last June showing the grisly murder of 18 captive Isis fighters, a war crime under the Geneva convention.

    The government initially denied that the group was referenced in its contracting documents. It later acknowledged that it was mentioned but said it was referenced in the document as part of a description of how other groups had described the moderate armed opposition.

    An MoD spokeswoman said: “Jaysh al-Islam has never been given any assistance by the MoD, FCO or any contractors working on HMG’s [Her Majesty’s government] behalf … All recipients of our assistance are rigorously assessed to ensure they are not involved in any extremist activity or human rights abuses.”

    A source said contractors had provided media support for Harakat al-Hazm, but the group collapsed in March 2015 and its weaponry, including anti-tank missiles provided by the US, fell into the hands of the al-Nusra Front, a group that has pledged allegiance to al-Qaida.

    An MoD spokeswoman said: “The UK has been a longstanding supporter of the moderate opposition in Syria, who are standing up to both the tyranny of the Assad regime and the poisonous and murderous ideology of Daesh [Isis].”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/how-britain-funds-the-propaganda-war-against-isis-in-syria

  19. The Arrival of US Troops to the South of Yemen

    US media sources revealed on the arrival of a team of US Special Forces and Intelligence to Yemen under the pretext of helping the mercenaries and the UAE in the pursuit of al-Qaeda.

    An American National Agency correspondent Tom Bowman revealed on the radio in his tweets about the arrival of a team of Special Forces and intelligence to the south of the country under the pretext of the prosecution of al-Qaeda, noting that the team had left Yemen last year.

    It should be noted that the move came after the United Arab Emirates asked for US intervention to help in the fight against al-Qaida in southern Yemen, after a year of support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to al-Qaeda and Daash money and weapons for the evolving face of the army and people’s committees.

    http://www.alzawaya.net/?p=19032&lang=en

    US forces arrive in southern Yemen: Report

    A report says US Special Forces have arrived in Yemen to fight alongside Emirati forces in alleged operations against al-Qaeda militants in the country’s south.

    Yemen’s al-Masirah television channel on Sunday quoted Tom Bawman, the National Public Radio’s Pentagon reporter, as saying that the troops had arrived in Yemen on April 25.

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year provided financial and military support to militants to confront Houthis and the Yemeni army units that had taken over the security of the country after president Abd Rabbuh Manur Hadi resigned.

    US deployment of troops comes a year after the withdrawal of its forces from Yemen.

    On March 21, 2015, the US evacuated its remaining forces out of al-Anad airbase in southern Yemen “due to the deteriorating security situation” a day after al-Qaeda captured the nearby city of al-Houta.

    Al-Qaeda has become stronger in Yemen taking advantage of the chaos created by the Saudi military campaign against Houthis more than a year ago.

    Lately, Riyadh and its allies have announced an offensive against al-Qaeda in a decision seen by analysts as an attempt to ward off international criticism of the Saudi intervention in Yemen.

    Last month, forces loyal to Hadi and Emirati troops reportedly overran Mukalla after al-Qaeda militants left the seaport in southeast Yemen.

    http://myinforms.com/en-me/a/32199006-us-forces-arrive-in-southern-yemen-report/

  20. London Poised to Elect Muslim Mayor After ‘Nasty’ Campaign (nbcnews, Mar 3, 2016)
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/london-poised-elect-muslim-mayor-after-nasty-campaign-n566676

    “London appears poised to become the first major Western city to elect a Muslim mayor after a bitter and bizarre campaign that has earned comparisons to the chaotic U.S. presidential race.

    Opinion polls suggest that Sadiq Khan is the frontrunner in Thursday’s election to replace New York-born Boris Johnson and take charge of transportation and strategic planning in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

    The moderate Muslim, who supports LGBT rights including gay marriage, is up to 20 percentage points ahead of main rival Zac Goldsmith, the son of a Jewish billionaire.

    The contrast with Khan, who is the son of a bus driver from Pakistan and grew up with seven siblings in a three-bedroom government-subsidized apartment, resonates in an expensive city where rocketing rents and property values are squeezing out even middle-class workers….”

  21. More than 7,000 illegal immigrants smuggled into UK on FERRIES, shock figures claim (express, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/666505/Illegal-immigrants-smuggled-UK-ferries-doubles-shock-figures-claim-Calais-lorries

    “THE number of illegal immigrants smuggled into Britain via ferries has more than doubled in the past three years, shock figures have claimed.

    Statistics suggest that the number of migrants making their way to Britain through Dover and other main ports has shot up from 1,432 in 2013 to 2,935 in 2015.

    According to the Telegraph, Home Office figures showed that during the past three years more than 7,000 illegal immigrants have snuck into the UK via ferries…”

  22. EU BORDER THREAT: Brussels to fine countries €250,000 for EVERY REFUGEE refused entry (express, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/666720/Brussels-to-fine-countries-for-EVERY-REFUGEE-refused-entry

    “BRUSSELS is set to slap EU states with eye-watering fines of €250,000 for every refugee they refuse – twisting states’ arms into accepting controversial migrant quotas.

    The financial penalty, which would see countries who wish to retain control of their own borders fined hundreds of millions of euros, is expected to be unveiled tomorrow.

    With countries including Hungary refusing to accept quotas of migrants issued by the European Union, the huge financial threat has been introduced to prevent states from choosing who to accept in their countries.

    The deliberately high fine of €250,000 per asylum seeker will leave countries with no choice but to accept thousands of migrants – or face huge penalties.

    Poland, for example, would be forced to pay €1.5billion if they kept their borders closed to the 6,200 migrants on their quota…”

  23. Three Muslim teens from same London college disappear ‘after planning to go away together’ (express, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/666783/MISSING-Muslim-teens-from-east-London-college-disappear-after-planning-to-go-away

    “THREE Muslim teenage girls who studied at the same East London college have disappeared from their homes after ‘planning to go away together’.

    Police have put out an urgent appeal to trace three students who have been missing for a week.

    Ikhra Jaal, 17, Mariam Mohamed, 17, and Alwiye Hassan Nureni, 17, have been missing since Tuesday April 24.

    The three teenagers are close friends and attend Leyton Sixth Form College in Waltham Forest.

    Now police say the trio may have gone to Cardiff or Brighton…”

  24. German satirist who mocked Erdogan says Merkel ‘filleted’ him (BBC, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36197543

    “A German comedian under investigation for mocking the Turkish president has accused Angela Merkel of “filleting” him on behalf of a “despot”.

    Prosecutors began investigating Jan Boehmermann after he read an obscene poem about Recep Tayyip Erdogan on TV.

    Ms Merkel, the German chancellor, faced heavy criticism over the decision.

    The comedian’s comments come on World Press Freedom day, amid widespread criticism of Turkey’s government over its crackdown on the country’s media.

    Speaking publicly about the investigation for the first time, Mr Boehmermann told Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper: “The chancellor must not wobble when it’s a matter of freedom of opinion.

    “But instead, she filleted me, served me for tea to a highly strung despot and made me into a German Ai Weiwei.”…”

  25. Germany’s first Isis war crimes trial starts in Frankfurt (thelocal, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.thelocal.de/20160503/germanys-first-isis-war-crimes-trial-starts-in-frankfurt

    “A German jihadist suspect went on trial Tuesday for war crimes in Syria after allegedly posing for photographs holding the severed heads of two victims of the conflict.

    At the first trial in Germany for war crimes committed in Syria’s five-year-old war, Aria Ladjedvardi, 21, told the court he “didn’t want to be in” the incriminating pictures, and that he “could not imagine that they would be circulated on social media”.

    Prosecutors have accused Ladjedvardi of a war crime as he had treated the unidentified victims “in a degrading and humiliating manner”….”

  26. Vienna rape suspect floored by female prison guard (thelocal, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.thelocal.at/20160503/teen-rape-suspect-floored-by-female-prison-guard

    “One of the three teenage asylum seekers accused of the brutal rape of a young student has been floored in jail after attacking a female warden who was a martial arts expert.

    The 16-year-old asylum seeker had attacked the female prison warden but chose the wrong target because she was an experienced martial arts expert and swiftly put the aggressive young man out of action.

    He was then carried back to his cell by her colleagues.

    The teenager is one of three who accused of the brutal sex attack in a public toilet in Vienna’s Praterstern station…”

  27. French bus drivers ‘told to count migrants’ (thelocal, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.thelocal.fr/20160503/french-bus-drivers-told-to-count-migrants

    “Bus drivers in northern France have reportedly been told to keep a track of how many migrants are passengers on their vehicles.

    Bus drivers for the Twisto transport company in Caen, northern France, have been told to keep a tally of how many migrants ride their bus, reported the Normandy arm of the France Bleu channel.

    The bus line runs from the centre of Caen to the Ouistréham ferry terminal (see map below), which in recent months has become a port to where more and more migrants are heading in an attempt to get to the UK.

    The channel reported that memos had been passed among the drivers with boxes to tick marked “Number of migrants inspected” and “Number of migrants booked” (see below)….”

  28. ‘Isis’ kids get taken into care in central Sweden (thelocal, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.thelocal.se/20160503/swedish-isis-kids-get-taken-into-care

    “Three siblings authorities feared could be forced to go abroad to get married or fight alongside extremists have been taken into care in central Sweden.

    The children, who were all living in the city of Örebro, were in danger of being brainwashed by adults in Sweden connected to the extremist group Isis, according to a municipal court ruling…”

  29. Army chief confirms death sentences of 11 ‘hardcore terrorists’ (tribune, May 3, 2016)
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1096388/army-chief-confirms-death-sentences-of-11-hardcore-terrorists/

    “Army chief General Raheel Sharif confirmed on Tuesday death sentences of 11 “hardcore terrorists”, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

    According to the statement, the convicts were involved in heinous crimes such as killing and kidnapping of civilians, attacks on armed forces and LEAs, and destruction of schools.

    All culprits were tried in the military courts after which General Raheel finalised the death sentences….”

  30. ISIS loyalists targeting opium and heroin production in Afghanistan: Report (khaama, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/isis-loyalists-targeting-opium-and-heroin-production-in-afghanistan-report-0827

    “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group loyalists have started eradicating opium and targeting heroin production in Afghanistan, a similar approach the militants of the terror group are using to target the illicit drugs as well as alcohol in Syria and Iraq.

    According to reports, the loyalists of the terror group have launched the campaign in areas where they have influence, including the Achin district which was once the stronghold of ISIS loyalists.

    Nawab, a local farmer who goes by his first name only, told VOA’s Afghan Service that the Islamic State “eradicated our poppy crop because they say it is illegal.”…”

  31. Pakistani insurgent among 33 killed in latest ANSF air and ground raids: MoD (khaama, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/pakistani-insurgent-among-33-killed-in-latest-ansf-air-and-ground-raids-mod-0828

    “The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said at least 33 militants including a Pakistani insurgent were killed in the latest air and ground raids of the Afghan National Security Forces.

    “In the last 24 hours, as a result of the joint clearance operations of the Afghan security and defense forces aimed to topple down the insurgents and protect the lives and property of people , 23 armed insurgents were killed, 12 wounded and nine arrested,” according to an MoD operational update.

    The operations were conducted in a number of the districts of Kunar Nangarhar, Laghman, Khost, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Badghis Balkh, Jowzjan,Faryab, Kunduz ,Badakhshan, Sar-e-Pul , and Helmand provinces….”

  32. Kenya police ‘foil anthrax attack’ by ‘IS-linked group’ (khaama, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36198561

    “Kenyan police say they have foiled a “large-scale” biological attack using anthrax, by a terror group with links to so-called Islamic State (IS).

    A man, his wife and another woman have been arrested. Rewards have been offered for two other men.

    Police did not name the network, but said it stretches across the country and outside its borders, including to Somalia, Libya and Syria.

    There was no immediate independent confirmation….”

  33. Lebanon/Italy: Italian charity flies 101 refugees from Beirut to Rome

    A group of 101 Syrian and Iraqi refugees were flown into Europe from Beirut to Rome on Tuesday, as part of the Sant’Egidio charity’s humanitarian corridor project.

  34. Sadiq Khan branded unfit to be London Mayor as it emerges he called moderate Muslims ‘Uncle Toms’ (dailymail, May 3, 2016)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3572015/Sadiq-Khan-branded-unfit-London-Mayor-emerges-called-moderate-Muslim-s-Uncle-Toms.html

    “Labour was plunged into a fresh race row last night over an extraordinary slur against moderate Muslims by its London mayoral candidate.

    Sadiq Khan was branded unfit to be London Mayor after it emerged that he had described moderate Muslim groups as ‘Uncle Toms’ – a notorious racial slur used against black people to suggest that they are subservient to whites.

    The incendiary claim emerged in a 2009 interview with Iranian-backed Press TV, when Mr Khan was ‘minister for community cohesion’, in charge of Government efforts to stamp out extremism.

    The revelation is a major blow for Mr Khan, who has faced a string of claims about his past dealings with Muslim extremists during the bitter campaign to succeed Boris Johnson…”

  35. Migrants get Pakistani chef amid ‘bad’ Italian food revolt

    A Pakistani chef has been brought in to cater for 200 people living at a refugee centre in Emilia-Romagna, after they protested over the poor quality of the Italian food on offer.

    Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s anti-immigration Northern League, told The Local the decision was “crazy”. “No other European country would put up with this kind of protest from migrants,” he said.

    Regional councillor for Italy’s Democratic Party, Mirko Tutino, defended the decision to get a new cook, saying it was “important to meet the needs of people fleeing war and poverty.”

    http://www.thelocal.it/20160504/canteen-employs-pakistani-chef-after-refugees-protest-italian-food

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