Reader’s links for October 15 – 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.

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

83 Replies to “Reader’s links for October 15 – 2016”

  1. IRAQ – US military ‘begins shelling’ ISIL in Mosul</strong

    The U.S. military deployed to the east of Iraq’s Mosul has started shelling Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets as part of an operation to retake the city, a Peshmerga commander said on Oct. 15, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

    Peshmerga Commander Omer Huseyin told the agency that American howitzers, deployed some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) away from Mosul city center, were hitting ISIL targets.

    Huseyin said the U.S.-led coalition warplanes also hit areas where ISIL militants were positioned.

    "The Daesh [ISIL] terrorists started burning tires to block the view of the warplanes after international coalition forces struck the area," he added.

    "Daesh terrorists also started burning the petroleum filled in their ditches, which they have dug around the city."

    Meanwhile, earlier reports had suggested that the grand operation to retake Mosul from ISIL begun late on Oct. 15.

    Both Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command stated such operation had not begun yet, as reported by the Anadolu Agency.

    In addition, Turkish Prime Ministry sources also said there was no Turkish military presence in the operation yet, private broadcaster CNN Türk reported.

    According to sources, Ankara also warned Washington of Shia forces to not to enter the region, saying that it would trigger a sectarian war which would last for hundred years.

    The U.S. and French jets were also bombing ISIL targets in the east of Mosul, according to private broadcaster NTV.

    The attacks late on Oct. 15 were steps to increase military build-up and narrow the circle down ahead of a ground offensive, the channel said quoting security sources.

    In mid-2014, ISIL captured the northern city of Mosul and overran vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq. It remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.

    The Iraqi army and its allies are now gradually advancing on Mosul, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to “liberate” by year’s end.

    RT-Iraq: Govt. forces bring in reinforcements for Mosul offensive

    • Turkey’s Erdogan says Iraq cannot handle Mosul assault alone

      Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Iraq could not deal alone with driving Islamic State from the city of Mosul and that the presence of Turkish forces in a nearby military camp was an insurance against attacks on Turkey.

      Turkey has been locked in a row with Iraq’s central government about the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, and over who should take part in the planned U.S.-backed assault on Mosul.

      “We won’t let Mosul be given to Daesh (Islamic State) or any other terrorist organisation. They say Iraq’s central government needs to approve this but the Iraqi central government should first deal with their own problems,” Erdogan said.

      “Why did you let Daesh enter Iraq? Why did you let Daesh enter Mosul? They were almost going to come to Baghdad. Where are you, the central government of Iraq?” he said in a speech at a ceremony in the Black Sea town of Rize, broadcast live on TV.

      Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated on Saturday that the Turkish troops have deployed in Iraq without the authorization of the government.

      “I won’t allow the Turkish forces to take part in the operations to liberate Mosul in any possible way,” he added in comments aired on Iraqi state TV.

      Turkey fears that Shi’ite militias, which the Iraqi army has relied on in the past, will be used in the planned Mosul offensive, expected to start this month, stoking sectarian unrest and triggering an exodus of refugees.

      Turkish soldiers have been training Sunni Muslim and allied Kurdish peshmerga units at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul, and want them to be involved in the assault.

      “Nobody should talk about our Bashiqa base. We will stay there. Bashiqa is our insurance against any kind of terrorist activities in Turkey,” Erdogan said.

      The United States has said any foreign forces in Iraq should have the approval of Baghdad.

  2. Father of Calais migrant boy who moved Lily Allen to tears unmasked as ISLAMIST FIGHTER (express, Oct 16, 2016)

    “THE 13-year-old Calais migrant who moved Lily Allen to tears and compelled her to apologise on behalf of Britain is the son of former Islamist fighter, it has been revealed.

    The tearful pop star was ridiculed for telling migrant boy Shamsher Sherin she was sorry “we put you in the hands of the Taliban”, while volunteering for a charity in the Calais Jungle last week.

    But it turns out Shamsher’s father fought with the Islamist Mujahideen in Afghanistan and only fled the country because he feared the UK-backed Afghan Northern Alliance.

    Hazrat Gul Sherin came to Britain on the back of a lorry and was handed benefits and a job on a construction site.

    Before he fled Afghanistan in 2005, Mr Sherin was a staunch supporter of Sunni warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who led militia group Hezb-e Islami, and was dubbed the “Butcher of Kabul” for the campaign of death and destruction he waged to gain control of Afghanistan’s capital in the 1990s.

    Despite supporting the leader, known for executing intellectuals and attacking women with acid, Hazrat was allowed to stay in the UK after sneaking into the country.

    He went on to claim benefits for seven years while living in Birmingham until 2012, when his application for asylum was granted and he began working on building sites.

    Mr Sherin then returned to Afghanistan for two three-month holidays, despite having claimed that he feared for his life there.

    He told the Mail on Sunday: “I was not escaping the Taliban. I had been a commander for Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Hezb-e Islami for many years and was put in charge of the village of Shershia in Jalalabad.

    “I had a profile then. Everyone was scared and could not say anything but when the western-backed government took over from them, the villagers realised I had no power and turned on me and our house was shot at. We fled over the border to Nasar Bagh in Pakistan but somebody snitched on me and a bomb was planted at the local mosque intended to kill me.

    “I was injured in the blast and have three bits of metal in my body still. We had to move again to Tira and it was then I knew I had to escape to build a better future for my family.

    “My father had some money and sold land and I used that to make my way to Britain. I did not know anyone there but I heard they had the best human rights in Europe. It was very hard to leave. My wife Noorbabo had just had our fourth baby but I had no choice if I was to look after their future.”

    Mr Sherin, who is now 49, said that he first became involved with the Butcher of Kabul at 15 when he joined the Mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation.

    By 21, he was a commander in charge of 70 men.

    He said: “I was very good at shooting at planes. Gulbuddin would give us the guns and the orders and I was in control of the area. We would sometimes be told to attack other villages.”

    Supporters of Hezb-e Islami are believed to have assisted Osama bin Laden and Taliban fighters by providing them safe passage to Pakistan after 9/11.

    Mr Sherin said that he is now hopeful that his son will be able to join him in Birmingham soon.

    Controversially, Lily Allen told Shamsheer: “We’ve bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country. I apologise on behalf of my country. I’m sorry for what we have put you through.””

  3. Fox News – New FBI files contain allegations of ‘quid pro quo’ in Clinton’s emails

    FBI interview summaries and notes, provided late Friday to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees, contain allegations of a “quid pro quo” between a senior State Department executive and FBI agents during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, two congressional sources told Fox News.

    “This is a flashing red light of potential criminality,” Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who has been briefed on the FBI interviews, told Fox News.

    He said “there was an alleged quid pro quo” involving Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and the FBI “over at least one classified email.”

    “In return for altering the classification, the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas was discussed,” Chaffetz said.

    As Fox News previously reported, interviews released earlier this month, known as 302s, reveal the serious allegation that Kennedy applied pressure to subordinates to change classified email codes so they would be shielded from Congress and the public. Fox News was told as far back as August 2015 that Kennedy was running interference on Capitol Hill. But Kennedy, in his FBI interview on Dec. 21, 2015, “categorically rejected” allegations of classified code tampering.

    Chaffetz has not read the new documents, which include classified records that must be read in a security facility. But based on a briefing from staffers, Chaffetz said there are grounds for at least “four hearings” after the recess. Chaffetz, who is currently out of town campaigning, said allegations came from witnesses though there is some conflict in the record.

    “Both myself and Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are infuriated by what we have heard,” he added.

    “Left to their own devices the FBI would never have provided these [records] to Congress and waited until the last minute. This is the third batch because [the FBI] didn’t think they were relevant,” Chaffetz said.

    The second congressional source backed the assessment, and both added that they expect the FBI interviews will be released as early as Monday as part of ongoing FOIA requests.

    A spokesperson at the FBI provided a lengthy statement to Fox Saturday night — disputing Chaffetz’s characterization and stating that, while the conversation did happen, the two issues discussed were not connected. The FBI’s statement is below:

    Prior to the initiation of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server, the FBI was asked to review and make classification determinations on FBI emails and information which were being produced by the State Department pursuant to FOIA. The FBI determined that one such email was classified at the Secret level. A senior State Department official requested the FBI re-review that email to determine whether it was in fact classified or whether it might be protected from release under a different FOIA exemption. A now-retired FBI official, who was not part of the subsequent Clinton investigation, told the State Department official that they would look into the matter. Having been previously unsuccessful in attempts to speak with the senior State official, during the same conversation, the FBI official asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad. Following the call, the FBI official consulted with a senior FBI executive responsible for determining the classification of the material and determined the email was in fact appropriately classified at the Secret level. The FBI official subsequently told the senior State official that the email was appropriately classified at the Secret level and that the FBI would not change the classification of the email. The classification of the email was not changed, and it remains classified today. Although there was never a quid pro quo, these allegations were nonetheless referred to the appropriate officials for review.

    • the weekly standard -An Attempted Hillary Email Coverup?

      A senior State Department official repeatedly pressed the FBI to change the classification of emails stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to FBI interview summaries set to be released in the coming days. Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, discussed providing additional overseas slots for the FBI in exchange for revisions to classifications of the sensitive emails.

      The 34 summaries, known as FBI “302s,” will be released in connection with a Freedom of Information Act request and after pressure from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Two additional 302s are being withheld because they contain information classified at the Top Secret/SAP level.

      The summaries, described to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by five intelligence and congressional officials familiar with their contents, are sure to bolster Donald Trump’s criticism of corruption at Clinton’s State Department, the FBI and Washington, D.C., with just more than three weeks until the 2016 presidential election.

      The story about potential reclassification of Clinton emails unfolds over three of the summaries. A senior FBI official in the international operations division describes conversations with Kennedy about the classification of emails. In his interview, this official says his section of the FBI had attempted to contact Kennedy repeatedly over the course of several months in the spring of 2015. Kennedy did not return the calls. In the late spring or early summer of 2015, the FBI official reported to work surprised to find a note indicating that Kennedy had called.

      According to the summary, Kennedy wanted help. The FBI official spoke with Kennedy and Kennedy raised the possibility of keeping at least one Clinton email from public disclosure by obtaining a “B9” exemption under the Freedom of Information Act, a rarely used exemption that refers to “geological and geophysical information and data.” One email in particular concerned Kennedy and, according to the FBI summary, providing a B9 exemption “would allow him to archive the document in the basement of the department of state never to be seen again.” The FBI official told Kennedy that he would look into the email if Kennedy would authorize a pending request for additional FBI personnel in Iraq.

      A summary of an interview with the section chief of the FBI records management division provides further evidence of Kennedy’s attempts to have the classification of some sensitive emails changed. The FBI records official, whose job includes making determinations on classification, told investigators that he was approached by his colleague in international operations after the initial discussion with Kennedy. The FBI records official says that his colleague “pressured” him to declassify an email “in exchange for a quid pro quo,” according to the interview summary. “In exchange for making the email unclassified State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.” The request was denied.

      In the days that followed, the FBI records official attended an “all-agency” meeting at the State Department to discuss the ongoing “classification review of pending Clinton FOIA materials.” One of the participants at the meeting asked Kennedy whether any of the emails were classified. Kennedy purposely looked at the FBI records chief and then replied: “Well, we’ll see.”

      After the all-agency meeting, the FBI records section chief met privately with Kennedy. According the FBI interview summary, he reported that “Kennedy spent the next 15 minutes debating the classification of the email and attempting to influence the FBI to change its markings.”

      The FBI records section chief also told investigators that he sat in on a conference call between Kennedy and FBI Counterterrorism chief Michael Steinbach. Kennedy again pressured Steinbach to change an email from classified to unclassified. Steinbach declined.

      There is no indication in the FBI interview summaries that Kennedy was directed by Hillary Clinton or her campaign to attempt to reclassify or hide emails. Kennedy has been a central figure in the Benghazi and email controversies. He was involved in the controversial decisions not to bolster security at the Benghazi diplomatic outpost despite repeated requests for addition security. And although Kennedy is responsible for ensuring State Department compliance with federal records requirements, he communicated regularly with Clinton using her private email. In a sworn deposition in connection with Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by Judicial Watch, Kennedy testified that he exchanged dozens of emails with Clinton and never thought to ask how the private emails would be archived in a manner consistent with federal law. “It’s not something that I ever focused on,” Kennedy testified.

      The information in the FBI 302s involves other aspects of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State:

      On one trip to Asia, according to a diplomatic security officer, Clinton “frequently and blatantly,” ignoring their instructions on which vehicle was designated to transport her. In one instance, Clinton disregarded the security recommendations of her detail in order to participate in an event to promote clean cookstoves. In doing this, the official alleged that she put “her staff, the media, and her security detail in unnecessary danger for a photo opportunity for her election campaign.”
      Clinton diplomatic security officials told the FBI they were frustrated by Clinton’s unwillingness to abide by rules forbidding electronic equipment in “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities” or SCIFs. Clinton routinely brought her Blackberry and other electronic devices into the secure facilities despite prohibitions against doing so.
      Clinton’s personal and campaign teams convinced the State Department to allow an outside team of lawyers to make decisions on FOIA requests. The outside team was referred to a “shadow government” and circumvented the normal FOIA procedures at the State Department.

      “There are at least four topics that demand further investigation and public hearings,” says Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “It does beg the question if they purposely delayed Congress seeing this information. It happens to be some of the most outrageous – if not illegal – behavior we’ve seen to date.”

  4. Dubai just started building the world’s tallest tower

    Dubai said on Monday it had started building what would be the world’s tallest tower, another record for the city that is already home to the highest skyscraper – the Burj Khalifa.

    The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour – a joint venture between Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum – will be completed in 2020, Dubai’s government said.

    Its statement did not say how high the tower would be nor how much it might cost.

    Guinness World Records defines a tower as a structure in which less than 50 percent of the total height is useable floor space. The world’s tallest tower is the Tokyo Sky Tree, a 634-metre-high broadcasting, restaurant and observation tower.

    Dubai, a major tourism and entertainment centre, is continually laying plans for new attractions. Its new tower, part of a plush new residential area next to a waterfront, will feature several garden-themed observation decks, it said.

    The Burj Khalifa is 829.8 metres (2,722 feet) high.

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