Reader’s links for January 13, 2018

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About Eeyore

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

108 Replies to “Reader’s links for January 13, 2018”

  1. Turkey Vows to ‘Tear Down’ YPG Forces, Opens Artillery Fire on Syria’s Afrin (sputniknews, Jan 13, 2018)

    “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a possible military operation in Syria’s Afrin, aiming to eliminate a “terrorist corridor” on Turkey’s southern border.

    The Turkish army opened artillery fire on the Kurdish militia positions in the Syrian city of Afrin, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

    According to the newspaper, the Turkish Armed Forces fired 10 shots from the territory of the Reyhanli district in the country’s province of Hatay.

    Following the military operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a possible military operation in Syria’s Afrin on January 13, adding that Turkey will clear its border of “terrorists.”

    “If the terrorists in Afrin don’t surrender we will tear them down,” Erdogan told the country’s ruling AK Party in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig, speaking about the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) militants, which are considered to be a terrorist group by Ankara…”

  2. ‘Unbroken’ Ideology: How Radical Islamist Networks Survive in Germany (sputniknews, Jan 13, 2018)

    “Dozens of lawsuits were filed against radical Salafists in Germany’s federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) between November 2016 and July 2017 alone.

    Prayer clubs were banned, preachers — imprisoned, and police — reinforced, but this has failed to prevent further spread of the radical ideology, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

    The number of radical Salafists in Germany has been steadily increasing over the past few years, according to reports.

    The figures in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone stood at 1,000 in 2012 and 3,000 by the end of 2017; 700 of the Salafists are regarded as being open to violence.

    READ MORE: Germany’s Top Court Repeals Acquittals of ‘Sharia Police’ Members

    Although the growth of their networks has recently slowed down, NRW’s authorities stated that “the attractiveness of the extremist Salafism particularly for young people” remains “unbroken”.

    According to the newspaper, radical networks are flexible and capable of responding to new challenges, which is why they still succeed in recruiting young people in Germany and abroad.

    Extensive Financing and Local Preachers

    The Salafist ideology has little to do with migrants. Only 3% of the newcomers can be associated with this branch of Islam, the article said.

    The main threat is posed by local radical preachers. According to the newspaper, there are over 70 of them in NRW alone, and they are efficient at recruiting more and more people into their ranks.

    In addition, extremist groups remain active because of extensive financing.

    For many years, intelligence agencies have warned that organized fundraisers and criminals raise millions of euros for the Salafist and jihadist communities.

    Terrorist financiers also generate millions in fraud and money laundering.

    Recruitment of Women and Children

    While many male members of the radical groups are serving prison sentences or have joined jihadists abroad, Salafists have started to increasingly mobilize women. Intelligence agencies are aware of the so-called “sister networks”, whose members, among other things, promote radical Islam online.

    Officially, these women are engaged in seemingly harmless activities like trade with cosmetics and clothing; or they give beauty tips and recommend Islamic wellness products in forums and online chats.

    But behind all this could be an attempt to radicalize Muslim women, reports say. There are also suggestions that some of these activists have ties to jihadists.

    Children have also increasingly become the target of Salafists. Hundreds of kids are being raised by radical Islamist parents, and might pose a serious security threat for the German community in the future, the newspaper wrote.

    Germany has been on a high alert over the rise of radical ideology on its soil amid a series of terrorist attacks across Europe, including an attack at a Christmas market in Berlin last year, when Daesh member Anis Amri stole a truck and drove it into a crowd, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others.

    In 2017, a total of 1,200 terror-related cases were opened, with some 1,000 of them linked to Islamism. By contrast, in 2016, Germany’s Public Prosecutor General opened only 250 terror-related cases, with some 200 of them dealing with Islamism.”

  3. Tunisia: Nearly 800 arrested as financial protests rage on

    Hundreds gathered outside city hall in Tunis on Saturday as protests over new financial laws continued.

    Protesters held anti-government banners and shouted through megaphones as they voiced the anger at the plans that would raise taxes and the price of basic goods.

    Organisers called for nationwide protests against the law urging people to continue to rally until the government reneges on its decision.

    The protests have raged for nearly one week and have seen more than 770 arrested by police.

    Protests are expected to continue through January 14 which will mark the anniversary of the removal of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from government.

  4. Berlin Fears a Devastating Wave of Migrants Amid EU Reform Plans – Reports (sputniknews, Jan 13, 2018)

    “German authorities are concerned that the country will have to accept many more refugees amid new regulations that could soon be adopted by Brussels.

    The European Parliament plans to introduce amendments to the so-called Dublin Regulation, which might result in a growing influx of migrants to Germany, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.

    The Dublin Regulation provides for asylum seekers to register in the first EU state they arrive in, with the country then being responsible for processing the application.

    However, if the proposed changes are approved, then responsibility for the asylum process could be transferred from the state of arrival to the EU country where the applicant’s relatives live.

    As a result, “Germany would have to accommodate significantly more asylum seekers,” a note from the Federal Interior Ministry said, adding that any restrictions on refugees would be “nullified.”

    The European Parliament launched its proposals to reform the Dublin Regulation and other EU asylum provisions in November. Now, the legislation has to be approved by the European Council, which consists of the heads of the EU member states.

    Germany has been struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, which escalated in 2015, with hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in EU member states.

    In 2017, the number of asylum applications significantly decreased compared to previous years.

    According to the Ministry of Interior, around 187,000 people applied for asylum in Germany in the first 10 months of 2017. In the same period last year, there were about 694,000 such applications.”

  5. Germany: Terrifying moment bomb squad prise open suspicious case

    Police and bomb disposal squad responded to a suspicious briefcase alert at Potsdamer Platz, on Saturday, which was later deemed a false alarm. Suspicious briefcase was found under a clock tower at the entrance to the station.

    Police cordoned off the busy city centre square, and upon examination the briefcase was deemed empty and harmless. Footage shows a bomb disposal officer opening a black and silver briefcase after inspecting it with an x-ray.

    Potsdamer Platz was on lockdown since approximately 14:00 local time causing traffic disruptions in Berlin’s city center.

  6. Nationalist ‘Paris Pride’ march takes place in Paris

    The annual ‘Paris Pride’ march, organised by far-right group Generation Identitaire, takes place in Paris on Saturday, January 13.

    The march, which honours Sainte-Genevieve, patroness of Paris, has been ongoing annually since 2005. Generation Identitaire is the youth wing of far-right movement Bloc Identitaire.

  7. Austria: Thousands denounce far-right coalition in protest

    About 20,000 people marched through the streets of Vienna on Saturday protesting against the new coalition government with the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPO).

    Protesters with placards and banners demanded other European countries boycott ministers who are members of the FPO.

    About 1,000 police officers provided security during the march and the rally.

    The far-right FPO recently reached a five-year deal with the Austrian People’s Party two months after the parliamentary elections.

    In December, Austrian Chancellor and leader of Austrian People’s Party built a coalition with FPO which made it the only western European nation with a far-right party in government.

  8. Czech Republic: Zeman leads but faces presidential run-off against Drahos

    The Czech Republic’s incumbent president Milos Zeman took the lead in the first round of the presidential elections that took place on Saturday scoring 39 percent of the vote.

    He will now meet his main rival, pro-European independent candidate Jiri Drahos, in the second round that will take place on January 26 – 27.

    Speaking at a press conference in Prague after the announcement of the results, Zeman thanked his supporters asking them to “come with their friends, relatives, beloved and just anyone, who can vote…to come and take part in the second round of the elections.”

    “I’m still young and full of strength and energy and I’m looking forward for debates,” said Zeman.

    Drahos, 68, chemist and former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, is running as an independent candidate.

    Seventy three-year-old Zeman has become the most outspoken critic of the EU immigration policy during his years of presidency. He also has pushed for better ties with China and Russia, holding a stance against EU sanctions on Moscow.

  9. Nigerian Shi’ite leader, rumoured dead, makes first public appearance in two years (reuters, Jan 13, 2018)

    “The leader of Nigeria’s Shi‘ite Muslim sect, rumoured to have died in detention, made his first public appearance in two years on Saturday, after police arrested dozens of members of the group during protests calling for his release this week.

    Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has been imprisoned at an unknown location without charge since December 2015 after his followers clashed with the army in the northern city of Zaria…”

  10. Egypt to impose curfew on parts of northern Sinai (alaraby, Jan 13, 2018)

    “Egypt will impose a curfew on parts of the North Sinai region from Saturday, reports confirmed, after the country extended its state of emergency.

    The curfew covers areas at the border town of Rafah near Gaza from 7pm to 6am and around the town of al-Arish from 1am to 5am, the official gazette said.

    The latest move comes after Egypt’s interior ministry said that clashes broke out when security forces raided a suspected militant hideout in the city of al-Arish, leading to the death eight suspected militants.

    Last week, Egypt extended its state of emergency for three months to help tackle “the dangers and funding of terrorism”.

    The curfew will continue as long as the state of emergency is still in place, the gazette said…”

  11. Spain: 109 migrants and refugees picked up off Malaga coast

    Members of Maritime Safety and Rescue Society organisation (Salvamento Marítimo) intercepted two vessels with migrants near the Malaga coast, Saturday afternoon.

    According to the reports, about 109 people were on board the two vessels; among them were nine pregnant women and 16 people declared minors.

    On arrival, Red Cross staff provided first medical aid and sent three people to the nearest hospital. According to reports, the vessels departed from Morocco.

  12. Germany: Berlin’s Police Problem

    by Stefan Frank
    January 12, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Berlin’s local government has come under fire after reports of frequent, habitual and sometimes criminal misconduct by Berlin’s police cadets. According to the reports, such misconduct, especially by those with a migrant background, is rampant in the Berlin-Spandau police academy.

    The scandal was revealed when a private WhatsApp voicemail was leaked to the public. The author, a paramedic who had given classes in the academy, complained:

    “Today I held a class at the police academy. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The classroom looked like a pigsty. Half of the class [are] Arabs and Turks, rude as hell. Dumb. Could not express themselves. I was about to expel two or three of them because they disturbed the class or were actually sleeping. German colleagues related that some of them had threatened to beat them. … [Some students] speak virtually no German. I am shocked, and afraid of them. The teachers … believe that when they expel them, they will destroy the cars on the street. … These are not our colleagues, this is the enemy among us. I have never before felt such hatred expressed in the classrooms. … They throw punches during class — you cannot imagine that.”

    The paramedic sent the voicemail to several people, one of whom brought it to the attention of Berlin’s Chief of Police, Klaus Kandt.

    The first reaction came from police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf, who acknowledged that there were “frequently problems” at the police academy; he also admitted that some of the cadets committed crimes — but “they are immediately expelled.” Neuendorf then attacked the paramedic by saying that “the tone and the form” of his criticism had been “inappropriate”. Moreover, Neuendorf said, the paramedic should have reported these things only to his superior.

    • This is really ominous.

      I stayed with a family in Lisbon for a few weeks when I was little. They had rescued Sephardim from Greece. Got them visas out of Bergen-Belsen moments before transit to extermination camp. Remarkable people, forever pained that so few survived from that community.

      They were extremely protective: we little girls couldn’t leave the house without our “big brothers”. To visit the WC in restaurants we went in pairs. Restaurants the family owned!
      Years later I learned why: The police were villains. They were licensed predators. They’d pull girls into their police cars in the daytime, rape them, and leave them somewhere in the countryside. Boys would be “arrested” – till parents rushed in with money.

      None of it was ever reported.

    • These are not our colleagues, this is the enemy among us.

      Much like with what happens to soldiers (at the front) who sleep on guard duty or do not follow security procedures, I predict that an inordinate number of these “immigrant” cadets will end up getting “caught in the line of fire” and other similarly (fatal) “work accidents”.

      Law enforcement officers rarely tolerate the sort of on-duty incompetence that can cost them their lives.

  13. Turkish military opens artillery fire on targets in Syria’s Afrin (hurriyetdailynews, Jan 13, 2018)

    “The Turkish military on Jan. 13 opened artillery fire on the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in northern Syria’s Afrin.

    According to information gathered by Anadolu Agency in Idlib, Turkish artillery units hit PKK/PYD forces from the Reyhanl? and K?r?khan dictricts of Turkey’s southern province Hatay and a Turkish Armed Forces observation point in Idlib at noon.

    Idlib is one of four de-escalation zones in Syria covered by a deal meant to reduce violence that was struck last year by Turkey, Russia and Iran.

    Turkish Armed Forces fired at least 36 times during the artillery bombardment in Afrin’s Bosoufane, Cindirese, Deir Bellout and Rajo districts.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an spoke about the Afrin operation at the provincial congress meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in eastern province of Elaz?? on Jan. 13.

    “We are destroying the western wing of this corridor with the Idlib operation,” Erdo?an said.

    Erdo?an added that if terrorists in Afrin did not surrender, Turkey would interfere.”

  14. Female tourists can’t visit Saudi Arabia alone (saudigazette, Jan 13, 2018)

    “Women over 25 years of age will only be granted a tourist visa to visit the Kingdom if they are part of a tourist group, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH).

    A team of representatives from the ministries of interior and foreign affairs as well as the SCTNH was formed to draft the rules and regulations for issuing tourist visas.

    The regulations state that women under 25 years of age must be accompanied by family members while women above 25 years of age must be a part of a tourist group under a certified tourism agency in order to be granted tourist visas.

    Tourism agency organizing the visit must be licensed by the pertinent authority of its country.

    The National Tourism Agency or the tour organizer from the Kingdom must be licensed by the SCTNH.

    Visas will be issued when the dates, duration of stay and tourism program are clearly stated.

    Tour organizers licensed by the SCTNH must receive tourists, supervise their stay and departure and provide at least one tour guide from the Kingdom who speaks the language of the tourists.

    Tourists are urged to respect the local laws, customs and traditions.

    Tour organizers should inform tourists of Saudi laws and traditions before their departure for the Kingdom.

    If a tourist goes missing for more than 24 hours, the tour guide must file a missing person’s report.

    If a tourism agency cancels a tour or leaves behind 100 or more people after visas have been issued, it will be reported to the ministries of interior and foreign affairs and it will be banned from organizing tourism packages to the Kingdom.”

  15. “Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”
    Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

    by Raymond Ibrahim
    January 14, 2018 at 5:00 am

    A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

    Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

    Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that, “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

  16. Turkey, the Arab World Is Just Not That into You

    by Burak Bekdil
    January 14, 2018 at 4:30 am

    He runs around in a fake fire extinguisher’s outfit, holding a silly hose in his hands and knocking on neighbors’ doors to put out the fire in their homes. “Go away,” his neighbors keep telling him. “There is no fire here!” I am the person to put out that fire, he insists, as doors keep shutting on his face. That was more or less how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman, pro-ummah (Islamic community), “Big Brother” game has looked in the Middle East.

    After years of trial and failure Erdogan does not understand that his services are not wanted in the Muslim neighborhood: The Iranians are too Shiite to trust his Sunni Islamism; the (mostly Sunni) Kurds’ decades-long dispute with the Turks is more ethnic than religious; and Sunni Arabs do not wish to revisit their Ottoman colonial past. Still, Erdogan insists.

    Turkish textbooks have taught children how treacherous Arab tribes stabbed their Ottoman ancestors in the back during the First World War, and even how Arabs collaborated with non-Muslim Western powers against Muslim Ottoman Turks. A pro-Western, secular rule in the modern Turkish state in the 20th century coupled with various flavors of Islamism in the Arab world added to an already ingrained anti-Arabism in the Turkish psyche.

  17. Germans Tackling Exploding Anti-Semitism?

    by Khadija Khan
    January 14, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Finally, it seems, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is proposing legislation that might even include deporting migrants who are anti-Semites, according to Die Welt.

    The alarming scale of anti-Semitism in Germany has been escalating with newly arrived refugees, mainly from Muslim lands, and causing the government previously to launch a desperate integration program with a warning that this kind of hatred would not be tolerated in the country.

    The German government also decided to introduce extensive discussions about Germany’s Nazi past in the course designed to make newcomers integrate into democratic societies.

    The situation seemed to be getting out of control with escalating anti-Semitism among more than a million asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Teachers familiar with the curriculum, however, predict a bleak future for the efforts to convince the Muslim refugees about European history of Nazi Germany: most of them are already drunk with the anti-Semitic propaganda spread across the Muslim world by Nazi-sympathizing Islamists.

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