Contributor’s Links post for February 12th, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

152 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for February 12th, 2019”

  1. Washington on track to be first state to allow human composting

    What began as a passion project, and then became a new company is now the focus of a bill moving through the Washington State Legislature.

    Senate Bill 5001 would allow for human composting, also known as “recomposition” in Washington. Katrina Spade is the CEO of “Recompose,” the company aiming to be the first to build a facility for human composting.

    “There’s really only two options for when we die: cremation and burial. Neither (of those options) felt particularly meaningful to and I think if that’s the case, its’ true for others as well.”
    Content Continues Below

  2. Hamas, Islamic Jihad War Crimes Against Children and Women

    by Bassam Tawil
    February 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

    When Hamas launched its weekly demonstrations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel 10 months ago, it first sent its men and their family members to participate in the protests. A few weeks later, however, Hamas instructed its men to stay away from the border after many were detected and killed by the Israeli army. Most of the Hamas men who were killed during the violence belonged to the group’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam. Others belonged to the military wing of another terrorist group, Islamic Jihad.

    It is worth noting that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad members who were killed while participating in the violence near the Gaza-Israel border did not come there dressed in military uniforms or carrying their weapons. Instead, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad men participated in the weekly protests dressed in civilian clothes. They pretended they were ordinary and innocent civilians protesting against the economic crisis in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

    Later, however, Hamas was forced to admit that dozens of its members were killed in the first three months of the protests near the border. Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, revealed in May 2018 that at least 50 Hamas members were killed during the violent demonstrations, which had begun two months earlier.

  3. Turkey: Imprisoned Former Opposition Lawmaker Symbol of Unjust Justice System

    by Uzay Bulut
    February 12, 2019 at 4:00 am
    A former deputy of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Eren Erdem, who has been under arrest for seven months on terrorism charges, remains incarcerated — even though a court ruled on January 7 that he would be released pending trial.

    Just before he was to be let out of prison, Istanbul’s chief public prosecutor’s office objected to his release. A higher court accepted the objection and once again issued a detention warrant against him.

    In reaction to Erdem’s re-arrest despite the court ruling, his father, Hasan Erdem, said: “I’m talking to the person who is giving the instructions for this. You should know that my son and I are not afraid of you. You will not be able to bring us to our knees.”

    After these statements, Hasan Erdem, 70, was fired from his job.

    Erdem then said on January 28 that he had started a hunger strike to protest his arrest and trial for being a member of “FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization)”. “FETÖ”, named by the Turkish government after Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, is an organization that Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government accuse of staging the 2016 attempted coup, and often use as an excuse to arrest its critics. Erdem has said there is no evidence that can prove his connection with the organization.

    In 2016, Erdem had, in fact, penned a book critical of the ideology and activities of the Gülen movement.

  4. The Anti-Israel Religion

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Anti-Israelism is the modern face of anti-Semitism and just as toxic. Anti-Israelism is a modern-day religion in that it demands unquestioning adherence to a dogmatic doctrine and rejects non-believers as morally inferior.

    Human nature requires a belief system to explain the universal questions of why and how. Above all, belief rationalizes the question of existence. Whether based in universalism or particularism, modes of belief vary from fervent orthodoxy to equally fervent atheism, allowing followers to choose how and when they worship.

    Because religion is as old as human civilization itself, it has garnered a reputation as conservative and old-fashioned.

    Today, we are observing a rejection of “classical” organized religious constructs in favor of more individualistic beliefs – human social actions that are supposedly based on furthering human contact and kindness – from which the idea of a higher power or spirituality has been removed.

  5. MPs have voted to make displaying EU flags mandatory in French classrooms.

    The French flag and the words of the country’s national anthem La Marseillaise will also be displayed alongside the EU one, which is the official symbol of both the Council of Europe and the European Union.

    The National Assembly — France’s parliament — passed an amendment from Éric Ciotti, of Les Républicains party, stating the Tricolore, the European flag and the words of the chorus of La Marseillaise must be displayed in primary and secondary classrooms, in both public and private institutions.

    Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, who voted in favour of the measure, said it would be simple to implement and that the ministry would cover the costs.

    Ciotti, who had initially proposed only the presence of the French flag, welcomed what he called “an important step forward”.

    But the move was met by strong protests from left-wing politicians.

    Michel Larive, of left-wing party La France Insoumise (Unbowed France), said the flags were already displayed outside schools. That, he said, was sufficient to evoke “respect for the homeland without veering towards nationalism”.

    “Schools are not barracks,” added Larive.

  6. CYBER WARS Russia to test turning entire internet OFF to defend against US cyberattack
    Russia is ramping up its cyber war games

    By Harry Pettit, Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter
    11th February 2019, 12:22 pmUpdated: 11th February 2019, 12:23 pm
    RUSSIA is shutting off its internet as part of a dramatic test to help it defend against devastating cyber attacks.

    The experiment is part of preparations for a potential cyber war with the US that could see Donald Trump shut down Russia’s internet access.

  7. A federal appeals court has rejected arguments by the state of California and environmental groups who tried to block the reconstruction of sections of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

    The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the Trump administration did not exceed its authority by waiving environmental regulations to rebuild sections of wall near San Diego and Calexico.

    The court upheld a lower court ruling that found the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 allows the Department of Homeland Security to avoid lengthy environmental reviews to build border barriers.

    The 2-1 ruling comes as Congress prepares to present the president with a government funding deal that includes some which allows for border fencing but no walls.

  8. AID FOR PAEDOS Rochdale paedophile gang handed £1m in legal aid to fight deportation
    The four claimed a move to strip them of their ­citizenship in order to deport them to Pakistan breached their human rights

    By Nick Parker
    10th February 2019, 11:33 pmUpdated: 10th February 2019, 11:34 pm
    MEMBERS of a paedophile gang have received more than £1million in taxpayer-funded legal aid to fight deportation.

    The four, from Pakistan, were among nine men jailed in 2012 for sexual offences, including rape, against underage girls in Rochdale.

  9. An inside look at the first US domestic deradicalization program (thedefensepost, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Following an increase in the number of foreign and domestic extremists entering the U.S. criminal justice system over the past two decades, the Minnesota “Terrorism Disengagement and Deradicalization Program,” a model that is the first-of-its kind in the country, is now being put to use.

    The program was created in 2016 after U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis ordered four Minnesota men accused of plotting to join Islamic State to undergo evaluation by Daniel Koehler, the director of the German Institute on Radicalization and Deradicalization Studies (GIRDS), and to participate in programming to help them disengage from extremism as an alternative to serving prison time.

    The program is led by the U.S. Probation Office for the District of Minnesota which contracts with GIRDS, as well as incorporates strategies from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service of the United Kingdom.

    The District’s programming supervises approximately 25 extremists on supervised release convicted of terrorism-related crimes, with 13 being jihadist and 12 white supremacists on average, former Minnesota Chief Federal Probation Officer Kevin Lowry told The Defense Post.

    Deradicalization strategies
    According to Lowry, upon entry into the program, participants undergo a forensic analysis to understand the specifics of their radicalization process, what their particular vulnerabilities were, and what issues have since arisen from their radicalization.

    “We’ll identify underlying radicalization factors and then address them through a team approach using mentors, counselors, a number of other types of social services and a holistic approach,” Lowry said.

    An individually tailored approach is then determined for each person because of the different ways they became involved in extremist ideology.

    Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim told The Defense Post that a variety of techniques are used, including psychological testing and counseling, in addition to incorporating religious mentoring to replace the desire for involvement in extremist activities with positive involvement in one’s faith since religion is often used as part of the effort to recruit foreign terrorist fighters.

    A particular emphasis is also placed on community reintegration strategies in order to achieve a balance between public safety and rehabilitation, Tunheim said.

    Tactics like strengthening family ties to ensure that participants have supportive environments to live in; working with them to set up further education, vocational training or employment plans to restore self-reliance; helping them develop new social networks to distance themselves from previously destructive influences; and having community mentors who are knowledgeable about Islam advise them during supervised release all play a role in achieving this goal.

    Although not all of the participants in the programming are Muslim, program staff have not yet come across circumstances to specifically address religion with right wing, Christian extremists through mentorship. However, Tunheim said they “certainly are ready to provide that kind of mentoring” in the future if needed.

    Although many deradicalization strategies have been tested and documented around the world, Joana Cook, a senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation, has found that those that focus on an individual’s particular radicalization circumstances are more likely to succeed.

    Even though she has not focused specifically on Minnesota’s programming in her research, its individualized approach mirrors other successful deradicalization programs she has encountered in the past.

    “Radicalization processes at an individual level are extremely complex – the factors that may cause a teenage male to join a far right extremist group are going to be very distinct to those that may motivate a mother to take her children to join ISIS,” Cook told The Defense Post. “The most successful programs are those that can take into account, and respond adequately to, the widest array of factors that led to that individuals radicalization in the first place.”

    Program successes
    Although the program is unique in that it is the first of its kind in the U.S., Lowry said that measuring success in extremism cases is fairly similar to measuring success in other types of criminal cases.

    “We have measures along the way through the course of supervision,” Lowry said. “Did they complete treatment? Are they in full compliance with the conditions of supervision? Have they had violations that resulted in them being sanctioned or returned for an additional term of incarceration and then coming out again to complete supervision?”

    Once the program has had additional time to run, Tunheim said it will also likely be evaluated in its entirety, “both objectively and subjectively,” to make sure that the right goals are being achieved.

    “Ultimately, the goal is to reintegrate these people into the community as productive citizens, and if you do that then the program is successful,” Tunheim said. “If they go astray and commit these types of crimes again then we’ll know that the program isn’t very successful.”

    Prison radicalisation
    Because of its status as the first domestic deradicalization program in the U.S., a lack of available models to emulate was one of the biggest problems creators encountered.

    For Tunheim, the lack of prior deradicalization programs highlights a larger national issue where resources are focused on incarceration instead of rehabilitation and reintegration.

    “A frustration of ours, which I hope is being remedied … is that the Bureau of Prisons does not have any deradicalization programs, and in fact, you can argue that there’s potential for radicalization within the prison system because they’re really not looking at this issue.”

    Examples of radicalization taking place within prison walls are not hard to find, not only in the U.S. but around the world.

    Countries like France and Egypt, which have recently faced a major problem of petty criminals becoming jihadis in prisons, have begun turning to strategies such as creating designated “isolation zones” within prison complexes for radicalized inmates to stop the spread of extremist ideology.

    Prison gangs, criminal organizations that originate within the U.S. penal system itself and are often structured along racial, ethnic or ideological lines, offer opportunities for radicalization among prisoners to take place as well. Prominent examples include white supremacist groups like the Aryan Brotherhood, skinheads, Aryan Nation, and the Ku Klux Klan; criminal organizations like La Cosa Nostra and drug cartels; street gangs like the Mexican Mafia; biker groups like Hells Angels, as well as a variety of Bloods and Crips, according to research produced by Lowry in the Journal for Deradicalization.

    As documented in past research by the National Institute of Justice, because many prisoners seek to adopt a new identity and a sense of camaraderie upon entering the prison system, prison gangs commonly offer respite for new prisoners. Especially by presenting potential members with a strict hierarchy, a code of conduct and a secret communication system to adhere to, the indoctrination into prison gangs is often linked to radicalization within prison walls, the research found.

    “You have to work very hard when you’re in prison to better yourself and many do,” Tunheim said. “But a lot of people don’t and the presence of radicalized individuals in prisons means that there is a clear risk of other people becoming radicalized.”

    Current work within the realm of education and prevention is also lacking, according to Lowry, contributing to growing numbers of extremists in the U.S. until these topics are addressed.

    “The Minnesota Justice System Model and our approach is one of the primary ones in the country, but the problem with that is it starts at the time of arrest,” Lowry said. “It doesn’t start at education or prevention for people who have been exposed.”

    Getting outside agencies on board to provide counseling services and mentoring has proved challenging as well, especially considering the stigma that can come from working with terrorists.

    “We’ve had difficulty because not everybody wants to necessarily be involved with working with terrorism-type cases,” Lowry said. “Some people have declined because they’re worried about controversy involved with terrorism or concerned about the safety of their other clients, counselors, facilities, legal liability, fear of negative media scrutiny.”

    Deradicalization as an alternative to prison
    According to Lowry and Tunheim, initiatives like Minnesota’s “Terrorism Disengagement and Deradicalization Program” are often preferable to incarceration for multiple reasons.

    Not all extremists exhibit the same levels of commitment to terrorist groups, or the same levels of involvement in terrorist schemes. Therefore, some argue that a one size fits all approach that puts every offender behind bars is not appropriate.

    “Not all of these cases are the same,” Lowry said. “You have people with very minor involvement that aren’t highly radicalized, that don’t need as much, but then on the other hand you have people on the far end of the scale that are highly radicalized and create a high risk to public safety.”

    Deradicalization programming also offers people within the criminal justice system opportunities to better understand the motivations behind extremist crimes, an area that, according to Tunheim, remains fairly misunderstood.

    “People sell drugs because they’re addicts or because they want to make a lot of money. They don’t sell drugs because they’re trying to serve a good cause,” Tunheim said. “People who are terrorists fundamentally see themselves as altruists that serve a good cause designed to achieve a greater good. So this self-righteous commitment, self-sacrifice issue is a difficult one to deal with.”

    However, according to Cook, deradicalization programming doesn’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive to criminal convictions.

    “In cases where persons have been found guilty of criminal acts related to violent extremism, then deradicalization programs, whether in prison or following their release, can be useful for trying to prevent recidivism to violent extremism, which is certainly in the public interest,” Cook said.

    Especially in states or cities with low rates of violent extremism, Cook added that integrating deradicalization elements into pre-existing prison programs, rather than as stand-alone ones, may be more financially and logistically viable.

    Both Tunheim and Lowry encouraged future investment into deradicalization programming in the U.S. as opposed to “warehousing people for the rest of their lives,” in Tunheim’s words, as well as only focusing on these cases during worst case scenarios.

    “I just think as a national system, we can keep moving forward,” Lowry said. “I think that there’s a lot of movement and traction around this issue when something bad happens, but when those issues grow cold, then people kind of lose their focus and things go to the wayside.””

  10. Egypt Starts Measures to Counter Terrorist Hideouts (aawsat, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Egypt’s Interior Ministry said Monday it is considering measures to legalize notifying security forces of the apartments that are leased and sold (furnished, new rent), or those under construction and other places.

    It said these apartments could be exploited by “terrorist elements” and used as shelter and warehouses to hide their crime tools in order to avoid security monitoring.

    In recent years, terrorist elements in Egypt have resorted to unexpected hideouts inside furnished apartments amid population gatherings, where they prepare explosives before carrying out terrorist attacks.

    The Egyptian Interior Ministry announces every now and then confrontations with terrorist elements, who use residential apartments to hold organizational meetings and prepare the equipment of the terrorist operation.

    One of the most famous terrorist incident associated with such den was the assassination of Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat on June 29, 2015.

    Perpetrators resorted to renting an apartment in Sheikh Zayed City in the 6th of October district of Giza governorate to manufacture the explosive device, which was placed in his vehicle.

    The Interior Ministry confirmed Monday that it is considering discussing the proposed legislative amendment measures to toughen penalties against those not reporting information of tenants of real estate and furnished apartments.

    It pointed out that the contemporary security policy is keen to highlight the importance of the public communication with security services to contribute to capturing perpetrators and terrorists as well as aborting their schemes that threaten the society’s security and safety.

    It also works on deepening the concept of community partnership to improve the security services’ performance rates and achieve their objectives.

    In addition, this amendment aims at helping people acknowledge the importance of security planning in the completion of the necessary elements and information to preemptive strikes aimed at undermining criminal and terrorist schemes and immunizing society from their evils.”

  11. US Senator and rights groups call on Google and Apple to remove Saudi tracking app (mee, Feb 12, 2019)

    “US Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and a number of human rights groups have asked Google and Apple to take down an app that tracks Saudi Arabian wives, sisters and daughters.

    “I am demanding that Google and Apple pull down apps that promote abusive practices against women in Saudi Arabia,” Wyden said on Twitter.

    The app, called Absher, helps users navigate passports, birth certificates and vehicle registration through the kingdom’s interior ministry. But it also tracks women, particularly wives, sisters and daughters, on whether they’re leaving the country and it allows restrictions on when they can leave on certain dates.

    “We call on Apple and Google to assess the risk of human rights abuses on women, which is facilitated by the app, and mitigate the harm that the app has on women,” Amnesty International told the Washington Post on Tuesday in a statement.

    “The use of the Absher app to curtail the movement of women once again highlights the disturbing system of discrimination against women under the guardianship system and the need for genuine human rights reforms in the country, rather than just social and economic reforms,” Amnesty added.

    Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the Post that the app is used to “discriminate against women”.

    Coogle called on Google to push Saudi Arabia “to change the laws and change the app”.

    Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said 11 million people use the app and Google has said it has been downloaded one million times from their store. The number of times the app has been downloaded from Apple’s store remains unknown.

    Both Google and Apple have yet to comment on whether they plan to remove the app from their respective stores.”

  12. Tunisia rape victim jailed for homosexuality (memo, Feb 12, 2019)

    “A Tunisian man has been sentenced to six months in prison on charges of homosexual conduct, after he reported being raped and assaulted by two thieves.

    The man – identified only as Anas – reported his assault to a police station in the coastal city of Sfax on 2 January, but following initial questioning the 22 year-old was accused of homosexuality, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

    He was subsequently subjected to an enforced anal examination, an unscientific and invasive procedure prohibited by international law. Although the results came back negative, Anas was still remanded in custody until his trial.

    Both of the men accused of attacking Anas yesterday received sentences of six months for homosexuality, with a further two months for physical assault and theft. However, after falsely alleging that Anas had consented to sexual relations, the court ruled that he would also serve time in prison.

    Mounir Baatour, a lawyer who has been involved in the case, told the Independent that Anas’ friends and family were still struggling to reconcile themselves to the court’s ruling…”

  13. Qatar: Stake in Russia’s Rosneft paves way for global energy deals (memo, Feb 12, 2019)

    “The Qatari sovereign wealth fund’s acquisition of a stake in Russia’s Rosneft sets the stage for collaboration between the Russian oil major and Qatar Petroleum, Doha’s ambassador to Moscow said in an interview with Reuters.

    The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) became a shareholder in Rosneft following the Russian state-controlled oil giant’s privatisation in late 2016, and now holds a 19 percent stake.

    Though Qatar is a small oil producer compared to its massive gas production, state oil firm Qatar Petroleum is on a drive to expand operations globally.

    Qatar’s ambassador to Russia, Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, said QIA’s stake opened the door to cooperation between Rosneft and Qatar Petroleum in projects around the world.

    “There is no ‘malicious agenda’,” Al-Attiyah said. “Just pure economic reasons.”

    Qatar is seeking international partnerships amid a boycott imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which severed diplomatic and transport ties with the country in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charge.

    Qatar’s joint projects with other energy firms do not raise eyebrows, he said, adding:

    So then why is there a question mark when we have a collaboration with Rosneft?

    Reuters reported last year that Russian state bank VTB secretly loaned around $6 billion to QIA to help finance its acquisition of the Rosneft stake, undermining the deal’s stated aim of bringing foreign money into Russia.

    Rosneft denied the report.

    Al-Attiyah said he did not know whether Russian funds were used to finance the deal. Qatar could sell the stake but was unlikely to do so soon, he said.

    “We did not invest that much of a stake into this company to flip just like this, very quickly,” Al-Attiyah said.”

  14. Lawmaker who changed Jordan’s rape law takes on child marriage (memo, Feb 12, 2019)

    “A Jordanian lawmaker praised for her role in abolishing a law that let rapists off the hook if they married their victims has set tackling child marriage as her next challenge, reported Reuters.

    Nearly 10,500 girls in Jordan were married before reaching their 18th birthdays in 2017, according to the most up to date figures from the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

    Girls in Jordan can be married from age 15 with a judge’s approval, even though the legal marriageable age is 18. Lawmaker Wafa Bani Mustafa said that even raising it to 16 would reduce the numbers.

    “This is not an exception. This is something that is happening every day, and too many young girls are getting married,” the 39-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a recent visit to Beirut, adding:

    I am very optimistic child marriage will decrease if we change the age to 16. It doesn’t matter if they are Jordanian or Syrian – we need to protect all girls.

    A significant proportion are believed to be Syrian girls after an influx of refugees from Jordan’s war-ravaged neighbour, with families marrying off daughters young to give them financial security and protection from sexual violence.

    Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled their homeland since the war started in 2011 and there are now more than 670,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan according to the United Nations.

    “If you are not old enough to vote or drive a car – how can you open a house and build a family,” said Bani Mustafa, one of only 20 women in Jordan’s 130-seat House of Representatives.

    “We need to first change the culture by raising the age of exceptions to 16 – then slowly maybe this will be the first step to making it to 18 with no exceptions.”

    In 2017 Jordan’s parliament voted to abolish a law that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims after a years-long campaign led by Bani Mustafa.

    Now she is seeking a change to a section of the law governing inheritance, arguing that it disadvantages women.

    As things stand, the children of a father who dies before his own parents will inherit the assets he would have received had he survived them, while the children of a mother who dies before her parents will not.

    “If we push changing women’s rights through law it will change the culture of the society to accept women’s rights. The law helps change our society’s mentality,” she said.

    Globally, 12 million girls marry before age 18 every year, according to Girls Not Brides, a coalition working to end child marriage.

    In Jordan, Bani Mustafa said there were legal provisions to protect child brides – including a maximum 15-year age gap and the requirement that they be allowed to continue their education – but they were not being adhered to.

    “I will keep fighting for Jordanian women – nothing will slow me down. We deserve better lives and equal rights to men. It is not easy, but we have to keep fighting,” she said.

    “I think women’s rights are slowly changing in Jordan.””

  15. Qatar removes Saudi Arabia from traffic signs (memo, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Qatar’s interior ministry has removed Saudi Arabia from traffic signs on the roads leading to the kingdom, social media activists reported yesterday.

    A photograph that had gone viral on social media showed a traffic sign pointing to Saudi Arabia through the Salwa crossing – the only land crossing connecting the kingdom with Qatar – without the name of Saudi Arabia on it.

    The Qatari move was reported to have been taken in response to a recent similar Saudi step. In September, the kingdom’s authorities removed Qatar’s name from all traffic signs and replaced it with the name “Salwa.”…”

  16. Morocco arrests three Frenchmen suspected of terrorism financing (reuters, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Three Frenchmen have been arrested in the Moroccan city of Sale close to the capital Rabat on suspicion of financing terrorism and having connections with militant groups, police said on Tuesday.

    Investigations showed that the suspects had connections with Islamic State (IS) fighters in the Middle East, a statement carried by state news agency MAP said.

    The suspects, who were arrested on Monday, were not identified but the police statement said one of them is of Algerian origin…”

  17. New Mexico Sheriffs Rebel Against New Oppressive Gun Control Laws

    More and more states have passed “red flag” laws making it easier to take guns away from people who others claim to be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country. The New Mexico legislature is considering such a bill along with three others. All of them are opposed by twenty-nine out of the thirty-three county sheriffs in New Mexico. The twenty-nine signed a public statement saying the new laws would not be effective.

    The four bills represent a dangerous attack on Second Amendment Rights:

  18. Accused of Espionage, Moroccan Kaoutar Fal to Sue Belgium (moroccoworldnews, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Kaoutar Fal, a Moroccan woman who was detained in Brussels on suspicion of spying for Morocco intelligence, has lodged a request to the European Court of Human Rights, questioning the legality of her detention.

    Fal, who spent two months in a closed center from May 29 to July 23 last year, wrote of “the ill-treatment” she received from Belgian authorities. She explained that she was arrested the moment she landed at Belgium’s Charleroi Airport.

    Fal emphasized that her detention occurred without any legal “justification.”

    The Belgian state security ordered that the 32-year-old woman be detained in Repatriation Center 127 bis, in Steenokkerzeel, Belgium. Belgian authorities reported that Fal was notorious in the world of business and lobbying, seeing her liberty as a threat to their national security.

    The Indictments Division and the Aliens Litigation Council (CEC) released Fal in July after it had announced that her detention was against the law.

    A CEC spokesman said then that she was detained “on the basis of another article according to which she is illegally in the territory, and because she represents a threat to national security.”

    Fal returned to Morocco on July 23 of her own volition.

    Fal is a co-founder of the Female Entrepreneurship Association in the north of Morocco.

    She has been “advisor to several Governments, Chambers of Commerce in Morocco and abroad and Director of the ESC-Tetouan the Institute on the Chamber of Commerce,” according to her website.”

  19. Brutal Murder of Sub-Saharan Student Sparks Anti-Racism Protests in Algeria (moroccoworldnews, Feb 12, 2019)

    “A group of sub-Saharan students took the street over the weekend to protest at the cold blooded murder of a Zimbabwean student in Sidi Amar, Annaba, a town in north eastern Algeria.

    Prosper Nduzso, a 22-year old senior electronics student at the town’s university, was stabbed by a group of three Algerian men…”

  20. Pakistan eyes $12b deals with Saudi Arabia (tribune, Feb 12, 2019)

    “After decades of dependence on Saudi grants, Pakistan is poised to sign billions of dollars of investment deals with the kingdom during an upcoming visit of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, including a multibillion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar.

    “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will sign three memoranda of understanding for investment in oil, renewable energy and mineral sectors during the royal visit,” Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood told a select group of journalists on Monday.

    “It is very likely that an agreement for $3 billion oil facility on deferred payments will also be signed during the visit,” said Dawood, who was very upbeat about keen interest being shown by Saudi investors in Pakistan.

    Pakistan will also ask Saudi Arabia to take part in the privatisation of over $2 billion worth of LNG-fired two power plants, although the kingdom had earlier showed interest in buying those units only under a government-to-government deal…”

  21. Turkey to chase up all terror groups: President Erdogan (aa, Feb 12, 2019)

    “Ankara will continue chasing all terror groups used as tools to hold the country captive, Turkey’s president said on Tuesday.

    Speaking at a campaign rally in the Black Sea province of Kastamonu, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey has been “struggling” in its region “for a thousand years.”

    He added that Turkey would continue its fight against terrorism whether it be against the “separatist PKK, abusive FETO, or project-product Daesh.”

    “We will continue chasing them up [Mt.] Cudi, Gabar, Tendurek and even Qandil as we have until now,” Erdogan said.

    Referring to terror attacks targeting the country, he stressed that they have been trying to halt [Turkey’s] development by blocking its progress.

    “Visionless politicians and unqualified bureaucrats” had also been utilized Erdogan told the crowd, adding that its economy was also weaponized against Turkey as demographic cleavages have also been aggravated.

    Later speaking in Corum province, Erdogan said after his visit to Venezuela, President Nicholas Maduro’s aide had praised the success of the town’s people during a visit.

    “I hope we will bring Corum to a very different point in the gold trade,” Erdogan said.”

  22. What happens inside Sudan’s secret detention centres? (BBC, Feb 13, 2019)

    “Dramatic footage filmed by protesters in Sudan shows masked security agents chasing down protesters, beating them and dragging them away to secret detention centres.

    Who are these hit squads? Where are these detention centres? And what happens inside their walls?

    BBC Africa Eye has analysed dozens of dramatic videos filmed during the recent uprising, and spoken with witnesses who have survived torture. Some of these protesters tell us about a secret and widely feared holding facility – The Fridge – where the cold is used as an instrument of torture.”

  23. USA: Thousands march for immigrant rights in Washington DC

    Thousands of protesters gathered outside the White House in Washington DC on Tuesday, in support of immigrants with a temporary status in the US.

    The protesters gathered outside the White House before proceeding to march through Washington DC.

    US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke at the rally, saying “We are here because we are fighting for the long-standing principle and the long-standing progressive principle that the people who built this country stay in this country. And we are part of a long long fight for the people whose hands have built this country be honored and respected in the United States of America.”

  24. Syria: Twenty hostages freed from militant captivity

    According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, twenty Syrian citizens were exchanged for the same number of militants in the village of Deir Qaq, in the Aleppo governorate on Tuesday.

  25. FBI emails show officials coordinating Hillary, Weiner probes

    DiGenova & Toensing’s Joe diGenova discusses how FBI emails revealed that top officials within the agency scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton’s lawyer amid the Anthony Weiner laptop review.

  26. MEMRI – Future Imam of First Mixed-Gender Paris Mosque: We Will Welcome Unveiled Women, Homosexuals

    French Islamic studies researcher and founder of the group “Talk to Me About Islam” Kahina Bahloul was interviewed on France 24 Arabic channel on February 8, 2019.

    Bahloul will be leading prayers in Paris’ first mixed-gender mosque, and she said that the mosque will allow women to choose whether they wear a hijab or not because of the belief that “there is no place for coercion in Islam.”

    She added that homosexuals will also be welcome because the sexual orientation of mosque members is a personal issue.

    She called for a “re-evaluation of history” and added that it is time for women in Islam to have a say about religious interpretations.

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