Contributor’s links for May 23, 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 must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

148 Replies to “Contributor’s links for May 23, 2019”

  1. Tommy Robinson supporters in Salford: “If he doesn’t win, it’s been rigged” | Jessica Swietoniowski

  2. THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Latest on the European Parliament elections (all times local) :

    9:20 p.m.

    An exit poll published by Dutch national broadcaster NOS shows that the Labor Party has won the most seats in the Netherland’s European Parliament election, which delivered a fractured result.

    The Ipsos poll published immediately after voting ended Thursday showed Labor winning five out of the country’s overall 26 seats, while the liberal VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte gained one seat to win 4 seats.

    Two Dutch populist parties won a total of four seats. The newcomer Forum for Democracy led by charismatic intellectual Thierry Baudet won three seats in its first European election while the anti-Islam Party for Freedom dropped three seats to hold just one.

    The exit poll for national broadcaster NOS asked voters at 35 polling booths across the country to repeat their votes on a shadow ballot. The results were extrapolated to give the nationwide picture with a margin of error of one seat.

  3. Cory Booker Vows to Add an ‘Office of Reproductive Freedom’ if He’s Elected

    Cory “Spartacus” Booker — or “Farticus,” if you will — has a novel idea: If he’s elected president of the United States, he wants to have an abortion office.

    On Tuesday, I covered the late-term abortion positions of every 2020 Democratic candidate, and it was a striking portrait of radicalism (here). For Cory’s part, he voted awhile back to have babies who are born alive during abortion attempts killed by neglect or more aggressive means (here). And on Wednesday, perhaps trying to out-abortion his blue competitors, he announced his vision for an “office of reproductive freedom.”

    As reported by Politico, Cory’s idea would involve a team of aides “coordinating reproductive health issues across all federal agencies, including access to abortion, paid leave, maternal health care and education for employees in his administration.”

    That’s a lot of abortioning.

    The staffers would also inform his executive orders in an attempt to find discretionary funding for reproduction-related stuff.

  4. You Won’t See This In The MSM: VP Pence Pulls Motorcade Over To Visit With School Children

    f Joe Biden had done it, the video would have been on ABC and NBC and CBS and CNN and MSNBC for two days straight.

    Vice President Mike Pence — who’s hardly ever in the news — was driving along in Waxhew, N.C., on his way to an event. Along the route, some children had come out onto a school’s front yard to see the passing motorcade.

    “On our way through Waxhaw, NC we had some special guests along the motorcade route,” Pence wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “Enjoyed meeting the great teachers and students from Big Blue Marble Academy! Thanks for the warm welcome!”,%202019%20at%2003:06:06%20PM

  5. Petty Man Child Barack Obama Jealous of Wife Michelle Obama’s Book Success – Credits Ghostwriter

    Petty man child Barack Obama is reportedly jealous of his wife Michelle Obama’s book success.

    Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” has sold more than 10 million copies and is on track to be one of the bestselling political memoirs ever.

    Barack Obama is in the middle of his third (still untitled) memoir which will cover his criminal political career from 2004 to present and he wants to beat Michelle Obama’s book sales.

    According to The Atlantic, Barack Obama is feeling competitive and pointed out that his wife used a ghostwriter while he’s writing his memoir himself:,%202019%20at%2003:06:06%20PM

  6. Saudi Air Defenses Destroy Houthi Drone Flown towards Najran (aawsat, may 23, 2019)

    “Saudi air defenses intercepted and destroyed on Thursday a drone flown by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen towards Najran airport, said the Saudi-led Arab coalition.

    Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the Houthis launched the explosives-laden drone towards the airport, which is used by thousands of people on a daily.

    The attack completely disregards International Humanitarian Law, he added.

    He stated that the Houthis deliberately direct attacks towards civilians and civilian facilities.

    He warned the militias against maintaining such a policy, saying the coalition will retaliate with firm deterrent force in line with International Humanitarian Law.”

  7. Iran Rejects Talks with US ‘under Any Circumstances’ (aawsat, may 23, 2019)

    “Iran announced Thursday that it will not hold talks with the United States “under any circumstances.”

    “We have said clearly… as long as the rights of our nation are not satisfied, as long as words don’t change into action, our path will stay the same as now,” said Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council.

    “There will be no talks under any circumstances,” he was quoted as saying by the official state news agency IRNA.

    Khosravi said there had been an uptick in official delegations travelling to Tehran from various capitals, although “most of them are coming on behalf of America”.

    “Without exception we have responded with the message of the Iranian nation’s strength, reason and resistance” in line with the policies of the country, he added.

    Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusef Bin Alavi arrived in Tehran on Monday followed by the German foreign ministry’s political director Jens Plotner on Thursday.

    Oman played a crucial role in bringing Iranian and US negotiators together for preliminary talks that ultimately led to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with major powers including the United States.

    But US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Iran scaling back its nuclear program.

    With tensions between the two sides already high, there has been a dramatic escalation in recent weeks after the US labelled Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a “foreign terrorist organization”.

    The United States also deployed a naval carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Middle East over unspecified Iranian “threats”.

    Iran in turn rolled back parts of its commitments within the nuclear deal and gave an ultimatum to the remaining sides that more would follow if they did not provide relief from sanctions.”

  8. Colonel Maliki: ‘Iran using Al Houthis to destablise the region’ (gulfnews, may 23, 2019)

    “Dubai: Iran is trying to bring “chaos” to Yemen and “destabilise the region” through Al Houthi militants, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition told CNN in an interview.

    Unlike Iran, Al Maliki explains that Saudi Arabia has a legitimate reason to be involved in Yemen as it received a request from “His Excellency President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and according to the UN Security council resolution 2216.”

    Al Maliki also spoke of the alleged attack on Saudi infrastructure by Al Houthis saying: “Al Houthis are attacking those infrastructures because they have the order, they received the order from the (Iranian) Revolutionary Guard and they have to do it… We know that Al Houthi are running a proxy war and they want to make a huge effect, not just on Saudi Arabia that affect will also be an economic issue for the Globe.”

    “We know how they interact, the Iranian regime in the region. How they are trying to spread the chaos around the region, destabilise the region and we know the connectivity between the Iranian regime and especially the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) with the Hezbollah in Lebanon… and also how they are supporting Al Houthis and how they are affecting the situation in Yemen and also regional and international situation.”

    “We are supporting the Yemeni national army, they are implementing the ceasefire and we know Al Houthis are trying to drive the coalition to do a military operation on Hodeida. However, we are supporting the special envoy to Yemen, we need to implement the agreement of Hodeida. However, we do have the right to self-defence, they are attacking civilian infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. Al Houthis have attempted to attack one of the vital points which serves thousands of people daily and if that attack happened we would have a loss of life.”

    “For us, as a coalition we don’t look at Al Houthis as a Shiite group. They are part of the social fabric in Yemen and we don’t look to the crisis in Yemen as a religious issue, but we know that the appointment that we are facing in Yemen… we are not facing an official army, we are facing ideology. That ideology is being driven from the Iranian regime.”

    The Saudi-led Arab coalition entered the Yemeni war in 2015 just months after an Al Houthi coup forced internationally-recognised Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of power.

    He later was able to escape house arrest and flee to Aden where he temporarily shifted government headquarters.

    Since then, the coalition has gained back 86 per cent of Yemeni territory but major population centres still remain under Al Houthi control.

    Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of illegally smuggling weapons into Yemen to sustain Al Houthi war efforts.

    In December 2017, one such Iranian-made ballistic missile was fired towards Riyadh for the first time in the three-year war.

    Although it was intercepted, Riyadh called it an ‘act of war’.

    The war has cost the lives of thousands of Yemenis and pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.”

    • This is a real treat:
      The Shia Militia Mapping Project

      Follow the moves of dozens of Shia militia groups, Iran’s quest to dominate the Middle East, and what this means for the region with The Shia Militia Mapping Project.

    • NOV 2016 – Iraqi poet: ‘with Moqtada’s help we will destroy Saudi Arabia’

      Iraqi ‘radoud’ (reciter) delivers a poem in which he threatens that Moqtada al Sadr’s militia — Saraya al Salam — will march on to Saudi Arabia and demolish the holy city of Mecca, “we don’t need” he said.

      Other inflammatory remarks are underpinned by threats of violence, sexual harassment and sectarian inspired vengeance.

  9. More Than 500 Hate Crimes Against American Muslims in 2019 (moroccoworldnews, May 23, 2019)

    “In the months following the horrific Christchurch attacks in March, which claimed the lives of 51 Muslims in New Zealand, there have been a number of high-profile threats and discriminatory actions committed against Muslims in the United States.

    Last month, on April 29, a mosque was ransacked and several Qurans were destroyed in Queens, New York, when a man broke into a mosque in a hate-fueled rage.

    Earlier this month, on May 15, a fire tore through a mosque in New Haven, Connecticut, leaving significant damage to the property, though no injuries were reported.

    This week, on May 21, a man was arrested in Miami Gardens, Florida, after threatening to “kill Muslims one by one” on social media.

    These attacks have been part of an alarming surge in hatred against minorities in the United States, which has been steadily increasing since 2015, according to Abbas Barzegar, the national research and advocacy director at the Council on American-islamic Relations (CAIR).

    Although we are less than halfway into 2019, CAIR has already tracked over 500 incidences of anti-Muslim bias, and the organization believes that these alarming numbers are only the tip of the iceberg.

    “We’ve already reported over 500 incidences of anti-Muslim bias or harassment just this year so far,” Barzegar said.

    “That’s very preliminary reporting. I know a number of our chapters have not filed their reports yet… I believe that’s a very low estimate already of what’s happening across the country.”

    Hatred on the rise

    According to CAIR reports, anti-Muslim bias and discrimination experienced a “demonstrable uptick” leading up to the 2016 Presidential Elections in the United States. Donald Trump’s campaign, Barzegar claimed, capitalized on this increase in Islamophobia and perpetuated the growth of anti-Muslim bias.

    “It was the rhetoric coming out of Trump’s campaign that certified that,” Barzegar said.

    “We started to see things in Trump’s campaign, rhetoric-wise, that was typically very far off on the margins: things you would find on far-right radio or the outskirts of the internet. Now it’s becoming so acceptable and mainstream.”

    Both prior to and throughout his presidency, Donald Trump’s use of hate as a weapon has allowed for fringe white supremacist and far-right groups to bring their ideologies to the forefront of political discussion.

    Among the president’s most controversial statements are his claims that he witnessed Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the September 11 attacks and that “Islam hates us.” He has also considered creating a database for all Muslims in the United States and preventing Muslims from entering the country.

    However, perhaps his most controversial and egregious statement has been shutting down mosques across the country, a clear violation of religious freedom and human rights.

    Despite these attempts at inspiring fear, Muslims across the United States have refused to be terrified into silence.

    Following the Christchurch shooting, mosques across New Zealand and the rest of the world were especially crowded, while the arson attempt in New Haven did not prevent Muslims from gathering for prayer just a few hours after the fire had started.

    “What I’m seeing is that people are hopeful, they’re strong, they’re determined, and they’re not fearful,” Barzegar said. “There’s a solemness there, there’s a melancholy, there might be some anxiety, but there isn’t fear.”

  10. Taliban militants killed, weapons and IEDs destroyed in Kandahar, Helmand operations (khaama, May 23, 2019)

    “The Afghan armed forces conducted separate operations in southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces killing at least two Taliban militants and destroying several weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices.

    “An Afghan special forces raid in Maiwand district of Kandahar resulted in 2 Taliban fighters killed and 3 detained,” the informed military sources said Thursday.

    The sources further added that “In Nad Ali district of Helmand, an Afghan special forces raid to destroy Taliban facilities led to the destruction of weapons, IEDs and illegal narcotic processing equipment.”

    The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the operations so far.

    Both Kandahar and Helmand are among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan.

    Taliban militants are active in some of the restive districts of the province where they often attempt to carry out terrorist related activities against the government and security institutions.”

    • More ISIS militants killed in Special Forces operation in Kunar (khaama, May 23, 2019)

      “The Special Forces of the Afghan military conducted a night operation in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan killing at least five ISIS militants.

      The 201st Silab Corps in a statement said the Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation with the support of coalition forces targeting ISIS militants in Tetak area of Noorgul district.

      The statement further added that the Special Forces killed five ISIS militants during the operation.

      Earlier, the Ministry of Interior had announced that the Police Special Forces have killed 7 ISIS militants in the same district.

      The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the operation so far.

      Kunar is among the relatively volatile provinces in east of Afghanistan.

      Both Taliban and ISIS militants are active in some of the restive districts of the province where they often attempt to carry out terrorist related activities against the government and security institutions.”

    • Security forces kill Taliban’s suicide attacks planner in Kapisa province (khaama, May 23, 2019)

      “The Afghan security forces have killed a senior Taliban leader who was involved in planning and facilitating suicide attacks in North-eastern Kapisa province.

      A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Nasrat Rahimi said the security forces killed Mullah Abdul Basir, a senior Taliban leader who was involved in planning suicide attacks in Kapisa.

      Rahimi further added that the security forces conducted the operation in Nejrab district on Tuesday.

      According to Rahimi, the security forces also killed five other militants during the same operation.

      The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the operation so far.

      Kapisa is among the relatively volatile provinces in North-east of Afghanistan.

      Taliban militants are active in some of the restive districts of the province and often attempt to carry out terrorist related activities against the government and security institutions.”

    • Criminal kingpin and his three comrades shot dead in Kabul (khaama, May 23, 2019)

      “The police forces killed a criminal kingpin and his three comrades during an encounter in Kabul earlier this evening.

      The Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said the police forces killed Enayat Qochi, the leader of one of the most dangerous criminal networks in Kabul during an encounter in Paghman district.

      The statement further added that the police forces killed three comrades of Qochi during the same encounter.

      The police forces also arrested four other comrades of Qochi during the encounter, MoI added.

      The police forces launched an operation in pursuit of Qochi and his men after they stole a Toyota Hilux Vehicle from 4th district of Kabul city, MoI said.

      According MoI, the clash between Qochi, his men and police forces broke out after the police forces traced them in Paghman district.

      The Ministry of Interior also added that Qochi and his men had engaged in armed clashes with the police forces on numerous occasions in the past.”

  11. Ankara laments ‘anti-Turkey activities in US Congress’ (hnd, May 23, 2019)

    “The anti-Turkey circles in the United States have recently intensified their activities in the U.S. Congress, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on May 22.

    “We observe that the anti-Turkey circles in the United States have recently intensified their activities in the U.S. Congress. The Draft Resolution, titled ‘Expressing Concern for the United States-Turkey Alliance’ is another example of this,” Hami Aksoy, the ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

    He went on to say that Turkey and the U.S. have deep rooted allied relations, based on common values and mutual interests. They work together to contribute to the peace and security in various regions in the world.

    “Resolutions as such, that undermine this fact and the rightful reasons behind the steps taken by Turkey for its national security, are inconsistent with the allied relationship between our countries,” Aksoy said, referring to the resolution which was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

    He also said that there is no need for concern by the American people and their representatives, whose friendship Turkey values. “In fact, friendship and alliance require to demonstrate a constructive and sincere effort by supporting the working group Turkey proposed,” the spokesman added.”

  12. Turkish spokesperson slams US former adviser Bannon (hdn, May 23, 2019)

    “Turkey’s presidential spokesman responded on May 23 to remarks by conservative American Steve Bannon who made remarks about the Turkish leader.

    ?brahim Kal?n said “the hatred against President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is because he defends the oppressed and exposes racism.”

    “Steve Bannon, the new guru of the racist and extremist movements in the West, calls President Erdogan ‘the most dangerous guy in the world’ while preaching hatred & warmongering,” Kal?n wrote on Twitter. “Why? Because Erdogan unmasks their racist hypocrisy & defends the oppressed.”

    Bannon, a former special adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, made the comments during a forum.”

  13. Daesh-linked group took part in Indonesian riots (aa, May 23, 2019)

    “A Daesh-affiliated group took part in rioting in Indonesia’s capital sparked by official results showing incumbent President Joko Widodo had beaten his long-time rival Prabowo Subianto in last month’s general election.

    National Police Spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said Thursday that the Islamic Reform Movement (Garis) is an organization that once pledged loyalty to the Daesh terrorist organization.

    “This group doesn’t just take those who are not in line with them as a joke,” Iqbal told a press conference.

    He said police arrested two members of the group who were among the protesters…”

  14. Turkish jets target PKK shelters in northern Iraq (aa, May 23, 2019)

    “Turkish fighter jets hit weapon emplacements and shelters used by PKK terror group in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

    In a statement, the ministry said airstrikes were carried out in Metina and Qandil region of northern Iraq.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.”

  15. Swiss government backs house arrest for potential terrorists (thelocal, May 23, 2019)

    “The Swiss government on Wednesday unveiled new proposals designed to combat terrorism. These include possible house arrest, but only as a “last resort”.

    One of the proposed measures would see all people deemed a potential terror threat – a group numbering a few dozen people according to Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter – required to report to police at certain times.

    Another option would see suspects slapped with a travel ban while also having their passports confiscated.

    Also on the table are measures that would see potential terrorists banned from making contact with certain people, while police would also be given powers to track suspects using electronic media.

    As a last resort, people considered a threat could be placed under house arrest. However, this provision could only be applied under very strict conditions and with permission from the courts.

    But the government fell short of backing an even tougher measure than house arrest – the so-called “secure housing” option pushed for by security agencies.

    This controversial measure closely resembles preventative detention. Its proponents say it would be limited to convicted terrorists who have served prison time in Switzerland and now find themselves free, but who cannot be deported because they are not recognized by any state or because they face persecution in their home country.

    Under the international non-refoulement principle, countries cannot return people to nations where they are at serious risk of persecution.

    It’s an omission that is likely to disappoint cantonal justice and police departments who have previously called for the measure. Those calls came in the context of a handful of high-profile cases including that of three Iraqi members of an Isis terror cell in the northern city of Schaffhausen who have served out their jail terms but who remain in Switzerland because they face torture or death in Iraq.

    But for the Swiss government, the “secure housing” option proposed by security agencies is a legal bridge too far. It argues such detention would contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The proposed anti-terror measures must now go before the Swiss parliament for discussion.”

  16. Germany: Leading politicians call for a ‘European Islam’ (DW, May 23, 2019)

    “Everyday measures are key to preserving the European way life, say Germany’s health minister and the premier of Schleswig-Holstein state. Jens Spahn and Daniel Günther want a faith that shares the continent’s values.

    Two senior German politicians have called for a more progressive form of Islam in order to align the religion with the European way of life.

    Health Minister Jens Spahn and Schleswig-Holstein State Premier Daniel Günther published the appeal Thursday in a guest contribution for the Rheinische Post regional daily.

    ‘Preserve our free European way of life’

    “Instead of tolerating symbols of a reactionary, misogynistic form of Islam, we must promote the development of a European Islam, which shares our values, in order to preserve our free European way of life,” penned the two Christian Democrats.

    The topic of burkas is one of particular concern for both Spahn and Günther. “When women and girls appear fully-veiled at universities and schools, then we do not just have the option to resist, we must resist,” they wrote.

    The pair also spoke about “burdens on the local population” when “deportations fail” before emphasizing that integration was essential for a successful society.

    Both men are members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat (CDU) party. Spahn, who failed in a bid to become Merkel’s successor, is seen as a conservative, while Günther is on the liberal wing of the party.

    The joint declaration also called for the European idea to become tangible in everyday lives of EU citizens.”

    • Germany’s novel approach: re-form the idea of Reformation. Luther was a monk inside the Church when he asked for change. Germany’s Jews–not Christians–re-formed the religion.

  17. Soros, EU Taxpayer-Funded NGOs Lobby Brussels for Total Open Borders (breitbart, May 23, 2019)

    “Brussels needs a “courageous” migration policy which opens Europe’s borders to everyone fleeing “wars, climate change [and] poverty”, say ‘international experts’ funded by EU taxpayers and globalist billionaire George Soros.

    At a forum discussion titled “Europe and migration: Where do we draw the border,” a panel of what were described as politically independent representatives from “established and respected international human rights organisations” concluded that the bloc must dismantle all immigration controls in order to respect the “rights” of illegal immigrants.

    Organised by the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) in Zagreb, panelists from the Croatian NGO, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) — all of which are funded by Soros’s grantmaking foundation — as well as the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, spoke on ‘the current state of migration policy’ in Europe and on changes open borders NGOs ‘expect’ from EU decision makers, reported local media.

    Representatives from the CMS, which is funded by European taxpayers through the European Commission and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, said they were hoping to see Brussels bring an end to “violent” protection of the Croatian border.

    Last year Breitbart London highlighted how open borders activists from the CMS’s ‘Welcome’ initiative had been threatening Croatian police officers over their defending the border in the face of attacks from third world migrants, the majority of whom were equipped with knives, according to Austrian intelligence.

    The group demanded officers either refuse to carry out orders related to securing the country’s frontiers or else face increasing pressure from foreign NGOs, and the subsequent scrutiny that would follow from global media outlets and the so-called international community.

    Brussels must also offer “safe and legal [migration] routes” for anyone “seeking security in the EU”, to restrict the powers of immigration control agencies in Europe and to establish “an independent mechanism to control conduct on borders”, said Julija Kranjec of the CMS.

    Authorities near the Bosnia-Croatia border have increasingly struggled to cope with “militant behaviour” and violence following the arrival of thousands of asylum seekers, 80 to 85 per cent of whom are “economic migrants and not people who need international protection”, a UN Migration Agency/International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman said in December.

    At the same time, Brussels announced it would be spending an additional €500,000 of taxpayers’ money on “humanitarian assistance” to the third world migrants camping in the Balkans, hoping to break into the EU, having already spent €31 million on migration-related projects in the region since 2015.”

  18. the gateway pundit – BREAKING….. IT’S HAPPENING! President Trump Calls on DOJ to Declassify Intel Related to Spying on Trump Campaign

    President Trump released a statement on Thursday night ordering declassification of the intelligence related to the spying on the Trump Campaign in 2016.

    This is breaking news…

    President Trump: “Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”



  19. BREITBART – Sri Lankan President Pardons Buddhist Monk Accused of Inciting Violence Against Muslims

    Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday pardoned Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, a hardline Buddhist monk accused of inciting violence against Muslims. Sirisena’s office provided no reason for issuing the surprise pardon.

    Gnanasara is the leader of an organization called Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), whose name translates to “Buddhist Power Force.”

    The BBS is a nationalist Buddhist group, formed a few years after the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, that has been linked to mob violence against Muslims for years, some of it fatal. The BBS directs much of its wrath at Sri Lanka’s small Muslim minority but also dislikes Christians and Hindus as “foreign” influences.

    The martial interpretation of Buddhism practiced by the BBS is very different from the teachings popular with some Westerners and associated with the Dalai Lama of Tibet, who has spoken out against Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka and Myanmar and been denounced by them in turn. Gnanasara publicly speculated in 2014 that the Dalai Lama had been “fed misinformation” by Muslims and become unacceptable as a Buddhist leader.

    Critics of the Sri Lankan government complain Gnanasara has delivered numerous public speeches that clearly incited violence but has never been held accountable. The BBS maintains other groups have been the perpetrators of violence after its rallies and claims it is merely striving to protect the rights of Sinhalese Buddhists around the world.

    The Sri Lankan government is often accused of sympathizing with the BBS and other Buddhist nationalist groups, and some government officials are rumored to be members. Other critics believe the government is afraid of Buddhist extremists and seeks to placate them.

    Buddhist extremists went on a rampage against Muslim homes, shops, and mosques last week, purportedly in revenge for the horrific Easter Sunday bombing of Christian churches by ISIS-linked Muslim extremists. At least one person was killed in the riots.

    Gnanasara was not directly involved in the riots, because he was arrested last summer and sentenced in June to six years in prison for interfering with a court hearing. The court was investigating the disappearance in 2010 of a cartoonist critical of the government. Gnanasara was charged with making threats to intimidate and silence the cartoonist’s wife in 2016. His conviction and sentence were a rare instance of Sri Lanka jailing a prominent Buddhist monk. He made an effort to appeal his sentence, but it was denied by the national supreme court.

    President Sirisena pardoned Gnanasara along with 762 other convicts on the occasion of the Buddhist holiday of Vesak. The president met with Gnanasara for “lengthy talks” in prison over the weekend. The monk’s release was delayed a few days after the other 762 convicts were pardoned, angering supporters who expected him to receive one of the Vesak amnesties.

    Gnanasara was released from Welikada prison on Thursday, reportedly departing quietly through the back door of the prison hospital to avoid the throng of journalists and supporters gathered in front of the jail.

    Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group denounced Gnanasara’s pardon as a “big blow to Sri Lanka’s already battered rule of law, sending precisely the wrong message after the Easter attacks.”

    “Pardoning Gnanasara says impunity rules and Muslims, evangelical Christians, and Tamils [Hindus] are fair game,” Keenan said.
    Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero release

  20. Deutsche Pravda – GERMANY – Biker gang raid: What do we know about Al-Salam-313?

    In a dawn raid, more than 500 police officers stormed 49 properties in eleven cities across the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. What exactly do we know so far about the group that was targeted? DW investigates.

    The objective of Wednesday’s major raid on the Al-Salam-313 biker gang was to collect and prepare evidence, and its preparation took several months, said Herbert Reul, interior minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The gang is suspected of having committed a variety of crimes ranging from illegal weapons trading, people smuggling, passport forgery, and drug distribution. Police have identified 34 suspects, who are mainly of Iraqi and Syrian descent. The minister said the raid dealt a “blow to organized crime.”

    Prior to the raid, DW had independently researched the group in connection to claims of its criminal dealings and threats on fellow Iraqi emigres. DW spoke, under conditions of anonymity, to one Iraqi national living in Germany, who said that the group had sent her death threats for leading a Western lifestyle. The person said she knew of other exiled Iraqis in Europe who also report having been intimidated by Al-Salam-313.

    On May 10, DW requested that the domestic intelligence agency of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, reveal what it knows about the group. In response, the agency refused to share its intelligence, saying on a phone call that this information is classified.

    ‘Those that come to Europe must behave’

    The Al-Salam-313 group has a Facebook page, called ALSALAM-Germany — though nobody appears to have posted there since May 2017. It also has published a seven-minute YouTube video featuring muscular gang members clad in leather vests and sunglasses. They show off luxury cars and motorbikes, driven in formation. Against the backdrop of dramatic music, gang members pose around their leader. Arms crossed, the leader looks into the camera and introduces himself. The video’s subtitles read: “Peace be upon you. I’m Abu Mehdi (Mohammad Bunia) from Salam crew 313.” He says the group was founded in 2016 and that it is active in several European countries, including Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands“We have no qualms with any human,” he states. And then, presumably in reference to Iraqis who fled to Europe, says: “Those that come to Europe must behave.”

    The leader then says his group exists to “help people, not cause problems.” But he also claims that “some of you need a good beating, Arab style. And you know exactly what I mean by this.” A bit later, Abu Mehdi insists his group is not a mafia-like outfit. His alias, incidentally, has a specific meaning: In Shia Islam, “Mehdi” or “Mahdi” refers to the descendant of Prophet Mohammed, who rules before Judgment Day to rid the world of evil.

    And the number “313,” as referenced in the group’s name, also has particular meaning in this context. Shiites believe that the redeemer will return to earth with 313 companions.

    In the group’s propaganda video, a vehicle can be seen whose German number plate begins with letter “E,” indicating the car is registered in the German city of Essen. This is where Abu Mehdi lives. Already in December 2017, local German media reported on an attack on the gang leaders’ hangout in Essen. The incident reportedly involved a rival Lebanese gang and revolved around extortion.

    In its 2018 report on clan-related crime, NRW’s Criminal Police Office does not mention Al-Salam-313 by name. Yet the agency explicitly notes that in recent months Turkish, Kurdish and Lebanese clans have apparently been overpowered by rival actors of Iraqi and Syrian descent. The report states that clans from these war-torn countries are “perceived as particularly assertive and violent” within this milieu.

    Ties to Iraqi Mahdi Army?

    The Al-Salam-313 group, though, is apparently not just a band of ordinary criminals, so to speak. NRW’s state interior ministry confirmed to DW that it suspects the gang may also be involved in politically and religiously motivated crimes. Authorities suspect the group of assisting militant extremists in Iraq.

    The group is rumored to have very close ties to so-called Mahdi Army aligned with Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. That militia sports a white dove as its insignia — as does the Al-Salam-313 group.

    According to US intelligence, the Mahdi Army comprises tens of thousands of fighters, and was formed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. After the Iraqi national army was demobilized, and much of the country’s police force retired, numerous militias filled the subsequent security vacuum. Today, several armed Shiite militias are active alongside the Mahdi Army in Iraq.

    Many of them are supported by Iran, which supplies funding, weapons and training. They played a major role in assisting the US fight against the “Islamic State”, an extremist Sunni militia.
    Salam 313 video ( Eng subs )

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