Thursday, April 30, 2015

Islamic State bomb factory explodes, 25 jihadists die

Another welcome case of premature detonation.

From Middle East Eye April 30

Blast at explosives factory in Syria kills 25 IS fighters, says monitor

Twenty-five fighters from the Islamic State group were killed when a powerful blast rocked an explosives manufacturing plant in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province, a Syria monitor said late Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear whether the explosion was accidental or the result of a missile strike, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"A strong explosion took place this evening in an IS explosives factory in the town of Al–Mayadeen in the province of Deir Ezzor," the monitoring group said.

"Several other explosions followed, shaking the whole town. Twenty-five IS fighters were killed, around 20 others were injured," it added....

Female jihadist recruiter for Islamic State from Seattle

The world-wide jihad gets its people from all over.  Why not Seattle?

From the Independent May 1 by Heather Saul

Senior female Isis figure who helped recruit women from Europe to Syria is revealed as student from Seattle

A senior female Isis figure who reportedly helped recruit women to join the extremist group in areas under its self-declared caliphate has been exposed as a student from Seattle, who may have been living in the city up until March this year.

The person behind the influential @_UmmWaqqas Twitter account has been revealed by Channel 4 as a woman in her 20s who lived and studied in the US.

Her Twitter account had a following of over 8,000 before it was suspended and shows that British recruits, such as Aqsa Mahmood, and other women from Europe were in contact with her in the days running up their departure. Mahmood goes by the name of ‘Umm Layth’ online and tweets from the @_UmmWaqqas account included: "Legit I talk to @ummlayth everyday" and "Umm Layth has more BALLS than most men & more heart/iman to have left her home for Allah's sake."

She is also reportedly listed as a contact for recruits in a travel document explaining the best methods for reaching territories held by Isis in Syria.

The investigation found her Twitter account was accessed by someone in Seattle as recently as March, but her friends insist that she has since moved away. One told Channel 4 she may have relocated to Saudi Arabia, while another suggested she could be living in Denver, Colorado.

Read it all

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Australian Muslim scholar: "“Allah created paradise for Muslims to be rewarded and hell for the Kuffar to be punished"

The Al-Furqan centre in Springvale South.

He also says Muslims should not pledge allegiance to anything but Allah and that "Australian values are the values of the Kuffar (unbelievers). Your religion is not their values"

But remember, PM Tony Abbott and other Western leaders tell us Islam is a religion of peace and Harun Mehicevic is just misunderstanding Islamic doctrine and really doesn't mean what he says.

From the Herald Sun April 21 by James Dowling, Sam Landy, Aleks Devic and Tom Minear

Harun Mehicevic hits out at Australian values in Al-Furqan rants

HARUN Mehicevic, the leader of Al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre, appears to many to be a polite family man.

Since fleeing the Balkans war in the early 1990s he has carved out a life for himself in Melbourne’s Bosnian heartland of Noble Park.

But put a microphone in his hand, and 20 or 30 impressionable youths in front of him, and his deep-seated hatred of “Australian values” soon becomes apparent.

“Australian values are the values of the Kuffar (unbelievers). Your religion is not their values.

“They will not stop fighting you until you give up your religion or are martyred,” he told a gathering of his devout followers at his Springvale South bookshop.

In a recorded lecture after Australia Day — one in a series he gave in 2012 — Mr Mehicevic warned his followers not to take the oath of citizenship pledging allegiance to a “kuffar” government.

“Be careful what they ask us to say. There is no bayah (pledge) to Kuffar (unbeliever). We can only give a bayah to a Muslim leader,” Mr Mehicevic said.

“The (Australian) flag should be a warning to you that we do not belong here. It is a flag of the people of the Cross.”

He ended each lecture with a prayer that “Allah will help the mujahideen (holy warriors)” establish an Islamic State where Muslims can live with “dignity and honour”.

Now five of those with links to controversial clerics at Al-Furqan, and who may have listened to his lectures, have been arrested over an alleged plot to kill police officers.

An Al-Furqan statement released last night said: “We wish to clarify that there was no connection between Al-Furqan centre and these raids, and that claims to the contrary are unfounded and misleading.”

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said police had concerns about Al-Furqan but “risks and opportunities” had to be balanced before any move was made to close it.

Read it all

The Islamic State Family

Thousands of Western Muslims have joined the Islamic State, now it seems whole families are joining.  What would make a family decide to travel to Iraq and join the Islamic State?  What appeal is there and where are they learning it from?  To answer these questions would entail talking honestly about Islamic texts and teachings, and that would be Islamophobic.

From Reuters April 20 by Orhan Coskun

Turkish police detain British family thought to be headed for Syria

(Reuters) - Turkish police have arrested a British couple and their four young children on suspicion of seeking to travel to a part of Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, officials said on Monday.

Asif Malik, his partner Sara, and the four children - who are aged between less than 12 months and 7 years old - were detained at a hotel in an industrial district in the capital Ankara, a Turkish security official said.

British police said on Sunday the family had not been seen or heard from for almost two weeks and was thought to be heading to Syria. They appealed for information on their whereabouts after relatives voiced concern.

A British Foreign Office official confirmed that a couple and their children believed to be the missing family had been detained in Ankara and said British authorities were in touch with their Turkish counterparts.

The Turkish official said the family had crossed into Turkey by land via the town of Kirklareli near the Greek border on April 16 and that they had been detained after a tip-off from the British police.

Read it all

Monday, April 20, 2015

Minnesota-San Diego jihadists held without bail

"Daud and Farah were arrested Sunday after allegedly driving from Minneapolis to San Diego to obtain fake passports...Arrested in Minneapolis on Sunday were Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Adnan Farah, and Hanad Mustafe Musse, all 19 years old, and Guled Ali Omar, 20"

From Fox5 April 20

Terror suspects ordered held without bail

SAN DIEGO — Two 21-year-old Minnesota men, who allegedly traveled to San Diego over the weekend for fake passports to travel via Mexico to Syria to support the terrorist group ISIS, made their initial appearance in federal court Monday and were ordered held without bail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford informed Abdirahman Yasin Daud and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah that they are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist group and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

A prosecutor moved for detention on both defendants, alleging they were a danger to the community and were flight risks. A bail hearing was set for Friday in San Diego and an identification/removal hearing was scheduled for April 30.

Daud and Farah were arrested Sunday after allegedly driving from Minneapolis to San Diego to obtain fake passports, according to the criminal complaint.

Arrested in Minneapolis on Sunday were Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Adnan Farah, and Hanad Mustafe Musse, all 19 years old, and Guled Ali Omar, 20.

“The six defendants charged in the complaint allegedly planned to travel to Syria as part of their conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said.

The administration refers to ISIS as ISIL

Read it all

After 2000 years, Christians gone from Nineveh

"A generation ago, there were more than a million Christians living in Iraq, a country of 35 million. A year ago there were 400,000...A decade ago, 35,000 Christians lived in the city; last year there were 3,000; the day Isil took over all were either killed or fled"

From the Telegraph April 18 by Christopher Howes

Christians driven from the ruins of Nineveh

The ruins of Nineveh, once the biggest city in the world, lie beside the river Tigris. On the other side of the river stands Mosul, a city of a million, the largest place still under the rule of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil). A decade ago, 35,000 Christians lived in the city; last year there were 3,000; the day Isil took over all were either killed or fled.

I will not give a catalogue of the horrors in Iraq and Syria, but it is worth realising what is being lost with the death and exile of Christians there and the destruction of their churches and libraries.

When the prophet Jonah was sent to preach to the people of Nineveh, they repented and God did not visit on them the destruction that Jonah had announced. This “displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry”. Then slowly he learnt his lesson of forgiveness.

At his reputed tomb, a Christian church was built, later turned into a mosque. Pilgrims went there. One of Isil’s first acts was to destroy it. Given Isil’s beliefs, it is not surprising that they smash up tombs and images. God forgive them, it was not the worst thing they did.

The Christians of Iraq and Syria are no interlopers. They have been there from the beginning. They use Syriac in their worship, a language resembling the Aramaic that Jesus spoke.

They taught us. Before and after the Muslim conquest of their lands, Syriac-speaking Christians translated Greek works into their own language. When the West rediscovered Aristotle, it was largely thanks to Syriac scholars that copies of his works had been preserved. In the late eighth century, for example, when the Nestorian Patriarch Timothy wanted to study Aristotle, he borrowed manuscripts of the Organon and Topics from the Orthodox (Antiochian) monastery of Mar Mattai near Mosul, which was already over 400 years old. Mar Mattai monastery was taken by Isil last year and its monks expelled; some manuscripts are said to have been saved.

It’s the people that one feels sorry for. A generation ago, there were more than a million Christians living in Iraq, a country of 35 million. A year ago there were 400,000. About two thirds are Chaldean Catholic. Tens of thousands took refuge in the city of Erbil, which is under Kurdish protection.

Read it all

Islamic State Christian genocide continues

View image on Twitter

Another 30 martyrs for Christ and the world yawns.

From USA Today April 20 by Jane Onyaga-Omara

ISIL video purports to show killing of Ethiopian Christians

A video purporting to show the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State-affiliated militants in Libyahas been released online.

The 29-minute video appears to show militants holding two groups of captives, one by an affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by the Fazzan Province, an affiliate in the south.

A masked fighter wielding a pistol says Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran, before the captives in the south are shown being shot dead and the captives in the east are beheaded on a beach....

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Islamic State on the border with Texas, Mexican authorities confirm

But not to worry, Obama has the border secure and as he says, Islam is a religion of peace so nothing to see here.

Until there is something to see....

From Judicial Watch April14

ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm

ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

Law enforcement and intelligence sources report the area around Anapra is dominated by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel (“Juárez Cartel”), La Línea (the enforcement arm of the cartel) and the Barrio Azteca (a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso). Cartel control of the Anapra area make it an extremely dangerous and hostile operating environment for Mexican Army and Federal Police operations.

According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.

Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has “spotters” located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM.

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Islamic State video has US military scratching heads

Sun Tzu, call your office!  Major General Michael Nagata needs help figuring out what makes the Islamic State tick.  He says "We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it...We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea"

We are doomed unless our leaders wake up and smell the hummus.

From PJMedia April 11 by Patrick Poole

New Islamic State Video Calls for Attacks on the American Homeland, Promises Another 9/11

At this juncture I would note the New York Times’ front page article on December 29 that described how America’s top war fighters, namely Special Operations Command, freely admit that they don’t understand the ideology driving ISIS and other Islamic terror groups:

WASHINGTON — Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought help this summer in solving an urgent problem for the American military: What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” he said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.

You can call in all the marketing executives and Harvard academics all you like, but when the Obama administration — meaning the entire U.S. government – as a matter of established policy refuses to acknowledge the ideology and intentions that our enemy publishes IN ENGLISH in the form of videos, audio recordings and magazines, and actively prohibits anyone in a government department or agency from discussing or speaking about said ideology, you really are beyond hope. And so is America.

Go to the link and watch the 11 minute video.

FBI cover-up Saudi connection to 9/11

I love my country but fear my government.  The article below is one reason why.

The Saudis have never been our friend, the best that can be said is that they are a "frenemy", and even that name gives too much respect to a country and leadership that has at its core the teachings of Islam and Muhammad.  I knew something was up after 9/11 when I heard that some Saudis had been flown out of the US right after the attack, on a plane that otherwise would have been grounded.  Now it appears the FBI is trying to suppress a new report that calls to question their behavior and motive regarding the Saudis and the 9/11 jihadists.  Now the important question is: what motivated the FBI to do what they are alleged to have done?

From the New York Post April 12 by Paul Sperry

How the FBI is whitewashing the Saudi connection to 9/11

Just 15 days before the 9/11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family suddenly abandoned their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind jewelry, clothes, opulent furniture, a driveway full of cars — including a brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser — and even a refrigerator full of food.

About the only thing not left behind was a forwarding address. The occupants simply vanished without notifying their neighbors, realtor or even mail carrier.

The 3,300-square-foot home on Escondito Circle belonged to Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of then-King Fahd. But at the time, it was occupied by his daughter and son-in-law, who beat a hasty retreat back to Saudi Arabia just two weeks before the attacks after nearly a six-year stay here.

Neighbors took note of the troubling coincidence and called the FBI, which opened an investigation that led to the startling discovery that at least one “family member” trained at the same flight school as some of the 9/11 hijackers in nearby Venice, Fla.

The investigation into the prominent Saudi family’s ties to the hijackers started on Sept. 19, 2001, and remained active for several years. It was led by the FBI’s Tampa field office but also involved the bureau’s field offices in New York and Washington, and also the Southwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force.

Agents identified persons of interest in the case, establishing their ties to other terrorists, sympathies with Osama bin Laden and anti-American remarks. They looked into their bank accounts, colleges and places of employment. They tracked at least one suspect’s re-entry into the US.

The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Now it’s being whitewashed again, in a newly released report by the 9/11 Review Commission, set up last year by Congress to assess “any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission.” Though the FBI acknowledges the Saudi family was investigated, it maintains the probe was a dead end.

The review panel highlighted one local FBI report generated from the investigation that said Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, the prominent Saudi couple who “fled” their home, had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”

But: “The FBI told the Review Commission that the communication was ‘poorly written’ and wholly unsubstantiated,” the panel noted in its 128-page report. “When questioned later by others in the FBI, the special agent who wrote (it) was unable to provide any basis for the contents of the document or explain why he wrote it as he did.”

How strange. Yet panelists did not interview the unidentified agent for themselves. They just accepted headquarters’ impeachment of his work.

Odder still, the agent’s report was just one of many other FBI communications detailing ties between the Saudi family and the hijackers. In fact, the Tampa office of the FBI recently was ordered to turn over more than 80,000 pages of documents filling some 27 boxes from its 9/11 investigation to a federal judge hearing a Freedom of Information Act case filed by local journalists over the Sarasota angle. The judge is sorting through the boxes to determine which documents should remain classified. Most are marked “SECRET/NOFORN,” meaning no foreign nationals — a classification reserved for highly sensitive materials.

The report provides no plausible explanation for the contradiction between the FBI’s current claim that it found nothing and its 2002 memo finding ‘many connections’ between the Sarasota family and the 9/11 terrorists,” Thomas Julin, the attorney who filed the FOIA lawsuit against the FBI, told the Miami Herald.

The panel’s report also doesn’t explain why visitor security logs for the gated Sarasota community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers, including 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta.

The three-member review panel was appointed by FBI Director James Comey, who also officially released the findings.

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis’ “urgent” pre-9/11 exit suggests “someone may have tipped them off” about the coming attacks.

Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President George W. Bush.

“The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” he said, adding, “I am speaking of the kingdom,” or government, of Saudi Arabia, not just wealthy individual Saudi donors.

Sources who have read the censored Saudi section say it cites CIA and FBI case files that directly implicate officials of the Saudi Embassy in Washington and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks — which, if true, would make 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war by a foreign government....

Friend of Philadelphia female jihadist vows revenge against court and law enforcement

"Asst US attorney Jennifer Williams told a judge the messages underscored Thomas' "strong and robust" ties to the jihadist community and the danger she posed if released"

Wait, there is a "jihadist community" in the US?  How could that be, given that Obama, Kerry, Harper, et al assure us that Islam is a religion of peace, and that all Muslims in the US are moderate and not a threat?

OK then, nothing to see here people...

From HDR April 9

US: Attack threat after Philadelphia woman's terror arrest

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A close associate of a Philadelphia woman charged in a plot to join the Islamic State group in Syria pledged to avenge her arrest with attacks on the U.S. and violence at the jail where she is held.

The associate tweeted a call for suicide attacks after federal agents searched Keonna Thomas' home March 27 and posted an image of an exploding truck with the message, "No prison door would be able to stand against the force" after her arrest last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Williams said.

Williams raised the threats at a hearing on Thomas' continued detention, arguing the 30-year-old mother of two should remain jailed pending trial. Williams told a judge the messages underscored Thomas' "strong and robust" ties to the jihadist community and the danger she posed if released.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Heffley agreed and ordered Thomas, an unemployed former home health aide, to remain in federal custody.

An FBI spokesman said after the hearing Thursday the agency could not discuss specific cases but that it takes every threat seriously.

Thomas' mother, Debbie Thomas, railed at the government's case in the hallway outside the courtroom, telling family members: "They lie. That's what they do."

Thomas faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of attempting to provide material aid to terrorists.

Read it all

Islamic State hacks Atlantic City Gaming Authority website

The cyber-war continues, and the Islamic State IT department is very good at it.

From the Press of Atlantic City April 12

CRDA website restored after being hacked by supporters of the Islamic State

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
's website has been restored after being hacked and replaced with a black screen and a list of poorly-spelled demands and pro-terrorism messages.

The hack may have been done by supporters of the Islamic State. The site says it was done by Team System DZ.

The site's message reads, "I am Muslim and I love jihad I love isis <3 .="" a="" all="" and="" been="" br="" by="" cemeteries.="" dignity="" dwell="" equip="" especially="" for="" from="" governments.="" governments="" have="" hypocrites="" in="" infidels.="" intervenes="" islamic="" it="" killed="" land="" list="" message="" muslims.="" muslims="" of="" peoples="" purge="" restore="" rights="" savage="" state="" the="" to="" unjust.="" who="" will="" world="" you="" your="">
The message ends with a expletive against the U.S. and Israel.

It's not immediately clear when the hack happened. A message to the FBI's Newark field office was not immediately returned.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau calls Charlie Hebdo cartoons hate speech

I have always enjoyed his take on society and politics, even knowing how far left he is.  This is another example of the self-censorship created by fear, the fear of being attacked by Islam, or worse attacked by your own peers and party for saying the wrong thing.  His parroting of the official line is disappointing but not unexpected.  Another defector from free speech, done in the name of bridge-building and multicultural dialogue.

From Huffington Post April 10 by Gabriel Arana

Charlie Hebdo 'Wandered Into The Realm Of Hate Speech,' Says Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau

Famed Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau slammed his counterparts at Charlie Hebdo -- the French satirical newspaper that was attacked by terrorists in January -- at the George Polk journalism awards on Friday, saying their work “wandered into the realm of hate speech.” The attack on the publication, which has mocked Islam and other faiths in its pages, ignited a fierce international debate over free speech and racism.

“Free speech … becomes its own kind of fanaticism,” Trudeau said as he accepted a lifetime achievement award from the organization, adding that cartoonists' role is to “punch up” rather than down.

Islamic State demands 30M ransom for Assyrian Christian hostages

Nothing says tolerance and dialogue than 30 million in ransom money for 300 Christian infidels.

From the Jerusalem Post April 12 by Ariel Cohen

Terror group is demanding $100,000 for the release of each Syrian Christian hostage.
The Islamic State has set a demand of a $30 million ransom for the release of hundreds of Christian hostages in their captivity in Syria.

The terrorist organization is demanding up to $100,000 per individual, according to a report over the weekend from Fox News. The group captured between 250-300 Christians on February 23 in the Northern Hasaka province of Syria, an area native to the country’s Christian population. 

The demands came during ongoing talks between the Assyrian leadership and ISIS fighters. Third-party Syrian Sunni Muslims are reportedly brokering the talks between the two sides. A total of 23 hostages have been released to date. Reports further indicate that ISIS is using these Christians as human shields in military confrontations. 

“They know we cannot come up with this kind of money, so they are hoping other groups and countries will come up with the money,” FOX quoted an Assyrian official as saying.

In addition to the kidnapping of the hundreds of Assyrian Christians, Islamic State has also destroyed numerous churches and Christian holy sites in the region. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DHS Chief Johnson: we are monitoring 40 jihadists who are back in the US from fighting for the Islamic State

And when asked if they are being watched, he replied yes, and then qualified it by stating "But you can't know everything"

I/m sure this will work out fine.

From CBS News April 5 by Leslie Stahl

(.)Lesley Stahl: As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back. I assume you're keeping close tabs on those 40?

Jeh Johnson: We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who've come back. A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can't know everything.

More than 3,000 Europeans have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS. One reason so few young people from the United States have gone, he says is geography.

Jeh Johnson: We are separated from the hot spots by an ocean, which does make it more difficult.

Lesley Stahl: So do you think if it were easier for these kids to get there, there would be more of them going?

Jeh Johnson: Probably. And so border security is not simply preventing people from getting in, but very often preventing somebody from leaving for the wrong reasons.

There is much more, read it all

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lacrosse coach fired when he posts perceived anti-Muslim rhetoric on Facebook

Free speech in America is rapidly becoming dangerous territory for the truth.  When a regular citizen can be fired for reposting a response to a speech by Obama on Muslims in US history which contains historically accurate facts on Muslims and Islam, the slide into censorship becomes more prevalent and virulent.

If this can happen in a little town in New Hampshire, it can happen in Anytown, USA.

From the Conway Daily Sun March 24 by Daymond Steer

Facebook post on Muslims costs Fryeburg coach his job

FRYEBURG – After four years at the helm ofFryeburg Academy's boys lacrosse team, Scott Lees of Conway said he was forced by academy officials to resign as head coach after sharing on Facebook an open letter to President Barack Obama that was unflattering to Muslims.

The letter, written by "An American Citizen," was about Obama's speech given in Cairo in 2009. In that speech and in another made last month, the president said Islam has long been a part of American history.

In the first part of the letter, it wonders whether anyone has have ever seen a Muslim hospital or heard a Muslim orchestra. The writer goes on to charge that Muslims "are still the largest traffickers in human slavery," that they were allied with Adolf Hitler in World War II and that they were either pleased with or silent on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The writer adds that the Barbary pirates were Muslims.

"I just thought it was an interesting article," said Lees, who added he's a politically minded independent conservative. "I thought it was an interesting letter to President Obama and his current administration who are not paying attention to Israel and focusing on Iran."

Lees, 48, shared the letter on his personal Facebook page on March 17. Two days later, he was handing in his resignation as Fryeburg Academy's lacrosse coach. He said that although he was supposed to meet with Head of Schools Erin Mayo and Dean Charlie Tryder on March 19, Athletic Director Sue Thurston told him a decision to fire him had already been made.

According to Lees, a property manager who is married and has two children, said he did not want a firing to go on his record. He asked Thurston if they would consider a letter of resignation.

"I've never been fired in my life," said Lees, who also coaches hockey locally. "I've been coaching kids since 1992."

Mayo said the season will start on time. She said Thurston is looking for coaches and Thurston will provide updates as they become available.

"We've got a great team," said Mayo.

The decision on an interim coach could be made as soon as today, Thurston said.

Regarding the letter that led to his departure as coach, Lees said a friend had emailed it to him, and he posted it to see what people would say. Lees — who has since removed it from his Facebook page — said he did not comment on the letter online and that he meant no disrespect to anyone.

Lees said the post didn't get much response. No students "liked" the post though it was liked by four adults, one of whom commented on it. "It's not like it went viral," said Lees. "It's not like everyone and their brother saw it."

But according to Mayo Fryeburg Academy has "a number" of Muslim students as well as students of numerous other faiths.

In Conway, New Hampshire there are a "number" of Muslim students?  What is the draw?  Is there a mosque in town, and if so is anyone looking into its imam and finances?  If not, why not?  The school is obviously afraid of a reaction from their Muslim students or their parents, why is that?

"We prize each young person we enroll as an individual, and we prize the diversity that they bring," said Mayo, who pointed to the school's mission statement, which says that "the Academy believes that a strong school community provides the best conditions for learning and growth. Therefore, we strive to create a supportive school environment that promotes respect, tolerance, and cooperation, and prepares students for responsible citizenship."

Mayo said the school's teachers, coaches and other staff need to live up to the mission statement.

Read it all

Britain: NHS worker suspended because "...she had ‘bullied’ a Muslim colleague by praying for her and inviting her to church"

From the religion of the perpetually insulted we have another example of how tolerance from Islam is a one-way street.  To pray over a Muslim and offer a book is just the height of chutzpah, yet offering conversion, subjugation or warfare to non-Muslims is perfectly acceptable.

From the Daily Mail April 6 by Elaine O'Flynn

Devout Christian NHS worker launches appeal after being suspended for inviting a Muslim colleague to church

A devout Christian has launched an appeal against an employment tribunal which found she had ‘bullied’ a Muslim colleague by praying for her and inviting her to church.

Victoria Wasteney, 38, says she was branded a ‘religious nutcase’ when she was suspended from her job as a senior occupational therapist, after her colleague Enya Nawaz, then aged 25, accused her of trying to convert her to Christianity.

Her lawyers have now submitted a challenge to an employment tribunal, arguing that they broke the law by restricting her freedom of conscience and religion - enshrined in article nine of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Miss Wasteney, a born-again Christian, was working at the St John Howard Centre in Homerton, east London, when she became friendly with a junior colleague Miss Nawaz.

The two women had discussed Islam and Christianity, as well as the work done by her church at the Christian Revival Church in the O2 Arena in Greenwich against human trafficking.

When Miss Nawaz was upset about health problems, Miss Wasteney said she offered to pray for her – putting her hand on her knee and asking God for ‘peace and healing’.

She also invited her to church events and gave her colleague a book, I Dared To Call Him Father, about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity, but denied she was trying to make Miss Nawaz convert.

Miss Nawaz went onto make a formal complaint, and the East London NHS Foundation Trust suspended Ms Wasteney on full pay from her £50,000-a-year job for nine months while they investigated in June 2013.

A disciplinary hearing upheld three complaints about the book, the invitation to attend church and Miss Wasteney’s offer to pray for Miss Nawaz, and gave her a written warning for misconduct.

She continues to work for the Trust, but not in her specialist field....

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Yemen: Al-Qaeda declares war against Shi'ites

Wait...Sunni against Shia means this is a battle of religion, a war of ideological difference of opinion. How could this have anything to do with Islam, as Obama, Kerry, Harper et al keep telling us it does not?

This is quickly coming down to a battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two biggest and most powerful Islamic forces in the region.  The ideological schism that holds between Saudi Sunni and Iran Shia has been ongoing for 1400 years.  This may be the beginning of a religious war that will engulf the Middle East and leave possibly millions dead, all in the name of Islam.

Watch closely Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, the wild card and potentially the only power capable of stopping, or at least moderating the carnage to come.

From Middle East Confidential April 6 by Peter Mulvany

Yemen : Al-Qaeda announces “Jihad against Shiites”

The crises in Yemen is slowly becoming a triangular affair after militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took over large parts of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province in southeastern Yemen and declared a Jihad; a holy war. They have set up road blocks and are also patrolling the capital. Al-Qaeda took over parts of Mukalla after freeing 300 inmates in a jailbreak in the city on Thursday and among those freed were Senior Al-Qaeda figure Khalid Batarfi, according to security officials.

Residents in Mukalla said the whole capital has not fallen to AQAP because key infrastructures such as army camps, the airport and the port are still being controlled by government forces. It is unclear if the al-Qaeda militants will launch an offensive on government controlled areas after declaring “Jihad against Shiites” from the loudspeakers of mosques controlled by them, residents stated. Their call for jihad against Shiites was making reference of the Houthi Movement formed by Shiites.

Officials have stated that Al-Qaeda gunmen also attacked the local administration complex, a branch of the central bank and the police headquarters.

Saudi Arabia has not reacted to the developments although it is leading the Arab coalition that is carrying out airstrikes on the Houthis and their allies who have seized large parts of the country including the capital Sanaa.

There have been reports that al-Qaeda could soon be dissolving to allow its members to join the Islamic State although observers have warned that AQAP known as al-Qaeda’s deadliest group could exploit the chaos in Yemen to expand its domination.

Henceforth, it seems like the Saudi-led coalition will not only battle the Houthis to reinstate Hadi but also AQAP if the group should ever become a major player threatening such a move.

Syria: Virgin Mary Church leveled by the Islamic State

How many more priceless historical artifacts and cities must be destroyed before the international community grows a backbone and stops the madness?  It appears everyone is too scared to do anything meaningful, so we must continuously witness the ongoing pogrom of archaeological sites.

The cultural genocide proceeds apace and the world yawns.

From SpyGhana April 6

IS brings down Syria’s Historical Virgin Mary Church
The IS booby-trapped and blew up the Virgin Mary Church in the town of Tal Nasra in the western countryside of Hasaka province, the report said, adding that the attack is part of the “brutal crimes” the terrorist group is committing in Syria.
The Christian minority in Syria makes up about 10 percent of Syria’s largely Muslim Sunni population.
The Easter celebrations this year are limited to prayers and masses due to the tough circumstances in the conflict-torn country.
Virgin Mary is one of three major churches in the town of Tal Nasra. It was originally built in 1934 and then renovated and opened in 2005.
In February, the IS militants burned down the historic church of Tal Hurmoz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, and destroyed three other churches in the town of Tal Tamer in Hasaka.
Numerous historic buildings and archaeological locations, including all six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria, have been damaged.

Iran and US differ on nuclear "deal" definition

"All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner"

Well, there's some good news.

We are doomed, and so is Israel.

From the New York Post April 4 by Amir Taheri

Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims

“Iran Agrees to Detailed Nuclear Outline,” The New York Times headline claimed on Friday. That found an echo in the Washington Post headline of the same day: “Iran agrees to nuclear restrictions in framework deal with world powers.”

But the first thing to know about the highly hyped “historic achievement” that President Obama is trying to sell is that there has been no agreement on any of the fundamental issues that led to international concern about Iran’s secret nuclear activities and led to six mandatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and 13 years of diplomatic seesaw.

All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.

First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.

Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal.

It is not only in their length that the texts differ.

They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives.

The Mogherini and French texts are vague enough to be ultimately meaningless, even as spin.

The Persian text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions.

The Iranian text is labelled as a press statement only. The American text, however, pretends to enumerate “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and claims key points have been “decided.” What remains to be done is work out “implementation details.”

When referring to what Iran is supposed to do, the Iranian text uses a device of Persian grammar known as “nakarah,” a form of verbs in which the authorship of a deed remains open to speculation.

For example: “ It then happened that . . .” or “that is to be done.”

But when it comes to things the US and allies are supposed to do, the grammatical form used is “maerfah” which means the precise identification of the author.

This is an example of the first form: “The nuclear facilities at Fordow shall be developed into a center for nuclear research and advanced Physics.” It is not clear who is going to do those things, over what length of time, and whether that would be subject to any international supervision.

An example of the second form: “The United Nations shall abrogate its previous resolutions while the United States and the European Union will immediately lift sanctions [imposed on] financial, banking, insurance, investment and all services related to oil, gas, petrochemicals and car industry.”

The Iranian text opens by insisting that it has absolutely no “legal aspect” and is intended only as “a guideline for drafting future accords.”

The American text claims that Iran has agreed to do this or that, for example reducing the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,500.

The Iranian text, however, says that Iran “shall be able to . . .” or “qader khahad boud” in Farsi to do such a thing. The same is true about enrichment in Fordow. The Americans say Iran has agreed to stop enrichment there for 15 years. The Iranian text, however, refers to this as something that Iran “will be able to do,” if it so wished.

Sometimes the two texts are diametrically opposed...

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