Monday, February 29, 2016

Obama Perfects His Selfie Stick While Russia Arms Armenia

Never in recent American history have we seen a Commander-in-Chief so removed from the security of the United States.  Never have we seen a President so disinterested in world affairs and foreign policy.  Never before has a man led this country so ineptly and with such concerted an effort to destroy America.  Oh yeah....."Yes We Can!"

The story comes from The Washington Post.

The Russia-Armenia alliance is threatening Turkey, a critical U.S. ally

The Feb. 21 front-page article “For Turkey, high stakes as troubles intensify” highlighted a critical development: The growing military alliance between Russia and Armenia is threatening Turkey, an indispensable U.S. ally and partner in the fight against the Islamic State.

The announcement that Russia is sending a new set of fighter jets and combat helicopters to an air base only 25 miles from the Turkish border is just the latest example of this alliance.

The two countries’ economic and military ties run deep, bolstered by economic and security agreements and two military bases — including one just outside the Armenian capital. Most significant, Armenia is the only country in the region that shares a border with Turkey and has Russian troops permanently stationed.

Although Armenia has welcomed thousands of Russian troops and advanced weaponry, these developments seemed to have escaped the notice of U.S. officials, who were settling in for the holidays while Russia and Armenia signed a sweeping air defense agreement two days before Christmas.

It’s time for Washington to assess who our real allies in the region are.

Andrew Bowen, Washington

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Photo of the Day: Feel the Napalm

More than 800 Islamists leave Germany to join IS in Syria and Iraq

Germany, the new launching pad for jihad in Europe and beyond.

The story comes from DW via The Religion of Peace.

More than 800 Islamists leave Germany to join IS in Syria and Iraq

German daily "Die Welt" reported on Tuesday that more than 800 Islamists have left Germany to join jihadi groups such as the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

Around a third of Islamists who had joined up with the jihadi militants abroad had also returned to Germany, meaning the number of "jihadi travelers" has slightly increased since the beginning of the year, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Office (BKA). In January, BKA President Holger Münch said the criminal bureau had in fact seen a slight decline in travel by Islamists to the war zones.

The report also said that German authorities now believe that more than 130 jihadis who have traveled to Syria or Iraq have as foreign fighters have died - some of them as suicide bombers.

After studying the backgrounds of 677 Islamists who traveled to Syria and Iraq up until last June, the BKA found that most of the militants were men between the ages of 22 and 25. More than 60 percent of jihadi travelers had German citizenship, and one sixth had converted to Islam.

Islamists on trial

Authorities in Germany and throughout Europe are currently working on how to contend with the problem of the hundreds of citizens who have left to fight alongside extremists in conflict regions and the danger they pose on their return.

German police have also carried out a number of raids on suspected Islamist homes in recent months, with several Islamist suspects standing trial on suspicion of fighting alongside jihadis.

In December, a court in Celle sentenced two men to a total of seven years and three months in jail for being members of a terrorist organization, while in January another man was arrested on suspicion of carrying out a "war crime against a humanitarian operation."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Asian sex abusers to be stripped of UK citizenship and deported

Okay, for those unfamiliar with European ways, the term "Asian" in the blog post title above refers to "Muslims" - so you may ask, "why don't they just say Muslims?" - well, the answer to that is political correctness and multiculturalism rule Europe and thus the all inclusive "Asian" or "Asians" is used.

But anyway, we best follow the result of this story because I'll believe it ONLY when I see it.

The story comes from Times of India.

Asian sex abusers to be stripped of UK citizenship and deported

Asian-born sex abusers will be stripped of their UK citizenship and deported at the end of their sentences under a new Home Office drive, The Independent can reveal.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is planning to significantly increase her department's use of legal powers that allow serious criminals with dual nationality to have their British citizenship withdrawn, Whitehall sources say.

Until now, the powers have predominately been used to remove the UK passports of terrorists and terrorist sympathisers.

But senior department sources told The Independent that - in response to the series of Asian sex abuse gangs uncovered in towns across the country in recent years - there is likely to be an "acceleration of passport strike-outs and potential deportations".

British-Pakistani members of the gang of six men and women from Rotherham who were convicted on Wednesday of offences including rape, forced prostitution, indecent assault and false imprisonment are expected to face action to strip them of their UK citizenship after they are sentenced today. Legal proceedings seeking their potential deportation to Pakistan are likely to follow.

The abuse of predominantly white girls by networks of Asian men has led to prosecutions across the North of England and the Midlands. More trials are imminent.

David Greenwood, head of the child abuse department at Switalskis solicitors in Sheffield, who represents almost 60 victims subjected to sexual abuse by the Rotherham gang between 1996 and 2012, said: "This trial is just the first of many and is the tip of a very big iceberg. From the work I have done, it appears that gangs of Asian men have been operating to sexually abuse young white girls in Rotherham, Oxford, Keighley, Bradford and Rochdale."

Although amendments to British nationality laws in 2014 making it easier to strip dual nationals of citizenship were primarily aimed at terrorists who could undermine the UK's security, the Home Office is now using the same legal sanctions to target serious crime, including sex abuse.

In a sign of the department's new approach, the Home Office recently took legal action against the British-Pakistani ringleader and members of a child sex gang in Rochdale who were convicted in 2012. A special immigration tribunal in Manchester has just completed hearing appeals against Ms May's decision to end their British citizenship and begin deportation proceedings.

Vinesh Mandalia, counsel for the Home Office at the tribunal, told the hearing that the decision by Home Secretary to deprive the men of their British citizenships was based on the need to express "society's condemnation of those who have gained the benefits and privileges of British citizenship, but go on to become involved in serious organised crime". The tribunal will deliver its verdict next month.

One Whitehall legal adviser said: "There are no limits. It is not just potential terrorists who face losing their UK citizenship. Those involved in serious or organised crime, and who hold dual nationality, can expect similar justice."

Use of the enhanced deportation powers in 2014 led to a British-born man and his three sons being stripped of their British citizenship because of alleged terrorism links.

In another case, a man holding joint Afghanistan-British citizenship, was stripped of his UK passport and left stranded in Pakistan after being accused of involvement in Islamist extremism.

Since 2000, an estimated 37 people have had their British citizenship revoked. Their nationalities include: Russian, Somalia, Yemeni, Australian, Pakistani, Afghan, Albanian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Vietnamese, Iranian, Iraqi and Nigerian. The individuals held British passports from birth, or by application.

It is much more difficult to strip UK nationality from foreigners who are not recognised as a citizen of any other country, as this would render them stateless.

Human rights campaigners have criticised the extended powers used by the Home Secretary to withdraw British citizenship and enforce deportations as a form of "medieval exile".

There has also been criticism that in many of the terrorism-related cases, those who face losing their British citizenship or their legal representatives will not be shown the evidence against them.

The Home Office has not yet responded to a request from The Independent for comment.

Video: Hillary Always Tells the Truth ... Right?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Can Barack Hussein Obama REALLY Close Gitmo By Executive Order?

So, it appears that Barack Hussein Obama is still contemplating closing Gitmo by executive order since Congress isn't buying in on the plan.  So, my question is this - which members of Obama's DOJ are going to travel to Cuba and take the guns out of the hands of the U.S. Marines and Naval personnel at Gitmo?

One more thing I'd like to add - with the situation in the world right now....ISIS in Syria and Iraq, tensions with Russia and Turkey, the Chinese and Japanese and North Koreans on course for war, etc. do you think there's a single fucking person in the world right now that gives a shit if Gitmo is closed?  Besides the Boy Wonder, that is.

The story comes from DAWN.

White House hints at ‘executive action’ to shut Guantanamo prison

WASHINGTON: The White House has refused to rule out the possibility of US President Barack Obama using an executive action to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison if Congress continued to oppose his move to do so.

“I’m not going to stand up here and unilaterally take any options off the table when it comes to the president’s use of his executive authority,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest hours after Republican lawmakers rejected Mr Obama’s proposal to move the inmates to prisons on the mainland US.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced a long-awaited proposal to close the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, arguing that the prison undermines national security and is contrary to American values.

He also said that extremist groups such as the Islamic State use the prison as a “recruiting tool” to foment hatred against the West.

But Republican lawmakers, who control both chambers of the US Congress, have rejected his plan as vague and dangerous.

“Since it includes bringing dangerous terrorists to facilities in US communities, he should know that the bipartisan will of Congress has already been expressed against that proposal,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.

“It is against the law — and it will stay against the law — to transfer terrorist detainees to American soil. We will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise,” said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Responding to this outright rejection, the White House press secretary said he saw an “emerging trend in Congress that has worsened in just the last few weeks.

Congress is actually refusing to engage. They’re refusing to consider” plans and proposals put forth by the administration.

White House aides, who briefed the media on Tuesday afternoon, rejected the Republican claim that their plan would bring dangerous criminals to the mainland. They pointed out that less than 10 per cent of former Guantanamo detainees have gone back to militant activities.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, however, endorsed Mr Obama’s plan.

“Closing the detention facility at Guantanamo will strengthen our national security and affirm our values and laws,” she said. “It is disappointing that Republicans have worked to prevent the long-overdue closure of the Guantanamo facility.”

Civil liberties groups also have hailed the plan but said it was short of their expectations.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said closing the facility would “erase the stain on America’s moral standing at home and abroad”.

But Mr Romero also said that the president’s decision to preserve military commissions to try the suspected terrorists is a mistake.

“The Guantanamo military commissions are an abject failure,” he said. “They have never worked, are not working and will never work.”

Another human rights group, Amnesty International, said in a statement, said it opposed the plan to keep the prisoners in continued detention on the mainland.

“It won’t appease members of Congress who appear bent on making Guantanamo a permanent offshore prison for individuals captured in a global, apparently endless war.

And it won’t end indefinite detention,” Amnesty said.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, an organisation whose lawyers have represented multiple Guantanamo detainees, said the plan “does not ‘close Guantanamo,’ it merely relocates it to a new ZIP code”.

There are 91 detainees remaining at the facility, compared with more than 200 when President Obama took office. At its peak, the prison held nearly 800 detainees.

The George W. Bush administration transferred more than 500 of them to other countries.

Closing the prison would fulfill a pledge that Mr Obama made in his 2008 election campaign.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ISIS Stones To Death Two Teenage Girls For Committing "Adultery"

You know, if you ever did a documentary on Women In Islam...the best title would be "The Walking Dead" because females in Islam are sentenced to unnatural death with their first breath of life.

The story comes from ARA News via The Religion of Peace.

ISIS extremists stone to death two teenage girls on charges ‘committing adultery’

ERBIL – Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group on Tuesday stoned to death two teenage girls in Deir ez-Zor city, eastern Syria.

Hasna, 17, and Madiha, 16, were stoned to death at the hands of ISIS extremists after being accused of committing adultery.

“The execution took place in the Hamidiya district of Deir ez-Zor on Tuesday afternoon, where hundreds of people gathered to witness the stoning of the two young girls,” local media activist Ahmed Ramadan told ARA News.

The ISIS-led Sharia Court said in a statement that the two teenage girls were caught in a house “with two strangers”, adding that an investigation was conducted by Sharia officials before issuing the decision of carrying out the punishment.

“The victims were accused of committing adultery with two older men, identified by the Sharia Court as Abu Zubair al-Idlbi and Maher Hameed,” the source reported.

Al-Idlbi and Hamdeed were publicly flogged with 50 lashes each at the hands of ISIS jihadis in central Deir ez-Zor.

“The decision of the Sharia Court raised the anger of Deir ez-Zor’s residents, who considered it unfair to kill the two girls by stoning and merely flog the men and set them free,” Ramadan said.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Russia vs. Turkey - They Are Headed To War?

The story comes from Israel National News.

EU warns Russia and Turkey are headed for open war

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Tuesday that Russia and Turkey are headed towards a "hot war," as she voiced concerns that the growing tensions between the two on the Syrian border risk spilling over into open warfare.

Speaking at a debate at the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels, Mogherini said, "we are always referring to Syria as a proxy war among regional actors. This risks to become something bigger than this."

"I'm not thinking of a cold war. No, we risk a hot war among different actors than the one we always think of. Not necessarily Russia and the United States, but Russia and Turkey, could be," she said.

"As Europeans, we have a clear interest in trying to contain and scale down the tensions."

Mogherini's statements come in the wake of a ceasefire in Syria announced by the US and Russia which is to go into effect on Saturday. There remain huge doubts over the implementation of the deal, as it does not take into account Islamic State (ISIS) or Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Nusra Front, which Russia could continue striking.

Her comments also come as US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday that if Russia and the Syrian regime are not serious about a political transition, he has a "Plan B" that likely would consist of a military escalation.

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on the ISIS and Nusra Front as well as Western-backed rebel forces since last September, to prop up the regime of its ally Bashar al-Assad. Iran has likewise been militarily involved to keep Assad in power.

Tensions between Russia and NATO-member Turkey have been high, ever since Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 jet on the Syrian border on November 24, killing two Russian officers. In response, Russia issued vast sanctions on Turkey dealing serious financial damage.

Russia has also been spying on Turkey from the border, and has warned that if Turkey and Saudi Arabia follow through on their statements hinting at a ground offensive in Syria, it would cause a "world war."

Highlighting the growing military standoff between the two, Russia in December deployed its Mosvka missile cruiser off the coast of Syria. While the ship was said to be there to aid the airstrike campaign against Syrian rebels, its arsenal includes nuclear-capable Vulkan missiles designed to sink other warships - indicating the deployment was likely meant as a message to Turkey instead.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hillary 2016 .....Hahahahahaha

Afghan military abandons district in Helmand

Countdown to Afghanistan being controlled by the Taliban once again.....3...2...1....

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

Afghan military abandons district in Helmand

The Afghan military withdrew its remaining combat forces from the district of Musa Qala in Helmand province today after battling the Taliban there for nearly a year. The district is now firmly under the control of the Taliban.

The Afghan Army commander in charge of the fighting in Helmand characterized the Army’s withdrawal from Musa Qala as a redeployment of forces.

“Their presence in the area [in Musa Qala] did not mean anything,” Mohammad Moeen Faqir, the commander of 215th Corps told Reuters. “We will use them in battle with enemies in other parts of Helmand province.”

According to Reuters, Faqir said the beleaguered troops who were based in Musa Qala will be relocated to the town of Gereshk in Nahr-i-Sarraj district in Helmand, where the Taliban is pressing an offensive to take over the central part of the province.

The Afghan military’s retreat from Helmand means the Taliban is now fully in control of the district. The Long War Journal previously assessed Musa Qala as being under Taliban control, as Afghan forces were confined to a few bases and according to Afghan press reports, the Taliban was controlling and administering key areas of the district, including government buildings and the bazaar.

Musa Qala has switched hands between Coalition and Afghan forces and the Taliban several times over the past decade. In September 2006, the British made a secret deal with the Taliban that ultimately led to the Taliban controlling the district. The district center switched hands several times between 2007 up until US forces surged in Helmand in late 2009. [See LWJ report, The checkered history of Musa Qala.]

When US forces began withdrawing from Helmand in 2011, the Taliban immediately restarted offensive operations in Musa Qala and the surrounding districts. Security in Helmand has spiraled out of control as the Taliban has pressed its offensive to regain the ground lost there between 2009-2011. Of Helmand’s 13 districts, four are known to be controlled by the Taliban (Nowzad, Musa Qala, Baghran, Dishu, and Khanashin), and another five are heavily contested (Nahr-i-Sarraj, Kajaki, Nad Ali, Garmsir and Sangin). Of the remaining three districts, The Long War Journal believes two (Washir and Nawa-i-Barak) are contested, but the situation is unclear. Only Lashkar Gah, the district that hosts the provincial capital, has not seen significant Taliban activity.

US and British special operations forces have been deployed to Helmand since the summer of 2015 to support the struggling Afghan forces. Most recently, the US deployed an additional 500 Special Forces advisers to oppose the Taliban. However, the reintroduction of US and British forces in Helmand has not prevented the districts of Nowzad, Musa Qala, and Sangin from falling to the Taliban.

Outside of Helmand, the Taliban has significantly expanded its influence in the past year. The Taliban now controls 38 districts in Afghanistan and contests another 40, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal. These numbers may be low given the methodology used to assess control in contested districts.

Photo of the Day: Remember When You Made Fun of Guys Who Carried a Book the Way Girls Do?

Monday, February 22, 2016

John Kerry's Syrian Ceasefire Plan Yields 87 Dead Victims of Bombings In One Day

John Kerry.  Mr Fix It.  Mr GiveNukesToMullahs is showing his prowess again on the world stage as his efforts for a Syrian ceasefire have caused a raging fire of violence to spread across the country.  In one day, 87 Syrians are dead due to bomb attacks.  Atta boy John.

The story comes from DAWN.

Bombings kill at least 87 in Syria as Kerry pushes ceasefire

BEIRUT: Bomb attacks in Syria's central city of Homs and near a shrine outside Damascus killed at least 87 people on Sunday, as Washington pursued efforts for a ceasefire.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said a provisional deal had been reached on the terms of a truce, as violence intensified on the ground.

Double car bombings killed at least 57 people and wounded dozens in the Al-Zahraa district of Homs on Sunday morning, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

Later at least 30 people were killed in a series of attacks, including a car bombing, near the Shiite shrine of Sayyida Zeinab south of the capital, state television and the monitor said.

The Homs attack was the worst in the city since twin bombings hit a school in October 2014, killing at least 55 people including 49 children.

Al-Zahraa -- whose residents are mostly from the same Alawite sect as Syria's ruling clan -- has been regularly targeted by attacks, including last month when a double bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 22 people.

State television footage from the scene showed emergency workers carrying a charred body on a stretcher past shops shorn of their fronts and mangled cars and minibuses.

IS claimed responsiblity for the attack, saying in an online statement that two its members had driven explosives-laden cars into crowds of residents.

The blasts outside Damascus saw a car bombing and two suicide attacks rip through the area of the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, killing 30 people and wounding dozens more, state television reported.

The Observatory gave a slightly higher death toll of 31 killed and said there were four attacks.
Provisional ceasefire deal

World powers have been pushing for a halt in fighting in Syria that was meant to take effect by Friday, but have struggled to agree on how it should be implemented.

The latest bombings came as Kerry said he had spoken with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and agreed on how to implement a ceasefire.

“We have reached a provisional agreement, in principle, on the terms of the cessation of hostilities that could begin in the coming days,” Kerry said in Amman.

“It is not yet done and I anticipate that our presidents, President (Barack) Obama and President (Vladimir) Putin, may well speak somewhere in the next days or so in order to try to complete this task,” he added.

World powers proposed the truce just over a week ago as part of a plan that also included expanded humanitarian access, in a bid to pave the way for the resumption of peace talks.

The talks, which collapsed earlier this month in Geneva, were scheduled to resume on February 25, but the UN's envoy on Syria has already acknowledged that date is no longer realistic.

On Saturday, a key opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee, said it would agree a temporary truce only if regime backers halted fire.

HNC chief Riad Hijab said any ceasefire must be reached “with international mediation and with guarantees obliging Russia, Iran and their sectarian militias and mercenaries to stop fighting”.

Assad meanwhile told Spain's El Pais newspaper that he was “ready” for a ceasefire, but said it should not be exploited by “terrorists”.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

France Orders Muslim Migrants Out of Calais Camp

What?  It only took the French 9 months to say "enough is enough."

The story comes from Times of India.

France orders expulsion of big swath of Calais migrant camp

PARIS: Authorities issued an expulsion order on Friday for hundreds of migrants living in a huge swath of the Calais camp in northern France, demanding that they remove their makeshift homes and possessions within four days.

Residents of the southern sector of the camp, known locally as "the jungle," must clear out by 8pm on Tuesday so it can be razed, according to the order by the state authority for Calais. Police will remove those who refuse to clear out, the order said.

Authorities estimate that 800-1,000 migrants live in that sector, crammed with shops, cafes, mosques and churches. They want the migrants — mainly Syrians, Iraqis, or Afghans escaping conflict, or Africans fleeing countries with poor human rights records — to move to nearby heated containers or welcome centers around France to reconsider their dreams of reaching Britain on the other side of the English Channel.

The expulsion order came a week after Prefect Fabienne Buccio announced that the southern sector of the 18-hector camp on the edge of Calais would be razed. She said those living in the area — the most built-up section of the camp housing a total of around 4,000 migrants — would have a week to move.

Humanitarian groups say the number of people living in the southern section are many more than 1,000.

Eight associations working in the camp, including Doctors of the World, sent a protest letter on Thursday to the French interior minister contending that alternatives proposed by the state are "very far from answering the needs of the problems encountered" and predicted migrants who refuse them could scatter along the coast. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve countered in a written reply that the evacuation would go ahead "progressively."

No time limit has been set to clear the area, which has become a mini-slum town.

The order cited a series of problems, from violence by migrants trying to slow traffic to jump on a truck to growing anti-migrant tensions among extreme-right elements, a lack of hygiene and human dignity.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The U.S. Airstrike in Libya

Perhaps I'm missing something but I thought that Barack Obama ordered the bombing of Libya long ago to get rid of the problem, that being why is he ordering the bombing now?  Could it be that Ghadaffi's replacements aren't so good either?  What kinda foreign policy is this, people?

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

US airstrike targets Islamic State operative, training camp in Libya

The US military launched an airstrike in Libya earlier today targeting an Islamic State “training camp near Sabratha” and a jihadist named Noureddine Chouchane, according to the Pentagon. Chouchane, a Tunisian who is also known as “Sabir,” is a “senior facilitator” for the Islamic State in Libya and “associated with the training camp.”

The Tunisian government has “named Chouchane as a suspect in the March 18, 2015, deadly attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.” More than 20 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed in the assault on the Bardo Museum. There has been some confusion over who was responsible for the massacre. The Islamic State quickly claimed credit, but Tunisian authorities blamed members of the Uqba bin Nafi Battalion, which is part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

If Chouchane was involved in the Bardo killings, then his role is further evidence of the Islamic State’s culpability. Chouchane may have also played a part in the July 2015 shooting spree at a beach in Sousse, Tunisia.

The Pentagon says Chouchane has “facilitated the movement of potential” Islamic State-affiliated “foreign fighters from Tunisia to Libya and onward to other countries.”

The Defense Department also suggests that Chouchane could “potentially” be involved in “planning external attacks on” American “interests in the region,” in addition to recruiting new members for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s global operation and “establishing bases in Libya.”

According to officials contacted by The Long War Journal, the US government has become increasingly concerned about the Islamic State’s ability to plot attacks in the West and against American interests from its base of operations on the Mediterranean coast. It is possible that Chouchane was involved in such plotting, but that has not been confirmed.

Initial reports in the aftermath of the bombing say that dozens of people were killed. The identities of those killed have not yet been verified.

The US has targeted senior leaders of both the Islamic State and al Qaeda inside Libya on several occasions since the fall of Muammar al Qaddafi’s regime in 2011.

On Nov. 13, 2015, the US killed Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, also known as Abu Nabil al Anbari, in an airstrike. Zubaydi, an Iraqi national, “was a longtime al Qaeda operative and the senior ISIL [Islamic State] leader in Libya,” according to a statement by the US military. He is thought to have served as the lead executioner in the February 2015 massacre of Coptic Christians on the Libyan coast, although there is some uncertainty concerning his putative role in the murders.

The Islamic State’s so-called Libyan “province” launched an offensive in early January named after “Sheikh Abdul Mugirah al Qahtani,” which is likely one of Zubaydi’s several aliases. The operations targeted oil facilities and towns in northern Libya. [See LWJ report, Islamic State’s Libyan ‘province’ launches new offensive.]

In mid-June 2015, the US bombed a location in Libya where Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a veteran al Qaeda operative, was suspected of meeting with other jihadists. Months later, according to The Washington Post, US officials are still not certain of Belmokhtar’s fate.

Al Qaeda has, for the most part, acted as if Belmokhtar survived. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) issued a statement saying Belmokhtar is “alive and well.” Al Murabitoon, another al Qaeda group operating in North and West Africa at the time, also denied that he had perished and released a statement in August 2015 naming Belmokhtar as its overall emir, or leader. In December 2015, Ibrahim al Qosi, an ex-Guantanamo detainee who is now an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, referred to Belmokhtar as if he is still alive and praised him for bringing Al Murabitoon and AQIM together in a merger.

These statements are not definitive, however, and the jihadists have not released a proof of life audio or video message from Belmokhtar himself.

American troops captured Abu Anas al Libi, who was wanted for his role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and suspected of leading al Qaeda’s network in Libya, during a raid in October 2013. Al Libi subsequently died in US custody as he was awaiting trial.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Prayer Warriors Needed

Good morning all.

The best friend that this blog has is Henry Bowman (not his real name but he knows who he is and so does our Father in Heaven).  Henry needs your prayers for a family member this day.  I ask each of you to devote a moment of your day to pray for Henry and his family that the Lord help heal his loved one.  

We all have seen the power of prayer at work in our lives....let's band together and show our brother the power of our Faith.

Thank you so much.

Terrorism Is Hitting Turkey HARD

The Turks are finding it a bit painful trying to walk the Islamic world tightrope - too bad.  Perhaps next time they'll think twice about following a maniac down the Sharia rabbit hole.

The story comes from DAWN.

At least seven security personnel killed by remote-controlled bomb in Turkey

ISTANBUL: At least seven security force members travelling in a military vehicle were killed by a remote-controlled bomb in southeast Turkey, security sources said.

The blast hit the armoured vehicle on the highway linking Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast, to the district of Lice. Sources previously said the explosion hit a convoy of vehicles.

The incident comes just a day after a car bomb in the heart of the Turkish capital, Ankara, killed at least 28 people and wounded 61 others. The country has recently faced a string of attacks blamed on militants and Kurdish rebels.

The perpetrator of the Ankara attack was identified as a member of the Syria Kurdish YPG militia working with insurgents from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Prime Minister Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu said the bombing showed that the Syrian Kurdish YPG is a terrorist organisation and that Turkey expects cooperation from its allies against the group. He said Turkey would continue to shell positions of the YPG.

Washington, which has said the YPG is not a terrorist group, has backed the insurgents in the fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

"In light of information we have obtained, it has been clearly identified that this attack has been carried out by the members of terrorist organisation inside Turkey together with a YPG member individual who has crossed from Syria," Davutoglu said.

He also said nine people have been detained in relation to yesterday's attack.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

ISIS beheads 15-year-old Iraqi boy for listening to pop music

The story comes from The Jerusalem Post.

ISIS beheads 15-year-old Iraqi boy for listening to pop music

Just when you thought Islamic State had reached its limit of depravity, it manages to outdo itself.

According to Kurdish media reports, the jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq beheaded a 15-year-old boy in Mosul for the crime of listening to Western pop music.

Reports cite officials in the northern Iraqi city as saying that the boy, Ayham Hussein, was discovered by ISIS henchman as he was listening to a portable compact disc player.

Hussein was detained by ISIS operatives as he sat inside a shop owned by his father in an open-air market in western Mosul. The boy was beaten and tried in a local sharia court, which sentenced him to be executed.

“The boy was executed by beheading in a town square in the center of the city,” a source told Kurdish media.

The execution shocked and angered Mosul residents, some of whom staged a protest at the home of the victim’s family.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dozens of Afghan soldiers, policemen killed during Taliban offensive in Helmand

I hate to tell you....I told you so.

The story comes from DAWN.

Dozens of Afghan soldiers, policemen killed during Taliban offensive in Helmand

LASHKAR GAH: Dozens of Afghan soldiers and policemen have been killed in the southern province of Helmand since Sunday as the Taliban presses an in one of its heartlands, officials said.

Three local officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because they have been ordered not to talk about casualty figures, said 25 soldiers and 27 policemen had been killed in separate incidents in the province.

Afghan security forces, fighting largely alone since the withdrawal of international forces in 2014, have been struggling for months to hold back the insurgency in Helmand, where the Taliban inflicted hundreds of casualties on Nato troops during years of fighting.

At least 11,000 civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan last year, in the worst year for civilian casualties since the United Nations began keeping records in 2009. Heavy fighting over the winter points to the potential for even more bloodshed this year.

As well as the fighting in Helmand, Taliban operations in the northern provinces of Jowzjan, Kunduz and Baghlan have also severely stretched government forces and caused heavy casualties over recent days.

In the worst incident in Helmand this week, insurgents in captured military Humvee vehicles packed with explosives launched a suicide attack on a checkpoint in the district centre of Sangin on Sunday, killing seven soldiers and 15 policemen.

Nine soldiers were also killed in combat in Sangin, while another nine died in fighting in Musa Qalah district, northeast of Sangin, the officials said.

In other incidents, 10 policemen were killed fighting in Gereshk, a road junction north of the district capital Lashkar Gah, while two more were killed on Monday night in Khan Nashim in the south of the province by a man wearing a police uniform.

The Taliban, which the United States now estimates controls or threatens around a third of the country, have overrun large parts of Helmand, leaving beleagured government forces in district centres like Sangin and Marjah barely clinging on to a few official buildings.

Heavily mined roads have prevented reinforcements and supplies arriving, leaving many units cut off.

“Right now, some 250 police and 300 soldiers are surrounded by Taliban in Marjah and our forces are providing them support from the air,” one of the officials said. “Roads to Sangin are mostly blocked with explosive devices and we cannot send reinforcements.”

The outgoing US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, recently ordered several hundred American troops to the province to bolster the defence, although they will be restricted to an advisory role unless they come under attack themselves.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ISIS Just Added Another Terrorist Group To the Family

With Barack Obama and John Kerry at the helm, it's no surprise that every bloody terrorist group in the world is beating down a path to the door of the new Islamic Caliphate.

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

Philippines-based jihadist groups pledge allegiance to the Islamic State

The Islamic State has officially recognized pledges of allegiance from several jihadist groups based in the Philippines. The Islamic State has not yet made an official “wilayat,” or province, for the Philippines or the wider Southeast Asian region. At least one portion of the groups included are led by Isnilon Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, who heads the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The pledges, or bayat, were accepted in a video that was recently released by the Islamic State’s Al Furat Media – a largely Russian-language media outlet. The video shows that the Islamic State is officially recognizing that several groups have pledged allegiance to it and its leader. Additionally, other groups in the region, such as Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid and the Mujahidin Indonesian Timor, have also pledged. It is possible that the jihadist group will announce such a province in the future, especially after conducting a suicide assault in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. The recognition of the pledges could pave the way for such an announcement.

The video features Hapilon and two other group leaders recording their pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. The other leaders include a figure named Abu Anas al Muhajir, who was identified as the emir (leader) of Katibat Ansar al Sharia, and Abu Harith al Filipini, a delegate sent by the leader of Katibat Marakah al Ansar. Additionally, brief combat footage was included in the video in which Abu Anas al Muhajir was shown to have been killed fighting.

The Katibat Ansar al Sharia, Katibat Marakah al Ansar, and at least a portion of ASG are not the only groups in the Philippines which have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Another group, identified as Ansar al Khilafah in the Philippines has also pledged allegiance to Baghdadi. Last August, the group first emerged by explicitly pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in a video released on YouTube. In April, the group released another video to threaten the Filipino government and American soldiers in the Philippines. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a spokesman for Ansar al Khilafah threatened to “deploy suicide bombers” in the country and that the group would make the Philippines a “graveyard for American soldiers.”

In December 2015, fighters alleging to be part of the “Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Philippines” released a short video showing a training camp somewhere in the Philippines. It is unclear which group was shown in the video, but it was likely a combined group of fighters from the aforementioned groups above. [See LWJ report, Islamic State supporters show training camp in the Philippines.]

According to the Southeast Asian news site Benar News, Ansar Khilafah in the Philippines is led by one Abu Sharifah and is based in South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces. Additionally, the news site reports that the leader of Katibat Marakah al Ansar is led by one Abu Ammar, who was not present in the video. It also reported that Abu Anas al Muhajir and several fighters shown in the video were from Malaysia, historical operating grounds for Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which is considered al Qaeda’s branch in the region.

Jeemah Islamiyah also operates in the Philippines, but has suffered defections to the Islamic State. Shortly after Baghdadi’s announcement of the caliphate in 2014, Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader and co-founder of JI as well as the emir of its offshoot Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi. However, Bashir’s two sons and several other leaders left and formed their own group, Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah. According to the Jakarta Post, more than 50 percent of Bashir’s followers abandoned him and joined Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah. According to its leader, it is directly part of al Qaeda’s global network now. [See LWJ report, Islamic State launches suicide assault in Indonesia’s capital.]

Traditionally, ASG has had ties to al Qaeda. In June 2014, a master ASG bomb maker, who was thought to have been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan, turned up in the Philippines before being killed last year. The operative, Abdul Basit Usman, was wanted by the US for his involvement in multiple bombings in the Philippines and also had ties to JI. ASG was funded and financed by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, one of Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-laws, according to Khaddafy Janjalani, the leader of Abu Sayyaf, before he was killed in 2006. Khalifa, an al Qaeda financier and facilitator, was killed by US special operations forces in Madagascar in 2006.

It is unclear how many fighters from ASG followed Hapilon in pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. In hostage videos released last year by ASG, the group made no indication it was holding the hostages on behalf of the Islamic State nor were the videos distributed by official Islamic State channels or media outlets.

Monday, February 15, 2016

British Snipers Give a Lesson In Beheading

Okay, no better way to start off the week with a little story of ISIS taking one "on the chin."

The story comes from The Daily Star.

SAS sniper blew head off ISIS chief with special 'wounding' bullet

The shooter fired at a range of almost 1,200 metres after his team sneaked into a terrorist-controlled enclave of northern Syria two weeks ago.

It is understood the marksman was using a special bullet which “tumbles” when it strikes a target, causing a massive wound.

The SAS team had received information from several MI6 agents in the area which revealed the location of a terrorist training camp on the outskirts of a small village close to a school.

The location meant it could not be attacked in an air strike because of the risk of collateral damage.

The SAS unit was made up of two teams of four armed with long range sniper rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers.

Another 12-man team was based two miles away in civilian vehicles and was ready to deploy as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) if needed.

The SAS team remained hidden for almost 12 hours before launching the attack.

The troopers waited for the Isis commander to begin showing around 20 recruits how to cut the heads off prisoners.

While he was demonstrating cutting motions using knives, axes and a sword the SAS sniper was given the all-clear to open fire.

A source said: “The SAS team had been in position for about 12 hours.

"They had been told that the Isis commander was the head executioner in the area.

"He was an extremely sadistic and ruthless individual, feared by the locals and the jihadis alike.

“The intelligence said that he was over six feet tall, had a long black beard and wore white robes which was unusual for ISIS fighters.

“The SAS sniper was using a Dan.338 equipped with a suppressor which reduces the sound and eliminates any flash from the barrel.

“He had to aim off by more than a foot.

"He had assumed it would take at least two shots to kill the commander but the first shot hit him in the back of the head.

“One minute he was standing there and the next his head had exploded.

“The commander remained standing upright for a couple of seconds before collapsing and that’s when panic set in.

“We later heard most of the recruits deserted.

"So all in all it was a very successful mission.

"We got rid of 21 terrorists with one bullet.”

The SAS team was picked up by the QRF and was back in Iraq later that evening.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Turkey strikes Kurdish militia in Syria

Make no bones about it, Turkey's number one goal in anything is to kill Kurds.  Anywhere they are to be found.

The story comes from Al Arabiya.

Turkey strikes Kurdish militia in Syria

Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria on Saturday and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu demanded that the group withdraw from the area in a move that further complicated the conflict across the NATO member's border.

The shelling took place after Kurdish YPG fighters backed by Russian bombing raids drove Syrian rebels from a former military air base, south of the town of Azaz and near the Turkish border.

“Today retaliation was taken under the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area,” the prime minister told reporters in comments shown live by state broadcaster TRT Haber.

A Kurdish official said the Menagh base which was hit had been captured by the Kurdish-allied Jaysh al-Thuwwar group rather than the YPG. Both are part of the Syria Democratic Forces alliance.

The shelling came amid growing anger in Ankara with the United States for supporting the YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization, in its fight against ISIS militants.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which backs the YPG, controls most of the Syrian side of Turkey’s border and Ankara views it as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency for autonomy in southeast Turkey.

U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to step back, saying they should focus instead on tackling a “common threat” of ISIS militants who control large parts of Syria.

“We have urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with the YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory,” Kirby said in a statement.

“We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires.”

Davutoglu demanded that the Menagh base be evacuated and said he had spoken to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to make that point and stress that the PYD was an extension of the PKK and a direct threat to Turkey.

“We will retaliate against every step (by the YPG),” he said after a visit to the eastern Turkish city of Erzincan. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

Turkey’s disquiet has been heightened by the tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border after attacks by Russian-backed Syrian government forces, swelling refugee numbers in the area to 100,000.

Turkey, which already hosts 2.6 million Syrian refugees, has kept the latest arrivals on the Syrian side of the border, in part to pressure Russia to cease its air support for Syrian government forces near the city of Aleppo.

Davutoglu earlier condemned the attacks in Aleppo as “barbarity, tyranny, a war strategy conducted with a medieval mentality” and said hundreds of thousands faced the danger of starvation if a humanitarian corridor was not opened.

“We will help our brothers in Aleppo with all means at our disposal. We will take those in need but we will never allow Aleppo to be emptied through an ethnic massacre,” he said.

NATO-member Turkey is one of Assad’s most vehement critics and an ardent supporter of opposition forces.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying on Saturday that Saudi Arabia would send aircraft to Turkey’s Incirlik air base for the fight against ISIS.