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Malcolm

Terrorist and Returning Terrorists

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Sadly it seems that we need a topic for this. Here is an article that asks a very interesting question about the recent attack in the US.

Why aren't we looking into the Saudi role in San Bernardino attack? Shooter Tashfeen Malik was radicalized in Saudi Arabia, her Pakistani family said

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Dec 08, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 08, 2015 5:05 AM ET

 
About The Author

Neil Macdonald
Senior Correspondent

Neil Macdonald is a Senior Correspondent for CBC News, currently based in Ottawa. Prior to that he was the CBC's Washington correspondent for 12 years, and before that he spent five years reporting from the Middle East. He also had a previous career in newspapers, and speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.Related Stories

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, important American officials and politicians regularly declared that the mass murderers had sneaked into the U.S. through Canada.

The subtext was clear: Canada, which had declined to help invade Iraq, was soft on terror.

It was a massive, sprawling lie, but a convenient one. It played well with the anti-immigration crowd, and helped distract Americans from the nasty truth: that 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of an ally that has actually bankrolled terror: Saudi Arabia.

These men entered the U.S. directly and legally, on visas issued by the U.S. government, and some of them were supported once in America by Saudi consular officials.

That last bit of information remains officially suppressed by the White House, even though it's widely known to be in Congress's 9/11 report because, you know, it might embarrass the Saudi government, which must remain protected from the embarrassing fact that Saudi individuals, charities and clerics cultivate and fund extremism around the world.

(Ask Hillary Clinton. "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," and its government is not doing much about it, she wrote in a leaked 2009 memo when she was secretary of state.)

George W. Bush, in his address to Congress a few weeks after 9/11 — several days after Osama bin Laden's relatives had been quietly hustled out of the country on a private jet — promised a "war on terror," but avoided any mention of the hijackers' nationalities.

He in fact referred to the Saudis only once, in a sympathetic reference to how their nation is plagued by terrorists, just like America.

The dark path

Likewise, seeking to soothe a frightened nation after the San Bernardino massacre last week, President Barack Obama promised Sunday to bring down America's explosive military fist even more severely in Iraq and Syria, and used the word "Muslim" 12 times, even going so far as to assert that extremist ideology is a problem Muslims must "confront without excuse."

Obama talked about how the U.S.-born Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, had gone "down the dark path of radicalization," but uttered not a word about the fanatical desert kingdom where the Pakistan-born Malik had spent most of her life, and where, by several accounts, she found that dark path.

Nor did he suggest a few realities that Saudi Arabia should be confronting without excuse.

Instead, like previous presidents, Obama continues to fawn on the hereditary Saudi monarchs, praising their wisdom and their efforts to prevent radicalization from spreading in the Middle East (diplomacy often requiring an absence of irony).

Saudi justice

The Saudis, meanwhile, are mostly interested in confronting dissent.

It was Saudi Arabia, for example, that led the effort to strangle the Arab Spring. Saudi troops helped crush Shia protests in Bahrain a few years ago, and are at this moment conducting an ugly, ruinous campaign in Yemen, with little regard for civilian life.

They are also energetically confronting criticism from within by hunting down and torturing, or killing, dissidents or apostates (abandoning Islam is a capital offence in the kingdom).

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the two shooters. Pakistani-born, she grew up mostly in Saudi Arabia and married Farook just over a year ago. (California Department of Motor Vehicles/FBI)

And they famously inflict medieval punishments on moral transgressors, especially those who are not Saudi men.

In the days ahead, the Saudi justice system — a term to be used advisedly — is scheduled to execute a married Sri Lankan housemaid, a migrant worker.

She was convicted of adultery, and her supposed lover, also Sri Lankan, was given 100 lashes.

She, being a woman, and therefore in the Saudi system even more guilty, will be buried up to her breasts, and then a crowd of Saudi men will enthusiastically throw rocks at her head until she perishes from massive brain injury or a heart attack, whichever occurs first.

Sorcery

There are nine million migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, and they are often treated as near slaves, passports seized, forced into indentured labour.

As for the women among them, here is what Human Rights Watch said in its 2015 report on the kingdom:

"Domestic workers, most of them women, frequently endure … forced confinement, non-payment of wages, food deprivation, and psychological, physical, and sexual abuse without the authorities holding their employers to account. Workers who attempted to report employer abuses sometimes faced prosecution based on counterclaims of theft or sorcery."

Yes. Sorcery.

Again, according to HRW: "In June, the ministry of justice announced that prosecutors had filed 191 cases of alleged sorcery — a crime punishable by death — between November 2013 and May 2014, including some against foreign domestic workers."

The punishment, of course, is death.

Usually, executions — more than 150 so far this year — are performed with a "godly" sword. In public, of course, for the entertainment of a self-righteous crowd. But there are also crucifixions and mutilations.

Saudi woman Fawzia al-Harbi, a candidate for local municipal council elections, sits next to one of her chaperones at a shopping mall in Riyadh last month. Saudi Arabian women are running for election and voting for the first time on Dec. 12, but their enfranchisement marks only a pigeon step towards democracy and gender equality in the Islamic kingdom. (Reuters)

Saudi women are treated better than immigrants, but are still severely oppressed, and treated like chattels of the male population.

If that all sounds like the modus operandi of ISIS, which the Saudis have been accused of having funded and armed before becoming a stout ally in the U.S. bombing campaign, well, the shoe does fit.

The Saudis have actually threatened to sue anyone who makes the ISIS comparison, but objectively, it's not unreasonable.

The main difference is that the Saudis are extremists who managed to create a nation and have it recognized. And of course their king doesn't claim to lead a new caliphate.

It's almost a cliché to say this is all about oil, and the Saudi willingness to sell it, and sell it cheaply in unlimited quantities, to the West.

Because it is about oil. It's also about the Saudis' willingness to spend billions of that petro-revenue back in the West, signing contracts for military materiel that our governments are ecstatic to arrange.

If you're inclined to think otherwise, try this mental exercise: imagine if Cuba, or Russia, or Venezuela (or even Canada) had produced 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers, and had remained a consistent leader in exporting murderous ideology, and radicals like Tashfeen Malik.

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Another terrorist attack. Another grim tally of the dead and wounded. Another killer full of hate, from a land that breeds such men. Like millions of migrants before him, the perpetrator crossed the border unchallenged. And like others, he struck our country without warning.

Our politicians say they’ll stop these killers. They talk about building walls and vetting refugees. If we were serious, we would do it. We would seal our borders against North Carolina.

North Carolina? It sounds absurd. When we think about immigration and terrorism, we think of Syria. But that’s not where our casualties are coming from. On Friday, a gunman killed three people and wounded nine more at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The suspect is white American Robert Lewis Dear. When police apprehended Dear, he uttered one telltale phrase: “no more baby parts.” People who have known or met Dear say he wasn’t a regular churchgoer. But they also report that he believed devoutly in the Bible and that he claimed to have read it “cover to cover.” In an online forum, Dear apparently spoke of Jesus and the “end times.” He painted or posted crosses on at least three of his homes.

Dear moved to Colorado last year from North Carolina, where he had been living. For two decades, the Tar Heel State has been a hotbed of religious extremism, fueled by clerics who preach holy war. The result is a stream of interstate terrorism.

It began with Eric Rudolph, a Holocaust denier who grew up in the Christian Identity movement. In 1996, Rudolph traveled from North Carolina to Atlanta, where he detonated a bomb at the Olympics, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others. A year later, Rudolph bombed a lesbian bar in Atlanta, wounding five people. In 1998, he bombed a reproductive health clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing a security guard and injuring a nurse. The “Army of God,” which hosts Rudolph’s writings, claimed credit for his attacks.

In 2001, Steve Anderson, another Christian Identity follower, was pulled over for a broken tail light on his way home from a white supremacist meeting in North Carolina. He pumped 20 bullets into the officer’s car and fled. Police found weapons, ammunition, and explosives in his truck and home. A year later, he was captured in the western part of the state.

In 2010, Justin Moose, an extremist from Concord, North Carolina, was arrested for plotting to blow up a Planned Parenthood clinic. Moose, who claimed to represent the Army of God, also opposed the construction of a mosque near ground zero in New York. He called himself the “Christian counterpart of Osama Bin Laden.” Eventually, Moose pleaded guilty to disseminating information on how to make and use explosive devices.

In 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller, a career anti-Semite and former grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, killed three people at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home in Kansas. Decades ago, long before ISIS conceived of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Miller devised a similar plan in the United States: an “all-white nation within the bounds of North and South Carolina.”

The boundary between North and South Carolina, like the boundary between Syria and Iraq, is a joke.

Among dozens of avowedly Christian, anti-Semitic, and right-wing terrorists cataloged by the Anti-Defamation League and theSouthern Poverty Law Center, you’ll find many from these two states: Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., a North Carolina Klan leader who was convicted in 2012 on charges involving firearms, explosives, and violent conspiracy. Kody Brittingham, a Marine at Camp Lejeune who confessed to plotting the assassination of President Obama. Paul Chastain, a South Carolina militiaman who tried to acquire plastic explosives and threatened to kill federal officials. Steve Bixby, a violent activist from an anti-Semitic household, who gunned down two police officers in Abbeville, South Carolina. Daniel Schertz, a Klansman arrested in Greenville, South Carolina, and later convicted, on weapons charges involving racist bomb plots.

And then there’s Dylann Roof. After allegedly murdering nine black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church this summer, Roof drove more than three hours north, to Shelby, North Carolina. Nobody stopped him at the state border. The boundary between North and South Carolina, like the boundary between Syria and Iraq, is a joke.

Today, Republican presidential candidates are climbing over one another in a race to block the entry of Syrian refugees. They’re doing this even though, among the nearly 800,000 refugees we’ve accepted since 9/11, not one has been convicted of—or has even been arrested for—plotting a terror attack in this country. (A few have been arrested for links to terrorism elsewhere.) Why do refugees have such a clean record? Because they have to go through an elaborate process: screening by U.N. evaluators, “biometric and biographic checks,” consultations with U.S. counterterrorism agencies, and an in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security. On average, the process takes about a year and a half—or, in the case of Syrian refugees, about two years.

Terrorists from North Carolina encounter no such scrutiny. They just climb into their cars, cross the border, and proceed to Georgia, Kansas, or Colorado. They’re protected by Article IV of the Constitution, which, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, guarantees citizens “the right of free ingress into other States.” That’s why, among the 27 fatal terror attacks inflicted in this country since 9/11, 20 were committed by domestic right-wing extremists. (The other seven attacks were committed by domestic jihadists, not by foreign terrorist organizations.) Of the 77 people killed in these 27 incidents, two-thirds died at the hands of anti-abortion fanatics, “Christian Identity” zealots, white anti-Semites, or other right-wing militants.

That doesn’t make the Christian states of North and South Carolina anywhere near as dangerous as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it does make you wonder why, as we close our doors to refugees who have done us no harm, we pay so little attention to our enemies within.This week’s carnage in Colorado brings the death toll from North Carolinian terrorists, including Eric Rudolph, to eight. That’s just one shy of the nine people murdered in Charleston. Throw in the work of a few lesser miscreants, and you’re looking at roughly 20 casualties inflicted by Carolina extremists.

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Alright, I'm prepared to accept classifying this guy as a 'Christian terrorist'.

I guess we should be thankful there aren't too many of them.

As something of a atheist, I have trouble with the concepts of organized religion, and feel something ought to be acknowledged; that is, religions of all types motivate men to do evil in the name of their Gods, which doesn't seem all that God like to someone like me.

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The terrorist campaign against American ideals is winning. Fear is rampant. Gun sales are soaring. Hate crimes are increasing. Bearded hipsters are being mistaken for Muslims. And 83 percent of voters believe a large-scale terrorist attack is likely here in the near future. Some Americans are now so afraid that they are willing to trade in the sacred beliefs that define America for some vague promises of security from the very people who are spreading the terror. “Go ahead and burn the Constitution — just don’t hurt me at the mall.” That’s how effective this terrorism is.

I’m not talking about ISIS. I’m talking about Donald Trump.

Full Time article:

http://time.com/4143003/kareem-abdul-jabbar-donald-trump-isis/

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Someone ought to remind the author that real terrorists murdered 14 Americans recently and another 17 wounded.

I'm getting really tired of media bleeding heart do-gooders and their really short-sighted efforts to discredit Trump when not a one of them has anything to offer other than platitudes to terrorists. Trump is making a pretty profound effort to protect his Country and he's jeered by morons for doing so...pathetic.

And for its part, Time has become just another arm of the failing Time Warner media empire, a disgustingly desperate for readers publication!

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The problem is, in doing so, he is aggravating the situation. If you want to antagonize the terrorists of the world then Trump is your guy. If you want WW3 then Trump is your guy. He is the worst possible THREAT to american Security

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boestar

I don't agree with all that Mr Trump says and you could be correct, but appeasement is also not going to improve American Security.

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American society is on a downward spiral. that spiral is getting faster and tighter as time goes on. The eventual breakup or crash will be devastating for the entire world. Trump will not be the only one to blame.

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A very interesting development, only time will tell if it is effective.

34-state Islamic military coalition against terrorism to be led by Saudi Arabia Announcement cites 'duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups'

Thomson Reuters Posted: Dec 14, 2015 8:46 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 14, 2015 8:46 PM ET

Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on state news agency SPA.

"The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations," the statement said.

A long list of Arab countries, such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Gulf Arab and African states were mentioned.

The announcement cited "a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent."

Shia Muslim Iran — Sunni Saudi Arabia's arch rival for influence in the Arab world — was absent from the states named as participants, as proxy conflicts between the two regional powers rage from Syria to Yemen.

The United States has been increasingly outspoken about its view that Gulf Arab states should do more to aid the military campaign against the Islamic State militant group based in Iraq and Syria.

In a rare news conference, 30-year-old crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman told reporters that the campaign would "coordinate" efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan, but offered few concrete indications of how military efforts might proceed.

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman told reporters a 34-state Islamic military coalition will 'coordinate' efforts to fight terrorism in the Arab world. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

"There will be international coordination with major powers and international organisations ... in terms of operations in Syria and Iraq. We can't undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community," bin Salman said without elaborating.

Asked if the new alliance would focus just on Islamic State, bin Salman said it would confront not only that group but "any terrorist organisation that appears in front of us."

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbours have been locked in nine months of warfare with Iran-allied rebels in Yemen, launching hundreds of air strikes there.

Especially after a rash of attacks on Western targets claimed by Islamic State in recent months, the United States has increasingly said it thinks that firepower would better be used against ISIS.

As a ceasefire is set to take hold in Yemen on Tuesday alongside United Nations-backed peace talks, Riyadh's announcement may signal a desire to shift its attention back toward the conflicts north of its borders.

Islamic State has pledged to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and have mounted a series of attacks on Shia Muslim mosques and security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/34-state-islamic-military-coalition-against-terrorism-to-be-led-by-saudi-arabia-1.3365313?cmp=rss

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Saudi Arabia is the fox and the rest of the middle east their version of a hen house. Calling on them to 'fix' the Islamic problems they alone created (Wahhabism) goes right along with their inclusion on the UN's Human Rights panel. Has the world gone so pc correct nuts that it can no longer see at all?

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Hey, Saudi is even allowing women to vote now, well some of them, and they had to be escorted by a man, wow, what an age of enlightenment.

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Seems that the Saudi announcement is not accurate regarding the members of this coalition force.

'Members' surprised by Saudi anti-terror coalition plan

A number of countries have expressed surprise that they were included by Saudi Arabia in a new military alliance to fight terrorism.

Officials in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia all said they had not formally agreed to join the alliance.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said 34 mainly Muslim nations would be part of the counter-terrorism grouping.

Prince Mohammed said it would focus on efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

"Currently, every Muslim country is fighting terrorism individually... so co-ordinating efforts is very important," he told a news conference.

He indicated there were still "procedures" for these countries to go through before joining, "but out of keenness to achieve this coalition as soon as possible, [the alliance of] 34 countries has been announced".

'Awaiting further details'

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry was quoted in the Dawn newspaper as saying he was surprised by the announcement and had asked the Pakistani ambassador in Riyadh for clarification.

The country's foreign office said in a statement later on Wednesday that it was "awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance" before making a decision on whether to join.

In Indonesia, the foreign ministry said it too had not yet decided whether to join.

"The government is still observing and waiting to see the modalities of the military coalition formed by Saudi Arabia," foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told The Jakarta Post.

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein went further - expressing support for the coalition but ruling out any military involvement from Kuala Lumpur.

"The Saudi initiative does not involve any military commitment, but an understanding that we will combat militancy," he said.

Announcing the alliance, Saudi Arabia said a joint operations centre would be established in the capital Riyadh and the coalition would focus on terror groups "whatever their doctrine".

It comes amid international pressure for Gulf Arab states to do more in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

The BBC's Frank Gardner points out that the Shia-majority nations of Iran, Iraq and Syria are noticeably absent from the alliance.

It is far from clear how it could conduct counter-terrorism operations in IS-plagued Iraq and Syria without the agreement of those governments, he adds.

Saudi Arabia's list of 34 alliance members: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinians, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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If this article is correct, then maybe they will take each other out.

Why Taliban special forces are fighting Islamic State

By Dawood Azami BBC World Service

  • 18 December 2015
  • From the section Asia

The Afghan Taliban say they have unleashed "special forces" in an increasingly bloody battle with fighters from the rival, so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The Taliban's dominance and monopoly on insurgency in a region home to numerous local and foreign militant groups is being challenged by IS, which has been gaining some support. Who's winning the war of the militants?

How many Taliban special forces are fighting Islamic State?

According to Taliban sources, the special task force, part of the Taliban's special forces command, was set up in early October and has more than 1,000 fighters - better equipped and trained than regular Taliban and with the sole aim of crushing IS.

Special ops teams are handpicked for their fighting skills and experience and are active in all provinces where IS has a current or potential presence - including Nangarhar, Farah, Helmand and Zabul. But Taliban special forces will deploy anywhere against IS, leaving other Taliban to fight Afghan and foreign troops.

Have many insurgents been killed?

When IS planned its expansion into Afghanistan, the Taliban quietly ordered their commanders to confront the group by "all means possible". Since April, the Taliban and IS have attacked each other many times as they try to hold or take territory. IS cells, mostly led by disgruntled ex-Afghan Taliban commanders - as well as some militants from Pakistan and Uzbekistan - have been targeted.

Nangarhar, Helmand, Farah and Zabul provinces have seen most of the fighting, with hundreds of insurgents from both sides killed. Exact figures are not available but Taliban special ops units are thought to have killed dozens of IS fighters since October.

For their part, IS has also killed dozens of Taliban, mainly in Nangarhar. They seek out Taliban whenever they can and have ambushed them many times. IS beheaded 10 Taliban fighters earlier this year in Nangarhar.

In June, the Taliban shadow governor for the province, Mawlawi Mir Ahmad Gul, was assassinated in Peshawar. It was believed that IS was behind the attack.

For the time being, it seems that IS has been largely eliminated in the south and west of the country. But its small groups of fighters are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially Nangarhar and Kunar provinces.

IS is also focusing on northern Afghanistan where it wants to establish pockets to link up with other Uzbek, Tajik, Chechen and Uighur militants and cross international borders with ease.

When did the two movements start fighting?

The two groups declared war on one another in January 2015 after IS announced the establishment of its branch in "Khorasan", an old name for Afghanistan and parts of neighbouring Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia. It was the first time that Islamic State, which has its roots in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, had officially spread outside the Arab world.

IS, or "Daesh" as it is known by its Arabic acronym, was the first major militant group to directly challenge the authority of the Taliban's founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar, who was regarded by the Taliban as Amir-ul Momineen (Leader of the Faithful) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda's leaders were given shelter by the Taliban leader and they had acknowledged his authority. But IS has been vocally opposed, with statements and propaganda videos questioning the legitimacy of the Taliban and accusing them of promoting the interests of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency. The Taliban hit back, telling the IS to stop "creating a parallel jihadist front". In an open letter to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dated 16 June, the Taliban warned they would be compelled "to defend our achievements".

The IS response a week later, from its central spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, specifically mentioned opponents in Khorasan, Libya and Syria and accused them of committing a religious crime. IS fighters were ordered to "have no mercy or compassion" for those who didn't "repent" and "join the Caliphate".

How serious is this for the Taliban?

The Taliban's dominance has never been so directly challenged by other militants. Now their worst nightmare is a large-scale defection of their cadres to IS. To prevent this they have been confronting their new enemy on two fronts - militarily and ideologically.

Islamic State is running an aggressive recruitment campaign and mainly targets militant commanders who have been expelled or sidelined. It has been exploiting the internal power struggle within the Taliban that became more visible when Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour was appointed as the new leader after the death of Mullah Omar was announced in July. Last month a breakaway Taliban faction was formed, further complicating matters - it says it is also against IS.

The vast monetary resources enjoyed by IS have been a lure too. Many, especially the young unemployed, have been attracted by salaries as high as $500 a month. IS's future in Afghanistan is also closely linked to the fortunes of IS in Iraq and Syria, where it has taken swathes of territory. But many militants are in a "wait and see" phase or are too scared of the Taliban's harsh reprisals to make their allegiance to IS public.

Elements in Pakistan's powerful military, who are accused of backing the Taliban, will have an important role to play in how things pan out.

Islamic State versus Islamic Emirate

There are several ideological and cultural differences between the two groups.

IS is a pan-Islamist organisation, has an agenda of borderless global jihad and aims to establish a single political entity consisting of all Muslim countries and territories.

The Taliban insist their agenda is local, confined only to Afghanistan. Their stated aim is to free Afghanistan of "foreign occupation" and the full and immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country.

By declaring the Caliphate, Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi claims the allegiance of all Muslims. A video posted by the IS's Khorasan chapter in late May categorically says that there cannot be two Caliphs in the world and in the presence of the eligible one, the other Caliph needs to be eliminated.

There are theological differences too. The Taliban is a conservative clerical movement loyal to the puritanical version of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, practised by the vast majority of Sunni Afghans. They generally believe in Sufism and have tended to avoid anti-Shia sectarian violence.

IS, which subscribes to the ideology of the more austere Wahhabi/Salafi branch of Sunni Islam, does not believe in Sufism and regards Shias as non-believers. While announcing the establishment of its Khorasan chapter, IS said that the aim was "to impose Tawhid (monotheism) and rout Shirk (polytheism)", a reference to traditional Islam in which Sufi saints are venerated and shrines visited.

The Taliban's religious scholars have also issued fatwas (religious edicts) against IS's legitimacy and ideology and justified fighting against it on religious grounds.

What about drone strikes?

Such attacks have been a serious setback for the newly-recruited IS militants in Afghanistan. The group appointed Hafiz Saeed Khan (a former Pakistani Taliban commander) as its "Khorasan governor" and Abdul Rauf Khadem (a prominent former Afghan Taliban commander) as his deputy. But just two weeks after his appointment, Khadem was killed in a US drone strike on 9 February in Helmand. A few days later, his successor was also killed in a similar strike.

In early July, another key IS commander - formerly a Pakistani Taliban commander - and the group's local spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, were killed in a US airstrike in Nangarhar province.

A few days later, the Afghan intelligence agency announced that Hafiz Saeed Khan had been killed along with 30 fighters in a "co-ordinated" drone strike in Nangarhar. The group denied the killing but has not provided credible evidence that he survived. Over the past year, up to 1,000 IS-linked fighters have been killed in US drone strikes and in fighting with the Taliban, statements by Afghan officials and media reports suggest.

How scared are Afghans of IS?

In some cases Islamic State fighters have come up with harsher and more elaborate ways of punishing and killing their opponents than their counterparts in the Middle East - particularly in Nangarhar province, their de facto "capital".

One video in particular, released in August, created horror and fear throughout the country.

It showed IS fighters herding 10 blindfolded people, including old men, to a hillside in Achin district, who were forced to sit on the ground on top of holes already filled with explosives.

The video titled "monotheists take revenge on Apostates 2" also shows the aftermath, including flying ripped up body parts and dirt.

In some parts of Nangarhar province, IS told villagers to provide wives for the newly recruited fighters and banned the smoking and selling of cigarettes. Narcotics, including the cultivation of opium poppies, were also banned. In December IS launched a local FM radio station in Nangarhar as part of its propaganda to attract more recruits.

IS fighters have looted and burned hundreds of their opponents' houses and taken over others that had become vacant.

While IS's ideology and the announcement of the Caliphate has attracted recruits in South and Central Asia, its brutal tactics have also alienated many in the region.

What now?

The emergence of IS in Afghanistan poses a serious challenge to the Taliban's supremacy. But it has also helped them in many ways. Taliban leaders have already opened dialogue with several regional countries, assuring them that they would not allow IS to gain a foothold in Afghanistan and threaten their stability.

States such as Iran, China and Russia have had to review their old policies of non-interaction with the Afghan Taliban.

The Taliban are now fighting against two enemies - Islamic State and the Afghan government and its international allies (as well as the breakaway Taliban faction).

IS is finding it hard to become a major force in the already congested militant market - but if it were to, it would not only fundamentally change the insurgency, but also mark the end of any hopes for a peace process in Afghanistan.

Instability in the wider region would increase.

Unless regional states implement a joint plan to bring stability, the prospects for the region look grim.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35123748

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Taliban versus ISIS is only Muslim against Muslim by a different name, a historically constant theme over there, group handles aside.

As much as all these factions hate each other for their transgressions against Allah, they generally will band together in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways when the perceived need to fight the infidels, or Jews arises.

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Another Husband and Wife team. So much for only being worried about single men.

Husband, wife imprisoned for planning bomb attack on London targets

The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2015 9:38AM EST

LONDON -- A husband and wife convicted for conspiring to bomb civilian targets in London have been given hefty prison sentences.

Mohammed Rehman, 25, and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, were found guilty Tuesday and both received life sentences Wednesday. Rehman could be released after 27 years; Khan after 25.

Prosecutors say the couple sought to attack a subway train or shopping mall on the 10th anniversary of London's July 7, 2005, bombings.

They say Rehman had been close to finishing a large bomb when arrested. Police found video footage of him detonating a smaller device in his backyard.

They said he used the cover name "Silent Bomber" to ask Twitter users to help select a target.

The 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people on subway trains and a bus.

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Countries must take responsibility for their foreign fighters, U.S. says

Defence Secretary James Mattis says U.S. has captured 'hundreds' of people who fought with ISIS


The Associated Press · Posted: Feb 13, 2018 2:36 PM ET | Last Updated: February 13

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are currently holding thousands of ISIS detainees, including hundreds of foreign fighters from a number of nations.  (Associated Press)


U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis urged reluctant allied nations to address a growing problem by taking responsibility for their citizens who have been detained as foreign fighters for the Islamic State group in Syria.

"Doing nothing is not an option," Mattis said following a conference of defence ministers in Rome that discussed the issue without resolving it. Some governments have expressed little interest in having such militants returned.•ExclusiveAlleged ISIS operative 'Jihadi Jack' begs Canada to let him come here

"We're gathering up hundreds … of detainees," Mattis told reporters traveling with him.

"The important thing is that the countries of origin keep responsibility for them. How they carry out that responsibility, there's a dozen diplomatic, legal or whatever ways. But the bottom line is, we don't want them going back on the street."

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are currently holding thousands of ISIS detainees, including hundreds of foreign fighters from a number of nations. Last week, they announced they'd captured two notorious British members of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria cell who were commonly dubbed "The Beatles" and were known for beheading hostages.•'Jihadi Jack': Help us bring him back, say British-Canadian parents who fear son being tortured in Syria
•'I don't care about imams': To deradicalize Muslim youth, talk politics, not religion

Asked specifically about Britain's move to revoke the citizenship of the two fighters, Mattis repeated his admonishment that countries "bear some sense of responsibility" for their citizens.

"The most important thing is we figure out how we're going to deal with this," Mattis said. 

U.S. military officials have confirmed that El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, who grew up in London, were captured in early January in eastern Syria.

U.S. officials have interrogated the men, who were part of the ISIS cell that captured, tortured and beheaded more than two dozen hostages, including U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.

Mattis was asked if the U.S. would take any detainees or if the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility was a possible option. He said he wasn't willing to talk about that.

The priority now, Mattis said, is to "define the problem and then we'll get the solution." He said there's a need for an accurate count of detainees and where they are from. He said there is not a "one-way forward" for all the detainees right now — just the sentiment they must be taken off the battlefield.

There are no known Americans among the detainees. But a U.S. citizen who surrendered to U.S.-backed forces in Syria is being held in Iraq amid a protracted legal fight over his fate.

Most of the foreign fighters are from the region, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Hundreds fought alongside ISIS in recent years as it seized large parts of Syria, raising concerns they'll commit terrorism at home if they return.

Mattis met in Rome with defence ministers from about a dozen other nations participating in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.  The meeting coincided with a coalition gathering of diplomatic leaders in Kuwait, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
 

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Sadly another  jihadist attack.

Strasbourg shooting: Gunman shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he attacked

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Pater Fritz describes hearing gunshots and attending to a victim of the Strasbourg shooting

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Media captionPater Fritz describes hearing gunshots and helping a victim of the Strasbourg shooting

The Strasbourg gunman yelled "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) as he opened fire on people enjoying an evening out at a Christmas market, the Paris public prosecutor told reporters.

Rémy Heitz said two people had been killed and one left brain-dead after the attack in the eastern French city on Tuesday.

Twelve were wounded, six seriously.

The man, named by local media as Chérif Chekatt, was known to authorities as having been radicalised in prison.

The 29-year-old was armed with a gun and a knife and escaped the area in a taxi, Mr Heitz said.

 

The attacker boasted to the driver - who has spoken to police - that he had killed 10 people, and said he had been injured in a firefight with soldiers.

Four people connected to the suspect had been detained overnight in Strasbourg, Mr Heitz added.

Hundreds of officers are currently involved in the search for the gunman. France's Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nuñez earlier acknowledged he may no longer be in France.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the country had moved to a high level of alert, expanding police powers and increasing vigilance.

He added that border controls had been strengthened and security at all Christmas markets would be stepped up.

The mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, has said the Christmas market will be closed on Wednesday and flags lowered to half-mast at the local town hall.

What happened?

The attack unfolded at around 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday close to Strasbourg's famed Christmas market near one of the central squares, Place Kléber, which attracts thousands of visitors at this time of year.

A woman called Audrey told France's BFM TV how she came face to face with the killer after watching him shoot a man in the head.

A police officer stands guard in the rue des Grandes Arcades in Strasbourg, eastern France, after a shooting, 11 December 2018Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The new alert level heightens powers of the police

The gunman then opened fire for a second time, and another man fell to ground.

Her friends began to run to safety, but Audrey was frozen to the spot. The gunman turned, and faced her - but then he too ran.

"Why didn't he shoot at me?" she told the TV channel. "I don't know. I think I was extremely lucky. As everyone was screaming he fled."

According to Mr Heitz, as he fled he came into contact with four soldiers. He began firing at them, and they fired back.

How did he escape?

He managed to reach a taxi which drove him away from the scene and dropped him in the vicinity of the police station in Neudorf, the area where he lives which sits on the border between Germany and France.

When he got out the vehicle, he fired at police officers.

What do we know about the gunman?

According to police - who refer to him as Chérif C - the gunman was born in Strasbourg and was already known to the security services as a possible terrorist threat.

He was the subject of a "fiche S", a watchlist of people who represent a potential threat to national security.

French police stand guard near the scene of a shooting in Strasbourg, eastern France, 11 December 2018Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Armed police secure the area after the deadly shooting incident on Tuesday

He also had 27 convictions spanning across France, Germany and Switzerland, and has spent considerable time in prison as a result.

Police were seeking him on Tuesday morning in connection with another case, but did not find him at home.

However Mr Nuñez said his crimes had never been terrorism-related. But, he added, it was during one period in prison that he was indentified as having become radicalised.

"The fact he was a 'fiche S' did not pre-judge his level of dangerousness," Mr Nuñez told France Inter.

A search of his home revealed a grenade, a rifle, four knives, two of which were hunting knives, and ammunition.


'Weary and deflated'

By Damian Grammaticas, Strasbourg

Strasbourg's famous Christmas market is now a gloomy place.

The lines of wooden huts are all shuttered. The owner of one told us how he had to flee when he heard the gunshots and take shelter in a local bar. "We're all shaken up," he said.

At this time of year, the place should be thronged with people who come from far and wide to sightsee and shop, buying everything from hot sausages to souvenirs. Now there's a weary, deflated feeling. Police stand guard at cordoned off alleyways.

"Everyone was shouting, everyone was running, running, afraid," said one eyewitness who'd seen the gunman shooting randomly.

Strasbourg has been a target for failed terror attacks before. But now it's happened, people here are hurt and outraged. As one said: "It's shameful."


What about the victims?

Thai media have named Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, as one of the dead. He is believed to have been on holiday with his wife.

Not much else is known yet, apart from the fact no children were hurt and one soldier was slightly injured by a ricocheting bullet.

A map showing the area of the attack

Why is Strasbourg a target?

Strasbourg has been the target of jihadist plots in the past.

Not only does it have one of France's oldest Christmas markets, but it is the official seat of the European Parliament. That parliament was in session at the time of Tuesday evening's attack.

In 2000, the Christmas market was at the centre of a failed al-Qaeda plot. Ten Islamist militants were jailed four years later for their part in the planned New Year's Eve attack.

Security has been tight there ever since the 2015 Paris attacks.

However, MEPs were determined to carry on the morning after the attack, with German MEP Jo Leinen posting a picture of singing and Christmas lights in the European Parliament.

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Strasbourg:

French police have "shot dead" the man believed to have attacked Strasbourg's Christmas market, police sources have told reporters.

Cherif Chekatt had been on the run since the attack on Tuesday evening.

Three people have died following the shooting at the popular attraction and several more are seriously injured.

France Info reported that Chekatt was found hiding in a warehouse in the Meinau area of the city, and had been shot dead by police.

The suspect had a string of criminal convictions and had become a radical Islamist while in prison.

 

Hundreds of French police and security forces had been searching for him.

Strasbourg shooting: What we know so far

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WAH WAH WAHHHHHHHHH.......Still playing the Canadian legal system with OUR 10 million slush fund..

 

I didn’t expect it to take this long': Omar Khadr asks for bail changes while awaiting U.S. appeal

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr appeared in an Edmonton courtroom Thursday, seeking changes to bail conditions that would allow him to see his sister and travel freely.

Khadr has been on bail since his release in April 2015. He pleaded guilty in October 2010 to five war crimes, including the murder of U.S. special forces soldier Christopher Speer when he was 15, but later said he entered the plea only to escape imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr, who is now 32, was back in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton Thursday to apply for changes to his bail conditions, which were imposed while he appeals the war crime convictions by a U.S. military commission.

Justice June Ross reserved her decision until next Friday.

 

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/judge-reserves-decision-on-omar-khadr-bail-request-until-next-friday

Edited by Jaydee

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What decision?

If he wants the rules changed so he can leave, that would be great, but the ten million should be returned to Canada as a precondition.

 

Edited by DEFCON
  • Like 1

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On 12/14/2018 at 6:06 AM, Jaydee said:

WAH WAH WAHHHHHHHHH.......Still playing the Canadian legal system with OUR 10 million slush fund..

 

I didn’t expect it to take this long': Omar Khadr asks for bail changes while awaiting U.S. appeal

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr appeared in an Edmonton courtroom Thursday, seeking changes to bail conditions that would allow him to see his sister and travel freely.

Khadr has been on bail since his release in April 2015. He pleaded guilty in October 2010 to five war crimes, including the murder of U.S. special forces soldier Christopher Speer when he was 15, but later said he entered the plea only to escape imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr, who is now 32, was back in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton Thursday to apply for changes to his bail conditions, which were imposed while he appeals the war crime convictions by a U.S. military commission.

Justice June Ross reserved her decision until next Friday.

 

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/judge-reserves-decision-on-omar-khadr-bail-request-until-next-friday

Denied  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-judge-khadr-request-bail-conditions-1.4955568

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Time to follow the example set by Australia.

Quote

Neil Prakash: Australian jihadist stripped of citizenship

Screengrab from a video showing Australian Islamic State militant Neil Prakash Image caption Neil Prakash appeared in IS propaganda videos

Australia's most wanted jihadist, Neil Prakash, has been stripped of his Australian citizenship.

Announcing the move, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton described Prakash as "a very dangerous individual".

Intelligence officials say Melbourne-born Prakash was a recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) group and encouraged terrorist plots in Australia.

He is currently being held in Turkey where he faces trial on terror-related charges.

In July, a Turkish court ruled against extraditing him to face terrorism charges in his home country.

 

In Australia, he faces charges of being member of a terrorist organisation as well as supporting and promoting IS.

In a televised new conference, Mr Dutton said Prakash had been central to IS's efforts in the Middle East.

"If given the opportunity Mr Prakash would harm or kill Australians and our country is a safer place for him having lost his Australian citizenship," he said.

In 2016, the Australian government described Prakash as "the principal Australian reaching back from the Middle East" into networks in Melbourne and Sydney.

In a court appearance in Turkey in 2017, Prakash admitted he had "something to do" with terrorist plots in Australia but said he was "not 100% responsible".

He said he had been forced to make IS propaganda videos and that he had fled the group after seeing its "true face".

Prakash, 27, left Australia for Syria in 2013, taking the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi. He was mistakenly reported to have been killed in a US air strike in Mosul, Iraq, in 2015.

Through his father, Prakash had joint Australian and Fijian citizenship. Under Australian law, a dual national can be stripped of their citizenship if they are convicted or suspected of terror offences.

Prakash is the 12th dual citizen to be stripped of Australian citizenship.

 

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Al-Qaeda terror group returns to target airliners and airports

Security minister warns of aviation ‘spectacular’

Al-Qaeda is resurgent and seeking to carry out new terrorist atrocities against airliners and airports, the security minister Ben Wallace warned last night.

The terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks in 2001 poses a growing threat that is keeping ministers “awake at night”, he told The Sunday Times.

Wallace said intelligence had revealed that al-Qaeda was developing technology to bring down passenger jets. Whitehall officials say that could include miniaturised bombs. Islamists have also plotted to use drones packed with explosives to blow up key targets.

The disclosures will hasten the security crackdown under way at airports following three days of chaos at Gatwick which was brought to a standstill by rogue drone operators.

Wallace met airport bosses a week ago, before the Gatwick incident,…

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/al-qaeda-terror-group-returns-to-target-airliners-mlj3lgf87

 

 

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Open your wallets...

 

Alleged Canadian ISIS member captured in Syria, according to Kurdish forces

With his capture, the number of Canadians known to be in the custody of Kurdish forces is now four men, three women and seven children.

But an organization representing the families of Canadian captives, Families Against Violent Extremism, said it was aware of almost two dozen.

“The families of 21 Canadian detainees have asked FAVE to help get them out of the northern Syrian camps. The majority of these Canadians are infants and children who are suffering from hunger and illness in frozen tents,” said group’s director, Prof. Alexandra Bain.

 

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4844413/canadian-isis-member-captured/

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