by, Alex Newman | The New American
Following an explosive report in The Times of London citing forensic experts, the establishment press around the world is now reporting that the video purporting to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley by an Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist was probably “staged.” Other respected analysts had suggested that the execution footage could be bogus even before that. While it seems to be generally accepted that Foley was indeed killed, questions surrounding the barbaric alleged death and its implications continue to grow around the world. Countless theories and claims have surfaced purporting to explain it.
As doubts about the video spread like wildfire, Obama and other Western governments have already seized on it to advance various controversial objectives. The Obama administration, for example, citing the alleged threat of the Islamic State that supposedly beheaded Foley, announced unconstitutional military attacks in Syria and Iraq. Separately, U.K. authorities issued a warning to British subjects that even “viewing” the ISIS video purporting to show the journalist’s execution may be a crime under “terrorism” statutes in the United Kingdom. Analysts said the precedent was deeply troubling.
Still, the video has been viewed by experts, and they concluded that it does not show what it purports to show. “I think it has been staged,” one of the unidentified “visual forensics experts” told The Times after reviewing the video footage for the newspaper. “My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.” The Times report, based on the analysis of an international forensic science company with links to police forces across Britain, promptly sparked headlines throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
The forensic analysts cited in the original report highlighted the fact that, even after enhancements, no blood is visible up to the point where the picture fades to black. That is despite the video showing the knife going across the upper neck at least six times, the analysts told The Times. Separately, the sounds supposedly being made by the journalist during his alleged beheading also appear inconsistent with what would be expected, the paper reported. Prior to the purported execution, the footage also appears to include a “blip” that suggests Foley may have had to repeat a line.
Without explaining how it came to such a conclusion, the forensic analysis firm, which asked not to be named, claimed that there was no doubt that Foley had been killed — despite the apparent use of camera tricks and “slick” post-production manipulation. “No one is disputing that at some point an execution occurred,” the company said. Other analysts said such a conclusion seemed bizarre. ISIS, of course, has posted numerous gruesome videos of its mass murder, beheadings, terror attacks, and other assorted horrors. Why would the outfit execute Foley but then stage a video of it, rather than just showing the real event?
One purported explanation was offered by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, which has been hard at work trying to crush ISIS and other jihadist forces — some backed by Obama — amid an ongoing civil war. According to Assad’s official spokesperson and political advisor, Bouthaina Shaaban, Foley was actually murdered a year ago after being captured by the Obama administration-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and then sold to ISIS.
“You can check with the UN,” Shaaban was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail, a leading U.K. newspaper, during an interview aired on the state-funded BBC. “James Foley was killed a year ago, not now, they only released the pictures now, but he was killed a year ago. We have definite information, the UN has the information.” While the brutal Syrian autocracy is hardly considered a reliable source, its claims about Foley have been widely reported in the international press. The UN has not confirmed whether it has information supporting the allegations.
Foley’s family and friends, meanwhile, blasted the claims made by the Syrian dictatorship, calling them “disgraceful.” Pointing to statements made by a Danish journalist who reportedly saw Foley in June while being held in captivity, Foley’s family suggested Assad’s claims could not possibly be true. GlobalPost chief Phil Balboni, Foley’s boss, also said the Syrian regime’s claims were “totally false” and “contradicted by a very significant body of incontrovertible evidence.” He said there were multiple accounts from hostages held with Foley as recently as last month. “It is a disgrace that this was ever broadcast,” Balboni added.
Even before The Times report and Assad’s claims sent shockwaves around the world, however, other experts were already questioning the video’s authenticity and urging caution as well. “Was Foley’s head really cut off? Hard to tell,” noted Eric Margolis, a prominent journalist who has often reported from dangerous war zones in the Middle East. “We have been fed so much fake government war propaganda in recent decades — from Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators to Saddam’s hidden nukes — that we must be very cautious.”
For now, British authorities have identified U.K. rapper and Islamist Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary as the likely jihadist seen in the video purportedly executing Foley. However, the analysis commissioned by The Times concluded that the journalist was probably killed off camera, meaning the British ISIS terrorist may not have been the actual murderer. (This offers another explanation for why Foley might have been killed off-camera: The jihadists wanted an English-speaking member on film, and the one they found didn’t have the stomach to barbarically murder someone.) In the video, entitled “A message to America,” Foley offers a statement claiming that the U.S. government was actually responsible for his murder. Another American journalist being held hostage by ISIS is also shown, with a warning that he would be next.
Shortly after the alleged beheading video surfaced on August 19, the Obama administration announced more unconstitutional military intervention in the region without obtaining congressional approval. Senior Obama national security advisor Ben Rhodes said the U.S. government would “do what is necessary” and would not be constrained by borders. In other words, after repeatedly failing to secure authority to do so from Congress, Obama will finally be launching direct military strikes in Syria — something he has wanted to do for years despite overwhelming public opposition. A previous claim pushed by Obama to justify launching a war in Syria alleging that Assad had used of chemical weapons eventually fell apart as a fraud.
This time, the administration seems even more determined. “If you come against Americans, we are going to come after you,” Rhodes said at a news conference at Obama’s vacation spot. “We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary in dealing with that threat…. I think the American people understand that this president is very deliberate about military action. The American people also understand that there are some threats that have to be dealt with. We will take direct action against terrorists that threaten the United States.”
Whether the Foley video was staged or not, what seems apparent at this point is that the footage served the administration’s interests well — at least in terms of purporting to justify deepening U.S. involvement in the region. However, without a green light from Congress, Obama’s machinations in Syria and Iraq remain illegitimate and unconstitutional. If the president wants to take military action, he has a constitutional obligation to secure approval from the American people’s elected representatives.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.
ISIS Beheads American Journalist, Threatens Strike on America
Faith Sustained Murdered Journalist James Foley
Obama Helped ISIS in Syria, Now Fights It in Iraq
What is the Obama-backed Free Syrian Army?
Christian Massacres: A Result of U.S. Foreign Policy
Iraq: ISIS Terrorists Still Killing Christians, Beheading Children
Obama, Neocons Push Intervention Amid Foreign Policy Disasters
O, Mighty ISIS? The Cost of Fighting the Counterfeit Caliphate
Unknown Quantity of U.S. Weapons Now in Hands of Militants in Iraq
President Breaks Arms Export Laws to Send Shipments to Syrian “Rebels”
Globalists Push EU-style “Union” for Middle East
A general view of the rubble of a 13-storey residential tower, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, is seen in Gaza City August 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of: Mohammed Salem/Reuters
IAF Surgical Strike on Hamas Command Center yields 13-storey building being dropped without touching any surrounding building
by, Nidal Al-Mughrabi & Jeffrey Heller | Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel took the Gaza war to a new level by flattening a 13-storey apartment tower.
Israeli aircraft first fired a non-explosive rocket at the building, a sign to residents to get out, before attacking it on Saturday. Seventeen people were wounded in the strike on the structure, which Israel said had housed a Hamas command centre.
Amazing Video of ‘Actual Strike’ on Hamas Command Center…
Video courtesy of: Newsworld
“I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to evacuate immediately from every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” Netanyahu said in public remarks at a cabinet meeting.
With no end in sight to fighting now in its seventh week, Netanyahu’s tough talk could indicate a move towards bolder strikes in densely populated neighbourhoods, even at the risk of raising more international alarm.
Thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged in the conflict. Nearly 500,000 people have been displaced in the territory of 1.8 million where Palestinians, citing Israeli attacks that have hit schools and mosques, say no place is safe.
Israel has said Hamas bears responsibility for civilian casualties because it operates among non-combatants. The group, it said, uses schools and mosques to store weapons and as launching sites for cross-border rocket attacks.
Palestinian health officials say 2,108 people, most of them civilians and more than 400 of them children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.
Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and four civilians in Israel have been killed.
WAR OF ATTRITION
Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza on Sunday, killing at least six Palestinians, medical officials said.
Palestinian militants kept up their rocket fire in what has become a war of attrition that has defied attempts by regional power Egypt to broker a durable truce.
The bombing on Saturday of Al Zafer Tower in Gaza City marked the first time in the Gaza war that Israel had brought down so tall a structure. It had housed 44 families.
It launched the attack a day after a mortar bomb killed a four-year-old Israeli boy. Israel’s president attended his funeral on Sunday near the Gaza border.
Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt hostilities and return to talks. But there was no sign that negotiations, last held before a ceasefire collapsed on Tuesday, would resume any time soon.
The start of the school year has already been delayed indefinitely by the Education Ministry in the Gaza Strip, and Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israelis should be prepared for the war to continue after classes begin on Sept. 1.
At one U.N.-run school in Gaza where Palestinian families have been sheltering, children chanting “glory and eternity to our martyrs” stood in line for the national anthem, but no classes were held.
Scott Anderson, Deputy Director of Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said although school has been cancelled, instruction could be provided by other means.
“It is very important that we use our satellite channel, our Internet active learning program, the computer labs and the self-help material – all these lessons we learnt in Syriaand they have proved to be very successful there,” he said, referring to remote schooling during Syria’s civil war.
Hamas has said it will not stop fighting until the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza is lifted. Both Israel and Egypt view Hamas as a security threat and are demanding guarantees that weapons will not enter the economically crippled enclave.
The Cairo talks had aimed to secure a lasting deal to allow reconstruction aid to flow into Gaza. The current conflict is the longest and deadliest between the Palestinians and Israel since the second Intifada (Palestinian uprising) a decade ago.
Israel also faced rocket fire from the north on Saturday.
Two missiles launched from Lebanon struck Israel’s Galilee. Lebanese and Israeli sources said it was not initially clear who was behind the attack, which caused no casualties or damage.
At least five rockets fired from Syria landed at various locations on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli army said. All fell in open areas. It was also not immediately known who launched them.
Late on Saturday, an Israeli air strike destroyed a commercial centre in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and three people were hurt, local medical staff said.
(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem and Sylvia Westall in Beirut; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Gareth Jones)
American journalist James Foley. Photo courtesy of: Business Insider
by, Armin Rosen, Amanda Macias and Brett Logiurato | Business Insider
ISIS has tried to send a warning to the U.S. in about the most horrifying manner imaginable — by broadcasting the execution of an American citizen captured in Syria more than 600 days ago.
The video purports to show the execution of photojournalist James Foley.
The four-minute video opens with a clip of President Barack Obama authorizing U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. After this intro, a title screen appears with the words “a message to America,” followed by an American citizen they identify as James Foley saying that U.S. leaders are his “real killers.” Foley is apparently executed moments later by a man in a black robe — an apparent native English speaker who talks with a British accent — holding a knife.
Caitlin Hayden, a representative for the White House’s National Security Council, said in a statement that the U.S. intelligence community was still working to confirm the authenticity of the video.
Video courtesy of: CNN
“We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by ISIL,” Hayden said. “The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available.”
Foley is a Global Post contributor, and the online publication spent “many, many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars” to find him during his first six months in captivity, according to a report by Boston public radio station WBUR. At that point, his family believed that Foley, who was captured in Northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012, was in Syrian military detention, and being held as a prisoner of Bashar Assad’s regime.
On May 3, 2013, Global Post reported that it “believe[d] the Syrian government is holding [Foley] in a detention center near Damascus,” a determined reached after “a five-month investigation inside Syria and the wider Middle East.”
Although ISIS is an offshoot of Al Qaeda and the successor organization of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the group did not officially form until April 2013, months after Foley was captured (Jabhat al Nusra, Syria’s other major Jihadist group, wasn’t designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. until a month after Foley’s abduction). If the man in the video was Foley it remains to be seen how and whether he was transferred from possible regime custody to ISIS.
Foley had reported from a number of other conflict zones, including Afghanistan and Libya, where he was held captive by the Gaddafi regime for 44 days. Foley later published a series of reports on Global Post detailing his over one-month in various Libyan prisons.
Business Insider spoke with a family member of Foley’s on Tuesday afternoon who said, “I can’t confirm anything right now, but nowadays there is nothing that surprises me anymore.”
American journalist Clare Morgana Gillis was held captive with Foley in Tripoli. She shares this story of their time together with Syria Deeply:
We shared a cell for two and a half weeks, and every day he came up with lists for us to talk through. Top 10 movies. Favorite books. The fall of the Roman Empire and the rebirth of Western civilization. Which famous person would you most like to meet? What’s your life story? How does war change you? How can we be better people when we get out of here?
When I was in tears after a six-hour interrogation that ended at sunrise, he observed matter-of-factly, “It’s their job to break you. They did it to you today, and they’ll do it to me tomorrow. Get some sleep.”
Free James Foley, the organization established to help secure his release, is cautioning on its Facebook page to “be patient until we have more information.” Global Post, for whom Foley reported from Syria, is stressing that the video’s authenticity has not yet been verified. However, Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military affairs-focused newspaper for which Foley reported from Afghanistan, is reporting that Foley has been killed.
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ISIS Beheading American Journalist James Foley:
Uncut & Uncensored
Afghan Islamic Warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Leader of Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG). Photo courtesy of: AP
Although arresting violent and criminal jihadists in the US is necessary, the breweries of Islamist extremism must also be shut down.
by, Ryan Mauro | The Clarion Project
Federal authorities have arrested an Afghan named Hayatullah Dawari in Pennsylvania for allegedly lying on his citizenship application about his membership in the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) terrorist group. He is accused of secretly communicating with HIG operatives in Pakistan about an unspecified operation.
The U.S. government says Dawari was associated with HIG in Afghanistan and Pakistan before he became a permanent resident in November 2008. Federal prosecutors say he lied on his citizenship application last year by denying any organizational associations. Theyassert that he acknowledged his HIG membership in a phone call made shortly after he filed for citizenship.
He is accused of maintaining communication with HIG operatives in Pakistan. In January, the FBI captured a book sent to him from that country that had a hidden message glued inside. The message was written in Pashto, a language spoken primarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams says it was “directing some urgent action.”
Dawari appears to be part of a larger cell because he was told to distribute books to specific individuals in the U.S. Williams said a similar secret communication was in the possession of an associate of Dawari’s in Philadelphia.
Dawari’s lawyer claims he served as a doctor with the American Red Cross and cared for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. He also claims the book was to be used to teach children at his mosque. He concedes that Dawari may have also treated terrorists while in Afghanistan but denies being a member of HIG.
HIG is an Islamist terrorist group with links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The indictment states that the group’s goal is a “fundamentalist Islamic state” in Afghanistan. The group is also closely linked to the Iranian regime and reportedly purchased surface-to-air missiles from North Korea in 2005.
The Justice Department says its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “has vowed to engage in a holy war against the United States and international troops in Afghanistan.” He’s been described as the “most feared and notorious warlord” active in Afghan politics.
This is not the first time that Americans have been linked to HIG. In 2007, the Islamic American Relief Agency of Columbia, Missouri and several of its officers were indicted for funneling money to HIG. The charity sent at least $130,000 to an orphanage in Pakistan run by HIG. Four officials of the agency were sentenced.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Deli Siljander (R-MI) was also indicted for money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the case. The charity paid him to fight against listing it as a suspected terrorist entity by the Senate Finance Committee. Siljander was paid $50,000 in taxpayer money fraudulently taken from the U.S. Agency for International Development by the charity.
Siljander was sentenced to one year in federal prison in 2012 after he pled guilty. He claimed he was innocent after he was released.
In 2009, seven aspiring Islamist terrorists were arrested in North Carolina as they planned to wage jihad overseas. The ringleader, Daniel Boyd, was convicted in Pakistan in 1991 of bank robbery. At that time, he belonged to HIG.
This latest case shows that Islamist extremists still see the U.S. as a potential safe haven. Dawari was confident in his security enough to come to the U.S. He became a resident in 2008 and was only arrested now. That’s about four years of a suspected terrorist living in the U.S.
The arrest of Dawari exemplifies why the Islamist extremist infrastructure in Pakistan must be dismantled.
Groups like HIG have schools, orphanages, clinics and other social service facilities operating freely. These terrorists are not technically Al-Qaeda, but the ideology they foster will continuously regenerate Al-Qaeda and like-minded jihadists.
The solution does not lie in only monitoring and arresting violent and criminal jihadists here. The breweries of Islamist extremism must be shut down.
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Remember the 5 high level Afghan Muslim Terrorists that were released in the secret exchange by Barack Hussein Obama for the American Muslim Traitor, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?
Care to guess which terrorist organization they belonged to?
For more information on: Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)
by, Yasmine Hafiz | The Huffington Post
Iraq’s Christians have perhaps suffered more than any other group since the Islamic State formerly known as ISIS rose to power, but Christianity is in decline all over the Middle East. Just 5% of the region’s population identifies as Christian, and that figure is dropping still.
The Christian residents of Mosul, Iraq, are under blatant attack, as the Islamic State distributed flyers in July giving them three options: convert to Islam, pay a fine, or be killed. Many of their abandoned homes now say in black lettering, “Property of the Islamic State.”
Canon Andrew White, also known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” is the Chaplain of St George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, Iraq. He estimates that his flock used to number around 6,000 people, but in the last decade over 1,200 have been killed,according to CNN’s Arwa Damon.
“One of things that really hurt was when one of the Christians came and said, ‘For the first time in 1,600 years, we had no church in Nineveh,'” he told Damon. White refuses to leave Baghdad, despite the danger, as St. George’s is Iraq’s last Anglican church.
See their conversation in the video below:
*Infographic by Alissa Scheller
by, Adam Kredo | The Washington Free Beacon
The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.
The original law effectively disqualified all Libyan nationals and those “acting on behalf of Libyan entities” from training in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields,” according to the ban.
DHS said the prohibition is irrelevant now since the United States and Libya have worked to “normalize their relationship,” according to the directive approved by the OMB.
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain studies or training in,” the amendment states.
“The United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted,” it says. “Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is considering rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”
DHS spokesman S.Y. Lee told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration is reviewing its policies towards Libya “to see how they might be updated to better align with U.S. interests” in light of its revolution.”
“As part of this effort, the Departments of State and Defense requested the Department of Homeland Security consider revising regulations dating from 1983 to permit Libyan nationals, and other foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities, to engage in studies or training in aviation maintenance, flight operations and/or nuclear-related fields,” Lee said.
Efforts to reverse the ban would help Libyans sustain and operate their war fleets, Lee explained.
“This would permit the educational exchange of information with Libyan nationals so they can reconstitute, operate and sustain their fleet to address threats posed by extremist groups seeking to derail the democratic transition,” Lee said. “As is the case with students from all countries, Libyan students interested in pursuing these studies would be subject to robust and thorough security threat assessments and vetting procedures, separate from this proposed regulatory change and consistent with our mission to protect national security and public safety.”
Members of the House Judiciary Committee expressed outrage on Monday about the rollback in the law, maintaining that Libyans continue to pose a security risk to the United States, particularly if they are given access to train in the aviation and nuclear fields.
The terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya,” the Judiciary Committee said in a statement. “Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility.”
“Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country,” thestatement said.
DHS officials had promised lawmakers in April that it would provide key documents necessary for Congress to perform its legal oversight on the proposal to overturn the ban. However, DHS never turned these documents over, according to the Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), the committee’s chairman, accused DHS of stonewalling and lashed out at the administration for “turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today.”
“The House Judiciary Committee has repeatedly sought information about the Administration’s policy reversal but political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security have stonewalled the Committee’s requests and have not articulated why it is in Americans’ best interests to change policy,” Goodlatte said in a statement.
“Given the ongoing volatility in Libya, it is unconscionable and completely irresponsible that the Administration plans to lift a longstanding policy that protects Americans and our national security from threats in the region,” he said.
Goodlatte further criticized the White House for “carelessly forging ahead with its plan to allow Libyan pilots and nuclear scientists to study in the United States,” particularly in light of the ongoing unrest and terrorist threat in Libya.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), chair of the House subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman, also slammed the administration’s decision to reverse the ban.
“The burden of proof for advocating a change in the status quo lies with the Administration. Is post-revolutionary Libya secure enough to change the rules? Why now?” Gowdy said in a statement. “What evidence does the Administration have to assert the relationship between Libya and the US has indeed normalized?”
“It is extremely concerning that DHS is moving forward with these plans, but has not provided information on the policy change despite repeated requests from Members,” Gowdy said.
by, Vice News
The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.
As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.
In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.
The Islamic State: Grooming Children for Jihad (II of V)
Part I of V here…
Iraq’s human rights minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, claims there is undeniable evidence that Islamic gangs have executed at least 500 Yazidis and 300 women were taken as sex-slaves
by, Jason Beattie | Mirror
Petrified women and children were buried alive in a mass slaughter by Islamic State extremists, it was claimed yesterday.
An estimated 500 Yazidis were murdered in the atrocity in Iraq, according to the country’s human rights minister. He also said around 300 girls and women have been kidnapped as slaves by the terror group.
The outrages have piled pressure on the West to step up its actions against the jihadists who have besieged around 150,000 Yazidis in the Sinjar region of the country.
Desperate families on foot continued to flee for their lives at the weekend. Children and stricken adults were carried during the exodus in the searing heat.
The human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said there was “striking evidence” – including photos – showing “indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar”.
He added: “Some of the victims, including women and children, were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar.
Video courtesy of: WochitGeneralNews
“In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses. This is a vicious atrocity.”
He added: “We spoke to some of the Yazidis who fled from Sinjar. We have dozens of accounts and witness testimonies describing painful scenes of how Islamic State fighters arrived and took girls from their families by force to use them as slaves.
“The terrorist Islamic State has also taken at least 300 Yazidi women as slaves and locked some of them inside a police station in Sinjar and transferred others to the town of Tal Afar. We are afraid they will take them outside the country.”
US forces yesterday unleashed a fresh wave of airstrikes against the extremists – also known as ISIS – near Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
The bombings, launched by drones and fighter jets, were aimed at protecting Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers trying to hold off the advance of the Islamist militants whose self-proclaimed caliphate stretches across a large swathe of Iraq.
US military commanders said the strikes destroyed armoured vehicles “indiscriminately” firing at Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.
Britain has stepped up its humanitarian effort, dropping fresh supplies to the thousands in the mountains. UK officials believe up to 150,000 people could be stranded, with many of them facing starvation and dehydration.
But many have urged Britain to do much more. Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, slammed David Cameron for going on holiday, adding that Parliament should be recalled so that further action could be authorised.
Lord Dannatt said: “From today the British should be joining the air strikes against Islamic State forces as they press towards Erbil.
Today’s Iraqi operation takes place under a very different set of circumstances to the one proposed last August to bomb Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capability. In the face of a crisis of this scale, with the potential for so much human misery, this is not the moment for decision-makers to be on holiday.
“Parliament needs to be recalled and the West needs to face up to its responsibilities. We must make sure that we do not come out of this wringing our hands at another genocide and saying ‘next time, we must do better’. We are being put to the test, and history will be our judge.”
The demand to recall Parliament was echoed by Labour MP Mike Gapes. He said: “I hope we can then, with Opposition support, achieve a massive vote for UK military intervention alongside our US and NATO partners to defend and protect our democratic and secular Kurdish friends and to stop the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
Downing Street has not ruled out supporting the US military offensive if there was a risk of genocide. But experts said Britain had little to offer beyond special forces and intelligence gathering.
A Whitehall insider said: “We have no aircraft carrier and no aircraft to put on a carrier.” Senior Government officials yesterday held a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee to discuss the situation at which it was agreed to send
humanitarian advisers to the Erbil region.
The first UK aid drop took place on Saturday night with the RAF sending in 1,200 water containers and 240 solar lanterns which can be used to recharge mobile phones.
A No10 spokesman said: “We are working to step up these deliveries in the coming days.
“Meanwhile, we continue to engage with the US, Kurds, Turks and other international partners on how to get those trapped on the mountain to safety.” He added: “The humanitarian situation remains deeply worrying and consequently this continues to be our priority.”
It has been reported that 30,000 of the Yazidis may have escaped to Syria and then been escorted back into Iraqi Kurdistan by the Kurdish forces.
Peshmerga fighters have retaken two villages from the militants, according to a Kurdish military official. These reported triumphs in Makhmour and al-Gweir would be the first victories by the Kurdish troops against the extremists.
The president of Kurdish Iraq, Massoud Barzani, has called on the international community to send weapons to fight the militants.
The Iraqi government in Baghdad warned that the atrocities could not be stopped unless the world confronted the Islamic State threat.
Barack Obama said at the weekend the US air strikes could continue for months.
Mr Obama added it would take more than bombs to restore stability, and criticised Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government for failing to share power with Iraq’s Sunni minority.
The US has removed some staff from its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the State Department said yesterday.
The Yazidis are a sect of around 700,000 people in northern Iraq whose religion has taken elements from various faiths.
Leaders of the Islamic State have accused the Yazidis of being devil worshippers, and have ordered them to convert to Islam or face death.
by, Michael Carl | World Net Daily (WND)
Christians under attack by Muslims terrorists in Nigeria are being warned to defend themselves, because the government won’t do it.
“Fight them,” said Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute.
“Unless the non-Muslims in Africa fight the jihadists, they’ll become refugees, enslaved or killed,” she said.
Her comments came just as Christians in the northern Nigeria town of Gwoza were attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram, killing 100 people and burning several buildings.
Ehrenfeld said Christians “have to be able to fend for themselves, because they can’t rely on the government.”
A former military intelligence officer who served with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, Paul Hair, agrees.
Hair told WND Nigerian Christians might have to adopt the tactics of Christians and other non-Muslims in the Central African Republic.
“They might have to fight back brutally with whatever weapons they have. They’re going to need a high desire to achieve complete victory,” he said.
“What else can the Nigerian Christians do if they don’t want to be wiped out? If the government can’t help them, and it’s increasingly questionable if it can, then what use is appealing to it? The U.S. is heavily involved in Nigeria, but the Nigerian Christians shouldn’t expect help from the United States,” Hair said.
He said the American government is allowing its dislike of the Nigerian government’s social policies to interfere with helping counter jihad.
“The heavy U.S. involvement is complicated, and there are certain things the U.S. government doesn’t like about the Nigerian government that is partially hindering whatever working relationship the two governments have. Furthermore, the current U.S. leadership has bizarre priorities in Nigeria, like [Secretary of State John] Kerry’s concerns over Nigeria’s ban on same-sex marriage,” Hair said.
Boko Haram: Terror, Blood & Death
WND reported last week the Obama administration was withholding intelligence from the Nigerian government because of a policy difference over same-sex marriage.
Hair noted to WND there are Christian communities that have faith-based objections to arms while Muslims do not.
“There also isn’t an international community of Christians that are going to help the Nigerian Christians with fighting. When Muslim or Arab communities around the world want to fight, there are no shortages of wealthy groups, not to mention national governments, who will help them in some sort of military capacity if the circumstances are right,” he said.
“That doesn’t exist for Christians anywhere in the world. At most, the international Christian community can offer aid and pleas to governments. Other than that, they can do nothing,” Hair said.
He did note evidence Nigerians are working together for security through a Civilian Joint Task Force. A report in May said organized villagers fought off a Boko Haram attack.
International Christian Concern Africa said Boko Haram previously targeted Christians in Gwoza.
A spokesman said the situation for Christians in northern Nigeria continues to deteriorate as Boko Haram is “now carrying out a mass-land grab for radical Islam.”
“For weeks, the insurgency has laid waste to once peaceful villages, destroyed bridges and erected toll booths for terrorism, and not just in Nigeria.”
Hussein Solomon, senior professor in the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, said the Nigerian military isn’t trained to defend the nation.
“African militaries are not trained to keep citizens safe but to keep regime elites safe from the citizens. They are not soldiers but thugs meant to keep unarmed civilians in line. When having to deal with the likes of Boko Haram, they crumble,” Solomon said.
by, Cath Martin | Christian Today | h/t Theo @ Shoebat.com & Kev Hackett @ NFSE
The vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq fears ISIS is literally getting away with murder in Iraq as the world turns its gaze to fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Canon Andrew White, vicar of St George’s church in Baghdad, said in a newsletter published by the Catholic News Service that ISIS was free to do what it wanted as the world’s attention remained fixed on the latest conflict in Gaza.
ISIS militants have taken over Mosul and other parts of Iraq, causing thousands of Christians to flee after they were told to convert, pay a jizhya tax or else be killed.
Canon White said that although the situation was serious for Iraqis under ISIS, it was “very easy to feel forgotten”.
“The Islamic State simply said we can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza,” he wrote.
“In reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here.
“It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares, that is, apart from you, our supporters, who never leave us and keep supporting us in every way,” he said.
In a new blog post, Canon White gave harrowing details of the reported murder of a family of eight Iraqi Christians. He said the picture he had received of the brutal killing was “too awful” to post to his blog.
“You know I love to show photos but the photo I was sent today was the most awful I have ever seen,” he said.
“A family of 8 all shot through the face laying in a pool of blood with their Bible open on the couch. They would not convert it cost them there life.
“I thought of asking if anybody wanted to see the picture but it is just too awful to show to anybody. This is Iraq today. The only hope and consolation is that all these dear people are now all with Yesua in Glory.”
He is appealing for funds to support the relief work of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which he directs.
The organisation is working through Iraqi churches to help those who have fled from ISIS-controlled Mosul and Nineveh.
“We give thanks to G-d for all you have enabled us to do. We move forward and know we have just begun and know with your help and the Lord’s direction we will make great advances,” he wrote.
“Pray for our perseverance that we and our people will not give up the spiritual fight before us.”
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Iraqi Christians living in fear of ISIS:
Video courtesy of: CNN
Everything You Need to Know About the Yazidis
by, Mirren Gidda | Time.com
Meet Iraq’s secretive, persecuted sect under siege by militants from ISIS
On the peaks of the Sinjar mountains, 50,000 members of the Yazidi people are facing a slow death from dehydration and exposure. Below them waits the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant extremist group who will kill any that descend.
The news Thursday night that President Barack Obama has authorized air strikes against ISIS—strikes that started Friday—may offer little relief. Already several dozen Yazidis have died from lack of water and searing temperatures that reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Among the dead are 56 children, a UNICEF spokesperson told TIME.
“The Yazidis are one of the longest surviving ancient religions or sects in the world,” said Farwaz Gerges, a professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics.
Despite this, precious little is known about them. And that’s how the Yazidis prefer it.
“They are a secretive community who pass on oral traditions—much of which is unknown to outsiders,” said Hayder al-Khoei, an associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program. Intermarriage with non-Yazidis is forbidden, and it is impossible to convert to their religion. “To be a Yazidi one must be born into a Yazidi family.”
Though a Kurdish sect and religion, the Yazidi faith has borrowed from multiple traditions. It was founded in the 11th century by a sheik from the major Islamic dynasty, the Umayyad.
“They have borrowed from the Persian tradition, Zoroastrianism (a pre-Islamic religion), Christianity—they believe that Jesus was one of the most important prophets—and Islam,” Gerges said. “It is one of the most complex religions in the world.” The Yazidis believe in reincarnation, perform baptisms, circumcisions and animal sacrifices.
The name “Izidis” literally translates to “worshippers of God.”
The sect is tiny. There are just 700,000 Yazidis worldwide, according to Gerges. Of this number, 600,000 are concentrated in northern Iraq, with their heartland in the town of Sinjar. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands people, Yazidis among them, were forced to flee the Sinjar region as ISIS routed Kurdish forces there.
The Yazidis can’t hope for mercy from ISIS. “Unlike Christians, they’re not even given the option of paying a tax to live under [ISIS'] protection,” al-Khoei said. “[ISIS] believes they are ‘devil worshippers’ who must either be slaughtered or convert to Islam.”
The Yazidis are no strangers to persecution. They have been harassed for centuries based on the misconception they worship the devil. Their faith, al-Khoei said, is dualist not satanic. They believe “that good and evil, God and Satan are part of the same divine creation.”
The Yazidis are monotheistic to an extent, believing that one supreme being known as Yasdan created the earth helped by seven angels. The most important of these is Malak Tawous, the peacock angel or king to whom the Yazidis pray to five times a day. His other name Shaytan means “devil” in Arabic. This, above all else, is what earned them the moniker of devil worshippers.
Though Sunnis and Shi’ites alike call them Satanists, they don’t attack them. But ISIS, which al-Khoei said is on “a genocidal rampage,” won’t tolerate them in its self-declared Islamic caliphate.
This is bleak news for the Yazidis who are already suffering from depleted ranks. “Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, we estimate that 15% of the community left for areas like Europe,” Gerges said.
The Yazidis were targeted by al-Qaeda in Iraq and similar groups following Saddam Hussein’s ousting. In 2007, 800 were killed in a series of bomb blasts, hastening the exodus. “The community is terrified that the migration of young Yazidis… will have major problems for the future survival of the people,” Gerges said.
Right now, the future survival of the Yazidis on the Sinjar mountains is in doubt. Scant supplies are reaching the them via U.S. and Iraqi airdrops or from neighboring areas. An eyewitness told the BBC that the Yazidis are currently subsisting on one meal a day. Unless ISIS pulls back or is forced to flee, the mountains, the supposed final resting place of Noah’s Ark, could perform the same role for many more Yazidis.
“We haven’t been able to access them,” said Juliette Touma, a spokesperson for UNICEF. “Getting to [the mountains] by car is very unsafe, it is blockaded by [ISIS] militants.”