by, Paul Cruickshank | CNN Europe Edition
German police overnight thwarted a terrorist plot by a radicalized couple, a plan they suspect involved bombing a bicycle race near Frankfurt, a German terrorism researcher briefed by investigators told CNN on Thursday.
German prosecutors and police said that a man and a woman had been arrested in the Frankfurt-area town of Oberursel on suspicion of planning a Boston-style attack, but the authorities did not explicitly reveal the target.
The suspected target, according to Florian Flade, the terrorism researcher, was a race planned for Friday. The race loops around Eshborn and Frankfurt on May Day each year, attracting large crowds of spectators along the cycle route.
Prosecutor Albrecht Schreiber said police recovered a pipe bomb ready to be used, 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a gun, the essential parts of a G-3 assault rifle and 3 liters of hydrogen peroxide, which becomes explosive at high concentrations and has been used in multiple terror plots in the West, including the 2005 London bombings.
Earlier Thursday, Andreas Hemmes, a spokesman for the police of West Hesse, told CNN that the house and car of two individuals in Oberursel, in the forested hills west of Frankfurt, had been searched. As a result of what had been found, police had expanded their search along the L3004 road on the bike race route, Hemmes said.
“We suspect that there was a Salafist background,” said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for Hesse, referring to ultra-fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. “Police investigations at this stage indicate that we have thwarted an Islamist attack.”
Couple identified as being of Turkish descent
Flade, a journalist at Die Welt and terrorism researcher who first broke the story of the police raids, told CNN that a German couple of Turkish descent — Halil and Senay D. — were under arrest.
He said the couple had ties to radical Islamist circles in the Frankfurt area. Neither is suspected of having direct links to the leadership of a terrorist group.
Last week German police observed Halil D. moving in and out of a small forest near where he was living. They suspect he was looking for a good place to hide a bomb along the bike race route, according to Flade.
Flade said that according to German police documents, German police first became aware of the couple at the end of March when they went to a garden center near Frankfurt to purchase hydrogen peroxide. He said the store employee contacted police after becoming suspicious for several reasons.
The first was that the woman was covered in a full veil. The second was that the couple claimed they wanted to buy hydrogen peroxide to clean their fish pond in their garden, but the amount they were ordering would have been enough to clean dozens of such ponds.
Furthermore, after police thwarted a bomb plot by German extremists trained in the tribal areas of Pakistan to kill American servicemen in Germany in September 2007 with hydrogen peroxide-based bombs — the so-called “Sauerland” plot — German law had required such stores to report to police significant purchases of hydrogen peroxide.
Surveillance in Spain
According to Flade, after the tipoff, German investigators began trying to figure out who the couple were. All they had to go on was the surveillance footage.
The woman was fully veiled and her male companion was blurry in the tape, so they did not immediately know who they were. But in early to mid-April they were able to identify them and start surveillance to investigate the couple’s radical ties.
According to Flade, German police established that the couple had recently traveled to Spain, where they met with members of Sharia4Spain, a radical pro-jihadist group linked to Al Muhajiroun in the United Kingdom. Spanish police had monitored the meeting in Spain. They also established that the couple had links to radicals who had gone to fight with AQIM, al Qaeda’s North African affiliate
And they found the couple were in contact with a young radical Islamist from Frankfurt who had gone to fight in Syria at the end of last year and was recently killed.
The pipe bomb that was recovered by police appears to have similarities to devices built by Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Flade said the device recovered near Frankfurt included nails as shrapnel. The Boston bombers downloaded instructions from a recipe in Inspire magazine, an online Engish language magazine put out by al Qaeda in Yemen, which has also been translated into German and other languages.
In August 2013, the British security agency MI5 revealed to Parliament’s intelligence and security committee that Inspire has been “read by those involved in at least seven out of the 10 attacks planned within the UK since its first issue (in 2010). We judge that it significantly enhanced the capability of individuals in four of these 10 attack plots.”
Elevated threat in Germany
Like other European countries, Germany is grappling with an unprecedented terrorist threat because of the high number of its citizens who have traveled to Syria and Iraq.
In recent years there has been growing concern over radicalization in Germany’s large Turkish diaspora community. Travel to Syria is particularly easy for individuals of Turkish descent because Turkey is the entry point for most foreign fighters traveling to Syria.
According to Flade, almost 700 Germans are believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq, with up to 90% joining ISIS. One-third of these have returned to Germany and 70 to 80 have been killed in the fighting in Syria and Iraq.
There has only been one fatal terrorist attack in Germany since 9/11 — the shooting death of two U.S. airmen outside Frankfurt Airport by a lone-wolf radicalized Islamist in March 2011.
by, ABNA | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Ahlul Bayt News Agency – Locals reported that the ISIS executed two Kurdish youngsters in the village of Jalka southeast of Kobane (Ain al-Arab) in the province of Aleppo, northern Syria.
Mustafa Abdi, media worker and director of ARTA FM Radio in Kobane said that two Kurdish minors, Khabat Haji Jundi, 16, and Abdo Osman, 12, were executed by ISIS militants on Friday.
Abdi added that the village, located near the town of Ain Issa, is of Kurdish majority whose inhabitants had already been asked by the terrorist group to evacuate their area.
In the meantime, local activists from the ISIS-held city of Manbij in Aleppo told that the group executed six Kurdish civilians on Saturday.
“They were brutally slaughtered with knives on charges of dealing with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as well as leaking confidential information on the group’s movements,” a local media worker in Manbij told.
“Two victims were executed at the al-Sifin roundabout, and two others at al-Dalo roundabout, while the rest were executed downtown in front of a crowd of people,” the source added.
Over the past year, several cases of executions were carried out in the ISIS-held city of Manbij in Aleppo province. However, the terrorist’s presence in Aleppo countryside has declined during the last two months according to military sources.
Beheaded for Christ
by, Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent | BosNewsLife | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
TRIPOLI, LIBYA (BosNewsLife)– An African man acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ just moments before he was beheaded by Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya, according to new details revealed by several Christian sources.
Mathew Ayairga, who well-informed Christians said originated from Chad but had also been linked to Ghana, was among 21 men killed by IS fighters for refusing to embrace Islam.
He was not a Christian yet when forced to join other kidnapped men dressed in orange jumpsuits, kneeling on a beach, with their black-clothed attackers standing behind.
But just moments before his death, when asked to follow Islam, Ayairga refused, according to video footage.
After reportedly witnessing the “immense faith” of fellow believers, who all came from Egypt, he decided to become a follower of Christ himself. Each man had been praying, “Lord Jesus Christ,” in their final moments before they were beheaded.
“THEIR GOD, MY GOD”
On camera, one of the militants could be seen asking Ayairga: “Do you reject Christ?” He responded boldly: “Their God is my God.”
He then became “one of the 21 men who laid down their lives for their faith in Christ,” commented advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs, which closely monitors the plight of persecuted Christians in the area.
Ayairga’s death resembled that of the Biblical itinerant preacher John the Baptist who was reportedly beheaded after criticizing King Herod for marrying his brother Philip’s wife.
Evangelical Christian scholars agree that it is never “too late” to become a Christian in life, referring to a criminal who was crucified with Jesus and reportedly asked: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus was heard answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise,” according to Bible’s Luke 23:43.
VIDEO FOOTAGE OF MASSACRE
Ayairga, originally identified as Samuel A. Wilson, was recognized by friends after IS released video footage of the massacre. He had been missing since January 2015, Christians said.
New revelations about his death came after Ethiopia ended three days of national mourning for dozens of Ethiopian Christians who were shown being killed by Islamic State (IS) group militants in Libya after they apparently refused to convert to Islam.
The video, published over the weekend, showed IS fighters calling Christians “crusaders” who are out to kill Muslims. A dozen men could be seen being beheaded on a beach and another group of at least 16 being shot in the head in a desert area.
Militants could be heard calling the detainees “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church”. A masked fighter in black brandishing a pistol made a statement threatening Christians if they did not convert to Islam.
As many other believers they refused.
NOT GIVING UP HOPE
In a statement to supporters, advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs said it was crucial not to give up hope.
“Let us thank God for the unshakable truth that He will make all things right in His perfect timing, despite the evil onslaughts of the enemy,” added the group, which has been in close contact with reportedly persecuted believers.
“We can also rejoice in the knowledge that all of these 21 martyred men are now present with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven [according to Bible verse] 2 Corinthians 5:8)”.
However, “Continue to pray for those who are grieving over this loss, as they understandably miss their dear loved ones. May God’s compassionate and comforting presence be experienced in a special way by each one of them, and may His provision meet their every need,” the group said in a prayer message.
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
In reality, it was this man that chose and received ‘life’ and his Muslim murderer/persecutor that received death.
As humans, we are often taught a misguided sense of truth…
Here on earth, many are taught to ‘..rejoice at the birth and weep at the death..’ but, this is backwards.
Verily, I say unto you…
‘..We should teach our children to weep at the birth and rejoice at the death..for it is in dying where true life begins..’
Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai.
Photo courtesy of: vocativ
by, Johnlee Varghese | IBT
Islamic State (Isis) in its first official announcement, declaring its presence in Yemen, has released a video in which it says that the “Soldiers of the Caliphate” have arrived in the country to “cut the throats” of the Shiite Houthis.
In the 9-minute-20-second video recorded and edited in top-notch Hollywood style, dozens of Isis militants are seen walking across what isclaimed to be the deserts close to Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. It also claims that the high-quality clip was produced by the Isis Media in Sanaa.
In the video, posted on Friday, the Isis militants are seen carrying out military drills armed with AK-47 Kalashnikov Assault Rifle. Then an Isis fighter, who appears to be the commander of the militants, thrusts an Isis flag into the groundand declares that he will “cut the throats of all Houthis.”
“We have come to Yemen, with men hungry for your blood to avenge the Sunnis and take backthe land they have occupied,” the Isis commander said in the video. Then he appeals all Sunni men of fighting age in Yemen to join them for the cause.
Video courtesy of: vocativ
The new video released by Isis has come just a day after a new group calling itself the Islamic State’s Green Brigade took responsibility for a bombing in Yemen that had allegedly killed five Shiite rebels.
In a message on Twitter, the Isis Green Brigade in Yemen claims that it had struck a vehicle of the Houthi rebels in Yarim in the central province of Ibb on Wednesday, AFP reported.
Yemen, which has largely been under al-Qaeda influence, saw the first major Isis attack in the city on 20 March, when the group inmultiple suicide bombings targeted Houthis at Shiite mosques.
by, CBS News | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
HOUSTON,Texas – Investigators say that an Iranian activist was gunned down by Jordanian immigrants in 2012 because they believed she helped convert their Muslim daughter to Christianity, reports CBS affiliate KHOU.
Gelareh Bagherzadeh, a 30-year-old researcher at MD Anderson, was shot to death outside her parents home in the Galleria area.
Ali Irsan, 57, is charged with capital murder in the case. His wife, Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh, and their 21-year-old son, Nasim, are charged with murder. Irsan is also reportedly accused of killing Coty Beavers, his daughter’s husband, 10 months after Bagherzadeh was shot to death. Coty Beavers was the twin brother of Bagherzadeh’s boyfriend.
The station reports that Bagherzadeh was best friends with Ali Irsan’s daughter and he blamed her when the daughter left home and married a Christian, according to investigators.
“Nesreen Irsan would not succumb to her father’s complete domination and rule of her. And she left his home without his permission and went into hiding,” said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson.
“These two murders are linked by the belief on the defendant’s part that his honor as a father and a Muslim has been violated by his daughter, who defied his rule and married a Christian man,” said Anderson.
The Irsan’s daughter Nadia is charged with stalking her sister while trying to find out where she and Beavers were living.
Montgomery County investigators have reopened the 1999 shooting of another of Irsan’s son-in-laws, reports the station. According to his death certificate, Amjad Alidam was shot and killed by Irsan but the case was ruled self-defense.
But Irsan’s daughter and Alidam’s wife, Nesreen, later told police the shooting was staged.
According to a search warrant obtained by KHOU, Nesreen Irsan told investigators that her father lured Alidam to the family’s home and then shot Alidam with a shotgun.
Nesreen Irsan said her father then fired a pistol into the wall and placed the gun near Alidam’s body to make it appear that he threatened and fired at Irsan first, the station reports.
Irsan has not been charged in that case but the investigation continues.
KHOU reports that Irsan, his wife and a daughter have been in custody for more than a year, at the center of a massive fraud investigation, which gave prosecutors time to build their case for murder.
Bagherzadeh’s family released the following statement Wednesday evening: “The family is overjoyed about the latest development in their daughter’s case. They appreciate the tireless efforts of the DA’s office and HPD in Gelareh’s case. Today, they are happy but still extremely sad. They have suffered in the past 39 months and nothing will bring their precious daughter back. Emotions are raw as they relive the the horrific memories.”