by, Nikolaj Nielsen | eu observer | h/t Nightmouse @ Blazing CatFur
The threat of terrorists attacks in the EU remains the top national security concern among member states, with some 211 foiled plots last year alone, according to a top EU security official.
The threat of another attack similar in scale to the Paris attack in November last year or in Brussels this past March has national authorities on edge.
Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, the head of the European Counter Terrorism Centre at the EU police agency Europol, told euro-deputies on Monday (23 May) that terrorist cells in the EU were likely stockpiling explosives for later use.
“We have some information reported by the member states that terrorists groups are trying to establish large clandestine stockpiles of explosives in the European Union to be used eventually in large scale home attacks,” he said.
Paniagua was briefing MEPs in the civil liberties committee on the yet-to-be published EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (TE-SAT) compiled by Europol and member states.
The report is set for publication in a few weeks’ time.
Paniagua cited figures and broader conclusions due in the report, noting that “jihadist terrorism” remains the top threat to security in the European Union.
The latest attacks in the EU suggest much better coordination among the terrorists than previously thought. He said their combined use of explosives and firearms was also a novelty and a threat that is evolving rapidly.
Authorities have yet to nail down any single profile of a home-grown terrorist or foreign fighter.
But he said many have petty criminal backgrounds. He pointed out a significant proportion of foreign fighters have also been diagnosed with mental problems.
More than 4,000 so-called foreign fighters have been identified in the EU and entered into a Europol database.
“Using the terrorist financial tracking programme, we provided last year more than 2,700 leads regarding foreign terrorist fighters to the member states,” he said.
Some 1,057 people were also arrested last year on terrorism-related offences, he said.
He said there are also unconfirmed reports that some jihadist militants have set up training camps in the Western Balkans and some EU states.
Terrorists and migration flows
Other concerns related to terrorists exploiting the migration flows from Turkey and elsewhere to enter the European Union.
“We found no evidence of the systematic of using this flow to infiltrate terrorists into the European Union. But they do, they use it, we have some cases, some of the people that perpetrated the Paris attacks were eventually disguised in this immigration flow,” he said.
Paniagua said migrants were being victimised twice as result. First they flee terrorists and then again when the same attempt to infiltrate the EU by hiding among the refugees, he said.
“Again, we have no indication that this systematic,” he said.
Earlier this month, Europol announced it would deploy some 200 counter-terrorist and other investigators to migrant arrival centres known as hotspots in Italy and Greece.
Of those, Europol said it would dispatch around 50 “at key points on the external border of the EU” to track down and help identify suspected criminals and terrorists.
A European Commission report earlier this month noted that Turkey is suspected to have around 1,300 Turkish citizens fighting alongside Islamic militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
It noted that the plan to lift visa restrictions on Turkish nationals “could potentially have an impact on the terrorist risk in the EU.”
by, Beth Dalbey | Dearborn Patch | h/t Blazing CatFur
DEARBORN, MI – The evangelical Christian group whose members paraded a pig’s head on a stick and chanted that Muslims would “burn in hell” at a large Arab-American celebration in Dearborn four years ago has won the last hurdle in a free speech battle.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday offered no explanation when it declined to hear an appeal of an earlier 6th U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding the demonstrators’ free speech rights.
The Bible Believers sued Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and two deputies who ejected some of their members from the 2012 Arab International Festival as tensions were brewing over anti-Islam messages and preachings at the largely Muslim gathering. Angry members of the crowd pelted the evangelicals with rocks, water bottles and eggs, prompting police to step in.
Muslims Stoning Christians in Dearborn, Michigan:
The First Amendment case hinged on what’s known as a “heckler’s veto” — that is, the premise that police are justified in silencing a speaker to maintain peace and prevent potential violence.
In October, the 6th Circuit rejected that argument.
In its ruling upholding the First Amendment rights of the protesters, the Cincinnati appeals court decried the speech as loathsome and intolerant, but protected, and said that law enforcement and other public officials have special obligations in situations where the speech has the potential to incite violence.
“Bearing in mind the interspersed surges of ethnic, racial, and religious conflict that from time to time mar our national history, the constitutional lessons to be learned from the circumstances of this case are both timeless and markedly seasonable,” Judge Eric Clay wrote
In a rare move, the full court agreed to hear the appeal and set aside 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel in August 2014 that ruled deputies didn’t violate the evangelists’ free speech rights.
Pictured above: Imam Ismailov Faizulla.
by, News from Russia | Interfax | Glen Roberts @ Trop
Belgorod, Russia: On Tuesday, the Oktyabrsky district court of Belgorod sentenced Imam Ismailov Faizulla, who was found guilty of illegal possession of weapons and explosives.
According to the decision of the Russian Themis, Ismailov will be imprisoned for three years. He is to serve his sentence at the correctional colony of the General regime, reports «Interfax». The sentence will begin with consideration to [time served] from the moment of his initial arrest and detention on 13 December 2015.
The defense has said they are surprised with the decision of the court. «We were confident that the verdict would be acquittal. The court did not present any proof or fault of my client and he was not asked any questions. We are outraged by this verdict and we will appeal it, of course,» — said the lawyer for Ismailov, Andrey Sotnikov.
He added that the defense will seek full vindication of Faisulla Ismayilova from
We recall, the Imam of the Belgorod mosque and a member of the Muslim
religious organization «Peace and creation» Faizulla Ismailov was detained at the end of last year. It was at that time that more than 700 grams of TNT, f-1 fragmentation grenades, unified fuses for grenades, two TT pistols, a revolver without license plates and three bullets were discovered in the prayer-room of the mosque during a search. Also discovered on 12 December was «literature with extremist content».
Ismailov was charged with part 1 of article 222 – a section of the criminal code («Illegal possession of weapons and explosive substances»). In addition, he was accused of article 20.29 of the administrative code (Distribution of extremist materials»).
Last Friday, the court heard the last words of the spiritual leader of Muslims. Details about whether Ismailov admitted guilt were not disclosed due to the fact that the trial proceedings were closed to the public.
At the last hearing, only the introductory and operative parts of the judgment were read.
Earlier, in February 2016, the Oktyabrsky district court of Belgorod found Ismayilova guilty of distributing extremist materials and fined him 4.5 thousand rubles.
The court found that the illegal literature had been stored in a cabinet inside the closet belonging to the Imam, which is available to any parishioner. All of the eight books that were seized are on the Federal Ban list of extremist materials. One of the parishioners told law enforcement officials that he took the banned books to read.
Faizulla Ismailov tried to appeal the district court’s decision based on that penalty, but
the regional court let the charges stand without change.
by, Robert Salonga | Mercury News | h/t Heavy.com
SAN JOSE — The last Facebook post by the teen is easy to dismiss as typical teen angst.
“(Expletive) yeah to the kids who feel like they’re dying inside but still gather up the strength to roll out of bed, get dressed and leave the house. You are strong and beautiful and worth so much more than you know.”
But after he and his brother were arrested Wednesday in the slaying of their parents, trace bits like this from their social-media profiles and narrow glimpses offered by friends and relatives begin to form a sketch that hints at tension not readily apparent to many who knew the family.
Much is still unknown about the deaths of 59-year-old Golam Rabbi and 57-year-old Shamima Rabbi, who were found dead from gunshots wounds Sunday at their hillside Evergreen home. The discovery was made by relatives who hadn’t heard from the couple for days.
Video courtesy of: ABC7 News
A motive remains unclear; as does when they were killed. Still, there was enough evidence for San Jose police to arrest their sons, a lightning bolt that pierced what was already an inconsolable cloud of mourning.
“We are very shocked,” said Golam Mustakim, a nephew of the Rabbis who credits them with helping his family settle in the United States. “Emotionally, I’m broken right now.”
Hasib Bin Golamrabbi, the couple’s 22-year-old son and a San Jose State student who hadn’t been seen since the killings, was arrested in Tracy. His 17-year-old brother, an Evergreen Valley High School senior whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested in San Jose after initially being interviewed and released by police.
The case took on a national profile after it was revealed that next to the bodies, someone had scrawled a stomach-turning message: “Sorry my first kill was clumsy.”
Another cryptic message was written on a wall at the crime scene — “I can’t be like you telling a lie … I can’t love someone without telling them.”
Who wrote those messages remains a mystery; San Jose police have revealed few details about the case.
Scant clues remain as to why the brothers are suspects. Some of the teen brother’s schoolmates described him as pessimistic, but not extraordinarily so. There was a sense of surprise among peers that the 17-year-old was still attending school in the wake of his parents’ death; he was on campus Wednesday, hours before he was arrested.
“You would think he wouldn’t be able to function or go to school at all,” one student said.
The older brother, Golamrabbi, exhibits an aspirational air on social media, celebrating in one instance his admission to San Jose State, posting a photo of a dream house and hinting at a romantic crush.
A cousin who did not want to be named out of privacy concerns said she didn’t know of anything that would have caused a conflict between the brothers and their parents.
“The younger brother was quiet. He didn’t speak to anyone much. He had difficulty with social interactions,” she said. “The older one was more social.”
Hasan Rahim, who worshipped with the Rabbis at the Evergreen Islamic Center and knew them for more than 20 years, said nothing appeared to be amiss on the occasions he interacted with the brothers.
“This is the first time really when I came to know that things were not as placid as I thought,” he said. “I never saw any sign of trouble.”
Golam Rabbi was a hunter and owned at least one firearm, Rahim said. He recalled cautioning his friend, ‘Hey you better be careful.’ He laughed and said ‘Oh yeah, I am very careful,’ ” Rahim said.
The younger brother was interviewed by detectives Sunday and released. As recently as Tuesday, he was not identified as a suspect, as detectives sought to locate and question the older Golamrabbi, who also was not formally declared a suspect at the time. Police have not disclosed what led them to identify the sons as their parents’ alleged killers.
Golamrabbi is tentatively scheduled for arraignment Friday afternoon. He is being held without bail in the Santa Clara County Jail while his brother is being held at Juvenile Hall.
Golamrabbi declined a jailhouse interview with this newspaper; court records show he has no adult criminal record in the county.
Golamrabbi hid in an unidentified friend’s closet in Tracy for 24 hours and confessed to shooting his father, according to KPIX 5, which interviewed the friend. The friend said he was scared and helped Golamrabbi, and called police after he left.
The Rabbis were well respected in the local Bangladeshi and Islamic communities, active at both the Islamic center and with the South Bay Islamic Association. They immigrated to the United States in the 1980s; Golam Rabbi worked as a quality-assurance engineer and Shamima Rabbi, who earned her degree from San Jose State, was an accountant for several large companies.
“For all purposes, I saw him to be a very humble, polite person just like his wife. They seemed to be normal people like the rest of us. There didn’t seem to be any outward sign of any kind of trouble,” Rahim said. “It’s a huge loss.”
East Side Union High School District Superintendent Chris Funk confirmed that the 17-year-old attends Evergreen and his brother was a graduate.
“It’s just a tragic incident, and we’re mourning with the community,” he said.
Attention now turns to laying the Rabbis to rest: The Janaza, or funeral prayer, is scheduled for Friday at the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara and burial is planned at the Five Pillars Cemetery in Livermore. Religious custom calls for a prompt burial, but initial plans were held up because the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office was allowed to release the victims only to their adult son. Relatives will now take custody of the Rabbis’ remains.
“Everyone is in shock, but we are desperately looking for some closure,” Rahim said. “The fact that we can offer the final prayer for them gives us some kind of spiritual consolation.”
Staff writers Mark Gomez and Sharon Noguchi contributed to this report.
A French police officer stands outside a Muslim prayer hall in Corsica’s capital Ajaccio on April 30, 2016 after it was destroyed by a fire (AFP Photo/Yannick Graziani)
by, AFP | Yahoo News | h/t Blazing CatFur
Ajaccio (France) (AFP) – A Muslim prayer hall on the French island of Corsica was ravaged by fire on Saturday in what prosecutors said was probably a criminal attack.
The blaze occurred just months after the island, popular with tourists for its turquoise waters and picturesque mountains, was rocked by anti-Arab riots over Christmas.
The building, one of the largest prayer halls in the capital Ajaccio, suffered major damage in the fire, said Abdallah Zekri, the head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia.
He called on the authorities “to do everything to shed light on this incident in order to avoid an escalation of violence”.
“It has been calm since the end of the year, but unfortunately certain ill-intentioned people want to inflame the situation,” he told AFP.
Protests erupted on the Mediterranean island over Christmas after firefighters and police called to a low-income immigrant neighbourhood were ambushed and attacked.
Demonstrators shouting slogans such as “This is our home!” and “Arabs get out”, vandalised a prayer hall and set fire to books including copies of the Koran.
Several anti-Muslim acts occurred in the weeks that followed, including an attack on a Muslim butcher’s shop.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued a statement on Saturday expressing “solidarity with the Muslims of Corsica”.
He also voiced the “commitment of the government to protect all places of worship, and to ensure freedom of worship throughout the territory”.
Nationalists won regional elections in Corsica for the first time in December.
The island has the second largest proportion of foreigners in France, at between eight and 10 percent of the total population, after the Paris region.
Previously in Corsica…
(Note: Clearly, this news segment was narrated by a biased French IslamoNazi sympathizer…)
Video courtesy of: RT
Nous sommes les infidèles de la Corse
1 Less Mosque and 10 Less Muslims…
by, Khaama Press | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
At least 10 militants were blown up by their own explosives as they were busy making an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in southeastern Ghazni province.
According to the security officials, the militants were busy making the IED inside a mosque in Andar district.
The officials further added that the explosives went off prematurely, leaving all 10 militants dead.
The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.
The Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups are frequently using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces.
The IEDs are the main contributors to the casualties of the Afghan security forces but are also considered as a key factor in growing civilian casualties.
At least 600 civilians were killed and 1,343 others were wounded in the first quarter of 2016, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in its latest report.
UNAMA further added that consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings.
According to UNAMA, actions by Anti-Government Elements caused at least 60 per cent of casualties while Pro-Government Forces caused at least 19 per cent.
What is Inside the Mosque?
Hmm.. I think he left a few rooms off the tour…
I wish we were there with him on this tour.
I certainly would have asked; ‘..pardon me, but where is the..’
1. Bomb-Making Room
2. Child-Rape Center
3. Torture Chamber for Stoning, Beheading, Hand-Chopping and Wild Gay Sex
by, Lydia Willgress | Daily Mail – UK and AP
Fresh information allegedly connecting the government of Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terror attacks has been released just as Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh to a frosty reception.
Officials have revealed that the flight certificate of Al-Qaeda bomb maker Ghassan Al-Sharbi was discovered hidden in an envelope from the Saudi embassy in Washington when they arrested him in 2002.
Al-Sharbi is believed to have learned how to fly with the hijackers but did not take part in the attacks. Shortly before his arrest, he buried a bundle of documents, which is believed to have included the certificate.
The cache was discovered by US authorities and details, written in a memo known as Document 17 in 2003, were released without fanfare by investigators last year. They were only brought to the public’s attention when an activist discovered them and wrote about them on his website earlier this week.
The release has fueled concerns the Saudi government may have been linked to the coordinated attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people and come at a particularly sensitive time.
Video courtesy of: CNN
President Obama has just arrived in the country amid mounting pressure to declassify a 28-page section of a Congressional report which many believe will point to Saudi involvement in the 9/11 plane hijackings.
Victims’ families have been pushing Congress for the right to sue Saudi Arabia over the death of their loved ones.
Activist Brian McGlinchey claimed the details of the flight certificate would lead to people questioning the extent government individuals were involved, according to The Times.
He said: ‘The envelope points to the fundamental question hanging over us today: to what extent was the 9/11 plot facilitated by individuals at the highest levels of the Saudi government?’
Previous court decisions have ruled that there is insufficient evidence to find Saudi Arabia culpable in the terror attacks, which is why they are now calling for the release of 28 classified pages from the 9/11 congressional report which is believed to show a stronger connection to Saudi funding of the attacks.
This has put Obama in a difficult position, with 9/11 families accusing him of siding with the Kingdom and Saudi officials threatening to sell hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow the government to be sued over the attacks.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said his country would sell up to $750 billion in US treasury securities and other assets before the bill puts them in jeopardy.
The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill. Earlier this week, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, indicated that President Obama would veto any such legislation.
The increasingly strained relationship between the two countries was laid bare in Riyadh this morning, when Mr Obama arrived at King Khalid International Airport, to be greeted by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh, as opposed to the king himself.
Saudi state television did not immediately air Obama’s arrival, which was unusual since right before Air Force One landed, State TV showed King Salman greeting other senior officials from Gulf nations arriving for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Gulf Research Center, said the decision to send a lower ranking official to greet Mr Obama was intended to send a clear message that they have little faith in him.
‘He will find a leadership that’s not ready to believe him,’ he said. ‘The Saudis had disagreements with previous presidents. Here you have deep distrust that the president won’t deliver anything.’
Obama eventually did meet King Salman at Riyadh’s Erga Palace before the six-nation GCC summit opens on Thursday.
‘The American people send their greetings and we are very grateful for your hospitality, not just for this meeting but for hosting the GCC-U.S. summit that’s taking place tomorrow,’ Obama said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
King Salman offered similarly gracious words through a translator, saying: ‘The feeling is mutual between us and the American people.’
Meanwhile Mr Obama and Ash Carter, his Defense Secretary, used the trip to appeal to other Gulf nations to do more to support Iraq economically and politically. Mr Carter asked them to help with the reconstruction of the cities of Ramadi and Hit as well as Anbar province, which have been left devastated by ISIS.
Obama on the 9/11 Secret Documents:
Video courtesy of: MEGANEWS
Fifteen of the nineteen men who hijacked four planes and flew them into targets in New York and Washington in 2001 were Saudi citizens, though the country has always denied having any role in the attacks.
A U.S. commission established in the aftermath of the attacks also concluded there was no evidence of official Saudi connivance. However, the White House has been under pressure to declassify a 28-page section of the report that was never published on the grounds of national security.
President Obama will decide whether to declassify the sealed documents by June. During an interview with Charlie Rose this week, he said that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, was nearly done with a review of the documents to ensure that whatever is made public does not damage US national security interests.
‘I have a sense of what’s in there’, Mr Obama told Rose.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, believes the pages should be released.
‘I think I know what it’s going to say,’ Mr Trump said on Fox & Friends. ‘It’s going to be very, very profound, having to do with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center, and the attack.’
Former US Senator Bob Graham earlier this month said Saudi officials are against the bill that would make it easier for families to sue.
‘They are so fearful of what would emerge if there were to be a full trial, he said. ‘That says something about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11.