Archive for the ‘Islamic terrorism’ category

Residents of rocket-hit town describe scramble to reach safety of bomb shelters

August 9, 2018

‘You have to choose which of your children you save,’ says a mother of 7 in the southern town of Sderot


Illustrative. Children are seen in a bomb shelter of an apartment building in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on the third day of Operation Protective Edge, July 10, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

By TOI staff August 9, 2018

Source Link: Residents of rocket-hit town describe scramble to reach safety of bomb shelters

{No one should have to live like this. – LS}

Residents of the southern town of Sderot described Thursday the desperate dash to safety as 150 rockets, fired overnight from the Gaza Strip rained down on southern Israel, including one barrage that slammed into the city injuring several people.

There are no more than 15 seconds from the moment the rocket warning siren sounds until a projectile impacts on the city, during which residents have to get themselves — and their families — into bomb shelters or reinforced rooms in their homes.

Volleys of rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night and into Thursday prompting the Israeli Air Force to bomb at least 12 Hamas positions across the Gaza Strip, the military said.

Sderot resident Etti Kramer told Hadashot TV news how she and her husband dashed to get their seven children into their family’s reinforced room as they heard explosions around them.

“I ran and grabbed the baby,” she said. “The rest of the children ran [to the reinforced room] but didn’t arrive in time. We started to hear explosions and we continued getting the children into the reinforced room. You have to choose which of your children you save. I grabbed the baby and the two-year old and ran to the shelter.”

Another resident, Yossi Lok, recounted how his neighbor was injured by a rocket which their apartment building.

Lok said he had retreated to his reinforced room after the rocket siren alert when off.

“I heard a huge explosion and saw a flash of fire,” he said. “The neighbor cried out that he’d been hit. I came downstairs and saw him really badly hurt, covered in blood. His home was on fire because his gas canister had been hit.”

Residents of the southern town of Sderot described Thursday the desperate dash to safety as 150 rockets, fired overnight from the Gaza Strip rained down on southern Israel, including one barrage that slammed into the city injuring several people.

There are no more than 15 seconds from the moment the rocket warning siren sounds until a projectile impacts on the city, during which residents have to get themselves — and their families — into bomb shelters or reinforced rooms in their homes.

Volleys of rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night and into Thursday prompting the Israeli Air Force to bomb at least 12 Hamas positions across the Gaza Strip, the military said.

Sderot resident Etti Kramer told Hadashot TV news how she and her husband dashed to get their seven children into their family’s reinforced room as they heard explosions around them.

“I ran and grabbed the baby,” she said. “The rest of the children ran [to the reinforced room] but didn’t arrive in time. We started to hear explosions and we continued getting the children into the reinforced room. You have to choose which of your children you save. I grabbed the baby and the two-year old and ran to the shelter.”

Another resident, Yossi Lok, recounted how his neighbor was injured by a rocket which their apartment building.

Lok said he had retreated to his reinforced room after the rocket siren alert when off.

“I heard a huge explosion and saw a flash of fire,” he said. “The neighbor cried out that he’d been hit. I came downstairs and saw him really badly hurt, covered in blood. His home was on fire because his gas canister had been hit.”

“We were afraid that there would be more explosions,” he said. “We all got away from there.”

Lok said his home was also hit, a rocket landing on his roof.

“It was lucky there were no residents in the unit,” he said.

“We were with the kids,” resident Asher Pizam told Hadashot. “There was hysteria and pandemonium. We heard a whistle and a hit after several sirens. There was a lot of stress and panic, especially with the children…We hope the government does all it can so we have quiet here.”

In video shared on social media, dozens of parents and children in a Sderot playground could be seen running for bomb shelters as a rocket exploded in the city sending smoke billowing into the air.

One mother can be heard desperately seeking her son, while at the same time trying to calm a young girl by assuring her that there would no more rockets. Children and parents crammed into overcrowded shelters, with some crouching on the ground outside, as they tried to find safety.

Hanita Kohanik, a resident of the city which has suffered rocket fire from Gaza since 2001, spoke to the Hebrew-language Ynet website about the traumatic day-to-day life in the south.

“It is terrible,” Kohanik said. “There is nothing more I can say. It isn’t easy. We are a family of four and a dog, which gets more confused that we do.”

“As far as we are concerned each time the security situation deteriorates — the anxieties resurface,” she continued

Her son, she said, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, and doesn’t leave home.

“The intermittent and sporadic fire are a daily war,” Kohanik said.

One rocket — or possibly shrapnel from an Iron Dome interceptor — damaged a home in Sderot late Wednesday night, police said. At least two rockets struck the city earlier in the day, injuring three people. Two more were injured in attacks Thursday morning. At least eight others were treated for panic attacks, including two pregnant women who went into labor.

Wave after wave of rocket attacks set off sirens throughout the night in the Hof Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol regions outside Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters, where many bedded down with their families.

The rocket attacks came amid a period of heightened tensions along the Gaza border, following months of clashes and exchanges of fire. On Tuesday, Hamas vowed to avenge the deaths of two of its members killed by IDF tank fire after the army mistakenly thought a military exercise had been a cross-border attack.

At least 11 rockets or mortar shells were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said.

Hamas claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks, saying it was avenging the deaths of the two operatives killed the day before.

The United Nations condemned the Hamas rocket fire.

One Palestinian man was reportedly killed in the strike, 30-year-old Ali al-Ghandour was killed, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

In addition to al-Ghandour, at least six other Palestinians were injured in the Gaza Strip as a result of the IDF strikes, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

The Israeli military said the terror group, with which it was fought three wars in the past decade, would bear the consequences of any further violence from the Gaza Strip.

Residents of southern Israel were told to remain close to bomb shelters Thursday in case of additional rockets or mortar shells from Gaza.

Wednesday’s rocket fire represented a major uptick in tensions along the border, amid intensive talks between Israel and Hamas for a long-term ceasefire.

Such an agreement is meant to end not only rocket launches and shootings from Gaza but also the regular incendiary kite and balloon attacks from the Palestinian enclave that have burned large swaths of land in southern Israel and caused millions of shekels of damage.

Throughout Wednesday, at least 11 fires were sparked in southern Israel by airborne arson devices launched from the Gaza Strip. Israeli firefighters extinguished all of them, according to a spokesperson for Fire and Rescue Services.

Adam Rasgon and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Somalia: Jihadis forcing civilians to hand over young children for training

January 16, 2018

Somalia: Jihadis forcing civilians to hand over young children for training, Jihad Watch

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for “indoctrination and military training

That’s right, young children are being yanked away from their homes, parents, schools, loved ones and familiar surroundings to be trained for bloody jihad war. This includes being kept in chains as they are indoctrinated on launching future attacks on the West and on how to become jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers.

Meanwhile, most of the world’s leaders pretend to care about human rights as they remain silent in the face of the worst global atrocities committed by jihadists.

“Somalia’s Shabaab forcing civilians to hand over children: HRW”, The Citizen (thanks to The Religion of Peace), January 15, 2018:

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for “indoctrination and military training”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday.

The rights watchdog said an aggressive campaign to recruit children had begun in mid-2017, with the jihadists taking reprisals against communities who refuse to cooperate.

Hundreds of children have fled their homes to avoid this fate, often alone, it said in a statement.

“Al-Shabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The practice was revealed to be taking place in three districts largely under Shabaab control, in the southern Bay region.

According to HRW, Al-Shabaab has opened large Islamic religious schools since 2015 in areas under their control, bringing in younger children and pressuring teachers to teach the Shabaab curriculum in schools and avoid “foreign teachings”.

Village elders near Baidoa in southwestern Somalia told HRW that in September, Shabaab militants ordered them to hand over dozens of children between the ages of nine and 15.

“They said we needed to support their fight. They spoke to us in a very threatening manner. They also said they wanted the keys to our boreholes. They kept us for three days. We said we needed to consult with our community. They gave us 10 days,” one resident told HRW.

The community refused to hand over the children, and has since received threatening calls including death threats.

That same month residents of Burkhaba district said Shabaab fighters had forcible taken at least 50 boys and girls from two schools to a village called Bulo Fulay, reported to host a “number of religious schools and a major training facility”.

A large group of Shabaab militants returned two weeks later to another local school and threatened the teacher who refused to hand over the children, said HRW.

“They wanted 25 children ages eight to 15,” the teacher told HRW

“They didn’t say why, but we know that it’s because they want to indoctrinate them and then recruit them.”

In Berdale district — also in the Bay region — Shabaab has abducted elders who refuse to hand over children in at least four villages, said the statement.

According to HRW, hundreds of often unaccompanied children have fled their homes since the recruitment campaign began.

The watchdog said that while government had taken some steps to protect schools and students, it should work to identify recruitment drives, assist displaced children and ensure children “are not sent into harm’s way.”

The Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow successive internationally backed governments in Mogadishu since 2007….

Assaults on Police Officers Horrify France

January 2, 2018

Assaults on Police Officers Horrify France, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, January 2, 2018

(Please see also, Sadiq’s London: Knife Crime, Gun Crime, Theft, Burglary, Rape, Homicide all MASSIVELY Up. — DM)

France has a terrible immigration problem. It is easy to criticize that country’s failure to assimilate immigrants, but it is not clear that the immigrant groups that have made portions of the Paris area unlivable were ever willing to be assimilated.

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French officials are vowing to crack down–and also to send more cash to Paris’s immigrant-heavy suburbs–in the wake of a series of attacks that included the savage beating of a police woman in Champigny-sur-Marne:

French political leaders have vowed justice and promised a crackdown after a shocking attack on a female police officer on New Year’s Eve was filmed and posted online.

The attack in the eastern Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne saw the officer knocked to the ground before being repeatedly kicked and punched in the head and body.

President Emmanuel Macron called the crime a “cowardly and criminal lynching”, and vowed that those responsible would be caught and punished.

Here is the video, which apparently was uploaded by a member of the mob. What is most striking to me is the large number of people who were rioting, and who did nothing to intervene as some in the mob beat the police officers:

 

France has a terrible immigration problem. It is easy to criticize that country’s failure to assimilate immigrants, but it is not clear that the immigrant groups that have made portions of the Paris area unlivable were ever willing to be assimilated.

 

Rethinking “Radicalization”: Dutch Researcher Discusses What Makes a Homegrown Terrorist

December 26, 2017

Rethinking “Radicalization”: Dutch Researcher Discusses What Makes a Homegrown Terrorist, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, December 26, 2017

(Terrorism is obviously bad and we need to do our best to prevent it. However, my principal concern is about political Islam, aka Islamism. Islamists often do not need to engage in terrorism; they can rely instead on whatever democratic processes are available to Islamise nations. Look at Canada, for example. “Islamophobia” laws restrict free speech about Islam and its anti-democracy, pro-theocracy tendencies. In America, CAIR fights “Islamophobia” as well as organizations which want Muslims to respect American law. Here’s video on America and Sharia law.

(– DM)

On Nov. 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh left his home and set off to work, riding his bicycle as he did most days through the quiet streets of Amsterdam.

Minutes later, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim angered by van Gogh’s writings and films about radical Islam, fired eight shots at the filmmaker. As Van Gogh stumbled, Bouyeri shot again, then stabbed him with a butcher knife, piercing straight through his chest. Then he sliced across Theo van Gogh’s throat in a failed effort to decapitate him before stabbing him one final time. It was, as many later said, the country’s 9/11, the arrival of Islamist terrorism to the tranquil tulip fields and calm canals of the Netherlands.

Mohammed Bouyeri acted alone, but he was a leading member of what later became known as the Hofstadgroep (Hofstad Group), a loosely-knit circle of Dutch Muslim youth from Amsterdam and The Hague with extremist ideas and half-hatched plans to execute terrorist attacks around the country. In the days following Van Gogh’s death, police raided a home in The Hague, arresting seven Hofstadgroep members after a standoff lasting several hours.

Their trials, and the trials of other members, have shaped much of the Dutch understanding of Islamist terrorism both for citizens and law enforcement. Above all, the cases showed definitively that European Muslims could be radicalized, and that even Muslims raised in the West had become a threat.

In fact, as Bart Schuurman, a research Fellow at the International Centre for Counterterrorism in The Hague, argues in his upcoming book, Becoming A European Homegrown Terrorist, the Hofstadgroep case ultimately came to define homegrown jihadism in Europe. Thanks, too, to the work of Dutch journalists Janny Groen and Annieke Kranenberg, studies into the women in and around the Hofstadgroep have provided important insights into the radicalization of Muslim women in the West, and their role in homegrown jihad.

For his research, Schuurman spoke with Hofstadgroep members and studied the police interviews with the Hofstadgroep to better understand their actions and thought processes.

On the eve of the publication of his new book, Schuurman talked to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) about his findings, what they say about the making of a homegrown terrorist, and how his research can help bring new insights to the fight against Islamist terror.

Abigail R. Esman: The Hofstadgroep was limited to the Netherlands, and the group preceded (by over a decade) the rise of ISIS and even social media. How is knowledge about that group still useful for a more global and more contemporary analysis of home-grown terrorism?

Bart Schuurman: The Hofstadgroep is indeed an older case as it was active between 2002 and 2005. As such, it was part of what could be called the first wave of European homegrown jihadism. I argue that insights we can derive from how and why people became involved in the Hofstadgroep are still relevant now for several reasons. First of all, like the current foreign fighter phenomenon, the Hofstadgroep’s extremist inner-circle also initially tried to join jihadist insurgencies overseas. Only when this failed, did some of them begin to consider and plan terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. Secondly, the Hofstadgroep was not a phenomenon unique to the Netherlands, but one example of the broader phenomenon of European homegrown jihadism that is still with us today. While much has changed in terms of context, such as a shift in focus from Afghanistan to Syria, many of the underlying dynamics driving involvement in this type of terrorism remain unaltered. I think that the field of terrorism studies sometimes has the unwarranted tendency to see every development in the terrorist threat as heralding a fundamentally ‘new’ situation to which our previous explanations and theories are of little to no utility. I’d argue it’s exactly the opposite; especially because it’s relatively easier to access high-quality data on older cases, they are a great resource for informing the ongoing debate on what can motivate (and prevent!) people from becoming involved in terrorism.

ARE: Are there any other groups like the Hofstadgroep today, either in the Netherlands or elsewhere?

BS: In ideological terms, the Hofstadgroep could be broadly characterized as driven by an extremist Salafi-Jihadist worldview and focused on waging a ‘defensive’ jihad against what they saw as Western geopolitical aggression and the threat posed by heresy and apostasy. I think it’s safe to say that such views have continued to be embraced by Islamist extremists in the Netherlands and Europe more broadly, although it is difficult to assess the scale on which this has occurred. But it is crucial to distinguish between holding radical or extremist views and becoming involved in any capacity in terrorist violence. The vast majority of radicals never cross this threshold. What I think we see today in Europe is that relatively small numbers of (would-be) jihadist terrorists continue to pose a serious threat and that they are embedded in a broader ‘radical milieu’ from which they draw support. While this threat is a very real one, I think it is important to keep in mind that these individuals and groups are not representative of the Muslim community as a whole. A key observation that we sometimes miss, is that Muslims are in fact the number one victims of groups like [ISIS] and al-Qaeda when we look at the violence in countries like Syria and Iraq.

ARE: What did you learn about the personalities of those likely to join such groups, or to act as lone wolves? (Is there also a similarity between those who join groups and lone wolf attackers?)

BS: Most researchers would agree that there is no such thing as a terrorist profile, at least not one of any practical utility. Most terrorists are relatively young and most are male; beyond that considerably diversity has been observed in terms of socioeconomic background, family obligations etcetera. None of which means that personality factors cannot play a role at all. In fact, things like past involvement in violence or previous socialization to extremist beliefs can be important parts of the explanation for why someone became involved in terrorism. Perhaps the most important thing that I took away from my Hofstadgroep study in terms of the influence of personality factors, is that extremism and terrorism cannot simply be explained as stemming from psychopathology or deprivation. On the whole, group-based terrorists are not driven (primarily) by mental health problems or lack of opportunities to pursue alternative career paths in society. The uncomfortable truth is that, for many of these individuals, involvement in terrorism is a more or less conscious decision. An interesting finding about lone actors is that many of them did not ‘go it alone’ for tactical considerations, but because they failed to join or form a terrorist cell of their own. This may tie into the higher prevalence of mental health problems among lone actor extremists, which can make them appear untrustworthy or simply disagreeable and therefore prevent them from being truly accepted by other extremists.

ARE: Is there a difference between those who join local groups and the lone wolf types who are influenced by ISIS and Al Qaeda? That is to say, do they see the larger terror groups in the same way Hofstadgroep members saw their own group?

BS: Again, while some lone actors (Unabomber, Breivik) make a conscious decision to operate alone, many would have liked to join others but failed to do so. But both lone actors and participants in groups like Hofstad are generally heavily-influenced by the larger radical milieu of which they are a part; taking inspiration from videos, writings, speeches etc. of leading figures and groups.

ARE: You distinguish between radicalization and fanaticism in your work. Can you explain what these are?

BS: I have been critical of the concept of radicalization for a long time. Although it has become a household term since 2004, it doesn’t really explain how and why people become involved in extremism and terrorism. Radicalization suffers from lack of a clear definition and it is inherently subjective. A century ago, those in favor of extending voting rights to women were often labeled radicals by their opponents. Few would (hopefully!) dare make that same argument now. Not only do our views of what is ‘radical’ change over time, but by associating radicalization so closely with terrorism, we have lumped together activists who, although we may disagree with them, are essentially advocating change while remaining within the limits of the liberal democratic order, with individuals and groups committed to the use of extreme violence to get what they want. If that isn’t problematic enough, most interpretations of radicalization continue to overstate the degree to which beliefs influence behavior. Saying someone was ‘radicalized’ prior to committing a terrorist act doesn’t really help us understand that act; there are millions of people with radical or extremist views and the vast majority of them never become involved in terrorism in any way, shape or form. So while extremist beliefs are usually an important component of the overall picture of why people commit terrorism, they are insufficient by themselves to function as an explanation. For that reason, I think we should stop talking about radicalization and instead study the pathways to lead to involvement in terrorism, as this implicitly draws attention to the multitude of factors that constitute such processes. Fanaticism struck me as a more useful concept because, as it was developed by British psychologist Max Taylor, it recognizes that not all ‘fanatics’ will act on their beliefs but stipulates conditions under which they are more likely to do so. “Fanaticism” is thus able to overcome, at least to some degree, “radicalization’s” greatest shortcoming; namely, why the vast majority of radicals never become terrorists.

ARE: Why are fanatics more likely to become violent?

BS: It is more a question of when, rather than why. Fanaticism (or radicalism, if you will) is more likely to actually lead to violence when 1) the beliefs adhered to are distinctly militant; 2) when the fanatic/radical also holds to millenarian views, such as that the apocalypse is nigh and can be hastened by the individual believer; and 3) (to me most importantly) when the radical/fanatic is not exposed to contrarian views that can challenge his/her extremist convictions or inject some grey into a black/white world-view.

ARE: You also indicate that the Hofstadgroep members were less concerned with creating change than with making a statement about their own Islamic identity. In a way, it seems you are saying it was more about themselves than about the world. That’s an interesting perspective for me, because it parallels my own ideas about terrorists being narcissists, and I wonder if this isn’t in fact true of other terrorists and terror groups – not just Islamist. Is this a view or an approach to terrorism we have overlooked? Maybe we’ve been missing the real picture. Or is it some of both?

BS: I am always a bit careful using terms like narcissism because people can then be quick to pathologize such statements. But there is definitely something interesting going on in terms of identity. A key question for me is always; why would anyone join a terrorist group? The most likely outcomes are death or a life in prison. Now, while jihadists (at least profess to) want to die for their beliefs, terrorism has a much longer and broader history than Islamist extremism alone. There have been many secular terrorist groups who were not keen to go to an afterlife. So, what does terrorism offer that can make some people takes these risks? A large part of the answer lies, I believe, in the attractions of group membership. Things like status within a particular community, the notion of being part of something grandiose and important, the feeling of living an important and exciting life, the comradeship formed under fire, these are key factors binding people to terrorist groups, whether we’re talking about [ISIS], the IRA or the Italian Red Brigades. I think it would be great to delve more deeply into such factors in future research.

ARE: Finally: How can your research help counterterrorism analysts and law enforcement going forward?

BS: I hope that my work will be able make a contribution to the work of counterterrorism policymakers and practitioners in two ways. First of all, by providing a unique primary-sources based account of how and why involvement in a key example of European homegrown jihadist group occurred, I hope to contribute to their subject-matter expertise. More importantly, I hope that my findings will challenge counterterrorism professionals to keep critically re-examining the assumptions about such processes that they use to guide their own work.

Germany Needs An Extra 2,000 Judges and Prosecutors to Process Fivefold Increase in Terror Cases

December 25, 2017

Germany Needs An Extra 2,000 Judges and Prosecutors to Process Fivefold Increase in Terror Cases, BreitbartJack Montromery, December 24, 2017

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Germany also faces more longstanding issues with immigration: between 43 and 48 per cent of the country’s substantial ethnic Turkish population — which has been growing steadily since the introduction of a special ‘guest worker’ programme in the 1960s and now numbers in the millions — is ‘economically inactive’, with German media reporting the “vast majority … declare that — at least for the moment — they are not interested in a job.”

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Germany’s judicial system is groaning under the strain of an explosion in terror cases since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door to unlimited numbers of migrants in 2015.

The German Attorney-General opened a shocking 1,200 terror cases in 2017, of which around 1,000 were related to radical Islamic terrorism, Tagesschau reports.

This represents a fivefold increase on 2016, when the figure stood at around 250 — with roughly 200 cases being related to radical Islam.

Sven Rebehn, the head of the German association of judges, has warned that the system is struggling to cope with the sheer volume of its expanded caseload, with burden particularly heavy in the migrant hotspots of Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg

The judicial federation has calculated that around 2,000 additional judges and prosecutors are needed if the country hopes to tackle the growing terror threat and clear the backlog, or else face real difficulty in the near future.

Migrants have not only increased the workload of the courts in the field of terrorism — for example, 91 per cent of a 48 per cent surge in Bavarian rape cases was attributed to migrants in September 2017.

But the costs of expanding the judicial system’s capacity to absorb the surge in terror cases is not the only expense to fall on Germany as a consequence of mass migration.

The cost of the country’s more recent arrivals was predicted to reach close to 100 billion euros by 2020 last year — with the figure likely to have increased since then.

Germany also faces more longstanding issues with immigration: between 43 and 48 per cent of the country’s substantial ethnic Turkish population — which has been growing steadily since the introduction of a special ‘guest worker’ programme in the 1960s and now numbers in the millions — is ‘economically inactive’, with German media reporting the “vast majority … declare that — at least for the moment — they are not interested in a job.”

Elevated Christmas threat to Americans from returning Islamic State jihadis

December 10, 2017

Elevated Christmas threat to Americans from returning Islamic State jihadis, Jihad Watch

(But Jihadists like to celebrate Christmas too.

Don’t be Islamophobic.– DM)

 

The United States is gripped by an “elevated threat” as the Christmas holiday approaches posed by homegrown violent extremists seeking to carry out “stray dog attacks” on behalf of the Islamic State warned a top U.S. national security official.

Robin Taylor also blamed the threat on the “pressure the U.S.-led coalition and their allies are applying on the jihadist organization in the Middle East.”

Kudos to the coalition. Jihadists everywhere are a global menace. The more success they have, the more emboldened they become. This is why appeasement never works with jihadists.

But the US and other allied forces should have long ago anticipated their return and taken aggressive measures to track them and prosecute them. Unfortunately this did not happen.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau referred to returning Islamic State jihadis as “foreign terrorist travelers” who are traumatized. He plans to give them “reintegration support,” an impossible venture funded by taxpayers. In Britain, ISIS fighters will “be offered taxpayer funded council homes and counselling to stop them attacking the UK,’” thus putting them “to the top of council house waiting lists and offered counselling.”

Western notions of reintegration and counseling for mujahideen are highly unrealistic. They’re proposed by leaders to appear as if something is being done. It was also reported by Jihad Watch that returning Islamic State fighters were planning attacks on Christmas holiday travelers to Trinidad, a country that was reported to have the highest ISIS recruitment in the Western hemisphere.  Jihad Watch covered the threat to holiday travelers, which was cited by Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillon, at a recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Counter-Terrorism Strategy conference, of twenty Caribbean countries, according to the Trinidad Express.

Trinidad Member of Parliament Rodney Charles levied a criticism to Trinidad’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley that generally applies to Western leaders:

This government has no clue as to who left T&T for Syria, when they left, how many left, what are their connections back home, how they were recruited, who financed their travels, where our jihadists went, which battles they fought, what military skills they now possess, who died, who were captured, when will survivors return, and what we will do with them upon their arrival.

“Where are our plans Dr. Rowley? Stop the blame game and start working,” Charles said.

Western citizens everywhere remain in grave danger from these returning “stray dog jihadists,” and our leaders are at a loss to deal with them.

“Christmas Menace: U.S. Facing ‘Elevated Threat’ from Homegrown ‘Stray Dog’ Jihadists”, Edwin Mora, Breitbart, December 8, 2017:

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States is gripped by an “elevated threat” as the Christmas holiday approaches posed by homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) seeking to carry out “stray dog attacks” on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), warned a top U.S. national security official.

ISIS has been able to retain its ability online to mobilize “HVE lone offenders attacks” against the United States even as its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria “collapses,” Robin Taylor, a top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee during a hearing Wednesday.

Lora Shiao, the acting director for intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a component of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), further declared that despite the losses the group has suffered in Iraq and Syria, its social media reach remains “unprecedented.”

On Wednesday, Shiao told the Senate panel while testifying alongside Taylor:

We do not think battlefield losses alone will be sufficient to degrade its terrorism capabilities. As we have seen, the group has launched attacks in periods when it held large swaths of territory and when under significant pressure from the defeat-ISIS campaign.

In addition to its efforts to conduct external attacks from its safe havens in Iraq and Syria, ISIS’s capacity to reach sympathizers around the world through its robust social media capability is unprecedented and gives the group access to large numbers of HVEs.

The online menace posed by ISIS remains persistent, stressed Taylor, the acting deputy undersecretary for intelligence operations at the DHS office of intelligence and analysis, telling lawmakers:

ISIS members continue to attempt to recruit and radicalize to violence Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) through social media. The reach and popularity of social media has enabled HVEs to connect more easily with terrorist organizations, such as ISIS.

We assess there is currently an elevated threat of HVE lone offender attacks by ISIS sympathizers, which is especially concerning because mobilized lone offenders present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt their plots.

Mark Mitchell, the Pentagon’s acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict who also testified, said that ISIS would likely increase its reliance on its online capabilities as it continues to lose on the battlefield.

In his written testimony, Mitchell stated:

As ISIS loses territory in Iraq and Syria, its operations will become more distributed and more reliant on virtual connections. Their terrorist cadres will migrate to other safe havens where they can direct and enable attacks against the United States, our allies and partners, and our global interests.

They will also continue to radicalize vulnerable individuals and inspire them to conduct “lone wolf” (or “stray dog”) attacks. We will continue to see ISIS and al-Qa’ida threats to our homeland, as well as our allies and partners, from locations in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Balkan States, among other locations.

The DHS official proclaimed that the al-Qaeda (AQ) terrorist threat still grips the United States more than 16 years after America’s war on terror began in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Taylor revealed in his written testimony:

Core AQ and its affiliates remain a major concern for DHS. Despite the deaths of many AQ senior leaders, the group and its affiliates maintain the intent, and, in some cases, the capability to facilitate and conduct attacks against U.S. citizens and facilities. The group and its affiliates have also demonstrated that capability to adjust tactics, techniques and procedures for targeting the West.

Despite the near collapse of the so-called ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the threat posed by the terrorist group is “evolving” as the jihadist organization desperately tries to maintain its strength and influence, noted Taylor, telling Senators:

ISIS fighters’ battlefield experience in Syria and Iraq have armed it with advanced capabilities that most terrorist groups do not have. Even as the so-called “caliphate” collapses, ISIS fighters retain their toxic ideology and a will to fight. We remain concerned that foreign fighters from the U.S. or elsewhere who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and radicalized to violence will ultimately return to the U.S. or their home country to conduct attacks…..

France Submits to Terrorism, Muslim Anti-Semitism

November 28, 2017

France Submits to Terrorism, Muslim Anti-Semitism, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, November 28, 2017

In France, since 2012, more than 250 people were killed by Islamic terrorism — more than in all other European countries combined.

No other country in Europe has experienced so many attacks against Jews. France is a country where Jews are murdered because they are Jews.

“Muslim believers know very well what is happening. Only a minority is violent. But as a whole, they do not ignore that their birthrate is such that one day, everything here will be theirs”. — Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg.

In Bagneux, France, on November 1, 2017, a plaque placed in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew murdered in 2006 by a “gang of barbarians”, was destroyed  and covered with graffiti. When a few days later, another plaque replaced it, the French government issued a statement that “hate will not win”.

There are many signs, however, that hate has already won and that France is sick. If these signs were already obvious a decade ago, they are even more obvious today. Voluntary blindness prevented them from being addressed.

Ilan Halimi was taken hostage in January 2006, then viciously tortured for three weeks. He was eventually abandoned, dying, on the edge of a road and died a few hours later.

Most of kidnappers, who were arrested a few days after the murder, were Muslims. They immediately confessed. They said they had chosen Halimi because he was a Jew and they thought that “all Jews have money”. Some added that Jews “deserve to suffer”.

They were tried behind closed doors. The leader, Youssouf Fofana, spat his bile against Jews and vehemently shouted the name of Allah during the whole trial, so the court could not hide that he was an Islamic anti-Semite. He was sentenced to “life” in prison — which in France means 18 to 20 years. If he had not assaulted his guards in the prison, he would already have been released. The other members of the gang, described by the prosecutor in a watered down way as “thugs looking for easy money”, were quieter and were handed down relatively light sentences. Today, almost all “the barbarians” are free.

Even books, accentuating the whitewash, describe the crime as just an ugly “sign of greed” among “poorly educated young people”.

In 2014, director Alexandre Arcady made a movie — 24 Days: The True Story of the Ilan Halimi Affair — to draw attention to what he perceived as a growing danger for Jews and for the French in general. The movie was a flop; almost no one paid attention to it, despite some murders just as sickening.

On March 19, 2012, in Toulouse, a 23-year-old Muslim, Mohammed Merah, entered the yard of a Jewish school and murdered three children and the father of two of them. He had already shot French soldiers, but shattering the heads of children at point blank range was an act of total horror. Three days later, besieged in his apartment, after having explained for hours to a negotiator why he had chosen Jewish children, he launched a last attack but was riddled with bullets by the police. He instantly became a hero in all the Muslim French suburbs; the anti-Semitic dimension of his act just contributed to his fame.

For many months, his name, Mohammed Merah, was a rallying cry for Muslim youths. The press, meanwhile, described him as a “lone wolf” and “lost child”.

When evidence accumulated showing that his brother, Abdelkader, an Islamist, had trained Mohammed and helped him prepare his butchery, he was arrested.

Abdelkader Merah’s trial last month was as ugly as that of the “gang of barbarians”, maybe even uglier. Abdelkader did not lose his temper. He expressed no regret. He calmly explained that jihad is a sacred duty for every Muslim; that he thought that his brother was “in paradise” and what the status of Jews is in the Koran. Mohammed and Abdelkader’s mother, Zoulikha Aziri, testified that they were “good sons”. Later, out of court, she said that “Allah orders Muslims to kill Jews”. (Abdelkader’s lawyer said that Abdelkader was not guilty of anything; that he was just a devout Muslim “practicing his religion”, and that he himself considered it an “honor” to defend Abdelkader.

Abdelkader was sentenced to twenty years in prison. If there is no appeal, and if he is no longer violent, he will be released in eight years. Abdelkader, while in jail, may still do what he was doing before: proselytize and repeat what he said in court about jihad. When he is released, he may well not stop. He will most likely not be arrested again.

His mother may well repeat that Allah orders Muslims to kill Jews: the command is, she thinks, an integral part of her faith. She will not be accused of incitement to murder. Hundreds of thousands of men and women openly say what she says.

There are thousands of Abdelkader Merahs. Some are in prison, some are not. Not only are 70% of prisoners in France Muslims, but prisons are now the main recruiting centers for jihadists in France.

Calls to jihad can be heard from countless mosques throughout the country each week. A recent book, Partition, lists the addresses of 150 of them.

Incitement to kill Jews is frequent in the almost 600 no-go zones that exist in France. Leaflets stipulating “if you meet a Jew, kill him”, were recently distributed in the Paris suburbs, near places where street prayers occur. “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ Throats” can increasingly be heard in organized street protests. Synagogues have been attacked in Paris, Sarcelles and Marseilles.

In the five years since Mohammed Merah’s murders, French Muslims have attacked more Jews.

On May 24, 2014, Medhi Nemmouche, a gunman who had recently returned from Syria, opened fire in the Jewish Museum in Brussels and shot four people. On January 9, 2015, Amedy Coulibaly, a man who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, entered a kosher grocery store, took 19 people hostage, and shot four of them.

Recently, on April 4, 2017, a retired Jewish physician, Sarah Halimi, was viciously brutalized for an hour, then thrown off the balcony of her apartment. Her murderer, Kada Traore, who shouted “Allahu Akbar”, was deemed “mentally ill” and sent to an asylum.

Two attacks had a large number of casualties: one on November 13, 2015 in Paris and Saint-Denis (130 killed), and the other on July 14, 2016 on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice (86 killed). A priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, was knifed to death while saying Mass. A businessman was beheaded by one of his employees. A police officer was shot on the Champs-Élysées. It does not stop.

On October 1, 2017, two women were slain in front of the Marseille central railway station. The murder of most of the journalists and editors at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015 (12 killed) led, three days later, to a huge demonstration in Paris, but indifference quickly returned.

In France, since 2012, more than 250 people were killed by Islamic terrorism, more than in all other European countries combined. In addition, no other country in Europe has experienced so many attacks against Jews. France is a country where Jews are murdered because they are Jews.

Every year, Jews flee France by the thousands. Those who do not emigrate move to cities and neighborhoods where they hope they will be able survive without risking aggression.

Many non-Jews live in fear and remain silent.

The government does almost nothing. A few times a year, its members ritually denounce “anti-Semitism”, but never forget to mention that it comes from the “far right”. They only denounce “radical Islam” when the facts are so blinding obvious that it is impossible to do otherwise. If they can, they prefer to talk about people who were “radicalized“, without giving any details or explanation.

In August 2017, the Ministry of the Interior issued a statement that almost 300 jihadists were back from Syria and represent a risk. All of them could come back to France with French passports. None of them has been arrested.

In March 2015, the French intelligence services created a Report Card for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalization (FSPRT); there are 15,000 names on it. Monitoring everyone would require nearly 160,000 police officers. Therefore, only a few dozen suspects, are under surveillance.

After France’s November 2015 attacks, a state of emergency was declared. It consisted mainly of sending soldiers and police officers to railway stations and airports, and placing guards and sandbags in front of synagogues and Jewish schools.

The state of emergency expired on November 1, 2017. It was replaced by a weak “anti-terrorism” law. Fewer soldiers and police officers will be deployed. “Security zones” will be created around events that appear “exposed to a terrorist risk”, and police controls will stand near such events. These controls, however, already exist. “Places of worship” will be “visited” if it “seems” they disseminate “ideas that could lead to terrorism”; then they could be closed for six months. Many “places of worship” already disseminate “ideas that lead to terrorism”; they are still open. Legal texts omit words such as “radical Islam”, “jihad” or “anti-Semitism”. They also do not include words such as “mosque” or “search”; instead, they speak of “places of worship” and “visit”. They also never define which “ideas” could “lead to terrorism”.

Yaffa Monsonego, the mother of one of Mohammed Merah’s victims, did not go to Abdelkader Merah’s trial. Her daughter, Myriam, was eight-years-old when she was shot. Monsonego said in a mainstream television interview that attending the trial would have been of no use; that French justice will never live up to what she and other families of victims feel every day, and that she is certain more murders will happen.

A journalist said on radio that, by not naming and not fighting evil, France betrays all those who want to live safely, and abandons the country to those who are crushing it. He reminded his listeners that the presence of Islamic anti-Semitism in France is older than they could imagine, and mentioned a young disc jockey, Sebastien Sellam, murdered in Paris by his Muslim neighbor in 2003, just because he was a Jew. The journalist said the destruction of the plaque placed in memory of Ilan Halimi was a way of killing him a second time.

A few weeks ago, Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg, said that those who run the country bury their heads in the sand; and that while Islamists are tried, the trial of radical Islam in France is not even considered. He added that all French political leaders know a population replacement is in progress that will quickly have much more serious consequences than those already evident today: “Muslim believers know very well what is happening. Only a minority is violent. But as a whole, they do not ignore that their birthrate is such that one day, everything here will be theirs”.

Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg, recently said that French political leaders know a population replacement is in progress that will quickly have much more serious consequences than those already evident today. (Image source: Peter Potrowl/Wikimedia Commons)

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron, while in Abu Dhabi on November 8 to inaugurate a museum, said: “Those who want to make you believe that anywhere in the world, Islam is destroying other monotheisms and other cultures are liars who are betraying you”.

On November 13, back in Paris to pay homage to the victims of the attacks two years earlier, Macron participated in a release of multicolored balloons, watched them float to the sky, then laid flowers where the victims were killed. The plaques state that they were “murdered”, but not that they were victims of terrorism. Soon, the word “terrorism” could also disappear from France’s vocabulary.

In Submission, a novel published on January 7, 2015, ironically the same day as the Charlie Hebdo murders, its author, Michel Houellebecq, foresaw that words would disappear, that Islamic terrorism would lead France toward submission, and that the Jews would leave the country. He was right.

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.