Archive for the ‘Ramadan terrorist attacks’ category

Massive Kabul truck bomb kills 80, wounds hundreds

May 31, 2017

Massive Kabul truck bomb kills 80, wounds hundreds, BreitbartAFP, May 31, 2017

(How to have a joyous and reflective Ramadan. — DM)

AFP

US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 now, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies. They mainly serve in an advisory capacity — a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.

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Kabul (AFP) – At least 80 people were killed and hundreds wounded Wednesday when a massive truck bomb ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital and blowing out windows several miles away.

Bodies littered the scene and a huge cloud of smoke rose from the highly-fortified area which houses foreign embassies, after the rush-hour attack tore a massive crater in the ground just days into the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

No group has so far claimed the powerful blast, which a Western diplomatic source said was caused by 1,500 kilogrammes of explosives packed inside a water tanker.

Rescue workers were digging bodies from the rubble hours after the explosion as anguished residents struggled to get through security cordons to search for missing relatives. Dozens of damaged cars choked the roads as wounded survivors and panicked schoolgirls sought safety.

It was not immediately clear what the target was. But the attack suggests a major security failure and  underscores spiralling insecurity in Afghanistan, where the NATO-backed military, beset by soaring casualties and desertions, is struggling to beat back insurgents.

Over a third of the country is outside government control.

“Unfortunately the toll has reached 80 martyred (killed) and over 300 wounded, including many women and children,” said health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh, adding the figures would continue to climb as more bodies are pulled from the debris.

President Ashraf Ghani slammed the attack as a “war crime”.

The Taliban — currently in the midst of their annual “spring offensive” — tweeted that they were not involved and “strongly condemn” the blast. The insurgent group rarely claims responsibility for attacks that kill large numbers of civilians.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the Afghan capital, including a powerful blast targeting a NATO convoy that killed eight people earlier this month.

The sound of the bomb, which went off near Kabul’s busy Zanbaq Square, reverberated across the Afghan capital, with residents comparing it to an earthquake. Most victims appear to be civilians.

“The vigilance and courage of Afghan security forces prevented the VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) from gaining entry to the Green Zone, but the explosion caused civilian casualties,” NATO said in a statement.

– Embassies damaged –

The BBC said its Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir was killed and four of their journalists wounded. Local TV channel Tolo TV also tweeted that a staff member Aziz Navin was killed.

The explosion damaged several embassies in the area, which houses diplomatic and government buildings and is a maze of concrete blast walls, vehicle barriers and armed security guards.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the “despicable” attack killed an Afghan guard from the German embassy, and added that some employees had been injured, though he did not give further details.

He said the bomb had gone off “in the immediate vicinity” of the German embassy.

France, India, Turkey, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Bulgaria similarly reported damage to their embassies, including shattered windows, as the blast drew an avalanche of international condemnation.

US ambassador to Afghanistan Hugo Llorens issued a scathing statement condemning the “complete disregard for human life”, saying those behind the attack deserved our “utter scorn”.

Amnesty International said the attack underscores the fact that the conflict in Afghanistan is “dangerously widening in a way that should alarm the international community”.

Germany was forced to postpone a scheduled deportation flight of rejected Afghan asylum-seekers in the wake of the attack. The European nation has drawn criticism for sending back Afghans to an increasingly dangerous country.

Wednesday’s blast was the latest in a string of attacks in Kabul. The province surrounding the capital had the highest number of casualties in the country in the first three months of 2017 due to multiple attacks in the city, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has warned of “another tough year” for both foreign troops and local forces in Afghanistan.

Afghan troops are backed by US and NATO forces, and the Pentagon has reportedly asked the White House to send thousands more soldiers to break the deadlock in the battle against the Taliban.

US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 now, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies. They mainly serve in an advisory capacity — a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.

Bringing Ramadan in With a Bang: Killing Christians

May 29, 2017

Bringing Ramadan in With a Bang: Killing Christians Front Page MagazineJack Kerwick, May 29, 2017

The point of this essay is to puncture the West’s Politically Correct meme, an ideologically-useful fiction according to which Muslims are always victims and Christians are victimizers—or, at the very least, are never victimized. 

The painful reality is that, globally speaking, when it comes to the topic of religious persecution, the adherents of Islam are the biggest persecutors while those of Christianity are victimized more so than the members of any other religious faith. 

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Jeremy Joseph Christian is a 35 year-old white man who, according to some press reports, is also a “white supremacist.”

Christian, you see, while aboard a train in Portland, Oregon, allegedly hurled “ethnic and religious” slurs at two young women who, evidently, appeared to have been Muslim. “Get off the bus and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,” Christian is reported to have said.  He also, supposedly, expressed a dislike for Muslims and characterized them as “criminals.”

Three men who are now being hailed as “heroes” intervened.  Christian killed two of them, slashing their throats.  The third man was stabbed as well, but survived and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

There is much to this story that is still unclear (more will be written at a future time).  Predictably, the Islamic activists of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spared not a moment to exploit this tragedy for their partisan purposes.  CAIR’s National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, expressly implicated President Trump: “President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities.”

Awad’s remarks are not only fundamentally untrue.  For more than one reason, they are profoundly offensive.

One reason that they are offensive is that Muslims, far from being the most persecuted of religious groups in today’s world, are in reality the biggest persecutors.

The reality is that if there is a “rising tide” of any species of violent bigotry, it is Christophobia, not Islamophobia.  No religion is as persecuted around the planet as that of Christianity.

In February, the Center for Studies on New Religions released a study showing that last year, 90,000 Christians throughout the world were murdered because of their faith.  Nearly one-third of these victims were killed by Muslims.  According to Open Doors, an advocacy organization for persecuted Christians, 14 of the 20 worst purveyors of Christian persecution are Islamic countries, and the latter constitute 35 of the worst 50.

Middle Eastern wars in places like Yemen, Syria, and Iraq have been particularly hard on the ancient Christian communities that exist among the Islamic majorities.  Legions of men, women, and children have been slaughtered, maimed, and/or displaced.

Yet the world utters virtually a peep.  Pope Francis, for example, the Pope of my church, while he has indeed commented here and there on the oppression of Christians, he may as well have said nothing, for the Pope’s remarks on this matter have been like whispers relative to the pleas that he makes incessantly on behalf of Islamic refugees.

And while the leftist media in the West seeks to establish a connection between the beginning of Ramadan and Jeremy Christian’s insulting of two Islamic women, over in Egypt some Muslims inaugurated the holy month by…slaughtering dozens of Christian men, women, and children.

The most recent outrage committed against Christians occurred on May 26 in Egypt.  Islamic terrorists attacked a bus full of Coptic Christians, murdering 28 and injuring many more.  Children were among the victims.

The victims were reportedly heading to St. Samuel the Confessor monastery when their bus was blocked by three vehicles and eight to ten assailants wearing military uniforms and masks. The attackers proceeded to blast gunfire into the bus.

The so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) claimed “credit” for the bloodbath.

In what now reads as ominously as it does presciently, an article published but two days before this attack at the website of Open Doors and authored by one of its Egyptian staff members speaks to the fever-pitch anxieties that the impending Islamic holiday of Ramadan have induced in the members of Egypt’s Christian community.  It is worth reading “Janelle P” in her own words:

“As much excitement as the Islamic holy month brings to Muslims, it does carry a great deal of burdens and concerns to the Christian community in Egypt.  It is a very long 30 days during which Christians in schools, work or public spaces will receive harsh looks and verbal harassments from devout Muslims because of their faith.  They are ridiculed for not fasting like Muslims.  Even in some cases, Christians may face physical violence due to the fact that they were caught eating their lunch by their fasting Muslim coworkers or neighbors!”

Think about this: Due to the celebration of an Islamic holiday, Christians have to brave insults, hostility, and even physical violence.

Janelle P continues:

“It’s not uncommon for Christians to hide somewhere to eat their lunches away from the eyes of the Muslims.” Janelle recalls his own experiences growing up in Egypt. “I remember as a young boy having to eat and drink in the school toilet to avoid trouble with Muslim classmates and teachers.”

Young Christian children must take shelter in school restrooms if they want to eat their lunch unmolested by their Islamic classmates.

“It’s almost protocol during the month of Ramadan for devout Muslims, wherever they are, to turn to the Christians around them and bombard them with intimidating questions about their faith. They aim to distract themselves from the long fasting hours and, if they’re lucky enough, to plant doubt in the hearts of the Christians.”

Janelle P concludes by acknowledging that “We, the Christians of Egypt, feel many different emotions regarding Ramadan.” However, he presumably speaks for his coreligionists in Egypt when Janelle expresses, not rage or hatred, but rather faith that God will show Muslims the error of their ways and bring them to Him.  It is this, at any rate, for which they pray.

The attitude of love that the most oppressed Christians hold toward their Islamic oppressors stands in glaring contrast to that which Muslims have toward those who do not share their vision.

Of course, the point here is not to suggest that all of the world’s billion or so Muslims deserve to be condemned for the actions of the exploitative, oppressive, and murderous among them.  Such a suggestion is unwarranted.  Nor it would be right to suggest that no Muslims experience persecution. There are indeed persecuted Muslims throughout the world, but the persecution that they suffer is almost without exception at the hands of other Muslims.

The point of this essay is to puncture the West’s Politically Correct meme, an ideologically-useful fiction according to which Muslims are always victims and Christians are victimizers—or, at the very least, are never victimized.

The painful reality is that, globally speaking, when it comes to the topic of religious persecution, the adherents of Islam are the biggest persecutors while those of Christianity are victimized more so than the members of any other religious faith.

FBI: Islamic State Jihadis Targeting Theaters, Churches, Sports Arenas

September 9, 2016

FBI: Islamic State Jihadis Targeting Theaters, Churches, Sports Arenas, Breitbart, Edwin Mora, September 9, 2016

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The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have reportedly identified restaurants, theaters, churches, and sports arenas as possible targets of Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)-inspired jihadists and homegrown violent extremists, urging law enforcement to remain vigilant for potential attacks against civilian venues.

Both the FBI, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and DHS have learned that the extremists have shifted their focus from law enforcement, military, and government venues to civilian facilities, reports CBS News.

In a joint bulletin sent out to law enforcement agencies across the country on August 31, the two government agencies said that “analysis indicates that homegrown violent extremists, and ISIS inspired terrorists, appear to have shifted their focus to target attacks on civilian venues,” adding, “These sorts of venues include places like restaurants, theaters, churches, and sports arenas, with less focus on law enforcement, military and government facilities,” notes the news agency.

“The bulletin said that according to analysis, more than 75 percent of homegrown violent extremists disruptions and attacks over the last 12 months have focused on civilian targets,” it adds.

Citing an unnamed law enforcement source, CBS News points out that as less secure and easily accessible soft targets, terrorists prefer civilian facilities.

“Attackers may be more familiar and comfortable with those venues,” notes CBS, continuing, “The source said that this is an important distinction because it shows they may be altering their priorities.”

Nevertheless, the source highlighted the need for “continued vigilance of law enforcement and military,” noting that “the timing of the bulletin was not meant to coincide with the upcoming 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

The Islamic State has no qualms urging its followers to attack civilians. Some “kill lists” that were distributed by its supporters online earlier this year contain the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of ordinary American citizens.

More than 2,000 New Yorkers were mentioned in one list and about 1,500 Texans in another.

In anticipation of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic State called on its supporters to carry out violent attacks against civilian and military targets within the United States and Europe.

The Islamic State and other jihadi groups do not distinguish between combatants and civilians when they attack. The terrorist group is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in various countries.

During Ramadan this year, jihadists, the majority of them affiliated with the Islamic State, killed an estimated 421 people and wounded at least another 729 in nearly 15 countries. The majority of victims were civilians.

‘Uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood’

June 9, 2016

‘Uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood’, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, June 9, 2016

The rest of us in Israel, meanwhile, will be treated by the international community to reprimands about the need for peace, just as we are already being bombarded on local talk shows with the urgency for “an agreement with the Palestinians.” Like the terrorist attacks themselves, these pronouncements are repeated virtually without let-up.

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An Israeli parliamentarian who arrived on the scene of Wednesday night’s Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv summed up in a phrase what terrorism is all about.

“Uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood,” is how Likud MK Amir Ohana described what he encountered in the immediate aftermath of the shooting spree at the Max Brenner chocolate shop and cafe in the Sarona shopping complex.

No matter how precisely witnesses describe the attacks Israelis experience on a regular basis — the fear, the screams, and the killings — it is rare for words to capture carnage so well.

Yes, “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood” tells us everything we need to know about the setting and its significance in the twisted, brainwashed minds of young people in the Palestinian Authority. It is precisely what the two young men, relatives from the village of Yatta near Hebron who brought makeshift assault rifles with them to an eatery on a summer’s eve, had envisioned. It was exactly their goal to slaughter Jews, some of them in casual dress and flip-flops, enjoying a respite from the oppressive heat of the day, others dressed to the nines, celebrating personal milestones.

Indeed, “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood” says it all. It is a reminder of the funerals that will soon take place and the devastation entire families will feel for the rest of their lives; the months of physical rehabilitation and trauma awaiting those who were injured; and the tears of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters praying at bedsides.

“You never get used to it,” said a surgeon from the Sourasky Medical Center, where the wounded — among them one of the two terrorists — are being treated.

The rest of us in Israel, meanwhile, will be treated by the international community to reprimands about the need for peace, just as we are already being bombarded on local talk shows with the urgency for “an agreement with the Palestinians.” Like the terrorist attacks themselves, these pronouncements are repeated virtually without let-up.

The difference this time is the addition of the discussion about how Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s new defense minister, who assumed his role only last week, is going to meet the challenge, particularly as a proponent of the death penalty for terrorists, which the Jewish state does not have. Natch.

This is something the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and Gaza are keenly aware of, along with the knowledge that if they engage in particularly gruesome violence, they will be hailed as heroes by their society and leaders. Those who are killed while murdering Jews can look forward not only to paradise in the afterlife, but being martyrs after whom sports arenas, cultural events and streets are named.

Thankfully, Lieberman — whose alleged first order of business over the weekend was to strike terrorist bases in Syria — did not talk politics. Instead, he gave a brief press conference at the scene of the attack with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had just landed in Tel Aviv from a two-and-a-half-day trip to Russia, ostensibly to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Moscow, but really to cement growing ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is the sad but necessary upshot of the Obama administration’s attitude toward Israel in particular and the Middle East in general.

Netanyahu understands that he has to have an alternative ally on whom to rely when it comes to safeguarding Israel from the dangers posed by the civil war in Syria, chief among them Iran’s presence and Palestinian proxy Hezbollah. Oh, and there’s the Islamic State group, too, which is also increasing its foothold in the Sinai, along Israel’s southern border, adjacent to Gaza. You know, where Hamas continues to build tunnels through which to smuggle weapons and kidnap and kill Israelis.

For his part, Putin is only too happy to oblige and replace the United States as the world’s superpower, a status his country lost when the Soviet Union fell 26 years ago. And the Palestinian “problem” was no more connected to that past event than it is to today’s global reality. It is simply a convenient excuse employed to hold Israel accountable and responsible for all ills. It is the politically correct contemporary anti-Semitic outlook, according to which Jews control the world.

What a hoot. We can’t even eat our birthday cakes at a chocolate shop without pools of our blood being spilled.

ISIS launches Ramadan with terror strike in Jordan

June 7, 2016

ISIS launches Ramadan with terror strike in Jordan, DEBKAfile, June 7, 2016

Jordanian mourners carry the body of intelligence corporal Omar al-Hayari, one of the five Jordanian intelligence agents killed during a gun attack at the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, on June 6, 2016 during his funeral in Salt, a town west of the capital Amman. A gunman apparently acting alone killed the five Jordanian agents in a daylight "terrorist attack" on their office in a Palestinian refugee camp north of the capital. Jordan is a leading member of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, and has been the target of previous jihadist attacks. / AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI

Jordanian mourners carry the body of intelligence corporal Omar al-Hayari, one of the five Jordanian intelligence agents killed during a gun attack at the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, on June 6, 2016 during his funeral in Salt, a town west of the capital Amman./ AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI

Of all the possible places braced for ISIS terror attacks when Ramadan began, the first attack on the first day of the month-long fast was launched Monday, June 6, in Jordan. Five armed men, in two cars, attacked the Jordanian General Intelligence Command in the Baqaa Palestinian camp, near the capital Amman.

Three armed men left their car, while two remained at the wheel. The three entered the command building and opened fire, killing five intelligence personnel. They then retreated to their cars and drove away.
No organization took responsibility for the attack.

DEBKAfile sources on terrorism report that this ranked as a classical terrorist operation, in which the killers appear suddenly, kill their prey and disappear without leaving traces.

For a country with advanced intelligence and counter terror agencies, which posts armed security personnel at every city corner and junction, backed by the presence of American special forces trained to fight terror targets, this attack was a grave warning.

How did they all come to be caught unawares?

But this was not just a warning for Jordan but for Israel as well.

If armed groups, consisting of Palestinians who joined ISIS, are able to move freely around Jordan, without the local intelligence and security forces catching on, there is no guarantee that killer-squads will not cross the Jordanian-Israeli security fence or infiltrate Israel through the southern Arava border for terror attacks in Israel.

Even though Jordan tries to keep its war against ISIS low profile, the kingdom tops the jihadists’ hit list, ahead even of the Euro-2016 games.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. The Jordanian intelligence’ undercover units behind the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Syria feed the Americans on-site information on ISIS. Data of this high quality is unavailable from any other source.
  2. These units mark targets for US air strikes.
  3. Jordanian intelligence officers engage Sunni tribal chiefs across Iraqi and Syrian borders to persuade them to fight against ISIS. These Jordanian officers have joined the Sunni fighters in the battle for Fallujah in Iraq.
  4. Jordan, with US assistance, is now building one of the longest security fences, 442km, and the most advanced in the Middle East along all its borders with Iraq and Syria.
  5. The westernmost segment of this Jordanian border wall will also serve Israel. It will block off corridors running through the Syria-Jordan-Israel border junction and so hold back ISIS from infiltrating the Golan and the Sea of Galilee region.
  6. Jordan is the only Arab nation to send its air force against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.

Just three months ago, on March, the Jordanian security forces raided the Irbid Palestinian refugee camp in northern Jordan, and tackled an ISIS cell set up in the camp, killing seven.

The recent terror attack shows that, while Jordanian intelligence and its special forces are deeply involved in the war against ISIS beyond Jordan’s borders, the terror organization is gaining strength and abilities inside the kingdom, especially among the Palestinian population.