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The Iconoclast

Friday, 22 August 2014
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A teenager planned to carry out an attack on a soldier or a member of the Government, a court heard today.

Muslim convert Brustchom Ziamani, 19, was arrested in East London on Tuesday with a rucksack containing a knife and hammer wrapped in an Islamic flag, it was alleged. 

Wearing a black Call of Duty t-shirt and dark tracksuit bottoms Ziamani, of Camberwell, south London, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday 21st August charged with engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

He refused to sit down and stood through throughout the brief hearing.

Prosecutor Mark Dawson said Ziamani had extreme ideological material in his rucksack. He added: 'He was arrested at 4.30pm on Tuesday with a knife and a hammer in a bag on his back wrapped in an Islamic flag. He is 19 and of previous good character. He said to (a female teenager) he is going to commit a ... terrorist atrocity either on troops or members of the government.'

Mr Dawson told the court that officers had scoured Ziamani's computer and had 'three disks worth of material' to analyse.

The young terror suspect, who is British born but whose family is of Congolese origin, stood in the dock with his hands in his pockets during the hearing. 

Judge John Zani, told the defendant he would be remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on September 12.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 1:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Fit for the Laughing Academy, and not for any other kind.

His tale, and his unhinged tweets, here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 10:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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The killing of James Foley, an Infidel, is justified by dozens of verses in the Qur'an and hundreds of the most "authentic" Hadith, in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari and the other four "sahih" muhaddithin.

The next time someone idiotically or sinisterly claims that this or that "has nothing to do with Islam" have at the ready a dozen or so verses from the Qur'an, and even, perhaps, a print-out of the Calcutta Qur'an Petition, with its Jihad verses. And find another printout of the most relevant Hadith. You can do it. And what's more, you can give copies to a dozen friends and relatives, and have them make a dozen copies, and then... well, you know, it's like the old ad for some shampoo, possibly Breck.

Start, for example, with 9.5 and 9.29, or possibly 8.12.

Yes, why not, start with 8.12, and "striking terror" into the hearts of the Infidels by smiting them at their necks. There's no ambiguity there.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 9:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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All through the years of thousands of rockets being fired into Israel, all during the Gaza campaign this year, and in the previous Gaza campaigns, Israel has continued to supply electricity, medicine, food to Gaza. This makes no sense. Make the "blockade" into a real blockade, and then agree, in return for demilitarization -- which means a handing-over or public destruction of the remaining thousands of rockets -- to return to the pseudo-"blockade" that Gaza currently has imposed upon it.

Shlomo Eldar, on an obvious idea -- à la guerre comme à la guerre -- here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 8:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Neither Turkey, nor Qatar, are part of the West. They are both Muslim countries, run by people who are not embarrassed by, and have no felt need to constrain, the political and social power of Islam but who, rather, want to see those with secularizing instincts checked and even punished. Both countries have given aid to those called, misleadingly, "Islamists" and that includes those who later joined, or always were part of, ISIS.

But Turkey needs the West for all kinds of things, including markets in which to sell and arms manufacturers from which to buy. It is a member of NATO, but it became a member in 1952, as a reward for sending a small contingent of soldiers (4500) to Korea, and at a time when it seemed that Kemalism was securely and permanently installed as the state religion, with Ataturk replacing Muhammad as a figure of universal adoration and emulation.

Qatar needs the West for protection against all of the other states in the Gulf, iincluding Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and even the Emirates, which is much more advanced than Qatar and worries about its influence.

Turkey could be booted out of NATO. It no longer possesses the military value it once did, during the Cold War. The Turkish government did not permti, in 200,  a fourth American division to invade Iraq from the north, and it would certainly not allow the handful of American bases to be used to fight what it considered to be Muslim states and peoples and interests. And it could be deprived of access to American weaponry, which it relies on, and keenly covets, and what's more, could also be deprived of spare parts for the military equipment, and planes, it already possesses.

Qatar regards the American naval base there as a guarantor of its survival, and of the survival of the ruling Al-Thani family. But there is less need for such a naval base now that, after the fiasco of Tarbaby Iraq, this administration, and others that follow it, will never again be sucked into the sinkhole of land wars in Muslim lands. Even to start making noises about leaving -- which would lead to dismay, and then to hysteria, in Qatar -- would be salutary. It would  provoke the Qataris to do what they know how to do best, which is to offer bribes. They might offer to pay for that American protection, and if the Americans decide to put things on that basis, a nominal amount -- say, 100-200 billion a year, protection cheap at any price -- might be demanded. After spending two trillion dollars on Muslims in Iraq, and one trillion on Muslims in Afghanistan, the United States needs a little reimbursement.

Slap them down. Start making noises about cutting the only ties that, with Muslim states, bind -- the ties of military aid, that is money, equipment, training, and direct protection by American troops. They both deserve it.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 4:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Posted on 08/21/2014 3:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Daniel Greenfield writes (with thanks to Michael B.):

Know your enemy. To know what ISIS is, we have to clear away the media myths about ISIS.

ISIS is not a new phenomenon.

Wahhabi armies have been attacking Iraq in order to wipe out Shiites for over two hundred years. One of the more notably brutal attacks took place during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson. 

That same year the Marine Corps saw action against the Barbary Pirates and West Point opened, but even Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn chiming via Ouija board would have trouble blaming the Wahhabi assault on the Iraqi city of Kerbala in 1802 on the United States or an oil pipeline.

Forget the media portrayals of ISIS as a new extreme group that even the newly moderate Al Qaeda thinks is over the top, its armies are doing the same things that Wahhabi armies have been doing for centuries. ISIS has Twitter accounts, pickup trucks and other borrowed Western technology, but otherwise it’s just a recurring phenomenon that has always been part of Islam. Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other for over a thousand years. Declaring other Muslims to be infidels and killing them is also a lot older than the suicide bomb vest.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are at odds because its Iraqi namesake had a different agenda. Al Qaeda always had different factions with their own agendas. These factions were not more extreme or less extreme. They just had different nationalistic backgrounds and aims. 

The Egyptian wing of Al Qaeda was obsessed with Egypt. Bin Laden was obsessed with Saudi Arabia. Some in Al Qaeda wanted a total world war. Others wanted to focus on taking over Muslim countries as bases. These differences sometimes led to threats and even violence among Al Qaeda members.

Bin Laden prioritized Saudi Arabia and America. That made it possible for Al Qaeda to pick up training from Hezbollah which helped make 9/11 possible. This low level cooperation with Iran was endangered when Al Qaeda in Iraq made fighting a religious war with Shiites into its priority. 

That did not mean that Bin Laden liked Shiites and thought that AQIQ was “extreme” for killing them. This was a tactical disagreement over means. 

During the Iraq War, Bin Laden had endorsed Al Qaeda in Iraq’s goal of fighting the Shiite “Rejectionists” by framing it as an attack on America. AQIQ’s Zarqawi had privately made it clear that he would not pledge allegiance to Osama bin Laden unless the terrorist leader endorsed his campaign against Shiites. 

Bin Laden and the Taliban had been equally comfortable with Sipahe Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which provided manpower for the Taliban while massacring Shiites in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year LEJ had killed over a hundred Shiite Hazaras in one bombing.

The narrative that ISIS was more extreme than Al Qaeda because it killed Shiites and other Muslims doesn’t hold up in even recent history.

The media finds it convenient to depict the rise of newly extremist groups being radicalized by American foreign policy, Israeli blockades or Danish cartoons. A closer look however shows us that these groups did not become radicalized, rather they increased their capabilities.

ISIS understood from the very beginning that targeting Shiites and later Kurds would give it more appeal to Sunni Arabs inside Iraq and around the Persian Gulf. Bin Laden tried to rally Muslims by attacking America. ISIS has rallied Muslims by killing Shiites, Kurds, Christians and anyone else it can find.
 

Every news report insists that ISIS is an extreme outlier, but if that were really true then it would not have been able to conquer sizable chunks of Iraq and Syria. ISIS became huge and powerful because its ideology drew the most fighters and the most financial support. ISIS is powerful because it’s popular.

ISIS has become more popular and more powerful than Al Qaeda because Muslims hate other Muslims even more than they hate America. Media reports treat ISIS as an outside force that inexplicably rolls across Iraq and terrorizes everyone in its path. In reality, it’s the public face of a Sunni coalition. When ISIS massacres Yazidis, it’s not just following an ideology; it’s giving Sunni Arabs what they want.

Jamal Jamir, a surviving Yazidi, told CNN that his Arab neighbors had joined in the killing. 

ISIS is dominating parts of Iraq and Syria because it draws on the support of a sizable part of the Sunni Arab population. It has their support because it is committed to killing or driving out Christians, Yazidis, Shiites and a long list of peoples in Iraq who either aren’t Muslims or aren’t Arabs and giving their land and possessions to the Sunni Arabs.

The media spent years denying that the Syrian Civil War was a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. It’s unable to deny the obvious in Iraq, but it carefully avoids considering the implications.

Genocides are local. They are rarely carried out without the consent and participation of the locals. An army alone will have trouble committing genocide unless it has the cooperation of a local population that wants to see another group exterminated. When we talk about ISIS, we are really talking about Sunni Arabs in Iraq and Syria. Not all of them, but enough that ISIS and its associated groups have become the standard bearers of the Sunni civil wars in Syria and Iraq.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain can complain that we could have avoided the rise of ISIS if we had only armed the right sort of Jihadists in Syria. But if ISIS became dominant because its agenda had popular support, then it would not have mattered whom we armed or didn’t arm.

We armed the Iraqi military to the teeth, but it didn’t do any good because the military didn’t represent any larger consensus in an Iraq divided along religious and ethnic lines. 

To understand ISIS, we have to unlearn many of the bad ideas we picked up since September 11. Terrorists, the media tell us, represent some extreme edge of the population. If they have popular support, it’s only because the civilian population has somehow become radicalized. (And usually it’s our fault.)

And yet that model doesn’t hold up. It never did.

The religious and ethnic strife in the Middle East out of which ISIS emerged and which has become its brand, goes back over a thousand years. If support for terrorism emerges from radicalization, then the armies of Islam were radicalized in the time of Mohammed and have never been de-radicalized. 

Terrorism is not reactive. As ISIS has shown us, it has a vision for the future. The Caliphate, like the Reich, is a utopia which can only be created through the mass murder and repression of all those who do not belong. This isn’t a new vision. It’s the founding vision of Islam.

What is wrong with ISIS is what is wrong with Islam.

We can defeat ISIS, but we should remember that its roots are in the hearts of the Sunni Muslims who have supported it. ISIS and Al Qaeda are only symptoms of the larger problem. 

We can see the larger problem flying Jihadist flags in London and New Jersey. We can see it trooping through Australian and Canadian airports to join ISIS. We can see it in the eyes of the Sunni Arabs murdering their Yazidi neighbors. ISIS is an expression of the murderous hate within Islam. We are not only at war with an acronym, but with the dark hatred in the hearts of men, some of whom are in Iraq and Pakistan. And some of whom live next door.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 1:54 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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To escapee death, Yazidis convert to Islam, and are filmed by a triumphalist Muslim cinematographer, for distribution far and wide. We are being shown a history lesson. We are being shown how vast areas, peopled by many different kinds of non-Muslims, were conquered quickly, or slowly, by small numbers of Muslims, who managed to be transform them into places inhabited overwhelmingly by Muslims.

Here.
 

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Posted on 08/21/2014 1:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 12:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Here.

This is delusion. ISIS is much more of an immediate threat to the Rafidite dogs -- the Shi'a -- of Iraq, and to their Iranian backers. These Uber-Sunnis, whom the Iranians like to call "takfiris" as if in their hatred of Shi'a, and refusal to regard their brand of Islam as authentic, were some crazed belief, rather than reflecting, as it does, mainstream Sunni attitudes toward Shi'a Islam. Neither the American, nor any other Western government, needs to make concessions to Iran to fight for its life, and the life of other Shi'a, by opposing ISIS in Iraq.

In fact, it is the other way around. The Western powers have shown themselves interested in protecting, quite late, the non-Muslim minorities -- Christians and Yazidis mainly -- in northern Iraq, and in arming the Kurds, who are to be trusted to fight, unlike the Arabs, and unlike the Arabs, are far better disposed toward Western Infidels because their ethnic identity -- their Kurdishness -- dilutes and weakens the hold of Islam, whereas the Arab ethnic identity reinforces it. But the Western powers have so far not taken steps to protect the Shi'a of Baghdad, and one hopes that policy will continue.

It is Iran that should be trying -- by offering to give up its nuclear project -- to win Western aid against ISIS in central and southern Iraq. In a rightly-ordered world, with well-prepared and unconfused Western leaders, that would be obvious.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 11:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way, and perfectly willing to bash a policeman in the face or -- it's not yet clear -- to smash his face against his own car.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way, and perfectly willing to bash a policeman in the face or -- it's not yet clear -- to smash that policeman's face against something -- the steering wheel? -- in his own police car, and certainly, ready to charge that policeman, like a maddened bull, and if his charge were to be completed, to grab that average-sized policeman, and either take his gun, and shoot him with it, or more likely, simply beat him to death.

Unarmed?

Not as far as that policeman was concerned, and it was he whose life was at stake and who had to make split-second decisions, without anyone around to come to his aid but many no doubt willing to join in attacking him, as to how to save himself.

 

 

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Posted on 08/21/2014 11:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Here.

Will this be given the attention it deserves? Will those who darkly hinted that Hamas was innocent, that Israel made up the whole business in order to have an "excuse" to attack Gaza (apparently 3,000 rockets over the past few years does not constitute a sufficient "excuse"), now take public note and issue a mea maxima culpa? Don't be silly.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 9:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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by Fergus Downie (August 2014)


Hubris seems to catch up quicker in the 21st century, and our Belle Époques are certainly shorter – we moved from the end of history to the death of the west in a mere four years and the note of optimism struck by Fukuyama’s essay now seems a remote and utopian memory. In western book markets it is Spenglerian pessimism that sells, the events of 9/11 spawning a cottage industry of dismal prophets recycling much the same fin de siècle angst which pervaded Europe’s educated classes during the thirties and seemingly with far less justification. There are, needless to say, risks to this flirting with the abyss; some people might take it seriously and this alone gives reasonable grounds to be cautious. Reactionaries, moreover, are always drawn to visions of catastrophe, the plight of the Last Roman providing a comfortingly reassuring self-image for those who, much like the revolutionaries in Conrad’s novels would rather burn than rot. To such individuals the end is forever nigh.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/21/2014 8:39 AM by NER
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Here.

And even more at BBC Watch here.

Quaere: Even if Jon Donnison is now back reporting from Sydney for the BBC, does not his grotesque performance from Gaza merit his being fired? How well will he report, do you think, on the Muslim threat in Australia? Isn't it clear that hostility toward Israel, and sympathy for those who would destroy it, makes it almost impossible for someone to think straight about Islam, and to truthfully report on its texts, and teachings, and the attitudes of those who take Islam to heart, and the atmospherics of societies suffused with Islam? And isn't that something about which, from every Western country, all non-Muslims need to receive truthful reports, not sanitized apologetics from the sinister and dangerous jon-donnisons of this world?

How long does the BBC intend to keep him on? Will it demand of him to publicly explain all his statements about Israeli "claims" about Hamas being responsible for the kidnapping and murder of those three Israeli boys, and to take them back? Or does the BBC think that since he's now out of Gaza, and back near Botany Bay, he needn't be called to account?

Many will beg to differ.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 7:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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And this is what he says when he knows he is being recorded (hat tip Vlad Tepes):

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Posted on 08/21/2014 6:55 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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A comment from a reader, Kenneth Kelly, on August 18:

"This morning on BBC Radio 4's Today programme John Humphreys interviewed the BBC "Security" correspondent Frank Gardner on the factors motivating the British recruits to the IS army in the wake of the killing of American journalist James Foley. In reply to some pertinent questions Mr Gardner mentioned  that some were psychopaths and then the standard BBC reply - "this has nothing to do with religion "- at which stage I returned to Radio na Gaeltachta & listened to some Irish traditional music.

Here is an earlier article on Frank "Help Me I'm A Muslim" Gardner. Attacked and left to die on the street in Saudi Arabia, Frank Gardner knew exactly what he had to say if he were to have any chance of being helped: "Help  me, I'm a Muslim. Help me I'm a Muslim." He knows perfectly well that ISIL's members are simply following, to the letter, what the Qur'an and the most "authentic" Hadith (as determined long ago by such winnowing muhaddithin as Bukhari and Muslim), tell them to do, and attempting to emulate, too, the example of Muhammad, the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), in his own many campaigns against those who refused to submit to Islam.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 6:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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After the bribery scandal at FIFA, and the exposure of the mistreatment of the foreign slaves who build, and often die building, the comical skyscrapers of Doha, the Qatari government decided it had to show a group of Qatari young people going off to help others "less fortunate than themselves" in Amazonia, where their good works -- to be carefully, and massively, publicized by the Qatari government and, no doubt, its servant and succursale Al Jazeera -- would consist of rebuilding a single school, when of course a half-hour's revenue, entirely unearned, of the Qatari government could give all of Brazil thousands of such schools. The aim was not to help poor Brazilians, but to help the government of Qatar with its image problem.

But the stunt revealed the deep Muslim -- that is primitive -- nature of Qatari society.

Here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 6:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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  1. Washington Post ‎- 5 hours ago
    The explosions rocking the Gaza Strip may seem far removed from the flashy cars and skyscrapers of ultra-rich Qatar, but efforts to end fighting ...
  1. gulfnews.com‎ - 1 day ago
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Posted on 08/21/2014 6:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra'ad Atar, 39

Source: General Security Service of Israel

The Hamas breach of the 12th cease fire unleashed a new phase by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge to take down Hamas military leaders. By going after Hamas military commanders via air assaults based on intelligence gathered by Shin Bet, it has scored some important hits, including operatives involved in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. Schalit was held in captivity for five years by Hamas until his release in October 2011 in exchange for 1037 Palestinian prisoners. The IDF announced the killing of Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra'ad Atar, 39 and a third operative in an IAF air assault on a Rafah location in southern Gaza. The significance of the killing of both Smalla and Atar was their involvement in several operations, notably the 2004 tunnel attack in the Philadelphi corridor that sparked IDF tunnel detection developments and the recent cross border tunnel attacks in Operation Protective Edge. See our recent Iconoclast post, “How Israel’s Military Bureaucracy Bungled the Terror Tunnel Threat”.

Further, there are conflicting reports that the IAF may have taken down the head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif. However, Hamas only acknowledges that Deif's wife and infant child were killed in the attack on their home in Gaza. Hamas is now concentrating its rocket barrages on Southern Israel and strategic launches against the Tel Aviv area in central Israel seeking to score another hit near Ben Gurion Airport. An earlier rocket hit in late July on a residence near Ben Gurion Airport brought about an order from the US FAA resulting in temporary suspension of flights to Israel by US and international carriers.

The Jerusalem Post (JP) reported on the success of Thursday’s IAF attack in Rafah, “Israel kills two Hamas senior military commanders in air strike.” Yaakov Lappin of the JP noted:

The air force carried out a targeted assassination of two very senior Hamas terrorists and a lower ranking terrorist in the Gaza Strip overnight.

An IAF aircraft, guided by information obtained by the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency], fired missiles at a building in Rafah that housed Ra'ad Atar and Muhammad Abu Smalla, killing them both, security forces said.

A third Hamas terrorist, Muhammed Barhoum, described by security sources as an abettor to the senior Hamas members, was also killed in the strike.

[…]

The attack came after the Shin Bet received intelligence on the location of the terrorists, security forces added, describing the targets as men who were senior and central members of Hamas's military wing.

Abu Smalla, 39, was the most senior Hamas leader in southern Gaza (and was dubbed as "Hamas's southern commander" by the Shin Bet). He was responsible for operations in all of Rafah and Khan Younes. The Shin Bet said he commanded over all combat in his sector, and was a long-time member of Hamas's core leadership in the Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades.

He began terrorist activities in the early 1990s with Hamas military wing chief Muhammed Deif, and was directly involved in carrying out and orchestrating dozens of attacks on Israel, including the murder of an IDF officer in Rafah in 1994, an attack that killed six soldiers with bomb-laden tunnels in 2004, and orchestrating a bombing of the Kerem Shalom border crossing in 2008, in which booby trapped jeeps were used. Thirteen soldiers were injured in that attack.

Abu Smalla was one of the main planners of the Kerem Shalom tunnel attack in 2006, in which two IDF soldiers were killed and Gilad Schalit was kidnapped.

During the current war, he was responsible for overseeing the infiltration of 13 Hamas terrorists into Israel via a tunnel in the Kibbutz Sufa area.

Ra'ad Atar, 39, was a Hamas brigade commander in southern Gaza, and a senior member of the military wing. The Shin Bet said he was an architect of the Hamas offensive tunnel network in south Gaza.

There are disputed claims that Mohammed Deif, Hamas military wing commander may have been killed in a separate air attack. Fox News, today, reported conflicting claims from Hamas versus the IDF following disclosures of the funeral of Deif’s wife and infant child, “Hamas’ military chief believed to have been killed in airstrike, sources say.”  The report noted:

The Times of Israel reported that a house believed to be the home of Deif was hit early Wednesday. Dief has escaped numerous Israeli assassination attempts in the past. It was not immediately clear whether he was there at the time of the attack.

In Cairo, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said that among those killed in the airstrike on the three-story house in Gaza City were Deif's wife and a child. Three others in the building were also killed.

Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas' military wing, said Israel was "unable to get to our commander Deif," saying he will "lead the army that will enter to liberate the holy al-Aqsa mosque" in Jerusalem.

[…]

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told the news website Ynet that "[Deif's] his liquidation is not just legitimate but desirable, in my opinion."

Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Perry, a former head of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet, told Israel's Army Radio that "if there had been intelligence that Mohammad Deif was not in that house, we would not have blown it up."

"With the assumption that Israel was behind this, it shows its intelligence capabilities...and it is an important indication that no head of the Hamas military wing is immune to a targeted killing," he added.

We await confirmation of the alleged killing of Deif. Coupled with the confirmed deaths of both Muhammad Abu Smalla and Ra'ad Atar might mark a significant turn in the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge. The emerging strategy to deter Hamas from continued operations appears to be decapitating “the head of the snake,” the leadership of the Qassam Brigade military wing in Gaza. If that is effective it could disrupt operations and force closure on permanent solutions to the conflict in Gaza, including disarmament. We await further developments in this new and productive turn in Operation Protective Edge now in its 45th day.

 

 

 

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Posted on 08/21/2014 5:20 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Hillary Clinton's stance that we should have stepped up the arming the "moderates" fighting Assad as a way of "blunting" ISIS is shown to be shallow and misguided. From the International Business Times (hat tip: Jihad Watch):

According to Syrian sources who have worked previously to locate and rescue kidnapped journalists in Syria, American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by Islamic State in a video the militant group made public on Tuesday, was most likely used by another guerrilla group as a token of allegiance to ISIS. 

According to those sources, Foley was in the hands of the Dawood Bridgade, a group that was originally aligned with relatively moderate opposition groups such as the Free Syrian Army, but recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.

The International Business Times reported last month that activists on the ground near Al Bab, Syria, said that the Dawood Brigade, which now consists of about 1,000 people, defected from the Free Syrian Army and moved on to Raqqa to join ISIS. The group arrived in Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold, in a convoy of more than 100 vehicles.

The Dawood Brigade, which used to be called Jaysh al-Mujahedin (Mujahedin Army), but changed its name in late 2012, was originally under the direction of Abu Mohammed al-Shami al-Absi. The group was rumored to have been responsible for the kidnapping of John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans, who went missing in Syria in 2012, according to the Syrian sources. The two journalists were rescued by another rebel faction, and escaped. 

After their release from captivity, the two journalists described their captors, saying that many of them had British accents -- like the man who was seen in the ISIS video killing Foley.  

Cantlie, a freelance photographer, apparently went back into Syria with Foley in the fall of 2012.

The Dawood Brigade joined in an alliance with the Suqour al-Sham (Falcons of the Levant) in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of the northwestern province of Idlib. As the war progressed, Suqour al-Sham and Dawood expanded their influence to areas such as Damascus and Aleppo. The group also got a new leader, Hassan Abboud.

No details about Foley's captors have yet been released by the State Department, the White House or Global Post. 

In the past two years, rumors have circulated about the whereabouts of several kidnapped American journalists in Syria and how exactly they went missing. For the parents of those missing, releasing information about their children has not always been an easy decision. Like with many investigations, releasing too much information could make matters worse. In the case of James Foley, his family and Global Post decided to keep whatever information they might have possessed about his captors secret to protect him.

“Although GlobalPost’s investigation at one point led us to believe that James was being held by the Syrian government, we later were given strong reason to believe he was being held by Islamic militants in Syria," Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, said Tuesday. "We withheld this information at the request of the family and on the advice of authorities cooperating in the effort to protect Jim. GlobalPost, working with a private security company, has amassed an enormous amount of information that has not been made public.”

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Posted on 08/21/2014 5:15 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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The latest spectacular feat from Gaza here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 4:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Douglas Murray in the Daily Express. 

The decision last month by the Israeli government to respond to Hamas rocket-fire from Gaza is the response any government would choose if rockets were fired at its citizens. The Israeli government has the right - as does any government - to stop the bombarding of its people.

However, in recent weeks it has become plain that much of the world expects a different response from Israel. They expect Israel not to fight for the safety, security and survival of their people, but to lie down in front of the Islamic extremist enemy.  

The UK government has even - disgracefully - stopped selling some arms to Israel just when the country needs such weapons most.  But in expecting Israel to behave differently from the rest of us our societies and governments reveal far more about our own state than the State of Israel.
 
Because the truth is that behind the demands for Israel to lie down in front of its enemies is a fatal unwillingness of our own to face the problem which is in our midst.

The extremists of Hamas are the ideological bedfellows of the extremists of ISIS who are rampaging through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading as they go.

The video of the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by an ISIS murderer with a British accent has shocked the world. ISIS or IS are the soul-mates of Boko Haram who kidnap and kill Christian villagers in the North of Nigeria and stole 300 schoolgirls earlier this year.  

They also share the exact same ideology – if not yet the same means – as those people who were found in Birmingham earlier this year teaching British pupils to hate wider British society and cut themselves off from non-Muslims.

But it is this last part of the equation which many people seem so incapable of dealing with. . . 

They believe that if Israel just gave up fighting and disappeared that the rest of us would be able to live in peace.  They see the young Muslims who stormed into a supermarket in Birmingham last weekend, trashing the products and assaulting a British policeman and they think “this is caused by Israel.”  

They see young Parisian Muslims throw slabs of concrete at police and set fire to cars and they think “If only Israel weren’t responding to Hamas rocket-fire.”  And they see Imams in Germany and Italy preach that all Jewish people  must be killed and they pretend that it is not a problem for all of us.
 
How wrong they are.  The problem of anti-Semitism, and Islamic anti-Semitism in particular today, is undoubtedly a problem for Jewish people. But it is only a problem for them first. It is a problem for all of us next.

What is it that lies behind this terrible Hamas-driven rage against Israel?  What lies behind the desire for Israel to disappear? Today the world is finding out.  

Because behind the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah which have flown at anti-Israel demonstrations in recent weeks is another flag. The black flag of jihad – the black flag most recently being waved in Iraq and Syria by ISIS.

The black flag is not about Jewish people. Today in Iraq and Syria it is about Christians who ISIS is forcing to convert to Islam at gunpoint or face beheading. Many Christians are being killed by ISIS for refusing to renounce their faith. On some occasions Christians have tried to save their lives by “converting” at gunpoint and ISIS have killed them anyway. And this is not only about Christians. It is also about other minority faiths in Islamist dominated countries. In Iraq it is also about the Yazidis, the Mandeans and other ancient beliefs which predate Islam.  

The ambition of the jihadists – from al-Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and more – is to subjugate the entire world.  

It is now the duty of all decent people – including decent Muslims – to turn on these barbarians and make it clear they will not win.  Rather than offer up beleaguered Israel we should send another message.  That the extremists will not win in their desire to take over Israel anymore than they will win in their stated desire to raise the black flag of jihad over Rome, Washington, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.  

Israel is not the cause of the world’s problems. It is simply on the front line of them.  

But increasingly so are we all. And if we abandon Israel today then one day – too late – we will realise that in fact what we abandoned was ourselves.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 4:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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From News Australia

“It just goes to show that this is not just something that happens elsewhere, it could happen in countries like Australia if we relax our vigilance against terrorism and potential terrorism here on our shores,” Prime Minister Abbott said. ISIS is the “most effective” terrorist movement the world has ever seen, according to Abbott, who warns its actions have ramifications for Australia.

The Prime Minister believes the video of the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley is a sign of the “evil barbarity” of the group responsible.

“It’s a sign that there is an utter ruthlessness and depravity about this movement which is hideous and sickening and deplorable,” he told 3AW radio this morning. “It just strengthens my resolve, and frankly it should strengthen every Australians resolve, to do whatever we humanly can to ensure we never have the slightest hint of this kind of thing here in Australia.”

The PM warned there are about 60 Australians working with ISIL and another 100 with its support networks. “This is of deep concern,” he said. “Yes it’s a tiny, tiny, tiny minuscule percentage of our population, but nevertheless it doesn’t take very many people, as the September 11th assault on the United States showed. It doesn’t take very many people to do enormous damage to countries using modern technology.”

He also claimed it is “quite concerning” that groups like Jemaah Islamiah are being “energised” by ISIL. Yes what happens in Syria and Northern Iraq is a long way away, but it has ramifications for our country because there are Australians involved.”

Mr Abbott has also labelled Islamic groups “foolish” and “petty” for boycotting their meeting with him. The Islamic Council of Victoria was among a “small number” who refused to attend a planned sit down with the Prime Minister after taking offence over his “Team Australia” rhetoric. Council secretary Ghaith Krayem on Tuesday labelled the Melbourne gathering a “media stunt”. 

But Mr Abbott today criticised the leaders for not sitting down with him, arguing he doubts it will happen again because it was “so self evidently petty”. “I’d rather focus on the very many who have come to these meetings, rather than the few who in my mind have rather foolishly boycotted them,” he told 3AW. “You can hardly complain that people aren’t talking to you and then when you offer them a talk say sorry we’re not coming,” 

“Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first, and you don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join our team and that’s the point I’ll be stressing,”

His government also wants to make it an offence to travel to ‘designated areas’ where terrorist organisations are conducting hostile activities unless there is a valid reason.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 4:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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