Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Jihadists threaten 'London is next' after spate of European terror attacks
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From the London Evening Standard

Jihadists have issued threats to London's safety after a spate of horrific terror attacks hit Europe.

Images threatening atrocities in London and other capital cities have been widely posted on a jihadi messaging app, according to analysts tracking extremist activity online for SITE Intelligence Group.

Scotland Yard also advised the capital’s churches to review their security arrangements amid fears of a similar attack. Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today.

Mr Basu added that there was no specific intelligence relating to attacks on the Christian community in the UK.
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Posted on 07/27/2016 11:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men
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by Theodore Dalrymple

Pride is perhaps the worst of sins, for it is often at the root of many others such as anger and avarice. One finds it in unexpected places, for example in an article in the Guardian newspaper about the horrors of pro-Brexit Britain.

The author (whom I shall not name to spare him his blushes) obviously subscribes to the bien pensant view that one either believes in the rule of Messrs Juncker and Van Rompuy, et al., or one goes around beating up foreigners on the street. Our intellectual class, so dismissive of the uneducated masses who voted for Brexit, seem not to have noticed the logical fallacy in the argument that if xenophobes voted for Brexit, then those who voted for Brexit were xenophobes. Our educational system is evidently even worse than I had supposed.

The article, written by a Briton who now lives in Paris, ends as follows:

On the slipstream of empire, I’ve always thought – to the point of treason – of my British passport as a “burden of shame” as UB40 so eloquently put it, “a British subject, not proud of it”. Now, trying to cling on in “the continent”, it is just a downright embarrassment – not only a badge of shame, but also, worse in a way, of pointless, bellicose imbecility.

This is, of course, typical of the hyperbole that followed the result of the referendum – to the holding of which, incidentally, few people objected before the results were known. In other words, you can have elections and referenda all right, so long as the results are ‘correct.’

But the interesting thing about the passage above is the evident and overweening pride that runs through it. The man who wrote it is middle-aged: he has kept his ‘badge of shame’ for decades after he could, if he had felt genuine shame about it, have got rid of it. No, his pride is to have a badge of shame, extravagantly exhibited, in order to demonstrate his moral superiority over other people who wear the same badge who are not as intelligent, educated or morally sensitive as he. This is the prideful shame of the poseur, of the moral exhibitionist. Moral exhibitionism is now the déformation professionelle (I use the French expression to establish that I am no xenophobe) of the intellectuals. On me, at any rate, it has the same effect as the sound of a teacher’s nail accidentally running down the blackboard had when I was a child. It puts me on edge.

First published in Salisbury Review.

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Posted on 07/27/2016 5:26 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016
The Barbarians Must be Stopped
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by Michael Curtis

Everyone admires the intriguing puzzles and solutions in the stories of Sherlock Holmes. In the Adventures of Silver Blaze the curious incident of the dog that did nothing, did not bark, in the night was the clue towards solving the mystery. Sherlock is needed to solve the mystery why, on July 25, 2016 at the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the 61 speeches may have been full of bite but none uttered a whisper let alone a bark about the menace of ISIS and Islamist terrorism.

The mystery deepens with the appalling news a few hours after the end of that first day that two Islamist terrorists, armed with knives, had entered the Catholic Church in Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, a few miles from Rouen in Normandy, France during morning service on July 26, 2016. They forced the 86 year-old priest Father Jacques Hamel, to knell and filmed his death as they slit his throat. They took two nuns and others hostage before they were killed by French police. ISIS promptly called them “two soldiers of the Islamic State.”

Another terrorist referred in the incident by the French police is a 24 year old Algerian computer student named Sis Ahmed Ghlam was known to the authorities since he had been arrested in April 2015 after he had called for an ambulance after he shot himself in the leg. He was arrested on suspicion of planning “imminent” terror attacks.  In his car, the police discovered weapons including Kalashnikovs, a police issued pistol, and bullet proof vests. Even more important they found plans for terrorist attacks on other churches, including the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris. This terrorist is in prison charged with the murder of a 32 year old woman who was shot three times in the head.

The barbarity committed in the church in Normandy is now added to the list of horrors executed by Islamist terrorists and followers of ISIS. It does not take a Sherlock to remember them, in London, Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and the Maelbeek metro station, Nice, Munich, Cologne, Wurzburg and Ansbach.

The world, particularly the West, is facing a major threat to civilization and the way of life of democratic societies. British authorities have recently made it known that they disrupted seven plots to attack the UK in the last 18 months. French President Francois Hollande has again, after the murder in the church, declared that ISIS has declared war on the west and must be fought using all means possible. Indeed, ISIS is fomenting a war of religions, boldly announcing a major target was Christians across the world, and even aiming at the assassination of Pope Francis.

Presidential candidates and political party conventions in the U.S. as well as authorities in European countries must devote their attention to and prepare solutions for the continuing terrorism of contemporary barbarians who are now within our gates, not simply at them.

Western democratic systems are based on tolerance and respect for others and on honorable efforts to eliminate or at least limit prejudice in society. With societies based on free speech and expression this has always been difficult to sustain but it has become much more difficult with the prevalence of social media. Those defending the West recognize that new and changing technologies make it difficult for them to obtain sufficient accurate information to forestall planned terrorist attacks.

Nevertheless, strong immediate action by the west is crucial. At bottom Western leaders, especially those in the White House, must recognize the enemy, “Radical Islamist Terrorism,” not evade the truth by euphemisms or political correctness. This means the use of forceful methods, plainly speaking war, against the enemy so relentlessly anxious to destroy the West, and must ensure greater accuracy in security arrangements. War is being waged against the West.

That accuracy is essential to prevent terrorist plans from succeeding. It is disturbing that both of the murderers of the priest were on the French anti-terrorist watch list  and were known to the authorities. In fact, one of them the 19 year-old Adel Kermich, had been arrested in 2015 after being expelled from Turkey for trying to join ISIS in Syria. He had become a potential jihadist after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015. He was jailed in France, but then freed by judges against the advice of prosecutors, fitted with an electronic tag and subject to a curfew. Nevertheless, he was able to commit the murder before the hour of the curfew began.

 US Presidential candidates, like leaders everywhere, must now tackle a number of issues and propose solutions to overcome and stop not only hate speech but also all incitements to adhere to Islamist terrorist appeals that are prevalent especially on the Internet and social networks.

A few suggestions may be allowed. First is the difficult problem for democracies that must be tackled. Should expressions of hate and incidents to commit terrorism be limited by law and public policy, and by private agreement, in order to prevent future atrocities? Islamist extremism can be promoted not simply by Islamic authorities in mosques or madrassas, but now mainly in the home simply by looking at the screen.

Second, though the task for police and security personnel is understandably now increasingly formidable because of the number of potential jihadists and technological changes, intelligence must be improved and those thought likely to commit terrorist acts must be dealt with severely. The jihadists must be regarded less as criminals and more as enemy fighters and must be dealt with accordingly.

Third, Islamic clerics should not be allowed to preach hatred against the west or encourage violent action. Their rhetoric used in mosques must be observed and censored if it incites violence. Authorities might consider expulsion of irresponsible Imans.

Fourth, in connection with this previous point western leaders Muslim leaders who claim to be moderate, truly interested in harmonious relations with non-Muslims, and honestly opposed to Islamist terrorism must speak out forcefully and often against the perpetrators.

Above all and finally, the immigration issue that has disconcerted all European countries, and to a considerable degree accounts for the success of Brexit in the UK, must be confronted in the U.S. as it is being in Europe. Two problems arise. One is whether potential jihadists, and if so how many, are claiming refugee and asylum status in the west. The other is that it is an open and complex question, and one hotly disputed politically, whether the majority of would be immigrants can be successfully immigrated into western countries. 

National Party Conventions in the US should discuss these issues.

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Posted on 07/27/2016 4:30 AM by Michael Curtis
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
The greatest threat to civilization is loss of free speech
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by Lorna Salzman

Islamism will defeat us only if we submit to censorship of free speech and the demands of the radical left, guilty liberals and Social Justice Warriors, including those sitting in seats of power in academia. Great Britain is taking the lead on this but American universities are not far beyond. As Jefferson noted, legitimate self-government is made possible only by a fully informed citizenry. This “fully informed” body of information is now being curtailed in the interests of Political Correctness, elevation of individual “feelings” over individual rights, neo-fascist and authoritarian ideologies now manifested on the left, not the right, and pathetically misguided “feminists” in raging rants against all white males, including working class white males who are arguably MORE oppressed by our corrupt inequitable economic system and policies. These loony leftists make no distinction between class or economic status in condemning the “white power structure” and society-wide “racism,” thus tarring the single mother with two jobs, the long-jobless union worker, the homeless and hungry in our cities, the afflicted deindustrialized middle America, including Appalachia, and all the small business men and laborers living hand to mouth.

While the nationalist right wing surges to the front in Europe, which is now free game for terrorists because of the paleo-liberal establishment that is blamed for the refusal of Muslims to assimilate, the left’s recusal from any fact-based dialogue about the threat of Islamism has ceded the moral high ground to the right wing, which can hardly be blamed for taking advantage of the situation. The front line is France but Germany is going to follow, as Germans wake up to the Muslim Trojan horse that Merkel allowed to enter their borders. While there is some variation in the character and proposals of various right wing groups, eventually, in the interest of survival, they will likely unite so as to take control. This may happen on a state by state basis, and after they establish a power base, they will move to their national parliament and then to the EU. The tragedy is that in the meantime there will be more Muslim rampages, stabbings, bombings, death vehicles. A full-fledged campaign of anti-Muslim violence by enraged citizens cannot be ruled out. In the end, it will be the fault of the left, not the right.

In case people are not aware of the widespread restrictions on free speech, often accompanied by murder of journalists and dissidents, take a look at the PEN weekly bulletin on threats to free speech. This is required reading to understand the latitude and frequency of violence being committed by sovereign governments around the world. Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Sudan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey in the lead, Russia……media  everywhere on the internet and in the press are now feeling the pressure, and journalism is the most dangerous occupation in the world.

Remarkably, none of the US presidential candidates, or Bernie Sanders, has seen fit to address this issue. Human rights groups are now speaking out with their own postings…even Human Rights Watch which was badly tainted by its firing of Gita Seghal who protested the HRW sponsorship of a European tour by a former Guantanamo terrorist now has a weekly briefing, and the PEN weekly briefing on free speech threats doesn’t hold back. I recommend that everyone subscribe to their notice list to get the full flavor of the global clamp-down on free speech. The question is whether this will become more pronounced in this country as the SJW, feminists, paleo-liberals and the loony left spread their totalitarian demands across all of academia and then into our own media (already compromised by refusing to acknowledge Islamic jihad) and communities.

The only bright light is the apparent coherence and integrity of the Sanders supporters, who seem committed to rejecting small marginal reforms and seem to be preparing for a full-fledged rejection of the Democratic Party. The flaccid compromises made by Hillary on school tuition and her patently mendacious switch to opposing the TTP (watch for her devilishly clever way of eventually supporting it) are nada, in the scheme of things.

No opposition to fracking is in sight, much less a full-throated muscular energy policy with stringent federal efficiency standards, end to all energy subsidies and tax breaks, and an escalating carbon tax, including a gasoline tax as fundamental. Obama announced energy efficiency standards for airlines, which contribute about 3% to global warming, but given the uncontrolled expansion of air travel, there is only one thing that could have any effect: raising energy prices so as to curb the increase in air travel. Instead of air travel, maybe we should go back to trans-oceanic ships…not luxury cruise ships, a major ecological disaster, but dormitory ships with cafeterias and no luxuries. My guess is that there are millions of people who can put up with camp-style accommodations (with their own towels and sheets) for the four-day Atlantic crossing…..and have lots of fun doing it.

Sanderistas should now consider, after they fail to redirect the Democratic Party in the required direction of reforming our economic system, defecting en masse from the party and registering as independents. A third party such as the U.S. Green Party is ill advised (I have written about the inevitable collapse of the party extensively) because too many disparate views need to be reconciled or even eliminated, not least the vile anti-Israel campaign of most of the left. Leaving this out of the Democratic Party platform was the only good thing the DNC accomplished. Count on the left to use it as a springboard if there were ever a meeting to discuss a third party. The left and the SJW are poison to any real campaign to challenge the two party system.

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Posted on 07/26/2016 1:09 PM by Lorna Salzman
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Normandy church knifeman was convicted terrorist monitored with electronic tag
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From the Express ht Rebecca

ONE of the two knifeman who murdered a priest during morning mass at a church in Normandy was a convicted terrorist who was known to the French authorities and should have been monitored with an electronic tag.

The as-yet unnamed individual attempted to travel to Syria in 2015 to fight with Islamic State but was arrested in Turkey, it has emerged. 

According to French media, the assailant should have been living with his parents (said to be close to the Catholic church which was targeted this morning) under a court order. He was required to wear an electronic bracelet and allowed out unsupervised between the hours of 8.30am and 12.30pm. Mass at the church started at 9am.

I-tele reported the suspect, who was shot dead by police during the siege, spent nearly a year in prison before being released on March 2. Little else is known about the attackers but it is believed they were known to the French authorities.

A statement released by ISIS’ Amaq news agency said two Islamic State “soldiers” carried out the Normandy church attack in France. The statement said: "They carried out the operation in response to the call to target the countries of the crusader coalition.”

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Posted on 07/26/2016 8:07 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Cardinal Burke Breaks Ranks
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

We have heard many disturbing statements in recent years made by Catholic clerics, from bishops and cardinals right up to Pope Francis, who seem to believe that Islam is a religion like any other, that criticism of Islam is unjustified and based on the motiveless malignity of “Islamophobia,” and that the main duty of Catholics with respect to Muslims is not to challenge or confront them both as to their ideology and as to the many acts of Muslim terrorism, but to engage, rather, in endless Catholic-Muslim Dialogue. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has had an ill-considered mandate to engage in “dialogue” with Muslims, as the Committee for Ecumenical and Religious Affairs of the United States Conference of Bishops has stated:

“The declaration has been consistently upheld by recent popes. Pope John Paul II affirmed the need for dialogue with Muslims on numerous occasions throughout his long pontificate (1978–2005). For example, in Crossing the Threshold of Hope he remarked in the chapter entitled “Muhammad?” that “believers in Allah are particularly close to us” and that “the religiosity of Muslims deserves our respect” ([New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005], 91, 93). The pope also reiterated the central mandate of Nostra Aetate by reminding the faithful that they are called to maintain a dialogue with followers of the ‘Prophet’” and that “the Church remains always open to dialogue and cooperation” (ibid., 93, 94).

Unfortunately, while American Bishops claim that Muslims have been willing to engage in such dialogue, they report that the Christian side has not been as forthcoming:

“Sadly, in recent years, there has been a deliberate rejection of this call to engage in dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters by some in the Catholic Church and in other ecclesial families. We understand the confusion and deep emotions…

Not “confusion” and unspecified “deep emotions,” but rage.

…stirred by real and apparent acts of aggression and discrimination…

Not unspecified “acts of aggression and discrimination,” but mass murder, repeated again and again.

…by certain Muslims against non-Muslims, often against Christians abroad. We, and increasingly our Muslim partners in dialogue, are concerned about these very real phenomena. Along with many of our fellow Catholics and the many Muslims who themselves are targeted by radicals…

Muslims have not been “targeted” in Europe, even if some have unavoidably been among those killed when large groups have been the target. It is only Shia Muslims in the Middle East and Pakistan who have been deliberately targeted, by Sunnis, and solely because they are regarded by those Sunnis as Infidels, even the worst kind of Infidels.

…we wish to voice our sadness, indeed our outrage, over the random and sometimes systematic acts of violence and harassment—acts that for both Christians and Muslims threaten and disrupt the harmony that binds us together in mutual support, recognition, and friendship.

Translation: if we react to acts of Muslim terrorism by becoming more suspicious of Muslims, allowing attacks by Muslims to limit our “dialogue,” and rejecting that which binds us “in mutual support, recognition, and friendship”[!], why, then the terrorists will have won.”

“In the 2007 document A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 of the Islamic world’s most respected leaders asserted the following”:

To those who nevertheless relish conflict and destruction for their own sake or reckon that ultimately they stand to gain through them, we say that our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony. . . . So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill.”

This is not Muslim-Christian dialogue, but Christians whistling in the dark.

As Robert Spencer pointed out at the time, the phrase “a common word between you and us” comes from the Qur’an, where the full context shows quite a different intent: “’a common word between us and you’ comes from beyond the Qur’an citation provided in that document’s epigraph. If they [the Catholic bishops] had looked it up in the Qur’an, they would have found that the full passage is not a call for mutual understanding and mutual respect; rather, it is an exhortation to Christians to convert to Islam.”

And Spencer provided in full that self-incriminating passage: “Say: ‘People of the Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none but Allah, and that we associate no others with Him, and do not some of us take others as Lords, apart from Allah.’ And if they turn their backs, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’ (3:64).”

Spencer explained: “Since Muslims consider the Christian confession of the divinity of Christ to be an unacceptable association of a partner with God, this verse is saying that the ‘common word’ that Muslims and the People of the Book should agree on is that Christians should discard one of the central tenets of their faith and essentially become Muslims.”

Especially egregious among Catholic clergy, in his confused and delirious defense of Islam, has been Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, who even cancelled a scheduled talk by Robert Spencer, explaining: “Spencer’s talk about extreme, militant Islamists…might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.”

At the time — February 2013 — one would have expected Bishop McManus to provide a list of those “positive achievements” that Catholics had “attained in.inter-religious dialogue.” He failed to do so. And more than three years later, after some “negative achievements” – attacks on Charlie Hebdo, and the Hyper Cacher kosher market, Bataclan and Brussels, and Orlando, and San Bernardino, and Nice among them — McManus once again was reminding us of the “positive achievements that…Catholics have attained in [their] inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims,” achievements so obvious that they never need be described. Bishop McManus keeps repeating the same praise of “dialogue,” without allowing reality to break in: “This dialogue has produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Again, one would like Bishop McManus to provide a list of five, or three, or two, or even one example, of that bounteous harvest of “mutual respect, understanding and cooperation” throughout the world between Muslims and Christians, that he believes has been reaped thanks to clerics like himself.

Then there is Pope Francis, who back in November 2013 said that “the Koran is a book of peace” and “Islam is a peaceful religion.” In May of this year, he seemed to have awakened from that deep dream of peace, when he told the French newspaper La Croix that “the idea of conquest is inherent to the soul of Islam.” This was, from him, a welcome admission. Unfortunately, he did not stop there, but felt compelled to add a tu-quoque (or rather, a me-quoque) directed at the world’s Christians: “it is also possible to interpret the objective of Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.” But Jesus’s disciples were not engaged in warfare, qitaal, as were Muslims conquering lands for Islam, but, rather, in spreading the Gospel mostly through preaching and persuasion; the Pope seems to have been suggesting a similarity of Muslim and Christian methods where there is none.

That is where things depressingly stood when, the other day, a senior Cardinal in Rome, Raymond Burke, gave an astonishing interview to the Religion News Service. He stated that “there is no question that Islam wishes to govern the world” and “criticised Christian leaders who “simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith.” That is not true, Cardinal Burke insists, for if Muslims become a majority in any country they “have the religious obligation to govern that country.” Burke says there are already “little Muslim states” within France and Belgium that are no-go areas for the police and are run, essentially, by local Muslims for the local Muslim population. Burke insists that the only way for Europe to withstand the relentless onslaught of Islam is “to return to its Christian roots.”

I do not know if Cardinal Burke means that post-Christian Europeans must somehow persuade themselves to become Believers again, or if he means instead that Europeans must again recognize that Europe is a child of Christianity, whatever those on the wilder shores of multiculturalism may claim, and that the failure to do so has weakened Europe’s sense of itself and its ability to withstand this relentless Muslim onslaught that has no end. But it is Burke’s bold diagnosis, and not his putative cure, that matters most. His text and tone are different from what we are used to hearing from present-day Christian clerics, so few of whom are inclined to publicly recognize unpleasant truths about Islam. Surely Europeans ought not be too quick to deny the Christian roots of Western civilization or, when they don’t deny those roots outright, to accommodatingly pretend that Islam too, is owed so much. Just remember that shameful rewriting of history by Jacques Chirac, when he insisted that “Europe owes as much to Islam as it does to Christianity.”

I wonder if Cardinal Burke, so highly placed in Rome, would have made his welcome remarks without discussing the subject with others still higher up in the Vatican, perhaps even with the Pope, and whether his statements might even have received the Pope’s tacit approval, a way to have the outspoken Cardinal Burke (one of the Church’s “conservatives”) express what Pope Francis now wants expressed, but for the moment doesn’t think he should be the one to do it. This, of course, is only a hope, likely forlorn, for the Pope’s “humanitarian” insistence that European countries take in still more Muslim immigrants, and his chastising of those – like Poland, which he will be visiting this week – that don’t, seems fixed in amber. But, on the off-chance that Cardinal Burke’s statements constituted a trial balloon for a harder Catholic line on Islam, may it long remain on high to receive the attention it deserves. Let’s now see how the other clerics respond, whether they remain eager to distance themselves from such remarks, or whether Cardinal Burke’s observations embolden others, and reduce the mcmanuses to a suitable silence.

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Posted on 07/26/2016 7:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Police shoot dead Islamic knifemen who murdered priest, 84, after taking hostages in Normandy church
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More about the jihad attack on a French church this morning. From the Yorkshire Post, Sky News and The Telegraph

A PRIEST has died from a slashed throat after two knifemen burst into a church as he celebrated mass, in what appears to be the latest in a string of Islamist terror attacks in France. 

The dead man was identified by the Archbishop of Rouen as 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, who had been the parish’s priest for around 20 years.

Police sources were quoted as saying that at least one of the two hostage-takers was bearded and was wearing a skullcap of the kind worn by some Muslims. The assailants got in through the back door of the church and took the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning mass. The men shouted "Daesh" and cut the priest's throat before being "neutralised," police said.

French journalist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet told Sky News the assailants reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" on the steps of the building. 

A spokesman for the ministry of the interior, Pierre-Henry Brandet, confirmed that the priest was dead and said another hostage was “between life and death”. TV footage of the sealed-off crime scene showed one person being stretchered into an ambulance. The other three hostages were brought out alive.

Mr Brandet told French TV channel BFMTV: “The two hostage-takers came out of the church armed and it was at that point that they were neutralised by the police.”

In an impromptu press conference at the scene, Mr Brandet said that a careful investigation of the church building was being conducted by anti-terrorist officers, using sniffer dogs to ensure that no bombs had been left behind by the hostage-takers as booby-traps.

The area around the church remained cordoned off and the old town was out of bounds.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported that the church was suspected to have been on a list of Catholic places of worship in the area around Paris drawn up as possible targets by Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an Algerian student arrested last year on suspicion of murdering a mother-of-one during a botched attempt to attack a church in Villejuif. He was sent by Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who directed a cell which carried out the 13 November attacks in Paris during which 130 people were killed and the 22 March attacks in Brussels that killed 32 people.

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Posted on 07/26/2016 6:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Migrant hacked to death in bloodbath at Calais 'Jungle' camp - by another 'refugee'
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Peter Allen writes in the Evening Standard:

A migrant was hacked to death and another six badly wounded today when a fight broke out among UK-bound refugees in the so-called Calais “Jungle”.

The bloodbath took place in the early hours of this morning as gangs fought running battles in the giant shantytown, and by the A16 motorway nearby.

The deceased was described by the French authorities as a 37-year-old Ethiopian who had been hoping to claim asylum in Britain.

“Two fights broke out close to the camp between African migrants and Afghans between 2am and 4am,” said a source at the local prefecture. 

“Knives and batons were being used, causing one death and leaving six other Ethiopians seriously hurt.”

The murder victim – who has not been formally identified – was rushed to hospital by an activist with the No Borders protest group, said the source. 

“The Ethiopian died from the wounds,” the source added, adding that riot police immediately sealed off the scenes of the fighting and began appealing for witnesses. 

“A murder inquiry has been launched,” said a local police spokesman, saying that detectives were also examining roadside CCTV footage. 

The 200 suspects directly involved in the fighting all came from countries such as Eritrea and Sudan, as well as Afghanistan.

It came after aid workers warned of a “pressure cooker about to blow” as the French authorities began tearing down cafes and restaurants in the Calais ‘Jungle’. 

Charity groups fear that the entire refugee camp in the French port town is about to be destroyed, leaving the migrants with nowhere to stay while they wait to get across the Channel.

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Posted on 07/26/2016 4:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
In a World of His Own: Kerry Says NKorea Should Learn From Iran, End Nuclear Arms
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Haha. I'm certain they continue to learn from each other, much more than we know. Story here.
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Posted on 07/26/2016 4:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Somalia: Suicide Car Bomb at UN Mine Offices Kills 10
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AP:

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car outside the United Nations Mine Action Service offices in Mogadishu, killing 10 people, including seven U.N. guards, a Somali police official said Tuesday.

Unlike previous attacks blamed on the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, gunmen did not accompany the suicide bomber, Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

He said that the suicide car bomber tried to speed through the barrier at the U.N. office but guards shot at the car.

Hussein said a second suicide blast targeted a checkpoint manned by Somali security forces near the African Union base in Mogadishu. Casualties there remain unclear.

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the blasts, according to the group's Andalus radio station. Al-Shabab is waging an insurgency against Somalia's weak U.N.-backed government.Al-Shabab wants to establish an Islamic emirate in the country based on a strict form of Islam.

Eight soldiers were killed when an al-Shabab suicide car bomber targeted a Somalia military training camp and attackers then entered the base on foot earlier this month.

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Posted on 07/26/2016 4:30 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Two knifemen 'take hostages at church in Normandy' - knifemen now dead
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An update from the BBC

Two armed men who took hostages at a church near Rouen in northern France are now dead, police sources have said. France 3 television said a number of shots had been heard. Police and the emergency services are at the scene.

Unconfirmed reports in Le Figaro newspaper say the priest was killed after having his throat cut.

From the French edition of The Local 

Two men armed with knives have taken hostages at a church in Normandy, northern France according to reports. Their motives remain unknown.

The hostage situation was reportedly underway at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen in the département of Seine-Maritime

Specialist elite police units are on the scene and a security cordon has been set up around the church.

It is believed a priest, two nuns and two worshippers were taken hostage by the two men who entered the church via a rear door, reports said.

It is unclear at this stage what their motives are. I suppose it could be a local protest, or migrants rights, or something in the anti-clerical tradition. But these are less common reasons in the current climate. 

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Posted on 07/26/2016 4:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016
In Sydney's "Telegraph" Columnist Tim Blair Defends Our Right to Speak Plainly About the Jihad
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And takes aim at a couple of apologists for Islam.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/oh-really-waleed-aly-blames-free-speech-not-terror/news-story/b19f897a52040d34dbc9f53bb9f310fc

"What a Waleed! With an Aly Like This Guy, Who Needs Enemies".

'Our intellectual superiors have raised the alarm.

'Worried by how all of us terrible oiks are responding to murderous Islamic terrorism, they've declared there should be limits to what we say about murderous Islamic terrorism.

'Following what co-host Waleed Aly described as "one of the heaviest weeks we've lived through in a long time", the ABC's Minefield radio program last Thursday "took a hard look at the negative effects of 'free speech'".

'Waleed's co-presenter Scott Stephens, editor of the ABC's Religion and Ethics website, kicked things off:

"There's something quite disturbing about our response to the events we've witnessed in places like Orlando or Nice.

Not 'events'.  Barbaric mass-murderous Muslim attacks on Infidels - CM

"I'm hearing things being said that not that long ago would've been unthinkable."

As far as I'm concerned, Mr Stephens, I find this - if you are referring to the fact that someone like Sonia Kruger is prepared to come right out and say on-air that she would like a halt to Muslim immigration - heartening, not disturbing. - CM

'Now, a normal person might choose to focus on the events themselves, which left a total of 133 people dead through the vile deeds of Islamic maniacs.

Through the vile deeds of Muslims obeying to the letter the jihad doctrine of Islam. - CM

'Their thinking might go something like this, "There's something quite disturbing about the events we've witnessed in places like Orlando or Nice.  I'm seeing things that not long ago would've been unthinkable".

Or, at least, unthinkable in the heartlands of the Western world, in places such as France and the United States.  No Muslim jihad raider had ever managed to mass-murder American infidels on American soil until September 11 2001.  And the French homeland itself - at any point in time between the victory of Charles Martel over an invading Muslim army at Tours/ Poitiers in 732 and that point in the mid-20th century when the French foolishly began to admit within their gates large numbers of Muslim fifth columnists, whether from Iran or from the Maghreb or from "Palestine" or from anywhere else - also remained relatively free from direct experience of Muslim savagery. - CM

'By contrast, not a solitary person has been killed by the response to those murders.

'Stephens broadened his concern to include speeches made at last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, from the parents of children killed by illegal immigrants.  "The whole point of it was to demonise a particular group", Stephens claimed.  "The whole point of it is to do a certain violence against the dignity of fellow citizens and fellow human beings".

'As opposed, I guess, to the actual deadly violence committed by terrorists (that is: by Muslim jihad terror raiders - CM) and illegals, which appear for Stephens to rank below the horrifying use of words.

There is, of course, a distinction between mere criminality as perpetrated by some non-Muslim illegal immigrants, and the ideologically-driven sacralised barbarism of Islam, perpetrated by Muslims (whether such Muslims get in legally or illegally), which is intended to force non-Muslims to Submit to Muslim rule, whether as converts to Islam or as near-slave Dhimmis. - CM

"We've been hearing about calls for a ban on Muslim immigration", he fretted, referring to television presenter Sonia Kruger's recent remarks.

And what's wrong with that?  People are noticing the obvious - got Muslims? got Jihad - and have been drawing the obvious conclusion, that it might be a good idea to stop importing Muslims and thereby reduce the incidence of jihad. - CM

"In the national broadsheet this week there was a letter published calling for Muslim internment.

We interned Aussies of German descent during both WWI and WWII, and they had done far less to prompt that precautionary measure than have far too many from among our expanding, vociferous and ever more aggressive Muslim colonies.  Why should not internment be at least raised as a possible response to the proliferation of (so far, fortunately-foiled) jihad plots, the attacks - Lindt Cafe, the murder of Curtis Cheng, the attempted stabbing murder of two policemen - that have already taken place, the endless incitement, the publicly-made threats, and the numerous Aussie-passport-holding Muslims who have rushed off to join Islamic State (and how many more entertain similar ideas but are lying low as yet?). -  CM

'There have been expressions of unvarnished racism and sexism.

What do either racism or sexism have to do with people noticing and discussing the specifically Muslim  - orthodox Muslim - motivations of the Muslim mass murders of Infidels at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the Bataclan theatre, the Brussels airport, Orlando, or Nice?  What is 'racist' or 'sexist' about wanting to reduce the probability of similar ideologically-driven mass-murders taking place in future, by putting a stop to Muslim immigration into western countries, and by interning the Muslim fifth columnists already present?  Both of those measures, by limiting the power and presence of Muslims, would in fact make the streets of Infidel countries safer for a/ Jews (since there is a vicious Jew-hatred hard-wired into Islam, and Jews have been violently attacked - and not a few murdered - by Muslims in France, and threatened and attacked by Muslims in other European countries as well) and b/ women (given the misogyny of Islam that manifests in such things as the Muslim 'grooming' gangs that raped and pimped thousands of non-Muslim girls in the UK, the multiple sexual assaults upon German women and girls by Muslim migrants in Germany earlier this year, and the Lebanese and Pakistani gang-rapes of young girls in Australia not so very long ago). - CM

"We've seen over the last year chest-beating advocacy of the restoration of torture....

As opposed to the open and unashamed practice of gruesome tortures - far, far worse than mere waterboarding - and of cruel and unusual punishments and methods of execution, by Muslim states - such as Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia - and by Muslim jihad entities such as Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and the rest? - CM

'Stephens offered this thundering conclusion.

"I'm wondering whether we as moral agents can still be trusted with the privilege of freedom of speech.  I think we're at the point where we (who is 'we', here, Mr Stephens? - CM) have to re-examine what we mean by that and if there is a deeper moral obligation that puts constraints on what we ought to be able to say in public."

A deeper moral obligation...?  Perhaps Mr Stephens should be sweetly asked whether he thinks that the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, or the murdered Theo Van Gogh, or Robert Redeker (who wrote one article, just one, that trenchantly and accurately criticised the "extraordinary violence" of the Koran and the deplorable character of Mohammed, and as a result lost his job, was deluged with death threats, and fled into hiding), or those pesky Bangladeshi atheist bloggers so recently hacked to pieces by gangs of pious Mohammedans, or that outrageous Christian matron, Asia Bibi, who sits on death row in Pakistan for having dared to tell her Muslim tormentors that she preferred Jesus to Mohammed, or dastardly Salman Rushdie who should have bitten his tongue rather than mention the 'satanic verses', or... or those evil, evil, evil rabble-rousing critics of Islam and of Mohammed and of Muslims, the Muslim-assassinated poets of pre-Islamic Arabia, Asma Bint Marwan, Abu Afak and Kab bin Ashraf, one and all, deserved what they got?  Does Mr Stephens - and his co-host Mr Aly - believe that all these people should have obeyed the 'deeper moral obligation' to remain silent, or else to only say nice, sweet, flattering things to and about Muslims, and about wonderful, wonderful Islam? - CM

'It might have been fun to turn Stephens' microphone off mid-rant.  No more freedom of speech for you, mate, especially not on the taxpayer's dime.

'Waleed Aly went along with most of this, so long as Stephens confined his comments "to the moral realm", wherever that is.

'Perhaps it should be Radio National's new name.

'Listeners then heard from Aly himself.

"Certain speech and the proliferation of certain speech can have real world harms", the Gold Logie winner said.  "It's part of whipping up a mood that has seen people bashed and may well see more people bashed".

 

'In fact, certain speech and the proliferation of certain speech can cause real world deaths.

'Much of that speech comes from the Koran (and the Sira and the Hadiths and the mainline interpreters thereof both past and present, not to mention 1001 Muslim clerics and Muslim pundits of all sorts and condtions, from all over the dar al Islam, upon whose rabid rantings - thanks to the labours of MEMRI - the curious infidel may eavesdrop whenever we so choose. - CM), which has been whipping up quite a mood of late in Syria and Northern Iraq.

And in many other places also. - CM

'We've also seen a little Koran-inspired mood-whipping locally.

'Recall the violent Sydney riot of 2012, where signs reading, "Behead all those who insult the prophet", were prominent?

'One year after that riot, and immediately following the Boston Marathon bombings - which he absurdly suggested may have been committed by "self-styled American patriots" (but which turned out to have been committed, surprise, surprise! by Chechen Muslims who had gained entry into the USA by claiming to be "refugees" - CM) Aly wrote: "Terrorism is a perpetual irritant, and while it is tragic and emotionally lacerating, it kills relatively few people and is not any kind of existential threat".

 

'The victims in Orlando and Nice (and in San Bernardino, and Paris, and Northern Nigeria, and Kenya, and in many, many, many other places - CM) might disagree.

'Too bad their freedom of speech has been permanently revoked...".

 

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Posted on 07/26/2016 12:01 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 25 July 2016
The genius of Donald Trump
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by Conrad Black

Even in the week that he is nominated by the Republican party for the presidency of the United States, intelligent people fail in droves to understand what Donald Trump has accomplished. It was disappointing to read the editorial in this newspaper on Tuesday that “a Trump presidency would be a descent into the uncertainties of anger, bitterness, and division … a recipe for disaster.” This is a widespread view, but it is bunk. It reminds me of Tom Wicker’s prediction in The New York Times the Sunday before the inauguration of Richard Nixon in 1969, that the president-elect would “blow up the world,” and by Scotty Reston in the same newspaper about 12 years later that Ronald Reagan would be a complete failure who would ride back to California like a disillusioned cowboy after his first term. As the world knows, but may have forgotten, Nixon ended school segregation and the draft and the endless riots and the skyjackings and the assassinations, reduced the crime rate, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, opened relations with China and a peace process in the Middle East, extracted the U.S. from Vietnam while retaining a non-communist government in Saigon, and signed the greatest arms control agreement in world history with the U.S.S.R. while re-establishing American nuclear superiority, and was re-elected by 18 million votes. The subsequent Watergate nonsense, tawdry though it was, doesn’t alter the fact that his was one of the most successful presidential terms in U.S. history. It is probably better remembered that Reagan produced America’s greatest economic boom of the 20th century and bloodlessly won the Cold War, and was re-elected by 15 million votes.

I don’t predict the same level of success for Donald Trump, but such a performance is more likely than the triumph of bigotry, discord and international conflict that the Post editorial, in the prevailing conventional wisdom, foresees. These parrots of gloom should be celebrating the fact that one of the only moderates among the Republican candidates won. Senator Ted Cruz pitched his campaign to the Bible-thumping corn-cobbers with M16 rifles in the rear windows of their pickup trucks and announced that God had told him to run. Trump and Sanders are the only candidates who favour universal health care, and Trump, contrary to a great deal of unfounded over-reactive comment about him, never said anything remotely antagonistic about women, gays, African-Americans or Latinos who came to the U.S. legally.

What the world has witnessed, but has not recognized it yet, has been a campaign of genius. No one in history has come from an apolitical background to take over complete control of one of the great American political parties. World-historic generals, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower, were recruited by party grandees. Newspaper publisher Horace Greeley for the Democrats (1872), and utilities executive and lawyer Wendell Willkie for the Republicans (1940), were nominated, but they won narrowly, did not take over the party organization or put the party elders to flight, and had no chance of winning (against Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Trump candidacy was greeted with howls of derision — the cognoscenti conducted a Bataan Death March retreat. Trump couldn’t get more than 20, 30, 40 per cent, would be trashed at the convention, would splinter the party, would be waxed by Mrs. Clinton (who has had problems enough coming in ahead of a campy Vermont socialist and avoiding an indictment).

As Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio observed as he left the race, having been bombed by almost a million votes in his home state by Trump (who, remember, had no “ground game”), “There was a tsunami coming that no one except Mr. Trump saw.” These earthshaking lamentations for those identified in both parties with the failures of the past 20 years are completely implausible. Trump didn’t give us the immense housing bubble and terrible financial crisis, over a decade of war in the Middle East well conducted by the military but leading to colossal strategic and humanitarian disasters, the doubling in seven years of the $9 trillion of national debt accumulated in the previous 233 years of American independence, and an endless sequence of foreign policy humiliations: disappearing red lines, a nuclear sell-out to Iran, and unprecedented cheek from the penurious Russian mountebank Putin, allowed to pretend he has the force of Stalin.

These wailing commentators should be asking why the powers that be of both parties didn’t lift a finger while 12 million illegals flooded into the country, and why the authors of these fiascos, after 60 years of triumph over the Great Depression, Nazism, Japanese imperialism and international communism, suddenly became an elite of idiots who could not run a two-car funeral, apart from the expertise and courage of the armed forces, mis-deployed though they were. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can’t utter the phrase “Islamist extremism,” the president called the Fort Hood shooting by a jihadist “workplace violence,” and told the joint chiefs of staff that the greatest danger facing America is climate change. What sclerosis has taken hold that the great achievements and generally high level of competence of 10 administrations, five of each party, (FDR to Bush senior), suddenly was warped into this nightmare of serial self-inflicted blunderbuss wounds, causing great collateral damage in the world?

Donald Trump saw it and none of those who governed and legislated for a living did (apart from, to a degree and through such rose-tinted glasses his vision is blurred, Bernie Sanders). The country has tried changing parties in the White House and the Congress (Tom Foley to Newt Gingrich, who is not “odious” as the Tuesday NP editorial claimed, merely flakey, to Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and now the more promising Paul Ryan). By any normal criteria, the whole governing elite should be sent packing, bag and baggage, foot, horse and guns. The commentariat should be celebrating the fact that Donald did the necessary to round up the Archie Bunker vote, and it is little wonder that it is now almost half the people, but is a moderate in all policy areas except illegal or hostile immigration and unequal trade deals; and that Hillary has managed to drive off the loopy left. If we were now witnessing a contest between Sanders and Cruz, there really could be an impending catastrophe.

Now that Trump is the nominee, having come from the political wilderness and paid for his own campaign, he will drastically scale back the stylistic infelicities (which are as disagreeable to me as to most serious people, but are just part of his shtick). He is not ideological and will make the system work — he is, as he never tires of telling us, a deal-maker. In foreign policy, he will be neither trigger-happy like George W., nor an other-worldly pacifist like Obama. He will spend a billion dollars of the Republican party’s money reminding the country that legally and ethically, Hillary is carrying more dead weight cargo than the Queen Mary. He and Hillary will now both campaign toward the centre, but whoever wins, this is the last stand of moderation. One more debacle like the past four or five presidential terms, and the animals will be released. The paint-ball parks, the shooting ranges, and the teeming ghettos (scores of millions of Americans unnoticed by Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses and Walt Disney) will not be gulled again by a limousine liberal in a neon pantsuit or a pseudo-blue-collar billionaire.

The U.S. and the world could do much worse and the media, whom Donald has rightly taken to the woodshed to the general delight of the public, should stop wringing its hands and report more perceptively and equably this performance of great virtuosity in the greatest circus of all, which has caught them all with unclean hands and their pants down. Vulgar, corrupt, banal and half-mad though it is, America remains magnificent in a way, and absorbs the world’s attention; we’re all still watching.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 07/25/2016 4:50 AM by Conrad Black
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Monday, 25 July 2016
Ansbach explosion: Syrian asylum seeker killed by own bomb at German bar
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Methinks the German authorities doth protest too much. Ali Sonboli doesn't seem to have been motivated by jihad; his murders may have been a school spree killing but afterschool. However what about his Afghan friend who was arrested yesterday? How deep was he involved and what was his motive if he was aware and helping? The machete murderer yesterday started with his own wife but why should a domestic row also end with bystanders nearly killed?

Why have a bomb in a backpack just to commit suicide because you are worried about your own asylum application? Or can't get into a music festival? And then detonate it regardless of the others who might be killed near you? No, sorry, that was is a suicide attack and that is also the personal opinion of  Joachim Herrmann the Bavarian interior minister. It is very lucky that only the bomber was killed. From the Telegraph

A suicide bomber who blew himself up after being turned away from a music festival in southern Germany was a Syrian man who had been denied asylum, according to Bavarian authorities.

The 27-year-old killed himself and injured 12 others when he detonated an explosive device after being denied entry to the event in Ansbach because he didn't have a ticket, the Bavarian interior minister said. "We don't know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others," Joachim Herrmann said..."Unfortunately, this is a terrible new attack which will surely increase people's anxiety," 

He said that the contents of a backpack that the man was carrying would have been sufficient to kill and injure many more people. Mr Herrmann said that the attacker, who came to Germany two years ago but had his asylum claim rejected after a year, had tried to kill himself twice in the past and had spent time in a psychiatric clinic.

(He) told Germany’s DPA, that he personally considers the bombing in Ansbach to have been the work of an Islamist suicide bomber. "My personal opinion is that, unfortunately I think, it is very obvious that there has been a real Islamist suicide attack here,"

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Ansbach said the attacker's motive wasn't clear. "If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point," said the spokesman, Michael Schrotberger. 

Deputy police chief Roman Fertinger said there were "indications" that pieces of metal had been added to the explosive device. Which is a sure indication that it wasn't a personal suicide attempt. On Sunday night police said they suspected that the man who had died in the explosion was the attacker. Police added that the suspect has lived in Ansbach since July 2, 2015 and had a “criminal” history.

 

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Posted on 07/25/2016 1:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 24 July 2016
Syrian Refugee in Germany Kills Woman with Machete, Wounds Two Others
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NYTimes:

BERLIN — Police say a Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman with a machete and wounded two others outside a bus station in the southwestern German city of Reutlingen before being arrested.

Police spokesman Bjoern Reusch said in a statement Sunday that witnesses said the 21-year-old man, who was known to police, was having an argument with the woman before attacking her about 4:30 p.m. Police say the motive behind the attack is still not clear.

The attack comes as Germany is on edge following a rampage at a Munich mall on Friday night in which nine people were killed, and an ax attack on a train a week ago that left five wounded in southern Germany.

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Posted on 07/24/2016 12:30 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 24 July 2016
ISIS Targeting Christians in America
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ISIS is now publishing church directories they have hacked on the Internet. Could your church membership roll end up on an ISIS kill list? Make no mistake about it, ISIS plans to kill every Jew and Christian they can get their hands on. We have got to take this threat seriously. Despite what the President states, ISIS is not the JV teams.

How An Entire Church Ended Up On An ISIS Kill List

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Posted on 07/24/2016 7:14 AM by John Constantine
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Sunday, 24 July 2016
No More Munichs
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by Michael Curtis

Munich is not a name that conjures up pleasant memories for political shrewdness. On September 30, 1938 the Munich Agreement was signed and the appeasement policies of the Western democracies allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia, and to take actions leading to World War II. This diplomatic blunder can now be considered a tragedy of European and world history and a warning to the present policy makers in the consequences of refusal to fight against an evil force.

Evil appeared again in Munich with the shooting on July 22, 2016 outside a McDonald’s Restaurant in the city in which nine people were killed and more than 20 others wounded by a lone 18 year old gunman using a 9mm pistol and 300 rounds of ammunition who then killed himself.

The gunman, Aloi Souboly, of Iranian ancestry, was German born and raised, and had dual citizenship. He is said by officials to have been deranged and obsessed with both the idea of mass shootings and with violent computer games. Though there is apparently no link of him to any Islamist terrorist organization, an eyewitness to the events said he had shouted two phrases “I am German,” and “Allahu Akbar” before he shot at children.

An incidental reminder of past inhumanity in the city is that the site of the shootings is close to the place where Palestinian terrorists massacred 11 Israeli athletes during the summer Olympics in 1972.

Like other European countries Germany, that has accepted 800,000 asylum seekers from the Middle East, has not been immune from other terrorist violence. This Munich shooting took place took place only four days after a refugee, an Afghan teenager, attacked people with a hatchet and knife on July 18, 2016 on a train near Wurzburg, Germany, injuring five people. His attack was waged in the name of ISIS. On December 31, 2015, migrants and asylum seekers were responsible for mass sexual assaults and thefts in Cologne.

Belgium has been the scene of terrorist attacks on March 22, 2016 in Brussels when 32 people were killed and more than 300 injured in suicide bombings at the airport and metro stations; and on May 24, 2014 when a gunman killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

France, of course, has suffered the most heavily from Islamist attacks. The most well known are the murder of three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi by a gunman in Toulouse in March 2012; the murders by terrorists claiming allegiance to ISIS of 17 at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo , the satirical magazine, and at the kosher supermarket in Paris on January 7-9, 2015 in Paris; the massacre by ISIS operatives of 130 killed and hundreds of wounded in multiple attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015; the stabbing to death of a police captain and his wife in their home in a suburb of Paris on June 13, 2016; and the massacre by a terrorist who had accepted Islamist extremism of 84 people and wounding hundreds others by driving a truck along the promenade in Nice on Bastille Day, July 14.

This recital of the horrors committed by Islamist terrorists and those linked in some way to ISIS is required in the light of the intellectual and political horrors committed by a member of the British House of Lords, Baroness (Jenny) Tonge, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party for which she was an MP in the House of Commons from 1997 to 2005, and is now a life peer.

Lady Tonge has become, not simply controversial but notorious for her relentless vituperations against the State of Israel, using the highest institutions in the country as her forum.  Some of these fulminations can be illustrated.

In 2006 Tonge remarked, “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip of our party (Lib Dem).” The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, was unusually critical: “her language was “irresponsible and inappropriate.” In spite of this reprimand she persisted with a justification, like so many other virulent critics of Israel, that she was not anti-Semitic. She explained she had only commented on “the Israeli lobby in politics.”

Nevertheless, Tonge went far beyond the supposed “lobby,” whatever or whoever that was. On January 2009 in the House of Lords she asked about war crimes being committed in Gaza. She called for the immediate establishment by the UN Security Council of an independent fact-finding commission to Palestine to Palestine to investigate all breaches of international law.

Of course she already knew the answer. At a left wing rally in London on January 19, 2009 she declared, “It is a disgusting, obscene, outrage what is going on in Gaza.” She looked forward to a full trade embargo and boycotting everything Israeli. Naturally, she took no heed of the Amnesty Report that criticized the war crimes of Hamas.

Even more disgusting, she made comments about the Israeli IDF in what can be considered a mixture of a form of historic blood libel accusations and stereotypes of the greed of Jews. She wanted to disprove a negative. Tonge said on February 11, 2010 that Israel, the country that had responded very quickly to the emergency in Haiti, should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association, in Haiti harvested organs of the earthquake victims for use in transplants.

Tonge forgot to say that the “allegations” had only been made on Al Manar, the Lebanese TY station linked to Hezbollah, and were published by the Palestine Telegraph, the online journal based in Gaza and on which Tonge is a patron.

Lady Tonge has made no secret of her views, often insensitive and bizarre. In a visit to the Gaza Strip in 2003 she compared the conditions for Palestinians there to the conditions Jews suffered in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. She dramatically announced she would consider becoming a bomber if she were a Palestinian.

What is disconcerting today in the midst of Islamist terrorism all over the globe is her explanation for terrorism. The House of Lords on July 21, 2016 was debating the living conditions of Palestinian children. Tonge’s contribution was, “The treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh (ISIS).” Israel, she said, “is creating a generation of terrorists who will have a justified grudge against Israel and the countries that support her,”

Tonge of course, whether or not she is anti-Semitic, is a lost cause to reasonable and objective discussion of the Middle East in general or to Israeli actions in particular. Two specific things are distressing. One is the use she has made of British parliamentary institutions, not to make genuine criticisms of real, specific Israeli actions but to formulate unending, relentless, and misleading accusations or insinuations.

Even worse is that her remarks prevent, not only any peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but also any reasonable appraisal of the peril to civilization of Islamist terrorism or proposals for any practical response to it. She has disgraced herself by insulting the hundreds of victims of terrorism, almost all Islamist, in Paris, London, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, Toulouse, Wurzburg, Nice and Munich.

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Posted on 07/24/2016 5:37 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 24 July 2016
What ISIS Does in Interrogation
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From The Sun:

THIS disturbing picture shows the gruesome bone-cracking instrument known as the ‘Flying Carpet’ which depraved ISIS militants use to torture their victims.

The extremist thugs strap their prisoners to a metal or wooden board, which has hinges in the middle, enabling the ends to be brought together – bending the spine of the hostage.

Dissident group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’ revealed the stomach-churning practice which can lead to the spine and ribs snapping.

The underground movement has uncovered sickening details of the excruciating cartilage-crunching torments meted out to prisoners in the terror group’s jails in Syria and Iraq.

Another method is called the ‘shabeh’ or ‘ghost’ which involves an inmate being hung by his hands above the floor for days at a time.

The group said: “The prisoner often loses his ability to move his hands – dislocating his joints.

“It can also cause damage to the brachial plexus, which are the nerves that control arm and hand moment, usually resulting in permanent disability.”

Another torture method popular with the depraved death cult is electric shock which they use to interrogate victims often frying their victims alive.

The group added: “Electric shock often leads to death, caused by damage to heart muscle or electric burns.”

Brainwashed Islamic extremists are also well known for keeping their terrifying prisoners in tiny closets and drowning them in cages.

But aside from the violent physical torture, ISIS bullies also use psychological techniques to torment their hostages.

This comes after The Sun revealed news of a step by step guide produced by ISIS, to encourage lone wolfs to attack at the Rio Olympics. 

One man who escaped an ISIS hell-hole revealed: “The ISIS prison wardens would speak continuously of the coming retribution. ISIS men would enter, place knives on our necks, and threaten to kill us.

“An ISIS member would occasionally enter carrying a prisoner’s amputated head, promising the others a similar fate.”

And a former inmate, accused of selling weapons to ISIS enemies, revealed the horror prisoners suffered at the hands of terror group.

Abu Alnour, who was freed after managing to pay a £33,000 ransom, told Syrian human rights group ‘Sound and Picture’ how one prisoner was driven to the brink of insanity by his warped captures.

He said: “I do not want to talk about the beating, the electric shocks and the daily insults, I would rather talk about the young Abdullah who went crazy inside the prison.

“He was accused of being a former FSA fighter, and he had the biggest share of torture within our group, which consisted of 13 prisoners in a less than eight-square-metre-sized cell.

“One night we woke up and his voice was screaming. We later knew that some of ISIS members entered into the room and put severed head next to him and woke him up and when he saw the head he lost his mind. “

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Posted on 07/24/2016 5:23 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 23 July 2016
Saturday Country Jamboree: Ray Price
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I was fortunate to meet Ray Price and his steel player, Jimmy Day in 1999 just before Day's death. Here they are in their heyday.

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Posted on 07/23/2016 3:52 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 23 July 2016
Flowers to Stifle the Screams
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{Author’s adaptation of the original French version}

by Nidra Poller

Paris 19 July 2016

It may not be crafted by the media that encourage it, it’s not the fault of the kind souls that pour out their hearts in flowers and candles at each mass murder, but together they compose a distressing symbolic discourse.

How many flowers would it take to stifle the screams of a child in his stroller targeted by a man at the wheel of a 19-ton truck? “Même pas peur [not even scared],” is the slogan of the improvised memorials but we saw terrified people running in all directions when the truck attacked on the Promenade des Anglais. They hid in restaurants and ducked under the waters of the sea. Unverified whispers say some of the victims were crushed in the stampede.

Backtracking on the promised termination of the state of emergency the president hastily vowed to extend it as mournful Parisians trekked back to Place de la République, to lay flowers and peace & love messages at the feet of the Marianne statue sullied with hateful graffiti after three months of occupation by the Nuits Debout.

This softly floral reaction is not engineered by the media but it is blessed to the exclusion of more sober more combative emotions. A motorcyclist tried to stop the massacre with his bare hands. It’s not a rumor, it’s a fact attested by authentic video footage of the man hanging on to the door of the murderous truck. Did anyone try to identify this hero killed in battle? Or still alive? Would they even want to contemplate his courage, congratulate him posthumously for his gesture? [update July 21: the hero did go public with an account of his exploit]. At the other extremity and at the very bottom of the scale of human qualities crouches the recipient of a text message sent just before the attack: “Bring more weapons.”  

So which is it? Did Bouhlel have one or several accomplices, or was his plan to fool the police into thinking the truck atrocity was the first event in a multiple-stage massacre? A 13th of November for the sunny South.

In fact, suspected accomplices are currently detained. Newscasters dutifully convey the information… with words as gentle as a rose petal, as if the truth could startle a tender congregation immersed in tears and compassion. For once, authorities state the naked radical Islamic truth of the atrocity, but commentators prefer to focus on the killer’s psychological problem, as if Daesh soldiers passed tough exams like cadets at St. Cyr Military Academy. They recite ad nauseam the rosary of signs of non-compliance, as if the fact that Bouhlel didn’t go to the mosque could resuscitate the dead. Or acquit Islam. Pitiful ignorance! Don’t they know that totalitarian movements always enlist thugs? Bouhlel was not a good Muslim, they repeat, citing pork, alcohol, sex, and salsa.

Sharia, dear colleagues, is at the top of the Islamic pyramid. Genocidal hatred is transmitted from those religious heights at cybersonic speed. All sorts of tools can be used to do the dirty work of jihad: a knife, a truck, a Kalashnikov. All kinds of candidates are fit for the job: the truly observant, the falsely miscreant, from idiots to college graduates. They don’t have to study the Koran before going into action. Transmission by osmosis makes them tick.

How could authorities have nipped this Bouhlel in the bud, before he committed a massacre? It all happened so fast! So? What about the others, the most unambiguously flagged, the most closely observed, the most blatantly dangerous? Haven’t they already or will they not soon go into action? The truck, in this case, was an arm by destination. The one who drove it with monstrous cruelty, too.

Count the white floral bouquets placed all along the assassin’s route but don’t forget to count the number of Islamically bearded truck drivers and deliverymen going up and down the roads of our cities and countryside.

My writing fingers, pricked by the thorns of these grieving flowers, bleed for us. Because we are the target of a war of conquest that is called jihad. And we are portrayed as pathetic victims with nothing but blind love to respond to the violence aimed at us one by one and all together.

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Posted on 07/23/2016 2:29 PM by Nidra Poller
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Saturday, 23 July 2016
Sunni Suicide Attack on Shi'a Demonstration in Kabul, 61 Dead
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.The Sunni-Shi'a conflict spreads into Afghanistan. USA Today:

KABUL, Afghanistan - An explosion struck a large demonstration march in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Saturday, causing multiple casualties, according to officials and witnesses.

The marchers were ethnic Hazaras demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province. Most Hazaras are Shiite Muslims but most Afghans are Sunni.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said police were working to confirm how many blasts had taken place and how many people were killed and injured.

“We can’t yet identify what sort of blast it was or how many people have been affected,” he said. “We are right now in a very difficult situation.”

Eyewitness Ramin Anwari described seeing up to eight bodies in the Demazang area, where protesters were preparing to set up a camp after a four-hour march. He had no further details.

One of the march organizers Laila Mohammadi said she arrived at the scene soon after the blast and saw “many dead and wounded people.”

Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square.

Angry demonstrations sealed some of the area around the square, and prevented police and other security forces from entering. Some threw stones at security forces.

President Ashraf Ghani released a statement condemning the blast. “Peaceful demonstrations are the right of every citizen of Afghanistan and the government will do everything it can to provide them with security,” Ghani said.

His spokesman, Haroon Chakhansuri said Ghani would appear on live television later in the day.

Amnesty International issue a statement saying the “horrific attack” on the Hazara demonstration “demonstrates the utter disregard that armed groups have for human life.”

“Such attacks are a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan is not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with consequences for the human rights situation in the country that should alarm us all,” it quoted Champa Patel, Amnesty’s South Asia director, as saying.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast. The Taliban have been waging a vicious insurgency against the Kabul government for 15 years, since their regime was overthrown by the U.S. invasion in 2001.

Violence had been feared at what was the second demonstration by Hazaras over the power line issue. The last one in May attracted tens of thousands of people, also shutting down the central business district.

The May march was attended by Hazara political leaders, who were notable by their absence on Saturday.

At the height of the march, demonstrators chanted slogans against President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, shouted “death to discrimination” and “all Afghans are equal.”

The so-called TUTAP line is backed by the Asian Development Bank with involvement of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The original plan routed the line through Bamiyan province, in the central highlands, where most of the country’s Hazaras live.

That route was changed in 2013 by the previous Afghan government. Leaders of the marches have said that the rerouting was evidence of bias against the Hazara community, which accounts for up to 15 percent of Afghanistan’s estimated 30 million-strong population.

They are considered the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, and often complain of discrimination. Bamiyan is poverty stricken, though it is largely peaceful and has potential as a tourist destination.

Afghanistan is desperately short of power, with less than 40 percent of the population connected to the national grid, according to the World Bank. Almost 75 percent of electricity is imported.

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Posted on 07/23/2016 8:39 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 23 July 2016
Munich gunman dead - 18 year old of dual Iranian/German heritage.
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From the London Evening Standard

Authorities in Munich have said they believe the gunman who killed nine people in a Munich shopping centre was a German-Iranian teenager who acted alone.  Three victims remain in a critical condition in hospital.

Officers said the motive of the 18-year-old is still “totally unclear” and he was reportedly unknown to police prior to the shooting. The gunman, thought to have lived in the German city for two years, killed teenagers and injured children before committing suicide. His conversation from the rooftops with a bystander indicate a motiviation other than international jihad. 

Some witnesses describe hearing him yelling anti-foreigner insults before opening fire outside the McDonald's restaurant, near to the mall. In a later conversation with a witness, recorded on a mobile phone, the attacker said he was a German citizen.      

Other media reported that the gunman had been bullied for "several years" and was seeking revenge.

US intelligence officials said initial reports from their German counterparts indicated no apparent link between the suspect and Islamic State or other militant groups.

Two others who fled the area quickly were investigated but had "nothing to do with the incident".

Police are currently searching the family home.

 

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Posted on 07/23/2016 3:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 22 July 2016
Multiple deaths at shooting rampage in German shopping mall:
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From Reuters, the Telegraph and the German eiditon of The Local. Early reports were that the incident was concluded and that there was one death. However it is on-going and TV reports say there may be a second incident.

Gunmen went on a shooting rampage in a shopping mall in the southern German city of Munich on Friday, killing many people, police said.

Authorities were evacuating people from the Olympia mall but many others were hiding inside.

A Munich police spokeswoman said multiple people were killed or wounded. "We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage," the spokeswoman said. More than one gunman was believed to be involved and no one had been arrested, she said.

NTV television reported that German police special forces had arrived at the scene.

Police seem to confirm several attackers saying "we don't know at this stage where the attackers are. Please be careful and don't go outside."

Police in the city of Munich are asking for locals not to post photos or video online.

We do not know where the shooter is. Take care and avoid going outside.” - 10 mins ago

We are aware of shooting rumours in city centre. Situation is unclear. Please stay inside.” - 17 mins ago (But reporters there say nothing’s happening)

Please do not put images or videos of police operations online. Do not support the perpetrators!” - 20 mins ago

Avoid public places in Munich. The situation is unclear.” - 40 mins ago

The latest is 8 dead plus the gunman - also dead. This may be a shooting perpetrated by a German against "foreigners." according to witnesses who heard him yelling. This is the 5 year anniversary of the horrible Breivik massacre.Now a witness is claiming to have heard "Allahu Akbar."

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Posted on 07/22/2016 12:57 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 22 July 2016
Nice truck attacker had at least 5 accomplices, plotted for months: French prosecutor
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Elaine Ganley and Thomas Adamson write in AP:

The truck driver who killed 84 people on a Nice beachfront had accomplices and appears to have been plotting his attack for months, the Paris prosecutor said Thursday, citing text messages, more than 1,000 phone calls and video of the attack scene on the phone of one of five people facing terror charges.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the five suspects in custody faced preliminary terrorism charges for their alleged roles in helping 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in the July 14 attack in the southern French city.

Molins’ office, which oversees terrorism investigations, opened a judicial inquiry Thursday into a battery of charges for the suspects, including complicity to murder and possessing weapons tied to a terrorist enterprise.

Details about the investigation came as France’s interior minister faced criticism that a faulty security plan may have opened the way for the truck attack and as France extended its state of emergency for six months.

The prosecutor said the investigation made “notable advances” since the Bastille Day attack by Bouhlel, a Tunisian who had been living legally in Nice for years. Bouhlel was killed by police after barrelling his 19-ton truck down Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais, mowing down those who had come to see holiday fireworks.

The detained suspects are four men — two Franco-Tunisians, a Tunisian and an Albanian — and one woman of dual French-Albanian nationality, Molins said. One had previous convictions for drugs and petty crime.

People close to Bouhlel said he had shown no signs of radicalization until very recently. But Molins said information from Bouhlel’s phone suggested he could have been preparing an attack as far back as May 2015. One photo in his phone, taken May 25, 2015, was an article on Captagon, a drug said to be used by some jihadis before attacks.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though authorities say they have not found signs the extremist group directed it.

The probe, which involves more than 400 investigators, confirmed the attack was premediated, the prosecutor said. Telephone records were used to link the five to Bouhlel, and allegedly to support roles in the carnage.

Bouhlel and a 30-year-old French-Tunisian with no previous convictions had phoned each other 1,278 times in a year, Molins said. The prosecutor said a text message from the same man found on a phone seized at Bouhlel’s said: “I’m not Charlie; I’m happy. They have brought in the soldiers of Allah to finish the job.”

The message was dated three days after the January 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical publication in Paris, and referred to the worldwide phrase of solidarity for the victims “I’m Charlie.”

Hours after the July 14 attack in Nice, the same man filmed the bloody scene on the promenade.

The aftermath of the Nice attack has seen France being torn by finger-pointing and accusations that security was wanting despite the state of emergency in place since the Paris attacks last November.

French officials defended the government’s security measures in Nice on the night of the attack, even as the interior minister acknowledged that national police were not, as he had claimed before, stationed at the entrance to the closed-off boulevard.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve’s clarification comes after a newspaper accused French authorities of lacking transparency in their handling of the massacre.

Cazeneuve said Thursday that only local police, who are more lightly armed, were guarding the entrance to the Promenade des Anglais when Bouhlel drove his truck down it. Cazeneuve then launched an internal police investigation into the handling of the Nice attack.

President Francois Hollande said the conclusions of that investigation will be known next week. He said any police “shortcomings” will be carefully addressed but defended French authorities’ actions.

“There’s no room for polemics, there’s only room for transparency,” he said. “The necessary, serious preparations had been made for the July 14 festivities.”

Earlier, the French newspaper Liberation said Cazeneuve lied about the whereabouts of the national police officers and cars in Nice on July 14.

The National Assembly, meanwhile, extended France’s state of emergency for six more months. The security measure had been in place since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 victims and were claimed by the Islamic State group.

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Posted on 07/22/2016 7:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 22 July 2016
Multiple Personality Disorder: How many passports do you need ?
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by Theodore Dalrymple

The Canadian government, I see, is thinking of issuing sex-neutral identity cards, presumably on the grounds that some people have not yet chosen the sex they want to be. This, of course, is not going nearly far enough. Has the reactionary and highly oppressive Canadian government never heard of Multiple Personality Disorder, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association?

According to the Manual, the disorder consists of ‘disruption of identity characteristics by two or more personality states’ that involve ‘marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behaviour, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning.’ These changes can be reported by the person himself (or should I say themselves?) or by third parties.

According to the DSM-5, ‘the 12-month prevalence of dissociative identity disorder among adults in a small U.S. community study was 1.5%. The prevalence across genders in that study was 1.6% for males and 1.4 per cent for females.’ In the United States, therefore, assuming the sample to have been representative, there were more than 3 million people last year who were actually more than one person.

By comparison, again according the DSM-5 (which is used almost everywhere, including by British judges, with a credulity worthy that makes the average mediaeval pilgrim seem like a cynic), the prevalence of gender dysphoria, the necessary prelude to a voluntary sex change, is 0.005 to 0.014% for ‘natal males’ and 0.002 to 0.003% for ‘natal females.’ Taking the maximum figures, we come to the conclusion that the prevalence rate in adults of gender dysphoria is about 0.0085 per cent.

Here, then, is a clear case of discrimination against people with Dissociative Identity Disorder who are more than 150 times as numerous as people with Gender Dysphoria. While the latter are to be assuaged, accommodated or appeased by changes in identity cards, the former are not.

There is only one solution, of course, to this gross act – or contemplated act – of discrimination by the Canadian government: the removal of names from identity cards, or at least their replacement by a letter of the alphabet as is proposed for the sex of the holder. After all, who is to say that Mrs Smith today will not be Princess Anastasia tomorrow, or even in five minutes’ time, or possibly (if it comes to that) Jamila Begum? How can you punish the latter for what the former did?

I call on everyone to protest against the Canadian government’s unjust and intolerant discrimination against people with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

First published in Salisbury Review.

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Posted on 07/22/2016 6:55 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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