Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face."
This is my tribute to the great Buster Keaton who seem to risk it all for the sake of comedy. No CGI or blue screen. This man did it for real.
Music by Philip Glass.
Edited by Paul Hagl.
The London Bridge attacker was a student and personal friend of Anjem Choudary, the notorious Islamist hate preacher.
Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist released less than seven years into a 16-year prison sentence for a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange, had Anjem Choudary’s private mobile phone number stored on his phone at the time of his initial arrest, the Henry Jackson Society has found.
Khan was one of a series of Al-Muhajiroun connected terrorists to be released over a six-month period beginning in the Autumn of 2018. He was known to have attended a series of Al-Muhajiroun protests and street stalls in the Midlands area prior to his arrest.
Before his conviction for the LSE terror plot, police had previously raided his home in Tunstall over concerns about his links to Choudary.
Dr Paul Stott a research fellow at the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism at Henry Jackson Society, said that "all these years later, and Anjem Choudary’s one-time acolytes are still butchering members of the public on our streets. . . . Usman Khan was a loyal and integral member of Choudary’s inner-circle and we know him to have been highly regarded by Choudary."
Dr Stott added that 25 per cent of all Islamist terrorists have some sort of "link to Choudary" and that the "security services must consider immediately recalling Choudary to prison until the threat posed by him and his affiliates has stabilised”.
He was heard mentioning Choudary in 2010 during a bugged conversation later part of the evidence at his terrorism trial in 2012. This was either constructive criticism or contrast, but goes to confirming close acquaintance. The links to local newspapers I used in 2012 are not all extant now, but this is what I blogged during the trial.
During the late-night meeting on December 4, 2010, Khan contrasted the action he was planning in support of jihad with the passive approach of Muslims like radical cleric Anjem Choudary. “Brothers like Anjem, they ain’t going nowhere,” he said.
Abdul Miah (co-defendant at the 2012 trial) was bugged as he spoke to Chowdhury on December 4 2010, using football as a code for their terrorist plans and referring to the Stoke members of the fundamentalist group as ``guests''.
Pompeo States a Home Truth, and the Media Mostly Mocks
by Hugh Fitzgerald
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on November 18 that the Administration did not regard Israeli settlements in the West Bank as violating international law, there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Great and Good in our media. The New York Times characteristically did not bother to address the truth or falsehood of Pompeo’s statement. It merely damned the remark for constituting a “reversal of decades of American policy that may doom any peace efforts.” Readers were made to understand that this claim as to the legality of Israeli settlements must be wrong – and all those previous administrations, headed by the likes of the antisemitic Jimmy Carter, and the anti-Israel George H. W. Bush and anti-Israel Barack Obama, that declared them “illegal,” must surely have been right.
What’s more, the Times article on Pompeo grimly predicted that this “reversal…of American policy…may doom any peace efforts.” One might have thought that “peace efforts” – through treaties rather than through deterrence – had long been doomed not by anything the Israelis have done, but by the persistent refusal of Mahmoud Abbas to engage in negotiations. One might also have thought that “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians might be maintained most effectively not through treaties, given that Muhammad’s breaking of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya – that he made with the Meccans in 628 A.D. — has served as a model for all subsequent treaty-making, and treaty-breaking, by Muslims with non-Muslims. Instead, such a peace can only be maintained through deterrence – the same policy that kept the peace between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. 620,000 Israeli Jews living in towns and cities in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem constitute a major part of that deterrence.
The Times also noted that the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. We can dismiss as hopelessly biased the General Assembly and the Security Council of the U.N., but what about the International Court of Justice? In 2004, when the Court rendered its advisory opinion as to the legality of Israeli settlements, three of its fifteen judges were Muslims, the largest single bloc. And since then there have always been at least three Muslim judges on the court at time.
Despite the fact that the U.N. General Assembly, and the U.N. Security Council, and the International Court of Justice, have all claimed that by building settlements in the West Bank, Israel violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, their judgments are flatly contradicted by the facts. We mustn’t let ourselves be overawed.
First, the Fourth Geneva Convention came out of World War II, a response to the behavior of the Nazis in the countries they occupied and where they both moved peoples out – including Jews who were rounded up and sent to death camps, and also Poles and other Slavic peoples considered as untermenschen — and moved in more ethnic Germans, to parts of Poland, the Baltic states, and Czechoslovakia. But Israel was never an “occupying power” in the West Bank; it was there by right, the right conferred on it in the Mandate for Palestine and, one might add, by the fact that Jews had lived in the West Bank continuously for the past two thousand years. It was only between 1948 and 1967 that the West Bank was rendered Judenrein by the Jordanians. Second, Israel did not move any people out of the West Bank, nor did it forcibly move Jews into the West Bank. Those Jews who moved into West Bank settlements did so of their own volition.
It bears repetition: Israel’s status as the only legal claimant to the West Bank (see the Mandate for Palestine, and accompanying maps), renders the Fourth Geneva Convention — with its statement that “an occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” — inapplicable. Israel is not an occupying power in the West Bank, and furthermore, the Israeli government has not forcibly “deported nor transferred parts of its own civilian population” to the West Bank.
Many in the media treated Secretary Pompeo’s remark as just one more deplorable pro-Israel act by the Trump administration, with the obvious suggestion of political pandering. But the truth is quite the reverse. It was pandering to the Arabs that led successive American administrations to adopt, and to incessantly repeat, the claim that the West Bank settlements, even if they were not strictly illegal, were “obstacles to peace.” No one even felt it necessary to refer to the legal basis of that claim, if such existed; no mention was ever made of the Mandate for Palestine, which supports not those “decades of American policy,” but rather, the Trump Administration’s “reversal of decades” of such policy.
Pompeo’s remark ought not to have raised any eyebrows among those who knew both the relevant history and international law. He was at long last merely recognizing a truth that should have been insisted upon ever since 1967, when Israel came into possession of the West Bank. All of the West Bank — this has to be constantly underlined, given that merely by constant repetition of the claim that the “Jewish settlements are illegal” so many have been misled – was included in the territory which, according to the Mandate for Palestine, was intended to become the Jewish National Home. Here is the map of Mandatory Palestine just before the 1948 war. Had Israel captured the West Bank in 1948-49, that would have been the end of the matter. The Western world would have recognized Israel’s right to settle everywhere in the West Bank (it would become known by that name only after 1949, when the Jordanians, as occupiers, imposed the toponym “West Bank” to replace “Judea” and “Samaria”), and moved on.
But it was Jordan that won the West Bank, and from 1949 to 1967 held it as an “occupying power.” Israel’s legal right to the West Bank was not extinguished during this period, and when Israel came into its possession in 1967, the Jewish state could at long last enforce that legal right. That is all that Secretary Pompeo and the Trump Administration have done: they have recognized that legal right of the Jews to settle in the West Bank, a right that originates in the Mandate for Palestine itself. Article 6 of the Mandate requires the Mandatory authority to both “facilitate Jewish immigration” and “encourage…close settlement by Jews on the land.” That is exactly what has been going on since 1967 in the West Bank, which remained part of the territory assigned for inclusion in the Jewish National Home: “close settlement by Jews on the land.” It is a source of constant amazement that so many people feel qualified to dismiss those settlements as “illegal” without having read the Mandate for Palestine or studied the Mandate maps. Few seek to study the matter, but instead simply repeat what they have heard before. Laziness and fear also play their part. Politicians and members of the media think to themselves “why should I have to do research on my own when others have told us, with great certainty, that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are ‘illegal’? If the U.N. General Assembly, and the Security Council, and the International Court of Justice, all declare them ‘illegal,’ who am I to say them nay? And besides, it takes fortitude to upset geopolitical applecarts, and dare to question the received wisdom that insists – wrongly, but so self-assuredly – on that ‘illegality.’”
This would be the opportune moment for those who know why the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to Jewish settlements in what was always meant, by the Mandate for Palestine, to be part of the Jewish National Home, to produce articles reinforcing the Administration’s welcome conclusion. It should not be left to Secretary Pompeo to face the mickey-mockers alone, nor should Israel be left alone at the U.N. and similar kangaroo courts to explain, as it now has an opening to do, why those settlements in the West Bank are not only legal, but through the increased deterrence they provide against potential aggressors from the east, will help rather than hinder the cause of peace.
Usman Khan murdered two people and injured at least three more in the attack on London Bridge on Friday. But he was not unknown to police.
In 2012, Khan became a convicted terrorist for his role in the Stock Exchange plot, a planned scheme for a Christmas bomb attack on the London Stock Exchange, the American embassy and the home of Boris Johnson, who was then the Mayor of London.
At the time of his sentencing, the judge warned that he was a "serious jihadist" who should not be released while he remained a threat to the public.
In February 2012, he was convicted for terrorism offences and released from prison in December 2018 on licence, the Metropolitan Police said.
He had been ordered to serve at least eight years in prison over his part in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp on land in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir owned by his family.
The Stoke-on-Trent-based radical, along with two co-conspirators, originally received an indeterminate sentence for public protection but this was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a determinate 16-year jail term.
London Bridge murderer a convicted Islamic terrorist released on licence.
I suspected as much reading in between the lines of first Cressida Dick's comments, but more important, those of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he arrived for tonight's Cobra meeting.
This is from the 10pm BBC TV news. The attacker on London Bridge today (no name yet) is a previously convicted terrorist, who was apparently still serving part of his sentence. Hence the concern of Boris Johnson about what to do with convicted terrorists if they still pose a danger.
The knife-wielding terrorist who killed two people before being shot dead by police was known to authorities and had connection to Islamist terror groups, a security source has said.
The attacker, who was wearing a fake suicide vest and has not been named, was killed on London Bridge on Friday afternoon in full view of horrified onlookers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deaths were heartbreaking and hinted the suspect had previously been convicted of terror offences.
According to The Times, the attacker had been released from jail after he agreed to be monitored by authorities.
The paper said he was attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation being held at Fishmongers' Hall in the City of London and "threatened to blow up" the building.
The attacker is understood to have been wearing an electronic tag when he staged the attack after being released from prison for terrorism related offences.
Speaking before chairing a meeting of the Government's emergency committee Cobra, Mr Johnson said he had "long argued" that it is a "mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early and it is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists, that I think the public will want to see".
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, during a press conference, refused to confirm whether or not the suspect was known to police.
A security source confirmed to the PA news agency he was known to police and had connections to Islamist terror groups.
A maintenance worker who witnessed the London Bridge knife attack claims he was told the assailant had been in prison for terrorism offences. Jamie Bakhit, a 24-year-old from Purley, Croydon, said he spoke to one of the men who helped wrestle the knifeman to the ground after they were taken to the Salvation Army headquarters to be interviewed by police.
He told the PA news agency: "The guy who was on top of him said he [the attacker] had been in prison for terrorism, apparently. Some of the guys who were on top of him were ex-prisoners and they had all been in the Fishmongers' Hall. The guy told me he was in prison with the attacker."
"...As I got on the bridge armed police pulled in front of me. There were already four pedestrians on top of the guy on the floor. One of them [pedestrians] was shouting 'shoot him in the f***ing head'.
A guy who was with us at Fishmongers Hall took a 5’ narwhale tusk from the wall and went out to confront the attacker. You can see him standing over the man (with what looks like a white pole) in the video. I thought it was a broomstick. We were trying to help victims inside but that man’s a hero
Police have begun a manhunt after three people were hurt in a stabbing in The Hague.
In a statement, Hague police said they were seeking a man aged 45-50 wearing a shawl, (a shawl, or a shemagh?) a black jacket and wearing a grey tracksuit. . . . He is believed to be of North African descent.
The incident happened in the Grote Marktstraat shopping area, which was busy with people looking for Black Friday deals. An area near the town’s historic centre was cordoned off, and dozens of police and ambulances were on the scene.
Police spokeswoman Marije Kuiper said that it was not clear if the stabbing was a terror incident.
London Bridge attack: BBC TV News: Two members of public killed in stabbing terror attack, sources say
From the Independent, confirmed by the Guardian. BBC TV behind me says two dead, no on-line link yet. Such a shame as they were taken off by ambulance; I thought this was going to end relatively well. .
One member of the public has died after the attack, sources involved in the NHS response to the incident say.
All the casualties were taken to the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, one of the capital’s four designated major trauma centres.
Police announced earlier that the suspect was shot and died at the scene.
Police have shot a suspect after five people were injured in a stabbing incident near London Bridge.
The Metropolitan police said the circumstances were unclear but that the incident was being treated “as though it is terror-related”.
Police said they were called to a stabbing at premises near the bridge shortly before 2pm on Friday.
Graphic footage posted on social media showed armed officers apparently pulling civilians off a person lying on the ground on the bridge before firing at him from close range.
Station staff at Monument underground station nearby confirmed that five people had been injured in the attack. The tube station was closed off as armed police investigated.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, is giving a press conference outside Scotland Yard. He confirms the suspect died at the scene. It has been declared a terrorist incident. Due to reports that the suspect was wearing a suicide vest a cordon remains around the area. But Basu said the police now believe the vest was a hoax suicide vest.
Nothing has been released yet (if the police even know themselves) about the identity of the man, which might give a clue as to his terror cause. But this is not an IRA modus operandi.
One man, aged 20 was arrested at his home in Zoetermeer on Monday by heavily armed police officers. The second man, also from Zoetermeer and aged 34, was arrested on a public street in The Hague. Both were picked up following a tip-off by the security services that an attack was being planned.
The prosecution department suspects the men of plotting to use suicide bomb belts and car bombs in the attacks, which were set to take place at the end of the year. No targets have been identified and no explosives or guns were found during searches of their homes. ‘We have serious suspicions they were preparing to carry out a terrorist attack but were still in the planning phase,’ the public prosecutor said. An axe, a dagger and a mobile phone with multiple sim cards was found in a secret ceiling compartment in one home.
The parents of a 20-year-old man . . . shocked by the accusations against their son. "We never expected this. If it is true, we strongly reject it. But we hope it's not true", the parents said to newspaper AD.
The 20-year-old man has Dutch nationality, but his family is originally from Iraq. The parents moved to the Netherlands in 1992 and all three their children were born here. Local residents told AD that he recently grew a short beard and regularly went to a mosque in The Hague. His parents confirmed that he was "very concerned with religion", while the rest of the family is not.
A second suspect arrested on Monday, a 34-year-old man, is from Iran, according to the newspaper. So far little is known about the ... suspect. He was arrested in his car in The Hague. According to AD, he also lived in Zoetermeer.
The suspects are in restricted custody, which means that they are only allowed contact with their lawyers. It also means that the authorities and lawyers can't say much about the investigation or suspicions against the suspects. They will be arraigned on Thursday.
No report, or not in an English language publication, of what happened in court yet.
Australia: Muslims Who Plotted Mass Murder at Christmas-Time, Jailed
We will now maintain them for twenty-plus years at taxpayers' expense. If they or their parents had never been admitted to Australia in the first place, just think of the money we'd be saving. And the sentencing Judge, in his remarks, reveals a frightening degree of ignorance of the belief system that motivated these would-be ghazi raiders.
Report today from Margaret Paul, Karen Percy and staff of Australia's ABC.
"Trio Jailed For Plotting Christmas Terrorist Attack in Melbourne's Federation Square".
'Three men (i.e. three Melbourne-resident Muslim men - CM) have been jailed for planning to use machetes and improvised bombs to carry out a terrorist attack (a mass-murderous jihad raid - CM) in Melbourne's CBD during the 2016 Christmas period.
And just why would these muslims - like so many, many other Muslims attacking Christians throughout the world, in both recent and less-recent history - choose "the Christmas period" as the time to attack? The ABC will not offer any explanations, let alone give us a list of similar attacks, whether plotted or in fact achieved, from all around the world, both within Muslim-dominated lands and within majority non-Islamic countries, from both the recent and the historic past; nor will we be given a list of similar sorts of attacks that specifically targeted non-Muslims whilst said non-Muslims (Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist) were celebrating their most holy feasts or festivals. - CM
'A lengthy trial heard the men had purchased machetes as well as metal pipes, light globes, and batteries to make explosives, and had tried to obtain guns, as they planned to attack people (no: "as they planned to mass-murder Christian worshippers and other celebrating non-Muslims" - CM) at Federation Square.
Not just 'Federation Square'. They planned to attack the congregation within the Anglican Cathedral during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. - CM
'Abdullah Chaarani, 29, and Ahmed Mohamed, 27, were each jailed for 38 years, with a non-parole period of 28 years. The third man sentenced today, 24-year-old Hamza Abbas, was jailed for 22 years, with a non-parole period of 16 years and six months.
Reality check. They will be just as dangerous - if not more dangerous - when they come out, as they were when they went in. And , worse, how much 'Prison Dawa" will they get up to, whilst they are 'inside', with imam visits, and halal food, and who knows what other accommodations laid on for the poor dears? - CM
'In sentencing, Suprme Court Justice Christopher Beale described the plot as "an assault on the fundamental values of our society".
Now that is true enough. Because the ultimate goal of jihad is to force the inhabitants of the entire non-Islamic world - framed by Islam as dar al harb, zone of war - to Submit: to either relinquish their own belief systems and join the bullying Mohammedan Mob, embracing the grimly antihuman totalitarianism and sacralised sadism of the Sharia, or else accept the role of exploited, abused and despised near-slave dhimmi untermenschen, with the Muslim boot planted firmly on their necks. - CM
"Justice Beale said that the three men had embraced Islamic State ideology (that is: ISLAM, bog-standard orthodox by-the-book ISLAM - CM) and believed the planned attack would be pleasing to Allah.
Muslims wage and have always waged jihad because they are taught, in the Quran, Sira and Hadiths, that this is the way, par excellence, to please Allah and achieve paradise. - CM
"The stupidity of that belief was matched only by its malevolence", he said.
Dear Justice Beale: one might say, to be perfectly truthful, that the stupidity of Islam is matched only by its malevolence... But I fear that you are trying to say that there is a variety of Islam, a nice Islam, a 'real' Islam, in which killing unbelievers wholesale is not pleasing to Allah?? If so - if you are trying to assert that these murder-minded mohammedans were "stupid" because they were misunderstanding Islam, getting their wonderful religion all wrong.. then .. you need to read Ibn Warraq's book "The Islam in Islamic Terrorism" and Robert Spencer's "A History of Jihad, from Mohammed to ISIS", and discover that these plotters were, in fact, perfectly orthodox Muslims who understood their religion very well indeed. Or, since you are the Suprme Court Justice, Joseph Schacht's monumental tome "An Introduction to Islamic Law" might serve to enlighten you. In that book Joseph Schacht - who knew far more about Islam than you do, Justice Beale - makes this lapidary statement. "“The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war; they must be either converted, or subjugated, or killed”. ISIS did not exist, when Schacht wrote those words. ISIS is merely one of the most recent crystallisations of Islam, one of the most recent attempts to carry out the jihad imperative that is hard-wired into the core texts of Islam - CM
"He said he accepted the three men were on the path to deradicalisation (ROFLMAO: there is no such thing as deradicalisation... the only Muslim who is not potentially dangerous is a Muslim who is no longer a Muslim; who has made a clean break with the Ummah; who has publicly and determinedly apostasised. - CM) and had reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.
They were planning to mass-murder hundreds and possibly thousands of people. I do not believe for one second that they have abandoned their belief in the efficacy of jihad fi sabil allah as the way to get into allah's paradise. They are dangerous. They will remain dangerous so long as they continue to identify themselves as Muslims. - CM
'The plot is the second terrorism conviction for Chaarani and Mohamed, who are already serving 22-year prison terms for setting fire to a Shi'a mosque in Melbourne's north just a few weeks before the planned attack.
Other-sect / deemed-insufficiently-Islamic Muslims are as much a target of Jihad as Kuffar. In a sense, they cease to be viewed as Muslims and are treated instead as if they were kuffar, unbelievers. - CM
'Hamza Abbas's brother Ibrahim Abbas was the key witness in the case, claiming to be the group's ringleader. Last year he was sentenced to 24 years in prison for leading the plan, which included putting an explosive vest on his brother Hamza.
Par for the course.. this sort of thing has happened before, in other parts of the world, on numerous occasions. - CM
'Father told plott, "You are not my son".
Covering his ass. - CM
"The sentencing of the trio has taken place more than a year after they were found guilty by a trial.
"It was delayed by the trial in which Mohamed and Chaarani were convicted of terrorism offences for torching the Fawkner mosque.
'That crime was described by the sentencing judge as "an attack on religious freedom" (which is what the planned attack on the Cathedral in Melbourne, on Christmas Eve, would also have been, had it been carried out.. - CM), motivated by "the evil ideolgoy" of the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as ISIS.
Motivated by the evil ideology of Islam, period. Being Sunni Musims, these plotters viewed their Shiite victims as heretics/ apostates. Given the opportunity, the Shiites would reciprocate, and attack the Sunnis. - CM
'During a plea hearing before Justice Beale last month, Mohamed and Chaarani sought to convince the court that they had turned their backs on IS and had been on a path to deradicalisation since their arrest in December 2016.
Oh, suuuuure. Muslims lie. Muslims lie. Muslims lie. - CM
'Despite maintaining their innocence through both trials, the men took the unusual move of giving evidence during the plea hearing, admitting to the crimes.
'Chaarani told the court, "I renounce violent jihad. I renounce ISIS. I renounce extremist ideology".
Stealth jihad, from now on, eh? And again: Muslims are permitted to lie, to protect themselves, to protect the ummah, to confuse the foolish kuffar, to buy time. - CM
"He told the court of being visited by his father in prison in the months after he was arrested in late 2016. His father told him, "You've embarrassed me. You've shocked me. You are not my son", the court heard.
And who, precisely, heard his father say this? Is there an independent non-Islamic witness who can confirm that this was indeed said? Otherwise, for all we know, the Muslim son and/ or his father are just saying whatever they think will incline the stupid kuffar to greater leniency. - CM
'Mohamed told the court he also denounced radicalism and IS, saying he took part in the plot because, "I wanted to make bombs. I thought they (IS) were cool."
And why did you - and a whole lot of other young Muslims, both male and female, to judge by the numbers who rushed off to Syria to wallow in a jihad bloodbath - think they were "cool", in the first place? WAsn't it because they were doing just like Mohammed and his gang of slave-raiding, raping, terrorising, looting and pillaging banditti used to do, back in the day? There were no young Christians, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Hindus, who thought IS were "cool"; they, like other decent non-Islamic human beings, were properly horrified and disgusted by the beheadings, the rapes, the selling of very young Christian and Yazidi girls as sex-slaves, and all the rest of it. - CM
'He told the court he felt pressured by other Muslim boys (hmm... and how many "other Muslim boys" might these have been ... he doesn't seem to be referring to just his two co-plotters, here - CM) when they talked about carrying out terrorist acts.
When they fantasised about waging jihad, following the sacralised example of warlord Mohammed. - CM
'Hamza Abbas's lawyer had told the court her client played a lesser role in the plot, and was not fully aware of the plan.
Really? On whose say-so does she base this claim? His? His mates? And again: Muslims lie, Muslims lie, Muslims lie. Especially when they have their a**e caught in a crack; when they have been arrested, and are trying to bamboozle the stupid kuffar police and judiciary. - CM
The BBC is spelling it out, Shia Muslim attacks Sunni Muslim Mosque, and in the headline as well, while the Birmingham Mail continues to talk of a "vandal motivated by religious hatred" until the very end when directly quoting the Judge.
A Shia Muslim has been jailed for three years and nine months for vandalism attacks on five mosques in Birmingham.
Judge Michael Chambers QC said Rezazadeh had been "motivated by religious hatred" and all the mosques he attacked were used by Sunni Muslims.
Rezazadeh sparked a major hate crime inquiry supported by anti-terror police, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Rezazadeh, who has a history of mental health problems linked to use of cannabis, handed himself in at West Midlands Police headquarters a day after the attacks. As well as denying that the man caught on CCTV looked like him, Rezazadeh said he had only confessed to get an opportunity to "expose" false religious teachings.
Mr Walkling told the court the offences happened between 1.25am and 3.12am, adding: "For reasons that are obvious, the Muslim community in Birmingham and across the country was put in considerable fear."
Passing sentence, Judge Chambers told Rezazadeh: "Birmingham has a long history of religious toleration and harmony, not only between the faiths but within the faiths as well. You quite deliberately and seriously offended against that."
The judge, who said the defendant's mental health problems were self-induced by cannabis use, added: "You were motivated by your religious hatred, you being of the Shia faith and the mosques being Sunni Muslim mosques. The harm in this case has been extremely substantial - the impact on the local and wider Muslim community has been huge. . . This is on any view a religious hate crime. It's not suggested otherwise, nor could it realistically be so."
Tommy Robinson: 13 suspects arrested over disorder by 'Muslim Defence League' at election rally
It's only taken Greater Manchester Police six months to track these men down and arrest them. They had clear photographs from the press. They had alert officers on the spot, who even escorted some of the Muslim men who protested on public transport from Yorkshire to Manchester. I know that it doesn't follow that those Muslim men escorted to the protest were the exact same Muslim men who committed the assaults, but I bet they know and associate with the men who did. They had facebook posts boasting of the damage caused. If the police make all the arrests they should, then CPS says they can be charged, then get it to court, half the defendants will have absonded and the witnesses will be accused of not remembering events after passage of time.
Police have arrested 13 people over “serious public disorder” at a rally held by Tommy Robinson before the European Parliament elections. Violence broke out after a large group of men calling themselves the Muslim Defence League (MDL) converged on the event in Oldham on 18 May.
Supporters said they wanted to protest against Robinson’s election campaign, but footage posted on social media showed numerous members of the group with their heads and faces covered.
“Look at the soldiers behind us,” said one member of the group. “We’re Halifax Pakistanis reppin’ in Oldham, and reppin’ for the MDL.”
Police initially escorted the demonstration, but violence broke out after they arrived at the pro-Robinson rally at a park in Limeside.
Scores of officers were seen armed with shield and batons in response to separate both sides as tensions flared on the residential street of Seventh Avenue.
This morning Greater Manchester Police raided 14 properties in Oldham, Crumpsall and one in West Yorkshire linked to the disturbance. Officers have arrested 13 men, aged between 15 and 40, on suspicion of violent disorder. All remain in custody for questioning.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, of GMP’s Territorial Commander with responsibility for Oldham said: “As the scale of this morning’s operation demonstrates, we continue to treat May’s disturbance with the utmost seriousness. We have been in liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service since the early stages of the investigation and a team of detectives has been working to identify those whose criminal behaviour resulted in the ugly scenes witnessed.
....While we have made a number of arrests, our enquiries remain very much ongoing. In conjunction with this morning’s positive action, we have released a number of images of people who we want to speak to concerning their actions on 18 May 2019."
Ch Supt Evans said several people involved had travelled to Oldham from outside Manchester, and that police were liaising with neighbouring forces. The word 'several' must be flexible regarding just how many people constitute several.
He isn’t really running for president; he’s running for secretary of state.
by Conrad Black
The entry of Michael Bloomberg into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is not, I think, exactly what it seems. The claim and assumption is that Bloomberg became alarmed at the stumbling candidacy of Joe Biden and has charged to the rescue of the sensible Democrats. In this reasoning, Biden no longer afforded reasonable confidence that the nomination would be kept out of the hands of advocates of universally socialized medicine, the Green Terror, open borders, sharp corporate and upper-income tax increases, huge “reparations” to African and native Americans, and legalized live-birth abortions (i.e. infanticide). Biden seemed to be faltering, goes the reasoning; Mayor Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., lacks the necessary stature and carries a lot of leftist baggage as he tries to change lanes to the center, and Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota is presentable but humdrum, Walter Mondale in drag. What is needed is the three-term mayor of the Big Apple, builder of a mighty business, formidable philanthropist, and, though she does not become too involved politically, longtime escort of a very accomplished and in all respects impressive woman (Diana Taylor).
This is a dream come true for the Democrats plodding along with myriad forgettable candidates, right? Not so fast. The existing field of candidates is not very prepossessing, and they don’t agree on much except their antagonism to Trump, which goes well beyond good-natured partisan posturing. JFK and Hubert Humphrey got on well personally with Richard Nixon, and the same was true of LBJ and Barry Goldwater, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, and even Barack Obama and John McCain. But today’s Democratic candidates detest and despise this president, and he cordially reciprocates their contempt. On this, Michael Bloomberg will blend right in. One might think two Manhattan billionaires would get on easily, but they don’t.
From this point on, though, Bloomberg radically parts company with the tired field he is joining. Every form of envy and resentment is already surging to their tongues: Bloomberg is portrayed as a recent ex-Republican, cynically trying to buy the White House, swooping in on the pretense that he is filling a vacuum when he is really just trying to end-run the others, who have doughtily slogged through the service clubs and church basements and rural towns of Iowa and New Hampshire. Rich, smug, 77 years old (Biden and Sanders don’t stress that one too much, for obvious reasons), he’s a Manhattan billionaire who, they say, doesn’t know the country west of the Hudson River or north of Long Island Sound, and is representing himself as the redeemer of a party he joined more recently than Donald Trump joined the Republicans (in Trump’s seventh party change in 13 years). This refrain is already rising from the multi-accented chorus of the candidates who preceded him into the Democratic race.
None of the candidates is making an issue of the impeachment nonsense. The majority of Americans think that Trump should not have raised the investigation of a political rival with a foreign leader, but that is just because the media have been allowed by the president to get away with propagating the fiction that Trump was asking Ukraine to condemn Biden. He was asking for the facts, which is completely unexceptionable. Even with this misunderstanding heavy in the air, there is not a majority for impeachment and removal, and there certainly won’t be a majority for removal if this malignant farce gets to the Senate, where the president can mount a defense, which was not allowed in the House Intelligence Committee kangaroo court. If the Democrats are dumb enough to go to a Senate trial, where Schiff and this phony whistleblower will have to testify, they will be beaten to a pulp, beyond the ability of their media lackies to disguise.
Though the Democrats are not speaking of impeachment, though most of them routinely refer to Trump as the most corrupt president in history. That is unlikely, but none of the presidents has really been corrupt. Van Buren, Arthur, and LBJ may have come closer to light-fingered conduct than has Trump, a magnificent huckster, snake-oil salesman, tax avoider, and veteran of junk-bond-financed casino speculation who nonetheless has never been seriously accused of illegalities. But in the end, one of the Democrats is going to have to fight Trump’s full-employment economy, his cut in the taxes of 87 percent of taxpayers, revitalization of manufacturing, reduction of poverty, elimination of oil imports and most illegal immigration, and facing up to the Chinese rivalry, the one area where he seems to have bipartisan support. Trump has 45 percent of the voters behind him no matter what the Democrats and their media puppets say, and if they take the impeachment clunker to the Senate, they will fall flat on their clueless faces. Especially after the shenanigans of Obama’s intelligence agencies and Justice Department get a proper airing and impeachment fizzles, Trump will not appear to be an easy incumbent to dislodge.
It is possible that, with a still-overpopulated field, Bloomberg could get some traction as obviously the most accomplished of the Democratic contestants. However, I don’t think any of it will work. His strategy — accepting no outside contributions and paying everything himself while his company news service blasts Trump without commenting on Bloomberg — will backfire. Avoiding the first four primaries will stir up great resentment; the DNC won’t change its debate-eligibility yardstick to accommodate him, and I doubt if Bloomberg will get much response. He isn’t an electrifying figure; he never should have recanted on stop-and-frisk (it worked); and the country doesn’t like the idea of buying national office.
Trump didn’t sweep the Republican primaries and win the nomination and the election because he was rich; he won despite his wealth, because he saw a vast unrepresented and angry section of the public, placed himself at their head, and led them to victory. He has kept faith with them and it is reciprocated. The universal Democratic view, shared by many Republicans, that Trump was a freakish and horrible fluke of the electoral system has yielded to the idea that he will be easy to defeat. In fact he will be impossible to defeat. People will tire of Trump-hating; it is a bore and doesn’t get anywhere. This president wears down even his supporters, but he won’t find it difficult to add some support during the election campaign to his unshakeable grip on almost half the country, since the other 55 percent are only about half Trump-haters, and the rest are slightly to largely capable of comparing him with his opponent and appreciating his policy successes as well as the policy shambles of the Democrats.
The race for the Democratic nomination is not what it seems. Michael Bloomberg is the only one in the field who would be a competent president if elected, but he isn’t really running for president; he’s running, one more time, for secretary of state. He did that with Jeb Bush, and then switched parties and revealed his grace of conversion with his nasty speech at the Democratic convention, but that candidacy failed too. So here he comes again. The Democrats can’t beat Trump, but they will beat Bloomberg as an advance consolation prize, and the nominee will assure him of the State Department if successful. Bloomberg would be a competent secretary of state also, but he will be to the position of secretary of state what Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan were to the presidency: thrice-nominated unsuccessful aspirants to the office. It’s a reasonable ambition and an honorable status, and a little like Nelson Rockefeller, the first of the New York billionaire politicians. If Rockefeller had run early in 1960, or earlier in 1968, he might have won, but at least he got to be vice president. Michael Bloomberg won’t get that far, but he should be commended for entering public life at all, after all he has achieved in the private sector.