Thursday, April 28, 2016

Germany: "We Need an Islam Law"

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Germany: "We Need an Islam Law"
Proposal seeks to ban foreign funding of mosques in Germany

by Soeren Kern  •  April 28, 2016 at 5:00 am
  • "All imams need to be trained in Germany and share our core values. ... It cannot be that we are importing different, partly extreme values ​​from other countries. German must be the language of the mosques. Enlightened Europe must cultivate its own Islam." Andreas Scheuer, the General Secretary of the Christian Social Union party (CSU).
  • The Turkish government has sent 970 clerics — most of whom do not speak German — to lead 900 mosques in Germany that are controlled by a branch of the Turkish government's Directorate for Religious Affairs. Turkish clerics in Germany are effectively Turkish civil servants who do the bidding of the Turkish government.
  • Erdogan has repeatedly warned Turkish immigrants not to assimilate into German society. During a trip to Berlin in November 2011, Erdogan declared: "Assimilation is a violation of human rights."
The Cologne Central Mosque, run by DITIB, is used as a key base in Germany for Turkey's intelligence agency, where they run a local "thug squad" to mete out "tough punishments" to Turkish dissidents in Germany. (Image source: © Raimond Spekking/CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
A senior German politician has called for an "Islam law" that would limit the influence of foreign imams and prohibit the foreign financing of mosques in Germany.
The proposal — modelled on the Islam Law promulgated in Austria in February 2015 — is aimed at staving off extremism and promoting Muslim integration by developing a moderate "European Islam."
The move comes amid revelations that the Turkish government is paying the salaries of nearly 1,000 conservative imams in Germany who are leading mosques across the country. In addition, Saudi Arabia recently pledged to finance the construction of 200 mosques in Germany to serve migrants there.

Turkey's Fake War on Jihadis

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 28, 2016 at 4:00 am
  • Last year, a Turkish pollster found that one in every five Turks thought that the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris was the natural response to men who insulted Prophet Mohammed.
  • "Infidels who were enemies of Islam thought they buried Islam in the depths of history when they abolished the caliphate on March 3, 1924 ... Some 92 years after ... we are shouting out that we will re-establish the caliphate, here, right next to the parliament." — Mahmut Kar, media bureau chief for Hizb ut-Tahrir Turkey.
  • At a March meeting with top U.S. officials, King Abdullah of Jordan accused Turkey of exporting terrorists to Europe. He said: "The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy and Turkey keeps on getting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook."
  • And Turkey is the country its Western allies believe will help them fight jihadists? Lots of luck!
Turkey's Religious Affairs General Directorate (Diyanet), the ultimate official religious authority in the country, recently issued comic books to the nation's children telling them how marvelous it is to become an Islamic martyr.
In theory, Turkey is part of the international coalition that fights the Islamic State (IS). Since it joined the fight last year, it has arrested scores of IS militants, made some efforts to seal its porous border with Syria and tagged IS as a terrorist organization. Turkish police have raided homes of suspected IS operatives. More recently, Turkey's Interior Ministry updated its list of "wanted terrorists" to include 23 IS militants, and offered rewards of more than 42 million Turkish liras (more than $14 million) for any information leading to the suspects' capture. But this is only part of the story.
On March 24, a Turkish court released seven members of IS, including the commander of the jihadists' operations on Turkish soil. A total of 96 suspects are on trial, including the seven men who were detained but released. All are free now, although the indictment against them claims that they

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Eye on Extremism - April 28, 2016

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Eye on Extremism

April 28, 2016

Newsweek: ISIS Covering Streets Of Raqqa To Thwart Drone Strikes
“The Islamic State (ISIS) militant group is covering up the streets of Raqqa using sheets tied across the tops of shopfronts and residences in a bid to protect against deadly drone strikes on its fighters, according to activists and the U.S.-led coalition. The activist group operating inside the city, Raqqa is Silently Being Slaughtered, shared images on Tuesday that showed the radical Islamist group’s tactic to limit the U.S.-led coalition’s visibility of the group’s fighters from above. The group tweeted: ‘Photo shows how ISIS is covering the streets of Raqqa to prevent drones from targeting their fighters.’”
Associated Press: Military Buildup, Fighting Spells End Of Syrian Cease-Fire
“A military buildup in northern Syria, coupled with heavy fighting and mounting civilian casualties, spells the end of a cease-fire that for two months brought some relief to a war-weary country. The renewed violence is ushering in what could be an even more ruinous chapter in the 5-year-old conflict. About 200 civilians have been killed in the past week, nearly half of them around Aleppo. There has even been shelling in Damascus, along with a car bomb — both rarities for the capital. With peace talks in Geneva completely deadlocked, Syrians are regarding the escalating bloodshed with dread, fearing a return to full war and slow destruction.”
ARA News: ISIS Targets Syrian Democratic Forces With Chemical Weapons
“At least 15 fighters from the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were wounded on Tuesday in a chemical attack by the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, medical sources reported on Wednesday. The SDF leadership confirmed that several shells containing chemicals dropped on their positions in the vicinity of Shaddadi city [60 km south of Hasakah city] northeastern Syria.”
Daily Beast: U.S. Kills ISIS Operatives Linked To Europe Attacks
“As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond. Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 ‘external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators’ blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa. That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.”
Fox News: At Least 14 Doctors Without Borders Staff, Patients Killed In Aleppo Airstrikes
A wave of nighttime airstrikes hit a hospital in Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders and nearby buildings in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo, killing as many as 27 people, including 14 doctors and patients — among them children and one of the last pediatricians in war-torn Syria, the international medical aid group reported. The strikes, blamed on the embattled government in Damascus, came shortly before midnight Wednesday and hit the well-known al-Quds field hospital in the rebel-held district of Sukkari in Aleppo, according to opposition activists and rescue workers. A separate blitz in Aleppo reportedly killed 20, raising the 24-hour death toll in the key city to at least 61.”
Times Of Israel: IDF Commander: Hezbollah Preparing For War, Just Like In 2006
“An IDF battalion commander stationed on Israel’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday said the Hezbollah terror group’s recent activity was ‘reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War.’ An IDF battalion commander stationed on Israel’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday said the Hezbollah terror group’s recent activity was ‘reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War.’ In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in Lebanon that killed about 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers, and nearly 1,200 Lebanese, including several hundred Hezbollah fighters, according to the Israeli army.”
Huffington Post: New Research Shows ISIS Recruitment Driven By Cultural Isolation
“As the map shows, the Muslim populations most likely to join ISIS are not in the Middle East or Africa. Rates of ISIS recruitment are highest in highly developed western countries, the ones with cultures you might least associate with radical Islam. The finding is consistent with several other studies that have found overwhelmingly negative views of ISIS is majority-Muslim countries. At the top of the list is Finland. Of its Muslim population, which numbers only 42,000, 70 are estimated to have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join as ISIS fighters.”
Reuters: Fear Of Boko Haram Deters Displaced In Chad From Going Home: Aid Agencies
“Fear of new Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad area is discouraging around 100,000 people uprooted by violence from heading home and is hindering aid operations, agencies said on Wednesday, days after Chad extended its state of emergency. Chad helped force the Islamist group to cede territory last year, undermining its six-year campaign to carve out a Nigerian caliphate, but the militants have since ramped up attacks and suicide bombings in remote border areas around Lake Chad. While a lull in attacks in recent months has allowed aid agencies to reach most of those displaced around the lake, the security situation remains volatile and unpredictable, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”
The Guardian: Taliban Suicide Bomber Accidentally Triggers Explosives Early, Killing Himself And Eight Other Would-Be Martyrs At Their Base
“A Taliban suicide bomber accidentally killed himself and eight fellow militants after triggering his explosives vest by mistake. The jihadist fighters had been ordered to carry out an attack in Kunduz city, Afghanistan, but all died before their got there. However, one of the militants detonated his vest shortly after leaving a Taliban base in Dasht-e-Archi, triggering everyone elses explosives, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. The Taliban fighters had been part of a group operating under commander Mullah Wali, the MoI statement said. The Taliban have been trying to recapture Kunduz, a city which they held for just 14 days after months of fighting with government forces.”
Telegraph: British Jihadist Taunts Security Services With Account Of How He And Jihadi John Escaped To Syria On UK Passports
“British jihadist has taunted security services with a detailed account of how he and Isil executioner ‘Jihadi John’ managed to travel through Europe to Syria on UK passports, despite being on terror watchlists. Mohammed Emwazi, the Londoner filmed beheading Western hostages, and the unnamed friend, managed to leave Britain in early 2013 without attracting the attention of authorities. Writing in Islamic State’s monthly Dar al-Islam magazine, the author says they travelled in a freight lorry carrying migrants along a popular people-trafficking route to a Channel port.”
The Wall Street Journal: Encryption Without Tears
“In an increasingly digital world, strong encryption of devices is needed to prevent criminal misuse of data. But technological innovation must not mean placing individuals or companies above the law. Over the past year the two of us have explored the challenges associated with criminal and terrorist use of encrypted communications. Two examples illustrate why the status quo is unacceptable. The first is the Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack last year in Garland, Texas. FBI Director Jim Comey said the attackers ‘exchanged 109 messages with an overseas terrorist’ the morning of the shooting, but the FBI cannot access those messages to determine the exact role of Islamic State in the shooting and how to help prevent future attacks.”

United States

The Guardian: US To Release Report On Failings Leading To Airstrike On Afghanistan Hospital
“The Pentagon is due to release a report on an internal investigation into one of the most infamous episodes of the war in Afghanistan: a special operations airstrike on a hospital in the north of the country that left 42 civilians dead. The report provides an official assessment of the failings that led to a US AC-130 gunship attacking a Kunduz hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, several of whose patients burned to death in their beds. The organization has called the strike a deliberate act tantamount to a war crime. Defense sources indicated declassification of the long-awaited report could come as soon as this week. In the fall, US officials said an unspecified number of officers involved in the strike had been suspended from duty.”
The Washington Post: Israel’s Controversial ‘Roof Knocking’ Tactic Appears In Iraq. And This Time, It’s The U.S. Doing It.
“‘Roof knocking’ is a controversial Israeli military practice used in the Gaza Strip. It works on a simple logic designed to minimize civilian casualties. Occupants of a building are given a warning a few minutes before a military strike. The first warning is generally a phone call. The second is a rocket. The Israeli military has argued that the practice saves lives by giving occupants a chance to escape, but critics say the tactic creates confusion and can amount to psychological warfare. This week, the United States announced that it had used the tactic in Iraq. U.S. military officials told reporters on Tuesday that roof-knocking had been carried out during an operation on April 5 in the Iraqi city of Mosul.”


Reuters: Syrian Kurdish Leader Sees Turkish Hand In Border Closure
“The Kurdish government in Iraq has dealt a blow to Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria by keeping the border closed for more than one month, an economic and political setback for the Syrian region as it plans for wider autonomy. The Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria believes it is being targeted by the Kurdish government in Iraq in coordination with regional power Turkey, which is deeply concerned by growing Kurdish sway in Syria. The move has laid bare Kurdish divisions across the frontier that could complicate the Syrian Kurds' political ambitions: Iraqi Kurds took the step the very week the Syrian Kurds and their allies announced plans for a new system of autonomous government in northern Syria.”
BBC: Syria Conflict: UN Envoy Calls On US And Russia To Save Talks
“The UN envoy to Syria has urged the US and Russia to urgently intervene ‘at the highest level’ to salvage talks. Speaking after briefing the UN Security Council on the faltering peace process, Staffan de Mistura said that a truce agreed in February was ‘barely alive’. Violence in Syria has intensified in recent days, despite the ceasefire. At least 20 civilians were reportedly killed on Wednesday in government strikes on a hospital and nearby residential building in eastern Aleppo. Civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, told French news agency AFP that the dead included children and the only paediatrician left in rebel-held areas of the city.”


Reuters: Iraqi Army Makes Modest Advance South Of Mosul
“Iraqis armed forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air power captured a village in Nineveh province from Islamic State on Wednesday, the first advance on the northern front since the offensive was paused three weeks ago. Mahana, sitting south of a main east-west road, became just the fourth village seized by the army in the Makhmour area, which is set to be a staging ground for a future assault on Mosul, about 60 km (40 miles) further north. The advance brings Iraqi forces slightly closer to the oil town of Qayyara on the western banks of the Tigris River, control over which would help to isolate Mosul, the largest city held by the militants, from territory they control further south and east.”
Reuters: Kurds, Shi'ites Agree To Withdraw Forces From North Iraq Town After Clashes
“Senior Kurdish and Shi'ite Muslim leaders agreed on Wednesday to withdraw their forces from a northern Iraqi town in a bid to end violence that has killed more than 10 people in recent days. The clashes in Tuz Khurmato, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, marked the latest violence in the town since Islamic State militants were driven back in 2014 by Kurdish peshmerga and Shi'ite militia, nominal allies against the Sunni militants. Mayor Shalal Abdul said that under the deal, local police would take control of Tuz Khurmato - home to Kurds, Shi'ite Turkmen and Sunni Arabs. A Kurdish official in the town, Kareem Shkur, said the peshmerga and Shi'ite militias would pull out once the police forces achieved a balance between the town's various ethnic and sectarian groups, estimating that would take around one month.”


Newsweek: Is Turkey Poised To Become An Islamic Republic?
“Just a decade ago, the U.S. State Department downplayed concerns about the direction then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was taking Turkey by arguing that fears he had an Islamist agenda were misplaced. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, for example, described Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party as really no different than a European-style Christian Democratic Party—that is, religious in name only but really respecting traditional notions of laicism and progressivism. Now it seems that Erdoğan is going one step further. He has made no secret of his desire to redraft a constitution, one that creates a strong presidency to legalize the powers he has already assumed. That constitution, yet to be drafted, is nonetheless beginning to take shape in leaks and comments.”
The New York Times: Suicide Bombing Near Historic Mosque In Turkey Wounds 13
“A female suicide bomber blew herself up near a historic mosque in the northwestern Turkish city of Bursa on Wednesday, wounding at least 13 people, officials said. The explosion rocked the 14th-century Ulu Camii, or Grand Mosque, a popular tourist destination in a historic district of the city. Television reports showed shattered glass and debris from shops and restaurants close to the mosque. The police cordoned off the area as ambulances sped to the scene. The Turkish health minister, Mehmet Muezzinoglu, said in a statement that none of the 13 people who were hospitalized were in critical condition. The attack took place a few hours after the United States Embassy in Ankara issued a security advisory to American citizens, warning of credible threats against tourist destinations throughout Turkey.”


Associated Press: Egypt Official Says Sinai Bombing Kills 3 Police, Wounds 8
“Egypt's state news agency says three policemen have been killed in a roadside bombing in the turbulent north of the Sinai Peninsula. MENA quoted an unidentified security official saying that the Wednesday explosion targeted an armored personnel carrier in the city of el-Arish, wounding another 8 policemen. The official says the wounded were taken to the military hospital in el-Arish. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack. A local affiliate of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on security forces in Sinai since 2014.”

Middle East

Reuters: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Woman And Brother, Armed With Knives: Police
“Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian woman and her teenage brother on Wednesday, saying they were armed with knives and tried to carry out an attack at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. Police said the woman, holding a knife, and a man walked rapidly towards police and other Israeli security guards in a vehicles-only lane at the Qalandia checkpoint outside Jerusalem. ‘Police called on them several times to stop. When they kept advancing...the officers neutralized the terrorists,’ a police statement said. Palestinian authorities identified the two dead as Maram Abu Ismail, 23, and her 16-year-old brother, Ibrahim Taha, and said they had been en route to Jerusalem for a medical appointment.”


ABC News: Nigeria's Stolen Girls: Inside Boko Haram Territory Where Children Are Forced To Become Suicide Bombers: Reporter's Notebook
“Last year, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS – renaming themselves Islamic State West Africa -- stepping up slick propaganda and gruesome attacks. In the years since First Lady Michelle Obama and countless celebrities and normal folk held up #BringBackOurGirls signs, the U.S. has sent hundreds of special forces in advisory roles to the region. They also set up a surveillance drone base in Cameroon sharing intelligence with the African military units. But American soldiers aren’t the ones going into the Sambisa forest hunting down Boko Haram encampments. The Nigerian military has won a lot of territory against Boko Haram since they elected a new president last year.”

United Kingdom

Mirror: Police Arrest 21-Year-Old Man 'Who Was Planning To Travel To Syria' On Suspicion Of Terrorism
“A man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism as police investigate allegations he was planning to travel to Syria. The 21-year-old is accused of being involved in the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism.  He was arrested by officers from the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, assisted by officers from the Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit at around 1pm today. The suspect, who is from Luton, Bedfordshire, was taken to a police station in south London for questioning. Officers are investigating alleged plans to travel to Syria to support a banned organisation, Scotland Yard said.”
ABC News: UK Targets ISIS Bunker With Royal Air Force’s Largest Bombs
“The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (RAF) has ramped up its bombing campaign against ISIS. Enhanced Paveway III (EPW III) bombs, the largest in RAF's arsenal, successfully hit two entrances to an underground bunker as part of the coalition's efforts to combat ISIS. The strikes, which occurred on April 21, targeted a large complex of tunnels and bunkers in the terraced hillsides above the Euphrates in western Iraq, according to a press release from the Ministry of Defense. There were no civilian casualties, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense confirmed to ABC News. Typically these ‘bunker buster’ bombs are used to strike underground targets that have been reinforced to protect from aerial bombardment.”


Sputnik News: Fears Of Terrorist Nuke Attack Grow After Power Plant Hacked In Germany
“A German nuclear power plant found its network implanted with viruses which could allow remote access to equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods. The major security breach occurred at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant, 75 miles northwest of Munich, after malware was found on 18 removable data drives. The W32. Ramnit and Conficker viruses were discovered on the drives — malware which could be used to obtain sensitive nuclear fuel data. W32.Ramnit allows hackers access to files and, potentially, physical control over systems; terrorists could access the information and use it to build a radioactive ‘dirty' bomb. According to officials, the plant is isolated from the Internet, and, as such, no online theft could occur.”


CNN: Terror Suspect Abdeslam Appears In French Court After Extradition
“Terror suspect Salah Abdeslam appeared in a Paris courtroom Wednesday but declined to address the charges against him, saying he was exhausted due to his transfer from Belgium earlier in the day. After Belgium turned the 26-year-old suspect over to French authorities early Wednesday, elite French military police flew him to France. He was then handed over to authorities and taken to the Palais de Justice in central Paris to appear before the investigating magistrate, CNN's French affiliate BFM-TV reported. His next hearing has been set for May 20, according to his French attorney, Frank Berton.”


Telegraph: One In Three Jihadists Now Women, Warns Police Chief
“One in three jihadists leaving the UK and other nations for Syria are now women because they are being trained to fight on the frontline for the first time, the head of Europol has warned. Rob Wainwright, director of Europe’s policing agency, said an ‘increasing number’ of women are being radicalised by Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) but they are no longer just becoming ‘jihadi brides’. There is evidence of women being trained in combat and Mr Wainwright warned that could be one of the reasons why numbers are going up.”
Newsweek: How ISIS Smuggles Terrorists Among Syrian Refugees
“Last weekend, The Washington Post reported for the first time on exactly how ISIS was able to infiltrate operatives into Europe, hiding them among the flood of refugees, so they could carry out deadly terrorist attacks. In addition to interviews with intelligence officials, the Post was able to interview an ISIS commander who boasted about how the worst is yet to come. It is true that the vast majority of refugees are good and decent people who are fleeing the carnage wrought by the Islamic State militant group. They are not advocates of Islamic radicalism; they are the victims of Islamic radicalism. The danger is not coming from them, but from Islamic radicals who are using them as cover to infiltrate operatives into the West.”


The Wall Street Journal: FBI Decides Against Taking Steps To Tell Apple About iPhone-Hacking Method
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday it wouldn't consider telling Apple Inc. how the agency was able to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone. The decision brings to an abrupt end an internal government debate about how much to tell Apple about a newly discovered security vulnerability in one iPhone model. The FBI decision not to initiate a broad governmental discussion called the Vulnerabilities Equities Process—in which a number of agencies explore whether to disclose software vulnerabilities to the affected companies—means Apple will likely be kept in the dark about exactly how the government was able to crack the model 5c iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December.”