Thursday, June 30, 2016

The New York Times Still Falls for Ben Rhodes' Iran Lies

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The New York Times Still Falls for Ben Rhodes' Iran Lies

by Clifford Smith
PJ Media
June 28, 2016
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Originally published under the title "Even After Ben Rhodes Came Clean, New York Times Still Reports His Iran Lies as Truth."
The New York Times really wants to continue believing that White House aide Ben Rhodes told the truth about Iran.
"I want to believe," the slogan from The X-Files, seems to also be the operating principle for the New York Times regarding its coverage of Iran. The Times continues to report on events in Iran as a series of meaningful confrontations between "moderates" and "hard-liners" that will shape Iran's behavior toward the U.S. -- even after the Times was directly told that the White House had lied about it.
Central to the Obama administration's case for the Iran nuclear deal was the narrative that the election of Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian "moderates" made the deal possible. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes admitted, in a New York Times article no less, that such a story was "the center of the arc" of a narrative that was "largely manufactured" for the purpose of selling the deal.
On some level, the narrative worked: it fooled much of the public, the press, and well over 100 members of Congress. The New York Times certainly swallowed this narrative, hook, line, and sinker, and the Times hardly stands alone -- but the paper has indeed been the most prominent, slavishly devoted dupe.
Candidates for the Iran's presidency and parliament are pre-approved by the unelected Guardian Council.
The notion of an Iranian "moderate" controlling the regime was always spurious on its face. Elections don't significantly affect major policy decisions in Iran. People who stand for "election" for president and Parliament must first be approved by an unelected body beholden to the Supreme Leader. Iran is functionally a theocratic dictatorship.
And Rouhani is simply not a moderate, as Rhodes essentially admitted. Instead, he is a master deceiver.
He feigns his concern for human rights, but according to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ahmed Shaheed and former opposition leaders, human rights have actually gotten worse under Rouhani. Shaheed believes that this has escaped widespread attention because of the focus on the nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (right) was hand-picked by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (left).
These kinds of distractions are not new tactics for Rouhani. In his previous role as a nuclear negotiator, his goal was to split Iran's adversaries while buying time for their nuclear program to develop. He remains a tool of the worst actors in Iran.
However, and in spite of the implausibility of the narrative, not to mention Rhodes having explained his cynical manipulation to the Times itself, the Times continues to insist on the centrality of this fictional "moderates/hard-liners" dynamic in understanding Iran's behavior.
Literally the day after the Times published Rhodes' explanation of his falsehoods, the Times opened up its editorial page to excoriate not Iran, but the United States.
The notion of an Iranian 'moderate' controlling the regime was always spurious on its face.
Because international finance is still skittish, the Times was concerned the U.S. might infuriate the "hard-liners" because some Iranian sanctions were not lifted as part of the deal. I'm not sure what is worse: the fact that the Times continued to play up the moderate/hard-liner narrative, or that it blamed the U.S. for not doing enough to placate the hard-liners.
Another story, published six days after the Rhodes mea culpa, played up the moderate/hardliner narrative while ironically proving it false.
It seems that a woman, Minoo Khaleghi, was elected to Parliament -- but was ruled ineligible because she broke Iranian law by being photographed without her hijab, something she denies. The Times later reported on the "hardliners" more general crackdown on women who don't wear headscarves.
Assuming Ms. Khaleghi is a real moderate, her ineligibility proves again that hardliners hold all the power.
Such self-contradictory reporting has continued unabated with the re-election of Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani. According to the Times, Larijani's landslide victory was a "mild surprise" since "reformists" had done so well in February elections.
It never occurred to the Times that Iranian officials' actions might not match up with the "reformist" label. Even when "moderates" win in Iran, they either aren't actually moderates or are not allowed to hold power.
The idea that a moderate/hardliner conflict affects how the Iranian regime behaves toward the U.S. is false.
But even now, even after Rhodes' mea culpa, essentially no Iran-related story by the Times fails to follow this false narrative.
Of course, there are plenty of moderate voices and genuine would-be reformers in Iran. The Iranian people's spontaneous organization during the "green revolution" and the ongoing saga of the frequently imprisoned but irrepressible filmmaker Jafar Panahi are just two examples that demonstrate moderate, reformist sentiments exist outside of government. But the idea that a moderate/hardliner conflict affects how the current Iranian regime behaves toward the U.S. is false.
Further, the Times knows it is false based on its own reporting.
However, it just keeps reporting it as fact, and even Agent Mulder didn't want to believe that badly.
Clifford Smith is director of the Middle East Forum's Washington Project.
Related Topics:  Iran, Media  |  Clifford Smith

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VIDEO -- Geert Wilders: Stand for Freedom!

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VIDEO -- Geert Wilders: Stand for Freedom!

June 30, 2016 at 12:30 am
Dutch opposition leader Geert Wilders discusses the dangers of the Islamization of the West and the growing influence of Sharia law. He outlines his plans to defend the identity and civilization of the West from indoctrination.

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THURSDAY Security Update: Election 2016 – Rome is burning, and someone wants to be Nero?

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Eye on Extremism - June 30, 2016

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Eye on Extremism

June 30, 2016 

Counter Extremism Project

The Jerusalem Post: Deleting Terror: US Group Works To Search, Destroy Online ISIS Propaganda
“An American non-profit policy organization recently announced the arrival of a new technological solution that allows social media companies and Internet sites to ‘quickly remove’ jihadist, ISIS-related online propaganda from their platforms. The Counter Extremist Project (CEP) said its application, if introduced, ‘will greatly reduce the ability of extremists and terrorists to weaponize online platforms to radicalize, recruit, and incite to violence.’ ‘If we seize this opportunity and have partners across the social media spectrum willing to fight the extremist threat by deploying this technology, extremists will find Internet and social media platforms far less available for their recruiting, fundraising, propagandizing, and calls to violence,’ said CEP Senior Advisor, Dr. Hany Farid.”
Fox News: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller Discusses The Ramifications Of The Terror Attack At Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport With Shepard Smith
Fox News: US Airstrikes Kill At Least 250 ISIS Fighters In Convoy Outside Fallujah, Official Says
“A series of American airstrikes killed at least 250 ISIS fighters driving in a convoy outside Fallujah on Wednesday, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News. The strikes occurred on the outskirts of the Iraqi city in ‘southern Fallujah,’ a second U.S. defense official told Fox News. ‘There was a strike on a convoy of ISIS fighters trying to leave a neighborhood on the outskirts of southern Fallujah that we struck,’ the official said. At least 40 vehicles were destroyed in the airstrikes, a U.S. official told Reuters, which was first to report the air assault. The U.S. airstrikes come roughly 24 hours after the triple suicide bombing at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that killed at least 42 people where ISIS is considered the prime suspect, according to top U.S. officials.”
The New York Times: Turkey, A Conduit For Fighters Joining ISIS, Begins To Feel Its Wrath
“From the start of the Islamic State’s rise through the chaos of the Syrian war, Turkey has played a central, if complicated, role in the group’s story. For years, it served as a rear base, transit hub and shopping bazaar for the Islamic State, and at first, that may have protected Turkey from the violence the group has inflicted elsewhere. Now, the Turkish government and Western officials say the suicide bombings at Istanbul’s main airport on Tuesday bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State attack, and they have added them to a growing roll call of assaults attributed to the group in Turkey in recent months. Analysts said Turkey was paying the price for intensifying its action against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh.”
The New York Times: Father Killed in Turkey Attacks Was Trying to Save Son From ISIS
“Fathi Bayoudh was a respected officer and doctor in the Tunisian military, but on Tuesday night at Istanbul’s main airport he was a father worried about his wayward son. Dr. Bayoudh, 58, had arrived in Istanbul weeks earlier to find his son, Anouar, 26, who had run off to join the Islamic State group in Syria. When he got word through the Tunisian Embassy in Turkey that the Turkish authorities had detained Anouar in a town near the border with Syria, he called his wife in Tunisia. They arranged to meet at Ataturk airport before heading to the town where Anouar was being held.”
Washington Post: Islamic State Routs Pentagon-Backed Syrian Rebels In Fresh Setback For U.S. Strategy
“The U.S. military’s efforts to confront the Islamic State in Syria suffered another setback Wednesday after the militants routed the only group to have survived intact an ill-fated Pentagon program to train and equip moderate rebels last year. The U.S.-backed New Syrian Army said it was forced to withdraw its forces to its base at Tanf near the Jordanian border after launching what appears to have been a poorly conceived offensive aimed at capturing the strategically important eastern Syrian town of Abu Kamal on the Syrian-Iraqi border.”
The Wall Street Journal: Fallujah’s Importance To Islamic State Helped Iraqi Forces Retake It
“For Islamic State, this city was unlike any other: the birthplace of its movement and the first urban center it seized in a blitz that began the occupation of a third of Iraq. But it took Iraqi forces less than five weeks to defeat the extremist group here, much faster than Iraqi and American officials had expected. One reason, these officials and Iraqi commanders say, was how invested Islamic State militants were in Fallujah, which made them loath to blow it up. Commanders said the militants had bet on repelling Iraqi forces on the outskirts of Fallujah, but struggled to adapt to the overwhelming force. The center of the city was still inhabited—one reason it wasn’t booby-trapped, as Islamic State had done in other, largely deserted urban areas they lost.”
The Guardian: Armed Police To Patrol French Beaches Amid Terrorism Fears
“Tourists visiting French resorts this summer will see armed police patrols on the beaches, as the country beefs up security measures for the holiday season.  Officers belonging to the CRS riot police force, who have previously been equipped with batons and handcuffs, will be allowed to wear special holsters carrying weapons for the first time. Bulletproof vests will also be at their disposal.  The move comes two weeks after an unarmed French police chief and his partner were killed in a stabbing in front of their house outside Paris. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack, which has sparked a debate in France about whether the forces should carry weapons outside working hours. France remains in a state of emergency following November’s deadly attacks, which left 130 dead.”
Times Of Israel: IDF Dismantles Three Hebron-Area Terror Cells
“Israeli security forces in recent months broke up three Palestinian terror cells operating near the West Bank city of Hebron, police said Wednesday. The suspects used makeshift weapons to launch projectiles at the settlement from a distance, then quickly returned to the village before Israeli security forces could respond, Samri said. According to the police, a months-long investigation into the attacks led to the indictment on terrorism charges of the 19 Beit Fajjar residents. The suspects, who include several minors, confessed to carrying out the attacks during interrogations with security forces. The identities of the suspects were not released. Hebron has been a flashpoint in the recent wave of Palestinian stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks that has swept the country since October.”
CNN: Air Force Intel Chief Gives Failing Grade To Airstrikes Targeting ISIS
“The Air Force's intelligence chief gave the US-led airstrikes targeting ISIS a failing grade in an exclusive interview with CNN. ‘I would give us a 5, which means we have a lot of work to do,’ Lt. Gen. Robert ‘Bob’ Otto told CNN on Friday, when asked to evaluate the air targeting on a 10-point scale. ‘We are the best in the world at what we do. But there is always room to improve,’ he said. Other Air Force officials tell CNN they believe a number of targeting improvements have been made. CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged Wednesday that the United States had room for improvement when it came to taking on ISIS, also known as ISIL or Daesh.”
The Wall Street Journal: The Terrorism Fight Needs Silicon Valley
“Google, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp are all working to increase encryption in ways that will make it impossible for the courts and law-enforcement officials to obtain their users’ data. They argue that if they are forced to comply with government requests for data, terrorists will simply choose open-source encryption apps instead. But lone wolves are not always that sophisticated. Those that are may have no regard for investigations following their death. And for those that do want to cover their tracks: Why should we help them? It’s true that encryption may make it harder for repressive regimes to crack down on dissent, but it also makes it harder for democratic societies to protect themselves against terrorists and criminals.”
Voice Of America: Nigerians Sort Through Ruins Left By Boko Haram
“The last service at the EYN church in Michika started with prayers and ended with gunfire as Boko Haram fighters stormed the town on a Sunday in September 2014. Those that could ran to the nearby mountains, joining the millions of people that have fled the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria and neighboring countries. More than a year-and-a-half after Boko Haram was routed from Michika and other towns in Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa state, people are coming back home to rebuild their lives. But the towns, and the livelihoods, they returned to are much changed, residents say.”

United States

Fox News: Americans Not Always Told When Named On ISIS ‘Kill Lists,’ Lawmaker Demands Answers From FBI
“Americans who land on ISIS ‘hit lists’ may never find out they have been marked for death by the terror group, said a key lawmaker Tuesday, as he called on the FBI to explain its obligations and procedures in contacting potential targets. Several of the murky lists have appeared online, posted on various sites and social media platforms linked to ISIS. One list obtained by Wednesday detailed 12,000 Canadian residents, along with their addresses and phone numbers. Even though the lists seem to be random and people named on them have not yet been targeted, law enforcement officials have notified many -- but not all -- of the individuals named.”


Reuters: Islamic State Forces Syria Rebels To Retreat From Border Area
“U.S.-backed Syrian rebels were pushed back from the outskirts of an Islamic State-held town on the border with Iraq and a nearby air base on Wednesday after the jihadists mounted a counter- attack, two rebel sources said. The New Syria Army rebel group had launched an operation on Tuesday aimed at capturing the town of Al-Bukamal from Islamic State and cutting supply and communications lines for the group between Syria and Iraq, the U.S. coalition fighting IS said. One rebel source said Islamic State fighters had encircled the rebels in a surprise ambush. They had suffered heavy casualties and weapons had been seized by the jihadists, the source said.”
The Moscow Times: Russian Cluster Munitions Have Literally Made Syria A Minefield
“Incendiary weapons have been raining down on a strategic area just north of the city of Aleppo, Syria almost daily for the last few weeks. The attacks came as Syrian ground forces and their allies, supported by Russian air power, have attempted to encircle the city to drive out opposition forces there. A total of 113 countries including Russia (but not Syria) have ratified a treaty prohibiting the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons in areas with a ‘concentration of civilians.’ And in a recent letter to Human Rights Watch in response to calls to strengthen international law on incendiary weapons, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov acknowledged the ‘significant humanitarian damage’ caused by incendiary weapons in Syria, which he blamed on their ‘improper use.’”
Reuters: U.N. Envoy Says Unclear When Syria Peace Talks To Reconvene
“The United Nations envoy to Syria told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that it remains unclear when the next round of U.N.-brokered peace talks will take place, adding that there was no point in talking without some assurance of progress. The last round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition broke up at the end of April as government forces, backed by Russia, escalated their assault on rebel-held areas in the northern city of Aleppo. A ‘cessation of hostilities’ that had brought peace to much of Syria for two months has largely broken down, and the war has resumed in many areas. The negotiations on a political transition center on the future of President Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Russia and Iran but who Western and Gulf Arab governments would like to see replaced.
Reuters: At Least 5 Killed In Bombing In Kurdish-Controlled Syrian Town-Witnesses
“At least five people were killed and scores wounded on Wednesday in a bomb attack on a local administrative office in the Kurdish-held Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the Turkish border, witnesses said. They said a suicide car bomber attacked the building run by Kurdish local authorities in the town, which was captured by the Kurdish YPG militia last year from Islamic State militants in an offensive backed by U.S.-led air strikes. Tel Abyad lies north of Raqqa and had been a key supply line for the Islamic State stronghold. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights later said at least 10 people were killed in the blast with nine wounded, some seriously.”


BBC: IS Conflict: Iraq Air Strikes 'Target Militant Convoy'
“A convoy carrying suspected Islamic State militants has been destroyed in air strikes near the Iraqi city of Falluja, the defence ministry says. An Iraqi security source told the BBC the jihadists had been attempting to flee an offensive by government forces, who recently recaptured Falluja. They were bombed by Iraqi air force planes as they headed for IS territory near the border with Syria, he added. Photos purportedly of the scene showed about a dozen burned-out vehicles. The security source, who asked not to be named, told the BBC that a large number of militants fleeing the assault had gathered in the al-Ruwaila area.”


BBC: Istanbul Ataturk Airport Attack: Deaths Rise To 42 As Turkey Mourns
“Turkey has observed a national day of mourning after a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport killed 42 people, including 13 foreign nationals. Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance late on Tuesday. They blew themselves up after police fired back. Officials earlier said 239 people were injured, with 41 in intensive care. PM Binali Yildirim said early signs pointed to so-called Islamic State. CIA Director John Brennan also said it ‘bears the hallmarks’ of the jihadist group. However, no-one has so far admitted carrying out the attack.”
Time: Turkey Has Become The New Front Of ISIS’s War On The World
“Losing ground on battlefields throughout the region, ISIS is seeking desperately to reclaim headlines through a campaign of attacks on civilians in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond. Turkey has become the central target in that campaign. The June 28 bombings, which killed at least 41 people and injured over 200, were the fifth major attack on civilians in Turkey thought to have been carried out by ISIS in the last year. The slaughter at the airport raises the stakes of the conflict, dealing another blow to Turkey’s economy, raising alarms in Europe, and heaping more pressure on Turkey’s leaders to stabilize the country’s southern border with Syria. It is one more sign that otherwise stable Turkey is being drawn deeper into the regional crisis emanating from Iraq and Syria.”
NPR: Turkey's Debilitating Conflicts On Three Separate Fronts
“In a few short years, Turkey has gone from a regional pillar of stability to a rattled nation fighting battles on three separate fronts. Turkey has pushed hard for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its security forces are again clashing with Kurdish separatists in the southeast of the country. And Turkish leaders suspect the Islamic State is behind Tuesday's terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport. All this turmoil has unsettled Turkey, where the powerful security forces have historically been given wide latitude to impose order. Yet the country that sees itself as a regional leader has lurched from one fight to another inconclusively. All three are draining its influence, sapping the economy and driving away tourists.”
Voice Of America: Turkey Roadside Bomb Kills 2 Soldiers, Wounds 3
“A roadside bomb killed two soldiers and wounded three others in Turkey’s Mardin province Wednesday. The explosive device was detonated by remote control when an armored military vehicle was passing some 35 kilometers from the Derik district at about 3:00 PM local time. Another attack was carried out against a military team patrolling a rural area in Lice in Diyarbakir province. The military has recently been involved in an operation to destroy illegal cannabis fields in the region. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s blasts.”
CNN: ISIS' Ramadan Terror Campaign
“In the past two days, ISIS has conducted lethal suicide attacks in Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and also, very likely, in Turkey. In the past month, we've seen a surge of terrorism in the Middle East and the West. None of this should be too surprising. After all, ISIS explicitly called for terrorist attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which commenced three weeks ago. Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the spokesman for ISIS, released an audiotape in late May in which he called for attacks, saying, ‘Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad... make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers.’”
The Jerusalem Post: Turkish Intelligence Warned Of ISIS Attack In Istanbul Weeks Ago
“Turkish intelligence units allegedly warned relevant government bodies about a possible attack by Islamic State terrorist in Istanbul week before Tuesday night's deadly attack by three suspected ISIS suicide bombers. According to Turkish media Wednesday, the country's intelligence apparatus sent a warning letter to state institutions some 20 days ago about a potential attack.  Turkish Hurriyet Daily News cited Doğan TV as reporting that the warning message mentioned the names of potential targets, including Istanbul Atatürk Airport.”


Reuters: Pakistan Extends Afghan Refugee Registration Deadline By Six Months
“Pakistan has extended by six months a deadline for Afghan refugees to register with the government, a refugee official said on Wednesday, a day before the deadline was set to expire. Pakistan has the world's second largest refugee population, with more than 1.5 million registered, and about a million unregistered, refugees from Afghanistan, most of whom fled the Soviet occupation of their country in the 1980s. The number of Afghans voluntarily returning home has plunged this year as violence worsens in Afghanistan, where the government and its U.S. allies are fighting a stubborn Taliban insurgency.”
Voice Of America: Afghanistan Implies Pakistan Supporting IS Militants
“Afghanistan’s national security adviser has accused Pakistan, without directly naming the country, of providing financial and logistical support to Islamic State (IS) fighters in Afghanistan. Hanif Atmar told journalists Wednesday in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, that his country’s security forces this week arrested three IS fighters led by a militant from the central Asian country of Tajikistan, and interrogations of the men revealed they were receiving support from abroad. Atmar blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to elements who carried out ‘terrorist operations’ inside Afghanistan. Afghan authorities have long accused Pakistan of supporting the Afghan Taliban and giving top leaders safe refuge. However, authorities have not previously accused Pakistan of supporting IS, which opposes the Afghan Taliban.”


Reuters: U.N.-Backed Yemen Peace Talks Adjourn Until July 15: Envoy
“United Nations-mediated talks to end more than a year of war in Yemen have adjourned and will reconvene in Kuwait on July 15 after the Muslim Eid holiday, the U.N. envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said on Wednesday. A shaky ceasefire coinciding with negotiations has paused fighting which raged across the country, though Saudi-led air strikes have increased as Iran-allied Houthis have made ground advances while Islamic State has taken advantage of a security vacuum to launch a string of bombings. The talks bring together the Houthi movement and Yemen's internationally-recognized government, but have achieved little concrete progress in over two months.”


BBC: Ibrahim Halawa: Case Of Dublin Teen Held In Egypt Adjourned Again
“The Irish government has expressed concern after the trial of a Dublin teenager held in prison without trial Egypt was adjourned for the 14th time. Ibrahim Halawa could face a death penalty with nearly 500 others over anti-government protests in 2013. In April, the BBC revealed the Egyptian government had rejected allegations by the United Nations about his treatment. His family said they had been told a number of time that a court would pass judgement on his case on Wednesday. Mr Halawa, the son of Ireland's most senior Muslim cleric, has been held for more than two-and-a-half years since his arrest in Cairo.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Rocket Sirens Sound In Southern Israeli Communities Near Gaza Border
“Rocket alert sirens sounded in two southern Israeli communities in the Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza border on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly afterward, the IDF said that the Red Alert' alarms had been activated in a false alarm. The incident came the day after Israel and Turkey signed a reconciliation deal that obliges Ankara, which has diplomatic relations with Hamas, to prevent the preparation of terrorist attacks against Israel from its territory, including the raising of funds for the terror group that controls Gaza.”


The New York Times: A Slow, Steady Siege On An ISIS Stronghold In Libya
“The assault on Surt, now in its third week, has put the Islamic State in Libya under crushing pressure, threatening to rob the group of its largest base outside Iraq and Syria. The attack force, led by militias from the nearby city of Misurata and organized under the auspices of the United Nations-backed unity government, has corralled the Islamists into the city center, where they are pummeled with bombs and gunfire and cut off from their main escape route by sea. The siege coincides with the Islamic State’s recent eviction from the Iraqi city of Falluja, and combined they are a heavy blow to the group’s territorial ambitions — even as it retaliates with devastating attacks against civilians.”


The New York Times: From Boko Haram’s Birthplace, Instagram Posts Beyond ‘Death And Despair’
“Her hometown, the birthplace of Boko Haram, is filled with sad stories. Fati Abubakar roams the streets to find the happy ones. It is not always easy. With a camera slung over her shoulder, Ms. Abubakar, 30, documents the people of Maiduguri, a busy capital in northeastern Nigeria, determined to show the world that life continues despite years of violence that has killed thousands of people, many in the city limits. Inspired by Instagram accounts like @humansofny, which captures the lives of New Yorkers ‘one story at a time,’ Ms. Abubakar snaps portraits of vendors, refugees and students, posting them to Instagram at @bitsofborno with quotations or captions that describe them. Boko Haram has affected nearly all of her subjects in some way.”

United Kingdom

The Wall Street Journal: U.K. Announces New Plan To Tackle Hate Crimes
“Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that the U.K. was stepping up its response to hate crimes and called on both sides of the referendum debate to ‘utterly condemn them’—amid a recent rise in reported hate-crime incidents after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Addressing Parliament in his weekly debate with opposition lawmakers, Mr. Cameron said there was evidence that racist incidents were increasing, including in the last few days. Since the referendum, British police have received 57% more complaints to their online hate-crime reporting portal compared to a similar period last month, said Karen Bradley, a lawmaker in Mr. Cameron’s government and a minister in the Home Office.”
Daily Mail: Muslim Mothers Who Knew The Families Of Six British ISIS Jihadis Are Now Being Trained On How To Spot If Their Children Are Being Radicalised Online
“Muslim mothers in families close to British jihadis who went to Syria are being trained to spot the signs their children are being groomed by extremists. Six young men from Portsmouth went to fight for ISIS after being radicalised online, with five having since been killed and another jailed for terror offences. Now 30 women in the Hampshire city, some of whom knew the jihadis' families, have been taught to check their sons or daughters don't follow a similar path. A course of other mothers in Portsmouth, which organisers say is being undertaken predominantly by mothers of Muslim faith, was organised under the Prevent scheme, the government's counter-extremism programme.”


International Business Times: Germany Sees Spike In Far-Right Violence As Anti-Immigration Sentiment Creeps Into Society
“Germany experienced a spike in political extremism and violence from both far-right and far-left radicals as well as Islamist extremist groups in 2015, according to a report prepared by the country's domestic intelligence agency. Last year some 1,408 acts of violence perpetrated by the the far-right were recorded, compared to 990 the previous year – a 42% increase. The report from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution also noted 75 arson attacks on refugee shelters in 2015 – a fivefold increase on 2014.”
Express.Co.Uk: Islamist Extremists Hide Huge Stockpile Of Weapons Near German Mosque
“The weapons arsenal was discovered during a top secret raid by a SWAT team in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Local politician Ismail Tipi revealed details of the raid and warned of ‘the danger of fundamentalists’. The weapons were found in a cold room of a greengrocer near a mosque. The state is the most populous state in Germany with nearly 18million people in the area, which includes Dusseldorf. The discovery comes as the German government voiced concern that Islamic State (ISIS) could step up attacks in Europe as it loses territory in Iraq and Syria, and said its domestic intelligence agency is training to respond to a large-scale assault.”


The Guardian: How Safe Is Your Next Trip? Map Reveals Turkey, France And Germany Among Countries At 'High Risk' Of Terror Attacks
“Experts have called for a worldwide rethink on airport security following the suicide bombings at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. The demands reflect the increased likelihood of terror attacks throughout Europe, with seven countries across the continent considered 'high risk' by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as a new map highlighting the differing levels of threat reveals. Indeed, the terror attack in Turkey hit one day after the US State Department issued a travel warning to American citizens about the increased terror threat in the Turkey - and to avoid the south of the country altogether. The current threat level in Turkey is currently classified as an emergency alert.  And at the beginning of June, the State Department issued a Europe-wide travel alert, specifically concerning the European Soccer Championship currently underway in France and for the Catholic Church's World Youth day in Poland this July.”


BBC: World-Check Terrorism Database Exposed Online
“World-Check Risk Screening contains details about people and organisations suspected of being involved in terrorism, organised crime and money laundering, among other offences. Access is supposed to be restricted under European privacy laws. The database's creator, Thomson Reuters, has confirmed an unnamed third-party exposed an ‘out of date’ version online. But it says the material has since been removed. Security researcher Chris Vickery said he discovered the leak. He notified the Register, which reported that it contained more than two million records and was two years old.”

Arabic Language Clips

Financing of Terror

Veto: Coordination Between The Central Bank (Of Egypt) And Its Syrian Counterpart To Fight The Financing Of Terrorism
The Central Bank of Egypt released updates to all the banks operating in the country with a list of financial entities in Syria they are allowed to deal with, according to regulations and laws to combat money laundering and terror financing. This came following a letter sent by the Central Bank of Syria to its Egyptian counterpart, as part of its efforts to scrutinize the data relating to currency exchange firms and banks as a step designed to reduce terror financing operations. According to the Syrian letter, this measure is intended to promote the exchange of information involving dealings between Syrian currency exchange companies and licensed firms abroad which are executed outside the framework of the law.


Almaghrib Today: Moroccans Accused Of Recruiting Jihadists (To ISIS) And Dispatching Them To The Battlefronts In Syria And Iraq
Security sources disclosed that during the hearing at the National Court in Madrid on Monday, new information emerged which indicates the involvement of Moroccan jihadists in recruiting and sending militants to the battlefront in Syria to fight in the ranks of ISIS. According to the same sources, a group of Moroccan jihadists has been accused of belonging to a terror cell operating between Morocco and Spain. The cell was dismantled in 2014, while working to dispatch Moroccan jihadists to Syria and Iraq, and to raise funds at a mosque in Madrid to finance the recruitment efforts on behalf of ISIS. One testimony claimed that the Moroccan jihadists dispatched at least 12 foreign fighters, adding that six of them died there, while six others are still active in the ranks of ISIS.


Elbashayer: Is Hezbollah Leading The Lebanese Banking Sector Towards International Isolation?
The Lebanese banking sector is facing a crisis of confidence on the backdrop of Law No. 2297 passed by the US Congress at the end of December 2015. The law known as the "Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act," the executive regulations of which were issued in April 2016, raised direct accusations towards many of the Lebanese institutions and individuals backing Hezbollah. Following passage of the law, Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, proclaimed that his group has no deposits in Lebanese banks. However, this denial is fallacious for many reasons. Hezbollah itself and some of the individuals associated with it operate service-providing agencies and companies which have numerous accounts in Lebanese banks. This means Hezbollah itself, or individuals close to it, regularly carry out financial transactions through the Lebanese banking system. These transactions give rise to doubts and misgivings among financial and banking circles in Lebanon, which have already expressed fears of being exposed to international sanctions.


Filkhbr: Houthi Gunmen Ordered The Arrest Of Citizens Who Refused To Pay Money For Their War Effort
The Houthi group in Dhamar province, south of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, ordered its gunmen to round up citizens who refuse to pay money to the group under the banner of "the war effort." Private sources said that activists belonging to the Houthi group released documents containing the names of abstainers from payment, in a preliminary step to locate and subsequently arrest them. The sources noted that "the (Houthi) rebels forced tribal sheikhs and leaders in rural areas of Dhamar governorate to call on the citizens in those areas to give money for the benefit of the war effort."