Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts

October 25, 2017

Russia Has Overtaken Saudi Arabia and Tunis Exporting ISIS Fighters

I read a couple of articles answering my question: Now that some many ISIS Arabs have been killed would the Afghans be the ones refilling the roles? The answer seems to be the Russians.
It  makes sense. You know there are so many Russians who are on the fringes of Moscow both distance and ideas like. They get very little from Putin and he demands what Trumps demands here pure loyalty. There are enough Russians to go their own way and make a difference, particularly young Russians.

 They get the voice of ISIS which is very smart marketing telling them they can live for something and ISIS will take of them and their families. It's lies and fantasies because ISIS is an extreme organization in which death is a good thing and you don't spend your days sunning in the desert with a glass of vodka by your side. But just like Trump made all these promises from a hollow soap box but some people saw a golden solid chest of truths and solid promises still people wanted to believe.

When people feel desperate they will sometimes go the wrong way even if there is a 50-50 or less chance of going the beneficial way. They are willing to gamble it. They want change.

I compare ISIS to Trump because if you see their internet commercials in other countries and the dark internet you will see how they have put together their commercials and how they disquise the reality of their dark existence. No one should be surprised when we see the Russians filling those positions of dead ISIS Arab fighters.

 Soldiers of the Akhmad Kadyrov special forces unit march on May 9, 2015. ISIS has claimed the killing of more than a dozen authorities in the Russian republics in recent years.

Russia has replaced Tunisia as the top exporter of foreign fighters to the ranks of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, according to new figures.
A report from the Soufan Group, a security intelligence consultancy based in Washington, D.C., revises down the count for Tunisian foreign fighters in ISIS’s ranks from 6,000 at its last count in 2015 to 2,920.

These new figures show the North African nation has dropped from the largest exporter of ISIS fighters to the fourth-largest. The Tunisian government has officially revised its previous estimate.
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According to the data, 3,417 Russian nationals have traveled to fight for ISIS, compared with 2,400 in the 2015 estimate.

The estimate for Saudi Arabia—second on the list—is now 3,244 foreign fighters, an increase compared with the 2015 estimate of 2,500.
Rounding off the top five behind Russia and Saudi Arabia are Jordan (3,000), Tunisia and France (1,910). These estimates are unlikely to increase, the report concludes, because of the heavy military presence in Iraq and Syria at present and increased security around Iraq and Syria.

The number of returners from the top five vary. Russia has seen 400 fighters return, Saudi Arabia 760, Jordan 250, Tunisia 800 and France 271. Britain has seen close to half of its 800 British nationals who have gone to fight for ISIS return home.

Russian security services have long worried about the threat of returning Russian nationals and citizens from former Soviet, Central Asian republics. Many of those Russian nationals who have made the journey have come from Russian republics such as Chechnya and Dagestan.
ISIS has its own affiliate in the Northern Caucasus region, known as the Caucasus Province. The group has killed more than a dozen security forces in Chechnya and other areas of the Caucasus in recent years.

Russian intelligence has also disrupted ISIS-linked plots in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Russian air force is conducting an airstrike campaign against the group in Syria, as well as Al-Qaeda’s affiliate and moderate rebels, in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

The new report says the total number of foreign fighters for ISIS has in fact increased from its last count in 2015, despite it only accounting for 48 of the countries of the 86 countries previously counted. It notes that states now have a greater handle on how many of its nationals have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the group, and therefore the estimates are more thorough.

Since the end of 2015, countries with high numbers of fighters traveling to join the group, or being used as a gateway country —such as Turkey—made greater efforts to prevent the movement of jihadis to Iraq and Syria. The result was that the “flow of fighters came to a virtual standstill as the Islamic State began to lose its territory in both Syria and Iraq.”

Many of those who traveled to Iraq and Syria have either been killed, have surrendered themselves to enemy forces or have returned home. The last category presents a major security challenge for security services across the West.

Alleged ISIS members killed in Russia

Soldiers of the Akhmad Kadyrov special forces unit march on May 9, 2015. ISIS has claimed the killing of more than a dozen authorities in the Russian republics in recent years.

On Sunday, a British government minister said the only policy that Western government should implement toward foreign ISIS fighters is to kill them.

“They believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an eighth-century, or seventh-century, state,” Rory Stewart, the British government’s international development minister, told BBC radio station 5 Live, “so I’m afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.”

As a result of the increased measures to prevent fighters flocking to Iraq and Syria, jihadis have made moves to find pockets of territory in which they can operate outside of the group’s self-styled caliphate. The report cites Libya, Afghanistan and Southeast Asia—where jihadis holed up in the southern Philippine city of Marawi for five months—as a prime example.

“The ISIS presence in Libya has survived its loss of territory on the coast and has drawn recruits from neighboring countries as well as from Libya itself,” it reads. “The permeable borders of the region allow fighters to travel home, for example to Sudan, and back again, almost at will.”


October 18, 2017

End of ISIS (DASH) in Raqqa At The Stadium of Macabre Torment

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces walks on a building near Raqqa's stadium Monday, as they cleared the last positions on the front line in the fight against ISIS.
Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images
I have been waiting for so long to publish this news! I have seen so many pictures of heads rolling on that stadium. Hopefully, that ends the territory grab of ISIS and brings so many misaligned people who became dead people while they took some innocent children, women, men lives. There are other places for this killing org but this is a blow for them in this area. The memories of those killed in IRAQ and Syria can rest now that the killers also died. This by no means indicates the killings have stopped or will stop. But Not Mosul and Raqqa, No more Caliphate as long as the people in those areas don't allow it and don't run at the site of them. Mistreating people because of their ethnicity opened the doors to people with no feelings for anyone.
(Updated at 11:40 a.m. tues. 17, and 11:59 p.m. 2017 ET)  by  on

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are in the process of kicking ISIS out of Raqqa, the extremist group's self-declared capital where it has terrorized civilians and plotted attacks against targets linked to the U.S. and its allies. Now ISIS fighters are reportedly bottled up in a stadium complex in the Syrian city.
As of Tuesday local time, the SDF controlled "more than 90 percent" of Raqqa, according to U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
The gains have left ISIS "on the verge of a devastating defeat," Dillon said in an update delivered Tuesday shortly before noon, ET. In the past few days, he said, "about 350 fighters" have surrendered.
Celebrations began to break out among the SDF in Raqqa on Tuesday, as the end of the four-month offensive seemed near. But Dillon tells NPR's Ruth Sherlock that fighting could continue as ISIS fighters hold out in booby-trapped buildings.
Rigged explosives present a peril of their own. The commander of the Raqqa Internal Security Forces — who was to help secure the city after ISIS was defeated there — died on Monday, Dillon said, "when he was walking through Raqqa and triggered an IED, and he had two of his colleagues that were with him." The near-total takeover of Raqqa is being marked three years after the Operation Inherent Resolve task force was officially established by the Department of Defense.

The task force says it has liberated "over 6.6 million Iraqi and Syrian from Daesh control" and taken back nearly 94,000 square kilometers of land — nearly 90 percent of the territory claimed by the extremist group in 2014.
As for how many fighters ISIS currently has at its disposal, the task force said its estimates range from 3,000 to 7,000 who are continuing to fight in Iraq and Syria. The group also says it has degraded ISIS' ability to fund its operations, by shutting down 90 percent of its oil revenues.
The Raqqa landmarks that were wrested from ISIS control, Dillon notes, include the Al-Naim traffic circle, once used by ISIS to carry out executions and acts of depraved violence.
The precise number of ISIS fighters who remain at large in the city isn't known. Over the weekend, word emerged that at least 100 ISIS fighters had surrendered. From Monday into Tuesday, the extremist militants were isolated in two areas: a hospital and at the municipal stadium, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The stadium had been used as a prison.
After fighters at the hospital reportedly surrendered, that left the stadium — and when negotiations for more surrenders became drawn out, the Observatory says, the SDF launched an assault Tuesday, backed by U.S. special forces.
Made up of Arab and Kurdish fighters, the SDF began a push to take Raqqa in early June. They were backed by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition — strikes targeting ISIS that have been blamed for causing civilian deaths.
From Beirut, Ruth reports:
"Raqqa is where ISIS first imposed the strict laws that it hoped would one day govern a caliphate that took land across Iraq and Syria. After they took the city in 2014, women were not allowed out in public alone. Young men — even children — were trained to fight. Non-Muslims were persecuted. Those who broke laws were executed publicly. ...
"But the imminent victory comes at a huge costs. The fight on the ground, and airstrikes by the U.S. and Russia have left Raqqa all but destroyed. Many civilians have been killed. Most of the population fled, and now they don't know if they'll have a home when they return."
What could be the final push to rid Raqqa of ISIS fighters comes days after a convoy of vehicles left the city under a deal that set up by the Raqqa Civil Council and local Arab tribal elders. The exodus prompted concern that ISIS fighters might slip through the front lines, and the U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve said that anyone leaving Raqqa under the arrangement would be subject to search and screening by Syrian Democratic Forces.
"We do not condone any arrangement that allows Daesh terrorists to escape Raqqa without facing justice, only to resurface somewhere else," said Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga, the coalition director of operations. "Daesh terrorists have been hiding behind women and children for three years, and we are against any arrangement that lets them continue to do so."
In Raqqa, the U.S. and its allies are liberating a city that will require years to recover from the violence and destruction. And once it is secured, the fight against ISIS moves elsewhere.
Here is how NPR's Tom Bowman described what could be a lengthy military process when the offensive began this summer:
"Even after Raqqa falls, U.S. officials say they have to clear an area south of Raqqa along the Iraq border. It's some 150 miles. And the trouble is, you have Syrian regime forces there, as well. So the question is, how does the U.S. deal with the Syrians. You know, the answer they're saying is to work with the Russians to what they call de-conflict military operations with the Russian ally Syria."
On another front in the war against ISIS, the U.S. carried out a strike on two training camps in Yemen, which the U.S. Central Command said will disrupt the extremist group's ability to train new fighters.
The strike hit the relatively remote Al Bayda governorate, an arid inland region where Centcom says that "ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training."
The Centcom added that U.S. forces have been working "in coordination with the government of Yemen" to carry out counterterrorism operations there.

June 11, 2017

India Has Resisted ISIS But Now and This is Scary........

India Has Resisted ISIS But Now and This is Scary........Has given itself to Suspicions and fear. 
What do you do with young men trying to escape to where Isis might be located or those that decide to return because they need money or miss their families or are disillusioned or want to get more converts? Do we punish them like they now do in India, this is after finding out what worked with these youth.
Should it be better to contain these individuals but instead of bringing the usual punishment associated with jail they get deradicalized like India found out?

"When a government reacts out of fear, usually common sense is left behind" AG

Ejaz Majeed was torn between twin fears as he entered the local police station in his suburban Mumbai neighborhood of Kalyan on May 26, 2014. One day earlier, Majeed, a practitioner of traditional Indian medicine, had been preparing for work when his 22-year-old son, Areeb, called. Areeb had left home the previous evening saying he was visiting a friend. Now, he told his father he was in Abu Dhabi, en route to Baghdad for a pilgrimage. He wouldn’t say when he would return. Majeed worried his son might have joined the Islamic State. But he feared meeting with police, who might treat Areeb as a fleeing criminal rather than as a young man potentially in need of help.

Despite that fear, Majeed walked to the Bazarpeth police station half a kilometer from his house. When, a week later, Kalyan Police investigators confirmed that Areeb and three friends who had traveled with him had joined the Islamic State — becoming the first Indians to do so, according to the National Investigation Agency, India’s premier counterterrorism body — Majeed wrote to federal home minister Rajnath Singh, seeking an appointment. On July 19, Majeed traveled to New Delhi to ask Singh to help bring Areeb back. Photos from the meeting show Singh placing his hand on Majeed’s shoulder reassuringly. “I knew my son would want to come back,” Majeed recalls today. “He would realize he had made a mistake. And I trusted the police and government would help.”

This was hardly the sort of dealing that police officers, let alone the home minister, might have had with the father of a suspected terrorist a year earlier. Home ministers receive hundreds of letters a week from citizens seeking an appointment, and their offices rarely reply. But the authorities’ response to Majeed’s call for help marked a turning point in Indian security policy. Investigators from the NIA helped Areeb return from the Middle East to Mumbai in November, weeks after Areeb called Majeed from a Syrian number, asking to come home. The government assisted Areeb in obtaining emergency travel documents to reenter India from Istanbul a month after his call to his father. Areeb’s became the first IS case the NIA registered.

After that, an unofficial but successful coalition formed between the government, the Muslim community and families of IS recruits. Indian police departments were once famous for rounding up suspects en masse in the wake of a terrorist attack, locking up both the innocent and guilty (for as much as a decade in some cases), as the courts moved leisurely toward trials. But now authorities adopted a softer approach: They detained suspects but offered counseling and so-called de-radicalization sessions, where clerics deliver moderate Islamic messages, officers decode traps set out by IS to lure vulnerable youth and religious leaders and authorities both lay out alternative future prospects. 

It seemed to work. By May 2016, only 24 out of India’s 170 million Muslims had traveled to the Middle East to join IS, according to NIA estimates. Those numbers match the data of Ajai Sahni, a counterterrorism expert who runs the independent South Asia Terrorism Portal. By contrast, up to 5,000 recruits from Europe were fighting for IS. Experts and law enforcement officials estimate that nearly 500 young men and women who were identified as influenced by IS propaganda have received the counseling and de-radicalization sessions across the country. The NIA tracks them and found that none have attempted to join IS subsequently. “There’s little doubt the approach India followed then played a role in this success,” says Shweta Desai, a counterterrorism analyst at the Delhi-based think tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies. 

But now, the images of India’s home minister scared fathers on their shoulders, investigators coordinating strategies with imams and police officers handing over potential IS recruits to parents have begun fading. The country is embracing more traditional antiterror tactics: arrests, months-long interrogations, discouraging judges from granting bail. One indication of the increased threat perception is evident in the number of IS investigations the NIA has taken on. The federal government asks the NIA to pursue only investigations it views as the most serious — the rest are left to the regional police. The agency was assigned a single IS-related investigation each in 2014 and 2015, NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal says, but 15 cases in 2016. The agency has registered two IS cases in 2017 so far, he adds, and in all has arrested 63 people in these 19 cases. Sahni’s data suggest more than 100 Indians have now joined the terror group, though NIA officials said they are unconvinced about any correlation.

When Areeb set out to fight for IS, he was moving toward a war ostensibly far from his own physical homeland. Today, there have been no attacks on Indian soil claimed by the Islamic State; no truck attacks, shootings in music arenas and football stadiums or bombs on subway carriages. But authorities say they are spotting more cases involving IS sympathizers plotting attacks on Indian soil. That they are inspired by IS to carry out attacks in India is bad enough, say experts. “You can experiment when the threat is distant,” says Sahni. “You can’t when it is local and possibly imminent.”015 in Bhopal, India. 
Muslim children hold placards with anti-ISIS slogans during a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks in November 2al liability. An official there blurts out his nightmare scenario: What if IS recruits use de-radicalization efforts to identify counterterrorism officers and then target them? He refers to IS-inspired attacks on soldiers and security personnel in Toronto and London as he swivels nervously in his chair. In him and in other government officials and cops, one hears the ring of an increasingly global fear — that the hand of the Islamic State is no longer restricted to war-torn zones in Syria, that it is penetrating borders, reaching Nice and London and San Bernardino and Manchester. It must not reach Delhi, a rising chorus in the Indian capital asserts. If that means a return to old habits, they say, so be it. 

Dressed in white kurta pajamas and wearing a graying beard, 53-year-old Maulana Mahmood Madani cautions that the authorities risk losing a valuable partner. Madani, the general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, India’s largest group of Islamic clerics, is in his office at the organization’s red sandstone headquarters in central Delhi, where he’s occasionally interrupted by aides carrying messages. A vocal critic of the use of Islam as a cover by terrorist groups, his voice turns stern as he speaks of IS and why Indian Islam is different.

Most Indian Muslims hail from one of two schools of thought — the Barelvi and Deobandi ideologies, named after cities in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Both strains grew out of the 19th-century anticolonial movement, influenced by Sufi traditions, and are publicly disdainful of the Wahhabi ideology that is believed to have influenced groups like IS and al-Qaeda. “They’ve corrupted Islam,” says Zafarul Islam Khan, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Indian Islamic organizations, speaking of Wahhabi thought. “What can we learn from them?” For both schools, the concept of a global Islamic “ummah” or fraternity — that IS propagates — is alien, says Madani; most Indian Muslims do not dream of a caliphate but are likelier to practice their faith as a private element of a secular state. (Madani’s Jamiat opposed the creation of Pakistan.)

For India, the IS threat is novel, but terrorism isn’t. A secessionist movement in Muslim-majority Kashmir exploded into terrorist violence in the 1980s and has worried India since. Sikh separatists in the 1980s planted bombs on buses and bikes. And starting with serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993 following the demolition of a major mosque, India has witnessed sporadic terror attacks through the past two decades. But each of those movements has remained local. Kashmir’s fight has never attracted Muslim fighters from the rest of India. No known Indians have moved beyond their borders to join the Afghan mujahedeen, the Taliban or al-Qaeda. Those groups also attracted just a handful of Western fighters — only 14 Americans are known to have been part of al-Qaeda, for instance — relying mostly on Arab and Pakistani volunteers.

ISIS maskISIS mask
A Muslim protester draws foreign inspiration during clashes with police in Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
But IS, with its use of technology and social media to lure disenchanted youth to the dream of a caliphate, has proven different — in other countries, and now in India too. “The earlier groups had more defined political goals — the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, or revenge against the U.S. and Israel — and were limited in their territorial ambitions,” says Sahni. “IS is an expansionist force, which makes its pitch of a caliphate attractive to some. And it doesn’t have a sharp political goal, so anyone can marry their grievances to the IS narrative.”

India’s de-radicalization efforts, by contrast, have thrived at regional and local levels, far from the nebula of that IS narrative. These programs left regional police officers with greater authority than most would expect in a terror case. In August 2014, police in the southern city of Hyderabad foiled a plot by 23 young men to travel to Syria and Iraq to join IS, detained six but arrested none, citing the absence of any actual contact between them and IS leaders. After sessions similar to the ones Shadab went through, they released the men. As late as August 2015, the federal home ministry advised states to keep arrests as the option of last resort.

Some critics had cautioned that giving local officers the discretion to label someone a terror threat or not was dangerous. But the act of dismissing someone from the highest threat levels is a surprisingly humane and local one — it was in the case of now 24-year-old Shadab Mohammad. Two years ago, Mohammad developed a habit of downloading IS-supporting pamphlets. When Mohammed’s parents noticed his internet activity, they approached the authorities in their hometown of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

The police first directed the parents to a Muslim cleric who held five sessions with him, recounts Shadab. The cleric showed Shadab portions of the Koran to convince the young man that the IS was mangling the religious text’s messages to suit its interests. Next, a police officer visited Shadab and showed him how many of the videos IS sympathizers were sharing online were doctored to exaggerate both the alleged victimization of Muslims and the terror group’s military successes. Finally, the police helped the then-unemployed Shadab land a spot in a government vocational training program, where he learned auditing skills. Shadab now works with a chartered accountant. “My life was saved,” he says, sighing deeply. “I don’t know if I would even be alive otherwise.” 

When Areeb left for Iraq in May 2014, IS was a fringe concern for the newly elected Narendra Modi government. The group had yet to issue any specific threat against India. Then, in July 2014, it abducted 40 Indian workers from a construction site for the Iraqi government in Mosul. “We couldn’t ignore the danger anymore,” says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the minister for minority affairs. “We couldn’t allow IS to take root in India.”

isis flag burningisis flag burning
Indian activists from the right-wing organization Hindu Sena burn the flag of the Islamic State during a protest in New Delhi in 2015.
And yet, at the time, IS remained far from India’s borders, and law enforcement officials felt sympathizers could be dealt with differently — an approach driven politically by home minister Singh, who was widely viewed as a moderate in Modi’s Hindu nationalist government. Aggressive arrests may have only given some Muslim men added motivation to join IS, India concluded. “It saved these young men and women from seven years in jail, the average time a terror suspect spends in prison in India,” says Desai, the counterterrorism analyst, who has researched India’s shifting strategies against IS. “If we had started arresting everyone, that would have had a massive blowback.” Multireligious India was also wary of being seen as pitching itself into a regional sectarian conflict, Aswini Mohapatra, a professor in West Asian studies at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, explains.

Relying purely on law enforcement would always be a “reactive approach,” says Karen Greenberg, director of the Center for National Security at Fordham University’s School of Law, especially when dealing with young men and women. “Law enforcement has to be just one of your tools. You also need to reach out to communities, identify vulnerable youth and help them deal with their challenges.” She adds, “I think giving up on the softer, interventionist measures may be a mistake.”

Many Muslim leaders agree with Greenberg. Khan of the Majlis sees the government’s new — or revived — attitude as just as sweeping and indiscriminate as what the experts warned against. “No one knows who is genuinely guilty and who is being framed.” (The Supreme Court of India had criticized these traditional tactics in May 2014.)

Today, parents are rarely involved in the affairs of their radicalized children. In April, Maharashtra stopped its de-radicalization program, worried about exposing the identities of its counterterror sleuths. The federal NIA — rather than local police — respond swiftly to any whiff of the Islamic State. In February 2016, a man delivered pro-caliphate speeches near New Delhi; in March 2016, a sales clerk in western India’s Rajasthan used Facebook and messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram to encourage people to join IS. The NIA swooped down on them both within days.

These policy shifts have swung Areeb’s own fate. For a year after his son’s return, Majeed remained confident the now 25-year-old would be released soon. But the NIA has successfully opposed bail for Areeb, telling the courts that he returned with the intent to carry out attacks in India. The NIA filed formal charges of terrorism against Areeb on April 27 – nearly two and a half years after he was arrested. “They’re destroying him,” says a bitter and worried Majeed. “If he was a hardened terrorist, why would he come back to his family?”

But the authorities have a clear argument for the retightened security: Since the 1993 Mumbai blasts, India has seen 73 attacks on its own soil, killing 1,811 people. “We’ve learned these lessons at a heavy cost,” says Sahni. Not all Muslim leaders are critical of the shift either. The NIA’s top counterterrorism professionals are better equipped to interrogate suspects, while untrained local cops could indulge in interrogation excess, they argue. “The NIA is doing its job, and should be allowed to do so,” says Zafar Sareshwala, chancellor of India’s largest Urdu University, in Hyderabad.

In Delhi, the desire to put security above all else appears understandable. The Indian capital alone has suffered seven terror attacks since 2000 — targeting India’s Parliament, the iconic Red Fort, the High Court, Israeli diplomats and markets crowded during a festival — that have claimed 135 lives. But terrorism is also about instilling fear in nations near and far, dividing societies and turning people against each other. Majeed no longer has faith in investigators, says Farhana Shah, his lawyer. Delhi’s return to old tactics and Maharashtra’s decision to end its de-radicalization program suggest the government’s trust in community partners is declining too. New Delhi’s officers and Majeed share something else now: suspicion and fear.

C(haru bioCharu Sudan Kasturi, OZY AuthorContact Charu Sudan Kasturi)

December 20, 2016

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Terror Attack in Berlin

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the truck attack in Berlin on Monday. The attack has left at least 12 dead and dozens more injured.
NBC reports the Pakistani migrant who was arrested Tuesday as a suspect in the deadly truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Germany has been released because of insufficient evidence. 
The man was arrested not far from the scene of Monday night's carnage in the German capital, where 12 people were killed and nearly 50 others wounded. 
But the Federal Prosecutor’s Office released him Tuesday night after investigators said they could not prove he was in the cabin of the truck during the rampage.
Local media identified the suspect as "Naved B.," a 23-year-old who entered Germany via Austria on Dec. 31, 2015. He was reportedly already known to police for minor offenses. Those reports could not immediately be confirmed by NBC News. 
De Maiziere said only a few of the victims had been identified so far, and that 18 of the 48 wounded had suffered severe injuries. 
Among the dead was a Polish man found shot to death inside the cab of the stolen truck. The weapon has not been found. 
Bloodstained clothing was also found inside the cab, but the suspect in custody was wearing clean clothes, Frank said. 
Christmas markets in Berlin were closed Tuesday as a mark of respect for the victims, but the interior ministry said other events around the country would take place with increased security measures.

August 23, 2016

Boy Part of ISIS Wave of Attacks in Turkey is Disrobed of Explosives in Kirkup

~You might find video graphic~
 Guards carefully remove vest full of explosives from boy’s chest

The boy was part of a wave of Islamic State attacks on the city of Kirkuk. Kurdish officials apprehended him in a Barcelona Lionel Messi jersey, and said he burst into tears when initially questioned by a security officer.

The video shows Kurdish police carefully holding the boys arms apart as they carefully remove the explosive belt full of shrapnel from underneath his shirt.

Hours before the boy’s arrest, an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shiite Mosque, wounding three. At the same time, one of the boy’s accomplices blew himself up near a checkpoint, but did not hurt any one else. “There is a dangerous campaign tonight against Kirkuk,” a Kurdish security official told Rudaw news after the arrest.

The boy told Kurdish intelligence officials he was kidnapped by ISIS fighters in Mosul, and that the terrorists had forcibly strapped the bomb to him. Intelligence officials indicated the boy’s story may not have been a ploy to avoid punishment by security forces.

The boy’s arrest came just 24 hours after another ISIS child soldier between the ages of 12 and 14 blew up a bomb at a Kurdish wedding party in Turkey Saturday, killing 50 people and wounding nearly 70. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan indicated the boy may have been wearing a remotely-controlled suicide belt.

The suicide bombing wave in Kirkuk is likely an attempt to weaken Kurdish resolve as preparations continue for an assault on the city of Mosul. ISIS seized Mosul in 2014, and it is the last major city inside Iraq that it fully controls. The U.S. plan to encircle Mosul, relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who have proven to be the most militarily capable force inside Iraq.

@TheLibRepublic on Twitter

July 29, 2016

ISIS Loosing Grip of Territory Changes Narrative


Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the official spokesman for ISIS, has come pretty close to acknowledging that the territory controlled by the group is slipping away. 

In a statement released in May, Adnani warned the enemies of ISIS, “O America! Listen, O Crusaders! Listen, O Jews!”

“You will never be victorious. You will be defeated,” he said. “Do you, O America, consider defeat to be the loss of a city or the loss of land?” 

“And would we be defeated and you be victorious if you were to take Mosul or Sirte or Raqqa or even take all the cities and we were to return to our initial condition? Certainly not!” Adnani added.

Back in 2014, after its fighters shocked the world by seizing vast territories in Iraq and Syria, the messengers from ISIS made a pitch to young Muslims that went something like this: Come join the caliphate of the prophecy! Be part of history by helping to build the Islamic state described in the Quran. 

ISIS was never just about state-building, says Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “That being said, as they lose ground, they need to show that they’re still strong,” he says.

The terrorism campaign launched during this past holy month of Ramadan is a case in point. 

“It was an extraordinarily bloody month, with multiple terrorist attacks across at least 10 different countries across the globe that were claimed in the name of ISIS,” Gartenstein-Ross says. 

“Losing 25 percent or 40 percent of their ‘state’ doesn’t mean that they lose 25 or 40 percent of their capabilities to carry out attacks abroad,” he adds. 

ISIS is not giving up on state-building either, says J.M. Berger of George Washington University. He’s a co-author of “ISIS: The State of Terror.” 

But the group’s propaganda has shifted. Instead of calling followers from the West to the caliphate, it's now asking them to stay put and carry out terrorist attacks where they are, no matter how small. 

Does its shrinking "state" undermine the legitimacy of ISIS? 

“It takes a lot of air out of the balloon. But not all of it,” Berger says. 

“A lot of their initial success and propaganda was based on a narrative that they were a very successful group, that they were holding this territory, that they had done things that nobody else had ever done,” Berger says. 

“It will be harder for them to mount that claim. I think it’s going to hurt them. But I don’t think it’s going to end them.”

The followers of ISIS are extremists, which means that many of them will not be easily dissuaded by facts on the ground, Berger says. 

“We’ve seen that ISIS itself is really a mutation that was born out of intense pressure and near-defeat” in the wake of the Iraq War. “When they face that [same near-extinction], we will see a new mutation.” 

Berger says it is too early to be optimistic about the defeat of ISIS as a network, which is quick to claim responsibility for all kinds of violent attacks. 

“What we’re seeing now is an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks that are emanating from ISIS, whether they’re actually directing those attacks … inspiring those attacks, or … successfully claiming credit for people who are mentally ill and carry out [acts of] violence.” 

European police say about 5,000 foreign fighters have answered the ISIS call to go fight in Iraq and Syria, and now about a third of those people have returned to Europe. 

However, Rob Wainwright, the director general of Europol, said recently that he believes ISIS is in decline. 

“I do think that in the end like all forms of terrorism, like all forms of terrorist groups, both domestic and international, they are ultimately defeated. And ISIS will be as well. How long it takes, I don’t know. Between now and then we live in a dangerous time,” Wainwright said.
Matthew Bell (follow)
 Navy Seals Deploy in Afgh.

~~~~~~~~US Gets Hold of Terabytes of Data from ISIS

The U.S. is sifting through more than four terabytes of data gleaned from the U.S.-led coalition’s offensive on the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in the Syrian city of Manbij. It is the biggest data seizure from the radical Islamist group since the U.S. special forces raid on its finance chief Abu Sayyaf in May 2015.

Manbij has acted as a landing and sorting station for many ISIS foreign fighters after they have entered into Syria from Turkey, officials say, making the information vital to understanding the workings of ISIS’s foreign fighter network and preventing their return to Europe to carry out attacks.

“We think this is a big deal,” Colonel Christopher Garver, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters in a video briefing from Baghdad on Wednesday, ABC reported. “We're learning about how they ran Manbij as a strategic hub.”

He continued: “It is a lot of material, it is going to take a lot to go through, then start connecting the dots and trying to figure where we can start dismantling ISIS.”

Members of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attend the funeral of eight fellow fighters who died during an assault against ISIS in the town of Manbij, in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on June 24. The fighters have retrieved a huge trove of data that U.S. intelligence is using to learn about the group's foreign fighters, officials say.

The gathered material, mostly in Arabic, includes items ranging from notebooks to laptops, as well as textbooks and USB drives.

“As a foreign fighter would enter, they would screen them, figure out what languages they speak, assign them a job—and then send them down into wherever they were going to go, be it into Syria or Iraq, somewhere,” he added. But he noted that no evidence had been discovered that suggested ISIS was sending fighters westwards to Europe.

After helping Iraqi forces capture Fallujah from ISIS in western Iraq last month, the U.S.-led coalition’s focus has been on liberating what is known as the “Manbij pocket” from ISIS.

The coalition is supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters, with air strikes and special forces operating in an advisory and support role.

The SDF forces have advanced to the city’s outskirts and have given ISIS two 48-hour deadlines to leave the city, in order to prevent civilian casualties. While many ISIS operatives have fled, the coalition still needs to clear the city of remaining fighters before it can claim that it has been fully liberated.

July 22, 2016

US Backed Syrian Fighters Give IS Ultimatum of 48 hrs To Get OUT Manbij

U.S.-backed fighters in Syria Thursday gave Islamic State jihadists 48 hours to evacuate their stronghold in the northern city of Manbij. The forces surrounded the city last month and have been slowly closing in on it.

According to a statement from the Manbij Military Council, the IS fighters would be afforded the opportunity to leave the city with light weapons, without interference.

"This initiative is the last remaining chance for besieged members of Daesh [IS] to leave the town," said the Manbij Military Council, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance.
The SDF is allied with the U.S.-led coalition of forces fighting against IS in northern Syria. The statement from the military council comes at the same time as tensions are flaring in the country following the reported deaths of dozens of civilians in air raids carried out by coalition forces.
Heavy civilian toll

Air raids near Manbij Tuesday killed at least 56 civilians, including children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Activists are planning protests across Syria and opposition government leaders are now calling on Western countries to halt airstrikes.

Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters man a checkpoint as civilians on pick-up trucks evacuate from the southern districts of Manbij city after the SDF advanced into it in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016.

Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters man a checkpoint as civilians on pick-up trucks evacuate from the southern districts of Manbij city after the SDF advanced into it in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016.

By Thursday, activists had taken to social media to organize protests and ask people from around the world to take to the streets to call attention to the casualties. One Syrian news page on Facebook encouraged its followers to demonstrate in opposition to “the massacres carried out by coalition warplanes.”
“We ask all Syrians, whatever their affiliations or sects, and all free people of the world and especially the people of Manbij to stand in solidarity with our devastated city on Sunday, July 24," wrote one page that publishes local news about Manbij.

Several other local news pages from Manbij posted photos from protests that took place Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Syria’s main opposition leader has called for the air strikes to be halted until a full investigation can be conducted into Tuesday’s civilian deaths.

“It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations," Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah wrote in a letter to foreign leaders.

The UN has also condemned the raids, which it said caused the deaths of more than 20 children.
“Such horrific incidents confront parties to this conflict with their shared responsibility to respect international humanitarian laws that protect children in war," said UNICEF's Syria representative, Hanaa Singer.

In a statement, the U.S.-led coalition said that it had conducted the air strikes and it was gathering information about the reports of civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, Syria’s main opposition leader has called for the air strikes to be halted until a full investigation can be conducted into Tuesday’s civilian deaths.

“It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations," Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah wrote in a letter to foreign leaders.

The U.N. has also condemned the raids, which it said caused the deaths of more than 20 children.
"Such horrific incidents confront parties to this conflict with their shared responsibility to respect international humanitarian laws that protect children in war," said UNICEF's Syria representative, Hanaa Singer.
In a statement, the U.S.-led coalition said that it had conducted the air strikes and it was gathering information about the reports of civilian casualties.

Voice of America

March 25, 2016

ISIS Targets Destroyed by American Air Strikes

Image result for us air force strikes isis


February 6, 2016

Sanders and Trump Seem to be Ahead by a hair but ISIS Could Undo Both


Some might ask why Trump? (getting undone now)Trump has no particulars on how to address the ISIS problem. For voters that don’t know a single thing about ISIS and their strength you could fool them by saying you are going to “kick their asses” like trump has said. Reality tells most people you need to have a strategy. ISIS not being a nation like Iran which you can attack in a cohesive manner. As a matter of fact you can’t even say you are going to kick any nation butt’s with a lot of manpower. We saw it even in nations we attacked after the Spanish-American war. We could not beat Korea, Vietnam which were and are third world nations and even on WW2 we know how many men we lost and years it took to beat Japan (The Americans were the only strong power fighting Japan since Japan attacked the US and everyone else was busy with Germany) and only then we had to use the Atomic bomb.

Coming back to Trump, eventually he is going to have to set a coarse on how to deal with foreign policy which he knows nothing about.

On the Number one on Iowa is a Senator who is vastly disliked by his peers and people that get close to him. He also has not set fourth a comprehensive plan dealing with foreign problems. The politician down the line is Rubio. A Senator not known for his smart remarks or position on foreign policy but he is likable particularly with women. I am not sure that the GOP women would be looking at his hands when he shows on a map what he plans to do with ISIS. It will be foolish this early to make predictions, particularly when there is a lot of money waiting on the side lines, like the Bushes and others which could kinked the plans of the current running group. This is a strange season for the GOP in which they have a bunch of very unlikeable candidates, nationally that is. I don’t see a North Eastern rich dude with no manners and no political knowledge winning  many primaries by literally cursing out the opposition. Changes will happen as we go into the regular primary season. 

In the last Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton went on the attack against Bernie Sanders. The former secretary of state did so by focusing on the Vermont senator’s perceived weak spot: foreign policy.

Given that many voters seem to care a great deal about America’s role in the world, that could yet prove a fatal vulnerability.

Sanders, who polls predict will win easily in New Hampshire on Tuesday, appeared to be out of his depth when pressed about how his administration would handle foreign policy issues.

Two particular stumbles stood out. First, when asked about the presence of US ground troops in Afghanistan, Sanders replied: “We can’t continue to do it alone.” America isn’t alone in Afghanistan, where the Nato coalition is still present; Sanders’ answer was far more relevant to US troops in Iraq.

Live Sanders and Trump lead as New Hampshire vote looms – campaign live
Live coverage of another day on the primary election trail after Clinton puts Sanders on the defensive in heated Democrat debate
Second, when asked whether North Korea, Iran or Russia posed the greatest threat to the US, Sanders said Islamic State did. Pressed further, Sanders said North Korea, “because it is such an isolated country run by a handful of dictators, or maybe just one”.

Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war – when she was a senator from New York – could also leave her vulnerable but the former secretary of state was quick to shift the focus back to Sanders’ inexperience, saying: “When New Hampshire voters go on Tuesday to cast your vote, you are voting both for a president and a commander in chief.”

But does foreign policy even matter to those who were watching the debate and making up their minds?

In short, yes. It might even be fair to describe foreign policy as the defining issue of this election, if public polling from Pew Research Center is to be believed.

 Threat perception, according to the Pew Research Center. Photograph: Pew Research Center
In December 2011, US adults were asked about the most important issues facing the country on the eve of the 2012 election: 55% mentioned economic concerns and only 6% mentioned foreign affairs.

When Pew offered the same options to respondents in December 2015, only 23% chose economic concerns – and 32% said foreign affairs.

More specifically, terrorism is a growing issue. In December 2014, just 1% of respondents said terrorism was the most important issue facing the country. A year later, that had risen to 18%.

There are, however, clear partisan divides here. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say that Iran’s nuclear programme, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and China’s power are the top threats to national security. Democrats are almost as likely to consider global climate change a national threat as Isis.

Unless Sanders can build confidence in his ability to handle foreign policy (or convince Democrats that the economic issues which form the centerpiece of his electoral platform are the most pressing facing the country) his efforts to reach the White House may well be in trouble.

With the New Hampshire primary just three days away, a poll from CNN and WMUR published on Monday morning is particularly interesting.

The survey is based on interviews with 837 adults in New Hampshire before the Iowa caucuses and 556 adults after them. Not all the individuals questioned said they planned to vote in either party’s primary, and the margin of error on these numbers is over 5%. In other words, be cautious interpreting these numbers.
The poll suggests Sanders has not been harmed by his very narrow defeat in Iowa. The Senator could win 61% of support in New Hampshire; Clinton is backed by just 30% of possible voters.

Those numbers are largely consistent with the averages Real Clear Politics creates across dozens of polls, which also suggest that Sanders has a 31% lead.

Another poll, from NBC/WSJ/Marist and published on Thursday, tells a slightly different story. The 2,551 adults interviewed 2-3 February gave Sanders a 20% lead on Clinton.

Finally, a survey from the Lowell Center for Public Opinion suggests the race is even tighter, with just 15% between the two Democratic candidates.

Among Republicans, polls published since the Iowa caucus suggest a slight dip in support for Donald Trump, but not enough to make a dent in his considerable lead in the state. An average of all polls currently suggests Trump is 17% ahead of his closest rival in the state, Marco Rubio. The Florida senator overtook Ted Cruz two days ago – a trend that might yet be reversed.
The Guardian

February 5, 2016

Some ISIS Running Away to Libya


Eyes, guns and missiles are aimed at Iraq and Syria, with allied and Russian airstrikes mounting pressure against Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. But as the West doubles down and the militants’ territorial losses rack up, the jihadists may simply be moving on to Plan B. When the going gets tough — for the tough guys themselves — will they head for the hills or simply move the fight … to Libya?

For many, the going got tough in Syria and Iraq, and they got going. Millions have escaped and continue to flee, braving treacherous maritime crossings — often dying — and months in freezing European camps in the hope of carving out a better life. But now the militants are also feeling the heat, and possibly taking more advantage of Libya’s instability. Already, experts say, they’ve lost up to 25 percent of their territory in Iraq, along with some key oil refineries, and pressure’s mounting, thanks to allied and Russian airstrikes. Combined, it’s getting harder for ISIS to protect the areas they “govern” and keep their machine running by collecting taxes without expanding into other areas. Meanwhile, says Joshua Meservey, the Heritage Foundation’s policy analyst for Africa and the Middle East, Libya has become a “backup plan” or “haven” for if and when things turn sour in Iraq and Syria.

Of course, ISIS isn’t on its back heels. The caliphate model of gaining territory and taxing local populations is still going strong, and the militants are putting more resources into the Maghreb. And while the group has had a presence in Libya since 2014, it’s increasingly shifting eggs from one basket — Syria and Iraq — to the late Moammar Gadhafi’s homeland, where two governments are now vying ineffectively for control. That leaves loads of groups duking it out in a vacuum that ISIS has proven all too effective at monopolizing before, especially in Syria.

It’s going to become increasingly important to focus on Libya.
Right now, ISIS has anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 fighters in Libya, experts estimate. That’s a relatively small number when looking at the country as a whole, though it’s significant if ISIS members are concentrated in a town or specific area because “they can run little areas,” says Professor Daniel Byman of Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. And this piecemeal grabbing of land, and then exploiting resources and local bank accounts, is exactly how the militants roll.

Indeed, the militants have carved out a beachhead in the coastal city of Sirte and are upping attacks against oil fields in a bid to secure lucrative resources in the north. So far these efforts have been fairly amateur, says Madeleine Moreau, a strategic media analyst for Global Risk Insights based in Beirut. But she notes that high-level ISIS leaders are leaving Syria and going to Libya to take advantage of the chaos, especially in the north, fueling fears that over the next six months, “it’s going to become increasingly important to focus on Libya.”

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