Showing posts with label Terrorist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terrorist. Show all posts

December 22, 2016

Suspect Anis Amri Emerged from Jail a Mentally Different Young Man


 
 Anis Amri selfie posted on social media




In his impoverished Tunisian hometown, Anis Amri drank alcohol and never prayed, his brothers say. Then after joining the wave of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, he ended up in an Italian jail, only to emerge an utterly changed man.

Now he is prime suspect in this week's attack on a Berlin Christmas market and two of his brothers, Walid and Abdelkader, fear the failed asylum seeker may have been radicalized by radical Islamists while he spent almost four years behind bars.

"He doesn't represent us or our family," Abdelkader told Sky News Arabia. "He went into prison with one mentality and when he came out he had a totally different mentality."

German police have yet to establish who drove a truck into the market stalls on Monday, killing 12 people, though the interior minister said there was a "high probability" it was Amri. Abdelkader however said he was sure his brother - who turned 24 on Thursday - was innocent of the crime.

Whether or when Amri was radicalized has also yet to be proved. But in Oueslatia, a rural town that lives mostly off agriculture, the brothers said something had profoundly changed Amri after he made the dangerous sea crossing to Italy five years ago as a teenager.

"When he left Tunisia he was a normal person. He drank alcohol and didn't even pray," Walid told the TV channel. "He had no religious beliefs. My dad, my brother and I all used to pray and he didn't."

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Thursday that investigators had found the fingerprints of Amri, who is being hunted across Europe, on the truck's door.

"If he did this, it is a dishonor to us. But I am sure that he did not do it. He went to Europe because of social reasons, to work and to help our family," Abdelkader told reporters.

A weeping Walid said their last contact had been 10 days ago. "We were in touch with him through Facebook and by telephone and he has no relation to terrorism," he said.

LAMPEDUSA ARRIVAL

A senior Italian police source told Reuters that Amri arrived on the island of Lampedusa, probably after being rescued at sea, in February 2011. Amri's crossing, made shortly after the overthrow of Tunisia's autocratic president in the first of the "Arab Spring" revolts, followed a route that tens of thousands of other boat migrants have since taken.

Amri was at a shelter on Lampedusa when migrants started a fire, destroying parts of it to protest against being held there. He told authorities he was a minor, though documents now indicate he was not, and he was transferred to the Sicilian city of Catania, where he was enrolled in school. 

In October 2011 he was arrested after attempts to set fire to a building, the source said, and later convicted of vandalism, threats and theft.

Amri served his term in at least two different prisons in Sicily, first in Catania and then in Palermo, before being sent in May 2015 to a detention center to await deportation.

Asked whether Amri had been radicalized in prison, the police source said he did not know about this period, while the director of the penitentiary system did not respond to Reuters queries.

Palermo's court opened an investigation on Thursday into his time in prison in Sicily to collect information on his time behind bars, according to a senior magistrate.

Walid pointed a finger of blame for Amri's change on fellow inmates. "Maybe he got into this when he was in prison where he met Algerians, Egyptians and Syrians," he said.

Italy tried to deport Amri to Tunisia, but authorities there refused to take him back, saying they could not be sure he was Tunisian, and so he was released after 60 days and merely asked to leave the country.

LITTLE OPPORTUNITY, FERTILE GROUND

Tunisian police were stationed outside the family home in a poor district of Oueslatia on Thursday, where Amri's father worked with a donkey cart. Counter-terrorism investigators had been talking to the father and brothers.

Oueslatia, near the historic religious city of Kairouan, is typical of small towns in central and southern Tunisia that offer little opportunity for young men and became fertile ground for jihadist recruiters.

    Residents say in 2014 several families in Oueslatia had sons leave to fight for Islamist militant groups and die in Syria, Iraq and neighboring Libya.

According to Walid, Amri had indeed left Italy in 2015 and headed to Germany, joining a tide of migrants, via Switzerland.

Amri applied for asylum in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia but this was rejected in June this year. Again he could not be deported as he did not have identification papers, so Tunisia would not take him.

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While in Germany, he came to the attention of security officials. Berlin authorities put him under surveillance this year over suspicions that he had been planning a robbery to fund the purchase of automatic weapons, and was seeking accomplices for a possible attack.

Ralf Jaeger, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Wednesday that German security agencies had shared information on him with the Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre in November, weeks before the attack.

Mass-circulation newspaper Bild quoted an unnamed counter-terrorism official as saying: "It became clear in the spring that he was looking for accomplices for an attack and was interested in weapons."

Amri, however, was not arrested. Security officials stopped their surveillance in September after their suspicions that he had been planning an attack did not firm up.

WILLING TO DIE

During his time in Germany he moved between North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin. In July this year, police opened an investigation against him in connection with a knife brawl in the capital, Bild said.

German media reported that in North Rhine-Westphalia, Amri had contact with an Islamist network led by a man known as Abu Walaa ("Father of Loyalty"), who was arrested with four other men in November. They faced charges of setting up a "jihadist network" that tried to recruit Muslims to go to Syria and fight alongside Islamic State militants.

Abu Walaa, identified in German court papers as 32-year-old Iraqi Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A., is awaiting trial.

Bild also reported that Amri had expressed willingness to carry out a suicide attack in online chats in jihadist forums.

Tunisian authorities estimate nearly 4,000 citizens have left to fight overseas with jihadist groups, ranging from middle-class students, army dropouts and a top-flight professional footballer to young men from poor, rural areas.

(Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Patrick Markey in Algiers; Writing by David Stamp; Editing by Pravin Char)


December 21, 2016

Berlin Terror Suspect Rejected for Asylum and Under Investigation



German officials are searching for a Tunisian man whose ID was found under the driver's seat of the truck used in Monday's attack. The suspect was said to already have been under investigation for a terror plot. German authorities said on Wednesday that they are searching for a Tunisian man in connection with Monday's terror attack in Berlin.
The man has already being investigated in connection with an act of terrorism. The authorities noted his contacts with German Salafists, who follow an extremely conservative brand of Islam, according to the interior minister of German state North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) Ralph Jäger.
They also launched a probe, based on suspicion that the 24-year-old Anis Amri was preparing "a serious crime against the state." 
"Security agencies shared their findings and information about this person with the Joint Counter-Terrorism center, most recently in November 2016," he told reporters on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, the authorities received a tip from federal security agencies that that the suspect might be planning a break-in. Officials suspected Amri could use the loot to buy automatic weapons.
According to prosecutors in Berlin, the authorities placed the Tunisian under surveillance in March.
While the surveillance data showed that the man was involved in a drug dealing and a bar brawl, it turned up no evidence to confirm the original suspicion. The monitoring was canceled in September this year.
Tunisian radio station Radio Mosaique reported that Amri server four years in Italian jail for burning down a school. The outlet cited Amri's father and Tunisian security officials as sources.
No papers - no deportation
Interior Minister Jäger added that the suspect was living in NRW before traveling to Berlin in February. He also confirmed that the man applied for the asylum and was rejected.  
However, the authorities ran into bureaucratic hurdles while trying to repatriate him.
"The man could not be deported  because he had no valid ID papers," Jäger told the media.
He added that the Tunisia has initially denied that this man was their citizen.
"The papers only arrived today," he said. "I will not comment on this any further."
Also on Wednesday, some 150 police officers raided a migrant shelter in Emmerich, near the Dutch border, where suspect reportedly lived before moving to Berlin. The raid is a part of a nationwide manhunt.

dw.com

September 23, 2016

Omar Mateen Went into Pulse to kill Gays Like Him to Impress Gay Hating Dad




Crime Watch Daily has exclusive new insight into Omar Mateen, who shot up an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people. Mateen's ex-wife sits down to tell her story to Crime Watch Daily's new special correspondent, Kim Goldman.
Sitora Yusufiy has found peace of mind and a new life in pristine Boulder, Colorado, but one thing she’s never able to escape is her association to the man who committed the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Mass-murderer Omar Mateen stormed into popular Orlando, Florida gay nightclub Pulse on June 12 and gunned down 49 innocent souls, wounding 53 others. A bullet-riddled Mateen goes to his grave in a shootout with police SWAT teams. 
Was the New York-born Muslim actually an ISIS sympathizer hell-bent on a jihadi one-way ticket to martyrdom? A self-hating gay man? Or something else?

"He never was sexually interested," said Sitora Yusufiy.

Now finally the one person who wants to set the record straight on what she believes is the motive behind the most horrific mass shooting in modern American history.




 "When I heard that he pledged to ISIS, I immediately know that was nonsense, because I knew Omar," said Yusufiy.

Sitora Yusufiy believes her ex-husband was gay and continually tormented by what she calls his homophobic father, Seddique Mateen. Sitora says Omar lived life in the shadows.
Yusufi tells Crime Watch Daily she is absolutely adamant her ex's pledge to ISIS in the midst of the horror was a ruse. Sitora says he was really just out to win the approval of his dad, who often publicly disparaged gays.
Crime Watch Daily went to Seddique Mateen’s home to ask him about his former daughter-in-law’s claims, but he did not want to talk to us.

Sitora claims much of Mateen's anger came from what she describes as his turbulent relationship with what she calls his homophobic father, who Sitora claims often taunted him about being gay.
Sitora says living a lie triggered the rage in her husband, and before his now-infamous attack, that rage was often directed at her.
Sitora tells Kim Goldman she became a virtual hostage in her own home. Her worried parents drove to Florida to check on her. It was time to get her out. They drove off together after a confrontation with Omar, and Sitora got an emergency ticket to New Jersey the next day.
Sitora now reveals Mateen actually tried to reconnect not long ago. The terror hit her all over again. Sitora says she has never looked back. 
But now for the first time, she is sharing a painful secret: She was once pregnant with Omar Mateen's child. It's a secret she's carried for seven long years. 
"He was happy about it but I told him that if he wanted to make things work, he had to find the courage to come to Jersey to apologize, to do whatever it takes to win my family and myself back, and he never did," said Sitora. "He never made an effort to do that."
Sitora says she made the difficult choice to terminate the pregnancy. 
But out of ashes of tragedy rose a resilient Sitora. The portrait artist has rebuilt her life and is happily married, and the couple is now expecting their first child. 
As for Omar Mateen's father, in recent interviews he has condemned his son's actions, calling what he did an "act or terror." Seddique Mateen has also been adamant that he does not believe his son was gay.

September 21, 2016

What You Should Know About NY Terrorist Bomber Ahmad Khan






US authorities have charged 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami in connection with a bombing that injured 29 people on Saturday in Manhattan and two other incidents involving explosives in New Jersey. Rahami, a US citizen who was born in Afghanistan, also faces five counts of attempted murder of police officers for the shootout that led to his arrest on Monday.

Here's everything we know — and don't know — so far about Rahami and the bombings:

Why did he do it?

Nobody is sure yet. Rahami's family had a long-running dispute with the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, a city about 20 miles outside of Manhattan, where they live and own First American Fried Chicken. Rahami's father sued the city, accusing police of a racially-motivated "campaign of harassment and intimidation" to force the business to close earlier. The lawsuit accused a neighbor, who frequently complained about noise and the late-night clientele, of saying, "Muslims make too much trouble in this country." It's unclear whether the lawsuit and tensions over the restaurant, where Rahami was a fixture, were a factor in the attacks.

Rahami, who attended high school and community college in New Jersey, traveled to Pakistan and his family's homeland in Afghanistan several times starting in 2011. Most recently, he spent more than a year in Quetta, Pakistan, a city on the Afghan border with a strong Taliban presence, returning in 2014. People who knew him from the family's restaurant in New Jersey told the New York Times he was "a completely different person," after he returned. He grew out his beard and began wearing a traditional Afghan clothing. The FBI is still investigating whether he was inspired by or taking orders from a terrorist organization such as the Islamic State. 

CNN has cited unnamed US law enforcement officials as saying Rahami kept a notebook that mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent US-born Muslim cleric who supported al-Qaeda and was killed in a US drone strike in 2011. The notebook also reportedly contained references to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, who used a pressure cooker bomb similar to the one he allegedly planted.

Where did he learn to make the bombs?

A senior law enforcement official who spoke with the New York Times said there's no evidence yet that he had received military or bomb-making training abroad.

According to law enforcement sources cited by CNN, Rahami was questioned by US authorities after each of his trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but they had no reason to suspect that he was involved in terrorism. He was also interviewed by officials "for immigration purposes," according to the Associated Press, but he wasn't on any watch lists.

The bombs he allegedly made were relatively sophisticated. They used flip-style cellphones as a timing mechanism — the phones helped link the bombs in Manhattan to the ones found in New Jersey — with Christmas lights to trigger the blasts. The pressure cookers left in Manhattan were filled with shrapnel and HMTD, according to the Times, an explosive that can be made with a few readily available chemicals. Some of the bombs also reportedly used Tannerite, an explosive powder available at many sporting goods stores for use at shooting ranges.

"Where did he really go and what did he do overseas that a kid who lived a normal New Jersey life came back as a sophisticated bomb maker and terrorist?" one unnamed official law enforcement official told the Times.
As some media outlets have already noted, instructions for making pressure cookers bombs are easily found online, and al-Qaeda's online magazine Inspire infamously included an article titled, "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."

The investigation is still ongoing, but right now it still appears that Rahami acted alone.

How did he choose his targets?

It's still a mystery.

The bomb that did the most damage was placed under a dumpster in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, near a home for the blind. A second bomb was left on the sidewalk four blocks away, but two thieves may have unwittingly disabled it when they removed it from a rolling suitcase and made off with the luggage. According to the Times, authorities believe Rahami drove his father's car into New York City shortly before the Chelsea blast at 8:30 p.m, and surveillance footage shows him in the area with baggage.

Three pipe bombs were attached to each other and left in a trash can along the route of a US Marine Corps charity 5K race in Seaside Park, New Jersey. One bomb exploded at around 9:30am on Saturday, but the race hadn't started yet and nobody was injured. Five more pipe bombs were found late Saturday night in a backpack on top of a garbage can near a train station in Elizabeth, just a few minutes away from the Rahami family's restaurant, suggesting the possibility that Rahami ditched them there after fleeing Chelsea.

Rahami was caught the following morning after he was found sleeping in the doorway of Merdie's Tavern in Linden, New Jersey, a town near Elizabeth. He shot one police officer, who was saved by a bulletproof vest, and fired wildly with a handgun at others as a he tried to flee on foot. Rahami was shot several times by police, but he is expected to survive.

Where's his wife?

On one of his early trips to Pakistan, Rahami found a wife. CNN reported that he filed paperwork to bring her to the US in 2011, but it's still unclear whether she ever made the trip. New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires said Rahami contacted his office in 2014 seeking help with his wife's immigration paperwork.

"He wanted his wife to come from Pakistan," Sires said on MSNBC. "At the time she was pregnant and in Pakistan. They told her that she could not come over until she had the baby, because she had to get a visa for the baby."

The Los Angeles Times cited an unnamed US official as saying she was allowed to enter the country at some point, and returned to Pakistan a few days before the bombings. She was reportedly questioned by officials in the United Arab Emirates, but her current whereabouts are unknown.

Rahami also had a daughter with a high school girlfriend, according to the New York Times.

Why didn't anybody see this coming?

According to the Times, Rahami's father warned police after a domestic dispute incident in 2014 that his son was a terrorist. Two unnamed law enforcement officials told the paper that Rahami's father made the comment to New Jersey police, and the information was passed along to a regional terrorism task force led by the FBI's Newark office. The father reportedly changed his tune when the FBI came to interview him, saying he made the comment out of anger.

Rahami had a few previous encounters with law enforcement, including an incident in 2014 when he was arrested on weapons and aggravated assault charges for allegedly stabbing a relative in the leg, according to court records found by the New York Times. He spent three months in jail, but a grand jury declined to indict him. He was also reportedly arrested and jailed for a day in February 2012 for violating a restraining order.

While Rahami's frequent travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan certainly looks suspicious in hindsight, he had family members in both countries, giving him a legitimate reason to visit.

He was also, by most accounts, mild-mannered and well-liked. Acquaintances told the Times he enjoyed racing and tricking out his Honda Civic, and a high school friend said he was relatively popular. "Everyone seemed to like him," the friend told the Times. "Smart, funny, humble." There was reportedly some tension with his father, who was more religious and traditional, but nothing that raised red flags.

His bail is set at $5.2 million


September 19, 2016

Need to Find This NYC, NJ Bomber Now!


'The Picture is in the Interactive post. Use curser]

This suspect was captured in NJ today. Someone complaint there was a man sleeping at the entrance of a building. When police arrived he pulled out his gun and tried to kill the officer. He was then shot by police. He was taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition. The officer is also fine.

 The police is very eager to interrogate him and find out why he wanted to hurt and kill strangers particularly in this nation that had given him and his father and family refuge. He is a naturalized American citizen from Afghanistan. He is made a few trips there and back. Along the way someone convinced him that it was ok to turn towards those that have given his family refuge and thus seemed to be doing well here.
He was living with his father on a building that houses the family’s “First American Fried Chicken” shop in Elizabeth, NJ.

Should family’s be made responsible for their radicalized adult siblings? This is a question some will be asking but this is becoming something that is happening more and more. The kids of family’s that are doing well here after immigrating having children that turn against this nation. The Orlando shooter was also the son of an Afghanistan refugee. 

I believe we should treat them according to the law but people will be asking what does the law says and how it can be made stricter. Actually we probably don’t need new laws because it its at the hands of a judge that will probably will take all the facts which we don’t have right now to make sure there is never any problem from this individual again but one has to ask how we can try to make others see that such things will bring a price of those left behind. Would that serve as a deterrent to someone who is willing to convert himself into a so called martyr?Would he care?

The best answer is for everyone to keep their eyes open. Intelligence and cameras help tremendously in finding out a culprit before people are hurt and kill or after an incident like this to help the police catch him before he does more damage. A tough job and an imminent thread that is not going to disappear while we have the fighting with ISIS and Al-caida. 

Adam



August 2, 2016

Why do We Make Terrorists Famous? Let’s Not Print Their Names


 

                                                                          
XXXX

 
There are at least three reasons why we should stop publicising the namesof violent jihadists who commit acts of terror. The first is that by doing so – by publishing and republishing their faces, living or (especially) dead – they become globally recognised characters in the showbusiness side of this terrorist war, thus fulfilling one of their keenest desires. Consider how during the Bataclan siege in Paris the killers demanded that their hostages call news channels in the moments before the massacre. The radical Islamist who attacked the kosher supermarket the day of the Charlie Hebdo murders took time to phone one of those channels to demand that it correct the banner it was using to identify him. And is it by chance that the mass murderer in Nice left his identity card in his truck for all to see?

The second reason is that by going into detail, as we are wont to do, about these zombie lives – by following the trail from a childhood that is invariably “unhappy” to a “sudden” radicalisation, by dwelling on the putative “mystery” of a monster who also happened to be a good father, a normal husband, a friendly neighbour always willing to lend a hand – we are taking the shortest route to the banalisation of evil, which we have long known to be a grave danger.

Why do we need to be told, for example, that the man who slit the throat of a priest in Normandy had a “brilliant personality”? What useful information are we getting when we are shown, over and over, the widow of one of the Charlie Hebdo killers telling us that even now, a year on, she still hasn’t uncovered the slightest warning of her mysterious husband’s radicalisation?

Was it really necessary to have spent so many years fighting the culture of excuses to now hand the stage over to the “best friend” of the Nice killer so that he can tell us that the latter was a “fantastic”, “almond-eyed” guy who once had proclaimed “Je suis Charlie” but who, alas, was so “frustrated” that he mock-murdered stuffed animals and that his “borderline” personality pushed him over the edge?

There is in this unending, often pathetic, chronicle of horror a way of neutralising the conscience; and, on the pretext of showing us the face of the criminal, a way of blinding us to what makes it so revolting.

The third fundamental reason that should convince the media not to focus on names whose hypnotic repetition has become the rhythm of our time (or perhaps to refer to them only by first names or initials, and so deny them the limelight) is that the present unstable mixture of trivialization and glorification – in which we are told that these are ordinary people who happen to have hitched their fate to unforgettable acts – will have the worst possible consequence: a copycat effect; an invitation to vulnerable minds to follow their example and to commit similar acts; a taste of the global glory their role models gain after their deaths. 

Aldo Moro, a kidnapping victim in Italy. where ‘people were wondering whether it was appropriate to publish the statements issued by the Red Brigades’. Photograph: AP
The mechanism is well known. It is what the French philosopher René Girard was describing when he emphasised the mimetic aspect of violence in general – and of terrorism in particular.

It is what Marshall McLuhan condemned at the height of the terror in Italy, when people were wondering whether it was appropriate to publish the statements issued by the Red Brigades. The author of War and Peace in the Global Village was so thoroughly convinced the war would ultimately play out in the theatre of the media that he proposed a news blackout on the acts of armed groups – an overly radical proposal that was nevertheless partly implemented by the Italian press.

But even earlier – at the end of the 19th century – witnesses to the first great wave of attacks that shook modern France had reached the same conclusion. A president had been stabbed to death and bombs were being set off in the national assembly and in cafes. For nightmarish months, readers of Le Temps, Le Journal and Le Petit Illustré woke each morning dreading the sight on the front pages of the name and picture of a new Ravachol or another imitator of Auguste Vaillant and Emile Henry, to name just three prominent figures in what was then called “anarchism”. France was petrified.

Terrorism, in this age of Islamist extremism, has reached new peaks in the refinement of horror. But what has not changed is the principle of morbid contagion, the apparently endless viral transmission from body to body, the chain reaction of names that inspire and are inspired by other names.

Of course, no one would claim that refraining from mentioning terrorists’ names is enough to break the chain of imitation.

First, because the reign of the supposedly social networks has greatly limited the power of traditional newspapers.

Second, because jihadism has many other roots – deep roots – not in communication, but in forms of religion and fascism.

And were terrorist X to be deprived of the dizzying pleasure of associating his name with that of terrorist Y in the new dark phalanx, he would still have that other, just as great, pleasure: imagining himself absorbed into the chanted name of an immutable God. Or yet another pleasure, no less delectable, of seeing two names – his own and that of the Almighty – cast in the same lead of the same nihilism.

Still, disarming one trigger among three, four, or even more – is that not worth doing? In this total war that has been declared against us, should each of us not resist as best we can, where we can, where we have responsibility, where life and our occupation have placed us?

And would it not be something to see the engineers of opinion, by refusing to serialise infamy, try to jam at least one of the engines of a machine that is now hurtling along at full tilt? We have to make the best of where we are.


We need a broad agreement within the media to limit descriptions of terrorist criminals to no more than the bare essentials.

Against all the mock heroism and copycat productions that bring us into unwitting complicity with violent jihadism, we need to relegate the terrorists to the deserved obscurity of infamous men.


• Translated from French by Steven B Kennedy

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) 
PRI.org
 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.
DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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.
 
Newsweek

June 14, 2016

A Silence in the Muslim Community about the Gay Rights of the Victims



                                                                          
                                                                         


An Afghan-American Muslim walks into a gay club in Florida on Latin night during Pride Month. In my dreams, that is the beginning of another great story of remix, tolerance and coexistence that is possible only in America. In reality, it’s the start of a nightmare massacre fueled by hatred and perpetrated by a man from a group already scarred by a generation of suspicion and surveillance.

Whether Omar Mateen was a militant fighter financed by the Islamic State, a self-radicalized extremist or a lone wolf psychopath with a gun license, the distinction for committing the worst mass shooting in our history now belongs to an American Muslim.

After the attacks in Orlando early Sunday morning, many of my American Muslim friends began posting messages on Facebook about how frustrating it felt to go from the affirming images of the late Muhammad Ali to news of yet another terrorist attack. “He doesn’t represent us,” many wrote. “He can’t call himself a Muslim.” For many American Muslims, this kind of immediate condemnation and social media activism has become the first step in our symbiotic relationship with the news cycle. As the history of fellow minorities has taught us, retaliatory violence, exclusion and even internment are always possible in the American family and it’s best to try to get ahead of the curve.

But in this moment of hashtag solidarity, I hope we can also have some tough conversations about our limits. Accompanying those posts, I saw many gestures of solidarity and sympathy for the L.G.B.T. community. But behind those posts is a history of silence on gay rights.

A vigil in Seattle honoring the victims of the shooting in Orlando, Fla. Credit Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times, via Associated Press
For eight years, I was an editor and producer for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” It seemed as if each week featured an example of “Muslim” violence and with it an opportunity to bring more nuanced perspectives and context to the discussion. Through highlighting the voices of Muslim reformists and liberals, I felt optimistic about a generation that could bridge our widening divisions. But in my personal life, I was struggling in isolation with how to reconcile my own faith with my sexuality.

When I was growing up, there were no Muslim role models or blueprints for taking a different path to love. When it came to the breakthroughs for gay rights in the Obama era, even progressive Muslims were mostly ambivalent. An open letter by the religious scholar Reza Aslan and the comedian Hasan Minhaj supporting same-sex marriage prompted handwringing and arguments in my newsfeed. “Islam teaches us to be accepting but it is best for homosexuals to be celibate. What is wrong is wrong,” someone wrote.

For so many in the Muslim community, “traditional” marriage is a tenet of faith. Weddings, engagement parties and family picnics constitute our safe spaces. Although we’ve shared political goals like the protection of civil rights with L.G.B.T. activists in this age of terrorism, ours is not a natural or a deep alliance. More important, queer Muslims are marginalized if not simply invisible. In light of this weekend’s attacks, we can no longer afford this kind of superficial engagement.

No religion has a monopoly on homophobia. The track record of exclusion and outright abuse of gay men and women in the name of God is a depressing reality across faiths. But we cannot use those analogies to excuse our own shortcomings. Omar Mateen went on a rampage at a gay club out of hatred he attributed to his faith. He shot and massacred Americans for thriving in their safe space, for being among those they love and were loved by, and he did it during both Ramadan and a Pride Month that epitomizes self-love in the face of hate. The toxic cocktail of gun violence, unchecked mental illness and deranged ideology that propelled the massacre at Pulse is a threat to all Americans.

We must stand up against the anti-Muslim responses that come so easily in this current political climate. But for Muslims, this is also a moment to reflect more deeply on how we feel about living in a country where gay rights are central, where marriage equality is real and coexistence is the only way forward.

As I look at his narcissistic selfies and brooding poses on the cable news loop, I don’t know if Omar Mateen was mentally ill or just emotionally unhinged. I don’t know if it was the sight of two gay men kissing that infuriated him to the point of massacre. What I do know is that there will be more dark days to come if we don’t build the psychological, political and spiritual space within our communities to embrace the remixes that are possible only in this country.

By BILAL QURESHI who is a former editor and producer for NPR’s “All Things Considered”

June 13, 2016

Profile of Orlando Shooter and Details of Killings




Mateen's father told NBC News, "this has nothing to do with religion." Mir Seddique said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting.
"We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” Seddique said.
Seddique also said Mateen was a husband and father to a 3-year-old boy.

Mateen father seems to be very political and very Pro Taliban in Afghanistan. We currently have troops in Afghanistan giving support to the government against the Taliban which is the terrorist organization we fought there after 9/11 (adamfoxie)

Meet the Dad of Orlando Shooter and his Pro Taliban Show

A man who picked up the phone at Mateen's listed address, Mustafa Abasin, told NBC News: "We are in shock and we are sad." He would not explain how he knew the gunman, but added that he was aiding investigators.
Law enforcement sources told NBC News just before the attack began, the shooter called 911 and swore allegiance to ISIS. 

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., whose district includes the site of the shooting, suggested to reporters that "more likely than not" the massacre was ideologically motivated.
“Let me put it this way," Grayson said, "the nationality of family members is indicative."

The family’s background was not immediately clear, but Grayson said Mateen was a U.S. citizen.

The New York City Police Department said in a statement they are in contact with law enforcement authorities in Florida and the FBI as they closely monitor developments. “Meanwhile, the NYPD has placed our Patrol and Counter-terrorism resources, including CRC, SRG and ESU personnel, on alert pending further information.”

Officials previously said a gunman opened fire at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando around 2 a.m. A uniformed officer working at the nightclub exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who was armed with an assault-type rifle, a handgun and a suspicious device.

"The officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back inside the club and more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a news conference said.
The gunman was shot dead when a SWAT team entered the club, police said.


Mateen was rabidly anti gay as his fathers detailed his (Mateen) reaction when he saw two men kissing in Miami. He also expressed his disgust towards gays.
He was also prone to violence.

“He was not a stable person,” said the ex-wife, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety in the wake of the mass shooting. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.

He worked as a private security guard in Miami and held an associates degree in criminal justice from Indian River State College. He also possessed a Statewide Firearms License.

An FBI spokesman said the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
US citizen Mateen, who was shot dead by officers, entered the nightclub wielding an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun.

Writing on Facebook, Pulse urged party-goers to 'get out and keep running' as bullets started flying at around 2am local time.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club around 2am, then went back inside and took hostages.
There were about 320 people inside the club at the time of the shootings and about 100 people were taken hostage.

At around 5am authorities sent in a SWAT team to rescue the hostages. Nine hero officers used a 'controlled explosion' to distract the shooter before fatally shooting him and were able to rescue about 30 hostages who were hiding in the bathroom of the club.
During the gunfire, an officer was shot, but he was saved by his helmet. (Daily Mail)





Meet the Dad of Orlando Shooter and his Pro Taliban tvShow

The father of Omar Mateen, identified by police as the man behind the carnage at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban.
Seddique Mateen, who has been referred to as Mir Seddique in early news reports, hosted the “Durand Jirga Show” on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California. In it, the elder Mateen speaks in the Dari language on a variety of political subjects. Dozens of videos are posted on a channel under Seddique Mateen's name on YouTube. A phone number and post office box that are displayed on the show were traced back to the Mateen home in Florida. Mateen also owns a nonprofit organization under the name Durand Jirga, which is registered in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
In one video, Mateen expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government.
“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said. “Inshallah the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.” 
The “Durand Line issue” is a historically significant one, particularly for members of the Pashtun ethnic group, whose homeland straddles the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Durand Line is that border. It is not clear whether the Mateens are Pashtun. The Afghan Taliban is mostly made up of Pashtuns.
The line was drawn as a demarcation of British and Afghan spheres of influence in 1893. The British controlled most of subcontinental Asia at the time, though some parts, including what is now Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan, were only loosely held. The line was inherited as a border by Pakistan after its independence. Since it splits the Pashtun population politically, it is seen as a cause for their marginalization. Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in most of eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.
Pashtuns are also sometimes referred to as Pakhtuns, or Pathans.
Just hours before the Orlando shooting, Seddique Mateen posted a video on a Facebook page called Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique Mateen. In it, he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan's president, and orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures.
"I order national army, national police and intelligence department to immediately imprison Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Zalmay Khalilzad, Atmar, and Sayyaf. They are against our countrymen, and against our homeland,” he says, while dressed in army fatigues.

June 12, 2016

Orlando Gay Night Club Shooter (Video Account)


What we know about the Orlando mass shooting suspect Omar Mateen

  

November 23, 2015

Video games, Gay games and Religion games for Abdeslam the Terrorist on the Loose (latest)


                                                                       

The brothers’ tastes would appear to make them unlikely ISIS extremists. The terror group brutally punishes homosexuality, often hurling gay men off buildings or stoning them to death, along with alcohol or drug use.

Friends of Abdeslam say the fugitive has Skyped them in recent days. His brother, Mohammed, told reporters that he believes Salah “is not far away”, sparking suspicion he may be holed up in Belgium’s capital.

“We had him down as a rent boy”

Brussels went into lockdown on Saturday, shuttering its metro system, canceling concerts, postponing soccer games and telling locals to stay out of crowds amid fears of a “serious and imminent” terror attack.

“We are talking about the threat that several individuals with arms and explosives would launch an attack perhaps in several locations at the same time,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said.
Investigators are still trying to untangle Abdeslam’s role in the carnage in Paris, where 130 people were killed and 350 injured. He and Brahim joined in the carefully planned assaults on restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium with at least six other extremists.

Abdeslam may have rented two of the three cars used in the attacks, French police say, but they don’t know if he acted as a driver or as a shooter. They believe he abandoned a car in a Paris suburb. He was picked up early the next morning and driven back to Brussels by two accomplices who are now in custody.

Officials stopped the car at the border and questioned the men, but let them go. Abdeslam disappeared once he reached Brussels.
The lawyer for one of the accomplices said Abdeslam was wearing “a big jacket, maybe a bomb belt” and behaved nervously, making authorities suspect he had backed out of his murderous assignment in Paris.

Meanwhile, a Moroccan-born Belgian who may have scouted the Paris targets was arrested in Turkey as he tried to flee to Syria, authorities said. Ahmad Dahmani, 26, was collared Saturday with two other suspects.

Investigators tracing the jihadist networks that inspired the terrorists said Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris ringleader who was killed in a police raid last week, is connected to the group Sharia4Belgium, known to have sent at least 50 Belgians to join ISIS forces in Syria. 

November 18, 2015

There are Two Terrorists on the Run Not One


                                                                       

 Police now believe not one but two suspects in the Paris attacks may be on the run, as it emerged that Salah Abdeslam was stopped by police three times before he was able to disappear. 
Several eyewitnesses have reported seeing three men inside a black Seat Leon used by the terrorists during gun attacks on bars and restaurants. The only two occupants who have been accounted for are Abdeslam and his brother Ibrahim, who blew himself up outside a café. 
Abdeslam became Europe's most wanted man after he slipped out of Paris and was driven back to Belgium by two other men, who have now been arrested. 
The two alleged getaway drivers, who are being held on suspicion of making the suicide bombs used in the attacks, have disclosed that they were stopped three times by police on their way back to Belgium, but were allowed to carry on each time. 
Hamza Attou, 21, and Mohammed Amri, 27, have reportedly confessed to driving Salah Abdeslam back to Belgium after the attacks. 
A car is towed during a police raid in Brussels' Molenbeek districtA car is towed during a police raid in Brussels' Molenbeek district  Photo: Getty Images
Police found ammonium nitrate – a fertilizer that can be used to make bombs - and ammunition of the type used in Kalashnikov assault rifles in addresses connected to the men. They insist the chemicals were bought as garden fertilizer. 
As the hunt for Salah Abdeslam continued, his brother Mohammed said: “I call on him to turn himself over to the police. The best would be for him to give himself up so that justice can shed all the light on this." 
It was Attou and Amri who were allegedly in a VW Golf with Abdeslam when it was stopped by police at Cambrai, near France’s border with Belgium, on Saturday morning, before being allowed to go on their way because none were at that stage on wanted lists. 
They have now told police in Belgium they were stopped two further times, but again were allowed to continue, enabling Abdeslam to make his escape. 
Attou and Amri were among seven men arrested in Belgium over the weekend, five of whom were later released without charge. 
Police continue to raid addresses in Belgium as they investigate the Paris attacks  Photo: ReutersPolice continue to raid addresses in Belgium as they investigate the Paris attacks
Belgian newspapers suggested they have been charged with 129 “terrorist assassinations” and participation in terrorist activities, though the prosecutor’s office would not confirm this. A total of 129 people died in the co-ordinated attacks on Paris. 
Amri reportedly has a 2009 conviction for assault and is married to a Belgian woman called Kim who converted to Islam to marry him. 
The two men left the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek at 2am on Saturday after receiving a call from Abdeslam, who said his car had broken down. They picked him up in Barbes, about a mile from the Bataclan concert hall, at 5am and drove him back to Molenbeek. 
They deny any knowledge of the massacre, and say Abdeslam said little during the car journey. 
“We did not talk much…he was a little stressed,” they are reported as saying.  
Amri was the driver of the Golf, according to the Belgian newspaper La Libre, but the vehicle belongs to Attou. 
Amri’s solicitor, Xavier Carrette, said the only thing he admits “is having been in France to pick up a friend”. 
They were reportedly not the first people approached by Abdeslam for a lift. 
Reuters reported that another acquaintance of the Abdeslam brothers, 23-year-old Amir, who works installing shop tills, said a friend had called him on Friday night asking him to drive the 180 miles to Paris to pick up Salah Abdeslam. Amir told him he could not go. 
He was told Abdeslam offered to pay for the fuel, but Amir did not want to run up such big mileage on his leased car. "It's incredible," he said of the arrests of the two men who did drive Abdeslam. "It could have been me. ... I had no idea.”
By Henry Samuel in Paris 
and Matthew Holehouse in Brussels

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