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

November 30, 2019

Another Knife Attack at London Bridge

 Passers-by who tackled a man wielding a knife on London Bridge has been praised as "everyday heroes".
The man had stabbed two people to death and wounded three others in a "terror-related" incident. 
Footage on social media shows the knifeman being held down by members of the public before firearms officers intervene and shoot him dead.
One man who intervened said they had been trying to dislodge a knife from the man's hand.
The suspect, Usman Khan, 28, a convicted terrorist, was shot dead by police officers
The Queen praised the emergency services and "the brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others". 
Members of the public also expressed their admiration for those involved.
George Robarts tweeted that one man, filmed walking away from the attacker holding a knife, "ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attack with several others".
He continued: "We ran away but [it] looks like he disarmed him, amazing bravery."
tweet Twitter user Tom replied "an even bigger one to the man who restrained him" referencing one of the other civilians involved, who was seen pinning the attacker to the floor. Amy Coop, who was inside Fishmongers' Hall where the attack began, tweeted her praise of a man who went to confront the attacker.
One person took a fire extinguisher and let it off in the face of the attacker to try to keep him at bay.
Tour guide Stevie Hurst was one of those who helped restrain Khan. 
He told BBC 5 live he saw the suspect being held down and kicked his head.
People were screaming that the attacker had "stabbed a couple of women", he said.
Steve HurstImage copyrightSTEVE HURST
Image captionStevie Hurst said he "doesn't know" why he was compelled to restrain the attacker
"Everyone was just on top of him, trying to bundle him to the ground.
"We saw that the knife was still in his hand... I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head.
"We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn't harm anyone else.
“The guys that were there were absolutely amazing. Heroes beyond belief."
A Metropolitan Police Armed Response officer stands guard near Borough MarketImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionLondon Bridge remains under police cordon
Mr Hurst's colleague, Thomas Gray, 24, said he stamped on the terrorist's wrist to try to make him release one of two large knives he was carrying.
The tour manager said: "I was brought up on rugby and the rule is 'one in, all in'. I did what any Londoner would do and tried to put a stop to it.
"He had two knives on him, one in each hand, and it looked like they were taped to his hands.
"I stamped on his left wrist while someone else smacked his hand on the ground and kicked one of the knives away."
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker joined hundreds on Twitter to praise two men who helped stop the attacker.
"These fellas are amazing. The terrorist has already killed two people, injured others and they chase him down with a whale tusk and a fire extinguisher. 
"He's wearing a suicide vest which they don't know is fake. Incredible. True heroes," said Walker. 
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she wanted to thank the members of the public who have helped, "showing extraordinary courage by stepping in to tackle this attacker".

'A lot of courage'

Brendan Cox, whose wife MP Jo Cox was murdered, said: "I hope the front pages tomorrow are full of the stories of the everyday heroes who helped stop the attack, not fixated on the low-life attention seekers who carried it out."
Similarly, Kera Stewart said, rather than see the face of the attacker, she wanted to see the faces of the "brave, heroic pedestrians who took him down, disarmed him and saved people's lives."
Harvey Bateman added: "It takes a lot of courage to do something like that."
Presentational white space
Spencer Owen said: "To the brave pedestrians who held the man with a knife down on London Bridge before the armed police got there, you're all heroes."
Media captionSadiq Khan called members of the public who intervened in the incident "the best of us"
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Prime Minister Boris Johnson both offered their thanks.
Mr Johnson praised emergency services and said members of the public "who physically intervened to protect the lives of others" showed "extraordinary bravery".
"For me they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country," he said.
Mr Khan said the people who confronted the attacker "risked their own safety".
"They are the best of us," he said. 

October 30, 2019

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi May Be is No More But What Happens Now

In Iraq and Syria, news of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death has stirred a mix of responses — from joy to disbelief to dread.

Since President Trump announced this weekend that Baghdadi died during a U.S. military operation in Syria, analysts have been grappling with the implications for the militant organization that has now lost its main chief in addition to all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria. 

But in the lands that were under ISIS rule, conspiracy theories are swirling. While many are happy that the man behind much suffering is dead, residents are questioning the details the U.S. has offered about Baghdadi's demise and whether he died at all. Some even wonder if he ever existed, suggesting how deep distrust of the U.S. government may run in this part of the world.

"First [President George W.] Bush came and said he killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then [President Barack] Obama came and he said he killed [Osama] bin Laden, now this one comes saying he killed Baghdadi. Every president kills one," says Zekko Zuhair, a pet store owner in Mosul, Iraq.

People walk near Mosul's heavily damaged Al-Nuri Mosque. Baghdadi used the site in 2014 to announce the launch of a caliphate. 
Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP via Getty Images

Mosul is where, in 2014, the ISIS leader declared himself "caliph," claiming to be a successor to a historical Muslim figure. Baghdadi later went into hiding, while ISIS went on a rampage across Iraq and Syria, imposing its extreme interpretation of Islamic law, recruiting members from around the world to help slaughter civilians, soldiers, and rival militants; take hostages for ransom; and women and girls as sex slaves. 
Much of Mosul is still recovering from ISIS' three-year reign, and from the destruction left by U.S.-backed forces battling the militants. Many families have relatives who were killed either by ISIS fighters or during the fierce fighting against them.

Mahmoud Saeed, a local imam, says he recalls the day Baghdadi came to the city surrounded by bodyguards and declared the start of the caliphate from the pulpit of al-Nuri Mosque.

Ruins where Baghdadi declared the caliphate six years ago. ISIS blew up the mosque in the battle for Mosul before it was driven out of the area in 2017.
Jane Arraf/NPR
"We did not choose him," Saeed says.

Still, even after news of his death, Saeed and friends have been discussing whether Baghdadi was really invented by the U.S.

'The Old City Will Come Back Better': Residents Of Mosul Return And Rebuild 
'The Old City Will Come Back Better': Residents Of Mosul Return And Rebuild
When asked who the man really was, Saeed says: "We don't know — ask America. Ask Donald Trump."

Mosul resident Marwa Khaled is with her 5-year-old son Mohaiman, who's holding a plastic toy rifle almost as big as he is. Mohaiman never met his father, a police officer who was killed by ISIS.

"I'm happy but I'm not sure about the news," Khaled says. "We didn't see a body, we didn't see anything." 
President Trump announced on Sunday Baghdadi had died during a U.S. military operation in northwest Syria the night before.
According to Trump, as U.S. special forces attacked the compound where Baghdadi was hiding out, the ISIS leader ran into a dead-end tunnel and detonated a suicide vest that killed him and three children.

Trump said he is considering making some of the footage of the raid public "so that [Baghdadi's] followers and all of these young kids that want to leave various countries, including the United States, they should see how he died. He didn't die a hero. He died a coward."

In spite of Trump's claims of victory over ISIS, Baghdadi's death does not represent the end of the group, says Mansour Marid, the governor of Nineveh, Iraq.

"This is only one page of the situation, and we presume there is another page to it," says Marid. "The important thing is to end the ideology, otherwise with these kinds of men, one leader goes, another will come in his place." 
Next door in Syria, many residents who spent years under ISIS rule say they're thrilled Baghdadi is dead.

"It's very happy news ... because it feels like he's a personal enemy," says Mohammed Kheder, who leads a group of Syrian researchers documenting ISIS atrocities called Sound and Picture. "ISIS committed numerous crimes against our sons. ... The person responsible for the death of their sons has died." 

Kheder adds that families feel like "they have gotten their revenge, even if it's from someone who's also responsible for many deaths of their sons." The someone he's referring to is the U.S.-led coalition that defeated ISIS but used overwhelming firepower, which rights groups say killed many more civilians than it did ISIS fighters. "People believe one criminal killed another criminal," he says.

This attitude doesn't surprise Jeremy Shapiro, who worked on Syria policy at the State Department under the Obama administration. "People in that area are pretty jaded about the United States. The fact that they are not sad that Baghdadi is dead isn't going to change their opinion of us," Shapiro says.

In March, U.S.-led forces drove ISIS fighters out of their last held territory in Syria. Now thousands of suspected ISIS fighters are in prisons in the country and their wives and children are in detention camps. The facilities are run by Syrian Kurdish forces, who have come under heavy attack by Turkey, following President Trump's order for U.S. troops to withdraw from parts of Syria.

A woman walks with children at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp where families of ISIS foreign fighters are held in northeastern Syria on Oct. 17.
NPR contacted a Syrian humanitarian worker who is in touch with detainees in al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria to hear what they are saying about Baghdadi's death. He called them on their smuggled cellphones and provided recordings of some detainees.

"We are all soldiers of Baghdadi ... but the jihad hasn't stopped," says one of the women, an Iraqi. "And there's nothing to prove he died. We heard in the news. It's been a rumor numerous times. As warriors, we believe that even if Baghdadi dies, the caliphate will not end. ... We aren't just here for one person."

Analysis: The End Of The 'Caliphate' Doesn't Mean The End Of ISIS

Analysis: The End Of The 'Caliphate' Doesn't Mean The End Of ISIS
"If Baghdadi is dead, there are tens of thousands of Baghdadis," says another detainee, speaking in French. "Do not think we are over. We are like a boiling volcano in constant eruption."

Some of the women in the camps say they regret joining ISIS. One Tunisian woman sends texts saying she is relieved Baghdadi is dead. "He will be rewarded with hell," she says.

But she and some of the other women detained with her do not trust President Trump's account that Baghdadi died in a cowardly way, she says. "Nobody believes Trump's tales."

Fatma Tanis and Jane Arraf reported in Mosul, Iraq; Daniel Estrin and Lama al-Arian reported in Beirut, Lebanon; and Alex Leff contributed from Washington, D.C.  

A worker in Mosul, Iraq, assesses the damage in the al-Nuri Mosque compound. Workers are reconstructing the mosque's al-Hadba minaret.
Add caption 
 Iraqi youth watch the news of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death, in Najaf, Iraq, on Sunday.
Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

October 2, 2017

Las Vegas Shooting Kills 58, with 515 Taken to Hospitals

Las Vegas shooting kills 58, with 515 taken to hospitals

Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Photo: John Locher / AP
Las Vegas authorities say approximately 50 people are dead and 406 people were transported to hospitals after a man opened fire on an outdoor concert late Sunday night. The suspect is Stephen Paddock, 64, a white male from Mesquite, NV. Police have also reportedly located 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who is Paddock's roommate, although she's no longer a person of interest.
For context: If the death toll holds, this will be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, passing the 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Police said in a press release that Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, across the street from the venue, and SWAT officers found him dead when they entered the room.
The Department of Homeland Security said there was no "specific credible threat" to other public venues in US after Las Vegas shooting
Details from the scene, per the NYT: "The shooting happened near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video posted online showed the country singer Jason Aldean performing outside the hotel at Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. 'Get down,' one shouted. 'Stay down,' screamed another."
Editor's Note: This post has been corrected to note that Marilou Danley is believed to be Paddock's roommate, not his wife.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated as we learn more. Follow @axios on Twitter for the latest.

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