[AnNahar] A U.S.-Somali engineer who had come back to his birth nation to help rebuild the war-torn country has become the latest returning expat to be rubbed out by suspected Islamic Death Eaters, his relatives told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The killing of Abdulahi Ali Anshur marks the latest in a string of murders of Somali diaspora who have returned to the country and were apparently targeted by Al-Qaeda affiliated Shabaab Lions of Islam because they work with the internationally-backed government.
Anshur, in his sixties, who majored in urban planning at the University of Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party,, Los Angeles (UCLA), left his wife and children at home in Minneapolis to return to Somalia last year.
"He was a humble, simple going man who left his comfortable life in America to help his country," said Mohamud Ali, a relative. "He never deserved his life to be taken as a reward."
Anshur was working with the local government, planning the renovation of Mogadishu's roads that have been left in ruins after over two decades of war.
Gunmen on Monday dragged him out of his car and fired several bullets into his chest in an attack that Mogadishu Mayor Hassan Mohammed Hussein blamed on the Shabaab.
Millions of Somalis fled the country as refugees since the country collapsed into civil war following the ouster of hardline leader Siad Barre in 1991.
But a growing number of Somalis are now returning to Mogadishu to try to support efforts to rebuild, despite continued attacks by the Shabaab.
GAROWE, Somalia -- Somalia's North Eastern State of Puntland has declared that it would hone anti-terrorist operations following intelligence briefings on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.
Speaking at a press conference in the state capital of Garowe, Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA) Chief Abdi Hassan Hussein (Abdi Yare) revealed that intelligence briefings disclosed possible terror attacks by Al Qaeda Al Shabaab group in Somalia's stable Puntland.
"We have so far gathered intelligence reports unveiling that Al Shabaab is planning to carry out attacks in Puntland," said Abdi Yare, adding that the threat ahead is imminent.
Puntland Intelligence Boss further noted that destructive networks are in full force campaign to foment violence, and destabilize the region.
He called on ordinary residents not to provide safe haven to terrorists and keep vigil on suspects.
[AnNahar] A bomb maimed five coppers near a Cairo university Thursday, and four people were hurt in a panicked crush after an kaboom at a train station in the Egyptian capital, security officials said.
Egypt has been hit by a wave of bombings and shootings since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
The five coppers, including two officers, were hurt when a bomb went kaboom! at a small post near Helwan University in southern Cairo, security officials said.
But the interior ministry said assailants in a speeding car threw a bomb at the coppers near the university, wounding four officers and a conscript.
Egypt is fighting an Islamist insurgency that has killed scores of coppers and soldiers, mostly in the Sinai Peninsula.
But Lion of Islam groups have also staged attacks in other parts of the country, including Cairo.
They say they are acting in retaliation to a brutal government crackdown targeting Morsi's supporters that has left at least 1,400 people dead since his ouster.
A Lion of Islam group called Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) has claimed several attacks in Cairo that targeted security forces, including one near Cairo University last month that maimed nine people.
Police have tightened security in and around universities across Egypt, where students supporting Morsi still stage regular protests.
During the past academic year, at least 14 students were killed in festivities with security forces on university campuses -- the last bastions of pro-Morsi protesters.
Meanwhile on Thursday, four people were maimed in a stampede at the capital's Ramses station after a blast inside a compartment of a train that pulled in from the Nile Delta, security officials said, adding that the blast was caused by a "sound bomb."
Amid a growing number of attacks on public transport, 16 people were maimed in panic sparked by an kaboom at a Cairo metro train station on November 13.
A week earlier, a bomb on a train north of the capital killed two coppers and two passengers.
In other developments, in the delta province of Sharqiya, three empty state transport buses were set on fire in separate incidents by unknown people, the officials said.
[Ynet] Egypt on Thursday tossed in the slammer Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! a leading Moslem Brüderbund member who played a key role in negotiations between his now-banned group and the government. In Cairo, at least nine people, including five coppers, were hurt in incidents involving a home-made bomb and a stun grenade.
The early morning arrest of Mohammed Ali Bishr from his home in the Nile Delta was linked to a call for demonstrations at the end of the month, according to a security official. The rallies have been called by a hard-line Islamist group called the Salafi Front, and not the Brotherhood.
[AnNahar] At least 45 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... attack in northeast Nigeria ... a particularly crimson stretch of Islam's bloody border... , officials and witnesses said on Thursday, in the latest violence to hit the restive region.
The attack happened in the village of Azaya Kura in the Mafa area of Borno state on Wednesday, the caretaker chairman of Mafa local government area, Shettima Lawan said, calling it "wicked and despicable".
Village chief Mallam Bulama said: "We counted 45 bodies at the end of the attack."
But other residents said more may have died after they fled into the bush.
Mafa, which is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east by road from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and the surrounding area has been repeatedly attacked by the Islamist holy warriors.
On October 26, suspected Boko Haram fighters kidnapped about 30 boys and girls, some of them as young as 11 and 13, while locals complained of almost daily raids that had forced many to flee.
Some 29 people were killed in March this year after flyers were sent warning of an impending attack -- a tactic used by the holy warriors elsewhere in the region in their quest for a hardline Islamic state.
In the latest attack, heavily armed Death Eaters arrived on cycle of violences at about 12:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Wednesday as villagers were at work.
"So far, 45 men have been killed and there are others that died in the bushes as a result of bleeding from bullet wounds," said on resident, who gave his name only as Jabiru.
Trader Musa Abbani, who fled to Maiduguri, added: "The attackers destroyed more than half of the houses in our village, burnt over 50 cycle of violences and four cars before they took away foodstuff and animals."
A village elder, Mohammed Bukar, said: "We are still picking our pieces and looking for our missing people, especially those who could not be seen in Maiduguri."
Survivors, most of them the elderly, were seen making preparations to bury the dead.
Fifty people were said to have been injured and locals said the bad boys, who have said to have captured more than two dozen northeast towns, blocked exits to prevent people fleeing.
Lawan, who visited Azaya Kura on Thursday under tight security, said: "How can some people be so wicked to kill innocent people, 45 people at once without any confrontation?
"There is no compulsion in religion and I am still searching for the motive behind mass killing and destruction by some people under the guise of entrenching certain religion.
"I wish to appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps and rescue our people from imminent extinction."
[AnNahar] Nigerian Islamist bandidosfaceless myrmidons Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... are intensifying attacks in neighboring Cameroon ...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there... , targeting new villages with increasingly sophisticated weapons, as the army fears more violence in the approaching dry season.
"We're convinced that the establishment of a 'caliphate' (by Boko Haram) is aimed not only at Nigeria but also at Cameroon," Leopold Nlate Ebale, commander for an elite battalion in the border zone, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said he wants to set up a Nigerian caliphate -- recalling the actions of the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... turban group which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.
Until recently, Boko Haram had focused its attacks on several Cameroonian border posts across from towns it controls in the Nigerian state of Borno.
It has also been using Cameroon as a place to rest and stock up with arms and food.
But its attacks are now spreading further south into the country.
Members of the group have slit the throats of market-goers in broad daylight near the northern city of Mokolo, according to Cameroon's army.
Meanwhile, ...back at the secret hideout, Scarface Al sneeringly put his proposition to little Nell... rivers between the west African nations are evaporating as the dry season approaches.
Dry weather "will increase Boko Haram's capacity for harm," said colonel Jacob Kodji, a regional army chief in northern Cameroon.
"They will no longer have to cross over bridges. They will be able to cross anywhere over the border, at any time, by any means."
- Troops trained by Israelis -
The Islamists have taken some 20 towns in Nigeria and amassed a weapons stockpile seized from Nigerian army bases.
They now use armoured vehicles and landmines as well as kalashnikovs and rocket launchers.
Cameroon's military is increasingly concerned as Boko Haram fighters approach major cities like Maroua, the capital of the Far North region, which the group is suspected of infiltrating.
Cameroon has deployed around 2,000 soldiers in the northern region and registered 32 deaths since the start of the operation.
Despite the losses, the government says its soldiers are beating back the Islamists.
The authorities regularly announce the killing of hundreds of Islamists during skirmishes, though it is impossible to verify the figures.
Cameroon has some 4,000 elite soldiers, trained by Israeli soldiers, but observers are sceptical about the capabilities of the regular army, particularly in the face of bigger attacks.
"Until now, the military presence has endured major skirmishes. But if Boko Haram decided to launch a major offensive, they could break through Cameroon's lines without too much difficulty," said a source close to the country's intelligence services, requesting anonymity.
The army's successes up to now were partly due to the fact that the faceless myrmidons were sending young, inexperienced recruits to Cameroon, rather than hardened fighters from Nigeria, he said.
"The Boko Haram fighters we're dealing with are trained in three weeks: the first week they're given money and drugs, the second week they learn to put together and strip down a kalashnikov, and the third, they're sent to the frontline," said a Cameroonian officer, declining to be named.
The army, initially criticised for its inaction, also feels increasingly isolated in its fight against the Islamist group.
Hundreds of Nigerian soldiers have fled to Cameroon on several occasions in response to Boko Haram attacks, yet the two countries "share information but nothing more", according to Cameroon's defence ministry.
A regional force -- with 700 soldiers each from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria -- is due to be deployed by the end of November, but will mainly concentrate on the area around Lake Chad, in the far north of both countries.
[AnNahar] A court locked away You have the right to remain silent... three Bahraini Shiites on Thursday and stripped them of their nationality for planning an attack against the police in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, a judicial source said.
The men were locked away You have the right to remain silent... for 10 years each for having planned an attack with explosives on coppers in August 2013, the source said.
Hundreds of Shiites have been enjugged Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! and faced trial in Bahrain since a month-long uprising calling for democratic reform was quelled in March 2011.
Bahrain last year adopted a law stipulating that suspects convicted of "terrorist" acts could be stripped of their nationality, a decision that has triggered condemnation by rights groups.
Dozens of Shiites have had their citizenship revoked since the law came into effect, and several have also been deported on charges of "undermining state security".
The latest verdicts come as Bahrain -- a Sunni-ruled kingdom with a Shiite majority, prepares to hold elections on Saturday, with the opposition boycotting the polls.
The Shiite-led opposition is demanding a "real" constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister who is independent from the ruling royal family.
The tiny but strategic kingdom, just across the Gulf from Iran and home base for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided nearly four years after authorities crushed the uprising.
Protests in Shiite villages around the capital still spark frequent festivities with police.
[AnNahar] A horrified La Belle France was grappling with a new reality on Thursday in which hundreds of its citizens are openly joining jihadist groups and directly calling for attacks on their homeland.
A new video from the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group released on jihadist forums and Twitter on Wednesday showed three Kalashnikov-wielding Frenchies burning their passports and calling on Moslems to join them or stage attacks in La Belle France.
The new video explicitly calls for retaliation against La Belle France for launching air strikes against the Islamic State group, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.
It follows the appearance of two other French jihadists -- identified as 22-year-olds Maxime Hauchard and Mickael Dos Santos -- in a brutal IS execution video released at the weekend.
Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on Wednesday that La Belle France would step up its campaign against the jihadists, sending six Mirage fighter jets to Jordan in December.
La Belle France currently has nine Rafale jets based in the more distant United Arab Emirates as part of a US-led international campaign to provide air support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the group.
Its most recent strikes, Le Drian said, targeted trenches used by IS fighters around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday.
But La Belle France is increasingly looking inwards as it reels from the news that over 1,000 people from a wide range of backgrounds have left to join the jihadists in Iraq and Syria, with 375 currently there.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday that "close to 50" French citizens or residents of La Belle France have been killed in the conflict zone.
"So we know the dangers and, sadly, we are not surprised to learn that French citizens or residents of La Belle France are found at the heart of these cells and taking part in this barbarity," said Valls.
Figures published in the Le Monde newspaper this week found almost a quarter of those who left to join the jihadists are converts to Islam, with many coming from jarringly everyday French backgrounds.
One study from the Centre for Prevention Against Islamic Sectarianism recently found that 80 percent of parents reporting concerns about their child's radicalization described themselves as atheist.
Hauchard, for instance, came from a small village in Normandy where he is remembered as a polite and amiable neighbor prior to adopting radical Islam in his teens.
French authorities say the other French jihadist in the video, Dos Santos, is of Portuguese origin but born in the French riverside town of Champigny-sur-Marne.
He was part of a network of radical young men in his neighborhood and is believed to have left for Syria in the autumn of 2013, according to a government source.
United Nations ...an organization conceived in the belief that we're just one big happy world, with the sort of results you'd expect from such nonsense... chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... said Wednesday that violent extremism had to be tackled "at the grassroots level".
"We must continue to think more deeply into the fundamental conditions that allow extremism to thrive. Looking at these challenges solely through a military lens has shown its limits," he told a special Security Council meeting on counter-terrorism.
La Belle France is far from alone in dealing with the problem.
As a proportion of their populations, Belgium and Denmark are the biggest contributors to the jihad in Iraq and Syria, although La Belle France -- which has Europe's largest Moslem population -- has sent the largest overall contingent.
"La Belle France is particularly affected by this phenomenon in part because networks still exist that sent volunteers to fight against the Americans in Iraq after 2003," said Louis Caprioli, a former head of counter-terrorism for the French intelligence service.
He also pointed towards the "Tabligh" movement of Islamic preachers that has been "very active in French towns and suburbs since the mid-1990s" -- providing a base from which some members of the community moved on to more radical off-shoots.
"Its efforts to re-Islamize young people of second and third-generation immigrant communities is now bearing fruit," said Caprioli.
He said even the converts to Islam were often in close proximity to these immigrant communities, although he emphasized there were multiple explanations for the burgeoning numbers of radicalized youth, not least "the extraordinary quality of Islamic State communications, which perfectly exploit all the tools of the Internet."
[Ynet] 11 families of US victims of bombings and shootings in Jerusalem seek $1 billion in compensation from Paleostinian leadership for sanctioning and funding terror attacks.
Families of US victims of bombings and shootings in Jerusalem more than a decade ago have cleared a final hurdle to take the Paleostinian Authority and the Paleostine Liberation Organization to trial in New York for supporting the attacks.
US District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan largely denied bids by the Paleostinian Authority and the PLO to dismiss the long-running $1 billion lawsuit ahead of a jury trial scheduled for January 12.
At a court hearing on Thursday, Daniels also reaffirmed his decision in 2008 finding that his court had jurisdiction over claims against the Paleostinian Authority and PLO despite changes in law at the appellate level.
Mark Rochon, a lawyer for the Paleostinian Authority, said in court his client was "considering whether to seek appellate relief on that issue." He declined to comment after the hearing on Daniels' other rulings.
Daniel's ruling on the dismissal motion was issued late on Wednesday.
The lawsuit seeks $1 billion on behalf of 11 families who say the PLO and Paleostinian Authority provided material support and resources for seven separate attacks in Israel that killed and injured American citizens.
The families accuse the PLO and PA leadership in funding, planning and executing seven terror attacks and fire at Israelis in Israeli territory between 2001 and January 2004 in and around Jerusalem. These attacks led to the death of hundreds of innocent civilians and to the injury of thousands.
Among the terror attacks included in the lawsuit are the July 2002 bombing of a cafeteria at the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus that killed 9 people, including American students, and injured about 100; a terror bombing of bus 19 at the Rehavia neighborhood in Jerusalem, which killed 11 people and injured over 40; a shooting on route 443; a suicide kaboom at the Ben Yehuda Midrachov, which killed 5 people, and others.
According to the statement of claims, the Paleostinian Authority "planned and carried out terrorist attacks against civilians through their officials, agents and employees."
These attacks were planned and carried out by individuals "acting as agents and employees of the PLO and PA and within the scope of their agency and employment, pursuant to the prior authorization, instructions, solicitations and directives of defendants PLO and PA, in furtherance of the goals and policies of defendants PLO and PA, and using funds, weapons, means of transportation and communications and other material support and resources supplied by defendants PLO and PA for the express purpose of carrying out (these) attack(s) and terrorist attacks of this type."
For the first time, the trial will be open to the public and to media reports in real time and evidence that have so far been confidential will be exposed. The plaintiffs claim this evidence is enough to prove the Paleostinian Authority supports terror activity to this very day.
"We are looking forward to presenting the evidence to the jury," said Kent Yalowitz, a lawyer for the families.
The Paleostinian Authority demanded to reject the suit due to lack of sufficient evidence, but the New York District judge ruled that the evidence brought before him were sufficient to call in a jury and issue a ruling.
Prosecutors interrogated a list of Paleostinian Authority officials during the preliminary procedures, including Ahmed Qurei (also know as Abu Alaa), Salam Fayyad ...Fayyad's political agenda holds that neither violence nor peaceful negotiations have brought the Paleostinians any closer to an independent state. The alternative to both, violent negotiations, doesn't seem to be working too well, either... , Hussein al-Sheikh and many others.
Should the case go to a jury, it would mark a rare trial in a lawsuit under the US Anti-Terrorism Act. A federal jury in Brooklyn in September found Arab Bank Plc liable under the law for providing material support to Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,.
The judge's decision allowing the case to go forward comes amid continued unrest in recent weeks in Jerusalem. On Tuesday, two Paleostinians killed five people at a Jerusalem synagogue during morning services, the worst attack in the city since 2008.
The lawsuit, filed in 2004, accused the PLO and the Paleostinian Authority of violating the US Anti-Terrorism Act through support of Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which the US government deems terrorist organizations.
The Paleostinian Authority has been battling the lawsuit since 2004 using prominent American attorneys.
In his ruling, Daniels said the plaintiffs had presented triable issues over whether the PLO and the Paleostinian Authority directly supported Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades with money, weapons and personnel, as well as by harboring purported terrorists.
The judge also said most of the plaintiffs could pursue claims that the Paleostinian Authority was vicariously liable for its employees' alleged participation in attacks in 2001 and 2002.
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin, which is leading this lawsuit and representing the families, said: "This is a precedent and a historical decision of the court. We've sued the Paleostinian Authority in the past, and these suits were heard by different federal judges who ruled in them, but this is the first time a trial will be heard by an American jury, a trial that is open to the public and the world media. This is a historic opportunity to call to the stand many PLO and PA officials for an in-depth interrogation about their actions. The PA, the PLO and Abbas will have to answer to these actions."
The case is Sokolow v. Paleostine Liberation Organization, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 04-00397.
[USNews] A woman claiming to have connections to Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group recruiters was caught in an FBI sting.
A Virginia woman has been tossed in the calaboose Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! and charged with lying to federal officials after offering to put an undercover FBI agent in touch with an alleged Islamic State group recruiting network.
Heather Elizabeth Coffman, 29, of Henrico County, Virginia, appeared in U.S. District Court in Richmond Monday and is awaiting a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, according to The News Agency that Dare Not be Named.
Federal officials reportedly set up a sting operation after CoffmanÃ¢s pro-Islamic State group social media activity drew their attention. She is charged with making a materially false statement to a federal official regarding a terrorism investigation. She is also Ã¢suspected of conspiring and attempting to provide material supportÃ¢ to the Islamic State group, according to charging documents cited by ABC News.
Coffman first drew the FBIÃ¢s attention through pro-Islamic State group social media activity, according to CNN. She reportedly operated a number of Facebook accounts under the names Ã¢Heather Coffman,Ã¢ Ã¢Heather Obeida LaÃ¢ahadÃ¢ and Ã¢Ubeida Ametova,Ã¢ among others. Her accounts reportedly ranged in their Death Eater support, but included pictures of armed bad boys, the Islamic State groupÃ¢s iconic black flag and correspondence sympathetic to the bad boy group targeted in Iraq and Syria by the U.S. military and a host of international allies.
An undercover FBI official began communicating with Coffman in July, claiming to be a fellow Islamic State group sympathizer, according to The Washington Post. Coffman told the agent she had connections with Islamic State group controllers in Turkey and reportedly offered to contact such a person on behalf of the undercover agent and an associate. The agent told her that his associate was interested in traveling to Syria to fight with the bad boy group.
Coffman told the agent she had previously tried to set recruiters up with a man she claimed to be her husband, according to CNN.
"I set him up with the brothers, who gave him a contact name and number in Turkey to get him across the border when it was time for training," Coffman told the undercover agent, according to court documents. "But my account was disabled, so I couldn't follow through with that. But I think he was just joking us about going."
The legitimacy of Coffman's connections is uncertain. Her defense attorney, Mark Henry Schmidt, said Coffman was born in the U.S., lives with her parents, has a 7-year-old child and is unlikely to have developed a recruiting network. He said he has no knowledge of her leaving the country or even Virginia, according to the AP.
[ALSO: The Supreme Court to Tackle Subsidy Portion of Obamacare ... aka the Affordable Care Act, an ineptly designed and worse executed piece of legislation designed to bring 17 percent of the U.S. economy under the direct control of the government. The previous iteration, known as Hillarycare, was laughed out of Washington. This stinker was passed on a party-line vote without being read... ]
"As far as I know, she hasn't traveled anywhere. Her connections with the outside world would be on the Internet," Schmidt said, according to the Post. "I imagine you can get into trouble on the Internet, but I imagine you can also think a lot more's going on than really is. If nothing else, this is certainly a cautionary tale about the Internet."
The FBI also obtained a search warrant for at least one of Coffman's Facebook accounts on Aug. 4, according to CNN. The subsequent search revealed exchanges with a man authorities believe was Coffman's purported husband. She reportedly told him at one point to stop posting pro-Islamic State group updates because the "[National Security Agency] has already seen it," according to CNN and the Post.
As of Nov. 7, Coffman was still corresponding with the undercover agent and allegedly attempting to arrange travel. Two FBI agents met with Coffman at her place of employment on Nov. 13 to discuss her meetings with the undercover agent, according to CNN. It was not immediately clear where Coffman works, according to the Post.
When asked if she and the undercover agent had discussed the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda, Coffman claimed, "We don't talk about things like that." She was then warned that lying to a federal agent is a crime, but said she was telling the truth.
[AnNahar] A Pak soldier was killed on Thursday in firing by Indian troops in the disputed Kashmire region, the military said.
Recent exchanges of fire across the de facto border between India and Pakistain in Kashmire, which both countries administer in part but claim in full, have killed at least 20 civilians and forced thousands to flee their homes.
A military statement said "Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing" at the Line of Control in the Pandu sector near Muzaffarabad on Thursday evening.
"A Pakistain Army solder embraced shahadat (martyrdom). Pak troops befittingly responded to Indian firing," it added.
The nuclear-armed neighbors, who have fought two wars over Moslem-majority Kashmire, have traded blame for the upsurge in firing and shelling which started on October 6.
India called off peace talks in August after Pakistain first consulted Kashmiri separatists, a move some saw as a sign of a tougher stance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new right-wing government.
[AnNahar] A bomb hit a passenger train in the restive southwestern Pakistain province of Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... Thursday, derailing it and wounding three passengers, officials said.
The bomb in the Dasht region hit the moving Bugti Express about 30 kilometers before its final destination of Quetta, the picturesque provincial capital of Balochistan. The train was coming from the eastern Pak city of Lahore.
"A kaboom derailed the engine and three bogies of Bugti Express as a result of which three passengers were maimed," local security official Ameer Hamza told AFP.
Hamza said the maimed were transported to hospital in Quetta by road.
Nobody immediately grabbed credit, but Baluch separatist rebels active in the area have recently intensified attacks against ethnic minorities and outsiders.
The rebels often attack government forces, installations and settlers from central Punjab province.
Last month the Human Rights Commission of Pakistain said that more than 300,000 people including minority Shiites and Hindus had left Balochistan over the past 10 years due to rising unrest.
Balochistan, Pakistain's largest but least developed and most sparsely populated province, is also racked by Islamist bully boys, banditry and sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites.
LAHORE: At least five suspected militants have been killed in a US drone strike on Thursday in North Waziristan. Official sources said that the US drone fired two missiles on a compound in Datakhel tehsil of North Waziristan Agency. Sources said that they have confirmation of five dead and also some injured. They said that the dead also includes a high value target.
North Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown hardboyz insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives, among others.
Karachi Police are fighting back against the Taliban by trying to root out militants hiding in the city suburbs, but it's dangerous work. Out of 15,000 police officers in the city, on average one dies every day.
"They are not pious. They are common criminals," says Ijaz, a senior officer in Karachi Police Criminal Investigation Department.
"They generate money from drug sales, extortion and kidnap to fund their war. Any crime you can think of the Taliban is involved in. You will find them in gambling dens, with liquor bottles and they often use the services of prostitutes."
"It's easy to fight them in the north of Pakistan because there is a clear target," he says. "But in a city like Karachi it's very difficult because there are more than 70 splinter groups… and you don't know who your enemy is. We are in a real war."
Ijaz and his team of 25 heavily armed officers carry out regular night raids in some of these hiding places, which have fast become no-go areas for other police units, especially after sunset.
In the 12 months from the start of September 2013 to the end of August this year not a single terrorism case resulted in a conviction.
Ijaz says this has a demoralising effect on his colleagues.
"Witnesses are fearful for their lives. Testifying in court against the Taliban is a risk that many people are just not willing to take," he says. "We also have a real lack of resources in terms of phone-tapping and forensic evidence. It can often take 10 years or more for a case to go through the courts. Justice delayed can often be justice denied."
But Ijaz himself remains motivated.
"We will not be bullied by these terrorists," he says. "That is the moral victory. We will gain physical victory one day, inshallah."
[AnNahar] The Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... jihadist group on Thursday claimed a rare suicide boom-mobileing in the usually secure capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region that killed four people.
IS boasted in an online statement that it had "breached all the security checkpoints of the agent Kurdistan government and reached the heart of the city of Arbil."
It identified the bomber as Abdulrahman al-Kurdi, indicating that he was an ethnic Kurd.
The bomber struck the main checkpoint on the way to the provincial government headquarters in the northern city just before noon on Wednesday, killing four people and wounding more than two dozen.
The bombing was the worst attack to hit Arbil since September 29, 2013, when Death Eaters struck the headquarters of the asayesh security forces in the city, killing seven people and wounding more than 60.
In that attack, the asayesh said a jacket wallah detonated explosives at the entrance to their headquarters, after which they killed four more would-be bombers before a fifth blew up an ambulance rigged with explosives.
Iraq's three-province autonomous Kurdish region is generally spared the rampant violence plaguing other parts of the country.
But Kurdish security forces are battling IS, which spearheaded an offensive that has overrun large areas of Iraq since June, making it a more prominent target for turbans.
The initial jihadist onslaught swept federal security forces aside in the north, allowing the Kurds to take control of a swathe of disputed territory that they want to incorporate into their autonomous region over Baghdad's objections.
IS turned its attention to the north again in August, launching a renewed drive that pushed Kurdish forces back towards Arbil, helping to spark a U.S.-led campaign of air strikes that has since been expanded to Syria.
Backed by the strikes, Kurdish troops have managed to regain some areas seized by IS, as have federal forces backed by pro-government fighters.
But significant territory, including three major cities, remain in the hands of the turbans.
A key House Republican is pushing the Obama administration to expand U.S. military support to Kurdish peshmerga fighters in the battle against the Islamic State, calling for Washington to begin channeling heavy weaponry directly to Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.
Rep. Ed Royce of California, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced legislation Thursday that would give the White House “temporary” authority to ship American “anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, armored vehicles, long-range artillery” and other equipment directly to the Kurds.
The legislation would give the president “three years” to provide such weapons without having to seek reapproval from Congress. It would represent a significant change in course from the current U.S. policy of allowing officials in the central government in Baghdad to determine what American equipment gets shipped to the Kurds in northern Iraq.
His legislation’s introduction comes a day after a suicide car bomb exploded in front of the Kurdish government’s provincial council building in the northern city of Irbil — a lethal attack believed to have been carried out by Islamic State extremists.
It also comes a day after the Obama administration signaled openness to providing more support to the peshmerga. On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters that President Obama “has pledged to expand our efforts to support the Iraqi forces, including the Iraqi Kurdish forces.”
It was not immediately clear whether the administration will embrace Mr. Royce’s call for providing arms directly to the Kurds
I seriously doubt anything will come of this. At least three reasons and there could be more; too many Christians involved in the Kurdish movement, far too much Turkish knowledge regarding past events in Benghazi, lastly, any heavy weapons arming of the Kurds would run counter to the regimes current diplomatic efforts with Iran. Once again, the brave Kurds lose.
[Ynet] An Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... leader has been killed in an air strike in the northern Iraqi city of djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... , residents and a local medical source said on Thursday.
They said Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, who they described as the radical bully boy group's leader in Mosul, was killed with his driver when their car was hit in a western district of the city on Wednesday afternoon.
The ultra-hardline Islamic State (IS) swept through northern Iraq in June almost unopposed by Iraq's army, consolidating on gains made in the country's Sunni heartland region of Anbar.
[IsraelTimes] Authorities intercepted a massive shipment of tens of thousands of firecrackers, as well as knives, Tasers and other weapons Thursday that police say was en route to rioters in East Jerusalem.
Intelligence information led police and customs officials to the shipping container in Afula, which had been marked as containing Christmas lights, police said.
The container contained some 18,000 firecrackers, 5,200 knives, 4,300 Taser-flashlight devices, 5,000 electric shock devices and 1,000 swords, according to a police statement.
Police said it was the largest seizure of weapons of the type in recent history.
According to police, the enormous stockpile of weapons was intended to supply Paleostinians in East Jerusalem, who have thrown firecrackers, Molotov cocktails and stones in ongoing festivities with police amid rising tensions in the capital.
The containers, shipped from China to the Ashdod Port, were addressed to residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
The containers were picked up by three Israeli Arabs from the north who came to Ashdod to collect the shipment with two trucks.
The three suspects were unloading the shipment into a warehouse in Afula where they were locked away I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! together with their drivers and the warehouse owner.
Earlier this week, an IDF officer was injured during festivities near Ramallah, most likely from a firecracker hurled by Paleostinian rioter, and was in danger of losing parts of two of his fingers.
Police have implemented measures to combat the increased use of firecrackers against security forces, including establishing a team together with the Economy Ministry to better monitor sales of the items.
Last month, police Chief Yohanan Danino announced that he was seeking to have firecrackers classified as dangerous explosives and instructed intelligence units to develop resources to better combat the phenomenon.
[IsraelTimes] The Paleostinian Authority has enjugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! some 30 suspects over the last 72 hours thought to be planning terror attacks, primarily against settlers, as well as operatives involved in incitement against Israelis, senior Paleostinian sources told The Times of Israel on Thursday.
The wave of arrests was primarily focused in Hebron, where some 20 Paleostinians were detained, most of them Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, operatives. Additional arrests were made in Nablus and Ramallah.
According to the sources, several of the detainees sought to perpetrate attacks similar to those in the past few days, with weapons other than firearms for example, while others planned more complex attacks.
The arrests thwarted the attacks, the sources said, most of which were in the preliminary stages of planning.
The sources stressed that the arrests are part of the PAÃ¢s larger goal to restore calm in the area, and were done under the general directive of PA President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... to prevent bloodshed and violence.
They added that Abbas clarified at every opportunity his opposition to violence and killing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and several other high-level politicians have repeatedly accused Abbas of fanning tensions in the capital and encouraging terror.
In past weeks, the official Fatah Facebook page has posted several calls for Ã¢days of rageÃ¢ in the capital, as well as posts and cartoons hailing the attacks on Jewish Israelis.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State... called on Abbas to halt calls for Ã¢days of rage,Ã¢ in the wake of a deadly terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.
A senior Paleostinian official told The Times of Israel Thursday that incitement against Israel is running wild on social media, but claimed that this was not the case on the PAÃ¢s official media outlets. He said that several of the newly arrested detainees had been inspired to try to carry out attacks by the videos and clips circulating online.
The source added that it is clear that the defense establishment in Israel knows that Abbas is there to quiet tensions, rather than incite.
"This is apparent from the statements of Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen, but also from conversations we've had with the IDF and representatives from the Israeli defense establishment," he said.
Cohen said Tuesday that Abbas wasn't interested in calling for terror attacks, either overtly or covertly, in what was interpreted as a departure from the government's stance.
He later added, however, that "the recent incitement by Paleostinian Authority leaders, led by Abbas, on issues connected with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, contribute to and affect the high level of violence in the field, especially in Jerusalem."
Jew fish Aka Goliath Grouper. The greatest kosher fish of them all having both fins and scales and clean flesh. Tasty and huge. Now protected because of over greedy spear fishers the population is slowly recovering.
[Ynet] Cleared for publication: Shin Bet, IDF stop Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, terror unit that planned attacks against top Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
A Hamas terrorist cell planned to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the IDF, Shin Bet and police said in a statement Thursday evening.
According to the statement, the group, comprised of members of Hamas military wing from the Bethlehem area, planned to target top Israeli officials, including Lieberman, and even bought an RPG rocket launcher for the mission. The statement claimed they plan to hit his car with the rocket.
Ibrahim Salim Mahmoud al-Zir, 37, from the village of Harmela near Bethlehem, led the terror cell behind the mission. Al-Zir is known to Israeli security forces and has in the past served time for security offenses he conducted with Hamas.
Al-Zir planned the attack during Operation Protective Edge in order to send a message to Israel to stop its war in Gazoo.
Al-Zir recruited his brother, Ziad Salim Mahmoud al-Zir, 35, and fellow Hamas operative Adnan Amin Mahmoud al-Zir, 31, to join his terror cell, both released prisoners from Ramallah. In their interrogation, both Adnan and Ziad admitted to have been recruited to the cell and to have agreed to aid in executing the attack.
Al-Zir also turned to another prominent Hamas military operative, Yusef Ibrahim Yusef al-Sheikh, 50, who previously aided Hamas' leader in Bethlehem Ali Alaan (who was involved in a suicide kaboom and killed by IDF troops). Ibrahim asked al-Sheikh to help him procure an RPG rocket launcher for the attack.
Investigation by Israeli security forces found that the members of the terror cell gathered intelligence on the movements of the foreign minister's convoy.
As the only senior minister who lives in the West Bank (in the Gush Etzion settlement Nokdim), Lieberman is a potentially easy target for the terror cell. The foreign minister lives near Bethlehem and the cell could easily observe his convoy driving on Highway 60 from his house to Jerusalem. The road is also exposed to potential fire from the Paleostinian houses on the hill near Bethlehem and from other vantage points in the area.
The members of the cell have been indicted for conspiring to premeditated manslaughter and conspiring to trade in arms at the Judea Military Court.
Following the interrogation of the cell members, Israeli security forces uncovered and foiled another Hamas plan to commit additional shootings and vehicular attacks against settlers and IDF troops in Gush Etzion.
[Ynet] Four young settler girls placed in durance vile ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... for attacking two Arabs in Jerusalem; meanwhile, riots in East Jerusalem, bus in south hit with stones; police find massive cache of firecrackers, knives.
Four Jewish girls were held by the police after allegedly attacking two Arabs in Jerusalem. The incident came two days after a deadly terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue left five dead.
Meanwhile, ...back at the pound, the little lost dog had finished eating the rat terrier... Paleostinians rioted in East Jerusalem and a bus was pelted with stones in the south, after police find massive cache of arms, firecrackers intended for use in riots.
An Arab man claims a group of Jewish girls attacked him with pepper spray in the center of Jerusalem. The incident follows the claims of an Arab taxi driver who also claimed to have been attacked by a group of girls. The incident with the cab driver took place in the city's King George Street and was, according him, nationalistically motive.
Jerusalem District Police investigated the incident and then held four girls from the settlement of Yitzhar; they were found carrying two cans of pepper spray.
Meanwhile, ...back at the pound, the little lost dog had finished eating the rat terrier... Dozens of Paleostinians rioted in Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, not far from the mourning tent erected for the two bully boyz who murdered five people in a Jerusalem synagogue terror attack two days ago.
The rioters burned tires and threw stones, and massive police forces were sent to the area.
A bus belonging to Metropolin was hit with stones as it entered the southern city of Arad. No injuries were caused, but damage was sustained to the bus. The incident comes amid growing tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel in wake of a number of recent terror attacks in Jerusalem.
Earlier it was cleared for publication that last week the police arrested four Israeli Arabs from the north after they were found with two containers of arms and equipment intended for use in riots against Israel.
Among the loot found was heavy firecrackers and fireworks, knives, brass knuckles and tazers. They were marked as Christmas decorations and sent from China to an address in Israel.
After the container was unloaded, police found that over 18,000 units of fireworks, which were 20mm in width, were concealed within boxes labeled decorations.
[AnNahar] Two shells fired from the Syrian side of the border landed Thursday in the Lebanese southern town of Shebaa, in the first incident of its kind since the eruption of the Syrian conflict.
"Two artillery shells struck the eastern part of the town of Shebaa after being launched from the eastern hills of Mount Hermon on the Syrian side of the border," Leb's National News Agency reported.
The shells fell around 1.5 kilometers away from Lebanese army posts in the area, NNA said.
In recent months, the Syrian side of the border has witnessed near-daily festivities between forces loyal to the Syrian regime and Islamist fighters from al-Nusra ...the current nom de guerre of al-Qaeda in the Levant, which isn't to be confused with al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant... Front and other groups.
US-led forces conducted six air strikes against ISIS militants and one against the Al Qaeda-affiliated Khorasan Group in Syria since Monday and 24 air strikes in Iraq during the same period, the US military said.
In Syria, the military said on Wednesday that five strikes by US and partner forces hit near Kobani, the contested border city near Turkey that ISIS militants are fighting to control. Those damaged three buildings and hit two tactical and one large ISIS unit, US Central Command said. A crude oil collection point operated by ISIS militants was damaged in a separate strike southeast of Hasaka, it added.
In northwest Syria near Haram, a strike "destroyed a storage facility associated with a network of veteran Al Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the 'Khorasan Group,' whose members are plotting external attacks against the United States and its allies," the statement said.
In Iraq, the strikes against ISIS were concentrated on the oil-producing north and included 13 near Kirkuk and seven near Mosul. Centcom said the strikes destroyed several fighting positions, staging areas, two buildings and four vehicles and damaged an IED factory.
Three separate air strikes hit near Baiji and one near Falluja in Iraq, Centcom said. Partner nations participated in strikes in both Syria and Iraq, it said.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.