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U.S. Bans Laptops, Tablets from Cabins on Flights from Middle East
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
19 23:10 trailing wife [800] 
9 13:32 regular joe [424] 
2 09:52 Bright Pebbles [316] 
1 11:44 Pappy [257] 
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Page 2: WoT Background
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4 13:56 Skidmark [248]
1 14:11 Seeking cure for ignorance [233]
1 10:21 Frank G [197]
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2 13:58 Skidmark [240]
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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1 08:11 M. Murcek [267]
Page 4: Opinion
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2 21:25 trailing wife [308]
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6 16:07 newc [320]
4 11:08 JohnQC [255]
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2 06:39 lord garth [245]
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10 19:50 Alaska Paul [515]
6 17:15 Skidmark [425]
Page 6: Politix
3 19:17 g(r)omgoru [285]
8 09:25 Nero White 3083 [457]
10 16:15 JohnQC [403]
7 22:27 Blossom Unains5562 [395]
4 20:12 Alaska Paul [368]
13 20:43 phil_b [652]
4 22:12 rammer [510]
-Land of the Free
U.S. Bans Laptops, Tablets from Cabins on Flights from Middle East
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/21/2017 10:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [800 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How long to some bullshit-ridden judge overturns this?
Posted by: Crusader || 03/21/2017 10:53 Comments || Top||

#2  If someone's figured out how to make a bomb out of a laptop, then what difference does having it explode in the baggage compartment vs. the cabin make? Or have they quietly deployed those cool 'container things' in the baggage compartment that corral/confine explosive force and prevent the downing of the aircraft? Saw 'em on TV at least 5 years ago...
Posted by: Whitch Turkeyneck3879 || 03/21/2017 11:17 Comments || Top||

#3  If someone's figured out how to make a bomb out of a laptop, then what difference does having it explode in the baggage compartment vs. the cabin make?

Quite a bit of difference. The threat doesn't necessarily have to be a bomb, either.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/21/2017 11:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Would you mind elaborating, Pappy? Always wondered about this...
Posted by: Whitch Turkeyneck3879 || 03/21/2017 12:02 Comments || Top||

#5  I thought I posted something like this last night
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/21/2017 12:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Your posting may have been subject to MOD pruning, BP.

Electronic devices have batteries, WT.
Most often they are 'shielded' by their casing such that the standard scoping devices will not discern multiple compartments within the battery shell. Simple enough to insert a short term power source into a much larger shell leaving room for a binary aerosol nerve agent or biological. The device boots and looks operational upon inspection.

Other hideaways are the airgap in polymer touchscreen displays or bubble membrane keyboards, and semtex molded 'chicklet' keyboards. The external 110->12v power supplies can also be formed from det cord with a brick of C4 substituted for the transformer.
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/21/2017 13:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Thanks, Skid. So, what effect does storing such a device in the baggage compartment vs. in the cabin have? Is it perhaps related to baggage compartment being unpressurized or 'sealed off' from the rest of the plane? I wonder if airlines have somehow 'reinforced' the baggage compartments given the evolving threat environment (kinda like what they did to the cockpit doors after 9/11)? Thanks in advance for your patience with my uninformed questions/suppositions.
Posted by: Whitch Turkeyneck3879 || 03/21/2017 14:23 Comments || Top||

#8  Decompression - right there with ya WT3879. We've had Shoe Bomber, and Underoos Bomber - seems legit.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 03/21/2017 14:33 Comments || Top||

#9  If someone's figured out how to make a bomb out of a laptop,

Ever hear of an arduino or raspberry pi - very small pack-of-cards or smaller sized microcontroller / computer. I have an arduino 'nano' programmable microcontroller the size of an IC. These are built to hook up to things like temprature / altitude senors and can be stuff in an existing working pocket radio or old radio-shack clock.

I'm surprised one hasn't been used yet.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/21/2017 14:55 Comments || Top||

#10  So, what effect does storing such a device in the baggage compartment vs. in the cabin have?

As you alluded, the baggage area is not pressurized. The cabin area is, and the resultant depressurization from an explosion would have more of an immediate detrimental (and likely a cascading) effect on the aircraft. Now factor in the possibility of two or more of these devices, distributed throughout the aircraft...

The cabin is also essentially a restricted-environment system; susceptible to aerosols. I'd surmise that an aerosol threat would be more likely to be biological in origin, the idea being to spread the contamination outside of the initial target population.

The baggage compartment in flight is also not conducive to aerosol dispersion. Also, considering the flights affected are from overseas, and likely foreign-flag carriers may reduce the effect of a biological or chemical release from the baggage compartment after arrival.

Also left out all this is the possibility of an electronic device that would interfere with avionics and/or other aircraft systems.

My conjecture on the actual reason for the ban. Less comjecture on the effects.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/21/2017 15:40 Comments || Top||

#11  Nice, Pappy.
'To aid loading and offloading' bags get packed into containers which are designed for fire containment. The hold also generally has a fire suppression system and by nature or design is oxygen depleted. The overhead bins do not/are not though they can have heat sensors for flight deck alarms.
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/21/2017 17:06 Comments || Top||

#12  Consider a pile of laptops.
Posted by: KBK || 03/21/2017 17:44 Comments || Top||

#13  I've wondered since 9/11 which played hell with my travel every week for months and months thereafter how hard it would be to weaponize a laptop.

The battery and power supply seemed ready made C4 containers complete with wires and how hard would it be to conceal the blasting cap?

Since it never happened I figured I was missing something and it was too hard but what the hell?
Posted by: AlanC || 03/21/2017 19:17 Comments || Top||

#14  Batteries in laptops generally have 3 or 5 cells (individual batteries). Replace one cell with whatever and the laptop still works.

For a while, some airports required you to open a laptop to demonstrate it did have batteries in it.

I have thought for quite a while, that laptops on planes were a major risk. But the number of people travelling with them would make a total ban very inconvenient for many people, which I suspect is the reason for this partial ban.

BTW, Australian airports check maybe a third of passengers for explosive residues.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/21/2017 19:25 Comments || Top||

#15  Many laptops also have slide-out optical disks which would be trivially easy to replace with chunk of explosive, yet the laptop would still boot & run otherwise.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/21/2017 19:35 Comments || Top||

#16  If I recall correctly, most pressurized aircraft have the baggage compartment pressurized. The hull of modern jets and pressurized turboprops have a round, or oblong cross section that is efficient as a pressure vessel. The baggage compartment can be air conditioned or heated separately from the passenger area. Because of shipping perishables, live animals or other altitude sensitive things, you need pressurization and you will need heat at altitude to prevent freezing.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/21/2017 19:41 Comments || Top||

#17  So basically, a few weeks ago we confirmed some actionable intel from AQAP. Interesting timing, that.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 03/21/2017 21:26 Comments || Top||

#18  Yep and AQAP are the ones with that badass bombmaker
Posted by: Vernal Theper9301 || 03/21/2017 21:35 Comments || Top||

#19  The airports touched by the ban are Queen Alia International in Amman, Jordan; Cairo International in Egypt; Ataturk in Istanbul, Turkey; King Abdulaziz International in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; King Khalid International in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International; Mohammed V International in Casablanca, Morocco; Hamad International in Doha, Qatar; and the Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports in the United Arab Emirates.

No US carriers make direct flights from these airports, so they are unaffected by the ban, which will hit Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.


Good to know.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/21/2017 23:10 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Big Turban dies in drone attack in Paktika province
A US drone strike killed Qari Yaseen, the alleged militant wanted for several high profile attacks across Pakistan, local media reported on Monday.

Yaseen, with a bounty of Rs2 million and wanted for attacks on the Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, ISI’s Lahore office, Marriot Hotel, Data Darbar and the Sri Lankan cricket team, was killed in the drone strike.

Three of the alleged militant’s accomplices were also killed in the US drone strike which was reportedly carried out in Barmal district of Paktika province in Afghanistan.

Yaseen was allegedly affiliated with several militant outfits and had received training from Jundallah and Al Qaeda. He was also wanted for attacks on Shuja Khanzada and former president Pervez Musharraf.

The alleged militant, who belonged to Lodhran district of Punjab, was said to be an expert in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and bombs.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Quid pro quo for other drone strikes in Paki-land, past or future?
Posted by: Pappy || 03/21/2017 11:44 Comments || Top||


Taliban’s mine planter arrested in Laghman province
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A key Taliban group member who was involved in planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on roadsides has been jugged
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
by the Afghan cops.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security
...the Afghan national intel agency...
(NDS), said the detained murderous Moslem has been identified as Sultan Mohammad who was covertly operating in the lovely provincial capital.

NDS further added that the murderous Moslem was arrested by the Special Forces of the Afghan intelligence from the vicinity of Kala Kot area.

According to NDS, the security forces also confiscated an Ak-47 rifle, 20 landmines, and several rounds of ammunition.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [225 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Airstrike targets prominent Taliban leader’s compound in Laghman
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] An Arclight airstrike was carried out on a hideout of a prominent Taliban leader in eastern Laghman
...It has a population of about 445,600, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society. During the invasions of Alexander the Great, the area was known as Lampaka, wich is apparently Olde Macedonian for Laghman.The city of Mihtarlam serves as the bucolic capital of the province. The population is half Pashtun, the remainder Tadjik and Pashai. It had a reputation for great wealth until it was conquered in the tenth century by Abu Mansur Sabuktigin.
He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing the idol-temples, he established Islam in them, He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolatrous and gratifying the Musulmans. After wounding and killing beyond all measure, his hands and those of his friends became cold in counting the value of the plundered property.

province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government in a statement said the Arclight airstrike was carried out earlier today in the vicinity of Gul Aram located in Alingar district.

The statement further added that the forces of Evil have suffered casualties during the Arclight airstrike but the exact number has not been ascertained so far.

The Arclight airstrike was carried out by the Afghan Air Force, the statement said, adding that the Taliban leader whose hideout was hit has been identified as Nikmal.

According to the local officials, is a prominent Taliban leader who has involved in numerous terrorist related activities during the recent years.

Laghman has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 but the anti-government armed murderous Moslem groups have increased their insurgency in some parts of the province during the recent years.

Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [198 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Africa Horn
Several Grenade blasts heard in Mogadishu
Several grenade blasts were heard in Mogadishu on Monday evening,
...not clear how that differs from any other evening in Mogadishu...
targeting some military base in the northern of the capital.

Witnesses said the explosions happened near the defense ministry compound, which now house to hundreds of Somali and AMISOM forces. A heavy gunfire was heard following the blasts near the army barracks in Deynile district, and no casualty figures was reporter up until now.

Security force units had sealed off the area, and launched a manhunt for the suspects behind the grenade attack.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [225 views] Top|| File under:


Africa North
Fighting starts near Tamenhint airbase in southern Libya
Benghazi, 20 March 2017:

The road from Jufra to Sebha has been blocked as the Libyan National Army (LNA) mounts an assault on the Tamenhint airbase held by the Misratan Third Force. Reports that the LNA were also advancing on Sebha were denied by the town’s mayor.

The Libyan air force carried out a series of air strikes in advance of the assault which is being led by General Mohamed Ben Nail. LNA sources have told this newspaper that armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter has now deployed the 12th, 181th, 116th, 121th Brigades for the advance.

The mayor of Sebha, Hamed Rafeh, told the Libya Herald that his town had so far been unaffected by the attack, more than 30 kms north in Tamenhint.

Nonetheless, he said he would be happy to see the Third Force pull out, so long as the LNA present themselves as a fully-functioning, disciplined force capable of protecting Sebha’s population.

Unfortunately however a Turkish citizen was abducted today outside the PVC factory where he worked. According to Alwasat, the kidnappers demanded LD 20,000 which appears to have been paid very quickly, perhaps to quickly.

The gang then refused to release the man, who has not been named, and have instead demanded a new ransom of LD 200,000.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Islamic State claims Israel bombed its members in Sinai
[IsraelTimes] Amaq news agency reports Israeli planes hit jihadist group near Rafah on Thursday.

Israeli jets bombed 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....
targets in the Sinai Peninsula Thursday, killing several people, including two children, the jihadist group’s official news outlet claimed Saturday.
Good! Keep it up, Moishe!
The Amaq news agency report said that Israeli planes struck the targets in the northern Sinai, near the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.

There was no independent confirmation of the report.

The reported Arclight airstrike came the same day Israeli Air Force jets struck two Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", installations in the north of Gazoo in response to rocket fire from the territory at Israeli communities. In that incident a rocket landed in an empty field in the Sdot Negev Regional Council near Netivot.

The rocket went kaboom! on impact. No one was hurt and no damage was reported from the kaboom.

Two rockets were launched from the Strip Saturday morning. One rocket went kaboom! near the city of Ashkelon, north of Gazoo, causing no casualties or damage. The second apparently fell inside Paleostinian territory.

The Israel Defense Forces responded with tank fire and air strikes at several Hamas targets in the Strip. There were no reports of casualties.

Hamas, the terror group that rules Gazoo, has largely refrained from firing rockets into Israel since it fought a devastating war with Israel in 2014. Launches have often been ascribed to radical Salafist groups associated with the Islamic State.

Still, Israel has routinely responded by striking Hamas targets, with the military saying it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from the territory it controls.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under: Ansar al-Sharia

#1  Hey, it's not like ISIS didn't put a target on their backs with their brutality. There was no independent confirmation of the report bombings. Write off to ISIS propaganda--if Israel did do it, good on Israel.
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/21/2017 7:55 Comments || Top||

#2  el-Sisi smiles.
Posted by: AlanC || 03/21/2017 8:07 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Soddy border guards kill 3 smugglers in southern Arabia
Riyadh – Saudi Border Guards recently thwarted several attempts to plant land mines and smuggle weapons and more than half ton of weed at the southern border, according to the Saudi Ministry of Interior.

Thirty smugglers were arrested, including 19 Ethiopians, seven Yemenis, three Saudis and one person of an unknown nationality, said the spokesperson. The ministry reported that 1,265 infiltrators — including 847 Yemenis, 309 Ethiopians and 16 Somalis, among others — were also arrested.

In an exchange of gunfire with smugglers, three were killed and two injured. Eight military land mines, 23 weaponry pieces, and 32,160 rounds of live ammunition were seized. An estimated 607 kilograms of weed were also captured by authorities.

The Interior Ministry said there is a security threat to the Saudi-Yemeni border. Threats include terrorist attempts to attack border posts, plant land mines and smuggle explosives, weapons and drugs, in addition to attempts to threaten the lives of security and military men.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:


Yemen: 20 Houthi rebels killed near Saudi border
[AA.TR] At least 20 Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
rebels were reportedly killed in a failed attempt
Curses! Foiled again!
to attack government positions in Yemen’s northern Saada province near Saudi border, according to the Yemeni army.

Houthi forces of Evil on Sunday attempted to sneak into army positions in Souq al-Buqaa area in northern Saada, the army said in a statement cited by the pro-army September 26 website.

The statement cited a military source saying 20 Houthi rebels were killed when government forces aborted the attack.

"The militias sustained heavy losses," the source said.

There was no comment from the Shia Houthi group on the claim.

Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under: Houthis

#1  The Houthi rebels are supported by Iran. During the last Obama administration, a lucrative deal was penned with Iran. Do you suppose any of the Iran boodle found its way to the Houthis? Maybe cutting off arms to the Houthis was not part of the deal.

In 2003, the Houthi's slogan "God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam became the group's trademark." The usual unhinged diatribe and rantings.
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/21/2017 7:45 Comments || Top||


Britain
Extremist pleads guilty; had Islamic State data in cuff link
[Ynet] A British court has disclosed that 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....
-linked hard boy has pleaded guilty to five offenses after being found with incriminating information stored in a cuff link.

Samata Ullah had a USB-equipped cufflink with a Linux operating system loaded onto it that was used to store hard boy data, including a blog.

He pleaded guilty earlier this month at the Old Bailey courthouse to five offenses including possession of an article for terrorist purposes. The court withheld the information until Monday for legal reasons.

The 34-year-old from Wales was jugged
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
in September and admitted ties to the so-called Islamic State group. He was found to have provided instructional videos on how to protect sensitive data and remain anonymous online through encryption programs.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/21/2017 00:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [424 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Samata Ullah had a USB-equipped cufflink with a Linux operating system loaded onto it that was used to store hard boy data, including a blog.

I'm a bit of a neophyte when it comes to computers but is it possible to load everything into a cufflink? It also strains credulity to picture members of ISIS wearing cufflinks.
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/21/2017 7:29 Comments || Top||

#2  There are USB memory cards that are small enough to be disguised in some way as a cuff link. There are some that have more than enough space on them to have a complete Linux operating system and a ton of data.

I have a few Raspberry Pi's and BeagleBone micro computers slightly bigger than a matchbox that use these cards for just that.
Posted by: Spinesing Gray3122 || 03/21/2017 8:21 Comments || Top||

#3  You can put a lot of data on a 8GB flash drive, including a lightweight Linux full operating system (like Puppy or Xubuntu), and still leave room for a WordPress 'blog'

That being said, a quick search shows that 'USB Cufflinks' are pretty easy to come by and maybe even come in desirable Jihadist styles/colors from elsewhere.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/21/2017 8:27 Comments || Top||

#4  That's why I love Rantburg!
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/21/2017 9:47 Comments || Top||

#5  I find it interesting that anyone even looked for a USB cufflink. Sounds like extreme diligence or a tip-off.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 03/21/2017 10:13 Comments || Top||

#6  I used to have a tie clip with an Ethernet port. But I stopped wearing it because I was always tripping over the cable.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/21/2017 10:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Nod back to WWII spycraft where they had micro-dots in their cufflinks, and even small cameras that could take a picture or two.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/21/2017 10:41 Comments || Top||

#8  No Whiskey Mike, I'm just anal about some stuff.

Sure, you could call it 'diligence' I suppose.

SteveS, that's great! I'll steal that line.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/21/2017 13:26 Comments || Top||

#9  I'm so inured with terrorism threats that all I can think is "that's one dapper Jihadist."
Posted by: regular joe || 03/21/2017 13:32 Comments || Top||


Europe
French Airport Attacker 'Had Drunk and Taken Drugs'
Edited for new information.
[AnNahar] The man rubbed out at Gay Paree's Orly airport after attacking a soldier was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, a judicial source said Sunday.

Investigators are still trying to understand what motivated Saturday's assault by 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, which led to a major security scare and the temporary closure of the capital's second-busiest airport.

"Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per liter in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine," the source said.
Such things are permitted to those setting out on jihad. The 9/11 highjackers got drunk at strip clubs before the big day, as I recall.
Ben Belgacem's father had insisted earlier Sunday that his son was "not a terrorist" and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.

The attacker, who had also fired at police in a northern Gay Paree suburb earlier that morning, was rubbed out by two other soldiers after a scuffle.

Investigators were examining his telephone.
Prediction: his phone contains the Telegram app, and he has been holding long Telegram chats with someone in Raqqa.
The attack at Orly comes with La Belle France still on high alert following a wave of jihadist attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives in two years.

The violence has made security a key issue in La Belle France's two-round presidential election on April 23 and May 7.
The deplorables have an impact, another fallout of Brexit, Trump, and Geert Wilders.
- Not on terror watchlist -
Ben Belgacem's brother and cousin were released Sunday after they, like the attacker's father, were held for questioning. All three had approached police themselves on Saturday after the attack.

After spending Friday night in a bar with his cousin, Ben Belgacem was pulled over by police for speeding in the gritty northern Gay Paree suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, where he lived, just before 7:00 am. He drew a gun and fired, slightly injuring one officer.

Ben Belgacem later appeared at the bar where he had been the previous night, firing more shots and stealing another car before continuing on to the airport.

Gay Paree prosecutor Francois Molins said Ben Belgacem appeared to have become caught up in a "sort of headlong flight that became more and more destructive."

Dozens of flights to and from Orly were canceled during an hours-long shutdown after the incident, but by Sunday afternoon air traffic had returned to normal, a spokeswoman for the Gay Paree airports authority said.

At the time of his death, Ben Belgacem was carrying a petrol can in his backpack, as well as 750 euros ($805) in cash, a copy of the Koran, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/21/2017 00:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under: Moslem Colonists

#1  Most likely, the greatest opiate was his religion and promises of 72 virgins despite what his father said.
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/21/2017 7:33 Comments || Top||

#2  if all your sins are cleared away dying in jihad then why not have some fun?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/21/2017 9:52 Comments || Top||


CCTV footage shows moment Orly Airport attacker grabs soldier’s gun
Footage has emerged of the moment a man was rubbed out on Saturday by French police after seizing a soldier’s gun at Gay Paree Orly airport in La Belle France.

The recording, which was made available on Monday, shows 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem approaching a French soldier from behind and the consequent struggle over the weapon.

The busy Orly airport south of Gay Paree was evacuated and security forces swept the area for bombs to make sure the dead man was not wearing an boom belt, but nothing had been found.

Around 3,000 passengers were evacuated from the airport at the time of the attack, the second busiest in the country.

Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Dramatic video - nothing like what I imagined from the news reports...lots in the video to comment on:

- citizens just walking by and not assisting the soldier in trouble.
- the attack from behind on what appeared to be the tail end charlie.
- what appeared to be a successful conclusion though.
Posted by: Tennessee || 03/21/2017 10:56 Comments || Top||


Greek police confiscate 8 packages with explosives
[AA.TR] Authorities found eight packages with explosives Monday that were intended for European recipients, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

The packages were identical to two sent last week to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and to IMF offices in Gay Paree.

A local terrorist organization, Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, grabbed credit for the packages last week.

The eight found Monday were confiscated by authorities who located them at the Greek Post Office's distribution center in Kryoneri, Athens, police said.

Police have not yet announced who the recipients were but only that the packages were to be sent to European countries.

Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


The Grand Turk
Three suspects linked to perpetrator of ISIL attack on Berlin market caught in Istanbul airport
[Hurriyet]. Three suspects allegedly linked to the slain perpetrator of an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last year have been apprehended at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced on March 20.

Police caught Lebanese-origin German citizen suspects, identified as Mohammad Ali Khan, Youssef Darwiche and Bilal Yosef Mahmoud, at Istanbul’s main airport upon intelligence that they would try to go to Europe, the ministry stated.

A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital on Dec. 19, 2016, killing 12 people and wounding 49 others.

The jihadist group had claimed responsibility for the truck rampage one day later.

The suspects’ apprehension comes one week after police in the western province of İzmir caught an ISIL militant who allegedly ordered the attack.

The Jordanian-origin German man, identified only by the initials W.D., had arrived in Turkey via illegal means to cross into Greece after the attack. He was suspected of giving the order of the attack to Tunisian-origin ISIL militant Anis Amir, who was killed in Milano and subsequently arrested.

According to examinations of Amir’s phone, some suspected names were in Turkey.

On March 11, a Syrian-origin ISIL suspect, identified only by the initials M.A.K., was also believed to be in İzmir and was caught in a raid on the hotel where he was staying.

M.A.K. said he arrived in İzmir to cross into Greece and was reportedly planning to stage attacks in Europe.

He was also arrested pending trial by a Turkish court on March 20.

Previously, two other suspects had been apprehended in Istanbul after police established their connections with Amir and they were later arrested.

Separately, the ministry announced on March 20 that some 24 militants were “neutralized” during security operations over the past week, with 13 of them were killed and the other 11 surrendered to security forces.

The ministry said in a statement that it conducted 230 operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, detaining a total of 999 suspects in one week on charges of aiding and abetting the organization.

It also added that some 70 ISIL suspects were detained in the operations.

Another 28 Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) suspects and 28 others linked to leftist terror organizations were also detained, it stated.

In the southeastern and eastern provinces of Batman, Bingöl, Ağrı, Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Tunceli, 21 shelters and caves used by PKK militants were also destroyed, according to the statement.

Security forces also seized 65 different models of weapons - 34 of them heavy and long-barrel firearms - 15 grenades and 19 improvised explosive devices.

In addition, two PKK militants were killed on March 20 during a security operation in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, according to the Diyarbakır governor.

“With two more terrorists killed this morning, the number of terrorists killed as risen to eight,” Governor Hüseyin Aksoy told journalists.

On March 19, two soldiers, who were seriously wounded during the ongoing operations, succumbed to their injuries while six PKK militants were also killed.

Gendarmerie Captain Fuat Oğuzcan and Gendarmerie Specialized Corporal Zinnur Ezim were later sent to their hometowns on March 20 to be laid to rest.

Security forces have been conducting broad operations against the PKK in the Lice, Kulp, and Hani districts since March 5.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


Iraq
Mosul Offensive News


Iraqi forces continue drive in western Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The Iraqi Federal Police command said Monday its troops resumed advances towards a strategic mosque in western Mosul as operations continue to clear the region from Islamic State militants.

The command said its forces proceeded towards Al-Hadbaa (leaning) Minaret at the Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a famous sermon in 2014 proclaiming the establishment of an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq.

The statement said forces had killed 36 Islamic State members and destroyed 13 booby-trapped vehicles.

Inclement weather over the past few days had added to the difficulties facing Iraqi troops eyeing the Old City, a strategic target where the mosque is located. The area’s narrow alleyways and the density of the civilian population therein had prompted Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition troops to rely solely on precision air and artillery strikes without advancing on the ground.

Iraqi government troops recaptured eastern Mosul in January and are working to retake the western side of the city, making a remarkable progress by recapturing major government facilities, the city’s airport and a major military base.

Operations in Mosul have displaced more than 200.000 civilians since October, according to Iraqi government and United Nations counts.
Google Map at the link
3 ISIS members shot to death in western Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Unknown individuals attacked a vehicle driven by Islamic State militants in western Mosul and killed all on board, an Iraqi security official said Monday.

Anadolu Agency quoted Cap. Abdul-Karim al-Lami, from the Interior Ministry’s intelligence unit, saying the attackers shot at the militants’ pickup truck in al-Najjar area, killing all on board and setting fire to the vehicle before fleeing away.

According to Lami, Islamic State members, boarding more than 12 vehicles, arrived to the scene of the attack, cordoning the area off and carrying the corpses away. He added that the militants searched civilians’ homes and arrested 32 young men, taking them to an unknown destination.

Iraqi government troops launched a major offensive in February to retake western Mosul from Islamic State militants. The troops recaptured the eastern side of IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq in January.

Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in statements on Monday that his forces, fighting militants in western Mosul’s densely-populated and-structured Old City, was relying on drones as well as “internal revolutionary detachments” to “hunt Daesh(Islamic State) militants and destroy its defenses without causing harm to civilians or public and private property.”

Since operations launched in October 2016 to retake Mosul, occasional news reports spoke about attacks and assassinations of IS members by unknown assailants at areas under the extremist group’s control, arousing doubts about whether some indignant civilians started to voluntarily take arms against militants.

Iraqi airstrikes kill 67 ISIS Bad Guys near Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets and offensives by infatry divisions killed 67 Islamic State militants west of Mosul on Monday, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Airstrikes targeted IS locations in Al-Mazraa, Tal al-Banat and Toula Bash in Tal Afar and Sinjar, according to the ministry. The strike killed 47 militants and also destroyed five booby-trapped vehicles belonging to the group.

Infantry divisions also killed 20 IS members in Tal Afar, according the ministry.

Iraqi government troops launched a major offensive in February to retake western Mosul from Islamic State militants. The troops recaptured the eastern side of IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq in January.

Earlier on Monday, the Iraqi Air Force said in a statement it killed 2200 Islamic State fighters since operations launched to retake western Mosul.

Iraqi government forces have made remarkable victories over IS in western Mosul, retaking major government facilities, Mosul’s Airport and a major military camp. They are currently setting eyes on recapturing the Old City, which hosts the Grand Nuri Mosque where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Iraq.

Iraqi security commanders have claimed retaking a half of the western side of the city.
Google Map at the link
5 ISIS suspects detained in Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) A police officer revealed on Monday, that security forces arrested five civilians, on charges of supporting the Islamic State group, while started to issue permits for people who like to leave the city of Mosul.

Captain Amir Wathiq said in a press statement that police forces arrested five civilians, on charges of supporting to the self-proclaimed Islamic State group, in the liberated areas in central Mosul.

Furthermore, security forces issued permits for people who like to want to leave the city of Mosul, toward Baghdad or Kurdistan Region, Wathiq added.

Nineveh Province is witnessing extensive military operations, after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced launching an offensive to liberate the western side of the city of Mosul, in addition to capturing the last stronghold of the Islamic State in the city.

Iraqi forces captures sector in central Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) An officer in the elite Counter-Terrorism forces announced on Monday, that security forces stormed into al-Najifi Street, in central Mosul.

Major Ali Mohsen said in a press statement that troops of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) stormed into al-Najifi Street, in central Mosul.

Violent battles are currently taking place between security forces and members of the Islamic State terrorist group in the street, Mohsen added.

Nineveh Province is witnessing extensive military operations, after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced launching an offensive to liberate the western side of the city of Mosul, in addition to capturing the last stronghold of the Islamic State in the city.

ISIS captures 9 Iraqi officers in Mosul

[ARA News] Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Monday captured nine Iraqi security officers west of Mosul city, in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate.

“After fierce clashes in Western Mosul, Daesh terrorists took nine police officers, including a colonel, as captives,” the Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The officers were reportedly captured by ISIS after running out of ammunition during the clashes.

“The operation took place in the Bab al-Jadid neighbourhood in western Mosul, where ISIS was able to prevent the Iraqi forces from advancing into its final stronghold in the key city,” head of Nineveh media centre Raafat al-Zarari told ARA News.

In the meantime, more than 180,000 Iraqi civilians have escaped Western Mosul over the past few days amidst escalating violence in the area.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:


Baghdad Bomb and Bullet Bulletin


Suicide bomber dies in attack attempt in al-Zour

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi security killed a suicide bomber before carrying out an attack in northern Baghdad, according to Baghdad security authorities.

The Interior Ministry’s Baghdad Operations division said an attacker vested with an explosive belt and riding a motorbike was killed as security forces ambushed them in al-Zour region, north of the capital.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says violence in the country left nearly 392 dead and 613 injured, excluding security members, during February. Baghdad was the second most affected province with 120 deaths and 300 injuries, according to the organization’s monthly casualty count. It excludes death toll among security members after Iraqi authorities had asked to get such information exclusively from security commands.

Islamic State militants have said they had been responsible for several bloody explosions and attacks that hit the capital in the past months, leaving casualties among civilians and security troops.

2 die in separate bombing attack in Baghdad

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Bomb blasts in northern and western Baghdad killed two civilians and wounded five others on Monday, according to police sources.

A bomb placed on the side of a road near a popular market in Shatt al-Taji, north of the capital, exploded on Monday, killing one civilian and wounded four others, Alsumaria News quoted police sources saying.

Another explosion rocked al-Forat district, at the west of Baghdad, when a bomb fitted beneath a civilian’s vehicle exploded, killing the driver and wounding another who was in his company.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Islamic State militants have said they had been responsible for several bloody explosions and attacks that hit the capital in the past months, leaving casualties among civilians and security troops.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says violence in the country left nearly 392 dead and 613 injured, excluding security members, during February. Baghdad was the second most affected province with 120 deaths and 300 injuries, according to the organization’s monthly casualty count. It excludes death toll among security members after Iraqi authorities had asked to get such information exclusively from security commands.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [204 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Kurds, rebels capture train station near Raqqa
[ARA News] The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Monday seized control of a train station in southeastern Raqqa city, military sources reported.

The progress followed heavy clashes between the US-backed SDF troops and Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.

Dozens of ISIS militants were killed or injured in the clashes on Monday, according to officials.

The station, located in the Qasta al-Sukun district, was used by ISIS as a military base.

“Liberating the train station was another victory for our forces against this radical group,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.

Also on Monday, the SDF alliance drove ISIS out of the Jarqa town–20km east of Raqqa.

In early March, the SDF troops seized control of a main road that was used by Islamic State’s jihadists as a supply line between the cities of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa–the group’s de facto capital in Syria.

This comes as part of the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, aimed at liberating Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists, launched by the SDF on 4 February.

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, 2016, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in Northern Raqqa.

On 10 December, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at isolating the ISIS radical group in its de facto capital.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


Syrian army retakes Damascus areas captured by rebels
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Syrian government forces on Monday regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and bully boyz the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said.

The sudden rebel seizure of territory in the Syrian capital - and the manner in which the attack that took place overnight and into Sunday, with rebels sneaking into the city through underground tunnels and using boom-mobiles - reflected the turbans’ most serious infiltration into Damascus in years.

The Levant Liberation Committee, a coalition of several hard boy groups led by al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, and the independent Failaq al-Rahman faction spearheaded the blitz that caught the Syrian military off guard.

Insurgent groups have repeatedly over the past years tried to break the defenses of Damascus, Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Lord of the Baath...
’s seat of power. Sunday’s incursion, however, was the most serious since 2012, when rebels captured several Damascus neighborhoods before being crushed by government forces.

The rebel gains, though short-lived, came against the backdrop of months of steady losses at the hands of government forces across the country.

Sunday’s fighting centered on a government-held intersection of two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham
...a Syria jihadi group made up of Islamists and salafists, not that there's that much difference, formed into a brigade. They make up the main element of the Islamic Front but they don't profess adoration of al-Qaeda and they've been fighting (mainly for survival) against the Islamic State. Their leadership was wiped out at a single blow by a suicide kaboom at a crowded basement meeting in September, 2014...
rebel faction said opposition fighters had "liberated" the area.

Syrian TV on Monday quoted an unnamed military official as saying the army "regained control of all the points that terrorists" had infiltrated on Sunday. It also quoted Russia’s ambassador to Damascus Alexander Kinshchak as saying one of the embassy’s buildings was hit with a shell during the festivities.

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said the Syrian air force carried out more than 25 Arclight airstrikes on Jobar and nearby areas.

Leb’s al-Manar TV run by the hard boy Hezbollah group, which is fighting along Assad’s forces, reported that members of the elite Elite Republican Guards took part in a counteroffensive against turbans.

The TV reported live from Jobar around noontime Monday as cracks of gunfire and kabooms could be heard in the background of the footage.

The activist Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that in all, 26 soldiers and pro-government gunnies were killed as well as 21 rebels. The Observatory said fighting was still underway Monday.

The government has been trying to pressure the rebels to surrender the pockets they hold in Damascus, following victories in the northern city of Aleppo, the central city of Homs and other Damascus suburbs.

Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under: al-Nusra


Syrian troops, rebels fight it out near Damascus
(Reuters) Intense clashes took place in Damascus early on Monday as the army counter-attacked rebels who had advanced in the northeast of the Syrian capital on Sunday, a war monitor said.

A Syrian military source said on Monday that the army had recaptured all the positions it had lost on Sunday.

A Reuters witness said that warplanes were active above Damascus early in the day and that some streets in government-held areas near the fighting had been closed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor that collects information from a network of sources across Syria, said heavy fighting continued around the Jobar and al-Qaboun districts in the northeast of the city.

Rebels had attacked in Jobar to relieve military pressure after their recent loss of ground in nearby Qaboun and Barza, a commander from the Failaq al-Rahman group which is fighting there said on Sunday.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his army, along with allied Russian, Iranian and Shi’ite militia forces, have put rebels on the back foot with a steady succession of military victories over the past 18 months, including around Damascus.

Rebels still hold a large, heavily populated enclave in the Eastern Ghouta district of farms and towns to the east of the capital, as well as some Damascus districts in the south, east and northeast of the city.

The most recent fighting has focused on the areas around Qaboun and Barza, which the army has isolated from the rest of the main rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta and the eastern districts of Damascus

Syrian airstrikes hammer rebel positions near Damascus

BEIRUT: Syrian warplanes hammered opposition-held neighborhoods of Damascus on Monday after regime forces pushed back a surprise assault that saw opposition try to fight their way into the city center.

The opposition, led by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh Al-Sham Front, launched an attack early Sunday on regime positions in east Damascus, initially scoring key gains.

But forces loyal to President Bashar Assad drove them back by nightfall and began a fierce bombing campaign on Monday morning.

“There have been intense air strikes since dawn on opposition-held positions in Jobar from which the offensive was launched,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The government and allied forces have retaken the initiative and are striking the groups that launched yesterday’s assault,” he added.

Abdel Rahman said it was unclear whether regime forces or their Russian allies were carrying out Monday’s raids on Jobar.
Control of Jobar — which has been a battleground for more than two years — is divided between the opposition and the regime.
On Sunday, opposition fighters seized several buildings in Jobar before advancing into the neighboring Abbasid Square area — the first time in two years that the opposition had advanced so close to the capital’s center.

The clashes left dead at least 26 regime forces and 21 opposition and jihadists, Abdel Rahman said, but he did not have an immediate toll for Monday morning’s air strikes.

Sniper fire and air strikes were heard across the city on Sunday as civilians cowered inside their homes and schools announced they would close because of the violence.


But by Monday, the front line had been pushed back, and AFP correspondents said activity in the typically bustling Abbasid Square was returning to normal levels.

Airplanes could still be heard circling above but many of the roads that had been sealed off by army troops the previous day were reopened.

According to the Observatory, regime forces managed to recapture most of the territory overrun by the opposition in their assault.

Opposition forces still controlled several key points in an industrial zone lying between Jobar and the besieged northeastern district of Qabun to the north, according to the Britain-based monitor.

State news agency SANA said Syrian regime troops were targeting opposition bases around Jobar on Monday.

“The military operations north of Jobar targeted the areas from which the terrorists set out, and a large number of them were killed,” it said.

The Islamist Faylaq Al-Rahman opposition group and the Fateh Al-Sham Front — known as Al-Nusra Front before it renounced its ties to Al-Qaeda — have a presence in Jobar.

Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests against Assad’s rule but has morphed over the years into a complex civil war.

More than 320,000 people have been killed and millions more have been displaced by the conflict.

Syrian forces launch counterattack on Jobar

Syrian army restored on Monday control over all points infiltrated by terrorists a day earlier the in the outskirts of Jobar neighborhood, east of Damascus city.

Military source said that army units launched a counterattack on Nusra Front terrorists in which it secured the factories region north of Jobar, Hezbollah’s Military Media Center reported.

The operation was decisive and accurate in which army units targeted the points which the terrorists infiltrated the area through, the source added, hailing the swiftness of the offensive as well as the cooperation between the military units.

Meanwhile, the source confirmed that the army crushed all of the infiltrating terrorists, including commanders and foreigners.

The source also said that the army units took control of Abbasiyeen area, north of Jobar as well as the power plant, textile industry and the surrounding buildings.

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


ISIS squeezed out of Mosul, Raqqa, concentrating in Deir ez-Zur, says coalition
The noose around ISIS is tightening in its urban strongholds of djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
and Raqqa, and reports have emerged that the group’s leadership has relocated to Syria’s eastern desert region from the Deir ez-Zur area to across the border with Iraq, along on the Euphrates River.

"As ISIS is being squeezed out of Mosul and isolated from Raqqa they are centered largely along the Euphrates River valley, ranging from Raqqa all the way down through Deir ez-Zor, Mayadin, Abu Kamal, and then over into al-Qa'im in Iraq," the press office of the US-led global anti-ISIS coalition told Rudaw English by email. "That is probably their largest concentration of forces."

"We also believe there is a pocket of ISIS fighters there that may grow as they realize they cannot safely re-enter Raqqa and have no ability to get into Mosul in large numbers without encountering Iraqi security forces screening them."

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have also noted movement of ISIS leadership out of Raqqa. On March 10, the spokesperson for the SDF’s campaign to liberate Raqqa, Cihan Shekh Ahmed, stated that they had information the leadership of ISIS had left the city.

Her comments came a couple of days after the SDF cut the main route between Raqqa and Deir ez-Zur, located about 125 kilometres down the Euphrates River, as part of their campaign to oust the bad boy group from its de facto capital.

The assault on the urban centre of Raqqa is expected to be launched within a couple of weeks, in early April.

"Regarding the decision to liberate Raqqa and storm it, the matter is decided and at the start of the month of April the military operation will begin," Sipan Hemo, commander in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), told Rooters last week. The YPG is one of the groups fighting ISIS under the SDF banner in northern Syria.

The SDF is coordinating with the Deir ez-Zur Military Council in its current campaign to isolate Raqqa. The local military council will progress on the city from the east, the SDF stated in February, announcing their partnership.

"By this means we will not only give the people of Raqqa the news of liberation, but also the people of Deir ez-Zur."

ISIS is not in full control of Deir ez-Zur city. The Syrian army controls portions, including an airbase in the south of the city, and the two clash regularly.

On Saturday, the Syrian army advanced against ISIS in the south of Deir ez-Zur, taking control over two positions, state-run SANA reported. The army also fought off an ISIS attack on the southwest of the city, according to the same news agency.

Saturday’s festivities come after ISIS reportedly launched a "broad offensive" against the Syrian army earlier in the week in the vicinity of the city’s airbase and areas south of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

SANA reported that ISIS’ attack on the airbase had been successfully fought off.

The province of Deir ez-Zur is strategically important as it is home to Syria’s largest oil deposits, which have been major sources of income for ISIS. The region has "the most fertile oil and gas fields" left under ISIS control that the group is able to exploit, the coalition’s press office stated.

The coalition has carried out regular Arclight airstrikes in the Deir ez-Zur area, mainly targeting ISIS oil infrastructure and equipment.

The city of Deir ez-Zur had a pre-war population of 211,000, mainly Arab with small Kurdish, Armenian, and Assyrian populations.

The desert around the city contains many mass graves of Armenians killed during the 1915 genocide. It was designated "the destination point and final killing centre of the Armenian deportees," the Armenian National Institute states on its website. "Those who survived the death marches were brought to the desert of Der Zor and murdered in this area."

A memorial was built to the victims, opening in 1990 inside the Armenian Holy Martyrs Church in Deir ez-Zur. On September 21, 2014, Armenian Independence Day, ISIS holy warriors blew up the church, the news outlet Armenia Now reported at the time.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [228 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


Terror Networks
The Beatings Will Continue: Iraqi Edition


ISIS recruits civilians in Mosul

MOSUL: Daesh militants are forcing young men in western Mosul to fight for them in defense of the remaining pockets of their former stronghold against an Iraqi government assault, fleeing residents and Iraqi officers said on Monday.

The forced recruitment is a sign that the hard-line terrorists are growing more desperate as the battle for what was once the de facto capital of their self-proclaimed caliphate enters its sixth month.

Elite Federal Police and Rapid Response units on Monday resumed their cautious advance on Al-Nuri Mosque in western Mosul’s Old City. But thousands of people took advantage of the fog and rain in the early morning to flee Daesh-controlled areas and reach the safety of government lines.

The militants were using residents as human shields, hiding in houses and forcing young men to fight, several refugees said.
Ali, a former government worker, said he had hidden his sons in a basement when Daesh fighters came looking for recruits.

“It feels like the siege is ending. All they are doing now is defending,” he told Reuters. “I hid my sons in the basement and told them if you want my sons you will have to kill me.”

Yassin, a butcher who also escaped from the west side, said Daesh held less ground than before.

“They would come to my butcher shop looking for people so people stayed away. People even stopped going to the mosque because sometimes they would come to take people from there to join the fighting,” he said.

Residents who had left said Iraqi, Syrian and other foreign militants remaining in the area tried to make them stay.

“A French militant beat me and threatened me to force me to stay,” said one woman who gave her name as Um Tahseen.

A Federal Police intelligence officer, Capt. Ali Al-Kinani, said the militants wanted to fill up their ranks as they had suffered heavy casualties.

Some fighters were wearing civilian clothes under their uniforms and would switch outfits to mix in with fleeing civilians, he said.
“We arrested dozens who said that they were forced by Daesh to carry arms or take a bullet in the head if they refused,” Al-Kinani said.
“Many families that fled the fight asked our troops to help their sons. Some young men hiding inside their houses are still waiting for our forces to secure their neighborhoods and rescue them.”

Meanwhile, Daesh captured an Iraqi police colonel and eight other officers in western Mosul after they ran out of ammunition Monday morning, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. The officers were caught around 3 a.m. in Bab Jadid district in Mosul. It was unclear where the officers were, the official said.

Separately, world donors pledged more than $75 million Monday to protect cultural heritage sites threatened by war and the wave of ideological-driven destruction carried out by Daesh militants.

French President Francois Hollande, speaking at a donors’ conference in the Louvre Museum in Paris, said the goal for the heritage fund is $100 million and urged other countries around the world to contribute.

France is pledging $30 million for the fund and Saudi Arabia is committing $20 million, according to the French Culture Ministry. The UAE has promised $15 million, Kuwait $5 million, Luxembourg $3 million, Morocco $1.5 million and philanthropist Thomas Kaplan pledged $1 million.

Switzerland pledged further money in administrative and legal support and will host the fund in Geneva. Italy said it would provide military personnel and conservation experts.

Daesh militants have stolen or destroyed a host of cultural artifacts, including the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, the Mosul museum in Iraq and the 13th century B.C. Assyrian capital of Nimrud, which is also in Iraq.

Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  6 months! Lasting longer than reconquest of Stalingrad! And Daesh ain't the Wehrmacht!But then again the 'good guys' aren't led by Zhukov & Chuikov. What gives?
Posted by: borgboy || 03/21/2017 12:36 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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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.
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Meet the Mods
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Steve White
Seafarious
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john frum
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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2017-03-21
  U.S. Bans Laptops, Tablets from Cabins on Flights from Middle East
Mon 2017-03-20
  Syrian regulars gain control of regions near Palmyra
Sun 2017-03-19
  Four wanted Maute militants nabbed in Lanao
Sat 2017-03-18
  Man shot dead at Paris Orly airport this morning after taking soldier's gun: official
Fri 2017-03-17
  Four Killed as Bangladesh Police Storm Islamist Hideout
Thu 2017-03-16
  Kommander Abdullah, 10 others die in airstrike in Paktika
Wed 2017-03-15
  Dozens killed in suicide bombing at Damascus "Palace of Justice" courthouse
Tue 2017-03-14
  Suspected ISIS gas attack hits Iraqi forces in west Mosul
Mon 2017-03-13
  Kenyan police nab 6 terror suspects in coastal town
Sun 2017-03-12
  Double suicide attack kills 40 in Damascus
Sat 2017-03-11
  Syrian force a ‘few weeks’ from Raqqa, U.S. Marines deployed
Fri 2017-03-10
   Ax attacker at Düsseldorf main train station arrested
Thu 2017-03-09
  Baghdadi abandons Mosul fight to field commanders
Wed 2017-03-08
  IS gunmen dressed as medics kill 30 at Kabul military hospital
Tue 2017-03-07
  Mufti Hannan jailbreak attempt fails
Mon 2017-03-06
  New wave of US air raids on Qaeda in Yemen

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