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Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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The Grand Turk
Turkey orders detention of 216 people in post-coup probe: Anadolu
[AlAhram] Ottoman Turkish authorities have issued detention warrants for 216 people, including former finance ministry personnel, suspected of having links to last year's failed coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

It said 17 former finance ministry personnel were tossed into the calaboose so far and another 65 were sought over alleged links to Gulen's network, Anadolu said.

Separately, authorities carried out operations across 40 provinces targeting "private imams" believed to be recruiting members to the network of U.S.-based holy man Fethullah Gulen
... a Turkish preacher living in Pennsylvania whom the current govt of Turkey considers responsible for all the ills afflicting Turkey and possibly the entire world...
from The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
's armed forces.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [36 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

Home Front: Culture Wars
US charges Iranian over ‘Game of Thrones’ HBO hack
[IsraelTimes] Behzad Mesri, who remains on the lam, accused of stealing scripts of popular show, trying to extort $6 million in Bitcoin from network

The United States on Tuesday charged an Iranian computer whiz with hacking into HBO, stealing scripts and plot summaries for "Game of Thrones," and trying to extort $6 million in Bitcoin out of the network.

US prosecutors in New York unveiled a seven-count indictment against Behzad Mesri, whom they identified as an Iran-based hacker who also goes by the name Skote Vahshat. Mesri is still on the lam, a front man for the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan told AFP.

Mesri is accused of orchestrating a hack of HBO from May to August, then threatening to release stolen data unless the premium cable network paid a $6 million ransom in the digital currency Bitcoin.

US prosecutors say he stole scripts and plot summaries for then unaired episodes of the global smash hit "Game of Thrones" series, and unaired episodes for multiple other shows, including the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" comedy series.

He is accused of compromising multiple user accounts, and in July of sending an anonymous email to HBO personnel saying: "Hi to All losers! Yes it’s true! HBO is hacked!... Beware of heart Attack!!!"

Mesri leaked some of the stolen data over the Internet onto websites he controlled, US federal prosecutors allege.

The Iranian suspect faces seven counts in the United States, including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and four counts of computer fraud.

US prosecutors accuse Mesri of previously conducting computer attacks on behalf of the Iranian military that targeted nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

They also said he was a member of the Iranian-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking group, targeting hundreds of websites in the United States and around the world.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [39 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

Hafiz Saeed set to be freed after LHC turns down extension in detention order
[DAWN] A review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday refused to extend the detention orders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa
...the front organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba...
’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

His current house arrest is going to expire on Nov 24 (Friday).

The review board under the chair of Justice Abdul Sami Khan passed these orders after a senior finance ministry official failed to convince the board that the release of Saeed would bring diplomatic and financial problems to the country.

During the last hearing, the government while seeking extension in the detention orders had argued that Saeed could not be released because the move would result in financial sanctions and a halt in foreign funding to the country. In response, the board had directed the government to send an official from the finance ministry to explain how release of a single individual would affect the entire country.
Posted by: Fred || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [32 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

Pakistan welcomes US offer to take on Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan
[DAWN] Days before crucial talks with the US defence secretary, Pakistain has welcomed an American offer to take action against Death Eaters involved in cross-border raids from the Afghan soil, the Voice of America radio service reported on Wednesday.

The official US news outlet also reported that Pakistain believed the US offer "augurs well" for regional counterterrorism cooperation.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis is expected in Islamabad on Dec 3 for talks aimed at enlisting Pakistain’s support for implementing the new US strategy for Afghanistan. The strategy seeks to force the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
to join the Afghan grinding of the peace processor by defeating them in the battlefield.

Pakistain welcomes the US plan for persuading Taliban to seek reconciliation with the Afghan government but says that there’s no military solution to this dispute.
Posted by: Fred || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [62 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  When I see it.
Posted by: newc || 11/23/2017 2:54 Comments || Top||

Cairo conclave: Palestinian factions call for presidential, legislative elections by end of 2018
[Israel.Times] These would be first votes since 2006; After two days of negotiations in Cairo, sides still deadlocked over the fate of Hamas's military wing.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [33 views] Top|| File under: PLO

New Cold War? Iran Sends Warships to Gulf of Mexico
NewsWEAK hyperventilating, and of course, it's Trump's fault. Of course. Anybody got a dollar to throw away on a hack "Journolism" company. Note they haven't left the Persian Gulf yet and may never...but Trump!
Iranian warships are set to leave the waters of the Persian Gulf to sail across the world and tour another gulf‐the one that lies between the U.S. and Mexico.

At a time when Iran is looking to expand and modernize its military in the face of what is seen as a growing U.S. threat, its newly appointed navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, held his first press conference Wednesday, announcing that a fleet of Iranian ships would soon depart for the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico en route to visits to a number of South American countries, Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported. The move is reportedly part of a push to project Iran’s military on a more global scale and establish international ties as President Donald Trump and his allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, seek to isolate the revolutionary Shiite Muslim power.

"Sailing in open waters between Europe and Americas should be the navy's goal, which will be realized in the near future," Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who served as navy chief for 10 years before being assigned by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to deputy coordinator of the army
Yeah, them open waters. Anything could happen. Anything
Posted by: Frank G || 11/23/2017 07:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [107 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  But will the tug boats make it?
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 11/23/2017 8:29 Comments || Top||

#2  NewsWEAK hyperventilating

Of course it makes their panties moist. Imagine the disappointment and anger if an Iranian boat got to the Gulf of Mexico and the US Coast Guard was sent out to deal with it by dropping slops from a helicopter.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 11/23/2017 8:37 Comments || Top||

#3  ...Hahahahahahahahahahahah, no. They've promised to send ships to US waters on several occasions and the sad truth is they can't really make it out of the PG or the IO coastal waters.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 11/23/2017 9:30 Comments || Top||

#4  What's the Farsi for UNREP?
Posted by: Matt || 11/23/2017 12:02 Comments || Top||

Foreigners Held or Missing in Syria
[AnNahar] The capture by Iraqi and Syrian forces 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....
group's last bastions failed to clarify the fate of several foreign hostages thought to have been kidnapped by jihadists.

The Syrian city of Raqa, which U.S.-backed forces retook in mid-October, was the group's inner sanctum and where many of the kidnapped foreigners were sequestered.

Following is what we know about John Cantlie, a British journalist who was kidnapped by IS five years ago on Wednesday, and about other foreigners still believed held or missing in Syria:


British journalist John Cantlie was detained by the Islamic State group on November 22, 2012.

He was kidnapped along with U.S. news hound James Foley, who became the first of a string of foreign hostages to be slain in gruesome propaganda videos.

Cantlie however appeared in several subsequent videos released by IS in which he delivered jihadist propaganda to the camera in the style of a news report.

His last appearance was during the battle for djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
late last year. He looked very gaunt and tired.

His current whereabouts are unknown and Cantlie's family have chosen discretion as a way of increasing his chances of survival.


The pair, believed to be Russians, were captured in September or early October in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria.

Moscow never confirmed the identity of the two men, who appeared in an IS propaganda video. A Cossack group identified them as two veterans from southern Russia in their late thirties.

Some Russian media reports said they were mercenaries for a shadowy outfit called Wagner which has been sending ex-servicemen to fight alongside Syrian regime forces.

A Russian newspaper said they were executed but their deaths were never confirmed.


Mauritanian national Ishak Moctar and Lebanese national Samir Kassab went missing on October 15, 2013, along with their Syrian driver, near the northern city of Aleppo.

They were believed held by IS but their fate was never confirmed and they are still considered missing. The pair were believed to still be alive in 2016 and held in Raqa.


Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda is thought to have been kidnapped by the al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
Front jihadist group, a former al-Qaeda affiliate, in northern Syria in 2015.

Tokyo describes him as missing. A picture of him holding a piece of paper that read "Help me, this is the last chance" was released in mid-2016 and deemed authentic.


The 36-year-old American journalist was kidnapped in Syria in August 2012 by unidentified gunnies after reporting south of Damascus.

His kidnapping was never claimed by any organization but his family says it has reason to believe the Texan news hound is still alive.


The Jesuit priest known to most as Father Paolo was a well-known figure in Syria, where he lived for years in the 6th century Deir Mar Musa monastery that he renovated, north of Damascus.

He was exiled from Syria in 2012 for meeting with members of the opposition to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Despoiler of Deraa...
's regime and kidnapped by the Islamic State group near Raqa when he returned the following year.

He was reported to have been executed and his body dumped in a crevice soon after but his death was never confirmed by any party.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [36 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Hariri Tells Joyous Supporters Celebrating His Return 'I Will Stay'
[AnNahar] Prime Minister Saad Hariri
Second son of Rafik Hariri, the Leb PM who was assassinated in 2005. He has was prime minister in his own right from 2009 through early 2011. He was born in Riyadh to an Iraqi mother and graduated from Georgetown University. He managed his father's business interests in Riyadh until his father's assassination. When his father died he inherited a fortune of some $4.1 billion, which won't do him much good if Hizbullah has him bumped off, too.
, who returned back to Beirut Tuesday after a mysterious saga that saw his shock resignation in Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
, told thousands of supporters rallying near his Center House in Downtown Beirut on Wednesday that he was staying.

"I'm staying with you... we're continuing together, to be the first line of defense for Leb and its stability," he told a large crowd gathered in front of his home.

Thousands of Hariri supporters flocked to the Center House on Wednesday celebrating his return to Leb and expressing support for the Premier following a surprise resignation on November 4 from Riyadh that left the country in disarray.

Advocates of Hariri gave him a welcome and flocked from different Lebanese regions cheering and flashing banners welcoming his return and chanting to the beat of music resonating in the streets.

Hariri said Wednesday he had agreed to suspend his surprise decision to resign, at the request of President Michel Aoun
...president of Leb, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hizbullah...
, pending talks on the political situation.

The new decision came hours after the premier landed back in Leb for the first time since announcing his resignation in a statement from Saudi Arabia.

"I discussed my resignation with the president of the republic who asked me to wait before submitting it... and allow for more consultations," Hariri told news hounds after meeting Aoun.

"I agreed to this request."

Leb has been gripped by the political crisis precipitated by Hariri's resignation, including the question of whether the premier was being detained in Saudi Arabia, where he remained for two weeks after stepping down.

Aoun had refused to accept Hariri's resignation while the premier was still abroad, and even accused Riyadh of having "detained" the prime minister.

Hariri holds dual Saudi-Lebanese citizenship, and denied he was being held against his will by Riyadh, a close political ally, but accepted a French invitation to visit Gay Paree, leaving the kingdom on November 18.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [50 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

#1  But not for long.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 11/23/2017 6:34 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
6Islamic State
3Moslem Colonists
2Govt of Iran
2Sublime Porte
1Fulani Herdsmen (Boko Haram)
1Govt of Iraq
1Lashkar e-Taiba
1Baloch Liberation Army

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