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German train 'axe attack': Many reported hurt
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Africa Horn
Families left in the lurch in Ganfouda, Benghazi, denounce Haftar’s order to leave
[Libya Observer] The families stranded in Ganfouda district, Benghazi, have decried the urge made by Khalifa Haftar
... served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all...
’s forces to immediately leave the district, denouncing at the same time the threatening language used by those forces, saying there is no guarantee that they would go out safely, and who would receive them and they don’t know whether their passage is secure or not.

The families added that according to experience, they know how rockets and shelling can be fired at them while going out of the district, saying such an experience makes them too horrified and cautious to trust such urges, pointing out that they still remember the agony the elderly went through after they left the area.

"We are not comfortable with the phrase "You have been warned", in the urge sent by Khalifa Haftar’s forces. The families added.

"We don’t refuse to go out of the festivities zone, but we find the timing of urging us out very suspicious and enigmatic, thus we want a safe passage to the city we find fit away from any kind of threats by anyone." They indicated.

Ganfouda residents received paper from the air thrown by Khalifa Haftar’s aircraft calling on them to immediately evacuate their houses before they raid the area, knowing that the families had urged for a safe passage repeatedly, however; Haftar’s militias did not say how they would find a safe passage for the families, yet they just threatened them against staying.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [163 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Africa North
‘Unified’ Libyan army on table at Tunis meeting
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] The UN are set to host a second day of talks in Libya Sunday with the aim of creating a "unified" army in a country wracked by internal divisions and a holy warrior threat.

The organization brokered a power-sharing deal last year to form a Government of National Accord (GNA), but the body is still struggling to assert its authority.

"All Libya’s problems today are tied up to the security issue," said Martin Kobler, head of the UN’s support mission in the country.

The goal of the talks would be "a unified Libyan army under the command of the presidential council," he said Saturday, according to an Arabic translation.

"Libya cannot be united as long as it has several armies," he said at the end of the first day’s meeting, which also touched on humanitarian issues.

The GNA arrived in the capital three months ago, but a rival political authority based in the east is refusing to cede power until Libya’s elected parliament passes a repeatedly delayed vote of confidence.

The controversial leader General Khalifa Haftar
... served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all...
controls forces loyal to this authority.

"I want to meet General Haftar, to see and understand his position. I contact him every week to arrange a meeting, but so far he has refused," Kobler said.

The presidential council would meet on Monday and Tuesday with "influential security parties" for further talks on a unified army, he said, without specifying who these parties would be.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [174 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Arabia
Bahrain court dissolves main Shiite opposition party
[Reuters] A court in Bahrain on Sunday dissolved the main Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq and liquidated the group's funds. Those funds would be claimed by the state treasury. Bahrain's opposition al Wasat newspaper reported that the court found that the group's political activities had "deviated" toward incitement to violence and the encouragement of mass demonstrations and sit-ins that could lead to sectarian strife.

The administrative court ruling follows the closure by officials of Wefaq in June and revocation of the citizenship of a top Shiite cleric.

The government has been shaken by calls for major reforms, and by a serious financial crisis that has forced it to cut subsidies and increase basic prices. The crackdown also follows a diplomatic dispute between Bahrain's main Sunni backer, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The rift has widened since Iranian demonstrators, outraged at the execution of a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia in January, ransacked Saudi missions, prompting Riyadh and Bahrain to cut diplomatic ties with Tehran.
Posted by: ryuge || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [145 views] Top|| File under:


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Georgian Family of Top IS Commander Shishani Mourns His Death
From a few days ago. It looks like this time he really is dead.
[AnNahar] The family of one of the most notorious 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 commanders, Omar al-Shishani, on Friday received condolences from locals in his home village in ex-Soviet Georgia, apparently confirming reports of his death.

Dozens of mourners flocked to the house of Shishani's brother Tengiz Batirashvili in the village of Birkiani, telling AFP there was no doubt of the death of the warlord nicknamed "Omar the Chechen."

Amaq, a news service linked to the Islamic State group, announced this week that Shishani died while defending djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
, the principal city held by IS in Iraq.

The Pentagon on Thursday acknowledged targeting Shishani in an Arclight airstrike near Mosul on Sunday, but stopped short of confirming his death.

"Tarkhan made a mistake and took a wrong path but his death is a tragedy nevertheless," Natia Tsatiashvili, a Birkiani resident, told AFP, using Shishani's real name.

"I watched him growing up and will always remember him as a quiet and kind young man," she said.

Shishani was born Tarkhan Batirashvili in the village in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge which is inhabited by Moslem Kists, descendants of Chechens who migrated to Georgia in the 19th century.

His nom-de-guerre means "the Chechen" in Arabic and he was among dozens of Kists reportedly fighting in Syria and Iraq for the IS group.

"Tarkhan was my sworn brother, I am sure that he couldn't have committed an atrocity," said another villager, Beslan Margoshvili. "His death brings grief to the whole of Pankisi."

A hardened fighter with a distinctive bushy red beard, Shishani had been in the crosshairs of U.S. officials who portrayed him as an experienced warlord and a kind of "minister of war" within the Islamic State group.

The United States put a $5 million bounty on his head.

Shishani has been wrongly reported dead numerous times before, most recently in March when the Pentagon said he had been killed in Syria.

The coalition against the Islamic State has mounted a campaign to eliminate the top commanders of the jihadist group.

President Barack Obama
I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody...
's anti-Islamic State envoy Brett McGurk recently said that the coalition was killing them at a rate of one every three days.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [206 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  I celebrate his ascension!
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2016 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Most likely a descent.
Posted by: Chavique the Flatulent8819 || 07/18/2016 17:06 Comments || Top||


Europe
Nice Attacker 'Not Very Intelligent'
Bouhlel, a resident of Nice, was born in Tunisia but had a permit to live and work in France.

A lawyer who previously defended Bouhlel has said that his former client "wasn't very intelligent" and that he "could have been influenced by religion."

Corentin Delobel defended Bouhlel against charges of assault earlier this year. At that time, he said there were no signs that his client was radicalized but regrets that his defense prevented Bouhlel from doing jail time.

"I told myself I did my job," he said. "But if I had done my job badly, he might be in prison, and he may have never done what he did."

The 31-year-old received a suspended six-month prison sentence this year after being convicted of violence with a weapon, authorities said.

Bouhlel, a heavy drinker with a history of spousal abuse against his wife (the couple was in the process of divorcing), was "very much the stereotype of a petty criminal," Delobel told CNN. "There was nothing that would have suggested in reality he was a jihadist."
He probably was thinking that maybe his false god was real, and that he didn't stand a chance of going to heaven unless he joined the jihad and died because of it, thereby short-circuiting the need to live any kind of pious life.
Posted by: gorb || 07/18/2016 14:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [208 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A lawyer who previously defended Bouhlel has said that his former client "wasn't very intelligent" and that he "could have been influenced by religion."

Could?
Posted by: Raj || 07/18/2016 17:09 Comments || Top||

#2  He was doing work the locals just wouldn't and couldn't do!
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 07/18/2016 17:42 Comments || Top||


France questions if Turkey a ‘viable’ partner in Islamic State group fight
[FRANCE24] La Belle France's foreign minister said on Sunday that questions needed to be asked about whether The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
is a viable partner in the fight against 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....
(IS) group in Syria.

"There are questions that are being asked and we will ask them. It (Turkey) is partly viable, but there are suspicions as well. Let’s be honest about this," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told La Belle France 3 television.

He said he would raise the issue at meeting of the anti-Islamic State (IS) group coalition in Washington next week.

A French official later sought to clarify Ayrault’s comments, saying he had not meant to call into question NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
member Turkey’s viability in the US-led coalition’s fight against the IS group, and that Ankara remained a crucial partner.

Anti-IS group strikes resume
Ayrault’s comments came as the US Department of Defence announced that air strikes had resumed from the critically located Incirlik air base in south-eastern Turkey. The air base was closed temporarily during the coup attempt in the country on Friday.

"As a result, counter-ISIS coalition air operations at all air bases in Turkey have resumed," Pentagon front man Peter Cook said in a statement, using an acronym for the IS group.

"US facilities at Incirlik are still operating on internal power sources, but we hope to restore commercial power soon. Base operations have not been affected."

The Turkish military has recently ramped up its own operations against the jihadist group, which controls swaths of territory along its border.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [183 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  "...critically located Incirlik air base." If it was so critical, why did it take so long to make use of it in the fight with ISIS?
Posted by: Voldemort Barnsmell8316 || 07/18/2016 7:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I think we are going to find out just how critical Incirlik is when the Turks shut it down.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/18/2016 10:18 Comments || Top||

#3  I vaguely knew much of this - from Wikipedia.
Even the early years of its existence proved the value of the presence of the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, not only to counter the threat of the communist Soviet Union during the Cold War, but also to responding to crises in the Middle East, such as in Lebanon and Israel.

Pilots began flying U-2 reconnaissance missions by late 1957, including nonstop flights back and forth between Incirlik and a NATO Air Base at the Norwegian town Bodø starting in 1958.

The Incirlik Air Base was the main U-2 flight base in this entire region beginning in 1956. Until 1 May 1960, when Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles shot down the U-2 of the Francis Gary Powers near Sverdlovsk, Russia.


I didn't notice anything about B-52s being based there. So not so useful today. Maybe Champ wants to trade it off?
Posted by: Bobby || 07/18/2016 13:25 Comments || Top||


Serbia to send army, police on borders because of migrants
[Ynet] Serbia says it will deploy joint army and police patrols on the borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia to curb illegal entry of migrants colonists and people smuggling.

Serbia's move comes days after EU member Hungary started applying harsher border control rules that include sending migrants colonists back across the border to Serbia.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Saturday that "Serbia cannot be a parking ground for people from Afghanistan or Pakistain whom no one else in Europe wishes to accept."
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [181 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Serbia says it will deploy joint army and police patrols on the borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia to curb illegal entry of migrants colonists and people smuggling. Turks.
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2016 0:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Will NATO bomb Serbia again.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 07/18/2016 4:19 Comments || Top||


The Grand Turk
PM: Turkey may question friendship with US over extradition of Gülen
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on July 18 that Turkey may question its friendship with the U.S. amid calls for the extradition of U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gülen after a failed coup attempt.

“Even questioning our friendship may be brought to the agenda here. Nonetheless, our Justice Ministry is conducting the necessary work,” Yıldırım told reporters while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.
Okay, go your own way. We can pull NATO, our military support, and our dollars. Enjoy your new friend Vlad Putin...
The premier also added there was no better evidence than the July 15 coup attempt for the extradition of Gülen, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier requested Ankara send evidence to support Gülen’s extradition.

“Is there better evidence than this? We will be a little bit disappointed if our friends say ‘show us the evidence’ while there are members of this organization which is trying to destroy a state and a person who instructs it,” Yıldırım said.

Ankara has repeatedly called on the U.S. for the extradition for Gülen, who was accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt in the country late on July 15.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/18/2016 09:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But before we depart, rubbelize the airbases
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 07/18/2016 14:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Just get the Nukes out, before you do, or say, anything else.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 07/18/2016 14:29 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm starting to think Erdogan getting his hands on the nukes was part of the plan.
Posted by: phil_b || 07/18/2016 19:08 Comments || Top||


Turkey coup could threaten country's Nato membership sez Kerry
Turkey could lose its membership of the Nato military alliance if it fails to uphold the principles of democracy in the wake of an attempted coup, the US has warned.

Turkey’s government has been urged to uphold “democratic rule” following its response to the attempted coup, which has alarmed both the US and the EU.

Around 8,000 police officers have been removed in the country following the failed coup, with more than 6,000 people in the army, the judiciary and other state bodies arrested as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's response to Friday's events. He has said the people who attempted the coup "must pay," and that the government will consider introducing the death penalty for people beleived to have committed traitorous acts against the state.

At a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that America stands "squarely on the side of the elected leadership in Turkey," but that "we urge the government of Turkey to to uphold the highest standards of respect for the nation's democratic institutions and the rule of law".

While Ms Mogherini warned that countries that allow the death penalty cannot joing the European Union, Mr Kerry added that "Nato also has a requirement with respect to democracy," Washington Post reported.

The US "will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice," he said, "but we also caution against a reach that goes beyond that and stress the importance of the democratic rule being upheld".

The Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has insisted that President Erdogan's government will respect democracy, while Mr Kerry responded that Nato would "measure" its actions. "Obviously a lot of people have been arrested and arrested very quickly," Mr Kerry added, "The level of vigilance and scrutiny is obviously going to be significant in the days ahead. Hopefully we can work in a contructive way that prevents backsliding."

Ms Mogherini said the indcident "is no excuse to take the country away from fundamental rights and the rule of law, and we will be extremely vigilant on that."
Posted by: Steve White || 07/18/2016 09:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [156 views] Top|| File under:


Trial for eight Turkish coup plotters in Greece postponed
A court in northeastern Greece has granted a three-day postponement in the trial of eight Turkish military personnel charged with illegally entering the country after they flew to Greece in a helicopter during a failed military coup attempt in Turkey.
If the Turkish Eight want to remain in Greece forever they should call Carla del Ponte...
The court on July 18 postponed their trial until July 21. The helicopter’s pilot has also been charged with violating air traffic regulations and the other seven as accomplices to the violation. The eight - identified as two majors, four captains and two master sergeants - left court handcuffed to each other in pairs and covering their faces with towels or clothing, in the same way as they had arrived.

Turkey is seeking their return, and all eight have requested asylum in Greece. The Greek government has said their asylum applications will be examined under international law, but that the fact that they are accused in their country of participating in a coup will be taken into account.

“What must be implemented is Greek and international law,” Greek Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas said on private Mega television on July 17. He said the asylum application would be examined, “but I must say that the argument in favor of extradition from the Turkish side is quite strong, I would say very strong.”

On July 18, Vitsas said decisions would be made by the judicial system and noted that the examination of asylum applications “usually takes from 15 to 25 days.”

The military personnel landed in Alexandroupolis on July 16 in a Turkish Black Hawk helicopter after issuing a distress call and requesting permission for an emergency landing. Their lawyer, Vassiliki Ilia Marinaki, has said her clients said they knew nothing about the coup but had been instructed to transport wounded individuals.

They say that shortly after learning of the coup, they came under fire from the police and feared for their lives.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/18/2016 09:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [162 views] Top|| File under:


Syrian state paper says failed Turkey coup fabricated
[GLOBALNEWS.CA] A Syrian government newspaper says the failed coup in The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
was fabricated and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the military.

The daily Al-Thawra said Sunday that the attempted coup was a plot by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him...
to "avenge the military and strip it of its remaining popular support."

It said police loyal to Erdogan "deliberately humiliated" the army in front of the people.

Erdogan is a strong backer of the holy warriors trying to remove Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
The Scourge of Hama...
from power in neighboring Syria. The Syrian government views the rebels as terrorists.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [623 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

#1  Stopped clock?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 07/18/2016 4:23 Comments || Top||

#2  The ruling ANC takes the Obama lead in support of Erdogan. Birds of a feather, so to speak:

“South Africa supports democracy and the rule of law and we are of the firm view that the will of the people must be respected‚” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement. Link
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2016 4:31 Comments || Top||

#3  For certain, the coup was used by Erdogan to destroy Turkey's judicial system. With the army gone, the judiciary gone, the legislative system hamstrung, the press quashed, and the police under his control, Erdogan is now nothing less than Turkey's dictator.
Posted by: Voldemort Barnsmell8316 || 07/18/2016 7:26 Comments || Top||

#4  a lot of speculation on this but I see no way Erdogan could have coordinated this

he would have had to talk military types into doing things that would get them and their families and friends executed

just doesn't add up
Posted by: lord garth || 07/18/2016 7:35 Comments || Top||

#5  With some rather high-cost skin in the game with a critical [moderate Islamic] NATO member, faithful Russian antagonist, and nifty Incirlik Air Base. Did I mention moderate Islamic NATO member ?

It would seem even more odd that, if they did have some indication, even the slightest, that they would not have instantly alerted Erdogan. Tell me, how many thousands of people were involved in the plot again ?

Of course if they (USI) knew, false flag or no, the best thing to do would be to sit back and say nothing. No Embassy evacuation, no US Citizen warning, no evacuation of Insirlik, just claim ignorance and let the kabuki dance play out.

All that's gone missing is the ring leader. Ah yes, good old Fethullah Gülen, 'living the dream' in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Pakistani Dr. Shakil Afridi and filmmaker Nakoula Nakoula must be pounding their fists.

But unfortunately, USI knew nothing of the events unfolding.

Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2016 8:57 Comments || Top||

#6  Erdogan wasted no time going after the judges, almost as if that was part of the plan all along. And I think Assad has more than luck to thank for being alive at this point. He's no stopped clock. He's no strong man like his daddy. But somehow he is still hanging in there.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 07/18/2016 10:06 Comments || Top||

#7  he would have had to talk military types into doing things that would get them and their families and friends executed

Unless 'someone' (or group) in the military/government said that he/they would strongly support them, but only as a ruse to get them to act.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 07/18/2016 10:23 Comments || Top||

#8  MRichard

interesting hypothesis, but, if that were the case, many of the coup leaders would have signed orders or handwritten instructions or recorded conversations or, at least, recollections of someone telling them to attack parliament or take over half a bridge or whatever
Posted by: lord garth || 07/18/2016 11:39 Comments || Top||

#9  ......recollections of someone telling them to attack parliament or take over half a bridge or whatever

They may have, although I don't believe we'd ever hear about it anymore. Erdogan and his operatives won't let anything like that see the light of day.

Will be interested in seeing what the 'detainees' in Greece have to say, though.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 07/18/2016 12:16 Comments || Top||

#10  More likely he knew it was coming and let it happen, so he could implement his purge.

Be interesting to see what he does with a tame military.
Posted by: phil_b || 07/18/2016 13:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Thinking Phil_B is correct. One of those never let a crisis go to waste deals.
Posted by: Shipman || 07/18/2016 15:18 Comments || Top||

#12  Phil_B: Not just a Tame one, but without Secularism and a bunch of yes-men, a lame one as well. I expect Turkey's military ability to drastically decrease over the next 5 years and standards slip, enlistment drops, and vehicles break down with no expertise to fix it.
Posted by: Charles || 07/18/2016 16:30 Comments || Top||

#13  With all the sympathetic lawyers arrested, when they start to drag all the military personnel through the courts, there will be noone left in the country willing to cross examine, question, or disprove the coup in court as a very obvious ruse (thanks Mullah Richard) or prevent very long jail terms of those arrested.
Posted by: teapot || 07/18/2016 19:24 Comments || Top||

#14  Charles, I was thinking this is the road Iran went down, albeit more slowly.

Will we see a Turkish version of the Revolutionary Guards?

At the end of the day Erdogan and everyone around him is a sunni, and all shiia are apostates and heretics to him.

Will we see a long march to the sunni holy sites in Saudi? Right through the Shiia Crescent.
Posted by: phil_b || 07/18/2016 20:25 Comments || Top||

#15  Speaking of coups and intrigue, I remember the old CIA axiom, "if you kick the king, you better kill him. "
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/18/2016 22:41 Comments || Top||


Turkey coup updates Monday a.m.
Now 6,000 detained from Turkish army, judiciary

[Hurriyet] A crackdown on the military and the judiciary in the wake of a failed coup attempt has led to the detention of thousands of soldiers and judges and prosecutors, including commanders and top court members. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on July 17 said around 6,000 suspects, including at least 2,839 soldiers and thousands of judiciary members, have been detained as part of a wide-scale operation launched following the deadly coup attempt initiated by a group of soldiers late on July 15.

“There are currently around 6,000 detentions. It will surpass 6,000. The legal process on these will continue,” said Bozdağ.

Suspects are being charged with “membership of an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to overthrow the government of the Turkish Republic using force and violence or attempting to completely or partially hinder its function.”

The Ankara Governor's Office also announced on July 17 that 149 constables were suspended from their duties for having links to the coup attempt.

The arrest warrants target two members of the Constitutional Court, Alparslan Altan and Erdal Tercan, 48 members of the Council of State, and 140 members of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The detention of 2,745 judicial and administrative judges and prosecutors was ordered after they were suspended from duty by the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) early on June 16.

Many commanders have also been detained and some of them were later arrested.

Greece charges Turkish coup asylum seekers with illegal entry

[AlAhram] Eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece by helicopter after a failed coup were charged on Sunday by a prosecutor with illegal entry and violating Greek airspace, their lawyer said. The men, who have sought asylum in Greece, arrived by military helicopter on Saturday after sending a distress signal to authorities at the airport in the northern city of Alexandroupolis. They were prosecuted for illegal entry into Greece, their lawyer, Ilia Marinaki said, adding that they will appear in court on Monday. She added that they remained under arrest and had not made contact with their families.

The asylum seekers insist they took no part in the putsch and fled to Greece to save their lives "when coppers started shooting against them". Marinaki added that the soldiers -- all married and in their forties -- feared for the safety of themselves and their families.

The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara had asked Athens to send the officers, including two majors, back following Friday night's challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him...
's rule by discontented soldiers in which more than 250 people died.

Erdogan spoke late on Saturday by phone with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and thanked him for his stance during the failed uprising, according to Greek government sources. Tsipras had early Saturday expressed his "support for the democratically elected" Turkish government.

According to Athens News Agency, the Greek Prime Minister told Erdogan that the procedure for the Turkish asylum seekers will be swift but in line with international law and human rights treaties.
...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty...
Greek government sources estimate that the procedure will take up to two weeks.

Early Sunday, the Blackhawk helicopter the asylum seekers had used was flown back to Turkey.

France says question marks over Turkey's role in fighting ISIS

[Ynet] France's foreign minister said on Sunday that questions needed to be asked on whether Turkey was a viable partner in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

"There are questions that are being asked and we will ask them. It (Turkey) is partly viable, but there are suspicions as well. Let's be honest about this," Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television. He said he would raise the issue at meeting of the anti-Islamic state coalition in Washington next week.

Turkey gives new death toll in failed coup

[Ynet] A Turkish official says more than 190 citizens, most of them military, and more than 1,400 people were wounded in Friday's failed coup attempt. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said the fatalities excluded "terrorists" in reference to those who acted against the government. At last count, government officials said at least 104 conspirators were killed in the unrest.

Top Erdogan military aide arrested — report

[IsraelTimes] A top military aide of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was taken into custody on Sunday after Friday’s attempted coup, state-run news agency Anadolu reported. Ali Yazici is accused of involvement in the coup plot and was in Ankara during the putsch, CNN-Turk says. He had only begun working for the president in August last year, according to Anadolu.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An indication that this coup was a set-up from the beginning was the fact that no leader or circle of leadership emerged from the outset. Without a charismatic leader -- even if one has to be created -- the people will not rally to the rebels. If it was an inside job, it is quite likely our intelligence apparatchiks were out to lunch.
Posted by: Voldemort Barnsmell8316 || 07/18/2016 7:35 Comments || Top||

#2  disclaimer: I've never successfully staged a coup in a medium-sized country

Seems to me, if your coup fails in a matter of hours, you are doing it wrong. A couple general rules:
1) get a lot of people on your side. The more the merrier
2) Snatch or whack Dear Leader and his closes minions
3) Take over the media.

The army has done this a couple of times to keep Turkey from turning into Yet Another Islamic Sh!t-hole. Those guys are purged so there is no organizational memory, but the young bloods have at least seen the plays run.

Personally, the whole thing smells a bit Reichstag-ish, what with the quick failure of the plot and the equally quick removal of judges in the aftermath, the fact a rebel F-16 could have engaged Erdy's plane.

And no, I don't think the US was involved. Kerry and his merry band of dwarves couldn't overthrow lunch, while the CIA is busy hunting Islamophobes.

"But it can't be a set-up!", you say. "What about all the dead people?", you ask. Stop thinking like a Westerner, I retort.

Posted by: SteveS || 07/18/2016 19:26 Comments || Top||


US-based cleric denies involvement in Turkey coup bid
Not clear that the AFP reporter actually talked with Gulen or just assembled snips from other newspapers that did...
The US-based cleric that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says is behind an attempted military coup in Turkey has denied any involvement, suggesting that the coup could have been staged by the president himself. Erdogan has accused Gulen, a reclusive Muslim cleric living in self-imposed exile in a mountain town in Pennsylvania, of being behind Friday's bloody putsch attempt. He wants Washington to extradite Gulen to Turkey.

The 75-year-old Gulen was once a close Erdogan ally but the two fell out in recent years as the Turkish president became suspicious of Gulen's movement, Hizmet, and its powerful presence in Turkish society, including in the media, police and judiciary.

Gulen condemned the military uprising "in the strongest terms" shortly after the coup attempt began late Friday. And in a rare meeting Saturday with a small group of reporters at his compound in the town of Saylorsburg, in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Gulen rejected charges of being the coup mastermind.

"I don't know who my followers are," Gulen said when asked if any of his backers were involved in the coup attempt, according to The New York Times.

"Since I do not know these individuals, I cannot speak of their potential involvement. It could be something from the opposition or nationalists. I have been away from Turkey for 30 years and have not been following this."

Gulen moved to the United States in 1999, before he was charged with treason in Turkey. He has since led a secluded life in Pennsylvania and rarely makes public appearances.

"There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup and it could be meant for further accusations" against Gulen and Hizmet members, the preacher said, according to The Guardian.

Gulen said that he rejects all military interventions and fully supports a government that emerges from free and fair elections.

"After military coups in Turkey," he said, according to The Guardian, "I have been pressured and I have been imprisoned. I have been tried and faced various forms of harassment."

Now that Turkey "is on the path to democracy, it cannot turn back," he said.

Erdogan appealed to President Barack Obama in a Saturday speech to extradite the "man who lives in Pennsylvania" to Turkey.

"The United States -- you must extradite that person," he told thousands of supporters in Istanbul on Saturday, without referring to Gulen by name.

Secretary of State John Kerry, traveling in Luxembourg, said that Washington has not received any formal extradition request. Washington has invited the Turkish government "to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny and the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgements about it appropriately," Kerry said.

The Guardian asked Gulen if he would have returned to Turkey had the coup succeeded.

"Indeed, I miss my homeland a lot," Gulen said. "But there is another important factor, which is freedom. I am here, away from the political troubles in Turkey and I live with my freedom."
Posted by: Steve White || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [141 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Politix
Secret Document Lifts Iran Nuke Constraints
A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.

The document is the only secret text linked to last year's agreement between Iran and six foreign powers. It says that after a period between 11 to 13 years, Iran can replace its 5,060 inefficient centrifuges with up to 3,500 advanced machines.

Since those are five times as efficient, the time Iran would need to make a weapon would drop from a year to six months.

Iran says its enrichment is peaceful, but the program could be used for nuclear warheads.
If nuking Israel means "peaceful" in Farsi, then I agree.
Two diplomats providing the information Monday demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to do so.
I'll bet they weren't.
Posted by: gorb || 07/18/2016 14:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [134 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Fazl rules out possibility of coup in country
[DAWN] PESHAWAR: Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam
...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability...
-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Deobandi holy man, known as Mullah Diesel during the war against the Soviets, his sympathies for the Taliban have never been tempered by honesty ...
has ruled out possibility of military coup in the country.

"I don’t see any possibility of military takeover in the country, no doubt Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif
..Pak chief of army staff, meaning he pulls the strings on the Nawaz Sharif puppet to make it dance and sing and not do much at all....
is a popular commander," he said in reply to a question put to him during a presser here on Tuesday.

He lauded the Turkish people and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him...
for foiling the coup in The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
The JUI-F chief said that some elements tried to instigate the army for takeover by displaying portraits of Gen Raheel across the country. He said that those elements attempted to make Gen Raheel controversial.

"Those, who displayed portraits of Gen Raheel, should be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution," he demanded, adding that those elements had harmed the army chief through displaying his portraits.

There was need of strict action against those elements, who had invited the army chief to take over, he said.

Mr Fazl said that abortive military coup in Turkey was an international conspiracy.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [169 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Ulema Islami


MWM, ASWJ take out rallies on M. A. Jinnah Road
[DAWN] KARACHI: Protest rallies were taken out by two religious groups belonging to different schools of thought on M. A. Jinnah Road on Sunday on separate issues, which, besides sparking some tension, also created snarl-ups in the adjoining streets, officials and witnesses said.

The rallies were taken out by the Majlis-e-Wahdatul Moslemeen (MWM), and the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat
...which is the false nose and plastic mustache of the murderous banned extremist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain, whatcha might call the political wing of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi...
(ASWJ), a banned outfit, in the areas which overlapped each other’s route on M.A. Jinnah Road.

Police officials guarding them said it was a challenge for them to provide security to these two rallies.

The MWM protest was against the alleged assassination'>assassination
of members of the Shia community, terrorism in the country on the lam and against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
The ASWJ protested against the Indian atrocities in India held Kashmire and recent terrorist attacks in the holy city of Madina.

The MWM took out its rally in which a large number of women and kiddies participated from Imambargah
...since Pakistain is very religiously correct, Shia Moslems can't call their houses of worship 'mosques,' which are reserved for Sunnis. It's not clear if imambargahs are used for explosives storage like mosques are...
Shah Khorasan to Imambargah Ali Raza.

The route of the ASWJ rally was from Gurumandir to Taj Complex.

The administration had put up barricades in various streets connecting M. A. Jinnah Road to the rest of the city, which, eventually created a worst traffic jam and posed hardships to road users who, otherwise, were expecting smooth flow of traffic as it happens on Sundays.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [150 views] Top|| File under: Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan


People of Pakistan will celebrate if army takes over, says Imran
[DAWN] MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
(PTI) Chairman Imran Khan
... aka Taliban Khan, who is the lightweight's lightweight...
on Sunday stated the people of Pakistain will celebrate and distribute sweets if the army takes over in the country.

"Democracy in Pakistain is threatened by Nawaz's monarchy and the people will celebrate and distribute sweets if the army takes over," said Imran while addressing a public rally in Azad Kashmire.

The PTI chief added the people of The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
supported Erdogan as he serves the people, while Nawaz has burdened the people with debt.

"In three years, Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
has burdened the people with billions in debt. Every Pak citizen has a debt of Rs120,000, which is increasing everyday."

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [137 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


International-UN-NGOs
Sudan’s Bashir defies the ICC, attending Rwanda summit
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir
Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan's potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it.
arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to attend a summit of African leaders, defying an international warrant for his arrest after public assurances from Rwandan leaders that he would not be nabbed
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
The African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
summit on Sunday is expected to discuss the continent’s uneasy relationship with the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
, which some say unfairly targets Africans.

Ahead of the summit, some African countries renewed efforts to quit the ICC enmasse despite the opposition of some countries like Botswana. Nigeria, Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...
and Ivory Coast have been pushing back as well in recent days. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has led growing criticism of the ICC, calling it "useless" during his inauguration in May, an event that al-Bashir attended.

Some countries want a separate African court with jurisdiction over rights abuses. "Withdrawal from ICC is entirely within the illusory sovereignty of a particular state," Joseph Chilengi, an AU official, told news hounds Saturday.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged atrocities in the country’s Darfur region. He should be at the ICC answering to charges that include genocide, "not persisting in this game of cat-and-mouse with the court," Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch
... During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, HRW received a pledge from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, of which George Soros is Chairman, for general support totaling $100,000,000. The grant is being paid in installments of $10,000,000 over ten years.Through June 30, 2013, HRW had received $30,000,000 towards the fulfillment of the pledge....
said Saturday night.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said this week that Rwanda would not arrest al-Bashir. "Africa doesn’t support criminals, but when justice is involved with a lot of politics we take a pause to separate the two," Mushikiwabo told news hounds.

The African Union summit also will discuss South Sudan, where clashing army factions raised concerns of a return to civil war. The chaos threatens a peace deal signed last August between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. United Nations
...an organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships...
Chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon, who is attending the summit, has called for an arms embargo.
Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [166 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Suicide attacks and kidnappings foiled; Shin Bet chief's first situation report
[Ynet] Discussing why more and more women are carrying out terror attacks, the rocky political situation in the Gazoo Strip, and multi-lateral cooperation to stop deadly attacks were all featured in Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman's report to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week.

Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman revealed last week that there have been more than 40 women who carried out or attempted to carry out terror attacks in the recent wave of terror. Almost every single one of the women was doing it to restore familial honor, and in some of the attacks, male members of the family brought the women to the site of the attack.

Argaman claims that these women are being sent to their deaths to atone for something they've done and to bring honor back to the family, along with money from the Paleostinian Authority.

The head of the Shin Bet made these statements at his first situation report to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week. According to the information he presented, the crests of the wave of terror were connected to tensions on the Temple Mount. He warned that if things heat up on the Temple Mount, a new wave of terror might break. Argaman also added that Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, is having a strategic crisis, and is unwilling to have a war at this time. He noted that there is wide ranging security cooperation with the Paleostinians, and the PA is working intensively against Hamas in the West Bank. Moreover, the Shin Bet director highlighted the importance of giving Israeli work permits to Paleostinians in the West Bank, and said that these permits help calm the situation and prevent attacks. There are 120,000 Paleostinians who work in Israel either legally or illegally, and these workers provide for one third of the Paleostinians in the West Bank.

Another point Argaman reported; the Shin Bet and Israeli security services prevented 240 major terror attacks Between January and May 2016 including stopping 11 jacket wallahs, 10 kidnapping attempts, and more than 60 attacks similar to the attack at Sarona Market. Most of the attacks were planned by Hamas.

Since the most recent wave of terror began in October 2015, there have been over 300 attacks (not including Molotov cocktail attacks) of which 180 were stabbing attacks, more than 90 were shooting attacks, and about 30 were car ramming attacks. The majority of these attacks were carried out by lone wolves. Argaman went on to say that the reason for the decrease in the number of attacks over the past month is due to ‐ amongst other things ‐ the high number of attacks which were preemptively prevented, and a higher level of deterrence against lone wolf attackers.

Nevertheless, despite the decrease in the number of attacks, the number of threats coming out of the West Bank is larger than before the escalation, a trend which points to the fact that the situation in the West Bank is highly combustible..

According to the report, Argaman also said that there is a feeling in the West Bank that the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
's time as a leader is coming to an end, and that there is a currently a transitional period taking place towards a new leadership. In regards to Gazoo, Argaman says that the quiet being felt in that area is misleading He also said that due to the economic and civil situation in Gazoo, there is growing dissatisfaction with the Hamas leadership. However,
a woman is only as old as she admits...
despite the public criticism, the Shin Bet doesn't believe that there will be a public uprising against Hamas due to fear of the organization, due to the people's financial dependence on the organization, and due to the fact that the only other group with the manpower and resources to effectively rule the Strip is ISIS, a group which the residents of Gazoo don't.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [141 views] Top|| File under: Hamas


Home Front: Culture Wars
Lorain Co. Prosecutor to determine if charges will be filed against hotel clerk in ISIS incident
AVON, Ohio - The Lorain County Prosecutor's Office will determine whether charges will be filed against the former Avon hotel clerk who told her family members to call 911 to report that a Muslim man was acting suspiciously in the lobby, triggering an intense response from police.

On Tuesday, newsnet5.com learned the woman is longer employed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Colorado Avenue.

The 911 call placed by the woman's sister alleged that the man was pledging his allegiance to ISIS.

Responding police spoke to the clerk and determined the accusations were false.
Appears that the clerk got the ax for blabbing to her sister.
Posted by: Blossom Unains5562 || 07/18/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [235 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wondered, if the clerk was that concerned, why she didn't call 911 directly rather than involving her family.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 07/18/2016 0:06 Comments || Top||

#2  See something, say something. Go to jail.

Sort of a mixed message here.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 07/18/2016 9:27 Comments || Top||

#3  See something, say something, jail someone.
Message seems pretty clear to me.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 07/18/2016 11:50 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
51[untagged]
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1Sublime Porte
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1al-Qaeda in North Africa
1Boko Haram
1Govt of Sudan
1Hamas

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Mon 2016-07-18
  German train 'axe attack': Many reported hurt
Sun 2016-07-17
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Fri 2016-07-15
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