Obama’s $500 million plan to combat Bashar Al-Assad and ISIS forces in Syria created an elite force called “Regiment-30”. While Fox News revealed the program only gained 54 applicants, new evidence reveals that there were “thousands of outside forces” who joined Regiment-30, who are now also joining Al-Nusra terror front in Syria. The U.S-appointed Regiment-30’s main leader, as ironclad evidence reveals, is one code-named Abu Iskandar and he has now sent out an official appeal, including airing an explosive T.V interview, confirming they joined the notorious terrorist Al-Nusra Front which carried out massacres against Christians in Adra and Maaloula in Syria.
In Kunduz, the Taliban have seized around 70 villages in Khanabad district this week, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
More than half the province is now under Taliban control, according to local officials. They captured two Kunduz districts in June, one of which was quickly retaken by Afghan forces but the other remains under insurgent control.
The unnamed officer is believed to have been a regime leader in the ancient city of Palmyra, which ISIS captured in May and have since set about about systematically destroying as they believe the city's several millennia-old buildings and monuments distract from the worship of God.
ISIS have increasingly used young boys in their gruesome executions, with some children no older than 12 being forced to shoot the terror group's opponents at point blank range. However using a child to carry out a brutal beheading with a knife is a sickening new low for ISIS.
Residents recounted scenes of horror in the aftermath of the attack on Saturday (AEST), in which officials said at least 15 children died.
Muthanna Saadoun, 25, a municipal employee who drives a street sweeper, used his truck to help put out the fires that the blast caused in the market area.
“People were burning in their cars because no ambulances or fire engines were able to reach them,” he said yesterday.
Islamic State said the suicide attacker had three tonnes of explosives in his vehicle. The blast left a huge crater in the main street of Khan Bani Saad, only 20km from Baghdad’s northern outskirts, in Diyala province.
Islamic State on Monday released an audio tape it said was of the movement's leader for Afghanistan, contradicting reports that he was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
The message purportedly from Hafez Saeed was posted to an IS website two days after the Afghan intelligence agency said he had been killed.
The audio could not be independently verified.
Saeed, a Pakistani, was reportedly killed in the Achin district of Nangarhar province late on Friday, the intelligence agency said.
Saeed switched allegiance last year from the Taliban to Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Islamic State figures have been targets for U.S drone strikes, which killed three other IS commanders in the same area in a week, including Shahidullah Shahid and Gul Zaman.
After pushing out the Taliban insurgents, Islamic State fighters have in the past two months gained ground in several districts of Nangarhar province, which shares a long and porous border with lawless areas inside Pakistan.
Achin fell to the IS militants last month after heavy clashes with the Taliban.
Fighters of the self-declared Islamic State have killed some 146 people in a house-to-house massacre of civilians in the Syrian border town of Kobani, a conflict monitoring group says, calling it the second-worse such mass killing by the Islamist extremists since last year.
NPR's Deborah Amos, reporting from southern Turkey, says the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has spoken to witnesses who reported the shooting spree.
Citing medical sources in Kobani, the Syrian Observatory said the civilians "were executed by [the Islamic State] in their homes or killed by the group's rockets or snipers," Rami Abdel Rahman, the Observatory's director said. The group said that militants "fired at everything that moved."
The blast in the town of Ariha in northwestern Syria went off as members of the Nusra Front gathered at the mosque for iftar, the meal with which Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Observatory, which tracks the war, said the explosion in Salem Mosque in Ariha, also killed a senior non-Syrian member of the hardline jihadist organization. Opposition-based social media websites had conflicting casualty figures with some saying more than 40 people were dead.
No group announced responsibility for the blast, but supporters of Nusra Front blamed rival ultra hardline Islamic State militants who have fought the group on several frontlines in Syria.
The United States and other nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to offer high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment to Tehran if it agrees to crimp programs that can make atomic arms, according to a confidential document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
The nature of the pornography is considered so extreme that American officials refuse to release details, leading to intense speculation that it involves children or animals.
Under strict versions of Sharia law - of the type lauded by hardline Islamist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda - bin Laden would almost certainly have been beheaded, stoned to death, or thrown from a high building for possessing such material.
But they confirmed Navy SEALs also recovered a large digital collection of sex videos from the compound when they staged a secret mission to kill bin Laden in 2011.
They reportedly dragged her to the village square, beating her all the way, and chopped her head. The police say the brothers marched around the village with the bleeding head for about an hour before running away.
ON THE very first page of his new book, Not in God’s Name, Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi in the UK, quotes the 17th-century French scientist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction”.
There is no shortage of historical evidence to support Pascal’s contention. Indeed, if he were writing in the 21st century instead of the 17th, he’d have sufficient material for several books. In particular today he would be able to draw on the violent eruptions of Islamic fundamentalism, especially since 9/11.
But the link between religion and violence (the latter being the most pernicious manifestation of evil) is by no means an Islamic phenomenon, though, as we are reminded almost daily in our newspapers and on our television screens, it is predominantly the evils of Islamic State (IS) that at the present time constitute the greatest worry and threat, as well as representing the greatest challenge.
Having sub-titled his book ‘Confronting Religious Violence’, Sacks sets out to take up this challenge. The task is a daunting one. “Too often in the history of religion,” he writes, “people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love and practised cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.”
Sacks concedes that while Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — the three great monotheistic religions, the three great Abrahamic faiths — define themselves as religions of peace, “they have all given rise to violence at some points in their history”.
Since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, in particular, we have seen an outpouring of articles and books on the connection between religion and violence.
From all of this, the author says, three answers have emerged:
Religion is the major source of violence; Religion is not a source of violence; “Their religion, yes; our religion, no — we are for peace they are for war”. He concludes that none of these answers is true.
“As for the first, Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod surveyed 1,800 conflicts in the Encyclopedia of Wars and found that less than 10% involved religion at all. A “God and War” survey commissioned by the BBC found that religion played some part in 40% of conflicts but usually a minor one.
“The second answer is misguided. When terrorist or military groups invoke holy war, define their battle as a struggle against Satan, condemn unbelievers to death and commit murder while declaring ‘God is great’, to deny that they are acting on religious motives is absurd.
“The third is a classic instance of in-group bias. Almost invariably people regard their group as superior to others… Groups, like individuals, have a need for self-esteem and they will interpret facts to confirm their sense of superiority.”
The focus today, he suggests, should be less on the general connection between religion and violence and more on the specific challenge of politicised religious extremism in the 21st century.
“The re-emergence of religion as a global force caught the West unprotected and unprepared because it was in the grip of a narrative that told a quite different story.”
The process of secularisation — a process that began back in the 18th century with the Enlightenment — has been at the heart of this narrative.
“By the late 20th century, most secularists had come to the conclusion that religion, if not refuted, had at least been rendered redundant. We no longer need the Bible to explain the universe. Instead we have science. We do not need sacred ritual to control human destiny.
“In its place we have technology. When we are ill, we do not need prayer. We have doctors, medicine and surgery. If we are depressed there is an alternative to religious consolation: Antidepressant drugs. When we feel overwhelmed by guilt, we can choose psychotherapy in place of the confessional. For seekers of transcendence there are rock concerts and sports matches.”
But as Sacks then reminds us, what the secularists forget is that man is a “meaning-seeking” animal.
“If there is one thing the great institutions of the modern world do not do, it is to provide meaning. Science tells us how but not why. Technology gives us power but cannot guide us as to how to use that power. The market gives us choices but leaves us uninstructed as to how to make these choices. The liberal democratic state gives us freedom to choose but on principle refuses to guide us as to how to choose.”
The result, he stresses, is that the 21st century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning.
“Religion has returned because it is hard to live without meaning. That is why no society has survived for long without either a religion or a substitute for religion. The 20th century showed, brutally and definitively, that the great modern substitutes for religion — the nation, the race, and political ideology — are no less likely to offer human sacrifices to their surrogate deities.”
The problem today is that the religion that has returned is “religion at its most adversarial and aggressive, prepared to do battle with the enemies of the Lord”, leading Sacks to conclude that the “greatest threat to freedom in the post-modern world is radical, politicised religion”.
How to combat this is now the great challenge. Radical, politicised religion is on the rise. As we are seeing in Syria and other places in the Middle East, religious extremists are seizing power.
And they are using technology very effectively — the internet spreads the contagion represented by groups such as al Qaeda, Boko Harem and Islamic State in a way that would have been unknown 30 or 40 years ago.
“What printing was to the Reformation, the internet is to radical political Islam, turning it into a global force capable of inciting terror and winning recruits throughout the world… Religious radicals use the new electronic media with greater sophistication than their secular counterparts. And they have developed organisational structures to fit our time.”
This poses an enormous challenge – but it is a challenge not just for Islam but for Judaism and Christianity as well for, as Sacks acknowledges, “none of the great religions can say, in unflinching self-knowledge, ‘Our hands never shed blood’.”
This means, he says, that we have little choice but to re-examine the theology that leads to violent conflict.
“As Jews, Christians and Muslims, we have to be prepared to ask the most uncomfortable questions. Does the God of Abraham want his disciples to kill for his sake? Does he demand human sacrifice? Does he rejoice in holy war? Does he want us to hate our enemies and terrorise unbelievers? Have we read our sacred texts correctly?”
And he sounds this sombre warning: “If we do not do the theological work, we will face a continuation of the terror that has marked our century thus far, for it has no other natural end”.
The women were being held in the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, Iraq, and refused to take part in the perversely-named practice of 'sexual jihad', according to a Kurdish official stationed in the same city (file photo).
A suicide bomber yesterday attacked a cultural centre hosting anti-Islamic State (IS) activists in a Turkish town near the border with Syria, killing 30 people in an "act of terror" blamed on the jihadist group.
The blast ripped through the centre in Suruc, a town opposite the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane - which was itself later hit by a suicide car bombing.
Most of the dead were university students who had been planning a mission to help Kobane residents, according to a pro-Kurdish party official.
On Monday the Bishop Of Rome addressed Catholic followers regarding the dire importance of exhibiting religious tolerance. During his hour-long speech, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.
“Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is distinctly the same across the world. For centuries, blood has been needlessly shed because of the desire to segregate our faiths. This, however, should be the very concept which unites us as people, as nations, and as a world bound by faith. Together, we can bring about an unprecedented age of peace, all we need to achieve such a state is respect each others beliefs, for we are all children of God regardless of the name we choose to address him by. We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now. No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God.”
Informed sources in Marib province confirmed on Friday that the province's police forces alongside the popular forces have arrested a terrorist group, whose members tried to go through the police checkpoint in female clothing.
The sources disclosed that the detained terrorists planned to enter the capital Sana'a and carry out terrorist actions against government and residential areas.
The sources said that the detained terrorists have been handed over to the relevant authorities for further investigations and interrogation.
On June 20, the same story happened in another police checkpoint in the outskirts of Marib province.
Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen in the last 107 days to bring its ally, fugitive president Mansour Hadi, back to power.
The airstrikes have so far claimed the lives of more than 5,024 civilians, mostly women and children.
In addition to the Saudi-lad aggressions against the country, Riyadh officials have forwarded scores of al-Qaeda terrorists to Yemen in a bid to destabilize the Muslim nation's security and face it further internal problems.
Robert Quick says terrorist threat is greater than a decade ago and it may be better for extremists to surrender passports and leave rather than ‘festering’ The threat of terrorist attacks on the UK is greater than a decade ago and the government...
High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.
It was so much so that we have always suspected that high up “dupes” were used to sandbag on this childish “arm the moderates” nonsense, knowing it would not only be a smokescreen for the shadow government to field their own units, but also to tap into the Pentagon kitty for funding.
In working to track the money flow — a normal tool in establishing who is running operations — our source told us, in regard to the Jordan training for example, that once the money got to Jordan for training, weapons and ammo, the paper trail hit a firewall.
There was no way to determine what the money was spent on from that point, nor who was responsible for making those decisions, as it could be used for subpoenas.
Beirut (AFP) - The Islamic State group has executed at least 217 people, including civilians, in the nine days since it captured areas in Syria's Homs province including the ancient city of Palmyra, a monitor said Sunday.
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