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Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum


















Monday, 20 April 2015
Boy, 14, arrested in Britain over 'terror plot in Australia'
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A 14-year-old schoolboy has become Britain’s youngest terror suspect after being at the centre of an alleged Isil-inspired plot to slaughter police in Australia.

Detectives investigating the youngster, from Blackburn, Lancashire, found evidence on his computer or phone of an imminent plan by fanatics in Melbourne for a terror outrage during Anzac Day celebrations this Saturday. 

The boy was first arrested on April 2 as part of an investigation by officers from the NWCTU, which is based with Greater Manchester Police, and a 16-year-old girl from Manchester was also arrested. The pair were questioned on suspicion of preparing a terror act but police have refused to say what that initial investigation centred on.

However, as officers examined the boy’s electronic devices they unearthed communications with an Australian man that suggested an imminent attack in Melbourne. 

It led to police there launching “Operation Rising” which saw the arrest of five men, all aged 18 or 19.

Police insiders claim the men were planning to run over a police officer with a car before killing him with a knife and going on a shooting rampage with his gun.

It was believed to have been planned for Anzac Day on April 25, which this year was t mark the centenary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' First World War battle in Gallipoli, Turkey. 

The Blackburn boy, believed to be a British Muslim of Asian descent from the Audley area, was rearrested on Saturday on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

He is the youngest Briton to be arrested for such offences but police said there was no suggestion of an imminent threat to the UK.

DCS Mole said: “It is not healthy that we have people of this age involved in this kind of incident.” And at what age would plotting jihad be 'healthy'?

Of the five arrested in Melbourne, an 18-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts. Two men, aged 18 and 19, have been released pending further inquiries, while another 18-year-old has been released but police expect him to be charged with weapons offences. A further 18-year-old remains in custody. 

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Posted on 04/20/2015 5:19 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 20 April 2015
When did America forget that it’s America?
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Natan Sharansky writes in the Washington Post:

On a number of occasions during the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli government has appealed to the United States and its allies to demand a change in Tehran’s aggressive behavior. If Iran wishes to be treated as a normal state, Israel has said, then it should start acting like one. Unfortunately, these appeals have been summarily dismissed. The Obama administration apparently believes that only after a nuclear agreement is signed can the free world expect Iran to stop its attempts at regional domination, improve its human rights record and, in general, behave like the civilized state it hopes the world will recognize it to be.

As a former Soviet dissident, I cannot help but compare this approach to that of the United States during its decades-long negotiations with the Soviet Union, which at the time was a global superpower and a existential threat to the free world. The differences are striking and revealing.

For starters, consider that the Soviet regime felt obliged to make its first ideological concession simply to enter into negotiations with the United States about economic cooperation. At the end of the 1950s, Moscow abandoned its doctrine of fomenting a worldwide communist revolution and adopted in its place a credo of peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism. The Soviet leadership paid a high price for this concession, both internally — in the form of millions of citizens, like me, who had been obliged to study Marxism and Leninism as the truth and now found their partial abandonment confusing — and internationally, in their relations with the Chinese and other dogmatic communists who viewed the change as a betrayal. Nevertheless, the Soviet government understood that it had no other way to get what it needed from the United States.

Imagine what would have happened if instead, after completing a round of negotiations over disarmament, the Soviet Union had declared that its right to expand communism across the continent was not up for discussion. This would have spelled the end of the talks. Yet today, Iran feels no need to tone down its rhetoric calling for the death of America and wiping Israel off the map.

Today, by contrast, apparently no amount of belligerence on Iran’s part can convince the free world that Tehran has disqualified itself from the negotiations or the benefits being offered therein. Over the past month alone, as nuclear discussions continued apace, we watched Iran’s proxy terror group, Hezbollah, transform into a full-blown army on Israel’s northern border, and we saw Tehran continue to impose its rule on other countries, adding Yemen to the list of those under its control.

Then there is the question of human rights. When American negotiations with the Soviets reached the issue of trade, and in particular the lifting of sanctions and the conferring of most-favored-nation status on the Soviet Union, the Senate, led by Democrat Henry Jackson, insisted on linking economic normalization to Moscow’s allowing freedom of emigration. By the next year, when the Helsinki agreement was signed, the White House had joined Congress in making the Soviets’ treatment of dissidents a central issue in nearly every negotiation.

Iran’s dismal human rights record, by contrast, has gone entirely unmentioned in the recent negotiations. Sadly, America’s reticence is familiar: In 2009, in response to the democratic uprisings that mobilized so many Iranian citizens, President Obama declared that engaging the theocratic regime would take priority over changing it.

Reality is complicated, and the use of historical analogies is always somewhat limited. But even this superficial comparison shows that what the United States saw fit to demand back then from the most powerful and dangerous competitor it had ever known is now considered beyond the pale in its dealings with Iran.

Why the dramatic shift? One could suggest a simple answer: Today there is something the United States wants badly from Iran, leaving Washington and its allies with little bargaining power to demand additional concessions. Yet in fact Iran has at least as many reasons to hope for a deal. For Tehran, the lifting of sanctions could spell the difference between bankruptcy and becoming a regional economic superpower, and in slowing down its arms race it could avoid a military attack.

I am afraid that the real reason for the U.S. stance is not its assessment, however incorrect, of the two sides’ respective interests but rather a tragic loss of moral self-confidence. While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.

But in today’s postmodern world, when asserting the superiority of liberal democracy over other regimes seems like the quaint relic of a colonialist past, even the United States appears to have lost the courage of its convictions.

We have yet to see the full consequences of this moral diffidence, but one thing is clear: The loss of America’s self-assured global leadership threatens not only the United States and Israel but also the people of Iran and a growing number of others living under Tehran’s increasingly emboldened rule. Although the hour is growing late, there is still time to change course — before the effects grow more catastrophic still.

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Posted on 04/20/2015 12:07 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Monday, 20 April 2015
Lee Rigby copycat killing: Would-be terrorist "groomed" teenager to attack soldiers on London streets
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From Yahoo News and the Mirror

Kazi Islam, 18, is accused of "ruthlessly exploiting" 19-year-old Harry Thomas with a combination of "flattery and threats" to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a knife. 

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC said Islam had befriended Thomas in October 2013 by pretending to sympathise with him over a break-up with a girlfriend. He went on to incite Thomas to kill a soldier with stories of innocent children being murdered by military forces and even suggested he start calling himself Haroon, rather than Harry.

Ms Darlow said: "As the messages between Harry Thomas and the defendant expose all too clearly, Thomas was a vulnerable, not particularly bright young man who was desperate to impress Islam and to try and forge some sort of friendship with him.

"Islam ruthlessly exploited to the utmost Thomas' vulnerability and obvious wish to try and ingratiate himself with Islam.

"Firstly he took steps to prepare to make and detonate an explosive device - a home-made bomb. Rather than risk his own neck by going out and trying to assemble the necessary component for a bomb, he tried to exploit others - Thomas in particular to buy the components for a bomb.

"The defendant also researched bomb-making over the internet and on May 1 2014 downloaded a document entitled 'How to Make Semtex'.

"The second strand to the defendants' activities centred upon germinating a plot to attack a soldier. He repeatedly praised the actions of those who had murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich and actively encouraged Thomas to take the life of one or more soldiers."

In July 2014, Islam's home in Meanley Road, Newham, east London, was raided by police who seized his computer and two mobile phones. The prosecutor read out some of the messages between Islam and Thomas, who will not be giving evidence as a witness in the trial..

In November 2013, Islam asked Thomas: "Did u get the ingredients mate?"

Thomas replies that he got "some pipes" but during the course of the conversation it appeared that he got the wrong ones.

In December 13 2013, Thomas asked: "who're we gonna blow up" and Islam replied "no-one" adding "I'll tell you wen I see you (sic)".

Thomas's unsuccessful attempts to be subtle were exposed in a conversation on December 20 2013, when Islam asked: "So we need to work on this cake."

Thomas responds: "cake? U mean the b o m b."

Islam wrote: "yeah yeah"

Thomas replied: "So when we made the b what we gonna do with it."

Islam ordered: "Just get the ingredients."

He later tried to incite Thomas to kill a solider, telling him : "When I give you the order I want you to kill a soldier..2 soldiers..not yet though."

Islam is on trial at the Old Bailey for engaging in preparation of terrorist acts. He denies the charge.

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Posted on 04/20/2015 11:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 20 April 2015
New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation
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NYTimes:

The book does not hit shelves until May 5, but already the Republican Rand Paul has called its findings “big news” that will “shock people” and make voters “question” the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer — a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities — is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy.

The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.

His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.

In the long lead up to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announcement, aides proved adept in swatting down critical books as conservative propaganda, including Edward Klein’s “Blood Feud,” about tensions between the Clintons and the Obamas, and Daniel Halper’s “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.”

But “Clinton Cash” is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which includes Mr. Paul and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, have been briefed on the book’s findings, and its contents have already made their way into several of the Republican presidential candidates’ campaigns.

Conservative “super PACs” plan to seize on “Clinton Cash,” and a pro-Democrat super PAC has already assembled a dossier on Mr. Schweizer, a speechwriting consultant to former President George W. Bush and a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution who has contributed to the conservative website Breitbart.com, to make the case that he has a bias against Mrs. Clinton...

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Posted on 04/20/2015 9:40 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 20 April 2015
Idiot's Delight in Holocaust Denial
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Everyone except the idiots of the world knows the truth about Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps, and the one where an estimated 1.3 million were murdered. It is preserved as it was in January 1945 when the camp was liberated. The gas chambers at Birkenau were destroyed by the Nazis to remove evidence of their atrocities. But the reminders of the horrors are the plentiful human hair, shoes, suitcases, and eyeglasses of the victims. Above all, there are the empty canisters of Zyklon B poison, and evidence of documentation of the Nazi planning of the genocide, mostly, at least 90 per cent, against Jews.

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated at different times in different countries. On April 19 the UK held a Holocaust memorial event marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp by the British Army. It is therefore doubly horrifying that a group of more than a hundred persons a few days before in London, displayed their indifference to the slaughter of Jews, the ultimate catastrophe of the 20th century, by laughing at the ashes rising from the crematoria in the Nazi death camps and doubting, wholly or in part, the slaughter that occurred there.

The disreputable members of the group are more than what Lenin called “political idiots.” It was the largest gathering of sheer idiots, extreme haters of Jews, that London has endured for some time. Indeed, their very extreme rhetoric and absurd falsifications of history does not allow, or makes it difficult for, anyone to be a “moderate” anti-Semite. It’s all or nothing at all.

Many of this infamous group, mostly but not all British, had been or were still members of the neo-Nazi parties, the National Front and British National Party. One of the organizers carried the book, Tomorrow we Live, written by Oswald Mosley, the leader of the old Fascist Party. Another was the 71-year-old former national organizer of the NF, and another was the former editor of the NF publications. One was the former national organizer for the BNP, who had been jailed for three months for attacking with a beer bottle a black man who was scarred for life. One was a BNP councilor in East London, and two were NF candidates for the UK Parliament.

Some members had served time for prison for violence and public disorder. The individuals had rendezvoused under the clock at Victoria Station in London, and were escorted individually or in pairs to the secret meeting that had been booked under the false name of “Carlyle Club,” a short distance away. The locale was the Orient Suite of the four-star Grosvenor Hotel, about half a mile from Buckingham Palace.

All the attendees, at this meeting reported by the Daily Mail, were Holocaust deniers or minimalists. Almost all denied the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz, and all disputed the officially accepted number of Jews murdered. Yet with their extraordinary emphasis on the power and might of Jews, which could attract support for Jews, perhaps they were all secret Zionist agents?

The star speaker at the secret meeting was a 57-year-old Spanish man named Pedro Varela who had been arrested in Austria in 1992 for praising Hitler. Varela is an equal opportunity hater. He viewed gay parents as members of a “monster family,” and children of mixed races as “blackos.” But his main contribution to knowledge was about Jews. He measured his words by saying, “They say Jews have the gold in the world and the power in the press and they are going to rule the world.” Jews must be countered, “we should be as smart and clever, as are the children of darkness.”

Varela refused to say directly that he denied the Holocaust. He was careful because of a law to come into force in Spain that prevented him from answering the question. He also refused to define himself as a Nazi: “it depends on what you mean by Nazi.” However, he did believe that German National Socialism offered a lot of solutions that were beneficial then and could be beneficial to modern-day society, though he did not mention the extermination camps.

The other main speaker was Mark Weber, the American director of the Institute for Historical Review, based in Newport Beach, California. He was belligerently crystal clear about the fight against Jews.  He told his fellow travelers that they were engaged in a great global struggle. On one side was a self–assured and diabolical power (you know who) that feels ordained to rule over others. On the other side were all other nations, indeed humanity itself.

In addition he warned fellow countrymen. “The Jewish connection covers all areas and reaches all levels... in reality, the Jewish hold on American life is far more dangerous. Nothing is more important, he said, than to identify, counter, and break this Jewish power.

It is sad that the idiots at this meeting are not alone in their absurdity. In Australia, Lady Renouf, a former model, has defended David Irving, the notorious Holocaust denier, and political figures in the country have called Israel a racist and apartheid state or called for a boycott of Israel. In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen, fined in February 2008 for instilling doubt about Nazi persecution of resisters and Jews, still is unwilling to accept the reality of the Holocaust. In the Middle East, Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul, writing on April 18, 2015 in the official Palestinian daily paper, discounted the number of Jews murdered, though he did not deny the Holocaust occurred.

The idiots have had some success. According to an ADL 2014 Survey, 35 per cent of those surveyed in 100 countries said they had never heard of the Holocaust and 32 per cent believe it is a myth or has been greatly exaggerated. Even if one agrees that censorship is undesirable, the difficult question arises again. Should the Holocaust deniers, not intellectually respectable and historically fraudulent, be banned or punished? France has censored the comedian Dieudonne for his spreading of racism, anti-Semitism, and Holocaust denial, and has emphasized the urgency to deal with manifestations of anti-Semitism. The secret meeting in London, expounding the Protocol of the Elders of Anti-Semitism, shows that all societies should engage in that urgent task.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 04/20/2015 7:26 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
APT J-Street Challenge: Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel, Pro-Iran?
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Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) posted this hard hitting YouTube video part of APT’s  J-Street Challenge film  ,  Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel, Pro-Iran?  The focus in this brief YouTube  is on the interlock between J-Street and the alleged pro-Islamic Regime lobby group in Washington, National Iranian American Council headed by Swedish Iranian citizen Dr. Trita Parsi.  Parsi has deep connections inside the Obama White House, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a former NIAC employee who is now the NSC Director for Iran. 

You may have noticed the President’s remarks in a joint Press Conference with Italian President Renzi about  ‘creative negotiations over lifting ‘sanctions’ should a final agreement surface by June 30, 2015, a big if. After all, as Ayatollah Khamenei said this weekend, its “just a myth” that Iran is intent on creation of a nuclear weapon.   

Breitbart News in a March 31st, 2015 dossier article  on Ms. Nowrouzzadeh reported:

Found that a person with the same name has previously written several publications on behalf of NIAC. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn account, Nowrouzzadeh became an analyst for the Department of Defense in 2005 before moving her way up to the National Security Council in 2014.

A NIAC profile from 2007 reveals that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh appears to be the same person as the one who is currently the NSC Director for Iran. The profiles indicate that she had the same double major and attended the same university (George Washington).

Critics have alleged that NIAC is a lobby for the current Iranian dictatorship under Ayatollah Khamenei. A dissident journalist revealed recently that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has maintained a years-long relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

NIAC was established in 1999, when founder Trita Parsi attended a conference in Cyprus that was held under the auspices of the Iranian regime. During the conference, Parsi reportedly laid out his plan to introduce a pro-regime lobbying group to allegedly counteract the influence of America’s pro-Israel and anti-Tehran regime advocacy groups.

NIAC has been investing heavily in attempts to influence the talks in favor of an agreement with the state sponsor of terror. In recent days, its director, Trita Parsi, has been spotted having amiable conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s brother.

The APT J Street Challenge You Tube Video has appearances by Lenny Ben- David, former Deputy Mission Chief of the Israeli Embassy in Washington and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.  Ben David surfaced a few names George Soros, and Genevieve Lynch.  Soros is a major donor to J Street and anti-Israel and pro-Islamic Regime related NGOs.  Ms. Lynch is a board member of both NIAC and J Street.  Dershowitz even offered to donate money to J Street if they could explain their support for lifting Iran sanctions and being pro-Israel in the light of comments during Iranian Army Day of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”  or the comment by the commander of Iranian Basij paramilitary groups saying that “destroying  Israel was non-negotiable.”

Ben-David did his homework over the last several years and combed the J Street IRS Form 990 that lists major donors, the names of both Ms. Lynch and billionaire hedge fund mogul Soros popped up.

Back in 2010, Ben-David wrote this about Ms. Lynch interesting Middle East connections in a Jerusalem Post op-ed, “J Street Has No Shame”:

In August 2009, the Jerusalem Post first reported, "Muslims, Arabs among J Street Donors." Among the donors, the Post article revealed was "Genevieve Lynch... a member of the National Iranian American Council board.

Lynch, the NIAC board member and a member of J Street’s Finance Committee, is listed contributing $10,000 in October. At one point last year, J Street and NIAC leaders worked together to block anti-Iran sanctions measures proposed by Congress. Belatedly, J Street changed its position and supported sanctions.

For more about Ms. Lynch, see here.    For more about Trita Parsi and NIAC, Read  NER contributor Michael Curtis’ American Thinker article, “Friends of Iran in America,” here.

Watch the APT J Street Challenge YouTube video:

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Posted on 04/19/2015 8:32 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Magdi Allam: Madness Not To Impose A Naval Blockade
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Posted on 04/19/2015 7:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Muslims Extort The Greater Jizyah
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Posted on 04/19/2015 3:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Ex-Saddam Intelligence officer revealed as creator of ISIS Structure for Conquest of Syria and Iraq
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ISIS fighter on captured Syrian Jet

Source :  Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel  published a report  this weekend identifying  the Ex-Saddam intelligence officer who created  the strategy  for the  Islamic State  the late Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi aka Haji Bakr killed  by Syrian rebels in January 2014.   The Der Spiegel  report  The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State,  is based on papers  of  the late Haji Bakr who devised the  draconic  oppressive organization  of the Islamic State  that facilitated  the conquest  and control of  large swaths  of both Syria and Iraq.  It demonstrates that ISIS made common cause with Ba’athist nationalists recreating the dystopian “Republic of Fear” that existed under the late Saddam Hussein under the veneer of apocalyptic Jihadist Islam.  The Irony is that the cabal of  former Saddam Ba’athist  officers met the future Emir of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al –Baghdadi while US prisoner at Camp  Bucca in Iraq over the period from 2005 to 2008.   After reading this Der Spiegel report one wonders whether self-appointed Emir of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi is the real power behind the rise of the Islamic state and whether it is the operatives of the late Haji Bakr.

Der Spiegel wrote:

Not even those who shot and killed him after a brief firefight in the town of Tal Rifaat on a January morning in 2014 knew the true identity of the tall man in his late fifties. They were unaware that they had killed the strategic head of the group calling itself "Islamic State" (IS). The fact that this could have happened at all was the result of a rare but fatal miscalculation by the brilliant planner.

Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, whose bony features were softened by a white beard. But no one knew him by that name. Even his best-known pseudonym, Haji Bakr, wasn't widely known. But that was precisely part of the plan. The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein's air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.

But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. SPIEGEL has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. They reveal a multilayered composition and directives for action, some already tested and others newly devised for the anarchical situation in Syria's rebel-held territories. In a sense, the documents are the source code of the most successful terrorist army in recent history.

For the first time, the Haji Bakr documents now make it possible to reach conclusions on how the IS leadership is organized and what role former officials in the government of ex-dictator Saddam Hussein play in it. Above all, however, they show how the takeover in northern Syria was planned, making the group's later advances into Iraq possible in the first place. In addition, months of research undertaken by SPIEGEL in Syria, as well as other newly discovered records, exclusive to SPIEGEL, show that Haji Bakr's instructions were carried out meticulously.

Haji Bakr’s Master Plan

When Iraqi national Haji Bakr traveled to Syria as part of a tiny advance party in late 2012, he had a seemingly absurd plan: IS would capture as much territory as possible in Syria. Then, using Syria as a beachhead, it would invade Iraq.

Bakr took up residence in an inconspicuous house in Tal Rifaat, north of Aleppo. The town was a good choice. In the 1980s, many of its residents had gone to work in the Gulf nations, especially Saudi Arabia. When they returned, some brought along radical convictions and contacts. In 2013, Tal Rifaat would become IS' stronghold in Aleppo Province, with hundreds of fighters stationed there.

[…]

What Bakr put on paper, page by page, with carefully outlined boxes for individual responsibilities, was nothing less than a blueprint for a takeover. It was not a manifesto of faith, but a technically precise plan for an "Islamic Intelligence State" -- a caliphate run by an organization that resembled East Germany's notorious Stasi domestic intelligence agency.

           

Islamic State Master Plan by Haji Bakr former Saddam Hussein Intelligence Officer

This blueprint was implemented with astonishing accuracy in the ensuing months. The plan would always begin with the same detail: The group recruited followers under the pretense of opening a Da’wah office, an Islamic missionary center. Of those who came to listen to lectures and attend courses on Islamic life, one or two men were selected and instructed to spy on their village and obtain a wide range of information. To that end, Haji Bakr compiled lists such as the following:

  • List the powerful families.
  • Name the powerful individuals in these families.
  • Find out their sources of income.
  • Name names and the sizes of (rebel) brigades in the village.
  • Find out the names of their leaders, who control the brigades and their political orientation.
  • Find out their illegal activities (according to Sharia law), which could be used to blackmail them if necessary.

The spies were told to note such details as whether someone was a criminal or a homosexual, or were involved in a secret affair, so as to have ammunition for blackmailing later. "We will appoint the smartest ones as Sharia sheiks," Bakr had noted. "We will train them for a while and then dispatch them." As a postscript, he had added that several "brothers" would be selected in each town to marry the daughters of the most influential families, in order to "ensure penetration of these families without their knowledge."

                    […]

 Sharia, the courts, prescribed piety -- all of this served a single goal: surveillance and control. Even the word that Bakr used for the conversion of true Muslims, takwin, is not a religious but a technical term that translates as "implementation".

     […]

Bakr was merely modifying what he had learned in the past: Saddam Hussein's omnipresent security apparatus, in which no one, not even generals in the intelligence service, could be certain they weren't being spied on. 

    […]

The Ba’athist Nationalists link up with the AQ Iraq Prisoners held by the US

In 2010, Bakr and a small group of former Iraqi intelligence officers made Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir and later "caliph," the official leader of the Islamic State. They reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face.

Bakr was "a nationalist, not an Islamist," says Iraqi journalist Hisham al-Hashimi, as he recalls the former career officer, who was stationed with Hashimi's cousin at the Habbaniya Air Base. "Colonel Samir," as Hashimi calls him, "was highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician." But when Paul Bremer, then head of the US occupational authority in Baghdad, "dissolved the army by decree in May 2003, he was bitter and unemployed."

Although Iraq's dominant Baath Party was secular, the two systems ultimately shared a conviction that control over the masses should lie in the hands of a small elite that should not be answerable to anyone -- because it ruled in the name of a grand plan, legitimized by either God or the glory of Arab history. The secret of IS' success lies in the combination of opposites, the fanatical beliefs of one group and the strategic calculations of the other.

Bakr gradually became one of the military leaders in Iraq, and he was held from 2006 to 2008 in the US military's Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib Prison. He survived the waves of arrests and killings by American and Iraqi special units, which threatened the very existence of the IS precursor organization in 2010, Islamic State in Iraq.

For Bakr and a number of former high-ranking officers, this presented an opportunity to seize power in a significantly smaller circle of jihadists. They utilized the time they shared in Camp Bucca to establish a large network of contacts

(Read More)

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Posted on 04/19/2015 2:41 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Father of family believed to be heading for Syria was 'member of banned extremist group'
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From the Telegraph

A British Muslim father who police fear is travelling to Islamic State with his four young children was a member of a banned extremist group, it has emerged. Police are hunting Asif Malik, his partner Sara Kiran and their family who have gone missing and are feared to be travelling to Syria.

The parents and daughter Zoha, seven; son Essa, four; son Zakariya, two; and one-year-old son Yhaya - have not been seen for nearly two weeks.

Anjem Choudary, the radical Muslim cleric, confirmed Malik had been a member of the banned group al-Mujahiroun and described him as a "champion for shariah" who regularly attended the group's events and demonstrations.

As fears were growing for the safety of Malik's four young children, Choudary said Malik remained "very influential in the community" after al-Mujahiroun was banned five years ago. 

"Back in the day he was a member until the group was banned. He was still part of our demonstrations and lectures but I hadn't seen him for a few months," Choudary said. "Asif is a very good friend of mine, I haven't seen him for a while but from what I gather in the reports he and his family have left the country.I last saw him a couple of months ago, he used to attend my lectures in Slough and west London. He attended many lectures over the years and is a very good friend...He is a very studious man, a very good Muslim character. He was always a champion for shariah and is very influential in the community."

Choudary criticised the Government for attempting to restrict British Muslims from travelling to Syria. "I think they want to live under sharia and escape the oppressive life they have in this country and under this government," he said.

Police said the family's disappearance was not reported to the authorities for nine days. Malik, 31, and Miss Kiran, (I am glad that she is called 'Miss' here - the sooner we make it clear that these couplings under sharia law are not lawful wedlock the better) 29, whom neighbours said usually wore the full Islamic veil, left home without mentioning any holiday or travel plans to family members, The couple had not informed either their landlord or their children's primary school that they would be leaving the country. Neighbours said the alarm was raised after the four children failed to attend school. 

I feel sorry for the children. Maybe the children of known jihadists should be taken into care and protection. But so far as the adults are concerned let them go and cancel their British passposts. 

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Posted on 04/19/2015 1:28 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Banbury child sexual exploitation gang sentenced
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From the Banbury Guardian

Six men found guilty of a range of sexual exploitation offences against vulnerable young girls in Banbury have been sentenced to a total of 31 years and nine months in prison today, Friday. All six were found guilty by an Oxford jury in March following an eight week trial relating to offences including sexual activity with a child, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration.

Sentenced today were:

Ahmed Hassan-Sule, 21, of Glyndebourne Gardens, Banbury to nine years in prison with five years on licence.

Takudzwa Hova, 21, of Broughton Road, Banbury to six years with four years on licence.

Kagiso Manase, 21, of Warwick Road, Banbury to four years.

Mohamad Saleh, 22, of Orchard Way, Banbury to four years and nine months.

Said Saleh, 20, of Orchard Way, Banbury to four years in a young offender institute.

Zsolt Szalontai, 18, of Portway, Banbury to three years in a young offender institute.

Szalontai couldn't be named in March as he was still 17. He is of age now and can be named and shown. Left.

 

Thames Valley Police have released a series of videos of the interviews with two of the guilty men, and witness statements voiced by actresses. 

 

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Posted on 04/19/2015 12:43 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Giorgio Napolitano: Uniting Italy Under The Banner Of The Resistance
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Here.

In hoc signo..of the Italian Resistance, partisan and military Italy today, Napolitano maintains, can find a continuing source of Pride and Faith, Orgoglio e Fiducia. And then, of course, there is hovering in the background the Rage and the Pride, of another partisan, and spiritual leader of a new resistance to a new occupation of Europe - Oriana Fallaci.

 

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Posted on 04/19/2015 9:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
Execution Of Ethiopian Christians In Libya, And Threats To Destroy Christians, Their Rites And Sites, Everywhere
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In Italian, here.
 

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Posted on 04/19/2015 9:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
New ISIS Video Shows Another Mass Execution of Christians and Enforcement of the Dhimma
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The speaker duirng the killing of the Ethiopean Christians has an American accent. From Heavy:

The Islamic State has a released a new video allegedly [why allegedly?] showing the mass execution and beheading of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. The 29-minute video was released on Sunday, April 19 by ISIS’ Al-Furqan media arm and purports to show Islamic State affiliates in the eastern Libya province known as Barka Province and the southern Fazzan Province.

The video begins with a long introduction of a rant against Christendom, but the gore begins at around 25-minutes where a pistol brandishing jihadists claims that Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran known as Jizya.

First a line of alleged Ethiopian Christians are lined up and shot in the back of the head. After that, the scene cuts to a beach where another group reportedly Ethiopian Christians are beheaded in much a similar way to the February beheadings of the Coptic Christians.

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Posted on 04/19/2015 7:42 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
The Iranian Parliament’s "Fact Sheet"
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The Lausanne framework deal, so celebrated by the Obama Administration as the breakthrough in efforts to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weaponry, has unfortunately turned out to be another excuse to keep talking beyond the already breached deadline of March the 31st, with the Obama Administration seeming to spin the deal  with assertions that exceeded that of both European and Iranian statements of the time.

On the 15th April, the Iranian Parliament released an alternate “factsheet” that clarifies their stance yet further, suggesting any deal with Iran would be unenforceable. Notably it halves the supposed ten-year breakout for their nuclear programme, and demands claims that they expect to utilise double the number of centrifuges. After the five-year deal, the statement envisages a scenario where nuclear enrichment greatly exceeds requirements for domestic nuclear fuel needs. From the semi-official Iranian Fars news-agency:

“The factsheet which was presented by Head of the Nuclear Committee Ebrahim Karkhaneyee on Wednesday stresses the necessity for respecting the redlines and guidelines specified by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, making Iran's decisions and undertakings reversible to enable the country to resume its nuclear operations in case of the other side's non-commitment to its undertakings, and immediate termination of all sanctions in a single step and on the first day of the implementation of the final agreement.[…]

The factsheet urges operation of 10,000 centrifuge machines at Natanz and Fordo, a maximum 5-year-long duration for the deal and for Iran's nuclear limitations, replacement of the current centrifuges with the latest generation of home-made centrifuge machines at the end of the five-year period.

The period for the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be limited to five years, in which about 10,000 active centrifuges operating at Natanz and Fordo now will continue nuclear fuel production by enriching uranium  below the 5% grade. […]

During the five-year period, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to keep the excess centrifuges installed at Natanz and Fordo or will gradually dismantle them, and at the end of the 5-year period, it will replace all the existing centrifuges, including the active or inactive ones, with the new generation of (IR-N) centrifuge machines with the help of the new spaces and infrastructures which will have been already prepared and will use them without any limitation.”

Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordo, believed to have a military dimension, will not only continue operation, but they reserve the right to enrich to 20% purity, leaving a three to six month period to enrich to 90%.

“Fordo nuclear facility will remain an enrichment and nuclear Research and Development (R&D) center. 4 enrichment cascades with 656 centrifuges will continue operation and production of fuel for purity levels lower than 5% by maintaining the current chain arrangements.

If the country would need 20%-degree (enriched) uranium, the nuclear fuel production line for purity levels lower than 5% will be altered to enrich uranium to the 20%-grade after connecting the centrifuge cascades to each other again.

Based on the above, Fordo will remain an actual and active center, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will maintain its capability to reverse its decision and restore the 20%-grade enrichment. […]

In a bid to use R&D findings in the country's industrial-scale enrichment chain, R&D should be planned in a way that the necessary possibilities and infrastructures will be provided for replacing the first generation of centrifuges with the latest generation of centrifuge machines (IR-N) when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action comes to an end after 5 years.”

Reluctance to redevelop the Arak heavy water reactor, believed to be developing Plutonium material:

“Given the SNF export abroad, the insistence of the G5+1, specially the US, on redesigning the said reactor is merely a pretext and doesn’t have any scientific rationale.

What is more important than the heavy water nature of Arak reactor is the core of the reactor which is due to be taken out and then be redesigned and renovated. Such a move is irreversible in nature, and thus means crossing the specified redlines.”

Limiting access to inspectors, which makes it impossible to verify that Iran is not developing a covert nuclear programme,

“the principle stated by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution - that security and military sanctities and boundaries shouldn’t be violated and that the inspections should be carried out at conventional levels similar to all other countries - will be respected and materialized. Given the Islamic Republic of Iran's opposition to the world arrogance, endorsing and implementing the Additional Protocol will provide the world arrogance (a term normally used for the US and its western allies) with legal grounds to stage their preplanned plots against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Iran repeatedly failed to respect the conditions established with their acceptance of NPT, ratified in 1970. They continually prevented IAEA access to certain sites. Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen warned that access has to be unrestricted to determine whether or not Iran is abiding by its commitments. Iran’s stance echoes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent assertions:

“The United States and its Western allies say it is vital that Iran fully cooperate with a U.N. > International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation into past nuclear activities that could be related to making weapons.

Iran for its part has said that "possible military dimensions" (PMD) are an issue it will not budge on.

"PMD is out of the question. It cannot be discussed," an Iranian official said. This issue has not been resolved.

Khamenei ruled out any "extraordinary supervision measures" over Iran's nuclear activities.

"Iran's military sites cannot be inspected under the excuse of nuclear supervision," he said.

Iran’s intense reluctance to allow investigation of their supposedly peaceable past activity is confirmation (if any was needed) that Iran was/is developing a military nuclear programme.

The fact-sheet issued by the Iranian parliament was issued as a refutation of the claims made by the Obama Administration, with respect to the terms agreed in the framework deal:

“The Iranian Parliament factsheet for a revision to the Lausanne agreement came after the US released a factsheet different from the joint statement issued by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and head of the G5+1 in nuclear talks with Iran, at the end of the latest round of Iran-world powers nuclear talks in Switzerland on April 2, known as the Lausanne statement.

The US factsheet that was released only a few hours after the Lausanne framework understanding caused fury in Iran, encouraging many to raise deep doubt about the results of the talks and US accountability and trustworthiness.”

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Posted on 04/19/2015 6:27 AM by Robert Harris
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
'Not Ordinary Yorkshire Lads as we know them Jim'
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According to an article in the Guardian, two 'ordinary Yorkshire lads' went on holiday to Turkey, from whence they travelled on to Syria, presumably to join ISIS. Their names were Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal. What is ordinary in Yorkshire has evidently changed out of all recognition in my lifetime. In my day, ordinary Yorkshire lads didn't go to Turkey, let alone to Syria, no doubt to the benefit of both.
 
The elder brother of one of the ordinary Yorkshire lads, Hassan Munshi, was another ordinary Yorkshire lad called Hammad, who, as it happened, was the youngest person ever to be convicted of terrorism in Britain. Apparently he conspired to murder non-Muslims: and you can't get more ordinary than that.
 
The use of the term 'ordinary Yorkshire lads' put me in mind of a mother whom I once heard on the wireless describe her 16 year-old son, just convicted for his 250th burglary, as 'a good boy really.' She must have been using the words in a severely technical sense. The real boy, as against the merely apparent boy, wouldn't harm a fly, and actually had a very strong sense of meum and tuum
 
According the parents of the two ordinary lads, Hassan and Talha had promising futures. But terrorism is supposed to be the inevitable product of an unjust world, of lives so desperate, impoverished and blighted by injustice that there is no future for them, isn't it? Obviously the parents have not been reading the Guardian attentively; they have let the side down by their ill-judged statement.
 
It was a relief, however, to know that the police were carrying out their main duties promptly and assiduously: 'West Yorkshire police said they had been supporting the missing teenagers' families…' Only then did we learn that they were performing their auxiliary duties such as 'carrying out extensive enquiries alongside the north-east counter-terrorism unit.'   
 
The main function of the police nowadays is to express their sympathy for the victims of the crimes they know they are not going to solve. As they put it, 'Our thoughts today are with…' Police spokesmen, or persons, sound like Church of England clergymen without the upper-middle class diction. They are particularly moved by senseless murder, sensible murder moving them to much less compassion; and of course there are the robberies or burglaries that go tragically wrong and end in the deaths of the persons who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. My advice to readers is always to be in the right place at the right time. 
 
First published in Salisbury Review.
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Posted on 04/19/2015 5:01 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Sunday, 19 April 2015
That Uninsurable Jewish Kindergarten In Belgium -- And What It Means
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Posted on 04/19/2015 4:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
‘Trojan horse’ school pupils fear for jobs
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From The Times. I think the poster in the picture says more than the article. If that is the parents and/or teachers reaction to what was uncovered then employers would be wise to be wary. 

Imran Awan yesterday told an audience in Birmingham that the city’s Muslims had been left “feeling like a suspect community fearful for their children’s future”.

The Birmingham City University academic, who has published a study detailing the impact of the Trojan horse inquiry, quoted one child saying: “I’m really worried now, because if I apply for a job then someone is going to look at my CV and think he must be a terrorist because of how the media has portrayed this. . . A teacher at the one of the implicated schools told me: the biggest losers here are the poor children who are going to be labelled as extremists and terrorists.” 

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Posted on 04/18/2015 12:40 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
Stickers encouraging people not to vote because 'democracy violates the right of Allah' put up in Cardiff
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From Wales on Line

Stickers have been put up in the Grangetown area of Cardiff

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Posted on 04/18/2015 12:09 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
Pray to Allah or drown, Muslims ordered Christians
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The Times has some more details of the drowning of the Christian migrants heading to Italy by the Muslims also in the illegal trafficing boat. The boat started to deflate so one of the Christians, a boy from Nigeria started to pray. Muslim Nigerians started to criticise him. 

'They told him that they would throw him overboard if he didn’t stop praying to God,” he said, according to La Repubblica. The aggressors added: "Here we pray only to Allah." They started shouting, two pushed the lad and he fell in the sea and drowned.' The Muslims then “went mad”, shouting “Allah is great” and began to attack migrants who had tried to defend the boy, it was alleged.

As a total of 12 migrants were thrown overboard, other Christians formed a human chain and resisted the attackers by clinging to the dinghy. . . Police in Italy arrested 15 suspects, including Ousmane Camara, 21, from the Ivory Coast, who was identified by a wound to his big toe received when a migrant he threw overboard bit him.

There are also details of another boat that landed in Italy that contained migrants who had been badly burned when a gas canister exploded in the warehouse where they had been held prior to embarkation. The survivors were just thrown on the boat two or three days later with no treatment. One woman died on the boat, others suffered from the effects of sun and salt on their burns.

 Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the UN said “I have never before seen cruelty like this,” 

The UN said that 23,500 migrants had sailed to Italy this year, in addition to 12,000 who had sailed to Greece, with 950 drowning. 

That's a small town already, and it's only April. How can it be stopped?

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Posted on 04/18/2015 10:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
Building National Monuments in Canada
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One of the instances of a great nation is impressive and tasteful monuments. They may be understated, as in London, where they are rarely larger than a nine-feet tall statue of a statesman or monarch, and include foreigners and former enemies (Washington, South African leader Jan Smuts, de Gaulle, and four other U.S. presidents). They may be either very large, quite large, or comparatively small, as in Paris (respectively, the Arc de Triomphe, Napoleon’s column, and statues of domestic and foreign statesmen: de Gaulle, Clemenceau, Washington, Churchill). And they may mix the ancient and modern, the classical and baroque, as in Rome (the Coliseum and the Victor Emmanuel).

The finest monuments of any city in the world are in Washington. They include four mighty and world-renowned presidential memorials (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt), plus countless imaginatively cast and located statues of statesmen and military commanders. What does not work so well are over-sized monuments to officials insufficiently distinguished to deserve them, as in Barcelona, or exaggeratedly heroic and bellicose monuments erected by and to rather peaceable people, as in the hypertrophic and rampant equestrian effigies of soldiers and monarchs of the Holy Roman Empire in Vienna, of whom only Prince Eugene and the Archduke Charles are entitled to any such lionization.

Canada is, naturally, a late-comer to this sort of thing, and, just as naturally, tends to be rather under-stated. There are some good and unpretentious statues of the founders of French Canada in Quebec City and in Montreal, and the statues of the leading parliamentarians of French and English Canada around Parliament Hill, Queen’s Park, and the National Assembly (including that of Maurice Duplessis, which languished for 17 years in the basement of the provincial police building in Montreal before René Lévesque finally unveiled it), are solid and appropriate, if a little unexciting.

Where Canada did outdo itself was in the magnificent memorial to the Canadian Corp’s successful efforts at Vimy, France, in 1917. That was the first time the Canadian army had fought as a unit, rather than being dispersed as needed among British units in the South African or First World wars, and it succeeded splendidly with innovative tactics and conspicuous bravery, where allies had not. As the centennial of that action and the sesquicentennial of Canada approach in 2017, there is a great and commendable effort to focus on the importance of Vimy, and it was a seminal victory on the Western Front and a milestone in the advance of Canada toward full recognition as an autonomous power.

 

We must maintain perspective: Canada had four divisions out of an ultimate Allied total of 300 in France and Belgium in 1918, but they were such daring troops and the contest was so desperately close, they made a difference, and were suitably honoured at the scene of their greatest contribution. There is also a fine and subtle memorial to Canada’s contribution to both world wars in Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, where water flows over bronze maple leaves, which it was my privilege, with my friend Galen Weston, to help to create. (We were vitally and graciously assisted by the Queen and Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and others.)<

The contributions of the late Harry Jackman — to moving the formidable equestrian statue of King Edward VII from India to Queen’s Park, to the memorials to Canada’s original Flying Corps on University Avenue in Toronto, and to the statue of Winston Churchill in front of the Toronto city hall — have been under-recognized. There are now signs that Canada is moving beyond the discreet recognition phase in monuments within the country, and although current instances of this are fiercely contested in some circles, I believe they should be encouraged. The current projects that are controversial are the proposed statue to “Mother Canada” on Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, and the planned memorial to the victims of communism between the National Library and the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. As always happens when artistic projects are in dispute, a tremendous volume of fatuous argument magnifies legitimate concerns.

I understand the concerns of Cape Bretoners regarding Mother Canada, 100 feet high and directly facing the Vimy Memorial, whose “Canada Bereft” it to some extent replicates. Some local residents fear it will be a spoliation of a national park that preserves the magnificently rugged Atlantic coastline of the cape. With the utmost respect, I believe it will highlight that park and detract nothing from it. Canada has spent 400 years in often rather forced recognition of its status as the offspring of other nationalities and this fine project confers the well-earned distinction of maternity on this country, in respect of its glorious veterans of foreign wars that threatened civilization but not directly our country, and to which huge numbers of Canadians volunteered their service, and tens of thousands gave their lives

The proposed surrounding attractions, the “We See Thee Rise Observation Deck,” the “Commemorative Ring of True Patriot Love,” and “With Glowing Hearts National Sanctuary,” are so formulaic they raise questions of taste, but the idea and the main statue are splendid, and if the statue is built, it will eventually inspire the whole country with the notion of a mighty and graceful welcoming maternal effigy, to some extent comparable to the Statue of Liberty, one of the world’s most successful monuments. Completely absurd arguments, as well as legitimate concerns about changing the character of the immediate area, have been trotted out, such as that the landward view will be of Mother’s behind. All statues, including those of people on horseback, offer a hind-perspective, and if this statue is sculpted properly, as published designs assure it will be, that will not be an unpleasing prospect.

In the other raging controversy,  the monument to the victims of communism has been attacked for ideological, design, and location reasons. Canada could claim to be the starting place of the Cold War, only a few blocks from the proposed site of this monument, with the defection of Soviet embassy intelligence clerk Igor Gouzenko, handing over voluminous documents to prove the extent of Soviet espionage in the West. Prime Minister Mackenzie King was so startled by these revelations, he took them personally to show to U.S. president Harry Truman and British prime minister Clement Attlee in 1945. Canada was a co-founder of the Western Alliance and played an important role in the Open Skies Conference in Ottawa in 1990 that was transformed into the forum of agreement on the reunification of Germany, the conclusive end to the Cold War, bloodlessly and satisfactorily. Again there have been spurious complaints about the brutalistic design, as if a memorial to the massacres of millions of innocents by Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sung, and others should be festooned with angels, cherubs and sylphs.

In a particularly inane outburst, a columnist in The Globe and Mail called the monument a “looming disaster” and added that the millions of victims of communism comprise a number that “pales, surely, in comparison with the victims of capitalism.” The occasions when capitalists systematically murdered the hundred million or so victims the communist leaders managed in the action-packed 20th century are not specified. Newspaper accounts of the value of the parcel of land range from $1 million to $30 million, and the theme is criticized as being external to Canada (so were the world wars), and inappropriate to the vicinity of the Supreme Court, toiling nobly in pursuit of condign justice (a flattering caricature of its current vocation). There could not be a better location, and the prime minister, together with Jason Kenney, John Baird, and in the Cape Breton project, Peter MacKay, have persevered commendably

Almost all monuments are opposed before they are unveiled. Let’s build them.

First publihsed in the National Post.

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Posted on 04/18/2015 8:30 AM by Conrad Black
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
I Sing of Arms and Iran
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Casey Stengel, sometimes reputed as the greatest 20th-century American philosopher, is reported to have asked a simple but critical question: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”  He was apparently referring not to the Obama administration’s Middle East policy, but to the ineffectiveness and hapless performance of the New York Mets, the team he was managing.

President Barack Obama stated in an interview in Vox on January 23, 2015 that the goal of any good foreign policy “is having a vision and aspirations and ideals, but also recognizing the world as it is, where it is, and figuring out how you tack to the point where things are better than they were before.”

It is obvious that the United States does not have solutions to every problem in the 21st century.  However, the urgent issue at the moment is whether Obama is accurately recognizing the state of relations of the United States and its five allies with Iran, and the likelihood of successful negotiations between the parties.

The dramatic decision on April 13, 2015 by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin to deliver to Iran the S-300, the most advanced air defense missile system, believed to be the Russian version of the U.S. Patriot missile system, has come as an unwelcome surprise to the White House.  Putin’s action is a direct confrontational challenge to the U.S. and to the international concern to limit Iran’s nuclear program.  The missile system, which has different versions with different capabilities, is intended to protect the country against rockets, missiles, and aircraft.

This arms sale, in addition to being a very public projection of Russian power and disregard for the views of the United States administration, is also likely to be the forerunner of business deals, including arms supplies, between other countries and Iran.  Putin’s decision comes at a moment when President Obama has said he would sign a compromise bill giving Congress the opportunity to review and respond to the final text of the multinational negotiations between the P5+1 powers and Iran on the latter’s nuclear facilities.  Thus, the U.S. Senate will vote on legislation to approve any agreement with Iran.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that the delivery of the advanced weaponry was being made “given the progress in talks on Iran’s nuclear program.”  This statement suggests that the arms deal is the direct result of the legitimacy Iran has obtained from the publication of two documents on April 2, 2015.  One is a document that the U.S. State Department has called “The Framework Agreement.”  The other is a declaration issued by the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif.  To this date there is a contradiction between the documents and declared intentions.

The position of U.S. Secretary State John Kerry is that there will be a phased removal of sanctions imposed against Iran after an agreement has been reached.  In contradiction, the Iranian leaders – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and foreign minister Zarif – have all demanded that all sanctions, economic and financial, imposed on Iran be lifted on the day of a final agreement, and that there will not be an agreement if this removal of sanctions is not accomplished.  They have specified that this position is non-negotiable.

In addition, the Iranian leaders insist that Iranian military sites will be off limits to inspectors.  Already it is clear that the lifting of sanctions, demanded by the Iranian leaders, will not only help the Iranian economy in general, but also provide financial resources to strengthen its military machine and sponsorship of terrorism.

The possession of the S-300 weapon system by Iran will clearly have at least two consequences.  First, it is likely to make Iran a more aggressive power.  It will make any air strike by Israel or the United States against an Iranian defense system more difficult, if not impossible.  Second, in the event of no agreement on Iran’s nuclear activity, the use of military force to halt further development may not be feasible.

The arms deal, worth $800 million, was first signed in 2007, but the sale was suspended, partly because of international pressure from the United States and Israel and partly because of the embargo on arms transfers to Iran imposed by the U.N. Security Council in 2010.  Though that embargo is technically still in effect, the Russians will now deliver S-300 missile system, five squadrons, with missiles that have a range of 93 miles and can fire at multiple targets flying up to 90,000 feet.  Russia has offered Iran an even more advanced system, but no agreement has been reached.  Russia is also negotiating a $20-billion oil-for-goods agreement with Iran.

The missiles clearly pose a threat to the State of Israel, especially if they are given by Iran to Hezb’allah, Hamas, or Syrian president Assad.  All three, as well as Iran, are capable of striking deep inside the State of Israel.  Hamas has already been receiving from Iran heavy machinery and engineering tools that it has been rapidly using to reconstruct tunnels that will allow attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel, as well as supplying an arsenal of rockets with which to make those attacks. Iran has also been arming members of Hamas who are resident in the West Bank.

The specious answer by the Russian president and foreign minister to criticism of its action is that the S-300 system has only defense capabilities, that it is not designed for attacks, and that it does not pose a threat to the security of any country in the Middle East, including Israel.  The arms sale, the foreign minister said, will stimulate a constructive process of the talks on Iran’s nuclear program.  What was left unsaid by Lavrov, whose cynical humor is not always fully understood by Western interlocutors, is that if the negotiations fail, Iran will resume its nuclear program and also have the advanced S-300 system.

Once again, the resurgent Russian nationalism of President Putin has manifested in an aggressive policy to exert power and influence through military actions not only in Eastern Ukraine, in Crimea, and in the Donbas region, but also elsewhere in the world, including the Middle East.  Control of Crimea, allowing expansion of its Black Sea fleet, provides Russia with a platform for its projection of power, as a forward operating base with mobile ballistic missile systems, capable of air defense and surface attack.

General Philip Breedlove, NATO supreme allied commander, on February 25, 2015 called for the United States and its allies to respond to Russia’s offensive campaign, diplomatically and economically if not militarily.  These countries must also counter, by similar means and the effective use of informational tools, the danger of an Iran being armed with advanced weapons.  Finally, they must recognize the fallacy of removing sanctions imposed on Iran.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 04/18/2015 8:07 AM by Michael Curtis
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
On Wednesday 15th April It was Yom Ha-Shoah
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I think it appropriate, even if a couple of days late, to do something to remember those who were murdered, and those who survived.

First, though, I would like to tell a story.  Years ago, in a bookshop, browsing at random through the shelves, as one does, I picked up and read a paperback that told the tale of some who had passed through that pit of deep darkness that was the Holocaust, the Shoah.  I cannot remember the name of the book. But I have always remembered one of the stories.  It was about a survivor: a woman, who had passed through the dark place, the habitation of cruelty, that was Ravensbrueck.  I can't recall her name. But I remember what she did.  Years after the war - how long after, I don't know - she went back to the ruins of the camp, and she went into the ruins of one of the gas chambers, or one of the ovens, and there in that epicentre of evil she sat down, and took out her siddur, the Jewish prayer book.  She opened it to the beginning of the Tehillim, the Psalms; and then she began to read. She read them aloud, all of them, from the first - "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly..." - all the way through the last, the great shout of joy and praise that is Psalm 150.  

Can you imagine her? Can you see her, hear her voice?  

Now, let us take up the book, and say Tehillim.

We shall begin with Psalm 23, adonai el-roi, The Lord is my Shepherd, as set by Leonard Bernstein in the Chichester Psalms. In counterpoint to the soloist the choir sings verses from Psalm 2, "Why do the heathen rage?"  Unfortunately, the clip I would have liked to share - Daniel Reich in Jerusalem in 2008 - cannot be embedded; however, if you go to youtube and google 'Daniel Reich' "Psalm 23" "Chichester Psalms" you should find it, and when you hear it you will know why it was my first choice.  

So, here is a very different version: Leonard Bernstein conducting - irony of ironies - a Polish soloist in Warsaw in 1989.

 

 

And now let us hear a meditation upon part of Psalm 42: Kir ahal ta'arog - "As pants the hart for flowing streams...". Sung by Brooklyn rabbi Moshe Hecht.

 

Psalm 121, sung by Yosef Karduner - Shir La ma'a'lot. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD who made heaven and earth...".

 

 

Psalm 130: "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee,O LORD: Lord, hear my voice...".  Sung in Hebrew by Haim Israel.  

 

And, finally, Psalm 150.  Yes, Psalm 150.  If she, that survivor of Ravensbrueck, could find the voice to say that great shout of praise, there, in the ruins of the gas chamber, we also must find the courage to say it with her.  "Praise ye the LORD.  Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise Him in the firmament of His power.  Praise him with the sound of the trumpet...[that is, the shofar, the ram's horn.]...".  This particular version, like all the others I have chosen for today, is in Hebrew, sung by one Yitzchak Fuchs.

 

 

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Posted on 04/18/2015 4:54 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
Melbourne, Australia: Muslims Arrested Over Alleged Anzac Day Jihad Mass Murder Plot Inspired by Islamic State
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Our reliably-Islamophile ABC has, of late, been trying hard to represent Australia-resident Muslims as poor little persecuted victims of the mean and nasty and, of course, ignorant and stupid Australian Infidel Islamophobes who just don't understand the sheer wonderfulness and peacefulness of Islam...and then they find themselves having to report something like this.  A Muslim plot to attack Australians on the One Day of the Year.  Breaking news. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-18/five-arrested-in-melbourne-after-a-joint-terrorism-operation/6402810

"Men (sic: they are Muslims, and if they were not Muslims they would not have been hatching a plot to kill non-Muslim Australians, specifically, non-Muslim Aussie policemen - CM) Over Alleged "ISIS-Inspired" Anzac Day Terrorist Plot".

"Counter-terrorism police have alleged that two fo the five men they arrested in an operation in Melbourne this morning were planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on an Anzac Day ceremony.

Of course.  Lots of people gathering together in close proximity ...and in the dark, just before dawn, when it would be easy to infiltrate without being seen.  RSL and all law enforcement and military - and ordinary Aussie citizens, those who like myself are aware of the nature and goals of Islam - take note. Be on your guard at all those dawn ceremonies, each and every one of them, all over Australia. - CM

'Sevdet Besim, 18, of Hallam, has been charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act, and appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

"He did not apply for bail, and was remanded in custody until next Friday.

'However the defence told the court Besim would apply for bail at a later date.

'A second man, 18, from Hampton Park, was also arrested on terrorism-related offences this morning during a major joint counter-terrorism team operation.

'A third man was arrested for weapons offences, and two other men were in custody assisting police with their inquiries, after seven search warrants were executed.

I wonder what mosque/s these young Muslim males of military age - and/ or their families - attended?  The mosques will, of course, claim to know nothing about them or the plot. The AFP and the Melbourne Police and ASIO would be well advised to surprise-search such mosques, once identified, as swiftly as possible; and all associated premises.  And they should not take at face value any claims, by the family and friends and mosque bosses, that this plot is a total surprise and everyone is shocked! shocked! - CM

'Three of the five men arrested were injured in the operation.

'One suffered a head wound and another resisted arrest.

'Capsicum spray was used to subdue the man.

Cries of "police brutality!" and "Islamophobia!" and "Racism!" and "torture!" and "persecution!" and "We wuz fwamed!" in 3...2...1...? - CM

'The Australian Federal Police said that they believed the two 18 year olds were plotting an attack to take place on Anzac Day.

Of course.  All Infidel high days and holidays, whether religious or secular, are routinely targeted by Muslims, since they represent non-Islamic belief systems and non-sharia-compliant systems of government. I am not surprised that jihad-minded Muslims in Australia would select Anzac Day as a time on which to attack the Infidels. - CM

'Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said it was believed the attacks were to have involved the use of "edged knives".

Is there such a thing as a non-edged knife?   But I get the picture.  A mass stabbing amidst an Anzac Day crowd in the pre-dawn darkness?  A seize-and-behead? - CM

"It is alleged both men were undertaking preparations for a terrorist attack at an Anzac Day activity in Melbourne, which included targeting police officers", he said.

'AFP Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan described the plot as being inspired by Islamic State (IS).

"At this stage we have no information that it was a planned beheading. But there was reference to an attack on police", he told a news conference in Melbourne.

"Some evidence that was collected at a couple of the scenes and some other information we have leads us to believe that this particular matter was ISIS-inspired."

And Islamic State is Muslim to its bootstraps, scrupulously obeying the instructions laid down in the Quran and Sira and Hadith, the sacralised example of the deeds and words of Mohammed and his 'Companions'.  Which example includes the carrying-out of multiple beheadings. - CM

'This morning's operation involved 200 police officers (200 officers in order to arrest five Mohammedan mobsters. Perfectly sensible.  I observe that when push comes to shove, Australian law enforcement appears to have discovered that when arresting Mohammedans and / or attempting to execute search warrants on Mohammedan premises, it is best to deploy overwhelming force from the get-go, so as to deter the formation of the usual Mohammedan insta-mob. - CM) and was the culmination of Operation Rising.

'The ABC understands that a number of the arrested men attended the Al Furqan Islamic study centre in South Springvale and were associates of Abdul Numan Haider, who also attended the centre.

'Haider was shot and killed by counter-terrorism police in September last year.

'AFP Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan said members of the community should not feel anxious.

"At this stage we're comfortable that we have this threat fully contained", he said.

Until the next plot happens, and the next and the next and the next..more and more of them, happening faster and faster, as the Ummah colonies in Australia grow in numbers and in perceived and actual strength.- CM

"[Members of the public] should feel reassurance as a result of the operations."

But it would be a good idea to be very much alert and aware when preparing for and/ or attending one's local Anzac Day celebration; especially the Dawn Services.  I will be going to the Dawn Service in my suburb. And I will keeping a sharp lookout.  I will be talking to a couple of RSL kinsmen who are involved with planning Anzac Day events, and encouraging them to put all able-bodied participating Old Soldiers, and local police, on high alert.  One hopes an Australia-wide warning has gone out; but I'm not going to take that for granted. - CM

'Resident said raid was a 'shock'.

People, if you have visibly-identifiable Muslims resident in your suburb, this sort of thing should not be a 'shock' at all. Got Muslims? - Got Jihad. Sooner or later. Guaranteed. - CM

'Searches are continuing at several addresses in the south-eastern metropolitan area and investigations are ongoing.

'David Johnston lives near one of the houses raided in Hallam and said he was on good terms with the residents.

Mate: ever heard of a Hadith that says, "We smile at some people, though our hearts hate them?"  Or the other Hadith in which Mohammed says, "War is deceit"??  You need to read up about taqiyya, kitman, muruna, tawriyya, the myriad methods of Muslim deceit vis a vis the filthy unbelievers who must never, never be befriended except temporarily and feigningly, for Muslim advantage. - CM

"It just frightens you because you don't know what's happening", he said. "It's just a shock.  You wouldn't think it would happen in your street".

If there are Muslims in your street, then it can happen and it does happen and it will happen.  You shouldn't be shocked at all.  Worried and frightened, yes. Shocked, no. And after worry and fright, the next step should be a search for information: look up Mark Durie's books, for starters, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  Once informed, you may then proceed to feel a wholly rational anger, and you may then begin to take action, such as warning your neighbours, and writing pointed letters to all those politicians who are blithely importing more and more and more actually-or-potentially-deadly Muslims into our country, demanding that the importation be stopped. At once. - CM

'Federal Government Minister Mathias Cormann has told Sky [news] that it was a concerning development.

"It's obviously a matter of concern that we face this kind of threat in our community", he said.

"It's good to know that our counterterrorism agencies are working to keep us safe."

But how about the Department of Immigration start thinking about stopping all further entry of Muslims into Australia? The ones we've already got are producing plot after plot after plot, and sooner or later the AFP and ASIO - unable to keep up with all those proliferating plots - will slip up, and then there will be mass casualties as at the bombing of the Boston marathon, or a gory beheading video featuring some random Australian infidel. - CM

'Prime Minister Tony Abbott is urging Australians not to allow the terror threats to deter them from attending Anzac Day commemorations.

'He said Australians should attend next weekend's ceremonies in the "largest possible numbers".

I've another suggestion. Every single Old Soldier attending those ceremonies who is still able-bodied enough to tote a weapon and clear-sighted enough to fire it, should be permitted to carry a loaded weapon, visibly. Every soldier guarding every cenotaph should be armed.  Every present-day member of the Australian Defence Forces who will be marching in any march in any city, this Anzac Day, should be carrying his weapon - ready to use it if necessary.  The rest of us will understand; and we should be told that if anything, anything at all untoward starts to happen, we must hit the deck so as to give our military and police a clean field of fire.  And, personally, I'd have our Afghanistan-veteran and our Special Forces snipers stationed on top of every public building along the parade routes. - CM

"The best thing you can do in the face of those who would do us harm is to live your life normally", he said.

"The best sign of defiance we can give to those who would do us harm is to go about a normal, peaceful, free and fair Australian life."

'AFP Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said police were able to act more quickly because of recent laws giving them more power.

"We are extremely confident that this particular cell [that] we've now wrapped a plan around them and we believe we've stopped these particular plots", he said.

Sure. But what of the next plot and the next and the next and the next?  There are a lot more Muslims in Australia, and there will be other plots. The more Muslims, the more plots.  Are you sure you can detect and track them all? - CM

'Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Labor supported the country's national security agencies and when it came to keeping people safe, "We are all in this together".

That 'we', my dear sir, however, does not in fact include the Muslims. Because the Ummah is the sea in which the jihadis swim and from which, ceaselessly, they emerge. 

Now, cue the dhimmi Victorian Premier, parroting the NothingtodowithIslam mantra. - CM

'Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the alleged terrorist plot was "simply evil, plain and simple."

Evil, yes. Also, an act of war, motivated by the Religion of Blood and War, Islam. - CM

'He said Victorians needed to take these threats seriously, but never be "defined by them".

What on earth does he mean by that? - CM

"These people arrested today are not people of faith, they don't represent any culture", he said.

Nonsense. They are Muslims, obeying the Jihad imperative that is hard-wired into all the canonical texts of Islam, Religion of Blood and War, Religion of Ritual Murder; that is manifest in the canonical Life of Mohammed, and of his Companions, and of the Four so-called "Rightly Guided" Caliphs who created an Empire by means of ceaseless warfare attended by horrific atrocities of every kind.  Daniel Andrews needs to read the books of Mark Durie; he needs to hear the warning of Tina Magaard, Danish scholar at the Sorbonne, who found Islam to be uniquely violent among the world's major religions, its texts saturated with calls to violence against non-adherents. - CM

"This is not an issue of how you pray or where you were born. This is not about those issues."

Sure, it's not about where someone was born. It does, however, matter how someone prays; it matters what kind of god someone believes in, and what kinds of prayers they pray to their god.  Many of the 'prayers' of Islam are "cursing" prayers, both dehumanising and wishing evil upon the despised infidels.  Ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish has described hearing such cursing of the Infidels regularly and often as she was growing up in an Islamic country.  Cursing the infidels and wishing ill upon them was normal. - CM

"Together with Victoria Police, Commonwealth law enforcement and Intelligence agencies, the Victorian Government continues to take reasonable and necessary steps to keep every Victorian safe."

No you are not.  Demanding that the Federal Government put a complete stop to all further entry of Muslims into Australia would be reasonable and necessary and you're not doing it.  Refusing to permit any further building of mosques and of Islamic schools would be reasonable and necessary; you're not doing it. Ending all further accommodation with and appeasement of Islam and Muslims within Australia would be reasonable and necessary, and you're not doing it. - CM

'Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright assured the community that the force would take "additional steps" to keep the community safe on Anzac Day.

"There will be a greatly increased visible police presence", he said. "There is a significant increase in police numbers over the major events that are coming up over this week, particularly over the Anzac Day weekend."

"We are not restricting our planning and thoughts to Melbourne. We are looking at Anzac Day events around Victoria, strengthening our events there."

'The national terrorism alert level remains high and anyone who sees suspicious activities is advised to call the national security hotline on 1800 123 400."

Watch the mosques. Watch the Islamic schools. See anything a bit odd happening...give the AFP a call.  And keep a beady eye on every last visibly-identifiable Muslim, especially any that pop up in places where you don't usually see them.  Also, take a leaf out of the Israelis' book, and be very, very wary of any unattended parcels, backpacks, bags or other items that might conceivably contain a bomb. - CM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 04/18/2015 2:33 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
Teenagers planned Australian terror attack for ANZAC centenary
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(Reuters) - Teenagers inspired by the hardline Islamic State planned a major terrorism attack in the Australian city of Melbourne to mark the centenary next week of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli during World War One, police said on Saturday.

Five men aged 18 and 19 were detained in the city's southeast in the early hours of Saturday in a series of raids, police said, as the culmination of a month-long operation code-named Operation Rising.

Senior police officials said they were confident the threat had been contained. They gave few details of the plan, but said the initial target was police officers, referring to potential use of "edged weapons".

Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan of the Australian Federal Police told a news conference in Melbourne that the plan targeted "ANZAC Day activity in Melbourne which included targeting police officers". 

The run-up to this year's centenary has been marked by numerous television programmes about the campaign, fought against the Muslim Ottoman Empire in what is now western Turkey.

Concerns have risen in recent weeks that Islamic State militants might use the anniversary to carry out attacks on Australian targets. Around 200 police officers were involved in the raids in Melbourne, Gaughan said, and enquiries were ongoing. 

Police this afternoon charged 18-year-old Hallam teenager Sevdet Besim with “conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts”, a Commonwealth offence.

Mr Besim appeared for a 30-second hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where he was remanded in custody to reappear for a filing hearing on April 24. Dressed in a black windcheater, the bearded Besim did not bow to magistrate Alan Spillane as he was taken to the holding cells below.

(Picture from the Melbourne Herald Sun left - note the Islamic extended finger) 

An 18-year-old Hampton Park man was also arrested in relation to terrorism-related offences. A third man, Lindim Sulejmani, 25, arrested in relation to alleged weapons offences, is understood to have been released from custody this afternoon.

Police said they had prevented a possible attack on serving police officers involving “associates’’ of the dead Melbourne terrorist Numan Haider.

SECURITY will be increased at Anzac Day commemorations across the state following this morning’s terror raids.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged Australians to turn out in force. “The best thing you can do in the face of those who would do us harm is to live your life normally,” Mr Abbott said. He praised the professionalism of police conducting the raids and said there were no other specific threats to Anzac Day events in other cities.

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Posted on 04/18/2015 3:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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