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Archive for the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Category

Cubs of the Caliphate: ISIS and the EU

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‘More than 50 British children are among those being trained by Islamic State in Syria, according to a UK-based counter-extremism think-tank. And despite the ongoing fight against ISIS, the terror group says jihadi ideology is here to stay and that it’s going to spread across Europe. Published on Aug 2, 2016’.

At the same time, Europol analysts and experts, drawing on contributions from EU Member States and external partners have compiled a disturbing report detailing the threats faced by Fortress Europe in the early 21st century: European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016 and introduced with these words: ‘This new edition of the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT), which Europol has produced on an annual basis since 2006, provides an overview of the failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks that took place in the EU during 2015, and of arrests, convictions and penalties issued’.[1] The Director of Europol Rob Wainwright writes that “[i]n 2015 the European Union (EU) experienced a massive number of casualties caused by terrorist attacks. By far the most affected Member State was France, which had to cope with losing 148 citizens and seeing more than 350 injured in attacks perpetrated in January [2015] and November [2015]. Murders and injuries in 2015 resulted from both unsophisticated lone actor terrorist attacks and well-coordinated, complex attacks by groups of militants. The carefully planned attacks demonstrated the elevated threat to the EU from a fanatic minority, operationally based in the Middle East, combined with a network of people born and raised in the EU, often radicalised within a short space of time, who have proven to be willing and able to act as facilitators and active accomplices in terrorism. The attacks have led to political reactions at all levels across the EU. On 29 January 2015 – three weeks after the attack on the editors of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris – the Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Council issued the “Riga Statement”. In the statement, the Council asserts that counter-terrorism efforts must be reinforced both at national and EU levels, and that terrorism, radicalisation, recruitment and terrorist financing are among the main threats to the internal security of the EU . . . The socalled Islamic State has demonstrated its ability to strike at will, at multiple times and at a diverse range of targets. It has shown its prominence within the “global jihad”, while the threat posed by other jihadist militant groups has not diminished. The overall threat is reinforced by the substantial numbers of returned foreign terrorist fighters that many Member States now have on their soil, perhaps as many as a third of those who had travelled to conflict zones, some of whom could be instrumental in terrorist attacks. Another worrying development is the significant rise in nationalist (xenophobic), racist and anti-Semitic sentiments across the EU, each resulting in acts of right-wing extremism.[2]

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The report itself goes on to say that the “Islamic State has, in the 18 months between its declaration that it re-established the caliphate in June 2014 and December 2015, conducted or inspired at least 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured more than 1,700. Most attacks – including some public executions of ‘spies’ or other enemies – were carried out in the Middle East and North Africa. The emergence of branches of IS and al-Qaeda in South-East Asia, and a number of terrorist incidents targeting westerners in Bangladesh, might lead to an increased future risk of attacks and kidnappings in those regions. Several European jihadists hold prominent positions in IS and are likely to maintain contact with terrorist networks in their home countries. The 13 November Paris attacks introduced IS’s tactics of using small arms in combination with person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIED) in suicide vests, designed to cause mass casualties. The way these attacks were prepared and carried out – plotted by returnees, very likely receiving direction from IS leadership, and including the use of local recruits to carry out the attacks – lead us to the assessment that similar attacks could again be staged in the EU in the near future. IS has repeatedly threatened the Iberian Peninsula and EU members of the anti-IS coalition in their propaganda videos, making specific references to Belgium, France, Italy and the UK”. [3]

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[1] “European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016” Europol (20 July 2016). https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/european-union-terrorism-situation-and-trend-report-te-sat-2016.

[2] Rob Wainwright, “Foreword” European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016, p. 5.

[3] European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016, p. 6.

Terrorists in Belgium

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‘Fusion’s Chief Investigative Reporter Mariana van Zeller spoke with a woman who says she warned authorities about terrorists in Molenbeek. Published on Mar 30, 2016’.

 

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Turkey’s Davutoğlu equates Israel’s Netanyahu to Paris attackers

‘Turkey’s PM Davutoglu has compared Israeli counterpart Netanyahu to the Islamist militants who killed 17 people in Paris last week, saying both had committed crimes against humanity. Jillian Kitchener reports (15 Jan 2015)’.

Al Qaeda in Yemen, Charlie Hebdo & Boko Haram

Sami Aboudi and Yara Bayoumy report that “Al Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting the Prophet Mohammad, according to a video posted on YouTube. “As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organisation of al Qaeda al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,” said Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) in the recording. Gunmen killed a total of 17 people in three days of violence that began when they opened fire at Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its past publication of satirical images of the Prophet. Ansi, the main ideologue for AQAP, said the “one who chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation is the leadership of the organization”, without naming an individual. He added without elaborating that the strike was carried out in “implementation” of the order of overall al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, who has called for strikes by Muslims in the West using any means they can find. AQAP itself is led by Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who is also Zawahri’s number two in the network’s global hierarchy”.[1]

While these French citizens were killed, in Nigeria, the terror groups Boko Haram slaughtered about 2,000 Nigerians on the Black Continent . . . as Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman explains, “[a]s the world focused on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, a massive atrocity was unfolding in Nigeria. On January 3, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram attacked the northern town of Baga and surrounding areas. Over the next several days, hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians were killed. Fleeing residents were chased into the bush and shot dead, others reportedly drowning in Lake Chad as they tried to swim away. Scores of homes were burned to the ground, and bodies were strewn in the streets. Estimates of the death toll range from around 500 to up to 2,000. Some 30,000 people were also displaced. Amnesty International says the assault on Baga could be the deadliest of the Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency. The group has waged relentless violence in a bid to establish an Islamist state in northern Nigeria”.[2]

[1] Sami Aboudi and Yara Bayoumy, “Al Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for Paris attack” Reuters (14 Jan 2015). http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/14/us-france-shooting-aqap-idUSKBN0KN0VO20150114.

[2]” Massacre in Nigeria: Up to 2,000 Feared Dead in Boko Haram’s Worst Attack to Date” Democracy Now! (13 Jan 2015). http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/13/massacre_in_nigeria_up_to_2.

Getting Flogged for Having Blogged: Saudi Arabia 2015

‘While millions stand for Freedom of Speech in the name of Charlie Hebdo, Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to public flogging after setting up an online forum to encourage a discussion about faith. Despite the international condemnation and outcry from human rights organizations the punishment was carried out. Alishba Zarmeen secular activist and a friend of Raif Badawi is IN THE NOW (13 Jan 2015)’.

Amnesty International posts on its website: a “witness confirmed to Amnesty International that the flogging of Saudi Arabian activist Raif Badawi took place this morning after Friday prayers [9 January 2015] in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah”.