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We're back
After a catastrophic hard drive crash, a new box, five days, and the remaining hair torn out of my head we're back. I'm sorry for all the downtime.

Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [104 views] Top|| File under:

Taliban attack on Afghanistan police cadets near Kabul kills dozens
[BBC] Taliban bombers have attacked an Afghan police convoy outside the capital Kabul, killing at least 30 people and wounding 50 others, officials say.

Two bombs hit a convoy of buses carrying graduates from a ceremony on the city's western outskirts.

Paghman District Governor Musa Khan told the BBC that all but two of the dead were police cadets.

The bombing was claimed by the Taliban and follows an attack on a bus just over a week ago that killed 14 people.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the latest violence in Afghanistan - just a few days ahead of a Nato summit in the Polish capital Warsaw - underscores the need for a continued Western engagement in Afghanistan where local security forces are having only limited success in restoring order.

The US and Nato combat mission in Afghanistan ended in December 2014.

US forces have taken on an advisory role since then, while also carrying out counterterrorism missions against so-called Islamic State and remnants of al-Qaeda.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 08:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [4 views] Top|| File under:

Fierce clashes kill dozens across Yemeni cities
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Clashes in several areas across Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
on Friday killed 22 militias and 11 members of pro-government forces, military officials said, after peace talks hit a new barrier.

Fierce battles erupted in the northern Jawf province when Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
militias attacked loyalists in al-Motoon district, triggering a counter attack by government forces backed by warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition, a military official said.

The fighting left 13 militias dead, while eight loyalists were killed by mistake in an air strike that missed its target, the official added.

Further south, three Houthi militias were killed in festivities in Bayhan, Shabwa province, another military official said.

And in the southwestern flashpoint city of Taez, six militias and three loyalists were killed in renewed fighting when holy warriors attacked government troops on the southwestern outskirts of the city, a military official said.

Clashes have continued despite a UN-brokered ceasefire that entered into effect on April 11 and paved the way for peace talks in Kuwait.

Those talks received a new blow on Thursday when government representatives demanded a full withdrawal of Iran-backed militia from territory seized since 2014.

On Wednesday, the rebel delegation said it would not sign up to any deal on military and security issues until there was agreement on a consensus president and a national unity government to oversee the transition.

The peace roadmap put forward by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed the formation of a unity government in tandem with the withdrawal and disarmament of the militia, although he acknowledged major differences between the two sides’ timetables.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [25 views] Top|| File under: Houthis

Saudi police officer killed in kingdom’s east
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Authorities in Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
said on Friday that a police officer working on a traffic patrol was rubbed out in the kingdom’s east.

According to the News Agency that Dare Not be Named, the Interior Ministry said the officer, identified as Faisal al-Harbi, was killed by unknown assailants early Friday morning in the city of Saihat. It said an investigation was ongoing.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [25 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia

Armed police to patrol French beaches amid terrorism fears
[Guardian] Tourists visiting French resorts this summer will see armed police patrols on the beaches, as the country beefs up security measures for the holiday season.

Officers belonging to the CRS riot police force, who have previously been equipped with batons and handcuffs, will be allowed to wear special holsters carrying weapons for the first time. Bulletproof vests will also be at their disposal.

The move comes two weeks after an unarmed French police chief and his partner were killed in a stabbing in front of their house outside Paris. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack, which has sparked a debate in France about whether the forces should carry weapons outside working hours. France remains in a state of emergency following November’s deadly attacks, which left 130 dead.

Concerns about the security of shoreline resorts have also grown since last year’s mass shooting at the Tunisian tourist resort of Port El Kantaoui, near the city of Sousse.

Nicolas Comte, a spokesman from the Unité SGP Police-Force Ouvrière, the syndicate representing the French national police, said on Wednesday that there had been no specific terrorist threats; the measures were taken primarily to ensure the safety of lifeguards.

"This is the first time that these officers will be armed. Normally throughout July and August they are in their swimsuits and unarmed," he said, according to local reports.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 09:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10 views] Top|| File under:

Istanbul Airport Bombers Were RU, Uzbek, Kyrgyz Nationals, Turkish Official Sez
ISTANBUL, June 30 (Reuters) - Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 42 people in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul airport this week were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish government official said on Thursday.

The attack on Europe's third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey this year.

The three bombers opened fire to create panic outside, before two of them got inside the terminal building and blew themselves up. The third detonated his explosives at the entrance. A further 239 people were wounded.

The official gave no further details beyond confirming the attackers' nationalities and declined to be named because details of the investigation have not yet been released. Investigators had been struggling to identify the bombers from their limited remains, officials said earlier.

"A medical team is working around the clock to conclude the identification process," one of the officials said.

The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, where Moscow has led two wars against separatists and religious militants since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

The Kyrgyz security service declined to comment, while the Uzbek security service could not immediately be reached.

Turkish police detained 13 people, three of them foreigners, in raids across Istanbul in connection with Tuesday night’s attack.

Counter-terrorism teams led by police special forces launched simultaneous raids at 16 locations in the city, two officials told Reuters. Turkish authorities have said they believe Islamic State was behind the airport attack.

Yeni Safak said the organizer of the attack was suspected to be a man called Akhmed Chatayev, of Chechen origin. Chatayev is identified on a United Nations sanctions list as a leader in Islamic State responsible for training Russian-speaking militants, and as wanted by Russian authorities.

The Hurriyet newspaper named one of the attackers as Osman Vadinov, also Chechen, and said he had come from Raqqa, the heart of Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria.

Turkish officials did not confirm to Reuters that either Chatayev or Vadinov were part of the investigation.

Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 07:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [21 views] Top|| File under:

Belgium detains 2 in new anti-terror raids
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Belgian police detained two men for questioning after fresh anti-terror raids overnight, the federal prosecutor’s office said Saturday amid reports of a planned attack on a Euro 2016 fanzone.

"One man was jugged
Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un!
in (the eastern town of) Verviers and another man in Tournai," close to the French border, a front man said.

"It is too soon to talk about a terror attack," he added.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [22 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

What We Do Know about the Benghazi Attack Demands a Reckoning
[Nat Review] Nine months before a terrorist attack on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, killed four American officials, including ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the State Department dispatched a security officer to assess the threat there.

In an interview with the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the officer recounted his report to a superior at State, then under the direction of Secretary Hillary Clinton: I told him that this was a suicide mission; that there was a very good chance that everybody here was going to die; that there was absolutely no ability here to prevent an attack whatever. . . . He said, "Everybody back here in D.C. knows that people are going to die in Benghazi and nobody is going to care until somebody does die."

The Select Committee issued its long-awaited report on Tuesday. In many ways, it is a disappointment -- an outcome guaranteed by Obama administration stonewalling, abetted by congressional Democrats’ tireless interference.

The committee held few public hearings to hold officials accountable, and major questions it was created to examine remain unanswered: Why did the State Department and CIA have compounds in Benghazi, one of the most dangerous places in the world, particularly for Americans?

What was President Obama doing during the hours of the siege, particularly once he knew our ambassador was missing? Why, despite the presence of military assets, was no rescue attempted? And why -- when the threat was extraordinary, and after months of jihadist attacks on Western targets in the region -- was no plan in place to extract the Americans from Benghazi? Nevertheless, the report is a devastating account of staggering dereliction of duty and deception by the president and his top subordinates.

Front and center in every phase of this disgraceful episode is Mrs. Clinton, whose appalling judgment and character flaws are amply illustrated in its pages. The committee’s voluminous report is ably summarized in the concurrence appended by two Republican members, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mike Pompeo of Kansas.

The Benghazi terrorist attack occurred 56 days before the 2012 presidential election. In his campaign for reelection, President Obama repeatedly declared that the killing of Osama bin Laden signaled the defeat of al-Qaeda and its network of affiliates. In reality, the terror threat still remained grave, especially in a post-Qaddafi Libya that had collapsed into chaos and provided a refuge for terrorists, including groups tied to al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 08:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [12 views] Top|| File under:

Iraqi flag raised in liberated Fallujah neighborhood
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Baghdad Operations Command said on Saturday that an Iraqi flag was raised on top of a medical center for a newly liberated Al-Jolan neighborhood north of Fallujah city, marking new successes by the country’s security forces against ISIS bad boys.

On Saturday, Iraq’s government also said in a statement that its forces have "cleaned" Al-Mualimeen neighborhood in Fallujah in the western province of Anbar from ISIS bad boys.

"Baghdad Operations’ fighting forces were able to fully clean Al-Mualimeen neighborhood in Fallujah today," the statement read.

It added: "The forces were able to eliminate a number of terrorist ISIS members, and make [ISIS] incur equipment losses."

The news comes after Iraqi security forces were able last week to liberate the center of Fallujah city. Iraqi security forces are continuously trying to liberate areas in the northern part of the city.

On Friday, Makhool, a district in the province of Salah Al-Din which lies north of Baghdad, has been recaptured from ISIS forces of Evil on Friday, the Iraqi government said in a statement.

Salah al-Din is on the border with Nineveh province where Iraq’s second largest city of djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
is located. Mosul fell under ISIS control since June 2014.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [25 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

US-led strikes pound ISIS in Iraq, kill 250 fighters
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] US-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against ISIS around the city of Fallujah on Wednesday, US officials told Rooters, with one citing a preliminary estimate of at least 250 suspected fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed.

If the figures are confirmed, the strikes would be among the deadliest ever against the myrmidon group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the operation and noted preliminary estimates can change.

The strikes, which the officials said took place south of the city, where civilians have also been displaced, are just the latest battlefield setback suffered by ISIS in its self-proclaimed "caliphate" of Iraq and Syria.

The group’s territorial losses are not diminishing concerns about its intent and ability to strike abroad though. The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
pointed the finger at ISIS on Wednesday for a triple suicide kaboom and gun attack that killed 41 people at Istanbul’s main airport.

CIA chief John Brennan told a forum in Washington the attack bore the hallmarks of ISIS "depravity" and acknowledged there was a long road ahead battling the group, particularly its ability to incite attacks.

"We’ve made, I think, some significant progress, along with our coalition partners, in Syria and Iraq, where most of the ISIS members are resident right now," Brennan said.

"But ISIS’ ability to continue to propagate its narrative, as well as to incite and carry out these attacks - I think we still have a way to go before we’re able to say that we have made some significant progress against them."

On the battlefield, the US-led campaign against ISIS has moved up a gear in recent weeks, with the government declaring victory over ISIS in Fallujah.

An alliance of militias have also launched a major offensive against the bad boy group in the city of Manbij in northern Syria.

Still, in a reminder of the back-and-forth nature of the war, US-backed Syrian rebels were pushed back from the outskirts of an ISIS-held town on the border with Iraq and a nearby air base on Wednesday after the bandidos murderous Moslems mounted a counter- attack, two rebel sources said.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [43 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Israeli girl stabbed to death by Palestinian inside bedroom
[BBC] A teenage Israeli girl has been stabbed to death in an attack at a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Thirteen-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was attacked while she slept inside her bedroom in Kiryat Arba.

A security guard who responded to the incident was wounded before the attacker was shot dead by other guards.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the assailant as 19-year-old Mohammed Tarayreh, from the nearby village of Bani Naim.

Thirty-four Israelis have now been killed in a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks since October. More than 200 Palestinians - mostly attackers, Israel says - have also been killed in that period.

The assailants who have been killed have been shot either by their victims or by security forces as they carried out attacks. Some attackers have been arrested.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 08:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [9 views] Top|| File under:

Was the Istanbul attack an act of retaliation for Turkey-Israel accord ?
[Jerusalem Post] Tuesday's suspected ISIS attack tack on the Ataturk Airport was likely preplanned and unrelated to the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel and Russia, a senior Turkish official and other terrorism experts told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

However, there is evidence Islamic State was angry about the repairing of relations between Turkey, Israel and Russia, publishing a statement in the latest edition of its official newsletter.

A senior Turkish official told the Post "the main reason behind the Islamic State attacks is Turkey’s role in the international coalition [against the group]."

Asked if the attack could be meant as a response to Turkey’s diplomatic moves to repair relations with Israel and Russia, he responded, "An attack of this scale takes planning. But we are not ruling out the fact that the terrorists may have picked this date to challenge Turkey’s diplomatic efforts."

Rafael Green, director of the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), told the Post, "It is very unlikely the deal with Israel had anything to do with it."

"As in the past, Islamic State does not claim responsibility for attacks in Turkey," he added.

Islamic State criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which is similar criticism that came from al-Qaida and others, may point to a motive being Turkey’s support for Free Syrian Army and other Islamist factions in Syria.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2016 08:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [8 views] Top|| File under:

Two wounded in shooting near Kiryat Arba, terrorism suspected
A gunman opened fired near the town of Kiryat Arba in Judea, wounding two people.

Initial reports indicate the incident is likely a terror attack.

The wounded are both in serious condition. The terrorist has reportedly been eliminated.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/30/2016 02:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [30 views] Top|| File under:

US-backed Syrian fighters push into Manbij
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] US-backed Syrian fighters pushed further into the ISIS group stronghold of Manbij on Saturday, seizing a key road junction and grain silos overlooking the city, a monitoring group said.

The city lies close to the border with Turkey and is a key staging post on the militants’ supply line to areas under its control in eastern Syria and neighboring Iraq.

The US-backed Kurdish and Arab forces, which have thrust into Manbij after driving across the Euphrates River from the east, have encircled the city and are now closing in with the support of US-led coalition air strikes.

The Syrian Democratic Forces overran the Mills Roundabout in the south of the city on Saturday after capturing nearby grain silos overnight, taking them significantly closer to the city centre, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“The grain silos overlook more than half of Manbij. SDF fighters can climb to the top and monitor the city,” said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

The Raqa Revolutionaries Brigades - one of the Arab components of the Kurdish-dominated alliance - confirmed that SDF forces had seized the silos and pushed into the city.

Captured by ISIS in 2014, Manbij has served as a key transit point for foreign fighters and funds, as well as a trafficking hub for oil, antiquities and other plundered goods.

Its loss would deprive the militants of vital revenues and mark the greatest victory so far for the Kurdish-led alliance which has already sealed most of the Turkish border.

Some 200 US and other coalition advisers are supporting the offensive launched at the end of last month.

ISIS has thrown large numbers of fighters into the battle, losing 463 since May 31, according to the Observatory. The SDF has lost at least 89.

Pounding Aleppo
Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded rebel-held areas of divided second city Aleppo on Saturday as government forces closed in on the rebels’ sole remaining supply line, a monitoring group said.

An AFP correspondent in the rebel-held east of the city said the air strikes lasted throughout the night into the morning.

Aleppo, which was Syria’s commercial and manufacturing hub before civil war broke out in 2011, has been a key battleground ever since rebels seized eastern neighborhoods of the city the following year.

A two-day truce brokered by Moscow and Washington earlier this month in a bid to rescue a wider ceasefire expired without renewal and Russia warned it would press ahead with it air campaign, saying the rebels had failed to deliver on promises to break ranks with al-Qaeda loyalists.

The Russian strikes focused on the Castello Road, the only remaining route out of the rebel-held east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Russian planes are backing a Syrian regime ground offensive on the northern edges of the city, while Syrian planes bomb the eastern neighborhoods,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

A child was among two people killed in strikes on the rebel-held Al-Maysar neighborhood, the White Helmets civil defense group said.

“In the past two days, my kids and I haven’t been able to sleep all night because of the huge blasts, the likes of which we haven’t heard before,” said 38-year-old shopkeeper Abu Ahmed.

A father of three, Abu Ahmad owns a small convenience store in east Aleppo.

“We haven’t been able to get any products or produce for the shop over the past two days because no one can use the (Castello) road,” he said.

The renewed government offensive around Aleppo comes a day after another key ally, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, pledged to send more fighters to join the “greatest battle” of the war.

31 killed in east Syria
Meanwhile, the Observatory said Russian air strikes killed at least 31 civilians and wounded dozens more on Saturday in a militant-held town in eastern Syria, a monitor said.

The monitor said the raids hit the town of Al-Quriyah, controlled by ISIS in Syria’s oil-rich Deir Ezzor province.

Observatory head Abdel Rahman said there were 16 other people killed but it was not immediately clear whether they were civilians or ISIS fighters.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2016 02:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [27 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

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