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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

US Forces Flee as ISIS, Al Qaeda Swallow Yemen

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Al Qaeda and ISIS are dividing the spoils of another country between them, as the last few American special forces flee Yemen to avoid being captured by the horde.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned about the dangerous spread of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and the vulnerability of other nations in the Middle East when speaking to the U.S. Congress earlier this month.

A group of 100 US personnel withdrew from the southern Al-Anad air base on Friday as Al Qaeda terrorists seized a nearby southern city.

The move came a day after 137 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in suicide bombing attacks at Shia Houthi mosques in the capital city of Sana’a. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group also known as ISIS.

The U.S. military told Al Jazeera they were pulling out their last personnel in the country because of the “political instability and continued fighting” in Yemen.

The forces – along with U.S.-trained Yemeni anti-terror units who were also stationed at the air base – withdrew to an “unknown destination,” according to a military source who spoke with the AFP news agency.

American personnel who were deployed at Al-Anad had been gathering intelligence for the drone strikes against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemeni sources told the BBC.

The United Nations Security Council is to meet in emergency session Sunday to discuss the Yemen crisis. The closed session is being held at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said Reuters.

On Saturday, Hadi delivered his first televised address since escaping house arrest, pledging to fight what he called “Iranian influence.” The Yemeni president accused Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels who had ousted him from Sana’a.

Iran has repeatedly been named as the patron of the Zaydi fighters aligned with Shia Islam; however, the Houthis deny Iran is involved in Yemeni affairs. Hadi, however, pledged in his speech, “the Yemeni Republic flag will fly on the Marran mountain in Sa’ada (the Houthis northern stronghold) instead of the Iranian flag.”

He also called on the Houthis – whom he called “coup plotters” – to leave Sa’ana and for its militant allies to leave the government ministries. The Houthis, however, have called for a battle against security and military institutions controlled by the president, saying they fighting “extremists.”

The president is currently in the southern port of Aden, where he fled after the capital was seized by the Houthi rebels last month.

Obama Aides Lay Groundwork to Betray Israel at UN Security Council

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Aides to President Barack Obama told media Friday the U.S. will “reassess” its relationship with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s re-election to an historic fourth term.

A White House official couched the nasty reality in more diplomatic language, saying the president had told the prime minister “we will need to re-assess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.”

An official statement distributed following the call said the president had emphasized the U.S. “longstanding commitment to a two-state solution” during his conversation with Israel’s prime minister.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Netanyahu clarified his position on the issue, explaining his reasons for a statement during the campaign in which he told supporters he would not back the establishment of a Palestinian state during his fourth term. In that clarification Netanyahu talked about the present realities in the Middle East with which Israel has to contend. He also noted that he supports the same conditions for negotiating a sustainable peace that he had set forth in his speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009: a demilitarized Palestinian state led by a government willing to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.

But he pointed to changes on the ground that cannot be denied – or ignored – and that present a real threat.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has united his government in Ramallah with that of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All three are faithful proxies of Tehran. In addition, Gaza is now home to bases for a number of Salafi global jihad terrorist groups. Among them are the Army of Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and its proxies are also literally parked on Israel’s borders, in Lebanon, Syria, the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. A new Palestinian state would be ripe for the picking as well, creating for Israel an existential threat that no leader could allow.

None of which has impressed Obama. At a briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters: “Now that our closest ally in the region – and one of the two parties who would be responsible for negotiating a two-state solution – has withdrawn from their commitments, to that ideal, it means that we need to rethink the kinds of policy decisions that we’re going to have to make going forward.”

Never mind the fact that the Palestinian Authority – the first of the two parties responsible for negotiating the two-state solution — withdrew from its commitments several years earlier.

Obama has entirely ignored the fact that the PA, via the PLO, unilaterally dropped out of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. He has also turned a blind eye as the PA abandoned its moral and legal obligations to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel, using the United Nations as an excuse to break that deal. The General Assembly of the United Nations participated, allowing itself to be so used by granting the entity non-member observer nation status, which opened the door for the PA to join hundreds of international treaties.

Some members of the American media are also using a double standard to judge Israel’s decisions on its national security and foreign policy.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as part of Israel’s “Likud-led government” and baldly demanded to know: “Do you support what’s called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside, the new state of Palestine.”

US Army Vet Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ on Trying to Join ISIS

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Turkish authorities caught a U.S. Armed Forces veteran this past January as he was allegedly attempting to join Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group, or ISIS.

U.S. federal authorities say U.S. Air Force veteran and New Jersey native Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, flew to Turkey from Egypt in January, but was denied entry to the country. Instead, they say Turkey sent Pugh back to Egypt, who then deported the veteran to the U.S.

(Given the skill and speed with which Turkish authorities caught this suspect, one wonders how three Islamic schoolgirls from the UK managed to sneak through the country into Syria to become Daesh “brides.”)

Pugh was arrested January 10 in Turkey and on January 16 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has been held in custody since that time, the Wall Street Journal reported. The alleged wannabe terrorist was formally charged by the federal grand jury with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and obstruction of justice. On Wednesday he pleaded “not guilty” in a New York federal court room, CNN reported.

If found guilty, Pugh could be sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison.

According to a post on the blog of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Pugh’s Face­book pro­file included mul­ti­ple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posts as well as posts sup­port­ing Hamas.

One of the posts written by Pugh in July 2014 stated in part, “All the evil done by the Jews came from within them­selves. On the day of Judg­ment full respon­si­bil­ity of the starv­ing, tor­ture, jail­ing and killing of inno­cent Mus­lims will rest upon there (sic) shoul­ders. Allah must really hate them to give the rope to hang them­selves.” He also posted an image with text stat­ing, “Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our G-d is Lucifer.”

In August 2014, he shared an image that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israel’s Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children. Pugh also posted sev­eral car­toons equat­ing Jews, Israelis or Zion­ists to Nazis, as well as numerous images claim­ing to depict Israeli war crimes.

Under questioning while being held in Egypt prior to deportation to the U.S. Pugh claimed he had traveled to Turkey to seek employment, denying he had intended to go to Syria, according to the criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

However, a search of the suspect’s laptop by federal agents turned up a map of Turkish-Syrian border crossing points, and some 180 jihadist propaganda videos – including a number showing ISIS prisoners being executed. Also found on his laptop was a letter addressed to “My Misha,” whicch stated, “I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States.”

That Pugh refers to ‘Islamic States’ in the plural form is, in fact, quite chilling: Daesh has indeed spread its influence and its forces from Iraq and Syria into a number of other countries, including Yemen, Nigeria and Libya. Pockets of terrorist cells have also been found in the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, Lebanon, France, Belgium, and Denmark.

Pugh was charged with “obstruction of justice” in response to the suspect’s intentional damage and removal of memory chips from four thumb drives in order to stymie law enforcement officials in their attempts to access data, authorities said. According to the criminal complaint, Pugh was also asked why he had a photo of a machine gun on his cell phone. He replied that he had “no particular reason other than simply liking the photograph.”

But Pugh’s history did not begin with his flight to the Turkish-Syrian border; actually he has been on the “watch list” for more than 10 years. Quoting the criminal complaint, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pugh converted to Islam and then started ramping up his radical sympathies after moving to San Antonio in 1998.

The FBI received a first tip from a co-worker while Pugh was working as a mechanic for American Airlines in 2001, when he was saying he sympathized with Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and supported the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Africa. By 2002, the FBI heard that Pugh had expressed interest in traveling to Chechnya to fight the jihad (Islamic holy war.)

Pugh had already worked as an Air Force mechanic from 1986 to 1990, and was assigned to various bases around the world, according to the U.S. Air Force. He lived abroad for some 18 months, including in Egypt and Jordan, prior to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint. But following his discharge, Pugh had trouble holding down a steady job.

At some point from 2009 to 2010, he worked as an Army contractor for a five month period in Iraq.

Earlier this year, he was fired again, this time from a gig as an airplane mechanic for a firm “based in the Middle East.”

Last Friday, three Brooklyn men also pleaded “not guilty” in Brooklyn federal court to charges of conspiring to aid the ISIS terrorist organization.

Over the past 18 months “dozens” of Americans have faced criminal charges relating to ISIS. FBI director James Comey said at a news briefing last month that his agency has active cases open “in every single state” in connection with the ISIS terror organization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Preventing Americans from joining ISIS has become a priority for federal law-enforcement officials, but they have been unable to find a singular profile of the type of American who is inspired by the militant group’s propaganda.”

Due to the lack of a hat, a tip of the keyboard will have to do for kudos to WSJ journalists Dion Nissenbaum and Nicole Hong for being able to compose and type that last with a (presumed) straight face.

European Parliament Members Urge EU Freeze on PA Funding

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Eleven members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to fight terrorist by freezing funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The group has sent a written declaration to the EU, urging the European body to cut its financing to organizations actively involved in promoting terror “as the best way to fight terrorism.”

German Liberal member of the European Parliament, Michael Theurer, is one of the signatories to the declaration.

The European Jewish Press reported this weekend the group has found that the Palestinian Authority and countries such as Pakistan have been financing terror via Hamas and Al Qaeda, among other groups.

“We have many indications … the Palestinian Authority [funnels] EU money towards terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda or Hamas,” Theurer said over the weekend. “With this written declaration we are urging the European Court of Justice and he European External Action service to follow up on these indications and deliver final proof so that funding can be frozen,” he said.

More than 400 Palestinian houses have been illegally built with EU assistance in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria that was designated under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords to be under Israeli jurisdiction.

No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.

The EU was a signatory to the Oslo Accords, along with Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the early 1990s. The document designated Area A to be totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Area B to be jointly controlled by the PA and Israel, and Area C to be under the total control of the State of Israel.

New York Jury Convicts Saudi Man in 1998 Al Qaeda Attack on US Embassy

Friday, February 27th, 2015

A New York City jury convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ – Khaled al-Fawwaz – on charges of conspiring to kill Americans and destroy U.S. property. The verdict was handed down in a federal district courtroom on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The Saudi Arabian national was the deputy to the late terror chief Osama Bin Laden for nearly a decade, spreading his message to the West.

But he pleaded not guilty and claimed he was not a member of Al Qaeda, saying he does not condone violence. The prosecution accused Fawwaz of creating a media office in London to disseminate Bin Laden’s messages and faciliate communications between Al Qaeda members.

Fawwaz was convicted Thursday in a U.S. federal court on charges of participating in a conspiracy that led to the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

“The defendant worked for years directly and personally with Osama Bin Laden,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewis said during his opening argument, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. The messages he helped disseminate included declarations of war that called for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere in the world.

The evidence presented to the juror included printed copies of an Al Qaeda declaration of war – taken from a search of Fawwaz’s home in London – signed by Bin Laden, and floppy disks of drafts of the same message.

Lewin said the 52-year-old Saudi terrorist also helped lay the groundwork for attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people dead and more wounded.

Arguing for the defense, Bobbi Sterheim argued that Fawwaz kept the incriminating evidence in his home in order to stay informed of “both sides of the aisle.”

Bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, and Egyptian-born British cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri were both also convicted on similar terrorism charges in the past year as well. Both were sentenced to life in prison, with juries having deliberated for less than two days before reaching a verdict in each trial.

Wednesday’s verdict was seen as a victory for Washington’s efforts to prosecute suspected terrorists in civilian courts.

Mall of America Shoppers Told ‘Stay Vigilant’ After Video Call for Terror

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The largest shopping center in the United States — the Mall of America — could be the next target of an attack by al-Shabaab, the Somali affiliate of Al Qaeda. The building has more than a dozen entrances and covers at least 80 acres of land.

Security personnel conducted a “lockdown drill” at 10 am local time and have planned a second one for later in the day. Other security measures – “seen and unseen” – have been put into place as well, officials said.

The moves came in response to a video call for jihad released by the group this past weekend.

The group used the video to recruit Western “Muslim brethren” to hit the Mall of America and shopping centers in Canada and the UK.

In 2013, 67 people died when the group staged a four-day siege at a shopping mall in Nairobi.

Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson told news media on Monday that shoppers are “being warned to remain extra vigilant while shopping.” Calls for jihad are being issued via the Internet, videos and through various publications, he pointed out.

Officials at the shopping center, considered the largest mall in the United States, said, “At this time there is no credible threat associated with the Mall of America. We will continue to work together at all levels to evaluate this and other information with the authorities.”

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing also on Monday the intelligence community is “not aware” of any current plot to attack the Mall of America.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali immigrant community in the United States. According to Fox News, at least 15 members of that community left last year to join Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization.

Canadian Jewish Developer Tightens Mall Security After Al Qaeda Call to Jihad

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

A Canadian-based business family is not waiting for a terror attack before tightening security: the Ghermezian Brothers have already taken measures to prevent an attack. The four brothers – Eskandar, Nader, Raphael and Bahman – own a construction and real estate empire in addition to the shopping malls developed by the family patriarch, Jacob Ghermezian, who died in 2000.

The preparations came in response to a call to jihad against “American and Jewish-owned” shopping malls made in a video by the Al Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab over the weekend.

The Jewish Iranian-Canadian family is known for having developed some of the world’s largest shopping malls, and is no stranger to the need for security; its West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has already put security measures into place to prevent an attack.

Edmonton Deputy Police Chief Brian Simpson told CTV News, “West Edmonton mall is very safe; I also feel that this community is very safe,” Jewish Business News reported.

In Bloomington, Minnesota, the family’s Mall of America stands out as the largest shopping mall in the United States – which made it one of the top targets for al-Shabaab. The terror group even provided the coordinates for its “Muslim brethren” in the West to more easily be able to find the shopping mall, in order to be able to attack it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-jewish-developer-tightens-mall-security-after-al-qaeda-call-to-jihad/2015/02/23/

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