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May 7, 2015 / 18 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Why French Jewry Cannot Afford to Sleep

Monday, January 12th, 2015

It appears the Jewish community in France has more to fear than simple anti-Semitism in Europe. Jews have often ended up in history’s crossfire when the winds of war were raging. This time appears to be no exception as the world wrestles with radical Islam.

There are two main issues that are endangering French Jewry. The first danger can be likened to the proverbial clash of the stags, so to speak. And the Jews are underfoot. Or fodder.

Al Qaeda is in competition with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), via its affiliates, each of which operates independently. An operative recruited by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, led the first of last week’s series of terror attacks in Paris. But the siege of terror was actually carried out by two separate teams from the competing terror groups who joined together for the purpose of making a statement in France.

The first team, comprised of Cherif Koachi, 32 and his brother Said, 34, also included 18 year old Hamid Mourad and a fourth person – as yet unidentified – who drove the getaway car. That group is linked to Al Qaeda; Cherif had been recruited while on the streets and then in the jails of France. His brother Said had actually traveled to Yemen and met with AQAP leader Anwar al-Awlaki, and trained at the terrorist bases there.

The second team – that of Amedy Coulibaly and his common-law wife, Hayat Boumedienne – belongs to ISIS. Coulibaly was seen on Sunday in the traditional terror shahid (martyr) video that was produced at some time prior to carrying out the attacks. Someone – possibly Boumedienne – uploaded the video to the Twitter social networking site two days after he died in a blaze of French SWAT team gunfire.  In the video he appears to be seated below the flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The footage was authenticated by a former lawyer for the terrorist as well as by the SITE research group that tracks terrorist propaganda. “We managed to synchronize to come out at the same time. What we have done is completely legitimate, given what they have done. If you attack the caliphate, we will attack you,” Coulibaly says in the video.

It is clear that Al Qaeda and ISIS, rivals who compete for the prestige of being able to claim control over the world of terror, have nevertheless found a way to work together when the goal is worthy. This is the first instance in which the two groups are known to have collaborated on any operation.

The Jews of France are a convenient target, where it is estimated that 1,000 Muslims have left to join the jihad abroad. Those fighters are expected at some point to return – as trained terrorists.

Not so far away, in Belgium, a French terrorist with links to ISIS left a river of Jewish blood in his wake last May after slaughtering staff and visitors to the Jewish Museum of Brussels. Despite the massacre, it took months for Jewish community leaders to convince the government — the same leadership which hosts the headquarters of the European Union and the European Parliament — to increase protection to the site following the attack.

Even though France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, it is dwarfed by that of the Muslim population, which more than 10 times larger. Muslims comprise 10 percent of the population of France; 6.5 million French citizens are Muslims. Only 500,000 are Jews.

In 2012, an Al Qaeda terrorist of Algerian descent attacked a Jewish elementary school in Toulouse, murdering three children and a rabbi.

France Dual Terror Siege – 5 Hostages at Kosher Grocery, 2 Dead

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The people of France are beginning to learn what it’s like to live in the Middle East.

A dual terror siege still taking place in two locations appears to be escalating as the Sabbath approaches in Paris, and four terrorists hold numerous hostages in a kosher grocery and a printing warehouse by two sets of Al Qaeda-linked radical Islamist extremists.

At least five, and possibly as many as 15 people are being held hostage in the grocery, with multiple injuries reported, including one gravely wounded. One person is being held hostage in the printing warehouse.

This nightmare actually began with a massive bloodbath earlier in the week.

Two days ago 10 journalists and two police officers were murdered and 11 others wounded by radical Muslim terrorists at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.

It is believed that Said Kouachi, the older of the two brothers, met and spoke with deceased Yemen-based American Al Qaeda terror leader Anwar Al-Awlaki in 2008. These attacks are believed to be carried out to avenge his death in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Awlaki was known for training foreign terror operations.

A day later a French policewoman was shot to death as she was dealing with a traffic accident in the Montrouge section of Paris.

Amedy Coulibaly and his girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene are suspected of carrying out that attack. It is believed the murders were related to the Charlie Hebdo attack by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists Said and Cherif Kouachi on Wednesday.

Today (Friday, Jan. 9, 2015), the nightmare was repeated, and expanded as two attacks were carried out simultaneously.

Coulibaly and Boumeddiene stormed a kosher grocery east of Paris as Jews were completing their last-minute shopping just before the start of the Sabbath. Two people were shot and killed immediately and at least five others — possibly as many as 15 — are being held hostage by the terrorists, including women and children. One is believed to be gravely wounded.

Coulibaly has told police surrounding the location he will not surrender nor hand over his hostages intact unless the Kouachi brothers are allowed to escape free. Shortly after, he added a second threat, far more grim: “Unless you let my brothers in jihad go — if you storm my brothers — I will kill the hostages here,” he told police negotiators.

Prayers are urgently requested for:

Mordechai ben Sarah
Yosef Sibony
Dominique bat Sarah
Yohan Cohen
Sarah bat Luna
Noa bat Sarah
Zari bat Suzanne
Esther bat Bnina
Noemi bat Joëlle
Sandy bat Brigitte
Sandrine Esther bat Blanche

Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Chmouel Lubecki reports that he and other Chabad representatives all over Paris have sent SMS messages to thousands of members of the Jewish community encouraging them to light Shabbat candles and give extra charity in merit of the hostages. There are also widespread calls for prayers, acts of kindness and recital of Tehillim(Psalms) particularly Psalm 20, on behalf of the hostages.

Across town and about 25 miles northeast of Paris, the Koachi brothers have also struck again, this time taking a single hostage at CT Creation Tendance Decouverte, a printing facility, Fox News reported.

Police have surrounded the building in Dammartin-en-Goele, a small industrial town, where the two brothers are holed up, about 10 miles from Charles DeGaulle Airport. But the terrorists have allegedly to police negotiators they are ready to “die as martyrs.”

 

World Solidarity With ‘Charlie’ as MI5 Forecasts More Terror to Come

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The lights of nearly a thousand cell phones flash messages in Hebrew and French on the screens of Israelis in the cold, all proclaiming, “I am Charlie.  Israel is with Charlie.”

Hundreds stood outside of the home of French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave on Thursday to express their support for France following Wednesday’s terror attack in Paris. Silently the demonstrators held up pens, pencils and any other writing implement they could find to signify their solidarity with the slain journalists. Another hundred stood in rainy Jerusalem to hold a two-minute “moment of silence” at the French Consulate to pay homage to the victims with “Je Suis Charlie” signs and memorial candles.

Twelve people — 10 journalists and two police officers — were slaughtered by three radical Islamist terrorists and 11 others were wounded in the attack at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine.

And the head of Britain domestic intelligence agency says there’s more where that came from heading straight for Europe.

One of the three terrorists surrendered to police overnight after wide-ranging raids resulted in nine arrests. Two of the armed terror suspects, who spoke fluent, colloquial French, are still at large.

The French ambassador in Tel Aviv hosted former Israeli president Shimon Peres at a memorial for the victims. One was a Jewish, 81-year-old caricature artist of Algerian birth, Georges Wolinski.

“With a heavy heart I send my condolences to the victims’ families, they are the victims of a historical struggle against barbarism and terror,” Peres said. “I know your hearts are still bleeding but I am confident that freedom will win, that France will win.”

Similar events were held in countless cities around the world on Wednesday night and Thursday by people from all walks of life, each silently holding up a pencil or a pen.

Many media outlets questioned whether journalists would begin to “self-censor” out of fear of terrorism directed at them personally. The attackers had called out each journalist by name before shooting and killing each one on Wednesday.

The two brothers still being hunted, 34 year old Said Kouachi and his brother, 32 year old Cherif Kouachi, were both listed in the United States database of known or suspected terrorists, according to a report Thursday in The New York Times.

A senior U.S. official told journalists at a briefing that Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011 and was trained there by terrorists from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  Both brothers were on a U.S. no-fly list for years; but they flew to Syria last year, officials said. It is possible – if not likely – they received weapons and other combat training from terrorist leaders there.

The brothers also may have received training from a French national named David Drugeon, The Daily Beast reported. Drugeon is known to the intelligence community as a top bomb builder for a Syria-based Al Qaeda unit called the Khorasan Group. The group is linked with AQAP in Yemen, and was created specifically to train foreign jihadists who travel to Syria to learn how to carry out attacks in their home countries. Drugeon survived a coalition air strike aimed at the terror group’s headquarters in Syria last year and is believed to be at large, according to the report.

An Al Qaeda magazine targeting jihadists who live in the West had, in fact, called for the assassination of Stephan Chardonnier, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo – the first victim in the attack.

The attack was praised in a tweet by a Twitter account linked to AQAP and referred followers to a recent issue of “Inspire” – a magazine published by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) magazine. That group has also called for attacks on Charlie Hebdo in the past.

Nevertheless, analysts say the evidence gathered so far leads more towards Al Qaeda and away from ISIS.

Jewish Cartoonist Among Dead in Paris Terror Attack

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

An elderly French Jew born in Tunisia was among those slaughtered Wednesday in a terror attack in Paris.

Jewish caricature artist Georges Wolinski, 81, was one of 12 people shot and killed in the attack at the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ satiric magazine offices.

Wolinsky was the son of Siegried Wolinski, a Polish Jew, and Lola Bembaron, a Tunisian Jewish woman. He moved with his parents to France at the age of 13.

Although he began his college life as a student of architecture, he eventually switched to cartooning and by 1960 had co-founded a satirical magazine with a friend. The well-known cartoonist went on to work with leading French publications such as Paris Match, Le Nouvel Observateur, and L’Humanite, as well as Charlie Hebdo.

Jewish leaders in Europe were among the first to condemn the attack. They pointed out the event was a sign of what may soon become a potential tsunami of terror on the continent.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement that the slaughter was “the beginning of a wave of terror” in Europe. He called the attack part of a “war against freedom of speech and the European way of life, which has already seen Jewish children gunned down at school and people murdered in cold blood while visiting a museum in Brussels.”

The president of the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, Sammy Ghozlan, warned the attack constituted a “wake up” call.

“France must wake up to the danger of Islamism and the terror it brings all over the world: In Paris, Toulouse, Sarcelles, Brussels, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, jihadists are acting on the same radical Islamist ideology that is used to manipulate them,” he said.

Update: 2 Paris Terror Suspects on the Run, 1 Surrenders

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

French police are on a nationwide manhunt for two of the three terrorists who attacked journalists in the Paris office of the French satiric ‘Charlie Hebdo‘ weekly magazine on Wednesday. A third has surrendered.

An earlier unconfirmed report had stated that one of the terrorists had been killed and that two had been captured.

Police tracked the terrorists to a location in northeastern France, about 90 miles from Paris. Two of the killers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, are 34 and 32-year-old brothers of Algerian descent who live in Paris. An unrelated third terrorist, 18-year-old Hamid Mourad, surrendered.

All three are French nationals and speak fluent, colloquial French. They were reportedly trained in Syria at a radical Islamist terror base and possibly in Iraq as well.

One of the three told a female employee they were linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as they entered the building to begin their targeted assassinations aimed at killing those who had published cartoons of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammed.

When it was over, 11 people were wounded and 12 were dead, including the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephan Chardonnier, 81-year-old Jewish caricature artist Georges Wolinsky and two police officers who responded to the attack.

Chardonnier, who was listed on Al Qaeda’s “Most Wanted” list, told friends he would “rather die standing than be slaughtered on my knees.”

Suspects Identified in France Terror Attack, Demonstrators Tell Victims: ‘We Are Charlie’

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

French security personnel  are searching for three terrorists — all French nationals — who murdered 12 people and wounded a dozen more at the offices of a satiric magazine in Paris that had previously published cartoon depictions of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammed.

The suspects have been identified as two brothers from the Paris region, approximately age 32 and 34. The third man is approximately age 18, not related and is from the northeastern city of Reims, police said. All three speak a fluent, colloquial French.

French police said the elder brother was previously tried on charges of terrorism. He was a member of an Iraqi terrorist network in the Paris area that was dismantled by security personnel, Fox News reported Wednesday night. The group had ties to Algiers, Yemen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), authorities said.

The elder brother and his co-terrorists carried out a massive, methodical attack Wednesday on specific journalists at the offices of the satirical weekly magazine, ‘Charlie Hebdo’. The editor of the magazine and two police officers who responded to the attack were among the dead.

A young female cartoonist at the magazine who arrived with her small daughter was grabbed by the terrorists and ordered to tap in the security code allowing the attackers to enter the building. She and her daughter raced to cover, huddling under a desk, as she watched with horror while the men quickly but calmly fired AK47 assault rifles to kill her co-workers, first asking each his or her name, one by one. At the start of the assault, at least one of the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (Allah is Great! in Arabic) and while leaving the building, one allegedly proclaimed, “The prophet is avenged!”

After completing their bloody mission the attackers – suspected radical Islamists – raced out to a getaway car. They are still at large at this time, with security personnel across Europe. There are currently five million Muslims in France, comprising approximately eight percent of the total population in the country.  Moreover, the suspects may have a head start due to the fact that France is part of the European Union, with its borders wide open, without any security or border checkpoints between EU member nations.

Thousands of French citizens have gathered in cities around the country to show their solidarity with the victims of the attack, waving signs that read (in French) “I Am Charlie.” A huge neon sign proclaimed the same message from a billboard above the crowd: “Nous sommes Charlie” (We Are Charlie.)

France has raised its security level to the highest alert possible nationwide, and other countries have tightened security measures around vulnerable targets as well.

In New York City, police officers were posted outside the French Consulate. NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton said, however, there appears to be no sign of any direct threat to the city at this time.

Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Al Qaeda is recruiting wannabe terrorists via its online magazine to carry out lone wolf bombings on U.S. commercial airlines.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League sounded the alarm about the terror group’s intentions on Wednesday, adding that financial figures and prominent economic personalities were also being targeted.

The 13th issue of “Inspire” was released by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Dec. 24, the day before Christmas — one of the busiest travel days in the year.

The magazine contains an article with explicit instructions for easily building a portable bomb inside a 17cm plastic water bottle case. Entitled “The Hidden Bomb,” it was posted as a central feature of the English-language magazine.

The entire issue, in fact, is focused on Al Qaeda’s strategy for defeating the United States by attacking American military technology, manpower, media and economy.

The magazine suggests the easy-to-build homemade bombs be used against U.S. commercial airliners – specifically American Airlines, Delta, United or Continental — ideally over U.S. soil. Included are instructions about the best location on the plane for planting the explosive and the altitude at which to detonate the device. Failing the opportunity to attack a U.S. airline, the magazine suggests aiming at British Airways, Easy Jet, Air France or Air France KL.

The advantages of this bomb as described in the article is that it is allegedly undetectable by dogs, odor-detecting machines or metal detectors. It is, however, detectable by millimeter wave scanners – a small issue the terrorist group says may not be such a problem because “in most cases they are not used in local airports.”

The magazine also praises individuals who have carried out terror attacks for the cause of radical Islam, such as Man Haron Monis in Sydney, Australia, who last week held 15 people hostage for hours at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe. Two people died in the attack after police commandos finally stormed the site.

“The Lions of Allah who are all over the globe – some call them lone wolves – should know that they are the West’s worst nightmare.”

The magazine has played a role in the radicalization of multiple domestic extremists, the ADL pointed out, including the Tsarnaev brothers who were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.

Following notification by the ADL, YouTube removed the video promoting the Inspire 13 magazine from its site.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/al-qaeda-urges-lone-wolves-to-attack-us-airliners/2014/12/25/

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