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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘France’

French Firm Pulls Out of Jerusalem Cable Car Project after PA Pressure

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

(JNS.org) The French consortium SAFEGE has decided to end its participation in a Jerusalem cable car transportation project over what the firm called “political” concerns.

According to a report in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, the move by SAFEGE came after a meeting with France’s foreign and economic ministries. The firm said that its decision was made “to avoid any political interpretation,” said a representative of Suez Environment, SAFEGE’s parent company.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, had contacted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to complain about the project, which includes a cable car in eastern Jerusalem.

“The plan will lead to the illegal expropriation of private property, some of which belongs to the Waqf (Islamic religious endowment),” Erekat wrote to Fabius, Le Figaro reported.

In addition to pressure from the Palestinians, the $31.7 million cable car project has also been met with strong opposition from environmental and religious groups in Jerusalem. Project planners hope that the cable car will reduce traffic congestion in Jerusalem by easing transportation through the Israeli capital, including to holy sites in the Old City and the Mount of Olives.

Iran’s Rouhani Optimistic ‘Possible to Reach Agreement’ on Nuclear Deal

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appeared optimistic on Saturday about the chances of reaching a deal with the U.S. and world powers on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

“In this round of talks, shared points of view emerged in some of the areas where there had been a difference of opinion which can be a foundation for a final agreement,” Rouhani told the IRNA state news agency.

“I believe it is possible to reach an agreement and there is nothing that cannot be resolved,” he added, after a visit with wounded military veterans at a rehabilitation center.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told media on Saturday that world powers agreed “substantial progress” had been made on “key areas.”

That having been said, however, the UK, U.S., France and Germany were more reserved in their joint statement on how much farther the negotiators had to go in order to reach an agreement.

“We agreed that substantial progress had been made in key areas although there are still important issues on which no agreement has yet been possible,” Hammond said. “Now is the time for Iran, in particular, to take difficult decisions,” he said.

France Joins Netanyahu Chorus Against Bad Obama-Iran Deal

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Israel is no longer standing alone against what Prime Minister Netanyahu has called a bad US nuclear deal with Iran.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expressed his country’s dismay with the deal President Obama is trying to push through.

France, Fabius said, wants an agreement with Iran, but a “robust” agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying, “we have to protect ourselves from the eventuality of an Iranian atomic bomb”. He added that a bad deal would lead to a regional arms race.

Fabius told the French delegation, part of the P5+1 in Switzerland, to make sure no further concessions were offered to the Iranians. He also told the press, that until everything agreed upon, nothing is agreed.

The position France is taking is apparently too tough for Obama, who called French President Francois Hollande on Friday to discuss the disparity between the French and American positions.

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.

HyperCacher Reopens [video]

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

The Paris HyperCacher kosher supermarket where Yoav Hattab, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Tunis, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saada were murdered by Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly on January 9, 2014 reopened today for the first time since the attack.

The store which was completely renovated, reopened with new staff.

France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was present for the reopening.

Unidentified Drones Fly Over Paris Landmarks, US Embassy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Five unidentified drones were spotted overnight Tuesday flying over flying over various iconic sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower – and the U.S. Embassy. It is not clear who sent the drones, nor do authorities know where they went after collecting data.

Officials are “taking this very seriously,” according to news media but because “it’s so easy to buy these drones nowadays” pundits added there was little more to be done.

French police, however, expressed concern about flights over sensitive locations, saying these were not the first.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were spotted between midnight Monday and 6 am Tuesday morning. Last month similar flights were seen over Elysee Palace, the home of French President Francois Hollande. In October 2014, drones flew over a number of nuclear plants in France as well.

Security personnel in France were unable to determine the source of any of the drones Monday night, nor could they track down the operators.

France Seizes Passports, ID’s of 6 Wannabe Jihadists

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

French border authorities seized the passports of six would-be jihadi fighters – and their identity cards – as they attempted to travel to Syria on Monday.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters at a briefing that intelligence personnel believed the men were heading for Raqqa to join Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization.

The passports are to be held for six months, after which the order can be renewed, authorities said. The men have the right to appeal the confiscation in a court of law.

Seizing passports of travelers heading to terrorist combat zones is one of the measures that was implemented last November in France as part of its new counter-terrorism initiative.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/france-seizes-passports-ids-of-6-wannabe-jihadists/2015/02/24/

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