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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘France’

3 More Terrorists Charged in Brussels Airport, Metro Attacks

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Officials say three more terror suspects were charged in the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Zaventem Airport and the metro station near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels last week.

Faycal Cheffou, the man in the light vest and dark hat seen in the airport CCTV video footage last week was arrested Thursday. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said he was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder,” according to Fox News. Belgian media said Cheffou was a local activist known to police as an agitator who tried to convert local homeless and asylum-seekers to radical Islam.

Two other suspects arrested Thursday, Raba N. and Aboubakar A., were both charged with “involvement in the activities of a terrorist group.”

On Sunday, police in Italy arrested an Algerian suspect in Bellizzi in the Salerno province, according to the ANSA Italian news agency.

The Algerian suspect is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels Attacks, Italian National Police told CNN. In addition, he is also wanted in connection with the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris, police said in a statement on Twitter.

An American couple has been identified among the dead from last Tuesday’s attack in Brussels.

Justin and Stephanie Shults, ages 30 and 29 respectively, were missing since last Tuesday. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. They were dropping off Stephanie’s mother at the airport when the bombers detonated their explosives. The mother emerged unscathed.

Officials revised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 28, removing the bodies of the three suicide bombers from the count. Thus far, 24 of the victims have been identified by Brussels officials.

Hana Levi Julian

Belgian PM Cancels Event With US Secy of State Due to Terror Operations

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel canceled a planned event with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a sting operation to grab a “big fish” got underway in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels. Police captured Abderamane A. near a tram stop with a backpack that looked “suspicious.”

Witnesses who were in their homes near the scene at the time told The Wall Street Journal they heard two gunshots. Police shot the suspect in the leg when he refused a directive to hand over his backpack and lie down. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody, the witnesses said.

The backpack was detonated by a bomb-disposal robot, which produced a small a small bang, they said. A girl who was with him was unharmed. Her relationship was unclear.

Another suspect shot by Belgian police, Tawfik A. had resisted arrest during a house raid on Friday. He was connected to 34-year-old Frenchman Reda Kriket, a terrorist arrested a day earlier in France. A second suspect connected to Kriket, Rabah N., was also arrested Friday, without gunfire. Tawfik A. was reported released on Saturday, WSJ reported.

Kriket was linked to Abdel-hamid Abaaoud, suspected ringleader of the Nov.13 Paris massacre. Kriket had been convicted in absentia in Belgium last year along with Abaaoud.

Kriket was also allegedly in the advanced stage of planning another attack when he was captured last week . Police said they discovered weapons and explosives in his suburban Paris apartment.

Authorities said they have identified 24 of the 31 victims of last week’s attacks in Brussels; of the 340 wounded, 101 are still hospitalized.

Hana Levi Julian

World Condemnations After Brussels Terror Attack Leaves 34 Dead, 136 Wounded

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

“We are facing a difficult, challenging time and we should face up to this by being united,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said after the attack in a televised news conference. “What we feared, has happened… There are many dead, many injured.”

Officials asked the public for blood donations.

Belgium has raised national security to Level 4, its highest level, in the wake of Tuesday morning’s multi-site terror attacks in Brussels.

According to the Belgian Health Ministry, a total of 34 people were killed and 136 others were wounded in the two explosions at the Brussels international airport and in three explosions on the Brussels metro train system. At the airport, 14 were killed; 20 more were killed in the attacks on the metro, according to Flemish broadcaster VRT.

A Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle was found at the departure lounge following the attack – the same type used by the ISIS terrorists during the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Public transportation networks were disrupted throughout Brussels. Security across the European continent has been tightened as well. All flights in and out of Brussels were canceled.

The Belgian Royal Palace was evacuated in response to the attacks, according to state broadcaster RTBF.

Following the incident, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde issued a statement saying they were “Distressed by the odious attacks on Brussels-National and the Brussels metro. Our thoughts are with the victims, families and emergency services.”

Flags at the European Commission — just a few hundred meters away — were lowered. A spokesperson for the commission said Europe was united against terrorism. “We stand together, united against terror and in full solidarity with the people of Brussels,” the statement said.

Israel expressed its support for Belgium as well. “Solidarity with Belgium, the latest victim of the hatred unleashed by Islamic extremism,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon tweeted.

Security experts warned of possible copycat attacks being carried out in other European cities; in response, London and Paris raised their alert levels. In London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt security was tightened.

French President Francoise Hollande condemned what he called the “heinous” attacks, saying it was really Europe that had been targeted. Hollande added the whole world should be concerned, calling the terrorism a “global threat which necessitates a global response.” At Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris armed guards and other military personnel boosted security there and at other borders.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would do all it could to assist Belgium in the crisis, as London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports bristled with upgraded security. “I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels,” Cameron tweeted shortly after the news broke. “We will do everything we can to help.” The British prime minister is set to meet Tuesday evening with the counter terror Cobra committee.

The countries of Europe need to “stand together “ against terror, Cameron said. “We face a very real terrorist threat right across the different countries of Europe and we have to meet that with everything we have.” A united front is needed “against these appalling terrorists to make sure they can never win,” he added.

The British prime minister spoke with his Belgian counterpart to offer condolences and security support. The UK threat level, meanwhile, remains at “severe,” meaning an attack is assessed to be highly likely, according to The Guardian news site. Additional police officers have been deployed around London.

Condemnations of the attack and statements of condolence poured in from around the world, including from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.

CNN bureau anchor Max Foster in London was blunt in pointing out that the terror group was carrying out its declared intention to conduct a jihad against Western civilization – beginning with Europe.

The attack on a major European city was not unexpected, Foster said; the head of counter terror in London was “expecting it at some point.” This might be it, Foster said, “some big spectacular attack in multiple locations on a European city.” It could be anywhere.

“This is an attack on Western lifestyle now,” Foster said. “It’s not the lone wolf radicalized online that we’ve been hearing so much about in the past.” This is something else, he pointed out. It’s a military-style operation – trained attackers with a strategy.

Hana Levi Julian

Prime Paris Attack Mastermind Abdeslam Salah is Caught

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Prime ISIS Paris terror mastermind Salah Abdeslam, arrested in Brussels last Friday, was charged on Saturday with terrorism offenses in connection with the attacks on November 13.

Abdelslam has been connected with the attack as a key member of the ISIS terror organization that attacked the French capital in a multi-site operation whose ripple effect still reaches out.

Abdeslam told police during questioning he was supposed to blow himself up – as did others – at the Stade de France.

But at the last minute, he told interrogators he had second thoughts and backed out.

The French national, born to Moroccan parents in Belgium, once ran a bar with his brother Brahim in Molenbeek, who also helped in the attacks. But it was Abdeslam who rented the cars involved in the attacks and booked the hotel rooms used by the operatives.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said at a news conference in Paris on Saturday the would-be bomber’s claims raise further questions about the scope of the operation.

Suicide bombers blew themselves near the national stadium, operatives opened fire on bars and restaurants, and terrorists were firing Kalashnikov assault rifles into a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall that night.

He was shot and injured in a raid by anti-terrorism police in the Molenbeek area of Brussels last year, where he grew up. But Abdeslam still managed to stay hidden, according to the British Guardian newspaper.

Three suspects were arrested altogether, but Abdeslam would be extradited to France. The probe is wide and ongoing because the network is “very large in Belgium, France and other European countries,” French President Francois Hollande told reporters on Friday.

“We know there are links which always lead us to Syria, where the Da’esh (ISIS) extremists planned these attacks.”

Hana Levi Julian

U.S. Condemns Istanbul Attack, Cites 2 American Victims

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The White House issued a statement Saturday night condemning the Istanbul terror attack that killed two dual American-Israeli citizens earlier in the day.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack,” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

A third Israeli and an Iranian citizen were both killed in the attack, along with the suicide bomber, Savaz Yildiz, 33, a resident of the Turkish city of Adana who was reportedly known to the authorities.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the explosion occurred outside a local government office on Istiklal Street, where numerous foreign consulates are located. The area is also dotted with many cafes and restaurants.

The U.S. State Department also condemned the attack in a statement released by spokesperson John Kirby.

“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded,” the statement read.

“We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation. The United States stands in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the common threat of terrorism. This vicious attack is the latest in a series of indefensible violence targeting innocent people throughout Turkey – Turkish citizens and international visitors alike. These acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation,” the statement said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the attack in a written statement saying there can be no justification for terrorism. He said, “NATO allies stand united with Turkey, determined to fight against terrorism.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also condemned the attack. “I strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly act that has caused the death of several people,” Ayrault said in a statement, adding Paris stands in solidarity with Turkey.

This past Wednesday Germany had closed its consulate and school in Istanbul due to credible security threats.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Valls: ‘Jews of France Are Too Often Afraid’

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Nearly 1000 Jews were surprised to find themselves listening to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls Monday night at the top Jewish event of the season in France.

Valls replaced President Francois Hollande as keynote speaker at the 31st annual political dinner of the CRIF, the Council of Jewish Institutions of France. The switch came after Hollande realized he could not leave Brussels during the European Union-Turkey summit on the migration crisis.

Perhaps it was for the best. Valls was blunt in his remarks about the rising anti-Semitism in France, and the government’s outrage over the attacks.

“Yes, the Jews of France are too often afraid. To wear a kippah, to go to the synagogue, to go shopping in the kosher shops, send their children to public school. We don’t accept this reality,’’ Valls said.

The prime minister acknowledged the fact that anti-Semitism is coming from both sides of the political spectrum in the country, denouncing it from “the extreme right as well as from far left”.

He vigorously defended the right of Jews in France to live and dress as they please, to be Jews in France.

Valls also acknowledged that anti-Zionism is simply a thin veil for the new style of hatred of Jews. “There is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism which is simply synonymous with anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel,” he said.

“The Jews of France have built France and they must continue to build it –but at the same time I know the solidarity that binds you to Israel,”Valls added.

“Israel is a democracy, a nation that speaks to the world, and France will always be by its side.”

Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius was the architect of a proposed French peace summit designed to re-launch final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority this year.

But France announced it would recognize the PA as an independent sovereign Arab nation regardless of the outcome of the venture, thereby obviating its purpose and destroying any hope for its success.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Boy, 13, Attacked by Anti-Semitic Gang in Paris

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

A 13-year-old Jewish boy wearing a kippah was ambushed and beaten up last Friday night by a gang of three teens in the 12th district of Paris.

The French Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l”Antisemitisme (BNVCA) condemned the attack on Monday, urging police to “make every effort” to identify and capture the perpetrators of “this new anti-Jewish aggression.”

The boy said he was returning to a synagogue on Rue Voynet de Paris to meet his father at around 6 pm when he was attacked.

He described the gang as three teens “of African origin.” He said they called him a “dirty Jew” and then punched him in the side. One grabbed his kippah while another yanked him by the hair and slammed his head against a nearby pole.

The attackers fled when other pedestrians arrived on the scene, including one who called out – in vain – for help.

The boy proceeded to join his father at synagogue, with a badly bruised face and suffering from shock. He reported the attack to police and provided them with a description of his attackers.

“Those who wish to observe this religious requirement should not give in to intimidation or threats and should be able to keep their head covered freely,” the BNVCA said in its statement.

“On the contrary, it is those who spread anti-Jewish hatred and discrimination who should be disturbed, condemned and neutralized,” the group said, urging Jews “not to give in to intimidation or threat…

“It is the camp of anti-Jewish hatred and discrimination which must be worried, condemned and neutralized,” said the BNVCA.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/13-y-o-boy-attacked-by-anti-semitic-gang-in-paris/2016/03/08/

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