The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization said Wednesday it has begun its “countdown” to terror in Rome.
The radical Islamist group organization posted photographs to ISIS-linked accounts on the Twitter social networking site, saying “waiting for the zero hour.”
The photos are taken in the streets of Rome with a paper bearing the message with the hashtag “ #Islamic State in Rome “ held up to the camera. Some are handwritten in Arabic, some are in Italian, saying, “We are in your streets,” the RT news site reported Wednesday. A number of messages on Twitter were posted in English as well.
One of the photos appears to have been taken at the Colosseum in Rome; others seem to have been taken in Milan. Some Italian Twitter users are claiming the tweets are fake and the photos are as well.
The Italian government, meanwhile, is taking no chances and has increased security around Rome, particularly at strategic sites and landmarks that could be targeted by the group. Security officials established a counter-terrorism task force months ago with Albania, following the “Charlie Hebdo” and Hyper Cacher massacres in Paris this past January.
At a Republican Jewish Coalition dinner that was closed to the press and at which the attendees were reportedly told repeatedly not to transcribe his remarks, George W. Bush did something he was refrained from doing since leaving public office. He shared his views on the way his successor has handled foreign policy.
It happened at a dinner given by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at a Republic Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas.
But at least one of the 800 people in the room, despite the repeated importunities to refrain, transcribed portions of what the former president said, and then shared them with the media. Both the New York Times and Bloomberg View published accounts based on those transcripts.
You ready to hear the big secret? That former president doesn’t think much about this current president’s decisions.
Take Obama’s foreign policy track record. Please. On Iraq, on Iran, on ISIS, on America’s role on the world stage, Bush was critical.
According to the press reports of the leaked “transcripts,” Bush thought Obama was too trusting of Iran’s intentions and to quick to relax sanctions on Tehran. Admitting that the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is certainly smoother than was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bush was doubtful that there has been any real change in ideology or in plans.
Bush did not have positive things to say about the rapidity with which U.S. troops were pulled out of Iraq in 2011, nor about Obama’s hands-off approach to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
As far as the ascent of ISIS, the former president described this barbaric terrorist group as “al Qaeda’s second act.”
The former president also took a shot at making some predictions regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign. About former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bush said she will have to make a choice as to whether she will run on the Obama administration’s policies or against them.
“If she defends them, she’s admitting failure,” he reportedly said, “but if she doesn’t, she’s blaming the president.”
On the Republican side, Bush said that foreign policy is going to be very important, and that “the test for Republicans running will be who has got the ‘courage’ to resist isolationist tendencies.”
Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been seriously wounded in an air strike in western Iraq, sources told the London Guardian Tuesday.
He was injured enough that he is not in control of daily operations of the terrorist organization. His wounds are not life-threatening, and he is recovering.
The newspaper’s diplomatic source in Iraq reported that a March 18 aerial attack in western Iraq, near the border with Syria, hit Baghdadi and set off plans to replace him in case he died.
This is the third time Baghdadi has been reported wounded or killed. Two previous reports last year proved false. One of them was a near-miss, when one of his close aides was killed by a missile shot from a plane.
The air raid in March struck a three-car convoy and may have killed three people.
Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi official who advises Baghdad on ISIS, told the Guardian: “Yes, he was wounded in al-Baaj near the village of Umm al-Rous on 18 March with a group that was with him.”
He added that Baghdadi intentionally was in an area that he knew the Americans had not mapped in the war in Iraq.
Even if Baghdadi were to be killed, there are other leaders who have taken more authority for strategic decisions, while Baghdadi remains the religious leader of the radical Islamists.
Islamic State and other terrorists have turned sexual violence into an “epidemic” and is a “crime against humanity,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the Security Council.
In his remarks in a Council session on Women, Peace and Security, Prosor stated:
Sexual violence in conflict has become a weapon of choice because it is cheap, silent and effective. Instead of bullets or bombs, the perpetrators employ barbarism and brutality….
Sexual violence as a tool in war is not a women’s issue. It is a crime of humanity against humanity.
ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda have publicized and boasted of their rapping women and using them as sex slaves.
Prosor cited several examples and said, “Women are raped numerous times a day. Young girls are forced to call their parents to detail being gang-raped by dozens of men. The captured women and girls are sold as brides to Islamist fighters for as little as $25 or given as “sabaya” – a reward for fighters.”
No less significant is that many countries, especially those in the Middle East and North Africa, condone crimes against women and often accept mistreatment as a proper way of life.
“If a nation refuses to prosecute domestic sexual abuse, marital rape, and honor killings in times of peace then there is little hope for justice in times of war and conflict,” Prosor stated.
So which country did the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women single out in its annual report last month?
Saudi Arabia, where women lashed for not behaving according to Islamic law in public?
Somalia, where women are sold?
Iran, where there are no laws against domestic violence and where adultery is punishable by stoning?
In Egypt, where there is no law criminalizing domestic violence specifically and where forms of violence against women, including child marriage and female genital?
Of course not.
The only Middle East country named in the report was Israel, where the “occupation” has supposed caused high “unemployment and poverty, especially among women,” in Judea and Samaria.
And what does the United States have to say about sexual violence against women in Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
Washington speaks out forcefully against it in the politically proper forums while continuing “business as usual” when it sells weapons and makes deals with Iran to allow it retain its nuclear development infrastructure.
In a new video that appears to be produced by the media arm of the terrorist group ISIS, two groups of what are described as Ethiopian Christians are brutally murdered by ISIS members.
The 29 minute video was released on Sunday, April 19.
At the beginning of the video, a masked terrorist makes a lengthy statement.
Then the video shows two clips. The first clip is described as showing ISIS-affiliated terrorists shooting to death a group of African captives in the south of Libya.
The second clip purports to show African captives who are beheaded by ISIS-affiliated terrorists on a beach in eastern Libya.
Approximately 12 men were beheaded in the second clip and at least 16 were shot to death in the first one.
A masked man standing behind the hostages says in English, “our battle is a battle between faith and blasphemy,” according to a Russian site.
Christians are reportedly blamed for the death of Muslims throughout the world, but are told they will be allowed to live peacefully in the Islamic caliphate if they accept Sharia law and pay a special tax, known as the jizya.
The video bore the official logo of the ISIS media arm Al-Furqan and resembled previous videos released by the group.
A text on the screen identifies the men as “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church.”
U.S. officials in the Middle East are on high alert after ISIS targeted the American Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan Friday. Kurdish Peshmerga forces operate the security ring around the Consulate.
At 10:44 am local time a car bomb exploded just outside the gates of the US Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, near Mosul. The city is considered the capital of the Kurdistan region and is located in the center of Kurdistan, with a population of approximately 1.5 million.
Da’esh, also known as the ISIS terror organization, took responsibility on Twitter for the suicide car bombing. Three civilians died in the attack, along with the bomber, and 18 others were injured.
All U.S. and Iraqi personnel were evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported, according to State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.
Although U.S. legislators and military officials are disputing the strategic significance of the target, no one is arguing about the proximity of the attack to Mosul, an ISIS stronghold. Nor is anyone disputing the fact that ISIS is also engaged in battling for control of the only oil refinery in Iraq that is not yet under its control.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed its first “success” in Afghanistan by staging a suicide attack on Saturday that killed at least 35 people and wounded 125 others.
The motorcycle bombing at a bank branch was aimed at soldiers and civilians who were lined up to receive their monthly salaries.
Afghanistan is trying to keep the Taliban terror organization under control following the US Army invasion of the country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The United States’ mission, later joined by NATO, was to destroy Al Qaeda and remove Taliban from power.
President Barack Obama declared “victory” over Al Qaeda with the assassination of its leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
The victory was illusory. Despite all the headlines focusing on the Islamic State, Al Qaeda also has gained large swaths of territory in Syria and Yemen.
The Islamic State’s expansion into Afghanistan, following attacks in Libya and Egypt, follows a warning to the Obama administration last month by President Ashraf Ghani:
If we don’t stand on the same line united, these people are going to destroy us.
A White House statement said:
This visit…was an opportunity to review the remarkable strategic, political and economic achievements of this partnership and the successful completion of the security transition in Afghanistan.