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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘islamic state’

Syrians Prepare for Last Stand in Aleppo

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Syrian residents in the once-beautiful commercial hub of Aleppo are gathering their strength — what little remains — to seek whatever safe spaces they can find in the next 24 hours.

The splintered fragments of opposition forces are about to launch their final stand against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

Thus far, opposition forces appear to have the upper hand in this vicious, years-long civil war that has ripped the soul from a lovely land that for decades was the Republic of Syria, but no longer. Today Syria has been torn apart and divvied up among hungry competing warlords like a bleeding carcass about to be butchered for lion cubs.

Some 250,000 residents are beginning to slowly starve in Aleppo, trapped in the eastern part of the city since early July, while the western part of the city remained under government control. The residents of the eastern party of the city are almost without food and water now, after the main artery into that section was shut down by regime forces nearly six weeks ago.

The water pumps in the city are without power. That means two million people are without running water and facing a full siege.

Syrian state media reports government and Russian warplanes are continuing to bomb opposition forces.

But those opposition forces cut off the key access route into the western part of the city Sunday to block the entry of regime soldiers.

According to media sources in Tehran quoted by A-Sharq al-Awsat, “around 2,000 fighters came from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to assist regime forces,” but the infusion of foreign aid didn’t faze the opposition.

Jaish al-Fatah, the Islamist opposition group, released a voice recording on Monday of a phone-tapped conversation by a Hezbollah guerrilla fighter describing the situation on the southern Aleppo front. The fighter said in a Lebanese accent that Hezbollah and regime fighters were collapsing and were left to fight alone. Other militias had already abandoned the front, fleeing the debacle to save their own lives.

According to a Ahrar al-Sham leader who spoke with A-Sharq al-Awsat, “The collapse in the ranks of regime forces is clear and it continues as long as Jaish al-Fatah fighters advance in the city.”

Both sides are now preparing for “the great battle of Aleppo,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The United Nations is urging both sides to cease their fire — or at least to pause it — long enough to allow repairs to the water and electricity grids.

According to UN sources, some two million people are without basic supplies — such as sugar, wheat, food cans and water — and children in the city are at “grave risk” of disease.

Opposition forces, meanwhile, say they are poised to take control of the entire city. The fragmented forces are united in this goal, at least, and it is this unity that allows the exchange of Western-supplied weapons between so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition forces and those who are dubbed “radical Islamist groups” linked to Al Qaeda and Da’esh (ISIS).

That unity when it comes to fighting the Assad regime is not well understood by the United States and other Western nations, and it is this Western lack of familiarity with the regional culture codes that has repeatedly led to disaster when trying to fight worldwide terror.

For all of these reasons, and because of the utter chaos taking place north of Israel’s border, the IDF is being especially watchful now.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Kills Head of ISIS Affiliate in Northern Sinai

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Egypt has announced that its forces have taken out the commander of the Da’esh (ISIS) affiliate terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

The Egyptian Air Force reportedly killed Abu Doa’a Al-Ansari Thursday in air strikes on the group in northern Sinai, near El Arish, according to a statement in Arabic posted on the Egyptian Army’s Facebook page.

Hundreds of the terrorists were killed by the army in a recent operation called ‘Martyrs’ Right,’ according to the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram.

Thursday’s counter terror operation involved ground forces working in cooperation with the air force, and killed 45 members of the Sinai-based terror group in addition to Al-Ansari.

The group pledged allegiance last November to Da’esh and its leader, Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi.

Hana Levi Julian

Meet the Israeli Startup that Cracked the ISIS Target List

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Herzliya (TPS) – An emerging Israeli startup firm in the cyber-security sector managed to infiltrate an encrypted Islamic State group and to retrieve the terror organization’s latest list of international attack targets.

IntSights is a cyber-intelligence startup company, founded by three Israeli entrepreneurs in their 20s. The founders are veterans of top IDF intelligence and cyber-warfare units, and already according to the founders, their clients include large international establishments such as banks, industry giants and telecommunications companies.

“IntSights is a small company which provides intelligence and incident mitigation in real time by gathering and analyzing data from the darknet, an encrypted and secretive section of the Internet often used by criminal elements,” Alon Arvatz, VP Intelligence and Co-Founder, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in an interview. “Using the technology we developed, we intercepted the most recent target-list sent by the Islamic State to its operatives around the world.”

IntSights analysts used their expertise to infiltrate a Telegram Messenger chat used by the Islamic State terror group to communicate internationally. The Telegram application has been used by the top 500 Islamic State operatives to share plans and locations for potential terrorist attacks mandated by the IS leadership.

“The Telegram app is completely encrypted, which means no fear of someone monitoring your correspondence and understanding what it means,” Arvatz explained. “That’s why IS moved from traditional social media to Telegram over the last year.”

According to IntSights, the application is used by Islamic State cyber-warfare arm, the United Cyber Caliphate, to publish targets in the form of a call to action with the knowledge that someone around the world would answer the call and carry out an attack.

“The church in France that was recently the location of a deadly attack appeared on a target list published several months ago and someone recently decided to answer the call and attacked that very church,” said Arvatz. “This proves beyond doubt that there is a direct link between cyber activity and actual terror attacks.”

The newest target list was published on the Telegram group on Monday and was intercepted by IntSights.

“The long list includes exact coordinates for each and every target, all of which are airports and air bases that are used or could be used by the United States Air Force all over the world,” Arvatz told TPS.

The list was followed by a file with a world map on which all the airports and bases were marked with pinpoint precision, as well as aerial footage of the higher priority targets. Entries in the list that were marked as “preferred targets,” include the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait and two Bahraini airports. The full list includes targets in Latin America, Europe and even Israel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

ISIS Terror Attack in Normandy, France

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

An 84-year-old Catholic priest in Normandy, France was murdered after two ISIS terrorists entered his church and slit his throat as they yelled “Allahu Akbar”.

Some reports say his head was cut off.

A second person was reportedly critically wounded. Three hostages were rescued.

The attack happened in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Both terrorists were killed by police.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Brazil Arrests Terror Cell Linked to ISIS

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Security personnel in Brazil have arrested 12 suspects in connection with their alleged pledge of allegiance to the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization via social media.

The cell also reportedly discussed the use of weapons, guerrilla tactics and possible attacks during the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to a report Thursday by ABC News.

Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes told reporters in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, that one of the suspects is a minor.

“They were complete amateurs and ill-prepared” to actually pursue their goals, he added, noting that the suspects had said a few days prior “they should start practicing martial arts, for example.”

But even disorganized groups — for example, the suspects in this group were arrested in 10 different states, including Sao Paulo, and had not yet specified a target — needed to be taken seriously, Moraes said.

Brazil has raised security in the country to “a higher level” due to concerns over terrorism following the attack in the southern French city of Nice.

The Olympic Games begin August 5.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli-Arab Woman Who Tried to Join ISIS Sentenced to 22 Months in Prison

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Haifa (TPS) — Iman Kanjo, a 44-year-old teacher from the Arab town of Shfaram in northern Israel, was sentenced on Tuesday morning to 22 months in prison for attempting to join the Islamic State terrorist organization, also known as ISIS.

According to the indictment filed at Haifa District Court, Kanjo, an Israeli citizen, mother of five and a doctoral student in Islamic studies, intended to use her educational background to teach Islamic State’s extremist Sunni ideology, which centers around sharia (Islamic religious law) and jihad (holy war), to the young generation of the group’s combatants.

The indictment states that Kanjo went to Turkey with her father in August 2015 for a family trip and then disappeared.

On discovering that Kanjo was missing, her father told her husband in Israel, and her husband contacted the authorities. A cooperative effort by the Israel Police, the Shin Bet, and the Turkish authorities found that Kanjo was attempting to cross the border into Syria to join Islamic State. She was caught and arrested by the Turkish authorities along with some 30 other people from around the world who were attempting to join Islamic State as well.

Kanjo was taken back to Israel and put under arrest at Ben-Gurion Airport. She was indicted in September 2015.

During her interrogation by the Shin Bet, Kanjo revealed that for years she had wanted to live under a strict Islamic regime such as Islamic State. She began sharing updates from ISIS on Facebook and Twitter, and made contact with an operative who told her that he could help her enter Syria.

Kanjo has no previous criminal record, and her family knew nothing of her plans. In addition to the 22-month prison term, the judges gave her a one-year suspended sentence and a fine of 30,000 shekels (approximately USD 7,800).

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Death Toll Rising in Istanbul Airport Massacre

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The death toll is continuing to rise in Tuesday night’s twin suicide bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Turkish officials have now confirmed that at least 41 people were killed in the massacre, including 13 foreign nationals; 239 others were injured in the attack.

Three as yet still unidentified terrorists, including at least one armed with an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle, attacked the international departures hall at the busy airport.

The terrorists opened fire at the first security checkpoint at the entrance to the terminal, where baggage undergoes the initial inspection through an X-ray machine, then detonated their explosives vests as police began to return fire.

“The findings … point to the Da’esh organization as the perpetrators of this terror attack,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists in the wee hours of Wednesday morning at the airport.

“But even though indications suggest Da’esh, our investigations are continuing,” Yildirim added.

Ataturk is the third largest airport in Europe and the 11th largest in the world; more than 63.5 million passengers passed through its doors in 2015.

On March 22 two Da’esh terrorists attacked the Zaventem international airport in Brussels, detonating suicide vests and blowing up the departures hall. A third suicide bomber blew himself up at a metro station in Brussels not far from the headquarters of the European Union less than an hour later. At least 32 people were killed in the coordinated attacks and hundreds more were wounded.

No terror group has yet claimed responsibility for the Istanbul airport attack, but Da’esh released an infographic via the group’s Amaq news agency Wednesday claiming to have “covert” units in Turkey. The release marked the two-year anniversary of the so-called establishment of the ISIS “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/death-toll-rising-in-istanbul-airport-massacre/2016/06/29/

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