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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘islamic state’

Dozens Killed in Terror Attack on Famed Istanbul Nightclub

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The Ortaköy district in Istanbul and surrounds are on lockdown as Turkish police carry out a manhunt to track down at least one, and possibly two killers who may still be dressed as Santa Claus.

Despite 17,000 Turkish police officers having been deployed across Istanbul this weekend to guard against terrorism during New Year’s celebrations, one of the most famous nightclubs in the heart of the city was attacked at about 01:30 am Sunday, on the secular New Year’s Eve.

At least 35 people were killed, including a police officer, and some 40 others wounded as two attackers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles opened fire in the famous Reina Club nightclub in the Ortaköy district.

Some 800 people were reported to be inside the club in ‘Istanbul by the Bosphorus’ at the time of the attack. The Reina is an international venue frequented by high-society celebrities, artists and football stars, according to Turkish media.

The two terrorists were said to be speaking Arabic, according to reports in European media.

Some of the more than 500 celebrants in the club jumped in the water to escape the gunfire and were being rescued by police, according to eyewitnesses quoted by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. Istanbul governor Vasip Şahin quickly arrived to the scene.

“The U.S. intelligence warned over such an attack about one week or 10 days ago and measures have been taken, including [at] the sea front,” a witness said, but added that although the warning was taken seriously, security measures had still be unable to prevent the attack.

Less than two weeks ago, Russian envoy to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, while speaking at the opening of an art exhibition at a gallery in Ankara. The killer proclaimed he acted in revenge for Russian actions in Syria.

The Turkish Daily Sabah news outlet quoted Governor Sahin as saying early Sunday that one of the assailants was dressed in a Santa Claus outfit when he opened fire in the nightclub, after first shooting police outside.

Turkish NTV television news broadcasts showed between 50 to 60 ambulances and police vehicles converging on the scene.

At least one of the attackers was reported to still be inside the club, and police special forces were said to be preparing to enter the building.

Police are also on high alert in other major Turkish cities that were targeted by terror attacks in 2016, including the capital city of Ankara.

All told, more than 180 people in Turkey have died this year as a result of radical Islamist terror attacks by the Islamic State (Da’esh or ISIS) terrorist organization, and PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist group.

Hana Levi Julian

Berlin Prosecutor Frees Suspected Killer in Christmas Market Massacre

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Chief Federal Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday (Dec. 20) freed a man suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 48 others at a Christmas Market in Berlin a day earlier.

In a statement explaining the move, the prosecutor’s office said, “The investigation up to now did not yield any urgent suspicion against the accused.” The suspect made “extensive statements” during the hearing, according to the prosecutor’s office, Reuters reported – but denied the offense.

An Israeli man was critically wounded in the terrorist attack, and his wife, who was with him at the Christmas Market, was still unaccounted for as of Tuesday. The couple was reported missing when they hadn’t returned to their hotel overnight.

The prosecutor’s office said was forced to free their only suspect due to a “lack of evidence” as it was impossible to track the truck driver via eyewitness accounts following the attack.

The investigation has so far been unable to prove the suspect, a young Pakistani national, was in the cab of the truck at the exact time and place of the attack. German officials have only 24 hours to seek a formal arrest warrant to extend the remand of a suspect in custody.

German Interior Minister Thomas Maiziere told journalists, “One cannot rule out that the perpetrator is still at large.”

The Islamic State (ISIS, or Da’esh) terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Authorities have warned residents and tourists to be “particularly vigilant” and report any “suspicious movement” to a special hotline.

The U.S. State Department went much further, much earlier, warning American travelers last month of a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”

American travelers in Europe are cautioned to be especially careful at “holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets” in what now seems to have been a particularly prescient alert.

Hana Levi Julian

Jordanian Terror Attack Claimed by ISIS

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility Tuesday for Sunday’s bloody attack in Jordan at the famed Karak Castle, an ancient Crusader edifice in the city of Karak.

At least nine people were killed, including a female Canadian tourist, and scores of others were wounded in the massacre.

According to Jordanian officials the perpetrators were Jordanian nationals but they gave no details on who was behind the attack.

A statement issued by ISIS said four “Islamic State fighters” carried out the attack that ended in their deaths.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack. “On behalf of the people and government of Israel, I strongly condemn yesterday’s terrorist attack in Jordan. We send our sympathies to the families of the victims and wish the wounded a speedy and full recovery.”

Hana Levi Julian

Canadian Tourist Dead in Terror Attack in Jordan

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Israel’s eastern neighbor found itself wrestling with homegrown terrorism Sunday in an attack that took the lives of at least 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, and wounded 27 others. It began around 4 pm Sunday and continued through the night.

The attack in the city of Karak began at a house outside the town of Karak, where a shootout took place between police and gunmen, who then fled by car into the city, according to the Saudi-based Al Arabiya news site.

The attackers then opened fire on two police patrols, then raced to the famed nearby Karak Castle, an ancient Crusader edifice on the top of a hill in Karak province, and attacked the police station there.

Seven officers, two local citizens, and a female tourist from Canada were killed in the attack, which government minister and spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said bluntly was carried out by “terrorists.”

Tourists strolling through the castle admiring the architecture and scenery were taken hostage by the attackers. They were freed after nightfall, with police and other security forces still in a standoff with the terrorists.

Momani told state television that a manhunt to “eliminate” the gunmen had entered its final phase. He did not elaborate. “The security forces and gendarme are in the final stage and we don’t want to pre-empt news … we will be dealing with this group of terrorists and eliminate them,” Momani said.

Prime Minister Hani al Mulki informed the Jordanian parliament that “a number of security personnel” were killed, and that security forces were in the process of laying siege to Karak Castle.

Officials sent a helicopter to the Karak province, with the provincial governor saying that a terrorist group was behind the attack. Jordanian elite special forces have been deployed to hunt the terrorists.

Jordanian sources said that past midnight, officials were notified during a police patrol that a gas cylinder explosive was located inside the building. The terrorists renewed their gunfire as security forces arrived at the scene.

Hana Levi Julian

Confirmed: US Airstrike Kills ISIS Terrorist Behind Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher Massacres

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

US military officials confirmed Friday (Dec. 9) that Boubaker el-Hakim, the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist leader behind the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher terror attacks in Paris, was killed last month.

El-Hakim, a 33-year-old French Tunisian, was confirmed dead in an air strike on Raqqa, according to military officials who spoke to Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The terrorist is believed to have been a leader in disseminating Islamic State terrorist propaganda abroad.

El-Hakim also helped plan the attack on the Paris offices of the satiric magazine, which was coordinated with an attack on the kosher grocery a few hours before the start of the Sabbath that same week. He played mentor to the two brothers who carried out the massacres together with a third terrorist who took hostages at the kosher grocery before murdering his victims.

A total of 17 people were killed that week in Paris in the attacks.

El Hakim was released early in 2011 after serving three years of a seven-year sentence in a French prison after an arrest in Syria. He then moved to Tunisia, where three years later he claimed credit for murdering two politicians. El-Hakim was considered one of the most radicalized of the young extremists from the Paris area.

Hana Levi Julian

More Israeli Arabs Who Planned to Join ISIS Sentenced to Prison

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

by Ilana Messika
The Nazareth District Court has sentenced three Israeli Arabs to a minimum of two and a half years in prison for attempting to create an ISIS-linked cell in Israel and planning to carry out terror attacks.

“The activities committed in the framework of the association spanned several months during which the accused had many opportunities to operate shooting training with the weapons in their possession, endeavored to access even more weapons, and orchestrated several tours in the area in order to calculate how to best organize the attacks, all within the common ideology and shared goal [of ISIS],” the verdict stated.

Ahmad Halil Ahmad, already in prison for the 2010 murder of taxi driver Yafim Weinstein, had maintained a telephone relationship with Mahmad Gazhala, whom he had known before prison. Ahmad asked Gazhala to bring him an M-16 assault rifle in exchange for money.

That sale never happened, but at the same time, two other men, Mahmad Sharif and Ahmad Mahagana, made contact with two unnamed Israeli Arabs; both were planning to travel to Syria via Turkey to join Da’esh, the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.

Prior to that, Sharif and Mahagana had planned terror attacks in Israel and had recruited Gazhala to their group. Sharif went through several rounds of weapons training in his hometown of Yaffa an-Naseriyye (Jaffa of Nazareth), in the southern Galilee.

According to the verdict, “The accused men contacted one another in order to perpetrate terror attacks in Israel and had chosen several options, including shooting attacks against an IDF base, attacking police forces or arson against businesses that sell alcohol.”

Ahmad, already imprisoned for life, was sentenced to an additional 30 months in prison. Sharif and Gazhala each received a five-year sentence for terrorist activity and membership in an illegal organization, illegal possession and transfer of weapons crime and shooting in residential areas. Sharif also was sentenced on a count of contact with a foreign agency.

The case against Gazhala was dropped after he withdrew his confession.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Citizen Arrested, Accused of Support for ISIS

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman Shin Bet intelligence agents and Israel Police said Wednesday that an Israeli citizen, currently residing in the Arab city of Jaljulia, of providing support for ISIS (Da’esh) and planning to join the terrorist group.

The man, a minor at the time of his alleged offense, was detained after security officials received detailed information indicating he was planning to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group.

Investigators said the man had become increasingly religious recently, while also maintaining connections with ISIS fighters in Syria. The suspect told individuals in Syria that he wanted to join the Islamic State (ISIS) organization.

Investigators also searched for and uncovered illegal weapons in the suspect’s possession, including Uzi submachine guns and Glock semi-automatic pistols. He also photographed himself firing the weapons into the air. Investigators also found a large number of photographs allegedly proving his support for ISIS and his weapons business.

Last month, three residents of Taibe were arrested and confessed during interrogation that they supported ISIS, planned to go to Syria and had dug weapons-smuggling tunnels underneath the Israeli security fence that runs along areas of Judea and Samaria.

The Shin Bet said in a statement that the security service views support for ISIS by Israeli citizens who are still in the country, and those Israeli citizens who have managed to already reach Syria, as a serious security threat. The domestic intelligence agency said that all available means are being used to find [these individuals] and thwart the threat they pose, including charging them with terrorism and other security-related offenses.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-citizen-arrested-accused-of-support-for-isis/2016/11/30/

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