It seems clear that Islamic State is raising the stakes, aware that the gruesome death of an American and the image of another one at the mercy of an executioner who is taunting a US president could invite retaliation – heavier air strikes at least.
But the United States and other Western powers may now be diverting their attention away from the Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq to what they are capable of doing overseas.
The group can draw on hundreds if not thousands of foreigners with Western passports that can keep them below the radar, like the British-sounding man who appeared to have killed Foley, to carry out its threats.
“The West are idiots and fools. They think we are waiting for them to give us visas to go and attack them or that we will attack with our beards or even Islamic outfits,” said one. Continue reading
Germany’s development aid minister, Gerd Mueller, has accused Qatar of financing the Islamic State terror group.
“A story like this always has a history,” Mueller said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF. “Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar.”
German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a “debate” about who has been financing the terror group, which has created an Islamic “Caliphate” which straddles the Iraq-Syrian border. Continue reading
US President Barack Obama could have “wiped out Islamic State quickly” if he had acted earlier, but now that the group has spread and strengthened, it will be more difficult, said an Israeli Druse who is in frequent contact with the Syrian opposition.
Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druse who served as former Likud deputy minister Ayoub Kara’s chief of staff, has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamists and want friendly relations with Israel.
Safadi, who met with senior opposition officials last week, has traveled in the region, met with activists, and relayed messages from them to the Prime Minister’s Office. Continue reading
Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].
The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, “We are all the Islamic State” and “Long Live the Islamic State.”
One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words “Al-Andalus Country” instead of “Basque Country.”
Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. As the Basque Country is surrounded by mountains, however, the Moors never succeeded in occupying it.
The poster campaign comes after IS jihadists produced a video in which they vow to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.
The video shows a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent. He says:
“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.“
Two American aid flights have also made it to the mountain, where they have dropped off more than 36,000 meals and 7,000 gallons of drinking water to help the refugees, and last night two RAF C-130 transport planes were also on the way.
However, Iraqi officials said that much of the US aid had been “useless” because it was dropped from 15,000ft without parachutes and exploded on impact.
Handfuls of refugees have managed to escape on the helicopters but many are being left behind because the craft are unable to land on the rocky mountainside. There, they face thirst and starvation, as well as the crippling heat of midsummer.
Hundreds, if not more, have already died, including scores of children. A Yazidi Iraqi MP, Vian Dakhil, told reporters in Baghdad:
“We have one or two days left to help these people. After that they will start dying en masse.” Continue reading
BEIRUT — Islamic militants have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule in eastern Syria after three days of clashes in a string of villages near the border with Iraq, beheading and crucifying opponents along the way, activists said Monday.
The fighters from the Al-Qaeda breakaway Islamic State group control huge swaths of territory in eastern and northern Syria and are fighting rival rebels, Kurdish militias and the Syrian army for more territory. Continue reading
Islamic militants’ growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply disagreed on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.
President Barack Obama last week approved limited airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham fighters, whose rapid rise in June plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the end of 2011, when U.S. troops withdrew from the country at the end of an unpopular eight-year war. Obama said the current military campaign would be a “long-term project” to protect civilians from the deadly and brutal insurgents.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the militants threaten not just Iraqis but also Americans. He said Obama’s airstrikes were insufficient to turn back the militants and were designed “to avoid a bad news story on his watch.”
“I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and in Iraq,” said Graham, a reliable advocate for U.S. use of military force overseas.
“They are coming here,” Graham later added about the militants. “This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. It is about our homeland.” Continue reading
LUBBOCK, Texas — A leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries. The report was obtained by a trusted source within the CBP agency who leaked the document and spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity. The report is labeled as “Unclassified//For Official Use Only” and indicates that the data should be handled as “Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU).”
The report reveals the apprehension numbers ranging from 2010 through July 2014. It shows that most of the human smuggling from Syria and Albania into the U.S. comes through Central America. The report also indicates the routes individuals from North Africa and the Middle East take into the European Union, either to illegally migrate there or as a possible stop in their journey to the United States. The data are broken down further into the specific U.S. border sectors where the apprehensions and contact occurred. Continue reading
MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Saudi Arabia is seeking help from Pakistan and Egypt to protect its borders and religious sites from attacks by the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the International Business Times reported.
“The kingdom is calling in favors from Egypt and Pakistan. No one is certain what ISIS has planned, but it’s clear a group like this will target Mecca if it can. We expect them to run out of steam, but no one is taking any chances,” the International Business Times wrote Sunday citing an adviser to the Saudi government. Continue reading
- As ISIS members say they want to ‘sack the holy city’, Riyadh calls in military assistance from its close allies to shore up the porous 500-mile border
- Pro-ISIS graffiti begins to appear around the kingdom while residents in parts of Riyadh woke in June to find jihadist leaflets on their car windscreens
Saudi Arabia has deployed thousands of troops from Egypt and Pakistan along its frontier with Iraq, amid fears of invasion by the al-Qaeda splinter group that has declared a radical Islamic state across the border. Continue reading
For two weeks, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have been battling for control of the Shaar gas field, one of Syria’s largest, near the landmark city of Palmyra. On July 19, it was reported that the Sunni militant group had killed 270 regime fighters, taking control of the field in what was reportedly one of the conflict’s deadliest 48-hour periods to date.
As ISIS steams further into Syria, analysts say a significant portion of its financial resources come from the crude oil it sells on the black market; accordingly, oil fields have become prime targets in the fight. So do gas fields like Shaar, where disruption of lines lead to electricity shortages and power cuts in regime-controlled areas as far as Damascus. Continue reading
(CNN) — Fighters with the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria reached the triangle border between Iraq, Syria and Turkey, it said in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday.
ISIS took control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq’s Tigris River, which provides power to the city of Mosul about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the south, the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility said Sunday.
The dam workers remained inside the facility, which fell after a 24-hour battle, Lt. Col. Herash said. Continue reading
BERLIN/DAMASCUS/MOSCOW (Own report) – The director of the Catholic relief organization, Caritas-Lebanon, has voiced strong criticism of the West’s policy on Syria. The West, together with its Middle Eastern allies, should finally stop equipping Syrian insurgents with military hardware, Paul Karam, Director of the Caritas-Lebanon declared. It must also stop the constant flow of citizens from European countries coming to join the Salafist terrorist militias in Syria – at the expense of the tormented civilian population. Dmitri Trenin, the foreign policy expert of the Moscow Carnegie Center, explains why the West continues to try to overthrow the Assad government, in spite of a growing demand to put an end to the reign of terror of the “Islamic State.” According to Trenin, in the course of the Syrian War, Russia succeeded in inflicting serious political setbacks on the West. The West, for its part, is doing its utmost in the Syrian War to crush Russia’s influence in the Middle East. In Germany, the call for western military intervention in Syria is again being voiced. Continue reading
Senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards claims Hezbollah’s arsenal rivals Hamas’s.
Iranian officials are closely studying the progress of Operation Protective Edge, in light of concern over Israel airstrikes on its nuclear facilities and its ongoing quest to destroy Israel.
Hossein Salami G’anshin, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said in this context that the war in Gaza is an introduction prior to the collapse of Israel, noting that Hezbollah has become a very powerful factor that can launch missiles “non-stop” on all the cities of Israel. Continue reading