Wednesday, October 26, 2016

John Brennan is completely unqualified to be Director of Central Intelligence

John Brennan is completely unqualified to be Director of Central Intelligence

Robert Spencer wrote this yesterday:
Is it widely known that there is a top intelligence official in the Obama Administration’s CIA who has converted to Islam? Yes. It was reported in none other than the Washington Post in 2012. Why couldn’t it be Brennan? The movie Zero Dark Thirty about the killing of Osama bin Laden, for which the moviemakers gained access to classified material (the Obama administration was criticized for making it available to them) featured a top counter-terror official who strongly resembled Brennan and was shown performing Muslim prayers. Were the filmmakers hinting at something they knew? Did La Miere speak to Brennan?
Allegations that Brennan is a convert to Islam are based upon firsthand reports of those who served with him in Saudi Arabia.
  1. Those allegations include that Brennan was the target of a Saudi intelligence influence operation, one outcome of which was Brennan’s conversion to Islam.
  2. At that time, Brennan was chief of station, a billet that is designed for an operationally trained officer with experience in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, which Brennan was not. Brennan’s background is that of an analyst, which may explain why he lacked the sophistication and experience to understand that he was being played by the Saudis in an influence operation.
  3. Anyone so inept as to be oblivious to basic hostile intelligence tactics such as this influence operation is unqualified to be DCI.
  4. Furthermore, Brennan’s definition of jihad, “meaning to purify oneself or one’s community,” is incorrect as a matter of fact, since all four schools of Sunni jurisprudence say that the primary and paramount definition of jihad is kinetic war against non-Muslims to forcibly establish submission to Islamic law globally.
  5. If Brennan truly believes his fictitious definition of jihad, he is unqualified to be DCI, since he obviously is unaware of or indifferent to the fact that he is directly contradicting all published Sunni jurisprudence. Al-Qaeda’s bin Laden, ISIS’s al-Baghdadi (who has a doctorate in Islamic law), Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all the other numerous violent jihadi terrorist groups all say that they are at war with us because Islamic law makes such war — jihad — obligatory for all Muslims. They also point out that Islamic law makes the funding of jihad obligatory, as well as lying to further jihad. That 15 years after 9/11, Brennan has yet to drop $40 on to purchase a certified English translation of an authoritative textbook on Islamic law, such as Reliance of the Traveller, is professional malpractice of the highest order for someone who has held the senior counter-terrorism and intelligence positions he has.
  6. Furthermore, the fiction that Brennan is espousing is not just any fiction, it is a deliberate propaganda lie by America’s enemies in our 15+-year war. It is designed to disorient us from understanding our enemy’s Threat Doctrine. If he is truly unaware of this, he is a useful idiot in espousing enemy propaganda in time of war, and is unqualified to be DCI.
  7. If Brennan does know the factual Islamic legal definition of jihad, then he is deliberately espousing enemy propaganda in a time of war, in which case Brennan is a traitor — and unqualified to be DCI.
The high-ranking CIA official who converted to Islam, who was called “Roger” in a Washington Post report, was outed last year, confirming that he is not Brennan, but another official named Michael D’Andrea. As the Washington Post reported in 2012, D’Andrea “married a Muslim woman he met abroad, prompting his conversion to Islam.”

Brennan just happens to be another Muslim. Where Spencer wrote of Roger, “Why couldn’t it be Brennan?,” more accurately the question should have been, “Why couldn’t Brennan be a convert to Islam, too?” At the time of the Washington Post article, Brennan was White House Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and was not in the CIA, while “Roger” was running CIA counter-terrorism operations.

As far as Brennan’s conversion to Islam is concerned, a U.S. asset assigned overseas with Brennan in Saudi Arabia when he was station chief confirmed years ago their firsthand account that Brennan was indeed the target of a Saudi intelligence influence operation that led to his conversion. Brennan has also stated publicly that he visited Mecca, which is impossible for a non-Muslim to do unless he is a special guest of the Saudi King.

When John Guandolo wrote an op-ed in February 2013 to try to rally Senators to oppose Brennan’s nomination to be DCI, I advised John that Brennan’s conversion was de facto irrelevant, given the fact that the Washington Post had recently reported that “Roger,” the CIA’s chief of counter-terror operations, was a Muslim, and that was a non-issue to everyone.

A more compelling disqualifier for Brennan is that he consistently says that “jihad” is a good thing. For example, in 2009, Brennan said: “Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against ‘jihadists.’ Describing terrorists in this way—using a legitimate term, ‘jihad,’ meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal—risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.” And in 2010, he said: “Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.”

None of what Brennan says is true regarding the legal definition of jihad in Islamic law. The opening sentence in the Reliance of the Traveller chapter on jihad is crystal clear: “o9.0 – Jihad. Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.” (Italic emphasis in original.)

Hence Brennan is either, as explained above, too stupid to live and shouldn’t be DCI, or lying about the true definition of jihad (which deception is also obligatory according to Shariah), in which case he is guilty of treason and again shouldn’t be DCI, but rather prosecuted.

This is not a religious issue. Americans believe in freedom of religion for religions that believe in freedom. Rather, it is a national security issue. It is a statement of fact that pious, observant Muslims are required to adhere to Islamic law, which is not scripture, but legal texts written by men. A cursory examination of Reliance of the Traveller will show that it uses the word “obligatory” hundreds of times, and enumerates mandatory acts for all Muslims which are felony violations of the U.S. Code, including terrorism, material support of terrorism, perjury, espionage, treason, making war against the United States, sedition, and misprision of treason. Please let that sink in.

Every American should have a problem with this.

And why don’t we? Because blame isn’t limited to John Brennan. America’s political and national security elites, and especially our mainstream journalists, are guilty of professional malpractice, dereliction of duty, and worse, for being willfully ignorant of these easily verifiable facts.

The net result is that America has not only lost this war, but we changed sides and are aiding our enemy. We need look no further than what Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration did to Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, and tried to do to Egypt, for evidence of that.

Michael J. Del Rosso is a Senior Fellow for Homeland and National Security for the Center for Security Policy.

Islamic State jihadis “WILL unleash attacks on Europe as payback for Mosul”

Islamic State jihadis “WILL unleash attacks on Europe as payback for Mosul”

A counter-terrorism expert warns that Europe should brace itself for more terror attacks once the Islamic State has been crushed in Mosul. The IS has been long threatening to attack America “at its heart” and has vowed to revenge on the West for its strikes in Syria through lone wolf attacks.
The intense hatred jihadists have for the West, and all non-Muslims, was revealed in an Islamic State declaration:
Even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam.
Pair this hatred with a humiliating loss in Mosul, and the fact that there have been “about 30,000 foreign fighters that have gone in from about 100 countries to join” the Islamic State, and there should be no surprise about about the threat of “ISIS jihadis” unleashing revenge attacks against Europe.

The larger question is: are leaders in Europe and the West prepared to strategize and implement realistic counter terrorism strategies, which should include the monitoring of mosques and Islamic centers, many of which are vehicles of radicalization doctrines?

Norway has already begun planning to ban the burka from schools and universities over heightened fears of jihad attacks. But although that might help Norway retain its cultural identity, it will not prevent those jihad attacks. Much more must be done.
Islamic State Raqqa
“BRITAIN TERROR WARNING: ISIS jihadis ‘WILL unleash attacks on Europe as payback for Mosul’”, by Charlie Bayliss, UK Express, October 26, 2016:
Karin von Hippel – who served under US General John Allen as part of a special envoy to counter ISIS – claimed as many as 30,000 foreign Daesh fighters from around 100 different countries could spread across the continent once the terror group is crushed in its Iraqi stronghold.
Dr von Hippel warned: “I don’t think it will be the beginning of the end. I think once they lose territory in Iraq and Syria and probably Libya… they will likely go back to a more insurgent style operation versus a terrorist group that wants to try and hold onto territory.
“There has been about 30,000 foreign fighters that have gone in from about 100 countries to join. Not all of them have joined ISIS, some have joined al-Qaeda and Kurds and other groups, but the vast majority have gone to join ISIS.
“These people will disperse. Some of them have already been captured or killed but many will disperse and they’ll go to European countries.
“They may not go back to where they came from and that is definitely keeping security forces up at night in many, many countries.”
Dr von Hippel – who has also worked for the UN and EU in Kosovo and Somalia – added it was just a matter of time before Daesh is defeated in Iraq’s second city, but warned the twisted killers will not go down without a fight.
She added: “They will start to leave as they’re outnumbered but they will leave IEDs, they will probably take civilians with them as human shields. So the question in the immediate aftermath is what is the state of the city.
“They’re going to be significantly outgunned, and the Iraqis were only ever going to move on Mosul when they are ready.
“There has been talks to re-take Mosul for over a year and so Iraqis really were in charge and wanted to do it when they felt they were ready and got some successes under their belt.”
The director-general of military think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) added that the next step after Mosul would be to crush any hope militants have of fleeing to the Syrian city of Raqqa…..

Our crowdfunded billboard hits Toronto streets — including Queen's Park!

Our crowdfunded billboard hits Toronto streets — including Queen's Park!

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Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis: Where is the Public Outrage?

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Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis: Where is the Public Outrage?

by Soeren Kern  •  October 26, 2016 at 5:00 am
  • Despite the mounting human toll, most of the crimes are still being downplayed by German authorities and the media, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.
  • "The police are not interested in stigmatizing but rather in educating the public. The impression that we are engaging in censorship is devastating to the public's confidence in the police. Sharing information about suspects is also important for developing prevention strategies. We must be allowed to talk openly about the problems of this country." — Arnold Plickert, director of the GdP Police Union in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • "The Press Council believes that editorial offices in Germany should ultimately treat their readers like children by depriving them of relevant information. We think this is wrong because when people realize that something is being concealed from them, they react with mistrust. And this mistrust is a hazard." — Tanit Koch, editor-in-chief of Bild, the most-read newspaper in Germany.
  • On October 24, a YouGov poll found that 68% of Germans believe that security in the country has deteriorated over the past two or three years. Also, 68% of respondents said they fear for their lives and property in German train stations and subways, while 63% feel unsafe at large public events.
An angry crowd of German protestors in Cologne repeatedly yell "Where were you New Year's Eve?" at police on January 9, 2016, referring to the mass sexual attacks perpetrated in the city by migrants on New Year's Eve, in which more than 450 women were sexually assaulted in one night.
A group of Serbian teenagers in the northern German city of Hamburg were handed suspended sentences for gang-raping a 14-year-old girl and leaving her for dead in sub-zero temperatures.
The judge said that although "the penalties may seem mild to the public," the teens had all made confessions, appeared remorseful and longer posed a danger to society.
The October 24 ruling, which effectively allowed the rapists to walk free, provoked a rare moment of public outrage over the problem of migrant sex crimes in Germany. An online petition calling for the teens to see time in prison has garnered more than 80,000 signatures, and prosecutors are appealing the verdict.
Thousands of women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Turkey: Erdogan's Stealth Jihad Against the West

by Burak Bekdil  •  October 26, 2016 at 4:30 am
  • Erdogan fights anyone and anything outside the sphere of his understanding of Sunni Islamism. His arguments typically reflect an Islamist's angry inner thoughts, feelings of "defeat against the non-Muslim West" and a "powerful urge to reverse the world order in favor of political Islam."
  • Erdogan is not honest even when he insists on a Muslim contingent in the UN Security Council. He would be angry if the UN, as he passionately suggests, agreed on a Muslim seat and gave it to Shiite Iran. No, he wants a Sunni seat.
  • That is at the core of Erdogan's not-so-silent (and never-ending) war with the West: (Sunni) Muslim nations should be deciding on matters shaping world politics, not others.
  • Erdogan's Turkey is a solitary nation. It does not belong to Europe, hence its failure to join the EU. Theoretically it is a NATO ally and a "strategic partner" of the US. In reality, it is hostile to Western civilization and the US is only a tactical partner -- as long as it helps Islamists advance their political ambitions, not a partner with shared democratic values.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now insists on a (Sunni) Muslim contingent in the UN Security Council. Pictured: Erdogan addresses the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2011. (Image source: United Nations)
It is true that the worst enemy of Turkey's Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is another Islamist who was Erdogan's best political ally for several years. It is also true that Erdogan, publicly or privately, feels hostility against a number of Muslim communities in the Middle East, including secular and Alevi Muslims in Turkey, the Nusairi (Alawites) in Syria and the Shiite in Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain.
It is not a secret, either, that Erdogan does not admire Jews, to put it mildly. But essentially, his strict adherence to political Islam often reveals his war of domination with non-Muslim Western civilization in a broader context. Erdogan fights anyone and anything outside the sphere of his understanding of Sunni Islamism.

UK: Labour Party Still Shooting Itself in Both Anti-Semitic, Far-Left Feet

by Denis MacEoin  •  October 26, 2016 at 4:00 am
  • The Palestinian "resistance" is not a struggle to create a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel.No group or leader within the "resistance" movement has ever considered that their goal. Their position is summed up in the slogan chanted by many students and pro-Palestinian groups, "Palestine will be free, From the river [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] sea".
  • It is not, in fact, illegal in the slightest for the Jews to be in a country in which they have continuously lived for 3000 years. The only title to the land the Palestinians seem to have is that under the Ottoman empire, the land had been subject to Muslim governance; and if one applies Islamic law, rather than common law, any land that has once been under Muslim control must stay that way forever -- including of course "el-Andalus," all of southern Spain and Portugal.
  • Seamus Milne added that Palestinians in Gaza have the right to "defend themselves" and claimed: "It isn't terrorism to fight back. The terrorism is the killing of citizens by Israel on an industrial scale." No, the terrorism is the tens of thousands of rockets and missiles fired from Gaza into Israel for more than a decade.
  • Given that Gaza had long been unoccupied by anyone at that date and that Israel had never killed "citizens" on an industrial scale, we can see something at play totally at odds with reason, fact, and political knowledge. That something is creeping out from beneath an unpleasant rock, and that it has a deep connection with anti-Semitism, if it is not anti-Semitism in its purest modern form.
In 2009, Jeremy Corbyn (left) said: "It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well." Pictured in the middle is Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Pictured at right is Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
A central feature of Labour's anti-Semitism is a staggering failure to understand the difference between traditional hatred of Jews from some religious and far-right sources, and modern expressions of that hatred through the medium of Zionism. The Labour enquiry into anti-Semitism entirely ignored several important definitions of anti-Semitism that included the singling out of Israel for condemnation, the use of double standards for Israel, and delegitimisation of Israel by negation of Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people. The U.S. Department of State issued just such a new definition in 2010. Several of its clauses mention anti-Israel charges, including this: "Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist".[1]

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Eye on Extremism October 26, 2016

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Eye on Extremism

October 26, 2016

ABC News: ISIS Committing 'Murderous' Atrocities On Iraqi Civilians, UN Says
“As Iraqi and Kurdish fighters move in on the city of Mosul, the United Nations says it is receiving reports of the ‘murderous’ atrocities committed by ISIS, including extrajudicial killings and summary executions against women, children and male civilians in Iraq. The UN also said it continues to receive information that ISIS fighters are ‘deliberately’ using civilians as human shields – ‘forcing them to move to sites where ISIL fighters are based, or preventing them from leaving other places for strategic reasons.’ On Saturday, ISIS fighters reportedly shot and killed three women and three girls from a village called Rufeila in the al-Qayyarah sub-district, south of Mosul. The victims were allegedly shot because they were trailing about 100 meters behind other villagers who were being forced by ISIS to relocate to another sub-district, according to the UN.”
CNN: Mosul: ISIS Sends 'Suicide Squads' To Iraqi Stronghold
“ISIS is sending "suicide squads" from Syria to its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, witnesses have told CNN, as tens of thousands of troops close in on the key city to take it from the militant group's control. Witnesses said hundreds of new arrivals had streamed into Mosul from the group's heartland of Raqqa, Syria, in the past two days, describing them as foreign fighters wearing distinct uniforms and suicide belts, and carrying light weapons. ISIS fighters have been seen rigging bridges across the strategic Tigris river with explosives and have prepared dozens of vehicle-borne suicide bombs.”
Associated Press: US Official: Russia Might Shoot Down US Aircraft In Syria
“Russia could shoot down a U.S. aircraft if a no-fly zone were imposed over Syria, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Tuesday. ‘I wouldn't put it past them to shoot down an American aircraft if they felt that was threatening to their forces on the ground,’ Clapper said, speaking with CBS' Charlie Rose at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York about several national security issues. Russia has deployed a very advanced and capable air defense system in Syria and would not have done that if it wouldn't use it, Clapper said. The Obama administration has refrained from setting up a no-fly, or safe, zone for civilians in Syria partly because of the complexity in staffing and enforcing it and the potential for direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia.”
Newsweek: Iraqi Militias Tasked With Barring ISIS From Syria
“An Iraqi paramilitary umbrella group made up of Iranian-backed Shiite militias has been ordered to cut off the Islamic State militant group’s (ISIS) access to Syria in northern Iraq, in a bid to prevent thousands of jihadis fleeing to the war-torn country, its spokesman said Tuesday. Hashd al-Shaabi, whose militias are feared for their brutality, has been a significant player in the battle to recapture ISIS-held cities in western Iraq, particularly Fallujah and Ramadi, but its role has been limited in the operation to liberate Mosul.”
The Washington Post: With The Battle For Mosul Underway, U.S. Sets Sights On ISIS Capital Of Raqqa
“As thousands of Iraqi troops slowly encircle the city of Mosul, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter met here Tuesday with key coalition members, suggesting that the battle for the Islamic State’s de facto capital in northern Syria could soon begin. Carter spoke alongside French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, discussing what will come after the last Islamic State fighters are purged from Mosul and the coalition sets its sights on Raqqa, Syria. Carter said the U.S.-led coalition is helping to build the local force, including a contingent of Arab fighters, that will be used to enter Raqqa.”
Reuters: U.S. Air Strikes Spike As Afghans Struggle Against Taliban, Islamic State
“American air strikes in Afghanistan this year have already significantly surpassed the total number conducted in 2015, a stark indicator of the United States' struggle to extricate itself from the conflict and stick to its declared ‘non-combat’ mission.  American warplanes have conducted around 700 air strikes so far this year, compared to about 500 in total last year, according to U.S. military officials, signaling a deeper role for American forces that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Ending American involvement in Afghanistan was one of President Barack Obama's signature promises and he declared the combat mission over at the end of 2014.”
The Wall Street Journal: Police Academy Attack Shows New Security Threat To Pakistan
“A Pakistani militant group said it cooperated with Islamic State to carry out a deadly nighttime attack on a police academy in the southwestern city of Quetta, demonstrating how the group based in Iraq and Syria can operate in new territory. Islamic State claimed it carried out the attack—a sign that while the group is losing ground in the Middle East, it is looking to go on the offensive in South Asia, alongside local jihadist organizations. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for other recent attacks in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Monday night’s assault, three militants armed with guns and suicide vests stormed a dormitory filled with police cadets, killing more than 60 people and injuring scores of others. The head of the provincial paramilitary force blamed the assault on the local group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Alami. One security official said it appeared the group had worked with others.”
Reuters: Israeli Teenage Worker Killed By Gunfire Along Egyptian Border
“An Israeli civilian, who was aged 15 according to his father, was killed by gunfire along the border with Egypt on Tuesday, the Israeli military said. The army said in a statement that the shooting did not appear to be connected to militant action and that the Israeli and Egyptian militaries were investigating the incident. Israel's defense ministry named the victim as Nimr Abu-Amar an Arab Israeli working for a contractor firm it had hired to carry out maintenance work on the border fence. He died of his wounds while being airlifted to an Israeli hospital from the remote Israel-Egypt border area in the Negev desert where the shooting occurred, an army spokeswoman said. Bassam Abu-Amar, Nimr's father, said his son had accompanied family members working on the border fence doing odd jobs and preparing coffee for other members of the crew.”
Reuters: Two Women Convicted In U.S. Of Financing Somali Group Al Shabaab
“Two women who U.S. prosecutors say led an online group in raising money to support the Somali insurgent group al Shabaab were convicted by a federal judge on Tuesday following a trial in U.S. District Court in Virginia. Muna Osman Jama, 36, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, were found guilty of organizing the so-called "Group of Fifteen" women from eight countries that helped finance al Shabaab military operations and safehouses in Somalia and Kenya, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Eastern Virginia.”
Wall Street Journal: African Terror Franchise Now Has Competition From Islamic State
“Islamic State’s push to co-opt one of Africa’s deadliest jihadist movements has come with an attempt to present a softer face to potential recruits. Over the past year, the jihadist group also known as ISIS and Daesh has launched a broad recruitment campaign across Somalia to pry foot soldiers and senior operatives from al-Shabaab, a two-decade-old insurgency allied with al Qaeda that has made it very clear they have no desire to switch franchises. Stung by battlefield losses to larger al-Shabaab forces, Islamic State has offered promises of an easier life: lower taxes, more tolerance for substance abuse and fewer political diatribes.”
Wall Street Journal: 'There Are No More Panes Of Glass Left In Aleppo'
“When the bodies of 16 members of the Qasim family were pulled from the rubble of their home last month, there was no space left in one of Aleppo’s largest cemeteries to bury them. Gravediggers unearthed seven graves of relatives and divided the newly dead among them. They buried a mother, her two children and sister with her grandmother. Other children were buried in their grandfather’s grave. The men were buried with their fathers. “We pushed the old bones to one side and then lowered the new body in,” said Ahmad Sabbagh, an embroiderer-turned-gravedigger.”

United States

CNN: Opium Fuels The Stalemate In America's Longest War
“America's longest war received only a passing mention during the three debates between American presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That is a strange omission, because the war in Afghanistan -- a decade and half after the first US soldiers deployed there -- is now, at best, a stalemate, with the Taliban having gained significant ground in recent years. This week I traveled to Afghanistan, accompanying Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command who oversees America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. What to do about Afghanistan is clearly one of the most urgent decisions that will face the next president.”


Reuters: Russia Says It Extends Moratorium On Aleppo Air Strikes
“Russia said on Tuesday it would extend a moratorium on air strikes on Syria's Aleppo into a ninth day, but a monitor and a civil defense official said that rebel-held parts of the divided city had been struck in recent days. Defence ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said Russian and Syrian planes had not even approached, let alone bombed, the devastated city since last Tuesday when Russia suspended air strikes ahead of a pause in hostilities. That moratorium on air strikes was being extended, Sergei Rudskoi, a defense ministry official, said separately on Tuesday, without specifying for how long.”
The Guardian: Coalition Airstrikes In Syria Have Killed 300 Civilians, Says Amnesty
“The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria has killed at least 300 civilians in airstrikes, and must do more to prevent further civilian deaths as the battle for Mosul intensifies in neighbouring Iraq, Amnesty International has warned. More than half of the victims identified in a new report by the rights group, which looked at deaths over the two years since western forces joined the fight against Isis in Syria, were killed during the fight for the city of Manbij. It is important the lessons from those deaths are learned as a broad coalition of troops backed by US air power and special forces push towards Mosul, a much bigger city that is still home to around 600,000 civilians, the group says.”


Reuters: Sunni Arabs Forced To Leave Kirkuk After Islamic State Attack, Residents Say
“Hundreds of displaced Sunni Arab families have had to leave Kirkuk after an Islamic State attack on the Kurdish-controlled city which authorities suspect was helped by Sunni sleeper cells, humanitarian workers and residents said on Tuesday. The Sunni families, who had been sheltering in Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk province from the conflict with Islamic State, began moving out after authorities told them on Sunday to leave or face being forcibly expelled, the sources said. About 330,000 Sunni Arabs have taken refuge in the oil-rich Kirkuk province in the last two years, after Islamic State swept through northern, central and western Iraq in 2014. Some had fled because of the fighting and others because of the hardline Sunni group's harsh rules and the difficult living conditions in their villages and towns.”
Reuters: Iraqi Army's Elite Force Pauses Advance Near Mosul
“An elite unit of the Iraqi army paused its week-long advance on Mosul as it approached the city's eastern edge on Tuesday, waiting for other U.S.-backed forces to close in on Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq. On the ninth day of the offensive on Mosul, government forces and allied Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are still fighting their way towards the outer limits of the northern city, in the early stages of an assault which could become the biggest military operation in Iraq in over a decade. The first force to get near to Mosul, advancing to within two kilometers (just over a mile) of Iraq's second largest city, was the elite U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service (CTS).”
The Daily Beast: The Painful Liberation Of Iraq’s Christian Heartland
“The church’s interior has been blackened by fire, and the altar has been vandalized. ISIS graffiti has been smeared on the walls, and songbooks lie burned on the ground. But the two priests, undeterred, make their way through the nave of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, climbing the narrow stairway to the mezzanine where the organ has been smashed, and emerge on the flat rooftop next to the belfry. Here, the tolling of the bell of Iraq’s largest church once summoned 3,000 people to prayer on Sundays. Now the belfry is disfigured by cannon fire and the bell itself is gone, snatched from its chain. Without hesitation, the priests climb on top of the arched roof running along the spine of the building. They are followed by a handful of men in military fatigues. A makeshift cross—two pieces of plywood strung together with copper wire—quickly follows, and the men begin feverishly to pile up stones to create a simple foundation.”


Reuters: Explosion Hits Southern Turkey's Antalya, Some Casualties
“An explosion outside a chamber of commerce building in Turkey's southern resort city of Antalya wounded several people on Tuesday but the mayor said there were no life-threatening injuries and the blast may have been an accident. Turkey is on high alert after repeated bombings blamed on Islamic State and Kurdish militants this year. Authorities in the capital Ankara banned public meetings this month for fear of further attacks, and the U.S. State Department has urged U.S. citizens to carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey. The cause of the blast a few kilometers from the airport in Antalya, a major tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast, was not immediately clear. In August, two rockets hit a commercial facility near a resort town in the province, but caused no casualties.”
Associated Press: Rights Group: Torture Reports After Failed Coup In Turkey
“A human rights group said Tuesday that Turkish police have tortured or abused detainees following the failed coup attempt in July, a claim that Turkish officials deny. In a 43-page report published Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said that a state of emergency adopted after the coup attempt - which is still in effect - has weakened safeguards against torture. It details 13 alleged abuse cases, including sleep deprivation, severe beatings, sexual abuse and rape threats. ‘The prohibition of torture in international law is absolute and cannot be suspended even in times of war or national emergency,’ the report said. ‘And yet, the emergency decrees remove crucial safeguards that protect detainees from ill-treatment and torture.’”
Associated Press: Turkey, US To Discuss Muslim Cleric Wanted By Ankara
“Turkey's justice minister says the country has provided ‘more than sufficient’ evidence to the United States for the extradition of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating the July 15 failed coup attempt. Bekir Bozdag was speaking to reporters Tuesday before departing to the U.S. for talks with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch over Turkish requests for Fethullah Gulen's arrest and eventual extradition. Bozdag said it was ‘unacceptable’ that Gulen was allowed to continue to lead his organization from a country considered to be ‘a friend and ally’ of Turkey. He said any delays in the extradition process would threaten ties between the countries.”
Radio Free Europe: Turkey Does Not Rule Out Ground Operation In Iraq
“Turkey's foreign minister says Ankara could launch a ground operation in neighboring Iraq if it feels its security is threatened. Mevlut Cavusoglu told local television on October 25 that ‘we are ready to use all our resources including a ground operation.’ He added that Turkey's activities in Syria were an example of Ankara's readiness to ensure its own security. Baghdad has said Turkey is not participating in the ongoing offensive to remove Islamic State militants from the city of Mosul. Cavusoglu said Turkey has four F-16 fighter jets ready to participate in international-coalition air strikes in Iraq if necessary. Turkey has been fighting Kurdish militants associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), including the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. Ankara regularly carries out air strikes against Kurdish bases in northern Iraq.”
BBC: Mayors Of Kurdish Turkey City Diyarbakir Held In Terror Probe
“The co-mayors of Diyarbakir, Turkey's largest Kurdish-majority city, have been detained as part of a terrorism investigation, security officials say. Gultan Kisanak was held at the local airport, while Firat Anli was arrested at his home in the south-eastern city. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to prosecute local officials accused of links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). In September, 28 elected mayors in largely Kurdish towns were sacked. They were replaced by trustees appointed by the government using an emergency law that came into force following a failed army-led coup in July. The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), whose mayors were principally affected, condemned September's sackings as a ‘coup by trustees’. The PKK was formed in the late 1970s and launched an armed struggle against the Turkish government in 1984, calling for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey.”


Reuters: Islamic State Kills Dozens Of Civilians In Afghanistan: Official
“Suspected Islamic State fighters killed dozens of civilians in the remote Afghan province of Ghor in revenge for the death of one of their commanders, a provincial official said on Wednesday. ‘Afghan police killed a Daesh commander in Ghor province during an operation yesterday but Daesh fighters abducted some 30 civilians from near the provincial capital and shot them all dead in revenge,’ said Abdul Hai Khatibi, a spokesman for the governor, using a name commonly given to Islamic State. The killings followed an attack by militants near Feroz Koh, the provincial capital, on Tuesday. Ghor, in central-western Afghanistan, has not been known as a major center for Islamic State, which has been concentrated in the eastern state of Nangarhar.”

Saudi Arabia

Fox News: Saudi Arabia: 2 Security Officers Shot, Killed In Its East
“Saudi Arabia says two security officers have been shot and killed in the kingdom's predominantly Shiite east. The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that the two officers were shot dead in Dammam amid heavy fog. The ministry says it has launched an investigation into the shooting. It didn't name any suspects in its brief statement, which was carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province has seen low-level unrest since the January execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. There has been a series of shootings there in the time since then. A local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group also has carried out attacks in the kingdom in recent months.”

Middle East

The New York Times: Pakistan Reels After Attack On Police Training College Leaves 61 Dead
“Pakistan was reeling on Tuesday from a major terrorist attack: an overnight assault on a police training college in the southwest that officials said had killed at least 61 people, most of them cadets. The attack, carried out by three militants wielding guns and explosives, also wounded 120 people at the college near Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, a restive province. The militants struck late Monday and battled security forces for several hours before they were killed. Two detonated suicide vests, and the third was shot, said Mir Sarfraz Bugti, a provincial minister. The Amaq news agency, which acts as a news service for the Islamic State, posted a picture of three men holding guns and wearing ammunition vests who it said were the attackers.”
The Washington Post: A Palestinian Paper Interviewed An Israeli Minister, And Now It Could Be Banned In Gaza
“The article was wide-ranging. It covered opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and talk about what Israel might do the next time it comes up against the Islamist militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But it was not the contents of the rare interview that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave to the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds this week that has drawn the ire of Palestinians. It’s that the article gave voice to one of Israel’s most hawkish, hard-line politicians. And he’s a settler to boot. Now, the Palestinian newspaper, which has the largest circulation in the West Bank, may be banned in Gaza. Other journalists have asked its editor in chief to justify the interview, which is viewed as ‘normalizing ties’ with Israel. And even colleagues at the paper say publishing the interview was a mistake.”
Fox News: Christian Shrine Vandalized, Robbed In Northern Israel
“An immensely important Christian shrine, thought to be on the site where Jesus Christ spoke to the prophets Elijah and Moses, was robbed and vandalized in a brazen attack, officials announced Tuesday. Valuable chalices and donations were stolen from the Church of the Transfiguration, and communion bread was thrown on the ground, AFP reported. The church, located on Mount Tabor near the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel, is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians. The structure itself suffered no marks of graffiti or other signs which would point to religious extremists, according to Wadie Abunassar, a spokesman for bishops in the Holy Land. He said the attack unfolded sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.”
The Jerusalem Post: Analysis: Israel Likely To Lose Big In Wednesday’s UNESCO Vote
“If you thought the results of the UNESCO Executive Board vote two weeks ago expunging a Jewish connection to the Temple Mount was bad, wait until you see the likely tally of a vote on a similar resolution in UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee on Wednesday. The result of the vote in this forum -- if there is a roll-call vote -- will likely make the previous UNESCO’s Executive Board look like a victory in comparison. And Israel lost that vote 24 to six, with 26 abstentions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows this, and even before Wednesday’s vote issued a statement condemning the result.”


Fox News: Aid Group Urges EU To Reconsider Libya Training After Attack
“A German aid group urged the European Union on Tuesday to reconsider its plans to train Libyan forces to conduct sea rescue operations after a vessel labeled as belonging to the country's coast guard attacked a dinghy full of migrants last week. Dozens of people were feared dead in the incident. Sea-Watch, a privately-funded group that operates a rescue ship in the Mediterranean, said the attack early Friday showed it was important for the EU to scrutinize who exactly it was training and giving equipment to. ‘We have called on them (the EU) to reconsider the training missions,’ said Ruben Neugebauer, a spokesman for the Berlin-based group. ‘We fear that in the course of this cooperation (with the Libyan coast guard) much more terrible things will happen.’”
Associated Press: 3 Russian Sailors Held In Libya Released
“Russia's Foreign Ministry says three Russian sailors have been freed from captivity in Libya. The ministry said Tuesday that Andrei Krynin, Stanislav Sirotkin and Valery Savitsky returned to Russia after the end of legal procedures in Tripoli. The men arrived on a specially-chartered plane in Grozny, the capital of Russia's Chechen Republic. The sailors, who were accused of smuggling oil, were on board the Russian oil tanker Mekhanik Chebotarov when it was seized in September 2015 off the Libyan coast. Three other Russian sailors are still being held in Libya, according to the Foreign Ministry. Ramzan Kadyrov, the authoritarian leader of predominantly Muslim Chechnya, took a leading role in the negotiations to free the sailors and Chechen officials traveled to Libya to arrange the release.”
Sputnik: Russia Ready To Consider Requests From Libya, Iraq On Counterterror Efforts
“Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday that the country would consider requests from Iraq and Libya on Russian participation in counterterrorist operations in these countries should it receive such requests, the Valdai Discussion Club said. The armed conflict in Libya began in February 2011, after protests erupted in Libyan provinces with demands for the resignation of Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled the country for over 40 years. After Gaddafi was overthrown, leadership was contested by two rival governments — the internationally-recognized Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: The British Toystore Selling ‘Muslim Barbies’, Koran Cards And Prayer Mats: Mother-Of-Two Launches Islamic Play Range For Children Which She Hopes Will Help Battle Extremism 
“A British Muslim 'Mumpreneur' has set up the world's first Islamic online toy store. Nazia Nasreen, 31, says her range of 'Muslim Barbies', colourful prayer mats, Koran cards and Arabic letter blocks fill a gap in the market and also help battle extremism. Mrs Nasreen, from Birmingham, set up Ibraheem Toy House in 2014 and sells her products all over the world. She said: 'A lot of times children learn the wrong things and that's where the extremism kicks in. If the right educational toys and books are provided from a young age, we can instil the correct Islamic ethos and values in our children'. She is in a group of leading British 'Muslim Mumpreneurs', which also includes Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, who juggle bringing up children and running successful businesses in what has traditionally been a male-dominated world.”


Associated Press: German Police Search Apartments In Chechen Extremism Probe
“Police conducted simultaneous raids on premises in five German states Tuesday as part of an investigation into Chechen asylum-seekers suspected of involvement in Islamic extremism. Officers searched 13 dwellings across the country following a yearlong probe of a 28-year-old Russian citizen of Chechen background who is suspected of intending to join the fighting in Syria on behalf of the Islamic State group. The investigation later developed into a probe of 10 further men and three women suspected of financing extremist activity. All were Chechens with Russian citizenship seeking asylum in Germany, and whose status has not yet been decided, police in the eastern region of Thuringia said. There was no concrete danger of an imminent attack, they said in a statement, adding that further information would be releasing during the course of the day.”
BBC: Germany Anti-Terror Raids: Chechen Man Held
“Police in Germany have searched 13 homes in five states, arresting a Chechen man and questioning 13 others suspected of financing terrorism. The man had been planning to join so-called Islamic State, according to police in the state of Thueringen. All 14 are asylum seekers, police say on their website. Local media say a white powder was found in one of the flats, but police say they have found no evidence of a concrete threat of attack. Police had been investigating the 28-year-old since last year. They say they are now also questioning 10 Chechen men and three women between the ages of 21 and 31.”
Daily Caller: Germany Can’t Get Enough US ISIS Intel, After Crying About Snowden
“Germany is increasingly relying on the U.S. to tip them off to domestic terrorist threats, after decrying U.S. surveillance programs amid Edward Snowden’s revelations. ‘In a way, we have outsourced our counterterrorism to the United States,’ German Institute for International and Security Affairs terrorism expert Guido Steinberg told The New York Times, adding that ‘the Germans are not ready to build up their intelligence capabilities for political reasons, so this will continue.’ Steinbergs comments come after U.S. counter-terrorism authorities tipped Germany off to a sophisticated plot by a Syrian refugee to attack Berlin’s airport. The refugee was granted asylum in February 2015 by German authorities and reportedly traveled to Turkey and Syria without coming on the radar of German intelligence authorities.”


The New York Times: Shouts Greet Migrants In The Streets Of France: ‘We Don’t Want Them’
“The protests began even before the migrants had arrived. ‘We don’t want them!’ shouted the demonstrators in this village of 1,900 people, 80 miles from Calais, where the migrants were bused from a camp known as the Jungle on Monday. ‘This is our home!’ others yelled at the darkened, disused retirement home where the migrants were being housed. Inside the building, a young Sudanese man pressed his face to the window and looked out at the angry crowd, bemused. All over France, tiny communities like this one, in the old battlefields of the country’s north, are being forced to deal firsthand with Europe’s migrant crisis. It has not been easy. The effort to relocate many of the 6,000 or more people who had made the Jungle their home has thrust France’s divided view of the migrants into plain view.”
BBC: Calais Migrants: Hundreds Moved From 'Jungle' Camp
“Almost 2,000 migrants have been bussed away from the ‘Jungle’ in Calais as French authorities clear the camp. At least 7,000 people have been living there in squalid conditions. Migrants queued peacefully to be processed, but there are concerns some will refuse to go because they still want to get to the UK. Almost 200 children from the camp have been brought to the UK, some of them under the ‘Dubs’ arrangement, according to UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. The number includes 60 girls who were at high risk of sexual exploitation, she said. But the process of transferring some of the estimated 1,300 unaccompanied children from the camp was halted on Monday at the request of the French. The dismantling of the camp is expected to start on Tuesday.”
Sputnik News: Hollande Calls For Vigilance As Foreign Fighters May Carry Out Terror Attacks
“French President Francois Hollande said that the need for cooperation and a coordinated exchange of intelligence data to help detain the Daesh militants and prevent them from committing new acts of terrorism. t is necessary to prevent foreign fighters who have been fighting alongside the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) militants and may return to their countries from Iraq and Syria from carrying out terrorist acts, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday. Daesh will attempt to commit new attacks, no matter where, the French leader noted. He stressed the need for cooperation and a coordinated exchange of intelligence data to help detain the militants and prevent them from committing new acts of terrorism.”


International Business Times: Where Is ISIS In Europe? Islamic State Fighters Could Return Home To Denmark, France, Belgium And Russia And Carry Out Attacks
“German authorities Tuesday carried out 13 raids throughout five states targeting terror financing rings, Australian Associated Press reported. The searches were conducted in 12 homes and an accommodating facility for refugees located in Thuringia, Saxony, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg. The raids marked the latest attempt by a European country to counter threats made against targets in the West by global terror group Islamic State. The militant organization, also known as ISIS, has managed to attract followers and fighters from across the world, including many countries in Europe. Foreign fighters have swelled the group’s ranks in Iraq and Syria, allowing it to take over massive amounts of territory and enforce its self-proclaimed caliphate.”


Albawabh News: Libya: The Cost Of The War Against ISIS In Sirte
“Libyan rights activist Ashraf Alkitany claims that the cost of the war against the terrorist organization of the (Islamic) State in Sirte, central Libya, comes to three million Libyan dinars ($ 2.1 million) a day. Alkitany stated on Monday that, according to statistics recently released by the council of the city of Misrata, which is financing the "Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous" forces fighting ISIS in Sirte, the cost has reached 3 million dinars per day. The money, which comes from the Presidential Council, merchants and business leaders, is being delivered daily to the leaders of "Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous" who are backed by the Libyan Presidential Council, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. According to the same statistical report, "Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous" forces lose, on average, four fighters every day.”


Okaz: Saudi Arabia: Involvement Of Al-Qaeda In Drug Trafficking Proved
“The sentencing hearing in Riyadh's Specialized Criminal Court of two Saudi terrorists belonging to al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia heard evidence of the involvement of the organization in drug trafficking. The court was presented with proof that one of the defendants, an Al-Qaeda activist, who promoted drugs inside Yemeni territory, had started smuggling them into Saudi Arabia. Thus, Riyadh's Specialized Criminal Court, in an initial ruling yesterday (Tuesday), condemned the two accused (Saudi citizens) for serious terrorist offenses and sentenced them to a total of 33 years in prison.”

Muslim Brotherhood

The Seventh Day: Expert: Brotherhood In Qatar Backs Violent Movements In Egypt With Money And Weapons
“Dissident Brotherhood leader Mukhtar Noah claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar plays a major role in supporting violent movements which have claimed {credit for} terrorist acts in Egypt. At the top of these movements are "Hasm Movement" and "Lewaa Al-Thawra" [Revolution Brigade] which have claimed responsibility for several terrorist operations, most recently the assassination of Brigadier General Adel Ragai {commander of the army's Ninth Armored Division}. Noah stressed that Qatar, joined by Turkey, stand behind the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist movements, {supplying them} with sophisticated weapons. He explained that such movements use advanced weapons to perpetrate terrorist operations requiring huge amounts of money, which is being sent from Qatar.”
Albawabh News: An Egyptian Court Orders Invalidation Of Decision To Seize Funds Owned By Brotherhood-Affiliated Sports Commentator And His Daughter
“The first circuit of the Egyptian State Council's Administrative Court, headed by State Council Vice-President Judge Bekheet Ismail, ruled on Tuesday in favor of two lawsuits submitted by sports commentator, Alaa Sadek and his daughter Engy Alaa Sadek. They demanded the cancellation of the decision to seize their assets, and the court {indeed} ruled to overturn that decision. Alaa Sadek, who is known for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood and his strident criticism of the current Egyptian regime, previously submitted a lawsuit to the Administrative Court, demanding the annulment of the decision on the appropriation of his assets. He explained that the seizure decision was reached in violation of the principles of law and pillars of the constitution. He stressed that the decision has personal consequences, which cannot be rectified, most notably being deprived of his most basic needs. Sadek added that the Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee had exploited the implementation of the ruling by the Urgent Matters Court, which banned the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and authorized seizure of funds owned by group-affiliated individuals, as a pretext to seize his assets and those of his daughter.”


Ababiil Net: Houthis Embezzle 5 Million Saudi Riyals From Yemen's Hajj And Umrah Sector
“A Saudi newspaper revealed corruption and embezzlement of funds belonging to Yemen's Hajj and Umrah sector by Houthi-affiliated figures. The newspaper reported that three group's leaders had confiscated a sum of money estimated at nearly five million Saudi riyals ($ 1.35 million) and turned them into their personal funds. Sources inside the Houthi group, requesting anonymity, disclosed that employees at the Endowments & Guidance Ministry have expressed their dismay over the corruption and called for accountability of these three figures. They also announced their intention to go on strike, refusing to resume their duties unless the three suspects are put on trial immediately. Senior ministry officials, however, refused to heed the employees' complaints, threatening to dismiss them and halt payment of their salaries if they do not stop their protests. These threats have forced the employees to go back to work.”