Friday, December 15, 2017

Media reports: Chinese special forces, Dark Night Tiger, deployed in Syria

    Friday, December 15, 2017   No comments
Day after the leader of "Islamic Party of Turkestan" in Syria, Sheikh Abdul Haq, threatened China during a military parade showcasing dozens of armored vehicles, multiple reports have revealed that Chinese Ministry of Defense sent China's elite counter-terrorism "Dark Night Tiger" and "Tigers of Siberia" special forces to Syria to fight the group there.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who armed ISIS? A three year study provides some answers

    Thursday, December 14, 2017   No comments

Supplies of materiel, including advanced light weapons systems the U.S. military, from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia, ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

From Saudi Arabia, an ambitious prince is putting Southwest Asia on Edge

    Sunday, November 05, 2017   No comments
ISR Comment: Those who doubted that the Arab Spring would ever affect the richest Arab kingdom, Saudi Arabia, should consider the events that involved that country since this current king took over.

 Besides its involvement in wars in Syria and Yemen, the ambitious crown prince is now purging the country from rivals and imposing a crushing authoritarian order. After his father signed a long list of royal decrees, including giving MBS broad powers to arrest and imprison under the pretext of fighting corruption, it has been reported that 11 princess and a number of current and former government officials were arrested. Some in Lebanon believe that their prime minister is one of those placed under detention order. These articles provide some insight.




++++++++++
Royal decrees as published by Saudi media:

 



Sunday, September 10, 2017

270,000 Flee Myanmar in Two Weeks: UN Migration Agency in Bangladesh Scales Up Emergency Response

    Sunday, September 10, 2017   No comments
Bangladesh, - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, today (8/9) confirmed that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh since 25 August.

IOM, which yesterday allocated USD 1 million from its emergency funds to boost the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, is working with the government and partners to scale up its delivery of lifesaving aid to those most in need. Immediate priorities have been identified as shelter, drinking water, food and medical assistance.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Rohingya Genocide

    Saturday, September 09, 2017   No comments
Nobel laureate issues heartfelt letter to fellow peace prize winner calling for her to speak up for Rohingya in Myanmar
  
  The Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu has called on Aung San Suu Kyi to end military-led operations against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority that have driven 270,000 refugees from the country in the past fortnight.
 
The 85-year old archbishop said the “unfolding horror” and “ethnic cleansing” in the country’s Rahkine region had forced him to speak out against the woman he admired and considered “a dearly beloved sister”.
...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

BRICS nations have expressed concern about Pakistan-based militant groups

    Tuesday, September 05, 2017   No comments
Pakistan's foreign policy in a nutshell: As long as China is backing us, we don't have to worry about the United States or the rest of the world. And that was exactly the official reaction after US President Donald Trump announced his Afghanistan policy last month, criticizing safe havens for Islamist terrorists on Pakistani soil.

UN report on yemen humanitarian crisis: “Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them”

    Tuesday, September 05, 2017   No comments

WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley: “Saudi Arabia should fund 100 percent of the needs of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen... Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them.”
The United Nations human rights chief has called for an independent, international investigation into the allegations of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen, in a new report published today.

“An international investigation would go a long way in putting on notice the parties to the conflict that the international community is watching and determined to hold to account perpetrators of violations and abuses,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein in a news release on the report.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Syrian army on the verge of ending ISIL's siege of the city of Deir Ezzor

    Sunday, September 03, 2017   No comments
Syrian government soldiers and allied fighters have advanced to the edge of a government enclave besieged by the Islamic State group in the country's east, a monitoring group said Sunday.

Syria's army, backed by Russian military support, has been advancing towards the city of Deir Ezzor on several fronts for weeks.
Units from the Syrian Arab Army continued their campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.

The soldiers conducted a raid in the direction of Tallet Alloush and the surrounding areas, attacking IS militants and seizing their weapons and ammunition.


 















Thursday, August 24, 2017

Almost all of Germany's 4.7 million Muslims feel connected to the German society... the feeling is apparently not mutual

    Thursday, August 24, 2017   No comments
...
Most Muslims are well integrated into German society, an international research project published on Thursday revealed. But they also face Islamophobia, with nearly one in five Germans saying they would not want Muslim neighbors.
  A new study by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation looked into the level of education, employment and social engagement of Muslims in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom, and found that 96 percent of German Muslims - both of first and following generations - felt connected to Germany. The study did not cover Muslims who arrived after 2010.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

And the winner is: Assad

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017   No comments
The US is increasingly moving away from its anti-Assad course. The Syrian president appears increasingly confident, announcing that conditions will apply to countries wanting to rejig their relationship with Syria. 
  On Sunday, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad gave a speech in front of dozens of his country's diplomats. He came across as confident: Among other things, he declared that there would be no cooperation with countries "that do not clearly and definitively cut their ties to terrorism."

Friday, August 11, 2017

602,759 displaced Syrians returned home in first 7 months of 2017 according to reports from UN Migration Agency

    Friday, August 11, 2017   No comments
Between January and July 2017, 602,759 displaced Syrians returned home according to reports from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and implementing partners on the ground. Findings indicate that the vast majority of the people returning (84 per cent) had been displaced within Syria. The next highest number of people (16 per cent) returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Returnees from Turkey and Jordan reportedly returned mainly to Aleppo and Al Hasakeh Governorates.
An estimated 27 per cent of the returnees stated that they did so to protect their assets or properties and 25 per cent referred to the improved economic situation in their area of origin. Other factors people gave IOM and partners as their reasons for returning included the worsening economic situation in the place where they were seeking refuge (14 per cent), social or cultural issues such as tribal links, political affiliations or any obstacle preventing integration in their area of displacement (11 per cent), and the improvement of the security situation in their area of return (11 per cent).
Half of all returns in 2016 were to Aleppo Governorate. The report shows that similar trends have been observed in 2017. Consequently, an estimated 67 per cent of the returnees returned to Aleppo Governorate (405,420 individuals), 27,620 to Idleb Governorate, and 75,209 to Hama Governorate, 45,300 to Ar-Raqqa Governorate, 21,346 to Rural Damascus and 27,861 to other governorates.
Within the Governorates mentioned, Aleppo city, received the most returnees, followed by Al Bab sub-district in Aleppo Governorate, Hama sub-district in Hama Governorate, Menbij sub-district in the northeast of Aleppo Governorate, and Al-Khafsa sub-district also in Aleppo Governorate.
According to reports, almost all (97 per cent) returned to their own house, 1.8 per cent are living with hosts, 1.4 per cent in abandoned houses, 0.14 per cent in informal settlements and 0.03 per cent in rented accommodation.
Access of returnees to food and household items is 83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. Access to water (41 per cent) and health services (39 per cent) is dangerously low as the country’s infrastructure has been extremely damaged by the conflict.
The report indicates that an increasing number of Syrians displaced within the country appear to be returning home. The total figure by end of July this year was already close to the 685,662 returns identified in the whole of 2016. However, of those returnees, an estimated 20,752 and 21,045 were displaced again in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This means that around 10 per cent of those who returned ended up as internally displaced persons (IDPs) once again.
While trends of returns increase, Syria continues to witness high rates of displacement. From January to July 2017, an estimated 808,661 people were displaced, many for the second or third time, and over 6 million in total currently remain displaced within the country.
 
 
IDP returns have mainly been spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable. As such, they cannot, at present, be considered within the context of a durable solutions framework. Find out more about this at: https://www.iom.int/progressive-resolution-displacement-situations.
These data have been collected by IOM’s implementing partners, who use a set of tools and methods to identify, assess and monitor different population categories throughout Syria, in relation to needs and mobility dynamics at a community level. source

 

what will China do if the U.S. or North Korea launch first strike?

    Friday, August 11, 2017   No comments
ISR comment: While the U.S. and North Korea increased their threats to one another, China moved to make its position clear. Although the views of this news outlet are not direct official government declarations, reports nonetheless represent China's inclination made public before issuing policy statements. The Global Times outlined China's position as follows:
 
Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China's interests, China will respond with a firm hand.

China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

'Islam is in a transformative process'

    Thursday, August 10, 2017   No comments
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Muslims feel conflicted about certain aspects of historical Islam, says the Islamic scholar Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im. How does the notion of Sharia fit within the idea of a secular state?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Saudi Arabia signals a shift in its policy, advises the Syrian opposition faction it supports to come up with new strategy guided by the fact that Assad will be in power for the foreseeable future

    Sunday, August 06, 2017   No comments
In an interview on Almayadeen, a member of the Syrian Opposition faction supported by Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Asrawi, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has advised the group to rethink their political strategy to factor in the possibility that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, will remain in power. Jubeir signaled that the new Saudi position is guided by the idea that the future of Assad, like that of Syria, is entirely in the "hands of Syrians, not the Saudis."

 Al Asrawi said that Al Jubeir assured them that that Supreme Council of Saudi Arabia supports any efforts, aimed at finding a political solution in Syria, a solution wherein Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remain intact. 

  
According to Asrawi, Al Jubeir said that the international community's approach to fight terrorism in the wake of terrorist act that devastated the French capital city of Paris, is not right and has led to the killing of dozens of people.

Hours after the interview was aired, the Saudi Foreign Ministry released a statement claiming that the information is inaccurate and stressing that there is no change of policy: Saudi Arabia does not see a future Syria with Assad in charge.
   



This new development is reflective of the new reality in which the Syrian government and its allies are gaining more ground while opposition forces are engaged in infighting and looking for way out of a war they now know cannot be won.
Some rebel groups decided to move from Syria's eastern country side to Kurdish control areas and form a new army they want to call Syria's liberation army. Others refused to move and formed a second coalition that will continue fighting the government. Meanwhile, Islamists in Idlib continue to fight each other. The Syrian army and its allies are closing in on ISIL's stronghold, Deir Ez zor.



Syrian troops are advancing towards Deir Ez Zour from the northwest and southeast.




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

U.S. to handover Tanf base to Russia, attempt to collect weapons it gave Syrian rebels, many are surrendering to Syrian armed forces

    Wednesday, August 02, 2017   No comments
On the same day Trump signed Russia sanctions bill, it was reported that U.S. and Russian negotiators were working on a plan that would lead to US withdrawing American forces from al-Tanf and handing over its control to Russia. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

US Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk links Ankara to terror groups in Syria, Turkey angrily denies it

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017   No comments
Brett McGurk claimed the city of Idlib had turned into a "safe zone for al-Qaeda terrorists on the Turkish border".

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Monday criticized statements by the U.S. anti-Daesh coalition envoy that linked Turkey to terror groups operating in northwestern Syria.

Speaking Friday at a panel on U.S. President Donald Trump's fight against terrorism at the Middle East Institute in Washington, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh Brett McGurk claimed the city of Idlib had turned into a "safe zone for al-Qaeda terrorists on the Turkish border".

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hezbollah takes journalists in Lebanon on a tour to prove Trump wrong

    Monday, July 31, 2017   No comments
...
On Saturday, Hezbollah took a party of journalists on a tour that helped explain, trumpeting the results of the militia’s recent fight against Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate in barren mountains near the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal.

The arduous trek into the rocky terrain underscored the sway the Iran-backed Hezbollah exerts in Lebanon, where it remains the most effective and best-armed military force and retains the ability to strike at will almost anywhere in the country.

It also illuminated the complexity of the political and military landscape in Lebanon — a U.S. ally, whose government includes Hezbollah, which is in turn branded a terrorist organization by Washington. Whether the Trump administration can navigate the pitfalls of this complexity may determine if this tiny, relatively calm country can continue to escape the turmoil raging elsewhere in the Middle East.

Trump’s comment was made alongside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who was on a visit to the United States to seek U.S. support. “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah,” Trump said, without apparently realizing that Hariri struck an alliance with Hezbollah late last year to secure his appointment as prime minister.

The comment coincided with the conclusion of a two-week offensive by Hezbollah in the Arsal area that drove out scores of al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters belonging to the group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as well as several hundred former Free Syrian Army rebels — whose allies until recently had received support from the United States.

Hezbollah officials said they took journalists on the tour to demonstrate that Hezbollah, not the United States, is the one doing most of the fighting against terrorism.

“The current American president is ignorant of the region,” said Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Afif, speaking to reporters in a cave until recently occupied by Nusra. “We are the force that fights terrorism while the United States continues to support terrorism in many forms.”

Guided by a vanguard of Hezbollah officials in black-windowed armored vehicles, a convoy comprising over 40 journalists’ four-wheel-drive vehicles set out Saturday from the nearby Bekaa Valley and trundled slowly up a rocky mountain into the area where the battles took place... source
  

*****

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Arizona Muslim woman running for Senate is told, "We hate your filthy death cult"

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017   No comments
A Muslim attorney hoping to unseat Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has been deluged with threats after posting a patriotic message on her Facebook page.

Deedra Abboud, a Phoenix attorney who’s running as a Democrat in the Senate race, has endured vitriol since announcing her campaign in the spring, but her recent post on religious tolerance prompted a wave of threatening messages, reported The Republic.
...
Social media users attacked Abboud and made violent threats, some of which were printed in the newspaper.

“Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your ‘people’ come from,” said S. Jason Parr. “You are as American as Chinese checkers.”

“BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT,” posted Chris Ruen.

“I bet you’ll be a BLAST with constituents,” wrote Tony Madden. source

Abboud, an attorney and community activist, says she’ll handle the cringe-worthy comments like she would any bully who confronted her on the political playground.
“We haven’t dealt with this really hateful rhetoric,” Abboud said. “We as a society never dealt with it, and we’ve been operating under a bogus bullying theory that if you ignore the bullies, they’ll go away.”
Abboud isn’t ignoring it, but she’s not letting it get to her either: “You’re going to win a match against a bully when you stay strong.” Source

Abboud, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and who converted to Islam 19 years ago, is asked to go back... to somewhere. Michael Scozzari wrote “Vote to send them back to the sand pit, were (sic) these scumbag people belong!”
 
The attacks came in reaction to a post about her support for the separation of church and state:
 "Almost 250 years ago a group of dreamers came together and sketched out a revolutionary vision. No longer would they be shackled to the whims of a distant government, nor bound to the religion of an idiosyncratic king. They set out to forge their own futures, determine their own destinies, and follow their own faith. In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference."

 




Friday, July 14, 2017

President Macron: France is no longer insisting on the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad from power

    Friday, July 14, 2017   No comments

ISR comment: 
For the second time in a month, the French president reiterated his policy shift towards Syria. The emphatic statement, while bringing hope that the new approach will end the bloodshed, it confirms France's reckless policy in Syria for the past seven years. Indeed, Without France's (and its allies) insistence that Assad is removed, the war could not have lasted this long and 300,000 Syrians did not have to lose their lives.  This shift is an admission of failure and complicity in a war that should not have happened. Indeed, peaceful transition to representative rule could have been realized without the bloodshed. Now that goal may never be realized given that Syria is destroyed and its people will be focused on reconstruction, not on genuine political reform.
____

The News:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Google Academics Inc., financial support for academics and policy experts to influence public opinion in favor of Google

    Thursday, July 13, 2017   No comments
Campaign for Accountability (CfA) released a new report, Google Academics Inc., revealing Google’s extensive financial support for academics and policy experts.  CfA identified 329 research papers published between 2005 and 2017 on public policy matters of interest to Google that were in some way funded by the company.

CfA Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, said, “Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policy makers at every level. At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”

Google Academics Inc. examines the contours of Google’s academic influence machine.  For instance, the report reveals that the number of Google-funded studies spiked during periods when its business model was under threat from regulators and when opportunities arose to push for new regulations on its competitors.

Google-funded studies are published by a wide variety of sources, and often blur the line between academic research and paid advocacy.  Reports funded by the company have been authored by academics and economists hailing from some of the nation’s leading law schools and universities, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT, as well as some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, including Oxford, Edinburgh, and the Berlin School of Economics.




Read the report here.

Iranian cancer researcher detained at Boston airport despite valid visa

    Thursday, July 13, 2017   No comments
An Iranian cancer researcher traveling to the US on a valid visa has been detained at Boston Logan international airport with his wife and three children, two weeks after Donald Trump’s revised travel ban came into force.

Mohsen Dehnavi was traveling to the US to work as a visiting scholar at Boston children’s hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. But when he arrived on Monday afternoon, he was not allowed to enter the country and may now be sent home along with his family, according to a friend who was due to pick them up from the airport.

...





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trump just ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan at the White House

    Sunday, June 25, 2017   No comments
In the early days of December 1805, a handful of prominent politicians received formal invitations to join President Thomas Jefferson for a White House dinner.

Such entreaties were not uncommon: Jefferson frequently hosted lawmakers for political working dinners at the White House, almost always commencing them about 3:30 in the afternoon, shortly after the House or Senate had adjourned for the day.

But this gathering, scheduled for Dec. 9, would be slightly different.

"dinner will be on the table precisely at sun-set - " the invitations read. "The favour of an answer is asked."

The occasion was the presence of a Tunisian envoy to the United States, Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who had arrived in the country just the week before, in the midst of America's ongoing conflict with what were then known as the Barbary States.

And the reason for the dinner's later-than-usual start was Mellimelli's observance of Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims in which observers fast between dawn and dusk. Only after sunset do Muslims break their fast with a meal, referred to as an iftar.

...


For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar "months in advance" and didn't anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.

White House officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Late Saturday afternoon, the White House released a short statement from President Trump and the first lady recognizing the holiday.

"Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity," the statement read. "Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life. During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."

In late May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly said the State Department would break with recent tradition and not host a Ramadan reception, as it had done nearly annually for two decades. On Saturday morning, Tillerson also released a brief statement sending "best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr."

"This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity," Tillerson said in the statement. "This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak."

Tillerson's and Trump's brief remarks were in stark contrast to Obama, who released a lengthy statement for the holiday last year, as well as to ceremonies hosted at the White House for the last 20 years. source

Thursday, June 22, 2017

President Emmanuel Macron Reverses France's Syria Policy: No legitimate successor to Assad

    Thursday, June 22, 2017   No comments
ISR comment: 
For six years, France's policy was one that prioritized the ouster of the Syrian president over all other goals. The French government offered the obscure groups calling themselves "Syrian Opposition" all forms of support, labeling it, the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. After more than 300,000 Syrians died and nearly 5,000,000 were displaced, the French government shifts its Syria policy: the priority is now to fight terrorism and to preserve the institutions of a functioning Syrian government. Too little, too late.
The News:
President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he saw no legitimate successor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and France no longer considered his departure a pre-condition to resolving the six-year-old conflict.

He said Assad was an enemy of the Syrian people, but not of France and that Paris' priority was fighting terrorist groups and ensuring Syria did not become a failed state.

His comments were in stark contrast to those of the previous French administration and echo Moscow's stance that there is no viable alternative to Assad.

"The new perspective that I have had on this subject is that I have not stated that Bashar al-Assad's departure is a pre-condition for everything because nobody has shown me a legitimate successor," Macron said in an interview with eight European newspapers.

"My lines are clear: Firstly, a complete fight against all the terrorist groups. They are our enemies," he said, adding attacks that killed 230 people in France had come from the region. "We need everybody's cooperation, especially Russia, to eradicate them."Source


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Facts and Biases: "Mass shootings are terrorism when perpetrated by Muslims"

    Sunday, June 18, 2017   No comments
...
Legally and morally, we see intent as the best way to distinguish terrorism from mass murder. Federal law defines terrorism as certain violent acts “that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government.”

But because Hodgkinson is dead and did not declare an aim to dethrone the House majority to which his victims belong, we can only speculate about his motives. Like so many other killers in recent years, it’s impossible to know what his specific goals were, because he didn’t tell anyone. We know that these people intended to commit murder, but not why. And if we assume we know — as in the case of Syed Rizwan Farook in San Bernadino or Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson — it’s probably because of our preexisting stereotypes or our partisanship. Mass killings look the most like terrorism when their perpetrators seem the most alien from the Judeo-Christian, white majority. That’s no way to judge a crime. We need a new way to classify these attacks.
...
This discrepancy poses two dangers. First, the assumption that mass shootings are terrorism when perpetrated by Muslims but not by others may lead law enforcement and the public to overlook threats posed by non-Muslims. For instance, civil rights lawyer and former FBI agent Mike German, who infiltrated white supremacist groups, has argued that the domestic threat posed by right-wing extremist groups is as great as, if not greater than, that posed by Arab or Muslim terrorists, and yet has been largely ignored by the FBI. A report by the Government Accountability Office tallied 106 killings perpetrated by right-wing extremists in the United States from Sept. 12, 2001, to the end of 2016, more or less equal to the 119 by Muslim extremists in that time. While the exact number in each category may change slightly depending on how we classify individual attacks, the point is that there’s close to parity in the danger posed by each group.

Second, it’s possible that law enforcement and other decision-makers will acknowledge and respond to this singular focus on Muslims by overcompensating in the opposite manner so as to appear nondiscriminatory. The Fort Hood shooter, for example, had repeatedly drawn complaints from fellow soldiers for appearing to justify terrorist attacks against Americans in the Middle East. The FBI was even aware that Hasan had been in email contact with al-Qaeda provocateur Anwar al-Awlaki. It is one thing to avoid racial or religious stereotyping but another to ignore red flags for fear of being perceived as bigoted, as appears to be the case with Hasan. Yet this tension is inherent in stereotype-based law enforcement.

One first step toward resolving the question of “what is terrorism?” — at least in the colloquial sense — is to stop focusing so much on the perpetrator’s perceived intent and to look more at the effects of the violent act. Today, attackers such as Hodgkinson, Hasan, Rizwan, Malik, Loughner and Roof have one thing clearly in common: Even if it’s not clear why, they want to kill as many people as possible. That should be enough to call them all terrorists.

source
James T. Hodgkinson, the man who shot five people at a Republican baseball practice Wednesday, including a member of Congress, harbored ill will toward President Trump and the GOP. So was Hodgkinson a terrorist?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Erdoğan wants Turkish military bases in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, condemns “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East

    Saturday, June 17, 2017   No comments
Turkey does not condone “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East although it does recognize its role and its cooperation in resolving problems in Iraq and Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“Is Syria a theater for Iran’s sectarian expansionism? Yes, it is. Is Iraq a theater also? Yes, it is. I regard this a Persian expansionism rather than a sectarian one. I should specifically say that I do not approve of this Persian expansionism,” Erdoğan said in an interview with Portugal’s RTP channel, according to Anadolu Agency on June 16.

Turkey has long criticized Iran for pursuing a sectarian-based policy in the Middle East although it continues to work with Tehran on a number of regional issues.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump cancels Obama’s deal with Cuba

    Friday, June 16, 2017   No comments

ISR Comment: Threatening to cancel the #IranDeal is understandable: Iran has n0 defenders in the U.S. and it is always popular to bash Iran and blame everything, including one's lousy bet the Cavs winning the NBA 2017 championship. But with the announcement today that Trump is cancelling Obama's deal with Cuba, the pattern is established. This president's mission is to ungovern, not govern. More accurately, it seems that Trump intends to spend his four years in the White House undoing what his predecessor has done in the last eight years. It is absolutely clear, too, that doing so is very personal to Trump. A close look at his short record and all his achievements, unaccomplished as they may be, are in fact undoing the accomplishment of Obama: Obamacare, Paris Treaty, U.S.-Saudi relations, environmental regulations, financial regulations... and the list goes on and on... Trump either does not have any original ideas or he has issues with Obama.



___________
President Trump on Friday announced his tough new policy on Cuba — and demanded that the Communist country return the American fugitives it harbors, including cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.

“Return the fugitives from American justice including the return of the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Trump thundered to applause and shouts of “Viva Trump.”
“To the Castro regime, I repeat, the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. You have no choice. It will end,” he said at an event in Miami’s Little Havana.

Chesimard, a Queens-born black activist who changed her name to Assata Shakur, was a Black Liberation Army member who was convicted of killing a police officer in 1977.

She escaped from prison with the help of other BLA terrorists and in 1984 fled to Cuba, where the Castro regime granted her political asylum.

Under the president’s policy — which reverses some but not all of the changes introduced by the Obama administration when it restored diplomatic ties with the island nation — American citizens will be barred from staying in US-based hotels that operate in Cuba in partnership with the Cuban government. source

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