The nuclear attack on the UK that never happened

In 1982, a secret Home Office exercise tested the UK’s capacity to rebuild after a massive nuclear attack. Files recently released at the National Archives detail one short-lived proposal to recruit psychopaths to help keep order.

More than 300 megatons of nuclear bombs are detonated over Britain, in the space of a 16-hour exchange. Many cities are flattened – millions are dead from the blast, millions more have survived and suffer radiation sickness. In bunkers are 12 regional commissioners with their staff, ready to come out and take charge. How do they do this? How do they restore order and begin to rebuild?

This was what a top-secret Home Office exercise intended to test in 1982, according to documents recently released at the National Archives. Optimistically termed Regenerate, this was a war game covering the first six months after the nuclear exchange of World War Three. It focused on one central region, the five counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire.

Officials imagined what would happen after the bombs had dropped. They knew the most likely targets in the area, and predicted how “rings” of damage would affect the country. At the epicentres of the bombs, there would be “unimaginable” damage, on the outer ring “broken panes” and “debris in the streets”. The scientific advisers estimated 50% of the country would be untouched – though survivors could be affected by radiation fallout.

Photo of a National Archives document, dated 2 July, imagining a nuclear attack

Photo of a National Archives document, dated 2 July, imagining a nuclear attack

Planning the war game, one civil servant tried to imagine how law and order would be maintained. Jane Hogg, a scientific officer in the Home Office, envisaged the police would be busy helping “inadequate” people in disaster-struck areas, and suggested that another group could be recruited to help keep order.

“It is… generally accepted that around 1% of the population are psychopaths,” she wrote.

“These are the people who could be expected to show no psychological effects in the communities which have suffered the severest losses.”

Hogg suggested psychopaths would be “very good in crises” as “they have no feelings for others, nor moral code, and tend to be very intelligent and logical”.

Her bosses were unconvinced. One scribbled: “I am not at all sure you convince me. I would regard them as dangerous whether or not recruited into post-attack organisation.”

The psychopath option didn’t make it into the game play, which was developed by the local government operational research unit.

The exercise set out a series of local events that those involved would have to respond to as war came closer, and after the bombs fell.

The “players”, who would have been civil servants, officers from the police, fire services and military, were given choices as the scenario developed.

For instance, as the strike loomed, the game imagined the chief executive of South Yorkshire making “very pessimistic” public statements about survival in the event of war. Fifteen thousand families left his area and camped in nearby Derbyshire, in tents and caravans. What should be done, asked the game.

After the brief, deadly exchange, Exercise Regenerate imagined local headquarters being badly affected – Leicester bunker destroyed, HQ at Lincoln lost, HQ at Sheffield lost. Only Derbyshire, with its HQ at Matlock, was unaffected.

If this is starting to sound vaguely familiar, it’s because it is very close to the plot of the award-winning BBC Drama Threads, which was broadcast in 1984. That followed the fortunes of two families in South Yorkshire, before and after nuclear war. Acclaimed at the time for its shockingly detailed portrayal of the impact of nuclear strike, it closely followed Exercise Regenerate. The drama’s producer, Mick Jackson, knew about the game, and the file shows he’d made a formal request to observe it. He was turned down.

The breakdown – or disorder – depicted in Threads was how the game imagined the days and weeks after the strike. Vigilante groups emerged, challenging the authorities. Within the bunkers, morale fell. Some industry survived, but who would run it and how? The administration was weak.

Photo of a document from the National Archives on the subject of vigilante groups

Photo of a document from the National Archives on the subject of vigilante groups

In May 1982 at the Easingwold training centre in Yorkshire some officials tried to play the game. It did not work well. One player said it failed to go far enough – it was supposed to model what would happen up to 18 months after nuclear attack, but too much time was spent on the pre-strike period.

The officials went “back to the drawing board”, only to discover the computer had been corrupted. That seems to have been the end of the exercise.

Lord Hennessy, author of The Secret State, said he’d never seen a civil defence exercise quite like this, where it was – albeit briefly – suggested psychopaths could be recruited to keep order after a nuclear strike. He described it as “extraordinary” and “bizarre”, though noted that element was “stamped on pretty quickly”.

He has seen many secret documents planning for nuclear war. “They always take my breath away,” he said. “The sense of civil servants having to look into the abyss, imagine the unimaginable.”

Twenty five years since the Cold War ended, most of this secret planning is known now. But Lord Hennessy said: “We still don’t have the detailed plans for using the Royal Yacht as the Queen’s bunker.” In the event of nuclear war, he said, the yacht would be “lurking” in the sea lochs in Scotland out of reach of Soviet radar, with the Queen, Prince Philip, the Home Secretary on board.

“But I can’t pick up the phone and ask the Queen: ‘Can I have your Armageddon file, Ma’am?’ That would be regarded as extremely bad form.”

source:-  www.bbc.co.uk

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‘Don’t Force Your Religious Views On Me': Parents Upset Over Daughter’s ‘Islam Assignment’

plata high school Capture

A Maryland Marine was banned from his daughter’s high school after allegedly getting into an argument with the vice principal during a dispute over a homework assignment.

The trouble began when Kevin Wood’s daughter came home from school with a three-page assignment that allegedly asked the students to “list the benefits of Islam.” Wood and La Plata High School have differing stories when it comes to the topic of the assignment and the altercation that followed.

 

Kevin Wood and his wife Melissa believe that schools should not be involved in the teaching of religion, in accordance to the separation of church and state. The use of “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance has been a hotbed topic for some time, but the Wood family feels that somehow Islam is not being held to the same standards.

“I don’t force my religious views on them, so don’t force your religious views on me,” Mr. Wood told KDFW. Mrs. Wood added onto her husband’s statement, saying, “We cannot discuss our Ten Commandments in school, but they can discuss Islam’s Five Pillars?”

After seeing the assignment, Kevin Wood went to La Plata High School and met with the vice principal regarding his attitude towards the teaching of Islam. Wood’s and the school’s version of what happened next differ greatly.

According to Katie O’Malley-Simpson, a spokesperson for Charles County Public Schools, Wood threatened the vice principal if he refused to retract the assignment.

“He was threatening to cause a disruption or possible disruption at the school,” said O’Malley. “We’re not teaching religion, we’re teaching world history.”

O’Malley went on to say that La Plata High School is within its rights to ban Wood from campus, and that he misunderstood the assignment’s purpose and worth to the students in the history class.

Wood contends that he made no threat against any school faculty and that he has a witness to back up his side of the story.

The assignment / (via KDFW)

The Wood family has been in talks with school faculty about coming to a resolution over the matter, but according to Mrs. Wood, the damage has already been done in the way of character assassination on her husband.

“They’re making him sound like he’s some bad person,” she said. “He’s not a bad person. He fought for your country.”

The school has agreed to let the Wood family’s daughter sit in the school’s library while the history class is in session.

Sources: KDFW, Raw Story

Photo Credit: WikiCommons/KDFW

The poppy hijab that defies the extremists: British Muslims urged to wear headscarf as symbol of remembrance

  • £22 headscarf is backed by Muslim groups as a symbol for remembrance
  • Launched tomorrow to mark 100 years since the first Muslim soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during World War One
  • Designer said it was a way to say ‘you’re proudly British and Muslim’ 
  • Aims to divert attention away from a minority of extremists who have burned poppies on Remembrance Sunday  
poppy hijab Capture

 Ella Abubaker Farooq, 24 (left), Rukea Azougaye, 25 and Taslima Chowdhury, 21 (right) from London show off the new ‘Poppy Hijab’ in several styles

Three years ago, a group calling itself ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ sparked outrage when it burned a poppy on Remembrance Sunday

Mr Ahmed said: ‘Thousands of British Muslims already wear a poppy in November. This is just another way for them to show they remember those who gave their lives for their country.

‘It’s also a way for ordinary Muslim citizens to take some attention away from extremists who seem to grab the headlines.

‘This symbol of quiet remembrance is the face of everyday British Islam – not the angry minority who spout hatred and offend everyone.

‘We’re launching this today as it’s exactly 100 years since the first Muslim soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery – Khudadad Khan from Pakistan, who was fighting for Britain on the Western Front in the First World War.’

Sughra Ahmed, President of the Islamic Society of Great Britain, said he wanted to divert attention from an ‘angry minority’ of extremists who in the past have burned poppies on Remembrance Sunday (pictured)  

Khan was a member of the 129th Baluchis regiment fighting near in Belgium.

Khudadad Khan returned to India, and continued to serve in the Indian Army. In 1971 he died at home in Pakistan, aged 84.

On 31st October, 1914, at Hollebeke, Sepoy Khudadad carried on firing the gun on his own, after the five other men of his gun detachment were killed.

Despite having been wounded, he fought on long enough to hold off an enemy advance until Indian and British reinforcements arrived. He was awarded the highest military award for gallantry by King George V in December that year.

More than 400,000 Muslim soldiers fought for Britain in World War 1.

Think tank British Future is promoting the scarf as part of efforts to remind the public about the role of Commonwealth soldiers in British military history.

Sunder Katwala, the British Future’s Director of Integration said: ‘Remembrance brings Britain together each November – and has a special resonance as we all mark the centenary of the First World War.

‘The armies that fought a century ago look more like the Britain of 2014 than that of 1914. Yet few people realise that 400,000 Muslims fought for Britain in the First World War.

‘Many British Muslims won’t know this, while most Britons are surprised at the scale of the Muslim contribution to the Commonwealth effort.’

The scarf was designed by a Muslim fashion designer, Tabinda-Kauser Ishaq, a 24-year-old student at the University of the Arts in London.

She said: ‘I hope the poppy headscarf gives Muslim women a new way to mark Remembrance Day and to help raise money for the Poppy Appeal. It’s a simple way to say you’re proudly British and proudly Muslim.’

We can live in hope, but I can’t see it being a massive ‘seller’ !

source: Mail Online

There is Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Wake Up America !

american jihad imagebot

Scattered around the United States, unknown by most Americans, are dozens of Islamic terrorist-training compounds known as “Muslims of the Americas.” Under the leadership of a radical Pakistani cleric, Sheikh Mubarik Gilani, Muslims of the Americas has thousands of devoted followers who are being groomed for homegrown jihad.

“What we are witnessing here is kind of a brand new form of terrorism,” said FBI agent Jody Weis. “These homegrown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so”

Homegrown Jihad also contains the secret, never-before-seen video known as “Soldiers of Allah”—another name for Al Fuqra and Muslims of the Americas. This footage shows Sheikh Gilani himself firing weapons and recruiting followers. In the video he tells recruits to learn “Islamic guerilla warfare.”

“We have prepared them to defend themselves and given them highly specialized, training in guerilla warfare,” Gilani says in the training video. “We will train you to be like tigers and lions…

“…Act like you are a friend, then kill him,” is Gilani’s chilling command to his followers.

The “Soldiers of Allah” video—included in this DVD—also shows recruits how to wear camouflage, perform stealth operations, murder guards, strangle victims from behind, engage in hand-to-hand combat and weapons training.

“When Sheikh Gilani says, “Act like you are a friend, then kill him’—he’s talking about you, the infidel, who they want to destroy,” said Mawyer. “They are operating in our backyards and their goal is to murder Jews, Christians, Americans, and anyone they believe to be an enemy of Islam and Sheikh Gilani.”

Gilani defines the enemy clearly: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots, and its roots are America.”

Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around U.S. is the wake-up call that America needs to shut down these camps once and for all.

22 Jihad Training Camps in the US - FBI Refuses to Take Action

There are over 22 confirmed terrorist Jihad camps in the United States belonging to Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a Pakastan Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda related branch. Now a combined media effort, we find police officers working to double as the compound militia. To top it off, the FBI states that their hands are tied in monitoring their activities despite a training video that is years old, possible murders, and proof of illegal activities.

AMERICAN TERROR CAMPS imagebot

The fact is these training camps are not a new item that have popped up on the Homeland Security radar. These training camps are being operated by an extremely militant group of international terrorists, an organization called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. In order to live in these camps, you must pledge to support a Pakastani Cleric on the International Wanted list. As early as 2012, the media confirmed 19 Jihad camps on United States soil.

The group of Muslims of America (MOA)  are documented to have a connection to terrorism with training inside the United States. There was a 2002 unsolved murder at one of these compounds in Texas. When the Clarion Project obtained the 2007 FBI document detailing the Texas Enclave of MOA, what they found was deeply disturbing.

The organization says it has a network of 22 “villages” around the U.S., with Islamberg as its main headquarters in New York. TheClarion Project obtained secret MOA footage showing female members receiving paramilitary training at Islamberg. It was featured on the Kelly File on FOX News Channel in October. A second MOA tape released by Clarion shows its spokesman declaring the U.S. to be a Muslim-majority country.

2007 FBI record states that MOA members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. It states:

“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”

The document also says that, “The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.” ~Clarion Project

homegrown terrorists Capture

It got even worse when they tried to find out why the FBI, in a time where we are supposed to be at one of the highest levels of national security, has done nothing about it for years. After all, the Clarion Project found out that the compound had been raided in 1991 in connection to a foiled bomb plot in Toronto. Several of the members had been filmed training as militants. This was not a new situation. This should have been something DHS jumped quickly on.

PJ Media reported:

“Federal Bureau of Investigations documents detailing a 22-site network of terrorist training villages sprawled across the United States. According to the documents, the FBI has been concerned about these facilities for about 12 years, but cannot act against them because the U.S. State Department has not yet declared that their umbrella group, MOA [Muslims of the Americas]/Jamaat ul-Fuqra, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

In other words, the FBI can not act because the President and the Department of Homeland Security will not classify MOA, with known ties for decades to Jamaat ul-Fuqra, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization despite a mountain of evidence.

It is disturbing that one Enclave in Texas that had at least one murder that was put on paper as an “accidental death” is so well entrenched into the countryside that most people don’t even know it is there.

The MOA compound in Texas, described by the FBI as an “enclave” and “communal living site,” is in Brazoria county along County Road 3 near Sweeny. It was discovered by the FBI due to a tip from an informant in New York.

moa in texasCapture

Texas MOA compound is called “Mahmoudberg,” located in south Texas’ Brazoria County on County Road 3 near the town of Sweeny

The MOA referred to its Texas commune as “Mahmoudberg” in online instructions for a parade in New York in 2010. A posting on an Islamic message board in 2005 advertised a speaking engagement in Houston by someone from Mahmoudberg. ~Clarion Project

When you try to figure out why the police haven’t at least made arrests, that is where new information makes this go from just ignoring the law to a RICO scam. After all, this is the same terrorist organization that cold blooded murdered a reporter by the name of Daniel Pearl that was supposed to meet with the head “Cleric” when he was investigating these compounds.

What Pamela Geller uncovered for WND makes the situation in the Texas Compound a scenario that would have made the 1930’s Chicago Mafia envious.

I have also discovered that another member of the MOA compound in Sweeny is a police officer for the nearby city of Freeport; his name is Hussein Jones. Informed and well-placed sources have informed me that a few years ago, there was a shooting on the compound. County officers were called, as well as EMS. However, when they arrived, they faced hostile members of the compound who would not allow them inside.

A police officer who was at the scene said that as this confrontation was going on, a constable of the neighboring Fort Bend County came speeding up in his car and began angrily rebuking the police officers who were there. He also tried to prevent the officers and EMS technicians and paramedics from gaining access to the compound. This constable also turned out to be a member of the MOA compound. However, as a result of his behavior during this incident, he was fired from his position as constable, and county officials were ultimately able to get inside the compound, although Brazoria County police are still not allowed in.

My sources tell me also that the compound is made up of mobile buildings that the group regularly rearranges, always positioning them in a way so that if law enforcement had to storm the compound, they would be sitting ducks with a sure tactical disadvantage.

Police officials say there are no laws to stop this group from what they are doing, and they cannot do anything until they break some kind of law. ~WND

What’s astonishing to me is that these are the exact situations of hording food and illegal weapons that caused the FBI to make a Florida Prepper the top of their most wanted list. Yet they are hiring police officers and EMT’s from a known terrorist compound?

But it still goes further. Pam Geller detailed just how intricate these camps are.

I ran a piece by Paul Williams at my website Atlas Shrugs on Aug. 6, 2007, reporting that “Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a terrorist organization with headquarters in Pakistan, has established over 45 compounds in rural areas throughout America. The compounds are providing paramilitary training to new recruits for the great jihad against the USA under the not-so-watchful eye of federal law enforcement officials. Most of the recruits are African-Americans who converted to Islam while doing hard time in federal prison.”

These are essentially America’s no-go Shariah zones, where even police maintain a hands-off policy. Mahmoudberg’s sister terror compound in New York, Islamberg, contains a campus of “The International Quranic Open University,” at which students get training from manuals written by Jamaat ul-Fuqra leader Mubarak al-Gilani, who teaches them that the Muslim’s “foremost duty” is to “wage jihad” against the “enemies” of Islam. Williams reported that “the students are also treated to Gilani’s poetic tirades against Western civilization and his jihad jingles, such as this marching song:

“Come join my troops and army,”
Says our Sheikh Gilani.
“Prepare to sacrifice your head.
“A true believer is never dead.
“Say ‘Victory is in the air,’
“The kafir’s blood will not be spared.”

Gilani boosts: “We give [students] specialized training in guerilla warfare. We are at present establishing training camps. You can easily reach us at Open Quranic offices in upstate New York or in Canada or in South Carolina or in Pakistan.” ~WND

I guess they have got their hands tied with this new definition of “Right Wing Extremist” that they’re hunting down as potential terrorists. There’s no time to go after an actual terrorist network right here in the United States.

A trained veteran waiting for the VA is treated as more dangerous than this compound even though there are detailed murders, terrorist plots, illegal weapons, felons with weapons, Jihad training on film, boasting of terror, and even drug smuggling.  To prosecute would be Islamaphobic, right?

It isn’t Islomaphobia when they really are trying to kill you.

 

Man, 21, held on terror charge

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

A 21-year-old man has been arrested in east London on suspicion of assisting another person to commit terrorist acts.

The BBC understands the arrest is not related to a domestic threat in the UK and is connected to possible plans to travel to Syria.

The suspect was detained in Hackney at around 6am on Wednesday morning.

He is being questioned on suspicion of facilitating another person to travel abroad.

Police are searching the property where the 21-year-old was arrested.

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Smiling officers were snapped just before hatchet-wielding radical attacked

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Photographer Dominick Williams snapped an endearing photo of four rookie NYPD officers seconds before they were ambushed
  •  Officer Kenneth Healey was hacked in the head and remains in critical condition
  • Zale Thompson was shot dead by the other officers  
BEFORE NY ATTACK Capture

Comrades: Four Queens NYPD cops are all smiles in this picture taken seconds before they were ambushed by hatched-wielding Zale Thompson. Officer Kenneth Healey,circled, second the the right, was hacked in the head

This is the chilling picture of four rookie New York cops in Queens, taken seconds before they were ambushed by a hatchet-wielding madman who hacked one of the officers in the back of the head and another in the arm.

Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, and his three comrades are all smiles in a portrait taken by Dominick Williams last Thursday afternoon.

Mr Williams spotted the officers and asked them to stand for a picture.

Seconds later, Zale Thompson ran up to the cops – who where standing against a wall in Jamaica, Queens – and started swinging a sharp hand axe.

Scroll down for videos: 

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Thompson can be seen dead on the street, face up in a green coat, moments later. Officer Kenneth Healey is down with a hatchet gash in his head

Thompson can be seen dead on the street, face up in a green coat, moments later. Officer Kenneth Healey is down with a hatchet gash in his head

An officer attends to Healey, pressing a cloth against his wound, as the other officers train their weapons at Thompson. Healey remains in critical condition at a New York hospital

An officer attends to Healey, pressing a cloth against his wound, as the other officers train their weapons at Thompson. Healey remains in critical condition at a New York hospital

Mr Williams says he scrambled for safety as the officers wrestled with Thompson. He hacked Officer Joseph Meeker, 24, in the arm before smashing Healey in the skull.

The other officers opened fire, killing Thompson but also accidentally shooting and gravely wounding a bystander who was caught in the crossfire.

Mr Williams’ camera captured the frantic aftermath of the attack.

Officer Healey – who had just four months on the job – can be seen laying face down on the sidewalk – a bloody gash in his head.

Another officer can be seen tending to his fallen comrade, holding a cloth over the gushing wound in his head.

Thompson still holds his hatchet in his hand after being shot dead by two NYPD officers after he slashed two cops in an ambush attack

Thompson still holds his hatchet in his hand after being shot dead by two NYPD officers after he slashed two cops in an ambush attack

Authorities say he was a self-radicalized Muslim extremist who hated cops. Authorities found more weapons at his home nearby

Authorities say he was a self-radicalized Muslim extremist who hated cops. Authorities found more weapons at his home nearby

These pictures capture the moments after the attack - before backup swarmed the scene and Officer Healey was taken to a hospital

These pictures capture the moments after the attack – before backup swarmed the scene and Officer Healey was taken to a hospital

Officer Healey was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but is expected to survive the injury.

The pictures also capture Thompson dead on the sidewalk.

His body is face up with the hatchet, still in his hand, laid across his chest.

Mr Williams estimated that the officers fired seven shots.

NYPD top brass has called the attack ‘an act of terrorism.’ Thompson was a self-radicalized Muslim extremist who had an interest in ISIS beheadings.

His family described him as a ‘recluse’ with mental health problems.

Rendering aid: Two officers were injured in the attack. Officer Joseph Meeker was slashed in the arm, but is expected to recover

Rendering aid: Two officers were injured in the attack. Officer Joseph Meeker was slashed in the arm, but is expected to recover

source : Mail Online

Libyan soldiers charged with Cambridge sex attacks

bassingbourne Capture

Arabic signs up ready for Libyan troops in Bassingbourn

Three Libyan soldiers based in Cambridgeshire have been charged with sexually assaulting three women in Cambridge, police said.

Khaled El Azibi, 18, Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi, 20, and Mohammed Abdalsalam, 27, were charged earlier after the women were attacked on Sunday.

All three are undergoing training at Bassingbourn Barracks, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Bassingbourn Barracks

Libyan troops first arrived for training in Bassingbourn in June

They are expected to appear before magistrates in Cambridge later.

Mr El Azibi has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Mr El Maarfi has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of exposure.

Mr Abdalsalam is charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of the use of threatening or insulting words or behaviour against a police officer.

A spokesperson for the British Army said: “We can confirm that three Libyan soldiers undergoing training at Bassingbourn Camp have been charged with offences relating to incidents in Cambridge.

“This is a matter for the civilian police and it would not be appropriate to comment any further at this stage. We have a close working relationship with the Cambridgeshire Police and will continue to assist them in any inquiries.”

The UK Government announced last year it had offered to train up to 2,000 cadets to ensure Libya’s transition to democracy and its security.

More than 300 armed forces personnel arrived at the barracks from Libya in June for six months of training in basic infantry skills and junior leadership skills.

source: BBC NEWS

*Latest Video*: John Cantlie: Islamic State hostage in ‘Kobane’

John Cantlie

Mr Cantlie, in an apparently scripted message, says the fight for Kobane “is coming to an end”

Scroll down for video:-

British hostage John Cantlie has appeared in a new Islamic State (IS) video in which he says he is speaking from the key Syrian town of Kobane.

In an apparently scripted video, Mr Cantlie says the battle for the town on the Turkish border “is nearly over” and the militants are “mopping up now”.

He refers to events of the past two weeks, including a US air drop of weapons for Syrian Kurd fighters.

Kobane has witnessed intense fighting between Kurdish militias and IS.

It is the latest in a series of videos featuring the 43-year-old journalist, who was seized in late 2012.

‘Nasty and tough’

The clip, which lasts for five minutes and 32 seconds, also features footage that it is claimed was shot by an Islamic State drone.

In the video, Mr Cantlie says: “Now the battle for Kobane is coming to an end. The mujahideen are just mopping up now, street to street, and building to building.

“You can occasionally hear erratic gunfire in the background as a result of those operations.

“But contrary to what the Western media would have you believe, it is not an all-out battle here now. It is nearly over. As you can hear, it is very quiet, just the occasional gunfire.”

Kobane

Kobane There has been fierce fighting in Kobane between Kurds and IS militants

He adds: “Urban warfare is as about as nasty and tough as it gets, and it’s something of a speciality of the mujahideen.”

Kobane has been been under assault from IS for weeks.

Last Monday, militants launched an offensive “on all fronts” against Kurdish fighters, activists said.BBC

The release of the video comes after the death of Mr Cantlie’s father Paul, 80, who had recorded a video message from his hospital bed urging IS to release his son.

Jessica Cantlie, John Cantlie’s sister, has also appealed for ”direct contact” with the militants.

Last week, another IS video emerged in which Mr Cantlie said prisoners of the militant group who had tried to escape had been punished with waterboarding.

John Cantlie, 43, appeared in a fifth ISIS video shared online just days after the death of his father who made an emotional plea to the terrorists weeks ago to have his son released.

He read another apparently scripted message that criticised the UK and US stance on hostage negotiations.

A Foreign Office spokesman said on Monday: “We are aware of a further video and we are analysing its contents.”

BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall said the latest video was “very different” from previous footage of Mr Cantlie because he is shown walking outside “almost as though he is a war reporter for the so-called Islamic State extremists.”

The idea that the battle for Kobane is almost over “seems to be the main propaganda message of this video,” our correspondent added.

Sources in the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit told the BBC that it appeared the video was shot at the School of Industry in eastern Kobane.

They also confirmed IS had its own drones.

Iranian Woman Fights Off a Rapist, But She’s the One Who Receives the Unimaginably Horrific Sentence

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In Iran, a woman has received the worst possible sentence after stabbing a man who tried to rape her.

On Saturday, 27-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hung at dawn for what Iranian officials concluded was “premeditated murder.” Amnesty International said the sentence is another “bloody stain” on Iran’s human rights record.

The event that led to Jabbari’s execution took place in 2007. A man approached Jabbari in a cafe who happened to be an Iranian intelligence agent. He told her that he wanted to discuss business with her at his office.

However, when Jabbari arrived the man had no intention to talk business. He tried to drug and rape her. Fearing for her life, Jabbari grabbed a pocketknife and stabbed the man.

What any American court would likely dismiss as self-defense, an Iranian court declared cold-blooded murder.

Before her hanging, Jabbari was given a chance to make one last call to her mother Sholeh, who spent years trying to secure her daughter’s release. Here are some of Jabbari’s final words:

The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power.

You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and learn a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I learned that sometimes one has to fight.

But I was charged with being indifferent in face of a crime. You see, I didn’t even kill the mosquitoes and I threw away the cockroaches by taking them by their antennas. Now I have become a premeditated murderer.

Dear soft-hearted Sholeh, in the other world it is you and me who are the accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted to embrace you until I die. I love you.

r i p reyhanah Capture

Jabbari’s heartbreaking story reminds us of what a real ‘war on women’ looks like. May she “Rest in Peace.”

source: IJReview

These Connecticut Schools Are Replacing Halloween With a PC-Approved Event That Has Parents Reeling

A few days before the streets will be full of trick-or-treaters, two Connecticut schools have dropped their Halloween party plans.

This year, Halloween will be replaced with a ‘Fall Festival’ to ensure they are including all kid’s feelings and not offending anyone.

According to Fox News Connecticut:

Principals from Ruth Chaffee and  Anna Reynolds School sent letters to parents because of concerns that they exclude children whose families don’t celebrate the holiday.

“We want to make sure we’re inclusive of all kids,” Anna Reynolds Principal Jeremy Visone said. “The best way to do that was not to celebrate the holiday.”

The decision didn’t sit well with parents. One mother said, “I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t find it to be a big religious thing,  the kids just get together with their costumes and have fun. It’s not like they talk about much, it’s just a day to have fun at school.”

In addition, this isn’t the first time Halloween has been considered offensive in public schools.

In 2012, schools in New York City banned the word Halloween from city-issued tests.In 2013, another Connecticut school banned make up and Halloween costumes.

Also in 2013, students at the University of Colorado were asked not to dress up like cowboys or Indians because others might find it offensive.

One Facebook user’s response to the news hit the nail on the head.

Social Media FB

The comment says:

I’ve never “celebrated” Halloween but I am certainly not offended by those who do. I just turn out the lights and let the rest of the world go by on this night. I’m not one of the offended cry-babies who spend a lifetime looking for things to gripe about. Geeeeeez.

While the children may not be able to have a Halloween party, the ‘Fall Festival’ gives them a chance to dress up as one their favorite literary characters. So they can still dress up as a vampire or even Frankenstein, as long they know it’s not a Halloween costume they’re wearing.

It seems like it defeats the whole “we don’t want to offend anyone” purpose, doesn’t it?

Source: www.ijreview.com

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Manchester UK: Teacher Jamshed Javeed admits Syria terror offences

Jamshed Javeed

Jamshed Javeed

A chemistry teacher has pleaded guilty to two Syria-related terror offences.

Jamshed Javeed, 30, of Levenshulme in Manchester, accepted he intended to travel to Syria to join rebels fighting against the government.

Javeed, who taught at Sharples School in Bolton, admitted two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terror acts.

He was remanded in custody after the Woolwich Crown Court hearing and will be sentenced in December.

‘Radical views’

Prosecutors say Javeed was arrested by counter-terrorism officers last December while preparing for a trip to Syria to join terror group Islamic State (IS), also known as Isis.

His family had earlier tried to stop him by taking and hiding his passport but he obtained a replacement document.

The teacher is said to have become rapidly radicalised from living an ordinary Western lifestyle to becoming someone determined to fight in the Middle East, having changed his appearance and behaviour from August 2013.

Greater Manchester Police said up until then, Javeed had been “an otherwise law-abiding man” who had a child, with another on the way.

Det Chief Supt Tony Mole Capture

Det Chief Supt Tony Mole

Det Chief Supt Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “His family grew suspicious and were clearly intent on stopping him, but he ignored their pleas and told them he was determined to go through with his plans to travel to Syria.”

Mr Mole added: “What this case tells us is that the earlier we can be told about someone’s intentions to join a group like this the better. Ideally, we would like to stop people well before they get to this stage.”

He warned that those trying to travel to Syria to fight with IS puts “themselves and their communities in a very vulnerable position”.

“Anyone who goes out to fight with Isis could potentially be a serious danger to communities if they return,” he said.

“By the time you have been trained, had experience, built up future friendships and fully engaged with that terrorist rhetoric, you potentially become a dangerous individual so we take a robust approach to people that wish to engage with terrorist organisations.”

At the time of his arrest, Javeed said he felt the British government was not doing enough to help the situation in Syria and that his actions were “honourable”.

Woolwich Crown Court, in south-east London, heard he no longer supports the actions of IS in Syria and Iraq.

‘Appalled at brutality’

In a basis of plea submitted by his lawyers, Javeed insisted he is not an extremist and “has never supported and does not support the aims of Isis as now revealed and understood”.

His motivation had been hearing reports of the “extreme suffering of the Syrian people at the hands of (President) Bashar al-Assad’s vicious regime”.

It added: “He does not support suicide bombings, the execution of hostages, or forcing non-Muslims to convert to Islam.”

He is “appalled at the indiscriminate brutality” of IS and would not now travel to Syria, according to the basis of plea.

The court heard Javeed learned his younger brother Mohammed Javeed was planning to travel to Syria in August or September last year.

He transferred £1,400 to his bank account – knowing that £1,100 of that money would pay for his brother and a friend to fly to Syria.

Javeed did not recruit, advise or encourage anyone to travel to the country, according to the basis of plea that prosecutors will now consider.

‘Isolated incident’

Sharples School head teacher Rachel Quesnel told the Bolton News: “It came as a huge shock to be informed by the police that they had arrested a member of staff. We acted on the advice of the local authority and the police and suspended the individual.”

She added: “There was no evidence whatsoever to link any criminal activity to our school or the wider community and no evidence to suggest that any pupils, staff or the wider community were under any kind of threat.

“We would like to reassure all our stakeholders that this was an isolated incident, involving one individual, and is in no way a reflection on Sharples School.”

Related Stories

source: BBC NEWS

Lack of support for Cardiff users claim after khat ban

Not enough support is being provided to users of a banned substance called khat, members of Cardiff’s Somali community have said.

The plant, popular in Somali and Yemeni communities, has a stimulant effect when chewed, but it can lead to mental health issues.

It was criminalised as a class C drug by the UK government in June.

Cardiff and Vale health board said it was still in the process of rolling out support for users.

What is khat?

A leafy plant native to Kenya which has a stimulant effect when chewedKhat is traditionally used by members of the Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communitiesIt makes people happy and talkative but can cause insomnia and temporary confusionChewed for a few hours it leaves users with a feeling of calm, described by some as “blissed out”The drug could make pre-existing mental health problems worse and it can provoke feelings of anxiety and aggression

Source: Talk to Frank

The UK government classified it as a drug to prevent Britain becoming a hub for khat smuggling to countries where it is banned.

Before the ban, around 2,560 tonnes of khat was imported to the UK every year, with a benefit to the Treasury of £2.5m in taxes.

The ban had been supported by many Somali and Yemeni women who said the habit was detrimental to family life and relationships.

There was also concern about the impact on the mental health of users as the effects of the leaf included psychosis and hallucinations. Some users had been admitted to hospital as a result.

But there has been criticism from within one of the oldest Somali communities in the UK of a lack of support for users following the ban.

bbc clip Capture

Mustafa Ahmed, 26, from Cardiff

Mustafa Ahmed, 26, from Cardiff, said: “Unfortunately, there’s been almost nil to zero in terms of support by local government or government as a whole for users.

“If you look at any other drug, whether alcohol, cigarettes, crack cocaine, heroin, there are programmes in place to help rehabilitate those individuals and put them on the straight and narrow.

“Unfortunately, the khat ban… yes it’s a good idea but it’s been brought in with no planning whatsoever with regards to how do we then support these people who we’ve taken a drug out of their system, and that’s something that really needs to be addressed and it’s a big concern for the community as a whole.”

But the Cardiff and Vale health board said support for users of the drug was being rolled out.

Conrad Eydmann, head of substance misuse strategy and development for Cardiff and Vale area planning board, said the service was being redesigned to make it more accessible to the community but he admitted there had been a delay.

“We’re looking for an approach that takes services to the person with need as opposed to expecting them to navigate the system,” he said.

“I think there is a time lag in the turn around for something like a change in legislation to make itself operationally felt in the way that we deliver services.”

Related:

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Why do we celebrate Halloween?

With everybody’s favourite horror-inspired holiday just around the corner, we trace the origins of Halloween.

happy halloween imagebot

As Halloween approaches, it seems a prudent time to trace the origins of everybody’s favourite horror-inspired holiday!

Whether you will be making outfits for your kids to go trick or treating in, or you just fancy an excuse for a night out , the chances are you are counting down the days until October 31.

Do you occasionally wonder why we even bother celebrating Halloween? Sure, the Americans love it – but they also call jam “jelly” and don’t like football. Can we trust them?

Halloween is celebrated on the eve of the pagan holiday for the fall equinox in which several Gods are worshiped. The Catholics adapted this tradition and instead of several Gods, they recognize several saints as it is called All saints day. However some religions still refer to this pagan holiday as evil and refer to it as the day of the Hallows, So the evening before is called All Hallows eve, which over time became Halloween. Overtime children started telling scary stories about this evil day where demons rise up from Hell and kidnap kids and hold them for ransom, eventually the parents of the kidnapped children paid the ransom (a treat of some sort) and the children were safely returned. Eventually Kids began dressing up as these demons to demand these treats and this is how Trick or treating started.

Here’s everything you need to know about Halloween…

The Origin

samhain Capture

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/ SOW-in) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).

Halloween, which dates back to 1745, is thought to be linked to the Celtic festival Samhain, and the Brittonic Celtic festivals Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall and Kalan Goañv in Brittany.

nos kalan gwav 2 imagebot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allantide

The Word

~Halloween

The word Halloween is taken from All Hallows’ Evening and transformed into All Hallows’ Eve or – more commonly – Hallowe’en.

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

Samhain saw the Celts of Britain, Ireland and France celebrate the new year on November 1.

That day also marked the end of the harvest and the start of the winter months – so, naturally, it was associated with death.

Why do we dress up then?

It was a superstitious period during this time, where the worlds of the dead and the living were seen as somehow intrinsically linked.

The realm of the dead was thought to be fluid on the day before the new year – or All Hallows’ Eve, to me and you – so it was a common concern among ordinary folk that they would somehow become corrupted by spirits from beyond the grave.

As such, people would wear costumes to ward off the aforementioned ghoulish spirits.

What’s with the trick or treating?

The tradition of going from door to door receiving food already existed in the UK in the form of “souling”, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for cakes.

~Halloween

William Shakespeare  mentions it in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, where one character accuses another of “whining like a beggar at Hallowmas”.

Nevertheless, trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s.

~Halloween

UK troops leave Camp Bastion, but Afghanistan’s future is unclear

Helmand saw the bloodiest fighting of British forces’ Afghanistan campaign, yet the Taliban show few signs of serious damage

Two British soldiers lowered the union flag in Helmand province on Sunday, marking the end of British combat in Afghanistan. The ceremony, at the Camp Bastion-Leatherneck complex, officially brought to a close one of the longest and fiercest conflicts UK troops have been engaged in since the end of the second world war. The British death toll stands at 453.

Camp Bastion has been the UK’s main Afghanistan base since troops were deployed to Helmand in 2006 – the US had the adjacent Camp Leatherneck. At the height of the conflict, Bastion was a sprawling, noisy base; the hub for thousands of British and US soldiers coming and going for tours of duties in Helmand, a Taliban stronghold that saw the bloodiest fighting of the 13-year campaign.

At its peak, the British had 10,000 soldiers at Bastion and the surrounding area. Today, it is like a ghost town. At the ceremony, two US marines also brought down the stars and stripes, while a British-US pair pulled down a Nato flag.

The British departure from Afghanistan has been marked by several ceremonies throughout the year, as equipment and troops began to depart. But this is the end.

Camp Bastion was handed over to Afghan government forces after the flag-lowering ceremony. Only a few hundred British soldiers are left, waiting for flights home this week. A few hundred more will be in Kabul until next year to help with training, rather than fight.

Sgt Maj Robert Mansel, 37, from Swansea, of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, lost comrades in earlier tours and is relieved to be returning from this one without any casualties.

Coming back to Bastion felt strange, he said. “Bastion has always been a hub of activity. It is the first time I have done a tour in Bastion.”

He said whenever he returned to Bastion he had been “completely in awe of the lights and the noises and the sounds”.

“I was stood yesterday morning when they turned the last generator off where we were previously living and there was an eerie silence, which was a pretty strange feeling. Emotionally it was like waking up in a city and everyone has disappeared. Very strange feeling indeed.”

The first British soldiers arrived in Afghanistan in October 2001, a month after the al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington. The first British soldiers were sent to Helmand in 2006. They were badly prepared. They were going into not only the Taliban heartland but one of the country’s biggest poppy-growing regions. Their intelligence was poor, they were outnumbered and their equipment was inadequate.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon, interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on Sundayyesterday, said: “Mistakes were made militarily and mistakes were made by the politicians at the time.

Fallon added: Clearly the numbers were not there at the beginning, the equipment wasn’t quite good enough at the beginning and we have learned an awful lot from the campaign.”

After more than a decade of warfare, the Taliban still control huge swaths of the countryside and have mounted deadly attacks in Kabul.

Read more and see video here:  www.theguardian.com

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Australians warned to brace themselves for a ‘wave’ of homegrown terrorist attacks as Islamic State continues to radicalise young fighters such as the ‘Ginger Jihadist’

  • Rohan Gunaratna said authorities should act now on the likelihood of further planned attacks on Australian 
  • Gunaratna’s warning comes just days after a Muslim convert shot dead a soldier when he opened fire at Canada’s Parliament
  • In a video tirade this week, a rescue mission to save ginger jihadist Abdullah Elmir was aborted a day before they were due to fly out
  • A team set to be assembled to find the teen, had concerns they could be charged under federal law for assisting him
  • Elmir, 17, could face 25 years in jail if he ever sets foot on Australian soil again
  • Meanwhile, the 17-year-old, known as ‘Fayez’ who accompanied Elmir to the Middle East has returned to Sydney to sit his HSC exams
Abu Khaled from Australia, thought to be Abdullah Elmir, speaks flanked by other ISIS fighters in the latest ISIS propaganda video

Abu Khaled from Australia, thought to be Abdullah Elmir, speaks flanked by other ISIS fighters in the latest ISIS propaganda video

Scroll for videos :

Australians should brace themselves for the possibility for a ‘wave’ of terrorist attacks because it could well occur, a terrorism expert has warned.

Following the anti-terrorism raids, Rohan Gunaratna, a leading analyst on Islamic radical movement, told The Australian that authorities should act now to ensure the public would respond appropriately and react normally on the likelihood of homegrown attacks.

‘Australia should prepare for not only the continual flow of fighters to Syria and Iraq but also a wave of terrorist attacks on Australian soil,’ he told The Australian.

‘It is very likely that there will be low and medium-level ­attacks that will create a very significant impact and will impact the migrant and diaspora communities.’

Gunaratna’s warning comes just days after a Muslim convert, who shot dead a soldier when he opened fire at Canada’s Parliament on Wednesday morning.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot himself dead after he gunned down Coporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, who was keeping guard at the War Memorial.

In a video tirade this week, a rescue mission to save ginger jihadist, Abdullah Elmir, 17, had to be aborted at the last minute, with fears those involved could be charged for assisting the teen, if he was found.

The Sydney teenager gained notoriety, when he ran away from his Bankstown home with friend ‘Fayez’ in June, and declared that ISIS will not stop their murderous campaign ‘until the black flag is flying high in every single land’ in a Youtube video.

australian jihadi Capture

The father of the 16-year-old, known as ‘Fayez’, who accompanied Elmir to the Middle East said his son is ‘back on the right path’ and has returned to school in Sydney to sit his HSC exams

According to the HeraldSun, relatives in Sydney and Elmir’s father in Lebanon tried to assemble a team, including a Sydney man who believed he could get in contact with the teenager, to find him.

Channel seven’s Sunday Night program was also expected to travel with the group.

But major concerns surrounded whether the team, if they found Elmir and gave him assistance, could be charged under the federal government’s foreign incursion laws.

The 17 year old could face 25 years in jail if he ever sets foot on Australian soil again.

The Australian Federal Police have confirmed the evidence is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions following his ISIS video rant against western society.

AFP counterterrorism head Neil Gaughan told the Herald Sun that Elmir, who now goes by the moniker Abu Khaled, has ‘basically admitted he is a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation’.

‘The fact that he is admitting that he is a member of ISIS, which he does in the video, straight away says that he has committed an offence under the criminal code. That’s up to 25 years imprisonment,’ he said.

While most of his closest mates either closed ranks behind him or were too upset to speak, one of his childhood friends admitted to being in a state of shock 

While most of his closest mates either closed ranks behind him or were too upset to speak, one of his childhood friends admitted to being in a state of shock

Mark Llewellyn, executive producer of Sunday Night told the Sun Herald they had been approached by people who had concerns for Elmir.

‘It was felt that at this early stage before he had been radicalised, it might be possible for members of his Sydney Muslim community to negotiate his exit from IS, especially given his young age,’ he said.

Despite claims there was mounting pressure from federal agencies not to communicate with the media, Mr Llewellyn said the Australian Federal Police denied they ‘place contact restrictions on members of the public’.

‘We were informed these warnings also included the Muslim representatives who eventually pulled out of the plan.’

‘For the record, we did not offer or attempt to negotiate any story fee.’

Distraught classmates from Condell Park High School, in Sydney's south-west, painted a picture of a complex young man on Thursday, describing him as both 'very quiet' while also someone who 'enjoyed politicking'

Distraught classmates from Condell Park High School, in Sydney’s south-west, painted a picture of a complex young man on Thursday, describing him as both ‘very quiet’ while also someone who ‘enjoyed politicking’

Meanwhile, the father of the 16-year-old, known as ‘Fayez’, who accompanied Elmir to the Middle East said his son is ‘back on the right path’ and has returned to school in Sydney to sit his HSC exams, according to Herald Sun.

While Elmir’s friends have admitted that Elmir, who this week appeared in a YouTube video rant, was ‘expected’ to run away to the Middle East.

‘Some expected it, like he used to talk about it a bit,’ a friend told Daily Mail Australia.

Distraught classmates from Condell Park High School, in Sydney’s south-west, painted a picture of a complex young man on Thursday, describing him as both ‘very quiet’ and someone who ‘enjoyed politicking’.

Australian security agencies are analysing the vision to determine whether a bearded man to Elmir’s right is Mohamed Elomar, (one of the country’s most wanted) the ISIS recruit believed responsible for radicalising and luring dozens of Australians to take up arms in the Middle East.

While most of his best mates either closed ranks behind him or were too upset to speak, one of his childhood friends admitted to being in a state of shock.

‘Yeah man, he’s my friend and I don’t want to talk about him,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘He was my mate but I don’t talk about him’.

But the teenage terrorist was described by another classmate as being ‘very quiet, he was a good kid, we used to pray together at our mosque’.

‘He did a little bit of debating here, he liked knowing politics and did some politicking but he was mostly very quiet and never, ever got into trouble,’ he said.

‘Abdullah was in theatre groups at school and he liked playing basketball a lot.’

When asked if he was one of those who thought Abdullah was capable of running away, he added ‘no, no I didn’t expect that but I know a few of his other friends say they heard him mention it’.

Professor Greg Barton, from Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, said Elmir was recruited by another wanted terrorist, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, an Australian based in Syria.

He said terror recruiters lured targets by making friends through social media, like many sexual predators.

He said the boy appeared as a ‘pawn in the machine’ in the chilling video.

‘He thinks he’s the star … but the reality is, his new friends have got him a one-way ticket,’ Professor Barton said.

‘He’s not in charge of his own destiny at all, he’s being used.’

Professor Barton added that young people were the easiest to radicalise.

Bearded ISIS fighters, holding rifles, flank the Australian jihadi as he preaches hate

Bearded ISIS fighters, holding rifles, flank the Australian jihadi as he preaches hate

‘Teenagers, 20-somethings, particularly young men more than young women, are vulnerable to making rash judgments,’ he said.

‘They tend to be more rebellious toward [older] generations and sceptical of establishment figures.’

It is believed former Kings Cross bouncer Baryalei, 33, recruited Elmir through western Sydney street preaching group Parramatta Street Dawah.

‘He’s said to have recruited 30 plus young people – mostly in western Sydney through Street Dawah,’ Prof Barton said.

Before Elmir joined ISIS, the ginger jihad was employed as a butcher in a shop in Bankstown, The Daily Telegraph.

‘He made his own bed now he has to lie in it,’ his former boss said. ‘He was a good kid. The best kid.’

Elmir’s boss was furious when the 17-year-old called in sick, the same day Elmir reportedly told his mother that he was ‘going fishing’ and disappeared from his Bankstown home in Sydney’s south-west, in June.

Elmir and his friend Feiz are believed to have made their way to Syria and Iraq after crossing the border from Turkey, where they were last known to have contacted family members. They travelled via Perth, with stops in Malaysia and Thailand.

Titled 'Message Of The Mujahid 4', the 1.43 minutes long video is full of threats against the west

Titled ‘Message Of The Mujahid 4′, the 1.43 minutes long video is full of threats against the west

As Elmir finishes his diatribe the men all cheer and chant in Arabic

As Elmir finishes his diatribe the men all cheer and chant in Arabic

Elmir begins the video by saying ‘this message I deliver to you the people of America, this message I deliver to you the people of Britain and this message I deliver especially to you the people of Australia’.

Titled ‘Message Of The Mujahid 4′, the video which is 1.43 minutes long is full of heavily worded threats and taunts the US-led coalition that recently began air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.

‘I say this about your coalition: you threaten us with your countries, bring every nation that you wish to us, bring every nation that you want to come and fight us. Whether it’s 50 nations or 50 thousand nations it means nothing to us,’ Elmir says.

Reading from a script, a black and white scarf wrapped around his head and a huge rifle in his hand, he warns: ‘Bring your planes bring everything you want to use because it will not harm us because we have Allah which is something you do not have.’

aussie jihadi Capture

Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf is wanted by the Federal Police for his activities in Syria

Former Sydney boxer Mohamed Elomar posted photos of himself holding up decapitated heads on Twitter

Former Sydney boxer Mohamed Elomar posted photos of himself holding up decapitated heads on Twitter

A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: ‘This video again highlights the threat posed by ISIL.’

‘As the Prime Minister has said on many occasions, ISIL is a threat that reaches out to Australia and our allies and partners.’

Elmir’s family told the Sydney Morning Herald in June they were devastated their son had been ‘brainwashed’.

His family’s lawyer Zali Burrows told the Australian Associated Press: ‘The family went to the media today as a plea to the government to bring their boy back.

‘We know they have the intelligence to pinpoint him.

‘The concern is that he’s being used as a tracking device to gather further intelligence, to see where he’s actually going to go.’

Ms Burrows questioned how Elmir was not stopped by Federal Police, who were thought to be monitoring him.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced Australia will send its special forces into Iraq to fight against Islamic State.

Elmir’s video was published one day after the announcement.

source : Mail Online 

The Return Of The Caliph: What’s the appeal of a caliphate?

Caliph Capture

Abd al-Rahman III (Also called Rahman III Córdoba, 891-961) Emir (912-929) and first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba (929-961).

In June the leader of Islamic State declared the creation of a caliphate stretching across parts of Syria and Iraq – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi named himself the caliph or leader. Edward Stourton examines the historical parallels and asks what is a caliphate, and what is its appeal?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul, Iraq in July

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at his first public appearance in Mosul, Iraq in July

When Islamic State (IS) declared itself a caliphate in June this year, and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claimed the title of caliph, it seemed confirmation of the group’s reputation for megalomania and atavistic fantasy. Al-Baghdadi insisted that pledging allegiance to this caliphate is a religious obligation on all Muslims – an appeal which was immediately greeted by a chorus of condemnation across the Middle East.

But it is dangerous to underestimate the appeal of IS? Al-Baghdadi’s brutal regime does not, of course, remotely conform to the classical Muslim understanding of what a caliphate should be, but it does evoke an aspiration with a powerful and increasingly urgent resonance in the wider Muslim world.

The last caliphate – that of the Ottomans – was officially abolished 90 years ago this spring. Yet in a 2006 Gallup survey of Muslims living in Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia and Pakistan, two-thirds of respondents said they supported the goal of “unifying all Islamic countries” into a new caliphate.

Why do so many Muslims subscribe to this apparently unrealisable dream? The answer lies in the caliphate’s history.

Map entitled "Empire of the Caliphs Middle of the 8th Century"

The Arabic khalifa means a representative or successor, and in the Koran it is linked to the idea of just government – Adam, and then David and Solomon, are each said to be God’s khalifa on earth. And when the Prophet Mohammed died in 632 the title was bestowed on his successor as the leader of the Muslim community, the first of the Rashidun, the four so-called “Rightly Guided Caliphs” who ruled for the first three decades of the new Islamic era.

These four were, according to Reza Pankhurst, author of The Inevitable Caliphate, all appointed with popular consent. He argues that their era established an ideal of a caliph as “the choice of the people… appointed in order to be responsible to them, apply Islamic law and ensure it’s executed”. He adds that the true caliph “is not above the law”.

http://www.academia.edu/1520409/The_Inevitable_Caliphate

Shia Muslims challenge this version of history – they believe that the first two caliphs effectively staged a coup to frustrate the leadership claims of the Prophet’s cousin Ali – and this dispute about the early caliphate is the source of Islam’s most enduring schism. But to today’s Sunni Muslims, many of them living under autocratic regimes, the ideal of a caliphate built on the principle of government by consent is likely to have a powerful appeal.

Another significant source of the caliphate’s appeal today is the memory it stirs of Muslim greatness. The era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs was followed by the imperial caliphates of the Umayyads and Abbasids.

“Seventy years after the Prophet’s death, this Muslim world stretched from Spain and Morocco right the way to Central Asia and to the southern bits of Pakistan, so a huge empire that was all… under the control of a single Muslim leader,” says historian Prof Hugh Kennedy. “And it’s this Muslim unity, the extent of Muslim sovereignty, that people above all look back to.”

Abd-ar-Rahman III (889- 961). Emir and Caliph of Al-Andalus

Abd-ar-Rahman III (889- 961). Emir and Caliph of Al-Andalus

Abd-ar-Rahman III (889- 961) – Emir and Caliph of Al-Andalus

This Islamic Golden Age was also marked by great intellectual and cultural creativity – the Abbasid court in Baghdad valued literature and music, and fostered world-changing advances in medicine, science and mathematics.

Yet these dynasties extended their rule so far, and so fast, that it became increasingly difficult for any one lineage to control all Muslim lands. As power fragmented, it was not just a political dilemma for any particular dynasty, but also a theological challenge to the very idea of the caliphate. The power of unity was closely linked to the idea of a caliph – yet it only took just over a century of the Muslim faith for the world to see parallel – and even competing – caliphates emerge.

The Sunni theologian Sheikh Ruzwan Mohammed argues: “While you do have two caliphs on earth proclaiming that they’re the representatives of the Muslim community at this point, and more deeply that they are the shadow of God on earth, Muslims at that point were very pragmatic, and they acknowledged the fact that there could be more than one caliph representing the benefits and the concerns of the Muslim community – and that was also understood and accepted by Muslim theologians.”

Mongols under the leadership of Hulagu Khan storming and capturing Baghdad in 1258, from the 'Jami al-Tawarikh'

Mongols under the leadership of Hulagu Khan storming and capturing Baghdad in 1258, from the ‘Jami al-Tawarikh’

The Mongol siege of Baghdad, 1258

The Abbasid caliphate lasted for half a millennium before coming to a brutal end in 1258. When Baghdad fell to the Mongols, the last of the city’s caliphs was rolled in a carpet and trampled to death under the hooves of Mongol horses – this was, bizarrely, a mark of respect, as the Mongols believed that people of rank should be killed without their blood being shed.

The institution of the caliphate, however, survived. Members of the Abbasid family were installed as titular caliphs in Cairo by the Mamluks, the main Sunni Islamic power of the day. They were more ornaments to the Mamluk court than anything else, but merely by existing they preserved the ideal of a single leader behind whom all Muslims could unite. So the title was still there for the taking when a new Islamic empire arose. Early in the 16th Century it passed – in slightly murky circumstances – to the Ottoman sultans, who ruled a new Islamic world power for a further 400 years.

The caliphate was finally extinguished by Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, in 1924. He believed the abolition of the institution was essential to his campaign to turn what was left of the empire into a 20th Century secular nation state. The last Ottoman caliph was expelled from Istanbul to live out a life of cultured exile in Paris and on the Cote d’Azur.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

But the institution he represented had by then existed for nearly 1300 years, and the impact of its abolition on Muslim intellectual life was profound. Salman Sayyid, who teaches at Leeds University and is the author of Recalling the Caliphate, compares it to Charles I’s execution, which opened up so many profound questions about the roles of parliament and the crown. In the same way, he says, Muslim thinkers in the 1920s suddenly found they had to ask fundamental questions they had never confronted before: “Do Muslims need to live in an Islamic State? What should that state be like?”

By the mid 20th Century leaders like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser had come up with an answer to those questions – the ideology known as pan-Arabism offered a kind of secular caliphate, and during the 1950s Nasser even established something called the United Arab Republic, which joined Egypt and Syria.

But everything changed in the Middle East with the foundation of the State of Israel, and Pankhurst argues that Pan-Arabism was wrecked on the rock of Israeli military might. “Pan Arabism drew its legitimacy from the fact that it was going to return the Arabs to their position of glory and liberate Palestine,” he says. “When we had the abject defeat of 1967 (the Six Day War) it exposed a hollowness to the ideology.”

Pankhurst belongs to Hizb ut Tahrir, an organisation founded in the 1950s to campaign for the restoration of the caliphate, and he argues that the revival of the idea has been driven by a general disenchantment with the political systems under which most Muslims have been living. “When people talk about a caliphate… they are talking about a leader who’s accountable, about justice and accountability according to Islamic law,” he says. “That stands in stark contrast to the motley crew of dictators, kings, and oppressive state-security type regimes you have, which have no popular legitimacy at all.”

The regimes that dominated the Middle East during the late 20th Century did not like Hizb ut Tahrir – unsurprisingly, in view of its ideology. Pankhurst spent nearly four years in an Egyptian jail.

In the early days of the Arab Spring, the revolutions in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were interpreted in Western capitals as evidence that the Muslim future lay with democracy. Then in Egypt came the overthrow of the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood government by the army under General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi – and then came the horrors of Islamic State amid the bloody chaos of civil strife in Syria and Iraq.

Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi inside the defendant's cage at his trial

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi inside the defendant’s cage at his trial

“Many people will say that IS begins with al-Sisi’s coup,” says Salman Sayyid of Leeds University. “We right now have a growing gap of legitimacy in most governments that rule the Muslim peoples – and that gap isn’t closing… One way of thinking about the caliphate is really a quest for Muslims to have autonomy. The idea that you should have capacity to write your own history becomes very strong and for Muslims I think the caliphate is the instrument for trying to write their own history.”

Many classical Sunni scholars challenge the very notion that the caliphate is a political project. Sheikh Ruzwan Mohammed, for example, argues that the key to the caliphate is really spiritual. “I think the Islamic State should come from within,” he says. “It should be an Islamic State first and foremost of mind and soul.” And the overwhelming majority, even of those who do believe that a new caliphate is a realistic political objective, completely reject the violence espoused by the self-styled Islamic State.

But IS has skilfully exploited the elements in the caliphate’s history which best serve its purposes. The historian Hugh Kennedy has pointed out, for example, that their black uniforms and flags deliberately echo the black robes the Abbasids adopted as their court dress in the 8th Century, thus recalling Islam’s Golden Age. And their original title – the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – harks back to the days when there was no national border between the two countries, because both territories were part of the great Islamic caliphate.

The success of IS does, in a grim way, reflect what a powerful and urgent aspiration the Caliphate has become. The IS project is certainly megalomaniac and atavistic, but it is building on an idea that is much more than a fantasy.

Listen toThe Idea of the Caliphate, broadcast on Analysis on BBC Radio

source : BBC NEWS MAGAZINE 

Iranian owned Cafe Customers ‘insulted’ and disabled girl ‘told to sit outside’

Your Local Guardian:

Is this Britain’s most unfriendly cafe? Customers ‘insulted’ and disabled girl ‘told to sit outside’

Cafe Crepes, in Epsom High Street, has come under attack for the “rude and aggressive” service by its Iranian born owner, who is not bothered by the criticism.

A cafe owner described as “the most aggressive and rude woman” ever has dismissed her critics saying they are rude, uneducated and she does not need their money.

Iranian-born Anne Giffard has run Cafe Crepes, in Epsom High Street, for the past five years, serving fresh crepes, omelettes and drinks.

Two weeks ago, an appalled Gretta Dempsie, mother of Game of Thrones and Skins actor Joe Dempsie, contacted the Epsom Guardian to complain about the treatment of her disabled daughter, Lauren.

Cafe Crepes, in Epsom High Street, has come under attack for the

Cafe Crepes, in Epsom High Street

Mrs Dempsie said she and her husband had taken their daughter – who had moved to Epsom that day to start living in a specially-adapted cottage – to Cafe Crepes for lunch, but had been refused service unless they sat outside.

She said: “I pushed my daughter in and the owner behind the counter had an expression to say ‘what are you doing in here?’.

“We said we wanted some food. She said ‘not in here, you can sit outside’.

“She said that was because of the wheelchair.”

Mrs Dempsie said the family did not want to sit outside because of noise from traffic and that the restaurant was empty.

“She kept saying ‘it’s all booked, it’s all booked’ and then just ignored us.

“I found it hard to believe. Her hostility towards us was palpable,” she added.

“We have never had this before. Usually we get really helpful people.

“I’m just appalled. My daughter was so upset.

“This was our welcome to Epsom.”

Your Local Guardian:

Mrs Dempsie said she and her husband Jim spent months driving around looking for somewhere in Surrey for their daughter to live and chose Epsom because “it had flat pavements and seemed accessible”.

She said her daughter loves crepes and would have been a regular customer to the cafe.

However, the Dempsies are not the only ones to complain about the way they were treated at Cafe Crepes.

All six reviews on website 192.com slate Mrs Giffard for being rude, aggressive and unhelpful.

But Mrs Giffard, who runs the restaurant with help from her husband, said she is not bothered by all the negative feedback.

Speaking to the Epsom Guardian last week, she said: “People come in here and don’t understand.

“They say I am rude to them. They are rude.”

An Epsom resident of 15 years, Mrs Giffard was born in Iran and grew up in France.

She said she has a select group of customers who she loves and who like her food, with people coming from Wimbledon just for her crepes.

Mrs Giffard said the restaurant is too small and narrow for pushchairs and wheelchairs and that there is seating outside for these customers.

She said: “This is a small business, it is not a chain.

“If you’re not happy, don’t come.  It’s not my problem.”

Her prized customers include Atkins employees who regularly order lunch and a “nice, polite family who come and understand me”.

“They fold their buggy, put it on the side and sit in here,” she added.

“We talk about the news.  They feel at home or that they are in the house of an auntie.

“Others, they come in and provoke me.

“If you’re in Epsom in the morning there are lots of pushchairs. They go and get their benefits and they go from cafe to cafe.

“I prefer to have people with good manners.

“It’s a question of education.

“These types of people have no education or manners. This is about respect.

“This is like my kitchen.

“My customers are happy and I’m happy.”

Mrs Giffard does not tolerate people speaking on their telephones in Cafe Crepes because she said she wants to create a real cafe ambience.

She said people ask her why she wants to turn away their custom, but that she is not desperate for their money: “I am an Iranian.  I am not like this.”

In its latest food hygiene inspection, conducted in March this year, environmental health inspectors gave the cafe a two-star rating which equates to “improvement necessary”.

But like it or loathe it, Cafe Crepes will soon be departing Epsom.

Mrs Giffard said she must return to Iran to take care of family matters and will be selling the shop before the end of year.

She said she has already received several offers.

“I think I will miss it. Here is my baby,” Mrs Giffard added.

“But I teach everything to the new owner. I teach everything.”#

Cafe Crepes was awarded a Food Hygiene Rating of 2 (Improvement Necessary) by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council on 14th March, 2014.

2 (Improvement Necessary)

Food Standards Agency: 2 (Improvement Necessary)

Reviews left on website 192.com:

http://www.192.com/business/review/4f63627c91952d57b5c7f898f5e1edcef0a980cd/comp/

“This cafe is terrible. They refused to serve me because – terror of all terrors – I had a pushchair with me.” – Gary Puckett

“Do not go here. Not only does this have a poor food hygiene score…The lady tried to verbally abuse me for answering a call whilst looking at the menu.” – Julie Smith

“The woman at this place is the most aggressive and rude woman I have ever met. After various instances of verbal abuse we were ushered out the shop without having a chance to review the food and screamed at for being English.” – Chris Bannocks

“I experienced the most astonishing and aggressively rude and insulting behaviour from the lady owner.  When questioned about her poor attitude, she went on to insult me and, for some unfathomable reason, carried on to insult England and all English people.” – Jerry Rommer

source: Epsom Guardian 

Outside BBC headquarters, Portland Place in London.

As promised. Hugh writes here about just one instance of Biased BBC reporting.  It was a lively, peaceful and constructive demonstration, with not a single UAF counter protestor in sight! The EDL called twin demos agains…

More here : www.newenglishreview.org

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST