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‘Nobody Will Go Back’: Christians Flee Middle East After Fall of Islamic State


Reported by EDWIN MORA |

Iranian Christian worshippers attend the Christmas mass at the Saint Joseph Chaldean-Assyrian Catholic church, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. Iranian Christians are a minority and recognized by the constitution in the Muslim country and are represented in the parliament. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
 

The number of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, the greater Middle East, continues to plummet months after the Islamic State, which waged a genocidal campaign against Christians, lost its “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, Breitbart News learned from various experts, including an archbishop.

“Unfortunately, it can be stated that the Islamic State group’s anti-Christian campaign was very successful in Iraq, and to a certain extent, successful in Syria,” John Hajjar, the co-chair of the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy (AMCD) and co-director of the Middle East Christian Committee (MECHRIC), told Breitbart News.

“I think we have no more hope,”Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the diocesan legate in America’s capital and ecumenical director for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America, also told Breitbart News, referring to the future of Christianity in its Middle East cradle. “Middle East Christians have no nation that protects them openly.”

The number of Christians in Middle East-North Africa (MENA), as a component of the overall Muslim-majority population, has dropped substantially — from about ten percent in 1900 to between two and four percent now.

There are different estimates for the overall number of Christians that vary from about 12 million in the Middle East alone to about 20 million in MENA, Breitbart News learned from the experts and data from U.S. government and independent sources.

“The future for Christians right now is terrible — a Middle East without Christians. We are going to have churches without Christians as museums for tourists. There will be no Christians left,” the archbishop warned, echoing other analysts who have constantly cautioned that Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the Middle East.

“The number of Christians in the Middle East has already dropped extensively,” he further declared, accusing church leaders of inflating the actual numbers of Christ followers in the region to minimize the fact that Christianity is on the brink of extinction.

The bishop urged U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to do even more to help Middle East Christians.

Contradicting assertions by the Trump administration, the Church leader said, “People are not coming back. I can assure you that nobody will go back.”

The Trump administration has disbursed billions in funding to help victims of ISIS genocide, namely Christians and Yazidis, but the bishop told Breitbart News it is “not enough.”

“Trump is going to be a hero for the Christians in the Middle East if he takes more action,” he said.

Addressing President Trump, Archbishop Aykazian added, “Please help the Christians. They need your help and once you move one of your fingers the entire Arabic world will thank you. If he does such a thing, it is going to change everything. If he doesn’t, they will suffer.”

“The ball is in Trump’s court,” he further said.

In Iraq, which experts say has experienced the most dramatic drop in Christians due to jihadis and Iran-allied groups, Aykazian told Breitbart News that number has decreased from 1.6 million to less than 100,000, marking a drop of more than 90 percent.

“A similar situation is taking place in Syria’s Aleppo where there has also been a drop of more than 90 percent in Christians, from 360,000 to about 25,000 now,” he said, noting, “The church leaders don’t want to say those statements because they fear their followers will be disillusioned.”

ISIS’s genocide campaign targeted religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, primarily Christians and Yazidis, killing tens of thousands of them and taking some hostages as sex slaves.

“They [Christians] realized just how insecure they are,” Nina Shea, a religious freedom expert at the Hudson Institute, told Breitbart News. “Their own governments fail to protect them, and ISIS gained popular support within some neighboring major Sunni areas, like Mosul.”

Archbishop Aykazian said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “so far has been the best leader in the Middle East for defending Christians.” he said, adding, “The biggest Christian majorities are in Egypt.”

Shea pointed out, “Egypt retains ten million Coptic Christians. That is the only place where I see a certain future for them [Christians].”

“In a generation, Egypt may be the only remaining country with a robust Christian community that traces its roots to the earliest Christian church,” Shea added. “Elsewhere in the Middle East, only remnants of these ancient communities may survive.”

Nevertheless, Shea and the bishop acknowledged that, even in Egypt, Christians are confronting the spread of Sunni extremism and anti-Christian bigotry. The ongoing war against Islamic terrorism continues to kill, wound, and push Christians out of their historical homelands in the greater Middle East, even in Egypt.

“More recently, after the Arab Spring and with the rise of ISIS, tens of thousands of Christians were killed in Iraq and Syria,” Hajjar said. “Close to 1 million Christians in the region have gone into exile.”

“Following multiple terrorist attacks in Egypt against the Copts, many Christian Egyptians also emigrated from their country,” Hajjar continued. “We can estimate that more than 25-30 percent of Christians in the Middle East have been affected by the recent wars and conflicts.”

The experts also attributed the ongoing demise of Christianity in the Middle East to certain governments’ disdain towards followers of Christianity and their refusal to protect them.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly designated Christians as “enemies of the state.” In Iraq, the country that experienced the sharpest drop in the number of Christ followers in recent years, Baghdad-sanctioned Iran-allied Shiite militias have reportedly taken Christian lands and are harassing them.

Referring to the countries that have experienced the largest decline in Christians, Hajjar named Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. Similar to Hajjar’s list, the bishop said, “Iraq is number one, Lebanon is number two, and Syria is number three.”

The experts conceded that the Trump administration had done more to help Middle East Christians than his predecessor, but they argued that Christians are far from protected and more can be done.

 

Iran Just Made Another Big Move That Will Further Change The Face Of The Middle East


waving flagAuthored by Yochanan Visser November 30, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/iran-just-made-another-big-move-that-will-further-change-the-face-of-the-middle-east/

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Syria appears to be getting its own version of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. With all eyes on Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest town, which is currently the scene of a decisive bloody battle between the Islamist Jaish al-Fatah rebel coalition and the Russian/Iranian backed Bashar al-Assad coalition, something huge is going on that is changing the face of the Middle East.

As Western Journalism has reported on several occasions, Iran is using the three major wars in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria and Yemen) to advance its agenda of establishing what the news site NOW Lebanon dubbed a new “Iranian Empire.”

Last week, the Iraqi government adopted a law that legalized the Iranian-financed and -trained Hashd al-Shaabi militia and made the umbrella organization of Shiite popular mobilization units part of the Iraqi security forces. The Hashd al-Shaabi militia is currently assisting Iran in turning Iraq into an Iranian client state while officially fighting the Islamic State. On Wednesday, NOW Lebanon, citing the Hezbollah-affiliated Arabic news site as-Safir, reported that Iran is doing something similar in Syria.Oh good

muslim-obamaNOW wrote that the al-Assad regime has decided to form a “Fifth Corps” of the Syrian army that will be led by senior Hezbollah commanders and most likely will include “a new force of elite troops within Hezbollah.”

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“The Fifth Corps is not just a new force being added to the system of Syrian army forces and allied units, it is an important turning point for the ties between allied forces within the same axis,” NOW quoted as-Safir as saying.

The Lebanese newspaper was referring to “the wide array of militia units, including Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed Shiite units, that fight on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime.”

NOW reported that “the Fifth Corps could be the ‘nucleus’ for a ‘Syrian National Mobilization,’ a reference to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Front umbrella front of militias given official sanction by the government.”

So just like Iraq, Syria appears to be getting its own version of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.picture1

Islam is NOT

It is another sign that Iran is advancing toward realizing the dream of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by establishing a new Islamist “Persian Empire” in the Middle East and beyond.

“The only means that we possess to unite the Muslim nation, to liberate its lands from the grip of the colonialists and to topple the agent governments of colonialism, is to seek to establish our Islamic government,” Khomeini said at the outset of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Iran will no doubt preserve the puppet governments of al-Assad in Syria and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Iraq, while the integrated Iranian-backed militias will maintain their independence and will obey Iranian orders just like Hezbollah in Lebanon. This model is based on the ancient Persian Empire, where local kings had to pledge allegiance to the Persian shah (emperor) who became “king of the kings” (shanshah).

The role of shanshah would now be fulfilled by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and just like in ancient Persia he will control the whole area from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon.

The next step would probably be to expand Iranian control to the Persian Gulf, where Iran already controls Yemen via Ansar Allah, the Shiite Houthi militia that formed an alternative Yemenite government this week, and has set its sights on Saudi Arabia, where the Houthis are waging a missile war, and other Gulf states such as Bahrain and Qatar.

The only powers who saw this coming were Middle Eastern countries and especially Israel, which has unceasingly warned that Hezbollah and Iran had to be stopped and didn’t hesitate to take action when Iran transferred weapons to its proxies in the Middle East or took other actions that could advance its agenda of regional and eventually world domination.iran-takeover

Just Tuesday night, Israel took action against an Iranian arms delivery to Hezbollah when Israeli fighter jets fired missiles from Lebanese airspace into Syria. Arab and Iranian media reported that the Israeli war planes struck two targets with four missiles in the vicinity of Damascus. Two missiles hit a convoy of vehicles believed to have belonged to Hezbollah and to be transferring Iranian weapons to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The other two missiles hit a military compound of the Syrian army near Damascus.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, was busy trying to persuade Congress not to renew sanctions against Iran when the current sanctions regime expires at the end of the year.

“I wouldn’t advise that for a number of reasons,” Secretary of State John Kerry said at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the budget of the State Department.

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Are You Ready to see the Following In America?


waving flag New WhatDidYouSay Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been warning you for a very long time about what Muslims are bringing to America, and yet I do not hear the screams of outrage. I hear from Muslims as the threaten me, and some saying that if we were in England, I could be arrested for hate speech. (NEWS FLASH: IT IS NOT HATE SPEECH WHEN THE SPEECH IN TRUE AND ACURATE).

The following video comes out of Lebanon by a group of citizens who want this pedophilia stopped. If this does not upset you, you’re too cold hearted.

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American women respond RAPE Same to us different or same Alibi Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

 

 

 

‘Terrible’ Iran Deal Makes Israeli Strike Inevitable


waving flagby Joel B. Pollak14 Jul 2015

The nuclear deal reached with Iran on Tuesday is clouded by uncertainty about whether the Iranian regime will live up to its relatively weak commitments. One outcome is almost certain, however: Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, hoping to weaken the regime and stop, or slow, its nuclear program.

Israel will attack–possibly by year’s end–because there is no other way to disrupt Iran’s advance to regional hegemony, which will become unstoppable once the deal’s provisions–especially the non-nuclear provisions–begin to take effect. Despite what the Obama administration and its media supporters are saying, there is almost no doubt that the Iran deal, should it survive Congress, will enable Iran to become a nuclear power.

President Barack Obama himself admitted as much in April, when he defended the provisional deal signed in Lausanne by admitting it allowed Iran to reach “breakout” shortly after the ten-year (now eight-year) expiration date. The only question is whether Iran will move that date forward and risk the meager diplomatic consequences of breaking the deal.IranIraselNukes

There are Israeli analysts–a minority–who believe that Israel can live in the shadow of a nuclear-armed Iran, at least for a while. After all, Israel has developed a lethal “second-strike” capacity, in the form of nuclear missiles aboard Dolphin-class submarines programmed to target Iran. That leaves the Iranian regime to weigh the odds of surviving an Israeli counterattack versus the chances of causing the end of the world as they know it. From a fanatical religious perspective, it is a win-win scenario–but cooler, or less pious, heads may prevail.

The problem is that the Iran deal goes so much further than the nuclear issue alone. The Iranians shrewdly bargained for a host of late concessions: an end to the international arms embargo, the lifting of a ban on ballistic missile technology, and an accelerated schedule of sanctions relief that will pour over $100 billion into depleted Iranian coffers. The regime knew that Obama would not walk away–that he had committed his political career to a deal, and he was already dismissing all other alternatives, severely undermining his own leverage.

Israel just might find a way to live with a nuclear Iran, but it cannot live with a nuclear Iran and an array of turbo-charged Iranian proxies on its borders.

Iran has already renewed its support for Palestinian terror groups in Gaza, and the U.S. has quietly allowed Iranian-backed Hezbollah to regroup in Lebanon, even as it has been weakened by losses in the Syrian civil war. Flush with cash, armed with advanced new weapons, and perhaps equipped with nuclear contaminants, these groups will pose an ever-greater threat to Israel’s security–and soon.

That is why the alternative that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented to Congress–and he did present an alternative to the present deal, though Obama pretended not to notice–included three provisions:

  • “first, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East;
  • second, stop supporting terrorism around the world;
  • and third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel–the one and only Jewish state.”

None of those referred directly to the Iranian nuclear program. Obama ignored Netanyahu’s suggestions and forged ahead.

An Israeli strike might not stop the Iranian nuclear program. But it could stall that program, and create a renewed sense of vulnerability around the regime, which was near collapse as recently as 2009. Israel could also make Iran pay a direct cost for arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terror groups–a cost historically borne by the civilians of southern Lebanon or Gaza. It could project a conventional deterrent that would affect Iran here and now, as opposed to a nuclear deterrent whose effect might only be felt after an atomic exchange (i.e. not at all).Back-stabed1

For Israel, the costs of such an attack on Iran–even a successful one–could be severe. It would be condemned and isolated internationally. It might suffer thousands of rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. It may lose thousands of soldiers and civilians in a ground war. Obviously the consequences will be less damaging–or more bearable–if the pre-emptive strike is successful. The reason Israelis are willing to take the risk at all is twofold. First, they have done it before (Iraq 1981; Syria 2007). Second, the alternative–thanks to the Iran deal–looks far worse.I am from the US Government

The Obama administration has done all it can to prevent an Israeli pre-emptive strike, from leaking Israeli attack scenarios to denying Israel air space over Iraq. As a result, the only realistic bombing plans–whether Israel targets Iran’s nuclear and political installations directly, or detonates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over the country–involve a Doolittle Raid-style attack from which Israel’s pilots will not expect to return, or a landing in Saudi Arabia. The latter was once a non-starter, but–ironically–Obama’s overtures to Iran have made it possible.

The Saudis are expected to respond to the Iran deal by seeking nuclear weapons of their own. But the monarchy could also strike an alliance with Israel–perhaps even a grand bargain. The Saudis could give Israel landing rights, logistical support, and intelligence. In return, Israel could accept Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a Palestinian state roughly along the “1967 lines”–plus Saudi control of Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites, which would cement the royal family’s legitimacy. (Ironically, Obama, by provoking war, would enable Arab-Israeli peace.)

The clock is ticking, however. Before the Iran deal, it was thought that Israel could only carry out a pre-emptive strike in the time period before Iran actually became a nuclear power. Now, the deadlines are even shorter, and more complex. Israel would need to attack before Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles, already sold to Iran, can be delivered and activated. It would also need to attack while Hezbollah and Hamas are still weak, war-weary and cash-strapped–i.e. before sanctions relief delivers billions to Iran’s regional war and terror efforts.israel-crosshairs

Israel must also be wary of attacking too soon. It will not attack in the next ten days, for example, because they coincide with a religious period of mourning for historic defeats. It would also make little sense for Israel to attack while Congress is debating the Iran deal.

But Israel will attack before it loses the option. It will do so because the purpose of Israeli statehood is to enable Jews to defend themselves, and not rely on the help or mercy of others.

Obama wants to build a new legacy, but Netanyahu has inherited an old legacy–one he cannot ignore.

Real_Americans_Defend_Israel freedom combo 2

Where ISIS Has Directed and Inspired Attacks Around the World


JUNE 17, 2015

Major events: Attacks directed by/linked to ISIS Attacks inspired by ISIS Arrests of suspected ISIS militants or supporters

major attacks

Outlined countries are where ISIS is conducting regular military operations.

  • CANADA
  • France
  • United States
  • IRAQ
  • SYRIA
  • Morocco
  • Libya
  • Egypt
  • Yemen
  • Nigeria

Countries in yellow are where ISIS has declared provinces.

  • Australia

The arrest on Saturday of a Queens college student on charges of conspiring with the Islamic State is just the most recent example of the group’s global strategy, which began about one year ago and has resulted in attacks or arrests in more than a dozen countries.
Late last June, the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, declared a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territory it controlled — and started to focus on three parallel tracks:

  • inciting regional conflict with attacks in Iraq and Syria;
  • building relationships with jihadist groups that can carry out military operations across the Middle East and North Africa;
  • and inspiring, and sometimes helping, ISIS sympathizers to conduct attacks in the West.

“The goal,” said Harleen Gambhir, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, “is that through these regional affiliates and through efforts to create chaos in the wider world, the organization will be able to expand, and perhaps incite a global apocalyptic war.”was

Beginning last fall, ISIS made repeated calls for attacks on the West, especially to followers in countries taking part in the American-led airstrike campaign in Iraq and Syria. So-called lone wolves have responded to these calls with relatively low-tech assaults — shootings, hostage takings, hit-and-runs — that tend to get a lot of attention.

The Queens man was arrested after a months long investigation found that he was planning to attack various New York City landmarks on behalf of the Islamic State, according to the authorities. “Al Qaeda always wanted to do spectacular attacks, but ISIS has reversed it,” said Patrick M. Skinner, a former C.I.A. operations officer now with the Soufan Group. “They don’t do spectacular attacks. They do attacks that generate spectacular reaction.”muslim-obama

ISIS Declares Provinces Across the Region

Declared providences

Islam is NOTISIS activity across the Middle East and North Africa has also surged. The group declared official provinces — or wilayat — in areas of Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen that had networks loyal to ISIS, many of which have adopted the organization’s signature brutality. It is an “open question” to what extent the core leadership of ISIS is communicating with its affiliates, Mr. Skinner said. While ISIS is providing support to some groups, there is no hard evidence that it is able to direct the activities of a regional wilayat as part of a cohesive campaign.

But Ms. Gambhir noted that a recent rocket attack on a multinational force in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt may be a sign that ISIS is seeing its abilities mature. The attack could be seen as part of a larger strategy to fracture the American-led airstrike coalition. “We haven’t assessed yet if that’s an intentional orchestration by ISIS,” Ms. Gambhir said. “We’re on heightened alert to look for things like that because it would indicate a new level of capability for the organization.”Obama Muslim collection

Major ISIS Attacks and Arrests Since Last Summer

Attacks directed by/linked to ISIS Attacks inspired by ISIS Arrests of suspected ISIS militants or supporters

Australia, Algeria, Canada, United States, West Bank, Saudi Arabia, France, Libya, Morocco, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Spain, Egypt, Denmark, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Malaysia,

Descriptions of the Major Attacks and Arrests

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Date Location Details
June 17, 2015
Yemen
Yemen An ISIS branch claimed responsibilty for a series of car bombings in Sana, the capital, that killed at least 30 people. More »
June 13
New York
New York A college student in Queens was charged with conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization after an investigation found he was planning to attack various New York City landmarks on behalf of ISIS. More »
June 11
Massachusetts
Massachusetts Two men were charged in Boston with conspiring to help ISIS. A third man was fatally shot the previous week by law enforcement officials who said he had threatened them with a large knife. More »
June 9
Egypt
Egypt ISIS’s Sinai province claimed responsibility for firing rockets toward an air base used by an international peacekeeping force.
June 3
Afghanistan
Afghanistan ISIS is suspected of beheading 10 members of the Taliban. More »
May 31
Libya
Libya A suicide bomber from an ISIS affiliate killed at least four Libyan fighters at a checkpoint. More »
May 29
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia One week after a similar attack in the same region, a suicide bomber dressed in women’s clothing detonated an explosive belt near the entrance to a Shiite mosque, killing three people. More »
May 22
Yemen
Yemen ISIS claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a Shiite mosque that injured at least 13 worshipers.
May 22
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia In what appeared to be ISIS’s first official claim of an attack in Saudi Arabia, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive at a Shiite mosque during midday prayer, killing at least 21 and injuring 120. More »
May 3
Texas
Texas Two men who reportedly supported ISIS and were later acknowledged by ISIS as “soldiers of the caliphate” opened fire in a Dallas suburb outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest. More »
April 30
Yemen
Yemen One of ISIS’s Yemen affiliates released a video showing the killing of 15 Yemeni soldiers.
April 28
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Saudi authorities announced they had arrested 65 people accused of forming a terrorist organization related to ISIS.
April 26
Malaysia
Malaysia Malaysian authorities arrested 12 men charged with plotting attacks in greater Kuala Lumpur.
April 19
Libya
Libya ISIS released a video of militants from two of its Libya affiliates killing dozens of Ethiopian Christians, some by beheading and others by shooting.
April 19
Minnesota
Minnesota Six young men from the Somali-American community in Minneapolis were arrested in connection with a plot to join ISIS. More »
April 18
Australia
Australia The Australian police arrested five men who they said were inspired by ISIS and planning terrorist attacks.
April 13
Morocco
Morocco Moroccan authorities arrested five members of an ISIS-linked cell who were allegedly planning an attack in the Netherlands.
April 12
Libya
Libya ISIS’s Tripoli affiliate claimed credit for a bomb that exploded outside the Moroccan Embassy.
April 12
Egypt
Egypt ISIS militants killed at least 12 people in three separate attacks on Egyptian security forces. More »
April 12
Libya
Libya ISIS’s Tripoli affiliate claimed responsibility for an attack on the South Korean Embassy that killed two local police officers. More »
April 8
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Gunmen opened fire on a police patrol, killing two officers.
April 5
Malaysia
Malaysia Malaysian authorities arrested 17 alleged ISIS supporters suspected of planning attacks in Kuala Lumpur.
April 5
Libya
Libya ISIS killed at least four people in an attack on a security checkpoint.
April 4
Afghanistan
Afghanistan The Afghan vice president accused ISIS of kidnapping 31 civilians in February.
April 2
Egypt
Egypt Sinai’s ISIS affiliate killed 13 people with simultaneous car bombs at military checkpoints. More »
March 26
Illinois
Illinois Federal authorities arrested an Army National Guardsman who they say tried to travel to Libya to fight on behalf of ISIS and was helping his cousin plot an attack on an American military base. More »
March 22
Morocco
Morocco Moroccan authorities arrested 13 people in nine cities linked to ISIS.
March 20
Yemen
Yemen An ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for coordinated suicide strikes on Zaydi Shiite mosques that killed more than 130 people during Friday Prayer. More »
March 20
Tunisia
Tunisia Tunisian authorities intercepted an ISIS cell that planned to set off car bombs in multiple cities across the country.
March 18
Tunisia
Tunisia ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a museum that killed 22 people, almost all European tourists. More »
March 17
New Jersey
New Jersey An Air Force veteran recently fired from his job as an airplane mechanic was charged with trying to support ISIS by seeking to join the group. More »
March 13
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Saudi authorities detained two people allegedly planning an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh.
Feb. 25
New York
New York Two men living in Brooklyn were charged with plotting to fight for ISIS. A third was charged with helping organize and fund their activities. More »
Feb. 20
Libya
Libya ISIS’s Derna affiliate claimed responsibility for three car bombs that killed at least 40 people. More »
Feb. 15
Libya
Libya ISIS released a video that appeared to show its militants in Libya beheading a group of Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in January. More »
Feb. 15
Denmark
Denmark A Danish-born gunman who was inspired by ISIS went on a violent rampage in Copenhagen, killing two strangers and wounding five police officers. More »
Feb. 3
France
France French counterterrorism officers arrested eight people in the northern suburbs of Paris and in the area of the city of Lyon suspected of being part of a network recruiting people to fight in Syria. More »
Feb. 3
Libya
Libya ISIS militants were suspected of killing 12 people, including four foreigners, in an attack on an oil field. More »
Jan. 29
Egypt
Egypt ISIS’s Sinai affiliate claimed responsibility for coordinated bombings that killed 24 soldiers, six police officers and 14 civilians. More »
Jan. 27
Libya
Libya ISIS’s Tripoli affiliate claimed credit for an armed assault on a luxury hotel that killed at least eight people. It was the deadliest attack on Western interests in Libya since the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi. More »
Jan. 24
Spain
Spain The police arrested four men in Ceuta, a Spanish territory bordering Morocco, who were suspected of belonging to an ISIS cell and may have been planning an attack in Spain. More »
Jan. 23
Lebanon
Lebanon ISIS attacked an outpost of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Jan. 20
France
France The counterterrorism police raided the southern town of Lunel and arrested five people suspected of being part of a group that had been recruiting people to join militants fighting in Syria. More »
Jan. 19
Bangladesh
Bangladesh Bangladeshi authorities arrested four people who said they were with ISIS and wanted to form a caliphate and attack the government.
Jan. 18
Israel
Israel Court documents revealed that eight Arab citizens of Israel were charged with supporting and trying to join ISIS. More »
Jan. 16
Germany
Germany Police officers in Berlin raided 12 locations to detain five Turks — three of whom were later released — on suspicion of recruiting, financing and helping Turkish and Chechen fighters get to Syria. More »
Jan. 15
Belgium
Belgium The Belgian police conducted a dozen raids across the country to prevent “imminent” attacks. Officers killed two men they said were part of an ISIS cell after coming under fire during a raid in Verviers. More »
Jan. 14
Ohio
Ohio A Cincinnati man was charged with a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol. In May, the Justice Department charged him with the additional crime of trying to provide material support to ISIS. More »
Jan. 13
Morocco
Morocco Moroccan authorities arrested dozens of individuals for supporting ISIS or operating ISIS recruitment cells.
Jan. 12
Libya
Libya ISIS’s Tripoli affiliate said they were holding 21 Egyptian Christians captive. More »
Jan. 11
France
France A video surfaced of Amedy Coulibaly, one of three gunmen who attacked the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, declaring allegiance to ISIS. More »
Dec 15, 2014
Australia
Australia A gunman who said he was acting on ISIS’s behalf seized 17 hostages in a Sydney cafe. More »
Nov. 22
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia A Danish executive was shot in his car. A group of ISIS supporters later claimed responsibility.
November
West Bank
West Bank Israeli security services broke up a Palestinian cell identified with the Islamic State in the West Bank city of Hebron. More »
Oct 23
New York
New York A hatchet-wielding man charged at four police officers in Queens. ISIS said the attack was the “direct result” of its September call to action. More »
Oct 22
Canada
Canada An Islamic convert shot and killed a soldier who was guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa, stormed Canada’s parliament and fired multiple times before being shot and killed. More »
Oct 20
Canada
Canada A 25-year-old man who had recently adopted radical Islam ran over two soldiers near Montreal, killing one. More »
Sept. 24
Algeria
Algeria Militants kidnapped and beheaded a French tourist shortly after the Islamic State called on supporters around the world to harm Europeans in retaliation for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. More »
Sept. 23
Australia
Australia An 18-year-old ISIS sympathizer was shot dead after stabbing two counterterrorism officers outside a Melbourne police station. More »
Sept. 18
Australia
Australia A man arrested during a series of counterterrorism raids was charged with conspiring with an ISIS group leader in Syria to behead a random person in Sydney. More »

ISIS poised to attack Christian towns


 

 

Posted By author-imageF. Michael Maloof On 02/12/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/isis-poised-to-attack-christian-towns/

isis-lebanonWASHINGTON – Some 3,000 Sunni jihadist fighters have gathered in the Syrian Qalamoun mountains bordering eastern Lebanon, poised to attack a series of Christian towns in northern and central Lebanon. They appear to be preparing to undertake a pincer attack on the north around Tripoli and in the south from the Syrian Golan Heights, according to informed Middle East sources. As they appear to be surviving the harsh winter in the mountains for a possible series of attacks in the spring.Christian Persecution

The sources say the fighters, comprised of ISIS and the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, survived the harsh winter in the mountains to position themselves for a possible series of attacks in the spring. To keep open supply lines, the jihadists are conducting sporadic guerrilla attacks against the Lebanese army. Nusra and ISIS fighters generally have been fighting with one another, but in Lebanon there appears to be increasing coordination of their fighters, although their objectives are different, sources add.

According to Middle East analyst Mario Abou Zeid, elements of the Free Syrian Army, which has U.S. backing, also have begun to team up with Nusra fighters. “Free Syrian Army fighters had begun to lose hope of receiving any significant aid from foreign stakeholders,” Zeid said. “The well-supplied Nusra Front won the trust and loyalty of these fighters, which translated into cooperation in Qalamoun. There is a “new death triangle for ISIS,” Lebanese Interior Minister Mouhad al-Machnouq said recently, “stretching from the barren Lebanese lands of Arsal to the Palestinian Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp and Roumieh prison (in east Beirut), reaching Iraq and Raqqa,” the ISIS caliphate capital in Syria.

Arsal is where ISIS and Nusra began their foray last August inside northern Lebanon, taking hostages in the process, including numerous members of the Lebanese army. After the town of 35,000 residents exchanged hands a few times, Arsal has become a center of strict Islamic law imposed on its occupants.

The “death triangle” to which Machuouq referred, said Middle East economist Sami Nader, “suggests that Lebanon not only represents a strategic depth for Hezbollah and (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad’s regime, but also that ISIS is taking refuge within its borders to escape the international alliance’s airstrikes against it on the eastern front.”Bombing-ISIS-NRD-600-logo

For now, the Lebanese army has been thwarting numerous attacks in the surrounding towns in the north around Ras Baalbek, which is only about 25 miles from the historic Roman city of Baalbek, which has been a major tourist magnet. There have been periodic attacks around Baalbek and near Britel in areas controlled by the Iranian-backed Shia Hezbollah but, to date, the Sunni jihadist attacks have been unsuccessful. Deep in Shia-controlled territory, Baalbek, where settlements are believed to go back 9,000 years, has withstood centuries of attacks from barbarians, the Greeks and the Romans. The city once was given as a gift by the Roman general Marcus Antonius – Marc Antony – to his lover, Egyptian queen Cleopatra, as a birthday gift.

ISIS ‘stepping stones’

Ras Baalbek, in the northern part of the Bekaa Valley, is in a Christian region of the country. Nusra and ISIS seek to target it as a stepping stone to such other ancient Christian towns in central Bekaa as Zahle, Firzel, Ablah and Drous (see map).lebanon-christians

“(Jihadist fighters) are under pressure in the ongoing battle in Syria; in retaliation they may attack the Bekaa, but I assure you they will not be able to do more than hit and run operations,” one Lebanese source told WND. “The army is ready alongside the resistance (Hezbollah),” he said. “We will prevail, the takfiris (foreign fighters) will not prevail. God does not allow the takfiri to prevail.”

In the predominantly Christian region, Islamist fighters have threatened to attack churches and the Christians themselves. In response, the residents are taking up arms. “If Hezbollah did not exist, it would have been necessary to create it,” said Albert Mansour, a former government minister who is a resident of Ras Baalbek. “The party’s existence makes the people – including Sunnis, Shiites and Christians of the region – feel safe in the face of this strange formation,” referring to the presence of the Sunni jihadist fighters. According to Esperance Ghanem, however, such attacks would give the militants “both field and moral gains. The field aspect is related to how close these villages are to the international road connecting Beirut to Damascus,” Ghanem said.crucify crucify2

Called the Al-Sham, or Damascus road, Ghanem said it is of strategic importance to supply lines to Syria and is a “vital crossing connecting the northern Bekaa to central and western Bekaa, where some Christian villages are located.”

Threatening supply route

Middle East expert Jean Aziz said the Damascus-to-Beirut road would cut the supply route between Hezbollah and the Syrian army and also represent a serious threat to the Syrian capital of Damascus itself. “The accomplishment of this would be highly dangerous for Hezbollah and thus cannot be taken lightly,” Aziz said.

Ghanem said it also connects the southern Bekaa region around Arkoub near the Syrian town of Beit Jinn, which remains under the control of the militants and an entry point from which the militants could try to get through to Arkoub. “This goal cannot be achieved unless the militants invest in the moral gains they are aiming to accomplish in the even that their plan in Ras Baalbek had worked and they had succeeded in displacing its residents as well as the residents of other regions by spreading fear across the Christian villages of the central and western Bekaa, guaranteeing there would be no resistance,” Ghanem said. To date, the Lebanese army has thwarted the plan by blunting their push into Tallet al-Hamra, even though the militants are expected to continue their probing attacks.

Nevertheless, Aziz said the Israeli-Syrian border area constitutes a natural geographical extension to the southwest of the Lebanese-Israeli border area. “Any gains by Sunni militant groups opposed to Hezbollah in this area would become a new front for Hezbollah in south Lebanon,” Aziz said. “It would also constitute something of a siege, as Hezbollah would be stuck between Israeli forces on the southern border of Lebanon and armed groups to the east along the border with Syria,” he said. “For Hezbollah, such a scenario would be unacceptable and impossible to endure” since, as Aziz said, “reports alleging cooperation between Israel and Jabhat al-Nusra makes this especially troubling for the organization.”

Aziz was referring to a third area where Lebanon becomes vulnerable, namely in the south opposite the Syrian Golan Heights. He said that area in the three-border area of Lebanon, Syria and Israel is symbolic for Hezbollah and Iran, where Israel on Jan. 18 fired on and killed a group of Hezbollah and Iranian personnel in the Syrian Golan, which has become an area of concern to Hezbollah and Iran. The Hezbollah member leading the group was Jihad Imad Mughniyah, the 25-year-old son of Imad Mughniyah, who was the senior Hezbollah military commander assassinated by Israel and, as reports now reveal, the Central Intelligence Agency on Feb. 12, 2008.ISIS Beraking the American Cross

In addition to Jihad Mughniyah, there were five other Hezbollah personnel and Iranian Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, whom sources say was the depty for Syrian operations to Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Israel claims they were planning an attack on the northern part of the country. However, other sources tell WND that the Israelis knew the Hezbollah/Iranian group was planning an attack on Nusra fighters who occupy the area. In turn, this led to the charge that Israel is working with Nusra. “Some Israeli media outlets have further revealed direct cooperation between the militants and the Israeli army,” Aziz said, “and other media outlets have reported about the lack of animosity between the Israeli state and Jabhat al-Nusra, which represents al-Qaida in Syria, as well as Israeli reports about direct contacts with the Syrian opposition and mutual reassurances.”

Nusra’s positioning in the Syrian Golan is not only seen as threatening Hezbollah’s presence at that strategic location to ward off any southern invasion of Lebanon from the jihadists. But it is a strategic location for the Iranian-proxy group against Israel to its north.

Freedom with Prayer

Obama’s Use of ISIL, Not ISIS, Tells Another Story


Complete Message

See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Blogs/Peek-POV/2014/06/23/Obamas-Use-ISIL-Not-ISIS-Tells-Another-Story#sthash.QEX3lU3S.dpuf

Monday, June 23, 2014 – 5:15am

Obama defending muslims TwoThere has been little notice of the president’s insistent use of the acronym “ISIL” to describe the Sunni forces currently rampaging across Iraq, executing Iraqi military and creating a new massive refugee population in an already unstable area. 

With the exception of Reuters and now the Associated Press, most news organizations have not referred to ISIL until President Obama began using the term, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But when Obama used the term 5 times on June13, and 16 times in his commencement speech at West Point on June 19th, he was using his bully pulpit to make a point. 

Related: How the Collapse of Iraq Would Affect America

Imperial President ObamaMost, like this publication, continue to use the widely accepted acronym ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or al-Sham, but both describe the same murderous organization. The difference is that the Levant describes a territory far greater than simply Iraq and Syria.  It’s defined as this: The Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey. 

Why would Obama prefer ISIL? An “army” of that territorial magnitude takes the focus off the two countries that many believe define Obama’s continued failure in the Middle East. Most likely, he would rather eliminate the connection between the chaos in Iraq with his inaction in Syria. Better that the upheaval in a country to which we committed so much blood and treasure remain the fault of George W. Bush. The president has already been tarred with having failed to secure a Status of Forces deal with Prime Minister al-Maliki, which would have allowed a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq. 

Numerous critics warned that sectarian hostilities were inevitably going to worsen under the openly partisan Shiite government; they argued that only by arranging a continuing presence in Iraq would the U.S. have any opportunity to moderate Maliki’s divisive anti-Sunni regime. Instead, the minute U.S. troops left in 2011, Maliki began to shut down and marginalize Shia and Kurd voices, arresting opponents, including Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.   

Related: U.S. Watches As Iraq Speeds Toward Disaster

ConfusedNumerous sources have claimed that Obama purposefully undermined the negotiations over a SOFA, suggesting he wanted to score political points by getting our troops out, no matter the long-term consequences of an overly hasty exit. 

Not only has the worsening of sectarian hostilities encouraged the current Sunni uprising, Maliki has also permitted shipments of weapons from Iran to al-Assad’s government in Syria through Iraqi airspace. The Obama administration had early on denied that Maliki was providing this assistance, undermining U.S. interests, until Secretary of State Kerry went to Bagdad to demand an end to such transfers. Presumably, a U.S. presence would have prohibited such access. 

President Obama is also criticized for refusing to arm moderate factions in the early days of the Syria uprising, a hesitation Hillary Clinton now says she opposed. Because he dithered, the U.S. lost the opportunity to engage with the less extreme opponents of Bashar Al-Assad. Our absence arguably created a vacuum, into which streamed Al-Qaeda linked extremists, helping create the alliance between Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq. Now, across the Middle East, there is fear that extremists will ultimately control Syria. 

President Obama was clever to announce that our military advisors would soon be helping Iraq confront the insurgent ISIL; Americans might not be so forgiving about sending more of our best and bravest to help push back ISIS. It’s all in the “message.”

Top Reads from The Fiscal Times:

After more than two decades on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, Liz Peek became a columnist and political analyst. Aside from The Fiscal Times, she writes for FoxNews.com, The New York Sun and Women on the Web.

 

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