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Posts tagged ‘Yemen’

GREAT NEWS: President Trump Announces Release of Hostage Danny Burch from Yemen


Reported by John Hayward | Monday February 25, 2019

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/02/25/president-trump-announces-release-hostage-danny-burch-yemen/

American held hostage in Yemen freed: Trump
AFP SAUL LOEB

President Donald Trump on Monday announced the release of Danny Burch, an American citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen since 2017. Trump thanked the United Arab Emirates for assisting with Burch’s liberation and said his administration has now secured the freedom of 20 Americans held captive in various countries.

Trump delivered the good news on Monday through his preferred social media platform, Twitter:

Danny Burch was taken from his car by a squad of gunmen in broad daylight on the streets of Yemen’s capital Sanaa in September 2017. A native of East Texas, Burch was 63 years old at the time of his abduction and had been living in Yemen for several years while working as an engineer for the Yemeni Safer oil company. Burch converted to Islam during his time in Yemen and married a Yemen woman. The couple has three children, the oldest of whom was 12 when he was taken.

The abduction occurred in an area controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi insurgents who drove Yemen’s internationally-recognized government out of Sanaa. The Houthis initially denounced the kidnapping as a “criminal and cowardly act” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice, but were eventually revealed to be holding him prisoner.

Burch was transferred from Yemen to Oman in January 2018, traveling in the company of a senior Houthi official. This event was widely described as the Houthis “releasing” Burch, but he was evidently unable to return to his family until today. A March 2018 briefing from CriticalThreats.org stated the Houthi official who traveled to Oman with Burch was a negotiator named Mohammed Ali al-Houthi and noted the timing of Burch’s purported “release” coincided with “renewed al-Houthi overtures for negotiations.” Salam subsequently left Oman for Iran and met with Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

At the time of this writing, the White House has not clarified Burch’s status since January 2018 or detailed the negotiations that ultimately reunited him with his family.

Exclusive: Iran moves missiles to Iraq in warning to enemies


PARIS/BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iran has given ballistic missiles to Shi’ite proxies in Iraq and is developing the capacity to build more there to deter attacks on its interests in the Middle East and to give it the means to hit regional foes, Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources said.

FILE PHOTO: A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS

Any sign that Iran is preparing a more aggressive missile policy in Iraq will exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington, already heightened by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. It would also embarrass France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European signatories to the nuclear deal, as they have been trying to salvage the agreement despite new U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

According to three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources, Iran has transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq over the last few months. Five of the officials said it was helping those groups to start making their own.

“The logic was to have a backup plan if Iran was attacked,” one senior Iranian official told Reuters. “The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary.”

Iran has previously said its ballistic missile activities are purely defensive in nature. Iranian officials declined to comment when asked about the latest moves.

The Iraqi government and military both declined to comment.

The Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar missiles in question have ranges of about 200 km to 700 km, putting Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh or the Israeli city of Tel Aviv within striking distance if the weapons were deployed in southern or western Iraq.

The Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has bases in both those areas. Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani is overseeing the program, three of the sources said.

Western countries have already accused Iran of transferring missiles and technology to Syria and other allies of Tehran, such as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Iran’s Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbors and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns about Tehran’s regional activities, seeing it as a threat to their security. Israeli officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the missile transfers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that anybody that threatened to wipe Israel out “would put themselves in a similar danger”.

MISSILE PRODUCTION LINE

The Western source said the number of missiles was in the 10s and that the transfers were designed to send a warning to the United States and Israel, especially after air raids on Iranian troops in Syria. The United States has a significant military presence in Iraq.

“It seems Iran has been turning Iraq into its forward missile base, the Western source said.

The Iranian sources and one Iraqi intelligence source said a decision was made some 18 months ago to use militias to produce missiles in Iraq, but activity had ramped up in the last few months, including with the arrival of missile launchers.

“We have bases like that in many places and Iraq is one of them. If America attacks us, our friends will attack America’s interests and its allies in the region,” said a senior IRGC commander who served during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Western source and the Iraqi source said the factories being used to develop missiles in Iraq were in al-Zafaraniya, east of Baghdad, and Jurf al-Sakhar, north of Kerbala. One Iranian source said there was also a factory in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The areas are controlled by Shi’ite militias, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the closest to Iran. Three sources said Iraqis had been trained in Iran as missile operators. The Iraqi intelligence source said the al-Zafaraniya factory produced warheads and the ceramic of missile moulds under former President Saddam Hussein. It was reactivated by local Shi’ite groups in 2016 with Iranian assistance, the source said. A team of Shi’ite engineers who used to work at the facility under Saddam were brought in, after being screened, to make it operational, the source said. He also said missiles had been tested near Jurf al-Sakhar.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon declined to comment.

One U.S official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Tehran over the last few months has transferred missiles to groups in Iraq but could not confirm that those missiles had any launch capability from their current positions.

Washington has been pushing its allies to adopt a tough anti-Iran policy since it reimposed sanctions this month.

While the European signatories to the nuclear deal have so far balked at U.S. pressure, they have grown increasingly impatient over Iran’s ballistic missile program. France in particular has bemoaned Iranian “frenzy” in developing and propagating missiles and wants Tehran to open negotiations over its ballistic weapons.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that Iran was arming regional allies with rockets and allowing ballistic proliferation. “Iran needs to avoid the temptation to be the (regional) hegemon,” he said.

In March, the three nations proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its missile activity, although they failed to push them through after opposition from some member states.

“Such a proliferation of Iranian missile capabilities throughout the region is an additional and serious source of concern,” a document from the three European countries said at the time.

MESSAGE TO FOES

A regional intelligence source also said Iran was storing a number of ballistic missiles in areas of Iraq that were under effective Shi’ite control and had the capacity to launch them. The source could not confirm that Iran has a missile production capacity in Iraq.

A second Iraqi intelligence official said Baghdad had been aware of the flow of Iranian missiles to Shi’ite militias to help fight Islamic State militants, but that shipments had continued after the hardline Sunni militant group was defeated.

“It was clear to Iraqi intelligence that such a missile arsenal sent by Iran was not meant to fight Daesh (Islamic State) militants but as a pressure card Iran can use once involved in regional conflict,” the official said.

The Iraqi source said it was difficult for the Iraqi government to stop or persuade the groups to go against Tehran.

“We can’t restrain militias from firing Iranian rockets because simply the firing button is not in our hands, it’s with Iranians who control the push button,” he said.

“Iran will definitely use the missiles it handed over to Iraqi militia it supports to send a strong message to its foes in the region and the United States that it has the ability to use Iraqi territories as a launch pad for its missiles to strike anywhere and anytime it decides, the Iraqi official said.

Iraq’s parliament passed a law in 2016 to bring an assortment of Shi’ite militia groups known collectively as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) into the state apparatus. The militias report to Iraq’s prime minister, who is a Shi’ite under the country’s unofficial governance system. However, Iran still has a clear hand in coordinating the PMF leadership, which frequently meets and consults with Soleimani.

Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and Jonathan Landay in Washington; editing by David Clarke

Iran moves ballistic missiles to Iraq

Tehran’s move likely to exacerbate tensions with Washington

Published: 16:37 August 31, 2018 Gulf News

Reuters

Paris/Baghdad

Iran has given ballistic missiles to Shiite proxies in Iraq and is developing the capacity to build more there to deter attacks on its interests in the Middle East and to give it the means to hit regional foes, Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources said.

Any sign that Iran is preparing a more aggressive missile policy in Iraq will exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington, already heightened by US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

It would also embarrass France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European signatories to the nuclear deal, as they have been trying to salvage the agreement despite new US sanctions against Tehran.

According to three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources, Iran has transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq over the last few months. Five of the officials said it was helping those groups to start making their own.

“The logic was to have a backup plan if Iran was attacked,” one senior Iranian official said. “The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary.” Iran has previously said its ballistic missile activities are purely defensive in nature. Iranian officials declined to comment when asked about the latest moves.

The Iraqi government and military both declined to comment.

The Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar missiles in question have ranges of about 200 km to 700 km,.

The Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has bases in both those areas.

Quds Force commander Qassem Sulaimani is overseeing the programme, three of the sources said.

Western countries have already accused Iran of transferring missiles and technology to Syria and other allies of Tehran, such as Al Houthis in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Gulf neighbours and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns about Tehran’s regional activities, seeing it as a threat to their security.

The Western source said the number of missiles was in the 10s and that the transfers were designed to send a warning to the United States and Israel, especially after air raids on Iranian troops in Syria. The United States has a significant military presence in Iraq.

“It seems Iran has been turning Iraq into its forward missile base,” the Western source said.

The Iranian sources and one Iraqi intelligence source said a decision was made some 18 months ago to use militias to produce missiles in Iraq, but activity had ramped up in the last few months, including with the arrival of missile launchers.

“We have bases like that in many places and Iraq is one of them. If America attacks us, our friends will attack America’s interests and its allies in the region,” said a senior IRGC commander who served during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Western source and the Iraqi source said the factories being used to develop missiles in Iraq were in Al Zafaraniya, east of Baghdad, and Jurf Al Sakhar, north of Karbala. One Iranian source said there was also a factory in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The areas are controlled by Shiite militias, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the closest to Iran. Three sources said Iraqis had been trained in Iran as missile operators.

The Iraqi intelligence source said the Al Zafaraniya factory produced warheads and the ceramic of missile moulds under former president Saddam Hussain. It was reactivated by local Shiite groups in 2016 with Iranian assistance, the source said.

A team of Shiite engineers who used to work at the facility under Saddam were brought in, after being screened, to make it operational, the source said. He also said missiles had been tested near Jurf Al Sakhar.

The US Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon declined to comment.

One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Tehran over the last few months has transferred missiles to groups in Iraq but could not confirm that those missiles had any launch capability from their current positions.

Washington has been pushing its allies to adopt a tough anti-Iran policy since it reimposed sanctions this month.

While the European signatories to the nuclear deal have so far baulked at US pressure, they have grown increasingly impatient over Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

France in particular has bemoaned Iranian “frenzy” in developing and propagating missiles and wants Tehran to open negotiations over its ballistic weapons.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that Iran was arming regional allies with rockets and allowing ballistic proliferation. “Iran needs to avoid the temptation to be the [regional] hegemon,” he said.

In March, the three nations proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its missile activity, although they failed to push them through after opposition from some member states.

“Such a proliferation of Iranian missile capabilities throughout the region is an additional and serious source of concern,” a document from the three European countries said at the time.

A regional intelligence source also said Iran was storing a number of ballistic missiles in areas of Iraq that were under effective Shiite control and had the capacity to launch them.

The source could not confirm that Iran has a missile production capacity in Iraq.

A second Iraqi intelligence official said Baghdad had been aware of the flow of Iranian missiles to Shiite militias to help fight Daesh militants, but that shipments had continued after the group was defeated.

“It was clear to Iraqi intelligence that such a missile arsenal sent by Iran was not meant to fight Daesh militants but as a pressure card Iran can use once involved in regional conflict,” the official said.

The Iraqi source said it was difficult for the Iraqi government to stop or persuade the groups to go against Tehran.

“We can’t restrain militias from firing Iranian rockets because simply the firing button is not in our hands, it’s with Iranians who control the push button,” he said.

“Iran will definitely use the missiles it handed over to Iraqi militia it supports to send a strong message to its foes in the region and the United States that it has the ability to use Iraqi territories as a launch pad for its missiles to strike anywhere and anytime it decides, the Iraqi official said.

Iraq’s parliament passed a law in 2016 to bring an assortment of Shiite militia groups known collectively as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) into the state apparatus. The militias report to Iraq’s prime minister, who is a Shiite under the country’s unofficial governance system.

However, Iran still has a clear hand in coordinating the PMF leadership, which frequently meets and consults with Sulaimani.

Trump signs new extreme vetting order


Authored By S.A. Miller and Dave Boyer – The Washington Times – Monday, March 6, 2017

URL of the original posting site: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/6/trump-sign-new-extreme-vetting-order/

President Trump signs a revised travel ban on March 6 that temporarily halts entry to the U.S. for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, allowing those with current visas to travel freely. (White House)

President Trump signs a revised travel ban on March 6 that temporarily halts entry to the U.S. for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, allowing those with current visas to travel freely. (White House) more >

President Trump signed a new executive order Monday that temporarily bans visitors from six Middle East and African counties while the administration creates an extreme vetting program, taking pains to remove the pitfalls of the original order and the perception that it’s a “Muslim ban.”

The new order also dropped Iraq from the list of seven predominately Muslim countries covered by the original Jan. 27 executive order that was blocked by federal courts. The ban will be phased in over a 10-day period to avoid the chaos at airports following the original executive order that caught travelers in transit, and the wording has been changed to avoid suspicions that it is a “Muslim ban,” said a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official.

“We are going to have a very smooth implementation period,” said the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. “The motivation behind it is a real concern by the American people for their security.”

The 90-day halt of visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will take full effect March 16, according to the official.

The official stressed that the Trump administration was confident that the original executive order would have eventually prevailed in court, but for expediency the president opted for a new order that addressed the courts’ concerns. The inclusion of Iraq in the original ban raised objections from some U.S. military officials and the Iraq government because of special consideration previously given to Iraqis who aided in the war effort, including translators. The administration said Iraq was removed from the list, despite the presence of Islamic State fighters in the county, because of extra steps the Iraq government was taking to share information and assist the U.S. in vetting travelers.

“As a result of this increased information sharing, Iraqi citizens are not affected by the Executive Order. Of course, all normal immigration processing requirements continue to apply, including the grounds of inadmissibility that may be applicable,” according to the fact sheet.

In an attempt to demonstrate that the order is not a “Muslim ban,” which was a chief criticism of the original order based on Mr. Trump’s comments during the campaign, the new order removes language that exempted religious minorities from the targeting predominately Muslim countries.

The new order exempts people who currently have visas or legal “green card” status in the U.S., a carve-out that was not included in the original order.

The modifications did not satisfy Mr. Trump’s critics.

“This isn’t about keeping America safe. Let’s call it what it is. This ban is a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to divide us up,” tweeted Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who emerged as a leading voice for the left after his 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Another court challenge is likely for Mr. Trump’s order. Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the new order had the “same fatal flaws” as the last one.

“The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban,” he said. “Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.”

Jon Rainwater, executive director of the liberal activist group Peach Action, said the order was “the same Muslim ban with a fresh haircut, and a botched one at that.”

“It still blocks refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. It still violates core American values of religious tolerance and providing refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution. It still makes Americans less safe by feeding into the recruitment narratives of violent extremists,” he said. “There’s no evidence that banning travelers based on nationality actually protects anyone.”

The administration has delayed the signing as it works with federal agencies that will be responsible for enforcing the new order. The order on tougher vetting of travelers from terror-prone nations was one of Mr. Trump’s campaign pledges, and he signed the original order shortly after taking office. But a federal judge in Seattle blocked the action, and a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction. Since then, the administration has been working on a new directive while defending the initial order in court. In an address to Congress last week, Mr. Trump said his actions are justified due to national security concerns.

The extreme vetting program will include:

• Uniform screening standards for all immigration programs government-wide, as developed by DHS in conjunction with the Director of National Intelligence and State and Justice departments.

• A biometric entry-exit system for all targeted travelers entering and departing the U.S.

• A review by the State Department of all non-immigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal.

• New restriction on the Visa Interview Waiver Program and additional non-immigrant visa applicants will have to undergo in-person interview.

The executive order also temporarily halts the acceptance of new refugees into the U.S. for 120 days while DHS and other agencies review screening procedures to ensure refugees admitted in the future do not pose a security risk, according to a fact sheet provided by the Trump administration. In another change from the original order, Syrian refugees will not be subject to a permanent ban.

Upon resumption of the Refugee Admissions Program, the executive order calls for refugee admissions not exceed 50,000 for fiscal 2017, cutting by more than half the 110,000 refugees projected to be admitted this year under Obama administration guidelines.

Supporting claims that the U.S. is at risk because of its refugee policies, administration officials said that of the FBI’s 1,000 ongoing anti-terrorism investigations, 300 cases involved suspected terrorists who came to the country as refugees.

Unlike the public signing ceremony for the original order that Mr. Trump attended at the Pentagon on Jan. 27, the president signed the new immigration order at the White House without press coverage.

Missile Fired At US Destroyer Near Yemen; Second Attack In Four Days


waving flagAuthored by Jack Davis October 12, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/missile-fired-at-us-destroyer-near-yemen-second-attack-in-four-days/

culture of deceit and lies

The USS Mason came under attack Wednesday and fired its weapons after at least one missile was launched at the Navy destroyer from a part of Yemen controlled by rebels supported by Iran. Navy officials said the Mason appeared to have brought down an incoming missile with its firepower. The ship was not hit, officials said.

The destroyer was also the target of a failed missile attack on Sunday.

The crew of the Mason was praised for its actions in defending the ship.

“The team in USS Mason demonstrated initiative and toughness as they defended themselves and others against these unfounded attacks over the weekend and again today,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said.

“All Americans should be proud of them,” he said.

The Pentagon said a response will be forthcoming.

“Those who threaten our forces should know that U.S. commanders retain the right to defend their ships, and we will respond to this threat at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

The U.S. has so far supported Saudi Arabian efforts against the rebels, but has not engaged in direct action.

The incident took place north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Pentagon said. The area is controlled by Houthi revels seeking to overthrow the shaky government of Yemen.

“Targeting U.S. warships is a sign that the Houthis have decided to join the axis of resistance that currently includes Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran,” said Michael Knights, an expert on Yemen’s conflict at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The Houthis have denied they have attacked a U.S. warship, but U.S. officials are skeptical of that claim of innocence.

Reuters reported that the missiles used in the attack Sunday were coastal defense cruise missiles with considerable range. U.S. officials suspect Iran is arming the rebels.

Pentagon Not Targeting Islamic State Training Camps


waving flagBY:  /  August 28, 2015

URL of the original posting site: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/pentagon-not-targeting-islamic-state-training-camps

muslim-obama

Screenshot from MEMRI

Screenshot from MEMRI

The camps are spread throughout Islamic State-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria and are off limits in the U.S.-led international bombing campaign because of concerns about collateral damage, said officials familiar with planning and execution of the yearlong bombing campaign.

Additionally, the IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) camps have been so successful that Islamic State leaders are considering expanding the camps to Libya and Yemen. Both states have become largely ungoverned areas in recent years.

The failure to target the training camps with U.S. and allied airstrikes is raising questions among some defense and intelligence officials about the commitment of President Obama and his senior aides to the current anti-IS strategy of degrading and ultimately destroying the terror group. “If we know the location of these camps, and the president wants to destroy ISIS, why are the camps still functioning?” one official critical of the policy asked.Obama Muslim collection

The camps are regarded by U.S. intelligence analysts as a key element in the terror group’s successes in holding and taking new territory. The main benefit of the training camps is that they are providing a continuous supply of new fighters.

IS training camps

An additional worry of intelligence analysts is that some of the foreign fighters being trained in the camps will eventually return to their home countries in Europe and North America to carry out terror attacks.culture of deceit and lies

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the failure to bomb the terror camps and referred questions to the Pentagon.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Roger M. Cabiness declined to say why no training camps have been bombed. “I am not going to be able to go into detail about our targeting process,” he said.

Cabiness said the U.S.-led coalition has “hit ISIL [an alternative abbreviation for the Islamic State] with more than 6,000 airstrikes.”Really with logo

“The coalition has also taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps,” he said. “We have also stuck their leadership, including most recently on Aug. 18 when a U.S. military airstrike removed Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz, the second in command of the terrorist group, from the battlefield.”Picture4

Efforts also are being taken to disrupt IS finances and “make it more difficult for the group to attract new foreign fighters,” Cabiness said in an email.

Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said the coalition has conducted 19 airstrikes against training areas, the most recent on Aug. 5. The Central Command’s news release for that day, however, makes no reference to a training camp being struck in airstrikes. A July 30 release states that training areas were hit.

According to the Command’s website, a total of 6,419 airstrikes have been carried out over the past year, 3,991 in Iraq, and 2,428 Syria, indicating .3 percent of the airstrikes were carried out against training areas. “Whenever we identify ISIL moving, staging, operating or training in any number, target them and strike them,” Ryder said. “As a result, ISIL is not longer able to move freely or train openly for fear of being hit.”

As a result of the air campaign, ISIL has begun “hiding amongst civilian populations and employing terrorist weapons from entrenched, defensive hiding places,” Ryder said, adding, “regardless, the coalition can and will continue to identify, pursue and strike them relentlessly.”

According to the defense and intelligence officials, one reason the training camps have been off limits is that political leaders in the White House and Pentagon fear hitting them will cause collateral damage. Some of the camps are located near civilian facilities and there are concerns that casualties will inspire more jihadists to join the group.cause of death

However, military officials have argued that unless the training camps are knocked out, IS will continue to gain ground and recruit and train more fighters for its operations.

Disclosure that the IS training camps are effectively off limits to the bombing campaign comes as intelligence officials in the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of the conflict, have alleged that senior U.S. officials skewed intelligence reports indicating the U.S. strategy against IS is not working or has been less effective than officials have claimed in public.you think

The Islamic State controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and has attracted tens of thousands of jihadists in both countries and from abroad. The exact number of fighters is not known but intelligence estimates have indicated the numbers have increased over the past year.

The military campaign, known as Operation Inherent Resolve, appears to be floundering despite a yearlong campaign of airstrikes and military training programs aimed to bolstering Iraqi military forces. A review of Central Command reports on airstrikes since last year reveals that few attacks were carried out against training camps. Targets instead included Islamic State vehicles, buildings, tactical units, arms caches, fighting positions, snipers, excavators, mortar and machine gun positions, bunkers, and bomb factories.Christian Persecution

The risk-averse nature of the airstrike campaign was highlighted last month by Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, chief of staff for what the military calls Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. “The coalition continues to use air power responsibly,” Weidley said July 1. “Highly precise deliveries, detailed weaponeering, in-depth target development, collateral damage mitigation, and maximized effects on Daesh, are characteristics of coalition airstrike operation in Iraq and Syria.”

Daesh is another name for the Islamic State.

“The coalition targeting process minimizes collateral damage and maximizes precise effects on Daesh,” Weidley said earlier. “Air crews are making smart decisions and applying tactical patience every day.”What did you say 06.jpg

Other coalition spokesman have indicated that targeting has been limited to reaction strikes against operational groups of IS fighters. “When Daesh terrorists expose themselves and their equipment, we will strike them,” Col. Wayne Marotto said May 27.

The military website Long War Journal published a map showing 52 IS training camps and noted that some may no longer be operating because of the U.S.-led bombing campaign.

Bill Roggio, Long War Journal managing editor, said the Islamic State’s training camps are a direct threat to the region and U.S. national security. “While the vast majority of trainees have been used to fight in local insurgencies, which should be viewed as a threat. Historically jihadist groups have selected a small number of fighters going through their camps to conduct attacks against the West. The Islamic State is most certainly following this model,” he said.against America

According the map, among the locations in Iraq and Syria where IS is operating training camps are Mosul, Raqqah, Nenewa, Kobane, Aleppo, Fallujah, and Baiji.

The group MEMRI obtained a video of an IS training camp in Nenewa Province, Iraq, dated Oct. 1, 2014.

The video shows a desert outpost with tan tents and around 100 fighters who take part in hand-to-hand combat exercises, weapons training, and religious indoctrination. Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, an analyst with the Middle East Forum, in June translated details of IS training purportedly obtained from a manual produced by a pro-IS operative in Mosul named Omar Fawaz. Among those involved in ideological training for IS jihadists in Iraq is Bahraini cleric Turki Binali, who wrote an unofficial biography of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Tamimi stated in a blog post June 24.

According to a document thought to be written by Fawaz, training differs for native Iraqis and Syrians as opposed to foreign fighters, who generally are less experienced militarily than the regional trainees. The document also reveals IS plans to export military manpower abroad, including Libya.

“Sessions for the muhajireen [foreign fighters] brothers last 90 days or more, and at the highest level deal with organization, determination, and intelligence operation, including training on heavy weaponry in addition to comprehensive Sharia sessions and multiple tests,” according to a translation of the document. “Sessions for the Ansar from the people of Iraq and al-Sham range between 30 to 50 days.”

The process begins with an application form and questionnaire regarding education, skills, viewpoints, and whether their backgrounds can be verified. The training then includes physical fitness, martial arts practice, weapons training, and ideological indoctrination. After a week of training, jihadists with special abilities are selected and placed in units. The units include special forces, air defense, sniper units, a “caliphate army,” an “army of adversity,” and administrative units for those capable of using electronic devices and accounting. “The rest are distributed in fronts and camps after the end of the military camp training according to where they are needed,” the report said, noting that all graduates are tested in Sharia at the conclusion of their training.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Pentagon inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials doctored intelligence reports in an attempt to present more optimistic accounts of the U.S. military’s efforts in the conflict. The probe was triggered by a DIA analyst who stated that Central Command officials were improperly rewriting intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama.

The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that senior military and intelligence officials inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter estimates of the strength of the Islamic State to portray the group as weaker.Partyof Deceit Spin and Lies

Central Command, on its website, stated that in the year since the Iraq operation began on Aug. 7, 2014, a total of 6,419 air strikes were carried out.  Targets damaged or destroyed include 119 tanks, 340 Humvees, 510 staging areas, 3,262 buildings, 2,577 fighting positions, 196 oil infrastructure targets, and 3,680 “other” targets not further identified.

Update 29 August, 12:00 P.M: This post has been updated with comment from Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal.

Update 30 August, 6:40 P.M: This post has been updated with additional comment from a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

Islam is NOT In God We Trust freedom combo 2

What Obama just did is UNFORGIVABLE. (Hint: it’s 7 letters)


waving flagWritten by Allen West on August 5, 2015

Obama-sinister
If there is one thing absolutely true about the liberal progressive left, it is the fact that they hate the truth, and will doggedly attack anyone using it against them. Truth The New Hate Speech

We are watching the left do its darndest to defend the indefensible, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — always beware when politicians use the word “comprehensive” — which is the official name of the Iranian nuclear agreement. Funny thing, it says “joint,” but the Iranians are telling the Americans we cannot take part in the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspections — and it has been revealed that there are secret side deals between the IAEA and Iran. The Iranian emissary to the IAEA stated that the terms will not be disclosed to any other country — so much for “joint.”Party of Deciet and lies

And the left is all in an apoplectic uproar because Senator Ted Cruz called out President Obama on the Iranian deal. As reported by Politico, “According to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is essentially financing terrorism. And he’s not backing down after the president called his comments “outrageous.” 

“If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said during a round table [last] Tuesday. “Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.” muslim-obama

What I find “outrageous” is that President Barack Obama would refer to Senator Cruz’s assertion as “outrageous”. So what DO you call it when you are the president of America and you threaten a veto against the U.S. Congress if it does not consent to the JCPOA that releases billions of dollars to the world’s number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism?

I know, we just have to sit back and allow the Emperor — who truly has no clothes — do whatever he wishes, including funding a militant Islamic theocratic regime that chants “Death to America?” I know, all my leftist supporters believe Iran and the ayatollahs are just kidding.Indenification of Obama

And why take the word of Senator Cruz, or even someone like myself who has been in Iraq and Afghanistan and knows the terrorist support and influences of Iran? Nah, my assessment is worthless in light of Barack Obama and all his vast experience in Middle East community organizing.

However, what about the word of someone who has intimate knowledge of the terrorist activity and support of Iran against our men and women in the Middle East? Now, in full disclosure, the person to whom I am referring was once a Commanding Officer of mine in the 4th Infantry Division when I was an Artillery Battalion commander.

As written in the Weekly Standard by Lieutenant General Michael Barbero (US Army, Retired), “One man was responsible for the deaths or injuries of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq. That same man is responsible for sowing sectarian conflict today in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. And yet, in the nuclear deal with Iran, this man, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, Major General Qassem Suleimani, will have sanctions lifted against him. Indeed, he will receive a large infusion of cash to wreak more havoc and terror. Obama Muslim collection

Having served in Iraq, having experienced first-hand his proxy operations against American forces, and having lost men to Gen. Suleimani’s terror operations, I find this offensive. Preventing a nuclear Iran is a critical national security objective. We should seize any real chance of achieving this goal diplomatically. Whether the agreement negotiated in Vienna, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands is a question that should be vigorously debated.

But it is appalling that we would agree to lift sanctions on a known terrorist in pursuit of this nuclear deal. President Obama claims to be under no illusions about the Iranian regime and its murderous activities. Even in defending the JCPOA, he has admitted that, “we’ll still have problems with Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism: its funding of proxies like Hezbollah that threaten Israel and threaten the region, the destabilizing activities that they’re engaging in, including in places like Yemen.” Behind all these problems stands one organization, and behind that organization, one man. Within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force is responsible for special operations, including training, arming, and giving instructions to the terrorists, insurgents, and proxies that Iran uses to spread chaos across the Middle East. The head of the Quds Force is Major General Qassem Suleimani.

Shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Quds Force mobilized and trained Shiite militias within Iraq for the purpose of killing Americans. This proxy campaign against United States forces was abetted by a particularly lethal weapon: explosively formed projectiles (EFPs). A form of roadside bomb with a sophisticated triggering mechanism and the ability to penetrate American armor, EFPs were estimated to account for 20 percent of U.S. deaths. And they came from only one place. “We knew where all the factories were in Iran.” General Stanley McChrystal, then head of the Joint Special Operations Command, told the New Yorker. “The E.F.P.s killed hundreds of Americans.”

I’ve spoken about the EFPs previously in interviews and on this website. So I must ask, what part of President Barack Obama financing Islamic terrorism do you NOT understand? What is confusing about what LTG Barbero just stated? If anyone knows, LTG Barbero does, because he served 46 months over three combat tours in Iraq, including serving as the senior operations officer in Iraq during the surge. And LTG Barbero also served as the Commanding General of JIEDDO (Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization). So if there’s anyone who knows the IEDs and from whence they come, it is my former Assistant Division Commander, LTG Barbero. Then again, why listen to him, especially when you have General Valerie Jarrett and all her vast experience in combat operations and the Iranian influence — the country of her birth.

If you want to draw a parallel, consider the Iranian Quds force the same as the Nazi SS during World War II. They are just that vicious and murderous, devoid of any sense of humanity. This is the organization which will be the recipient of Obama’s billions of dollars of goodwill. And please, again, do not give me the surrender monkey song about the only other alternative is war. Guess what Einsteins? Iran and the Quds force have been at war with America, and as LTG Barbero states, 20 percent of US deaths in Iraq came at the hands of Iran — chances are thousands were maimed.against America

So to all the liberal progressive leftists, take your unrighteous indignation elsewhere. Senator Ted Cruz was correct in his assertion and I know that facts and truth are to liberal progressives as sunlight is to vampires. However, it is time we stop trying to create some fantasy world surrounding this abhorrent acquiescence called the JCPOA.

ObamabotBarack Obama has signed an agreement with the same folks responsible for the deaths and maiming of Americans. Iran has continued to state that nothing changes in their relationship and position towards the United States. Perhaps those inane Hollywood talking heads who were mouthpieces for Obama and this Iranian agreement should visit one of the families who lost their loved ones to an Iranian EFP. Look into the eyes of the children who lost a mom or dad and tell them, we need to release billions of dollars to the crazed clerics in black robes.Obamabot Army

You want to know what is truly “outrageous?” The fact that the President of the United States is more concerned about his insidious and delusional legacy than honoring the men and women who carry the scars or lost their lives because of Iran. Yes, he is content to allow this to happen.

The U.S .Code refers to actions of aiding and abetting the enemy, as well as providing material support and comfort…releasing billions of dollars in unfrozen assets to Iran is in complete violation of U.S. Code. Iran is the enemy and Obama is financing the enemy. I know what that’s called. Do you?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 »

Iranian ship convoy moves toward Yemen, alarming US officials


waving flagBy Kristina Wong – 04/17/15

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/239295-us-officials-concerned-about-iranian-convoy-headed-towards-yemen

U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war. Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials. Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis. 

Iran sent a destroyer and another vessel to waters near Yemen last week but said it was part of a routine counter-piracy mission. 

What’s unusual about the new deployment, which set out this week, is that the Iranians are not trying to conceal it, officials said. Instead, they appear to be trying to “communicate it” to the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf. It is not clear what will happen as the convoy comes closer to Yemen. Saudi Arabia has deployed ships around Yemen to enforce the blockade, as has Egypt. An official said the ship convoy could try to land at a port in Aden, which the Houthis have taken over. 

Although the U.S. is assisting with the Saudi-led air campaign, it is not participating in the naval blockade of Yemen, said U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Pat Ryder. However, the U.S. Navy is in the region and has already “consensually boarded” one Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea on April 1 on the suspicion it was illegally carrying arms for the Houthis. None were found, but the move raised alarm bells in Washington over an increasingly active U.S. military role in the conflict. The Pentagon indicated this week that more boardings could occur. 

“We will continue to vigilantly defend freedom of navigation and to conduct consensual searches in an effort to ensure that drugs, human trafficking, weapons trafficking and other contraband are limited,” Army Col. Steve Warren said on Monday. 

Officials fear a naval confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia could escalate what has become a proxy war between the two countries.

The U.S. has been supporting the airstrikes with intelligence and logistical support, and last week began refueling Saudi fighter jets. Administration officials say it is important to support Saudi Arabia. 

Earlier this week, a senior State Department official said the U.S. would try to ensure that a United Nations Security Council arms embargo against Houthi leadership is enforced. “We will be taking very careful look and examining very closely efforts to violate the embargo,” senior State Department official Gerald Feierstein told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

The deepening of the conflict comes as the U.S. hopes to reach a deal with Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Officials say U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition has not affected the negotiations with Iran. The conflict also threatens to complicate U.S.’s relations with Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, an Iran ally, criticized Saudi Arabia for its airstrike campaign during a visit to Washington this week. 

U.S. officials say they are unsure why Iran is making the brazen move. One theory they have floated is that the Saudi-led coalition has effectively blockaded any air routes into Yemen and there are no other ways to resupply the Houthis. Another theory is that Iran is trying to distract the coalition from another ship it has tried hard to conceal that is currently docked at Oman — a potential land route for smuggling arms into Yemen. Yet another theory is that Iran wants to force a confrontation with Saudi Arabia that it believes it will win, because Iran views the Saudi military as weak and suspects the U.S. lacks the willpower to support its Gulf ally. 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last week on Twitter taunted Saudi Arabia, calling its military puny and smaller than Israel’s. He also said the air campaign was tantamount to genocide of innocent Yemeni civilians and that the U.S. would also fail in Yemen. 

U.S. officials say they hope the airstrikes will force Houthis to the negotiating table in order to restore stability in Yemen, where America faces a terrorist threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). “We’re assisting the Saudis to protect their own territory and to conduct operations that are designed to lead ultimately to a political settlement to Yemen,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday. “That’s good for the people of Yemen, first and foremost. It’s good for Saudi Arabia that doesn’t need this on its southern border.  And … it’s good for us, among other reasons, because of AQAP’s presence in Yemen. But for that to occur, it’ll require more than military action,” he added. 

Picture6

ABC Reporter Pushes Back Against WH Press Secretary Over ‘Counterterrorism’ Claim: ‘That’s Astounding’


 

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/25/abc-reporter-pushes-back-against-wh-press-secretary-over-counterterrorism-claim-thats-astounding/

(Screengrab via YouTube)

(Screengrab via YouTube)

White House press secretary Josh Earnest faced some pushback on Wednesday after he claimed that the Obama administration still believes Yemen can serve as a successful model for “counterterrorism.”more evidence

ABC reporter Jonathan Karl noted that “complete chaos” has gripped Yemen as the country faces a bloody struggle against radical rebel forces and asked if the White House still views Yemen as a counterterrorism “model.” The reporter seemed surprised when Earnest said the White House is maintaining its position.

Earnest told reporters on Wednesday that a “successful counterterrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground to have local fighters take the fight to extremists in their own country.” He added that the counterterrorism strategy is a “template that has succeeded in mitigating the threat in Yemen and Somalia.”more evidence

“That’s astounding,” Karl responded. “You’re saying you still see Yemen as a model? Building up a central government, which has now collapsed? A president who has apparently fled the country? You know, Saudi troops massing on one border, the Iranians supporting the rebels? You consider this a model for counterterrorism?”

Watch Earnest’s response and the rest of the exchange below:

josh

(H/T: Mediaite)muslim-obama Islamapologist Obama Muslim collection

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Inspired by ISIS, Kids in Yemen Set Fire to Ten-Year-Old Boy in Cage


Posted by John Hayward, 5 Mar 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/05/inspired-by-isis-kids-in-yemen-set-fire-to-ten-year-old-boy-in-cage/

radical-islam-threat

Gulf News tells a story of ISIS’ viral evil spreading into Yemen, which was hardly suffering from a shortage of villainy: “Inspired by the video of Daesh (Islamic State/ISIS) burning to death the Jordanian pilot Muath Al Kasaesbeh, a group of boys set about re-enacting the atrocity in their Al Dahthath village in Yemen’s northern province of Ibb.”

The group of a half-dozen youths trapped a ten-year-old boy in a wooden cage, doused him with gasoline, and set him on fire.  They even re-enacted the Islamic State leaders passing judgment on the Jordanian pilot and ordering his immolation.  Luckily, the boy’s screams were heard in time, and he was rescued by villagers.  He went to the hospital for treatment of the burns on one of his legs.

As Gulf News observes, the village is desperately poor and has unreliable electricity, but the people were still able to get the ISIS propaganda video of Kaseasbeh’s brutal execution on their mobile phones.

This is not the first time young fans of the Islamic State in Yemen have tried re-enacting the horrors of the terror state they admire.  The UK Daily Mail recalls a previous instance weeks ago in which Yemeni boys used a cell phone to film themselves re-enacting the beachfront beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, using sticks to simulate the knives ISIS prefers for its decapitations.  “Lined up on the beach, the young boys are forced to their knees and stare down at the sand whilst they await their mock execution,” writes the Daily Mail.  “Each boy appears deep in character, honed from studying the terror group’s depraved videos.”  Evidently, the mock victims in this particular bit of live role-playing were not injured.

Not only are kids in Yemen getting with the ISIS swing; the Daily Mail throws in a sidebar about an Egyptian couple who horrified their wedding guests by hiring actors to simulate jihadis hijacking their wedding and shoving them into a cage similar to the one in which Lt. Kaseasbeh was killed. It is not clear if the groom meant this little stunt as sincere homage to ISIS or a joke, but it doesn’t seem to have elicited much laughter in either case.

Freedom with Prayer

Cruz Files Bill to Ban American Islamic State Fighters from Returning to U.S.


BY: , January 23, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cruz-files-bill-to-ban-americans-islamic-state-fighters-from-returning-to-u-s/

“Blasts Obama’s foreign policy as ‘detached from reality’”

AP

AP

Cruz said that he is filing the bill partly in response to President Obama’s Tuesday State of the Union address, which he described as “detached from reality” on the foreign policy front.

“President Obama’s approach to foreign policy refuses to acknowledge the threats our enemies pose to our national security—it is detached from reality and making the world a more dangerous place,” said Cruz, who also is releasing a new video that takes aim at Obama for misleading the nation about these threats in his annual address.

Cruz said stripping American IS fighters of their citizenship is a step toward securing the country and restoring the country’s image.

“We’ve seen the grave consequence of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy unravel with respect to Iran, Russia, and now Yemen,” Cruz said. “These consequences are not confined to faraway lands. They directly threaten America and our allies.”Obama Muslim collection

“That is why this week, I am re-filing the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which prevents Americans who have fought abroad for designated terrorist groups from returning to the United States,” he said. “I look forward to working with senators on both sides of the aisle on this and additional measures to secure our nation and restore America’s leadership in the world.”

In his new video, an advance copy of which was provided to the Free Beacon, Cruz makes the case that Obama’s statements on the foreign policy front do not comport with reality. From Iran to Russia, Yemen, and beyond, Obama painted a picture of his actions that do not comport with the truth on the ground. Multiple media outlets noted after the address that Obama’s remarks were “not close to reality.”culture of deciet

In the wake of the attacks in Paris and in the midst of upheaval in Yemen, the president refused to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Regarding Iran, Obama said on Tuesday, “Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.”

Cruz’s video, called “It’s Time to Face Reality,” points out that Iran is continuing work on new nuclear reactors and still enriching uranium, the key component in a nuclear bombs. It also challenges Obama’s statements on Russia, Yemen, and the fight against terrorism.

cruzvid

Freedom with Prayer

 

President ignores Yemen, Feinstein Calls for Embassy Evacuation – UPDATED


Posted by    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://legalinsurrection.com/2015/01/president-ignores-yemen-feinstein-calls-for-embassy-evacuation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LegalInsurrection+%28Le%C2%B7gal+In%C2%B7sur%C2%B7rec%C2%B7tion%29

In September, Obama touted Yemen as a success story!

LI #13 Yemen 2 Failed State

Sometimes, more can be learned from what a world leader fails to say.

One of the topics President Obama failed to cover in his State of the Union address is the situation in Yemen, a country that has descended so far into chaos that two U.S. Navy warships now stand ready to evacuate Americans from the Embassy.

Just prior to the President’s speech, California Senator Dianne Feinstein urged that the embassy be closed immediately and the personnel evacuated.

The U.S. government should immediately close and evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, according to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

I asked her today whether the embassy, which remains open despite raging violence throughout the Yemeni capital, should be closed. She responded: “Based on what I know so far, yes.”

“I’m very concerned about our embassy there, who is still there, who isn’t still there, and what the plans are,” Feinstein added.

Contrast this to what the President said of Yemen just last September:

President Obama recently told Thomas L. Friedman of The Times that failing to help Libya form a new state after the fall of Qaddafi was his biggest foreign policy regret. Yet the fate of that country has been largely absent from discussions about the new war, which is certain to last longer and unleash a wider array of consequences.

Instead, Mr. Obama, in making the case for carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State, drew a dubious parallel to counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, which he billed as successful.

While dangerous Al Qaeda offshoot organizations in tribal areas of southern Yemen have been weakened by drone strikes, calling Yemen a success story is absurd.Obama Muslim collection

Not only absurd, but potentially dangerous to Americans in that country. Just because Obama scrubbed any mention of Benghazi doesn’t mean we have forgotten the lives lost there.

VICE News recently compiled a video, “Yemen: A Failed State”:

vid VICE NEWS

Heavily featured in this analysis is another group that somehow escaped mention in the year’s State of the Union Address: Al-Qaeda. It appears as if these terrorists are no longer on the run; their Yemen branch claimed credit for the Charlie Hebdo slaughter.

Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor for The Telegraph, has a substantive analysis of region — pointing out the clear winner (Iran, as supporter of the Yemen rebel group) and the obvious losers in recent events.

An Iranian politician close to that country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, could not contain himself. Ali Reza Zakani, an MP, boasted that Sana’a [Yemen’s capital] was now the fourth Arab capital in Iranian hands – after Beirut (through Hizbollah), Damascus (through President Assad) and Baghdad (through Iraq’s democratically elected Shia-led government).

…[O]on the surface, a stunning blow for the West. The US and UK – and regional allies like Saudi Arabia – strongly backed a political settlement in Yemen following an “Arab Spring” uprising against the country’s long-time leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late 2011.

That put a pro-western replacement, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in office, presiding over a parliament that was supposed to represent all shades of Yemeni political thinking apart from al-Qaeda, which is strong in some southern and eastern parts of the country.Wake up America

Truly, more was learned last night about the state of the Union by figuring out what Obama failed to mention. Let’s just hope our people come back home safely.

~~UPDATE~~

U.S. Embassy in Yemen set to evacuate

Posted by    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://legalinsurrection.com/2015/01/u-s-embassy-in-yemen-set-to-evacuate/

“U.S. Navy on alert”

us embassy yemen

Yemen is in chaos.

For the past two days, Shiite Houthi rebels have laid siege to the presidential palace. Now, reports claim that the rebels have seized the palace; and the status of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi remains unknown. Although the Houthi rebels are not targeting Americans—at least for the time being—U.S. officials are preparing for the possibility of a “non permissive environment,” meaning that the city of Sana’a will have descended into combat-like conditions.

Unfortunately for Americans in Yemen, evacuation isn’t simply a matter of driving to the airport and hopping a flight.

CNN explains:

If an evacuation is ordered, the first option would be to have embassy personnel drive to the commercial airport in Sanaa and fly out, the official said. But in the wake of an embassy car being fired Tuesday, the safety of the roads in the capital is now being constantly evaluated, the official said. If embassy workers did drive to the airport it is likely some sort of air cover would be provided, under the current plan.

Other detailed military planning for various options has been finalized, the official said. Those options would be used if a request for military assistance were made.

If helicopters and V-22 aircraft from the ships are sent to Sanaa, it would be a complex operation that could last for several days to fully evacuate “several hundred Americans” from the embassy, the official cautioned. “Nobody should think this would be easy.”

The Houthi rebels claim that they’re working for a more democratic Yemen, but analysts are skeptical of the group’s claims, and worry that a successful coup could lead to further radicalization.

The Houthis are an offshoot of Shiite Islam that is known as Zaydism, and they have put together a militia that has been fighting the central government on and off for the past decade.

The Houthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, 33, is considered a saint by his followers. The militia, which is widely believed to be backed by Iran, claims it is willing to work with other groups in Yemen and would like a democracy.

But the majority Sunnis feel threatened by the minority Houthis, whose rise could easily lead to increased sectarian friction in Yemen, the poorest of the 22 Arab countries.

“Yemen could become another Afghanistan — a failed state dominated by warlords and extremists, and with even fewer prospects for the young revolutionaries who just three years ago thought their nightmare had ended,” Middle East analyst Robin Wright wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Unrest has plagued Yemen since 2004, when now-rebels revolted over perceived discrimination on the part of the majority Sunni government. In September, the rebels began to move out of their traditional strongholds in north Yemen and into new territory.

As of right now, plans are to evacuate only State Department personnel if conditions deteriorate; U.S. officials haven’t yet decided whether or not to extend evacuation orders to other Americans in Yemen.

Freedom with Prayer

The List of Imperial President Obama’s Failures is Growing Faster than We Can Keep Up


Obamacare

After Obama Touts Success Against Terrorism in Yemen, State Department Issues Travel Warning

Katie PavlichKatie Pavlich | Sep 29, 2014

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/09/29/after-obama-touts-success-against-terrorism-in-yemen-state-department-issues-travel-warning-n1896797

Imperial Islamic President ObamaIn laying out his strategy to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria through airstrikes two weeks ago, President Obama cited Somalia and Yemen as examples of where the United States has been successful in fighting terrorism. 

“This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama said. 

Now just two weeks later, the State Department has issued a travel warning for…Yemen. 

Today, the Department of State ordered a temporary reduction in the number of U.S. Government personnel in Yemen. We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution and in response to recent political developments and the changing, unpredictable security situation in Yemen. The Embassy did not suspend operations and will continue to operate, albeit with reduced staff.

Maintaining the security of our staff is among the highest priorities of the Department. We are continuing to closely monitor developments in Yemen and will calibrate our response as the situation develops.

Consular services have not been affected by this temporary reduction in personnel. U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Yemen are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (www.travel.state.gov/step) and to review the U.S. Embassy’s website and the State Department’s travel warning issued on September 25, 2014.

U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen despite the Travel Warning in effect should limit nonessential travel within the country, be aware of their surroundings whether in their residences or moving about, and make their own contingency emergency plans, and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.

I assume the American people can have full faith in the Obama administration’s strategy to successfully fight ISIS moving forward.

 

 

 

 

 

Article collective closing

Well, Duhh: Obama’s Views on Muslim Terrorism Ignore Reality: Report


http://clashdaily.com/2014/06/well-duhh-obamas-views-muslim-terrorism-ignore-reality-report/#oweM22OvWMDotmeL.99

 Posted on June 16, 2014

by Jim Kouri

Clash Daily Contributor

muslim-terror-300x180Despite President Barack Obama and his minions claiming the strength of the world’s radical Islamist network is waning and the threat to the United States minimal, a study released on Wednesday by a well-respected and highly-regarded think-tank contradicts what many call Obama’s myopic view of the terrorist threat to the United States, the American people, and U.S. interests throughout the world, according to Joel Kaplan, a former members of a police special operations team.

The RAND Corporation study suggests that the threat of Islamic terrorism isn’t waning at all, but appears to be growing by leaps-and-bounds. A rising number of Salifi-jihadist groups (Islamists) is a growing terrorist threat to the United States when one considers the lack of border security and screening of immigrants — legal and illegal — by the U.S. government.

In last four years — 2010-2014 — the world has experienced a 58 percent increase in the number of Islamist terror groups, with the number of Muslim terrorists doubling and the number of al-Qaida affiliates has actually tripled.Dear Mr President

The biggest jihadist threat to the U.S. homeland, the report alleges, comes from terrorist organizations currently creating havoc in countries such as Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, a recent Examiner news story suggests that the Syrian rebellion has become a training ground for homegrown terrorists from Western nations such as Great Britain.

Obama defending muslimsAccording to the Homeland Security News Wire, one of the reasons for the increase in groups, fighters, and attacks is the widely-known weakness of governments across North Africa and the Middle East. Weak governments have difficulty establishing law and order, which allows militant groups and other sub-state actors to fill the vacuum.

The Rand Corporation study cautions U.S. decision-makers, especially the Commander in Chief Barack Obama, that the trends described in the study suggest the U.S. law enforcement and security communities must remain focused on countering the activities of the Islamist groups. The report also strongly suggests that Islamic terrorism is enjoying a resurgence especially in North Africa and the Middle East.

The report specifically cautions the United States (Barack Obama) to resist his temptations to turn his attention and resources away from the Middle East and towards the Asia-Pacific region as part of his “rebalancing strategy.”

“Based on these threats, the United States cannot afford to withdraw or remain disengaged from key parts of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia,” said Seth Jones, author of the study and associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it may be tempting for the U.S. to turn its attention elsewhere and scale back on counterterrorism efforts. But this research indicates that the struggle is far from over.”

Who is better offJim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He’s formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a contributor to KGAB radio news, a Fox News affiliate.

Image: Courtesy of: http://templespring2011.wikispaces.com/
Propaganda+Through+Misrepresentation+and+Normalization

 

 

 

Article collective closing

 

 

 

 

Al-Qaeda: ‘Spreading Like Wildfire’


http://blog.heritage.org/2014/04/14/al-qaeda/

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 17, 2012, shows fire fighters at the scene following a two bomb attacks on security buildings in the heart of the Syrian capital Damascus which killed several people, state television said. AFP PHOTO/HO

Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers that the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade received were profoundly unsettling.

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–Conn.) testified that Syria had become a key focal point of al-Qaeda’s efforts. He noted that there are more foreign militants fighting in Syria today than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over the past 10 years:  “Put very bluntly, Syria has become the most dangerous terrorist sanctuary in the world today—and the United States has not coherent or credible policy for dealing with it.”

>>> Read More: The Arab Spring Descends into Islamist Winter: Implications for U.S. Policy

Frederick Kagan, director of the critical threats project at the American Enterprise Institute, warned that the Obama Administration has underestimated the threat posed by al-Qaeda’s ideology, which has inspired a global insurgency. He assessed that al-Qaeda’s “brand is spreading like wildfire, the groups affiliating themselves with it control more fighters, land and wealth than they ever have, and they are opening up new fronts.”

Dear Mr President

Heritage Foundation analysts long have warned about the more permissive environment that al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups have exploited in many countries destabilized by the “Arab Spring” uprisings.  Syria, in particular, has been a magnet for foreign militants and a rich recruiting ground for al-Qaeda.

>>> Read More: A Counterterrorism Strategy for the “Next Wave”

Al-Qaeda has made a comeback in Iraq, and gained followers in Egypt, Libya, Mali, East Africa, and Yemen

The chief takeaway from the hearing was that the Obama Administration needs to focus more on the revolutionary threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates in the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, the administration should alter its narrow definition of the al-Qaeda threat, which it currently holds as the immediate terrorist threat posed by the al-Qaeda core group based in Pakistan.

Related:
Al-Qaeda Seeks American Recruits in Syria
Al-Qaeda Resurges in Iraq
These Words from Obama Are Frightening—and Revealing

Posted in Front Page, International [slideshow_deploy]

Martyrdom of Christians Doubles in 2013


http://eaglerising.com/4030/martyrdom-christians-doubles-2013/#Zdxgl0BTvtzOIrjM.99

By / 9 January 2014

I hate our foreign policy. I try not to get too agitated about it on the pages of Eagle Rising because I know there is a lot of disagreement within our “family’s” foreign policy beliefs. But having to report that 2013 was a horrible year worldwide for our Christian brothers and sisters has me angry.

Our President pours millions, no billions, of dollars into fascist Islamist regime nations like Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen… all the while, they are subjugating and persecuting our brothers and sisters.

In 2013 we documented that at least Two Thousand One Hundred and Twenty Three Christians were killed for their faith. 2,123 of our brothers and sisters martyred for believing as we do. And this number is low, because these are only the martyrdoms that we can confirm.

“This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.

What has our government done about it?

Nothing.

  • Nine of the 10 countries listed as dangerous for Christians are Muslim-majority states, many of them torn by conflicts with radical Islamists. Saudi Arabia is an exception but ranked sixth because of its total ban on practicing faiths other than Islam.
  • In the list of killings, Syria was followed by Nigeria with 612 cases last year after 791 in 2012. Pakistan was third with 88, up from 15 in 2012. Egypt ranked fourth with 83 deaths after 19 the previous year.
  • The report spoke of “horrific violence often directed at Christians” in the Central African Republic but said only nine deaths were confirmed last year because “most analysts still fail to recognize the religious dimension of the conflict.”
  • The report had no figures for killings in North Korea but said Christians there faced “the highest imaginable pressure” and some 50,000 to 70,000 lived in political prison camps.
  • Look at some of those names. Saudi Arabia, Paikistan, and Egypt. Three of our “allies” that depend on the millions of dollars we give them or the trade we complete with them. Each of them is in the top six of nations in the world that persecute Christians.
  • Persecuted11Do we demand that they set their Christians free from imprisonment? Do we demand that they cease persecution of their Christian minorities? Do we demand that they give free and fair treatment to their Christian citizens? Do we even ask for any of these things? No. We make speeches where we attempt to shame them into fairness, but they know that we will never back up our speeches with actions and so their Christian minorities continue to suffer.
  • If we but threatened to pull funding or political support or international trade agreements, some of these villains would change their tunes.
  • In Iran, Pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned for over a year for his crime of being a Christian. Recently his wife learned that the American government had been at work in Iran, but not in getting her American husband released.

“Initially, when I went to the U.S. government, they said we don’t have a direct relationship with Iran,” Naghmeh Abdeini said, moments after telling a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee her husband’s health is failing in prison. “Here we were sitting across table from Iran. It was our best leverage. It should have been a precondition.”

Needless to say, she felt betrayed.

In North Korea, an American Christian was taken prisoner for “crimes against the state”,” though the North Koreans will not enlighten us to those crimes.

U.S. officials have repeatedly called on North Korea to release Bae. In August, the two countries appeared close, but North Korea rescinded an invitation to a U.S. envoy. Ambassador Robert King, President Barack Obama’s special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, had been expected to fly to Pyongyang to try to win Bae’s freedom.

 Words. Nothing more.

I guess I just didn’t realize that the most powerful nation in the world was in the practice of allowing its citizens to be kidnapped and held imprisoned by their enemies.

We must demand that our government be more proactive in demanding the protection and liberties of Christians around the planet.

About the author: Onan Coca

&amp;lt;img alt=” src=’http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/067e140671164d7ce10eea5e42f2e3b6?s=80&amp;amp;d=http%3A%2F%2F0.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D80&amp;amp;r=G&#8217; class=’avatar avatar-80 photo’ height=’80’ width=’80’ /&gt;

Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in the Atlanta area with his wife, Leah. They have three children and enjoy the hectic pace of life in a young family. Onan and Leah are members of the Journey Church in Hiram, GA.

Website: http://www.eaglerising.com

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/4030/martyrdom-christians-doubles-2013/#Zdxgl0BTvtzOIrjM.99

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