Je Suis Charlie (Until Je Get Scared)

 

Je Suis Charlie (Until Je Get Scared)

The New York Times tweeted today that the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which found itself the victim of a gruesome massacre, “long tested the limits of satire.” I did not know that there were limits to satire or that the Gray Lady, which often unintentionally engages in the art form, had managed to uncover them. The implication here is one that will surely become as tediously explicit in the hours and days ahead as it is familiar: If you “provoke” Muslims by mocking their religion, then you’ve only yourself to blame for what happens next. Continue reading

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Syria: Young ‘Gangsters’ Flock to Fight and Die in British Brigade of Jihadists

By   June 5, 2014 07:30 BST

Rayat al-Tawheed
The logo of Syrian extremist rebel group Rayat al-Tawheed, or Banner of GodRayat al-Tawheed
Rayat al-Tawheed: Islamist Group Recruits Brits For Jihad in Syria

The reported killing of two Britons fighting in Syria, has drawn fresh attention to an extremist rebel group that has made extensive use of social media to recruit would-be jihadists in the UK.

Rayat al-Tawheed, or Banner of God, has been posting videos and photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to glamourise jihad and lure British Muslims to join the fight against the regime of Basha al-Assad and rival rebel groups in Syria. Continue reading

Islamist North Caucasus Rebels Training a New Generation of Fighters in Syria

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 3

February 7, 2014 09:43 AM  By: Murad Batal al- Shishani

Chechen (Ichkerian) seal bearing a wolf, the n...

Chechen (Ichkerian) seal bearing a wolf, the nation’s symbolic embodiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Syria’s bloody conflict enters its fourth year in March, it continues to provide a battlefield that attracts jihadists from all over the world. North Caucasians, including Chechens, are no exception. Previously, many reports alleged that Chechens were present in jihadi battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places; however, these claims were never proved. Syria is the first place where Chechen jihadists are indisputably taking part in fighting outside the North Caucasus.

Chechens and other Caucasians in Syria operate in four major groups, each of which is commanded by one of four prominent Chechen leaders: Omar al-Shishani, Saifullah al-Shishani, Amir Muslim and Salahudeen al-Shishani (the mujahideen announced the death of the latter via Twitter on February 6). These commanders are not related but all use al-Shishani (Arabic – “the Chechen”) as a surname.

Divisions and Unifications

Omar al-Shishani, born Tarkhan Batirashvili, comes from the remote Pankisi Gorge in northeast Georgia, populated by ethnic Chechens who emigrated from their homeland in the 19th century. Before making his way to jihad, Omar served in the Georgian military in the disputed republic of Abkhazia between 2006 and 2007. He later signed a contract in 2008 to join the Georgian army as a rifleman, but this came to an end when he was dismissed due to tuberculosis. In September 2010, he was arrested for the illegal purchase and storage of arms. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Published time: February 15, 2014 04:14

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Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.
An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.

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The Jewel in the Crown of Washington’s Permanent War: Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

In the final of the ‘Permanent War’ series from the Washington Post, Craig Whitlock reports on the expansion of Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the U.S. first ‘counter-terrorism’ base, and the hub of drone operations in Somalia and Yemen. In fact, drones take off and land around 16 times a day at the base, which is sandwiched between Somalia (10 miles to the Southeast) and Yemen (North, across the Gulf of Aden).permanentWar26

The origin of the base lies as a ‘Third World’ outpost by the French Foreign Legion (Yemen itself is a former French colony). About a decade ago it was used for marines looking to gain a foothold in the region. Since then, it has been transformed into the busiest Predator base outside of Afghanistan. The secretive 500 acre base is dedicated to counter-terrorism–the first of its kind–against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in a perpetual war.

Activities at Camp Lemonnier increased in 2010 after 8 Predators were delivered, turning the camp into a fully-fledged drone base. AQAP in Yemen had attempted to bomb two U.S.-bound airliners and jihadists in Somalia consolidated their hold. JSOC plays a central role at the base, with 300 Special Forces personnel coordinating raids from inside a barb wired compound. A total of 3,200 U.S. troops, civilians, and contractors are assigned to the camp where they ‘train foreign militaries, gather intelligence and dole out humanitarian aid across East Africa as part of a campaign to prevent extremists from taking root’.

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3 top Boko Haram leaders nabbed •As 2 foreign agencies join counter-terrorism operations •250 Nigerians died in sect’s attacks between Jan and Feb

Nigeria forced evictions

Nigeria forced evictions (Photo credit: Amnesty International)

 Written by Our Reporters Monday, 27 February 2012

AS the Boko Haram attacks mount, security agencies in the country are recording successes in rounding up top leaders of the sect through active collaborations with two foreign intelligence agencies said to be very active now in Nigeria.

In the last 48 hours, three top leaders of the sect were reportedly arrested in operations involving intelligence sharing and application among the three collaborating intelligence agencies.

One of the top leaders, who was described as very close to the sect’s leader, Ahmed Shekau, was said to have been arrested in a suburb of Kano city on Friday evening.

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Women and Islam: A Debate with Human Rights Watch

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Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

An Egyptian woman looking on during a rally to mark the one year anniversary of the revolution, Tahrir Square, January 25, 2012

To Kenneth Roth:

In your Introduction to Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2012, “Time to Abandon the Autocrats and Embrace Rights,” you urge support for the newly elected governments that have brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Tunisia and Egypt. In your desire to “constructively engage” with the new governments, you ask states to stop supporting autocrats. But you are not a state; you are the head of an international human rights organization whose role is to report on human rights violations, an honorable and necessary task which your essay largely neglects.

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