Since October 10, ISIS and its sympathizers around the world have killed at least 525 people in six attacks in six countries outside its so-called caliphate.
Here is the chronology and body count of the attacks, with U.S. intelligence analysis of who was behind each:
—Oct. 10: The bombing of peace demonstrations outside the main train station in Ankara, Turkey left 102 dead. Directed by ISIS.
—Nov. 10: Two suicide bombers detonating themselves in a marketplace in southern Beirut, Lebanon, killing 43 people. Directed by ISIS.
—Nov. 13: Attacks on multiple sites in Paris, including the Bataclan theater, left 130 dead — excluding attackers. Directed by ISIS.
—Nov. 24: The bombing of a bus carrying members of the presidential guard in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis left at least 12 dead. An “announcement” attack by the ISIS affiliate in Tunisia. Read the rest of this entry »
(CNN) The only reasonable explanation for the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt is “an external influence,” an executive from the airline that operated the flight said Monday, stressing that planes don’t just break apart in midair.
“There was nothing abnormal before the plane crash. It suddenly disappeared from the radar.”
— Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamel
The executive was not specific about what he meant by an external influence. Experts say it is too early to know for certain what caused the plane to break up at the start of what could be a lengthy investigation.
The state-run Russian news agency Sputniknews.com reported that the head of Rosaviatsia, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, had told Rossiya-25 television that claims that external factors could have caused the crash were not based in fact.
“It is completely premature to speak about the reasons of this, as there are not grounds. And I’d like to call on the aviation community to refrain from any premature conclusions,” it quoted Alexander Neradko, the agency chief, as telling the station.
CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest suggested that the Kogalymavia official could have meant something abnormal and out of the ordinary had occurred.
“We exclude technical problems and reject human error,” the Kogalymavia airline official, Alexander Smirnov, said at a Moscow news conference as he discussed possible causes of the crash.
He added that the crew did not issue any warnings or communications during the final moments, indicating that the flight crew must have been disabled and not able to radio out.
However, Smirnov said that while the plane’s flight and voice data recorders had been recovered, they had not been read or decoded.
Officials have played down an apparent claim by Islamic militants in Sinai that they brought down the Airbus A321-200, saying technical failure is the most likely reason for the crash.
Here’s where things stand:
Flight 9268 was on its way from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg early Saturday when it dropped off radar about 23 minutes into the flight, Egyptian officials say.
Air traffic controllers apparently didn’t receive any distress calls from the pilots. “There was nothing abnormal before the plane crash,” Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamel said Saturday. “It suddenly disappeared from the radar.”
CNN’s Richard Quest said it was “unusual” for an aircraft to go down roughly 20 minutes into a flight.
Hamas violently took control of Gaza in 2007. What have they been doing since? Oppressing the Gazan population and investing billions in terrorism against Israel’s civilian population. Some people choose to close their eyes to the reality on the ground. What about you?
Hezbollah Claims Responsibility for Artillery Fire; Israeli Forces Retaliate With Attacks in Lebanon
JERUSALEM— Nicholas Casey And Joshua Mitnick reporting: Israel was hit by two artillery attacks along its northern border Wednesday, its military said, and Israeli forces retaliated with attacks in Lebanon.
“To all those who are trying to challenge us on the northern border I suggest to look at what happened…in the Gaza Strip.”
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would respond sharply to Wednesday’s rocket and mortar attack, the second in two days on the country’s northern borders. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite political and militant group that controls southern Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the artillery fire.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israeli forces “reserved the right” to resume military operations in Lebanon if attacks continued. She said Israeli casualties were being tallied, but gave no further details.
Lebanon’s state news agency reported Israeli artillery attacks on several southern Lebanese villages. It also said a member of the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon had been killed.
Israeli police were for the second consecutive day evacuating residents and tourists from border areas. At checkpoints, police were directing vehicles to move south, out of the range of artillery fire. Read the rest of this entry »
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) September 11, 2014
— Andreas Fagerbakke (@afagerbakke) September 6, 2014
Benjamin Netanyahu, left, looks on as President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in March. Bloomberg News
JERUSALEM—WSJ‘s Adam Entous reports: White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.
Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu —and that both sides know it.
“We’ve been there before with a lot of tension with us and Washington. What we have now, on top of that, is mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East. It’s become very personal.”
The munitions surprise and previously unreported U.S. response added to a string of slights and arguments that have bubbled behind the scenes during the Gaza conflict, according to events related by senior American, Palestinian and Israeli officials involved.
In addition, current and former American officials say, U.S.-Israel ties have been hurt by leaks that they believe were meant to undercut the administration’s standing by mischaracterizing its position and delay a cease-fire. The battles have driven U.S.-Israeli relations to the lowest point since President Barack Obama took office. Read the rest of this entry »
— Hannah Olivennes (@HannahOlivennes) August 2, 2014
Netanyahu’s (Popularity 82%) Warns Obama (Mideast Handling Approval 39%) ‘Don’t Second Guess Me On Hamas’Posted: August 2, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel.
Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter. The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be “trusted” on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.
The Obama administration on Friday condemned “outrageous” violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a “barbaric” action.
The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply. Read the rest of this entry »
GAZA CITY — Less than three hours after a three-day humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect Friday, the truce broke down when clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters erupted and militants fired rockets into Israel…
Gaza militants captured an Israeli officer in the southern Gaza Strip just as the cease-fire was falling apart, said a senior Israeli military spokesman. Two other Israeli soldiers were reported killed…(read more)
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) July 31, 2014
For Foreign Policy, Elias Groll reports: Three weeks into deadly fighting in Gaza and along its border, Israeli forces have been surprised to encounter an extensive, sophisticated tunnel system that has been used by Hamas to infiltrate Israeli territory and carry out raids. The destruction of that tunnel system has become a focal point of Israeli military operations, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized that any cease-fire must allow his forces to continue identifying and sealing those tunnels.
To understand why these tunnels have become such a hot-button issue, one need look no further than a video released by Hamas by Tuesday, July 29. That video shows a group of fighters exiting such a tunnel and attacking an Israeli military installation. Read the rest of this entry »
Pro-Palestinian Protesters Play Dead Outside Boeing, Neglect to Protest Hamas’ Jew-Hating Rocket Attacks on Israeli CiviliansPosted: July 28, 2014
— The Washington Times @WashTimes July 28, 2014
BEIT LAHIA, GAZA STRIP—Saying they’ve begun to reevaluate their stance as the latest outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence has escalated, hundreds of residents of the Gaza Strip told reporters Friday they are starting to have mixed feelings about Hamas using them and their loved ones as human shields.
“I’m not crazy about the fact that Hamas is actually okay with me dying as long as it fuels both resentment toward Israel and support for the party.”
“At this point, I have to say I’m pretty much on the fence about having militants strategically store their missile batteries in and around my home, which Israel will almost certainly want to bomb,” said Azzam al-Salhi, explaining that, while he’s always understood Hamas’ reliance on guerilla tactics to perpetuate the decades-long fight against Israel, he has recently soured on the idea of going to bed every night facing the real prospect of being incinerated by an Israeli airstrike intended for a Hamas arms cache.
“I guess I sort of appreciate where they’re coming from, so it’s tough. Of course, my kids hate it…”
Thousands march through French cities in protest of Israeli operation in Gaza Strip; French president says will not allow violence to spill over into France
REUTERS – Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched in French cities on Saturday to condemn violence in Gaza, defying a ban imposed after demonstrators marched on two synagogues in Paris last weekend and clashed with riot police.
“The far-left New Anticapitalist Party, an organizer of last Sunday’s rally and the banned one in Paris, urged protesters in Paris to defy the ban, prompting police to issue a warning”
A Reuters photographer said demonstrators in northern Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing teargas canisters and stun grenades.
Demonstrators also climbed on top of a building and burned an Israeli flag. At least one car was set on fire.
A police spokesman said that 38 demonstrators had been arrested by early evening and that the clashes were dying down.
French President Francois Hollande said he understood emotional responses to the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a flare-up of hostilities with Israel but would not allow violence to spill over into France. Read the rest of this entry »
Footage shows launcher with two missing rockets being smuggled back into Russia… http://t.co/WPoA3gULGO
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) July 18, 2014
Netanyahu’s office says purpose of mission is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.
A statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Netanyahu directed the IDF to prepare to expand the ground operation.
The statement said that the security cabinet approved the operation after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Tuesday, which Hamas rejected. In addition, the statement said, Hamas even fired rockets during the Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.
“In light of Hamas’ continuous criminal aggression, and the dangerous infiltration into Israeli territory, Israel is obligated to act in defense of its citizens,” the statement said.
The statement said that Operation Protective Edge, now in its 10th day, will continue until its goals are reached: restoring quiet for an extended period of time,and delivering a significant blow to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »
For Commentary Magazine, Max Boot writes: It tells you all you need to know about Hamas that its biggest victory to date against Israel–one that is no doubt being celebrated in the fortified bunkers that house its leadership–was the death of four young Palestinian boys on a Gaza City beach on Wednesday. The boys were apparently killed by an Israeli bomb or missile.
Needless to say, the Israel Defense Forces do not deliberately target children–any more than do the armed forces of the United States or other civilized powers. That is both morally abhorrent and strategically stupid: What possible purpose can be served in killing children? But while deeply harmful and counterproductive for Israel, this inadvertent strike was a big win for Hamas. It produced the most coveted of victories in modern warfare: a front-page picture, taken by the storiedNew York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, of one dead boy lying on the Gaza sand and another being carried in a man’s arms.
There is no surer or better way for Hamas to make its propaganda point, which is the only point of this entire exercise from its standpoint. Hamas, like other terrorist groups, knows it cannot win a military victory against a much more powerful enemy, but it can win a public-relations victory by fostering the illusion that Israel is the aggressor and the Palestinians its victims.
Such an image is as powerful as it is misleading. All informed observers know the facts. Read the rest of this entry »
- A few minutes ago, two rockets fired from Gaza struck the Ashkelon area, and five rockets struck elsewhere in southern Israel, as per IDF.
- In an interview to a news agency, President Shimon Peres admits that firing at Gaza made for a “moral dilemma”, but there was no alternative to it.Speaking to the Associated Process, the nonagenerian President said, “There is a moral problem, but I don’t have a moral answer to it. If they are shooting at us, and don’t let our mothers and their children … have a full night’s sleep, what can we do?”
Israel says Hamas is telling Gazan civilians to ignore IDF warnings. The Israeli Army further says that it called off three airstrikes after identifying civilians in the area.
Earlier today, we urged civilians to move away from IDF military targets in Gaza. Once again, Hamas told civilians to ignore our warnings.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 16, 2014
Holding off its barrage of rockets briefly in line with a truce proposed by Egypt, Israel resumed its strikes on Gaza Strip as Hamas continued firing, dashing hopes of a ceasefire. Read the rest of this entry »
TEL AVIV – Israel’s air force dropped leaflets on northern Gaza early Sunday, warning residents to evacuate ahead of a new wave of airstrikes in the coming hours, military officials said. “To the residents of Beit Lahiya, the [Israeli Defense Force] intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructures in the area east of Al-Atatra and Al-Salatin St., and in the area west and north of Ma’bscar Jabalyia,” the leaflets said. “Israel is currently attacking, and will continue to attack, every area from which rockets are being launched at its territory.”
The warning came ahead of what Israel’s military spokesman described as a “short and temporary” campaign against northern Gaza to begin sometime after 12 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET). Read the rest of this entry »
No end to Gaza rocket fire, Israeli air strikes, as conflict with Hamas enters Day 5 http://t.co/puCqiYSFCQ
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) July 11, 2014
BREAKING PHOTOS: Rocket fired from Gaza moments ago hits a gas station in Ashdod, causing fire, 3 injured 1 seriously pic.twitter.com/PkfhQc73RG
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) July 11, 2014
Hamas vowed on Tuesday to step up its attacks on Israel, threatening that all Israelis have become a target for for the terror organization’s missiles.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of perpetrating “massacres” against women and children in Khan Yunis.
Referring to an Israel Air Force bombing of a house belonging to a Hamas operative, Abu Zuhri said: “The Khan Yunis massacre against women and children is an ugly war crime. All Israelis have now become legitimate targets.”
Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas legislator, said that his movement would continue the rocket attacks until Israel succumbs to its demand and lifts the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Hussam Badran, a top Hamas figure, said that Israel’s “dream” of eliminating the rockets would not be fulfilled.
“The occupation began this aggression and we have the right to defend ourselves,” he said. “This is a war against the whole Palestinian people.”
“This could be the last chance for the Palestinian Authority leadership to correct its stance and join the choice of the people, which is based on resistance,” Badran said. “This is the time for unity at the battleground.” Read the rest of this entry »
Hundreds of Arabs flocked to the Temple Mount on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the barrage of rockets upon Israel’s civilian population. The video, captioned in Arabic, reads “[c]elebrations at the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque after hearing the sounds of rockets explode in occupied Jerusalem.”
— Andreas Fagerbakke (@afagerbakke) July 8, 2014
For second time on Tuesday evening, Gaza terrorists launch rocket at central Israel; air raid sirens sounds in central Israel, blasts heard in Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv opens public bomb shelters; no injuries reported.
For the second time on Tuesday evening, a rocket was launched at central Israel from the Gaza Strip. An Iron Dome battery intercepted a projectile over the greater Tel Aviv area. Sirens sounded in various cities in central Israel on Tuesday night and blasts were heard in Tel Aviv. The air raid siren was activated in cities including Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, Holon and Bnei Barak, but not in Tel Aviv.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted a projectile near Tel Aviv over the city of Rishon Lezion, as air raid sirens sounded in central Israeli cities for the first time amid recent escalations. Read the rest of this entry »
Air force targets locations in Khan Younis, Rafah; rocket fired at Eshkol region; no injuries or damage reported
ABC NEWS reports: Following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West Bank earlier this month, reporters said they could hear the sound of airstrikes tonight in Gaza.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the strikes were in retaliation for the kidnappings and murders, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed to avenge. The Israel Defense Forces also tweeted early Tuesday morning that a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, but no damage was reported….(read more)
Earlier, a rocket was fired in the direction of the Eshkol Regional Council, landing in open terrain. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The strikes came hours after the bodies of kidnapped Israeli teenagers — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16 and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 — were found partially buried in a field near the West Bank village of Halhul, north of Hebron.
The teenagers were kidnapped on the night of June 12 at a hitchhiking post outside the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem.
The bodies were found at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, bound and partially buried, in an open field in a hard-to-access area. The site is less than 20 kilometers (12 miles) from where the teens had been abducted. Read the rest of this entry »
Several Christian families have fled their homes in Egypts Sinai peninsula after receiving death threats from suspected Islamist militants, officials and residents told AFP on Friday.
Last week, flyers began circulating in the town of Rafah on the Gaza Strip border demanding that its tiny Coptic population move out, residents said.Officials at the local church informed the authorities of the threats, but no actin was taken, they added.
Days later, a shop belonging to one of the families was fired on with automatic rifles, witnesses said.The events prompted the families to leave Rafah but there were conflicting accounts over whether they had done so voluntarily or been evicted…
More via >> FRANCE 24
- Christian Families Flee Egyptian Town Following Death Threats (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Egypt: Christian Families Forced To Flee Sinai Town After Threats From Islamic Militants (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Priest: Christians Flee Egypt Town After Threats (abcnews.go.com)