Noah Rothman writes: In just over a year, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has graduated from taking and holding territory inside its nascent “caliphate” to exporting terrorism around the globe. From Sydney to Ottawa, from Copenhagen to San Bernardino, this terrorist organization is directing or inspiring jihadists to conduct heinous acts of mass-casualty terrorism.
“The strategy here is clear, and it is one that this president has used to great effect in the past: Project to like minds in media that concerns over terrorism are a preoccupation of the intellectually sequestered right.”
Since October of last year, three such attacks have taken place in the United States; one of those being the worst act of radical Islamic terror in America since September 11, 2001. Subsequently, Americans now rate terrorism as their number one concern. They feel unsafe and insecure. They are justifiably afraid of the threat that might be just around the next corner. Americans are lunging for the shotgun and barricading the door. And what do they get from their leaders? Reassurance? Understanding? Resolve to defeat terrorism abroad before it comes home? No, they get a lecture on their latent hostility toward the Islamic faith and practicing Muslims. Stranger still, now that it has become inescapably clear that the fear of terrorism is broad-based, the left’s mission to convince itself that these concerns are isolated to the fever swamps has become even more urgent.
“To lend any credence to that notion would be to align yourself with that brutish, unthinking element in flyover country, and you wouldn’t want to be thought of by your peers in that way, would you?”
For Democrats, particularly those who must defend President Barack Obama’s record on foreign affairs and terrorism, there is no good news. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News survey, seven in 10 Americans now describe ISIS as a major threat to national security. Another 44 percent of respondents believe another attack inside the United States at some point in the next few months is “very” likely, greater than at any point since October 2001. 57 percent of those polled disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issue of terrorism. According to Gallup, 67 percent believe future “acts of terrorism” inside the United States are either somewhat or very likely. Gallup further revealed that confidence in the government’s ability to keep its citizens safe is lower than it has ever been since the 9/11 attacks. Simultaneously, a majority of Americans fear they will be the next victims of that forthcoming attack for the first time since 2001.
Perhaps most ominously from a Democratic perspective, satisfaction in the direction the country is headed has not been this depressed since November of 2014 when Republicans rode a wave of voter dissatisfaction to pick up control of the U.S. Senate.
Read the rest of this entry »
Deaths, image of bloodied hostage speed up calls for Chinese intervention in world’s trouble spots.
“To an extraordinary degree, China’s international security policy in recent years has been driven by the political imperative to be seen doing everything it can to protect an estimated five million Chinese nationals living and working outside the country.”
Among the scores of Chinese expatriates who have met violent deaths in the past decade at the hands of extremists, most have been workers in state companies drilling for oil, operating mines or building highways, hospitals and other infrastructure in unstable parts of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
“In response to Mr. Fan’s execution, don’t expect Chinese fighter jets to join bombing runs against Islamic State; China lacks the ability to project force in that way, even if it wanted to. It has no overseas military bases, and shuns military alliances.”
But the recent execution of the itinerant Beijing resident by Islamic State, along with a Norwegian hostage, triggered a particularly bitter outpouring of online commentary in China. While France responded to the massacre in Paris by declaring it was at war with Islamic State, and U.S. and Russian jets pounded the group’s strongholds, critics noted that the Chinese government offered only angry rhetoric in response to the killing of Mr. Fan.
“Beyond that, what else can it do?” scoffed one Internet user.
“But it’s only a matter of time, say security analysts, before China sends in special forces to free hostages or rescue Chinese civilians trapped in a crisis.”
Any accusation of impotence abroad, when Chinese lives are at stake, stings Beijing’s leadership. Almost certainly, Mr. Fan’s brutal slaying, together with the deaths of three Chinese rail executives gunned down in the Mali hotel siege, is likely to accelerate a trend for Beijing to intervene in lawless areas of the globe to protect its own nationals and massive investments.
President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen collaboration with the world community “to resolutely fight violent terrorist activities that hurt innocent lives.” A foreign ministry spokesman said Monday, “In light of new circumstances, we will come up with new proposals to ensure the security of Chinese citizens and institutions overseas.”
To an extraordinary degree, China’s international security policy in recent years has been driven by the political imperative to be seen doing everything it can to protect an estimated five million Chinese nationals living and working outside the country.
That has eaten away at China’s long-standing policy of “noninterference” in the affairs of other countries. Read the rest of this entry »
This shield was used by French Police when they entered the Bataclan Theater to rescue the victims and stop the carnage. Despite taking withering fire, the police continued charging the threats until they were shot dead or detonated their suicide belts.
Source: New York Post
PARIS — Belgian jihadi suspected of being the ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks was killed during a raid on a suburban apartment, officials said Thursday.The
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, died during Wednesday’s operation in Saint-Denis, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. He was identified by his fingerprints. His body was riddled with bullets, according to officials.
Abaaoud died along with a woman who blew herself up with a suicide belt when elite police forces stormed the scene. Eight other people were arrested.
In addition to being the suspected ringleader of Friday’s coordinated assaults, he had been linked to the thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and a church near the French capital earlier this year.
Abaaoud boasted in ISIS propaganda about avoiding capture and claimed he had been able to travel between Europe and Syria without being noticed.
MARSEILLES – A teacher at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Marseilles was stabbed on Wednesday by three people professing support for Islamic State, but his life was not in danger, prosecutors said.
The three men who assailed the teacher uttered anti-Semitic remarks during the incident, AFP reported…(read more)
Source: Weasel Zippers
More than 100 police and soldiers stormed an apartment building in the suburb of Saint-Denis during a seven-hour siege that left two dead, including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
PARIS — French police commandos killed the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks in a massive predawn raid Wednesday, two senior European intelligence officials said, after investigators followed leads that the fugitive militant was holed up north of the French capital and could be plotting another wave of violence.
“Paris prosecutor François Molins, speaking to reporters hours after the siege, said a discarded cellphone helped identify a series of safe houses used by attackers to plan Friday’s coordinated assaults, which killed 129 people and wounded more than 350 across Paris.”
More than 100 police and soldiers stormed an apartment building in the suburb of Saint-Denis during a seven-hour siege that left two dead, including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian extremist who had once boasted he could slip easily between Europe and the Islamic State strongholds in Syria.
“Two senior European officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, confirmed that Abaaoud was killed in the raid.”
After the raid, forsenics experts combed through the aftermath — blown-out windows, floors collapsed by explosions — presumably seeking DNA and other evidence. The intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity before announcements from authorities.
“The death of Abaaoud closes one major dragnet in the international search for suspects from Friday’s carnage.”
Paris prosecutor François Molins, speaking to reporters hours after the siege, said a discarded cellphone helped identify a series of safe houses used by attackers to plan Friday’s coordinated assaults, which killed 129 people and wounded more than 350 across Paris.
“But it raised other worrisome questions, including the apparent ability of Abaaoud to evade intelligence agencies while traveling through Europe and whether other possible Islamic State cells could be seeking to strike again.”
Molins said police launched the raid because they believed that Abaaoud may have been “entrenched” on the third floor of the apartment building. He said he could not yet provide the identities of the two people who died at the scene, but he added that neither Abaaoud nor another wanted suspect, Salah Abdeslam, was among a total of eight people who were arrested at the apartment and other locations Wednesday. Three people were arrested in the raid on the apartment, he said, one of whom had a gunshot wound in the arm.
“The raid on an apartment building in the Saint-Denis suburb appeared to be linked in part to plans to stage a follow-up terrorist attack in the La Defense business district, about 10 miles away, two police officials and an investigator close to the investigation said.”
Two senior European officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, confirmed that Abaaoud was killed in the raid.
Molins said the safe houses indicated “a huge logistics plan, meticulously carried out.”
The death of Abaaoud closes one major dragnet in the international search for suspects from Friday’s carnage. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] SETBACK? Elisabeth Hasselbeck Carves Up Boneless White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest: ‘Words Matter”Posted: November 18, 2015
The woman killed herself after shooting with an AK-47-type automatic gun. Another man was killed in the raid, a police official said. Three police officers were injured.
“A woman blew herself up at the start of a dawn raid Wednesday on an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis targeting suspects linked to Friday’s massacre in Paris,”
As the raid was unfolding, the Paris prosecutor said three men holed up in the apartment were detained, as well as a man and a woman nearby. Investigators didn’t immediately identify the detainees.
French authorities suspect Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian-born Islamic State operative and presumed mastermind of the deadly Paris terror attacks may be in Saint-Denis, where elite police were conducting the raid in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor said.
If confirmed, Mr. Abaaoud’s presence in Saint-Denis—near the a sports arena where three suicide bombers detonated their explosive vest on Friday—would deepen concerns about Europe’s security. It would raise questions over how an Islamic State operative, who featured prominently on Western military’s target lists, slipped back through borders to sow terror in the heart of the continent.
UPDATE: Three Dead After Heavy Gunfire in Paris Suburb Targeting ‘Mastermind’, Suspects Holed Up in Apt BuildingPosted: November 17, 2015
Saint-Denis is about 7 miles from the centre of Paris. Perhaps most significantly it is also where the Stade de France is located, scene of one of the terror attacks.
Three men have been arrested and two RAID officers injured after an exchange of gunfire in the northern Paris suburb of St-Denis, a police source and local officials said.
UPDATE: Two Suspects, One Passerby killed in Raid: Woman detonated Suicide Vest. Developing….
Firing has ceased in the past few minutes, according to local residents contacted by phone. Homes have been evacuated and a number of local residents are being sheltered at the town hall.
The local MP, Mathieu Hanotin, said people should remain at home for the time being although firing has stopped.
“It’s not over,” he said.
Two or three men had barricaded themselves in an apartment in Paris where they exchanged gunfire using automatic weapons with police officers, according to journalist Djamel Mazi, tweeting from St-Denis.
Mazi said the sound of explosions had been heard from the area where the gunfight took place. He said locals had been told to leave.
The Daily Telegraph reports counter-terrorist police are trying to arrest a suspect in Friday’s attacks.
Deputy mayor Stephane Peu told i-Tele television gunshots and explosions had been heard since about 4.25pm (NZT). “It is not a new attack but a police intervention.”
Video emerged leading police to concluded there was a ninth gunman involved in Saturday’s attack, which means two are still at large.
Saint-Denis is about 7 miles from the centre of Paris. Perhaps most significantly it is also where the Stade de France is located, scene of one of the terror attacks.
French police are hunting for a second terrorist believed to have escaped after the bomb and gun massacres in Paris.
2 à 3 hommes retranchés dans appartement. Pause dans les tirs, hélico éclaire toits d’immeuble à saint Denis pic.twitter.com/rNRB6xG00J
— Djamel Mazi (@djamel_mazi) November 18, 2015
[2-3 men holed up in apartment. Pause in the shooting , helicopter sheds to St. Denis building roof]
Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks that targeted France’s national soccer stadium, a packed concert hall and popular restaurants and cafes in one of Paris’ trendiest neighborhoods, killing 129 people and wounding more than 350.
French authorities had previously said that at least eight people were directly involved in the bloodshed Friday: seven who died in the attacks and one who got away and slipped across the border to Belgium. However, there have been gaps in officials’ public statements, which have never fully disclosed how many attackers took part in the deadly rampage. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] DEVELOPING: Explosions and Heavy Gunfire in North Paris as Elite Police Hunt Attacker; Officers Reported InjuredPosted: November 17, 2015
‘Police Intervention’: Public Transportation Has Been Blocked in the Region
Reuters reports: Shots rang out in the Saint Denis area of northern Paris early on Wednesday as special police forces launched an operation to catch one of the suspects from Friday night’s shooting in the French capital, TV stations BFMTV and iTele both reported.
BFMTV said some police had been wounded during the operation….
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) November 18, 2015
— Anonymous (@TheAnonMovement) November 18, 2015
MORE: Keiligh Baker for MailOnline reports:
‘Heavy gunfire’ has broken out in a northern suburb of Paris during an anti-terrorist police operation, just five days after the worst terrorist attacks in French history killed 129 people in the capital.
Shots are being exchanged in the large police operation in Saint-Denis which began in the early hours of this morning. A special armed response unit is taking part in the raid and at least one police officer has been hurt,
Reports indicate ‘two or three men’ have barricaded themselves into an apartment in the centre of the suburb, which is currently surrounded by dozens of police cars with a police helicopter overhead.
There was an exchange of gunfire during the operation in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in the early hours of this morning. Fire fighters said one person was ‘lightly’ injured during the raid
Reprise des tirs, hélico encore sur zone. Mouvements chez les policiers pic.twitter.com/Teq2PV2v9R
— Djamel Mazi (@djamel_mazi) November 18, 2015
French media reports the raid is part of an ongoing operation to catch the ninth suspect involved in Friday night’s terror attacks in the French capital, who is thought to be on the run.
Fire fighters initally said one person was lightly injured, but French TV stations BFMTV and iTele both reported ‘several’ police officers had been wounded during the operation.
The suburb of St Denis is where the Stade de France, one of the targets of Friday’s attacks, is located. On Friday three suicide bombers blew themselves up during a friendly football match.
A police official says there have been exchanges of gunfire and special SWAT teams are on the scene.
Police have blocked off Place Jean Jaurès in Saint Denis, just north of Paris.
French authorities have said they are searching for at least two people involved in last Friday’s attacks, which killed at least 129 people and seven terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »
The growing momentum behind new legislation, still being drafted, sets up a future clash between the White House and Congress.
John Hudson reports: Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans are proposing to block federal funding for resettling Syrian refugees until a series of new conditions are met, Foreign Policy has learned.
“Currently, 60 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes or are otherwise considered refugees — higher than at any other time in recorded history.”
The growing momentum behind new legislation, still being drafted, sets up a future clash between the White House and Congress as the Obama administration seeks to offer residency to 10,000 Syrian refugees who currently live outside the conflict zone. Currently, 60 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes or are otherwise considered refugees — higher than at any other time in recorded history. An estimated six million to eight million displaced people are still in Syria, and more than four million Syrian refugees are in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.
“The 15 Republican lawmakers pushing the legislation aren’t the only politicians looking to slam the brakes on Obama’s resettlement program. The governors of 15 U.S. states have already said they would not allow Syrian refugees to live in their states.”
The draft legislation, a copy of which was obtained by FP, is backed by Reps. Brian Babin, Lou Barletta, Diane Black, Mo Brooks, Jeff Duncan, John Duncan, Blake Farenthold, Louie Gohmert, Frank Guinta, Gregg Harper, Walter Jones, Steve King, Mike Pompeo, Mark Meadows, and Bill Posey. It would prevent funding for the resettlement of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa until authorities adopt “processes to ensure that refugee and related programs are not able to be co-opted by would-be terrorists.” Once those processes are in place, details of the security checks must be given to Congress in both classified and public forums, and the administration must establish a “longer-term monitoring process” to track refugees in the U.S.
“Additionally, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul plans to raise the issue of blocking Syrian refugee resettlement at a Tuesday meeting with fellow Republicans, according to two congressional sources.”
The 15 Republican lawmakers pushing the legislation aren’t the only politicians looking to slam the brakes on Obama’s resettlement program. The governors of 15 U.S. states have already said they would not allow Syrian refugees to live in their states. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) has proposed legislation to restrict U.S. funding for refugee resettlement and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) has said he will introduce legislation to prevent Syrian refugees from obtaining U.S. visas. Read the rest of this entry »
France simply doesn’t have the stomach for it.
David P. Goldman writes: Ignored in news coverage of the Paris massacre is the single most pertinent piece of background: A 2014 opinion poll found that ISIS had an approval rating in France (at 16%) almost as high as President Francois Holland (at 18%). In the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, ISIS’ support jumped to 27%. Muslims comprise about a tenth of France’s population, so the results imply that ISIS had the support of the overwhelming majority of French Muslims (and especially Muslim youth), as well as the endorsement of a large part of the non-Muslim Left.
“Finding a needle in a haystack is possible only when the haystack helps you find the needles. The French authorities would have to persuade its own Muslim community to turn informer against its radicalized youth.”
Reporting the survey, conducted by the polling organization ICM for a Russian news service, Newsweek’s France correspondent Anne-Elizabeth Moutet wrote, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds, unemployment to the tune of 40%, who’ve been deluged by satellite TV and internet propaganda.”
“Muslim community leaders would have to fear the French state more than they fear their own radicals, and this would require a large number of arrests, deportations, and other coercive actions. In this case the situation would get worse before it got better.”
After last Friday’s massacres, to be sure, the flip-it-to-them attitude reflected in last year’s poll no doubt has attenuated somewhat. Nonetheless, it is clear that a very large proportion of French Muslims support the most extreme expression of radical Islam, offering the terrorists the opportunity to blend into a friendly milieu. The problem has gotten too big to be cured without a great deal of mess and pain. In the Gallic hedonistic calculus, a massacre or two per year is preferable to a breach of the tenuous social peace. And that is why France will do nothing.
That makes counter-terrorism challenging, but not impossible. There are two successful models for suppressing terrorists who enjoy the passive support of the ambient population: the French in Algeria and the Israelis after the Second Intifada of 2002. The first is infamous for the extensive use of torture and mass reprisals against civilians; the second succeeded on the strength of superb human as well as electronic intelligence and seamless integration of military, police and intelligence organizations. Israel reduced the number of Arab suicide bombings from 47 in 2002 with 238 dead to only 1 in 2007 with 3 dead.
Unlike the French in Algeria, Israel undid the Intifada entirely without the use of physical stress on prisoners. Israeli interrogation techniques do not require physical stress; humiliation is a more effective tool than pain with Arab suspects. Prior to 1999, Israeli security forces employed mild forms of enhanced interrogation (sleep deprivation, hooding, and so forth), but eschewed the practice afterwards. By contrast, the French Army shelled and bombed villages that gave refuge to the rebels of the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale, killing tens of thousands indiscriminately and forcing 2 million Algerians out of their homes.
It also used extreme forms of torture to elicit information from captured FLN fighters. Popular revulsion against the conduct of the war brought down the Fourth Republic and returned Gen. Charles De Gaulle to the presidency. More than 90% of French voters backed Algeria’s independence in a 1962 referendum, and France voluntarily abandoned what it had won by brutal methods on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »
Aaron MacLean writes: Twice during his train wreck of a press conference this morning in Turkey, President Obama cited the prospect of American military casualties as a major part of his reason for not using U.S. ground troops against the Islamic State. Lecturing an openly skeptical press corps—and, by extension, critics he accused of “popping off” and trying to “sound tough” without actually proposing anything serious—he condescendingly pointed out that ground combat is a serious business. Troops “get killed, they get injured, they are away from their families.”
“From the very outset, Obama has been dishonest about his goals. The biggest take-away of his embarrassing assertion to ABC News just before the Paris attacks that the Islamic State had been contained was indicative of this, and went largely unnoticed by the press.”
As it happens, I talk to Marines I served with in Afghanistan all the time. I am sure there must be a few out there who don’t want to take time “away from their families” in order to annihilate the Islamic State, risking death to do so, but I haven’t heard from them.
Marines have a word for this kind of thing. They call it their “job.” (In fact, I know more than a few who have left the Corps because they concluded they weren’t going to deploy to fight while Obama was still in office.)
” He has a vision for the future, of a United States that is no longer the primary enforcer of world order, but a responsible partner among other nations combating a wide array of challenges, most critically climate change. He has accepted as a risk that the citizens of Paris, or of Washington, might be murdered in large numbers as he sees his strategy through.”
In the press conference, Obama also said his top military advisers oppose ground action against the Islamic State. This might even be true: Obama fires military commanders who are too hawkish for him. It stands to reason that he appoints those who are going to be sympathetic to his views—officers who in some cases then suppress intelligence showing that the fight against the terrorists is failing.
“But as the Islamic State continues to metastasize, and Americans begin to reject Obama’s rhetoric, the president will find himself in a political dilemma.”
Regardless, after a performance like today’s, who would tell the president that ground action is needed? The man clearly doesn’t want to hear it, just as he clearly doesn’t want to entertain the possibility that there might be a middle course between his own demonstrably ineffective word-salad of a strategy and a re-enactment of the counterinsurgency campaigns of the last decade.
“Even if Hillary tacks to the right on national security after her primary challenge is concluded, Obama’s fecklessness could empower Republicans in 2016, thus risking his entire legacy. That, for Obama, would be a disaster.”
The video emerged as CIA Director Brennan told the Center for Strategic and International Studies‘ annual Global Security Forum on Monday that he hoped the attacks were a wake-up call for security services and warned that ISIS will attempt more terror atrocities.
‘I would anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIS has in the pipeline.’
This comes as thousands lined the streets of Paris for a minute’s silence to remember those killed in a wave of attacks which included suicide bombs at the Stade de France, a massacre at the Bataclan theatre and mass shootings at bars and restaurants across the city.
In Paris, President Francois Hollande and his cabinet, all dressed in black, bowed their heads at the Sorbonne University, surrounded by scores of students.
And at Place de la Republique near the site of many of Friday’s attacks, hundreds more stood still to remember the 129 people who were killed in the bloodbath.
Meanwhile, in the chilling film, which appeared on a site used by ISIS to post its messages, the video begins with news footage of the aftermath of Friday’s Paris shootings.
A message to countries involved in what it called the ‘crusader campaign’ was delivered by a man dressed in fatigues and a turban, and identified in subtitles as Al Ghareeb the Algerian.
It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the video, which purports to be the work of ISIS fighters in the Iraqi province of Salahuddine, north of Baghdad.
Gretchen Carlson: ‘I don’t mean to be rude to the president of the United States, but, that’s not a ‘handful’ of people. Is it?’Posted: November 16, 2015
Security services face difficulties due to Belgium’s local devolution and tensions between the country’s French-and Dutch-speaking halves; the country has long been open to fundamentalist preachers from the Gulf; and it has a thriving black market in automatic rifles of the kind used in Paris.
Jan Bartunek and Alastair MacDonald report: “A breeding ground for violence” the mayor of Molenbeek called her borough on Sunday, speaking of unemployment and overcrowding among Arab immigrant families, of youthful despair finding refuge in radical Islam.
“Belgium is a federal state and that’s always an advantage for terrorists. Having several layers of government hampers the flow of information between investigators.”
— Edwin Bakker, professor at the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands
But as the Brussels district on the wrong side of the city’s post-industrial canal becomes a focus for police pursuing those behind Friday’s mass attacks in Paris, Belgian authorities are asking what makes the narrow, terraced streets of Molenbeek different from a thousand similar neighborhoods across Europe.
“In such a case it’s very difficult to get feedback from the community. That means while the neighbors may have seen something going on, they’re not passing it to the police. Then it becomes very tough for intelligence agencies as only relying on them and not local police is not sufficient.”
Three themes emerge as Molenbeek is again in a spotlight of Islamist violence, home not just to militants among Belgium’s own half a million Muslims but, it seems, for French radicals seeking a convenient, discreet base to lie low, plan and arm before striking their homeland across the border:
Security services face difficulties due to Belgium’s local devolution and tensions between the country’s French- and Dutch-speaking halves; the country has long been open to fundamentalist preachers from the Gulf; and it has a thriving black market in automatic rifles of the kind used in Paris.
“With 500-1,000 euros you can get a military weapon in half an hour,” said Bilal Benyaich, senior fellow at Brussels think-tank the Itinera Institute, who has studied the spread of radical Islam in Belgium. “That makes Brussels more like a big U.S. city” in mostly gun-free Europe, he said.
Two of the attackers who killed over 130 people, 170 miles away in Paris on Friday night were Frenchmen resident in Belgium. Belgian police raided Molenbeek addresses and seven people have been arrested in Belgium over the Paris attacks.
“Almost every time, there is a link to Molenbeek,” said 39-year-old centrist prime minister Charles Michel, whose year-old coalition is battling radical recruiters who have tempted more than 350 Belgians to fight in Syria – relative to Belgium’s 11 million population, easily the biggest contingent from Europe. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch How Seemingly Annoyed Obama Reacts to CNN Reporter’s Tough Islamic State Question at G-20 Summit
Jason Howerton reports: President Barack Obama appeared visibly annoyed following a reporter’s tough question on his administration’s strategy to combat the Islamic State following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.
“Why can’t we take out these bastards?”
— CNN’s Jim Acosta
After noting that Obama once called the terrorist group the “jayvee team” and claimed to have them “contained,” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked bluntly, “Why can’t we take out these bastards?”
“I just spent the last three questions answering that very question. I don’t know what more you want me to add. I think I’ve described very specifically what our strategy is, and I’ve described why we do not pursue some of the other strategies that have been suggested.”
Obama also said the Islamic State is not a “traditional military opponent.”
Watch his remarks below:
“We can retake territory. And as long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it. But that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing the kind of violent extremist groups.”
Rather than casting about for a new strategy, Obama said U.S. would intensify its current campaign of airstrikes and arming and training moderate forces. And he called on other nations to step up their involvement in the fight against the extremists. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York: ‘What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’Posted: November 15, 2015
What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’ https://t.co/MrlpiFN3E9— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 16, 2015
PARIS (AP) — A Belgian official says seven people have been detained in Belgium linked to the Paris attacks.
The official, who spoke to The Associated Press in Brussels by phone, also said two of the seven attackers who died in Paris on Friday night were French men living in Brussels. He said one of the French attackers was living in the Molenbeek neighborhood, which is considered a focal point for religious extremism and fighters going to Syria….(read more)
BREAKING: French Jets Begin Major Airstrikes, Bombing Defacto ISIS Capital of Raqqa, French Defense Ministry SaysPosted: November 15, 2015
France has launched a series of airstrikes on the ISIL-held Syrian city of Raqqa in the wake of the deadly Paris terror attacks.
The French Defence Ministry says 10 jets dropped 20 bombs on the terror group’s de-facto capital.
The attack included 12 warplanes.
“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh (another Arabic acronym for IS) as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot,” a ministry statement said.
“The second held a terrorist training camp.”
mirror.co.uk. reports: France retaliated to the Paris terror attack by launching deadly airstrikes on an Islamic State jihadi training camp in Syria tonight.
Yesterday French president Francois Hollande vowed to crush the extremist group who massacred 129 people on Friday night.
Less than 24 hours later, some 10 fighter jets pummeled the ISIS-held city of Raqqa with at least 20 bombs, according to the French defence ministry.
President Hollande was told his country is under attack while watching France take on Germany in a friendly at the Stade de France.
His bodyguard is seen whispering into Francois Hollande’s ear 15 minutes into watching France take on Germany
Mr Hollande was immediately escorted upstairs to a secure area where he was briefed to the full extent of the situation before being scrambled away to a secure location. Read the rest of this entry »
Ian Gallagher, Martin Beckford and Martin Robinson report: This is the face of one of the Paris killers who allegedly sneaked into France by posing as a refugee after being rescued from a sinking migrant boat as it emerged a woman may have been part of the eight-strong ISIS kamikaze terror squad.
Serbian media claims Ahmed Almuhamed, 25, whose Syrian passport was found on the body of a suicide bomber, allegedly blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall, where at least 89 people were slaughtered on Friday.
The newspaper, Blic, claims Almuhamed arrived with another of the bombers in Europe on the Greek island of Leros on October 3 on his way to Paris. Greek website Protothema have published ferry tickets showing the name of a second man, Mohammed Almuhamed, who could be a relation.
One of the attackers has been named locally as homegrown terrorist Omar Ismaël Mostefai , 29, from Courcouronnes, Paris. The petty criminal was known to police as a radical and identified by the fingerprint on a severed digit found after he detonated his suicide belt.
Investigators are now investigating claims that he went to Syria last year, and may have spent time training with ISIS terrorists.
Survivors have claimed that a woman was among the group shooting randomly into the crowd at the Eagles of Death Metal gig before three blew themselves up and a fourth person was shot dead by police before they could detonate their bomb.
Read the rest of this entry »