A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin Monday night, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others in what witnesses described as a deliberate attack.
The large Scania truck with a Poland license plate crashed into the market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Television footage showed the truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street, and tree branches were crushed under the truck’s tires.
Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger was dead. Authorities estimated that 50 people were injured, but an exact number was not immediately available.
Police said they are still investigating whether the crash was an accident or an attack, but the incident had a chilling echo of the July 14 truck attack in Nice, France that killed 86 people.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the Nice attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France. ISIS and Al Qaeda have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack public places.
Die Welt newspaper reported that a Polish TV station had interviewed a man named Ariel Zurawski, who said that his cousin was assigned to drive the truck involved in the incident. Zurawski claimed he had last spoken to his cousin at noon Monday and said he suspected the truck had been hijacked. He added that the truck had been loaded with steel structures weighing 25 tons. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer says only showing defeating ISIS or showing it in retreat will stop jihadist recruitment.
Source: New York Post
ISIS Released a Video Threatening Christians and Executing by Gunshot and Beheading Ethiopian Christians in LibyaPosted: April 19, 2015
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) April 19, 2015
via SITE Intel Group
The brutal beheadings of Japanese nationals Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa by the Islamic State in January have shocked the island nation and lent momentum to an effort to expand the limitations imposed on its constitution and military after its defeat by the United States in World War II.
Leftists in Japan fear that the incident will encourage a departure from the country’s pacifist constitution, whose Article 9 states that “the Japanese people forever renounce… the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” Right-wingers, meanwhile, see an opportunity to allow Japan to assert itself as a truly sovereign state.
VICE News reports from Japan as its prime minister and right wing are pushing for re-militarization of the pacifist nation, amid protests from the left who staunchly oppose any changes to Article 9 of the constitution.
French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo will release its first issue Wednesday since last week’s attack left eight journalists dead at its Paris office, but only a few hundred copies of the first printing are set to reach the United States over the next few days.
The issue, which was created entirely by its surviving staffers using workspace and equipment provided by others, is set for an initial printing of 1 million copies, well above its typical 60,000. If demand is high enough, there is an option to print 2 million more. It will be available at newsstands across France but for those outside the country who want to pick one up, it’s a bit trickier.
LMPI, a distributor of foreign magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, told TIME that Charlie Hebdo has been unavailable in the U.S. since 2010 due to low sales. But it will resume delivery…
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BREAKING NEWS – FRANCE: Man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ drives into crowd, injuring at least 11, 2 seriously wounded. pic.twitter.com/0SFs59xOpf
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) December 21, 2014
— Farzad Lami (@FarzadLameh) September 13, 2013
From Front Page Magazine
Over the weekend, the newest, and by far the most disturbing, revelations surrounding the Benghazi attack were revealed. Several sources have pointed to the possibility that a major CIA gun-running operation aimed at arming anti-Assad Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces was in danger of being exposed. If true, the information casts an even more devastating pall over the Benghazi terrorist attack and the administration’s botched handling of the region.
The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”
If true, Ham has apparently decided he wants no part of the responsibility for the decision not to help those in harm’s way. He is not alone. As the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol revealed late Friday, a spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: ”No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
Obama himself is stonewalling. During a Friday interview in Denver, the president revealed he was determined to postpone any revelation about Benghazi until after the election. “The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” said Obama in answer to questions about possible denials of aid, and whether it’s fair that Americans will have to wait until after the election to find out the results of an investigation. On Saturday, Obama upped the ante, telling ”Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough that “if we find out there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job, they’ll be held accountable. Ultimately as Commander-in-Chief I am responsible and I don’t shy away from that responsibility.”
Several sources have come up with explosive answers accounting for the administration’s reticence.
According to WND’s Aaron Klein, “Egyptian security officials” revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens “played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime.
Yet as Klein further notes, reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.
“We will be back in court today fighting for our unalienable first amendment rights under the law and pushing back against the encroaching blasphemy laws do not criticize Islam under the sharia. This is the key battle in the stealth jihad being waged across this country and all free nations.”
D.C. Federal Court to Hear ADFI’s Challenge to Transit Authority’s Restriction on Anti-Jihad Advertisement Today, Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center AFLC, will present oral argument in federal court in Washington, D.C. in AFLC’s request for an injunction to halt the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority WMATA’s censorship of a pro-Israel/anti-jihad bus advertisement. The hearing is before District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, and it is scheduled to take place at 2:00 p.m. EDT in Courtroom 8 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia located at 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The hearing is open to the media and the general public. At issue in the lawsuit is the WMATA’s decision to delay running a pro-Israel/anti-jihad advertisement on its Metro system until some “future date” due to alleged concerns about “the situations happening around the world,” “world events,” and the “security and safety” of its passengers. The WMATA’s decision was based in response to the ongoing violence in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in an alleged protest of free speech in the United States that is critical of Islam. As a result of the WMATA’s censorship, AFLC filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the advertisements sponsors, the Freedom Defense Initiative FDI and its executive directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The lawsuit challenges the WMATA’s unconstitutional restriction on FDI’s right to engage in protected speech in a public forum.
The US state department believes American journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in Syria in August, is in the custody of the Bashar al-Assad regime. This video, which emerged on Monday, purports to show a blindfolded Tice being led up a rocky pathway. The state department cannot confirm the authenticity of the video.
via >> guardian.co.uk
“Actually, this is much more than an issue of semantics. Calling it a terrorist attack would have given Obama powers under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists AUMF to use military action, including drone warfare, against the perpetrators. If he were serious about “bring[ing] to justice the killers,” which he vowed to do in the speech, then labeling this incident a terrorist attack if he believed that’s what it was would have been critical. Instead, we now have the FBI sitting with its hands bound in Tripoli, unable to move forward with a serious investigation.”
On Nov. 9, 1938, thousands of German storm troopers, acting under direct orders, launched the Jewish pogrom known as Kristallnacht. The attacks left approximately 100 Jews dead and 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged. Hundreds of homes and synagogues were vandalized.
The mastermind of the pogrom, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, explained it to the world as a “spontaneous” reaction to the murder of German diplomat by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Jew. Goebbels said the pogrom showed the “healthy instincts” of the German people.
Some Jewish organizations, while strongly condemning German actions, expressed concern about the pogrom’s alleged cause. The World Jewish Congress stated that it “deplored the fatal shooting of an official of the German Embassy by a young Polish Jew.” These displays of contrition did not help. Kristallnacht was soon followed by the Holocaust, in which more than six million European Jews died.
What can we learn from that tragic history? First, atrocities on such a scale are rarely “spontaneous.” They require preparation and organization. Equally important is the lesson that accepting enemy propaganda makes us look weak and shortsighted. Any appreciation of the pretexts for such atrocities makes their perpetrators bolder and more aggressive.
Unfortunately, these lessons have not been learned. America’s ambassador to Libya is dead, U.S. embassies in Egypt and other Muslim countries are under siege, the American flag is being burned, and the Obama administration and media have blamed a video clip instead of denouncing the perpetrators.
“…accepting enemy propaganda makes us look weak and shortsighted…”
The lack of realism is stunning. “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” said President Barack Obama—not about the murder of Americans or the persecution of Christians and Jews in Muslim countries, but about an amateur film on YouTube. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the film is “disgusting and reprehensible.” These sentiments were echoed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and a multitude of pundits.
Yet all evidence indicates that events of Sept. 11, 2012, were not a “spontaneous reaction” to the 14-minute trailer, but were pre-organized—not only in Benghazi but in Cairo as well. The film, “Innocence of Muslims,” was available on YouTube for a long time without attracting any attention. Two days before the riots, the film was broadcast in Arabic on the Salafi Egyptian television channel Al-Nas. Several popular preachers on other conservative Islamic satellite channels called upon people to turn out Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. If this was not organization, what was it?
Still, America’s leaders have effectively accepted that the main blame for the embassy attacks should be put on the producers of video clip, rather than on the organizers and participants of the violence. America’s leaders did not stand up for freedom of speech. Instead, they practically apologized for the lack of censorship in the U.S….
Mr. Yarim-Agaev is a scientist and human-rights activist who was a leading dissident in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. He is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.
To be clear, this attack and this massive loss of airpower happened last week. The reason this information might be news to you over a week later is due to our medias depraved indifference to reporting any truth that might hurt Barack Obamas reelection chances.
John Hudson at “The Atlantic” has the story but his angle is entirely wrong. He blames the lack of coverage of this disaster — or at least coverage with the proper perspective — on the fact that after ten years of war, Americans have become desensitized to these kinds of reports. But we all know thats utter hokum.
The Taliban attack on an air base in southern Afghanistan on Friday drew coverage for the way the insurgents cloaked themselves in U.S. army uniforms to gain a tactical advantage, but few have taken note of the historical proportions of the damage inflicted. John Gresham, at the Defense Media Network, has published a detailed account of the attack on Camp Bastion, in which two Marines were killed, six U.S. Marine Corps jet fighters were destroyed, and two more “significantly” damaged. Those facts were all carried in most reports, but if that just sounds like a typical damage report from a decade-long war, youre wrong. Gresham explains the devastating damage done to VMA-211, the name of the Marine Corps attack squadron that was most affected last week, noting that it is “arguably the worst day in [U.S. Marine Corps] aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968.”
This has nothing to do with “desensitization” — if thats even a word. If the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating to this point and to the point where were no longer able to protect our servicemen from our supposed Afghan allies during joint operations, I think the American people want to know this…
“…it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account of the incident.”
“What’s clear,” the CBS reporter concludes, “is that the public won’t get a detailed account of what happened until after the election.”
(Reuters) – Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a Western intelligence report seen by Reuters.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials said they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying arms to Assad, a staunch Iranian ally. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights.
Iraq says it does not allow the passage of any weapons through its airspace. But the intelligence report obtained by Reuters says Iranian weapons have been flowing into Syria via Iraq in large quantities. Such transfers, the report says, are organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“This is part of a revised Iranian modus operandi that U.S. officials have only recently addressed publicly, following previous statements to the contrary,” said the report, a copy of which was provided by a U.N. diplomatic source.
“It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials,” it said. “Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tons of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels.”…
The Arab riots were planned in advance — but is that better than murdering over a video?
The Obama administration’s omnibus answer to why the Middle East (and now much of the Muslim world) is in near-open rebellion against the United States: The video did it.
The follow-up question no one seems to be asking is: “What if the administration’s explanation is true?”
White House press secretary Jay Carney insists the attacks in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere were a “response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people,” but were rather a spontaneous “response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.”
On the Sunday shows, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reaffirmed the claim that this was all about a YouTube trailer.
What about the fact that many experts say the Benghazi attacks looked like a sophisticated, coordinated assault with rocket-propelled grenades? Meaningless. It was the video. Even the president of Libya said, “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous.” Who cares? It was the video…
More via Jonah Goldberg…
A Pakistani protester died yesterday after inhaling smoke from a burning American flag during an anti-US rally.
Abdullah Ismail succumbed at Mayo Hospital in Lahore a day after attending the fierce protest at the city’s Mall Road, where an estimated 10,000 people rallied.
Witnesses said Ismail had complained of feeling ill after breathing fumes from burning flags, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported…
(Yahoo News) Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut have started to destroy classified material as a security precaution amid anti-American protests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
A State Department status report obtained Monday by The Associated Press said the Beirut embassy had “reviewed its emergency procedures and is beginning to destroy classified holdings.” It also said that local Lebanese employees were sent home early due to protests by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah over an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S.
In Washington, a State Department official said there was no imminent threat to the heavily fortified Beirut embassy, which is about an hour away from where the nearest demonstration is planned.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss security procedures, said the decision to “reduce classified holdings” was routine and made by embassy staff.
Protesters have breached the walls or compounds of several U.S. diplomatic missions, including the consulate in Benghazi, Libya where the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, Cairo and Tunis since last Tuesday…
The Obama administration continued to claim Sunday that the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were not planned or coordinated but spontaneous responses to news of an anti-Islam video that happened to take place on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It’s a highly dubious claim, challenged by top Libyan officials, eyewitness accounts, several U.S. officials with access to the intelligence on the attack, and, it must be said, by common sense.
But Obama officials are undeterred. As they have done on two previous occasions after attempted attacks on U.S. interests – the attempted bombing of an airplane over Detroit and failed bomb plot in Times Square – top Obama officials are stubbornly clinging to a narrative that is politically advantageous but increasingly hard to square with reality.
On Sunday, it fell to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to make the administration’s case.
“Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo,” she said on This Week. “In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated…. We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons…. And then it evolved from there.”