Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jihadists Target Spain

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Jihadists Target Spain
"The actions of your ancestors are the reason for our actions today."

by Soeren Kern  •  September 27, 2016 at 5:00 am
  • The Islamic State document said that since the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, Spain "has done everything to destroy the Koran." It said that Spain tortured Muslims, including burning them alive. Therefore, according to the Islamic State, "Spain is a criminal state that usurps our land." The document calls on jihadists to "reconnoiter airline and train routes for attacks." It also calls on followers to "poison food and water" with insecticides.
  • "We will kill any 'innocent' Spanish infidel we find in Muslim lands, and... whether we are European in origin or not, we will kill you in your cities and towns according to our plan." — Islamic State document, May 30, 2016.
  • "We will recover al-Andalus, Allah willing. Oh dear Andalus! You thought we forgot about you. I swear by Allah we have never forgotten you. No Muslim can forget Córdoba, Toledo or Xàtiva. There are many faithful and sincere Muslims who swear they will return to al-Andalus." — Islamic State video, January 31, 2016.
  • "Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah." — Islamic State video, January 7, 2016.
An armed, masked Islamic State jihadist appears in a propaganda video, where he warns Spain that it would "pay a very heavy price" for expelling Muslims from al-Andalus hundreds of years ago. The Spanish subtitle above reads "Oh dear Andalus! You thought we forgot about you. I swear by Allah we have never forgotten you. No Muslim can forget Córdoba, Toledo or Xàtiva."
Islamic militants are stepping up a propaganda war against Spain. In recent months, Islamic State and other jihadist groups have produced a flurry of videos and documents calling on Muslims to reconquer al-Andalus.
Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. Many Muslims believe that territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquest of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam. They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to re-establish Muslim rule there.

Turkey: Land of Mosques, Prisons and the Uneducated

by Burak Bekdil  •  September 27, 2016 at 4:00 am
  • "[I]n spite of dire predictions by secularists, the [ruling] AKP did not introduce conspicuous efforts to Islamize Turkey. But since 2011, this has changed." — Svante E. Cornell, in "The Islamization of Turkey: Erdogan's Education Reforms."
  • In 2014, Turkey's government introduced a scheme which forcibly enrolled about 40,000 students at Islamic "imam schools," and granted permission for girls as young as 10 to wear Islamic headscarves in class.
  • A new study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that 43% of Turkish women aged between 15 and 29 were neither working nor receiving education.
Turkish police and soldiers transport handcuffed military officers, who are accused of participating in the failed July 15 coup d'état. (Image source: Haber Turk video screenshot)
One way the rise of Islamist authoritarianism in a country can be seen is by the rise in the number of mosques, religious schools and prisons -- coupled with a sharp decline in the quality of education. Turkey is no exception.
Most recently, the Turkish government said that it would build 174 new prisons, increasing capacity by 100,000 convicts. This is Turkey's reply to complaints that six convicts must share a cell built for three. Convicts say they must sleep in turns in their bunk beds.
Before that, Turkey's government released nearly 40,000 convicted criminals, in order to make space for tens of thousands of suspects, including journalists, businessmen and academics, detained after the failed coup of July 15.

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Eye on Extremism September 27, 2016

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Eye on Extremism

September 27, 2016

Reuters: Islamic State 'Dead Set' On Using Chemical Arms: Pentagon Spokesman
“Islamic State militants are ‘dead set’ on using chemical arms and are likely to try them again as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday, a week after a rocket with a possible chemical agent landed near U.S. troops. The rocket fired Tuesday landed in an unpopulated area near Qayyara West base, several hundred yards from where hundreds of U.S. troops are working to prepare an airfield for an Iraqi offensive to recapture the city of Mosul. No one was hurt in the attack. The shell initially tested positive for a mustard agent, but two subsequent tests have been inconclusive and the device is undergoing further tests, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters.”
CNN: Senate To Vote Wednesday To Override 9/11 Lawsuit Bill Veto
“The Senate will vote Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill to give victims and families of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the legal right to sue Saudi Arabia for any purported role in the plot, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday. The measure will need a two-thirds vote of the chamber to succeed -- which is expected -- before going to the House for a similar override vote later this week. It would be the first time in Obama's nearly eight years in office that one of his vetoes will be overturned. The President opposes the bill because he says it could open the door to lawsuits against the US for actions taken by military service members, diplomats and others.”
The Wall Street Journal: Syrian Regime Presses Aleppo Offensive
“The Syrian regime and its allies pushed ahead with their bombardment of the rebel-held side of Aleppo on Monday despite global condemnation over the newly launched offensive that has killed hundreds in the past several days. The U.K.-based opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were more airstrikes on eastern Aleppo, but a hospital worker in the city said the intensity had eased compared with Sunday. Rescue workers with a civil defense group known as the White Helmets said on Sunday that more than 300 people had been killed since a cease-fire collapsed last week. Most of the deaths came since the regime declared its new Aleppo offensive on Thursday night.”
BBC: Afghan Forces 'Kill Pakistan Taliban Commander Azam Tariq'
“A leading Pakistani Taliban commander has been killed by special forces in eastern Afghanistan, the militants say. Azam Tariq died in Paktika province, near Pakistan's border. His son and nine others were also reported killed. Tariq was a former Pakistani Taliban spokesman and part of a breakaway faction after the group split in 2014. Many Pakistani Taliban now operate from Afghanistan after they were dislodged from strongholds in north-west Pakistan by a military offensive. Reports say Afghan special forces backed by Nato troops killed Azam Tariq in the Barmal district of Paktika on Saturday night, but it took a day for his death to be confirmed.”
Voice Of America: IS Retakes Control Of Former Strongholds In Afghanistan
“Officials and witnesses in Afghanistan say fighters linked to Islamic State have regained control of most of the militant group's former strongholds in the country, weeks after retreating to remote mountain hideouts in the face of major Afghan security operations. The troubled areas are located in Achin, Naziyan, Kot and Haska Meena districts of the eastern Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. A reporter for VOA’s Afghan service this week traveled to Achin, the main IS base in the country, and says government security forces have relocated to positions they were occupying prior to the launching of an anti-IS ‘Qahr-e- Sellab’ offensive in June. Regional military spokesman Shreen Aqa confirmed to VOA that IS militants have returned to parts of the troubled districts, but said Afghan forces are preparing to undertake a fresh offensive for their eviction.”
NBC News: Dresden Blasts: Mosque, Conference Center Attacked In German City
“Two home-made bombs hit a mosque and a conference center in eastern Germany late Monday in what officials called a "xenophobic" and "cowardly" attack. No one was injured by the blasts in Dresden, birthplace of a German grassroots anti-Islam movement known as PEGIDA. The city's police chief said officials were "now in crisis mode." Police said the first bomb exploded outside a mosque in the western part of the city at around 10 p.m. local time [4 p.m. ET] while the imam, his wife and two sons were inside.”
Reuters: California Man Convicted As Would-Be Islamic State Recruit Gets 30 Years
“A would-be Islamic State recruit from California was sentenced on Monday to 30 years in prison for his conviction on charges he sought to join the militant group in Syria and committed bank fraud to pay for a plane ticket there, federal prosecutors said. Nader Elhuzayel, 25, was found guilty in June by a U.S. District Court jury in Santa Ana, California, of conspiring and attempting to provide material support, namely himself, to a terrorist organization, and 26 counts of bank fraud. He became the first person tried, convicted and sentenced for such charges in federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said. More than 70 individuals have been charged in the United States with trying to travel abroad to enlist with Islamic State, with most cases resulting in guilty pleas.”
The Times Of Israel: Facebook Apologizes For Suspending Palestinian Journalists’ Pages
“Facebook apologized Monday after temporarily disabling accounts linked to two Palestinian news sites critical of Israel. Facebook pages of a number of editors of Quds News Network were suspended for several hours last Friday, a campaigner said, in what the social media giant later called a ‘mistake.’ Pages linked to the Shehab News Agency were also disabled, an editor there said. Quds has 5.2 million likes on Facebook, while Shehab has 6.35 million. The Arabic versions of the online newspapers are supportive of the Hamas terror group and have been accused of incitement to violence against Israelis.”
Daily Mail: ISIS Are Plotting Wave Of Car Bomb Attacks Across Europe, Intelligence Chiefs Fear, Amid 'Exodus' Of Its Fighters In Syria And Iraq 
“Intelligence chiefs fear Islamic State is planning to launch deadly car bomb attacks on European cities, it was revealed yesterday. Officials believe the jihadi terrorists could use vehicles packed full of explosives as a new ploy to bring fresh devastation to the continent. The EU's counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove warned Europe needed to prepare for an 'exodus' of thousands of fighters returning from Iraq and Syria. He also cautioned there is an increasing risk Libya will be used as a 'springboard' to launch attacks on Europe. Mr de Kerchove, who is the EU's senior anti-terror official, told MEPs: 'The terrorist threat has never been so high in the last 20 years. 'We fear that Daesh might step-by-step move to other modus operandi. Car bombs might be one. We know how much they learn how to build vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. And there is a concern as well on the use of chemical weapons.' Car bombs can be particularly deadly as vehicles can be packed with large amounts of explosives and driven into the centres of busy cities areas without attracting suspicion.”
Voice Of America: Nigeria's Buhari Talks Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers, Corruption
“Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is not ready to negotiate with Boko Haram until it is clear who is leading the terror group. ‘I gave directives on three different occasions and I am not ready to go beyond this unless the leaders of Boko Haram come out in the open and say that they are leaders of Boko Haram,’ he told VOA last week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. ‘Then I will be ready to talk to them but not [to] somebody coming to tell me that they are bringing one person or two people today and that they are leaders of Boko Haram,’ he said, speaking in Hausa. In recent weeks, longtime leader Abubakar Shekau and former spokesman Abu Musab al-Barnawi have each stated they are leading the Islamist extremist group.”
CNN: Houston Shooting: Nine Injured, Suspect Dead
“Nazi emblems were found among the ‘personal effects’ of the man who was killed in Houston Monday after wounding nine people in a mass shooting, according to the head of the police homicide division. Capt. D.W. Ready said the shooter was dressed in some kind of military uniform and had Nazi emblems with him and at his house. However, Ready would not speculate on whether the Nazi insignia would help establish a motive. He said the emblems may have been collector's items. At the shooter's home, police found vintage military equipment and paraphernalia dating back to the Civil War. ‘At this point we are very open-minded as to the motive,’ said acting Chief Martha Montalvo. She described the shooter as a lawyer who had ‘issues’ at his law office.”

United States

The Wall Street Journal: Houston Shooting Suspect A ‘Disgruntled’ Lawyer, Authorities Say
“The suspect in Monday’s shooting in Houston that wounded nine people was a heavily armed, ‘disgruntled’ lawyer who died at the scene, city officials said. The shooter had two weapons and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition when he randomly sprayed bullets at drivers in southwest Houston on Monday morning, hitting six people, according to the Associated Press. Police responding to the scene shot and killed the suspect, whom the Houston Chronicle identified as a local attorney named Nathan DeSai. The motive was unclear. Police said the gunman was wearing ‘military-style apparel with old Nazi emblems’ during the attack, the AP reported.”
Reuters: Gulf May Arm Rebels Now Syria Truce Is Dead: U.S. Officials
“The collapse of the latest Syria ceasefire has heightened the possibility that Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels with shoulder-fired missiles to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.S. officials said on Monday. Still, the U.S. administration continues to maintain that negotiations are the only way to end the carnage after Russian-backed Syrian forces intensified their bombing of Aleppo, the last major urban area in rebel hands. The latest U.S. attempt to end Syria's 5-1/2 year civil war was shattered on Sept. 19 when a humanitarian aid convoy was bombed in an attack Washington blamed on Russian aircraft. Moscow denied involvement. On Monday, medical supplies were running out in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, with victims pouring into barely functioning hospitals as Russia and its Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad ignored Western pleas to stop the bombing.”
Fox News: Mall Shooting Suspect Had Blog With Picture Of ISIS Leader
“The Turkish immigrant accused of gunning down five people at a Washington mall smirked at his first court appearance Monday even as reports revealed he had a blog with photo posts of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Accused shooter Arcan Cetin, smirking slightly and wearing a blue, collared shirt, appeared for his first court appearance late Monday morning. Charged with five counts of premeditated murder, Cetin was held on $2 million bail. He only spoke twice, both times to answer ‘yes, your honor’ to a judge's question. Authorities said they have not ruled out terrorism as a motive in the shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. Police arrested Cetin on Saturday evening after a nearly day-long manhunt. He was described as being ‘zombie-like’ when he was taken into custody.”

Syria

BBC: Syria Conflict: Aid Reaches Madaya And Other Besieged Towns
“Aid has been delivered to four besieged towns in Syria for the first time in almost six months, the International Committee of the Red Cross says. Seventy-one lorries reached rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani, near Damascus, and government-controlled Foah and Kefraya, in Idlib province, on Sunday. They brought food, medical supplies and hygiene kits for 60,000 people. Last week, the UN suspended aid deliveries across Syria for 48 hours after a deadly attack on a convoy. The US and Russia, which support opposing sides in the country's five-year civil war, have blamed each other for the incident. It came as a week-old truce brokered by the two powers collapsed and the government's bombardment of rebel-held areas of Aleppo resumed.”
CNN: Monitoring Group: At Least 12 More Die In Aleppo Airstrikes
“At least 12 people were killed, including three children, in airstrikes Monday targeting rebel-held areas of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, according to the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Nine other people were wounded, some in critical condition, SOHR said. CNN has not been able to independently verify such claims. It wasn't clear who conducted the airstrikes, but the opposition and the US have blamed the Syrian regime and Russian warplanes for such attacks since a ceasefire broke down.”
Voice Of America: Russia: Critical US, British Statements Could Hurt Situation In Syria
“Russia says it is not losing hope for reaching a political resolution to the crisis in Syria, but that statements made by U.S. and British envoys at the United Nations could hurt the process. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said Monday ‘terrorists’ were using a cease-fire to regroup and rearm themselves. The Syrian government, a Putin ally, often refers to rebels as terrorists. The comments came a day after the U.N. Security Council held urgent talks about the deadly surge of violence in Aleppo, where Syrian and Russian jet fighters bombarded the rebel-controlled eastern sector of the city.”

Turkey

Reuters: Six Soldiers Killed In Clashes With Militants In Southeast Turkey: Sources
“Six Turkish soldiers were killed and one was injured on Monday in clashes with militants in the largely Kurdish southeast, security and hospital sources said. The clashes with militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) broke out in the Uludere district of Sirnak province at a check point near a prison, the security sources said. The autonomy-seeking PKK has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey, home to most of the country's 15 million Kurds. Fighting flared anew in July 2015 after a two-year ceasefire collapsed, and hundreds of rebels, security forces and civilians have died in the violence.”
Reuters: U.S. Hotels In Adana, Turkey, Could Be Targets Of Attacks -U.S. Consulate
“The U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, warned Americans on Monday that it had received specific and credible threats of potential terrorist activity targeting U.S.-branded hotels in Adana. ‘U.S. citizens in Adana are advised to exercise caution when patronizing these establishments,’ the consulate said in a statement on its website. The warning did not name the hotels. Adana's hotels include properties operating under the Sheraton and Hilton brands. Adana, in southeastern Turkey, is about 10 miles (16 km) from Incirlik Air Base, which the U.S. military uses to launch attacks against Islamic State militants in Syria. The State Department has warned U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.”
Voice Of America: Kurdish Teachers' Arrests Heighten Concerns About Turkey's Emergency Rule
The arrests of 24 Kurdish teachers, accused of supporting the PKK Kurdish rebel group, has intensified criticism of the Turkish government's use of the emergency powers it introduced following July's failed coup. Early Sunday, loud banging on the door woke up the Dogan household. Heavily armed anti-terror police stormed into their apartment and arrested Gulizar Dogan, a teacher and a mother of two, including an eight-week-old baby. At the door were five to six heavily armed police officers with their weapons drawn, said Gulizar Dogan's husband, Zeynel. A few other masked policemen stood behind with shields. Zeynel Dogan says he told the offciers to calm down, and they started beating him and asking this was the home of Gulizar Dogan.”
The Wall Street Journal: Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Hits Kurds
“A post-coup crackdown in Turkey has expanded into the restive Kurdish minority’s heartland, exacerbating tensions after a rare show of solidarity by Kurdish lawmakers with the democratically elected government. Turkey’s Education Ministry suspended 11,285 teachers this month for allegedly supporting Kurdish separatists. The government also removed by decree 24 elected mayors from pro-Kurdish parties accused of aiding the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the moves are part of a campaign against Kurdish terror groups, billing it as the biggest operation yet against the PKK. But the fresh crackdown worries some in Turkey and its Western allies that the policies are stoking ethnic rivalries, rather than capitalizing on a brief sense of national unity to negotiate an end to the PKK’s three-decade uprising.”

Afghanistan

Daily Caller: Supposedly ‘Decimated’ Al-Qaida Spreading Like Wildfire Across Afghanistan
“U.S. officials now admit they are hunting al-Qaida in new Afghan provinces, after nearly a decade of referring to the group as ‘decimated.’‘Al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated,’ President Obama roundly declared at his foreign policy debate with then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. The U.S. Department of State even claimed al-Qaida was ‘severely degraded’ in its 2016 country report on terrorism. The military is now hunting al-Qaida leaders in seven different provinces, indicating a high level of growth since the U.S. invasion in 2001, Commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan Army Gen. John Nicholson admitted to reporters yesterday.”

Egypt

Associated Press: Islamic State Militants Kills 5 Civilians In Egypt's Sinai
“Egyptian officials say Islamic State militants have killed five Egyptian civilians and dumped their bodies, wearing orange jumpsuits, in a restive corner of the Sinai Peninsula. They say two of the men were beheaded and the others shot in the head over accusations they had collaborated with the Egyptian army, which is fighting the insurgents in the area around the city of Rafah and the town of Sheikh Zuweid, where the bodies were found. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information to journalists. The army has been battling militants in the area for years, with hundreds of casualties on both sides. The army often claims it has killed dozens of militants. Journalists are banned from the area.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Majority Of Palestinians Oppose Suspension Of Elections
“An overwhelming majority of Palestinians opposes the Palestinian Authority High Court’s decision to suspend municipal elections that were supposed to take place on October 8 in the West Bank and Gaza, a new public opinion poll has found. The Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) conducted a poll between September 18-21 on the PA court’s decision, sampling 1,200 persons from the West Bank and Gaza. Sixty-eight percent of Palestinians, 66% of West Bank and 72% of Gaza Palestinians said they oppose the High Court’s decision. AWRAD president Nader Said told The Jerusalem Post that most Palestinians opposed suspending the elections because they are particularly concerned about daily issues and services such as water, electricity and general infrastructure.”

Libya

The Wall Street Journal: U.S., U.K. Diplomats Meet Libyan Militias To Restart Oil Exports
“The latest ominous sign for global oil prices: Western officials are pushing for Libya to boost oil exports, part of an effort to help the country fund its fight against Islamic State. In recent weeks, diplomats from the U.S. and U.K. have met with Libyan militia officials to urge them to restart crude shipments from long-closed ports, militia and Western officials said. The meetings with a convalescing militia leader in Istanbul and his rivals in Tunis, Tunisia, seem to have paid off; Libya resumed shipments from a formerly blockaded port last week. Now, those shipments are roiling the world crude market, undermining the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ attempt to curtail an oil glut.”

Nigeria

CNN: Missing Chibok Girls' Parents React To New Boko Haram Video
“Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau seems to be the proverbial cat with the nine lives, given the number of times the Nigerian army has claimed to have killed or ‘fatally wounded’ him. The seemingly indestructible Boko Haram leader was back again on Sunday in a video this time mocking not only the Nigerian army who he urged to ‘die with envy’ but also the parents of the abducted Chibok girls and the Bring Back our Girls movement. ‘To the people of Chibok: there's still a long way to go,’ he says towards the end of the nearly 40-minute long video. ‘There's still more to do by Bring Back Our Girls. We don't (bring) back your girls. If you want your girls, bring back our brethren. Bring back our brethren.’”
BBC: The Six Lives Of Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau
“Cheta Nwanze, Security Expert and Founder of SBM Intelligence, believes that the extremist group uses the Shekau brand name as a convenient and recognizable moniker to get their information out. He says the Nigerian military's focus should lie on communicating real tangible victories in the fight against the Islamist insurgency. ‘There is no doubt that the Nigerian military is winning and will win the fight again Boko Haram, but communication needs to be handled better. These claims of death and disclaims by Shekau damage the credibility of the military. This is a guerrilla warfare not a conventional battle and communication is important. The real tangible victories being made should be focused on and announced.’”

Germany

CNBC: Right-Wing Extremism Is Hitting The German Economy
“A rise in right-wing extremism is posing a serious threat to the economy in East Germany, according to a government report. One such industry affected is tourism. The Dresden marketing organization told CNBC via telephone that domestic visitor numbers, based on overnight stays in the city, were down 3.7 percent year on year in the period of January to July 2016. This is a significant amount when you take into consideration that domestic holidaymakers account for 80 percent of the total tourism in Germany, according to the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). The visitor drop in Dresden was partly blamed on xenophobic statements made during Pegida demonstrations. Pegida is a far right, anti-immigration group originating in Dresden.”

France

Reuters: French Shooting Does Not Appear To Be Terror Act: Spokeswoman
“A man who opened fire near a supermarket west of Paris and seriously injured two people is an incident not at first sight considered to be a possible act of terrorism, said a spokeswoman for the Versailles public prosecutor's office. The spokeswoman said the man, believed to be in his 60s, went back to his home and elite police were now at the building. The incident happened near a supermarket in Port-Marly, about 20 km or so west of Paris. ‘He went home and the RAID (elite police unit) is readying for negotiations with him,’ said the spokeswoman.”
The Atlantic: What Would It Mean For France To Accommodate Muslims?
“Last year, a distinguished French philosopher named Pierre Manent attempted to offer an answer in a book-length essay, Beyond Radical Secularism. He began writing after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015, and published just before the atrocious mass murders of November 2015. The book was very widely debated and discussed in France. Americans may have more trouble assimilating it, because of its very French style. Beyond Radical Secularism is a book of bold assertions and heroic generalizations. We flinch from those on the western side of the Atlantic (if I may hazard a bold assertion and heroic generalization of my own). But if we flinch in this case, we’ll miss something important—not only to our French friends and partners, but to ourselves.”
Reuters: Calais Migrant Camp Demolition Raises Child Trafficking Fears, U.N. Says
“Lone children living in the shanty town near Calais are likely to go missing or risk being trafficked when France dismantles the migrant camp, the United Nations said on Monday, urging authorities to speed up the reunion of children with families in Britain. The U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, said it was concerned for the safety and future of unaccompanied minors living in the so-called ‘jungle’ camp, on the outskirts of the northern French port town. ‘Before the bulldozers arrive, there must be robust plans to safeguard the hundreds of unaccompanied children currently stranded in the camp,’ said Lily Caprani, UNICEF UK's Deputy Executive Director. Clashes with police broke out in February when authorities began evicting refugees from the southern part of the camp.”

Europe

Newsweek: Spanish Police Arrest Two Moroccans Accused Of Plotting Isis Attack In Europe
“Spanish police have detained two Moroccan nationals on suspicion of aiding the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and planning an attack on European soil, the Interior Ministry announced Monday. The ministry said that one of the pair had traveled to Turkey to meet an ISIS member near the Syrian border, where he had received training and planned to return to Europe to carry out an attack. He had also planned to join the radical Islamist group, it added. Turkish police arrested the unidentified suspect before returning him to Spanish authorities. Upon his release, he continued to work towards joining ISIS. The ministry did not specify how long the suspect was held in Spanish custody before his release.”
The Jerusalem Post: 'Axing Hamas From EU Terror List Would Be Lowest Point For European Jews Since Holocaust'
“ One of the largest Jewish umbrella organizations in Europe has condemned the EU's top court for moving toward the removal of Hamas from the bloc's terrorism blacklist. European Jewish Congress (EJC) on Monday berated last week's recommendation by a top legal advisor for the European Court of Justice in favor of taking Hamas off of the EU's terror list, and effectively unfreezing the Palestinian movement's currently sanctioned assets. ‘If Hamas is indeed removed from the terror watch list, then this will be the lowest and most worrying point for European Jewry in 70 years,’ stated EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor in reference to the period since the Holocaust.  On Thursday, European Court of Justice advocate-general Eleanor Sharpston argued that the placement of Hamas, along with the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, on the EU blacklist had been decided without sufficient, independent evidence.”
Associated Press: EU Launches Large Cash Aid Project For Refugees In Turkey
“The European Union on Monday launched a 348 million-euro ($391 million) aid project to help up to a million of the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey — part of a landmark EU deal with Turkey aimed at curbing the flow of migrants to Europe. The refugees, living outside of camps, are to receive debit cards that will allow them to buy their own food and pay for other basic needs. The cards would be topped up monthly, with payments dependent on the size and needs of the families. The program has been billed as the EU's largest humanitarian program. ‘I am here today in person to demonstrate that the EU stands with Turkey, ‘said EU Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides at the program's launch. ‘An unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented response,’ Stylianides said. ‘We are launching a ground-breaking humanitarian program to respond to this crisis.’”

ISIS

Almowaten: Iraq: Eight ISIS Members Flee With 600 Million Dinars
“Eight employees at ISIS's "Zakat Chamber" reportedly vanished, coinciding with the disappearance of 600 million Iraqi dinars ($515,000). The incident occurred in the district of Hawija, west of Kirkuk. The employees vanished on Sunday under mysterious circumstances. Inspections and raids on their homes turned up nothing, amid strong suspicions that the employees took the money with them and fled out of Hawija.”
Voice Of Iraq: Iraq: ISIS Destroyed More Than 17,000 Homes In Salahuddin Province
“On Monday, the governor of Salahuddin, Ahmed al-Jubouri, revealed that more than 17,000 homes were devastated in the province after ISIS's occupation of cities and regions there. Al-Jubouri claimed in his speech during the opening of Iraq's Show for the Reconstruction of Liberated Cities, at Baghdad's International Fair that "more than 17,000 homes have been destroyed in cities and villages, and this necessitates a huge effort for the reconstruction of what was ruined, with the aim of returning the displaced persons {to their homes}." He added: "We have many factories and plants which came to a standstill because of ISIS." The governor also outlined for "international organizations and the central government the need to intensify efforts and support the liberated areas, which were heavily damaged during the rule of ISIS gangs. This prompted thousands of families to flee from ISIS's severe oppression.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Constitution: 1 Billion Egyptian Pounds Per Year – Muslim Brotherhood Revenues From Membership Fees
“The value of Muslim Brotherhood membership fees - which are the No. 1 article in the group's budget – comes to roughly 1 billion Egyptian pounds per year ($113.6 million). This is paid by some 400,000 regular members, according to the group's last internal census published in 2008. The value of the monthly membership fees was set by the group at 8% of the gross monthly income of each member. The fee is paid on the 1st of each month. Given the income disparities between members of the group and sometimes even {fluctuations} in the monthly income of the same member, the value of the monthly membership fees also varies. However, a simple calculation indicates that the average monthly fee per member comes to 200 pounds ($22.7). If students and the poor are excluded {from the statistics}, the group's annual income is worth 80 million pounds ($ 9.1 million), nearly 1 billion pounds per annum – a fixed income for the group from membership fees alone.”
Albawabh News: Expert: Muslim Brotherhood Has Strengthened Its Presence In Britain Through Universities
“Dr. Mohammad Al Bishari, Chairman of the Institute of Ibn Sina and Secretary General of the European Islamic Centre (EIC)‎‏, stated: "The Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in consolidating its presence in British society through activities of dozens of professors belonging to the group in local universities. The majority of them are Iraqi, Syrian, Sudanese and Malaysian nationals, while others belong to the Islamic Group in Pakistan. Just a handful of them are Egyptians." France-based Al Bishari, in a statement to Albawabh News, asserted that the group has exploited the British law in this field, which allows the presence of leaders affiliated with the Brotherhood's international organization in British universities. He stressed that these professors have organized Islamic associations in universities, which allow them to hold seminars and conferences with the participation of Brotherhood-affiliated students.”
Sada Elbalad: Six Muslim Brotherhood Suspects Detained On Charges Of Wreaking Havoc On The Egyptian Public Transport Authority
“The Public Prosecutor decided to detain six suspects belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood for 15 days pending investigations. The detainees, who are employed by the Egyptian Public Transport Authority, face charges of attempting to wreak havoc and incite against the State. They are suspected of inciting Transport Authority employees to protest. Authorities suspect the detainees tried to create turmoil in this government agency concurrent with the first day of the school year.”

 

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The United States has kept its side of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, and Tehran has no reason to complain that Washington has not done enough on lifting sanctions against it, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Monday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Washington had not fulfilled its obligations under the agreement, which places restrictions on Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions... "The sanctions that were to be relieved have been relieved. That's what was the commitment. That has happened." Moniz told a news conference on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog's member states. "The consequences of that in terms of how many companies make foreign direct investments in Iran is not for the government to decide, that's for companies to decide," he said.

As deadly airstrikes pounded Aleppo, Syria over the weekend, a major foreign ground force was also converging on the region. As many as 3,000 Iranian-backed fighters have arrived in Aleppo supporting the Syrian regime in its fight to crush the rebellion, two U.S. officials confirm to Fox News. There are an estimated 250,000 Syrian civilians trapped in Aleppo facing an onslaught of Russian and Syrian bombs, according to reports. The Iranian-backed Shiite militias include fighters from neighboring Iraq as well as Afghanistan, officials say. Many of those fighters had already been in Syria but recently descended on Aleppo.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not run for president in next year's Iranian election, he said on Tuesday, bowing to the wishes of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who warned his candidacy would increase divisions in Iran. "In carrying out the intentions of the leader of the revolution, I have no plans to take part in the elections next year," Ahmadinejad said in a letter to Khamenei, published on his website dolatebahar.com... Khamenei, who has the final say in all matters of state, was quoted on Monday as saying Ahmadinejad's candidacy would polarize society and "create ... divisions in the country which I believe is harmful."

NUCLEAR & BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM

Iran's Defense Ministry on Sunday released video of the latest homegrown ballistic missile, Zolfaqar, being launched and hitting a target. The video shows Zolfaqar moving upward with a thick vapor trail and then detonating a target in the middle of a desert area. Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan inaugurated the mass production line of the tactical ballistic missile. Zolfaqar runs on solid fuel and can hit targets with pin-point accuracy in a range of 750 kilometers.

The North may not be working alone. An intelligence finding that the United States quietly made public in January suggests that the development of the North's big engine, which it claims produces 80 tons of thrust, may be part of a joint partnership with Iran. A Treasury Department announcement of sanctions against Iranian officials and engineers named two who had "traveled to North Korea to work on an 80-ton rocket booster being developed by the North Korean government." ... The announcement identified "Iranian missile technicians" from companies working for Iran's Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics. It said that two of them, Seyed Mirahmad Nooshin and Sayyed Medhi Farahi, "have been critical to the development of the 80-ton rocket booster, and both traveled to Pyongyang during contract negotiations."

HUMAN RIGHTS

A Canadian-Iranian retired professor was released from prison on "humanitarian grounds" and flown out of Iran on Monday, Iran's state-run news agency said, ending her months of detention alongside other dual nationals swept up by hard-liners in the security services. Homa Hoodfar was flown to the Arab Gulf nation of Oman, the brief report from the IRNA news agency said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed her release in a statement, thanking Italy, Switzerland and Oman for their help in the matter. Hoodfar, 65, was questioned and barred from leaving Iran in March after traveling to the country to visit family following the death of her husband. Her family said she has been held in Tehran's Evin Prison since June. Hoodfar until recently taught anthropology and sociology at Montreal's Concordia University. In July, Iran announced indictments for Hoodfar and three others, without providing any details about the accusations. In recent weeks, Hoodfar's supporters described her health as deteriorating while she was in solitary confinement, saying she was "barely able to walk or talk."

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Second Naval Zone General Ali Razmjou announced that thousands of valuable documents were seized from the US naval forces when they were captured by the IRGC forces in the Persian Gulf on January 12. "We seized thousands of pages of valuable intelligence from the US marines during their detention," General Razmjou said, addressing a gathering in the Southern province of Bushehr on Sunday... Earlier this week, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy General Alireza Tangsiri announced that his forces had detained Canadian and Australian forces before they captured the US and British marines for violating Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf in the past. "The IRGC Navy has detained American and British trespassers twice and the Canadians and Australians once in the Persian Gulf," Tangsiri told reporters on the sidelines of military parades in the Southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Wednesday.

SANCTIONS RELIEF

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo is leading a business delegation to Iran this week in a bid to secure an early advantage for Australian companies looking for deals as the market of 80 million people re-enters the global economy. Mr Ciobo saidthe lifting of punitive sanctions following a deal to restrict the scope of Tehran's nuclear aspirations meant there was "significant potential" from an Iranian re-engagement with the international community. The trade mission to Tehran is the first to the Islamic republic by an Australian trade minister since 2002, and follows the trip by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in April in which she sought to recalibrate the relationship and persuade Tehran to take back hundreds of Iranian asylum-seekers. Mr Ciobo will use his visit to talk about trade with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Nematzadeh, and reopen Austrade's office in Tehran to help Australian companies in doing business in the $US393 billion ($515bn) economy. Executives from GrainCorp, WorleyParsons, LiveCorp, Oil Search, Qantas, Sydney University and Rubicon Water will travel with Mr Ciobo tomorrow.

Iran says Japan has agreed to fund the development of some of its petrochemical projects - a groundbreaking move that could open the way for similar funding mechanisms for other sectors in the future. Iran's Ministry of Petroleum announced in a statement that a deal has been signed between the country's Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) and Japan's Marubeni to provide as much as €320 million for the development of PGPIC's petrochemical projects, IRNA reported. This, the Ministry added, will be carried out through a mechanism known as the Usance Letter of Credit (L/C).

SYRIA CONFLICT

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Tuesday that his country would continue to back Syria in its fight against "terrorism", the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported. "Iran will continue helping Syria in the fight against terrorism and towards establishing security in the region," Rouhani told the visiting Syrian parliament speaker Hadiyeh al-Abbas, the agency said.

SAUDI-IRAN TENSIONS

Saudi Arabia and Iran on Tuesday dashed hopes that OPEC oil producers could clinch an output-limiting deal in Algeria this week as sources within the exporter group said the differences between the kingdom and Tehran remained too wide. "This is a consultative meeting ... We will consult with everyone else, we will hear the views, we will hear the secretariat of OPEC and also hear from consumers," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said: "It is not the time for decision-making." Referring to the next formal OPEC meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30, he added: "We will try to reach agreement for November." ... Three OPEC sources said Iran, whose production has stagnated at 3.6 million barrels per day, insisted on having the right to ramp that up to around 4.1-4.2 million bpd, while OPEC Gulf members wanted its output to be frozen below 4 million.

OPINION & ANALYSIS

It is often suggested that the most consequential barrier to Iranian pragmatism is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Once the elderly Khamenei passes from the scene, the argument goes, his successors will embrace prevailing international norms. The sunsetting restrictions of the nuclear deal need not be of concern, for a revamped Islamist regime will find global integration too tempting to discard for the sake of nuclear arms. The only problem with such expectations is that the candidate Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards are grooming to ascend to the post of supreme leader is one of the most reactionary members of Iran's ruling elite. Ibrahim Raisi, Iran's probable next supreme leader, could be the only person in the Islamic Republic who could cause people to miss Khamenei. Raisi is 56 years old and, like Khamenei, hails from the city of Mashhad. After a stint in the seminary, he has spent his entire career in the Islamic Republic's enforcement arm, serving as prosecutor general, head of the General Inspection Office and lead prosecutor of the Special Court of the Clergy, which is responsible for disciplining mullahs who stray from the official line. In one of his most notorious acts, he served as a member of the "Death Commission" that, in the summer of 1988, oversaw the massacre of thousands of political prisoners on trumped-up charges.

America's settled policy of standing by while half a million Syrians have been killed, millions have become refugees, and large swaths of their country have been reduced to rubble is not a simple "mistake," as critics like Nicholas D. Kristof and Roger Cohen have lately claimed. Nor is it the product of any deeper-seated American impotence or of Vladimir Putin's more recent aggressions. Rather, it is a byproduct of America's overriding desire to clinch a nuclear deal with Iran, which was meant to allow America to permanently remove itself from a war footing with that country and to shed its old allies and entanglements in the Middle East, which might also draw us into war. By allowing Iran and its allies to kill Syrians with impunity, America could demonstrate the corresponding firmness of its resolve to let Iran protect what President Barack Obama called its "equities" in Syria, which are every bit as important to Iran as pallets of cash. And just like it sold its Iran policy through a public "echo chamber" of paid "experts" from organizations like Ploughshares and quote-seeking journalists and bloggers, some of whom also cashed White House-friendly nonprofit checks, the White House deliberately constructed an "echo chamber" to forward its Syria policy. The difference between the two "echo chambers" is that, absent any wider debate or the need for congressional approval, the Syria version was much more narrowly targeted at policy wonks and foreign-affairs writers, and the arguments it echoed were entirely deceptive in their larger thrust-the point of the Iran Deal was, in fact, to do a deal with Iran-rather than simply incomplete or false in their specifics... Recently, portions of the strategic-communications façade erected by the administration have started to crumble, allowing interested analysts and members of the public to see the administration's actual policy more clearly. In a recent interview, Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon revealed that in 2013, Iran told President Obama that if he were to strike the regime of Bashar Assad following the latter's chemical-weapons attack, the Iranians would collapse the talks over their nuclear program. Obama canceled the strike, of course, and later reassured Iran that the United States would not touch Assad. Solomon's reporting confirms a critical fact about Obama's Iran and Syria policies: They are one and the same. Or, stated differently, Syria is part of the price for the president's deal with Iran.

It's a simple question - if a U.S. exporter sells its product to a foreign customer, and the customer resells the product to a prohibited country such as Iran, can the U.S. exporter have liability for an export violation?  The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia handed down an important decision regarding obligations of U.S. exporters in such situations.  This is a sobering decision that every exporter should read. The case involves U.S. exporter Epsilon Electronics and its subsidiaries.  According to the decision, Epsilon had sold its retail electronics products to a customer in the United Arab Emirates.  The UAE customer, in turn, resold the products to customers in Iran.  OFAC learned about the sales, initiated an investigation, and eventually levied a civil penalty against Epsilon for $4,073,000. In its defense in the case, Epsilon argued that OFAC failed to provide any evidence that Epsilon had knowledge that the goods would be resold to Iran.  However, under OFAC's Guidance On Transshipments to Iran ("Guidance"), a U.S. company can have liability if it had direct knowledge or if it had "reason to know" that the products were intended to be resold to Iran.  Thus, even if the U.S. company did not have actual knowledge of a potentially illegal transaction, if facts are present that the goods would be shipped to Iran this is sufficient to constitute a violation.

The easing of economic sanctions against Iran represents long-term trade and investment opportunities for Australia. To explore these opportunities I am leading a business delegation to Tehran this week, marking the beginning of a new economic and trade relationship with an economy that has been isolated for a decade. It is a rare event for a country such as Iran with more than 80 million people and a gross domestic product of nearly $US390 billion ($511bn) to reintegrate with the global economy. Given this significance, the Turnbull government is monitoring developments closely... Navigating Iran's complexities will be a challenge for Australian businesses, which is why the Turnbull government has reopened an Austrade office in Tehran. For our businesses to make the most of Iran's economic resurgence, they will need to identify new opportunities and develop effective methods to capture them, while managing the impact of remaining sanctions and other conventions... There are significant risks but, like any important market, there are also potential rewards.

Kurdish militants have escalated attacks against Iranian security forces in the past six months. Clashes along Iran's western borders have occurred almost weekly from May through early September. The current level of violence will not endanger Tehran's control of Iran's western provinces.  It will, however, drive Tehran to intensify its efforts in managing the politics of Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad in order to prevent any further spillover of Kurdish separatism into Iran. An escalation of the conflict would also divert military resources that Iran might otherwise have deployed to Syria and elsewhere. The Islamic Republic has struggled with Kurdish militancy since its inception. Kurdish separatist groups exploited the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution to launch a full-fledged insurgency in 1979, which Tehran was only able to reverse after significant deployments of Iranian troops to the area. One of the largest Kurdish separatist groups involved in the conflict, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), continued to conduct limited attacks on Iranian forces until 1996, when it announced a ceasefire with Tehran and retreated to bases located in Iraqi Kurdistan. Another militant group, the Iran-Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), waged a low-level insurgency against the Iranian central government from Iraqi Kurdistan that culminated in a 2011 ceasefire, although PJAK fighters continued to occasionally clash with Iranian security forces afterwards. Violence in Iranian Kurdistan therefore persisted at relatively low levels with only isolated incidents of cross-border violence prior to this year.






Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email press@uani.com.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.