Archive for August, 2017

Following attack, Barcelona’s chief rabbi says his community is doomed

(TIMES OF ISRAEL) — The Jewish community in Barcelona is “doomed,” because authorities in Spain do not want to confront radical Islam, the chief rabbi of Barcelona warned on Friday, a day after the deadly car-ramming attack in the city.

Rabbi Meir Bar-Hen has been encouraging his congregants to leave Spain, which he called during an interview with JTA a “hub of Islamist terror for all of Europe,” for years before the attacks Thursday and Friday, he said. At least 14 victims and five suspected terrorists were killed in Barcelona and the resort town of Cambrils, 75 miles south of the city.

To Bar-Hen, whose community on Friday resumed activities that it had suspended briefly following the Barcelona attack, “Jews are not here permanently,” he said of the city and region. “I tell my congregants: Don’t think we’re here for good. And I encourage them to buy property in Israel. This place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.”

A white van on Thursday careered into crowds on Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s feted thoroughfare, when the street was packed with locals and tourists. More than 100 were injured, and 13 people killed. The driver of the van fled on foot and was believed to be still at large on Friday. Police shot dead another man at a checkpoint Thursday. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for that attack.

Hours later, police killed in a raid in Cambrils five men whom police said were terrorists planning an imminent attack.

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Nigel Farage: West European leaders ‘in denial’ on ‘Islamic extremism’

(NEWSMAX) — Western European leaders are “in denial” on how open border policies correlate with radical Islamic terrorist attacks, Nigel Farage said Thursday after the region’s latest terror attack in Barcelona, Spain.

“There is no realization at all,” Farage told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“In fact, what happens is they all stand up and say, ‘We stand in solidarity with’ – Barcelona, or Brussels, or Stockholm, or Paris, or London, or whatever it may be – and ‘this is truly awful and we have no understanding why this going on.’

“Not once do we ever hear a single leader in Europe offer any policy solution whatsoever. They are still in denial. And I can only guess it is because they are embarrassed by the fact that they have caused this.”

Farage said it has become the norm in Europe for those who speak out against radical Islamic terrorism to be dismissed as the radical idealists.

“One of the problems is that many of the parties around Europe to stand up against islamic extremism themselves appear to the electorate, at times, to be a bit extreme themselves,” Farage told Carlson.

Farage pointed to Eastern Europe’s recent lack of major terrorist attacks as a sign the ruling parties in Hungry, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia are keeping the radical extremists out of their countries.

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Barcelona terrorists plotted massive butane bomb, hundreds targeted

(BREITBART) — By Liam Deacon

The Barcelona Islamist terrorists could have massacred hundreds more if their original plans had worked out, potentially including a deadly butane gas bomb loaded in a van.

Spanish police believe a cell of up to 12 were plotting to use a huge stash of canisters filled with the highly flammable gas in their assault on Thursday afternoon.

Josep Lluís Trapero, the head of the Catalan regional police force, said the attack was linked to a massive explosion, which killed two and injured 16, in a potential bomb factory just 24 hours before the terrorists struck.

Authorities believe the blast was caused by a person inside “preparing an explosive device”, Sky News reports. It is possible the terrorists accidentally detonated their stash and were forced to launch their attack early.

Joaquim Forn, a Catalan government official, also told a local radio station on Friday morning that it was possible the attackers had intended to use canisters in the attack on Thursday.

The blast occurred at around 11.15pm on Wednesday night in a housing estate called Montecarlo de Alcanar Platja, in Alcanar, in the province of Tarragona, south of Barcelona.

One person was killed and seven more injured including one seriously. The house was completely destroyed and the explosion heard miles away. Police said it was possible a second person was dead amongst the ruins of the house.

Fire fighters said more than 20 butane gas canisters were found amongst the rubble – far more than would be needed for conventional use of the substance.

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Finland: Knife-wielding attacker ‘shouting Allahu Akbar’ stabs at least eight people leaving two dead

(UK MIRROR) — Two people have been killed and at least eight others hospitalized after a knife-wielding attacker went on the rampage in Finland.

Armed police shot the suspect in the leg after he began stabbing people in the city of Turku just after 4pm (6pm GMT) this afternoon.

As he carried out the terrifying attack, cries of “Allahu Akbar” were apparently heard – although many have argued on social media that the phrase sounds like “beware” in Finnish.

Police said tonight they cannot confirm if the man was shouting in Arabic and confirmed they are not treating the incident as a terror attack.

At least eight people – reportedly including a woman with a pushchair – were hospitalized after the rampage, with two receiving emergency surgery.

The incident, which has sparked terror fears, comes just a day after a white van mowed down crowds of pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain, killing 14 and injuring more than 100 others.

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Second Spain terror attack: Police fatally shoot at least five suspects near Barcelona

(NY DAILY NEWS) — BY Jessica Chia Elizabeth Elizalde

Five suspects wearing explosive belts mowed down civilians in the seaside town of Cambrils, Spain, early Friday before they were killed in a shootout with police just hours after a similar terror attack in Barcelona, local officials said.

“The alleged terrorists were in an Audi A3 and apparently knocked down several people before coming across a police patrol and a shoot-out ensued,” said a spokesman for the regional government of Catalonia.

Police shot and killed four suspects in the town about 70 miles south of Barcelona. A fifth was injured and arrested before authorities confirmed the suspect died.

The suspected terrorists were wearing explosive belts, which have been detonated by the police force’s bomb squad.

At least six civilians and one police officer were injured, according to Catalan authorities. Five remain in the hospital.

Among them, one is in critical condition, two sustained serious injuries while another two are stable, according to emergency services.

Police say the suspects in Cambrils were linked to an attack late Thursday afternoon in Barcelona that killed 13 people and injured at least 100 others.

The region’s Interior Minister Joaquin Forn told local radio RAC1 early Friday that the Cambrils attack “follows the same trail. There is a connection.”

In Barcelona, a white van jumped onto a curb, swerved through the busy thoroughfare and struck pedestrians at Las Ramblas in what police called a terror attack.

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7 injured in 2nd Spain car rampage

(RAPPLER) — BARCELONA, Spain – Six civilians and one police officer were hurt when a car drove into people in the Spanish seaside resort of Cambrils early Friday, August 18, the regional government said, just hours after a similar deadly attack in nearby Barcelona.

Police shot 4 of the attackers dead and injured another one, saying they were “working on the hypothesis that the terrorists shot dead in Cambrils could be linked to what happened in Barcelona.”

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TERROR IN SPAIN Barcelona attack – 13 dead and 80 injured after rented van ploughs into Las Ramblas crowds – as ‘one suspect is killed in shootout with cops’ and another two are arrested

(THE SUN) — DEPRAVED terrorists have killed at least 13 people and injured 80 in Barcelona using a rented van which they zigzagged through a busy shopping district mowing down terrified tourists.

Cops have confirmed that two men have been arrested while another suspect has reportedly been shot and killed during a gun fight with brave officers in Sant Just Desvern – a small town just outside of the Catalan capital.

Cops clad in black and carrying machine guns were seen entering the Boqueria open-air market backed up by regular police armed with pistols.

Footage has emerged of terrified people being evacuated as police locked down and surrounded the area.

Police have confirmed that one of the vans involved in the deadly attack was rented by a man named as Driss Oukabir. According to local media, Oukabir is a Spanish national of North African descent.

The van reportedly drove through a security point hitting three police officers before starting its deadly rampage on Las Ramblas.

Police have confirmed that the van used in the sick assault has been found and had no explosives inside.

Spanish media reports that a second van was rented to help the attackers escape from the scene.

A huge emergency response rushed to the scene on the iconic Las Ramblas tourist hotspot at around 4pm today.

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National mourning in Burkina Faso after restaurant attack that killed 18

(FRANCE 24) — Burkina Faso on Tuesday was observing the second of three days of national mourning declared after two suspected Islamist extremists attacked the Aziz Istanbul Café in Ouagadougou, killing at least 18 people.

The café was popular with foreigners living and working in the capital. After a several-hour-long gun battle, Burkina Faso’s special forces killed the assailants and ended the attack.

“They turned away from me like this and at the same moment they set off a ‘boom’,” one witness told FRANCE 24. “And I panicked and fell down.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the death of at least one French national. Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry told AFP on Monday that the attack killed seven locals and at least eight foreigners including a Frenchman, a Canadian woman, two Kuwaiti women and male victims from Senegal, Niger, Lebanon and Turkey.

The attack brought back painful memories of the January 2016 attack at another café that left 30 people dead.

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This is not a joke: Muslim migrants want ban on jokes about Islam

(UK EXPRESS) — By Ida Akerstedt

A new study found the majority of Muslims in Austria want jokes about Islam to be banned.

The study, conducted by the Danube University of Krems, revealed a major contrast between typical Austrian values and those of migrants from countries like Somalia and Chechnya, who have fare more religious views.

The researchers found that 60 per cent of those interviewed believed jokes about Islam should be banned, while a quarter said Islam should influence the country’s laws.

Those who take offense to Islamic jokes also varies wildly country by country – as many as 70 per cent of Somalians wanted to ban jokes about Islam, while only 14 per cent of Iranians agreed a ban on jokes was necessary.

Chechens and Somalians also overwhelmingly agreed Islam should play more of a role in Austrian society, with as many as 72 per cent of Somalians wanting more Islam in Austria’s culture.

This year, Austria approved a series of measures aimed at integrating migrants, including a burka ban and the introduction of mandatory language lessons.

The controversial ban to block residents from wearing full-face coverings in public was met with fury from some human rights group and condemnation from many Muslim organizations.

But the country’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, who was behind the legislation, shrugged off criticism and vowed to get the proposals passed into law.

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Conversions from Islam in Europe and beyond

(NEW YORK TIMES) — By FAISAL DEVJIAUG

The conversion of Muslims to liberalism, secularism or atheism has become something of a meme in the West, with arguments raging among scholars, in the press and on social media about the possibility of Islam’s undergoing a “reformation” or becoming “modern,” for which the history of Christianity is supposed to provide a universal blueprint.

It is the almost religious tenor of such transformations that justifies the term “conversion” for them. The single-minded adoption of such profane identities may even be more theological than Muslim conversions to Christianity and other faiths, suggesting that they have now replaced churches and temples in representing religious forms of belief.

Europe’s refugee crisis has seen a spate of conversions to Christianity among Muslim migrants. While numbers are difficult to obtain, The Guardian reported last year about a church in Berlin whose congregation increased from 140 to 700, the newcomers being Muslim converts from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia, and mass baptisms held at a municipal swimming pool in Hamburg, Germany. The Telegraph reported from Beirut, Lebanon, that hundreds of Syrian refugees in the country have converted to Christianity at least in part to benefit from aid distributed by Christian charities and for better chances of having their asylum applications accepted in Europe.

Whether the converts are repulsed by the violent forms Islam has taken in places like Syria and Afghanistan or are backing up their claims for asylum, the conversions occur quietly and rarely as a result of proselytism. Nor do they tend to be accompanied by any transformation in the appearance, behavior or language of the convert. Analyzing the news reports suggests that these conversions are characterized by multiple quotidian and ambiguous motives.

In parts of the Muslim world, but also non-Muslim countries like India, converting from one religion to another may invite legal punishment as well as social censure. Nevertheless, conversions still occur in these places and tend not to follow the theological model of transformation we have inherited from Christianity.

In recent years, a number of poor Muslims, as a Los Angeles Times article reported in 2014, have accepted Hinduism, their “homecoming” staged for the media by groups seeking to proclaim India a Hindu nation. Not only was there no talk of transformation in these cases, but also no attempt by Muslims to persecute these converts.

Muslims are also increasingly becoming atheists. A 2015 article in The New Republic reported on the spread of disbelief in the Arab world, citing over 250 web pages or groups about atheism with memberships ranging from a few hundred to thousands. There have always been atheists in the Muslim world, including some famous medieval scientists and philosophers.