Archive for April, 2018

Slain Young Journalists Saw Their Work As A Way To Make Afghanistan A Better Place

(GANDHARA) — Radio Free Afghanistan journalist Abadullah Hananzai was furious on April 25 when he learned that a former colleague had been gunned down at a market in Kandahar in an apparent targeted killing.

“The murder of my former colleague at Kabul News, a great journalist named Abdul Manan Arghand, has greatly upset me,” Hananzai wrote in Pashto on his Facebook page. “Arghand is now a martyr for freedom of speech.”

It would be Hananzai’s last public Facebook post.

Hananzai and Radio Free Afghanistan video producer Sabawoon Kakar were among multiple journalists killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul on April 30. The journalists were covering an earlier suicide attack when a second bomber, disguised as a reporter, approached them and detonated his explosives.

Maharram Durrani, a 28-year-old university student who was training to become a journalist at the Kabul bureau of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan, was also killed.

Claimed by Islamic State militants, the blasts killed at least 25 and injured 45. The Afghan Journalists Center said that, with nine reporters killed, it marked the deadliest attack against journalists in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Abadullah Hananzai

Hananzai was a video journalist who had been working since October 2016 on an antinarcotics project at RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan — a project called Caravan Of Poison.

A graduate of Kabul University, Hananzai was 26 years old and was preparing to celebrate his first wedding anniversary on May 8.

He previously had worked for Kabul News and for Zhwandoon TV, as well as for the Educational and Cultural Center for Afghan Women.

Hananzai’s recent reports for RFE/RL focused on the social and economic implications of drug addiction in Afghanistan, as well as efforts by the Interior Ministry to crack down on international narcotics trafficking out of Afghanistan.

One of Hananzai’s last Facebook posts was a message in English on April 19 and a photograph taken of himself in the compound of Radio Free Afghanistan’s Kabul bureau shortly after a rainstorm.

“Feeling fantastic. I find Peace in the Rain,” Hananzai said.

Sabawoon Kakar

Kakar was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the first suicide bombing in Kabul on the morning of April 30.

He died from his injuries at a hospital in Kabul several hours after the second blast.

Kakar was a key member of Radio Free Afghanistan’s video team over the past five years.

His work included feature stories about social issues in Afghanistan — such as the status of women’s cricket in the country — as well as news about counterterrorism operations and security issues.

Kakar’s last video report was on April 29 — a package he produced with RFE/RL reporters in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan about a battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.

“He was often covering the aftermath of suicide attacks and other dangerous spot news situations,” said Qadir Habib, a senior editor for Radio Free Afghanistan. “He was a brave man who was never afraid to cover dangerous stories.”

On his Facebook page, Kakar declared that despite bombing attacks against voter registration centers in Kabul, he had registered and planned to vote in Afghanistan’s October 20 parliamentary elections.

The 30-year-old Kakar, a native of Kabul, died one day before his fifth anniversary as an RFE/RL journalist. He is survived by his wife and a two-year-old son.

Maharram Durrani was a third-year student of Islamic law at Kabul University who was just starting her career as a journalist.

Durrani was being trained to take part in the weekly woman’s program RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan — a job she was due to start on May 15.

She previously worked for an Afghan online music channel called Radio Salam Watandar.

“When I began working in media, one of my first bosses asked me why I was studying Islamic law but working in media,” Durrani told RFE/RL during a February phone-in program.

“He said these are not related subjects. But I said, ‘No, that’s not true’,” Durrani explained. “It’s very much related because the media can provide information to all people.”

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9 journalists killed in Afghanistan: This is ‘a reminder of the extreme dangers to media workers’

(ABC NEWS) — Nine journalists were killed in dual blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan, this morning.
Interested in Afghanistan?

A Kabul police spokesman said the second suicide bomber was among the crowd of reporters who were rushing to the scene of the first blast when another device was detonated, according to The Associated Press.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the second attacker was pretending to be a member of the media, the AP reported.

PHOTO: Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second explosion in Kabul, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul.Massoud Hossaini/AP Images
Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second explosion in Kabul, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul.
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The health ministry in Afghanistan released the names and affiliations of the nine journalists who were killed:

Shah Marai, a longtime photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Ebadullah Hananzai, from Radio Free Europe

Sabawoon Kakar, from Radio Free Europe

Yar Mohammad Tokhi, a Tolonews cameraman

Ghazi Rasooli, a 1TV reporter

Nowrooz Rajabj, a 1TV cameraman

Saleem Talash, a Mashal TV reporter

Mahram Durani, a journalist from Shamsad TV

Ali Salimi, a Mashal TV cameraman.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the Kabul attacks, which left at least 25 people dead and 45 others injured.

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Can Islamization Be Rolled Back Without Eroding Civil Liberties?

(GATES OF VIENNA) — The following essay is based on a series of comments that emerged in the thread accompanying Part 1 of El Inglés’ recent three-part essay on the Pakistanis (see also Part 2 and Part 3).

Note: In the remarks below I write as if from a European point of view. I have been specializing in European affairs for so long that I have “gone native”: when considering the issues of mass immigration and Islamization, I tend to examine the situation in Western Europe to get a sense of the way we are headed.

Things are different here in the USA — we are careening towards the same cliff as the Europeans, but we are a right good ways behind them. As a result, America may be able to avoid the catastrophic future that faces Europe. Or, if Western Europe turns it around and follows El Inglés’ advice, we’ll be able to model our responses on theirs and escape martial law or civil war or revolution or whatever nasty outcome would await us otherwise.

But Western Europe will not have the luxury of returning to the idyllic status quo of 1955-2000. My contention is that things have gone too far down the multicultural primrose path for Europeans to be spared an illiberal outcome. The niceties of civil society will evaporate, no matter what. They will either be blown away by the imposition of sharia, or at the very least they will be reduced by whatever authoritarian regime emerges to resist the sharia.

There are no other choices.

Our situation in the West is similar to that of the Hindus who eventually became Sikhs, and violently resisted the Islamic invasion. Will we develop our own version of Sikhism? Or will we simply become the European version of Persia/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Indonesia?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A number of commenters on El Inglés’ posts objected to the idea of the draconian actions against Pakistanis that he proposed. They observed, correctly, that these things cannot be done without abrogating the civil liberties of at least some of the targets. They also noted that innocent Pakistanis — those few who do not oppress women, take little white girls as sex slaves, and engage in welfare fraud for their livelihood — would be caught up and punished along with the guilty ones. El Inglés addressed these objections in the conclusion of Part 3, but his answers evidently failed to assuage the fears of his critics.

We’ve been discussing these issues in this space for at least a dozen years. Time was short when the conversation started, and it is far shorter now. Back then we were at five minutes to twelve; today it may be five seconds to twelve.

Any solution that does not rend the civil fabric of our societies must be devised VERY quickly. Bear in mind that such a solution would first have to be raised and discussed in national legislatures. Then a majority coalition would have to somehow be cobbled together in support of it. Horses would have to be traded. Palms would have to be greased. Sausages would have to be made. Individual representatives would have to be convinced to vote in favor of something that would earn them a death fatwa from the Religion of Peace for doing so.

Just think how difficult it would be to accomplish that.

Furthermore, as soon as such a movement gained steam, it would be violently resisted by the antifas and other “anti-fascist” street thugs bankrolled by the globalists. We already know that antifas aren’t averse to a bit of ultra-violence when they bash the fash. How will they respond to real political and cultural change in Western Europe, the kind that would actually deport the “refugees” en masse?

Once the anti-fascists start killing police, for example, the rules of the game will change. The first thing the state will do at that point is to impose martial law and significantly reduce everyone’s civil liberties.

I can’t see a way out of this that preserves the customary civil society that Europeans have grown used to. It’s just too late.

Our choices are between sharia and some form of authoritarian governance by leaders of our own native ethnic groups. There are no other doors out of this room.

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House Panel Witnesses: Islamic State Remains ‘Potent’ Threat in Libya

(BREITBART) — by Edwin Mora

WASHINGTON, DC — The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) remains a “potent” menace in Libya more than a year after U.S.-backed local forces pushed the group out of former stronghold Sirte, experts told a House panel.

Soon after the Islamic State (IS) lost Sirte in December 2016, U.S. and Libyan officials began warning about a potential resurgence of the terrorist group, noting that the jihadists were regrouping elsewhere in Libya, namely the desert valleys and inland hills southeast of the country.

In written testimony prepared for a hearing Wednesday held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and Africa, Christopher Blanchard, a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), acknowledged:

Transnational terrorist groups and locally organized armed extremist groups, including supporters of the Islamic State organization and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), remain active in Libya. Some IS fighters appear to have regrouped in rural areas after fleeing Sirte in late 2016, and the group claimed a series of attacks on Libyan forces in 2017.

Robyn Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), predicted early this year that ISIS would “give priority to the restructuring of security forces and infrastructure, and to launch strikes, which may include targets in the Libyan oil crescent.”

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Isis trying to foment a wave of migration to Europe, says UN official

(THE GUARDIAN) — Islamic State commanders fleeing Syria are conspiring with extremist groups in Africa to foment and infiltrate a new migration wave destined for Europe, the head of the UN World Food Programme has said.

David Beasley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, said Europe needed to wake up to the extremists’ strategy in the Sahel region.

Those forced out of Syria were uniting with local terrorist groups to use a lack of food as both a recruitment tool and a vehicle to push millions of Africans towards Europe, he said.

Speaking to the Guardian during a visit to Brussels for a two-day Syria summit, Beasley said: “You are going to face a similar pattern of what took place years ago, except you are going to have more Isis and extremist groups infiltrating migration.

“What we are picking up is that they are partnering with the extremist groups like Boko Haram and al-Qaida to divvy up territory and resources and to continue to infiltrate and destabilize in the hope of creating migration into Europe where they can infiltrate and cause chaos.

“My comment to the Europeans is that if you think you had a problem resulting from a nation of 20 million people like Syria because of destabilization and conflict resulting in migration, wait until the greater Sahel region of 500 million people is further destabilized. And this is where the European community and international community has got to wake up.”

A four-year campaign against Isis has destroyed much of the group’s so-called caliphate, confining it to a tract of land in the Euphrates valley near the border with Iraq and decimating the cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. But officials involved in the campaign say at least 2,200 fighters remain entrenched in the east of Syria.

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Kabul Bombing Kills 57 in Line for Voter ID Cards

(VOA) — A suicide bomber struck a distribution center for Afghan voters’ identification cards Sunday morning in Kabul, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 100 others.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najeeb Danish told VOA that people were waiting in line outside the center to get their Tazkira, or identification card, to be able to vote in the election when the bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body.

Hospital sources have described condition of a least ten wounded people as “highly critical”.

Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has condemned the “terrorist” attack on the center set up in a Kabul school.

“I stand with those affected by this coward attack. Our resolve for fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won’t win against the will of the Afghan people,” Abdullah wrote on his official Twitter account.

President Ashraf Ghani launched the voter registration process last week, allowing the Independent Election Commission to prepare voter lists for the October 20 parliamentary and district council elections. This will be the first time in Afghani history that elections will be held on the basis of formal voters lists.

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There is no such thing as “peace” in Islam

(ARUTZ SHEVA) — Dr. Harold Rhode, one of the world’s preeminent scholars on Islam and author of a new book “Modern Islamic Warfare,” explains why Mahmoud Abbas will never adhere to a US-negotiated ‘peace deal’ with Israel.

Rhode who served as an adviser on Islamic Affairs at the US Department of Defense has a new book coming out titled “Modern Islamic Warfare.” The work exposes modern day terrorism as the classic style of Islamic warfare meant to instill fear in one’s enemy, whether they are fellow Muslims, Jews, Christians or others, in order to achieve one’s goals.

Rhode explains that Mahmoud Abbas will never adhere to a US-negotiated ‘peace deal’ with Israel, similar to arch terrorist Yasser Arafat, as he says there is no such thing as the concept of ‘permanent peace’ in Islam, only temporary truces when a side is weak and seeks to gain strength.

Ironically, Rhode believes that years of Islamic terror against the Jewish State has actually caused more and more Israelis to become stronger and deeply rooted in the Land of Israel.

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Struggling to prevent terrorist attacks, France wants to ‘reform’ Islam

(WASHINGTON POST) — by James McAuley

PARIS — Speaking alongside the flag-draped coffin of a police officer killed in a terrorist attack in southern France, President Emmanuel Macron last month laid blame on “underground Islam­ism” and those who “indoctrinate on our soil and corrupt daily.”

The attack added further urgency to a project already in the works: Macron has embarked on a controversial quest to restructure Islam in France — with the goal of integration but also the prevention of radicalization.

He has said that in the coming months he will announce “a blueprint for the whole organization” of Islam. And those trying to anticipate what that will look like are turning their attention to Hakim El Karoui, a leading voice on how Islamic traditions fit within French culture.

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“Soon in your country”: ISIS Threatens to Set Seattle Ablaze

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

ISIS supporters released posters this week depicting President Trump in an orange jumpsuit like the terror group uses for prisoners in execution videos and showing Seattle ablaze.

The first poster, stating “soon in your country” and “a message to America,” photoshops Trump’s head on the body of a kneeling prisoner as the late Mohammed Emwazi, aka British terrorist “Jihadi John,” stands beside him with knife in hand.

The background is church pews and stained-glass windows, with the point of view toward the altar.

In the second poster, a camouflage-clad Trump is depicted again kneeling in front of an executioner who points a gun at his head. Another jihadist stands nearby with his foot on a disembodied head.

In the background, a handful of buildings are on fire in the Seattle skyline.

The releases are reminiscent of a cache of posters spread across ISIS Telegram channels and social media late last year.

ISIS supporters circulated a gruesome Christmastime poster depicting the beheading of Barron Trump, showing a masked jihadist standing over an adult body in an orange jumpsuit with the 11-year-old’s head photoshopped into the terrorist’s hand.

The ISIS supporters’ holiday threat spree essentially took the terror group’s PR into their own hands with a flurry of propaganda posters encouraging lone jihadists to attack, including one reiterating previous calls to “put terror in their hearts by running them over or stabbing them or burning structures and forests.”

Another poster from ISIS supporters circulated in the holiday spree showed an armed jihadist overlooking a Christmas display as the Statue of Liberty loomed overhead. “Make your motto ‘I will not survive if they cross worshiper survived,'” jihadists were advised.

“And for you Crusaders, we swear by Allah the Almighty you will see the strength of the Caliphate Soldiers, and the battles will be in your homeland, we will break your cross and destroy your thrones and we will shed your blood,” the text added. “And the news is what you see not what you hear.”

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POLITICO: Shootings in Sweden ‘so common they don’t make headlines’, cities rocked by bombs, grenade blasts

(POLITICO) — Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos.

To understand crime in Sweden, it’s important to note that Sweden has benefited from the West’s broad decline in deadly violence, particularly when it comes to spontaneous violence and alcohol-related killings. The overall drop in homicides has been, however, far smaller in Sweden than in neighboring countries.

“Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities.”

Gang-related gun murders, now mainly a phenomenon among men with immigrant backgrounds in the country’s parallel societies, increased from 4 per year in the early 1990s to around 40 last year. Because of this, Sweden has gone from being a low-crime country to having homicide rates significantly above the Western European average. Social unrest, with car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, is a recurring phenomenon.

Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities. News of attacks are quickly replaced with headlines about sports events and celebrities, as readers have become desensitized to the violence. A generation ago, bombings against the police and riots were extremely rare events. Today, reading about such incidents is considered part of daily life.

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