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Driver killed in fiery Travis base crash identified as Sausalito Muslim

(MERCURY NES) — A man killed in a vehicle fire at Travis Air Force base on Wednesday has been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Hafiz Kazi, 51, of Sausalito.

FBI officials said the incident has no known “nexus to terrorism.”

A Kia van illegally entered the base on Wednesday and caught fire as it approached the gate of the base, then veered away and crashed, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan.

Kazi was dead when authorities reached the wreck.

Inside the van, investigators found five propane tanks, three plastic one-gallon gasoline cans, a gym bag with personal effects, three cellphones, and several lighters.

Authorities extracted a video from a phone and are analyzing it to try and see if it could help point to a motive.

Ragan said investigators aren’t sure why Kazi came to the base or why he lit the van on fire. Investigators have had trouble locating family of Kazi, who was originally from India but has lived in the United States since 1993. He appeared to work as a cab driver in the past, but investigators have not determined if he was currently employed.

Multiple sources described Kazi to ABC News as a “nomad” and a “vagabond.” “Hafiz” is often the title for someone who has memorized the entire Koran.

“We know that the community is concerned but we can assure everyone that we are unaware of any specific threat to Travis Air Force Base and the Fairfield community,” Ragan said.

“We continue to seek the answer to the question of why this man acted in the manner he did,” he continued. “We appreciate the public’s concern and patience as we continue to follow all investigative leads in order to provide a factual basis for the events that occurred.”

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Scimitar-wielding Turkish governor vows to conquer Jerusalem

(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) — A Turkish regional governor last weekend declared while wielding a double-bladed scimitar above his head that Turkey’s forces would soon march into Jerusalem and other cities in the Middle East.

Necati Senturk, the government-appointed governor of the Kirsehir province, raised eyebrows with a speech from the balcony of the governor’s office as Turkish troops were poised to take the Syrian city of Afrin from Kurdish militia.

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“God willing, we will take Afrin. We will take Manbij,” he said in videos posted on Turkish news websites, referring to another Kurdish-held city in Syria.

Waving a sword known locally as a zulfiqar above his head with one hand and holding a megaphone in another, he added: “We will also go to Mosul, and we will go to Jerusalem!… God is Greatest!”

The Turkish sultans controlled both the Iraqi city of Mosul and the holy city of Jerusalem for long periods during the Ottoman Empire.

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Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ took hostages in southern France

(THE LONG WAR JOURNAL) — By Thomas Joscelyn

French authorities have ended a hostage crisis that began earlier today when an armed man held up a supermarket in Trèbes. The French government has identified the assailant as Redouane Lakdim, who had a criminal past and may have traveled to Syria.

The attacker reportedly killed at least three people during the course of the day’s events. The first victim was killed when he attempted to hijack a car and two more perished inside the supermarket, according to the Associated Press.

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed responsibility for the slayings, saying the perpetrator was a “soldier” of the group who acted in response to calls to target nations participating in the anti-ISIS coalition. France is a member of the international coalition, which has been targeting the so-called caliphate since 2014.

Amaq has employed identical language after attacks in the past, repeatedly claiming that individuals have heeded the Islamic State’s calls for violence inside the West. Amaq did not provided any additional details about the attacker, but initial press reports say he claimed allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s enterprise.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb provided updates on the hostage crisis via his official Twitter feed. Collomb praised the “heroism” of a French officer who volunteered to trade places with one of the hostages, adding that the policeman was “badly wounded.” Collomb told the press that Lakdim acted “alone” and had been shot by the police, according to BFMTV. However, it can often take time for authorities to follow all of the clues in terrorism-related cases. And officials have uncovered ties between jihadists in Europe and Islamic State networks on multiple occasions in the past.

According to BBC News, Lakdim demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, an Islamic State member who acted as a point man for the Nov. 2015 attacks in Paris. Abdeslam is being tried in Belgium on terrorism charges.

Islamic State-connected attacks in France

France has been combating the jihadist threat since the 1990s, but the rise of the Islamic State in 2014 generated a new array of threats.

In Jan. 2015, the Kouachi brothers massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo at the magazine’s offices in Paris. The Kouachis were openly loyal to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which claimed responsibility for the attack. AQAP had called on jihadists to strike Charlie Hebdo after the publication printed controversial images. AQAP also assisted at least one of the brothers.

Amedy Coulibaly, a friend of the Kouachis, decided to raid a kosher market in Paris around the same time they acted. Coulibaly swore allegiance to the Islamic State in a video he recorded prior to killing a French policewoman and assaulting the market.

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Gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS shot dead after killing three, injuring at least 16 at French supermarket

(NY DAILY NEWS) — A gun-wielding Muslim extremist claiming allegiance to ISIS took multiple hostages at a supermarket in southern France Friday, killing at least three people and injuring another 16 before police shot him dead.

The attacker, identified as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, holed up at the Super U in Trèbes, a small city near the Pyrenees Mountains, around 11 a.m.

Lakdim screamed “Allahu akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — and proclaimed himself a “soldier of the Islamic State” as he stormed into the small-town supermarket.

“You are bombing Syria and you are going to die,” the attacker said before opening fire, one witness who escaped told regional newspaper L’Independent.

Mel B’s ex denies showing ‘ISIS beheading’ videos to her kids

Around 20 shoppers and staff reportedly escaped from the grocery store after running for their lives, though it was uncertain how many hostages were taken during a standoff with police.

The attacker was killed by officers around 2:30 p.m., authorities said, praising one “gravely wounded” police officer who exchanged himself for a hostage during the chaotic standoff.

“He saved lives,” French President Emmanuel Macron said of the officer.

It was not immediately clear where the three victims were, as beyond those shot in the supermarket, investigators believe Lakdim opened fire on people in the nearby Carcassonne and hijacked a car, killing at least one.

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Boko Haram returns 104 of 110 kidnapped schoolgirls, Nigeria says

(USA TODAY) — Boko Haram extremists returned most of the 110 girls they kidnapped a month ago from their school in northeastern Nigeria, the Nigerian government said Wednesday.

Fighters from the militant group drove into the northern town of Dapchi in nine vans and dropped the girls off early Wednesday, just after Nigerian soldiers withdrew, said Alhaji Baba Shehu, a resident, and other witnesses.

“(Some) girls ran away to their home before being counted,” he said. “Still, we are happy. God has answered our prayers and our daughters are back.”

Nigeria’s government said 104 of the 110 schoolgirls were confirmed as freed.

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said no ransom was paid. He said the release was obtained through “back-channel efforts,” after “a pause in operations” and with the help of “some friends of the country.”

He said negotiations for the release of the remaining girls continue.

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Muslim terrorist caught at the last second in Germany, this would have killed 200

(MAD WORLD NEWS) — Adam Casalino

Law enforcement apprehended a 20-year-old Syrian migrant for a planned terror attack in Germany. Had he gotten away with it, it would have shocked the world.

All over the West, would-be terrorists find new ways of infiltration. In the United States, our flawed lottery visa system and chain migration is a major problem. People are granted entry into the United States at random. There is no sufficient vetting taking place. Nor are these people welcomed based on their merits or accomplishments. From there, extended families are allowed in — with even less scrutiny.

Numerous terrorists have entered the United States that way. It is a glaring hole in our national security. But if you think that’s bad, just take a look at Europe. For years, European nations have welcomed millions of outsiders, due to the migrant crisis. These people come from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Some of them have fled war, but most go to Europe for the government handouts.

It’s been openly acknowledged that European governments cannot vet all of the people flooding their borders. These migrants could be from anywhere. They could have ties to some of the worst terrorist organizations on the planet. Often, they are up to no good.

That was the case of 20-year-old Yamen A. The Syrian national was apprehended by German police. They discovered that he was plotting a massive terror attack for ISIS. According to officials, he would have killed almost 200 people.

A 20-year-old Syrian national has been charged by German prosecutors with plotting a major radical Islamic terrorist attack which they claim could have killed up to 200 people.

The man, identified as Yamen A., has been brought up on charges of “preparing serious state-damaging violence,” according to a press release from the Public Prosecutor General.

The prosecutor said that the 20-year-old had been preparing explosive devices and was looking to perform a mass casualty terror attack on behalf of the Islamic State terror group.

Yamen A. is said to have become radicalized last summer and had determined in July of 2017 that he would perpetrate a terrorist attack in Hamburg. They say he wanted to blow himself up in a crowded area but were not totally positive on where the suspected terrorist would have carried out the attack. [Source: Breitbart]

They say that Yamen was “radicalized” last summer, as if it was something that happened recently. How is that possible? How is an otherwise normal person transformed into a radical agent of death?

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US intelligence official: Gains against IS in Iraq, Syria fragile

(VOA) — The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State has been able to decimate the terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria but these gains could be easily undercut by continued instability, a U.S. intelligence official warned Tuesday.

“In the near term, I worry about a loss of gains in Syria and Iraq,” David Cattler, of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Tuesday at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done there,” he said.

The Islamic State terror group has lost thousands of fighters and has been expelled from more than 98 percent of territory it held for over three years in Iraq and Syria.

Last year the group was pushed out of its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa in Syria and declared defeated in Iraq.

Now the coalition is helping the Syrian Democratic Forces to finish off IS remnants in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.

IS global ideology

Cattler said IS ideology continues to resonate globally as it tries to adjust to the losses in the region.

In Syria, he warned that gains are threatened by increased complexity in the battlefield where allies and enemies compete for influence.

“The United States, Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia are all combating ISIS. We are fighting the same enemy as our adversaries. As such, they too will likely reap the benefits of a ‘peace dividend,’” Cattler said.

Meanwhile, Turkey and the Kurds, both U.S. allies, have turned on each other, thereby diverting attention from IS, he added.
Displaced Iraqi people are seen at the Amriyat al Fallujah camp in Anbar Province, Iraq Jan. 3, 2018.
Displaced Iraqi people are seen at the Amriyat al Fallujah camp in Anbar Province, Iraq Jan. 3, 2018.

Sunni Shiite dynamics

In Iraq, he said, gains are endangered by increased political instability fueled by reconstruction challenges and lack of trust between Sunni residents and the Shiite-dominated central government.

“Even if these do not lead to the group’s resurgence, fears of reprisals and Sunni grievances due to political marginalization, discrimination, and delays in reconstruction may hamper the reconciliation necessary for a sustained peace, which is a key U.S. objective,” he said.

Islamic State is believed to have exploited Sunni fears of Shiite domination to seize large swaths of predominantly Sunni regions in 2014. Sunni leaders have already accused the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces of committing crimes in Sunni areas retaken from IS and have asked for the disbanding of the group.

But the Shiite leaders reject those claims and say the group needs to be given an institutionalized role as an effective fighting force to prevent the re-emergence of IS.

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KILLER KIDS ISIS releases harrowing images of children executing prisoners in Afghanistan

(THE SUN) — By Matt Acton

ISIS has released a string of harrowing images which capture young children executing prisoners in Afghanistan.

Boys as young as seven wielding firearms, were photographed marching their victims through a forested area of Khorasan Province.

ISIS released a series of harrowing images showing boys, pictured, taking part in an execution.

Militants in the region, known as IS-KP, said two of the captured men were Afghan government soldiers and the other was a spy.

The men dressed in orange boiler suits, can also be seen kneeling in front of the ISIS militants.

The youngsters stare intently ahead and both have handguns and holsters strapped across their small frames.

ISIS leaders in the Middle East have a long and appalling history of allowing small children to execute captives.

But with the collapse of the regime’s self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the group’s propaganda arm is chronicling atrocities carried out by fighters in the province.

The group’s numbers are being swelled by battle-hardened fighters traveling to the area from the Middle East.

District governor Baaz Mohammad Dawar said a number of Algerian and French nationals entered the largely ISIS-controlled district of Darzab in November.

He said at least two women were among the arrivals, who were traveling with a translator from Tajikistan.

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Suicide blast targeting police kills seven in eastern Pakistani city of Lahore

(REUTERS) — A suicide bomb blast claimed by the Taliban ripped through a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding 18, officials said.

Jam Sajjad Hussain, spokesman of a state-run rescue service, told Reuters that his officials had taken seven dead bodies to hospitals.

“Our rescuers are at work,” he said. “They have shifted so far seven bodies.”

Deputy Inspector General of police Haider Ashraf said the bomb exploded when the police were changing guards at the checkpoint just outside an annual religious congregation in Raiwind, where nearly 80,000 people were in attendance.

“A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle attacked the police,” Ashraf said. He said four of the dead were police.

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GLOBAL JIHAD What remains of ISIS’s global terror network? Map reveals fanatics still have strongholds in ‘safe havens’ all over the planet

(THE SUN) — SINCE declaring its self-styled caliphate in June 2014, ISIS has conducted or inspired hundreds of terror attacks around the world.

At the height of its powers it was feared the terror group had more than 80,000 jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria alone.

And although it is now on the run in the middle east, security experts insist the group is still a major threat to global security.

With martyrdom a key factor of ISIS ideology many members still expect to die for the cause – and not just on the battlefield.

This is why so many have gone underground and formed “sleeper cells” in their countries of origin or other safe havens.

Now they lie in wait ready to stage attacks on locations around the world.

Here is what remains of the terror group’s deadly network…

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