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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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Sri Lanka declares emergency amid Buddhist attacks on minority Muslims

(NPR) — Mobs made up mostly of Sri Lanka’s predominately Buddhist Sinhalese majority torched Muslim homes and businesses in the island-nation’s central hills near Kandy, a day after the government imposed a state of emergency to quell days of violence.

As NPR’s Julie McCarthy reports tensions between the two communities, which burst into open hostility on Sunday, have been growing in recent months, with hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam.

According to Reuters, Muslims have also been targeted for allegedly vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites and some Buddhist nationalists have “protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise,” the news agency writes.

The Associated Press reports:

“Hundreds of Muslim residents of Mullegama, a village in the hills of central Sri Lanka, barricaded themselves inside a local mosque after Buddhist mobs attacked their homes Wednesday morning accusing them of stealing the donation box of a nearby temple. At least 20 Muslim homes appeared badly damaged and flames engulfed one two-story home.

The Muslims hiding in the mosque, speaking on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, said police prevented them from saving their property and did nothing to stop the attackers.”

As part of the emergency decree issued on Tuesday, the government ordered telecommunication service providers to block access to Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp. Colombo says the social media platforms were being used by extremist groups to incite violence.

The Hindu newspaper in India writes that violence began Sunday as a road-rage incident “… in which a group of Muslim youth beat up a Sinhalese driver, who later succumbed to injuries. Police arrested the youth, and 24 other suspects in connection with the ensuing violence and arson attacks, which claimed the life of one Muslim youth in Digana town, Kandy. Amid mounting criticism of the police’s ‘poor response,’ President [Maithripala] Sirisena on March 6 declared Emergency Rule – a move that, according to his Ministers, allowed the government to summon the Army into ground action.”

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Merkel finally acknowledges German “no-go” zones, vows to eliminate

(ZERO HEDGE) — Following approval from Germany’s conservatives to cooperate with the Social Democrats (SPD) on several political impasses, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat down with Germany’s RTL Aktuell where she discussed a number of policy positions – including an acknowledgement of Germany’s growing “no-go” zones, and the need to do something about them.

Amid a spike in crime attributed to refugees, German officials been slowly acknowledging the negative impact of the flood of migrants taken in after the destabilization of Libya and similar regions – even going so far as to offer thousands of Euros to rejected asylum seekers.

The scheme, which the government has dubbed “Your country. Your future. Now!” will run until February next year. Individual migrants can receive up to €1,000 ($1,185) if they voluntarily return home, while families can receive up to €3,000 to do the same. The assistance is meant to help reintegrate rejected asylum seekers in their home countries. -Quartz

While on the topic of keeping Germany safe, Merkel said “It’s always a point to me that internal security is the state’s duty, the state has the monopoly of power, the state has to make sure that people have the right to it whenever they meet and move in a public space.” (translated)

Merkel then discussed Germany’s “zero tolerance” policy of enforcement:

“That means, for example, that there are no no-go areas, that there can be no rooms where no one dares to go, and there are such spaces, and you have to call that by name and you have to do something about it. And I think that Thomas de Maizière did a very good job as Minister of the Interior, but we also said now that we want a model police law, we can not stand by the different security standards in different states and that needs to be as unified as possible”

No Go Zones

Following the dramatic influx of primarily North African migrants, several German publications have documented the growing problem of “no-go” zones – areas in which it is unsafe for non-Muslim citizens to travel.

The newspaper, Bild, and the newsmagazine, Focus, among others, have identified (here, here and here) more than 40 “problem areas” (Problemviertel) across Germany. These are areas where large concentrations of migrants, high levels of unemployment and chronic welfare dependency, combined with urban decay, have become incubators for anarchy.

In an article entitled “Ghetto Report Germany,” Bild describes these areas as “burgeoning ghettos, parallel societies and no-go areas.” They include: Berlin-Neukölln, Bremerhaven-Lehe/Bremen-Huchting, Cologne-Chorweiler, Dortmund-Nordstadt, Duisburg-Marxloh, Essen-Altenessen, Hamburg-Eidelstedt, Kaiserslautern-Asternweg, Mannheim-Neckarstadt West and Pforzheim-Oststadt.

The problem of no-go zones is especially acute in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state. According to the Rheinische Post, NRW problem areas include:

Aachen, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bottrop, Dorsten, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Euskirchen, Gelsenkirchen-Süd, Gladbeck, Hagen, Hamm, Heinsberg, Herne, Iserlohn, Kleve, Cologne, Lippe, Lüdenscheid, Marl, Mettmann, Minden, Mönchengladbach, Münster, Neuss, Oberhausen, Recklinghausen, Remscheid, Rhein-Erft-Kreis, Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, Solingen, Unna, Witten and Wuppertal. -Gatestone Institute

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Hungary: PM says Christianity ‘Europe’s last hope’

(CREEPING SHARIA) — Hungary’s prime minister says that “Christianity is Europe’s last hope” and that politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris favoring migration have “opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam.”

Viktor Orban said Sunday during his 20th annual state of the nation speech that his government will oppose efforts by the United Nations or the European Union to make migration acceptable to the world.

He conjured the image of a Western Europe overtaken by Muslims, saying that “born Germans are being forced back from most large German cities, as migrants always occupy big cities first.”

Orban claimed that Islam would soon “knock on Central Europe’s door” from the west as well as the south.

Orban told an audience at the Royal Castle in Budapest: ‘Christianity is Europe’s last hope. Our worst nightmares can come true. The West falls as it fails to see Europe being overrun.’

‘Absurd as it may sound the danger we face comes from the West, from politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris,’ Orban said to loud applause. ‘Of course we will fight, and use ever stronger legal tools. The first is our ‘Stop Soros’ law.’

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Nigeria confirms 110 girls missing after Boko Haram attack

(VOA) —

The Nigerian government confirmed Sunday 110 girls are missing after a Boko Haram attack in a northeastern town, after days of silence from officials.

The Information Ministry says the girls from the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, are unaccounted for after suspected Boko Haram militants invaded their school on Monday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday additional aircraft are being deployed, along with troops previously dispatched, to search for the missing girls.

Heavily armed fighters in trucks stormed the town of Dapchi late Monday, reportedly specifically asking for the girls’ school.

Authorities initially denied any girls had been kidnapped, suggesting instead they were hiding in the bush after the attack.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates as “Western education is forbidden,” pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2015 and has launched a number of attacks on schools. The militia horrified the world when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok almost four years ago.

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Pakistan: Thousands-strong Muslim mob demands beheading of Christian teen for ‘blasphemy’

(BREITBART) — A mob of an estimated 3,000 Islamic extremists in Pakistan reportedly called for the beheading of a 17-year-old Christian whose phone, after reappearing days after he lost it, contained blasphemous content that authorities could use to sentence him to life in prison or death.

The case is the latest in a series of incidents each year involving a member of a religious minority group accused engaging in the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for Islam in the Muslim-majority country.

On Monday, the accused blasphemer Patras Masih claims “an unknown person added blasphemous content to his FB [Facebook],” the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) reports.

Initially, “hundreds” of local Muslims from the Dhair a village in Lahore’s Shahdara town, where Patras lives, accused the Christian boy of blasphemy on Monday, but the group of Islamic extremists calling for authorities to punish the teenager grew to 3,000.

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Dozens of Nigerian schoolgirls feared kidnapped in Boko Haram attack

(NEW YORK TIMES) — Islamist militants stormed into a girls’ school in northern Nigeria this week, and with many girls still unaccounted for, Nigerians feared their country was experiencing a notorious mass abduction like one that drew worldwide condemnation almost four years ago.

Militants from Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group behind the earlier kidnappings, raced into the village of Dapchi on Monday in machine-gun mounted trucks and opened fire, witnesses said. As they headed for the Government Girls Science and Technical School, students and teachers fled, some climbing fences to escape.

More than 50 students were still missing, according to state government officials. The local police gave conflicting information to reporters, saying about 100 girls were gone. Late Wednesday, local media outlets reported that the girls had been rescued, but that could not be verified.

During the attack, groups of students ran into the surrounding bush and other villages to hide and some headed for their homes on farms far from Dapchi. A few students and residents have told local reporters that some girls were spotted being hauled away by the militants.

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‘We will level Tel Aviv to the ground’ senior Iranian official warns Israel

(THE JERUSALEM POST) — By Juliane Helmhold

Any attacks carried out against Iran will result in the destruction of Tel Aviv, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned Israel on Monday, according to the Fars News Agency.

Quoted by Iran’s semi-official government news site, Rezaei, in response to Netanyahu’s comments at the Munich Security Conference, asserted that “If they [Israel] carry out the slightest unwise move against Iran, we will level Tel Aviv to the ground and will not give any opportunity to Netanyahu to flee.”

“The US and Israeli leaders don’t know Iran and don’t understand the power of resistance and therefore, they continuously face defeat,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar News.

“Today, the situation of the US and Israel indicate their fear of the Zionist regime’s collapse and the US decline,” he added in the interview.

Israel came in direct conflict with Iran on February 10, when an IAF attack helicopter shot down an Iranian operated drone, and later took out its command center in Syria.

According to the Iranian Mehr News Agency, Rezaei also highlighted that, while it is true that Iran supports what it calls the “Resistance Front” which stretches from Tehran to Gaza, the regime does not interfere in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon but merely offers advisory help.

He added that Iran never wants to dominate the countries in the region, it wants them to stand on their own feet.

Rezaei’s pointed comments came in response to Netanyahu’s speech at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday where the Israeli prime minister warned Iran, “not to test Israel’s resolve.”

Netanyahu said at the conference, which was attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, that Israel “will act not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”

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ISIS kills 27 pro-Iraqi government fighters in ambush

(OAN) — ISIS militants claimed responsibility for killing more than 25 pro-government fighters in an ambush attack in northern Iraq.

The assault happened north of Baghdad on Sunday evening when Shiite militia forces were conducting overnight raids.

The militants were reportedly disguised in military uniforms, and operated fake checkpoints before clashing with Iraqi forces for at least two hours.

Officials say troops were killed at the scene, including some who were beheaded.

A leader from one of the most prominent Shiite militias vowed revenge, and called on security forces to be vigilant.

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Former IDF iIntelligence chief: Shootdown of Iranian drone could be prelude to Israel-Shia war

(THE TOWER) — The interception of an Iranian drone that targeted Israel suggests that the chances for a war between Israel and Iran-led forces, the first Israel-Shia war, have increased, General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence told a conference call on Saturday.

The call was hosted by The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower.

Original footage showing #Iranian UAV infiltrating and then shot down over Israel, and #IDF strike on Iranian command vehicle in #Syria pic.twitter.com/Sz6poAOdjc

— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 10, 2018

Following the interception of the drone, The New York Times reported, Israeli jets attacked what was identified as the command and control center in Syria. One the way back from the mission, an F-16, which had come under Syrian anti-aircraft fire crashed in northern Israel. Two pilots escaped from the plane, though one has been reported to have been severely injured.

Israel reported that it hit eight targets in Syria including three anti-aircraft batteries and four Iranian positions, which were described as “part of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria.”

For a long time Iran and the Quds Force have been operating, with the backing of Syrian forces and the approval of the Syrian regime, from the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor. pic.twitter.com/U9H33vDF4O

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018

“There is a determination by Iran to build a military force in Syria and Lebanon, and there is determination by Israel not to let it happen. And the two vectors are colliding,” Yadlin said, explaining the escalation.

This is the Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israeli territory early this morning pic.twitter.com/R1cfL4v5dF

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018

Despite expressing concerns that the conflict could escalate, Yadlin expressed that he believed that it was in Russia’s interests to push back against Iran to defuse the situation, saying “Conflict in the north between Israel, Iran and Hezbollah is not in their interests.”

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