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Egypt attack: Gunman targets Coptic Christians in church and shop

(BBC) — Nine people have been killed in two attacks on Coptic Christians in Helwan district, south of Cairo, Egypt’s interior ministry has said.

Six civilians and a policeman died when a gunman tried to storm a church but was intercepted and arrested, it said.

It said the man had previously attacked a Coptic-owned shop in the same area, killing two brothers.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed its “soldiers” carried out the church attack.

The interior ministry’s account differs from an earlier version of events given by Egypt’s health ministry.

The initial report said 12 were dead, and suggested there were two attackers. It said one had been killed, and the other fled but was later captured.

More than 100 Christians have been killed in Egypt in the past year, with most attacks claimed by the local branch of IS militants.

Security forces have reinforced checkpoints in place around the capital in response to the attacks.

They announced plans earlier this week to protect festivities around the New Year and, on 7 January, Coptic Christmas. They include the deployment of rapid-reaction forces, combat troops and jamming equipment.

According to the interior ministry statement, the first attack on Friday took place at a household appliances shop. Then the attacker headed to the Saint Mina Coptic church, where he attempted “to trespass the church’s perimeter security”.

“The security forces have dealt with the attacker and managed to arrest him after he was injured,” the ministry said.

But it said that seven people, including an auxiliary policeman, had been killed and four injured as the gunman opened fire at the church.

The attacker also had an explosive device, a machine gun and 150 rounds, it added.

The ministry suggested he was known to security services, saying he was “one of the most active terrorist elements and he carried out several terrorist attacks which resulted in the martyrdom of a number of policemen and civilians”.

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Chinese troops arrive in Syria to fight Uyghur rebels

(JERUSALEM CENTER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS) — By Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah

The Syrian conflict has an endless capability to surprise analysts as seemingly every other day a new element, unprecedented in the Syrian civil war, comes to the surface.

Such is the case with the arrival of the first Chinese Army special forces unit, “the Night Tigers,” to Syria’s Tartous port on the Mediterranean, according to reports in Arab media close to the Assad and Tehran regimes (the Al-Mayadeen TV channel).2

The Night Tigers were dispatched by Beijing to fight the Uyghurs, the Muslim Chinese ethnic group fighting with the rebel forces against the Assad regime.

According to these press reports, Beijing planned to send two units from the Special Operations Forces – the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” – to assist Assad’s regime against Chinese Uyghurs fighting with radical Muslim organizations in Syria. However, unlike the news reporting about the arrival of the “Night Tigers,” no confirmation has been received yet on the second unit.

According to the Syrian ambassador to China, some 5,000 ethnic Uyghurs from China’s Xinjiang province are presently in Syria. President Assad stressed the “crucial cooperation” between Syria and Chinese intelligence against Uyghur militants last year. Following the visit of Chinese Admiral Guan Yufi mid-2016 to Syria, the Chinese military has been present in Syria to train Syrian forces on Chinese-made weapons, intelligence gathering, logistics, and field medicine.3

Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria and Iraq, Uyghurs have flocked to the Middle East and joined the rebel forces fighting the Assad regime and the Iranian-backed Shiite regime in Iraq. The Uyghurs joined various jihadist militias, suchJabhat al-Nusra Front, Hayaat Tahrir el-Sham, as the and ISIS.

The first reports that Uyghurs returned home to Western China from Syria emerged in July 2013, revealing that Uyghurs were present in the combat areas long before. The Chinese government has alleged that “more than 1,000” Xinjiang separatists have received terrorist training in Afghanistan and claims to have arrested 100 foreign-trained terrorists who made their way back to Xinjiang.4

Fearing the irredentist currents provoked by the separatist Uyghurs and facing the increased violence in Xinjiang Province, the Chinese central government has pursued a policy meant to neutralize the separatist tendencies in that region of China.

It is obvious that the Chinese government has not succeeded in containing the Uyghur separatist threat in the Xinjiang province. The measures adopted against the Uyghurs have boomeranged to such an extent that more terrorist attacks occurred in the provinces and outside China since the end of 2016. Moreover, as reported in July 2016 by New America, a U.S. think tank, Chinese religious restrictions on Muslims in Xinjiang may have driven more than 100 to join ISIS.5

The attacks perpetrated by the Uyghurs follow almost the same patterns as those conducted by Islamic radicals (ISIS and others) in other places worldwide such as car-ramming, suicide bombers, and knife-wielding attackers. But, unlike other places on the globe, the attacks are not publicized by the Chinese government, which keeps a tight grip on the information. As a Reuters correspondent put it: “The government has delayed reporting some previous incidents in Xinjiang, and limits on foreign journalists working there make it almost impossible to reach an independent assessment of the region’s security.”6

The defeat of ISIS in Iraq and the recent successes of Assad’s troops in Syria against the rebels seem to have created a crisis to which Beijing is trying to find solution before hundreds of Uyghurs fighters return home after fighting in the ranks of the rebels, fully trained for guerrilla warfare. Their experience may have a great impact in the manner the separatist Uyghurs are waging their war today. Added to the latest Uyghur threats to“shed blood like rivers,”7 one can anticipate that the Uyghur problem has grown to a dimension unknown in the past.

With this in mind, these exceptional circumstances may have pushed Beijing to deploy its elite troops to Syria to contain the possible flow of Uyghur fighters back to China. In parallel and as a quid pro quo, Beijing has expressed to the Syrian regime its interest in participating in the reconstruction effort of Syria and its readiness to invest billions of dollars to that effect.8

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Germany needs an extra 2,000 judges and prosecutors to process fivefold increase in terror cases

(BREITBART) — by Jack Montgomery

Germany’s judicial system is groaning under the strain of an explosion in terror cases since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door to unlimited numbers of migrants in 2015.

The German Attorney-General opened a shocking 1,200 terror cases in 2017, of which around 1,000 were related to radical Islamic terrorism, Tagesschau reports.

This represents a fivefold increase on 2016, when the figure stood at around 250 — with roughly 200 cases being related to radical Islam.

Sven Rebehn, the head of the German association of judges, has warned that the system is struggling to cope with the sheer volume of its expanded caseload, with burden particularly heavy in the migrant hotspots of Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg

The judicial federation has calculated that around 2,000 additional judges and prosecutors are needed if the country hopes to tackle the growing terror threat and clear the backlog, or else face real difficulty in the near future.

Migrants have not only increased the workload of the courts in the field of terrorism — for example, 91 per cent of a 48 per cent surge in Bavarian rape cases was attributed to migrants in September 2017.

But the costs of expanding the judicial system’s capacity to absorb the surge in terror cases is not the only expense to fall on Germany as a consequence of mass migration.

The cost of the country’s more recent arrivals was predicted to reach close to 100 billion euros by 2020 last year — with the figure likely to have increased since then.

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Populist leaders: EU ‘existential threat’ to Europe, ‘Drowning it in migrants to destroy our diversity’

(BREITBART) — by Virginia Hale

Populist leaders meeting in Prague this weekend said the EU is “killing Europe”, as they agreed to work on building an alternative model of cooperation that respects the continent’s peoples and cultures.

Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National and Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilders were among the populist politicians who met in the Czech capital to discuss their continent’s future at a conference entitled ‘For a Europe of Sovereign Nations”.

The Party for Freedom (PVV) firebrand fingered mass migration and “Islamization” as the top threats to Europe, and asserted that the Netherlands would be safer and more prosperous outside the EU, according to the Associated Press.

Pointing to demographic projections of Islam in Europe highlighted earlier this month by a Pew Report — which, writing in Breitbart London, he described as a “catastrophe in the making” — Wilders congratulated the Czech Republic for refusing to bow down to Brussels’ demand that third world migrants be spread throughout the bloc.

“In 30 or 50 years’ time, the Czech Republic will be surrounded by countries where 20 percent of the population will be Muslim,” he said.

“That is as if the Czech Republic became a Gaza Strip. We need to prevent mass migration even if it means building a wall.”

The Dutch populist praised U.S. President Donald J. Trump for moving to “restrict legal immigration instead of expanding it”, and urged Europe to call forth the “courage” to “introduce travel bans” and “repatriate the illegal immigrants”.

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Iranian daily: ‘We must prepare ourselves to build a new world order… implement the revolutionary discourse of the Imam Khomeini, and prepare ourselves, using the jihadi and revolutionary model, to play [our] role in the future of the world’

(MEMRI) — In his November 29, 2017 column in the Iranian daily Javan, which is affiliated with the country’s ideological camp, commentator Abdollah Motevalian wrote about the superiority of Iran’s Islamic Revolution over other revolutions in the world, which, he said, faded out after a few years.

He set out the principles of the Iranian regime’s Islamic revolutionary model, and explained how to make this regime global by exporting the revolution. The aim of the Islamic revolution, he emphasized – much as Iranian regime officials emphasize – is to build a new world order – a Shi’ite Islamic one – on the ruins of the Western world order.

Citing Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations,” i.e. that Islam will be the civilization to challenge the West, Motevalian wrote that the Islamic revolutionary regime of Iran, which has expanded its penetration to Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Gulf of Aden, Bab El-Mandeb, the borders of China, and the Mediterranean coast, is the Islamic force capable of shaping a new world order.

“All the experts and political scientists in the world acknowledge that the Islamic Revolution in Iran was an exceptional revolution, unlike any other in previous centuries in the world, and that it has had an influential and extensive impact in several areas simultaneously:

1. Removing tyranny and fighting internal dictatorship [for example, in Iran, referring to the 1979 removal of the Shah].

2. Raising the flag of fighting the regime of global arrogance [i.e. the U.S. and its allies].

3. Creating a resistance axis and commanding the war against the occupying Zionist regime.

4. Directing public opinion in the world.

5. [Carrying out] a global mission and plan for creating the global rule of the Mahdi [the Shi’ite messiah].

“But we must know that if this [ideology of] hostility against the arrogance [i.e. the U.S. and the West] does not have the required tools and principles, then, like all other revolutions, it will disintegrate within a short time, or at most in its first decade, gradually, until it is ultimately defeated.

“The following are some of the principles [that must be implemented to ensure] that the Islamic revolution continues to actualize its goals, [in Iran] and in the world:

“Identifying the enemy (i.e. identifying the regime of arrogance); believing in the need for fighting the enemy; a revolutionary discourse; a fighting strategy; persistence in fighting, with no hiatus; jihadi spirit; a plan for the fighting; tirelessness; making it a people’s war and leveraging all the human potential in the country (to do so); relying on domestic and national capability (both material and spiritual); and also:

“Relying on the potential outside the country and leveraging it for the fighting that relies on expanding the passive national defense; the belief, among all state politicians, streams, and parties, including members of the government, in fighting the regime of arrogance; integrity among the administrators and government officials, and their firm rejection of any taint of capitalism or accumulation of wealth; identifying the hostile methods of the enemy – much more important than identifying the enemy himself; having no fear of the enemy and of sanctions (i.e. not to panic); taking advantage, in a timely way, of [our] strong points and opportunities on the front; taking advantage, in a timely way, quickly, and to the maximum, of the weak points of the enemy, and turning the enemy’s threats into opportunities [for us]; monitoring for signs of enemy espionage and monitoring enemy efforts to infiltrate [the country and society], including by its infiltration elements [i.e. fifth columns]; waging informational and cultural propaganda for all [regime] steps in the various areas; resisting being lured by the enemy and paying attention to his methods of hostility; maintaining constant versatility in adapting to all the demands of the state in all areas, including economy, politics, culture, and so on.

“Iran is now in the 40th year of the revolution, and it is advancing its lofty goals with determination and pride, despite internal difficulties. It is neutralizing all the plots of the regime of arrogance, and has become a superpower in the region, and is independent. The Hebrew-Western-Wahhabi axis is enraged because of the serial defeats [it has suffered at Iran’s hands], and is handing over to Iran the main fronts in the region and in the world, one after another. Whether or not the regime of arrogance wants it to, there is no doubt that Iran will, in the future, become one of the poles of the world.

“We Need To Build The New World Order”

“In the past 40 years, Iran has successfully expanded its penetration – from the north, to Central Asia and the Caucasus; from the south, to the Gulf of Aden and Bab El-Mandeb; from the east, to China’s border; and from the West, to the Mediterranean coast.

“The signs of fear of Iran’s might and influence can be clearly seen, in the [three-sided] collective puppet show of the Saudi regime that controls the Hijaz, of the West, and of the Zionist regime – against [the resistance axis comprising] Lebanon, Iran, and so on.

“Samuel Huntington’s strategic points of view and his predictions [i.e. Clash of Civilizations] are not forgotten. He said: ‘After the USSR, there are eight civilizations. Of them, only the Islamic and Chinese cultures will clash [with the West] in the future, and this will be violent and bloody.’

“Now, 30 years after Huntington said this, the world is seeing the deterioration of the West’s might, and the shaping of the great civilization of Islam:

1. America is $17 trillion in debt, and in effect is economically bankrupt.

2. The world is witnessing the shaping of a multipolar regime with an Asiatic approach, in which Iran is a major axis.

3. Iran has become the No. 1 power in the region, and it is very influential.

4. The peoples of the world hate the behavior of the West in general, and particularly of America; this hatred is increasing by the day.

5. The internal problems in America and in Europe are increasing, and this facilitates conditions for the emergence of new powers.

6. The Western media empire is collapsing; the administration of the media is changing rapidly, and is no longer exclusively in the hands of the West.

7. Iran is situated in the best spot in the [Asian] continent, and is unquestionably superior in the world with regard to oil and energy.

8. Iran has the material and spiritual might and capability to export its revolution to the world.

9. The Saudi regime that controls the Hijaz has suffered defeat in all its schemes to expand, and all its threats and efforts against Iran have become opportunities for Iran.

10. The West, particularly America, cannot meet the needs of their people, because of the weakness of the liberal-capitalist [ideology], and have become helpless in the face of the Wall Street movement [sic].

“Therefore, our strong points must be matched with the weak points of the enemies, and our diplomacy must be adjusted in accordance with the long-term goals of the revolution.

“We must prepare ourselves to build a new world order. We need to build the new world order, and not to wait for others to shape the future according to their doctrine and their goals…

“Day by day, we must strengthen our military and media, implement the revolutionary discourse of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini, and prepare ourselves, using the jihadi and revolutionary model, to play [our] role in the future of the world.”

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Shabaab targets Somali police academy in suicide attack, killing 18 and wounding another 15

(THE LONG WAR JOURNAL) — By Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss

Earlier today, a suicide bomber disguised as a Somali police officer infiltrated a police academy in Mogadishu and detonated his explosives near a group of officers. Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, claimed credit for the attack.

The suicide bomber entered the academy wearing a police uniform. According to Somali authorities, the bomber was not able to position himself within the middle of the group of officers who gathered to attend a parade, which aided in saving lives. However, the explosion killed at least 18 people and wounding at least another 15. Other reports have put the wounded number at 20.

Shortly after the attack, Shabaab claimed credit through its various media outlets. On its Shahada News website, it claimed its forces killed and wounded more than 60 police officers in the attack. On its Radio Al Andalus, it released an audio statement from its spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab where he claimed Shabaab killed 29 police officers. Shabaab has often inflated casualty numbers in its claims of responsibilities.

Today’s suicide bombing is the first since Nov. 14 when a suicide car bomb rammed into an African Union convoy near Mogadishu. In October, Shabaab also conducted three coordinated bombings on a hotel in Mogadishu, killing dozens. Just two weeks prior to that assault, Shabaab perpetrated one of, if not the deadliest suicide car bombing in history when it killed over 500 people near a hotel also in Mogadishu.

The US military has stepped up the targeting of both Shabaab and the rival Islamic State in an effort to reduce attacks against the central government, security personnel, and civilians. So far this year, the US military has launched 28 airstrikes against Shabaab and four more against the Islamic State, US Africa Command told FDD’s Long War Journal earlier this week.

The last reported strike, which took place on Dec. 12, destroyed a Shabaab car bomb as it was being driven to Mogadishu. AFRICOM claimed that the car bomb posed “an imminent threat to the people of Mogadishu.”

The US military ramped up strikes against Shabaab and the Islamic State’s networks in Somalia at the end of March, after the Trump administration loosened the restrictions on the use of force against Shabaab. Both the Departments of Defense and State have noted that Shabaab has become more dangerous over the past year and has regained territory. Shabaab has killed hundreds of African Union and Somali forces while overrunning bases in southern Somalia and has maintained its safe havens while expanding areas under its control during 2016.

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36,755 attacks against German police in 2016: Police are told they have no chance

(SPEISA) — Violent attacks against German police have reached epidemic proportions, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy is to blame, official statistics show, according to the Gatestone Institute.

The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) reported 36,755 attacks against German police in 2016 — or an average of 100 per day, a significant increase over previous years.

Violence — including verbal and physical assaults, and even murder — against police is rampant in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. According to the BKA, the epicenter of the problem in 2016 was North Rhine-Westphalia (8,929 incidents), the state with the largest migrant population, followed by: Bavaria (4,930); Baden-Württemberg (4,355); Berlin (3,154); Lower Saxony (3,030); Hesse (1,870); Saxony (1,573); Rhineland-Palatinate (1,537); Hamburg (1,339); Thüringen (1,228); Schleswig-Holstein (1,237); Brandenburg (1,009); Saxony-Anhalt (899); Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (658); Saarland (521); and Bremen (486).

Preliminary data, recently leaked to German public radio, indicate that in terms of violence against German law enforcement officers, 2017 will be a record-breaking year. In Berlin alone, attacks against police this year are up 70% in Görlitzer Park, 35% at the Warsaw Bridge and 15% at Kottbusser Tor, according to the Berliner Morgenpost.

Official statistics do not reveal the source of the violence, but do show a spike in attacks against police since 2015, when Merkel allowed into the country more than a million migrants, mostly Muslim, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Anecdotal evidence corroborates claims by police that migrants are behind many of the attacks.

In Gelsenkirchen, for instance, two police officers stopped a driver after he ran a red light. The driver stepped out of the car and ran away. When police caught up with him, they were confronted by more than 50 members of an Arab clan. A 15-year-old attacked a policeman from behind and strangled him to the point of unconsciousness. In another incident, police were surrounded and physically assaulted by more than 60 members of an Arab clan.

Senior members of the Gelsenkirchen police department subsequently held a secret meeting with representatives of three Arab clans in order to “cultivate social peace between Germans and Lebanese.” A leaked police report revealed that the clans told Police Chief Ralf Feldmann that “the police cannot win a war with the Lebanese because we outnumber them.” The clan members added: “This applies to all of Gelsenkirchen, if we so choose.”

In a bestselling book, German police officer Tania Kambouri blamed the deteriorating security situation on migrants who have no respect for law and order. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, she said:

“For weeks, months and years I have noticed that Muslims, mostly young men, do not have even a minimum level of respect for the police. When we are out patrolling the streets, we are verbally abused by young Muslims. There is the body language, and insults like ‘sh*t cop’ when passing by. If we make a traffic stop, the aggression increases ever further, this is overwhelmingly the case with migrants.

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Khamenei, Iran-backed militia leader threaten U.S. over recognition of Jerusalem

(THE TOWER) — Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his anger over the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, threatening that Palestine will be “freed” and claiming that America was starting a “war in the region to protect the security of the Zionist regime.”

The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that Khamenei had dismissed President Donald Trump’s decision as a sign of desperation. “That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem. He added: “On the issue of Palestine (US) hands are tied and they cannot advance their goals.”

Iran has long supported a number of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in their fight against Israel.

Meanwhile, the leader of an one of the Iran-backed Shiite militias operating in Iraq, which make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) threatened to attack United States forces in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

“The decision by Trump on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) makes it legitimate to strike the American forces in Iraq,” Akram al-Kaabi, leader of the Al-Nojaba militia, said.

Al-Nojaba was formed in 2013 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It answers to Iran’s IRGC-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and is part of the PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi, as the militias are known in Arabic.

In addition to fighting against ISIS in Iraq, Al-Nojaba has fought in Syria to support regime President Bashar al-Assad and helped Iran extend it influence across the region.

The U.S. is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 troops currently serving in Iraq.

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to Soleimani warning him and his proxies not to target American troops.

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Death toll for October Somalia attack rises to 512

(VOA) — The death toll in a truck bombing in Somalia in October now stands at 512, according to the committee investigating the tragedy.

The toll had been reported as 358. Even at the lower number, the bombing was the deadliest in Somalian history.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Somalian officials have blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which has been trying to overthrow the government and has deployed bomb attacks against government, military and civilian targets.

The committee, known as the Somali Emergency Operation Center, was established to investigate the October 14 bombing in Mogadishu. The government was to receive the report this week, but as of Saturday it had not commented.

In response to the October attack in Mogadishu’s Kilometre 5 neighborhood, the U.S. military expanded its operations against al-Shabab and increased the frequency of airstrikes targeting jihadist leaders.

The U.S. military now has more than 500 personnel in Somalia.

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Jihadist group calls for attacks on Western children to ‘avenge’ the deaths of minors killed in Syrian airstrikes

(DAILY MAIL) — By Iain Burns

A pro-ISIS jihadist group has called for Muslims to murder children in the West, an anti-extremism organization has warned.

The terrorists – calling themselves the al-Qastantiyyah Foundation – called for the slayings through the Telegram app.

They singled out the US, Australia and Europe as targets.

According to SITE Intelligence Group, the children are to be murdered as ‘revenge’ for minors killed by airstrikes in Syria.

Earlier this year, a different jihadist group – also pro-ISIS – called for children to be murdered in the West.

The US-led coalition battling ISIS in the Syrian Civil War contains the likes of Denmark, France, Germany, Britain and Australia.

They routinely destroy ISIS positions from the air and have previously killed civilians by accident.

ISIS, however, enslaves, tortures, rapes and murders children as a matter of principle, according to the United Nations.

The Islamist group also forces children to fight its battles, and often records videos of youngsters murdering prisoners in gruesome ways.

Earlier this week, ISIS terrorists operating on the Afghan-Pakistan border forced child soldiers to cut off the arms of a man they said was a spy.

He was then beheaded by a boy no older than 10.

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