Tagged: ISIS

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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Yazidi genocide survivor: ‘Jews are an example for us’

(JERUSALEM POST) — By Noa Amouyal

In Israel for the first time, Yazidi genocide survivor Nadia Murad Basee explains why her experience and Jewish suffering during the Holocaust are intertwined.

You don’t need to know Kurdish to understand the sadness that has seeped into Nadia Murad’s soul. In August 2014 Murad was captured by ISIS in her village of Kocho, Iraq and sold into sex slavery where she witnessed unspeakable atrocities. Today she is a Yazidi refugee.

She is one of 5,200 Yazidi people abducted by Islamic State in Iraq whose lives were torn apart because religious extremists saw them as “kafir” or “nonbelievers.” Her dreams of being a teacher were destroyed in an instant three years ago, when ISIS tore through her town, murdered six of her brothers and held her captive for months.

Her captor’s failing to lock a door was her gateway to freedom, as she escaped, found her way to a refugee camp and now is one of more than a thousand Yazidis who were accepted into a refugee asylum program in Germany.

Murad’s, bravery in telling her experiences to international audiences all over the world is extraordinary.

She was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations last year as an advocate for her people and is explaining to the world that the crimes waged against them must not go unpunished.

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Teenage Isis bride from Germany captured in Mosul

(THE UK TELEGRAPH) — By Josie Ensor

A 16-year-old German Islamic State bride, who reportedly joined the jihadist group after being radicalized online, has been captured by Iraqi forces in the ruins of Mosul.

Linda Wenzel, from the small town of Pulsnitz, near Dresden, was discovered by troops with a group of 20 other suspected foreign female Isis members in a tunnel under the Old City on Thursday.

Pictures shared on social media show the girl being escorted by security forces, appearing pale and unveiled but wearing a colorful scarf around her neck.

She appears pale, afraid and covered in dust, unveiled but wearing a colorful scarf around her neck.

She was initially mistaken for a kidnapped Yazidi girl because of her lack of Arabic.

Linda was reported missing from her home a year ago, where she had been living with her mother, Katharina, and step-father, Thomas.

She grew up in a Protestant family, and had not showed any interest in religion until a few months before her disappearance. In the spring of 2016 she told her parents for the first time that she was interested in Islam.

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Estimated 40,000 civilians killed during Mosul siege

(THE QUEENSLAND TIMES) — By Patrick Cockburn

More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the devastating battle to retake Mosul from Isis, according to intelligence reports revealed exclusively to The Independent – a death toll far higher than previous estimates.

Residents of the besieged city were killed by Iraqi ground forces attempting to force out militants, as well as by air strikes and Isis fighters, according to Kurdish intelligence services.

Hoshyar Zebari, until recently a senior minister in Baghdad, told The Independent that many bodies “are still buried under the rubble”. “The level of human suffering is immense,” he said.

“Kurdish intelligence believes that over 40,000 civilians have been killed as a result of massive firepower used against them, especially by the federal police, air strikes and Isis itself,” Mr Zebari added.

Mr Zebari, a native of Mosul and top Kurdish official who has served as the Iraqi finance minister and prior to that foreign minister, emphasized in an exclusive interview that the unrelenting artillery bombardment by units of the Iraqi federal police, in practice a heavily armed military unit, had caused immense destruction and loss of life in west Mosul.

The figure given by Mr Zebari for the number of civilians killed in the nine-month siege is far higher than those previously reported, but the intelligence service of the Kurdistan Regional Government has a reputation for being extremely accurate and well-informed. Isis prevented any monitoring of casualties while outside groups have largely focused on air strikes rather than artillery and rocket fire as a cause of civilian deaths.

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Fighting continues as Iraq celebrates victory over Islamic State in Mosul

(VOA) — By Heather Murdock

Inch by inch, house by house, Iraqi forces continue to fight remaining Islamic State militants in Mosul even as officials celebrate victory. The battle is now in such tight quarters that coalition airstrikes against IS targets shake Iraqi-held buildings.

Soldiers described the final fights as the most brutal in the battle with Islamic State militants, as they entered houses where militants hide out in suicide vests.

As the sun faded in Mosul on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s convoy departed the “liberated city of Mosul.” Some excited-looking locals gathered to commemorate his visit, their mobile phone cameras at the ready.

The vast majority of Mosul is controlled by Iraqi forces, with the militants penned inside an area of only about 200 square meters. Iraqi soldiers said the remaining fighters are zealots; most are not Iraqis, and for them every battle is fought is to the death.

Fighting to the death

“They shouted at us, ‘Get out of this Muslim land, infidels!” Barak Razaq, an Iraqi special forces soldier, said on the frontlines Sunday. “Then we saw them wearing suicide vests. We threw grenades at them and retreated and then called for an airstrike.”

Soldiers estimated there are between 100 and 150 IS members still fighting in Mosul, and said they are focusing now on taking the remaining militants alive. They expect the battle to end completely in the coming days, and then will move on to other cities and towns controlled by IS, in addition to fighting “sleeper cells” they believe are hidden among Mosul’s civilian population.

“We are using a different kind of grenade now,” said First Lieutenant Mohammad Sahab, standing on a pile of rubble near the swollen body of a dead IS fighter. “They are meant only to wound.”

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‘ISIS suicide bomber accidentally kills 12 comrades when his belt explodes while they wished him good luck as he prepared to carry out an attack in Iraq’

(DAILY MAIL) — An ISIS suicide bomber accidentally killed 12 comrades when his belt exploded while they wished him good luck ahead of a planned attack in Iraq, is has been reported.

The terrorists were giving their comrade a send-off in Diyala when his explosives detonated prematurely, according to a top police official.

It happened at what ISIS call a blood party, where suicide bombers are given a final farewell before martyrdom.

Diyala police chief Jassem al-Saadi told Iraqi News in a statement the 12 militants had been killed in the Mekheisa region, northeast of Baqubah near Baghdad.

Just yesterday, ISIS commanders were killed after one of the group’s suicide bombers blew himself up at a meeting following the terrorists’ collapse in Mosul.

The jihadi detonated explosives during a meeting in Qaim District in the west of the Anbar Province and the blast killed a number of leaders as well as himself.

The double botched bombings came as Islamic State lost more ground in their last major stronghold in Iraq with the terror group’s numbers depleted and confined to an area of about a square kilometre in the Old City.

Lieutenant Colonel Salam al-Obeidi said that he believes only ‘a few hundred Daesh fighters’, an Arabic acronym for Islamic State group jihadists, are left in the Old City.

Three years after overrunning Mosul and making it the de facto Iraqi capital of the ‘caliphate’ they proclaimed, the jihadists now only control about a square kilometre in the city, commanders said.

There have been 80 suicide bombings by ISIS in the past four days, according to the BBC, and with the terror group facing extinction in Mosul, it appears their motive has now turned to taking as many casualties as they can with them.

Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed al-Tamim said: ‘Daesh members don’t turn themselves in.

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Sold for $60: Yazidi children describe cruel life as IS slave

(MIDDLE EAST EYE) — By Brenda Stoter

DUHOK, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – Umm and Abu Ahmed could not have children of their own. So when the middle-aged Sunni couple from Mosul heard the Islamic State (IS) group was selling Yazidi orphans, they decided to take one in. For $500, they bought five-year-old Ayman.

Abu and Umm bought all kinds of toys for Ayman, changed his name into Ahmed, taught him how to memorize the Quran and enrolled him in a local school. For 18 months, they raised him like he was their own son.

Ayman’s relatives had no idea the boy, who was four years old when he was kidnapped by IS, was living with a family in Mosul.

“In fact, we didn’t even know he was still alive,” said Basma, Ayman’s grandmother, sitting in a concrete house in the village of Khanke, 20 miles southwest of Duhok in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

But four months ago, local Arabs in a liberated part of Mosul told Iraqi forces that a couple was keeping a Yazidi child in their home. The Iraqi forces, accompanied by US soldiers, went to the house, and took him.

A YouTube video by an NGO shows how Ayman clings to Umm, and holds hands with Abu while they are walking towards the vehicle of the Iraqi troops.

On 28 January, Ayman was reunited with his grandmother in Iraqi Kurdistan, a safe haven for many displaced Yazidis.

“I couldn’t believe he was still alive and well. It was a miracle,” Basma said, adding that 11 relatives, including Ayman’s real parents and brother, all from the Yazidi village of Hardan, are still missing.

Basma was also abducted by IS, but was released when the group considered her too old to sell.

No memory of real parents

While his grandmother was overwhelmed with happiness, Ayman had trouble adjusting. He missed his adoptive parents, whom he grew accustomed to.

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ISIS urges attacks on Ramadan’s Night of Power, Islam’s holiest day

(FOX NEWS) — By Hollie McKay

Law enforcement officials around the world are on high alert this week as ISIS calls for a surge of civilian attacks during Islam’s “Night of Power,” the holiest day on the Islamic calendar, which this year begins Wednesday evening.

Known in Arabic as “Laylat al-Qadr,” it marks the night during the holy month of Ramadan that Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Quran.

While the vast majority of Muslims consider the occasion as the best time in the year to pray for blessings and forgiveness, jihadist groups such as ISIS exploit the date to urge brutal acts of violence.

Last year, when the Night of Power fell on July 2, a widely shared message pushing for “calamity everywhere for the nonbelievers,” was delivered by ISIS. And that night there was a surge of deadly terror attacks.

ISIS operatives plunged into a foreigner-frequented restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and hacked 20 people to death when they were not able to recite verses from the Quran. On the same day, ISIS fighters detonated a massive truck bomb in a popular Baghdad shopping district, killing at least 200.

Pro-ISIS messages are said to be circling on encrypted apps such as Telegram this week, calling on Muslims to “wake up, the war is starting,” especially in the wake of Sunday’s mosque attack in London.

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ISIS newspaper days before London bridge: New UK attack ‘definitely coming’

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

The latest issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newspaper al-Naba released two days ago warned that another terrorist attack in Britain was “definitely coming.”

Al-Naba, a 16-page color newsletter, is distributed within ISIS territory but is also posted and distributed online via the usual ISIS mediums such as Telegram and social media.

Britain, said an article within the newsletter titled “Blessed Battle of Manchester: A new lesson for tyrants, Crusader States,” thought it “was safe from the wounds of the Mujahideen.”

“Protected by the sea they have long relied on isolating themselves” and thought “their exit from the European Union would save them.”

“A soldier from the Islamic State” in Manchester, the article continued, “has unleashed terror throughout their country, they rushed to spread the army in the cities, mobilizing police and security in the streets for fear of a new attack,” which “is inevitable, God willing.”

ISIS branded British security and vigilance across cities and towns a “costly, exhausting situation.”

ISIS also needled the UK for “their abandonment of John Cantlie,” a British war correspondent who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012 and has been forced to write propaganda pieces and film video segments for his ISIS captors. Cantlie was last seen in December ISIS videos reporting from Mosul.

Though Al-Naba usually focuses on events within ISIS territory, Ohio State terrorist Abdul Razak Ali Artan was featured in a December article calling the first-year student “one of the Mujahideen of the Islamic State” who “attacked a gathering” at the school, causing “serious injuries.”

British authorities are treating tonight’s ramming of pedestrians on London Bridge by a white van speeding at about 50 mph and a stabbing at nearby Borough Market as terrorist incidents.

Last month in Rumiyah magazine, which is published in several languages including English, ISIS published a remedial step-by-step pictorial for lone jihadists on how to use a heavy vehicle to kill, walking would-be terrorists through how to acquire a vehicle and which targets to strike.

“The ideal vehicle,” said ISIS, has a “slightly raised chassis and bumper,” is a “double-wheeled, load-bearing truck” that “large in size, heavy in weight” and is “fast in speed or rate of acceleration.”

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DHS chief: If you knew what I knew about terror, you’d ‘never leave the house’

(THE HILL) — By Mark Hensch

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Friday said the terror threat is worse than most realize, saying some people would “never leave the house” if they knew the truth.

“I was telling [Fox host] Steve [Doocy] on the way in here, if he knew what I knew about terrorism, he’d never leave the house in the morning,” Kelly said on “Fox & Friends.”

He noted there were four major terror attacks in the last week — in England, Egypt, the Philippines and Indonesia — “by generally the same groups.”

“It’s everywhere. It’s constant. It’s nonstop. The good news for us in America is we have amazing people protecting us every day. But it can happen almost here anytime.”

Masked gunmen opened fire on a group of Coptic Christians driving to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 26 and injuring 25 more.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reportedly called an emergency meeting after the attack in Minya Province.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a Monday bombing after and Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 and injured more than 100.

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