Tagged: ISIS

Trump: ‘End of the ISIS caliphate is in sight’

(CNN) — By Miranda Green, CNN

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the United States would soon transition into a “new phase” of involvement in Syria after US-backed forces drove ISIS members from Raqqa, the city they deemed their capital.

“The defeat of ISIS in Raqqah represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS and its wicked ideology,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.

“We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again,” Trump said.

The US and its allies would support diplomatic negotiations to end the violence, to allow Syrian refugees to return to their homes, and to make way for “a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people,” the President added.

US-backed forces fighting ISIS in Raqqa announced this week that “major military operations” in the city have ended and that the terrorist group has lost control of its self-declared capital.

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Raqqa: Isis completely driven out of Syria ‘capital’ by US-backed forces

(UK INDEPENDENT) — By John Davidson

US-backed militias have completely taken Isis’ de facto capital, Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday, in a major symbolic blow to the jihadist group.

The fall of Raqqa, where Isis staged euphoric parades after its string of lightning victories in 2014, is a potent symbol of the movement’s collapsing fortunes. The city was used as a base for the group to plan attacks abroad.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias backed by a US-led international alliance, has been fighting Isis inside Raqqa since June.

SOHR said 3,250 people were killed in the five-month battle, including 1,130 civilians.

A witness said fighting appeared to be almost at an end with only sporadic bursts of gunfire.

Militia fighters celebrated in the streets, chanted slogans from their vehicles and raised a flag inside Raqqa stadium.

An SDF spokesman said the alliance would capture the last Isis areas in the city within hours.

Save The Children has warned that the humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria is “rapidly escalating”, with 270,000 people who have fled the fighting in “critical need” of aid and camps “bursting at the seams”.

On Saturday a deal was brokered for the last remaining local fighters in Raqqa to leave the city.

SDF spokesman Talal Silo said then that any fighters who were not signed up to the deal would be left behind “to surrender or die”.

The jihadists’ last bases in the city, a stadium and a hospital, were captured earlier on Tuesday, the SDF said.

A local field commander said no Isis fighters remained at the two central points where militants had been best entrenched and where the SDF said fighting on Monday night and early Tuesday was focused.

“We do still know there are still IEDs and booby traps in and amongst the areas that ISIS once held, so the SDF will continue to clear deliberately through areas,” said Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the coalition.

In a sign that the four-month battle for Raqqa was in its last stages, Col. Dillon said there had been no coalition air strikes there on Monday.

It is now hemmed in to a tiny bomb-cratered patch of the city around the stadium that was being pounded from the air by a US-led coalition and encircled by SDF fighters.

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Inside ISIS’ suicide bomb-making factories where fanatics painstakingly create deadly explosive and ball-bearing-laden vests

(THE SUN) — By Patrick Knox

CHILLING footage of ISIS bomb-makers painstakingly creating powerful suicide vests has been released on social media.

Photos of the factory, said to be close to Baghdad in Iraq, show masked bomb-makers assembling devices designed to kill or horribly maim as the doomed death-cult plots a last ditch murder campaign.

Wearing latex gloves, the ISIS jihadis are seen laying out plastic explosive and ball bearings as shrapnel before binding it up and stuffing it into a camouflage vest.

Another shot shows a room with several finished bombs.

A picture then shows a fighter fitted with the deadly cargo and what appears to be two triggers on the vest.

Last week it was revealed the terror group is on the run across the Middle East, according to the US led-coalition.

Col Ryan Dillon said: “ISIS is losing on all fronts, and they are losing their grip on their few remaining strongholds in both Iraq and Syria.”

The coalition and its partners on the ground – the Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces – remain committed to defeating the enemy, he said.

“But make no mistake,” Col Dillon added, “we fully expect fierce fighting in the days ahead.

“And while these terrorists remain a dangerous and desperate enemy, our ISF and SDF partners have proven they are up to the task.”

Iraqi forces have made significant progress in the fight, Dillon said.

“Our Iraqi partners have fought a long, bloody war and have sacrificed a great deal to liberate their people and clear terrorists from cities and villages,” he told reporters.

More than 26,000 square miles in Iraq have been cleared and more than four million people are now free from ISIS control, the colonel said.

“ISIS is on the run, and we must remain focused on delivering a decisive defeat in their few remaining holdouts in Iraq,” he added.

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ISIS persists in Vegas claim, dubs shooter ‘Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki’

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

After federal officials announced today that they saw no nexus to international terrorism in the Las Vegas Strip massacre, the Islamic State doubled down with their claim that Stephen Paddock was theirs — even granting the Mesquite, Nev., resident a nom de guerre.

ISIS claimed through their Amaq news agency this morning that the “Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting coalition countries.” They claimed he had converted to Islam recently.

They issued the claim in various languages, without evidence to back it up.

The special agent in charge of the FBI’s field office in Las Vegas, Aaron Rouse, told reporters, “We have determined, to this point, no connection to an international terrorist group.”

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said authorities still don’t know the motive of Paddock, 64, who killed himself before SWAT officers accessed his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a perch he used to unleash automatic weapons fire on an open-air music festival kitty-corner from the hotel.

“We don’t know what his belief system was at this time,” Lombardo said.

Yet ISIS persisted, issuing a longer official communique that called Paddock “Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki” — the American.

The new statement claims Paddock, specifically answering the call of ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, conducted the attack after “accurate monitoring of crusaders” in the venue. It offered no further proof.

The “soldier of the caliphate,” the communique says, “equipped with machine guns and ammunition” fired on the concert with “600 between killed and wounded until the soldier’s ammunition was finished and he became a martyr.”

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Dozens of Al-Nusra, ISIS-affiliated jihadists entered Germany posing as refugees

(RT) — Several dozen Syrian extremists linked to both al-Nusra Front and ISIS, who committed “numerous massacres” of civilians and captives, have sought asylum in Germany, Der Spiegel reports.

Some 60 members of a Syrian militant group called Liwa Owais al-Korani or the Owais al-Korani Brigade arrived to Germany as refugees, Der Spiegel reports, citing sources within the German security services.
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The Owais al-Korani Brigade initially fought on the side of the Free Syrian Army but then switched sides and joined al-Nusra Front (now self-styled Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) – Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the weekly says, adding that the group also fought alongside Islamic State(IS, former ISIS/ISIL) in the Raqqa province for months.

The group’s fighters were involved in “numerous massacres of captured civilians and Syrian soldiers,” the report says, adding that at least 300 people died at the hands of the militants.

One of the Owais al-Korani Brigade former commanders identified as Abdul Dschawad al-K., who came to Germany in October 2014 and was granted asylum, took part in the mass execution of civilians and prisoners of war.

During the massacre that happened near the Syrian town of Tabka in March 2013, the Owais al-Korani Brigade militants killed 36 policemen, administrative workers and militia fighters who supported Syrian President Bashar Assad. Some of the massacre victims were beheaded.

Less than half of group members identified so far

The German state security service, the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BfV), established a special task force to deal with the group members who came to Germany, according to the Spiegel report. So far, the investigators have successfully identified 25 former Owais al-Korani Brigade fighters who sought asylum in Germany.
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Some of the group’s members have already been charged with war crimes and will stand trial in late September. Abdul Dschawad al-K, who is also among those charged, not only took part in massacres in Syria but also reportedly planned to carry out a terrorist attack in the German city of Dusseldorf in the name of Islamic State.

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Muhammad and the made men of Allah

YOU WOULD THINK THAT ISIS HAD REACHED the limit of its ability to nauseate with its barbaric terror tactics such as beheadings and crucifixions and mass shootings of captured Syrian and Iraqi soldiers and the impaling of severed heads on the spikes of a wrought-iron fence. But it has not reached its limits, and there may never be a limit. The evidence is in a 16-minute video the so-called Islamic State released when it was still in its expansion phase.

This appears to be a recruitment video since it touts the blood-soaked history of ISIS, and the centerpiece is more blood soaking. At the eight-minute mark, it documents the simultaneous beheading of 19 captured Syrian pilots and military officers who have been marched out to the desert in front of 19 executioners and forced to their knees. Read more »

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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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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