Tagged: Islamic State

Rev. Graham: The city of Qaraqosh in Iraq had 50,000 Christians in 2014, now 7 families remain

(CNS NEWS) — By Michael W. Chapman

During his recent trip to Iraq to celebrate Easter, Reverend Franklin Graham visited the city of Qaraqosh, where in 2014 some 50,000 Christians were forced to flee because of attacks from the Islamic State and where today only about 7 families remain. Because of radical Islam, most of Iraq’s Christian “congregations are now dispersed all over the world,” he said.

In an April 16 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, “Yesterday we went to the city of Qaraqosh, in Iraq, which used to be home to some 50,000 Christians who were forced to flee for their lives in 2014. Now just a handful, about 7 families, remain.”

“I visited a church that had been burned and destroyed by ISIS and met with the pastor,” said Graham. “Incredibly, in the ashes and debris, we discovered one of our Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that had been given to a child there at some point. I couldn’t help but wonder where the child who received this box is today.”

“My heart goes out to the pastors in this region,” he said. “Most of their congregations are now dispersed all over the world. As shepherds they want to be able to help their flocks. They want to be able to care for them and protect them, but until there’s a political settlement there’s no way this is going to happen.”

“Will you join me in praying for them?” said Rev. Graham.

He continued, “We also found charred pages from a Bible. I picked up a section that contained John 20:27 – ‘Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ He’s still saying that to the world today—this Easter Sunday—Believe!”

Franklin Graham is the son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Franklin Graham runs the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse.

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Coptic churches are devastated by double ISIS bombers as 43 Christians are killed at two Palm Sunday services in Egypt

(DAILY MAIL) — At least 43 people were killed in bomb attacks on two Egyptian Coptic churches on Palm Sunday that included the seat of the Coptic Pope, the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also injured more than 100 people and occurred a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.

The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city about 100 km (60 miles) north of Cairo, tore through the inside of St. George Church during its Palm Sunday service, killing at least 27 people and injuring at least 78, the Ministry of Health said.

The second, carried out a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 16 people, including three police officers, and injuring 41, the ministry added.

Coptic Pope Tawadros, who had attended mass at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, was still in the building at the time of the explosion but was not harmed, the Interior Ministry said.

“These acts will not harm the unity and cohesion of the people,” Tawadros said later, according to state media.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi condemned the attacks and summoned the National Defense Council to an urgent session.

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Fears of Islamic State’s long game persist as caliphate crumbles

(VOA) — By Jeff Seldin

Across much of Iraq and parts of Syria, the Islamic State terror group is in retreat. Yet, Iraqi and U.S. officials tell VOA they have a creeping fear that the larger war is still very much undecided.

To be clear, few worry IS will again be able to make the kind of sudden, massive land grab it did in 2013 and 2014 when, bolstered by tens of thousands of foreign fighters, it captured one Iraqi city after another.

Rather, they fear something more subtle: that the resilient terror group has played the long game well enough that even as its self-declared caliphate teeters on the verge of collapse, it will be a force to reckon with for some time to come.

“They have sleeper cells. They have networks,” Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Iraq’s Kirkuk province, said during a recent visit to Washington. “They exist everywhere.”

The extent to which IS has permeated Iraqi society, despite losing its grip on upward of 65 percent of the territory it once controlled, is difficult to estimate. But Iraqi and U.S. officials caution that IS has found ways to slip past even the most watchful eyes.

Teenage fighters

Perhaps the terror group’s most successful and insidious tactic is its use of teenagers, young enough to avoid suspicion but old enough to be highly effective. U.S. and Iraqi officials describe them as the first wave of brainwashed youth truly capable of serving IS’s cause.

“Those who were 14 or 15 years old when ISIS came, now they are very active,” Karim said, describing them as hardened veterans.

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Turning kids into killers: Islamic State creates lost generation of Iraqi youth

(MIDDLE EAST EYE) — Mosul, Iraq – Hasan thought he had seen everything after fighting Islamic State in Fallujah in Tikrit. Then he came to Mosul, and a boy no older then 10 tried to kill him.

“It was utterly shocking,” said the 40-year-old soldier, dragging nervously on a cigarette as he remembers the child among a group of young IS suicide bombers.

“I found myself in front of children full of hatred. They all had explosive belts and they were all ready to die. It isn’t anything like killing an adult. But we had to do it.

“It’s a cruelty that has no end. For us it is a violent pain, we know we have to fight against children who have been indoctrinated in the name of a sick religion.”

This is the reality of war in northern Iraq, where IS is throwing everything – and everyone – at Iraqi forces as they slowly take back Mosul and the surrounding areas in a bitter war that has destroyed the very social fabric of the city.

Children have been spared nothing: poverty, malnutrition and cruelty under IS control; then forced onto the frontlines to be used as spotters, fighters, human shields and suicide bombers as the battles began to rage.

These are tactics that have destroyed family life in the city and its surrounding villages, where IS scooped up youngsters to teach them the ways of their “Caliph”.

In Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, Amir tells Middle East Eye of his own son, Mushak, who swore allegiance aged 11 soon after IS arrived in 2014.

“My children had never gone to school,” he said, his face a contortion of fatigue and pain.

“When Daesh arrived my son was a boy full of anger, he could not read or write. They taught him the hatred of the infidels. They taught him to kill.

“In two-and-a-half years he became a soldier of the Islamic police. He wasn’t even 14. I tried to stop him swearing allegiance to the Caliph, and he told me: ‘Shut up or I’ll cut your head’.”

“One day he came home with a gun and threatened me – an armed child who comes into the house saying I cannot criticise Daesh – and broke his mother’s arm as she begged him to stop.”

All villages had recruiters, said Amir, adding that more than half of the children of Hamam al-Alil have been recruited, many of them never been seen again.

Amir has lost his son: “I’m not scared he is dead. I do not care. Mushak is the shame of our family.

“Now here everybody hate us, we are desperate, we can not even go to the shop, we live locked in the house, for fear of being lynched in the street. We lost everything, a son, home, dignity, everything.”

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Jihadi terror manuals on how to use a car as a ‘tool of war’ for mass murder can be found in just two minutes on Google and Twitter

(DAILY MAIL) — Guides to mounting a car terror attack were available on Google and Twitter last night. The vile manuals were online despite widespread warnings that UK jihadists use them for training.

Fanatics are urged to deploy large vehicles as ‘tools of war’ before going on a stabbing rampage – the template for Wednesday’s atrocity in Westminster. Boris Johnson accused social media websites of inciting terrorism.

And Google’s YouTube video platform was found to be raking in money from conspiracy theories saying the London outrage was a hoax.

As the maniac behind the attack was unmasked as 52-year-old Khalid Masood:

The security services faced questions because he was known to police and MI5;
Home Secretary Amber Rudd denied failures but admitted: ‘One got through’;
It emerged MPs had raised concerns about the Commons gates Masood waltzed through;
Officials revealed that he was shot dead by a ministerial bodyguard, rather than by armed police;
Islamic State claimed Masood was its ‘soldier’;
Officers made eight arrests around the country;
The death toll rose to five when a 75-year-old man died in hospital last night.

Masood, a bodybuilder and violent criminal who claimed to have been a teacher, raced across Westminster Bridge on Wednesday in a hire car, smashing into pedestrians at up to 70mph, killing three and injuring 28.

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ISIS vows to ‘shed blood like rivers’ in first threat against China

(DAILY CALLER) — Islamic State militants have issued their first threat against China.

In a half-hour video released Monday, ISIS fighters, members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority, who primarily reside in Xinjiang Province, threatened to return home and “shed blood like rivers,” reports the Agence-France Presse, citing the SITE Intelligence Group.

“Oh, you Chinese who do not understand what people say. We are the soldiers of the Caliphate, and we will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenge the oppressed,” an ISIS militant declared before brutally executing an informant.

The man was executed in the presence of children. The video also reportedly showed children executing spies.

The video was released by a militant division in western Iraq and shows life in East Turkestan. China has long warned that Uighur separatists affiliated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement pose a growing threat and could join up with larger global terror networks.

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Iraqi sinkhole mass grave for 4,000 ISIS victims

(RT) — The bodies of some 4,000 Islamic State victims have been buried in the Khasfa sinkhole in Iraq’s desert, making it the country’s largest mass grave, according to locals, police, and activists, as cited by The Telegraph.

The sinkhole is located near the Baghdad-Mosul highway, only eight kilometers from Mosul, the daily reports.

Witnesses and police, as well as human rights organizations, say that Islamic State (IS, Daesh, formerly ISIS/ISIL) murdered and dumped the bodies of thousands of Iraqi troops into the sinkhole after they captured Mosul three years ago.

The majority were shot and thrown into the pit, locals said.

“Daesh would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pickups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded. They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head,” 40-year-old local villager Mahmoud told The Daily Telegraph.

The terrorist killers were masked, the witness added.

Earlier this week, the Telegraph reportedly went to the Khasfa sinkhole following the recapture of the western half of Mosul by Iraqi troops.

The city has been under IS control since 2014, and the offensive to retake it began in October.

On Friday, Iraqi forces seized the city’s airport.

Over the past years, IS is believed to have conducted a campaign to hunt down and murder policemen and soldiers and toss them into mass graves in the desert.

Human Rights Watch reported last November that IS had executed at least 300 policemen and buried them in a mass grave some 30 kilometers from Mosul.

Another mass grave containing 100 beheaded bodies was found earlier that month in a school just outside of Mosul.

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ISIS radical claiming to have raped 200 women explains: ‘Young men need this, it’s normal’

(CHRISTIAN POST) — A captured Islamic State terror group soldier, who claims to have raped over 200 women and killed as many as 500 people in total, tried to explain that the reason IS carries out mass rape of women and children is because “young men need this.”

(Photo: Reuters)Amar Hussein, 21, a captured IS militant in this undated photo.

Amar Hussein, the militant who was captured in October during an assault on the city of Kirkuk in Iraq, spoke with Reuters about his experiences, revealing that IS commanders gave soldiers permission to rape as many Yazidi women and other minorities as they wanted.

“Young men need this,” Hussein apparently said. “This is normal.”

The jihadist explained that militants were able to rape so many women because they moved from house to house in the captured cities in Iraq, taking women and children as sex slaves, while killing the men.

“We shot whoever we needed to shoot and beheaded whoever we needed to behead,” he added.

Hussein, who was first taken to be a jihadi fighter at 14 years of age, recalled that IS leaders trained soldiers to kill people, and although at first it was difficult for him to obey such orders, it got easier the more he did it.

“Seven, eight, 10 at a time, 30 or 40 people,” he described. “We would take them in the desert and kill them.”

While Hussein’s claims of how many women he has raped and people in total he has killed are yet to be verified, several major international organizations have documented the mass enslavement and rape of women and children that goes on in captured IS territory.

Documents obtained by The Washington Post earlier in February revealed that IS keeps detailed records of its fighters, categorizing them by blood types and listing out how many “slave girls” each is allowed to own.

Survivors who have escaped IS, such as humans rights defender Nadia Murad, have been sharing their horrific stories of abuse.

“We didn’t feel valued as humans in their hands,” Murad, whose Yazidi family was shot in front of her, said in an interview.

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‘Islam is taking over’ Farage stunned as caller tells him fears for Britain

(UK EXPRESS) — By Darren Hunt

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was left stunned when a caller to the talk show he was hosting told Islam is rapidly and deliberately taking over Britain.

A caller phoned him on his LBC show as the host debated whether Europeans would support an immigration ban on citizens from majority-Muslim countries.

Similar to Donald Trump’s controversial ban on people from majority-Muslim countries, Farage claimed Europe is in favor of a similar policy.

The former Ukip leader, speaking from Strasburg, revealed how a recent poll conducted by Chatham House said over half of people living in Europe questioned would be in favor of a similar ban.

A survey of 10,000 Europeans showed that 56 per cent would support an immigration ban on citizens from majority-Muslim countries, while a caller then suggested that Muslims were already taking over the UK.

Speaking on LBC, Paul, from Liverpool, revealed how he had entered a Mosque and was shocked at what he heard from the Imam as he tried to get a grasp of the religion.

Speaking about the Imam, Paul claimed: “He said – ‘Allah has given us this country and every knee will bow at the name of Allah’.

“Islam is a takeover movement, it believes that Allah has given them this country, they’ll just take it over.

“We will have one choice, either convert or go or we will be pushed aside. Why are we allowing this to happen? This is colonization, this is takeover why have the leaders allowed this over the generations.”

During the show, Farage insisted he would “never ever suggest” a total ban on seven majority-Muslim countries from entering Britain.

However, caller Paul continued with his furious tirade over his ideas of the current situation in Britain.

He added: “A Muslim population has exploded in this country. In 1971 there was just 70,000 Muslims, nobody knows how many there are now, there may be as many as seven million.

“We know there are 2,000 mosques in Britain now, when the Queen came on the throne there was only one.”

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Blast rips through Sufi shrine in Pakistan, 100 dead

(TIMES OF INDIA) — Nearly 100 people were killed and several injured tonight when an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up inside the crowded shrine of revered Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town, some 200 KM northeast of Karachi, in a string of deadly blasts this week in Pakistan.

The bomber entered the shrine through its Golden gate and blew himself up near the site where the ritual of sufi dance ‘Dhamal’ was taking place. He first threw a grenade, which failed to explode, SSP Jamshoro Tariq Wilayat said.

“He first threw a grenade to cause panic and then blew himself up,” the SSP said.

Sehwan police station SHO Rasool Baksh told reporters that around 100 people, including women and children, have been killed in the suicide bomb attack

Hundreds of devotees were present inside the premises of the vast mausoleum of the saint at the time of blast.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi foundation confirmed they have shifted 60 bodies to hospitals in Hyderabad and Jamshoro.

The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying a suicide bomber had targeted a “Shiite gathering” at the shrine in Sindh.

Commissioner Hyderabad Kazi Shahid said since the shrine was located in a remote area, some 130 kms from Hyderabad, ambulances and vehicles and medical teams were being sent from Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Moro, Dadu and Nawabshah to the blast site to take care of the injured and move the bodies.

“Emergency has been declared at hospitals in these places and rescue operations have started,” he said.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Pakistan army had been requested to provide night flying helicopters to shift the dead and injured.

“Yes it is a tragic incident and because the shrine is away from a major city there have been problems in providing rescue operations,” he said.

The army said a C130 aircraft will be used to lift the injured from Nawabshah.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and urged Pakistan to “stand united”.

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