Tagged: mass murder

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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St. Petersburg subway blast: One attacker believed to have planted two bombs

(FOX NEWS) — By Mike Arroyo

One person was believed to be behind the deadly attack in the subway in St. Petersburg, Russia, planting two bombs, one of which exploded, state media reported Monday.

At least 11 people were killed and some 45 others were wounded. Police initially believed a suicide bomber planted the device that exploded on a train, while a second person planted a separate device at a nearby station — but investigators later said it appeared to be the work of one man, the Interfax news agency reported. Crews disabled the second device before it could explode.

Both bombs were filled with shrapnel, according to Sky News. The unexploded device was rigged with up to 2.2 pounds of explosives, Interfax added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said investigators were looking into all possible causes. President Trump called it “absolutely a terrible thing,” adding, “it’s happening all over the world.”

The 2:20 p.m. explosion rocked the train between the Technology Institute station and the Sennaya Square station, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee said. Photos and video from one station appeared to show wounded victims on the smoke-filled platform, and a train car with a door blown out. Frantic commuters reached out through the doors and windows, shouting, “Call an ambulance!”

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. The National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported late Monday an 11th person had died.

“People were bleeding, their hair burned,” a witness told Russia’s Life News. “My girlfriend was in the next car that exploded. She said that he began to shake. When she came out, she saw that people were mutilated.”

Russian media, The Associated Press and other news agencies sent out a photo of a bearded man dressed in black, initially claiming he was wanted in connection with the blast. Interfax later reported that the man went to police to claim he was innocent.

Trains and train stations have been common targets for terrorist attacks in Russia and throughout much of Europe, analysts point out.

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Mostly Middle Eastern tourists killed in ISIL’s attack on Reina nightclub

(HURRIYET DAILLY NEWS) — Most of the foreign victims in the Reina terror attack on Jan. 1 in Istanbul have been identified as citizens of Middle Eastern countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The Turkish authorities confirmed the identities of 38 people killed in the attack, 25 of whom were foreign nationals and 13 of whom were Turkish nationals. One victim’s identity remains unconfirmed.

The foreign victims were identified as seven Saudi Arabian nationals, three Lebanese, two Tunisians, two Indians, two Moroccans, two Jordanians, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Canadian, one Israeli, one Syrian and one Russian. One victim was identified as a Turkish-Belgian dual national.

Twenty-five of the victims were men and 14 were women.

Relatives of the 38 victims whose identities have been confirmed arrived at the Forensic Institution in Istanbul to take the bodies of their loved ones on Jan. 2.

Two Lebanese friends Rita Shami and Elias Wardini were among the victims of the brutal attack. After arriving in Istanbul with a group of friends, 26-year-old Shami was the daughter Lebanese businessman Elias Shami and 25-year-old Wardani was a fitness instructor.

Bushra Dweihi, the daughter of Lebanese deputy Estephan Dweihi, was also part of the same group and was injured in the attack.

Another Lebanese citizen killed in the attack was 35-year-old Haykal Mousallem, who was recently married to Lebanese Mireille Khoury, who was wounded in the attack.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry sent a delegation to Istanbul on Jan. 1 after the death of its citizens to receive information about the attack and visit the wounded in hospitals. Families of the victims also joined the delegation.

The two Iraqis killed in the attack were identified as Bülent Şirvan Osman from Arbil and Jalal Abbas, who was a student at a university in Istanbul. Osman’s relatives said he was a 39-year-old pharmacist and father of two.

One of the Saudi citizens killed was 32-year-old Abdullah Amed Abbolos. His relatives learned his death from his friends, who told them he had come to Istanbul for a vacation.

“We searched for him for two days in the hospitals. Then we came to the Forensic Institute. Relatives who entered the morgue confirmed that one of the bodies was him,” said a friend of the victim.

Leanne Nasser, a 19-year-old Arab Israeli, was also among the young victims of the attack in Reina. The Israeli Foreign Ministry had announced that one of its citizens was killed at the scene and later confirmed Nasser as the identity of the woman.

Policeman, driver were the first victims

One of the first victims killed in the attack was tourism company employee and father of two Ayhan Arık, who was shot dead in the head along with a police officer Burak Yıldız at the entrance of Reina, after dropping off a group of foreign visitors at the club. During his funeral in Istanbul on Jan. 1, Arık’s wife stood alongside his sons Ulaş and Anıl, who were seen hugging the coffin of their father during the ceremony.

“The first martyr was our childhood friend, our relative. He worked relentlessly and he had just dropped off clients when the attack happened. He was in the tourism business. While he was waiting at the entrance he got chatting with the police officer there and they noticed that their hometowns were the same,” said one of Arık’s relatives.

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At least 35 people dead and 40 injured after Turkish nightclub attack

(SKY NEWS) — At least 35 people have been killed after a gunman reportedly dressed as Santa Claus attacked a nightclub in Turkey.

The governor of Istanbul has described the incident, which also injured at least 40 others, as a “terrorist attack”.

It is believed the gunman shot at police officers outside the Rezia nightclub before opening fire at random inside the building.

Estimates suggest about 500 to 600 people were celebrating the New Year at the venue.

Many people jumped into the Bosphorus river in panic.

Television footage showed ambulances and police vehicles on the street outside the nightclub in the Ortakoy district.

Media reports said police have cordoned off the area and an operation is ongoing.

Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key city squares.

In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Claus and others as street vendors, Anadolu reported.

Ankara and Istanbul have been targeted by several attacks in 2016 carried out by the Islamic State group or Kurdish rebels, killing more than 180 people.

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ISIS puts out holiday attack list of U.S. churches

(VOCATIV) — By Gilad Shiloach

The Islamic State published the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States and called on its adherents to attack them during the holiday season, according to a message posted late-night Wednesday in the group’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media group.

A user going by the name of “Abu Marya al-Iraqi” posted an Arabic-language message calling “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year” and announced the group’s plans to utilize its network of lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie, that will force [the infidels] to hide inside their burrows during their holidays and regret for the participation of their countries in the war against The Islamic State.”

“The lone wolves will turn the streets into rivers of blood, by ramming, exploding and poisoning,” he wrote.

The message appeared in a pro-ISIS group on Telegram which provides manuals for the use and preparations of weapons and explosives for aspiring assailants.

In another group post, a member summoned “the sons of Islam” to target “churches, well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places,” and shared a list of church addresses in the United States, as well as in Canada, France and the Netherlands.

ISIS claimed responsibility for this week’s Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 and injured 48. The group said that the assailant was a “soldier of the Islamic State,” who followed organizational orders “to target coalition countries.”

The suspect was identified as Anis Amri, a Tunisian man in his 20s who reportedly had Salafi and jihadi connections in Tunisia and Germany.

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Trump condemns Berlin attack, says things ‘only getting worse’

(REUTERS) — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Monday condemned an attack at a Christmas market in Berlin that killed nine people and injured dozens more, linking the attack to “Islamist terrorists” before German police officials had said who was responsible.

Trump, in a statement, said “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad,” using an acronym for Islamic State.

On Twitter, he said the attack, along with others in Turkey and Switzerland, showed “it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!”

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Bomb attack near Cairo Coptic cathedral kills at least 25

(BBC) — A bombing near the Coptic cathedral in the Egyptian capital Cairo has killed at least 25 people, officials say.

Dozens of others were reportedly injured in the blast at St Peter’s church.

The church is adjacent to St Mark’s cathedral, within the same complex. Photos and video footage showed damage to the church, with shattered windows and broken roofing.

The explosion happened at around 10:00 (08:00 GMT).

Video sourced by regional media appeared to show the interior of the church littered with broken and scattered furniture, along with blood and clothing on the floor.

“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” one eyewitness told the Associated Press. “Everyone was in a state of shock.”

“There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes,” she said.

Interior minister Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar and Cairo’s security chief both inspected the scene, according to local media.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up about 10% of the country’s population.

St Mark’s Cathedral is the headquarters of the country’s Orthodox church, and the home of its leader, Pope Tawadros II.

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ISIS declares WAR on Trump’s inauguration day calling it ‘BLOODY FRIDAY’

(UK EXPRESS) — ISLAMIC STATE is planning a ‘Bloody Friday’ assault on the SAME DAY as Donald Trump is inaugurated as US president, it can be revealed.

And the Islamic terror organization is reported to have recruited a number of new English speaking operatives in recent months in a major bid to communicate messages ahead of the event.

US special forces will be on high alert when Mr Trump takes over as 45th President of the United States on Friday, January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC.

But security analysts have been following communications between members of the group who are planning large scale attacks on that day, it has been claimed.

According to reports ISIS has expanded production of special editions of official videos with English subtitles in recent weeks and with a view to reinforcing targets on US soil.

And their ISIS-linked Amaq Agency Telegram channels have resumed posting on social networks after they were went temporarily offline following a terror attack in the US last Monday.

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How terrorism has changed everyday life in Paris

(YAHOO) — One year ago today, on the evening of 13th November 2015, many of us stopped what we were doing as terrifying push notifications lit up our phones. We left dinner early, abandoned the pub, called loved ones and texted anyone we knew who might be in danger.

A series of seven coordinated terrorist attacks were taking place in Paris – in a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars – which left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded, around 20 of whom remain in hospital today with horrific, life-changing injuries. A further 600 victims are still receiving out-patient treatment, while 2,000 others are going through some form of trauma counseling.

The attacks, for which militant terrorists Islamic State claimed responsibility, were viewed as a direct assault on the Western way of life. They targeted Paris, what they called “the capital of abomination and perversion”, on purpose and we were aghast at how close to home it all felt. The victims looked just like us; they were carefree, from different ethnic and social backgrounds, many were young, and they were enjoying themselves on a Friday night.

What happened that night changed many people’s lives irreparably. Relationships, dreams and whole families were shattered, and it’s these people who should be at the forefront of our minds as we take a moment today to reflect on what happened this time last year.

But the impact of the attacks was felt city-wide and many Parisians and tourists remain gripped by a fear that something similar could happen again. So what effect did those horrific events have on the capital of the most-visited country in the world, the network of businesses that make up its economy, and the daily lives of the Parisian people?

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It’s not the bombs, it’s not the guns, it’s not the trucks: It’s Islam

(COUNTER JIHAD) — In the wake of the Nice terror attack, former US Special Forces Master Sergeant Jim Hanson told journalists that the use of the truck proved that we can’t stop this kind of terrorism by focusing on the method of killing. “It’s not guns, it’s not bombs, it’s not trucks,” he said, but rather, “the ideology of sharia and jihad that motivates them to kill.”

This week has borne him out on that point.

Most famously, an Afghan refugee — allegedly 17, but he arrived unaccompanied and without records — undertook to hack German train passengers with an axe. The German government, following the lead of Angela Merkel and defending her refugee policy, refused to refer to this attack as terrorism. The German media followed suit:

German media have been describing the event as an “attack,” not a “terror attack.” And the event seems even less like an orchestrated act of Islamist terror since there have been indications that the young man may have turned into a radical Islamist within only a few days after hearing about the death of a good friend back in Afghanistan.

But whatever the terminology may be: Many people see something systematic in the series of large and small attacks carried out without exception by Muslims. Many are afraid their own lives are at risk – and that’s the very point of terrorism.

As noted in the article, the young man clearly thought of himself as an actor in service to the Islamic State (ISIS). He not only filmed a video explaining his intentions and loyalties, he sent it to them so that they could claim him after the fact as one of their own. They likewise recognized his claim to be a citizen of their caliphate, and did indeed accept the legitimacy of his claim that he had the right to act on their behalf as a “soldier of the caliphate.”

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