Tagged: terrorism

Afghan officials: Taliban wave of attacks kills at least 74, hundreds wounded

(USA TODAY) — KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers in the country’s south, east and west, and killing at least 74 people, officials said.

Among those killed in one of the attacks was a provincial police chief. Scores were also wounded, both policemen and civilians.

According to Afghanistan’s deputy interior minister, Murad Ali Murad, the day’s onslaught was “biggest terrorist attack this year.”

Murad told a press conference in Kabul that in Tuesday’s attacks in Ghazni and Paktia provinces, the insurgents killed 71 people.

In southern Paktia province, 41 people — 21 policemen and 20 civilians — were killed when the Taliban targeted a police compound in the provincial capital of Gardez with two suicide car bombs. Among the wounded were 48 policemen and 110 civilians.

The provincial police chief, Toryalai Abdyani, was killed in the Paktia attack, Murad confirmed.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement earlier on Tuesday that after the two cars blew up in Gardez, five attackers with suicide belts tried to storm the compound but that Afghan security forces “killed all five terrorist.”

According to the Health Ministry spokesman, Waheed Majroo, the Gardez city hospital reported receiving at least 130 wounded in the attack.

Hamza Aqmhal, a student at the Paktia University, told The Associated Press that he heard a very powerful blast that shattered glass and broke all the windows at the building he was in. The university is 1.25 miles from the training academy, said Aqmhal, who was slightly injured by the glass

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Knifeman shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ slits a woman’s throat and stabs another to death at Marseille station before he is killed by French army

(UK DAILY MAIL) — A man carrying a knife and shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ killed two female passengers before being shot dead by soldiers at train station in the southern French city of Marseille.

The attack at Marseille’s busiest train station took place early this afternoon, as scores of armed police officers and soldiers swarmed the area.

Both victims were women, with one left with a ‘sliced neck’.

Local official Oliver de Mazieres told AFP: ‘Two victims have been stabbed to death.’

The prosecutor for the area Xavier Tarabeux said the knife man was shot by soldiers, while Marseille police urged people in the city to avoid the area around Saint-Charles station.

The prosecutor’s office in Paris said in a statement the probe would focus on ‘killings linked to a terrorist organization’ and the ‘attempted killing of a public official’, two terror-related charges.

Early pictures from the scene showed a woman lying on the ground and armed police standing over a man on the floor.

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Blast at London subway station a terror incident, say police

(BBC) — An “improvised explosive device” was detonated at a subway station in south-west London during Friday’s rush hour, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

The blast, at Parsons Green station on an eastbound District Line train from Wimbledon, is being treated as terrorism, police said.

Twenty-two people are being treated in hospital, mostly for burn injuries.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said hundreds of detectives, working with MI5, are investigating the explosion.

Mr Rowley refused to answer whether anyone had yet been arrested over the incident at the station.

Pictures show a white bucket on fire inside a supermarket bag, with wires trailing on to the carriage floor.

The BBC understands the device had a timer.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the incident could have been “far worse” as indications were that the bomb “may have partially failed”.

“At Parsons Green Tube station there was an explosion on a Tube train,” Mr Rowley said.

“This was a detonation of an improvised explosive device. The scene currently remains cordoned off and the investigation continues…

“Londoners can expect to see an enhanced police presence, particularly across the transport system across the day.”

He asked the public to remain “vigilant” and said they should “not be alarmed”.

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Top Muslim scholar: Stop pretending orthodox Islam and violence aren’t linked

(TRUTH REVOLT) — Yahya Cholil Staquf, 51, is one of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders. The general secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s biggest Muslim organization (about 50 million members strong), Yahya advocates a modern, moderate Islam, and he pulls few punches about the relationship of violence and fundamentalist Islam in an interview reposted in TIME magazine recently.

Below are translated excerpts from the interview, first published on Aug. 19 in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Check out how Yahya confounds the interviewer, who is clearly uncomfortable with the Islamic leader’s frank answers about the “religion of peace”:

Many Western politicians and intellectuals say that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. What is your view?

Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor.

And Muslims and the state?

Within the Islamic tradition, the state is a single, universal entity that unites all Muslims under the rule of one man who leads them in opposition to, and conflict with, the non-Muslim world.

So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

How can that be accomplished?

Generations ago, we achieved a de facto consensus in Indonesia that Islamic teachings must be contextualized to reflect the ever-changing circumstances of time and place. The majority of Indonesian Muslims were — and I think still are — of the opinion that the various assumptions embedded within Islamic tradition must be viewed within the historical, political and social context of their emergence in the Middle Ages [in the Middle East] and not as absolute injunctions that must dictate Muslims’ behavior in the present … Which ideological opinions are “correct” is not determined solely by reflection and debate. These are struggles [about who and what is recognized as religiously authoritative]. Political elites in Indonesia routinely employ Islam as a weapon to achieve their worldly objectives.

Is it so elsewhere too?

Too many Muslims view civilization, and the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths, as something they must combat. Many Europeans can sense this attitude among Muslims.

There’s a growing dissatisfaction in the West with respect to Muslim minorities, a growing fear of Islam. In this sense, some Western friends of mine are “Islamophobic.” They’re afraid of Islam. To be honest, I understand their fear … The West cannot force Muslims to adopt a moderate interpretation of Islam. But Western politicians should stop telling us that fundamentalism and violence have nothing to do with traditional Islam. That is simply wrong.

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Al Qaeda has drawn a bullseye on a new American target: Subway trains

(WASHINGTON TIMES) — By Rowan Scarborough

Al Qaeda is about to take on a new target — America’s trains — in an upcoming edition of its terror magazine, Inspire.

Issue No. 17 is headlined, “Train Derail Operations,” and will spell out ways to create rail disasters in a transportation system that lacks the stiff security procedures of airline travel.

It’s competing Sunni extremists group, the Islamic State, for more than a year has advocated using vehicles to mow down innocents. Its murderous followers have weaponized vehicles in Nice, Berlin and London, creating hundred of deaths and injuries.

Adding trains to the terrorist’s priority list would put at risk virtually every mode of transportation and placed added pressure on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) put out a report on Friday saying al Qaeda has teased the Inspire articles with a trailer appearing on Telegram app channels operated by its fans.

“The trailer highlights that derailments are simple to design using easily available materials, that such a planned attack can be hard to detect, and that the outcome can substantially damage a country’s transportation sector and the Western economy in general,” MEMRI said.

The U.S. maintains over 100,000 miles of rail. But the trailer features scenes of just one system, the subway. Its shows cars flashing through urban tunnels. It quotes from U.S. Government Accountability Office reports on the vulnerability of rail lines to sabotage. It then shows what appear to be rudimentary devices that can be clamped onto a line to cause a derailment.

“Simple to design,” the promo says in English script, mentioning “America” several times. “Made from readily available materials. Hard to be detached. Cause great destruction to the Western economy and transportation sector.”

Al Qaeda in recent months has depicted itself as making a comeback from its headquarters in Yemen. It has created new alliances in North Africa, is using social media to attract adherence and has not given up the idea of another mass-casualty attack such as its commandeered airliner strike on New York and the Pentagon in 2001.

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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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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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Study: One third of young Muslims in France think terrorism is “acceptable”

(INFOWARS) — Paul Joseph Watson

A third of young Muslims in France think that terrorism is “acceptable” a new study has found, with the full report being delayed until after the election because it is not “politically correct”.

Findings of the study, which canvassed the opinions of 6828 high school students after the 2015 Paris attacks, were presented at a press conference in the French capital by researchers Olivier Galland and Anne Muxel.

The results are disturbing but not surprising given attitudes amongst Muslims living in European countries.

– A young Muslim is four times more likely to adhere to radical beliefs than a Christian.

– 33% of Muslim students consider it “acceptable” to “participate in violent actions for his ideas”. In other words, a third are sympathetic towards terrorism.

– 20% of Muslim students agreed with the statement that it was “acceptable to stand up for your religion with weapons”.

– 24% of those surveyed refused to fully condemn the Charlie Hebdo killings.

– 21% of those surveyed refused to fully condemn the Bataclan theater massacre during which 89 people were killed as part of the wider November 13 Paris attack that claimed 130 lives.

It is worth emphasizing that the percentage of young Muslims who refused to condemn Charlie Hebdo and the November 13 massacre are likely to be much higher than the numbers listed above given that those results are representative of the entire sample, and Muslims make up just 25% of the sample.

“When asked if these attitudes could be due to economic and social factors or a sense of victimization, the researchers responded that “membership in the Muslim religion is the most predictive factor,” notes Westmonster.

The results were “not very politically correct,” remarked French journalist Gurvan Le Guellec, while others at the press conference expressed concern about the timing, noting that the full report would not be released until after the election.

Left-wing newspaper Le Monde slammed the researchers for “opening Pandora’s box” by simply relating the facts of the study.

However, the results are in line with previous polls such as a 2006 Pew Global Attitudes study which found that 42% of Muslims aged 18-29 thought that suicide bombings were sometimes justified.

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Islam in Australia: Teacher quits after primary school students threaten to behead her

(YAHOO) — Frightened teachers at a Sydney primary school have revealed students are showing signs of extreme radicalization at a young age, saying they have been traumatized by threats of beheading and other violent behavior.

Students as young as in Year 5 are making the threats and pressuring peers into reading the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney’s southwest, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Documents given to the newspaper reportedly reveal that at least three staff members have taken stress leave, received counseling and been paid compensation after bullying from Islamic students.

One woman reportedly claimed it all got too much for her and she eventually had to quit her job.

She said the final straw was when she received death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her.

Prior to that she claimed she made a number of complaints in 2014 about some of the behavior in her classroom.

She said she was abused by students when she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.

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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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