Monday, 16 June 2014
21:20 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
Terror alerts, 9/11-style bombings and murders of British citizens will soon come to London’s streets, according to chilling threats from UK citizens fighting alongside Islam’s most violent terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq.The threat comes from British nationals fighting for the Sunni militant group calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) in Syria. According to the Sunday Times, they promise that after they’re done there, Britain is next. The message comes from three such fighters, all youngsters in their teens and twenties.According to the Times, these aren’t regular disenchanted youths at all: one is a 20-year-old hacker from Birmingham, who once stole Tony Blair’s details and posted them online, later serving time for an unrelated violence charge.The “black flag of jihad” will fly over Downing Street, Junaid Hussain warned on June 4, spelling out the horrors to come. He’s been fighting in Syria for over a year now.Another, 19-year-old Muhammad Hassan, from Portsmouth, was a student at a prestigious school. He warned on Twitter that if the US doesn’t cease threats over drone strikes on ISIS positions, 9/11-style attacks on America would follow.The third, also from Portsmouth, promised a “killing spree” of British citizens if he were ever to return to Britain.“Imagine if someone were to detonate a bomb at voting stations or ambushed the vans that carry the casted [sic] votes. It would mess the whole system up,” came another tweet from Junaid Hussain, before he re-tweeted a warning from a like-minded countryman for British people to “watch out,” because “we’ll come back to the UK and wreak havoc.”Among his other offenses, Hussain has also been seen posting bomb-making advice on the internet, as well as tips on how to smuggle explosive devices through airport security.Getting to Syria from Britain isn’t as difficult as some would think: the youths simply travel to Turkey, then crossed the border. One of them was caught by CCTV cameras at the time, traveling on a holiday flight from London Gatwick airport to Turkey’s Antalya. Hassan’s group (not including the aforementioned tweeters) had three other people, all in their mid-twenties. After reaching Turkey, they headed over to Syria by car.This is nowhere near the first time the public has seen British nationals fighting alongside Middle-Eastern extremists. There have been numerous threats, government monitoring of scores of returnees and reports that British Sunni jihadists use Syria as a training ground before taking the battle to home soil.What’s more striking is how news of their particular cruelty is widespread in Syria itself: Britons comprise an overwhelming majority of foreigners inside ISIS, an organization who are labeled ‘terrorists’ for their bloody campaign of ruthless executions and body mutilations even by other elements of the Syrian opposition.One Free Syrian Army General spoke in horror of what some 400 British extremists fighting there were capable of doing. He pointed out that ISIS’s already dark record did not originate from actions by local fighters alone.Further illustrating the scale of foreign involvement in ISIS operations, Mike Rogers, the US chairman of the Intelligence Committee, speaking to Fox News alleged that there are “thousands” of American and European volunteers and mercenaries fighting for ISIS, which “has the capability to tap people with Western passports to send them back to Europe and the United States for terrorist activity.”“This is as dangerous as it gets,” said the Republican politician, who urged Barack Obama to use his influence with Sunni Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to rein in ISIS – which is likely partly funded by powerful sympathizers within those countries.The current threats take place amid a fearsome escalation of violence in Iraq, which has been spiraling out of control the closer ISIS got to Baghdad. Army desertions abound as militants storm through the country, capturing hundreds of millions of dollars in American weapons and equipment and parading them in videos.The rebels are currently storming through the major cities of Mosul and Tikrit, continuing to post videos of beheadings on their way to the capital.Britain has been taking steps to curb the spread of extremism on its soil. Over the weekend, Twitter blocked all ISIS-related accounts and the accounts of its supporters at home in the UK. This is a sensible move, given most of the communication between worldwide supporters of the jihadist cause is done on social networks, where the above British-born terrorists all use new Islamic names.Prime Minister David Cameron is also ringing alarm bells, asserting that Britain has become too tolerant for its own good, bringing about a rise in extremism. The PM has called on several occasions for the protection and promotion of “British values” as a counterweight to the perceived malignant Islamization of Britain. He now believes the government has been too soft in a number of ways, according to a recent public address.“It isn’t enough simply to respect these values in schools. They’re not options, they’re the core of what it is to live in Britain,” Cameron told the public."In recent years we have been in danger of sending out a worrying message: that if you don't want to believe in democracy, that's fine; that if equality isn't your bag, don't worry about it; that if you're completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you,” the PM asserted.“That's not just led to division; it has also allowed extremism – of both the violent and non-violent kind - to flourish. We need to be far more muscular in promoting British values and the institutions that uphold them,” he said, shortly after a major scare involving an alleged Trojan Horse plot to Islamicize certain British schools, which prompted an investigation and much bickering within the government.
Sunday, 15 June 2014
14:50 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
The members of the CRS (Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité - riot police squad) assigned to the task of protecting a synagogue in Julien-Lacroix Street of district XX in Paris were the subjects of threats made by five unknown individuals carrying a Kalashnikov and a handgun yesterday, the 14th of June, at about seven p.m.After having pointed the guns at the agents, the aggressors did as if they were shooting at them before fleeing on two scooters. No (real) shots were fired.The agents having been the victims of this act of intimidation told about the incident in the headquarters of the second district judicial police in charge of the investigations. “We strongly condemn this kind of intimidation in front of a place of Jewish faith”, Christophe Crépin, from the UNSA police union, declared. “We bow our heads in front of the high self-control and the professional behavior of the CRS agents in the face of a situation which could have easily escalated”.In the evening it was made known at the headquarters of the Paris Police that a 21-years-old man was questioned a few minutes after the incident, without knowing whether he was a member of the group of aggressors. He was put under custody. Many other youngsters were seen on several occasions during the evening in the neighborhood.(…)
Saturday, 14 June 2014
21:02 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
Security forces drove back the migrants, who tried to storm a three-tier barbed wire border fence that separates Morocco from Melilla, a Spanish territory.
It is the latest in a string of desperate attempts to breach the fence. Hundreds have scrambled across in recent months, but the border was recently fortified with mesh fences and Spanish security forces have increased patrols.
Melilla is one of two Spanish-held cities on the northern coast of Africa, the other being Ceuta to the east. The number of migrants attempting to cross has risen in recent months, many attempting in groups to try and overwhelm border guards.
"Anti-climbing mesh and the collaboration of the Moroccan forces with the (Spanish) civil guard managed to stop an attempt to cross by about a thousand migrants," the Spanish government delegation in Melilla said.
"None of the immigrants managed to reach the city," it added.
According to estimates by the Interior Ministry in Madrid, about 40,000 Africans of sub-Saharan origin are waiting for an opportunity to go to Spain. The immigrant reception center in Melilla is understood to be highly overcrowded.
There has also been a recent increase in the number of boats trying to reach Europe from North Africa, often originating in Libya, where criminal gangs organizing boat trips have flourished amid the breakdown of law and order in the country.
Most of the migrants come from Eritrea or Syria, with others fleeing impoverished parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Italian officials said in early June that almost 47,000 people had arrived from North Africa by sea since the beginning of this year, a tenfold increase over the same period in 2013.
Thousands of migrants have died at sea in recent years trying to reach Europe, as they often make the attempt in badly overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels.
Italy and Spain have asked for more help from the EU in securing their borders and dealing with the crisis.
Friday, 13 June 2014
22:17 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
Illegal immigration, a burden which is turning increasingly heavy for Italy. The accommodation of an ever increasing number of immigrants who remain in the place for ever increasing periods of time is making tensions with the locals arise, as for example in Porto Palo di Capo Passero, in the South West of Sicily. But this also cripples municipalities financially. The situation is such that Sicily had to declare the state of emergency for the towns concerned.In the senate, the opposition has presented motions to put an end to the „Mare Nostrum”, the plan designed to rescue immigrants, but the government did not agree with that. While speaking about „pride”, the vicepresident estimated that 40.000 illegal immigrants had already been saved. Instead, what the Italian Government wants is to get the EU more involved in the „Mare Nostrum”.This operation, which puts in action a huge number of military and civil resources on the Mediterranean sea, was launched last October following the deadly sinking of two boats off the coast of Lampedusa. It is a very expensive humanitarian effort which costs many hundreds of thousands of euros a day. The immigration policy of the EU will be an important issue for the Italian presidency of the Union starting next July.
21:23 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
According to estimations made last Tuesday by Hans-Georg Maaßen, the president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, some 100 Syrian fighters have already returned to Germany, and approximately a dozen among them must have concrete experience in war. According to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, more than 200 fighters with German nationality are still present in the civil war area. Some 25 fighters are probably dead.Hans-Georg Maaßen warned about the terrorist danger posed by those veterans. He pointed to the attack in Brussels, during which four people were shot dead at a Jewish museum. The presumed perpetrator was the French national Mehdi Nemmouche. The 29-years-old man had allegedly taken part in the Syrian civil war for over a year. This would be the first attack of an individual having returned from Syria to Europe.Although the Office has no evidences of a „concrete terrorist mission” in Germany, “a considerable danger” is still posed by the militant returners, Maaßen warned. “The timely recognition of the returners and the application of proper measures make the security forces face a great challenge”, he admitted. It is precisely to Germany that it is quite simple to travel through the Turkish border to Syria.A working team shall now find out how to deal with this challenge in the states belonging to the G7 group. There are talks about measures to make more difficult for suspected individuals to travel to Syria, or to be able to identify them more easily as Syrian fighters. The flow of information shall be strengthened so that individual estates can better inform each other about potentially dangerous returners.
21:16 | Posted by Anders Nyström | Edit Post
„Watch out, man in the place!“ This is what one hears in the Hallenbad public bath in Zürich whenever a caretaker enters the women’s dressing cabins or showers. Some of those present continue taking their shower unperturbed, and others quickly grasp a towel and cover their nakedness, all according to one’s level of shame. There are no problems or conflicts.But in the Frauenbad (women’s bath) public bath in Eglisee - Basel, the situation is different. Here it is not about the zone of the dressing cabins, but about the public bath itself. As last Sunday the caretaker went to the women’s sector, a number of bath visitors confronted him. An entire group of Turkish women demanded him to go away – an eyewitness reported to the newspaper 20 Minuten. The caretaker calmly but firmly stated that he was just doing his work. This was a reason strong enough for the group to go to the cashier and demand back the price for the entrance tickets. “The women were rude and insulted the staff”, Eric Hardman, a member of the Basel City Sport Office declared after the incident. A Turkish man who arrived to the place also insulted the caretaker with rude expressions. The situation was then so bad that the man had to be carried away by the security personnel. The five Turkish women too left the public bath.It is not the first occasion that problems arise in this place. Male caretakers are always a thorn in the side of Muslim women. But in the past, conflicts arose regularly even among women themselves. Strongly religious Muslim women and natives from Basel had conflicts: the former were sitting covered in the public bath, the latter were taking sunbath uncovered. This so-called “clash of cultures” was taken under control through mediation, but the problem was not solved.(...)The caretaker in question did not want to talk to BaZ yesterday. “We would like to protect our staff. The situation has turned already difficult enough”, Howald added. But one does not want to bend to the demands of the Muslim women. “We just could not do that”, Howald said. There are not enough female staff members to be able to run the place only with women. But this is not the only reason: “we do not let ourselves be extorted”, the manager said resolutely. “It just can’t go that far as to have to close down the place someday because of individual groups”.The thought of turning the bath into a mixed one for both genders, at least during the weekends, keeps coming up. “In this way, the Muslim women in question would not come here again”. But he wants to avoid this at all costs. “We would not like to take away the possibility to use this place of retreat from tolerant women who appreciate the public bath.But something must change, and Howald is convinced about this. There are already women who do not come to the baths in nice weekends anymore, because “hell breaks loose” every time. The managing board is worried about the staff, too. “We try to support them in order to avoid that one day one of them breaks down”. This situation is very burdening for the staff.Immediate measures are expected to bring an initial improvement (of the situation). Indications in German and French can be read on placards at the entrance that male staff must also carry out their duties in the bath. After the incident on Sunday, these indications have been made more conspicuous. “The cashiers have also been instructed to inform Muslim women about these rules so that they can decide whether they want to take a bath under our rules or not”.(...)
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