A sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects appeared in court on Wednesday accused of aggravated harassment for making a bomb threat against her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. Ailina Tsarnaeva, sister of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, appeared at a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday morning. She was later seen leaving the court in the company of her lawyer.
According to the criminal complaint, she said in a phone call on August 25, "Leave my man alone. Stop looking for him. I have people. I know people that can put a bomb where you live."
Prosecutors said Tsarnaeva had driven past the woman's house since an order of protection was issued.
Tsarnaeva's attorney said her client disputes making such statements. Susan Marcus said in September that Tsarnaeva, a mother-of-two, and her family had "absolutely no means," and she did not deserve to be jailed.
Tsarnaeva avoided jail by pleading guilty last month to misleading a police detective during a counterfeiting investigation in Massachusetts. Prosecutors said Tsarnaeva failed to cooperate with a police officer investigating the passing of a counterfeit bill by a group of people eating at an Applebee's restaurant on April 16, 2010.
[Ynet] Yemen's official news agency says the country's powerful Iranian catspaws who control the capital, Sanaa, have stormed the building of the nation's main state newspaper and ousted the chief editor.
SABA quotes the Information Ministry as saying al-Thawra's headquarters was overrun Wednesday in order "to manipulate editorial policy."
It calls the action a "blatant assault" and a "grave violation of the freedom of the press."
[Ynet] Allegations that British troops killed captured Iraqi prisoners and tortured or seriously abused others after a battle in 2004 were "baseless", a long-running inquiry concluded on Wednesday.
The Al-Sweady inquiry, which has lasted five years and has cost around $47 million, was charged with examining allegations made by Iraqis that British soldiers captured alive and then murdered up to 20 men during and after the battle in southern Iraq.
Iraqi witnesses told the inquiry that British soldiers killed the men at the Abu Naji army camp in May 2004 and separately that they mistreated nine detainees, whereas the troops said the men died fighting on the battlefield and denied mistreatment.
Wrapping up the inquiry, which heard allegations of multiple murders, torture, and mutilation, Chairman Thayne Forbes said all the gravest allegations had turned out to be false and criticised Iraqi testimony.
"I have come to the firm conclusion that the vast majority of the allegations made against the British military... including, without exception, all the most serious allegations, were wholly and entirely without merit or justification," he said.
"Very many of those baseless allegations were the product of deliberate and calculated lies on the part of those who made them."
However Forbes did recommend changes to the way the British army treats detainees and said that some behaviour amounted to "actual or possible ill-treatment", including the lack of adequate food and sleep and the use of certain questioning methods.
[DAWN] A Russian politician has proposed a ban on expressions such as 'Islamic terrorist' and 'Islamist turban' in the mass media, claiming that they give people the wrong impression about Islam and put ordinary believers at risk, a report published by RT said.
Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday that Shamsail Saraliyev, from Chechnya, came up with the proposal at this week's session of the State Duma Committee, which was also supported by other Russian MPs.
The newspaper quoted the MP as saying, "Lately the mass media are freely and frequently using expressions like 'Islamic terrorists', 'Islamists', 'Jihadists', 'Terrorist Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... ' and many others of this kind.
"These expressions push people towards the conclusion that Islam and terrorism are synonymous. Common people automatically begin to associate Moslems with bandidos, murderers and terrorists."
However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... the majority of Moslems prefer to distance themselves from radical groups, preferring to call them 'Kharijites' (dissenters), the MP noted.
Citing example of the supporters of the Islamic State, he said, "The turban group calls itself the Islamic State, but they have absolutely nothing to do with Islam! For them Islam is just a cloak with which they cover their evil deeds!"
A Chechen militant who has fought with the IS in Kobani has put out a request on social media for help to find a Chechen wife for a teenage Syrian boy also fighting with the group. The militant, who calls himself Adam Al-Almany ("The German") and appears to be a Russian-speaking Chechen from Germany, is in the Chechen-led Katibat Al-Aqsa in Islamic State.
Almany said on the Russian VKontakte social network that he is seeking a bride for 15-year-old Abu Yusuf Ansary, the youngest fighter in the faction. North Caucasian groups call Syrian militants who fight with them "Ansars," a term meaning "helpers" and which was originally used to refer to the local citizens of Medina who helped Mohammad and his followers in that city.
Almany said that Abu Yusuf Ansary had taken part in a number of battles with Islamic State and was now seeking a Chechen wife. Almany wrote, "Despite his young age he has participated in a many well-known battles, namely in taking the 17th Tank Division Base in Raqqa, the 121st Rocket Artillery Base in Hasaka, the 173rd (if I'm not mistaken) Infantry Brigade in Raqqa, the Tabka Air Base and finally in Kobani and its environs."
Abu Yusuf's decision to seek a Chechen wife came after he sustained a head injury while fighting in Kobani, according to Almany. Calling Abu Yusuf as a "very modest and God-fearing brother," Almany said that "to the Arabs, all Caucasians are Chechens so we need a sister from the Caucasus."
He ends his post with a request, saying, "If anyone has a sister or daughter who wants to get married, you can send me a private message."
There is evidence that Islamic State is training the children of its foreign fighters. A recent video released by IS militants showed a group of children from Kazakhstan undergoing military and ideological training in a camp in Syria. The video, "Race Toward Good," has been banned in Kazakhstan
[IsraelTimes] La Belle France has thwarted five terror attacks and dismantled 13 networks linked to Lions of Islam in Syria but the number of young people leaving to join the fight has doubled in the past year, the country’s top security official said Wednesday.
French fighters make up the largest contingent of Europeans being recruited to join MoslemLions of Islam in Iraq and Syria, and security officials fear they will return newly skilled in warfare and carry out attacks at home.
Calls by the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group for lone-wolf attacks in the West have heightened anxiety. A Frenchie, Mehdi Nemmouche, who is believed to have fought with the organization is charged in a deadly shooting at a Brussels Jewish museum in May.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday that La Belle France was committed to stopping the networks, but said about 1,200 citizens have left for Syria, including about 400 still in the war zone and 200 on their way.
He gave no details on the five attacks he said had been stopped since August 2013, beyond saying they were planned either by recent returnees from Syria or those who had not yet left for the war zone.
Two young women accompanied by two children were blocked at the Gay Paree airport on Saturday en route to Turkey, Cazeneuve said in a report to the government. But many leave unimpeded, especially young people who hide their intentions to family and friends.
About a third of would-be jihadis are recent converts to Islam, Cazeneuve said.
[Ynet] Bill requires explanation about how major arm sales to Mideast would affect Israel's 'qualitative military edge,' and could slow approval of foreign arms sales.
US Presidnt Barack Obama Ready to Rule from Day One... is expected to sign two bills in the coming weeks passed by Congress, one of which requiring more elaborate explanations about how major arms sales to the Middle East would affect the "qualitative military edge," that US law mandates for Israel.
US officials, speaking on background, said the provisions could slow approval of foreign arms sales and add administrative costs for the US government, but the president was unlikely to veto the bills, given their importance to US allies. One permits the transfer of older US warships to Mexico and Taiwan; the other underscores US strategic ties with Israel.
The bills were passed by Congress despite concerns raised by US officials that they could add time and cost to the already complex process for approving foreign arms sales.
One bill passed would allow leaders of the US House of Representatives and Senate foreign affairs committees to request 30-day notification of certain arms shipments to specific countries, if concerns arose after the sales were approved.
Both measures, passed as part of wider bills by Congress this month, aim to give politicians more oversight over arms sales at a time of rapid political and national security changes in the Middle East.
Neither bill has drawn a White House veto threat.
The State Department, Pentagon and White House had no immediate comment on the provisions.
Industry executives, who are counting on foreign arms sales to offset declines in US military spending, said the provisions could further complicate the complex process for winning approval of weapons sales to US allies abroad.
Congress has already revised the first measure to account for some of concerns raised by the B.O. regime.
It now requires both the leader and ranking member of the Senate and House foreign relations committees to back a request for an arms delivery notification, instead of just one, and applies only to government-to-government, not commercial, sales.
One Senate Republican aide said the measure would improve transparency by allowing Congress for the first time to monitor actual arms shipments, without adding new obstacles.
One US official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the government would need a new process for tracking such shipments, which often occur years after a sale is approved.
Andrew Shapiro, who previously headed the State Department office that oversees foreign arms sales, said the provision would only be used in cases involving "significant events" and did not give Congress the ability to block sales.
The other bill requires the administration to spell out more specifically how major weapons sales to the Middle East would affect Israel's "qualitative military edge."
Such issues are already addressed in classified documents provided to Congress in conjunction with the proposed sale of major weapons to the Middle East, but the new measure would beef up that analytical process, said Shapiro, currently managing director of Beacon Global Strategies.
t requires a detailed explanation of Israel's ability to respond to the improved capabilities, how a sale would alter the balance in the region, and whether the US government had made any security assurances to Israel in conjunction with the sale.
[DAWN] Both Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and Al Qaeda have grabbed credit of the attack in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. . Although an operational cooperation between the two cannot be overruled, there is a strong likelihood that the TTP has managed this attack in conjunction with its Central Asian Death Eater associates.
A review of some high-profile attacks suggests that four major Death Eater formations act at different phases to carry out these attacks:
Al Qaeda planned and strategised
TTP provided logistical support
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) served as operational core
Some local Death Eater group facilitated such attacks on ground
The Peshawar school attack has been launched when TTP and other local and international groups are passing through certain transformations and internal crises. The Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... 's (IS) inspiration has widened their ideological and operational spectrum.
Dissatisfied commanders are challenging their leadership and forming their own groups. Internal infighting among gunnies has also initiated a competition between the different groups and factions not only to prove leadership skills but also operational capabilities.
Jamaatul Ahrar, a group that recently splintered away from TTP on similar grounds, has managed a series of attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , Fata and grabbed credit for the suicide kaboom at Wagah border, Lahore.
These attacks certainly put pressure on the TTP led by Mullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... in terms of how to remain relevant in the changing Death Eater landscape of Pakistain.
At present, the TTP has its bases in Kunar, Nuristan and Khost province ... across the border from Miranshah, within commuting distance of Haqqani hangouts such as Datta Khel and probably within sight of Mordor. Khost is populated by six different tribes of Pashtuns, the largest probably being the Khostwal, from which it takes its name... s of Afghanistan and still has strong nexus with Central Asian gunnies and Al Qaeda. There is a strong probability that TTP took the lead in the Peshawar school attack in collaboration with its Central Asian allies.
The tactics employed in this attack were not new.
Initial reports suggest that the turbans were in military uniforms and carried heavy weaponry, boom jackets and sufficient food; indicating they had planned to prolong the operation as they had managed to do in their attacks on the Mehran airbase in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... and the Jinnah International Airport.
The surprising element this time was their selection of the target -- a soft civilian target.
After the Mina Bazaar attack in Peshawar, a debate over the selection of civilian targets had sprung up among the terrorists, but the attack on the school shows that turbans can cross all limits when they have reached a certain stage of frustration.
The attack has therefore increased the degree of vulnerability of civilian and civilian-cum-military interests across the country.
A replication of, or increase in such attacks in the near future cannot be ruled out. Though managing large-scale attacks is not an easy task for the terrorists, growing competition among these groups has increased the level of threat.
[DAWN] PESHAWAR was a muted, unfamiliar version of itself yesterday. The dusty, wintry provincial capital is a chaotic sight to behold most weekdays, even hours after some of the most devastating terrorist attacks in recent years. Life in Peshawar always goes on.
But yesterday was different. The winding Mall was deserted, as was the storied Qissa Khwani bazaar area. In the heart of the old city, stores were closed and the thin traffic navigated quietly past the small protests held at various intersections.
Where does Peshawar – and Pakistan itself – go from here? In Peshawar, few appeared to have answers, or at least answers with a glimmer of hope. There were tears aplenty and long, reflective silences. Most officials and politicians Dawn spoke to offered substantive comments only anonymously.
“What happened in Warsak (Road) was a conversation, an extreme conversation,” said a civilian official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security policy. “They are saying, ‘You pick up our people, you oust them from their homes, we’ll kill your people.’ We are militarising our problems, not solving them. This is a permanent war,” the official added.
After the multi-party conference, a Peshawar politician belonging to a major political party offered a similarly downcast assessment of the political class: “Nothing will come of this. They are all terrified. Nawaz Sharif never wanted this, not even Zarb-i-Azb. Imran Khan wanted only dialogue. And what’s Khursheed Shah going to do other than make statements?”
About Gen Raheel’s dash to Kabul, a security official said: “Afghans are going to demand a quid pro quo. We’ll show them one (intercepted militant) conversation, they’ll show us another. We’ll ask them for one thing, they’ll ask us for another. Are we ready to offer them something?”
With the problem of cross-border militancy having become bi-directional – elements of the TTP leadership are alleged to have found sanctuary along the Pak-Afghan border in eastern Afghanistan – the question appears to be whether the Pakistani state will use its influence over the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network to bring them to the negotiating table with the Afghan government.
At least one security official offered a mildly optimistic outlook. “Look, it will take a while for the new Afghan government to find its feet and for its policies to filter down through the system. In the meantime, have you heard the Afghan Taliban reject the very idea of talks with the new government? With Karzai they did, but so far there is silence,” the official claimed. That silence was offered as tacit evidence of an emerging Pakistani policy shift.
Curbing cross-border militancy into Pakistan though would still leave a massive militancy problem domestically. And few officials believe the state, either military or civilian wings, is resourced to eliminate even the militants it is fighting.
“The ISI is like a Mercedes. It can do things like play king’s games,” a civilian official said, citing the alleged establishment support for recent anti-government protests. “But out in the villages, on the ground, that’s where it struggles and just doesn’t have the resources to do these things.”
Meanwhile, in Peshawar, both officials and politicians cited problems with the leadership style of Inspector General Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Nasir Durrani that has limited the police’s efficacy.
“Durrani has demoralised the (Peshawar police) force. He is constantly shuffling SHOs, every couple of months, nobody knows why or what basis. That drains localised knowledge from the force,” a civilian official claimed.
Another official suggested that while the media savvy Durrani had burnished his reputation nationally with his anti-corruption crusade, the effects on the ground are more mixed. “Because of the complex disciplinary rules, the suspended or sacked officers are quickly reinstated. Sometimes, the sacked or disciplined officer is promoted or gets a better posting.”
More damagingly, Durrani is described as unable to adapt peacetime policing to what is effectively the frontline of a war zone. “When the planes (landing at Peshawar airport) were attacked, he made the police gather a profile of every resident in the take-off and landing zones. But the militants aren’t living there. They turn up suddenly at the periphery, fire their weapons and melt away. That’s where the focus was needed,” a Peshawar administrator said.
Peshawar will limp on from the Warsak Road carnage. But along with the cold a sense of resignation too appeared to have gripped the city last night. Peshawar knows it is caught in a war that may have no end.
[DAWN] As the nation unites in grief over the killings of 132 schoolchildren by the Pak Taliban, several other bully boy groups have been quick to condemn the carnage too. Taqiyah is one of the Eleven Pillars of Islam. Pillar Number 6 is Dressing Up Like Girls.
Most such groups have slaughtered civilians themselves, but the wave of outrage following the school attack is threatening the relative freedom they enjoy in Pakistain. Y'see, there ae "Good Taliban" and "Bad Taliban" and there are "Government Taliban." "Government Taliban" can be found in Binori Mosque, Lal Masjid and similar dens of religion and pederasty. Lashkar-e-Taiba is also "Government Taliban."
The country is home to a range of armed bully boy groups. Some like the Pak Taliban ‐ also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) ‐ fight against the state. The Twelfth Pillar of Islam is slaughtering people. Other groups fight against Christians, Shiites, Hindus, Jains, Rosicrutians and similar threats to Islam.
Whether Islamabad moves against all of them equally will show whether the school massacre has finally spurred authorities to tackle militancy seriously, said Senator Afrasiab Khattak of Awami National Party founded by Abdul Wali Khan in 1986. Part of the PPP-led cabinet 2008-13. The ANP is considered left wing, advocating for secularism, democratic socialism, public sector government, and economic egalitarianism.... (ANP). Hafiz Saeed's son-in-law got bail today in the Mumbai massacre. That kinda tells you something about the depths of sincerity here.
"They are all bandidosforces of Evil and the state has to clearly oppose them in all shapes and colours," he said. "So far they have not done so." Nor was there any mention of the political wings of he various terror groups -- parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F and JUI-S. Sipah-e-Sahaba changed into a false nose and plastic mustache when i was "banned" and kept doing business at the same old stand.
The Afghan Taliban were the first to denounce the school attack as unIslamic, despite often killing civilians themselves. An Afghan Taliban jacket wallah killed more than 50 people at a volleyball match last month. False Piety is the fourth Pillar f Islam.
Some Pak Taliban, including powerful splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar, quickly sided with their Afghan patrons. "Wudn't us"
"Like them, we condemn the attack on the school and killing of innocent children," said front manEhsanullah Ehsan ...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency....
The group earlier grabbed credit for an attack that killed more than 50 people last month at a border crossing to India. But that's all in the past now. We were all so much younger then. just think of it as a learning experience.
Other condemnation came from sectarian or anti-Indian groups that are nominally banned in Pakistain but operate openly, sometimes under different names.
Afghanistan has long accused Pakistain of supporting the Afghan Taliban to try to maintain its influence in the region. Pakistain says Afghanistan is doing the same with the Pak Taliban in return.
Another banned Pak group said it stood alongside the military in response to the attack.
"We strongly condemn the attacks on schoolchildren in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. and believe that there is no religious, ethical or any other social reason for this cruel act," said Ghulam Rasool Shah, a deputy for Malik Ishaq, leader of the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ... .
"We stand with the Pakistain army and politicianship in this critical situation."
The group was responsible for twin blasts in the city of Quetta last year that killed around 180 people, mostly belonging to Shia Hazara ethnic group.
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday reacted very strongly on the bail granted to Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the masterminds behind 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The home ministry in a statement said: "It's very unfortunate, especially as it comes just after the Peshawar massacre. Pakistan must appeal in the next court. Pakistan needs to show more seriousness in taking 26/11 case trial to its logical conclusion."
I'm starting to think that the key to understanding Pakistain is not to think of it as a nation-state, but rather a collection of warring groups and tribes whose interests occasionally align.
I know nothing about the capabilities of the Indian intelligence services or their wet-work abilities, but if they can't do the job themselves perhaps they can outsource the work to a sympathetic local faction. Or is messing with India the one thing that everyone agrees on and defines Pakistain as a nation?
[Ynet] The Pak prime minister lifted a moratorium on the death penalty on Wednesday, a day after Taliban gunnies attacked a school, killing 132 students and nine teachers, a government front man said.
Pakistain began three days of mourning on Wednesday for the 141 people killed in the attack on the school in the northwestern city of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. The bloodshed has shocked the nation and put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Pak Taliban insurgency. Many people have called in the media for the death penalty to be restored.
"It was decided that this moratorium should be lifted. The prime minister approved," said government front man Mohiuddin Wan, referring to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... 's approval of the decision by a ministerial committee.
"Black warrants will be issued within a day or two," he said, referring to execution orders.
A moratorium on the death penalty was imposed in 2008 and only one execution has taken place since then.
There are believed to be more than 8,000 prisoners on death row in Pakistain, about 10 percent convicted of offences labelled "terrorism", said Justice Project Pakistain, a legal aid group.
[Ynet] Canada and Australia also boycott conference that invites 196 signatories of the Geneva Conventions, during the conference Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem rebuked.
The US and Israel boycotted a conference held in Geneva that called on the 196 signatories of the Geneva Conventions which discussed the human rights When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much... of Paleostinians living in "occupied territories."
The international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying Wednesday the practice violates its responsibilities as an occupying power.
The declaration adopted by a consensus of 126 of the 196 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Paleostinians.
The Geneva Conventions govern the rules of war and military occupation. Nations that took part in a one-day conference in Geneva "emphasize that all serious violations of international humanitarian law must be investigated and that all those responsible should be brought to justice," according to the 10-point declaration.
Swiss Ambassador Paul Fivat, who chaired the conference, told news hounds afterward the declaration is legally binding on all nations that adopted it.
"This is a signal and we can hope that words count," Fivat said. The declaration emphasizes one aspect of the Geneva Conventions: a prohibition on colonizing occupied land.
Israel accused Fivat of adding to the politicisation of the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war.
Israel contends the prohibition shouldn't apply to the West Bank and Gazoo because their illusory sovereignty is in limbo, with Jordan and Egypt no longer claiming them and the Paleostinians never having their own state.
Another concern raised in the declaration is that Israel should "fully and effectively" respect the Fourth Geneva Convention, meant to protect civilians during times of war including in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell... , as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, said "the state of Paleostine" acceded to the conventions effective April 2 ? 25 years after Paleostinians first sought membership.
Israel opposed the move, arguing there is no universally recognized Paleostinian state and it would complicate peace talks.
The UN General Assembly upgraded Paleostine to a "non-member observer state" of the world body in 2012.
[IraqiNews.com] On Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Rear Adm. John Kirby announced, that the U.S. will send roughly 250 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq for free.
Pentagon Press Secretary, U.S. Rear Adm. John Kirby confirmed that the U.S. will send roughly 250 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq at no charge, and it would be done as part of the Pentagon?s ?Excess Defense Articles? program, adding that, the vehicles will be used to deal with roadside explosives set by the ISIS group,
[IraqiNews.com] A source in Kirkuk province in northern Iraq confirmed that the organization of the so-called Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is planning to impose conscription on youth in Riyad area west of Kirkuk (250 km north of Baghdad).
That's one way to procure a staff of toilet cleaners...
The source, who asked not to be named, said, ?ISIS intends to impose conscription on the youth of Riyadh,? adding that the decision came during a meeting between ISIS elements and elders of some villages of Riyad district and the areas in south and west of Kirkuk. ISIS mentioned its intention to impose military on the youth to fight in its ranks, or they would be nabbed Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! and expelled.
Running low on cannon fodder?
Noteworthy, the ISIS organization currently dominates the southern and western regions of Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... ever since it took over djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... , Nineveh province (405 km north of Baghdad) on June 10, 2014.
[Ynet] Iraqi authorities said captured terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi killed more than 150 women in Fallujah who refused to respond to calls to "Jihad ul Nikaah" ? otherwise known as "sexual jihad" -- and become "comfort women" for terrorists. Among the murdered were pregnant women, according to the report.
[IsraelTimes] The supposed leader of Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... supporters in Israel told Channel 10 News on Wednesday he believed the group would one day rule Israel, and explained that Jews would be allowed to remain under Islamic caliphate rule as long as they adhere to the Islamic way of life.
The man, identified only by the moniker ‘Abu Kassem,’ said he believed IS could have a presence in Jerusalem “within eight years.”
“I don’t think Israel can do anything (about it),” he added. “This is bigger. Islamic State is big. Everyone wants to take part.”
Abu Kassem said Israel was currently home to between 400-500 IS-supporters, and said he expected the figure to grow.
“In time they will enter Israel. This is very easy,” he said. Asked how the group would confront the Israel Defense Forces, Abu Kassem said the Israeli military would not deter them.
“They have their methods and they’ll come in,” he insisted. “I don’t think (Israel will) do anything. If you can’t go into Gazoo (to defeat Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, there), don’t think you can defeat IS.”
Asked how Jews would be treated in his vision of an Islamic State-controlled Israel, Kassem said they would allowed to live here “but you will live like I want you to. You will live here as a Moslem. If you don’t oppose me there’s no problem.”
[Ynet] 'I believe bilateral relations between us and Islamic Theocratic Republic of Iran are back on track,' Abu Marzouk says after Iran, Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, decide to mend ties after rift over Syria and support of Assad.
Hamas and Iran have repaired a close political and military relationship frayed by the Syrian civil war, the Paleostinian Islamist group's deputy leader said on Wednesday.
Patching up ties with Tehran could ease Hamas's financial and political isolation. Israel is blockading the Gazoo Strip, while Egypt, battling Islamist holy warriors in neighboring Sinai, has largely kept its Gazoo frontier closed.
Speaking in his Gazoo office, overlooking the Mediterranean, Moussa Abu Marzouk said: "I believe that bilateral relations between us and the Islamic Theocratic Republic of Iran are back on track."
He also told Rooters that Hamas, the dominant armed movement in the Gazoo Strip, was not seeking a new war with Israel and wanted to see the enclave rebuilt after a devastating 50-day conflict in July and August.
The news came as the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... 's second highest court annulled on Wednesday the bloc's decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained the measures for a period of three months or until an appeal was closed.
Last week, a Hamas delegation visited Iran, long a major supplier of military and financial aid to the group. Hamas has been hostile toward Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... , who is backed by Tehran in the three-year-old Syrian war.
In a sign that weapons supplies from Iran may have slowed, Hamas used mostly locally-made long-range rockets to attack Israeli cities in the conflict five months ago. It launched Iranian-produced rockets in similar strikes in 2012.
"There are many indications that ... relations have been resumed in the proper way, as in the past," Abu Marzouk said, without elaborating.
Turning to reconstruction in Gazoo, where tens of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in the summer fighting, he said Hamas would remain committed to an Egyptian-brokered truce that ended the war as long as Israel abided by it.
"We are keen to see all building materials reach people who need them and those whose houses were destroyed. It is in our interest that the circumstances that produced the war do not return," he said.
On Sunday, a front man for Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,'s armed wing cautioned there could be a "new kaboom" with Israel unless reconstruction was speeded up. More than 2,100 Paleostinians, mostly civilians, were killed in the Gazoo war, local officials said. Israel put its corpse count at 67 soldiers and six civilians.
Abu Marzouk said only $150 million out of $2.7 billion pledged internationally for reconstruction had materialized.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino has suspended military operations against Maoist insurgents for a month to mark Christmas and a visit by Pope Francis.
Gen. Gregorio Catapang said the unilateral ceasefire will start at midnight on Dec. 18 and end at midnight on Jan. 19, the day the pontiff is scheduled to leave the Philippines. He said, "The declaration of the suspension of military offensive against the New People’s Army will highlight the government’s sincerity to pursue peace."
It will be the longest Christmas truce in three decades.
Military spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the truce did not cover Abu Sayyaf militants on the remote southern islands of Basilan and Jolo.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), once the largest rebel group in the southern Philippines, will begin turning over its weapons next month, the head of the government peace commission said.
The front will hand over 75 heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, mortars and assault rifles to an international body, Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said. She added that six camps used by MILF will be developed into other facilities
The international decommissioning team, led by Turkish diplomat Haydar Berk, will play a key role in accepting the weapons.
[AnNahar] Shiite Moslemforces of Evil from Afghanistan have been fighting in Syria for months alongside Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes... 's troops, a monitoring group said Wednesday.
Afghanistan is home to a Sunni Moslem majority but nearly one-fifth of the population is Shiite, mainly Farsi-speakers and from the Hazara ethnic group.
"Shiite Afghan forces of Evil have been fighting for several months alongside Bashir al-Assad's army, especially around Shiite religious sites in Sayyida Zeinab" near Damascus, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
"They later started fighting alongside loyalist troops all over Syria, especially in the northern province of Aleppo," he told Agence La Belle France-Presse.
Shiites around the world revere the shrine, with many volunteering to defend it from any attacks in the war between Assad loyalists and mainly Sunni rebels.
The Observatory did not specify how many Afghans were fighting in Syria.
In the northern city of Aleppo, meanwhile, 16 regime loyalists, including Afghans, were killed in a clash Tuesday night in the Malah area, said the Britannia-based group.
The army has been making advances in the area, and aims to cut off a supply route used by rebels who hold more than half of Aleppo, once the country's commercial capital.
Foreign fighters have streamed into Syria to support both sides in the conflict that broke out in March 2011 when Assad's forces unleashed a bloody crackdown on democracy protests.
The regime has been backed by thousands of members of the powerful Lebanese Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... group, as well as Iranian, Iraqi and Paleostinian militiamen.
"The Afghan fighters are clearly driven by sectarianism," said Abdel Rahman.
Syria's regime has been dominated for 40 years by the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
Sunnis make up the vast majority of Syria's population, as well as the rebels fighting to oust Assad.
Elsewhere in Syria, the number of civilians killed in a regime air strike against the Waer district of Homs on Tuesday has risen to 32, the Observatory said, adding that 11 were from one family.
Among the victims was a member of a delegation that had been in talks for a ceasefire with the government, as well as his wife and nine other members of their family.
Waer is the last rebel-held area of Homs, which was once known as the "capital of the revolution" against Assad.
The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said Wednesday.
The discovery brings the number of members of the Shaitat tribe killed during the jihadists' summer advance in Deir Ezzor province near Iraq to more than 900, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has learned from trusted sources that more than 230 bodies have been found in a mass grave in the desert near al-Kashkiyeh in the east of Deir Ezzor," said the Britannia-based group.
It said the "vast majority" were civilians, and that many of them were executed in cold blood after the tribe rose up against the IS after it had driven out rival jihadists and rebels from the area.
The IS controls large swathes of northern and eastern Syria, as well as parts of neighboring Iraq.
Hundreds more members of the Shaitat tribe are still missing, said the Observatory, which relies on a large network of activists, doctors and military sources on all sides of the Syrian conflict for its reports.
The tribespeople discovered the grave as they returned to their villages from months of displacement after losing their battle against the IS.
They have been allowed to return only after agreeing to respect an IS-imposed curfew, as well as a prohibition on gatherings and weapons.
Anyone who fights the IS, according to the jihadists' rules, will be considered a heretic and executed.
The IS first emerged in Syria's war in spring 2013 and has since committed some of the war's worst atrocities.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.