Toy Gun Affair With Images of Islam, Auchan Apologizes

A toy gun sold in the French supermarket Auchan has sparked debate. The gun features a logo that resembles a star and a crescent moon, symbols generally associated with Islam or Muslim-majority countries.

The toy gun was sold for one euro and was reportedly distributed in the Paris area. The gun resembles an AK-47. Numerous Internet users tweeted their outrage, prompting the distributor to promise to remove the product from store shelves.

French supermarket Auchan apologizes to customers after marketing a toy AK-47 with a crescent moon and star, symbols associated with Islam. (Image from Auchan circular)
French supermarket Auchan apologizes to customers after marketing a toy AK-47 with a crescent moon and star, symbols associated with Islam. (Image from Auchan circular)

Four British nationals killed fighting alongside al-Qa’ida in Syria

November 21, 2013


Four British nationals have died while fighting for a rebel extremist group against the forces of president Bashar al-Assad in Syria, reports say. Their deaths highlight the increasing international scale of the conflict, and come amid fears of the threat posed by extremists returning to the UK once their part in the war is over.

Security officials and experts say there is a real danger that the Islamists will look to pass on the skills and experience learned in Syria, radicalising and training up more recruits back in Britain. Among the four British fighters killed in recent months was Mohammed el-Araj, 23, from Ladbroke Grove in West London, according to reports. He died while his group in the al-Nusra front, a rebel force linked to al-Qa’ida, was attempting to ambush Assad’s troops in August. He reportedly went by the name “Abu Khalid”, and appears armed with an AK-47 and dressed in rebel uniform in photographs taken in Syria.

Security concerns over what might happen if fighters like Araj survive the conflict and are allowed to re-enter the UK were raised last month when two men who had returned from Syria were arrested on suspicion of hatching a terrorist plot.

The Foreign Office said it was looking into the report that four British nationals had been killed in recent weeks in the conflict.


The Independent:

The Telegraph:

FBI: Florida bombing suspect killed in Okla. was paranoid that cops were after him, hated Muslims

OKLAHOMA CITY — The man wanted in the bombing of a Florida mosque who was shot and killed when he pulled a gun on agents trying to arrest him in Oklahoma hated Muslims and had become increasingly erratic, according to FBI documents.

The FBI says Sandlin Matthews Smith of St. Johns County, Fla., was shot Wednesday in a field at Glass Mountain State Park near Orienta in northwest Oklahoma. FBI Agent Clayton Simmonds out of the Oklahoma City office says agents opened fire when Smith, 46, pulled out an AK-47 assault rifle as agents approached him.

Smith was facing several federal charges, including damage to religious property and possession of a destructive device, in connection with the May 10, 2010, bombing of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. No one was hurt in that explosion, but authorities found remnants of a crude pipe bomb at the scene, and shrapnel from the blast was found a hundred yards away.

Muslim German wanted for attack plan probably not in country

A German convert to Islam who is wanted by police on suspicion of planning a suicide attack is probably not in Germany, federal police said Sunday. A three-week-long nationwide manhunt with wanted posters and online pictures has prompted 333 reports from the public about possible sightings of the man, Eric Breininger, 21, and his friend Houssain al-Malla, 23. They were last seen among Islamist radicals in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Breininger did not become a Muslim until he was nearly grown up. Confirming a report in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the BKA federal police headquarters in Wiesbaden, central Germany, said none of the tip-offs had produced hard evidence of Breininger being on German soil. His whereabouts were still unknown. Asked if Breininger still posed a danger to Germany, a BKA spokeswoman would only say, “The search with public help is continuing.” Both men face arrest on suspicion of membership of a terrorist group, which is a crime under German law. A video released earlier this year by Islamists showed Breininger with an AK-47 rifle on his shoulder, speaking of dying an Islamic martyr’s death.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Muslim leader’s protest at police ‘spy tactics’

Strathclyde Police are facing accusations that it operates a covert intelligence monitoring unit which is infringing the rights of Muslims, after the force launched an investigation into claims that a group of Asians on a clay pigeon shoot had behaved “like terrorists”. Osama Saeed, chief executive of the Scottish Islamic Foundation, has written to Strathclyde’s chief constable, Stephen House, expressing concern at the way Special Branch officers are questioning Asians about their lifestyles, religious and political beliefs and internet activities. He added that the continued use of the tactics would lead to “further marginalisation of Muslims”, and is already leading some to think twice about practising their beliefs for fear that police will disrupt their lives. His comments came as one solicitor claimed police have also been secretly “recruiting” Muslims to provide information about their community in return for payments. The 10-strong shooting party were questioned informally at their homes and businesses by two policemen a year after their November 2006 trip to Kypeside Farm, an activity centre near Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire. The officers, believed to be from Special Branch, were reacting to a tip-off from a member of the public who claimed the group had been overheard discussing “shooting AK-47 rifles in Pakistan”.