Three British schoolgirls flee to Syria to be “Jihadi Brides”

Three British schoolgirls from London disappeared from their homes in February and were en route to Syria when police were alerted. From left: Kadiza Sultana (16), Amira Abase and Shamima Begum (both 15).
Three British schoolgirls from London disappeared from their homes in February and were en route to Syria when police were alerted. From left: Kadiza Sultana (16), Amira Abase and Shamima Begum (both 15). (Photo: BBC)

The police hunt for three British ‘jihadi brides’ who ran away from home to join Islamic State fighters has intensified in a bid to stop them crossing the Turkish border into Syria. The three students from Bethnal Green Academy in east London, were at the centre of an increasingly desperate international hunt to find them before they managed to enter territory controlled by fighters from IS, also known as Isil. The family of one of the girls urged Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16 and Amira Abase, 15, to come back home, warning on Saturday that their lives would be in danger in Syria.

The police hunt for three British ‘jihadi brides’ who ran away from home to join Islamic State fighters has intensified in a bid to stop them crossing the Turkish border into Syria. The three students from Bethnal Green Academy in east London, were at the centre of an increasingly desperate international hunt to find them before they managed to enter territory controlled by fighters from IS, also known as Isil. The family of one of the girls urged Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16 and Amira Abase, 15, to come back home, warning on Saturday that their lives would be in danger in Syria.

MPs have now called for an inquiry into the effectiveness of border controls in stopping British youngsters travelling to the region with the intention of joining IS. Counter-terror experts estimate that as many as 50 young Muslim women and girls have made the journey from Britain to Syria and it emerged on Friday that Shamima, Kadiza and their friend were close to a 15-year-old girls from their school who travelled to Syria last December.

It remains unclear how the girls became radicalised enough to take the step of travelling to Turkey with the intention of joining what they regard as their “brothers and sisters” in IS. However on February 15 – two days before boarding their flight – Shamima used the social media site twitter to get in touch with 20-year-old Aqsa Mahmood, a privately educated woman from Glasgow who joined IS and married one of its fighters.

Last night Yasmin Qureshi, a Labour member of the home affairs committee said more needed to be done urgently to dissuade young Muslims from “the illusion” that they are helping their religion by joining Isil.

Controversial mosque allowed to be build in Gouda

Although the town council of Gouda has yet to agree on the matter, the College of Mayors and Aldermen have decided that the so-called ‘mega mosque’ is allowed to be build. Despite criticism from people in the neighbourhood. Political party CDA (Christian Democratic Appel) is ‘astonished’, because at this point there is still an investigation going on with regards to the funding of the mosque. There exists namely a fear that a lot of funding is coming from international Salafi networks, which is being denied by the College itself.

Why citizens of Gouda don’t want a ‘mega mosque’

Citizens in the neighbourhood where this so-called ‘mega mosque’ is planned being build are not happy with this plan.

Edward Uittenbroek is one of the initiators of ‘Gouda Noord zoals het Hoort’ [‘Gouda North, how it should be’] and is worried about a dense Islamic concentration in the neighbourhood. Because this mosque ought not only to be a mosque but an Islamic centre as well, providing space for 1500 visitors.
Besides that, more con’s are being heard. The mosque, if its build, will share its location with institutions for autistic and handicapped persons. People are questioning if it’s a good idea that a busy Islamic centre will share its location with institution where a calm environment is preferred.

The mosque will be build on a old barrack site and some people are afraid that an underground bunker will be used by returnees from Syria. The municipality however denies that such a bunker even exists.

Other critiques or fears are: a decline in the value of the houses in this area, a suspicious funding of this mosque (by international Salafi networks), possible traffic problems and ‘hate preaches’.

UOIF dismayed to be classified as “terrorist” organization by the United Arab Emirates

The Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, said it discovered with “shock and anger” its presence on a list of “terrorist organizations” established by the United Arab Emirates.

 

The list was published in mid-November by the UAE, which is part of an international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States. It names 83 groups, many of which are based in Syria.

Al-Qaeda, ISIL, the Muslim Brotherhood and its various branches are also on the list. “It’s with shock and horror that the UOIF has discovered that it is part of a list of organizations classified as terrorist organizations by the political authorities in the United Arab Emirates,” said the group in a statement published on its website.

“Several other Western Muslim organizations are also unfairly listed,” said the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). These include The International Islamic Relief Organization and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FOIE), both of which have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. “This qualification, as insulting as it is ridiculous, affects not only French Muslims and their representatives, but also our country and its international image,” the UOIF stated. The group “reserves the right to take action to demand reparations.”

The UOIF boasts 250 member associations and mosque leaders and is one of the principal organizations to shape the “French-Muslim landscape,” along with the Great Mosque of Paris, the RMF, the UMF and the CCMTF. Although it no longer participates in events held by the French Council of the Muslim Faith, the UOIF hosts an annual event billed as the largest gathering of Muslims in the West, with more than 150,000 attendees.

In the past weeks the group has condemned ISIL’s actions and signed a “call to French Muslims” while lambasting the “deportation of Iraqi Christians.” Despite their public statements condemning terrorism, Front National leader Marine Le Pen has “reiterated her request for the UOIF’s dissolution,” which she previously requested in 2012, citing “the dangerousness of an organization that consistently defies the Republic and encourages radicalization.”

Muslims also victims of the 11-M

March 9, 2014

 

Muslims are victims  “fear and suspicion” after the tragedy of 11-M, Madrid terrorists attacks.
In these ten years the Muslim community has doubled its presence in Spain. 3% of the world’s Muslim population lives in Spain. “The 11-M led some media and security forces to typecast Muslims with international terrorism but the Spanish people have been much more mature and have learned to differentiate,” says the general secretary of the Islamic Commission of Spain, Riay Tatary .

 

La informacion: http://noticias.lainformacion.com/espana/los-musulmanes-victimas-tambien-del-11-m_Z47sdwMhtgbg95oC85FJr4/

Two L.A. gang members are apparently fighting for Syria’s Assad

March 3, 2014

 

Two Los Angeles gang members appear to have joined the flow of foreigners flocking to fight in Syria – in this instance, on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. In a video posted online, the two men boast that they are on the front lines and fire their guns in the direction of what they call “the enemigos.”

One of the men identifies himself as Creeper from the Sur-13 or Surenos, a loose affiliation of southern California gangs linked to the Mexican mafia. He rolls up his sleeves to show his gang tattoos and greets fellow gang members Capone-E and Crazy Loco.  The other says he is called Wino, and belongs to a gang called Westside Armenian Power. Members of the Armenian Christian minority in Syria are known to be staunch supporters of Assad.

The two men don’t reveal much about what they are doing or why they are fighting for Assad. “It’s Syria, homie, we’re in Syria, homie. … Frontline, homie, frontline, homie,” says Wino. “In Middle East, homie, in Syria, still gangbanging,” says Creeper, in comments typical of the 2 1/2-minute video.

Warning: the video, posted here, contains strong language. This version is provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, and contains subtitles.

It was also unclear whether they are U.S. citizens. So far, there have been no reported instances in which Americans have volunteered to fight in Syria on behalf of Assad, though at least 50 U.S. citizens are believed to have traveled there to join the rebels, according to congressional testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper last month. Thousands of Arabs, Europeans and Sunni Muslims of other nationalities who have flooded into Syria, most of them joining radical Islamist groups.

Thousands of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite Muslims are meanwhile reported to be fighting on the side of Assad’s government, as well as Iranians, some Russians and smaller numbers of Afghans, Pakistanis and other Arabs, making this a truly international war.

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/03/two-l-a-gang-members-are-apparently-fighting-for-syrias-assad/

¡Matadlos! Quién estuvo detrás del 11-M y por qué se atentó en España’

February 18, 2014

 

Author: Fernando Reinaressobre_matadlos_web

Title: ¡Matadlos! Quién estuvo detrás del 11-M y por qué se atentó en España’

Publisher: Galaxia Gutenberg, S.L., Colección: Ensayo

ISBN: 978-84-16072-00-2

 

Ten years have passed since the 11M terrorist attacks in Madrid and finally, the whole truth is exposed in this book. After years of rigorous research, Fernando Reinares reveals when and where the decision to attack was made in Spain. He explains how the terrorist network of 11-M was formed, what were the main components, their international connections and funding.
Matadlos!Kill them! concludes that the killings in the commuter trains in Madrid were planned for reasons of revenge, and were prepared by the criteria of opportunity and were executed for strategic reasons. In fact, the author says that the reasons for revenge   have their roots in the dismantlement of an Al-Qaeda Spanish cell in 1997, and the general role of Spain in the anti-terrorist fight. Al-Qaeda supported and helped the execution of the 11-M attacks and profited from the context of the Iraq war to placed the in the strategy of the organization.

 

Galaxiagutenberg

http://www.galaxiagutenberg.com/libros/%C2%A1matadlos!.aspx

 

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The 11M attacks were approved by al-Qaeda

The 2004 Islamist attacks in Madrid were not the result of an “isolated cell ” but they had the “approval and facilitation ” of Al- Qaeda. This has been assured on Tuesday by Spanish expert, Fernando Reinares who has spent years researching the facts. In his new book, “Matadlos! Quien estuvo detras del 11-M y por que se atento en Espana” (‘Kill them! Who was behind the 11-M and why was Spain attacked”)he concludes that “the decision to attack Spain was made in December 2001 in Karachi”, Pakistan.
According with Reinares, “the initial decision to attack Spain was due to motives of revenge”. In fact, the author says that the motives  have their roots in the dismantlement of an Al-Qaeda Spanish cell in 1997, and the general role of Spain in the anti-terrorist fight.

 

Abc.es: http://www.abc.es/espana/20140218/rc-atentados-fueron-aprobados-qaida-201402182001.html

Paris denies French school is teaching sharia law in Qatar

February 5, 2014

 

France’s Foreign Ministry has denied media reports that a French international school in Qatar has agreed to teach Islamic sharia law and separate boys and girls into different classrooms.

A recent agreement between the Lycée Voltaire in Doha and French authorities does not involve changes to religion classes or dividing classes by sex, Paris said after reports of the accord sparked outrage in France.

Under French law, state-run schools are barred from providing religious education. However, the state does subsidize private schools, like Doha’s, provided they follow the French state curriculum, do not force religious teaching upon students, and do not discriminate according to religion or sex.

“By signing the accord, the [Doha] school has committed itself to respecting the “Charter of French Teaching Abroad”, which outline the principles of secularism and religious neutrality in education,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website. “The school, which goes from kindergarten to sixth grade, is mixed-sex. All of its classes include both boys and girls, in accordance with the spirit and practices of French education,” it added.

Prominent French news outlets, including the left-leaning weekly Marianne, blasted the country’s international school agency last week for allegedly allowing the Doha school to teach strict Muslim sharia law and place boys and girls in separate classrooms from a certain age.

France’s Foreign Ministry, which helps oversee hundreds of French international schools around the world, said that while religion classes were taught at the Lycée Voltaire, they were part of an after-school program, as is the case in many other international French schools.

Religious education was compulsory for Qatari students at the school, as per Qatari law, but not students of other nationalities, it said.

However, some observers said French officials were not being completely transparent about the situation at the Lycée Voltaire, which boast an enrollment of around 1,000 students, roughly 40% of which are Qatari nationals. Marianne journalist Martine Gozlan said the school’s sixth grade class would not open until next year, and that discussions were ongoing over the question of separating pupils by sex at that level.

“Voltaire come back, Qatar is driving them crazy!” Gazlan wrote in the left-wing magazine, referring to the Enlightenment philosopher famous for his advocacy of secularism and his fierce attacks on religious dogma.

This is not the first time the Doha-based school makes headlines in France. In November 2012, the eviction of the school’s director prompted accusations of repeated interference by Qatari authorities.

 

Source: http://www.france24.com/en/20140205-france-qatar-education-sharia-mixed-sex-classes-agreement/

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) to Open Sanremo 2014

February 15, 2014

 

Yusuf Islam was announced as the international guest for Sanremo (the large music competition held in Italy every year). In a press conference, held last Monday Fabio Fazio announced that Yusuf Islam, who for all connoisseurs of his music will always be Cat Stevens, will be the international guest on the first evening of the festival, scheduled for February 18.

The British singer-songwriter became popular in the London of the sixties beginning his career in the pop genre. Since completely changing his lifestyle, Yusuf Islam still looks himself by continuing to have an unshaven look while shouldering an acoustic guitar. In his latest album, Islam echoes the Mediterranean in his tracks with especially intimate lyrics focusing on the cultural and social scene in Britain, increasingly divided by economic differences.

 

Soundsblog: http://www.soundsblog.it/post/249915/sanremo-2014-yusuf-islam-cat-stevens-ospite-internazionale

Musical News: http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=27016&sz=6

Today: http://www.today.it/media/sanremo-2014/cat-stevens-ospite.html

EU focuses on monitoring local jihadists

February 12, 2014

 

Side meetings and consultations are no longer enough to contain the phenomenon of foreign fighters in Syria. Thus, the EU counterterrorism department held a first-of-its-kind meeting for European security officers with their counterparts in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, in addition to states involved in the issue, including countries in the Arab Maghreb.

Due to the meeting’s security nature, the Europeans didn’t announce it or mention any details about the issues discussed. But a source in the EU counterterrorism department confirmed to As-Safir that the meeting did take place, explaining that the meeting of security experts was the first step for establishing a permanent platform for cooperation among countries concerned with the phenomenon of foreign jihadists. The meeting was attended by three Lebanese officers from various security agencies.

According to what a high-level diplomatic official told As-Safir, the meeting, although it was the first one, explored ways for security coordination, which the Europeans are seeking to contain the threat. Since the security agencies of Syria’s neighbors have experience with this phenomenon, the Europeans hope to benefit from their experience in identifying and monitoring potential jihadists before they travel, in addition to the possibility of launching a kind of “early warning system” to identify young Western suspects before Western agencies issue memos about their disappearance. The Europeans are now testing that alarm system in security cooperation with Turkey, especially since the chaos on Turkey’s border made that country the main gateway for fighters.

The West is increasingly afraid of jihadists returning. At first, the West showed signs of anxiety and restlessness. Then Europeans announced that the issue was a major threat to the security of European countries. Estimates vary about the number of European jihadists, with the latest number exceeding 2,000 fighters.

The security experts meeting in Brussels came in the context of those growing fears. The meeting was chaired by EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, who started preparing for this meeting a few months ago. A source close to him said the meeting is just the beginning, explaining, “We will try to invest all areas of cooperation with these countries. And we will continue to work on high-level meetings.”

European efforts to meet the challenge of returning jihadists became public in June 2013, when de Kerchove presented his first proposals report to European interior ministers. Last month, the European Commission issued recommendations for European countries on how to deal with the phenomenon. Among the key recommendations was to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the “other party,” i.e., states through which the jihadists pass.

Observers of European counterterrorism efforts assert that there have been many undeclared communications. In this context, a Lebanese security official met with European security officials in Brussels last October. They discussed how to coordinate about the phenomenon of Western jihadists. Other than that, there are lower-level meetings that come in the framework of the usual coordination between security agencies.

That issue will soon be part of the big meetings and their official speeches. A meeting on the foreign fighters phenomenon will fill the seats of an international conference in The Hague at the end of this month. The meeting will have large international participation. As the world pays more and more attention to this issue, Syria is approaching formal accession to the states that export terrorism.

This month saw a significant shift in US discourse on this issue. It came with unprecedented warnings launched by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He said there’s evidence of training camps in Syria to “train people to to go back to their countries and conduct terrorist acts [there].” According to Clapper, the party behind that is the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.

Before that, there were warnings about only the possibility of jihadists returning, but not about specific plans to send fighters back to their countries as terrorists.

This shift was followed by similar warnings. After Clapper’s testimony, US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said that the threat posed by returning jihadists has made the Syrian war an issue affecting US internal security.

There are no accurate numbers on foreign jihadists in Syria, but US intelligence estimated there were at least 7,500 foreign fighters of 50 nationalities.

 

Al-Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/02/europe-foreign-jihadists-syria-local-threat.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=c0581bafdc-January_9_20141_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-c0581bafdc-93074789#