Tag Archives: ISIS

Nigeria’s Boko Haram Pledges Allegiance to ISIS

Boko Haram ISIS

In the worst merger since Comcast-Time Warner, Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to an audio message purported to be from the Nigerian terrorist group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The audio message, which has not been officially verified, was posted on Boko Haram’s Twitter account on Saturday. The speaker says Boko Haram is announcing its “allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi,” (another name for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) and calls on “Muslims everywhere to pledge allegiance to the caliph.”

Well, I can’t say this is a complete surprise; the two groups have a lot in common.

One is a terrorist organization that began a military campaign in 2009 to impose Islamic rule and ban western-style education in northern Nigeria. The other is a terrorist organization that took control of large territories in eastern Syria and northern Iraq last year with the goal of establishing a state ruled by a single political and religious leader according to Islamic law.

One enjoys kidnapping schoolchildren and setting off suicide bombs in busy markets. The other prefers beheading foreign aid workers and performing mass killings and abductions of members of religious and ethnic minorities.

They’ll have lots to talk about!

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ISIS Threatens to Come to Rome… Traffic Permitting

 ISIS to Rome

The Italian government is on high alert after the Islamic State threatened to conquer Rome – with Allah’s permission, of course.

A recent video that appeared to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya included balaclava-clad extremists armed with an ominous message.

“Today we are south of Rome,” one masked militant said. “We will conquer Rome with Allah’s permission.”

Since Libya is just a stone’s throw across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy, Italian authorities are playing it safe by deploying 5,000 troops to guard embassies and monuments across the country. I mean, if thousands of refugees can make it across every year (minus a few drownings…), how hard can it be? Which is exactly why Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano urged NATO to intervene “for the future of the Western world,” adding “ISIS is at the door. There is no time to waste.”

But the Italian people aren’t too worried about the impending threat – because they know how bad Italian traffic is.

Using the Twitter hashtag “#We_are_coming_o_Rome”, Italians have responded to the Islamic State with warnings about traffic, bureaucratic corruption, and a few restaurant recommendations – because why not?

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Besides, could ISIS really do more damage in Rome than Dutch football fans?

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Terrorists Do NOT Like Cartoons…. And Other News

Cartoons

12 people have been killed in a shooting incident at the Paris office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, best known for its controversial cartoons.

Four of France’s best-known satirical cartoonists, including the magazine’s editor, were among the dead. A major manhunt has now been launched in Paris for three gunmen seen armed with AK-47s and pump-action shotguns. According to eye-witnesses the gunmen were yelling “Allahu Akbar”and “the Prophet is avenged.” Apparently the gunmen took issue with the magazine’s controversial series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. A killing rampage over some cartoons? Seems like an appropriate reaction… if you’re insane. President Francois Hollande called it a “cowardly murder” and declared a day of national mourning on Thursday. “Nothing can divide us, nothing can separate us,” Hollande said in a brief but defiant address. “We will win. Nothing will make us renounce our determination. Long live the republic. Long live France.” BBC News

Smoking ISISA top figure in Islamic State’s self-declared police force, known for their numerous beheadings, was found beheaded in eastern Syria with a cigarette placed in his mouth and a message written on his body. The Egyptian national’s body was found with signs of torture along with the message “This is evil, you Sheikh”. Residents in areas controlled by Islamic State have said the group has banned smoking in public. “We do not know whether Islamic State killed him or whether it was local people or other fighters,” said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Either way, someone was clearly displeased with the smoking ban. Lesson learned: you can behead and stone as many people to death as you want, just don’t come between a man and his cigarette. Globe and Mail

IraqA Syrian street magician was reportedly beheaded by Islamic State group militants after his performances were deemed to be insulting to God. The street magician, who was known as “Sorcerer,” was a staple in Raqqa until was whisked away by ISIS militants and later beheaded in a public square. According to ISIS, the street magician’s tricks were anti-Islamic because they were performed through “illusions and falsehood” – plus the Koran forbid the tricks because the time people spent captivated by them could have been better used by going to a mosque. No magic and tons of beheadings? Hmm. I’m starting to think these ISIS guys are dicks… IB Times

Uber GayPDA is a-okay unless you’re gay? Uber is under fire this week after a gay couple accused an Uber driver of throwing them out of the cab for kissing and cuddling during a New Year’s Eve ride in London. The couple claim they were asked to get out of the car and when they asked why, the driver said: “I take gays but they don’t normally do this.” Basically, the driver is fine with gays…. unless, of course, they do something gay. Uber has since suspended the driver as an investigation is pending and released a statement: “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination either by our partner drivers or towards our partner drivers.” Business Insider

GilbertsWarning: don’t spoil your children – or they might end up killing you. The founder of a multimillion-dollar hedge fund was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in his upscale Manhattan home on Sunday. The 70-year-old president of Wainscott Capital Partners, had a gun in his hand in an attempt to make his death look like a suicide – but a suicide it was not. Gilbert’s son, 30-year-old Thomas Gilbert Jr., was charged with homicide and criminal possession of a weapon. The younger Gilbert allegedly killed his father after he cut his weekly allowance by $200. Under the new allowance agreement, Gilbert would have only received $400 for spending money per month in addition to $2,400 per month for rent – and that was enough to push him over the edge. Now, if you gun down your father over a $200 allowance dispute at the age of 30, it’s probably time to reexamine your life. Luckily Gilbert Jr will have plenty of time for self-reflection while he serves out his second-degree murder sentence – unless he pleads “not guilty by reason of affluenza”. FOX News

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So… Is Al-Baghdadi Al-Bagh-dead or not?

Al-Baghdadi

Conflicting reports emerged over the weekend suggesting that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was either killed in a coalition airstrike or injured in a coalition airstrike. Well, which is it?

An Interior Ministry intelligence official confirmed that al-Baghdadi was hit Saturday during a strike on al-Qaim, a border town in the western province of Anbar but the Pentagon did not provide any information on whether al-Baghdadi was wounded. Iraq’s Defense and Interior Ministries both released statements that al-Baghdadi was wounded in the attack led by Iraqi forces, but they did not elaborate on what types of injuries he sustained.

Well, the injuries must have not been very severe because several days after reports surfaced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed or injured in an airstrike, the self-proclaimed leaders of ISIS released a new 17-minute audio statement.

In the recording, released via social media, the speaker says IS fighters will never stop fighting “even if only one soldier remains”.

“God has ordered us to fight,” he said. “For that reason the soldiers of the Islamic State are fighting… they will never leave fighting, even if only one soldier remains.”

Al-Baghdadi criticized President Obama’s decision to increase the number of advisers deploying to Iraq to help security forces battle the Islamic State.

“Here is Obama who has ordered the deployment of 1,500 additional soldiers under the claim that they are advisers because the Crusaders’ airstrikes and constant bombardment —day and night —upon the position of the Islamic State have not prevented its advance, nor weakened its resolve,” he said in the tape, which appears authentic and recent.

Al-Baghdadi also called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Baghdadi urged supporters in Saudi Arabia to take the fight to the rulers of the kingdom, which has joined the U.S.-led coalition in mounting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria.

So the leader of a terrorist group is commanding his followers to attack a country that is notorious for funding terrorists? Bold strategy, al-Baghdadi. Let’s see if it pays off.

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Damn It, FedEx! ISIS Got U.S. Weapons Package

ISIS Weapons

In another instance of ‘giving weapons to foreigners gone wrong’, the Pentagon admitted that ISIS got its hands on one of the 28 bundles of weapons and medical supplies that the U.S. dropped to Kurdish forces. Oops!

Last week, the U.S. air-dropped weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies for Kurdish forces fighting ISIS jihadists near the besieged town of Kobani, located in Syria near the Turkish border. During the multiple air-drops, Air Force C-130 planes delivered arms and supplies that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and that were “intended to enable continued resistance” against ISIS and its attempts to “overtake Kobani.”

Sounds great. Only problem? Two of the bundles missed their marks. One of the misguided airdrops was destroyed by the U.S. The other ended up in the hands of the Islamic State fighters.

After video footage released by ISIS showed what appeared to be one of its fighters in desert scrubland with a stack of boxes attached to a parachute, the Pentagon admitted they effed up. US defence spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Steve Warren blamed the wind for possibly blowing the supplies off course and argued that one cache was not enough to make a significant difference to ISIS.

But just in case, a group of Syrian Arab rebels has arrived in Kobani to help defend the town against the Islamic State militants. Plus, considering the Islamic State militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized parts of Iraq back in June, a couple of extra boxes of weapons shouldn’t make a huge difference.

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What Poses A Greater Threat to World Peace: ISIS or America?

Harvard ISIS Threat

According to Fox News, neither. The greatest threat to world peace is a “bunch of snot-nosed brats” from Harvard.

Several Harvard students were asked by Campus Reform’s Caleb Bonham whether the U.S. or ISIS pose the greater threat to world peace.

“It’s America. America’s making decisions that are much more likely to affect the world,” one student said.

“As a Western civilization, we’re to blame for a lot of the problems that we’re facing now,” one student said during the interview. “I don’t think anyone would argue that we didn’t create the problem of ISIS, ourselves.”

“American imperialism and our protection of oil interests in the Middle East are destabilizing the region,” another added.

The Fox Outnumbered hosts were shocked and appalled by the students’ answers, with their responses ranging from disbelief to rage to simply mocking the students with snobby British accents (see reactions here). Clearly these kids do NOT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS and clearly they have fake British accents because apparently that’s a thing among rich unpatriotic anti-American brats?

The guest judge, country star John Rich, who sporting a cowboy hat (presumably to lend credibility to his thoughts), was especially outraged at the anti-American sentiment he was hearing.

“These are obviously kids that don’t know somebody who’s serving. They don’t have anybody in their family that’s ever taught them about this country and what the DNA of our country is about,” said Rich, who added that his grandfather served in WWII and his father taught him about the importance of saying the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

Now, the hosts over at Outnumbered were quick to point out that America is by no means perfect (although it comes pretty close) and it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize your country. Unless they disagree even in the slightest with that criticism – then you’re just a snot-nosed brat who hates the troops. Next.

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The Rules According to ISIS

Journalist rules

After beheading two American journalists, ISIS forces in Deir Ezzor, Syria, have issued 11 rules to journalists who want to report from the region while avoiding being abducted and killed.

The 11 golden rules, all said to be non-negotiable, were established directly by ISIS for any journalists “who wish to continue working in the governorate.” Unsurprisingly, the rules are pretty damn restrictive. Among the conditions, journalists must swear allegiance as “subjects of the Islamic State” and no journalist is to publish any piece of work without first getting approval from the ISIS media office.

Although the vast majority of foreign journalists have already fled ISIS-held regions of Syria and Iraq, here are the full rules for any stragglers left behind:

1 – Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi … they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.

2 – Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the Isis media offices.

3 – Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden to provide any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.

4 – Journalists are forbidden to work in any way with the TV channels placed on the blacklist of channels that fight against Islamic countries (such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient). Violators will be held accountable.

5 – Journalists are allowed to cover events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the Isis media office. All published pieces and photos must carry the journalist’s and photographer’s names.

6 – Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage (print or broadcast) without referring to the Isis media office first.

7 – Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. However, the Isis media office must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.

8 – Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within Isis territory and avoid filming locations or security events where taking pictures is prohibited.

9 – Isis media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within Isis territory and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable.

10 – The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the Isis media offices.

11 – Journalists are given a license to practice their work after submitting a license request at the Isis media office.

Wait a minute… let’s go back to Rule #10. The the rules “are not final” and can change at any time? Well, that’s helpful. It might as well read “Journalists may be subject to the removal of their heads at any time for any reason by any member of ISIS.”

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Bombs Over Baghdad… I mean Syria. And Other News…

Syria Air Strikes

The U.S. war major counter-terrorism operation against ISIS has begun in Syria.

On Monday night, the United States—along with their new buddies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, launched cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs at ISIS strongholds along Syria’s border with Iraq. The U.S.-led strikes hit the city of Raqqa (ISIS’s self-declared capital of Syria) as well as a number of other villages and cities. In addition to targeting ISIS, the Monday night air strikes took aim at the Khorosan Group, an Al Qaeda cell filled with well-seasoned operatives. Why not kill two birds with one missile? So far the strikes have been a success – if you measure success by dead bodies. At least 70 ISIS militants and 50 other al-Qaeda-linked fighters have been killed in the attacks. BBC News

Chad HomosexualLouisianan gays rejoice, Chadian gays recoil! A judge in Louisiana has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. State Judge Edward Rubin said the ban violates the due process clause and the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, as well as the full faith and credit clause of the constitution. In other words, it’s good news for the couple in the case, Angela Costanza and her partner Chasity Brewer, who argued that Louisiana should recognize their marriage, which took place in California. Meanwhile, over in Africa, Chad is poised to become the 37th African country to ban homosexuality. As part of a larger overhaul of the penal code, Chad is expected to pass a new law banning homosexuality with a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. The government ministers, who have already signed on to the bill, say claim the law works to “protect the family and to comply with Chadian society.” On a more positive note, the new penal code also abolishes the death penalty, so at least the newly criminalized homosexuals won’t end up on death row… small win? The Guardian

New Zealand FlagScotland may have voted against separating from the British Empire, but now New Zealand is getting anxious to cut ties with its former colonizer. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he would hold a referendum on getting rid of the nation’s Union Jack clad flag next year. “I’d like to get on with it, to me I’d like to do it as a 2015 issue,” Key told commercial station Radio Live. “I’m obviously a big supporter of the change, I think there are a lot of strong arguments in favour of the change.” The prime minister wants to ditch the Union Jack in favour of a silver fern against a black background. Critics say this design too closely resembles a pirate’s flag, but Key urged his fellow Kiwis to think of it as New Zealand’s version of the Canadian maple leaf. “I know it was a ferocious debate in Canada, but in the end would any Canadians look back and say they got it wrong with the maple leaf?” he asked. I don’t know… maybe this Canadian. The Guardian

Somali RansomTurns out Somali pirates are more forgiving than ISIS militants… or they’re just more into ransoms. A German-American journalist who was abducted more than two years ago has been freed. Michael Scott Moore was abducted in the Somali city of Galkayo back in January 2012 while researching a book about piracy. A Somali pirate commander told The Associated Press that the journalist had been released after a ransom was paid, but according to Abdi Yusuf, interior minister of the semi-autonomous region of Galmudug in central Somalia where the 45-year-old journalist was abducted, no ransom was paid. Ransom or no ransom (there was totally a ransom), Moore is no doubt happy to be reunited with his family and pirate-free. New York Times

Three BoobsDisappointing Total Recall fans everywhere, the Florida woman who claimed to have had a third breast surgically implanted to scare men away turned out to be a big fat phony. Armed with a handful of disturbing selfies, 21-year-old Jasmine Tridevil (not her real name, obvs) tricked thousands of news organizations into believing she found a plastic surgeon stupid enough to give her a third boob. Tridevil says the surgery cost $20,000 and that included a “nipple” implant. She also revealed: “I got it because I wanted to make myself unattractive to men. Because I don’t want to date anymore.” She sounds smart… “Most guys would think [the extra breast is] weird and gross. But I can still feel pretty because if I wore makeup and cute clothes, I can still, you know… feel pretty,” the 21-year-old (in Courtney Stodden years) continued. But, an investigation by Snopes shows that Tridevil has a history of creating Internet hoaxes and even if she had found a plastic surgeon willing to put his/her license on the line, the procedure would take months to complete and would definitely NOT look Total Recall-esque. Huffington Post

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Al Qaeda Feels Left Out

 al Qaeda Cat

With all eyes on ISIS, al Qaeda is feeling left out of the terrorism game.

In response to a U.S. assessment that the original Islamic terrorist organization is in decline, al Qaeda issued a defiant online message Sunday, dismissing the U.S. State Department’s annual terrorism report as “lies”.

In its annual terrorism report published in April, the U.S. State Department said:

“As a result of both ongoing worldwide efforts against the organization and senior leadership losses, AQ core’s leadership has been degraded, limiting its ability to conduct attacks and direct its followers.”

While the report notes that the group has expanded horizontally, with global affiliates grabbing territory and harassing Western-backed governments in Somalia, Algeria and Yemen, al Qaeda was not impressed with U.S. trying to downplay their presence.

“Whatever slip-ups or errors (regional branches)…may have committed are limited in number in the midst of mountains of good deeds and successes,” said Hossam Abdul Raouf, an Egyptian veteran of the militant group, adding that the organization was expanding across the world.

“How then can al Qaeda have shrunken greatly and lost many of its senior leaders at a time when it is expanding horizontally and opening new fronts dependent on it?” Raouf asked.

Noticeably absent from Raouf’s statement was any mention of the ultra-hardline Islamic State group, it’s archrival for the leadership of global jihad. Counter-terrorism experts say the aging al Qaeda leadership is struggling to compete with ISIS for young recruits.

ISIS, who broke away from al Qaeda in 2013 over its expansion into Syria, has everything young recruits are looking for in a terrorist organization: publicized beheadings of western journalists (and now aid workers), mass executions of innocent civilians, crucifixions, stonings, burying victims alive, ethnic cleansing – the works! Al Qaeda just can’t compete with this level of savagery.

Luckily for al Qaeda, thirty countries have pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State (IS) militants “by all means necessary”. Even the Arab countries are pitching in! Following a conference in Paris to discuss strategy on how to combat the jihadists, several Arab nations have offered to carry out air strikes against the group in Iraq and Syria. And a few days before, ten Arab countries issued a communiqué with the U.S. endorsing efforts to “destroy” ISIS.

So don’t worry, al Qaeda. You’ll have your title as the world’s worst terrorist organization back soon enough. Unless Boko Haram has anything to do with it…

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Current Event Cat of the Day: War on ISIS

Current Event Cat - ISIS Airstrikes

Watch out ISIS, eleven years, thousands of lives, and $1.7 trillion later, we’re going back in! But to a lesser extent…

In his address to the nation, President Obama outlined a multi-phase plan for combating IS (the militants formerly known as ISIS), saying the country would lead a “broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.”

The multi-phase plan can be summed up as follows:

Phase One: Airstrikes galore

Phase Two: Train the Iraqi military (for a while)

Phase Three: Deal with Syria

But the President was quick to stress that the U.S. efforts against Islamic State will not, I repeat NOT, escalate to a full-blown war. While he admitted airstrikes alone would not defeat IS, Obama said, “the boots on the ground have to be Iraqi.”

“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. While the U.S. will send 475 service members to Iraq, they will “not have a combat mission,” but rather, provide intelligence, training, and equipment.

“We will not be dragged into another ground war,” said Obama. “We cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves.”

Judging from the current state of the Iraqi military, this war will be going on for a while…

Luckily this time around, the U.S has a few allies (and more evidence to support their claim that ISIS is evil than they had to support the theory that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling WMDs). Already, France has agreed to support airstrikes and ten Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have agreed to rally with the US in tackling the threat posed by the jihadists.

So far the U.S. has conducted more than 150 airstrikes in Iraq in an effort to halt IS’s advances and they aren’t afraid to head into Syria. While the U.S has refrained from seeking the help of Syrian President/Dictator Bashar al-Assad in the fight against Islamic State, Obama made it clear in his speech that the U.S. “will not hesitate” to go into Syria if need be.

“If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” Obama said.

As for congressional approval, Obama isn’t too worried. Although the President said he has the “authority to address the threat” posed by ISIS, he “welcomes congressional support to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.” Obama has also asked Congress to allocate $5 billion for counterrorism funding, which may end up being a bigger fight than the one against IS in Iraq.

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