Archive for category Islamic state

Parliament should speak in one voice tomorrow on behalf of 30 million Malaysians to condemn the senseless mass massacre by IS suicide bombers in Paris on Friday night

The Malaysian Parliament should set a world example and speak in one voice tomorrow on behalf of 30 million Malaysians to condemn the senseless massacre in a series of co-ordinated attacks by Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris that left at least 129 people dead and 352 injured.

As Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is already in Turkey for the Group of 20 (G20) Summit, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi should move an emergency motion tomorrow immediately after Question Time, and he can be assured of full support by Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament.

I do not of course speak on behalf of the PAS Members of Parliament.

However, I think on this issue of the condemnation of the Paris massacre, Members of Parliament, regardless of party, race, religion, gender, age or region, should unite to unanimously adopt an emergency motion in Parliament not only to condemn the killing of innocent lives in Paris on Friday night but also to urge on Parliaments and legislatures in all nations of the world to similarly condemn such dastardly and uncivilized savagery as unmitigated crimes against humanity which cannot be mitigated by any ground or reason. Read the rest of this entry »

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Terror in Paris

Editorial Board
New York Times
Nov 14, 2015

On Saturday morning, after an evening of incomprehensible barbarism against a free and civilized society by armed terrorists, President François Hollande of France declared the attacks an act of war. More than 125 people were slaughtered in multiple venues in Paris — in a concert hall, at several restaurants, near a sports stadium, on the street. Mr. Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency, imposed checks at all of France’s borders, and called in the army to protect the city.

The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility, and vowed that this was “only the beginning of the storm” to punish France for its airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

This attack, Mr. Hollande said, was “against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: a free country that means something to the entire planet.” He vowed that France would respond, using “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.” Read the rest of this entry »

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To Save Paris, Defeat ISIS

Roger Cohen
New York Times
Nov. 14, 2015

MILAN — The Paris slaughter claimed by the Islamic State constitutes, as President François Hollande of France declared, an “act of war.” As such, it demands of all NATO states a collective response under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. This says that, “An armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”

Alliance leaders are already debating what that response should be. Hollande has spoken to President Obama. Other NATO countries, including Germany and Canada, have expressed solidarity. Indignation and outrage, while justified, are not enough.

The only adequate measure, after the killing of at least 129 people in Paris, is military, and the only objective commensurate with the ongoing threat is the crushing of ISIS and the elimination of its stronghold in Syria and Iraq. The barbaric terrorists exalting on social media at the blood they have spilled cannot be allowed any longer to control territory on which they are able to organize, finance, direct and plan their savagery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paris terror attacks were plotted by a small extremist cell in Brussels, investigators suspect

Richard A. Serrano, Henry Chu and Joe Mozingo
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2015

Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris apparently began with a small extremist cell in Brussels, where French authorities believe the attacks were planned and the operation financed, according to two U.S. law enforcement officials who have been advised about the ongoing French probe.

The sources, speaking confidentially because the investigation is just underway, also emphasized that the attackers probably had a substantial understanding of the history and culture of France — Paris in particular — and said it was “highly possible” some had lived in the capital.

That, the sources said, was evident in how they seamlessly moved about the vast metropolis and set up coordinated attacks at six targets across the city — from a stadium to a theater to a restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »

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What We Know About the Paris Attackers

By Chas Danner
New York Times
14 November 2015

It’s now pretty clear that ISIS-linked terrorists were behind the brutal attacks which killed 129 people and injured another 352 last night in Paris, and now details about the individual attackers and their possible accomplices are beginning to emerge.

As of midday Saturday, eight men are known to have executed the attacks, and those eight were all killed, seven by detonating their explosive suicide vests, and one after being shot by police. According to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, the attacks were conducted by three coordinated teams of assailants: one at the Stade de France, one traveling in a black Seat car which fired on multiple locations, and the third team traveling in a black Volkswagen Polo. One of the cars was registered to a French citizen who was stopped at the Belgian border with two other people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islamic State has increasingly hit soft targets outside of ‘caliphate’ borders

By Erin Cunningham
Washington Post
November 14 2015

CAIRO – The coordinated attacks on diners and concertgoers across Paris on Friday appear to mark the Islamic State’s first major operation outside the Middle East, and to confirm the group’s adoption of global terror tactics to boost its profile and strike back at its enemies.

The group claimed credit for Friday’s attacks, which killed 129 people. President Francoise Hollande called the violence “an act of war” organized by Islamic State.

Until recently, the extremist movement was focused almost entirely on seizing territory on which to build its so-called caliphate, including in Iraq and Syria, where violent civil wars have left destabilizing security vacuums. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS

New York Times
NOV. 14, 2015

Three teams of Islamic State attackers acting in unison carried out the terrorist assault in Paris on Friday night, officials said Saturday, including one gunman who may have traveled to Europe on a Syrian passport along with the flow of migrants.

“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” President François Hollande told the nation from the Élysée Palace, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”

As the death toll rose to 129 victims — with 352 others injured, 99 of them critically — a basic timeline of the attacks came into view. Read the rest of this entry »

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IS planning nuclear tsunami, says German journalist who spent 10 days with them

Asia Times
September 30, 2015

Millions of people in the West may perish in a nuclear tsunami the Islamic State (IS) is planning to launch, warns a German journalist who embedded on the frontline with the terror group for 10 days in the northern Iraq town of Mosul in 2014, agencies report.

Recounting his impressions about IS in his new book Inside IS – Ten Days in the Islamic State, former German MP and noted journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer says the IS want to wipe out all those opposed to their plans for an Islamic caliphate and enslave their women and children.

According to him, the West is underestimating the power of IS which is trying to get its hands on nuclear weapons.

With more countries obtaining nukes, the chances of this terror group obtaining such weapons and using them against the West are more, the Munich native says.

The main people IS are planning to target are Shiites, Yazidis, Hindus, atheists and polytheists.

Moderate Muslims who believe in democracy too may be killed as they promote human laws over the laws of God from IS point of view. Read the rest of this entry »

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Purveyors of hate

– Sheela R
The Malaysian Insider
8 September 2015

Voices of hatred seem bent on gaining traction in our nation, with their exclusivist agenda. Sadly, history seems to have taught us little.

In the 1930s, the Nazis, obsessed with a vision of a racially pure society, employed a series of cunning strategies, to ensure the realisation of their goals. These included:

Reshaping intellectual and public perception through the banning of books, articles, magazines, newspapers, and public displays of burning literature that were deemed to be incompatible with Nazi ideals. Such literary materials were deemed to foster “liberal decay”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should come clean about the RM2.6 billion in his personal accounts and stop spawning lies like the latest one that ‘PM’s RM2.6 billion was thanks for fighting IS’

It has been said that once you tell a lie, you need to tell ten more lies to cover the first lie.

This is what is happening almost every day, to cover up the multiple and monstrous lies that are being told about the twin scandals of RM42 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts before the 13th General Election.

In a way, it is quite entertaining the manner that the Prime Minister and his media communication strategists are busy spinning stories about these twin scandals, and if not for the vital fact that national interests and the people’s future are at stake, one could sit back to enjoy the burlesque and the clumsy attempts to get the Prime Minister to get out of a very sticky and nasty situation.

But the latest spin that the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts originated from Saudi Arabia as an appreciation to Malaysia for championing Islam, fighting Islamic State (IS) and for practicing Sunni Islam (Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah) really takes the cake for being the most ludicrous and outrageous explanation so far. Read the rest of this entry »

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ISIS-affiliated militants launch wave of assaults in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

By Erin Cunningham and Loveday Morris
Washington Post
July 1

CAIRO — Militants linked with the Islamic State unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks on security checkpoints in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, the latest strike in a global surge in violence by the group’s sympathizers and one that threatened to push Egypt into a wider conflict with the jihadists.

As many as 70 soldiers and civilians may have been killed in the fighting, officials and local media said. But the Egyptian army said late Wednesday that 17 soldiers and 100 militants died in the clashes. The differing death tolls could not be immediately reconciled.

Wednesday’s attacks came two days after Egypt’s top prosecutor was assassinated in a bombing in the capital, Cairo. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi on Tuesday vowed revenge for his murder, pledging to swiftly implement death sentences against militants and bring down the “heavy hand of the state” on anyone who threatens the country’s stability. Read the rest of this entry »

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Salafism – Politics and the puritanical


Islam’s most conservative adherents are finding that politics is hard. But it beats the alternative

WERE it not for his bushy beard and trim moustache, Nader Bakkar could be mistaken for one of Egypt’s secular liberal politicians. The young spokesman for the Nour party is tolerant, reasonable and smart—he is about to begin a fellowship at Harvard. “We are reformers, not revolutionaries,” Mr Bakkar (pictured left) says of his party. “Compromise is not a bad word.” But his facial hair conveys a different message. Mr Bakkar and his party adhere to the ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam known as Salafism.

In the West that brand is most associated with extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS), whose members are sometimes called Salafist-jihadists; or the intolerance of Saudi Arabia, where adherents are called Wahhabis. The Saudis have used their oil wealth to spread the influence of Salafism across the Muslim world, funding Wahhabi-inspired mosques and madrassas—and, at times, extremist groups. As a result, some think Salafism is the fastest-growing Islamic movement.

It is also growing more diverse. All Salafists take a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the “pious forefathers”—right down to their facial hair. They reject religious innovation, or bida, and support the implementation of sharia (Islamic law). Salafist scholars, though, are far from homogeneous, expressing different views on everything from apostasy to activism. Most notably, many Salafists now engage in politics despite a tradition of quiescence. But with little to show for their efforts, they must decide whether to push on, withdraw or pursue politics by other means, such as war or terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

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In recurring religious conflicts, Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
June 27, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 ― Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have raised concerns over the seeming trend of Muslims imposing their beliefs on others, questioning if this is reflective of a wider agenda that is backed by Putrajaya to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

The federal lawmakers noted that the federal government appeared either unable to stop or even condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals.

“This issue bothers me because as our forefathers taught us, religion should be about faith and (is) personal,” Umno’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told Malay Mail Online via text message.

“I suspect the longer-term objective of these groups is to usurp power through religious means and therefore avoid being legitimately elected.

“While I respect their motives and intentions, the elected government of the day must control the actions of these groups and act in the interest of all the citizens of the country,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Jihadist Trap of Here and Now

By Scott Stewart
Security Weekly
Stratfor Global Intelligence

JUNE 25, 2015

In recent weeks, I have found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the jihadist strategy of al Qaeda and how it compares to that of the Islamic State. Earlier this month, I wrote about the possibility that the al Qaeda brand of jihadism could outlast that of the Islamic State. Last week, I wrote about how ideologies are harder to kill than individuals, focusing on the effect that the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Nasir al-Wahayshi will have on the group and the wider global jihadist movement.

But beyond the impact of leaders like al-Wahayshi, there are other facets of strategy that will influence the war for the soul of jihadism. Specifically, I am talking about time and place. Both al Qaeda and the Islamic State seek to establish a global caliphate, but both differ quite starkly in how to accomplish this task and how soon it can be achieved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Erdogan succumbs to the fog of politics

David Gardner
Financial Times
June 17, 2015

A striking collapse of judgement in a leader who once mesmerized his electorate

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant this week suffered another defeat at the hands of Syrian Kurdish fighters who captured Tel Abyad, a town that Isis had held since last summer, when it declared its cross-border caliphate and convulsed the heart of the Middle East.

The striking victory by the Syrian Kurdish militia, affiliated with the Democratic Union party (PYD), brings with it two momentous changes. The Syrian Kurds can now link up territory they hold from the border of the self-ruling Kurdistan Regional Government(KRG)in northern Iraq, through Tel Abyad, on the Turkish-Syrian border, and on westwards to Kobani, recaptured from the jihadis this year after a long emblematic siege that cemented the collaboration between PYD forces on the ground and the US-led coalition against Isis.

But second, the capture of Tel Abyad severs the Isis supply line from the Turkish border to Raqqa, the de facto capital of the caliphate it calls Islamic State. This is — for now — a body blow to the jihadis, and a real advance for the coalition after the recent Isis capture of Palmyra in central Syria and Ramadi in western Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islamist fighters drawn from half the world’s countries, says UN

Jason Burke
26 May 2015

Report says there are more than 25,000 ‘foreign terrorist fighters’ from 100 countries in jihadi conflicts, who pose an ‘immediate and long-term threat’

More than half the countries in the world are currently generating Islamist extremist fighters for groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State, the UN has said.

A report by the UN security council says there are more than 25,000 “foreign terrorist fighters” currently involved in jihadi conflicts and they are “travelling from more than 100 member states”.

The number of fighters may have increased by more than 70% worldwide in the past nine months or so, the report says, adding that they “pose an “immediate and long-term [terrorist] threat”.

The sudden rise, though possibly explained by better data, will raise concern about the apparently growing appeal of extremism. The geographic spread of states touched by the phenomenon has expanded, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Isis bombs and al-Qaeda papers make bin Laden seem soft touch

Geoff Dyer in Washington
Financial Times
May 22, 2015

A spate of massive car bombs in an Iraqi city and a slew of new al-Qaeda documents have pulled off the improbable feat of making Osama bin Laden seem like a soft touch.

Just as Islamist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were taking control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi this week, the US government released part of a treasure trove of material recovered from the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound in Pakistan.

The two events have cast a light on the fierce competition between the jihadi groups and help explain why Isis has been so much more effective than al-Qaeda at exploiting instability in the Middle East since the so-called Arab Spring.

While bin Laden wanted to play a long game and constantly fretted about alienating fellow Muslims, Isis has been happy to pursue its goals through indiscriminate violence against anyone—including setting off 10 huge bombs in Ramadi on Sunday before its forces made their final push to take the Iraqi city. Read the rest of this entry »

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First Ramadi, then Palmyra: Isis shows it can storm bastions of Syria and Iraq

Martin Chulov
22 May 2015

Terror group faced little resistance from local forces, prompting re-evaluations across a region that had sensed it might be in retreat

Islamic State fighters are celebrating their second major conquest in a week in Syria and Iraq as they pick through the ruins of the historic city of Palmyra.

The sudden advance of the militants into the UN heritage site in central Syria resulted in the rout of a national army, the exodus of refugees and a fresh pulse of regional alarm at the resilience of the self-styled caliphate force.

The UN said one-third of Palmyra’s 200,000-strong population had fled. And Isis militants used social media to show themselves posing amid ancient columns in Palmyra on Thursday. Other images displayed a more familiar theme: the summary slaughter of local men whose blood drenched the road.

Isis’s latest advance has prompted a re-evaluation across the region, which had earlier sensed it might be in retreat. From Beirut to Baghdad and as far away as Riyadh, regional actors are coming to terms with an organisation that can win most of its battles and successfully storm Syria and Iraq’s best-defended bastions.

The seizure of Palmyra followed the equally startling conquest of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar province last weekend. Both operations, around 600 miles apart, have become emblematic of a terror group that can have its way across two crumbling countries despite embattled state forces being propped up by global powers. Read the rest of this entry »

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In the face of Islamic State successes, al-Qaida adapts, grows stronger

Associated Press
May 4, 2015

CAIRO — When al-Qaida overran the Yemeni port city of Mukalla last month, the group’s commanders immediately struck a deal to share power with the area’s tribesmen. No jihadi banners were raised. Al-Qaida even issued a statement denying rumors that it had banned music at parties or men wearing shorts.

A local tribal council now administers the city.

The approach was a stark contrast to al-Qaida’s rival, the Islamic State group, notorious for its savagery. And that was precisely the point.

In a competition with the Islamic State group for recruits and prestige across the Middle East, al-Qaida has sought to distinguish itself from its rival’s bloodthirstiness, taking an approach that in jihadi circles would be considered pragmatic. It is building alliances with local players, even old enemies, to seize new territory. Its leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has told his followers to avoid IS-style brutalities against civilians in order to build support among local populations.

The strategy has paid off, winning new gains for al-Qaida. In Yemen, it even stands to emerge as the real winner as Saudi Arabia leads an Arab air campaign targeting the terror network’s rival, the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis who have taken over much of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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What ‘Draw Muhammad’ shootings say about Islamic State reach

By Patrik Jonsson
Christian Science Monitor
MAY 5, 2015

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the foiled terrorist attack at a Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas Sunday. But that doesn’t mean the group had much to do with the attack.

The attempted terror attack by two Muslim-Americans in Garland, Texas, Sunday so far appears to confirm what terrorism experts have been saying for months: The Islamic State has no ability to carry out attacks in the United States.

But the incident shows that the Islamic State’s ability to inspire and, to a limited degree, direct “lone wolf” jihadis remains a challenge with no simple answers. Read the rest of this entry »

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