Wednesday, January 07, 2015

From Ian:

Abbas Decrees Life Sentence For Anyone Who Sells Land To Jews
The "moderate" President of the Palestinian Authority has enacted a bill in an attempt to ensure that any future Palestinian state is free of Jews, decreeing that any Palestinian who sells land "to a hostile country or its citizens" is now punished with "life imprisonment with forced labor."
Of course "hostile country or its citizens" is another way of saying Jews. Palestinian Media Watch translation of the news reports, all of which appeared on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel, read:
October 21st: [PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a decision on an amendment to the Jordanian penal law [still in effect in the PA] and on its previous amendments in the northern districts (i.e., the West Bank). In the new amendment, he instituted life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens. The previous penalty for the clandestine transfer of land was temporary forced labor.
October 23rd: The [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council stressed in its meeting, chaired by the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the prohibition on selling lands and clandestinely transferring real estate property to enemies. This came following the occupation authorities' and settlers' takeover of several real estate properties in the area of Silwan [in Jerusalem]... The Council designated anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland, and [decreed that] he is to be shunned by all Muslims.
Abbas decrees life imprisonment for selling land to Israelis


12 dead, four wounded critically in shooting at headquarters of French satirical newspaper
Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine renowned for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades.
One of the men was captured on video shouting "Allah!" as four shots rang out. Two assailants are then seen calmly leaving the scene and remain at large.
Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) is renowned for courting controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders and has published numerous cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. The last tweet on its account mocked Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant Islamic State, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
"This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it," President Francois Hollande told reporters after rushing to the scene of the attack. His government raised France's security level to the highest notch and scheduled an emergency cabinet meeting.
Allahu Akbar!' Video of Paris Terror Attack Against Newspaper
Videos are now surfacing of the shooting rampage in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper known for publishing cartoons lampooning Muslim leaders including Mohammed.
"Allahu Akbar!" can be heard with a barrage of gunshots.
'Charlie Hebdo,' brazen champion of political incorrectness, loved poking fun at Islam
Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical newsmagazine that was targeted by two gunmen in one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in the history of the Fifth Republic, has been available on French newsstands since its founding in July 1992.
It gained its greater notoriety, however, for its defiant stance toward upholding freedom of expression in the face of Muslim anger over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.
In 2006, it riled Muslims in France and elsewhere after it reprinted 12 cartoons originally published months earlier by Jylland-Posten, a Danish newspaper. The caricatures sparked rioting and widespread protests across the Muslim world.
Charlie Hebdo’s act of solidarity with Jylland-Posten prompted a French Muslim organization to take the newspaper to court, charging that it was fomenting racism by publishing the cartoons. A French court, however, disagreed, and acquitted the newspaper.
An anti-establishment weekly whose Paris offices were under police protection due to threats, Charlie Hebdo continued to make waves. In 2011, it issued a tongue-in-cheek edition titled Charia Hebdo with “guest editor” Mohammed.
On the day before the edition hit newsstands, its offices were firebombed and its website hacked.



Israel, world leaders condemn France terror attack
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman sent his condolences to the French people in the wake of the attack on the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which left 12 people dead including several prominent French satirical cartoonists.
“Israel sympathizes with France’s pain,” he said, according to a statement by his spokesperson.
“The world must not allow terrorists to intimidate the free world and the West is obligated to stand united and determined against this threat,” Liberman said.
The EU, Germany, Russia, Canada, and the US also strongly condemned the terror attack, which gunmen stormed the magazine’s building and killed its employees.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called it an act of “barbarism.”
“I am profoundly shocked by the brutal and inhuman attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. This is an intolerable act, an act of barbarism which challenges us all as human and Europeans,” Juncker said in a statement issued by the 28-nation EU.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “despicable” attack in a condolence letter to French President Francois Hollande.
“I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris,” the German leader wrote.
US Condemns Charlie Hebdo Attack, Volunteers to Help Paris'
US President Barack Obama has released a statement on Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack on a French newspaper, after a White House spokesman condemned it in the “strongest possible terms," AFP reports.
"I strongly condemn the horrific shooting of the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people," Obama said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and with the people of France at this time."
JCPA:The Palestinian Strategy: Internationalization of the Conflict Plus Intifada
The Palestinian message emerged clearly in an editorial published on January 4 in Al-Quds under the headline “Pressure Will Not Solve Any Problem but Rather Will Lead to an Explosion.”
The editorial ends with the words: “They are wrong if they think we will submit to their pressures and that we will be an Authority without authority; all these pressures will lead to an explosion in different forms.”
The Palestinians demand that the Arab states provide them with an economic safety net amounting to $100 million in aid per month, as was promised to them in earlier summit conferences, so they can withstand Israel’s sanctions and also, possibly, future U.S. sanctions.
They likewise demand that the Arab states, especially those that are members of the anti-Islamic State coalition, pressure the United States to moderate its policy toward the PA.
The Palestinians’ expectations of the Arab states are not high. Their experience with them is negative, as evidenced by the fact that most of the money for the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip promised at the donors’ conference in Cairo, to the tune of $5.5 billion, has yet to arrive.
NGO Targets Three More PA Officials for War Crimes Prosecutions
Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center, has targeted three more Palestinian officials for war crimes prosecutions in the International Criminal Court, The Times of Israel reported Monday.
The three officials named in the complaints filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) are “PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Abbas’s deputy; minister Jibril Rajoub; and PA intelligence chief Majed Faraj.” All three are members Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.
UN Says 'Palestine' Will Join ICC on April 1 (NOT Satire)
The Palestinian Authority (PA) will join the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday night, according to The Associated Press.
In a statement posted on the UN's treaty website and quoted by the news agency, the secretary-general said "the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015."
He said he was acting as the "depositary" for the documents of ratification.
The PA formally presented a request to the United Nations on Friday to join the ICC, in a move firmly opposed by both Israel and the United States.
Palestinians Cry to UN on Israel ‘Debt Collection’
The Palestinian Authority filed a complaint Tuesday against Israel with the United Nations.
PA envoy Riyad Mansour wrote in his letter that Israel “resumed the theft of Palestinian tax revenues in direct retaliation for the legitimate, peaceful steps taken by the Palestinian leadership in the pursuit of justice and for the purpose of protecting the Palestinian people.”
Mansour’s complaint referred to Israel’s decision to withhold tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA to pay the entity’s outstanding debt to the Israel Electric Corp. of NIS 1.7 billion.
That decision “constitutes a blatant act of theft and of collective punishment,” Mansour charged. He claimed the tax revenues comprise the funding base for PA governmental institutions.
He neglected to mention the huge allocation for the generous monthly salaries paid to convicted PA terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Nor did he mention the thousands of members of the Hamas terrorist organization who are on the civil service payroll in Gaza — also “funded” by the Ramallah government which is, of course, underwritten by the foreign aid donated by the “international community.”
Are Palestinian Offensives Inviting Israeli Reprisals?
Collapsing the PA would also undermine Abbas' own core objectives. How could the statehood initiative at the United Nations and the PA's offensive at the International Criminal Court proceed if "Palestine" was without a government? Building a state and removing its government are opposites.
Without a government, how would foreign aid be received? U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said on April 21, 2014, "That type of extreme step would obviously have grave implications. A great deal of effort has gone into building Palestinian institutions ... and it would certainly not be in the interests of the Palestinian people for all of that to be lost. The United States has put millions of dollars into this effort. It would obviously have very serious implications for our relationship, including our assistance going forward."
Rash action by Abbas would also open doors for his political rivals, who might be very happy to see the Palestinian Authority dismantled. Collapsing the PA would mean an end to security cooperation with Israel -- an act that would be suicide for Fatah. Chaos would open many opportunities for Hamas and other militant Islamic movements, with the PA's security forces in disarray. Mohammed Dahlan and other rivals inside Fatah could move to reconstruct the PA under their leadership.
Collapsing the Palestinian Authority is not a rational choice for the Palestinian leadership. Nor is it wise for the PA to provoke Israel. Israel can take measures that will have much more immediate effect than anything the PA can do at the United Nations.
But Israel, too, faces risks in the game of asymmetric political and economic warfare. The rational choice for both parties is to end these tit-for-tat reprisals and return to the pursuit of common interests through cooperation.
State Department: Congress to Lead on Aid Cuts After Palestinians Defy U.S. on ICC Move
The State Department on Monday told reporters that Congress would take the lead in any decision on cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of a string of decisions – ranging from an effort to secure recognition from the United Nations Security Council to signing papers to ascend to the International Criminal Court (ICC) – that likely violate U.S. aid conditions prohibiting such moves. Statements from lawmakers blasting the moves last week underscored a bipartisan consensus that Ramallah is likely to face repercussions for the gambits.
The Palestinian moves have been criticized by Foggy Bottom in recent days – following a failed statehood bid last Monday, a State Department spokesperson blasted the resolution for “set[ting] arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank.” A statement released by the State Department days later warned that Palestinian moves at the ICC “will badly damage the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace.”
The New York Times had last week quoted Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, noting that in the aftermath of the ICC move, “There is no question mark as to what are the consequences, that there will be immediate American and Israeli financial sanctions” and that “[t]hose sanctions will gradually become more and more crippling, and this could indeed be the beginning of the end of the P.A.” The discussion revolves around some $400 million in aid in to Ramallah that congressional law conditions on the Palestinians’ “acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements,” which includes a commitment to resolve outstanding issues through direct negotiations.
EU condemns Israel's decision to freeze transfer of tax revenues to PA
On Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “The decision of the Israeli government to halt the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority runs counter to Israel’s obligations under the Paris Protocol. An effective Palestinian Authority, committed to nonviolence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, is a key element for a two-state solution.”
The Paris Protocol is the 1994 protocol on economic relations between Israel and the PLO that was incorporated into the Oslo Accords.
Mogherini said that the EU was providing considerable support, including financial assistance, to build up the infrastructure for a future Palestinian state, and that should “not be put at risk by not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues.”
Mogherini, noticeably, did not issue a similar statement last week criticizing the Palestinians when they brought their resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, even though that was a clear breach of the Oslo process.
France warns Palestinians over escalating crisis with UN bid
France, one of the Council's five permanent members, backed the resolution despite some reservations. France's parliament also backed Palestinian independence in a symbolic vote on Dec. 2 that underlined Europe's impatience with a stalled Middle East peace process.
But Paris signaled concern that Abbas' diplomatic offensive -- he has also signed up to 20 international conventions including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court -- could harm chances for peace by antagonizing Israel.
"We are against the logic of letting this spiral (out of control)," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters. "While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution. Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you don't want one way or another."
Swedish foreign minister cancels trip to Israel
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to Israel, a spokesman said Wednesday, amid an apparent cooling of relations between the two countries since Sweden recognized Palestine.
“The foreign minister has decided to postpone her visit to Israel and Palestine. Instead of next week it will take place later. No date is yet decided,” Margot Wallström’s spokesman Erik Boman told AFP.
Sweden’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine in late October prompted Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm, Isaac Bachman. He returned a month later.
Failing Negotiation 102: Europe
“Or What?”
While the United States clearly failed in Negotiation 101 by advancing a peace process that had no chance of success, it is Europe that is failing Negotiation 102.
A basic question in any negotiation is “or what?” If talks break down, where does one stand? Can a party achieve more by having negotiations fail? If so, there would be no motivation to negotiate earnestly.
Those are the questions that acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is weighing now. Can he get more from the world than he can from negotiating directly with Israel? Based on his assessment of the United Nations and countries willing to prematurely recognize a Palestinian State, he believes that he will achieve greater concessions through a globally mandated solution.
Abbas has been developing this backup (primary?) campaign for several years. The two principal components are recognition (of Palestine) and marginalization (of Israel). The recognition of Palestine as a state started with UNESCO in 2011. Abbas has continued to work other United Nations agencies and countries around the world to recognize the PA as a sovereign state. In the fall of 2014, Sweden and other European countries began to give Abbas what he desired.
US court lets NY trial proceed over PLO objections
A federal appeals court has chosen not to block a New York trial next week over a $1 billion lawsuit brought by US terrorism victims against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Instead, the 2nd US Circuit of Appeals on Tuesday said it will quickly consider PA and PLO claims that a US court has no jurisdiction in the case.
The trial over litigation brought by victims of seven shootings and bombings near Jerusalem between January 2001 and February 2004 is scheduled to start January 12. The attacks killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more, including scores of US citizens.
Mastermind behind teens’ murder receives 3 life sentences
The mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014 was sentenced on Tuesday to three life terms in prison.
Hussam Kawasme, 40, was also ordered to pay the families of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gil-ad Shaar NIS 250,000 ($63,000) apiece in compensation for their murders.
The sentence was handed down by the Ofer military court, with some of the parents of the victims in attendance.
Avraham Fraenkel, the father of Naftali Fraenkel, spoke at the hearing, imploring the judge to give Kawasme a harsh sentence.
“Unlike a normal murder, if there is such a thing, there was another component here — 18 days passed from the murder until the bodies were found,” Fraenkel said, according to the Walla news website. “Searches, hope, despair — anguish. We all looked for them, and he knew and was silent.”
Sharp rise in explosive attacks, fire bombs in 2014
The army has detected a sharp increase in the number of roadside explosive devices deployed by Palestinians in the West Bank over the past year, an IDF officer said during a recent tour of the region.
The rise, amounting to 20 IEDs — improvised explosive devices –during 2014 as opposed to two the year before, is part of an across-the-board uptick in violence that included an increase in Molotov cocktails, vehicular attacks, stone-throwing and demonstrations in the West Bank.
“The level of sophistication is not very high,” said Maj. Irad Hershkovitz, the demolitions officer of the Shomron Regional Brigade. “It’s not Yahya Ayyash. It’s not the Second Intifada. But there has been a very significant rise.”
Indictment Filed: 'He was Murdered Because He Was a Jew'
An indictment was submitted on Tuesday in the shocking case of 63-year-old Avraham Ben-Tzion hy''d, who was murdered in a pre-planned hit-and-run attack by Arab assailants in Samaria last month that sparked outraged after Israeli authorities classified it as a crime and not a terror attack.
The indictment was submitted to a military court against the three suspects, Amir Juwad Hamad Bani Jaber, Nadbar Basam Abd Alhamid Abu Katab and Mohammed Basam Tahar Bani Gama - all three are young residents of the village Akraba.
They are accused of intentional manslaughter, robbery by force, abandoning after wounding, disrupting judicial proceedings and trading in stolen cars and parts.
The three have already admitted they planned to attack their victim, spray him with tear gas and steal his car - in stealing Ben-Tzion's car at Alon Junction they ran him over and critically wounded him, leaving him to die of his injuries the following day.
From the facts of the case presented in the indictment, it becomes clear that the three suspects left their village on December 1, 2014, with the goal of stealing an Israeli car on a road frequented by Jewish drivers. They planned to hit the back of a car with their vehicle, hoping the driver would stop and get out, at which point two of them would steal the car by force.
Time of Israel Snow Blog: Jerusalem sealed off as heavy snows reach capital
Heavy rains and high winds swept Israel Tuesday night and through Wednesday as a major winter storm descended upon the country. Hail and snow were reported in the north since early Wednesday, and spread to elevated peaks in the center of the country by mid-morning, with brief power outages reported in various parts of the country. Stay with The Times of Israel for updates as we blog the extreme weather through the day.
Huge Statement By US Embassy In Israel
The US Embassy in Israel issued the following message for US citizens in Israel.
"From January 5 – 10, 2015, the Israel Meteorological Services is warning of stormy weather conditions (to include snow accumulation) in various parts of Israel (specifically Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Galilee region). We advise you to monitor the weather conditions, plan ahead, and prepare for any scheduled travel accordingly. Similar weather conditions at this same time of year in 2014 resulted in the closure of major roadways, stranded and isolated motorists, and difficult/perilous travel conditions."
Notice the really interesting part?
The US Embassy refers to both Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as “parts of Israel.” Which flies in the face of the US refusal to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, as well as their stated position that the Golan Heights is occupied Syrian territory subject to negotiation and Israeli withdrawal.
I can’t wait to see Jen Psaki bumble her way around this one.
Watch: Protest at 'Slaughter the Jew' College Art Exhibit
Otzma Yehudit chairperson Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, who organized the protest for the opening of the exhibit, posted video from the incident on Tuesday on Facebook, writing "a civilian torpedoed the inciting exhibit - the leftists went crazy. Take a look."
In the video Ran Karmi, a citizen who arrived at the exhibit and who said that his grandfather was a survivor of the Holocaust, broke up the exhibit opening by taking the stage and holding up pictures of the 63 soldiers who were killed in Operation Protective Edge in nearby Gaza.
Karmi shouted "you're spitting on the 63 soldiers who were killed here, you're inciting to murder. Even if there was an attack on Islam I would come and protest because that isn't art."
"I don't look the part of a fiery right-winger with a kippah. I heard what you all said about those outside who came to protest and you said they are fascists, but you yourselves are fascists," charged Karmi.
Attorney General Weighs Charging MK Zoabi With Incitement
Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is weighing pressing criminal charges against Hanin Zoabi, an Arab Knesset member from the Balad party, over an incident last summer in which she allegedly accosted two courthouse officers in Nazareth.
A statement issued by the Northern District Prosecution on Tuesday said that while the State Attorney’s Office has recommended that Zoabi face trial for incitement and offending a public servant, the final decision on the matter is subject to the results of a judicial hearing, since as a Knesset member, Zoabi has parliamentary immunity.
Last July, according to the State Attorney’s Office, Zoabi verbally assaulted two Israeli Arab bailiffs serving at the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court. The state said that following the arraignment of Arab youths detained after rioting over the murder of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir in June, Zoabi had accused the bailiffs of being “traitors” and urged others to harm them.
IDF probe said to clear soldiers in death of PA official
In internal IDF probe of the death of a senior PA official in early December after a heated confrontation with soldiers cleared the troops of any wrongdoing, Channel 10 reported Tuesday.
Ziad Abu Ein died on December 10 on the way to a Ramallah hospital after being involved in a scuffle with Israeli troops near Turmusaya, in the northern West Bank.
Israeli officials have said a postmortem — attended by Palestinian and Jordanian physicians — showed Abu Ein died of a heart attack, possibly caused by the stress of the situation as well as a preexisting heart condition.
Palestinians disputed this claim, saying he died after being struck by soldiers and inhaling tear gas.
The findings in the preliminary investigation, carried out by the IDF’s Central Command, maintained that all soldiers on the scene — including one who was recorded grabbing Abu Ein by his neck and yelling at him — acted in accordance with army regulations. Moreover, the use of tear gas at the protest was warranted, it said.
Kids, cartoons and animals: Top 5 most bizarre anti-Semitic videos
Israel has long accused the Palestinian leadership of turning a blind eye to incitement against Israel, and even being behind the incitement themselves.
Thanks to MEMRI, we have been made privy to some of the bizarre incidents of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media.
In the video clips translated by MEMRI, children appear to be the clear target of the incitement, with actors dressed up as furry stuffed animals and cartoon characters speaking out against the Jews and the occupation.
Here are five of the most bizarre videos of the genre.
Son of former Hamas military chief arrested in Fatah sweep
The sweeps are part of an ongoing crackdown on the group and other Islamists since the end of Israel’s war with Hamas-led fighters over the summer, while Hamas forces have made arrest raids on Fatah members in the Strip, in a sign of faltering unification efforts despite a pact signed between the rival groups last year.
One of the Hamas members pulled in was named as the son of Yahya Ayyash, a master bombmaker known as “The Engineer” who led the organization’s military wing until his assassination in 1996.
Baraa Ayyash was arrested in Nablus three days ago by members of the Palestinian Preventative Security apparatus.
In a similar manner Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip have, over the past two weeks, arrested dozens of activists from Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Growing Talk of Hamas Moving from Qatar to Turkey Prompts Concern Over Integrity of NATO Alliance
The ruling Hamas regime in Gaza has angrily denied Israeli claims that Khaled Mashaal, the head of the terror organization’s political bureau, has been expelled from his base in Qatar, at the same time leaving open the question of whether Mashaal will now move to NATO member Turkey, as some reports have suggested.
The Israeli government responded to reports that Mashaal had been thrown out of Qatar – where he has been living in a luxury hotel in the capital, Doha – by saying that it “welcomes Qatar’s decision.”
“We expect the Turkish government to act responsibly in a similar way,” the Israeli statement added.
However, Izzat Rishq, a top aide to Mashaal, flatly contradicted the Israeli claim, telling the Associated Press: “There is no basis of truth about brother Khaled Mashaal leaving Doha. We are in Doha now.”
AP also reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it had no information on a Qatari decision or plans by Mashaal to relocate to Turkey.
One pro-Hamas commentator in Gaza did shed some light on the mystery. In a posting on Facebook in Arabic, columnist Ibrahim al Madhoun said that Mashaal might well leave Qatar, but not “for the reasons reported.”
Report: Qatar tells Hamas to keep a low profile on its territory
Qatar has asked Hamas to cease overt political activities on its soil, the Arab language daily Asharq al-Awsat is reporting on Wednesday.
A Hamas source told the London-based newspaper that the Palestinian Islamist movement will no longer hold news conferences in the Gulf emirate nor will it hold meetings involving its leadership.
Hamas officials in Gaza and abroad denied reports in the Turkish press on Tuesday indicating that the organization’s political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, was ordered out of Qatar.
CNN cited Palestinian media reports on Tuesday that Mashaal and a number of other Muslim Brotherhood officials were relocating to Turkey after being asked to leave Qatar.
Worldwide Suicide Attacks Nearly Double in 2014
The Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has found that there were 592 attacks in 2014, causing some 4,400 deaths. During 2013, there were just over 300 attacks, with 3,200 casualties.
INSS research finds that the skyrocketing trend in Muslim suicide murders is due largely to three factors: Middle East turmoil and governmental instability; the meteoric rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its influence in the region and the world; and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Most of the attacks, of course, took place in the Middle East. Some 370 suicide attacks there killed about 2,750 people, compared to 163 attacks and 1,950 victims in 2013.
There were 271 attacks in Iraq (most of which are assumed to have been perpetrated by ISIS), compared to fewer than 100 the year before, 41 in Syria, 29 in Yemen, and 13 in Lebanon. Libya suffered 11 such attacks, compared with only one the year before, and there were four in Egypt.
In the non-Arab Muslim world and Africa, suicide bombings were also up. Most notably, there were 124 suicide attacks in Afghanistan, practically double the number in 2013, 36 in Pakistan (only one more than the year before), and 32 in Nigeria, over ten times more than the previous year.
How Amnesty International was ‘conned’ by Lindt cafe killer Man Haron Monis
AMNESTY International was last night forced into an embarrassing admission that the group lobbied the Australian government on behalf of terrorist Man Monis after he “conned” them into thinking he was a top-level Iranian spy.
Damning evidence of Amnesty’s involvement was brought to light when The Daily Telegraph unearthed a letter from their then refugee co-ordinator to the Department of Immigration, supporting the Martin Place gunman’s application for refugee status.
The letter was written in April, 1997, and told the government Monis deserved a protection visa because he had written poetry critical of the Iranian government, was a cleric, had involvement with the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and had connections with “high-level individuals”.
Amnesty said these factors put Monis at risk if he was to return to Iran. He was granted refugee status in 2001.
“Had I written the letter it would have been different,” Amnesty International refugee co-ordinator Dr Graham Thom said last night.


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