Monday, December 21, 2015

From Ian:

Nick Cohen: Shame On The Liberals Who Rationalise Terror
John Kerry’s liberalism, and the liberalism of millions like him, ignores Chesterton’s warning not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out. Kerry wanted to understand radical Islam and to seek the root causes of its apparently psychopathic violence. Not for him the knee-jerk condemnations of a red-state redneck. When Kerry applied his nuanced and expensively educated mind to the corpses in the magazine office, he discovered that the dead had provoked their own murders. The assassins had, well, if not quite legitimate reasons, then certainly a “rationale” which explained why they were “really angry because of this and that”.
Charlie Hebdo mocked the prophet Muhammad, Islamic State and Boko Haram. Its editor Stéphane Charbonnier (aka Charb), the cartoonists and columnists who wrote for him, and the police officers who died protecting their freedom (and ours) knew the risks and paid the price. They went looking for trouble and we should not be shocked that they found it.
All the rest of us had to do was to moderate our behaviour. If we were careful not to make terrorists “really angry” about “this and that”, we would be safe.
Perhaps I am being too kind to Kerry. But I assume even he must have had one doubt buzzing around his empty head like a dazed bluebottle. An associate of the Islamist gang that pumped bullets into the staff of Charlie Hebdo also took hostages at the Hypercacher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in the 20th arrondissement. There he murdered Philippe Braham, a sales executive, Yohan Cohen, a student, Yoav Hattab, another student, and François-Michel Saada, a pensioner. The dead had provided no “rationale” and created no “particular sense of wrong”. They were ordinary citizens, shopping for food, as we all do.
But when Kerry and those like him looked at their bodies closely perhaps they noticed that appearances deceived. They were not like the rest of us, after all. Hypercacher was a kosher supermarket and the dead were Jews. Few people were prepared to say what they were thinking openly, but a BBC reporter, Tim Willcox, showed no restraint. A Jewish woman in the crowd near the crime scene told him, “The situation is going back to the days of 1930s in Europe. Jews are the target now.” Willcox could not let the suggestion that Jews were innocent victims go unchallenged. “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands,” he said, interrupting her.
If you were a Jew, it was Israel’s fault that you were murdered, and possibly your fault too for not trying to pass as a gentile, or avoiding synagogues, and Jewish shops and restaurants, or changing your name and ditching your kippah.
WaPo Ed: Iran provokes the world as Obama does nothing
IRAN IS following through on the nuclear deal it struck with a U.S.-led coalition in an utterly predictable way: It is racing to fulfill those parts of the accord that will allow it to collect $100 billion in frozen funds and end sanctions on its oil exports and banking system, while expanding its belligerent and illegal activities in other areas — and daring the West to respond.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response to these provocations has also been familiar. It is doing its best to downplay them — and thereby encouraging Tehran to press for still-greater advantage.
We’ve pointed out how the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has unjustly sentenced Post correspondent Jason Rezaian to prison and arrested two businessmen with U.S. citizenship or residence since signing the nuclear accord. There have been no penalties for those outrageous violations of human rights. Now a United Nations panel has determined that Iran test-fired a nuclear-capable missile on Oct. 10 with a range of at least 600 miles, in violation of a U.N. resolution that prohibits such launches. Moreover, it appears likely that a second missile launch occurred on Nov. 21, also in violation of Security Council Resolution 1929.
The U.S. response? “We are now actively considering the appropriate consequences to that launch in October,” State Department official Stephen Mull testified at a Senate committee hearing Thursday. In other words, there have so far been none — other than a speech by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations blaming the Security Council for the lack of action. As for the second missile launch, the administration claims to be investigating it, though it likely has in its possession the intelligence necessary to make a judgment.
It’s not hard to guess the reasons for this fecklessness. President Obama is reluctant to do anything that might derail the nuclear deal before Iran carries out its commitments, including uninstalling thousands of centrifuges and diluting or removing tons of enriched uranium. The same logic prompted him to tolerate Iran’s malign interventions in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, along with the arrest of Mr. Rezaian, while the pact was under negotiation.
Negotiate with the Islamic State?
Call it the diplomatic delusion. Last June, I asked rhetorically who might be the first Western official or academic to suggest serious negotiation with the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). After all, whatever the outrages a terrorist group commits, time seems to legitimize its tactics in the minds of career diplomats or Track II activists who view dialogue with near religious conviction.
Once upon a time, it was unthinkable to negotiate with Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasir Arafat. After all, Arafat (who was actually born in Cairo and not in Jerusalem, as he often claimed) was an unrepentant terrorist responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and the kidnapping and execution of Cleo Noel, the US Ambassador to Sudan. In Years of Upheaval, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger noted, “Before 1973, the PLO rarely intruded into international negotiations. In the 1972 communiqué ending Nixon’s Moscow summit, there was no reference to Palestinians, much less to the PLO… The idea of a Palestinian state run by the PLO was not a subject for serious discourse.” And yet, just six years later, Carter confidant and UN Ambassador Andrew Young was talking to the PLO and, less than a decade after that, diplomats like Robert Oakley and Dennis Ross were advocating talking to the PLO about just that. The PLO might look moderate in juxtaposition to Hamas and the Islamic State. Even after the 1993 Oslo Accords, however, its actions did not show that it had internalized the change of attitude that diplomats claimed to see, and that was used to justify talks.
Then there’s Hamas. In 2003, Richard Haass, at the time director of policy planning at the State Department, dismissed any notion of talking to Hamas. “There are some groups out there you can negotiate with. You have to decide whether there are terms you can live with,” he explained. “But groups like Hamas … have political agendas that I would suggest are beyond negotiation. And for them… there’s got to be an intelligence, a law enforcement, and a military answer.” Just three years later, however, he suddenly began to push for engagement with Hamas. It is a philosophy which Secretary of State John Kerry—perhaps the most politically radical man to ever hold that post — apparently agreed. Less than a month after President Obama’s presidency began, Kerry — at the time, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — traveled to the Gaza Strip that was at the time run by Hamas. “This administration is different from the previous administration. We believe Hamas’s message is reaching its destination,” Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’s chief political advisor in the Gaza Strip, commented.

JCPA: Samir Kuntar: Iranian Proxy Leader Killed in Syria
Samir Kuntar’s assassination in Jaramana, which is in the southeastern part of the Damascus governorate, occurred very close to the Shiite pilgrimage site of Set Zaynab (the daughter of the Shiite Imam Ali and granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad). Dozens of Hizbullah, Revolutionary Guard, and Basij (the volunteer arm of the Revolutionary Guard) fighters, as well as Shiites brought by Iran to Syria to protect the site along with Bashar Assad’s regime, have already been killed in defending Set Zayna.
The operation also occurred at a time when the Russian air force, air forces of the Western anti-Islamic State coalition, and Iranian forces have been active in the vicinity. It indicates a high level of coordination and understandings between Israel and Russia both regarding flight zones and attack targets in the Syrian-Lebanese theater, aimed at preventing any possibility of a clash between them. This sensitivity has increased since Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane.
Iran will likely respond to Kuntar’s assassination within the limits of its capabilities in the Lebanese-Hizbullah theater and not spill over to Syria. This is in keeping with Russia’s dictates and desire to keep the Syrian president in power at a sensitive time when negotiations on a solution to the Syrian crisis, presided over by Russia with American consent, are being conducted. At the same time, the fact that Kuntar was killed near one of the Shiite shrines while Iranians were also killed, and will keep being killed in its defense, may lead Iran, via Hizbullah, to carry out a “proportionate” retaliation in the Golan area, Kuntar’s last stomping ground.
Analysis: Kuntar killed for future plot rather than past attack
Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar on Saturday night was not an act of revenge for his brutal past acts of murder, according to Western sources.
Prior to his assassination, Kuntar had become a full-fledged Iranian operative, and went against Hezbollah’s attempt to downgrade its anti-Israel operations from Syria.
The alleged Israeli targeted assassination, reportedly using long-range precision-guided missiles, was designed to disrupt future terrorist activities planned by Kuntar – plots that were directly supported and funded by Iran, though, somewhat surprisingly, not by Hezbollah, according to Lebanese reports.
Iran can be expected to feel the need to respond to the assassination, and it is not clear whether Hezbollah will be able to avoid being part of any retaliation.
If Iran orders Hezbollah to respond, the Lebanese organization may try to comply while refraining from escalating the situation into a wider clash.
Russia Could Not Have Prevented Kuntar Assassination in Syria, Says Israeli National Security Analyst (INTERVIEW)
Magen, who has served as Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine and Russia, responded to the above claims and complaints with a mixture of gravity and bemusement.
“I don’t know which method was used,” he said. “But there are four basic options: an IAF strike, which is not even that risky, considering the proximity; a drone strike; ground-to-ground missiles; or a special forces unit on the ground [inside Syria].”
He continued:
Sometimes armies purposely show off their technological advancements and intelligence-gathering skills for deterrence purposes – which makes certain operations more strategic than technical – and to show determination in the face of the enemy.
In the case of Syria, there are elements at work trying to establish themselves in the power arena – the Syrian government, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. And Iran is angry with Russia for this very reason.
Israel is engaging in tactical cooperation with Russia, to coordinate certain kinds of actions, as a way of preventing unintentional military mishaps. But Israel most certainly would not inform Russia of targets it intends to hit. And Israel certainly would make clear to Russia that it has its own interests that it will not relinquish. Its message to Russia is, ‘If we want to hit a target, nobody can or will prevent us from doing it.’

As for comments on Arabic social media taking issue with Russia’s inability to intercept or curb the alleged Israeli strike in Syria, Magen asserted that Israel has proven military and technological capabilities that even Russia couldn’t match.
Russia knew about Kuntar hit, says expert
Israel notified Russia that it intends to strike a target inside Damascus before the airstrike that killed Samir Kuntar, estimates Dr. Aaron Lerner, of Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA).
Lerner bases this conclusion on the fact that the strike took place at a time that the Russian S-400 system is in full operation.
"Samir Kuntar is hardly such a critical target for Israel that it would employ techniques for engaging in operations within an active S-400 envelope," he explained. The reason: such a strike would necessarily use techniques for evading the S-400 – assuming these techniques exist – and Russia would then be able to study these, in order to improve the S-400. Therefore, regardless of whether the strike succeeded, a future repeat of the same technique against more important targets would be likely to fail.
"The only conclusion that can be reached, therefore, is that the operation took place with the knowledge of Russia that jets would operate at specific locations within the S-400 envelope – and in this case in a route that passed through the area of Syria's capital," wrote Lerner.
Security Breach Made Kuntar Assassination Possible, Arab Paper Claims
A security breach may have allowed Israel to pinpoint the location of Hezbollah official Samir Kuntar in Syria and carry out his assassination late Saturday night, pro-Saudi daily Al Arabiya reported
“Reaching Kuntar [to kill him] should have been difficult, especially in light of the fact that the security procedures accompanying his movements were the same as those that are provided to the leaders and commanders of Hezbollah, and they were probably tightened after the discovery of more than one Israeli attempt to kill him in recent months,” the report said.
These security procedures could only be breached, according to the report, by one of two parties: “either his immediate circle which knew of his movements, the timing of his trips, and his place of residence, or the security services with which he coordinated in Syria.”
Therefore, the piece concluded, an internal security breach occurred, allowing the Israelis to find Kuntar and kill him. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied rumors of its responsibility for the attack.
Free Syrian Army: Hezbollah is lying, we killed Kuntar, not Israel
While Israel continues to keep quiet on the assassination of Samir Kuntar, not officially addressing reports that it was behind the hit, members of the Free Syrian Army released a video clip on Monday morning claiming that they were responsible for killing the Hezbollah terrorist.
In a YouTube video featuring armed rebels from the Free Syrian Army, a spokesman denied Hezbollah's claims that the "Zionist entity" was behind the attack, saying instead that they had managed to assassinate Kuntar and his companions.
The Free Syrian Army said that "the Party of Satan," a play on the meaning of Hezbollah in Arabic (Party of God), had made the claims that Israel was behind the assassination in order to demoralize the Free Syrian Army and cancel out their rival group's achievements.
The Free Syrian Army is fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters from Lebanon to Syria to bolster Assad.
Hezbollah buries Samir Kuntar in Beirut with fanfare and warning to Israel
Thousands of people gathered Monday in a Hezbollah stronghold south of the Lebanese capital Beirut for the funeral of high-profile terrorist Samir Kuntar, who the Shiite group claims was killed by an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital overnight Saturday.
Hezbollah said Kuntar, who spent 29 years in an Israeli prison for his part in the brutal 1979 murders of a Nahariya family, was killed along with eight others in the airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The Shiite terror group, which fought Israel in a month-long war in 2006, has pledged to avenge his killing.
Supporters of the group walked behind his coffin, which was draped in a yellow Hezbollah flag. “Death to Israel,” the men shouted as women threw rice and rose petals at the coffin.
“Samir Kuntar was made for Palestine and he died a martyr for it,” Hezbollah’s Executive Assembly chief Hashim Safi Al Din said, according to the Israeli news website Ynet.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian factions vow to follow in Kuntar's footsteps
Palestinian factions on Sunday condemned the assassination of Hezbollah operative Samir Kuntar and vowed to follow in his footsteps.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the killing as an Israeli “crime.”
Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official, said that the assassination would only strengthen “resistance” against Israel.
Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, accused the “Zionist enemy” of being behind the assassination. It said that Hamas would remain loyal to Kuntar’s path and “pursue jihad and resistance until the occupation is expelled, the prisoners and holy sites are freed and the right of return is achieved.”
The group described Kuntar as the “martyr of Lebanon and Palestine.”
Palestinian terror group claims rocket fire on northern Israel
Sunday’s rocket attack on northern Israel was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), Kol Yisrael radio reported Sunday night, citing Lebanese media.
The reports were based on comments by Lebanese security officials who said that the rockets used in the attack were transferred to a nearby Palestinian “refugee camp” and were fired at Israel after Palestinian organizations threatened to respond to the assassination of Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar in Syria, which was blamed on Israel.
On Sunday afternoon, at least three rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel.
Locals reported hearing at least one explosion. There are no reports of injury or damage.
IDF shells South Lebanon after rocket fire on Western Galilee
Israel Defense Forces artillery units shelled targets in South Lebanon Sunday evening, shortly after at least three rockets were fired from across the border into Israeli territory.
“The Israel Defense Forces have responded with targeted artillery fire following the rockets that hit Israel earlier today from southern Lebanon,” a statement from the army said.
“The IDF considers the Lebanese Army as solely responsible for what is happening in the territory and will continue to act against any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its citizens,” the statement continued.
Earlier, Lebanese news website MTV reported heavy Israeli air activity over southern Lebanon, along with flares being fired at the al-Mansour area, close to the capital city of Beirut.
The IDF did not confirm any air activity on its part.
Danon urges UN to condemn rocket attacks on northern Israel
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn Sunday’s rocket attacks on northern Israel.
Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon and were believed to have fallen in open territory in the North. The IDF responded with artillery fire.
Ambassador Danon said the rocket fire is in blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for a disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. It also states that no armed forces other than the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon and the Lebanese army will be posted south of the Litani River.
Resolution 1701 passed in 2006 and was intended to resolve that summer’s war between Israel and Lebanon.
Terrorist murderer of four Samir Kuntar dubbed ‘militant’ by BBC News
A terrorist convicted by a court of law for the murders of four people was downgraded by the BBC to the status of “militant” on December 20th.
Such terminology is also seen in the body of the article titled “Lebanese militant Samir Qantar killed in rocket strike in Syria” and the international terror organization with which Kuntar was most recently associated is described in similarly euphemistic language.
“Key Lebanese militant Samir Qantar has been killed in a rocket strike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, Hezbollah has said.
The Lebanese Shia militant group blamed Israel for the air strike.”

The BBC also found it appropriate to amplify a denial by Kuntar – despite the existence of forensic evidence to the contrary.
IDF: “No Comment” on Bamba Wrappers, COFIX cup found near body of Samir Kuntar (satire)
The Israel Defense Force conducted a contentious press conference today, where its spokesperson refused to comment on the empty bag of Bamba snack food and crumpled COFIX Coffee cup found in bushes 50 meters from the site where Samir Kuntar and other Hezbollah-affiliated operatives were fixed up on a blind date with some virgins_killed by missiles early this morning. “The IDF has no comment on these so-called snack foods found at the scene of today’s events.” stated IDF spokesperson Dov L. When pressed on the topic by a reporter for the Associated Press, Dov responded; “So what. That could have been from any country. Bamba is a tasty and addictive snack popular in many countries, not just Israel, but also……OK I’m drawing a blank. But everybody loves the stuff…..I’m starving……wait….you wouldn’t have any Bamba on you right now would you?”
At this point a Reuters correspondent asked for clarification on the crumpled COFIX cup found at the scene. “So what? ” retorted Dov. “COFIX is an inexpensive and delicious alternative to coffee shops. It’s available in lots of places, not just Israel. Like…..Yeah….I got nothing.”
When a New York Times reporter asked Dov about a man with a laser designator device spotted fleeing the scene of the attack by riding an electric bicycle on a sidewalk, Dov responded. “Hey! Did anyone else catch Jerry Seinfeld Live at the Nokia last night?”
'Israeli Arab cell set up grassroots terror infrastructure in east Jerusalem'
A cell of Arab Israelis from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud involved in multiple instances of rock and Molotov cocktail throwing attacks has been arrested, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Monday.
The suspects directed their attacks against security forces and Jewish civilians in Ras al-Amud near the Mount of Olives cemetery.
Islam Najar, 18, and Hamza Najar, 22, two brothers from Ras al-Amud were arrested by the Shin Bet in October. The interrogation of the pair uncovered that they were involved in a number of Molotov cocktail and stone-throwing attacks directed against security forces, the Shin Bet said. As part of the investigation 22-year-old Nader Nasser was also arrested as were two minors, aged 16 and 17.
The investigation uncovered that the two minors took part in the burning of an Egged bus in September in Ras al-Amud along with other members of the local terror infrastructure. According to the Shin Bet, the suspects described how they poured gasoline on the front of the bus and set it on fire after the driver fled the scene.
Palestinian held after drawing knife on troops in Hebron
Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian woman after she brandished a knife while being checked at an army post in Hebron, the IDF said Monday.
The woman was ordered to drop her weapon and complied, according to the army.
Initial reports had indicated that the woman had tried to flee the scene and being found with a knife in her bag.
On Sunday, a Palestinian woman attempted to stab a policeman in Hebron before security forces shot her. According to Israel Radio, the attacker was hit with a rubber bullet and hospitalized in Jerusalem in serious condition. There were no Israeli casualties reported in the incident.
Hebron has been a hotbed for Palestinian attackers over the past three months, according to figures released by the Israeli defense establishment last week.
Report: 13 terrorists arrested at Rachel's Tomb
The war on terror continues as security forces arrest Arabs involved in terrorism and riots and further map out plans for demolition of terrorists' homes.
Kikar Hashabat reports Monday that IDF forces, along with Border Police, arrested 13 wanted suspects in Judea and Samaria overnight. 7 of the arrested are suspected of involvement in terrorism and mass violence disturbances against civilians and security forces; some of them belong to Hamas.
Concurrently, a joint operation of the Etzion Regional Brigade General Security Service and fighters of the ‘Duvdevan’ unit arrested active terrorists associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the village of Dehaishe. The arrested were involved in leading the violent disturbances that have been taking place in Rachel’s Tomb. Suspects were taken in for questioning.
Additionally, forces of the ‘Nahal’ battalion and engineering forces in cooperation with the Civil Administration operated at the Silwad village near Ramallah last night. The engineers mapped out the home of terrorist Mohammed Abdul Rahman Ahmad Ayad, who carried out a vehicular attack 3 weeks ago during the Silwad riots.
Barry Shaw: Palestinian Incitement, Not Despair or Settlements, Is the Cause of Terror,
The BDS movement lies when it says that Palestinian violence is caused by “the despair of occupation and oppression.”
If this were true, then why is it that Muslim youths perpetrated all the random knifing, stoning, and driving attacks against Israelis in the months following the Jewish New Year –but not Christian Arabs?
Are they not suffering from the same despair? Or does BDS imply that the grievance of “occupation and oppression” is for Muslim Arabs only?
Palestinian violence is linked to incitement couched in Islamic terms, and fed by both wings of the Palestinian leadership.
Diplomats, the media, and BDS downplay Hamas, but Hamas represents the real face of Palestine and the Arab hatred of Israel.
It shamelessly announces its hatred, which is publicly enshrined in its Charter. That Charter offers religious, political, and humanitarian reasons why it’s essential to kill Jews and destroy Israel.
It elevates the Islamic nature of Palestinian society to bond the people in a spiritual aspiration to achieve these goals.
Jerusalem fortifies bus stops against car-ramming attacks
The Jerusalem Municipality began the process of erecting steel posts around some 300 bus stops in the city overnight Sunday, in an effort to deter terrorists from carrying out car-ramming attacks against passengers waiting in the stations.
Officials at the municipality said the posts will have the same defensive effect as large concrete blocks placed at some light rail stations in Jerusalem last year.
The posts are slightly over a meter high and are cemented into the sidewalk on all sides of the bus stops. They are spaced widely enough to allow strollers or wheelchairs to pass through.
Not all bus stations will be fortified, however; the municipality is erecting the posts in places defined by police as high-risk locations. The process is expected to take about a month to complete and will cost some NIS 2 million ($500,000).
How The Guardian’s Framing Frames Israel
It’s perfectly normal for media outlets to take stories and photos from wire services (e.g. Associated Press, AFP, Reuters) and make amendments to suit their own editorial style guides. But just how far will a newspaper go, making changes to the original content, in order to promote a particular agenda?
On December 18, 2015, The Guardian ran an Associated Press story about two Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces: a driver reportedly killed in an attempted attack on Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and a violent protester killed while attempting to breach the border fence between Gaza and Israel.
But The Guardian’s framing of the original AP article may give the cursory reader the impression that the violence was Israeli and targeted non-violent Palestinians. This can be seen in the headline, the lead – the sections that a reader is most likely to look at when skimming – and in the article itself.
PA TV transmits from funeral messages glorifying death
PA's Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash delivers Friday sermon in presence of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “These are your holy places. This is your Jerusalem. This is your mosque, this is your Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. This is your Church [of the Holy Sepulchre]. You should visit them. Come to Palestine, as did that brave and honorable man (i.e., head of the Coptic Church)”

Fake bomb on Air France plane looked like clock
Thought experiment: If Ahmed’s “clock” were found on the plane, what would pilots have done?
An Air France flight was diverted to an emergency landing after a bomb-like device was found in a bathroom. It was a fake, made of cardboard with a crude timer on it, as would have been obvious to anyone handling it.
But the pilots took no chances.
CBS News reports:
Kenyan authorities are questioning several suspects who were on an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris that was forced to land early Sunday in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa after a device suspected to be a bomb was found in a lavatory.
The CEO of Air France said hours after the plane had been grounded that the device discovered in the bathroom was a fake bomb.
Belgium arrests suspect in Paris attack
Belgian authorities investigating their country's links to last month's attacks in Paris have searched a house in Brussels and detained an unidentified person for questioning, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Sunday.
Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said the search was continuing. The building in question is located between the center of the Belgian capital and the Molenbeek district where some of the perpetrators of the November 13 attacks, included suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had lived.
Van der Sypt did not provide details of the search or the person detained, but said authorities are still trying to establish what connection they may have to the attacks in the French capital in which 130 people died.
The Belgian prosecutor said that once more is known, an official statement will be issued on Monday, according to AP.
Swiss probing Islamic council member over jihadist propaganda
Swiss federal prosecutors said Saturday they had opened criminal proceedings against a board member of Switzerland's largest Islamic organization accused of propaganda for jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
The office of Switzerland's attorney general said in a statement it had "opened a criminal proceeding against a member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS), as well as against persons unknown," for violating "the prohibition of groups like Al-Qaeda, Islamic State [ISIS] and similar organizations."
The German citizen is suspected of creating "for propaganda purposes" a video from a trip into parts of war-ravaged Syria, "without having explicitly distanced himself from Al-Qaeda activities" in the country, the statement said.
The man, who was not identified, had, among other things, interviewed "a senior member of the jihad umbrella organization Jaysh al-Fath ("Army of Conquest"), of which the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch Jabhat al-Nusra ("Support Front") is also a member," it pointed out.
David’s Sling missile interceptor ready for use — defense officials
Israeli and US officials declared a new medium-range missile interceptor fully operational Monday, ending years of development and testing for the key component of Israel’s defense array.
The announcement by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency precedes delivery of an operational David’s Sling system to the Israeli Air Force in 2016, IMDO director Yair Ramati said.
David’s Sling, also known by the name Magic Wand, is meant to replace the Patriot missiles currently in Israel’s arsenal. The new system, which can shoot down medium-range missile threats, can also be deployed against aircraft.
Once the system is handed over to the air force, it will go through some additional real-world exercises before it is fully deployed, officials said.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Israel Letting Dihydrogen Monoxide Flow Into Palestinian Towns (satire)
Every winter, Sami Abu Jizz knows he must withstand a new onslaught of a chemical that Israel lets flow into his village in tremendous quantities, a substance linked to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year: dihydrogen monoxide (H2O).
Abu Jizz, a father of six, follows the same routine as the season approaches: seal the roof of the house, lest any of the stuff seep in and erode the structure; clear the drains, lest it accumulate, both attracting harmful pathogens and posing a physical hazard; ensure his family is equipped with protective gear to minimize its contact with their skin and clothing; and keep the car’s windshield-clearing blades in working order to prevent the chemical from impairing visibility and road safety. The 44-year-old construction worker does not know when the substance was first allowed to stream through Iata’s streets and yards, but he does not recall a time when Israel did anything to prevent it.
“The Israeli occupation of this area began before I was born,” he noted, referring to an event in 1967, four years before his birth. “I know that even when I was little, there was already an established routine of protecting ourselves from the chemical.” He recalled the way his mother would make sure to set aside a cloth at the entrance to the family home, to catch any of the substance that dripped from the feet of anyone who had been in contact with it, lest it be tracked into the house.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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