Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/15/2014

A boat bound for Italy carrying approximately 250 migrants capsized off the coast of Libya. Thirty-six passengers survived, while the remainder are feared to have drowned. Since last Friday, at least 800 would-be immigrants have died trying to make the crossing to Italy.

Meanwhile, the town of Salerno in southern Italy is preparing for the expected arrival of a boat carrying 837 migrants, including children and pregnant women.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Phyllis Chesler, Seneca III, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

» Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review
» New York’s Annual Muslim Day Parade Targets Israel, Egyptian President
» U.S. Prelates Feud Over Relics of TV Evangeliser
Europe and the EU
» Arturo Mas: “Everything is Ready” For the Catalan Referendum
» Europe Watches Cameron in Scottish Independence Showdown
» French Crackdown on Terror With Anti-Jihad Law in Parliament
» Italy: Alfano Says New Rules Coming to Prevent ISIS Recruitment
» Pope Accepts Cardinal Brady’s Resignation as Archbishop
» Portugal’s Jihadists
» UK: Rotherham Child-Sex Victim Confronts Her Alleged Abuser in the Street… But She is Arrested by a Van Load of Police
» We Were Right to Take Foster Children Away From UKIP Couple Insists Social Workers as They Blame Party’s ‘Extreme’ Views for Decision
Middle East
» Erdogan’s New Turkey to Requires All Students to Study the Qur’an
» Iran’s Khamenei Takes to Twitter to Reject US Offer to Help Stop ISIS
» Iraq-Vatican: “Adopt a Christian From Mosul”: Archbishops’ Thanks as First Aid Arrives
» Italy’s Arms for Kurdish Forces Arrive in Baghdad
» Italy Giving Aid, Arms Against ISIS: Mogherini
» Lebanon: Islamic State Organisation Advances on Refugee Camps
» Missing Italian Women Not Held by ISIS, Say Sources
» Turkey Weakest Chain of Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition
» Turkey Sends Back 830 European Jihadists Over 2 Years
South Asia
» India: Thousands of Christians March in Bangalore Against Violence in Iraq, Syria and Africa
» Indonesia: Four Turkish Citizens Arrested for “Ties” With the Islamic State
» Nepal: Government to Migrants: Choose Christian Nations, They Will Treat You Better
Australia — Pacific
» Muslim UN “High-Level Expert” Says Muslims in West Become Terrorists Because of “Islamophobes” And Counter-Terror Legislation
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Poverty, Fanaticism and a Desire for Revenge Drive Boko Haram in Cameroon
» 36 Survive Libya Shipwreck, 800 Dead/Missing Since Friday
» Salerno Prepares for Arrival of 837 Immigrants
» Scores of African Migrants Drown as Boat Capsizes Off Libya
Culture Wars
» Italy: Grillo Expels Catholic M5S Militant Says Catholic Periodical

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

“I was not invited to that after-hours endeavor, but I heard about it and decided to check it out on a Sunday afternoon,” says Maxwell.

He didn’t know it then, but Maxwell would ultimately become one of four State Department officials singled out for discipline—he says scapegoated—then later cleared for devastating security lapses leading up to the attacks. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered during the Benghazi attacks.

“Basement Operation”

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’“ says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ “

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who were allegedly present: Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial; and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

New York’s Annual Muslim Day Parade Targets Israel, Egyptian President

by Phyllis Chesler

NEW YORK, New York— New York City hosted the 29th annual Muslim Day Parade on Sunday, with the theme “Islam and America Share Common Values.” Despite the slogan, the event featured anti-Israeli “occupation” protesters, aggressively anti-Israel speakers, and flyers were distributed featuring a doctored image of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi wearing swastikas on his face.

The decades-old festivities were sparsely attended and shadily organized. Despite the fact that it was a sunny, refreshingly cool, but beautiful day in New York City, no more than 150 people were part of this rally. A few hundred more, mainly parents with children, were at the street fair which featured rides, food, games. It was not immediately clear who was organizing the event— no group was listed as a sponsor. Instead, four men’s names and phone numbers were given.

Whoever was in charge of the event appeared comfortable with a number of revealing, incendiary flyers being distributed against Muslim Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has been pivotal in stopping the Muslim Brotherhood’s expansion in his country and, thus, has incited the ire of many Islamists. One poster boasted the word WANTED in all capital letters, adding “for Crimes Against Humanity,” allegedly perpetrated by General Sisi. Another flyer advertises: “Huge Protest Against the Visit (SISI) to the United Nations. This will take place on 9/25/14. A swastika is painted on his cheek. The flyers indicate the Muslim American Day Parade was fertile ground for Muslim Brotherhood operatives…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

U.S. Prelates Feud Over Relics of TV Evangeliser

Cardinal Dolan denies blocking Fulton Sheen’s path to sainthood

(ANSA) New York, September 5 — The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has declined to hand over to the Archbishop of Peoria, Illinois, Daniel Jenky, the remains of an aspiring saint, Fulton Sheen, one of the first television evangelists, Church sources said Friday.

The feud between warring senior prelates for custody of relics of the dynamic preacher started after his death in 1979 when many Catholics began campaigning for Sheen to be put on the path to sainthood.

Sheen was declared “venerable” by then Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 as part of his beatification, the first step toward becoming a saint, after a miracle attributed to Sheen, the re-animation of an apparently still-born baby, was recognised by the Vatican.

The next stage was the examination of Sheen’s body “so the necessary relics could be removed,” for which Peoria asked the re-exhumation of the body and its transfer to Illinois.

Dolan, however, vetoed the body being re-examined and the candidature of Sheen for sainthood was postponed indefinitely, according to the sources.

Born in Peoria, Sheen was famous, winning two Emmy Awards for his programme “The Life Worth Living,” while his books on the Virgin Mary were best-sellers and he had a large personal following among the faithful.

Fiercely anti-communist, Sheen was credited with converting to Catholicism famous figures such as the auto magnate Henry Ford and Clare Boothe-Luce, the American heiress and ambassador to Italy.

In 2012 after his beatification Sheen’s body was buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue, New York.

Jenky in a statement noted that subsequently “after further discussions with Rome it was decided that Sheen’s candidature for sainthood be relegated to the historic archive of the Congregation of the Saints”.

Cardinal Dolan, who was considered one of the favourites to become pope in the last conclave, denies having blocked Sheen’s sainthood, vowing to try and kick start the procedure if Peoria withdraws its claim to the tv evangelist’s remains.

“It was Sheen’s wish to be buried at St Patrick’s,” said a spokesman for Dolan, Joseph Zwilling, “his closest heirs want him to remain here”.

Sheen’s family evidently have approved his exhumation but Dolan is firmly opposed to the search for relics of the venerable preacher.

“Dismembering the body is worrisome,” the spokesman for Cardinal Dolan said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Arturo Mas: “Everything is Ready” For the Catalan Referendum

President opens Diada. Poll, 52% are for indpendence

(ANSAmed) — Madrid, September 11 — Diada, the feast-day commemorating Barcelona’s fall into the hands of Borbonic troops, on the 14th of September 1714 after a 14-month siege during the War of the Spanish Succession of 1701-1714., was opened Thursday, in Barcelona by an address on the referendum independence-vote by Catalan president Atur Mas. “At this time, I will will speak of no scenario but the 9th of November” said Mas referring to the vote scheduled on the same date. “Everything is ready” he is said talking about the Catalan forthcoming vote.

More than half of Catalans, or 52%, want independence from Spain and 80.5% are in favor of a referendum on sovereignty, according to a survey by the MyWord Observatory for Cadena Ser radio conducted on Wednesday, which is the Diada Nacional de Catalunya or National Catalonia Day.

A 400-kilometer human chain called by the Catalan Parliament will stretch across the region from north to south this afternoon, demanding a referendum in 2014.

The survey also showed 24% of Catalans would vote against secession, and 59.7% of respondents would be in favor of a referendum on independence even it were declared unconstitutional.

Another 47.4% said they would still favor secession, even if Spain and Catalonia reached an agreement on taxation similar to that of Holland, or if Spain agreed to improve its regional financing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Europe Watches Cameron in Scottish Independence Showdown

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is back in Scotland today on his last visit to save the union and prevent the biggest redrawing of the political map of western Europe since World War II.

With polls suggesting the Better Together campaign has failed to quash the pro-independence drive, Cameron will deliver a speech pleading with voters not to “rip” Scotland from the rest of the U.K. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond joined business leaders who back “yes” to promote the “once in a lifetime opportunity” offered by this week’s ballot.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Crackdown on Terror With Anti-Jihad Law in Parliament

930 French fighters. But for Le Monde ‘law is dangerous’

(by Luana De Micco) (ANSAmed) — PARIS — Preventing jihadist candidates from leaving France by confiscating their documents is at the centre of a draft anti-jihadist law in the National Assembly as of Monday. Debate on the draft law started just as the anti-ISIS front was organizing at an international summit of world leaders on Iraq in Paris.

The “preventive” law is aimed at stopping French citizens who intend to go fight in Syria or Iraq and potentially return to their homeland to carry out attacks. As happened in the case of Mehdi NEmmouche, the 29-year-old who returned home after fighting in Syria and carried out an attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, killing four people. An alleged 930 French citizens or foreigners living in France are believed to be fighting on the ground or to be ready to leave or return to their home country, according to data provided by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Some 70 departures were prevented when, last spring, a platform to signal suspect cases was launched in France.

The new law provides for an “administrative ban” to leave the country for six months (which can be renewed) with the confiscation of identity cards and passports. The measure can be implemented “as soon as there is serious reason to believe” a person “is planning to travel abroad with the objective of taking part in terrorist actions”. If jihadist candidates violate the ban, they will be arrested once they return to France. The draft text also provides to block websites hailing terrorism if the editor does not scrap incriminated pages within 24 hours.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Alfano Says New Rules Coming to Prevent ISIS Recruitment

Laws must be beefed up in Italy and at European level

(See related) (ANSA) — Rome, September 15 — New rules are in the works to seal “a hole” in Italian laws to better deal with any citizen who chooses to fight on the side of terrorist groups such as ISIS, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday.

He warned that the jihadists in ISIS present “a terrible threat against moderate Islam, but also against the West” and its values.

The group, which has recently beheaded three Westerners in highly publicized videos, is also targeting any State that opposes them and the only response is to “strengthen” the tools to fight terrorism, he said in a letter to Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

That must be done at the national level and also among European states working together, said Alfano.

Current European rules dealing with terrorists, introduced in 2005 after terror attacks in London, punish recruitment and training of terrorists, but don’t go far enough, he said.

“We must now add a new provision that takes account of the evolution of the threat,” said Alfano.

Anti-mafia laws dealing with preventative measures may be necessary, he said, to deal with what he called “aspiring fighters”.

“The purpose is to neutralize the danger at the root, by applying a measure of special surveillance of public security that would deprive him of any ability to do harm,” the minister said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Accepts Cardinal Brady’s Resignation as Archbishop

Irish prelate accused of failing to root out pedophile priests

(ANSA) — Vatican City, September 8 — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Irish Cardinal Sean Brady as archbishop of Armagh, in Ireland, the Vatican said Monday.

The 75-year-old cardinal cited age as his reason for stepping down. Brady, who is also the head of the Irish Catholic Church, has faced repeated calls to resign over his role in covering up sex abuse by priests.

In 2012, he rejected calls to resign after a BBC documentary reported he failed to warn parents their children were being sexually abused by a priest in 1975, The New York Times reported. An abuse victim, Brendan Boland, reportedly gave Brady the names of children being assaulted by the priest but the cardinal failed to act to ensure their safety, according to the BBC documentary.

Brady was one of four cardinals whose participation in a 2012 conclave to help vote for a successor to Pope Benedict XVI was questioned due to sexual abuse allegations. Former Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Daneels were the other three.

The Armagh diocese passes to Monsignor Eamon Martin, the Vatican said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Portugal’s Jihadists

by Soeren Kern

Portugal, like Spain, also figures prominently in a map produced by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) that outlines a five-year plan for expanding its Islamic Caliphate into Europe.

“Holy War is the only solution for humanity.” — Abdu, Portuguese jihadist.

“Every time these jihadists groups mention the recovery of al-Andalus, they are also referring to Portugal. Jihadists do not believe in national divisions, but in the existence of a single Muslim community that embraces the entire Iberian Peninsula.” — Miguel Torres Soriano, Spanish terrorism expert.

At least a dozen Portuguese nationals have joined jihadist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria, according to new estimates by Portuguese counter-terrorism officials.

All of the Portuguese jihadists (ten men and two women) are under the age of 30 and most of them are children of immigrants, but so far none of the individuals is known to have returned to live in Portugal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Rotherham Child-Sex Victim Confronts Her Alleged Abuser in the Street… But She is Arrested by a Van Load of Police

A victim of Rotherham’s child sex abuse scandal confronted a man she says groomed her — but was left shocked when she was the one arrested.

The woman was shocked when she saw the man walking through the town’s centre on Friday and decided to challenge him over the allegations.

But she was tackled by two police officers and pushed up against a wall during her ‘thuggish’ arrest, a witness has said.

A damning report released last month detailed how 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the area over a 16-year period.

The Times reported that a woman whose case is being investigated by authorities — but has not yet been interviewed — was arrested after tackling a man she says groomed her when she was 15.

A witness accused the police of ‘acting like insensitive thugs’, telling the paper: ‘A police van came and six male officers piled out.

‘Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.’

South Yorkshire Police told today how they had been hoping to interview the woman in the weeks before the arrest, after they were told of the historic allegations by another organisation.

But they only realised that she was the woman they had been trying to speak to after her arrest, and have now released her on bail.

After her treatment at the hands of officers, the woman has been reluctant to talk to police and her complaint against the man is therefore yet to be officially recorded.

The police force, which has come under fire in the wake of the recent scandal, insists it does take sexual violence seriously and will continue attempts to investigate the woman’s claims…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

We Were Right to Take Foster Children Away From UKIP Couple Insists Social Workers as They Blame Party’s ‘Extreme’ Views for Decision

The head of children’s services in Rotherham has defended the decision to remove three ethnic minority children from foster parents, saying that their affiliation to the UK Independence Party (Ukip) meant they opposed ‘multiculturalism.’

Joyce Thacker, Rotherham Borough Council’s director of children and young people’s services, said the children’s ‘cultural and ethnic needs’ did not fit with the parent’s ‘strong views.’

Her views were widely condemned this weekend by campaigners and MPs across the political divide. Education Secretary Michael Gove called the decision ‘wrong’ and ‘indefensible’ while Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an urgent investigation.

But Mrs Thacker said: ‘These children have previously been in our care and we were severely criticised by the courts in terms of not meeting their cultural and ethnic needs.

‘We took the decision, having placed them in emergency foster care, that we would really have to think long-term about their needs being met.

‘So when it became clear to us that the couple had political affiliations to Ukip we had to seriously think about the longer term needs of the children..

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Erdogan’s New Turkey to Requires All Students to Study the Qur’an

School reform begins this year by introducing compulsory Islamic religious education to all grades, including Arabic, to help students understand the Qur’an. For 200,000 Syrian Christian refugees in Turkey, this will be a problem.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) — Turkey’s newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aided by his faithful new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, begins his term of office with a major overhaul of the country’s education system.

Although adopted a year ago, the reform plan, which has largely gone unnoticed, begins this year and extends Islamic religious education to all school grades. Only religious high schools (Imam Hatip Lisesi) offered such an education as part of their training programme for the country’s Muslim clergy. At the same time, the reform extends compulsory schooling from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

Erdogan’s new Turkey, which plans to celebrate the centenary of the secular Turkish Republic founded by Kemal Ataturk in 2023, is making Islamic religious education compulsory in both primary and secondary school, for 12 grades. Until recently, the latter was available only in religious high schools starting in Grade 9.

Another significant change is that religious school graduates can now apply to university faculties that train students for top public administration positions. Even Turkey’s current president, who studied Business Administration and not political science, was kept out because he was graduate of a religious school.

It seems clear that the school system AKP leaders dream about and planned for is inspired by existing religious high schools.

The next step in the reform involves teaching Arabic, even as a second language, to enable students to understand the Qur’an, as Turkish lacks words that help understand the Holy Book.

However, Turkey’s Armenian and Orthodox schools are not required to provide Islamic religious education to their students who number 2,000 and 250 respectively.

By contrast, those who do not want to attend public schools to avoid religious education will have to go to private schools, which are a privilege of the wealthy because of high tuition fees.

People have to get used to the idea that 52 per cent of Turks, plus another 10 per cent from the ultranationalist Turkish party, believe in Erdogan’s Islam, this according to the newspaper Radikal.

Recently in Anatolia, a local school principal, whose tasks also includes assigning students to classes, required Jewish students to register for Islamic religious courses because of their Turkish-sounding names.

Historically in fact, many Jews (and members of other ethnic groups and religions) chose to Turkify and Islamise their names and surnames out of sheer need for survival in view of the rules established following the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, based on the notion that Turkey was ethnically homogenous as a Turkish and Muslim nation.

Following an outcry from world Jewish leaders, Turkish authorities suspended the measure in the case of Turkish Jews.

However, many wonder about what will happen to the 200,000 Christian refugees from Syria who are at present in Turkey and their children who will soon start school in Turkey.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Iran’s Khamenei Takes to Twitter to Reject US Offer to Help Stop ISIS

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, made clear Monday in a Twitter rant that his country will not be part of President Obama’s effort to build broad-based support to destroy the militant group Islamic State.

“I reject US offer to #Iran abt #ISIS because US has corruption on its hands in this issue,” the supreme leader wrote in one of several tweets.

The State Department responded within hours, saying the United States has indeed talked to Iran about Islamic State’s deadly foray into Iraq, but never discussed a coordinated military effort to stop the terror group.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq-Vatican: “Adopt a Christian From Mosul”: Archbishops’ Thanks as First Aid Arrives

Msgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Rome (AsiaNews) — Msgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is currently a refugee in Kurdistan, has written us a letter thanking us for the first consignment of aid, which he accepted as President of the Bishop’s Committee for aid distribution . The letter is addressed to AsiaNews, but the Archbishop thanks “every single donor” — and there are thousands — who have witness solidarity with their situation. This solidarity is important not only in economic terms, but also spiritually, because it means people understand the importance “that the Christians of this country have the right to live like other men, with dignity and in freedom”.

The situation on the ground is still very dramatic and is becoming increasingly difficult: from the abject poverty to the dwindling of meagre resources, from the lack of housing for tens of thousands of people, to the onset of winter, with plummeting temperatures and snows which make any outdoor shelter or temporary tents uninhabitable.

Msgr. Nona and the Church in Kurdistan are making a huge effort to meet these needs, stretching themselves beyond all means given that the Church “is not a powerful international humanitarian organization.” The Archbishop is hoping that a solution for the refugees may soon be found that will allow them to return to their homes taken over by the Islamic State militia. But he is particularly aware that prayer can transform “our crisis” into “an opportunity to unite all Christians, making us active in our faith”.

Faced with the continuation of this emergency, we feel we must continue our campaign “Adopt a Christian from Mosul”. To help us help them all you have to do is click here and follow the instructions. Below, please find the text of Msgr. Amel Nona’s letter:

Fr. Bernardo Cervellera



I want to let you know that September 9, 2014 I received the sum of 279,219 Euros sent by you through the “Adopt a Christian from Mosul” campaign to help our Christians in Mosul and the Nineveh plain who are now refugees in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

As head of the bishops’ committee that organizes humanitarian aid to Christians refugees, on my own behalf and on behalf of all the bishops who are members of this committee — Catholics and non-Catholics — I thank you and all the donors who have witnessed the reality of the Christian faith towards the human person, through the gift that you have offered to support the Christians of Iraq, in their dignity, in their lives.

Our situation is really dramatic, because all of these people, our faithful have been stripped of everything: houses, property, jobs, churches, .. And have arrived in Kurdistan with nothing.

Such a situation can be endured for a short period, but with the passage of time, without a solution to the area controlled by ISIS, many problems and difficulties emerge.

People have lost confidence in the nation, in their own land, in their neighbors, in the authorities …

Humanitarian aid is dwindling with each passing day and the refugees feel increasingly in need. It is no longer possible to go on living in tents, or in public parks, or in schools because the season is changing and winter is knocking at the door. We have a lot of homeless people and not even a roof to cover them.

We are trying to find a solution to the housing problem, but we cannot accommodate everyone because the numbers are huge: we are not a powerful international humanitarian organization, although all our Christians insistently ask us to help them.

Our possibilities are limited because the whole country is going through a difficult phase of religious and ethnic division, accompanied by a real civil war and mutual distrust among the political and social parties.

Ever since the first day of the crisis the Church has been doing everything possible to find a true and worthy response for her children. And we thank God that despite many difficulties we have organized at least for a while ‘aid for our people, trying to give them the minimum to live as human beings, always hoping for a quick and just solution for our land.

Your participation in solidarity, gives us strength not only because it helps us physically — and this is important — but also because we feel that we have Christian brothers and sisters close to us, who comprehend just how important it is that Christians in this country have the right to live like other men, with dignity and freedom.

Once again I thank you all, praying to the Lord that our crisis is an opportunity to unite all Christians, making us active in our faith.

May the Lord bless you

Archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Arms for Kurdish Forces Arrive in Baghdad

Weapons for Peshmerga fighting ISIS ‘proceeding to plan’

(ANSA) Rome, September 12 — A consignment of weapons Italy sent to Iraq for distribution to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS) extremist guerrillas has arrived in Baghdad ready for Iraqi authorities to hand to Peshmerga fighters, Italian defence ministry sources said Friday.

“Everything is proceeding according to what was communicated recently to Parliament by Defence Minister (Roberta) Pinotti,” the sources said.

The weapons earmarked for the Kurdish troops include thousands of AK 47 assault rifles and ammunition that were held in store in Sardinia after being confiscated from a ship in the Mediterranean during the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

The Peshmerga have been outdone in several battles by better-armed ISIS militia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Giving Aid, Arms Against ISIS: Mogherini

Act swiftly on ‘global threat’, says FM after Paris summit

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — Italy is sending arms and aid to Iraq against Islamic State (ISIS) but won’t take part in air operations against the militants, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said after a Paris summit Monday.

Asked if Italy would follow the first French reconnaissance planes joining the US air effort, Mogherini replied: “No, Italy has decided to send arms, munitions, and above all material for humanitarian support, which is a priority”.

Islamic State (ISIS) poses “a global threat that knows no borders,” Mogherini said. “We are all agreed on the need to act together, on the sense of urgency: act quickly, act together”, Italian Foreign Minister added.

A statement issued by the 30 countries taking part pledged to help Iraq fight ISIS “by any means necessary”. ISIS at the weekend beheaded a third Western hostage, British aid worker David Haines, sparking outrage and stiffening the international resolve to combat the militants who have carved swathes of Syria and Iraq into a self-proclaimed caliphate.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: Islamic State Organisation Advances on Refugee Camps

After Iraq and Syria, Lebanon appears to be the next theatre of operations for the radical Islamic State organisation. Arsal, a remote town on the Syrian border, has become the main outpost for the group, and a byword for militancy for the rest of the country. Since 2011, Syrian refugees have fled across the border en masse from the nearby towns of Homs, Quseir and Yabroud, after the towns were recaptured by the Syrian army.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Missing Italian Women Not Held by ISIS, Say Sources

Ramelli and Marzullo said to be in northern Syria

(ANSA) — Beirut, September 15 — Two young Italian aid workers who went missing in Syria on July 31 are not in the hands of Islamist group ISIS, sources in the local investigation of the case told ANSA Monday. Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo are in northern Syria, west of Aleppo, the sources said. ISIS have taken control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and committed a series of atrocities, including the decapitation of two American journalists and a British aid worker.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Weakest Chain of Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition

Erdogan reluctant, Ankara won’t give military support

(by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 12 — A ‘Turkish issue’ weighs on the coalition forged by the White House: the Turkey of Islamic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan represents for the US the weakest and most reluctant chain for the US. However, it is also key within the alliance forged against ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi.

US pressure on its Turkish alley remains high. After a difficult 80-minute-long meeting in Wales, at a NATO summit, between US President Barack Obama and Erdogan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived Monday in Ankara, followed by Secretary of State John Kerry. So far, few concrete results have been reached.

Ankara has said it does not intend to take part in military operations, nor provide the Incirlik base for US raids against jihadist militants. It will provide humanitarian, and perhaps logistical assistance. Washington is also putting pressure on Turkey to close its 900 km of border with Syria and the almost 400 with Iraq and to shut down the ‘highways of jihad’ crossing its territory.

It is still unclear how much the Turkish government intends to cooperate.

Thousands of foreign jihadists are believed to have joined ISIS through Turkey. Ankara has announced it intercepted 830 Europeans seeking to become jihadists in two years and that it sent them back home. According to Hurriyet, anti-ISIS squads were formed to check borders and airports. But media outlets not close to the government continue to report stories of injured ISIS militants who have been treated in Turkey and of Turkish munitions found on jihadists fighting against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. The opposition has repeatedly accused Erdogan of helping ISIS in Syria so Bashar al-Assad can be replaced with a Sunni government of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The strategy has failed and brought jihadi militants to the southern borders of the country. However, it still influences Ankara’s choices and explains reservations towards the coalition forged by Obama.

Erdogan, according to political analyst Kadri Gursel, “has tried everything”, except military intervention, to oust Assad.

Now he fears a war on ISIS will boost and legitimize Damascus.

Ankara, Gursel writes, “refuses to accept it has lost the long-distance war against Assad, a problem which entails serious psychological aspects”. Erdogan’s Sunni Turkey has clashed with the Shiite cabinet of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq and does not want, according to the analyst, to see the central power of Baghdad boosted and armed. It also fears the war on ISIS will lead to a recognition of PKK. Turkey’s Kurdish rebels are at the heart of the anti-ISIS front on the ground, together with Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. The Turkish nightmare of a ‘great Kurdistan’ is always behind the corner.

The issue of 49 hostages captured by ISIS in June at the Turkish consulate in Mosul, including the consul, make the ‘Turkish dilemma’ even more problematic. The hostages are still being held by the men of ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi — an element of permanent blackmail for Ankara, although the government has in part ‘sterilized’ the public opinion through a sentence which does not allow Turkish media to report on the issue.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Sends Back 830 European Jihadists Over 2 Years

Anti-terror teams established to focus on ISIS militants,sources

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 11 — Turkey has captured and deported 830 citizens of European countries attempting to cross into Syria to fight with the Islamist jihadists over the past two years, as daily Hurriyet reports today. Turkey has established specialist anti-terror teams focusing on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) militants, who have seized large swathes of territory across neighboring Syria and Iraq.

In the past two years, Turkey has captured 830 European citizens who attempted to enter Syria via Turkey to join ISIS.

Turkey also filed search warrants for 2,000 people who are thought to have joined the jihadist ISIS militants.

European countries have recently started to share information with Turkey about jihadist militants suspected of entering Syria through Turkey. Several European states, including Germany, Britain, France, Holland and Belgium, have reportedly shared with Turkey information about 4,700 people via Interpol. Turkey has shared this list with its intelligence and anti-terror units, as well as its security forces on the borders, in a bid to halt potential jihadists. Anti-terror teams and intelligence units have focused on border-crossings, airports, and bus and train terminals, while new teams have been established at border-crossing points.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India: Thousands of Christians March in Bangalore Against Violence in Iraq, Syria and Africa

A “Sunday of solidarity” was held for persecuted Christians around the world. For archbishop of Bangalore, silence means “to be complicit in these acts of violence against humanity.”

Bangalore (AsiaNews) — Thousands of Christians from various denominations marched yesterday in the streets of Bangalore to express solidarity with their persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and Africa.

“We must make our voices heard,” said Mgr Bernard Moras, the local archbishop, because “Silence in the face of holocaust, brutal torture and murder is to be complicit in these acts of violence against humanity.”

Participants in the ‘Sunday of solidarity’ began their march from St Joseph’s Indian High School, included Catholics, Anglicans (Church of South India), Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Syriac Orthodox, Evangelicals and other denominations.

A delegation of bishops and Christian religious leaders submitted a memorandum to the governor of Karnataka, asking for “a strong denunciation by India of the Holocaust of Iraqi Christians.”

According to unofficial estimates, about 170,000 people have been killed so far; however, not all kidnappings, torture, explosions, executions and forced conversions of Christians have been reported in the international media.

Christian religious leaders also appealed to other Indian religious communities — Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis — that they condemn the persecution and killing of Christians in Iraq, Syria and other countries of the world.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Four Turkish Citizens Arrested for “Ties” With the Islamic State

Indonesian extremists were also arrested in the operation; according to the authorities they may be active in the formation of local Islamist cells. Anti-terrorism squad say they were trying to contact Santoso, the most wanted man in the country. At least 66 Indonesian citizens are active in the jihad in the Middle East.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Indonesia’s anti-terrorist squad has arrested four Turkish citizens and certain local “elements”, affiliated with the Islamic terrorist movements, in a raid that took place in Poso, Central Sulawesi province. The group was headed to Palu, the capital of the province. The four Turkish citizens are A. Basyit, A. Bozoghlan, A. Bayram e A. Zubaidan;; the Indonesians Saiful Priatna alias Ipul, Yudit Chandra alias Ichan and Irfan, all natives of Palu.

The local group collected the foreigners in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi. On their journey from Turkey they stopped in Thailand, where they picked up some fake passports, before spending some time in Kuala Lumpur. The last stop was the capital of Malaysia until they stopped in Makassar; from here, on board of a minivan, they traveled to Palu, then Poso where they were captured by special forces. Boy Rafli Amar, deputy police spokesman, confirmed that the police have opened an investigation on the four Turkish citizens who were arrested, and their possible links with the Islamic State militia. The suspicion is that they were trying to get in touch with the Indonesian terrorist Santoso, the “most wanted” man in Indonesia, who is believed to be in hiding in a remote and mountainous area among the forests that surround the town.

The presence of foreign nationals active in the Islamist extremist fight and their direct contacts with local militants — recently released from prison after serving a sentence — are a source of great concern for Jakarta. The fear is that the groups are involved in the formation of local cells of the Islamic State, ready to recruit elements for jihad in Syria and Iraq or to hit sensitive targets in the homeland. In fact police sources claim that at least 66 Indonesian citizens are operating in the Middle East, two of which are the protagonists of suicide attacks.

As AsiaNews recently reported, fundamentalist movements and local Muslim leaders been inspired by the exploits of the Sunni fighters and intend to support the struggle for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, which has now been extended also to Asia. Extremist cells and members active in recruitment are present as much in Indonesia, as in neighboring Malaysia; its members are already operating in the area in preparation for attacks and targeted attacks against pubs, discos and bars “dreaming of the Islamic caliphate.”

For some time the port town of Poso has been the scene of violence in denominational background: among them there were attacks on Christian buildings, including places of worship, and the murder that took place under mysterious circumstances of two law-enforcement officers. The police were investigating an attack against a leading member of the Christian community. Their bodies were found at a distance of eight days, on the edge of a road just off a training center of a group linked to Islamic fundamentalism.

Between 1997 and 2001, Christians and Muslims were involved in a violent conflict on Sulawesi Island and neighbouring Maluku Islands. Thousands of people died and hundreds of churches and mosques were destroyed. Thousands of homes were also razed. About half a million people found themselves homeless, 25,000 in Poso alone.On 20 December 2001, the two sides reached a truce that was signed in Malino, South Sulawesi, following a peace initiative by the government. The local population is evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Despite the peace deal, terrorist incidents continued on and leaving a trail of innocent victims. One of the most horrific cases, which caused indignation around the world, was the beheading by Muslim extremists in October 2005 of three Christian girls on their way to school.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Nepal: Government to Migrants: Choose Christian Nations, They Will Treat You Better

The Kathmandu Minister of Labour announces a program to convince those who have to emigrate to choose Europe or America. From A “coffin arrives on average every day” from Arab nations, “fellow citizens who have died from torture and exploitation.” An army of two million Nepalese live in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) — In order to save its citizens from violence and exploitation, the Government of Nepal has launched a program to encourage migrants to choose Christian nations rather than Islamic ones as a place of work. The initiative was announced by the Minister of Labour, Tek Bahadur Gurung. According to the politician, “the Nepalese migrants in the Arab countries are high-risk individuals. We receive news of spiritual and physical abuse directed especially against women. Hence we want to promote Europe and America as better and safer destination”.

At the moment the top five destinations chosen by migrants in Nepal are Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. In total, approximately two million Nepalese are living and working abroad to send salaries home. Most work in construction, the healthcare sector and the domestic service sector. Less than 1% live in Western nations: they are mostly doctors and engineers who have had the opportunity to study abroad.

In Qatar there are about 70 thousand migrants from Nepal (according to the latest data available for 2010). Each year, another 10 thousand choose Doha as their destination, and approximately 200 die in workplace accidents on an annual basis. According to human rights activists, many “disappear into thin air.” In late August 2014, two Nepalese activists investigating the living conditions of their fellow countrymen disappeared after reporting they were being followed by the police. The two sought data on workers engaged in building arenas for the 2022 World Cup.

In the United Arab Emirates the Nepali ex-pat community touches 128 thousand members. Most of them live in Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi. Half of the group is engaged in the construction industry. In Saudi Arabia there are more than 215 thousand, all subject to the system of kafala: this “tradition” violates the rights of tens of thousands of non-citizens, who undergo abuse, confiscation of passports, punishing work schedules and sexual violence. According to the Kathmandu embassy in Riyadh, about 80 thousand citizens “are trapped in a critical condition.”

Badri Bahadur Karki, spokesperson for the Department of Labor, says the question has profound social and religious implications: “We have cooperated with Christians for centuries, and they have always been very welcoming towards us. Nepalis of all faiths who work in Europe have no problems . Instead, we receive a coffin a day on average from the Islamic nations, fellow citizens who have died as a result of torture or often terrible working conditions. “

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Muslim UN “High-Level Expert” Says Muslims in West Become Terrorists Because of “Islamophobes” And Counter-Terror Legislation

Aftab Malik spent a month in Lakemba, “Australia’s unofficial Muslim capital.” He came away warning that the atmosphere in Lakemba “reminded him of London prior to the 7/7 terror bombings of 2005.” He says that the tensions have been “fuelled by the photos and videos of thousands of gruesome deaths in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Iraq viewed daily, unedited, on smartphones” — in other words, the budding jihadis are being “radicalized” by jihad grievance propaganda and resistance to jihad aggression and terror.

They are apparently further “radicalized” by “the Islamophobes and their vitriolic diatribes against Islam and Muslims,” as well as by “legislation that, at worst, singles them out as potential terrorists, or moulds them as a suspect community at best.” In other words, they’re also being “radicalized” by writers who note how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and by efforts to stop jihad terror plotting in Muslim communities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Poverty, Fanaticism and a Desire for Revenge Drive Boko Haram in Cameroon

Islamic terrorism is gaining ground not only in Nigeria. Young Cameroonians are leaving their families for a holy war. Westerners, but also local politicians are their target. Peaceful coexistence between faiths and ethnic groups is at risk.

Milan (AsiaNews) — The following account is how a foreign observer, who has lived for years in northern Cameroon, explains to the country’s authorities Boko Haram’s growing appeal among young northern Cameroonians. It shows how important, if not decisive, oil-rich Gulf states and emirates are in funding Islamic extremism, which are embodied in a number of organisations and associations.

In Italy, it is hard to understand why so many young people join Islamic guerrillas and terror groups. Unlike neighbouring Nigeria, northern Cameroon, an area that is home to a substantial Muslim minority living side by side with an animist and Christian majority, had never experienced any extremist and violent version of Islam until two or three years ago. When acts of terrorism and violence occurred in our midst, we blamed fanatical Nigerians who, unhappy about the situation in their country, came to Cameroon to make money from ransoming Westerners. How wrong we were!

At present, everyone can see that northern Cameroonians are joining Boko Haram, a movement that is not an army under a single hierarchy but a collection of several groups that adhere to an extremist vision of Islam whilst maintaining total decisional and organisational autonomy. This explains why terrorist actions within Nigeria or in the border with Cameroon vary from one another.

We can all see that Boko Haram groups (and there are many) have adjusted to government crackdown in Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad, after recent consultations in Paris. First noticeable change is that Islamists no longer target only Westerners. Influential local political officials and business people are now fair game. In Kolofata, Mayo Sava Department, terrorists attacked the home of Deputy Prime Minister Amadou Ali. They abducted his wife Agnes, a Christian from southern Cameroon, who is still being held hostage. This has caused quite a stir across the country because the attackers acted in broad daylight, driving pick-ups normally used by the police, wearing the Cameroon uniforms army.

Second change is that the Cameroonians now realised that Boko Haram terrorism is not Nigerian, but is home grown, backed by young Cameroonians and deeply rooted in the social fabric of the country. Many also find it convenient to believe that it is mainly a problem in the country’s North and Far North, but the authorities now fear that it has now spread, albeit in latent form, to the whole country, including the capital Yaoundé.

Lastly, the third change is even scarier for Cameroonian authorities and ordinary Cameroonians because young northerners are being recruited for Islam’s “holy war”. Unofficially, civil and military authorities believe that more than 500 young men have already “left” the country’s northern-most region. Another 200 are said to have left the Adamawa plateau region to join Boko Haram. Some of them have called home and told their families that they left to join a more and powerful radical Islam.

Since young Muslim men are the main target group for recruitment, this raises the question of how long different ethnic groups and religions can still live in peaceful coexistence. Christians are beginning to fear that they will become the persecuted victims of a holy war that will drive them from their villages. The threat of a scenario akin to what is happening in the Mideast and sub-Saharan Africa hangs over a region that has always been a paragon of coexistence and cooperation between different ethnic groups and religions.

One of Boko Haram’s ideological foundations is the rejection of everything that does not conform to a radically interpreted Islamic law, driving its followers to set up states or sultanates for only true believers in the one true faith of Islam.

This extremist view can certainly be appealing to young people who are unhappy with the current management of public affairs, where corruption and cronyism create privileges for a few, and leave the majority of the population, especially the young, with no prospects for employment and a better life.

The lack of opportunities has led many young people to join those who offer a revolution in the name of the “faith in the true Islam”, which comes with regular financial benefits. Recruits can earn up to 180,000 CFA francs (€ 300, US$ 400), which corresponds to the monthly salary of a school principal, or a career government official. Considering that a well-paid mason gets 60,000 francs (one third what Boko Haram offers), the economic appeal of joining is easy to see.

Many young men may opt for this kind of offer to feed their family and have it protected by the Islamist group. But this comes at a price since there is no turning back. Anyone who does try can expect to have his throat cut to set an example for others.

What is more, learning to handle weapons provides an additional psychological motivation. It gives young men a sense of power, something they only experienced negatively in encounters with the police and the gendarmerie. With weapons in one’s hands comes the illusion of standing up to “Western oppressors”. This changes one’s perspective on life, especially if one’s religious ideology promises eternal salvation.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

36 Survive Libya Shipwreck, 800 Dead/Missing Since Friday

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 15 — The survivors of a shipwreck off Libya are 36 and not 26 as previously announced, Libyan authorities said Monday. Migrants on board the vessel were 250, including several women. Over 800 have been reported dead or missing since Friday as they were trying to cross the Mediterranean.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Salerno Prepares for Arrival of 837 Immigrants

Landing expected Tuesday morning

(ANSA) — Salerno, September 15 — A ship carrying 837 immigrants rescued from the Strait of Sicily is scheduled to dock at the port of Salerno on Tuesday morning.

Eight of the women on board are pregnant, two children have high fevers, and some of the immigrants have scabies, ANSA sources said.

A crisis unit has been set up to prepare for the immigrants’ arrival, which will be the sixth immigrant landing in the commercial port of Salerno since since July 1.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scores of African Migrants Drown as Boat Capsizes Off Libya

A boat carrying approximately 250 African migrants headed for Europe capsized off the Libyan coast on Sunday, officials said, confirming that dozens had drowned in the accident.

Migrants have been streaming out of North Africa, mostly from restive Libya, in rickety boats in rising numbers for years. The majority head for the nearest European country, Italy.

So far in 2014, more than 100,000 migrants have reached Italian shores, the government there said this week.

Last week, a vessel believed to have carried as many as 500 migrants from Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt and Sudan capsized near Malta after human traffickers rammed and sank their boat in the Mediterranean.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Expels Catholic M5S Militant Says Catholic Periodical

Vocal opponent of gay marriage banned via letter

(ANSA) — Rome, September 12 — The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of gadfly politician Beppe Grillo has expelled one of its own, likely because of his religious beliefs, Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family) reported Friday.

Civil engineering professor Andrea Aquilino, 48, a long-time M5S militant, founder of one of its Rome sections, and spokesman for M5S Catholic activists, was expelled in a September 8 letter signed by Grillo himself.

A vocal opponent of gay marriage, Aquilino reportedly accused fellow M5S members of complicity with the gay lobby and of betraying the movement’s founding principles, according to Famiglia Cristiana.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/15/2014

  1. I’m not familiar with the original source to this story but it is interesting none the less-
    DailyNewsEgypt: Egyptian prosecutor calls in Interpol to arrest MB figure leaving Qatar hat tip: FreeRepublic

    Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat called on Interpol to arrest fleeing members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, who are wanted for engaging in criminal activities, according to state run Al-Ahram.

    Barakat has demanded the renewal of Interpol’s red notices against Brotherhood members residing in Qatar and Turkey, to be presented for trial in Egyptian courts.

  2. ‘We Were Right to Take Foster Children Away From UKIP Couple Insists Social Workers as They Blame Party’s ‘Extreme’ Views for Decision’

    This article is from 2012.

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