Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/18/2014

A British hostage named John Cantlie has been used in the latest propaganda video released by the Islamic State. Mr. Cantlie was working as a photojournalist in the region before he was kidnapped. Unlike previous hostage videos, there is no hint of violence or retribution in this one — simply Mr. Cantlie in his prisoner’s suit talking to the camera, acting as a spokesman for ISIS and hinting that the Brits might be well-advised to negotiate with the Caliphate.

In other news, early referendum results indicate that Scotland has voted against independence from the UK by a margin of 55% to 45%. Possibly coincidentally, the surname “Cantlie” is of Scottish origin.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JP, RL, RR, 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.

Financial Crisis
» Italy Should Worry About Spread Not Default Warns Pimco
» Chaffetz: Four Men With Middle East Terrorist Ties Caught at Texas Border on Sept 10 — Bizpac Review
» Islam and the “Killing of Innocents”
» Senate Approves ISIS Bill, 73-22, Avoiding Bigger War Debate
Europe and the EU
» Catalan Parliament Votes Law on Independence Referendum
» Fears of Contagion of Scottish ‘Yes’ Vote Hit Europe
» France: Parliament Adopts Anti-Jihad Bill
» Greece: Dockworkers Announce Actions Against Privatization
» Islamic State: Germany Struggles to Deal With Returning Fighters
» Italy: Govt Will ‘Do Its Part’ On 1,600 Meridiana Layoffs
» Italy: Economy Ministry Cuts 139 Managers in Govt Spending Review
» Italy: Renzi Jobs Act Ready to Tackle Unions’ Sacred Cow
» Italy: Fresh Corruption Probe Hits Milan Expo 2015
» Norway: Father Warns Breivik ‘More Extreme Than Ever’
» Poll: Europeans Want More Direct Participation
» Scotland: I’m Calling it: It’s Over. No Has Won the Referendum
» Scottish Independence: First Referendum Results Declared
» UK: After ISIS and the Rotherham Abuse Scandal, I’m Not Surprised Some People Are Turning to Violence
» UK: Memo to the BBC: The ‘Far Right’ Did Not Decapitate David Haines Nor Rape 1400 Girls in Rotherham
» UK: New Plans Revealed for Dudley Mosque on Hall Street Site
» Vote Quirk Gives Sweden Democrats Extra Seats
North Africa
» Morocco Prepares Tougher Law Against Terrorism
Middle East
» Airlines Suspend Flights to Yemeni Capital as Security Worsens
» Iraq: 13 Killed in Bomb Attacks in Baghdad
» Iraq: British Hostage John Cantlie Paraded by ISIL in Video
» IS Captures 21 Kurdish Towns in Northern Syria
» IS ‘Mafia’ Cash Flow Poses Difficult Target for West — Kuwait Accused of Allowing Cash Flow to Jihadists
» ISIS Controls Areas With 60 Oil Wells, Israeli Source
» Kuwait: Is Members Arrested in Kuwait, Warrants Issued for Others
» Kuwaiti Who Eats Animals Alive!
» New Islamic State Video Features British Hostage as Group Spokesman
» ‘Now it’s Our Turn to Suffer’ Pope Tells Jewish Head
Far East
» For Beijing, Scottish Independence “Threatens Unity and Stability”
Australia — Pacific
» ASIO Seizes Passports as Melbourne Terror Fears Grow
» Queensland ‘Open Mosque Day’ To Better Understanding of Islam
» EU Recognizes Migrant Diasporas as Partners in Development
» Highest Refugee Influx in 20 Years
» Immigration Agents: ISIS May Exploit America’s Weakened Immigration System to Attack U.S.
Culture Wars
» Indonesia: Catholic University Cancels Seminar on Homosexuality After Islamist Threats

Italy Should Worry About Spread Not Default Warns Pimco

Stress tests more credible says American investment firm

(ANSA) — Milan, September 17 — Italy’s default risk is not high but the volatility of its spread, the difference between Italian and German lending rates viewed as a strong indication of investor faith in the Italian economy, is a serious concern said Ryan Blute, managing director of Pacific Investment Company Management (Pimco), an American global investment management firm, on Wednesday. Blute added that upcoming bank stress tests, a simulation designed to determine the ability of a given financial instrument or institution to weather an economic crisis, may be more credible than in the past.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Chaffetz: Four Men With Middle East Terrorist Ties Caught at Texas Border on Sept 10 — Bizpac Review

At a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about a report that four men with known ties to Middle East terrorist groups were apprehended on Sept. 10, as they tried to cross the Texas border.

“I’ve heard reports to that effect, but I don’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them,” Johnson said nonchalantly, while scratching his nose.

[Return to headlines]

Islam and the “Killing of Innocents”

By Denis MacEoin

“No religion condones the killing of innocents.” — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.

“Islam is a religion of peace.” — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.

“There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam.” — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.

Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur’an in a “moderate” manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.

If they deviated from the true faith — as we are seeing in the Islamic State today — “backsliders,” like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.

In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.

Last week, before the Islamic State beheaded its third Westerner, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that, “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents.”

Well, not exactly.

           — Hat tip: RL [Return to headlines]

Senate Approves ISIS Bill, 73-22, Avoiding Bigger War Debate

The Senate gave overwhelming approval on Thursday to a measure on the training and arming of Syrian rebels, then fled the Capitol for the fall campaign, sidestepping the debate over the extent of American military action until the lame-duck session of Congress later this year.

The training measure, pushed hard by President Obama, was tucked into a larger Senate bill to keep the government funded past Sept. 30, a maneuver that leaders of both parties favored to ensure as few defections as possible. The Senate’s 73-to-22 vote, a day after the House passed the measure, masked the serious doubts that many senators had.

[Return to headlines]

Catalan Parliament Votes Law on Independence Referendum

On nov. 9. Madrid ready to appeal to Constitutional court

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 18 — The Catalan parliament approved Wednesday evening a resolution to hold a referendum on independence from Spain November 9.

The parliament vote in Barcelona garnered 89 votes in favour, or 65.9% of the total.

Parties supporting the resolution were the ruling Catalan centre-right nationalist alliance Convergencia i Unio (CiU), the left-wing independentist Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Erc), the environmentalist communist Iniciativa para Catalunya Verds (ICV-EUiA), the radical left-wing independentist Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (Cup), as well as two Socialist MPs who broke ranks with their party. The opposition was lead by the Partido Popular e di Ciutadans.

The resolution states that the referendum will be carried out “with all the democratic guarantees and participation possible” and is “in accordance with the legal framework”.

The measure was approved on the last day of general political debate in the Catalan Chamber. The Spanish government is preparing an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Saturday, September 20 to approve legal measures for an appeal to the Constitutional Court of Spain in case Catalan President Artur Mas signs the referendum decree.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Fears of Contagion of Scottish ‘Yes’ Vote Hit Europe

Italy’s Northern League backing independence bid

(ANSA) — Milan, September 18 — As Scotland decided whether to break away from the United Kingdom on Thursday, fears of a yes vote to independence gripped many parts of Europe.

Separatist movements, meanwhile, including Italy’s Northern League party, were egging the Scots to go it alone and demanding the right for their own independence referenda.

“Bankers, financiers, footballers and almost all the English politicians together with (Premier Matteo Renzi’s) PD in Italy) are against Scotland’s independence,” Northern League leader Matteo Salvini wrote on his Facebook page Thursday after travelling to Edinburgh.

“The young are in favour. That’s another reason to cheer for Yes Scotland”. League MEP Mario Borghezio shouted “Scotland Independent” in Scottish Gaelic at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Pro-independence Catalans are watching Scotland’s referendum closely, with plans for a similar vote in Catalonia in November, although Spain’s constitutional court is expected to rule it invalid.

A yes vote would also strengthen the independence cause in Spain’s Basque Country, which was hit by decades of violence before terrorist group ETA declared a ceasefire in 2010. Earlier this year Veneto separatists held an unofficial online vote in which they said two million overwhelming endorsed breaking from Italy.

Other areas of Europe with major separatist groups include Wales in Britain, Flanders in Belgium, Corsica in France, Moravia in the Czech Republic and Upper Silesia in Poland.

The fear of contagion stretches far into Eastern Europe, with the Baltic countries worried that Moscow will back the causes of ethnic Russians in their countries after annexing Crimea and supporting separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine this year.

Other regions where there are more muted calls for independence include Cornwall in Britain, and South Tyrol and Sardinia in Italy. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has said that any newly independent country emerging from an EU nation would no longer be part of the bloc, and would have to reapply for membership, meaning Scotland will likely have to go through a long accession process if it does go independent.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: Parliament Adopts Anti-Jihad Bill

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — The French parliament on Thursday passed an anti-jihad bill that aims to block the flow of French citizens leaving to fight in Syria and, on their eventual return to France, to keep them in check to prevent them from committing terrorist acts. The text presented by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was given a fast-track review — with a single reading — beginning last Monday in the National Assembly.

The measure introduces the crime of “individual terrorist undertaking” and a renewable “administrative ban” from leaving the country for six months, with the confiscation of the official identity card and passport. The legislation also calls for blocking Web sites condoning terrorism if those responsible for the site do not remove “incriminating” pages within 24 hours. The bill was supported by all political groups with the exception of environmentalists, who abstained.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Dockworkers Announce Actions Against Privatization

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, SEPTEMBER 16 — The federation of Greek dockworkers (OMYLE) and the dockworker union of Piraeus have announced a series of actions scheduled for Thursday to protest government plans to privatize Greeks ports, as daily To Vima online reports. The dockworkers have announced a walkout effective from 11am and a demonstration at Karaiskaki Square, which will be followed by a march to the Ministry of Shipping.

There, union representatives will meet the Ministry’s leadership. According to OMYLE’s statement, the dockworkers oppose the planned “sell off of the port as a private property” because “the ports belong to the Greek people and not monopolistic groups”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Islamic State: Germany Struggles to Deal With Returning Fighters

Hundreds of radical Islamists from Germany have headed to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State. Many have since returned home. Now the country’s court system is gearing up for the coming legal battles — and facing myriad challenges.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt Will ‘Do Its Part’ On 1,600 Meridiana Layoffs

Pilots blame ‘decades of deranged managerial decisions’

(ANSA) — Milan, September 16 — The government will summon Meridiana Fly management after news that the privately owned airline intends to lay off more than 1,600 employees due to restructuring, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said Tuesday.

The airline operating domestic, European and intercontinental flights and headquartered in Sardinia is owned by British business magnate Aga Khan Prince Karim al-Hussayni, who founded it in 1963 to promote tourism in Sardinia. “We will bring all interested parties together and try to give our support and our help,” Lupi said.

Meridiana pilots earlier berated the company’s plan to lay off 1,634 employees after what they said has been “a decade of deranged executive decisions” and mismanagement by CEO Roberto Scaramella, who “gave himself a 700,000-euro salary while the company lost an estimated 200 million euros in 2014”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Economy Ministry Cuts 139 Managers in Govt Spending Review

Shuts down 10 offices in cost-saving effort

(ANSA) — Rome, September 16 — The economy ministry announced Tuesday it will cut 139 managers as part of the government’s spending review process to reduce waste and generate money for its reforms. The ministry will cut its managers from 712 to 573 and shut down 10 regional offices as of February 2015, it said in a note.

As well, it plans to save money by sharing or reducing office space and streamlining its operations across the country, the ministry said. “There is an enormous spirit of collaboration on the part of all the ministries,” said Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan.

“The idea is to become more efficient and save public money while maintaining the quantity and quality of services”. Premier Matteo Renzi has asked his cabinet members to submit proposals for 3% cuts in their ministry budgets as part of the spending review process.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Jobs Act Ready to Tackle Unions’ Sacred Cow

Poletti says no decision made on Article 18 job protections

(ANSA) — Rome, September 17 — Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti tried to calm angry trade unions Wednesday by saying that no decision has been made as yet on scaling back job protections contained in existing Italian law.

“When the time comes, we will discuss this,” he told the Lower House after unions threatened strikes if job protections contained in Article 18 of the 1970s Worker’s Statute are eliminated in the new Jobs Act.

Premier Matteo Renzi was widely reported to have threatened to scale back Article 18 by decree to override parliamentary objections, although Cabinet Secretary Graziano Delrio denied this on a Tuesday night talk show.

Businesses have long argued that the article is a major stumbling block for creating permanent jobs because they say it makes it impossible to lay off employees once they have been hired.

Such arguments have gained considerable attention in recent years given the long-running weakness in the Italian economy, now in its third recession since 2008.

But unions say that Article 18 is sacred and they will fight to protect provisions that say companies with over 15 employees that fire someone without just cause must give them their job back.

Abrogating Article 18 of the Worker’s Statute to lower job protection is “a scalp to take to the EU’s free-market hawks,” said Susanna Camusso, leader of Italy’s largest union federation CGIL. A rapporteur added fuel to the fire Wednesday when he said that under a new provision, the Jobs Act would require compensation — but not the rehiring — of workers judged by a court to have been unjustly fired from companies with more than 15 employees. “There is a revision of the protection (for workers) with open-ended contracts,” said Maurizio Sacconi, the rapporteur of an enabling law linked to the government’s Jobs Act.

Many past Italian governments have tried to amend Article 18 but unions have always managed to fend off these attempts. Meanwhile, Renzi’s government presented two other amendments to its Jobs Act which the government said are aimed at increasing worker protection.

One stipulated that the eventual introduction of “a minimum hourly payment” for Italian workers would also apply to freelancers who regularly work for a company under a so-called Co.Co.Co contract. The amendment added that this would apply even if the minimum wage were introduced “on an experimental basis”. Another amendment was designed to reward seniority by providing for increased job protections as an employee’s tenure increases.

That amendment called for “open-ended contracts” rather than the temporary or freelance contracts that are very popular now with employers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Fresh Corruption Probe Hits Milan Expo 2015

Italy pavilion chief suspected of bid rigging

(ANSA) — Milan, September 17 — A fresh corruption probe hit the works for next year’s world’s fair, Milan Expo 2015, on Wednesday when the commissioner in charge of the Italian pavilion was placed under investigation for suspected graft including alleged bid rigging.

Italy’s anti-corruption czar, Raffaele Cantone, said the official under investigation, Antonio Acerbo, could pose a “problem”. Milan finance police on Wednesday carried out searches and seized documents after Acerbo was placed under investigation. According to prosecutors Acerbo, 65, is accused of taking bribes to steer a 100-million-euro contract for the so-called ‘Vie d’Acqua’ (Waterways) project to construction magnate Enrico Maltauro in 2013.

Acerbo agreed to help investigators.

His lawyer, Federico Cecconi, told reporters he wanted to talk to prosecutors as soon as possible to “clear up his position”. Maltauro was placed under house arrest in May in a larger probe that led to the arrests of former Expo procurement and planning manager Angelo Paris and three others, including a former Christian Democrat MP, in connection with what prosecutors are calling the “bid rigging mafia”.

Acerbo, a former public manager for the city of Milan, is also the deputy Expo commissioner for infrastructural works.

Finance police are also conducting searches in connection with other suspects who may have acted as intermediaries in the alleged corruption, prosecutors said.

Anti-corruption czar Raffaele Cantone said Wednesday that the allegations of wrongdoing against Acerbo must be fully investigated.

“For now, we only have press reports,” that Milan finance police placed Acerbo under investigation on suspicion of corruption and bid rigging, said Cantone, who has special powers to supervise public contracts — including those at the World’s Fair. “At the moment, it is difficult to proceed,” added Cantone, who said he planned to meet Thursday with Diana Bracco, general commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, to discuss the problem.

“I also want to talk to the prosecutor handling the case as soon as possible,” Cantone added.

The various probes, as well as reports that several firms linked to the Ndrangheta’ (Calabrian mafia) have been found to have won initial contracts, have threatened to muddy the event’s image.

But Premier Matteo Renzi was characteristically upbeat, responding to the graft probe reports by unveiling a new transparency site.

Renzi unveiled the site on September 11, stressing that it would cover all developments.

“OpenExpo, with online transparency data and information for all available, #italiariparte (#Italyrestarts),” Renzi said on Twitter.

Renzi recently said on a visit to the site that he would not let those who want to see the event fail “get any satisfaction”.

The premier said the workers “are not just building a structure, not just pavilions, they are building and giving back pride to a country that needs it like bread”.

He vowed: “We’ll pull it off. We won’t leave the future to the ill wishers and those who bet on failure. We are at work and everything will be ready (for Expo’s opening) on May 1, 2015”.

Beppe Grillo, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), called for the fair to be scrapped after the first big corruption probe.

But the premier is confident the event — which focuses on nutrition, fighting hunger and one of Italy’s fortes, quality food, under the theme Feeding the Planet. Energy for life — will be “a big hit”.

Renzi’s government has promised to root out the corruption, while remaining committed to an event that it hopes will provide a major lift for the recession-hit Italian economy.

The executive gave Cantone special powers to oversee Expo, which is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors during its six-month run.

“Expo will be the key to getting Italy going again,” the premier said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway: Father Warns Breivik ‘More Extreme Than Ever’

Jens Breivik, the father of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, revealed on Thursday his son is becoming more and more extreme in prison and fears he may never see him again.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Poll: Europeans Want More Direct Participation

A majority of Europeans are strongly in favour of directly participating in decision-making processes via referendums, but democratic governments often fail of to live up to public expectations, a new survey has revealed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Scotland: I’m Calling it: It’s Over. No Has Won the Referendum

by Dan Hodges

“No” has won. Stay up if you like. If you choose to, there’ll be some fantastic coverage here on Telegraph Blogs. But it’s over. “No” has won; they’d won before the latest and final YouGov poll called it for No, 54-46.

They didn’t win because of Gordon Brown’s dramatic and passionate intervention. Or because of David Cameron’s emotional appeals. Or because of Ed Miliband’s brave attempt to take his message directly to voters on the streets.

They won two and a half years ago when the referendum was first announced. Scotland, for reasons best known to itself, doesn’t want to be an independent nation…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Scottish Independence: First Referendum Results Declared

The first results are coming in for the referendum to decide whether Scotland should stay in the UK or become an independent country.

Clackmannanshire was the earliest to declare, with “No” winning 19,036 votes and “Yes” on 16,350 on an 89% turnout.

The northern isles of Orkney and Shetland both also voted against independence.

Counting will carry on through the night, with the final result expected after 06:30 BST (05:30 GMT) on Friday.

In Orkney, “No” won 10,004 votes compared with 4,883 for “Yes” while in Shetland voters rejected independence by 9,951 votes to 5,669…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: After ISIS and the Rotherham Abuse Scandal, I’m Not Surprised Some People Are Turning to Violence

By Nigel Farage

If there’s a feeling that we’re not all equal in the eyes of the law, resentment will be created

With another by-election campaign under way following the sad death of Jim Dobbin, I’m spending the day in Rochdale with the Ukip candidate John Bickley. And I’m struck that while normally these campaigns are fought on issues such as local hospitals, housing developments, or the previous incumbent having done something daft, this one is different.

In Rochdale everyone is talking about child grooming and what went wrong in the local child safe-guarding services. This is the heart of an area where decades of abuse against minors was uncovered.

It was in Rochdale, close to this constituency (Heywood and Middleton), that a group of men who preyed on underage teenage girls were in 2012 convicted of sex trafficking. In total, 47 girls were identified as victims, and the men involved were all of Pakistani heritage (apart from one man from Afghanistan), and all from Muslim backgrounds. In contrast, the girls were all from poor, white, working-class backgrounds…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Memo to the BBC: The ‘Far Right’ Did Not Decapitate David Haines Nor Rape 1400 Girls in Rotherham

by James Delingpole

Here is the news: in Australia, a plot by Islamic State sympathisers to capture random members of the public and chop their heads off has been foiled by security services; in Syria, two Americans and a British hostage have been beheaded by an Islamist nicknamed Jihadi John — and another innocent Briton (a taxi driver captured while working for an aid convoy) has been told he is next on the list; across Britain, in the aftermath of the Rotherham enquiry, more and more evidence is emerging that in towns and cities all over the country mostly underage white girls have been systematically groomed, raped and trafficked by organised Muslim gangs, with the complicity of local government authorities, charity workers, police officers and the broader Muslim community.

Luckily, thanks to the BBC, we know what the real problem is here. It is, of course, our old friends, “Islamophobia” and “the spectre of a far right” backlash…

[Reader comment by pgtipsster on 18 September 2014.]

The BBC are the organisation that happily employed Jimmy Savile for decades and went the extra mile to squash any attempt at exposing his grooming of underage girls.

Why on earth would they be critical of the Rotherham rape gangs?

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: New Plans Revealed for Dudley Mosque on Hall Street Site

NEW plans have been revealed for a new mosque in Dudley on the controversial Hall Street site.

Previous plans for the site faced strong opposition from protestors who said the building would dominate the Dudley skyline, it sparked violent demonstrations in the town from the English Defence League in 2010.

The new design has been developed after consultation with town planners and features a shorter minaret, down from 109 feet to 61 feet, and the floor area of the building has been cut by 16 per cent…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Vote Quirk Gives Sweden Democrats Extra Seats

The Sweden Democrats, who became the third largest party in Sunday’s election, have learned they will get two more seats than expected due to a quirk in the country’s election system.

The nationalist party is already seen to have been the biggest winner in an election that pushed Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s centre-right coalition from government and left Social Democrat head Stefan Löfven struggling to build a new stable coalition.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Morocco Prepares Tougher Law Against Terrorism

New law allows prosecution of crimes outside Morocco

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 18 — Morocco is preparing an anti-terrorism law that is tougher and more restrictive than one passed after the Casablanca bombings in 2003. The new law would introduce penalties for those who participate in jihadist groups outside national borders, eliminating territorial limitations on criminal offenses deemed related to terrorism. The bill makes reference to the Islamic State, and is seen to address the growing numbers of Moroccans leaving the country to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The measure would punish acts of terrorism undertaken either as an individual or as part of a group, with sentences of up to 15 years. Even participation in training for reaching areas of ISIS fighting would become a crime. The bill will be examined by the government at its next cabinet meeting, according to the site H24infos.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Airlines Suspend Flights to Yemeni Capital as Security Worsens

SANAA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Foreign airlines suspended flights to Sanaa International Airport for 24 hours due to conflicts between the army and Shiite Houthi rebels in the Yemeni capital, the official Saba news agency reported Thursday night.

“The foreign airlines decided to suspend flights to Sanaa for 24 hours due to the development in the capital,” Saba quoted the civil aviation authority as saying…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraq: 13 Killed in Bomb Attacks in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — At least 13 people were killed in two suicide bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Thursday evening, a police source said.

A suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden car into a checkpoint and blew it up near the entrance to Al-adala Camp in kadhimiyah district in northern Baghdad, leaving at least 12 people killed and 30 others injured, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraq: British Hostage John Cantlie Paraded by ISIL in Video

Change of tactics by Islamic State terrorists as captured photojournalist is filmed suggesting that the Government should negotiate with them

A third British hostage has been paraded by Isil extremists as the terrorist organisation appeared on Thursday night to adopt new tactics in its attempts to undermine the Government.

In a video posted online John Cantlie, a photojournalist and war correspondent who has worked for several national newspapers, says that he has been “abandoned” by Britain and appeals for the Government to “negotiate” with his captors…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

IS Captures 21 Kurdish Towns in Northern Syria

DAMASCUS, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — The Islamic State (IS) has seized control of 21 villages in the countryside of a Kurdish- dominated city in the northern province of Aleppo, amid fears and warning by the exiled opposition of possible massacres there, the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday.

Over the past 24 hours, IS has succeeded to capture the towns in the countryside of the predominantly Kurdish city of Ain al- Arab, said the Observatory, adding that the IS fighters were using tanks and artillery fire in their wide-scale offensive that aimed at capturing Ain al-Arab…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

IS ‘Mafia’ Cash Flow Poses Difficult Target for West — Kuwait Accused of Allowing Cash Flow to Jihadists

WASHINGTON: Western governments are facing an uphill battle trying to squeeze the finances of Islamic State jihadists, as the extremists operate like a “mafia” in territory under their control in Syria and Iraq, experts said Wednesday. Unlike the Al-Qaeda network, which has relied almost exclusively on private donations, the IS group holds a large area in Syria and Iraq that allows it to generate cash from extortion, kidnapping and smuggling of both oil and antiquities, analysts said.

As a result, the group’s funding presents a much more difficult target for Western sanctions compared to Al-Qaeda’s finances, said Evan Jendruck, an analyst at IHS Jane’s consultancy. A sanctions regime of more than 160 countries eventually succeeded in limiting Al-Qaeda’s ability to move funds through charities and banks, he said, but IS has its own sources of cash in areas under its grip. “While such robust sanctions could somewhat limit the follow of funds to IS from outside Iraq and Syria, the groups organic funding inside its areas of control-oil fields, criminal networks, smuggling-are very difficult to curtail,” Jendruck said.

Even conservative estimates portray IS as the world’s richest extremist organization, raking in at least a million dollars a day. US officials acknowledge the group has plenty of cash and is relentless about securing it. “It is flush with cash from a variety of illicit activities such as extortion, kidnapping, robberies, and the like,” said a US intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The group is “merciless in shaking down local businesses for cash and routinely forces drivers on roads under its control to pay a tax,” the official said. “Its cash-raising activities resemble those of a mafia-like organization.” IS has allegedly extracted multi-million dollar ransoms from some European governments after taking several reporters hostage, despite Washington’s appeals not to pay off the militants. The French government has denied making ransom payments. Although IS is awash in cash, reports that the group got a hold of hundreds of millions of dollars from banks in Mosul are overstated and inaccurate, experts said…

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

ISIS Controls Areas With 60 Oil Wells, Israeli Source

Iraqi source,group makes 600,000 dlr a day from northern wells

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV/BAGHDAD/BEIRUT, SEPTEMBER 18 — ISIS has “extraordinary economic resources” enabling it to gain strength in vast areas of Syria and Iraq, forging alliances with local tribes and other groups, according to an Israeli source quoted by Haaretz on Thursday. The source said ISIS controls areas with 60 active oil wells, providing revenues varying from three to six million dollars a day.

The source confirmed that Israel has passed on intelligence reports to the US.

According to Iraqi sources, ISIS makes 600,000 dollars a day from illegal exports of oil extracted from wells conquered last June in the northern part of Iraq’s Diyala province. The allegation was made Thursday by the mayor of a city in the region in an interview to local papers. The jihadists, said the mayor of Khalis, Oday al Khadran, extract oil from wells in the region of Himrin and smuggle it into Syria and Turkey.

“ISIS fills about 100 tankers with oil a day and delivers it to ruthless retailers in Mosul or Syria”, said Khadran. “Here it is sold to foreign mediators at some 4,000 dollars for each tanker, some 80% less than market prices in Europe”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kuwait: Is Members Arrested in Kuwait, Warrants Issued for Others

Suspects accused of funding, promoting, fighting with radical group

Local dailies’ reports contradicted about the exact number of Islamic State-affiliated people so far detained by security forces. However, these numbers vary between four and eleven suspects. In confirmation that IS members do exist in Kuwait, local daily Al-Jarida said that the public prosecution has detained seven suspects accused in two separate cases of joining IS, said security sources, noting that travel restrictions and warrants were also issued for thirteen others (ten citizens and three bedoons) who were mentioned while interrogating the detained suspects.

In this regard, judicial sources said that the suspects were detained for ten days at the central prison and explained that the first case involved a citizen and a bedoon who were accused of distributing leaflets and an Egyptian working in a printing press where the leaflets were printed.

The second case includes four suspects — three citizens and a bedoon accused of funding IS by transferring over KD 14,000 to Syria. The suspects confessed that they were in contact with someone who made fatwas on whom to recruit and that they did nothing illegal in Kuwait except ‘wait for the Islamic Caliphate’.

Meanwhile, Al-Anbaa said that state security referred four suspects (two citizens and two bedoons) to the public prosecutor, who were then referred to the central prison for 21 days pending further investigations. Al-Rai said that the state security has referred eleven suspects belonging to various nationalities to the public prosecution.

Notably, three of the suspects were accused of printing hundreds of leaflets calling for and promoting terrorist ideology that undermines basic structures in the country, calling for changing the regime by force and accusing regime leaders of being infidels, calling for joining an organization that calls for accusing the Kuwaiti society of being an infidel one and joining an internationally banned organization.

Precautionary measures

Earlier reports had indicated that the Ministry of Interior is taking precautionary measures to prevent Islamic State (IS) supporters from infiltrating or operating in Kuwait, and to investigate residents who might support the radical Islamic group. Security officials are also coordinating with Saudi security and intelligence to exchange information and lists of wanted people.

According to unnamed sources quoted in local Arabic press, there was a strict surveillance recently set up to prevent GCC nationals returning from Turkey and Syria from entering Kuwait over suspicions of being ISIL members. “Eight hundred non-Kuwaitis who had been on a list of IS members were banned from entering Kuwait and were immediately deported on arrival at Kuwait Airport,” said the sources, noting that fingerprints of both Arabs and foreigners suspected of belonging to IS were investigated, identified and then deported.

Additionally, under the supervision of the public prosecution, passengers traveling to Turkey, Syria or Iraq were banned from carrying more than KD 3,000. Kuwait’s state security are also fully alert and are closely monitoring all suspected IS supporters in Kuwait and have so far traced over 30 of them. “Yet, there are more birds to catch,” said a source quoted in the Arabic press without being named.

One of the recently arrested individuals has provided extensive information about various people within Kuwait supporting the Iraq and Syria-based terrorist organization. Security forces are also closely watching IS supporters movements, especially in Jahra where many of them dwell and have been ideologically influenced by citizen Abdul Mohsen Th. (AKA: Abu Jandal), who lives in the same area, is currently fighting with IS in Dier Ezzor, Syria and has a great influence over his fans and followers.

‘The Lion’

According to the security sources, Abu Jandal, who had been seen in many videos while holding a knife behind a kneeling person and taking part in the operations, is a Kuwaiti citizen in his thirties from Jahra. Affected by Jihadist ideology, he left to fight in Syria where he joined IS and is considered its second ‘general’ after Abu Atheer Al-Halabi.

He was the leader of the Knights Battalion in the Syrian area of Al-Hasakah before he left to fight in Iraq. Abu Jandal, dubbed ‘The Lion’, has repeatedly criticized clergymen Shafi Al-Ajmi and Al-Ar’our through his Twitter account for their condemnation of killings committed in Syria.

According to security information, Abu Jandal married an Iraqi Jihadist and has a baby boy named Jandal. He is an IS leader and has been in many photos while cooking for the group members who considered this as modesty from their leader.

Cleric Shafi Al-Ajmi said that the international coalition against ISL would harm all believers and protect IS for a while. “The greatest disorder our region is witnessing is this so-called international coalition against ISIL because it targets uprooting all good ‘trees’ and replace them with evil ones….all scholars must meet to discuss this crisis before being victimized as sheep attacked by wolves,” he warned.

—Al-Jarida, Al-Anbaa and Al-Rai

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Kuwaiti Who Eats Animals Alive!

By Muna Al-Fuzai

If you are an animal lover, this article should be important to you. It seems that we are not only cursed with maniacs who behead others, but some here use animals to feed their sick desire for blood and pleasure.

It was indeed very disturbing to see pictures on social media showing a Kuwaiti man tearing live animals apart with his teeth and smiling.

Other images show his white T-shirt with blood on it, yet he is happily smiling as if he just landed a victory.

This crazy man has made it a hobby to record his crimes against these poor animals including cats and dogs that fall into his hands. I would call this man an assassin.

Viewers were freaked out by this man’s actions and the police are looking for him.

Kuwait is small and this man’s face is very clear, and yet the police are still looking for him. I know some would jump up and say, “Look around and see how many people are being killed every day”, but the fact that humans die every day is not an excuse to take the same ugly action against animals just because it is appealing to some.

Arab media encouraged such behavior last year when a talent show made a mistake by hosting a man who ate live animals on air. That man was described as deranged by some angry bloggers then.

The judges at the show sat and watched this scary crime and even made silly and stupid comments over why he should not add salt over these animals. This shows how Arab media sometimes becomes a tool of ignorance instead of entertainment and education. In Kuwait, we have a few animal rights groups, but these groups need support by the government to help them carry on their mission.

We need awareness campaigns to support these groups, and in this case, their intervention is essential to help find this man, stop him and save other animals who might be next in line waiting for their sad end under his teeth.

Animals’ rights are no less and must be taken into consideration. I don’t know where the animal rights law is on this and if it is locked up somewhere, but I hope animal rights groups will respond.

China has issued a law punishing people who eat dogs or cats by 15 days in jail. This man should be punished as well.

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

New Islamic State Video Features British Hostage as Group Spokesman

New ISIS Video Features British Hostage, John Cantlie, as Spokesman

The segment is a sharp departure from the Islamic State’s recent grisly videos showing a black-clad executioner beheading Western hostages in the desert, which helped galvanize international support for wider military action against the group.

The new video takes direct aim at a Western audience, and particularly Americans. It features a British hostage, John Cantlie, a journalist who speaks in tones reminiscent of prime-time news. Seated alone at a table in the familiar orange jumpsuit, he promises to explain the Islamic State and persuade viewers that the latest war effort by the United States and its allies would end as badly as their previous interventions in the Middle East.

“Join me for the next few programs, and I think you may be surprised at what you learn,” he said.

ISIS’ Goals and Tactics WorldwideSome background on goals, tactics and the potential long-term threat to the United States from the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Analysts said that the shift in tone from the previous videos sought to gain maximum exposure and showed how attuned the group is to Western sensibilities in crafting its message.

“They are masters at getting attention, and this is a masterstroke,” said William McCants, a scholar of militant Islam at the Brookings Institution. “Diabolical is the word, just evil genius.”

The new video is the latest in a series of English-language hostage videos by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that have tried to shape the international response to its shocking brutality and rapid expansion in Syria and Iraq.

The 3-minute, 21-second video, called “Lend Me Your Ears,” begins with Mr. Cantlie introducing himself and anticipating those who would dismiss his statement as coerced.

“Now, I know what you are thinking. ‘He is only doing this because he is a prisoner, he’s got a gun at his head,’ “ he says, pointing a finger at his temple.

Appearing tired and under stress, he acknowledges that he is a prisoner and says that since he has been “abandoned” by his government, he has “nothing to lose” by making the video…

[Return to headlines]

‘Now it’s Our Turn to Suffer’ Pope Tells Jewish Head

World Jewish Congress condemns persecution of Christians

(ANSA) — Rome, September 18 — Pope Francis told Ronald S. Lauder, the leader of the World Jewish Congress, that “now it’s our turn to suffer” at a meeting on Wednesday at the Vatican, Lauder said Thursday. Lauder said the pope said to him: “in the world there is still great suffering. First it was your turn. Now it’s our turn”. Francis received a delegation of 40 world Jewish leaders in the Vatican on Wednesday in honor of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

Lauder also spoke out against the persecution of Christians.

“First the Jews suffered attacks and the world remained in silence,” Lauder said.

“Now the Christians are being annihilated and again the world is not saying much. Why doesn’t the world react? “The World Jewish Congress and the pope agree about condemning the savage attacks against Christians in the Middle East and other regions of the world”. The American businessman added that the pope said at the meeting that Christians and Jews should pray together for world peace.

He added that he wanted to visit the thousands of refugees, including many Christians, who have arrived in Jordan to escape persecution in Syria and Iraq.

“I’ll take my prayers to them,” Lauder said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

For Beijing, Scottish Independence “Threatens Unity and Stability”

The Global Times comes out against today’s vote because of its “potential impact on developments in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.” For the Chinese paper, “China cannot afford to play this British game”.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Scottish independence is “seen as a disruptive force that threatens unity and stability, to be condemned,” this according to an editorial in The Global Times that appeared on the day 4 million Scottish voters are set to cast their ballot to decide whether to separate from the United Kingdom after more than 300 years.

The thrust of the opinion is not its rejection of Scottish independence, but its rejection of British-style referendums per se. in fact, for The Global Times, the Scottish independence referendum has pushed the union to the cliff’s edge.

If Scotland became independent, David Cameron would go down in history as a “criminal” who presided over a break-up. Conversely, if the bid is rejected, Cameron’s government has to stop the independence movement and prevent its serious consequences.

For the Beijing-based newspaper, the democratic choice of the referendum is like a baby tantrum, warning that “if a child knew it could get milk by crying”, this could became normal behaviour in British politics. Thus, the country would “never have peace”.

Going a step further, the paper clearly indicated not only its support for British union over Scottish independence, but also stressed its rejection of the referendum per se.

Deploying the same terms and expressions that the Chinese communist government often trots out in its propaganda on national unity, the editorial warned of the poll’s potential impact on developments in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, insisting that “With its complex history and ethnic diversity, China cannot afford to play this British game [of independence]”.

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

ASIO Seizes Passports as Melbourne Terror Fears Grow

ASIO has seized the passports of several of the Melbourne relatives and associates of jailed terror cell leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika as it investigates cell members for recruiting local jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Fairfax Media can reveal that two of Benbrika’s relatives, along with his fellow Melbourne terror cell members Ezzit Raad, Fadal Sayadi and Shane Kent — who were jailed in 2009 in connection with a home-grown terrorism plot — have had their passports seized, or request to get a new passport denied, by ASIO…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Queensland ‘Open Mosque Day’ To Better Understanding of Islam

Queensland’s Islamic community will announce an annual Queensland Mosque Day from 2015 to encourage people to learn about the Muslim faith, rather than seeing it through the biased eyes of terrorists.

Mosques in Logan and Holland Park will hold an open session on Friday between 3pm and 4pm, as Brisbane’s Islamic community works to quell fears about their religion in the wake of the terror allegations.

Ali Kadri, a spokesman for the Holland Park and Logan Islamic communities said he would announce plans on Friday to make the open sessions a Queensland-wide event from next year…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

EU Recognizes Migrant Diasporas as Partners in Development

EC to support diaspora organizations to help countries of origin

(ANSAmed) — LYON, SEPTEMBER 17 — The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday ruled to include programmes in its development policy to support immigrant associations that help non-European countries of origin.

The decision marks official acknowledgment that non-European migrants entering the EU can make crucial contributions to the development of territories from which they come. “The diaspora is a key player, in which we provide support related to the common goal of maximizing the impact of migration on development,” said Barbara Rossi, programme manager at the EC Employment Unit, dealing with social inclusion and migration.

“Associations created by migrants are many, but for the most part are voluntary, and therefore tend to be unstructured and heterogeneous”.

“They also have problems of resources, both human and economic, and of being representative, because not being exhaustive by nature, they are struggling to be recognized as legitimate representatives of the diaspora,” Rossi added.

European programmes thus aim to help on several fronts, from the ‘mapping’ of individuals with expertise relevant to the identification of areas where structured commitment can be put in place.

“We do not necessarily push for them to return, but rather we help them to make a contribution to the development of their country — (both) purely economic, as in the case of remittances and investments, and also social, with the transfer of skills, technologies, values and attitudes,” said Rossi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Highest Refugee Influx in 20 Years

With asylum numbers rising in August and September, immigration services predict that 2014 will see the highest flow of refugees since the Bosnian War.

Around 2000 asylum seekers, mainly refugees escaping from the war in Syria, came to Denmark in August this year, TV2 News reports.

In September, around 100 to 140 new refugees have come to the country every day. The number may end up on 3000 asylum seekers by the end of the month.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Immigration Agents: ISIS May Exploit America’s Weakened Immigration System to Attack U.S.

Kenneth Palinkas, the head of the union that represents more 12,000 officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) bureau, says that terrorists from ISIS and other extremists are likely to try to exploit the immigration system that President Barack Obama has systematically weakened for over the past several years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Catholic University Cancels Seminar on Homosexuality After Islamist Threats

The Sanata Dharma (Usd) psychology department was to hold a meeting on the theme: “LGBTI: We are different, we are unique and we are One”. The local branch of the Islamic Society Forum forced it to be cancelled because it “dishonors Islam.” Islamic leader claims “deviant” sexual behavior is a “contagious virus”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Giving into Islamic extremists, the Catholic University of Sanata Dharma (USD) in Yogyakarta, in the province of Central Java, has canceled a seminar on “different” sexual orientations, including homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender . The meeting promoted by the USD Faculty of Psychology on theme of the seminar “LGBTI: We are different, we are unique and we are One” was canceled in a hurry last night. Yesterday, the Islamic Society Forum (FUI) is the meeting went ahead its members would have “infiltrated” it to stop a discussion that would have “dishonored Islam”.

Johanes Eka Priyatna, USD dean, confirmed the cancellation of the seminar, after a closed-door meeting with the police chief, professors and members of the student council.

Among Indonesian cities, Yogyakarta has always stood out as the most “tolerant” and home to dozens of universities of different inspirations. However, in recent years it has registered incidents of sectarian intolerance, the work of local Muslim extremist groups that have targeted the local Catholic and Protestant communities.

Among the many episodes, there was the attack on the Catholic leader Julius Felicianus last May; a week later, the extremists targeted a “house of prayer” belonging to a Protestant community; and again, at the end of June unidentified persons attacked the parish of the Sacred Heart shouting “Allah is great”.

Muhammad Fuad, head of the local branch of FUI, welcomed the cancellation of the seminar. He accuses the Catholic University of fomenting deviant sexual practices, which are not accepted by the people of Indonesia. “Deviant sexual behaviors are contagious — says the Islamic leader — and if we do not stop this ‘virus’, it is sure that one day gays and lesbians will claim equal rights and ask to see same-sex marriage recognized.”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, where Catholics are 3 per cent of the population, is becoming as one of the main centres of Islamic activism in the Asia-Pacific region. As AsiaNews recently reported, fundamentalist movements and local Muslim leaders have found inspiration in the exploits of Sunni fighters in Syria and Iraq and plan to support the struggle for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, even in Asia.

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

9 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/18/2014

  1. The distraction was Glasgow as the consolation prize but they could not allow Edinburgh to fall to Nationalism – this was a RIGGED defeat for the British peoples there is no security in the false and foolish comfort that the UK is still intact.

    The death rattle of the British peoples that echoed in the hollow Scottish referendum will be heard all over the World.

      • You made the wrong inference that the comment supported one side or the other, read it again and you will see that what it says is democracy and all the British peoples are the losers.

        Another point of view could be that Scotland was decapitated by the British Westminster Caliphate – does that observation make this Scots Rouge a double sore loser?

        • Well, I’d say it could be read as I did, but let’s not fall out over it. Pretty sure the election wasn’t rigged though; the UK hasn’t fallen that far, or there wouldn’t be the current investigation into Tower Hamlets.

          • Theodore Dalrymple is akin to a progressive National Health Service Doctor of Tyranny that prescribes the sectioning of the entire people of Scotland in the welfare dependency of constitutional indenture.

            Theodore Dalrymple’s better together collective socialisation of the Scots is the very progressive political projection that subjugates self determination and the spirit of free enterprise in the Scots political identity. That progressive conservative projection is the very oppressor that has fettered conservatism in Scotland.

            Alex Salmond has now resigned theoretically Gordon Brown could be the next First Minister of Scotland, a throne built on the progressive constitutional rubble.

            How would Theodore Dalrymple in his ego of progressive conservative Kingmaker analyse that?

  2. Saint George slaying the dragon, but the stupid conservative are over the hills and far away chasing projected prejudices.

    • Thanks to Theodore Dalrymple’s article the over the hills and far away location was Venezuela the projected dragon they were chasing was the ghost of Hugo Chavez. Meanwhile somewhere over the progressive rainbow in Scotland …

  3. Four possible terrorists arrested at texas border look what open borders gets you and to think that liberal rag TIME supports Open Borders and disarmed citizens just like Der Fuhrer Obama and his fellow political hacks want

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