Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/6/2015

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who deliberately crashed a Germanwings jetliner in the Alps back in March, is said to have practiced his suicidal descent before the final crash. According to French authorities, he made a trial run of the same technique on a flight into Barcelona earlier the same day.

In other news, the Turkish coast guard rescued more than 600 migrants, mostly from Syria, who were trying to cross the Aegean in rubber boats. Meanwhile, Italian authorities rescued 98 starving migrants off the coast of Sicily.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Papa Whiskey, 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
» Central Bankers Reconsider Inflation Targets They Can’t Hit
» Greece to Give Jobs Back to 4,000 State Employees
» Military Site’s Forecast for 2025: Economic Collapse Will Lead to Massive 78% Depopulation in America
» This is Why They Are Militarizing: ‘The World Will Become Baltimore When People Realize They Cannot Acquire Basic Resources’
» When Will Apple Stop Screwing the US Economy?
» AFDI Muhammad Cartoon Winner Bosch Fawstin Goes Unto Hiding
» After Weeklong Controversy, Charlie Hebdo Receives Pen Award at Literary Gala in NYC
» Alysin Camerota Will Never be Ready for Prime Time
» Astronomers Find Galaxy 13.1 Billion Light-Years Away
» Challenging Sharia Law Means Challenging Islam as a Religion
» Congressman Warns Military About ‘Intentionally Practicing War Against States’
» Creeps Embrace a New Tool: Peeping Drones
» Dallas Morning News Column Condemning Pam Geller Uses Pic of Muslims Praising Martyrdom of #garlandshooting Terrorist
» Dim-Itude or Dhimmitude, We Have a Crisis
» Douglas Athas, Garland Mayor, Blasts Pamela Geller: She ‘Invited an Incendiary Reaction’
» Dutch Pol Who Spoke at Muhammad Cartoon Contest Warns of More Attacks on US Soil
» Exclusive — Pamela Geller: Cowardly Conservatives ‘Accommodate Leftist Media’ By Attacking Draw Muhammad Contest
» Garland, Texas Foiled First ISIS Attack on American Soil
» Google’s Military Robot Army Soon Ready for Terminator Assault on Humanity
» ‘Hate Group’ Blamed for ISIS Attack
» Holding the Voters in Contempt
» ISIS Claims Texas Attack Via Official Radio Station
» ISIS Claims Credit for Garland Shooting
» ISIS Posts Warning: “We Have 71 Trained Soldiers in 15 States” — Names 5 Targets
» ISIS Jihadi Linked to Garland Attack Has Long History as Hacker
» Islamic State Claims Garland Attack; White House Says Possible Link Being Investigated
» Islamo-Non-Phobia, And the Value of Defiance
» Islamic State on Pamela Geller: “We Will Send All Our Lions to Achieve Her Slaughter”
» Jihadist Boasts of ‘Trained ISIS Soldiers’ In U.S.
» Liberals on Radical Islam
» NYPD Assessing Islamic State Threat to Pamela Geller
» NYT Reporter: ‘Free Speech Aside, ‘ Why Would Anyone Hold a Conference Critical of Islam?
» Pluto-Bound Craft Hunts for Hazardous Moons
» Poster for Free-Speech Forum Sets Off Debate at University of Minnesota
» Purported ISIS Warning Claims Terror Cells in Place in 15 States
» Take it Down
» Taya Kyle: Texas Attack Just One of Many That Are Thwarted
» Texas Attacker Tweeted With Overseas Terrorists
» Texas Attacker Left Trail of Extremist Ideas on Twitter
» Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty
» When the Elites Wage War on America, This is How They Will Do it
» WWII Veteran, 95, Fends Off Would-be Manchester Robber With Mighty Cane
Europe and the EU
» Brussels Asks Poland to Comply With Energy Efficiency Law
» Corruption: Spain: Greece and Cyprus the Top in Europe
» Crash Co-Pilot Did ‘Trial Run’ of Fatal Dive
» Denmark Clears the Way for Cashless Society
» EU States Let Ex-Greek Govts ‘Cheat’ With Accounts, Prodi
» Fashionable Vikings Loved Colours, Fur, And Silk
» France: Unanimous Vote, UMP to be Named ‘Les Républicains’
» French Officials: German Co-Pilot Practiced Crash Descent
» French Parliament Approves Sweeping Surveillance Law
» Geert Wilders: I Won’t Stop Warning the West About Islam
» Germany: Police Grab Four in Raids on Far-Right Group
» Greece: Gov’t Eyeing Special Tax for 500 Richest Families
» Italy Mulling Arbitration Over Marines Dispute With India
» Norway: Black Metal Murder to be Ridley Scott Film
» Stage Set for Schengen Visa Waiver for Emiratis
» Sweden: Muslims Report Syrian Orthodox Church Over Nazi Reference
» Bosnian Police Launch Raids Against Islamic Extremism
Mediterranean Union
» EU and Middle-East Building Bridges Through Science Diplomacy
Middle East
» Iran Says Crew of Seized Maersk Vessel Are ‘Free’
» Islamic State Opens 5-Star Resort in Iraq
» Largely Ineffective Sanctions Against Iran
» Never Mind Oil, Iran’s About to Shake the World Pistachio Market
» New Saudi Power Structure to Boost Fight Against Al Qaeda and Iran
» Report: 2.2 Million Iraqis Displaced by Islamic State Group
» Tensions Brew in Jordan Over Muslim Brotherhood Rift
» USA Offers $20 Million Reward for Information About 4 ISIS Leaders
» The Quickly Forgotten Maidan Gives Way to Business
South Asia
» Afghan Female ‘Top Gun’ Breaks Gender Barrier
» Can Nepal’s Temples be Saved?
» Four Sentenced to Death in Kabul Lynching Case
» Islamists in Pakistan Hold in Absentia Funeral for Garland Shooters
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Al Shabaab Strategic Objectives and Operational Aims in Kenya: Prelude to the Deep Jihad in Eastern Africa
» South Africa: Zuma Wanted Charges Dropped Because Corruption is a Western Thing
Latin America
» State Department Warning: Mexican State and Local Police Capabilities ‘Nonexistent’
» +191.5% Asylum Seekers in Germany in March
» ‘EU Must Protect Rights of Deported Migrants’
» Increase in Illegal Immigrants Crossing Italian Border
» Italy Rescues 98 Starving Migrants in Mediterranean
» Obama’s Economic Disaster
» Sweden: Pig Farm Plan to Push Away Muslim Immigrants
» Turkish Coastguard Rescues 636 People
Culture Wars
» Searching for “Marriage” In the Fourteenth Amendment
» Social Justice Sociologist Denounces “Bedtime Reading Privilege”
» Why Do Kids Repel God?
» The Erosion of Free Speech

Central Bankers Reconsider Inflation Targets They Can’t Hit

A quarter of a century since New Zealand opened the era of inflation targeting, policy makers from the U.S., euro area, U.K. and Japan are all undershooting their consumer-price goals. Of the Group of Seven, only Canada is currently meeting its mandate.

Rather than lowering their sights to make things easier, the misses are fanning calls for targets to be increased from the 2 percent most aim for to perhaps as high as 4 percent.

While a similar idea was pitched five years ago by International Monetary Fund economists led by Olivier Blanchard, and endorsed by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, this time around it may be the central-banking community itself proposing a rethink.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben S. Bernanke last month suggested he would be open to an increase in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 2 percent goal, saying there is nothing “magical” about that number.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece to Give Jobs Back to 4,000 State Employees

Laid off two years ago; Parliament approves measure

ATHENS — The Greek parliament on Wednesday approved a move to rehire about 4,000 state employees that had been laid off over the past two years as part of austerity measures imposed by international agreements. State employees, technical institute teachers, janitors and local police will be rehired.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Military Site’s Forecast for 2025: Economic Collapse Will Lead to Massive 78% Depopulation in America

With economic malaise on the horizon and any number of triggers ready to set things into motion, military site recently posted their global forecast for 2025. The site, rumored to be a front for various alphabet intelligence agencies, says that America will soon see a large reverse migration as those who came here seeking riches and safety will emigrate out of the country following a serious, multi-year crisis.

According to the report the economy of the United States will dwindle from a GDP of $17.4 trillion today to just over $800 billion in the next 10 years — a decline of about 95% with respect to the goods and services produced within our own borders. Such a decline would be staggering, but it’s not the most ominous aspect of the report.

According to Deagel, the real concern is the adverse effects on our population, which is currently just under 319 million. If the forecast, which does not include the possibility of war or widespread pandemic in its analysis, is accurate then America may experience an event so massive that some 78% of our population would be wiped out, leaving just 68 million people living on American soil by 2025.

[Comment: This is the elitists wet dream — using an economic collapse to depopulate USA. Removing patriotic opposition and eliminating the useless eaters and those “bitter people clinging to their guns”. A strong Constitutional Republic is an impediment to the new Socialist (Communist) World Order. This is why America is under economic attack from within, via treasonous policies. The economic take down of the USA is the real job of comrade sotero.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

This is Why They Are Militarizing: ‘The World Will Become Baltimore When People Realize They Cannot Acquire Basic Resources’

No matter the negative economic news or weak corporate earnings, stock markets continue to reach news highs and mainstream media pundits tow the party line.

But how is this possible, given that tens of millions are out of the workforce, on food stamps and completely broke?

The answer, according to Gregory Mannarino, is quite simple. The world’s central banks and governments have been left with no other option. They are throwing absolutely everything they can at the problem in an effort to keep the system propped up for as long as possible.

But as Mannarino notes in his recent interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog, it’s nothing more than a setup that will leave most of the world’s population, especially the middle class in first-world countries, totally wiped out and impoverished.

The end result will be nothing short of widespread civil unrest, violence and bloodshed as people begin to realize they have nothing left and have no ability to acquire even the most basic of essential resources.

This is where we are now… something has to give… we continue to see more bad economic news being spewed even out of the mainstream but the stock market keeps going up… housing keeps going up.

This is a setup for a massive downside move with asset prices which have been distorted and continue to be by world central banks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

When Will Apple Stop Screwing the US Economy?

It’s like an unintended Marshall Plan for the 21st Century. The US is transferring $100B a year to three Asian economies, creating over a million jobs and helping them accelerate up the high-tech manufacturing ladder so that US jobs are now in jeopardy. In other words, the standard complaints about corporate America off-shoring production. But there’s a twist: the high-tech competitive advantage that we are losing has bigger, costlier consequences.

“Hold on a minute!” you might say. Assume that handing a $100B+ high-tech industry to Asia can’t possibly be in the US’s long-term economic interest. Why blame Apple? For starters, because Apple started the hollowing out of American semiconductor dominance and made certain that the critical jobs and manufacturing went offshore. Secondly, with 50% of the US smartphone market, Apple is the only company which can make an impact, but it won’t because that means losing $5 per phone.

Apple Undermining US Manufacturing

Nine years, a trillion dollars in sales, and almost no taxes paid. That’s just the starting point for wondering about Apple’s actual contribution to the US economy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

AFDI Muhammad Cartoon Winner Bosch Fawstin Goes Unto Hiding

By Pamela Geller

And still the media cowards attack us fiercely (because they know we won’t chop their heads off) and refuse to run the winning cartoon.

“Muhammad Cartoon Contest Winner Retreats Into Hiding,” By Nathan Koppel, Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2015

Man says he faces death threats after winning grand prize for drawing of prophet

As authorities continue to investigate an attempted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Texas on Sunday, the winner of the event has retreated into hiding, saying he faces persistent death threats.

Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2015

in Texas on Sunday, the winner of the event has retreated into hiding, saying he faces persistent death threats.

Bosch Fawstin netted $12,500 for winning the contest’s grand prize as well as the “People’s Choice Award” for his drawing depicting Muhammad wielding a sword and saying, “you can’t draw me!”

In an interview on Tuesday, the cartoonist was vague about his whereabouts, saying only that he lives somewhere in the U.S.

“I don’t want to say where,” Mr. Fawstin said, also declining to say his age. “There are Muslims out there who want to kill me.”

Mr. Fawstin said he was raised by Albanian Muslim parents in the Bronx but eventually renounced his faith. He said the 9/11 terrorist attacks motivated him to use his art to denounce Islamic extremism.

He has drawn a comic book called “Pigman,” featuring a hero who battles “pigotry” and his arch nemesis, SuperJihad. He said he has also drawn several dozen cartoon renderings of the Islamic prophet.

“I do it because we have been told we can’t,” he said. “I’m not just provoking people for the hell of it.…Provocation is freedom of speech—it’s not separate from it.”


Days before the shooting, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent a joint bulletin to law-enforcement agencies, warning that while authorities didn’t know of any specific threats tied to the contest, they were concerned that it could “prompt violent extremist reaction”.

The bulletin said authorities were especially concerned about acts targeting contest participants, who may not understand the degree to which they could be in danger, in the days and weeks following the event.

[The pen may be mightier than the sword, but best have both. And let no one doubt that, as both a cartoonist and a pistolero, I do. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

After Weeklong Controversy, Charlie Hebdo Receives Pen Award at Literary Gala in NYC

NEW YORK — This year’s PEN American Center gala was a defense of free expression, of Charlie Hebdo and of PEN itself.

Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Roz Chast were among hundreds who gathered Tuesday night at the American Museum of Natural History, where guests of honor included playwright Tom Stoppard, Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova and Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. Hebdo Editor-in-Chief Gerard Biard and critic-essayist Jean-Baptiste Thore accepted the Freedom of Expression Courage Award to a standing ovation that followed a weeklong debate — alternately thoughtful and divisive — over whether the tribute was deserved.

The mood was both celebratory and uneasy, as PEN at times recalled an attorney mounting its closing arguments.

Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose and four other writers scheduled to be table hosts had withdrawn because of objections to what they considered the satirical magazine’s offensive cartoons of Muslims, with Gaiman and Alison Bechdel among those taking their place. More than 200 writers and others in publishing, among them Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Cunningham, signed an open letter saying that for Muslims in “marginalized” communities like France, the Hebdo images “must be seen as being intended to cause further humiliation and suffering.”

[Mariginalized, schmarginalized. Jews in France daren’t even walk the streets with a kippah on lest they come under Muslim attack. The signatories of that letter are defending bullies. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Alysin Camerota Will Never be Ready for Prime Time

In the aftermath of the attempted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas outside of a free speech event, CNN’s Alysin Camerota interviewed the event’s organizer, Pamela Geller. It was clear Camerota is a firm believer in “free speech, ‘but’,” as those on the left interpret the First Amendment. When she spoke about the right of free speech, everyone knew there as a “but” coming.

Those who actually understand and believe in the First Amendment concluded Geller won the argument with Camerota hands down. But Geller didn’t so much win the argument as Camerota showed she had absolutely no idea what parameters of the argument were.

What clearly showed through in the exchange between Geller and Camerota was that the talking head does not understand the difference between “Islam” and “Muslims.” To put it in words even a ditzy CNN info babe can understand, “Islam” is a religion; “Muslims” are people who happen to practise that religion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Astronomers Find Galaxy 13.1 Billion Light-Years Away

Astronomers have spotted a baby blue galaxy that is farther away in space and time than any other galaxy ever seen. It is among the universe’s first generation of galaxies, from approximately 13.1 billion years ago.

Yale and University of California Santa Cruz scientists used three telescopes to spot and calculate the age of the blurry infant galaxy. By measuring how the light has shifted, they determined the galaxy, named EGS-zs8-1, is from about 670 million years after the Big Bang.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Challenging Sharia Law Means Challenging Islam as a Religion

“There are two primary sources of sharia law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Where it has official status, sharia is interpreted by Islamic judges (qadis) with varying responsibilities for the religious leaders (imams). For questions not directly addressed in the primary sources, the application of sharia is extended through consensus of the religious scholars (ulama) thought to embody the consensus of the Muslim Community (ijma). Islamic jurisprudence will also sometimes incorporate analogies from the Quran and Sunnah through qiyas, though Shia jurists prefer reasoning (‘aql) to analogy.”

In order for courts to declare Sharia Law is protected under the First Amendment, shouldn’t there be a rational discussion as to whether or not Islam is even a bona fide religion? I say, yes. When I brought up this argument several years ago, I can’t even begin to describe the vicious emails filled with very personal and in your face death threats. However, that has not deterred me because Islam is a national security threat, not a religion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Congressman Warns Military About ‘Intentionally Practicing War Against States’

U.S. Special Operations Command is preparing to launch a five-month, multi-state exercise across private and public land to prepare Army special forces for threats anywhere in the world. Or at least that’s what the Pentagon would want you to believe. Officials and citizens in Texas, one of the states involved, see something potentially more nefarious in the exercise, dubbed Jade Helm 15. And now Rep. Louie Gohmert is joining them.

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015,” Gohmert said in a Tuesday statement. “This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law. Certainly, I can understand these concerns.”

“When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned,” Gohmert wrote.

The congressman took particular issue with the layout and labels of the Pentagon map for the exercise. “Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution.” Gohmert called on the Pentagon to change the map, the names on the map, and said “the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Creeps Embrace a New Tool: Peeping Drones

It was the blinking lights outside the 10th-story window of her San Jose, California, condo that startled Elsvette Buenaventura from her bed last year. When she drew back the curtain, a small drone hovered a few feet away. In the days that followed, it returned at least three more times.

Such stories have prompted lawmakers in a half-dozen U.S. states to outlaw the use of drones to snoop on people’s homes. More states are set to follow.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dallas Morning News Column Condemning Pam Geller Uses Pic of Muslims Praising Martyrdom of #garlandshooting Terrorist

The Dallas Morning News has published the following column by Wardah Khalid: Pamela Geller and company went looking for trouble. It is needless to say highly critical of Ms. Geller, referring to her as an Islamophobe etc… etc etc. You know the drill.

And what better way to condemn Ms. Geller as an Islamophobe than to praise one her would be killers as a Martyr for Islam.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the far banner in the pic used to illustrate Islam’s deeply offended sentiments praises dead Muslim terrorist Nadir Soofi one of the Garland shooters, for embracing martyrdom in order to curb blasphemy.

Click the screenshot below for an expanded version.

[In coming days we are going to see a lot of these demos — just like in 2006. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Dim-Itude or Dhimmitude, We Have a Crisis

by Diana West

Let’s talk about the Garland, Texas, attack by enforcers of Islamic law. Not the physical attack by two Muslim enforcers of Islamic law, but rather the figurative, hardly less virulent attacks by mainly Christian enforcers of Islamic law on cartoon contest organizer Pamela Geller, free speech activist and head of American Freedom Defense Initiative. Judging by the intensity of these ongoing attacks, Geller, a person of exceptional courage, is also extremely effective.

As with all things jihad, the physical attack on Geller’s day-long Mohammed cartoon event, which temporarily secured a small piece of the public square where Americans who so desired could exercise their speech free from Islamic law, followed patterns as old as Islam and as current as the latest news cycles all over the globe. For this reason, it is hard to imagine anyone was shocked by this characteristically Islamic attempt to kill rebels against Islamic law — surely not in the way that earlier, pre-Islamic generations of Americans might have been shocked, perhaps as late as 1989.

That was the year the great Western powers accepted and accommodated Iran’s “fatwa” — Islamic death sentence — against a British citizen named Salman Rushdie for publishing a novel mullahs in Tehran deemed “blasphemous” to Islam. (“Blasphemy” is a crime punishable by death, according to mainstream Islamic law. Remember Obama’s 2012 admonition: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”) People forget, but not only did Rushdie then enter into a state-provided, hidden security bubble in England, but riots ensued, books were burned, bookstores were bombed, translators and publishers were assaulted and even killed — and that’s in the West, a.k.a (once upon a time) Christendom.

After Rushdie in 1989, after the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, after 16-year-old Ari Halberstam was shot and killed while traveling in a Jewish school bus across the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994 … (this was not the beginning of Islamic jihad in the West, nor, of course, was it the end), there has been a widespread expectation that Muslims will kill for Islam.

For what reason?…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Douglas Athas, Garland Mayor, Blasts Pamela Geller: She ‘Invited an Incendiary Reaction’

The mayor of Garland, Texas, on Tuesday blasted Pamela Geller, the organizer of a free-speech event that was attacked by two gunmen over the weekend, saying her decision to hold a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest “put my police officers, my citizens and others at risk.”

Mayor Douglas Athas said he wished Ms. Geller, co-founder and president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, hadn’t picked Garland as the site for Sunday’s event, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“Certainly in hindsight, we as a community would be better off if she hadn’t,” he told the paper. “Her actions put my police officers, my citizens and others at risk. Her program invited an incendiary reaction. She picked my community, which does not support in any shape, passion or form, her ideology.

“But at the end of the day, we did our jobs,” he added. “We protected her freedoms and her life.”

Garland police killed two gunmen who opened fire Sunday on a security guard outside Ms. Geller’s event, where Dutch politician Geert Wilders was the keynote speaker.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dutch Pol Who Spoke at Muhammad Cartoon Contest Warns of More Attacks on US Soil

By Steven Edwards

America can expect more terror attacks on U.S. soil, because radical Islamists “want to kill or subjugate us all,” warned the Dutch lawmaker who served as the keynote speaker at the Texas event that suspected terrorists tried to ambush Sunday as it showcased cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

In an interview with, Geert Wilders, the firebrand leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands said radical Islam — as an ideology — was relentless in its quest for domination, and so he was not surprised by Sunday’s attack at “Draw the Prophet Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas.

“I always said that what has happened in Europe will also happen in America if you don’t stop Islam,” said Wilders, who had delivered his address and left the building before the attack took place.

“I fear you haven’t seen anything yet,” he told as he was boarding a plane Monday to return to the Netherlands.

It’s not clear whether Wilders was an intended target of the attack, which was cut short when a Texas traffic cop shot and killed the two gunmen before SWAT police teams moved in. The attackers were roommates who had driven 1,100 miles from their home in Phoenix, possibly spurred on by overseas handlers associated with ISIS, according to sources.

Wilders is on the same Al Qaeda hit list that included Stéphane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo who was gunned down alongside 11 others after two French-born Islamic terrorists stormed the offices of the French satirical magazine in January in apparent retaliation for its Prophet Muhammad depictions.


In the speech he delivered, Wilders praised Ronald Reagan as America’s “greatest-ever president,” but criticized President Obama, who he said, like Dutch, European and other U.S. leaders, is “weak” in the face of Islamic extremism.

“In his address to the United Nations in 2012, President Obama said, ‘The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam,’“ Wilders told the audience. “But we say, ‘The future must not belong to Islam!’ Do you hear Mr. Obama? We said, ‘No to Islam!’ “


In an interview with Fox News Channel, AFDI President Pamela Geller spoke of the significance of what occurred in Garland by referring to both the Charlie Hebdo attack and an attack by a radicalized gunman the following month on a free-speech forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, that was featuring the work of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, which has included cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

“We entered a new era…because this wasn’t Paris, this wasn’t Copenhagen, this was Texas,” she said.

[With which, as the saying goes, you had best not mess! — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Exclusive — Pamela Geller: Cowardly Conservatives ‘Accommodate Leftist Media’ By Attacking Draw Muhammad Contest

By Jordan Schachtel

Breitbart News spoke with Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and blogger at, about her recent “Draw Muhammad” free speech art exhibit, which came under attack by Islamic radicals on Sunday in Garland, Texas.

Geller discussed how much of the political left, Islamic totalitarians, and even some high-profile conservatives have attempted to equate her art exhibit with the actions of the AK47-weilding Islamic terrorists, who were shot dead in their botched attempt to commit mass murder. Geller talked about why drawing Muhammad is so controversial within Islam and how the media is capitulating to Sharia law in America, among other issues. Throughout the interview, view a selection of submissions to the “Draw Muhammad” contest.

Breitbart News: Many in the mainstream media have alleged that you crossed the line when it comes to free speech, and that you are responsible for inciting the terror attacks against your “Draw Muhammad” event. How do you respond to these criticisms?

Pamela Geller: We incited no one. We didn’t call for violence, justify violence, or approve of violence. The people who were inciting were the ones saying that we should be killed for exhibiting Muhammad cartoons. There is no automatic or unavoidable response to being insulted. No one is forced to kill for being insulted. Those who choose to do so are responsible for their actions. No one else is.


Breitbart News: Are you planning another free speech event in the near future?

Pamela Geller: Yes, but we have no concrete plans as of yet.

[Winston Churchill: “… never give in, never give in, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Garland, Texas Foiled First ISIS Attack on American Soil

The Free West owes a debt of gratitude to Garland, Texas, where it was proven for once and for all to the outside world: Islamic terrorism can be made to lose face.

But the government with a complicit mainstream media is doing its best to downplay the incredible message Garland sent out to international Islamist terrorism: “Texas shoots back.”

ISIS took responsibility for the foiled attack, but this is the spin the White House is putting on it:

“The case “is still under investigation by the FBI and other members of the intelligence community” to determine if the two assailants had any ties to the IS group, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. (Times of Israel, May 5, 2015)

“So it’s too early to say at this point.”

It’s not too early, Mr. Earnest, it’s too late.

Too late for the administration you work for to try to downplay what happened in Garland Sunday night.

Too late to cover the tracks of an administration which refuses to identify, let alone take a stand against Islamist terrorists who know their very identity is banned from the public lexicon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Google’s Military Robot Army Soon Ready for Terminator Assault on Humanity

(NaturalNews) Google’s android “Terminator” army is nearly ready for its assault on the human race. With tech pioneer Elon Musk (and physicist Stephen Hawking) urgently warning that artificial intelligence (AI) could destroy humanity, Google seems intent on building the android Terminator hardware that AI systems will inhabit. The result, warn an increasing number of experts, could spell the end of humanity and a literal “rise of the robots” as often depicted in sci-fi.

See Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk sign open letter warning of a robot uprising from the Daily Mail. Also read Elon Musk Is Not Alone In His Belief That Robots Will Eventually Want To Kill Us All from Business Insider.

A video compilation by Discovery HD Channel called real life Terminator robots depicts the evolution of creepy human robots and their abilities to throw heavy objects, sneak through the forest, leap onto the roofs of tall buildings, traverse complex terrain and perform combat-optimized movements such as kneeling (to fire a rifle) or doing pushups.

One of the creepiest robots in the video is a mule-sized cargo carrying robot that can pick up heavy cinder blocks with its articulating “arm” and throw them with extreme force against would-be targets.

This is the same robot that was previously shown in Boston Dynamics videos playing “track the human” games where it would stalk a person through the forest. Google acquired Boston Dynamics and seven other robotics companies in late 2013.

Presently, most of these robots are controlled externally and don’t demonstrate any real intelligence. But when combined with the AI systems now rapidly exploding in complexity and intelligence — Ray Kurzweil insists AI systems will be smarter than humans by 2029 — you have the perfect recipe for a walking, thinking, calculating “Terminator” robot that’s ready to commit mass genocide against humanity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Hate Group’ Blamed for ISIS Attack

By Brent Bozell

Liberals claim to be the world’s boldest defenders of freedom of expression, which is, of course, nonsense. Here’s another canard: Liberals also claim to be the most offended against anyone “blaming the victim.” What liberals possess is an ideological system which identifies favored groups as victims and supports squelching the free speech of anyone challenging them.

One of those favored groups is Muslims. Over the weekend, the American Freedom Defense Initiative held the Muhammad cartoon contest in Dallas, obviously a provocative event. But it wasn’t meant to result in two Islamic extremists showing up with assault rifles, later shot to death by police after they opened fire.

Two men identifying as ISIS have now attacked America — in our homeland. So how did the press respond? Liberal journalists deplored AFDI’s exercise of free speech and blamed the targeted victims for the attack.

Within hours, ABC described AFDI as “notorious for its anti-Islamic views.” The shooters were not “notorious,” the shooting targets were. On the Monday evening news, all three “objective” networks were repeating a leftist group’s highly emotional “hate group” designation.

“It happened at a Dallas suburb where a group [that has been] labeled an anti-Islamic hate group was holding a Prophet Mohammad cartoon contest,” announced NBC anchor Lester Holt.

Washington Post national reporter Lindsey Bever wrote a highly negative article labeling AFDI leader Pamela Geller as an “incendiary organizer” of a Muhammad cartoon contest. The Post, too, went to that same highly emotional leftist source for a smear. Geller was labeled the “anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.” In addition, “She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims.”

On MSNBC, Chris Matthews blamed AFDI for “causing” or “provoking” the shooting. NBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann even claimed they were not holding a free-speech event: “These people are not standing by that principle; they’re standing by the principle of hatred for other people. That’s their guiding light. That’s what they do. They are intentionally trying to provoke a response from the Muslim community.”

This spin is obnoxious and offensive. By this standard, MSNBC spends most of its waking hours operating on the “principle of hatred of other people,” people who define themselves as conservatives.

Activists like Geller and her partner Robert Spencer are making a provocative point about how free speech is being uniquely curtailed out of sensitivity to Muslims, who apparently “earn” this sensitivity by being violent or making threats of violence.

[That is exactly the point the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was trying to make when it published the original Muhammad cartoons — ten years ago. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Holding the Voters in Contempt

As Peter Wehner opined in Commentary “the depths of the Clintons’ corruption and avarice is stunning” noting that “The Clintons have known for years that Hillary would run for president—and yet they still undertook this transparently unethical and potentially politically catastrophic action” referring to their foundation’s actions and the “deletion of 30,000 emails, another breathtaking inappropriate, and possibly illegal act.”

The track record of the Democratic Party at this early point in the 2016 campaigns makes one ask why anyone would still support it, its lone candidate, and its representatives. The economy has been in the tank for the whole of the Obama administration, the same one that a Democrat-controlled Congress foisted ObamaCare on the nation without ever having read the bill.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ISIS Claims Texas Attack Via Official Radio Station

GARLAND, United States: ISIS Tuesday claimed responsibility for its first attack on U.S. soil in which two gunmen were killed after opening fire at an event in Texas showcasing cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

“Two of the soldiers of the caliphate executed an attack on an art exhibit in Garland, Texas, and this exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Mohammad,” the jihadi group said.

“We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State (ISIS) do terrible things,” the group announced.

[Two can play at that game. See the Book of Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 2. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

ISIS Claims Credit for Garland Shooting

By Bob Price

GARLAND, Texas — The terrorist group ISIS is claiming credit for Sunday’s attack on the Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest. The group called the gunmen “soldiers of the caliphate” and promised more attacks will follow.

The message was transmitted in an audio statement through the group’s Al Bayan radio station, according to an AP report published on the website for ABC13 News in Houston. It was not clear if the shooters were acting under direct orders from the Islamic State, or if they pledged their allegiance to ISIS and then acted on their own.


“Let anyone who wants to draw the picture of our Prophet to think one thousand times before doing so, because our hands can reach his neck,” an alleged ISIS member posted on social media.

Another post stated, “How are you (Americans) going to live when we create our lone wolves to be nuclear bombs … by God, you can’t match us and in the heart of your homes you will see.”

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

ISIS Posts Warning: “We Have 71 Trained Soldiers in 15 States” — Names 5 Targets

ISIS released a new online threat today on JustPasteIt.

The terrorist group says they will murder Pamela Geller and kill anyone who shields her.

The terrorists also say they have 71 fighters in 15 different states and they 23 have signed up already for missions like the failed Sunday attack in Garland, Texas.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS Jihadi Linked to Garland Attack Has Long History as Hacker

By Eliott C. McLaughlin

Before becoming a law enforcement focus in the attack on a Garland, Texas, cartoon contest, Junaid Hussain went by the cyber pseudonym, “TriCk.”

Tweets between Hussain and one of the gunmen have lent credence to the ISIS claim that it was responsible for the attack, though outside of Hussain’s involvement with the terror outfit, it’s difficult to say exactly what role ISIS played. What’s known of Hussain is pieced together from court records, police documents, online and social media activity, terror experts and a fellow hacker.

From these sources, the portrait emerges of a dangerous hacker and influential recruiter who’s able to crack online banking security systems and who has demonstrated on occasion a zany sense of humor, once dressing up as a Power Ranger and wielding a machine gun during an online chat.

The 20-year-old hacker now goes by the moniker, Abu Hussain al-Britani, he told CNN last year, a claim confirmed by American organizations tracking jihadi websites. A former member of a hacker collective that Hussain once led also told CNN that al-Britani and Hussain are the same person.

The Briton is believed to have traveled to Syria in 2013 as police in Birmingham, England, investigated him in relation to a violent disorder allegation, a British security expert said. At least a half dozen British media outlets reported Hussain skipped bail.

It is believed that he was recruited by ISIS prior to leaving for Syria. He is now married to ISIS convert Umm Hussain al-Britani (formerly Sally Jones), who is 25 years his senior, the security expert told CNN.

Terror analysts say he is one of the most accomplished hackers fighting for ISIS.

Hussain grew up in the King’s Heath neighborhood of Birmingham, the oldest son of a cafeteria worker, the expert said. He was shy and reclusive as a kid, the expert said.


First, Simpson urged people on Twitter to follow al-Britani. Then, al-Britani retweeted an apparent announcement from Simpson that he and Noofi had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. After news of the attack broke, al-Britani tweeted, “Allahu Akbar!!!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire at the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) art exhibition in texas! #TexasAttack.”

“Allahu Akbar” means “God is the greatest,” while “s.a.w.” is short for “Peace Be Upon Him.” It’s common for Muslims to write “s.a.w.” or “PBUH” after the prophet’s name.

It is possible al-Britani had knowledge an attack was in the works. Several hours before the Garland attack he tweeted, “soon we will come to your streets with death and slaughter!”

The account used by al-Britani has now been suspended, but a person using the same moniker, similar handle and a well-circulated photo of al-Britiani opened a Twitter account on the day of the attack — the same day his old account was suspended — and tweeted, “I’m back again.” Included in that tweet were the English transliterations for the Arabic phrases, “God willing” and “May God reward you.”

The following day, someone tweeted from that account a photo purportedly from the Texas attack and in a separate tweet said, “you ain’t seen nothing yet #QaribanQariba.” The hashtag means, “Soon soon.”

Before the al-Britani account was suspended following the Texas attack, it tweeted Saturday the address of a U.S. Army major general charged with counterterrorism operations.

The address was retweeted by an account thought to belong to Mohammed Abdulhali Hassan, a Minnesotan who court documents indicate traveled to Somalia in 2008 to join al-Shabaab and who also is suspected of involvement in the Texas attack.

A week before the Garland event, Simpson mentioned the contest in a tweet to the account that’s believed to be Hassan’s and asked, “When will they ever learn?”

Came the response: “The brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part. It’s time for brothers in the #US to do their part.” It was a reference to a similar attack in Paris in which two self-proclaimed Islamist terrorists went on a deadly shooting rampage at the offices of a satirical newspaper known to lampoon Islam’s prophet.

Simpson retweeted the threat, according to the SITE Intelligence group, a Bethesda, Maryland, company that monitors the online activity of white supremacists and jihadists.

If the al-Britani account belongs to Hussain, it would not be the first time his account has been suspended or he’s changed handles. Radical Islamists frequently change handles to circumvent suspensions.

According to a U.S. official, American investigators are looking at the degree to which Hussain inspired or had a hand in Monday’s attack in Garland. He’s seen as a special threat because he’s technically savvy, understands Western media and apparently has demonstrated leadership skills, the official said.

Another official dubbed Hussain “a real problem” because of his ability to recruit online and inspire others, and a third U.S. official told CNN that Hussain is a key figure in ISIS.

“He’s a tech-savvy public face,” the official said. “The belief is that he’s likely in Syria, but as you know it’s tough to know that for certain. One of the theories investigators are exploring is whether Simpson was just trying to gain Hussain’s approval and get on his radar or whether there was actually back and forth communication between the two men.”

CNN has reached out to Hussain, via the al-Britani Twitter account, but has received no response.

A former TeaMp0isoN member identifying himself only as MLT declined to give his real name or location, but told CNN that al-Britani is Hussain. MLT spoke to CNN because he felt Hussain is a serious threat and may be recruiting other hackers to launch cyberattacks for ISIS. Targets may include banks and online payment services, he said.

“As early as a few years ago, I knew that Trick was capable of stealing from bank accounts and PayPal accounts and siphoning money out — using those funds for malicious activities. And I’m not talking about hundreds of dollars; I’m talking hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of dollars. So, yeah, I think that guy is a serious threat. He is extremely dangerous and he is not someone that should be taken lightly,” he said.

Revenge of the jihadlarva nerd. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Claims Garland Attack; White House Says Possible Link Being Investigated

By Ray Leszcynski, Todd J. Gillman and Michael E. Young

The Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack by two gunmen outside Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center. But while the White House has called the assault an “act of terror,” officials said a possible connection to the extremist group remained under investigation.

Meanwhile, a federal law enforcement official said authorities had an open investigation of 31-year-old Elton Simpson at the time he and Nadir Soofi, 34, opened fire on police stationed outside the events center, which was hosting an anti-Islam gathering that included a contest for cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity, also said investigators will be studying contacts — in both the U.S. and abroad — that the men had prior to the shooting in order to determine any terror-related ties.


Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, accused the Obama administration of bungling matters, arguing that federal officials should have intercepted the gunmen before they reached the anti-Muslim event in Garland.

“Once again, as with Nidal Hasan and the Tsarnaev brothers, we had radical Islamic terrorists who this administration knew about and yet failed to connect the dots and prevent this act of terrorism,” Cruz said.

Hasan’s November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood and the Tsarnaevs’ Boston Marathon bombing reflect “the same evil” that was behind the attack in Garland, Cruz said.

ABC News reported that an Islamic State recruiter known online as “Miski” had been in close contact with Simpson for months before Sunday’s attack outside the gathering, which was sponsored by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative and was framed as a free-speech event.

FBI officials say Miski is Muhammed Hassan, who has been a fugitive since 2009 when he fled Minneapolis as a teenager to join terror groups in Africa. In an April exchange about the cartoon contest, Simpson tweeted: “When will they ever learn?”

A few minutes later, Miski replied: “Where are the warriors of this Ummah [community]?” And then, referring to the January attack that killed 11 at a French satirical magazine: “The brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part. It’s time for brothers in the #US to do their part.”

[Fled Minneapolis, eh? There’s a town that had best watch its collective six. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Islamo-Non-Phobia, And the Value of Defiance

By Eugene Volokh

Two apparent would-be jihadists drove to the Texas Muhammad cartoon drawing contest and opened fire. They wounded a security guard, who is expected to survive; they were shot dead by police.

Unsurprisingly, the organizers of the event — the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which has long been sharply critical of Islam — are being criticized for their “provocative” actions. Here, for instance, is a Twitter message from New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi:

Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a “Muhammad drawing contest”?

This reminds me of the old joke: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theater?” There is no “free speech aside” here.

But beyond this, I think there is a special kind of exercise of free speech here: speech as defiance. The organizers are sending a message that they are not afraid, either of those who would condemn us or even of those who would kill us — at least not so afraid that they will forgo their First Amendment rights.

[Hear! Hear! And props to WaPo for printing the winning Motoon. That’s a lot better than they did in 2006, when only three major American papers ran any of the Danish ones with their coverage of the original furor. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Islamic State on Pamela Geller: “We Will Send All Our Lions to Achieve Her Slaughter”

The media continues to excoriate Pamela Geller for daring to “provoke” the poor jihadis, as if the two Muslim gunmen who showed up at our AFDI/Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest would have become fiercely patriotic stockbrokers if only we hadn’t shown those cartoons. It is therefore clear that if, God forbid, anything does happen to Pamela Geller, the talking heads will look soulfully into the cameras and say, Of course we are shocked…Of course we condemn….but…wellllll…she had it coming…she should have submitted to Sharia blasphemy restrictions like the rest of us…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Jihadist Boasts of ‘Trained ISIS Soldiers’ In U.S.

(ANSA) — New York, May 6 — Dozens of “trained soldiers” belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) fundamentalist militia are lurking in 15 American states waiting for orders to stage attacks, Fox News channel cited an American jihadist as claiming Wednesday.

“Out of 71 trained soldiers, 23 have signed up for missions like the Sunday one,” Abu Ibrahim al-Ameriki allegedly wrote in a signed online post in reference to a botched attack in Dallas, Texas, in which police shot and killed two would-be assailants.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Liberals on Radical Islam

Muslims just can’t control themselves. You should know that. If you run a cartoon featuring the prophet Mohammad, or organize a displeasing art exhibit, you should simply assume that an Islamist is going to get all wound up and kill you. It’s your fault. You drew and displayed some doodle that they found offensive, and now you’ve paid the price.

Appeasement is the only way forward. The rest of us should rein in our First Amendment rights to conform to the killers’ way of thinking.

That’s the argument that the left has been trying to make for the last few days. Ever since two terrorists attempted to murder the attendees of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland Texas, we’ve been told that our free speech is the problem.

The claims usually feature the telltale phrase “we all love the 1st Amendment, but….”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NYPD Assessing Islamic State Threat to Pamela Geller

By Pamela Geller

This is yet another vicious hit piece from the Daily News, but I thought it worth posting because I was in extensive threat assessment meetings with the NYPD today, and they’re on the job. If the Islamic State wants to get to me, they’re going to have to go through the NYPD.

“NYPD assessing ISIS threat to controversial blogger Pamela Geller,” by Nancy Dillon, Jason Silverstein, Rocco Parascandola and Corky Siemaszko, New York Daily News, May 6, 2015:

The NYPD has been in touch with Manhattan resident Pamela Geller, who organized the controversial Prophet Muhammad drawing contest in Texas, about a threat to her safety lodged by ISIS.

The murderous Islamic State wants to lop the head off an Muslim-hating Manhattan blogger — and the NYPD is taking that threat seriously.

So it’s “Muslim-hating” to fight for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, equality of rights of all before the law, and individual rights? That assumption says more about the Daily News than it does about me.

“We have been in touch with Pamela Geller,” police spokesman Stephen Davis told The Daily News on Wednesday. “People known to be associated with ISIS have posted a direct threat to her. To whatever extent she will be in New York City, we will do a comprehensive threat assessment to determine what, if any measures, to take.”

“We have to treat it like it’s a direct threat because they named her — and we informed her,” Davis added.

Geller has been the target of threats before.

Back on June 9, 2008, she filed an aggravated harassment complaint with the NYPD against a man named Yousef Al-Khattab, claiming he posted numerous menacing videos on her website and that she felt in danger.

Khattab posted what he thought was her home address and severely creepy videos that obviously indicated that he meant to do her harm. He was the fellow who used to flaunt his evil gleefully: one of his YouTube videos depicted him laughing and eating popcorn while watching the Daniel Pearl beheading video.

Geller, who lives on the Upper East Side, declined to discuss how she is protecting herself, but sources said she has hired her own private security.

“This threat illustrates the savagery and barbarism of the Islamic State,” Geller said in an email to The News. “They want me dead for violating Sharia blasphemy laws.”

Geller, 55, is in the crosshairs of ISIS for sponsoring the Prophet Muhammad cartoon drawing contest in Texas, where two Islam fanatics were killed over the weekend in a shootout with a cop.

In a posting on the message board JustPasteIt, ISIS said it was sending “all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”

“Our aim was the khanzeer (swine) Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her,” it said.

“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy,” the message continued, apparently misspelling the Arabic word “wilayah,” which means authority or governance.

This was the first time ISIS claimed credit for a terror attack on U.S. soil. Lawmakers, however, suspect the slain gunmen were inspired by ISIS, not taking orders from them.

How vile and biased is the Daily News? They go then for extensive comment about me not to my partner Robert Spencer, or to Geert Wilders, or Bosch Fawstin, or any number of other people I have worked with and whom they could have and should have consulted. Instead, they went to…Charles Johnson, the twisted turncoat blogger who betrayed all of his principles and his friends to join the leftist lemmings. I was never close to Charles Johnson. I met him once — and he gives a highly colored and inaccurate account of that meeting here. Our meeting at that time was completely friendly, although Johnson himself was vapid and off-putting; the Daily News doesn’t mention that a few years later he turned against not just me but everything he had stood for and everyone he had stood with, and has attacked us all vindictively from his dwindling platform ever since. The man is sick. He’s not a neutral, objective source — but the Daily News would interview Charles Manson if he would give them negative quotes about me.

Charles Johnson, who inadvertently gave Geller her start back in 2005 by allowing her to spew venom on his Little Green Footballs political blog, said “it’s pretty obvious she had been trying to incite this kind of violence.”

“She finally has gotten what she wanted,” Johnson said, when asked if Geller relished being an ISIS target. “She is going to be milking this for all it’s worth.”

They want to kill me and the man says this. He is truly and deeply vile.

[Well do I remember the micturition competition that broke out between Geller and Johnson back in 2007. It precipitated an Internet “flame war” that ended in the “snapping” conversion she describes. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

NYT Reporter: ‘Free Speech Aside, ‘ Why Would Anyone Hold a Conference Critical of Islam?

A New York Times reporter wants to know why on earth private citizens would organize a conference dedicated to a robust, free discussion of a critical issue facing the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pluto-Bound Craft Hunts for Hazardous Moons

Unknown satellites pose danger to New Horizons mission as it journeys to the edge of the Solar System.

On 11 May, a telescope aboard a NASA craft will turn and stare at Pluto — like a space-robot equivalent of a sailor watching for shoals that could take out his vessel.

As the New Horizons craft hurtles towards its 14 July rendezvous with Pluto, mission scientists are preparing to guide it through what could be a dangerous dusty realm. It will skim the orbit of the dwarf planet’s largest moon, Charon, at more than 48,000 kilometres per hour. At that speed, hitting a dust particle the size of a rice grain could be fatal.

To minimize the risk of hitting debris from Charon or another, unknown moon, scientists will conduct seven 45-minute observation sessions between 11 May and 1 July. If they find a potential hazard, the team can change the spacecraft’s course. That would mean for­going some science observations, but it could also mean the difference between life and death for the first spacecraft ever to visit Pluto.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Poster for Free-Speech Forum Sets Off Debate at University of Minnesota

Forum’s use of cartoon image of Mohammed and school’s response draw complaints.

By Maura Lerner, Star Tribune

A poster for a campus forum on the limits of free speech has set off a debate at the University of Minnesota — about the limits of free speech.

The poster, which first appeared in January, prompted hundreds of complaints from Muslim students and others for reproducing a controversial illustration of the prophet Mohammed from the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But it’s the university’s response to the complaints — just weeks after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo — that drew fire from some faculty members.

After initially demanding that the posters be taken down, university officials quickly rescinded the ban, calling it a mistake. Then the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action investigated and advised the dean of liberal arts to disavow the use of the offending image and “use your leadership role to repair the damage” it caused in the Muslim community.

Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law, said she was taken aback by the U’s response. “There is no question in my mind that this [poster] was protected speech,” Kirtley said.

The incident, which has been simmering behind the scenes for months, first was reported April 29 in the Minnesota Daily. On Tuesday, it drew national attention in the online journal Inside Higher Ed, in the wake of Sunday’s attack by gunmen on an anti-Islam cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.

Prof. Bruno Chaouat said the January forum, which he helped to organize, was designed as “an opportunity to educate about free speech.” He called the university’s reaction — deciding to launch an investigation — part of a worrisome trend.

“I think what’s going on is a global problem … of self-censorship,” said Chaouat, who is chairman of the Department of French and Italian. In particular, he called the recommendation to disavow the poster “profoundly outrageous.”


The poster featured a now-famous drawing of a tearful prophet Mohammed, holding a sign “Je Suis Charlie,” which appeared on the cover of Charlie Hebdo days after Islamic militants killed 12 staff members at the magazine’s Paris headquarters.

On the poster, the word “censored” was superimposed on the drawing, under the heading: “Can One Laugh At Everything? Satire and Free Speech After Charlie.”

Organizers say the forum drew more than 200 people.

Shortly afterward, eight people filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office, saying the depiction of Mohammed was offensive and insulting to Muslims. In addition, some 300 people, including 260 Muslim students, signed a petition calling the flier “very offensive.” “Knowing that these caricatures hurt and are condemned by 1.75 billion Muslims in the world, the University should not have re-circulated/re-produced them,” the petition said, and it urged the U to prevent it from happening again.

[Demographic inflation: According to a report by the Pew Research Center released last month, the Muslim population in the world numbered 1.6 billion, not 1.75. And would anyone be unbearably surprised to learn that this story ran without a picture of the illustration that’s causing all the fuss? — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Purported ISIS Warning Claims Terror Cells in Place in 15 States

A grim online warning from a self-described American jihadist said Sunday’s terror attack in Texas was the work of ISIS and that the terrorist group has scores of “trained soldiers” positioned in 15 states, awaiting orders to carry out more operations.

The warning, which was posted on a file-sharing site, could not be verified, but was signed by Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki. That name matches the moniker of a shadowy American known to have joined a terrorist group in Pakistan several years ago and who has appeared in propaganda videos before. The chilling threat named five of the states where it is claimed that ISIS has terror cells in place.

The new warning said more attacks on American soil will come over the next six months, as ISIS attempts to extend its so-called caliphate to the U.S. It also named Pamela Geller, the anti-Islamist head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative who organized Sunday’s event.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Take it Down

By Colleen Flaherty

“[T]hey can employ not just metaphor, but caricature, which can be harsh… Humor, mockery, satire. People don’t like to be made fun of. They don’t like their views to be made fun of, they don’t like their religion to be made fun of. And sometimes they perceive a harsh personal insult where one is not intended, or maybe where one is intended.”

That’s how Steve Sack, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, described the political minefield in which cartoonists work during a Jan. 29 panel on free speech and satire at the University of Minnesota, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. Sack’s words also foreshadowed a later debate over how the panel was advertised, which until now has been kept out of the public sphere.

When Muslim students complained about posters that promoted the event, the university investigated their concerns and issued a report that questioned the judgment of those who signed off on the posters. And the university sent an email that some interpreted as an order to remove the posters, although the university disputes this.

The discussion raises questions about how colleges and universities should balance their commitments to academic freedom and free speech with the cultural sensitivities of students and others involved in campus life. And like the recent PEN award protests over a planned tribute to Charlie Hebdo, it’s also a reminder of how controversial the magazine and what it stands for remain, and how the attack continues to reverberate among thinkers across continents.

Like academics on many campuses, professors at Minnesota grappled with how to talk about the mid-January shootings of staff members at the satiric newspaper, known for its in-your-face irreverence to authority of all kinds — including religious. Hoping to provide a space for dialogue, by the end of the month several professors had organized a panel called “Can One Laugh at Everything? Satire and Free Speech After Charlie.”


The organizers advertised the panel with a flyer featuring the cover of the Charlie Hebdo edition published immediately after the terrorist attack. In contrast to the magazine’s earlier, at times vulgar depictions of the prophet, the cover shows a bearded man with a turban — almost certainly intended to be but not explicitly labeled as Muhammad — shedding a single tear. The headline is “Tout est pardonné,” or “All is forgiven,” and the man is holding a sign that says, “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie,” a popular pro-magazine protest phrase following the attack. Over the image, the organizers put a red “censored” stamp-like image, which did not originally appear on the Charlie Hebdo cover.

[This article does run the flyer with the Charlie Hebdo illustration. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Taya Kyle: Texas Attack Just One of Many That Are Thwarted

By Greg Richter

Taya Kyle, widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose story was told in the movie “American Sniper,” tells Newsmax TV that the attack in Garland, Texas on Sunday on a “Draw the Prophet” contest is just one of many such attempts that the public would be shocked to know about.

“Most people who are dealing in that world know that it’s always a threat and that the American public is very fortunate to be ignorant to a lot of things that are stopped and thwarted every day in this country, let alone around the world,” Kyle said Tuesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

Chris Kyle would not have been surprised the attack happened, she said, but added that anyone like him would have wanted to be in the fight to try to stop them and protect Americans.

“I don’t think they’re going away,” she said.

[No — but we aren’t either. And not only can we draw, we can shoot. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Texas Attacker Tweeted With Overseas Terrorists

By Jim Sciutto, Pamela Brown, Paul Cruickshank and Paul Murphy

(CNN) U.S. officials are investigating connections between terrorists abroad and the two men shot dead as they were trying to attack a free speech event in Texas over the weekend.

The authorities want to determine to what degree the attack was directed from abroad. One U.S. official told CNN that the shooting was “certainly more than just inspiration” by ISIS but that assessment does not mean that the terror group gave the gunmen specific instructions.

The gunmen, who have since been identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were roommates in Phoenix. They were foiled in their apparent plot after they drove to Texas and tried to attack a free speech event that was displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. They wounded a security guard before police shot and killed them.

A law enforcement official explained that the attack does not appear to be a clear cut case of a lone wolf inspired to act or a pure case of someone directed by others to act. Rather, the official said, it appears to be something in between.

The attack fits a well-known pattern of ISIS recruitment and incitement: encouraging sympathizers via a sophisticated social media campaign to join the fight in Syria or, if they cannot do that, to carry out terror attacks on their own at home, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Simpson appears to have had online ties to a British ISIS recruit thought to be in Syria and an American jihadi operating in Somalia, according to a CNN analysis of tweets exchanged in the lead up to Sunday’s attack.

U.S. investigators suspect Junaid Hussain, a British hacker now believed to be with ISIS, might have played a key role in inspiring the Texan gunmen, a U.S. official told CNN.

And a CNN investigation has established that Simpson was in communication via Twitter a week before the attack with a man believed to Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an American who traveled to Somalia in 2008 to join the al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

Hassan, believed to be tweeting under the name of Mujahid Miski, also put out a call one week before the event to attack the drawing contest for pictures of the Prophet Mohammed in Garland, Texas.

[You read it here first! — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Texas Attacker Left Trail of Extremist Ideas on Twitter

By Scott Shane

WASHINGTON — Counterterrorism officials on Tuesday were studying the electronic trails left by two men killed by a police officer as they shot at a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas, looking for any direct ties to the Islamic State extremist group in Syria. The group praised the gunmen in a statement as “soldiers of the caliphate,” the unified Muslim land that it purports to be building.

But any secret ties that officials might find may be less important than the public exchanges of messages on Twitter by one of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, in the weeks before the attack. Mr. Simpson, a convert to Islam with a long history of extremism, regularly traded calls for violence on Twitter with Islamic State fighters and supporters, as well as avowed enemies of Pamela Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest.

His Twitter contacts included Junaid Hussain, a British fighter with the Islamic State in Syria known as Abu Hussain al-Britani, and Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, a Somali-American now in Somalia who uses the name Mujahid Miski and frequently promotes the Islamic State. Both men called for violence, and Mr. Hassan had suggested the Texas event as a possible target.

On April 23, 10 days before the Texas attack, Mr. Hassan linked to the planned cartoon event in Texas, praised the January shootings at a satirical newspaper in Paris and called on jihadists in the United States to follow that example.

“The brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part,” Mr. Hassan wrote in the post. “It’s time for brothers in the #US to do their part.”

Later the same day, Mr. Simpson posted about the cartoon contest, using the handle Shariah is Light: “When will they ever learn. They are planning on selecting the best picture drawn of Rasulullah (saws) in Texas.” Rasulullah (saws) is a respectful phrase for the prophet.

The onslaught of recruitment propaganda has multiplied the number of online enthusiasts for the Islamic State in the United States, giving counterterrorism investigators the difficult task of deciding which are simply fantasizing in public and which might be planning violence.

“The ISIS guys are talking to these wannabes on Twitter all day long,” a senior law enforcement official said. “It’s like the devil is sitting on their shoulder saying, ‘Come on, they’re insulting the prophet, what are you going to do about it?’ “

The official, who would speak about the continuing investigation only on condition of anonymity, said that although Mr. Simpson had long been under F.B.I. scrutiny, he had not appeared to be preparing for violence. “There are so many like him that you have to prioritize your investigations,” the official said.


The pattern seen in the exchange of gunfire Sunday night in the Dallas suburb of Garland has mixed implications for American security, counterterrorism specialists said. It exemplified the kind of homegrown attack that is very difficult to prevent, but whose scale is small and execution not especially competent.

[Don’t expect that to last. Here again we see that the Muslim community — and even the so-called “tiny minority of extremists” — constitute a “sea” in which terrorist “fish” may swim, as per the dictum of Mao Tse-tung. Yet the federal government is in the process of swelling that sea with the importation of scores of thousands of their co-religionists. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

Barack Obama is secretly negotiating a global economic treaty which would destroy thousands of American businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.

In other words, it would be the final nail in the coffin for America’s economic infrastructure. Obama knows that if the American people actually knew what was in this treaty that they would be screaming mad, so the negotiations are being done in secret. The only people that are allowed to look at the treaty are members of Congress, and even they are being banned from saying anything to the public. American workers are about to be brutally stabbed in the back, and thanks to all of this secrecy and paranoia they won’t even see it coming.

The name of this new treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and it is being touted as perhaps the most important trade agreement in history. But very few people in this country are talking about it, because none of us are allowed to see it. An article that was just released by Politico detailed the extreme secrecy that is surrounding this trade agreement…

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.

This treaty is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child living in this nation, and yet it is deemed so “important” that none of us can know what is in it?

Are you sure that we still live in a Republic?

This treaty will cover 40 percent of the global economy, and U.S. officials hope that the EU, China and India will become members eventually as well…

Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy. And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well. This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country.

If the EU, China and India did eventually join the treaty, that would essentially make it a trade agreement for the entire planet.

This is a really big deal, and it should be openly debated by the American people. But instead, Barack Obama has chosen to shroud the entire process with as much secrecy as possible. Not only that, he also wants Congress to give him fast track negotiating authority. If Congress does that, they would essentially be saying that they blindly trust Obama to negotiate a good treaty for us. At the end of the process, Congress would be able to vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend it.

That sounds insane, right? Well, if you can believe it, Republicans in the Senate are quite eager to give Barack Obama this authority.

And this is not just an economic treaty. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…

It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress. Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty. If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

When the Elites Wage War on America, This is How They Will Do it

The recent exposure of the nationwide Jade Helm 15 exercise has made many people suspicious, and with good reason. Federal crisis exercises have a strange historical tendency to suddenly coincide with very real crisis events. We may know very little about Jade Helm beyond government admissions, claims and misdirections. But at the very least, we know what “JADE” is an acronym for: Joint Assistance for Deployment and Execution, a program designed to create action and deployment plans using computer models meant to speed up reaction times for military planners during a “crisis scenario.” It is linked with another program called ACOA (Adaptive Course of Action), the basis of which is essentially the use of past mission successes and computer models to plan future missions. Both are products of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

As far as I know, no one has presented any hard evidence as to what “HELM” really stands for, but the JADE portion of the exercise explicitly focuses on rapid force deployment planning in crisis situations, according to the government white paper linked above. This fact alone brings into question statements by the Department of Defense that Jade Helm is nothing more than a training program to prepare military units for “foreign deployment.” This is clearly a lie if Jade Helm revolves around crisis events (which denotes domestic threats), rather than foreign operations.

Of course, if you also consider the reality that special operations forces ALWAYS train like they fight and train in environments similar to where they will fight, the entire notion of Jade Helm as a preparation for foreign theaters sounds absurd. If special operations forces are going to fight in Iraq, Iran or Syria, they go to training grounds in places like Kuwait. If they are training in places like Fort Lauderdale, Florida (including “infiltration training”), then there is no way around the fact that they are practicing to fight somewhere exactly like Fort Lauderdale with a similar culture and population…

The final method for war against the American people is one Boot does not discuss: the use of fourth-generation warfare. Some call this psychological warfare, but it is far more than that. Fourth-generation warfare is a strategy by which one section of a population you wish to control is turned against another section of the population you wish to control. It is warfare without the immediate use of armies. Rather, the elites turn the enemy population against itself and allow internal war to do most of their work for them. We can see this strategy developing already in the U.S. in the manipulation of race issues and the militarization of police.

The use of provocateurs during unrest in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore suggests that a race war is part of the greater plan. I believe law enforcement officials have also been given a false sense of invincibility. With military toys and federal funding, but poor tactical philosophies and substandard training, LEOs are being set up as cannon fodder when the SHTF. Their inevitable failure will be used as a rationalization for more domestic military involvement; but in the meantime, Americans will be enticed to fight and kill each other while the elites sit back and watch the show.

4th Gen warfare also relies on fooling the target population into supporting measures that are secretly destructive to the people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

WWII Veteran, 95, Fends Off Would-be Manchester Robber With Mighty Cane

By Pat Grossmith

MANCHESTER — After 95-year-old Arthur Kamberis left his home Saturday morning to walk to the neighborhood Walgreens, something told him to turn back and get his cane.

“I never walk with a cane,” the World War II veteran said. But it’s a good thing he did, because that’s what kept a robber from getting his wallet.

Kamberis said he arrived at Walgreens on Valley Street about 9 a.m. to pick up his wife’s prescriptions. The retired Teamsters mechanic paid cash, put his wallet back in his pocket and headed home.

As he took the narrow road next to Northeast Credit Union to head across the old Stop & Shop parking lot, he said he noticed a man about 15 feet ahead of him. He recognized him from the waiting area at Walgreens.

The man made a U-turn and headed straight for him, grabbing Kamberis’ arm and reaching for the pocket where Kamberis had placed his wallet, Kamberis said.

“I didn’t know he was stalking me,” Kamberis said.

He offered to give the man some change he had in another pocket. But Kamberis said the robber tried three times to get his wallet, which was in a zippered pocket.

Kamberis, a longtime member of the National Rifle Association and avid sportsman, said it dawned on him that if the robber had a weapon, he would have already pulled it out.

It was cane time.

Kamberis said he swung his cane hard, hitting the man first in the arm and a second time in the shoulder.

By then the two were in the middle of the road. A car came along and the young male driver stopped and started to get out; the would-be robber ran.

The good Samaritan, whose name Kamberis didn’t get, drove the elderly man home. Police were called.


It wasn’t the money in the wallet that he wanted to protect, Kamberis explained. It was the two photographs of his granddaughters.

Kamberis, a Manchester native, volunteers at the Salvation Army, takes long walks and gardens.

He said he is taking steps to ensure his future safety. Whenever he goes out walking, he said he’s going to have his cellphone on one hip and his .357 magnum revolver on the other.

[Always a good idea to maintain weapons discipline. In a similar incident in Arizona a few years back, the elderly victim took a round amidships. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Brussels Asks Poland to Comply With Energy Efficiency Law

If Warsaw do not comply in two months risks financial penalties

(ANSA) — BRUSSELS — The European Commission has asked Poland to take action and ensure that the Energy efficiency in buildings directive is fully transposed into national law. If Warsaw do not comply with this legal obligation within two months, the EU Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice at a later stage, which could as well include financial penalties.

Under this Directive, Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings, ensure the certification of buildings’ energy performance and require the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the directive requires Member States to ensure that from 2021 onwards all new buildings will be nearly ‘zero-energy’ buildings. Regarding Poland, in July 2014 the Commission decided to refer the country to the Court of Justice of the EU. Shortly afterwards Poland responded with the adoption of measures to transpose the Directive.

However, following a further analysis by the Commission it appears that a few of the Directive’s provisions have still not been transposed. The European Commission has also asked Poland to ensure the correct implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive, in particular as regards biofuels. It includes key provisions setting individual targets for the overall share of renewable energy in each Member State’s energy consumption and for achieving a target of 10% share of renewable energy in transport in 2020. Biofuels can be used to achieve this target, but they must meet a set of sustainability requirements.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Corruption: Spain: Greece and Cyprus the Top in Europe

According to a new report by the European Commission

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, APRIL 30 — According to a new report by the European Commission, the extent of corruption across Europe is “breathtaking”, costing the EU economy at least 120 billion euro every year. The Commission, as Statista website reports, said it was the first time it has done a survey like this and the results are certainly interesting.

Respondents across the European Union were asked if they are “personally affected by corruption in daily life”, among other questions. At the top of the scale, 63% of people in both Spain and Greece agreed that they are affected by daily corruption. In Cyprus, the figure was 57%.

According to the views of those polled, the least corrupt countries in the European Union are Denmark, France and Germany.

Just 3% of Danes feel they are affected by corruption in daily life and this figure rises slightly to 6% in both France and Germany.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Crash Co-Pilot Did ‘Trial Run’ of Fatal Dive

The co-pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings jet in the French Alps may have “rehearsed” steering the plane into a rapid descent on an earlier flight, Bild reported on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark Clears the Way for Cashless Society

The Danish government plans to allow shops to decide for themselves if they want to accept cash payments.

“Your money’s no good here.” If you hear that in the Danish shop in the near future, they’re not offering you goods on the house; they mean it literally.

As part of a growth package presented by the government on Wednesday, some Danish stores will be granted an exception from laws requiring them to accept cash.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) said it was about time that shops be given the option of going cash-free.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU States Let Ex-Greek Govts ‘Cheat’ With Accounts, Prodi

Italy, Germany, France turned blind eye, says former EC head

(ANSA) — Florence, May 6 — Italy, Germany and France turned a blind eye as former Greek governments “cheated” on public accounts while he was European Commission president, Romano Prodi said Wednesday. “And when I tried to stop them,” he was shut down by other European countries, added Prodi during a debate with former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano at the European University Institute. Prodi was EC president from 1999 to 2004, in between two terms as Italian premier.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Fashionable Vikings Loved Colours, Fur, And Silk

The Vikings were skilled warriors, traders, and explorers, but a more fashionable side might also have existed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Unanimous Vote, UMP to be Named ‘Les Républicains’

Debated name proposed by Sarkozy will be voted by militants

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — The political office of UMP, the right-wing opposition party led by Nicolas Sarkozy, has adopted almost unanimously its new name. It will be called “Les Républicains” and will also have a new statute. Out of the 51 members present, only one abstained, the mayor of Le Havre Edouard Philippe, close to ex-premier Alain Juppé.

Opponents have accused the new name of being inspired by the American Republicans. Militants will vote on it at the end of May.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French Officials: German Co-Pilot Practiced Crash Descent

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane had put the aircraft into a descent on the way to Barcelona, before the doomed flight back to Düsseldorf, according to a preliminary report. The crash killed 150 people.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, suspected of crashing the Germanwings plane on purpose, had set the autopilot to 100 feet while traveling to Barcelona on the day of the crash, French aviation safety authority BEA said in an interim report published Wednesday.

The maneuver was approved by air traffic controllers, which is why the decent did not cause the alarm of the flight crew, investigators said. In addition, the plane was already in decent, making the effects barely noticeable.

Cockpit data shows that he put the plane into descent mode five times in a four and half-minute period, when the captain of the plane left the cabin.

Investigators said that the flight data confirm that the Lubitz acted intentionally in the later plane crash.

“It is possible to conclude from that that he was in control of his actions, and that all his action had the same goal, namely to crash the plane,” BEA director Remi Jouty said Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Parliament Approves Sweeping Surveillance Law

by Soeren Kern

The French parliament has approved a landmark intelligence-gathering law that gives the state sweeping powers to spy on citizens.

The government says the new law — which was fast-tracked after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January — is aimed at preventing Islamic terrorism.

But privacy groups say the law, which has been referred to as “the French Patriot Act,” is so vague and intrusive and centralizes surveillance power to such an extent, that it poses an unacceptable threat to civil liberties in France.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Geert Wilders: I Won’t Stop Warning the West About Islam

Even before the attack on the Muhammad-drawing contest, Wilders was painfully aware of the price of warning civilized peoples about Islam.

“If you do so, first you end up on a jihadi death list as happened to me and many others,” Wilders said in his speech last week.

“Not only the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS want me killed but I’m on a death list from al-Qaeda with several columnists, authors, and journalists some of which already paid with their lives, others who are already victims of assassination, and others left under permanent police protection.”

“In Europe, however, it’s not just the jihadists who will go after you,” he said. “The authorities do so too.”

Wilders has been taken to court in his native Netherlands for speaking the truth about Islam. He was acquitted but the authorities are prosecuting him again.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: Police Grab Four in Raids on Far-Right Group

German police arrested four people on Wednesday accused of belonging to a far-right “terror” organisation that acquired explosives for attacks on Muslims and refugee homes, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

“In the search, pyrotechnics with large explosive power and further pieces of evidence were confiscated,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: Gov’t Eyeing Special Tax for 500 Richest Families

According to the German tabloid Bild

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 6 — The Greek government has proposed the introduction of a special tax for the 500 richest families in Greece, as part of the negotiations with its creditors, daily To Vima online reports quoting the German tabloid Bild.

According to Bild, which cites Athens’ new list of reform proposals, the government is also considering raising the tax rate for employees with incomes over 30,000 per annum, as well as the tax on luxury goods, such as sports cars. Furthermore, the report argued that Athens is considering the standardization of the VAT and the introduction a tax for overnight stays at luxury hotels on islands popular with tourists. The Bild report also detailed the plan to make the use of credit or debit cards compulsory for purchases over 70 euros, in order to combat tax evasion.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Mulling Arbitration Over Marines Dispute With India

Repeated delays by Indian courts influence government decision

(ANSA) — Rome, May 5 — The Italian government is considering seeking international arbitration in its dispute with India over two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012, government sources said Tuesday.

The possibility is being considered increasingly in the light of repeated delays by Indian courts in the case, the rebuffal by Narendra Modi’s Indian government of Italian diplomatic mediation efforts and evaluations made by a team of international lawyers who follow the case for Italy.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper cited leaks to this effect Tuesday in an article that said the government already has decided to have recourse to arbitration.

Government sources did not deny the report but said that for the moment it is only a “hypothesis” under consideration. Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012.

Latorre is currently in Italy for medical treatment after suffering a stroke last summer and then undergoing heart surgery in January.

He is due to return to India on July 15.

Rome argues the case is not in India’s jurisdiction as the incident took place outside the country’s territorial waters.

It also says the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India, because they are servicemen who were working on an anti-piracy mission, and allowed to return home.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway: Black Metal Murder to be Ridley Scott Film

The spate of black metal church burnings which ended in a murder, shocking Norway in the early nineties, is being made into a Hollywood feature film by Bladerunner-director Ridley Scott’s production company.

“Lords of Chaos” tells the horrifying story of Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth, the co-founder of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, who was involved in a spate of church burnings before he was stabbed to death in 1993 by rival musician Varg ‘Count Grishnackh’ Vikernes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Stage Set for Schengen Visa Waiver for Emiratis

Abu Dhabi: UAE diplomacy has achieved another victory towards realising a Schengen visa waiver, which will allow Emiratis visa-free travel to any of all 28 Schengen states, said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.

“UAE Schengen waiver soon,” Shaikh Abdullah tweeted on Friday, attaching a video produced by the Foreign Ministry showing an animation of the Schengen countries UAE citizens will be allowed visa-free access to.

“UAE citizens will be allowed access to 34 European countries (including 28 Schengen states),” the video says, with an infographic displaying the countries’ names, such as Malta, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, and Finland. “All you need to do,” the video explains, “is produce your passport at the host country’s airport. You will then be allowed to stay for 90 uninterrupted days, or 6 months with interruption. In emergencies, citizens need to coordinate with the UAE missions in these countries to negotiate longer stays.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Muslims Report Syrian Orthodox Church Over Nazi Reference

The inauguration of Sweden’s first memorial honouring the victims of the 1915 Assyrian genocide has stirred up strong emotions, with the Islamic Culture Association claiming damages, newspaper Dagen reports.

The memorial was erected at a Syrian-Orthodox church in the Stockholm suburb of Hallunda during a ceremony marking the centenary of the 1915 genocide. Two large banners were attached to the walls of the church during the ceremony. One featured an illustration of Adolf Hitler’s idiosyncratic hairstyle and moustache and an illustration of a Turkish fez.

The banner suggested that the Holocaust could have been prevented if the 1915 genocide had been condemned. Some Swedish Muslims found the link between the Ottoman Empire and Nazi Germany offensive.

“Many were annoyed and some have filed police reports,” Orhan Karan, chairman of the Islamic Association that is based in the Stockholm suburb of Bredäng, told Christian newspaper Dagen. “It is clear that they intend to suggest we are like Hitler,” Karan said.

Karan himself has reported the church and is demanding SEK 1 million in damages. He said that passers-by who saw the banners felt offended and that other banners raised on bridges over a nearby highway, urging Turkey to recognise the genocide, also stirred up emotions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bosnian Police Launch Raids Against Islamic Extremism

They are accused of fighting with jihadists in Syria

(ANSA/AP) — SARAJEVO — Bosnian Serb authorities say they detained several people linked to radical Islamic movements and suspected of recruiting potential fighters for the Islamic State group.

Police have been raiding locations throughout the Bosnian Serb part of the country on Wednesday, also confiscating weapons, ammunition and propaganda material aimed to encourage Bosnian citizens to join fighters in Syria.

The operation comes after a Muslim gunman killed one policeman and wounded two others as he stormed into a police station in northeast Bosnia yelling “Allahu akbar” last week. He was killed during the shootout. Investigators believe the 24-year-old gunman was linked to Islamic extremists.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU and Middle-East Building Bridges Through Science Diplomacy

The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas has taken a new step towards strengthening cooperation in the Middle East through science diplomacy, taking part in a high level conference in Jordan on “Addressing shared challenges through science diplomacy: the case of the EU —Middle East Regional Cooperation”.

Commissioner Moedas also visited the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) in Allan (Jordan). The EU has played a major role in the development of the initiative through technical and financial assistance amounting to more than €12 million.

Being one of the EU’s research priorities science diplomacy is considered instrumental in rebuilding trust, fostering understanding in the region and reaching out to youth, talent and creativity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iran Says Crew of Seized Maersk Vessel Are ‘Free’

Iranian officials said that the dispute over a Maersk payment could be resolved in the coming days.

Iran on Wednesday denied it had detained the crew of the Maersk Tigris cargo vessel it seized in a business dispute last week, saying they were benefitting from diplomatic assistance.

The vessel — chartered by Danish shipping group A.P. Moeller-Maersk and with 24 crew aboard — was seized by Iranian patrol boats on April 28 in the busy Strait of Hormuz.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Opens 5-Star Resort in Iraq

By Robert Spencer

Hey, this is perfect timing! Now Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Alisyn Camerota, Greta van Susteren and all the others who have been denouncing our “provocative” free speech contest in Garland, Texas can travel over to the Islamic State and defuse the volatile situation we have created by assuring the caliph (if he is still alive) and his men that they have nothing but “respect” for Islam. That will bring peace in a jiffy — and now they can do it while staying in five-star comfort!

“5-star resort opens for ISIS supporters in Iraq,” RT, May 6, 2015:

It may look like any other top resort in Iraq, but the Ninawa International Hotel in Mosul has one major difference. It is the first 5-star hotel for Islamic State jihadists. It includes a swimming pool and tennis court… but no bar.

The battlefield is a place of few comforts, so the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) has decided to re-open a luxury hotel in conquered territory to give its jihadists a bit of R&R. The Ninawa International Hotel in Mosul used to be one of the most luxurious in Iraq, catering to foreign guests and local dignitaries. However, its 262 rooms will now be used by extremist terror group.

From a distance, it may look like any run-of-the-mill ritzy establishment, but a closer look reveals the terrorist organization’s black and white flags flying in multiple locations around the complex.

[For the luxury traveler who wants to get ahead. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Largely Ineffective Sanctions Against Iran

For those who believe that sanctions on Iran have made substantial progress towards their stated goals, a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is illuminating. The report reviews the sanctions applied against Iran by various entities and then critically examines their actual impacts. The results are not promising for those who believe sanctions are an effective tool with which to exert serious geopolitical pressure.

The report acknowledges that “Iran’s acceptance of the JPA [Joint Plan of Action; the interim nuclear agreement that has been in effect since 20 January 2014] and progress in the talks on a comprehensive nuclear accord are widely considered evidence that sanctions helped produce a possible shift in Iran’s nuclear policies.” However, as the report discusses, these perceptions differ from reality.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Never Mind Oil, Iran’s About to Shake the World Pistachio Market

Iran is ready to return to the global commodities market, flooding it with fresh supplies and risking a slump in prices.

Oil? Possibly, but there’s a second industry that could be even more disrupted by a nuclear pact between Iran and the west: pistachio nuts.

Iran has far more clout in the market for cocktail nibbles than it does in crude trading. While it ranks only as the world’s seventh-largest oil producer, the Middle Eastern country vies with the U.S. to be the biggest pistachio grower.

As with oil, Iranian sales of pistachios to the U.S. and Europe have been hampered by sanctions. As the talks between Washington and Tehran to resolve the decade-long nuclear dispute head toward the June 30 deadline for a final agreement, traders are predicting lower prices.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New Saudi Power Structure to Boost Fight Against Al Qaeda and Iran

King Salman shuffles the kingdom’s top positions. Leading terror fighter Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef becomes crown prince. The king’s powerful son, in his 30s, becomes deputy crown prince. As a supporter of a hardline against Iran, he is the kingdom’s real strongman.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has named new players at the top of the kingdom, to boost the fight against al Qaeda and reiterate his hardline stance against Iran in the struggle for hegemony in the Middle East.

With the dismissal of Crown Prince Moqren bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud, King Salman, 79, removed the last remaining high-level official from the era of King Abdullah, who died on 23 January.

For local and other experts of Saudi politics, the new appointments mark the start of a new cycle in the country’s history.

On Wednesday, King Salman named Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, his powerful Interior Minister, as heir to the throne. About ten years ago, the latter led the way in the crackdown on al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates in the kingdom.

Prince Moqren was also relieved of his position as deputy prime minister.

The decree that named Prince Nayef as crown prince also named him as deputy prime minister and said he would continue to hold the position of interior minister and head of the Political and Security Council.

In a separate decree, King Salman named his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in his early 30s, as “deputy crown prince”.

For many, Prince Salman is the kingdom’s real strongman since he is minister of Defence and head of the country’s Economic and Development Council.

By taking the lead of an Arab coalition in Yemen, Saudi Arabia under King Salman has become more activist in foreign policy.

For several observers, the Yemen conflict is rooted in an open clash between predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and mostly Shia Iran for leadership of the Muslim world.

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

Report: 2.2 Million Iraqis Displaced by Islamic State Group

Conflicts and violence worldwide displaced a record 38 million people in 2014, with 2.2 million Iraqis alone forced to flee the Islamic State group, a Norwegian humanitarian group report released Wednesday revealed.

The findings of the study carried out by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center are endorsed by the United Nations refugee agency.

In a joint statement, they said 11 million were newly displaced last year — mostly because of conflicts in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. That’s the equivalent of 30,000 people each day.

The 4.7 million increase compared to 2013 comes mostly from the Middle East and Africa.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tensions Brew in Jordan Over Muslim Brotherhood Rift

Jordan’s authorisation of a breakaway wing of the Muslim Brotherhood has sent tensions soaring between the decades-old organisation and the government, accused of exploiting the rift to weaken the kingdom’s main opposition force.

In early March, the government gave its consent to the formation of the splinter Brotherhood group, led by a former head of the movement.

The offshoot aims to severe ties with the Brotherhood’s arm in Egypt, where hundreds of supporters have been killed and thousands detained since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army in 2013…

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

USA Offers $20 Million Reward for Information About 4 ISIS Leaders

The United States announced a $20 million dollar reward in return for information about four individuals described as prominent ISIS leaders.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Quickly Forgotten Maidan Gives Way to Business

Between chaos and death in Ukraine, while Europe increases risks

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — Hauled down the flags symbol, the spirit of Maidan seems to be completely forgotten. Forgotten Iulia Timoshenko, whose face stood out in every corner of Kiev, forgotten every reason to that uprising, excluding the hatred for the Russian citizens once brothers of flag, Ukraine seems to have surrendered completely to those oligarchs who manage politics. Business in place of democracy and democracy confused with business. Meanwhile, citizens do not really know what to expect in a Country managed without much attention to GDP, debt and budget. While in the East, between a ceasefire and the other, fighting and death, everything seems to revolve around private capital, the economic power of a few people, with the energy sector that continues to dominate the scene until causing the craving overseas. So, a confused battle in Europe could each day to light a new and dangerous fire in the international arena. The continuous presence of Kerry in Kiev is emblematic. Yet the US is very far, seven time zones, while the EU is just at few kilometres.

In the chaos of Ukraine, the early days recommendations of the most careful diplomats were for nothing, with the OSCE in the front row. All advices addressed to caution about possible diversions of Maidan. Movements that at the end came, with the European Union demonstrating its lack of diplomatic skills and the complete absence of an independent policy capable of safeguarding the interests of EU countries. In this regard, the initiatives of France and Germany are commendable, but also these seem to turn back over time and erase the spirit of the EU. Founded the bad guy on duty, the situation was quickly supported without considering the consequences. Of reasoning and diplomatic balance even the shadow. So in countries like Italy, for example, the sanctions imposed on Putin seem to have done more damage to their companies than to Russians. Maybe like a hammer on the feet. And the question arises if today, in EU foreign policy, the will of Poland and the Baltic countries, always terrified by the Soviet memory, is more important or that of the countries of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 or, at least, the countries that launched the European Union at Maastricht in 1993.

The fact is that today’s Ukraine is likely to spill over its harmful effects in the rest of Europe, at least if the West does not go back to analyze carefully the events, to distance itself from both sides and to recover such a credible mediation role. It is hard that this comes from the US. Firstly because America does not risk the arrival of more than a million refugees escaping from Donets Basin inflamed by the bombs, desperate which seem to be ignored by the world while crossing the river at 25 degrees below zero, and to whom it is difficult to provide accommodation in the Russian winter. Secondly because, in the logic of the business that exceeds all other logic, what happens in the Donbass seems to be more a matter of interest, deposits and corridors, rather than a dangerous escalation that could bring Europe back of many years. That same Europe that has quickly forgotten the offenses, such as the interceptions of US diplomatic Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State and sent by Obama in Ukraine to handle the situation. It was immediately forgotten that “

the Eu” pronounced by Nuland on the phone with the US ambassador in Kiev, who, instead, cared about the relationship with the European Union.

It is disturbing to think, as highlights Fulvio Scaglione on Limes, that while dying under needless bombs and many European companies increase their difficulties, a group of gentlemen, who became rich beyond measure in a few years, is working turbidly in post-Maidan to continue to increase their wealth by taking advantage from semblance of political man, far from that of a statesman. And the field of action is not EU: it is Russian or American. In fact, if the star does not seem to shine for Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine and 88th richest man in the world according to Forbes, who was selling to Russia much of its steel produced in Donbass, things are differently going for Ihor Kolomoisky, ranked as the second richest man in Ukraine and became governor of Dnipropetrovsk after Maidan. He heads the company that, in perspective, can greatly benefit from the future of Ukraine. One of these organizations is the Burisma Holdings which, although based in Cyprus, is an “independent oil and gas company operating in Ukraine”, as stated in the official website. Anyway, always on the website of Burisma it turns out that, since April of 2014, Hunter Biden, son of US Vice President Joe, and Devon Archer, man of confidence of the Secretary of State John Kerry of which was ‘senior advisor’ during the 2004 presidential campaign, are part of the board of the company, already authorized to market gas and already holding the rights to exploit shale gas in Ukraine. In May 2013, instead the banker Alan Apter entered, while in January 2014 (in the center of Maidan) joined the board of Burisma another excellent name of politics, former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

Speaking last October at the Ukrainian television “Channel One”, Kolomoisky announced (according Tass, he “confessed”) to have three citizenships: Ukrainian, Cypriot and Israeli. Anything unusual in a country where, although there is a law banning dual citizenship, three ministers, including two key ministers of economic scene, have obtained Ukrainian citizenship with emergency decree on December 2, 2014, the same day that they have been appointed ministry. The Finance Minister Jaresko Natalie is a US citizen, born in Chicago and grew up in the USA where she made her career in Washington within the State Department, for which she was sent 22 years ago in Ukraine. Instead is a Lithuanian citizen the banker Aivaras Abromavicius, Minister of Economy, while is Georgian the Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili, who has studied and worked in the US before becoming minister in Georgia under President Mikheil Saakashvili. So, three key ministries to three foreign neo-Ukrainians, considering that even the Health sector is a big deal and in Ukraine is one of the sectors with the highest rate of corruption. And recently the group of Ukrainians of adoption has increased with the appointment of the same Saakashvili as presidential adviser of Poroshenko. An assignment that stunned and confused the diplomatic world. Former Georgian president, indeed, lives since a long time as a refugee in the US, which refuse to deliver him to Georgia where he is wanted for “abuse of power” and other suspected crimes during his presidency.

But Petro Poroshenko, the president, has done the nomination to Saakashvili. Someone says that “he had to do.” On the other hand, Poroshenko is another important oligarch. But his case moves a context of great balancing act: he had the affairs (and has them, between a requisition and others) also in Russia. Everyone knows him as the “King of Chocolate” because his “Roshen” is at 18th place of the largest confectionery companies in the world. A giant, with about ten thousand employees, that has factories not only in Ukraine (four), Hungary (a) and Lithuania (a), but also in Russia (two). And there are many Russians who in recent years have eaten tablets and chocolates Roshen. An important market, as well as important have always been the two factories in Lipek, industrial city since the days of Peter the Great. In the middle of controversy, the Russian authorities have first banned the sale of the chocolate Roshen for presumed presence of benzopyrene. Then they ordered the closure of factories, bringing serious harm to the coffers of the Ukrainian President. Then, between a meeting and other in Minsk, the plants were reactivated and the Russians have resumed with joy to eat chocolate Roshen. But it is still unknown how long.

All this while Europe, also threatened by the Islamists clashes in South, continues to face always greater risks. Nevertheless some hint of common sense has risen, though unheard. As the “Alto Adige” model suggested by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Or a federalist turning that would solve many problems, taking into account the history and the different souls of Ukraine. But, perhaps, these diplomat paths are not so much liked from those who see Kiev as a business. And while in the East people are still dying, West Europe increases its risks.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Afghan Female ‘Top Gun’ Breaks Gender Barrier

With a hint of swagger, Afghanistan’s first female pilot since the fall of the Taliban is defying death threats and archaic gender norms to infiltrate what is almost entirely a male preserve.

Dressed in khaki overalls, aviator shades and a black headscarf, 23-year-old Niloofar Rahmani cuts a striking presence as she struts across the tarmac at the Kabul Air Force base.

“Ever since I was a child, when I saw a bird in the sky, I wanted to fly a plane,” she told AFP at the base, hemmed in by rolling dun-coloured hills…

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

Can Nepal’s Temples be Saved?

Largely destroyed by the earthquake, the country’s rich cultural heritage needs to be rebuilt. In a DW interview, Christian Manhart, head of UNESCO in Kathmandu, reveals how they plan to do it.

DW: Mr. Manhart, could you describe the current condition of the World Heritage sites in Kathmandu?

Christian Manhart: They have been dramatically damaged. In the historic center, many houses have been totally destroyed, especially the temples and palaces. I’d say that 60% of the seven World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley has been destroyed.

Do these sites still have the UNESCO World Heritage status? After all, they no longer exist in their original form.

They definitely still carry that status. The only institution enabled to decide to take them off the list is the World Heritage Committee, whose next meeting is in Bonn at the end of June. But I don’t believe they would take these sites off the list. Parts of them still do exist, sculptures, for example. And there’s a good chance that the temples can be reconstructed. Removing them from the list would send the wrong message to the Nepalese people.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Four Sentenced to Death in Kabul Lynching Case

Four Afghan men were sentenced to death Wednesday for the savage lynching of a woman falsely accused of blasphemy, a landmark judgment in a nation where female victims often have little legal recourse.

The Kabul primary court also sentenced eight people to 16 years in prison while 18 others were found not guilty after a three-day trial broadcast live on national television.

A furious mob turned on the woman, 27-year-old Farkhunda, on March 19, beating her in broad daylight and setting her body ablaze on the banks of the Kabul River.

The attack came after an amulet seller, whom she had reportedly castigated, falsely accused her of burning the Koran.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Islamists in Pakistan Hold in Absentia Funeral for Garland Shooters

Cleric says Garland shooters are “heroes of Islam” at Pakistan funeral

By Frank Heinz

As many as 200 people held an in absentia funeral Tuesday in Peshawar, Pakistan, for two men killed in Garland Sunday after they opened fire outside a cartoon contest featuring provocative images of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, NBC News reports.

A cleric in Peshawar, Pir Mohammad Chishti, led the service for Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi at a public park in northwest Pakistan where he said the men were “the real heroes of Islam and we must be proud of their courage.”

Soofi and Simpson have been identified as the men who, while wearing body armor and carrying automatic weapons, pulled up to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland and began shooting at an unarmed security guard and a police officer.

The police officer returned fire, killing the men; the guard was wounded in the ankle.

Soofi, born in North Texas, was largely raised in the Garland area but now shared an apartment with Simpson in Phoenix.

In a radio broadcast, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack — though it offered no evidence of a direct link to the attackers.

Using loudspeakers installed on a vehicle, Chishti asked people to come out of their homes and attend the in absentia funerals for the men he called “martyrs of Islam.”

“Come forward and prove your love and loyalty with Islam and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” the cleric told people.

The cleric said those who make fun of Islam “provoke the Muslims on violence.”

[Churchill: “… the fanatical frenzy, as dangerous in man as hydrophobia is in a dog … “ — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Al Shabaab Strategic Objectives and Operational Aims in Kenya: Prelude to the Deep Jihad in Eastern Africa

Al Shabaab (officially known as Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen [HSM]) is an official affiliate of al Qaeda which is currently conducting a prolific terrorist campaign against Kenya despite suffering a series of major strategic setbacks in Somalia — its home base and operational headquarters. Nonetheless, its activities threaten to destabilize the Horn of Africa region. The lethal and persistent terrorist campaign conducted against Kenya includes several high-profile attacks such as the 2013 Westgate Mall Attack which killed over 65 people, the June 2014 Lamu attacks which killed over 60 civilians, the 2014 Mandera attacks which killed 64 civilians; and the recent Garissa University College attack which killed over 147 people. To understand the actions of al Shabaab, one must understand al Shabaab itself.

To defeat al Shabaab, one must identify and understand its ideology and thereafter proceed to defeat its ideology. Prior to identifying its ideology, one must identify its ideologues and reconcile their ideas with official statements made by the jihadist group (this topic will be discussed in another post). From the ideology emanates the strategic objectives of the jihadist organization which serves to guide its operational aims and the selection of combat tactics to be used to achieve specified operational aims.

Prevailing Knowledge Gap

In Kenya, there exists a considerable knowledge gap regarding violent Jihad as relevant authorities, institutions and policy makers have an inadequate understanding of Islamic terrorism, its ideology, factors that perpetuate it and most importantly, how to handle and contain it. In short, Kenya does not understand the war it is fighting; and this partially explains why al Shabaab has been able to remain operational in Kenya by maintaining its intelligence units, strengthening its recruitment network and safeguarding its logistical infrastructure as well as preserving its capacity to conduct attacks that inflict substantial damage to Kenya.

In addition, al Shabaab has been able to use Kenya as the ideological base to create new terror affiliates such as Al Hijra and Al Muhajiroun in East Africa. It thus stands to reason…

[go to URL for much more, e.g, “Strategy of Savagery: Operationalizing the Deep jihad…”]

[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Zuma Wanted Charges Dropped Because Corruption is a Western Thing

One of the reasons President Jacob Zuma believed criminal charges against him relating to the arms deal should be dropped was because corruption is only a crime in a “Western paradigm”.

And even if it was a crime, Zuma’s lawyers apparently argued, it was a crime where there are “no victims”.

These startling insights into Zuma’s 2009 written representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are contained in a detailed NPA analysis document, which City Press has obtained.

This synopsis is attached to a memorandum dated March 3 2009 and drawn up by Advocate Billy Downer, the senior state prosecutor who was seconded to the now defunct Directorate of Special Operations (DSO, also known as the Scorpions) for the Zuma investigation.

At the time, Zuma had already been elected president of the ANC but was not yet president of the country. Zuma’s lawyer, Michael Hulley, made representations to the NPA for the charges against him to be dropped…

[Return to headlines]

State Department Warning: Mexican State and Local Police Capabilities ‘Nonexistent’

By Ildefonso Ortiz

MCALLEN, Texas — As cartel violence continues to take hold of Mexican border cities and various states throughout that country, the U.S. Department of State has once again issued a strongly worded travel warning. The travel warning points out that state and local law enforcement in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas is non-existent.

“Throughout the state violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, pose significant safety risks,” the travel warning revealed. “State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas.”

The travel warning which was issued this week replaced last month’s warning which Breitbart Texas had previously reported on where it detailed that 181 Americans had been murdered there since 2013.

In the warning, the State Department makes reference to gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities that have taken place in many parts of Mexico.

Just last week as Breitbart Texas reported, cartel members shot down a Mexican military helicopter in the Mexican state of Jalisco during a series of fierce firefights that spread to nearly two dozen municipalities and resulted in gunmen torching scores of businesses and vehicles.

The travel warning focuses special attention on Tamaulipas, a Mexican border state that official from that country routinely claim is either safe or that the security conditions are improving.

[Mexico has some of the strictest gun control anywhere. This indicates how well that’s worked out. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

+191.5% Asylum Seekers in Germany in March

More than double the applications in first three months 2015

(ANSA) — BERLIN — The arrivals of asylum seekers in Germany are increasing and beating every record. Only in March, their number was 28.861, +191,5% compared with the same month of 2014. From January to March, 75,000 arrived in the country, +127,7%. The data were made public by the daily Rheinische Post.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘EU Must Protect Rights of Deported Migrants’

The EU border control agency Frontex must do more to protect the rights of thousands of deported migrants, the EU ombudsman said on Wednesday amid a surge of people landing on Europe’s southern shores.

Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly urged Frontex to improve how it restrains deportees, to ensure timely medical examinations, and to better protect disabled people as well as women and children.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Increase in Illegal Immigrants Crossing Italian Border

Last week 240 people tried to cross the Italian border into Switzerland illegally, with 120 migrants reaching Switzerland over the weekend alone. Ten additional guards have been sent to the Ticino border.

“Compared with previous months the number has more than trebled. The average has been around 70 people a week,” said Davide Bassi, spokesman of Swiss border guard region IV, which is Lugano in the southern Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.

This was a surprise, he said, confirming a report in the 20Minuten newspaper on Wednesday, since normally immigrant numbers drop at the beginning of the warm season. “Usually in spring and summer many refugees stay in Italy,” he said.

Bassi explained that whereas last year they had seen an increase in immigrants from Syria, this year most were from Gambia, Liberia and Somalia. They are currently in the asylum centre in Chiasso.

He added that the immigrants’ strategy for entering Switzerland appeared to be changing: previously they were almost always picked up on trains; now “at least 10% are using regional bus lines to come to Switzerland”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy Rescues 98 Starving Migrants in Mediterranean

Italy’s financial and customs police have rescued 98 starving migrants who had been drifting in the Mediterranean for two days without food or water. The asylum seekers picked up overnight by the Monte Cimone patrol boat off Sicily had been at sea for a total of 12 days in a 50-meter boat, AFP reported. Meanwhile, a group of around 30 Syrians made it to the coast of the southern region of Puglia. Italy’s refugee reception facilities are stretched to breaking point with 80,000 people currently being housed in them, and local authorities are growing increasingly impatient with the demands placed upon them.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Economic Disaster

The U.S. Census Bureau started 2015 with news that one out of five young adults—white, black, Hispanic—and ages 18 to 34, currently live in poverty! That’s 13.5 million people, “up from one in seven (8.4 million people) in 1980.”

If all this strikes you as very bad news, it gets worse. In February, the Daily Caller’s White House Correspondence, Neil Monro, reported that “President Barack Obama has quietly handed out an extra 5.46 million work permits for non-immigrant foreigners who arrived as tourists, students, illegal immigrants or other types of migrants since 2009.”

“‘The executive branch is operating a high parallel work-authorization system outside the bounds of the (immigration) laws and limits written by Congress (and which) inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans,’ said Jessica Vaughan, the policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies” which filed the FOIA request the revealed this travesty.

So it didn’t matter to Barack Obama that millions of Americans were out of work while the White House masterminded a secretive program to provide non-Americans access to the jobs that were available.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Pig Farm Plan to Push Away Muslim Immigrants

Anti-immigration campaigners in Gullberg in southern Sweden are plotting to build a pig farm next to an asylum centre in a last-ditch effort to deter would-be Muslim immigrants, who might find the animals offensive.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkish Coastguard Rescues 636 People

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, MAY 6 — Turkey’s coastguard has rescued more than 600 people trying to cross the Aegean sea over the last five days, including women and children fleeing war-torn Syria in rubber boats, Anadolu Agency reported quoting a provincial governor’s office as saying on Tuesday. More than 400 of the 636 rescued migrants were from Syria, while others were from Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and some African countries, the office of the governor of the coastal Izmir province said in a statement. Acting on tip-offs, the coastguard also detained a suspected human trafficker. Around 2 million Syrian refugees have fled the violence in their homeland and taken shelter in neighbouring Turkey. Many of them reportedly pay exorbitant amounts to smugglers and traffickers to help them get to Europe, risking a perilous journey in search of a better life. As many as 900 people drowned off the coast of Libya last month when a large boat capsized, by far the highest death toll in modern times among migrants trafficked in rickety vessels across the Mediterranean. About 1,800 people are estimated to have died during the crossing so far this year, the United Nations’ refugee agency has said. Some 51,000 have entered Europe by sea, 30,500 of them via Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Searching for “Marriage” In the Fourteenth Amendment

During April 2015, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v Hodges and consolidated cases. The questions presented for the Court to decide are:

1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a State to license a marriage of two people of the same sex?

2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage of two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.” [emphasis mine]

Obviously, §1 says nothing about “marriage” or “homosexuality”. So how can it be said to authorize the supreme Court to FORCE States to accept same sex marriage?

Simple! All they have to do is redefine “liberty” in §1 to get it to mean whatever they need it to mean in order to get the result they want in the cases before them.

And that is precisely what the supreme Court has been doing.

And by claiming that these practices constitute “liberty rights” which arise under §1 of the 14th Amendment, they evade the constitutional limits on their judicial power.

I’ll show you.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Social Justice Sociologist Denounces “Bedtime Reading Privilege”

by Daniel Greenfield

The difference between a lunatic and a liberal egalitarian sociologist is that the latter has tenure and visiting professorships at Harvard. As the frontier of social justice continually expands, like a balloon filled with stale toxic gases, it has become time to investigate the privilege enjoyed by children whose parents read to them at night, instead of smoking crack over their beds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why Do Kids Repel God?

In his book, A Basic History of the United States, Clarence B. Carson concluded, “The public school movement was always more than simply an effort to have schools provided at taxpayer’s expense. It wasn’t simply an effort to have an educated electorate as the franchise (to vote) was extended to more people, as is sometimes alleged. The most zealous of the reformers were determined to use the power of the state by way of the schools to break the hold of religious tradition and the inherited culture and to change society through the child’s training.”

The purpose and mission of the public schools, which were to be “free to everyone at the expense of everyone,” was to get rid of Christianity, to compel parents to give their children over to the state so that they could be trained to disrespect their Christian republic and its moral culture without parental interference. For over one hundred and fifty years now the government-run school system has become more and more entrenched and more and more expensive, all the while purporting to “care about the kids”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Erosion of Free Speech

by Denis MacEoin

“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name.” — Salman Rushdie, former President of PEN.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/6/2015

  1. So, where’s an analysis of the proposed attacks on American soil?

    Surely it can at least be assumed that there will be three different kinds: one for the five states named where people are now expected to be “ready,” one for the ten unnamed states where people are sitting ducks, and one for the other 35 states where pot shots might be enough….

    Agitation in California makes sense, after all, that’s where so much of this computer stuff is based. And, agitation in Maryland and Virginia makes sense, after all, sitting surrounding the nation’s capital, that’s where high ranking government officials often live. …But, the Great Lakes region? What’s in Michigan besides a bridge to Canada?

    • Michigan simply has a huge Muslim population, mostly in Dearborn. So it’s less of a target of opportunity and more of a population of high recruitment opportunity.

      • Nimrod, I first became aware of Dearborn’s Muslims when I saw some ads in a sidebar for a search I was doing on a book about female genital mutilation. Seems there is a big population pool for plastic surgeons specializing in gynoplasty – not to undo the harm of FGM, bec. Dearborn Muslims weren’t that kind of Muslim. They were middle-class and assimilated, kind-of. These doctors offered their services to restore a woman’s hymen. They could do it on her lunch hour but warned it took about 6 weeks to heal so it was best to plan ahead. It didn’t say, “hurry up before your wedding day” but that was indeed the subtext.

        To say I was gob-smacked is putting it lightly. Lawyers are not the only professional who will do anything for money…

        Dearborn does have its share of sullen Islam adherents. But it also has a big population of Muslims who would leave in a heartbeat if they didn’t know the price was death…

        • That doesn’t surprise me at all. In some Muslim areas of the word, newly weds are expected to hang out a bloody sheet the day after the wedding. The brides, virgins or otherwise, don’t want to take any chances so they take some sort of tiny container of blood to bed with them.

          I used to live something like 15 miles away from Dearborn. I even lived in a neighborhood with a number of Muslim households, but I never saw any guys with skullcaps and huge beards or women with anything more extreme than a hijab.

          I did run into a hijab-wearing woman one time who was asking me about some photography I was doing. She seemed interested in photography so I tried to suggest she take an inexpensive class, but she kept saying “no… I could NEVER do that!” as though she were completely incapable of such a thing. From her expression I could tell that she had probably been constantly told that she was stupid and incapable, etc, emotionally abused over a long period. It was sad to see someone like that and know that there was nothing you could do about it.

          I never actually went into Dearborn itself though as I never really had any reason to. The feeling I get is that the level of “radicalization” in percentage terms is no different than the general US Muslim population, but in terms of absolute numbers it will be higher just because the absolute population numbers are higher.

  2. I for one would be very thrilled to see a mass migration of the third world back to where ever they came from.

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