This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Catastrophic Personal Fall From Grace

"In a way, this guy defeated the sanctions and helped keep Iran afloat in a very difficult set of economic circumstances."
"What he did was brilliant. He did it better than anyone else, he did it faster than anyone else."
"Zanjani may have used the same shell game designed to cover Iran's tracks from the prying eyes of the international community in order to blindside his Iranian paymasters."
Emanuele Ottolenghi, senior fellow, Foundation for Defence of Democracies
Babak Zanjani (centre) arrives for trial in Tehran, 1 November 2015
Photos have been released showing Zanjani (centre) arriving for trial in Tehran in November -- EPA

With demonic brilliance, an enterprising Iranian businessman ingratiated himself into the theocratic hierarchy to become an indispensable plotter to help the Islamic Republic of Iran bypass the financial sanctions imposed upon it by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Canada. In the process he benefited not only the administration of the mullahs and in particular Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei but himself as well.

His operation of a hugely successful money laundering scheme made him a billionaire. And he did that by cleverly siphoning off money that should have gone to the Iranian treasury alongside all the money that did. Of course Supreme Leader Khamenei is not himself above filtering his massive personal profit from state treasury, but Babak Zanjani was not an elite spiritual leader but a pawn of the Revolutionary Guard who used his connections to entitle himself.

While he guided the government of Iran in evading international sanctions imposed as a result of its verboten nuclear program, he sold Iranian oil on the global market surreptitiously and successfully. He is now in prison, accused of withholding $2.7-billion of state money, that he had amassed. Early March saw his sentence handed down: death for corruption. He languishes, for the present, in the infamous Evin prison.

He was arrested in 2013, after then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's sinister reign was exchanged for that of the more cleverly restrained current president Hassan Rouhani. Zanjani's ties to the Revolutionary Guard Corps elite benefited him hugely. He consorted with the head of the brutal Basij militia, as well as Saeed Mortazavi, a former prosecutor accused of the torture murder of Canadian Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi in Evin prison. 

Zanjani began his career at the highest echelons of Iranian government appointees by working with an engineering company operated by the Revolutionary Guard, which garnered him the attention of the Iranian oil minister. He was appointed to oversee a sanctions evasion network. And he did that successfully, at the same time taking the opportunity to embezzle money meant for government coffers. 
The Monte Toledo offloads Iranian crude oil in the Spanish port of San Roque, 6 March
The Monte Toledo offloaded Iranian crude oil in the Spanish port of San Roque -- BBC News
Reuters reported that Iranian ships at a Malaysian island transferred millions of barrels of oil in cover of night darkness to tankers under the flags of other countries. The acquisition of stakes by  Zanjani in the Malaysian-based First Islamic Investment Bank looked after the money laundering part of the scheme, to evade the ban on Iran's use of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

It was only later, when the European Union placed sanctions on Zanjani personally and then on the companies he headed, then by the United States following suite, that the man found himself unable to pay Iran for the oil he was handling on their behalf.  His undoing.

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Belgian Public Confidence in Police?

It was not keen-eyed police investigators searching the area after the Brussels bombing on the 22nd of March who recovered key evidence, but according to the Dernier Heure newspaper, a cleaning team fom Bruxelles Proprete, who found a computer thrown in the trash, and immediately contacted officers from the Montgomery police detachment in Brussels. Within the computer a peculiar type of last testament was discovered; Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, complaining that he is being hunted and fears imprisonment.

He did indeed have legitimate fears of imprisonment for he went out of his way, along with his brother Khalid, to earn prime place in a manhunt. In any event, both Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui as well succeeded in their plan to become martyrs, in the process taking along with their lost lives, another 32 of innocent people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

Ten people died at the Brussels metro station targeted by Khalid, and another 22 at the Brussels airport where Ibrahim and Najim performed their act of supreme obedient sacrifice to Islam.

Belgian police leave after an investigation in a house in Brussels. Belgian police leave after an investigation in a house in Brussels. Photo: AP

However, it is what else that was discovered on the computer beside the will that is of immense discovery and importance. A file with photographs of the office of the Belgian prime minister, complete with floor plan. This is worrying serendipity, the discovery of the computer in a trash can. Although news sites claim it was discovered during a raid on Rue Max Roos in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels just hours after the 22 March attack, that somewhat gilds the lily.

A third airport attacker is still on the loose, the man seen in a closed circuit video loop at the Brussels airport and thought to have been taken in by authorities but discovered soon afterward to be the wrong man in this particular context. And yet another attacker is being sought in connection with the Maelbeek subway station suicide bombing. 
According to newer reports the computer contained data on the residence of the Belgian prime minister. Security around Prime Minister Charles Michel's residence and office has now been reinforced, the United States asked to aid in analyzing and decrypting data on the computer. 
And it seems that the Dutch minister of security and justice has revealed that the New York Police Department had issued a warning to his government on March 16 of links to terrorism on the part of the el-Bakraoui brothers. According to Dutch minister Ard van der Steur, that information was passed on to Belgian authorities five days before the bombing.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui had been arrested close to the Turkish border with Syria back in June. Which is when Turkish officials alerted the Belgian government, then proceeded to deport the man at his request, on to the Netherlands. Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was on parole from October 2014 relating to a nine-year prison sentence for attempted murder while his brother Khalid had a history of carjacking. 
From petty and attempted capital crime on to global jihad; quite the curricula vitae. People with these types of backgrounds require careful and ongoing scrutiny. The price paid for setting aside intelligence gleaned from outside sources is a steep one, just ask the grieving families of those whose bodies were blown into a puzzle of disparate parts.

Soldiers stand guard at the entrance of Brussels’ central station
Soldiers stand guard at the entrance of Brussels’ central station on Wednesday. Photograph: Aurore Belot/AFP/Getty Images

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Palestinian Authority Dysfunction

"Where else in the world would a parliamentarian, doing her job, calling out corruption, become a prisoner, while the corrupt walk free? This is a place that should be full of dialogue, people, justice, not a place of detention for a parliamentarian."
"I used to be the daughter of Fatah. Now I say I am a daughter of Palestine."
"The arrest warrant that was issued by the attorney general and the security forces’ attempt to arrest me February 25 were [the reasons for] my sit-in in the PLC. Throughout this period, the arrest warrant was in the hands of security forces surrounding the PLC. I staged the sit-in inside the PLC building because I am convinced that it is the Palestinian people's house, and I will protect it and protect the basic law that does not allow that an MP who criticized any minister or official be arrested. This is because the MP’s key task is to oversee the government. Unfortunately, things are reversed and the law is not being invoked. The decision-making process is monopolized, the executive branch is predominant over the law and legislative branch, and the policy to muzzle voices prevails."
Najat Abu Baker, Fatah lawmaker, Ramallah
Palestinian MP Najat Abu Bakr has ended her sit-in in the Palestinian Legislative Council, where she protested charges leveled against her for making corruption allegations, April 2, 2015. (photo by Facebook.com/Najat.abubakr)

The Palestinian Parliament building of the Palestinian Authority in the capital Ramallah is an abandoned place of governance for all intents and purposes. And it is where a lawmaker from the Fatah faction took haven for 17 days in an effort to avoid arrest that was imminent, by her own government, an arrest warrant that resulted from her activism and protest against cronyism and corruption, rampant in the Authority.

Which itself hasn't the democratic authority to rule in the West Bank, since the current government has long overstayed its welcome; its authorized democratic rule has long since lapsed, and no new elections have been called, the result of which is that the current administration is effectively illegal. Which doesn't seem to trouble them at all. There is in effect, at any rate, a dual government; a secular-type one installed in the West Bank, the other a theocratic one headed by Hamas in Gaza.

The irascible distrust and dislike verging on virulent hatred leading to violence between them is legendary. The differences between them minimal; one is outwardly and publicly hostile to the point of never-ending attempts at slaughter, to the presence of the State of Israel, the other is more discreet in what it proclaims to the wider world, while echoing what Hamas says and does internally. Both acknowledge a map of Palestine that miraculously sheds the presence of Israel.

Fatah prosecutors in the West Bank had summoned Ms. Abu-Baker in the strength of accusations she was guilty of insulting PA President Mahmoud Abbas. In response she took refuge in the parliament building where the 132-member legislature is supposed to meet regularly to administer the affairs of the West Bank. A unfinished building in Abu Dis, just outside Jerusalem imagined as the capital of a future independent Palestinian State is meant to represent a new parliament building.

When an agreement was reached on March tenth between Ms. Abu-Baker and prosecutors that she could avoid arrest by leaving the parliament building, she was free to go but remained defiant in her criticism of the Authority. She represented, in fact, the fourth legislator who decided to seek harbour in a 'protected space', with the assurance that security forces would not enter. Fatah official Bassam Zakarneh also spent a week on the grounds in a solidarity tent to protest a government decree outlawing his union.

Khalida Jarrar, a leftist lawmaker, hid herself within the building for a month in the summer after an order limiting her movement was issued by the Israeli government. She was later convicted of incitement to violence, and of being a member of an illegal organization, and finally sentenced to 14 months in prison. And then there was Ibrahim Khreisheh who insulted the Palestinian Prime Minister so an arrest warrant was issued, resulting in his installing himself in the office suite of the former speaker of the house.

Ms. Abu-Baker spoke to striking Palestinian teachers, informing them that there would be funding available to pay them properly if ministers were not as corrupt as they were; recommending the resignation of Mr. Abbas at the same time. According to one employee, 400 people continued to collect salaries for jobs at the legislature across the West Bank and Gaza, with 120 deployed in the Ramallah building where there was obviously nothing to do since the parliament simply doesn't sit.

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The Tragedy of a Muslim Well-Wisher

"Let's Follow The Real Footstep of Beloved Holy JESUS CHRIST (PBUH) And Get The Real Success In Both Worlds."
Asad Shah, Glasgow shopkeeper
Asad Shah

Image caption Asad Shah died after being found badly injured near his shop in the Shawlands area of Glasgow last Thursday -- BBC News
"You could be any colour, that would not be an issue for him, he just cared too much."
"He would want to know how are  you, what are you doing. He took an interest in everyone's lives -- old, young, anyone."
Aleesa Malik, 17, Glaswegian

"People are really shocked and very, very distressed that something like this has happened. After this event, our message is that everyone should keep calm and try to get together in recognition of being human beings."
Salah Beltagui, director, Muslim Council of Scotland

"We have been advised by police not talk about it, particularly about our names and locations, because there is a security threat."
"Actually, we cannot describe what we are going through. We are heartbroken."
Family member of Asad Shah
A vigil has been held in memory of the shopkeeper

People took part in a silent vigil in memory of Mr Shah on Friday evening -- BBC News
The good-natured and popular shopkeeper whom everyone who knew him now mourns appears to have been one of those optimists who believe that good things will always trump the bad in the world. And he was of the mindset that people owed courtesy and kindness to one another in reflection of the fact that, as the director of the Muslim Council of Scotland said, we are all human beings. Mr. Shah was a Muslim, but of a minority sect.

The Ahmadiyya community of the Islamic ummah is considered to be apostates, insults to Islam and its traditions, by the greater majority of Muslims comprised of the Sunni and Shia factions representing the allegiance of most of the estimated 1.3-billion Muslims in the world. The Sunnis account for about 3/4 of Muslim membership, while the Shia accounts for roughly the fourth quarter, while much smaller numbers are comprised of minority sects.

What is constant, however, in the world of Islam, is the contempt which each of the sects regard each other with, a contempt that goes beyond mere slander one of the other, incorporating the rage of hatred and incitement to violence. Islam has always been a religion of violence, since its sacred Koran speaks in the voice of the Prophet Mohammad who wrote the template, guided by Allah of Islamic proselytizing, rooted in the violence of conquest.

In Koranic explications written by succeeding scholars interpreting the original for inner significance, non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims, and their religions are false ones, whose existence enrages Allah. Anything that enrages Allah does likewise with his followers, evidenced in the mass rage that overtakes fundamentalist Islamists when they believe that non-Muslims have insulted the Prophet or Islam or done harm to a Koran.

The Ahmadiyya community within Islam appears to be separate and apart from those who despise them in that they really do believe in peace and practise living alongside others with respect and in harmonious relations. Mr. Shah's message of brotherhood and appreciation marked him for death. A 32-year-old Muslim man has been arrested and charged with his murder. The tolerance that the Ahmadiyya express is not universally shared in the ummah.

In Pakistan, where Mr. Shah emigrated from to Scotland, the Ahmadiyya are repressed and vulnerable to danger, just as Pakistani Christians are. Tens of thousands of Pakistani Islamists recently rampaged through Islamabad in anger that an assassin of a provincial governor -- who defended a Christian woman on charges of blasphemy -- was hanged for his crime. Those Islamists insist on the enactment of Sharia law, inextricably tied to Islam, be imposed and the woman, Asia Bibi, be put to death.

The light-hearted, kindly Ahmadiyya Muslim Asad Shah offended the sensibilities of mainstream Islam when he deferred happily to Christians during Easter, wishing them a happy holiday. The recognized laws of Islam assured his death because heretics are not countenanced in Islam, the solution for their impious assault on Islamic values is death.

Protesters from Pakistan's Sunni Tehreek group chant slogans during a sit-in near the parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, March 29, 2016.
(AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)    Protesters from Pakistan's Sunni Tehreek group chant slogans during a sit-in near the parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Will The New Pakistan Please Step Forward?

"Sharif seems to have taken some steps which the terrorists clearly are angered by. The terrorists are continuing their quest to purify Pakistan of all religious minorities and those who don't conform to their limited vision."
"There is no sign that the military strategic calculation has changed."
Farahnaz Ispahani, former Pakistan member of parliament

"Sharif is suffering a blowback. Pakistan is today a victim of terrorism, and the world needs to understand that without constantly accusing it of being a perpetrator of terrorism."
Rohan Gunaratna, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

"There is a complete network that has to be uprooted and destroyed. The Punjab government talks a lot but there's no action. Unless you move against jihadis, their hideouts, their logistics, their personnel, their contacts, their complete network -- these things will keep going on."
Ikram Sehgal, chairman, Pathfinder Group, Pakistan security company

"Our goal is not only to eliminate terror infrastructure but also the extremist mindset which is a threat to our way of life."
"We must take this war to the doors of terrorist outfits before they are able to hit our innocent countrymen."
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
epa05232899 Relatives of the victims of a suicide bomb blast cry outside a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, 27 March 2016. At least 52 people inlcuding women and children were killed while dozens injured in a suicide bomb attack that targeted a recreational park in Lahore. EPA/RAHAT DAR
Fun turned to anguish after a blast tore through a children’s park in Lahore on Sunday, killing 70 people and injuring about 200 others   ©EPA

Pakistan's Sharif has called for his country to become more "educated, progressive, forward-looking" into the future. He is behind a movement to improve the lives of religious minorities; Hindus, Christians and Shia Muslims, as well as Pakistan's women. Sectarian violence has targeted minorities in the country and honour killings have continued to threaten women's lives in the traditional and culturally-accepted belief that a woman's chastity is responsible for family honour and death of a woman accused of bringing dishonour to a family represents the restoration of honour.

When Taliban jihadis attacked an army school in December of 2014 by storming their compound a massacre of 134 students ensued, many of whom had been shot point blank in the head. That event represented a variation on the usual military or police base targets. It also led to new measures to reduce the violence of terrorist assaults. Some analysts view this latest assault on Easter Sunday not as an attack against Pakistan's Christian minority particularly, but rather a plan to target Nawaz Sharif's aspirations toward a new, civil, inclusive Pakistan.

Over 60,000 people have died in Pakistan as a result of Islamist terrorism since 2001. Taliban jihadis whose bases are in the border mountainous regions near Afghanistan view Pakistan's reach toward democratic values as anathema to Islam. They are intent on having universal Sharia law applied in Pakistan. And they have plenty of support among the population. Even while official Pakistan is engaged in convincing its Western allies of its sincerity in battling terrorism, the ongoing links between its intelligence services and the Pakistan military with Islamist groups continues.

And a virally Islamist nation rife with various jihadist groups, some of which conspire with the country's military to mount attacks on the disputed Indian-held part of Kashmir and across the border into India to foment unrest and disruption through bloody ambushes and assaults has a deeper, more sinister faultline. That this unstable country riven with polarized versions of Islam, resentful of its neighbours India and Afghanistan, is a nuclear-armed country.

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UN Human Rights Council Version of Suitability in Representation

"Michael Lynk, also deemed impartial and objective by the UNHRC’s vetting committee, plays a leadership role in numerous Arab lobby groups, including CEPAL, which promotes 'Annual Israeli Apartheid Week' events; signs anti-Israel petitions; calls to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes; addresses 'One State' conferences that seek to eliminate Israel; and argues that 'the solution' to 'the problem' must go back to Israel’s very creation in 1948, which he calls 'the start of ethnic cleansing'."
"On his campus, Lynk tried to stop the president of Western University from accepting an award from the Jewish National Fund, which advances reforestation and water treatment in Israel, and he regularly organizes anti-Israel events and speakers. Lynk’s stated goal is to 'isolate Israel'."
"Like Penny Green, Lynk also promotes an extreme anti-Western political agenda. Three days after the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Lynk instinctively blamed the West, pointing the finger at 'global inequalities' and 'disregard by Western nations for the international rule of law."
UN Watch, Geneva, March 10, 2016

"We call on [the United Nations Human Rights Council] President to review this appointment and ensure Special Rapporteur has track record that can advance peace in the region."
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion

Michael Lynk, a law professor at the University of Western Ontario, has been appointed as a UN rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.
Postmedia News    Michael Lynk, a law professor at the University of Western Ontario, has been appointed as a UN rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

The deeply flawed and anti-Israel Human Rights Council of the United Nations is functionally incapable of any kind of neutrality and moderation in its purported function as an arbiter of human rights and an accuser of nations whose actions obviously contravene human rights. Considering the fact that many members of the HRC are themselves representatives of nations known to be human rights abusers, this is hardly surprising. 

The United Nations in any event, and its member-bodies are now beyond surprising critical observers in their penchant for singling Israel out for ongoing opprobrium.

The previous rapporteur, Richard Falk, practised an odious and obvious form of anti-Semitism, never failing to accuse Israel of violations of human rights, while pleased to overlook the cynically brutal activities of Hamas in Gaza and Fatah incitement to violence in the West Bank leadership of the Palestinian Authority. The first choice to replace Richard Falk was another anti--Israel partisan, who loudly and publicly went out of her way to ensure that she would be known for her one-sided support of Palestinian 'rights'; hardly a neutral moderate.

A professor of law at Western University, Mr. Lynk has defended his record, complaining that those who condemn him have simply lifted statements he has made 'out of context', the favourite ruse of most who are pressed to the wall by evidence available on the public record of their preferences and biases. UN Watch experienced no difficulty examining his past record of alliances, naming him an "anti-Israel" partisan, with "an extreme anti-Western political agenda". In other words, a typical leftist academic.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed concerns relating to the appointment process itself, in that individuals are encouraged to apply for the Special Rapporteurs appointment in their own capacity, for there are no national nominations to fill the post, which would presumably come with the kind of careful vetting that would ensure that representative reflects the country's human rights values.  Lynk, said Minister Dion, "does not represent the views of this government."

As far as the candidate slate for the current position was concerned, the person who appeared before Mr. Lynk on the list, was a professor of law at Queen Mary University of London. As such Penny Green is a prominent advocate of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement whose purpose is the isolation and deligitimazation of the State of Israel. She too was found to be totally unsuitable for the position she sought and was approved for.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Life Goes On : Cautiously

"We are not afraid. It is our customers who are afraid. We usually do about 4,500 euros business a day and Easter should be one of the best days. But today we will probably only make about 1,000 euros. The fruit is spoiling. We will have to throw away a lot of it."
"Those who did this [Brussels bombing] have nothing in their heads. They do not believe in God. I hope that they are done with this because it destroy us commerce."
Abdel Kaldon, Bruxelles-Midi market vendor

"This terror is all over Europe now and it is not finished in Belgium because there really is no solution to this problem. But I hope we are safe here in the market. This place is full of Muslim sellers. I don't think they want to kill their own people."
"We have to adapt to their [Muslim] culture because they are so strong in Brussels."
Anna Maas, Bruxelles-Midi flower vendor

"If you succeed in taking down one cell there will be another. If you take down three of them, ten more will rise."
"My question is: In whose name do they do this? I am an atheist but I don't know one religion that advocates this kind of general violence."
Arlette Antoine, market shopper
Gare du Midi general market, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - Stock Image

The fruit-and-vegetable seller is concerned with earning a living. The attacks that left so many dead and injured are truly an inconvenience. And in condemning the attackers he is effectively stating in an oblique fashion that as a Muslim, a believer, he has no truck with the kind of psychopathy that targets innocent people going about their daily lives. And failing to accommodate the living needs of others of their religion.

The flower vendor, for having lived for so many years among Muslims appears to know very little about Islam, a trusting and puzzled person for whom the violence and the hatred seems inexplicable. If she knew a little more about world affairs she would be aware, as well, that Islamists don't mind one bit killing "their own people". She observes that change is always underway, and it is Belgium that changes to accommodate the Arab population by the school calendar taking note of Ramadan.

The market shopper's disingenuous question reflects no wish to linger on the question of religion and how it impacts peoples' lives; those who become raging psychopaths and those who become their helpless victims. A state of indifference, an unwillingness to view the reality of her life and those around her as the malign influence of a totalitarian religion infuses her community with a pathology of hatred that no number of arrests will serve to quash.

Belgian authorities have taken steps to see that rock concerts, sport matches and even a March Against Fear are all temporarily postponed or cancelled, for fear that terrorists will strike again in the crowded venues so beloved of assassins looking for maximum impact, making their martyrdom well worthwhile. Belgium little envisioned the future when it undertook to respond to a manpower shortage a half century earlier by convincing Moroccans their future lies in Europe.

Gare du Midi general market, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - Stock Image

In the market a Flemish man who withholds his name waxes eloquent that his government "must be more severe with those who commit some crimes or talk about doing it. Until now we have been far too tolerant. We should help people but we should not always behave like we are Santa Claus", he states. At a time Santa Claus needed all those helpers to get the toys to deserving children. Presumably, the helpers have turned to their own enterprise of persuading non-Muslims they deserve to convert to Islam.

In the marketplace, when asked, Moroccan-born Belgians emphasize that Islam is a religion of peace. The attacks killed a Moroccan family, they state pointedly, so they too have suffered, as does the Moroccan man who lost one of his limbs in one of the blasts. "This complicates our lives. Of course some people change their opinions about us. We know this. It is really sad", Yassine Elyazildi, said.

"This market is empty right now People are not buying our fruit. They are not buying any meat or fish or clothes from anyone else, either. It really has been this way since the Paris attacks last fall. I understand why people are afraid to go down into the Metro now. This place could be a target, too. It is a big market. But life continues."

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The New Reality: When In Doubt, Arrest

"He was definitely supportive of Shaikh Muhaysini and Jabhat al-Nusra. Very supportive. He was translating Muhaysini's Arabic tweets for his English audience and was deeply involved in theological debates."
"Muhaysini is classic al-Qaeda and did call for more fighters to come to Syria recently -- after the Russians got involved."
"[Kevin Omar Mohamed, known on social media as Abu Jayyid is] Guyanese by background."
Professor Amarnath Amarasingam, researcher in Canadian foreign fighters

"The sincere mujahid [holy warrior] doesn't care whether he is given victory or is martyred, for he came out for one of the two good things, victory or shahada [martyrdom] and he entrusted that to his lord and is pleased with what Allah chooses for him."
Kevin Omar Mohamed, jihad posting

"While there was no indication of any plans for a domestic attack, we must remain committed to preventing individuals from travelling abroad to gain training and expertise that could be used in the planning and implementation of future attacks on Canadian soil."
RCMP Superintendent Lise Crouch, assistant criminal operations officer, Ontario
Handout   Kevin Omar Mohamed, 23.

Western government authorities are clearly rattled. Expressing fanatical views on line was once seen as mildly troubling. Now they're viewed as harbingers of violence unleashed when least expected. They are threats that warn of what is yet to come. The violent, planned and hugely successful jihadist attacks that took Paris and Brussels by surprise, as a result of lax intelligence and the propensity to overlook just such threats have come back to haunt French and Belgian authorities.

Few other countries have a wish to see those attacks mounted on their soil. And all of them have the potential to witness just that type of occurrence, since home-grown jihadis, many of whom have left the countries of their birth to respond to the call inciting jihad, have travelled to places of conflict like Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria to fight Islam's wars, learning battle strategies and bomb-making skills. These experiences accompany them back to their European and North American homes.

In fact, there is little real need to travel since recruitment connections are everywhere; at local madrassas, mosques, social centres, and the Internet. Anti-terrorism police in Canada have been empowered through a Bill C51, a new law enabling security and intelligence to act in a way not previously practised, as a reflection of the viral reality of Islamist jihad, to make arrests founded on the belief that to do so will interrupt plans to mount attacks in Canada.

Kevin Omar Mohamed, 23, has written on line that Muslims who engage in conflict on behalf of Allah represent "the highest". The "terroristic organization USA" viewed by him as an adversary of Islam. Wondering why jihadi songs were viewed by non-Muslim governments as unacceptable "if songs glorifying rape/drug dealing/killing people/joining gangs is acceptable online". The distinction that seems to elude him is that those rap glorifications are a figment of social rejection, while the criminal acts of rape, drug dealing, killing people, joining jihad/gangs is the reality of psychopathic Islamism.

In an ironic twist, Mohamed had posted his opinion about Aaron Driver also known as Harun Abdurahman an ISIL advocate arrested in Winnipeg in the fear he "may" engage in terrorism, as profoundly unfair. "Harun Abdurahman is why people in Canada should oppose BC51. How can  you do this to people based on a hunch they might engage in terrorism", he queried in his post.

Now Mohamed can puzzle that one out to his heart's content, nursing a more personal grievance as penalty for taking "freedom of speech" to its ultimate line of demarcation between speaking one's mind and invoking divine authority to incite to violence. His trip to Syria in the spring of 2014 doubtless equipped the young man with the devoted expression of martyrdom-obligation.

The close scrutiny to which he has been subjected has been well earned.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Traumatically Harrowing

"The girl looked tired, malnourished and psychologically tortured and could not give us more details about her stay in the forest and how her other mates were treated."
Idrissou Yaoubou, leader, self-defence group, Limani, Cameroon
This file photo taken from video released by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014, shows missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.  (AP Photo)

A fifteen-year-old girl who informed authorities she was one of the Nigerian girls who had been abducted by Boko Haram marauders two years ago, had surrendered herself on Saturday in Cameroon rather than carry out a suicide bombing mission she had been tasked with. Her experience and her description served to confirm what experts had long suspected, that Boko Haram had instructed some of the girls they were to become suicide bombers.

These girls have been so demoralized, terror-stricken, their humanity degraded and their sex violated by their captors in their grim situation as slaves to barbarian masters that it would hardly be surprising that they would have little free will left to them. There can be little doubt that some of these girls would be only too willing to end their lives and escape the squalid misery and hopelessness that has been enforced upon them.

Although the authenticity of the girl's statements is undergoing a check, according to Midjiyawa Bakari, Far North region governor, a community leader in Chibok remarked that the girl's age would correspond with that of the youngest among the 765 girls abducted in 2014 from a government boarding school. With the 15-year-old there were two other young women with explosive belts one of whom was arrested, the other fleeing back into Nigeria.

The kind of torment that these young girls have been living with for the past two years can only be imagined. Abducted, herded into the large Nigerian forest to live among the Boko Haram terrorists where they were forced to become Muslims and where the leader of the jihadist group threatened to sell them off or to marry them to his fighters, there is little doubt that all of that did take place, the girls pawns in the life of Islamist jihadists.

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Increasing Vigilance, Increased Terror

"I've never seen this before in my twenty years at the centre for burns. Injuries linked to the blowback from the blast, [similar to injuries during his service in southern Afghanistan from improvised explosive devices] which can mutilate."
Dr. Serge Jennes, Brussels

"We understand fully the emotions [in the wake of the Brussels bombings]."
"We understand that everyone wants to express these feelings [through a shared public demonstration of sorrow]."
"[However], we invite the citizens not to have this demonstration."
Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon
Belgian police stand guard as a bomb disposal expert arrives at the scene of an operation in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels, 25 March 2016 (EPA)

The simple fact is police and the military are too stretched at the present time, their attention fully given to investigations, searches, apprehending suspects, ensuring that no imminent attacks are on the radar. And that a mass public demonstration would require the presence of police to ensure that those in the crowds of mourning Belgians are themselves safe from any potential attacks, or that within the demonstration, opposing views do not lead to confrontation and violence.

Ine Van Wymersch, a Brussels prosecutor, has verified that 24 of the 31 victims of the Brussels Airport and subway station attacks on Tuesday have now been identified. While officially 31 people are listed as dead from the blasts, speculation is that the death toll may yet rise as unidentified body parts may point to more than the 31 accounted for, a number that does not include the 'martyred' jihadist bombers. Among those who were seriously injured in the blasts, some may yet die.

As for the 270 people who had been wounded in the blasts, 93 are being treated at a Brussels military hospital where fifteen people are being treated in a serious burns unit, five of whom are in intensive care. The wounded, according to Dr. Jennes, suffered burst eardrums. And he fears as well that his medical colleagues treating these patients may themselves require psychological counselling to help them cope with the trauma they have been subjected to, treating such seriously impacted patients.

At the Brussels Airport the damage assessment continues at the Zaventem airport departure terminal. Engineers were brought in to assess the structural safety of the building and its information technology systems, and to determine whether any of the significant damage is capable of being expeditiously repaired to enable the airport to resume its busy schedule.

At the present time 600 flights daily are cancelled or are being diverted elsewhere. Europe is engaged in introspection of a variety they feel helpless to do anything about. Hoping that wherever they happen to be will not coincide with jihadist plans to treat Europe to additional episodes of carnage. The question looms uppermost in peoples' minds; who among them represent these violence-prone psychopaths? Where will the next strike appear?

Belgian intelligence which seemed acutely unaware, is now activated in identifying and locating people with suspicious backgrounds, like a man whose full name has been withheld, arrested and charged with "involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder". That should cover all the bases for Faycal C. Otherwise known as Faycal Cheffou, the man seen with the two suicide bombers wearing a light vest and hat captured in security video at the airport.
Belgian media reported that the suspect who fled the scene is Fayçal Cheffou

This is a man who agitated at detention centres for refugees and asylum seekers in Brussels where a video caught him criticizing the government for its offensive anti-Islamic behaviour, serving Muslim refugees meals before the end of the daily fast, during the month of Ramadan. An additional two suspects have been charged with "involvement in the activities of a terrorist group".

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Institutionalized Sexual Abuse

The venerable British Broadcasting Corporation, the mother national broadcaster after which Canada's own Canadian Broadcasting Corporation patterned itself to reflect the Canadian experience with Canadian-based content for the purpose of connecting Canadians coast-to-coast with social, political, artistic, cultural content reflective of Canada, also incidentally gave the CBC a besmirched legacy to copy. In the sense that it was so married to the celebrities it had fostered on air that it chose to overlook their sinister, soul-destroying misconduct. The Corporation's dependence on the public acclaim for some of their key on-air personalities kept it from investigating rumours that some of its public lights were notorious for molesting children.

The sexual predation, in fact, was so widespread, and was so secretly in the realm of the kind of scandal that must be hushed -- taking an obvious page out of the Catholic Church's handbook of avoidance of criminalization of pederast-predators -- at risk of bringing infamy to the public entity -- that it chose to ignore what it knew, throwing the lives of children's stability away as simply tolerable sacrifices to the greater good of the public weal in protecting the reputations of their predators. While those predators continued to exercise their entitlements as celebrated public figures to prey on vulnerable children, the BBC management continued to avert their notice in the greater interest of the BBC.

And although its Canadian counterpart has not and likely would not have succumbed to a similar exercise of immoral and deliberate avoidance of responsibility, it too chose to overlook sexual misconduct on the part of one of its media darlings whose popularity was so widespread that it served to protect him from the merest hint of sexual impropriety. Even while those within the CBC were aware of his entitled predation, and chose to tolerate it. Muted complaints and concerns that were expressed by those exposed to Jian Ghomeshi, host of the iconic CBC program "Q", were casually shunted aside; in any event those underlings were anxious to graduate from their inferior status to more meaningful positions within the broadcaster. So while those in control of the program became aware of the man's unsavoury reputation, they looked away.

Jian Ghomeshi and lawyer Marie Henein leave court Thursday after Ghomeshi was cleared of all charges.
Rene Johnston / Toronto Star 

Jian Ghomeshi and lawyer Marie Henein leave court Thursday after Ghomeshi was cleared of all charges.

Until the time, finally, when rumours of rancid violence directed by a CBC-protected star toward women unfortunate enough to come into his orbit could no longer be ignored, once they spectacularly hit the outside news media with some journalistic probing. The charges that ensued as women, most choosing to remain anonymous with one exception, that of a well-known actress, resulted in a paroxysm of public aversion, and in one fell swoop Ghomeshi's public acclaim for his popular on-air cool, suavity dissipated.

The long-awaited trial in the wake of much public discourse and prurient interest in published details led to the man's metaphorical hanging, his career in tatters, his position with the CBC obliterated in infamy and apologies to the public. But the trial itself was an abysmal failure. Of the three women who agreed to testify, giving anecdotal evidence of their experience with Ghomeshi, none came out of their testimony having advanced the case. All, without exception, had resorted to shielding the evidentiary trail with details they preferred not to divulge. And when inconsistencies, outright prevarication and obvious collusion emerged, Jian Ghomeshi's trial lawyer, a skilled courtroom tactician, had a field day, revealing the obvious and many weaknesses in the Crown's case.

It was, then, of little surprise when the presiding justice felt he had no option but to dismiss the charges based on the testimony of women whose honest portrayal of the circumstances they found themselves in at the mercy of a sexual predator, was tainted and unreliable. Not that what they contended did not happen, but that their descriptions of the aftermath, as an example, were lacking. There were hints at a collusion between them in a vendetta against the man. And it was obvious that police did not probe adequately what they were being told, nor did the Crown ask those meaningful questions and give the kind of legal cautionary advice advice they should have, to the women who were their prized witnesses in a case that should have resulted in public opprobrium of sexual misconduct finding the man guilty on the basis of reliable evidence.

The old syndrome of female reaction to male violence was most certainly at play here, where abused women tend to cater to the very men who had abused them. Complicated by the social interactions where men of power and influence, and social 'cool', attract women with their insecurities, anxious to please and to restore relations despite abuse, in the hope of the situation miraculously ending to their advantage.


Accommodating Islamist Precepts

"The enemy looks ordinary and walks among you. It is one of the goals of ISIL to sow division and make us afraid of one another. That was one of the things I learned during my captivity."
Nicolas Henin, French journalist, 10-month ISIL hostage

"In a program of aggression and expansion these movements enjoy the advantage of fifth columns in every country and community with which they share a common universe of discourse."
Bernard Lewis, Academic, Islam expert

"How hard is it to understand that radical Islamist jihadis have declared war on the West?"
"It means they will find you and kill you wherever and whenever they can."
Raheel Raza, Pakistan-Canadian, founder, Muslim Reform Movement
Islamic State - Council on Foreign Affairs

The few brave souls that speak up and speak out about the Islamist agenda of violent conquest in a pattern that leads from the Seventh-Century advent of Allah speaking directly to the Prophet Mohammad to the present day, risk their lives to warn governments and populations for whom the very existence of a conspiracy of such magnitude is impossible to digest seem to speak in vain. From Turkish, Syrian and other Middle East journalists to Western academics, to Muslims living in Western societies, the warnings fall on deaf ears.

People in the West simply cannot conceive of a religion whose constant messaging through the Koran and the Hadiths toward the imperative of jihad in obeisance to the tenets of Islam succeeds at their personal peril. The world they know, the culture, society and values that they treasure, the laws that keep them secure and protected, the constants of trust and the social contract in benefit to all of the society threatened by the presence of a distant menace.

And then, that psychopathic menace approaches stealthily, infiltrating the democracies of the West with a view to undermining their stability whatever deadly carnage it takes to succeed, inspiring terror and ultimately altering the familiarity of routine with the need to become vigilant so that every waking hour represents the dread of imagining what comes next in the wake of the latest tragedy imposed by the religion-addled conscripts of jihad.

The rise of social media has changed our world in ways too numerous to imagine. Most people use the Internet and the World Wide Web for constructive ends, for primary communication along with its civil uses by government agencies. Who might have imagined the malevolence of a fundamentalist religious ideology that would use those auspices to spread sinister and nefarious messages of hatred to inspire violence?

And when war is declared by the House of Islam against the House of Iniquity representing all non-Muslim nations and their peoples, how to respond? Those who incite to jihad speak to a ready and waiting audience, prepared through long and thorough indoctrination to receive those messages and regard them as nothing less than the call by the Almighty to honour their faith. While in return those who represent the targets of jihad must defend themselves.

And there lies the problem: how to defend against attackers without conscience as it is recognized by most sane people of average intelligence? Believing implicitly in what their sacred screed demands they have no need of conscience, since they believe that their religion's demand is beyond scrutiny, the very words incarnate of Allah whose will must be obeyed. How can sanity argue with the pathology of ingrained entitlement to world conquest?

And so, we see a steady progression of jihadist cells appearing throughout the world, in both non-Muslim and Muslim nations alike, all seen by the Islamists as ripe for slaughter to hasten the Apocalypse that will bring the righteous faithful directly to Paradise, to meet with in triumph those who have purposely sacrificed themselves as martyrs in the act of killing innocent people, in the assurance that in so doing they commit an honour to Allah.

Our Western tender sensibilities inform us that by harbouring suspicions of Muslims we are being racially and religiously insensitive. This too is accelerated by design with Muslim organizations themselves insisting that Islam is never at fault, that there is never anything within Islam that militates to violence, and those who claim otherwise are displaying a dreadful form of discrimination they have named Islamophobia.

We hesitate to name the Islamist terrorist attacks for what they are: a clear manifestation of the sacred writings attributed to Mohammad acting under instructions from Allah. We fail to declare ourselves in full knowledge of what the Koran and the Hadiths instruct, and use that knowledge to confront the world of Islam with its deadly agenda, refusing to continue to allow their leaders, their clerics, their mosques and their universities to assure us that what we are witnessing is not Islam but the work of rogues.

Rogues that their own Islamist colleges of jurisprudence, their mullahs and their ayatollahs reinforce at every Friday sermon.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

In a Suddenly-Insecure World

Arrests in Belgium, France, and Germany. The world is on high alert, investigators are under pressure to do something to arrest the wave of violence that has been sweeping through Europe. In the West Bank a Palestinian Authority parliamentarian scoffs that Europe feels itself beset by terrorism. Terrorism, he said, is what Palestinians experience. The 'occupation' is the face of terrorism, and since Europe is responsible for helping Israel install itself as a Jewish state, it's high time it bled, too.

A cartoon in the official PA daily, blaming the West for the Brussels bombings and global terrorism in general. Photo: Palestinian Media Watch.A cartoon in the official PA daily, blaming the West for the Brussels bombings and global terrorism in general. Photo: Palestinian Media Watch.

The Brussels bombings succeeded in killing 31 civilians and three bombers. Of the 270 wounded in the attacks, some are so severely wounded they may not survive their ordeal. Others have been disfigured severely by the blast and its deadly rain of shrapnel. While still alive, identification has been hampered by their condition. Desperate relatives of those missing are demanding entrance to hospitals to view the wounded themselves for identification.

Several of the dead still have not been identified. But had the largest and most deadly of the three improvised explosive devices not failed to explode at the airport, the carnage would have been even worse. Desperation has mandated that new security procedures be instituted. Each time there is a new attack new security measures are implemented. But there is always a way to infiltrate even the seemingly most secure measures. By no stretch of the imagination was this airport secure then, and nor is it now.

Nine people have been detained after police raids in central Brussels, Jette and the Schaerbeek areas. Police had found explosives materials and allied bomb-making ingredients earlier in the week in an apartment in Schaerbeek.   Police are very, very alert, extremely taut, an explosive situation. Early reports were that they had apprehended a known suspect holding a bag full of explosives. With him was a little girl, taken into custody after the man, her father, had been shot in the leg.
"We heard 'Don't move'. The man was sitting at the bus stop, a bus stop with a glass wall, and we heard a small detonation and a big detonation."
"Then the police came, took the little girl who was shouting 'Dad', she seemed terrified and the man got shot in the leg anyway because he was still moving."
"Then the police asked him to move his bag. He was lying on the ground, but he did it and pushed the bag and a robot from the mine-sweeping brigade arrived. It came, grabbed the bag and took it away, then they took the guy, put him in a car and left. It took 20 seconds."
Norman Kabir, 38, witness 


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The Rapists of Islamic State

Sahih Muslim 3371—We went out with Allah’s Messenger on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing azl (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger, and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.
Sahih al-Bukhari 4138—We went out with Allah’s Apostle for the invasion of Bun Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus [same as "azl" above]. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said: "How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle who is present among us? We asked (him) about it and he said: "It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul till the Day of Resurrection is predestined to exist, it will exist."
Sahih Muslim 3384—Jabir bin Abdullah reported that a person asked Allah’s Apostle saying: I have a slave-girl and I practice azl with her, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: This cannot prevent that which Allah has decreed. The person then came (after some time) and said: Messenger of Allah, the slave-girl about whom I talked to you has conceived, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: I am the servant of Allah and His Messenger.
islamic state
The purity of Islam as it was revealed by the Prophet Mohammad and the example he set through bloody conquest and slavery, and rape of girls and women whom Muslims were informed were their personal possessions,is being repeated to the present day among jihadists. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant prides itself on the purity of its brand of Islam. Daesh is notorious for its brutality and its sanctimony, proud of its exploits reflecting historical Islamist advances in conquering non-Muslim tribes, and making off with their women and their children after slaughtering the men.

The plight of the Yazidis of Iraq in particular has demonstrated the seriousness with which Daesh takes its entitlements as brutal oppressors and Hadith-inspired slave-masters and rapists. Girls and women who have escaped their captivity tell their personal harrowing stories of sex-slavery, their victimization by men who view captured women and girls as their rewards for zeal in persecuting and terrorizing despised non-Muslim ethnic minorities.

The ISIL terrorists acquire their slaves through slave markets where captured, helpless women and children are displayed and prices of acquisition placed on them, giving opportunities to ISIL fighters to become owners of female bodies, deliberately oblivious of the fact that with the body is an individual, a human being with a mind and emotions in whom their plight has instilled well-earned trepidation and fear for what the future holds.

In Islamic law, popularly cited by Islamic State, a man has the obligation to make certain the woman he has acquired as a slave is not pregnant; only then may he have intercourse with her. This is the manner in which Islamic State has interpreted sexual slavery based on the Prophet Mohammad's own practice. Hundreds of the thousands of captured and enslaved Yazidi women managed to escape their imprisonment as slaves and they have described the agony they were forced to undergo.

Doctors examining some of the escapees have observed that among the 700 rape victims of the Yazidi ethnic group seeking treatment at a United Nations-linked clinic, five percent became pregnant during the period of their slavery. Dr. Nagham Nawzat, the gynecologist involved in the examinations noted that the normal fertility rate for a young woman falls between 20 and 25 percent.

One captured teenage girl who later escaped had been sold no fewer than seven times among the Daesh jihadis. Anyone interested in acquiring her as a sex trophy asked first whether she was pregnant, whereupon her current owner would proffer as proof, a box of birth control pills. The third man who bought her asked her the date of her last menstrual cycle, ordered her to take a morning-after pill, administered a syringe of Depo-Provera, then raped her.

Thousands of women and girls of the Yazidi sect remain captives of this soul-destroying group of psychopathic religious fanatics, since their abduction from their ancestral homeland near Mount Sinjar in 2014. While hundreds have since managed their escape, their futures remain uncertain, living among their communities in tents, as refugees. One 18-year old, initially slave to the ISIL governor of a city in northern Iraq, described her experience: "Each month he made me get a shot. On top of that he also gave me birth control pills. 'We don't want you to get pregnant'", she was told.

When she was sold again, to a fighter in another Syrian city, the man's mother took her to the hospital. This woman informed her son with huge enthusiasm that the Yazidi girl was not pregnant, in this way validating his right to rape her. Even sex with a child is permitted, according to a pamphlet published by Daesh, asserting that it is 'legal' for a man to rape a woman he enslaves, under any circumstances.
SHADI, 18. From Kojo, Sinjar. Captured August 15, 2014. Held for five months 
SHADI, 18. From Kojo, Sinjar. Captured August 15, 2014. Held for five months 

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Molenbeek, Belgium, Jihadi Capital of Europe

"...the most important factor is Belgium's culture of denial. The country's political debate has been dominated by a complacent progressive elite who firmly believes society can be designed and planned. Observers who point to unpleasant truths such as the high incidence of crime among Moroccan youth and violent tendencies in radical Islam are accused of being propagandists of the extreme-right, and are subsequently ignored and ostracized."
"The debate is paralyzed by a paternalistic discourse in which radical Muslim youths are seen, above all, as victims of social and economic exclusion. They in turn internalize this frame of reference, of course, because it arouses sympathy and frees them from taking responsibility for their actions. The former Socialist mayor Philippe Moureax, who governed Molenbeek from 1992 to 2012 as his private fiefdom, perfected this culture of denial and is to a large extent responsible for the current state of affairs in the neighborhood."
"Two journalists had already reported on the presence of radical Islamists in Molenbeek and the danger they posed -- and both became victims of character assassination."     Teun Voten, Belgian cultural anthropologist,former Molenbeek resident
Federica Mogherini, the EU's de facto foreign minister (posing at left with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif) said last year, "Islam belongs in Europe.... I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture." Françoise Schepmans (right), mayor of the Molenbeek district of Brussels, received a list with the names and addresses of over 80 suspected Islamic militants living in her area. "What was I supposed to do about them? It is not my job to track possible terrorists," she said. "That is the responsibility of the federal police."
The classic scenario of locking the barn door after the horses have galloped off, is taking place in Europe. Wholly infiltrated by a culture, a heritage and a religion whose values stand in stark contrast to European history, culture and priorities, Europe is swiftly disappearing into the political and social maw of a religion whose primary goal is to eclipse all others and, by the irresistible draw of its theological magnetic field -- just like a black hole against which other space objects have no defense -- capture the world by the energy field of its totalitarian ideology.

Now that Europe has been the beneficiary of years of Muslim immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, the importation of Islamic ideals absorbing society into its orbit is proceeding apace. With the demands for Sharia law, for total recognition and respect for the precepts of Islam which recognizes no man-made laws let alone indigenous customs and values, the gradual take-over of Europe proceeds. And it is joined by a more lethal manifestation of Islam's pathology of conquest, one demanding engagement in jihad through which the vengeance of the spurned has its day.

The West looks on with alarm as the Taliban, al-Shabaab, Hezbollah, Islamic State, and Boko Haram maraud through countries of traditional Islamic heritage but which do not sufficiently genuflect to Islam's purity as it was conceived by the Prophet Mohammad in direct and obedient obeisance to Allah. The assaults and atrocities trigger condemnation and fear at the deadly cost to human life. Resolve to counter the waves of terror harden when the West itself comes under vicious attack as it did in America, France, Spain, Britain and Belgium. Not to mention Indonesia, Mali, Iraq, India.

Finally, a recognition that what has been occurring in the only Western-type democracy in the Middle East, is also afflicting Europe, in another classic: the canary-in-the-mine syndrome. "The threat we are facing in Europe is about the same as what Israel faces", finally admitted Olivier Guitta, managing director of GlobalStrat, international security consultancy. "We have entered an era in which we are going to have to change our way of life and take security very seriously."

In Europe and across the world authorities are looking to once again tighten security at airports, railway stations, government buildings and sites key to civilized life in the wake of the deadly bombings at the airport and subway in Brussels. An increased police and military presence in the public arena; explosive experts, sniffer dogs and plainclothes investigators are now being deployed, while governments warn against travel to Belgium.

Counterterrorism units are being deployed in crowded areas and transit locations worldwide in acknowledgement of the string of terrorism assaults setting Europe as a target. Europe itself must now contemplate the implementation of tougher security levels at airports and at obvious 'soft targets' like shopping malls, similar to what Israel has been living with for years.

A former security director at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport, Pini Schiff, issued his critique of Belgium's security, classifying the Brussels airport security as "a colossal failure". In Paris and at Gatwick and Heathrow in London, security is at a high alert level. How alert can any country now be to the threat that exists within? In the United Kingdom 27 percent of Muslims claimed sympathy with the Charlie Hebdo attacks; 78 percent support punishment for publication of Mohammed cartoons, with 68 percent supporting arrest and prosecution of anyone who would "insult Islam".

A World Public Opinion survey at the  University of Maryland gives figures of 61 percent of Egyptians, 32 percent of Indonesians, 41 percent of Pakistanis, 38 percent of Moroccans, 83 percent of Palestinians, 62 percent of Jordanians, and 42 percent of Turks endorsing or sympathizing with attacks on Americans or on U.S. groups. In Belgium, 16 percent of young Muslims believe state terrorism is "acceptable" according to a 2013 study, while 12 percent of young Muslims in Britain feel suicide attacks against civilians can be justified.

The Washington Post reported "About 50 to 70 percent of all inmates in prison [in France] are Muslim, though Muslims represent about 12 percent of the country's population". An Anti-Defamation League report in 2015 found that: "An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored anti-Semitic attitudes. Acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country."
A 2006 Swedish government report found that 5 percent of its indigenous population held anti-Semitic views, while the number surged too 39 percent amongst adult Muslims. A 2012 study of Germany's burgeoning Turkish population disclosed that 62 percent of Turks in Germany want to  live exclusively among one another. As well, 46 percent express the aspiration that the country become a Muslim majority nation.

The venerable BBC noted that 36 percent of 16- to 24-year-old Muslims believe should a Muslim convert to another religion they should be punished by death. Thirty-five percent of Muslims prefer to send their children to an Islamic school, while 37 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds say they feel that government-funded Islamic schools should be established. Of 16- to 24-year-olds, there is a 74 percent preference for Muslim women to wear the veil, in comparison to 28 percent among those over age 55.

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Terror-Sanctimonious Moscow

"While Stoltenberg, getting carried away, battles the imaginary 'Russian threat', and stations troops in Latvia, people are being blown up in Brussels right under his nose."
Alexei Pushkov, Russian parliamentarian, head, Russian Foreign Affairs Committee

"[Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to King Philippe of Belgium, and] extended his condolences to the Belgian people and assured them of his absolute solidarity with the Belgians at this difficult time."
presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

"The Europeans are still paying a bloody tribute for their lack of a normal foreign policy, for being forced to submit to 'Uncle Sam' and enforce policies that absolutely do not conform to their national, European government interests, as well as the interests of individual peoples."
Gennady Zyuganov, head, Communist party of Russia
missile cruiser Moskva
The guided missile cruiser Moskva of the Russian Black Sea fleet passes through Bosporus strait. Source: EPA / Vostock-photo

It well behooves the executive branch of any government to display  compassion and solidarity with heads of other nations when national catastrophes arise of profoundly disturbing order. And violent mass assaults resulting in the deaths of significant numbers of people and the wounding of far greater numbers at the hands of diabolical champions of death and destruction under the banner of a religion that its adherents worship as one of peace, certainly make the grade.

So Vladimir Putin bowed to the social grace of extending sympathy, while leaving it to lesser Russian authorities to vent a little spleen at the European Union and NATO. When an upheaval of world order occurs with one state attacking another, it represents a wholesale breach of international norms which no onlooking state could possibly condone. The action of a stronger, more militant nation invading, occupying and encouraging nationals of the invaded country to rebel is clearly and obviously illegal and immoral, all the more so that people die in the conflict that ensues.

To cast Moscow's decision to invade Ukraine as it did Georgia, and wrest from both former satellites of the Soviet Union territory that it wished to take possession of demonstrated an unequivocal violent aggression, which the Kremlin steadfastly denies the reality of, much less responsibility for, while expressing white-hot anger at the international community's steps to isolate Russia and impact its economy as punishment to ensure Russia understands fully its actions are condemned.

Russian state television has released a satellite photograph that it claims shows that a Ukrainian fighter jet shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. But many commentators dismissed the photo as a fake. Mark Solonin, a Russian author who is an engineer by training, said in his blog that both aircraft looked disproportionate to the landscape and concluded that their images were crudely edited into a satellite picture.

Hinting that in focusing on the fears of the Baltic states that their militantly bullying neighbour might have them next in mind, NATO missed the boat in preventing Islamist terrorist attacks on European soil, is a pathetic censure that is based on nothing but national pique and denial of Moscow's responsibilities to honour the international compacts that hold national boundaries of sovereign nations sacrosanct.

Russia's hypocrisy in sending troops and warplanes to the aid of an Islamist terrorist regime in Syria where a sectarian civil war is raging, preening itself that it was 'invited' by the murderous regime, whereas the U.S.-led and NATO-involved coalition battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were not, stands logic and international law on its head.

Two Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems are seen at the Russian military base in Latakia province in the northwest of Syria, on December 16, 2015. (AFP photo)
Two Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems are seen at the Russian military base in Latakia province in the northwest of Syria, on December 16, 2015. (AFP photo)

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