Categories
Headline USA New York

New York Times admits it got duped by a hoaxer

The New York Times has admitted to ‘an institutional failure’ in the production of its podcast ‘Caliphate’ by giving ‘too much credence’ to the story of a man now revealed as a fantasist pretending to be a terrorist. 

In a devastating internal review released on Friday, it was found that the paper had failed to corroborate the sensationalist claims made by Canadian Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, and that the podcast team was duped by his fake story of working as an ISIS executioner. 

The review began after Chaudhry was arrested by Canadian authorities in September and charged with ‘a hoax regarding terrorist activity’ as he lies fell apart.

Chaudhry’s remarkable, yet untrue, story of being a fighter and executioner with the Islamic State in Syria had been the centerpiece of the award-winning ‘Caliphate’, for which reporter Rukmini Callimachi was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and won a Peabody Award.

Yet, the Times has now found that show, launched in 2018, dropped far short of the paper’s standards following widespread failings, right up to senior management. 

They branded Chaudhry a ‘fabulist’ who concocted stories as an escape from his more mundane life in a Toronto suburb or living with grandparents in Pakistan. 

Reporter Rukmini Callimachi, pictured above, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and won a Peabody Award for her work on the ‘Caliphate’ podcast. She will remain at the Times

The New York Times admitted to 'an institutional failure' in the making of its podcast 'Caliphate'

The New York Times admitted to ‘an institutional failure’ in the making of its podcast ‘Caliphate’

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the paper, took personal responsibility for the errors in the editorial process on Friday, saying that the blame fell on him and other newsrooom leaders. 

‘When the New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we put it to a tremendous amount of scrutiny at the upper levels of the newsroom,’ he said in an interview with The Daily, another New York Times podcast. 

‘We did not do that in this case,’ he continued. 

‘And I think that I or somebody else should have provided that same kind of scrutiny … and I did not provide that kind of scrutiny, nor did my top deputies with deep experience in examining investigative reporting.

‘I think this guy, we now believe, was a con artist, who made up most if not all that he told us.’ 

Baquet added in a further interview with NPR: ‘We fell in love with the fact that we had gotten a member of Isis, who would describe his life in the caliphate and would describe his crimes. 

‘I think we were so in love with it that when we saw evidence that maybe he was a fabulist, when we saw evidence that he was making some of it up, we didn’t listen hard enough.’

The Times said the two-month review had concluded that the 12-part podcast featuring award-winning correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, who has frequently reported on IS, ‘gave too much credence to the false or exaggerated accounts’ of Chaudhry. 

The Times had ample reason to be suspicious of Chaudhry’s account, since an episode of ‘Caliphate’ was devoted to discrepancies in his story and its own fact-checking.

But the newspaper said Friday it should have worked harder to verify the claims before deciding to make Chaudhry a central character.

The paper had failed to cooborrate the sensationalist claims made by Canadian Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, pictured

The paper had failed to cooborrate the sensationalist claims made by Canadian Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, pictured

The review into Caliphate had two separate teams: one to focus on the podcast itself, and another on Chaudry and his claims. 

It ‘found a history of misrepresentations by Mr Chaudhry and no corroboration that he committed the atrocities he described in the Caliphate podcast’, according to an editor’s note published Friday. 

Chaudhry had claimed he traveled to Syria in 2016 to join the terrorist group ISIS and committed acts of terrorism, including two killings. 

He went by the name Abu Huzayfah in the podcast and described in harrowing detail his role in executions. 

His account, as told to Callimachi, was incredibly graphic, in particular as he describes killing a man in an ‘orange jumpsuit.’ 

He says: ‘The blood was just — it was warm, and it sprayed everywhere….I had to stab him multiple times. And then we put him up on a cross. And I had to leave the dagger in his heart.’

The New York Times admits its 'Caliphate' podcast did not meet its own editorial standards

The New York Times admits its ‘Caliphate’ podcast did not meet its own editorial standards

The account caused an uproar in Canada’s parliament, with opposition Conservatives expressing outrage that Chaudhry was living freely in Ontario province after making the terror claims. 

At the time, the Times claimed they had managed to secure a photo of Abu Huzayfah on the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria, an indication that he had indeed made the trip. 

Scandals that rocked the New York Times in 2020 

June 7: New York Times’ opinion editor, James Bennet, resigned following a controversial op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton. 

Bennet, who had revealed in a meeting that he had not read Cotton’s piece before it was posted online, had defended it following the initial protests, saying it was important to hear from all points of view. 

Yet more than 800 staff members signed a letter protesting its publication. 

Bennet then resigned from his position after the Times disowned the incendiary opinion piece by Cotton entitled, Send in the Troops, which advocated using federal troops to quell unrest across the US caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Following a review, the newspaper said Cotton’s piece should not have been published, at least not without substantial revisions. 

July 14: One of Bennett’s hires, conservative opinion editor writer Bari Weiss, announced she had quit in a scathing letter that slammed the newspaper for fostering an ‘illiberal environment’ that allowed her to be bullied by coworkers.

Weiss, who joined the Times in 2017, said the paper of record was among the media institutions now betraying their standards and losing sight of their principles as she accused them of only publishing stories that ‘satisfy the narrowest of audiences’.   

In her lengthy resignation letter addressed to publisher A.G. Sulzberger, Weiss claimed that intellectual curiosity and risk-taking was now a ‘liability’ at the Times.

The controversial editor and writer said the opinions of those on Twitter had become the newspaper’s ‘ultimate editor’.

Weiss also accused the outlet of creating a ‘hostile work environment’ for employees that essentially had anything other than left-of-center views.  

She says this mentality resulted in her being constantly bullied by coworkers who have called her a ‘Nazi and a racist’ because of her ‘own forays into wrongthink’.

Investigators have now found that Chaudhry had passed along photos taken by others in Syria as his own. 

There is also still some dispute over whether he even traveled to Syria. Canadian officials say he never did, nor did he ever join the Islamic State, although American intelligence officials still have some doubt, the newspaper said. 

The Times said it would not be withdrawing the series. Instead, on Friday, it uploaded a new editor’s note to the podcast’s site explaining its failings. 

‘From the outset, ‘Caliphate’ should have had the regular participation of an editor experienced in the subject matter,’ it read.

‘In addition, The Times should have pressed harder to verify Mr. Chaudhry’s claims before deciding to place so much emphasis on one individual’s account,’ the note added.

Callimachi said Friday that it was ‘gutting’ to let down her colleagues. She said she should have caught more of the lies Chaudhry told her, and tried to make clear what the newspaper did and didn’t know.

‘It wasn’t enough,’ she said in a statement. ‘To our listeners, I apologize for what we missed and what we got wrong. We are correcting the record and I commit to doing better in the future.’

‘Caliphate’ marked a foray into narrative audio reporting for the Times, which is increasingly seen as a major revenue stream for the paper.

The show became a major hit, rising to the top of the Apple podcast charts in 2018.

However, red flags surrounding the series’ veracity were never far away.

In 2017, Chaudhry also spoke to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and told a different story, which the CBC detailed in a May 2018 article headlined: ‘Did former Canadian ISIS member lie to the New York Times or to CBC News?’

Nazim Baksh, a CBC News producer, said: ‘We asked him repeatedly, did you do anything, did you kill, did you execute, did you participate?

”No,’ he said, ‘I was a low-level police officer.”

Five days after the CBC report, the New York Times published the sixth episode of Caliphate, in which Callimachi and her colleagues revealed they had found a problem with Abu Huzayfah’s timeline, and that his version of when he was in Syria did not stand up to scrutiny. 

In October, the Times’ media columnist reported that senior editors had raised concerns about ‘Caliphate’ before its release. 

The scandal has led to intense backlash for the paper of record, especially from other news organizations, which have accused it of allowing for fearmongering regarding the radicalization of Muslims.

‘Caliphate let listeners hear what they wanted to hear about Muslims. And fear sells,’ wrote the LA Times.  

The findings are paricaulraly damning for Baquet who had continued to call Callimachi a ‘terrific journalist’ and ‘intrepid reporter’ even as the review was announced three months ago. 

Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, from Burlington, Ontario, has been charged with a terrorism hoax

Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, from Burlington, Ontario, has been charged with a terrorism hoax

In his interview with NPR on Friday, however, he did suggest that there should have been more oversight on her actions. 

‘She’s a powerful reporter who we imbued with a great deal of power and authority,’ he said. 

‘She was regarded at that moment as, you know, as big a deal Isis reporter as there was in the world. And there’s no question that that was one of the driving forces of the story.’

The review found that none of the podcast team was guilty of any knowing deception and Callimachi will remain at the New York Times, according to Baquet, but will be reassigned to a different beat.   

However, after the Chaudhry scandal emered in September, other questionable reporting from Callimachi came to light, including grievances aired by the family of murder American ISIS hostage James Foley. 

In October, they accused Callimachi of bullying them into talking to her and publishing inaccurate accounts in her stories.  

‘She left our family with a lot of pain from her un-professionalism and lies,’ his borther Michael Foley told The Daily Beast.  

Michael said he raised concerns with Callimachi’s coverage of his brother’s captivity and beheading with editors at The Times, including in a January 2015 letter to then international editor Joseph Kahn.

‘I would also like to bring to your attention, the extreme unprofessionalism and threats Rukmini directed to a grieving family only days after Jim’s horrific and public execution,’ he wrote at the time. 

Michael Foley

Rukmini Callimachi

Michael Foley (left), the brother of American hostage James Foley, has accused star New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi (right) of bullying the family into talking to her 

‘On 2 occasions by phone, starting on Aug. 22nd, Rukmini threatened to publish a detailed torture story if I did not comply with her interview request.’

The brother raised objections to specific details in Callimachi’s articles about James’ time in ISIS captivity between 2012-2014, including that he had been repeatedly waterboarded and targeted for abuse by the terrorists, and that he had converted to Islam in earnest. 

‘More specifically, I was told that if I did not publically [sic] discuss my concerns with US government support, that an article detailing Jim Foley’s torture would be published,’ Michael’s letter to The Times stated. 

‘She cited pressure from her editors to print the torture story if I did not comply. I did ultimately bow to her threats, gave her a lengthy interview and she published torture accounts anyway.’ 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced in October that they had arrested Chaudhry who has been charged with creating a hoax with his tall tales of terrorism. 

 ‘Hoaxes can generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians, while we have determined otherwise,’ said Superintendent Christopher deGale, the Officer in Charge of the RCMP O Division’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. 

Chaudhry’s lawyer, Nader Hasen, said his client will ‘vigorously defend himself’ against the Canadian charges. He had no comment about the Times’ actions.

The Peabody Awards jurors are discussing what to do about its honor, executive director Jeffrey Jones said Friday.

Categories
Headline USA Politics

The American boy who threatened Trump in an ISIS video | The State


Matthew still remembers the moment his life changed: the night his mother and stepfather crossed the borders of Turkey with him into the territory of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

“We ran through a very dark area, full of wires … Not much was going through my head, except, ‘I need to run,” he recalled when he first told the program about his terrible experience Panorama from the BBC and Frontline, from the US public broadcaster PBS.

The US-born Matthew was brought to Syria when he was 8 years old, and his face became known when IS militants used him in a video threatening President Donald Trump.

Now 13, he is back in his country and living with his father, after the US military rescued him and brought him home in 2018.

He says it is a “sweet relief” to be back.

“What happened happened. Everything was left behind ”, he tells the BBC.

“He was so small that he didn’t understand what was happening,” he adds.

Road to hell

It was in April 2015 that an apparently ordinary American family crossed into ISIS territory from the Turkish border province of Sanliurfa.

In Raqqa, the city claimed by Islamist fighters as their capital, Matthew’s stepfather, Moussa Elhassani, was sent for military training and became a sniper.

At 8 years old, Matthew went out of his way to make sense of his new home.

“When we were in Raqqa for the first time, we were staying in the city. It was quite loud from the gunshots. Every now and then there was an explosion, but it was far away. So we didn’t have much to worry about, ”he recalls.

Matthew is currently 13 years old. BBC

In early 2017, Matthew’s mother, Samantha Sally, sent an email to a sister in the US.

He was desperately asking for money to help the family escape.

Enclosed, he also sent you some extremely disturbing videos about Matthew.

In one, stepfather Moussa Elhassani forced Matthew to put together a suicide belt.

The boy, who followed the instructions, recreated how he would welcome potential American rescuers, then kill them by detonating the explosives.

In another video, he was seen dismantling a loaded AK-47, challenged by his stepfather to do so in less than a minute.

The nightmare

One night, as the US-led coalition intensified its airstrikes on Raqqa, a bomb hit a neighboring house, which collapsed on the place where Matthew lived with his family.

The boy was miraculously saved: he managed to grope through the rubble and dust.

Shortly after, in August 2017, Raqqa was in ruins, but Islamic State was still confident of its victory.

Matthew aged 10 in a still from the IS propaganda video in which he was made to recite a message to Donald Trump
Matthew was used in several IS propaganda videos. BBC

That’s when the group used Matthew to shoot a propaganda video threatening Trump.

“My message to Trump, the puppet of the Jews: Allah has promised us victory and He has promised you defeat“Said the boy, reciting the message that they had made him learn by heart.

“This battle is not going to end in Raqqa or Mosul. It will end in your lands… So get ready, because the fight has just begun ”.

Years later, the boy remembers that it was his stepfather who forced him to record the video and that he threatened him during filming.

“I was starting to lose control, as if I had had mental problems,” he says.

Matthew on a fishing trip with his father, Juan
Matthew currently lives with his father. BBC

Soon after, Elhassani was killed in an alleged drone attack.

“I was glad because I didn’t like him, obviously,” Matthew said.

“I don’t think I should have been happy that a person died, but I was. We were all crying… with joy ”.

The rescue

After the death of the stepfather, Matthew’s mother, Samantha sally, paid some human traffickers to get her and her four children out of the territory of the Islamic State.

Matthew was hidden inside a barrel in the back of a truck in order to pass through the checkpoints.

When they reached Kurdish-controlled territory, they were held in a detention camp, and it was there in the winter of 2017 that the BBC began speaking to Sally.

The woman said that her husband had tricked her into taking his family to Syria and that he had no idea what he was planning.

Samantha Sally in a detention camp in Syria
Samantha Sally began speaking to the BBC in 2017. BBC

Once in Raqqa, she said, the man had turned violent towards her.

The American admitted that during her stay there they had bought two Yazidi teenagers as slaves and that her husband regularly raped them.

Tests

Upon her return to the US, while in jail awaiting trial, Sally continued to defend her version that she had been cheated on by her husband.

Although I had supported it “in their stupid companies“, He insisted that he was not guilty of joining IS.

However, the BBC and PBS investigation uncovered evidence that undermined this story.

A member of the Elhassani family said that Moussa had become obsessed with IS in the months leading up to the family’s departure from the U.S. and that he had seen him watching the group’s propaganda, including videos of executions, at the family’s home. .

A friend of Sally’s also recalled a conversation with her in which she had told her that her husband felt a call to join “the holy war.”

The investigation also revealed that Sally had made a number of trips to Hong Kong in the weeks before the family left the US and that she had deposited at least US $ 30,000 cash and gold in safe deposit boxes.

After nearly 12 months behind bars, Sally changed her story and pleaded guilty to financing terrorism as part of a plea deal.

The tests later showed that Sally had helped film the videos of her son with the suicide belt and the AK-47.

According to prosecutors, why she helped her husband join the Islamic State will likely never be known, although her defense argues that she was coerced by the controlling husband.

Since his return to the US, Matthew has received counseling to help him deal with the trauma of everything that happened to him.

According to his doctors, he has improved and is doing well.


Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.

.



Source link

Categories
Headline USA Politics

Mitch McConnell opposes withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East


Senate Majority Mitch McConnell broke ranks with President Trump on Monday to oppose a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East.  

In a rare display, McConnell publicly challenged the Trump administration’s intent to reportedly remove troops from Afghanistan and Iraq – dwindling numbers to just 2,500 in each country.

‘The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism,’ McConnell argued from the Senate floor.

‘It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975. We’d be abandoning our partners in Afghanistan.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (picturer) pushed back on the Trump administration’s plans to remove troops from the MIddle East, comparing it to the ‘humiliating’ departure from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War 

Reports have indicated that Trump wanted to pull troops out of the Middle East, where soldiers have remained since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The Afghanistan War has emerged as the longest conflict even fought by U,S, forces, and Trump echoed Barack Obama’s initial enthusiasm in bringing troops home. 

McConnell agreed that ‘all wars must end,’ but insisted a withdrawal at this very moment was not only disadvantageous, but dangerous. 

‘The question is now how they end and whether the terms on which they end are favorable or unfavorable to the security and interests of the United States. And nothing about the circumstances we face today suggest that if we lose resolve, the terrorists will simply leave us alone,’ he said.

Unlike ten years ago, McConnell said, ‘we do not have hundreds of thousands of soldiers engaged in combat abroad.

‘We’re not an occupying force. Today our limited American military presence in the Middle East is supporting local forces and enabling multinational efforts.

‘We’re playing a limited but important role in defending American national security and American interests against terrorists who would like nothing more than for the most powerful force for good in the world to simply pick up our ball and go home. They would love that.’ 

U.S. and NATO troops arrive at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan September 24, 2017

 McConnell offered sympathies to the families of the 7,000 troops overseas, but maintained that a rapid withdrawal would only come back to bite the U.S.

 ‘There’s no American who does not wish the war in Afghanistan against terrorists and their enablers had already been conclusively won. But that does not change the actual choice before us now,’ he said.

‘A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm. Violence affecting Afghans is still rampant.’

He added that drawing out troops could ’embolden the Taliban’ and ‘a disorganized retreat would jeopardize the track record of major success this administration has worked to compile.’

McConnell’s dissent mirrored those of Republicans in Congress, who’ve contended that removing forces could jeopardize peace negotiations and U.S. security.

Few politicians have offered public support to Trump’s plans, but Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, pushed his full weight behind the President.

‘Reminder to those saying withdrawing troops may cause a “clash” with Generals/Pentagon: there is only one Commander in Chief, it is @realDonaldTrump and when he orders the troops out of Afghanistan, the only proper answer is “Yes sir,” ‘ he wrote on Twitter.

Rand Paul: 'Reminder to those saying withdrawing troops may cause a "clash" with Generals/Pentagon: there is only one Commander in Chief, it is @realDonaldTrump and when he orders the troops out of Afghanistan, the only proper answer is "Yes sir.'

Rand Paul: ‘Reminder to those saying withdrawing troops may cause a “clash” with Generals/Pentagon: there is only one Commander in Chief, it is @realDonaldTrump and when he orders the troops out of Afghanistan, the only proper answer is “Yes sir.’

This latest clash over the Middle East came after Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper last week. 

A report from The Washington Post said Esper sent a classified memo to the White House expressing hesitancy towards removing troops amid a variety of factors, including undercutting U.S.-Afghanistan negotiations and the potential fallout on allies.

 The memo also reportedly noted ongoing violence in the region, with a watchdog report this month saying attacks by Taliban and other groups grew by 50 per cent. 

 If the U.S. performed a rapid pullout from Afghanistan, Esper reportedly wrote, dangers could fall on the remaining troops.

The Trump administration in February signed the U.S.-Talban agreement, which included the U.S. gradually removing troops from the embattled region.

Pictured: Former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper who was fired this week

Pictured; President Donald Trump

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper (left) was fired from his position this week by President Trump (right) after the General Election 

Reports indicated the President Trump (pictured) wants to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq while still in office

Reports indicated the President Trump (pictured) wants to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq while still in office 

As it stands, a full withdrawal was set for April if all conditions were met.

The Pentagon was in the midst of lowering the number of U.S. troops to under 5,000 this month, but negotiations reportedly sputtered and the Taliban launched attacks across Afghanistan.

At least 25 civilians – including the father of Mayor Zarifa Ghafari – were killed during a week in Kabul amid targeted assassinations and a terrorist attack this month.

National Counterterrorism Center director Christopher Miller was appointed as acting defense secretary, making him just one of several new Pentagon replacements pushed forward by Trump.

With just two months remaining in the Oval Office, an exodus sparked with a number of employees fired or choosing to resign from their positions.

In their places, Trump has appointed loyalists who might be more willing to adhere to his withdrawal plans.

The President in October said he wanted all U.S. troops back in the United States by Christmas. 

Trump tweeted that all troops would be 'home by Christmas' in October

A makeshift memorial rests on the sidewalk that leads to the home of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth, Texas

 Donald Trump set to order more troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan in waning days of administration taking numbers in each one-time warzone to just 2,500

 BY KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS

Donald Trump is using some of his final few weeks as president to withdraw more troops from the Middle East as part of his campaign promise to end foreign wars and bring military members home.

This most recent cut will lower the number of U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500 in each country – but signals to U.S. officials and Trump allies that the president is settling for a partial reduction before leaving office rather than fully withdrawing.

Trump’s initial goal was to have all troops home by the end of the year, which was greeted with opposition from military and diplomatic advisers.

There are between 4,500-5,000 troops in Afghanistan now, and more than 3,000 in Iraq.

A U.S. official said the military was expecting formal orders in the coming days to reduce the numbers of troops in Afghanistan by nearly half of its current 4,500. A NATO official also said they expect a 1,500 to 2,000 troop decline.

The decline in Iraq would bring about 500 troops back to the U.S. 

President Donald Trump is planning an Executive Order that would bring home more troops from Iraq and Afghanistan ¿ but would stop short of his promise to bring home all troops from those two countries by the end of the year

President Donald Trump is planning an Executive Order that would bring home more troops from Iraq and Afghanistan – but would stop short of his promise to bring home all troops from those two countries by the end of the year 

Trump plans to bring back to the U.S. around 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, lowering their total from 4,500 to around 2,500

Trump plans to bring back to the U.S. around 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, lowering their total from 4,500 to around 2,500

His order will also bring back 500 troops from Iraq, leaving 2,500 there, as well

His order will also bring back 500 troops from Iraq, leaving 2,500 there, as well

The move comes as no surprise after Trump fired his Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, as part of a Pentagon leadership shakeup last week after the president became concerned that his and others’ priorities did not line up.

Instead he appointed loyalists who share in his frustration with continued troop presence in warzones to top Pentagon positions.

The cuts give Trump an accomplishment in his final weeks in office as he continues to refuse to concede the presidential election to Joe Biden.

An anonymous official told the Associated Press that military leaders were told over the weekend about the planned withdrawals and an executive order is in the works but has not yet been delivered to commanders.

Under the current plans in the drafted order, troop cuts would be completed just five days before Biden takes office, leaving him with a smaller military footprint in the two key warzones.

Trump’s new Pentagon chief, Christopher Miller, hinted at the troop withdrawals over the weekend in a carefully worded message to the force that suggested compromise.

‘We remain committed to finishing the war that Al Qaeda brought to our shores in 2001,’ Miller said, but warned: ‘we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish.’

Miller also made it clear that ‘all wars must end.’

The orders come after Trump issued a shakeup at the Pentagon, including firing his Defense Secretary Mark Esper

The orders come after Trump issued a shakeup at the Pentagon, including firing his Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Acting Pentagon Chief Christopher Miller, Trump feels, shares in his priorities to get troops home from the Middle East

Acting Pentagon Chief Christopher Miller, Trump feels, shares in his priorities to get troops home from the Middle East

‘This fight has been long, our sacrifices have been enormous. and many are weary of war – I’m one of them,’ he said. ‘Ending wars requires compromise and partnership. We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it’s time to come home.’

The accelerated withdrawal, however, goes against the longstanding advice from Trump’s military leadership, including Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, top U.S. commander for the Middle East. 

Officials, however, suggested this week that commanders will be able to live with the partial pullout, which allows them to keep counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan and gives more time to remove critical equipment.

McKenzie and others have repeatedly argued that a hasty withdrawal could undercut negotiations to finalize ongoing peace negotiations between the Taliban and representatives of Afghan society, including the current Afghan government. And they also warn that U.S. forces should remain in the country to keep Islamic State militants in check.



Source link

Categories
Headline USA Sports USA

Islamists behead over 50 people on Mozambique football pitch


Islamist militants have beheaded more than 50 people, chopped up the bodies of victims and abducted women in a gruesome attack in Mozambique.  

The bodies of dismembered victims were found scattered across a forest clearing on Monday after a football pitch was turned into an ‘execution ground’. 

Villagers were caught and killed as they tried to escape the violence while another group of militants set homes alight during the attack on Friday and Saturday, it is believed.  

The attack is the latest in a growing wave of jihadist violence in Mozambique by extremists linked to ISIS.    

Islamist militants in Mozambique (file photo) have beheaded more than 50 people, chopped up the bodies of victims and abducted women in a gruesome attack in Mozambique 

Some of the gunmen are said to have chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ when they raided a village and abducted some of its women, while others slaughtered victims in nearby Muatide, according to BBC News. 

As many as 4,000 militants are thought to be fighting against Mozambique’s government and other groups as the Islamists try to establish a ‘caliphate’. 

‘They burnt the houses then went after the population who had fled to the woods and started with their macabre actions,’ a Mozambique police chief said, according to The Times.   

Militants operating in the area had attacked several nearby villages the week before, looting and burning homes before retreating into surrounding thicket.   

In one case, more than a dozen men and boys were beheaded by suspected jihadists during a male initiation ceremony.  

‘Police learned of the massacre committed by the insurgents through reports of people who found corpses in the woods,’ said an officer in the Mueda district.

‘It was possible to count 20 bodies spread over an area of about 500 metres,’ he added.

‘These were young people who were at an initiation rite ceremony accompanied by their advisers.’

An aid worker in Mueda said body parts had been sent to the victims’ families for burial. 

‘Funerals were held in an environment of great pain,’ said the worker. ‘The bodies were already decomposing and couldn’t be shown to those present.’ 

Jihadists have caused havoc in the province over the past three years, ravaging villages and towns as part of their insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado. 

The gas-rich northern province is home to $60billion worth of energy developments, but the region’s mostly Muslim inhabitants have seen little of the money and the area is feared to be a recruiting ground for extremists. 

In March, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack just south of some of the gas projects being developed by the likes of Exxon Mobil and Total. 

The UK is thought to be providing a loan of up to £1billion for one gas pipeline project in the African country.  

Mozambique soldiers patrol the northern town of Mocimboa da Praia before it was taken over by ISIS militants amid an ongoing insurgency

Mozambique soldiers patrol the northern town of Mocimboa da Praia before it was taken over by ISIS militants amid an ongoing insurgency  

The militants have stepped up their offensive in recent months and violently seized swathes of territory, terrorising citizens in the process.

In April, jihadists shot dead and beheaded more than 50 youths for allegedly refusing to join their ranks.

ISIS has also warned South Africa that it could face retaliation from jihadists if it tried to intervene and shore up Mozambique’s government. 

The unrest has killed over 2,000 people since 2017, more than half of them civilians, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data group.

Over 400,000 others have been displaced by the conflict and sought refuge in nearby towns and cities.

Around 10,000 people fled to the provincial capital Pemba via boat over the past week alone, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday, raising concerns over access to clean water and sanitation.

Little is known about Mozambique’s jihadists, who call themselves Al-Shabab – although they have no known links to the group of that name operating in Somalia.

Last year the militants pledged allegiance to ISIS. 



Source link

Categories
Football USA Headline USA

Jihadists Associated With ISIS Behead 50 People In Mozambique | The State


A house burned after a jihadist attack in Mozambique.

Photo:
MARCO LONGARI / AFP / Getty Images

Extremists linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) they have beheaded 50 people in northern Mozambique.

State media reports claim that members of Al Shabab used the soccer stadium in Muatide for executions. The group beheaded and dismembered the victims.

According to the BBC, the jihadists have attacked another town in the province of Cabo Delgado. Beheadings would also have taken place there.

Terrorists have plagued the region since 2017. Poverty and lack of opportunities have helped them with recruitment. In the province there are ruby ​​and gas mines. The government of the southern African nation has asked for help to control the advance of the jihadists.

Related: Starbucks Barista Writes ISIS On Muslim Woman’s Coffee

According to Amnesty International (AI), only in the first four months of 2020 the violent attacks perpetrated in Cabo Delgado by Al Shabab increased by 300% compared to the same period of 201

However, other human rights organizations have also denounced abuses by the Mozambican government. Illegal detentions, torture and murders are counted.

A week ago, at least 54 people fleeing jihadist terrorism they died when the boat they were traveling in sank.

.



Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

MMA fighters are honoured in Austria for racing through hail of bullets during terror attack


The heroes of Vienna: MMA fighters are honoured in Austria for racing through hail of bullets to carry injured policeman to safety after he was shot by ISIS gunman

  • Mikail Ozen, 25, and Recep Gultekin were given awards for saving two lives  
  • The MMA fighters ran through live bullet fire to save a policeman and woman 
  • Terrorist Kujtim Fejzulai, 22, killed four people and injured 22 others 

Two mixed martial arts fighters have been honoured in Austria for racing through a hail of bullets to carry an injured policeman to safety after he was shot by an ISIS gunman.

Mikail Ozen, 25, and Recep Gultekin are believed to have saved two lives during the horrific terror attack in Vienna last night. 

Mr Gultekin even ended up being shot in the calf by the terrorist as he was caught in gunfire while carrying out the rescue mission.  

Gunman Kujtim Fejzulai, 22, was armed with an automatic rifle, pistol and machete which he used to kill four people – two men and two women – during his attack on the Austrian capital.  

Two mixed martial arts fighters (pictured: left, Mikail Ozen, right, Recep Gultekin) have been honoured in Austria for racing through a hail of bullets to carry an injured policeman to safety after he was shot by an ISIS gunman

Fejzulai began his attack at 8pm near the central synagogue and marauded through the streets wearing a fake explosives belt and injured 22 as he fired at random before he was ‘neutralised’ – shot dead by police at 8.09pm.

Fejzulai killed an elderly man and woman, a young male passer-by and a waitress. 

A 28-year-old police officer was shot but is said to be in a stable condition, while seven civilians who were injured are in a critical, life-threatening condition.   

Mr Ozen spoke about his bravery to German publication Bild. He said: ‘We help because we have to.

Mikail Ozen (pictured with Turkey's ambassador in Vienna), 25, and Recep Gultekin are believed to have saved two lives during the horrific terror attack in Vienna last night

Mikail Ozen (pictured with Turkey’s ambassador in Vienna), 25, and Recep Gultekin are believed to have saved two lives during the horrific terror attack in Vienna last night

Mr Gultekin (pictured with Turkey's ambassador in Vienna) even ended up being shot in the calf by the terrorist as he was caught in gunfire while carrying out the rescue mission

Mr Gultekin (pictured with Turkey’s ambassador in Vienna) even ended up being shot in the calf by the terrorist as he was caught in gunfire while carrying out the rescue mission

Twenty-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. Pictured: An image circulated widely on social media which purports to be the killer but which has not been explicitly verified by Austrian officials

Twenty-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. Pictured: An image circulated widely on social media which purports to be the killer but which has not been explicitly verified by Austrian officials

Shocking footage from Israeli TV showing a gunman carrying an AK-47 and handgun and shooting a person in the street near the start of the attack in Vienna

Shocking footage from Israeli TV showing a gunman carrying an AK-47 and handgun and shooting a person in the street near the start of the attack in Vienna

‘Everyone wants to know if I’m okay.’ 

Mr Ozen and his friend Mr Gultekin had been going for one last coffee before Austria went into lockdown when they were caught in the fray of a terror attack. 

‘The shooter was only a few metres away,’ said Mr Ozen. 

Mr Gultekin quickly found an injured woman whom he grabbed and carried out of the line of fire – but ended up with a bullet in his calf. 

The pair immediately drove to the nearest police station to describe the perpetrator and his weapon to the officers. 

A man carrying what looks like an AK-47 rifle and believed to be the gunman who carried out the rampage in Vienna on Monday evening

A man carrying what looks like an AK-47 rifle and believed to be the gunman who carried out the rampage in Vienna on Monday evening

GUNFIRE HEARD IN SIX AREAS WITHIN A FEW HUNDRED YARDS: Gunman armed with automatic rifle, pistol and machete who was wearing a fake explosives belt was ‘neutralised’ at 8.09pm, around ten minutes after the shooting started, according to the chief of police. Two women and two men were killed. One of the women was a waitress who died of gunshot wounds in hospital, and another who was aged in her 40s later died in the Ottakring Clinic. One of the male victims was discovered in the meat market, while another was found gravely wounded on Franz-Josefs-Kai, close to the river

Police frisk a man as they move through central Vienna on Monday night as there were reports of multiple gunmen

Police frisk a man as they move through central Vienna on Monday night as there were reports of multiple gunmen

Turkish national Recep Tayyip Gultekin, who helped carry the wounded 28-year-old police officer to safety after being caught in the crossfire himself on Monday night

Turkish national Recep Tayyip Gultekin, who helped carry the wounded 28-year-old police officer to safety after being caught in the crossfire himself on Monday night

Turkish national Recep Tayyip Gultekin, who helped carry the wounded 28-year-old police officer to safety after being caught in the crossfire himself on Monday night

But just as they were about to leave, shots were fired again. Mr Ozen said: ‘We ducked, ran in a zigzag, from the subway exit to the next telephone booth.’  

The pair then saw the injured police officer lying motionless on the ground. 

Mr Ozen added: ‘We didn’t think about the dangers. We just had to do something. We had to help.’ 

The pair picked the police officer up together and carried him to the nearest ambulance. 

Mr Ozen was left with blood-stained hands.   



Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

ISIS gloat over the murder of Paris teacher who showed Mohammed cartoon


An ISIS propaganda outlet has published a gruesome picture showing the severed head of the French school teacher murdered on Friday, after his killer shared the footage with fellow jihadists. 

ISIS displayed the head of Samuel Paty underneath an image of a sword in a magazine published in India, according to Homeland Security Today.  

‘If your freedom of expression doesn’t stop you from criticising Prophet Mohammed then our swords will not stop defending the honour of Prophet Mohammed,’ the terrorists declared after Paty was killed for showing cartoons of him to his class. 

Paty’s killer, 18-year-old Chechen extremist Aboulakh Anzorov, is thought to have shared the graphic images with fellow Russian-speaking jihadists before it was distributed among pro-ISIS accounts on Telegram. 

A witness who saw Paty’s severed head described seeing Anzorov take pictures of it in the moments after the killing and before the terrorist was shot dead by police. 

The murder has led to a renewed crackdown on extremism in France where ministers plan to shut down two Islamic organisations and a Paris mosque. 

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina (pictured), father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty's class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested

Teacher Samuel Paty (left) was beheaded in the Paris suburbs on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class, leading Brahim Chinina (right), the father of a girl in his class, to issue what France’s interior minister called a ‘fatwa’ against him 

The terrorist's body lying in the middle of the road after he was killed by French police following his refusal to surrender

The terrorist’s body lying in the middle of the road after he was killed by French police following his refusal to surrender 

While ISIS has not claimed responsibility for Paty’s killing, the magazine has previously urged people to emulate the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris which was also seen as revenge for blasphemy against Mohammed. 

The Charlie Hebdo attackers were ‘leaving a clear path for others to follow’ because Western governments would not ‘carry out the punishment for the blasphemy prescribed by Islam’, the ISIS magazine said. 

The 2015 killings were the first in a series of terror attacks which have rocked France in recent years, including Paty’s beheading last Friday. 

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitor, supporters of al-Qaeda have also been ‘celebrating’ the attack and sharing graphic images online.

There have also been posts from ISIS and al-Qaeda supporters ‘claiming [the killer] will inspire other lone wolves’, according to SITE director Rita Katz. 

Meanwhile, Paris prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into a French neo-Nazi website hosted abroad that republished the photo of Paty’s corpse.  

The teacher’s murder has led to renewed promises of action against Islamic extremists in France, with police conducting a series of raids on Monday. 

Fifteen people have been detained so far, including four pupils who may have helped the killer to identify the teacher in return for money.

Law enforcement carried out 40 raids on Monday, mostly around Paris, with many more planned.

‘We want to harass and destabilise this movement in a very determined way,’ one government source said.

In addition, a 14-year-old French schoolboy has admitted identifying Paty to the terrorist who beheaded him after accepting the equivalent of €300 (£270) in cash. 

The boy who accepted the money shared it among three friends, who are also all in custody. None of the children are thought to be Muslim and it is not suggested that they knew of Anzorov’s terrorist plans. 

‘Anzarov said he simply wanted to film the teacher and ask him to apologise for showing the drawings to his class,’ said an investigating source.

Armed police stand guard outside the secondary school where Samuel Paty taught, while mourners lay flowers at the scene alongside a placard declaring 'Je suis Samuel'

Armed police stand guard outside the secondary school where Samuel Paty taught, while mourners lay flowers at the scene alongside a placard declaring ‘Je suis Samuel’ 

Candles, flowers and tributes left for Paty last night in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he was killed, with one message saying: 'Samuel is not a martyr (let's leave that word to the fanatics)... Samuel is a hero of the Republic'

Candles, flowers and tributes left for Paty last night in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he was killed, with one message saying: ‘Samuel is not a martyr (let’s leave that word to the fanatics)… Samuel is a hero of the Republic’ 

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks to the media as she attends a vigil for Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Monday evening

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks to the media as she attends a vigil for Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Monday evening 

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin vowed there would be ‘not a minute’s respite for enemies of the Republic’, after tens of thousands took part in nationwide rallies.

Darmanin said the government would also tighten its grip on institutions and charities with suspected links to Islamist networks.

Officials named two groups they would target for closure – the Collective Against Islamophobia in France that says it monitors attacks against Muslims, and BarakaCity, which describes itself as a humanitarian organisation.

In a social media post, BarakaCity accused Darmanin of ‘going mad’ and said he was taking advantage of a tragedy.

Darmanin also ordered the closure of a Paris mosque, accusing its imam of encouraging intimidation of the teacher and publicising the school’s address. 

President Emmanuel Macron is due to attend a ceremony today in Paris after vowing new measures against extremism. 

Paty, 47, was attacked on his way home from the secondary school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 25 miles from central Paris.

Anzorov was shot dead after refusing to put down his weapons in a dramatic stand-off with police soon after he murdered Paty.  

Dramatic footage shows the fatal stand-off between French police and the terrorist they shot dead last Friday after he beheaded a school teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class

Armed police yelled at the killer to 'throw your gun' and 'get on the ground' during the showdown in the Paris suburbs, but the terrorist ignored the repeated warnings and refused to drop his weapon

Dramatic footage filmed from a nearby house shows the fatal stand-off between French police and the terrorist they shot dead last Friday after he beheaded a school teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class

A witness, who gave only his first name Stephane to news channel LCI, said he was nearby when the ‘barbaric’ attack happened, sheltering with his children.

‘We did not know what is going on. There was just a beheaded man in front of our house,’ he said, adding he saw the assailant take pictures.

A photo of the teacher and a message confessing to his murder was later found on the Anzorov’s phone. 

The terrorist had arrived in France with his family from the predominantly Muslim Russian region of Chechnya more than a decade ago.

Four members of the killer’s family were among those detained. 

The people under investigation also include the father of a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was in Paty’s class when he showed the controversial images. 

Paty had given Muslim children an opportunity to leave the classroom, but the lesson nonetheless led to uproar. 

The father, Brahim Chnina launched an online campaign against the teacher and has now been arrested along with a known Islamist radical. 

Speaking on Monday, Darmanin accused the pair of issuing a ‘fatwa’ against the teacher which the terrorist had acted upon.  

Emotions were still running high outside Paty’s school on Monday, where Muslim leaders gathered to offer condolences and distance their religion from the atrocity.

‘It is very important to come here to show our sorrow, to show that what happened here is not Islam. It was done by thugs who have nothing to do with Islam,’ said Kemadou Gassama, an imam in Paris. 



Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

Beheaded French teacher ‘had a fatwa launched against him’


The French school teacher beheaded in an Islamist terror attack on Friday had a ‘fatwa’ launched against him before he was killed, France’s interior minister said today.   

Gerald Darmanin said an arrested preacher and a father who complained about the teacher’s use of Prophet Mohammed cartoons had ‘clearly launched a fatwa’, or Islamic religious ruling, against teacher Samuel Paty.

Darmanin told Europe 1 radio that police operations were continuing against ‘dozens of individuals’ today after 11 people were arrested over the weekend and Emmanuel Macron vowed new measures against Islamic extremism. 

The father, Brahim Chnina, whose 13-year-old daughter went to Paty’s secondary school, had launched an online call for ‘mobilisation’ against the teacher and had sought his dismissal from the school over the cartoons.

Chnina had named Paty and given the school’s address in a social media post just days before the assault, which Macron labelled an Islamist terror attack.

Prosecutors have not said whether the attacker, 18-year-old Chechen extremist Aboulakh Anzorov, had any links to the school or acted independently upon the online outrage. 

However, relatives of Anzorov have been arrested and his half-sister is known to have joined ISIS in 2014, although her current whereabouts are unknown. 

Darmanin said there were about 80 investigations under way into online hate speech in France and that he was looking into whether or not certain groups from the French Muslim community should be dissolved. 

A crowd of people gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris on Sunday to pay tribute to murdered teacher Samuel Paty

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina (pictured), father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty's class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested

Teacher Samuel Paty (pictured) was beheaded in Paris on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. His killer shared a video of the victim's severed head online

Father Brahim Chinina, left, mobilised complaints against teacher Samuel Paty, right, who was beheaded in Paris on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class

Demonstrators have gathered in several French cities to support freedom of speech after history teacher Samuel Paty was brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist for showing his class caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Pictured: Several people held signs reading 'Je suis Prof, Je suis Samuel' (meaning 'I am a teacher, I am Samuel) to echo the 'I am Charlie' rallying cry after the 2015 attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

Demonstrators have gathered in several French cities to support freedom of speech after history teacher Samuel Paty was brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist for showing his class caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Pictured: Several people held signs reading ‘Je suis Prof, Je suis Samuel’ (meaning ‘I am a teacher, I am Samuel) to echo the ‘I am Charlie’ rallying cry after the 2015 attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

Thousands gathered in Place de la Reublique to pay tribute to a history teacher who was brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class

Thousands gathered in Place de la Reublique to pay tribute to a history teacher who was brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class

Some placed placards outside Paty's school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine reading 'I am Samuel' that echoed the 'I am Charlie' rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of Mohammed

Some placed placards outside Paty’s school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine reading ‘I am Samuel’ that echoed the ‘I am Charlie’ rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of Mohammed

A moment's silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Pictured: A child holds up a poster of Samuel Paty that reads 'Je suis prof', 'I'm a teacher'

A moment’s silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Pictured: A child holds up a poster of Samuel Paty that reads ‘Je suis prof’, ‘I’m a teacher’

A protester in the French capital holds aloft a placard which reads 'they won't decapitate the Republic' in the wake of the brutal attack

A protester in the French capital holds aloft a placard which reads ‘they won’t decapitate the Republic’ in the wake of the brutal attack

The thousands of demonstrators in central Paris were joined by French Prime Minister Jean Castex (left), Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (centre) and Paris deputy mayor Audrey Pulvar (right)

The thousands of demonstrators in central Paris were joined by French Prime Minister Jean Castex (left), Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (centre) and Paris deputy mayor Audrey Pulvar (right)

French prime minister Jean Castex joined demonstrators on Sunday who staged a rally in tribute to Paty, 47.  

Thousands gathered to pay tribute to the slain teacher in a defiant show of solidarity at the Place de la Republique after the latest in a string of terror attacks in Paris. 

Some held placards reading ‘I am Samuel’ that echoed the ‘I am Charlie’ rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of Mohammed.

A moment’s silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Others recited: ‘Freedom of expression, freedom to teach.’

Demonstrators also gathered in major cities including Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.

It has been revealed that Islamist terrorist Anzorov filmed himself killing and then beheading Paty outside the gates of his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine before sharing a video of the victim’s severed head to fellow ISIS supporters.   

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina, the father of the 13-year-old girl in Paty’s class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested.

Branding Mr Paty a thug in a video posted on Twitter sometime in the last week, he asked the community to complain about the teacher’s behaviour.  The killer is presumed to have seen the video and acted upon it.  

The killer’s uncle told French television: ‘He was a child. He was only 18. If he were still alive, I would have asked him: ‘Why did you do that? What was going on your head?’ He must have been influenced by someone.’ 

The prosecutor leading the investigation, Jean-François Ricard, said that the suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency as a refugee in March and was not known to intelligence services, had been armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets. 

The Russian embassy in Paris said Anzorov’s family arrived in France from Chechnya when he was six to seek asylum. 

It also emerged that Anzorov asked pupils at the French school to point out the teacher who had shared a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet nude before targeting him.

Mr Paty had received threats after showing the cartoon during a class on freedom of speech about 10 days ago at the secondary school in middle-class Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.  

The teacher had invited Muslim students to leave the room before showing the caricature. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous. 

However, one pupil stayed behind by mistake, and later told her Muslim parents. They filed a complaint against the teacher and held a meeting with Mr Paty, the school principal and an official from the education authority.     

A picture of a body lying in the middle of the road was shared online before French anti-terror prosecutors confirmed they were investigating an assault in which a man was decapitated on the outskirts of Paris

A person holds a sign reading 'I am Samuel' as people gather on the Vieux Port in Marseille

A person holds a sign reading ‘I am Samuel’ as people gather on the Vieux Port in Marseille

Pupils left messages to the teacher reading 'Thank you Mr. Paty to have taught us History and Freedom of Speech, We love you' (left) and 'Hommage to Mr. Paty' (right)

Pupils left messages to the teacher reading ‘Thank you Mr. Paty to have taught us History and Freedom of Speech, We love you’ (left) and ‘Hommage to Mr. Paty’ (right)

A child lays flowers on Saturday at the school in the western Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

A child lays flowers on Saturday at the school in the western Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday

French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday. French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Chnina, the concerned parent, and an Islamic activist friend, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, are among 11 people who have been arrested in connection with the attack.

The video shared by Chnina sparked community outrage and was shared by a mosque in Pantin, a Parisian suburb. Days later, Mr Paty was stabbed and decapitated. 

Witnesses said they heard Chechen-born attacker Anzorov shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for God is the Greatest – before he was shot dead by police about 600 yards from the killing. 

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the assault as ‘a murder linked to a terrorist organisation’. 

Five of the people held for questioning are members of Anzorov’s social circle, including his grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother.  

Friday’s terror attack came as Emmanuel Macron works on a bill to address Islamic radicals, who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside French values. 

France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe with up to five million. 

Macron denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe.’ 

Mr Macron added: ‘It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the Republic and its values, the Enlightenment, the possibility to make our children, wherever they come from, whatever they believe in, whether they believe or not, whatever their religion, to turn them into free citizens.

‘This battle is ours and it is existential. They will not pass. Obscurantism and the violence that goes with it will not win. They will not divide us. That’s what they seek and we must stand together.’

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an 'Islamist terrorist attack', claiming: 'One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens'

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens’

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine following the death of a French teacher

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine following the death of a French teacher

Signs read 'Je suis Samuel' outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

Signs read ‘Je suis Samuel’ outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

Prime minister Castex wrote on Twitter: ‘Through one of its defenders, it is the Republic which has been struck in the heart by Islamist terrorism. 

‘In solidarity with its teachers, the State will react with the greatest firmness so that the Republic and its citizens live, free! We will never give up. Never.’ 

Addressing the country’s teachers, pupils and their parents, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Paty was killed by what he called the enemies of freedom. 

‘The Republic will never, never, never back down when confronted by terror, intimidation,’ he said in a recorded statement. 

Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, said: ‘We’ll pick ourselves up together, thanks to our spirit of solidarity.’ 

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.    

France’s parliament suspended Friday’s debate after news of the decapitation, with session president Hugues Renson, visibly moved, calling the attack ‘abominable’.

MPs stood as Renson said that ‘in the name of all of us, I want to honour the memory of Mr Paty.’ Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted: ‘The Republic is under attack.’

Lawmakers and teachers’ unions hailed the slain teacher’s courage for confronting challenging taboos in French society. Freedom of expression was a core tenet of democracy, they said.

Jean-Remi Girard, president of the National Union of School Teachers, told BFM TV that children needed to understand that blasphemy can shock, but is legal.   

People gather in front of the Bois d'Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

People gather in front of the Bois d’Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

Teenagers arriving to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after Mr Paty's murder

Teenagers arriving to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after Mr Paty’s murder

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where the teenager was shot dead after refusing to surrender

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where the teenager was shot dead after refusing to surrender

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

France’s litany of deadly attacks 

  • Two people were stabbed and wounded in Paris on September 25, 2020 near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested over the attack.
  • October 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam about 10 years earlier.
  • March 23, 2018 – A gunman kills three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. Security forces storm the building and kill him.
  • July 26, 2016 – Two attackers kill a priest and seriously wound another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Francois Hollande, who was France’s president at the time, says the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
  • July 14, 2016 – A gunman drives a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker is identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.
  • June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabs a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and kills his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police negotiators during a siege that he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.
  • November 13, 2015 – Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people are killed and 368 are wounded. Islamic State says it was responsible for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.
  • January 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militants break into an editorial meeting of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and rake it with bullets, killing 12 people. Another militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shoot him dead.  

Sophie Vénétitay, deputy head of the SNES-FSU teachers’ union, said: ‘He was murdered because he was doing his job, namely teaching critical thought.’ She said Mr Paty was a history and geography teacher who was in charge of ‘moral and civic education’.  

‘In that capacity, he gave a lesson on the freedom of expression with the Mohammed cartoons,’ she said. 

Thibault Humbert, mayor of the nearby suburb of Éragny-sur-Oise, said: ‘This was an exceptionally violent and horrifying attack. The police must be commended for intervening with such speed.’  

Other politicians lined up to express their horror at the killing, with Xavier Bertrand, centre-Right president of the Hauts-de-France region, saying: ‘Islamist barbarity has taken aim at one of the symbols of the Republic: school. The terrorists want to shut us up, to bring us to our knees. 

‘They should know that we will not bend, they will never forbid us to read, write, draw, think, teach.’

Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Rally said: ‘A teacher beheaded for showing Charlie Hebdo caricatures. We are in France with this level of unbearable barbarity. Islamism is waging war on us: it is by force that we must drive them out of our country.’ 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the far-left party France Unbowed, said: ‘Horrible crime in Conflans! In fact, the assassin takes himself for the god that he claims he follows. He is sullying religion. And he is inflicting on us all the hell of having to live with murderers like him.’ 

Local lawmaker Antoine Savignat said, ‘If we cannot talk about the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in school, we end up in denialism… In France, the country of freedom of expression, this cannot be allowed to happen.’  

Parents of pupils laid flowers at the school gate. Some said their children were distraught.'(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?’ one father said. 

Muslim leaders condemned the killing, which many public figures perceived as an attack on the essence of French statehood and its values of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of expression.

Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said of the killing, ‘It is not a civilisation that kills an innocent person, it is barbarity’.   

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest. 

‘[The attacker] is believed to be from a Chechen background,’ said an investigating source, referring to the Russian Federation republic.

Thousands of battle-hardened Chechen refugees, including many devout Muslims, entered France in the early 2000s following two bloody wars against Russia. 

Around 30,000 Chechens in total escaped to France, many of them resettling in the suburbs of major cities such as Paris. 

France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen community in recent months – in the Dijon region, the Mediterranean city of Nice, and the western town of Saint-Dizier – believed to be linked to local criminal activity. 



Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

Islamist terrorist filmed moment he beheaded teacher in France for showing cartoons of Mohammed


The Islamist terrorist who beheaded a teacher in Paris filmed the brutal killing and shared a video of the victim’s severed head to fellow ISIS supporters.

Aboulakh Anzorov, 18, was shot dead by police shortly after the attack against teacher Samuel Paty in a northern suburb of the French capital on Friday afternoon.

It has also been revealed the half-sister of the Russian-born killer travelled to Syria to join ISIS in 2014 and was the subject of an anti-terror investigation.

Shrines have now appeared in Paris after the horrific attack which was prompted by the teacher showing his class a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. 

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina, father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty’s class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested.

Branding Mr Paty a thug in a video posted on Twitter sometime in the last week, he asked the community to complain about the teacher’s behaviour.  The killer is presumed to have seen the video and acted upon it.

After the killing, Anzorov himself shared pictures and videos online with Chechen ISIS Telegram channels, and also denounced Emmanuel Macron as the ‘leader of the infidels’.

The killer’s uncle told French television: ‘He was a child. He was only 18. If he were still alive, I would have asked him: “Why did you do that? What was going on your head?” He must have been influenced by someone.’   

Teacher Samuel Paty (pictured) was beheaded in Paris on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. His killer shared a video of the victim’s severed head online

A photo shows flowers, candles and a placard reading 'I am a teacher, I am Samuel' at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris

A photo shows flowers, candles and a placard reading ‘I am a teacher, I am Samuel’ at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina (pictured), father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty's class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested

Investigations are focusing on Brahim Chnina (pictured), father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty’s class, who denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. He has since been arrested

A picture of a body lying in the middle of the road was shared online before French anti-terror prosecutors confirmed they were investigating an assault in which a man was decapitated on the outskirts of Paris

Shrines have now appeared in Paris after the horrific attack after which the killer Aboulakh Anzorov, 18, was shot dead by police

Shrines have now appeared in Paris after the horrific attack after which the killer Aboulakh Anzorov, 18, was shot dead by police

Meanwhile the prosecutor leading the investigation, Jean-François Ricard, said that the suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency as a refugee in March and was not known to intelligence services, had been armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.  

It emerged yesterday that Anzorov asked pupils at the French school to point out the teacher who had shared a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet nude before targeting him.

Mr Paty had received threats after showing the cartoon during a class on freedom of speech about 10 days ago.  

The teacher had invited Muslim students to leave the room before showing the caricature. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.  

A father of a 13-year-old pupil at the secondary school in middle-class Conflans-Sainte-Honorine told Reuters Mr Paty had told any Muslim students to leave because the cartoon would likely cause offence.  

However, one pupil stayed behind by mistake, and later told her Muslim parents. They filed a complaint against the teacher and held a meeting with Mr Paty, the school principal and an official from the education authority.     

Pupils left messages to the teacher reading 'Thank you Mr. Paty to have taught us History and Freedom of Speech, We love you' (left) and 'Hommage to Mr. Paty' (right)

Pupils left messages to the teacher reading ‘Thank you Mr. Paty to have taught us History and Freedom of Speech, We love you’ (left) and ‘Hommage to Mr. Paty’ (right)

Murdered teacher Samuel Paty

The teacher had invited Muslim students to leave the room before showing the caricature. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous 

It emerged yesterday that Anzorov asked pupils at the French school to point out the teacher who had shared a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet nude before targeting him

It emerged yesterday that Anzorov asked pupils at the French school to point out the teacher who had shared a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet nude before targeting him

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday

French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday. French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Chnina and an Islamic activist friend, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, are among ten people who have been arrested in connection with the attack.

The video shared by Chnina sparked community outrage and was shared by a mosque in Pantin, a Parisian suburb. Days later, Mr Paty was stabbed and decapitated in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine 25 miles north west of Paris.

Witnesses said they heard Chechen-born attacker Anzorov shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for God is the Greatest – before he was shot dead by police about 600 yards from the killing. 

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the assault as ‘a murder linked to a terrorist organisation’.  

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

People in face masks light candles outside a middle school near Paris where father-of-one Samuel Paty had worked

Nine people have been arrested, including the parents of a child at the school who had signalled their disagreement with Mr Paty’s decision to show the cartoon, a judicial source said.

Four people were initially detained by police over the murder, but five new people held for questioning are members of Anzorov’s social circle, including his grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother.  

Yesterday’s terror attack came as Emmanuel Macron works on a bill to address Islamic radicals, who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside French values. 

France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe with up to five million members. 

The French President denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe.’   

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an 'Islamist terrorist attack', claiming: 'One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens'

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens’

Anti-terrorism state prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, wearing a face mask, speaks during a press conference today

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine today following the death of a French teacher

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine today following the death of a French teacher

Signs read 'Je suis Samuel' outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

Signs read ‘Je suis Samuel’ outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

The killer fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise (pictured) around two miles away from where the alleged beheading occurred, where he refused to surrender and was shot dead by the police

The killer fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise (pictured) around two miles away from where the alleged beheading occurred, where he refused to surrender and was shot dead by the police

Mr Macron added: ‘It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the Republic and its values. The Enlightenment, (is) the possibility to make our children, wherever they come from, whatever they believe in, whether they believe or not, whatever their religion, to turn them into free citizens.

‘This battle is ours and it is existential. They will not pass. Obscurantism and the violence that goes with it will not win. They will not divide us. That’s what they seek and we must stand together.’

Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote on Twitter today: ‘Through one of its defenders, it is the Republic which has been struck in the heart by Islamist terrorism. 

‘In solidarity with its teachers, the State will react with the greatest firmness so that the Republic and its citizens live, free! We will never give up. Never.’ 

Addressing the country’s teachers, pupils and their parents, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Paty was killed by what he called the enemies of freedom. ‘The Republic will never, never, never back down when confronted by terror, intimidation,’ he said in a recorded statement. 

Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, said: ‘We’ll pick ourselves up together, thanks to our spirit of solidarity.’ 

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.    

France’s parliament suspended Friday’s debate after news of the decapitation, with session president Hugues Renson, visibly moved, calling the attack ‘abominable’.

MPs stood as Renson said that ‘in the name of all of us, I want to honour the memory of Mr Paty.’ Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted: ‘The Republic is under attack.’

Lawmakers and teachers’ unions hailed the slain teacher’s courage for confronting challenging taboos in French society. Freedom of expression was a core tenet of democracy, they said.

Jean-Remi Girard, president of the National Union of School Teachers, told BFM TV that children needed to understand that blasphemy can shock, but is legal.   

People gather in front of the Bois d'Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

People gather in front of the Bois d’Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

Local mayor Laurent Brosse, second left, and deputy mayors applaud outside the school where a teacher was working

Local mayor Laurent Brosse, second left, and deputy mayors applaud outside the school where a teacher was working

Teenagers arriving to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after Mr Party’s murder

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where earlier a teenager suspected of beheading a middle school history teacher was shot dead after refusing to surrender

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where earlier a teenager suspected of beheading a middle school history teacher was shot dead after refusing to surrender

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

French police gather outside a middle school in a Parisian suburb of Friday night after a history teacher was decapitated

French police gather outside a middle school in a Parisian suburb of Friday night after a history teacher was decapitated 

The French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to visit the scene of the stabbing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

The French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to visit the scene of the stabbing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

Sophie Vénétitay, deputy head of the SNES-FSU teachers’ union, said: ‘He was murdered because he was doing his job, namely teaching critical thought.’ She said Mr Paty was a history and geography teacher who was in charge of ‘moral and civic education’.  

‘In that capacity, he gave a lesson on the freedom of expression with the Mohammed cartoons,’ she said. 

Thibault Humbert, mayor of the nearby suburb of Éragny-sur-Oise, said: ‘This was an exceptionally violent and horrifying attack. The police must be commended for intervening with such speed.’  

Other politicians lined up to express their horror at the killing, with Xavier Bertrand, centre-Right president of the Hauts-de-France region, saying: ‘Islamist barbarity has taken aim at one of the symbols of the Republic: school. The terrorists want to shut us up, to bring us to our knees. 

France’s litany of deadly attacks 

  • Two people were stabbed and wounded in Paris on September 25 this year near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested over the attack.
  • October 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam about 10 years earlier.
  • March 23, 2018 – A gunman kills three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. Security forces storm the building and kill him.
  • July 26, 2016 – Two attackers kill a priest and seriously wound another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Francois Hollande, who was France’s president at the time, says the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
  • July 14, 2016 – A gunman drives a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker is identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.
  • June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabs a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and kills his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police negotiators during a siege that he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.
  • November 13, 2015 – Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people are killed and 368 are wounded. Islamic State says it was responsible for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.
  • January 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militants break into an editorial meeting of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and rake it with bullets, killing 12 people. Another militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shoot him dead.  

‘They should know that we will not bend, they will never forbid us to read, write, draw, think, teach.’

Marine Le Pen of National Rally said: ‘A teacher beheaded for showing Charlie Hebdo caricatures. We are in France with this level of unbearable barbarity. Islamism is waging war on us: it is by force that we must drive them out of our country.’ 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the far-Left party, Unbowed France, said: ‘Horrible crime in Conflans! In fact, the assassin takes himself for the god that he claims he follows. He is sullying religion. And he is inflicting on us all the hell of having to live with murderers like him.’ 

Local lawmaker Antoine Savignat said, ‘If we cannot talk about the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in school, we end up in denialism… In France, the country of freedom of expression, this cannot be allowed to happen.’  

Parents of pupils laid flowers at the school gate. Some said their children were distraught.'(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?’ one father said. 

Muslim leaders condemned the killing, which many public figures perceived as an attack on the essence of French statehood and its values of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of expression.

Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said of the killing, ‘It is not a civilisation that kills an innocent person, it is barbarity’.   

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest. 

‘[The attacker] is believed to be from a Chechen background,’ said an investigating source, referring to the Russian Federation republic.

Thousands of battle-hardened Chechen refugees, including many devout Muslims, entered France in the early 2000s following two bloody wars against Russia. 

Around 30,000 Chechens in total escaped to France, many of them resettling in the suburbs of major cities such as Paris. 

France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen community in recent months – in the Dijon region, the Mediterranean city of Nice, and the western town of Saint-Dizier – believed to be linked to local criminal activity.

It was not known what link, if any, the attacker might have with the teacher or whether he had accomplices.

Police on Friday arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a suspicious individual loitering near the school, a police source said.  There they found the dead man and nearby sighted the suspect armed with a knife-like weapon, who threatened them as they tried to arrest him.

They opened fire and injured him severely, the source said. The man later died of his injuries, a judicial source said.

The attack follows a terrorism enquiry being launched in Paris last month after two news agency staff were stabbed outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo – the magazine where staff members were murdered in 2015 after publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet.  

Those on trial range in age from 29 to 68, and are charged with providing logistics to the terrorists, including cash, weapons and vehicles. 

Paris-born brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi murdered 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo offices using Kalashnikovs, before escaping in a stolen car, and later being killed by police. 

Samuel Paty was school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils

Samuel Paty was school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils

Pictured: Armed police stands near a police car in the outskirts of Paris where the attack took place. The first bloodbath took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb some 25 miles from the centre of the French capital on Friday

Pictured: Armed police stands near a police car in the outskirts of Paris where the attack took place. The first bloodbath took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb some 25 miles from the centre of the French capital on Friday

Pictured: More emergency services gathering after the attack and subsequent shooting

Pictured: More emergency services gathering after the attack and subsequent shooting

A third terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, gunned down four shoppers in a kosher supermarket and a policewoman during three days of carnage before he too was killed.

Charlie Hebdo now produces its magazine from a top secret location, and in September re-published the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which had provoked outrage in the Muslim world. 

There have been a series of bomb, gun and knife attacks carried out by Islamic State and al-Qaeda operatives in France, dating back to early 2015

The deadliest single terrorist attack ever in the country came in November 2015 when 130 people were killed in Paris. Suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIS targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.  

Earlier in the year, two Paris-born gunmen linked to Al-Qaeda broke into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 17 people dead inside and three outside.

In July 2016, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured when a 19-tonne truck was deliberately driven into crowds on the seafront promenade at Nice, in the South of France.

The terrorist turned out to be a Tunisian immigrant who was shot dead by police. During the same month, two Isis terrorists murdered an 86-year-old Catholic priest during a church service in Normandy.

There have been frequent knife attacks on the forces of law and order, leading to the deaths of serving police.

In October last year, a radicalised computer operative working at the Paris Prefecture in central Paris stabbed four of his colleagues to death. The attacker – who was also shot dead – turned out to be a Muslim convert who kept extremist Al-Qaeda and Islamic State literature and images on his computer.   



Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

RAF Reaper drone wipes out suspected ISIS terror unit in Iraq


RAF Reaper drone wipes out suspected ISIS terror unit in Iraq attacking them with a 500lb laser-guided smart bomb

  • The drone attacked ISIS suspects in Anbar province, west of Baghdad 
  • Iraqi defence forces called for assistance after they were attacked by ISIS 
  • Coalition fast jets hit the suspected terrorists before the drone arrived 
  • The drone’s crew launched a single GBU-12 guided bomb to attack the group 

An RAF Reaper drone has wiped out a suspected ISIS terror unit who had attacked Iraqi security forces west of Baghdad. 

According to the Ministry of Defence, ‘a small group of extremists’ attacked local security forces in Anbar province west of Baghdad. 

A coalition aircraft attacked part of the ISIS force, forcing the remainder to retreat when they were targeted by the unmanned Reaper. 

An RAF Reaper drone has attacked and destroyed an ISIS terror cell outside Baghdad according to the Ministry of Defence (stock image) 

The Ministry of Defence released footage of the drone attacking the terrorists with a 500lb laser-guided smart bomb

The Ministry of Defence released footage of the drone attacking the terrorists with a 500lb laser-guided smart bomb

The RAF drone was called in to support local Iraqi security forces who were being attacked by ISIS

The RAF drone was called in to support local Iraqi security forces who were being attacked by ISIS 

The MoD said RAF crews were flying daily missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

The MoD said RAF crews were flying daily missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

The RAF drone identified the suspected terrorists and fired a laser-guided 500lb at them. 

According to the MoD: ‘The crew of the Reaper successfully located them, and at an appropriate moment, with no sign of a strike posing any risks to friendly forces or any civilians, conducted a carefully planned attack with a GBU-12 guided bomb. The Iraqi forces subsequently reported that the threat had been eliminated.’ 

The MoD said the RAF are flying manned and unmanned missions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. 

On August 20, a Reaper drone fired a single hellfire missile at a cave complex 85 miles west of Kirkuk, northern Iraq.  

According to the MoD: ‘The missile struck the target accurately, and the blast was observed to emerge from another part of the cave network, indicating that weapon’s effect had reached deep inside the caves.’ 

Further attacks were launched against ISIS suspects on August 26, including both Reaper drones and coalition fast jets. 

The MoD claimed no innocent civilians were injured during the attack

The MoD claimed no innocent civilians were injured during the attack

The General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper drone

The MQ-9 Reaper drone is designed to operate at medium altitudes for long endurance missions. 

The unmanned drone can fly for up to 20 hours when it is unarmed or 12 hours when carrying weapons. 

It is used for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and strike missions. 

It is able to remain above a target for long periods providing live data to its controllers on the ground station in the US or the UK. 

A separate team are responsible for arming and maintaining the weapons system ‘in theatre’.  

The RAF Reaper drone can be equipped with four hellfire missiles as well as a pair of 500lb laser-guided bombs

The RAF Reaper drone can be equipped with four hellfire missiles as well as a pair of 500lb laser-guided bombs 

Powerplant: one 900shp Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop

Length: 36ft (10.97m)

Height: 12ft (3.66m)

Wingspan: 69ft 3½in (21.12m)

Maximum take-off weight: 10,500lb (4,760kg)

Maximum speed: 250kt (463km/h)

Endurance (clean): 20 hours

Endurance (with weapons): more than 12 hours

Service ceiling (clean): more than 50,000ft

Service ceiling (with weapons): more than 30,000ft

Armament: two 500lb GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles



Source link