Iceland has abolished its blasphemy law, on the books since the 1940s, after a bill proposed by the Pirate Party passed in the national legislature. According to the Iceland Monitor, all three Pirate Party MPs stood in the Parliament (Althing) during the vote and said “Je suis Charlie,” expressing solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo massacre victims.
IB Times The bill, which passed with one MP voting against and three abstaining, is the first bill by the Pirate Party to pass in the Althing. The party later celebrated the passing with a blog post stating: “The Icelandic Parliament has issued the important message that freedom will not bow to bloody attacks.”
Iceland’s blasphemy law punished offenders with a fine or three months imprisonment. The party first proposed the bill in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The bill faced opposition from numerous groups, including the Pentecostal Church and the Catholic Church of Iceland. “Jyllandsposten and Charlie Hebdo should have thought twice before before publish material insulting Islam,” the eastern province of the Church of Iceland said.
Not all religious groups were opposed, however. The Bishop’s office of the Church of Iceland, commenting on the bill, said: “It is fundamental to a free society that people should be able to express themselves without fear of punishment.”
Provisions are included in the Icelandic Criminal Code to prosecute proponents of hate speech, and today’s law has not undermined this right. The Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, in a statementon today’s ruling, has said that an important result of today’s ruling is the message it sends to other countries.
“Often, countries where there is a lack of democracy and freedom are criticized for punishing people for blasphemy even with death sentences,” the group said. “When those countries are criticized, their spokespeople frequently point out, correctly, that similar laws are in force in ‘Western’ democracies. Therefore, it sends a vital message to the rest of the world if Iceland has repealed its blasphemy law.”
A June poll showed the Pirate Party as Iceland’s most popular political party with 32.4 percent surveyed expressing support, 0.5 percent ahead of the governing coalition. The party also placed 9.1 percent ahead of the second most popular party, center-right coalition partner the Independence Party.
“YouTube should not have been forced to take down ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film that allegedly sparked violence in the Middle East, a federal appeals court ruled in a victory for free speech advocates.
Chinese authorities have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and promote them in ‘eye-catching displays,’ in an attempt to undermine Islam’s hold on local residents. Establishments that failed to comply were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.
Washington Post (h/t Susan K) Facing widespread discontent over its repressive rule in the mainly Muslim province of Xinjiang, and mounting violence in the past two years, China has launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of Islam in the western region.
Government employees and children have been barred from attending mosques or observing the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In many places, women have been barred from wearing face-covering veils, and men discouraged from growing long beards.
In the village of Aktash in southern Xinjiang, Communist Party official Adil Sulayman, told RFA that many local shopkeepers had stopped selling alcohol and cigarettes from 2012 “because they fear public scorn,” while many locals had decided to abstain from drinking and smoking.
The Koran calls the use of “intoxicants” sinful, while some Muslim religious leaders have also forbidden smoking. Sulayman said authorities in Xinjiang viewed ethnic Uighurs who did not smoke as adhering to “a form of religious extremism.” They issued the order to counter growing religious sentiment that was “affecting stability,” he said.
“We have a campaign to weaken the Muslim religion here, and this is part of that campaign,” he told the Washington-based news service.
The notice, obtained by RFA and posted on Twitter, ordered all restaurants and supermarkets in Aktash to sell five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes and display them prominently. “Anybody who neglects this notice and fails to act will see their shops sealed off, their businesses suspended, and legal action pursued against them,” the notice said.
Areas of Xinjiang have become hotbe of violent stabbing and shooting incidents between ethnic Uighurs and Chinese security forces.
China says Uighur militant groups based abroad are using the Internet to inspire local Muslims to take up violent jihad against the state. Critics say China’s long repression of Uighur rights and nationalist sentiment has pushed people toward Islam as the only permitted assertion of their community’s identity, and pushed a minority toward a violent form of Islam. Attempts to promote alcohol or forbid beards and veils may prove counterproductive, they warn.
Around 60 shops and restaurants in the area had complied with the government order, and there were no reports of protests. But in an unrelated incident in neighboring Qinghai province on Friday, an angry crowd of Muslims smashed windows of a supposedly halal store in Xining city, after pork sausages and ham were found in a delivery van, according to the local government and photographs on social media.
NIGERIAN terrorist group Boko Haram has changed its name to ‘Islamic State in West Africa.’ following its affiliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ABNA Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to fellow terrorist group, Islamic State (ISIS) in March 2015. ISIS accepted the pledge and encouraged members to extend operations to West Africa. The group is said to have released new photos of its members and announced its new name.
Over the last six years, Boko Haram have killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in a battle to establish an government in Nigeria.
Meanwhile the military said on Thursday it was still advancing in Boko Haram’s last known stronghold, dismissing reports that land mines had forced them to retreat.
A pro-government vigilante and a security source had earlier said troops pulled back from the Sambisa forest after three vigilantes were killed driving over an anti-vehicle mine.
The latest propaganda video from the Islamic State (ISIS) is a rap music video that promises suicide bombing attacks in Germany as well as in New York, warning “there is no safety for any American anywhere on the globe.”
Newsweek ISIS has released a new propaganda video which claims that the U.S. will burn in another 9/11 atrocity and warns that there is “no safety for any American on the globe”. The 11-minute long video (heavily edited to remove most graphic images), titled We Will Burn America, issues a call to arms to its supporters, requesting they conduct attacks within the U.S. and calling American safety a “mirage”.
The clip shows the gruesome deaths of U.S. journalist James Foley and Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh. It also promotes past attacks on the Canadian parliament in October, which was believed to be ISIS-inspired, the shootings at a Kosher grocery in Paris by ISIS supporter Amedy Coulibaly in January and the recent cyber hacks of U.S. Central Command (Centcom), breached by ISIS supporters in January, and French television station TVMONDE5, by hackers claiming affiliation to ISIS last week.
ISIS supporters are claiming the rapper performing is Denis Cuspert, AKA “Deso Dogg”, a German rapper who toured with DMX before joining the Islamic State.
The rap is in German but English subtitles are included, with lyrics like: “To the enemies of Allah, where are your troops? We can no longer wait, O Allah destroy them! Now listen you dogs of hell, this is a message and more are going to follow. This is just the beginning.” It then ends with a suicide bomber getting ready to bomb New York City’s Time Square.
In January, the group released another gruesome beheading video in which a militant standing over a Kurdish fighter threatened to cut off U.S. president Barack Obama’s head. “Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America,” the militant says. “Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province.”
In other news: City of Ramadi in Iraq on verge of falling to ISIS
You can see the full 11-minute ‘We Will Burn America’ unedited version HERE
These pictures show the disturbing fantasy world imagined by Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists. It might well be a fantasy, but ISIS has a $2+ billion bank account that can buy a lot of technology.
UK Daily Mail In one image, terrorist fighters overrun the Capitol building in Washington, and fly an ISIS flag from the top of the iconic building, which is engulfed in flames, and the American flag is falling.
A second image created and circulated by Russian-speaking terrorists is of smiling Abu Omar al-Shishani, one of the most feared military commanders of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, with Big Ben burning in the background. The caption reads: ‘Soon!! In all cities of the world’, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Another fantasy depicts a white horse carrying the Isis flag escaping from the mouths of hungry wolves. It could have a number of different meanings, but it seems to depict a pure (white) Isis overpowering those standing in its way.
But it seems these terrorists dream of an air force as the group’s logo is painted on a black fighter-jet and another shows a ‘pilot of the Islamic State’.
In September, it was reported that ISIS jihadists were changing tactics in the face of U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq by ditching conspicuous convoys in favour of motorcycles.
Slickly produced ISIS recruitment video:
In the meantime, ISIS is busy training its next generation of junior jihadis:
The baby-faced Australian teenager who joined Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East has reportedly blown himself up in a suicide bomb attack. The Islamic State jihadists released a photo showing 18-year-old Jake Bilardi inside a white van, which is he thought to have died in.
UK Daily Mail (h/t Susan K & several BNI Aussies) Bilardi travelled from Melbourne to the Iraqi city of Ramadi in the Islamic State stronghold of Anbar last year, saying that he went to ISIS ‘chasing death’. He is said to have carried out one of 13 suicide car bomb attacks on Iraqi army and security positions in Ramadi on Wednesday.
On Thursday, an image of Bilardi sitting in front of an Islamic State flag was posted to Twitter with the caption: ‘The Australian brother who carried out Martyrdom operation in Ramadi, Al Anbar.’
A separate Islamic State Twitter account posted a photo of Bilardi with caption: ‘Breaking News: Australian citizen Jake Bilardi aka Abu Abdullah carried the martyrdom operation in #Ramadi, #Iraq.’
The Bilardi family has been greatly upset by the news with his aunt, Connie, clearly heard crying from inside the family home after word came through of the suicide bombing.
Relatives have hunkered down in their Ascot Vale home, in Melbourne’s north-west, refusing to speak on the revelations. But his aunt had told Daily Mail Australia, in an earlier interview, that the teenager’s decision to join the ranks of ISIS ‘was devastating, just devastating’.
When asked earlier this week how the young man’s father was coping with the news his son was fighting with ISIS, his auntie’s emotional response was: ‘well, he’s not’.
Australian authorities have yet to confirm the 18-year-old died in the attacks, which killed at least 10 people and wounded 30.
Khilafah means “caliphate” in Arabic, a form of Islamic government which is what ISIS is trying to establish in the Middle East. Kilafah Book is being hosted on “5elafabook.com”, which is a domain registered in Egypt. It was created by Abu Musab and states its admin state/province as “The Islamic State” in Mosul.
Motherboard ISIS jihadists are masters of social media, whether it’s for spreading propaganda videos, hijacking popular hashtags to gain a louder voice, or attracting new fighters. This week, an apparent advocate of the group launched a site designed to keep fellow jihadis and supporters in touch.
“Khilafah Book,” or “Caliphate Book,” looks as slick as a professionally crafted, Silicon Valley-based social media site. Using a blue colour scheme, it’s not hard to see the presumably deliberate similarities with Facebook’s design.
In the background, a world map is plastered with images of the Islamic State’s flag in Canada, the United States, South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. “Connect and share with the people that matters to you,” reads the site in English. “Never miss a thing out! Keep in touch with your fans, customers or loved ones all the time!”
Judging by the generic nature of these statements, which could easily be spouted from any social media project, it seems likely that the site is using a pre-made template, rather than having been built from the ground up.
The site was announced from a corresponding Twitter account on Wednesday, but it’s only started to gather attention now. “Official page of the #Khalafah_book first social networking supporters,” the tweet read, according to a Google translation.
After logging in, the Facebook-inspired design continues. “May God make you a reason in the conversion of Muslims,” an announcement reads in Arabic. On the right-hand side, suggestions of people to follow are listed, as well as what is “trending.” Users can supposedly post photos, video, music, and text, although the site crashed when I tried to type.
The announcement also states that it’s “forbidden [to] add your profile picture on the website,” although it appears that a few users have ignored this advice. The administrator also asks for prolonged verbal abuse to be reported.
At the time of writing, the site is being hosted by US company GoDaddy, according to a WHOIS search. The registrant’s supposed name is Abu Musab, and his obviously fake address is “Islamic State Mosul, Islamic State, 27222.” The registrant country is then listed as Egypt, which may be where the website creator is located, although this cannot be confirmed.
Even if it looks the real deal, connecting to the site has been pretty difficult. Throughout Sunday morning, the site was dropping in and out. I eventually managed to get onto the homepage and take a screenshot and create an account, but the site wasn’t stable. “Site is in its early days,” an announcement reads in Arabic once a user logs into the site.
The creation of this site is presumably in response to the recent trouble that ISIS and its supporters have had on mainstream social media sites, with Twitter banning affiliated accounts outright. After this, ISIS members reportedly threatened employees of Twitter, including its co-founder Jack Dorsey (Dorsey now works as the CEO of Square, a mobile payments company).
However, the ban hammer doesn’t appear to be having much of an effect. A Brookings Institute report published this week found that ISIS may have up to 46,000 accounts.
Even if “Khilafah Book” is a new strategy to subvert the Twitter bans, it seems like an ineffective approach. Surely for its propaganda to be effective, and reach the widest possible audience, ISIS needs to be posting it where the public is, rather than creating its own dedicated site.
Regardless, what this site shows more than anything is the continuing support of ISIS in the digital realm. Social media is as important a battleground for the group as the front lines of Syria and Iraq, and they are not going to leave the space so easily.
Update: The site announced a temporary shutdown “in order to protect the info and details of it’s members and their safety”.
You only have to conduct a few jihad operations every year. You return with a bunch of sex slaves, 3 or 4 women and 3 or 4 children. Whenever you need money, you just sell one of them off. (And still collect welfare)
Islamic State militants are planning to extend their positions to Lebanon and declare an ‘Islamic emirate there, Lebanese media says. ISIS jihadists are also planning suicide bombings in Beirut, according to the report.
RT ISIS militants are “preparing military plans to declare an Islamic emirate in Lebanon very soon,” security sources told Lebanon’s Daily Star. The report added that the jihadists are preparing to establish a military committee that will oversee “Lebanese affairs” while “considering Lebanon as part of its state.” In June 2014, the militants’ chief – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – declared captured territories from Iraq’s Diyala province to Syria’s Aleppo an Islamic State ‘caliphate.’
IS fighters are demanding the militants in northern Syria to support them in the invasion of territories in neighboring Lebanon, the report stated. Unnamed security sources told the Lebanese paper that the arrangements to form an ISIS command for the Lebanon emirate are being supervised by Syrian militant Khalaf al-Zeyabi Halous, codenamed ‘Abu Musaab Halous,’ who played a key role in the IS offensive to capture the northern Raqqa province in 2013.
The report also revealed that an influential party in Lebanon received information that the jihadists have been actively recruiting suicide bombers to “target Shiite gatherings in Beirut and the southern suburbs, as well as French and Western interests.” It added that the Iranian embassy in Beirut is particularly vulnerable to an assault.
The Iranian embassy was previously targeted by extremists in November 2013. The suicide bombing resulted in 23 deaths and at least 160 injuries.
In addition to government forces, Lebanese Christians have been arming themselves to defend their land and families from the jihadists.
The al-Qaeda branch in Somalia released a video Saturday celebrating the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 60 people in a four-day siege. In the 66-minute video, al-Shabaab calls for attacks on specific targets in the U.S., Canada, and Britain.
IB Times “If just a handful of mujahedeen [militant jihadists] fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, just imagine what the dedicated mujahedeen could do in the West to American or Jewish shopping centers across the world,” a masked gunman says toward the end of the video.
“What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street?”
The video raises concern it could help inspire lone-wolf attacks by radicalized individuals in these countries who are teetering on committing violent acts in the name of Allah. Online social media has helped widen the audience for Islamist propaganda despite efforts by Facebook and Twitter to weed out troubling broadcasts.
While social media sites are filled with militant Islamist propaganda calls for violence (such as how to make bombs in your mother’s kitchen or praising the usefulness of Honda motorcycles to commit terrorist acts), it’s unusual for terrorists to be so specific about civilian targets. News of the video was first reported by Bethesda, Maryland, SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors activities of extremist groups.
“The English-speaking narrator in this video sounds remarkably similar to the narrator from past Shabab releases,” SITE Director Rita Katz said in a report announcing the news Saturday.
Al-Shabab has released similar videos in the past, including one cheering the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed May 22, 2013, by British citizens Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. In August, Muslim convert Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was arrested for allegedly plotting to behead a British soldier in a lone-wolf copycat attack inspired by the Rigby murder.
Al-Shabab (which means “the youth” in Arabic) claimed responsibility for the Friday suicide attacks in Mogadishu that killed at least 25 and wounded 40 at a hotel where government officials were meeting. Somalian President Hassan Sheik Mohamoud condemned the attack and pledged to continue to work for stability in the war-ravaged East African country.
Al-Shabab still maintains a strong presence in the country, however, and has staged numerous smaller attacks in the capital in recent months. A suicide car bomber Jan. 22 attacked a Mogadishu hotel where a group of Turkish officials were preparing for a state visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. That attack killed three Somali civilians.
British Muslim medical student who went to Syria to search for a friend’s twin daughters who left home to marry ISIS terrorists, lived with ISIS, earned their trust, but managed to escape to Turkey. He said they are planning something much more spectacular than 9/11.
Western Journalism “They want to be more better than al-Qaeda,” Ahmad Rashidi said to NBC’s Richard Engel on Meet the Press. “They want to do something much worse than the World Trade Center.” He added that the U.S. bombings are making ISIS happy because they elevate the group’s status to that of al-Qaeda. “They are full of hate. You can see the fire in the eyes.” “If you smell like European, they are going to kill you.”
“I have 24 hours left to live… the Jordanian pilot has even less,” says second Japanese hostage who claims ISIS will execute him and the Jordanian airman unless jailed female Muslim terrorist is released.
UK Daily Mail A video posted on jihadist websites shows a picture of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photograph of captured Jordanian pilot, 1st Lt Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh. A voiceover, purportedly by Goto, warns that Jordan is blocking the Japanese journalist’s release by failing to free Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber on death row since 2006.
The statement says Goto and al-Kaseasbeh will be beheaded within 24 hours if al-Rishawi is not freed and urges the Japanese government to put pressure on Jordan. The voiceover warns: ‘Any more delays by the Jordanian government will mean they are responsible for the death of the pilot which will then be followed by mine.
‘I only have 24 hours left to live… and the pilot has even less. Please don’t leave us to die. Japan has indicated it will not negotiate with terrorists.
Freelance journalist Kenji Goto was seized in late October in Syria, apparently while trying to rescue another hostage, 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa, who was captured by the ISIS terrorists last summer.
Sajida al-Rishawi gained notoriety in 2005 after confessing on Jordanian television that she tried to blow herself up alongside her husband in an Al Qaeda attack in Amman, Jordan.
YOUTUBE QUICKLY BANNED THIS VIDEO BUT YOU CAN SEE IT HERE: