ALGERIA: Former al-Qaeda members form new splinter ISIS group

A new armed group calling itself the ‘Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria’ has split from al-Qaeda’s North African branch and sworn loyalty to the group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS), fighting in Syria and Iraq.

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Al-Jazeera  In a communique released on Sunday, a regional commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said he broke away from the group, accusing it of “deviating from the true path”. Gouri Abdelmalek, nom de guerre Khaled Abu Suleimane, claimed leadership of the splinter group, and was joined by a AQIM commander of an eastern region in Algeria.

“You have in the Islamic Maghreb men if you order them they will obey you,” Suleimane said in reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-professed “caliph” of the IS group. Algerian officials did not immediately comment on the statement.

The “Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria” is the latest group to break with AQIM and side with Baghdadi, after veteran Algerian jihadist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s group, “Those who sign in Blood” pledged allegiance to the IS group.

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But experts say the announcement will not have a major operational impact on the ground as AQIM has been focused on the Sahel region rather than OPEC member Algeria. “The new group will try hard to make some noise, but it will be very difficult to execute big terrorist actions as Algerian security forces have knocked out most of the armed groups in Algeria,” security analyst Anis Rahmani told the Reuters news agency.

AQIM is a mostly Algerian and Mauritanian group that has been present in northern Mali since 2003, and a source of thousands of young fighters travelling to Syria and Iraq. Tuaregs and Arabs joined AQIM in Mali, and youths from Senegal, Niger, and other countries have also reportedly joined the group’s fight.

Baghdadi, who has declared himself the “leader of Muslims everywhere”, fell out with al-Qaeda in 2013 over his decision to expand into Syria, where his followers carried out beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.

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SYRIA: Fiji says captors of UN peacekeepers, al-Nusra Front terrorists, are demanding compensation and removal from global terrorism list (WARNING: Graphic)

Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra who seized dozens of Fijian soldiers serving as U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan Heights last week are demanding their group be removed from a global terrorism list and that compensation be paid for members killed in fighting.

PHOTOS below are from Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria:

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MSN  (h/t Larry A) Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said negotiations had been stepped up between the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and a new U.N. negotiation team now in place in Syria. “The rebels are not telling us where the troops are, but they continue to reassure us they are being well-looked after,” Tikoitoga told media in Suva. “They also told us they are ensuring that they are taken out of battle areas.”

Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamofascist rebels near where 45 Fijian peacekeepers were captured and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. The number of Fijians captured had previously been put at 44.

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Syria’s three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last week when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war. The fighters then turned on the U.N. blue helmets from a peacekeeping force that has patrolled the ceasefire line for 40 years. After the Fijians were captured on Thursday, more than 70 Filipinos spent two days besieged at two locations before reaching safety.

The al-Nusra Front, a Syrian affiliate of al Qaeda, says it is holding the peacekeepers because the U.N. force protects Israel.

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Tikoitoga said the group was demanding compensation for three fighters killed in the confrontation with the U.N. peacekeepers, as well as humanitarian assistance to the people of Ruta, a stronghold of the group on outskirts of Damascus, and the removal of the organization from the U.N. list of banned terrorist organizations.

“We’ve been assured by U.N. headquarters that the U.N. will bring all its resources to bear to ensure the safe return of our soldiers,” the Fijian army chief said.

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SYRIA: So-called (by Obama & McCain) “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels chop off fingers of alleged spy

The man, who appears to be a civilian, was accused of giving out information to the Syrian government. The incident took place in the city of al-Rastan in the Homs governorate, the third largest city in the Homs and under the control of the FSA.

These “moderate” rebels have been getting $$hundreds of millions in military aid from Barack Hussein Obama and other Western countries.

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Islamic State (ISIS) advances into Lebanon – captures nine soldiers, beheads one

ISIS allegedly threatened in a new video Friday to slaughter nine Lebanese soldiers it is holding within three days unless the government acted to release Islamist detainees held in Roumieh prison.  

Gateway Pundit  The group posted a  video showing nine other soldiers begging for their lives, urging their families to take to the streets in the next three days to demand the release of Islamist prisoners as a condition to escape al-Sayyed’s fate.  I

In the footage, posted on YouTube Friday night, one of the nine soldiers called on their families to block roads and exert pressure on the government to release the Islamist detainees from Roumieh within three days because they faced the threat of slaughter at the hands of IS militants. “I urge my people to take to the streets to pressure the Lebanese government or else we will be slaughtered,” Hussein Mahmoud Ammar, a soldier from the Akkar village of Fnaydeq, said in the video. “If they don’t take to the streets, we will be slaughtered within three days.”

The wife of Ali al-Sayyed held her daughter and mourned the death of her husband, a Lebanese soldier who was beheaded by ISIS militants in Fnideq, a town in northern Lebanon.

(Reuters)

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Islamic State terrorists beheaded a Lebanese soldier who was one of 19 captured by hardline Syrian Islamists when they seized a Lebanese border town for few days this month, a video posted on social media showed on Saturday.

The soldier, recognizable as Ali al-Sayyed, a Sunni Muslim from north Lebanon, was shown blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, writhing and kicking the dusty ground while a militant announces he will be killed. Another militant then beheads him.

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SYRIA: Heads roll in the battle of the terrorists vs the terrorists (WARNING: Graphic Images)

Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists get their heads handed to them…literally…as a rival terror group called the Islamic Front beheads seven ISIS terrorists.

Syrian Fight  Seven IS fighters were beheaded by rival fighters in Aleppo countryside. The first picture with seven severed heads is from Aktharin, the second was taken somewhere in the northern part of the Aleppo governorate. The photos were taken in the last few days during the battles between the Islamic battalions and IS. Responsible for this crime is probably the Islamic Front.

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SYRIA: ISIS (Islamic State) massacre at Tabqa airbase in Raqqah (WARNING: Graphic Images)

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Fierce clashes are taking place around the Tabqa airbase in Raqqah countryside between the Syrian Army and the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Syrian state TV confirmed that government forces had evacuated the airbase, saying they were regrouping and were conducting airstrikes.

Syrian Fight  During the clashes around 374 Islamic State fighters were killed according to the SOHR. IS fighters displayed the severed heads of Syrian army soldiers in the city square, a witness said, adding that Syrian warplanes were heard over Raqqa following the air base attack. Earlier on Sunday the Syrian air force had bombed areas around the base.

IS terrorists displayed severed heads of Syrian army soldiers in the city square:

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ISIS terrorists take control of largest dam in Iraq, could threaten hundreds of thousands of people

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Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took over Iraq’s biggest dam unopposed by Kurdish fighters, who also lost three towns and an oilfield on Sunday to the Sunni militant group, witnesses said.  

Reuters  (h/t Maria J) Capture of the electricity-generating Mosul Dam, after an offensive of barely 24 hours, could give the Sunni militants the ability to flood major Iraqi cities or withhold water from farms, raising the stakes in their bid to topple Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government.

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CP  A catastrophic failure of the largest dam in Iraq would send a wave 65ft high hurtling down the valley of the river Tigris, killing up to 500,000 people, US engineers warned yesterday. “If a small problem [at] Mosul dam occurs, failure is likely.” The collapse of the two-mile long, earth-filled dam would release eight billion cubic metres of water in the lake behind it in a giant wave which would flood Mosul–a city of 1.7 million people 20 miles downstream–to a depth of 60ft.

“The terrorist gangs of the Islamic State have taken control of Mosul Dam after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces without a fight,” said Iraqi state television. The swift withdrawal of Kurdish “peshmerga” troops was an apparent severe blow to one of the only forces in Iraq that until now had stood firm against the Sunni Islamist fighters who aim to redraw the borders of the Middle East.

The Islamic State, which sees Iraq’s majority Shi’ites as apostates who deserve to be killed, also seized the Ain Zalah oil field – adding to four others already under its control that provide funding for operations – and three towns.

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Hey, Obama, why aren’t you talking about the Ghaddafi-free Libya you created anymore?

Tunisia has closed its main border crossing with Libya after thousands of stranded Egyptian and other foreign nationals tried to break through. Tunisia is the main escape route as fighting escalates in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where rival militias have been battling for weeks for control of the airport.

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