Report: Pope Francis Is ‘In The Crosshairs Of ISIS’

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VATICAN CITY (CBSDC/AP) — A new report claims that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is targeting Pope Francis — a report that the Vatican says is simply not true.
According to Il Tempo, Israeli sources reportedly told the Italian newspaper that the pope is “in the crosshairs of ISIS.” The report stated that Francis is being targeted because he is “the greatest exponent of the Christian religions” and the “bearer of false truth.”
The Vatican, though, denounced the report.
“There is nothing serious to this,” Father Federico Lombardi S.J., a Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Agency. “There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation.”
The Catholic News Agency reports that Italy has issued a nationwide terror alert, despite no imminent threats or specifics about a potential attack on the country.
On Friday, Britain raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, meaning that a terrorist attack is considered highly likely.
Home Secretary Theresa Mays said the decision to raise the threat level was related to developments in Iraq and Syria, but that there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent. Some of the plots are likely to involve fighters who have traveled from Britain and Europe to take part in fighting in the Middle East.
“We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism,” she said. “I would urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police.”
May says the decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center is made on the basis of intelligence and is independent of government. “Severe” is the second-highest of five levels.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria a “greater and deeper threat to security than we have seen before.”
“We cannot appease this ideology, we have to confront it at home and abroad,” Cameron said Friday.
British police have appealed to the public to help identify aspiring terrorists after the murder of an American journalist focused attention on extremism in the U.K.
The involvement of a person of British nationality in James Foley’s murder underscored the need to identify those who might travel abroad to fight or are at risk of being radicalized.
The warning comes as President Barack Obama said Thursday during a press conference that the administration has yet to develop a strategy to deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama stated.
White House officials told CBS News that Obama’s remark referred to a specific military strategy for dealing with ISIS.
“I just want to be clear about what our strategy is. The president’s clear in that this strategy is one that’s not going to solve this problem overnight. But he’s also clear about the fact that our strategy can’t only be the American military,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told CNN. “We have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with ISIL. One component of our broader strategy is the use of military force.”
The president is still determining whether or not to conduct airstrikes in Syria to target ISIS. The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes in Iraq against the terror group.
“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans so we’re developing them. At that point I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard,” Obama explained.
Just last week, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said that ISIS needs to be confronted in Syria.
“To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization, which resides in Syria? The answer is no,” Dempsey said last week during a press briefing at the Pentagon. “That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border.”
Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to the Mideast next week in an effort to coordinate a response against ISIS.

VIDEO: This Altercation in the UK Should Act as a Wake Up Call About the Islamic Threat in America

August 29, 2014 By TPNN Staff Writer

Barack Obama recently praised Muslims claiming that they have built the very fabric of our society and stating that they strengthen the core of our democracy. Those critical of the Muslim faith, one which sees Sharia law as being above even the Constitution, are accused of being Islamophobes, racists, and fear mongers.

But, this video, filmed in London in 2011, tells a story about Muslims that Obama and Muslim sympathizers do not want you to know.
For years, the UK has been experiencing an “Islamic Invasion” to the point where the number one baby name for boys in England and Wales is Mohammed.

There is the constant argument made that Islam is a religion of peace, despite that fact that Muslims, followers of Islam, are slaughtering people by the thousands as they work to establish their caliphate.

A video has come to light, courtesy of The Conservative Post , that demonstrates exactly how Muslims have taken over England and the danger that they pose to England and that they could pose to America. This video offers a frightening look at how Muslims see and treat ‘infidels.’ This is what they are trying to bring to America as well.

And to think, Obama, who once said if the political winds should shift, he would stand with the Muslims, credited Muslims with building the fabric of our society while he attacks Christianity at every turn.

Recipe for hate: Al-Qaeda publish car bomb ‘shopping list’ and suggest UK targets

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Al-Qaeda this week published an online magazine featuring instructions on how to build homemade car bombs and an appeal to Muslims to attack UK and US targets in the vein of the Boston bombers.

The English-language magazine, entitled ‘Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem’, urges Muslims in the West to assemble pressure cooker bombs like those used to attack the Boston marathon last year.

In a list of “examples of targets,” the magazine suggests attacks on the UK’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, MI5’s Thames House and Marks & Spencer department stores during Friday prayers, so as to avoid harming Muslims.

The list features US targets including Times Square, casinos in Las Vegas, Georgia Military College, the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the General Atomics headquarters in San Diego. It also suggests attacks on Israeli, British and American company headquarters and holiday destinations abroad, oil tankers and busy train stations.

A screenshot from azelin.files.wordpress.comA screenshot from azelin.files.wordpress.com

A nine-page spread offers instructions on how to “make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom,” step-by-step photographs, a shopping list, and admiring words about Boston bombers the Tsarnaev brothers.

“This recipe gives you the ability to make a car bomb even in countries with tight security and surveillance,” one article reads, before providing a list of supplies including cooking gas, oxygen gas, a barometer, decoration lamps and matches.

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“If you are sincere in your intentions to serve the religion of Allāh, then all what you have to do is enter your kitchen and make an explosive device that would damage the enemy if you put your trust in Allāh and then use this explosive device properly.”

A timeline of terror attacks, including 9/11 and the Boston bombings is concluded with a blank entry marked ‘201?’ implying a terror attack on American or British soil is planned for the near future.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack – implying that it is coming soon,” Steve Stalinsky, of the Middle East Media Research Institute, told Fox News.

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“There could be some envy by AQAP that IS is now getting all the headlines.”

The magazine is a supplement to the terror group’s Inspire magazine, aimed at encouraging Muslims in the West to carry out lone-wolf terror attacks. “Inspire Magazine’s goal is to empower Muslims. And what is empowerment without being strong, powerful and intelligent?” the publications reads.

“In this section, we give you strength, power and intelligence. Believe me, using car bombs gives you all that.”

NATO chief eyes more bases in E. Europe to confront Russia

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Under the pretext of an ‘overt’ Russian threat, NATO is pushing for a ‘readiness action plan’ that will bring the Cold War military bloc closer to Russian borders than ever – even despite objections from some NATO members.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the 28-nation military bloc, which meets next week in Cardiff, Wales, would attempt to overcome internal opposition and agree to the deployment of military bases near the Russian border.

Two NATO warships heading to Black Sea

Amid the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, which is fracturing the country along east-west ideological lines, NATO is preparing to install for the first time military “reception facilities” in Eastern European countries, including Poland and the three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

“We have something already called the NATO response force, whose purpose is to be able to be deployed rapidly if needed,” Rasmussen said in an interview with several European newspapers. “Now it’s our intention to develop what I would call a spearhead within that response force at very, very, high readiness. In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations. So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters.”
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The bottom line, according to the NATO chief, is that there will be “a more visible NATO presence in the east.”

Asked whether there would be permanent NATO presence in Eastern Europe, he said, “The brief answer is ‘yes’. To prevent misunderstanding, I use the phrase ‘for as long as necessary’. Our eastern allies will be satisfied when they see what is actually in the readiness action plan.”

Rasmussen, whose term expires on September 30, said the new NATO forces in Eastern Europe could be “deployed within hours.”

Needless to say, NATO’s militarization of the region will not sit well with Moscow, which has watched with increasing alarm since the collapse of the Soviet Union – despite pledges from the Western military bloc not to expand further east – as NATO continues its march towards Russia’s western border.

Currently, the Polish port city of Szczecin, which military experts anticipate will serve as one of NATO’s new “reception facilities,” represents NATO’s easternmost military presence.

Ironically, NATO’s latest enlargement plans are being opposed not just by Russia, but by its very members, some of whom do not see the point in aggravating tensions with Moscow.

It should come as no surprise that the United States and the United Kingdom, distant as they are from any potential fireworks on the European-Russian border, favor a military escalation in Eastern Europe. Other major NATO members, however, including France, Spain and Italy, have expressed serious reservations to the plans.

Meanwhile, Germany, NATO’s second strongest member, remains uncommitted to the expansion plans.

This should come as no surprise considering the recent deterioration in relations between Washington and Berlin.

Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team participate in training exercises with the Polish 6 Airborne Brigade soldiers at the Land Forces Training Centre in Oleszno near Drawsko Pomorskie, north west Poland, May 1, 2014. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel)Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team participate in training exercises with the Polish 6 Airborne Brigade soldiers at the Land Forces Training Centre in Oleszno near Drawsko Pomorskie, north west Poland, May 1, 2014. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel)

Germany was forced to take a critical new look at its powerful American partner following Edward Snowden’s shocking NSA revelations, which showed massive US and UK spying on German citizens. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone was caught up in the international surveillance net.

Remarkably, Rasmussen asserted that Russia “does not consider NATO a partner,” when it was NATO that flat-out refused Russian participation in the controversial US missile defense system, also planned for Eastern Europe. Such cooperation, had it been given the green light, would have sealed the so-called reset between the two Cold War-era foes, bringing to end years of mutual suspicion and antagonism. Instead, the US and NATO opted to keep Russia on the sidelines, ensuring nothing less than another full-blown arms race.

Speaking on the subject of Crimea’s decision to hold a referendum to join the Russian Federation under the threat of military attack by pro-Kiev forces, Rasmussen commented that “nobody had expected Russia to grab land by force.”

At the same time, the outgoing NATO chief reiterated claims – surprisingly without providing any sort of unassailable proof, in this age of advanced surveillance equipment – that Russia is actively participating in the Ukrainian upheaval.

“We have seen artillery firing across the border and also inside Ukraine. We have seen a Russian military buildup along the border. Quite clearly, Russia is involved in destabilizing eastern Ukraine … You see a sophisticated combination of traditional conventional warfare mixed up with information and primarily disinformation operations. It will take more than NATO to counter such hybrid warfare effectively,” Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

NATO officials, however, have admitted their intelligence is not perfect.

“We can only watch from 23 miles (37km) up,” one official told the Guardian.

Ukrainian servicemen rest in the shade next to an armoured vehicle topped with a Ukrainian flag as they take up a position near the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov)Ukrainian servicemen rest in the shade next to an armoured vehicle topped with a Ukrainian flag as they take up a position near the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov)

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is to attend the NATO summit, where the 28-member bloc has prepared four ‘trust funds’ to finance Ukraine’s military logistics, command structures, and cyber defense forces, and to pay overdue military pensions.

Yet somehow Rasmussen was able to say of Russia’s embattled neighbor.

“Ukraine follows its own path…It is actually what we will decide to do at the summit, to help them build the capacity of their security sector, modernize it,” he said.

Meanwhile, it looks as if Rasmussen will be passing around the proverbial hat during next week’s summit, looking to collect more money from NATO members, even as their own countries are facing economic turmoil amid IMF-enforced austerity measures.

“Since the end of the Cold War we have lived in relatively good weather. Now we are faced with a profound climate change. That requires more investment,” said the NATO chief.

It will be interesting to see how many member states take up this latest challenge, which threatens to ratchet up European-Russian tensions to levels not seen since the Cold War.

Meanwhile, there is no question as to how Russia views NATO’s relentless eastward encroachment.

“No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on,” President Putin said in July at an emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. “As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”

Putin stated that NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s border, which includes the US-built missile defense system, is not just for defensive purposes, but is an “offensive weapon” and an “element of the US offensive system deployed outside the mainland.”

‘Bad Boys’ jihadist cell could be key to identifying UK militant who killed Foley

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Five men who left Britain in October last year have been shown on CCTV footage leaving the UK to join the Islamic State under the guise of taking a vacation in Turkey. One of the men could now be the key to identifying James Foley’s murderer.

CCTV footage shows the ‘Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys’ making their way through Gatwick Airport en route to join the militant group Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS or ISIL.

The five men from Portsmouth bought tickets on low-budget carrier Thomas Cook to the Turkish resort of Antalya in October, the Daily Mail reported.

The group’s members have been identified by British authorities as Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25, Mashudur Choudhury, 31, Assad Uzzaman, 25, Mehdi Hassan, 19, and Mamunur Roshid.

Now, 10 months later, Rahman, who worked as a shop assistant at UK clothing chain Primark until being sacked in September 2013, a month before leaving to take part in the jihadist movement, was reportedly killed in a gun battle in Syria last month.

Choudhury is in prison, convicted of travelling to Syria to receive terrorist training, the Telegraph reported. He will be sentenced on September 19.

Choudhury, who once ran a Muslim youth group, has been accused of being the ringleader and blamed for recruiting his friends. Others suggest he was simply a willing volunteer; a married father of two, with children aged five and two, who was desperate for a change of scene, the paper reports.

Choudhury was allegedly aided by Ifthekar Jaman, 23, the first of the Portsmouth jihadists to go to Syria. Jaman was killed in December while reportedly taking part in an assault on a major arms depot in eastern Syria.

Jihadist dropout
British security services are keen to re-interview Mashudur Choudhury, as he may have been in contact with the suspected killer of James Foley, a US journalist whose videotaped beheading last week prompted a manhunt by UK authorities.

An image grab taken from YouTube video ‘ISIS Beheading of Journalist James Foley Captures World’s Attention’An image grab taken from YouTube video ‘ISIS Beheading of Journalist James Foley Captures World’s Attention’

One security expert said on Saturday: “MI5 will be hoping that prison has had a sobering effect on Choudhury. As a British jihadist, he may well have rubbed shoulders with the gang behind James Foley’s murder.”

When the five British would-be jihadists arrived in Turkey, an intermediary took them over the Syrian border. In Syria, instead of embarking in a violent armed struggle, Choudhury was made to do mundane chores, such as cooking, washing and looking after children in a makeshift nursery.

Authorities believe that Choudhury failed the IS training selection process and was sent home only three weeks after arriving. Upon his return, he was arrested after a tip-off about his activities from someone in the local community and he is now awaiting sentencing.

Around 30 UK citizens every month are now travelling to Syria and Iraq across the frontier, in a journey dubbed the “Jihad Express.” About 500 British citizens are believed to have travelled to Syria to join militant groups, though some have estimated that figure could be up to three times higher.

The issue of preventing extremism in the UK and how to stop British citizens travelling to Syria to join extremist militant groups has generated a great deal of controversy. As UK Special Forces seek the British-born Islamic State jihadist suspected of murdering Foley, the government is redoubling efforts to stop Brits from going to Syria and to prosecute those who return.

UK’s anti-terror scheme a ‘failure’
Meanwhile, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain said the government’s anti-terrorism strategy has “failed.” Deputy Secretary General Harun Khan told BBC Radio 5 live the Prevent scheme was having a “negative impact” and in fact alienated young Muslims and pushed them towards radical groups.

Prevent, which is part of the government’s broader counter-terrorism strategy, aims to “stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism,” by mentoring people that are at the risk of “being drawn into terrorist activity.”

Khan said some people were “lost and disenfranchised” and vulnerable to radicalization as they felt they could not express their views.

A former senior Muslim UK Army officer reiterated this view. British society, its political class and community leaders must share the blame for the “jihad generation” of young Britons joining the Islamic State, Afzal Amin said on Sunday.

In an interview with The Independent he argued that young Muslims in Britain have been left disenfranchised by politics and let down by imams and other community leaders.

“That so many of them feel so disenfranchised with us and then turn to this gang of brigands cloaked with a false version of Islam is not their fault. It is our fault: we who are the society in which they were born, went to school, were raised and became young, independently minded adults. We have failed them, and any successful prognosis must be based on an accurate diagnosis,” Amin said.

An image grab uploaded on June 19, 2014 by Al-Hayat Media Centre shows Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni (C), believed to be Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, speaking in an online video titled “There is no life without Jihad” from an undisclosed location (AFP Photo / HO)An image grab uploaded on June 19, 2014 by Al-Hayat Media Centre shows Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni (C), believed to be Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, speaking in an online video titled “There is no life without Jihad” from an undisclosed location (AFP Photo / HO)

Home Secretary Theresa May proposed changes to the law to target extremists and radicalization in the UK last week. She said she was “looking again at the case for new banning orders for extremist groups.” She has also publicly reiterated her office’s ability to strip Brits fighting abroad of their citizenship.

The UK currently has no consistent policy on who can and can’t travel abroad to fight. London Mayor Boris Johnson on Monday suggested a law that would assume anyone visiting a war zone without first notifying authorities is doing so for terrorist purposes. Boris Johnson also became the latest politician to demand that suspected IS militants returning to the UK are stripped of their citizenship.

On Tuesday, Downing Street rejected Johnson’s plan as a “kneejerk” response.

“The discussions on the level of response are ongoing. Things will need to be looked at. We are very clear that this is a generational struggle that we face where part of this whole challenge will be tackling the ideology too. It is not one about kneejerk response [with] specific proposals. It is about approaching these things – patient and resolute,” the spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also rejected calls for tougher measures to combat the threat of British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria.

Decisions on whether to pursue charges when presumed militants return home are made on a “case by case basis,” a Home Office spokeswoman said. “If the military of any country operate outside of the law, they [Britons fighting abroad] can of course be investigated appropriately, but that would generally be for war crimes or domestic criminal offences,” the office said.

WHITE HOUSE: NO CONCESSIONS TO HOSTAGE TAKERS

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“Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive”

CNN White House Producer Matthew Hoye

Edgartown, Massachusetts (CNN) – National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden tells CNN that U.S. policy on ransom for hostage takers is clear. She said Thursday that it “does not grant concessions to hostage takers.”

“Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive,” she said.

Hayden made the comments following the beheading of American journalist James Foley, and after questions were raised about a possible ransom demand from the Islamic militant group that held him.

Hayden says last year the Obama administration, in conjunction with Britain, built a consensus for a strong policy statement from a Group of Eight summit against paying ransom.

The statement said: “We unequivocally reject the payment of ransom to terrorists.”

The G8 statement, Hayden noted, also endorsed the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists.”

Hayden pointed out that the U.S. government offers assistance to states seeking alternatives to paying ransom.

The American assistance includes training for police forces on how to respond to terrorist kidnappings.