Ex Taliban Hostage Says Group Killed Infant Daughter And Raped Wife

From NY-Post:
Former hostage Joshua Boyle says the Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter and raped his American wife during the five years they were held in captivity.

Boyle gave the statement shortly after landing in Canada late Friday with his wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three young children.

The couple was rescued Wednesday, five years after they had been abducted by the Taliban-linked extremist network while in Afghanistan as part of a backpacking trip. Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity. The birth of the fourth child had not been publicly known before Boyle appeared before journalists at the Toronto airport.

“The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network’s kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter,” he said.

Boyle said his wife was raped by a guard who was assisted by his superiors. He asked for the Afghan government to bring them to justice.

“God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network,” he said.

He said he was in Afghanistan to help villagers “who live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help.”

On the plane from London, Boyle provided a written statement to The Associated Press saying his family has “unparalleled resilience and determination.”

Coleman, who is from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, sat in the aisle of the business-class cabin wearing a tan-colored headscarf.

She nodded wordlessly when she confirmed her identity to a reporter on board the flight. In the two seats next to her were her two elder children. In the seat beyond that was Boyle, with their youngest child in his lap. U.S. State Department officials were on the plane with them.

The handwritten statement that Boyle gave the AP expressed disagreement with U.S. foreign policy.

“God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination, and to allow that to stagnate, to pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organized injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege,” he wrote.

He nodded to one of the State Department officials and said, “Their interests are not my interests.”

He added that one of his children is in poor health and had to be force-fed by their Pakistani rescuers.

The family was able to leave the plane with their escorts before the rest of the passengers. There was a short delay before everyone else was allowed out.

“It will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home,” he said in his later statement at the airport. “To try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost.”

Dan Boyle, Joshua’s younger brother, said outside the family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, that he had spoken to his brother a few times in the past few days.

“He’s doing very well. He sounds a lot like how he sounded five years ago. He sounds like he had his head on his shoulders and his wits about him,” he said.

The Canadian government said in a statement they will “continue to support him and his family now that they have returned.”

“Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones,” the Canadian government said.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said the Pakistani raid that led to the family’s rescue was based on a tip from U.S. intelligence and shows that Pakistan will act against a “common enemy” when Washington shares information.

U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of ignoring groups like the Haqqani network.

U.S. officials consider it a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the Haqqani group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

A U.S. national security official, who was not authorized to discuss operational details of the release and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. obtained actionable information, passed it to Pakistani government officials, asked them to interdict and recover the hostages — and they did.

President Donald Trump, who previously had warned Pakistan to stop harboring militants, praised Pakistan for its “cooperation on many fronts.” On Twitter, he wrote Friday that the U.S. is starting to develop “a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders.”

The operation appeared to have unfolded quickly and ended with what some described as a dangerous raid, a shootout and a captor’s final, terrifying threat to “kill the hostage.” Boyle told his parents that he, his wife and their children were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the back or trunk of their captors’ car and that some of his captors were killed. He suffered only a shrapnel wound, his family said.

U.S. officials did not confirm those details.

A U.S. military official said that a military hostage team had flown to Pakistan Wednesday prepared to fly the family out. The team did a preliminary health assessment and had a transport plane ready to go, but sometime after daybreak Thursday, as the family members were walking to the plane, Boyle said he did not want to board, the official said.

Boyle’s father said his son did not want to board the plane because it was headed to Bagram Air Base and the family wanted to return directly to North America. Another U.S. official said Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given his family ties.

He was once married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a senior al-Qaida financier. Her father, the late Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.

The Canadian-born Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight and was taken to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Officials had discounted any link between that background and Boyle’s capture, with one official describing it in 2014 as a “horrible coincidence.”

The U.S. Justice Department said neither Boyle nor Coleman is wanted for any federal crime.

The Haqqani network had previously demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, a son of the founder of the group, in exchange for turning over the American-Canadian family. In one of the videos released by their captors, Boyle implored the Afghan government not to execute Taliban prisoners, or he and his wife would be killed.

U.S. officials have said that several other Americans are being held by militant groups in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

They include Kevin King, 60, a teacher at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who was abducted in August 2016, and Paul Overby, an author in his 70s who had traveled to the region several times but disappeared in eastern Afghanistan in mid-2014.

Migrant Rapist Blames Cultural Differences

From Jihad-Watch:
There is good reason for him to have been confused. The Qur’an teaches that Infidel women can be lawfully taken for sexual use (cf. its allowance for a man to take “captives of the right hand,” 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified.

“Gateshead rapist jailed after victim used mobile phone to record sickening attack,” by Sara Nichol, Chronicle Live, October 13, 2017 (thanks to Seven Star News):

A rapist has been locked-up for seven years after his victim recorded the sickening attack on her mobile phone.

Sarbast Fatah had befriended the woman in the days before the sexual assault and invited her back to his Gateshead flat for drinks in March this year.

But, Newcastle Crown Court was told, when she got there, the 24-year-old pinned her down and twice attacked her.

However, unbeknown to Fatah, the terrified victim had managed to record some of the harrowing ordeal and could be heard on the footage shouting ‘No, I don’t want to”, prosecutors said.

The court was told the brave victim then bit Fatah’s genitals before she managed to leave the flat and report what had happened to the police.

Fatah, of Rectory Road, in Gateshead, initially denied raping the woman but pleaded guilty to one count of rape by oral penetration and one of sexual assault by penetration on the day his case was listed for trial.

Now, he has been put behind bars for seven years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Lee Fish, prosecuting, said Fatah had befriended the victim in March this year and told her his name was Adam before he invited her back to his flat for drinks,

Once there, he had a shower before sexually assaulted her and pinning her down and raping her.

Mr Fish said: “She [the victim] had just started to drink and the defendant opened a can of alcohol. It was at this stage the defendant committed the sexual offences, pushing her on the sofa. She tried to stop him.”

The prosecutor added: “She [the victim] realised what was going to happen and, in a some what resourceful way, decided to record what was happening on her mobile telephone.”

The court was told Fatah, who is believed to be originally from Iraq and had been in the UK for eight years, sexually assaulted the woman before she managed to push him off.

The victim told Fatah she was going home but he launched another attack seconds later, pinning her down and raping her….

In the mobile phone footage, the victim could be heard to shout “I divn’t want it” and “No”, Mr Fish said….

Fatah initially told police the sexual activity was consensual and denied the rape charges.

However, he changed his plea on the day of his trial after he was able to listen to the mobile phone recordings for the first time.

He has since blamed the attack on “cultural differences” and “not understanding British law”, the court heard….

Germany Prepares To Recognize Islamic Holidays

From Sheik-Yermami:
Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas De Maizière, has just  announced that he is “ready to discuss” recognition of Islamic holidays in regions of the country which already have become Muslim-dominant. Federal recognition is not yet on the agenda, but likely could come at a later time.

TruthRevolt  (h/t Marvin W) Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière has kicked up a hornet’s nest by suggesting the introduction of Muslim public holidays in the country. “I am ready to discuss whether we can introduce a Muslim holiday,” De Maizière, a senior member of Merkel’s current cabinet, said at a country’s ruling Christian Democratic Party’s (CDU) event on Tuesday.

Minister Maizière came short of calling for a nationwide Muslim holiday, but supported the idea having Islamic holidays in the regions with strong Muslim presence.

German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reported German Interior Minister’s comments: Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière’s statement about Muslim holidays caused a stir. It is already being heatedly debated on the internet.

“I am ready to discuss whether we can introduce a Muslim holiday. It could very well be done,” said the Christian Democratic politician at a CDU party event.

After all, there are regions in Germany where [the Catholic festival of] All Saints’ Day is celebrated and in other regions where it isn’t, said the Minister. “Why can’t one consider [introducing] a Muslim holiday in places where there are many Muslims?” De Maizière added.

In recent years, Muslim groups have been calling for the recognition of Islamic holidays. Introducing a Muslim holidays in German states or regions with a large Muslim population, as Interior Minister De Maizière is suggesting, will mean closing state government and municipal offices, along with all schools, shops and non-Muslim businesses to mark of Islamic religious festivals.

The German Interior Minister’s statement might have caused an uproar in some quarters within Germany, but he is simply taking Chancellor Merkel’s policy of open doors for migrants — predominantly men from Arab and Muslim countries — to its logical conclusion.

WELT The large Turkish community has been calling for official Muslim holidays in Germany. “That would be an important signal to the Muslim population,” says the National Chairman Kenan Kolat in Berlin. As an example he cites the Festival of Sacrifice (EID, where Muslims slaughter conscious animals in the streets), one of the most important Islamic festivals.

Kolat called for the use of Muslim chaplains in the army, prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. The same was also demanded by the Central Council of Muslims. Kolat said in these facilities it is  important to use more to Muslims, such as in the preparation of halal food.

De Maiziere reiterated in a report an interview with the Turkish-language daily newspaper “Hürriyet”, after many discussions with the Islamic Conference that in the future, Muslim organizations should have a bigger say in rules and laws.

Following the statement of the former German President Christian Wulff that “Islam is part of Germany,” de Maiziere said now: “Muslims belong to Germany.

Muslim organizations have praised de Maizière’s change of course. The Secretary General of the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers, Seyfi Ögütlü, said: “It is important that the Minister will open a new chapter.”

DITIB board member Bekir Alboga called de Maizière’s move as “a good sign”. This show an appropriate attitude towards Islamic religious communities. “It’s a different tone and a different approach than its predecessor.”

Native Germans and Christians are already a minority in many inner-city kindergartens and schools. In 2015, more than 33 percent of the children attending schools in Germany had “foreign roots,” the German Federal Statistical Office confirmed. And that was before Chancellor Merkel threw open her country’s borders to illegal migrants.

If Merkel’s policy of open doors stays in place, Germany will soon get plenty of Muslim holidays and much more.

Vogue Covergirl's Alleged Suicide May Have Been Murder

From Nine:
To the world, Raudha Athif was known as ‘the girl with the blue eyes.’ A stunning young Vogue cover model with even more ambitious plans for the future.

Australia and the world beckoned. But at just 21 her life was cut short in the most brutal way. Police say it was suicide, but her family insist it was murder.

Raudha Athif was an model who grew up with her family in the Maldives, known as 'the girl with the blue eyes'.

According to police, 21-year-old Raudha hanged herself with a scarf from the ceiling fan in her college dormitory room.

Yet, as Stefanovic reveals the only real evidence - the marks on her neck – suggest otherwise.

Australian forensic pathologist, Professor Joe DuFlou tells Stefanovic these marks paint a more sinister picture of murder. The scarf witnesses say she used, does not match the marks on her neck.

“I’d have grave doubts that that ligature caused those ligature marks. It just doesn’t match.”

It’s this evidence that has fuelled Raudha’s father, Mohamed Athif’s fight to find answers.

“I want to know the truth behind my daughter’s death. Who killed her and why?”

The 21-year-old model's parents want answers because they're convinced her death was not a suicide but a murder.

Raudha grew up with her family in the Maldives but even in paradise she stood out from the crowd. Her piercing blue eyes added to her exoticism, and when this now famous image was taken the young Muslim girl’s life changed forever.

Overnight fame followed and Raudha soon became a top model, appearing on the cover of Vogue magazine.

But as Raudha’s father Mohamed tells Stefanovic, she wanted to be known for more than just her looks and yearned to be a doctor.

“She wanted to take care of people.”

But to fulfil her dream, Raudha had to leave the Maldives and move to Rajshahi, in western Bangladesh.

Peter Stefanovic spoke to Australian forensic pathologist Professor Joe DuFlou about the crucial marks around the model's neck.

Bangladesh is a strict Muslim country and while Raudha was raised Muslim, her family’s approach was much more moderate and relaxed.

Mohamed says his daughter took precautions and bought clothes to wear in Bangladesh that fit with the strict Muslim dress code. However the reaction to her Vogue magazine shoot was not what she had expected.

“Some people were saying that she belonged to Muslim country, Islamic country and she should not do that.”

Just 6 months later she was found dead.

Was this Raudha’s undoing? Did a culture clash cost Raudha her life?

Adding to the intrigue of this case, Raudha is not the first model to die in Bangladesh. In fact, two models supposedly committed suicide in the last few years under dubious circumstances.

Peter Stefanvoic investigates the mystery surrounding the beautiful cover girl. And what he uncovers is truly shocking.

Kansas Father Forced Pregnant Daughter To Join ISIS

From Independent
An American teenager who was forced to join Isis by her father, has spoken out about her ordeal after escaping from territory still held by the militant group.

"My father, of course, didn't tell us that we were coming to Syria," the 15-year-old told US broadcaster CBS News, on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, which was until recently a stronghold for the militant group.

"When it was time to get out of the car, and cross the border, he was like 'you're going to Syria,' and it was a really big shock."

On their arrival, the teenager from Kansas said she was coerced into marrying another fighter.

She said her father had been killed and she is now living with several other women who have escaped Raqqa in recent weeks.

Describing conditions under the harsh rules of the so called Caliphate, she said: "We were prisoners. We were just quiet."

She added they were told: "Shut up, sit down you're in the house, be glad your head isn't chopped off."

Raqqa is expected to fall by the end of October, according to the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura. It is estimated that around 4,000 civilians remain trapped in the city.

Isis once controlled vast swathes of Western Iraq and Syria, but most of this territory has been recaptured in recent months by the US-backed coalition of Kurdish fighters and Syrian Democratic Forces.

Another Isis stronghold, the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, was declared "liberated" on 10 July.

The girl now hopes to be reunited with her mother, who she believes is still living in the US.

"I still have hope, hope to go to school, hope to be a normal person, hope to be a mother to my child," she said.

Two People Killed In Bomb Attack Near Shiite Mosque

From Bernama:
Two people were killed and three wounded near a mosque for Shiite Turkoman minority in the ethnically-mixed city of Tuz-Khurmato in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, sparking sporadic clashes with the Kurds in the volatile city, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing a provincial security source on Saturday.

The incident occurred after midnight when a roadside bomb detonated outside the Shiite Turkoman mosque in Tuz-Khurmato, leaving two people killed and three others wounded, along with damaging the mosque, the source from Salahudin's provincial police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The casualties pushed the already existing tension to grow wild sparking sporadic clashes with small arms and machine guns between the Kurdish forces, known as Peshmerga, and the predominantly-Shiite Hashd Shaabi brigade in the main street of the city, the source said.

The clashes, which caused no human casualties, continued to the dawn, and the situation has been cautiously calm during the morning hours, the source said.

Tuz-Khurmato, some 90 km east of Salahudin's provincial capital of Tikrit, is made up mostly of Turkoman Shiite and sizable Kurdish and Sunni Arab population.

Previously, the city witnessed repeated clashes between the Kurds and Shiite militias, as the city and surrounding areas are part of the disputed areas outside the Kurdistan region. There is also a conflict of Sunni Arabs against Shiite Hashd Shaabi brigades, or against Peshmerga.

The disputed areas are claimed by the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkomans. The Kurds want to incorporate the areas on the edge of their Kurdistan region, but their move is fiercely opposed by Baghdad government.

The bomb attack in the city came as tensions are running high between Baghdad government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan after the Kurdish region held a controversial referendum on independence of Kurdistan and disputed areas, including the city of Tuz-Khurmato.

Deadly Truck Bombing In Mogadishu

From The-Guardian:
At least 20 people have died in Mogadishu after a truck bomb detonated in a busy district of the Somali capital that is home to hotels, shops, restaurants and government offices.

Security forces were trailing the truck on KM4 street in Hodan district when it exploded on Saturday, police captain Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press. It is believed the target was a hotel. At least 15 people were injured.

The explosion left a trail of destruction across a busy intersection, and the windows of nearby buildings were shattered.

“There was a traffic jam and the road was packed with bystanders and cars,” said Abdinur Abdulle, a waiter at a nearby restaurant. “It’s a disaster.”

Another witness, Ismail Yusuf, told Agence France-Presse: “This was very horrible, the bomb went off alongside the busy road and left many people dead. I saw several dead bodies strewn about but could not count them. It was horrible.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Islamist al-Shabaab group has carried out regular attacks. The organisation, which is allied to al-Qaida, is waging an insurgency to topple the weak UN-backed government and its African Union allies.

The attack comes two days after the head of the US Africa command was in Mogadishu to meet Somalia’s president.

Al-Shabaab has lost most of the territory it controlled to African Union peacekeepers and government troops in recent years, backed by US drone attacks.

The militants still launch frequent deadly gun, grenade and bomb attacks in high-profile areas of Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government. Many attacks are aimed at military bases, but some have targeted civilians.

Suicide Bombers Kill Eleven In Iraq’s Anbar

From AA:
At least 11 people were killed and 15 others were injured Wednesday during a suicide attack in Iraq’s western Anbar province, an Iraqi commander told Anadolu Agency.

The suicide bomber blew himself up in a café in Hit district of the province, Brigader General Settar al-Hamed said.

A temporary curfew was declared in the area, he added.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.

According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Islamic State Attacks Kill At Least Fifty In East Syria

From Reuters:
Islamic State suicide attackers killed at least 50 people in a triple car bomb attack on Thursday among a group of refugees in northeast Syria, a medical source in the Kurdish Red Crescent said.

A large number of people were also injured by the three car bombs set off by the attackers, the source said.

The attack took place at Abu Fas, near the border of Deir al-Zor and Hasaka provinces, said a war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said earlier that at least 18 people had been killed.

The dead included refugees fleeing the fighting in Deir al-Zor as well as members of the Kurdish Asayish security force, the Observatory reported. Syrian state television said dozens had been killed in the attack.

The jihadist group has lost swathes of its territory in both Syria and Iraq this year and is falling back on the towns and villages of the Euphrates valley southeast of Deir al-Zor.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias is pressing it from the north and a rival offensive by the Syrian army, supported by allies including Iran and Russia, is attacking it from the west.

On Wednesday it said it carried out an attack in the capital Damascus, where three suicide bombers detonated their devices near a police headquarters, killing two people and wounding six.

Aid agencies have warned that the fighting in eastern Syria is the worst in the country this year and that air strikes have caused hundreds of civilian casualties.

Egyptian Priest Killed

From Ahram:
A priest was killed and a second injured after they were attacked by a man in Greater Cairo, the Coptic Orthodox Church said in a statement on Thursday.
"In an unfortunate incident, archpriest Samaan Shehata of St. Julius’s church in Ezbet Girgis in El-Fashn, along with priest Beymen Moftah, of El-Malak church in Matay, were assaulted while in El-Salam City,” read the statement.

El-Salam City is a satellite city north-east of Cairo.

"Priest Samaan was transferred to hospital after he had passed away," the statement added.

The statement did not indicate any motive behind the attack.

In a different statement, Bishop Astafanous of Fashn, Biba and Samasta said the attacker was an "extremist" with a criminal record, and named him as Ahmed-El Sonbaty.

The bishop said that police have arrested the attacker.

The interior ministry has not yet issued a statement on the incident.