At Least 21 Killed In Baghdad Suicide Bombing

From CNN:
A suicide bombing in a predominately Shia area of Baghdad has left 21 people dead and 25 people injured, according to a police source with knowledge of the incident speaking to CNN by phone. The source asked not to be identified for security reasons.

The bomber targeted a Shia mosque in the city's northeast al Harithyia neighborhood, the source said.

As of Sunday, there has been no claim of responsibility.

U.S. airdrops weapons, medical supplies to fighters in Kobani

The past few weeks have seen a series of car and suicide attacks on Shia targets, some of which have been claimed by ISIS.

Although Baghdad's perimeter has appeared to hold firm against ISIS encroachment, the militant Sunni group has made strategically valuable gains in the country's Anbar province, west of the capital.

ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, has been accused of massacring Shiites in areas it controls.

Taliban Child Abuse: Toddler Taught To Shoot

From the Daily Mail:
Around three years old and holding a gun, this little boy is terrifying proof of how the
Taliban is reasserting its grip on Afghanistan.

As Western troops prepare to leave the country after 13 years of war, sinister footage has emerged from one of the fanatics’ strongholds.

In the film, obtained by the BBC, the toddler declares: ‘I’m going to shoot people.’

Other clips show fighters with their faces covered, posing with guns and rocket launchers.

The Taliban has been using the Tangi Valley – just an hour’s drive from the capital Kabul – as a staging post for attacks as it tries to seize back the whole country.

Fighters are undergoing training in how to use advanced weaponry and identify targets using Google maps, while children are being indoctrinated in schools.

A BBC Panorama investigation to be screened tonight also shows Taliban governor Mawlawi Badri, one of the most wanted men in Afghanistan.

He tells Inside The Taliban: ‘The people are Muslim and want an Islamic government. Westerners don’t want an Islamic government here, the ones we scare and kill are the enemies of this land.’

The Taliban and its allies have stepped up attacks ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops in the coming weeks, including UK forces. They are seeking to weaken the new Afghan government that will take over most of the operations against them ...

Humiliation Replaces Fear For The Women Kidnapped By ISIS

From The Guardian:
They sold Amsha for $12. Other girls and women went for more, much more. But Amsha had a small son and was pregnant with her second child. She had already seen Islamic State (Isis) militants execute her husband in front of her. Now the terror of that crime and the fear of captivity was to be replaced by the indignity and humiliation of being traded like cattle.

“A 50-year-old man with a dark beard came to buy me,” she recalls. “From that day on, I didn’t want to live any more.”

Amsha is one of hundreds of Yazidi women from northern Iraq captured during Islamic State’s rapid advance this year. Interviews with women who escaped reveal that Isis corralled the women into halls and other detention centres and gradually sold them off to fighters as the spoils of war.

Isis said in an online article that it was reviving an ancient custom of enslaving enemies and forcing the women to become wives of victorious fighters.

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the [non-believers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the sharia, that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narrations of the prophet,” the article said, adding that mothers were not separated from their young children.

For Amsha, the only mercy is that she managed to retain her son, who is 21 months old. He sits on her lap, holding on tightly, as she recounts the story of the past three months.

The fighters attacked her town in early August, around sunset. Thousands fled to nearby mount Sinjar, but those who weren’t fast enough faced a fate that was sudden and savage.

“When we heard that [Isis] was approaching, we left everything behind and started running,” Amsha says. She and her husband joined a group of tens of other families before they found themselves face to face with Isis.

“The men were then separated from their families and we were forced to follow orders from these men who had just captured the village,” she recalls. “They were told to lie down and face the ground. My husband and brother-in-law laid there shoulder to shoulder.”

Amsha’s voice cracks as she resurrects a terrible memory. “I thought they would rob them. Steal their phones or something like that.”

For a brief moment, Amsha looks up from under her headscarf. It is covering a face full of tears. She plays with the tips of the scarf between her fingers.

“But they killed them. They shot them in the head, one by one.”

After Amsha witnessed her husband’s death, she was forced alongside other women and girls into one of several minibuses that brought them to Mosul, the Iraqi stronghold of the self-proclaimed caliphate.

“I was held prisoner in a dark hall together with hundreds of other women, and girls. Some of them children who were not more than five years old.”

For Amsha, it was not the killing of her husband nor the imprisonment that broke her, but the marriage she would be forced to succumb to.

“Nobody was allowed to leave the prison, unless they were sold,” she says. “On a daily basis, men entered the room to pick out a girl. First the most beautiful girls, the young ones.”

Amsha remembers how mostly Iraqis, but frequently foreigners as well, entered the room to choose themselves a treat. “One day, a 10-year-old got separated from her mother, because a group of men decided to buy the girl. I am constantly worrying for that girl, and all the other girls that are still stuck in that prison.

“When the young girls were sold, I knew my time had come,” Amsha says. Her 50-year-old husband, a man called Zaid, was rough with her. “When I didn’t obey, he’d hit me. You can still see the scars on my back,” she says, pointing at her shoulder blades. “He humiliated me to the bone.

“I was forced to call my mother to tell her I was married. A shame for our family,” she says.

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said the precise number of women being enslaved and sold into marriage was unknown. But it cited several escaped women saying they had personally seen hundreds in captivity.

The principal centres for the trade appear to be the main cities under Isis control – Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch, said his group had heard of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, sexual assault and slavery, with some of the victims being children. “The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” he said.

Dozens of women have escaped and are in hiding. Amsha is one of them.

“Muhanned was thirsty and didn’t stop crying,” she says. “I was banging the door but nobody answered. When I opened the door, I found the guards sleeping,” Amsha says. “I ran away with my son, as fast as I could.”

Without knowing which direction to go, she kept running until she met a man who offered his help. “I wasn’t convinced, but what could I do?” Amsha asks rhetorically. “I decided to put my fate in his hands, and he kept his word.”

The man smuggled her out of Mosul that week, using his daughter’s papers. But, for Amsha, the ordeal isn’t over.

“My parents are happy that I’m here. But I don’t have the courage to continue. At this moment, I only wish to die.”

Picture of the Week: Oppression From ISIS

From The Religion Of Peace:
Nothing to do with Islam (unless you count the Quran).

Hamas Leader Haniyeh's Daughter Treated In Israel

From Arutz 7:
The daughter of the leader of Gaza's Hamas terror militia, Ismail Haniyeh, received emergency medical treatment in an Israeli hospital in Tel Aviv earlier this month, according to Reuters news agency.

Ichilov Hospital confirmed the report and said that the daughter had been released over a week ago.

"Ismail Haniyeh's daughter was indeed hospitalized for medical treatment for several days at the hospital,” Ichilov said. “Over 1,000 patients from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority territories – both adults and children – are hospitalized for treatment at our hospital every year.”

The daughter is one of Haniyeh's 13 children. She reportedly received treatment for a week, after complications that occurred during a routine operation she underwent.

Haniyeh's house was completely demolished by the IAF during Operation Protective Edge, and some reports said that some members of his family were hurt.

Several of Haniyeh's relatives have received medical treatment in Israel, including his mother in-law and granddaughter, despite the fact that he has pledged Israel's utter destruction.

Hamas routinely and intentionally targets Israeli children with its bombs. One of the last victims of Hamas's rockets in the summer war with Israel was four-year-old Daniel Tragerman hy"d, of Nahal Oz.

World Ignores As Hamas Boasts Of Continued Tunnel-Digging

From Arutz 7:
The destruction of the widespread Hamas tunnel network was considered a major Israeli achievement of the recent war in Gaza, but the Hamas weekly newspaper Al-Risalah reports that Hamas continues digging tunnels from Gaza into Israel.

A reporter for Al-Risalah claims to have visited an “offensive tunnel” – a term referring to an underground conduit planned to be used in an attack against Israel. Hamas has attacked Israel via tunnels of this nature in the past, either by sending armed terrorists into Israel to target Israelis, or – as in the famous case of Gilad Shalit - by capturing a soldier nearby and abducting him into Gaza.

The tunnel purportedly visited by the reporter was destroyed by Israel during the recent war, but is now apparently being restored by Hamas, dozens of meters underground.

The Al-Risalah report confirms other evidence that Israel's successful detection and destruction of terrorist tunnels during Operation Protective Edge is on the brink of coming undone. Last month, for instance, Hamas confirmed that one of its members was killed while helping to dig a tunnel.

The IDF discovered and destroyed at least 34 terrorist tunnels during Protective Edge; others are assumed to have survived the war.

In the space of five days in July, Hamas terrorist groups entered Israel via three different tunnels, killing six IDF soldiers before they themselves were liquidated.

The recent revelation comes after a senior IDF commander of the Gaza Division engineering unit last week assessed that not all Hamas terror tunnels were destroyed, confirming earlier Hamas statements which bragged that not all of the group's tunnels were destroyed.

Regardless of that, and the fact that humanitarian materials were siphoned by Hamas to build the tunnels in the first place, Israel began transporting more construction materials into Gaza last Tuesday as a "humanitarian gesture," including 600 tons of cement, 50 truckloads of aggregate and 10 truckloads of steel.

The world has likewise turned a blind-eye to the overwhelming evidence of renewed tunnel construction, with world states last Sunday pledging $5.4 billion for Gaza at a Cairo donor conference.

UK: Nearly 500 New FGM Cases Identified

From BBC:
NHS figures show 467 newly identified cases of girls and women needing treatment after female genital mutilation in England last month.

A further 1,279 people, who had already been identified, were receiving treatment according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) data.

It is the first time the NHS has collected figures on the criminal act.

The children's charity the NSPCC said the numbers were "shocking".

The cutting of girls' genitalia has been illegal in Britain since 1985, but nobody has been convicted in the courts.

The HSCIC data is an attempt to understand the scale of the problem.

It shows the crime is happening in all regions in England although half of the cases were in London.

'Scandal' 
Kingsley Manning, the chairman of the HSCIC, said: "This is the first national collection of NHS data about numbers of FGM cases and we will continue to collect and publish these figures.

"Having accurate data about this crime is an important step in helping prevent its occurrence in the future."

Estimates suggest that up to 170,000 women and girls living in the UK may have undergone FGM.

In July, a group of MPs said failing to tackle FGM was a "national scandal" and blamed a "misplaced concern for cultural sensitivities" for inaction.

In a conference later that month, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that parents, in England and Wales, would face prosecution if they failed to stop their daughters undergoing FGM ...

London Terror Suspect Revealed In Recordings That He'd Been To Syria

From CNN:
A British man charged with planning either a "Mumbai-style" terror attack or an attack on a prominent person said in secret recordings that he had been to Syria and reveled in the idea of being labeled a terrorist, a court in London heard Thursday.

Erol Incedal, 26, is accused of preparing terrorist acts with the intention of committing terrorism, and of having documents on how to build a bomb.

He denies the charges against him.

Police first detained Incedal, a British citizen of Turkish descent, over a traffic violation in London in September 2013. During a search of his car, they found a piece of paper with the address of a property tied to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair written on it.

Police planted a secret listening device in Incedal's E-Class Mercedes before releasing him.

The recordings, revealed this week at his trial, give "a flavor" of the law student's frame of mind in the weeks before he was arrested again in October of last year and formally charged, the prosecution said.

In one clip, Incedal and his associate Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar claim to have been in Syria. "In Syria, the weather was ...," Rarmoul-Bouhadjar says, before Incedal interjects with, "Wallahi, it was like minus-20 degrees because we were on a mountain!"

"Another word, 'terrorist.' That's a great word, Mounir. There's never been a greater word than that to describe us," Incedal tells Rarmoul-Bouhadjar in another clip.

The jury also heard recordings of Incedal and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar purportedly using code words in a discussion about buying a gun.

Incedal told his partner: "Update me at every stage and just say 'yeah the sausage is nice, there's enough sauce in it.' "

"What's the sausage?" Rarmoul-Bouhadjar asks. Incedal replies: "Bullets. If there's not enough sauce in it, you'll have to make that decision if we're gonna take it or not. If it's less than five, it's not worth it."

In another clip, the pair appear to be discussing the quality of their potential purchase. "It is only about a grand, so I don't think it is going to be a great quality," says Incedal. Rarmoul-Bouhadjar asks, "It fires?" Incedal replies: "Mmm ... it's not a replica."

In another recording, Rarmoul-Bouhadjar appears to suggest to Incedal that he should leave his wife.

"I think you should separate," he tells Incedal. "She has mentally become unstable."

"Do you know what I'm worried about now? She knows some of our secrets," Incedal replies. "She don't know much but she knows I was, like, in trouble. ... I'm not saying it's going to happen, but she might just chat s**t."

Police finally decided to swoop in on October 13, 2013. Specialist firearms officers stopped the pair in east London and shot out the tires of Incedal's car to prevent an escape. They arrested both men and seized several iPhones and other mobile phones from the car, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Incedal's iPhone had a number of images on it, including an image of a YouTube page for a "nasheed" (jihadist song) called "O Islamic State" and an image of a page of titles by Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical U.S.-born cleric who was killed by an American drone strike in late September 2011 in Yemen.

Both men's iPhones concealed an SD card between the phone and the phone's protective case. Both SD cards contained three identical files, including a "Car Bomb Recognition Guide" and a "bomb making" Word document, parts of which were considered "viable" but also incomplete, the court heard.

Incedal and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar communicated via email and Skype, using code words and aliases to refer to the words "Kalashnikov" and "Mumbai-style," the prosecution said.

More than 160 people were killed in November 2008 when 10 Pakistani gunmen associated with the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, India.

Rarmoul-Bouhadjar has already pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a document that could be used in a terror attack.

Officers searching Incedal's south London home also found a document on top of a wardrobe referring to a "Plan A" that appeared to be a checklist for an operation involving "three to four workers," "two tennis rackets," "one months' surveillance," and renting a flat nearby, Prosecutor Richard Whittam said.

Incedal's wife, Kadeejah Baluch, was home at the time with Incedal's three children and another child. Police also searched a second address in west London that Incedal had failed to disclose to police at the time of his arrest. That search turned up a laptop with Incedal's DNA all over it and several Nicolas Cage DVDs, among other things, the court heard.

It is unclear when the alleged terror plots were to be carried out. But during an argument with his wife that was captured by the police listening device inside his car, Incedal says: "I'm never going to be around for very long anyway ... at least my last few months of life, I'll live with peace of mind."

The proceedings at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court originally had been planned as a secret trial, but a judge has allowed some reporting of its opening phases.

The trial continues.

Bangladesh: Islamist Plot To Kill 'Atheist' Teacher Foiled

From Emirates 24/7:
Bangladesh police said Thursday they had foiled an attempt by suspected Islamic militants to murder an "atheist" school teacher in the capital, amid concerns a banned hardline outfit is regouping.

Police fired on the militants from banned group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) whom officers had stopped by chance on Wednesday near the teacher's home in north Dhaka, a local police chief said.

Police arrested one militant and seized two syringes full of a poisonous liquid and a pistol, while two other suspected militants fled, Atiqur Rahman told AFP.

"Our patrol team stopped the car for routine check, but the three men got out and opened fire at us. Officers were forced to retaliate by firing live rounds," Rahman said.

"We thought they were a group of muggers, but during interrogation (militant) Rubel admitted they were heading to murder a teacher at a school for what they said were his atheist views," Rahman said.

The group believed that the teacher held anti-Islamic views, had forced a colleague to shave off his beard and had converted a prayer space into a classroom, another officer said.

The JMB was blamed for a series of blasts in 2005 including a synchronised attack across the Muslim-majority nation when more than 400 small bombs were set off killing at least two people.

The JMB was also involved in a spate of bombings on judges and courts deemed un-Islamic that left at least 28 people dead in 2005.

Two of its leaders were sentenced to death for the murder of a Muslim convert to Christianity in the country's north.

The group has been relatively quiet since an elite security force launched a nationwide crackdown on the group in 2006.

More than 1,000 JMB members were prosecuted and in 2007 an army-backed government hanged six of its top leaders including its founder and supreme head Shaikh Abdur Rahman.

In recent months, police have arrested several high-profile members in what security officials say could be a sign that the outfit may have regrouped with financing from overseas.

In February, attackers ambushed a prison van in the north and snatched three convicted JMB militants after killing a police officer.

UK: National Union of Students Motion To Condemn ISIS Fails Amidst Claims Of Islamophobia

From The Independent:
The National Union of Students has rejected a call to condemn militant group Isis on the grounds that the motion was “islamophobic”, in a move which has promoted campaigners to accuse the body of being in the “stranglehold” of divisive “identity politics”.

The political split in the student body over the conflict in the Middle East erupted after a motion was put forward last month to the NUS National Executive Council, asking students to express “solidarity” with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria who are engaged in a bloody struggle against ISIS militants.

The motion, proposed by Daniel Cooper and Clifford Fleming with international students officer Shreya Paudel, called on British students “to condemn the IS and support Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.”

However the call, which also called for unity among Muslims and has already been passed by the Scottish NUS, was rejected by a members led by black students’ officer Malia Bouattia, according the student website The Tab.

Ms Bouattia is reported to have spoken against the motion. She is reported to have said: “We recognise that condemnation of Isis appears to have become a justification for war and blatant islamophobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”

Ms Bouatti’s opposition to the motion was supported by fellow NEC member Aaron Kiely. On his blog he wrote: “The Stop the War Coalition and CND are being falsely accused of backing Isis. Now student activists are similarly being attacked. The NUS black students’ officer and others who are standing up against this new war should be supported and the maligning of the anti-war movement opposed.”

However Mr Cooper, one of the motion’s sponsors, hit out at the student body’s divisions. On his blog he wrote: “The motion then fell as large numbers of NEC members either abstained or voted against (including the bulk of the political left on NEC). I think this says a lot about the current state of the student movement.” He added: “There is a stranglehold of 'identity politics' on the student movement… essentially the idea is widespread that if a liberation officer opposes something, it must be bad.”

However in a sign that even the proponents of the motion are wavering on the issue, Mr Fleming, the national co-chair of the Young Green Party and an NEC member, told The Independent that the bill, which he co-proposed, failed to pass as it could encourage intervention.

He said: “It was voted down due to a general feeling that the motion currently could lead to pro-interventionism – which nobody wanted.”

Despite proposing the motion with Mr Cooper, he said: “I find it completely inappropriate how it was claimed that identity politics has a stranglehold on the NEC. Of course identity politics has a big voice on the NUS NEC; it is for those who self-define and lead campaigns to voice who they represent.”

A spokesperson for the NUS said: “At our most recent NEC meeting, a motion on this issue was presented and voted on by all members. Some committee members felt that the wording of the motion being presented would unfairly demonise all Muslims rather than solely the group of people it set out to rightfully condemn.

“Of course NUS does not support Isis and a new motion will be taken to the next NUS National Executive Committee meeting, which will specifically condemn the politics and methods of Isis and offer solidarity for the Kurdish people.”