NYT Omits Refugee Status Of London Subway Jihadists

From Media Criticism:
In a report detailing new arrests in connection with the London subway bombing Wednesday, The New York Times omitted the refugee status of two suspects and reports that connect a third to Islamic motives.

“Three people have been arrested in a 24-hour period in Wales” in connection to the attack, begins The Times’ article. “Scotland Yard said two men, ages 48 and 30, were arrested on Wednesday under counterterrorism laws.”

Oddly enough, without first divulging anything that ties any of the suspects or the bombing to Islamic terrorism, The Times reported that ISIS had claimed responsibility, but authorities are trying to “piece together the events” to ascertain any influence by “extremists.”

In short, the report comprised of only 11 paragraphs, it wasn’t until the eighth paragraph that The Times provided context in the report by detailing arrests made on Saturday:

An 18-year-old Iraqi orphan who had a reputation for getting into fights and had been in the foster care of a retired couple, and a 21-year-old from Syria who had escaped the civil war there and was working at a fried-chicken shop.

The report left out that both of the suspects arrested were refugees. The 18-year-old was described by The Times’ as an “orphan” from Iraq, and the 21-year old from Syria. Both suspects had attended a foster home well known for taking in refugees.

The third paragraph of the report mentions the arrest of a 25-yearold suspect, but ignores entirely reports that allude to Islamic influence….

UK: Sixth Man Arrested In Connection Of Underground Attack

From ABC News:
London Metropolitan police arrested a sixth suspect in last week's Underground train bombing in the early hours of Thursday morning.

After serving a warrant at an address in Thornton Heath, police arrested a 17-year-old male suspect under section 41 of the Terrorism Act and began a search of the property.

The arrest follows less than a day after a 48-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were arrested in Newport, South Wales, when officers executed a warrant at the address where the two men were located.

A 25-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening, also in Newport, at a different address.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on Saturday in Hounslow, a borough in West London, by detectives with the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, and earlier Saturday police had evacuated a house in a London suburb as well as part of the Port of Dover after arresting an 18-year-old man that morning in the southeastern coastal city.

None of the six men who have been arrested in connection with the attack have been publicly identified. All remain in custody at a South London police station.

Thirty people were injured in the September 15 attack on a train at Parsons Green Underground station in London. Police said an apparent bucket bomb exploded during the Friday morning commute, injuring 30 people. All of the injuries were considered minor. Authorities said the bomb did not fully explode, likely limiting the number of casualties.

The terror threat was lowered to severe from critical over the weekend, but police warned the public should remain vigilant.

"This continues to be a fast-moving investigation. A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday," said Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Counter Terrorism Command.

"We urge the public to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling us, in confidence, on 0800 789 321, or in an emergency by dialling 999," Haydon said in a public statement.

UK's Terror Fight 'Puts Unsustainable Strain On Police'

From BBC:
The UK's counter-terrorism effort is putting an "unsustainable strain" on policing, the head of the National Police Chiefs' Council has said.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said resources were being diverted from mainstream policing in England and Wales, leading to backlogs in control rooms and slower response times.

She added "this puts extra strain on an already-stretched service".

The Home Office said it was working with police on the demands they faced.

So far in 2017 there have been five terror attacks in the UK, killing 36 people.

Earlier this year, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote to the home secretary warning that the counter-terrorism policing network was not able to operate at "full strength".

He added that other areas of policing would be at "significant" risk if resources had to be diverted.

In a blog post, Ms Thornton wrote: "Every time there's a terror attack, we mobilise specialist officers and staff to respond, but the majority of the officers and staff responding come from mainstream policing.

"This puts extra strain on an already-stretched service.

"In the response to the Manchester attack, three-quarters of the resources deployed came from mainstream policing."

She said having officer numbers at 1985 levels and crime figures up 10% in the last year created additional pressures.

The current funding for forces across England and Wales is "no longer enough" and the counter-terrorism policing budget will be cut by 7% in the next three years, Ms Thornton added.

She says a response will "never be as good as preventing" attacks in the first place.

"Fewer officers and Police Community Support Officers will cut off the intelligence that is so crucial to preventing attacks.

"Withdrawal from communities risks undermining their trust in us, at a time when we need people to have the confidence to share information with us."

Protecting the public from terrorism may require "difficult and unpalatable" decisions, she added.

Extra funding

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said this was Sara Thornton's "most significant intervention" in the debate about police funding since the terror attacks in London and Manchester.

The Home Office says the government will do what is needed to keep the public safe.

A spokesman said: "We are increasing funding for counter-terrorism by £3.4bn and the home secretary announced £24m in extra support for CT [counter-terrorism] policing in addition to the £707m already committed for this year.

"We have also protected overall police funding in real terms since 2015 and we are sensitive to the pressures on police forces across the country.

"We are engaging with them on the demands they are currently facing."

UN Mission: 80 Civilians Dying In Terror Attacks Daily In Afghanistan

From Fox News:
It has been 16 years since the U.S. launched the War on Terror in Afghanistan, yet civilians still are bearing the brunt of the bloodshed.

Mahmoud Saikal, the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, told Fox News that the war-embattled nation each day amid the insurgency is losing on average 70 to 80 civilians — only a small percent of whom are military.

Other officials suggested the number of civilian casualties is even higher, up to 120 per day.

Saikal also noted — affirming what President Ghani previously has stated — that Afghanistan is fighting some “20 different terrorist groups” on its soil on any given day.

The U.S. recently declared it was increasing its troop commitment to Afghanistan, and it is expected that around 3,000 more troops will be deployed there in coming weeks. The decision came after months of deliberations — of which President Trump demanded answers as to why the security situation was so dire despite the trillions of dollars spent and lives lost in the seemingly intractable conflict.

Saikal said Trump was “speaking the truth” in wanting answers and welcomed the administration’s policy that U.S. support would be “condition-based” rather than “time-based.” Afghans long have lamented former President Obama’s announcement to draw down troop numbers, which was pinned to end in 2014, with many claiming that the dateline simply empowered insurgents to wait and regroup in the mountains.

Afghanistan strategically remains poised and is often fodder for influence from an array of international players from Iran and Russia as well as Pakistan and China, and Saikal highlighted that their security forces were on the right path to complete self-sufficiency.

He also pointed out that the fiscal cost of the war has fallen dramatically, and remained confident that Afghanistan will become a success story with U.S. and NATO support.

“The cost in 2012 was $110 (billion) to $120 billion. It has come down to one-tenth of that. But we must be able to continue to strengthen our defense capabilities,” Saikal told Fox News about what Afghan officials want from the soon-to-be bolstered troop numbers. “We recently doubled the amount of commandos, and what we really need is a proper Air Force.”

As it stands, the Afghan Air Force is reported to be comprised of just under 7,000 members located in three wings across the country. Last year, NATO leaders announced intentions to boost this to at least 8,000 and the Department of Defense requested over $814 million to begin to re-equip and refurbish the force, transitioning from Russian Mil Mi-17 to Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as well as adding several A-29 attack aircraft and MD 530F helicopters.

Just this week, air refueling tankers arrived in Afghanistan for the first time in five years and the first slate of U.S.-made Black Hawks touched down.

Along with devoting attention and training to the Air Force, Saikal said the best use for these additional American troops would be to continue advising and training and not in combat roles. He said it would be best for the additional troops to have a particular focus on helping them to secure the porous Pakistan border, which notoriously provides a gateway for terrorists to easily come and go.

“The Taliban might be able to get in a place to launch an attack, but as soon as our forces can get there, the Taliban does not stand a chance,” he added. “We must continue making sure we have a strong and sustainable security force and this takes a long time. They are doing the job of the world, they are fighting terrorism for the world.”

Pope Francis Welcomes Leader of Muslim World League To Vatican

From Breitbart:
Pope Francis met with the secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL) in the Vatican Wednesday, a group that has been tied to Saudi financing of jihadist terrorism and the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, who served for several years as Saudi minister of justice in Riyadh and is now secretary general of the MWL, expressed the appreciation of the Muslim world for the pope’s “fair positions” regarding “the false claims that link extremism and violence to Islam,” as well as for his insistence that extremism is not distinctive of Islam but is found among followers of all religions.

The Muslim World League is a Saudi Government-funded Islamic non-governmental organization, founded on May 18, 1962 in Mecca for the propagation of Islamic teachings. Despite the group’s official opposition to violence and terrorism and its pursuit of intercultural dialogue, it has been the subject of several ongoing counterterrorism investigations in the U.S. related to Hamas, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Two months after the 9/11 jihadist attacks on U.S. soil, Newsweek writer Evan Thomas reported that the Muslim World League was one of “two interrelated global charities” directly funded by the Saudi government that were used by Osama bin Laden to finance his operations. The organizations were left off the list of groups sanctioned by the United States “in order to avoid embarrassing the Saudi government,” Thomas wrote.

In 2004, Harper’s Magazine declared that the Muslim World League had been “long known to have funneled money to Al Qaeda” and is financed directly by the Saudi government. “MWL is an evangelical organization that was created to help spread Wahhabism, the Saudi brand of Islamic fundamentalism,” the article stated.

According to the New York Times, an internal, top-secret report from the Treasury Department obtained through the Freedom of Information Act stated that the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), “an offshoot of the Muslim World League,” supported terrorist organizations beginning in the early 1990s “through to at least the first half of 2006.”

The MWL has also come under fire for its alleged anti-Semitism and the Anti-Defamation League claims that the MWL has frequently been a platform for anti-Israeli rhetoric. It has also been accused of using its English-language “Journal” to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

At their first International Islamic Conference on Dialogue in Mecca in 2008, the MWL invited Yusuf al-Qaradawi to speak. During his speech, he said he would “never sit with Jews on one platform and never hold dialogue with those Jews who have committed injustice against us and support Israel.”

On Tuesday, Al-Issa spoke at an international conference in Rome on “Tolerance in Islam” along with Joseph Levi, the former chief rabbi in Florence, and Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

For his audience with the Pope, Al-Issa was accompanied by a delegation of seven people. The Vatican released a series of photographs of the encounter, during which the two men reportedly exchanged views on a number of “issues of common interest” including peace and global harmony, and discussed cooperation on issues of peaceful coexistence and the spread of love….

Detroit: Doctor Who Performed FGM Released On $4.5 Million Bond

This week, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the lead defendant in the Detroit FGM case, was released from custody on a $4.5 million unsecured bond.  (This is a bond based purely on good faith, typically available in situations where a relatively minor crime has been committed, versus a “secured” bond backed by a bail bondsman).  

FGM activists are concerned that Nagarwala could skip the country and avoid prosecution.

Note that the Detroit metropolitan area is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the country.  It’s not difficult to imagine the level of political pressure and quid pro quos on behalf of Muslim constituents.

Daniel Lemisch, the U.S. attorney for the district, participates in BRIDGES (Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Security), an organization founded a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

BRIDGES refers to itself as a partnership between government and Arab and Muslim communities. The group meets quarterly throughout the district, "bringing together leaders from law enforcement and community groups to discuss issues such as border crossing delays, threats on social media, hate crime and immigration matters."  In 2016, BRIDGES claimed a "67 percent increase in hate crimes directed at Muslim Americans" and held a "Know Your Rights" forum for its members.
See the short video (2.5 minutes) below for local coverage on Nagarwala’s release.

Here are the details from ABC Detroit local affiliate:
A shocking decision came in federal court Tuesday to release a Detroit-area doctor accused of mutilating little girls until trial.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the lead defendant in the nation’s first female genital mutilation federal indictment is posting $4.5 million in bond.

Despite the horrifying charges Dr Nagarwala faces, she has supporters - 17 of which have offered to put their own homes and assets on the line to free the doctor from jail until trial, a trial by the way – that is being watched closely all over the country.

Attorney Elizabeth Yore flew out from Chicago for the bond hearing, knowing this case will set the stage for future FGM federal prosecutions in other states.

“They have uncovered an underground network of human mutilators that are trafficking their children across state lines,” she says.

Dr. Nagarwala has been behind bars since April - arrested for performing genital mutilation procedures on young girls brought to her from Minnesota in a Farmington Hills clinic.

She denies committing a crime, saying it's a religious custom from her Muslim sect, the Dawoodi Bohra.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman granted a defense motion to release Dr. Nagarwala on a $4.5 million unsecured bond.

Nagarwala is putting her own Northville home on the line as well as the homes and assets of 17 supporters - some local and some from across the country.

There are strict conditions - including wearing a GPS tether.

I reached out to Nagarwala’s attorney and her mosque for comment but couldn't reach anyone.

If Dr. Nagarwala violates the terms of her bond or fails to appear for court, she and her husband would face the forfeiture of their Northville home.

Seventeen individuals who are guaranteeing her bond would be required to satisfy the remainder of the $4.5 million, if she fails to comply with the terms of her release.

She will be released, sometime this week once all 17 supporters have signed and all paperwork is complete.

Prayer Leader Arrested For Sexually Assaulting And Killing Student

From Tribune:
The Thal police on Monday said that they had arrested the prayer leader of a local mosque along with his accomplices for allegedly raping and then murdering a seminary student.

Thal Station House officer (SHO) Muhibullah Khan told The Express Tribune that 11-year-old Yasir Shah from the Biland Khel village of Thal Tehsil was reported as missing. His parents, after searching for him for a number of days, had filed an FIR with the police, fearing that their son had been abducted.

While investigating the case, officials saw in closed-circuit television footage that the boy was regularly visited by the paish imam of the local mosque with one to two visits per day.

Officials detained the prayer leader on suspicion. During questioning, the prayer leader confessed his crime.

“We have also arrested his aide in the case after receiving information from the suspect and he also confessed that he has also played his part in rape and murder,” Muhibullah said.

Based on information provided by the suspects, police recovered the body of the boy from the foothills of Thal Tehsil. The body was partially decomposed.

After initial investigations and formalities, the body was handed over to the family.

Muhibullah said that the prayer leader hails from Lakki Marwat and had confessed to sexual assaults on the boy and to murdering him since he was seriously injured in the attack.

South African Twins Embrace Islam And Plot to Blow Up Synagogues

From JTA:
The United States put twin brothers from South Africa who planned attacks on Jewish institutions in their country and on the U.S. Embassy on its terror blacklist.

Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 24, were arrested in July 2016 in South Africa and charged with three counts related to terrorism. They had converted to Islam the year before.

The State Department said that because of the threat they pose to U.S. security, the pair had been named Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

“These designations seek to deny Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks,” the State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

“Today’s designations notify the U.S. public and the international community that Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Terrorism designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”

The twins allegedly tried to fly to Syria in April 2015 to join the Islamic State but were stopped after the Hawks, a specialized crime-fighting unit, informed the airline on which they intended to travel. They are subsequently alleged to have “unlawfully and intentionally conspired and attempted to perform acts” that would assist the Islamic State and made themselves available to the terrorist group in order to conduct terrorist activity, the State Department said. The brothers had been under surveillance for about a year before their arrest.

Their arrests reportedly were the first in South Africa relating to alleged membership in the Islamic State.

ISIS Bandits Forced Captive Catholic Priest To Convert

From GMA-Network:
The Catholic priest who was abducted by the Maute-ISIS bandits in Marawi at the start of the siege was forced to convert to the Muslim faith, the crisis spokesman has said.

According to Chino Gaston's report on "State of the Nation", Fr. Chito Soganub told military officials that he was treated well by the bandits while he was in captivity.

He, however, told of instances when hostages like him were told to carry weapons when bandit strongholds are under attack by government forces.

"He was forced to because that's what the Maute, their captors, requested them to do that they be converted to Islam," Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong told reporters in the city.

Adiong said forced conversions are not recognized by Islam.

Soganub was rescued along with a teacher of Dansalan College, one of the establishments attacked by the Maute group.

He was seized by the local terrorists along with several parishioners during an attack on the church on May 23.

As of September 17, a total of 1,730 civilians have been rescued while 47 were  killed by terrorists.

Meanwhile, a total of 673 Maute members and 149 government troops have been killed in the ongoing firefight in Marawi.

Former Member Speaks Of Network That Abducts Coptic Girls

From Christian-Post:
An Egyptian man has shared horrifying details about how Egyptian authorities are aiding networks of abductors who get paid by Islamic extremists to kidnap unsuspecting Coptic Christian girls, convert them to Islam and marry them off to Muslim men.

In an interview with World Watch Monitor, a former Muslim man known only by the letter "G" admitted that he used to work alongside a Salafist network of kidnappers before he left the Islamic faith.

G explained that although networks like the one that he was involved in have been around since the 1970s, they have now reached an all-time high during the era of Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

According to G, the kidnappers receive "large amounts of money" from "Islamisation organisations" for carrying out the dirty deed of kidnapping innocent Christian girls so that they can be converted to Islam and married off.

The value of the reward for kidnapping a girl is greater when that girl is from a family of greater social standing or the "daughter of a priest," he added.

"The Salafist group I knew rented apartments in different areas of Egypt to hide kidnapped Coptic girls," G was quoted as saying. "There, they put them under pressure and threaten them to convert to Islam. And once they reach the legal age, a specially arranged Islamic representative comes in to make the conversion official, issue a certificate and accordingly, they change their ID."

Although abductions are illegal, G asserted that kidnappers are often aided by police officers in various ways in exchange for a piece of the financial reward.

"In some cases, police provide the kidnappers with drugs they seize. The drugs are then given to the girls to weaken their resistance as they put them under pressure," G explained. "I even know of cases in which police offered help to beat up the girls to make them recite the Islamic creed."

In a number of instances, G said, kidnappers would deceive Christian girls in order to abduct them.

"A Muslim boy tells a Christian girl he loves her and wants to convert to Christianity for her," G said. "They start a romantic relationship until one day they decide to 'escape' together. What the girls don't know is that they are actually being kidnapped. Most of the time they will not marry their kidnapper, but someone else."

G recalled one girl who was blackmailed into marrying one of her captors.

"I remember a Coptic Christian girl from a rich, well-known family in Minya," G stated. "She was kidnapped by five Muslim men. They held her in a house, stripped her and filmed her naked. In the video, one of them also undressed. They threatened to make the video public if the girl wouldn't marry him."

G stated that if all goes according to plan, girls are "forced into marriage with a strict Muslim." He added that some girls are shipped off to Saudi Arabia and forced to work as domestic slaves.

"Their husbands don't love them, they just marry her to make her a Muslim. She will be hit and humiliated. And if she tries to escape, or convert back to her original religion, she will be killed," G continued. "The most shocking thing is some girls find out that they are a second wife and are treated like animals. Some are sent to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to work as domestic servants and they are exploited sexually and are seriously physically abused."

World Watch Monitor reports that one Christian girl who was kidnapped and forced into Islamic marriage is a 16-year-old named Marylin from the Minya province, who was lulled in and kidnapped by the "love" deception this past June. Videos have emerged online showing her forced conversion.

"Marilyn was seduced by a recruit of a Salafi organisation. She was involved in a love affair; he was then able to convince her to run away with him," an anonymous researcher told World Watch Monitor. "Marilyn isn't 18 yet. So even if she had agreed to go with Taha, in our law, this is clearly a case of kidnapping a minor."

Although Marylin's parents turned to the police for help, very little help was found.

"I filed a report in two police stations, and I gave the names of the kidnappers and the place where they hid my daughter," Marylin's father, Medhat Saad Edward, told World Watch Monitor. "But the police haven't arrested them. They didn't even get in touch with Taha's brother, who lives in the village and is in touch with Taha."

Boutros Khalaf, the family priest, told World Watch Monitor that the prosecution dropped Marilyn's case on Aug. 14.

"We've done everything we could to get our girl back. We even sent a complaint to President Sisi, the interior minister and many other important people," the priest said. "Her family lives in bitterness and pain, and we don't know what to do anymore."

According to G, "[k]idnappers of Christian girls rarely get arrested or brought to the prosecution."

"For instance, the police don't report it as a kidnap but say the girl 'went missing,'" G explained. "This way they cover up the crimes of those they see as their 'Muslim brothers.'"

Ebram Louis, an Egyptian human rights activist, told World Watch Monitor in 2014 that the police often don't act on Christian families' reports of kidnapping "because they are afraid of the militant groups."

"The police have not helped the families of the kidnapped girls at all," Louis stressed. "Moreover, some police officers told the families not to search for their kidnapped daughters, as they converted to the right religion."

The researcher who spoke with World Watch Monitor noted that kidnappings in Egypt occur on an almost daily basis.

"There is also a state of terror, panic and fear among all the Christians in our village. They worry about their children. No father will allow his daughter to walk on the street alone anymore," Khalaf stated. "He goes with her or sends her mother or brother to accompany her."

Egypt ranks as the 21st worst country in the world when it comes to persecution of Christians, Open Doors USA's 2017 World Watch List states.

This is not the first time Egyptian authorities have been accused of inaction.

Earlier this year when hundreds of Christian families in the Sinai town of El-Arish fled the region after a number of Christians were murdered within a short time span, fleeing Christians expressed outrage that authorities responded apathetically to the security concern of Christians.