Islamic State militant Amar Hussein says he reads the Koran all day in his tiny jail cell to become a better person. He also says he raped more than 200 women from Iraqi minorities, and shows few regrets.
Kurdish intelligence authorities gave Reuters rare access to Hussein and another Islamic State militant who were both captured during an assault on the city of Kirkuk in October that killed 99 civilians and members of the security forces. Sixty-three Islamic State militants died.
Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.
“Young men need this,” Hussein told Reuters in an interview after a Kurdish counter-terrorism agent removed a black hood from his head. “This is normal.”
Hussein said he moved from house to house in several Iraqi cities raping women from the Yazidi sect and other minorities at a time when Islamic State was grabbing more and more territory from Iraqi security forces.
Kurdish security officials say they have evidence of Hussein raping and killing but they don’t know what the scale is.
Reuters could not independently verify Hussein’s account.
Witnesses and Iraqi officials say Islamic State fighters raped many Yazidi women after the group rampaged through northern Iraq in 2014. It also abducted many Yazidi women as sex slaves and killed some of their male relatives, they said.
Human rights groups have chronicled widespread abuses by Islamic State against the Yazidis.
Hussein said he also killed about 500 people since joining Islamic State in 2013.
“We shot whoever we needed to shoot and beheaded whoever we needed to beheaded,” said Hussein.
He recalled how emirs trained him to kill, which was difficult at first when one person was brought for a practice kill. It became easier day by day.
“Seven, eight, ten at a time. Thirty or 40 people. We would take them in desert and kill them,” said Hussein, an imposing, well-built figure, who was wearing metal handcuffs.
Eventually, he became highly efficient, never hesitating to kill.
“I would sit them down, put a blindfold on them and fire a bullet into their heads,” he said. “It was normal.”
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Saturday, February 18, 2017
An Italian court has convicted a Moroccan-born man and his wife on charges of international terrorism in connection with an Islamic State plot to carry out attacks in Rome during the Holy Year in 2016.
A court in Milan on Tuesday convicted Abderrahim Moutaharrik, and his wife, Salma Bencharki, and sentenced them to six years and five years in jail, respectively.
Prosecutors say Moutaharrik, who had taken Italian citizenship, had received orders from Islamic State to carry out attacks in Italy, particularly in Rome, last year. Authorities characterized the plot as serious but not imminent at the time of their arrest last April.
The court also withdrew the parental rights of the couple, who had planned to travel to IS territory with their two small children.
The girl who came to Sweden from Syria was married off to a cousin when she was twelve years old. In Sweden, she has been placed with his aunt and her family.
The cousin also lives in Sweden, and it is he who paid for the girl and her family's trip here. The girl, who according to the register of births from Syria 14 years, has managed to become pregnant in Sweden.
Social services in Mönsterås requested that the girl would be taken care of according to the Care of Young Persons were dismissed by the administrative court in Växjö. The court justified its reasoning that the girl is "by Swedish standards precocious." 14-year-old further said to have "a firm foundation in their faith and in the culture that she grew up in."
Political scientist and journalist Sakine Madon, question the judgment of an editorial in the VLT.
"So if a girl is considered 'premature', it is less wrong that she is part of a child marriage? So if the girl has a certain religious and cultural background, are child marriages in order?" She writes, and continues:
"It is difficult to interpret the judgment in another way. The girl also described as a mature person with free will. Anyone who knows what honor culture is well aware of the powerlessness and press a minor married girl exposed. Why close your eyes right because she is underage ? '
The UN has condemned the killing of 12 Afghans, including eight children returning from school, by a roadside bomb in the country's volatile east, the latest in a growing number of civilian casualties.
The blast occurred in Paktika province yesterday when their vehicle hit a pressure-plate improvised explosive device planted on a public road, the UN said, adding that four others were wounded.
"Children are once again the main victims of these indiscriminate and illegal weapons," said Pernille Kardel, the UN's deputy special representative in afghanistan.
"There is a simple message to the perpetrators: stop using these weapons if you are serious about safeguarding Afghanistan's civilians and the country's future generation," Kardel said in a statement today.
There was no immediate reaction from officials in Paktika.
The bombing comes just days after the UN voiced alarm over the killing of 25 civilians in the escalating conflict in southern Helmand province, most of them in US air strikes.
An American bombardment in Helmand's Sangin district last week killed 18 people, nearly all women and children, the UN said.
Afghan civilian casualties in 2016 were the highest recorded by the UN, with nearly 11,500 non-combatants killed or wounded.
More than 3,500 children were among the victims, a "disproportionate" increase of 24 per cent in one year, the UN said in a report earlier this month.
Afghanistan last year also saw the highest recorded civilian casualties caused by pressure-plate IEDs in a single year, the world body said.
A former U.S. soldier accused of shooting and killing a transit guard in downtown Denver last month says he is a supporter of the Islamic State group, but investigators say they have not found evidence the terror group had anything to do with the killing.
In a telephone interview Thursday from Denver’s jail, Joshua Cummings told The Associated Press he pledged his allegiance to ISIS after spending three days behind bars fasting.
He said he did so to purge himself of an oath he took to uphold the U.S. Constitution when he joined the Army in 1996.
Speaking calmly and addressing a reporter as “ma’am”, the Islamic convert from Pampa, Texas, declined to discuss the crime or whether his support for ISIS led him, as police allege, to walk behind Scott Von Lanken while he was speaking to two women around 11 p.m. on Jan. 31 and put a gun to his neck.
One of the women told investigators Cummings said something like, “Do what you are told,” just before he opened fire and ran away, police have said.
Cummings was found a short time later hiding on the terrace of an apartment building with a handgun, authorities said.
Police have uncovered no evidence to suggest Cummings was either directed by ISIS to carry out the killing or may have been inspired by the group, Denver Police Commander Barb Archer said Friday.
She said Cummings, 37, has declined to talk with detectives and that investigators have not determined a motive for the killing of Von Lanken, a former police officer who was working as a contract security guard for the Denver area’s Regional Transportation District.
Archer said federal authorities who also have investigated Cummings have not told her about a possible Islamic State connection, as she would expect them to if there was one.
“I think he’s looking for attention,” she said of Cummings’ comments about pledging loyalty to the Islamic State.
Cummings served in the Army more than a decade ago but never saw combat.
Investigators interviewed him in December after members of a Denver-area mosque reported concerns about him to federal authorities. The FBI has declined comment on what if any action agents took after Cummings was interviewed or about any involvement they may have in the shooting investigation.
Cummings was living in a suburban Denver motel in the weeks before the shooting. He previously stayed there about a month before briefly returning to Texas.
His public defender, Sarah Welton, declined to discuss her client’s comments about the Islamic State.
“I can’t speculate on his reasons for calling,” she said.
Denver-area Muslim leaders have repudiated Cummings’ self-professed practice of Islam. They stressed in a December email to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security their perception that Cummings’ statements and rants about Islam at one area mosque led them to fear he had become radicalized.
On Dec. 24, a mosque leader emailed the Department of Homeland Security to say a man identifying himself as a Muslim convert named Joshua, from Pampa, Texas, made worrisome statements that day about fighting to establish “the rule of Islam.” The email also said Joshua had rebuked a speaker “as being soft” on Shariah law earlier in December.
Ismael Akbulut, a leader in the Denver-area Muslim community, said he knew nothing about Cummings professing allegiance to the Islamic State.
“It’s his own interpretation” of the purpose of fasting, Akbulut said. “If he had been affiliated with ISIS they would post that on social media. They haven’t. I think it’s his desire to be affiliated with that now.”
Islamic State supporters often proclaim their allegiance in social media before attacks. It is less common for them to declare it after the fact.
Cummings had been vocal on Twitter about his views about Islam as well as both critical and supportive of law enforcement.
He told the AP said he had wanted to declare his allegiance ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, earlier but an infection had prevented him from fasting.
The mug shot of Cummings’ arrest shows him with the left side of his face swollen and his left eye almost swollen shut.
Since his arrest, he said he received medical care in jail that gave him the ability to fast and “expiate” his prior oath.
He used the Arabic word for allegiance in making his declaration and then explained in English what he meant.
Akbulut said Islam does call for atonement through three days of fasting, but he said that would not apply in the context Cummings described.
“In this case it’s totally nonsense,” Akbulut said. “It’s his own interpretation.”
Nashik district general secretary of Bajrang Dal was allegedly attacked here by some unidentified bike-borne men, police said. The locals suspect the fringe Jihadi groups are behind the scene.
The incident, which took place around 11.30 am Tuesday, triggered tension in the powerloom town, and police have beefed up security immediately.
“Bajrang Dal district general secretary and a gorakshak (cow protector) Machhindra Shirke was attacked on Mumbai-Agra highway around 11.30 am by unidentified people. Shirke sustained injuries in the attack and he was admitted to a private hospital,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rakesh Ola said.
The Jihadi attackers came on around 15 motorcycles and attacked Shirke with sticks. They also damaged his car before disappearing from the scene, police said. Locals say the attackers shouted Islamic slogans.
The severely injured Hindu leader rushed to a Medical Center in a critical condition where he responded the treatment. But, it is not known whether he is out of danger.
Police are in the process of identifying the assailants.
The investigators suspect that the incident could be a fallout of an assault in the town early today on two members of a minority community, who were found transporting cattle on Manmad road.
In India majority Hindus respect Cow as Holy animal and consider as religious icon. Naturally, they oppose open cow slaughter by Muslims in a gruesome Halal scene.
In Indian constitution, it is directed in Art 48+ to prohibit cow slaughter. Islamist and pro-shariah people take this as a point of conflict and frenzy Jihadi elements violate this constitutional provision and Hindu sentiments through their Jihadi action by attacking cow vigilantes.
A MAN who claims he was forced to move house after renouncing his faith wants authorities to crack down on hate crime
Fasial Bashir, of Mayville Road, Ilford decided to stop practicing Islam in the summer of 2014 over claims the religion was too “hateful” and “sending out the wrong message”.
But when the 43-year-old stopped going to mosques in Ilford he claims he started getting harassment on a weekly basis.
The father-of-two said: “I heard religious people say things I couldn’t put up with any longer – it was all too hateful.
“These people knew I had become an atheist and soon enough my whole family was being harassed.
“At least once a week they would hang around near my house, shouting and swearing at me.
“I was called an apostate, a non-believer, I was told I had betrayed my God and my faith.”
“Sometimes they would even say things to my children – they are far too little to know what was happening, they were very frightened.”
Mr Bashir claims he would often call the police, but was told it was “just a nuisance” and was not a police matter until it was reported at least twice a month.
He said: “They always said they couldn’t really do anything because no physical altercation ever took place.
“But I’m not the kind of person to get violent with anybody.
“Also, it was always different people so they claimed they couldn’t log it as similar complaint.
“Eventually a police officer told me I should just move house to get away from it all.”
The mobile mechanic moved from Connaught Mews to Mayville Road with his wife, 11-year-old daughter, and eight-year-old son in June 2015.
He said: “We weren’t left with any other choice.
“It was very distressing for all of us, not to mention the inconvenience.
“I used to be able to walk my children to school, now I have to drive them every day.
“The new house is over a mile away, but they still managed to find us again.”
Mr Bashir claims the harassment has died down in recent months, but the risk of “something terrible happening” to non-Muslims in the community is still high.
He wants Redbridge Council and the Metropolitan Police to work together to better tackle alleged incidents of hate crime, with more time, money and energy dedicated to the cause.
He said: “My personal problem appears to have been solved for now, but it doesn’t mean it’s not still out there in society.
“Where there’s smoke there’s always fire.
“We need local authorities to investigate this kind of thing more thoroughly before something terrible happens.”
Chairman of the Ilford-based British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) Wilson Chowdhry is supporting Mr Bashir’s calls for action.
Anila Dhawan, 17, was kidnapped last spring from her home in Hyderabad, forced to convert to Islam and marry her abductor.
The police refused to intervene. Her kidnapper told them she ran away from home, and converted to Islam and married him voluntarily. But after her family pressured a court to intervene, she told judges the truth and they freed her.
“Her life was threatened,” her attorney, Ramesh Gupta, said. “She wanted to go back to her parents and the statement (she made to the court) helped to sway the decision in her favor and she was freed to join her family.”
Anila is one of many Pakistani Hindu girls kidnapped because of religious discrimination in a country that is 98% Muslim.
Every year, Muslim men abduct and forcibly convert about 1,000 girls — mostly Hindus, but also Christians, according to the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human rights group. About 5,000 Pakistani Hindus leave every year for neighboring India — where 80% are Hindus — to escape religious persecution, according to the Pakistan Hindu Council.
Legislation banning such conversions for those under age 18 was passed unanimously late last year by the legislature in the southern province of Sindh, where the Kohlis live, but it never went into effect.
Hard-line Islamic groups objected to the measure, which called for up to five years in jail for those who force a conversion. They threatened protests, arguing the law was anti-Islamic and part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a secular country.
"We will not remain silent on this controversial law," said Hafiz Saeed, a leader of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a self-described charity that the United States has labeled a terrorist group.
The measure was vetoed in January by Sindh Gov. Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, who died a few days later. The legislative defeat was a major setback for human rights in Pakistan, activists say.
“The problem of conversions is real,” said Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a mewmber of the Pakistan Hindu Council and parliament. “We are not against the conversion of religion as a result of research or preaching. But why are only underage Hindu girls in Sindh changing religion?”
For example, Ameri Kashi Kohli’s 14-year-old daughter was abducted from her home in southern Pakistan one night last summer as she slept.
The Hindu farm worker was aghast when she discovered what actually happened to her daughter soon after. “She had been converted to Islam and became the second wife of our landlord,” Kohli said. Her landlord falsely claimed the teen was compensation for a $1,000 debt the family owed him.
Making it even worse, the police refused to help. "They just said forget your daughter, she has converted," Kohle explained. They said "my daughter Jeevti is now known as Fatima."
Some say the defeat of the bill shows definitively that religious hardliners have too much power in the country.
“Government after government, military and civilian, have caved in to pressure from the extremists,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., who specializes in Pakistan’s minorities. “It is imperative for the government to stand by the people it represents. The bill to stop enforced conversion must be passed unaltered.”
She said Muslim leaders oppose extending new protections to Pakistanis who belong to religious minorities, especially women.
“Muslims in Pakistan will never treat Hindus as their own,” said Meera Bai, a Pakistani Hindu immigrant in New Delhi. “For them, we will always remain the ‘other.’"
"We escaped religious and cultural persecution when we came to India," she added. "We are happy here. At least here we know that no one will steal our cattle or our young daughters.”
As for Kohli, she says her daughter is lost. Soon after the abduction, the landlord produced an affidavit from the teen stating she purposefully ran away, converted and married, something her parents say she was forced to write. She's not allowed to meet with her family or friends, according to her husband's rules.
Kohli said her daughter's plight underscores the uncertain future that Hindus face in Pakistan.
"There (are) many Fatimas in this country," Kohli said. "But does this country have place for a Jeevti?”
A suicide bomber targeted a van carrying civil judges in Peshawar's Hayatabad area on Wednesday, killing the driver and injuring 18 others, hospital and police officials said.
According to police, the suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into the government vehicle, causing an explosion near the Hayatabad Medical Complex. Police cordoned off the area and shifted the injured to nearby hospitals.
Officials confirmed that civil judges Asif Jadoon, Aman Haider, Rabia Warsi, Tehreema Sabahat were traveling in the vehicle and were among the injured.
SSP Operation Peshawar Sajjad Khan confirmed the attack was a suicide bombing, adding the bomber's body parts had been recovered.
Peshawar police chief Tahir Khan also confirmed the death toll.
"The bombing happened around 3:30PM near the chowk. The attacker came on a motorcycle and hit the vehicle as he detonated his explosives," said CCPO Tahir Khan.
Khan said the body parts of the bomber and clues from the scene appeared to show that around 15 kilograms of high-grade explosives were used in the blast.
Reporting from the Hayatabad Medical Complex, a Geo News correspondent confirmed that at least 18 injured were under treatment at the hospital.
This is the third terrorist attack reported in the country today.
At least five people, including three levies personnel, were martyred, while many others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself at the main gate of Mohmand Agency headquarters, Ghallanai, Wednesday morning.
Following this, another suicide bomber blew himself in Mosal Kor, Mohmand Agency, said Charsadda DPO Sohail Khalid.
Wednesday's attacks came two days after a deadly bombing rocked the Punjab provincial capital Lahore, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more.
At least 18 people have been killed in a bomb attack on a predominantly Shia suburb of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, security sources say.
A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle in Sadr City, targeting a busy street full of garages and used-car dealers.
At least 42 people were also wounded in the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Baghdad saw a wave of deadly suicide attacks in the first few days of 2017, but the number has dropped recently.
The IS group has stepped up its attacks since the Iraqi army, aided by US-led coalition strikes, launched its campaign to dislodge the group from its stronghold of Mosul in the north four months ago.
Wednesday's attack targeted the Habibya area of Sadr City, north of the centre of the Iraqi capital, an interior ministry official told AFP.
Iraqi security forces and people gather at the site where a suicide bomber detonated a pick-up truck in Sadr City, a heavily populated Shia suburb of Baghdad, February 15, 2017
The blast follows a car bomb attack in southern Baghdad on Tuesday that killed four people.
On 2 January, 35 people were killed in a bomb blast in Sadr City, in an attack claimed by IS.
Iraq's capital has also been hit by violent protests in recent days by supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who are demanding changes to the electoral commission that oversees elections.
At least six people were killed in clashes with police on Sunday.