Category Archives: Terrorism

The Islamic State carries out deadly chemical attack on Syria army

BY AFP/// The Islamic State group mounted a deadly gas attack against Syrian troops at a besieged eastern airbase, state news agency SANA said, the latest report of the jihadists’s use of chemical weapons.

SANA did not say precisely how many soldiers had been killed in the attack on the government-controlled airbase outside the divided eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

“Daesh (IS) terrorists attacked Deir el-Zour military airport with rockets carrying mustard gas, causing some people to suffocate,” it reported late Monday.

The reports are the latest in a string of suspected mustard gas attacks by the jihadists in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

On March 9, a suspected IS gas attack on the Iraqi town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, killed three children and wounded some 1,500 people, with injuries ranging from burns to rashes and respiratory problems.

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People's Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People’s Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

While the chemical agents allegedly used by IS so far have been among their least effective weapons, the psychological impact on civilians is considerable.

A total of 25,000 people fled their homes in and around Taza last month, fearing another attack.

IS has been battling to capture Deir el-Zour airbase since 2014. It provides the only supply route other than air drops to the government-held sector of the city, where more than 200,000 civilians are living under IS siege.

On Monday, an IS bombardment of two government-held districts of the city killed seven civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Two suicide bombers also blew themselves up in the village of Jafra near the airbase, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Deir el-Zour province is vital for Islamic State because it lies between its de facto Syrian and Iraqi capitals Raqqa and Mosul.

In recent weeks, IS has faced intense pressure in Syria at the hands of both the Russian-backed army and US-backed Kurdish-led rebels.

An offensive by the army pushed the jihadists out of the ancient city of Palmyra late last month, opening up the possibility of a strike across the desert to relieve the siege of Deir el-Zour.

Islamic State Bans Christians from Leaving Raqqa, Syria

The last remaining Christians in Syria’s Raqqa are being forbidden from leaving “under any condition” by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists who control the de-facto capital of the terrorist group, as forces loyal to dictator Bashar al-Assad and their allies advance towards the city.

Raqqa Is Being Silently Slaughtered (RBSS), a group founded by journalists turned activists, revealed that ISIS has put out a new edict prohibiting both Christians and Armenians from leaving Raqqa, the terrorist group’s self-declared capital in Syria.
The revelation came over a month after various news outlets reported that Assad forces, backed by Russian airstrikes in addition to Iranian fighters and Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah, are advancing towards Raqqa.

Syrian forces “have taken rebel ground near Aleppo and are now poised to advance on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa province,” reported the Independent. Raqqa is the capital of a province that bears the same name.

Under mounting pressure, the Obama administration finally conceded in mid-March that ISIS has committed genocide against Christians and other religious minority groups in the areas it has conquered. The U.S. Congress voted unanimously to make the declaration days earlier. Initially, the Obama administration was reluctant to make the designation.

Currently, there are approximately 43 Christian families, made up of two to three persons, still residing in Raqqa, the activist group said in a statement on Twitter.
ISIS seized Raqqa in March 2013 in a battle against the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front and Assad regime troops. The city became the first provincial capital to fall under ISIS control.

“The suffering of Christians began with ISIS control of Raqqa,” RBSS said on its website, referring to the treatment of Christians under the terrorist group, reports The Foreign Desk.

“ISIS looks at Christians as infidels loyal to the West more than their loyalty to their homeland which they live,” added the group.

The Independent quoted an RBSS member writing under the nom de guerre Abu Mohammed as saying that ISIS implemented the ban on Easter without any explanation.

Christians have reportedly been unable to celebrate Easter since ISIS took over Raqqa in 2013.

The majority of Christians who remain trapped in Raqqa are low-income families who lacked the means to abandon the city when the opportunity presented itself, notes the Independent.

“They suffer from the decisions and practices of the organisation (Isis), which has occupied their places of worship while forcing them to pay tribute, although they are deprived from practicing their rituals and religious practices,” wrote Mohammed said, noting that they are constantly harassed.

In the 1920s, Christians, who had lived there for over 2000 years, constituted nearly one-third of the population in Syria, home to historic Christian sites and artifacts that have been decimated and sold on the black market by ISIS.

“Popular belief holds that the apostle Paul converted on the road to Damascus, and a small segment of Christians from the town of Maaloula still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke,” notes The Foreign Desk.

“More recently, 10 percent of Syria’s 22 million population were Christians,” it adds.

Christians are forced to choose between three options in areas controlled by ISIS: Convert to Islam, pay an extortionate rate/tax (jizya), or face execution.

The Barnabas Fund, a charity group, has joined other NGOs and various United Nations members in accusing ISIS of killing thousands of Christians, including by crucifixion and beheadings, Breitbart News reported, adding that ISIS has also kidnapped and displaced thousands more from their ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria.

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Another Day, Another Jihad Attack


Wherever Islam goes, so goes its ethos.  The barbarity and variety of actions of Islamic extremists are seen daily around the globe, committed under the banner of Islam, and have become so commonplace that the world has come to view them as part and parcel of a troubled humanity.  And from time to time, the world is shocked into a passing and momentary realization of the evil deeds these Islamist robots commit…and quickly gets over it and does nothing to seriously address this affliction of humanity.

Humankind is confronting a deeply troubling quandary.  On the one hand is the aspiration of tolerant people whose objective is to forge a world of diverse people into one human society ruled by peace and respect for the inherent dignity and well-being of each member of that family.  On the other, Islamic extremists are hell-bent on imposing their stone-age dogma on everyone else.

Savagery and viciousness carried out by the devotees of Muhammad in Belgium’s capital city of Brussels was another reminder that every now and then (and much more often these days), the adherents of the “Religion of Peace” are willing to massacre innocent people in cold blood in a most dastardly act of cowardice.  Returning Islam to its pure and glorious roots is precisely what the “jihadists” are fighting for.

Atrocities of this magnitude not only break our hearts, but make us wonder.  What compels a seemingly ordinary person to even contemplate, much less carry out, such a slaughter?  How did these creatures end up carrying out all these heart-wrenching murders?

An easy answer is Islam.  The life manual of Islam, the Quran, is a document of exclusion, hatred, and violence that shapes Muslims’ thinking and behavior.  Sadly, Muslims themselves are the ones who are most victimized by Islamic doctrine.  They have inherited this viral psychological disease of hate and violence; they live by it, and they transmit it to their children as well as to receptive others.

Qur’an 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
Islamic doctrine, like a mental retrovirus, has mutated into numerous varieties and degrees of severity over the past 1,400 years.  Everyone born in a Muslim family, as well as those who convert to Islam, contract a particular mutation of the Islamic virus.  As is the case with all retroviruses, the Islamic virus burrows deeply into the person and erupts from time to time, with potentially devastating consequences.

A puzzle to non-Muslims: why would any intelligent and reasonably sane person live his life by the dogma of Islam?  It is particularly disconcerting when this Muslim lives in a secular non-Islamic society.  The befuddlement becomes mind-boggling when seemingly educated women in free societies voluntarily submit to the yoke of Islamic misogyny.

There are a number of possible explanations to the enigma of believing in Islamic doctrine and even propagating it with zeal and violence.  Some possible explanations are treated here.

For one, Islam is stamped on the impressionable mind of the child from birth.  The parents and immediate members of the family are the ones who make the very first impressions on the tabula rasa of the young mind.  These early impressions are the grid-work for further formation of the person’s mind and belief system.  It is by far easier, as life goes on, to incorporate “items” that readily fit into the grid-work than to modify it or dismantle it altogether and begin anew.  It is in recognition of the importance of early training and education that people such as Saint Augustine and Freud considered the first few years of life as critical for molding the person.

Another reason is the herd mentality – stay with the group, be one of them, and don’t strike out on your own.  This strong disposition to belong is reinforced by privileges that the group bestows – social pressure, as well as the fear of castigation by the wielders of power.  There are security and power in numbers – in any numbers.

A human being arrives in this world with his brains already washed in the sense of being what 17th-century English political philosopher John Locke called a “tabula rasa,” clean slate – ready for experiences to imprint its script.  John Locke was only partly correct.  The brain also arrives with numerous predispositions already in place (Nature and Genetics).  It is a combination of life’s influences (a nurturing environment) and a person’s own decisions that determine which of these dispositions develop and which ones fail.  It is through this process that a unique person is formed.

Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses who are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own.  It is from this population, many already thoroughly indoctrinated from birth, which the majority of die-hard jihadists emerge.

It is the bargain the jihadist makes.  He surrenders totally to the religion of surrender in exchange for blanket security.  Islam gives him all the answers he really seeks for dealing with this world and promises him a most lush and eternal paradise of Allah once he leaves it.  And leaving this world in perfect submission as the foot soldier of the paradise’s creator gives the faithful unimaginably glorious sensual eternal reward in his next life.  It’s a bargain that some buy in whole, some in part, while some refuse and seek other means of dealing with their questions and the unrelenting existentialistic anxiety.

The great majority of jihadists emanate from the ranks of those born into the religion of Islam, simply because they are the ones who are most thoroughly indoctrinated and influenced by the Islamic dogma in their most receptive early years.  Yet there are others who embrace Islam in adulthood, on their own, and enlist themselves as devoted jihadists for the same rewards that Islam offers them.

Within this sea of surging humanity composed of some 1.5 billion Muslims, each individual believer – a drop – through a combination of choice and forces beyond his control, ends up in one of its many waves.  It is the jihadist wave that is highly attractive to the deeply indoctrinated and poorly adjusted in dealing rationally and independently with life.  Here, he finds the ironclad perfect solution to his anxieties and perplexities.

To a jihadist, death is nothing more than casting off a shell of the worthless earthly existence and donning the suit for winging joyously to the life of bliss promised by none other than Allah’s beloved final emissary, Muhammad.

Eradication of jihadism is a daunting task, since Islam is truly a virulent persistent pandemic disease.  Massive education efforts, combined with resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity.

In addition to the family, places such as mosques and madrassas, Islamic associations and charitable organizations, prisons, and the like are incubators of jihadists.  Massive efforts are required – on the one hand, to drain the breeding swamps of the Islamic virus, while on the other hand helping Muslims adopt an alternative perspective of life that addresses their perplexities and offers a degree of comfort that religions dispense without pitting one segment of humanity against another.

Expressions of grief are appropriate at this hour of sorrow.  Yet, the civilized world must, and will, take the necessary and often painful measures to confront evil.

In short, Islam is busy with what it did from the time of its birth, fighting non-Muslims and infighting.  Violence is the animating force of Islam.  Islam is a religion born through violence, raised by violence; it thrives on violence and dies without violence.