A senior Iranian cleric with close ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed on Friday that “we will raise the flag of Islam over the White House” in response to the killing of Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards operatives on the Golan Heights last month.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), that “Pledging allegiance to ISIL is not necessarily joining the fight.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) responded by asking, “So we’re going to wait until they kill a bunch of people before we attack them. Is that what you’re saying the administration’s fight is?”
Kerry replied, “No. We are going to and see whether or not they are in fact, really joined in the fight against ISIL.” He explained his belief, and the administration’s policy, that “a group that simply embraces the ideology, pledges allegiance is not necessarily fighting for, alongside, or against the United States and our associated forces.”
At current rates it could take more than 100 years to complete essential building of homes, schools and health facilities in Gaza unless the Israeli blockade is lifted, Oxfam warned today as new figures show the amount of vital construction materials entering Gaza dropped last month.
Less that 0.25 percent of the truckloads of essential construction materials needed have entered Gaza in the past three months. Six months since the end of the conflict, the situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly desperate. Oxfam is calling for an urgent end to the blockade of Gaza, which has now been in place for nearly eight years.
Gaza needs more than 800,000 truckloads of construction materials to build homes, schools, health facilities and other infrastructure required after repeated conflicts and years of blockade, according to aid agencies on the ground. Yet, in January only 579 such trucks entered Gaza. This is even less than the 795 trucks that entered the previous month. Around 100,000 people – more than half of them children – are still living in shelters, temporary accommodation or with extended family after their homes were destroyed. Tens of thousands more families are living in badly damaged homes.
Catherine Essoyan, Oxfam’s Regional Director, said: “Only an end to the blockade of Gaza will ensure that people can rebuild their lives. Families have been living in homes without roofs, walls or windows for the past six months. Many have just six hours of electricity a day and are without running water. Every day that people are unable to build is putting more lives at risk. It is utterly deplorable that the international community is once again failing the people of Gaza when they need it most.”
Turkey does not place a high priority on fighting Islamic State jihadists and as a result foreign fighters are able to travel through the country into Syria, US intelligence chief James Clapper said Thursday.
Pro-Palestinian rallies and groups are being used to aid the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, according to a book the group released this month – united under the front of “bringing down Zionsim.”
The book, Black Flags from Rome, encourages European Muslims to rise up and aid ISIS from within, according to a report on the PJ Media website – and notes that terror cells have already been formed.
“There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the book exclaims.
“If you have ever been at a pro-Palestine / anti-Israel protest, you will see many activists who are not even Muslims who are supportive of what Muslims are calling for (the fall of Zionism),” it continues. “It is most likely here that connections between Muslims and Left-wing activists will be made, and a portion from them will realize that protests are not effective, and that armed combat is the alternative.”
Asim Qureshi, research director at the rights group CAGE
The group who helped name Mohammed Emwazi as ISIS executioner Jihadi John caused outrage today after blaming MI5 for pushing him towards his killing spree in Syria.
Asim Qureshi, research director at the rights group CAGE, described the world’s most wanted man as ‘extremely kind, extremely gentle and the most humble young person that I ever knew’.
At a press conference today Mr Qureshi was close to tears as he said Emwazi, who is linked to a string of executions of ISIS prisoners, ‘was such a beautiful man’.
Mr Qureshi said he was radicalised after the security services harassed him and alienated him because ‘the man I knew would never hurt a single person.’
He said: ‘When are we going to finally learn that when we treat people as if they’re outsiders, they are going to feel like outsiders and they will look for belonging elsewhere.’