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Wars and Rumors

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Steve LeVine / Quartz • Fri 2014 Jul 11, 7:45pm

According to an investigation by Iraq Oil Report (paywall), ISIL rapidly captured one and possibly two oilfields south of Kirkuk soon after storming Iraq a month ago. The fields, in the Hamrin mountains, produce relatively small volumes—just 16,000-20,000 barrels a day. But that earns a tidy income even at the knock-down local black market rate of about $55 a barrel, according to the report. +

The description of ISIL’s smuggling route into Kurdistan continues the narrative of a ruthlessly managed, financially savvy rebel group that has emerged over the last year first in Syria and now Iraq. That includes control over Syria’s oilfields—on July 3, ISIL captured al-Omar, the country’s largest oilfield—plus some $420 million in Iraqi dinars snatched up in the June capture of Mosul. In all, ISIL may have a cache of some $1.3 billion.

Bruce Carroll / Legal Insurrection • Thu 2014 Jul 10, 5:48pm


Hisham al-Hashimi / Telegraph • Thu 2014 Jul 10, 4:52pm

New Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has assigned deputies to manage everything from bank accounts to bomb attacks [War News Updates editor's comment: "The International Criminal Court in The Hague now knows who to focus their attention on when it comes to who they must charge for war crimes."]

Eiffle Tower
Henry Samuel / Telegraph • Thu 2014 Jul 10, 4:48pm

Islamist plot to blow up Eiffel Tower, Louvre and nuclear power plant foiled, say French police - French police stumbled on terror plans after decrypting coded messages between Algerian butcher living in southern France and high-ranking members of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb

Lee Ferran, Ali Weinberg, James Gordon Meek / World Press / ABC • Mon 2014 Jul 7, 6:31pm

Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who tracked al-Baghdadi’s predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, told ABC News al-Baghdadi had forced himself to step from the shadows, even if it meant “definitely taking a risk, security-wise.”

“This would be in line with where he’s trying to take the organization,” Bakos said. “He has to present himself as a leader. This was the next step… He has to come out and declare what he, as the caliph, expects from other Muslims.”

Israel Flag
Alexander Marquardt and Bruno Nota / ABC • Mon 2014 Jun 30, 8:17pm

"With heavy grief, this evening we found three bodies. All signs indicate that they are the bodies of our three abducted youths –- Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel," Netanyahu said before the start of an emergency cabinet meeting. "They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals. On behalf of the entire Jewish people, I would like to tell the dear families –- the mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and brothers and sisters –- we are deeply saddened, the entire nation weeps with you. We will give the boys a proper burial."

Then the prime minister quoted Israeli poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. "'Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created,'" he said. "[N]either has vengeance for the blood of three pure youths, who were on their way home to meet their parents, who will not see them anymore. Hamas is responsible –- and Hamas will pay. May the memories of the three boys be blessed."

BBC • Mon 2014 Jun 30, 8:08pm

Four villages in north-eastern Nigeria have been attacked by suspected Boko Haram militants who targeted at least one church. The bodies of at least 40 civilians and six militants have been recovered… latest assault on villages near Chibok, the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April.

Frank Gardner / BBC • Mon 2014 Jun 30, 8:03pm

Jihadist militant group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. It also proclaimed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere".

Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit • Mon 2014 Jun 30, 7:53pm

The Islamist Abu Saffiya from Chile, shows off the spoils of war and raises the Islamic flag at a former Iraqi military base. Another Islamist mocks Obama at the end of the video: “Obama, did you prepare enough diapers for your soldiers?” [Oh, ha ha. Very droll. Eat pork and die. And not for mocking our Numbskull in Chief. That's my job.]

Mexico Flag
Warner Todd Huston / Breitbart • Sun 2014 Jun 29, 5:41pm

A former Mexican cartel soldier who turned against the narco terrorists and joined the burgeoning Mexican militia movement has been found shot and tortured along with his wife and children in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

Jeremy Bender and Michael B Kelley / Business Insider • Sun 2014 Jun 29, 2:57pm

Samarra's al-Askari Mosque contains the mausoleums of two Shia Imams, making it a key pilgrimage point and one of the most significant sites of worship for Shia worldwide. The bombing of the mosque in 2006 set off a vicious cycle of violence… ISIS follows a deeply puritanical Sunni thread of Islam that believes shrines are antithetical to Islam and should be destroyed — a practice they have carried out in areas they control in Syria. ISIS has tried to take control of Samarra. But it's been forced back by a coalition of the Iraqi Army and Shiite militias which now guard the shrine and the city. This has not stopped ISIS' from lobbing mortars at the shrine in an attempt to demolish it…. (From Jun 24)

Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge • Sun 2014 Jun 29, 1:26pm

…as part of its blitz-campaign to take over northern Iraq, ISIS found and the promptly executed Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, the judge who sentenced Saddam to death: a death which to many was the crowning moment of the second US invasion of Iraq, and the confirmation of successful US foreign policy.

Hevidar Ahmed / • Sat 2014 Jun 28, 8:08pm

Since they began their blitz just over a fortnight ago, Sunni insurgents in Iraq have destroyed half of the Iraqi army and inflicted $10 billion in losses, a senior Iraqi defense official said. [War News Updates editor comments: "These loses are staggering and mind-boggling .... and I suspect that the real numbers are probably higher."]

Jeremy Bender / Business Insider • Fri 2014 Jun 27, 4:41pm

The wars in Iraq and Syria have effectively merged into one sprawling conflict, especially in light of the massive blitz across northern and central Iraq by militant group ISIS and its affiliates. The multi-country crisis has taken on increasing complexity as Iraq and Syria fragment along sectarian and ethnic lines. … Twitter user @deSyracurse has put together a fascinating and impressively granular map of the spreading chaos throughout the two countries.

Mark Duell / Mail • Fri 2014 Jun 27, 4:29pm

The Hatra complex, a Unesco world heritage site which features 200ft-high temples, now stands in territory claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) group. There are fears the stone statues within the area could be destroyed by jihadists, who have already demolished a statue of Iraqi musician and composer Othman al-Mousuli 70 miles away in Mosul. [See pix at link]

Kieran Corcoran / Daily Mail • Fri 2014 Jun 27, 4:27pm

A Royal Navy patrol ship tracked down and intercepted two Russian landing craft in the English Channel yesterday.

HMS Severn, a 1,700-tonne River-class patrol ship armed with three machine guns, headed off the two military vessels sailing east through the Channel.

The ship 'closed and tracked' the Russian craft as they, which are thought to have been moving from the Mediterranean back to their home bases.

Moscow Times • Fri 2014 Jun 27, 4:23pm

Russia has lost contact with one of three military satellites responsible for detecting intercontinental ballistic missile launches, leaving Moscow blind to possible nuclear attacks… [War News Updates blogger comments: "This is not reassuring news to know about as tensions rise between Russia and the West."]

Bild • Fri 2014 Jun 20, 4:00pm

The Islamist group "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) is celebrating their successes against the Iraqi army, proudly displays captured military vehicles. And the terrorists mock the internet Michelle Obama (50)! They spread via Twitter and on Internet sites a photomontage of the U.S. First Lady, show it with the saying "Bring back our Humvee" (Eng. "brings back our Humvee"). Only two days ago the ISIS terrorists had spread videos in which they pose on a captured "Humvee" SUV. [Translated by Google.]

Windsor Genova / Gant Daily • Thu 2014 Jun 19, 4:03pm

Austin, TX, United States (4E) – Two Austin, Texas men have been arrested and charged with terrorism for recruiting Americans to fight alongside jihad rebels in Somalia and Syria

Mariam Karouny / Reuters • Tue 2014 Jun 17, 8:06pm

From the first outbreak of the crisis in the southern city of Deraa to apocalyptic forecasts of a Middle East soaked in blood, many combatants on both sides of the conflict say its path was set 1,400 years ago in the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers.

Among those many thousands of sayings, or hadith, are accounts which refer to the confrontation of two huge Islamic armies in Syria, a great battle near Damascus, and intervention from the north and west of the country.

The power of those prophecies for many fighters on the ground means that the three-year-old conflict is more deeply rooted - and far tougher to resolve - than a simple power struggle between President Bashar al-Assad and his rebel foes.

Cardigan / I Own the World • Tue 2014 Jun 17, 7:59pm

Mohamed Elibiary… A member of President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council known for controversial Twitter posts that seem to support the Muslim Brotherhood wrote Friday that it is “inevitable that ‘Caliphate’ returns.”

Blazing Catfur • Tue 2014 Jun 17, 7:45pm

More British citizens joined the jihad in Syria and Iraq than signed up for the Army Reserves over the last twelve months

RT • Mon 2014 Jun 16, 11:23pm

The USS Mesa Verde with 550 Marines onboard has entered the Persian Gulf on Monday for a possible operation in Iraq. It comes after President Obama ruled out sending ground troops to the militant-assaulted country. [Before he ruled them back in.] The USS Mesa Verde is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, a ship designed to carry an expeditionary force across the sea and deploy landing craft and helicopters. … Washington already dispatched the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush to the Gulf on Saturday.

Tara Brady and Matthew Blake / Daily Mail • Mon 2014 Jun 16, 5:03pm

'My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head' …

In the space of just three days:
Images of Iraqi men being rounded up at gunpoint, beaten, herded like cattle into lorries and shot dead in a ditch by a row of masked ISIS fanatics sent shockwaves across the world.
Taliban insurgents sliced off the fingers of 11 people as punishment for voting in Afghanistan’s democratic presidential election while 60 people were killed in a series of rocket barrages and scattered attacks
The desperate search continued for three Israeli teenagers allegedly kidnapped by Hamas militants as more than 150 suspects were arrested in relation to the abduction.
Nigeria's former president admitted that the 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants two months ago may never be found.
Pakistani jets killed 37 militants in retaliatory airstrikes today, a week after Taliban insurgents stormed Karachi airport and opened fire in a commando-style attack that left 38 people dead.

Over the past month, the world's media has been awash with gruesome images depicting insurgent barbarism whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, Palestine or Syria.

Evan McMurray / Mediaite • Mon 2014 Jun 16, 4:42pm

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group of Islamic militants currently overrunning several large Iraqi cities, posted gruesome photos of what it boasted was a large massacre of up to 1,700 Iraqi prisoners and soldiers. The photos show ISIS soldiers marching men to roadside graves and shooting them while they lay face down in the dirt…

World Trade Centers, before
Barracuda Brigade / YouTube • Sun 2014 Jun 15, 10:23pm

Judge Jeanine: Tonight I'm Worried… You Need to Be Afraid [about consequences of Iraq. Video]

Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard • Sun 2014 Jun 15, 9:58pm

One of the five senior Taliban leaders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl played a key role in al Qaeda’s plans leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban’s army chief of staff and deputy defense minister prior to his detention at Guantánamo, did not have a hand in planning the actual 9/11 hijackings. Along with a notorious al Qaeda leader, however, Fazl did help coordinate a military offensive against the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan the day before. And Osama bin Laden viewed that September 10 offensive as an essential part of al Qaeda’s 9/11 plot.

Christian Today • Sun 2014 Jun 15, 9:48pm

Mosul Islamist take-over: Up to 1,000 Christian families have reportedly fled Iraq's second biggest city "This could be the last migration of Christians from Mosul." [War News Updates editor comments, "From a historical perspective this is an incredible depressing event. Mosul has had a Christian community for almost 1,800 years .... and today .... they are now all gone."]

War News Updates • Sun 2014 Jun 15, 9:31pm

Fighters from Kurdish regions are mobilizing to stop the threat of Islamist militants who are advancing across parts of Syria and central Iraq from reaching their own nearby territories.

Northern Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, and the Kurdistan Communities Union, which controls the Kurd-dominated region of northeastern Syria, both pledged Wednesday to resist the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, as the group extended dramatic military gains

World Trade Towers, before
Michael Daly / Daily Beast • Sun 2014 Jun 15, 9:21pm

The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world had a few parting words to his captors as he was released from the biggest U.S. detention camp in Iraq in 2009. “He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca. … King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi was the leader of ISIS, the ultra-extremist army that was sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad.