German court convicts ex-IS member in Yazidi girl's death
A former member of the Islamic State group was convicted by a German court on Tuesday of genocide and committing a war crime over the death of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl he had purchased as a slave and then chained up in the hot sun to die. German news agency dpa quoted the presiding judge, Christoph Koller, saying it was the first genocide conviction worldwide over a person's role in the systematic persecution by IS of the Yazidi religious minority.news.yahoo.com
ISIS Is Stinking of Desperation Right Now
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock PhotoA deadly wave of attacks recently claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan is sparking fears across intelligence communities worldwide that a familiar nightmare is re-emerging.No doubt, the pattern is alarming: Ever since the suicide bombing that killed roughly 100 Afghans and 13 U.S. servicemembers on Aug. 26, the group has persisted with more mass-casualty attacks across the country, including a suicide bombing at the funeral for Taliban spokesmnews.yahoo.com
German court sentences IS woman to 10 years in prison
A German convert to Islam was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday on charges that, as a member of the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq, she allowed a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she and her husband kept as a slave to die of thirst in the hot sun. The court convicted the 30-year-old, identified only as Jennifer W. in line with privacy rules, of — among other things — membership of a terrorist organization abroad, aiding and abetting attempted murder, attempted war crimes and crimes against humanity, German news agency dpa reported.news.yahoo.com
Iraq says it has arrested top leader in Islamic State group
Iraq said on Monday it has detained a top leader of the Islamic State group and a longtime al-Qaida operative in a cross-border operation. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted the news, identifying the man as Sami Jasim, who oversees the Islamic State group’s financial operations and served as the deputy leader of IS under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Kadhimi described it as “one of the most difficult" cross border intelligence operations ever conducted by Iraqi forces.news.yahoo.com
ISIS-K is trying to undermine Afghanistan's Taliban regime, from inside and out. That's America's problem, too.
Sources tell CBS News the leader of Afghanistan's ISIS affiliate is working against the Taliban rulers from both inside and outside the group. That could quickly become a U.S. problem.cbsnews.com
Taliban official: At least 100 dead, wounded in Afghan blast
An explosion went off Friday among Shiite Muslim worshippers at a mosque in northern Afghanistan, killing or wounding at least 100 people, a Taliban police official said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which took place in Kunduz, the capital of Kunduz province, but militants from the Islamic State group have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority. Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, said that the “majority of them have been killed.”news.yahoo.com
Taliban raid suspected IS hideout after bombing in capital
Taliban forces raided an Islamic State affiliate's hideout in the Afghan capital and killed several insurgents, hours after a deadly bombing outside a mosque in Kabul, the Taliban said Monday. Sunday's bombing outside the Eid Gah mosque killed five civilians, and while no claim of responsibility was made, suspicion quickly fell on the Islamic State group, which has ramped up attacks against its Taliban enemy since their takeover of Kabul in mid-August. Taliban officials had gathered at the mosque to mourn the passing of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid's mother.news.yahoo.com
Bomb targets mosque in Kabul, 'a number of civilians' dead
A bomb exploded in the entrance of a mosque in the Afghan capital on Sunday leaving a “number of civilians dead,” a Taliban spokesman said. The bomb targeted the sprawling Eidgah Mosque in Kabul, where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who later tweeted the attack had claimed civilian lives. Taliban fighters were not been harmed in the attack, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told the Associated Press.news.yahoo.com
ISIS Media Figure and Foreign Fighter Charged with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Terrorist Organization, Resulting in Death
“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant and others engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, with the conspirators serving the terrorist organization in a variety of capacities. As alleged, that conspiracy resulted in the death of numerous others at the hands of ISIS members and fighters. The National Security Division and our partners are committed to holding accountable those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. Khalifa played an important role in the production and dissemination of ISIS propaganda across multiple media platforms targeting Western audiences. Khalifa is charged with conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death.justice.gov
IS claims responsibility for gunning down Sikh in Pakistan
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for killing a member of Pakistan’s minority Sikh community earlier in the week in the northwestern city of Peshawar. An IS statement issued late Friday described Satnam Singh, 45, as “polytheist” and said he was shot dead by IS members. Pakistani officials have denied any organized IS presence in the country but the extremist group has claimed a number of attacks on security forces, mosques, political rallies and religious minorities in recent years.news.yahoo.com
5 intel officers killed in shootout with militants in Sudan
Five intelligence officers were killed in a shootout Tuesday with suspected Islamic State group militants in Sudan's capital Khartoum, authorities said. The General Intelligence Agency said in a statement the suspected militants opened fire on forces who raided their hideout in the Gabra neighborhood in southern Khartoum. The GIA said forces arrested 11 suspected militants and were chasing four others who managed to flee during the shootout.news.yahoo.com
Afghan Taliban's new UN envoy urges quick recognition
The Taliban's newly appointed envoy to the United Nations is urging quick world recognition of the Taliban government and Afghanistan's new rulers even as the World Health Organization raised the alarm warning of an impending humanitarian disaster in the war-wracked country.
IS bomb attacks on Taliban raise specter of wider conflict
The extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly roadside bombs targeting Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan, raising the specter of wider conflict between the country’s new Taliban rulers and their long-time rivals. A string of explosions struck Taliban vehicles in Afghanistan’s provincial city of Jalalabad over the weekend, killing eight people, among them Taliban fighters. The Taliban are under pressure to contain IS militants, in part to make good on a promise to the international community that they will prevent the staging of terror attacks from Afghan soil.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: Islamic State militants claim attacks on Taliban
The extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombings targeting Taliban vehicles in eastern Afghanistan. The claim, published late Sunday on the militant group's media arm, the Aamaq news agency, signals a growing threat to the Taliban by their long-time rivals. At least eight people, including several Taliban fighters, were killed in the attacks on Sunday and Saturday in the provincial city of Jalalabad, an IS stronghold.news.yahoo.com
Extremist was released from New Zealand jail despite fears
New Zealand authorities imprisoned a man inspired by the Islamic State group for three years after catching him with a hunting knife and extremist videos — but at a certain point, despite grave fears he would attack others, they say they could do nothing more to keep him behind bars. A bystander's video records the sound of 10 shots being fired in rapid succession.news.yahoo.com
French admiral: Air power helps root out 'underground' IS
A French senior naval officer says the Islamic State group is using stealth to regenerate its forces by developing its military capabilities underground and France is deploying its warships and aircraft in the region to help troops on the ground root out the threat.
Iraqi woman who met the pope sees little chance for change
FILE - Pope Francis delivers his speech during a meeting with the Qaraqosh community at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Qaraqosh, Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2021. The pope heard Abdallah’s testimony at a church ceremony in Qaraqosh last Sunday. AdQaraqosh, a majority Christian town in Ninevah, is just one of many that was attacked by IS seven years ago. The militants overran the town, damaged its church and scrawled the proclamation “Islamic State will remain" on town walls. “It was incredible to see the pope, I never dreamed I would be so close to him” she said.
The Latest: Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy
Following a Mass on Sunday in the Iraqi city of Irbil, Francis met with Abdullah Kurdi and spent a long time with him, the Vatican said. Through an interpreter, the pope listened to Kurdi’s story and expressed sympathy for the loss of his family. Francis issued the appeal during a joyful visit to the Christian community of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako said Francis’ visit to Iraq was “miraculous” and had already borne fruits. AdChristian and Muslim leaders in Mosul have welcomed Pope Francis' visit to the Iraqi city devastated by war and are calling on Christians who fled the Islamic State group's onslaught to return.
Where IS ruled, pope calls on Christians to forgive, rebuild
Pope Francis celebrates mass at the Franso Hariri Stadium in Irbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)IRBIL – Pope Francis urged Iraq’s Christians on Sunday to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches and met ecstatic crowds in the community’s historic heartland, which was nearly erased by the Islamic State group’s horrific reign. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was at the heart of the IS so-called “caliphate” and witnessed the worst of the group’s rule inflicted on Muslims, Christians and others, including beheadings and mass killings. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, became IS’s bureaucratic and financial backbone. Things are difficult for those living here.”At Qaraqosh, Francis urged its residents to continue to dream, and forgive.
EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians
Iraqi Christians have gathered for mass in the same church that just a week before was the scene of a horrific bloodbath that left scores dead and wounded. The trip will include a private meeting with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a revered figure in Iraq and beyond. AdShamasha says Francis will be welcomed by those who stayed, even though his message of interfaith harmony is sometimes difficult for Iraqi Christians to hear. Francis is going to Iraq precisely to encourage these Christians to persevere and remain, and to emphasize that they have an important role to play in rebuilding Iraq. Iraqi Christians were believed to number around 1.4 million in 2003.
German court convicts radical imam of membership in IS
A man who calls himfelf Abu Walaa, alleged leader of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) in Germany, hides his face at the Higher Regional Court in Celle, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state court in Celle in northern Germany convicted the 37-year-old Iraqi citizen who goes by the alias Abu Walaa of membership in and support for a terrorist organization. The court found that Abu Walaa and his network radicalized young people in northern and western Germany and sent them to areas controlled by IS, the dpa news agency reported. The verdict against Abu Walaa, a 37-year-old Iraqi citizen, ended a trial that began in September 2017. Abu Walaa was the imam at a prominent radical mosque in the northern city of Hildesheim and also organized “Islam seminars” at mosques elsewhere in Germany.
Iraq's struggling Christians hope for boost from pope visit
Iraqi Christians place a cross on a church in Qaraqosh, Iraq, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Iraq's Christians are hoping that a historic visit by Pope Francis in March will help boost their community's struggle to survive. Iraq’s Christian communities in the area were dealt a severe blow when they were scattered by the IS onslaught in 2014, further shrinking the country's already dwindling Christian population. Many hope their struggle to endure will get a boost from a historic visit by Pope Francis planned in March. The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, estimated that 1 million Christians have left Iraq since 2003 and about 500,000 remained.
NATO boosts Iraq mission with thousands of personnel
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference, after a meeting of NATO defense ministers in video format, at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. And training activities will now include more Iraqi security institutions, and areas beyond Baghdad,” Stoltenberg told reporters after chairing a meeting of NATO defense ministers. NATO’s training mission was launched in 2018 to help the conflict-ravaged country develop new academies and military schools for its armed forces. Ad“We will increase the geographical presence of the NATO training mission, beyond the greater Baghdad area, but again, step by step,” Stoltenberg said. After the invasion, the temporary U.S.-led administration disbanded the Iraqi army, leaving tens of thousands of trained personnel jobless and bitter.
Pope moves ahead with plans to meet Shiite leader in Iraq
The Vatican on Monday released the itinerary of Francis’ March 5-8 visit to Iraq, his first foreign trip since being grounded for 16 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 84-year-old pontiff, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, apparently intends to go ahead with the trip despite the pandemic and lingering security concerns. Francis had intended to visit Iraq that year, as did St. John Paul II in 2000, but both had to call off their trips due to security concerns. The next day, Francis travels to Najaf, home of al-Sistani, one of the world’s leading Shiite leaders. AdThe slow return of displaced Christians to northern Iraq since the territory was liberated from the Islamic State in 2017 remains a contentious issue.
Twin suicide bombings rock central Baghdad, at least 32 dead
Twin suicide bombings hit Iraq's capital Thursday killing and wounding civilians, police and state TV said. Thursday's twin suicide bombings marked the first in three years to target Baghdad's bustling commercial district. But the group has rarely been able to penetrate the capital since being dislodged by Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition in 2017. For some it brought back painful memories from the height of Iraq's sectarian street wars, when suicide bombings were a near-daily occurrence. The twin bombings Thursday came days after Iraq's government unanimously agreed to hold early elections in October.
US soldier arrested in plot to blow up NYC 9/11 Memorial
The 20-year-old soldier, also known as Cole Gonzales, was with the Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, when he thought he was communicating with the Islamic State online about the terrorism plots, Biase said. They said he expressed his support for the Islamic State group and jihad on social media before he began communicating in October with an FBI employee who posed as an Islamic State group supporter in contact with the group's fighters in the Middle East. According to court papers, he expressed his frustration with the U.S. military and his desire to aid the Islamic State group. The criminal complaint said he then provided training and guidance to purported Islamic State fighters who were planning attacks, including advice about potential targets in New York City, including the 9/11 Memorial. This month, according to the complaint, Bridges sent a video of himself in body armor standing before an Islamic State flag, gesturing support.
Pakistan arrests 7 Shiite militants, foils possible attacks
It said officers seized bomb-making material and guns that were to be used in sectarian attacks by the arrested men. Authorities did not name the country but officials have previously blamed Iran for backing Shiite militants. Pakistani security forces often make such arrests, but the latest ones came just after Sunni militants killed 11 Shiite coal miners they had abducted from southwestern Baluchistan. Shiites have been demanding a crackdown against Sunni outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba group which has killed scores of Shiite Muslims throughout Pakistan in the past several years. Islamic State and other Sunni extremist groups view Shiites as apostates and they frequently target them in deadly attacks.
French court convicts IS operative over foiled train attack
(AP Photo, File)PARIS – A French court on Thursday convicted an Islamic State operative over a train attack five years ago that was foiled with the dramatic intervention of three American passengers. The special terrorism court sentenced Morocco-born Ayoub El Khazzani to life in prison, with 22 years guaranteed behind bars. The train attack was allegedly organized by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, portrayed as the coordinator of the November 2015 attacks in Paris. He told the court that Abaaoud concocted the plan for the train attack and he followed it to the letter — until he changed his mind. The court convicted Bilal Chatra and Mohamed Bakkali of complicity and sentenced them to prison terms of 27 years and 25 years, respectively.
EXPLAINER: How could US drawdown in Iraq aid IS, Iran?
FILE - In this March 27, 2020 file photo, U.S. soldiers stand guard during the hand over ceremony of Qayyarah Airfield, Iraqi Security Forces, in the south of Mosul, Iraq. A U.S.-led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces, including Iran-backed militias, regrouped and drove IS out in a costly three-year campaign. Senior Iraqi military officials in Baghdad say the withdrawal of 500 American troops will have little, if any, impact. “It’s true we have a stronger army, stronger security forces,” said Najm Jibouri, the governor and former head of provincial operations in Nineveh, which includes Mosul. A significant drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq — while popular at home — could reduce his leverage.
Burkina Faso to vote amid escalating violence
Supporters of Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore attend a campaign rally in Bobo-Dioulasso Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Burkina Faso will go to the polls on Nov. 22, 2020, to vote in presidential and legislative elections marred by ongoing violence. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)OUAGADOUGOU – Burkina Faso will vote in presidential and legislative elections on Sunday, amid escalating extremist violence that’s killed more than 2,000 people this year and displaced some one million people from their homes. Komboigo told the AP that Burkina Faso was in a “catastrophe” and blamed Kabore for being unwilling to pursue a more diplomatic approach with the jihadists. Kabore is expected to be re-elected and needs more than 50% of the vote to win in the first round.