Sunday, February 15, 2015

15-Feb-15: From the warzones: an update

Copenhagen after the overnight killings [Image Source]
A handful of reminders, part of an ongoing theme, for those who still believe terrorism is shriveling up and dying. Or that our side is winning. Or that lone wolf attacks mean it's all about stopping one person.

Germany: The popular annual carnival parade in Braunschweig, northern Germany's largest, was cancelled this morning (Sunday) on 90 minutes notice, due to a "specific threat of an Islamist attack" identified by state security sources [BBC, today]. Mayor Ulrich Markurth (SPD) and parade marshal Gerhard Baller canceled the parade at short notice shortly before 11.a.m. (1000 UTC) on Sunday. The spectacle had been due to begin at 12.20 p.m. local time. Local Braunschweig police said the Karneval parade had been called off after reliable state sources became aware of a "concrete threat" of an attack with an "Islamist background". Police asked all visitors to not visit the planned parade route. [Deutsche Welle, today]

France and Germany were explicitly named as targets in a video threatening new attacks against people in those countries and released by the terrorist organization ISIS yesterday (Saturday). "The nine-minute video in Arabic and French entitled “A Message to France” claims that Islamic State operatives are deployed throughout both European countries and await orders to commit additional attacks, specifically in Paris and Brussels..." It includes two French-speaking Islamic State fighters wearing military fatigues implored Muslims throughout France to kill non-believers. I call on my brothers who live among the infidels in France: If you can not emigrate, act within the country. Kill them with the weapons that you have available to you. Spit on them, burn their cars, burn police stations; don’t take pity on them,” one of the men said." [Times of Israel] The video, which includes an explicit threat of car bombs in Paris and Brussels, was distributed via "official" ISIS channels in in Salah al-Din, Iraq [Vocativ, today]

Gaza: The Hamas terrorist regime that presided over daily barrages of rockets directed at anything Israeli in the weeks leading up to the devastating push-back by Israel in July/August 2014, has new rockets to test. It fired two more of them into the Mediterranean Sea today. Times of Israel says today's launches were "likely a test of the rocket systems... fired by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of the Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip. A rocket was fired from Gaza into the sea last week in another apparent test. In last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian groups fired almost 5,000 rockets and over 1,500 mortar shells toward Israeli towns and villages. The Israel Defense Forces said at the time that the 50-day conflict had depleted as much as 80% of Hamas’s rocket stockpiles, but the group is believed to be working to rebuild its arsenal." Money for rockets and for the rocket-men who design, manufacture and fire them is never in short supply. But strangely, those media outlets who decline to report on fresh rockets and fresh launches are careful to let news consumers know that the ordinary people of Gaza are in deep trouble, and money is at the core of the problems: "Political bickering stalls Gaza rebuilding" [Aljazeera, January 18, 2015]; "UN halts Gaza reconstruction works as donors renege on vow" [PressTV Iran, January 27, 2015]; "UN, Palestine govt launch humanitarian plan, calling for $705 million in aid" [Al Ahram, Egypt, February 12, 2015]; "Life in Gaza is worse than ever | Thousands still sleeping on floors of UN-run schools, in tents, or bombed-out apartments" [Gulf News, today]. Time we pointed back to a post we wrote here a mere three months ago ["23-Nov-14: Gaza's wealth and where it is - and is not - going"] which started this way:
A flurry of recent reports, like this one from Haaretz and a post of ours ["16-Nov-14: Gazan money, Gazan terror"], say that Hamas is now the world's second wealthiest terror organization. It has income on the order of a billion US dollars per year. And it's not just the organization: among its kleptocratic leadership are some newly-super-wealthy career-terrorists, prominent among them Mousa Abu Marzouk and Khaled Mashaal, Arafat would have admired their cynical brazenness.
Keep in mind, too, that the International Donor Conference in Cairo on October 12, 2014 ended with pledges to the homeless, jobless, hopeless victims of the Hamas Islamist regime in Gaza of about $5.4bn (£3.4bn) [BBC]. That, and the phenomenal wealth washing around the Arab states, ought to persuade people that whatever the urgency of Gaza's needs, it is considerably more complex than a lack-of-cash problem.

Denmark's prime minister sounds optimistic, the morning after three fatal terror-centric events in her nation's capital, after her intelligence people concede the deceased "suspect" is "someone who had been on the agency's "radar"" [Newsday, today] and before the funerals and hospital visits to the wounded: "We've tasted the ugly taste of fear and impotence that terror wants to create," Thorning-Schmidt told reporters. "But as a society, we have answered back..." [Reuters] Answered back? What in the name of all that is decent can she be thinking?

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