Australian ‘ISIS terrorist sword’ really Shiite plastic ‘sword’


This video from Australia says about itself:

Tony Abbott‘s New Terror Laws

The Abbott government has proposed drastic changes to Australia’s current anti-terrorism laws. These laws, if enacted, will have massive ramifcations on the rights of all Australians, especially targating Islamic communities.

A community forum was held to address these concerns, and to organise a fightback against the amendments being passed into law.

Speakers on the night:

Adam Bandt MP, Greens Deputy Leader and Federal Member for Melbourne
Professor Jude McCulloch, Criminology, Monash University
Ghaith Krayem, Secretary, Islamic Council of Victoria
Colin Jacobs, Electronic Frontiers Australia
Rob Stary, Civil Rights Lawyer

The night was organised by Adam Bandt, who co hosted the event with Ellen Sandell, Greens candidate for the state seat of Melbourne.

Members of the audience were invited to make to make comments and ask questions of the speakers.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Elizabeth St, Melbourne.

*Technical Issue: Due to a camera malfunction, the first thirty three minutes of the video is slightly out of focus.

By James Cogan in Australia:

“Terrorist” sword seized in Australian police raids is plastic

13 October 2014

The Fairfax press revealed last week that the inscribed Arabic sword seized during unprecedented police raids on September 18—and portrayed by the media as the weapon that would be used in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired plot to kidnap a random person and behead them in the street—was actually a plastic ornament. Moreover, it is a plastic Shiite ornament. Its inscription pays homage to the first Imam, Ali, who is considered by the Sunni Wahhabist extremists who make up ISIS as an apostate to Islam.

The revelation adds to the numerous, disturbing questions about the raids on 15 homes in five Sydney suburbs, which was the largest anti-terrorism operation ever carried out in Australia and involved some 800 state police, federal police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents.

Police armed with military assault rifles and supported by armoured vehicles cordoned off entire neighbourhoods. People were ordered to lie on the ground as their homes were ransacked. Fifteen people were arrested and hauled off to police stations for interrogation. Video footage and photographs of some of the detainees were published by the police on Twitter and the official police media site and then re-published by every television and print outlet.

The media went into a frenzy, recounting sensational information they received from “unnamed” sources. However, it was the photo of the sword, being carried by police officers in a transparent evidence bag, which provoked some of the most lurid assertions. The Daily Mail breathlessly headlined its report: “Was this the lethal sword terror cell planned to use to behead an innocent victim on a Sydney street?”

From the beginning, there were glaring discrepancies between the initial police statements and the claims that an imminent terrorist attack had been thwarted. A press release issued shortly after the raids stated that the police had “no information regarding a specific attack, including dates, time or location.” However, by the end of the day, 22-year-old Omarjan Azari had been named as a “terrorist.” The media was full of reports that he had taken a phone call from an Australian ISIS member in Syria in which he had been instructed to film the beheading of someone and post it on YouTube. Press coverage dwelt at length on the police seizure of an unspecified weapon from one home, and the ominous photo of the sword.

The government and the police subsequently made no attempt to explain that the sword was plastic and thus allowed the idea to circulate that Muslim fanatics had been on the verge of beheading someone. It has directly contributed to a hysterical and xenophobic atmosphere and the abuse and assault of Muslims, especially veiled women, by racist elements. …

As for the owner of the plastic sword, he is 21-year-old painter Mustafa Dirani, from a Shiite Afghan immigrant family. He does not know Omarjan Azari and has no history of involvement with any Sunni extremist grouping. Everything suggests that he and his friend Maywand Osman were included in the raids solely to increase the number of targets. They appear to have been selected because they were recently involved in a car accident that has been linked to a brawl. The warrant issued to search his parent’s home dramatically stated that he had engaged “in preparation or planning terrorist acts” between May and September 2014.

Britain: London Isil terror raids questioned as it emerges one of the suspects is Iraqi Kurd: here.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will put Canada’s proposed combat military mission in Iraq to a vote on Monday. … But Harper’s plan to send Canadian warplanes to join the U.S.-led coalition’s bombing of Iraq may just make matters worse: here.

Canada’s Conservative government and corporate media are seizing upon a purported terrorist attack to advance the ruling elite’s agenda of war, reaction, and attacks on democratic rights: here.

Bahraini government news agency mourns ‘dead’ ISIS fighter


This video says about itself:

Bahrain: Rights Activist Speaks Out Before Arrest

3 September 2014

Maryam al-Khawaja, speaking in May 2014 in London, expresses her fears that she will be arrested on her return to Bahrain, and her intent to continue to engage non-violent activism and civil resistance.

From Al-Manar daily in Lebanon:

Bahrain Official News Agency Mourns ISIL Dead Gunmen

Local Editor

Despite the involvement of Bahraini warplanes in strikes against the positions and goals of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri organization and other terrorist groups, policies adopted by Bahraini authorities confirm they sponsor terrorist groups, according to accusations repeated by activists.

Considering the fact that the majority of those recruited in terrorist organizations are elements who came from Bahraini security and military institutions, the-kingdom-run news agency (BNA) mourned the Bahraini gunmen Abdulaziz Al-Jowder, 19 years, dubbed as Abu Hajar, one of ISIL members who was killed recently in Iraq.

BNA published official announcement of condolence entitled “Abdul Aziz Nizar Ali Mohammad Al-Jowdar … passed away.”

It said that Abdulaziz Nizar Ali Mohammad Al-Jowder, 19 years, has passed away. Men condolences to be received in the Jassim Al Zayani lounge starting from this afternoon, and that of women are to be received in his father’s house.

Later, BNA omitted the news from its website, after knowing that Jowdar has communicated with his family denying his death.

11-10-2014 – 14:35

Bahrain: Arbitrary Detention of Nabeel Rajab | Letter: here.

Bahrain rights activist charged over insulting tweets: here.

The source, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity, claimed that the penetration of IS ideology into Bahrain’s security organisations has been made easier by an ongoing government policy to recruit Sunni police officers from Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Pakistan, many of whom the source said shared the same belief system as IS: here.

Bahrain government, allies of NATO and ISIS


This is a video of United States comedian Jon Stewart about the participation of the Bahraini absolute monarchy in the supposedly anti-ISIS military coalition.

Since the 1970s, Bahrain and the U.S. have maintained a close military partnership. Following 9/11, the Bush Administration elevated Bahrain to “major non-NATO ally” status, making it the first GCC state to join this elite 15-member club: here.

From Global Voices:

Bahrain Joins US Air Strikes, but Still Tortures Americans and Silences ISIS Critics

9 October 2014 16:42 GMT

“He was ordered to stand on one leg for four hours. He says he was beaten repeatedly, as threats were made to rape his mother and sisters.” This sounds like the actions of ISIS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that has brutally taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. But it is actually a description of what the Bahrain government, an ally in the coalition against the ISIS, has done to an American citizen and thousands of its own citizens.

Bahrain and four other Arab countries have joined the coalition against the militant group, which is killing Muslims and minorities and spreading horror, in order to grab land for its self-declared caliphate. It goes without saying that Bahrain didn’t even pretend to hold a parliamentary session to approve the decision to go to war. Bahrain’s contribution to the coalition has also drawn laughs on American comedian Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” [see video at top of this blog post].

This comes shortly after Bahrain deported an American diplomat. Also recently, Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa, the head of the national committee for defence and national security at the Shura Council, brushed off the danger of the ISIS.

Allegations of torture

Bahrain is now in the third year of its crackdown on a popular uprising. Tagi Al-Maidan, a US-born citizen, found himself caught in the struggle after he returned with his mother to Bahrain following her divorce. There, he was arrested and tortured into signing a false confession that he is an attempted murderer. He is now serving a 10-year sentence in Bahrain’s infamous prison system.

Al-Maidan was arrested at his house and put on trial for charges that included illegal gathering and assaulting armed forces. In an interview with an Arabic-language daily, his mother denied all the accusations, saying her son was home at the time of the alleged incident, adhering to the American embassy’s travel advisory.

The mother says there is no physical evidence to support the claims against her son. She demands that any supposedly incriminating evidence must be presented in open court, where, she is confident, it would be quickly refuted. According to Human Rights Watch, courts in Bahrain “fail to deliver basic accountability and impartial justice“.

According to prominent Bahraini human rights activist Said Yousif Almuhafada, Al-Maidan is being mistreated in prison. Almuhafada described the bad conditions in a tweet earlier this summer:

Tagi Al-Maidan, a US citizen, is on a hunger strike in block 3 [of Jaw Prison] due to his mistreatment, lack of medical attention, and deprivation of food that is necessary for his medical condition.

After several prisoner deaths in Bahrain last year, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said in its 2013 report:

The continuation of the current violations against all prisoners in Bahrain may lead to future loss of lives.

Four deaths were attributed to the lack of medical treatment in prison in 2013.

According to his mother, Al-Maidan has lost 16 kilos (about 35 pounds) since his arrest, his hair is falling out, he’s developed a stomach ulcer, and he is experiencing back pains. Without medical attention or enough diplomatic pressure to release him, Taqi’s psychological condition is also expected to deteriorate.

The arrest of Nabeel Rajab

Bahrain is also silencing those who speak against the ISIS, while turning a blind eye to defectors from its own armed forces, who have climbed the ranks of ISIS and call on Bahrainis to join the organisation.

Bahraini authorities have again arrested Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights activist who was released from prison in May 2014 after spending two years in prison for advocating peaceful protests. This time, he was held for criticizing police defectors who joined ISIS. Indeed, Rajab has commented on acts committed by ISIS many times. After American journalist Steven Sotloff was beheaded by ISIS, he wrote on his Instagram account:

The American journalist Steven Sotloff who was killed by ISIS is one of the journalists and researchers who visited Bahrain many times and wrote many articles and investigations that support the struggle of Bahrainis and I have met him several times. The cruelty that radical Islamist movements have inflicted on Islam and Muslims is more than the enemies of Islam [have dispensed]. I offer all my condolences to the family of this journalist, who was killed at the hands of the enemies of humanity.

Rajab also criticized the inaction of the political forces in the Gulf region to crack down on ISIS. He tweeted to his 240,000 followers:

The highest Saudi cleric describes ISIS and Al Qaeda as the greatest danger facing Islam, but there are politicians in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf who consider ISIS’s occupation of Mosul a popular revolution.

He was arrested after he tweeted in reply to an ISIS YouTube message calling Bahrainis to arms:

many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator

12:55 PM – 28 Sep 2014

The authorities in Bahrain considered this message offensive to national institutions, and decided to keep him in custody, until he is brought to trial on October 19 for “denigrating an official institution”. This has sparked a discussion about the government’s hypocrisy in its fight against ISIS. Ex-MP Ali Alasheeri tweeted:

The state authorities, who don’t raise a finger when a high-ranking official tweets about how over half of Bahrain is made up of infidels, is an incubator of the ISIS ideology.

Journalist Adel Marzooq asked his 35,900 followers:

Aside from the financial and military support, how can the international alliance, in the first place, deal with the cultural and theological support of ISIS?!

Bahraini authorities demolished about 40 Shia mosques across the country as part of its crackdown on protests against the Sunni regime. ISIS is doing the same to historic mosques, shrines, and places of worship throughout Syria and Iraq. Activist Abdulelah Almahoozi made a comparison between two acts, asking if we aren’t witnessing the same phenomenon in essence:

Isn’t the act of demolishing mosques, as the police and military forces have done, the same act that ISIS is performing? Therefore, aren’t the security institutions inspired by an ISIS-like ideology?

Meanwhile, the Bahrain-born-and-raised preacher Turki Al Binali, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, has issued a new statement on why allegiance to the Caliphate Abu-Baker Albaghdaddi is the duty of every Muslim.

The Bahrain Ministry of Interior, which customarily publishes pictures of political dissidents and their charges before they go to court, hasn’t posted anything yet about the identity of the three unnamed Bahraini men in the YouTube message calling on Bahrainis to join ISIS. The government hasn’t announced a public investigation into the matter, either.

Update: Bahrain – Court orders continued detention of Mr Nabeel Rajab as he awaits trial: here.

‘British government missed chance to free ISIS prisoner Alan Henning’


This video from Britain says about itself:

Moazzam Begg interview: ‘MI5 gave me the green light to go [to] Syria’ | Channel 4 News

3 October 2014

Moazzam Begg was released from prison on Wednesday after MI5 handed over documents to the police. He claims security services knew all about his trip to Syria – and the papers appear to back it up.

By Luke James in Britain:

Government ‘turned down Begg help’ for Henning release

Wednesday 8th October 2014

Ex-Guantanamo detainee offered to negotiate with Isis

FORMER Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg revealed yesterday that his offer to help the government free murdered Brit Alan Henning from Isis extremists was turned down.

Mr Begg claimed on Radio 4’s Today programme to know the identity of the group holding Mr Henning.

He said he could have helped to secure the release of the taxi driver-turned-aid worker by delivering a “heartfelt” message to his captors in Arabic.

“I know the people who may have been holding him,” he said.

“I don’t think he’s [Jihadi John] responsible for holding him, I think there’s people much higher up the ladder within Isis.”

Mr Begg, who spent two years in Guantanamo without charge, said the Manchester man’s friends had appealed to him for help in December 2013.

He then made contact with former Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt — but his help was turned down and [he] was arrested a few weeks later.

He said: “The message that I was going to deliver could probably not have been delivered by anybody else because of the language — the terminology, the understanding, the connection that I could have made to that world was very specific and exclusive to me.”

The Birmingham man was arrested by British police officers in February on seven terror charges connected to the conflict in Syria.

All charges against him have now been dropped and he spoke yesterday after being released from Belmarsh Prison on October 1.

A video released by Isis at the weekend showed Mr Henning had been beheaded, making him the second British Isis victim.

In the wake of the murder, Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has said she will refuse to call the extremists “Islamic State.”

She said: “I will never call them Islamic State because so many Muslims are suffering at the hands of Isis or Isil or whatever.”

Ms Harman made the pledge at a Muslim Friends of Labour eid celebration at the party’s London headquarters on Monday evening.

Labour Ealing Central and Acton candidate Rupa Huq added: “The actions of Islamic State are barbaric and medieval — they’re not Islamic and they’re not a state.”

Turkish government deal with ISIS


This video is about anger in the Turkish government because US Vice President Biden mentioned their connections to ISIS.

When United States Vice President Joseph Biden spoke about links between the Turkish government and ISIS terrorism, he did not commit a ‘gaffe’, whatever establishment media pundits say. For one moment, rare for establishment politicians, Biden told the truth.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

British prisoners handed to Isis

Prisoner Swap: Two British extremists were among dozens of prisoners handed back to Islamic State by the Turkish government in exchange for the release of diplomats, it was reported yesterday.

The Times newspaper claims Shabazz Suleman, 18, from Buckinghamshire, and another 26-year-old Briton are among as many as 180 fighters traded with Isis to secure the release of Turkish consular staff.

Amid reports that nearly 350 US-led air strikes over the past three weeks have failed to stem advances by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, there are mounting signs of justifications being prepared, and plans made, for an escalating presence of US ground forces in the region: here.

According to multiple reports coming out of Iraq today [6 October 2014], US warplanes attacked the town of Hit in Anbar Province, a town recently taken over by ISIS. But the airstrikes hit a crowded marketplace and nearby apartment buildings, killing 22 civilians and wounding 43 others: here.

United States Vice President Biden apologizes for honesty on Turkey and ISIS


This video is called [United States Vice President] Biden blames allies for ISIS rise.

After a German President sacked for honesty about the economic aims of the Afghan war, now a United States Vice President ashamed about his honesty about ISIS.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Biden apologises for blaming Turkey for growth of Isis

Sunday 5th October 2014

Vice-President ‘sorry’ for rare moment of honesty

A FURIOUSLY backtracking US Vice-President Joe Biden apologised to Turkey at the weekend after making surprisingly frank remarks about the growth of jihadist group Isis.

Mr Biden told Havard University students last week that Middle Eastern US allies such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had inadvertently strengthened extremist groups in their bid to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He said the states had supplied anyone willing to fight Mr Assad with millions of dollars and thousands of tonnes of weapons.

“Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

“We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” he said.

But Mr Biden irked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telling students that his “old friend” had told him: “You were right. We let too many people through. Now they are trying to seal their border.”

The Turkish leader denied ever making such comments, saying that the US Vice-President “will be history for me if he has indeed used such expressions.”

Mr Erdogan added: “Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”

Turkey has prevented 6,000 suspected jihadis from entering the country and deported another 1,000, he claimed.

Mr Biden phoned up his chum and “apologised for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of Isis,” the White House said on Saturday.

Turkish MPs voted on Thursday to expand military operations in Iraq and Syria and allow foreign forces to launch attacks from the country.

Many have accused Turkey of collaborating with and supplying the militants.

Mikail Cicek, who lives on the Turkish side of the border, told Etkin News agency that a convoy of 10 large military vehicles crossed into Syria on Saturday evening, driving towards Isis positions before returning half an hour later.

Speaking to students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum Thursday, US Vice President Joseph Biden committed what the US media characterizes as a “gaffe.” In other words, he told an embarrassing truth about US government policy, one that is usually obfuscated in the remarks of government officials and the commentaries of media pundits: here.

Turkey fighting to the last Kurd: here.

US, Turkey at odds over Syria intervention: here.

TURKEY – U.S. FRIENDSHIP TESTED “The increasingly hostile divergence of views between Turkey and the United States over Syria is testing the durability of their 60-year alliance, to the point where some are starting to question whether the two countries still can be considered allies at all. Turkey’s refusal to allow the United States to use its bases to launch attacks against the Islamic State, quarrels over how to manage the battle raging in the Syrian border town of Kobane and the harsh tone of the anti-American rhetoric used by top Turkish officials to denounce U.S. policy have served to illuminate the vast gulf that divides the two nations as they scramble to address the menace posed by the extremists.” [WaPo]