Manchester Arena bombed at conclusion of Ariana Grande concert

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, May 23, 2017:

An explosion rocked the Manchester Arena in England at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert last night. At least 22 people were killed and 59 others wounded by the blast.

The Islamic State has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the bombing. The message doesn’t provide any details about the bomber.

“With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester, in revenge for Allah’s religion, in an endeavor to terrorize the mushrikin [polytheists], and in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims,” the statement reads.

The Islamic State’s claim continues: “The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena, resulting in 30 Crusaders being killed and 70 others being wounded. And what comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the creation.”

The statement doesn’t indicate that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber and implies that multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were used. Also, the Islamic State claims that 30 people were killed, which is more than independent reports say.

It is suspected that a suicide bomber was responsible and it appears that only one bomb was detonated. It is possible that the terrorist responsible accidentally killed himself in the explosion. But the precise details still need to be confirmed.

Manchester police think that a lone individual detonated the IED, but they are investigating the possibility that other people were involved.

“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man,” Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a statement released online. “The priority is to establish whether he was acting along or as part of a network.”

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena,” Hopkins added. “We believe the attacker was carrying an improvise explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity.”

During a press conference this morning, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that authorities have identified the perpetrator, but his name cannot be publicly confirmed at this time. British officials are attempting to identify any possible accomplices.

Initial reports indicate that the bomb may have been packed with shrapnel, such as nails, nuts or bolts. The first issue of AQAP’s English-language Inspire magazine, which was released in 2010, provided step-by-step instructions on how to build such a device. The article, “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom,” instructed followers to “use iron pipes, pressure cookers, fire extinguishers, or empty propane canisters.”

“You need to also include shrapnel,” AQAP explained. “The best shrapnel are the spherical shaped ones.” But AQAP advised that jihadists “may use nails” if “steel pellets are not available.”

Similar explosive devices were used by two brothers in the Apr. 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which were celebrated in another edition of AQAP’s Inspire.

Improvised explosive devices were also used during the Sept. 2016 attacks in New York and New Jersey. The man accused of committing those bombings, Ahmad Khan Rahami, left behind a notebook in which he cited both Al Qaeda and Islamic State figures.

Although AQAP first sought to inspire would-be jihadists to carry out “lone mujahid” attacks in the West, the Islamic State has had more success in inspiring and guiding such plots since 2014. Islamic State members, such as Reyaad Khan, have used online applications to guide their followers in the UK and elsewhere.

Khan provided his would-be accomplices with “construction plans” for IEDs and also helped them identify “targets,” according to an investigation by the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. Khan was killed in Britain’s first targeted drone strike ever in Raqqa, Syria on Aug. 21, 2015. British officials justified the bombing by citing intelligence indicating that Khan and his co-conspirators generated threats on an “unprecedented scale.” [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Why the UK launched its first targeted drone strike ever.]

Most of the attacks connected to Islamic State in Europe have used vehicles, knives or other means, as opposed to IEDs. For example, a jihadist who struck near the UK Parliament in March drove his vehicle into a crowd, then jumped out and used a blade to assault other people.

A jihadist did use backpack bomb in a July 2016 attack in Ansbach, Germany. That bombing was also claimed by the Islamic State.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.

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Also see:

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 2, 2017:

  • British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place.
  • British personalities keep opening the door to introducing Islamic sharia law. One of the leading British judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural, which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips, also suggested that the English law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law.
  • British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The academic guidelines, “External speakers in higher education institutions”, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At the Queen Mary University of London, women have had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands, just as in Riyadh or Tehran.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan“, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat”, said Ceri Peach of Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” said Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. “Londonistan” is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel “part of British culture.”

London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values ​​of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural — which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, “External speakers in higher education institutions“, published by Universities UK, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands — as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and “some restraint” in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Britsh Leaders’ Inability to Speak Truth About Islam

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March  23, 2017:

See UTT’s new video entitled “British Appeasement to Islam” HERE.

Where is Winston Churchill when you need him?

Since 9/11/01, Britain’s leaders have been unable to see the reality of the Islamic threat which is overwhelming them, and, in the face of their own destruction, have been incapable of letting the light of truth in to see the problem they face lies with Islam and it’s destructive and barbaric sharia.

In October 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a press conference where he stated:  “This is not a war with Islam. It angers me as it angers the vast majority of Muslims to hear bin Laden and his associates described as Islamic terrorists. They are terrorists pure and simple. Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, and the acts of these people are wholly contrary to the teachings of the Koran.”

After British Army soldier Lee Rigby was run over and beheaded on the streets of Woolwich, England in May 2013 by two Muslims, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated:  “This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life, it was also a betrayal of Islam and on the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.  There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.”

After British aid worker David Haines was beheaded by Muslims in ISIS on video in September 2014, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated:  “They claim to do this in the name of Islam.  That is nonsense.  Islam is a religion of peace.  They are not Muslims.  They are monsters.”

What will Prime Minister Theresa May say about Islam after the jihadi attack in Westminster?

Is she aware “Fight and slay the unbeliever wherever you find them” (Koran 9:5) is a permanent command from Allah for Muslims until the world is under sharia (Islamic Law)?  Is she aware this is taught in Islamic schools all over Britain?

What will London’s jihadi mayor say?

Here is what Sir Winston Churchill said:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men…Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.  Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
[Winston Churchill, The River War (Volume II, 1st edition), pages 248-250]

Report: Homegrown Terrorism is Top Threat to UK

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, March 7, 2017:

  • “The threat to the UK remains from homegrown terrorism, and is heavily youth- and male-oriented with British nationals prevalent among offenders.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “The increased prevalence of smaller cells and individualistic offending, suggests a rise in terrorism cases that feature shorter lead times to offending and fewer opportunities for identification.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “While analysis of pre-offense behaviors shows that there is no one profile for engagement with Islamism-inspired terrorism, some trends can be identified. Offenders commonly consumed extremist and/or instructional material prior to, or as part of, their offending. Much of the pro-jihadist material accessed promotes ‘them and us’ thinking, dehumanization of the enemy, and attitudes that justify offending.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “Analysis of common sites of inspiration and facilitation appears to corroborate current counter-radicalization policy priorities such as restricting terrorist and violent extremist material on the internet, supporting at-risk sectors and empowering families to safeguard against extremism.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).

Homegrown terrorism inspired by the Islamic State poses the dominant threat to the national security of the United Kingdom, according to a comprehensive new report on violent Islamism in Britain.

The 1,000-page report — “Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015)” — was published on March 5 by the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank based in London.

The report, authored by terrorism researcher Hanna Stuart, identifies, profiles and analyzes all 269 Islamism-inspired terrorism convictions and suicide attacks in the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2015.

The report also compares data between 1998 and 2010, a period when al-Qaeda reached its zenith, and 2011 and 2015, the period following the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the uprisings known as the Arab Spring, and the rise of the Islamic State in 2014.

The report shows that young British males were the most prevalent offenders, but that involvement by British females nearly tripled in recent years.

The report found little to no correlation between involvement in Islamic terrorism and educational achievement and employment status. In addition, most of the offenders were based in London and Birmingham, and a majority were living at their family homes with parents, siblings, spouses and/or children. “These findings challenge common stereotypes of terrorists as well-educated and middle-class or as isolated loners,” according to the report.

While most offenders were raised as Muslim, one in six was a convert. Three-quarters of offenders were previously known to the authorities; one-quarter had a previous criminal conviction. One in five offenders received terrorist training abroad or engaged in combat prior to arrest.

The report cites the internet as a major source for the inspiration of offenders. At the same time, most offenders belonged to wider networks, formed in person and online, with friends and families. Only one in ten offenses was carried out by someone who acted entirely alone and had no extremist connections.

“The increased prevalence of smaller cells and individualistic offending, suggests a rise in terrorism cases that feature shorter lead times to offending and fewer opportunities for identification,” the report warns.

The report’s main findings include:

  • The overwhelming majority (93%) of Islamism-related offenses (IROs) were committed by males. Females accounted for 4% of IROs between 1998 and 2010 and 11% of IROs between 2011 and 2015 — an increase of 175%.
  • IROs were carried out by individuals between the ages of 14 and 52 years. Forty-six percent of 2011–2015 offenses were committed by individuals aged under 25, a small increase from 42% for 1998–2010 offenses. The most common age ranges overall, and across both time periods, were 21–24 and 25–29.
  • Seventy-two percent of IROs were committed by British nationals or individuals holding dual British nationality. There was almost no difference between the earlier and later time periods (72% and 71% respectively).
  • More than half (52%) of IROs were committed by individuals of South Asian ancestry, i.e., British-Pakistanis (25%) and British-Bangladeshis (8%). Other offenders had family ties to countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
  • Forty-seven percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were born in the UK. More than a third (38%) of those born outside of the UK or of unspecified birthplace were raised (at some point before the age of 18) in the UK. As a result, 67% of IROs were committed by individuals who were either born or raised in the UK.
  • London was the place of residence of 43% of IROs, followed by West Midlands, with 18%. Of the latter, 80% (14% overall) were in Birmingham. The third most common region was North West England, with 10% of IROs. Together these three regions contained the residences in almost three-quarters (72%) of cases. No other region contained 10% of residences.
  • Across both time periods, East London was home to half (50%) of London-based offenders, while the three most common boroughs — Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest — contained the offenders’ residence in 38% of all Londoner IROs (and 16% overall).
  • Just over a quarter (26%) of individuals who committed IROs had some form of higher education. More than a third (36%) had studied for or achieved secondary level, further education or vocational qualifications, while in 38% of cases, attainment is unspecified.
  • Thirty-five percent of IROs were committed by individuals in employment; a further 12% were full-time students. Therefore, almost half (47%) of IROs were committed by those in either employment or education.
  • Thirty-eight percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were unemployed. Of these, almost one-quarter (24%, 9% overall) were in or had recently been released from detention or had recently left full-time education or returned from months-long foreign travel.
  • Sixteen percent of IROs were committed by individuals known to have converted to Islam. This is more than four times higher than the estimated proportion of converts among the Muslim population at the national level.
  • More than half (55%) of IROs were committed by individuals either living with family, such as with a partner and/or children (28%), or living at their family home, such as with parents and siblings (27%).
  • One in five IROs (21%) was committed by an individual whose living arrangements and family circumstances were additionally linked to terrorism or a terrorism investigation. In 55% of these cases, individuals were convicted alongside relatives and/or a partner or they were part of the same cell.
  • Female offenders were more than twice as likely as male offenders to be living with a partner, relative or individual who is also involved in terrorism (50% and 19% respectively).
  • Seventy-six percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were previously known to the authorities; 38% were committed by individuals with previous criminal convictions. More than a third (36%, 9% overall) of previous convictions were for extremism- or terrorism-related activities; almost half (46%, 12% overall) of individuals with prior convictions had previously received a prison sentence.
  • A total of 386 charges were successfully prosecuted in 264 convictions between 1998 and 2015. The most common offenses were preparation for acts of terrorism (27%) and possession/collection of information useful for terrorism (14%), followed by fundraising offenses (8%), dissemination of terrorist publications and conspiracy to murder (both 6%) as well as conspiracy to cause explosions and assisting offenders (both 5%).
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of IROs were secured under terrorism legislation; just over half (54%) of defendants pled guilty. 2011–2015 defendants pled guilty (64%) more often than 1998–2010 defendants (47%).
  • The most common sentence was between one year and four years (35%), followed by sentences of between four years and ten years (27%), between ten years and 20 years (15%), and life sentences (13%).
  • Of the 33 individuals with a life sentence, 30 attempted or planned to kill others, either in indiscriminate bomb attacks or targeted knife attacks, and received minimum terms ranging from 14 years to life.
  • Individuals who committed, attempted or were planning attacks were responsible for 37% of IROs. Among these offenses, bombing was the most commonly featured type of attack (74%). Proportionally, offenses involving beheadings or stabbings increased eleven-fold across the two time periods, from 4% between 1998 and 2010, to 44% between 2011 and 2015.
  • Individuals involved in facilitating acts of terrorism, either by fundraising or recruiting or by providing material goods or documentation, or ideologues who encouraged terrorist acts through incitement or by disseminating terrorist publications, were responsible for one-third (33%) of IROs.
  • Individuals who demonstrated an interest in terrorism, but whose plans were not advanced enough to pose an imminent threat were responsible for 18% of IROs.
  • Individuals whose offenses related to travel (attempted or planned) for terrorist purposes, namely to receive terrorist training or to engage in fighting overseas, were responsible for 12% of IROs. Travel-related IROs increased four-fold across the two time periods (from 5% to 21%).
  • Civilian targets were a feature in one-third (33%) of offenses. Infrastructure sectors and institutions, mostly transportation, were a feature in just under one-third (32%) of offenses.
  • Urban soft targets (areas into which large numbers of citizens regularly gather for usual activities or special events) were among the intended targets for attack in 31% of offenses. Military targets both overseas (including British or coalition forces) and at home (military bases and processions as well as soldiers) were a feature in almost a quarter (24%) of offenses.
  • A total of 117 IROs were committed by individuals directly linked to one or more proscribed terrorist organizations. Of these, 56% were directly linked to the UK-based group al-Muhajiroun (25% overall), 24% were linked to al-Qaeda (10% overall) and 11% were linked to Islamic State (5% overall).
  • One fifth (22%) of IROs were committed by individuals who were known or suspected to have attended training camps for terrorist purposes; the majority (78%) were not. Of those with training, most (78%) had trained at camps abroad, 19% had trained at UK-based camps, and in two cases (3%) the location was unspecified.

The report concludes:

“The threat to the UK remains from homegrown terrorism, and is heavily youth- and male-oriented with British nationals prevalent among offenders….

“While analysis of pre-offense behaviors shows that there is no one profile for engagement with Islamism-inspired terrorism, some trends can be identified. Offenders commonly consumed extremist and/or instructional material prior to, or as part of, their offending. Much of the pro-jihadist material accessed promotes ‘them and us’ thinking, dehumanization of the enemy, and attitudes that justify offending….

“Analysis of common sites of inspiration and facilitation appears to corroborate current counter-radicalization policy priorities such as restricting terrorist and violent extremist material on the internet, supporting at-risk sectors and empowering families to safeguard against extremism.”

On May 22, 2013, British soldier Lee Rigby (right, holding his son) was murdered outside London’s Woolwich Barracks by Islamists Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale, who are converts to Islam. Speaking into a camera just after the murder, Adebolajo said: “we swear by the almighty Allah, that we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone… You people will never be safe.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him onFacebook and on Twitter.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: September 2016

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, October 18, 2016:

  • “Sharia councils are thriving because there is no other authentic and credible mechanism for Muslim women to obtain an Islamic divorce. If the government offered an alternative, 90% of the work of sharia councils would end.” — Moulana Raza, Director of the Muslim Law Council UK.
  • Peter Sutcliffe, who was convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven more, has faced daily death threats since arriving at Frankland Prison. Muslim gang members have offered to protect him, but only if he converts to Islam. They told Sutcliffe that changing faith will also allow him access to a special diet, more time out of his cell and the right to refuse certain types of prison work.
  • Kamran Ahmed, 27, was sentenced to ten years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl. Ahmed, a Pakistani man who moved to the UK to wed a British-born woman in an arranged marriage, had been in the country less than six months when he raped the girl after trying to groom her for sex.
  • “Take off your tight jeans or you’re going to burn in hell, kafir [unbeliever]. I’m going to follow you home and blow up your house.” — Krissoni Henderson, a 31-year-old Muslim bodyguard.
  • “If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison. I will radicalize everyone in prison.” — Anjem Choudary, sentenced to five years, six months in prison for activities supporting Islamic State.
  • “There is only one punishment for insulters: cut off their heads, cut off their heads, cut off their heads.” — Tanveer Ahmed, 32, who murdered a Glasgow shopkeeper for “disrespecting Islam,” calling on supporters to behead other “insulters.”
  • Home Office statistics released to the Daily Express under Freedom of Information laws revealed that 12,000 migrants seeking asylum in the UK are missing.

September 1. A team of University of Oxford sociologists published a paper about why young, highly educated Muslim women who live in modern urban environments are choosing to wear Islamic veils. The report says that in social situations in which Muslim women mix with non-Muslim friends, work outside the home or interact with strangers, they may wear the veil as “a signal to others in their community to show that mixing with others does not compromise their religious piety.” Veils may also be used “to strengthen their own sense of commitment to their faith and its values in a secular world.” The report says that efforts by Western governments to ban the veil in public might be counterproductive because it would “deprive Muslim women from integrating.” It suggests that if they cannot signal their piety through wearing the veil, they might be forced to stay at home.

September 2. An official list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2015showed the top name as Oliver. The list shows Muhammad at number 12, followed by Mohammed at 29, Mohammad at 68 and Muhammed coming in at 121. When the different spellings are combined, however, the name Mohammed was used 7,570 times, outstripping the 6,941 babies named Oliver on their birth certificates.

September 2. Ayasofia Primary School, a Muslim school in Whitechapel, East London, was shut down by Ofsted, the agency that regulates schools in Britain, after four inspections uncovered a raft of educational failings. Cityside Primary Trust, which owns the school, said the decision to close the institute, which has 80 pupils between the ages of 4 and 11, was “disproportionate.” The Trust argued that children attending the school were now in danger of “radicalization” during “home schooling” by ultra-religious family members. Judge Laurence Bennett rejected the appeal: “We are not persuaded that there is a binary consequence, that is attendance at Ayasofia, a school judged to have significant failings, or home schooling with attendant risks.”

September 4. British courts should be able to issue Islamic divorces to protect the rights of Muslim women, according to a leading expert in sharia law. Elham Manea, who spent four years researching the UK’s sharia councils, said the measure would render “inherently discriminatory” sharia councils redundant because they are mainly used by women seeking an Islamic divorce. Manea said the vast majority of women attending sharia councils have not formalized their religious marriage under British law and are often forced into conceding their civil rights in order to secure an Islamic divorce. Moulana Raza, director of the Muslim Law Council UK, added: “Sharia councils are thriving because there is no other authentic and credible mechanism for Muslim women to obtain an Islamic divorce. If the government offered an alternative, 90% of the work of sharia councils would end.”

September 4. Peter Sutcliffe, a serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper, was “preparing to convert to Islam in a bid to protect himself as part of Muslim prison gang,” according to media reports. Sutcliffe, 70, was recently moved from the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital to Frankland prison after a tribunal found he no longer required medical treatment. Sutcliffe, who was convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven more, has faced daily death threats since arriving at the prison. Muslim gang members have offered to protect him, but only if he converts to Islam. They told Sutcliffe that changing faith will also allow him access to a special diet, more time out of his cell and the right to refuse certain types of prison work.

September 6. Kamran Ahmed, 27, was sentenced to ten years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl. Ahmed, a Pakistani man who moved to the UK to wed a British-born woman in an arranged marriage, had been in the country less than six months when he raped the girl after trying to groom her for sex. Ahmed, who claimed “the devil” made him commit the crime, will be deported once he serves his sentence.

September 6. Krissoni Henderson, a 31-year-old Muslim bodyguard, appeared in front of Birmingham Magistrates’ Court over charges that he called a woman a “prostitute” and threatened to “blow her up” because she was wearing tight jeans. Henderson ordered Noor Alneaimi, 38, to take off her jeans while she was listening to a Christian street preacher in Birmingham city center. The victim, who was also a Muslim, said she was reduced to tears following the ten-minute tirade which attracted a crowd of 60 people. Prosecutor Simon Brownsey told the court:

“He told her she was Satan, she was the devil, she was a slut, she was a prostitute. He said: ‘Take off your tight jeans or you’re going to burn in hell, kafir [unbeliever]. I’m going to follow you home and blow up your house.'”

Henderson was charged with “causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress and using racially aggravated insulting words or behavior.”

September 6. Anjem Choudary, one of the most outspoken Islamists in Britain, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison for activities supporting Islamic State. Choudary, 49, was sentenced at the Old Bailey in London after his conviction in August of urging Muslims to support IS in sermons posted on YouTube. He was convicted alongside his associate, Mohammed Rahman, 33, who was also sentenced to five years and six months in prison.

Choudary has said he is not afraid of going to prison, which he describes as a fertile ground for gaining more converts to Islam. “If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison,” he warned. “I will radicalize everyone in prison.”

Outspoken Islamist Anjem Choudary (left) was recently sentenced to prison for activities supporting Islamic State. He has threatened to “radicalize everyone in prison.” Imprisoned serial murderer Peter Sutcliffe (right), who has faced daily death threats since arriving at Frankland Prison, has been offered protection by Muslim gang members if he converts to Islam.

September 7. The government should impose tight financial restrictions on terror suspects in order to control how they spend their money, according to Tom Keating, an expert in financial crime and security studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Terror suspects claiming benefits should be monitored so that they can only use taxpayers’ money for the purpose for which it was intended, such as rent and food.

The recommendation came after a judge condemned Anjem Choudary for obtaining £500,000 (€550,000; $610,000) in welfare benefits. Mr. Justice Holroyd asked how it was possible for Choudary to claim benefits from a country he so “adamantly despises.”

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France: The Great Wall of Calais

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, September 23, 2016:

  • Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph.
  • In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles.
  • “Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.” — David Sagnard, president of France’s truck drivers’ federation.
  • “They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. … They can easily find work outside the formal economy…” — Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais.
  • “The asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in… they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.” — James Glenday, ABC News.

Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain.

Dubbed “The Great Wall of Calais,” the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as “The Jungle.”

The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies.

Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain.

Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by theTelegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called “lorry drops” — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.

In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was “unprecedented.” Many of the migrants who are turned away move to “The Jungle” and try over and over again.

Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris.

In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a “no-go area” between midnight and 6am.

Hundreds of migrants roam the highway near Calais, France, trying to stop trucks headed for Britain, in an attempt to stow away on board. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France’s northern road network, said the migrants have “tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros.” He added:

“There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England.”

On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close “The Jungle.” The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.

Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said:

“The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It’s unacceptable that today in France you can’t travel without fear and without the certainty that you won’t be attacked.

“We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can’t go on.

“We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government.”

David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers’ federation, said:

“We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.”

The problems in Calais are a source of increasing tension between France and Britain.

The Treaty of Le Touquet, signed between France and Britain in 2003, allows for so-called juxtaposed controls, meaning that immigration checks are carried out before people board trains or ferries, rather than upon their arrival after disembarkation. France, for example, maintains an immigration checkpoint at the Port of Dover in Britain to check the passports of all travelers bound for France.

Conversely, British border police check the passports of UK-bound travelers at checkpoints at Calais and Dunkirk. Travelers without proper documentation are removed from cars, trucks, ferries and trains and left behind in France. Migrants denied entry into Britain can apply for asylum in France or go elsewhere.

Some French politicians are blaming Britain for the problems in Calais. Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said Britain’s “black market economy” and “cushy benefits system” were responsible for drawing migrants to her town. She said:

“They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. There are no ID cards. They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled.

“Calais is a hostage to the British. The migrants come here to get to Britain. The situation here is barely manageable. The UK border should be moved from Calais to the English side of the Channel because we’re not here to do their jobs.”

Xavier Bertrand, president of the Calais region, said: “It’s all England’s fault. The main reason we have so many problems is because of the English. Either they change their rules, or we hand them back their border.”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is a candidate for presidential in elections in 2017, has said the Le Touquet treaty should be renegotiated and that Britain should be required to process asylum claims in the UK. During a campaign speech, he said:

“I demand the opening of an asylum processing center in Britain for those who are in Calais, so that the British do the work there. The British should organize charter flights to send home people they do not want.”

It was Sarkozy himself who signed the treaty with Britain in 2003 when he was the French interior minister.

By contrast, British authorities view “The Jungle” as primarily a French problem. In the words of correspondent James Glenday:

“Firstly, the camp is in France…. Secondly, the asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in. Lastly, they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.”

A European law known as the Dublin Regulation requires anyone seeking asylum in the European Union to do so in the first EU country they reach. In other words, according to EU law, French authorities should send most of the migrants in Calais back to Italy or Greece, where they first entered the EU, rather than to Britain.

The Dublin Regulation, however, has been in disarray since August 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel suspended the requirement for asylum seekers from Syria. The move, which allowed Syrians reaching Germany to stay while their applications are being processed, has resulted in a collapse of the EU’s refugee system — and has encouraged even more migrants to make their way to Germany.

Authorities in France are worried that any changes to the Le Touquet treaty could attract thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of additional migrants to Calais. This would play into the hands of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration National Front party, and one of the most popular politicians in France.

A recent poll showed that if the French presidential election were held today, Le Pen would win the first round with 29%, compared to 20% for Sarkozy and 11% for the incumbent, French President François Hollande.

Not surprisingly, Hollande has ruled out making changes to the Le Touquet treaty. He has also said that the decision by British voters to leave the EU will have no bearing on the treaty, which is a bilateral agreement. He said:

“Challenging the Le Touquet agreement on the pretext that the UK passed the Brexit does not make sense. What should perhaps be seen is how the UK and France could better work together to improve the situation of these immigrants.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve recently pledged to dismantle “The Jungle” with the “greatest determination.” Migrants at the camp are to be relocated throughout the rest of France.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Revealed: Isis sends new waves of jihadis to attack Europe

Jihadis: IS radicals are being sent to launch attacks on Europe AFP/Getty Images

Jihadis: IS radicals are being sent to launch attacks on Europe AFP/Getty Images

Evening Standard, by Martin Bentham, Aug. 26, 2016:

Britain was today warned of a rising threat from Islamic State fighters sent “on mission” from Syria.

The alert came as the EU’s top law enforcement officer revealed that increasing numbers of jihadis are using fake documents to sneak into Europe.

Europol’s director Rob Wainwright said IS had taken a “strategic decision” to send its fanatics to attack the continent in an attempt to distract attention from battlefield defeats in its heartland.

He also highlighted the weapons trade on the “Dark Net”, saying it was a “major part of the security challenge” that is now facing Europe. Mr Wainwright said some IS extremists were using false Syrian passports in a bid to arrive undetected — with a small but increasing number posing as refugees.

Others were exploiting the “industrial scale” production of false documents by criminals to obtain EU passports and move freely over the continent.

Mr Wainwright said Europe also faced the return of thousands more extremists as IS crumbled in Syria in a “long, long struggle” that will pose an “onerous security challenge” for years.

The warnings, in an interview with the Standard at Europol’s HQ in The Hague, came as Mr Wainwright also:

  • Said a new squad of 200 counter- terrorism officers is to be deployed to the Greek islands within weeks to spot extremists seeking entry to Europe.
  • Predicted more attempted Paris-style “spectacular” attacks, saying there are more than 50 counter-terror investigations under way in Europe.
  • Warned of reports that extremists are attempting to radicalise migrants at refugee reception centres in Greece and the Balkans.
  • Revealed that “hundreds” of law enforcement operations are trying to stop illegal firearms being moved to Britain and other EU nations.

His comments come amid reports by the Italian newspaper La Stampa that fake passports intended for use by IS extremists were found by law enforcement staff at refugee camps in Greece.

That will heighten concern about the terror threat facing Britain and follows a recent warning by Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe that it is a matter of “when, not if” Britain suffers another terrorist atrocity.

In his interview today, Mr Wainwright warned that this threat by returning foreign fighters was increasing.

He said: “There’s a lot pressure on IS now. I suspect morale might be flagging and a number of fighters of their own volition will want to return. Over several years we’ll have to deal with the re- integration of thousands of Europeans who’ll come back having been exposed to a highly radicalised environment.

“That’s going to be a long, long struggle for us to deal with the numbers involved and how we can get them back into society, plus sort out which among them pose the biggest security threat.

“Given the numbers involved, that’s quite an onerous security challenge the authorities will face. Some fighters will be sent back by IS to engage in terrorist activity. We have, in the last year and a half, seen a strategic decision by IS to do that and carry out spectacular attacks of the type we saw in France and Brussels. There will be further attempts at that kind of activity, not least as a distraction.

“If they are having less military success in Syria then the ability to carry out spectacular attacks in Europe is an alternative way to sustain morale among their fighters and demonstrate that IS is still being successful. That is a strategic path IS is trying to take.

“On the security challenges we face, we’ll have a long-term struggle to reintegrate returning fighters, some of whom will have been sent back on mission.

“The other is the possibly even larger number who have never been to Syria but are still capable of being radicalised to carry out attacks.”

On the use of migration routes, Mr Wainwright said he was “surprised” IS had not exploited the refugee crisis more extensively so far, but warned that the number of foreign fighters entering Europe with false documents was growing.

“We’ve had cases, and they continue to be identified, of clandestine attempts at return — forged passports, assumed identity, typically a Syrian passport, to get into Europe, sometimes through the migratory/refugee channel.

“Some cases involve the use of a fake Syrian ID to claim asylum and on arrival in Greece — then help by an accomplice for onward journeys to other European countries.

“At this point in some cases another assumed identity is taken on, this time with a forged EU passport to travel within the Schengen free movement area. We continue to see more cases.” Mr Wainwright said that to reduce the danger Europol would deploy counter-terrorism officers to help border guards spot potential extremists. The system would be modelled on the techniques of British law enforcers at Heathrow.

He said: “The officers will, on rotation, be deployed to the Greek islands, maybe Italy. There will be a second line of defence. We hope to deploy some into the camps where the refugees, the asylum seekers, are being held.

“We are concerned over reports these kinds of reception centres are being targeted for radicalisation activities.”

At least two of those behind the Paris attacks last November are known to have re-entered Europe from Syria via Greece using false Syrian passports.

Mr Wainwright said Europol, which coordinates intelligence sharing be- tween EU members, was also trying to identify and bring to trial those trading in illegal arms and fake documents.

He added: “The criminal underworld is supplying industrial amounts of forged documents — principally for people-smuggling but some of which we know are being directed to terrorist networks. We also have tens of thousands of suspects involved in the illegal firearms trade.

“A pretty large-scale criminal underworld is supplying illegal firearms to mainly criminal contacts, a small but significant proportion of which are destined for use by terrorists.

“The supply is still connected a lot with the former Yugoslavia and a fair bit is coming from America.

“Also a lot of it is managed, arranged, bought, sold and traded online — especially on the Dark Net.

“The ability of police to identify both the buyer and seller there is very low.

“There are large-scale trading sites for illegal firearms — as there are for drugs — on the Dark Net, which is accounting for a significant part of  this problem.”

On the impact of Brexit, Mr Wainwright said British law enforcement would benefit from retaining the European Arrest Warrant and access to the Schengen Information System.

Under that system, data is shared Europe-wide on people or objects with suspected connections to crime.

Mr Wainwright said an unprecedented deal would be needed to secure this but he was “optimistic” that Theresa May could negotiate a successful outcome.