Turkey vows to cleanse Islamic State from its border after wedding attack kills 54

AFP, Getty Images

AFP, Getty Images

Reuters, by Orhan Coskun and Daren ButlerAug. 22, 2016:

Turkey vowed on Monday to “completely cleanse” Islamic State militants from its border region, after a suspected suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people, including 22 children, at a Kurdish wedding.

Saturday’s attack in the southeastern city of Gaziantep is the deadliest in Turkey this year. It was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, adding that initial evidence pointed to Islamic State.

A senior security official told Reuters the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc and the October 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara.

Both of those attacks were blamed on Islamic State. The group has targeted Kurdish gatherings in an apparent effort to further inflame ethnic tensions strained by a long Kurdish insurgency. The Ankara bombing was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey, killing more than 100 people.

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for the group.

A senior rebel official said Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were preparing to launch an attack to seize the Syrian town of Jarablus from Islamic State on the border with Turkey, a move that would deny control to advancing Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Turkish authorities have said a destroyed suicide vest was found at the scene of the bombing.

A second security official told Reuters that they were investigating the possibility militants could have placed the explosives on the child without his or her knowledge and detonated them remotely, or that a mentally disabled child was duped into carrying the device, a tactic seen elsewhere in the region.

“It could be that someone was loaded with explosives without even being aware of it and it may have been detonated remotely,” the official said, adding a search was underway for suspected militants who may have played a reconnaissance role.

In the latest southeast violence, two Turkish security force members and five PKK militants were killed in clashes and attacks in three areas of eastern Turkey over the last 24 hours, officials said.

Some in Turkey, particularly in the Kurdish southeast, feel the government has not done enough to protect its citizens from Islamic State.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the wedding party was for one of its members. The groom was among those injured, but the bride was not hurt.

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Jeanine Pirro interviews Brooke Goldstein on the inhumanity of using child suicide bombers:

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Also see:

The Orlando Shooter’s Desire for ‘Martyrdom’

omarWeekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, June 13, 2016:

After each jihadist attack in the West, our society rehearses the same ritualistic debate over what the terrorists’ motivations really are. It is true that “radicalization,” as it is often described, is a complex process. The men who become terrorists may have psychological or other issues that compel them to act.

But ideas matter. And the early reporting on Omar Mateen’s life shows that one idea in particular wormed its way into his brain: the supposed glory of jihadist “martyrdom.”

Earlier today, FBI director James Comey discussed his bureau’s investigation into Mateen, the terrorist who killed and wounded dozens at an Orlando nightclub. The FBI first looked into Mateen in 2013, closed its investigation in early 2014, but opened another just a few months later. During the first investigation, Comey said, the FBI found Mateen’s comments to be contradictory.

“First, he claimed family connections to Al-Qaeda. He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shiite terrorist organization that is a bitter enemy of the so-called Islamic state, ISIL,” Comey explained. “He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself.”

Let those words sink in: Mateen wanted to “martyr” himself.

It is true that Hezbollah is now pitted against both the Islamic State (ISIS, or ISIL) and al Qaeda. But it was Hezbollah, backed by the Iran and the Assad family’s regime in Syria, that first introduced the U.S. to suicide attacks in the early 1980s. (Hezbollah even later helped al Qaeda emulate these attacks in the 1990s.)

The FBI’s second investigation into Mateen focused on his potential ties to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, who was also from Florida. Abu Salha blew himself up in a “martyrdom operation” on behalf of Al Nusrah Front (al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria) in May 2014. The “investigation turned up no ties of any consequence between” Abu Salha and Mateen, Comey claims.

But one of the FBI’s witnesses mentioned Mateen’s name when asked if he or she knew of anyone “who might be radicalizing,” according to the Associated Press’s summary of Comey’s remarks. The AP continues: “The witness said he worried about Mateen because he mentioned videos of Anwar al-Alwaki, an al-Qaida leader killed in 2011 by a U.S. drone strike.”

Many of Awlaki’s lectures focused on why young Muslims should desire “martyrdom.”

One of Awlaki’s most infamous students is Army major Nidal Malik Hasan, who emailed Awlaki to ask about the permissibility of a Muslim soldier turning on his fellow Americans. Hasan wanted to know if Awlaki would consider such Muslim soldiers to be martyrs if they died in the act of killing their uniformed comrades. It does not appear that Awlaki personally and directly blessed Hasan’s attack, but he did publicly advocate such slayings. Incredibly, the FBI concluded Hasan’s emails to Awlaki were “consistent with research being conducted by Major Hasan in his position as a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Medical Center.” The emails weren’t consistent with Hasan’s research; they were consistent with his desire to launch a shooting spree at Fort Hood in November 2009.

Then there are Mateen’s 911 phone calls the night of the massacre in Orlando. Mateen expressed his brotherhood with the Tsarnaev brothers, one whom died in a shootout with police after bombing the Boston Marathon in 2013.

During at least one of the calls, Mateen also told an operator that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

This is exactly what Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s so-called caliphate tells people to do before they die as a “martyr” or otherwise.

The Islamic State regularly warns believers that they shouldn’t die in a state of disobedience. They can avoid the fires of hell by pledging bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to Baghdadi’s enterprise, the group’s propagandists frequently claim. For instance, the 12th issue of the Islamic State’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, includes this passage attributed to the Prophet Mohammed: “Whoever withdraws his hand from obedience will meet Allah on Resurrection Day without having any excuse. And whoever dies without having a bay’ah binding him, dies a death of jahiliyyah [state of ignorance].”

The couple who opened fire on a holiday party in San Bernardino last year did the same thing. They, too, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi’s “caliphate” before meeting their fate.

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the martyrdom cult has only grown. Al Qaeda and then the Islamic State have popularized the idea to such an extent that there were more suicide attacks in 2015 (726) than in any previous year. During the first five months of 2016, the Islamic State launched more “martyrdom operations” per month than all terrorist organizations combined last year. That is, 2016 is on pace to surpass 2015.

Not all jihadists achieve “martyrdom” by blowing themselves up. At least one convinced himself that killing a bunch of people at a gay nightclub would earn him this status.

The jihadists’ belief in “martyrdom,” as twisted as it is, has only become more prevalent during the past decade and a half. Perhaps the U.S government should be seeking ways to discredit this idea, instead of pretending it is not what motivates men to commit heinous acts.

The Islamic State’s prolific ‘martyrdom’ machine

isis suicide attacksLONG WAR JOURNAL, BY | June 8, 2016:

The Islamic State claims to have executed 489 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first five months of 2016. The figure comes from monthly data published by Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the so-called caliphate that releases infographics summarizing the group’s suicide attacks.

Amaq’s most recent infographic (seen on the right) indicates that the jihadists executed 119 “martyrdom operations” in the month of May alone. If Amaq’s figures are accurate, then the Islamic State is launching suicide attacks at a historically high rate.

Earlier this month, for example, the State Department reported that there were 726 “suicide attacks” executed by all perpetrators around the globe in 2015. Therefore, all terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, carried out an average of 61 suicide bombings per month in 2015. The Islamic State nearly doubled that rate in May and has exceeded it by more than 20 attacks each month this year, according to Amaq’s infographics.

The data referenced by Foggy Bottom is compiled by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), which maintains an “unclassified event database compiled from information in open-source reports of terrorist attacks.”

According to START’s data, 2015 witnessed a record number of suicide bombings. But 2016 is currently on pace to eclipse that high-water mark.

While Amaq’s claims are difficult to independently verify, the statistics are reasonable given the scale of the Islamic State’s fighting. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men routinely claim credit for simultaneous suicide bombings. The organization is taking on multiple adversaries in every country where it operates, making the use of suicide bombings (one of the jihadists’ most effective tactics) an especially important tool. For instance, the State Department noted that “[o]n average, suicide attacks in 2015 were 4.6 times as lethal as non-suicide attacks.”

A recent video from Al Hayat, another one of the Islamic State’s mouthpieces, trumpeted this “caliphate vs. the world” mentality. In “The Religion of Kufr Is One,” Al Hayat made it clear that Baghdadi’s enterprise is at war with virtually everyone else. The subtitle of the video, “The Islamic State and its methodology dealing with all apostate parties and nations of disbelief,” underscored the degree to which this is the group’s deliberate strategy.

The Islamic State’s prolific use of “martyrs” probably highlights both its strength and weakness. On the one hand, there are likely more people, predominately young men, willing to die for the jihadists’ cause today than ever. (It should also be noted that adolescents and even children have been used in suicide attacks.) On the other hand, most of the organization’s suicide attackers are being dispatched in areas where the “caliphate” is being challenged, including locations that were once under its control.

The Long War Journal assesses that Islamic State is being forced to deploy many of its “martyrs” because its territorial claims are being rolled back in Iraq, Syria and even Libya.

The Long War Journal has tallied the figures provided on Amaq’s infographics from January through May of 2016. The English-language versions of these infographics can be seen below.

The following observations have been culled from Amaq’s statistics.

Most of the Islamic State’s “martyrdom operations,” 303 of the 489 claimed (62 percent), have been carried out inside Iraq. Approximately half of these (152 of 303) have been launched in Anbar province, where the jihadists are engaged in fierce battles with Iraqi government forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias for months. Salahuddin (52 suicide attacks), Nineveh (40), Baghdad (32), and Kirkuk (17) are the next most frequently targeted areas.

The Islamic State launched 175 suicide attacks in Syria (36 percent of the total) during the first five months of the year. Aleppo province (59) was hit most frequently, followed by Hasakah (33), Deir Ezzor (25), Homs (20) and Raqqa (14) provinces. Raqqa is, of course, the de facto capital of the Islamic State. Amaq’s data indicate that 12 of the 14 suicide attacks there this year were carried out in February.

The remaining 11 “martyrdom operations” took place in Libya. Interestingly, Amaq claimed only one suicide attack in Libya from January through April. But the infographic for May shows 10 such bombings. Nine of the 10 have been executed in and around Sirte, the group’s central base of operations in Libya. The Islamic State’s presence in Sirte has been under assault from multiple directions for weeks, with the jihadists losing their grip on some of the neighboring towns and key facilities. Thus, the group is likely attempting to stymie its rivals’ advances with the deployment of its suicide bombers.

Iraqi forces are the most frequent target of the Islamic State’s “martyrdom operations,” as they were hit 279 times from January through May. Bashar al Assad’s regime is the second most frequent target, with the Islamic State’s suicide bombers striking the Syrian government’s forces on 89 occasions. The remaining bombings struck “Kurdish units” (54), the “Syrian opposition” (31 times), the Peshmerga (25), Fajr Libya (10) and General Khalifa Haftar’s fighters in Libya (1).

Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) are used more often than individual bombers strapped with explosives, according to Amaq. The infographics count 301 VBIEDs used in suicide attacks (62 percent of the total) as compared to 184 bombings using explosive belts, jackets and vests. The remaining four are listed as “dual operations.”

Assuming Amaq’s data are accurate, then the Islamic State’s “martyrdom” machine is setting a record pace for suicide operations.

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

Also see:

What Happens When a Muslim Dies?

UTT, by John Guandolo, Feb. 9, 2016:

Why are so many Muslims motivated to fight and die as martyrs/shaheeds in Islam?

According to Islamic doctrine, when a Muslim dies for any reason – car crash, heart attack, old age – his body is washed, shrouded, prayed over, and buried in accordance with Sharia (Islamic Law).  Specific details of how the body is washed, who is to wash, specific prayers to be prayed, and how the grave is dug is all a part of the Sharia covering this topic.

Once the deceased is placed in the grave, his soul separates from the body and lingers above it.  Here is a description from What Islam is All About, the most popular text used in Islamic junior high schools in America:

“When you die, your soul is taken from your body by the Angel of Death.  If you were a good person, it is gently drawn out from  your flesh.  If you were bad, however, then your soul is ripped violently from it….

“If you were a believer in Allah, and followed the teachings of your Prophet…your environment will then be softly lighted.  Your resting place in the spiritual dimension will be made roomy and comfortable and you will sleep and dream gently until the Day of Judgment.

“But if you were a bad person, who didn’t believe in Allah, or a hypocrite, then the angels will become horrifying to you.  They will strike you and cause your soul’s resting place to squeeze in upon you until you feel suffocated.  Then you will be tormented and in agony until the Day of Judgment.”

But how does a Muslim know whether he followed the teachings of Islam or not throughout his life? Islam teaches that every Muslim has two beings called “Jinns” which record all of their good and bad deeds throughout life.  If the bad deeds outweigh the good deeds, he goes to hell on the Day of Judgment.  If the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds, he goes to paradise.  But there is no way to know until the Day of Judgment where he is going.

There is only one exception.

The martyr or shaheed – the one who dies in battle in Allah’s cause (Jihad) – immediately goes to the highest level of paradise the moment his first drop of blood hits the ground, and he receives the promise of sensual pleasures.  The shaheed avoids all punishments of the grave and is sure of his reward in paradise. The shaheed does not feel the pain of death.

Jihad (6)

“It is unlawful to wash the body of a martyr or perform funeral prayer over him. A martyr means someone who died in battle with non-Muslims.  It is recommended that war gear be removed from the body, and it is best to bury the martyr in the rest of his bloodstained clothes since it is the effect of worship.” [Um dat al Salik, 14th Century Islamic Sacred Law, certified by Al Azhar as authoritative Sunni Islamic Law]

To die as a shaheed against non-Muslims is the highest form of worship in Islam.

The Koran promises shaheeds go to the highest level of paradise above all other Muslims:

“Not equal are those believers who sit at home and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons.  Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit at home. Unto all in Faith Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.” [Koran 4:95]

“Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah (jihad) and are then slain or die, on them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision; truly Allah is he who bestows the best Provision.” [Koran 22:58]

This is why in Islamic schools across the world, and in America, 7th graders are taught:  “If anyone dies in a Jihad they automatically will go to Paradise.  A Shaheed, or Martyr, is described this way by Allah, ‘Don’t think that those who were killed in Allah’s Cause are dead.  No, they are alive, finding their bounty in the presence of their Lord.’ (Koran 3:169)” [What Islam is All About, pg 164]

In Islam “The Cause of Allah” is Jihad.

It is clear to all Muslims, which is why it is taught to Muslim children in mosques and Islamic schools across America, that to die fighting non-Muslims is the highest form of worship in Islam and the only way to guarantee paradise when a Muslim dies.

Palestinian Summer Camps Preach Jihad and Train Youth to Become Terrorists

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by IPT News  •  Jul 30, 2015

Palestinian summer camps in Jerusalem and Gaza are actively indoctrinating young children with radical jihadist ideology and preparing them for martyrdom (suicide) operations, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.

In an Islamic summer camp at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, little children are subjected to a radical sheikh’s lecture on the virtues of martyrdom.

“The martyr is absolved with the first drop of his blood…the martyr also gets to vouch for seventy family members (on Judgment Day)… the martyr gets two virgins of Paradise, but the murabit [someone guarding Islam against the infidel] gets 70 – 35 times more than the martyr,” preached radical cleric Khaled Al-Maghrabi.

The children generally appear like most children their age – fidgeting, looking around, some playing with toys, seemingly disinterested in the lecture. Al-Magrabi still appears determined to impart jihadist indoctrination into the next generation of Palestinians at a very early age.

A Palestinian bystander even confronts Al-Maghrabi and tells him his message isn’t appropriate for children.

“Listen, sheik, they do not understand what you are saying. They are children…you are talking to them about ribat, martyrdom, and the virgins of Paradise. Shame on you. You can teach these lessons to (adults) like us, not to them,” said the Palestinian man.

Unfortunately, Palestinians standing up against radicalization is all too rare of an occurrence. Al-Maghrabi carried on after the distraction, leading the children in chanting, “We shall sacrifice our souls and our blood for you, Al-Aqsa!” the children chant.

In a second video illustrating Palestinian indoctrination of its young people with hate, viewers are taken inside a Hamas summer camp called “Vanguard of Liberation.” Hamas hopes to provide 25,000 children and teenagers with military training to seed future terrorist operations against Israel. Similar to the Al-Aqsa camp, the Hamas camp heavily emphasizes religious indoctrination and radical jihadist brainwashing, according to a news report translated by MEMRI.

“The goal of the camps is to instil the spirit of Jihad and of fighting in these cubs, these youth, so that they will become the next generation of liberation,” says a masked Hamas operative and camp counselor.

“Liberation” in this context means taking over all of Israel since Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state in any form.

The video features the youth running through military style courses, weapons training, and even shows a junior version of a Hamas naval commando unit dedicated to infiltrating Israel and conducting terrorist attacks.

Qaradawi Summons Foreign Jihadis to Martyrdom in Egypt

youssifkardaoui2012By Raymond Ibrahim:

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood—has just posted a new video where he calls on all the Muslims of the world to come and wage jihad with their lives in Egypt on behalf of “what’s right”—that is, the return to power of the Muslim Brotherhood. He called on everyone and anyone—the “sons of Al Azhar,” businessmen, journalists—and from all around the world, specifically mentioning Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

Qaradawi called on them to be shuhada, “martyrs” who sacrifice their lives in the course of the jihad. Several Egyptian religious authorities have expressed surprise at Qaradawi’s reckless call for jihad in Egypt, saying the latter is not part of Dar al-Harb (Abode of War) where jihad should be waged to bring non-Muslims under Islamic authority, but rather is part of the Islamic world, where Islamic authorities like Qaradawi should be calling for peace, not promoting more bloodshed between Muslims. Amana Nasir, professor of doctrine and philosophy and former dean of humanities in the Alexandrian branch of Al Azhar called Qaradawi’s remarks products of “senility, not wisdom,” adding that “I’m surprised that Qaradawi sealed his life with such words void of understanding.”

 

Palestinian President Abbas Praises Dead Terrorists As ‘Martyrs’

 Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority

IPT:

by John Rossomando