Latest Updates on the Barcelona Terror Attack

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 17, 2017:

Spain has declared three days of national mourning following today’s terror attack in Barcelona that killed 14 and wounded more than 100.

Here are the latest updates:

  • Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy said the attack was “jihadi terrorism.”
  • A few hours ago, Spanish police killed 5 suspected terrorists in Cambrils, 120km south of Barcelona. They were reportedly wearing fake explosives and believed to be plotting a follow-up attack. Six civilians and one police officer were injured.
  • Two suspects are under arrest but neither is believed to be the driver of the van who ran down the pedestrians in the Las Ramblas shopping district popular with tourists. One is from Morocco, the other from Melilla — a Spanish enclave across the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Reports reveal that victims of the attack come from 34 different countries. At least one fatality has been confirmed to be a Belgian tourist according to Belgium’s Foreign Ministry. The only named victim so far is Italian, Bruno Gulotta.
  • One of the terrorists, Moussa Oukabir, had posted on social media: “Kill all the infidels and leave only Muslims.” Oukabir is believed to be the driver of the van.
  • His brother, Driss Oukabir, claims that Moussa stole his identity to rent the vans and that he wasn’t involved.
  • The explosion at a house yesterday in Alcanar which killed two is believed to be related to the attack. It was originally attributed to a gas line explosion, but police are saying the house was being used as an IED factory. Twenty-plus gas canisters were found at the scene. The premature explosion may have prompted the terror cell to act earlier than planned. Two VBIEDs could have killed considerably more.
  • ISIS’ Amaq news agency claimed its “soldiers” committed the attack. They are encouraging more vehicle attacks via their official social media channels.
  • The CIA had reportedly told Spanish police that Las Ramblas was a likely terror target two months ago.
  • Fog of war: Early reports that the terrorists had taken hostages in a restaurant proved to be false. A driver who drove through a police checkpoint injuring two police officers before being shot and killed is not believed to be involved in the terror attack.

Spain’s Day of Terror: 14 Victims and Six Suspected Terrorists Dead After Multiple Attacks

Spain suffered four incidents believed to be related to terrorism, including two deadly attacks, in little over 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday, which have left 14 victims dead, up to 80 injured, and as many as six suspected terrorists dead.

Spanish authorities have identified the attacks as Jihadist terrorism, and two have so far been arrested — one Moroccan, and one Spanish citizen from Melilla, the Spanish exclave in Morocco. Police announced a 14th victim fatality following the attacks Friday morning — the number had stood at 13 since the previous eveniung. More deaths may follow, with a dozen injured presently in critical condition.

The main attack took place in Barcelona at 1650 local time (1250EST) Thursday, as a hired van departed from the roadway that runs adjacent to the city’s tourist hotspot Las Ramblas pedestrianised walkway. Lined with cafes and bars and at the height of tourist season, the street saw 14 killed and dozens more injured as that van drove at high speed, swerving to target people on foot, according to witnesses.

The perpetrator of the attack then fled on foot and is still being sought by police, reportsSpanish newspaper El Pais. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the killers “Islamic State soldiers”.

The hire van used in the Barcelona attack is towed away Thursday night. A second hired van was later discovered and is believed to have been hired as a getaway vehicle / getty Images

Less than three hours later, there was a second incident — this time on the outskirts of Barcelona. This time a car drove into police officers manning a checkpoint — possibly part of operation cage, the Spanish police mission launched under the attack to lock down the city. While no officers were killed, the driver was found dead in the car, having suffered fatal knife wounds which may have been self-inflicted.

While police initially said they were not treating the incidents as linked, they now believe they may have been.

The vehicle used to ram a crowd in the early hours of Friday morning is loaded onto a lorry / Getty Images

The third attack came in the early hours of Friday morning, as suspected terrorists again drove into police in Cambrils. Using an Audi A3 car the reportedly five would-be killers rammed into a group of people, injuring a police officer and six members of the public.

Police opened fire on the attackers as they emerged from the car, carrying knives and wearing explosive vests. All five were killed in the gunfire, and bomb teams used controlled explosions to destroy the vests, which subsequently turned out to be fake.

Police patrol the scene of Thursday’s mass casualty attack / Getty Images

These attacks are now being linked to a fourth event which took place in Alcanar, a town 120 miles away from Barcelona. A huge explosion destroyed a house, which was initially blamed on a gas leak. However, police now believe the explosion could have been a bomb meant for Thursday’s attacks that exploded prematurely. Dozens of bottles of propane and butane were found at the address.

The police operation following the attacks is still active, with at least one attacker — named as Moussa Oukabir — known to be on the loose.

Barcelona terror attack: Several injured after white van plows into plaza

Pictured: What is thought to be the van that knocked over pedestrians in the area
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4799836/People-hurt-van-crashes-pedestrians-Barcelona.html#ixzz4q1uCnZyv

Fox News, Aug. 17, 2017:

DEVELOPING: Several people were injured after a white van rammed into dozens of people in the historic Las Ramblas district of Barcelona Thursday in what local police described as a terror attack.

The incident took place on Las Ramblas of Barcelona, the famous main pedestrian walk way that crosses the city. Police described the incident on Twitter as a “massive crash.”

In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street and were apparently being helped by police and others.

“It was real chaos, people started running, screaming. There was a loud bang,” eyewitness Ethan Spibey told Sky News.

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya, according to Reuters.

Witnesses told newspaper El Pais the driver ran over several people on the walk way, and there were people lying on the ground injuries.

El Pais, citing a police source, said the driver of the van fled the scene after the crash

One witness said the van “has trampled people while crossing the traffic light.”

Police cordoned off the broad street and shut down its stores. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of the emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.

Las Ramblas, a street of stalls and shops that cuts through the center of Barcelona, is one of the city’s top tourist destinations. People walk down a wide, pedestrianized path in the center of the street, but cars can travel on either side.

***

Also see:

  • 13 dead and dozens hurt as van drives into crowds of people in Barcelona amid reports of gunshots nearby
  • Emergency services have rushed to the scene near the Las Ramblas tourist area as people urged to stay away
  • The driver of the van is being hunted as he fled after ploughing into pedestrians outside a kosher restaurant
  • Also being reported that two gunmen have taken hostages at a bar in the city centre amid carnage in the city
  • Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with the emergency services at the scene 
  • Harrowing footage shows dozens of bodies lying on the pavement as armed police rush to secure the area 
  • Police are said to be negotiating with two gunmen who have taken hostages in a Turkish restaurant  
  • Did you see what happened in Barcelona, or do you know someone who did? Get in touch by emailing abe.hawken@mailonline.co.uk or calling 0203 615 3908

Dallas ISIS Recruiter Gave Green Light to Manchester Suicide Bomber, ‘Kill Them and Show No Mercy’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 15, 2017:

A stunning new report reveals that a Dallas-based ISIS recruiter gave the greenlight to Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, encouraging him to “kill them and show no mercy,” according to a report in the Italian news outlet L’Espresso last week.

Even more remarkable, U.S. authorities knew about the conversations months in advance of the terror attack and cited it in court document this past March when they charged the ISIS recruiter, 40-year old Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim of Richardson, Texas, for lying to FBI investigators.

The FBI knew about the conversation months in advance of the bombing that killed 22 and injured 250+ who were leaving the arena in Manchester following an Ariana Grande concert on May 22nd.

The Australian reported:

The Manchester Arena bombing was authorised in an online chat between a plotter, an Islamic State operative in Syria, a jihadist recruiter in Dallas and a Moroccan-born Islamist living in Turin, it was claimed yesterday.

The online conversation took place on August 28 last year using the Zello secure messaging app and was intercepted by the FBI, according to L’Espresso, an Italian weekly magazine.

One of the five people taking part in the chat asked: “Sheikh, I live in Manchester, in Great Britain. I live among non-Muslims. I have found work with them. Am I allowed to kill them? Is it permitted to kill them with a bomb?”

The sheikh, who is thought to have been living in Syria, replied with a phrase from the Koran: “Fight the pagans all together.”

The man from Dallas was identified by L’Espresso as Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who was born in America to Jordanian parents. He allegedly said: “To the boy from Manchester I say, OK, kill them! Show no mercy to civilians.”

Rahim was arrested this past March — more than two months before the bombing — and indicted for making false statements to the FBI.

Rahim was stopped by FBI agents at DFW Airport on March 5th, where he was questioned about his statements in support of ISIS. He was intending to board a flight to Jordan.

The Dallas CBS affiliate reported on Rahim’s arrest and indictment:

A Richardson man was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI about his support for ISIS.

Earlier this month, agents met up with Said Rahim inside terminal D at DFW International Airport. After he went through security and waited to board a flight to Jordan, agents say he agreed to answer questions. Investigators arrested him after he lied about his past statements about ISIS.

Rahim is accused of praising ISIS’ violent activities in chat rooms and encouraged people to engage in violent jihad […]

The FBI agent says Rahim glorified last year’s terror attacks at the Orlando night club and at the Bastile Day celebration in Nice, France. In the chat room, Rahim is accused of saying, “France will wake-up to a tragedy, a catastrophe (chuckle).. a great killing, implemented by… one of God’s lions.. against those infidel French.”

In a later post, Rahim is accused of telling someone it was ok to murder non-Muslims in England. “Kill them and do not show them mercy or compassion. If you have the ability to go and kill, poison them, throw a rock, push down a building… the important thing is that you kill.”

It’s now been reported by L’Espresso that “someone” was none other than Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

The criminal complaint filed in federal court the next day describes the August 28, 2016 online conversation that Rahim and four others, including Abedi, participated in.

During the conversation, Abedi asked:

I don’t want to interrupt…but with your permission, Sheikh; I reside in Manchester, Britain and work with persons who are all foreigners. Is killing them permissible? Is killing them permissible or not, or bombing them or anything else? I want to… to understand this matter from the Sheikhs of the [Islamic] State. Is killing any person permissible?

According to the federal complaint, Rahim replied:

OK, may God Bless you. I was going to grab the microphone so I would tell him, the one in Manchester. OK, kill and do not consult anyone or seek the opinion of others; kill. Kill them and do not show them mercy or compassion for neither the civilian clothes protect them nor the military uniform sanctions the shedding of their blood, they are all the same in their unbelief. Kill them I mean… don’t event consult with anyone. Go and kill, if you have the ability to go and kill, poison them, throw a rock, push down a building, do whatever you do; the important thing is that you kill. Kill with intention of waging jihad for the sake of Allah, and the intention that your banner is clear, the banner of ‘[t]here is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’… kill them I mean with the intention of jihad, with the-the intention of you being a mujahid for the sake of God, maybe this act, I mean, forgives your past and future transgressions.

Rely on God; kill if you have a chance, to hell with those Englishmen… The killer of an infidel will not go to hell. It is well known that shedding the blood of the infidel is lawful; shedding the blood of the infidel is lawful. But, if they say to you in this case that he was a safeguarded ally, then where is the Islamic State that this infidel lives in to be considered an ally and a free non-Muslim under Muslim rule? Does he pay Jizyah [tax]? Does he, does he, does he? No! So, kill, kill… if you ask the scholars of the tyrants they will tell you not to kill him. But, kill him, rely on Allah and kill them. Think of a way to kill the biggest number possible of those, may Allah’s curse fall on them.

According to the L’Espresso report, the unnamed “sheikh” who participated in the conversation is believed to be an ISIS operative living in Syria. The participant in Turin was named in the report as Mouner el-Aoual, who has been arrested.

Rahim, born in America to Jordanian parents, is currently being detained on the charges outlined in the complaint after a federal judge ruled him to be a flight risk.

So far Rahim has not been charged in connection to the Manchester bombing.

What warnings the FBI gave to U.K. authorities prior to the Manchester bombing — if any — is still unknown.

CBS News Host Norah O’Donnell Pushes Fake ‘Right-Wing’ Terrorism Stats

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 14, 2017:

The first clue that you’re being manipulated? O’Donnell begins counting terror incidents AFTER the 9/11 attacks, the most lethal terror attack in modern history. Understandably, people grinding an agenda to push “right wing” terrorism as some great threat to Americans HAVE TO exclude 9/11 to make such a point.

Also, note that O’Donnell refers only to the number of incidents — not how lethal they were.

Why is that? Because Norah O’Donnell is trying to avoid having to say this: Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists have killed CONSIDERABLY MORE than “right wing” terrorists.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s the data taken this morning from the New America website:

Jihadist: 95 killed.

“Far Right Wing”: 67 killed.

The only way to conjure up a “right wing” terrorism bogeyman is to count “by fatal incident,” and not by the actual number of people killed.

That being said, as I noted here at PJ Media more than a year ago, there are serious issues with how New American counts acts of terrorism:

Since when are bank robberies acts of terrorism? They aren’t, unless you’re trying to inflate your “right wing” terror stats to mislead the public for political motives.

I also noted that — in addition to 9/11 — several Islamic terror attacks are simply left out of their count, such as the D.C. sniper case.

As Florida State professor Andrew Holt observed regarding incidents left out of the New America data set:

In June of 2006 in Denver, a man shot four of his co-workers and a swat team member, killing one. He later claimed he did it because it was “Allah’s choice.”

In December of 2009 in Binghamton, a Saudi Arabian graduate student named Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani killed Richard T. Antoun, a non-Muslim Islamic studies professor who served on al-Zahrani’s dissertation committee, in revenge for “persecuted” Muslims. Prior to the killing one of al-Zahrani’s roommates tried to warn the university administration that he had been acting “like a terrorist.”

In 2012 in Houston, in two separate incidents in January and in November, two people were shot to death by a Muslim extremist for their roles in his daughter’s conversion to Christianity.

In March of 2013 in Ashtabula (Ohio), a Muslim convert walked into a Christian Church during an Easter service and killed his father, claiming it was “the will of Allah.”

In August of 2014 in Richmond (California) killed an Ace Hardware employee by stabbing him seventeen times, claiming he was on a “mission from Allah.”

I cite the New America data here only because the New York Times used it as their source when they began floating this bogus narrative two years ago. O’Donnell doesn’t identify a source for her claim, but she most likely is pointing to data from a recent GAO report that others have been hyping:

One of the issues with this GAO dataset is that it includes highly suspect incidents. For example, it counts four attacks where neo-Nazis killed pedophiles in prisonas terrorist attacks:

How is that “domestic terrorism”? It’s anybody’s guess.

The fact is that federal law has a precise definition of terrorism:

And it’s unlikely that these four instances of neo-Nazis killing pedophiles even remotely meets the definition of “domestic terrorism.” No one was apparently charged with terrorism in these cases.

By Norah O’Donnell’s reckoning, these four incidents count FOUR TIMES as much as the ISIS-inspired Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando last year that killed 49 — the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11.

I noted here last month the difficulties, and frankly irrelevancy, of determining the scope of the terror threat by counting incidents. By this measure, an ecoterrorist blowing up a mailbox in rural Tennessee is given the exact same weight as 3000 people killed on 9/11:

Fake statistics die just as hard as fake news. CBS viewers should beware.

Charlottesville Attack Was Domestic Terrorism

IPT News
August 14, 2017

The Investigative Project on Terrorism long has criticized those, like President Obama, who refuse to use terms like “radical Islamic terrorism” in the wake of jihadist violence. By the same logic, President Trump’s refusal Saturday to specifically condemn by name those Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi white supremacists also was morally deficient.

He spoke of “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.” Both sides did include people who showed up armed and looking for a fight, but only one side suffered death and severe injury. Moral equivalency did not belong in that moment. For proof, just read the reaction of white supremacists on social media: they thanked the president profusely for not condemning them by name.

Monday’s statement condemning Saturday’s racist, white supremacist provocateurs in Charlottesville seemed begrudging. Yes, he finally did condemn “the egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” at the “Unite the Right” protests, and condemned “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” involved as thugs. But starting off by citing economic gains was a non-sequitur that appeared to minimize the evil of Americans killing Americans over political differences.

We believe that the deliberate decision to drive a car into a crowd of protesters was an act of domestic terrorism and the end product of the pure hatred spewed by white nationalists. As the Simon Wiesenthal Center leadership said, “This murderous attack, resembles car rammings in Israel and Europe perpetrated by terrorists associated with ISIS and Hamas. It should be treated as a deliberate act of domestic terrorism.”

It was clear even before 32-year-old Heather Heyer was struck and killed. Friday night, torch carrying bigots marched on the University of Virginia, making Nazi salutes, chanting “Jews will not replace us” and taunting counter-protesters with racist slurs.

James Alex Fields, Jr.,20, is in custody, currently charged with second-degree murder and other counts. He reportedly self-identified as a Nazi. He allegedly saw a group of people who oppose his ideology and floored his accelerator. That’s political violence. That’s terrorism.

Conservatives were justifiably outraged when the Obama administration called Nidal Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood massacre an act of “workplace violence.” Most were equally offended Saturday, when President Trump could only bring himself to condemn the “violence on many sides — on many sides.”

The president needs to disabuse white supremacists of the notion that they have friend in the White House, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News Sunday. “I don’t know why they believe that, but they don’t see me as a friend in the Senate, and I would urge the president to dissuade these groups that he’s their friend.”

When he wants to, Graham added, the president can speak with great clarity. “He needs to be clear here.”

Actions speak louder than words, however. Thankfully, Attorney General Jeff Sessions already has made it clear that the attack “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute,” and is being investigated with an eye toward “the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack.”

It is an argument for another day, but worth a brief mention that those on the left who are outraged by the president’s reluctance to name racist, white supremacist bigotry as the cause for Saturday’s bloodshed would be well-served to ditch the “Islam has nothing to do with it” talking points the next time a jihadi kills.

To defeat evil, you have to confront it honestly and clearly and call it out by its name. The president finally condemned by name on Monday the evil of neo-Nazis and their racist, white supremacist followers brought to Charlottesville Saturday.

His daughter Ivanka managed to immediately find the proper moral clarity the first thing Sunday morning when she wrote, “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”

New Threats from Al Qaeda: Inspire 17 Magazine

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton. Aug. 13, 2017:

Al Qaeda has issued its latest edition of Inspire magazine, Inspire 17.

The magazine is published by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but it covers Al Qaeda operations worldwide. In particular, Inspire 17 features the emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abu Musab Abdel al-Wadoud.

However, this latest issue of Inspire is noteworthy in that the most prominent personality in the magazine is Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden. Hamza bin Laden is emerging as a global leader of Al Qaeda and has specifically vowed to take revenge on the U.S. for killing his father.

Here is a brief summary of the highlights of Inspire 17:

Al Qaeda claims that they will be concentrating on targeting Western nations’ transportation infrastructure, seeking to disrupt the movement of people and cargo.

While Al Qaeda says that they will be targeting all aspects of transportation, air, sea and land, as well as local and international, Inspire 17 focuses on rail transport.

As implied by the name “inspire” Al Qaeda seeks to inspire individual Jihadis to take action. They suggest attacking transport vehicles such as trains and aircraft, lines of transport, such as railways, and stations, terminals and transit points, such as train stations, subway terminals and airports.

Bin Laden specifically states: “I urge my Mujahideen brothers everywhere, especially Lone Jihad heroes; I say to them: Target America.”

But America is not the only target mentioned in the magazine. It sets a priority order for targets in the following order: “everyone who transgresses against our religion,” Jewish interests, US, NATO, Russia.

Al Qaeda specifically instructs its followers to target civilians, as opposed to military targets: “In targeting civilians, there is much advantage and benefit for attaining goals of Jihad that cannot be attained when targeting the military.”

The emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Abu Musab Abdel al-Wadoud is quoted as singling out France for attack: “France! Do you know time for settling debts has approached? Do not think you will escape punishment! Start preparing to pay what you owe to Muslims, in cash and in kind.”

France has conducted a robust military campaign against AQIM for several years now.

The impact on Western and American lifestyles from increased security measures is not lost on Al Qaeda: “O Mujahideen, it is time we instill fear and make them impose strict security measures to trains as they did with air.”

Concentrating on rail, the magazine describes a austere technique for attacking trains by derailing them from railroad tracks by positioning an item on them that will alter the course of the train’s wheels.

Unlike previous terror attacks on rail infrastructure, such a technique would not require explosives.

The magazine points out the merit of derailing high speed trains and lists Acela in the US, Class 395 Javelin in the UK and TGV in France as high speed trains to attack.

The magazine also suggests prioritizing derailing trains with HAZMAT cargo in cities and towns in the USA.

The following passenger trains are listed as specific targets: Lake Shore Limited, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Acela Express, Amtrak Cascades, Cardinal, Carolinian, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. It also depicts a map of US rail lines by Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, BNSF and Amtrak.