Canada/U.S. Border stops for people of Iranian descent spark outrage

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO)

 

Border stops for people of Iranian descent spark outrage

The reaction to the detentions at a Canadian crossing and a New York airport came after the U.S. killing of an Iranian military commander.

CBP agents

Reports of Iranians and Iranian-Americans being detained for questioning upon entering the U.S. kicked off a furor on Sunday from Washington state to Washington, D.C., marking a new domestic blow back to the Trump administration’s targeted killing of a key Iranian leader.

The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent Muslim civil liberties group, said on Sunday that more than 60 people of Iranian descent, including American citizens, were held for hours long periods of questioning over the weekend at the Peace Arch checkpoint in Blaine, Wash., along the border with Canada. CAIR noted that many Iranian-Americans would continue to approach the port of entry over the weekend as some return to the U.S. after attending an Iranian pop concert Saturday in Vancouver.

The initial reports and the backlash they triggered — with references to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II — highlighted the potential risks inside the U.S. even before the fierce retaliation promised by the Iranian government for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite paramilitary forces, by a U.S. military drone on Thursday.

CAIR said in its statement that a source at U.S. Customs and Border Protection had reported that the agency received a national directive from the Department of Homeland Security to “‘report’ and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country who is deemed potentially suspicious or ‘adversarial,’ regardless of citizenship status.”

“We are working to verify reports of a broad nationwide directive to detain Iranian-Americans at ports of entry so that we can provide community members with accurate travel guidance,” Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR’s Washington chapter, said in a statement.

Len Saunders, an immigration attorney in Blaine, said his contacts through CBP indicated that headquarters in Washington had ordered new vetting procedures, which appear to be directed toward people born in Iran, that require port directors to sign off on admitting anyone held for questioning.

A CBP spokesperson denied that DHS or the agency had issued any such directive.

“Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false,” the spokesperson said.

The agency says it often adjusts operations and staffing to balance security needs with lawful travel and trade. Processing times at the Blaine port of entry reached an average of two hours Saturday evening, though CBP said some travelers waited up to four hours to cross.

Sam Sadr, who lives in North Vancouver, said he was held for nearly nine hours at the Peace Arch border crossing on Saturday after the birthplace printed on his Canadian passport caught the attention of the U.S. customs officer.

Sadr, who was born in Tehran, told POLITICO he was on his way to Seattle for the day with his family. The officer, he said, asked him to pull over and go into the border office to provide more information.

Sadr recalled arriving at the border at 11:07 a.m. Pacific time. He and his family were finally allowed to enter the U.S. around 7:45 p.m.

In between those times, the officers took their passports and asked lots of questions, he said. After a couple of hours, the officers asked the same questions again.

They wanted to know where they were coming from, where they went to school, whether they had military backgrounds and whether they had firearms licences, Sadr said.

“Why me? Why my parents? Why my sisters, brothers? I don’t know,” said Sadr, a professional photographer who received his Canadian citizenship two years ago.

“We are innocent. … This completely discriminates.”

While he was waiting, he said, he saw many other people of Iranian descent also held up at the border crossing. He said some people, including officers, appeared to be frustrated with the situation.

Sadr, who left Iran more than 12 years ago, said he and his family stayed in the U.S. for only about an hour since it was so late and the stores had closed.

Asked for comment on Sadr’s story and to explain the discrepancy between the “four hours” figure in CBP’s statement and Sadr’s nearly nine hour ordeal, a CBP spokesperson said the agency stood by their earlier statement.

Attorneys monitoring the situation at the border in Washington state said they had not seen any evidence that American citizens with Iranian ties were denied entry to the U.S. Those being held for questioning are now being processed more quickly — within 30 to 60 minutes, rather than upwards of 10 hours as some experienced on Saturday, said Matt Adams, legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s Seattle office.

“It doesn’t make any sense, because these are individuals who are U.S. citizens and don’t have any individualized suspicion associated with them, other than the fact that they’re Iranian or of Iranian heritage,” he said. “What’s clear is that they are being targeted for the secondary inspection because of their Iranian background, and there must be some kind of directive” to CBP officers to pull them over, he added.

Attorneys in Washington state said CBP officers’ questions focused on travelers’ family members and where they went to school or worked, as well as whether they or a relative had any ties to the Iranian military.

The questioning of Iranians and Iranian-Americans wasn’t unique to Washington state.

John Ghazvinian, an Iranian-American historian and U.S. citizen, said he was subject to additional questioning on Sunday when he flew back on Air France from a trip to Egypt.

“Well, just landed at JFK and — no surprise — got taken to the special side room and got asked (among other things) how I feel about the situation with Iran,” he wrote in a tweet that went viral. “I wanted to be like: my book comes out in September, preorder now on amazon.”

In an interview, he said that the first CBP officer flipped through his passport and asked him, “When was the last time you were in Libya?”, to which he replied, “I’ve never been to Libya.” The officer quickly corrected himself to say “Iran,” to which Ghazvinian told him that he had last been there in 2009. He then was asked more questions in a private secondary screening, he said, the first time he’s ever been held up when returning to the U.S.

Asked whether he felt he was pulled aside because he was Iranian-American, he said he didn’t “want to speculate on another person’s private thoughts or motivations, but [the officer’s] first question was about the last time I had been to Iran.”

Ghazvinian, the interim director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said that the officers told him they had flagged him for extra scrutiny because it looked as though he had bought a one-way ticket to the U.S., when in fact he hadn’t. The female CBP officer, whom he described as “very friendly,” also asked him in the secondary screening whether he had family members in Iran and what they thought of what is going on. He told them he hadn’t talked to them about the situation.

Then she asked him what he thought of the tensions between the U.S. and Iran, to which he responded by saying he didn’t think the question was relevant. “She said, ‘We are just curious about what people think about these things,’ and I said, ‘It feels a little political,’ and then she dropped it,” he recalled.

The events, which he called “inherently a stressful experience” and “nerve-wracking,” involved a five- to 10-minute wait and around three minutes of questioning, he said.

Soon after he cleared immigration and customs, he sent out the tweet and said he was “surprised by the attention it got. … It was not my intention to paint myself as some type of victim here. I don’t feel that way.”

“To be honest, I thought it was just funny and so I just sent out what I thought was a lighthearted tweet,” he said.

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, said the accounts made public thus far were “very disturbing” and were stoking fear among a population already sensitive to border issues, given the Trump administration’s travel restrictions on Iranian nationals.

“The government has a legitimate interest in verifying identity, citizenship or legal status at the border, but it has no business infringing on the constitutional rights of citizens and legal permanent residents by detaining and invasively questioning them about their associations, religious or political beliefs or practices,” Shamsi said.

Reps. Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal, both Seattle-area Democrats, tweeted Sunday that they were trying to gather more information on the detentions at the border with British Columbia.

“Let me be clear: Instituting xenophobic, shameful and unconstitutional policies that discriminate against innocent people, trample over basic civil rights, and put fear in the hearts of millions do not make us safer,” Jayapal said in a statement.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat whose district includes Blaine, said she was also investigating the reports.

Parmida Esmaeilpour, a director with the Civic Association of Iranian Canadians in Vancouver, said concerns related to crossing the U.S. border had been building in her community for several days.

“It’s my understanding that [authorities] said that they would be detaining or questioning people who may have some sort of suspicious ties to the [Iranian] government,” said Esmaeilpour, whose association works to encourage Iranian-Canadians to engage more in Canada’s political process. “But in practice we’re seeing that it’s actually being applied much more indiscriminately to anyone of Iranian background who’s trying to cross the border.”

A Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson directed inquiries to DHS.

One former DHS official said he was worried that in the future, as part of a tit-for-tat with Iran, CBP could tighten its screening of potential visitors to the U.S. even more “to take a harder look and a longer view of somebody‘s travel history,” which would lead CBP port-of-entry directors and officers to “err on the side of caution absent any formal guidance.“

Saunders, the immigration lawyer, said two of his clients, both Persian-Canadians and one of whom is an American citizen, encountered hours of questioning at two different ports of entry in Washington state on Saturday.

“Why were 50 to 100 Persians sitting inside the Peace Arch port of entry yesterday for hours upon hours?” he said Sunday. “They were being singled out. I saw it myself.”

Andy Blatchford reported from Ottawa. Nahal Toosi and Connor O’Brien contributed reporting from Washington.

America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY ON CNBC NEWS)

 

America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy

KEY POINTS
  • The killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani doesn’t have the emotional power of the take down of Osama bin Laden, but taking him out means much more in terms of saving current lives, writes Jake Novak.
GP: Qassem Suleimani Soleimani Iran Quds Force IRGC 180517
Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani (C) attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016.
Pool | Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

So, just who is this top Iranian general the U.S. just eliminated?

For many of us who watch and analyze news out of the Middle East daily, he was the world’s number one bad guy.

Qassim Soleimani has been in control of Iran’s Quds Force for more than 20 years. His current greatest hits include helping Bashar al Assad slaughter hundreds of thousands of his own people in the Syrian civil war, stoking the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war, and overseeing the killing of hundreds of Iraqi protesters recently demonstrating against Iranian influence in their country.

But most importantly for Americans, Soleimani was behind the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq War. Last year, the U.S. State Department put the number of Americans killed by Iranian proxies in Iraq at 608 since 2003.

The killing of Soleimani doesn’t have the emotional power of the takedown of Osama bin Laden, and he wasn’t even as well-known to Americans as ISIS founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. But in many ways, taking him out means much more in terms of saving current lives. Remember that bin Laden and al Baghdadi were mostly out of business and in hiding at the time of their deaths. Solemani was busier than ever, directing mayhem all over the Middle East and beyond.

For example, these last few days have made it clear to the whole world just how much Iran controlled just about all of Iraq and Iraq’s Shia population. It appears Solemeini not only felt justified in being the likely mastermind behind Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, he also was comfortable enough to travel to Iraq personally to oversee it. But this time, he got too comfortable.

We’re already hearing from a number of critics that this move will likely backfire against the U.S. and will provoke Iran to retaliate even more forcibly against American and its allies. To those people making those warnings, there’s really only one thing to say: “Welcome to the party, pal!”

That’s because Iran has really been at war with the U.S. since 1979. The killing of hundreds of our troops in Iraq, the constant terrorism it sponsors and supplies against Israel, and even the recent provocations against oil traffic in the Persian Gulf are all acts of war from which there really is no retreat without severe consequences. For the Trump administration, it would appear the embassy attack was the last straw. It was also one that provided the ultimate opportunity to eliminate Soleimani as he foolishly left his home country and made himself more physically and legally vulnerable.

Another thing to remember is that Soleimani and his foreign escapades may have been the delight of the ruling mullahs in Tehran. But the people in the streets abandoned him long ago, if they ever really supported him in the first place.

Soleimani clearly came to personify the increasingly unpopular spending on proxy wars and terrorism. With Iran’s economy faltering, the chanting in the streets during that nation’s recent protests included: “no money, no gas, screw Palestine.” That was probably the best proof that the Iranian people are keenly aware of the resources being sent abroad that could be used to improve the domestic economy and not pay for rockets in Gaza or wars in Syria and Yemen.

In fact, Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad tweeted almost immediately after Soleimani’s death was reported that the Quds commander was also hated by ordinary Iranians for his long history of brutality against his own people. That includes a bloody crackdown on university students in Iran in the 1990s:

Masih Alinejad 🏳️

@AlinejadMasih

IMPORTANT: For many Iranians Qassem Soleimani was a warmonger who caused massive casualties in Syria. He was no hero to average Iranians who chanted against the country’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas 1/

2,637 people are talking about this

In the coming hours and days the debate over the decision to kill Soleimani will unfortunately be dominated by partisan politicians looking to score points for or against President Trump. Perhaps Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut has taken the top partisanship buffoonery prize already by scolding President Trump for the action just two days after publicly decrying America’s lack of action against the Baghdad embassy attack:

Chris Murphy

@ChrisMurphyCT

The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable.

Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us.

America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away.

What a disgrace.

17.2K people are talking about this

Chris Murphy

@ChrisMurphyCT

Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question.

The question is this – as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?

36.7K people are talking about this

But that’s just politics. It will also just be politics when President Trump takes a victory lap on Twitter or at a future rally over this killing.

What isn’t just politics is the fact that Soleimani was a very effective and deadly leader of the world’s most active and pervasive terrorist army. The knee-jerk assumptions we will hear from those who say that someone else will simply take his place and be just as effective and deadly probably come from people who truly don’t know how powerful and effective Soleimani was. He’s going to be a very hard act to follow.

For now, Soleimani’s death is justice for the thousands of deaths he caused all over the world and to his own people. It may have seemed like swift justice Friday morning, but it was actually a long time coming.

Jake Novak is a political and economic analyst at Jake Novak News and former CNBC TV producer. You can follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

China: CFA hits back at Ozil for supporting’East Turkistan’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

CFA hits back at Ozil for supporting’East Turkistan’

SHINE

CFA hits back at Ozil for supporting'East Turkistan'

Reuters

Mesut Ozil.

The Chinese Football Association expressed great indignation and disappointment at the comments made by German footballer Mesut Ozil on “East Turkistan.”

The Arsenal midfielder, who is of Turkish origin, posted messages on Twitter and Instagram on Friday, expressing support to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in Xinjiang.

“‘East Turkistan’ is not a national or religious issue, but separatism, terrorism and extremism, which are despised by peace-loving people all over the world,” Global Times quoted a CFA official as saying.

“Ozil’s comments not only hurt many Chinese fans who pay close attention to him, but also hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, which is unacceptable to us,” the official said.

Arsenal, the English football club where Ozil plays, distanced itself from Ozil’s comments.

“The content published is Ozil’s personal opinion,” the club said in a Chinese language post on Saturday on its official account on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

“As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”

But some angry fans called for a ban on airing Arsenal games featuring Ozil.

“I hope they ban Ozil’s matches and business activities (in China),” wrote one Weibo user.

Another Chinese fan said she “cried last night” after reading Ozil’s post.

“For over a decade, I’ve worn an Arsenal jersey with Ozil’s number. It will never be worn again,” she wrote on Weibo.

Two new documentaries, produced by China Global Television Network and released recently, expose how ‘East Turkistan’ brainwashes people, including children, with extremist thoughts, inciting hatred between different ethnic groups and launching terrorist attacks.

The 31-year-old footballer sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raising questions about his loyalty to Germany on the eve of its 2018 World Cup campaign.

Ozil later quit the national squad, accusing German football officials of racism. Erdogan was Ozil’s best man when the footballer was married in Istanbul this year.

Jersey City mayor: Gunmen wanted to target next door yeshiva with 50 kids inside

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Jersey City mayor: Gunmen wanted to target next door yeshiva with 50 kids inside

If police hadn’t managed to trap shooters in kosher store where 3 killed, result would have been ‘much worse,’ says Steven Fulop; attack viewed as domestic terrorism

Police officers stand near the scene of a gun fight at a kosher supermarket and next door yeshiva in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Police officers stand near the scene of a gun fight at a kosher supermarket and next door yeshiva in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Friday that he believes that the two gunmen who attacked a kosher store in the city, killing three people inside, were actually planning to target a yeshiva next door that had 50 children inside at the time of the assault.

“My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store.” Fulop, who is Jewish, tweeted:  “We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away + it seems he goes in that direction 1st.”

Fulop said that if police had not managed to trap attackers in store, the result would have been much worse.

“This is a horrible tragedy but even in so much darkness with lives lost there is some light in that without question had the bravery/quick response of the police not trapped them in the store this could have been much much worse,” he said.

Steven Fulop

@StevenFulop

My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store. We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away + it seems he goes in that direction 1st

419 people are talking about this

On Thursday Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The two killers were armed with a variety of weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun that they were wielding when they stormed into the store in an attack that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings, broken glass and a community in mourning. A pipe bomb was also found in a stolen U-Haul van.

The Meturgeman@DraftRyan2016

This may be why @StevenFulop tweeted this earlier today: https://twitter.com/stevenfulop/status/1205475151430717440?s=21  https://twitter.com/stevenfulop/status/1205475151430717440 

Steven Fulop

@StevenFulop

My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store. We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away + it seems he goes in that direction 1st

The Meturgeman@DraftRyan2016

You can see the turn in this new video as well.

The massacre – while horrific – could have been so much worse. The 50 children upstairs had their lives spared only through an act of G-d.

Embedded video

134 people are talking about this

“The outcome would have been far, far worse” if not for the Jersey City Police, Grewal said Thursday. Authorities noted that the Jewish school was next to the market, and a Catholic school is across the street.

The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to a police officer at a cemetery about a mile away, before dying in an hourslong gun battle with police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Fulop later clarified his views to the New York Jewish Week, saying: “My job is different than the people that are doing the investigation. I do my best to say it how I see it.”

He cited the locations of the store and yeshiva and the large cache of weapons that the shooters brought in their vehicle.

“It’s very, very clear that the perpetrator first doesn’t go directly to the deli, he goes toward the door adjacent to it, the building and the doors adjacent to it are the yeshiva…he brought a pipe bomb and he brought 5 guns and hundreds of bullets…we know that he drove deliberately to that location,” said Fulop. “You put all things together, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion.”

Jersey City’s mayor Steven Fulop, right, and the Director of Public Safety James Shea talk to reporters across the street from a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

On Thursday Grewal said it was clear the attack was anti-Semitic.

“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said. He said social media posts, witness interviews and other evidence reflected the couple’s hatred of Jews and police.

Grewal noted that after killing three people in the store, the couple concentrated their fire on police and did not shoot at others who happened to be on the streets.

This April 24, 2011 photo provided by the Kent, Ohio Police Department shows David Anderson, one of two gunmen who killed four people in Jersey City, N.J. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (Kent Police Department via AP)

Grewal said the attackers, David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, had expressed interest in a fringe religious group called the Black Hebrew Israelite’s, whose members often rail against Jews and whites. But he said there was no evidence so far that they were members, and added that the two were believed to have acted alone.

The pair brought their cache of weapons in a U-Haul van they drove from Bay View Cemetery, where they shot and killed Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals, according to the attorney general.

The Tunnel2Towers organization, formed after Sept. 11 to support police officers killed in the line of duty, said Friday it would pay the mortgage of Seals, who left behind a wife and five children.

Director of Public Safety James Shea called Seals “the ultimate detective or officer we would point to to tell young officers, ‘This is how you should behave.’” He said Friday that he doubted Seals would have been ambushed by the pair. Authorities haven’t disclosed why Seals was in the cemetery or details of the confrontation that led to his death.

Anderson fired away with the AR-15-style rifle as he entered the store, while Graham brought a 12-gauge shotgun into the shop. They also had handguns with a homemade silencer and a device to catch shell casings. In all, they had five guns — four recovered in the store, one in the van — in what Grewal called a “tremendous amount of firepower.”

Serial numbers from two of the weapons showed that Graham purchased them in Ohio in 2018, the attorney general said.

Mindel Ferencz (Courtesy)

The victims killed in the store were: Mindel Ferencz, 31, who with her husband owned the grocery; 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49. A fourth person in the store was shot and wounded but managed to escape, authorities said.

Members of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community gathered Wednesday night for funerals for Ferencz and Deutsch. Thousands of people, mostly men, followed Ferencz’s casket through the streets of Brooklyn, hugging and crying.

The bloodshed in the city of 270,000 people across the Hudson River from New York City spread fear through the Jewish community and weighed heavily on the minds of more than 300 people who attended a vigil Wednesday night at a synagogue about a mile from where the shootings took place.

In the deadliest attack on Jews in US history, 11 people were killed in an October 2018 shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Last April, a gunman opened fire at a synagogue near San Diego, killing a woman and wounding a rabbi and two others.

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Deadly shooting at Pensacola naval base

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Deadly shooting at Pensacola naval base

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39 min ago

Sheriff says suspect used a handgun

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said that the suspect in the naval station shooting used a handgun in today’s attack.

Morgan would not confirm other information about the shooter including his name or whether a room on campus was raided as part of the ongoing investigation.

38 min ago

Acting Navy Secretary: “These acts are crimes against all of us”

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly released a statement about the two separate shootings that have occurred at naval bases this week.

Modly’s statement addresses today’s fatal shooting in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Wednesday’s shooting on the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard in Hawaii as well as an incident in Little Creek, Virginia.

“These acts are crimes against all of us,” Modly said in the statement.

Read the full statement below:

“Our entire Navy and Marine Corps team is struck and deeply saddened by the attacks within our own naval family over the past several days, at Little Creek, Virginia last week, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Wednesday, and today in Pensacola, Florida. These acts are crimes against all of us. Our prayers are with the families of the fallen and with the wounded. It is our solemn duty to find the causes of such tragic loss and ceaselessly work together to prevent them. Let us make concerted efforts to care for the families of those lost, and those wounded, visibly and not. Let us shepherd them through these first moments of despair, and make them, and our greater Naval family, whole and strong. “

42 min ago

Suspected shooter was in aviation training, official says

The suspected gunman in today’s shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida was in aviation training, Capt. Tim Kinsella said at a news conference.

About the shooter: Five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation told CNN a member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola is the suspected shooter in today’s incident.

At least four people were killed, including the suspected gunman, in the shooting.

43 min ago

Captain: There was “real heroism” today

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said there is going to be a lengthy investigation following today’s shooting.

“You can be proud of your community, and you can be proud of your Navy,” he said.

“We are in recovery mode right now,” Morgan said.

NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer, Captain Tim Kinsella, said he is “in awe” of the responders during the shooting, saying there was “real heroism” today.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the uniform I wear,” Kinsella said.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said this is a tragic day for the city. “This is a community of great resiliency,” he said. “The city will bounce back and be stronger.”

33 min ago

Florida governor on the shooting: “This is a dark day for a very great place”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said “this is a dark day for a very great place,” noting he is a Navy veteran.

DeSantis mentioned the suspect’s ties to the Saudi Air Force and said he spoke to the President about this connection.

Authorities are speaking at news conference right now about the shooting.

You can follow along here or watch it live in the video player above.

1 hr 22 min ago

Officials are allowing some personnel to exit the base

Some personnel will be allowed to exit the installation via the west gate, according to posts on the Naval Air Station Pensacola social media accounts.

The base is closed until further notice.

NAS Pensacola@NASPCOLA

All non-essential personnel on the western side of NAS Pensacola main side, including the museum, the airfield, etc, proceed to the west gate to exit the installation. If you are on the east side of the Interior Command Posts on Taylor or Radford, remain sheltered in place.

FBI takes over the shooting investigation

The FBI has taken over investigation into the shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, according to an FBI spokesperson.

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team has arrived on site and has begun processing the scene, a law enforcement source told CNN.

What we know about the shooting: A total of four people died in the shooting, including the shooter, who has not been identified. Several other people were injured.

Two deputies from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office “negated” the shooter, according to the sheriff. One was shot in the knee and the other in the shoulder, but both are expected to make a full recovery.

1 hr 58 min ago

Saudi national suspected in shooting at Pensacola naval air station

A member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola is the suspected shooter in today’s incident, according to five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation.

The investigators are looking into whether it was terror-related, but it is early in the probe.

CNN has reached out to the Saudi embassy in the US and has not heard back.

2 hr 45 min ago

This is the second shooting at a US naval base this week

The fatal shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida this morning is the second shooting at an American naval base this week.

On Wednesday, a US sailor killed two civilians and himself at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

Investigators have yet to identify motives in either shooting.

2 hr 21 min ago

Officials will give another update at 1 p.m. ET

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office will hold another news conference about the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida at 1 p.m. ET.

Officials just wrapped up a news conference about the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, this morning.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The timeline: Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said officers received notice that there was an active shooter at 6:51 a.m. local time.
  • 3 people and the shooter were killed: A total of four people died in the shooting, including the shooter, who has not been identified.
  • 11 people were shot: Officials said a total of eleven people were shot. Eight of them were transported to a local hospital, where one of them died.
  • Deputies engaged the shooter: Two deputies from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office “negated” the shooter, according to the sheriff. One was shot in the knee and the other in the shoulder, but both are expected to make a full recovery.

What we don’t know: It’s still unclear if the shooter was military personnel. Officials have also declined to answer questions about the weapons used by the shooting and the specific building in which the shooting took place.

3 hr 46 min ago

Sheriff: “Crime scene was like being on the set of a movie”

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said they received the call about the active shooter at 7:51 a.m. ET.

The sheriff said they are in the middle of the investigation, and cannot provide much information. However, he said, “walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie.”

The two officers who negated the threat are in the local hospital, both shot in the limbs. They’re expected to recover.

“We do have several deceased and several wounded,” Commanding Officer Captain Tim Kinsella at NAS Pensacola said.

The active shooter has been neutralized. The base is shut down until further notice.

Mayor of Pensacola, Grover Robinson called it a “tragic day” for the city of Pensacola, “We are a military town.” The mayor asked residents to stay away from that side of town.

3 hr 50 min ago

11 people were shot

A total of 11 people were shot this morning at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.

Four of those are deceased, one of whom was the shooter, Escambia County’s Chief Chip Simmons said.

Eight people were transported to a local hospital, where one of the injured died.

There are currently three others inside the building who are deceased.

Commanding Officer Captain Tim Kinsella at NAS Pensacola said the shooting happened in a classroom building.

3 hr 54 min ago

Sheriff: Deputies engaged the shooter

David Morgan, sheriff of Escambia County, said two deputies engaged the shooter, and “It was a member of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office that did negate the threat.”

The two officers were shot during the exchange with the gunman.

Morgan said that one deputy was shot in the arm and another was shot in the knee. “Both expected to survive,” Morgan said.

3 People Stabbed At The Hague Mall

(THIS ARTICLE SO COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

The Hague stabbing: Several hurt in attack at department store

Police in the Grote Marktstraat in The HagueImage copyright EPA
Image caption The attack happened in a busy shopping area

At least three people have been stabbed in an attack at a department store in a busy shopping street in The Hague, Dutch police say.

Police are searching for a man aged between 45 and 50, wearing a grey jogging tracksuit, who they believe may be behind the attack.

Images on social media showed emergency services at the scene amid crowds of Black Friday shoppers.

The condition of those injured and the motive for the attack remain unclear.

The incident happened at the Hudson’s Bay store in the city’s Grote Market or main market square area, local reports say.

Video posted to social media showed dozens of shoppers running in the busy shopping street.

Police have urged the public to contact them if they witnessed the attack or see anyone matching the description of the suspect.

They also requested that anyone with images or footage of the incident send it to police.

Map of the Netherlands with The Hague and Amsterdam marked

Related Topics

Stabbing incident
Map data ©2019 GeoBasis-DE/BKG (©2009), Google

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“Stabbing incident with multiple wounded on the Big Market Street in The Hague. Emergency Services are on the scene. More information to follow from this account,” police tweeted in Dutch.
Police have asked eyewitnesses to come forward and said the situation is “complex.”
The incident happened at a busy shopping street in the center of the city.
The news comes hours after a man was shot dead in central London by police officers, in a terrorist stabbing incident that left a number of people injured.
This is a developing story. Please return for updates.
Stabbing incident
Map data ©2019 GeoBasis-DE/BKG (©2009), Google

<img src=”data:;base64,

<img src=”data:;base64,

<img src=”data:;base64,

“Stabbing incident with multiple wounded on the Big Market Street in The Hague. Emergency Services are on the scene. More information to follow from this account,” police tweeted in Dutch.
Police have asked eyewitnesses to come forward and said the situation is “complex.”
The incident happened at a busy shopping street in the center of the city.
The news comes hours after a man was shot dead in central London by police officers, in a terrorist stabbing incident that left a number of people injured.
This is a developing story. Please return for updates.

London: Another Terror Attack On The London Bridge

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

LONDON — A man was shot by police Friday afternoon after several people were stabbed near London Bridge, officials said.

The area surrounding the incident was cordoned off and bus, subway and train stations were closed. Shops and restaurants in the area were evacuated.

Video posted to social media from eyewitnesses appeared to show armed police and members of the public crowd around a person on the floor, on the north side of the bridge. Police are treating the incident as though it were terrorism-related on a precautionary basis.

Hand Luggage Only@HLOBlog

Please stay away from ! I just saw a man with a knife being shot in the head by police. Please be careful London!

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The attack was first reported just before 2 p.m. (9 a.m. ET) and the Metropolitan Police confirmed “a number of people have been injured.” Their condition is not known.

Transport for London confirmed that London Bridge station, a major terminus for commuters across the southeast of England, was closed.

The London Ambulance Service declared a major incident and confirmed it had a number of crews at the scene.

Metropolitan Police

@metpoliceuk

Police were called at 1:58pm to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge.

Emergency services attended, including officers from the Met and @CityPolice.

A man has been detained by police. We believe a number of people have been injured. Further info to follow.

2,960 people are talking about this

Police vehicles and a fire truck could be seen arriving at the scene 90 minutes after the incident.

A bystander who declined to provide a name described hearing “rapid gunfire” and seeing police officers dragging a motionless body away from the scene.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement released via official Twitter account: “I’m being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response.”

London Bridge was the scene of a terror attack in 2017, in which eight people died and 48 were injured.

Pakistan, with China, tries to put 4 Indians on UN terror list

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
(INDIA IS LEARNING A HARD FACT: CHINA’S GOVERNMENT IS NO ONE’S FRIEND)(OP:ED oldpoet56)

Pakistan, with China, tries to put 4 Indians on UN terror list

After the UN Security Council designated Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan has been on an overdrive to frame Indians in terror cases.

INDIANS-ABROAD Updated: Nov 22, 2019 04:24 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
After Masood Azhar was designated global terrorist by the UN security panel, there have been several attempts by Pakistan to falsely implicate Indian nationals in terror cases.
After Masood Azhar was designated global terrorist by the UN security panel, there have been several attempts by Pakistan to falsely implicate Indian nationals in terror cases.(VIA REUTERS)

Officials in the national security agencies and South Block are now convinced that Pakistan has embarked on a tit-for-tat designation of Indian nationals as terrorists under the UN Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaida sanctions committee as a response to India’s success, with assistance from the US and France, in having got Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist on May 1.

Last week, Pakistan, with the support of UN Security Council permanent member and its all-weather ally China moved the 1267 Al Qaida sanctions committee to designate two Indians global terrorists after accusing them of past terror attacks in Balochistan and Peshawar, and even registered FIRs against them. This takes to four the number of Indians labelled terrorists by Pakistan. All four persons were evacuated by Indian security agencies from Afghanistan, with the last one being flown out of Kabul on November 18.

Hindustan Times has reported on three of the cases. The fourth is that of Andhra Pradesh resident Appaji Angara, who was working as a software developer in a bank in Kabul, Afghanistan. While Angara was moved out of Kabul as early as January 18, Pakistan accused him of a terrorist attack on Mall Road in Lahore on February 13, 2017, along with the Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan.

ALSO WATCH | PM Modi hails ‘big victory’ after UN sanctions on Jaish chief Masood Azhar

In the dossier submitted to the 1267 committee, Angara has been accused of the attack on Army School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, in collaboration with JuA, and a bombing in Warsak colony in Peshawar on September 2, 2016. An FIR number 77 (dated July 13, 2019) under sections 312, 324, 353, 14B, 149, ¾ F & P, 7 ATA, counter-terrorism department, police station Peshawar, has been registered against him. The residence address, passport number and personal details of Angara are being withheld by HT.

Earlier this week, HT reported Pakistan’s effort to designate Gobinda Patnaik Duggivalasa. The Odisha-born Duggivalasa, 54, was hurriedly evacuated from Kabul by Indian security agencies on November 18 after he was accused of a terror attack on Siraj Raisani, a Pakistani politician, on July 13, 2018 in Mastung, Baluchistan in which 160 persons were killed. An FIR number 12/18 (dated July 13, 2019) under sections 109-427-34-ATA counter terrorism department, police station Quetta, Balochistan, and another FIR number 08/2018 (dated July 9, 2019) under section 109-427-07 ATA CTD, police station Quetta, Balochistan, names Duggivalasa as a terrorist.

A B. Com graduate from Odisha, with a diploma in computer applications from Chennai and a MBA from Vishakapatnam, Duggivalasa, according to dossier, worked as President of Phoenix Consulting Services in Kabul, Afghanistan. The company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Fluentgrid, and involved in capacity-building projects in Afghanistan. The full details of Duggivalasa are being withheld by HT.

Several Indian companies are working on projects in Afghanistan as the country seeks to rebuild its infrastructure after years of conflict.

Indian intelligence officials point to the two other instances, involving Indian nationals Ajoy Mistry in October and Venu Madhav Dongara in September – HT was the first to report on both – where Pakistan, with the help from China, tried to embarrass India in the UN through the 1267 route.

In the backdrop of the Imran Khan government showcasing two Indians arrested this week near Bhawalpur, despite New Delhi having informed Islamabad about their inadvertent crossing over to Pakistan months ago, the proposals before the 1267 committee are ominous, officials say it is evident from the chain of events that Pakistan, with the help of China, wants to brand India as a terror factory to “achieve parity”.

Had these Indians not been extracted, it is possible that they may have been abducted by ISI from Afghanistan, in much the same way Indian naval officer-turned-businessman Kulbushan Jadhav was from Iran, the officials added. Islamabad claimed in 2017 that he was arrested from Balochistan and accused him of terrorism and spying for Indian spy agency Research & Analysis Wing. He was sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan but the International Court of Justice stayed the execution. In July, it asked Pakistan to review his trial and conviction and to also provide consular access to India.

While the first two proposals (involving Mistry and Dongara) were blocked by the US, New Delhi has again sought the help of its friends within the UNSC to stop any further attempts by Pakistan to tarnish India’s reputation.

.

IRGC, Muslim Brotherhood Held Secret Summit to Join Forces Against Saudi Arabia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Report: IRGC, Muslim Brotherhood Held Secret Summit to Join Forces Against Saudi Arabia

Monday, 18 November, 2019 – 13:00
Former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meet in Tehran in 2012. AFP file photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
The Intercept revealed on Monday that the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) held a summit with the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey in 2014 in an attempt to join forces against Saudi Arabia.

The disclosure that two sides held a summit is included in a leaked archive of secret Iranian intelligence reports obtained by the American news organization.

One of the most important things the two sides shared was considering Saudi Arabia “the common enemy” of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, said The Intercept.

The Muslim Brotherhood was represented in the meeting by three of its most prominent leaders in exile: Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, Mahmoud El-Abiary, and Youssef Moustafa Nada, according to the document.

What neither side knew was that there was a spy in the summit. Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, MOIS, a rival of the Revolutionary Guards within the Iranian national security apparatus, secretly had an agent in the meeting who reported everything that was discussed.

The Muslim Brotherhood delegation opened the meeting with a boast, pointing out that the outfit “has organizations in 85 countries in the world.”

“Differences between Iran as a symbol and representative of the Shiite world and the Muslim Brotherhood as a representative of the Sunni world are indisputable,” the Brotherhood members noted, according to the MOIS cable. But they emphasized that there “should be a focus on joint grounds for cooperation.”

Perhaps, the Brotherhood delegation said, the two sides could join forces against the Saudis. The best place to do that was in Yemen.

“In Yemen, with the influence of Iran on Houthis and the influence of the Brotherhood on the armed tribal Sunni factions, there should be a joint effort to decrease the conflict between Houthis and Sunni tribes to be able to use their strength against Saudi Arabia,” the Brotherhood delegation argued.

There were public meetings and contacts between Iranian and Egyptian officials while Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohammed Morsi was president of Egypt from 2012 to 2013, said The Intercept.

The Iranian intelligence cable about the 2014 meeting provides an intriguing glimpse at a secret effort by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian officials to maintain contact — and determine whether they could still work together — after Morsi was removed from power.

Pakistan: terror training camps still active in Pakistan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Imran Khan’s posturing aside, terror training camps still active in Pakistan

South Block confirms that terror training camps of LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen are still active in Pakistan despite the public posturing of Imran Khan government.

INDIA Updated: Nov 17, 2019 09:33 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan(Reuters file photo)

External affairs minister S Jaishankar’s statement this week that Pakistan has developed a terrorist industry comes in the backdrop of reports that trained Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suicide attackers have infiltrated Jammu and Kashmir in October and that the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leadership is in constant touch with their handlers in Rawalpindi GHQ.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Jaishankar said the eradication of anti-India terrorist groups is a pre-condition for dialogue with Pakistan.

South Block confirms that terror training camps of LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen are still active in Pakistan despite the public posturing of Imran Khan government. India sent a specific list of locations, including Google map co-ordinates of 24 prominent terror training camps in Pakistan to the country after the Pulwama attack but none of these camps has been shut down to date.

The names of camps include Abdulla bin Mashood (LeT); Balakot (JeM); Barali/Fagosh 1 & 2 (LeT); Barnala (HM); Bhawalpur (JeM); Batarsi camp 1 & 2 (LeT & JeM); Chelabandi (LeT/JeM/ HM) and Daura-e-Azeemat (HM). Many of these camps are located in Occupied Kashmir, Manshera, Peshawar, Bhawalpur and Lahore.

According to security agencies, JeM’s operational commander Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar along with his brother Maulana Ammar met their handlers in Rawalpindi GHQ on November 10 seeking financial help, removal of restrictions on the terror group and instructions for future action.

Indian intelligence inputs also say that two LeT suicide attackers, Osama and Abdullah infiltrated the newly created UT in early October after undergoing a so-called purification course and with the approval of senior LeT leadership.

While the hunt is on in J&K for these two, the state police has killed no less than 150 terrorists this year including 70 Pakistani nationals.

When EAM Jaishankar talked about terrorist factory, he was also talking about Pakistan’s other options in targeting India. As recently as September 23, Pakistan based Ranjeet Singh Neeta’s Khalistan Zindabad Force tried unsuccessfully to send a cache of AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and ammunition across the international border.

Pro-Khalistan terrorists currently being given shelter by Pakistan include Harmeet Singh and Lakhbir Singh of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF); Paramjit Singh Panjwar of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF); Gajinder Singh of Dal Khalsa and Wadhawa Singh Babbar of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

Members of Indian Mujahideen group, who planned and executed blasts in India between 2005 to 2013, are also now freely operating in Pakistan. These include Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal, Mohasin Choudhary, Afiff Hassan Siddibappa and Mohammed Rashid.

The fugitives taking shelter even today in Pakistan are all the principals accused in 1993 Mumbai bomb blast cases, engineered by global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. His associates including Anees Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Chhota Shakeel, Mohammed Dosa and Fahim Machmach also operate freely in Pakistan.

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