Tuesday :: November 17, 2015

Tuesday Night Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trial Begins for Al-Baghdadi's Ex-Wife in Lebanon

A military trial for Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, the ex-wife of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi began today in Lebanon on charges of illegal entry into Lebanon (her documents were forged) and belonging to an armed terrorist organization with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack. Her lawyer says she is willing to provide assistance in the Lebanese Hostage situation.

She has been held for a year, in a cell with her four children, one of whom was born in custody. Her 7 year old daughter Hajar is the child she had with al-Baghdadi, to whom she was married for 2 months.

She was last in court in July, when her trial was postponed because she had no lawyer. She made several statements to the court, including referring to al-Baghdadi as "Hisham Mohammad." [More...]

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The Debate Over Refugees

Should the U.S. take Syrian refugees? The debate continues as Republicans fall all over themselves, as if they were competing to be elected the next Henny Penny instead of President.

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Kremlin Announces Russian flight Downed by Bomb

Russia last night announced the results of its investigation into the Sharm el-Sheikh plane crash in Egypt. It was a bomb. Traces of explosives were found.

Alexander Bortnikov, the chief of the country's FSB domestic security agency, said that a bomb equivalent to 2.2 pounds of TNT exploded on board the aircraft, according to the Kremlin.

"You can definitely say that this is a terrorist act," he told a meeting of Russia's Security Council on Monday.

Russia is offering a $50 million reward for information on the perpetrator(s.) And, Putin said in his announcement, Russia has no intention of letting up on its airstrikes in Syria. [More...]

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Sunday :: November 15, 2015

Who Did the U.S. Kill In Libya Airstrikes?

The Libya Herald reports Abu Nabil Al-Anbari, was not killed in a U.S. airstrike near Derna in Libya yesterday.

More importantly, how can the U.S. say al-Anbari is probably the Isis leader featured in the Egyptian Coptic Christian killing video from February, "A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross?"

The leader in the video spoke English with an American accent. At the time, experts said if he was not American, he spent a lot of time in the U.S. Nabil al-Anbari is Iraqi and a former police officer.

al-Furqān Media put out two videos featuring the English speaking killer. The first was the video of the Egyptian Coptic Christians being beheaded on the beach which is attributed to Wilayat Tarabulus (Tripoli.) The second, a few months later, depicts the slaughter of Ethiopian Coptic Christians (described here) and is attributed to Wilayat Barqa and Wilayat Fezzan. (I think he also may be in this video by the group, released in September, 2015, at about 14 minutes in, speaking in Arabic, but that's just my opinion.) [More...]

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Saturday :: November 14, 2015

Saturday Night With the Dem Debate

Well, for you guys, I have somewhere to go.

Debate Open Thread.

Update (TL): I'm watching. The theme is terrorism.

Hillary looks great. She sounds so much more experienced on foreign affairs than Sanders and O'Malley. Hillary says we can support the countries fighting ISIS, but it's not our fight. I agree. O'Malley is much more hawkish, on both war and intelligence. Sanders doesn't come off anywhere near as sure of himself as he does on economic topics. I wouldn't trust either O'Malley or Sanders to be chief Executive.

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At Least Four Prior ISIS Videos Threatening France

In November, 2014, just days after the mass beheadings of Syrian pilots by Jihadi John and 16 or 18 other fighters, in which Peter Kassig's severed head appears, French ISIS members released a video, What Are You Waiting For?" It reportedly served as one of the inspirations for Almedy Coulibaly's Charlie Hebdo attacks. You can watch a copy with English translations here. I wrote about it at length here. SITE described it here and the Daily Mail here.


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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Paris Attacks

ISIS has released an official statement (English audio here) claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks and explaining why.

On the attackers: One of the attackers came through Greece with refugees. Three are from the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels. [More...]

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Saturday College Football Open Thread

My picks:

Iowa -10 over Minnesota; Oklahoma @ Baylor -3, Oregon -10 @ Stanford, Arkansas +8 @ LSU, Memphis +7 @ Houston, Kentucky +3 @ Vanderbilt, Kansas State +6 @ Texas Tech, Clemson @ Syracuse +30, Nebraska @ Rutgers +8.0 Miami Florida @ North Carolina -13 (5 units), Michigan @ Indiana +13, Alabama -8 (3 units) @ Mississippi State, Virginia @ Louisville -14, North Carolina State +9 @ Florida State, Tulane @ Army -3 Purdue +15 @ Northwestern, Maryland @ Michigan State -15, Texas +9 @ West Virginia, Ohio State -17 (3 units) @ Illinois, Florida @ South Carolina +8, Georgia @ Auburn Pick (3 units).

Go Gators!

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Paris Open Thread

To talk about the Paris terrorist attacks.

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Friday :: November 13, 2015

Did the U.S. Strike Kill Mohammed Emwazi?

The U.S. says it is 90% sure that Jihadi John died in an airstrike in Raqqa.

I don't believe he was an ISIS leader. He seemed more of a recruit" who after basic military training, was sent to watch prisoners. Then he became the iconic symbol of the ISIS beheader of foreign journalists, and caught everyone's attention.

If the U.S. killed him, they killed a telegenic symbol of the war with ISIS. So what? It won't dampen ISIS' enthusiasm for shock killings. His replacement was probably picked before his death. And ISIS may have decided he had to go because he was bringing too much heat. Either way, he's likely dead. I doubt they had a mole who gave him up (although some will claim to have been the mole . Sounds to me like our gps and electronic surveillance got him.

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Friday Open Thread

I'm glad the weekend is almost here, but I have a lot of work to do so it will be tonight before I stop in again.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: November 11, 2015

Tuesday Night Open Thread

Snow, wind and jail visits, that was my day.

Here's an open thread while I catch up on ISIS and the Russian plane crash news and El Chapo non-news. I missed last night's debate, but from what I heard on the car radio, I didn't miss much.

A special thanks to all our veterans. Even though I'm against war and big military spending, I appreciate their sacrifice and thank them for their protecting our country.

All topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: November 10, 2015

Russian Plane Crash Investigation Moves to Hotels

Egypt is now investigating hotel workers, from maids to bellmen, to see if they helped ISIS' Wilayat Sinai bring down the Russian plane.

Turns out, the hotel security staff has been using fake metal detecting wands.

Sharm el-Sheikh now resembles a ghost town.

Apparently, what made all the governments 90% sure it was a bomb was some last second sound on the black box cockpit voice recorder. The turnaround in opinion was immediate. No one has described the sound, calling it an "unknown sound", with many assuming it was of an explosion. I'm wondering if the sound wasn't something else -- like someone shouting "Allahu Akbar", which only takes a second to say.

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Senate Military Bill Passes: Prohibits Gitmo Transfers

The Senate passed the annual NDAA today. (National Defense Authorization Act.) It prohibits the transfer Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. The vote in the Senate was 91 to 3. Obama is expected to sign the bill, notwithstanding his objection to the Gitmo provision.

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