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French Cops Close in on Brothers Who May Have Hostage

As of this morning Paris police got all geared up to conduct an attack operation near Paris where they believe the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo murders are staked out in a small printing company. Evidently, the brothers are believed to be holed up inside the business with a hostage.

While others say they heard shots and that two people were killed and more injured, the Paris prosecutor's office denies this part.

Stay tuned, it should happen pretty fast now, but I've got to get some sleep. (3:17 a.m. here.)

This thread is open to aspects of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

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Who's Behind The Charlie Hebdo Attacks?

What a sad day in Paris with 12 dead in a terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. The BBC has good ongoing coverage.

French police published the photos above of two of the three suspects, Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, French brothers reportedly of Algerian descent who were born and raised in Paris.

It looks like police named the wrong guy for the third and youngest suspect. Hamyd Mourad, 18, has surrendered to police. His classmates tweeted he was in class at the time of the attack. There are other reports he has a credible alibi and has been released. If so, It's a good thing he surrendered. He probably would have been shot if police found him first. [More...]

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Merry Christmas from AQAP and Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri

AQAP (Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) has released Issue 13 of its Inspire Magazine. I moved some parts of the cover around in the above picture, here's the actual cover.

It's been a long time since AQAP released an issue of Inspire. It seems they wanted to get this one out for Christmas, which will be the 5th anniversary of Captain Underpants' (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab ) failed attempt to set off a bomb on a plane traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit.

The issue gets right to the point: America is the enemy and Al Qaida's supporters in our neck of the woods will be setting off more bombs. To help them, the issue offers encouragement and instructions on how to build a bomb in their kitchen. From the Editor of the magazine:

He continues: [More....]

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Sorrow in Sydney

The hostage situation at the chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney did not end well. The store manager and a woman lawyer with three children were killed, along with the lone gunman, who was not a member of any extremist group. He had no ties to any terror organization.

Police stormed the cafe this morning. The gunman was Man Haron Monis, who was well known to authorities for his extremism and mental instability.

[He is] an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan. He was charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, but had been free on bail.

He was facing more than 40 sexual assault charges.[More...]

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Pakistan Military Kills Al Qaeda Leader Indicted in U.S.

The Pakistani military announced it carried out a raid this weekend on an al Qaida hideout in South Waziristan, killing AQ leader Adnan G. el-Shukrijumah, a naturalized U.S. citizen indicted for terror crimes in the U.S.

Pakistan said it was their intelligence that led to the raid (not U.S. Intelligence.) Adnan G. el-Shukrijumah has been on the FBI's wanted list for a long time. In 2003, based on information obtained during the interrogation of 9/11 detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, they searched for him from Florida to Morocco. In 2010, he was indicted in the Eastern District of New York as part of the Najibullah Zazi case involving a plan to attack the NY subway. He was also charged with planning to blow up a shopping mall in Manchester, England. [More...]

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Homeland Security Issues Threat Notice

Homeland Security has issued a threat notice urging current and former law enforcement, and military members to scrub their social media accounts of information that would identify them as such.

While the notice says no specific threats have been received, it says one is possible -- better safe than sorry.

The notice is here. [More...]

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DOJ Sends Dozens of Prosecutors Abroad to Help Prosecute Terrorists

Attorney General Eric Holder today said that DOJ has been sending dozens of prosecutors to countries in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa to assist those countries in prosecuting returning and/or captured terrorists from ISIS and other terror groups.

"These personnel will provide critical assistance to our allies in order to help prosecute those who return from the Syrian region bent on committing acts of terrorism."

The cooperation includes "information sharing, investigations and prosecutions, and countering violent extremism."

According to another DOJ official, so far 70 prosecutors have been dispatched. [More...]

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RCMP Update on Parliament Attack and Zehaf-Bibeau

The RCMP has issued an update on the investigation into the Parliament Shooting and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. According to the Toronto Star, saying Zehaf-Bibeau had recorded himself on video before the attack "that amounts to “persuasive evidence” that his attack had been “driven by ideological and political motives.” The RCMP statement is here.

The video is not being released, but the statement contains no such evidence. It says he obtained the knife he was carrying from his aunt's property where he had buried it years earlier. The gun is an old an uncommon gun and they are unsure of its origin. They believe he financed the attack from his own savings, when he worked for oil fields in Alberta. [More...]

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Zale Thompson's Hatchet Attack on Police in Queens

Zale Thompson of Queens, New York attacked four recent police academy graduates with a hatchet on the street in Queens yesterday as they were posing for a picture. The incident was caught on tape. One officer was struck in the head and is in critical condition. Another officer was struck in the arm and was treated and released from the hospital. The other two officers shot at Thompson, who died at the scene.

Authorities are pouring over his social media contacts to determine the motive for the attack and whether he has links to terrorists like ISIS. As far as I can tell, he's a militant whose cause is the oppression of African Americans in America, not religious oppression. He's interested in Africa and America, not the Middle East. I see nothing to indicate he cares about Sharia law. [More...

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Saddam's Pilots Teach ISIS to Fly

Former pilots for Saddam's air force are reportedly teaching ISIS to fly. Among the aircraft: MI-G fighter planes they got from Syria in battle. The fighter jets have been spotted over Aleppo in Syria.

Islamic State (Isis) is takings its first steps towards building an air force by training pilots to fly captured fighter planes, according to a group monitoring the conflict in Syria.

Isis is using lots of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery and Jeeps taken from the Syrian and Iraqi armies but this is the first report that it has planes in the air.

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Brazilian Hotel Evacuated as Hostage Paraded on Balcony

An employee at a luxury hotel in Brasilia has been taken hostage, handcuffed, strapped in a suicide vest and paraded on the balcony of a room on the 13th floor, with a gun to his head. The hotel has been evacuated and police are trying to get the hostage taker to release him. Photo here.

Unconfirmed reports are that the hostage taker checked into the hotel this morning, is a minor public official who is demanding the President of Brazil step down. (There was a televised debate last night in the upcoming presidential election.) Negotiators are on scene.[More....]

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French Hostage in Algeria Beheaded After Demands Rejected

Islamic Militants in Algeria have beheaded French hostage Herve Gourde, a tourist and mountain guide, after France said it would not meet its demands. France's response:

As grave as the situation is, we will give in to no blackmail, no pressure, no ultimatum," he said. "No terrorist group can in any way influence France's position, will, and freedom."

The group in Algeria is called Jund al-Khilafa. It recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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New Video Message From Hostage John Cantlie

Here's the latest video message from ISIS hostage John Cantlie. Watch now, because You Tube keeps taking it down. He quotes a lot of U.S. officials and argues Obama was caught off guard and the air strikes won't succeed.

He says Iran is running Iraq, and the appointment of "a new puppet" in Iraq is an important piece of the puzzle of America's Gulf War III.

He points out the pre-911 Afghans are already back in control of large parts of Afhanistan. He says not since Vietnam, have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making. [More...]

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Can Western Governments Stop Their Citizens From Joining Terror Groups?

Source: Rayat al Tawheed Tumbler

Western nations are trying to stop citizens from leaving to fight with groups like ISIS.

What do counter-terror officials propose?

Counterterrorism officials recommend that countries share data to detect the recruitment of foreign fighters, monitor online communications more aggressively, share airline passenger information in advance, and criminalize travel abroad to fight.

How will they limit the surveillance to those who may want to join ISIS as opposed to regular citizens? My answer: They can't. So the rest of us should get used to to to the idea of ramped up intrusions on our civil liberties.

Most of the recruits are young -- in their 20's. Arresting them on their return, as some countries are proposing, or as they are about to leave, and giving them long jail sentences is a bad idea. Prison will further radicalize them. They will become more marginalized and feel more oppressed.
I doubt this will prevent any young adults from wanting to join them. [More...]

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Al Qaida Announces Formation of New Branch in Indian Subcontinent

As if the West doesn't have enough headaches with ISIS, here comes al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to announce the formation of a new branch in the Indian subcontinent, including Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh, Ahmedabad and Assam. al-Zawahiri says the Indian subcontinent was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded, and they want to restore Islam to it. He also reaffirms the group's loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

No mention is made of ISIS, and al-Zawahiri has yet to issue a statement about the group. But ISIS won't be pleased to learn that one of the six goals of the new group is to establish a Caliphate state through Jihad.

al-Zawahiri says this has been in the works for two years. It is a unification effort to unite all the Muslims in the region into one group. This is consistent with Osama bin Laden's strategy. [More...]

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