Shannon Conley, a 19 year old from Arvada, CO was sentenced to four years in federal prison today.
She actually caught a big break. Had she not agreed to cooperate and plead guilty, for which the feds agreed to let her plead to the catch-all conspiracy charge under 18 USC Section 371, which carries a five year maximum sentence, she would have been facing a lot more time. Her sentencing guidelines, according to her plea agreement, were 25 to 30 years.
What did she do? From her plea agreement (in which she admits the following): She met a guy online named Yousr Mouelhi who said he was with ISIS. They agreed on the need for violent jihad. They decided to get married and made plans for her to travel to Turkey. But first, to improve her jihadist skills, she enrolled in in the volunteer US Army Explorers (USAE)program and received training in military tactics and firearms.[More...]
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The Indian press reports today on the evidence that will be used against Shami Witness. A key piece will be a tweet by Shami in response to repeated requests by a would-be militant recruit using the handle @TalabAlHaqq for information on how to make the crossing from Turkey to Syria. He had been waiting for months in Turkey. [More....]
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The black clad executioner known only as "Jihadi John" is back. Today ISIS released a video with a Message to Japan. The video is in English. Jihadi John says as a result of Japan pledging $200 million in non-military aid to assist in the fight against ISIS, it is demanding a ransom of $200 million, one for each of the two Japanese hostages.
One of the hostages, Haruna Yukawa, was shown being interrogated in a video last August. The second, Kenji Goto, is a journalist.
At the end of the video, Jihadi John addresses the Japanese people. He tells them they have 72 hours to convince their government to pay. "Otherwise, this knife will become your nightmare." [More...]
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A Belgian arms dealer and "known underworld figure" turned himself into authorities today. He admitted supplying several weapons to Amedi Coulibaly which were used in the Paris attacks.
Federal police, who searched the suspect’s apartment, found papers linking him to a transaction with Amedy Coulibaly, the jihadist who murdered four Jewish men and held others hostage at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in east Paris on Friday.
According to the local press, the man sold Coulibaly the Skorpion submachine guns he used in the attack, as well as the rocket propelled grenade launcher and the Kalashnikov automatic assault rifles that Said and Cherif Kouachi used to perpetrate the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. The weapons were purchased near the Midi railway station in downtown Brussels for less than 5,000 euros, according to the reports.
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Update: 1/14/15: The fighter standing next to the child soldier who kills the Russian and Kazakh intel agents is Abu Saad al-Dagfhistani. He was killed in Kobane today according to ISIS accounts.
Al Hayat Media, an official media arm of the Islamic State, has a new video (I'm not linking to it) in which two captured Russian/Kazakh intelligence agents confess and are shot and killed. What's unusual is that the killer is about 10 years old. The video shows him prepare to kill the men and then proceed to shoot them in the head. The final screenshot in the video is of the child I wrote about here in an earlier video who was one of many children from Kazakhstan training in a camp in Syria. That child appears to be about 10 years old and looks and sounds female. S/he says to the camera, "We're going to kill you O kuffar...we're going to slaughter you."
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Al Hayat Media, one of the media arms for the Islamic State (ISIS) has released a “martyrdom” video of Almedy Coulibaly, recorded before the Kosher market siege, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and explaining his reasons for hooking up with the Kouachi brothers and embarking on his killing spree. It’s already down from You Tube, but you can watch it here, here or here. Even though it is in French, I suggest you watch it to see the editing. If you'd rather read about it, descriptions by the media are here and here.
Al Hayat takes video recorded by Coulibaly after the Charlie Hebdo killings and the killing of the policewoman, but before the market killings, and adds its own text and descriptions, giving the impression he is being interviewed by ISIS. [More...]
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Just before New Years, I wondered what happened to John Cantlie.
We have the answer. He's still alive. Here is his latest video giving a tour of Mosul, Iraq, which he says is the "absolute heartland" of the Caliphate and home to 2 million people." He says he sees millions of people going about their daily business after years of oppression.
Towards the end, he is driving an ISIS police motorcycle through the streets of Mosul, with a big grin and an ISIS member sitting behind him: [More...]
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Shami Witness, the tweeter from India who posted ISIS news updates with favorable comments, went to court yesterday. His police detention is over, and he has been remanded to judicial custody until Jan. 15.
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi told reporters: "During interrogation, we figured that he (Biswas) was in direct touch with ISIS fighters. We have gathered evidence to show that he supported IS. Apart from proactively tweeting for the group, his messages prove that he encouraged youths to join the organisation."
The police also said that their investigation into his role in working as a propagandist was complete. "He cooperated during interrogation and never refused to share any information that we sought. We will seek his custody if required in the coming days based on inputs from the National Investigation Agency," a police source said.
Another police source says: [More...]
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ISIS is undoubtedly the story of the year, in my opinion. Taking a look back, I wonder, where are these ISIS newsmakers now?
ISIS military superstar Abu Wahib
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ISIS has released issue No. 6 of Dabiq Magazine. You can read it here. Shorter version:
The Muslims will continue to defy the kāfir war machine, flanking the crusaders on their own streets and bringing the war back to their own soil.
I don't think it's as interesting as prior issues, despite the graphic photo of the captured Jordanian pilot wearing an orange jumpsuit. [More...]
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I wasn't the only one spending hours on Wordpress this week. So was ISIS (or a government agency pretending to be ISIS.) It has a newly remodeled website containing official releases of reports and videos from their various states, in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, etc. According to the twitter feed for the website, it went live on December 17. (The website is here, but don't click through the entries unless your are prepared to see a lot of violence. I'm writing about it because of the design, not the content. Also, it's in Arabic, so you'll need to use Google translate.)
The site designer chose the Dynamic News theme. There's a free Lite version and a Pro version, and they have the Lite version (no purchase funds to trace.)
The site has an FAQ page. Ir doesn't have comments, but it does have a contact page and they encourage communication, although the form requires an e-mail address. (Maybe it's not really an ISIS creation, but a sting site by some government agency to get information on would be ISIS recruits?)[More...]
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The father of 1st Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS, has issued a plea for his return.
"I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Mu'ath, with generous hospitality," he said. "I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother."
"We are all Muslims," he added.
Here are very large-size (non-violent) photos of his capture. What are the chances the pilot will not be killed? [More...]
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Indian police, with the help of Twitter, have now gone through Shami Witness' (Mehdi Masroor Biswas)list of 17,000 plus followers and his tweets. What have they found?
Sources privy to the investigation, meanwhile, admitted that sleuths are yet to find anything incendiary, which involves Mehdi directly. An officer said they haven't come across any tweet in which Mehdi asks for specific acts of terrorism to be committed. "He is more of a cheerleader. He supported ISIS activities, shared messages backing the outfit and egged on the cadres, saying what they were doing was right," he said.
Out of his 17,000 followers, police were interested in about 50 of them. They sent those 50 emails, asking the following questions: [More...]
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This is the longer (12 minute) version of CNN's interview with German journalist Juergen Todenhoefer who recently returned from spending 10 days with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Here is the 3 minute version I wrote about Monday.)
This longer version is even more compelling. There are also new details on the overweight German fighter who defends slavery and beheadings and tells Todenhoefer ISIS will conquer Europe some day, it's only a matter of time, and that James Foley died because of the U.S. government.
He is 30 year old Christian Emde, who was jailed in Great Britain in 2011 along with 25 year old Richard Baum, for possessing a lot of extremist literature, including the AQAP articles from the issue of Inspire Magazine on how to build a bomb. They were convicted and sentenced, and deported back to Germany in 2012. They both then joined ISIS. Baum blew himself up in a suicide attack weeks ago. [More...]
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I wrote the other day about German journalist Juergen Todenhoefer, who just returned from spending 10 days with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Here he is on CNN, speaking in English. He says ISIS may represent only 1% of Muslims, but they have the power of a nuclear tsunami. He calls their rise and current status "incredible." CNN in the written text accompanying the video, recounts several of his conversations with ISIS members.
Todenhoefer describes the euphoric atmosphere surrounding the fighters and the "glow" of their new (and plentiful) recruits -- one of whom just passed his bar exam to become a lawyer and another is from New Jersey:[More...]
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