An Egyptian court has labeled the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, a terrorist organization.
"The court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist group," Judge Mohamed al-Sayid said Saturday in an interview with Reuters.
The decision came as a result of a suit brought by Egyptian attorney Samir Sabri that accused the Qassam Brigades of financing and participating in attacks in Egypt against police, military and other targets. Hamas has diverged from its goal of fighting Israel and now aims to undermine Egypt's internal security, according to the Egyptian court.
The court's decision centered on the Qassam Brigades' alleged involvement in a series of terrorist attacks, including one in October that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. Sabri's suit also claimed that Hamas' armed wing smuggled weapons and funds into Egypt through a network of tunnels.
Egyptian security forces expanded their buffer zone along the border with Gaza in November in an effort to crackdown on the terrorist group's smuggling operations. They claim to have destroyed 1,600 tunnels since President Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July 2013.
Egypt's government blames the Qassam Brigades for the spate of terrorist violence in the Sinai by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafi-jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State, which is believed to be responsible for hundreds of attacks in Egypt.
Last May, Egypt's Supreme State Security Prosecution claimed that 200 suspects tied to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis received training at camps run by the Qassam Brigades.
Last week, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis launched a series of attacks across the northern Sinai that killed 20 people, including civilians, and left 36 wounded. The attacks included a car bomb that detonated outside a military base and a series of mortar rounds that were fired at a hotel and several checkpoints.
Hamas dismissed the decision, labeling it as politics. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the ruling "dangerous" and claimed it only "serves the Israeli occupation," also stating that the Qassam Brigades don't have an interest in interfering with Egypt's internal affairs.
Hamas deputy political leader Mousa abu Marzook denounced the ruling, calling the current Egyptian regime a "coup against the history, the ethics, and the principles of Egypt," according to the Ma'an News Agency.
"Historically, the Qassam Brigades has never pointed their rifles at any of our people, especially our big sister Egypt and her army," Marzook said.
A different court ruling from March banned Hamas from operating in Egypt. That came amid a crackdown on the terrorist group's parent organization – the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, hailed as a moderate voice and welcomed by officials in the Obama administration just this week, issued separate statements on its English and Arabic websites this week that appear to contradict each other.
A call for "a long, unrelenting Jihad" appeared on the Brotherhood's Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: "And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged."
On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it "Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence."
"The Brotherhood should not have to – every day – reiterate its constants, its strategic stance and chosen path of civil peaceful struggle to restore legitimacy...," it said.
It does when it posts a call to prepare for jihad invoking assembling the "steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God."
The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence "no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say."
On Thursday, a speaker on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt next month, or risk becoming a "target for the revolutionary punishment movements." A similar statement was posted on Facebook.
The dueling statements come just after the four-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak and led to the Brotherhood's rise to dominate Egyptian government in his wake. But that rule was short-lived, as President Mohamed Morsi was forced from office by Egypt's army in July 2013, after millions took to the streets to protest the government's performance.
It was in that context that the Arabic call for jihad was published. According to the Free Beacon, it invoked Brotherhood founding ideologue Hasan al-Banna, who "prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers..."
"For everyone must be aware that we are in the process of a new phase," the statement concludes, "in which we summon what of our power is latent within us, and we call to mind the meaning of Jihad, and prepare ourselves and our children, wives and daughters, and whoever marches on our path for a long, unrelenting Jihad. We ask in it the abodes of the martyrs."
A reporter wearing a kippah, a Jewish skullcap, was attacked in the Swedish city of Malmo in an experiment to gage anti-Jewish attitudes, according to an Expressen report highlighted by Algemeiner. Peter Lindgren, who is not Jewish, walked through Malmo with a hidden camera and was subjected to direct threats by various individuals.
In a documentary which aired on Sweden's national television last week, one man is seen calling Lindgren a "Jewish s***" and told him to "leave," while another physically assaulted him and shouted "Satan Jew."
The threats increased as the reporter approached areas with more Muslim residents.
The video shows a gang threatening Lindgren, while people from neighboring homes verbally abused him.
Malmo boasts Sweden's largest number of anti-Semitic incidents, often at the hands of Muslim residents. Roughly 20 percent of the city's residents are Muslim. The report states that approximately 600 Jews are left in the city, Sweden's third largest, and many seek to migrate to other cities because they feel unsafe.
During the first half of 2013, Malmo police reported 35 attacks targeting Jews, triple the previous year.
Swedish-Jewish leader Lena Posner Körösi said that threats against Jews in Sweden have increased significantly following the latest terror attacks in Paris targeting the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket.
Click here to see the full report, which is presented in Swedish with English subtitles.
Roughly 200 Salafi-Jihadis in Gaza rallied outside of the French Cultural Institute on Monday, denouncing the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and praising the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.
The protesters raised black Jihadi flags and carried posters featuring the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorists who carried out the deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Paris kosher supermarket. The Salafis threatened attacks on French citizens and attempted to storm the cultural institute before being prevented by Hamas security forces.
"We were going to cut off [i.e. boycott] your products and now we will cut off your heads" and "Frenchmen, leave Gaza or else we will slaughter you," chanted the Islamic State [IS] supporters.
"I direct a message to our leader [IS leader Abu Bakr] Al-Baghdadi: God willing, you have an army in Greater Syria and Iraq that will take revenge on behalf of the noble Prophet. They will never forego or neglect bringing victory to Allah's religion… I direct a message to the French newspaper: God willing we will come to you with explosives. You will not hear the news but witness it, and I will say no further," said demonstrator Abu Hassan.
Another IS supporter called for the deaths of anyone who insults the Prophet Muhammad.
"We say to the whole world that the Islamic State is here to stay and to expand. Allah willing, we will slaughter whoever mocks the Prophet Muhammad. This is our message."
One protester shouted a revised version of an infamous Jihadi chant, which is frequently chanted at radical protests to call for the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews.
"Khaybar, Khaybar, oh France, the army of Muhammad is returning."
In this case, "France" replaced "Jews" [Yahud].
The Palestinian territories, particularly Gaza, are experiencing a growing presence of Islamic State supporters.
The French cultural center also was defaced by graffiti last weekend. "You will go to hell, French journalists," was spray painted on the building, along with "Anything but the prophet."
A Palestinian terrorist stabbed and injured nine Israelis, four of whom remain under serious condition, on Wednesday morning after boarding a Tel Aviv bus. Security camera footage obtained by Israel's Channel 10 shows the terrorist chasing after civilians running from the bus following the initial attack, stabbing a woman in the back, reports the Jerusalem Post.
Click here to watch the security footage.
Witnesses and police said the terrorist repeatedly stabbed the bus driver before attacking other passengers. Three Israel Prison Service officers driving behind the bus chased the terrorist through parking lots and alleyways before shooting him in the leg and arresting him.
The Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence agency, revealed that the 23-year old terrorist, Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matrouk from Tulkarem, admitted that he was motivated by this past summer's war in Gaza, recent Temple Mount unrest, and radical Islamic propaganda that glorifies "the reaching of heaven."
Hamas leaders quickly praised the attack and called for others to conduct similar attacks.
"A morning of resistance, a morning for the nation," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum wrote on his Facebook page, the Times of Israel reports. His post featured a photo of a combat knife on the ground surrounded by police tape.
Hamas official Husam Badran referred to the terrorist attack as "extraordinary" on Facebook and called for further "acts of resistance" by groups and individuals.
Hamas and Palestinian Authority officials and media frequently incite their populations to commit violence against Israeli civilians. Palestinian institutions systematically glorify terrorist attacks and praise the attackers, advocating for other Palestinians to emulate their violent actions.
Only an hour after the terrorist attack ended, Palestinian media glorified the Tel Aviv stabbing with numerous cartoons.
One of the cartoons, posted within 90 minutes after the attack, features a smiling terrorist with a bloody knife, praising the attack. The cartoon bus includes a Jewish star and the number of the bus line where the attack occurred with blood pouring out of the doors onto the street.
The images later were removed from Twitter, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Palestinian media often boasts of terrorist attacks shortly after they have occurred. Numerous social media posts, for example, called for a "Knife Intifada," an uprising that entailed widespread stabbing of Israeli civilians.
Click here for an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) comprehensive report on recent Palestinian terrorist attacks and incitement to violence.
A letter from a top British government official calling on United Kingdom mosques to root out "men of hate" is generating push-back from the Muslim Council of Britain.
The letter from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was co-signed by Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, a member of the House of Lords and sent to 1,100 imams and other Islamic religious leaders.
It called on the imams to dissuade young Muslims from following extremists, urging them to emphasize the threat the extremists pose to British freedoms.
"We must show them the multitude of statements of condemnation from British Muslims; show them these men of hate have no place in our mosques or any place of worship, and that they do not speak for Muslims in Britain or anywhere else," the letter said.
The letter offended some Muslim leaders. The Muslim Council of Britain responded with its own letter saying it resented the "idea that Muslims and Islam are inherently apart from British society." The letter from MCB Secretary General Shuja Shafi also disputed the notion "that extremism takes place at mosques, and that Muslims have not done enough to challenge the terrorism that took place in our name. We also reject suggestions that Muslims must go out of their way to prove their loyalty to this country of ours."
British Prime Minister David Cameron called the letter's tone "reasonable, sensible and moderate."
Security services estimate that at least 500 British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. One of them, known as "Jihadi John," is believed responsible for beheading American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and well as Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.
To combat such trends, Pickles and Ahmad suggested the need for the imams to "demonstrate the true nature of British Islam today" and to show that the extremists do not represent Islam.
"You have a precious opportunity and an important responsibility in explaining and demonstrating how Islam can be part of British identity," they wrote.
It was accepted more eagerly by other British Muslims.
"If non-Muslims intervene in the Islamic reform debate, they get told: 'stay out of it' … It's a lose/lose scenario for the poor folks. But there is *no* way to undermine both Islamism & fundamentalism if Muslims don't join everyone else in challenging them," Maajid Nawaz wrote on Twitter Monday.
Nawaz is the co-founder and chairman of the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam Foundation.
"If we keep shirking, sidestepping [and] obfuscating on the reform debate," Nawaz added, "it appears o others that we're happy with the status quo, which is *clearly* very bad."
Israel is bracing for potential attacks from Hizballah, after an airstrike in the Syrian Golan Sunday killed 11 members of the Hizballah-Iranian axis. The dead include Jihad Mughniyeh, a son of former Hizballah leader Imad Mughniyeh, Iranian General Mohamed Allahdadi and Mohammed Issa, the leader of Hizballah's operations in Syria and Iraq.
In response, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, warned of a "destructive" retaliatory actions against Israel and called for the destruction of the Jewish state.
"The Zionists should await annihilating thunderbolts," Jafari told Iranian media.
While on high alert in the north, Israel deployed several Iron dome anti-missile systems on the border in case Hizballah decides to launch rockets into Israel.
Despite Israel's officials silence on the matter, former Shin Bet head Yaakov Peri referred to the strike as an "intelligence and operational success."
Peri, a member of Knesset, alluded to Hizballah's terrorist activities and preparations close to the mountainous border with Israel.
"In my analysis this was meant to facilitate a series of terrorist attacks inside Israeli territory," Peri told Israel's Army radio. He also suggested that Israel was aware of the identities of the people killed.
Another Israeli source suggests that Israel intended to target low-ranking militants in Syria and not an Iranian general.
"We did not expect the outcome in terms of the stature of those killed – certainly not the Iranian general," the source told Reuters.
It is unlikely that the terrorist organization seeks to escalate the violence into a major confrontation with Israel. However, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah's threats in recent months and provocative activities on the Lebanese border indicate that some type of response from Hizballah is likely. Potential retaliatory responses include a minor attack on Israeli patrols, large-scale terrorist operation targeting Israeli civilians or even terrorist attacks against Israelis abroad.
An Argentinian prosecutor is suing Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the Argentinian government for allegedly covering up Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, the Algemeiner reports.
According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Argentinian special prosecutor Alberto Nisman uncovered a plot designed by the President to overlook Iran's role in the terrorist attack. The motivation behind the plan was to "make a geopolitical move closer to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to establish full economic ties" and to help alleviate "Argentina's energy crisis through a 'grain for oil' deal."
Nisman claims that President Kirchner created a backdoor channel with Iran to collude on the plot. Other major figures have also been accused of engaging in secret talks with Iran on the matter, including members of the Argentinian intelligence services, a parliamentarian, pro-government activists and Jorge "Yussuf" Khalil, a major figure in Argentina's Muslim community who reportedly maintains close relations with Iran.
"Every message from the President was communicated in detail to the fugitive Mohsen Rabbani, who was Iran's Cultural Attache in Buenos Aires at the time of the attack," according to La Nacion.
Some of the evidence was derived from phone taps. Nisman's formal complaint "presents irrefutable evidence that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ordered Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido to meet with D'Elia [former member of Kirchner's cabinet], and through him, to transmit the government's interest in swapping grain for oil."
Eamonn MacDonagh, a Buenos Aires based political analyst, told The Algemeiner about the significance of Nisman's phone records acquisition.
"If he has hundreds of pages of phone taps, that can only indicate that some part of Argentina's vast and unaccountable intelligence system is assisting him," said Macdonagh.
These developments come two years following the memorandum of understanding between Argentina and Iran regarding a "truth commission" into the AMIA terrorist attacks which killed 85 and injured many more.
These allegations would demonstrate that the President of Argentina and other senior officials are directly responsible for attempting to cover up the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history.
Oxford University Press (OUP) has banned authors from depicting pork-related products in their children's books in an apparent attempt to avoid offending Jews and Muslims, the Daily Mail reports.
The new prohibition came up during a conversation about free speech on Radio 4's Today program and was referred to as "nonsensical political correctness."
"I've got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people. Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork," state Radio 4's Today presenter Jim Naughtie.
An OUP spokesman justified the new regulations.
"Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities."
However, these new measures have received considerable backlash from prominent figures.
Tory Member of Parliament (MP) Philip Davies stated that "no word is offensive. It is in the context in which it is used that is offensive ... we have to to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness."
"That's absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute," agreed Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood.
These new rules have serious implications for the freedom of speech, particularly in context of the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Paris initially targeting the satirical Charlie Hebdo publication.
"Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives," said a spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council.
This is not the first time that non-Muslims in Britain have attempted to self-censor in an effort to avoid actions they believed would offend Muslims. In 2007, organizers of a performance of a children's play by Roald Dahl at a school in West Yorkshire originally removed the "Three Little Pigs" from the show, in favor of the "Three Little Puppies." Councillors reversed that decision.
Likewise, two major banks in England in 2005 banned the use of piggy-banks in advertising or as gifts for children because of a perception that the banks would offend Muslims.
A federal court in Manhattan sentenced a radical British cleric to life in prison Friday after he was convicted for conspiracies connected to a 1998 attacks on tourists in Yemen in 1998, building a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.
In December 1998, extremists tied to Abu Hamza took 16 tourists, including two Americans, hostage after attacking sport utility vehicles carrying the tourists. Abu Hamza gave a satellite telephone to the terrorists' leader and provided advice to him over the telephone, court records show. Just before the attack, Abu Hamza publicly warned "infidels" not to travel to Yemen. Four people were killed and several others wounded during a rescue operation launched by the Yemeni military.
In 1999, Abu Hamza and several followers tried to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly. Although the idea was later abandoned, some of the individuals tied to the plot were subsequently arrested and sentenced for conspiring to provide material support and resources to al-Qaida, including plotting to establish a jihad training camp.
At Abu Hamza's urging, two of his followers went al-Qaida's al Faruq training camp in Afghanistan and met with senior leaders from the terrorist group.
Abu Hamza, who preached at the radical Finsbury mosque in North London, was sentenced in to seven years in prison the U.K. in February 2006 for stirring racial hate and inciting followers to kill non-Muslims.
"Abu Hamza's blood-soaked journey from cleric to convict, from Imam to inmate, is now complete," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a Justice Department press release. "... After years of fighting extradition, Abu Hamza finally faced justice, as all those who engage in terrorism against innocent civilians must, here in the U.S., and all around the globe, as the terrible events in Paris remind us."