The International Union of Muslim Scholars is calling on Palestinians to "Rescue al-Aqsa" and rise up against Israel, according to several Twitter posts translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
One of the tweets features a picture of Israeli police about to enter Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque. In reality, the Israeli authorities are pursuing Palestinian rioters who took refuge in the mosque and terrorists who were plotting to conduct attacks against Jewish worshippers. The picture – which is clearly intended to provoke Palestinians to continue stirring up trouble for Israeli citizens – includes the following quote:
"The International Union of Muslim Scholars requests the Ulema [Muslim community] and preachers of the Muslims to begin the campaign 'Rescue al Aqsa' and proclaim a state of general alarm among the sons of the Muslims in the world to defend al Aqsa mosque, and divulge the plans of the Zionists, and also to summon the Islamic Umma to hold protests, and to devote this Friday's sermons to discuss Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and Palestine."
The hashtag #RescueAlAqsa is also included in a subsequent tweet featuring a picture of flames engulfing the al-Aqsa with a sniper's target fixated on the dome of the mosque.
"Al-Aqsa is burning Oh Umma of a billion and a half Muslims!!!," reads the slogan on the provocative tweet.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas glorified Palestinians fighting Israelis in Jerusalem and called for Palestinians to prevent Jews from entering Al-Aqsa with "everything in our power," Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.
"The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours... and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem... We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah," Abbas said in a speech, segments of which were aired on official PA TV and posted on his website.
"Today the world is divided between those trying to undermine religious coexistence and those trying to protect it," Israel's Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold said in a statement Thursday. "By saying that the 'filthy feet' of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount desecrate it, Mahmoud Abbas has now clarified on which side he stands."
Relative quiet returned to the Temple Mount on Wednesday, after three days of violent confrontations between Muslims and Israeli authorities during the Jewish New Year.
Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau ordered hundreds of Israeli security personnel to Jerusalem to restore calm in light of "an upsurge" in attacks, such as firebombs and stone-throwing targeting Israeli police and civilians.
On Sunday, Palestinians throwing stones killed an Israeli civilian – 64-year-old Alexander Levlovitz – after he lost control of his car and crashed into a lamppost in Jerusalem's East Talpiot neighborhood.
Several tweets from an Islamic State follower identifying himself as Abu Mohammed al-Khorasani hint that the terror group could be plotting new attacks inside the U.S. on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.
A tweet featuring the Twitter hashtags ILLINOIS#, #11septmber and #KillAllAmericans went out at 12:04 p.m. Monday Aug. 31 saying, "Peace on the P.K. [a kind Russian machine gun] Its shots are thematic (rhymes) It strikes America. Our State is victorious." A photo of the second airliner just before it hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 appeared in the tweet.
Six minutes later, al-Khorasani tweeted the same hashtags together with a muddled Arabic phrase saying, "If you say to me, Dushka (a kind of Russian machine gun) Oh God, You have a petitioner (Masha, rhymes with Dushka) He strikes America [sic] and our State is victorious." A graphic saying, "every American citizen is a legitimate target for us," followed the text.
On Sunday, al-Khorasani wrote a similar threat, saying "SOON," accompanied by an image of Osama Bin Laden and images of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
He showed his affection for Bin Laden in a tweet today, taunting Americans, "When you killed Sheikh Osama thrown his pure body in the sea for fear of Dead But U did not know that we have millions of #Sheikh Osama."
Talk and images of what appeared to be a suicide vest or vests immediately followed the threats which included the #ISIS and #IslamicState hashtags.
Al-Khorasani wrote in a tweet at 12:38 p.m., "You have the aircraft You have the rockets You have the launchers We have explosive belts to kill U #IslamicState." He tweeted again at 12:44 p.m.: "You have F22 You have tanks You have guns But we have Belts #IslamicState #ISIS."
These tweets follow a summer of Islamic State followers posting images of the Statue of Liberty in ruins, with New York in flames in the background, and saying, "Coming Soon." Additionally, the image depicting the aftermath of an attack on an American city has not been isolated to New York. One such image tweeted from an Islamic State account on July 28 addressed to Lone Wolves showed a masked jihadist running from an explosion in an unnamed American city.
A statement ominously saying, "O Cross Worshipers Lone Wolves Will Hunt You In America's Streets" overlaid the graphic. Another tweet by Islamic State supporter nightwalker/lonewolfe posted Aug. 21 depicted jihadists in Times Square with the script, "We Are Everywhere."
In April, the New York Post reported that Islamic State supporters released a video threatening to unleash a new September 11-style attack, saying that the group's fighters are stronger than those who brought down the Twin Towers."Thus they are able to burn United States again," the video said.
One thing is clear, Islamic State supporters want to remind Americans the group wants to strike against Americans on their own soil at a time and place of the terrorists' choosing.
Israeli authorities foiled a Palestinian cell's plan to conduct a terrorist attack targeting Jewish worshipers at Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank, Israel's domestic security agency Shin Bet announced.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization reportedly armed and directed the cell to carry out a bombing and shooting attack, featuring people associated with various Palestinian factions and demonstrating a high level of cohesion.
Four Palestinians were arrested, including Nassim Damiri, 30, who is affiliated with Fatah and was arrested on numerous occasions in the past; Mahmed Damiri, 23, a Palestinian Authority police officer; Yasser Tzarawi, 25, a Hamas operative with a prison record; and Adwan Nazel, 24, of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also among the detained.
The plan allegedly involved Nazel and Tzarawi providing logistical support, weapons, surveillance and cover, while the Damiri cousins conduct the terrorist attack.
This development comes amid rising tensions between Israel the Islamic Jihad, as the group threatens to retaliate against Israel if Mohammad Allan – the former hunger-striking detainee affiliated with the terrorist group – is harmed.
Last week, the Israel Defense Forces blamed Islamic Jihad operatives in Syria for firing four rockets which landed in the Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee – signalling the first time that rockets from Syria struck Israel proper since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
While the terrorist group denied involvement in the cross-border missile barrage, Israel accused Iran of funding and ordering the attack.
"We have credible information that the attack was carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization and was facilitated and directed by an Iranian operative Saeed Izaddhi, who heads the Palestinian unit in the Al-Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps," said Israel's Foreign Ministry in a statement sent to the world powers that signed a nuclear agreement with Iran last month.
While touring Israel's northern border with senior military officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned that part of the Iranian funds to be released in conjunction with the nuclear deal will be transferred to Iranian sponsored terrorist proxies dedicated to Israel's destruction.
Israeli officials revealed that retaliatory air strikes killed at least four operatives from the cell responsible for the rocket attack.
The Islamic Jihad has close ties with Iran and maintains a significant rocket arsenal in Gaza, however these latest developments signal the group's intentions to expand their bases of operations to the West Bank and Israel's northern border at Iran's behest.
The lead attorney for 10 American families who secured $655 million in civil damages against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for past terror support expressed disappointment Monday with a judge's bond order.
Kent Yalowitz, whose clients either lost loved ones or were injured in terror attacks either carried out or aided by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PA, had asked for $30 million monthly payments to serve as bond while a jury's February civil verdict is appealed.
During a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ordered the PA to deposit $10 million into an account within the next month. After that, the PA must deposit an additional $1 million per month. The money serves as a bond in the event the judgment is upheld after the PA's appeal is resolved.
The installments are so insignificant compared to the PA's resources that Yalowitz likened the amount to a "rounding error."
But the judge acknowledged giving "serious consideration" to a statement submitted earlier this month by a deputy secretary of state urging Daniels to consider the PA's precarious financial state in imposing a bond order. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the prospect that the PA could collapse under the weight of the payments, which "would undermine several decades of U.S. foreign policy and add a new destabilizing factor to the region, compromising national security.'
The attacks took place between 2001 and 2004. The victims sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which includes provisions which tripled the jury's $218.5 million damage award.
The PA's finances are not nearly so fragile, Yalowitz's team argued. A payment plan supporting jailed terrorists and the families of PLO members killed during attacks remains in effect. That payment system was among the items jurors learned about during the trial, along with internal PA and PLO records with information about terror cells and their activities.
Other records included handwritten notes from longtime PLO and PA leader Yasser Arafat approving those payments.
The PA initially argued against any bond requirement pending appeals.
Under an unprecedented secret agreement, the United Nations (UN) will allow Iranian experts to inspect their own country's military site reportedly used to develop nuclear weapons, according to a document obtained by the Associated Press.
Usually, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with inspecting a member nation's nuclear weapons sites. However, the UN agency reached a separate deal with Iran concerning inspections at the Parchin military site without consent from the United States and the other international powers who signed the broader Iran nuclear agreement.
This unprecedented move transfers the IAEA's investigative authority of a key component in Iran's nuclear program to Iran itself – directly contradicting advocates of the nuclear deal who claim the agreement is transparent and forces the Islamic Republic to be accountable for their actions.
The White House denies that a secret "side deal" exists, but Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that no one from the Obama administration has had access to the secret document.
"We are aware of what the basics of it are... [the agreement] is not shared with the world, but we do get briefed on it," said Kerry.
Olli Heinonen, a former deputy IAEA director general tasked with monitoring Iran's nuclear activity, said that he cannot recall a time when a country under investigation was allowed to conduct its own inspections.
In congruence with U.S., Israel, and other intelligence reports, the IAEA believes that Iran experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear weapons at the Parchin military base, siting evidence based on satellite images and Iranian attempts to clear the site of nuclear activity.
The document, called "separate arrangement II," implies that there is another secret deal between Iran and the IAEA and suggests that the IAEA's role is diminished to monitoring Iranian inspectors at the military site.
Under this confidential agreement, Iran will give IAEA experts photos and videos of sensitive nuclear activities, "taking into account military concerns." Iranian technicians will also be tasked with conducting environmental samples for evidence of nuclear activity – a role traditionally reserved for IAEA inspectors.
Not only will the Iranian experts take the lead on the investigations, it also is only obliged to provide selective information at its own discretion.
"Activities will be carried out using Iran's authenticated equipment consistent with technical specifications provided by the agency," the agreement says. The IAEA "will ensure the technical authenticity" of Iran's inspection, but fails to lay out exactly how the procedure will be enforced.
This separate agreement reinforces concerns that the complex deal fails to provide the necessary transparency and accountability to assure Iran's pathway to nuclear weapons is effectively obstructed.
Police in Bangladesh arrested three men Tuesday suspected of hacking to death at least two secular bloggers this year, including American Avijit Roy.
British national Touhidur Rahman, 58, is pegged as the "main planner" and financier of the attacks. He was arrested along with Sadek Ali Mithu, 28, and 35-year-old Aminul Mallik. The three are said to be members of Ansarullah Bangla Team, a radical group banned by Bangladesh last May in response to the attacks on the secular writers.
Ansarullah claims to be affiliated with al-Qaida's Indian branch.
Reports indicate the men were part of a five-man team involved in plotting the attacks and scouting the victims, but that two other Ansarullah members hacked Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das to death.
Rahman and Mithu allegedly admitted their roles in the killings, an official with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force told reporters.
Roy, a naturalized citizen who lived in Georgia, returned to Bangladesh with his wife for a book fair in February when they were attacked by masked men wielding machetes. He was a frequent critic of radical Islamic doctrine who was the subject of death threats.
Das was murdered in a similar attack in May. Two other secular bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh this year, the most recent coming Aug. 7 when a blogger who wrote under the name Niloy Neel was attacked and killed in his own home.
Farabi Shafiur Rahman, another Ansarullah Bangla Team member who made the threats against Roy, was arrested in March.
A deputy secretary of State has asked a federal judge to consider a host of potential calamities which might result from enforcing a civil terrorism against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the deaths and injuries of American citizens.
The Authority is appealing a February jury verdict, awarding $218.5 million in damages to 10 families who lost relatives or suffered injuries themselves in terrorist attacks involving PA officials and support between 2001 and 2004. Under the Antiterrorism Act, those damages triple to $655 million.
Normally, defendants would have to take out a bond worth more than those damages while they appealed the judgment. But the PA asked the court to waive that requirement, pleading dire financial circumstances. In response, the plaintiffs recommended "an equitable middle road" requiring $30 million in monthly installments into a kind of escrow account through the court.
In a declaration filed late Monday, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not directly endorse that figure, or the PA's position that no bond should be required. Rather, Blinken asserts that U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels should "carefully consider the impact of its decision on the continued viability of the PA in light of the evidence about its financial situation ... the collapse of the PA would undermine several decades of U.S. foreign policy and add a new destabilizing factor to the region, compromising national security.'
The bond requirement would undermine U.S. investments aimed at facilitating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Blinken wrote, and the breakdown in the Palestinian economy and security apparatus would open the door to more radical elements and terrorist recruitment.
Attorneys for the families in Sokolow v. PLO argue that the PA is "crying wolf" about its finances and that their suggested installment plan avoids any collapse. During the trial, jurors saw internal PA and Palestine Liberation Organization records describing a payment plan to support families of those who died carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians and to support those imprisoned by Israel for terrorist activity.
Other records included handwritten notes from longtime PLO and PA leader Yasser Arafat approving those payments.
Those payments continue today, the Shurat HaDin, or Israel Law Center, noted Tuesday.
In Monday's government filing, Blinken said the administration supports the Antiterrorism Act and the efforts of victims to seek justice via civil litigation. Such lawsuits "can also advance U.S. national security interests. A civil judgments against "those who commit or sponsor acts of terrorism is an important means of deterring and defeating terrorist activity" and cuts funds that could support other terrorism.
He offered no specific suggestion about how to balance that quest for justice against the concerns over the PA's potential collapse if the damages are upheld.
The question of whether to intervene created "tremendous friction" between the Justice and State departments, the New York Times reported Tuesday. DOJ did not want to get involved in creating an obstacle for terror victims trying to collect judgments, the report said, citing "federal officials involved in the discussions." But State insisted, arguing "the United States has seen a viable Palestinian Authority as essential to maintaining stability in the region."
A Hamas operative provided a treasure trove of intelligence during Israeli interrogation concerning the terrorist group's rebuilding efforts and future terrorist plans, Israel's intelligence agency Shin Bet disclosed on Tuesday.
The terrorist, Ibrahim Adal Shahada Sha'ar, 21, described about Hamas' tunnel reconstruction efforts, planned terrorist attacks against Israel, military strategy, and coordination with Iran, the Jerusalem Post reported.
He admitted working on rebuilding underground tunnels and described how some would be used in future attacks against Israel. Sha'ar disclosed the location of digging sites, tunnel entrances and underground routes, and reportedly said that a road built along the border with Israel is intended partly for terrorist attacks involving vehicles charging into Israeli territory.
He admitted that he stored several 50 kg explosive charges in his home and said that fighters kept explosives and other material in their own homes since Hamas commanders worried that the organization's weapons depots would be targeted by Israel.
Israeli authorities arrested Sha'ar last month at the Erez Crossing after he attempted to enter Israel for "personal or humanitarian reasons." Officers were aware of Sha'ar's terrorist background and immediately detained him.
During last summer's war between Israel and Hamas, Sha'ar participated in specific battlefield operations, including field logistics, transferring terrorists and weapons, and even admitted to setting up an anti-tank improvised explosion device (IED).
Sha'ar provided details of Iranian-Hamas military cooperation, including how Iran transfers funds and supplies weapons and electronics to the terrorist group. Those supplies include devices intended to jam radio frequencies to bring down Israeli drones deployed over Gaza. Furthermore, Sha'ar described how Iran trained Hamas terrorists to use hang gliders for attacks against Israel – a tactic revealed by previous Israeli interrogations of captured terrorists.
Critics of the recent Iran nuclear agreement argue that newly released funds to the Islamic Republic will bolster their regional hegemonic ambitions and global terrorist activities, including transferring more money and weaponry to its terrorist proxies.
According to Israeli intelligence, the Sha'ar detailed plans using tunnels to conduct cross-border attacks against Israeli targets, akin to Hamas' attempts during last summer's war. The Hamas operative confirmed that the terrorist group is diverting civilian reconstruction material for the purposes of rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure and underground tunnel network.
Sha'ar was indicted July 31 in the Beersheba District Court for being a member and engaging in activities with a banned organization, attempted murder, and forbidden military training.
Part of the Iran nuclear agreement enables the removal of individual terrorists from Western sanctions, including notorious Lebanese assassin Anis Naccache.
In a column published in Monday's Wall Street Journal, Hooman Bakhtiar revisits Naccache's role leading a 1975 terrorist mission taking 11 OPEC oil ministers hostage in Vienna. The assault was ordered by the notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal.
As a close friend of slain Hizballah leader Imad Mugniyeh, Naccache also facilitated Iran's terrorist operations in the Mediterranean.
Bakhtiar recalls how Naccache attempted to kill his great uncle, and Iran's last prime minister under the Shah's rule, Shapour Bakhtiar.
As a liberal reformer, Bakhtiar requested that Ayatollah Khomeini refrain from establishing a theocracy after the Shah was overthrown. That call signed Bakhtiar's death sentence.
Five Lebanese, Iranian, and Palestinian assassins under Naccache's leadership posed as journalists dispatched to interview Shapour Bakhtiar, intending to kill him.
But the plot failed after the assassins killed a police officer and mistakenly executed an elderly French woman in a neighboring apartment. Naccache and three assassins were caught after an ensuing gunfight with French police. They were convicted of murder and received life sentences in 1982.
Iran subsequently unleashed a terrorist campaign to secure Naccache's release, including a string of deadly bombings in Paris during the 1980s, while ordering Hizballah to kidnap 16 French citizens in Lebanon. The Islamic Republic's strategy worked and France released Naccache to Tehran in 1990.
In 1991, another group of assassins eventually killed the former Iranian prime minister in Paris.
In 2008, the European Union sanctioned Naccache and his business, Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal, due to his involvement in Iran's nuclear proliferation operations, not his terrorist past.
Now, Naccache and several other Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders will be removed from the EU sanctions list. Many of these individuals were responsible for killing Iranian dissidents, American personnel in Iraq, and civilians in other countries.
In a 2008 interview with Iran's Fars News Agency, Naccache showed no remorse over the Bakhtiar assassination plot.
"There has been no change in my line of thinking. I stand by everything I have done in the past. If I had the experience I have now, I would have changed the planning of the plot to kill Bakhtiar. We were pressed for time, and we rushed to kill him, causing missteps along the way," said Naccache.
Critics of the Iran nuclear deal assert that the agreement does nothing to alleviate concerns surrounding Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions and global terrorist activities. Relieving known Iranian-led terrorist leaders from stringent financial and diplomatic pressure only reinforces those concerns.
Five men posing as prospective tenants stormed the Dhaka apartment of blogger Niloy Neel Friday afternoon, hacking him to death.
Neel, 40, is the fourth secular blogger murdered in Bangladesh this year.
American Avijit Roy, 45, was killed in February when he returned to Bangladesh for a book fair. The next month, 27-year-old Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, was murdered on his way to work. In May, masked assailants chased down 33-year-old Ananta Bijoy Das on a street near his home and hacked him to death.
"The nature of the attack is very similar to those on other bloggers murdered earlier," Dhaka Metropolitan Police Detective Branch Joint Commissioner Krishnapada Roy told reporters.
All four men criticized religious fundamentalists and extremists. Neel also advocated the death penalty for Islamists convicted of war crimes at the end of Bangladesh's 1971 war for independence from Pakistan. One of those convicted, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, lives in New York and is a past secretary general of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Neel sought police help after receiving Islamist death threats, secular Bangladeshi writer Taslima Naseem said in a Twitter post. Police suggested he leave the country, but he wasn't able to do so. He reportedly took his pictures off his Facebook page in an attempt to lie low.
In a separate post, Naseem described an open season on Bangladesh writers who criticize Islam.
Islamists have a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" they wanted arrested for blasphemy, the BBC reported. Others describe it as a "hit list."
Neel was described as "the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights - especially women's rights and the rights of indigenous people" by Imran Sarkar, leader of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network.