Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Need To Know Briefing for 1-14-2020

By Timothy Gamble

ALERT: WHO Warns That New Viral Pneumonia in China May Be Contagious  (Epoch Times) There are currently 41 diagnosed cases in Wahun, China, with 1 dead and 6 hospitalized in severe condition. A Chinese tourist in Thailand has also been diagnosed. Not yet a major concern, but this outbreak bears watching.  

Tweet of the Day is from Senator Mitch McConnell: "In December, House Democrats pulled the plug on their investigation and impeached because they said it was urgent & they had already proven their case. But now they’ve delayed for weeks to insist that the Senate re-open their inquiry. So – neither urgent nor persuasive?"

Elite Watch (The Internal Threat)

Private property rights are under attack in the name of fighting "climate change." Kian Goh, UCLA urban planning professor, wrote in The Nation magazine, “if we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership.” Duggan Flanakin, Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) says this message may be finding an audience "with millennials postponing or wholly ignoring marriage while dealing with heavy student loan debt and greater mobility" and therefore find home ownership as an unimportant goal. (CFACT blog post)

A paid campaign staffer (not a volunteer as has been misreported by some in the mainstream media) has been caught on tape making a case for concentration camps for Trump supporters and conservatives. In it he states that Stalin and gulags were good, claimed that gulags paid a living wage, and went on to say that
billionaires should be sent to gulags to break them of “privilege.”


Islam Watch (The External Threat/Stealth Invasion)

Islamic Scholars Association: ‘George Washington Killed Indians Because They Were Muslims’ (Geller Report). No, this is not a joke.  Sheikh Salem Salameh, Deputy Head of the Palestine Islamic Scholars association and a member of Hamas Legislative Council, stated that "fact" in a December 26, 2019 interview on Mayadeen TV. According to Salameh, George Washington "killed Native Americans because they were Muslims who had mosques."

A Muslim man, 25 year old Osama E. El Hannouny, has been arrested and chargbed with slashing 19 tires at church in Palos Hills, Illinois, because he "doesn't like Christians." (WBBM Newsradio)

China Watch (The Opportunistic and Long-Term Threat)

China Pressures World Into Silence on Its Human Rights Record (Epoch Times). A report has been issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) stating that China is using its economic clout to silence its critics and extend its censorship to the rest of the world, especially regarding the ongoing protests in Hon Kong. Kenneth Roth, HRW’s executive director, said at a Jan. 14 press conference at the United Nations: "The Chinese government is terrified of admitting this genuine desire for democracy on territory that they rule.... [because] what’s happening in Hong Kong might spread to the mainland—and that’s really the big fear."

Tech Watch (The Threat from Hi-Tech and AI)

At a meeting of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Sectary of State Mike Pompeo Warns US Tech Companies Against Aiding Chinese Regime’s ‘Orwellian Surveillance State’ (Epoch Times). Pompeo quote: "We need to make sure American technology doesn’t power a truly Orwellian surveillance state. We need to make sure American principles aren’t sacrificed for prosperity."  I would add that we need to make sure tech doesn't power a truly Orwellian surveillance state in America, too. 
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More Christians Murdered by Muslim Extremists in Kenya

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.
 

Three Christian Teachers Murdered in Kenya

25 Killed by Al-Shabaab Over the Past Five Weeks

01/13/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern has learned that three Christian teachers from Kamuthe Primary School in Garissa, Kenya, were killed by the Somali-based terror group al-Shabaab in the early hours of January 13, 2020. The armed militants ambushed Kamuthe village around 2:00 a.m., targeting the school’s resource center that hosted the teachers. Prior to the ambush, the attackers destroyed a telecommunication tool in an effort to paralyze communication as they carried out their heinous attack.

Mr. Robert Kibutu, a teacher who resides outside of the school’s residential area, confirmed the attack, saying, “My fellow teachers were fatally shot by an unknown number of suspected al-Shabaab militia who stormed Kamuthe primary school early this morning and leaving one severely injured by two gunshots. We are sad and at the same time scared because we are targeted for being non-local government workers that belong to the Christian faith.”

Those killed were Caleb Mutua, Titus Ushindi, and Samuel Muthui Kyonzu. Joshua Mutua survived with serious leg injuries.

According to the region’s security head, “One local teacher was taken away by the militants and a non-local female nurse [was] spared due to [her] gender.”

Today’s attack comes against the backdrop of a series of attacks from the terrorist group in the last five weeks, leading to the loss of 25 people total in Wajir, Lamu, Mandera, and Garissa. On December 6, 2019, four teachers were among the 11 non-local Christian passengers killed en route to Mandera from Nairobi when al-Shabaab flagged down the bus they were traveling in. The militants separated the passengers and killed those on the spot who failed to recite the Islamic Shahada.

Security intelligence agencies are warning of potential attacks in the coming days when Kenya marks the deadliest murder of its forces in El Adde, Somalia, on January 15, 2016, and the DusitD2 attack on January 15, 2019. It is common for al-Shabaab to commemorate anniversaries by carrying out more attacks.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, commented, “We pray for the families of the deceased and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians who are just trying to survive. We hope that the government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic extremists like al-Shabaab. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”
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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Peter Schweizer Exposes Corruption of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Other Top Progressives

By Timothy Gamble
 
https://amzn.to/30d43hd
1-11-2020 - A new book by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer promises to reveal evidence that Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, along with other Biden members, traded on their influence to sipohn  off tens of millions in government funds and guaranteed loans. Schweizer says that the book contains new revelations of unethical and even criminal activity beyond the Biden-Ukraine-Burisma scandals.

The book, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, published by HarperCollins, also exposes corruption and abuse of power by other top progressives, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among others. 

According to the book's description on its Amazon page, "In Profiles in Corruption, Schweizer offers a deep-dive investigation into the private finances, and secrets deals of some of America’s top political leaders. And, as usual, he doesn’t disappoint, with never-before-reported revelations that uncover corruption and abuse of power - all backed up by a mountain of corporate documents and legal filings from around the globe. Learn about how they are making sweetheart deals, generating side income, bending the law to their own benefits, using legislation to advance their own interests, and much more."

Profiles in Corruption has release date of January 21. It is available for pre-order on Amazon
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Turkey Arrests Syriac Priest and Two Other Christians, Denies Them Access to Lawyers

Official Government Harassment and Persecution of Christians in Turkey Continues to Increase

01/11/2020 International Christian Concern (ICC), a Christian human rights organization,  and other sources are reporting that on January 9, 2020, Turkey’s anti-terror branch arrested three Syriac Christians in a raid and transferred them to the city of Mardin, where they remain unreachable with no access to a lawyer. The exact nature of their official charges is not yet known. 

The names of the affected Christians are: Father Sefer (Aho) Bileçen from the Monastery of Mar Yaqoub al-Suruji, Musa Tash Takin from the village of Sidri, and Youssef Yar from the village of Üçköy.

A statement by the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights expressed their “full solidarity with the three Christian detainees. We hold the Turkish authorities fully legal [responsible] for their physical integrity, and we demand that they release them immediately and without any delay.”

“These arrests have left the 3,000 remaining Christians of the Syriac-Orthodox faith and the Assyrian-Syriac ethnicity in a state of fear and confusion,” stated A Demand For Action. “This kind of behavior by the Turkish authorities is the reason why the vast majority of Christians of Tur Abdin have left the region, and live in scattered diasporas.

The Syriac Union President, Yuhanna Aktas, told Hristiyan Haber that they “could not get any information about those detained… Why can’t we make sense of a priest who was detained?”

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, shared with ICC, “Assyrians have for centuries been targeted and massacred for their ethnicity and religion. Although they have been left all alone by the world powers, they have been so resiliently trying to hold on to their ancient homeland. And they need the voice and support of faithful Christians and all other human rights advocates more than ever now.” 

“Assyrians have been exposed to physical attacks, murders, injuries, seizures through violence, harassment, intimidation, threats, kidnappings, and illegal confiscations of their properties mostly by the Kurds and other Muslims in the region,” Bulut added. 

The recent detention of the three Assyrians might also be due to the continued conflicts between the PKK and the Turkish military. 

Unfortunately, Assyrians have been stuck between and terribly affected by the unending fights between these two hostile groups.”

The PKK is a designated Kurdish terrorist group that has a significant presence in southeastern Turkey. Although Turkey is constitutionally a secular country, it has strongly leaned toward incorporating Islam into the government’s policies under the tenure of President Erdoğan. Turkey is ranked as a Tier 2 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Turkey’s anti-terror activities have long trampled on human rights, including religious freedom. Unfortunately, this latest incident once again puts Turkey’s police state tactics on full display and is part of an ongoing trend demonstrating institutional hostility toward the nation’s Christian community. We urge Turkey for transparency regarding this incident. Allow these Christians legal representation, communicate their status with their communities, and publicly state the reason why they were arrested.”

Sources: 1) International Christian Concern press release dated 1-10-2020. 2) Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights statement on Facebook dated 1-9-2020. 3) A Demand For Action statement on Facebook dated 1-9-2020.
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Friday, January 10, 2020

Burkina Faso Bus Bombing, Killing School Children, Named Atrocity of the Week

By Timothy Gamble

1-9-2020 - Religion of Peace, a website that monitors and tracks terrorism and violence committed worldwide in the name of Islam, has named the January 4 bombing of a school bus in West African nation of Burkina Faso, as 2020's first "Atrocity of the Week." The bombing killed 14 and injured 9, most of which were students returning to school after the holiday break. 

Islamic extremism has been growing in recent years in Burkina Faso, with over 1,000 civilians killed by jihadist groups in 2019 alone. On Christmas Eve, Islamic jihadists killed at least 35 civilians, mostly women, in an attack in northern Burkina Faso. 

Approximately 60% of the Burkina Faso population is Muslim, with about 23% being Christian, according to government statistics.
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Tech & Terrorism: European Officials Express Concern For Online Self-Radicalization

The following is an unedited press release from the Counter Extremism Project. The Counter Extremism Project is an "international policy organization formed to combat the growing threat from extremist ideologies." More information can be found on their website, linked to above. 

Impetus For Combatting Online Extremism Increases As Terrorists Grow Increasingly Sophisticated

1-9-2020 - Belgian and U.K. officials have expressed concern over the risk of individuals radicalizing online to terrorism. Belgian Federal Prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw discussed the challenge of “inspired terrorism,” which makes it difficult for authorities to identify single individuals who are influenced by extremist content online and motivated to violence. In the U.K., Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, national coordinator of the counter-extremism program Prevent, stated self-radicalized terrorists have become greater threats than attackers directed by ISIS. The young and vulnerable people, and particularly those with mental illnesses, are prime targets to be exploited by extremists online.

“Violent extremist ideologies continue to fuel terrorist activities across the globe,” said Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Executive Director David Ibsen. “Self-radicalization online continues to be a major challenge for counterterrorism authorities and policymakers. However, inaction is not an option given extremist groups’ relentless efforts to spread violence, hatred and fear online. The entire international community must stand united to tackle all forms of terrorism and radicalization in aim to eliminate extremism—both online and offline—from our world.”

There is no single pathway to radicalization which leads to terrorism and often involves different push-and-pull factors. For example, a mix of mental health issues, extremist convictions, and personal grievances can lead an individual towards radicalization. The CEP report, Guns And Glory: Criminality, Imprisonment And Jihadist Extremism In Europe, co-published with the European Policy Centre (EPC), examines the different pathways to radicalization.

Belgium has suffered several terrorist attacks since 2014. These include the 2014 attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, the 2016 Brussels bombings of Brussels Airport and Maelbeek Metro Station, and the 2018 attack in Liège. These terrorist attacks of recent years were largely perpetrated and coordinated by an underworld where crime and extremism blur together.

The threat level from international terrorism in the United Kingdom, set by the Security Service (MI5) and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, is currently classed as “Severe.” Since the 7/7 London attacks in 2005, there have been a significant number of attacks on U.K. citizens, ranging from carefully orchestrated incidents by groups of terrorists to opportunistic attacks by radicalized lone actors. This includes the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017 and the Westminster attack in March 2017.

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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Fifth Circuit Court Rules: The Wall is Back On!

1-9-2020 -  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reversed a lower court ruling from December that temporarily blocked $4 billion in border wall funding. The Trump administration plans to use discretionary funds in the military budget to build eleven barriers along the southern border. A Texas-based activist group is suing the administration over that border wall funding. The Appeals Court ruling allows those funds to be spent while the original case proceeds through the appeals process. 

In a tweet this morning, President Trump hailed the ruling. "The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court decision & gave us the go ahead to build one of the largest sections of the desperately needed Southern Border Wall, Four Billion Dollars. Entire Wall is under construction or getting ready to start!"

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Iran Retaliates - Apparently To No Effect

1-7-2020 - As expected, Iran has retaliated for the airstrike that killed their top general. Earlier tonight, Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq. Four of the missiles failed, and eleven hit their targets. The Pentagon has stated that there are no U.S. causalities, as the missiles were tracked by radar and U.S. forces had time to move out of the way. The U.S. did not attempt to intercept the missiles. There are mixed reports about the possibility of Iraqi causalities. 

After the attack, President Donald Trump tweeted the following statement:  "All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning."

As with all breaking news events, details are subject to change as new information becomes available and old information is clarified. 

For more complete coverage, I refer my readers to the American Military News website.
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Islamic Terror Group Boko Haram Kidnaps Christian Pastor in Nigeria

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

Local Council CAN Chairman in Northern Adamawa Remains Missing

01/07/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Boko Haram, an Islamic insurgent group based out of northeastern Nigeria, kidnapped a church leader from Michika town in Adamawa State, Nigeria. Reverend Lawan Andima, who serves as the Local Council Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and also a pastor with the Church of the Brethren (EYN) at the District Church Council of Michika, was abducted when the insurgent group attacked the town on January 2 around 7:00 p.m. Reverend Lawan Andima is 58 years old, married, and the father of nine children.

Reacting to the abduction, the Vice Chairman of the Adamawa State Chapter of CAN, Reverend Philip Shehu, said, “Yes, he was abducted. I still don’t have much information about him at present.” 

Reverend Philip confirmed that Reverend Lawan is a pastor with the EYN, adding, “Truly we have been greatly concerned since it happened. We called for concerted prayers for him. Even at the commissioning of our Secretariat last week, we also took time to pray for him.  We are still calling on fellow Christians everywhere to join us in earnest prayers for his release from the captors.”

Narrating the incident, the EYN General Secretary, Rev. Daniel, said that when the insurgents struck that day, Rev. Lawan, his wife, and their children immediately fled from their home. However, the pastor quickly returned, intending to get a car to help more people escape. Then, the intensity of the attack increased. Sounds of deafening gunfire came from nearby, so Rev. Lawan’s wife and children quickly fled to the bush. Rev. Daniel explained, “He (Rev. Lawan) then came out of the house, along with the church security guard, to flee. They noticed a Hylux van by the roadside and thought it was soldiers, so they moved on. The security guard first crossed the road and headed to the bush. He then turned to look out for the pastor, but noticed that he had disappeared!

The following day, additional information was revealed to the EYN General Secretary. Some women who were in hiding said that they saw the pastor being dragged into the Hylux van and taken away.

Wearied by the mounting attacks on the Church and Christians in the region, the EYN General Secretary lamented, “I have said it over and over that religious violence has festered and, in truth, the Church in Nigeria is under serious persecution.” This attack and abduction came just one week after Boko Haram beheaded 10 Christian aid workers on film.

Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “As Boko Haram, particularly the ISWAP faction, continues to grow in strength and power, we are likely to see more of these attacks on Christians and the Church. Their recent video showed that they have a special hatred for Christianity and will be brutal toward those whom they hold captive. We are praying for Pastor Lawan and his family as they go through this tough time. We hope to see him returned safe and unharmed in the near future.”
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News Byte: Student Loan Debt Tops $1.5 Trillion

1-7-2020 - Federal student loan debt now tops $1.5 trillion according to a report released last week by the Federal Student Aid office of the U.S. Department of Education. This is a huge debt bubble that will only grow larger, with approximately 16.1 million new student loan applications already being processed for the 2019-2020 loan cycle. Student loan repayments have become a major burden on college graduates as college costs continue to skyrocket.
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Kenya: New al-Shabaab Terror Attack Kills Four

By Timothy Gamble

1-7-2020 - Multiple sources are reporting that four civilians were shot to death by the Islamic terror group al-Shabaab earlier this morning. The attack focused on a telecommunications facility owned by Safaricom, One of those killed was a child.

Kenyan police officers killed two of the terrorists and recovered their rifles and bomb-making materials. An unknown number of al-Shabaab members managed to flee the scene.

This attack appears to be part of a recent surge in al-Shabaab terror attacks, including an attack on a joint U.S.-Kenyan military base on Sunday, January 5, that left 3 Americans dead. Al-Shabaab has also committed a number of recent attacks on buses, in which they stop the buses, separate the passengers by religion, then kill the Christians.
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Monday, January 6, 2020

Texas: Iraqi refuge arrested at homeless shelter for murder of Denver woman.

By Timothy Gamble
 

1-6-2020 - An Iraqi refugee wanted for the December 1 stabbing murder of a Denver, Colorado, woman has been arrested at a Houston, Texas, homeless shelter.  Abbas Abdal Kathem Abed is accused of killing a 31-year-old mother of three in Denver, after which he apparently fled to Houston seeking aid from Iraqi friends he knew in the Houston area. According to Houston police, Abed is also being investigated for multiple crimes in Houston, including attempted murder.
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Muslim Terror Group Al-Shabaab Kills 3 Americans at Camp Simba, Kenya

By Timothy Gamble

1-6-2020 - An al-Shabaab terrorist attack on on the joint U.S.-Kenyan military base, Camp Simba, left three Americans dead, including a service member and two Department of Defense contractors. Several others, both American and Kenyan, were injured. Several aircraft at the Manda Air Strip at Camp Simba were also damaged in the attack, which included the use of a car bomb. Four terrorists were killed, and at least five others have been arrested.

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, is a Muslim jihadist group based in Somalia, but active throughout East Africa. Al-Shabaab is a Sunni muslim group affliated with al-Qaeda, and has no known ties to Shiite muslim Iran. The attack does not appear connected to Iran's threats of retaliation for the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
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Saturday, January 4, 2020

President Trump Sends Strong Message to Iranian Regime Via Twitter

1-4-2020 - President Donald Trump took to Twiiter minutes ago to respond to the Iranian regimes threats of retaliation for the airstrike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The texts of the three Presidential tweets reads as follows:
"Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

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Muslim Jihadist Group Al-Shabaab Murders Four in Kenya Bus Attacks

By Timothy Gamble


International Christian Concern (ICC) is reporting that three passengers have been confirmed dead and several others critically injured after suspected al-Shabaab militants attacked a bus in southeastern Kenya, on Thursday, January 2.  A second bus attack in the same area on the same day left one passenger dead.

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, is a Muslim jihadist group based in Somalia, but active throughout East Africa, primarily in rural areas. In 2012, it pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. In recent years, al-Shabaab has become notorious for its tactic of stopping buses, forcing passengers to separate by religion, and then executing the Christians on board.

A security officer at the scene confirmed: “The incident happened at noon Thursday, January 2, 2020, after the Mombasa Raha bus was ambushed by heavily armed Somali-based militant members that ordered the vehicle to stop. The driver defied their orders, causing the terrorists to open fire randomly towards the bus. This led to the shooting of three people and many others injured.”

Highway patrol officers responded quickly and, after a severe exchange of fire, scattered the attackers who fled into the bush. 

One of those on the bus quickly made a call to the local security services after the attack. The police on duty arrived in time to rescue many of the injured passengers. The injured have been taken to the hospital and the bus [was] towed. Identities of the victims, who are believed to be non-local Christians returning to Lamu after spending the Christmas season in upcountry, have not yet been established,” said the security officer.

A similar incident took place in Mandera on December 6, 2019, when 11 Christians were separated from other passengers and killed.


Sources: 

Press release dated 1-3-2020 by International Christian Concern.

Reports provided by The Religion of Peace website.

Information from the Al-Shabaab entry in the online edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.

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Christians and non-Muslims In Middle-East concerned over Iran's threats of retaliation.

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). My comments follow immediately below the press release. Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

Iranian Regime Takes Posture of Aggression Toward Non-Muslims

01/03/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 2, 2020, an airstrike targeted senior Iranian and Iraqi leadership within the vicinity of Baghdad’s airport. General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, was one of the men killed in the airstrike. Iran was quick to declare his assassination as a war crime against Muslims and has promised reprisals. The other men killed were militiamen supported by Iran.

As head of the Quds Force, Soleimani’s job description primarily involved organizing Iran’s proxy militias in the region. However, as a key leader within the IRGC structure, his role also included protecting the ideology of Iran’s Islamic government. He was just as ruthless within Iran as he was outside of the country. Soleimani was a celebrity figure within the Iranian regime, and his speeches were famous among IRGC’s leadership.

“For many Iranians, Qassem Soleimani was a warmonger,” tweeted Iranian human rights activist Masih Alinejad. 

"Unfortunately, Western media misses the point by glorifying Soleimani. He was the common enemy for people in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.”

In response to the regime’s threats of retaliatory violence, several Iranian people have voiced a different message. Officials will say the Iranian people want revenge,” tweeted one Iranian Christian activist. “No! We want to see a good life and peace!” 

“People are smarter and wiser. They can see through the fog of confusion created by the Iranian government,” said an Iranian church leader. “The clergy has filled their pockets and left Iran battered.” 

Christians are often heavily targeted by the regime, since they are unjustly viewed as a national security threat. It is common for Christians to experience an increase in scrutiny from the regime during times when the government feels under increased pressure.

"The regime specializes in fear,” said a Christian ministry leader working in Iran. “They make you look over your shoulder.”

An Iranian pastor further explained, “It is the policy of the Islamic government not to put thousands of Christians in jail [even though they easily can]. Their policy is to arrest a few and put [a] maximum sentence on minor offenses [like just gathering in a home]. They then publicize it in order to put fear in the hearts of Christians. Their strategy is causing fear and isolation.” 

A former IRGC member, who is now a Christian, advised, “In my opinion, Christians need to know their position, where they are. We need to walk through the right path by awareness and not to be surprised by anything.” 

Iran is designated as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has promised retaliation. They always seek to sow seeds of fear wherever they are present, and they are quite active in the persecution of Christians, who are falsely labeled as a national security threat. At a time when Iran’s Islamic regime feels its security is threatened, we must keep the Christian community in prayer for their safety.”

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Timothy's Comments: I decided to publish this press release because it shows several different aspects of the killing of
Soleimani that are not being covered in the mainstream media. One is the fact that Soleimani was NOT well-liked or respected outside of the hardliners within the Iranian regime. As I reported in my article yesterday, Soleimani was feared and despised by most in Iran and throughout the region as a murderer and terrorist. "He was the common enemy for people in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria."

Unfortunately much of the mainstream media is presenting the Iranian government's propaganda line that Soleimani was a wildly popular and revered figure in Iran. This is blatantly and demonstrably false. In fact, Soleimani's death is being celebrated by many in Iran, Iraq, and throughout the region.

Second, this press release exposed the plight of Christians and non-Muslims in Iran that has existed for decades. Non-Muslims are treated as second class citizens at best, have few legal rights, and are actively persecuted as a matter of government policy within Iran. Concerns that Christians in Iran may face a crackdown by the Iranian regime as part of their retaliation are well-founded.

Finally, I do want to take issue with one word in the press release - "assassination." As I reported in yesterday's article, Soleimani wasn’t “assasinated”, he was legally (according to U.S. and International Law) killed on the battlefield during active operations. Soleimani was also considered a terrorist under US Law since he heads the IRGC Quds Force, which is officially designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Furthermore, he had no legal right to even be in Iraq, as he was in violation of a still active 2007 UN Security Council travel ban.  Please read my article U.S. Airstrike Against Soleimani was Legal and Justified for more information.
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Friday, January 3, 2020

U.S. Airstrike Against Soleimani was Legal and Justified

By Timothy Gamble
1-3-2020

As you have undoubtedly heard by now, on January 2 a U.S. airstrike targeted senior Iranian military leaders, including Iran-backed Iraqi militia leaders, within the vicinity of Baghdad’s airport. General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces deputy-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were both killed, among others.
 
Local Iraqi media reports that earlier today, January 3, two Iraqi militia leaders supported by Iran were arrested: Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the Badr Brigade, and Qais Khazaali, commander of Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

The airstrike was in response to the Popular Mobilization Forces' attack on the US Embassy, which was authorized, planned, and supported by Iran, via Soleimani. Attacking a nation's embassy is considered an "Act of War" equivalent to attacking the nation itself, as an embassy is considered "sovereign soil" of that nation. 

Additionally, General Soleimani is considered a terrorist under US Law since he heads the IRGC Quds Force, which is officially designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Soleimani is a murder who is responsible, directly and indirectly, for many thousands of deaths, including an estimated 600+ American service members according to the US State department. 

Some folks opposed to Donald Trump are calling this an "assassination" of a foreign leader. It was not. As David French, a Iraq War Vet, attorney, and journalist, explains "I'm seeing a lot of people calling the strike on Suleimani an "assassination." Some are even bringing up Reagan's EO 12333, prohibiting assassinations. Killing an enemy commander, in a war zone, with a military strike conducted under the law of war is not an "assassination.""

A statement released by the Pentagon reads, in part, "At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. 

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region..."

The emerging Democratic talking point and mainstream media narrative that Soleimani was a "revered" figure in Iran is also demonstrably false. Instead, he was a greatly feared man, a monster responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians.

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad posted on her Twitter account last night "IMPORTANT: For many Iranians Qassem Soleimani was a warmonger who caused massive casualties in Syria. He was no hero to average Iranians who chanted against the country’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas 1/" and "Unfortunately Western media misses the point by glorifying Soleimani— He was the common enemy for people in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. His Involvement in crackdown against university students in late 1990s was another black mark against him. 2/".


So feared and hated by many, some parts of the Middle East actually erupted with joy and celebration at the announcement of Soleimani's death.  Sara Assaf tweeted a video of one such celebration taking place at Tahrir Square, Baghdad.  The video can be viewed on her Twitter account at https://twitter.com/SaraAssaf/status/1212920600508936192

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

BREAKING: US Airstrikes Kill Iranian General

NOTE  (10:30pm)  -  For more details, I refer you to the excellent article on the Stars and Stripes website: Pentagon: Iran's Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport.




1-2-2020 (9:00 pm) - Multiple sources are reporting that a US airstrike on a convoy at the Baghdad airport has killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds force, as well as Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces deputy-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, among others.

Sources are also reporting that the Israeli military has been placed on high alert over fears of Iranian-retaliation. 

UPDATE (9:20pm) - Iraqi News agencies are reporting that Popular Mobilization Forces Head of Protocol Mohammed Ridhawas also killed in the airstrike.  

UPDATE (9:28pm) - Some sources are reporting that Naem Qasm, Hezbollah deputy leader was also killed. Reminder: all preliminary reports in a fast breaking news situation are subject to change as new information becomes available.  

UPDATE (9:57pm) - A statement released by the Pentagon reads, in part, "At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S. designated Foriegn Terrorist Organization.

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region..."

This is a breaking news story. Updates will be posted as they become available.  
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The Gun Control and Confiscation Agenda

By Timothy Gamble

Right after Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, I wrote the following"The progressives have not given up their desire to disarm Americans. Not just gun control, but gun confiscation, remains one of their most important goals. Even if blocked on a national level, they will continue the fight on the local and state level." (The Future of the Second Amendment, Nov. 12, 2016)

Those words are perhaps the most prescient I have ever written, as the recent events in Virginia and elsewhere are proving. 

Strict gun control legislation, including confiscation of certain types of firearms, in Virginia have lead to a number of Virginia localities declaring themselves "second amendment sanctuaries" that will not enforce what they consider "unconstitutional" gun laws. In response, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) and several other politicians have openly suggested using the Virginia National Guard to implement gun confiscation plans in those jurisdictions that have declared themselves "Second Amendment Sanctuaries."

Some outlets have even reported that Virginia state officials are considering UN troops to aid the confiscation, although I cannot independently verify this speculation. However, it is worth noting that the UN is advertising job openings for "DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION AND REINTEGRATION OFFICERS" to be stationed in the United States. This job advertisement can be viewed on the UN website (also archived here: https://archive.is/u7RMj). I can find no proof that the job announcement and Virginia's gun control efforts are related. However, the situation does bear watching.

Sunday's church shooting in Texas was stopped by "good guy with a gun" Jack Wilson, who was part of the church's voluntary armed security. Six other parishioners were also armed and drew their weapons. A number of gun control advocates have called this situation "terrifying," most notably Elvia Díaz whose editorial appeared in both the Arizona Republic and the USA Today, because nothing is known about those other people with guns. Díaz wrote "But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas." (The full editorial can be read on the USA Today website.)


In response, Buck Sexton - a radio host and former CIA officer, tweeted the following: "We know that the six were prepared to defend themselves and their fellow parishioners, stood their ground, did not panic fire, and had there been multiple attackers, or the first attacker shot Wilson, they would have been invaluable in stopping the additional/continuing threat."

The fact that a good guy with a gun stopped the Texas church shooting and saved many lives has really upset the Left, including many in the mainstream media. They were hoping for more people to die so they could use it too push their gun control narrative.Yes. I do believe many on the far Left are that heartless. 

The Left have never, will never, abandon their gun control and confiscation agenda. In fact, on state and local levels, they are pushing full stream ahead with their efforts. This has lead to the "second amendment sanctuary" movement which now includes not just places in Virginia, but hundreds of cities and counties across the country. Bowen Xiao, a reporter for the Epoch Times, reports that 70 of the 102 counties in Illinois have passed some form of sanctuary resolution in response to a gun control push by state officials. The count is 87 out of 95 counties in Virginia. You can read Xiao's excellent Epoch Times article on their website.  

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. 

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News Byte: Remains of an American soldier killed in the Korean War identified.

American Military News (AMN) is reporting that the remains of an American soldier killed in the Korean War have been identified as Army Pfc. John A. Shelemba, 19, of Hamtramck, Michigan. According to AMN, "Shelemba, a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, was reported missing in action July 20, 1950, while defending Taejon, South Korea."

7,602 Americans still remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
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Russia: Islamic extremists stab two police officers to death

Magan, Russia:  Islamic terrorists attacked and killed two police officers at a police checkpoint in Magan, Russia on New Year's Eve. The town was immediately put on lockdown, and a New Year's concert and fireworks display was cancelled over safety concerns.

The terrorists struck one of the officers, identified as Zelemkhan Kokorkhoev (a 34year-old father of four), with their car, before getting out and stabbing him to death. They then attacked a second officer, identified as Zurab Daurbekov, who later died at the hospital. 

One of the terrorists was shot and killed by other officers on the scene. The other terrorist was also shot but survived and was arrested.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

News Byte: 1,328 People Killed "in the name of Islam" in December

01/01/2020 - According to records maintained by TheReligionofPeace.com (TROP), the month of Decmber saw a total of 97 Islamic attacks in 17 countries. A total of  1,328 people were killed and 729 injured in the name of Islam. Most of the incidents tracked by TROP are terror attacks, although honor killings and Sharia executions may also be included. All were commited "in the name of Islam" by Muslims invoking Islamic teachings for their justification. TROP has been maintining records of all known Islamic attacks since 2001, the full list of which can be found on their website. 
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