An American is Identified Among ISIS Fighters

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An unidentified American has been pictured with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) fighters in Syria. The man goes by the name of “Abu Mohammad Al-Amreeki” – the last name indicates that he is an American. Not much is known about his whereabouts and identity; however, if his identity can be confirmed, this man will be another American ISIS fighter in Syria.

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Nusra Front ‘kills Lebanese soldier’, promises more if prisoners not released

Reuters / Ammar Khassawneh

Reuters / Ammar Khassawneh

The Nusra Front terrorist group in Syria has released a video purporting to show the execution of a Lebanese Shiite soldier, accompanying it with a threat to kill another one publicly.

The video of the victim, Mohammad Hammieh, executed with a shot to the head, was shown together with a plea from another Lebanese soldier, Ali al-Bazzal, who appealed to his family to take action, or he would be next to die, Turkish agency Anadolu reported.

Lebanese media say the terrorists are offering an exchange – Hammieh’s body for 15 of their captured cohorts.

In explaining the execution, the Nusra Front said it was a reprisal for the Lebanese army’s attacks on Nusra Front positions in the north of Lebanon, in Arsal, as well as Hezbollah’s (the Shiite paramilitary group) Friday attacks.

 

Hammieh, they said, was “the one who paid the price” for Hezbollah’s alleged role in obstructing negotiations with the Lebanese government, as well as Arsal attacks on Syrian refugees.

“Mohammed Hamiyeh is the first victim of the intransigence of the Lebanese army, which has become a puppet in the hands of the Iranian party,” the Nusra Front added.

Along with Friday’s video they also circulated a photo of the dead soldier, photo-shopped into a black coffin.

He was among the nine Lebanese soldiers who were seen in an earlier August 23 video posted by the terrorist group, following fierce clashes with the Lebanese army in Arsal last month. The fighting claimed the lives of 19 soldiers and resulted in 35 hostages – mainly policemen – being taken by the terrorists.

“In case news of our son’s death is true, I blame the government for his killing because they deliberately were slow in the negotiations and were not serious about them,” the soldier’s father said at a news conference on Saturday, following Friday’s Twitter reports of the video.

Friday saw a bomb attack taking place, which killed two soldiers in Arsal, resulting in a hunt for the killers. This included raids and around 200 arrests being made, according to local media reports.

Although the video was being circulated on social networks on Friday, the Nusra Front first threatened to kill Hammieh on Tuesday, amid ongoing indirect negotiations between the Lebanese government and the terrorists, mediated by Qatar.

The Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front’s demands mirror those of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) terrorists’. Both groups demand the release of fellow Islamist prisoners from the same facility – the Roumieh Prison, in exchange for Lebanese prisoners of war. By media accounts, 22 hostages have been taken following last month’s clashes in Arsal.

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Germany Bans All ISIS Support After Sharia Police Were Found Patrolling German Streets

Originally posted on Friends of Syria:

After supporters of ISIS were found patrolling the streets of West Germany enforcing Sharia Law earlier this month, Germany has made the decision to criminalize all forms of support for the terrorist organization.

ISIS supporters are taken down in the Netherlands in August 2014.

ISIS supporters are taken down in the Netherlands in August 2014.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas Maiziere stated that all forms of support for ISIS will be treated as a criminal act. Specifically he mentioned any fundraising, campaigning, online support, or public display of ISIS symbols.

Germany already has section 86a in it’s criminal code to deal with these types of groups, which is most popularly used to restrict the display of Nazi Symbolism and support.

Germany is not standing alone in it’s decision to ban all ISIS support as The Netherlands made a similar decision last month.

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Crimes of Ukrainian Aidar battalion confirmed in Amnesty Int’l report – Russia

Originally posted on Friends of Syria:

An Amnesty International report has confirmed that war crimes including abductions, executions and extortion were committed by the Ukrainian Aidar battalion in Lugansk region, eastern Ukraine, an official from Russia’s Foreign Ministry says.

“The report confirms large-scale crimes, including war [crimes] made routinely and under the aegis of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, by the leaders and members of the Aidar battalion,” said Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights.

“Amnesty International points only to some of these [crimes] – abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, including demanding ransom for abducted Ukrainians, and simple robbery from the civilian population,” Dolgov said.

He added that Russian authorities have repeatedly called on international organizations , including Amnesty International, to pay more attention to large-scale human rights violations during Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine.

“We hope that the report on Aidar’s [battalion] crimes will attract more attempts…

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‘Royal family dominates courts’: Bahrain arrests high-profile human rights defender

Maryam al-Khawaja (Larry Busacca/Getty Images/AFP)

Maryam al-Khawaja (Larry Busacca/Getty Images/AFP)

A prominent human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja was arrested shortly after arriving in Bahrain to check on her father, who is hunger striking in prison along with thousands of sentenced activists, a key opposition figure Nabeel Rajab told RT. Maryam al-Khawaja, the co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, has been detained upon arriving at the airport of Bahrain and was taken into custody on Saturday. She came to her native country to visit her father Abdulhadi Abdulla Hubail al-Khawaja, who was detained back in 2011 and is now on hunger strike.

The public prosecution denied Maryam the right to meet with her lawyer before interrogation and during the questioning wasn’t allowed to talk to her about her legal rights.

She is reportedly charged with insulting the king, assaulting a police officer at the airport, and engaging in an illegal human rights campaign. The investigation was extended for seven days, according to her Twitter feed.

The president of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, told RT that the Bahraini Royal family is using the judiciary system, which doesn’t meet any international standard, as a “tool to attack human rights activists.”

RT: She’s not been officially charged yet I gather, what are the prospects of her being freed and why is she being held then?

Nabeel Rajab: She went to Bahrain to see her father. As you know she is a Bahraini with Danish nationality and she was not allowed to get in. This was the second time she tried to go to Bahrain and when she insisted she wanted to enter her country and to see her father she was detained and taken into custody. And now she is charged with attacking a policeman or police woman and was stopped and got seven days interrogation and then she will be taken before a court.

Unfortunately this is the case for all human rights defenders in Bahrain. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja’s health condition is very bad, more human rights defenders tomorrow are going on hunger strike. A lot of people were sentenced, human right’s defenders, on a daily basis by the court which is dominated by the ruling family. Today you have one photographer, Mr. Humaidan, who was sentenced to ten years. There were two women activists sentenced to five years or more. As I am talking to you the court has been issuing sentences against a lot of human rights defenders.

RT: Are you doubting the validity of those charges, the reason why she’s being held there?

NR: You are in a country where the judiciary is not independent and has had a lot of criticism from the international community. You will expect to face a judge who is a member of the ruling family. So you are in a country that does not respect human rights. The judiciary system does not meet international standards. [There has been] a lot of criticism by international human rights groups and by her friends like the United States, but they don’t care so far. They were taking a lot of human rights defenders to count and using the court and judicial system as a tool to attack human rights activists, to attack photographers, to attack journalists and activists in social media. So we are in a most repressive regime.

Protesters holding anti-government banners participate in a rally organised by Bahrain's main opposition party Al Wefaq in Budaiya August 8, 2014. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

Protesters holding anti-government banners participate in a rally organised by Bahrain’s main opposition party Al Wefaq in Budaiya August 8, 2014. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

Now we are worried about the life of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who is on his eighth day of hunger strike. We are worried about this woman taken into custody. Many woman and men were tortured to death. As I’m talking to you a lot of people were being tortured by the police in Bahrain, which has a bad reputation for human rights.

RT: Are you worried that if you yourself went back to Bahrain you’d be in trouble?

NR: I don’t know. I mean I was in trouble. I was just released two months ago. I spent my last two years in jail because of tweeting, asking people to take part in a peaceful protest to release my friend Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike today. And for that reason I spent two years in jail.

And many other hundreds of people, thousands of people are in jail today just because they are practicing their right of assembly, right in gathering, right in writing and criticizing. We have at least 4,000 people today in jail. We have at least 50,000 people who have been in and out of jail in the past three years.

So we are talking not less than seven percent of my whole population was in jail for the past three years, just for either criticizing the government or criticizing the Prime Minster who have been there for the past forty years, or criticizing the King or criticizing the ruling family. The biggest percentage of people you’ve ever seen in any country that has spent time in jail is Bahrain. The country with the most political prisoners is Bahrain.

RT: A final quick thought about Mariam’s dad, we mentioned him just now, your friend in jail there. He’s in the middle of a hunger strike. How far do you think he will carry it, and how exactly do you think he is being treated?

NR: It’s very serious, and I know how serious Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is. He’s a very committed guy, very respected guy, at the regional level, at the international level as a human rights defender. He is a well-known respected human rights fighter and I know he is very serious. In a normal condition, he should not stay more than 3-4 weeks without food, so that is why we are very worried about him. We think he, and all the human rights defenders should be released as soon as possible.

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