Tag Archives: terrorism
News just in… The Independent reports: ‘A Pentagon investigation has found more than 100 civilians were killed in a US bombing in Mosul, Iraq, in March, making it one of the largest incidents of civilian death since the US air campaign against Isis began in 2014. The military reports 101 civilians in the building were […]
Hundreds of civilians are seeking refuge inside a mosque in the Central African Republic’s border town of Bangassou amid ongoing attacks by Christian militias that have killed up to 30 civilians, Unite Nations officials and aid workers said on Sunday.
The attacks throughout the weekend on the town of Bangassou on the Congolese border have involved hundreds of fighters with heavy weaponry and appeared to be aimed at Muslims, they said, in the latest sign that the multi-year conflict is worsening.
The UN base there has also been targeted, prompting the deployment of extra troops to the remote town on Sunday in anticipation of further attacks. They had succeeded in partly securing the town by dusk, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN mission (MINUSCA).
Asked about the civilian death toll, he added: “It is clear that we are looking at numbers that could easily reach 20 to 30.” Many of the fighters are child soldiers who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, he added.
Pastor Antoine Mbao Bogo, the local Red Cross president, said gunfire continued to ring out from the town on Sunday, blocking attempts by his organisation and others to reach the wounded and recover the dead.
More than 400,000 people in the former French colony are displaced internally and 2.2 million, or nearly half the population, are reliant on aid.
Police confirmed on Friday morning that a police tactical response unit had arrested a terrorist named only as ‘Sergej W’ in the Tuebingen area, 30km south of the city of Stuttgart and 450km south of Dortmund.
He has been charged with attempted murder, causing an explosion and serious bodily harm, police said.
After dismissing the Islamist extremist link, prosecutors accused the man of carrying out the attack in order to gain financially.
The Dortmund team bus was targeted with three bombs after it left a hotel to travel to the Westfalenstadion for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco. Defender Marc Bartra and a policeman were injured in the blasts, which saw the match postponed until the next day.
A correspondent for Rudaw, a Kurdish news agency operating in northern Iraq, said that 137 people – most believed to be civilians – died when a bomb hit a single building in al-Jadida, in the western side of the city on Thursday. Another 100 were killed nearby.
“Some of the dead were taking shelter inside the homes,” Hevidar Ahmed said from the scene.
A spokesperson for Central Command, which coordinates US military action in Iraq, told The Independent they were aware of the loss of civilian life as reported by Rudaw and the information had been passed on to the civilian casualty team for “further investigation”.
An estimated 400,000 Iraqis are trapped in the remaining Isis-held areas, the UN’s refugee agency said on Thursday. Those caught up in the fighting face growing food shortages or being hit by crossfire if they try to leave.
Isis has used civilian homes to shelter fighters and weapons throughout the battle for the city, rigging buildings and streets with explosives to impede Iraqi troops’ progress.
The fighting has come at a heavy price for both Mosul’s residents and Iraqi soldiers: thousands of Iraqi civilians have died in the fighting, and a cumulative total of more than 200,000 displaced from their homes.
A non-profit organization that tracks civilian casualties caused by airstrikes in the Middle East said it has shifted nearly all of its resources to track a surge of claims regarding U.S.-led strikes in Syria and Iraq.
The group, called Airwars.org, had been tracking deaths caused by both Russian and U.S. airstrikes but said in a statement Friday that it was suspending its work on “alleged Russian actions in Syria — so as best to focus our limited resources on continuing to properly monitor and assess reported casualties from the U.S. and its allies.
“Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March — a record claim,” the statement said. “These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria.”
In the last week, three mass casualty incidents have been attributed to U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Syria, making March one of the most lethal months for civilians in the the two-year-old war against the Islamic State.
Last week, U.S. drones targeted what locals deemed a mosque in Aleppo province in a bid to target al-Qaida leaders. U.S. officials said dozens of terrorists were killed, but those on the ground said at least 47 civilians also died in the strikes. The Pentagon denied that there were any civilian casualties but has launched a formal investigation into the incident.
On Monday, a conflict monitoring group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said a strike near Raqqa targeted a school that was serving as a home for multiple families displaced by fighting in the area, killing at least 33. The Pentagon admitted U.S. aircraft were operating in the vicinity but, according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, the military is having a hard time rectifying the location of the building that was targeted with what was shown as destroyed on social media.
On Thursday, Iraqi media reported that an airstrike in Mosul killed more than 200 people. The Pentagon is investigating the claims.
After the fall of Aleppo to Syrian and Russian forces in December and the recent escalation of the U.S.-led campaigns against the Islamic State in Mosul and Raqqa, claims of civilian casualties caused by American-led forces have outstripped those caused by Damascus and the Kremlin, according to Airwars.
As Syrian forces advance into opposition-held Hama in central Syria, Airwars has recorded roughly 50 civilian casualty events caused by the joint Russian and Syrian air campaign in March.
According to Airwars, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition, which has admitted to killing only roughly 220 civilians. In recent months, the Pentagon said it has taken strides to investigate a backlog of claims while starting to release monthly civilian casualty assessments.
An unidentified extremist broke into an Arizona mosque early Monday morning and ripped up copies of the Quran.
The Islamic Center of Tucson wrote in a Facebook post that the man, seen in surveillance footage wearing a University of Arizona T-shirt, entered the mosque at about 3:30 a.m. Monday.
“He ripped copies of the Qur’an and threw them around the prayer room before leaving the building,” the center wrote. “Thankfully no one was hurt.”
Imraan Siddiqi, executive director at the Arizona chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, called on “local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime and for religious and political leaders to speak out against the growing Islamophobia in our state and nation that results in such acts of bigotry.”
The attack on the mosque comes amid a frightening surge in hate incidents targeting Muslims.
Hate crimes rose 7 percent in the U.S. in 2015, according to the FBI, a rise driven largely by a 67 percent increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims. The FBI hasn’t released hate crime statistics for 2016.
Also in 2015, mosques were targeted for vandalism, arson and other types of destruction 80 times, a nearly 400 percent rise from 2014, according to a report from CAIR.
In a seven-week span this year, three mosques in the U.S. have fallen victim to arson, according to authorities. And just this past weekend, a mosque in Michigan caught fire, although the cause of that blaze is unknown.
Meanwhile, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled in 2016, according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a rise the SPLC attributed to the anti-Muslim rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
Members of the Islamic Center of Tucson have faced anti-Muslim sentiment themselves. “Terrorist, go back to where you came from!” someone shouted from a car window at the Islamic Center’s president, Ahmed Meiloud, last year.
Ypsilanti — Authorities are calling in federal law enforcement officials to lead an investigation into a fire at an Ypsilanti mosque.
Pittsfield Township Fire Chief Sean Gleason says there is no indication this early on in the investigation that the cause of the fire at the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti is suspicious. But because of its designation as a mosque, officials contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today asked local, state and federal fire investigators and law enforcement authorities to probe the fire as a possible act of arson.
“”We urge state and federal agencies to use their full resources to investigate this fire to determine a cause and, if it is determined to be arson, a possible motive,” CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a statement. “Anyone who has information about this fire, or saw anything suspicious at the time of the blaze, should immediately contact law enforcement authorities.”
The fire department was called to the mosque shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. When firefighters arrived, they found the middle section of the building in flames. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Nobody was inside the building at the time.
An agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigates a fire at a mosque in Pittsfield Township, Sunday, March 12, 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Ronnie Dahl / ATF)
A dozen ATF agents were on the scene Sunday, with some focused on determining the cause of the fire and others canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses, said spokeswoman Ronnie Dahl.
She said anyone with information is asked to contact the ATF tipline 1-888-ATF-TIPS or report the information through the Report-It App (a free download).
Feds called in to investigate Ypsilanti mosque fire