Behind The News

Sharing the news the mainstream media won't.

US warns terrorists ‘may attack, kidnap or blow up’ Americans in Istanbul

The US consul-general in Turkey has called on US citizens in Istanbul to steer clear of crowded public places and locations popular with tourists due to an imminent threat of attacks on US and other foreign nationals by extremist groups.

The security memo was published on the official consulate page on Saturday. While elaborating on the nature of the possible attacks that Americans can fall prey to, it listed “armed attack, attempted kidnapping, bombing, or other violent acts,” adding that they could be “pre-planned” and come “with little or no warning.”

For the sake of their safety, the consulate urged US citizens to reconsider their traveling plans, especially, if they are going to visit “locations where the westerners are known to frequent or reside.” Of particular concern are the major cities located in southeastern Turkey, in the border region with Syria.

Americans have been also cautioned to shun political gatherings and rallies as well as to avoid visiting places that attract large crowds and staying vigilant while visiting tourist spots.

Meanwhile, one policeman was killed and 16 people, including six officers, were injured in a car bomb blast in the eastern Turkish city of Bingöl, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported Saturday.

A car bomb went off as an armored police vehicle passed. While no one has claimed responsibility, Turkish police said the armed wing of the banned Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, could be behind the assault. An operation to arrest the perpetrators is under way.

Turkey has been experiencing a wave of terrorist attacks attributed either to the PKK or to ISIS. On October 9, 18 people, including 10 policemen, were killed and 27 people injured in a car bomb explosion in the southeast Turkish town of Semdinli, located in an area that sees occasional heavy fighting between the Turkish army and Kurdish militias.

The deadliest terrorist attack this year took place at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in June, killing 43 people and injuring 239. It was blamed by the Turkish authorities on ISIS.

Syrian terrorist from Sweden planned airport attack in Amsterdam

Swedish national Muslim terrorist Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Twenty-four-year-old Krayem, from Malmö, in southern Sweden, was charged in Brussels earlier this year over his links to the terror cell that carried out the attacks in the French and Belgian capitals in 2015 and 2016 and in which 162 people were killed. On Thursday, a Belgian court ruled to extend Krayem’s detention by another two months.

According to an anonymous judicial source cited by Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, the extended detention comes on the back of new findings suggesting the Swede, along with an accomplice, planned to attack the international Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

The findings include two bus tickets, bought under fake names, from Brussels to Amsterdam with departure on the day of the November 13 attacks in Paris. Another key finding is a laptop found in police raids carried out after the March 22 bombings in Brussels and which contained a list of five terror targets, three of them which were hit in the Paris attacks as well as two more: the “metro” and “Schiphol”.


The paper says French police now suspect the terror cell was planning to also attack the Paris metro and the Schiphol airport, but that something went wrong.

“There were two single-journey tickets [to Amsterdam],” the source told Sydsvenskan. The paper said that Krayem, a Swede of Syrian origin, has admitted during police questioning to have travelled to Amsterdam on November 13 and that he had booked a hotel room there, but for some reason he then decided to return to Brussels on the same day. They still don’t know why.

“That makes the trip [to Amsterdam] a mystery,” the source told the newspaper.

One of the main police theories is that the manhunt and subsequent capture of Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the terrorist teams who carried out the massacres in Paris, unleashed a wave of panic among fellow accomplices in Brussels, prompting them to put a halt to their imminent plans.

Krayem is believed to have left Sweden in 2014 and made his way to Syria where he joined ISIS. Facebook posts from that time show him posting pictures of himself posing with Kalashnikovs, and with the black ISIS flag in the background. He also posted videos of the group killing people.

Krayem used a false passport to return to Europe on September 20 last year and after making his way to Belgium via Greece and Germany, he was picked up in Brussels by Abdeslam on October 3, 2015, some five weeks before the coordinated terror attacks in Paris.

General closure on Judea and Samaria ahead of Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah

The IDF on Saturday said it was imposing a total closure on Judea and Samaria which will last until Monday night, ahead of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

Tens of thousands of Arabs will not be able to cross into Israel as a result of the measure, which will be in place from midnight Saturday until midnight Monday.

Similar closures have been placed on Judea and Samaria in the past during Jewish holidays, particularly Yom Kippur and Passover. Those holidays are often associated with increased tension and potential for violence and terror attacks, particularly around religious sites which see increased numbers of Jewish visitors arriving to worship.

The crossings on the Gaza border have also been closed off for the holiday period, the army said, although exceptions are expected to be made for special humanitarian and medical cases.

Arab terrorists since October 2015 have killed 36 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national.

At least 234 Arab terrorists were eliminated while carrying out terror attacks.

On Thursday an Arab teen-terrorist throwing rocks at patrolling Israeli soldiers was shot dead next to Beit Ummar near the city of Hevron.

One soldier was lightly wounded by the rocks hurled by the 15-year-old jihadist.

The incident occurred a day after a female Arab terrorist approached border police with a knife at a Gush Etzion junction and was shot and eliminated.

Italy’s PM regrets country’s vote on UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has described a UNESCO resolution on the Jewish nation’s connection to Jerusalem “incomprehensible and unacceptable” and said his officials should have voted against it.

Renzi said, “Saying the Jewish nation has no connection to Jerusalem, is like saying the sun creates darkness.”

Netanyahu said even the most absurd movies have their limits, and it’s important for countries to protect their honor and the truth and not participate in absurdity. He also added that this isn’t a political question, but an issue of historical facts.

Renzi said in the future he will work to influence European nations’ stance on votes of this type, and added he had spoken with Italy’s foreign minister about the matter as well.

“Netanyahu appreciates the leadership that Renzi showed and hopes this will be the beginning of a change in the international forums. Change will take many years, and there will be disappointments along the way. But there is no doubt we are seeing the first buds of a positive change,” said a spokesperson from Netanyahu’s office.

The executive board of UNESCO, the UN’s cultural, scientific and educational arm, backed the outrageous resolution on Tuesday.

The Italian prime minister’s remarks were welcomed by the Jewish community in Italy, the Israeli embassy, and the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.

Muslims protest outside the Colosseum in Rome after small mosques are shut down

Thousands of Muslims gathered outside Rome’s Colosseum to protest the closure of mosques and other places of worship in the Italian capital.

The group gathered outside the iconic ancient Roman building to pray as they promoted their right of freedom to worship during the peaceful march yesterday.

An imam led the group in chants of ‘Allah Akbar’ as they kneeled to the ground facing the Colosseum.


The protest was organized by a Bangladeshi group, Dhuumcatu, which has complained that smaller or more informal mosques in Rome have been branded illegal by authorities for building violations.

At least 1.6 million Muslims live in the country but there are only a handful of mosques officially registered with the Italian government.

Most worship takes place in houses and Islamic cultural centres.


But, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said in August that ‘mini mosques in garages’ should not be allowed as it makes them difficult to monitor, possibly raising the risk of radicalisation.

The Dhuumcatu Association, said police had closed three improvised mosques in Rome in last few months.

Sikdir Bulbul, 41, is an Italian citizen who has lived in Rome for 16 years. He said the mosque he helped establish in 2012 was shut down in September.


He added: ‘Friday prayer is very important to us so today we have come to the Colosseum. Otherwise where else can we pray?’

Protesters attached placards to lamp post near the Colosseum stating they want City Hall to intervene.

On its Facebook page the Dhuumcatu Association said there needed to be clearer rules on setting up mosques.

A statement read: ‘We are sick of the criminalisation of our places of worship. There are no relevant regulations, and we cannot invent solutions independently of the authorities.’


The protest was criticisied by far-right politians. Gian Marco, leader of the anti immigration Northern League, said: Muslims today who decided to pray in front of the Colosseum had to be stopped. It was a scene that was unacceptable’.

The Colosseum has great significance in the largely Catholic country. It is generally regarded by Christians as a site of the martyrdom of believers during the Roman Empire’s persecution of the religion.

A cross now stands outside the building inscribed with the words: ‘The amphitheater, one consecrated to triumphs, entertainments, and the impious worship of pagan gods, is now dedicated to the sufferings of the martyrs purified from impious superstitions’.

Hamas terrorist killed in terror tunnel collapse in Gaza

A Hamas terrorist with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades was killed in a terror tunnel collapse in the Gaza strip Saturday.

A statement from Hamas’ armed wing named the terrorist as Anas Salameh Abu Lashin, a resident of al-Maghazi in central Gaza.

A number of tunnels have collapsed inside the Gaza this year, most recently in August.

Hamas, the terrorist movement, which controls Gaza, and other terrorist groups such as the Islamic Jihad have a network of tunnels in the Israeli territory for terrorist purposes.

Israel destroyed 34 such terror attack tunnels, at least one of which was used to launch an attack on Israeli soldiers within Israel, during 2014 war with Hamas.

Hamas confirmed in June that it is rebuilding its terror tunnels and residents of southern Israel’s communities bordering on Gaza have reported once again hearing digging sounds under their homes.


Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, has also destroyed tunnels Gazans use to smuggle commercial goods, cash, people and weapons to ISIS linked terrorists in Sinai.

For second day, Iraqi forces hunt down ISIS terrorists in Kirkuk

Security forces battled for a second day Saturday with ISIS terrorists who infiltrated Kirkuk in a brazen raid that rattled Iraq as it ramped up an offensive to retake Mosul.

“The security forces control the situation now but there are still pockets of jihadists in some southern and eastern neighborhoods,” Brigadier General Khattab Omar Aref told the AFP news agency.

“Forty-eight Daesh terrorists have been killed in the clashes,” Aref  continued, adding that some of them blew themselves up when the security forces cornered them.

A day after the shock attack on the Kurdish-controlled city, jihadist snipers and suicide bombers were still at large, prompting Baghdad to send reinforcements.

Special counter-terrorism and intelligence units were hunting down the remaining ISIS terrorists.


The ISIS assault on Kirkuk, some 175 kilometers (109 miles) south east of Mosul began early Friday in an apparent attempt to draw Iraqi forces away from the group’s last major stronghold in the country.

The large-scale “inghimasi” attack, a term describing jihadist operations in which gunmen, often wearing suicide vests, intend to sow chaos and fight to the death rather than achieve any military goal, caught Kirkuk off guard.

Earlier in the day another 46 people were killed by ISIS terrorists  in the city, mostly security forces.


“We have 46 dead and 133 wounded, most of them members of the security services, as result of the clashes with Daesh,” an interior ministry brigadier general told AFP.

A source at the Kirkuk health directorate confirmed the toll as the directorate called for blood donations to assist with the emergency.

The jihadist group has executed hundreds of men and boys over the past few days as Iraqi coalition forces close in on Mosul and heavy skirmishes have broken out in the surrounding areas.

Some 284 men and boys were killed Thursday and Friday after being rounded up from around the city for use as human shields against coalition attacks, a security source told CNN.


The long-awaited offensive on the jihadists’ last stronghold in Iraq was launched last week, with some 30,000 troops involved in the country’s largest military operation since the pullout of US troops in 2011.

Forces have already retaken dozens of villages, mostly south and east of Mosul.

But officials have said the battle for Iraq’s second-largest city could take “months”. The areas leading into the city have been peppered with landmines and the group has planted suicide vehicles in several locations to hamper the troop’s approach.



ISIS terrorists execute at least 284 Mosul civilians, children among them

ISIS terrorists have executed at least 284 men and boys in the Iraqi city of Mosul and nearby villages. Jihadists, who had used them as human shields, dumped the victims’ bodies in a mass grave, according to a report.

The victims, children among them, were all shot dead on Thursday and Friday, an Iraqi intelligence source, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN.

ISIS seized Mosul in June of 2014, when it was Iraq’s second-largest city. The terrorist group’s leader then turned it into a major military stronghold, and it is believed that between 4,000 and 8,000 ISIS terrorists are currently entrenched there, according to Reuters. An estimated 1.5 million people remain in the city.

On Friday, ISIS terrorists took some 550 families from the villages around Mosul, holding them as human shields close to jihadist positions, Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office said. Citing “corroborated information,” she said the office was also investigating reports that they had killed 40 civilians in one village, Reuters reported.

The battle for Mosul, the jihadists’ last major stronghold in Iraq, began on Sunday, and has since gained momentum. The Iraqi military and US-led coalition said that the operation to retake the strategically important city may take weeks or even months.

Earlier this week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) sounded the alarm amid the carnage surrounding the new offensive, warning that ISIS terrorists may unleash chemical attacks and use tens of thousands as human shields.

“Tens of thousands of people may be forcibly expelled, they will be getting trapped between fighting lines under siege, they may even be held as human shields,” IOM’s chief of mission for Iraq, Thomas Weiss, told Reuters.

The UN says the aftermath of the Mosul campaign could require the“largest and most complex” humanitarian relief operation in the world, as up to one million people may be forced from their homes.

Unidentified gunmen target family home of vocal Abbas critic

The family home of a vocal critic of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas was targeted by unidentified gunmen Friday night.

Damage was caused to the home but according to reports none of the occupants were injured.

Palestinian Authority activist Fadi Elsalameen currently resides in the US where he is a non-resident fellow at The Foreign Policy Institute at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and is president of the Palestinian Security Project think tank focusing on the development of a Palestinian national security strategy.

He is originally from the Arab village of Samua, near Hevron, where the shooting took place.

Photographs of the home published on Facebook showed windows riddled with bullet holes.

Elsalameen became involved in politics in 1998, working as a participant in the international organization Seeds of Peace, which focuses on topics related to Middle East youth, conflict resolution, and extremism.

He has been outspoken against the current Palestinian Authority government in many forums and in 2011 published an article calling for Abbas’ resignation.

Palestinian Authority officials allied with Abbas have in the past accused Elsalameen of working with Abbas’ rival, Mohammad Dahlan, and of collaborating with Israel.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑