Only days after terror attacks killed 17 people in Paris, one of the world’s most brutal terroristorganizations is using the tragedy to rehash previous calls for small-scale attacks around the world.
In a video distributed online overnight, a spokesman for the Islamic State – also known as ISIS or ISIL – renews calls for followers in Western countries to attack intelligence and law enforcement officers, soldiers and even civilians.
It’s a message ISIS has broadcasted for months, even taking some of the wording in its latest video directly from one released in September. Still, out of an abundance of caution, federal and local authorities overnight urged their agents and officers to be vigilant in the days ahead.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are expected to issue a joint intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the country, similarly urging vigilance in light of the renewed ISIS calls for attacks against Western countries.
In his message to New York City officials, Miller noted that recent terrorism-related events around the world "reinforce that the current terrorist threat to Western targets is a bifurcated one.”
There are the “'lone wolf' attackers who respond to calls for violence over social media and operate independently and with little or no support or pre-operational planning,” said Miller. But there are also “organizations like al Qaeda, recruiting operators, planning attacks, and exercising some level of command and control."
France will deploy nearly 5,000 security forces and police to protect the 700 Jewish schools in the country, its interior minister said Monday, after last week’s attacks, one of which targeted a kosher supermarket.
Boko Haram's Brutal Rise To Power: Reinvigorating An Ancient Slave Trade And Using Children As Human Bombs
After days of razing villages and massacres, Boko Haram finished the week with its most chilling atrocity.
As shoppers bustled through the Saturday market in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a device worn by a 10-year-old girl exploded near the entrance. A witness said the child probably had no idea that a bomb had been strapped to her body.
The explosion just before lunch killed 20, including the girl, and injured 18, according to the police. Boko Haram did not claim responsibility for the attack immediately, but the Islamist insurgents have increasingly used young girls as human bombs as they carve an African “Caliphate” from the plains of northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram controls about 20,000 square miles of territory, an area the size of Belgium. Within this domain, the black flag of jihad flies over scores of towns and villages scattered across the neighbouring states of Borno and Yobe.
The latest conquest was the fishing town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad, which fell to the Islamists last Wednesday.
“For five kilometres, I kept stepping on dead bodies until I reached Malam Karanti village, which was also deserted and burnt,” one surviving fisherman, Yanaye Grema, said. Boko Haram’s fighters have now achieved mastery over 11 local government areas with a total population exceeding 1.7 million, according to the official 2006 census.
Once, the movement’s fighters would launch hit-and-run attacks on defenceless villages. Now, Boko Haram’s realm stretches from the Mandara Mountains on the eastern border with Cameroon to Lake Chad in the north and the Yedseram river in the west.
The Nigerian army, crippled by corruption and incompetence, has shown itself unable to resist the jihadist advance.
Last September, Abubakar Shekau, the self-styled “Emir” of Boko Haram, proclaimed his ambition to conquer a “Caliphate” and follow the example of Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.
Diplomats believe this was a logical escalation of Boko Haram’s campaign.
“There is a copycat element at work here,” said Andrew Pocock, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria. “If ISIL can declare a Caliphate, then so can we. Boko Haram want to be seen by their peers as grown-up jihadists. They want to show ’we can control territory, we can control a Caliphate’.”
"A war of this kind would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war," the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner told Der Spiegel news magazine, according to excerpts released on Friday.
"We won't survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation," added Gorbachev, 83. "This is not something I'm saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned."
Tensions between Russia and Western powers rose after pro-Russian separatists took control of large parts of eastern Ukraine and Russia annexed Crimea in early 2014.
The United States, NATO and the European Union accuse Russia of sending troops and weapons to support the separatist uprising, and have imposed sanctions on Moscow.
Russia denies providing the rebels with military support and fends off Western criticism of its annexation of Crimea, saying the Crimean people voted for it in a referendum.
Gorbachev, who is widely admired in Germany for his role in opening the Berlin Wall and steps that led to Germany's reunification in 1990, warned against Western intervention in the Ukraine crisis.
"The new Germany wants to intervene everywhere," he said in the interview. "In Germany evidently there are a lot of people who want to help create a new division in Europe."
The elder statesman, whose "perestroika" (restructuring) policy helped end the Cold War, has previously warned of a new cold war and potentially dire consequences if tensions were not reduced over the Ukraine crisis.
The diplomatic standoff over Ukraine is the worst between Moscow and the West since the Cold war ended more than two decades ago.
Regional analysts see Turkey becoming increasingly radical even while trying to sell the West on its moderation...With Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey’s newly elected president and chief of his Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, the country has shifted from a secular state in the 1990s to an Islamist government. That is the almost the exact opposite direction recently taken by Turkey’s main competitor for regional power, Egypt.
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.
Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.