Monday, May 25, 2015

IS: We've Enough Wealth to Buy Nuclear Weapon; It Could Smuggle Weapon into US through Mexico

By this time next year, the Islamic State (IS) may have fulfilled the most feared scenario defense that officials can come up with -- terrorists with nukes -- the UPI website reports today (May 25, 2015).

In its online English propaganda publication, Dabiq, the Islamic group said it has accumulated enough wealth that it can buy a nuclear weapon and sneak it into the United States within the next 12 months.

The group laid out the concept in a self-congratulating article that outlines the nuclear possibility. The report states that the weapon could be purchased in Pakistan and smuggled into the United States via its southern border with Mexico.

National security experts have long feared such a worst-case scenario, as they say it would combine two of the most dangerous elements on earth at the present time -- hardline religious anarchists and a weapon that could achieve mass murder on a global scale.

IS Mil.Kill at Least 400 Captives in Palmyra, Syria; Kill Women and Children,Throw Bodies on Streets

Syrian state TV has revealed that Islamic State (IS) fighters have killed at least 400 people -- including women and children -- in Palmyra since capturing the ancient Syrian city four days ago, the News Daily website reports today (May 25, 2015).

The Sunni Muslim militants seized the city of 50,000 people -- site of some of the world's best preserved Roman ruins -- just days after capturing the city of Ramadi in neighboring Iraq.

The two IS victories were the Islamic State's biggest successes since a U.S.-led coalition began an air war against its fighters last year. The IS victories have resulted in the U.S. re-evaluating its airstrike policy, with the possibility of also using ground troops in Syria and Iraq.

The IS militants have a history of carrying out mass killings in regions they capture -- often beheading bodies and throwing them on the streets, as they did in Palmyra -- and of destroying ancient monuments, which they view as symbols of paganism.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Many Christians Observe Pentecost in Jerusalem; Largest No.of Pentecost Celebrants in 2,000 Yrs.

Thousands of Christians from all over the world have come to Jerusalem as part of a movement called "Empowered 21." They came to worship, pray, and celebrate Pentecost 2015, which is on May 31 this year, the CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) website reports today (May 24, 2015).

Organizers of Empowered 21 believe the gathering represents the largest meeting of believers in Jesus to celebrate Pentecost since the first one nearly 2,000 years ago. They represented every continent.

"Empowered 21 is a relational network. This is a key word," Empowered 21 President and Global Co-Chairman Billy Wilson told CBN News. "We are relating together in the Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered movement around the world."

"So this is the bringing together of Pentecostal and Charismatics across denominational lines to talk about unity, the power of the Holy Spirit, and how we can help new generations connect with God," he added.

US Defense Sec.:Iraqi Mil.Had "No Will to Fight;" Had Ramadi Troop Ratio of 10 to 1,Still Retreated

The Islamic State (IS) was able to seize the key Iraqi city of Ramadi because the Iraqi military "showed no will to fight," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired today (May 24, 2015), according to the USA Today website.

He offered sharp criticism of the Iraqi security forces and defended the Obama Administration's use of air strikes against the Islamic State during the interview on CNN's "State of the Union." Carter said the Iraqi forces outnumbered IS fighters by a ratio of 10 to 1 in the provincial capital but retreated.

"What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered," Carter said. "In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight IS and defend themselves."

"We can give them training," he said. "We can give them equipment. We obviously can't give them the will to fight."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

US Afghan Gen.Says IS Recruiting in Afghanistan; IS Entices Taliban Fighters Seeking Coup of Govt.

The commander of international forces in Afghanistan said today (May 23, 2015) that the Islamic State (IS) group is actively recruiting in Afghanistan but is not yet operational there, according to the Newsmax website.

Gen. John Campbell said the group's sophisticated social media campaign was attracting Taliban fighters based in Afghanistan and Pakistan who are disgruntled with the lack of progress in more than 10 years of fighting to overthrow the Kabul government.

Consequently, many were pledging allegiance to the IS group, which controls much of Syria and Iraq.

"We don't want it to continue to grow," he said, adding that efforts were being made to ensure its presence did not reach levels in Afghanistan similar to Syria and Iraq.

Popular Vote in Ireland Is 1st to OK Gay Marriage; Vote Shows Loss of Sway of Ireland's Cath.Church

Ireland yesterday became the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory for the gay rights movement and placing the country on a path of social change, the NY Times website reports today (May 23, 2015).

The vote was almost two to one in favor of legalizing  same-sex marriage.

Turnout was large -- more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million people eligible to vote cast ballots.

Not long ago, the vote in the predominantly Roman Catholic country would have been unthinkable. The Catholic Church still dominates the education system and abortion remains illegal, except when a mother's life is at risk. Nonetheless, the influence of the church in Ireland has declined significantly amid scandals in recent years, while attitudes -- particularly among the young people -- have become more permissive and secular.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 21 in Saudi Mosque; IS Claims Attack,Worst Saudi Terrorism in Decade

A suicide bomber unleashed a blast in a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia today (May 22, 2015), killing at least 21 worshipers and wounding dozens more in the deadliest attack seen in the kingdom in more than a decade, according to the ABC News website.

Loyalists of the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the bombing. This may have been an attack on Shiite Muslims by Sunni Muslims, since IS militants tend to be Sunnis.

Today's bombing took place in the village of al-Qudeeh in the eastern Qatif region, the heartland of Saudi Arabia's Shiite Muslim minority, which has long complained of discrimination in the country, ruled by ultraconservative Sunni Islam.

The bomber stood among the worshipers in the Imam Ali mosque. Then he detonated his explosives as people began to file out, said Habib Mahmoud, managing editor for the state-linked Al-Sharq newspaper in Qatif.