The destruction at Nimrud happened a week after the terrorist group ISIS, armed with sledgehammers and jackhammers smashed priceless ancient artifacts at the Mosul museum. Nimrud is located south of Mosul on the Tigris river.
The Islamic State group began bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq on Thursday, the government said, in the jihadists’ latest attack on the country’s historical heritage.
IS “assaulted the historic city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy vehicles,” the tourism and antiquities ministry said on an official Facebook page.
An Iraqi antiquities official confirmed the news, saying the destruction began after noon prayers on Thursday and that trucks that may have been used to haul away artefacts had also been spotted at the site.
“Until now, we do not know to what extent it was destroyed,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Nimrud, one of the jewels of the Assyrian era, was founded in the 13th century BC and lies on the Tigris River around 30 kilometres (18 miles) southeast of Mosul, Iraq’s second city and the main hub of IS in the country.
“I’m sorry to say everybody was expecting this. Their plan is to destroy Iraqi heritage, one site at a time,” said Abdulamir Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist from Stony Brook University.
“Hatra of course will be next,” he said, referring to a beautifully-preserved city in Nineveh that is more than 2,000 years old and is a UNESCO world heritage site. AFP
One ongoing concern of Islamic radicalization and recruitment is involvement with Islam in prison.
An Egyptian-born imam who in 2007 said that Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the death penalty for her criticism of Islam is now a Department of Justice contractor hired to teach classes to Muslims who are in federal prison.
According to federal spending records, Fouad ElBayly, the imam at Islamic Center of Johnstown in Pennsylvania, was contracted by the DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons beginning last year to teach the classes to Muslim inmates at Cumberland Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.
The records show that ElBayly has two contracts worth $12,900 to teach the classes and to provide the inmates “leadership and guidance.” One of the contracts is dated Feb. 20, 2014, and the other is dated Dec. 8, 2014.
It was April 2007 when ElBayly, the imam at the Islamic Center of Johnston, protested Ali’s scheduled appearance at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.
Ali, a former Dutch parliamentarian who fled Somalia with her family at a young age, has been vocal in her critique of Islam, claiming that women suffer greatly under the religion.
Somehow Elbayly cleared the screening requirements of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Perhaps the highest hurdle for ElBayly to clear would be the program’s requirement to affirm, ”I do not endorse nor will I practice or use language in the institution that will support violence, terrorism, discrimination against other inmates.”
The updated Austrian “Law on Islam” bans foreign funding for mosques and imams limiting influence from abroad, it also requires imams to be able to speak German. It is controversial but is also being held up as a model for Europe in dealing with Islam.
“”What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
Igniting fresh controversy, Austria’s parliament has approved significant changes to the country’s “Law on Islam” — a revamping of a 103-year-old law to expand certain legal protections while also placing new restrictions on Muslim organizations and how adherents practice their faith.
While the changes were proposed years ago — long before attacks in France and Denmark by homegrown terrorists with extremist views — the reforms passed Wednesday are intended to “clearly combat” the influence of radical Islam, according to Austria’s conservative foreign affairs minister Sebastian Kurz, Agence France-Presse reported.
Lawmakers made the changes to a 1912 law that codified Islam as an official religion in Austria. Now, Austria’s roughly 450 Muslim organizations face new limits on foreign funding, a move that has generated criticism from around the world, since other religious communities can still receive international support. Many of Austria’s roughly 500,000 Muslims hail from Turkey, which finances and sends imams to the European nation.
According to Austria’s foreign ministry, imams cannot receive continuous financing under the law.
The approved bill — referred to as the “Law on Islam” by the foreign ministry — also requires imams to be able to speak German, AFP reported. Muslim organizations are not required to use a standardized German translation of the Koran, but central tenets of the religion must be presented in German, a foreign ministry official told The Post.
Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect her right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality.
Netanyahu in his speech before a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress warned:
Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.
The greatest threat against the world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.
Iran has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted.
This is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.
Complete transcript of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress March 3, 2015.
… Speaker of the House John Boehner, President Pro Tem Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Minority — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
I also want to acknowledge Senator, Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Harry, it’s good to see you back on your feet.
I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t keep a good man down.
My friends, I’m deeply humbled by the opportunity to speak for a third time before the most important legislative body in the world, the U.S. Congress.
I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.
I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.
I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.
The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.
Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.
The first IT specialist to inspect the computer hard drive of former IRS exemptions director Lois Lerner was legally blind, according to an affidavit filed last year by Stephen Manning, deputy chief information officer for strategy and modernization at the IRS.
Manning’s July 18, 2014, affidavit pertained to a lawsuit filed by True the Vote against the IRS alleging that Lerner led an effort to target it and similar conservative groups by refusing to grant them tax-exempt status.
J. Christian Adams, a former Department of Justice attorney writing for PJ Media, flagged the affidavit which provided the educational background of the IT specialist.
“According to the Specialist, prior to joining the Internal Revenue Service, from 2004 to 2005, formal Microsoft training was completed through Lions World Services for the Blind, a certified Microsoft training and testing center,” Manning stated. DailyCaller
The mystery of the tunnel near York University and the Rexall Centre has been solved.
Two young men who built a mysterious tunnel in Toronto had no criminal intent – they just wanted a man cave, police said Monday. ‘It was a place for them to hang out. They started out as goal to make a cool place and that’s what they did,’ Kwong said. DailyMail
With the enormous interest generated by the media, police received information on Friday, February 27, 2015, which enabled investigators to identify two men. The two men told investigators they built the tunnel for personal reasons. Investigators have verified their account and are satisfied there was neither criminal intent nor any threat to the people or city of Toronto. The investigation is concluded. Toronto Police
Mohammed Emwazi, Jihadi John the ISIS executioner, revealed himself to authorities after he used his student ID number to download software in Syria.
Mohammed Emwazi, 26, now the world’s most-wanted man after beheading British and US hostages, had been on a shortlist of suspects.
But the crucial piece of the jigsaw fell into place when when Emwazi used a laptop in Syria to download web design software which was being offered on a free trial.
Instead of buying the software with a credit card, he used a student code from London’s Westminster University when he studied computer technology.
The number contained unique information which gave his date of birth, what he studied, and where, and information on his student loan.
Sources revealed the download singled him out as being in the right place and time to be the killer. The information was passed back through the intelligence chain and further matches showed he was the murderer.
An intelligence source said last night: “In today’s electronic age of social media and technology, we chase the digital footprint before we chase the person. “Anyone who has a credit card, a Facebook page or a national insurance number has a digital footprint. Express UK
The Iranians having a nuclear weapon is a threat to the region. It is a threat to the United States. And it is a threat to the rest of the world. This is an serious issue and we are not going to resolve this issue by sticking our heads in the sand. The Prime Minister can talk about this I believe better than anyone. The United States Congress must hear from him and so do the American people.
House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that there is unprecedented demand for seats in the House for Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech Tuesday.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Everybody wants to be there.”
“What I do wonder is why the White House feels threatened because the Congress wants to support Israel and wants to hear what our trusted ally has to say.”
Support for Israel continues to be bipartisan, he stressed, and Democratic support for the Jewish state has not receded. “Really,” he added, “the only conflict here is between the White House and Israel.” INN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Address to Joint Meeting of Congress–Airing LIVE Tuesday, Mar 03 10:45am EST on C-SPAN
Venezuela President Maduro announced that they have captured Americans, including a pilot, that were engaged in espionage.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Saturday his government had captured Americans, including a pilot, involved in espionage activities and said U.S. citizens in the future will have to seek visas to come to the OPEC nation.
Speaking during a rally, he said his government will prohibit some U.S. officials from entering Venezuela in retaliation for a similar measure by the government of President Barack Obama against a group of Venezuelan public officials.
“We have captured some U.S. citizens in undercover activities, espionage, trying to win over people in towns along the Venezuelan coast,” he said, adding one was a U.S. pilot taken in the convulsed border state of Tachira.
“In Tachira we captured a pilot of a U.S. plane (who is) of Latin origin (carrying) all kinds of documentation,” Maduro said, without offering details.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Caracas said he was unable to comment, citing a lack of any official diplomatic communication with the Venezuelan government. Reuters
Four Missionaries from North Dakota that were being detained and questioned by Venezuela authorities left that country this week.
March 20th is the spring equinox , the first day of Spring when the day and night are nearly equal length. On March 20th there will be a total solar eclipse and a supermoon.
The celestial spectacle can be observed from large parts of North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and South West Asia. The area where the total eclipse can be observed lies within a wide corridor across the Northern Atlantic, North Sea and Norwegian Sea. The only populated places where the total solar eclipse can bee seen are the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard Islands (between Norway and the North Pole).