Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Report: Islamic State Threatening to Stage Biological, Radioactive Attacks

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadis are threatening to carry out biological and radio-active attacks against the U.S.-led coalition fighting to demolish the remnants of the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, Arutz Sheva reported on Sunday.

Last month, the office of the inspector general (IG) at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) determined ISIS has evolved into “an effective clandestine” insurgency nearly a year after the U.S.-led coalition decimated the jihadis’ territorial caliphate.
Although the U.S.-led coalition has pushed ISIS into a small pocket of territory in Syria, the group remains a threat and has managed to maintain control over the area for more than a year.
The Islamic State group is now threatening to stage biological and radio-active attacks to finish off the anti-ISIS coalition. The organization’s Al-Taqwa Media Foundation last week started to publish new inciting material, including animation videos depicting a burning capitol building and abandoned military vehicles as well as civilian cars – as ISIS terrorists raise their black banner. The images also showed four symbols to warn against biohazards which were placed on a nearby building and three barricades near the burning target.
ISIS reportedly declared via text attached to the images, “O Crusaders, you have realized the danger of the Islamic State. But you did not know the treatment, and you will not know the treatment, because there is no treatment! By fighting it, it gets stronger, and by leaving it, it blooms and stretches more.”
In the video, the terrorist group reportedly added:
While Trump promised defeat of the Islamic State, Obama has lied before and our Lord – the Almighty – promised victory, and here we are. This campaign is your last campaign, and it will fail by the permission of Allah. As all your campaigns have been broken before and failed, but this time we are going to invade you, and you will never invade us ever.
The pro-ISIS Al-Taqwa outlet also released a poster depicting a destroyed house with crows flying above the structure and three radio-activity warning symbols attached to a signpost.
“We will soon do this,” a text on the poster cautioned. READ MORE

Hizballah plans Hamas-style mob violence against IDF troops from the Lebanese border

DEBKAfile Exclusive: On Monday, Dec. 1, Hizballah activists began organizing groups of “demonstrators” in the Shiite villages of South Lebanon for mob assaults from behind the Lebanese border on the IDF teams excavating tunnels. They plan to take a leaf from the violent disturbances Hamas and Islamic Jihad staged against Israeli troops from the Gaza border for months. Hizballah strategists estimate that thousands of Shiite men, women and children can be mobilized to harass the Israeli soldiers unearthing its tunnels. By turning up at different points, they would seriously hamper the Israeli operation.

Since the IDF keeps to the Israeli side of the Lebanese border, these groups would at first be ordered to stay at least 20 meters from the soldiers’ excavation sites. Our exclusive sources add that Hizballah obtained a Lebanese army guarantee to secure the Shiite riots. Preparations appear to be in progress for the first outbreak to occur around the village of Meiss ej-Jabal in the Marj Ayoun district opposite Israeli Zar’it. This patch was chosen as the starting point for the crowd assault on Israeli troops because there is no fence or wall blocking access between Lebanon and Israel. This first pilot “demonstration” will be staged to test results and gauge Israel’s response. If the stratagem works for Hizballah, it will be expanded to other parts of the border.

A close watch is being kept on the Gaza Strip in case the Palestinian terrorists, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are closely aligned with Hizballah, decide to go back to their former full-scale rampages against Israeli troops as a “second front.” In the last few weeks, they were persuaded to slacken the violence by the intake of Qatari dollars.

IDF delegation to discuss anti-Hezbollah operation with Russia

An IDF delegation will head to Moscow on Tuesday to brief their Russian counterparts on operations to destroy Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon, the IDF said on Monday.
 
"An Israeli army delegation composed of senior officers and led by the head of army operations, General Aharon Haliva, will fly to Moscow on Tuesday," it said in a statement.
"During the day-long visit, the delegation will brief their Russian counterparts on Operation Northern Shield and other operational issues," added the statement.
 
The visit follows a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend about the IDF’s Operation Northern Shield.
 
During the phone call, the two agreed that defense delegations from both countries would meet soon and that a meeting between the two leaders would be scheduled afterward.
The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield last week to destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels built from southern Lebanon into Israel.
 
The tunnels mirror similar terror tunnel networks used by the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip for both internal transit within the coastal enclave, and for attacks on Israeli targets outside of the Strip.
 
The conversation between Netanyahu and Putin followed a period of strained ties between Israel and Russia following the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane over Syria in September.
 
An IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft was reported missing over Syria in mid-September, following an Israeli airstrike on a military research facility in northern Syria.
 
The plane, which was carrying 15 crew members, was later declared lost, after apparently being downed by a Syria surface-to-air missile.
 
Russian officials blamed Israel for the downing of the IL-20, saying the IDF had provided just one-minute advance notice of the impending airstrike to Russian Defense Ministry officials, adding that the Israeli fighter jets had used the IL-20 to draw the Syrian air defense network’s fire.
 
Israel denied the claims, saying its jets were already out of the combat zone and in Israeli airspace when the IL-20 was downed, and that the IL-20 had been far from the area of the airstrikes during the Israeli operation.
 
An IDF delegation was later dispatched to Moscow to share information collected by Israel as part of its investigation into the incident.
 
The Russian government refused to accept the validity of Israel’s investigation into the incident, however.

Iranian commander: We can build missiles with broader range

Iran has the ability to build ballistic missiles with a broader range, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Monday, Reuters reported.
 
Iran’s missiles currently cover a range of 2000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and many “enemy bases” are within 800 kilometers of the Islamic Republic, claimed Amir Ali Hajjizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division.
 
“We have the ability to build missiles with a broader range,” Hajjizadeh said, according to Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency.
 
He added, “We don’t have limitations from a technical perspective or by conventions with regard to missile range.”
 
The comments come amid continuing tensions between Iran and the US, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and his reimposing of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
 
Since the Trump administration has reimposed the sanctions, Iranian officials have repeatedly issued threats.
 
Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.
 
Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to threaten to disrupt other countries’ oil shipments through the Gulf if Washington presses ahead with efforts to halt Iranian oil exports.
 
“If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” he said.
 
In addition, Iran has threatened to increase the range of its missiles and continue its ballistic missile tests, which the US says are in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
Iran denies its ballistic missile tests, which were one of the reasons cited by Trump in leaving the nuclear deal, are in violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
 
Rouhani has stressed that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.

'Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone on for way too long'

President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, dubbed the ‘Deal of the Century’, will be released in the next few months, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said Monday night.
 
Speaking with Fox News, Kushner said the deal includes serious concessions from both sides, but would protect Israeli security, while improving the living conditions of Palestinian Authority residents.
 
“We’re hopeful in the next couple of months we’ll put out our plan which not every side is going to love, but there’s enough in it and enough reasons why people should take it and move forward.”
 
Kushner emphasized that the Israeli-Arab conflict “has gone on for way too long”, and said the living conditions for Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was “not acceptable”.
 
“We’re focused now on the broader region, which is figuring out how to hopefully bring a deal together between the Israelis and Palestinians. That conflict has gone on for way too long. The president has been very focused on trying to bring all the different parties together.”
 
“The way that people are living in Gaza and the West Bank right now is not acceptable and there’s a lot that we can be doing to improve their quality of life. But it comes with resolving some of these core issues.”
 
The senior White House advisor stressed that Israeli security concerns were a top consideration during the drafting of the plan.
 
“This plan will keep the Israeli people safe and give them a good future, but also give a real opportunity and hope to the Palestinian people so that they can live better lives. I’ve been saying along that you shouldn’t be hijacking your children’s future because of your grandparent’s conflict. This is a conflict that has been going on for way too long.”
 
“It’s not just the Israelis that want it, it’s not just the Palestinian people who want it, it’s all the people I speak to in the entire Middle East who’d like to see this issue resolved so they could start focusing on a brighter future.”

'As long as I am prime minister, no Jew will be uprooted'

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz inaugurated the "Adam Interchange" in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council on Tuesday morning.

The interchange is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion in the area and improve passenger safety. More than NIS 60 million ($16 million) was invested in the construction of the interchange.

As part of the project, which was carried out by Netivei Israel, a level separator was established, enabling continuous and safe traffic on Route 60 and Highway 437, which leads from Jerusalem to Beit El in both directions. At the top of the separator there is a traffic circle that will significantly improve traffic flow for the many road users in the area.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the incident at the Ofra junction. "I wish a speedy and complete recovery to all those wounded in the attack, and of course to Shira Ish-Ran and her baby son, who is still struggling for his life, and we all pray from the bottom of our hearts for an improvement in his condition.

"This act of terror, like others, shows the depth of our enemies' hatred of us, the Jews and the Israelis. They have no moral inhibitions when they come to harm innocents. We will pursue those responsible for the attack and make them pay the price.

“We will show that their desire to uproot us from our land will it a brick wall. They want to uproot us from here, but they won’t. As long as I am the prime minister of Israel, not a single Jew will be uprooted from his home, and not only will they not be uprooted from their homes, they will build their homes and add to them."
Netanyahu emphasized that "here in this place were our ancestors thousands of years ago - names like Geva Binyamin, Michmash, Ofra and Anatot take us straight to the days of the Bible. These are places that are at the heart of our history three thousand years ago, the Kingdom of Saul and then the Kingdom of Judah. ​​These places come straight from the Bible, the heart of our homeland, and we will continue to strengthen settlement in it.”

"That's what we are doing today. We are opening a new interchange, which of course brings a tremendous message to the residents of the area because the Adam-Hizma ridge, which burdened drivers daily, is changing its face. This allows for a significant easing of traffic congestion from Jerusalem and to Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister made it clear that "we are not stopping here, we will complete the construction of bypass roads, widening lanes, improving infrastructures. There is a dual aspect here, both transportation and security combined. We make one more big connection - we connect the country geographically, but we also connect the present with the future. On this day and in this place we do something else, we connect the present with the past.”

"Our forefathers have walked here in this landscape, in these valleys and mountains, the greatest dramas in the history of our people and humanity have taken place here, and so we are connecting our past to our future, and that is a great privilege.

"Our generation has a huge privilege: Our parents’ generation returned what was lost and we promise that what has been returned will be for all future generations, will live forever and will ensure the eternity of Israel," Netanyahu said.

Attempted terror attacks in Judea and Samaria

Two attempted ramming attacks on Israeli security forces were foiled in Judea and Samaria Tuesday morning.
 
In one incident in the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Idhna, near Hevron in Judea, a Palestinian vehicle attempted to run down Border Police officers while fleeing Israeli security personnel during an enforcement operation by the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration.
 
According to a statement by a spokesperson for the Border Police, the driver attempted to run down Border Police officers who were securing the perimeter during the Civil Administration’s enforcement operation.
 
Israeli security personnel opened fire on the vehicle during the apparent ramming attack. No injuries were reported among the Israeli forces at the scene. The terrorist was shot and killed.
 
“A short time ago a report was received regarding a Palestinian vehicle in the village of Idhna near Hevron which had tried to flee from security forces during an enforcement operation of the Civil Administration. The vehicle apparently attempted to run over Border Police officers who were securing the area.”
 
“Shots were fire at the Palestinian vehicle. There were no injuries to Israeli forces.”
Arab media outlets identified the terrorist killed during the Idhna attack as 27-year-old Omar Awwad.
 
A second incident was also reported during an enforcement operation against illegal buildings in Samaria, in the northern Jordan Valley area.
 
A Palestinian vehicle which attempted to ram Israeli security forces was fired upon during the incident. Israeli security forces later apprehended the driver and placed him under arrest.
 
Both incidents are currently under investigation.
 
The pair of attempted attacks come days after a cell of Palestinian Arab terrorists opened fire on Israeli civilians waiting at a bus stop near the town of Ofra, north of Jerusalem.
Seven people were wounded in the drive-by shooting attack, including a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was evacuated in critical condition and given an emergency caesarian section.
 
The terrorists fled the scene and remain at large, as IDF forces continue searches for the perpetrators.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Israel’s shrinking military deterrence emboldens terrorists and hostile forces

The Palestinian shooting attack which injured seven Israelis at the Ofra junction on Sunday, Dec. 9 was not an isolated incident.  In the north meanwhile, Israel’s Operation Northern Shield against Hizballah tunnels has become a cat and mouse game.
 
Hamas  had every reason to celebrate another effective terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria.  Since Israel allowed Qatar’s monthly installments of $15m to pass into Hamas hands in the Gaza Strip, a month, the rockets and incendiary balloons flying against Israeli communities in southern Israel are grounded. Assured of another four monthly cash installments, Hamas is free to focus on acquiring new rockets, digging new tunnels and setting up a new wave of violence in Judea and Samaria. It is not just directed against Israelis but has the collateral benefit for Hamas of jolting security in the Palestinian Authority, which is led by the rival Fatah group.
 
The IDF operation against Hizballah’s cross-border tunnels may also pay a price for its declining deterrent strength.  While the Netanyahu government and military officials trumpet the importance of then action for disabling the Iranian Lebanese proxy’s “tunnel weapon” – complete with revelations of the yet another tunnel unearthed, Hizballah’s propaganda machine has contrived to turn this picture on its head and feed its distorted take to the region’s Arab media.

Both show an IDF unit working on tunnels located by intelligence as running under the border into Israel, equipped with the latest military and high-tech equipment and vehicles, and backed by armored cars, Hemmers, drones and artillery. A UNIFIL is depicted heading towards the same point from the Lebanese side of the border. The UN commander then consults the Lebanese Army for a directive to determine the location of the border. The two forces stand practically nose to nose on either side and wait for word from Beirut.
 
Now picture becomes absurd. Like every other unit of the Lebanese army, its intelligence division’s mapping department takes its orders from Hizballah. So, while Israeli TV films Israeli soldiers painting blue the rocks marking the border, their correspondents omit to disclose  that the soldiers are marking out a “blue line” border dictated by Hizballah. Furthermore, a short distance away, hundreds of Lebanese villagers watch the scene, some of them laughing and pointing at the Israeli soldiers. Hizballah operatives are certainly part of these groups, since they have virtually moved in on all the Shiite villages of southern Lebanon in yet another violation of UNSC Res. 1701. Israeli troops are under strict orders not to react to any provocation.
The cat and mouse game went on Monday. The Lebanese army chief Gen. Joseph Aoun informed UNIFIL head. Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col, that permission to inspect villages suspected of harboring tunnels may be granted – but only against the submission of the IDF’s plan of operation in detail! DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
 
Hizballah’s upside-down picture has been relayed by TV stations of the Arab world during the six days since the Israeli operation was launched. It achieved the effect which Hizballah aimed for of a Lebanese David laughing in the face of the Israeli Goliath. With this propaganda success under his belt, Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah could afford to “decline comment” on the Israeli operation and quietly watch another assault on IDF deterrence.

ANALYSIS: ISIS preparing for radioactive and biological attacks

A year after the ‘defeat’ of the Islamic State Jihadist organization the group is witnessing a revival, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The organization succeeded in maintaining a significant force of 30,000 armed terrorists who are in control of less than one percent of the territory of the self-proclaimed Caliphate in both Syria and Iraq, but it is “re-emerging as a guerilla force that is returning to its insurgent roots” the Pentagon warns.

This weekend, ISIS terrorists in eastern Syria managed to stave off an offensive by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the town of Hajin, the group’s last stronghold in the eastern Syrian desert near Deir Ez-Zur and re-capture parts of the town.

The SDF offensive against ISIS’ last strongholds in eastern Syria has been going on for three months and has caused most of the civilian population of Hajin to flee via safe passage corridors created by the Kurdish-dominated militia.

The US-led coalition against Islamic State has already carried out 1000 airstrikes on Hajin, but the Jihadists are not willing to surrender and have vowed to fight to the death.

Using scores of suicide bombers, the Jihadists succeeded in chasing the SDF out of some neighborhoods of Hajin, which had been already seventy percent liberated by the American-backed force.

Elsewhere in Syria, the pro-Assad coalition is slowly advancing against what the Arabs call ‘Daesh’ an acronym for ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

In the Sweida Province, also referred to as the ‘Druze Mountain’, Assad’s forces are steadily eliminating the last ISIS hubs after routing Islamic State in the Yarmouk Basin a few months ago, but the Jihadists continue to stage suicide attacks.

In Iraq, Islamic State has succeeded in maintaining footholds in the desert in the Anbar Province and its fighters continue to stage attacks on the Iraqi army and the predominantly Shiite militia Hashd al-Shaabi. READ MORE

Haley: Payments to terrorists need to stop

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, on Sunday night called for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop its payments to terrorists, following the shooting attack at the Ofra junction in Binyamin.
 
Haley was responding on Twitter to Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon, who wrote, “A short time ago, a despicable terrorist fired from a vehicle at Israelis - including a pregnant woman - in Ofra. Once caught, the Palestinian Authority will pay the terrorist a monthly salary, as this is part of the PA's incitement campaign, which encourages such attacks.”
“These payments need to stop,” wrote Haley.
 
According to Palestinian Authority figures, the monthly allowance per prisoner is higher than that of an active member of the PA security forces. The PA budget for payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons skyrocketed to $158 million in 2017.
 
Despite repeated calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has continuously stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full."
 
In a recent speech, Abbas called the PA's continued payments to terrorists a "red line" that would not be halted under any circumstances.
 
"The salaries of the shaheeds (martyrs) are our red line. We absorb a lot of pressure, but we will not compromise or give up on this matter, the money will go to them - until the last expulsion," Abbas said during a speech at the Executive Committee of the PLO in October.