As many as 300 Britons are still fighting with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, a recent defector from London has revealed, amid growing concern the jihadists are plotting attacks on the UK.
Stefan Aristidou, 23, from Enfield, was arrested last week in the southern Turkish town of Kilis, three miles from the Syrian border, after surrendering to authorities.
Speaking in an interview before crossing into Turkey, Aristidou said there was “somewhere between 250-300” British Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters remaining – some in Iraq but most of whom are operating in Syria.
Regime change was all the rage under the Obama administration — especially in the middle east. The pitch was MUH democracy needed to be exported to savage lands, whose populations were largely an illiterate ensemble of archaic tribes hellbent on blowing each other up over the interpretation of their fictional holy books.
Here was two time failed Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, flippantly opining about the fate of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Seeing Turkey’s election this month, in which the Turks used their democratic freedom to vote themselves out of their democratic freedom — just to throw it out — should remind us that the Judeo-Christian values which we take for granted are more fragile than we may have thought.
Shortly after the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the only way to get into immediate postwar Baghdad was to get a ride in Amman, Jordan, and take it across the desert to Iraq.
A bulletin board in Jordan’s Amman Intercontinental Hotel would list who was going to Baghdad and we all hitched rides with whomever we could get.
So, on a crazy trip, the well-known “Baghdad Dash,” three of us crammed into a tiny, not so cool-looking car and made our way across the desert.
Halfway, the engine stopped. In typical Mohammedan fashion, the driver said “Insha’ Allah” (“God’s will”), got out of the car and walked off.
The Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism has confirmed that police are now making terror-related arrests “on a near daily basis”. Meanwhile, a noted security expert has estimated the number of “committed Islamists” in the country is “between 6,000 and 10,000”.
The Bangladesh government at present is carrying out atrocities against religious and ethnic minorities. Some foreign organisations helped me to flee to safety in Germany after nine of my colleagues were hacked to death by extremists.
Unfortunately, all the minorities of the country are not as fortunate. Last year, the police themselves set fire to about 3,000 houses of minority people. Most recently, the Bangladesh Army killed Romel Chakma, an indigenous student leader. He was only 18 and had one eye. The army decided to pour Kerosene over his dead body and set it on fire.
The government forced the media to bury the news. It is different in Bangladesh; nobody cares about minority people anyway.
When thousands of US Marines flooded into Helmand eight years ago, they demonstrated Barack Obama’s resolve to quash the Taliban once and for all and leave a peaceful province for Afghans to take over.
Two years after the US flag was lowered, however, the Marines are back, in a sign that things turned out rather differently.
“It feels like Groundhog Day,” said Staff Sergeant Robin Spotts, on his third Helmand deployment. About half of the 300 Marines who have arrived over the past two weeks have served in Helmand before. Even the flag raised in a ceremony on Saturday was the same, having been kept at the Pentagon since October 2014.
“I fear we are approaching a situation resembling the tragic fate of Christianity in Northern Africa in Islam’s early days”, a Lutheran bishop, Jobst Schoene, warned a few years ago.
In ancient times, Algeria and Tunisia, entirely Christian, gave us great thinkers such as Tertullian and Augustine. Two centuries later, Christianity has disappeared, replaced by Arab-Islamic civilization.
Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour. He was welcomed warmly not only as the monarch of one of the world’s richest countries, but as the custodian of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
While appearing to be taking a holiday rather than embarking on an official state visit — the 81-year-old sovereign spent six days at a resort in Bali — the king had some serious business to attend to. In what was advertised as an effort to promote “social interaction” between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — with His Majesty announcing a billion-dollar aid package, unlimited flights between the two countries and the allotment of 50,000 extra spots per year for Indonesian pilgrims to make the hajj to Mecca and Medina – it seems as if the real purpose of the trip was to promote and enhance Salafism, an extremist Sunni strain, in the world’s largest Muslim country, frequently hailed in the West as an example of a moderate Islamic society.
On a clear day the channel dividing Chios from the Turkish coast does not look like a channel at all. The nooks and crevices of Turkey’s western shores, its wind turbines and summer homes could, to the naked eye, be a promontory of the Greek island itself. For the men, women and children who almost daily make the crossing in dinghies and other smuggler craft, it is a God-given proximity, the gateway to Europe that continues to lure.
Samuel Aneke crossed the sea almost a year ago on 1 June. Like those before him, and doubtless those who will follow, he saw the five-mile stretch as the last hurdle to freedom. “You could say geography brought me here,” said the Nigerian, a broad smile momentarily dousing his otherwise dour demeanour. “But it was not supposed to keep me prisoner.”