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Biafra is not realizable in this millenium – French Government

Less than one week after Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, dealt a blow on agitators of Biafra, the bid to actualise a sovereign state has suffered yet another set back.

Buratai had told proponents of separation that they will not achieve their aim in his lifetime.

“I want to call on all the agitators for separation and other acts of destabilisation to forget it, not in this era, not in this millennium…  I think they have to wait till may be the next three or four millennia for them to do that. That is, may be the next generation of officers and men will allow them at all,” he had said at a programme in Abuja.

However, the French government, which threw its weight behind Biafra in the 1967 secession bid, has ruled out any support for the secession of any part of the country, particularly Biafra.

Denys Gauer, the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, told The Guardian that France would not in anyway work with any group agitating for the dismemberment of the nation.

“We are working with Nigeria and we are supporting it as the only country. This is absolutely clear and I don’t think there is any kind of future for Biafra. They are part of Nigeria and Nigeria has to remain as the only country,” he reportedly said.

Speaking against the backdrop of France’s previous support for Biafra during the civil war, Gauer said Nigeria has evolved since the civil war.

Gauer said France is working with Nigeria in its fight against insurgency, and that the fight against Boko Haram has brought the two countries together, more than before.

Reacting to the envoy’s comment, Uchenna Madu, Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), said the struggle for Biafra “is real and cannot be stopped by any man created by God”.

“We in MASSOB do not believe what he said because that does not represent the position of France. France is a friend of Biafra and even during the Nigeria/Biafra war, they assisted us so much,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“In this current agitation for Biafra, France has sympathy for us. We advise our people to disregard what he said.”

 

Source: The Cable

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, says French ambassador.

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, French Ambassador in Nigeria, Denys Gauer, declared yesterday. Speaking with The Guardian in Abuja, Gauer stated that a national newspaper, (not The Guardian) recently published a report and photograph of a white man, which it claimed is a French national arrested by the Nigerian military in its operation against Boko Haram.

The French envoy said the white man in the newspaper report is a German national, who was kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram sect but was later rescued by Cameroun security forces.

He said the report was capable of creating credibility issues for the newspaper.“When a newspaper makes such an enormous blunder, it loses its credibility. Who will trust them anymore?”

He noted that though France has its internal crises with some of its radicalised citizens who left France to join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, he maintained that there has never been any reported case of a French national providing support for the Boko Haram.

Gauer disclosed that France has put in place a strong legislation to deter its citizens from joining terrorist organisations. “We now have a strong law that when those guys come back to France, they are immediately arrested, but concerning Boko Haram, I must say I am not aware of any case of a French national involved in the group,” the envoy said.

He explained that when the Boko Haram insurgency got to a peak in 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan approached President Francois Hollande of France who immediately convened a meeting of Nigeria neighbours, Chad, Niger and Cameroun in Paris where the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MJTF was established to deal with the situation. He added that although, Nigerian authorities had on several occasions blamed terrorism activities around the Lake Chad basin on nationals other than Nigerians, the diplomat stated that Nigeria’s Francophone neighbours believed otherwise.

 

Source: The Guardian

43 Nigerians Deported from Europe

About 43 Nigerians were on Thursday deported from Italy, Germany and Belgium, for committing various offences.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA), Lagos at about 8.40 p.m.

The deportees, who are all male, were brought back with a chartered Hifly aircraft with registration number CS-TQW, amidst tight security.

Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), confirmed the development to NAN.

He said 33 of the deportees were from Italy, while the other seven and another three were deported from Germany and Italy, respectively.

Sidi, represented by by Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said NEMA and other sister agencies were at the airport to receive the deportees.

“They were deported for committing various offences in their host countries and as you can see, our agencies are here to do the needful.

“As a responsible government, we cannot just leave our citizens to enter the country without giving them a good welcome and assisting them to get back to their families,” he said.

Sidi advised Nigerians to stay in the country and develop it together.

He said some stipends would be given to the deportees to facilitate their transportation to their various destinations.

NAN reports that other agencies who were at the airport to receive the deportees included officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigeria Immigration Service. (NAN)

(NAN)

 

BREAKING: French soldier shoots man near Louvre museum.

A soldier on Friday shot and wounded a man armed with a machete who was trying to enter the Louvre museum in central Paris, police said.

Police sources told the Reuters news agency that the man had been trying to get into the museum’s underground shop with a suitcase.

“We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident,” Michel Cadot, the head of the French capital’s police force, said, adding the man had shouted, “Allahu Akbar”.

“There was also a second individual who was behaving suspiciously, who has also been detained, but for now there does not appear to be a link between that individual and the attack,” Cadot  said.

The interior ministry said on Twitter that the incident was “serious”.

Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris, said the motivation of the attacker was unknown.

“We cannot confirm if the attack is over yet, but we know the attacker has been severely wounded and the entire area has been cordoned off with high-level security at the site,” she said.

“France has been on a state of emergency after string of attacks for the past few years. And there are high-level of alert group of soldiers in several public places in Paris.”

A spokewoman for the Louvre said the museum was “closed for the moment” but would not confirm reports it had been evacuated. A Reuters witness at the scene said police had cordoned it off.

The huge former royal palace in the heart of the city is home to the Mona Lisa and other world-famous works of art but is also a shopping complex and houses numerous exhibition spaces.

France has suffered a string of attacks, beginning in January 2015 when gunmen killed cartoonists and journalists at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in Paris in revenge for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Another attacker went on to kill shoppers in a Jewish supermarket, bringing the total number of people killed to 17 in three days of bloodshed.

Ten months later, gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group attacked bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

Last July, a Tunisian man rammed a lorry through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on France’s south coast, crushing 86 people to death.

Rivers Poll: UK, US, Germany, France Call For Probe Of Killings

The United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright and his United States, France, Germany and the European Union counterparts, Messrs Stuart Symington, Denys Guaer, Bernhard Schlagheck and Micheal Arrion respectively, yesterday called on the federal government to conduct a transparent investigation into the killings of innocent Nigerians during the just concluded Rivers re-run election.

Also yesterday, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) vowed that it would get to the root of incidences of malfeasance involving its staff, politicians and some security agents during the just concluded re-run elections in Rivers State.

This was contained in a statement, signed by the Deputy Press and Public Relations Officer of the British High Commission, Jamila Fagge, on behalf of the five envoys resident in Abuja.

The envoys also alleged wide rigging of the December 10, parliamentary re-run election in the state.

The countries who claimed to have been following proceedings before and during the election indicted some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as personnel of security agencies.

They however did not mention any politician or political party as a beneficiary of the rigging.

The envoys called for a full scale investigation of the allegations as well as the death of some civilians and police officials with a view to bringing them to book and serve as deterrent to others in future elections.

Read More: thisdaylive

Bernard Cazeneuve Named French PM After Valls Quits

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was appointed as the new prime minister on Tuesday after Manuel Valls resigned to seek the Socialist nomination in the presidential election, the presidency said.

Cazeneuve, who has overseen the security forces’ reaction to a string of jihadist attacks that have killed more than 230 people in France over the past two years, will take control of the Socialist government until the election in May.

He was named prime minister after Valls offered his resignation to President Francois Hollande early Tuesday.

Hollande’s office said Valls’ resignation had been accepted.

“The President of the Republic has appointed Bernard Cazeneuve as prime minister and asked him to form the new government,” the statement said.

Valls, who had been prime minister for the past two and a half years, announced on Monday he would step down to try to rally the fractured French left ahead of a primary in January.

In a combative speech, 54-year-old Valls vowed to take the fight to the conservative opposition and the far-right National Front, who are both leading the Socialists in election polls.

His announcement came four days after Hollande said he would bow out after a single term, paving the way for Valls to try to become the left’s new standard bearer.

AFP

 

French parliament dismisses impeachment call against President Hollande

President Francois Hollande will not face an impeachment process over comments he made to two journalists that revealed French secret services had conducted four targeted killings on his orders, a parliamentary committee ruled on Wednesday.

 

Earlier this month a conservative lawmaker, Pierre Lellouche, triggered a process to activate article 68 of France’s constitution – that allows the National Assembly to impeach the president – on the grounds the Socialist leader had breached security protocols.

 

A cross-party steering committee voted 13 to eight in favour of halting the impeachment call in its tracks, the leader of the National Assembly, Clause Bartolone, said in a short statement.

 

There was no immediate reaction from the presidential Elysee palace.

 

Few of Hollande’s allies had expected the process to gain any traction. Even so, the comments, published in a book entitled ‘A president Should Not Say that’ unleashed a political storm within Hollande’s ruling party six months ahead of a presidential election.

 

Hollande, who is deeply unpopular among voters and has not yet declared whether he will run for a second term, still faces a separate judicial investigation into whether classified documents left lying on his desk in front of reporters constituted a breach of national security.

France Opens Refugee Shelter In Paris

Authorities in France have opened a 400-bed shelter for refugees in northern Paris, as part of a plan to organize asylum seekers from a slum-like facility in the port city of Calais.

The camp, which was opened Thursday, is designated for single men in particular and is located in a disused railway yard near the French capital’s train station, Gare du Nord.

It will be taking in 50 to 80 people a day, which is the estimated number of refugees that arrive in Paris from Calais on a daily basis.

“The idea is to create a place where every newly arrived migrant can be welcomed and offered dignified, humane shelter,” said Bruno Morel, the head of a charity foundation that runs the center.

Reports said a separate facility for families and women will open in the southeastern suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine in early 2017.

The Calais refugee camp, pejoratively referred to in France as “the jungle,” was dismantled last month, and the French government had promised to secure places to resettle the camp’s residents around the country.

It was home to some 6,000 to 8,000 refugees, including 1,200 children, mainly from Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea, living in dire conditions.

The camp had become a symbol of Europe’s struggle to respond to its biggest influx of asylum seekers since World War II.

Credit: presstv

Shadow War in the Sahara: A look at US/French Military Activities in Africa.

Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard of the 21st century. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position.
Whoever controls Mali, controls West Africa, if not the whole of Africa.

Doulaye Konate, Association of African Historians,

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. North Africa counts with vast oil and natural gas deposits, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore, and resources such as coltan, gold, and copper, among many others, are abundant in the continent.

But despite its position and resources, conflict and chaos have spread throughout the continent. At the heart of this turmoil is a strategic territory: the Sahel.

The region that straddles the Sahara to the north and the savannas in the south has become an important new front in the so-called war against terrorism.

But is the official narrative, the fight against terrorism, masking a larger battle? Have the resource wars of the 21st century already begun?

“What we are currently experiencing can be described as ‘a new scramble for Africa’,” says Jean Batou, Professor of History at Lausanne University.

‘Whoever controls Mali, controls West Africa’

At the centre of the troubled region of the Sahel is the nation of Mali, which is among the world’s poorest. Unemployment is rampant and most people survive hand to mouth.

Yet, back in the 13th century, the Mali empire extended over much of West Africa and was extraordinarily wealthy and powerful. Ivory and gold made it a major crossroads for global trade at the time. But inevitably, these resources lead to conquests.

“We are the transition between North Africa and Africa that reaches the ocean and the forests. This gives us an important strategic position: whoever controls Mali, controls West Africa – if not the whole of Africa … That’s why this region became so coveted,” says Doulaye Konate from the Association of African Historians.

The imperial European powers unveiled their plans to colonise Mali and the rest of Africa at the Berlin Conference in 1885. Britain, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, each got their share.

“The arrival of colonisation tore us apart. It felt like a cut, almost like a surgical operation,” Konate says.

The French colonial empire extended over much of western and northern Africa, but in the late 1950s the winds of freedom started blowing across Africa, and France was to lose all its colonies.

However, the euphoria of independence was short. France retained troops, bases and political influence over its former colonies: the policy of “France-Afrique” was born.

“France was Africa’s watchdog, defending the West in the region,” says Antoine Glaser, author of France-Afrique.

Colonisation of Algeria: the French landing in Algeria in the coastal town of Sidi Ferruch in 1830. [Liebig series: L’origine de diverses colonies/The origin of various colonies, 1922, No 1). (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images]

The US and the threat of ‘terrorism’

In the 1960s, the discovery of huge oil reserves in the Gulf of Guinea attracted a new player: the United States.

The US made military as well as economic investments on the African continent and Africa became a battleground in the Cold War.

In 1992, the US launched a so-called humanitarian intervention in the strategic Horn of Africa. The US sent 28,000 soldiers to Somalia to help to put an end to a civil war. The operation ended in disaster two years later after American soldiers were captured and killed, images of their mutilated bodies broadcast around the world. They decided to withdraw.

In 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center reconfigured the geopolitics of the world. The US launched a war in Afghanistan – a war that would soon spread far beyond.

A few months after September 11, the US military returned to the Horn of Africa with plans to stay. They established their first military base in Djibouti.

“The Sahel played a key role in looking at the movement of weapons, the movement of potential foreign fighters, and organised crime …,” says Rudolph Atallah, the former Director of Africa Counter-Terrorism, US Department of Defense.

American President George Bush visits US soldiers in Somalia [Larry Downing/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images]

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM)

The United States is the only country to have divided the world into separate military sectors to monitor and patrol, NORTHCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, CENTCOM and now AFRICOM.

Under the stated goals of fighting terrorism and providing humanitarian assistance, AFRICOM implanted itself on the continent, conducting military exercises with a growing number of African countries.

The establishment of AFRICOM was key for the consolidation of US interests in Africa.

The Americans sought to establish the headquarters of AFRICOM as well as a headquarters for the CIA in Mali. The problem was that the Africans had a common position of refusing the establishment of new military bases.

This opposition forced the US to set up the command of AFRICOM thousands of miles away, in Stuttgart, Germany.

Muammar Gaddafi: The ‘mad dog of the Middle East’

Nelson Mandela’s view was almost identical to Gaddafi’s that there would be no African forces commanded by foreign military officials, and there would be no foreign militaries occupying any part of Africa or operating within Africa.

Maximilian Forte, author

African resistance to AFRICOM was spearheaded by Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.

President Ronald Reagan had labelled him the “mad dog of the Middle East” and had tried to assassinate him in 1986 by bombing his palace.

The Libyan leader’s independence and influence flowed from the vast petroleum reserves, the largest in Africa, which he had nationalised when he took power.

Gaddafi wanted to demonstrate that Africa could develop without depending on the Western banking system or the International Monetary Fund.

“From the beginning of his political career as a leader, Muammar Gaddafi was opposed to a foreign military presence in Africa. One of the first things he did after coming to power in 1969 was to expel the British and US military bases in Libya itself,” Maximilian Forte, the author of Slouching Towards Sirte: Nato’s war on Libya and Africa, explains.

But in March 2011, as the Arab’s Spring spread through North Africa, France and the United States decided to act. This was AFRICOM’S first war and its commander-in-chief was the first African-­American president.

France Begins Dismantling Of Calais Jungle Camp

Migrants and refugees have begun arriving at official meeting points set by French authorities as part of the full evacuation of the so-called Jungle camp in Calais.

Men and women carrying suitcases and bundles of possessions gathered early on Monday in front of a warehouse which is serving as the main headquarters of the evacuation operation.

French authorities believe the evacuation will take around three days in total.

As part of the operation, between 6,000 and 8,000 migrants and refugees – mostly from Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea – will be moved to reception centres across France.

Dozens of French riot police vehicles and other trucks carrying equipment earlier set off in the direction of the operation centre.

The flyers distributed on Sunday instructed the migrants and refugees in Arabic, Tigrinya, Pashto and other languages to show up at the warehouse from 8am local time on Monday (06:00 GMT) with their luggage.

At the warehouse they will be separated into four groups for families, single men, unaccompanied minors and other people considered vulnerable before boarding one of 60 buses that will take them to nearly 300 shelters nationwide.

Read More: aljazeera

Report Lists U.S., Germany, France As Custodians Of Stolen Money From Nigeria

A report by London-based Public Service International Research Unit (PSIRU) has listed United States, Spain and France as countries that keep illicit funds from Nigeria.

The group, which investigated the impact of privatisation and liberalisation on public services, also named Japan and Germany as the other nations where money stolen from Nigeria is kept.

Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its civil society allies are planning to stage a protest in Switzerland for the repatriation of stolen funds kept in the country’s banks.

Disclosing its plan to stage a protest in Switzerland yesterday at a workshop in Abuja organised by Public Service International (PSI) on tax justice in Africa, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the congress would also stage similar protests in countries that are believed to be harbouring illicit funds from politically-exposed persons from Nigeria.

Unveiling the details, the PSI Director of Policy and Governance, Daniel Bertossa, said reports indicated that between 1980 and 2009, about $1.4 trillion was lost by Africa from illicit financial flows.

Bertossa, who also quoted from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) report, added that Nigeria also lost over $3 billion annually to tax incentives and import waivers.

He said while the country loses $2.9 billion to corporate tax incentives, it also loses $327 million annually to import duty exemption.

Read More:

http://guardian.ng/news/report-lists-u-s-germany-france-as-custodians-of-stolen-money-from-nigeria/

Gabon: France Says It Won’t Meddle In African Politics

France Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has warned that the country’s day of meddling in African countries’ politics were over. Ayrault said this on Friday in Paris, as Gabon its former colony counted the cost of riots that followed a disputed election.

“We are Africa’s partners but we do not want in any case to intervene in countries’ internal affairs. That would be disrespectful of Africans, they don’t ask for it. “France acts only when countries requested Paris’ help,” he said.
Alain-Claude Nze, Gabonese Government Spokesman, told French television that the government expected France to help ease tensions and bring both sides to a peaceful resolution.

Bongo’s allies also expressed anger over a French Socialist Party statement declaring that early results showed challenger Jean Ping to be the winner. They accused it of failing to respect the sovereignty of a country where 14,000 French citizens live, and which hosts a French military base with 450 troops.

They said it harked back to the era of La Francafrique, when Paris played puppet-master in African countries decades after post-colonial independence, propping up leaders like Bongo’s father in exchange for pushing business to French firms.

Read More:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/gabons-election-turmoil-france-says-it-wont-meddle-in-african-politics/

France Aims To Ease Religious Fears After Church Attack

President Francois Hollande sought Wednesday to head off divisions between France’s religious communities after the jihadist-claimed murder of a Catholic priest in his church, as calls mounted for tougher security measures.

Hollande gathered top religious leaders at his Elysee Palace offices, as a violence-weary France struggled to come to terms with the latest attack, just two weeks after the Bastille Day truck massacre that killed 84 people.

France’s large Catholic community was in shock after two men stormed into a church in the northern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during morning mass and cut the 86-year-old priest’s throat at the altar.

One of the two attackers was identified as French jihadist Adel Kermiche, who was awaiting trial on terror charges and had been fitted with an electronic tag.

“We are stunned because we did not know it was dangerous to be a priest these days in France,” said Pierre Amar, a priest from Versailles near Paris.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that the goal of the attack, claimed by Islamic State jihadists, was to “set the French people against each other, attack religion in order to start a war of religions”.

Following the meeting with Hollande, the head of France’s Muslim community — the largest in Europe — urged stepped-up security at places of worship.

“We deeply desire that our places of worship are the subject of greater (security) focus, a sustained focus,” said Dalil Boubakeur.

In the name of French Muslims, he voiced his “deep grief” at the attack which he described as a “blasphemous sacrilege which goes against all the teachings of our religion”.

Credit: Guardian

Belgium Extradites Paris Terror Suspect Salah Abdeslam To France To Face Prosecution

According to Belgian Police Authorities, Paris Terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been extradited to France to face prosecution. 26 year old Salah, who is a Belgium born French Citizen was extradited to France on Wednesday morning to face prosecution for crimes committed in France against the state in November, 2015

Abdeslam is due to appear before the investigating magistrate the same day, and would be placed in provisional custody, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
In the shoot out on March 15, prior to Salah’s arrest in Belgium, Salah injured four police officers and was charged with attempted murder over his alleged role in the shootout.
Source: CNN

Sex Workers Kick, As France Bans Paying For Sex

French MPs have passed a law that makes it illegal to pay for sex and imposes fines of up to €3,750 (£3,027, $4,274) for those buying sexual acts, reports the BBC. Those convicted would also have to attend classes to learn about the conditions faced by prostitutes. It has taken more than two years to pass the controversial legislation because of differences between the two houses of parliament over the issue. Some sex workers protested against the law during the final debate.

The demonstrators outside parliament in Paris, numbering about 60, carried banners and placards one of which read: “Don’t liberate me, I’ll take care of myself”, the AFP news agency reports. Members of the Strass sex workers’ union say it will affect the livelihoods of prostitutes, estimated to number between 30,000 and 40,000. But supporters of the law have said it will help fight trafficking networks.

It will also make it easier for foreign prostitutes to get a temporary residence permit in France if they agree to find jobs outside prostitution. “The most important aspect of this law is to accompany prostitutes, give them identity papers because we know that 85% of prostitutes here are victims of trafficking,” Socialist MP Maud Olivier, who sponsored the legislation, told the Associated Press news agency.

The law was passed in the final vote on the bill in the lower house of parliament by 64 to 12 with 11 abstentions, France’s Le Monde newspaper reports.

Credit: vanguardngr

“I Could Retire In The Summer” – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The 34-year-old had previously confirmed interest from the Premier League, but his next move could be one that no-one had anticipated as he considers calling it a day

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said that he could retire in the summer, when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain will expire.

The 34-year-old Swede has been subject to a great deal of transfer speculation with his time in France apparently winding down, with clubs all over the world interested in the free agent. However, the veteran attacker, who is on course of his best ever scoring season, has produced a curve ball by suggesting he could hang up his boots.

“Anything could happen next summer… maybe I’ll just retire,” he told TV4. “Nobody’s thought of that possibility. I would prefer to go out at the top.”

Ibrahimovic has previously confirmed that there has been interest from England, where West Ham have confirmed they are seeking to make an eye-catching move for the striker, and though he reiterated this, he said there is some way to go before any decision is made.

“When all the cards are on the table, I’ll see which direction I want to take,” he said.

Why Buhari Must Visit France, Britain Tomorrow

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will be seeking more global efforts against terrorism during his visit to France and Britain on Wednesday.

At his first stop in Strasbourg, France, President Buhari will on February 3 address a special session of the European Union Parliament to be attended by members of the executive and legislative arms of the Union.

Other issues that President Buhari would focus on in his address are violent extremism, corruption, Nigeria and Africa’s current security, economic and developmental challenges, and the need for greater support from the European Union and advanced nations for their rapid resolution.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Femi Adesina, said that Buhari would also hold talks with the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Schulz and the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker on the same issues.

After talks with the EU officials, President Buhari will leave Strasbourg for London to join other world leaders at the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference scheduled to open in the British capital on Thursday, February 4.

The President will use the opportunity of his participation in the conference which is being co-hosted by Britain, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations to continue his push for more global understanding, collaboration and support for Nigeria and other countries in the frontlines of the war against terrorism who are striving to overcome its very adverse effects on affected populations.

He is due back in Nigeria at the weekend.

Credit: ChannelsTv

France To Give Africa 2bn Euros For Green Energy

France will give African countries two billion euros ($2.1 billion) over the next four years to develop renewable energy and replace climate-harming fossil fuels, President Francois Hollande said Tuesday.

“France will devote six billion euros between 2016 and 2020 for electricity provision on the continent” of Africa, he said on the sidelines of a UN climate conference in the outskirts of Paris.

Credit: Vanguard

Mali Hotel Attack: How Jihadists Killed Man For Lying About Location Of Air France Staff

Islamic extremists who killed 19 people in a gun attack on a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital on Friday were hunting for Air France staff, a security guard has claimed.
The terrorists shot their way past a five-man security team before turning their weapons on terrified guests at the hotel in Bamako.
One security worker, Kasim Haidara, told The Telegraph that the terrorists were specifically hunting Air France staff – quizzing a man at gunpoint about their location.
He said:

“When they got up there, the terrorists asked him: ‘where are the staff of Air
France?’.”He told them that they were on the seventh floor instead, and when they realised later that he had given them wrong information, they came back down and killed him.”

Another one of the guards, Cheick Dabo, said his colleagues had just finished morning prayers and had put away their weapons – a shotgun and two pistols – when the militants struck.
He said:

“We didn’t see the jihadists until they started firing on us. We weren’t concentrating and we didn’t expect it.

Mohammed Coulibaly, a cook at the hotel.

“I was busy cooking when a waitress started screaming at the door, ‘They are attacking us, they are attacking us’,”
“I asked everyone to go into the hallway, so everyone headed in that direction. Suddenly we heard the footsteps of the jihadists behind us and there was total panic, and people were running in every direction.

 Mr Coulibaly said he then hid in a bathroom with one of the guests, but one of the assailants saw him through a window and started firing, prompting him to run to the kitchen where he was nearly overwhelmed by smoke.

 I realised that if I didn’t leave the kitchen the smoke would kill me. So I waited until I didn’t hear any noise and I ran from the kitchen and escaped the hotel through a window.”

ISIS Vow To Blow Up The White House And Kill French President In New Video

ISIS monsters have threatened to blow up the White House and kill the French president in a sickening new video In the latest video, an unknown militant tells the camera:

“What do they expect from the nation of Islam, other than more of these strikes?
“We bring Hollande and the people around him the good tidings – as we bring Obama and the people around him the good tidings – of more of these strikes.Allah willing, we shall roast them with explosive belts and car bombs. We shall follow them wherever they may go, and Allah willing, we shall lead them like slaves, like dogs.”

In a second segment of the video, a different terrorist tells the camera:

 “Oh Crusader France, Allah willing, we shall pulverize your palaces.Allah willing, you shall know no happiness, and will not live for long. “We started with you, and we shall finish with the false White House, which we shall render black with our fire, Allah willing.”We shall blow it up like we blew up the false idols in this good lands.

“Oh Crusaders everywhere, know that you are under threat, and that Allah has ordered us to fight you.”

Fugitive Jihadist Salah Abdesalam May Be Using Disguise To Evade Authorities

French Police are circulating this image which they believe is the only surviving Paris terror attack suspect, Salah Abdesalam. Spanish media say detectives think Salah Abdesalam, 26, is disguising himself in a wig and glasses as he evades capture. Police believe he was in the same flat in which master mind Abaaoud was killed but managed to evade capture. He was the one who hired the black VW Polo used by the terrorists on Friday. It’s being claimed that he’s also fleeing ISIS commanders who are angry that he backed out of suicide attack. He didn’t fulfill his role as the 8th suicide bomber.


His friends are claiming that he’s wracked with guilt over the 129 murders and wants to surrender to French police but fears ISIS reprisals against his family.

Abdeslam was allegedly the extremist caught on CCTV shooting people outside a cafe during Friday’s attacks, but was not seen again during the murderous rampage. A friend has now claimed he backed out when he realised things had ‘gone too far’.
A source, who claimed to have seen Abdeslam in Molenbeek, Belgium, on Tuesday, told Belgium’s SudInfo: ‘He was overwhelmed by what was happening. But he could not hand himself in as this could have consequences for his family.’
The source told the journalist he feared ISIS – and wanted a message passed onto his brother Mohammad, who has urged him to hand himself in repeatedly.
They also claimed he was no longer in the area, but police were on high alert last night after he was reportedly sighted on foot in the Belgian capital.
Source: UK Daily Mail

First Raw Footage Of Paris Attacks Shows Diners Diving For Cover As Jihadist Sprays Café With Bullets

The images obtained by Mail Online show the merciless savagery of an Islamic State assassin and the extraordinary bravery and survival instincts of his intended victims. They also show the incredible luck of a young woman who would have died had the terrorist’s assault rifle not misfired as he held the weapon over her head, giving her a chance to run away. Police believe her to be the luckiest person to escape with their life during Friday’s psychopathic rampage which left 129 people dead and 99 critically injured. See more photos after the cut…
There is also remarkable footage of a 20 year old waitress who ducked under the bar and wrapped her arms around an older, injured woman as the Islamic State gunman sprayed the restaurant and its outdoor dining area with bullets. The gunman seen in the video is believed to be 26-year-old Belgian Salah Abdeslam (inset), who is still on the run. The Daily Mail can today reveal the horrifying footage with second-by-second commentary.
THE TIMELINE OF TERROR: Second by second, how the terrifying attack on the Paris cafe unfolded
By Richard Pendlebury 
The time is 9.34pm.
It is an unseasonably pleasant evening and some of the restaurant’s customers are eating or drinking on the terrace outside. At one table, to the right of the door looking out from the restaurant bar, sits a young woman in a chic trench coat. Her name is Lucille and she is having an al fresco supper with her boyfriend Quentin and another male friend.
At the other table on the left side of the door sit the two twenty-something women. All are regulars.
Inside the pizzeria only two tables are occupied at this hour.
At one, beneath a mirror by the main door, another two women can be seen chatting and laughing over drinks. At another table next to a side door a young couple are eating pizzas. The dark haired man has put his quilted jacket over the back of his chair.
Behind the bar two members of staff chat to each other as they work.
One is Samir, a short, bald headed young barman and waiter. He is folding napkins and placing them on the counter.
The other, washing glasses, is Jasmine, the pizzeria’s 20-year-old waitress who will shortly become the heroine of this story.
She is a student and has only been in the job for a month. Jasmine is Parisian-born, but her parents hail from Morocco and Algeria; the same ethnic background as the men who even now are in the street outside and are about to shatter this relaxed and scene in a hail of indiscriminate and murderous gunfire.
9.34 and 8 secs.
From the CCTV camera above the bar you can see the people at the tables outside chatting animatedly. A man, thought to be Quentin, can be seen through the window of the side door. His head is thrown back in laughter. It is the last moment before the horror engulfs them all. 
9.34 and 9secs. 
The world explodes. The view in all three tapes is suddenly clouded by flying debris as the first volley of automatic fire rips into the restaurant. There is a maelstrom of shattering glass. In the next few seconds the effect of multiple bullet impacts can be seen on the back wall above the bar, close to the main CCTV camera.
Samir’s mouth falls open, he and Jasmine clutch each other and instinctively duck behind their counter, the waitress pushing her colleague’s head further into cover.
Almost immediately Samir wriggles away and flees down the stairs to the cellar kitchen, Jasmine is left alone, crouched behind the bar.
One of the women sitting at the table under the mirror stands up and cowers with her face to the wall. Her companion flinches and throws herself to the floor. The young man eating pizza has pulled back his chair and dived under his table. His female companion also disappears from sight.
9.34 and 18secs.
Seconds after Lucille, the male friend with whom she and Quentin had been dining comes hurdling over an upturned terrace chair and through the door. He is wearing a double-breasted camel coat and glasses.
More bullets can be seen impacting along its frame as he does so, missing him by inches. He is running for his life; how he has not been hit already, like the other two at his table, is a miracle.
He throws himself headlong onto the floor and huddles in a ball at the foot of the bar, in plain view from the street, before running up the stairs of the cafe.
9.34 and 20secs.
In the top left of the screen of the CCTV camera behind the bar pointing at the main door one can see the first sign of movement of the ISIS killers. It is a male dressed in pale clothes. He does not appear to be wearing body armour or a suicide vest but he is clearly carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, carried at waist height. One can see the banana shaped magazine silhouetted against a yellow parked car. Unlike everyone else you see in the film he is calm and moving slowly from left to right across the street outside; unpanicked.
9.34 and 22secs.
The gunman turns around and raises the rifle to his shoulder. He has seen something out of shot and is taking aim.
9.34 and 24secs.
There are more flashes and flying debris as another ripple of automatic fire crashes into the pizzeria.
9.34 and 26secs.
The man thought to be Quentin can be seen through the side door raising his head from his hiding place under his table. Where have the gunmen gone? Three seconds later a woman outside can be seen standing up and fleeing up a side street. Quentin follows after her.
9.34 and 27secs.
Jasmine is examining Lucille’s wound. She puts her arm around her shoulders to comfort and protect the casualty.
9.34 and 29-30secs.
No doubt realising that the position is no hiding place but a death trap, Quentin and Lucille’s friend leap up from the restaurant floor and rush up a spiral staircase to the premises’ first floor. He takes the steps two at a time.
As he runs his hands are over his ears. While there is no audio such detail gives a vivid impression of the tremendous noise of the close quarter automatic fire in the street outside.
The young man is a regular and knows the building’s layout. That knowledge probably saves his life.
9.34 and 31secs.
The female customer who was cowering under the mirror has slid to the floor and is trying to build a pathetic barricade of furniture and her coat around herself.
For a brief moment you can see her pale, horror stricken face above the table top. She pulls another chair closer.

2 Terrorist Suspects Killed, 7 Held After Raid In France, Officials Say

A violent, hours-long operation in a Paris suburb ended Wednesday with two suspected terrorists dead, seven detained, new attacks potentially thwarted and further proof, according to French President Francois Hollande, that his country is “at war” with ISIS.

The Saint-Denis raid targeted the purported ringleader of last week’s bloody Paris attacks and came as the suspects were “about to move on some kind of operation,” according to police sources.

For the second time in less than a week, gunfire and explosions ripped through France on Wednesday — but this time, suspected terrorists were on the defensive, with two ending up dead and seven in custody.

Phone surveillance and testimony led authorities to believe Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of last week’s bloody Paris attacks, may have been in an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

Officials didn’t say immediately if Abaaoud, a Belgian ISIS member widely believed to have been in Syria recently, was among the dead or detained. Still, they lauded the efforts of the heavily armed police involved in the operation that ended, after several tense hours, shortly before noon Wednesday.

Who is the suspected ringleader?

French President Francois Hollande was among those who offered congratulations. Yet he also stressed that his country’s fight against terrorists, specifically those linked to ISIS, is anything but over. In fact, the violent nature of Wednesday’s raid in Saint-Denis is further proof that “we are at war,” Hollande said.

“What the terrorists were targeting was what France represents. This is what was attacked on the night of November 13th,” he said. “These barbarians targeted France’s diversity. It was the youth of France who were targeted simply because they represent life.”

Given this threat, Hollande said that Wednesday evening he would present the French parliament with legislation that would extend France’s state of emergency for three additional months — a measure that, among other things, gives authorities greater powers in conducting searches, holding people under house arrest and dissolving certain groups of people. The French President also said he’d appeal to world leaders — including meetings next week with U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have been at odds on what to do in the ISIS stronghold of Syria — to go after the savage Islamist extremist group.

“This war began several years ago,” Hollande said. “We still need time.”

#ParisAttacks: Massive Police Raid In Paris Suburb Targets Terror Mastermind

Officers hunting suspects involved in the Paris terror attacks exchanged gunfire during an apartment raid in the Saint-Denis suburb early Wednesday. Residents were asked to stay indoors.
“There were grenades. It was going, stopping. Kalashnikovs. Starting again,” Amin Guizani, a 21-year-old resident, told the AP.
Police said multiple suspects related to the Paris attacks were holed up in the apartment, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind, AFP reports. Salah Abdeslam, whom authorities have been hunting for since Saturday, is also believed to be inside the apartment.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop=This undated image made available in the Islamic State's English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Abdelhamid Abaaoud. " data-pin-no-hover="true"> Credit: AP This undated image made available in the Islamic State’s English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Abdelhamid Abaaoud. 
Abaaoud, 28, is a known terrorist who has been on European and Western radars for years. He is a radicalized Belgian and alleged ISIS recruiter who was, until the raid, believed to be in Syria.
Just last month, he was the target of airstrikes against the Islamic State, The New York Times reported.
Salah Abdeslam is the brother Brahim Abdeslam, who died in a suicide attack last Friday at the Boulevard Voltaire. The brothers are from Molenbeek, a poor immigrant neighborhood of Belgium now known to be a hotbed for terrorism.
After the chaos of Friday’s attacks, police accidentally let Salah, the most wanted man in Europe, slip from their grasp as he crossed the Belgian border in a car with two other men.
 
French National Police
 

Gunfire began around 4:30 a.m. local time, and was intermittent for at least three hours. The AP counted at least seven explosions heard during the standoff.
Three suspects in last week’s Paris attacks were arrested inside an apartment, a police source told Reuters. Two other suspects — a man and a woman — also died, police said. The woman perished after detonating a bomb at the scene, the French prosecutors’ office said. Two other terror suspects were seized nearby.
None of the suspects’ identities have been released.

Source: HuffPost

Mali Jihadist Leader Calls For More Attacks On France

A jihadist leader in restive Mali has denounced a peace deal signed this year and called for further attacks against France, which helps national forces fight extremists, according to a recording authenticated Monday.

In the recording released in October, before Friday’s string of deadly attacks in Paris, Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghaly endorsed the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in the French capital last January. The satirical weekly “got what it deserved”, he said.
“We authenticate the cassette. It is Iyad Ag Ghaly who is speaking. As you see in the file, we cannot see his face, but it is his voice,” a Malian security source told AFP. Iyad Ag Ghaly, who previously led a Tuareg rebellion in the Sahara and is linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM), criticises rebel groups who in June signed a peace agreement in Algiers with pro-government forces, calling them “secular”.
In the 20-minute recording, the Ansar Dine leader accuses these rebels of having sold out blood and soil “by signing theAlgiers agreement that stinks of impiety and treason”. His call for jihad is particularly aimed at young people. “This is your day, the Crusader has crossed all bounds,” he says, referring in particular to cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed published by Charlie Hebdo.
“Answer this offence with your explosive belts, your remote-controlled charges and your booby-trapped devices,” he said in remarks apparently aimed at reviving attacks on Malian soil as well as in the former colonial power, France. After being concentrated in northern Mali‘s desert territory, jihadist attacks have since the start of year hit the large Sahel nation’s centre. Since June, they have also been targeting border regions with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
Long prey to rival armed factions, plagued by drug trafficking and at the mercy of jihadism, Mali‘s north has struggled for stability since the west African nation gained independence in 1960. In mid-2012 the north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. They supplanted Tuareg rebels and imposed a brutal interpretation of sharia law on the region, with Bamako reeling from a military coup.
The Islamists were largely ousted from towns by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but they have since launched sporadic attacks on security forces from desert hideouts.

 

Credit : Vanguard

Muideen Olagunju-Alatede: A Perspective To The Paris Terrorist Attack

A US Army bloke sits before an advanced computer system and studies the monitor closely with the rapt focus of a cheetah timing its move to hunt down a prey. He presses some keys and digitally gets an unmanned flying machine called “drone” glide into a position. He presses some more keys and watches on his monitor as the drone’s advanced camera locks a target firmly on crosshairs. The army bloke, with probably a burger or ice-cold Coke or Bud Light on his table, presses the final “ENTER” Key and instantaneously, the drone unleashes a precision-guided missile down to the earth below. At that moment, he could bite on his burger or take a swing from the liquid can.

The US deploys drones with some regularity. In one instance in Yemen, the drone’s missile hit a wedding procession killing 12 people including the couple. To date, conservative estimates put innocent civilian deaths in the War On Terror orchestrated by the United States and its allies at 1.2 million. Some international organizations put the figure as high as 3 million in just three countries namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. That’s 3 million human beings who bore no arms and waged no war. Men, women and most unfortunately children. In one particular attack, a Tomahawk cruise missile killed 40 people in Yemen including 22 children and 12 women.

Interestingly the film, “Rules of Engagement” was set in Yemen. At his trial for the killing of innocent civilians, Col. Terry Childers (played by Samuel L. Jackson) reeled out the riveting line: “You think there’s a script for fighting a war without pissing somebody off? Follow the rules and nobody gets hurt? Yes, innocent people probably died. Innocent people always die but I did not exceed my orders”.

Two days ago, Paris, the capital of France and world renowned center for arts, fashion, exquisite cuisine and fabulous social life, was brought to its knees by carefully plotted terrorist attacks. 129 people have been officially declared dead mainly people who took the time out to enjoy the best Paris had to offer. At a Rock concert (ironically one of the bands on show is inauspiciously named “Death Metal”), scores of people were shot dead by the terrorists. One of the terrorists was reported to have blamed France for intervening against ISIS in Syria.

The world was quite quick to express its condemnation. The situation trended on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, Facebook experimented with a new feature known as “Temporary Profile Picture” offering a user the choice of having the tricolour flag of France super-imposed on the user’s profile picture. Many world famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the CNN Tower, Sydney Opera House and the Toronto Tower have projected the Tricolour. It was a sad day for the world. But na today?

Recently, a kinsman did a great piece on the concept of Love-Thy-Neighbour. He ended the piece sounding the Vatican out as an Haven of Peace. I disagreed and gave verifiable points that held the Vatican out as guilty of war crimes as most belligerent entities even as I retain praise for the Church for admitting past acts of terror and apologizing accordingly. My belief is firm on the notion that the world, in its complexity, has never seemed to be prepared to take the straight path to peace. There seem to be an obsession for armed conflict and terror.

A boxer is considered good if he could take punches as he could give. Can world powers who suffer publicized effects of terror be considered true victims deserving our somber sympathy? Saddam Hussein was pushed out on trumped up allegations of stockpiling chemical weapons. America has since eaten her own words on the existence of those weapons. However, Iraq has never been the same again. Same with Libya which enjoyed fantastic prosperity under Ghadaffi. Where’s Libya today following Ghadaffi’s Western-backed ouster? In ruins. Would Syrians absolve foreign super-powers from the situations in their once-upon-a-time Pride of the Orient? What these instances breed are resentment, radicalization and the uncontrollable urge for vengeance.

Carefully orchestrated plots bring terror, like we had in Paris, to the doorsteps of the perceived oppressors. It is scary. London was once under attack. In America, security agencies work round the clock deploying billions of dollars to achieve homeland security. Every Arab or identifiably suspicious-looking Muslim is under the cosh of bare-skinned scrutiny. The fear is intense and unending. To the starry-eyed karmaists, it’s all America’s fault. A blunt assessment reveals that America almost appear to thrive more as a super power on account of wars. The conspiracy theorists come up with various rationales. One is that America’s monstrously powerful defense contractors crave conflicts in order to make more money and secure jobs for their workforce.

There are some who say America intricately planned the 9/11 attacks in order to engineer regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s preposterous but there’s an angle that makes it at least remotely plausible. America once planned to kill Americans in terrorist attacks in order to blame same on Cuban communists. This would then tilt public support to any invasion of Cuba. It was code named OPERATION NORTHWOODS. The plan had written approvals of all Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thankfully, President JF Kennedy had no liver to implement it. That should give an insight into how dangerously intelligence/military operations work.

In the French-Algerian war of independence, nearly 1.2 million, with civilians in the majority, were killed. The French Army killed many people including lawyer Ali Boumendjel and disguised their deaths as suicides. French troops also shove live Algerians into the seas from helicopters and called them shrimps.

The end of that war saw France become the magnet for many hundreds of thousands of Algerians who settled to work in new factories and lived in poor areas of Paris and Lyon. The Muslim/Arab population in France increased with France’s affinity to Syria and Lebanon. However, the settlers were never seen or treated as part of the French integrated society. Interestingly, modern France has evolved as a society not particularly keen on organized religion. In this regard, the Muslims are the hardest hit in the growing intolerance. This is seen in the French ban of the Muslim face-veil in public. With situations like this, tension hits boiling points among younger generations of the Muslim population. The 2005 riots accentuated the tension which is connected with scant recognition given to the Muslim population by the French establishment. It has worryingly become quite easy for fundamentalist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS to get willing recruits from France. It is understood that more that 1,000 youths have recently left France to fight on the side of ISIS in Syria. Friday’s attacks may not be unconnected with the deep-seated issues of identity, recognition and discrimination.

I resent terrorism but I have never viewed it as baseless. The state sponsored ones have deep motives of gaining socio-economic or political or territorial advantages. The individual or organized terrorism mainly has background in ideological, religious, racial or puritanical considerations. The most scary part is the uncertainty connected with the targets and casualties. I have a blood brother who has been living in London for 17 years. He commutes in public buses or by tube. I have not less than a hundred more relatives residing abroad. My greatest benefactor and the patriarch of my family is somewhere in Europe as I type this piece. Since the attacks are coordinated mainly against innocent civilian targets, who knows who the next victims will be?

The world has seen too many avoidable killings. Once the killing is designed with little or no regard to innocent lives, whether by drone or by radicalized young men wearing explosive vests, it is terrorism. My favorite course as a law student in OAU was International Humanitarian Law otherwise known as the Law of Armed Conflict. It discusses principally the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols and focuses on crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. World super powers, directly or indirectly, regularly commit the last two? President Obama brazen stated that it was important “not to feel too sanctimonious” about some of the methods America use.

For the certainty that US servicemen will be found liable, the United States has not only refused to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is all out to oppose it. Mentioning the United Nations complicates the matter. Its Resolutions, particularly regarding the situation in Palestine, are almost always flouted or disregarded without sanctions. So where is the commitment to world peace? The terrorists are hardened and mean. Many have been brainwashed to have no regard at all for sympathy or love. They have mandates to send as many people as possible to early graves.

Will there be more attacks on the unsuspecting civilian populations particularly in the world’s main cities? I am afraid yes. As long as drones tear up limbs of women and children without repercussions, as long as world powers refuse to open themselves to genuine commitment to international peace and security, as long as there are double standards on the issue of international security, as long as there’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as long as peace plays second fiddle to spoils of war.

As I round up, keep this in mind: we may still have many other country flags to use as our temporary profile picture on Facebook. There’s a long walk to peace in the world. That’s if we have begun the walk already.

Muideen Olagunju-Alatede is a lawyer and member of Oyo State House of Assembly.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Paris Terror Attacks: ISIS Release Chilling Video Warning Countries Involved In Syria Airstrikes Will Suffer Same Fate

A chilling new ISIS video has warned countries taking part in Syria airstrikes that they will suffer the same fate as France.

In the footage the terror group also threatens an attack in Washington.

“We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the centre of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its centre in Washington,” one man in the video said.

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the video.

French warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in its Syrian stronghold Raqqa overnight – its biggest such strike since it started assaults as part of a U.S.-led mission launched in 2014.

Paris Terror Suspect Ahmed Almuhamed Identified As Rescued Refugee In Migrant Boat Wreckage

A terrorist behind the Paris attacks who allegedly posed as a Syrian refugee was rescued by Greek authorities after the migrant boat he had smuggled himself on sunk, it has been claimed.
According to Serbian media, a Syrian passport belonging to Ahmed Almuhamed was found at the scene of the attack at the Stade de France.

Now a Greek newspaper claims to have discovered the 25-year-old and a family member, called Mohammed Almuhmed, were rescued from a wrecked migrant boat that had sunk on the journey from Syria.
The rescued men were brought to the island of Leros on October 3. They were among a convoy of 69 refugees who were registered and had their fingerprints taken before continuing on their journey.

The newspaper Protothema says the men’s passports were checked but the island authorities did not have the ability to determine whether their documents were real or not.
Ferry tickets found by the newspaper allegedly showed he and his companion were transferred to Kalymnos to catch the ferry that would take them to the port of Piraeus in Athens.
The tickets, from Kalymnos to Piraeus, were issued by Blue Star ferries and they travelled onboard the Diagoras.
Greece’s deputy minister in charge of police, Nikos Toscas, said he was ‘identified [as a refugee] according to EU rules’ as he passed through the country.

According to Serbian authorities, the men had arrived in the country by October 7.
A statement from a minister said Almuhamed had requested asylum in the town of Presevo in Serbia before crossing into Croatia and Austria.

Source: Daily Mail 

 

Aftermath Of Paris Attacks: France Begins Major Airstrikes On ISIS In Syria

rench jets began bombing ISIS targets in eastern Syria yesterday, according to France’s defense ministry. This comes hours after the country’s national police launched an international manhunt for a “dangerous” suspects wanted for involvement in the Paris attacks.

The French Ministry of Defense says the airstrikes is targeted at a command post and a terrorist training camp. 20 bombs have so far been dumped on ISIS’s de facto capital in Raqqah, Syria. The first target included a command post, jihadist recruiting center and a weapons warehouse, the ministry said.

French President Presents Award Of Highest Honour To Men Who Thwarted Train Attack

French President, Francois Hollande, presented on Monday the country’s highest decoration to four men credited with thwarting an attack on a Paris-bound train, saying that they had prevented “a massacre.”

American friends Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and a British man, Chris Norman, were received at the Elysee Palace and decorated with the Legion of Honour.

Hollande hailed the four’s “incredible act of humanity,” in jumping into action Friday evening when they saw a Kalashnikov-toting man on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.

The man, who also had nine magazines and an automatic pistol, was tackled initially by Stone and held until the train reached the next station and he was turned over to police.
He is in custody.

The three Americans, childhood friends on holiday in Europe in their early twenties, wore polo shirts and khakis at the ceremony.
Stone and Skarlatos, who reached the gunman first, are both members of the U.S. military who were in civilian clothes during the attack.

‘Give Me Back My Gun,’ Train Attacker Pleaded With Americans

A gunman tackled by young Americans on a train between Amsterdam and Paris pleaded with them to hand back his Kalashnikov after they overpowered him, one of the group said.

“Everything happened very fast,” Anthony Sadler, a student travelling with friends Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone, both members of the US military, told France’s BFMTV.

“I didn’t realise what was happening until I saw a guard run past. I looked back and saw a guy enter with a Kalashnikov. My friends and I got down and then I said ‘Let’s get him’,” said Skarlatos, a 22-year-old member of the National Guard in Oregon, who has recently returned from service in Afghanistan.

“We didn’t know if the gun wasn’t working or anything like that. Spencer just ran anyway and if anyone had gotten shot, it would have been Spencer and we’re just very lucky that nobody got killed,” he added in quotes shown on the BBC.

Stone tackled the gunman but was cut with a knife.

“At that point I showed up and grabbed the gun from him and basically started beating him in the head until he fell unconscious,” said Skarlatos.

Sadler added that the man — later identified as a 26-year-old of Moroccan origin — “didn’t stand a chance.”

“As soon as we saw him, we all ran back there. It all happened really fast,” Sadler told BFMTV.

“He didn’t say anything. He was just telling us to give back his gun. ‘Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.”

Mobile phone footage from inside the train and shown on several TV stations shows the suspect, a skinny man wearing white trousers and no shirt, flattened on the floor of the train with his hands and feet tied behind his back.

A Kalashnikov is seen leaning against a seat and blood is visible on a window.

Sadler told BFMTV he had spoken to Stone, recovering from the knife wound in hospital, adding that he was “doing well”.

“He can’t believe that all this happened,” said Sadler. “I’m just a college student. I came to see my friends for my first trip to Europe and we stop a terrorist. It’s kind of crazy.”

A source close to the investigation said two people were being treated at a hospital in Lille.

As well as Stone, who received cuts to his neck and hand, another American passenger was shot in the shoulder. No information was given on their condition.

President Barack Obama singled out the Americans, saying “it is clear that their heroic actions may hve prevented a far worse tragedy.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the group showed “great bravery.”

“Without their cool-headed actions we could have been faced with a terrible incident,” he said.

France Attack: Terrorist Beheads One, Suspect Arrested & Identified

One person has been beheaded and two people injured in a terrorist attack at a gas factory near Lyon in southeastern France, French President Francois Hollande said Friday. The suspect’s contacts with Muslim fundamentalists, and reports that Islamist flags or writings were found at the scene, point to an Islamist extremist motive.

The shocking incident comes on the same day as both Tunisia and Kuwait were hit by terrorist attacks, the latter an apparent blast at a Shiite mosque claimed by ISIS. In Tunisia, at least 19 people were killed in the assault on a beachfront hotel in Sousse, Tunisia’s interior minister said, according to the state-run TAP news agency. In a televised address from a summit in Brussels, Belgium, Hollande called the French incident a “pure terrorist attack.”

Hollande said a body had been found, along with a severed head with a message. A suspect has been arrested and identified, he said.

The victim of what Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described as a “barbarous” attack has not yet been publicly identified. U.S. firm Air Products & Chemicals, which owns the factory, said all its employees were accounted for.

Cazeneuve, speaking at the scene of the attack, said the suspect, who was from the Lyon area, was “somebody who was in touch with (Muslim fundamentalist) Salafists.” An intelligence report was opened on the man in 2006 because of suspected radicalization, he said, but this was not renewed in 2008. “He has been under surveillance, but he was not known as being involved in any terrorist act,” Cazeneuve said. French authorities are “investigating any other people that could be accomplices,” he added.

“The dangerous elements were neutralized immediately after the crime was committed,” he said.

Creditcnn

Security: Buhari Seeks Greater Support From France, Others

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed his commitment to ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, saying his administration is ready to accept greater support from France and other friendly nations.

At a meeting with the President of France, Francois Hollande, on Monday in Elmau, Germany, the Nigerian leader was optimistic the insurgency would end in the shortest possible time.

The meeting was held after his participation in Monday’s G7 Outreach Programme.

“We are already taking concrete action to build a more efficient and effective coalition of Nigeria and neighbouring countries against Boko Haram,” President Buhari said, referring to his meeting last week with the leaders of neighbouring Niger Republic and Chad.

“Nigeria will appreciate more intelligence on the terrorist group’s links with ISIS, movements, training and sources of its arms and ammunition to facilitate the perfection of fresh tactics and strategies being evolved to overcome terrorism and insurgency in the country and its sub-region,” he said.

A spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, said President Buhari reiterated at the talks with the French President that there was absolutely no link between religion and the atrocities of Boko Haram.

“There is clearly no religious basis for the actions of the group. Their atrocities show that members of the group either do not know God at all or they don’t believe in him,” President Buhari said.

Support Against Terrorism

President Hollande commended President Buhari’s concerted efforts to galvanise Nigeria’s armed forces, security agencies and neighouring countries for more decisive action to eradicate Boko Haram.

The French leader assured President Buhari that France would give Nigeria and its coalition partners’ greater support against terrorism and insecurity, including military and intelligence cooperation, to help them overcome the security challenge posed by Boko Haram and its global terrorist allies as quickly as possible.

He also called for greater bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in other areas, including trade, economic and cultural relations.

President Buhari also received similar pledges of enhanced support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and Chancellor Angela Merkel who he also held talks with before departing from the venue of the G7 2015 Summit.

The President is due back in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, early on Tuesday.

France Bans Muslim Girl From School For Wearing Black Skirt

The case of a Muslim girl who has been banned from class twice for wearing long skirt has sparked outcry in France. Earlier this month, the girl identified as Sarah, was stopped from going to class in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres by the head teacher, who reportedly thought the long black skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, something that is strictly forbidden by France’s secular laws.

“The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems her father did not want the student to come back to school,” Patrice Dutot, a local education official, told AFP on Tuesday.

The 15-year old student, however, told local daily newspaper L’Ardennais that her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever.”

Sarah’s story has been trending on Twitter in France with the hashtag  #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as “I wear my skirt as I please.”

According to the Committee against Islamophobia in France, known by its French acronym CCIF, some 130 students were banned from class last year for wearing outfits considered as too openly religious. France has an extremely strict law forbidding displays of religion deemed ostentatious.

Credit: presstv

Germanwings Plane Crash: Shouting Match Between Pilots ; One Pilot Locked Out Of The Cockpit

It has emerged that one of the pilots flying the German Wings Airbus Jet was locked out of the cockpit and could be heard trying to smash the door down.

Four specialists from Interpol and French detectives are trying to work out why one of the pilots locked himself in the cockpit.
The two pilots on board can be heard shouting at each other in German before the one outside tried to smash the door down.
The Captain had 6000 flying hours while the co-pilot joined Germanwings in 2013 and had only 600 flying hours.
Its not known which of the pilots was outside and which was inside.
With this revelations suspicions are rife to whether there was a rogue pilot who deliberately flew the plane into the French Alps and killed everyone and a terrorist theory is also being considered.
However investigations continue by a team of experts from Interpol and French detectives.

German Airline Carrying 150 People Crashes In The French Alps

A German Airline carrying 150 people (144 passengers and 6 crew members) crashed on Tuesday near a ski resort in the French Alps. All 150 people on board are thought to be dead.

France Transport Minister said there were no survivors.
The Germanwings Airbus 320 departed from the Spanish Coastal city of Barcelona and was travelling to German city of Duesseldorf when it crashed in the Barcelonette area in Southern Eastern France.
The circumstances of the accident are not immediately known.

France Sends More Troops To Help Fight Boko Haram

France will boost its military presence in the troubled Sahel region of Africa where jihadist groups operate to support the fight against Boko Haram, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, he said France would “slightly increase” the number of soldiers operating under its Barkhane anti-jihadist operation in the Sahel and reduce armed forces in the Central African Republic “to give us the means to support” the fight against Boko Haram.

Under Barkhane, France already has some 3,000 troops in the region but Paris has insisted it will limit itself to “indirect support” of the widening African effort to combat the growing Boko Haram insurgency.

Read More: Vanguard

Paris Racism Victim To Lodge Complaint Against Chelsea Fans

The victim of a racist incident involving Chelsea football fans in the Paris métro earlier this week did not know the scene had been filmed and has told French daily Le Parisien he will lodge an official complaint with police.

“I don’t speak a word of English … but it was clear to me they [Chelsea football fans] were picking on me because of the colour of my skin,” the victim, identified by Le Parisien as Souleymane, 33, said.

The Paris prosecutor’s office has started an investigation to find the people responsible for chanting: “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it” as they pushed Souleymane and prevented him from boarding a Paris métro train on Tuesday evening.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has since apologised for the shockingly racist action apparently committed by UK nationals.

Chelsea Football Club has also condemned the incident, but the club itself may still face disciplinary action from The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The scene was captured on video by British expatriate Paul Nolan, another passenger on the platform at the Richelieu-Drouot métro station before English club Chelsea faced Paris St Germain in a Champions League match at the Parc des Princes in the French capital. Nolan told FRANCE 24 that the rowdy fans were already intimidating passengers and staff well before the racist incident took place.

“No one really dared to get on the métro. Even the métro staff were keeping their distance because it looked like a fight could break out at any point,” he said. “It would have been nice if people had gotten involved [to help Souleymane] but the Chelsea fans thought they owned the métro and any provocation probably would have ended in violence.”

Shekau Burns Nigerian Flag, Calls Buhari an Infidel (Watch Video)

In a full 35:59 minutes video, self acclaimed leader of Boko haram, burnt the Nigerian flag and hoisted the black boko haram flag.

In the video, Shekau predominately spoke in Arabic but revealed in Hausa that the massacre in Baga is just the tip of the iceberg. He mocked president Jonathan and called APC presidential candidate, General Buhari, an infidel. He also threatened the President of Niger Republic and insulted the government of France over a french news report he (Shekau) read, claiming the French government is not just at war with terrorists, but with all Muslims.

The group also flaunted sophisticated weapons they claim can destroy Nigeria and said they seized them from the raid in Baga. Watch video below and hear from the horses mouth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwDwFMbkvM

US, France On Alert As ISIS Issues More Threats

New York City Police Department and other law enforcement personnel responded to a threat from ISIS after someone re-released a September 2014 message that tells followers to “rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers, and civilians.”

The threat specifically named the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets.

NYPD employees were told to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” especially in light of the attacks in France last week, in an internal memo.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across the country. That bulletin and the NYPD memo makes it clear that this new message is consistent with previous threats that ISIS and others, including al Qaeda, have issued.

NYPD deputy-commissioner for counterterrorism, John Miller, tempered fears of a threat to officials in New York City.

“I don’t think that we are under any more threat… or any less threat than we were the day before,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Miller said that the department is on a “heightened security posture on a normal day compared to almost any other police department.”

More than 1,000 police officers and civilian analysts are assigned to a counterterrorism mission every day and officers have studied the recent attacks in France, he said.

France was hit with three days of terror after three suspects killed 17 civilians in multiple attacks last week.

“ISIS appears to be renewing or recycling previous threats made in an audio tape released by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani in September which called for attacks by supporters on France and other Western countries in retaliation for air strikes in Syria and Iraq,” said CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.

“They are hoping that the attacks in Paris by a group which included a self-professed ISIS follower will inspire other attacks in the West,” Cruickshank added.

Miller did say, however, that the video re-release shows ISIS is “using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see: ‘who can we get to follow this?’”

“Adnani’s fatwa calling for lone-wolf attacks back in September was a game-changer,” Cruickshank said. “Since then, we’ve seen ISIS-inspired attacks in all the Western countries he specifically mentioned: Canada, the United States, Australia and France. In October we also saw United Kingdom police break up a plot to target soldiers and police by extremists who British authorities say were deeply influenced by Adnani’s fatwa,” Cruickshank added.

The spree began in Paris, France, on Wednesday at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, after two brothers stormed the building, killing 12 and later escaping.

Early Thursday, a female police officer was killed after a suspect dressed in all black and wearing bulletproof vests shot her in a Paris suburb.

Aminu Wali ‘Optimistic’ Boko Haram will Free Chibok Girls

Nigeria’s foreign minister said Tuesday that Abuja hopes to end the conflict with Islamist militant group Boko Haram soon and win the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.

 “I can say with some optimism, cautious optimism, that we are moving towards a situation where we’d be able to, in the very near future, to be able to get back our girls,” Aminu Wali said in Berlin.

“There is a tremendous amount of improvement in terms of the discussions that are going on now and also the possibility of having total cessation of hostilities and at the same time bringing back the girls and also normalcy in that part of northern Nigeria.”

Wali was speaking at press conference with German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier following government discussions on the conflict in Nigeria as well as areas of cooperation between the two countries.

In a surprise announcement on Friday, Nigeria said it had brokered a ceasefire deal with Boko Haram that would end their five-year uprising and bring home the 219 girls seized from the northeastern town of Chibok in April.

However there have been signs that the deal will prove hollow as violence raged through the weekend and the credentials of the so-called Boko Haram negotiator have been widely questioned.

Wali’s position was not as categorical as the presidency, which said Friday that a deal had been reached both to end hostilities and release the girls.

But it is in keeping with national security spokesman Mike Omeri, who told AFP that no agreement had been reached to release the teenagers but that the government was “inching closer and closer”.

Steinmeier said he hoped that the ceasefire would lead to the release of the girls.

He said he and French counterpart Laurent Fabius will at the weekend visit Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, where Germany is planning to build four solar power plants in the north.

UN Troops Hit by Another Deadly Attack in Mali

 A Senegalese peacekeeper was killed on Tuesday as a UN camp in northern Mali came under rocket fire in an attack blamed on a jihadist leader driven from the country by French troops. The strike came just as the UN vowed to bolster defences for its troops in Mali after suffering its deadliest attack on Friday — an ambush by Al-Qaeda-linked militants that claimed nine peacekeepers’ lives.

“This is no longer in the context of maintaining peace,” said Herve Ladsous, the UN’s head of peacekeeping operations, as he announced deployments of drones and armoured vehicles.

“We are required to take a series of measures … to toughen up our bases, and boost our protection,” he said at a press conference after a attending the nine peacekeepers’ funeral in Mali’s capital Bamako.

As he spoke, the UN mission came under a fresh attack, this time blamed on Iyad Ag Ghaly, who led a Tuareg rebellion in the Sahara before setting up the armed group Ansar Dine.

The jihadist had disappeared in January 2013 soon after France intervened to drive Islamist insurgents back from Bamako but resurfaced last month to issue a video message signalling his return to combat.

He said his group was “ready to unite with our brothers on the ground to face up to the crusaders and infidels who have united to fight Islam in our land”.

“The Malian Islamist Iyad Ag Ghaly has carried out his threat by attacking the camp of the UN mission in Kidal,” a source from the UN’s MINUSMA force in Mali told AFP.

The source said at least five rockets were fired and added that the “provisional death toll” was one peacekeeper, giving his nationality as Senegalese.

A resident of Kidal contacted by AFP by telephone confirmed the information.

“The camp was attacked, we heard loud noises. It’s rockets. It’s dark here now and we don’t know what is happening,” he said.

In New York, the UN Security Council condemned the attack and called on Bamako to launch an investigation and “bring the perpetrators to justice”.

 

Air France Flies to Ebola-hit Guinea out of ‘Solidarity’: Hollande

FRANCE-GUINEA-DIPLOMACY

President Francois Hollande said Monday as he hosted a visit by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, that Air France is maintaining its flights to Ebola-hit Guinea as a sign of France’s “solidarity”.

International help needed to be ramped up for Guinea and other west African nations struggling with the deadly epidemic, which has killed more than 3,000 people since the start of the year, the French leader said. At the same time, those countries suffering “should not be isolated and should remain open,” he said. “That is why Air France continues to work” by maintaining flights to Guinea’s capital Conakry, Hollande said.

Air France, however, in August suspended its services to neighbouring Sierra Leone, which is also beset by the virus. Other airlines, including British Airways, have also halted flights to Ebola-struck parts of west Africa.

Hollande assured Conde of France’s “total solidarity” as Guinea grapples with the disease. Ebola has infected 1,074 people and killed 648 in Guinea.

He said his government has allocated 35 million euros ($44 million) and would soon establish a third Ebola clinic with the dispatch of another 25 French doctors to help Guinea battle the epidemic.

France Strikes I. S. in Iraq after U.S.-led Strikes in Syria

French fighter jets struck targets in Iraq on Thursday and the United States and its allies stepped up air raids in Syria against Islamic State militants who have taken over large areas of both countries.

France’s strikes were its first since Sept. 19 when Paris joined the United States military action against Islamic State in Iraq and followed the beheading of a French tourist, reported late on Wednesday, in Algeria in retaliation.

French government spokesman gave no details of the French raids on Iraq, and France has so far ruled out joining raids on Islamic State in Syria.

But Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian opened the door to possibly joining strikes in Syria, hours after a French tourist was beheaded by an Algerian Islamist group citing Paris’ military action against Islamic State in Iraq.

The death of French tourist Herve Gourdel, who was beheaded in Algeria 24 hours after an ultimatum was given to France to halt attacks in Iraq, appeared on toughen Paris’ resolve.

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“The opportunity is not there today. We already have an important task in Iraq and we will see in the coming days how the situation evolves,” Le Drian told RTL radio.

French hostage Herve Gourdel ‘Beheaded in Algeria’

An Algerian jihadist group has released a video that appears to show the beheading of French tourist Herve Gourdel, who was seized on Sunday.

Militant group Jund al-Khilafa had set a 24-hour deadline on Tuesday for France to halt air strikes in Iraq.

Mr Gourdel, 55, was abducted in the north-east Kabylie region.

France joined the US last week in launching air strikes on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq but did not take part in the strikes on IS in Syria.

French President Francois Hollande and his Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, publicly rejected the group’s ultimatum on Tuesday.

The video of Mr Gourdel apparently being killed was entitled “Message of blood for the French government”, reports said.

 

Militants Decapitate Tuareg Man in Mali

A Malian security source said on Wednesday that suspected Al Qaeda-linked militants in northern Mali have decapitated a Tuareg hostage seized last week for purportedly acting as an informer for French forces in the region.

Residents of the village of Zouera, some 80 km (50 miles) north of Timbuktu, said the man’s head had been found, and four other Tuareg men, taken with him last week, had been released. The man’s family said they had recovered the rest of his body. They gave no further details.

Witnesses last week said that a group of heavily armed men on pickup trucks had kidnapped the Tuaregs, including an elder of the Kel Ansar tribe.

The security source, who asked not to be named, said the kidnappers were believed to be members of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the north African branch of the armed Islamist movement.

He said the kidnapped Tuaregs were suspected of acting as intelligence agents for some 3,000 French forces as they mount a counter-terrorist operation in the Sahel region including Mali and neighboring countries.

French Tourist Abducted by Algerian Militants

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed the abduction of a French tourist, Herve Gourdel, 55 by Algerian militant group Jund al-Khilafa, which is linked to ISIS. Algerian militant group Jund al-Khilafa threatened to kill him if France did not halt air strikes on Iraq.

Mr Fabius said an online video that showed Mr Gourdel flanked by armed men was authentic. He said France would do everything it could to liberate Mr Gourdel, but that the situation was “extremely critical.”

France on Monday raised the threat level for 30 of its embassies throughout the Middle East and Africa in response to what Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called “yet another demonstration of the barbarism of these terrorists”.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said there would be “no discussion, no negotiation” with the kidnappers. “If you give in, if you go back one inch… you give [terrorism] this victory,” he told French radio while on a visit to Germany on Tuesday.

 

U.S Forming “Core Coalition” to Fight I.S

Isis fighters parade through Raqqa

The United States said on Friday it was forming a “core coalition” to battle Islamic State militants, calling for broad support from allies and partners but ruling out committing ground forces.

President Barack Obama sought to use a NATO summit in Wales to enlist allied support in fighting the Islamist militants, but it is unclear how many nations might join the United States in air strikes in Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told foreign and defense ministers from 10 nations on the sidelines of the summit on ways they can help. Kerry said, “We need to attack them in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own. Obviously I think that’s a red line for everybody here: no boots on the ground.”

Hagel said, “This group here this morning is the core coalition,.. It is the core group that will form the larger and extended coalition that’s going to be required to deal with this challenge.”  And nations involved include, The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Poland and Denmark, whose Ministers have met to discuss a strategy for addressing the Sunni militant group.

Kerry also said he hoped the allies could develop a comprehensive plan fighting IS in time for this month’s annual U.N. General Assembly session in New York.