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Showing posts from September 3, 2014

Rise of Islamic State in Southeast Asia

Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Emilia Az was threatened with beheading for representing religious minorities Jakarta, Indonesia- Emilia Az opens a folder on her Blackberry labelled "Wahhabis" and flicks through her recent messages. One is a cartoon depiction of an Arab fighter holding a necklace lined with severed heads. Another is a masked Indonesian man holding aloft the Islamic State flag. "I get text messages like these all the time now. They have said they know where I live, that I will be killed. They said, 'If you don't turn to Sunni, back to the real path of Islam, we will behead you'," Emilia says. "Sometimes they throw stones at my house. Once I had a dog, a great dane, and they killed him with a big stone, like they wanted to show me that, 'I know your house, and we are here'." As a Shia Muslim, and a representative for an Indonesian interfai…

Russia to review military policy towards NATO

Russia has said it will adopt a beefed up military doctrine over NATO's plans to establish a rapid-response force in the wake of the rebellion in Ukraine's east, according a top Russian official.

"The fact that the military infrastructure of the NATO member states is getting closer to our borders... will preserve its place as one of the external threats for the Russian Federation."

Mikhail Popov, senior Russian security official

The Russian reaction came a day after the NATO chief said that the alliance would respond to the Ukraine crisis by creating a "spearhead" rapid reaction force, potentially including several thousand troops, that could be sent on operations in as little as two days.

"The fact that the military infrastructure of the NATO member states is getting closer to our borders, including via enlargement, will preserve its place as one of the external threats for the Russian Federation," Mikhail Popov, the deputy secretary of Russia's…

Obama arrives in Estonia for Ukraine talks

US President Barack Obama has arrived in Estonia on a visit apparently aimed at showing Washington's solidarity with the three Baltic states, one day before a NATO summit in Wales, where Russia's involvement in Ukraine is expected to be the main topic.

Obama will meet with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania later on Wednesday to offer reassurances to the three NATO member states located near the Russian border, following the alleged Russian-backed military offensive in Ukraine.

The Baltic states are seen by some as especially vulnerable to Moscow's attention because of their Russian minorities and high dependence on energy shipments from their larger neighbour.

At the two-day summit in Wales, the Baltic states will press for some kind of deployment of NATO troops, in addition to increased air patrols already announced by the alliance this year.

NATO agreed this week to create a "spearhead" rapid reaction force, potentially including several thousand troops,…

Second American journalist beheaded by ISIS terrorists

Steven Sotloff is shown in the YouTube video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. (A screenshot from a video)

A new video has been posted on the internet purported to show Islamic State militants beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff.

The Associated Press and the SITE Intel Group, an organization that tracks the online activity of terrorist groups, both reported on Tuesday that the Islamic State has posted a video of the execution barely two weeks after the group formerly known as ISIS published a similar clip of American photojournalist James Foley suffering the same fate.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” a masked militant believed to be the same who executed Foley addresses the president in the latest video.

Kneeling in an orange jump suit, Sotloff is seen in the clip reading a statement to the president as Foley did before him.

“Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for pres…