The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday denied reports that his country is constructing a concrete wall around the capital city of Baghdad to prevent attacks from the Islamic State terror group.
"Baghdad is the capital of all Iraqis. There can be no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it," Al-Abadi said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The prime minister's statement comes days after Baghdad Operations Command said preparations were on for the construction of a security barrier around the city to restrict Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which controls areas north and west of Baghdad and has launched several attacks. more >>
The Islamic State has released a new chilling execution video showing an indoctrinated child jihadi declaring in English that IS will meet its enemies in the Syrian town that fighters believe the final apocalyptic battle against the West will be fought before going on to behead a defenseless prisoner.
According to a clip of the 17-minute video published by the Daily Mail, the child, who looks to be as young as 10 years old and is dressed in a gray tunic, leads an adult prisoner dressed in an orange jumpsuit with his hands tied behind his back through a wooded area before forcing him to kneel down in front of him.
The boy then stands behind the prisoner and points his knife to the camera and issues a threat to the United States and IS' other Western nations. more >>
At least 10 new Bible translation projects will be launched in countries where Christians are highly persecuted, one of the world's leading Bible translation organizations has announced.
Wycliffe Associates, which partners with churches and Bible translators around the world to bring the Gospel into new languages, announced in a press release this week that at least 10 new translation projects will be launched within the next 30 days in a region of the world "where conversion to Christianity is punishable by death."
The Wycliffe Associates press release doesn't indicate what specific region in the world the the translation projects will take place — most likely due to security concerns. It further notes that nationals of the region will be doing the translation work since the organization can't send Westerners to the region for prolonged periods of time "because Christians are hunted down, and vigilantes can sweep into an area without notice." more >>
Three Egyptian Christian students are set to stand trial on Thursday after they appeared in a video last year showing them mocking Muslim prayers.
The 30-second clip, which was recorded by their teachers, shows one of Coptic Christian students pretending to pray while reciting verses from the Quran, and the two others laughing behind him. One of the students also gestured to convey the sign of beheading, according to The Washington Post.
The video first surfaced in April 2015, after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheaded dozens of Coptic Christians in Libya. Atty. Maher Naguib said that the teacher had already been given a three-year jail sentence after being tried separately over the same charges, the report relays. more >>
Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State have managed to escape and report that they've been subjected to painful "virginity tests" by Iraqi authorities to prove that they were actually abused.
The Independent reported that watchdog groups, such as Human Rights Watch, have documented the traumatic experiences women have been forced to undergo after escaping from IS.
Rothna Begum, a researcher at the group's women's rights division, said she has spoken with victims who have confirmed that hundreds of women and girls have been subjected by Iraqi authorities to the painful virginity tests to prove that they have been raped. more >>
Everyone loves to deal with moderates, especially when they represent a rare shift toward moderation for a rogue state. The trouble is that the concept of a moderate is relative. In dealing with the former Soviet Union we heard the term "Politburo moderates" over and over. Reaching out to this fabricated species was an excuse for being nice to despicable governments.
In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reaching out to "moderates" among the ayatollahs' inner circles has been a constant dream of American officials for the past 30 years. These moderates are supposed to be the cure to the Iranian enigma, which has been a unique problem for every US administration for the past three decades.