Weapons recently supplied by the United States to Iraqi military forces and tribal militias are already ending up in the hands of Islamic State militants, Iraqi officers and lawmakers are claiming.
As the Pentagon requests $1.3 billion in 2015 to provide weapons to the Iraqi military and tribal forces to help them defeat the Islamic State terrorist organization, Iraqi lawmakers, officers and soldiers recently told The New York Times that corruption has run rampant among Iraq's military leadership and because of it, some of the "recently" supplied U.S. weapons have been sold on the black market to Islamic State fighters.
"I told the Americans, don't give any weapons through the army, not even one piece, because corruption is everywhere, and you will not see any of it," asserted Col. Shaaban al-Obeidi of the internal security forces, who is also a leader of a Sunni tribe on Anbar Province. "Our people will steal it." more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization now has at least 12 known military allies, operating in nine countries outside of Iraq and Syria, that have publicly pledged their allegiances to the caliphate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
As Islamic State leadership continues to call on extremists worldwide to wreak havoc on the West, NYMag.com's Daily Intelligencer reports that the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has identified 12 international militia organizations that are now affiliating their efforts with the Islamic State's jihad and could help expand the group's caliphate.
Militia allies in Pakistan, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon, Philippines, Jordan and Gaza/Israel have all announced some sort of cooperation with the Islamic State and al-Baghdadi. Many of these organizations were recently affiliated with Al Qaeda and have since switched to ISIS allegiances over the summer and into the fall. more >>
Reza Aslan, author of the controversial nonfiction work Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, said in a recent column that atheist public figures like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bill Maher don't accurately represent atheism.
Known as the "New Atheists," Aslan argued in a Salon column published Friday that these public figures "do not speak for the majority of atheists."
The fate of Pastor Saeed Abedini continues hanging in the balance following the extension of negotiations between Iran and several nations, including the U.S., on a nuclear deal. The American Center for Law and Justice noted that Abedini has not been "completely abandoned" yet by the Obama administration, and it remains critical that Iran be pressured for his release.
"The American people were heard and Iran was not rewarded with a nuclear deal while it continues to imprison and torment a U.S. citizen. Yet Pastor Saeed is not free," wrote Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ.
"Second, the reports indicate that there will be no lull in the negotiations; they will continue as soon as next month. That means now continues to be a critical time to pressure Iran to release Pastor Saeed." more >>
At least 45 people have been killed in a major suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, where a bomber detonated his explosive vest in a crowd of spectators during a volleyball game on Sunday. The attack occurred days after President Barack Obama extended the combat role of American soldiers in Afghanistan into 2015.
"It is an attack on sport itself and on the positive values it can bring to help build strong communities and foster peace and reconciliation around the world," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The Paktika province governor's office affirmed that most of the casualties were civilians who had come to watch a tournament final, while another 50 people were wounded in the attack. more >>
A former Islamic State commander, currently locked away in a Baghdad prison, is now a key informant for the Iraqi government and has provided crucial intelligence that has aided the liberation of strategic areas that were once under ISIS control.
After being arrested by the Iraqi government at the end of 2013, Abu Shakr, ISIS' head of security operations in the town of Fallujah, was given a choice by Iraqi security officials.
The 36-year-old Sunni extremist said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that the offer was if he aided the Iraqi government in defeating ISIS, he would be provided special prison privileges including free roam of his max-security prison and quality free time with his five children. more >>