The Islamic State's all-female religious police force in charge of patrolling the streets of Raqqa have tortured a young woman after she was found breastfeeding in public by placing a medieval-like spiked clamp around her chest, an opposition group has reported.
The women-operated al-Khansa brigade, which is in charge of enforcing ISIS' strict sharia law within its de-facto capital in Syria, recently used a device called a "biter" to punish a 24-year-old mother who, residents allege, was found breastfeeding in public, according to the ISIS opposition website Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
The brigade officers claimed the woman needed to be punished, with their reasoning being that her niqab didn't meet Sharia standards. The woman, who goes by the pseudonym of Batol, was taken to a torture chamber where her chest was placed into the painful device. more >>
The al Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia is claiming responsibility for the Christmas day attack on the African Union base in Mogadishu that killed at least three peacekeepers and a civilian contractor last Thursday.
At least eight al Shabaab gunmen infiltrated the base and carried out the attack, which was initiated while the AU base was hosting a Christmas party. The al-Qaeda-linked extremist group's military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters that the barrage was specifically designated to be carried out while Christmas was being celebrated on the base.
"We targeted the enemies at a time they were celebrating Christmas," Musab said. more >>
A Christian missionary who has been serving with her husband in Central Africa for the past 25 years tells of her experiences working to empower women and children victimized by militants in the conflict-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congo, home to an estimated 77.4 million people, has been wracked almost since its declaration as a republic in 1960 by civil war, and later ethnic conflicts and a refugee crises. Subsequent peace deals and an eventual democratic election have done very little to redeem the 5.8 million lives lost to violence and reassure the additional millions living in displacement. Roaming militia forces, vying to control pockets of the country as well as its many natural resources, remain the bane of any attempts to stabilize the Christian-majority nation.
A particular kind of violence, perpetrated mostly upon Congo's female population by roaming militias (from Rwanda, Uganda, or elsewhere) and even by members of the national army, have earned the Central African country the deplorable distinction of being the "rape capital of the world," as well as the worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the United Nations. more >>
The alleged Taliban mastermind behind the Pakistani school massacre that killed 148 people in Peshawar last week has been killed, officials said. American drones have, meanwhile, struck two compounds in the North Waziristan tribal region, killing at least seven militants.
CBS News reported that Pakistani security forces carried out a raid in the Bara area late on Thursday night. The suspected planner responsible for the school massacre, which left over 130 children dead, has been identified only by the name "Saddam."
Shahab Ali Shah, head of police administration in Khyber, said that the target was killed following a gun battle, while his six accomplices were injured and arrested. more >>
President Barack Obama visited U.S. troops on Christmas Day at the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii, thanking them for their service as the military operations in Afghanistan draw to a close, and honoring the birth of Christ.
"So on a day when we celebrate the Prince of Peace and many of us count our blessings, one of the greatest blessings we have is the extraordinary dedication and sacrifices you all make," Obama told the troops, according to ABC News.
"We could not be more thankful. I know I speak for everyone in the entire country when I say, we salute you." more >>
For the first time in 1,400 years, there will be no Christmas celebrations in Nineveh province, home to Iraq's largest remaining Christian community and largest non-Muslim minority, and a site of great biblical significance. This northern province, whose area is over three times larger than that of Lebanon, is now part of the Islamic State's caliphate, and its Christians and churches are no longer tolerated.
What has become of Nineveh's Christians? What will be their fate?
These should be pressing concerns for America, especially its 247 million Christians. Yet the mainstream media rarely cover this story — a New York Times reporter in a recent e-mail says it's of "limited interest," explaining that "most of our readers have only vague notions of who they are anyway and why their issues are relevant to the United States." A better explanation would be that the Times and other establishment elites are reluctant to focus on the goals, rather than just the tactics, of Islamist extremist ideology. A main goal is total Islamization — and it is on the verge of being realized in Iraq. more >>