The rise of the barbaric Islamic State terrorist group was masterminded by one of Saddam Hussein's former military intelligence officers, who planned for years to help the terrorist group conquer Iraqi and Syrian territories, blueprint documents uncovered by the German magazine Der Spiegel have revealed.
In a recently published report titled "The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State," the news outlet reported that it obtained 31 pages of documents, through negotiations with Syrian rebels, that have been deemed to be "blueprint" materials detailing how the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria was orchestrated.
The report adds that the obtained handwritten notes and charts were composed by Samir al-Khlifawi. more >>
ISIS militants have been desecrating Christian graves and destroying entire cemeteries in Mosul, recording their actions on video, which they say are part of their efforts to "eradicate pagan symbols."
Images of jihadists tearing down tombstones were spread through the terror group's social media websites, and have been republished by sites such as Iraqi News.
Fides News Agency reported that one of the destroyed cemeteries was located at the Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, which housed tombs of Christian soldiers who died during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s. more >>
Some 700 migrants, a number which could climb to 950, fleeing poverty and persecution to find "a better life" and "happiness" in Europe are now feared dead after the boat they were travelling in capsized in the Mediterranean some 112 miles south of Italy's Lampedusa shortly before midnight Saturday.
One survivor quoted by Italy's Ansa news agency says there were 950 migrants aboard the boat when it sank.
"They are literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water," Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta – the first port of call for many of the 35,000 migrants who arrived in southern Europe so far this year. "Children, men, and women have died." more >>
WASHINGTON – A report released Tuesday by Amnesty International highlighting the brutality displayed by Boko Haram estimates that over 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by the Nigerian militant group since the start of 2014, and some have been trained to "kill and slaughter" infidels.
The report, which features nearly 200 witness interviews, including 28 with abducted women or girls who have escaped, detailed the jihadi group's systemic kidnappings of women and children and relentless killing of men.
The investigation estimates that Boko Haram is responsible for killing over 5,500 civilians during 2014 and the first part of this year, as it has raided or attacked over 300 villages and towns. more >>
A historic Washington, D.C. church Abraham Lincoln attended while president is host to multiple events in memory of the former commander-in-chief.
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church held two of its multiple observances around the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's assassination.
Events included a tribute concert performed Sunday by the Collegium Musicum of the University of Miami and a commemoration of the anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, which was Tuesday, by Lincoln expert John O'Brien. more >>
Christian leaders in Syria have condemned the Easter-period bombings of neighborhoods in Aleppo, noting that the ongoing civil war continues to slaughter men, women and children.
"During the Easter period, our city and our people suffered intense pain, anguish and discomfort during the night when neighborhoods in the city were hit with rocket-propelled grenades, with a destructive capacity that we had never heard and seen before," the heads of churches and Christian communities in Aleppo said in a statement, according to Fides News Agency.
They asked whether Easter is "the time of the Resurrection of the Savior or the funeral of his disciples?" and called on all "people of conscience" to stop the ongoing massacre in Syria. more >>