South Korean ministry of defense officials warned on Tuesday that North Korea could be close to obtaining the technology required to miniaturize nuclear warheads and mount them on ballistic missiles, which could potentially threaten the United States.
The ministry said in a report that North Korea is "presumed to have (missile) capabilities that could threaten the U.S. mainland, having fired off long-range missiles five times."
The report added that North Korean researchers have achieved "a significant level" of the technology required for such a move, and have obtained more than 88 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium. more >>
The body of a high-ranking official in the Islamic State's self-proclaimed police force in Syria, a unit well-known for conducting beheadings, was found beheaded, a monitoring agency reported Tuesday.
Reliable sources told the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that an Egyptian national, who is known as a deputy "emir" of the al-Hesbah police in province of Deir al-Zor in the eastern region of the country, was found decapitated near a power plant in the city of al-Mayadin.
Sources also said that the head of the official, whose name was not disclosed in the report, was found with a cigarette in his mouth and the words "O Sheikh this is munkar (a hateful and evil thing)" written on his body. His body was also found to have been tortured. more >>
Militant group ISIS, which has captured significant territory in Iraq and Syria, announced that its annual budget for 2015 exceeds $2 billion. The funds will be used to pay the salaries of its fighters, and monthly wages will also reportedly be offered to orphans, widows, and families who have lost relatives due to the American-led airstrikes in the region.
ISIS has also opened up an Islamic Bank in Mosul, Iraq, according to tribal leader Naji Abdullah. He told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the budget, which has a projected $250 million surplus, is part of a development program for the territory the group has captured.
Also known as the Islamic State, the jihadist group has sought to establish a country on the territory of Iraq and Syria, and implement strict Islamic law. Its actions, which include mass beheadings and targeting of Christians and other religious minorities, have been condemned throughout the world. more >>
Religious Left icon Jim Wallis posted his ten 2015 New Year's resolutions in The Huffington Post. They are mostly admirable or benign if somewhat politically correct. Love more. Build racial bridges. Empower women. Embrace hope.
Question every act of war. Peacemaking is not finding another war to win, but getting underneath the conflicts to their causes. We must question each escalation of war and continue to ask our leaders why this keeps happening. more >>
Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 40 boys and young men from a village in the state of Borno following a major raid. The victims, believed to be aged from 10 to 23 years old, are likely to be trained to fight for the jihadists.
CNN reported on Sunday that Boko Haram attacked the village of Malari with assault rifles last week, preaching extreme Islamic ideology to the locals and taking 40 people hostage, before moving on to the Sambisa forest.
The militants, who have been waging war on the government and the Christian population for over five years now, are known for their violent attacks and mass kidnappings. In April, they seized over 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, an incident which sparked international outrage. more >>
The U.S. Special Forces two attempts to rescue hostages held by Islamic State terrorists in Syria were thwarted on Thursday night.
American military operatives abandoned the mission to free a Jordanian fighter pilot held hostage by ISIS after heavy fire resulting in one helicopter coming down, according to the Daily Mail. Both coalition forces and militants clashed over the pilot who was taken captive by Islamist terrorist last week during a mission in Syria.
Early Friday morning, fighter jets heavily bombed the area surrounding the house where the pilot, Moaz Safi Yousef al-Kassasbeh, is reportedly being held, reported Turkey's Anadolou news service. Two U.S. military helicopters were intended to rescue to pilot, but heavy fire prevented the helicopters from safely entering the area. more >>