A Houston teen, who claims to have sold his soul to the devil, was found guilty of capital murder by a jury on Thursday afternoon for what has been deemed a satanic killing, rape and mutilation of a 15-year-old girl.
After the jury deliberated for over an hour, 18-year-old Jose Reyes was given a life sentence without the option of parole but was spared from the death penalty because of the fact that he was only 17 when he killed his friend and classmate, Corriann Cervante, this past February.
Reyes proclaimed that the murder occurred as part of a ritual that allowed his friend, Victor Alias, who's also facing murder charges, to sell his soul to the devil. Reyes alleges that he had previously sold his soul to the devil prior to that night. Alias, who is 16 years old, will stand on trial at a later date. more >>
A new extremist group operating in Indonesia is going after women on the streets wearing tight pants and jeans and covering them in spray paint as a form of enforcement against violations of the Islamic law and the local law of the land.
The group, which calls itself Tadkiiratul Ummah and operates in the Indonesian province of Aceh, has recently began a new "moralization" campaign to make examples of women and men who are wearing what the group deems to be "too tight pants."
Asia News reports that the group is finding violators of the law and covering their pants in a permanent color spray. According to the group's spokesman, Teungku Nurdin Usman, the group's campaign of spray painting people wearing tight pants comes in response to local law enforcement failing to enforce the Iaw, which, among other things, prohibits women from wearing tight clothing. more >>
The evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse airlifted over 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes on Wednesday to the Kurdish-controlled region of Northern Iraq, intending to provide hope to children living as refugees after they were forced to flee their homes to escape from the wrath of the Islamic State.
Through Operation Christmas Child, a program run by evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan's Purse organization, people from all over the United States, United Kingdom and Canada have combined efforts to fill up 60,000 shoeboxes with small gifts and uplifting messages, which will be flown from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
With Samaritan's Purse already supporting a major refugee camp in the town by airlifting supplies in October, the Operation Christmas Child airlift is the second that Samaritan's Purse has conducted to support the refugees living in Iraq. more >>
Researchers are saying that a recent mass execution video released by the Islamic State, showing the simultaneous execution of 22 Syrian soldiers, took up to as many as six hours to film, required expensive production software, and likely needed a small production crew to produce.
In mid November, ISIS released a propaganda video entitled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It", which runs about 16 minutes and was filmed in the town of Dabiq in West Syria. Along with the mass beheadings of the Syrian soldiers, this video also purported the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by showing his severed head.
Researchers from the Terrorism research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) and the England-based counter terrorism group the Quilliam Foundation, which analyzed the video for weeks, found that shadows and lighting in the video changed throughout and was not consistent with the videos runtime. The researchers claim that the video took approximately four to six hours to film although, to the untrained eye, the video looks to be shot without any kind of stoppage. more >>
The Islamic State released a new pamphlet teaching jihadis why it is permissible, under Islamic law, to enslave, abuse, buy, sell and have forced sexual intercourse with religious minority female and child captives.
The Research and Fatawa (Islamic law) Department of the Islamic State released a set of guidelines last week in the form of a frequently asked questions-style pamphlet, which posed serious ethical questions about the militants' sex slave practices. The questions are followed up with brief answers, using verses from the Koran and teachings of "Islamic scholars" to justify why Islamic law permits those actions. It also provides certain guidelines for the militants to follow.
According to the document, which was released on Dec. 3 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, women of opposing religious views are viewed as a part of the al-harb (people of war). Once the women of the al-harb are captured, the pamphlet claims they are sexually permissible for fighters because of their state of "unbelief." more >>
A major report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's advanced interrogation techniques in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. revealed that the agency used methods on detainees including nudity, cold water dousing, and abdominal hits. While the head of the intelligence panel admitted that some of the cases amounted to "torture," a rebuttal report argued that the methods "saved lives."
"Prior to mid-2004, the CIA routinely subjected detainees to nudity and dietary manipulation. The CIA also used abdominal slaps and cold water dousing on several detainees during that period," the report states.
"None of these techniques had been approved by the Department of Justice. At least 17 detainees were subjected to CIA enhanced interrogation techniques without authorization from CIA Headquarters. Additionally, multiple detainees were subjected to techniques that were applied in ways that diverged from the specific authorization, or were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques by interrogators who had not been authorized to use them." more >>