A top Iranian official claims that Republican members of Congress directly asked the Iranian administration to hold off on releasing Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other American hostages until the eve of the 2016 elections.
"In the course of the talks for exchanging prisoners, the Republican rivals of the current U.S. administration who claim to be humanitarians and advocates of human rights sent a message telling us not to release these people (American prisoners) and continue this process (of talks) until the eve of U.S. presidential elections," said Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to Tasnim News Agency, a privately owned news agency whose stated aim is "defending the Islamic Revolution against negative media propaganda."
Abedini and three other Americans were released by Iran back in January following a prisoner swap, after years of campaigning for their freedom. more >>
Donald Trump may authorize "chopping people's heads off" as an appropriate method of torture should he become president, the 2016 candidate said in a recent interview.
Trump made his comments in a Sunday appearance with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," saying that if he were elected commander-in-chief, he would implement tactics that go "beyond waterboarding."
"I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective," Trump said on the weekend program, adding, "If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands." more >>
Radical militias with Iranian support are reportedly attacking Christian communities in Iraq, seizing property and sites of cultural interest.
Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk wrote Tuesday that this was happening especially around Baghdad and attributed her information as coming from multiple sources, including "Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament," "Christian community leaders," and the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
"According to leaders, the seizures have been carried out in the upscale regions of Baghdad, where militia men have forced entry into homes and businesses with falsified documents," wrote Daftari. more >>
The Institute on Religion & Democracy has called on evangelicals, Catholics, and all Christians to stand together against proposals, backed by a number of Republican presidential candidates, to draft women into combat roles should the need arise.
"Christian leaders should oppose conscripting women into the military. Not only evangelicals, but also Catholics and Christian pacifists should speak out. Can the Church be silent about the potentially coercive militarization of America's daughters?" asked IRD's Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari.
"Women are serving and have been serving their country alongside men. We support and thank them for their sacrifices. Women have important roles to fill in the military, but women also play vital roles in the home. Forcing mothers, daughters, and our sisters to register for Selective Service would be a tragic mistake," she added. more >>
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson responded to North Korea's launch of a satellite or similar device into orbit during the weekend provoking the U.S. and its allies, saying, as president, he would use "every arrow in our quiver," including military, to check the nuclear and missile technology of the communist dictatorship.
This is "another step toward attaining the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon," the retired neurosurgeon wrote in a Facebook post Monday, the day after international media reported on North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.
"This pattern of aggressive weapons testing from the Communist dictatorship demonstrates just how ineffectual America's current foreign policy approach has become," Carson wrote. "It is no coincidence that Pyongyang's defiance to international pressures comes shortly and repeatedly after the Obama administration's concessions to Iran." more >>
A former Department of Homeland Security employee accused the Obama administration of forcing him to scrub records from the agency's counterterror databases that detail Muslims with connections to terrorist groups that could have prevented deadly terror attacks on American soil.
In the wake of President Barack Obama's visit last week to a Baltimore mosque that some conservatives say has ties to terrorist groups like Muslim Brotherhood, former DHS employee Philip Haney wrote a Friday op-ed for The Hill arguing that the Obama administration has put Americans' lives in danger for the sake of political correctness.
"After leaving my 15 year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America's counter-terror strategy," Haney wrote. "Our leaders' willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness — and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack." more >>