ISIS “act of war” against France

Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, and French President Francois said it amounted to an act of war against France.

Radio NZ reports Hollande: Paris attacks an act of ‘war’

President Hollande said the attacks had been organised from abroad by Islamic State “barbarians”, with internal help.

Sources close to the investigation said a Syrian passport had been found near the body of one of the suicide bombers.

“Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action,” Mr Hollande said after an emergency meeting of security chiefs. He also announced three days of national mourning.

Casualty counts have varied, with this reported by Radio NZ:

A French government source told Reuters there were 127 dead, 67 in critical condition and 116 wounded. Six attackers blew themselves up and one was shot by police. There may have been an eighth attacker, but this was not confirmed.

The worst attack was carried out at the Bataclan concert hall, where officials say four gunmen systematically killed at least 87 people at a rock concert before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building.

Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium, where Mr Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international.

In total eight attackers are reported to have been killed around Paris, including seven by their suicide belts.

And Islamic State have claimed responsibility:

In its claim of responsibility, Islamic State said the attacks were a response to France’s campaign against its fighters.

It also distributed an undated video in which a militant said France would not live peacefully as long it took part in US-led bombing raids against them.

“As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear travelling to the market,” said a bearded Arabic-speaking militant, flanked by other fighters.

‘Islamic State’, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is a radical group that is a small but currently very brutal and dangerous in large areas of Syria and Iraq, and have been responsible for several terror attacks including the one in Paris.

In What is ‘Islamic State’? the BBC says:

What does IS want?

In June 2014, the group formally declared the establishment of a “caliphate” – a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God’s deputy on Earth, or caliph.

It has demanded that Muslims across the world swear allegiance to its leader – Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and migrate to territory under its control.

IS has also told other jihadist groups worldwide that they must accept its supreme authority. Many already have, among them several offshoots of the rival al-Qaeda network.

IS seeks to eradicate obstacles to restoring God’s rule on Earth and to defend the Muslim community, or umma, against infidels and apostates.

The group has welcomed the prospect of direct confrontation with the US-led coalition, viewing it as a harbinger of an end-of-times showdown between Muslims and their enemies described in Islamic apocalyptic prophecies.

How many fighters does it have?

In February 2015, US Director for National Intelligence James Clapper said IS could muster “somewhere in the range between 20,000 and 32,000 fighters” in Iraq and Syria.

But he noted that there had been “substantial attrition” in its ranks since US-led coalition air strikes began in August 2014. In June 2015, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said more than 10,000 IS fighters had been killed.

To help mitigate the manpower losses, IS has turned to conscription in some areas. Iraqi expert Hisham al-Hashimi believes only 30% of the group’s fighters are “ideologues”, with the remainder joining out of fear or coercion.

A significant number of IS fighters are neither Iraqi nor Syrian. In October 2015, National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen told Congressthat the group had attracted more than 28,000 foreign fighters. They included at least 5,000 Westerners, approximately 250 of them Americans, he said.

Studies by the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) and the New York-based Soufan Group suggest that while about a quarter of the foreign fighters are from the West, the majority are from nearby Arab countries, such as Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Morocco.

Why are their tactics so brutal?

IS members are jihadists who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam and consider themselves the only true believers. They hold that the rest of the world is made up of unbelievers who seek to destroy Islam, justifying attacks against other Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Beheadings, crucifixions and mass shootings have been used to terrorise their enemies. IS members have justified such atrocities by citing the Koran and Hadith, but Muslims have denounced them.

Even al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who disavowed IS in February 2014 over its actions in Syria, warned Zarqawi in 2005 that such brutality loses “Muslim hearts and minds”.

Many victims of ISIS have been Muslims in the Middle East.

In other news, the war against ISIS goes on.

Yesterday on Stuff: ‘Jihadi John’ believed killed as Islamic State’s losses mount

The US has said it is “reasonably certain” that it has killed the Islamic State extremist known as “Jihadi John” in an airstrike in Syria.

The man, a British citizen named Mohamed Emwazi and a symbol of the group’s reign of terror, was the focus of a US drone strike on a vehicle near Raqqah.

Breaking news from the BBC: Libya IS head ‘killed in US air strike’

A US air strike has killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya, the Pentagon says.

Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, was a “longtime al-Qaeda operative and the senior ISIL leader in Libya”, it said, using another acronym for IS.

The air strike took place on Friday night.

The Pentagon said the strike demonstrated that it would “go after ISIL leaders wherever they operate”.

Despite what some claim there is no ‘appeasement’. Many countries have joined the fight against ISIS.

Terror attacks like the ones if Paris will no doubt increase the resolve to destroy ISIS.

Unfortunately it will also increase the blaming of all Muslims including calls to marginalise and drive out Muslims from Europe and other Western countries.

An unfortunate but in part unavoidable reaction of Islamic State to being attacked will be ongoing acts of barbarity, retaliation is a major part of how they operate.

This division and the promotion of Islam versus the rest is what ISIS want.

The world needs to support the many millions of moderate Muslims and fight resolutely against terror tactics of groups like ISIS.

53 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th November 2015

    Obama’s presidency is going to be seen as a foreign policy disaster of equal magnitude to GWB’s. Putin is going to look far more realistic in supporting Assad against IS.

  2. John Schmidt

     /  15th November 2015

    “The world needs to support the many millions of moderate Muslims and fight resolutely against terror tactics of groups like ISIS.”

    There lies the problem. How can anyone tell the difference.

    • In the main quite easily. Members of ISIL are mostly barbaric butchers in a war zone. Most Muslims are ordinary people trying to lead ordinary lives.

      Trying to condem and wage war on one and a half billion Muslims because of the atrocities of a few tens of thousands of violent extremists would not only be stupid, it would be unjust and dangerous.

      Do you want to force a billion Muslims to counter-hate the hate directed at them?

      • Missy

         /  15th November 2015

        Pete, I think your first paragraph shows some naivete, ISIL are not just in a war zone, (as the attack in London on Lee Rigby, and this latest attack in Paris shows), and we usually only know that they are barbaric butchers after the fact – when it is too late.

        John Schmidt raises a valid point, with all of the migrants and alleged refugees coming from muslim countries, how can we tell which are moderate or secular muslims and which are ISIL? A number of known ISIL terrorists were stopped over the summer by the Hungarian police, how many more got through? How many muslims already living in Western countries (including NZ) are being radicalised, joining ISIL – or at least being inspired by them – and are on the surface assimilating whilst planning attacks against Westerners?

        It was widely reported that ISIL were providing information, via the internet and social media, to their followers on how to disguise themselves and to appear more western or secular before entering Europe.

        I realise there are some who will think these views are overly dramatic and nothing more than rhetoric, but people who think that have been blind to what is happening in the UK and other parts of Europe.

        The reality is, we really cannot tell the difference between a member of ISIL, or a person inspired by ISIL, and a moderate or secular muslim.

        I am not disputing that we cannot turn the hate of ISIL into a hate of all muslims, but unfortunately we are in a situation where we cannot tell who the extremists are, and who they are not, they are not like a state army, they do not wear a uniform to identify themselves when they attack. It is hard to tell, and until more in the world’s muslim population speak out against ISIL, and those in western countries do more in their communities to stop and prevent radicalisation, they will sadly be tarred with the same brush.

    • It’s like Chinese eh? They all look the same. Try this analogy: Look at your average Kiwi. Do you know if they’re a criminal or not? No, you don’t. What we do know is that (roughly) 95% of crime is committed by 5% of the population. Take out perpetrators of victimless crimes like marijuana for personal use and you’ve got criminals = > 5% population.
      Pete, just hit the wrong icon, gave you a thumbs down by mistake. Most assuredly not meant.

      • Budgieboy

         /  15th November 2015

        Just as an aside PartisanZ I’ve accidentally down voted when I meant to up vote and I found that hitting the up icon several times reverses your vote, that was a while ago but maybe it still works.

      • It’s easy to hit the down by mistake, especially on a smartphone, I’ve done it myself. No big deal, they arte only an indication.

  3. An interesting article from Boris about what’s going on in France.
    http://new.spectator.co.uk/2005/07/just-dont-call-it-war/

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th November 2015

      Yes, he writes well. I read it when it first came out. However Iraq and Syria are now at war and it must be won there as the first priority to remove ISIL’s base and decapitate its leadership.

  4. Jay

     /  15th November 2015

    Certainly doesn’t do much for the campaign to bring Syrian refugees to New Zealand. I think you would likely find a solid majority of Kiwis against any further growth of a Muslim community in this country.

    • Possibly, but it will happen anyway, and there’s no indication of whether it would be Muslim Syrians who might come here or not anyway.

      It’s reprehensible to taint all Syrian refugees as Muslims or as supporters of terrorism – they are trying to escape the terror.

      • Missy

         /  15th November 2015

        I agree Pete, the Syrians are. In Europe the biggest problem, and why many ISIL supporters are getting in, is due to obtaining fake Syrian documents, even though many are not from Syria.

        The refugees that NZ get should have been properly – and thoroughly – vetted, and we should be satisfied they are genuine Syrians, and genuine refugees.

  5. “The world needs to support the many millions of moderate Muslims and fight resolutely against terror tactics of groups like ISIS.”

    Nice rhetoric Pete – and fair enough up to a point.

    But where is the statement that says:

    [The many millions of moderate Muslims need to support the Rest Of the World and fight resolutely against terror tactics of groups like ISIS?] to reshape your phrase….

    The fact is these zealots are the tip of an unknown sized iceberg. Behind every extremist who kills and sacrifices their life is a support network of recruiters and logistic people providing munitions, money, safe houses etc. And those in the support network live, work and hide amid the general Muslim population where they have varying levels of support from enthusiastic to extreme dislike.

    Yes the West probably needs to disengage from Muslim countries – personally if Shia and Sunni want to kill each other they can do so in the Middle East. But Muslims need to own their own shit, to use a common street phrase, and sort the issue out.

    As for Muslims living in the West. You want to live under Muslim law and customs them immigrate to a Muslim country that will have you. Don’t fancy that? Well you will need to adjust to living under Western Law, Western Cultural norms and customs.

    Now some will spout diversity, some will spout inclusiveness. Great but those concepts REQUIRE all sides to accept and adapt. Given what i have seen in the last few years here and offshore, Muslims aren’t keen on accepting and adapting – their religious beliefs seem to preclude that.

    • “The fact is these zealots are the tip of an unknown sized iceberg. ”

      And the zealots talking up an all out war against all Muslims are also the tip of an unknown iceberg, and they coukld be as dangerous in their own was as ISIS.

      • Who is talking up an all out war on Islam Pete? Some nutters on Kiwiblog and WOBH are for sure.

        My stances is a more reasoned than that, but it does require Muslims who live in the West to obey our Laws and Customs. What is occurring around Europe is definitely not that – example: an English senior jurist said a few years back it was “inevitable” that the UK would have to recognise Sharia. That is not integrating and getting on that is cultural domination. And it doesn’t sit well with everyday Brits

        ISIS is a problem Muslims need to address Pete and you can divert by switching the focus off to what non Muslims can do but that is just avoiding what is a very real problem in Western Europe which has been building since the early 1990’s

        • “it does require Muslims who live in the West to obey our Laws and Customs.”

          Of course they have to obey olur laws – like the rest of us. And I’ve seen no indication they are treated any differently here, legally.

          Buy “obey customs”? Really? What customs.

          I don’t obey Catholic customs or Anglican customs or Muslim customs or any religious customs, as is my right and freedom here.

          Customs practiced in New Zealand are very diverse.

          The customs I practice now are vastly different to the customs I practiced forty years ago, and fifty years ago. One of the more annoying was having to have to stand to God Save The Queen at the ‘pictures’ (the current custom is to call them movies).

          I’m not about to be forced into obeying any customs.And neither should anyone else in New Zealand,.

          • Fair enough on customs Pete – maybe a stretch, but their are some customs which we definitely don’t condone see genital mutilation, full body sack covering which is not Islamic law, women as second class citizens

            And while we don’t see it here it happens in the UK with a larger Muslim population that women are accosted on the street for immodest clothing, people have their off license purchases snatched and smashed.

            In NZ we are lucky that our Muslim population is tiny, a lot of the current Mulism population came from Fiji post coup and are very moderate. The UK is not so lucky

            And again we are diverting from my MAIN POINT; what are Muslims going to do about their Fanatics like ISIL

            • I’m against customs involving genital mutilation – including circumcision.

              But what people wear is up to them. Many people cover themselves up for many reasons. Have you seen the headgear many kids have to wear at schools these days?

            • Main Point Pete? What are Muslims doing about their Zealots……

            • Many Muslims are fighting against ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Libya etc. Fighting for their lives and their countries.

            • And so they should be those are their countries.

              But what are they doing in Europe? Can’t be very effective as this stuff keeps happening and unless you read UK papers regularly most of what happens like attacks on synagogues goes unreported in NZ. Before Charlie Hebdo there were numerous incidents of arsons etc which were not cover in NZ. The NZ media only reports on large shedding of blood and rarely go very deep into the issue.

            • “But what are they doing in Europe? Can’t be very effective as this stuff keeps happening”

              If the secret agencies and law enforcment of countries like France can’t prevent terrorist atrocities carried out be very small numbers of peoeple how do you expect ordinary people to?

            • I respect that moderate Muslims would be dobbing these scum in on a regular basis, that their Imams would standing in the Friday prayers regularly and strongly decrying zealots…..

              If the moderates shun these people strongly they will be easier to identify.

              The fact the can so easily pop up and spread destruction is prima facie that a lot of so call moderates don’t disagree at all with their tactics.

              In Nth Ireland the vast majority of Catholics didn’t take up arms, but they also didn’t reveal the IRA as many were sympathetic to their cause. Ditto in France with Jihadis….

              We are lucky we are far from the action…. but frankly I think it is only a matter of time before we have an incident here

            • “The fact the can so easily pop up and spread destruction is prima facie that a lot of so call moderates don’t disagree at all with their tactics. ”

              I call bullshit on that Dave. That’s a nonsense claim.

              It would be like me accusing you of being responsible for drug gangs in New Zealand.

            • Drug gangs operate because: 1 – people are scared to dob them in because the police don’t protect anyone they just respond after the even when its too late, 2 – they have a large group of people who don’t sell but are sympathetic to their cause and smoke drugs….

              You may not like to believe it Pete but the Moderates contain a chunk of people who are sympathetic to the cause of a worldwide caliphate and while they won’t pick up a weapon themselves are happy to turn a blind eye…

            • Fairly meaningless generalisations Dave.

            • As is a call of “I call bs on that” Pete.

              We have had islamic terror attacks in the UK and Europe throughout the 2000’s up to now…. London, Madrid, Van Goghs nephew killed on the streets of Amsterdam, Hebdo as some examples…

              Numerous reports in the UK of foiled attacks….

              For the last 10 years since London a steady stream of foiled attacks and then the odd atrocity the security services can foil

              BUT its generalisation to say radicals are hiding in the midst of the “moderates” and its a generalisation to say that there is a large group of “moderates” who are sympathetic and hence why extremists continue to pop up and attempt or carry out acts of violence?

              OK Pete…. obviously I must be wrong. These are all just one off events by lone individuals or small groups of nutters who some how operate inside their communities with virtually no support and no knowledge of the “moderates”.

              You raise the drug gangs I responded why they continue – and its mainly because a large chunk of people turn a blind eye

  6. unitedtribes2

     /  15th November 2015

    “IS members are jihadists who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam”
    It would be nice to see some evidence to support this.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  15th November 2015

      You won’t see it UT2. Islam is not open to interpretation. Mohammad’s few early peaceful utterances were later superseded by verses promoting violence. There is some great reading on abrogation and Islam

      • ” Islam is not open to interpretation.”

        So how do you explain the different branches of Islam?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  15th November 2015

          Unlike the bible the quran is unchanged in language or translation. There are no sects or branches in islam in a religious sense as there are in christian faiths. The ‘sects’ that fill the news – shites, sunnis, wahabis – are based on politics and power plays going back over a 1000 years.

          By the way why are they fighting if they all share the same faith? I can’t answer this but here is what we find the bible has to say about Ishmael’s descendants (arabs). Uncannily accurate IMO.

          “Your son will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him”

          • Oh please! Christian ‘faiths’ are sects and branches every bit as political as any other, going back 2015 years. England was torn apart for decades by the Catholic vs Protestant hostilities initiated by Henry VIII’s need to divorce his first Catholic wife. Thousands upon thousands died. You telling me the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t political? Modern Chrisitianity itself is largely the result of a decision to align the remnants of the pagan Roman Empire with the foundling but increasingly popular belief system.
            We recent former-colonists tend to harbour the extraordinary idea that we have bought civilization to the world. Civilization like burning at the stake, ‘hung, drawn and quartered’ and convict transportation, to name but three of myriad forms.
            There’s a quote from the bible to suit any agenda you like.
            It’s a good quote though and not entirely irrelevant.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  15th November 2015

              Some good points buried in there partisan. Although the Christian church was full of bad buggers doing evil stuff it got through it thanks to the Reformation and has moved on. One could take the view the same might happen to Islam given another 600 years. Personally I don’t think we have that long

  7. Conspiratoor

     /  15th November 2015

    WO commenter Walter nailed it. The script has been written. To paraphrase here’s how this will unfold, Initial outrage, a swarm of hashtags about standing with Paris. Media wheels out some ‘moderate’ muslims to utter a few weasel words. Next the story moves on to victim blaming and highlighting the plight of the ordinary muslim. Breathless pieces about the persecution in the west of women who choose to wrap themselves head to foot in black sacks. And how it is all our fault. How Islam is the religion of peace yadayada. After four weeks the world will have forgotten what happened in Paris. Next story please..

  8. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  15th November 2015

    Some moderate muslims have encountered hostility when they ask their community to condemn the perpetrators of terrorist acts.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11995913/Terrorists-are-defining-Islam.-We-Muslims-must-react.html

  9. Alternative ending, short version: Paris used as vindication for new round of Western military intervention in the Middle East. The body count might not be quite high enough to justify passively waging war? (vis; when ‘victimhood’ masks aggression) Around 3000 seems to be the figure, as in Pearl Harbour and 9/11, but other justifications are certainly possible, not all of them entirely unjustified. “Containment” of ISIS within certain geographic boundaries, for instance. If so, the West had better look at where and from whom ISIS are receiving their arms and supplies. What “new round of military intervention” might throw up almost beggars imagination. Can it get worse than ISIS? Can it get worse than “turned to pink mist” by remote control … given that you might not be Jihadi John, you might be a Doc’s Without Borders staff member or patient or member of the wedding party …

  10. Nelly Smickers

     /  15th November 2015

    Let’s hope those staff employed by our ‘Security Services’ have upped their game 😦

    I would like to think their vetting procedures and background checks extend beyond describing any of the latest intake of Syrian refugees as “Fatty poo poo’s”

    https://nz.news.yahoo.com/world/a/30098621/two-men-linked-to-paris-attacks-registered-as-migrants-in-greece-police/

  11. Concerned

     /  15th November 2015

    There would be no problem wirh ISIS if the nations of the world rounded them up and killed them.Theses characters have no rules so that’s how this should be played out.These clowns have been left to get stronger and more brazen.It’s time for all nations to round them up,imprison the supporters and execute the killers.Otherwise they will come knocking on our front door

    • If that was possible or practical it would have been done. As it is multiple countries including superpowers are struggling to contain and deal with them in Syria and Iraq.

    • Zedd

       /  15th November 2015

      ISIL have declared a ‘Caliphate’ in the Muslim-lands & you would be naive to believe that a few thousand ‘coalition’ troops could just march in & round them up.
      There are over 1billion Muslims in the world.. ‘radical action’ will only further radicalise more of them & add more fuel to the fire !
      We need to be looking for solutions to calm the situation down.. that is unless you really want WW3 to get into full swing ? 😦

    • Nope, they’ve been HELPED to get stronger, by someone(s). Google “Where does ISIS get its guns?”

  12. Zedd

     /  15th November 2015

    With all the Syrians & Iraqis now flooding into the EU, this could become much more widespread. I think the biggest problem will likely be scapegoating of Muslims in ‘non-muslim’ countries (eg NZ), which will only increase tensions.
    Of course we have to ask; why this is occurring ? maybe time that GW Bush, Blair & Co. were put up before the ICC in the Hague (asked about: the weapons of mass deception & who really was responsible for ‘911’) ?

    Its always sad to hear that ‘innocent people’ are indiscriminately slaughtered.. BUT on the wider stage.. how many ‘innocent Iraqis’ have been slaughtered by the actions of their ‘coalition of the willing’ (now including NZ.. Thx Key) ? 😦 😦

    • Missy

       /  15th November 2015

      Zedd, you fail to mention how much the Snowden leaks may have contributed to the rise of ISIS. You, (and many other’s on the left), go on about Iraq, and Bush and Blair, but fail to look at the most recent problems for the west in dealing with these people.

      The stealing of information by Snowden, and the subsequent irresponsible publishing by the world’s media, put into the public domain methods of intelligence collection. As a result of this the extremists changed their methods of communication, and (as stated by the head of MI5) have put the intelligence collection on these people back by possible decades. Where is the condemnation of Snowden, Greenwald et al? Their actions will have enabled ISIS to regroup and expand with very little oversight by the Intelligence Services.

      And on the ‘coalition of the willing’, that phrase was used by Bush for the invasion of Iraq that NZ had no part of. What NZ is doing in Iraq is training troops at the REQUEST of the IRAQI Government, we have not invaded the country, and to imply that is irresponsible and incorrect. So your dig at Key on that is uncalled for.

      • Rob

         /  15th November 2015

        “As a result of this the extremists changed their methods of communication, and (as stated by the head of MI5) have put the intelligence collection on these people back by possible decades.” I call BS on that. Another excuse by so called intelligence agencies to cover their own incompetence or inabilities. Don’t you think it’s odd they will tell you they have stopped a multitude of attacks but cannot tell you about them ‘for national security reasons’ even after their methods of intelligence gathering has been exposed? Don’t you think it’s odd that the ones they will tell you about turn out to be sting operations where the persons had neither the aptitude or the resourses required to carry out the threat without the direct involvement of one or more of these agencies? Don’t you think it’s odd that when phone manufacturers now turn on encryption by default they say something along the lines of child abduction will now be harder for us to solve when in fact there has been no case of such a case being solved by this method?
        These so called intelligence agencies were handed the Boston bombers on a plate well before the fact. How competant were they then.

        • Missy

           /  15th November 2015

          You can call BS on it all you like, I disagree with you. I believe that as soon as collection methods are made public then logically those being monitored will change how they do things, only idiots would continue doing what they have in the past if they know it leads to them being caught. In my opinion it is those with ideological blindness against the state, or those who have no understanding of history – specifically of intelligence – who sit there and say that it is BS that Snowden leaks will have no impact on the rise of ISIS.

          No, I don’t think it is odd that the Security Services won’t tell you about attacks they have stopped, because we don’t know if all of their intelligence gathering methods have been exposed, we don’t know if they are still tracking some people connected to those stopped attacks that they don’t want to alert that they are on to them.

          No, I don’t think it is odd that the attacks they tell you about are the sting operations – usually those will involve raids that the public are aware of, so it is better to state what it is about.

          No, I don’t think it is odd that they say that other crimes may be harder for us to solve because of phone encryption. To categorically state that no child abduction case has been solved by this method you would have to have evidence showing how ALL cases were solved, until you can show that you can’t make that claim. There is a lot that happens within policing and intelligence that we don’t know, and necessarily don’t know, in order to allow them to so their job easier.

          Your comment about the Boston Bombers actually illustrates one of the issues for the Intelligence Services – their failures are there for the world to see, but only they know the truth of their successes. People who don’t agree with security services will always latch onto the failures in order to argue that they are not competent or required, that is a false argument in my opinion.

          • Rob

             /  15th November 2015

            And you don’t think these people knew they were being watched and changed their habits regularly. I’d say most would have. How do you think Bin Laden evaded them for so long. These people aren’t as stupid as you would like to believe.
            “…ideological blindness against the state, or those who have no understanding of history – specifically of intelligence – who sit there and say that it is BS that Snowden leaks will have no impact on the rise of ISIS.” Sorry but that is where you are wrong. I have no “ideological blindness” as you call it, what I have is a healthy skepticism about what they will tell us to further their unhealthy (in my opinion) attempts to grab as much power as they can while they can. Making claims such as that (when they still don’t even really know what Snowden took) is another attempt at ramping up their power grab.
            Most sting operations don’t involve raids, there is no need to. They set someone up, provide them with money as an incentive, the required knowledge, and in some cases have driven them to the target theselves, let them place a false bomb provided by themselves and then arrested them.
            As for phone encryption this was stated by a LEA in the US and when questioned they admitted they had not solved a child abduction case this way.
            Stopped attacks? Surely there would be some they could mention and I’m certain they would mention if they had occured.
            You call the Boston bombing a mere failure? That was rank incompetence and all involved should have been sacked. Failure is inevitable, incompetence is unforgivable.
            You want to put so much faith in them and believe everything they tell you? That’s your right and privilege. Me? No. And I’m most certainly not alone.

  13. Brown

     /  15th November 2015

    “I don’t obey Catholic customs or Anglican customs…”

    Yes you do but without thinking about it. The moral expectations about good behaviour, honesty, respect for others etc… are from the Judeo Christian tradition. Islamic countries are frequently awful because they don’t have that.

    You can shove your moderate Muslims as well. When you look at what Muslims want you will find significant majorities approve of bombings, honour killings, Sharia law etc… That’s not moderate in my view but adds to at least 800,000,000 people.

    Given this and seeing their faith in action (actions perfectly in keeping with the Quran) I don’t want them here.

    • “The moral expectations about good behaviour, honesty, respect for others etc… are from the Judeo Christian tradition.”

      Nonsense. Many peoples have had similar moral expectations for a lot longer than “the Judeo Christian tradition” has existed.

      • jaspa

         /  15th November 2015

        Quite. The old Pagan “An it harm none, do what thou wilt” springs to mind, as do the 9 noble virtues, whose roots are in pre-Christian Scandinavia:

        Courage – the ability to face both the joys and the challenges of life fearlessly;
        Truth – honesty and integrity in one’s words as well as one’s actions;
        Honor – strength of character as reflected in one’s behavior and trustworthiness;
        Fidelity – loyalty and faithfulness to family, tribal, and spiritual commitments;
        Discipline – consistency in effort toward reaching one’s goals;
        Hospitality – kindness to strangers, travelers, and those who are in need;
        Industriousness – willingness to work hard toward excellence in productivity;
        Self-Reliance – pride in the ability to care for one’s own needs;
        Perseverance – refusal to admit defeat or to let obstacles thwart one’s efforts.

    • jamie

       /  15th November 2015

      In addition to what Pete said, the Islamic religion is actually part of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

  14. Indeed, one might argue that these “moral expectations” germinate in the womb, sprout during pregnancy, grow strong in the child-parent relationship, flourish in the ‘village’ required to raise the child and flower to fulfillment in the young man and woman’s imperative urge to mate, reproduce and renew the cycle. That this is inherent in life itself. A categorical imperative. No mystic doctrine with bizarre rites attached but a calm conclusion, the realisation that self-preservation is a fundamental characteristic of all life, that every person carries it within them, and that only the compulsion to love, the genetic commandment of love, will permit of self-preservation by ALL.
    The murderous rampages of the Crusaders were their faith in action.
    Religious doctrines in the broadest sense, pre-historic to modern, especially all kinds of church doctrines inimical to life have impacted rather negatively on our perfectly natural, innate moral imperative. So called ‘Christian’ women only got the vote in 1892. That they did so here in Godzone should be an emmense source of pride. They still don’t have pay equity though, in 2015. We’re not more advanced than ‘them’, the Muslims, we’re essentially the same. If it was possible to do so safely, I’d like to sit down with an ISIS spokesperson and talk about it. I would perhaps consider them as one might a partisan who genuinely believes that his acts of terror are righteous, the only possible recourse left open to him, like the Polish or Czech or French partisan of old did against the Nazis. Yes, I’ll say it, I’d treat him AS THOUGH HE THINKS I AM THE NAZI. And I’d see what comes of such a conversation …
    Alternatively, I might hand some of you right-wingers a gun and say, “Here, just shoot me”.
    I didn’t choose my avatar name for nothing. Tell me if I overstep the bounds of blogisphere decorum?

  15. Religion Doesn’t Make People More Moral, Study Finds

    The moral high ground seems to be a crowded place. A new study suggests that religious people aren’t more likely to do good than their nonreligious counterparts. And while they may vehemently disagree with one another at times, liberals and conservatives also tend to be on par when it comes to behaving morally.

    Researchers asked 1,252 adults of different religious and political backgrounds in the United States and Canada to record the good and bad deeds they committed, witnessed, learned about or were the target of throughout the day.

    Wisneski and his fellow researchers found that religious and nonreligious people commit similar numbers of moral acts. The same was found to be true for people on both ends of the political spectrum. And regardless of their political or religious leanings, participants were all found to be more likely to report committing, or being the target of, a moral act rather than an immoral act. They were also much more likely to report having heard about immoral acts rather than moral acts.

  16. Awesome! Evidently they were all human!