Muslim Love for Ramadan Violence

Islamist attacks around world follow ISIS' Ramadan message

Published June 26, 2015

Terrorists gunned down dozens of tourists on a Tunisian beach, left a severed head atop a fence outside a French factory and blew up a Kuwaiti mosque Friday in a bloody wave of attacks that followed an ISIS leader’s call to make the month of Ramadan a time of "calamity for the infidels."

There was no confirmation that the attacks were a coordinated effort ordered by ISIS, but the suspects who attacked a U.S.-owned gas factory in southeastern France left the terrorist army's flags next to the severed head of their victim, and an ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for the deadly Kuwait blast.

If the attacks were indeed an answer to ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's recent call for savagery, it would represent a hideous perversion of Islam's most holy period, which began June 17 and ends July 17.

“While we’re still working to determine whether the attacks were coordinated or directed by ISIL (Islamic State), they bear the hallmarks that have defined ISIL’s violent ideology or those inspired by such hatred. There is no doubt that ISIL poses a continuing threat, and we remain concerned about its ability to direct or inspire attacks beyond Iraq and Syria,” A U.S. official told Fox News Friday.

"The attack was of a terrorist nature since a body was discovered, decapitated and with inscriptions."

- French President Francois Hollande

Jihadists should make Ramadan a time of "calamity for the infidels ... Shi'ites and apostate Muslims," Al-Adnani said in a recent audio message. "Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you over the arrival of the holy month. Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom."

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Suspect, possible accomplices arrested in France attack       

Decapitated body found at scene of terror attack in France

The attack in France occurred first, Friday morning in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, northwest of the Alpine city of Grenoble. Two suspects dressed as deliverymen crashed a car into an industrial gas plant operated by Allentown, Pa.,-based Air Products & Chemicals, stormed inside and killed at least one person. The head of the victim was left on a fence, with Arabic phrases scrawled on it and ISIS flags nearby, Sky News reported, citing French legal sources.

The unnamed victim was a businessman at a local transportation company and the boss of a man arrested in connection with the attack.  

Nearly simultaneously, a gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle on a beach in Sousse-- a Tunisian coastal town popular with tourists-- killing at least 37 and wounding 36. The Health Ministry said the dead include Tunisians, Brits, Germans and Belgians.

A third attack killed at least 25 and wounded more than 200 in a Shia mosque in Kuwait City, the  Ministry of Interior said. A suicide bomber purportedly from ISIS affiliate Najd Province targeted Shiite worshippers after midday prayers at the Imam Sadiq Mosque in the residential neighborhood of al-Sawabir in Kuwait's capital, Kuwait City. It was the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades.

ISIS is comprised of Sunni Muslims, and its members have a long and bloody history with Shia Muslims, as evidenced by Al-Adnani's call. The attack came immediately following Friday prayers. There was no claim of responsibility, but ISIS has claimed responsibility for bombings at two different Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

French officials wasted no time labeling Friday's attack an act of terrorism.

 "The attack was of a terrorist nature since a body was discovered, decapitated and with inscriptions," French President Francois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels, where he cut short his attendance at an EU summit to return to France.

Hollande and his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi expressed “solidarity in the face of terrorism,” according to a statement by Hollande’s office, reported.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at least one man--a 30-year-old extremist known to authorities named Yassin Sahli-- was under arrest following the France attack. The suspect from Lyon was seized by an alert firefighter.

Other people, including the man's wife, were also taken into custody after the attack, A second suspect arrested at his home in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier was reportedly seen driving back and forth past the factory before the attack, the Dauphine Libere newspaper reported. A manhunt is underway for any other suspects involved.

Minister Cazeneuve, speaking from the scene, described the attack as "barbarous" and a "terrible terrorist crime." He said the suspect had been known to foreign intelligence services since 2006, but that police monitoring of him had ceased in 2008. The man did not have a criminal record, the minister added.

French authorities told Fox News that approximately 10 people were injured.

The factory is operated by Air Products & Chemicals, an Allentown, Pa.,-based company that makes industrial gases.

"Our priority at this stage is to take care of our employees, who have been evacuated from the site and all accounted for," the company said in a statement. "Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities."

A local official confirmed the nation is on high alert.

"The terrorism threat is at a maximum," Alain Juppe, mayor of Bordeaux, told Fox News.

The United Nations, the U.S and other countries condemned Friday’s attacks. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said those "responsible for such appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice" and Interpol offered its help to all three nations.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said it was too soon to tell whether the three attacks were the work of Islamic State extremists but added "we unequivocally condemn these terrorist attacks.

Terrorism analysts said the attacks could be so-called “lone wolves” answering the call to attack ISIS enemies during the holy period.

“It is very likely that ISIS' supporters acted due to the call for attacks during Ramadan,” said Ryan Mauro, of the New York-based terrorism research institute Clarion Project. “It is appealing to ISIS supporters on a personal level because it gives their attacks some more religious significance.”

"Terrorists could look to the attacks, recent ISIL leadership statements, or other markers—such as last year’s declaration of its so-called caliphate—to spur additional violence,” the U.S. official said. 

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident. The country went on high alert after a series of attacks in January that left 20 people dead in and around Paris region, including the Islamic terrorists. In the Jan. 7 attack at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, two radical Muslim brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, heavily armed and incensed over the publishing of caricatures of Muhammad, stormed the magazine's offices and killed 12, including staffers and a police officer.

Authorities hunted down the Kouachi brothers for three days, until finally cornering them in a Paris printing house and killing them in a shootout. As police searched for the brothers’, a friend and fellow home grown Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, took at least 15 people hostage at a kosher supermarket in Paris. After a long standoff,  police stormed the market, killing him. Four hostages were also killed in the incident.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when Muslims celebrate the Koran. They also often fast-- primarily from eating and drinking-- from sunrise to sunset every day of the month to teach empathy for those who have less. Fasting and reading the Koran during Ramadan should encourage charity, kindness and social justice, especially to the needy and poor.

Fox News Channel's Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

IS calls for jihad, martyrdom during Ramadan

June 24, 2015

Baghdad - Islamic State group spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called on Tuesday for Muslims to engage in jihad and become martyrs during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Adnani also announced an amnesty for people who fought against IS in Iraq's Anbar province, and called on residents who had fled violence there to return home.

"The best acts that bring you closer to God are jihad, so hurry to it and make sure to carry out the invasion this holy month and be exposed to martyrdom in it," Adnani said in an audio message posted online.

"These are your weapons and this is Ramadan."

Ramadan, which began last week, is the holy month in the Muslim calendar during which believers observe a fast from dawn to sunset every day.

Adnani repeated a call by IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for those who fled Anbar, where IS seized provincial capital Ramadi last month, to return.

"Oh people of Anbar, return to your homes and go back to your people," he said.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 275,000 people fled the Ramadi area between April and mid-June.

Adnani also announced a "last chance" for tribesmen, soldiers and police, calling on them to "repent" and surrender their weapons as a sign of good faith.

He singled out the Jughaifa tribe that is besieged in the town of Haditha, saying it faces utter destruction if it does not surrender.

If they do not "repent", then "for generations those passing Haditha will say: 'The Jughaifa were here, and their houses'."

As IS has previously executed hundreds of security personnel and tribesmen who opposed the group, it is unlikely that many will take up the offer.

IS launched a brutally effective offensive last June that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces have made major gains in Diyala and Salaheddin provinces north of Baghdad, but much of the country's west is still in IS hands.

Dozens killed and injured in Sanaa mosque blasts

Middle East Eye
17 June 2015

Four bombs exploded outside mosques frequented by Houthis on the eve of Ramadan, while a fifth targeted the house of a Houthi militiaman.

The Yemeni capital was rocked on Wednesday night by five bombs that targeted mosques and a house of a senior Houthi militaman.

Thirty-one people were killed, according to AFP, with dozens feared injured, as the bombs exploded almost simultaneously just after sundown on the eve of Ramadan.

Two car bombs targeted mosques, while a third hit the house of the head of the Houthi militia politburo, Saleh al-Sammad. Explosive devices also went off at two other mosques.

It was not immediately possible to obtain a more detailed breakdown of the numbers of people killed and wounded.
Video footage that purports to be from the scene of one of the explosions, outside the Green Dome Mosque in Hayel Street, shows fire spreading to nearby buildings after the huge blast.

A separate clip shows bystanders rushing to the site of the blasts to try and rescue the wounded.

The mosques that were targeted were frequented by Houthi supporters, according to Yemeni journalist Nasser Arabyee.

The mosques are in residential areas of the city populated by civilians.

Ahmed Sayaghi, a Yemeni whose house is 200m from the site of the Green Dome mosque bombing, told Middle East Eye that he heard a "huge" explosion from where he was standing at a hospital nearly a kilometre from the blast site.

"The blast happened exactly at the time of sundown prayers. As is the case after every explosion, huge crowds of people gathered at the site of the bombing.

"I am extremely scared of more explosions happening - I pass by this street several times a day. We never expected something like this to happen where we live."

Hisham al-Omeisy, a Yemeni analyst based in the south of Sanaa, reported hearing ambulances speeding towards the site of the blasts in the north of the capital, raising fears of a high number of casualties.

Islamic State (IS) in Yemen, which recently announced that it has active branches in Yemen, put out an official statement just over an hour after the attacks claiming responsibility for them.

In the statement, IS said the attacks had been carried out "as revenge for Muslims against the Rafidi Houthis," using a derogatory term for Shiite Muslims.

Two previous similar attacks involving bombs placed outside mosques have later been claimed by IS.

A bombing in late May that wounded 13 people at a Houthi-affiliated mosque followed an earlier attack in which at least 142 people were killed by four simultaneous mosque bombings.

UN struggles to get peace talks off the ground

The attacks come while Yemeni officials involved in a political deadlock are gathered in the Swiss city of Geneva for a round of UN-sponsored peace talks.

The Foreign Minister of the elected government under President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi warned on Wednesday night that, with just 48 hours still available for negotiations, the Houthis were "attempting to waste time and enforce their own vision".

The Houthi militiamen, fighting alongside groups allied to deposed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, are locked in conflict with the government of President Hadi, who is operating a government from exile in Saudi Arabia.

The third day of the high stakes talks, launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with an appeal for a badly-needed two-week humanitarian truce, stumbled over the makeup of the different delegations.

"The only positive point so far is that the negotiations are continuing and that no delegation has slammed the door," said a Western diplomat close to the talks.

But the positions of the two warring sides are so divergent that they are not sitting in the same room and the UN is holding separate consultations with them.

"In a situation like this, the Yemenis need to talk among themselves, not with the United Nations," UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed has insisted that just getting the two sides to Geneva at the same time was "an achievement".

Beyond being in the same city though, neither side has shown any signs they are prepared to budge on the issues.
Since late March the Houthi militiamen have been pounded by airstrikes from a Saudi-led coalition, and have responded with anti-aircraft fire which is said to have killed more people in Sanaa than the airstrikes.

Over 2,000 people have been killed since the airstrikes began, and previously preventable diseases like dengue fever have become widespread.

Qaeda executes Saudi members for 'spying' for US

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda in Yemen executed on Wednesday two Saudi accused of spying for the United States, a day after the militant group confirmed the death of its leader in a US drone strike.

They were accused of planting tracking chips in vehicles and clothes used by al-Qaeda leaders, allowing drones to target them, a local official in southeastern Mukalla said.

After their public execution by a firing squad in the al-Qaeda-held city, their bodies were tied to poles, the official and witnesses said.

Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of the global network, was formed in 2009 following a merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches.

AQAP confirmed in an online video dated 15 June the death of its leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, who was number two in al-Qaeda, along with two other militants in a US drone strike last week.

Two other senior al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen -- ideologue Ibrahim al-Rubaish and Nasser al-Ansi, who appeared in a video claiming the January massacre on French magazine Charlie Hebdo -- were killed in similar US strikes in April.

Iraq attacks make for deadly start to holy month

By ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press
Updated 4:56 pm, Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BAGHDAD (AP) — Ramadan this year is shaping up to be the deadliest in Iraq since a bloody insurgency and rampant sectarian killings pushed the country to the edge of civil war in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Suicide attacks, car bombings and other violence have killed at least 169 Iraqis just seven days into the Islamic holy month. The death toll in the first week of Ramadan hasn't been that high since 2007, intensifying fears that Iraq is slipping back into widespread chaos.

There seems to be little pattern in the range of targets, adding to the sense of unease in what is meant to be a month of spiritual growth and generosity.

Several of those killed over the past week died at a busy northern teashop while playing mehebis, a game where players hope to win sweets by guessing who among their opposing team is hiding a ring in their hands. Others were slain as they swam with friends, or as they shopped for festive evening dinners, or made their way home from mosques after late-night prayers.

Celebrating Ramadan Jihadi Style

Muqtedar Khan

Washington Post

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and serves as a spiritual boot camp for Muslims. In this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk everyday; abstaining from food, water, sex and anything unpleasant and immoral. One is not allowed to get angry, speak rudely or even think of bad things. The purpose of the month is to take a break from deep entanglements in mundane affairs and make a systematic and concerted effort to reconnect with the divine and work on improving one's personal moral character.

For me, Ramadan is about returning to the fountain of truth and drinking from it as deeply as possible. It is not the parched throat but rather the parched soul that is my concern, so I study the Qur'an and contemplate on it. Other Muslims adhere more closely to rituals. I believe that while rituals discipline, knowledge is more transformative. But to each his own. The goal in Ramadan is really is to find a way, ritual, spiritual or intellectual, to get closer to God.

Unfortunately, for some Muslims, murder and mayhem rather than prayer and fasting have become the way to celebrate Ramadan.

On September 6, in the first week of Ramadan, two suicide bombers killed over 50 people in Peshawar, Pakistan. On September 13, five bombs killed over 30 in New Delhi, India. On September 15, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a Ramadan fast breaking ceremony killing 22 people in Diyala, Iraq. On September 17, a truck bomb and some militants attacked the US embassy in San'a, Yemen killing 16 people. And on September 20, a massive truck bomb killed over 60 people in Islamabad, Pakistan.

All of these attacks have been conducted by people who call themselves "Jihadis", this they claim is their struggle in the path of God. One cannot imagine to what extent the minds and the hearts of these people have become poisoned that in the month of Ramadan, when even frowning is undesirable, they chose to murder and maim indiscriminately. The most incomprehensible aspect of these atrocities is that a vast majority of their victims are the very people on whose behalf these wars are waged!

If they want to fight and die for God, they are welcome. There are over 200,000 American soldiers, in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are there specifically to oblige them, why not go and fight them.

These cowards, who call themselves Jihadis, run and hide from soldiers seeking to fight them and instead target helpless and unarmed civilians. They repeatedly confirm that they have no regard for social order, for law, for human life and even for the sacred injunctions from the God whose pleasure they seek through violence.

If they really wish to wage a Jihad (struggle) in this holy month of Ramadan, then their first target should be their own cowardice and the profound Jahiliyyah (ignorance) that disables them from seeing what is right and what is wrong.

There are three kinds of Muslim responses to these never ending atrocities. Some Muslims condemn, oppose and actively reject the Jihadis and their agenda of global anarchy. I wish they would be better organized and more effective.

Another minority, unfortunately, appreciates and supports the Jihadis. I pray that this Ramadan may open their eyes to the true reality of the Jihadi phenomenon. It preys on the weak and the helpless, has achieved absolutely nothing of value for Muslims, and has pushed a large number of people in the world to despise Islam and hate Muslims.

And then there is a significant Muslim population that lives in denial. They also are intellectually dishonest. They first deny that there is such a thing as jihadi terrorism, resorting to conspiracy theories blaming every act of Jihadi violence either on Israel, the U.S. or India. Then they argue that unjust wars by these three nations (in Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir) is the primary cause for Jihadi violence; a phenomenon whose very existence they have already denied.

Unless Muslims wakeup to the culture of terrorism in their world and act to eradicate it, they may find themselves isolated and shunned from the rest of the world, while also being the biggest victims of the very phenomenon they do not fight.

Muqtedar Khan is Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

Posted by Muqtedar Khan on September 22, 2008