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January 2017

With baby strapped to back, woman suicide bomber strikes Nigerian market

Nigerian army spokesperson Rabe Abubakar could not confirm that a baby had been used in the attack, and said the woman may have just been disguised to appear as if she was carrying an infant.

The UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said it was the first such incident involving a baby reported in northeast Nigeria. “We are extremely worried about the use of a baby in this callous way,” UNICEF spokesperson Doune Porter told a foreign news agency.

The suicide bombings, which bore the hallmark of militant group Boko Haram, are common in northeast Nigeria, the heart of the militants’ seven-year campaign to create an Islamic state.

The militant group preys on displaced children or young girls it kidnaps and forces them to become bombers, with some unaware they are carrying explosives, aid agencies say.

The use of children as suicide bombers by Boko Haram has surged almost five-fold since 2014, with 19 child bombings, most involving young girls, recorded by UNICEF last year.

Prior to the Madagali bombings, the youngest child used in such an attack was a nine-year-old girl, the UN agency said. The attack in Madagali is one in a series of bombings in Nigeria northeast, mainly Borno state, in recent weeks as Boko Haram steps up attacks with the end of the rainy season facilitating movements in the bush.

However, risk management consultancy Signal Risk’s director Ryan Cummings said Nigeria’s civilian joint task force (CJTF) had stepped up efforts to spot and search suspected bombers. “Several attempted attacks by females bombers have been thwarted (due to the CJTF), limiting casualties,” he said.

Army spokesperson Abubakar said security forces would be extra vigilant and ready to respond to any new strategies used by Boko Haram. The militants’ insurgency has killed about 15,000 people and forced more than two million to flee their homes.http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/01/25/with-baby-strapped-to-back-woman-suicide-bomber-strikes-nigerian-market/

In early 2015, the militants controlled an area the size of Belgium but has been pushed out from most of the territory by the Nigerian military with help from neighbouring countries.

ISIS wannabe shouts, ‘there’s going to be more of us,’ as he’s sentenced to 20 years for New Year’s Eve machete plot

An ex-convict who plotted a foiled New Year’s Eve machete attack at an upstate New York restaurant in the name of the Islamic State group was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison, provoking a courtroom outburst in which he shouted “there’s going to be more of us.”

Emanuel Lutchman, 26, wrote before the sentencing that he had moved on from a “radical Islamic ideology,” but after drawing a sentence twice as long as his lawyer had sought, became agitated.

“You think because I’m going to be incarcerated there aren’t going to be more of us that rise up?” he said while shouting and swearing at U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci.

In response, Geraci increased Lutchman’s supervised release after serving his time from 30 years to 50 years.

Father of Rochester man says his son is sick, not ISIS

Lutchman pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

At the direction of a now-deceased recruiter for the Islamic State group in Syria, Lutchman planned a knife and machete attack inside Merchants Grill in Rochester on Dec. 31, 2015, according to the plea agreement. The attack never happened.

The goal was to give the terror group an attack to claim and prove Lutchman worthy of joining the organization when he traveled overseas, court documents said.

“Viewed in this context, it would be hard to overstate the danger that Lutchman presented,” Acting United States Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. said Thursday.

Crimes against Humanity: “Normal” Treatment of Middle Eastern Women by Khadija Khan

Mullahs seem to prefer protecting inhuman laws to protecting humans.

Most full coverings for women are black, which absorbs heat, and are made not of cotton but of non-porous cloth – in the scorching heat.

In a province of Indonesia, Aceh, a woman, accused of being intimate with her boyfriend is caned, in front of a jeering crowd. Later, a photograph of the screaming woman is published as a token of pride for the men who had just exacted this “justice” — on her; no consequence for the boyfriend. It was a lesson to remind women to submit to their place in society.

Turkey last year presented a bill for tackling its widespread child-marriage issue: the Turkish government introduced a bill that pardons a rapist if he marries his victim. The victim is not consulted.

All forms of exploiting women are presented as divine law, sharia, in which women have no say, which they are unable to use in their own defence, and which they are forced to accept as their fate.

These are countries where men are not only permitted, but invited, to consider woman a pet — to be killed, burned with acid, benzene or a weapon of choice supposedly to preserve a family’s “honour”.

These laws, put in place by the governments and the clergy, provide a safe escape for criminals, such as those who kill their women and claim it is in the name of “honour”.

The deeper horror is that all these abuses — child marriage, confinement, FGM, rape, torture, and legal discrimination — have accomplices. These enablers are often well-meaning people from the West, “multiculturalists” who are reluctant to pass judgement on other people’s customs no matter how brutal they might be.

Sadly, they are unable to see that they are actually part of the huge jihadi radicalization machine working under the very nose of even governments in the West.

As the British in India effectively got rid the people of the cultural practice of suttee, in which Hindu widows were required to throw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre, if people would really like to do “good”, they will please help to stop similar crushing practices.

A bitter truth, often glossed over in the name of “tradition,” is the religious teachings and the responsibilities of a Muslim woman. Most glossed over is the violence that men are still allowed to inflict on their women in the name of their religion and culture on such a massive part of the planet.

This brutality not only takes place in ISIS-held territory but across most Muslim societies. All around you, you

Pro-Life Youth Group Attacked by Thugs Yelling Racial Slurs in Southeast D.C. By Debra Heine

Several members of a pro-life youth ministry group visiting D.C. for Friday’s March for Life rally were attacked by a group of street thugs yelling racial epithets on Wednesday night near the Metro, Fox 5 DC reported. The violent attack began after the two adult chaperones and 22 teens had gotten off the Metro in SE D.C., and were starting the mile walk back to the church where they were staying.

When one of the adult chaperones in the back of the group was attacked, several of the teens attempted to help him. They were met with fists and racial slurs, threatened with a knife, and told to hand over their belongings. The victims ran to a nearby firehouse, where they received help.

The savage attack only lasted about 20 seconds, but that was enough time for the thugs to seriously hurt several of the pro-lifers.

Injuries included a broken nose and fractured eye socket, according to a member of the group. He told Fox 5 that the adult leader who was attacked had “some type of concussion,” adding that “he just remembers having dinner — details are fuzzy after that.”

The youth group visiting from Fort Worth, Texas says they are familiar with where they are staying in Southeast, D.C., because they have stayed at the Assumption Catholic Church for the past three years. But it wasn’t until Wednesday night that they’ve ever had an issue.

The violent encounter was enough to make the ministry group reconsider their routine while staying at the church.

They won’t be walking from the metro stop back to church past sunset, Fox 5 reported. But despite the violent incident, they said they’d still attend the rally at the National Mall for the March for Life on Friday.

“Nobody’s going to rob us of that joy, the true meaning of why we’re here — to celebrate life,” the group member said. “Even when something horrible like that happens — we’re still going to be joyful,” he said.

There have been no arrests in the case.

Huge, Diverse Crowd Marches for Life in the Nation’s Capital Tens of thousands from all walks of life descended on the National Mall to rally against abortion today. By Alexandra DeSanctis

‘We are the pro-life generation,” the crowd chanted, voices building to an overwhelming crescendo with each repetition of the line. Packed onto the National Mall across the street from the White House Friday, the revelers deafened one another with their joyful shouts, tens of thousands gathered just across the street from President Donald Trump’s new home, smiling and laughing and breaking into spontaneous cheers.

Such was the scene at the 44th annual March for Life, first held here on January 22, 1974, one year to the day after the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide. In good weather and in bad — given Washington’s bitter Januaries, it’s usually the latter — crowds swarm the Mall every year to protest against the country’s abortion laws and to advocate for the protection of unborn life.

This year’s March had particular historic significance, as it followed on the heels of a Republican sweep of November’s elections and, with it, the chance to enact pro-life policies at the federal level for the first time in years. The crowd never cheered louder than when Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the morning’s rally, becoming the first member of a presidential administration to ever address the event.

“President Trump actually asked me to be here with you today,” Pence said. “He asked me to thank you for your support — to thank you for your stand for life and for your compassion for the women and children of America. . . . Compassion is overcoming convenience and hope is defeating despair. In a word: Life is winning in America because of all of you.”

Every year the March makes evident just how phenomenally young and vibrant the pro-life movement is, bolstered by students who travel from hundreds of colleges, universities, and high schools all across the country, often sleeping on buses overnight or driving for two days straight to be here. This year was no different.

Take, for example, twelve-year-old Tommy Steines, who was attending his very first March for Life. “I’m here to stand up for life and for support,” he told National Review, smiling from under his knit cap. Steines and his family drove eight hours from Ohio to attend the event. Steines’s mother, Donna, said that there are smaller, satellite marches for life in Ohio, “but none of them have half a million people.”

Even though young faces dominated the crowd, people of all ages and genders and races were well represented at the March, as they always are. The Mall this year held a truly heterogeneous mixture of Americans, united in the belief that this country’s women and children and families deserve better than a regime of abortion-on-demand.

Dozens of pro-life public figures and movement leaders gathered behind the rally stage, speaking most frequently of the hope embodied by the new administration. One of those activists was David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, which recorded and released the undercover videos that exposed the vast fetal-tissue-trafficking industry profiting off of the body parts of aborted babies.

Fake News and False Consciousness A Ministry of Truth is an assault on truth. By Rupert Darwall

Britain’s decisive vote to leave the European Union and the election, 20 weeks later, of Donald Trump have sent horrified elites to seek solace in fake news and stolen elections to attempt to explain away these twin popular revolts. At a public lecture in London on Brexit shortly before the presidential election, Princeton professor Harold James seized on a comment that Brexit was the outcome of post-truth politics. “Absolutely right,” Professor James responded. “I completely agree with every word.” It was the world of Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin, Professor James averred, one described by Peter Pomerantsev in Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia – which was, in the words of one reviewer, “a beautifully written depiction of a fevered, frenzied society, of a city glittering at the edge of darkness.” The history professor was equating the anti-establishment Brexit insurgency with Putin and the state-controlled Russian media.

A rare Brexit-supporting professor was sharing the platform. “I completely disagree,” declared Robert Tombs, a Cambridge historian and the author of The English and Their History. “We’ve never lived in an age of truth.” The two centuries after the invention of the printing press more or less saw the collapse of European civilization. “I just don’t know when there was a time when the people were told the truth by politicians and the press.”

What is new – and troubling – is the use of “fake news” to justify censorship and its use as a tool of social control. After Donald Trump’s election, liberals such as Tom Friedman hailed Germany’s Angela Merkel as the West’s true leader for upholding Western values. Her open-door immigration policy, which helped her garner Time magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year honor, is sometimes explained as reflecting her experience of living under Communism. “In East Germany, we always ran into boundaries before we were able to discover our own personal boundaries,” Time reported.

Sounds nice, but was that fake news? Merkel’s family was one of the few that had moved from West to East Germany. They had the privileges that came from being favored by the Party – two cars, access to stores selling Western goods, travel to the West. “They were élite,” Merkel’s Russian teacher said in a 2014 profile by George Packer in The New Yorker. A former East German colleague described her role as secretary for Agitation and Propaganda of the state youth organization, Freie Deutsche Jugend, at East Berlin’s Academy of Sciences. “With Agitation and Propaganda, you’re responsible for brainwashing in the sense of Marxism,” according to former German transport minister Günther Krause, who rejected Merkel’s claim that her role was mainly sourcing theater tickets for fellow students. “Agitation and Propaganda, that was the group that was meant to fill people’s brains with everything you were supposed to believe in the GDR, with all the ideological tricks.”

Any vestigial revulsion that the former Agitation and Propaganda secretary might have felt at the pervasive censorship of the East German state was quickly swallowed when Merkel sought to co-opt social media firms to help contain the backlash against her pro-immigration stance. In September 2015, she confronted Mark Zuckerberg after her government had complained that Facebook wasn’t doing enough to crack down on xenophobic postings. Last month, her government announced plans for a new law to fine Facebook up to €500,000 for distributing fake news.

The concept of thought pollution, which fake news supposedly feeds, is intrinsically totalitarian. It implies there are those who speak the truth and there are those who do not, casting the latter as enemies of society and, nowadays, of the planet. “We live in a world of radical ignorance,” claims Stanford professor Robert Proctor. “Agnotology” – the study of deliberate propagation of ignorance – is a term coined by Proctor, whose interest in it was sparked by his study of the tactics of Big Tobacco in obscuring the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.

The secret tobacco memo that aroused Proctor’s attention was written in 1969, five years after the Surgeon General’s first report warned of the dangers of tobacco smoking. According to the successor report marking the report’s 50th anniversary, per capita consumption of cigarettes (based on Treasury Department data) peaked in the early 1950s, and blipped up again before starting a multi-decade decline from the early 1960s.

By contrast, the tobacco industry in Britain in the 1950s – at the insistence of the industry’s chief statistician (he had been sacked and reinstated six weeks later) – decided not to dispute the epidemiological evidence linking smoking with lung cancer. Notwithstanding tobacco-industry neutrality, per capita cigarette consumption in Britain continued to rise through the 1960s, peaking only in the mid 1970s, more than a decade later than in the U.S.

Social phenomena can be far more complex – and more interesting – than Proctor’s simplistic morality tale allows. Indeed, it turns out that agnotology is a self-referring idea that, like fake news, is a tool of propaganda. According to Proctor, combating ignorance extends far beyond clarifying the evidence. Inevitably switching from smoking to climate change, Proctor gives the issue an ideological and philosophical framing: “The fight is not just over the existence of climate change, it’s over whether God has created the Earth for us to exploit, whether government has the right to regulate industry, whether environmentalists should be empowered, and so on. It’s not just about the facts, it’s about what is imagined to flow from and into such facts.” (Emphasis added.)

Facts and non-facts do not exist in isolation from their context, something that history teaches above all. From Proctor’s thoroughly researched but morally dubious The Nazi War on Cancer (1999), we learn that “the barriers which separate ‘us’ from ‘them’ are not as high as some would like to imagine.” Himmler, for example, wanted the Waffen-SS to be non-smoking, non-drinking vegetarians and voiced an opinion often expressed by today’s political Left: “We are in the hands of the food companies, whose economic clout and advertising make it possible for them to prescribe what we can and cannot eat.”

Build That Wall . . . and Pay for It By gratuitously insulting Mexico, Trump risks turning a boon into a bust By Andrew C. McCarthy

Amid American cheers and a gratuitous swipe at our neighbor to the south, President Trump forged ahead this first dizzying week of his administration with the groundwork for his signature campaign promise: The Wall.

The president continues to insist that he will not only build the wall along the southern border, the very notion of which makes Mexicans seethe, but force Mexico to pay for it. The contretemps induced President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel a planned trip to Washington for talks with his new American counterpart about trade, immigration, and border security. On the upside, though, it was grist for a great Jonah Goldberg column on national honor and the wages of besmirching it.

I’ve been a skeptic about the wall from the start: I do not believe it is plausible as promised, for reasons not just for financial (it would require cooperation from Congress) but topographical. In his Encounter Broadside, The Case Against Trump, our Kevin D. Williamson explained the terrain challenges:

The idea of a point-to-point wall on the border stretching uninterrupted from Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas to Border Field State Park on the Pacific Ocean in California is a logistical impossibility (it would require, among other things, building a wall atop several substantial bodies of water, including the Rio Grande and the 65,000-acre Amistad Reservoir, to say nothing of steep canyons and other obstacles, and expropriating enormous amount[s] of privately owned land along the border).

It was no surprise, then, to find President Trump tempering his extravagant campaign promise. This week’s executive order on border security proclaims the policy of constructing “a physical wall on the southern border” but takes pains to define “wall” as “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassible barrier.” That gives the administration wiggle room to secure by other means (no doubt involving surveillance technology) areas where wall-building is neither practical nor necessary.

We can certainly use the kind of barrier outlined in the executive order. If the president wants to call it a “wall,” great. He can call it “Matilda” for all I care if it improves border security, which it obviously would. Nor, in this regard, am I the least bit concerned about Mexican national honor. When we have a situation in which kids in the southwest get sent home from school for wearing American-flag T-shirts but Cinco de Mayo is observed like a national holiday, I’m more worried about American national honor.

But like Jonah, I also draw the line at making Mexico pay for the wall. If it improves our national security against illegal immigration (not nearly all of which is Mexican) as well as jihadist networks and drug traffickers, then we should pay for it. Why would a superpower make its comparatively poor but amicable neighbor pay for our security while our government, with the nation $20 trillion in the red, diverts taxpayer funds to boondoggles like an oceanographic study that plopped mudskippers on a treadmill to see how long they can exercise?

Extorting Mexico to pay for the wall would be like Michael Corleone squeezing Senator Geary to pay for the gaming license. And there is not a prayer it will happen.

The Secrets of New York City’s Policing Success The Big Apple’s new top cop on how to protect citizens from both street crime and terrorism. By William McGurn

When James O’Neill first put on the blue uniform and gold badge of law enforcement, it was 1983, and he was a rookie with the New York City Transit Police, riding the subways from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. Those were the bad old days of buildings encrusted in grime and graffiti, parks and public places overrun by the homeless, and a murder rate rising relentlessly.

“In the 1980s and 1990s,” Mr. O’Neill recalls, “the police were just holding on.”
New York is different today. In 1983 there were 1,622 murders in the city—and the peak was still years away. In 2016 the city reported only 335 murders, and Mr. O’Neill says total shootings were below 1,000 for the first time in the city’s modern history.

As the journal City & State noted, New York now has “one-fifth the crime of 1990 with a million more people.” It’s not the only thing that’s changed. That rookie transit officer is now Gotham’s top cop.

On its own, the success of New York’s Finest in bringing down murder and other violent crime is a remarkable achievement. What makes it more extraordinary is how hard it seems to be for other big cities to replicate. A month ago The Wall Street Journal released a survey that found 16 of the nation’s 20 largest police departments reported more murders in 2016 than the year before.

The city grabbing the most attention is Chicago. Other, smaller towns (Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis) have even higher levels of murder relative to population, but there’s good reason to focus on the Windy City. The liberal Brennan Center for Justice reports that Chicago’s skyrocketing murder count—762 in 2016, up from 480 in 2015—accounts for nearly half the homicide increase in the nation’s 30 largest cities. This week President Trump focused attention on Chicago when he threatened on Twitter to “send in the Feds” if local officials fail to address the “horrible ‘carnage.’ ”

In a meeting Tuesday with Wall Street Journal editors, Commissioner O’Neill declined to comment on the Chicago police. But the Windy City’s troubles go beyond the cops. For example, while in New York someone convicted of carrying a loaded firearm faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3½ years, in Chicago the law gives judges more discretion, which they use to give gun offenders lighter sentences.

In 2011 Mayor Rahm Emanuel brought in an NYPD vet, Garry McCarthy, as police superintendent. For 2014 Chicago police reported the lowest number of homicides in almost 50 years, though the total remained over 400 throughout Mr. McCarthy’s tenure and in 2012 had swelled to more than 500. In any case, Mr. McCarthy was sacked in 2015 after a horrendous video emerged showing a Chicago police officer firing 16 shots into a man who did not appear a threat.

The video set off a perfect storm that has contributed to the current mayhem. The officer faces charges of first-degree murder. On its way out the door, President Obama’s Justice Department dropped a report accusing Chicago cops of a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional force.

Trump’s Supreme Choices William Pryor doesn’t deserve the attacks from some on the right.

President Trump says he’ll make his first Supreme Court nomination next week, and it will be a telling moment. The power to fill the High Court seat left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia is a major reason Mr. Trump won the election, and the right choice is vital to keeping faith with conservative voters.

Mr. Trump understands this, as he showed with his campaign list of 21 talented potential nominees. The White House appears to have whittled the list down to three appellate court judges. All three look distinguished before close inspection and would face a rough confirmation assault from the left. But it’s a particular shame that Judge William Pryor is taking abuse from some on the right for the sin of acting like a good conservative judge.

Judge Pryor, who is 54 years old, is a star on the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and may be the closest of the three to Justice Clarence Thomas in philosophy. He has a long record of conservative jurisprudence, and he has displayed the kind of judicial modesty and respect for precedent that the Constitution intends for appellate judges.

This seems to have upset some on the right who prefer their judges to act like liberals and rule by policy preferences, not the law. They’ve criticized Judge Pryor for concurring in 2011 in Glenn v. Brumby in which a transgender male was fired when he began his transition to a woman. The employee sued claiming sex discrimination in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the 11th Circuit panel upheld the lower-court decision in favor of him who became a her.

Whatever one thinks of the LGBT agenda, Judge Pryor’s decision showed appropriate deference to Supreme Court precedent. The 11th Circuit’s decision faithfully followed the Supreme Court’s 1989 ruling in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins that sex discrimination can also exist in the form of hostile sex stereotyping. Conservatives should want circuit-court judges to follow Supreme Court precedent—and it’s a sign of how a judge will treat the law if he’s elevated to the Supremes.

Stop American Aid to the Palestinians Until the Terror Ceases Trump halted an 11th-hour transfer of $221 million. But more can be done to end pensions for killers. By David Aufhauser and Sander Gerber See note please

Even more pernicious than the money to terrorists is the promise that if they suspend the carnage for a month, the two state dissolution of Israel will resurface….Time to end the delusion of any solution that deprives Israel of total control of Judea and Samaria….rsk

In the twilight hours of the Obama administration, Secretary of State John Kerry authorized the transfer of $221 million to the Palestinian Authority—in violation of an informal agreement with Congress not to do so. Fortunately, President Trump stopped the transfer before the money left America’s shores. Now he has the opportunity—and the responsibility—to do more.

Lawmakers had good reason to oppose the transfer. Much like with the $400 million cash ransom paid to Iran last year, no meaningful effort was made to account for how the money was to be spent or to prevent it from being used to kill innocents.

Since 9/11, it has been accepted wisdom that stopping funds flowing to terrorism is a vital way to diminish its reach and incidence. In the fight against Islamic State, much of the success—albeit too little and too late—can be traced to efforts to target some of its principal sources of money: oil, trafficking in antiquities, and regional money exchangers that provide the commerce necessary for the killing.

A second operating principle growing out of 9/11 is that people who underwrite terrorism bear culpability equal to those who commit it. Much of the antiterrorism framework established in the Bush administration focused on imposing responsibilities on the international financial community to identify and prevent the transfer of terrorist funds. It is a difficult task because money intended to kill bears few DNA markers, whether transferred by ancient means (gold) or modern ones (digital). Notwithstanding those challenges, financial institutions that have turned a blind eye have faced punishing billion-dollar consequences.

Not so, however, the U.S. government. Over the past 10 years, Washington has provided more than $4 billion in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. The goal has been to promote a government in the Palestinian territories capable of assuming the responsibilities of a sovereign state, including the recognition of the state of Israel as a legitimate member of the community of nations. The aid has focused principally on security and criminal-justice programs, U.S. Agency for International Development sponsored assistance for schools, health clinics, water and economic development, and generalized support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget. But unlike the many nongovernmental organizations that contribute charitable funds to the region, American assistance programs, while obliged to vet how the money is spent, have yet to ensure effectively that taxpayer dollars are not diverted to support acts of terror.

Yet there is no question that this is happening. First, the State Department has acknowledged the diversion in reports to Congress, as documented most recently in a Dec. 16, 2016, Congressional Research Service report. As a remedy, Washington simply reduced its aggregate aid by an amount that is classified but is reported to be pegged to intelligence estimates of what the Palestinian Authority spends to sponsor acts of terrorism. But money is fungible, and it is sophistry to argue that funds provided for good deeds do not enable the bad deeds of the same political entity, particularly given the scarcity of resources.