SYRIA: ‘ Franciscan Priest and 20 Christians Kidnapped by Al-Qaeda Near Turkish Border ‘

#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – October 08 – A Franciscan priest and 20 other Christians have been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked militants in a Syrian village near the border with Turkey, the Franciscan mission to the Holy Land said Tuesday.

The Custody of the Holy Land said it was not able to say where Fr Hanna and his parishioners were now

The Custody of the Holy Land said it was not able to say where Fr Hanna and his parishioners were now

“On the night of Oct. 5, Father Hanna Jallouf of the Custody of the Holy Land, parish priest at Qunyeh, Syria, was taken by some brigades linked to the Nusra Front,” AFP quoted a statement from the Custody of the Holy Land as saying.

Following their capture, an unspecified number of Franciscan nuns had taken refuge with the villagers, the statement said.

Catholic news agency Fides, quoting Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo in Syria, said around 20 Christians were taken along with the priest, Reuters reported. 

“Among the kidnapped are young people, both boys and girls,” he was quoted as saying.

Qunyeh is a village of several 100 people in the Syrian province of Idlib and lies some 8 kilometers from the Turkish border.

Franciscan official Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custody of the Holy Land, confirmed the kidnapping of the 62-year-old priest and 20 villagers to AFP.

“They are accusing them of being collaborators” with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Pizzaballa told AFP in Jerusalem, expressing deep concern over the fate of the priest, a Syrian who has worked in Qunyeh for 12 years after a posting in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

“We don’t know what to do.

We don’t know with whom to talk, we’re totally unable to get in touch with anyone,” added Pizzaballa, the guardian of the Catholic Church’s sites in the Holy Land.

AFP quoted a source linked to the Franciscan Order in Aleppo as saying that Nusra Front rebels had forced their way into the convent and “looted everything.”

The source said Nusra Front rebels were “angry with Father Hanna because he refused to give them some of the olives harvested from trees on the convent’s land.”

Source:

#ANS2014

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WASHINGTON: ‘ Al-Qaeda’s New Bomb-Maker Cell Known As Khorasan Group ‘

#AceNewsServices –UNITED STATES (Washington) – September 13 – While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria – a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe –

map-of-khorasan

poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say.

afghan-large

At the centre is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who travelled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the al-Nusra Front.

But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say.

Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.

Known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeKh), the group’s only purpose is to identify, capture and execute people allegedly working for what is described as a web of local spies created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

#ANS2014

#afghanistan, #al-qaida, #al-nursa-front, #europe, #khorasan, #pakistan, #president-bashar-assad, #syria, #united-states, #yemeni

SYRIA: ‘ Unknown Militiamen Assassinated a Commander of al-Nursa Front – Reports ‘

#AceNewsServices – SYRIA (Hama Province) – September 12 – Unknown militiamen assassinated a commander in al Nusra Front by shooting him in Aqerabat area which is held by IS.

Al Nusra Front, Jundo al Aqsa and the rebels and Islamic battalions took control over Seher Hill checkpoint near the village of al Shir after violent clashes with the regime forces.

The violent clashes have continued between the same parties on the outskirts of the village of Sen Seher near Btish farmlands and in the village of Zor al Qse’eyyi located in the north of Arze village, information reported regime’s advancement in the area.

Violent clashes have erupted between al Nusra Front and the regime forces in the vicinity of Mharde city which is inhabited by Christians where al Nusra Front has tried to capture the city after bringing military enhancement and mobilizing 1500 fighters.

Translated from Arabic

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 

#ANS2014 

#al-nursa-front, #christians, #is, #syria

SYRIA: ‘ Freed Fijian Peacekeepers Arrive in Quneitra UN Confirms ‘

#AceBreakingNews – SYRIA (Golan Heights) – September 11 – Vehicles carrying freed Fijian UN peacekeepers arrived in Quneitra in the Golan Heights on Thursday, the UN confirmed.

The Syrian rebels from Al-Nusra Front had released all 45 Fijian soldiers who worked as UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

The soldiers were expected to cross from Syria into Israel, the TV channel said. All of them are reportedly safe.

The UN confirmed 45 kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers had been released, AFP said.

Earlier The Security Council called again today for the immediate and unconditional release of 45 United Nations peacekeepers seized late last week by an armed group in the Golan, while the Organization’s top peacekeeping official said the UN is continuing to look at ways to enhance safety and security procedures in what has become a “very challenging situation.” Read more

#ANS2014

#al-nursa-front, #fijian, #golan-heights, #israel, #peacekeepers, #rebels, #syria, #un, #united-nations

‘ Britain Steps up Airport Security as Al-Qaeda Operatives and Bomb-Makers are at Work in Syria and Yemen ‘

#AceUKNews – BRITAIN (London) – July 04 – Britain has stepped up security at airports after U.S. officials said they were concerned that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

“We have taken the decision to step up some of our aviation security measures,” Britain’s transport ministry said. “The majority of passengers should not experience significant disruption.”

The United States requested tougher security at overseas airports with nonstop flights to its cities.

The request came as U.S. security sources said bomb-makers from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were believed to be working to develop explosives that could avoid detection by current airport screening systems.

The main concern is that militant groups could try to blow up U.S.- or Europe-bound planes by concealing bombs on foreign fighters carrying Western passports who spent time with Islamist rebel factions in the region, the U.S. sources said.

A spokeswoman for Britain’s transport ministry declined to give any further details on the security measures or to say whether the increased security was linked to the U.S. concerns.

Britain’s Heathrow airport is the world’s third busiest airport and the busiest in Europe, serving 191,200 passengers per day.

#ANS2014

#aceworldnews, #al-nursa-front, #al-qaeda, #britain, #london, #syria, #yemen

` Al-Qaeda Linked Nursa Front Orders its Members to Use Chemical Weapons Against Syrian Army '

#AceNewsServices – TEHRAN (FNA)- The al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front ordered its members to use chemical weapons against the Syrian army and the people who stand against them.

In the last 24 hours, al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), executed a teenager accused of robbery in the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur without trial.

Elsewhere, the Syrian army targeted insurgents’ concentration centres and hideouts in several areas in Idlib countryside, killing and wounding tens of rebels.

Army soldiers targeted the militants’ hideouts in Khan Shaikhoun district in Idlib, North Western Syria, killing 56 and rounding a large number of them.

The Syria Human Rights Watch quoted locals in Old Aleppo as saying that the sound of a strong blast was heard in the region on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the media affiliated to the Syrian opposition reported yesterday that retired Lebanese singer Fadel Shaker who had recently turned Salafi was killed in Deir Ezzur.

In the last 24 hours, units of the Syrian armed forces crushed more intrusion attempts by foreign-backed insurgents in several regions as the nation’s enthusiasm for the upcoming presidential election grows.

On Saturday operations, vigilant government troops killed 11 insurgents affiliated with the notorious al-Nusra Front terrorist group in Khan Sheikhoun area of Idlib countryside, the Syrian state news agency reported.

This is while an army unit targeted insurgent hideouts in Murek town in the outskirts of Hama, killing and injuring numerous militants and destroying their armed vehicles.

Citing a military source, the news agency added that the operation also led to the killing of the leader of the so-called Jabhat al-Islam terrorist group Khaled Sarhan al-Jasem as well as an al-Nusra Front commander identified as Ahmad Ibrahim al-Kadeh.

Elsewhere in Syria’s North Western city of Aleppo, twenty people were killed in the mortar attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants.

Fars News – Syrian State News Agency

#ANS2014

#aceworldnews, #syrian, #al-nursa-front, #al-qaeda, #aleppo, #islamic-state-of-iraq-and-the-levantisil, #syria, #tehran

` Al-Nursa Front Use Civilians as Human Shields as Syrian Army Advances on Damascus ‘

#AceNewsServices – DAMASCUS – May 28 – The advance of the Syrian army on the locations of militants in Damascus outskirts has been practically stopped.

Servicemen are forced to carry out protracted trench combat actions, while mediators are trying to convince the Mujahidin militants of the terrorist al-Nusra Front to free hundreds, or even thousands of civilians, who are used as human shield by the bandits.


“There is fear and panic between them.

We can hear this by intercepting radio conversations. They are always blaming some Arur, as we understand, a Saudi, who enrolled them.

They came for caliphate, but they will meet doom,” Colonel Khalid, commander of a military unit in al-Qabun district — less than 10 km from Damascus down-town, told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

This district on the capital’s east is of strategic importance since it borders with the Homs – Damascus highway that runs further to the south to Daraa near the border with Jordan.

Al-Qabun fell under control of the militants in late 2011 under the same scenario used three years later in Kiev on the Maidan: peaceful protests were fusilladed by anonymous snipers in order to cast the blame for hundreds of deaths upon the governmental forces.

General Wafiq, who commands the Syrian army in al-Qabun, is convinced that the initial tactics was first rehearsed in Syria as on a testing range, and Israeli secret services and their American allies are primarily involved in it.

In the conversation with an ITAR-TASS reporter, the general recalled a trip of then ambassador of the US to Syria Robert Ford to Homs and Hama, where he generously pledged to help with money weapons to the rebels in their confrontation with the ‘regime’.

“We could attack even tomorrow and eliminate all of them, but there are many civilians, hundreds, thousands, and therefore we do not get the order,” Colonel Khalid says. “They are surrounded, completely blocked.

The Syrians would have surrendered long ago, but there may be up to a thousand foreign mercenaries, and they know that there will be no mercy on them, all will be eliminated, and we will not judge them.”

Itar-Tass – Hurriyet Daily – Syrian News

#ANS2014

#al-nursa-front, #damascus, #mujahideen

` Thirty Syrian Government Fighters Were Killed When Rebels Set-Off a Bomb Beneath a Check-Point ‘

#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – May 07 – (Reuters) – About 30 Syrian government fighters were killed when rebels set off a bomb in a tunnel beneath a checkpoint in a north-western province, activists said on Tuesday.

Videos and images posted by opposition supporters online showed a massive plume of smoke and earth shooting into the air near a small town as men shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest).

Rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad regularly carry out guerrilla attacks against his forces, but the size of the blast, which occurred on Monday, was unusual.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said the blast took place outside the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in the north-western Idlib province.

At least two officers were among those killed when insurgents from the Islamic Front and the Shields of the Revolution Council set off tons of explosives in a tunnel running from the road to the checkpoint, the group said.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in the three-year-old rebellion, which started as a peaceful protest movement and turned into a civil war after a government crackdown.

International powers have been deadlocked over how to resolve the conflict, further complicated by infighting between rebel groups that has killed thousands of fighters this year.

On Monday about 70 rebels were killed in clashes between a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) , and Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the al-Nusra Front, and its allies in an eastern province bordering Iraq, the Observatory said.

Reuters – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) –

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` Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawanhiri Calls on the Leader of ISIS to Stop fighting in Syria ‘

#AceNewsServices – BAGHDAD – May 04 – Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to stop fighting in Syria and return to Iraq.

Zawahiri has blamed Baghdadi for the infighting amongst Islamist fighters in Syria, describing him as “al-Qaeda’s rebellious soldier.”

(Al-Alkabar) – May 03 – Ayman al-Zawahiri has decided to take a decisive decision regarding the leader of ISIS, demanding he return to Iraq.

He blames Baghdadi for the current infighting among Islamist fighters in northern Syria and he called on al-Nusra Front to stop fighting against ISIS.

Despite expressions like the “venerable sheikh,” and “God save him” that he used when talking about Baghdadi, Zawahiri was serious in his demand, saying “God bear witness, I have delivered the message.”

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS was formed in April 2013 and grew out of al-Qaeda’s affiliate organisation in Iraq. It has since become one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Syria.

The final “s” in the acronym Isis stems from the Arabic word “al-Sham”. This can mean the Levant, Syria or even Damascus but in the context of the global jihad it refers to the Levant.

Its precise size is unknown, but it is thought to include thousands of fighters, including many foreign jihadists.

Analysts say non-Syrians constitute a majority of Isis’s elite fighter corps and are disproportionately represented in its leadership.

It took over the city of Raqqa after rebels overran the city in March 2013. It was the first provincial capital to fall under rebel control.

It also has a presence in a number of towns close to the Turkish border in the north of the country, and has gained a reputation for brutal rule in the areas that it controls.

Throughout the Syrian civil war, one of the major concerns of Western powers in particular has been the inflow of Sunni foreign fighters, who come from the wider Arab world, Western Europe, and as far afield as Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

According to a recent estimate by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these groups are.

By far the two most popular banners for these foreign fighters are al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is the result of a unilateral attempt by the leader of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to merge his group with al-Nusra.

The move was rejected al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and by al-Qaeda overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but Baghdadi refused to disband ISIS.

‘World domination’

The concluding question that vexes governments is what kind of threat, if any, these foreign fighters may pose to the outside world.

Of all the above groups, ISIS most openly expresses the ultimately global nature of its struggle, in which the end goal is world domination, delusional as that may seem.

Indeed, it is likely for this reason that ISIS appears to be attracting the most foreign fighters, who generally come from global jihadist ideological backgrounds and already had this world-view before coming to Syria.

At the same time, ISIS fighters and supporters make clear to me that a fight against the UK, for example, is destined for the far future, after an Islamic state is established in Iraq and Syria and then extended throughout the Muslim world as a caliphate.

#ANS2014

#al-nursa-front, #baghdad, #islamic-state-of-iraq-and-greater-syria-isis

` Al-Qaeda’s Senior Leadership Sanafi al Nasr Spokesman for Nursa Front Relocates Syria as Base of Operations ‘

#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – May 01 – A member of Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, Sanafi al Nasr, has relocated to Syria, where he is living openly and publicly courts his followers on twitter, according to counter-terrorism analysts and social media messages.


“This is a guy who fought with Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula.

He’s a spokesman for the al-Nusra Front. He’s connected, if not a planner, for the Al-Qaeda core. This demonstrates the integration of Al Qaeda and all its levels,” Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies said.

“And the fact that it’s (Al Qaeda leadership) now seeking out Syria as a core area of operations, this explains a lot about, I think, the new direction of Al-Qaeda today.”

While Nasr is not a household name, his pedigree is well established, according to counter-terrorism analysts, who say he is the third cousin of Usama bin Laden and almost all of his six brothers have fought alongside the Al Qaeda network.

At least one of his brothers was held at Guantanamo Bay.

The Saudi, who is on that nation’s most wanted list, was first identified by the Long War Journal as relocating to Syria, and as a member of Al-Qaeda’s so-called Victory Committee, which sets policy and long term strategy for the network.

Fox News – By Catherine Herridge Published April 24, 2014

Ace Related News:
1. Fox News – April 24 – http://tinyurl.com/m87so54

#ANS2014

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` Poisoned Gas was Used an Attack in ` Central Province of Hama ' Injuring Scores of People '

#AceWorldNews – BEIRUT April 12 – (AP) – Syrian government media and rebel forces said Saturday that poison gas had been used in a central village, injuring scores of people, while blaming each other for the attack.

The main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, said the poison gas attack Friday hurt dozens of people in the village of Kfar Zeita in the central province of Hama.

Syrian government has blamed the rebel forces of using poisonous gas in an attack on the village of Kfar Zeita in the central province of Hama on Friday.

RT – State-run Syrian television blamed members of the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front for using chlorine gas, killing two people and injuring more than 100.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that dozens were injured, while people suffered from suffocation and breathing problems as heavy smoke rose in the area after the attack.

#ANS2014

#syrian, #al-nursa-front, #al-qaeda, #beirut, #gas, #hama, #syrian-national-coalition, #syrian-observatory-for-human-rights

` Russian Foreign Ministry says that the `UN Security Council ' must discuss Alleged Attack by Al-Qaeda on Kessab'

#AceWorldNews – SYRIA – April 01 – The situation in Syria’s Christian majority town of Kassab, which was reportedly attacked by Al-Qaeda-linked militants, must be discussed at the UN Security Council, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

“The UN Security Council should discuss the situation in Kassab and give it a principled evaluation,” it stated.

On March 21, Jihadists reportedly crossed into Syria from Turkey and seized the town in Latakia province, home to over 2,000 ethnic Armenians.

The attack caused hundreds of local families, mainly Armenian, to flee their homes and seek shelter in the city of Latakia.

SYRIA – April 30 – (TS) – Rebels seized control of Kassab on Sunday after launching an attack two days earlier in the coastal Syrian province of Latakia. The fighters were from an array of conservative and Islamic groups, including the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

The province has an ancient Armenian presence, but is better known as a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad. It is his ancestral home and that of followers of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, that he belongs to.

The clashes led most of Kassab’s estimated 2,000 residents to flee some 57 kilometres to Latakia city, emptying out a village that boasted a Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant church.

“We had to flee only with our clothes. We could not take anything, not even the most precious thing — a handful of soil from Kassab. We could not take our memories,” said a woman to Syrian state television. She identified herself as Kassab resident, but did not give her name.

Middle Eastern News

#ANS2014

#syrian, #al-nursa-front, #al-qaeda, #alawite, #armenian, #catholic, #islam, #jihadists, #kassab, #latakia, #orthodox, #president-bashar-assad, #protestant, #shiite, #syria, #turkey, #un-security-council

` Lebanese and Syrian Nuns kidnapped by `Nursa Front ' maybe released on Sunday – Reports '

#AceWorldNews says at least 10 Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped last year from the historic Christian town of Maaloula, may be released on Sunday, according to Arab media sources. – RT.

A pro-regime Syrian news agency said a deal has been reached to release the nuns who were captured by the al-Nusra Front, one of the Islamist radical groups fighting President Assad’s forces.

Meanwhile the head of Qatari intelligence, Saadeh el-Kbeisi, has arrived in Lebanon.

Along with Lebanon’s General Security Chief, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Qatar has become a crucial player in the negotiations to release the nuns.

Latest update on their release http://wp.me/p165ui-4b7
#ANS2014

#rt, #syrian, #abbas-ibrahim, #al-nursa-front, #arab, #islamist, #lebanese, #lebanon, #major-general, #president-assad, #qatar, #qatari, #rt-news

` Saudi Arabia blacklists the `Muslim Brotherhood ‘ as a `Terrorist Group ‘ -citing statement by Interior Ministry ‘

#AceWorldNews says that Saudi Arabia blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday as a terrorist group among three other militant groups, Saudi television reported citing a statement by the Interior Ministry.

The kingdom’s branch of the Shiite Hezbollah movement, the Syria-based Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front are also included in the Saudi terrorism list.

Hundreds of Saudi fighters are believed to have joined ISIS and al-Nusra in Syria.

A deadline for those fighters to return home was extended.

#ANS2014

#al-nursa-front, #isis, #islamic-state-of-iraq, #muslim-brotherhood, #saudi-arabia, #syria