In a contentious speech at the Reagan Library, he blamed the decline of Iraq and the rise of Islamic State terrorists on President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
CyberBerkut (Google Translation):
We CyberBerkut received at the disposal of the file whose value can not be overstated!
Dear Senator McCain! We recommend you next time in foreign travel, and especially on the territory of Ukraine, not to take confidential documents.
On one of the devices of your colleagues, we found a lot of interesting things. Something we decided to put: this video should become the property of the international community!
The 3 ½ minute silent video appears to show infamous Islamic State executioner Jihadi John (aka Mohammed Emwazi) in front of a giant green screen, standing beside a kneeling hostage wearing an orange jumpsuit and a green screen hood. They are inside a lit studio with a production crew and can be seen rehearsing an “execution”. The desert scene of the set, complete with wind machine, are similar to that shown in the beheading videos of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning.
Here is an example someone put together showing the similarities between the leaked studio video and the Foley beheading video. This is not implying the person in the leaked video is Foley, it may be anyone. Though they are not same, it gives a good comparison:
British forensic experts concluded that the James Foley video was likely staged using “camera trickery and slick post-production techniques.”
Terrorism research expert Veryan Khan said the video of Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa looks like it was completed in an indoor studio with a false backdrop, pointing to the light source on the men that appears to be coming from two different directions — as opposed to one bright sun.
Hollywood horror film director Mary Lambert said of the Islamic State video showing the killing of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach, that “in the opening shot all the figures might be animated. They never had more than six men on the beach … The close-ups of jihadists on the beach are most likely green screen … The sea turning red is obviously FX.”
LeakSource cannot confirm the video’s authenticity. If it’s a hoax, it’s a pretty elaborate and expensive one. Is it legit? If so, was it done by an Islamic State production crew (unlikely with a female PA on set) , or someone else (ie. intelligence agency). And why was it found on a device of Senator John McCain’s staffer?
A 2010 Washington Post article authored by former Army Intelligence Officer Jeff Stein features a detailed account of how the CIA admittedly filmed a fake Bin Laden video during the run up to the 2003 Iraq war.
The article, which includes comments from multiple sources within the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group, explains how the agency had planned to “flood Iraq with the videos” depicting several controversial scenarios.
“The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory,” the article states. “The actors were drawn from ‘some of us darker-skinned employees.’”
Other CIA officials admitted to planning several fake videos featuring former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, one of which would depict the leader engaged in sexual acts with a teenage boy.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”
Another idea was to interrupt Iraqi television programming with a fake special news bulletin. An actor playing Hussein would announce that he was stepping down in favor of his (much-reviled) son Uday.
“I’m sure you will throw your support behind His Excellency Uday,” the fake Hussein would intone.
According to one official, the video ideas were eventually scrapped due to the CIA officers, who spent their careers in Latin America and East Asia, not understanding “the cultural nuances of the region.”
The former officials told Stein that the project was taken over by the military after it ground to a halt:
The reality, the former officials said, was that the agency really didn’t have enough money and expertise to carry out the projects.
“The military took them over,” said one. “They had assets in psy-war down at Ft. Bragg,” at the army’s special warfare center.
This latest revelation bolsters evidence that the intelligence agencies, and perhaps more significantly, the military have been engaged in creating fake Bin Laden videos in the past.
As we have exhaustively documented, Intelcenter, the U.S. monitoring group that routinely releases Bin Laden video and audio, much of which have been proven to be either rehashed old footage or outright fakes, is an offshoot of IDEFENSE, a web security company that monitors intelligence from the middle east.
IDEFENSE is heavily populated by long serving ex military intelligence officials, such as senior military psy-op intelligence officer Jim Melnick, who served 16 years in the US army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in psychological operations. Melnick has also worked directly for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Intelcenter notoriously released the “laughing hijackers” tape and claimed it was an Al-Qaeda video, despite the fact that the footage was obtained by a “security agency” at a 2000 Bin Laden speech.
IntelCenter was also caught adding its logo to a tape at the same time as Al-Qaeda’s so-called media arm As-Sahab added its logo, proving the two organizations were one and the same.
Could the CIA group of “dark skinned actors” have been behind the infamous December 2001 “Fat nosed” Bin Laden video, that was magically found in a house in Jalalabad after anti-Taliban forces moved in?
The tape featured a fat Osama laughing and joking about how he’d carried out 9/11. The video was also mistranslated in order to manipulate viewer opinion and featured “Bin Laden” praising two of the hijackers, only he got their names wrong. This Osama also used the wrong hand to write with and wore gold rings, a practice totally in opposition to the Muslim faith.
Despite the fact that the man in the video looks nothing like Bin Laden, the CIA stood by it and declared it to be the official “9/11 confession video”.
The latest revelations also shed light on another past Bin Laden release – a tape in which he ludicrously declared himself in league with Saddam Hussein in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq.
The notion that the CIA project was taken over and drastically improved by the Pentagon at some point after 2003 jives with the improvement in quality of Bin Laden videos in later years. Most notably the video that was released immediately ahead of the 2004 election, and it’s digitally manipulated duplicate from 2007, in which Bin Laden appeared to have a dyed beard.
John McCain’s last visit to Ukraine was June 19th, 2015. If this is when the hack occurred is unclear. He was also accompanied by Senators Tom Cotton and John Barrasso. They were welcomed by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, and met with senior Ukrainian officials, including President Petro Poroshenko, after visiting troops and volunteers working on the front line. Since McCain is referenced by CyberBerkut, it is most likely that one of his staffers was hacked and not the other senators. Someone needs to FOIA which staffers accompanied McCain on his trip and if any have lost their jobs unceremoniously.
*LeakSource has requested a comment directly from CyberBerkut to confirm the hack and provide more information. This post will be updated with their response when it becomes available along with any other details as they emerge.
A female Sharia judge, who lost her husband in a fighting and had to marry again under Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) law, demanded to kill an “infidel” – an unbeliever – as a present for her wedding, the interview reveals.
The Group’s leader al-Baghdadi allegedly satisfied her request, although, insisting she could claim only the life of another woman as affairs between men and women are strictly segregated in the Islamic State.
The woman who spoke to The Daily Mail said she used to work for a number of Sharia female judges in an Islamic State court in the Syrian town of Mayadin, before she ran away from the extremist group’s atrocities. She says the last judge she worked for was the one chosen for the wedding day beheading.
“A Tunisian [female judge], Roaa Um Khotaba al-Tunisi, asked the emirs to cut off the head of a kuffar, an unbeliever, for her wedding present. At about the same time my judge, Um Abdullah … had been accused of being a spy, working for the Saudi Intelligence Services,” the defector, whose real name was changed to Leena in the article for security reasons.
According to Leena, the punishments for women administrated by IS courts ranged from fines for wearing ‘non-Islamic’ clothes and whipping or beating for conversations with strangers to cutting off limbs for theft, stoning to death for extra-marital affairs and beheading for treason.
“A woman was arrested for talking to a man in a shop,” although it was actually her husband she talked to.
“She was brought before an Egyptian judge … [who] sentenced the Syrian woman to a terrible beating. She was whipped like an animal – 80 lashes, in the main square in front of everyone.” And when her husband “proved that she was his wife … it was too late,” Leena said.
As another example of Islamic State atrocities, Leena told The Daily Mail about IS courts sentencing a girl to death on charge for spying because she had only complained about her life in the Islamic State to her sister living in Damascus in a WhatsApp phone message.
“It was nothing more than murder. They said she was connected to Assad’s regime, a spy. The girl had just been telling the truth,” Leena said.
In two years when Leena worked in an Islamic State court, she witnessed “countless whippings and beatings” also recalling three amputations and one beheading, all of which were administrated by the Islamic State voluntary executioners in the main square of the settlement.
Additionally, she said that Islamic State uses children “corrupted by the strict laws and vicious punishments of the Hisbah” as informants: “Some of the Hisbah patrols had children as informers, children as young as eight. They would be paid to spy on other children.”
Leena also recalled the fate of Yazidi women captured after the massacre in the Yazidi settlements seized in an IS offensive in August 2014.
“The emirs had captured maybe 200 Yazidi women but by the time they brought them to us there were about 100.” Those, who had not converted to Islam, “were given to local fighters – to do with them whatever they wanted – sex, beating, death,” she said.
At the same time Leena acknowledged that “ISIS’s hardline brand of Islam” initially appeared to be very attractive both for her, her family and her community as it was “romantically painted as the true path for a Muslim.”
“I gave ‘bayah’ [an Islamic oath of allegiance], I joined ISIS, working for the Hisbah in the section that dealt with women,” Leena explained.
She was then sent by the Hisbah to the Islamic State training camps for women to spy on those “saying they did not like ISIS.” The women she reported to religious police were later sent to the Sharia Court where they were sentenced to beating.
The things Leena witnessed while working in a Sharia court convinced her to flee the Islamic State.
“I feared I would be next, be beheaded,” Leena explained, adding that she “was horrified by what [she] saw, the brutality and corruption.”
She and her family fled to Southern Turkey, where they live in constant fear of being found and executed by IS members, as they change addresses every several days.
Meanwhile, IS militants killed at least 120 people and captured 350 more in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, according to the Iraqi Ninawa province governor in Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi.
“With the people increasingly opposed to Islamic State power, the number of those executed and kidnapped is rising in different parts of the city,” al-Nujaifi said as quoted by DPA.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.06: Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate has allegedly released a video showing a Croatian hostage who said the group would kill him in 48 hours if Muslim women being held in jails in Egypt are not released, Reuters reports.
The man was identified as 30 year-old Tomislav Salopek who was working for the French company CGG before he was abducted.
The Croatian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “is doing everything possible to resolve this difficult situation,” adding they could not provide any further information.
#AceNewsReport – TURKEY:Aug.05: A comprehensive battle against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants will be launched soon, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
US aircraft and drones are arriving in Turkish air bases as Turkey formally approved the use of its air bases by US and coalition aircraft late last month, Reuters reported.
“As part of our agreement with the US we have made progress regarding the opening up of our bases, particularly Incirlik,” Cavusoglu TRT broadcaster.
“As for the latest developments [concerning the actions of the US-led coalition against the terrorist group Islamic State], we posed a question to [US Secretary of State John] Kerry,” he said. “We think it counterproductive to publicly announce that aviation will deliver air strikes to protect groups of the so-called moderate opposition. Such plans raise many questions. [These actions] will hamper anti-terrorist efforts.
#AceNewsReport – YEMEN:July.26: The leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement has rejected a ceasefire planned by its Saudi-led Arab coalition adversary, on the grounds that such a truce would allegedly benefit only the Islamic State militant group and Al-Qaeda.
“The battle goes on and the war is not over,” Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi wrote on the group’s Twitter account. The ceasefire was due to take effect on Sunday night.
#AceNewsReport – SYRIA:July.26: Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants detonated bombs in two villages near Tel Abyad, a Syrian town near the Turkish border controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday.
The Kurdish militia took Tel Abyad from the jihadists in June. The town was an important strategic point for IS militants as the nearest to the Turkish border after its de facto capital Raqqa.
In late June, the jihadists tried to regain the initiative by mounting several assaults on the Kurdish forces in the region.
#AceNewsReport – TURKEY:July.25: Turkish police launched raids targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Kurdish militants in 13 provinces across Turkey on Friday, Reuters reported.
The raids were staged to fight all “terrorist” groups “without distinction,” the prime minister’s office said.
A total of 251 people have so far been detained in the simultaneous raids, it added.
#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:July.25: Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants claimed responsibility on Thursday for a suicide car bombing in Baghdad that killed at least 100 people the day before.
The explosion occurred in a mainly Shiite Muslim district in the Iraqi capital.
The Sunni militant group posted a statement online saying it had targeted a security checkpoint in the al-Shurta al-Rabaa neighborhood, Reuters reported.
#AceNewsReport – LIBYA:July.19: The militant group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) claimed it has captured three Christians in Libya, Reuters reports.
The men come from Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana, the extremists said, publishing their passport pictures online.
The kidnappings happened in Noufliyah, a city turned an IS stronghold, after the group expanded into Libya from its base in Iraq and Syria.
The execution of the Syrian captain was carried out by a boy fighter in the city of Palmyra recently captured by Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS), reported the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The video showed the teen jihadist declare that IS would capture not only Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus, but also Jerusalem and Rome. He then proceeded to sever the bound officer’s head and put it on his lifeless body.
IS has produced dozens of videos showing its fighters execute captives, men, women and children. Teenagers were previously used as executioners in those acts of brutality, although the Friday video released just ahead of the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr was the first in which a boy beheaded his victim.
Meanwhile Syrian news agency ARA News claimed that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered that production of execution videos be stopped. In a missive addressed to media officers, the militant leader reportedly said that such videos disturb Muslims and may be disgusting and scary to children.
The order, which could not be immediately verified, left IS militants split, according to the agency. But some Middle East commenters say Baghdadi’s ban applies only to amateur videos of IS brutality taken by the fighters on mobile phone cameras.
IS has been active in promoting its cause in the social media. Its ‘official’ execution videos are professionally scripted and edited, making their horrifying impact that much more striking.
#AceBreakingNews – IRAQ:July.18: The death toll from a suicide car bomb explosion northeast of Baghdad rose to over 100 people, including children, Reuters reported citing police and medical sources.
Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) militants claimed responsibility for the attack that took place in Khan Bani Saad, about 30 km from the capital.
The extremist group said that the suicide bomber was in possession of three tons of explosives. The blast occurred as Muslims were celebrating the Eid-al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Police Major Ahmed al-Tamimi described the incident as “devastating,” adding that some used “vegetable boxes to collect children’s body parts.” The attack came as Muslims are celebrating Eid-al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
#AceNewsReport – SAUDI ARABIA:July.04: A Saudi policeman was killed Friday during a raid to arrest a wanted person in the western city of Taif, Reuters reported.
An Interior Ministry spokesman cited an exchange of fire during the raid. Three suspects were detained and flags of the Islamic State jihadist group were seized, along with silencers, SPA news agency reported.
#AceNewsReport – FRANCE:June.30: French prosecutor Francois Molins has claimed the beheading and attack on a French industrial gas factory bore the trademark of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) group.
The man accused in the attack, Yassin Salhi, sent two photos of his employer’s corpse to an acquaintance in Syria, according to the prosecutor.
The friend, Sebastien Younes, reportedly indicated IS may distribute the photos as part of its propaganda campaign to attract radicalized Westerners. A French prosecutor confirmed Tuesday that the man who beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas factory in Lyon had a “terrorist motive,” AFP reported.
The investigation “indicates a terrorist motive in Yassin Salhi’s act,” Paris chief prosecutor Francois Molins said, also noting “personal considerations.” The prosecutor also cited that attacker’s “links to the Islamic State group [IS, formerly ISIS] in Syria.”
#AceBreakingNews – LIBYA:June.22: Libya’s self-declared government in Tripoli has carried out airstrikes on positions of Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in the city of Sirte, Reuters said.
A building where fighters had gathered was hit by the late Sunday night airstrikes, according to witnesses.
Officials could not give any immediate confirmation of casualties.
#AceNewsReport – Post Update: YEMEN:June.20: At least two people were killed and six others injured as a car bomb went off near the Qiba Mahdi mosque in the rebel-controlled capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, witnesses told Reuters.
#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:June.20: An Iraqi minister on Saturday slammed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plans to turn the site of the tomb of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul – which it destroyed last year – into a park as a “crime” perpetrated against the country’s heritage, a local news outlet reported.
Qais Hussain, the deputy minister of Antiquities and Tourism told the local al-Sumaria News that “there are reports about ISIS’s intention of transforming the tomb into a park and fun city which is another crime against Iraqi heritage.”
Hussain also said the ministry has “a plan after liberating conquered cities from ISIS,” adding that there is “a committee that is currently working to minimize damages being done to heritage sites.”
The site of the tomb is located in the northern city of Mosul, which ISIS seized in June last year. So far the Iraqi government, already backed with Shiite volunteer fighters known as the Popular Mobilization units, has not been able to recapture the city, which has become the group’s stronghold in the country.
#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:#BreakingUpdate June.13: Four suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives hit security forces and the local headquarters of the Shi’ite militias killing 11 people.
Islamic State militants attacked government forces and their Shi’ite militia allies on Saturday near the city of Baiji, Iraq.
Four suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives hit security forces and the local headquarters of the Shi’ite militias killing 11 people. The attack comes as the battle for control of Iraq’s biggest refinery continues.
Iraq has been struggling for stability since the last US troops pulled out in 2011, as the battle against Islamic State and extensive sectarian disputes obstruct efforts to rebuild the economy.
#AceNewsReport – KABUL:June.11: A bomb exploded at an office of Afghanistan’s main news agency Pajhwok on Thursday, wounding two people, Reuters said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Militants have issued threats to the agency in the past, editor-in-chief, Danish Karokhil, said.