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Iraqi forces set to push ISIS out of Tikrit and regain full control of Saddam Hussein's hometown

Iraqi security forces battled the last remaining pockets of Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham militants in Tikrit on Wednesday and were expected to gain full control of the city "within the coming hours," the country's interior minister said.

The remarks came a day after the Iraqi forces, with Shiite militias who rejoined the fight, pushed into the centre of Saddam Hussein's hometown, hoisted the Iraqi flag over the Salahuddin provincial headquarters in Tikrit and moved to control the entire city.

The objective, Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban said Wednesday, is now to free all of Tikrit and restore normalcy as quickly as possible.

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MPs vote to extend ISIS mission to Syria

The House of Commons passed a motion Monday night to extend Canada's mission against ISIS in Iraq for another year and expand operations to Syria.

The Conservative motion passed in the Tory-dominated House by a vote of 142-129 despite vocal opposition from the Liberals and the New Democrats, who pushed for humanitarian aid instead.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has argued moving into Syria would violate international law.

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Windsor extremist who had no valid passport and was labelled a 'high-risk traveller' joins jihadists in Syria

A Canadian on the RCMP's list of "high risk travellers" is being sought by police after he apparently left the country - even though he had no valid passport, was on probation and under a court order not to travel abroad.

Mohammed El Shaer, a 27-year-old from Windsor, Ont., disappeared last month shortly after completing a prison sentence for passport fraud. According to a Canadian extremist fighter, he has since arrived in Syria.

"What I can confirm for you is that we believe he did leave Canada and that he has travelled overseas and that he does not have a valid Canadian passport," Insp. Lise Crouch, officer in charge of the Ontario Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, said Tuesday.

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Canada will expand anti-ISIS bombing until April 2016: Sources

Canada plans to expand its mission against Islamic State militants by sending fighter bombers to attack targets in Syria as well as Iraq, two well placed political sources said on Monday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will formally announce the plan at 10 a.m. eastern time (1400 GMT) on Tuesday, the sources said. He will also announce that Canada intends to extend its six-month military mission by another year to April 2016.

Canada has around 70 special forces troops operating in northern Iraq and has also provided six jets to take part in U.S.-led bombing missions against Islamic State in Iraq.

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Islamic State attacks Christian villages in northeast Syria

Islamic State militants strategically targeted Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria in a series of brutal attacks on Saturday, causing clashes with Kurdish militia in the area.

Most of the fighting occurred on the northern banks of the river as ISIS attempted to capture Tal Talmr, a crossroad 35 km from the city of Hassakeh. By capturing the crossroad, ISIS would have a direct corridor to the eastern border of Iraq.

The ISIS offensive in the town of Tal Tamr has advanced to numerous surrounding areas. Since they began the offensive in the region, they have gained control of over 10 villages near Tal Tamr. The city is 40 km south of the Turkish border and currently lies under Kurdish control.

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Canada will expand anti-ISIS bombing until April 2016: Sources

Canada plans to expand its mission against Islamic State militants by sending fighter bombers to attack targets in Syria as well as Iraq, two well placed political sources said on Monday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will formally announce the plan at 10 a.m. eastern time (1400 GMT) on Tuesday, the sources said. He will also announce that Canada intends to extend its six-month military mission by another year to April 2016.

Canada has around 70 special forces troops operating in northern Iraq and has also provided six jets to take part in U.S.-led bombing missions against Islamic State in Iraq.

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Iran 'taking over' Iraq, Saudis warn, blaming U.S. refusal to send troops against ISIS

Saudi Arabia became the second key American ally in the Middle East to demand U.S. President Barack Obama change tack towards Iran Thursday, as it called for U.S.-led coalition "boots on the ground" to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.

At a meeting in Riyadh, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, told John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, he risked allowing Iran to "take over Iraq," echoing Israel's recent concerns over the White House's policy toward Tehran.

The United States and its coalition allies are attacking ISIS positions from the air in both Syria and Iraq, but refusing to send troops. As a result, outside Kurdish areas, the offensive in both countries is heavily influenced by Iran and its proxy Shiite militias, such as Hezbollah.

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Up to a million victims of child sexual exploitation in the UK, it is feared.


But these men did not victimize and brutalize these girls because of their nationality. They did so because they believed that their religion justified such behavior. Here is the proof. 

Imam Who Said Ayaan Hirsi Ali Deserved Death Penalty Was Hired By DOJ To Teach Muslim Classes To Federal Prisoners

An Egyptian-born imam who in 2007 said that Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the death penalty for her criticism of Islam is now a Department of Justice contractor hired to teach classes to Muslims who are in federal prison.

According to federal spending records, Fouad ElBayly, the imam at Islamic Center of Johnstown in Pennsylvania, was contracted by the DOJ's Bureau of Prisons beginning last year to teach the classes to Muslim inmates at Cumberland Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.

The records show that ElBayly has two contracts worth $12,900 to teach the classes and to provide the inmates "leadership and guidance." One of the contracts is dated Feb. 20, 2014, and the other is dated Dec. 8, 2014.

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ISIS 'hacking division' releases hit list of 100 U.S. military personnel, including names and addresses

In a dramatic propaganda move, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham terrorists have published a hit list of 100 American military personnel, including names, photos and addresses they claimed to have hacked from secure government computers.

"O Kuffar [infidels] in America, O You who worship the cross, O You crusaders that fight the Islamic State, we say to you: "DIE IN YOUR RAGE!" reads a message from the terrorist group, also known as ISIS.

Signed by the "Islamic State Hacking Division," it urges supporters in the West to launch lone-wolf attacks, such as the one last year on Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, which killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

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Iraq launches operation to retake Tikrit from ISIS

Backed by allied Shia, Sunni and Iranian fighters, Iraqi security forces launched a large-scale military operation Monday to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a major step in a campaign to reclaim territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants.

But hours into the operation, a key test for the embattled Iraqi army, the military said it still hadn't entered the city of Tikrit, indicating a long battle lies ahead.

State-run Al-Iraqiya television said that forces were attacking Tikrit from different directions, backed by artillery and airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets. It said the militants were dislodged from some areas outside the city. Several hours into the operation, it gave no additional details.

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Via terror verdict: Guilty on eight of nine charges

Two terrorists - one a Montreal scientist and one a Toronto trucking employee - were found guilty Friday of plotting to murder innocent people.

In a packed courtroom, a jury returned its verdict, convicting the two of all counts - except one - after 10 days of deliberations against Chiheb Esseghaier, 32, a Tunisian-born PhD student studying in Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 37, a Toronto trucking company employee and part-time school bus driver.

Once Jaser heard the verdict finding him guilty of the murder conspiracy and the other counts, he looked at the ceiling, exhaled deeply, then rested his face on his hand and nodded slightly a few times.

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ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John' identified as a young Londoner from a well-to-do family

The world knows him as "Jihadi John," the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.

But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.

"I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John," said one of Emwazi's close friends who identified him in an interview with The Washington Post. "He was like a brother to me... I am sure it is him."

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Saudi grand mufti calls for demolition of churches

Saudi Arabia's top Muslim cleric called on Tuesday for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported.

Abdullah, who is considered to be the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim kingdom, also serves as the head of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas.

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ISIS expected to warn today it will kill 150 Christians taken hostage in Syria, including women and children

ISIS plans to release a video today, threatening to murder 150 Christians taken hostage in Syria, if a U.S.-led coalition of military forces does not halt airstrikes.

Osama Edward, of the Assyrian Human Rights Network, told CNN that the extremists are believed to have 150 hostages, including women, children and the elderly.

ISIS militants abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria. The extremist fighters swept through the villages along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around dawn on Monday. The area is predominantly inhabited by Assyrians, an indigenous Christian people who trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.

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Has a Christian Holocaust begun? When will West wake up to ISIS threat

The people whose lives have been threatened or destroyed by ISIS just don’t understand how this pre-modern evil could run unchecked. Watch video here

Terror trainees: New ISIS video shows indoctrination of kids as young as 5

The latest disturbing video from ISIS shows what the Islamist group touts as the next generation of jihadist killers, pint-sized terror trainees who appear to be as young as 5 participating in drills and reciting verses from the Koran.

The 9-minute video released Monday shows about 70 camouflage-clad kids, who are reportedly the children of foreign fighters who have flocked to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamist army. An instructor states in Arabic that most of the children are in the second phase of training and that they represent the "next generation" of ISIS. The video illustrates the charge in a UN Human Rights Council report last year that determined that Islamic State "has established training camps to recruit children into armed roles under the guise of education."

"At the camps, the children recruited received weapons training and religious education," the report stated. "The existence of such camps seems to indicate that ISIS systematically provides weapons training for children."

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Mother kidnaps children and joins Islamic State, say Dutch prosecutors

A Chechen mother has taken her two young children to Syria to join Islamic State, Dutch prosecutors said on Monday, in the first known case in the Netherlands of kidnapping by one parent to join the militant group.

The divorced father, a Dutchman, and Dutch authorities were unable to prevent the 33-year-old woman, who was not identified, from leaving the country. They probably travelled across Europe with false passports and had the help of foreign recruiters.

The mother, originally from Russia's restive southern province of Chechnya, and her two Dutch children, aged seven and eight, had been living in the southern town of Maastricht, but have not been seen since October 29 last year.

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Forces must hit caliphate

There's a reason why we've been calling it just the Islamic State. Full stop.

For a while it had been going by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Or Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. President Barack Obama likes to use that last one.

But last June the jihadist group announced they were changing their name. They were dropping off the last two words. They wanted to be known just as the Islamic State.

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Freed ISIS hostage says Jihadi John staged mock beheadings as torture, pressing blade to his neck: 'Feel it? Cold, isn't it?'

A former hostage held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham for more than six months has described mock executions and other forms of psychological torture against him and other captives.

Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa wrote in The Sunday Times that militant Mohammed Emwazi played a lead role in the mock executions. Emwazi, a Londoner nicknamed "Jihadi John," is believed to have played a central role in a series of beheading videos.

Espinosa, who works for El Mundo and was on assignment for the Spanish daily when he was abducted in September 2013, characterized Emwazi as a bloodthirsty psychopath who enjoyed threatening him and other Western hostages.

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US Officials Admit Concern Over Syrian Refugee Effort

Top U.S. counterterrorism officials say they worry a potential terrorist could be hiding among refugees who are looking to come to the United States after escaping the brutal war in Syria.

"It's clearly a population of concern," the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen, told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, went further, saying it would be a "huge mistake" to bring refugees from the conflict to the U.S. - even as an estimated 4 million children, women and men have been forced to flee Syria and another 7 million have been displaced from their homes there, unable to leave.

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